Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

By the by that's a creepy song when you listen to all the words. But seriously, it's very, very chilly here all of a sudden. Surprising since it's now mid-December and the middle of winter and all that jazz.

I do remember assuring people that I knew what cold winters were like. I'm also sure London was this cold and Rochester definitely is too, I just didn't walk quite so much there. But so far the weather has remained less inclimate than it might. Praise be.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finals Season: Procrastination Olympics

Sure I was productive at the start of the week, but because I have one more paper to go, because it only has to be four pages long, and because I've already read, researched, and outlined it I'm having a hard time making myself actually write it. So instead I've explored some new looks.

Confused Siamese/Triclops:

I should have just used Photobooth to animate my picture book:

I mean seriously:

The Teacher in a cartoon (no offense to those of you who are teachers):

A Human Bassett Hound:

By way of explanation, the zebra glasses (sadly the only thing in this post I can really explain), were a purchase I made when at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City with Kawisaki Shimai during her visit to UT last spring. I've always wanted glasses, they have no prescription, I had $10 in my wallet--and there you go.

I'll leave you with one more so you can remember I'm somewhat normal looking.
Happy Finals to you!
Festivus for the rest of us?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


November is my favorite month. It always has been. And, before you ask, it's not just because my birthday is this month; though I'm not going to lie that is a perk. But it's more than that. November feels like fall (and sometimes winter). November has that great smoky first fires of the season kind of smell. November has that settled-into-school routine but it's not quite finals. November has a major holiday but it requires less shopping. All in all, November is a liminal month; and while at times I don't like change, it is always kind of fun to stand on that threshold and anticipate the positive changes to come.

This November I've been quite lucky to have several fun visitors--I think it has something to do with the fact that I've moved to a pretty cool city (don't let that go to your head Boston). A city that I really like, so it's lucky that it's where I live. I also finally did some touring in November, so here are some pictures.

Wonky gravestones at the North End Cemetery
(I had just read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book),

Paul Revere outside the North End Church (you know of "one if by land two if by sea" fame) even though Paul Revere isn't actually famous,

Erin and Julianne in the posh Beacon Hill area of Boston where Louisa May Alcott lived once she was old and famous,

and Julianne amiably posing at a cute little alley also in Beacon Hill
(to prove that I actually do have friends and not all of my Boston pictures are just of things).

November also brought the advent of one Maggie Naomi B___ (I feel so Victorian blanking people's names out for confidential purposes in my personal, published communications). Now Maggie, let's get it out here and now. I was told you were not coming until December, and so the fact that I finished your baby blanket a half hour before you were born is only due to my own diligence (surprising); and the fact that you did not have it when you were born is entirely your fault. Not that I'm bitter or petty because I'm blaming a newborn baby, never.

By the way, Melanie, this is part of my room (since you were saying you wanted to see pictures of my room).

This was my first foray into handicrafts of any kind really and I found I quite enjoyed it. So who's having a baby now? I have skills I can't let get rusty. And anyway, I expect the entire world to take me into consideration when planning their families, doing otherwise would just be rude.

And that's my dinner done. Though not really because I'm going to go make it right now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fallen Back

Despite my pleas to abolish Daylight Savings Time, I was outvoted. (I think it went roughly 6, 794,108,553 to 1.) So I acquiesced and "fell back" with the rest of you. The weekend was pretty busy because I had a friend in from out of town, plus schoolwork, plus amazing Stake Conference sessions with the Apostle who likes to follow me around. But Sunday afternoon after dropping Jamie off to catch her ride down to DC I went up to one of my favorite thinking spots around the Bunker Hill Memorial. Ben Affleck was nice enough to have moved his movie sets so they wouldn't spoil any of my pictures.

Here's a taste of fall in Boston.

Sorry these aren't at all artistic, I just kind of snapped as I went.

And sorry Jamie that I don't have any pictures with you. I'm fairly bad at remembering to have my camera with me.

Also, these look better in real life, so I guess you'll all just have to come visit me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Guess Who

Guess who didn't check the weather this morning?

Answer: the same person who is now doing homework in their pajamas. At least I had an umbrella and a jacket, which is something I suppose.

And just FYI this is where I'm going to church this weekend. Pretty sweet digs, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Virtual Tour

I know you all miss me and wish you were living here in a cold basement in Charlestown just like I am. So I thought I'd throw you a bone.

So please keep your hands and arms inside the plane and come along with me.Here are some of the places I've been and some of the things I saw today.

Here's the Old Statehouse. Apparently this is where the Sons of Liberty used to incite insurrections. I always enjoy me some good rebellions.

Incidentally it is also the view outside of my boss's bank.

Here we are on Kilby Street where some dude's pouring out his coffee (I was actually holding coffee and lottery tickets while I took this picture, I have a very important position at our firm). Look at those lanterns though, seriously. And you see that building with the green details around the top, that's where I work.

Here's Sam Adams, my distinguished forefather, in front of some very important historical buildings (and no, I don't know which ones). But do note the famous cricket weather vane.

Now I'm not even going to pretend that I know what this is. I think it's something to do with the Holocaust.

I kind of like them though.

This is the Oyster House. It's very famous, I assure you. Actually, I have no idea but I liked the scorpion on the building and I thought it was kind of a cool picture. This is the North End. The North End is famous that I do know.

At this point I'd walked three T stops, so I hopped on an actual T to get across the Charles River. So here we are looking out at Charlestown from the Community College T stop (on the Orange line in case you were wondering).

And over here's the other side of Charlestown.

Thank you for joining us today, please come back real soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Today I faced quite a few unexpected events.

I was surprised by how much adding a trench coat to my nice slacks and button down shirt could do to make me feel more at home in the Financial Distrcit of Boston.

I was surprised to be buying my first ever lottery scratch cards.

I was surprised that I was purchasing them for work.

I was surprised that I was able to sign up for a gym membership for $10 a month with a sign up fee of only $1.

I was surprised that I had never before read White and Strunk's The Elements of Style, and that I had not realized that the said White was, in fact, E.B. White of Charlotte's Web fame.

I was surprised to learn that I had been making a fool of myself all these years by telling people that I was nauseous when I should have been saying I was nauseated.

I was surprised to find myself laughing at parts of The Elements of Style, and you may be surprised to find that you are my friend.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

Remember back a few months ago when my technology was systematically revolting? Well I thought I'd settled that all down: I learned how to trick Jasper into obeying me, I replaced my old external hard drive, I even managed to get my cell phone Napoleon to comply. But then this week I discovered the ultimate betrayal. My gmail account (well one of them) has been selectively not delivering very important emails from my TA. Et tu Brute? Now that both my TA and I have figured this out we should be able to work around it, but I am still reeling from the shock. What could possibly happen next? Is my tv going to fall on me and my DVD player spit DVDs mockingly into my face? Or will I simply be sealed inside a T tomb? I probably should not have given the technology any good ideas. Hopefully the keyboard does not have a collective consciousness.

On a completely different note, I just finished The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams for my Writing for Children class. I read the entire thing straight through--not a single break. If you knew how much I had to drink this afternoon/evening that would be more impressive to you. I was majorly skeptical at first because it's about a girl in a polygamous cult in a desert who has just found out she is going to be forced to become her sixty-year-old uncle's seventh wife. And it was written by someone in Utah, hmmmm. But I was quickly riveted and became deeply invested. I'd say it's worth a read.

Tomorrow I'm going to read Keesha's House by Helen Frost and Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson. (You know, in case you feel like reading along and living my life with me. If you really want I can tell you which text books I'll be reading this week too).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Really? Her?

Why did Virginia Hamilton's M.C. Higgins, the Great win so many awards? Pretty much all of us in the Criticism of Children's Literature class (essentially the incoming Masters Students in Children's Literature) found it painful to read and not at all easy to understand. Needless to say, I do not recommend this book.

Though if you're looking for some cultural diversity, The Circuit by Francisco Jiminez was an interesting, moving, and mercifully quick read about a young Mexican immigrant family's experiences in California.

This has been another "review" (more like a verdict) by your current Children's Literature Correspondent.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In love

For my writing class this week we read Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree.

I loved it. I mean it; I thought it was fantastic.

But, I don't really have anyone to recommend it to (not having any late elementary/early middle school girl BFFs). But if you're looking for a charming and fast read or do know people who fit this age range/profile I'd encourage you to pick it up.

Your Children's Lit student correspondent over and out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


It takes a great deal of self-discipline to not eat chocolate cake for/at Breakfast when you happen to have made a very big, very good chocolate cake.

I lack self discipline.

On the other hand, I did make my first every cake from scratch.

Also, it takes self-control not to read until 4:00 am when your book is getting very interesting and you've hit your second wind (possibly due to the aforementioned chocolate cake) and your eyes are not closing of their own tiredness.

I lack self-control.

I did however stop my project (putting together my last piece of furniture which arrived yesterday) before it was done because it was after midnight and probably noisy.

That's something.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Similes and cities

Dunkin' Donuts is to Boston what 7-11 is to Copenhagen.

It's one of the very first things I noticed when I got here two long weeks ago. There is almost literally one on every block, well at least at every shopping center. Sometimes there are two or three to a street. It's like that old joke about Starbucks being across the street from one another. I noticed a similar proclivity to 7-11s when I literally walked Copenhagen back in 2005 (they were practically on every corner).

So now I'm asking you to brush up those SAT skills and answer a question.
Dunkin' Donuts is to Boston as _______________ is to (your town of residence).

The difference between me and the SAT is I'm not giving you multiple choice answers. But do answer, I want to know.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dost thou love pictures?

Just so you know that we really did make that epic cross-country trip.

Ali at Mt. Rushmore (Yes, she's actually smiling in a picture)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that everyone at Mt. Rushmore is a little picture happy. Suffice it to say we took pictures just about the whole way up.

Getting looked down upon by famous Presidents

And here I am (sorry for the shadows, but it's one of those trade offs for being in nature).

I actually have very little documentation for the rest of South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio so you'll just have to take my word for it that I have as yet learned to apparate and therefore had to drive through them to get to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I know it seems risky, but you can do it. I don't lie that often.

Looking out from Little Roundtop

I have lots of pictures of cute streets, interesting churches, and various segments of the battlefield but here's one that I'm actually in.

Lily wanted to take a picture of Peter and his friend

And then we took one of Lily with Peter's friend

Then I went home and played with kids for a week before spending another week in hotels.

And finally I live in Boston now. Yeah, that's right I've finally broken into New England, which means it's only a matter of time before I make it over to Old England. I'm babystepping.

Pictures to come: Boston, the apartment in Charlestown, and obviously more fantastic adventures.

Also the title of this post is a quote from Taming of the Shrew. I admit that I full text searched it; I thought there was a quote about pictures in Hamlet, but apparently there isn't. Not in your version anyway.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What does the rhino say?

I didn't have a very good answer for this when my two-and-a-half year old nephew asked me. The giraffe I knew and could answer even if he didn't really understand it (giraffes make no noise because their necks are too long for their voicebox/vocal chords; instead they emit low frequency air puffs which they use to communicate with one another though I didn't share that last part with him). But I was stumped by the rhino, so like any responsible and educated adult I made something up. The third time or so through the animals, however, Peter had has own answer ready.

Peter as the elephant: trumpeting noise
Peter as the zebra: horse noise
Peter as the rhino (in a low, gravelly voice): "Juma, get out of the way."

Why didn't I think of that?

In case you're wondering, Peter's middle name is Juma. It's the name he often goes by at home and how he refers to himself.


The other day I watched the film Glory (and yes it is a film with a rating I don't typically watch, but I'd had to watch it for school freshman year of college and I figured I could take it). I cried. I cried like a baby. And I did it before the real fighting even began. Yes, I did go to Gettysburg last week and so I do have the Civil War on the mind, but it was unexpected. I am not, generally speaking, a crier. The world must be coming to an end, it's difficult to come to any other conclusion.

A true New Yorker and "the End of the Road Trip"

Ali and I woke up last Friday with every intention to go to Canada, but then we realized we were really quite tired after our trek and so we did not take on our friendly neighbors to the north--next time. So instead we went to check out the George Eastman House (founder of Kodak), where surprisingly enough I had never been. It turns out he was a bit of a weirdo (no offense to any Kodak enthusiasts or Eastman descendants who for some reason or other may be reading this) and he quite enjoyed decorating with dead animals. Afterward we enjoyed Julie & Julia. I thought it was nice to see a film about relatively normal people in good relationships. I know it's not very exotic, but some people, just a few mind you, do lead normal and even happy lives despite what our egotistic/voyeuristic blogging age may indicate.

Saturday I did the good thing and took my guest to the church historic sites. I mean I really couldn't let her fly back to California without at least going over to the Sacred Grove could I? And we actually had an interesting small world moment. We went on a tour of the Grandin Building (where the Book of Mormon was published) and the Sister missionary giving the tour was originally from Brazil and the other two girls on the tour with us were both from Brazil. They were having a grand old time talking in Portuguese when someone asked where one of them had served her mission. She responded, but frankly I don't recall where not being familiar with the country. Suffice it to say it was not one of the areas where I could recall anyone I know having served. But I did mention that we'd had a friend serve in Riberiao Preto and lo and behold we discovered that was where they were from and that one of their friends had served with Melanie! Granted, their description was tall, blond, and had motions indicating energy and busniess. But we were quite sure it was Mel. Anyway tours accomplished we had just enough time to catch some lunch, Abbotts Frozen Custard, and breeze on out to the airport so I could part with my faithful travelling companion.

At one point during the trip Ali asked me if it was like having a mission companion again, and I suppose in some ways it was. At any rates the most lingering effect of our travels together is my compulsive desire to share all my thoughts with her. Never fear Ali, I am working to master this impulse much to your relief I'm sure.

But no the real point of this now quite long post was to point out how truly I am a New Yorker (their chosen Civil War uniforms aside). Those of you who know me know that I enjoy literality. I find it funny and I can't quite say why. Well accross 8 of the states we traversed last week the standard exit notices were 1/2 mile with maybe 1/4 or 3/4 here and there. So in Pennsylvania we couldn't help noticing an exit marker for something like an 1/8 of a mile. How odd we thought. Then Thursday night as we were taking on the home stretch in New York we began to see exit signs with numbers like 4/10 of a mile. Sure, that's almost a half mile, but it's not quite 1/2 mile and we New Yorkers don't want to deceive you. But we may taunt you a bit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


After a stop at the Gettysburg Military museum place with its "Sommeworld" style cyclorama, which we both thought sounded a little too much like psychorama, we did a timely tour of the battlefield. Our favorite stop of course was Little Roundtop. I mean how can you compete with that? Then we worked our way up to Harrisburg where we had lunch with one of my mission companions, the former Sister Fultz, and my first ever ice cream slushy at Rita's (it was good, thanks Fultzes!). Then we made our way through Pennsylvania and New York. Unfortunately for us a long, late, and liesurly lunch conspired to put us on the roads at rush hour so we had to work through some traffic there. But we made up good time and had reached Syracuse at around nineish and were swamped in construction traffic and befuddled by faulty detours. Though we did make it to Rochester, well Pittsford, safe and sound at last.

Number of crazy drivers observed today: 2

Number of accidents we saw today: 1

Number of traffic incidents of any kind in which we played a part: 0

Fun facts:
  • Pennsylvania has no Mobil stations but many, many Exxons. New York has many Mobils, but not really any Exxons (at least not between here and the Pennsylvania border).
  • The North Carolina Gettysburg soldier monument was carved by the same person who carved Mount Rusmore
  • The New York soldiers' civil war uniforms were very "special"
  • people from the state of Wyoming have most likely contributed the least in donations at the Gettysburg Military Battle museum. Their total: 7 cents.
  • According to my interpretation of a sign in the Gettysburg Military Battle museum, many Civil War soldiers tortured the bullets that struck their bones. Those meanies.
Something to look forward to: 10 states down, tomorrow we're taking on Canada--more or less the fifty-first state.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well we buzzed through Ohio and meandered down Pennsylvania to Gettysburg (with many a comment of "Gorgeous, beautiful, wish you were here."). Seriously I forgot how much I love trees, and hills, and, well, greenness in general. Ali seriously considered dropping her life to move to either Chambersburg or Gettysburg (I think it's the burgs she likes, she'd says its the cute old houses), but is on hold until she has money, which I think is a silly notion. We then wandered up and down Baltimore street in Gettysburg (I think we walked up it at least 8 times), ate dinner at Ernie's Diner, and went on a ghetto fabulous ghost tour of the town.

Number of "homemade" helicopters we've seen being towed on the road thus far: 2

Number of toll cards we've lost in the car: 1

Number of ghosts seen on the ghost walking tour: 0

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Today we've been in five states and two time zones. We made it to Ohio in pretty good time despite major hold ups in and around Chicago. The construction and lack of signs meant that we didn't follow the short cut along the 90 and were in fact reunited with I-80 (oh how we'd missed it after two days apart) which then took us back to our friend the I-90. We didn't have any major stops today, mostly it was just time on the road, but I think it was time well spent.

Number of Military Police hummers: 20?

Number of Military Police hummers we saw that were actually "in" camo: 1

Bug comparison: Wyoming, really big; South Dakota, pretty big; Minnesota, quite small.

Number of bugs we've taken out: roughly 2 million

Minnesota, eh

We're in Rochester, well Rochester, Minnesota. You know the thing is, I know that's not a funny joke, but I couldn't help using it. Anyway we drove over 600 miles today and as already stated are in Rochester, Minnesota. Technically I had a layover here once and so have been here before, but I still felt a kinship to my own Rochacha by staying here over night. Also we already saw the giant corn water tower and even ate dinner at the City Cafe, which as you know was voted the best restaurant in Rochester, MN 3 years in a row (the exact years are unknown), so we feel like natives. But more importantly Ali and I went to Mt. Rushmore this morning--where we not only took pictures of the monument but also our own North by Northwest homages--and we already feel way more American.

Important sites not seen en route: Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, Sioux; Crazy Horse; Reptile Gardens; Dances with Wolves film set.

Exxon/Mobil stations in South Dakota: 3 (sadly all at the western end of the state).

States with picturesque farms: Minnesota

State I thought would have a lot of farms: South Dakota

Brilliant ideas to make massive fortunes that we've already come up with in the car: At least 8

PS I forgot to put the cord that transfers pictures from my camera to my computer in my travel bag, so pictures will have to come later. Sorry folks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wamsutter, Wyoming and more

Well we're in Rapid City South Dakota, folks. Today was eventful for Ali, she got to see Wyoming for the first time and then we both got to see South Dakota for the first time. There were stateline dances which I'm pretty sure you are very sorry you missed.

Sites Seen:
  • Wamsutter, Wyoming, which I may have later recalled incorrectly as being named Wamsuckett
  • Pretty much all of Wyoming, actually.
  • Deadwood, South Dakota (an old gambling town that's been preserved--if you count turning it into a kitschy gambling spot. The original buildings are cool though).

Animal Sightings:
  • Bison
  • Antelope
  • Fox
  • extremely patient Prairie Dog (it was sitting up right at the side of the highway, waiting for everyone to pass).

Thoughts on Wyoming:
  • Wyoming along 1-80 is really not very attractive. But Wyoming up along the 25 and 1-90 are really pretty.
  • There are way more Exxons along this route than I'd anticipated, which is fantastic news for me.
  • There is nothing in Rawlins, Wyoming, but Casper and Gillette are really pretty decent sized.
Tomorrow: Mount Rushmore and then on to Rochester, well Rochester, Minnesota.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And so it begins

Tomorrow (okay so I guess now it's today), I'm leaving on a road trip. Despite the fact that I'm not asleep yet, which I very well should be, I'm pretty much ready to go. The car is even all packed and everything. Look at me breaking Sorensen family road trip tradition. I know you're looking forward to following Ali and I as we traipse across the country; don't even try to hide it.

Incidentally, do you know what I think of when I think of road trips? Yep, I think of this:

Do ya need a break from modern livin'?
Do ya long to shed your weary load?
If your nerves are raw
And your brain is fried
Just grab a friend and take a ride
Together upon the open road

There's nothin' can upset me
'Cause now we're on our way
Our trusty map will guide us straight and true

Every day another new adventure
Every mile another new zip code
And the cares we had are gone for good

I've got no strings on me
I'm feelin' fancy-free
How wonderful to be
On the open road!

Anybody else remember what it's from?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Perhaps. It might have been.

I may or may not have eaten brownies for breakfast.

I may or may not have done this because I'm pretty much out of food I can actually make into meals because I may or may not have gone grocery shopping for two and a half weeks.

I may or may not have made these brownies at 1:00 am.

I may or may not have recently rediscovered a package of microwave bacon that I thought one of my roommates had eaten two months ago.

I may or may not have thought dark things about said roommate when I thought she'd eaten the bacon.

I may or may not still be in my pajamas.

I may or may not be moving in just over a week.

I may or may not have done anything for said move other than decide the route and time frame.

I may or may not have come up with a clever, albeit roundabout, way to get new songs for my iTunes without purchasing them.

I may or may not have stayed up rather late last night listening to an audio book I'd already listened to once or twice in the past six months.

I may or may not have had the song from the trailer of the Proposal stuck in my head for three days.

I may or may not be putting off doing things I really should have done already.

Little Things

A few months ago I noticed that a bird, or well I suppose it would have to be a couple of birds, had built a little nest next to the light fixture at the entrance of my complex's underground parking. Shortly thereafter I got to see baby birds, which quickly grew so large that the Mama bird could no longer actually stay in the nest but had to take refuge on a little mud perch she had created. It was fun to see the babies grow up until one day I'd noticed that they had all quite literally flown the coop and left Mama Swallow (my grandpa told me that because the nest was made from mud these were swallows) an empty nester. Much to my surprise, I noticed last Sunday that there were several new baby bird heads peering out over the edge. Apparently Mama consoled herself by beginning a second brood. I didn't know birds had two broods in one season, I always thought it was a one per year deal. You learn new things everyday.

Now I suppose there are some metaphors or life lessons I could draw from these observations--perhaps I like the baby birds am getting ready to leave the comfort of my "nest" out here in P-town-- but I'm not going to do that. I would rather just appreciate the sweetness of this experience/observation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The fun 1981 staff at Franklin

Do I know who these people are?
Do I remember where I got this picture from?
Do I remember why I even have this picture?
Absolutely not.
Do I still feel free to good-naturedly and unabashedly poke fun at these people?
Why yes, yes I do.

It's very difficult to choose my favorite, but I think it may be between the two women in the front row. I suspect, however, that at least one of them is not, in fact, making a silly face.

I sure hope it's the one on the right.

The Pros and Cons of being a Proletariat

I've been working in the factory for a good sevenish weeks so I'm more or less an expert, which qualifies me to create the following comprehensive list.

  • You can always pass the buck up
  • You can leave work as soon as your foreman type person says so, no paper work for you
  • You can not care how particularly you do your work so long as it passes periodic inspection
  • You don't have to get emotionally involved
  • You can miss a day and it doesn't really matter
  • You can walk away whenever you want, there are always other factory jobs

  • Even when the buck gets passed up you likely have to fix the mistake
  • You can only leave work when your foreman type person says so
  • Your work has to pass periodic inspection
  • When you're a natural perfectionist your work will pass inspection anyway, but it takes you a lot longer to do so because you do actually care
  • You sometimes do get emotionally involved, and that's kind of disturbing because let's face it you work with labels, pills, lotions, and bottles
  • When you miss a day it's really hard to go back because you remember your non-proletariat life
  • Nobody cares if you never come back to the job
  • Let's face it, when you work at a factory they're all pretty much the same experience, no?
Now for a debate, which is more depressing: the fact that you could not make a living as a factory worker because you're too unskilled in manual labor or the fact that you make your living as a skilled factory worker?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

That is mad anti-climatic

Another chance for ten points, folks. One day, I'll actually record the points and they'll be worth something. Who knows what, but I'm pretty sure it will be all of your wildest dreams.

I know I have been remiss of the poor blog, but I currently live a schedule that has me staying up until the wee hours of the morning (which usually feels like the perfect time to blog but often ends up being a mistake), and then vacillates between being crazy busy and being crazy tired from the busyness. I know, I know I live such a hard life. Sometimes I'm not quite sure how to handle it.

Now for the real updates. . . .

Last week was pretty exciting because we got the 3rd of July off work so I actually could do fun and social things. In the said excitement I zipped up to Salt Lake City to visit the International Peace Gardens with three friends from the mission (the former Sisters Gurr, Howard, and Rowlands) and some new friends. They were pretty cool, but we only ended up getting to stay for about 20-30 minutes due to unfortunate flat tire incidents (not on my car, in case you were wondering).

Sorensen, Row, Howard, Gurr

Then I jetted down to Provo for a Scrabble re-match with my friend Ammon. Sadly, I must confess defeat, again. But I only lost by 50 this time, so I am improving and slowly learning strategies no matter what he says to the contrary. This was followed by an impromptu sand volleyball game with friends from his ward, which lasted for 3 hours (the game, not the friendships I'm sure), and a subsequent four days of soreness. It was, however, a lot of fun.

Saturday I had to be wily to figure out how to escape the Provo 4th of July parade. It had me almost entirely boxed in, but I prevailed and made it to Malad, ID at last to make a long overdue visit to the grandparents. I had a good time and heard a lot of great stories about family members (both the long deceased and the still living [insert slightly evil laughter]).

Then I had church and work for several days. Mostly this was boring but it did include a funny anecdote involving my friend Maritzha, who is Mexican, and a misunderstanding about ghosts and goats. (For more details, please contact the author).

Finally Friday I had another day off so I could go to another former CRM sister's sealing, run errands like the wind, and shoot back up to the Salt Lake area for her reception. It was fun, it was touching, it was tiring. At last I made it home and finally to bed by midnight, which is at least two hours before my normal retiring time and so rather luxurious).

Today, my friends I rose bright and early to go fishing. And as it turns out fishing was rather a bust despite the help of many family members and friends from whom I borrowed fishing equipment and/or who came to help teach me how. And so afterward we went swimming in one of the Burraston ponds. Much fun was had though this was probably very similar to the faces which may have been made after my rather unglamorous attempts at the rope swing.

What can I say, I think the last rope swing I swung on was in second grade and the last time I went swimming was many years hence. I'm out of practice. I really enjoyed myself anyhow. Brittany and Ammon, and several 11-year-old scouts, performed creditably, however.

That is in fact Ammon doing a flip off of the rope swing, though I will admit that these are not my pictures

The rest of today has been spent in the very efficient process of clearing out my inbox, among other errands. It took a shockingly long time. And this clip, my friends made my early evening.

Until next time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strange things are happening to me

I was blogtrawling tonight while I should have been getting ready for bed. I decided to head over to a blog I'd visited a few weeks ago where the blogger had been detailing some of their struggles in finalizing the adoption of their son and I wanted to know if there had been farther developments. In case you were wondering, there were not; but this particular blog has a weekly feature showing children who do need to be adopted and that was up. I began to click around and through and before I knew what was going on, I was seized by an extremely strong desire to adopt a child (and then think of people who could adopt all the others).

Must leave Utah, and all the babies, very soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Today I baked lotions for Russians. What did you do?

This is not a challenge, its genuine curiosity

Here in the north

Some people would look down on my newest summer job. To them it would simply be the f-work (no, not the f-word, I mean really, who do you think I am?) we're talking about f-a-c-t-0-r-i-e-s here. But I prefer to think of it as embracing my inner Henry Ford and getting to understand Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell on a deeper, grittier level. You know the in-depth lived experience that will make me look like this girl here. In fact, I suspect that yesterday night when I got home I looked rather a lot like that. Sure the hours are not ideal, I mean who other than Sherid really wants to work 3:30 pm - 12:00 am, but I've decided to embrace the experience.

There are a number of up-front and positive things about this job. One, while I will readily admit that the five hours I spent yesterday placing Korean labels over the English words on the back of NuSkin's 180 Skin Mist is unlikely to have a profound impact on the world (except maybe for a Korean person who is deeply in need of NuSkin's 180 Skin Mist), I get to wear scrubs, which gives me the illusion of having a deeply meaningful occupation and possibly even distinct direction in my life.
For five minutes I realized what life would be like if I were, in any way, interesting. If I had anything to say for myself, if I did anything.

I was suddenly hit by an extraordinary rush of well-being. So this is what people meant by a natural high. And it only cost 60 quid.
It also makes me look kind of like these people, but minus the stylish hats. In addition, the international components of the job also make me feel like I'm making a greater contribution to humanity. Or perhaps it is merely an indication that English speakers do not want these products. It's very hard to say.

I also must admit that this job is quite different than I'd anticipated. During the last two days, I've discovered that in many ways I have been preparing for this for years: years of helping my Mother with various newsletters and primary letters have helped me practice putting stickers/labels on bottles with attention to proximity and straightness, my own OCD nature helps me be fastidious, and I have developed a taste for running social experiments on myself and those around me. I have often believed that I have a high tolerance for and would even enjoy doing extremely repetitive, menial jobs. Was I right? Do I have a hidden talent for assembly line work? After sixteen hours in the field I'd have to say yes and no. I have my limits. Five hours labeling is just too many, but I enjoy doing the work in periods of a couple of hours at one particular job or task. And the company is really quite enjoyable due to its eclectic nature. My time has several good-natured and sort of crazy old guys as well as a number of people whom shall we say are most comfortable speaking Spanish. Thus far I'm still sort of slow at certain jobs, but I've yet to have any true fiascos.

My one complaint? It's that even though I'm working in a legitimate factory, the room I work in is all white, and I am often treated to hearing my co-workers cough all shift long, I have yet to see anyone like this.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep going the rest of the 58 days in my assignment.

PS I tried to come up with some less obvious quotes. I'm sorry to have offended some of my reader's sensibilities last post. Now here's a real question though, I would swear that "It's very hard to say" is itself a movie quote (I'm hearing it in a sarcastic tone and a British man's voice) but IMDB failed me. Do I have any takers?

Just for good measure.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I should like to join you very much. Let's fetch our wraps.

The country round about Alpine
"Thank you, but we're to go for a long walk."
"I am fond of walking."
"It's a very long walk."
"Why's everybody always supposing I'm not a good walker?"
Probably because it's true . . . well at least somewhat. The fact is I'm a very good walker, even on long walks. What I seem to be finding myself doing lately, however, is hiking and that, my friends, is a horse of a different color. Mostly because hiking is much more vertical. I am all for walking through the woods--its very Robert Frost. In fact, I enjoy it rather a lot: scenery, plus exercise, plus time for thought comes out to a very good time.

The view down Corner canyon in Alpine, UT

The problem with hiking then is not its lack of virtues, because as we already discussed in many ways hiking is like walking. No the real problem is that whole breathing thing. I admit it, one of my strange quirks is that I find it difficult to breath when ascending mountains. It's silly I know. Alas, and yet I continue to willingly go on hikes. As the Bishop's wife put it, it's kind of like childbirth. While you're struggling to breath on the way up you wonder why you got yourself into it, but somehow after reaching the top (or maybe not until you're safely back to your vehicle) and that sense of satisfaction kicks in you suddenly can't quite remember how hard it actually was. Until you're doing it again that is.

The conqueror/good walker

PS Ten points for quote identification.