Posts

Showing posts from May, 2007

Reading Roundup May

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

This is the third David Sedaris book I've read, and the third one that I own. I actually don't have that many authors whose works are all on my shelves. But, it's worth it because he's so dang funny. It was good to start the month off laughing.

The Wine-Dark Sea of Grass by Marilyn Brown

I bought this at the Provo DI a few years ago because I really liked the title and the cover (weird, I know). And I actually like a lot of the more serious Mormon fiction that I've read. This book actually turned out to be pretty good. It was slow to begin with, but then I started really liking the characters and the story was intriguing.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This book was super cool a few years ago, but for some reason it just never appealed to me. Now that I've read it, I understand why everyone thinks it's so cool. The writing is amazing, the voice is powerful, and the author manages to write about a fairly …

I'm a Squeaky Wheel

I just got a phone call from a very nice lady in human resources at the college that didn't want interview me. I sent them an email the other day requesting some feedback about my application. I thought it was funny because one of the first things she said was, "I'm LDS too, just so you know". She told me that they had received a number of very qualified applicants, but that I had ended up in the second tier because I have not quite graduated yet (my official date is August 2007; I've been putting that on my resume because I want to be honest) and because I didn't have as much teaching experience, especially local teaching experience. She also told me (I didn't ask) that of the candidates chosen for interview, half were native speakers and half were not, so that doesn't play into things. That made me feel a little better, because I've seen one or two private language schools that specifically want native speakers.

I also thought it was funny becau…

Life this week

Last night we had a fun little birthday party for Little Dude. We had a few friends come over and I think everyone had a good time. S-Boogie insisted that we needed party hats and balloons (she's read Dora's Surprise Party a few too many times), so Master Fob provided both. S-Boogie and her friend Dylan were the only ones excited about the hats, but the balloons were a big hit with Little Dude and all the other kids. This morning when he woke up and saw the balloons in the living room he got excited all over again. We ate shish kebabs (chicken, shrimp, and veggie), fruit salad, chips and dip, and curried couscous salad (the salad is really good--I doubled the amount of couscous and kept the other ingredients the same). The food all turned out really well, and I made two kinds of cupcakes for dessert. We had vanilla ones with chocolate frosting and chocolate with vanilla frosting. Little Dude enjoyed his chocolate cupcake quite a lot, but then he had trouble sleeping all night.…

The Marvelous Works of God

Like most of my days, Friday was roller coaster of emotions. Most of my day was good--I found some cute, comfy jeans at Goodwill for only five dollars, for example. Some of it was bad--I got two more rejection letters from jobs that don't even want to interview me (one was a teaching position; I will be emailing them to find out what the problem is). By the time I got into bed at night I was feeling down and didn't really want to pick up my scriptures. But I did anyway, and when I opened them, this popped out at me from Mormon chapter 9:



15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?



Miracles have been on my mind again lately, because Littl…

Stuck in My Head

I disappeared in you
You disappeared from me
I gave you everything you'd ever want to have
It wasn't what you wanted

--"So Cruel" U2

Beneath still waters
There's a strong undertow
The surface won't tell you
What the deep water knows
Darling I'm saying , I know something's wrong
Beneath still waters, your love is gone

--"Beneath Still Waters" Emmylou Harris

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I, when you build the great wall around you?
In your eyes
I saw the future, together
But you just look away in the distance

--"China" Tori Amos

Te regalo mis silencios
Te regalo mi nariz
Yo te doy hasta mis huesos
Pero quedate aqui

Porque eres tu mi sol
La fe con que vivo
La potencia de mi voz
Los pies con que camino
Eres tu, amor
Mis ganas de reir
El adios que no sabre decir
Porque nunca podre vivir sin ti

--"Tu" Shakira

When you see the storm is comin'
See the lightning part the skies
It's too late to run,
There's terror in your eye…

Link-O-Rama Part 2

I just want to share the love and let you know what I've found on the internet lately:

My mom wrote a lovely post about my aunt

Ken's advice on writing about Mormons

Buy a flashlight, save the world

Bikers are cool

The state of food in America

And, one of the funniest posts ever written (read all the comments, you'll laugh your head off)

Now I'm going to go eat fancy cookies (thank you Trader Joes) and watch a movie. Maybe I'll even go to bed on time tonight.

Awkward

One of our home teachers just called to make an appointment. He had talked to me after church on Sunday and mentioned that he and his companion wanted to come by. At the time, I got the impression that he knew what was going on and that I was living here by myself. However, tonight on the phone he mentioned that he would come by to see "you guys", which made me start to feel a little panicky. Then he mentioned that he would for sure be coming next week, but was not sure if his companion would be able to make it. I'm terrible at phone conversations, and I'm even worse at piping up to say "I live by myself because my husband moved out". But I'm afraid it would be extremely awkward for him to show up next Tuesday night by himself and be unable to visit because I'm home alone. I feel like such a dork. The only bright side to this is that I'm realizing each week that most people are preoccupied enough with themselves that they apparently have little …

Cooking Block

Little Dude's birthday is on Monday and I've invited a few people over to celebrate. Normally I love cooking and entertaining, but for some reason I can't come up with any good ideas for food. I thought about doing a barbecue, but our grill is charcoal and I just don't feel like messing around with that. It will only be somewhere between 5 and 7 people, so it's not like I need a lot of food either. I also considered doing Hawaiian food, kind of like the traditional first birthday luau, but that didn't sound appealing. This morning I was looking at my box of whole wheat couscous and there's a yummy sounding salad recipe on it, so I was thinking maybe that with some kind of grilled meat or something. I have no idea. I did find a yummy cupcake recipe, so we'll have cupcakes with "Happy Birthday" written on them (I like cupcakes for parties, they're just easier and cute). Now I just need some dinner to go with dessert. Any ideas?

States of Grace

Last night I finally watched the movie States of Graceby Richard Dutcher. I bought it from Amazon a few months ago, but never got around to watching it. I would have been in more of a hurry if I'd realized how good it was. First of all, the acting and production values are excellent. If you are looking for a hero to replace Mr. Darcy in your list of hot fictional characters, Elder Lozano is your man. Not only is he a hot Latin man, he saves lives and converts gangbangers! Did I mention that he is hot?

All frivolity aside, I thought it was an awesome movie. In some ways it reminded me of Crash, and not just because of the Southern California setting. The characters were all nuanced, and in the end it didn't feel like there were good guys and bad guys, just a bunch of humans trying to figure out their lives. At one point in the movie, Holly, the missionaries' neighbor, is explaining to them her story. She gets fired from her job after resisting the advances of her boss. Then,…

Not Much to Say

Well, an entire week went by without any change on the job front. I got one letter telling me that they didn't pick me for an interview, but that was it. Still haven't heard anything from either teaching job. I have applied for a number of other things. I've even started applying for more things here in the city, even though most don't pay very much compared to the cost of living here. But, I'm still waiting patiently and I'm not going to panic and start applying at Safeway just yet.

Other than that, I haven't been doing much besides the day-to-day management of kids. This afternoon Little Dude had an early nap and S-Boogie didn't have one at all, so we went on a spontaneous outing to the Arboretum. Next time I will pack the backpack, not the stroller, since the trails were not very smooth at all. I did appreciate the stroller when it started raining, since Little Dude was cozy and dry under his plastic covering. S-Boogie loved going to the "forest&…

Thesis

I've had a few people wondering about my thesis. I think I'm going to submit it as an ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation), so that it will be available online to whoever wants to read it. I really like the idea of ETDs, partly because I don't have to pay for so many copies of it (or kill so many trees), and partly because that makes it so accessible to others. I have enjoyed browsing through other theses online, and I even used some ideas from one written by a friend.

For the record, the title of my thesis is: "Beyond Fidelity: The Translation Process in Two Version's of Juan Marse's El embrujo de Shanghai". I'm actually not a big fan of that title, but it was the best I could come up with. The introduction to the thesis describes the intersection between film adaptation and translation; i.e., the ways in which they are different and the ways in which they are similar. The problem with most adaptation theory is that it tends to be stuck in a way …

Thanks A Lot, Dora

Before I had children I was determined that they would never view television. Now I have a child who is obsessed with Dora the Explorer. She doesn't go to the library to get books, she goes to get a new Dora video (well, she gets books, but they aren't the exciting part). It's my fault for buying her Pull-Ups, because she learned who Dora was and wanted to get a Dora video when she saw one at the library. Now we are fully in the throes of a Dora addiction. I've drawn the line of Dora accessories like clothing or bedding, but we've even bought her some Dora books. She wakes up every morning and tells me that she dreamed about Dora and Boots. Oh well--I spent years of my childhood convinced I was going to grow up and marry Shamu and I still turned out normally.

I've actually grown to somewhat appreciate Dora. At least she's a strong female character, and she's comfortable with her cultural heritage. She speaks Spanish and English, and has a variety of frie…

Losing It

Normally, I have a very sharp mind. I remember all kinds of useless facts, and I can scare people with my stalker-like abilities to remember the minutiae of their lives after meeting them only once. It is unusual for me to lose things or to forget about stuff. Unfortunately, stress has a way of eroding the brain's ability to capture information, and lately I've suffered from some uncharacteristic lapses in judgement. For instance, a few weeks ago, I got the mail, stopped by the house to drop it off, then left to go to the store. As I shut my front door, I realized that I had left my keys sitting on the counter with the mail. Thankfully I walked around the building and discovered that my sliding door was not locked and I could get in and get the keys. Unfortunately, it's really scary that my door was unlocked and I hadn't remembered to check it before leaving the house.

I've also been doing things like putting salad in the freezer and forgetting to bring all my groce…

The Celestial Perpetual Motion Machine

I really like what Th. said at the end of his post today: "Faith is work. Work is power.". I find it interesting that when I am feeling most depressed and discouraged, I just don't want to move. I want to crawl into a hole somewhere and cease from any sort of action whatsoever. But, life requires action and movement.

At my last appointment with my counselor, we were talking about decision making. I am supposed to be coming up with a new life map, since my old one isn't really working any more. He pointed out that too often we base our decisions solely on our feelings, and that this is actually Satan's plan. That surprised me, since I thought I was supposed to worry about whether something "feels right" or not. But, he pointed out, there is a difference between feeling "right" and feeling "good". Not everything that is right for me will feel good, and not everything that feels good is right. What I need to do is to figure out what my c…

Notes from the Weekend

Travelling by yourself is a breeze after you've spent several years travelling with children. This is the first time in my life that I actually enjoyed being on an airplane.

The MOA cafe used to have good food, but they've really gone downhill sometime during the last ten years. Lon's Barbeque Shack was also mediocre--my baked beans were somewhat undercooked and my potato salad was bland. However, The Pudding on the Rice is as good as all the hype I've heard about it, and bittersweet chocolate rice pudding makes an excellent breakfast as well as dessert. I think Seattle needs a rice pudding restaurant.

Teaching is actually kind of fun. Especially when students figure stuff out for themselves and are excited about learning.

I'm glad I took time to visit the MOA'sBeholding Salvationexhibit. I actually found myself most moved by some of the more contemporary pieces. I don't know if it was just because they were so unique in their vision, or maybe it was because …

They like me, they really like me!

The verdict: Pass with qualifications

What that means: I need to go home and fix a few little things, and then they will sign my papers and I will be done and graduated.

I survived my defense and I did not throw up or wet my pants or anything unseemly like that. I caught myself trying to make air quotes with my fingers once, but I think I mostly avoided that tacky gesture. It was really gratifying to hear several people I look up to and admire for their brilliance tell me that they thought my ideas were innovative and interesting and that my writing is excellent. I've worried that I don't have a very good style when it comes to academic writing, but they all agreed that the fact that I am concise and clear is a good thing. And of course my entire committee wants me to get a PhD. and to keep going with film studies and translation. Maybe I should... Right now, though, I'm going to the Museum of Art to check out the Believing Christ exhibit and to grab me some lunch.

Sunshine, Rainbows, and Kitty Cats

I was hoping that somehow yesterday would turn into a great day after all and then I would have a more positive post to put up instead of my venting from yesterday morning. It didn't happen. No one has called me wanting to interview me. Little Dude spent over an hour awake last night; so did I, trying to teach him how to go to sleep by himself in his bed. Last night he won--after I picked him up he fell asleep within two minutes of me rocking with him in the chair. I feel tired, yucky, and stressed. So, I guess if you want happiness right now you're going to have to go here or here instead.

But, it really hasn't been all that bad. The weather here has been great for the last two days. Yesterday we took a picnic lunch to the park and had a great time. Little Dude loved the swing and said "ooh" and "aah" the whole time he was swinging. We also helped him stand up on the merry-go-round and held him while spinning it very, very slowly.I thought his face was…

Uncertainty

What I hate most about my life right now is the uncertainty. Everything is waiting for me to get a job; then I will be able to to find a place to live and create a budget and all that. So far, however, I have gotten no response other than one postcard thanking me for applying and one job that couldn't interview me because I'll be in Utah. For some reason I thought the difficulty was going to be in deciding between offers. Instead, I can't even get an interview, let alone an offer. I've been trying to be picky, and I'm still waiting to hear from a few jobs that recently closed, but I'm also starting to feel a little panicky. I hate the waiting game so much.

Right now I also feel really bad because I just got a call from the lady at UW's preschool program. S-Boogie was the last one on the waiting list picked for their program in the fall. But I turned her down because I don't know where we will be in the fall. Even if we are in the city, S-Boogie will need…

Obvious Conclusions

Leaving a child alone in your room with your new laptop is a very bad idea. I think the only damage is pink marker on the screen. Sometimes I wonder if I really have a brain or not.

Birthday Blessings

Image
This is the tower of goodies that my sister sent me (well, ordered for me--they don't have this in Morocco). S-Boogie and I were both impressed by the cute little boxes, and I was happy to open them and find yummy treats like fresh pears, cheese, mixed nuts, chocolates, and dark chocolate-glazed caramel popcorn. Yum!
I've been receiving lots of fun packages, cards, and letters this week. My mom sent me a nice temple dress and I was able to use it yesterday when I went to a session. I got a cool new cookbook from Ambrosia and some fun books from Master Fob. He also made me a nice dinner on Wednesday night; S-Boogie got me a bag of "goodie worms" (another fun malapropism from her). If by now you are feeling sad because you didn't get me a tangible gift, don't worry. I don't love you any less. The massive amount of comments I received the other day really warmed my heart. It truly is nice to have so many friends, many of whom are people I've never met in…

The Cicada Challenge

Since the blog world is buzzing with morning routine competitiveness, I thought I'd share mine with everyone to see if you all could top it. I have some better post ideas in my head (including birthday thank yous to all those fabulous people who have commented, sent cards, called, given me stuff, etc.) but I'll get to them tomorrow. Here's what my morning routine looks like lately:

6:00 Stirred to consciousness by a small person in pink pajamas asking if the sun is awake yet. Groan that it is not and scare her back to bed. Realize that the other person in blue pajamas is awake and quacking.
6:10 Retrieve smaller child from crib.
6:12 Make bottle with one hand while balancing child on hip with the other.
6:13 Power up lap top and start checking email, reading blogs, checking the weather, and other important parts of morning computer routine with one hand while feeding baby with the other.
6:35 Realize that baby has finished bottle. Substitute pacifier for bottle and pray for sle…

Reading Roundup: April

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol
This book seemed like it was going to be interesting, but I didn't like his writing style. It kept getting in the way of his stories. For a better book about the lives of people trapped in generational poverty I preferred Random Family.

The Constant Gardner by John le Carre
I found this on clearance at the bookstore and actually bought it because it had the movie cover with sweaty, sexy Ralph Fiennes. It turns out that I liked the movie better than the book, maybe because I saw it first. I'd never read le Carre before and it was somewhat difficult to follow. Of course, I was trying to read it in the car so maybe that was the problem.

Every Contact Leaves a Trace by Connie Fletcher
I love true crime and forensic stuff, so I thought this was an interesting read. It's actually a collection of short personal narratives by a variety of people from law enforcement. That made it fun to read and it felt more authentic than other similar stuff I've…

Happy Birthday to Me?

The kids decided to celebrate by getting up at 6 this morning. That's a new record for them. I really like Seattle, but I'm not digging the fourteen hours of daylight we're having. It's not even summer yet. Actually, I'm not even sure what time they really got up, since S-Boogie was already dressed and everything by the time she woke me up at six. All I know is that she'd better take a nap today or we're both going to go crazy.