Tag Archive | miscellaneous

I guess this is what a good day feels like

Something amazing happened today.  I mean, besides the fact that I was able to check Facebook and email from the comfort of my own home.  I actually made it to church.

I was thinking about it last night, and decided not to plan on going–which relieved the stress of planning to be around a bunch of people.  I decided that I should go, but I wasn’t going to make myself go.

AND even though I woke up only a half hour before church started, I managed to get dressed, take the dogs out, and make it.  I even stayed for all three meetings, more or less.

When I came home, I discovered that my roommate had slipped out even earlier than I did, and was making curry–crazy thing, my Taiwanese roommate makes amazing Asian food.  She was even able to explain that it was a Japanese style curry, a little sweeter and a lot more mild than, say, Indian curry.

Church and curry would have been enough to make this day amazing, but the icing on the cake came when I checked my registration status at school, and saw that I could register for a class I was wait-listed for.  Which brings my class load up to a whopping 10 credit hours–and the classes I’m taking on campus are each once a week, one on Friday and one on Saturday, but it’s a class that I need to continue on with my schooling.

I did also discover that in order to play the games that I’ve been suffering withdrawals from, I’m going to need a new graphics card.  I think I’ll wait on it, though, either until I find a job, or ask for it for Christmas.  School will probably go a lot smoother without being distracted by the Sims.

So, yeah.  I’ve had a great day.   Things are starting to go much smoother.

Although, when I have to get up to be on campus at 8am on Saturday mornings, I might just change my mind…

Reqiuem on a Toshiba

Well, it’s official.  My computer is dead.  Gone Kaput *dirty sound made by buzzing the lips* And it only took me two days and three trips to Best Buy to figure it out.

Props to the guys at the Best Buy customer service desk, though, for not laughing at me when returning my purchases and explaining what had happened.  Also, they guy in the computer department was much more helpful than his counter-part at Radio Shack.

Surprisingly, I’m not too bummed about it.  Hopefully, I be able to procure a replacement soon, but in the mean time, my life has seemed blissfully distraction-free. And there’s always the library, right?  And heaven forbid I take this opportunity to learn how to use the computer lab at school.

Of course, living a distraction free life, I’ve been bored out of my skull. The dogs love it, though.

So, yeah… and sitting here at the library computer, watching the clock tick down the amount of time I have available to me, I all of a sudden forgot the two or thee topics I had for blog post.  Crap.

So, obviously, updates will be a bit spotty for a while, but I’ll get to them when I can.

Here we go again

It came as a surprise to no one when, on Wednesday, Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker threw out California Proposition 8 (2008) on grounds that it is unconstitutional.

This leaves me in an awkward situation.  I agree with the ruling–Prop 8 violates the 14th amendment,  which guarantees due process and  equal protection.  I’m even going to say it also violates the 1st amendment, in that I believe that marriage is primarily a religious institution, and government shouldn’t restrict who can marry whom, as long as all parties are in agreement.

At the same time, I’m trying to be a good Mormon.  Really.  I understand the Church’s opposition to gay marriage, even if I can’t explain it to anyone who hasn’t been to the Temple. (Not because of anything that happens in the Temple, mind, it’s just that you must have a certain level of faith and understanding before you can enter into the Temple.) But…bad things tend to happen when the Church gets mixed up in politics.  Just ask Brigham Young and James Buchanan.

In 2008, I disagreed with Prop 8, but kept my mouth shut, partly because I’m a coward and knew I was in the minority, being surrounded by Mormons who apparently have more faith in their leaders than I do, and mostly because I was wrestling with my own feelings.  Truth told, a big part of my opposition to Prop 8 came straight from a California native co-worker of mine who would wander around the office talking about how gays were a blight on society, and how he wished he was back in California so he could vote on it. (I wished he was back in California too.  He wouldn’t shut up about how much better California is than  Utah.  Seriously, dude, no one is forcing you to live here.)

He was so hateful and bigoted–which I can’t stand on anyone.  When I see people like that, it’s a knee-jerk reaction of mine to support whatever it is they are so hateful and bigoted against.  And now, I’m seeing the same bigoted reaction coming from people who should know better.

The biggest complaint that I’m hearing goes along the lines of  “The people voted for this.  The government shouldn’t be throwing out what the people voted for.  We’re a democracy, for cryin’ out loud.”

Okay, Corianne, deep breath.  Let’s take this in a calm and reasonable manner.

The whole point of the Constitution and the Judicial Branch of government is to prevent laws that are unjust.  The reason that Justice Walker threw out Prop 8 is because he found it unconstitutional.  In fact, California Attorney General Jerry Brown chose not to defend Prop 8  in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (despite being named as a defendant) because he could see that it was unconstitutional.  This wasn’t just some random guy deciding that he didn’t like the ruling.

The other thing, is the United States is not a democracy, it’s a constitutional republic.  Citizens are not expected, or required to vote on every issue.  There are times, when laws come up for popular vote–like California’s Proposition system, but those laws are not held sacrosanct simply because the people voted for them.  They are subject to the same checks and balances as laws formed by the legislative branch.

We are far from hearing the end of this issue.  I can guarantee that it will go all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.  In the mean time, I’d like to echo a portion the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s official statement about the ruling–

“There is no doubt that today’s ruling will add to the marriage debate in this country, and we urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion.”

Learning to Live

Last night, I had one of those nights where I saw the sunrise.

Which meant I spent yesterday sleeping.

Which now means, it’s 1:50 am, and I’m wide awake.

The dogs hate it when I do this.  Or maybe not.  Right now, they’re curled up in the center of my bed, in the spot where I like to put my legs, and so don’t let them sleep.  Lulu’s snoring loudly, so, obviously, she, at least, isn’t too concerned about my strange sleep habits.

Montaigne (I promise I’ll cut down on the Montaigne references.  I’m just really enjoying his book.)  Says that he who has learned not to be afraid of death has learned how not to be a slave.  I’d like to add that this is true only if you are not afraid of living, too.

I have Facebook friends who remark on the passage of the week, saying stuff like “Happy Wednesday!” for instance or, “Almost Friday!” Part of me is glad for these updates–if nothing else, it helps me keep track of the days of the week.  But on the other hand, they do mark the passage of time–time that I’m not taking advantage of.

For someone who was mourning lost opportunities a few days ago, I’m sure not taking advantage of the ones I have right now.

How much trouble would I get in for “liberating” the globe mallow growing in the post office lawn?

And why do I have a package from Spain?

When I checked the mail yesterday (in other news, I checked the mail yesterday) I found a pick-up slip for a package.  I’m expecting a book, so I thought that’s what it was for, and was a little miffed that the mail carrier didn’t just put it in one of the bigger boxes and leave me a key.  The date on it was July 1st, which seemed a little soon to receive the book–it was only a day or two after I ordered it, but, perhaps the Amazon 3rd party seller was on the ball.

When I got to the post office, and after hearing boxes fall at least three times in the back room, the clerk came out with this:

Yeah, I don’t think that’s my book.

While he was processing the package, I noticed it was from Spain.

I don’t know anybody in Spain.

Well, anybody who’d send me a package.  (Lopes, I’d be open to a package from Spain if you’d be willing to send it to me)

That’s neither the name or the city of the one guy I know in Spain.

I signed for it, thinking it might be for my roommate.  It’s not her name on the label, but what I call her isn’t her name.  She’s from Taiwan, and I refer to her by her American name.  Perhaps she has a Spanish name, too.

But then I realized that it was postmarked before she moved in.

So…yeah.  I wish I hadn’t signed for it now.  I don’t know what to do.

I’ll ask the roommate if she knows anything about it, and, I guess if when she doesn’t I get to take it back to the post office and explain why I signed for it when it clearly doesn’t belong at my house, despite having my address on it.   That’ll be fun.

So, this mysterious box, that’s passed through customs is sitting in the middle of my living room, and will likely go back to the post office unopened.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to it from there.  I mean it’s been from Malaga, to Madrid, to New York, to Orem, and from there, who knows…

The poor little guy just needs a home.  Just not my home.  The home of the people on the address label who don’t live at my house.

Edit: oh, this is globe mallow: This particular one is growing in the Leamington cemetery, not the Orem Post Office lawn.  It’s my favorite local wildflower, and I’ve seen it sold as a xeriscaping plant, but never growing as a weed before.

I probably don’t have enough sunlight to keep it alive, anyway.

Edit #2:

The Mystery of the Spanish Package will officially remain unsolved.  The roommate, as predicted, didn’t know anything about it, so I took it back to the post office.  It’s on it’s way back to Spain.

I’m too much like my dad.  Mom or Sis would have had it open before they left the Post Office parking lot.

I know it’s a long shot, but if the D. Antonio from Malaga, Spain who sent a package to someone with the same last name in Orem, Utah, The United States, reads this, can you please let me know what was in it?  Thanks.

Writers Block

I’ve spent last night, and most of today unsuccessfully trying to figure out something to write about.

I’ve started and discarded a half a dozen entries.

I’ve dabbled in my fictional worlds, but nothing seems right.

I was thrilled when I opened up WordPress, and the notification at the top was talking about Plinky.  I signed up, scrolled through the prompts…and nothing.  At least nothing that I thought was worth sharing. (If you’re interested, you can follow me on Plinky here.)

So, to the writers out there, what do you do to overcome writers block?  How do you get that spark of inspiration back?  What unleashes your creativity?

I traded in my shih tzu, and got a chihuahua.

Not really.  But a bald shih tzu looks like a chihuahua.  See?

Max is looking much more like a proper shih tzu.  The groomer even left him a beard.  The goal is to get Max looking like a member of ZZ Top.

In an effort to negate the loneliness that always comes with doggy haircut day, I headed up to see my sister.  Mom had also decided that she needed to see her grandchildren, so she was there too.

Mom and Sis quickly reminded me why I’m so laissez-faire when it comes to my looks.  Mostly, because they’re not.  It took less than a minute after walking in the door before they started talking dye and mousse and experimenting with my hair.  In fact, when I left to rescue Max and Lulu from the groomers, they were planning on heading to the Wal-Mart to find dye for my hair.

Sigh.

This morning, I got up, got ready and went to go to orientation.  I thought  I was smart in giving myself an extra ten minutes to find where I needed to be and a place to park.

That is, until I spent a half hour (unsuccessfully) looking for parking, before giving up and coming home.

So, the orientation is back on for Monday.  And I learned to head to campus at 8:20 not 8:50.

It’s probably a good thing, though, because today is the day that I’m really feeling the marathon of wakefulness in an attempt to re-calibrate my body.  I know how sad it is, but I’m just hoping that I can stay awake long enough to see the Futurama premiere tonight.

I’m not sure I can.

Validation

I wonder–how much of the human experience happens when we are trying to please other people?

How much of our lives are spent trying to get someone–maybe a specific person, a parent, a sibling, a “friend”, maybe anyone to say “Corianne, (or whatever your name happens to be) you are a wonderful person just the way you are.  You don’t have to change anything.”? With the only “but” that may follow being “but if you do, I’m okay with that too.”

We seek for this acceptance by changing ourselves.  We attempt to conform to the impossible ideal of beauty posed to us by Hollywood, the makeup industry, and professional photo-retouchers, who tell us that if we aren’t young and beautiful, we aren’t worth anything.

Or perhaps we go the other way, and make a big show about not caring, while secretly longing for someone to say “Hey, this person doesn’t care what other people think, I like that.”

We  may end up doing the right things for the wrong reason.  We go to church to be seen, and to see others.  We go to school or choose a career to please a parent. We are friendly and outgoing in an attempt to get other people to like us.

And it never works.  Desperation is repulsive to those whose attention you actually want, while it attracts those who will take advantage of, use and abuse those who just want to be known as a valid human being.

Knowing that we–I do this doesn’t seem to make a difference either.  Knowing that I am chasing approval only makes me more depressed, more isolated, and more vulnerable to the criticism that comes with life.

And still, I can’t stop.

Corianne vs. the tortilla

I received one of the best phone calls ever the other day (at least, before the phone call saying Max had been found).  I’ve been trying to rent out my spare bedroom, but have had a hard time finding a roommate. Which, frankly, minus the money issue, I’ve been fine with.  I like living alone.

Anyway, I got a call Tuesday? Wednesday? Sometime early in the week from a girl interested in renting my room.  She’s coming by later today to take a look at it.

I’m the type of person who claims not to be messy, I just have a complicated organizational system.  It’s true.  If I put everything away, I have a hard time finding it.  I don’t, however, have a problem remembering for instance, that one of my brown dress shoes is under the couch, while the other one is in the closet.

Most people don’t understand or appreciate my style of organization, so yesterday, I returned to my home to straighten the house up to the point of presentability.  In the process, I discovered that I have at least twice as much counter space in the kitchen as I had previously thought.  Crazy how that happens.

Well, in celebration of my newly cleaned kitchen and all the discovered counter space, I decided to do some cooking.  ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

I’d used up all of the tortilla mix that I had bought, so I decided that it was time to try tortillas from scratch.  I found a promising looking recipe on recipezaar.com.  It looked simple enough, that I thought I could just memorize the ingredients and amounts, and not bother with printing a recipe or taking my computer into the kitchen.

I should know better.  I really should.

For starters, I thought I needed a teaspoon of both baking powder and salt–which is twice as much salt as was actually called for.  Secondly, I used baking soda instead of baking powder–yuck.

For those who don’t know, soda is just sodium bicarbonate, and unless mixed with an acidic ingredient, will taste horribly bitter.  Powder is sodium bicarbonate and something that acts as an acid, like cream of tartar.  Powder can be substituted for soda, but soda cannot be substituted for powder.

Needless to say, the first batch of tortillas didn’t work out.

This morning, having realized my mistakes, I decided to try again–using the proper amount of salt, and actual baking powder this time.  The results were MUCH better–even though once again, I didn’t have a copy of the recipe.

So, here’s how I made the tortillas:

Flour Tortillas

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c oil OR shortening
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c warm water or milk

Mix flour, powder and salt together.  Cut in the oil or shortening.  Slowly mix the water or milk until the dough reaches a consistency that is neither too dry nor too sticky.

Divide the dough into balls–both times, I got about eight.  Place the balls on a plate, then cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest–the recipe says for a half hour, I waited perhaps 5 minutes and they turned out just fine.

Heat a dry skillet over high heat for several minutes.

what homemade tortillas SHOULD look like. I don't have a picture of the duds, but they were--yellow. And they didn't have the little puffy spots.

Thinly roll out each ball–I don’t care about shape, but you may want to try to keep things as circular as possible.  Cook on the skillet for 30 seconds on each side. The dough should get brown spots.

I can roll out two tortillas in the time it takes for them to cook, so I’m usually rolling and cooking at the same time.

Allow unused tortillas to cool completely then store in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You may want to separate each tortilla with a paper towel, just in case.  They can be re-heated in the microwave or in the skillet.

Life continues. Really.

It shouldn’t be possible that my sinuses are so stuffed that I don’t have anything to write about, but there you go.  I haven’t left the house today, except to walk the dogs.  So, I completely failed in my goals.  I consoled my self by deciding that I’m doing my part to lower my carbon footprint, as I haven’t driven anywhere for, oh, four days now.

Yeah, I know.

My goal for tomorrow is to go to all three meetings.  I’m feeling good about it now, but when tomorrow comes, and I get all shy, well, we’ll see..

Sis is headed down to the parents house on Monday, she and the Bro-in-Law will be camping–next weekend? Sometime soon, anyway with the B-I-L’s brother and his family, before they move to California.  I’m debating going down.  I had to prepare the camper by myself last year, and it sucked.  I don’t want to do it again.  However, I really should help Sis, because I prepared the camper by myself last year, and I know how much it sucks.

Also, if I’m ever in a position of power of a company that sells paper tissues, I’m totally going to start hiding prizes inside the box, like they do with kid’s cereals.  I mean, if you’re going to go through half a family-sized box of kleenex by yourself in one week, you need some sort of reward, right?

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