Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I hate technology

Hello, all. Yes, it's me. Back from the black hole. Or at least temporarily ransomed from the black hole. My computer's one and only hard drive has died. Hmmmm....then how is it you are able to communicate with us, I hear you ask. I am on the computer at my place of temporary employment, that's how. My children are going through withdrawal. My youngest is practically in tears over the precarious fate of her Neopets. They could starve!

So now I get to pay $70 to try to have my music, videos and pictures ghosted off of the now-useless pile of silicon. Then I get to save my pennies until I have $300 for a new pile. *sigh* Well, I guess I'll look on the bright side. At least it happened during back to school sales. And really, without the Internet to suck us all in, we've spent some great quality time together. So I think I'll let my kids go through their withdrawal so they can see that life without a computer is not the end of the world. And it's not a bad lesson for me, either.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blogthings, how I love thee!

I don't know if you recall, those of you who've been around since my bloggy-birth (which would be all two of you), but I did a post in the early days about Blogthings. I am obsessed with them. They're alternately insightful, interesting, and just plain bizarre. Sometimes, you just want to say "What the Fifi?! Where did they get that?!" And other times you just sit there with your jaw in your lap 'cause they nailed you. Most of the time it's a mix. So here are...well...A LOT of ones I've done recently, and my take on them. (Oh, come on! You didn't seriously think I'd have nothing to say? It's ME!) And sadly, it is but a fraction of my wasted time that I present to you. Don't judge me!

You Have A Type A- Personality

You are one of the most balanced people around

Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want

You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back

Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!

You live life to the fullest - incorporating the best of both worlds

I've never really considered myself to be type-A. But now that I think on it, I am. Down to my blood type. Scary. But I like to think I'm not obnoxiously type A. (Insert plea to be allowed to keep this illusion for a little while longer. Thank you.)

What Your Face Says

At first glance, people see you as warm and well-balanced.

Overall, your true self is creative and expressive.

With friends, you seem logical, detached, and a bit manipulative.

In love, you seem gentle and sensitive.

In stressful situations, you seem cheerful and optimistic.

Okay, I'm gonna ask all you bloggers out there if you agree with this. I don't think I do detached around my friends and in a stressful situation I alternate between being the comic relief and actually making the problem worse with my panickiness. (Yes, I know that's not a word, but it still fits.)And in love, I suck. Aside from that, it's completely accurate!

Your Fragrance Profile

The best calming fragrance: vanilla

The best fragrance for everyday wear: orange

The best fragrance to boost your sex appeal: lavender

The best fragrance for energy: pine

Now, how much fun is this?! I prefer lemon or grapefruit for my daily scent, but it's still in the citrus family. And vanilla does calm me down, if it isn't the sickeningly sweet kind that sits in the back of your throat for hours. And I LOVE pine. It comes right after cedar/sandalwood. And fresh lavender is a thing of beauty. I was glad they didn't stick me with patchouli, 'cause that stuff is NASTY. How'd they KNOW?!

You Should Play the Piano

You are a true music aficionado who loves many musical style and eras.

You find music to be an escape. And you'd like to be relaxed and comfortable when you're making it.

You're very innovative, and you have a unique way of knowing what may sound beautiful.

There's a strong possibility that you could compose some of your own work songs quite easily.

While you have a lot of creative energy, you are also serious and conscientious.

Your musical talent needs time, practice, and lots of privacy to flourish.

Your dominant personality characteristic: your painstaking attention to detail

Your secondary personality characteristic: your natural tendency to be whimsical

Well, how 'bout that? As it happens I am currently learning to play the piano! It is the instrument I am most drawn to and always has been. How about y'all? What instrument plays your soul strings?

Your EQ is 160

Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

Seriously though, your whole "Don't Worry, Be Happy" philosophy is really what defines emotional intelligence.

You're warm, open, and very optimistic. You know how to act appropriately, even if you don't feel like it.

You are a good communicator, and you have little difficulty with personal relationships - even when you're dealing with difficult people.

In general, you are successful, capable, together person. You get what you want out of life.

I do consider myself to have a high emotional IQ (thanks, Mom!) in that I know what I should do in a given situation. This does not, however, consistently translate into action. Still workin' on that one. For most of my personal relationships, it's true, I don't have difficulty. The major exception being romantic relationships. Those I bomb out on regularly.

Your Rising Sign is Libra

A total charmer, it's hard for people to say no to you.

Irresistible and attractive, you have no shortage of love interests.

Totally competitive, you tend to thrive in stressful environments.

A peaceful soul, you avoid conflict at almost all costs.

Sometimes you try too hard to please those around you.

But you have a great inner strength that helps you bounce back easily.

This one was actually quite accurate. I just want to know one thing: What the heck is a rising sign?! Is it the opposite of a sinking sign? What exactly am I supposed to do with this information and how does it fit with the normal birthday sign? All you astrologically gifted people need to fill me in here. I'd also like to note that my abounding love interests are also INVISIBLE.

Your IQ Is 110

Your Logical Intelligence is Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Average

Awwwww...I feel so SMART right now! Suddenly, I'm quite sure I'll do just fine in school this fall!

You Are Chinese Food

Exotic yet ordinary.

People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.

I LOVE Chinese food, so I'm totally okay (and dare I say, flattered) with this comparison. But I have to say, I have heard several people say that when they have Chinese they are hungry an hour later. I do not have this problem. When I'm full, I'm full and it usually stays that way for a while. Must be my personal space needs showing.

What the House Test Says About You

You are happy with who you are, and you don't have an inflated sense of self importance. You do your own thing quietly. You don't take up a lot of space.

You can't stand community oriented people and annoying "buy local" campaigns. You prefer to live the best life possible, and that doesn't really involve many other people.

You are a social, friendly, and giving person. You like to bring people together and make them feel happy.

You take good care of your physical appearance. You dress well, stay in shape, and do your best to look great.

You are moved by the most simple of things. You can find pleasure from a small, perfect moment.

This was just fun! Though I nearly snort-laughed a beverage when I read that I like to stay in shape. HA! Only if round is a shape. What does the house test say about you?

You Should Live in a Small City

You are definitely an urban person, but not any old city will do.

You want a city that matches you well. For you, big cities lack individuality.

You prefer a smaller city with lots of personality, local culture, and history.

Also incredibly accurate. I am a small town girl, through and through.

People Definitely Like You

You are very well liked, and many people admire you.

You are friendly, well mannered, and fun to be around.

Of course, you're not perfect... but that's okay.

Your friends are usually willing to accept you for who you are!

What People Don't Like About You:

People don't like that you forget them easily. No one wants to be friends with someone who doesn't remember their name!

What People Like About You:

People like that you truly take and interest in them. Everyone likes to be liked!

People like that you're interesting and intriguing. You always have something interesting to say.

People like that you are genuine and real. They can count on you to be yourself.

Hey, thanks guys! I'm blushing, even though I can't remember your names.......

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Ready to love and be loved....just not ready to get married.....Works for me! Know any hot LDS guys who are willing to date for the next 5 years?

Your Personality at 35,000 Says...

Deep down, you vastly prefer being with others to being alone. You love to engage people in conversation.

You are good with your place in the world. You are confident and comfortable with who you are.

Your gift is having a way with words. You know how to express yourself well.

You are inspired by freedom. Whenever you are able to do what you want, good things happen.

You are happy as long as you are given some personal space. It's important for you to have your own private life.

Yeah, this one was actually freakishly accurate, given that it was only five questions long.....And I have no idea how altitude affects anything, but hey...

What Charity Means

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.

You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.

You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

Wow! Who knew a name could say so much?! Even if it isn't all that accurate in some ways. If you know me, rebel is probably the last word you would use to describe me, though I am impetuous, impulsive and restless in a lot of ways. I wouldn't say I am MOST comfortable away from home, but I am completely comfortable away from home, perhaps in a way that most people aren't. Also, I am not the best at everything....but I really, REALLY want to be. Everything else is pretty dang close. So, what does YOUR name mean? I wanna know! Tell me, tell me, tell me!!

Okay, so I have now indulged in a completely narcissistic post. Now I want you all to go forth and find out about yourselves, and let me know. I promise, you'll be hooked in no time. (And I will no longer be alone in my addiction.) Embrace the world of Blogthings!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

America the Beautiful

"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."
George William Curtis

I'm fed up. I know that in today's climate of rabid political correctness, it is supposed to be unseemly to be proud of America. As though my pride in my country is somehow a condemnation of someone else's. I have decided that those who think that way are wrong. I've had it. I'm tired of being expected to feel like I'm personally responsible for all the bad things that ever happened in the history of my nation. I utterly reject the notion that I should be ashamed of my country, of its actions or of its philosophies or of its history. I'm not. I am very proud of this country, and I am proud to be called an American. It is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. It is the longest running, most successful democracy in the history of the world. It was founded on Christian principles, and built by good and honorable men. I am not ashamed. It offers more freedom and opportunity to more people from more walks of life than any other, and is the birthplace of the self-made man as a breed, rather than an anomoly. I am not ashamed. We have fought many wars, but none in conquest. We have claimed NO LAND, but that in which to bury the dead who fell there. We have been fierce warriors and generous victors. Half the world owes its present affluence and stability to us. I am not ashamed. My love of my country and my fierce loyalty to it are not character flaws. Pity the country whose citizens regard her with shame for she will not long stand.

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."
Adlai E. Stevenson

It's not that I feel like people shouldn't be allowed to criticize the government. On the contrary, that is our Costitutional right and civic duty. I just think people need to learn to state their opinions respectfully. I know there are plenty of people out there who don't agree with me, but there are plenty of people who do, and we need to start making ourselves known.

I was asked a couple of questions recently and I'm going to share my answers. Be forewarned that I have not gentled them.

Should the war in Iraq be called off?
I find the assumption behind this question to be the real problem. Call it off?! Like it's all in our hands? Like we don't have an enemy who's going to continue to harm us regardless of whether we're fighting back or not? This is the question of someone who's never really had to fight for anything, and thus has no appreciation for or, indeed, any understanding of what a loss would mean. We stay. We fight. We finish. Or we die. It really is that simple. This is a matter of live or die because that's how our enemy is playing it. They have dictated those terms. Their goal is our complete annihilation. THEY WANT US DEAD. There is no middle groud between dead and not dead, so compromise is not really an option. Bush has a lot of flaws, but I am beyond grateful that seeing this war for what it is is not among them.

"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill

Would you burn an American flag for a million dollars?
I would not. Unlike many of my contemporaries, I do not relegate the flag to the category of a meaningless scrap of fabric. It isn't. It is a symbol of everything America and her people have gone through to give you the freedoms you take for granted. I owe my respect to that symbol. The flag represents every person who ever died for this country and the principles and honor that made that sacrifice worth it to them, and it infuriates me to no end to see people in my own country who are so contemptuous of those sacrifices. When you spit on it, or burn it,or walk on it, or hang it upside down in protest, you are doing the same to those great people and you are unworthy of being called an American.

As a sort of answer to my friend Beth's assertion that Americans think we're something special because we won independence, I'd like to ask why we should pretend our independence isn't as worthy of celebrating as anyone else's? It's true, we don't celebrate the independence days of other countries, and in many cases aren't even particularly aware of them. But by that same token, we don't expect them to be aware and celebrate ours, either.

I leave you with this:

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln

Our country is based on these basic principles. It's time to get back to them.