Friday, May 28, 2010

Running some numbers

Three is a magic number

photo by michele cat

Days off this weekend: 3
Hours it takes to drive to Aunt Carmela's: 3
Weeks left before summer vacation: 3
Dates I've been on in May: 3
Sisters: 3
Car accidents since moving to Virginia: 3
Events in my race: 3
Creatures that have taken to biting me: 2

Uh oh, I'm not sure what to expect after the dog and mosquitoes.

Calvin and I are tight

Here is the conversation that transpired while visiting teaching this month:

Me: Do you read comics?

Carly: Yes, I love Zits. I can always relate. Haha.

Me: I can see that. They’re pretty funny. I should add Zits to my list: I haven’t read them in years. I love to read Calvin and Hobbes. I completely relate to Calvin. I’m totally that kid who’s off daydreaming about starships and dinosaurs.

Carly: Yeah, you just need a giant stuffed animal that talks to you.

Me: Does a miniature, plastic animal work in a pinch?

Carly: *Rolls her eyes* I can’t believe you carry that toy around with you everywhere.

Me: He’s actually on top of the fridge right now.

Carly obviously does not understand my relationship with Okapi.

My BFF @ the baseball game (don't tell Whitney, she might get jealous)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Smart Alarm

My days as a zombie are coming to a close. The swelling is almost all gone. The bruise is now a lovely shade of yellow-green rather than vibrant blue. I remember why I am doing tasks. I slept for 7 hours last night (pretty decadent these days).

Before my zombie days, I was suffering from snooze-button-itis. For some reason I never got my patented Light Therapy program fully up and running in my current place. I’ve been mulling over the idea of rearranging the furniture in my room, but I happened across a better solution thanks to my new phone.

My Samsung Moment is pretty much amazing. Not only do all the letters function properly, but it also has the Smart Alarm app. The Smart Alarm is amazing and despite my necromancer tendencies, I haven’t had any problem getting out of bed in the morning.

Here’s the description from the designer:

Smart Alarm AppThis application tracks body movements and calculates the best time for starting the alarm sound. Just put it somewhere on your bed: your phone's movements sensor (also known as accelerometer) is sensitive enough to work from any part of the bed.

It apparently figures out when my last dream is over and wakes me up right at the perfect time in my sleep cycle. A side effect that the website warns about is an increased likelihood of remembering your dreams. I have definitely experienced this.

I used to be an introvert

I don’t know when the transformation occurred. I’m guessing sometime in 2008, or perhaps 2007. I used to be content spending hours on end by myself. I remember being so torn when my older sister threatened to run away if I didn’t play with her. I loved her and didn’t want her to leave forever, but I just wanted to do my own thing quietly in my room. I had enough stories in my head to keep me entertained for hours, days, years on end. I remember feeling so alive and free when I’d come home and have the place all to myself. I loved running for miles on end in solitude.

Now, when no one is home to greet me, I’m disappointed and wonder where everyone is. If I’m free, I want to fill the space with friendship. I would much prefer to have a companion join me for a workout. I do my best cleaning when my friends keep my company. My friend Stephanie worded it so well, “Life is just better shared with someone you're comfortable with.”

My officemate is out of town for the week. My office is quiet and lonely without her here. (And I was so worried in August when I heard that I would be sharing an office!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The bite

zombie dog

Image by Hugh Rose AKA DRED (ReadersWives Collective)

Zombies have been the buzz here in Fairfax following Tommy’s zombie themed birthday party/tag game. I did not attend, but 98% of my friends did, so I have been involved in the zombie themed conversations that this event sparked.

It was only natural that my first thought as the golden retriever clamped down on my forearm with his jaws on Monday was Too bad I can’t be like Spider Man and get some crazy cool abilities out of this bite. Instead I just got a gnarly bruise and sympathy points from friends and coworkers…or so I thought.

Little did I know that this dog was part of the legion of undead my friends had been running from on Saturday. My zombie transformation has been happening slowly, almost unnoticeably. My first symptom was staring blankly at my calendar yesterday for long periods of time, followed by walking to the main office but having no clue why I was there. I had been attributing this behavior to my lack of sleep as I told myself that 5-6 hours a night was really not enough.

However, today the pieces of the puzzle began to shift into place as I motored through my morning routine mindlessly. Standing at the side of the pool in a daze, I realized the cause of my zombie-like behavior as images from 28 Days Later and Resident Evil flashed through my head along with the memory of the dog chomping my arm playing on a continuous loop in my mind.

I am embracing my inner zombie and have come to the conclusion that zombies can operate just fine on 5-6 hours of sleep. I really do not need to change my schedule, as long as I’m fine with living life undead.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The recording is available

Here’s the link to the NoVA choir performance. You can hear my narration on track 2:

The Glorious Restoration

Glorious restoration

How will they know?

This semester I joined the NoVA Institute choir at the encouragement of Okapi Whitney, who has an angelic voice (I’m not so sure about Okapi’s singing voice). There was one song that always brought tears to my eyes (even during rehearsal): How Will They Know?  by Natalie Sleeth. I was delighted when Brother Toma selected Whitney to sing the duet (although, I think Okapi may have been a bit jealous).

Here’s the link to our recording (the song starts at 1:25 after a narration):

How Will They Know

The words made me think of my mother’s desire to teach her children to love the gospel. The words brought me comfort during a spiritually difficult time.

How will they know the ones for whom we care

that God is love and with us everywhere,

That life is good, with blessings all can share?

How will they know unless we teach them so?


How will they learn that though they go astray,

God will forgive and help them find the way?

How will they feel the Spirit day by day?

How will they know unless we teach them so.


How will they grow in wisdom and delight?

How will they choose to follow what is right?

How can they trust the future will be   

How will they know unless we show them?    bright?


How will they live when they at last are grown?

What will they give to children of their own?

Will they reflect the values we have shown?

How will they know, as on through life they go.

How will they know unless we strive to teach them so?


In my time of cloudy incertitude, I was able to bravely “[rehearse]…the words of [my mother], saying [I] do not doubt [my mother knows] it” (Alma 56:48). Just knowing her strength helped me to push through and cling to my covenants. Even though she is a continent away, I can feel her love and faith.


When I think of my journey, I am impressed with how indebted I am to my mother for teaching and loving me even when I went astray. She has been there to scaffold my learning and to show me that love is unconditional and powerful. She has taught me through her gestures of love that God is love and that

life is good. This is a lesson I want to instill in my children and those around me. I want my life to seep this message of hope, just as my mother’s life does.