Monday, December 31, 2007

A Good Day Defined

This is an example of one good day. It begins in New Orleans and includes a trip here:

Which of course means that after a couple of beignets you end up looking like this:

And then you spend some time in Hattiesburg visiting with some charismatic children that you are related to that look like this:

This good day concludes by participating in this activity at dusk, preferably at a locale that is relatively isolated (like your parents' farm in Walthall County, Mississippi):

That is a great day.

Second example of a great day:

Wake up to a beautiful December day in Pensacola, Florida. Go to the gym with your Mom and spend some time on the eliptical machine and then in the Body Pump class. Then, go to get your hair cut and colored so that it looks like this:

Then, spend the afternoon playing tennis with your Mom in the seventy degree Florida Sunshine. Realize that you can hit the ball much harder now that you actually have some muscles in your arms.

Conclude the day by making a good, healthy dinner, and then blowing it all by eating the Sprinkles cupcakes that you make from the mix you purchased at Williams-Sonoma. Pet a dog named Ralph for the rest of the evening while watching an SEC-ACC bowl game, sponsored by your favorite fast food restaurant.

Remember these good days and be grateful for them in the wake of unexpected tragedies and losses that remind you of the fragility of mortality.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Post-Finals Update

After all of my papers were turned in for the term, I completely logged off the internet for awhile, while I caught up on my Christmas shopping. Perhaps in part because I haven't been shopping for so long, I seriously scored when it came to some pretty great finds last week. Some of the finds include:

1. A fantastic olive green World War II military style wool coat from Nordstrom. I can't help it, I put it on and I feel like some Soviet officer from World War II, trying to rout the Nazis out of Poland in the middle of winter.

2. A brown plaid BCBG shift dress.

3. The Disney DVD of my favorite Hayley Mills movie from the 1960's "Summer Magic".

4. After scouring the bookstores for some books to read during the break (can you believe that I have never read Mansfield Park), the best book find of the week was at the law library. I found the perfect book for me, International Law and Infectious Disease by David P. Fidler. Aside from attending Kansas as an undegrad, I basically would love to have this guy's CV.

5. Some fantastic gifts for the people on my Christmas list, that I cannot mention here, in the off chance that someone actually reads my blog.

Finally, on Saturday, David and I saw Juno, which has been getting such rave reviews, I couldn't wait another instant to see it. Even though they didn't have any scenes together, I really was excited to see Michael and George Michael Bluth on one screen again. Perhaps because the movie has been getting such fantastic reviews, I was a little bit let down. It was quirky and clever, and five years ago, I am sure that I would have thought this was the best movie of the year. But sarcastic, quick-witted teenage girls aren't the thrill that they once were to me. In fact, as a sign of just how much I have changed in the past few years, I actually was more affected by Jennifer Garner's role than Ellen Page's Juno. Sigh, I am getting old. Excellent soundtrack, though.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Favorite Forgotten Shakespeare Quotation

"I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world - where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly."

- Lady MacDuff

To Social Awkwardness

It appears that in my life I have the exact opposite problem from Michael Scott, on "The Office." Whereas he lacks any sort of self-awareness whatsoever, I am panfully self-aware of everything that I say and do. And that still provides for some of the most uncomfortable social situations imaginable; the kind that I am sure would be just as hilarious to an impartial observer. However it is phobia inducing to me. It is pretty bad when, in a room full of librarians, you can still manage to be the most socially inept and clumsy.

Friday night, I went with Carissa and Amanda to go bowling with several of our other library school classmates to celebrate the last day of class being finished. The first frame, the first ball that I threw, I fell in a painfully embarassing way, setting off the buzzer for committing a foul, of course, and ending up halfway down the lane. It was not my finest moment. Then last night, at the law library director's holiday open house, I spilled my drink all over her couch and totally bombed in my conversation attempts. Ouch. It was a fairly humiliating experience.

To console myself after the open house, David and I went and saw "Atonement", which I loved, and which David found depressing. After failing in two social events in one weekend, I welcomed the opportunity to sit in a dark theater and watch a movie about a love that was never meant to be because your sibling has your boyfriend arrested for a crime that he didn't commit.

When I returned back to my house, I saw that my new Netflix movies had arrived, and one of the movies that I got was "The Wind that Shakes the Barley." I thought to myself, SCORE! Because I was under the mistaken impression that James McAvoy was in that movie too. He is not. He is Scottish. Instead, it is Cillian Murphy, who is Irish, that is in that movie. There is a subtle but profound distinction between James McAvoy's puppy dog cute blue eyes and Cillian Murphy's mildly psychotic, creepy and threatening blue eyes.

Not to mention the fact that I think James McAvoy is pretty great because last year he got married to a woman who is nine years older than him and there is a quite from him on the IMDB page where he said, "I'm 5 foot 7, and I've got pasty white skin. I don't think I'm ugly, don't get me wrong, but I'm not your classic lead man, Brad Pitt guy." Cheers to pasty white skin. I have accepted mine.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gowns after Google

The last time I wrote, I stated that my wedding gown had not arrived yet. Well, now that doesn't even have to become a stress, because I got a call from the bridal salon that it came in yesterday. However, since I am in the midst of trying to complete my end of the term assignments, the earliest that I have time to try it on is next Wednesday. This means that if it needs alterations, I might not be able to get that started until after I get back to Seattle in January. I am hoping that since the dress was made exactly to my measurements, it will not require too many alterations (except, I am being optimistic now, maybe some taking in). It does give me something to look forward to as a reward for finishing up my assignments, though.

And here is a follow up note on my assignments: If I do say so myself, I am an excellent researcher. Granted, I am still early on in my library career and I have alot to learn, but at this point, I feel okay about where I am in that regard. For one class, I have an assignment due on Monday that required me to find one person who had a research need and do that research for them. For the better part of my college and post-college career, this is the most useful function that I have served for people. I actually get excited when people ask me to find some information for them on a particular topic. When I worked in New York, I would tell my collegues to give their research questions for me when they had to answer a motion, and I would happily do their research. In college, I would volunteer to do research for friends' papers. Even after being dumped by boys, I would still spend weekends researching their paper topics for them. So finally, this skill is actually being graded. I did research for my mom who is setting up a learning community of teachers to discuss how to apply differentiation strategies in middle school math classes. Although I had no idea what that meant when she gave me the topic, I am pretty pleased with the results that I found for her.

The next step is to get someone to pay me for researching for them full time. That is a bigger challenge than just being graded on your research skillz.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Less than Four Months to Go! Have some sugar!

I realize that our wedding planning is almost completely done, and I have scarcely posted a word about that process. I don't know what all of these people are talking about when they describe wedding planning as being one of the most stressful things. Currently, the only thing that is causing me any amount of stress when it comes to wedding planning is whether or not David will ever get his suit delivered from Neiman Marcus. However, since it has been four months since I have ordered my gown, I am getting mildly nervous about that. But it isn't anything remotely stressful at this point in time.

As far as the planning goes, we still have a few tasks to accomplish, like getting the music list squared away with the DJ (in other words, making sure that he plays exactly what I tell him to play); sending out our invitations (we should be getting them next week); collecting the RSVPs and planning the seating chart (a task that seems quite delicious to me in a very sinister sort of way); coordinating the day before the wedding activity with friends; coordinating the two days before the wedding dinner with family; and assorted other minor details. Thanks to the brilliance of the Mormon Temple Ceremony, I have virtually nothing to plan for the actual ceremony. Thanks to the efficiency of Disney, planning for all of the reception details has been pretty easy and was virtually done in our one day marathon of meetings with our wedding planner, chefs, and florist.

As much as I enjoyed the menu tasting and discussing beautiful flowers, my favorite thing to pick out was the cake. I am completely excited for the flavors we have chosen - bottom level: marble cake with white chocolate filling; third layer: almond cake with amaretto filling; second level - red velvet cake with cream cheese filling; top level - also marble cake with white chocolate filling. In order to pick the design of the cake, Disney sent us this great cd that had a power point presentation of about 100 different cake designs. All of these designs are created by the Disney bakers and cake designers at the Grand Floridian resort bakery. The cakes ranged in design from the fairly simple to the ridiculously large and ornate:

Or how about this one to top off your Disney experience?

Disney calls it "Bridge to Happiness." I call it, one whiff away from a sugar/cheesiness induced coma.

David was fond of the Earthquake cake (which just coincidentally happened to be the most expensive cake on the list).

Something about the idea of an "Earthquake Cake" conjured up this disturbing mental image to me of starting out your marriage on a shaky foundation, and I just wasn't an enthusiastic supporter of the notion.

Instead, I favored the cakes that had an Austen-like appeal to me. They seemed traditional and elegant in a very Sense and Sensibility-type way.

Unfortunately, David didn't share my romantic sensibilities. So we didn't select any of these cakes for our big day. I won't ruin the surprise of what our cake will look like (there isn't a picture anyway, because it isn't a cake that Disney had done before exactly; we brought in some of our own elements).

Delicious cake, there is another incentive for people to come to Florida on March 28.

Wedding made simple, there is a big incentive for having your wedding reception at Disney World.