Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We're Gonna Miss Flipper!!!

I sat down to watch "The O'Reilly Factor" at 6:00 pm, as I often do (the Dennis Miller segments are not to be missed) - only to be reminded that "Teh One" was giving speech #468 tonight.  This time, Dr. Utopia was all about the Iraq War, but to me the topic really doesn't matter.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something that bugs me about listening to our current president.  Even without any outside commentary right and/or left - there is just something that's "off" about him.  Maybe it's the lack of sincerity or that he just doesn't seem to care.  It's like the presidency is a trophy he won and he doesn't have to do a darn thing with it, especially when things go wrong ('course, if something good does happen, then he takes all the credit he wants).

Just following my instincts.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hey, Look! A Distraction!

If summer 2010 was the Summer of Nu!Who, then the fall and winter is going to be all about Classic "Doctor Who."  A kind internet friend pointed me in the direction of a website that has the old school DW posted and I've started from the beginning and am currently in the middle of the first appearance of the Daleks.  Some thoughts -

- After sitting through all of the new series, it's funny to watch the Doctor's first encounter with the Daleks.  Of course they're not going to help you, you crazy old man! (But it is funny to think that one day the mere thought of the Doctor is going to scare the Daleks spitless.

- I think that the series at the very beginning was less about the Doctor and more about his companions.  At this point, I think Susan, Barbara and Ian are much more interesting than the Doctor and I'd rather see what they're going to do.

- And can we say canon discontinuity?  Holy cow - I thought the Doctor played with radiation in the nursery! (and likely Susan, since she's the Doctor's granddaughter).  A brisk jaunt through a planet drenched in the stuff shouldn't be such a big deal.  Also - how the Daleks are built and operate... ah well, when you've had a whole list of creators and producers over the years, you can forgive a few inconsistencies.  You have to love TV Tropes in this case.

- The caveman episode turned out to be more likable as it went on (I've heard people tell me to just skip it and go on to something else, but it was endearing - mostly just to prove that the Doctor is indeed a time traveler).

- And the same sound of the TARDIS made me squee.  Good to see some things have stuck with the show through the years.

Stay tuned for further updates! (Personally, I can't wait until I get to the Peter Davison episodes! ^_^)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh... Duh...

In the midst of my tired-and-snarky ramblings, I forgot that I actually had something relevant to update with and have had for a long time (I imagine that feeling is similar to the feeling one gets after just sobering up.  But I can't say with any kind of certainty, having never been drunk and never planning on it).

I was scrolling through here and realized I had yet to post this video here!  And it's my favorite that I've made (so far).  It's "Falling for the First Time" by Barenaked Ladies and it's centered on Donna Noble, the Doctor's companion in Series 4.  Watch the video, then the description and my thoughts on Donna are below that.

(Goes without saying that there are spoilers)

The first time I saw "The Runaway Bride," Donna just grated on me.  Maybe it was because I was still in mourning for Rose (having become quite the Doctor/Rose shipper - honestly, what's fandom without a good ship?), but Donna's abruptness was such a stark contrast to Rose's understanding of the Doctor that I couldn't stand the woman (and who in the world would not want to travel with the Doctor?  I credit the writing skills of RTD and company for creating such a well-rounded cast of characters - all with their own personalities and motivations.  I can only hope that readers will someday say the same of me.  But I digress).

Then Series 4 came along and there was "Partners in Crime."  Holy crap-on-a-cracker - I began to LOVE Donna!  Maybe it was seeing her home life - that her mother didn't believe in her and she didn't even believe in herself - possibly seeing that her failure to get married compounded the list of perceived failure she'd already experienced (still living at home, being a temp) - no wonder she sought out the Doctor.  There was a promise of adventure, yes, but also the promise of someone who would see past Donna's faults and find the gem of a person she really was.  It didn't need to be a romantic relationship, per se (shoot, the Doctor later calls Donna his best friend) - just the fact that Donna was validated in her life's decisions, and by someone who's opinion mattered (Of course, Wilf had a high opinion of Donna, but it, was one of those things like "Oh, that's just my crazy grandpa - he loves me, but he has to say things like that.")

The series' crowning moment is the DoctorDonna - all of a sudden, Donna single-handedly saves the entire universe, purely by accident (or so it seems - was Dalek Caan orchestrating some of that?  That's another discussion for another day).  The best line of the entire finale (maybe even all of Series 4) is "Did I ever tell you - best temp in Chiswick?" rivaled only by Doctor 10.2's assessment of the reason for Donna's sarcastic nature: "I can see, Donna - what you're thinking.  All that attitude - all that lip - 'cause all this time - you think you're not worth it.  Shouting at the world 'cause no one's listening.  Well, why should they?"

Eventually, Donna gets to see what the Doctor sees in her and it likely saves her life.  Not in the sense of being hauled back from the edge of a cliff, but it gives her something to look forward to - just like with all the Doctor's companions. Of course, to have that growth and experience taken away from her is tragic - it's terrible.  And I love, love, LOVE the Doctor's parting words to Sylvia: "Maybe you should tell her that once in a while" (I think it's the tone of his delivery that I love more than anything - like, how dare anyone suggest Donna is less than she is).

Of all the companions I've seen, I think I relate to Donna the most.  And maybe we've all felt that way sometimes - that we have to be funny or smart-alecky or sarcastic in order to compensate for our shortfalls.  Maybe we haven't gone as far as we know we should, even if we've come far enough.  And it takes a friend like the Doctor to point out those things.

Personally, I don't think she ever completely forgot her time with the Doctor.  Somewhere in her mind, her subconscious reminds her of the important things she learned.  Maybe she doesn't recall the Ood or the Sontarans or the Daleks, but she remembers someone who brought out the best in her.  I have no canon proof to back it up - just my own thoughts on the matter.

So anyway, this video is my salute to all the wonderful, fun, quirky, inspiring things about Donna Noble.  And this song is one of my favorites from one of my favorite bands and it works so well with Donna.  The funny thing is that I originally was going to use the BNL song "It's All Been Done," but I ended up wanting something a bit more meaningful and "Falling for the First Time" was next on the list.  Listen to the lyrics and you'll see why I switched to this song.  It really illustrates the way her personality and outlook on life evolve throughout the series.  And the tune is fun and catchy - you can't be too depressed around Donna (in spite of what ultimately happens to her).  I deliberately did not include any Donna clips from "The End of Time" because that's not what I wanted to focus on.  What can I say?  It's Donna!  Just watch it and have fun.

(I have another video I was going to post here, but this ended up being so long that I'll post it another time).

Holy Risotto, I'm Tired! or Snark Reigns Supreme!

(Thanks to the joys of Wikipedia, I finally found out what risotto was. Now this video makes a bit more sense - and is even more funny ^_^)

This was the first weekend after I've been working for a full-on week and then I went to church in Delta.  I love the singles branch in Delta.  I have a bit of anonymity (not a whole lot, but a bit) and I can be my own person there (whereas in my branch in Callao, everyone knows my family, everyone is in everyone else's business, etc.  You know, the real reasons people go to singles wards/branches - not that stupid excuse that it's the only place they can go to get married.  I spit in the eye of that excuse).  But this driving back and forth... it's exhausting.  I am fully aware of how crazy it is to do so much driving, but I don't know that I have a choice in the matter.  Well, actually I do.  I could find a job in Salt Lake or Delta or Logan or Outer Mongolia and move away... oh wait... I tried that one already.  We're in a recession and nobody can afford to hire any new people (and here's where I would usually be inclined to make a snarky political statement, but I just don't feel like dealing with the fallout right now.  You can pretend I said something if you like, 'kay?  Maybe I'll just randomly link to HillBuzz.  Good enough).

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah - the only place I could find to hire me was at West Desert High School.  Beggars can't be choosers.  And it's not so bad as it could be - at least it's in the general ballpark of what I want to go into anyway (Youth Services Librarianship - yay masters degree!).  It just requires that I live in the outer reaches of nowhere, which is coincidentally where my family lives, which is nice because I don't have to pay rent (I help keep the house and do a bit to help out the family business, though).  But the driving!  All the driving I have to do!  I shouldn't complain - it's not like I'm not used to it.  One day, perhaps, I will live somewhere that I live a block away from work, school, the grocery store and Barnes and Noble.  Maybe even a place where I don't have to give the US Postal Service one ZIP code and UPS a completely different one.  Maybe even a place where both Verizon and AT&T will have painted on their maps (what is that like, anyway?)

Then again, if I lived in a place like that, I'd hate all my busybody neighbors who have to know all the cackly beauty salon gossip ("Oh my GAWSH - she did WHAAT???" - please kill me) and live on top of me and call the cops when my dog craps on their lawn.  My house would look just like everyone else's house because that's what the Homeowners Association (i.e. Hitler) told me to I had to do just to live here (I hate HOAs, in case you couldn't tell.  I think it's a stupid idea, selling me a building lot and then telling me what I can and cannot do with it.  It's my property - I'll do whatever the freck I want).

Just goes to prove that nowhere is perfect.  Everywhere has things you love about it and everywhere has things you wish would go far far away.  As it stands, I love being in Callao and I wouldn't move for anybody.  I don't mind going to the city for a visit (but I also wouldn't be opposed to friends coming to visit me out here, hint, hint.  Come on, all you wussy city-dwellers - it's not that far to come.  Some of you probably make weekend trips to Lake Powell or Wendover without blinking an eye).

("Wussy" here is a term of endearment, by the way)

This post is all over the place - I don't even know where I started.  Goes to show how tired I really am, I guess.  I make random comments.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I don't have Geico insurance, but I've gotten a kick out of their commercials over the years.  However, I was beginning to feel that the style of "Can Geico save you money? Does [insert randomly funny and obvious question here]?" was losing its touch (speed pitching snowballs?  Are you kidding me?)  Until today when this little gem sent me on the floor laughing:

It's a taste of the Super Bowl in the off-season.  I love it when that happens.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why I Love Facebook

(x-posted from LiveJournal.  I don't usually post things in such quick succession, but this was too good to pass up).

For all the weirdness and crap that gets put on Facebook (not to mention the associated shenanigans), there is one good reason to love Facebook.  That is - when you have a friend that says "I know a guy that you should totally meet," you can check out said friend and see if truly he is all that he's cracked up to be.  Over the weekend, a friend of mine linked to a blog that belongs to a (male) friend of hers and told me to read it and maybe sometime, if I was interested, I could meet this friend.  Well, I looked at his blog, which was okay.  I mean, it's not anything real snazzy, but it's heartfelt and honest.  Then I got the wild idea to check and see if he had a Facebook.  I found that and started looking at a few things there - he seems nice enough.

There's nothing groundbreaking here.  And I know that someone's going to come back and say "But doesn't it bug you that people can look up your information or find out what you're doing?"  And honestly, it doesn't.  I mean, I don't post anything too personal (though some might debate that) and most of what I post is stuff I want people to read and (hopefully) respond to.  To be sure, I still have things I keep personal and private, but I keep that in a pen-and-paper journal I have stashed... somewhere in my room.

I have ideas and thoughts I want shared.  And the beauty of the internet is that I don't have to dink around with a publisher to get them out there.  I type it out, put a picture or a video to illustrate and go on my merry way.  And it's a ton of fun.

(That actually turned into two good reasons to love Facebook.  I love a tangent ^_^)

Video: This has nothing to do with anything here, but it came up in a Facebook discussion I had with some of my Emporia colleagues (weird word, colleagues - anyway...)

A Word on Internet Filters

It's the librarian in me, I suppose.  And I understand about federal funding and parental controls and locks on computers.  And I get that there are big bad boogeymen out there in chat rooms and that the internet eats babies and small dogs.  But I am going to complain for a bit about filters on school computers.

When I am preparing a lesson for my computer class and I want to link to a video that happens to be on YouTube, I can't show it my class because some YouTubers post porn or what-have-you.  Fine, so you blocked YouTube.  But then I can get on The Oatmeal (which, that guys doesn't have the cleanest mouth 100% of the time either) to show them "When to Use i.e. in a Sentence" as a way to teach them proper grammar (oh, just take a look around at that website - as funny as all get out, but watch some of it.  Especially the one about Sucking at Facebook.  NSFW, indeed).

Internet filters simply do not work the way you want them to.  They're like airport security - the airport guards can frisk Grandma and take away her knitting needles, but you still can have some wacko shove a bomb in his shorts and get through without a problem.  All filters do is punish the people that follow the rules - but if kids want to get through them, they will.  Witness this article I was given in a class - and a couple of Facebook groups that have instructions on how to get to Facebook and YouTube from school (granted, I haven't tested their methods, but these things do exist).  As far as I can tell, if you try to discourage kids from doing an activity that they do anyway (like check Facebook or play with the Giga pet clipped onto their belt loop - as was popular when I was in middle school), they'll find ways around it.

We've hashed this out in my library classes before, but there's not really anything we can do about it, per se.  I just wanted to gripe about it here because I like using the internet to find interesting things for my classes and the filters make it impossible to find anything worthwhile.  I can plan ahead and download/screencap what I need, but that defeats the purpose of having internet access at school in the first place.  Not to mention it clogs up my hard drive (which, I just got a brand new shiny computer that I'd like to keep nice and shiny (and WORKING) for the next six years or so.)

Bottom Line: Internet filters = FAIL.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day and some other stuff

Today was my first day working at West Desert.  Since my job hinges so much on the use of technology, of course nothing worked right, but we knew that the PolyCom system was knackered last Friday, so we anticipated this.  The district's head tech guy came out to work on a few things, so hopefully he got it working.  It really didn't set in how much responsibility this is until today and I got a little nervous.  But now I've had a chance to look over what I'm doing, I think I'll be all right.

Yesterday I went with the other WDHS teachers and staff to a meeting at the district office and I felt really good about this opportunity.  Both the English teacher and the biology teacher are really great and they both gave me plenty of stuff to get going.  Plus, the computer teacher gave me some things to get the kids started there (the computer class isn't PolyCom, but we don't really have a computer teacher - I'm kind of it.  But we're dovetailing yearbook into computer and the kids just need to know enough to pass the state test.  As I understand it, the state test is just making sure they know basic word processing skills - but we're going to do more fun things than that, trust me ^_^)

(There's wasn't really much "other stuff" here, was there? Oh well...)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's the Brain Damage!

I drove my mom and sisters up to Happy Valley to do some back to school shopping.  Holy crap on a cracker, can you say "baby factories?"  I swear, every screaming child under the age of five within potlucking distance of Zoobie land was in Ross and Old Navy today.  Even worse, it was their deadbeat parents that dragged them in the store, let them run wild while Mom and Dad snuck a Diet Coke in the dressing room ("Heavenly Father is our baby-sitter."  Geesh... I wish I could get an emoticon to roll its eyes).

My family wonders why I'm still single - why I don't even date.  Well, gee, let me spell it out for you: dating leads to liking a guy, which leads to REALLY liking this guy, which leads to falling in love, which leads to an engagement, which leads to a wedding (which is it's own kind of insanity), which leads to a honeymoon, which (sooner or later - especially in Mormon culture) leads to a boatload of children driving everyone around me absolutely crazy, which will quite possibly lead to my mug shot on the 6:00 news headlining a story of how I locked them in a closet for a year/drown them in the bathtub/fed them rusty nails for dinner (take your pick - CSI has a whole list of them).

Now, I have nothing against kids in general.  In fact, kids can be a lot of fun.  When they belong to other people who have the time, the desire and the disposition for them.  I can only handle so much - which is evidently the case for some Old Navy shoppers in Orem because I saw and heard a lot more kids than I saw/heard adults corralling these terrors (maybe it was the noise bouncing off the concrete floor - but I doubt it).  I actually had a bet with myself going on if the parents of a little girl ahead of me in the checkout line would notice that their sweet angel still had a plastic margarita-ish glass in her hand when they got out the door after they had paid (turned out I lost the bet, but it was pretty close).

When I start to get down on myself that I'm not married and don't have kids, all I have to do is go shopping in Utah County (barring that - go to any Wal-Mart on a Saturday morning) and I will be cured of that within minutes.  I am a staunch, tried and true Mormon - but I might even start reciting the Catholic vows of chastity.  Just in case.

In fact - that's how you can combat teenage pregnancy.  If any high school-age couple is contemplating doing the "wild thing," don't assault them with statistics of how young mothers don't finish school or that the guy is going to have to pay child support - don't even bother talking about STDs.  Just let the two baby-sit five or so kids under the age of ten for a couple of hours (some should be boys who are just old enough to want to try to beat the crap out of each other) and they'll have their legs locked up tight.  Bonus points if the kids are related to one of the teenage couple (because then you can scare them by discussing genetics and "The Mother's Curse.").

My one consolation - I didn't have to cart any of those yard apes home.  Heaven be praised.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fair Time!

Back in 2005 during my last semester at Snow College, I took a quiltmaking class which was surprisingly a ton of fun (I had a lot on my plate at the time and I think I just needed something that wasn't school or the newspaper to unwind).  To pass the class, I just had to make a certain number of quilt squares and piece them together in a quilt top, which I could finish into a full quilt during the summer or whatever.  I wanted to hand quilt it, just to say I had done it, so I basted the top, the batting and the bottom together and started the long and arduous task of hand quilting.  I finally finished the hand quilting part of it in 2008 right before I left on my mission.  The quilt sat in a basket for a year and a half until I came home.  Kathryn showed me how to bind it all together and she also suggested that I enter it in the county fair (full disclosure - I affectionately refer to Kathryn as the Yoda of Sewing.  She just got her Bachelor's degree in Family/Consumer Science Education and she is going for her Master's in the same field, which I think is amazing).

So, the fair is next week and I am going to do it.  Shoot, I worked on this sucker this long - I might as well show it off, right?  Even if I don't win anything substantial, it'll be fun anyway.

Click to embiggen
It's kind of hard to get a full picture of it when it's on the floor, but that's the general idea.

Click to embiggen
A closer look

Click to embiggen
This is the pattern I sewed on the sashing (the beige rectangles between the pieces squares). I used a disappearing ink marker and drew this doodle on the fabric and followed it with my needle. This is the view from the back because the thread blends in with the pattern on the front, but you flip it over to the back and it looks pretty neat with all the different stitching patterns.

I also have some pictures I took in Florida of a sunrise over the ocean that are pretty good that I'm thinking about entering. Mom and I went to the neighboring county's fair (which, incidentally is a lot closer to where we live than our county's fair. Kind of messed up, but there you go) and they had some amazing photography entries, so that's what got me thinking I'd do that too. I have to pick one and mount it before the entries are due on Tuesday. Shoot, might as well. It's free to enter and I might just get some bragging rights (not to mention a pretty ribbon to hang on my wall ^_^).

I just enjoy the fair.  They have some really neat stuff on display and it always gets me thinking "Hey, I could make something like that!"  It's the best thing in the world for some inspiration :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Here's a Stupid Question...

If right-wingers are such violent and hateful "Bigots-Racists-Homophobes" (because you can't have one without the other two, evidently) while the left are such peaceable and loving human beings... why is it that groups who opposed California's Proposition 8 were the ones marching and gloating around Temple Square in Salt Lake City? Similar groups, incidentally, targeted and disrupted LDS Church meetings, picketed around Church property and even defaced the wall around the Los Angeles LDS Temple during the election in 2008 - not to mention harassing LDS missionaries, of which I was one at the time in Florida (let me tell you - it's not fun to go up and talk to someone only to have him scream in your face that he's [effing] gay and he sucks a lot of d***.  Yes, your behavior makes me sympathize with you even more.  Really classy there, friend).

How many states had the same sort of initiative and voted to ban gay marriage?  Florida had theirs the same time as California (I know this because I saw a ton of "Yes on 2" signs in yards on my mission during the 2008 election season) and they also voted to ban gay marriage.  As far as I know, the LDS Church was been involved in all these elections where gay marriage has been on the ballot because the Church is in every state in the country - it's one of the few issues the Church doesn't stay neutral on.  They do speak out on moral issues and issues that will possibly affect how members can practice their religion, which gay marriage encompasses both.

I'm all for tolerance and respect, but the door swings both ways here.  I've known plenty of GLBT people who are reasonable, decent, hardworking (not to mention funny) people.  I didn't try to convert them to my way of thinking and they didn't try to convert me to theirs and we got along just fine.  We just stuck to topics we knew we'd all agree on and kept things friendly and respectful (it can be done, folks).  They also didn't insist that I be friends with them just because of their sexual orientation - which is how it should be.  I don't insist that everyone absolutely love me because I'm female or because I'm Mormon (well, I guess that last one wouldn't really hold water anywhere anyway - we Mormons are kind of easy targets.  I blame the Osmonds).  I expect to earn someone's respect based on my character and integrity and I try to treat others the same way - gay, lesbian, straight, black, white, liberal, conservative, Laker fan, whatever (although we may have to have a little talk with the Laker fan).

Heck, one of my favorite political blogs is HillBuzz (a group of independent gay guys from Chicago who support Hillary Clinton AND Sarah Palin and who oppose the radical leftist agenda de Obambi?  And they're funny?  And I agree with them?  Who knew?)  Their take on gay marriage is actually pretty good and it's something I can actually get behind.  And it's written by gay guys, so everyone is supposed to listen to them.  Isn't that how this works?

I really don't have a dog in this fight.  Sure, if I lived in California and had a say about it, I would have voted for Prop 8.  Probably would have signed up to make phone calls and campaign for it.  But I live in Utah and we already had this one out along with a bunch of other states that haven't had this big production that California has had.  What can I say? Not all of us have a three-ring political circus when elections come up (Gray Davis recall election, anyone?)  This post was prompted because of a deluge of "Happy Day!  Prop 8 is Overturned!  Take That You Hateful, Bigoted, Religious Person!" on my Facebook page (some of this comes from dear friends of mine - none of whom live in California either).

I am tired of groups insisting that I must tolerate and even embrace a lifestyle that I don't agree with, while at the same time these groups also condemn me as a hateful person because I believe the way I do - but they're seen as martyrs for the cause.  But if I even think about using the same methods that they used to champion causes I believe in, I'm a terrible, terrible human being and should get chlamydia and DIE you mean, hateful, RAAAAACIST, bigoted, homophobe you!!! (It's doubly hard when there are those who ought to be my friends throwing the same stones).

(As an aside - You know that Tea Party people haven't picketed anywhere in conjunction with the Prop 8 ruling because that would have been on all the news channels and on every front page with the headline - "SEE?? LOOKIT ALLLL THE H8RS!!!! RAWR!")

My Point: If you want me to tolerate your lifestyle, how about showing a little tolerance yourself?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer Blues

It's that time of year - when it's unbearably hot, you've done everything you wanted with your summer vacation, you are sick of being in the house... and you still have two weeks of vacation left to kill (hopefully before it kills you).

(Side Note: I am giggling over the the little "Happy Birthday Mr. President" the HillBuzz guys gave to Teh One.  Actually, it was inspired by the state of Missouri, but all the same - I love those Boyz ^_^)

While I have officially been hired by the Tintic School District as a Teacher's Aide at West Desert High School, my job doesn't start for two weeks (though I'm hoping I'll be called in for some kind of "Start-of-School-Year" meeting soon - just to get my bearings).  The youth are all at youth conference - doing the trek reenactment thing (personally, I'm glad I never had that "opportunity."  I'm sure it's spiritual and an uplifting experience, but Girls' Camp was enough for this little indoor geek every summer thankyouverymuch.  So, nothing is going to happen in the foreseeable future ("foreseeable" here meaning "tomorrow").

In the meantime, while I am battling boredom and the crazed leftists on Facebook (in my own passive-aggressive way), I have found some small fun joys thanks to YouTube.  And yes, I have movies/shows that I am embarrassed to admit I have watched (this girl doesn't outline any of mine - but I did cringe at the Captain Planet clip on AIDS.  Holy Cheese!) -