Survey Results

The survey results are in, thanks to all of you who responded.

Have you ever considered that your opinions and tastes are not your own? That your food preferences have been carefully crafted by those who care nothing for your health but only the contents of your wallet?

"In consequence of aevils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of bconspiring men in the last days, I have cwarned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation— " -D&C 89

Click on it to see a bigger view.
There was no easy way to share the data. I'll post the favorite books and tv shows section when I have time.

i'm back

Here are my fingers in Chicago:

The rest of me was there, too, for a few days. The writing conference was fabulous, the weather chilly, the architecture gorgeous and the food SO GOOD.

While I would gladly go on 100 more such trips, I was just as glad to come home. Poor Christopher—I made him stick around here by himself for a few days. While he waited for me to come back, he made this for me for Valentine's Day:

No, it's not modern art of the blank canvas variety. It's a Plinko game.

For some reason, the Price is Right fascinated me as a little girl. I seriously wanted to grow up faster so I could be a contestant. Whenever I visited my grandmother, she let me play with her round coasters—perfect plinko chip size. I slid them down all sorts of inclines.

Now, I have the real deal—none of this pretend stuff at grandma's house. I just drop a ping pong ball down this peg board, hear it bounce around against the pegs, and watch it come out the bottom. I won a hundred bucks just this morning. I wonder what will happen the next time I go out of town.

Happy V-Day

Kathy's in Chicago. We spent her birthday and V-day apart.

So I got to experience one or two days of loneliness that some of you suckers are burdened with indefinitely.

It's not so bad.

I emailed her this v-day card:
She put together an elaborate treasure hunt scattered with a dozen quotes and paragraph after paragraph of lovey-dub writing, and made a DVD of pictures of us along with music.

I emailed her this v-day card:
Because this is the most disturbing thing I've seen all day, and we're both huge Star Wars nerds.

I'm making her something else, too. But she doesn't get to see it until Monday.

Canned Valentines

Click to enlarge.
All proceeds will go to supporting the BYU Food Science club.

Budget Spreadsheet

Some of you found the budget spreadsheet I made useful. For those of you who do not have excel, I have made the budget available as a Google doc.

On the right sidebar, under "stuff we do," click on "budget spreadsheet."

Once you have access, click "file" and "create a copy."
You should be all set with your very own copy of this spreadsheet.

I've never done this before. So let me know if it doesn't work.

Also let me know how the spreadsheet has worked out for you.

For those who want a copy of the excel file, let me know and I'll send you an email.

One benefit of a Google doc is you can invite your spouse to use the same budget. Then when one of you makes a change it will automatically update the other's.

Wo is me: Flight of the Conchords Edition

Tickets for a Flight of the Conchords concert went on sale twenty-three minutes ago. They are now sold out.

I called in at 10am and got through, but the phone rang for about two minutes, which made me think my call had been lost or something, I don't know how phones work. So I hung up and dialed back again. Busy. Again. Busy. Again and again on my way home from school. Busy. Busy. Busy.

I called 51 times.

Finally at 10:06 I got through again. The phone rang for six minutes. I waited. And waited. An operator picked up, and told me the bad news.

If only I hadn't've hung up that first time. I wouldn't be in the misery I am now.

I'm not crying. It's just been raining. On my face.

an entire revolution of the sun

Every time someone asks how old our nephew is, Christopher is off by a few months. Probably because the time goes by so fast. Just last summer, he looked like this:

This little guy has now been alive for a whole 365 days.

Happy Birthday, Jonas!

(And good work on thinning out those cheeks and growing yourself some hair. If you keep this up, you'll grow up to be a handsome guy, indeed.)

i like the number 3

My good friend asked me to answer these questions about myself.

3 Fears:

  • That robots will take over the world (This actually used to frighten me. In elementary school, I read a book called "You in the 21st Century." Robots did everything: they cooked the food, cleaned the house, did the laundry. Doesn't sound half bad. But it terrified me. I worried that robots would take over the field of writing fiction, and I wanted to write ever since I could hold a pen. I'm sure my mom had to bite her cheeks to keep a straight face to tell me that robots probably wouldn't be awarded any Pulitzers.)
  • That I'll be a bother.
  • That I'll look back and regret wasted time.
3 Joys:
  • An apparent lack of food-cooking, house-cleaning, laundry-doing robots. While they would be nice, the threat of an uprising always persists.
  • Books: I think we may have bought over 50 books last month. Of course, it helps when they're a dollar or less at the library sale. If only bookshelves cost that much.
  • Mr. Christopher.
3 Goals:
  • Be prepared for a robot uprising.
  • Play Rhapsody in Blue in its entirety.
  • Graduate with an MFA.
3 Current Obsessions:
  • You'd guess robots, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong.
  • Words in the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • Short stories.
3 Random/Surprising Facts: I don't know if this means facts about the world in general, or about myself. I'll assume the latter:
  • I'm not actually anti-robot. I imagine robots could prove quite useful.
  • I played in a steel drum band for one semester. I was no good.
  • I recently rediscovered that I really like sewing. I just bought this book and hope I'll have time to crack it open once I graduate.
I guess that's it. Since no robots have taken my job yet, I'm going to go grade some papers and write me a story.

Buying Local: Eggs and Honey

Kathy and I went to the Sunshine market on 500 West/State St., but it didn't live up to my hippie expectations.

And it had a thirsty fail.
I want to buy local. I don't want my money going to some CEO. I want it to go to a family right here in Provo. In down times we have to help each other out.

So I googled "Provo farms" or something, and found a place that sells fresh eggs and honey made right here in Provo.

Clifford Family Farms at 1461 N. 2100 W. Provo.

It's five minutes from Macey's Food on 500 W.
To get there:
You'll see this on your right:
The road will start to go uphill and curve. Just stay on it.
Drive for a few more blocks and you'll bump right into this:
The front door had a sign that said come in and help yourself. But I rang the doorbell and waited a minute before letting myself in. A large fridge held several cartons of eggs, and a lone jar of honey sat on a wooden bench.

A plastic bottle partially filled with money indicated that I should just take what I wanted and leave the asked price. These people are honest.

But then a teenage boy showed up, in answer to me having rung the doorbell. His name was Zack and he lived there. I asked him about the farm, it's about three acres. They have sheep too, but they don't use them for meat, because his mom came to care for them too much. Anyone is free to tour around the farm to see what it's like. It's that kind of transparency that could really keep our food supply safe and honest.

I grabbed a jar of honey and a box of eggs, wrote a check out to Clifford Family Farms, and stuffed it into the jar.
I bought 18 fresh local eggs for $5.30, which is a ton of money for what I usually get for eggs. But I'm okay with that because:

1. It's going to my neighbors.
2. A chicken lays only 1 egg a day, that's a lot of work for 18 eggs.

I bought a 32 ounce jar of honey for $13.00, which is a good deal for good honey. Because.

1. A 32 ounce soda costs about $1.30, 1/10th of the price, but 1/16th the amount of syrup, or sugar content.
2. Fresh, local honey tastes a lot better than the watered-down over-pasteurized store-bought stuff.

3. And no hidden costs.
. . . Food at the supermarket isn't as cheap as it appears. It's cheaper because the government takes our money and gives it to the companies that make our food. And these huge businesses don't pay for the pollution they make, which inflicts an unseen cost on our planet.

I didn't take a tour of their farm yet. I plan on going back when Kathy can come.

You can call Julie Clifford or email her if you have any questions:

Charity Show: Belly of the Whale.

My brother wrote:

"Belly of the Whale's upcoming show will be on Feb. 12 at Club Vegas. We will be donating 100% of our proceeds to Mr. Sean Hennefer. He had an unfortunate situation with cancer and now has way too many medical bills. More info here:
Tickets for the show are $5.00. Please contact me to purchase your tickets beforehand, or if you're feeling nice hook up Sean on his paypal account.

Club Vegas
445 S 400 W, Salt Lake CityBelly of the Whale is playing to benefit Sean Hennefer"

Ask in the comments if you want my brother's contact info.

My Brother Totally Looks Like the Drummer from Fall Out Boy

My brother totally looks like drummer Andy Hurley.

They're both comic book nerds. They both have the scraggly red facial hair. The huge schnozzes. Both in bands. Tattoos. Unbelievable.

Andy, if you don't know who your dad is, let me know. We'll get you in touch with him.


Edible Pampers

This combines my major (Food Science) with my ideology (environmentalist) and my wants (babies).