Thursday, December 30, 2010

bam/boom roasted

The Office. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Could it be dwight's collection of wigs, gathered in the event that he will need to pass as one of his co-workers? Could it be Pam's "homer simpson of scranton" complex? Could it be Andy's insistence on being called the Nard-dog? Could it be Michael's string of unsuccesful relationships, painfully brought back from distant memory because he thinks he has herpes? Or maybe Erin's awkward father daughter complex with her boss, resulting in even more awkward goings-on with Gabe and Holly? The answer is E: all of the above.

Before I went to college, I watched The Office a total of two seperate occasions. What was I missing and what was I thinking? Thankfully, the boys upstairs/ katie and chelsey have converted me. When they started saying BAM. ROASTED. I had no notion of the origin of such a phrase. Since then, we have put bam roasted on the quote wall, used it lots, and learned, (thanks again to the boys upstairs. dang you for being right.) that the phrase is actually, in reality, boom roasted. not bam roasted. We bet on it and were promptly defeated. shoot. its boom. painful to be proven wrong, but hey, we got to watch the video clip, so what's there to complain about? If I could laugh that hard every time I was proved wrong, my laugh lines would be way worse and I would be way happier.

Long story short, youtube it. unless you are mom. you wouldn't think it was funny.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We all know I steal ideas. I am stealing yours. Also, you are my favorite.

I like you. And your child, and watching tv in the middle of the night, and our hand slapping game.

Sorry I was busy today. I will play with you, I promise. Also, please stop throwing socks at my face.

Mom and Dad,
you are really nice to me.

Erin and Ben,
you are also really nice to me. And I like you both a lot. Why do you have to move away?

Your mom and dad are going to move and take you along. Unless I kidnap you and keep you instead. How do you feel about that?

Emma Lemon,
You are pretty.

I want a new theme song. Please.

Answer the phone you bum. I have exciting things to tell you.

Fine. Make me stressed. You'll never take me alive.

Love, Amy

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Hater, part 2

This one is an analogy. As previously mentioned, I am the Grinch.

The Grinch goes over to visit whoville ( which is code for the Banks household), where are found many happy little whos. Now in this story, the Grinch didn't actually steal Christmas or anything, she was just generally a christmas hater. And then the head who/Julie gave the Grinch a Christmas Present comprised of an empty box and a story about a little boy who gave his teacher an empty box and told her it was filled with love ("It's filled with love. Can you see it?") The Grinch took it home and read it and almost bawled. And then the Grinch's nephew friend Matthew (who replaced max, who retired last year, I guess) said, "Aunty, open the box. I wanna see the love." So he took the empty box and went around asking everybody if they could see the love, resulting in a "heart grew three sizes" type event.

The Point: chaos still bugs the crap out of me. and I don't like not getting presents for everyone. But it doesn't really matter, cause when Matthew showed me the empty box, I could see the love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sonnet 116

Which one, you ask? There are a lot of Sonnet 116's out there in the world. But it is obviously by Shakespeare. Because if it wasn't, I would have to include the author, seeing as how all other sonnet writers are automaticaly inferior to the good old Bard. Note to everyone who ever knew me: from this point on, if the author is not specified, automatically assume I am taking about Shakespeare. Duh.

Back to 116... This morning I was seized by the irresistible desire to watch Sense and Sensibility. Which I tried to do. Then I realized that the yellow part of the cord that goes between the tv and the vcr, enabling tv usage, is broken yet again. This must have happened sometime yesterday when I was rearranging the living room, an activity which involved carrying around tvs and stuff. Jeff Clifford, be relived. It was my fault this time. (Dang. I still think there is something wrong with the plug, or why would it always be the yellow one that breaks?) So I was really depressed because Sense and Sensibility is a vhs, hence introducing the impossibility of just watching it on my laptop. Suck. And then I realized that I have the whole thing memorized anyway, so I will just watch it in my head. (this is actually a common activity for me. I tend to watch the same movies over and over again and then I just memorize them. This is a handy tool when you are in a really boring class, or waiting in lines, or in desperate need to escape the company of everyone around you who won't. quit. talking)
 So I was sitting on my couch watching it in my mind and I got to the part with Marianne and Willoughby reading sonnets and falling in love. (Dang computer. Shut it. I spelled Willoughby right. Your vocabulary is simply inferior to mine.) Anyway, they fall in love and they sort of have 116 as their theme sonnet, and then willoughby decides to be a scuzzer and all that crap. (by the way, I don't believe in falling in love. you slipped in mud, and all of a sudden, you are in love! No.) And we come to the scene where Marianne is standing in the rain looking at Willoughby's house and saying the sonnet and every woman in the room starts crying, and then Colonel Brandon comes and saves the day!

So all this was happening and I was thinking about Shakespeare. He is great, but I do have one qualm about his writing. So many of his plays are about love, but a lot of the time they get it wrong. Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer night's dream, etc. These people fall in 'love' and then do horrible things to each other. That is not how it works. But I think this sonnet is the part where Shakespeare really gets it right.  Love, even if it isn't romantic, should be the constant in everything else that happens. Because when you really love someone, you are in it all the way no matter what, not just for whatever they can give you, because real love is service. This one is actually already on the blog, but I believe it so I'll say it again. Toni Morrison said " Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all." So true. Thin love could be called mild affection, but its not the real thing. That is what is so great about Sense and Sensibility. Because the whole time Colonel Brandon loves Marianne and does stuff to help her even though he knows he is never going to get anything back from her. (and then he does, and we all cheer.) And Willoughby gets nothing good, because he is selfish and he leaves when she can't save him financially. Again. Scuzzer. A handsome one, but still a scuzzer.

This is the part where you all ignore the fact that I am being all sappy about Shakespeare/ Jane Austen. And you give me a break because after all, I am not an English major for nothing. This is also the part where everybody goes and watches that movie and marvels at Shakespeare's brilliance. Anyway...

I'm going to go watch all those other vhs movies I own in my head while I pack. peace.

The end of an era

As you all know, today marks the successful completion of my first semester in college. It's been an interesting four months, and some of it was the terrifying, "what the heck am I doing and why did I think I could pull that off?" type of interesting. But most of it was actually the "best. day. ever. life is fantastic." type of interesting. Some new habits have been formed, some good and some decidedly less than wise. The homework part, the part where I actually learned to study which I never did in High School ever part, the budgeting/being as cheap as I can part, and the actual use of a planner were all really good things. The eating ramen till I am sick, the drinking lots of diet coke, the staying up all night watching movies, etc was maybe not as good, but it was really fun. Life, aka college, is filled with great stuff, like having dance parties with corny yet classic music from the nineties, drinking margaritas (sprite. chill.) with all your roommates when one of them gets engaged, playing the "do you really need that?" game at walmart, searching for wedding ideas on the internet while watching the wedding planner, watching Hot Rod and then quoting it every day, blogstalking people you don't even know, having study parties where you run around the building ever hour to stay alert (muddy socks will wake you up for sure), sitting at the kitchen table with a bunch of roommates while you pass around the carton of ice cream and one spoon, etc. I also learned a few things, such as:
- Diet Coke is good for studying. But it isn't very good for sleep. There is a fine line between studying adequately and sleeping adequately in prep for a final. I crossed that line, resulting in taking my English final on four hours of sleep. I may or may not have taken a nap in the middle of it.
- Winter in Logan= an icy/snowy/slushy/slippery/ death defying walk to school. Note* the HPER field only looks like it snowed. In reality, it slushed for a good six inches and then snowed in order to trap unsuspecting freshmen in its clutches when they are late for class and need a shortcut. But now that we know the secrets of the fire swamp, we could live there happily for some time. Wait, did I say fire swamp? That's too easy. I meant the weather here in happy cache valley, which is infinitely more deadly.
- The south building managers are way nicer than our building managers. Never go ask the grumpy dude across the hall for change, or to come fix your leaking ceiling, or to get new batteries for the smoke detector that has suddenly started emitting an ear splitting, shrieking banshee noise ever three minutes and twenty seconds weather we all have headaches or not. He will wait at least three days before doing anything about it and frown at you the whole time.
-Never assume that the ground up on campus is dry even if it is dry outside your apartment, especially if you plan to wear moccasins. After a good seven hours walking around up there, your feet will be so frozen that you will fall, cry if they ever start to thaw out, and/or get all the way across the street before you realize your shoe is still in the middle of the road. ( No kidding, it actually happened.)
- Don't make a quote wall out of tin foil on the wall right by the window. Condensation, mold, disgusting smells when the heater is turned up, breathing gross crap, etc. All of that will happen. And you won't even know why until you take down the quote wall. at which point the wall cleaning will commence. Windex and scrubbing bubbles aren't really meant to use on walls, but we were out of Clorox wipes, so what else can you do, right?
- The dark circles under your eyes only go away if you sleep at night. My theory is that once the sun comes up, dark circle shrinkage ceases. That must be it, because the dark circles seem to be here to stay.  Yet another reason I should start sleeping at night and getting up in the morning, as opposed to staying up until the wee hours of the morning and getting up twenty minutes before class starts.  Either that or buy makeup.

In the end, I feel like I learned a lot from my classes, but I think I learned a lot more from just living here at college and being (mostly) responsible for myself. More than any other time in my whole life, I am on the verge of freaking out almost constantly. But I am getting good at not freaking out, and maybe sometime I'll be far enough away from the verge that I won't have to keep reminding myself to breathe. On the flip side, it is really exciting to get good grades, actually study, go to church, do my calling, go to institute, and all the good stuff and know that I am doing it because I want to. I love getting a bunch done and being able to tell the world, I did all this and I feel like a champion today. So here goes. Finals are done, living room is vacuumed and rearranged, textbooks bought, room cleaned, wall de-molded, and I am still breathing. I am a champion today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dear parental units,

I think you are great. Also, I am excited to see you on Saturday. Also, I really like it when you drive, dad. Because nobody asks me for directions and I know that if we die it is definitely because God wants us to and not cause we are driving weird. (Unless you are reading your email, which you never do anymore *cough* because Mom made you promise, right?) Also, be really glad I don't live above your ceiling anymore because I can't sleep and we all know that when I can't sleep it is usually because the spirit has called me to war against the forces of uncleanliness, and I inevitably go to, wielding as my sabre a vacuum wand. Although I am now in college, the spirit still moves me to irrational action in all sorts of wee hours of the morning and I can't clean but gee do I write my best essays at three am. Which is also loud because I type quite forcefully when I get excited, which I always do while I am writing essays, which is because I am sort of an odd duck that way. Can you tell, dearest mom, that it is super late/early? Can't sleep (thank you, diet coke), but I am also feeling slightly loopy. long story short, I like you guys. Make saturday come faster, okay dad? Don't even try to make excuses, because we all know you are superman. You can't hide the talent. Just like I can't hide the sleep deprivation. So Goodnight.

Your caffeine/ finals crazed daughter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


At our house we have this theory about gingers. They are inescapably gingeresque and can never be anything else. I can't explain what it is, so don't ask. Those who know what I am talking about don't need it explained, and those who don't wouldn't understand. But i do think there is a difference between a redhead and a ginger. Katie tells me that this is never true. But I maintain. All gingers are of course redheads, but not all redheads are gingers. For example, there is this boy I met on the bus once upon a time three weeks ago. He has flaming red hair. Flaming. But I don't think he is a ginger. And that is why  we talked the whole way home and actually created inside jokes in those ten minutes. It was a good ten minutes. We covered majors, literature, engineering, broadway, music, and teaching. All in six hundred seconds. Then, despite the fact that he lives across the street and we both ride the bus everyday, I didn't see him again until this morning when he got off campus loop as I was getting on stadium express. Not only did we recognize each other instantly and smile wide, he actually remembered some insignificant thing I said and said as he walked past, "No machetes. That would be bad." (Don't ask) Wow. He remembered that? Second time I see him and we have skipped past all the stages of awkward eye contact and conversation recovery and straight onto the inside jokes. I feel that this bodes well. It is a wee bit irrational that I felt that excited when I saw him this morning. But I am okay with irrational, seeing as how he seemed excited too.

Katie, here is my confession. When I said it was fine that I hadn't seen him again and I didn't even care that much, that was wishful thinking. (Cause I am sure you completely believed me.) Call me a creeper, but I might actually start riding the bus all the time instead of just when it is nasty outside.

What is katie is right, and he is a ginger instead of just a redhead? There is a distinct possibility that I might like this boy. Dang boys. Dang ginger boys.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

shout out to jess

who is katie's sister, who i have only met once. i don't know her, but i really appreciate the clothes she got rid of that katie distributed amongst us. new favorite skirt acquired. i also blogstalk her quite faithfully which is maybe sort of creepy. but as long as i can laugh that hard, i'll take creepy. katie and i also quote her on a near daily basis. because she says awesome things. " don't worry, i drank a diet coke, and that is why the world goes round."

jessie, if we ever actually meet and say more than hello, i will tell you in person that my blog wants to be like your blog when it grows up.

you know those times

when you are walking down memory lane. just a small stroll in your own cerebellum, and suddenly you remember all at once those things that were just wierd. those things that you don't exactly regret, but you really wonder if somebody spiked your diet coke before you did them? i thought of some of those today.

- the time i was at work and said booze. let me be clear. i wasn't being clear. and christian and alex thought i said boobs. this is wierd enough. but let's explain why it was significantly worse than it sounds. we had nicknames from mash at work and we would joke about it all the time. mine was charles, because apparently, within this specific group i was the pretentious knowitall who mostly fit in but was on occasion the brunt of scorn/practical jokes. (along with gina who was hotlips) in the true spirit of the winchesters, i told christian and alex (hawkeye and trapper) that if they were going to be mean then i wouldn't share my booze. hence the horror when they thought i said.... you know. that other word.

-the time i held that one guys hand. oh gosh. all i have to say is i am glad that jessica was there to stick up for me and give him a hard time about it when he said mean things.

- junior year. callbacks for the illiad. and we were supposed to be reciting the jabberwock but in different types of scenes as per Schmid's smallest whim. for example: deadly secret, divine intervention, etc. and of course, because we are in drama, there was the unwilling seduction, and the equally scandalous willing secuction. just because it was me and the universe has a sense of humor, i ended up with austin smith on the willing seduction round, and we got into it. schmid actually made that little throat clearing noise and moved on rather quickly. i had to make it convincing right?  sometimes i think about it and cringe a little bit. or a lot bit.
(not that i don't love you, austin. it was just a very uncharacteristically risque day for me.)

- that time i went on my first date with mitch. i asked him because i needed a date for brighton date night. why did i think that would be fun again? if i was smart i would have just made nate go with me. always the safe option. always.

- going to work on lortab. bad idea. very bad idea.


Dear Internet,
I hate my blog background. Also, there are no cute ones to switch to. Also, no one will ever read this so it doesn't matter if my blog background sucks. Also, I am really sick of singing those same two songs in that same old show and I have six minutes until I have to go do it again. If Mendelsson was alive I would apologize for spelling his name wrong because that is just the kind of grammar freak I am, and then I would shoot him for making that show longer than it had to be by writing music to it. Also, for putting in only two songs that are in different acts, because that means that I have to be there for three freaking hours and I am only onstage for ten freaking minutes. Is that an appropriate timewasting to performance ratio? No freaking way, man! Also I have a headache that has not got away for what feels like my whole life but is actually closer to four days, which is a lot shorter than my whole life but still way too long for a headache to last. Also, the grumpy managers across the hall wouldn't let me have a vacuum at five seventeen because, "It has to be before five. Sorry." Like * you are sorry. Sorry people don't sound that smug. Fact. Also, I am really tired of ramen noodles. I want to eat actual food. Also, I am dreading my religious studies final. Because it isn't stuff you can actually have answers to, like, 'Pick three monotheistic religions and identify their cosmogony traditions' differences and similarities.' That is doable, albeit incredibly boring. No, he asks questions like "According to David Wolpe's definition of religion, what is the inherent risk in asserting belief in God and/or religious tradition through the lens of existentialism?" Can anyone actually understand that and come up with an intelligent answer? ( if you can, don't tell me. bubble- poppers are not appreciated.) Also, I wonder why life is not like chick flicks. Is it because God is in charge and men don't like chick flicks? That was a really blasphemous thing to say. (That's right, Tori. Go get the tar.)

I am in a really yucky mood, hence the blah. Not that anybody noticed.

*That word I am not supposed to say, let alone post on the internet for my mother to read.

Well, now that all that angst is out of my system, I can study some more. Which won't help all that much, because I am pretty sure studying and paper writing is the catalyst for all the angst. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


would actually be better if they weren't spread out so much. then I could just kill myself for a week instead of dragging out the agony. That's all I really have time to say. I'm too busy studying.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Here in Apartment 27...

There are some commonly used phrases, such as:

"Wendy's Run!"
"Get up off me!"
"Did you know that you wanted to make me food? Is that something you knew you wanted to do?
"What is he doing? No one knows."
" Are you guys Stargazing again?" (when Sarah and I watch Stargate)
" BAM. Roasted."
" Beat that! Oh, You can't!"
" Best. Day. Ever."

" I like my whole house!" clap "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."
" You are really dumb, for real."
" No skankovers."
" I drank a diet coke, and that is why the world goes round."

There are also some things we call each other:
Face. (This one is mostly just for Chelsey.)
Boy. This is mostly for Cody, being the actual fiance, but it works for other people too. The comprehensive list of boys we actually call 'boy' includes Cody, Michael, Jason, Sean, Shane, and Nate. There is also zach, but we call  him names that are generally meaner and less generic than just boy. Which he deserves.
Jose. This can be used on anyone, mostly in the "What the crap are you doing?" comments. For example, "It  doesn't really work like that, Jose.", or "Whoa. When was the last time you ate, Jose?"

Then there's the quote wall. A few classics include:
"How does he even get so many girls? He is a GINGER!"
" Sometimes, my brother invites my boyfriend to dinner and not me."
"That was an epic fall. I hope your nose is okay."
" Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, would an idiot do this? And if they would, I do not do that thing."
" What do you mean about doing a minor?!"
" You know, some days I think, I'm hungry, and my brain says, I agree. And my mind says, I concur. And I think to myself, Wow. Where did that third voice come from?"
" I'm from Vegas, all we have is dirty thoughts."
" No! Don't put on more clothes!"
And the ever classic: "Marriage ruins families!"

Could College get much better? Only if it was free.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When Life sucks....

....I go live in the lobby. This is where I was last night. Writing letters with Pandora on and trying really hard not to cry. Completely tense and stressed and exhausted, so of course I can't sleep.  ( Can't call anybody because it was one in the morning, and we are on college standard time) And this is where Shane comes downstairs, sees I am sad, turns around, sits down on the bench, and says, "talk to me." So I am complaining about how I am so tired and I can't sleep because my idiot brain won't shut up, and life is kicking my butt. And he tells me to go watch a movie and fall asleep.  And it worked. Good friend, good movie advice, good night's sleep even if it did start at three in the morning. So really, life doesn't actually suck that bad.
(Shane. Thank you for making me go to sleep. And now you can't complain cause you aren't in the blog. Ha!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't. Panic.

Yesterday at the relief society thing when we were making soup and it didn't ever get thick, and I was freaking out a little bit, Katie told me not to panic and this is now my motto. (I keep wanting to put an exclamation point on it but then it looks like I am panicking.) I have said that to myself about a billion times already in the past two days since I made it my motto. Like when I realized that I somehow missed the memo and didn't even know we were doing extra credit in my Religious Studies class today. I said to myself, "Self. Don't panic. You don't really need extra credit." ( Really, even though I don't ever really need it, I am kind of a freak about extra credit. Who doesn't want 110 percent in every class? ) And then I realized that my credit card had twenty dollars more on it than I thought it did. While I was panicking and thinking somebody stole my credit card, I told myself not to panic and then realized that it was just the power bill I forgot to put in my check register. We're fine. The great thing is that most things I panic about, I realize I didn't really need to panic.

But the great thing is that I am learning not to panic even when things could be a legitimate reason for panicking. Like when I looked at my grade in Creative Arts and it was a D. And I panicked. And then I told myself not to panic like I've been doing a lot, and Katie told me that Sean had a D last year and went and talked to Dr. Ballam and it was fine. So I am having an emailing party with the professor and it is fine. Or when I think about how I can't find a job and even if I do Brighton over the summer that is not even enough money to come back to College and how I really hate that I didn't pay for this year myself and I start hyperventilating a little bit because I am terrified that I will never ever be able to just pay for my own life like normal humans do. Then I tell myself not to panic because Heavenly Father is in charge and I paid my tithing. So really if I keep doing my best, life will work out.

Katie told me about this game she plays that goes perfectly with the no panicking game. It's called, "What's the worst that could happen?" Her chain ended in death, but " then I'm covered." went next, so really anything that happens will be okay. I like this game. I was thinking today about all the situations in my life where the worst that could happen actually did happen and I lived and I'm fine, and everything is okay. Because no matter what happens, you keep breathing. Sometimes with difficulty, but you breathe. And you get through it. Because everybody can take a whole lot more than they think they can. A lot of the time we deal with things we never thought we could live through, mostly because you just don't have a choice. And you do your daily affirmations in the morning and remind yourself that life is great even if sometimes the worst that can happen really does happen. Sometimes life is great because the worst that can happen really does happen, and great stuff happens because of that thing you didn't think you could handle.

Long story short, have a meltdown and then keep breathing.  It's okay.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The one where Amy blogged about Sociology for a year and a half

"Amy, will you blog again? Cause I've read all your stuff." Okay.
So before she made that request, Katie and I were talking about sociology (almost studying) and discussing how last week Katie blogged about Sociology, namely Sternberg's Love Triangle Theory. (Not the classic love triangle, but an actual geometric shape), and how writing about things helps to internalize them. So then we decided, just like the responsible people that we are, that we would never study again.

Instead, we are going to blog about our various studies. Specifically, Sociology. Seeing as how my final is tomorrow and I still have to memorize all that crap about prejudice and family groups and different types of minority groups and stuff. So, I guess really that this is a warning. This might be boring. But I will try. And if I blog about it Katie can read it tomorrow morning and that will count as studying. So she has to read it.

So the three chapters are eleven (race and ethnicity, which are not the same thing, by the way). then there is thirteen and part of twelve, and those are politics, systems of government, and family theories.

So there are the four Patterns of Prejudice and Discrimination which I think are super fascinating. There is the Active bigot, who is prejudiced and discriminates, you know. Classic scuzzer. Then there is the timid Bigot, who is prejudiced but does not discriminate. The enxt one is pretty intteresting. This one is the Fair-Weather Liberal. This wierdo is not prejudiced, but discriminates anyway. Why the heck would you discriminatea if you are not prejudiced? The only thing we could come up with is doing this for your job. Like a person who is not prejudiced but works in an airport and has to search specific groups of people. Then there is the all-weather liberal, who is not prejudiced and does not discriminate. I have decided that this should be the goal for society.

This stuff isnt interesting. I just have to talk about it so I will remember it so feel free to skip. My feelings won't be hurt. Not that I would know if anybody was skipping stuff anyway...

Terrorism is an act of violence or destruction performed for a political purpose.  The two different types are revolutionary and repressive. Basically offense and defense. The two types of terrorism victims are Random and selective. Pretty self- explanatory. The really interesting thing that we talked about is that terrorism definitely connotes some negative things. But really, it depends on your point of view. Like how the Revolutionary war would have been called a civil war if we had lost. Dani used the Boston Tea Party as an example of terrorism and I thought, no it isnt. But then, it really is. We jsut liked the Founding Fathers. I bet the English kids don't hear about the Boston Tea Party and swell with patrioic zeal like us Yankees. Anyway...

Next up.... Five Models of Power. Go!
1 Power-elite (power concentrated in top of society)
2 Marxist Social Economy -power directed by capitalism. social conflict theory
3 Pluralist- power spread widely structural functionalist
4 Power Resource- whoever has the resources has the power. so James will rule the world.
5 State Centered- system of checks and balances.
This is where I type all of them without looking at my notes.
State Centered Marxist Social Economy Power Resource Pluralist, and PowerElite. Bam. Roasted.

oKAY. fAMILY sYSTEMS. whoops. Caps lock. Ahem.
There are a lot of different types of families and this chapter is kind of scary when you see how normal it is in society for all these different types of families. Some of them are not gonna work as building blocks of society, just saying....

Family of Affinity. people without legal or blood ties who feel they belong together. I immediately thought of Friends. Of Course. I also thought of how we all walk into my apartment and say, "Hi, Family!" And in high school how the drama/ choir department people was a family of affinity. I spent way more time with those people than my actual family. There is a reason we call her Mama T.

Family of Orientation. Family you are born into
Family of Procreation. Family you (pro)create
Extended Family. Duh. Why do we have to define that?
Nuclear Family. Traditional social Family unit. Single Parent families now count. Say what?

Sternberg's Triangular Love Theory.
None of this will make sense if you don't see the diagram. FYI.
1Intimacy Only
2 Passion/ Infatuation
3 Empty Love/ Commitment Only
4 Romantic Love
5 Fatuous Love
6 Compassionate Love
7 Consumate Love
I was confused about why 4 2 and 5 were different, but that's okay, cause Katie explained it to me. yep.

1 single parent families
2 cohabitation
3 singlehood- did you know that seventy five percent of women are unmarried at thirty? look at that and                               then  look at the fifties. whoa! societal changes. these ones aren't necessarily bad.
4 Homosexual Relationships.

4 Functions of the Family
First is Socialization. Second is regulation of sexual activity, third is social placement and organization of society, fourth is material and emotional security. Structural Functionalist view.

Six Causes of Divorce.
(Somehow, finances didn't make it in here.)
1 Individualism overcomes relationship
2 Romantic love fades
3 Women less dependent on men
4 Stressful Marriages
5 Socially Acceptable
6 Easy to obtain legally

3 Ways the Family Perpetuates Inequality
    1Property Inheritance
    2 Patriarhcy: male dominance
    3 Race/Ethnicity constants

RELIGION Chapter 13
Conflict Theory as it applies to Religion: Religion uses the fear of God to repress the individual. "Religion is the opiate of the masses." -Marx I think. maybe. probably.

Weber- Predestination and Capitalism
Theory that protestant belief in predestination  includes the belief that social and economic success is a sign of predestination. hard individual work supports capitalism.

Civil Religion- quasi religious loyalty bonding individuals in a secular society.
Secularization: not being affiliated with any religious group
Liberation Theology: theory that religion creates feelings of individual worth and liberates the individual.

Functions of Religion in Society
Katie, sitting next to me, says, " None. Stupid." She was kidding. " Really, Mrs. President? Are you serious?"
There are lots of them.  But the three we want to talk about are as follows: Social Cohesion, Social Control, Provides meaning and purpose. Mormons. I am one. We do all these things.

5 Characteristics of Religious Fundamentalism
1 take sacred text literally, always
2 Reject Religious Pluralism.
3 Pursue personal experience with Deity
4 Opposes secular humanism
5 May endorse conservative political goals
6 Warren Jeffs.
just Kidding katie. Are you actually still reading this crap? Who needs to study? It's just a final. No biggie.

Okay. Politics. Let's get through it before someone tells me I am a bigot for not liking Obama.
Authoritarianism: Denies people government participation.
Totalitarianism: Tyrrany 1984

Types of Legitimate Authority
1 Traditional
2 Rational- Legal
3 Charismatic
I dont really know what those are. But katie explained it to me. again.

And this is where I realize that I already did the whole rest of the politics section. Gladness in the extreme.
We can continue onto racism and prejudice and discrimination and all those party subjects.

Institutional Prejudice: prejudice and sometimes discrimination that is built into a system or bureaucracy. Like the wage penalty, pay gap, or how Joann's won't hire men. I think trevor should sue them.

A Class Divided
that video where the teacher divides up the brown eyes and the blue eyes and tells all the kids who have lbue eyes htat htey are better and smarter, and then switches the next day. The kids who were told that they were the superiro eye-color consistently preformed better academically and they all jumped on the chance to mistreat the rest of their classmates. I just noticed all those typos but it is twelve thirteen am at this moment in time and I am not fixing them.

Stereotyping is a type of prejudice. Prejudice and Discrimination are different. Stereotyping is not always bad, which they did not teach us in class. I believe it anyway. Minority Groups can be  the majority in numbers. Quantity is irrelevant- minority is based on power.

4 Cognitive Processes that contribute to Prejudice
I have all of them written down but I have no idea what they are. let us now dig into the annals of sociology notes and  find this information..... and maybe play the jeopardy theme because I can't find it.......
....And then amy found it and called herself a champion. 
1 Perceptual Assimilation
tendency to percieve emwmberrs of a social group as more similar than they are. (stereotyping. why can't they just call it that. stupid vocabulary that makes my brain hurt.)
2 Contrast Effect
tendency to overestimate the differences between social groups. ( another kind of stereotyping. maybe they actually do need differentiation.)
3 The Ultimate Attribution Error
making biased judgements that favor the ingroup versus the outgroup. (ingroup is whatever group you belong to. out group is obviously the opposite. You like how I just had to type that so that the line didn't end with just one word? cause that looks wierd and ocd takes over in the wee hours...
4 Principle of least Effort
It takes effort to use your brain and realize reality and people are lazy. Yep. I have faith in Human Nature.

6 Patterns of Majority-Minority Interaction
big words. so tired. kill me. keep going!
1 Pluralism
seperate groups with social parity
2 Assimilation
we all know what that is.
3 Segregation
de jure: by law. de facto: in fact.
4 Genocide
Hitler Stalin Pol Pot. nasty stuff.
5 Expulsion
kick em out. russians. jews. native americans. humans are nice people.
6 Amalgamation
chemsitry or sociology? who knows. this is the melting pot.

3 ways to reduce prejudice and discrimination
establish laws, increase contact between groups, education
almost done. marathon.

Theories of Prejudice (attitudes)
1 Scapegoat Theory- blame a group
2 Authoriatarian personality- racist about one group, more likely with the rest of the groups
3 Culture Theory- everyone's a little bit racist sometimes...
4 Conflict Theory- I don't remember what that is, but it is always the most angry view so it shouldn't be too hard to guess.

Remember how there was that one theory that Durkheim theorized about and now I have no idea what it is? that is okay. I am going to kick this test's butt. And katie and I are starting a study blog so you never have to read anything this boring again unless you actually want to. be excited.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


Why is the sky blue?
Why can't people fly?
Why is it so hard to do the things you want to do?
Why don't I qualify for scholarships?
Why did I think I'd be able to find a job in the midst of 25 thousand students converging on one town?
Why won't my slideshows work?
Why won't my phone play music even though i put music on the sd card?
Why do sad songs make me feel better?
Why does the vacuum make funny noises just for me and no one else?
Why is it so hard to fall asleep?
Why do showers get dirty?
And why, please tell me, why is it so very difficult to buy good christmas presents for people I've known my whole life?

I don't have any answers. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A day of Conversation with Matthew

Matthew: Aunty, can I watch another movie?
Me: No. You are obsessed with movies, kid!
Persistent child: Yeah, I know! I am obsessed with tv too, so can I watch another movie?

Yelling sledding boy: Whoa! I am sliding out of control!

Complaining yet cute child: Amy, I like you, but I just want to play with Libby more.

Me: How are your hands? Are they warm yet?
Boy: yeah they are getting better but my legs and my feet are still cold.
Me: Yeah. When we go sledding our limbs get really cold, Huh?
Him: Umm, Aunty,what is a limb?
Me: Arms and legs are limbs.
Kid: yeah, and then I fell off the sled when I slided out of control and my limbs got cold, right?

Me: Do you like this one? (Long awkward pause)
        Does it look funny?
Brutally honest nephew: umm, yeah. really funny.

Me: Wow. This parking lot is gross.
Adorable boy: Yeah, it is really gross. I don't want Zoe to get out in this mess!
(Zoe is my dog, who was safe at home, away from the mess. no worries)

Me: kay we have the milk, let's go find Grandma.

Matthew: Hey, Aunty, can you hold the milk in your other hand?
Me: Okay? Why?
Matthew: Well, I just wanted to hold the same hand. We shouldn't switch.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And responsibility bites the dust

Sleeping over with Matthew and Libby.
Getting spit up on and playing all day with a beautiful baby neice.
Watching movies while Bekah makes sense of my computer files.
Going to parties and revisiting high school for a while.
Nate Mission Farewell which was really a hello for everybody else.
Digging out of the snow storm in soaking wet moccasins.
Eating betos burritos with Erin.
A break from the "how cheap can I possibly be?" game.
Doing nothing with my parents on a sunday afternoon.

Why on earth wouldn't you skip two days of school and spend a whole week at home? Who actually needed those two days of class? Could skiving off from all the things I should be doing be any more fun? Doubtful. (Once again, friends fans. I give you chandler bing.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Only tonight, Benjamin David Newton told Erin, "Be careful what you say- it'll end up in the blog. So I told him he'd better be careful because I haven't written his section of the blog yet. In the aftermath of all that hype, I am left with a computer and nothing to do. What an opportune time.

 Benjamin is Erin's fabulous husband. Every time I spend the day with Erin we end up saying "Ben is a keeper" at least twice. He is one of my favorite people. And some of my favorite things about him are....

 - Ben sings, and he doesn't bother doing it halfway either.  He and Erin met in the U's A Capella Choir and once when we were at a concert, Dad leaned over and asked "who is the guy who looks so excited?" Mom told him that was the guy Erin would marry. Ben is an animated person. Always. Especially when he is using his tenor talent.

- Ben is a genius. He has a master's degree in computer programming. What may be even more impressive is that he helped me pass Algebra 2. That takes talent.

- Super enthusiastic. Oh Gosh. Ben gets an idea and runs away with it until its perfect. He introduced the whole idea of Newton All day birthday Bashes into the family, and he can sure pull off a party. He is the kind of guy who will design  Monkey posters for his daughter's third birthday party during her Curious George obsession, or write a computer program for the sole purpose of doing the Christmas name drawing so that nobody will actually know who all has what names, or a million other awesome things he does on a regular basis.

- Ben doesn't do anything half-way. He is super committed to doing everything he says he will do. But he also volunteers to do quite a lot of random things and goes all out doing them. That enthusiasm thing again.

- Ben (and erin) are exceedingly service-oriented people. Too many examples to name. But here are a few- They brought the Newton's truck and their car and moved all my stuff to Logan. And Ben was really nice about the bookshelf that I brought with me that was annoying but really necessary for my mental well-being. They are also quite generous with their cars which is nice because I am carless. They usually head up the combined family gifts like cruises for mom and dad and a laptop for me, on top of doing fabulous things like kidnapping Rose and I and driving to Denver to see Wicked. Could there be a better birthday? Confucius say... not a chance in a million dynasties.

-Ben takes really good care of my sister. Which makes him a winner in my book. He is always trying to find ways to help erin and make her life easier. They are a good team and fabulous at serving each other, which is definitely something to shoot for in a marriage.

- Dad. He's great at that. Just great. And he has some kind of magic with Emma.There are times when she cries hardcore and will not calm down for anyone you give her to no matter what and the panic starts to set in and you think, " Oh gosh. I broke the baby!" and you're just about ready to give up at figuring out why she is so upset or even being good with children because her diaper is changed, she is warm, she won't eat, doesn't want her binky, doesn't like being held in any position you try, and you just have no idea what else to try and then.....Ben comes home. And suddenly all is well because Dad is here. Ahh.... tender.

- Ben makes the best dang waffles this side of the Mississippi. (Not that I am learned in the art of waffles on the other side of the Mississippi, but you get my point) Ben is also partial to pizza and root beer, which I appreciate because his mommy taught him to share.

 Ben is a keeper. 'Nuff said.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random workings of the mind

One- I really really want to see Harry Potter. A lot.
Two- I love eating banana split ice cream. And facebook stalking with Katie. I gaurantee, if your wedding picture is online, we just looked at it.
Three- I just spilled said banana split ice cream on my touch pad. Sticky, gross, idiotic. yep.
Four- I really should be asleep. But I'm not. Again.
Five- I am volunteering with the Aggie Special Olympics tomorrow. I am kind of nervous, not gonna lie.
Six- Going home tomorrow. Then coming back for two days then going home again. I wish there wasnt a 'coming back for two days'. so much gas. so little time.
Seven- I'm super frustrated with the blog designer. It will let you do slideshows, but only online and not from a file on your computer. Grr...
Eight- I wish I hadn't already burned through the Hunger Games series because I want to do it all over again without knowing what will happen. There's nothing like reading a book for the very first time.
Nine- During finals week, Katie and David and I plan to spend 24 hours straight in the library. Sack lunch, sweats, toothbrush, all that. We have a spot staked out on the fourth floor. More to follow.
Ten- Nate is leaving. have already cried. Will cry more. No one ever sympathizes with the best friend, just the girlfriend. The gross injustice of it all makes me rather peeved.
Eleven- Snorkle. Albuquerqe. See I can do it too. Goodnight.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mental Breakdown

You know why? Cause I might fail college. A in every class and failing just one is not really something I have experience with, and it is driving me crazy. Creative Arts. Sounds like one of those foof courses that doesnt really matter right? Yep. Unless you get sick and sleep through an exam. Which I did. And then cried. And then I said to myself, "Self! Don't freak out- you can ace the next two tests and it will be fine. Breathe." Not so. I have done all the assignmenst quite faithfully and studied for the tests. I am still failing, because the tests are the most random thing ever. When a class has no curriculum but whatever life stories of heroism the professor feels like talking about today, it is kind of hard to predict what will be on the tests. Study guides? Not much help either. Lat night I went over the study guide and I knew everything on that list minus those two composers I always mix up. You would think that would mean I would do well on the test- nay nay! The test taking gods did not smile on me this morning. 63 percent. The last time I got a 63 percent was when I failed the matrixes chapter in algebra. Never before, never since, and certainly not in an arts class. My self- confidence has been seriously shaken, as well as that great GPA I was looking forward to and really really need if I am ever going to get a better scholarship. And if this class brings my GPA down below a 3.5, I will lose the scholarship I have. I am having a panic attack as I type. What happens if I fail a class? I have never ever failed a class in my life. I am in uncharted waters. And the professor said the first day that at the end of the semester, he generally overrides some bad grades if you have been in class- because he knows who all of us are. To that profession of skill, I say Bull Freaking Crap. If there are 800 people in a class, there is no way in any dimension that one professor actually knows who we are. Especially when you assign us all seats that are impossible to get to. I am right in the middle of a row of seats (not desks. this class is in a concert hall.), and there are eight boys on either side with laptops and legs long enough that I couldn't climb over if I wanted to, and I don't, because playing hopscotch over guys legs just makes everyone uncomfortable. This also affects my grade, seeing as how the TA occasionally takes role from our assigned seats and gives us participation points from said gathered data. I'm sunk. I go to class. I can just never get to my bloody assigned seat. (Really. Does that seem weird to anyone else? College. Class of 800. Assigned Seats. Crack? I think so.) So although he says that he will override bad grades and give us a break, I have little faith. If I lose my scholarship, I might die. Actual heart attack. Dead on the floor.

 On that happy note, I am going to go do Lamaze and try not to suffocate from panic. Maybe some studying will calm me down. ( Even if breathing is beyond my capacity at the moment, I can always dream.)

Katie J

-converted me to diet coke
- played rap music until i loved it
- drives me places, cause she is nice like that
- can basically read my mind
- is super positive and rubs off on me
- says things like:
           "butt snappin cold" and "below zero freezing"
           "Am I a bad person? Probably."
            " Best. Day. Ever."
           " Guys! Come dress me!"
- numbered all the parking lots (and we use the numbers daily)
- can never, ever, remember where she parked
- kicks the cars of all the stupid boys we know
- has different walks. there is normal, the fast walk, and the gansta walk
- is one of my favorite people

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Hater

That is definitely me. I don't know how many people know this about me, but the ugly truth is that, on occasion, I am a Holiday Hater. The Christmas tree, endless vacuuming, the inevitable destruction of wrapping materials, constant cleaning, the horrid endless stream of Christmas songs that should never have been written... you name it, it gets under my skin. Thanksgiving is not my favorite either just because Turkey isn't my favorite thing, and the smell of green bean casserole makes me nauseous. My siblings and I have been trying for forever to get my parents to sell the house and buy a rambler with no bedrooms and lots of living space for our huge family gatherings, but mom and dad are kind of attached. So every year we mush ninety people in, which is great because I love my family and I love having them all together. But dang, I am claustrophobic and completely OCD. I am a controlling person sometimes- we'll just be honest. Especially when I am on a roll of getting things done, the cleaning gene kicks in and I have to organize stuff. There were lots of nights in High School when I would be up at two inthe morning finishing a paper or projects for Schmid and finally finish only to realize that the homework streak, while extremely productive, has had the effect of a tornado on my bedroom and sometimes the hall and kitchen as well. This is where, at two in the morning I clean my whole room, do laundry,t ake out my trash, vacuum. One night I couldn't sleep because my blinds were dirty. No joke, three in the morning I got out of bed to vacuum my blinds and ended up cleaning out the bathroom cabinets too. (when you have a whole floor to yourself, you can clean in the middle of the night and no one cares. It's great.) I think it is safe to say I am a little crazy, right? Let me tell you, Thanksgiving is not the most comfortable environment for someone who has panic attacks when they lose control. Usually in situations when everything is out of place because there are a lot of people are around, I retreat to my bedroom and wait for it to be over so I can clean it all up. But the Holidays strip away this refuge as well, because there are so many people that my room ends up being the storage for coats, purses, carseats, diaper bags, hidden Christmas gifts, and all the stuff people leave at my house. It's the kind of thing that wouldn't bother someone normal. Alas, I am not normal and these things make my blood pressure skyrocket. The thing is that its not people themselves that I am annoyed with, its just that all the stuff and the chaos that comes with the people that really unhinges me. So the goal this year is to breathe deep and play with the kids as opposed to retreating to a closet in the fetal position. I don't want to be a Scrooge anymore, and this year will represent a solid effort to be jolly.  Katie has already convinced me to listen to Christmas music and Sarah has converted me to mashed potatoes, so maybe this year I will be able to rehabilitate my holiday dread and enjoy all of it. Without the blood pressure cuff.

Ten great things that happenned to me today

This is a new game Katie made up because her day sucked and we are obsessed with being positive.
Including, but not limited to, ten.

- Most productive day of my life- the to do list is finished. eat it, gods of business.
- mailed a letter which is half as good as getting one
- got to talk to bekah, mom, and nate. three great people.
- Free food at FHE. That should have been number one.
- I drove Morgan's car home and got a parking space in parking lot 1.
- Dr. Huff is in Memphis and Dr. Evans was busy, so choir was cancelled.
- Talked to my favorite twin who gave me good ideas about keeping kids educationally entertained.
- Movie day in sociology, and no annoying professor day in religious studies. pheww.
- Cleaned out my desk and under my bed.
- Found my mp3 player.It was under the bed.
- The moment I got up to take painkillers Morgan came into my room and gave me caffeine instead.
- Re read Mockingjay. intense. wonderful. more intense. try it.
- Fancast posted new episodes of Friends. Thanksgiving. Turkey. laughter.
-  100 percent on yet another english paper.
- The student presenter in Religious studies gave everybody chocolate.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I should be doing Homework...

....but instead, I choose to tell everybody how great life is. Cause it really is. I go to a great school, I have great roommates, great friends, fabulous family, and pandora to play great music so I don't have to buy it. I am also grateful for people who are willing to listen when I need a venting session (ahem. katie), and friends who are a really good example (ahem. Nate who texted me in the middle of the night  to tell me that he just went through the temple for the first time and how excited he was. How cool is that?), and sisters who make college and sanity possible, and parents who are just great, and a brother that I love a lot who is coming home for christmas. There are also a lot of really random things that make my life so much better, such as:
-the really cushy chair on the fourth floor of the library
- Clarence ( my angel statue) who reminds me not to be a scrooge when I start feeling grumpy about Christmas, which is a  struggle around Thanksgiving. ( Don't ever play sleigh ride. ever.)
-The shuttle, which is great when it is cold because 100 people on a bus makes everyone warm.
- One Republic, cause they have a song for every one of my moods
- Chenowith. Streisand. Salonga. LuPone. Menzel. Foster. Wilkinson. Quast. Ball. Frasier. Bocelli.
- Potatoes. Banana Split ice cream. Cheese Thingers ( anthony. ha.)
- Diet Coke. Which is an edible item but deserves a category for itself.
- The plumber who fixes all of our apartment problems. He is really nice, and cleans the drains out.
- People who know how to spell. They help my blood pressure.
- Professors who tell you what they are grading on.
- Diet coke again.

Top Ten reasons Mom is the Greatest too

1. Mom is so willing and able to deal with all of the things I throw at her. She loves her kids and she cares about us. We don't even live there anymore and her life is still all about serving us. She is the most willing cook, babysitter, therapist, appointment maker, errand runner, and worrier I have seen to date.
2. Mom has goals, and she works for them. She and dad told me that goals are so important and that I should write mine down. But she also teaches by example.
3. I can't count the number of times I would go downstairs to ask mom a question and she would be kneeling by her bed, always with her glasses in her left hand, praying. Word would spread through the house that mom is praying so everybody should stay upstairs. Ten minutes later she would be upstairs asking what we needed. Example.
4. Mom was the Relief Society President once upon a time and this is where her service gene really kicked in hardcore. She was working full-time and taking care of me and my sister and brother. (I don't care what anybody says. Teenagers take more energy.) But she was still always driving around visiting people and doing things for all the women in our ward. Super- president.
5. Mom wants us to do what is best for us, and she is willing to sacrifice to make sure we are able to. When I went to Brighton, she had to do a lot of things that I would have done if I had been home, and worry about getting me up and down the canyon every week, and generally make me feel better when I was having a hard time. She is willing to do extra things for us to be able to do what is important for us.
6. Mom really loves her family and wants to serve them even though they live far away. She has three hour long conversations with aunt gwen and laughs harder than any other time.
7. Mom endures. She does things that are not fun and keeps doing them just because it's gotta get done.
8. Mom always knows what to do. She  has the solution that works well. She knows what to do and where to go next and helps me make decisions when I don't know what to do, but she has also helped me to learn to make decisions by myself. Mom taught me that you have to commit to something so you know not to blame others or complain when things get hard, and she reminds me of the reasons why something is important to me when I want to quit.
9. Mom has made a lot of hard decisions by herself and she knows what it means to make decisions for good reasons, in order to fulfill righteous priorities. I admire her strength. She is willing to do good things, even if she has to do them alone.
10. Mom is above everything else, faithful to her testimony. She built it by herself because it was important to her, and she has made the gospel the number one thing in her life, and helped a lot of other people do the same, including me. She taught me that the goal of life is to make what you want and what Heavenly Father wants into the same thing. She does good things, and she does them for the right reasons.

Top Ten Reasons my Dad is the greatest

1. He is very wise. I love talking to dad when I don't know what to do because the things he tells me just make sense. But its hard to make sense in your brain when you are are hysterical, which is usually what happens to me and never what happens to daddy.
2. You know that person that you never want to disappoint them because when you do its the worst feeling in the planet? That is Dad. More than anybody else, he is the person whose expectations I want to meet. I haven't always, but whenever I am okay, it is because I know Dad would be okay with what I am doing in my life.
3. Blasting for bodies is great, especially now that he can't just pick me up and carry me out of bed when I don't wake up. I can fight back which makes it more interesting. (And the whole wet willies thing that he taught me- I am passing it on dad. be proud. and watch out because matthew and libby are coming for a piece).
4. Dad has the good old Robinson workaholic gene. Which wasn't so much fun when I was little and he was always at work but as I've gotten older, he has taught me a lot about working hard and doing a good job. Dad taught me to work hard enough that I am satisfied with the effort, even if who I am working for doesn't expect that much from me. That has become more important to me as I have gotten older because I get the opportunity to work with my dad. He always goes above and beyond the expectations because he can't be happy with mediocrity. Life goal right there.
5. Daddy is the service guru. Another branch of that insane work ethic. He fixes cars not just for himself and all his kids, and neices and nephews, and their spouses, but for the neighborhood as well. Even if he doesn't have time to fix it, he is forever helping to diagnose problems for the neighbors and buying parts for them with his discounts. And he is always the first to volunteer when anyone needs help, even if they don't ask for it.
6. Dad is a really good father. One of the things I love most about him is that he is the kind of dad who teaches his kids how to pray. I have this picture that Bekah found for me once upon a time. It is of dad and me sitting on the old couch in the living room. We are both wearing pajamas, I am about two years old, and I am sitting in his lap with my arms folded and his arms around me. I was two, and he doesn't remember either, so really there's no way to know for sure, but it sure looks to me like we are praying together. One of the reasons I love the Gospel so much is because of Dad's example.
7. Once upon a time probably a month ago, I was home visiting on the weekend and we were eating dinner. There was me, mom, dad, bekah, and matthew. Poor guys, we got to talking about some rather female things when dinner was done. There came a time when Dad was standing by the sink drinking a glass of water and actually spit it all out because he was laughing so hard. I guess the point of that was that he has a good sense of humor. With four daughters, he has to, I guess. He is a really good sport about that type of thing.
8. Dad knows us all really well. He sees me so clearly when I have trouble seeing myself clearly. This is pretty great when I need help and have no idea what I am even doing in my life. There have been times when dad tells me things about myself that I had no idea were even there.
9. Dad is a worthy priesthood holder. That is something really important to me, but probably because it is really important to him, you know? I have always been able to go to my daddy for a blessing and that is huge. One of the biggest things I love about my dad.
10. Dad loves mom. That probably should have been number one. I am so lucky to have parents that love each other and respect each other. They are a team. I have so many friends, probably half, whose parents either aren't married or wish they weren't. Any marriage, and any family, will have struggles and we are no exception, but Mom and Dad have been married for thirty one years. He still opens doors for her and they hold hands all the time. They are constantly serving each other. I asked dad on their last anniversary if he loved her as much as he did when they were newlyweds, and this wonderful man said, "More. Every time." If that's not success, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some of the best times ever...

Life is great. Because things like this happen, also because I am in a nostalgic mood. Get ready for some awesomeness.
1. The time all of my junior high friends decided to get together at Lori's house and have a fancy dinner party. We promised to be on our best manners so her parents would lift the ban. (Which was implemented because of some previous adventures including, but not limited to, doing shots of root beer and getting birthday cake everywhere, filling the staircase with balloons and sitting inside the ballons or making youtube videos of the balloons, (look up balloon army. no idea how it got that many hits.), watching movies in the middle of the night, trapping people (me) in the laundry shoot, and breaking Lori's bed) Yes, we wore dresses and suits and we all looked pretty hot. We actually played croquet in the backyard in said suits and dresses, then had dinner which was pretty great. Courses and all that. And then We decided to have a group photo shoot. Preserve the memories, right? Once we got done with that, some more playing in the backyard went on, where enters the picture of me upside down on the swing. Remember I was in a dress. ( Justin: "Umm, amy, I think you shouldn't do that. I can see stuff." Whoops.) Altogether, it was a fabulous night.

2. The time everybody was over at Justin's house and people are playing hide and seek and keep trying to sneak in and out of the house through the window downstairs. I was on my way downstairs to put the screen back in the window, right? Picture. Amy, approaching the house rather swiftly, assumes that the door is open so she can walk right in. But no! There is a screen door in the way! Amy bashes it in with her face, not only breaking the screen out of the frame, but also bending the frame. Embarrassed? A little bit. Face throbbing? A lot bit. Do all of Justin's relatives now see me and say "Weren't you the one who broke the door with her face?" Yes, of course. Does Justin's dad still make fun of me for breaking all their doors when the front door sticks a little? Absolutely. Was Justin really nice about it? Yes. What are best friends for?

3. The time the Madrigals sang for the Legislature and then went to Olive Garden with Principal Haslam's credit card. Oh. My. Pasta. And there was a piece of ceramic plate in my food. That was fabulous. And then at UTA a week later when Schmid bought us all dinner at Olive Garden because he is just nice like that...yeah, I don't think I have ever paid for food at Olive Garden. Which I am personally okay with.

4. Doing donuts in the parking lot in Landon's jeep during December. Shh. Don't tell mom.

5. Building a couch with Spencer senior year for productions class. Special thanks to Michael Banks, who actually stapled the thing together for us. This wasn't just any couch either. Much to Schmid's chagrin, it was successfully dubbed, "The Rape Couch". It is pretty dang comfortable. And it is a miracle Spencer and I didn't hate each other by the time we were done. Although there was that one time...
Schmid: So what are you guys arguing about?
Amy: We aren't arguing. Did he tell you we were arguing?! Why would you say we were arguing?
Spencer: All I said was that we were having this large argument because we don't know how to attach that one leg plate and still make that trim look nice, and you won't listen to me.
Amy: Oh, that's all you said? Well now we are arguing for sure. Seriously, Spencer?!
Schmid: Okay, guys, just show me what you need help on. And then I'll leave you alone to fight it out like an old married couple.
 Poor guy. I was stressed, and maybe a little bit bratty. Although I was right about the trim, just for the record. We were so stressed with that thing that we started taking breaks up in the prop room just to stop going insane with upholstery details. Thank you Spencer, for teaching me the art of the catwalks. And how to avoid that one hole in the floor so I wouldn't die.  This was our stress reliever. And it was totally worth it. How many people can say they built a couch from scratch for a school assignment? We sat on that thing every day for the rest of the year. Spencer, I love you. I say we go for it and start that chaise-lounge building business you wanted to start. I'm down.

6. That time in Mads when Porter randomly turned on Apple Bottom Jeans during class and we all started singing it. (Sorry, T!) Since that day, it has been the Madrigals' theme song. Nobody understands why, not even us. It still makes me feel all warm inside, which is not the norm for rap songs in my own life.

7. The Illiad. Oh, kill me. Most stressful thing of my life. Best comments:
Schmid: You guys are doing great. I really think this is going to be exciting. (all the rest of us are thinking: Have you actually been to a whole rehearsal? We suck. )
Spencer: Hector's dead! Woot! (Oh, were we all supposed to cheer there? Don't think so.)
Judges: There was  time or two when there were people were alone onstage and it wasn't really clear what the purpose of that was. ( Oh, you mean the scene with Hector and Andromache when Kat just didn't come onstage? Yeah, Matt waiting there for a minute and then going off... that was on purpose, we promise.)
Justin: If we have to do the donut battle one more time, so help me...
Liz: You guys, the swords actually have lead in them, so maybe you should wash your hands a lot, and probably sticking them in your mouth is a bad idea. ( You know, that is just sad on so many levels.)

Overall, it was a great exercise in pulling a performance out of you-know-where.

8. When we all tried out for Madrigals. And I thought I was going to puke. And then really actually seriously felt like I would puke because I went first, lucky me. But that is okay, because that was the year that I made Justin share his locker with me and he left me a note in there that said "Good luck trying out for Mads! p.s. You're gonna make it!. I still have that note. Warmfuzzyville. yep.

9. Quote wall in the dressing room during Les Miserables. Could life get any better? And that time in Les Mis when Schmid took my ballgown top home to fix it and then forgot to bring it back. So here I am, in the wrong costume, wandering around in the audience while the play is going on trying to find Schmid. Then came the mad dash to costumlandia with Schmid when he started throwing ballgowns at me that might fit. Was everyone confused when I was suddenly wearing a dress from Meet me in St. Louis as opposed to the ballgowns everyone else was wearing? Absolutely. And the thing had a train. Not that great when you are waltzing backwards up a ramp near the trapdoor hole and you feel like you might die anyway. Thank goodness for Darian, who wouldn't ever talk to me but was a really good leader who saved my life by just pushing me up the ramp every night. Kudos for never letting me fall down the hole. I like you, kid.

10. All the arguments with Nate about stupid little details of the Lobby display. I am pretty sure it was Schmid who named us Lucy and Ethel. Which actually describes our relationship pretty accurately. Every argument we had our whole senior year was settled with rock paper scissors. We're Pros.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"We'll be warm again in finals week...of next semester."

Winter in Logan. The joy. Today it snowed. Actually snowed for the first time. The stuff is on the ground and falling from the sky and actually sticking this time. Although I knew when I decided to move here that it would be brutal, I was rather unprepared for some of the inconveniences besides just freezing. There is the matter of needing my hands. Already today my fine motor skills have gone down the toilet. Writing, forget it. And don't even think about handing me a computer unless I've been indoors for a good half hour. I have been dropping pencils, notebooks, flipping hair ties at people's faces when the original goal was actually to put the thing in my hair, and concentrating really hard in order to text. My hair also explodes in any type of moisture, so basically my hair looks like all those guys in Lord of the Rings who never take showers and don't own a brush. Or a blow dryer. Or a straightener. It's a disaster. But even if I forget the hair, (which I won't. The Medusa effect must be stopped, I tell you!), moisture can have some seriously negative ramifications. Due to the extensive puddle system all across campus, my pants were soaked to my knees around six tonight. When I was walking home from class with Katie and Amanda, we hit the huge dip in the sidewalk right before you get to the crosswalk, (You all know the one I'm talking about, right? That epically large one? Yeah. That one.) which is of course now filled with with water that penguins would think was freezing. Did we all stop right in front of the freezing puddle of death and just stare at it for a minute? Of course. And then Katie and Amanda went around in the street. But I figured, hey, I can't feel my feet anyway, so what does it matter? When walking through ice cold water doesn't make it any worse, you know you're in trouble. No joke. And my feet were completely numb, except for the right pinky  toe and joint, which I injured a few months ago when Katie and I were playing soccer in the hallway. I am pretty sure it is broken because I can't actually move it anymore, and it doesn't really bend. Conveniently enough, I tripped on my way into the HPER this morning, and this painful little annoyance, which I have just freshly injured once more, decided not to go numb when the rest of my feet did. No, that faithful little stab of pain ever step or two was back. That's just mean. But besides being mean, this part also gets dangerous. Those of you familiar with USU campus will recall that all the buildings on the south end of campus have the metal edges on the concrete stairs outside. These metal edges are quite easy to slip on, especially when it's wet and you are as clumsy as me. I almost died outside the Family Life building today falling down those stairs. Another thing that makes me nervous is the hill on the way home. At this point, I'd be hard pressed to find a place I haven't tripped. That's just sort of how I go through life- falling off of stuff. But I thought I might die coming home from SI tonight. Let's recap. One: I am shivering as it is "below-zero freezing", and this takes my concentration off of balancing, which is actually something I concentrate on. hard. Don't judge. Two:  It is dark I am having trouble seeing the branches that stick out, so I am getting hit by wet plant matter on a pretty regular basis. Three: my feet are numb which makes balancing even harder, and the ground is wet and slippery. Four: It's cold, right? So Shane, who normally walks faster anyway because he is so dang tall, is walking fast. That was okay with me at the top of the hill when he asked if I wanted him to slow down, but a little further down the hill gets a lot steeper and I am doing a little half running half skipping little prance trying to keep up with him. (You know, I never felt short until now. But, oh, I do when I am walking anywhere with Shane.) I was so proud of myself for not falling down the hill. But then,this is just the first day of a very long, cold, wet, numb, slippery season. I could die. The solution: Either carry a little container of ice melt with me and pour as I go, which could possibly be expensive, or get a little plastic roll up sled and just slide home down the Hill. Perhaps an umbrella could also help with the hair dilemma. Either way, I better adapt quick, because it will be a long winter. As Katie said today, "We'll be warm again in finals week...(awkward pause while Amanda and I try to figure out why it would be warm in the middle of december)...of next semester.( Oh. May. Great.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Positivism isn't just a Sociological Paradigm anymore.

Katie is rubbing off on me. Which is good, cause she's my favorite person today, and a lot of days. One day, she walked in the door and said, "You guys, it's the best day ever!", and it was all over. Then she decided one day to play the youtube game and show me these two videos. One  was a song called Happy Morning, and none of your lives are complete unless you have seen this incredibly positive piece of media. I hum it to myself every time I wake up and have to go to my Creative Arts class. Instead of crying and going back to bed, I hum and go to class. The other was a video called Jessica's Daily Affirmation. This kid has the best attitude in the whole freakin world. I want to be her when I grow up. We break out in "affirmations" on a fairly regular basis here in apartment 27. Never in my life has positivity been a particularly strong aspect of my character, and then Katie got me saying, "Best day EVER!" every day. After a while, it is impossible not to believe it. Even when that job never calls back or when I get a 70 on my creative arts test (which happenned today) or when I have the hiccups from hell and my muscles just hurt or I can't find a ride home, it's still the best day ever. Those things really don't make an impact. In fact, I had to think really hard to come up with that list of crap. You want a bigger list? I got a letter, I met with the bishop and got things rolling with Brighton, Jasmine bought me Pringles just because I like them, when I left my ID at home the guy at the quickstop still let me use my credit card (although that would be really bad if it wasn't me trying to use my credit card), I called my dad and he was off work and not asleep which is a miracle for me, the queen of bad timing, the owner of my apartment sent us a fifty dollar gift certificate in the mail because we had a leak in our bathroom ceiling from the boys upstairs, the boys upstairs taught me how to play guitar hero (don't judge), I got a wedding invitation from my friend Jessica, my 200 point presentation went really well, I watched john pinette and laughed until I couldn't breathe or swallow, that guy who sleeps in my chair in the library was not asleep in my chair in the library when I got there today, my alarm worked this morning, i found cheap shampoo, and I am coming home this weekend, at which time I am going on a date, having a storytelling party with Nate and Carly, seeing my family, pranking with Matthew, and all of that happened just this week. Could life GET any better? (friends fans, please appreciate the chandler bing reference. could there BE a better show?)

Monday, November 1, 2010

A whole new view of Pumpkin Smooshing

Yesterday was Halloween. So we carved pumpkins last week and it was pretty epic. Best of all was probably B's pumpkin. Taking about four hours, (he was here until one thirty) he carved into a pumpkin this years homecoming slogan: Y don't U kiss my A? It was probably the most awesome pumpkin in the building, no lie. Second in epicness was Sarah's pumpkin. The original plan was to make the death star, throwback to star wars and all that. Six hours and 3/4 of the way through this process, she gave up and decided to modify the idea. Katie and I came home from school to find Sarah's pumpkin slashed up in pieces, which were piled neatly in line with all of our pumpkins. The newly modified idea, Sarah said, was named, "the destruction of the death star, cause that's the coolest part of the movie, right?" She had gotten so frustrated that she took the pumpkin out to the hill and  got busy with her Katana. (This is the ninja Japanese roommate, remember. Does she have a sword in her bedroom? Absolutely. She also stabs Shane with forks.) So today, we are all sitting in the kitchen having family time and the really grumpy man manager from across the hall comes and tells us to throw away the pumpkins because Halloween is over. (It was yesterday. Seriously, dude? smile. freak.) So instead of throwing them away like boring, conformist people, we decide to take the pumpkins outside and mush them with a Katana, reminiscent of the death star. Talk about a stress reliever. And I don't care if Sarah did say I looked like a dork, I felt like a ninja. Throwing away the pumpkins is generally a pretty depressing, albeit necessary, activity. Could there be a better way to make throwing them away as epic as carving was? Not really.

*New apartment goal for the winter: make a snowman army and have some more fun with the sword. Maybe there will be some red food coloring, too, depending on how morbid I'm feeling.

Those days

When everything your professor and all his peons tell you is inaccurate. They suck. Actually, that link you said you posted, you didn't post, and that stuff you said we could do for extra credit, there are no instructions on, and that thing you said to submit on blackboard, isnt  really working because blackboard keeps telling me that is not a valid action, and all those movies you said you put on reserve at the library, aren't actually there. I am paying these people? Ummmm....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Tribute to the Siblings

Who are, in fact, right up there on the list of my Favorite people in this world.
I am the youngest of five siblings, three older sisters and one brother. I also have three cousins that make it into the category, having moved here when I was five at which time they joined the ranks of older, sometimes tormenting but mostly nice, sibling figures.Starting with the youngest and going up, here is a summary of the coolest people ever.

Rose: also known as Rosie Posie puddin'n'pie
Rose is four years older than me. People think we are twins a lot of the time. People have been asking which of us was older since I was twelve and Rose was sixteen. This, I thought, was pretty cool. Mostly it just pissed her off, especially when they just assumed I was older. Rose and I shared a room straight from the time I was two until she moved away to college. We had some pretty interesting adventures during those thirteen years, including, but not limited to:
-contracts we wrote ourselves in an attempt to iron out, ahem, shall we say, artistic differences
-loud racous laughter (or fighting) in the middle of the night, followed by the ineveitable, "Crap, dad's coming!"
-arguments over who owned the toy, or the book, or the clothing item. (they were all mine. promise.)
-random acts of kindness. this usually included a surprise made bed, which both of us would usually redo because it was done wrong. but, hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
-Rose reluctantly allowing me to tag along when we went to play at Jessica's house. I am pretty sure I was as annoying and demanding as a little sister could be, but she was pretty nice about it.
That is really the thing I admire most about Rose. No matter how annoying or rude I was, or how much I thought I didn't need or want it, she was always there taking care of me. We fought a lot, but the memories that stand out are the times she forgave everything and made sure I was okay. Like the time I was six and had this awful fear of centipedes and I was sure, SURE, that there was a centipede in my bed. When I woke her up crying she turned on the light and helped me take all the bedding off my bed and look for small insects instead of telling me I was oversensitive. Or the time I was four and got bit in the face by a yappy little demon dog and she held my hand all the way home while I cried. Or the time in kindergarten when she and Alex both thought I was walking home with the other one and left me at school and she ran all the way back to get me when they realized I was still at school, having been instructed never to walk home alone. Or the time I was fourteen and came home from losing an academic team match I really wanted to win and she hugged me and told me it would be fine. Really, there are so many times I was really annoyed with her and kind of rude and critical. Although I'd like to think I am a nicer person now than when we were growing up in the same room, there are still times when I am pretty sharp with her. The thing she is really good at is forgiving people even when they don't say sorry, specifically me. I am amazed by her loving spirit. She is always willing to serve.

 Alex: also known as Alligator, or, he who is not to be crossed unless you want to get squished.
I am pretty sure growing up in the middle of four, sometimes unmerciful, sisters and surviving qualifies my brother for champion status. Alex did, however, get some hero worship from said sisters, specifically me. Alex had that super-protective thing with us, even Erin and Bekah. His philosophy was that no one was allowed to beat up on us but him. I remember walking home from school in Kindergarten with my brother and all the neighborhood boys, of whom he was sort of the ringleader, being the biggest and most able to beat people up. He could do anything he wanted to me, but if any of them did anything they were dead. It was the same with Rose. I think he was in fourth grade and she was in Kindergarten when some poor unfortunate soul named Petri ( the name was probably part of the problem) decided to follow Rose around the playground hitting her with an umbrella. Petri quickly found himself lying on his back in the rock pit. The truth was I was always a little jealous that Alex never beat anybody up for me, although he did offer to once when I was in fifth grade and had a rather scary stalker. Alex was always the cool one. There always seemed to be a power triangle with Alex, Rose, and I. The rule was whoever was on Alex's side won. Alex taught me a lot in my youth. When I was five, he taught me how to wrestle. Seriously. I was not too shabby either if I do say so myself. Cody and Ray ran away from me more than once, a fact I was proud of. When we got older, Alex schooled me in the art of cartoons. Gargoyles, anyone? This continued into teenage years. I learned a lot from him- things like Metallica and Stargate and Seaquest and X-Men and Jeff Foxworthy and Pablo Francisco and that Mr. Brough was the reason for the Ninth grade and the really great things like playing hide and seek in the catwalks at school. Alex also has some pipes on him. Seriously talented. Phantom of the Opera has always been a staple in the Robinson household. When I was teensy he could sing Christine's part. I vaguely remember the high A's coming from my brother. But by the time he was in High school he had developed some serious tenor power. Probably my favorite memories with Alex include the hours I spent in his room in the wee hours of the morning blasting Phantom and singing together. I am convinced that Alex is at least as talented as Michael Crawford. His phantom is pretty great. The evil laughing is especially excellent. If only he like singing in front of people. He could be famous, no joke. I have spent an incredible amount of time and energy in my life trying to impress Alex. Okay, trying to be Alex. We have this joke that Alex is the Jedi Master, and he calls me his Padiwan learner. When Alex moved to Phoenix he promoted me to Jedi Master and charged me with the responsibility of training our nephew in the ways of the Force. Matthew knows it too. Alex can rest assured the knowledge is being passed down. (Matthew is currently being instructed in the noble art of pranking. Saran wrap over the toilet seat and all that.) One of the things I love most about Alex is that he is the number one person who understands me. We have had a lot of the same problems in life. (I guess I succeeded in being like him, right?)  The thing is, he was a teenager first, so when I started going through a lot of the same things he did and had no idea how to handle them, I did what Alex did. Now that he lives in Phoenix, we don't talk as much as we used to, but when I struggle I call Alex. He just gets it. The times he comes home to visit are the most hilarious periods of my life, as well as everyone else in the family. He is the life of the party. Like the time he was home for new years and we played a game of Figure Eight monopoly that lasted thirteen hours and Alex, ever armed with an IPod, played theme songs for every person every turn. My ribs hurt so bad from laughing so much. (He is big on theme songs. Mine is "Mr. Hanky" from South Park. It doesn't really have anything to do with me. He just plays it because I hate it.) Or the time we had a brown recluse living inside the speakers in the living room and he and James stayed up all night with bb guns and hockey sticks going 'spider hunting'. Or the time I watched TAPS with him in the middle of the night and I was crying really hard at the end and he hugged me voluntarily (which was a big deal). Or the time he and I and Rose woke up at two thirty on Christmas Morning and watched Power Rangers while shaking all the presents. Or all the times he dumped pitchers of ice-cold water on my head while I was in the shower. Or how he can speed and never get caught or how he changes lanes in the middle of an intersection or how he wears his designer sunglasses on the back of his head or how he has a mohawk and pulls it off. He is the most hilarious person I know and also the most caring brother I could ask for. (He'll probably punch me for being mushy.) I love my brother a whole heap.

Amy: also known as big Amy, Big fat amy, best twin of the universe, etc
Amy is my cousin, and I stole her name. She might as well be my sister, though. Really the only reason I ever tell people she is my cousin instead of my sister is because we have the same name and that really needs some explaining if we are actually siblings, you know? Amy moved here when I was five. She gave me a bracelet which spelled out twins/amy in beads, and I was sold. She was my new hero. She and her brothers, Daniel and James (whom we will discuss in detail late) lived with aunt becky in their grandmother's house. We had some great times in that house, most specifically on the porch swing in the back. That thing was a classic, and it is amazing how many people you can fit on a good solid porch swing. After she graduated from high school Amy moved in with us and brought the porch swing. Thus ensued some good times. Phone conversations, especially, grew rather interesting.
Can I talk to Amy?
Which one?
Amy Robinson. (by now they are thinking, what the heck?)
Yeah. Which one?
Umm. She's nineteen.( Who are these people?)
Okay. Here she is.
Okay. (Finally. Freaks)
By the time she moved out people were actually asking for the amy of a specific age automatically. When Amy moved out of our house, she moved in with Grandpa who lived in Sugar House. Erin already lived with Grandpa while going to the U and Amy followed the trend.  They were pretty obsessed with taking care of Grandpa and keeping the house clean. The best times of this Era included some pretty wild rice krispy treat making parties following cleaning parties. Amy basically helped me define my life while we scrubbed Grandpa's kitchen floor with Pine-sol and indoctrinated me with some pretty good movies late at night downstairs. We also had some pretty good times at Yaunney's which is the best greek food place ever. (Minus the Olympian grill which doesn't count because it closed. woe is me.) She also loves, LOVES, road trips and sometimes takes me with her, which I love too. (We'll get into that more in the Daniel section.)  But I'd have to say that my favorite thing to do with Amy is taking trips to the H-Rock. Hiking up in the dark the back way can get pretty exciting, and so can sliding down the rocky terrain the front way without a flash light. I almost died. But the best part is just sitting up at the top watching the sunset or the stars and figuring out life. Amy and the H-rock have helped me figure out a  lot of things. That is where I make my major life decisions, and that is where Amy has taught me a lot about picking something you love and following through with it, and overcoming the obstacles along the way. Probably my favorite thing about Amy is that she is a self-admitted masochistic over-achiever. She is not happy unless she is killing herself getting things done. She is very talented at making things work out. Amy finished her degree in Elementary education when she was barely twenty one, taught a year of school (wherein she dealt with the little hellions in an admirable manner. Admirable for her is loving and giving each one her best attention and effort. Admirable for me would just be not killing the little brats.), and then went on a mission to Korea. When she came home she renewed her teaching license and is now on her fourth year ( I think) of teaching, and she hasn't even killed one yet! She is a finisher. She gets it done if it kills her. Well, not kills but takes a considerable physical toll. We joke about her summer clothes and winter clothes. These aren't so much different levels of warming effectiveness so much as different sizes. Amy gets so busy and obsessed with school that she forgets to eat on a fairly consistent basis and usually loses a lot of weight during the school year. That is dedication. Maybe unhealthy dedication, but dedication nonetheless. She has taught me a lot about working hard and not holding back, and I admire her for that.

Daniel: aka big D, oh he who owns a Miata, etc.
Daniel is one of the coolest cousin/brothers ever. Not that I have that many of them. Anyway, Daniel is one of my favorite people to have deep conversations with. He has really interesting ideas about things and they are usually pretty thought-provoking. He knows a lot about politics and business and most everything I know about both of those things comes from him. Daniel is really smart and really strategic. Once upon a time he tried to teach me how to play chess.  (that kind of bombed. The only thing I really know about chess is the horse shaped ones move in L shapes.) Chess lessons were given up in lieu of the simpler, fairly idiot proof Battleship. When I was little I would beg Daniel and James to give me shoulder rides, and Daniel would spin with me on his shoulders while I begged for him to stop. (when really that was exactly what I wanted, which he knew perfectly well.) Daniel is very schooled in the art of sarcasm, which is code for a good liar. The great things is that he always talks this way so a lot of the time it is impossible to tell if he is being serious or just lying his butt of and being super-convincing about it. He actually convinced Erin once that the stop signs with white borders are optional. wow. The summer after my junior year, I went to Virginia with my family and Daniel happened to be road tripping across the country at the time, so he met us for a few days while we toured the Mall and went all over D.C. I had some pretty good conversations with Daniel here. I remember talking for a long time sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and thinking it was a really good night. There was also the time we were driving in the miata, which is always something to be enjoyed, and I was ranting a little bit about a stalker I'd just gotten rid of by being really mean. After telling the whole story, Daniel gave me some pretty good advice. Apparently, "boys always appreciate straight-upness." This has been a very useful insight into the male psyche. One of the things I love most about Daniel is how much he loves Amy. He is such a good brother. Once upon a time probably ten years ago Amy, who has thick curly beautiful hair, decided to have it straightened and cut into layers, which was also gorgeous. When she walked into the house, Daniel turned around and said, "Whoa. better call heaven, there's an angel loose!" Ask any girl, that's better than buying flowers. And you know those text messages you just can't ever erase?
From Daniel:
We just want u to drop out so u can be happy. We just want ur happyness.
Here is a text for you. This will help your battery die faster.
Don't ever erase this, ever.
Once upon a time right before I graduated I was still swamped with homework and stressed out and crying and Amy and Daniel told me to calm down and then took me to Wendy's. There,a fter the crying and venting was done, they told me about a road trip they were taking to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore and other various unsundry locations. I ended up tagging along. While we were driving over some mountain range and I was wishing for death in the backseat, Daniel sends the following:
why are u dead ( I'm not. I just wish I was)
then talk to us ( no. shut up.)
well at least we don't have to hear ur shrill whine (thanks, dan)

Erin: also pronounced as ee:rine the dee:vine
Erin went to Princess School, and it shows. Not that she is a princess in the annoying, preppy kind of way. Not at all. She is a lady and an admirable one at that. Erin is just smart, filled with good ideas and common sense. But she still has it in her to get into a good laughing fit in the middle of the night. She has adventures in the true sense of the word. Let's review a few of said adventures:
- There was the time Erin didn't really know how to drive a stick shift. She had to meet the family at our cousin's house in Pleasant Grove and the only car available was the Cressida. So daddy told her she better learn quick if she wanted to come.  So she taught herself to shift out of necessity, and also the fear of death. That's pretty cool in my book.
- Once upon a time we were all at home and mom and dad were not. Ahh. I am not sure how this happened, even now, but somehow Erin ended up walking on the top of the railing, which is, by the way, just above the split level and a good ten feet in the air.
- There was the time Erin was asked to a dance the day of, while she was doing yard work. So we 'entertained' the boy while she showered and got ready. A date of that spontaneity is pretty brave. If someone had done that to me, I would not have said yes.
She was usually the one to call the sibling conferences in her room, which would inevitably end in racous laughter. She has a pure soprano voice that makes lullabies beautiful and a heart of gold that brings out all the beautiful things in other people. Erin is the most generous, hard working, and loving person you will ever meet. She also has a talent for knowing herself well and seeing things very clearly. If I am not sure how I feel about something, I ask Erin for feedback. Most of my opinions about important things have been influenced by Erin's strong convictions. Erin is very talented. She is the resident flower arranger of the family and made every boutonniere of every boy I went to a dance with in High School. She also singlehandedly did the flowers for Rose's wedding with a four year old which I thought was pretty talented. She is very good at keeping a level head in stressful situations, like the time she was driving on a date and got in an accident and stayed calm or the time she got in an accident and the other woman tried to break into her car. She locked her door and called the police: I probably would have wet my pants. She is a wonderful gardener. She can actually get vegetables to grow, which is more than I have ever been able to do. She is really good at making decisions and sticking by them. She has one of the greatest marriages I have seen in my life, and she is really good at teamwork (mostly with Ben, who is another one of my favorite people). She is a wonderful mother. I remember telling her when I was little that I was sorry for her kids, pretty spitefully. How very shortsighted I was. She is a fabulous mom. One of the things I appreciate most about her is that she pushes me to grow and be this day, I am sure she is the reason I made it into Madrigals. for one thing, she was in Madrigals when I was four. I remember quite clearly going to mad family night and thinking, "I want to do this."  The day before I tried out for madrigals I was so nervous I was pretty sure I would puke. She spent the whole afternoon and night with me coaching me on my song. It was one of the most uncomfortable, out of my box, want to go hide in a closet, days of my life, but by the end I felt so much more confident. She quite literally forced me to sing with power. And she also told me that my life wouldn't be over if I wasn't brilliant. I really needed that. She and Ben helped me decide what to do about college and figured it out with me. She has taught me so much about growing up and taking responsibility for yourself and your decisions. I have a strong conviction that you should pick something and do it, and own whatever you do. A lot of that came from her example. Erin says she feels like she is only pretending to be a responsible adult, but if she is, she is doing a pretty good job of faking.

James: also known as jam-ess or the master of the zombie plan
James is a dangerous man. When all the hype about zombie plans started, I decided that I didn't really need one. My complete zombie plan is: find James and stand behind him. That should do it. James is also the man who lives off carbs. He eats toast (mostly at my house, as he claims we have the magic toaster that makes the best toast ever. okay.) and french toast, and waffles, and rolls. He also consumes large amounts of frosted flakes( he calls them crusted flakes) and milk, but never together. Apparently, he learned to eat cereal dry while living in North Carolina where the milk is yellow, and the habit stuck. James has taught me a lot about life, and when I say life I mean Babylon 5 and Firefly. ( 2 of the best series ever.) Every year during high school my parents took a weeklong cruise for their anniversary, and I was not allowed to stay at home by myself because mom worries about rapists and murderers and things. So, instead of making me go live with my sisters for the week, mom asked James to come babysit. And the yearly party begins. James is a great babysitter. It became a tradition for James to make pancakes, which I was always pretty excited for because James is the pancake master, and then we would watch Babylon 5. The first time we did this, I didn't do any homework the whole week but I watched four seasons of Babylon 5. James, like Amy, is a masochistic workaholic. I think this stems from an ingrained need to do what he says he will do. He has very high expectations of himself and he meets them. James is a very good man with a lot of integrity. I admire him for that. A lot.

Last but never least, comes Bekah: also known as Beaker, or the Drugdealer
Bekah is the oldest. She is thirteen years older than me and has sort of been my second mom my whole life. she is the most selfless, caring person I know. Bekah is sort of the service guru- I think she spends her whole life taking care of everybody. She is the best listener. Some might say this quality is its own reward. If this is true, Bek got screwed because I am pretty sure that being the person everyone in the family vents to and takes their problems to is sort of sucky at times. I think sometimes that I punish her for being the best at listening just because I am annoying to listen to. She must get tired of the whining.  But man is she good at making us all feel better. Bekah has taken care of me my whole life. One of my earliest memories is being upset because she was moving away to college. I am pretty sure when we dropped her off in Ephraim that I cried pretty hard most of the way home.  When she came home, life was complete. My childhood memories are filled with bekah taking me shopping, bekah taking me with her to get her nails done, bekah buying me a curling iron jsut because she knew I wanted one, bekah not killing me when I almost killed her child, bekah driving to my house to let me in when I locked myself out of the house, bekah coaching me through breathing excercises while I hyperventilated in her living room. Mostly she is my best friend and I love her.
Bekah is super talented:
-She paints. Aunt Bonnie gave her lessons and she gave me a picture of a puppy she painted when she moved away to college so that I would feel better. There is actually a painting of a flower she did that has hung above our toilet my whole life. I think I got toothpaste on it once.
- She is really good at math and science. She just has that sort of analytical brain, the lucky stiff. She sat through two hours of a hysteria once trying to help me understand how to name compounds. I would never have passed chemistry without her.
- She scrapbooks. super creatively. like the kind of thing I wish I could pull off so bad I almost don't want to look at the scrapbooks. Almost.
-She makes the best pasta salad I've ever put in my mouth. Hands down.
- She is a great mother. Matthew got lucky. Just sayin.
Bekah is also a pharmacy technician, just in case anyone thought she was a real drug dealer. Not really. Just the person we all call to make sure we are not overdosing on anything. Or to make sure the doctor hasn't just prescribed something that will cause death, among other side effects. Which has happened before. The prescribing part, not the death part. No thanks to him.
I have so much more love in my heart for this woman than is possible to write. That is all.

Sum uppance: My siblings are the greatest people alive. I like them. A lot.
* Note for spouses, parents, and children of said siblings. I love you too. Your turn is coming.