Dec 31, 2012

Welcome to 2013!

Well, we made it! The world didn't end, and aren't we glad? It's amazing how many times I have survived the apocalypse. I'm very excited for 2013--amazing things are going to happen, I can feel it. And 13 is my lucky number, so it's got to be amazing, right?

Anyway, since it's the beginning of the year, I guess it's time to take a look back at last year's resolutions and make some new ones for this year. So, let's start off with last year's resolutions. In short, I resolved to:

write everyday
read 200 books (or, more than 182)
find a job

I didn't write everyday. And I read 142 books. For the first, there really is no excusing that not happening. But I have finished revisions to my first draft (still doesn't have an ending, but I'll get there), so hopefully I'll be more motivated to write that novel, and when I get tired of working on that one, I have several more I can always turn to for a break.

As for the books. Looking back at last year I realized something. I had 3 weeks where I didn't have a job. And then almost 4 months when I only worked 3 days a week. So I had a lot more time to read last year than I did this year. So, it's really not my fault. Life got in the way of fiction.

BUT! I did find a job! It's part-time and temporary, but it's a job. One out of three is not bad, that's what I say!

Now, a look forward to 2013.

Like I said, amazing things are going to happen this year. Unfortunately, the ones I know about, I can't say anything about at the moment. :( But, definitely look forward to some updates throughout the year (which, now that I think of it, is completely normal, but you know . . . just keep reading). I'm sure some other amazing things are going to happen this year that I have no idea about, too, because that's how life is. I'm sure there are going to be hard times, and sad things, too.

Here are my resolutions:

Write often!
Go to Canada! I almost have enough money for a plane ticket to Prince Edward Island! I'm very excited, I've been wanting to go there since I was about 12 and first started reading the Anne books. I never thought I would go, but here I am! Another stamp in my passport and a new adventure!
Exercise with some frequency. For Christmas I got 26 DVDs of Doctor Who and I found a "Doctor Who Workout," and I'm thinking that maybe the motivation of being able to watch DW while exercising will help me actually do it. Also, M likes working out, so maybe she'll help with it.

So, there you go. Those are my three new resolutions this year. Hopefully, all three will be fulfilled (notice that I made to of them pretty vague, with the hopes that it will help me fill them! ;) ).

Happy New Year!

Dec 19, 2012

Review: The Hobbit

Yesterday, thanks to roommate M's work, I was able to go see The Hobbit. Though I've been sick the past four days, I bucked myself up to go see it because, let's be hones, it's THE HOBBIT! I've only been counting down for a year now.

Title: The Hobbit
MPAA rating: PG-13 (fantasy violence, no blood)
My rating (not that it matters, since this is a pretend scale anyway): ****

To start off my review, I'll start with casting choices. The past two years I've become a big fan of Martin Freeman (Bilbo) by watching BBC's "Sherlock", and then realizing I'd seen him in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) (he was also in "The Office" [UK]). I think he was the perfect choice for Bilbo. The Hobbit, as a story, is a lot more lighthearted than than The Lord of the Rings trilogy is, and Freeman's mix of comedic and dramatic acting was perfect for the little hobbit going on an adventure. I also think Richard Armitage is a good actor (you can see him in BBC's North and South, and "Robin Hood") who has perfected the brooding stare. He plays the tortured dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield well. The other twelve dwarves were well cast (and costumed). Of course, Sir Ian McKellen back as Gandalf.

The filming was beautiful (we didn't watch in 3D), as were the sets. I thought Bag End looked exactly like something out of a fairytale. The costumes were nice too (as a side note, elves get the coolest clothes!).

The only thing I really have negative, is that I'm still not exactly sure why it was necessary to split the book into three three-hour movies. The book is not nearly as complicated as the books in LOTR, and the movie, while it didn't necessarily drag, was a little slow, and I felt that one movie could have done it, possibly two. It's the three movie thing that confuses me. Anyway, there were a lot of additions to the story that aren't in the book. I'm not a huge Tolkien fanatic, so I've never read The Silmarillion, which I've been lead to believe a lot of the extra story comes from. I did just reread The Hobbit this year, but I read so much that I tend to forget details, but I'm pretty sure that there weren't any Orcs hunting Thorin's company, nor do I remember Thorin not really liking the elves . . . .

Anyway, I'm hoping that Peter Jackson will quiet all my fears about it being too drawn out in three movies. This one was good, and had the same beauty as LOTR (in fact, I think the beauty was even greater in this one). I'd recommend seeing it.

Dec 9, 2012

Christmas Luminaras

About a week or so ago I decided I wanted to make some luminaras--you know, tea lights in paper bags.. But instead of using real tea lights I wanted battery operated ones (I was worried about the whole fire hazard thing, you know, safety first!). 

On Friday night, while I was at Joann's getting something else for a super secret thing, I decided to take a look around. Low and behold, what do I find, but some battery operated tea lights!! So then I started thinking about where I could get some paper bags, when I saw mason jars! And I thought, I have glitter at home, I could go to the dollar store for some glass drinking cups, and make some glass luminaras! Well, the dollar store had some mason jars, so that's what I used instead! 

Here they are:

And here's what you need to make them:

glitter (I just used silver)
4 tea lights (come in packages of 2)
4 mason jars
modge podge
foam brush
sand (or, I use kitty litter! [Unused, of course] also from the dollar store)

I decided to make my jars "gradiate" with the glitter, so I used masking tape to mark how high up the glitter was going to go. Then I applied the modge podge with the foam brush, and poured the glitter on. Remove the tape and let dry! After they are dry (about 30 minutes of wait time), put a little bit of sand in the jar to nestle the tea lights in, turn on the lights and put them in the jar and set outside! So easy! And they are really cute out on our little "porch" area.

You could even use stickers to make fun shapes (just take them off like you do the tape before the modge podge dries). Just have fun with them!

Dec 7, 2012

12 for 2012

Instead of a "Christmas Letter" this year, I decided to do a year in review. For each month I'll recount something exciting or different that happened to me, as well as a book from that month! Cuz that's that way I roll!

I started the 8-week experiment! It was an interesting peek into what my future as a wife will be. ;)
Book: Austenland by Shannon Hale (this was a reread)

I drove into Salt Lake City for the first time, which made me so nervous, which is funny to think about because I do it everyday now and it's no big deal.
Book: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

I went to see Vocal Point live for the first time! Great night out with the fam!
Book: Everneath by Brodie Ashton (Utah author! Support local artists! [Unless you aren't from Utah, then she isn't a local artist, but you should support local artists wherever you are. And still feel free to read this book.])

I went to the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple! It was great to have my entire family there with me.
Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

My friend Michael Ann did a craft month and I did it along with her! It taught me that I can be crafty.
Book: Persuasion by Jane Austen (I was grinning like a fool on the train while reading the ending to this!)

The JSP asked me to stay on part-time!
Book: Shane by Jack Schaefer (my first western!)

I bought my first car! His name is Perry.
Book: Bellfield Hall, or, the Observations of Miss Dido Kent by Anna Dean

I took Perry and bro and we headed down to California for a week to visit the sis and bro-in-law. Great vacation! I got to go to San Francisco, which was definitely a highlight.
Book: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Patillo

I did a no spend month in September. It was a good exercise in self control! I should do it more often.
Book: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I had a pretty rockin' Halloween costume!
Book: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (my Banned Books Week book this year)

I moved out of my parents' basement! That was HUGE! Probably the hugest thing I've done in the past two years!
Book: I started rereading the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness quartet, The Immortals quartet, Protector of the Small quartet, and the two Trickster books).

I can't think of anything really huge happening this month, except Christmas!
Book: I'm very excited to get Princess of the Silver Wood by Jessica Day George. It's her new book in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series and this one is supposed to be better than the second (Seriously, read the first book, Princess of the Midnight Ball--it's AMAZING!)

Dec 6, 2012

Moving Out and Up: My Geekery is Showing

So, I don't have pictures of the whole apartment, but here are pictures of my Doctor Who themed bedroom!

Here is a wide shot of my bedroom. The other photos will show close-ups on the more interesting parts of the room. (Though I do want to point out the two decorative pillows my mom so nicely made for me, and the AMAZING Doctor Who afghan my sister knitted for me last Christmas at the end of the bed.)

This is from season 5 of the new series (the first season with Matt Smith). It hangs above my desk and is basically the awesomest thing ever.

Not Doctor Who, but still geeky. No room of mine would ever not have books in it. This isn't even half of the books I own and I'm continually getting more.

When I was 16 my parents let me pick out a bed for my new room in our new house. I always wanted a daybed, so that's what I picked. Across the back is a star (above), a moon, and a sun.

The flannel sheet set my parents bought me soon after (I think the Christmas we moved into our house).   They are getting a little worn, but let's face it, they are awesome! (I think that it's interesting that 6 years before I ever started watching DW, I was so into stars and the heavens. Actually, it's not that interesting. I watched Star Wars and Star Trek. And space is beautiful.)

You'll remember my banner from earlier this year. This is from season 3, with David Tennant.

This is the door to my own personal TARDIS, AKA my bathroom. And you'll see why in the next picture.

It's bigger on the inside!! My closet is in the bathroom, making it literally bigger on the inside from the outside. Also, it travels through space! Not even kidding! Every morning I check the weather on my iPhone while drying my hair, and almost every morning my phone says that I am in a different city (none of which are the city in which I live). So, space travel. Still working on the time travel aspect.

There you go! My geekiness for all to see!

And this concludes the series of "Moving Out and Up".

Nov 21, 2012

Moving Out and Up: The New Commute

Now that I’m living in City close to Salt Lake, I’ve decided not to take TRAX anymore. It’s a little sad, because that means no more funny tales from a TRAX rider, but it’s better for me. I’m using about the same amount of gas as I did before I moved, and the scenery is so much better than the icky landscape of the land on both sides of the tracks. This also means that I can sleep in later than I was before (yay for not waking up before 6 am!), and I have a nice enjoyable drive to work. The only downside is that I no longer get two hours everyday just for reading--which means I don't go through books quite as fast as I used to!

I drive up this one street that, even though it is about 8 lanes across, is beautiful! In fact, from what I’ve seen, all the streets into Salt Lake are beautiful. When I first moved, the leaves had just turned their fall colors, and there are a lot of big, tall trees lining the streets. The only problem with my new drive is that I want to look at everything! On one street alone, I pass by four different religious buildings: a Catholic cathedral, a Presbyterian church, a Masonic temple, and our own LDS temple. And there are all gorgeous! One day, on my ride home, I looked up and saw the bell tower of the cathedral peeking over the top of the orange leaves, and I just thought back to the vacation I had taken earlier this year. I spent a day in San Francisco, where I was brought to tears by just about everything: the Golden Gate Bridge and Grace Cathedral. So I was just thinking on that drive home, looking up at the cathedral, “What if I viewed my own city like the cities I go and visit? What beauties would I see?” I think I would see something as beautiful as the changing colors against a stone building.

The next weekend we had a snowstorm, which means no more pretty fall colors. But the first day of the storm was on a Friday, so I drove home in it. That day I got stuck behind a bus, and ending up missing my turn, which meant I got to discover another street home. This street not only had the tall trees like the one I usually take, but these adorable early 20th century houses. The whole time I was driving home, I was thinking, “They look like gingerbread houses!”

I guess you can tell that I’m liking my new commute. Another perk of it is that the library is on the way home, which means that I don’t have to leave the apartment after I get there if I don’t want to. Our library is kind of small, but since I only use it to pick up holds, it’s okay!

In the next post I’ll share pictures of the apartment, and show how my geekiness has revealed itself.

Nov 11, 2012

Moving Out and Up: Packing, Moving, and Three Flights of Stairs

We had two weeks to pack before our moving day. Here's the thing with me, not only do I not like packing (and, let's be honest, who does?), but I'm really bad at it. I kind of put it off the first week, and then realized that I needed to be more motivated the second week.

I went down into the basement and just randomly wandered around, occasionally putting things in boxes, but I really had no direction! Finally, my mom came down and told me what to do. And then I'd wander around aimlessly again after having finished that one task. But, I was packed in time for us to get everything into one van, two trucks, and a car (it wasn't all just my stuff. Honest!). I have never had that much stuff in my car.

Two interesting things that happened the last week before the move: First, the Thursday before I was in charge of a craft night for the women in my ward (church congregation). I had already told them I was moving, and many of them asked me a lot about where I was going to. One woman who had helped me plan the activity talked to me a lot. I told her about how quickly it had all happened and all the situations I had just explained. And she said, "When things work together like that, then there's a reason." And there probably is. I don't know what the reason is, and I may never know, but it must just be the next stop on this road called life.

The second happened Friday night. We packed what we could in Dad's van, and I just started getting this sinking feeling. I had felt fine all week--little anxiety about the whole situation. I packed a little bit more, with a sad feeling in my heart. Finally, I went upstairs to get a hug from Mom and I just started crying. It was like, in that moment, it all became real. So, I talked to her about what I was feeling and the thoughts going through my head: living with M, a new ward, new city, my fears about what it will do to me and how I'll react. She let me talk and gave me a few tips and head's-ups.

The next day we moved. We live on the third floor, which is a nice place to live (no one above you), but a horrible place to move into. Fortunately, M has some strong friends who helped us move in. Mom and Dad stuck around for a little bit, and helped me set up my bedroom. Mostly, it was just because I wasn't quite ready for them to leave yet. But when they left, there weren't any tears. I spent the evening alone because M went out with a friend.  I just finished setting up my room and read a book. We didn't have TV (I needed to buy some rabbit ears), and we still don't have an internet, so I am so grateful for my new iPhone and it's data plan!

The next day we weren't to church. It was the first time in two years I'd gone to a single's ward, and I was a little nervous about it. But everyone was so friendly! We didn't even need to try to introduce ourselves, everyone just came up and asked us who we were, were we came from, what we were doing. It was kind of fun to see people's reactions when we said we'd known each other since fourth grade. The rest of the Sunday included M and I laying on the floor watching movies in a moving induced stupor.

The next post will be about my new commute!

Nov 10, 2012

Moving Out and Up: Applying for the Apartment

It was on a Thursday that we went to look at the apartment. I was going to stop by after work. (Apartment is located in City close to Salt Lake City.) I thought I had it all perfectly timed out, but I hit every single red light on the way to the freeway, then the traffic on the freeway started slowing down the exit before the one I needed. M called me while I was waiting at the light at the exit asking where I was. Then I got a call from Officer Manager asking if we were going to be there soon. When I told her I’d be there in 10 minutes, she said that she had some good news for us.

I also hit every red light from the freeway to Apartment Complex. Gah!

I had been pretty anxious about this all day. It was really the first grown-up thing I had ever done on my own, and I didn’t feel like I knew anything about it. And what if I signed a lease?! Then I’d really and truly be moving out of my parents’ house! M had texted me several times, and I felt like every time she would say how excited she was for it. I didn’t feel I could truly say I was excited, but I was glad for her excitement.

The good news when we got there was that, for that day only, we could get a 2 bed/2 bath for cheaper than a 2 bed/1 bath! And not only that, but there was an apartment available for move in as soon as we liked. While I would have been fine with a 1 bath, I haven’t had to share a bathroom with someone for two years and felt relieved at being able to keep it that way. We went and looked at the apartment, and while we were there, Office Manager told us that we had to make the decision in an hour because there were about 10 other people who wanted it and one couple was coming to look at it in an hour. In a way, I felt pressured about this. We asked Office Manager if we could talk by ourselves for a bit. “Go ahead and talk!” she said. But she never left us alone! It’s hard to have a candid talk about something when the person selling it to you is standing right there! So, that was a little frustrating.

We decided to apply for it and put down a deposit. Apparently, they don’t take personal checks for deposits (who knew, amiright?), so while I filled in the application, M ran around City to get a cashier’s check. While she was gone and I was filling out the application, I had a little private freak out moment. “What am I doing?!” and “Omigosh” were just a few thoughts going through my mind. M got back and we finished the process, with some notes of things we needed to send in (who carries around paystubs with them? Seriously.).  We also set our move-in date for two weeks and two days from then—November 3. And we left.

I asked M for a ride back to my car (I was in heels and parked on the opposite side of the complex). She confided in me that while she was driving around trying to find a bank, she also had a little freak out session which culminated her in calling her mom (who was on vacation on the east coast at that time). I told her of my freak out in the office. But, we both told each other, we felt good while we were IN the apartment. It felt comfortable, like we were meant to be there.

I did have a hard time driving home. I wanted to be strong and brave when I told my parents I was moving out. Ever since I had started looking at apartments, Mom would occasionally tell me “I’m homesick for you already” or something similar. I knew she would have as hard a time with me moving out as I would. Dad I didn’t worry about much—he’d made it no secret in the past two years that he was looking forward to being an empty nester again! Unfortunately, the whole me being brave thing didn’t work out too well. I got home and saw my mom. “How’d it go?” she asked. “Can I have a hug?” I responded. “Is this a goodbye hug?” Dad joked from the kitchen. I nodded, “Yeah, we paid a deposit.”

And then I burst into tears.

Nov 9, 2012

Moving Out and Up: Finding the Apartment

When I graduated college and moved back home to live in my parents’ basement, I naively thought I would only be there for six months, eight months tops. That was two years ago and I just barely moved out a week ago. I’m going to be telling the story of finding my apartment, moving in, and how I’m liking it so far in a series of posts, to keep them a bit shorter.

About a month ago my mom came home from a lunch (or dinner, I don’t really remember) with some ex-coworkers of hers with a suggestion from one of them of a place to live. I had been looking at apartments on and off, sometimes seriously, sometimes just casually. I had wanted to move out on my own—no roommates—but Mom and Dad didn’t seem to think that was a very good plan. In fact, they were pretty much against the idea. My parents very rarely share such strong feelings, so after my initial feelings of “My parents just don’t understand! Waaaa!!” I decided that there was probably a reason they felt that way. But I felt a little dejected—I did not want to live with someone I didn’t know, nor did I want to live with more than just one other person. It made me feel exhausted just thinking about having to please two or three people! (I'm so antisocial, I know.)

Around the time I was starting to look more seriously at apartments (I had just gotten my job, so it was about six months ago), my friend M got home from her LDS Mission. We went out one night to hang out and I mentioned about my parents not wanting me to live alone. Immediately she said, “I’ll live with you!” To which I’m pretty sure I said, “I think we’d kill each other.” We never talked about it again.

Back to a month ago. My mom showed me the website for the complex, and we looked at pictures and floorplans. My brain was just whirring, thinking about it. I liked the look of the complex and apartments. Now if I could only find a roommate. And M popped into my head. “No way,” I thought. “Well, maybe.” After sleeping on it, the next morning I messaged her. “You still looking to move out, because I found a place. I’ll send you the link if you’re interested.” And she responded enthusiastically (as she does. It’s good, I don’t show enthusiasm, and she always does. We’re a good pair. ;) ).

I sent a message to the Office Manager saying we were interested in a 2 bed/1 bath apartment. About a week later I had a voicemail from them. When I tried to call back, I got hung up on! I was sure they would call back, but they didn’t until about a week later, when we finally made a plan to meet and take a look at the apartment.

Next post, find out about the exciting news we got when we got to the apartment and how M and I both freaked out!

Oct 21, 2012

Halloween Costume



This photo was a happy accident. The flash didn't go off as it was supposed to, so my Dad took another photo with the flash. But when I looked back at it, I realized how great it looked! Sort of like an old poster!

Oct 8, 2012


Lately at work I've been listening to the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast and learning all sorts of interesting things! The podcast is just random information from different articles that the team at How Stuff Works writes. A sampling of some of the stuff I've been learning about: the musketeers, banning books, lobotomy (probably could have done without that one, haha, but still interesting), carrying brides over the threshold, music and emotion (this was very interesting), time travel, tabloids, accidental inventions, stupid crimes, Atlantis, revenge, and more! I'm not exactly sure how long the podcasts are, but some are as short as 5 minutes and some seem as long as 30 (or longer). 

Podcasts are a relatively new thing to me, but I am enjoying having them on while I work. I love music, but the beat seems to get on my nerves after a while, where talking changes enough that I can handle it. I have also started listening to the Official Once Upon a Time podcast--one of my favorite TV shows-- and just discovered while looking for the link that there is an unofficial podcast for it too (not just fan)! I may have to take a listen at that . . . 

Another podcast I've been listening to is the Boardcast, from the BYU 100 hour board. 

So, listening to all these podcasts has got me thinking about how fun that would be. I'd get a friend, or maybe change people each week, and we'd talk about movies, TV shows, books, music, colors, America, or any sort of randomness. But then I got to thinking, it might be fun to make, but would anyone listen? Who knows. 

Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites? I would love some funny ones to listen to!

Oct 7, 2012

Banned Book Review

How was everyone's banned book week? Did you end up fighting for the right to read by reading a banned or challenged book? (I listened to a great Stuff You Should Know podcast this week that talks about banning books. Give it a listen!)

Well, as I mentioned, I read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. This is a book that a lot of my family and friends have all read, and I had been thinking about reading for sometime--I just never got around to it. This is a recently challenged book, having been challenged just this year on the grounds of pornography. I knew going into it that there wasn't any pornography in the book (my mother had read it for goodness sake!), but it was interesting to read it and see the parts that, taken out of context, could be seen as pornography (if someone was looking). But we'll get to that later.

Before this I had only read one Orson Scott Card book, and that was just last year. It was called Pathfinder. It was nice to realize that Card just has an interesting writing style, and it wasn't just that book. To me, it seemed that Card just lets the reader infer a lot of information, or he might mention some detail after the fact, which is a different than most writers (and goes against what I was taught in my creative writing classes!). He has an interesting way of looking at things that we think we know about--in Pathfinder, it was time travel, in which he broke all the "rules" we have set up for time travel. In Ender's Game it was gravity, space travel, and the speed of light. I don't read a lot of science fiction (I prefer it in TV and movies more), so maybe to someone who does read a lot of sci-fi, it wouldn't have seemed so different, but I was interested in how Ender reorients himself when in null gravity.

Now, to the "pornography" claim. I, personally, think that the reason a lot of parents challenge books is because they never actually read them. They might open the book up, come across something, and become shocked. Or their child tells them something. Or maybe they just heard something. But the thing is, you can't take something out of context and decide that that is what the book is about. There is nudity in Ender's Game. They mention male genitalia once or twice. But there is nothing sexual about it. Ender starts the book as a 6 year old and most of the book takes place between when he is 6 to when he is 11. He is with other boys around his age. So, yeah. No pornography.

(This next section of hidden text contains SPOILERS--read at your own discretion. Just highlight to read.)

While I was reading the book I was comparing and contrasting it with The Hunger Games. (You can find my review of that series here.) Both are about manipulation, both have children killing other children, and in both the main character doesn't want any part of it. What I think made Ender's Game less horrific, is that Ender didn't know. He didn't want to hurt anyone, and he didn't know that he was being used to hurt and kill other beings. He did know he was being manipulated, but he didn't truly know why. And in Ender's case, he wasn't being used for entertainment purposes. There was a war, and it's horrible that the governments of earth were using children to fight it, at least it wasn't just for the sake of seeing children kill each other. So, there are my thoughts on that.

In conclusion, I think that Ender's Game is a great read, but probably for slightly older kids (middle school age). And I hope that you all did something to participate in banned books week!

Sep 30, 2012

Banned Book Week 2012

Well, it's the last day of September which must mean it's Banned Books Week!! This year marks the thirtieth year since the ALA created banned books week as a means to fight against censorship. Down with censorship!! (haha, I feel like saying that is a weird meta of censoring censorship . . .) Really, the ALA calls it "the Freedom to Read," which is actually a great way of putting it.

Last year I wrote a blog post about how I feel about societal censorship. I say that I personally choose which books I feel comfortable reading or not, and I always feel that that is a personal decision. For example, as I was trying to find a book to read this week, I researched a certain book that is considered quite a classic. After reading about why it was banned, as well as several synopses, I decided that it wasn't the sort of book I wanted to be reading. But I wouldn't stop others from reading it.

Which brings me to what I have decided to read this week. I wanted to read a book that was relatively new to the "challenging/banning" game. I know of two this last year. The first was A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This was banned from the school on the grounds of the negative picture it paints of Mormons. I read this book before the school in Virginia banned it, and, as a Mormon, I found it hilarious in all it's inaccuracies. As, as someone who has studied literature, I knew how Victorians felt about Mormons and was able to use that as a point of reference. I appreciate that someone realized that this was not a good introduction to the religion, but I also feel that it would have been the perfect opportunity to discuss what is a major American religion (and part of the history of this country) in a positive, historical way. In no way did they have to preach the gospel, but talk about historical inaccuracies, and why Conan Doyle would have portrayed Mormons the way he did. That's the amazing thing about literature--it opens up a conversation! How said that the parents and teachers didn't take that opening.

The second book that was challenged in the past year was Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. This actually ended in the suspension of the teacher. This is the book that I will be reading this week. The book was challenged on pornography issues, but no one I know that has read it says there is any such thing. And these are people I trust. Nor does the little I know about the book lend itself to pornography. So I went out (last month before my "no spend month" started) and bought the book.

There are links in last year's post to lists of banned books, or you can go to the ALA website for more information. Please read a banned book and fight for the freedom to read!

Sep 29, 2012

No Spend Month in Review

So, as some of you know, I decided that September was going to be my "no spend month"--to revive some of my spendings after a vacation and a work-clothes shopping spree.

I felt like the world was working against me. TWO of my favorite clothing websites had huge sales this month (one was up to 70% off!!); Amazon kept sending me e-mails about this on sale, or that, culminating in a ginormous sale on ALL of the David Tennant Doctor Who DVDs--WHAT?!? (That resulted me in sending an e-mail to my parents with a "hint hint". Hey, there's a holiday coming up in a couple months where people buy each other presents.) Anyway, it was very difficult to not spend this month!

Part of what this "no spend month" taught me was that there are just situations when you should spend. I know that sounds weird, but here are a few examples from this month:

I was able to go to the State Fair for free because I was demonstrating lace-making with some people from my class. So, I got in free (SCORE!), but when I told people that this was the first time I had ever gone to a fair before, I felt like everyone was telling me to get a funnel cake. I didn't even know what a funnel cake was, but at least one person said, "Funnel cakes are the best part of the fair." So I decided to get one. No, I didn't need it, it wasn't essential, but it was part of the experience (and it was delicious).

The second example was when I went out with a friend to a singles' dance. We left early (it was . . . kind of lame) and she asked if I wanted to get ice cream or something. We ended up going to Sonic and getting drinks. And it was nice because we just sat in the car for a little bit and talked. I could have said no, but sometimes paying $1.50 for a lemonberry slush is worth it (and seriously? it was $1.50).

Near the beginning of the month I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be cool if I didn't use my credit card at all this month?" Which, it really would have been, but let's get real here. How do you pay for gas? Card. How do you pay for a birthday gift? Card. What do you do if you don't have cash on you? Use a card. And, honestly, I just don't carry cash around with me that much. I use my card like cash.

I also came up with a monthly budget plan, which is in a way good and in another bad. It makes me feel more poor than I usually do. :(

Anyway, here's how I did it (all moneys blanked out of course--I don't want the interwebs knowing all that!):

I did just notice I forgot to put something on. Guess I'll have to go fix that! Anyway, it's pretty straightforward. All the things I spend money on in a month, all the things I want to save up for, and the things that fluctuate on my spending.

I'm feeling all grown up.

I think people might be interested in knowing what I'm going to spend money on in October, now that I can. Well, Perry needs a new set of tires, and some filters. I do get a new pair of shoes (my reward), but instead of getting new new ones, I'm going to be replacing my favorite pair that broke last month. Sad. And . . . I think I'll buy a the new Rick Riordan book that comes out on Monday. Because I want it. I'm also looking for longer skirts to wear to work now that the weather is getting colder, and maybe some fun tights to help keep my legs warm.

It's hard being all grown up.