Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Kira, Becca, me, Ashley

So my roommate, Becca had to work yesterday. Sometimes when she does she gets home really late. So I didn't think anything of it when she got home at a quarter to six.

But apparently, what she really was doing was baking a cake over at Apartment 304 (Skye, Jake, Levi, and Travis').

So when I announced that I had to shower before FHE, because I hadn't for the day, my roommates all looked at each other, and was like - you can't. Apparently they had plans. After much b
ribery and threats of being tortured with cold water and/or invasion of the bathroom...I promised to take a fast shower; (I know this comes as a shock to most of you - but I can do it.) and I did. I just, may have, not put on make-up and I definitely did not do my hair...which sort of ruined the pictures. Oh well.

We headed to the Thai Kitchen, where sometimes they can speak English, and sometimes they can't. They are always incredibly slow. Don't expect refills. And yet, the food is DELICIOUS. My absolute favorite. Yum... I just get happy thinking about it, even a day later. Never mind what it does to my insides afterwards.

Chris, me, Colin, Jackie, Ashley

We got home just in time for FHE. Despite our group getting split up, we had fun. After we viewed everyone's pictures from the photo scavenger hunt, I was hanging around socializing - but everyone cleared out pretty fast. So when Ashley suggested we leave, I didn't really have a choice.

Apparently Ashley was trying to get me to open the apartment door, but I was too slow to pick up on that - so she had to open it, and when I walked in Skye was laying on the counter, similar to the way people may lounge on a piano... and I started laughing and was like, "Oh, well...this is quite a surprise!"

But that was just the beginning.

Colin, Kevin, and a few others jumped out from hiding spots. Then they were like, "There's a present in the laundry room," And I was thinking it was gift that Becca bought, because she had come home with something earlier that week that she wouldn't let me see. So I open the laundry room and Jake is sitting there with his arms wrapped around his knees, and he was like, "Did anyone order a BYU student?" And then got off and started dancing. Of course, it was very funny.

A few more people showed up and Becca came out with the cake that she had so deviously gone and made under pretense of fellowshipping one of Skye's roommates and they sang. We listened to the Twilight soundtrack, and chatted it up.

Kevin, Skye, Colin, me, Chris, Jake, Levi, Bryce

Becca really had bought a present though, so she brought it out and they got me a popcorn popper! I, apparently, told Becca that I wanted one the VERY first day we met. Which is true. I often walk by the air poppers and want to buy one every time I go to the store. Now I can find something else to pine over. Hooray! I love air popped popcorn!

It was a pleasant surprise, and I was very grateful to have such good roommates and friends. I love them all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On my nerves...

Things that are really getting on my nerves today:

  1. People who expect you to read minds when you never claimed to be psychic or Edward.
  2. People who do not understand what an acceleration ramp is.
  3. Motorcycles that take up a whole parking place - especially when they have a section reserved specifically for them.
  4. Being poor.
  5. My alarm clock - it is certainly doing an inadequate job. Not that it really mattered today.
Things that are not on my nerves today:
  1. Good friends who love and support me.
  2. My sister, Amy. I love her.
  3. The weather - it is absolutely lovely today.
  4. Surprisingly, school. Though I still wish it were closer to finishing time than it really is.
  5. Food. I will be hunting for it now...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

8 is Gr8

8 Things I am passionate about

1. My family
2. Etiquette
3. Reading
4. Thanksgiving BEFORE Christmas
5. Traveling - please ignore the fact I've not done any
6. Prop 8
7. MY music
8. Seeking happiness in all the eccentric ways I'm able to find it

8 Words or Phrases I say often

1. Also...
2. SLAY!
3. No problem
4. SORRY! (thanks, Kira)
5. as it were
7. like such as
8. Interesting.

8 Things I want to accomplish in the coming year

1. Graduate
2. Have a "magical" evening (not sure what that entails, but I want a real night that can be legitimately termed as magical!)
3. Leave the country
4. Tour the east coast
5. Re-cultivate my relationship with my sister
6. Get a new job
7. Start learning a new language
8. Finish my book

8 Places I would love to go or visit

1. Scotland, London, Ireland
2. Austria
3. France, Germany, Italy, Spain
4. Thailand
5. New Orleans, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia
6. Morocco
7. Belize, Mexico, Cuba, St. anything in the Caribbean
8. Romania, Czech Republic, Turkey

8 Things I need or want (sadly mostly material things came to mind)

1. Winter clothing
2. an iPod
3. a passport
4. an alarm clock that actually wakes me up
5. a new bed
6. kitchen stuff, for when I become a culinary artist
8. tuition

Eight Shows I Like to Watch:

1. The Office
2. Chuck
3. Pushing Daisies
4. House
5. those medical anomaly shows, like the man with no face
6. ER
7. Bones
8. Samantha Who?

Eight Restaurants I Like to Eat at:

1. Costa Vida/Cafe Rio
2. Thai Kitchen or Thai Pepper (I can't remember what they changed the name to)
3. Any Chinese
4. Zupas
5. Gurus
6. Rumbi
7. Stan's Diner
8. Chili's

Eight Things I've Done Today:

1. Talked on the phone while eating and driving
2. Stayed awake in class
3. Watched a movie in Italian
4. Texted 15+ people
5. Went to the post office to mail my sister a birthday gift
6. Took a test
7. Wrote on a chalkboard
8. Perused the library for European cookbooks

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward to:

1. Graduating
2. Thanksgiving in California
3. The end of this semester
4. Seeing my family
5. Christmas
6. EEE - European Eating Extravaganza
7. Going to Europe in 2011
8. Going to bed in 3 minutes

Eight Things on my Wish List:

1 - magical night
2 - boots to keep my feet dry this winter
3 - good grades at the end of the semester
4 - tickets to see Twilight
5 - ,000 dollars for tuition
6 - happy family members
7 - days where I'm actually on time to things
8 - hours of sleep

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sooner vs. later: Is there an ideal age for first marriage?

I was discussing this very same topic with a coworker of mine who got married at 20. Most of my friends have gotten married between the ages of 19-24, so it is an interesting spin. In the church we are pretty much raised to think that you get married, and the sooner the better. I think trends have changed a little bit in the last few years, although, not evident in the examples of my friends...

Basically, we are groomed as Young Women to become wives and mothers. I'm not against this. In fact, I am very much a fan of traditional roles as a wife and mother - and yet, I think it puts a skewed perception on what college is for. Young Men are taught that they are to go on a mission and then immediately start searching for a spouse, who typically happens to be an itty-bitty freshman on campus.

For those of us who make it past graduation without a husband or wife in tow, I think the question is often asked, "What's wrong with you?" I don't think there is anything wrong, of course (or not always) but more that we are starting to take other things more seriously. An education is critical to be successful. Life experiences like studying abroad, or traveling for internships, or just living life before settling down is becoming increasingly more important. On top of that I think we are beginning to realize that this decision that some people have come to decide at 19 and 20 has eternal consequences. When we get married in the church, we are getting married for eternity! And I don't think that is a choice we should be making without very serious reflection (not that my friends didn't take the time to realize this... only, sometimes I wonder how much hormones were involved over the actual realization of the fact).

So is it so bad that we are getting married a little later in life? I've heard talk of this in church about how we get married younger because we know that marriage is important, etc. And that those that are putting marriage off are secular and of the world and things like that. I have to disagree. The church seems to be following a similar pattern. I've lived in two wards where the median age is 25 or older, and we are all single. I think this is a sign that marriage is being taken more seriously. And I think I am finally going to make it to 25 without being thought an old-maid because I'm still single.

Emily Becker wanted to be married by age 30. In June, at age 28, she and Joe Becker, 29, were married. They were the last of their group to tie the knot.

Even though they began dating in 2003 — around the same time as most of their friends — "it took us almost twice as long to get married," she says. "We both knew we wanted to marry each other. We just kept having to put it off."

The reason? Careers. Both are doctors. They spent four years in medical school. Three years of residency were in different cities. They got engaged in October of last year and now live in San Francisco.

"If we had been together in the same city, I think maybe we would have married sooner," he says.

Like many young adults today, the Beckers waited to marry until they felt the time was right. Others are also holding off while maintaining a single-but-together status that can last years. That may be one reason the age at first marriage has been climbing steadily for all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The median age is now the oldest since the U.S. Census started keeping track in the 1890s: almost 26 for women and almost 28 for men.

And as young people wait longer to marry, there is growing debate over whether waiting is a good idea, and if so, how long is best. Those who advocate marriage in the early to mid-20s say that's the age when the pool of possible mates is larger, it's when couples can "grow up" together and it's prime for childbearing. But others favor the late 20s or early 30s, saying maturity makes for happier unions and greater economic security — both of which make divorce less likely.

As a result, researchers, sociologists and family experts are taking a closer look at the attitudes behind the trend to see if there really is an optimum age to marry that maximizes the benefits of matrimony and minimizes possible problems.

"It's better not to get married as a teenager," says sociologist Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University. "Beyond that, I don't think there's an ideal age."

But people do have opinions about it, and those beliefs are clearly changing. In a 1946 Gallup Poll, most found the ideal age to be 25 for men and 21 for women. Sixty years later, in a Gallup telephone poll of about 500 adults, the ideal age had increased to 25 for women and 27 for men.

"A lot of girls have this ideal age for when they want to get married, but a lot don't vocalize it because you don't want to jinx yourself," says Jessica Lim, 30, a graphic designer in New York.

"For me, the ideal age was around 28. I think I was wanting to meet that goal and feeling like I needed to be there at 28, where my fiancé, who is just a few years older than me, wasn't there yet."

It's well documented that those who marry before age 20 are two to three times more likely to divorce, researchers say. But studies are still trying to determine whether marrying at certain ages may improve relationships and help marriages survive.

A study being drafted by sociologist Norval Glenn of the University of Texas-Austin finds that those who marry in the early to mid-20s are slightly happier and less likely to break up than those who marry in the later 20s, but are significantly more satisfied with their relationships than those who marry at 30 or older.

Older may be better

But research by sociologist Paul Amato of Pennsylvania State University for a 2007 book he co-wrote suggests quite the opposite. The studies for Alone Together: How Marriage in America Is Changing used different data and different criteria and found distinct benefits to marrying older.

"We found that the delay in marriage was actually a good thing and it actually improved the average marital quality by a fair amount," he says.

"Older marriages (30s vs. 20s) were more cohesive in the sense they did things more often together as a couple. And couples who married at older ages were less likely to report thinking about divorce or that their marriage was in trouble."

Two yet-unpublished papers co-written by Jason Carroll, an associate professor of family life at Brigham Young University, reviewed data collected in 2004-06 based on student questionnaires of 448 items. One study of 788 college students ages 18-25 from five campuses across the country analyzed marriage readiness by asking "Do you think that you are ready to be married?" Most weren't: 60% of men and 67% of women answered "no," and only 9% of men and 5% of women said "yes." Almost one-third of men and 28% of women said "in some ways yes, in some ways no."

The other study asked young adults and their parents about the best age to marry. The sample of 536 students from the five campuses said 25 was ideal, while parents — 446 mothers and 360 fathers — said 26 was better.

Debra Lermitte of Abington, Pa., has four children and two stepchildren, 26 to 31. She first married at 19 and was divorced after 15 years. She says it's better to wait: "You get to experience life and know yourself better, and hopefully choose someone more compatible once you become your own person as an adult."

That's the message Jamie Hayworth, 25, says she received from her parents. A mental health therapist in Torrance, Calif., Hayworth earned her graduate degree in June. She and her fiancé became engaged in February. Hayworth says she used to worry that she would be too selfish to be married.

"I just felt like for me, I was still thinking in terms of, 'What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to accomplish? Where do I want to live?' " she says.

This relatively new clash between marriage and individualism is discussed in Cherlin's new book —The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today, to be published in April.

Not until they're 'ready'

"People are more concerned with their own self-development than they used to be," Cherlin says. "People are postponing marriage until everything in their lives is working in order. The order means after you've finished your education, perhaps after beginning your career, and increasingly after you've lived with your partner. They're postponing marriage until they think they're ready for it."

Brian Benator, 23, an assistant men's basketball coach at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., graduated in May from the University of Georgia and is pursuing an MBA while working full time.

His focus is on career and financial stability; marriage is not on his mind just yet.

"I think a year or two after college is the time to learn about yourself personally, as well as in the working environment," he says. "Hopefully, I'd like to be settled in the next six years, but it's easier said than done because I'm going to be moving all the time."

Marriage used to be the first step into adulthood, but now it is often the last, which Cherlin says has some implications: A lower proportion of today's young adults will ever marry (though most still will), and they likely will have fewer children.

"I'm not one who thinks waiting to marry is causing a problem here. I think the lives of today's young adults are becoming better and their marriages are becoming more stable. Where I see a potential crunch is young adults who want to have more than two children," he says.

Those who do worry include John Van Epp, a clinical counselor in Medina, Ohio, and family therapist Alan Singer, who has offices in New York City and Highland Park, N.J. Both say many young adults view marriage as something in the distant future.

Van Epp presented a program this summer about the repercussions of marrying in the late 20s and early 30s. Singer's blog urges parents to change the wait-to-marry message. He's particularly worried that medical advances in treating infertility are giving couples the wrong idea.

"It gives people confidence — almost invincibility — that we can delay these things and science will rescue us," he says.

Fertility researcher Richard Paulson of the University of Southern California says that, as a general rule, women should start having children no later than age 30 and be done by 35, when statistics show fertility declines.

The federal government is also taking new interest in these young adults. The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, a government-supported clearinghouse, hired a market research firm to survey 3,600 adults ages 18-30 and will target that demographic with a website expected to launch next year.

Although preliminary, the data have identified distinct but very diverse attitudes, ranging from those who can't wait to marry to those who are afraid to marry and others in between. Just over 20% of those sampled have very low motivation for marriage; they view it as a risk that interferes with their independence or they were fearful of divorce.

Researchers say divorce rates are down for the better-educated. Those with college degrees marry later, have better jobs and more income. But an analysis of 2006 Census data by the American Council on Education finds that only 35% of those 25-29 have an associate's degree or higher.

The Beckers' extended education may bode well for their marriage, even though Emily Becker says it's tough to see their friends already settled with kids as the Beckers just begin married life.

"I've now found out marriage is such a wonderful thing, I wish people would have told me to get married sooner because I had found the right guy," she says. "But I'm actually glad we waited because we knew what we were getting into."

I refuse to listen... you cannot make me!

The annual WalMart boycott has begun. I made the mistake of going to said store earlier last week, needing just a few items for dinner group. As I was strolling along the aisle, looking for stir fry seasoning, I noticed that the music in WalMart was somewhat different. There were strange bells, and it was all classical, and I couldn't peg exactly...

And then it hit me.

EVERY YEAR I have to go through this. The WalMart fast, all because they play Christmas music from November 1 until December 31. Can I just remind you... that there are at least two holidays in between that time (three if you are counting my birthday) - 3 HOLIDAYS! And they are just skipping right over the most important holiday of the autumn season - that being, THANKSGIVING!


(Just so you remember, the WalMart boycott will only last through the month of November. It's too cheap to give up altogether!)

I love Thanksgiving. I love everything about it (when done "right") and I HATE to see is skipped over just because WalMart thinks they can make a few extra bucks in sales by reminding people that Christmas is on its way and they should start buying now through music. It's like subliminal messaging, only blatant!

In other news: I think I am going to boycott Macey's as well. And definitely all the radio sations that have already started playing Christmas songs. Why don't they make Thanksgiving songs? Anyway, I was walking down Macey's Seasonal/Promotional aisle, and you'll never guess what I saw. Oh wait, I'm sure you can... Christmas...Christmas...more Christmas. Reds and Greens, Elves and Santas. Candies of all sorts donning reindeer and Christmas trees. Rows and rows and rows of candy canes. Oh, and one eenie-weinie space for Autumn things. Autumn things! Not even Thanksgiving, just autumn in general. For all I know, they had it on display during Halloween and didn't bother to move it in order to make room for all their too-early Christmas items.

It makes me sick. And irate. And irritated.

Why is it that people and stores can't be like me. Come December 1, you'll hear nothing coming from my speakers but Christmas music. I'll have my house decked out in lights and garland. I'll be enjoying Christmas the right way, in its right time.

I encourage you to do the same.

Thank goodness for pilgrims! Thanks for turkey and mashed potatoes. And ROLLS! But more importantly Thanks for my family, for my Savior, the gospel, living prophets, the scriptures, good roommates, wonderful friends, a free nation, pillows and blankets, an education, technology, good music, being well fed, having a job, a car that runs, a phone to communicate with, and everything else Heavenly Father has been so generous to give.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dangerous? Pah!

Safest and Most Dangerous U.S. Cities, 2007

The following table ranks the safest and most dangerous cities in the United States as of 2007. The cities all have populations of more than 75,000. The rankings are based on a city's rate for six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

Safest Most dangerous
Rank City Rank City Rank City Rank City
1. Mission Viejo, Calif. 14. Cary, N.C. 1. Detroit, Mich. 14. Compton, Calif.
2. Clarkstown, N.Y. 15. Greece, N.Y. 2. St. Louis, Mo. 15. Youngstown, Ohio
3. Brick, N.J. 16. Chino Hills, Calif. 3. Flint, Mich. 16. Cincinnati, Ohio
4. Amherst, N.Y. 17. Coral Springs, Fla. 4. Oakland, Calif. 17. Gary, Ind.
5. Sugar Land, Texas 18. Troy, Mich. 5. Camden, N.J. 18. Kansas City, Mo.
6. Colonie, N.Y. 19. Farmington Hills, Mich. 6. Birmingham, Ala. 19. Dayton, Ohio
7. Thousand Oaks, Calif. 20. Centennial, Colo. 7. North Charleston, S.C. 20. Newark, N.J.
8. Newton, Mass. 21. Glendale, Calif. 8. Memphis, Tenn. 21. Philadelphia, Penn.
9. Toms River, N.J. 22. Broken Arrow, Okla. 9. Richmond, Calif. 22. Atlanta, Ga.
10. Lake Forest, Calif. 23. Parma, Ohio 10. Cleveland, Ohio 23. Jackson, Mo.
11. Irvine, Calif. 24. Sterling Heights, Mich. 11. Orlando, Fla. 24. Buffalo, N.Y.
12. Orem, Utah 25. Simi Valley, Calif. 12. Baltimore, Md. 25. Kansas City, Kans.
13. Round Rock, Texas

13. Little Rock, Ark.

Source: www.cqpress.com.

For some reason, I am very proud of how little Dayton is, and yet how much havoc they are creating. I love Dayton.

Dayton, OH, population 158,873, is located in Ohio's Montgomery county, about 43.7 miles from Cincinnati and 64.9 miles from Columbus.

Through the 90's Dayton's population has declined by about 9%. It is estimated that in the first 5 years of this decade the population of Dayton has declined by about 4%.

Dayton's property crime levels tend to be much higher than Ohio's average level. The same data shows violent crime levels in Dayton tend to be much higher than Ohio's average level.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I paid extra money to make sure my ballot was in on time (thanks, Mom) and this is why: VOTING IS IMPORTANT. Especially when you live in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Luckily, I still am registered in Ohio. I'm hoping that my vote for Ohio's underdog will help declare a victory for the lesser of two evils.

From Yahoo:
Among the 50 states, Missouri has a record of picking presidents that’s hard to match — the Show Me State has voted for the eventual winner in every election since 1904, with the exception of 1956, when it voted for Adlai Stevenson. Ohio’s not a bad predictor, either: It is almost always close to the national average, and no Republican has ever been elected president without carrying the Buckeye State. In fact, in the 14 presidential elections since 1952, Ohio has gone with the winner 13 times. Just three other states can boast that record of accuracy: Missouri, Nevada and Tennessee.

On a completely separate note: I know that everyone that reads my blog is Pro Prop 8, but I thought I would put another plug in there for anyone who stumbles across this in the next few hours (hahah...riiight). Yes on PROP 8! It's not about discriminating, hate, or intolerance. Prop 8 is all about preserving the sanctity of marriage and protecting the family as God intended.

For some interesting views on Prop 8, check out these videos:
They call us intolerant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q28UwAyzUkE
The truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4nqtDrJI7A

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