Friday, February 26, 2010

Life from life in cold Kansas.

So I went for a walk and decided to take some pictures of my miserable wind-swept state. It's funny because my face doesn't even look red in the pictures... I guarantee it was! I swear, I don't even LOOK cold...!

Notice the conspicuous absence of mountains in the background. I am starting to get used to that, although I sometimes look around expecting to see mountains on the horizon. The thing you start to notice is the sky itself. It's so big here, and sometimes you can just stand and get swallowed up in it's immensity. It really is incredibly beautiful.

On a different note, in my biology class, we have finally gotten to genetics. It's my favorite biological stuff, and I just love learning about it. In a weird way, it's like I AM my parents, in part, and I am also my grandparents and great grandparents... and on and on. It's because life has to come from life, and so my life is literally a branch off of my parent's lives. And it makes me wonder about my ancestors (some who lived near here in Kansas, incidentally) and if they are aware of me. Their lives go on, through me. What would they think of me?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why is it hard to change?

It's the second day of the chocolate fast, and I am doing okay. Yesterday we were at Wal-mart and I was looking longingly at the doughnuts in the bakery area. I was thinking, "There are some with white frosting, and some with maple frosting, and some with strawberry frosting... as long as I don't get any chocolate ones..." But then I figured that replacing chocolate with doughnuts would actually be worse for my health than just sticking with chocolate. (Because doughnuts are packed with ridiculous amounts of refined sugar and baked with refined flour, and topped with sugary sticky frosting...!) So I had to refrain from buying a replacement form of sugar.

I've been victorious in one battle so far!

It's not easy to change. I'm trying to improve my life in other ways too. I have this job writing articles, but I've barely made any money doing it. I mean, I've had all kinds of valid excuses for not getting much done, but it's time to start succeeding! I have a hard time working consistently day after day, and this is what I'm trying to teach myself to do. It's funny how hard it is for me to simply get to work each day. But if I can go without chocolate and say no to doughnuts, I'm sure that I can sit down and write for two or three hours tonight.

Will power is my friend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 1 of the chocolate fast.

Okay, so I don't have the pictures yet because I slept in late today and didn't bring my jump drive to school with me. The internet connection is so weak at my house that I can't upload pictures to Blogger there even though I can write posts.

Anyway, I'm going on a chocolate fast. Why? I was inspired by House. We have been getting episodes of House from Netflix. It's about this amazing doctor (named House) who has an addiction to pain medication. Okay, so House is also a jerk who treats everyone like crap, but he's so good at diagnosing diseases that he's invaluable to his hospital. In the episodes we've been watching, House is getting into trouble with the law because of his addiction, and he always insists that it's because he's in pain. (He has a dead muscle in his leg.) The thing is, he really seems to need the medicine for more than just the pain. He needs it emotionally.

So Paul and I were talking about the Word of Wisdom that many LDS people follow. Basically we don't drink alcohol, coffee, or tea. We don't smoke cigarettes, and I think we're also generally not supposed to get addicted to drugs of any kind. Our leaders tell us that addictions of any kind make us slaves.

And so I figured, you know, there is something I need emotionally that I don't necessarily need physically. In fact, chocolate isn't great for a diabetic, in any case. I love it, I eat it all the time, and I want to determine if it is an addiction.

So I'm going on a chocolate fast! I'm going to see if I can go an entire week without touching a piece of chocolate. Seriously, I want it to be something I can enjoy every now and then, not something I must have every day.

We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's all about the scarf.

I cannot handle the wind here in Kansas! I mean, it is so cold it practically freezes your face off the second you step out the door. If you're one of those people who likes to have nice hair, don't even bother coming into this state. Your perfect hair will be ruined before you can pull up the hood of your coat.

(It's nice to finally have an excuse, though, for my *ahem* "naturally flowing" hair. In the past, I always had to admit that I was simply too lazy to do it.)

This is the first time in my life, with the possible exception of ice fishing trips, that I have ever voluntarily worn a scarf. Now I find my scarf as essential as my shoes! I wouldn't dream of going out without it. I swear, this cold wind could kill me!

Anyway, I figure it's time to start blogging every day now that I finally got myself a working computer of my own. (Yay for $300 Netbooks!) I intend to start posting pictures with most of my posts as well to keep it interesting. I figure, "Hey, I've got a camera, people like pictures... I can bribe them to come to my blog!"

Hope it works. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

I have GOT to get my own computer!!!!!!!!

We went outside to go to school this morning and it appeared that our car was covered in droplets of water. They looked like nice little droplets you could just rub off with your hand... but it was an illusion! The droplets were all frozen solid and they wouldn't come off with the windshield wipers. Fortunately, a few minutes of the car's heat melted them so that they could be scraped off.

I've heard the locals talk about ice storms, and I hear that they're much worse. Supposedly, ice will cover your car completely so that you can't even open the doors, and it's so thick that you can't chip it off with an ice scraper...!

But for today, we made it to school just fine. I have just a few minutes before my first class right now to update my blog.

I don't post very much on this blog because I'm trying desperately to hold onto my article writing job. With our computer not working, we have checked out school computers several times to work on. But even when I have one of the school computers, I still can't count on them to actually work. Most of the time the internet won't work at our house, so I can't write my articles from fresh research, and even when I complete several of them, I usually have to wait until the internet works before I can send them. On those rare occasions when I actually have internet access, I usually only just have time to pull up some research for my articles. A Facebook posting is a rarity.

So I've been thinking that it's utterly ridiculous for me to be an independently contracted writer if I don't have a working computer of my own-- and I mean MY OWN. Even the necessity of sharing with Paul chafes me because he seems to do nothing anymore but write papers for his classes. And that's a really stupid competition, him needing the computer for his grad school work and me needing it for my job. How can one of us say, "Mine's More Important!!!!"

Anyway, I'm getting my own computer ASAP. I just don't know what kind to get. I go online (in brief lapses between research, mind you) and look at different beefed-up laptops. It's all mumbo jumbo to me, though. I have no clue about operating systems, memory, WLAN, or almost anything else associated with computers. Somebody help me please!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cyrus, Ryan, and poor little Nathaniel.

A few days ago, we were at Walmart picking up necessities and Paul decided that it was time for us to get some pets. I think he has been missing our pseudo-pet lizard Ferdinand that we, of course, left behind in Georgia. (He loved to bask in our window sill on warm afternoons, but he was technically a wild animal.)

So we invested in a fish bowl, gravel, some fake water plants, and three tiny goldfish. Because they were so little and so cute, I said we had to name them after our three nephews: Cyrus, Ryan, and Nathaniel.

For two days they swam around happily and then Nathaniel suddenly died! It was sad. He was floating limply near the surface when we came home from school.

Ryan and Cyrus are still happily darting around their bowl, and I really hope that neither of them dies any time soon. We can't get another fish until mid-summer when our next nephew will be born. His name will be Benjamin, and when he's born we'll get another fish to name after him, I think. It just seems wrong to name another fish Nathaniel. He was only part of the family for a short time, but it's not like he can be replaced...!