Yesterday vs. Today

Let me paint you a picture. Yesterday Mike and I were living off of tylenol, coke, and chocolate. Yesterday we had no clean forks, spoons, bowls, plates, or socks. Our pile of laundry was almost as tall as me, and twice as wide. (Mike named this week the revenge of the clothes you never see.) We had puffy eyes from lack of sleep (though the pink eye is gone, thank heaven.) All surfaces in our apartment were covered in various textbooks, notes, outlines, pencils, homework, old bits of paper, articles, rough drafts covered in unintelligible scribbles, chapstick, highlighters, pain killers, unopened mail, tissues, various half-drunk caffeinated drinks, and laptops.

Then Mike finished his last final exam, and we both turned in our last final papers. Oh blessed "submit" button, I love thee.

Today we resemble human beings again. We are well rested. And showered. You can see the top of our desk, kitchen counters, and most of our dining table. Today the laundry is at most half as tall as me. (I'm working on it.) Today we had food for lunch. Today we watched football. There is not a dirty dish in the house. Or a sign of law, economics, or the French Revolution. And today I realized that Christmas is next week.

Finals are over. It's Christmas break.

Sometimes life is awesome.



Two Voldemortish items of business:

1) I look like Voldemort. I have pink eye in both my eyes. It was a nice excuse to stay home from work at first, but now I'm very much sick of having sore, itchy red eyes all the time. I was majorly stressed since we were going to Pittsburgh for Pie-day, and was worried I would pass this highly contagious infection along to my little nieces and nephews. BUT, we made it back home without passing it along to anyone else! I consider this a massive victory. Thank you to whoever invented hand sanitizer and antibiotics.

2) We, along with the rest of the muggle population, saw the latest Harry Potter movie. We did dress up... as Wolverine and Bella Swan. We figured, as long as we represented famous movie icons we were good to go. (Forgot the camera though, sorry... though by this point, is anyone surprised?) We both liked it, though the lack of closure left me antsy for the next movie to come out. Speaking of Voldemort and eyes, is anyone else bugged that Voldy's eyes are blue in the movies instead of the clearly established red eyes in the books? This is a gross error, in my opinion. But I digress.

Non-Voldemortish item of business:

1) Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. :)


H A double L O W double E N

It started out as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, but ended up as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolverine.


Catch Up

HOLY FREAKING COW, life has been wicked chaotic lately. Seriously, I think I must have been taking crazy pills when I signed up for this full-time work and full-time school business. It's madness, I tell you. Between the craziness we have managed to squeeze in some fun things. Here's an update...

I met up with some of my favorite people of all time for a little reunion in upstate New York. It was fab. We toured Cornell, ate lots of yummy food, went to Ithaca's Farmer's Market where I enjoyed the hippy feel of the locale, saw more recycle bins than I've ever seen at any one place before in my life, did a little Arrested Development, planned the movie of our lives (complete with cast lists), embarked on nature hikes, found an old barn-turned-used-bookstore where I seriously scored some great finds, went to a spa and got professional massages (which I highly recommend), and just had a grand old time. Photographic evidence (thanks Tin):

So, the old president of Cornell had his own private library.That's right. HIS. OWN. LIBRARY. I know, awesome. As soon as I saw it, I knew I HAD to have one. So, I either have to buy more books (right, Mike?) or become the president of Cornell. I'm okay with either option.Ithaca is gorgeous. (And gorges. Ha.) The colors reminded me of when Mike and I were in Pittsburgh last October. Eastern America is just so lovely in fall. Okay, is this little girl not adorable?!?? Seriously. SO cute.

Lion King

After coming home and un-burying myself from homework, Mike and I went to Chicago to see Lion King! I LOVED it, and Mike didn't hate it, so it was a success. Their costumes are incredible. The giraffes are still my favorite. I've been singing African songs in my head ever since (and wishing L-to-the-izzie were here so we could jam African style. She's the only other person I know who knows all the lyrics.)


We carved pumpkins and were very proud of ourselves.And here's a close up:

Another note- This is very important. I don't know what to be for Halloween, and we have exactly 4 days to figure it out. In need of input. Please help.

That's all for now. Maybe I'll blog again before the semester ends, but I make no promises. From here on out I will be inseparable from the schoolbooks. Wish me luck with midterms.



My dad recently had to travel to Chicago for a conference. When my mom found out he was coming to Chicago she decided to come with him too! My little sister Lindsey, not wanting to be left out, came too, and then my little brother decided not to miss out on the fun, so he came out from BYU as well. It was grand. Their arrival coincided with Mike's arrival home from some interviews out of state, so my foxy dish of a husband met up with the fam (also foxy and dish-y) in Chicago and led them out to the boonies so they could see our humble abode.Once they got here we promptly lunched. We then went straight to the College Football Hall of Fame. Mike couldn't get over the irony that we were missing football games to go to the football hall of fame, but I was happy for the break from football. Also ironic. I've never really understood what the fake people are supposed to represent. But I guess it makes for some good pictures.
Practicing the kick off.Notice the ND and BYU flags next to each other.All Cougar Alumni/future Alumni. (Wow Nathan looks really tall here. He is quite tall, but not Goliath tall.)Then we went to campus and gave the grand tour. Luckily the rain held up while we walked around.Where Mike spends most his days:Outside a lecture hall in the Law School.Our "judging" faces in the courtroom.
Mike's official desk.Outside the Law School side door.
I really thought that bird was going to bite Linz. I'm glad it didn't.Dad and Knute.Nath and the famous Touchdown Jesus.We drove back to Chicago that night and went to Carmines for dinner. Their ravioli was DANG good- and that's coming from a major pasta snob. (I'm pretty sure we all had bread in our mouths for this picture.)
(Apparently this half of the table was able to swallow in time.)
Our photographers (Mom and Linz) had to catch a plane early the next morning, so we have no photos to document when I put the wrong address in the GPS and we ended up in the hood instead of at church the next morning. (True story.) We also have no photographic evidence of our trip to the top of the Hancock Tower, or the delectable lunch at the Cheesecake Factory afterwards. But we still had fun. Thanks for coming everyone! Come back again soon!!


Literary Heroines Who Ended Up With The Wrong Man

I saw this on a friend-of-a-friend's blog, and thought the idea was so brilliant that I made my own list. This is only my opinion, so please feel free to disagree and/or to add to the list! And now, without further ado, I bring you my list of literary heroines who ended up with the wrong man:

1. Jo March from Little Women
I don't care what anyone says, Jo and Laurie were meant for each other. I think my heart died a little when Laurie married Amy, and Jo ended up with the old boring guy.

2. Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility
I know he's a royal jerk, but I wish Willoughby could have straightened out and committed to Maryanne. They were such kindred spirits. And I wish Colonel Brandon could have ended up with someone who really loved him in return, and was not so obviously more compatible with someone else.
3. Olivia from Twelfth Night
Olivia and Orsino are both so dang melodramatic- they would be perfect together. (Granted, this paring would leave Viola and Sebastian together, and that wouldn't be very kosher seeing as they're twins and all.)
4. Mary Bennett from Pride and Prejudice
Poor girl. She and the awkward Mr. Collins would have made such a delightfully righteous couple. I was always secretly hoping they would end up together, but alas. He ends up with poor Charlotte.
5. Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat Pray Love
This is cheating a little bit since Liz is not a fictional character, and I really have no right to tell real people who they should be with. (Though I do claim the absolute right to completely dictate the lives of fictional characters.) Anyway, I was bugged that she decided to try and make it work with the wealthy, foreign businessman. Hasn't she ever seen a chick flick? The steamy foreign affairs never last.

6. Tommy from Never Let Me Go
This is also cheating as Tommy is a hero, not a heroine. Still, I was so sad that Tommy and Kathy didn't get more time together. Freaking Ruth.
7. Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind
This one is tricky since she ends up with no one. But I would have liked to see a reconciliation with Rhett Butler, her obvious match. It was implied that they do eventually return to each other, but this reconciliation has never been actually produced on print or on film. I'm still waiting for closure.

8. Christine Daae from The Phantom of the Opera
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to doom Christine to a life with an unstable stalker, sexy as the Phantom's voice is. I'm just not the biggest fan of Raul. He has no personality in the book, and he's not much improved in the movie either.
9. Katniss Everdeen from Mockingjay
I won't spoil the ending here for those of you who haven't finished it yet. Suffice it to say, WHAT THE CRAP.

10. Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
Total cheating: This is a TV show, not a book. But I still think Rory should have ended up with Dean. I couldn't close out this list without throwing that in there.


I Think Mike Needs More Sleep. Or a Kitten.

This is how Mike entertains himself these days when he takes a break from studying. (I believe his favorite part is from about 0:40-0:55.)

He probably watched this next one at least 50 times. Not joking.

It's only the second week of school and already Mike is laughing at cat videos. I'm not sure this is a good omen for the school year. Regardless, we are now in the market for a treadmill.


Book Reviews

I've been reading lots of fluffy books lately as a preemptive strike against all the heavy literature I'll be tackling soon in grad school. Here are my thoughts. Enjoy! (Side-note: I have a tendency to write WAY more than necessary when doing book reviews, so I challenged myself to limit my reviews to no more than four sentences. This turned out to be a challenge of astronomical proportion, and resulted in a high overdose of commas and semi-colons. Let it be known: I have much more to say about each of these books, especially Catching Fire, but I stuck to my challenge. Go me. End of side-note.)

Austenland by Shannon Hale
I'm an Austen fan, don't get me wrong, but I only thought this book was so-so. It was occasionally witty, but not charming enough or engaging enough or funny enough to be at all notable. Basically, I finished the last page, put the book down, and promptly forgot all about it. (Sorry Hale fans.) C-

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
I think I would love this book if I were 10 years old. This is a good thing, as 10-year-old girls are the targeted audience. From an adult perspective, I thought it was a little boring... but I would still recommend it as a fun fairy tale to my little sister and my nieces. B

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
For a book about running, The Maze Runner took forever to get going. Although I disliked Thomas (the main character) for his annoying mood swings and narrow mindedness, I did like many of the minor characters, even though they were never quite developed enough. The most redeeming feature was the epilogue, which gave me hope for book two. (Did anyone else get LOST flashbacks while reading this? Unexplained phenomenons going on all over the place, survival theories, exasperating main character in Thomas/Jack, a severe lack of answers, etc.) (This LOST query does not count in my 4 sentences.) C-

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Arg. I loved Hunger Games. Catching Fire was irritating though. Too many things were told, not shown; all of the characters were stagnant; the plot was just a repeat of Hunger Games... I was disappointed with this book, but that still didn't prevent me from preordering book three on Amazon. C

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
Hmm. I do believe it's possible, normal even, to be a married woman and have male friends... however, I would have a really hard time if my spouse acted the way Becky Jack acts with her devilishly handsome, disgustingly wealthy, impossibly charming soulmate. It wasn't a physical affair, but it sure felt like an emotional affair.  I don't think I'm alone on this, so let's take the book for what it is: A licorice and chocolate gummy bear cupcake. Totally and completely implausible, but kind of enticing in a weird and mildly unwelcome way. So, behind the bizarre sugar rush, I thought the characterization was good, the writing was funny when it wasn't overdone, Hale writes emotions well, but the story seriously dragged- she should have cut about 150 pages (I almost stopped reading halfway through because the novel just wasn't progressing)... all in all, I can see a lot of people taking this book too seriously and fleeing to the Ensign for comfort, but if you can get past the pretense you might enjoy it, so long as you don't fall asleep while reading. (I am aware that this review only barely qualifies as 4 sentences. Deal with it.) C

Next on my list:
-Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins which comes out next week!!!!
-School Stuff.
PS- Thanks for the book recommendations! I plan on reading all of your suggestions, though it may take some time to get through them all. :)



So, I applied to Indiana University's English MA program on a whim, and I got in! Yay me! I have to confess, the prospect of doing both full-time work and full-time school is a little daunting, but heck. Right now I'm just excited. Go Titans!