Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bring on the Rain

I love a good summer thunderstorm. Living in Utah, I realize that what I might consider a thunderstorm is nothing compared to what those living in the South know as thunderstorms, but for me, I love a good Utah summer thunderstorm.

It’s monsoon season here. Because of the monsoon season, we’ve seen a lot of afternoon thunderstorms the last couple of weeks. The storms we’ve been experiencing in my part of the world have been quite fascinating to me. In the morning, the skies are clear blue, with maybe a few puffy white clouds. The temperature begins to rise, but looking out the window, the day is gorgeous. At lunch time, the sky is still clear and even though the temperature is nearing triple digits, the day is quite nice. Then, the storm rolls in. Around 3:00, the sky begins to darken, clouds roll in over the mountain tops, and within an hour we’ve got a downpour of rain. The rain doesn’t last long, but what it lacks in time length, it makes up for in strength. By the time the afternoon commute comes along, we’re pretty much back to clear, beautiful skies.

The thunderstorms do two things: 1 – they cool down the horrendously hot temperature. For at least a little while, we have cooler weather. 2 – They bring some moisture to the desperately dry landscape. Sometimes, the rains bring floods and other times the rain is just a little trickle. Either way, the rains do come.

These thunderstorms got me to thinking about storms in my life. I go for long stretches of time when the “skies” in my life are clear. My job, my social life, all the million little demands for my time, are all clear and blue. Occasionally, there may even be a little puffy white cloud in my sky. Sometimes, the temperature begins to rise and my atmosphere needs cooling off. This is when the “storms” appear. Almost out of nowhere, my sky darkens, black clouds move in, and my little life is suddenly in the midst of a downpour! At the time, it seems the rain will never stop. But, just like the summer thunderstorm, the rain does stop.

And what do the storms in my life do? 1 – They cool me down. The rain storms remind me of my goals, put my life in perspective, and help me to focus on what’s truly important. Sometimes, I need my atmosphere to be shaken up a bit in order to really focus on what’s important to me. 2 – They bring moisture to my dry landscape. The moisture helps me to grow, keeps me from dying, and brings my soul back to life. I may not realize it at the time, but the “rain” is actually saving me. It’s helping me to grow and to progress.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that rain is good. Storms are good. And I’m thankful for storms in my life.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This Just Makes Me Laugh

I found this on another website and thought it was hillarious. Maybe that makes me a nerd.

How to Write Good

Don't know where this came from, but some is derived from William Safire's Rules for Writers.

1. Always avoid alliteration.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague—they're old hat.
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. Parenthetical words however must be enclosed in commas.
8. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
9. Contractions aren't necessary.
10. Do not use a foreign word when there is an adequate English quid pro quo.
11. One should never generalize.
12. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
13. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
14. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
15. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
16. Avoid archaeic spellings too.
17. Understatement is always best.
18. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
19. One-word sentences? Eliminate. Always!
20. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
21. The passive voice should not be used.
22. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
23. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
24. Who needs rhetorical questions?
25. Don't use commas, that, are not, necessary.
26. Do not use hyperbole; not one in a million can do it effectively.
27, Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
28. Subject and verb always has to agree.
29. Be more or less specific.
30. Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.
31. Use youre spell chekker to avoid mispeling and to catch typograhpical errers.
32. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
33. Don't be redundant.
34. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
35. Don't never use no double negatives.
36. Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
37. Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
38. Eschew obfuscation.
39. No sentence fragments.
40. Don't indulge in sesquipedalian lexicological constructions.
41. A writer must not shift your point of view.
42. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
43. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
44. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
45. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
46. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
47. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
48. Always pick on the correct idiom.
49. The adverb always follows the verb.
50. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
51. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
52. And always be sure to finish what

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm a Blue

According to www.thecolorcode.com....

Congratulations. You are BLUE. BLUES are motivated by INTIMACY. They seek to genuinely connect with others, and need to be understood and appreciated. Everything they do is quality-based. They are loyal friends, employers, and employees. Whatever or whomever they commit to is their sole (and soul) focus. They love to serve and give themselves freely in order to nurture others' lives.
BLUES have distinct preferences and have the most controlling personality. Their personal code of ethics is remarkably strong and they expect others to live honest, committed lives as well. They enjoy meaningful moments in conversation as well as paying close attention to special life events (e.g. birthdays and anniversaries). BLUES are dependable, thoughtful, and analytical; but can also be self-righteous, worry-prone, and moody. They are "sainted pit-bulls" who never let go of something or someone, once they are committed. When you deal with a BLUE, be sincere and make a genuine effort to understand and appreciate them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Something that I'm really grateful for in my life is that I've always been blessed with good friends. Some friends have only been in my life for a little while, and others have been there for years. And then there are those friends who it seems like you've known forever, but when you think about it, it's just been a few short years. I'm really lucky.

I think friends are so important in our lives. Friends shape and form you as a person. The kind of character you develop comes in large part from the friends you associate with as a child and a teenager. As you grow, you realize that some friends are good for you and some are just plain toxic! But it's those good friends, those who have been good examples, that help shape part of who you are.

I've never had to worry if my friends would lead me down the wrong path or tempt me to do something that I don't want to do. I've been very blessed to have good, courageous, exemplary friends in my life. And lucky for me, I can even count my family among my friends.

Sometimes, life beats you up. You're tired, you're worn out, and you just wonder if you really can do all that is expected from you. And then, you get a call, or an email, or maybe just remember something really funny that one of your friends did and the world is right again. Maybe it's a lunch date with a close friend, or an email from an old co-worker. Maybe it's the comfort of knowing that if you pick up the phone or you click the send button, that the person on the other end is going to be there for you and listen and love you...no matter what. And I think that's what friendship means to me. Unconditional, pure love.

And sometimes, there are those friends who you don't really talk to much anymore. Those who have moved far away, or who have demanding careers (or who think they are famous) that you just don't get to see or talk to much. But you know, no matter what, they would be there for you. And that's what really counts.

If you are one of these friends who I don't see often (and you know who you are), you should call me! For the rest of you, thank you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

About Me

This post is dedicated to Ang, who requested I put something personal on my blog. This is about as personal as I'll ever get.

100 Things About Me

1. I enjoy being by myself.
2. I also love spending time with my family.
3. I love rain, especially a really cool thunderstorm.
4. I secretly want to be a designer. Unfortunately, I don’t have any talent in that area.
5. I can’t stand people that whine! Either make a change or get over it already.
6. No matter how bad of a mood I am in, my nephews makes me happy. What did we ever do before those kids were born?
7. I love the way I feel after I exercise, but am rarely motivated to actually do it.
8. I love school, but hate the homework.
9. I am fiercely loyal.
10. I hate to see people suffering.
11. I also hate sushi. Tried it. Do not like it.
12. I love sleeping in on a cold winter morning. With lots of blankets pulled up around my chin.
13. I love when a guy I’m interested in speaks highly of his mother.
14. I love when a guy pays for dinner because he wants to and not because he feels obligated.
15. I love white lilies.
16. I love the beginning of spring.
17. I love when my nephew give me his “big hug.”
18. Sometimes I eat ice cream for breakfast.
19. It’s my dream to own a flower shop. I can’t think of anything sweeter than being surrounded by lilies all day long.
20. Whenever I paint my nails, I usually scrape the polish off within 2 days.
21. Cherry Limeade
22. With crushed ice….enough said.
23. I used to think being published was really cool.
24. Now I think being published somewhere cool is where it’s at.
25. Do not lie to me. It’s very hard to win my trust back.
26. I started playing violin when I was 10.
27. I used to be good at it.
28. Not anymore.
29. I hate spiders. Hate them.
30. I almost drowned when I was 5 years old.
31. I can still remember the experience vividly.
32. And I don’t remember very much from my childhood.
33. I love roller coasters!
34. I get car sick really easily.
35. Whenever we drive in the canyon, I stick my head out the window like a dog.
36. I like to sing really loud.
37. But I have a horrible singing voice.
38. Just ask anyone in my family. They will tell you.
39. I can’t wait until the day every season of Growing Pains comes out on DVD.
40. I’m convinced that The Office, the American version, is true of most offices.
41. There’s certainly a Dwight in my office.
42. And I secretly wish I was Pam so Jim would have a crush on me.
43. Unfortunately, there’s no Jim in my office.
44. I once asked Santa Clause to give me Tiger Woods for Christmas.
45. I am terrified of mascots!
46. I get angry really easily in traffic, waiting in lines, or dealing with annoying people.
47. I think Tony Blair is a babe.
48. The new prime minister, not so much.
49. The most frequently asked question when people found out I was an English major…”Are you going to teach?”
50. The answer is, “No!”
51. I was accepted into 5 law schools.
52. And I ended up getting a Masters degree in Communications instead.
53. I should have been a lawyer.
54. I could probably quote at least one line from every episode of Friends that was ever made.
55. I love to wear high heels.
56. I think wedge shoes are the best invention ever.
57. I once had a co-worker who wrote advertisements in Dr. Seuss verse.
58. To this day, I swear I saw Rudolph’s red nose coming over the mountain on Christmas Eve.
59. My favorite Halloween costume ever was a pencil.
60. I designed it myself.
61. I’ve been to Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.
62. I’m going to Great Britain this Fall.
63. I’ve never been to Mexico or Canada.
64. I have no idea why I get so much junk email.
65. I am an only girl in my family.
66. Growing up, I wanted a sister to share clothes with.
67. Now that I think about it, I probably wouldn’t have shared my clothes.
68. As a teenager, I liked to wear my brothers' jeans.
69. My favorite was wearing the jeans that belonged to my brother who is 9 years younger than me.
70. For some reason, those jeans made me feel skinny.
71. I love to read.
72. I’m reading Jane Eyre right now. It’s taking me awhile to get through.
73. I’ve been reading War and Peace for at least 5 years.
74. I always have to start over when I start reading it again.
75. So far, I’ve never made it all the way through the book.
76. I always use a turn signal.
77. I think it’s weird when people who don’t know me call me Jen.
78. I don’t think it’s weird when my friends call me Jen.
79. I think Americans should adopt the concept of Siesta time.
80. One day, I want to be able to donate to charities on a regular basis.
81. I would choose the local homeless shelter and the American Cancer Society.
82. I am a sleep walker.
83. I really enjoy pedicures.
84. I can live without manicures. (See #20).
85. I like to read blogs.
86. Even if I don’t know the person.
87. I went to the New Kids on the Block concert when I was 14.
88. I’m really glad peanut butter and chocolate are friends.
89. My favorite movie is Dead Poets Society.
90. But I could watch Pretty in Pink over and over again.
91. I’ve never read a Harry Potter book.
92. My favorite city in the U.S. is New York City.
93. My favorite city ever is Lucerne, Switzerland.
94. When I was in the 5th grade, I thought it would be cool to have head gear.
95. I also once tried to break my own arm just so I could wear a cast.
96. I must have been a strange child.
97. My friends and I like to stalk people.
98. But we’re not official stalkers because we don’t have a ledger.
99. And by stalk, I mean we drive my cute boy’s houses.
100. I didn’t think I was going to make it to 100, but I did.


I’ve been thinking a lot of about heroes lately. Thinking about those who we look up to, those who are role models for our children, and those who set the standards for the future generation. In this media-crazed world, it’s easy to see the Paris Hiltons, Lindsay Lohans, and others of celebrity fame. But are the examples these type of people are setting really what we, as a country, should be celebrating, writing stories about, and spending our energy learning more about?

On the news last night, I heard a story that inspired me to take a look the types of “heroes” I have in my life. Utah Jazz player, Derek Fisher, was given an early leave from his contract…a move which caused him to lose $21 million the Jazz would owe him if he completed his contract. The reason? Not his ego, not an opportunity to play for a better team or to make more money. Derek Fisher wanted out of his contract so he could spend time with his infant daughter who has a rare form of eye cancer.

When I first heard this story, I thought, “what a good man.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how uncommon his actions are. I know very few people in this world that would give up $21 million. And he gave up this money for his family. In my opinion, Derek Fisher has got it right. He knows that after this life, money doesn’t mean a thing. When all the world fails you, when your teammates let you down, when you’re injured and can’t play basketball anymore, all you have left is your family. What courage and dedication it must have taken him to make this decision. And yet, I’m willing to say that it may have been one of the easiest decisions he’s ever made. It’s obvious to me that Derek Fisher is a man with a big heart and unconditional love for his family.

It’s the Derek Fisher’s in this world that we need more of. Forget buying Paris Hilton’s trash on eBay; who cares when Lindsay Lohan gets out of rehab; and honestly, I don’t want to hear another story about crazy Britany Spears! If these beautiful, talented women would have had a Derek Fisher in their lives, maybe their circumstances would have turned out differently. Instead of trashing their health, their careers, their talents, maybe they would be leading normal, healthy lives. And maybe, just maybe, I could get through one day without hearing about poor Paris Hilton and her horrible stay in jail. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll hear more stories like Derek Fisher’s in the future.

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a little bit sassy...