Friday, January 25, 2008

What is Wrong With People?!

My roommate tipped me off to this story and I followed up with some trusty research on the internet*. Apparently, a poll was conducted asking people what they would rather have, Jennifer Aniston’s body or a million dollars. 78% said they would want the money, with 22% saying they would rather have Jennifer Aniston’s body. I thought, okay, that’s good, I’d rather have the money too. This was reported on one of those morning shows, and their spin? Well, that people are choosing wealth over health. Seriously, give me a break. The bottom line is this…people in America need money. Most have debt issues, mortgages, children, groceries to buy, gadgets to keep up with, and on and on. Tune into the news and anyone can see the economy is in crisis. So yeah, people are going to choose the money. And let’s be honest. Jennifer Aniston as the picture of “health”? Sure, she is skinny and such, but how do these celebrities end up looking the way they do? They have the time and money to work out all the time, they may even employ unhealthy health habits, and they have plastic surgery!

The survey also asked people if they felt comfortable with their body. Only 11% said great, 59% said OK, with some trouble spots, and 30% said they felt uncomfortable and ashamed. Well, of course people (women in particular) don’t feel good about their body—they are constantly told they need to look like someone like Jennifer Aniston to be of value!! I do not mean to diminish the fact that yes, we as Americans do have a problem with obesity and overweight people…but average, healthy people end of feeling ashamed of their body because of the media. The kicker to all this: this gem of a quote. "That really doesn't make very much sense," points out dietician Keri Glassman. "People are saying, 'I don't like the way I feel, I'm ashamed of my body, I'm uncomfortable, yet I'd rather have money than look great and be healthy.' " Glassman says Americans should rethink what's important: "I think this survey absolutely points to the fact that our values are a little off." Values a little off? What a joke. So seriously, what is wrong with people?

*Here is the story. This is where I got the quote, since I didn’t actually see the program.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On My Honor, to Do My Duty

The above line is the tag line for my personality, as I have now been fortunate to put letters to my character. My boss is taking a class all about this kind of thing for his MBA program and thought it would be helpful for us all to take the test so we can understand our fellow co-workers—which I think will be a somewhat successful idea. Mostly I just like trying to find out what makes me tick. Okay, so what’s my personality? Drum roll…ISFJ. That means, I am introverted, sensing, feeling, and judging. So after perusing the internet about ISFJ’s, this is what I came up with.

Personal note: I don’t want to be an ISFJ**, just like I never want to be a white, but I always am (referring to the color method of discovering your personality). I always want to be more assertive and someone who would be voted "most likely to succeed." But I never am. So, what is an ISFJ anyway? In a nutshell, they are reliable, loyal, detail oriented, care about others, sense of service, sense of duty, put others needs above own, hard working, good listener, likes order and harmony, and is a behind the scenes kind of person. The ISFJ doesn’t take center stage, is often taken for granted, more focused on the here and now rather than the future (doesn’t see the “big picture”), doesn’t like changing rules, serious, usually not assertive or expressive of own feelings and ideas, bottles up feelings, quiet, and shy (may come off as standoffish).

A fictional character that is an ISFJ: Melanie Hamilton from Gone With the Wind (apparently). And this typifies why I never am quite comfortable with my personality. I always wanted to be Scarlett. Yes, I know she’s pretty much an amoral character, but she is strong willed, doesn’t let people walk over her, does what needs to be done to survive, and gets what she wants. That is what I always wanted to be like; but it’s true, I am more like Melanie. The quiet one who stands by her family and friends, even when they aren’t always good to her. The one who isn’t appreciated until she’s dying. (I am not suggesting this happens to me--that is just Melanie's storyline...just to avoid confusion) Mother Teresa is also an ISFJ personality, so, that’s good company. But in the “real world” I’m not sure the ISFJ personality is going to be the one who takes anything by storm—and I guess that’s okay.

Random other facts I found:
*In national sample, among 3 types with lowest income. (I’m guessing working for a non-profit fits in this category. And while I’m not motivated by money, people are judged on how much they make. It’s just the facts.)
* Second most frequent type among education majors. (Check)
*One of 4 types in college reporting the lowest level of assertiveness. (Check)
*Among substance abusers, are attracted to heroin. (I have no personal experience on this one and I will just take their word for it.)
*They say 6% of the population is ISFJ’s. There are 4 at the Heritage Center (out of 13 people).

**But, this has made me realize that instead of being someone I’m not, I just need to be the better part of the ISFJ personality type.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


“Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
--Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.**

HA! If only that statement had turned out to be true…Where would America be right now? TV really does sound silly, put like that. After all, what is our television but a black box full of unrealistic people and expectations that do not mirror real life in any way? But, television has not died. We love it. After all we do live in the society where life is about being entertained and having fun. Life is all about the gadgets and the technology. If it is packaged in the right way with the right colors and the right people tell you it’s “cool”, well, people can sell you anything—whether you need it or not. Even with the writer’s strike, we can see that it is going to take more than that event to kill television. And even if TV dies, it will live on in the internet. And if that disappeared, you can be sure something else would rise to takes its place. I really had hoped (and still hope) that the strike would kill television. But I see that it doesn’t matter what kind of shows they put on TV, people will continue to watch. It doesn’t matter that producers don’t have anything interesting to put on the air. It doesn’t matter how stupid these shows are, they are made just to have something on. And someone is watching them. American Gladiators? (Apparently this used to be on in the past? I missed it as I didn’t have a TV until I was about 13) Stupid game show after stupid game show? A reality show about mother/daughter beauty contestants? Are they serious? I want the madness to stop! Just give the poor writers their money, and move on with things. The greed of the producers is astounding to me.

Unfortunately, I am one of the countless numbers who, like it or not, watches TV and thus am contributing to the problem. I love LOST, for example. It’s true. I can hardly wait for the little part of the season there will be this year. I want the writers to come back only because I want an entire season of LOST. Lame, but true. So, in a small way, I guess I am part of the problem. Although, I can honestly say, I will never tune in to American Gladiators or anything like that (I saw a preview for this as I watched the Steelers game…that’s how I know about it. Why am I explaining myself anyway?) Hopefully, the rest of America doesn’t either. I think it would be great if everyone takes up a new hobby over the writer’s strike. I am in search of my new hobby as we speak. January is National Hobby Month after all. It may not be a brand new hobby…I may resurrect an old hobby that I have let die (like writing a story, for example). Anything I choose will be much more entertaining than what is currently on TV, I am certain of it.

**(Found at Yes, I’m used to providing sources. Sources are important. There are 86 other bad predictions about the future to be found there.


[If you have never seen, nor care about LOST, skip this post. Not only is it a lot of rambling about nothing, but if you haven’t seen it and want to, you should just watch it and enjoy it first without all the crazy theories. Also, please don't judge me based on my need to put into words my theories about a TV show. Lame, I know, but I watched X-Files as a teenager. I blame it all on that.]

LOST finally returns! I can hardly wait. Since I had a dream about LOST last night, I guess I need to put in writing what I think will happen. There’s no way I will be right, but why not give it a go, right? This is the kind of show you have to think about on this kind of level. (No one should ever give the Office this kind of thought, for example) Okay, so maybe only obsessive type personalities such as myself do, but I think it’s fun!

So, something drastic happens on that island in the time between the “rescue” (doubtful it is a completely rosy rescue judging from Charlie’s message and ominous foreboding) and when we see Jack and Kate in the future. Future Jack is one messed up guy and only a huge mistake on his part would send him into that kind of state. (And how is his dad alive?!) I think Locke is going to eventually take over as protector of the island, even recruiting people to come to the island (That part was in my dream, so I have to include it). So obviously they leave people on the island. But who? And why? I think some are going to choose to stay. But I think Kate seems cold with Jack in the flash forward because somehow he got her to get off the island (because he loves her), but Sawyer stays behind, possibly to be the leader of those who stay.

I don’t think Sawyer is going to last much longer though. It seems like people die when they come to some sort of “peace” or resolve that issue that has been plaguing them forever. Sawyer has killed the original Sawyer and found Kate, so I think it’s only a matter of time before he goes. And speaking of death…who is in the coffin?! This has been driving me crazy! I think it’s Ben. I thought it could be Locke, but I now actually think he stays on the island. I think even Sawyer would have some people there—whether he would like to admit it or not (that woman he conned and who is having his baby, for example).

I don’t know why the island is the way it is, and I can’t even guess on this aspect. I just take the supernatural elements at face Desmond's flashes. I don't know how they happen, I just know they do. Anyway, the island is a special place, but whether it has always been that way or people made it that way, I’m not sure. It just has a creepy way of bringing things up that have troubled the people on the island. I really think the island is a place where these people have come to face their most private struggles and overcome them. Charlie, Locke, Sawyer, Kate, Jack, Hurley…they all face their challenges on the island and the ones who have overcome them, seem to be moving on to the next step, which may be death or getting off the island in some other way. I have no idea what this Jacob thing is all about, but I do know Ben is an impostor kind of person—and bad (there is no way the Others are the “good” people like they claim) and that is why Locke will eventually be the one in charge of the island (although Locke might be the biggest mystery of all).

Source: Source:

And then, Season 3 brought the saddest moment on TV for me—Charlie’s death. It was heroic and only Charlie could have done it, but he is my favorite character. He’s just kind of a normal type of guy (if normal means you are in a rock band and addicted to heroin) who has struggles just like everyone. He just makes the best where he is and does what he can for people he loves. I don’t think he will come back or anything, except in some weird flashback/flash forward type of scenario on the island. So now Sayid moves up as my favorite character. This guy is awesome. Out of everyone on the island he is the one I would want on my side. He is smart and level headed (in a very calculating way), and seriously, who can kill a guy while tied up?

And since this is quickly becoming my longest post ever (which is truly sad because I’m talking about a TV show), one last thought: The island is actually the remains of the lost city of Atlantis and Jacob is the last survivor of Atlantis. I base this solely on the statue that only has four toes. It is very indicative of something that could have been in Atlantis. This is wild speculation, but the statue does seem to mean there was an ancient type of civilization. Maybe that is when the island became so strange.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Give 'Em An Inch

Boy do I love the media. Anyone gives them an inch, and they run with it until there is absolutely nowhere else to go. Space does not even have enough room for what the media would take if they could get it. Call it the media tipping point or whatever you would like. The media begins to cover an issue so much, and suddenly it is everywhere. Like “going green.” Although it may have been a fringe topic of a few years ago, today if you’re not going green you might as well move to Timbuktu. For example, look at a new Dodge truck coming out for next year-hybrid possibility. Since when did farmers/ranchers get all caught up in this cause? I’m guessing most didn’t until the media started constantly talking about it. [I’m not saying this media thing is always a bad thing, by the way, as this example illustrates]. Media coverage in politics has always been out of control. Small incidents here and there become exploded into a national debate. Staged or not, Hilary’s “breakdown”* and comments about Dr. King are suddenly the main concerns taking center stage. These topics are seen as the rise or fall of a candidate. Topics such as the economy, the war in Iraq, and health care are then pushed into being the temporary sideshow. Small things are important, but I still want to hear what they have to say about the issues. One of these people is going to be our President after all (poor soul). Sports media coverage does the same thing. Two words: Tony Romo. Romo was practically inducted into the Hall of Fame after only what, two years in the NFL, as everyone thought the Cowboys would be the ones to face off against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. But then along came Jessica Simpson and the media jumped all over that story. Chances are, even those who don't like sports heard about this one. So, it was inevitable. A Cowboy loss would mean Romo’s "dating" would be blamed (although it would surely take a team effort). And sure enough…the media has delivered. But seriously, how much did I love seeing the Cowboys crumble? Words cannot describe. Romo’s meltdown was beautiful.

*To the media: If Hilary getting choked up is a breakdown, then I’m a complete emotional train wreck.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hanging Up

After a day’s worth of thought, I am officially deciding to stop talking on my cell phone while driving my car. Honestly, what do I have that is so urgent that it can’t wait until I’m parked? Nothing. We’ve heard the reports about how unsafe it is, how it is distracted driving just like drunk driving, how your response time is slowed…and on and on. The latest study (conducted by the University of Utah, by the way) suggests that drivers talking on their cell phones, hands free and otherwise, also hold up traffic, adding minutes to their (and other people’s!) commute*. Conspiracy by the government to try and scare people into hanging up their phones? Possible. But I am finally on board with the whole concept. I, of course, am the best driver in the world when talking on a cell phone. But inevitably when I am ticked off because of the lack of driving skills of someone else on the road, they are usually yapping away on their phone, not using their brains for driving, and thus making the road a nightmare for others. The decision is made. I’ll keep the phone away from reach for awhile so as not to be tempted. Hopefully this will revolutionize my life. Doubtful, but it’s worth a shot. (Can I retroactively make this a New Year’s resolution?)

And, in case you’re feeling bad about your phone getting turned off because you didn’t pay your phone bill, rest assured that you are not alone. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also failed to pay their phone bill. Of course, by not paying their bill, it opened the possibility of interference to their always popular eavesdropping and surveillance program. I guess you could have that headache to deal with. No thanks.

*Granted, 10% of my commute time is like a minute and a half (only about 6 minutes for those hour commuters). But you add up all those minutes, and I'm telling you...those cell phone talkers are taking away days of my life!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

O Christmas Tree

Yes, I know. Christmas is over. However, tonight was the night I decided to take my Christmas tree to the nearest Christmas tree recycling drop off. I do my part to save the planet whenever I can. I am sure that after much thought I could have come up with an acquaintance of mine who may have a truck. But wouldn’t it just be easier to drag Esmeralda (that’s the tree) a block and a half to the drop off site? Yeah, it was easier that way. And hilarious. Big, beautiful snowflakes fell on my nose and dusted my coat and hat as I grabbed a branch and began hauling Esmeralda off down the road as she made a nice tree branch trail in all of the freshly fallen snow. I was giggling for the first part of my trip—the part where I have to cross 200 W. and 1000 N. Now this isn’t the busiest intersection in town, but it is kind of busy around 6:00 in the evening. So there I was, dragging a poor Christmas tree across the intersection. All I really could do was giggle, as if it was completely normal to drag your Christmas tree anywhere. We made it safe and sound. Now you may be wondering how I got the tree to my house in the first place. Well, a live tree fits okay in my trunk with the help of a small bungee cord and doesn’t make a mess of needles because, well, it’s still alive. But a tree that has dried, dead needles just makes a mess when you go to pull it out. Once again—it was just easier to drag it down the road. I loved my Christmas tree, though. From picking it out, to brining it home and decorating it, enjoying the pine tree smell and napping in the glow of the colored lights…it was a holiday highlight to be sure. But, Esmeralda’s time has come and gone I’m afraid, and there is a sad emptiness in our living room where she used to stand.

Esmeralda on her way to the drop off site.

Esmeralda at home!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

And So It Ends

It’s finished. The Steelers season that is. And it went down in glory of 3 INT by Ben. They made a valiant effort there in the 2nd half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hole they were in. So it ends. Then begins the eternal mantra of sports fans—“There’s always next year.” I like that part about sports. Looking ahead; because you can’t change what just happened. You can’t take back anything that happened. You might want to, but you can’t. That is how life is. You can say “I should have done that or I shouldn’t have done that. If only that wouldn’t have happened.” Well, those things did happen and you stand at the point where you are—win or lose. And there is always another “year.” Sports are silly, I get that, but it is amazing to watch someone throw 3 interceptions, and then get back on the field and continue throwing the ball to come back from 18 points down. That takes a mental state I am sure I’ve never experienced for myself. To make huge errors in front of thousands of people and overcome those defeats is something that I can actually learn something from. So, despite the trivial nature of sports, there are some things I really do take away from these games. Oh, and it’s entertaining. And—spoken like a true fan—next year the Steelers will win it all.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Four To Go

Okay, so my first application is done!! Only four more to go**. Now, here is my vital bit of information. Don't procrastinate. Somehow I have managed to procrastinate every major thing in my life, so you would think I would learn. But, no--I haven't. My first application is due on the 10th. Yes, it looks like I will get it there on time. But what if the mail gets snowed in somewhere? Or there is some other bizarre or freak thing that happens? In that case, I will be doomed. Maybe then I would learn. Filling out my first application was kind of unnerving. I got nervous to think that my life could be drastically different in 2008. And I have to admit, I got pretty sad about the possibility of leaving Logan. This is home. I know everything I need to know about where to go for everything, how to get around, weather, etc. My family is close. I have good friends. I love the mountains. In the end, though, it is time. It is time to have a different experience, different challenges, different people to meet. Of course, I am getting ahead of myself. I first need to get accepted. Now, I am acutely aware of all the amazing people that will be applying with me, so I will just be astounded (truthfully) if anyone lets me go to their school. Oh, and it costs approximately one million dollars to apply to grad school. From the GRE, to transcripts, to the application costs some money. I will be ticked if I don't get in anywhere for the fact alone that I could have bought a lot of cute shoes with that money.

**The five schools I am applying to are these (in no particular order, mind you): The Cooperstown Graduate Program, University of Kansas, University of Washington, University of Colorado-Boulder, George Washington University.

[I do have a backup plan if I don't get in. Don't worry. But we'll cross that bridge if it comes to that.]