Friday, February 24, 2006

Circumstantial Attraction

I was thisclose to getting a minor in psychology in college. I feel that gives me the absolute right to call myself a social scientist and to introduce to you a new sociological term with sufficient credibility.

Main Entry: circumstantial attraction
Pronunciation: ser-kum-'stan(t)-shul ah-'trak-shun
Function: noun phrase
Etymology: The term was first introduced in 2005 by promising social scientist Sawa Snow. The phenomenon was defined after a long day in close proximity to a familiar face.
1 : affinity to a person of opposite gender, dependent on conditions of prolonged involvement in a similar activity or space. After significant absence of the object of affection, all attraction wears off, and the subject realizes the absurdity of the aforementioned emotion.
2 : temporary attraction to a person of the opposite sex
3 : pertinent but not essential attraction
synonyms incidental attraction, situational attraction

Thing I'm thankful for: This wonderful Friday weather! (Although, I would like it better if it was still chilly. Love that winter . . . )

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Is That a Ring on My Finger?

Why, yes, I believe it is. My mom and I were just goofin' off tonight while we watched the Olympics. I tried on her wedding ring, and I must say, I liked having it on my finger. Doesn't it look good?

You can check out some of my other thoughts on wedding stuff in my comments on Lauren's recent post.

Thing I'm thankful for: Not having a boyfriend? :) HA. In all seriousness, the thing I'm thankful for is the salmon I had at Miller's yesterday.

Clay Got a Haircut!

Okay, it's actually been quite a while since Clay got a haircut, but I had forgotten to post about it. Now, the pictures are here for all to see. Isn't it a great cut? I keep telling him that all he needs is a letterman jacket, and he'd look like he's straight from the 50's. He also looks like a missionary. What a cute guy. No wonder he and his beautiful wife have two lovely girlies.

Thing I'm thankful for: My day off from driving.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Gotta Love the Babyboomers

My mom drove me to work today. While we were in the car, I put on some U2. My mom asked, "Is this Rick Springsteen?"

Thing I'm thankful for: My new web designer's color hexagon mousepad.

Who's YOUR Favorite President?

My favorite president is George Washington. There are a lot of things I like about him, but I'll just list two (relatively) unimportant things that are nevertheless neat to me.
  1. He was a surveyor. How cool is that? While most presidents were lawyers or businessmen, George Washington was an examiner of land.
  2. He was so big! One of the reasons I like the above picture is because in it, you can see that George Washington is very tall. I went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in NYC once, and there was a wax figure of the president. He was so tall and robust. Why do I care? Well, I really like big 'n' tall people because I'm . . . big 'n' tall.
Okay, I will say one other (important) thing about George Washington. He was wary of excessive party spirit and wasn't really a fan of the two-party system in general. I really like that. For a light discussion on our two-party sytem, read "When in Doubt, Check the Party." and the comments that go along with it.

Thing I'm thankful for: Those moments with friends when you can just be silly.

Don't forget to make a comment about your favorite U.S. president!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Stand for Something! Pt. 2

I was perusing the Numeric Life blog and came upon the following post: "Why Republicans Are Happier than Democrats?" (For your convenience, I'll just paste the short article below.)

The recent Pew poll confirms a 30 plus years, longstanding trend: Republicans say they are happier than Democrats. This year, 45% of Republicans said they were “very” happy as opposed to 29% of Democrats. That’s a big gap.

What make people happy? After using statistical technique known as multiple regression analysis (which gauges the relationship between each factor and happiness while controlling for all the other factors), the analysis shows that the most important factors to happiness are good health, decent income, high church attendance, being married and, yes, being a Republican. So the conclusion is this - happiness is probably connected to some other facet of life that also inclines people to be Republicans.

In essence, the post comments went something like this: "Ignorance is bliss, and republicans are ignorant. Not only are they ignorant, they willfully choose to ignore truth and the problems of the world."

So, I decided to leave my own comment, which turned out to be very long. I believe so much in what I wrote that I thought my comment deserved it's own spot on Busy Nothings. After writing it, I realized that it's not so different from another post I wrote about a month ago called "Stand for Something!" The thoughts expressed in that post and the comment below probably represent me more than anything else I have written lately. That is, those convictions are probably my strongest. Anyway, here's the comment I left on Numeric Life:

Hm. As far as the education comment goes, I would say that if happiness is related to education, the relation is that educated people are more happy because they make more money, and perhaps they are more satisfied with themselves -- with the knowledge that they have gone to school, learned a trade or skill, whatever.

OK. I see where the last few comments are going -- ignorance is bliss, right? And I'd like to say that there are just as many ignorant democrats in the world as there are republicans. It's not just republicans who ignore the problems of the world. I'm so sick of that argument . . .

I really have NO idea why the survey came out the way it did, but my proposal is this: In general, I think republicans really stand for something. If they believe in a certain religion or politic or moral, then they really stand by it and stand for it. Some of their beliefs may be completely off-the-wall, but they know who they are, at least. And having a sense of self goes a long way toward happiness in life.

Democrats, in general -- Actually, I'm not going to break this argument into the characteristics of two parties. Instead, I'll make the distinction between conservatives and liberals. So. Liberals, in general -- don't seem to know what they believe in. For them, all choices are right; no belief is wrong -- except the belief that there is one right way. They seem to say that having one set of values is not enough -- the world needs to accept all values. Because of that need to satisfy everyone, I think left-wingers don't have a surety of what they believe in -- except, as I said before, the belief that there is no one right answer. In my experience, my liberal friends are often unsure of who they are and what they stand for. They can't really make decisions one way or another and kind of attach themselves to every cause. This leads to frustration, feeling lost and lonely, and unsure of anything. And that's anything but happy.

And I think more republicans are conservative; therefore, more republicans are happy. Yet, that does sound a bit too simplistic. Maybe it sounds simplistic because it's true, though.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble here. I wish I had more time and space to really explain my thoughts. But this is only a blog comment, and I hope I made sense!

Thing I'm thankful for: That HTML is a lot simpler than I expected it to be!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Conversational Writing

I was reading Brian's blog today and checked out one of his links: Creating Passionate Users. The particular article referenced is "Conversational Writing Kicks Formal Writing's Ass." Author Kathy Sierra encourages us to write in conversational English. Not only is the article extremely interesting, but it was also a nice justification for the conversational writing that I think is the language of bloggers in general.

Sure, there are uses for fomal writing. Sometimes it is only appropriate to use formal writing. But sometimes, you have to use conversational writing to get your point across. I often wish more people would speak in iambic pentameter or fancy schmancy British-speak from the 17- and 1800's. They simply don't, though, and I think if you want to engage your readers, you have to speak in a memorable way -- in a way readers can relate. So I think Kathy Sierra is right; the memorable way to write is with conversation. Memorable speech and writing, however, should not give way to incorrect spelling, punctuation, grammar, and crude slang.

Try it out, and see what happens!

Thing I'm thankful for: That I can at least write what I want to say. I can't speak it, but I can write it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It Is a Numeric Life

It Is a Numeric Life is a refreshing blog all about numbers and data. The author cites a whole lot of research and news stories to give us a "big picture" of the world from a statistical standpoint. I thought I'd paste one post that particularly applies to a major part of my life. It's called "State of the Blogosphere."

This month (Feb. 2006), there are several surveys released on the current status of blogsphere. Here are some numbers to throw out at you -
1) the Gallup Poll organization has released a new survey showing 20% of Americans read blogs. Since blogs barely existed until recently, the figure was less than instant messaging (28%), auctions (23%), videocasts and downloading music (22%). Interestingly, 24% of men read blogs where as only 17% of women read them.
2) according to Technorati's 'State of the Blogosphere report', although a new weblog is created every 1 second of every day, 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated, and 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created.

Thing I'm thankful for: Water -- I have been so thirsty today!

Cats and Buttered Toast

Here's another excerpt from Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think. Actually, it's an excerpt of an excerpt. In the book, Krug quotes John Frazee from The Journal of Irreproducible Results.

When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning, inches above the ground. With a giant buttered-cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.

That's just great, isn't it? I love when smart people use their intelligence for silly things.

Thing I'm thankful for: Books!

Note: My boss informed me that the guys on "Mythbusters" discovered that buttered toast does not, in fact, always land with the buttered side facing down. Still, Frazee's comment is funny.


I would just like to say that even though I have never had a date on Valentine's Day, I still love the holiday. Other people can have dates and romantic getaways -- I'm not bitter. Why? Because my mom has always made the "little" holidays special. She would always put little treats out for each of us 6 kids. Even now, she leaves Valentines, and I'm 24!

Thing I'm thankful for: My mommy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Science of Snow

So the snow stuck to the ground alright. But it stopped snowing around 2:00 a.m. Maybe if it had kept falling strong, I wouldn't have had to come to work today.

As it is, I did have to. On my way to work, though, I kept thinking about snow jargon. People always say, "I hope it sticks." "I don't think it's going to stick." "Yay! It's sticking!"

Isn't it weird? "To stick" is to attach or adhere to a surface. Yeah, I guess that kind of describes the whole thing, but shouldn't we really be saying, "Gee, I hope the snow doesn't melt when it hits the ground." Or "I hope the ground is 5 degrees Celsius."

Wait a second. Where did that last fact come from? The All About Snow Web site. And if you're really fascinated with snow shapes, check out

Thing I'm thankful for: My winter white sweater. Would it be okay to wear winter white all year long?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

I love my last name. I especially love when my last name matches the weather.

I just got home from Atlanta. I was halfway home when I started to see flakes. I know it can get really dangerous to drive in snow, but I really love to drive when snow is first falling. I like the way each flake kind of shoots towards the car and wraps around it. It feels like I'm traveling through a time warp or something. It's also nice to see snow falling at night. It makes me feel like I'm the only one on earth who's awake.

Well, here are the initial snow pictures. If it sticks like I expect it to, there will be many more pictures tomorrow.

Look! It's snowing!

Look! That's grass, and it's not exactly green!

Look! That's snow on our mailbox!

Thing I'm thankful for: A warm bed and a really heavy Guatemalan blanket.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My New Favorite Web Site

I found a link to this Web site through another blog. I'm so glad I clicked on that link because it's the best site I've found recently, and it's all pictures! It's a site dedicated to friendly photography contests, so you know the pictures are wonderful! Right now the theme is "My City." I would like to submit pictures of my city, but I wouldn't stand a chance next to some of these photographers!

Check them out at Are You a Pro?

Thing I'm thankful for: People's incredible creativity.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I Am A Complete Moron

I watched "Sixteen Candles" with my mom a couple of nights ago and found that my life is eerily similar to Samantha Baker's. Well, it's similar to the first part of the movie -- the part before the boy of her dreams shows up in his Porsche. That is the day she cannot talk to her crush, Jake Ryan. At the school dance, he looks at her, and she runs off. He later says "hello" to her, and she again runs off.

This is me. Completely. Yes, yes . . . I have a crush on a boy. No, I'm not so into blogging that I'm going to tell you who it is. But I will say that every time I come home from a church activity, I feel like I'm expected to give a fantastic story about my romantic interludes. But I don't have any. I say "hi," maybe talk for a couple of minutes, and then I leave. I can barely remember what comes after "hi." Thoughts just leave my brain. And you can see by the previous post that I have linguistic intelligence. (It was a very scientific survey.) It's true; I do. I LOVE to talk. Once I get to know someone, I pretty much won't shut up. But when I get around a certain person, words quickly leave my head.

It's truly pitiful. I come home, and my mom always asks me what happened. When I have nothing of significance to report, I can see the look on her face silently say, "Oh. Well . . . What's wrong with my daughter?" No, she really doesn't think that (or maybe she does), but all I can say is that I seriously need help. What is my problem?!?

So I just thought I'd throw this out there to you readers. Maybe you can sympathize or empathize or throw me some pointers. Maybe you can just pray that I will not be such a complete jerk next time I talk to a boy I'm interested in.

Thing I'm thankful for: People who give me nice compliments to boost my confidence.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

All About the Words, Baby

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl XL

With this post, I look like I really care about football. I really don't, and even if I did, I probably still wouldn't watch the Super Bowl because I was reared with the principle that the only respectable type of football to watch is college football. Actually, my dad pretty much only watches college sports.

But a family friend came over last night, and he wanted to watch the game. So we did. Well, I watched it for about 10 minutes. But I watched the part (2nd quarter? I dunno) where the Steelers scored their first 6 points. And all I have to say is that it was total crap. I don't have to know anything about football to know that that was the worst scoring ever. The quarterback just DID NOT get the ball over the line! Oh, he did after a few seconds, when it didn't count anymore. It was even clearer in slow motion. Hm. Professional football. No thanks.

Thing I'm thankful for: My brother Brooks. We had a great conversation last night -- all about work and computers and church and boys I'm interested in. It was fun!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

That Jerry -- Always a Kidder

Lauren and I went to the mall tonight. While I was waiting for her to buy a skirt at Anthropologie, I skimmed a book on sale. It's called Things a Woman Should Know About Beauty (Karen Homer, 2005). Well, why shouldn't I find out what I'm supposed to know about beauty? So I was flipping through it, and when I got on the section for lips, I noticed a quote from Jerry Seinfeld. It was so clever, I laughed out loud. See what you think:

"Where lips are concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end."

Thing I'm thankful for: My mom's sewing skills. (Thanks for fixing my sweater, mom!)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Speaking in Emoticons

One day at work, I spent about 10 minutes sending instant messages to my mom and then my 4 year-old niece, Lily. Lily is SO smart. She's only four, and she was sending me messages. My mom helped her spell some things, and Lily typed the letters. But then I sent her a smiley emoticon, and she just took off! My mom said she sent them by herself. Yes, they're only emoticons, but how cute is that?!? So, the messages went something like this:

Sara says:
Lily says:
Sara says:
Lily says:
Sara says:
Lily says:
Sara says:
Lily says:

I guess you get the point. But isn't that the greatest conversation you've seen in forever? Forevah Evah? What if we all spoke in emoticons. Like instead of saying "I love you," you would just say "Heart." And the other person would say, "Smile." Or if you wanted to say "Call me," you would just say "phone." And the other person could be like, "wink." I think I would love it. So a conversation would go like this:

Boy: "Sun."
Girl: "Happy face."
Boy: "Flower."
Girl: "Blush."
Boy: "Kiss."
Girl: "Blush."
Boy: "Heart."
Girl: "Look of surprise."
Boy: "Phone."
Girl: "Smile."
Boy: "Wink."

As you can see, emoticons mainly work well for romantic/love relationships. Or really, any extreme emotion. What happens when someone's pretty even-tempered, like me? I would never have anything to say.

Thing I'm thankful for: My smart little niece.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's Groundhog Day!

There's a GREAT article about Groundhog Day on MSN Encarta; you all should read it. It's probably the best informative article I've read in a month -- seriously. So I'm going to paste a few interesting facts here:

Groundhog Day started in Europe, but it wasn't called Groundhog Day then. The holiday was Candlemas, a Christian holiday. The legend about the animal and its shadow was part of Candlemas, but the animal in question was the hedgehog. The Pilgrims brought the tradition to America but couldn't find a hedgehog here, so they seized upon the next best thing.

Groundhogs hibernate, but they periodically come out of their burrows to check on the weather. If the temperature is too cold, they hibernate for about two more weeks, at which time they will check the weather again. When the weather feels warm enough, they will stop hibernating.

Groundhogs rarely come out of hibernation on February 2. If it's cold, they might not come out until March. I know, I know. We've seen them popping out of the ground on TV, but appearances can be deceiving. News crews (shockingly!) have been known to wake up a groundhog and drag it out for its photo opportunity.

Groundhogs supposedly come out of hibernation if it's cloudy and they don't see a shadow -- an apparent sign of spring. If the sun is shining and they see their shadows, we're supposed to expect six more weeks of winter. So:

Another interesting fact: According to meteorologists, on a given day the temperature tends to be colder if it's sunny and warmer if it's cloudy.

Put all these facts together and what have you got? Punxsutawney Phil. On a tighter schedule.

Oh, except for one thing. A warm day in early February has nothing to do with whether winter is over. A Canadian researcher did a careful study and found that the groundhog gets it right about 37 percent of the time.

And that's a short summary of this little holiday. You really should read the article. It's got a great explanation of hibernation, too. Lots of scientific stuff -- fun!

So people, have a good Groundhog Day. And don't forget to celebrate by watching Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." It's quite possibly the best comedy I've ever seen -- that, and "So I Married An Axe Murderer."

Thing I'm thankful for: I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- our amazing internet resources.