Friday, March 31, 2006

Buying a Car: Phase I

Okay, so I'm probably in phase II right now. The first phase was admitting I need a car. :) Actually, it's been pretty apparent for a while now, but I didn't have a job and consequently, no money.

Now I have a job and a little bit of money. So a car it is. For a month, I didn't really actively search for one. I had/have this fear of buying one and regretting my purchase within two weeks. I don't really like the new aerodynamic look of cars these days. I like long and boxy cars -- think Jetta circa 1995. Oh, where have all the boxy cars gone?

As of tonight, I've been to a few dealerships, test driven the Mazda 3, and spent a few hours perusing I don't like it. I don't know what "deal" is a good deal. I don't like test driving other people's cars, and I don't like car salesmen hanging around and not leaving me alone for at least a few minutes together.

So . . . any tips, people? Does anyone want to find a car for me? :)

Thing I'm thankful for: Cadbury eggs.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blowing Bubbles

So I've been doing a lot of writing lately, and I've neglected the picture feature of Blogger. But I'm glad to know that most of you are actually reading my writing! It makes me extremely happy.

Today, though, I want to post about something super fun I did last week. After work, the girlies and I blew bubbles! Well, I blew the bubbles, and they tried to pop them. Oh, to be 4 years old again . . .

I have plenty more pictures that I'm going to post as soon as I can, so be on the lookout.

Thing I'm thankful for: Site Meter. I LOVE reading site statistics!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If You Can't Think of Anything to Say, Give Compliments!

I used to be incredibly shy. I'm still quiet, and my face still turns red when too many people look at me. But I have improved SO much since the 7th grade. It was about that time I decided to quit being so shy. It was also about that time when I read an article in a teen magazine that changed my life. The article explained that if you're shy, one of the easiest things to do to start talking to people is to give compliments.

Well, I really took that to heart, and 5,742 compliments later, I'm completely healed! :) That's obviously not true, and I don't have any idea how many compliments I've given. But I'll tell you this: it is a wonderful ice-breaker. I think the neatest thing about it, is that once you start giving compliments, you really start to look for good things in other people -- and you realize that there is usually at least one good thing about nearly everyone! The one big rule to remember, though, is to BE HONEST. If you really don't like someone's hair, don't say you like their hair. Give genuine compliments. ALWAYS.

I read an article on MSN today that goes into more detail on giving compliments. It's called "How To Win Over Your Date," but I really think it should be called "How To Win People Over. Period." The writers give 3 basic tips to the art of complimenting:
  1. Be specific. I wholeheartedly agree with this advice. Instead of "I like your hair," someone would much rather hear, "You have such shiny hair; it looks great!" Plus, I think it's really fun to look for specific things about people. (Note: If you haven't developed this skill yet, you can at least start by giving general compliments.)
  2. Sound sincere. The tone in your voice must convey your meaning.
  3. Compliment people, not their possessions. Instead of saying, "Your shoes are cool," say, "You have great taste!"
There are a couple more tips, but those should get you started. Now, go out and compliment someone!

Thing I'm thankful for: good advice.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Baxter

In recent weeks, it has come to my attention that a lot of people don't have a taste for the finer things in life. One of those finer things is "The Baxter." It's a quirky, offbeat romantic comedy reminiscent of "Napoleon Dynamite." Some of you might disagree, but here's my comparison:
  • The protagonist is a nerdy accountant. He's not beautiful, he's not clever, and he's not coordinated.
  • None of the other characters are flawless, either.
  • There are no fancy-schmancy production effects.
  • The dialogue is dry, witty humor -- no fratboy jokes.
  • The music is delightful.
It's an independent movie, of course, as almost all super movies are these days. So most of you have probably never seen it. Let me tempt you with my favorite Baxter quotes:
  • "Enter Elliot Sherman, CPAAAAA!"
  • "Wait! Before you say anything else, I need you to know that I am ALSO reading the dictionary!"
  • "I jog; you speed-walk. That is a serious coincidence. --"Yes! Sort of."
  • "Louis! What are you saying?!?"
  • "Hey, you're my brother. In law. To be. Whenever that is . . ."
  • "I'm watching my weight." --"I'm watching it, too."
  • "If you will both excuse me, I'll just get my driving cap, and we'll be off."
  • "I'm changing careers. It might be medicine; it might be soccer. I dunno."
Anyway, just give it a shot. And if your name is Joe Smith, give me my copy of "The Baxter" back!

Thing I'm thankful for: the independent film movement that has really taken off in the last few years.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Blogging Trinity

I recently left a comment on a friend's LiveJournal space which I thought could morph into a clever little post. This friend was discussing the advantages and disadvantages of Blogger. He ultimately decided that Blogger is not for him. (I know -- what was he thinking?!?) So I left my comment:

Really, I don't care who uses what -- although I do think Blogger is better. It's got class. But I love Google. Love it. A lot of people I know use MySpace and LiveJournal, so sometimes I want to sign up, just so I can catch up on my friends. But I absolutely HATE having to remember password after password. Logging on to stuff stinks.

At least LiveJournal is better than MySpace, though. Anyone can leave comments on [LiveJournal and Blogger without having to create an account], which I think is great.

Blogger is better suited to writers and families. It's wholesome. MySpace is kind of like a dating site, and to be honest, there's a lot of trash on it. LiveJournal is somewhere in the middle, I think.

Anyway, for those and other reasons, I continued my comment with one final thought:

Basically, this is how the blogging trinity goes: Blogger, LiveJournal, and something else. MySpace would be the devil. :)

Thing I'm thankful for: Life cereal.

Why I Love Slate Magazine, or Why the "Organic Is Better" Argument Just Doesn't Hold Up

I have some family members who will definitely begrudge this post, but I'm posting it anyway. For the past few years, everybody seems to be talking about "organic" food (totally stupid moniker, by the way -- all food is chemically organic). It has definitely become a fashionable product. Anybody who's anybody buys and eats organic food. That's the feeling I get from nearly everyone these days. For me, it's become like conservative vs. liberal politics. If you don't support the organic way of life and praise it's existence, you're wrong. There is no argument for mass production of food. This is why I find myself alone in most all organic food debates.

My usual argument is that we live in a world populated by 6 billion people! How can we expect to feed everyone without mass producing food? Sure, fresh produce grown without pesticides is appealing and very healthy, but it's just not a realistic way to feed everyone, I think. It's SO expensive! And so the health gap between the rich and the poor just keeps getting wider. But let's pretend my argument doesn't hold up. There's still something fishy about the organic craziness going on, here. I'm always wary of arrogant and elitist arguments; I think there's usually something wrong when sentiments of superiority show up. And I really feel like that's what's happening with the organic food movement.

Well, Slate Magazine labels it elitist, too, so I feel very confident saying that it is. I know, I know -- I'm praising Slate right now because it's reinforcing what I already believe. But I think there's truth in the article they recently published, and the writer explained it all much better than I ever could. In the article "Is Whole Foods Wholesome?" author Field Maloney uncovers some not-so-factual "facts" that the prominent organic grocery chain touts in its stores. I'm tempted to just paste the entire article right here so that you will be more inclined to read it, but instead, I will just entice you with an excerpt:

Of course, above and beyond social and environmental ethics, and even taste, people buy organic food because they believe that it's better for them. All things being equal, food grown without pesticides is healthier for you. But American populism chafes against the notion of good health for those who can afford it. Charges of elitism—media wags, in otherwise flattering profiles, have called Whole Foods "Whole Paycheck" and "wholesome, healthy for the wholesome, wealthy"—are the only criticism of Whole Foods that seems to have stuck.

You'll have to read the article to find out what the "dark secrets of the organic food movement" are. Like I said, I can't explain it as well as Maloney, and I really want you to read the article!

Do I like organic food? Sure. Will I ever shop at Whole Foods again? Yes, when I can afford it. All's I'm saying is that there are at least two sides to an argument. So don't pretend that organic food is always better.

Thing I'm thankful for: people who are smarter than me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When I Grow Up . . .

I saw an article on MSN today that took me back to the 2nd grade: Long-Neck Dinosaur Sets New Standard. The article is pretty interesting, actually -- if you're into anatomy and physiology, like I am. (If you're not, you should at least look at the drawing.)

But I don't want to specifically write about the article. I want to write about the career path I had chosen as an 8-year-old. Well, I guess I chose it before that. In the 1st grade, I thought I wanted to be an archaeologist because I loved dinosaurs. It wasn't until the 2nd grade that I found out people who study dinosaurs are called paleontologists. So in the 2nd grade, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would precociously answer, "paleontologist." (Incidentally, being interested in dinosaurs is probably the only thing I've ever had in common with boys.)

What am I now? A web content manager. And what I wonder is, how did I go from paleontologist to web content manager? What happened in 15 years that so dramatically changed what it was I chose for my career? I remember that I kind of stopped wanting to study dinosaurs around the 6th or 7th grade, but it made me feel bad, so I never admitted it. I wanted to keep studying science, though. And that changed somewhere, too. Not completely, of course -- you can all still see that I'm a physiology nerd. (Who really gets interested in reading about giant necks?) But I'm an editor, basically. What happened?

So my question for you is, what did you want to be "when you grew up?" What are you now? I'm not asking you to evaluate your career path to decide if you're happy and whether or not you "sold out" or anything like that. I think people's interests change, though, and I'd like to know why or how. I don't know if there is a specific answer, but I wonder if other people went through such a dramatic change, too. Please comment!

Thing I'm thankful for: the burst of cold weather we are having. Yay!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Goblin King, Goblin King! Wherever You May Be!

I never understood why Sarah didn't choose Jareth the Goblin King in the 1986 movie "The Labyrinth." I mean, HELLO! Even as a 6-year-old, I knew that David Bowie was the better choice. I'll think through this logically: Superb eye makeup? Check. Incredible singing voice? Check. Big hair and tights? Check and check. AND he could roll that crystal ball around in one hand. Who can beat that?

Plus, he says things like this to woo her:
"I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave."

So I'll say it one more time. What was she thinking?!?

Note: IMDB says that David Bowie was one of three choices for the role. The other two were Michael Jackson and Sting. Yuck.

Thing I'm thankful for: text messages.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Listenin' to Abbey Road

I'm a binge music listener. When I listen to a band, I listen to them for about 2 weeks straight -- day-in and day-out. Then it's on to the next band for 2 weeks.

Well, right now, I'm listening to the Beatles, specifically Abbey Road. It was such nice weather today that I rolled the windows down and turned the volume up! As I was listening to it, I decided that the best song transition in the history of rock is the change from "Polythene Pam" to "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window." I get so excited every time I listen to it. I start to think like Willy Wonka: The suspense is terrible . . . I hope it lasts.

And with that thought, I remembered that old show on VH1 called "The List." That was a good show. Each celebrity had to pick their top 3 albums in a certain category, like "Top 3 soundtracks," "Top 3 pop albums," or "Top 3 80's albums." Anyway, today I thought about what would be my top 3 rock albums. I know that "rock" is a huge category, but here are the three I picked:
  1. Abbey Road, The Beatles
  2. The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
  3. The Blue Album, Weezer
What would be yours?

Thing I'm thankful for: Nappy naps.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Geez. I knew the water was dyed green in Chicago, but I didn't know it was THAT green! It's great, isn't it? Sometimes I wish I was Irish . . . Then again, maybe I don't deserve it; for the first time in years, I forgot to wear green.

To learn more about this holiday, read the MSN Encarta article Everything You Need to Know About St. Patrick's Day.

Thing I'm thankful for: Fridays. Since I've started working full-time, I've had an increased appreciation for Friday.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

No. 1 Reason Why Lexia Should Start Blogging

She thinks and writes things like this:

She's a sheep dressed in wolves' clothing. Ha! Ha! Most people in the world are dressed that way. It's hardly ever the other way around. That would be a good painting, huh? A sheep holding a wolf's fur over it.

Lexi wrote that in an e-mail she sent to me recently. Funny, huh? Funny and smart. I love 'er.

Thing I'm thankful for: People who think different than me. It makes this world interesting, doesn't it? Frustrating sometimes, but interesting.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'm A Scorpio, So You Know I'm Very . . .

. . . sexual. That's how the song goes, anyway. And apparently Scorpios are insanely jealous and passionate.

Well, my friend sent me a link to a horoscope thingy yesterday. So I check out this site to find out who I'm romantically compatible with. It's funny because all but one combination was doomed to failure or something like that. The descriptions all said things, like "Unless these two opposite signs can balance each other, they will not last after a few epic battles!" Most used the word "exhausting" to describe the relationship.

So either all of my future relationships are doomed, or astrology is a complete load of crap. I'm going with the astrology-is-a-complete-load-of-crap reasoning.

Thing I'm thankful for: Astronomy? :)

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Secret Love

Okay, it's really not a "secret" love, but not many people know that I love playing card games. I can play for hours on end. Speed, Rummy, Kings on Corner, B. S., Black Jack, Hearts, Spades, and sometimes Poker -- my favorite Poker game is Texas Hold 'Em.

Well, I learned a new card game last night called Scum. (It has several alternative names as well, like "President," "Rich Man, Poor Man," "Bum," etc.) I didn't quite get the strategy at first, but I think I picked up on it quickly because I won about 5 times in a row. Out of how many games, you ask? I dunno -- maybe 10. The point is, is that I totally rocked.

I've always loved to play cards. I especially love playing with my family because everyone is so good. So even if you stink when you're playing with the Snows, chances are you're a pretty decent player against "other people." It makes me proud. :)

How can I brag about this gift without feeling bad? Because it's one of my true loves and only game talent I have. I'm not coordinated -- I don't play sports, and I'm especially bad at team stuff because I'm not a very competitive person. But when I play cards, watch out! A whole different Sara comes out. I felt like I was verging on over-sassiness last night because pretty much the only time I get extremely competitive is when I play cards. I get really disgusted with myself if I play poorly. But if I'm playing well, I'm in top form -- full of confidence and cracking jokes left and right.

What can I say? Cards love me. And I love them.

Thing I'm thankful for: That my family at least taught me how to play cards. They forgot about teaching the 6th kid how to swim, ride a bike, play various sports . . . But at least I know how to play cards. ;)

Busy Nothings is 1 Year Old!

I was supposed to have blogged about this on March 11th, but I was so busy doing lots of fun stuff that I just didn't have time to even sit at a computer -- I didn't even check my e-mail, people! (That's saying a lot!) So.

I have been a-bloggin' for a year. 1 whole year! This is, in fact, the 219th post! Maybe nobody cares but me. I just feel so proud of myself because a lot of people start blogs, but they don't keep them going. (And then you try to take the chocolate.blogspot name and find that it's already taken, and the person who has that blog hasn't posted in over a year . . .)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank all of you who read my blog. I love blogging. Love it. Mostly because I like writing and typing, and the fact that other people seem to like my writing and typing is incredible to me. It makes me feel . . . great. So thanks. I really appreciate your comments, too. They make my day fun!

Because it's my year-mark and because I have been kind of disappointed in my posts lately (They're just not as funny as they used to be.), I've decided to do a little recap. I took a cue from Blake and chose to list what I think are some of the best posts I've written. Maybe you think it's conceited, and maybe you think it's just filler. But I just want to remind you that I can be a decent writer at times. Also, I'm putting some of the most popular posts up here; I think it's interesting to see which posts have gotten the most comments.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What Is That?

I was driving home for lunch the other day, and on the side of one road, I saw what I thought was a little yard statue. You know, one of those gnome things. I thought to myself, "Why is that garden gnome all the way out by the road? Wait a second . . . Is that a gopher?" As soon as I passed it, I looked in my rearview mirror, and it was gone.

Yep, I think it's safe to say it was a gopher. So let me just say a couple of things about gophers:
  1. They are very still creatures. That thing did not blink an eye when I drove by.
  2. Has anyone actually ever seen one? Just on the side of the road?!?
Anyway, it was weird and funny.

Thing I'm thankful for: That I live out in the "boonies," as some people say. I beg to differ, but even if it is the boonies, I only have one question for you: do any of you city-dwellers ever see gophers? I think not.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Austen and Einstein at One Table?

As a follow-up to my last post, I feel compelled to answer the age-old question: If you could invite any 5 people (past or present) to a dinner party, who would you invite?

This is who I would invite:
  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Jane Austen
  3. Michelle Kwan
  4. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  5. Norman Rockwell
That's who I've whittled it down to so far, anyway. Who would YOU invite?

Thing I'm thankful for: Working so close to home that I'm able to go home for lunch.

Ode to Michelle Kwan

I had been waiting to post about this until after I found out who this year's figure skating champion was. However, I haven't even been home long enough to watch the women's free-style skate. It's really beginning to frustrate me. I don't know how I've gone for 2 weeks without learning who the gold-medal winner is . . . Well, actually, I just avoided newspapers and news sites . . . It really wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

So please, please, please don't spoil it for me. I'll get around to watching the Olympics on our DVR. I hope.

For now, I just wanted to say that Michelle Kwan will forever be the best figure skater. I'm so sad that she never won the gold medal. She is pretty much the best, and everybody knows it. She has the technical stuff down, and a lot of other skaters do, too. But her elegance on the ice is phenomenal, and I don't think anyone else can top it. She makes skating look so good. And her style? Impeccable. (I really do think that figure skaters should be judged on their costumes and song choice.) For your enjoyment (Lexia), I'm posting images below on Kwan's prominent style progressions . . .

I'm still reeling after the whole Nagano upset. When you think of a champion figure skater, who do you think of? Do you remember the women's figure skating winner of the 1998 Olympics, or do you remember Michelle Kwan's nearly flawless performance? (The winner was Tara Lipinski, by the way. I haven't heard of her much lately. Au contraire with Michelle Kwan, though. She keeps getting better.)

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think she's the best, and I'm sorry that she won't be in any future Olympic games. Goodbye, Michelle Kwan. You made figure skating great!

Okay, now for the outfits . . . Here she is in the classic 15-and-under skating attire -- beads and puffed sleeves . . .

This is her Indian phase -- my favorite of all her looks:

Here, she is moving towards minimalism . . .

Which reaches it's climax at the Nagano Olympics:

This is her short-hair stage. And an intro to the "adult" look she begins to have after the Salt Lake Games.

I would've loved to find an image of her in her Pocahontas outfit. And I would've loved to see what her outfits would have been in this year's Winter Games . . .

Thing I'm thankful for: That my dad packed me apple sauce and cookies for a snack today.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mom and Dad, Are You . . . Having Fun Together?

After a positively superb weekend, I came home very late Sunday night -- or technically, early Monday morning. Yep, it was 1:30 a.m., folks, and when I walked in the house, I saw my mom and dad, sitting at the kitchen table playing rummy.

Now, my parents usually don't sit down together to do anything. So it was a little strange to see them awake at 1:30 a.m. and having fun together. Is that what they do when there are no kids in the house?

Anyway, it was good to see. I like seeing my parents love each other. :)

Thing I'm thankful for: My wonderful weekend. It was SO fun!

Note: I keep forgetting to borrow mommy's digital camera, so I don't have any fun pictures to go along with my posts lately. I will try my darndest to get the camera this weekend.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Creative People and Their Cities

I wrote a post last month called "My New Favorite Web Site." It was basically dedicated to a refreshing Web site that features photographs from people all over the world. The creator of the site has friendly competitions, and February's competition theme was "My City." Some really great images came from that theme, I thought. I've pasted my favorite pictures below, but you should really look at the others on the site. (You'll have to click on the "next" link in the top right corner of the post to view each image.)

Not everyone wrote the name of their city, which frustrates me to no end. Consequently, I don't know where all of these pictures were taken. So if you know the places, leave a comment!

One more thing: I've included the winning photo in here. See if you can guess it!

San Francisco

San Francisco

Saint-Savin, France


Machu Picchu, Peru

New York City

Absolutely no idea

Bern, Switzerland

Somewhere in Connecticut

Cuenca, Ecuador



Again, no idea

Can you spot the winner? Incidentally, it was also my favorite. It's the 2nd Paris picture -- the one with the gargoyle in the foreground. I don't know how these photos were judged, but if I find out, I'll let you know.

Thing I'm thankful for: Our beautiful, beautiful world.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Drive, Drive, Work, Sleep, Drive

The title of this post is basically my life. The sleeping part really only takes up about 5 hours each night. Consequently, I'm extremely tired during the day. I have such a difficult time focusing on my work. Must . . . get . . . sleep.

Why do I deprive myself of such a glorious part of life? I've said it about 20 times, and I'll say it again: I want to get married. There. I said it. To the World Wide Web.

I decided that if I don't get married, it won't be for not trying. And trying includes driving to Atlanta at least 4 times a week -- that's an hour of driving each way. What do I do in Atlanta? I hang out with other young, single, LDS church-going people.

Well, last night I asked some people why guys (and I guess it really applies to girls, too) don't date very much. (I think there's a consensus about this: LDS boys typically don't date; they "hang out.") One guy said that guys are too busy. I immediately disagreed. Yeah, he's got a point. Sort of. I understand that people are not always ready to date/be engaged/get married/etc. I think I came across as "willfully misunderstanding." But I had a point, and although I didn't say it well, I think it's a pretty good one.

That is, people are busy. But if you want something badly enough, you make time. Yeah, you forego sleep. I drive 2 hours just to go to an activity! Talk about not having a lot of time. I haven't cleaned my room in a month, I haven't had time to watch TV, I haven't had time to bake anything (which I really miss), and I haven't, as I said before, had much sleep. Sure, I didn't always do this. There was a time when I just didn't want to put forth the effort. And I know other people feel that same way.

So my point is that people always say they're busy. We're always going to be "busy." I don't know if anyone ever has the time or the money to get married. But it's a sacrifice you make. Once you decide that's what you want, I guess.

I think I just answered my own question. Why don't guys ask girls on dates more often, and vice versa? I guess they're just not ready to "commit" or something like that. Or maybe they just haven't found a right person. There are all sorts of reasons, I suppose. But I'm not buying the "too busy" excuse. Not buying it at all. I'd rather someone say, "Well, my last boyfriend cheated on me, and I'm still a little unnerved by it." Yeah, it's private, but it's honest. And people are okay with saying much worse things . . .

At least I know there's one person who agrees with me: Blake. Check out his post on (sort of) the same thing. Trust me when I say it's worth reading!

Thing I'm thankful for: The principle of repentance.