Sunday, July 31, 2011

Leaving Clean Trails

All around Austin, people are sleeping. They have been asleep for hours.

As usual, I have not. I have been cleaning my apartment. I am moving out, and everything's gone. The thing to do -- the last thing you do whenever you leave a place -- is to clean it. My mom taught me to leave a place cleaner than when you found it. I know that's a phrase a lot of people use, and perhaps it's because lots of moms teach it. In my case, it was definitely true. In fact, when my mom was helping me clean this afternoon, she said, "Do you want me to clean the oven?" Seriously? Who cleans ovens when they leave an apartment?

So I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned today. When the vacuum broke, I did what any Snow woman would do, and I fixed it so I could keep cleaning. I dusted my windowsill; I spackled the holes in the walls; and I swept the fireplace.

It's a nice principle -- to leave clean things behind. But it's exhausting. I'm tired, and I think I'm getting sick. I can't quit thinking, though, about the things I haven't gotten to yet, such as sanding and painting the spackle; doing a final vacuum all over so the carpet vacuum pattern is the same in every room; calling management to request minor repairs; cleaning the refrigerator; dusting all the floorboards . . . There's just not enough time. Thank goodness; if it weren't for time limitations, I think my obsessive cleaning would take over my life. :/

(Incidentally, why does packing and moving always seem to happen at night? Is it just my family who does it that way? Or do you? I really want answers to this question, so leave comments!)

Thing I'm thankful for: Outback salmon and broccoli

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I Want in a Husband, Part 2

Recently, I was thinking about my expectations for marriage. I remembered that a couple of years ago, I made a list of qualities and characteristics I wanted my husband to have. Until tonight, I hadn't looked at that list since writing it. Well, I discovered something interesting. I discovered that it's a pretty darn good list.

As a single person, I hear a lot about making lists. Some people tell me I shouldn't make a list or that it shouldn't be long, and some people say everyone should keep a list in mind. I subscribe to the latter idea. I think that not only is it good to develop a good marriage "resume," it's good to have a list of expectations for your future spouse. In order to make the list, it's essential to be honest and to know yourself well enough to know what you need and want.

As I said before, I think I came up with a pretty darn good list.* It's long, but why shouldn't I have a long list of expectations? Marriage is work; love is work. If I'm going to love someone forever, I want to make sure that I want to . . . well, love him forever. I draw the line at list items such as "Has blonde hair and brown eyes," or "Is an English lit. professor from England." But maybe that's really important to someone. Maybe it should be more important to me. I don't know.

What I do know is that lists are good. Occasionally, I will try to lower my expectations or throw the list out altogether. That never does me any good, and in fact, I can honestly say that I wasted about a year of my life trying to make a relationship work with someone who didn't stack up to my list.

People make lists all the time. We make them for grocery shopping, for to-dos, for career goals, for life goals. Why shouldn't we make them for our future spouses? And if my own expectations of how I ought to be are the same as what I expect from my husband, how is that bad? I don't think it is at all. (And look, I found someone on the Internets who agrees with me: Expectations Before Marriage Affect Marriage.)

At any rate, I just wanted to check in with my blog about how my expectations have changed over the past couple of years. I'm happy to say they're pretty much the same. Do you want to know what they were? See What I Want In a Husband.

*Reading it, you may think I'm describing myself (with the exception of no. 10). And why shouldn't I? I believe that commonalities are the best indicators of a successful marriage.

Thing I'm thankful for: The Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges

Monday, July 25, 2011


In Texas, people call Atlanta "Atlanta." With two very enunciated T's. Sometimes they call it "Hotlanna." When people say "Hotlanna," you know they are not from Georgia. In Georgia, Atlanta is pronounced "Etlanna." Only the first T is sounded.

Here's a good rule of thumb for non-Georgians: Always speak in the laziest way possible. For example, you might think you are supposed to pronounce Ponce de Leon Avenue with a Spanish accent. "PON-say day Lay-OWN." That would be incorrect. You should just say "Ponce." That is, "Pawnce." Here are some other examples of laziness:
  • Buchanan = "BUH-cannon"
  • Monroe = "Mun-ROW"
  • You all = "y'all" = "Yahl"
  • Interesting = "IN-tresting"
  • Fifth = "Fith"
  • Lions (as in "Central Lions") = "Lines," with a drawn-out I. "Laihnes."
Listen to an Atlanta accent, just for fun. (Rural Georgia is even crazier.)

Thing I'm thankful for: mom's crazy late-night text messages

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things I Didn't Know I Missed

When you move, there are people and things you know you miss. They are the things you are conscious of. Then there are things you didn't realize you missed. Here are the things about Georgia I didn't know I missed until I went for a visit last week:
I wish I had pictures to capture all of these things! Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead for almost my entire trip. Next time . . .

Thing I'm thankful for: my sister Summer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Want to be This Person

I don't typically want to be other people . . . This person happens to be phenomenal, though. He seems that way online, at least . . .

His name is Nathan Yau, and he studies statistics at UCLA, with a focus in data visualization. (He already has degrees in electrical engineering and computer science.) His website is FlowingData, and it's got tons of great visualizations that are both his and other people's. I only just discovered the site, but I already have some favorites:
And here's some data visualization that'll knock your socks off. It was created by some guys over at The New York Times: Mapping the Nation's Well-Being.

Thing I'm thankful for: breakfast tacos

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Mother's Advice

When I was debating on whether I should go boating today, my concerns were based on errands I needed to run and work I needed to do. I was going over some of them with my mom, and she asked me something about whether there would be guys going, too. After I responded in the affirmative, the conversation took a downward turn:

"Have they seen you in your swimsuit yet?"
"Yes . . ."
"Good! Then you don't have to go boating. Come to San Antonio instead."

That's my mom for you -- always trying to get me to objectify myself and use my body to get what I want. Thanks for looking out for me, mom. :)

Thing I'm thankful for: Phil's Icehouse burgers and sweet potato fries! (But not the shakes!)

I am an INFJ. What are you?

I took my first Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator when I was a junior in high school. I couldn't remember what the results were then, so I took it again about two weeks ago. According to the test-makers, I am an INFJ. I'll tell you what that means in a minute, but first, I'm going to share a Wikipedia excerpt with you:
The original developers of the personality inventory were Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. They began creating the indicator during World War II, believing that a knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of war-time jobs where they would be "most comfortable and effective."
Isn't that fascinating?

Now, onto me. :)

Here is a description of INFJs:

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear and confident vision, which they then set out to execute, aiming to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.

INFJs are quiet, private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Although very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.

INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life, which they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions, and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well-liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types. However, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and so tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal this except to their closest companions. INFJs may "silently withdraw as a way of setting limits," rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world, but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired. Yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.

Do you want to know what you are? Take the test!
(Well, it's actually not the official test; that one costs money. This one is free.)

Thing I'm thankful for: chocolate milk before I go to bed