Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Love Languages

Just in case you were wondering how I express love and how I like to receive love, I'll let you know my love languages.

Words of Affirmation and Quality Time were neck-and-neck.

Words of Affirmation
Actions don't always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, "I love you," are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

Quality Time
In Quality Time, nothing says "I love you" like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

I scored lowest on Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Receiving Gifts. That seems about right. Although, I do think I'm good with physical touch, if I'm in a romantic relationship. I just have to know that it's meaningful -- that someone isn't being physically flirtatious with me just for fun.

You can take the Love Languages Assessment, too!

Thing I'm thankful for: sticky rice with mango

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Have a Good Conversation

I have a confession: I think 99% of people are awful at making good conversation, and I am in the 1% of people who absolutely rocks at it.

I'll tell you why, too, and maybe (hopefully) you'll pick up some pointers because I'm really tired of talking to people who are bad at talking. Plus, the world is an incredibly fascinating place, when you know how to have good conversations!

There are three things that have improved my conversational skills over the years:
  1. My parents excellently modeled the behavior. My mom knows how to talk, and my dad knows how to listen. I can remember waiting so long to go home after church because my mom was yakking it up with people. She can talk to anyone at anytime about nearly everything. She is never afraid to speak up and never afraid to ask questions.

    My dad, on the other hand, is fairly quiet. He doesn't waste words in the slightest. What he does do, though, is ask good questions and intently listens to the answers.

  2. I learned that people are beautiful. In my church, we sing a song called I Am A Child of God. In my early twenties, I realized the incredible implications of that doctrine. I began to fully appreciate that everyone in the world is, in fact, a divine being with amazing talents and skills and interesting things to say. Not only do they have unique abilities and perspectives, they want to share them. They want to be heard. Everyone wants someone to pay attention to them. No one wants to be ignored or laughed at.

  3. I am curious. I want to know as much as possible about the world. I am not a computer scientist, but I want to know how computers work. I don't want to be a teacher, but I'm interested in learning about how people teach. I want to know things like how bioluminescence works, how to make Ringer's solution, and when to use who and whom in a sentence.

    I'm not just curious about things, though; I'm curious about people. I want to know why people make the decisions they do, and I want to know what people are passionate about. I don't want to study geology as a career, but I want to know why someone else does. I may not like the same music or art as someone, but I want to know why they do.

Life is better when people have smart, friendly, and meaningful conversations. I feel happy after a good conversation. I am a better person for learning something about someone else, and I am more fulfilled when people ask questions about me and actually listen to my responses.

I'm tired of people not being interested in what other people have to say, and I'm tired of people having extended conversations about TV shows instead of what they've been reading lately. C'mon, people! Talk! Use your words! Ask questions! Share an interesting thought with someone!

Thing I'm thankful for: wireless Internet at my new apartment! Yaaay!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favorite Punctuation

Recently, someone made a comment on my Facebook wall that got me thinking about my favorite punctuation. It's just such a difficult decision -- picking a favorite punctuation. How can a parent pick a favorite child? Punctuation marks are all so dear to me, and I use them all on a regular basis!

If I chose my favorite punctuation based on usage, I'd have to go with either the ellipsis or the em dash. Question marks, however, are so pretty. And yet, who doesn't love a good semi-colon? In my mind, semi-colons are the least understood and most underused punctuation marks in the English language.

So what'll it be? Mmmm . . . I'm gonna go with . . . the ellipsis. It's just three little dots that can say so much or so little, depending on context. Perhaps it is the most overused punctuation mark in the English language, but I don't care. It creates suspense, casts doubt, captures disinterest or nonchalance, and signifies omission. I love it.

What's your favorite punctuation?

Thing I'm thankful for: bananas and chocolate milk

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ponytail Envy

I have limp hair. The only time it has any volume at all is right after I blow-dry it. It stays that way for maybe an hour, maaaybe two -- but that's pushing it. By midday, it's extremely flat. Flat and boring.

Because we all want what we can't have, I end up noticing girls' hair volume. I'm partial to ponytails, so I particularly notice girls with voluminous and bouncy ones. I can even list the girls I've known who had great ponytails. There are two girls who stick out in my memory as having the best ponytails. Incidentally, they are both engineers, and they both went to GA Tech. They are Lina and Jessica.

This afternoon, as I was waiting for my smoothie to be made at Jamba Juice, I noticed that the girl scooping the frozen fruit had a great ponytail. A great one. I found myself wishing my hair was bouncier. Or even bouncy at all. In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, I was "pea-green" with envy.

Here's an example of a great ponytail:

If you want another example, watch Clueless. There are only two scenes when Alicia Silverstone has her hair in a ponytail, so you have to pay attention. :)

What are you envious of, readers?

Thing I'm thankful for: second chances and "do overs"

Friday, September 09, 2011

Shortcut to Bonding: My Top Cities

If you could live anywhere in the United States, what would be your top spots?

Okay, okay -- That wasn't actually one of the questions that helps people feel closer to one another (according to Arthur Aron of SUNY -- Stony Brook), but I recently took an online quiz about it and thought I'd share.

So without further ado, here are my top cities, as determined by Find Your Spot:
  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  5. Knoxville, Tennessee
  6. Cincinnati, Ohio
The subsequent results pages were filled with cities in Washington, Alaska, and Utah.

As you can see, I'm mostly a West/Pacific Northwest kind of girl. I'm happy with those results, and I know someday I'll make it out there to live and not just to visit.

The funny thing about my top city is that a long time ago, a friend told me I seemed like I was from Seattle. I asked him what that meant, and he said, "Well, you're smart. And you put effort into your appearance, but not too much. And you're pretty chill." I think that was about it, actually. So I guess smart, decent-looking, relaxed girls are typically from Seattle? I'll take it! :)

Now YOU take the quiz! And leave a comment about what cities are yours!

Thing I'm thankful for: parents and siblings who taught me normal social skills. Is there anything more important, really?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Shortcut to Bonding: Overcoming Shyness

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Of all the things I've ever done, overcoming shyness has been the greatest accomplishment. By far. I used to blush so much! Classmates in middle school would say hello to me, and my face would get bright red. I did whatever I could to avoid being even close to the center of attention. In fact, the less I had to be around people, the better.

At some point in grade school, I realized I needed to change, but it really wasn't until years and years later that I was finally able to overcome it.* When I moved to a new state, some of the shyness came back, but it's quickly going away again. It's funny, though -- it took me about 8 months for me to really get out of my shell here in Texas, but it took me almost a decade to really be me before.

I have friends who think I am an extrovert now, which still baffles me because I still identify with the quiet, blushing adolescent girl I used to be. Inside I feel quiet and reserved, but I guess I did a fairly good job fooling people for all these years. :)

Anyway, I feel pretty good about my accomplishment. I've made so many friends because of it. So many wonderful friends!

*Would you like to know what helped me begin my transformation? Read this Busy Nothings oldie-but-goodie: If You Can't Think of Anything to Say, Give Compliments!

Thing I'm thankful for: fresh strawberries

Friday, September 02, 2011

Shortcut to Bonding: Speedreading

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Well, isn't this the question? At the moment, these are the qualities and abilities I'm debating on using as my answer:
  • Speedreading (or is it photoreading?)
  • Programming (in all computer languages)
  • Extreme focus and tenacity
  • Confidence
They are all such good qualities and abilities . . . Ultimately, though, I'm gonna go with speedreading, and I want it to be up to par with the likes of Will Hunting, as seen in this clip (0:7-0:20).

Oh, man -- just think of the time I'd save if I could speedread . . . The mind reels.

Thing I'm thankful for: Trident gum. It helps me say no to candy. :)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Shortcut to Bonding: Talking on the Phone

Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

It should come as no surprise that I try to rehearse what I will say in conversation as much as possible. Why leave everything to chance? If I don't have solid topics of conversation in mind, I run a serious risk of saying something completely ridiculous. (Then again, I usually do that, anyway.)

The more interesting question for me here, though, is about whether I walk in circles when I'm on the phone. And the answer would be a yes. Yes, I do. If I'm talking to someone I know well, I sit back and relax and talk for hours, if necessary. But if I'm calling someone new or fairly new, I walk around the room I'm in, and I repeat that walking path over and over and over again. My favorite place to walk is in the living room, around a coffee table. It just never gets old.

Oh! And one more thing! I cannot easily multi-task when I'm on the phone. It's just phone or no-phone in my book.

Thing I'm thankful for: big words