30 October 2008

Publication #3

Not available for reading online, but as you can see in the table of contents, a critical essay I wrote on Chaim Potok and Mormon literature is being published in the upcoming issue of Irreantum, the journal of the Association for Mormon Letters. I'm really excited about this, especially since I now have a nicely edited piece of critical writing to use on my graduate school application.

Unfortunately, this is the last of my currently lined-up publications, so I guess I better get to work on some more essays! That is, after the baby comes and I recover and find something to force me to write instead of just waste time . . . .

28 October 2008

Family Portrait, 39 weeks, Medium: Pumpkin

A perfect likeness, except my belly doesn't glow so much.

27 October 2008


Since my transition from full-time student to full-time stay-at-home almost-mom, I've become obsessed with creating functionality in my home. My previous roommates will think I was already like this, but they don't know the extent things have gotten to at this point. A few of my functional innovations (which you may want to try for yourself):

  • Physical "In," "Pending," and "Out" boxes - One thing that used to drive me crazy at home was the piles of paper sitting around in various places. Now whenever I check the mail, receive coupons, receipts, invitations, or find a cool article to read later, I make sure it isn't urgent and then stick it in the inbox. Anything I need to file or mail goes in the outbox. Pending is for projects I'm not doing right now or things I have to wait for a response on. On Mondays, I go through and deal with everything in all three at once, as well as updating our financial information on Quicken. This may sound like the most basic organizing technique, but do you actually have one?
  • Date idea folder - Speaking of the outbox, it also contains the date idea folder where I stash any fliers about local events.
  • Pantry checklist - I've created a list of all the food and non-food items we need to buy on a regular basis organized by area, stuck it in a sheet protector, and placed a dry erase marker next to it. It's like the old "pad on the fridge" shopping list approach, except that when I go to make my list, I can quickly go over the list to make sure I'm not missing anything that's just about to run out. Plus I like having a list of all the stuff we need to live.
  • Cord organization - The plague of modern technology is a little thing called cords. Every device you have comes with a whole plethora of cables, most of which you won't use frequently but which you have to keep somewhere just in case you ever want to plug your digital camera into the TV. Solution: wrap cords with elastic to prevent tangling, then sort according to what they input into. I have three boxes: power cords, USB cords, and A/V cords. The A/V cords are by the TV, where we might actually remember to use them.
And that's just the more creative stuff. I don't know how a household would really survive without a dedicated homemaker. The more I stay at home, the more necessary I think it is to do so. Sure, I kept on my feet pretty well as a student, but there was always a little chaos in the areas of keeping myself running. With one person per household dedicated to do these tasks full-time, the rest of your life becomes completely free. Anyway, I like it, even if I don't particularly like housework.

And no, I haven't had the baby yet.

17 October 2008


Many people expressed doubts that it could be done in time, but I have yet to go into labor and here it is: the Wild Stripes baby blanket in all its glory!

Doing the hand sewing and embroidery was definitely the most difficult part. Now I know why people (women) invented quilting frames. I'm still unsatisfied with the bagginess of some parts of the backing, but since it's my first time I'm cutting myself a break.
I think the colors go pretty well with the baby bumpers my mom bought. So cute and so not pastel.

10 October 2008

Publication #2

the current issue of Segullah

Check me out! This essay is available online and it's my favorite of my honors thesis. Plus the editing done by Segullah is awesome.

If you haven't heard of Segullah, it's a Mormon women's literary magazine. How's that for a specialized market? But really, it's a high quality publication; the print edition they sent to me is great. Someone should buy me a subscription for Christmas.

09 October 2008

Obsessive Compulsive M&M Eating

An excellent post on OCD M&M eating disease on Light Refreshments Served:

Here’s what always happens when I tear into the bag:

1. I count the M&Ms. There are usually 21. Sometimes there are 20; occasionally there are 22. I give myself a mental high-five when I get 22, as if it were some kind of bonus or something.

2. I separate the M&Ms according to color.

3. I arrange the M&Ms in patterns, depending on what color combinations I end up with. If I have relatively equal numbers of the different colors, for example, I’ll probably do one line of each. If I have some colors with lots of candies and some with few, I’ll make flowers with the scarcer colors as the centers and the more plentiful ones as the petals.

4. Each time I eat an M&M, I rearrange the patterns to restore the symmetry or the artistry or whatever governing principle I have selected for arranging them in the first place.

5. As for the M&M that goes into my mouth, I generally prop it upright between my front top and bottom teeth, apply just enough pressure to split the colorful candy shell in half, and then let the exposed chocolate surface fall onto my tongue. Alternatively, sometimes I dissolve the candy in my mouth until the shell is all gone and I have just that tiny drop of pure chocolate left.

Um, I do all those things except the counting, although I now realize this seems like an excellent idea. If only I weren't in such a hurry for chocolate when I open the package! Also, I don't do flowers; if I have too few of a color, I usually create multi-color pyramids and eat the extras that don’t conform to the pattern. Also, I like to lick the rim of the candy shell until I get to the chocolate and then pry both halves off.

Further to this: is anyone else annoyed by the lack of purple M&Ms? They totally promised them in that "new color" contest a few years back and I still don't have them. :( It’s almost as bad as the lack of blue Skittles. Why can’t these candy makers cater to my OCD desires for rainbow colored candy?

(Light Refreshments Served is an interesting blog, BTW. I highly encourage visiting and subscribing to their RSS.)