Thursday, December 16, 2010

When I get the chance, I like to volunteer with high school and younger kids and try to get them interested in careers in math and science. To this end, here is my list of awesome things about engineering/math/science:

1. Engineers often get to wear jeans to work.
2. If you are a female engineer, there is never a line for a bathroom.
3. If you go into math and science, people will always think you're smart.
4. You will never have a problem calculating a tip in a restaurant.
5. Starting rumors about the Large Hadron Collider ending the world.
6. The Big Band Theory (tv  show) and Dilbert make sense.
7. Engineers have the funniest jokes.*
8. Breaking things can be part of your job.
9. You will look stunning in black rimmed plastic glasses.
10. Money.
11. Nobody cares that you can't spell and have bad handwriting.
12. Running nuclear reactors
13. Driving bulldozers.
14. Doing 12 and 13 before you can legally drink.

*Why do computer people get Christmas and Halloween mixed up? A: Because Dec 25 = Oct 31.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today I am

I know that I have a lot to be grateful for. Growing up in the church, that gets beaten into your head on a regular basis, especially whenever a missionary on sabbatical comes to visit. Clean water, food, not having to be mutilated when you forget a hat--despite everyone's best efforts, these aren't things I'm grateful for; they're things that I pity others for not having.  Maybe not the best attitude, but beyond going to a third world country for a few months, I don't know that there's much that I can do to change that.

Recently, I've had an upsurge of gratitude about the little things, which feel more meaningful to me than all of the big things put together.

For example, my husband and I went out to dinner tonight. I know that is a luxury that my parents and grandparents didn't have often (if ever) in the early days of their marriages. I'm grateful that we have jobs that let us indulge occasionally, and I'm especially grateful for the sacrifices of my parents that got me an education (and a myriad of free meals along the way).

It looks like our duplex is going to be rented sometime this week. Not only will this save us two month's rent, but the timing is so perfect that we won't have to rush moving. I'm grateful first for the savings, but I'm also grateful that B.J. and I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck, and that two month's rent isn't going to break the bank. I'm also thankful that God's timing is better than mine; if I'd had my way, we would have been moved into the new house two weeks ago and wouldn't have the time to organize things the way that we want.

Yesterday was my Grandpa's 80th birthday. I called to say hello, and we spent 45 minutes talking about our memories of camping trips, the most recent news from the family, and the good things that are happening in my life right now. I'm thankful for the relationships in my family--I have siblings who all like each other, and the older I get, the more I realize what a gift that is.

Overall, I'm grateful for all of the answers to prayer that I've experienced over the past weeks, and thankful for the things that I have, without even having to ask for them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another book meme

Slightly better than the last book meme, but still several duplications and way too much Jane Austen.

An X indicates a book that you've read. Italics indicate one that you've started but haven't finished.

[x] 1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
[x] 2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
[x] 3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
[x] 4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
[x] 5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
[x] 6 The Bible
[x] 7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
[x] 8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
[x] 9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman X
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
[x] 11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
[x] 13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I'm sure I've missed a few sonnets)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
[x] 16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
[x] 18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
[x] 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger 
[x] 20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
[x] 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams X
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
[x] 28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
[x] 29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
[x] 30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
[x] 33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
[x] 34 Emma – Jane Austen
[x] 35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
[x] 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X - (DUPLICATE of number 33)
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
[x] 39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
[x] 40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
[x] 41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
[x] 42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
[x] 46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
[x] 48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
[x] 49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
[x] 50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
[x] 51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
[x] 52 Dune – Frank Herbert
[x] 53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
[x] 54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
[x] 58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
[x] 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[x] 61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
[x] 64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
[x] 66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
[x] 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
[x] 72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
[x] 73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
[x] 79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
[x] 81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
[x] 87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
[x] 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn
[x] 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
[x] 92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
[x] 97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
[x] 98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare DUPLICATE
[x] 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

As there are two obvious duplicates and at least three too many Jane Austen books listed (and probably too many Dickens novels too), I'd offer the following substitutions:
-Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
-Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
-Watchmen - Alan Moore
-The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
-Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
-Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
-A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

As the list stands now, I've read 52. You?

Friday, June 18, 2010


In paradisum deducant te Angeli: 
in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, 
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. 
Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat, 
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

May Angels lead you into paradise;
may the Martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of Angels receive you,
and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I really like the changes to Blogger. To celebrate them, here's how I've spent the last hour of my day:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What Amy Is

The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell

Written in an interview style, I'm really enjoy Campbell's ability to apply mythology to modern culture. I've just started this one, but B.J. tells me that I've made a good choice in my library book this week.


This season started picking up steam with Neil Patrick Harris's guest role. Given the first five minutes of this episode, it's going to continue to improve.


One of the better podcasts I've heard. It had me hooked on ukulele music for a solid week.

Orange Sapphire from Bath and Body Works

Thanks to Mom for the lotion, shower gel, and the body spray. It's orange with a touch of amber, so I smell like fruit, but not a snow cone.

Galway Crystal

Made in Ireland, I now have a gorgeous set of four wineglasses. I also love the Little Black Dress Cabernet Sauvignon that is currently inside it.

Sex and the City 2

Any movie that uses the phrase "Lawrence of My-Labia" is on my shit list. Ebert has it correct.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Two years ago...

Two years ago, I was sitting in room G-3 of the Electrical Engineering building. It was Thursday of dead week, and I was listening to senior design presentations. Some guy fainted while giving his. It was the most exciting thing to happen all semester in that class, but I wasn't paying attention. Once my class got out, I was planning on leaving Rolla for St. Charles, blowing off my marketing class tomorrow. The class had been a joke, and I had no qualms about making up an excuse to cover my absence. My first final wasn't until the middle of next week, so it was going to be a long weekend.

I'd need that break, because two years ago tonight, I did the most reckless thing I've ever done in my life, and I met the person who has irrevocably changed my life for the better.

Our wedding anniversary isn't for another couple of weeks, but I'll always have a special place in my heart for May 8th.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Amy Is...

Reading: Tess D'Ubervilles, Penguin Classic edition.
I'm a sucker for a pretty book, and the rereleased Penguin series are a serious level two contender in my collection of pretty books. (Level one is the leather bound gilded editions, Level two is pretty covers, Level 3 is unusual normal editions, like my autographed Terry Prachett books.) I'm finding James slow going, but the premise is interesting.

Watching: The Olympic Games
I've always enjoyed the figure skating, but this year, I'm drawn to sports that I've never watched before. I loved watching the moguls, and I have a hunch that snowboarding will be fun too.

Hearing: The Glee Soundtrack, Volume 1
Beej got me the soundtrack as part of my Valentine's Day gift, and it's been enough to knock me back into listening to music after my recent podcast kick.

Smelling: Macaroni and Cheese
There's someone in my vicinity of the office who eats lunch at 10:30-10:45. It's usually just enough of a smell to make the last hour before lunch crawl.

Loving: Real Simple Magazine
The only magazine that I've ever really loved just gave me a recipe for chicken parmesan AND had an entire spread on trench coats.

Hating: Best Buy's coupon.
We have a ten percent off coupon from Best Buy, and as we are planning to purchase a new tv in a matter of days, we'd been seriously considering using their store. Of course, the fine print excludes tvs in our price range and just about anything else that we'd want (video games/accessories, the tv stand...). The coupon is a tease.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What Amy is:


  The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft 
Generally, I'm not a fan of horror or suspense stories, as I find they get predictable after a few iterations, but Lovecraft manages to keep surprising you with the tales of the grotesque and supernatural. He writes primarily from the first person point of view, which brings to mind the telling of ghost stories around a campfire. Needless to say, the man's single handed invention of Cthuhlu guaranteed his literary immortality, but his mastery of terror-induced madness deserves an honorable mention as well.


The X-Men Trilogy

One of B.J.'s Christmas gifts was the third movie in the X-Men trilogy. As I hadn't seen the third movie at all, and first two in a while, we spent several pleasant evenings with him introducing me to the movie version of one of his favorite comic books. I have to say that seeing the movies so closely together made me appreciate the difference that a good director makes. Overall, these are good examples of a superhero movie, but I still claim Iron Man as the pinnacle of the genre.


(500) Days of Summer Soundtrack

Thanks to a Christmas gift, I was able to pounce on the bonus version of this soundtrack. Featuring a mix of indie pop rock, my only regret is that they didn't include the original version of the Pixies "Here Comes Your Man". (Nothing against Meaghan Smith's cover.) I am now tempted to raid B.J.'s collection of The Smiths for more of the same style.


Victoria's Secret Love Spell Body Splash

A gift from my sister in law, this is a refreshing, light scent. Wearing it is an automatic compliment from my husband, and a nice break from the muskier perfumes that I normally wear in the winter.


L.L. Bean's Wicked Good Slippers and other cold weather garments

Winter is like childbirth. Summer makes us forget how bitterly cold it gets, which is probably the only reason that the entire country hasn't moved to Florida.


Snow and other winter precipitation

Shut up about your childhood wet dreams of snow days. Snow is a nasty driving hazard that does nothing but inconvenience the grown ups.