Thursday, September 30, 2010

And this is why we study history.

Read this article.

Title: Germany makes final World War I reparation payments

Remember in your high school history classes when your teacher (Mr. Wegkamp) taught you about World War I and how through the Treaty of Versailles, France and Great Britain punished Germany by requiring them to pay them for their losses? There was a set amount, and it was SO high and SO demanding, that it crippled Germany into a state even worse than they had been after a world war had ravaged their people, cities, economy, political systems, and countryside. It caused economic devastation while the world was on the brink of depression anyway.

The article explains that the German government stopped paying around 1931, and then Hitler came into power and it was a surprise to nobody that he also refused to pay. Instead, massive amounts of interest on the reparations accrued, and when the Berlin Wall fell the country started paying the interest. The debt will be paid off completely on October 3, 2010.

Quoted from the article: "It's a historical curiosity that the Versailles Treaty should continue to have a financial impact to this day," Professor Gerd Krumeich, a German historian who has specialized in the World War I, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

It's a miracle, that's what it is. And do you see how the history that we learned about in school still affects our lives? While there are only three known World War 1 vets still living, the consequences of the war are still being seen by the German, French, and British people. Can you believe that?

This is why I love history.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 New books.

I love books more than the average person. Well, actually, I think that I love the things that I love more than most people love the things that they love.

But anyway, I just love it when new books come out that I want to read, and I can get them at midnight, or sometime soon afterward. This excitement for new books, I should say, originated with Harry Potter. I mean, really, who ever heard of going to a midnight party for a book until JK Rowling surprised with the most defining literature of our generation? No one. But now we do it all the time for whatever Stephenie Meyer comes up with, Percy Jackson, and let's not forget the lastest and greatest:

Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay.

I read The Hunger Games at the end of last December, actually finishing on New Years' Day. On January 2-3 I read the second installment in this breathtaking series: Catching Fire. And then I told all my friends about it and made them read it too. (I should add that Moe tipped me off on these masterpiece books).  These books are addicting and compelling and fast moving and absolutely enthralling. When you are reading The Hunger Games you forget you have another life. You dream about and you think about it all the time. For like a week after finishing the book. At least I did.

So, the third book came out on September 24. While I was in St. George. Despite the sickness I had been feeling for a couple of days and the repeated warnings from my father about going to bed early, I dragged myself to Wal-Mart at midnight on the appointed day to purchase the long-awaited book. I was second in line and got one of the coveted 20 copies ordered by Wal-Mart. This was a Monday night/Tuesday morning. I finished on Wednesday evening (I know, it took a while, but I was a busy girl keeping my family happy with my presence). And you know what? I enjoyed it. I liked reading it. And I cried, um, twice. And definitely yelped and screamed and gasped audibly multiple times. But I didn't love it. Suzanne Collins, I expected more. I wanted more conflict. I wanted things to be harder for the characters that had been developed so nicely in the previous books. I wanted the plot to follow different paths than it did. I think that the book, as a whole, had a lot more potential, and I was disappointed. Questioned were left unanswered and characters made un-character-like decisions and actions. I liked it, and I'm happy to own it. But I didn't love it.

New book #2:

I have always and forever been a Tennis Shoes Adventure Series fan (A series of 11 books (unfinished) written by Chris Heimerdinger beginning in 1989). My family owned the first books on tape and we listened to them on road trips probably since I was like 5 years old. It's been a life-long endeavor. When I was 14, though, I listened to books 1-5 on tape very seriously. And then I read the hard copies 1-8. I've read and heard all of them multiple times. They are actually really cool. It's like lds modern historical fantasy, if one can imagine such a genre. I know it's hard.

Books 9, 10, and 11 I have had to wait for. Book 9, Tower of Thunder, came out in 2003 (the same summer as HP5), book 10, Kingdoms and Conquerors, in 2005 (the same summer as HP 6), and FINALLY book 11, Sorcerers and Seers, on September 6, 2010 (obviously not the same summer as HP 7). I know, it was a very painful 5 year gap between books. I've had to contemplate the most horrific and suspenseful of cliff-hangers for FIVE YEARS. And now I get to read it. And then wait. again. for book 12.

It will never end.

So anyway, I had the opportunity, nay, the privilege, to go to the BYU bookstore on September 7, 2010, to buy book 11. And guess who was there to give it to me? Mr. Heimerdinger himself. I stood in line, and when I got to the front and handed him my book, I told him: "Thank you so much! I have been waiting for this for so long, and I love your books. I have read them my whole life." ya da ya da ya da. I expected him to reply enthusiastically with: "Well thanks for being such a loyal fan!! Sorry about the long wait, BUT THANKS FOR BUYING MY BOOK!" In reality, all I got was a "mmhm." as he wrote a small note in my book and handed it back to me.

Is any commentary required for that story? Don't think so. You can imagine my drooping heart as I walked away with this item that I was about to pay $17.99 for.

And now for my diagnosis on the book: Was it worth the wait?

Yes and no. It wasn't super great. But you know, I am 95% certain that I would have enjoyed it at least 3x more if I would have been able to get my grubby little 17 year old hands on it-- yep, 5 years ago, when I wanted it the most. And when I enjoyed the other books the most. But no, it was good. I really enjoyed reading it. But you know what? I am left to wait. Again. The cliffhangers in the last book take the gold medal for being the most torturous, but these ones are pretty close behind. I just hope that Chris Heimerdinger man spits that new book out pretty soon. Like, I don't want to wait for another 5 years. But what am I saying? I'll read it no matter how long it takes to come out. I'm way too committed to this stuff. But what is going to happen to Meagan and Apollus? Will Meagan get her sight back? Is Pagag going to come back? Why is Hamira in two places at once? And why did she run away? Will Josh ever be able to get rid of that stupid sword? How are they going to get safely away from the Hill Cumorah before the battle commences? AND HOW WILL THEY GET THE GOLD PLATES BACK? And where the heck are Sabrina and Gid? You see what I am tortured with? These books are crazy. 

Oh my goodness. I just love reading new books so much.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Three things.

1. Why do people think it's okay to answer their phone and talk on it while in a quiet zone in the library, surrounded by dozens of silently studying people? It's so confusing to me. If you want to talk on the phone, sit in the No Shhh! zone. Sheesh.

2. I have realized what being busy at school does to me. Three awful things (we're not focusing on the good things like learning and brain cell growth). First, when I have been studying a lot I feel the need to reward myself with cookies, ice cream, candy, Cafe Rio, etc. Second, I also feel the need to reward myself with material things such as random wants on Amazon. It's just oh so easy to take a break, peruse my permanently full shopping cart on and just... order it right there. I don't even need card information. It's already there. Third, I can't get to the gym as often to exercise. In conclusion, when I'm busy at school I am poor and unhealthy. Dreary.

3. Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury together. My lovely neighbor Alexa showed this to me. Bless her.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I slipped on the wet, rainy ground today. I will. fall. every. time. the ground is wet or slippery in any way. It's getting ridiculous.

I instantly flashed back to last year, and this post.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yep, that's me.

I realized, yesterday, that wherever I go, I carry little bits that boldly proclaim exactly who I am.

Exhibit A: My attire and equipment at the gym.

First, I will have my yellow iPod that has written on the back of it: "Ah Music." This is significant for several reasons: 1) It is chuck full of Michael Jackson music. He sings to me and it brightens my day. 2) yellow is my favorite color. and 3) the "Ah Music" quote actually comes from Albus Dumbledore in HP1 after the students and faculty at Hogwarts complete a spirited rendition of the Hogwarts school song. I love Harry Potter.

Second, I will be carrying a book, and quite possibly it will be a Tennis Shoes book (like yesterday). Around the book will be an elastic head band that I will use to strap the book onto the elliptical machine. I love books way too much, and somehow I came up with a way to hold the book open to read, while I listen to Michael Jackson and exercise at the same time. Multi-tasking. I'm a pro.

Third, The only piece of jewelry I will be wearing is a CTR ring. The CTR ring that I have been wearing for more than half of my life (purchased; $10; Nauvoo, Illinois; August 1999; age 11). I am a very sentimental person. I keep things for a very long time. AND, the ring signifies the high priority that religion is in my life.

Fourth, The probability that the shirt I will be wearing bears some sort of BYU logo is very high. I love BYU and I wish I could be a student there for the rest of my life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On a scale of 1 to 10.

How excited am I about starting school this fall? Probably a 9. I actually want to do my homework. I was way too excited about going to class this morning. I think part of the reason is because I am just so happy about not having to work all day every day anymore like I have been. I used to love love love my job, but I really started to hate it when I had to spend so much time there. But now, I will only work a few hours a day and life will be peachy. I will get to spend evenings playing with my friends or studying in the library. It's my last semester on campus, and I am determined to go out with a bang-- and good grades.

How much do I love having BOTH of my sisters in Provo? 10. For sure. I love spending time with them. There is nothing quite like hanging out with your sisters. I can be as mean as I want to be, and they will still like me and want me around. It's great. I can get mad at Elise for parking stupid. I can borrow clothes, shoes, and movies (hey thanks) from Stephanie. I can make Elise store some of my stuff because her room is WAY bigger than mine. I can go to Stephanie's and eat her sundae nut cones and lemonade/strawberry sorbet. I can lounge around with them like a lump and they won't even think I'm lazy. And I can make Elise watch Queen music videos, because she is always interested in what I want to show her.

How much fun did I have in San Diego? 9. I loved almost every minute of it. (the driving and the slight clashing of males and females about the amount of time to spend shopping dropped the total score 1 point) I spent ALL of my money (that is seriously not an exaggeration. I wish it was. But it's not). I went to the beach and fell in love with the ocean. I went to Sea World and saw the Penguins. I touched a sting ray and a starfish. I shopped for probably 6 hours and bought new dresses and school clothes (that's where all the money went). I got really tan. I went to the new Mormon Battalion visitor's center in Old Towne San Diego (seriously a cool place). I got to see the grumpy sides of some of the boys who came with us. That's a plus and a minus. AND at the end of the trip I was able to spend a couple of days in St. George with my family. Once I get pictures from my vacation, I'll post them with more details. :)

How great was it to spend time in St. George? 10. I love St. George more than any other place on Earth. This is what I did while I was there: 1. went to the dump with my Dad. 2. helped my mom in her first grade classroom for a couple of hours. 3. Went to Cedar City for Moriah's tennis match. 4. Hung out at the cell phone booth in Costco to visit with Andrew. 5. Went to Wal-Mart at midnight on Monday to get Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Games series (I should have a separate post about that), and then read it. 6. Had lunch with Jenny twice, and once with both Jenny and Kennedy (who is getting married November 6, btw). 7. Went to Iceberg with Moe and sat out in her car and chatted for like an hour. 8. Sat outside in the St. George sun and tried to plan out my life after graduation. I'll let you know if I get anywhere on that plan... 9. I climbed up on the Sugar Loaf all by myself in 109 degree weather (because I love it so much) on the afternoon that I left to go back to Provo. I sat there and took in my city. 10. I drove past the temple a couple of times just to look.

How much do I love my ward? 10. 10. 10. 10. 10. I love love love it. I loved it a super lot in the summer time because I knew everyone, but now I still love it because I know about a fourth of everyone, and plus I have so many new people to meet! I love living in Provo and meeting new people everyday. I love talking to people and making them like me and dressing up for church on Sunday and going to ward prayer and impressing all the newbies in the ward with our fabulous ward traditions! I will miss a lot of the people who have moved out, though. I do love them.