Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Things I Googled This Week

And by "this week," I mean "since Sunday." (It very much feels like a late Thursday.)

I thought I would just list some of the things I've googled this week for the entertainment of the thing, but as I made the list, I realized that one could get a pretty good picture of my week just by seeing what I've been googling. And so, la la, my week in google search terms.

define discordant - Not an auspicious beginning to my week.

how make silk for clothes - Apparently, from a caterpillar, not an actual worm. (The vegetarian website I found that detailed the process noted that the caterpillars have to be killed before they emerge from their cocoons for the best silk.) Consider: the new shirt I bought is silk and rabbit hair.

J Reuben Clark student conference - In February. In DC. La, I'm going.

Lady Duff Gordon (aka Lady Duff-Gordon) - Was the defendant in a case we read in contracts. Also, a huge early 20th-century celebrity, fashion designer, businesswoman. And was on the first raft of people saved from the Titanic. (Her husband and her maid was saved, too.)

Elinor Glyn - First try

Elinor Glin
- Sister to Lady Duff Gordon. Went from the English lower class to Hollywood elite by writing novels, especially trashy romance novels that scandalized the monarchy. Coined the term the "It-Girl."

GK Chesterton Quotes
- Notably, "It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong." AND "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

apply to be an astronaut - Because a new Stanford friend is actually going to apply when she turns 26 next year. (I can't any longer--I've had LASIK. I'm working through it.)

- claustrophobia

- See next entry

gourmet stuffing recipe
- Because I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving. (I'm on Stuffing Detail.)

moxie pictures - www.moxiepictures.com > Directors > Jared Hess > the picture of the two crouching boys. Brother Nate pointed me here, and I've been directing friends to it (and inexplicably forgetting the actual URL) all week.

chicken soup dickinson
- I have this theory that Emily Dickinson has a poem about everything. And I wanted one about or involving chicken soup.

poem "chicken soup"
- Because I realized I needed to broaden my search and modify my theory.

poem "chicken soup" -soul
- Because I wanted a poem that wasn't meant to warm teeangers' hearts.

set alarm
- I didn't believe I would be able to wake up to my cellphone alarm in order to do work before class on Monday, so I looked for an alarm clock I could set online. I think I found one, but it was too smart for me. So I went to bed and took my chances.

comedy warmups
- To prep for Monday's on-campus FHE of improv comedy games. The goldmine: The Shootout (a game involving tragic deaths and cowboy firearms).

capitalize LASIK
- For some law school-related reason I wanted to know if LASIK needed to be in all-caps or if just a first-letter magiscule was more appropriate. I don't know what's right, but I do know a lot of people are "capitalizing" on things related to LASIK.

utah state teaching license
- I was trying to figure out the technical name of my teaching license to put on my resume. I couldn't. I didn't.

words with all vowels
- Like "facetious" or "abstemious" (which have all the vowels in order). Assuming we exempt Y (or add an adverbial -ly ending). And W. (Not strictly a vowel. At least, most of my section agrees. But Daniel Elizondo, he will hold out.)

- I couldn't even post this blog without googling. I'm hooked. See LASIK above.

Friday, November 11, 2005

What's Funny Is Funny

Jane, friend and Stanford undergrad, recently has begun feeding me stories wherein international power meets human quirkiness. The most recent deserves its own blog. Jane saiden:

So the President of Turkmenistan renamed all of the months after family members/national heroes. The month of April was "Mother."

This was done in August 2002.

Picture of Turkmeni President Saparmurat Niyazov:

Robespierre (whom I call 'Robie') also renamed all the months, didn't he? They look alike, actually... (white hair, dark eyebrows, same 'smile,' similar suit, white shirt underneath, etc)


Oh, power. "We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority..." what, to rename the months of the year? Of all the things to do with power, HONESTLY. Have a pancake fest, or SOMETHING!! Crazy world, blast it all.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I've always like the word "Moabitish."

My Favoritish Books

Victor Monreal, Austinite friend, collects lists of people's favorite books. Recently, he requested mine with attendant summaries. I'm opening myself to all kinds of liability listing these for all the world to see. They're perhaps too sentimental, too Western, and too juvenile for an English major to conscionably list as her favorite. You should know, I also haven't read Moby Dick.

In the order I thought of them to write them down:

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Perhaps the most beautiful book I've ever read. As I read it, I kept thinking, "I can't believe someone wrote this. I can't believe some one wrote this." About four people in Italy in late WWII after the Italian fighting was largely over. Feels, however, very WWI.

The Living by Annie Dillard
About 19th-century pioneers in Bellingham, Washington. Called a novel, but every sentence reeks of human detail Annie could not have invented. It's about the living--felling trees, eating food, digging wells, and about the living--those left alive. Super beautiful.

For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
Technically and effectively my favorite book. It's a collection of short essays about sand, clouds, birth, China, Jews, humanity, etc., that deal with what it means to be one of a billion billion things in the eyes of God.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Short, childlike. Very nearly a perfect book about a little prince who falls from a comet to earth and meets a pilot in the desert. Translated from the French.

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Perfect. Slim, simple. About Caleb and Anna, two children growing up on the plains, who must welcome a Maine woman into their home when their quiet widower father advertises for a wife.

The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery
Invariably the cover of the book will be terrible, like a trashy teenage Harlequi This is the only adult novel written by the author of Anne of Green Gables, "adult" meaning it has (a) a swear word and (b) no children. About a 29-year-old old maid who, when diagnosed with a fatal heart condition, decides to say and do the things she's always wanted, to the horror of her prideful and prim early 20th-century family. I read it yearly, maybe more.

The Island by Gary Paulsen
About a teenage boy who decides to move to the island of a small nearby lake, to think and read and write and draw.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The classic sci-fi novel about a brilliant child (Ender) sent to Battle School to learn how to save the world from the Third Invasion. The crux--in order to destroy something, Ender needs to know it as well as it knows itself. And as soon as Ender knows it well, he loves it but must destroy it. I plan on reading it every year until I die.

Monday, October 31, 2005

To McSweeney's, With Love

The following is from a Saturday email to a friend (who oft looks uncannily like Gilbert Blythe and others times--less oft but more recently--like a rebel beach bum without a cause), himself a master blogster: www.sweetlemon24.blogspot.com

(Note: I'm desiring enough to be a regular blogster that I'm going to steal from my own emails. Maybe just this once. Maybe again, too. I know--I never write, I never call, I never leave a message.)

Let's be honest. There's a good chance you've considered all of the following things. But I just had a moment, lying almost flat on my back in my bed in my room, with my head propped up on two pillows and chin resting on my chest, laptop on my lap, which was formed by my knees being propped and bent so-and-so (are you with me?), laughing. I laughed aloud, more than once, more than once.

So, consider.


(which I found from following your link to stupidramblings to his link to Eric Snider's blog)--the entry for Oct. 7 and its attendant link to

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/30CraigRobertson.html .

Which is especially funny because today, when brainstorming with a friend for his Halloween costume, I came across the same website, different entry, and laughed and laughed. (Maybe I just laughed once.)


This entry I found because we typed in "halloween costume ideas" or something, and the first three or four pages were (a) silly and (b) the first three or four pages. (In other words, if he'd pulled a costume idea from these pages, and someone else in the ward had also googled for costume ideas and had seen his idea, then it would be a let-down, a disappointment, not a triumph.) So I picked a random high number in the page links (like 9 or something) and la la, McSweeney's.

Heavens, I'm sick. (Literally so.) Which is why I'm convalescing (and lying in bed) on a Saturday afternoon. Let's also ascribe said sickness to my lack of (a) coherence and (b) punch.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


A short story about the word "ergo."

Ergo is a word I like. I began to use it some time ago but didn't seem to notice much of a response from listeners and would-be listeners. This was okay with me in a singing-to-myself sort of way. One evening last summer, two or three hours into an LSAT prep session at Meridian High, I sat stretched out on an old blue couch in the German classroom where we met, and I said to my teacher (Brent Dunn, family friend and acelsat himself) with an entire class of would-be LSAT-takers as would-be listeners, "Something something something, ergo..." And when I was finished with my comment, Jeff, my would-be friend and erstwhile ride, leaned over to me and whispered distinctly and with an advisorial air: "Don't use 'ergo.' It's antiquated." I almost laughlaughed right then. But I didn't because he'd leaned so close to me, I would have laughed in his face.

I can neither describe nor explain how much I want to hold that sentence in my hands and show it to people. So sometimes I say it to myself as I lie down at night. I try to whisper it like Jeff did. "Don't use 'ergo.' It's antiquated."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Pursuit for Professional: Part I: Luggage

There's a distinct possibility that, by week's end, I'll be the new owner of luggage, a suit, and leather heels.

I. Luggage

I bought luggage this morning. I got my first set of luggage (a forest green, $100 Costco set I loved) when I was 18. I felt like an adult having that luggage--matching, versatile, utile. But it died after twelve or so transcontinental Salt Lake-to-NY flights, and I've been pretending for the last three years that I can live without luggage. Can do without it. (See imaginarily attached diagram of garbage sack, canvas bag, Beth Hedengren-donated backpack, duct-taped boxed contraptions.) But I'm heading off to law school (tomorrow on a plane to see my best friend, Laura A. T. and co.) and to a new life. And I needed luggage.

I've traveled a lot this summer (see previous blog) and so have spent some moments--on beds, airplanes, trains, buses, ferries, and a moped; in beds, cars, taxis, subways; at baggage carousels and open trunks around the world--considering what my ideal set of luggage would be.

Four pieces: (1) giant suitcase, (2) normal large suitcase, (3) large duffel bag (similar size as normal large suitcase), and (4) roller-board carryon. All with pockets. All with wheels and straps and handles and zippers (strong, strong zippers). And red.

That's really all there is to my story, except the important part, which is to say I bought it this morning, with fake money I don't have but have budgeted for, on an impulse stop at Village Luggage (villageluggage.com, supposedly), which Mom and Peter and I passed on our way to donate blood. Apparently people do shop at those fairly easy-to-miss stores throughout Long Island. (Peter asked: "How do they ever make money?" And I said: "They've been open today for six minutes, and I just spent $300.") I did not, however, buy the roller-board carryon, which would have been an additional $80 plus tax. (Though I did get a compl(e/i)mentary tote.) And it's all monogrammed--SLO. S L O. Which will, I suppose, work better than my first plan, which was to identify my luggage by a faded blue and orange handkerchief (aka doo rag) from girls' camp of yore I was otherwise going to tie to the bags. Though, to be professional, I maybe could have convinced myself to purchase a new one. In silk.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I should be heading out AKA The Official Sarah Update

I. Justification & Background
It's 12:46, and according to mapquest, it will take me 5 h 40 m to get to Geneva, NY, where I will be an EFY counselor beginning tonight, tomorrow, or Monday at 11 am (depending on your rounding practices). What I'm saying is, I need to go.

But I've received two requests recently for blog updates (Jackie, m'love, and Victor) and two is enough for me. At least for now.

I've had some thoughts about the unhelpfulness of blog writing recently, about its dash-and-go flavors, its implicit though subtle reinforcement of our society's move away from encouraging reflection, craftmanship, etc etc. I acknowledge that these thoughts may serve primarily to justify my lack of consistency and to excuse myself for feeling slightly nauseated every time I read one of my blog entries. But if you know what I mean, you know what I mean. I'm having faith in the blogging whatnot.

II. The Update AKA Sarah's Summer/Life Plans

May 2005 Sarah finished the master's thesis (el these), uncreatively titled "Metaphor and Inquiry." 83 pages, or something.

May-endish Sarah graduated with an MA in Curriculum & Instruction from UT-Austin, Pres. Hinckley came to TX for the San Antonio Temple Jubilee, and Olson parents and Anika were in Austin for all festivities.

May 31ish Sarah flew to NY and then to England for to see Stacey Snider, former roommate and BYU friend, who was studying at the University of Nottingham.

Early-Juneish Sarah and Stacey flew to Ireland for six of the most beautiful, most relaxing, most most days of lovely Irish mostness of all time and most. So beautiful.

Late-Juneish Sarah flew to Austin.

June-endish Sarah took Greyhound to Denton, TX, to be an EFY counselor. Then, a week later, she came home.

July 3 Sarah flew to Seattle to visit Stacey Snider (newly returned from the UK). Sarah and Stacey, the next day or the next, visited Friday Harbor and Bellingham and one of the great grocery stores of all time.

July 5thish Sarah and Stacey met up with Ryan Gee (boyfriend) and family in Seattle to poke in the Old Curiosity Shop and hand Sarah off.

July-middish Sarah and Ryan and Gees attended the Sis. Gee family (Arvidsen) family reunion in Oregon, in the forest, in the rain, in the mud, near the waterfalls.

July-middish Sarah's family arrives in Oregon, visits with the Gees and the Arvidsens for an hour or so, and Olsons and Sarah and Ryan head to Eugene to meet with up with the Sis. Olson family (Hoggards) for their family reunion. The Hoggards head to Florence, OR, to spend two days on the Oregon coast, playing the super cold water, wearing their "Hoggard's Yardbirds" polo shirts, and eating (eating) eating food.

July-midmiddish Sarah and the lesser immediate Olsons begin cross-country trek that will be its own blog, if not its own essay. They hit Boise, Salt Lake, the Four Corners, Albuquerque, Austin, Tyler, Birmingham, Atlanta, the entire midatlantic coastal states, and end up in NY. Almost 5,000 miles in 8 days, or something.

This morning, July 23 at 12:15 am The Olsons arrive home intact.

Today, July 23 Sarah is off to Geneva, NY, for one last week of EFY, which departure is being delayed by the writing of this blog.

But no more. Well, a little more.

Sarah will return to Valley Stream for the month of August (with a week to Austin for Martha and Abdul's wedding and such), before heading to California on August 29th to begin her (miracle, miracle) years at Stanford Law School. La la.

(P.S. Did you notice how I changed tenses and points-of-view in this blog? Blogging. Like writing on fast food napkins. Without the self-effacing charm.)