Sunday, July 25, 2010

inconcievable [sic]

So I do freelance editing on the side for a few different companies. It's usually pretty simple stuff and the extra cash is nice, although I have had to pull a few all-nighters to finish a project with a hard deadline on time and the older I get the more money those seem to be worth. (Oh, to be a freshman again.)

Anyway, I started this job when I was back in the states visiting and I have still. not. finished. it. At this point it's basically three weeks later than they wanted it. And the craziest part is that it's not like it'll take hours and hours to finish. Minutes actually. I'd say thirty and that's on the generous side. But I just cannot make myself sit down and finish it. And it's been this way for ages.

I packed it along with a half-finished book for the flight back to London, but instead of working on it, I finished the book, watched everything that looked decent on in-flight entertainment, and then started the book again.

I sat down in our lounge with the manuscript and 30 minutes of battery life left on my laptop, determined to use the limited time to force myself to finish quickly. Instead, I let the battery die and watched my first ever episode of Hollyoaks. (Incidentally, it will be my last ever episode as well.)

I finally took the plunge and deliberately left my book at home on the long tube ride from my house to Russell Square, but instead of cracking the pages AT ALL, I spent the whole time running through tube station names in my head to figure out the answer to this*:

And I should be working on it now, because I did in fact send an email telling them to expect in their inbox first thing Monday morning, but instead I'm writing this blog, so what can you do?

Well, this comes to mind:

This is Riley and me on our trip to Ireland this April. You might not be able to tell, but those are the Cliffs of Moher (a.k.a. Insanity) behind us. So of course, along with every other American there, we started quoting lines from The Princess Bride. One of our favourites being this flagrant misuse. So amidst the rain/hail/gale-force winds we hunkered down to make a sign for our picture. Only, we couldn't remember how to spell it. Did it follow the 'i' before 'e' rule or was it one of the exceptions? So on a scrap piece of paper we wrote down both options, picked the one that looked right, and scribbled out our sign on the increasingly damp paper.

Except, we chose the wrong one.

Normally that wouldn't be that remarkable, but Riley and I are both editors by profession. As in, that's what we do for a living. So here we are, attempting to display a cleverly worded homage to a classic movie atop the Cliffs of Moher, a place where I doubt I will ever go again in my life, and we spell it WRONG. Oh, the irony of it all.


So anyway, I'm tempted to send in a copy of this picture with an accompanying explanation tomorrow instead of the finished manuscript. It may shred my reputation with the publisher, but it's nearly midnight and I've spent way too many sleepless nights avoiding this job to give in an get 'er done now...

*By the way, the two stations are Mansion House and South Ealing

Thursday, July 22, 2010

good, better, best.

Yes, I may or may not have been reminded about this talk by a recent blog we a know and loathe (love), but that's beside the point.

Today was totally one of those days.

You know, the kind where you have absolutely too much to do so you hurl yourself from task to task trying to get at least some of them done and in fact pretty much fail at all of them? Yes, that kind of day.

I can't handle two days in a row like this, so I used the tube ride home tonight to make a game plan. I started constructing an elaborate schedule in my head and planned to spend an hour or so laying it down in a color-coded calendar when I got home, but instead, this blog title popped into my head, so I decided to read it first. This line stood out to me:

Remember, don’t magnify the work to be done—simplify it.

Ever since I was assigned Elder Scott for my final project in the Teachings of the Living Prophets class at BYU I've loved his words of wisdom, and this was no exception. So instead of pouring valuable time into a huge project to keep track of my projects, I pulled out some post-it notes and made a few lists that looked something like this:

  • Good Things
  • Better Things
  • Best Things
Because nothing shoots straight through the heart faster than a bulleted list.

Read the rest of Elder Oak's talk here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The spiritual application of horoscopes

Today at FHE, the person assigned to give the spiritual thought was stuck on a train and was unable to make it; so literally at the last minute, another member volunteered to do it. The thought was short and to the point, but as someone sitting next to me commented, it was probably the best FHE thought he had ever heard. I had to agree. And since it was quite a perfect syzygy of events and connections, I thought I'd share it here.

First, the speaker shared a scripture he had come across in his scripture reading the night before:

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
-1 Nephi 10:19

Second, he recounted a discussion he had with his sister at the breakfast table this morning. Apparently she is big into horoscopes and had the paper out to read about how her day would go. The speaker admitted that he feels horoscopes are a 'load of stuff and nonsense' and said he told his sister as much. When she protested, he explained his opinion:

You read the horoscopes in the morning, so of course that's what you're going to think about during the day. You process everything that happens in reference to what you read, and so you MAKE your horoscope come true. One day try not reading your horoscope until the end of the day and then see how 'true' it is. I think you'll find that it's not really accurate at all.

And that, he said, is when the penny dropped.

So third, he remembered his scripture reading from the night before. (A miracle. For though he usually reads his scriptures at night, he often wakes up in the morning with the page still open where he began, having failed to internalize what he'd read.) He then applied his logic about the worth of horoscopes to the worth of daily scripture study:

If he were to read his scriptures in the morning, that's what he'd think about during the day. He'd process everything that happened to him in reference to what he had read, and thus he would stand a better chance of DOING what they commanded and MAKING the promises of kept covenants come true. By reading at night, there was still the possibility that some of his actions during the day might be reflected in the scriptures, but much of their power and value would be diminished.


So what I got from his thought is this: As the scripture states, when we diligently seek for spiritual manifestations to strengthen our faith, answer our questions, and give us comfort, the Lord is fully prepared to bless us with what we need and even what we want.

This is the best argument I have ever heard in favor of morning reading, and as a night-reader myself, I've made a goal to switch the the morning and see if I can make myself a good horoscope or two (:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What am I doing here?

Why am I studying here in London when I could be back in P-town studying like a scholar, scholar?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A blog for Adriane, et al.

Dear Adriane,

I'm still fighting jetlag, but in my late-night facebook trawling whilst attempting to numb my brain into a REM cycle (and I just spent way too much time there trying to find verbs that could carry an extended laundry metaphor before I gave up to switch my actual laundry), I came across this article posted by my cousin Susan on her page and it sure made me sit up and take notice.

So read this: (I'll wait. Oh, and you can double-click to make it bigger.)

So after the first column these were some of my initial thoughts:

  1. I want to fly to Washington right now so I can find Tacoma and punch her stupid, insensitive face.
  2. If all her single, childless friends feel the same way, heaven forbid they ever breed amongst themselves and propagate their stupidity exponentially.
  3. I really hope I've never even approached this level of insensitivity and am so, SO sorry if I have.
Then I read Carolyn's response, and had some more thoughts:

  1. Should I ever have children, I'm naming my first-born child Carolyn. Even if he's a boy I don't care. I'll give his future wife this article and she'll thank me.
  2. She is treating Tacoma much more humanely than I'd ever be able to.
  3. This is one of the best explanations of the role of a mother that I have ever seen, especially a young mother. Having never been a mother, I hope this doesn't sound presumptuous or offensive, but what I've seen of the Herculean efforts mothers make on a daily basis which must more often than not make them feel like more like Sisyphus makes this ring true to me.
  4. She sums up in one sentence why I am not ready to me a mother: 'It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.' A further distillation can produce a single word: Unselfishness.

So, I'd just like to give a brief shout out to my best friend, the uh-MAZ-ing mother of my two most favourite 'nephews' and the funniest person I know. I hope you know that I've seen how much work and sacrifice and effort and sweat and laughter and love you put into each and every moment, each and every day.

I honestly shake my head in awe at what you do while I use selfishly my MA program as an excuse to relax and enjoy...

You are my hero.