Days Until My 22nd Birthday: 31
On Sunday, Christian and I started counting down the days until our wedding on my fingers and toes because we had twenty days left. I started on my left foot. Today is the last day of my left foot -- let me tell you what, that is exciting. I thought about doing something like painting each of my nails a different color as I counted down, but then I realized that I would be left with all kinds of funky nails on my wedding day, so I didn't. Speaking of funky nails, click here.
I didn't post anything yesterday. I was too busy playing Mah Jong. It makes me feel smart, even though I'm not very good. I haven't been able to beat the third layout yet. If anyone can do it on their first try, tell me and I'll give you a prize. Cookies or a dollar or something. And no hitting the Undo button -- that's cheating.
Chikezie was voted off American Idol on Wednesday. I told you he was boring. Also, it appears that not very many people watch American Idol. I'm not surprised. That Ryan Seacrest is sometimes too much to take.
We're going with the black vest and tie for Christian's tux. I decided to put my foot down and go with what I wanted, and not listen to what everyone else had to say. So I didn't listen when half of everyone said to go with what I wanted, and the other half said to go with the black vest. ;)
Christian and I have started re-watching Season One of Lost. We have a goal of re-watching all of Seasons One, Two and Three before we get married. We got through most of one episode yesterday before we went to the temple. We still have a ways to go.
- Don't keep bidding on an item until you're the highest bidder if you're just curious to see how much money the person before you bid. This is dangerous; you might end up having to pay that much money.
- Don't bid on an item just to get it onto your "My eBay" page. Choose "Watch this Item" instead.
- Don't bid on a lot of items just to see if there's a limit to how many items you can bid on at one time, because I can tell you right now that there isn't.
- Don't look for Back to the Future action figures -- you'll just be wasting your time because there aren't any Back to the Future action figures on eBay.
- Don't go onto eBay with the purpose of getting one item (for example, one white leather purse) and then bid on more than one (for example, seven white leather purses), thinking that at least you'll get one of them -- you might end up getting all of them (for example, seven white leather purses).
Christian and I went out to Charlotte this weekend to visit his friends, Matt and Melissa Morrow. Matt is Christian's best friend and is going to be his best man when we get married in 19 days. He was in town two weeks ago on a business trip and the three of us got to go to dinner, but Melissa wanted to meet me before the wedding also, so we went down to see them Saturday morning and came back Sunday evening. It was fun. It was a lot of fun. We went bowling and Christian bowled the game of his life (scoring a 204), Matt made chicken on his smoker and showed us all the improvements he's made on the house since the last time Christian was there. We also went to the Men's Wearhouse so that Matt and Christian could get fitted for their tuxes. Which brings me to the Huge Dilemma.
While were at the Men's Wearhouse, the guy helping us, who Christian tells me was named Jeremy, asked us what color vest and tie Christian wanted to wear for the wedding, and Christian, repeating what I had told him earlier, said black. Jeremy looked at him like he was crazy and said, "Don't you want to match your bride?" And then Christian looked at me, and I looked back at him with a look that I thought said, "I don't know" and he thought said, "Well, don't you?" And, really, neither of us knew what we wanted, so we went with white because that's what Jeremy said was best. But I've been looking at pictures of white vests and pictures of black vests and I think that I like black best. A white vest from far away looks like no vest. I think Christian would look better in a black vest. So, here's my question: black vest or white vest? You can vote in the poll on the right-hand sidebar.
*image via Men's Wearhouse
But I was wrong. I first began to doubt my conviction that the concept of at-one-ment was a hoax when I recently heard a quote from President James E. Faust's talk, The Atonement: Our Greatest Hope. In it, he states, "Understanding what we can of the Atonement and the Resurrection of Christ helps us to obtain a knowledge of Him and of His mission. Any increase in our understanding of His atoning sacrifice draws us closer to Him. Literally, the Atonement means to be at one with Him." When I heard this, I was stumped. It was easy for me to believe that the speakers in Sacrament Meeting were fooled, but much harder to believe that a General Authority got it wrong.
I decided to put the issue to rest. I went the source of all wisdom, and looked up "atonement" on Wikipedia. (You can read the full article here; it actually includes a detailed description of how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints differs from mainstream Christianity on the issue of Christ's Atonement, which I found very interesting.) Wikipedia told me that the word atonement was created by a man named William Tyndale, a 16th-century Protestant reformer who translated the Bible into the Early Modern English of his day -- most of his translation eventually made its way into the King James Version of the Bible, which was published in 1611 and which we use today. Tyndale wanted a word to explain the doctrine of Christ's sacrifice, which accomplished both the remission of sin and reconciliation of man to God, so he created the word "atonement." His word comprises two parts -- "at" and "onement," meaning a reconcilliation and also a covering, as in a covering of sin. While grateful for William Tyndale's work in bringing the word of God to the people of 16th-century England, I feel like he could have made better use of his knowledge of Latin word roots. He would have saved me a lot of embarrassment.
Thanks a lot, William Tyndale.
We, as a society, have gone backwards when it comes to interpersonal communication. Neanderthals communicated using only grunts and gestures. As time passed on, humans began to overcomplicate language to the point where it is now difficult to accomplish anything because there are too many stupid people and they use too many stupid words. This is why I am proposing the use of a basic universal language for all human beings regardless of race, culture, or physical location.
This language will not take the place of conversation between people you know and trust. It will merely be used for the casual daily interactions with strangers that can become so difficult when words are introduced. If I sneeze, I don’t need to have a conversation about it. Thank you for your blessings, but please stop wasting my time. Also, it’s more polite to say gesundheit. My new language will take the place of these time-wasters and bring interpersonal communication back to its purest form.
My second thought: Dwight is wrong. Now, I know most people think that Dwight is paranoid and has a distorted sense of reality, but I find that I agree with him on most issues. Issues such as: in the wild, there is no health care. Women are terrible drivers. Coffins need thick walls so you don't hear the other dead people. And, most importantly, blood alone moves the wheels of history. However, with regard to the issue of interpersonal communication, I find that the only point on which I agree is that there are too many stupid people. I enjoy conversations that result from sneezing. Also, it's my opinion that the English language needs more words. Case in point: I use the same word to describe my feelings toward peanut butter as I do my feelings toward my fiancé. That shouldn't happen.
My third thought: You know what else shouldn't happen? This.
I mentioned before that I'm in search of more good books to read. I just finished Catch-22 and right now I'm reading The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I actually have a long-ish list of books marked "to read," most of which were taken from friends' recommendations, but I'm still looking for more. Here's my current list -- feel free to comment, ask questions, and suggest others!
- The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler
- The Once and Future King, by T.H. White
- Sabine's Notebook, by Nick Bantock
- Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
- The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
- Why Do Men Have Nipples?, by Mark Leyner
- To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
- Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens
- The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander
- 1776, by David McCullough
- Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
- Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
- Love Is Eternal, by Irving Stone
Announcement: Jock Jams played its third game of the Spring '08 season last night against The Farce (better known by returning members of the Jock Jams team as "The Todd's Team") and won. Yeah, we won. I like to say it, and I like to hear myself say it. We won. Which makes our record so far this season 2-1. It felt so good to win last night. So good. Losing to them last season was not fun, and in their faces! Because we won this time! Quick recap: they scored in the first half. Then we scored -- the half ended with a tie. In the second half, tensions were high and people got snappy, but we kept our collective head together and scored again before the end of the game. And we won. We won. I can't say it enough. It feels so good.
Announcement: Christian and I only have 24 days left until we get married. That feels good, too. Better than winning last night.
But here's what's great about geometry: it's awesome. Geometry starts out good and ends up great. Let me explain. The first thing you learn about in geometry is the line. I know what you're thinking -- Mary, I already know about lines. Yes, you do, which is exactly my point. Question: What's easier than learning information you already know? Answer: nothing. And that's why geometry starts out good. But easy definitions are just the beginning. Soon you move on to proofs. I love proofs for two reasons. First, they give you the answer. Seriously. And it's not considered cheating. Second, a proof is all about showing everyone else how right you are. I love that.
My second thought for today: I just finished Catch-22 about an hour and a half ago. Holy cannoli, that is one good book. I found the first nine-tenths intriguing and entertaining and amazing; I also found it challenging, and reading it was like running uphill. I've let myself become a lazy reader, and reading real books is more exercise than I'm used to. I need to work on that. Note to self: read more good books. Note to readers: recommend more good books. The last tenth of Catch-22 was perfection. There are no other words. It was perfect. It's like Joseph Heller punched me in the face with his writing and I've only just come to. If I could read one book again for the first time, it would be this book.
My final thought for today: this website is hilarious. If you find the anthropomorphization of animals tiresome and juvenile, then you won't be amused.
*I will continue to stand by this promise even after my name changes in April, and I become a Plautz.
**If anyone knows my thing with "I promise," then you know this is a big deal for me. I never say "I promise" unless I mean it. Seriously -- I've never broken a promise I've made when I've said "I promise." So, really, be impressed. I mean it.