Monday, July 14, 2008

Over and Out

Well, it's official. This blog is done. I need to save all the entries to a disk or something, 'cause this chapter of my life is over. It's been great being single and out of my parents' house. I've thoroughly enjoyed my roommates - although, to be honest, there're one or two I wouldn't wish to live with again. I've enjoyed, for the most part, traveling back and forth across the country. Okay, actually, I hate it. I mean, I love traveling, but MOVING my LIFE across the world and then back and forth and back and forth across the country a ridiculous number of times in a very short matter of years is extremely annoying. But really, I've been blessed to see some places I wouldn't have been able to otherwise; and do things, particularly various jobs that would've been undesirable with a husband. And that's all behind me now. One awesome chapter of my life is closing ever more rapidly on me.

And yet, married life, along with it's inevitable hardships, is getting ever more intriguing. Although I will always have Mike with me (Heaven willing) I'm not feeling any sadness over my "loss of freedom." In fact, when I think about it, I feel like I'll just be able to do more, because I won't ever have to do it alone if I don't want. Climbing mountains, riding rollercoasters, and jumping out of planes will all be easier, because I'll have Mike there to talk me through my fear of heights. (Okay, not jumping out of planes. I wouldn't get your hopes up, Mike.)

DON'T think for one second though that I'm done blogging. Although I've talked about starting up another blog for Mike and I, I simply haven't got around to it. Give me a break! I'm in the middle of the woods with shoddy internet capabilities. Mike, on the other hand, took the initiative and started it up for us. He even made the first entry. Go to and give it a look. I think we've got potential.

This is Major Mal, over and out. ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One Quick Story

I know I've been neglecting my blogging duties in an entirely inexcusable fashion, BUT, I have a vast array of excuses:

-The internet connection here at Jordan Pond Dorm is embarrassingly slow.
-I feel bad for not putting up pictures because of said slow connection, and so I figure, I just shouldn't post at all.
-This is my personal blog, and I'm considering getting a new one so Mike and I can have one together, so there's "no point" in posting until then.

So anyway... I just wanted to tell one quick story of how I almost made a Muslim sin. Here at the dorm I am the janitor and the dinner-watch and Saturday cook. (Dinner-watch, which is a word I made up, in case you didn't know, involves me watching the dinner and cleaning up the kitchen after Carla, the regular cook, leaves.) So I'm watching dinner one night, and we have the Turks that just moved in - two girls and a boy. Of course, they're Muslim, and so when they saw meat was on the menu they asked if there was any pork, so they could avoid eating it. One of the girls reads and speaks English pretty well, so she was translating for her friend, but her boyfriend hadn't come in yet. When he did, they were already sitting down. He asked if there was pork.

"No, it's riblets, they're made of beef," I told him, assuming they were, even though I didn't make them and I hadn't read the menu on the white board.

"Oh, okay, thank you," he said as he dipped into the real meat, rather than the vegetarian option like his countrymen. (Or women, whatever.) About 30 seconds later she brought him up there, a little bit frantic, and asked again, what they were.

"Beef," said I.
"No!" said she. "They are made of pork! It says on the board!"
I leaned over the side, looked stupidly at the board, and said sheepishly, "Oh, sorry. I didn't make it. I just assumed that's what they were made of."

Yeah, I'm a dolt. I get it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Winter 08 is OVER!!

It's a beautiful thing when the semester comes to a close, even if it means that no one but a select few are staying for the week-long break.

Rexburg is a ghost town during breaks.

But we breakers have so much fun! Saturday night a bunch of us went to the cheap theater to watch Be Kind, Rewind and then we came home and Kyle had just bought I Am Legend so we watched that on Jeremy's big-screen. Yesterday we planned a big pot-luck for lunch after church, and actually got a good-sized group there, although Rita and I were the only girls. (Not that it matters much to me, but I think some of the guys were a little disappointed that half the female population was engaged.) Then Mike and I went to his sister's in-laws for dinner. It was amazing - she makes very good rolls.

Today, I'm going with Mike to work at the youth ranch for substance abusers in Idaho Falls. After that we're going straight to Pocatello to check out some lava hot springs. (The ones near Rexburg aren't lava, and they're not very well taken care of, so they've gotten a little ghetto.) Then, Bishop Walker has invited all of the members of his ward that are staying over for dinner tonight, so we're gonna hit that up. I'm excited! They put on some great barbeques, and he has an amazing back yard, with a two-hoop court, a trampoline, and a volleyball net.

Yeah, us breakers get pretty special treatment. We can park wherever we want in the lots. We can shop in the stores without getting mauled by urgent mothers who only have a week to get everything their precious babes could ever want. We can loop the roundabouts as many times as we want, and most cops don't care - not that they do when everyone else is here, but still. Yeah, it's a pretty special life.

Updates: Mike and I are finishing up the announcements, not that they need to be sent out any time soon, but we're almost done with them. Oh, and Sox-Yankees = 8-5, respectively of course.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The True Story of How I Met Diah

Theah is a man I used to know
who kept his house behind my own;
a simple shack and nuthin' moah,
with a chimney stack 'n' wooden doah.
He wahs rahly seen by any eye
but my friends all said he wahs a scaary guy.

I'll tell ya o' the only chance
I met him - wahs by happenstance:
I's walkin' through the woods alone
'n' singin' in a gahlish tone,
when of a sudden I turned a bend
'n' theah he wahs on the othah end!
Well I jus' stood and staa'ed wide-eyed;
but he jus' smiled 'n' then replii'ed,
"Well, hello theah, deah. How you doo'in'?"
I mumbled somethin' 'bout needin' t' be goin'.

I booked it home like the woods was on fiah.
That's the fahst 'n' last I sahw o' Diah.

This poem was written as a creative piece for Bro. Babcock's British Literature class on March 29, 2008. It demonstrates the Romantic era characteristic of local color.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Card Catalogue - #1

For my Young Adult Lit. class we're supposed to read 30 young adult books, and keep a card catalogue. Since there is so much interest in books amongst my blogging friends and relatives, I decided I would include the card catalogue on here. I know you're all adults, but some of these books I think everyone should read and would thoroughly enjoy. Also, at least in Mum's situation, trying to have a good repetoir of book titles ready for Kait is a task the whole family needs to be a part of. (I'm sure she can find them at the library, but don't let her read The Looking Glass Wars because it's coming to her sometime soon here.)

Slumming - By Kristen D. Randle
Sam, Nikki, and Alicia, the only three LDS seniors in their high school, decide to take on a "human experiment" as a way to make a difference in their last few weeks in school. They each choose one person to help "release" their inner glory, and then in three weeks they'll take them to prom. They soon realize their "lost souls" hold much more in store than the friends ever imagined. The stresses of their projects begin to take a toll on their own friendship, but the three do learn much about who they are and what they are capable of. They find within themselves new depths of understanding, bravery, and trust. (Kristen D. Randle is an LDS author, but don't worry, the book doesn't suck.) 
Other books by Kristen D. Randle: The Only Alien on the Planet, Breaking Rank, On the side of the angels, and Why Did Grandma Have to Die?

Incantation - By Alice Hoffman
Estrella de Madrigal is a young woman living in Spain when the Spanish Inquisition breaks into her small village. In the beginning, she thought she was only a spectator - simply looking on and pitying the misfortune of those who were so deeply affected by the horrible decree of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Suddenly, Estrella discovers secrets about her family and their past that will change her life forever.
Other books by Alice Hoffman: Green Angel, Aquamarine, Skylight, Confessions, and Practical Magic
The Looking Glass Wars - By Frank Beddor   
Alice Liddle's tales of Wonderland and the queendom she is meant to rule are just too far-fetched to believe. Finally, she finds a man who is willing to listen - Reverend Charles Dodgeson, who becomes youn Alice's friend. He tells her he will write her stories down in a book, and it will be their story. Alice is so excited to have finally found someone to believe her. Her heart is broken when she realizes it's not her story at all, but a twisted, bizarre fairytale for children. 
Follow Alyss Heart as she is rushed out of Wonderland into the world of Earth. Here she must trive to remember her true self and the throne that is rightfully hers, until she can find a way to return and overthrow her evil aunt, Queen Redd. (It's the first book in the series. I haven't read the other two yet, but this book was SO MUCH FUN! I loved it! I'm not sure that the last book has been published, I can't find the title. If anyone knows, let me in on that secret!)
The cult-like following of The Looking Glass Wars: Seeing Redd (book 2), Hatter M. (a limited comic book series), Princess Alyss of Wonderland. Also visit It's pretty crazy. People love this book.

The Moves Make the Man - By Bruce Brooks
Jerome Foxworthy - aka: Jayfox, is tough enough to take anything, just as long as he can play basketball. But when the schools decide to integrate, and Jerome is the one and only black kid in his high school, playing ball is no longer an option. He has no friends, no fun, and no team to work with. Until he meets Bix Rivers that is. No two friends were more different, but their differences allow Jerome to help his new-found friend through the toughest times of high school. **NEWBERY HONOR BOOK**
More by Bruce Brooks: Boys Will Be

Friday, February 15, 2008

An Engaging Story - Read Film Noir Style

It was a warm Tuesday afternoon when I walked into my apartment. It was dark, too dark. I walked to the back of the apartment and to the half-closed door of my room. I cautiously pushed the door ajar, and there, on my bedroom floor, were balloons. Pink and white, everywhere. (Except you can't tell that they're pink and white, 'cause you obviously see in black and white right now.) On a chair, pulled into the middle of the room, is a sealed manila envelope. I tear open the seal and pull out the contents: candid photographs of a handsome culprit, a disc, and a list of instructions. I popped the disc in and found a transmission from Agent A to me. I was to find one Michael Watkins, who was armed and extremely dangerous.

This should be interesting.

I prepared for the mission I had been given. The list of instructions told me to be dressed sharply, so I put on a white skirt, red top, and red stiletto heels - some say they're not practical, but they've never had to stab anyone with a heel before. I didn't know what to expect.

At precisely the given time, I left to the given place and found in the cabinet a clue! I pulled the bridal magazine from the shelf and red the next clue, "Go to apartment 209. There you will find a Vinni and a Fingers." I left immediately. I had heard of Vinni and his hitman Fingers before. They were not to be left waiting. 
I walked into the darkened apartment, and there they were, sitting at a table playing cards oh so cooly. 

"We've been expecting you."
"Sorry. Traffic kept me."
"Fingahs, show the lady some manners. Vacate your seat."
"Sorry, Bwoss." 
"Please, Miss, take a seat."

I sat in Finger's place, after being thoroughly checked with a tongue depressor. Vinnie and I chatted for a while, and played a quick game of blackjack - Vinnie loves cards, it's a good way to win him over. After we were done with the pleasantries, we got down to business. 

"We have an informant who you might be interested in listening to," said Vinnie, pronouncing every syllable. They handed me a rose with a clue on the package. I would have to go to the Hinckley building, but I wasn't allowed to see. They blindfolded me, wrapped a coat around my shoulders, and lead me outside, down the stairs, across the snowy parking lot, and stuffed me into their car. The drive to the Hinckley is maybe 2 1/2 minutes, but it took us at least 6 to get there. (Vinnie is a very discreet man, even when I know where the location is.) Vinnie and Fingers talked nonchalantly the whole way. When we got out, Fingers was sent to find the informant and bring her to the meeting place where Vinnie and I would be waiting. 
It took a while for the informant to get to the statue we were to meet at, but when she did, she gave me the last clue: a box of perfume with the last clue on it. I took the blindfold off and grasped the clue.

"You should be able to find your way from here," she said, and she walked off around a corner.

I left the building promptly. The clue said he'd be in the gardens wearing black. No one was to be seen, except a young couple and their photographer. I searched over the gardens and finally saw a stone gazebo. I rounded the gazebo and there he was, in black as promised - the culprit! I walked into the gazebo.

"The gig is up, Watkins."

But was it? He had a new way of wriggling out of trouble, as always. He reached in his pocket - I reached toward my stiletto just in case - and pulled out a box. He dropped to one knee and opened the box.
We went out to dinner at a place called Sandpiper in Idaho Falls. It was amazing! After that he took me to the Jim Brickman concert at the civic auditorium. (For those of you who don't know, Jim Brickman is a huge romantic piano soloist.) It was so much fun! Although I think I may have failed my mission - oh well. That's where wining and dining will get ya!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Girl's Night: Conner Style

"Ang, I have a proposition to make."
"Saturday: you, me, the roomies, Aileen, Martinelli's, junk food, Miss America Pageant."
"Uhhh, yeah.  Let's do it!"

Okay, beauty pageants have been a Conner Women tradition since Mum had daughters old enough to enjoy critiquing, which surprisingly enough was when Alexa and I were at very young ages.  Every time a big one came up, we'd schedule a Girl's Night and reserve the living room.  There's quite a few actually: Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Universe, and Miss World.  I think there's even a Mrs. America/USA (not sure which). We focused mainly on Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Universe.  I've seen a couple of the others.  

Sadly, when Dad took us out to Saipan (yes, DAD; it would be a boy that took us away from our beloved Girl's Nights) the parents decided against getting television.  It's really not the worst thing in the world, but there a few things that I would really like to watch - pageants being a few of them.  So the Girl's Nights pretty much ended.  Yeah, once in a while we'd rent a movie when the guys were out or Dad was on a business trip, but that stopped too after Mum gave up her addiction to ice.  (That's a story for another time, folks.) 

I haven't seen a pageant since I've been back in the States.  For a couple of years they were doing all sorts of weird stuff to try and get their ratings back up.  One year they even did a FearFactor version, which was just totally against everything these pageants stand for. 

Pageants stand for something? you may ask.  Oh yes.  The point of all beauty pageants has been to inspire women to not only be beautiful on the outside, but also strive to achieve great things and become great women on the inside.  The stereotypical beauty has no brains, and these pageants are out to prove otherwise.  The winners and runners-up all receive considerable scholarships. 

Although this is a worthy cause, the pageants were getting a little out of hand.  They were losing ratings steadily, and it was because the style of everyday women had changed since the original airing in 1921.  (Ya think?!)  But the women were still doing the big-hair-big-make-u-dress-up-for-every-activity-even-if-it-was-a-marathon thing.  This year they passed it into the hands of TLC - a daughter channel of the Discovery Channel.  They aired the pilot of "Miss America: Reality Check" four weeks before the pageant.  The reality show put the 52 contestants into a house together and divided them into teams.  I really liked this because it brought the women closer together than ever before.  Even though they lived in the same hotel for the week of the pageant, they had always been there to compete, not to make friends.  The friendship was apparent among the ladies throughout the entire pageant, particularly when Miss Utah dropped to the ground and gave about 10 pushups after been eliminated from the top 16, and about seven other girls followed suit.  (The crowed was going wild.)  

I only saw the pilot of the reality show, but the gist of it was to revamp Miss America.  The message they wanted to send was, "Any girl can look beautiful no matter what she's doing, including real-life things."  The message they were sending was, "Any girl can look beautiful no matter what she's doing as long as it can be done in heels and hairspray."  They brought beauticians and hairdressers to teach the girls how to say "NO!" to aerosols and dangly earrings when the activity was a relay race (and yes, there were a number of girls who actually needed to be told so).  They brought on Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear (LOVE THAT SHOW! too bad I have a life) to teach the girls that their sparkly cow-girl boots were something to wear at home, not on stage.  

Another thing they did different this year was have 16 semi-finalists rather than 15.  The last one was voted on by Americans over the previous four weeks online rather than by the judges. The winner was Jill Stevens, Miss Utah.  Seriously, this girl was AMAZING! I mean, the 10 finalists were really cute and talented and smart, but NO ONE was as spunky as Miss Utah.  I am certain she won Miss Congeniality.  When she was called off I thought the crowd might rush the stage.  

Over all, I liked the new version.  I was a little disappointed that Kirsten Haglund, Miss Michigan won.  I mean, she was okay, but definitely not the best one out there.  In fact, after Miss Utah was voted off, I was all about the girl that got runner-up, but I can't think of who she is, or where she's from.  Oh well.  

Oh yeah!  I almost forgot the best part!  As they were crowning Miss Michigan, and she was freaking out and all, it was very obvious that there was bright red lipstick on her tooth and up her face quite a bit.  Angela, Jenni, and I were laughing so hard!  That would suck!  I mean, that's on camera and everything for the REST OF HER LIFE!  Hahaha!  The thing is, no one told her, not even the guy who walked right up to her face and gave her the flowers and a kiss.  No!  It wasn't until she got back from her little walk and the other ladies came up to congratulate her than one of the girls finally wiped it off for her.  Man, her face after she realized what she'd done was almost better than seeing her do it!