Monday, July 27, 2009

My Life in Review: Recent Music Purchases

I recently was introduced to a music download service that is much more affordable than iTunes, and is compatible with iTunes. The songs only cost 9 cents each. It doesn't have quite the selection that iTunes does, but it actually manages to have some albums that iTunes doesn't. It's a good thing, I think. Really liking it.

And my music collection is growing by leaps and bounds. Scary, really.

I just bought the album Funhouse by Pink. I like Pink, and I have really, really enjoyed a lot of her songs. This is the first complete album of hers that I've bought. It's mind-blowingly fantastic! It does not have a single song that I don't want to listen to again. In fact, using the rating system, of the 14 tracks, only 4 are three-star songs, and those are the lowest rated on the album. One five-star song, and the rest are four. Pretty amazing. It's still very much a Pink album, but there's an emotional, vulnerable edge to the songs. Can you have a vulnerable edge? Did I just invent an oxymoron? Anyway, it's a great album. I'm completely floored by how much I love it.

Oh, and I figured out who my guilty pleasure is, as far as music is concerned: Kelly Clarkson. I keep buying her songs, I can't help it, and I like them. Just don't tell anyone, okay?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Five-Star Songs...

One of my readers told me they enjoy my posts where I do lists. I've been trying to think of another list to do, and I finally have one.

In my iTunes library I have 3,293 songs. According to iTunes, it would take me 8 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes and 47 seconds to listen to each song once through, all in a row.

That's a lot of music. I try to use the rating system faithfully. I won't often change a rating once I've assigned it to a song, but it does happen.

Out of those 3,293 songs, there are only 39 that I felt deserved a five-star rating. Some of my criteria for giving a five-star rating are: I have to have an emotional connection to the song; it's a song that I rarely, if ever, skip when it pops up on a random playlist of the entire library; it's a song that I generally will play several times in a row, that I just can't get enough of. There are other criteria, but those are the ones that are easily describeable.

I won't make comments about each song, as this will be a huge post anyway. Also, the songs aren't in any order of preference. They are all five-star songs.

  1. Answer by Sarah McLachlan
  2. Again Today by Brandi Carlile
  3. Arms of Love by Amy Grant
  4. Maria by Blondie
  5. Hold On by the University of Illinois Rip Chords: Originally by Wilson Phillips, this is an a cappella version. And this song has become one of my life anthems.
  6. I Wish the Best For You by Emerson Hart
  7. Feels Like Tonight by Daughtry: this song recently moved from four-star to five.
  8. Nella Fantasia by Amici Forever
  9. So Far Away by Amici Forever
  10. Land and Freedom by Amici Forever
  11. Smooth Criminal by David Garrett: a Michael Jackson song, performed on the violin.
  12. He's a Pirate by David Garrett: the theme song from Pirates of the Carribean, on the violin.
  13. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
  14. High Enough by Damn Yankees
  15. Walkin' in Memphis by the U of Wisconsin MadHatters: an a cappella version of the Marc Cohn song.
  16. Already Home by Ha-Ash and Brandi Carlile
  17. Highwayman by the Highwaymen: This group includes Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, and it's just a frickin' cool song.
  18. Between the Lines by Sarah Bareilles
  19. City by Sarah Bareilles
  20. Gravity by Sarah Bareilles
  21. (You Want To) Make a Memory by Bon Jovi
  22. Any Other Day by Bon Jovi
  23. If You're Gone by Matchbox Twenty
  24. Come What May by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman
  25. Nearer My God to Thee by BYU Vocal Point: Amazing version with latin being chanted/sung behind the words to the hymn.
  26. Dechire from Notre Dame de Paris
  27. Tu Vas Me Detruire from Notre Dame de Paris
  28. Lune from Notre Dame de Paris: I particularly love the line(Translated): "see how a man can suffer from love."
  29. A Change in Me from Disney's On the Record: originally from the Broadway Beauty and the Beast. I experienced deep, wrenching, cleansing sobs when I listened to this song the first time and it came to the line: "For now I realize that good can come from bad. That may not make me wise, but, oh, it makes me glad."
  30. I'm Movin' On by Rascal Flatts: "I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons. Finally content with a past I regret."
  31. Creep (The acoustic version) by Radiohead
  32. Lie to Me by Bon Jovi
  33. Something to Believe In by Bon Jovi
  34. Fools Like Me by Lisa Loeb: "Love was surely meant for fools like me."
  35. Gives You Hell by the All-American Rejects: I can NOT stop smiling when I listen to this song.
  36. I'm Not That Girl from Wicked: I've often felt that I'm not that boy that girls would want to fall in love with.
  37. Defying Gravity from Wicked
  38. As Long As You're Mine from Wicked
  39. Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz: Whenever I watch this movie, I always cry when she sings this song. Always.
There you go. What do you think?

Things I Enjoy...

My friend Julie does this sort of list every now and again on her blog. I thought I'd give it a shot. I don't know that it will be as long as hers, but I'll do it anyway.

So there!

Things I enjoy:

Being naked

Trying recipes

Delivering pizzas when little kids answer the door

Pushing Daisies

Just sitting and thinking

Well, that's all you get, because that's all I can think of at the moment. I thought about doing explanations for each item, but changed my mind. It's more fun this way. :)

So there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Parental Advisory....

....explicit content.

No, really, I'm really going to rant this blog. I don't usually like to include vulgar terms, but I don't know that I'll be able to stop this time. Read on at your own risk.

I hate Bart Smith.


The stupid bastard probably has no idea what he has done to me this past week. Even worse, he most likely does not care.

He is the franchise owner of the Domino's Pizza I work for. He writes the checks. And my paycheck bounced. Among the other little goals that I had for that money that I wasn't able to accomplish, this occurrence sent me into a nasty depression. Every single fucking time I get depressed, it makes me doubt every single goal and dream that I aspire to. So now, after Bart's lovely escapade, I have to somehow get my head screwed on straight again, against every part of me that is screaming that I should just wallow in despair.

I realized today that I after this last hellish week, I don't want to even try for grad school. Damn this depression.

I know that's what I want, but have no drive to try for it. I get paid again tomorrow, and if that check bounces as well, I don't know what I'll do.

I'm pissed at Bart, but I'm pissed at myself too. I'm mad, and completely enervated.

And annoyed that every single time I try to make goals and start to accomplish them, actually do good things for myself, that something bad happens to throw me off track.

I really have problems with the divine equity of that track record.

Rant over, depression continues.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And it All Started So Well....

Today started out great! I accomplished three of the four specific goals I had for this morning when I went to bed last night. I felt great! I went in to work in a great mood, and that doesn't really happen to me. I can be pleasant or in a decent mood when I get there, but never in a great mood.

The day looked good. Had deliveries right off the bat.

Then it started going downhill. Work sucked. Didn't get good tips. Or any tips from the two big deliveries I made. 14 and 12 pizzas, respectively. To the same company. A company that usually tips, and tips well. By the end of my shift, I was upset. I was actually almost in tears at one point during my shift.

I made an effort to be outwardly pleasant, and that helped me get through the day.

Then I got home tonight and found out that my last paycheck, from last week, bounced.

We recently changed from being paid every other Friday to every other Tuesday. So for this last paycheck we had to wait an extra four days. One of the reasons the owner decided to make the change was to give himself more time to make the transfer to the payroll account.

So now I'm exhausted, wanting to start getting ready for bed, and I'm too upset to relax.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Decision Made!

Well, I've come to a decision. Well, I guess I've come to four decisions, really.

Here are the schools I'm going to apply to, with handy links, if you wish to look at the university's website:

Washington State University in Pullman, WA. I like the program, and I like that they give their Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) an office.

University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. Can't remember the particulars, but I like this program. Not that this had any bearing on the decision, but my favorite bishop ever lived in Eugene for quite a while.

Sacramento State University in Sacramento, CA. I liked the Spanish program, but what put this one over the edge was the fact that in the summer of 2011 they are having a travel study program going to Peru!

University of Nevada, Reno in Reno, NV. I really enjoyed the look of the program and "felt" like a good fit.

You would not believe how much stress this search has caused. I didn't let intimidation keep me from liking a program, but some of these programs have very, very intimidating reading lists for the Masters program. And I don't read all that fast in Spanish. Terrifying!

Oh well. Next step: getting ready for the GRE, again.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I know you may not believe it, but I've actually set some goals for myself. Actually wrote them down and everything.

Very doable goals.

Here's the story: I just found out last night that I most likely won't be able to even apply for the graduate program at the University of Miami. Turns out that they want a total of 2 10-15 page research papers, one in English, the other in Spanish. And you can't send a couple smaller papers to replace one. Now, I could probably work up one of my Spanish papers from SUU and make it pretty decent, competitive, even. However, I just can't see it being possible to write TWO good research papers before January 15th.

So here are my goals. I will compile a list of 5 universities that I will apply to for a Master's degree. This list will be finished by the 12th of July. That's a week from Sunday. I figure that will give me plenty of time to sift through all the universities in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska and find the one's that I think will fit me best. I've made it easier by defining the geographic region I would like to live in to go to school: the Pacific Northwest. I'm going to look at the University of Utah, but if I like others better, I'll go with them. This may mean that I apply to six schools by January, but that's okay.

My second goal is to sign up to take the GRE again. I will have signed up for a date, paid for the test, and purchased a study book by the end of July. My goal test date is near the end of September/beginning of October. And I'm going to take the test in Las Vegas. Yes, there are probably closer test centers, but I'm going to toss in a celebration vacation while I'm at it.

Why take the GRE again? I think I can score better. And I scored well the last time: 690 overall. I want to break 700. Also, if I remember right, to get scores sent to schools after taking the test, there is a charge. However, if you take the test, you get to send your scores to 5 schools, and the cost is included in the cost to take the test. And there's a good chance I will better my score. Why?

Because I'm determined to.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Today. Plus: My Life in Review: Red Robin

Today has been a good day. As a whole, I mean. Things that haven't gone as planned are: couldn't find a book to buy, even visiting 3 book stores; didn't buy the new Buffy comic book, as the shipment came in late; and it was hot!

Overall, I felt lucky. I went to the Devil's, I mean, the University Mall here in Provo. I found a parking spot that was super close to an entrance. I don't mind walking a distance, but it was nice. In the GameStop, I found a game I've been looking for for a couple weeks, and used store credit to buy it. At the Towne Center mall, I found another close parking spot. (What are the odds? Two in one day?)

These may be little things, but they feel very lucky.

I've decided to start reviewing some of my activities. Not necessarily the things I do every day, but special occasion activities. For example:

Today I went to Red Robin. I really wanted a burger today, and that was the closest non-fastfood joint. I ended up waiting about 5 minutes for someone to notice me and seat me. The service was slow in general. I like Red Robin's decor, so that's a plus, and I really liked the elevated toy train that circled the bar. The "background" music was a mix of eighties tunes, so that's right up my alley. May not be for everybody, though. And it seemed like the volume was a touch high, but the other tables seemed to be able to converse fairly well.

I ordered the Chili Cheeseburger. It sounded good, but most places serve chili that's too hot for me. This one was just right, though. I loved it. Easily the best part of the entire experience. I really like Red Robin's fries, so that was a plus, as well.

My waiter seemed really indifferent and not all that attentive. When I eat alone, I usually like to tip about $5, as I really enjoy getting $5 tips. However, his service got his lowered to $3.

Overall, my rating of this restaurant is: Won't be going back, even with the really tasty chili cheeseburger.

So there you go! I plan on reviewing movies and other events as well, in the future.