Saturday, May 31, 2008

Item of the Week

I didn't do an item of the week last week. Nothing stood out to me. It was almost the same this week, until today. This week's item of the week is Antibiotics. The human body is pretty adept at fighting infection and disease. It has a number of defense mechanisms. But, sometimes it needs reinforcements. I know there's a lot of talk about the overuse of antibiotics and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. I think there's a lot of sense to that theory. However, I also know that a lot of us could be dead if it weren't for antibiotics. So, thank you Alexander Fleming for getting it all started!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I need some help. Apparently over the last several years, my skin has become very sensitive. Every time I shave my legs, they itch incessantly! It drives me insane! I have determined that the itching occurs when the hair is growing back in, so it only lasts for a couple days every time I shave. But, when I shave at least twice a week, that means my legs are itching horribly more than 50% of the time. It's not really razor rash because it's not caused by the razor and there's no rash. I just itch. Like crazy. To the point that I often will scratch my skin raw leaving it painful and, at the worst, bleeding. I'm sorry if this isn't the blog post you were hoping for, but I'm at my wit's end. I have tried everything. Different razors, different shaving creams, shampoo instead of shaving cream, conditioner instead of shaving cream, exfoliating, lotion, etc. all to no avail. Currently I have three options. I don't shave, I deal with the itching or I wax. Waxing is fine and that's usually what I do during the summer. But, it's expensive and painful and I can't do it all the time. And it's not summer yet. Not shaving is not really an option, so currently I'm going with option 2, where I shave and deal with the itching. I can't take it anymore! Does anyone have any ideas, advice, suggestions, experience with this problem? I don't want to spend over 50% of my life scratching my legs! I need help!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Item of the Week

This week's item of the week:

The Nintendo Wii is awesome! I know the Wii has been around for a little while, but I had never played one until last night. I am not a video game person, but I have to say, Nintendo is on to something. This is how video games should be played. Here's the story of how I discovered and fell in love with the Wii.

Jared has wanted a Wii for a long time. I didn't, because I'm not into video games. I knew the idea behind Nintendo's newest addition, but had never had an actual Wii experience. Well, if you read my update post, you know that I fell in love with Rock Band at first play. Jared recently got his government stimulus check and I will soon be getting mine (thanks George!), so I've been thinking a little about what to do with the money. When Jared told me that Rock Band would be coming out for the Wii in June, my thoughts turned to the stimulus check. I'm a practical person (thanks Dad) and a Wii is not practical. So I wouldn't normally consider getting one. But, I see the stimulus checks as a rare opportunity for me to be completely impractical and blow the money on something I absolutely don't need, but totally want - a Wii with Rock Band. Jared put up absolutely no fight and, in fact, immediately took over the purchasing process (and the purchasing is definitely the complicated part. Wiis do not stay in stock anywhere and it is terribly difficult to find one). After checking with Target and Game Stop everyday for a couple days with no luck, Jared decided to venture a search on Craigslist. An insanely fortuitous search on Craigslist yielded a posting for a brand new Wii in Sunnyvale for regular retail price. Jared sent them an email and I really thought it would already be spoken for. However, we got a call back saying it was available, so we went over last night and bought it. After a quick stop at Target for some extra controllers and Guitar Hero (the guitar works with Rock Band, so we'll have two guitars to play with. Besides, we needed something to keep us busy until the wonder of Rock Band is available in our home!), it was back home to set it all up.

That's when the fun began. We started off with Guitar Hero which I always love.

After playing Guitar Hero for a little while, we tried out some of the Wii Sports that came with the system. You hold the controllers in your hand and move them around to play. With golf, you hold the controller like a club and swing it to hit the ball. It's awesome! My favorite was Boxing. You hold two controllers and just punch away! It's like punchface, except it's virtual and you don't have to wait for their response. Not only that, but amazingly, it's a great workout and when you win you feel like Rocky!

And you can move your hands in front of your face or body to guard yourself and you can move around to dodge punches. It's totally awesome!

So, that is our journey to the love of a Wii. I can definitely handle these kinds of video games! If anybody needs to have some Wii fun with the Frisbys, let us know. You are welcome to come play with us!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Forgive this Political Monologue

Seldom do I decide to offer up my opinions on political issues - I try not to discuss things about which I am not well-informed. However, when the politics involve moral issues, I tend to get a little more interested. When I found myself thinking about this issue throughout the day, I decided to put in my two cents.

On my way to work this morning, I read in the Wall Street Journal about the California Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages. To me this is yet another blow to the sanctity of marriage and family. I know that here in liberal California, my opinions on moral issues are often in the minority. And among the liberal-minded, my opinions may seem very narrow-minded and conservative. One of the things that I have come to love in recent years is the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone seems to have a different one. With that in mind, please don't think I'm trying to prove you wrong or persuade you to my way of thinking if your opinion differs from mine. I'm simply trying to share my thought processes and explain why I feel the way I do.

My initial response to this new Supreme Court decision was that it was good that everyone would have the same opportunity to be married and enjoy that state of life. However, right after that initial response, my thought was, "no, the LDS church is against it, so it can't be good." The LDS church makes official stands on political issues and encourages members to vote a certain way even more seldom than I talk about politics. Almost never. So, when the church gets involved, I pay attention and it signals to me that it's an important issue. Later in the day, I was reading Molly's blog post on this very issue. Molly and I disagree, but her post and my initial thoughts on the issue got me thinking about it all day. I went back and forth all day about whether I wanted to blog about this. In the end, I decided that this is my blog and I want to share my opinions.

I do not believe that people should be treated unequally based on their sexual orientation. Nor do I believe that people should be denied of any civil rights based on their sexual orientation. Now, that may make you wonder how I can be in favor of denying the right of marriage to same-sex couples. Well, let's take a look at what marriage is and what it means. The sacred institution of marriage was ordained of God from the very beginning with Adam and Eve. Marriage predates what we know as civil rights by thousands of years. And as an institution introduced by God with specific instructions on its administration, we should hardly be so presumptuous as to decide that we can change it around to fit our needs/wants. Jesus Christ explained it very plainly in Matthew 19:4-6:

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

God created men and women and instituted marriage here on the earth as being between a man and a woman. Like it or not, we have no business making changes to God's commandments. And the fact that it was introduced by God from the very beginning trumps the fact that we may consider marriage a civil right. Marriage was founded on religious principles and you can't take that aspect out of it to consider it a mere "civil" right.

I could go on and on, but this post is getting long already. I would however, like to offer a few thoughts on why I believe that this is an important issue to the LDS church and to us as members of the church. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that allowing same-sex marriages further undermines its significance and sanctity. Undoubtedly, with California setting a precedent, other states will follow suit and same-sex marriages will become more prevalent in our society. As we try to teach our children about the importance of marriage and how it was ordained of God from the beginning, what sort of message are we sending when we decide that we can change it around to fit our needs? God introduced marriage to Adam and Eve, and thus the entire human race, with specific purposes in mind. If we decide that we're going to change things around on our own, then essentially we're putting our own purposes ahead of God's and I would venture to say that's probably not a wise thing to do. When we try to undermine God's authority and wisdom, it only leads to problems. I believe the LDS church has chosen to take a stand on this issue because families are such a key part of God's plan for us and to preserve the family and it's importance we must protect the sanctity of marriage as God has defined it. Please do not misunderstand - I am in no way, shape, or form an official spokesman (or woman) for the church - that is simply my opinion and not any sort of official statement from the church.

I would like to conclude with an official statement from the church however:

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children....

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife....

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity....

We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets....

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

And that is why the LDS church takes such a strong stance on same-sex marriages.

Of course, you are free to agree or disagree - I do not take offense when someone has different opinions than I do. And I realize that mine is probably the minority opinion here in California. But, hopefully I've at least explained my opinion and thinking well enough so that you can better understand where I'm coming from. Recently getting married myself, I still have so much to learn about the importance and sanctity of marriage. But, I can see already that marriage was created by God with wise purposes in mind and I don't plan to mess with that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Update and other stuff. . .

Okay, I've put it off long enough. It's time for an update, I suppose. My parents have been gone for about a month now and I'm sorry to say that the house doesn't look much different from when they left. We had made a lot of progress in getting things organized and put away and then we decided to go shopping and use the gift cards we got for the wedding. We now have piles of stuff all over again and are trying to get things put away. In addition, we continue to get massive amounts of wedding gifts in the mail everyday. Funny thing is, they're not ours. Jared's old roommate is getting married next weekend and they asked if they could use our address as the shipping address for their gifts because it's a better address for packages to be delivered to. So along with our piles of stuff, we also have their piles of stuff. We'll be very happy when they get back from their honeymoon. Marriage is fun, though, and in spite of the messy house, Jared and I are enjoying life. We're also getting to know people in our new ward. It's definitely been interesting getting used to a family ward after being in a singles ward for so long. Today all of the primary children sang for Mother's Day during Sacrament Meeting, though, and it was awesome! One kid got up there and just rested his chin in his hand while he waited for the singing to start. Then when the singing started, he just sang with his chin resting in his hand. That's why I like family wards!

We have been pretty busy since we got back from the honeymoon, though, and we're trying to make the most of the few free weekends we have. This month will be particularly bad for me since I have to work 3 saturdays and Jared will soon be getting busier at work, too. There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. We have found some time for fun, though. Last night we went up to San Francisco for Kaboom. It's a big fireworks show that this radio station puts on for listener appreciation. We had lots of fun, but the fog was so thick that half of the fireworks were obscured from view. It was fun to see the sky turn different colors, though, even if we couldn't see the actual fireworks.

After the fireworks we went to the Cutlers' for band practice. And by band practice, I mean playing Rock Band. I am not a big fan of video games. I play them on occasion, but they seldom keep my interest for very long. I think I have found my video game weakness. It started with Guitar Hero. I didn't have much desire to play it, but when I did, I was totally hooked. Until last night, I had never played Rock Band. Just when I thought Guitar Hero was the only video game I would ever need, along comes Rock Band. Never have video games been so much fun! We played far too late into the night and had an awesome time! Lenessa and Dave, can we be in your band? We want to practice!

So, that's the update. I also did not do a favorite item of the week on Friday, so here it is:

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. This is actually not a new discovery. I discovered this a couple years ago and immediately realized that this is the best hand lotion that money can buy. I have not tried anything else since I discovered it. Don't believe me? Fine. Enjoy your chapped, cracked, scaly hands.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Favorite Item of the Week

Apparently I'm in a very ambitious mood today and have decided on a little undertaking. I often find myself discovering new items that I fall in love with and then want to share with everyone. So, I'm going to try to pick one item each week to share with all of you. This week's favorite item: Yoplait Passionfruit Yogurt. The items that I discover are not necessarily new items - just new to me. I don't know how long Yoplait has had this flavor of yogurt, but I just discovered it and am now in love with it. I usually have a hard time finishing a regular Yoplait size yogurt. The texture and/or taste usually just starts to be overwhelming for the last few bites. Not so with the Passionfruit. I love everything passionfruit and this yogurt is no exception. I didn't get sick of it at all and, in fact, even wanted more when it was all gone. I highly recommend that you give it a try. And feel free to leave your own opinions/feedback on this blog. Another fun tip: while doing a little yoplait google search, I discovered their website which has several recipes that look pretty tasty. I think I might have to try the Greek Quesadillas with Yogurt Dill sauce. Bon appetit!