Archive for November, 2006

nearly like a picture print by currier and ives

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2006 by drbolte

I am unaccountably pleased by this sticker that I saw on campus today.  I first saw it on the staircase up to Turlington, and then I saw it on the underside of a picnic table on my way back to the Institute.  When I saw it the second time, I had to take a picture.


It is fabulous.

I’m not sure if it is the unexpected 50s retro sillhouette or just the idea that she could be holding a double-barrel shotgun so stylishly, but I am way too thrilled by this. I like the snark that emanates from it.

And it’s a chick power thing–so I dig that as well.

Now I want to know what it’s advertising…


her eyes flew open wide

Posted in Life, The Single Life on November 29, 2006 by drbolte

I know nothing.

This is what I know.

What I think I know, I don’t know.  It turns out to not be true. This reality never ceases to shock me.

This, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with the gospel. I have no doubts whatsoever about that. In fact, the fact that I know nothing whatsoever about several other key areas in my life throws into sharp relief how clearly I know that God lives, that His Son Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer, and that I am blessed to be a part of His restored church.

But everything else?

I know nothing.

I guess knowing you know nothing and fundamentally don’t understand ANYTHING is a step in the right direction, right? Maybe I’ll stop trying to understand.

That would be new and fun.

It would probably cause less existential stress, that’s for sure.

don’t you tell a single soul

Posted in etcetera, Life on November 29, 2006 by drbolte

More Christmas memes!  I need these right now…they are mindless, they are fun, and they are easy to be excited about.  And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

1. Who do you want to be under the mistletoe with?

Uhm, no comment.

2. What are your favorite Christmas memories?

One? When my family was inactive, we were adopted for the 12 days of Christmas.  Getting those gifts every night was amazing–and it worked. We were back in church shortly after–not because we got stuff, but because we knew that we were loved.  Another good memory was when I stayed up ALL NIGHT trying to finish my mom’s present.  It took me until about 6 a.m., she came out and caught me, but I realized that must be what it’s like to really lose yourself in giving.  Another? When I got my first bike. Granted, I soon ate it on the sidewalk outside my aunt’s house, but I loved it. I still have no idea how my mom trucked it 100 miles north without me figuring it out.  Or maybe it really was Santa! 🙂

3. Where would you rather spend Christmas this year?

I would like to have snow, but I will be ever so blessed to be with my family.

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?

My favorite Christmas non-carol is “All I Want for Christmas Is You,”  followed closely by “Santa Baby” and “Same Auld Lang Syne.”

5. What do you usually do Christmas morning?

Sleep in.  I’m not 5 anymore. Then we eat–sometimes sticky buns, since they’ve sort of become a tradition–and go to my aunt’s house.

6. Have you bought all your presents yet?

Heck no. I’m really bad at that. But I’m actually hoping to get done EARLY this year.  I like the presents wrapped under the tree for a while.
7. What do you do on Christmas Eve?

Not much.  Usually watch some sort of Christmas movie (usually It’s a Wonderful Life) and make preparations for whatever’s going to happen the next day. We don’t have a lot of Christmas Eve traditions.

8. Do you spend Christmas with a lot of family?

Everybody that I can.

9. Do you go anywhere special on Christmas vacation?


10. What do you usually eat on Christmas?

Ham. Potatoes.  The assorted holiday foods.  I’m usually in charge of dessert.

11. Do you still believe in Santa?

No, but I want to. And I fully believe in the spirit of Santa.

12. Do you still make snowmen and snow angels?

Any opportunity I have!

13. Do you still have snow ball fights with your siblings/parents?

If I could!  That would be fun.  Most of the time when it snows, it’s just me and my mom and she’s not exactly into snowball fights.

14. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

It’s a Wonderful Life.  A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Any Hallmark Christmas movie. I don’t like–in fact, I HATE–A Christmas Story.

15. What do you like doing over the Christmas holidays?

Movies!  We usually see far too many.  Read ridiculously frivolous books.  Shopping, of course.
16. What do you plan to do for New Year’s Eve?

Nothing. I never do anything.  I have aspirations for doing something, but who knows?  I’m usually just home being a recluse.

17. What are your usual traditions on New Year’s?


18. Got any resolutions?

The usual:

Exercise more.

Prioritize my scripture reading.

Work harder on my dissertation.

Be a better visiting teacher.

They’re basically my daily goals.

19. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever got for Christmas?

I got a giant makeup kit once. It’s not so much that it was weird (I got it mainly because it was a cool makeup holder), but that I never really used it.20. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve got for Christmas?

An iPod.

21. How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?

I don’t unless I have to.

22. What do you usually get in your stocking?

I always got an orange in the bottom, in the toe.  Now I don’t get a stuffed stocking very often.  But it always had candy (especially one of those giant candy canes), usually school supplies like pencils and erasers, and other silly stuff that my mom would find and pick up.

you better not cry…you better not pout

Posted in Life on November 28, 2006 by drbolte

So I took an enormous nap today.

It was wonderful.

I should have been doing a lot of other things, namely my laundry and the 14 things that I had hoped to get done on Sunday and Monday that never got done.

But what I chose to do was best, I think, for me.  I was tired. I needed a nap.  And I’m pretty sure that I refuse to feel badly about it.

Yesterday I was in the worst mood that I’ve been in many, many moons. I’m not sure why.  I’ve been told that I am experiencing existential stress. I suppose that’s true. I do know that I am exhausted from a semester that can only be mildly described as emotionally, physically, and socially stressful.

I am ready for it to be December 7th, and for it to be time for me to go away from here for a while.

I am thinking that I’ll be hibernating a little until then. My facebook status says that I’m looking for a shell to crawl in, preferably one with cookie dough, TiVO, and no responsibilities.  It’s true.

I’m trying to get out of my snarky attitude.  I think I’m getting there, for the most part.  But I am tired of situations and people that cause more drama than they need to.  I am tired of ME causing more drama than is needful.

I am just tired!

And I miss the people that I love.

Bring on the 7th!  Bring on the road trip that will take me home!

i’m dreaming…

Posted in etcetera, Life on November 27, 2006 by drbolte

I had a series of horribly vivid dreams last night that freaked me out.

Normally I dream, and normally I dream pretty vividly.  I actually like that, because I often remember them and can dissect them. My dreams, when they are superclear the morning after, are usually a clear window into what’s going on in my head. Sometimes I need that kind of window.

But last night was a cavalcade of anxiety all smashed up into one Freudian field day.

But the weirdest part about it? Some of them were WEIRDLY realistic.  Most of my dreams skew towards the imaginative. Like they might feature people or situations from my real life, but normally there is some displacement and condensation so that those people or situations  morph into something entirely different.  Something that only remotely resembles the original situation.

Dreams are safer when they do that.

But these dreams? Oh no…it was exactly the people, exactly the situations, exactly the anxieties that I live in my real life.  And in them? All those anxieties came true.

My worst nightmares for those situations were played out.

Now granted, one of these dreams featured a science lab that was cross-breeding hamsters with other animals (one? a hamster bullfrog that liked to jump and stick to the top of his cage in some kind of gravity-defying manuever).  So I’m certainly not saying all of it was real.

But it was real enough.

It was scary enough.

For I truly believe that my worst nightmares aren’t when ax murderers are haunting me in my dreams.

No, my worst nightmares are when the people that I love disappoint me.  Or, worse, when the people that I love decide that I’m actually not worth the effort.  In my mind, there’s nothing more horrifying or more soulcrushing.

Irony? I’m more tired now than I was when I  went to bed.

Angst is exhausting.

Time to break out the dream dictionary.

where the love light gleams

Posted in Life on November 22, 2006 by drbolte

I’m about to whine from the heart.  If you don’t want to hear about it, skip this.

It’s Thanksgiving. I MISS my family and everyone else who is far away who I love.  I didn’t think I would miss them this much…but I really, really do.  Everyone is going home–and I am wishing that I was too.

That said, I am SO lucky to have wonderful friends here who have adopted me and make me feel more loved than I should probably feel.  I have been adopted for Thanksgiving–no worries about that–and I am really excited about that.

But I miss my mom and her silly sense of humor.  I miss going to the movies or shopping with her, or even just laying on the couch in my living room and getting to talk to her during a stupid show that we’re watching.  I miss my cats, and how they always remember me.  I miss their silly furry selves all snuggled up to me at night because it’s so cold.   I miss North Carolina at Thanksgiving and all the crunchy leaves everywhere.

I am also really missing my best friend.  A lot.  I don’t know why, but I really am.

I’ll be glad when this weekend is over–because it will mean that I am that much closer to going home!

Okay, whine over.  I am blessed. I know it–really, I do.  And I’m not complaining about anything in my life.  Just sharing how I’m feeling. I am just missing those blessings a little bit right now.  Maybe it’s because I realize how blessed I am that I am missing them so much?

although it’s been said many times, many ways

Posted in etcetera, Life on November 22, 2006 by drbolte

If you haven’t read this, you need to…it’s fantastic and utterly true. See if you can catch the Adam Smith references…they make me happy.

just hear those sleigh bells jingling

Posted in etcetera on November 20, 2006 by drbolte

So I did this last year…I started every blog post from Thanksgiving to Christmas with a lyric from a Christmas song. I’m doing it again.  Guess if you dare…it should be fun.  It was good times trying to find a song that fit my post.

So I stole this…again…and I’m doing it, even though it’s not Christmas yet. I want it to be Christmas, so here’s to wishful thinking. Plus, it’s cold and I will be consuming Peppermint Hot Chocolate at some point in the next 24 hours, so there you go.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate. Please see above.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps.  Ha. Wouldn’t it be funny if Santa rapped?  I’m chuckling under my breath at work. Wow.  I am lame.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Hmm.  I think white on the house (icicles are my favorite!) and colored on the tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? If I had a boy to smooch, sure.  Seems like good times could be had by all.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Do we have decorations? When we do it, usually the 2nd week of December. But this year?!? We are doing it as soon as I get home, baby….oh crap, it’s still the 2nd week of December. Dang it.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My grandma’s mashed potatoes, also known as cardiac arrest in a bowl. Oh, but what a way to go.  We are carrying on the tradition, Mimi! 🙂

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Coming out hecka early in the morning, when it wasn’t even light, and seeing that, suddenly, there were so many more presents. Oh, and that stuffed stocking? Bliss.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Freaking neighbor kids told me when I was in first grade. But I’m not bitter.  Part of me still wants to believe…a lot.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes…usually.

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Dunno…usually whatever we have. But Rudolph always gets a carrot. Always.  Other reindeer are probably bitter at us, huh?

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? LOVE IT.  Hate driving in it. I like looking at it from the warm inside and playing in it when I can go back into the warm inside.
12. Can you ice skate? Uh, no.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No.  Not really. I do remember the gifts I made for people though. I like to GIVE at Christmas.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? 
Making them magical.  Trying to be kind.  Doing for others.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Apple pie!  Oh…and the cookies that I make every year that send me home 10 lbs heavier than when I got there.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Just being with my family.  It’s good. I can’t wait to start my own holiday traditions with my family.

17. What tops your tree? A homemade angel that my grandma made.

18. Which do you prefer: Giving or Receiving? Both!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? O Little Town of Bethlehem.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum…but in moderation. I actually really like the tiny ones that your 3rd grade teacher used to give out because you can get a bucket for like $4.  They’re the perfect size.

sad that it took a meme to get me here…

Posted in Church, etcetera, Life, School on November 20, 2006 by drbolte

List five things you’re thankful for and why.

1. The knowledge that I am a child of God.

Do I really need to explain this? This knowledge–and yes, I KNOW it–informs everything that I do. It helps me understand my own potential and set goals for myself and for my life. In the darkest of days, when everyone seems distant and everything is going wrong, I am never alone.

I cannot express in words what that actually means to me. He lives and He loves me…with all of faults and failings. It is truly amazing.

2. My family, as whacked as we all are.

So, I have a non-traditional Mormon family. I grew up with a single mother, and we were the only members in our family. Nevertheless, I have never wanted for love, affection, and guidance. I am blessed to have an amazing mother who, if anything, has taught me to be almost too independent-minded, an aunt who is my grad school example and the person I learned about marriage from, and a grandmother who, I am realizing more and more, I am very much like (I miss her…a lot). I am honored to be from such a long line of thoroughly phenomenal women. Though I didn’t have a dad in my life, I have a grandfather who loves me like crazy and an uncle who repeatedly mentions cleaning his guns whenever I even hint about a guy. He’s looking forward to the day when I bring THE guy home for the holidays…that ought to be high comedy and nail-biting suspense all wrapped up into one. And I am really blessed that, even though I don’t have siblings, I am so close to my two wonderful cousins. I consider them sisters, nieces, and/or friends.

I am way more blessed than I deserve. We’re crazy, but I dig that.
3. My kindred spirits.

I seem to be surrounded by them lately–these people that you meet and, immediately, feel bonded to. I love them. If you’re reading this, you probably know who you are. If you don’t, I’m not doing my job.

There are a couple of them, though, that have literally taught me more than I could possibly explain. We don’t go into friendships with the idea that we’ll get something deep and amazing out of it–or at least I don’t. I go into a friendship, initially, because for whatever reason I like being around that person or I find him/her intriguing to the point that I must understand that person better. Sometimes–too often–I go into it thinking that I can do something for someone else…and then I am always surprised when I am being served in return. (Is that arrogant?) But lately? The people that I love the most have been schooling me. One of them has literally forced me to realize that I am loved more than I understand and that I’m better than I think I am. This person sees me with the kindest eyes possible–eyes that gloss over my really obvious flaws and only sees the amazing. That’s such a big lesson to me. The other? That the truest friends just pick up where they left off–and are always there for each other, no matter what else is happening. I am a kinder, more generous person because of this friend–and I always know that I have somebody in my corner.

I am loved. I am grateful for that.

4. My calling.

As much as I might occasionally grumble and complain, and as much time and concern that it requires, I love it. My job is to love amazing women and to help them come unto Christ.

What’s not great about that?

And, as the Grinch says, I have felt my heart grow two sizes since I was called. I am sure that I have grown far more than I ever helped anyone else grow or be blessed.

5. Ice cream, vanilla-scented anything, and giraffes.

They all make me smile. Enough said.

Now it’s your turn. In a comment, tell me what five things you are grateful for during this Thanksgiving week. You can tell me why or not…it’s up to you. But record it–because I believe it’s important to express your gratitude for everything in your life.


Posted in Church, Life, School on November 20, 2006 by drbolte

So I love Sundays in general, but I especially love 2nd and 3rd Sundays because there are no meetings. I get to just be.  I can cook if I want to, or I can just rest and get mentally prepared for the week ahead.

Even though I wish that I could work on Sundays sometimes–since it’s the day when I feel most peaceful and excited to get to work–I love them so much because I don’t.

Today was amazing. I shut my phone off for a few hours and took a much-needed nap.  I hung out and played “Life” with my friend Veronica.  She’s amazing and it was so fun to be so ridiculously successful at a board game about life.  🙂

I am grateful that it is the holiday season. I love the holidays–everything is prettier.  People are kinder and more generous.  Life is more filled with child-like wonder.  I think less about myself and more about others.

I am hoping for a VERY successful week.  I am feeling good about it so far.