Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Conversion Story

My conversion took a long time; I fought it for years. Finally, a few years ago, I experimented a little and realized it wasn't as bad as I had always thought - a match was lit. A couple years later and the match finally started a fire. The fire has been in danger of going out several times, but lately it's going as strong as ever. Yes, I am a convert... a convert to country music.

Whew. That's when you know that you're really a convert, when you can admit it to the world at large. I know some of you have suspected it, I may have even admitted it to you when I thought you wouldn't blab it to everyone else. Now, it's out there for everyone to know. How did it happen, you ask? Good question.

When I returned home from my mission I found that radio station that I had previously listened to now played music that seemed harsh, extremely suggestive, and often vulgar. Living in a small town, there weren't a lot of radio options, so I turned to the easy listening station. It played a lot of good songs, but every so often it played a song that I just didn't enjoy, and it had a lot of commercials. On a whim I decided to try the country music station. It fit the bill because I didn't know any of the songs, the songs were clean, and there were very few commercials. Before I knew it, the songs became familiar and I could actually sing along to some of them. Unfortunately, my sensitivity to music didn't last as long as it should have and I gradually became accustomed to my former radio station's offerings. By the time I moved to New York, country music was relegated to a "last resort" option - I only listened to it when all the other channels had commercials.

When I returned home from New York, my mom reintroduced me to country music. She often turned the TV to CMT during commercials and soon I began to know the songs. (Side story: one time we were watching Tim McGraw sing "Real Good Man" and I was thinking how good he looked, when Mom blurted, "His butt looks sexy in those jeans". Yikes!) The conversion process was further enhanced when I joined a gym. The room I frequented (the cardiovascular room) only had one TV. The person in there first (or last) chose the TV station. I was rarely in there first, so I didn't have much choice but to watch CMT while working out. Soon, I was watching CMT while getting ready in the morning, had programmed the country station as speed dial #3 in my car, knew the words to most of the songs, and turned the gym TV to CMT even when I was the first or last person in the cardio room.

Then I moved into my apartment. No cable meant no CMT. A couple months laer my gym closed down. I was sad because it was a great place to work out. In fact, I'm still sad it closed... my new gym (I signed up last night) just isn't as fabulous. Again, no CMT. Slowly I stopped hitting speed dial #3 as often because I wasn't keeping up with the new songs. Country started fading from my listening habits.

Fortunately (?!?!?) fate stepped in and took charge. I moved home and regained access to CMT. My mom doesn't watch it any more, so I may not have started watching it again, but my coworker, Lulu, grew tired of the easy listening radio station. The new morning talk show hostess annoys Lulu, there's a million commercials in a five minute period, and they play the same ten songs over and over again (no exaggeration). So, Lulu tuned in to the country music station (there are now two in this little town). The rest is history.

Why I love country music: 1) it tends to be much cleaner than other genres, 2) the songs usually tell an interesting story, 3) I can relate to the stories/themes, and 4) the songs are easy and fun to sing along with (I can understand all the words). My current favorite songs: Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" and some guy's "Love You". I like angry chick songs and the video for "Love You", though sung by a guy, has an angry girl trashing her ex's truck. In fact, now that I think about it... both songs have girls trashing a guy's truck. Hmmm... that's interesting.

So, if you haven't tried listening to country music lately, why don't ya?

Friday, October 13, 2006


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sometimes it seems like I'm the only one without someone to kiss or cuddle with.

Thanks, KW, for the pictures!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

To Record or Not to Record... What kind of a question is THAT?!

So, I took the GRE Friday. It's OVER!!!!!!!

I registered to take the GRE in Las Vegas, NV, not discovering 'til much later that I could have taken it in St. George - they didn't have St. George as an option on gre.org! Not wanting to have to drive the whole way to LV the morning of the test (in case of emergencies, I wanted to be closer) and not wanting to actually stay in LV, I decided to book a room at a hotel in Mesquite, about halfway between me and LV. I took half of Wednesday and all of Thursday and Friday off of work - to study for the GRE and to prepare for moving on Saturday - so I ended up being able to leave for Mesquite around 3:30pm Utah time. I arrived in Mesquite around 3:30pm Nevada time. I was exhausted (I had spent the morning moving), so I plopped down on the king-sized bed in my room and watched TV longer than I should have. I went to the buffet located in the casino adjacent to my hotel (I stayed at the Oasis), paid more than the food deserved (though it wasn't horrible), eavesdropped on the people around me, and studied my vocabulary cards. Upon reentering my room, I watched more TV. Sigh. I eventually worked up the "desire" to study and took a practice GRE test. I scored okay, so, after a few minutes looking up various tips, I watched more TV.

Friday morning I woke up early, to "study". I didn't. No, I didn't watch TV. I showered, dressed, realized I had forgotten makeup (yikes!), did my hair, and checked out. I arrived in LV plenty early; I wanted to make sure I could find the testing center. I tried to find a restroom, so I drove around the area awhile until finally stumbling across a gas station with the smelliest restroom I've EVER experienced. Since my test started at noon and supposedly lasted 4 hours, I worried about getting hungry, so I bought some peanuts in the gas station. I drove back to the center and discovered that the center had called to say I could start the test early, if I wanted. I wanted. I sat down in front of the computer a whole 30 minutes early. Three and a half (roughly) hours later I stood up from the computer, quite satisfied with my performance, if you want to know. My unoffical scores are Verbal 630 of 800 and Quantitative 670 of 800, making my total unofficial score 1300 out of 1600 - 81%. Yes, I feel good about that. Even after asking the attendant to define a "good" score (she said she has seen a lot of scores that were lower than mine - but maybe she just said that to make me feel good - who knows!), I still am not sure how well I did. The attendant said a lot depends on the requirements of the grad programs for which I apply. I guess that makes sense. No matter what, though, I'm pleased with my score; it could have been a lot worse.

Upon leaving the testing center I realized I needed two things; to find food and a bathroom. Not wanting to revisit the gas station experience, I opted to get out of LV before stopping to fulfill my needs. As it turned out, I didn't stop until I reached home. Well, I stopped at Wendy's to grab dinner (drive thru), THEN went home. Yes, I ran to the bathroom. Don't ask why I told you this, I just did, no reason.

I sent my scores to four universities; University of Utah, UNLV, University of Nebraska - Omaha (they supposedly have a good econ program), and McGill University (in Montreal - wouldn't that be FABULOUS!!). Those last two are a sign of my attempting to shoot for the stars, even if I miss; the first two are me being a little more realistic. I can also have my scores sent to additional schools, but I'm not sure what I'd need to do for that to happen, and since I don't have additional schools yet, I'm not worrying about it.

So, that's that. A bit of a rambler, I realize, but no apology; it fits my current mood. :)