Archive for November, 2013


As I’m sure you’ve noticed, on Facebook this month there have been a storm of posts about gratitude. Every day you’re supposed to post what you’re grateful for. I’ve never been really interested in doing this myself, but it is a good exercise, I guess.

Anyway, Thanksgiving time has always been about family for me. It’s one of the only times of the year that I get to go hang out with my extended family for a few days. There’s yummy food which is always the best and then we spend the rest of the time playing games. The Shepherd family LOVES games. We play board games and card games and video games and pretending games (when we were younger). We watch movies and run around and laugh and talk. I’ve never been all that comfortable being around a lot of people or just outside really, but when I’m with them, I let loose like you wouldn’t believe.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m loud and I talk a lot. I talk about whatever everyone else is talking about and I do it without speaking all that clearly or fluently. I stutter and I get stuck on words and I lose track of where I am and apparently I use the word ‘and’ a lot. My point is that anyone who knows me like that would be surprised at how much worse I am with my family and how the rest of the Shepherd clan are exactly the same. It’s loud and it’s awesome. My wish would be to live in a world where no one had to work and food just appeared out of nowhere. That way, I could spend all my time with my family. I’m pretty positive that we would be out living in the forest where there’s no one else and where we can just be ourselves and bask in the awesomeness that is my family.

I’m not usually a mushy person, but I’m very grateful for my family. If I didn’t have a chance to let loose with them, I would be wound up so tightly that even the best knot-picking people wouldn’t be able to untie me. They’re my favorite people in the whole world.



First of all, I’m not pregnant. I’m not engaged or married. I don’t currently have children. I had to clear that up because when I posted the ideas I’m going to outline in this post on Facebook, everyone flipped out.

Being an adult now, I’ve been thinking a lot about the family I may have some day. It causes a lot of anxiety, but there are some things that I want to do for my future children that I’m pretty excited about.

First, I want to write a collection of variations on popular fairy tales that I can read to my children at bedtime. I want my children to love reading as much as I do, so I plan on doing a lot of reading with them when they’re young. If they continue reading as they grow up, then that’s pretty darn cool, but I’ll let them choose that and just give them a proper start. The other thing I want is for them to grow up with screwed up versions of fairy tales. Number one because I can’t wait for the moment they realize that they’ve been learning different stories than other children their whole lives. It will shock them out of a conformed view of the world and hopefully it will make them think a little about things. Number two because I want to give them intelligently written (hopefully I can manage that) stories with actual substance instead of sorry little tales that have no basis and a horrible amount of plot holes. Number three, I want to give them something from me. There’s something special about me spending all that time making these stories for them and then letting them grow up with that. It’s the same as me sleeping underneath a quilt that my grandmother made for me my entire life. Right now, I’m still sleeping with my baby blanket that a neighbor made for me.

The second idea that I had was to collect books for them to read. This doesn’t mean that I run around buying picture books. I actually pick books that are meant for kids from the eight to twelve age group. This should keep my kids occupied until they’re old enough to go out and search for books themselves. Not to mention I have an impressive collection of both young adult fiction and literary classics. Based on what kind of books I liked when I was a kid and the kind of books I like now, I’m pretty sure I’ve got all my ducks in a row.

The third idea is a little vague, but I want my kids to be able to talk to me. I didn’t figure out the whole talking to my parents thing until I was pretty old and I don’t even talk to them about a lot of stuff now, but I want my kids to be able to tell me stuff. Then I can also live vicariously through them, so it’s a win-win.

On the Defensive

Now that being a nerd or a geek is apparently the cool thing, I’d like to address something. Understandably, nerds can sometime become very… passionate about what they like. Television shows, movies, books, or video games can send a nerd into a frenzy. By definition, they’re very excited and get attached to things. This isn’t bad… until things get ugly.

Centuries of jocks picking on nerds have done their worst, making nerds feel like they’re always under attack. When you mention that you don’t like a specific media item, fans of that thing can become pretty aggressive. Instead of being understanding as to why a person wasn’t impressed by the first series of Doctor Who, they instantly assume that the person isn’t trying hard enough, hasn’t given it a chance, or isn’t watching it in the right order for people new to Doctor Who.

To be fair, sometimes the fans are correct, but you know what they say about assumers.

My point is that some people can become offended or hurt when a nerd goes on the defensive. There are shows and things that I don’t particularly like and I’ve been attacked for it. I know that my fellow nerds get really excited and want to be supportive of their point of view, but raising your voice and proclaiming the things that everyone should like about their show or book is not the way to go. Maybe let the person explain what they don’t like about the show and then accept it. It isn’t your job to convert them to your fandom. If they don’t like it, let it go and talk about something else. You’ll probably be okay offering to enjoy the media together so that it will be more fun, but if they reject the offer, don’t push them.

I think people forget to be courteous when they think their opinions are on trial. Just because someone doesn’t like something that you like doesn’t mean that they have a hole that needs to be filled. Everyone is different.


You never know exactly how someone feels about something until they have to go through great hardship for it.

I say great hardship, but maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe I’m not exaggerating. Yeah, I’m not exaggerating. Hard, easy, these things are relative. RELATIVE.

Okay, story time. This morning, I woke up an hour early to go to a book sale on campus. Yeah, I know, I gave up my precious sleep. That’s okay I got it back later… unfortunately. ┬áIt was… kind of a haul. The problem was that I didn’t have cash on me and the only way for me to get cash was to drive to somewhere and buy something and get cash back.

Something you’ve got to understand about this campus is that it is literally on the side of a mountain. The parkinglot where my car makes itself at home is up at the top of campus while the book sale was nearly at the bottom. I could have walked away right then. I certainly don’t need any more books than I have right now, but I walked back up to the top of the hill, got in my car, found myself the nearest 7-11 and got myself a Slurpee and ten bucks. I drove back to campus and walked back down the hill.

After buying myself some books, I went to math class, because I do that. After math class, I had a bag of books and nowhere to put them, so I walked back up to my car and put them up there. Being exhausted, I took a short nap… that lasted until the end of my chemistry class.

Even after I got home, I still had to figure out how to fit five new books onto an already overfilled bookshelf.

It certainly looks pretty, though.

Today I was walking through campus, on my way to free food (because there’s nothing more beautiful than free food when you’re a college student) when I saw an old man standing on a corner, holding a sign. People were walking by him, all on their way to super duper important things (like free food), not even glancing over (or glancing over and quickly glancing away.

SO, of course I decide that I’m going to go talk to this man. That’s how I roll these days, impulsive, spontaneous. I’m kidding. I actually believe this decision was inspired. The man was a Jehovah’s Witness.

Now, having grown up in the Mormon hub of the world (aka Utah), I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing a lot of people who aren’t Mormons. In fact, I only know two Jehovah’s Witness, as far as I know: a girl who went to high school with me (and her little brother) and a woman who is a friend of the family (and her children). These two people are the smartest, most intelligent, funniest, most pleasant people I’ve ever known.

The man that I talked to didn’t have much to say, but I could tell that he was glad to have someone to talk to. I mean, it was freaking cold out there and he was just standing there, all alone. I wasn’t talking to him with the intent of converting to his religion, I’m good with my own, and I don’t agree with some of the things he believed, but none of that matters. We both believe in the same God and we’re both children of that God.

I think sometimes that people get so hung up on which religion you belong to that they forget that we’re all part of the same species. We’re all the same, inside and out and that should count for something. Forget all the disagreements and all the hate and just be a decent person. Just because you talk to a person representing another religion doesn’t mean that you’re promising to convert to it, it means you’re being a decent person.

That goes for Mormons as well. I’ve actually heard my fellow Mormons mock or talk negatively about Jehovah’s Witnesses when they are approached by their missionaries. Why is it that Mormons take Mormon missionaries so seriously, yet when another religion dares to try to spread their message, they’re shot down?

I don’t want to get too much further into this because I don’t want to start bashing anyone, seeing as I just told people to stop bashing on each other. It’s just something to think about.

Anyway, I’m sort of in the middle of a class, so I should probably start taking some notes.

Best Wishes.

I_Am_Number_Four_CoverThis book series was recommended to me by my chiropractor, believe it or not. Every healthcare professional I talk to connects with me through reading for some reason…

Anyway, I just finished the fourth book of the series, The Fall of Five, and I’m REALLY ANGRY, that I have to wait to get more of the story. I seriously haven’t had to wait for the next book in a series to come out since Harry Potter… and Eragon, but I kind of gave up waiting with Eragon. It’s an old feeling, but I love feeling it again. I’ve been a little dry with reading lately, but this series threw me headlong into the frenzy again.

It’s thrilling and fast-paced, though it doesn’t seem like it for the first book and a half or so. There’s mystery and intrigue and STUFF. I nearly (well I say nearly…) flipped out in my chemistry class today when I reached the end of it. I was seriously put out. I’ll be going back to the Redwall series now, but I won’t soon forget this series. It’s great and I highly recommend it to PEOPLE.


If you’ve never heard of this website, it’s a dating website. In order to join this website, you have to be voted in. Pretty much, you make a dating profile and then people look at it and go “holy crap, she’s ugly. I don’t like her.” After 48 hours, you’re either in or out.

As far as that, I know nothing. I was voted out. Despite being officially ugly, I feel like this system is a really great way to date online. Instead of months and months of rejection after rejection and no response, you only have to wait two days and then you know whether or not you had a chance in the first place. Yeah, it’s (supposedly) disappointing when you don’t get in, but you only have to be disappointed once and then you can go get a life.

As most people can tell you, I’m pretty fascinated by online dating. I met my boss on a dating website and I now get paid a lot to do something I love WHENEVER I WANT. Yeah, that’s right. I have the most flexible job you can have. [Apparently it’s worth mentioning that I work as a website administrator and content manager, not… something else. :P] Other than that, I’ve met a few people that are really interesting and people that are not so interesting. I’ve learned a lot about people and the way they portray themselves through different mediums. I’ve also learned a lot about my own personal preferences when it comes to dudes.

Online dating isn’t for everyone, but I do think that everyone (old enough) should go ahead and try it it, keeping in mind that they shouldn’t be too disappointed. Think of it as this funny, goofy thing that you’re doing and just relax. I’m a pretty relaxed person on there and I get so much attention on there that I have to stay off it for a while so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

The problem is that people get so uptight about dating that they forget that meeting new people and having fun are the main goals. Those people who are desperately seeking a girlfriend or boyfriend and want to get married and have a hundred babies are kind of scary, to be honest. Let things happen of their own accord.

And remember, you can still have a fulfilling life if you’re ugly like me. ;)


Time Perception

This morning saw the end of Daylight Savings time, meaning we set our clocks back an hour. Naturally, to accustom myself to the change, instead of going to bed at my bedtime, I stayed up an hour. By one in the morning, I was pretty tired, but getting to sleep in all this morning was lovely. Quite lovely.

This evening, I’ve stayed up to my customary midnight, which would normally be one o’clock previous to today. However, it doesn’t feel like one in the morning to me. It feels like midnight. Even though I’ve been going to bed at the same time each night for months, going to bed an hour later feels exactly the same as long as we call it the same.

This is pretty interesting to me, considering I’m obsessed with knowing what time it is. Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, I roll over to see what time it is. Whenever I’m in class, I have to know what time it is. Whenever I leave to go somewhere, eat food, watch a movie, do my homework… I have to know what time it is. The arbitrary symbols that represent what time it is for me have a profound effect on the way I live my life, on the way society has lived their lives.

I can claim this because I know what it feels like to live without knowing exactly what time it is every second of the day. My family is pretty big into camping. Though our way certainly isn’t the only right way to camp, we consider it the ultimate way to camp. We go four or five times a year to the same two or three spots, like clockwork. When we go, we lock our cellphones in drawers and bags, we don’t wear watches (they just get in the way, in my opinion), and we don’t even think about the outside world for at least four days, maybe more (except when we argue politics around the campfire).

While we’re camping, I go to bed earlier, I wake up earlier, and we don’t eat at regular times. While we’re out there, amongst people that I admire and adore, it seems very timeless to me. I don’t compartmentalize my days or hours, I just do what I feel like doing. I feel free.

Research shows that with the invention of electric lights, people started going to bed and waking up at later times. This is obvious because you could work and do stuff much later into the evening. Your day didn’t depend on how many hours of daylight there were.

Just to sum things up, the perception of time affects the way that life happens and that’s an interesting enough concept to bring me out of hiatus. Speaking of which, I haven’t posted for a while because math homework consistently gets the better of me. I’m getting back into the habit of writing, though, with the start of NaNoWriMo 2013. I’m not writing a novel, but I am blogging and writing articles as well as writing my thoughts down in a very fancy schmansy Word document that no one gets to read EVER.