Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm Actually a Very Bright Person

I worry about me sometimes. There were two incidents today:

1. Troubleshooting with my printer connection.

I spent 20 minutes this morning installing new cartridges in my printer and then trying to figure out why my computer couldn't find my printer. I plugged the USB cord into the back of the printer and for some reason, the print jobs would just line up in the queue but the jobs would be stopped.

Finally, this evening I found a friend online who professed to be "handy" at one point. I asked him to come over and look at it. He fiddled with it for awhile. He decided it needed an updated driver. He asked me where the USB plugs into the computer. I looked down at the carpet and handed him the USB cable and watched him plug it into the back of my Mac as I thought, "You have got to be kidding me" (you being me, by the way). "Laura you MORON." I played it cool as I thought, "That couldn't have been the only problem." Fortunately, it wasn't. The computer still couldn't find the printer. I was a little relieved to be honest. Then he bent down behind the printer and when he looked up he was holding the other end of the cable that plugs into the back of the printer. I swear that was plugged in earlier. He was nice not to make fun of me. At least I have an updated driver now.

2. Troubleshooting with my contact lenses.

Earlier today, before I headed out for Father's Day festivities, I went into the bathroom and put my contact lenses in. It's not uncommon that one of my lenses has some lint or something in it that irritates my eye so I have to take it out, rinse it and try it again. I did this a few times. I went out into the living room sat on the couch and thought, "I can see better without these," as my right eye tried to focus. I went back to the mirror, took them out again, cleaned them, put them back in and then want back out to the couch. My right eye felt better, but I had this strange sensation in my left eye, like my lens was so heavy it was sinking. I went back into the bathroom, took out the lens in my left eye and discovered I put both lenses in my left eye. No wonder my right eye felt so good.

No, I don't want Lasik.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

B Plans

When I was younger, I played this game with magazines or catalogs where I would flip to a random page and ask myself questions such as:

If I had to wear one dress on this page, which would it be?
If I had to eat one thing on this page what would it be?
If I had to marry one boy on this page who would it be?

I think a lot of girls played this game. At least my friends and cousins played it with me. What made the game even more fun was when your choices were less than desirable.

The funny thing about that last question is I remember at recess in grade school giggly girls would cluster around the pavement while the boys played base soccer and ask, “If one of the boys in our class had to be your boyfriend who would it be?”

More often than not we chose the same guy. Interesting – and a little revealing as to how few we regarded as “dateable”.

A couple years ago I went to a softball game to watch a group of friends from my ward play, as I often did. One of the girls from my ward was watching the game as well. She scooted next to me and whispered, “If you had to marry one of those boys out there tomorrow, who would it be?” I wasn’t surprised at her question because this was actually her favorite game. She played it at parties, at barbecues, in Sunday School…

Funny thing was, even though I adored all my friends out there, my choice as to who I would actually marry was the same as hers. And she informed me the other girls she polled previously had the same answer.

Things really haven’t changed much since 4th grade.

How practical we were at such an early age. The questions weren’t set up as “If you could” they were “If you had to”. We already understood it was futile to think in ideals. We had to look at the page in front of us and make our decision based on availability. If someone took away that page and you were allowed to have unlimited options you probably would have a different answer – what you REALLY wanted whether it was real or imaginary.

Why do we feel we must resolve ourselves to settle for something simply because it’s in front of us? Is it because we think what we really want isn’t available or "out of stock"? Do we think we're being unrealistic, too picky and should be happy with what we have in front of us?

I know I'm using boys as an example here, but I'm talking about all choices we have to make. Where we want to live, what job we want, what skills we want, what dreams we have.

If you’re familiar with Randy Pausch, he said something in his famous “Last Lecture” that I really liked. He said brick walls aren’t put there to keep us out; they’re put there to show us how badly we want something.

I guess sometimes we just don’t want something bad enough. I know that’s true for me in certain situations. But we also learn as we grow up that we don’t always (or sometimes ever) get what we planned no matter how much effort we put into it.

I was in a car with one of my good friends the other night and I told her I’m beginning to think life is just a long strand of “B Plans”. But what I think to be more true, is that life isn’t about plans at all. It’s about the opportunities that come to you, the choices you make, and how you deal with the consequences – good or bad. It’s about what you do with what you’re given.

It’s like that old saying, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.” Hopefully you’re making the most of what is given to you and you accept accountability for the choices you make. And then maybe later you realize the choices you made opened up possibilities that weren’t even on the page you were looking at to begin with.

I’m not building up to reveal any life lesson I’ve learned here. I don't write from any specific retrospect or hindsight. I'm old enough to have gained a little bit of hindsight, but I have yet to prove what I’m saying is true to my life and everything works out for the best and if we live right and make wise choices we eventually find what we really want -- whether it was there to begin with or not.

I’m counting on it though.

Monday, June 01, 2009

My England Stats

I make it a point not to blog unless I have something I really want to say. This isn't a diary for me or even a log of my life. It's stories, ideas, etc. -- things that are important or amusing to me.

But I was in England for the past few weeks, and although I have a couple stories I want to develop and write about, I'm tired. Instead of writing about everything I did, I'm going to make a list of everything I did. I am a list person, and one of my favorite types of lists is categorized lists. I even categorize my shopping lists. Anyway, I'm impressed with everything I packed in, so to me, my activities are worth listing.

Here is England 2009: Things I did, listed categorically.


Calendar Girls
Jersey Boys
The Winslow Boy
The 39 Steps


Norwegian Chamber Orchestra at Cadogen Hall
London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican


Eucharist at Southwark Cathedral
Matins at Durham Cathedral
Evensong at Westminster Abbey
Sacrament Meeting at the London Brittania Ward


Southwark Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Durham Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral
Truro Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
St. Mary Abbots
St. Pancras Church


Jane Austen’s Home (Chawton)
Benjamin Franklin’s Home (London)
Blenheim Palace (Churchill’s Family Home)
Kensington Palace (Queen Victoria’s Home)
Apsley House (Duke of Wellington’s Home)
The Old Post Office (Tintagel)
Kenwood House (Hampstead)


National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
Churchill Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Museum of Smuggling and Fishing


The British Library
Oxford University
Cabinet War Rooms
Royal Albert Hall
Durham Castle


Borough Market
Spitalfields Market
Covent Garden


The London Eye
The Tube

Not bad eh? There are still things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go, but there's always next time. Next time I'll go to Kew Gardens and Greenwich and the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.

I created an England 2009 album on my Facebook page, so if you have access to that and want to check it out, please do. I got a new camera and it was fun learning how to use it.