GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Thursday, August 31

Working from home.....

So this morning I woke to stage three of the dizziness cycle. (For Clarification: Stage one is dizzy spell, stage two is nausea and stage three is the shakiness). Now depending on the severity of these stages depends on the severity of the dizzy spell. Last night's dizzy spell was pretty bad. So when I woke this morning the shaking was pretty bad too. I was a little worried about trying to walk the 15 minutes to catch the bus so I called in sick to work. Not that that stopped the calls to me. It really didn't bother me; as a matter of fact, it made me feel needed. I finally gave up trying to sleep when I realized I wouldn't fall back asleep. The cicadas outside my window are really loud. I figured if I had to be home I might as well work while I could. Thank heavens I brought home my laptop.

Between my laptop and my cell phone I can do almost everything I need to. I have never worked from home before so this is a new experience for me. I now realize the joy of working in my PJ's. There is just something about knowing that you don't have to shower and get dressed that makes the day nicer. No makeup or even a bra if you don't want! You can crank your music as loud as you want and eat when ever you feel like it. I have spent the afternoon finishing all of my projects. It is really nice.

So here it is 3:20 pm and the shakiness is almost completely gone, down to just a slight jittery feeling. I can't tell you how good that feels to me. I think I might even go for a walk.

(Kristin if you are reading this, I promise it will be a short one and if I get weak I will call for a ride. I promise!)

Wednesday, August 30

On an upsetting note...

I go in for my first MRI tomorrow. They are going to check my brain to make sure that there is nothing visibly wrong there. They will also do a test for a rare type of seizures. (Steph could probably explain it more than I can) This morning I thought I was doing well. I really thought that maybe that this was all in my head. Maybe I am causing these things to be happening to me. ( I used to have the same thoughts when I was sick as a missionary) It was driven home to me that this is my current reality when during my yoga class I had a dizzy spell that worried not only my boss but also my yoga instructor.
Maybe I should be taking this more seriously. But why should I if the doctors do not know what is wrong with me? What is the point of getting all worked up over an unknown. I figure, sooner or later we all have to die. It's not like we won't see each other again. And that is the end of my morbid rant. Good night all, I am going to sleep off the nausea from this evenings dizzy spell.


So I went home last week. My brothers mission farewell was Sunday. I flew home Friday night and arrived just after 2 am on Saturday morning. The day was full of interesting

It started with a short walk and a chance to see my big brother Kent's new lawn and his family Garden.

This was followed by a fabulous lunch with Meg, William, and Sarah. Some days the most fun can be had with old friends and a restaurant full of memories.

After lunch I got a chance to watch Lukas play Soccer. My Goose has been playing soccer for almost 2 years now. While I have had a chance to watch a couple of practices, this is my first game. It is also the first game of the season. It rained a nice cold rain for the first half which was followed by a sunny and hot second half. The Hillcrest Hawks (Lukas' Team) won 4-0 I think. I got kind of lost in the middle of the game. I should really pay more attention.

Goose had the largest fan base on the sidelines. But then again with our numbers how could he not.

Dinner was Pizza and Kentucky Fried Chicken on our front lawn. There was lots of laughter and fun. Afterwards I went for Coldstone with Truman and Vanessa. It was nice to meet Trumans Fiance. I am excited for their wedding. It should be great. Vanessa is great. She is sweet and nice, all the things I hope for Truman.

Sunday was full of people and fun. Hugh's talk was great. He really is a talented speaker. Mom and Cynthia set up a fine spread for the Open House. Ian was able to come home a day early, giving me a chance to visit with him.

All in all it was a great chance for me to talk with all of my siblings. Lukas, gave me lots of hugs, and asked that I move back home again. I told him that wasn't possible and we had a talk about him coming out for a visit one of these days. I think it would be fun. Now all I need is our parents permission. Hopefully Paul, James, and Goose can all come for a visit.

I think one of my favorite parts of the trip was the chance to finally meet Sean Micheal Gifford. My first nephew. He was born at the beginning of January and this was my first chance to meet him. I was thrilled to be able to hold him and rock him to sleep.What more fun could you ask for?

Thursday, August 24

The Day Everything Went Wrong.....

*****Written Poorly. Read at your own risk. I'm too tired to care*****

The morning started off right. I woke up at 6:30; my roommate had lost her morning alarm so I said I would wake her. After waking her I made a serious error. I got back in bed! It was only for 15 minutes which somehow turned into 50 minutes. (It could have something to do with the repeated late nights and strenuous lifting of the move.) After a hurried prep of 12 minutes we were in the car and on our way to the Metro. I thought I had barely caught my bus, but I was wrong. I could have sworn it said #425, apparently it read #427. Not completely bad, it was just a short walk (about 15 minutes) so I was only about 20 minutes late to work, and then of course I dropped a glass bottle in the kitchen here. A bottle of Perrier that explode upon impact. Of course while cleaning it up I cut myself. It is small but bled enough to leave drops on the floor. It seems it never ends….I kept forgetting the things I needed down stairs so I was up and down the stairs 3 separate times this morning. And then I got pinged by a gentleman that has not talked to me in months. (Good? Bad? ) And now, I was just told by a co-worker that I look like the old Raggedy Anne Doll...”All red curly hair going everywhere” (his exact words). And it is only 11:20 in the morning. It is going to be a long day.

I have to clean my old room tonight to prep for the new girl moving in, I need to finish unpacking, and then make sure I am packed for this weekend. It is going to be a long night.

Wednesday, August 23

Is it over yet...........

So today I am covering the front desk for the morning. I figure since I have the time to write I might as well. So here are the updates on my life.

“The Move” Update:
The move has been started. I am moving closer to the metro. Erin and I will live in this house for the next 11 months. It is shaping up to be quite nice for me. I have my own room, my own bathroom, a fully furnished kitchen (which is beautiful) and shorter walk to and from the metro.
I packed completely last night. I even moved a carload of boxes to the new house with Kate’s help. I probably should have planned a bit more carefully when I was choosing what would go to the new house. Necessities should not have gone. But some of them did, and I had to scramble to make sure I could get ready for work this morning. Hopefully the furniture will be moved tonight and I can spend my first night in my new house.

“Health” Update:
The dizzy spells still happen once or twice a day, though they have lessened in severity. I am very grateful, today was my deadline day. It should have been over by now. My doctor will be referring me to a neurologist to find out what is going on. Yay, for more doctors’ appointments. Apparently 4 appointments in 3 weeks are not enough for me.
My emergency visit to the dentist last Friday resulted in a referral to an oral surgeon. I have broken a tooth. After the surgeon I will have to go back to my dentist for some major repair work. Aren’t I excited? Can’t you see me smiling from ear to ear?
As a side note I have never been more grateful for Medical/dental insurance; especially a high deductible medical plan in which my company pays my deductible. There is always a silver lining, right?

Family Update:
My brother Hugh has recovered from his bout of the shingles. He will be entering the Provo MTC in one week from today. This Sunday is his Farewell talk in church. I will be flying in to SLC Sat @ 2 am so that I can attend church with the family. I will then be flying home Sunday night at 11 pm so that I can be at work Monday morning.

All in all…..
I wish it were September.

Hope everyone else is having a better August then I am. This has become the Month from Hell!

Monday, August 21

"Marian the Librarian, at your service...Shhh"

Apparently everyone realizes that I should be a librarian. Now if only I could get back to school. Some day.....*sigh*

Your Career Personality: Idealistic, Service-Oriented, and Future-Oriented

Your Ideal Careers:

Alternative health practitioner
Environmental lawyer
Magazine editor
Museum curator
Photo journalist

Sunday, August 20

Welcome to the family.............

I know I have not been posting any good stuff recently. The only excuse is I haven't been feeling well. Life now consists of work, visits to the doctor and the dentist (as of yesterday), sleeping and reading. So on to the Farkledunkons....

My younger brothers Paul and James started a chain of emails with my family. One in which we all received a new name. I of course am Goober Farklebreath, is that not a fabulous name. It has been humorous to me to see all of my family respond. I am now giving you the new names of my various siblings. (We are missing many as they have not yet figured out their new name.)

The real names have not been given to protect the innocent. Hee Hee Hee


The following are the fabulous members of my family...

Sleazy Farkledunkon

Dipsy Farkledunkon

Snickle Farklebreath

Boobie Chickendoodle Farkledunkon (my second favorite)

Sloopy Farkledukon

Boobie Farklebreath Dippintush (My all time favorite!)

Sloopy Chucklefanny Farkledukon +1

(couldn’t have 2 with the exact same name)

Sneezy Chucklefanny

Sleazy Chucklefanny

We are quite the crowd. ;)

Friday, August 11

Tagged again.......

Here's the latest Tag....

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your LJ/blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.
(Steph's Paragraph)

"Finally the girl said, in that same strange tone, "I see deer--a great herd of deer, and a man among them with his body painted--they put the antlers on him--oh, he is down, they will kill him--" Her voice trembled and again Viviane passed her hand above the surface of the water, and the ripples passed over the surface. "Enough," she commanded.

"He turned to the agent next to him.
"Take four men and search the road and brush. Don't take chances. These are criminals who---What the hell is that?"

I tag...ummm whois left to tag?

The Professor.............Did anyone get Sherpa yet? Tiana?

I am out of names.

Hey T.....Can you send me your blog address again. I lost it. :)

Saturday, August 5

Quote of the evening....

There is just something about live music that seeps into the soul. I live it. I could listen for hours. And tonight I did. It has been a long night, which started and ended with a headache. But even that couldn't overcome the excitement of seeing the Dorothy and her friends follow the Yellow Brick Road on their way to see the Wizard. Tonight I saw the Wizard of Oz on the big screen at The Wolftrap. This was not just any showing of the Wizard of Oz. Tonight they removed the music from the movie and had the National Symphony Orchestra play it live. It was amazing. I loved it.

Though tonight's quote comes from the ride home when Amber got lost in the conversation. No one but those in the car will find it funny, but I told them I would blog it....therefore:

"I thought you said your foot was swollen, now I feel dirty."

Boo, we love you!

Thursday, August 3


People keep reminding me that I was tagged. Alright already. Here is my response.....Enjoy

What is your salad dressing of choice?
Italian and Cesear are the fall back dressings, but I like to try just about anything....

What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
I don't have one.....They all have their moments.

What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
The Sushi joint in Vienna where we used to go to lunch.
Hey Steph what is the name of that place?

On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
between 20% and 25%.

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Chicken and Cheese Rice Bake, or Ghetto Chicken Parmesean

Name three foods you detest above all others.
Icky Sauce (sorry Mom), and cooked fish: Halibut and Salmon particularly

What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant?

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Mushrooms, Sausage and Cheese

What do you like to put on your toast?
butter and peach jam

What is your favorite type of gum?
Winterfresh or spearamint

Number of contacts in your cell phone?
133- but 1 is my grandpa who passed away at Christmas time, I haven't the heart to delete it.

Number of contacts in your e-mail address book?
Which email account. I have 3 and only some of the address are in more then one account.
Lets just say there are plenty of contacts.

What is your wallpaper on your computer?
My familys laughing picutre

What is your screensaver on your computer?
Don’t have one

Are there naked pictures saved on your computer?
Only half naked. Sorry

How many land line phones do you have in your house?

How many televisions are in your house?

What kitchen appliance do you use the most?
microwave...cuz I can't cook

What is the format of the radio station you listen to the most?
my alarm is a country station. Otherwise I listen to my iPod.

What do you consider to be your best physical attribute?
I would have said my hair but I cut it all off. So eyes?

Are you right handed or left handed?

Do you like your smile?
Depends on the day

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
not anything that I can comment on here.

Would you like to?
yet again pleading the 5th

Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom?
Of course, what is life with out a book in your hand.

Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
Not touch, not hearing is off, not sight is horrible, taste is preety good. But I think smell is probably the keenest, especially when I don't feel well.

When was the last time you had a cavity?
Today, Tomorrow, Forever

What is the heaviest item you lift regularly?
Cases of Soda...though Steph says my backpack weighs more then any case of soda.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
Not that I can recall

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Ignorance is Bliss

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
Larrissa...cuz then I would be able to fulfill my fathers dream to be called Larissa the Pissa

How do you express your artistic side?
I don't, it is a scardy-cat

What color do you think you look best in?
Peaches, and the right color blue

How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison?
It would depend upon my "alliances"

Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
Please clarify...this could be incriminating

If we weren't bound by society's conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at?
Not really

How often do you go to church?
Define Often. Eveyr so Often.

Have you ever saved someone's life?
Not that I know of but who knows.

Has someone ever saved yours?I do believe there was an Incident were a home teacher had to pull a chicken bone out of my throat

Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000?
That’s just one of the many things I would do for that much cash.

Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
Do I have to use Tongue?

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
I like all of my fingers personally

Would you never blog again for $50,000?
Depends on my mood when the money was offered

Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
When we have sno-cones in Hell

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
Probably not, I do not like pain. Give me a year or two to work my way up to a whole bottle.

Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5,000?
Probably, Though I do like the hair on my head.

Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?
If I could go to the movies still I would be okay.

Who do you tag?
The Professor, Steph, Gwen

Tuesday, August 1

My Big Brother in Egypt

My big brother Ralph has been spending the summer in Egypt. He emails semi-regular updates. Here is one I thought was interesting. Sorry Ralph. I did edit it. But just a little.

Life is starting to wind down here in Egypt. I will head off to Luxor on the night train tomorrow night, and I'll get back on Sunday morning. I had planned to not go down to Luxor and Karnak this time out here. First of all, it is blazing hot. None of the members of the branch want to go down in the summer. They tend to head down in February when it is only ninety or one hundred degrees down there, instead of up to one hundred and thirty five degrees, like it often has been this summer. Again, I was resigned to go down the next time I come to Egypt, which I feel is inevitable. But, I was invited to go down with Kaysha, and a small group of temporary people here... people who are here only for the summer, and therefore unable to go in the "moderate" winter weather. Well, the group that had decided to go had drizzled up into Kaysha, a member of the branch who is seeking a Masters degree at the American University in Cairo... and ironically enough, her boyfriend, Garth, who is not a member of the church, but for some odd reason thinks that I am hilarious. Kaysha has begged me to go. I imagine as a chaperone... but as I was contemplating the trip, I realized that we will be together for a few days... and I am sure that he will have questions about the gospel. It is physically impossible for me to avoid discussing the gospel. I don't think that I can talk about anything without it leading to the gospel directly or indirectly... So, even though I don't know Kaysha and Garth very well, I feel compelled to go. I imagine many good things coming out of it. The few times I have met Garth, I have felt that he is a good person.

A little clarification... in Egypt there are strict laws against baptizing Egyptian citizens. We are technically allowed to baptize non-Egyptians. Even Sudanese, regardless of the fact that most of them are Muslim. In fact, our branch had a baptism as recently as December. A man from Cameroon, named Simplice, was baptized. In the eighties the branch baptized hundreds of people, and was censured by the government and lost their meeting privileges for a time. So, it is not absurd to think that non-Egyptians who rub shoulders with Mormons might be able to become members of the church here. But, it is announced over the pulpit that we should not engage actively in missionary work here. However, in the case of Simplice, those who knock... it shall be given unto them.

An interesting side note and then good luck to me figuring out my original train of thought was (Oh, yeah, I am going on the night train to Luxor)... An opposition newspaper (meaning oposing President Mubarak) came out with an article against the Mormon Church. Now, first let me explain that all newspapers are censored here. First of all, they are censored by editors, who don't want their newspaper to be shut down... and then they are censored by the government. However, it is interesting to see that some newspapers are given more liberty than others... to satisfy the emotional need to rebel and denounce the government. It is as if the government knowingly throws them a bone from time to time. Some newspapers know that they are allowed to cater to a certain group. Well, this newspaper is written primarily by Coptic Christians here in Egypt (who are the largest minority in Egypt, about ten percent of the population -- or six to seven million people). I was able to dabble a bit in translating the article into English for the Public Relations senior couple assigned here to Egypt. Let me paste the article and then talk about some aspects of it. Okay? Some of you might find this intriguing, while some of you may skip the entire email if you want.
I am going to skip this part. If you are really interested in the dissection and debunking of this article email me and I can send you everything he said. As a side note myself...Ralph: If you are going to cut and paste and article for me to read it needs to be in English. I can’t read Arabic. Lol!
Now back to the rest of the email.
What a long, but interesting tangent, if I do say so myself. At any rate... I also was given the task of pinning down a hard copy of the article... which I have done. It was printed a little more than two weeks ago. The reason it was brought to our attention, is because there is a Brazilian member of our branch, who was asked to stop coming to church because her employers read the article and were worried about her being arrested. True to form, she has not attended church for about two weeks.

At any rate... I also wanted to write a bit about my lunches. My lunch was especially disgusting yesterday. I decided to talk about it a bit. Samir has been busy lately when I visit him. So busy in fact, that we have had sandwiches sent to us from his home to the shop. I haven't been up to his house for two weeks or so. So, I would get these sandwiches with cheese... very strong cheese... and he would tell me that it was "old cheese." I was fine with that. But, yesterday, we went up to his apartment and I helped him prepare the food. I cut the lemons (which were the size of marbles... I am baffled at how large and delicious looking US produce is compared to Egyptian produce) Any way, Samir carefully lemon juiced each piece of boiled okra and inserted a pinch of spices. He then pulled out a pot of distilled home-made yoghurt. Now... as some of you may recall, the Coptic Christians had been fasting for fifty days, so they couldn't have dairy products or meat (only fish and seafood). So, my eating cheese has been a new thing at Samir's house. Plain yoghurt disgusts me, but especially home-made yoghurt in Egyptian homes. I quickly explained that I was lactose intolerant... I can only eat a little bit of cheese, but not milk or yoghurt. I explained how I was weaned on goat milk as a boy... But, the worst part is yet to come. Samir went to the refrigerator and pulled out a plastic container. He opened the lid and a murky liquid was inside. He reached in and grabbed a white mound of something. He rinsed it off and set it on a plate. I have called people, pardon my French, phlegm wads before... in junior high. But, I had never seen a wad like this before. This, he told me, to my chagrin, was the old cheese. Apparently they make it themselves. "How old is your old cheese," I asked. Eight months old. That container of rancid liquid has had lumpy wads of cheese floating in it for eight months... longer than my daughter has been alive. Samir then told me that year and a half old cheese is even stronger.

It is a very sad day when you choose to eat okra instead of cheese. But, yesterday was one of those days. A beautiful thing about losing your appetite... you really can't eat very much at all.