Saturday, September 29, 2007

A strange disease may be in my future

Something interesting about me, I like to chew on pens. I've found that it doesn't matter whose pen it is, I'll chew on it if it is in my possession. This may be annoying to friends that don't like their pens chewed up as I've found out. A couple days ago I got off work and was heading to the T to go pick up my car from its inspection. I absolutely love doing sudoku on the train because it keeps my mind working and helps me become more logical. I realized, however, halfway to the T-stop that I didn't have a pen on me. Not willing to walk all the way back to my work area, I decided I'd scour the streets on my way over for a lost pen. I finally found one (a black papermate) just as I was nearing my stop. I made a mental note, 'You don't know where this pen has been so don't chew on it.' By the way, that was a great sudoku day as I completed all three levels in the Boston Now. Later that evening, to my dismay, I noticed that I was putting this new one in my mouth. I had to back up, put another one in my mouth, and inwardly rebuke myself for a lack of foresight. In that moment, I kind of felt like a baby. Babies always put things in their mouth without thinking where they have been. Maybe I should grow out of this habit of chewing on any available pen, or I'll get werewolf syndrome or something.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I like 'em all dang it

Last night as I was watching the Democratic debates, I couldn't help but have the utmost respect for each of the candidates especially the front-runners Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton. These are individuals who have gone through a lot in their lives to get to where they are in life right now. I like John Edwards because he is just so darn upfront and honest about himself. He also has that Southern accent going on. Barack has such a professional voice. He comes across as educated just by talking. Hillary Clinton is really intelligent. I can also tell that she used to be cute. Do I agree with all of their policies? Certainly not. But could I see myself living in a country run by one of these three candidates? Yes. Does that mean that the country is going to be more vulnerable to terrorist attacks? Probably. Is our economic system going to more closely resemble France after the next four years? Perhaps. But I like each of these candidates and I've noticed something very interesting about human interpersonal relationships: when you like someone, you're willing to overlook a lot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The status quo should change

A few months ago when I still lived in Provo, my cousin who was engaged at the time, set me up on a date with his fiance's former mission companion. If you are a guy reading this, I know what you're thinking: there are many red flags in that previous sentence. I was skeptical myself, but I figured that I had never really interacted with my cousin and his fiance in a social setting before (they got engaged really quickly), so I decided to go out with them. I was shocked when I first saw my blind-date that she was beautiful, not what I expected in all honesty. According to the dating rules, you can't come across as too interested in your date or else she'll think that you're some creepy guy. I've learned that this rule especially applies to women who are really good-looking. So I was just trying to be myself the whole night, but at the same time maintaining a bubble that I deemed appropriate for her. She seemed a little bit quiet to me, and at the time I interpreted her actions as being standoffish. I respected that, for there's no point in acting interested if you are not. The whole night was fun for me as I got to see my cousin as previously explained. But my date and I never seemed to attain that level of connection that warrants a second date. To put my case in point, towards the end of the date I didn't even feel like walking her to the door and doing the whole door-step scene. But I did anyway and gave her a hug, but didn't get her number. On the way home, I thought to myself that there was a girl who had her heart elsewhere and that maybe a guy was on her mind somewhere else, because she didn't seem to be giving it up to me. The next week I was over at my cousin's house just chillin' and guess who shows up? That same girl whose name will be anonymous for now. It seemed to me that she came to visit Brooke that Sunday evening. I stayed for only a few minutes and briefly chatted with her, but then left shortly thereafter. I never really kept in touch with this date of mine. Just last week, as I visited Utah, I talked with Brooke about this girl whom she set me up with many months back. She asked me what I thought about her. I told her what I honestly felt at the time, that I was getting uninterested vibes from her. Brooke countered that she was shy and that she liked me. I was shocked at that comment and skeptical. She furthered that that one Sunday, she came to visit Brooke at my cousin's to visit me. That was very unexpected. She then went on to explain how good of a companion on her mission she was. After that, I started thinking about the limitations of dating. First dates (especially blind-first dates) are lame in that in essence the two participating parties judge the other person on the basis of very superficial and in many cases short-term elements. The basis of this is that we are naturally superficial people at first. After time, the important issues surface. This has its advantages, but one big disadvantage is that if two people are not on the same page as each other in very trivial matters (as was the case with me and this girl that night) I never get the chance to see if we are on the same page in long-lasting and important matters. I think dating needs to make a change if it's gonna be any more effective at putting more people into relationships. Instead of focusing on the petty details, which people could easily work out with more time together, what if more of a focus was on the important issues? For instance, if the whole time the only topics of conversation is on music, fashion, and movies, it's difficult for me to comprehend how valuable information about the other person was gleaned other than physical attraction. There seems to be another option on the web. Internet dating seems to be picking up steam. I don't know if this is the solution. Despite the number of deep questions that you can ask someone online, it is always different than asking them in person. That way the the questionee can see the questioner's face and gauge his or her sincerity. Alas, I'm idealizing again. Shoot.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

For my own sake...

let me list the law schools that have peaked my interest. the following are in the top-25 according to us news and world report in the order in which i am most interested:
1) uc berkely
2) stanford
3) duke
4) minnesota
5) washington u
6) boston u
7) harvard
9) george washington
10) fordham

other schools that are also on my list include byu, george mason, utah, and franklin pierce.
so over the weekend, i visited utah as my brother returned home from japan. as i was here, i figured i'd attend my registered for lsat-prep course on saturday morning. we collectively took an official lsat: test 51. i felt good about the test as it was much more consistent across the sections. i scored a 162 which is decent, but not where i want it to be. i have been studying a lot lately, but still have a ways to go. may me listing out these law schools inspire me to study for the lsat so that i can get into one of these stellar schools. isn't there a general authority quote somewhere along those lines: study study study? there has to be.

Monday, September 17, 2007

If you're gonna do it, you should probably do it right

The countdown until when I'm supposed to take the test is 12 days, but I have felt that instead of going into panic mode like I am prone to do, I am actually feeling pretty good with myself. "Why?" one may respectfully and honestly ask. Well, I just barely came to a sudden and startling realization: I am woefully and dreadfully ill-prepared for the LSAT. It was an interesting moment that I just barely had as I was finishing up my speed-reading drills. Keep in mind that this was also after taking a practice LSAT this morning and not doing that well on the said test. I began realistically thinking to myself, "Trent, you probably won't do that well come Sept. 29th. There is a chance that you might get lucky, but come on and let's face it. For as big a thing as this is for you, do you really want to leave it up to chance? You might as well push the test to December and that way you can prepare yourself more." Rather than having a spirit of defeat or pessimism, I feel a renewed sense of hope and purpose. Just a side note of background information. The Law School Admission Test is an interesting exam in that it covers enough material to stretch anyone thin thin thin. You can effectively study for one section, such as the logical reasoning, and think to yourself that you have the concepts down. Then, while taking a practice test, you find another section bites you in the butt. The process can continue over and over. I have mixed feelings right now as I think about putting this test off for 2 more months. On the one hand I really want it to be over with. But on the other hand, I really want to do it right. There are so many practice problems for me to conquer and so much room for improvement in my reading comprehension. I can't wait for the fun to continue! December 1st is the new destination date and I am going to rock this test!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tight like unto a dish

If I had a top-5 list of my favorite types of candies, the following would probably comprise that list:
1) Candy Corn. Since I was a little kid, I have loved the rush that these nuggets of seemingly pure sugar give. After making the transition to adulthood, one would suspect this craving for candy corn would die down. After just stopping at Walgreen's and seeing a pack hanging on the shelf, I realized that the sugar beast inside me has not died. The pumpkins that they make are pretty much made out of the same ingredients and have the same flavor, so I'd group both candies together on this list.
2) Swedish Fish. Give it up to the Swedes for inventing Swedish Fish. You can buy them big or small, multi- or uni-colored. So good! I used to doubt the Swedish origins of this candy, thinking perhaps that it was some American marketing scheme to get people to buy. But recently I visited an Ikea and what did I behold besides the amazing selection of good quality household furnishings? You guessed it.
3) Cinnamon Bears. I've always liked the flavor of cinnamon, since I was a little kid. Those atomic fireballs gave me my highs growing up. Cinnamon bears not only provide the necessary sugar that a growing individual needs, but also the sustenance. The next time you have the opportunity, look carefully at the nutritional labeling of cinnamon bears. You will see that there is an ingredient maltodextrin. This compound when combined with peanut butter and pretzels form a molecule that can be used as a substitute for protein and fat. If you doubt me, go talk to the Army. They use pills of this form to feed soldiers in extreme conditions. Together with the sugar, your caloric intake is covered, unless of course you want anti-oxidants which many fruits and vegetables contain. In which case, you can always take a multi-vitamin. I learned of the value of cinnamon bears a couple years back when I used to live in Provo. While shopping one evening, I saw a huge bag of cinnamon bears for 5 bucks at Smiths. I was skeptical that I would get sick after eating large quantities of the bears. After taking O-Chem, I now know why it never happened: maltodextrin.
4) An M&M variety of some sort depending on my mood. Nowadays there is a type of M&M for every mood of mine. I used to like the plain M&M's the very most. But on certain occasions, peanut butter can be very tasty. Also, peanut hit the spot just right.
5) Peppermint candy canes. I am the type of person who gets excited for the peppermint ice cream to come out around Christmas time. There's something magical about the peppermint flavor to me. It leaves your mouth feeling cool and refreshed.
I think there's a reason why I go to the dentist so often. The first time I met Dr. Cho, she told me that I need to stop eating sugar. If she only knew the love that I have for these five candies, she wouldn't have recommended such a harsh regimen for me. In the meantime, I'm just going to continue brushing my teeth and flossing and waiting for the day when my good friend graduates from dental school. His name is Nate. He'll give me free service, he already agreed to.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

That's the secret

Oft times, you might despair at your own inadequacies and wonder about the injustices of life. I believe that it was Spencer W. Kimball who said, "Work, work work. There is no satisfactory substitute." Although I wasn't engaged in missionary work per se, today I felt the rewards of work and right now, in the words of Incubus, "I am happy."