Frequent Flier Miles are not as cool as they're cracked up to be. At least, not if you're trying to fly from the east coast to Europe on a couple very specific dates three months from now on a partner airline of the one you actually have miles for. 65,000 miles, $300 and 17 hours on planes/hanging out in the London Heathrow airport. Is it worth just buying a ticket? Absolutely. Too bad this one isn't my call.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
First of all, I love spring break. For those of us who went to BYU-related schools, spring break is something we have not been associated with for a long time. I think they missed the boat on this one: there is nothing more welcome (or necessary) in the middle of a long winter semester than a nice break from it all.
And yes, this may just be a picture of Michael and I pretending to be airplanes.
We checked another item off my "To Do in DC" list that afternoon - paddleboating in the Tidal Basin! After about 30 seconds, Michael tried to plead exhaustion, but we kept at it for most of the hour. Sadly, at this point I had to ditch them and head back to my house. I'm moving to a new place next week and I had to clean/show my current room to a potential renter. Still hoping that everything works out for the best!
Friday, March 28, 2008
I would be a vegetarian ... but meat just tastes so good!
My mom and little brother have been in DC this week visiting (our Spring Breaks actually matched up this year), and we were eating Monday night at the Charthouse, on the banks of the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria. Nearing the end of our very non-vegetarian meal, we were discussing the merits of Maryland Blue Crabs - is it really worth all the work it takes to eat them? As my brother saw it, the idea of eating a half a dozen blue crabs in one sitting was quite disturbing. It was ok to eat shrimp because they were small and didn't really have much personality, but he had much more compassion for the smaller blue crabs, relatives of which we have seen on numerous occasions clambering over rocks (and each other) at the Oregon and Washington coasts. He hated the thought of killing those little crabs. I, of course, noted with irony the hypocrisy of it all. He (and I) were both a little bothered by the killing of animals, but neither of us have the self-restraint to turn that distaste into vegetarianism. As Michael stated, meat just tastes so good!
I do relate to his sentiments. My grandfather used to take us to the fish farm near his house when we were children. Each of us would grab a handful of fish food and toss it into the pond that was overstocked with fish. **Translation: there were nearly more fish than water.** I probably could have reached in and grabbed one if the thought hadn't disgusted me. Literally dozens of fish would swarm to the spot where the food pellets had been dropped and one of us kids (with Grandpa's assistance) would toss our fishing line into the thick of it. There was no question of whether or not you would catch a fish; within seconds, the line was wriggling and a fish pulling hard on the other end. A quick jerk of the line secured the catch and the unlucky trout would be reeled in and removed from the hook. We would pause for the obligatory "fish face" picture (no, you don't get to see one), and someone would kill the fish. It was this last part that caused me serious anguish. As a young child who would soon be expected to eat the fish, I could not bear to watch it being killed. I had no problem with it once it was filleted and no longer looked like a living creature, but I could not handle the actual death.
I am not a vegetarian, nor do I consider it likely that I ever will be. I do, however, understand the idea behind it all.
Or the haunting question of the opposition: If animals weren't meant to be eaten, why were they made of meat?
Posted by Melanie at 8:55 PM
Sunday, March 23, 2008
After a very thoughtful lesson last Sunday by our fabulous home teachers, I've taken some time this week to contemplate the significance of Holy Week and Easter. The first thing that came to mind was one Easter season about 13 years ago, coming home from Merry Miss with what I considered to be the perfect Easter lesson to present at Family Home Evening. I had a basket of plastic Easter eggs, boldly numbered from #1-12 with a thick black Sharpie. Instead of robin eggs or Cadbury mini-eggs (my aforementioned favorite), each egg was filled with the following:
- Three dimes - Judas received 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16)
- Cracker - last supper (Matthew 26:17-29)
- Chocolate kiss - Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss (Matthew 26:47-49)
- Feather - Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crew (Matthew 26:69-75)
- Soap - Pilate washed his hands of the blood of Christ (Matthew 27:24)
- Purple cloth - they put a purple robe on Jesus (Matthew 27:28)
- Thorn - a crown of thorns was placed upon Christ's head (Matthew 27:29)
- Nail - they nailed him to the cross (John 19:18-19)
- Piece of sponge soaked in vinegar - when Christ asked for a drink he was given a sponge with vinegar (John 19:28-30)
- Rock - Jesus' body was laid in a tomb (Matthew 27:57-60)
- Piece of tape - after Christ's death the tomb was sealed (Matthew 27:65-66)
- Empty egg - this represents the empty tomb after Christ had risen (Matthew 28:1-9)
As a teacher, I can really appreciate the value of tangible symbols in teaching a concept, especially to adolescents. Producing a nail or a vinegar-drenched sponge from a traditionally sugar-filled plastic egg will forcibly turn thoughts to the scourging and crucifixion of our Savior. However, it is the twelfth egg which strikes me as profoundly significant. After the deep, infinite suffering in the Garden; after the scourging and public humiliation inflicted; after feeling the Spirit withdrawn and the full weight of the world resting upon his weary shoulders, the Savior of the world died. It was not, however, the final death that many in the world fear. Instead, after three days, the Savior rose from the tomb and again walked and talked with his disciples.
But why? As hard as it is to comprehend the basic plot line of the Passion, it is harder still to comprehend the immense love that Christ had for each one of us, and the plan that would require his great suffering. For now, let it suffice to say that I am overcome with gratitude when I think of this sacrifice. It is only through His sacrifice that I may be saved from my sins and ultimately perfected and sanctified. It is for this, today, that I am most humbly grateful.
Posted by Melanie at 5:23 PM
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I discovered something about myself this morning. I suffer from OCD. Not the full-on, wash-your-hands-obsessively-and-make-your-bed-with-a-ruler-edge-type, but OCD nonetheless.
Case Study #1
Tomorrow is Easter, and I was preparing for it in the best way I know how - eating a handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. Only one problem. As I poured the candies into my hand, there were five: one pink, one white, one yellow and TWO blue. This was not going to work. The leftover blue had to be eaten, and quickly.
Case Study #2
I can't grade papers if they are not alphabetized by the students' names.
A little ridiculous? Perhaps.
Posted by Melanie at 10:52 AM