August 30, 2009


It took Rachel Lucas several weeks to steel herself to write this post, and it took me nearly a week to steel myself to read it.

It's been sitting, saved, in my feedreader since Monday. This early morning, in the absolute quiet, I was finally ready to read it. If you haven't already, you should too. Reminders are good for all of us.

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August 27, 2009

I'll Give You a Topic... weirdness. (Inspired by a FB thread.)

I will not eat leftovers that are more than 24 hours old. And in general, will avoid leftovers like the plague unless it's something really, really good. Like pizza.

I have to have all meat well done. And by that, I mean "nearly burnt". If I am a guest at someone's house, I can choke down a (very) slightly pink steak if I don't think about it too much. I would rather eat a black hamburger than a pink one.

If I find a colored vein in my chicken, I completely lose my appetite. For about a week. There was a vein in my BK chicken sandwich once, and I didn't have another one for two years. And I love the BK chicken sandwiches. But the offending sandwich was immediately spit out and thrown away. Meal over.

So what are your food quirks?

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August 26, 2009

Defining Moments

Ted Kennedy has passed away, and despite his many years of service to this country, many people will remember him most for his role in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.

Kennedy made several bad judgments that night, and no one really knows exactly what happened. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing injury, and pled guilty. He was given a two-month suspended sentence. Many people found this penalty extremely light given the fact that a woman died in an accident with so many unanswered questions.

At the very least, Kennedy should have immediately reported the incident to the authorities. If he had done so, he may have been remembered more for the good things he did for health care, civil rights, and education. Instead, Chappaquiddick will be mentioned alongside Kennedy's achievements in every obituary written about him today, and that moment from 40 years ago will cast a shadow over everything he accomplished since.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:16 AM | TrackBack

Ask Jen: Foolish Edition

Cam writes: "I've heard the quote about not [fooling] all the people all the time attributed to Abe Lincoln and PT Barnum. Which is it?"

The full quote is "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Unfortunately, there is no documentary proof linking the quote to either man, but it is most often attributed to Lincoln, who supposedly said it during his Senate campaign against Stephen Douglas. The problem is, the quote was attributed well after the fact and can not be found in newspaper coverage from the time.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at 05:52 AM | TrackBack

August 25, 2009

A Quote for Jim and Paul the most superficial way possible...

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
-Author Unknown

And here's one for yesterday and probably later today...

"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap."
-Carrie Snow
Posted by Jennifer at 06:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 24, 2009

Divination: Scrying/Crystalomancy


intr.v. scried, scry-ing, scries.
To see or predict the future by means of a crystal ball.

We're all familiar with the image of a fortune-teller gazing into their crystal ball, but scrying goes further back than sideshow acts and shady back rooms.

Staring into any clear or reflective surface (including water) in the hopes of inspiring a vision goes back to ancient Egypt, Persia, and Greece. Celtic Druids used crystals, and may have been the first to use them exclusively.

In all these cultures, the seers were not watching for visions to occur in the surface--everyone knew and acknowledged that any prophecies originated in the mind of the seer. The object of their gaze was merely helpful in producing a meditative or trance-like state that encouraged the prophetic visions to form in the gazer's mind.

The Romans were among the first known to prefer gazing upon polished quartz crystals, and the ubiquitous "crystal ball" made its first appearance in Medieval Europe.

Today, the High Lamas of Tibet spend time gazing at their holy lake of Lhamo Latso in order to divine the location of the current incarnation of the Dalai Lama. And of course, less spiritually-minded "seers" can be hired in major western cities for a fee.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blogless Pete--UPDATED

Pete--who posts here more than I do--"had a nasty nasty accident on Saturday...had broken ribs, collar bone and ruptured spleen and really bad head injury! Please pray for him...Dores(wife)".

(Dores posted that on Facebook.)

Pete has a good heart and he's a great friend. If you pray, please do!

Tuesday morning UPDATE: Up and walking on his own, having some short term memory issues, but doing well!

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August 20, 2009

I'll Give You a Topic...

Thin mints are far and away the best Girl Scout cookie.


Posted by Jennifer at 08:09 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 19, 2009

Ask Jen: Jen Edition

Jack writes: "What's been up for you? How's school? How's life? What are you reading? What are you studying? Where are you living? How's things?"

Thank you for the questions, Jack. I finished school last summer after studying history and anthropology, and I am now living in the Des Moines area once more. I am re-reading (at a very slow pace) New Moon, which is the 2nd book in the Twilight series. Those who follow me on Facebook (profile name: JenLars) know I already read the Twilight books earlier this summer. Now I am re-reading them to see what I missed. I am also reading The Secret History of the Rulers of the World by Philippe Gigantes.

As for what I am studying now, I am not taking formal classes, but I am moving through an Art Appreciation textbook at about a chapter a day. I love college textbooks, and pick them up at garage sales and the Half Price bookstore for cheap (the clearance section especially rocks). Next: Human Sexuality.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 18, 2009

Quote for Any Day

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

-Albert Einstein

Posted by Jennifer at 09:16 AM | TrackBack

August 17, 2009

Call for Questions

As most of you reading this know by now, I tend to get bored and wander off without positive reinforcement (i.e. comment-love and emails).

So, send me your "Ask Jen" questions and I will feel slightly more compelled to blog than normal.

Tack så mycket.

Posted by Jennifer at 10:48 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Throughout recorded history, individuals and governments have tried to hedge their bets against the unknown through divination. Every culture has used divination in one form or another.

We know that over 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia, priests were using astrology to predict events. Other forms of divination in that ancient culture included the interpretation of omens and the studying of shapes that formed when oil was poured into water.

The ancient Chinese were also interested in omens, and emperors had scores of scribes keeping track of possible omens such as strange births and weather patterns. Some seers would study cracked eggshells for clues about future events. Reading tea leaves, or tasseomancy, originated in China around the 6th century C.E., and moved on to Europe in the 1750s.

The Romans had official bird watchers to keep track of birds' movements. The thought behind this practice was that birds were the closest (in proximity) living things to the gods, and their behavior could help clue the humans in to the gods' happiness or lack thereof. Romans also studied the livers of sacrificed animals to look for signs about the future.

Whether it was ancient Egyptians looking over human entrails for clues, or Celts watching sacred white horses' movements, humans have had no shortage of ways to "see" the future.

About once a week, I'll be posting more information on some common methods of divination and their histories. You can't wait!

Posted by Jennifer at 06:18 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 14, 2009

Save the Date

Semi-regular blogging to resume on Monday, August 17.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack