Whyyyyyyyy do I only attract foreign men?

3 within a week. I might as well call the Indian back now so I can have a go at breaking my dating high score.

Do you know how many true, thick-accented, non-wannabe/non-athlete foreign men there are at my school?

Exactly. This monopoly's gotta be worth something to me.

My life is doomed to be spicy.

Is it summer yet?
Collect 200 for Passing Go

My cousins made a blog about how women can get dates more effectively and understand the more simple variety of simpletons: the males. Apparently they're on to something, because they were featured in the campus newspaper.

Celebrity status.

I happen to agree with much of their standpoint, though it varies from what we often hear. I believe they got most of their material from their sisters, who got it from a book written in the 90's, which I have also read and consequently come to see the light.

Check out the news article here.
Check out the blog here. Really. It may change your life.
Dating Advice for ye Ladies

I love that for my major I get to read about language in the Book of Mormon.

In my research methods class, I read an article called The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon, by John Tvedtness, a scholar of the Hebrew language. I wish I could just link you to the article (darn copyrights), because it was an incredible witness to me that the book truly had to have been written by ancient peoples writing in a form of Hebrew. Instead I'll outline 4 of the 13 evidences offered.

1. Adverbials: Hebrew has few adverbs, and instead uses adverbial phrases.

"with patience" instead of patiently (Mosiah 24:15)
"with much harshness" instead of very harshly (1 Nephi 18:11)
"with joy" instead of joyfully (Jacob 4:3)
"in righteousness" instead of righteously (1 Nephi 20:1)
"with gladness" instead of gladly (2 Nephi 28:28)

2. Cognates: cognates are words that come from the same root, and are awkward to use together in the same sentence in English. In Hebrew though, it is not uncommon for a verb to be followed by a cognate noun. We see this in the bible (also written originally in Hebrew) as well as the Book of Mormon.

"wrote upon it a writing" (Exodus 39:30)
"she vowed a vow" (1 Samuel 1:11)

"I have dreamed a dream" (1 Nephi 8:2)
"taxed with a tax" (Mosiah 7:15)

3. Conjunctions: Hebrew uses conjunctions more frequently than English does. In a list, English would only use it before the last item. Hebrew, however, has conjunctions before each item in a list.

"And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and adeparted into the wilderness." (1 Nephi 2:4)

4. Possessive Pronouns: As in other languages, in Hebrew possessive pronouns are added  at the end of the noun.

"Hear the words of me" (Jacob 5:2)
"How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him" (Jacob 4:8)
"They are delivered by the power of him" (2 Nephi 9:29)

Cool, huh?

Another article I read was On Verifying Wordprint Studies: Book of Mormon Authorship.
This outlines a study carried out by researchers at Berkeley who are not LDS.

To be short, wordprinting is a science where texts are analyzed to verify authorship. With it, we have found works of Shakespeare, identified the author of The Federalist Papers and called out phony authors.

Extensive wordprinting has verified the Book of Mormon has multiple authors (i.e. Nephi is not the same writer as Alma or Moroni) and that none of it was authored by involved figures in LDS church history (Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, etc.). 

In other linguistics courses I've taken, we've been shown name symbolism and the like in the Book of Mormon. This has deepened my testimony of the book. I know it was written as is claimed in the introduction, that its words are true, that Joseph Smith must have translated it, and as such is a true prophet of the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Knowledge is power, and so is faith; they go hand-in-hand. My brain is being constantly stretched as I attend my college classes, and though it's hard, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Two weeks ago I was asked to a Valentine's Dance by a guy in my ward.
He's from Argentina, has a fabulous accent, a wonderful smile, and his hips don't lie.
Plus, he's a beautiful human being.

Another guy in the ward had me make some hideous corsages as a joke, and I was the lucky recipient of one:

Unfortunately I'm not interested in dating the beautiful Argentinean (chronic bad breath=deal breaker),
but seriously, Latin men just know how to dance.
Snag one, hit the 'play' on Shakira, and watch them gyrate.

Last weekend I went Country Dancing with my brother and two of his mission companions.
Sure most of the guys there were socially awful and I can't dance to save my life, but that didn't seem to matter.
I was twisted, twirled, knotted, tunneled, dipped, dunked, and even back-flipped.
I think I accidentally kicked more than one cowboy in the face, but it's all in good fun, right?

During one dizzying dance, I apparently hit it off with a gorgeous man from India.
I probably should have given him a fake number (or a roommate's number--haaaa) when he told me he wanted to take me for ice cream and asked for my number, but I'm not that quick-minded.

Too bad he's older and a little sketchy; I probably would have enjoyed a waffle cone while listening to his attractive accent and gazing into his deep brown eyes hidden beneath a mess of dark curly hair.
Instead I'll spend the next month avoiding unknown numbers.
Potential Serial Killers are not to be taken lightly.

Is a normal guy who knows how to country dance really too much to ask for?
Yes Laura, yes it very much is.
I attract attractive, dancing foreign men like they're fruit flies and I'm a wrinkly nectarine.

This nail polish has changed my life.
It took less than ten minutes to apply when I was in a rush to ready myself for a dance.
It's real nail polish, but it starts as a sticker that you stick on and trim to fit the nail.
It sets after half an hour, molds to your finger like regular polish, and chips like regular polish.

Mine have stayed on and looked good for over two weeks, and are just now starting to come off.
That means they survived the full four days of Valentines madness.
With top coat and without V-day, they'd survive much longer.

Mine came in a sample box. Normally you have to order each set on the internet for $8-10.
I'm just not a fake plastic nails type of girl, so I would probably make the special order if I were going to a prom, or appearing on national television, or getting married.

Yes, when my wedding day approaches, I'll spend some time browsing the site, Incoco.
I love the "Design Manicure" section. These came from there, and I get stopped and asked about them all the time.
Give it a whirl. It's kind of fun.

V-Day this year spanned the course of 5 preparatory extended work days, with the final 48 hours being "Game Time." The condition of my soul after this experience cannot be described with words. Nonetheless, these bullet-points will hold you over until you find your own flower shop to work at for the biggest floral holiday of the year.

Mountains and Valleys of Looooove Week:

 6 total hours of sleep within a period of 63 hours. This included waking up at 2:30 a.m. on Valentine's day for work when I had arrived home at 11:30 from work the night before.

♥ Cookies and caffeinated beverages exclusively, due to lack of ability to leave shop, for breakfast and dinner. Lunch never happened, 'cept the Taco Bell run with big brother; I just really needed a Baja Blast and Bean Burrito. This sugar diet sounded great for a while, but after 5 days of it, I never want to see a sugar cookie again. Salad and water it is for the rest of the semester.

 I skipped my Marriage and Family Relations class so I wouldn't have to leave work. Oops. Sorry Husband-To-Be, but while you were out playing pattycake with your friend Pedro, your Sandwich-Machine-To-Be was making 75 bucks (that figure sounded more impressive in my head).

♥ Cutting stems and clipping greenery with one stitched-up finger (I was attacked by a can of green beans -- lesson learned: vegetables are out to kill you) and one fingernail about to fall off (smashed in the door after a dumpster-diving escapade). My painkillers contain caffeine. Double Win.

♥ My feet a 'splode.

♥ The post-V-Day Hangover. It takes two days to fully wear off, and I'm just now nearing the end of it. The first night was characterized by nonsensical babbling to anyone nearby (or not nearby), angry outbursts about the listener's taste in flowers (odd because my personality's generally ultra mild and passive), and falling asleep a minute and 12 seconds into an Audrey Hepburn movie that I'd turned on just to stick it to my parents who I'd demanded to take me home so I could watch a dang movie because no, I was NOT tired. Co-workers reported identical symptoms the next day.

I bashed on someone's preference for carnations.
Turns out they're actually quite awesome, as seen here clumped in hot pink.

And the finale: Watching 2 guys get in a full-blown fight about who got the last red rose. Instead of using synonyms like "banter," "mild disagreement," and "cutting sarcasm," I would use words more like "death glare," "accusation," "threatening," "yelling," and "gnashing of teeth." It was the coolest thing ever. Take note, dudes: saving flower-buying for the last minute on Valentine's Day will bring out the worst in you. Life will be easier for everyone if you place your order for delivery a week in advance. Then you won't have to even think about it until your lady-friend commends you on being the best ever and you'll be like, "Interesting, I don't remember doing anything for you today. This is swell beans." Plus you won't be left waiting in a half-hour-long line to get her the picked over nasty filler flowers. Calling dibs ahead of time on the prettiest long-stemmed, old-fashioned roses and vibrant lilies in stock really makes a difference. Then again, I'm just a biased flower shop girl. 

Another note: I know it's different for everyone, but if you're proposing to a Simpleton like me, don't do it on V-Day. This might be a good time for a fake-out, and then wait another month or two. That way your big ol' fatty bouquet of flowers will cost you half as much as the jacked-up February prices. 
It's all still a haze . . .

"I enjoy being tall. The only minor annoyance is that tall guys are harder to come by."

"Ya, but they're probably of a higher quality."

-Sarah Kay

World's Most Coolest People:
(together at last in a compact list)

1. President Monson
2. Arthur Read
3. Jan's little brother Everett
"So um, I read your blog, and I was wondering something: did you really shave your eyebrows?"

What I thought was a miraculously loaded cooler when I first began work at the flower shop:

What a miraculously loaded floral cooler actually looks like:
This is only the left side, and you can't even see the 12 buckets of tulips on the top left shelf or the 9 buckets of lilies on the bottom shelf. Valentine's Day is mind-blowingly awesome. 
We cleaned and processed 1200 roses in one hour. 
That's what's up.

Oh, and also I'm what's up. Since 4:30.
I have a team project due today.
Between my weekend and the next two floral days, I'll have exactly 6 1/2 minutes to do homework.
And I'm physically incapable of doing homework on Sunday.
So here we are.
Team Laura's blasting off agaaaaaaaaain!

*Feel free to leave a holla for my homeboy Jan.

Coastal Shotglass Collection: +1
Population of really great people in the Baltics: +1
Laura's supply of qualified Bananagrams competitors: Waning
The church is true, 
see ya in 2, 
you look like a monkey,
 and you spell like one too!
Punday Monday & Other Tidbits

Before I begin this entry full of personal interests, I'll let you know that this might be the last time you hear from me for a few weeks. I will be running several metaphorical life marathons. Without further adieu then, let's take a good long look inside my head:


Growing up, I never realized there was anything different about the way Utahans speak.

Then I went to college; not a college for local kids, but a college for young adults from all over America and the world at large. And I got made fun of for my dialect because as it turns out, some young adults from the world at large are bullies and Utahans are too nice to fight the stigmatization of their variety of English. (Hence this post. I'm a baby and I want to cry about it.)

Next thing I knew, I was in a major where I get to study dialects of English in many of my classes. The course goal in one of these expressly reads: Tolerance of All Dialects and Regional Variations. I've realized I'm unnaturally passionate about Sociolinguistics. As such, I jumped at the opportunity to attend a lecture on the Utah Dialect of English led by a panel of doctorates from Utah, Texas, Vermont, and Alaska, all specializing in and researching the Utah Dialect. This may not be your thing, but please don't mock it until you take a few ELang classes. Okay, go ahead and mock it, just don't let me find out. (Because I'm a baby, and I might cry about it.)

After attending and thoroughly enjoying said lecture, I'd like to debunk a few myths about the way people perceive Utah English:

1) Everybody "swallows their T's" in words such as fountain, mountain, and button. This occurs not only in the U.S. but also in Great Britain. As it turns out, non-Utahans glottalize in this way even more than Utahans! The difference is that Standard American English releases the glottal stop (the stopping in the throat where the T should be) out through the nose while Utahans release through the mouth. This is substantially more common among Utah females in their early 20s, which means that it's actually on the rise. Sorry, bullies.

2) Fer vs for. This is also common everywhere in rapid speech. It's not going anywhere because rapid speech necessarily has different features than slow speech. Outsiders may pick up on it more often in the West because we speak faster (sorry, that's life), but if you go home and pay attention, you may be surprised by what you hear.

3) Geneva Steel Mill. How do you read that? The fantastic thing about living in Utah is that there are probably half-a-dozen variations on the way we can pronounce "Steel Mill." Our dialect is a complex system with many freedoms. I know that I seldom discriminate between fill and feel, dill and deal, hill and heal/heel, or pill and peel. Guess what? Not a Utah thing. If you think it is, it's because Utah's the only place West of the Mississippi where you've spent any amount of time. This pattern of non-discrimination is found all along the I-80 freeway from Kansas to the coast, and it's common all throughout the South.


Though most of these "Utah-isms" actually define speech throughout the entire west, there are two parts of speech that we can claim as ours and ours alone:

1) The Pro-Predicate Do: "You ski much?" "Used to do." This came over from Great Britain with the English converts to the LDS church. Utah actually has the highest rate of individuals in America with strong English ancestry, and the unique sentence-structure stuck!

2) The adjective "lurpy," i.e. "My little brother Jordan and my VB blog pal Jacob are both sooo lurpy." Meaning tall, gangling, and uncoordinated, this might be my favorite adjective of all time. Good work, Utah.

That's all I've got for now, but more of the same on the Utah Dialect in a short BYU Magazine article can be found here.

Utah Dialect: What's the Big Dill?

Twas the night of a failed date.

We had an FHE activity planned: Date Crashing.
Walk in on couples in living rooms and crash their party with a boom box. Totally my scene, right?
The twist was that we were supposed to bring a date of our own.

Problem: All creatures in my life with a Y chromosome are either
a) my own flesh and blood
b) serving LDS missions in foreign lands
c) occupied with other significant lady-friends
d) half a size too small

After learning the hard way that I'm such a sad human being that I couldn't even get option "a" to work out, I gave up and asked an old roommate to be my woman date. Instead, she set me up with a Berrie. First of all, it was a little confusing because he called to ask me on the date but it was my activity, so when the FHE group leaders sent out a text two hours before said date to cancel, it was extra awkward tracking down the guy to back out.

While I should have thrown together an impromptu game night then and there, I instead backed slowly and socially unacceptably out of his apartment and drove recklessly home to taste-test big brother's famous "casserole" (actually just a pan of brownies) and watch Marvel action movies.

Upon O-Town arrival, it became apparent that I come from a family of lazy and passive Simpletons.

"Hey, there's a sports bra in the middle of our bathroom floor," Chris stated, non-accusingly.

"Oh really? Whose?" 
This was not a defensive question; I honestly did not consider that it could be mine. I felt only minor amusement at the embarrassment of whoever had mistakenly dropped their underthings into the perilous clutches of my immature brethren. 

"Uhhh . . . "

Cognitive processes began play in my head, and I realized that said article of underclothing likely did not belong to my mother who uses her own bathroom, nor to one of my 4-dozen or so brothers. 

"Wait a second," I started, "the last time I was here was a week-and-a-half ago. Didn't you move it?"

Though his face betrayed traces of disgust, his voice did not. "Well, it's kind of like the hair in the corners. After it had been there for a while, it just became part of the room."

I'm sure all guest-users of the bathroom for the past two weeks felt the same way.

Descending to investigate the scene of the crime, I found no sports bra.
No, the evidence was, of course, the same black skivvies as last time. 

Once again, you're welcome guest-bathroom-users. Obviously I wouldn't dream of milding up these stories with bland whitey-tighties.

The Underwear Chronicles: 4th Edition


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