dear diary

Teeth falling out in a dream

This has been a recurring item in my dreams, and I wonder if there is a scientific explanation (none of that psychology or dream interpretation crap). It feels so real when a couple of teeth and then all of my teeth suddenly fall out right onto my hand; and it makes me feel helpless (like how am I going to chew stuff or even speak without teeth?)... Is there anything I might do to prevent such dreams? When I see that dream it never occurs to me that it's a dream, and that's scary...
dear diary

Anima Christi

This song is absolutely amazing and I want it on my iPod. Sadly I can't find an mp3 or even the CD it is from (Pane di Vita Nuova) - I'd even buy the CD, because of this one song, and because I've heard something else by this artist that was almost equally great, so that I know it's not a fluke. I found it sold in some Italian store for Euros, so maybe when I go to Rome (dream of my life) or something ;)

dear diary

Google Chrome OS

Google is working on a new operating system... I'm not sure if I would trust it. I mean, I was excited about Google Chrome the browser, but in the end I stuck to Firefox because of all my useful extensions, and because it seemed unsafe -- a few times when I was looking at Facebook pages, the browser would crash, and at one of those times I got a warning that made me suspect a virus... When I'm using Firefox I can block ads, and I never experience those issues with Facebook. I'll watch how it goes: maybe it will gain support and popularity - but I'm not going to be an Early Adopter.
dear diary


I just discovered a vocabulary software. It was very funny, as I was listening to words that had different acceptable pronunciations (affluent, acumen), and the one I'm used to was not the one in the program. On the other hand, I learned that I pronounce "adversary" wrong.

The program is apparently used to prepare for various tests (SAT, TOEFL, GRE and such). I clicked on the TOEFL so-called "book", because I know somewhat of this test. To my surprise, there were only 300 words there ranging from "abandon" to "import" in alphabetical order. Where are the words after "import"?

In any case, I found a cool option to create your own book. In your own book, you can even add translations to a different language, in addition to the regular features. Now that feature is why I would use such a program. I used to make cards to learn new words. This would make it more fun, I think. Because it's not just cards; you can play games with those words.
dear diary

Overview of America video

I found this an interesting and thought-provoking video. The discussion of capitalism vs. free market is a bit sketchy... maybe because I actually know something about that, whereas I don't really know much about the founding fathers of the U.S. and their ideas. I think I'd like to find out more. The video referenced "federalist papers" - maybe that would be helpful to read.

dear diary

Seven Quick Takes

Hosted by

1. 4th of July

My step-dad has extra days off for the 4th of July, so almost last moment, we decided to get a hotel in Foley for a night and spend two days at the beach in Gulf Shores. It was awesome. The beach is packed, of course, but it was fun. Much better than the pool here at the apartment, which gets too hot. I think we overdid the beach on the second day and we are all burnt. Sunscreen doesn't help here much. I even applied sunscreen on my face twice, and it's still red. Tomorrow we are going to USS Alabama Battleship to watch the fireworks, which should be fun. I've seen signs about this battleship and step-dad thought it would be cool to go, but we never did.

How do you plan to celebrate 4th of July this year?

2. Interview and Personality Test

I've gotten another interview the other day. It's a Staff Accountant with a local nursing home (they have four locations, three in Mobile, one in Huntsville); sounds pretty good from what they told me. One thing that was sort of different is they asked me to fill out a personality test using DISC method. Apparently, everyone (including myself) perceive me as a Specialist, and when I'm under stress I'm an Investigator. More or less accurate based on what those mean. The interviewers said they don't see many Investigators. Not sure if that's good or bad, but they did mention it's not something you can either pass or fail. Just a way for them to figure out how to relate to others. If you have a problem with some co-worker, they'd be able to explain how to act around them, what offends, etc.

3. Jobs

Speaking of jobs... If I get an email advertising a job opportunity that's too good to be true (Accounting position doing both AR and AP, work from home, $5,000-10,000 USD a month, requires at least 10 hours of work a week - I made calculations that's like $125 an hour). Well, do I respond or ignore it as there must be a catch to this, it's too good to be true? I've ignored it for now, just being careful...

4. Ant bites

Can ant bites cause itching all over? The other day, I stepped into their nest apparently, and had at least 25 bites in the foot before I could shake them off. Two hours later or so, I was itching and red all over. I wonder if that was a reaction to those bites...

5. Snakes in AL

I saw a snake in the same place too (the subdivision where we'll be building the house); it scared me. I wouldn't even notice it but then it moved very suddenly, and you know how they move... It was black. I'm thinking it's either black racer or black rat snake. Apparently there are a lot of snakes here. My mom saw a snake in another new subdivision that is just being built too.

6. "Hunt for the Gollum" Fan-movie

I've read fanfics, but I've never seen fan-movies before, and this one is amazing. I'm very impressed. See the trailer; watch the movie. If you have seen other good fan-movies, please recommend in comments!

7. Great Books

So lately, I've been interested in the so-called "Great Books". I just found a series of videos on Youtube about Great Books, which seems like a good resource: Which Great Books have you read and recommend?
dear diary

7 Quick Takes

1. I'm considering to walk in the Friends of the Poor Walk. Some of you might have seen it on my FaceBook already. I'm pretty clueless about how this works. I heard about it through my parish, and then I remember one of my co-workers did something like this - a walk for some cause. Have you heard of such a thing? Please let me know your thoughts.

It's going to be on September 26 (Saturday) or the next day if it rains, apparently. the walk is going to be two miles, which I think I can do - with a little bit practice. Back in Latvia I used to walk a lot - to save on public transportation costs. It's ridiculous now to think how far I'd walk.

2. Sunday is Father's day. I have no idea why, but I somehow was under impression that Father's Day always falls on a Thursday, but it seems I was mistaken and it's Sunday. I think my parents expect me to make another card, like I did for Mother's Day. I considered it, but didn't really plan on it. Now I guess I have to. ;) I'm thinking of using this photo from Joe's wedding.

3. One of my acquaintances from the church choir was bragging the other day about his blueberries. I was very interested, because I know my mom wants to grow blueberries, and fruit trees and stuff when they have a house here. Apparently they grow 7 feet tall, and the "rabbiteye" variety produces very large berries, and very sweet if you keep them on the plant long enough (although they don't produce as much in the first couple of years). I think one of these days mom and I will go to see for ourselves, because Ted said you could come and pick. He also grows figs, pear trees and grapes, so mom will probably want to pick up some tips in addition to the berries ;)

4. I think my parents have finally decided on building a house! There was this one house (and only one house) in which mom said, "I like it, and I don't want to leave." And the builder of that house agreed to build another like it somewhat cheaper. He couldn't sell that house cheaper, but due to the economy he found he could build another cheaper now. It has a kind of "French country" look. The problem is it's so easy to get used to good stuff. Mom still likes the house, but now she isn't quite as excited as when she saw it the first time. But obviously, she doesn't like anything else that is within the budget.

5. The other day, I found out about this book called "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die". Hehe, well I like that challenge. There's even a useful spreadsheet to keep track of your progress. So before I even begin, I'm already at 7% done due to reading some of those books, and I have only 11 books to read per year to finish the list ("if I'm a typical Western female") - quite manageable. Still I doubt I'll really follow it. There's too much of recent stuff in it, stuff that I might not really think is a must-read-before-dying. Instead I'm going to use it as a suggestion list when I have nothing better to read. The first two books from the list I decided to check out are: "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan, which I meant to read anyway, and "Neuromancer" by William Gibson, which is sci-fi, my favorite genre. Should be good, right?

Oh, and there's a problem here too. There are now two lists: 2006 and 2008 editions were different. So now there are actually 1,283 books to read if you wish to do both. Incidentally, "Pilgrim's Progress" is only on the 2006 list, but not on 2008 list. The problem is this: are there going to be more editions, so that the list becomes really never-ending? I guess, it's only a problem for those who really want to take up on that challenge of reading everything in the list, but not really for me, since for me it's just a "suggestions" list. Like, there's no way I'm reading "Ulysses" by James Joyce. Hahaha! I tried that, and it's no go. Oh, but I plan to read any books by Russian authors on that list in the nearest future! Especially since most of them are available at "War and Peace" is a toughie though; I so regret not finishing it before.

6. The summer has begun! Yes, here in Alabama it's very hot and humid, and the water is our pool is like bath water - it's not even fun anymore. The air is cooler than the water. It's hot in the morning, it's hot in the evening, and impossible during daytime. We went shopping this morning, and I was all wet with sweat when we got back. But to tell the truth, I don't mind it. I think I could get used to this. I just had to mention it ;) I think my mom is taking it worse than me. We have air-conditioning in the apartment of course, but for her it's too cool; so she feels like freezing in apartment and baking when out.

7. It's so hard to come up with seven things! I don't think my life is exciting enough to do this every Friday. It was just an experiment today, inspired by Conversion Diary. I think that's a brilliant blog. I'm looking forward to Jennifer (author of the blog) publishing her book. It's about her conversion story from atheism. Good stuff.