Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daffy and Donald in the Roasting Pan

Although turkey and ham have been our parents’ Christmas staples, last year Rebecca and I decided to serve our family roast duck. This was rather ambitious since neither of us had ever cooked duck fillets let alone two whole ones. Fortunately for those eating that evening, we were successful. My little sister took care of cleaning the birds, while I rubbed olive oil, dried rosemary, freshly chopped onion, freshly minced garlic, and freshly ground black pepper all over and inside their bodies. (I forgot whether we included dried basil.) It was like giving a slippery baby a bath…only with a lot less screaming. And it was pretty tasty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

TEDx Comes to Orange County This Summer!

This morning, I received some long-awaited news. My application for TEDxSantaAna – Sorry, Tustin, my love, but you don’t have any good venues! – has finally been approved. I hope all you local TED Conference fans out there will come participate. TEDx Events are comparatively small and low-budget. However, they play a significant role in carrying out the mission of TED: presenting to the laypublic “ideas worth sharing.”

Right now this is a one-woman and three halves-person project. You can see the work-in-progress by following the TEDxSantaAna blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 6, 2011 to be in Santa Ana. The time, venue, and confirmed speakers will be announced later.

Now, you’re probably wondering what’s the theme for TEDxSantaAna 2011. We’re going to have an all-homeschool-graduate conference. The list of speakers is growing, but it’s not too late to suggest a few more. If you know of someone aged 25-40 who was educated at home and who might have something fantastic to share from their field or discipline, not only on the stage with the local community but through video with the global online community, then please complete the TEDxSantaAna 2011 Speaker Nomination Form.

While you’re at it, please consider suggesting a (non-homeschooling related) theme for a potential second event: TEDxSantaAna 2012 Theme Nomination Form. I and my growing organizing committee appreciate the help. And speaking of help, if you’d like to help out as a volunteer or by offering a cash or in-kind donation, please send me an email. More information is forthcoming. Spread the word!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

WWII Survey Extended

Back in July, I solicited participants for my WWII Political Leaders Opinion Survey. Rather than being an overly serious research endeavor, it was merely a fun attempt to search for interesting patterns as to how Americans view World War II dictators and politicians.

After a half year of collecting responses, I’m very grateful to those who took the time to complete the survey. Unfortunately, primarily due to the growing number of unfinished attempts, I haven’t reached the desired minimum. So, I’m extending the closing date to the end of this coming July. In the meantime, I’ll continue to write commentaries about my own personal connection with each leader’s legacy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Facing Fear Fearlessly

I’m the world’s worst procrastinator. Every once in awhile, someone challenges me on this and walks away defeated. Another personality flaw I have is fear: fear of hurting or offending others, fear of what others might think, fear of how others might act, fear of rejection, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of looking like an idiot, fear of failure, etc. Put these two together, and I have a tendency to avoid interacting with people as long as possible to put off the expected suffering. Needless to say, procrastinating often makes things worse.

Why do I fear other people? In most cases, they aren’t in a position to cause me any serious pain or suffering. However, I place a high value on others thinking well of me. When I sense that my reputation with someone might change for the worse, it saddens me. Over the years, that has happen more times than I can count or that I’d care to remember if I could.

People have told me that it shouldn’t matter what others think about me, but I don’t believe my concern for my reputation is unfounded. God has been concerned about His reputation. Paul was concerned about how unbelievers perceived church elders and married Christian women. However, there certainly must be a line drawn somewhere between attention to potential problems and paranoia about them. The latter is absolutely stifling. And the more I hesitate to face the unknown at present, the more I feel unprepared to face an increasingly more difficult, unknown future.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holiday Blues

Merry Christmas, everyone! I’ve gotten off to a bad start. For Christmas, I caught a flu bug going around that then weakened be more a cold, and just when I thought I was better, the cold reappeared for New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s the cold weather. Maybe it’s the let-down after weeks of ongoing stress (primarily work). At any rate, I feel a bit unprepared for beginning 2011 with a fresh start. It sort of took me by surprised…between midnight coughing fits. I hope you, dear reader, fared better, and after partying all last night, still remember your resolutions. Happy New Year!