Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Moon

On Saturday I caved. I hadn't planned on seeing New Moon since I didn't think Twilight was particularly good. But my curiosity got the better of me so I ended up seeing New Moon with a couple of friends.

My thoughts? I was planning on writing a review, but I read Eric Snider's review instead and found that I agree with him 100% and he says it so much better than I ever could. The only thing that Eric doesn't mention, possibly (and hopefully) because he doesn't feel this way, is that seeing Taylor Lautner (Jacob) run around in half of the movie without a shirt makes the movie worthwhile. No, I'm not 17 or a 40-year-old bored housewife who reads the Twilight series like it's the Bible; but I do have eyes, and let's face it–tan and toned looks good no matter what.

I also agree with Eric that his rejected Twilight and New Moon screenplays are more entertaining than either of the movies so if you need a good laugh, check them out. My friend thought acting these out with sock puppets would be fun, so there's a good idea for Family Home Evening.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some Turkey Humor

I know it's been a couple of months since my last post and I thought I should post something today because it's Thanksgiving and I love Thanksgiving. But rather than post a long, boring list of 12,000 things that I'm thankful for that I don't want to write, and let's face it, you don't want to read, here is some silly turkey humor for you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Bee" Open

Life is too short to not try new things. Especially things that maybe we've never been open to in the past. For me, this involves sports. Most of you who know me well know how I feel about organized team sports. Lame. Boring. Pointless. 

But lately I've decided that attitude sucks. Sure, just because I'm not an athlete, doesn't mean that I can't give those who are a chance. Maybe I'd even like it.

So I went to my first Bees game tonight. And you know what? It was really fun. Part of the fun was that we got the royal treatment. We had a suite filled with yummy food and drinks. The seats were great, inside and out. 

But most of the fun was talking with the people around us and cheering for the Bees when they did something well (which was not often, unfortunately. They lost to the Nashville Sounds by a landslide). It was just fun to be part of the crowd, singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the top of our lungs. (Interesting side note: We looked two suites down from us and saw President Monson and his wife also cheering the Bees. This confirmed my theory that it's okay to do fun things on Monday nights for FHE).

So I was reminded that it's important to "bee" open to new things in life. (Of course, within reason-- I'm not suggesting anyone turn their home into a meth lab). I just think we miss out on a lot when we refuse to look beyond our established interests and hobbies. 

Sure, I like to read. But tonight I discovered I like baseball, too.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Long Overdue Update

I know. It’s been a long time since I last wrote. Probably you have given up on even checking my blog (except you, mom) and I can’t blame you. The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of trips, birthdays, moving, sickness, and the usual summer mayhem.

I don’t really know where to begin so I think I will just highlight what’s been happening.


In the middle of July, just when the heat of our lovely semi-desert was becoming unbearable, our family loaded up the car for a beach vacation on the Oregon coast. It took a million hours to get there, but luckily no one cried, threw up, wet his/her pants, or yelled the whole way there. In fact, we were all pretty good. Things only got a little tense when we were looking for Interstate 20 and got lost because Oregon does not believe in clear road signs.

Highlights of the trip include discovering Rainer cherries (yum!), spending a week in a beachside condo, walking along the ocean, visiting the Newport Aquarium, whale watching (we saw two), Tillamook cheese and ice cream (best chocolate peanut butter ice cream I’ve ever had), beautiful scenery, a trip to see Harry Potter when it was foggy, playing games, eating crème brulee with Maren and Camille at a fancy little local restaurant, listening to the ocean, and visiting Cape Perpetua, which is a spectacular peak that overlooks ocean and forest.

I really love the ocean. This is probably because we do not have one in Utah (although some people here think that will change if California legalizes gay marriage). Anyway, all in all, the trip was a blast and I’m glad I got to spend a whole week wreaking havoc in a different state with the four people in the world I love best.

Las Vegas

Just three days after returning from the cool Oregon coast, it was time to head to sizzling Las Vegas for a birthday weekend. I was a Vegas virgin (and I still am a virgin, by the way—just not a Vegas one), but I went with my good friend who had been a few times before, so she knew what she was doing.

I wasn’t really prepared for Las Vegas. For some reason, I thought the Strip was MUCH smaller than it actually is. This means I brought all the wrong clothes and definitely the wrong shoes. I’m pretty sure I was the only person in Nevada wearing long pants. Yes, I was uncomfortable, thank you very much.

But we had a great time. Highlights include walking the Strip (which included being dazzled by the glitz and glamour), visiting the dolphin and tiger habitat at the Mirage, sharing a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3, winning $2.25 at the slot machines, driving to Primm to ride this giant roller coaster, attending the Tournament of Kings dinner show at the Excalibur, visiting a really neat Titanic exhibit (no, Leonardo was not there, the locket was not there, and Celine Dion did not sing), watching my friend ride the rides at the top of the Stratosphere because I’m a chicken, walking down Fremont Street, enjoying excellent conversation, and sleeping really well because our hotel room stayed dark in the mornings.

I do not love the desert. Probably because we do have one of those in Utah. But I enjoyed my visit to Sin City and I thank my friend who abandoned her baby to come play with me for the weekend.

This blog post has run on too long as it is so I will just briefly mention that I had a lovely birthday thanks to family and friends. Fast forward to last week, moving week. Unfortunately, I started feeling unwell on Wednesday, but these guys in my new ward had a truck that could move my bed on Thursday, so I had to just do it. On Thursday I had a nasty fever and a stomach ache, but thanks to some truly celestial people, I got moved. I got to know my new place really well over the weekend since a terrible virus declared war on my body and I spent the next few days sick, sick, sick. I should give a shout out to my new housemates for supplying lots of Sprite and patience. You know who you are! Thanks!

Anyway, there are the past few weeks in a nutshell. I’m going to go take a nap now because all this typing made me tired.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blogstalking and Soap Operas

I have a confession. I am a blogstalker. True story. I LOVE to read people's blogs, even if I haven't spoken to them in ten years. Lately, while I'm busy not dating or training for a marathon or finding a cure for cancer, I peruse blogs.

Recently (as in three months ago) I found a blog list for my high school class. So as I've been following and reading my former classmates' blogs, I have come to an interesting realization: blogstalking is a lot like watching soap operas. 

I remember when I was younger (as in somewhere between the ages of 5 and 15), I learned that we don't watch soap operas because they're addictive and they distort our perception of reality and they make us want things we can't have like handsome men and fancy cars. I'm not sure who said this-- it could have been a teacher, a parent, a church leader, or something I'm completely making up right now. In any case, I remember soap operas being a "no-no." (Note: this has not stopped me from indulging in guilty pleasures like Beverly Hills 90210, Grey's Anatomy, and The Hills.)

Blogstalking is no different than obsessively watching The O.C. or Days of Our Lives (by the way, whatever did happen with Bo and Hope?)

Many of my former classmates are now married with children. They make cutesy blogs that look like digital scrapbooks and frequently post pictures of their children, who usually have blond hair, trendy names like "Kyler" and "Braxley", and disturbingly high IQs, which are miraculously manifested at the age of two.  A nauseatingly cutesy sign declaring "We are a happy family" can literally be found on one of them (yes, I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw it), but they all say it one way or another. Fulfillment has been found in family and friends. 

Those that aren't married live another kind of life. They have recently climbed Mount Everest (with pictures to show) and now they are building orphanages in Africa. Or they are living in New York City and spending their evenings sipping wine and engaging in intellectual banter with artists and writers and scientists. The world is their open book and they aren't afraid to scribble their names all over it.

Then there is me. 

I turn 27 next month and my blog does not fit either category (which is one of the reasons I refuse to add it to my high school list). I read these blogs, and think to myself, in my 26 years of life what have I accomplished? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I have not written a book or produced a documentary about the prevalence of AIDS in South America. I don't have the doting husband or the adorable kids (it's probably for the better-- my kids would most likely look like trolls anyway). Basically, even though I'm a normal job-holding, taxpaying citizen, I'm a menace to society because I have no idea how to French braid, I'd rather die than climb Mount Everest, and I learned the definition of "mens rea" from Legally Blonde. 

In other, more concise words, blogstalking is akin to torture. And yet I keep going back for more. 

See. They're addictive, they distort my perception of reality, and they make me want things I can't have.

Just like soap operas.

But I like them anyway.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Determined to be Happy

Last night I attended the Saturday night session of Stake Conference. I was scandalous because I was wearing pants (nice black ones mind you, not jeans) since I had been at the U's library for a few hours and didn't bring a skirt to change into before walking over to the Institute building. I thought about going home to change, but traffic and parking was horrible since there was an event at the U and so I just decided to go the way I was so I wouldn't miss any of it.

This session didn't disappoint. I was worried when the first two speakers were a newlywed couple who had been assigned to speak on marriage. Trust me, the last thing singles want to hear is a cheesy couple gushing over the wonders of marriage and how you should try it too, especially because it's required for exaltation. We already KNOW that. I don't think there is a single single (ha ha) who doesn't get that the Church emphasizes celestial marriage. 

But you know what? The talks were good. They were both older and had been in singles wards for a long time and knew what it felt like to do the righteous thing and come to Saturday conference and then leave feeling like a failure because they are STILL burdening the kingdom with their singleness. So they didn't focus on that. Instead they shared their personal experiences along the way and some things they had learned. Rather than being depressing, their talks were inspiring.

But the highlight of the evening for me was my stake president's talk. I have been in this stake for a while and every talk he's given has been great. I really like him. But this talk,"Determined to be Happy" was was especially poignant. He didn't share any magic formulas for how to be happy; instead he focused on how we need to diligently and obstinately make right decisions and apply the Atonement. Confession: diligence is not my strong point. It's something I definitely need to pray for and strive for (diligently, ha!) because in the end it's what separates the wheat from the tares, the happy from the unhappy.

President D. also shared a special message from President Monson that was for our stake particularly. The prophet said two things that struck me. First, he talked about how we need to make the choice of whether our standards will be low or high. Second, we need to be joyful that we get to be on the earth now. I realized that I need to improve in both of these areas.

I won't bore you with further details, but I'll just say that President D. told us that God wants us to be happy, that as we get our lives in order, He will pour out His blessings upon us, yes, even including the miracle of marriage. He will help us determine our own happiness if we let Him. 

I thought about it the rest of the evening and I realized that too often I place my happiness in something else. A great career, an educated, sharp mind, a thin, healthy body, stylish clothes and other material comforts; all of these are good things and certainly worth working toward but these are things I sometimes think will determine my happiness when really I'm missing the mark. These things may come or not, but it is only as I seek to know and follow God's will for me that will determine my happiness, regardless of my external circumstances.

I'm glad I showed up to Saturday night Stake Conference in my pants. I came away determined to make the changes I need to in order to determine my own happiness.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can Phantom Leave No Traces? I Hope So!

There is good theatre, there is mediocre theatre, and there is bad theatre.  On Wednesday night, I experienced bad theater. Actually, to be fair, it wasn’t the production itself; the acting was decent, the set was good, the singing was great. But the material left a lot to be desired. And some of the important characters were miscast.

A friend from work had free tickets to Hale Center Theatre’s production of Phantom and so she invited a few of us from work to go. For those who don’t know, Phantom is basically the story of Phantom of the Opera, except with boring music and terrible writing. Okay, so it really can’t even be compared to Phantom of the Opera.

It was painful.

I knew it was going to be a struggle when the first three songs all sounded the same.  Oh, the actors could sing, but none of the music was memorable, except for some annoying “fa la la las” and a meaningful ditty that included shrill repetitions of “melody, melody, melody.” While this song played, I closed my eyes and prayed for the “melody” to stop. It didn’t.

But it wasn’t until the Phantom came out that the play became laughable. With the dark organ music playing (milk chocolate compared to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s bittersweet dark chocolate version), I expected the Phantom to fit the part of the mysterious and dark tortured soul clad in black. Instead, out pops a short, slightly chubby blond in a white peasant shirt and black pants.  He looked like Seminary Phantom, or Casper the Friendly Phantom. And even when he did get angry at the characters, I half expected him to suggest that they all discuss their issues over milk and cookies.

They even named him. Erik. When I think of the name Erik (spelled with a k), I think of burley Vikings conquering territories, not some prissy guy wearing a mask over half of his face inviting beautiful young women on picnics (yes, the Phantom takes Christine on a picnic and sings about the trees. It was charming).

And the guy who plays Christine’s lover looked like he’d just gotten home from his mission the night before. There was nothing debonair about him. In fact, the whole production looked like BYU Phantom of the Opera.  And it wasn’t pretty.

The lines were laughable. At one point, Christine’s missionary-esque lover tries to woo her with a night out in Paris. He brings champagne and asks her if she likes it. When she says yes, he says, “Well maybe I shouldn’t give you any.” Of course, she asks “Why not?” to which he replies, “How can you give champagne to champagne?” Wow. What a line. How can she choose between he and the Phantom? Suddenly I understood her tough choice.

The director’s commentary in the program explained why he thinks Phantom is the greatest musical ever. I would share his exact words with you, but unfortunately I stuck my gum in the program and threw it away. Basically, he wanted to show that evil is misunderstood and so he chose to portray the Phantom as a mostly nice guy with low self-esteem. Oh, and sometimes he kills people, but it’s okay. He’s been abused. I could appreciate the different interpretation, but it ended up being flatter than Jennifer Aniston’s stomach.

To sum it up, as my friend put it, there was definitely no music in the night.

On Friday I see Wicked. I am expecting that to be much, MUCH better.





Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Signs of the Times

Lately I have seen a lot of interesting signs around the city that I have deemed blogworthy. I wish I would have taken pictures of these signs, but alas, that would require me figuring out how to use my camera phone in less than 15 minutes. So just use your imagination.

Favorite Creepy sign:

While driving on State Street one night, I noticed an Artic Circle sign that said “Find furry friends in your kidsmeal.” Eeeewwww! I’ll pass, thanks.

Favorite Why-Did-You-Even-Make-A-Sign-That-Says-That sign:

One day, when I walking through Temple Square to go home from work, I saw someone holding a sign that said “Chaos is Satan.” I suppose that could be true, but I wasn’t sure why it was necessary to share that with the rest of humanity.

Favorite Only-In-Utah sign:

Next to the 600 North overpass is a sign that says “End Polygamy Now” and then provides a polygamy hotline number. When I drive past it I think maybe it is time to get out of Utah.

Favorite Maybe-You-Should-Have-Thought-This-Through sign:

In Springville there is a billboard along Southbound I-15 for bail bonds that says “Get out of jail now.” This would make a lot more sense if it said “Get your loved one out of jail now” or something like that. Because, let’s face it, those who are need of bail bonds because they are already in jail probably aren’t going to see that billboard from their cells. Maybe it is meant for those who are in the police cars on their way to jail and they can text for a bail bond.

Those are some of my favorites. I will probably make this a regular, okay, more likely a semi-regular feature on my blog. So if you see any funny/bizarre/creepy signs you’d like featured, just send them to me and I’ll put them in the next edition of Signs of the Times.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Addendum to the Previous Post and a Plea for Help

Okay, so I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm about to join the cutting club or something. Re-reading my post, I guess it does sound pretty melancholy. Sorry about that. I was actually in a good mood when I wrote it; maybe a little too contemplative though. 

I am not depressed.

I AM, however, in desperate need of cute sandals that don't cost a fortune. They need to be semi-professional too. I've looked at a few places, but I'm not going to pay $50-60 for sandals. I also don't like Payless because those shoes always fall apart soon after I buy them and they hurt my feet. 

So if any of you have suggestions of places where I can find nice, reasonably-priced sandals, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meditation on Spring

I am feeling lucky today and it has nothing to do with it being St. Patrick's Day. No pot of gold for me.

Every year I forget how the winter has lowered my spirits until spring comes around. Suddenly, I feel alive and hopeful again. It's a time of rejuvenation and remembrance.

This morning, when I was enjoying a lovely walk down the hill to work, I felt lucky to be alive. And I remembered that I am. I'm lucky that I can see the flowers blooming, hear the birds chirping, and feel the sunshine and cool air penetrating my skin.

Sometimes I forget that these simple things are extraordinary blessings. Like everyone else, I have sorrows. Some are deep and cast dark shadows over my heart. And I question and doubt because all I can feel is cold and all I see is darkness.

But nature teaches me things. I believe in the natural rhythms and cycles of the earth. No matter how desperate I feel during winter, I trust that spring will come.

Today it came. 

And I remembered that the rhythms and cycles of life are not unlike those of nature. Sorrow will not last forever. I just have to trust that joy will one day come.

For me, this is much easier said than done.

But today I am lucky because I remember that this is true. And it makes all the difference.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Adventas in Strippa Shoes

Like the old song says, "rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

Actually, just Mondays. I'm okay with rainy days. But I dread Mondays. I'm always half-tempted to pray for appendicitis on Sunday night just so I can avoid the inevitable, unbearable Monday. Except that I can't actually afford to have my appendix removed since I have the nation's second-worst insurance program (the worst insurance being none) and so it's actually cheaper to face a no good, very bad Monday rather than an emergency health crisis.

Maybe you hate Mondays too. If so, this post is for you. Because who can resist smiling when you see a picture of strippa shoes?

Deep in the ghetto of New Orleans, on a nasty, roach-infested street called Orange Blossom (such a deceitful name), there lived a beautiful maiden named R'Lyndria (we called her Lyn) who took her clothes off for money (but we won't dwell on that). As a bright-eyed, eager missionary, ready to sally forth and preach the word, I wanted Lyn to find happiness. And she did end up getting re-baptized (long story). She also showed us her strippa shoes. They were amazing. We even got to try them on and prance around while we read inspiring scripture. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of them while I tried them on, but my companion had her picture taken in them. So keep in mind that I cannot take credit for being the foot model in this photo.  

Hopefully this has cheered your dreary Monday somewhat.

Or perhaps you are perplexed, as I have been, as to why strippas need shoes at all. Need I say more?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The [day after] Mardi Gras Special

I was going to post this yesterday when it was actually relevant, but things just got a little too crazy.

Four years ago, the day after Mardi Gras, I returned home (wearing Mardi Gras beads, of course) after living in New Orleans for more than a year. If somebody had told me before I left what a big deal Mardi Gras is, I wouldn’t have believed them. But after spending two Mardi Gras seasons there, I discovered that Mardi Gras is as important as Christmas, if not more. Elaborate celebrations begin about a month before Fat Tuesday. There is a parade on Veteran’s Blvd every couple of nights, which makes traffic a nightmare. It would sometimes take us more than an hour to get someplace that normally only took 15 minutes from where we lived. Specialty Mardi Gras stores and King Cake bakeries are be madhouses the entire month. If you want a King Cake from somewhere besides Wal-mart, you have to order early. Schools and businesses are closed the week of Mardi Gras. People run around in glittery masks and ball gowns (or nothing much at all) and there’s enough alcohol flowing in the city to fill up the Mississippi. The eat, drink, and be merry crowd comes into town from several surrounding states. In short it’s a carnivalesque feast of indulgence, masquerade and spectacle.

The day after Mardi Gras, the city is still. If you didn’t see the Mardi Gras beads that are casually strewn on trees (and trust me, they stay there a long time), you’d never know that just hours ago a vibrant New Orleans was pulsating with life. It’s a striking contrast, particularly from an outsider’s point of view.

Mardi Gras is insane. Shocking. Horrific, even. But in a strange way, it’s beautiful because it’s important to the people of New Orleans. It’s a reminder to them of where they came from and who they are. And who can blame them for wanting to preserve and celebrate that aspect of their identity?

In Utah, our Mardi Gras comes in the middle of the summer, when we dress up as pioneers and pull wagons down the street in a parade. There are fireworks, and the homemade root beer is abundant (because everybody knows the pioneers had root beer). Businesses are closed and we spend the day commemorating the people who made it possible for us to have what we have and become who we have become.

This doesn’t mean that pioneer stories don’t get old; I personally have been tired of them since age six. (Probably because I don’t actually have any pioneer blood in me—I’m not a purebred, more of a mudblood, like in Harry Potter).

But if there’s anything my time in New Orleans taught me, it’s that claiming and celebrating our heritage is essential to the human experience, and that, perhaps, when we examine traditions in other places, we might find they aren’t so very different from our own traditions.

Happy [day after] Mardi Gras.



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reflections on Raisins

I recently saw the movie Benny and Joon. My favorite line in the whole movie was "when it comes down to it, raisins are just humiliated grapes." 

I couldn't agree more. I despise raisins. They ruin everything! Cookies, cakes, I've even seen them in main dishes (horrifying, I tell you). Several weeks ago, I purchased some trail mix at Costco. To my dismay, there were three times as many raisins as there were M&Ms. Which means I had to do a lot of digging to find an adequate amount of chocolate to go with my almonds (which I ate first), peanuts, and cashews. I can't say I'm entirely surprised-- trail mix companies are renown for getting the proportions of chocolate and raisins wrong. When confronted about this, they usually mumble something about raisins being healthy. But really-- can something that from far away looks like a  shriveled dead fly possibly be healthy? I think not. 

The only "humiliated grapes" I like are the ones from California that sing and dance. (They do a particularly funny rendition of "Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer" which can be found on youtube). Who can resist food that possesses unusual talent? I like Veggie Tales for the same reason.

Nevertheless, I can think of only one time where I would actually contemplate eating a raisin. Let's briefly consider what happened to the Donner-Reed party. If I had been there, I'm fairly certain I would have preferred those little boxes of Sun Maid raisins to munching on my family and friends.

But then again, I may have just chosen to starve.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An Announcement


I have an announcement.

It may come as a shock, but the word "losing" is not spelled "l-o-o-s-i-n-g." Due to the economic turmoil we are currently facing, I have been receiving quite a few e-mails at work from people who are concerned about "loosing" their money. And you know what? It's driving me crazy! Yes, it is silly that such a thing can make me want to pull out all my hair, but it does. My only talent is that I can spell and I find it disturbing that 21st century America does not value my talent like it should. I do actually wonder how people can expect themselves to be taken seriously when they can't spell. 

I know, I know. Pride goeth before a fall.

I realize that I am preaching to the choir. You know how to spell. Otherwise we wouldn't be friends. Just kidding. Mostly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I know you are all intrigued by the title of this post. Don't get too excited-- I firmly believe that a blog is not the place to share Deep Dark Secrets or make Shocking Announcements like I'm having an affair/I'm bulimic/I'm not sure I want to be a [insert gender] anymore/I'm convinced I'm actually a dragon.

These and many more secrets and announcements would be fascinating, but I'm going to stick with the more mundane. Here are just a few things that you may not know about me. Some are embarrassing things I've done while others are just some strange qualities I have.

1. When I was in fifth grade, Joy Bowen broke her arm while playing Capture the Flag. When she came to school the next day, she had a new blue cast and EVERYBODY wanted to sign it. People were nice to her during the whole six weeks that she wore the cast. Slightly envious of the attention she was getting, I decided it would be a good idea to break my arm, too. My cast would be green.  So one afternoon I repeatedly jumped out of our apple tree, trying to land on my arm in just the right spot to make it break. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it didn't work and after an hour I gave up.

2. I love the smell of lemons and limes, but I can't stand the smell of oranges. When someone is peeling an orange near me, I want to vomit. If you walk into any lunchroom in a high school or junior high (or, as the case was today, the 7th floor of Zions Bank), you will be hit with the violently nauseating odor of oranges mixed with sour milk, sweat, and garbage. Disgusting! Even in non-lunchroom scenarios, when someone has an orange, I smell the vile lunchroom scent and I shudder. 

3. Recently I saw The House Bunny on DVD. I am not proud of this, but it's the truth. It's almost as embarrassing as voting for Bush. To protect the innocent, I'll just say that a friend rented it and I agreed to watch it with her/him. Probably the hour I spent trying to break my arm was more productive than the 90 minutes I spent watching this awful, AWFUL show. After it was over, I immediately read Time magazine, but I fear the damage has been done; the brain cell loss was just too much.

4. I like Hip-Hop. I blame it on living in New Orleans, but the fact still remains that I enjoy "getting down" with the beat, and "shaking my booty" to the music. Secretly, I would like to take a Hip-Hop dance class, but I currently don't feel a need to make a public spectacle of myself so I refrain for now.

5. I fantasize all the time about packing my bags and leaving on a whim. This is not because I am dissatisfied with my life here in the Beehive state, but because Curiosity often shows up, luring me with tales of adventure that can only be had outside the hive. Recently, Curiosity has been trying to convince me to flee to the exotic isles of Greece or the colorful streets of India. Just when I'm about to yield to the cunnings of Curiosity, however, the painfully pragmatic Prudence intervenes, usually by sending me a letter called "bank statement."

I had a few more to write, but I just looked at the clock and alas, my 15-minute break from homework was over a half hour ago. I suppose I will have to discuss my views on Anita Stansfield novels at a later date.

C heerio!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clips from 2008

Probably the three or four of you who actually check my blog thought I would never post again. This could have been true, except it would have been tragic if the last thing I'd posted was about Twilight

So here are some new thoughts. As we have seen another year "die" (I love the way Tennyson puts things-- and I do love "Ring Out Wild Bells" even though most people hate it), this is the time to enthusiastically make new unrealistic goals and write them down.

But I'm not going to do that. Sorry to disappoint.

Instead, I've been thinking about some of my favorite 2008 experiences:

1. Going to Monterey with my mom was a blast. We went whale-watching, ate at an amazing French restaurant called Fifi's where we could only afford the soup (but it was the best soup I've ever had), sat on the beach and talked, visited Point Lobos where we pretended we were photographers and took a million pictures of things with my mom's new camera, and laughed a lot. The sights were spectacular, but mostly I loved spending the time with my mom.

2. I discovered a new favorite play when we spent a week in Cedar City and saw "Cyrano de Bergerac" at the Shakespeare Festival. I was so moved by the beautiful language and story of the play that after it was over, I smacked into a glass door when trying to exit the building because I was still thinking about the play. Who knew great art could be hazardous to my health?

3.  During the summer I walked to the Broadway Theater after work to see some independent films. I love independent films and wish there was more appreciation for them. My favorite for the year is definitely "The Visitor", a touching story about a man who befriends an immigrant from the Middle East. Probably Republicans wouldn't enjoy it, but I loved it. Another great one was "Lars and the Real Girl". That one can be enjoyed by both Demos and Republicans, but probably only the bizarre people in both groups... ah, independent films!

4. I wrote a short story called "Destinations" which I entered in the 2008 Irreantum contest. It didn't win, but it was the first thing I had written in years and I was pleased with how it turned out. It reminded me that I like to write and should do it more often.

5. Books are always an important part of my year. In 2008, I read voraciously. I don't know that I can name a favorite, but I do love Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. Her stories are somber, but her prose is fluid and powerful.  She is definitely one of my favorite authors. 

6. Speaking of books, I discovered the SLC library and spent a considerable amount of time there. With my card, I can check out up to 100 books at a time. I've never quite reached that limit, but when I wasn't in school I did often have 15 or so checked out. I love the library-- it has the best selection I've seen in a long time.

7. In 2008 I finally went back to school. Sure, I'm not officially in the grad program at the U, but I took a class and that was huge for me. I loved it, too-- we read Don Quixote, Tom Jones, Evelina, The Wanderer, and Joseph Andrews, along with many critical essays that reminded me that English scholars are weird but I love them and want to be one. The class was a great experience and I look forward to (hopefully) taking another.

8. I moved to a great little apartment by the Capitol. I get tired of the word "cute", but the apartment truly is cute. The incredibly steep hill it sits on isn't particularly cute (especially during winter), but I love the apartment anyway.

9. I discovered Les Madeleines. Most of you know I love French anything and everything, but I especially love French pastries. Les Madeleines is the best French bakery I've been to since I was in, well, France. Delicious!

10. My best times in 2008 were spent with family and friends. Camille and I discussed books and played Guitar Hero. Maren and Camille and I talked about boys (they're weird), and I substituted at their school, Walden. My dad and I talked about the election, got frustrated with Republicans, and rejoiced when Obama made history. My mom and I had many conversations about writing, played lots of games, and laughed a lot. I loved meeting Nikki's new baby, Adria (she's adorable) and playing Phase 10 with Kim while we drank Cokes from Sonic.

All in all, I feel 2008 was a good year. Parts were hard, especially during April and May, but I survived and I've entered 2009 feeling like I accomplished things that have helped me progress. I love that feeling.

I look forward to another good year.