Sunday, November 21, 2010

Things that Must Go

I know it's almost Thanksgiving but rather than write a post where I list my many blessings, I'm taking a different approach this year. Instead, I'm going to share my list of things that must go. Sometimes we just need to rant. And, let's face it: this list is going to be much more fun to read than a saccharine gratitude list would be anyway.

1. I-15 construction. Really. It never goes away. The orange barrels are multiplying and replenishing the freeway as I type this.
2. The excessive use of the word "like." I find it, like, so hard, like, to follow, like what people are, like, saying when they, like, use the word "like" 65 times while, like, making their point.
3. Fannypacks (and the people who wear them). Need I say more?
4. Multi-level marketing schemes. Particularly ones that involve magic juice. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If it says it can cure anything because of special berries from some obscure rain forest in South America, RUN.
5. Movie remakes and sequels. I'm so over it. Surely, SOMEONE in Hollywood has an original idea. And, just a thought-- how did Alvin and the Chipmunks merit a "squeakuel"? What does that say about society?
6. U2. As one of my co-workers told me the other day (and I readily agreed), it is the worst multi-platinum band in the history of ever.
7. Bad reality TV. And, what's "real" about reality TV anyway?
8. Mullets (and the people who have them). Again, need I say more?
9. Spiders. Ew.
10. Infomercials. Why?
11. People who drive UNDER the speed limit. Speed up, grandma. Trust me, you're more of a traffic hazard in that blue Buick when you're going 50 on the freeway than if you would just risk it and go 65.
12. Nevada. It's a form of exile.
13. Airplane food. Not that you really get any because now you have to pay for it. But when you're starving on a 7-hour flight, sometimes you forget and shell out $10 for a tiny meal that barely resembles food. Then you wish you hadn't.
14. Thomas Kincaide paintings. Trite.
15. Cat calendars. Or dog calendars for that matter. Let's just say pet calendars in general.
16. Poorly-written love stories involving teenage vampires, werewolves and other dark creatures. It's okay to like these stories when you are 12. But once you move past 12, give something substantial a try. I know that sounds harsh but really, try it. You might like it.
17. The Footprints in the Sand poem. If you love this, I don't know what to say. There just aren't words.
18. Celery. 'Tis a pointless vegetable.
19. Winter. It's depressing. Just typing the word made me sad inside.
20. The Tea Party movement.

These are just a few of my least favorite things. Hope you found it enjoyable.

What's on your list of things that must go?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dad: 10 Things I Love About You

Yesterday my dad celebrated his birthday. I was thinking about how much I appreciate him and it occurred to me that I ought to let him know. After, all he isn't getting any younger! (Ha ha)

The post is late because we didn't have internet until now. Sorry about that. But here are 10 things I love about you, Dad:

1. I'm glad you are a democrat. You risk your life every day in Utah County.
2. You love to read. What more can I say?
3. Your appreciation of music. I'm glad you are playing the guitar again.
4. You are a great teacher. Thanks for the "teaching moments."
5. Who doesn't love an animal-lover?
6. Your seminary humor. Ok, so most of the time it makes me groan. But I appreciate that you can laugh at life.
7. Thanks for being an example of faith and steadiness. I admire your ability to rise above challenges and disappointments with dignity and grace.
8. You see the best in others even when they don't deserve it. Sometimes that includes me. Thanks for that.
9. You ran a 10k. That shows guts. Way to go.
10. Along with being a great dad, you're a great friend. I'm grateful for that.

There are many more things that I love about you. These are just a few. Thanks for always being there. Happy birthday!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Zen of Summer

It's been months since my last post. This is partly because I am sick of staring at a computer screen after a long day at work and so I don't want to when I get home, and partly because I have been too busy enjoying my summer to bother to write. But I recently read an article about the importance of documenting one's life so here goes. . .

It struck me today that it is almost the end of summer. And even though I have seen 27 other summers end and therefore should be used to it, I felt a little sad.

It has been one of the best summers I've had in a long time. Nothing amazing has really happened. I did not spend the summer backpacking across Europe. I didn't win a lot of money or meet a fabulous guy (I wish).

It was a great summer because I was liberated by the realization that the only person who places limitations on me is, well, me. And that realization is the key to moving beyond those limitations.

It's the best thing I've learned lately. And I've been enjoying life immensely since I've tried things that I previously told myself I couldn't do, like running a 10k.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I now believe ANYTHING is possible-- let's be honest, I'm too rational to think that. But I've definitely come to appreciate first-hand the overwhelming sense of accomplishment that comes with defying odds and pushing past imaginary or real limits.

It's a lesson I hope to always remember.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude (A New Deseret Book Title)

Lately I have been feeling extremely blessed. In fact, during the past few weeks, while I am in the middle of performing some menial task – laundry, driving to work, making dinner – a sudden awareness of and deep appreciation for the things and people I have in my life comes out of nowhere and hits me with the force of a meteor.

It sounds cheesy, I know. I promise I'm not trying to sound like Chicken Soup for the Soul or an Ensign article.

But truly, I am blessed and when I feel it so intensely, it's difficult for me to understand why I don't always remember it. In fact, I am ashamed to say there are many times when I refuse to notice the tender mercies; they are always there, but sometimes I don't want to acknowledge them.


The list of things I am grateful for could fill the blogosphere, but I do want to say that I am constantly inspired by the people around me. I've been thinking about each good friend that I have and how his/her individual gifts have helped me. One friend is particularly kind and thoughtful and truly exemplifies living a service-oriented life. Another friend has patiently stuck by me through my not-so-great moments during and since my mission and she always makes me laugh. Yet another friend has shown me it's okay to take risks. And another one portrays a quiet steadiness of character no matter what is going on that I truly admire. Of course there are more and I could go on.

But you get the point. To all of my good friends, I say thank you for looking past my faults, putting up with me when I have not been a good friend in return, forgiving me and sticking by me. You know who you are. Thank you.

And, of course, while I'm on the cheese-mobile headed straight to the sentimental shelves of Deseret Book, I have to give a shout out to my family. I love to spend time with them. I love laughing with my sisters and talking about tv shows and music and what's going on in their lives. My life wouldn't be complete without either of them.

I absolutely adore both of my parents. We are all difficult to love sometimes and I'm glad they still manage even when I fall into that category. I enjoy talking to both of them and I value my relationship with them more than pretty much anything else. Dad, thanks for laughing out loud with me and talking about politics and taking care of "my" senile cat. Mom, thanks for playing word games with me (that I always lose), discussing books with me and being my best friend.

In short, as grateful as I am for my iPod, I recognize that much of the reason my life has meaning and joy is because of the interesting and cool people that are a part of it. To all of you, thanks.

Okay. I'm done. You can go throw up now. :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Evening at Sundance

On Friday I had the opportunity to attend a Sundance gala and film courtesy of work (I was the RSVP contact for a Sundance business event and so I got free tickets to the film and the reception).

I had never been to a gala before, but I figured it was, like most galas I've read about, just an excuse to drink alcohol (and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had), eat tiny food off of toothpicks that caterers in black bring you, and scan the crowd, looking for interesting/important people that would probably not give you the time of day unless you're also interesting or important (I am neither).

Yep. That's pretty much how the gala was, only we arrived on time and so there was hardly anyone there (definitely no one interesting or important) and it was held at O.C. Tanner, where we could look at incredibly expensive jewelry that was certainly not meant to target people like me who were there because they'd scored a free ticket from work.

I don't care if I ever go to another gala again.

Getting to the film proved to be more exciting than the gala, but not necessarily in a good way. When we got to the Rose Wagner Theatre where the film was being shown, we had to wait to enter the auditorium even though throngs of people were passing us to go into the auditorium. This wouldn't have been such a big deal (because I am not naive and I understand that, like boarding an airplane, some people get to go first) except that these people who were going in did not have a different ticket than I did. Their Gap jeans weren't very different from my Gap jeans and I didn't see anything that suggested they were VIP. But they shuffled in while we waited. And every time I moved to try and find out what was going on, I got yelled at by a grey-haired Sundance volunteer who looked like maybe she needed a Valium. Or I needed one.

Whatever. After we learned we'd gone in the wrong door and that was why we had to wait, they finally let us through. Luckily there were still seats available (they give out more tickets than they have room for) and so we settled in.

The film, Get Low, was just was I needed to destress. Starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, the film was original, funny, charming, moving, and thought-provoking. Definitely worthwhile and I was reminded of why I love the indie film scene so much. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and I decided that, even though I think Utah is a boring state to live in 98% of the time (unless you are into the outdoorsy stuff), Sundance redeemed it a little for me.

I was hoping to see Bill Murray, but alas, he was probably busy eating tiny food and buying a diamond-encrusted Rolex at the gala.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Read Me, Seymour (A Book Review)

Last Friday, after what seemed like an eternal and what was an exhausting week at work, I came home ready to collapse on my bed and not move again until Saturday morning. To my surprise, there was a book on my bed with a note from my roommate who had just finished the book and thought I might like it.

Extraordinarily pleased, I opened it right away and began reading. From the first page, I was hooked. I was halfway through the book when this same roommate suggested we watch a movie. After the movie was finished, I stayed up until 12:30 because I just had to read the rest of the book. Yes, it was that good.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is a memoir told by 27-year-old Elna Baker, a young single adult who's forever trying to reconcile her doubt and her faith as she struggles to find her identity in the bustling streets of New York City.

It's charming. It's witty. It's laugh-out-loud funny. It's thought-provoking and moving. It's also edgy and irreverent at times. Sometimes it was painful. But I loved it because it is refreshingly honest and real. And I do not use the term refreshing lightly; think of an oasis in the middle of the Sahara.

She dares to say what probably many LDS young single adults think but few will admit. After all, it's not often kosher in LDS culture to be candid about sex, doubt or the desire to live in the world when not being of the world disappoints.

There were poignant moments when, even though it was her story, it seemed like mine. To me, that is great writing.

It's not a book that will ever grace the shelves of Deseret Book. In fact, most reviews I've read are polarized; people either love it because they can relate or they hate it because her honesty is too blatant, too edgy.

I was delighted. What a lovely way to spend a Friday night. Thank you, blessed roomie (you know who you are) for that little gem.