Monday, December 29, 2008

70 Things - Say what?

I filled this out...and I regret it. It's not even revealing. There's only ONE question that is fun.

70 Facts about me:

1. What are your initials? SMA
2. What is your favorite thing to wear? Jeans and a blouse...and a really sweet jacket.
3. Last thing you ate? Pop-Tart
4. One place you will NEVER eat at? I'm not sure I follow.
5. I say Shotgun, you say: Wedding!
6. Last person you hugged? Willingly? Holly. Forcefully? Brad
7. Does anyone you know wanna date you? I don't know
8. Would you date anyone you met online? I could never bring myself to meet people online
9. Name something you like physically about yourself: My lips...
10. The last place you went out to dinner to? El Sombrero - best salsa. Ever.
11. Who is your best friend? My mother
12. What time of the day is it? 12:31 AM EST
13. Who/What made you angry today? I don't get angry
14. Baseball or Football? Football
15. Ever gone skinny dipping? No
16. Favorite type of Food? Sweet potatoes, Pad Thai, pork... French toast. It's very hard to say.
17. Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
18. Do you download music: No, sadly...
19. Do you care if your socks are dirty? I make it a point not to wear socks when I can, so I can't dirty them.
20. Opinion of Chinese symbol tattoos? Eh. Other cultures are cooler.
21. Would you date the person who posted this? No.
22. Has anyone ever sang or played for you personally? Sometimes I can convince my dad to play for me
23. Do you love anyone? Of course
24. Are colored contact lenses sexy? No. I believe that all this fake make-up and touch-up stuff has ruined Darwinism.
25. Have you ever bungee jumped? No, and I probably never will
26. Have you ever gone white-water rafting? No
27. Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you? Yes, I once received flowers from a trucker at IHOP
28. How many pets do you have? My family has a dog, Rusty. He is not my pet, though.
29. Have you met a real redneck? I live in Ohio... need I say more?
30. How is the weather right now? Blustry and getting colder
31. What are you listening to right now? My sister, coughing and wheezing and the comforting hum of the furnace
32. What is your current favorite song? Decode by Paramore or Supermassive Black Hole by Muse or... or... there are so many
33. What was the last movie you watched? Ratatouille
34. Do you wear contacts? Yes, sometimes
35. Where was the last place you went besides your house? On a walk to the high school with Mackenzie and the dog
36. What are you afraid of? drowning
37. How many piercings have you had? 2 - one per ear
38. What piercings do you want? I want to pierce the middle of my ear, but it'll never happen
39. What's one thing you've learned this year? That positivity is a choice, and a whole lot more fun than negativity... also, that you can find half-timbering in Germany and Scandanavia.
40. What do you usually order from Starbucks? What'sa Starbucks?
41. What Magazines are you reading? I don't read magazines
42. Have you ever fired a gun: does a laser gun count?
43. Are you missing someone? I've got everyone I need at home, now. But I do miss my roommates.
44. Favorite TV show? The Office and Chuck
45. Do you have an obession with WoW?
46. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb? Jodi Foster - don't worry, I don't see it either.
47. What celeb do you look like? I am a celebrity and I happen to look like myself
48. Who would you like to see right now? Nobody - I looke absolutely wretched!
49. Favorite movie of all time? Ever After
50. Do you find yourself loved? I'm pretty sure that My dad and Mackenzie love me.
51. Have you ever been caught doing something you weren't supposed to be doing? Oh yes. The worst was gossiping about a coworker on IM, to that coworker...whoops, wrong window! SORRY!
52. Favorite smell? Men's cologne, styrofoam, anything Apple/Cinnamon in nature
53. Butter, plain, or salted popcorn? butter, plain, or carmalized
54. Ever put a friend in a cop car on What?
55. Ever been in a cop car in real life? Yes, I was picked up on the side of the road
56. Has anyone you were really close to passed away recently? No, thank heavens
57. Our Lady Peace or Nickelback? Hmmm... Neither?
58. What's something that really bugs you? Oh there is so much! People who don't accelerate on the on-ramp to the highway. Motorcycles taking up an entire parking space.
59. Do you like Michael Jackson? Oh, he is a weird dude. But I like his music from back in the day.
60. Taco Bell or Burger King? Taco Bell
61. What's your favorite perfume? Romance, Ralph Lauren
62. Favorite baseball team? I HATE baseball...
63. Ever call a 1-900 phone number? Not ever
64. Nipple or Nose rings? For what?
65. What's the longest time you've gone without sleep? 72 hours
66. Last time you went bowling? Way too long ago... I think it was for a birthday party last March
67. Where is the weirdest place you have slept? Lol. A loading dock in the Wilk, my car when I was only a couple miles from home, the side of the road in the middle of a blizzard, my front room floor on a newspaper, my bedroom floor on a laundry pile, the bathtub, the loveseat in the front room...
68. Who was your last phone call? To? From? I don't know... I don't talk on the phone when I'm HOME. Probably Jessica.
69. Last time you were at work? Sometime in November...
70. What's the closest orange object to you? A pen

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Miracles

Christmas Holiday Trivia

Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.

The first Christmas cards were vintage and invented in 1843, the Victorian Era.

"Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

If you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", you would receive 364 presents.

Clearing up a common misconception, in Greek, X means Christ. That is where the word "X-Mas" comes from. Not because someone took the "Christ" out of Christmas.

Traditionally, Christmas trees are taken down after Epiphany.

In Mexico, wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year.

Christmas is widely known for its source of miracles, and it is no wonder - afterall, the very reason we have Christmas is to celebrate the greatest miracle of all - that is, the birth of our Savior.

This Christmas was full of small miracles for me. It was financially impossible for our whole family, and yet, it worked.

The fact that I was able to make it home was Christmas miracle #1. About the beginning of November, I realized that I would not be coming home. I didn't have money, my parents didn't have money... and then I lost my job, so there was really no way to come. I made alternate plans. I built up these plans and tried to make it the happiest alternative to being home. I thought I was OK with it. Instead, after Thanksgiving, when the Christmas music started playing and finals were about to begin, it started to sink in. I couldn't listen to "I'll be Home for Christmas" without crying. And then, out of the blue (because they are amazingly sneaky) my roommates presented me with a ticket, sending be back to Ohio. How I love them! Ashley, Becca, and Kira are absolutely top-notch. I cannot say enough good about them, because they are the real deal. They are truly the best friends and roommates, cheerleaders, mentors, examples... They are just good people and as close to me as my sisters. I love them dearly.

Christmas miracle #2 involves the simple fact that I made it to the airport. Not only that, but I was able to go later than I planned on. Thank you, Carla. The fact that we didn't die on the way there was a total bonus.

Christmas miracle #3 caught me completely off guard. Most of you know that my relationship with my brother is a bit...strained. We don't always get along, and mostly I think it is because we are so much alike. Stubborn. Unbending. Outspoken. You know - all the good qualities in a person. However, when I came home, he SPOKE to me, and not only that, but he's continued to do so. I went with him to his knee operation, and we laughed and joked.

Today, and a part of Christmas miracle #4, Mark woke us up in the best of moods, hobbling around like Tiny Tim (his and my simultaneous joke) spreading Christmas joy. And this was despite the fact that we had not put out a tree and there were a handful of presents sitting in the middle of the front room. Most the gifts were things that were needed: socks, a robe and slippers, a shirt. There was nothing big and nothing fancy. Certainly nothing expensive. And yet, I have to admit. I am so impressed with my family... my siblings. We've had Christmases where we have been completely materialistic. There were things that were put on lists that were not received and tempers would flair. Or, the wrong color was bought or the incorrect character. This Christmas none of us were expecting anything. I think we were all just grateful that at least we would be together, and so the few things that we did get were graciously accepted and appreciated. I think it should be like this from now on. (Except, I would like to see a tree next year...) Who cares that others got iPod touches or whatever the latest crazes are. I'm just so grateful that I'm home with my family, who I love and treasure.

Christmas miracle #5 is the fact that it wasn't a white Christmas. This may be a bad thing for some, but I'll tell you what, the fact that it rained was so GLORIOUS. Rain means it is too warm for snow, and dang it, I was so happy about that.

I am so grateful for this time of year. I am thankful that it is a time set aside to be with family and loved ones. We are blessed to have this time where we are off of work (if we are lucky) and school, and able to have that time to relish in each other's company and cultivate relationships that would otherwise be neglected. I love my family. I love being home.

More importantly (and there are few things that are more important) is that I love my Savior. I'm so grateful that He was willing to come and live as a mortal man and struggle through life. I have no doubt that he lived a life of poverty and need. He survived to fulfill His mission, and was able to develop and keep the important relationships in His life. He showed us what was important, and it sure didn't include an iPod touch or gadget that cost a ton of money. He set the example, and then paved the way for us to follow. We are extraordinarily blessed with this knowledge. We have the scriptures to teach us of His gospel and the words of His prophets. We have our own modern day prophets to help direct us through this life.

Merry Christmas, I hope it is everything that it should be.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


One of the points of writing a blog is to allow people to get to know you. Things that the reader may never learn with basic interaction can be unfolded through a small posting at 2:21 a.m., and really, I think it is the most fun this way.

As I traverse through this life of mine, I am prone to introspect and learn things about myself, that I don't think others would know unless I really told them. Some of the more embarrassing discoveries, I'll keep to myself...for now, and others, I will share.

  1. I fall to sleep with my hands by my face. I don't know when this started. I can't remember having always done it, but I was watching a movie or something and some incredibly untalented actor pulled her hands to her face - resting just under the cheek that lay on the pillow, and I one sleeps like that. Untrue. I sleep like that. In fact, I wake up with my hands uncomfortable swollen and asleep because they have been smashed by my face. It's most comfortable for falling asleep (especially when my fingers are a bit cold, the coolness feels marvelous on my cheeks) and most uncomfortable when I awake. I continue to do it, regardless.
  2. I absolutely abhor getting ready for bed. It's why I'm still awake at this hour. If I could just crawl into my bed, sans brushing my teeth, wrestling with the decision to don the retainers or not, washing my fact, etc. etc. I would. But as it is, I have several things before actually retiring that must be done, and I am avoiding them. I've been a procrastinator my whole life - I don't see why my bedtime routine would be any different. (I know, Dad, it's retarded. Really. I do, understand...)
  3. My life plan changes almost daily. Have we had this discussion before? I'm sure we have. Currently, I am set to graduate after spring term with a B.S. (this is ironic to me, as I have always prided myself in being able to spout all sorts of BS for essays, papers, etc.) of Geography in global studies. However, since I will not be attending grad school (at least not with the current life plan), it is very difficult to say what I will be doing next. Perhaps I will attempt to get a job at an airport, so I may fly for free. This is a brilliant idea. And then I want to attend nursing school so that I would work as a labor and delivery nurse. I think that would be marvelous. And then, I have thought that perhaps I would like to go to hair school. I think being able to do hair is quite a talent and skill that I just HAVE to have. Can you imagine the benefit of being able to do your daughters' hair without forking out $80 every time? Plus, you meet friends at school who are able to do your own hair, or at least, you learn how to do it so you can do it yourself. I have a hairstylist, and she is fantastic. However, she is in Michigan; and I don't know that we'll ever live in the same state again. It would certainly be convenient if I had someone else I trusted to do my hair. Besides, wouldn't it be great if I could figure out what to do for Mackenzie's hair? I think so. After that, maybe I'll get married. I've always thought I'd be married by now. Of course, I never wanted to admit that I was one of those girls that would get married at 18 or 19 and begin popping out babies. That wasn't really the reason I came to BYU. But...actually... I could have just been lying to myself. It has been noted, that I have been quite ready (or at least in my head have been) to be married since I was 16 or something. I quite fancied myself to be in love with Elder Jensen, and had he not had a girlfriend waiting for him when he got back, I think we could have married. HA! Well, in my head we could have.
  4. I absolutely detest a filthy bathroom and a messy kitchen. However, I thrive on the clutter in my room. I don't know what it is. I like not folding my laundry and not putting it away. I detest laundry. I only do it because I LOVE the smell of clean clothes, and frankly, because it is gross not to. Really. Clutter does not bother me, though. And I can not - for the life of me - understand how someone who loathes clutter can tolerate a spotty faucet, footprints in the bathtub, or crumbs on the kitchen counter. It is beyond fathomability. (Obviously not a word, but I think I like it...)
  5. It doesn't take a lot to gain my admiration. I'm really quite conceited (something I never realized until just now.) I. Am. Conceited. Hmmm... imagine that. I am incredibly self conscious, and often possess a low self-esteem. But I like when people talk to me, and more importantly about me. I don't own a lot of life experiences, or grand stories. I am not often witty and funny, and only know very minor details on things that would be considered intelligent conversations. However, I like to talk about myself. Much more, I like when people show an interest in me. I realize that this is basically innate. But some people like it more than others, and I think that if anyone wants to win my affections, they merely need to take the time to ask about me sincerely. Case and point, my roommate's boyfriend. He has made it a point to question me about a certain guy I like. Not every time I see him, but often enough to check the status and recent developments to show that he cares what is going on in my life. My old bishop remembered that I had had a bishop that didn't remember my name, ever, and so he would go out of his way to make sure I knew that he knew who I was. I was thrilled. The Mexican guy we delivered Christmas presents to last night, tried so hard to include me in the conversation by speaking English, even though he COULDN'T (I had to mentally turn on my brain to try and understand what he was saying) and I was so completely touched by his sensitivity. And, this conceit is the only thing that allows my crushes to linger for longer than a fleeting second.
  6. I am a romantic. I know you all know this. I have made absolutely no attempt to cover it up. I try to balance my...sheesh, is there even a word for it? I try to balance my wild immagination and heart's desires with practicality and a more realistic sense of what life is about - what love and marriage and companionship is about. I try. And there is a side of me that knows. I know. I know that life and marriage and having a family and love is complicated and hard, and work. I know that things are not perfect. And life is not magically transformed when you meet the person you are going to marry, or when you marry said person. I know that people don't really feel their bones dissolve with a simple kiss, or quite literally feel butterflies for the rest of their life. I don't even think that there is such thing that getting carried away with some passionate moment... I mean, it sounds so cliche. But still, I can't help but hope... but think... one day. It has to happen for me. Right? That's why it is taking so long. And by so long, I mean that of course, why it hasn't happened by the time I turned 19. After all, I'm sure that my soon-to-be 16-year old brother has had more experience with girlfriends than I have with boyfriends. (Not something I should admit to cyberspace, on a blog read by my parents and grandparents...but I can't help it. You have to feel a bit of pity for a 23-year old girl duped by her much younger brother, right?) And so... it has to happen. One day, I am going to be blissfully happy with some man (a REAL man) that turns my knees to jell-o. And if you don't believe that, keep you opinions to yourself. I can't think otherwise. Not yet. Maybe if I'm 40 and unmarried, I contemplate thinking something differently. Until then...
  7. Church starts a half hour later tomorrow than normal. I am not sure how this half hour change is going to make all the difference as I am now going to bed at a much later hour than I ever should contemplate before attending church. I shall retire immediately...that is, after I've brushed my teeth, convinced myself NOT to pick my face despite its looking like that of a leper, wrestled with the decision to wear my retainers (I think not) and washed my face, etc. etc.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This may have been the best semester I've had at BYU. After three years, I think I deserve it. I don't know what it was... but everything seemed different.

  1. I didn't work full-time. Granted, that meant having to accept a generous donation from each one of my aunts and uncles in order to pay off the rest of my tuition - but I some how made it through with their help, and the help of my parents.
  2. I didn't want to transfer. I didn't even think about it! Of course, it might be because I am so dang close, that thinking of transfer would be insane. But on top of that, I LOVED my classes and I never felt completely overwhelmed.
  3. I had friends and a SOCIAL LIFE! It was amazing. I did homework, and yet I still had time to play. I've never had so many friends in all of my life, and I've been having SO MUCH fun!
  4. I can absolutely see the end of this adventure called BYU. I can't believe it, only two more semesters.
  5. I didn't have to email my teachers asking for an extension or forgiveness, I turned in everything and on time and I'm not stressing about my grades. Whatever I get, I'll be pretty pleased with it.
  6. I got A's (A's!!!) on tests and projects and papers...
  7. I was able to actively do my calling at church; and I enjoyed it! Not only that but I did dinner group and church activities. Whoa. Participation - who knew how much it enriched your life?
  8. I had FRIENDS IN CLASS! Which meant studying with people... actually studying. Holy cow!
  9. I LOVED my classes. I can't believe how much I actually enjoy my major, and the classes in my major. I was expecting to HATE political geography, and it turned out to be totally cool. I like it. I like geography. Amazing.
  10. I'm done! I finished! I don't have to worry about school until January 5, 2009. Oh man!
This is wonderful!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Mom is Cooler than your Mom

Today... is my mom's birthday.

I'm sure that she doesn't want to be reminded, mostly because birthdays are not a HUGE thing at my house, and sometimes it is just a reminder that perhaps even though we are a year older, nothing much has changed. I won't make an annoucement as to how old she is...becuase some people don't like that. What I will do, is explain to her why I love her so gosh dang much.

  1. My mom is my best friend. The absolute best friend in the entire world.
  2. My mom is a great listener. She will pick up the phone 9 out of 10 times when I call her, and then proceed to listen for at least an hour of what is going on in my life. Everyday.
  3. My mom cares about her kids.
  4. My mom is generous. With her time, with what little money she has. My mom will give her kids everything. And does, on a quite regular basis.
  5. My mom is talented. From baking to decorating cakes, to keeping the house clean, to staying up all night helping with projects she knows nothing about... I don't know, she can figure out ANYTHING and do it.
  6. My mom is handy. It must be from living with my dad, but she's learned how to roof a house, fix disposals, build shelves, hang drywall, putty walls, install tile (ok, maybe Dad did that...)
  7. My mom is prayerful. I know she hits her knees hard, every night. Mostly praying for the sake of her kids, which we all appreciate (whether we know we do or not).
  8. My mom is funny. Need I say more? We laugh, a lot.
  9. My mom is patient. When she has five kids, who are all as idiotic as the first, it takes a lot of patience.
  10. My mom is forgiving. We don't treat her the way she deserves to be treated, always, and yet, she still lets us come back. Amazing.
  11. My mom is peacekeeping.
  12. My mom is clean. Thank you for teaching me how to have a clean bathroom. And that you need a clean kitchen to cook in. I am a little sorry that I never picked up on the clean bedroom thing.
  13. My mom is loyal.
  14. My mom is a hard worker.
  15. My mom is a good daughter.
  16. My mom is loved by everyone - I don't know a single person who doesn't like her, and who wouldn't? Honestly, she is the coolest.
  17. My mom is sporty. From attending all of my brothers' and sisters' football, basketball, and soccer games, she knows a little bit about sports. But on top of that, she is a mean raquetball player and used to play basketball, volleyball, and (sometimes still does) softball.
  18. My mom is a cheerleader. See above. And then know, that my mom would go to my dad's games that he refereed and would be in the stands cheering for him.
  19. My mom sets traditions by not setting traditions. We never know when we are going to put up the Christmas tree, but that doesn't matter - it's whenever we feel like it.
  20. My mom has a testimony of the true Church of Jesus Christ. This shouldn't be number 20, it's so important.
  21. My mom knows how to do Thanksgiving the RIGHT way.
  22. My mom loves her parents.
  23. My mom gives good directions. Even if she is 2,000 miles away, she can still get me to the Bishop's house in Lindon. Amazing.
  24. My mom is a confidant. I can talk to her about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. And often do...twice.
  25. My mom knows how to make food, the right way. I don't care what you say, if pecan pie, crescent rolls, cake frosting, strawberry pie, and chili aren't made the way my mom makes them...they're wrong.
  26. My mom likes to try new things - sometimes it takes a little persuasion, but she'll do it.
  27. My mom will go on all the rides.
  28. My mom is beautiful.
  29. My mom is a good travel buddy.
  30. My mom is helpful.
  31. My mom is sensitive.
  32. My mom is temple worthy.
  33. My mom has great taste in men. Have you met my dad? He's pretty fantastic.
  34. My mom is spontaneous. I always love when she decides that it is time to switch the furniture around. I get that from her.
  35. My mom is wise. Even if I don't listen... I often find, she knows her stuff.
  36. My mom is a good wife. Faithful, true, and she knows who her priority is. I think my husband will be very grateful to my mom for showing me who really matters in life.
  37. My mom is a trooper. With back problems, lack of sleep, or whatever ailment, she's still up and moving around doing whatever needs to be done.
  38. My mom is exclusive. She has her small group of friends, and likes it that way. And it's no coincidence that at family reunions, our family all stays together in the same cabin or with each other. We're pretty tight-knit and it's because of her.
  39. My mom has good taste in music - mostly, because she lets me listen to what I want to in the car. Whether she listens to the same stuff or not when I'm out, there would be know way of knowing... (I'll just overlook the Keith Urban CD in your car.)
  40. My mom is faithful.
  41. My mom is obedient.
  42. My mom is cool.
  43. My mom is good to have around at a doctor's appointment. Let's just cut to the chase, it's the real reason I don't go to the doctor - because she isn't around. Hehe
  44. My mom is easy to be around. I don't think I could ever get sick of her. In fact, I wish she were here with me RIGHT NOW.
  45. My mom is absolutely, the most wonderful person on the face of this earth.
I love you Mom. I hope you have a good day, even though you are working; even though you are poor; and even though I am not home to celebrate with you for the fourth year in a row. I miss you, but you know I am thinking about you all of the time. Else, why would I call so much?

Talk to you soon...
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Family Home Evening


Currently, my calling in church is that of Family Home Evening (FHE) "mom." It's always been one of those callings that I dreaded, and honestly never wanted to receive. However, if that were really the case, you would think I would have been more willing to attend FHE in the past. I am notorious for receiving callings that requires me to do something I don't usually go. (As seen with previous callings such as Enrichment leader, seconds counselor in the Relief Society - who happens to be OVER enrichment, etc.) So when I received the calling at the beginning of the summer, I was a little chagrined to do it. Only, I was given a pretty good group and a good co-chair (also known as the "dad") and it was very unlike the experience Amy and I had when she was the FHE mom when we lived at Branbury.

I was having fun.

When groups changed at the beginning of fall semester, I was very sad to see my group split - but for like, two seconds. Our FHE group is simply the very best a "mom" could ask for. We have excellent attendance rates (though I am still missing some of my "kids" on a regular basis...) and we have a lot of fun.

The very first activity we did was for Halloween. Instead of decorating pumpkins like all the other groups, we decided we wanted to find a pumpkin patch. When no patches were to be found, we settled for sneaking into HeeHaw Farms and playing on their hay slide. When I realized that my group was willing to break the rules for me, or for the sake of free and fun, I realized we would get along great. We escaped without having to bail anyone out of HeeHaw jail, and thus began our fun semester.

Other activities have included making hand turkeys. Which I wish we had taken pictures of, because they were fantastic. Riding in the car without our seatbelts (we are rule-breakers, afterall) and playing get to know you games. The more I've gotten to know my family, the more I just like them! They are hilarious, and always game for just about anything Colin and I prepare. And I really appreciate that.

When it was suggested that the groups change to accommodate the changing semester, Colin and I equally had a fit. We were very clear about how much we love our family, and that we do NOT want to see it changed. I've really enjoyed working with Colin, he's been an excellent "dad" or co-chair, and has been so dedicated to this family and to his calling. It's made me want to be a better FHE leader, which is saying something - considering, I didn't take the calling all that seriously.

Hopefully, we will get to keep our family as is. But if not, I am thinking that this ward is so full of awesome people, that it might not matter. No, I take that back. I would be devastated if they changed out groups. But I think I would be able to get over the separation anxiety that changing groups would entail - just in time to be put back in enrichment.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Twilight Movie Review

Becca and I went and saw the matinee on the Friday after it came out...or the Friday it did come out, I suppose. Anyway, I was very glad that we didn't try and sit in the front of the theater, or have to wait in line for an hour before the show in order to get a seat or whatever. We had decent seats, only surrounded by people still in their pajamas and with blankets wrapped around them (it was 11 a.m.) and I hoped very much that there wouldn't be screaming, squealing, or basic raucous when Edward appeared on screen, or Alice or any of them. I was nervous that I would have to deal with over excitement and giggling the whole way through. There were only two or three people that I really wanted to maim during the whole movie. I was surprised at the low number.

As you know, I've been keeping a close eye on the whole movie and its production. I've watched every clip and outtake, scene the stills, and basically anything that was posted on the internet. I checked faithfully every Twilight Tuesday for interviews with the actors and like such as. I knew the movie was going to not be everything that it could be - everything the book was. Mostly because the screenwriter was not credible. She should not have been entrusted with Edward and Bella and the Cullens as a whole. I think if they had a different screenwriter, the movie would have been fantastic. As it was, we had to deal with uncharacteristic phrases like, "It was an adrenaline rush. You can Google it." *rolls eyes dramatically*

Still, knowing that this movie was going to suck - I couldn't stop myself from giggling like several of the annoying extremists in the theater when Charlie cocked his gun before meeting Edward or when Edward jumps from Bella's truck and she scolds him because she has neighbors. I really did like the scene when Edward is wearing his little raybans (is that what they are called - the really neat sunglasses?) and escorting Bella to class while everyone stares... of course, it was ruined when Angela says, "Oh. My. God..." and then Becca leans over and recites the rest, "...Becky, look at her butt!" The way Bella discovers Edwards was a vampire was terribly rushed. Of course, it had to be...but still. I see why they condensed scenes and combined them. They didn't need Jacob to explain all the legends, the Cold Ones...they needed a reason for Bella to break off from Jessica and Angela while shopping for dresses. And in the book, we can read Bella's mind, it's her story after all, but in the movie we can't - they had to set it up. Still, the restaurant scene is pivotal in the book. It's when she and Edwards are finally, nearly, completely honest with each other. And the waitress was ridiculous - did anybody notice how AWFUL her hair was? I did like the kitchen scene, although Esme was sort of goofy and Alice's "You do smell nice" was creepy. The Claire de Lune scene and scampering up the trees as if Edward was Spiderman instead of just an incredibly strong vampire was weird...and unnecessary. And yet, the scenery was beautiful. They chose an awesome location for filming. The meadow scene was also incredibly disappointing. It was supposed to be their first date. Planned. Instead it was some random skipping portions of school. I felt like they were trying to have this deeply spiritual, romantic moment and then they skipped off back to class. Not to mention, it was still dark and creepy a bit, whereas it was supposed to be a NICE day. The baseball scene was probably my favorite. Oh, and I was terribly disappointed with how easy it was for Bella to escape to the ballet studio. I mean, seriously, Alice and Jasper were strict prison guards, she was lucky to have gotten away in the book. And they just made them both so aloof. I don't know. It was sort of retarded. And yet I expected the whole movie to be. I was just hoping to be pleasantly surprised, and yet, I wasn't.

I think that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart did a good job. I loved the guy that played Charlie, and that was really my favorite part. We got to see more of Bella's relationship with her dad. A lot of my favorite scenes had Charlie in it. Actually, I was pretty happy with the cast in general. I only hope that Taylor Lautner will rise to the occasion when he has a bigger part in New Moon. He was rough around the edges, and it didn't matter because he's not so important in Twilight. But next movie, he'll be critical. Do you think they'll get someone stronger and bigger for him after he phases? I suppose not. He might be OK.

In the end, having low expectations seemed key. Since I wasn't too terribly ecstatic about it (though, admittedly, got more so as the release date approached) I didn't have to worry about being let down. Still, it was Twilight. And I'm a Twilight addict. Therefore, I enjoyed it. I liked it - OK? I like Edward. Even in the movie when they give him uncharacteristic lines, and I had to laugh out loud at the "death glare" Robert Pattinson tries to deliver when he first smells was ludicrous... I will inevitably own this movie. I will probably see it again when it comes to the dollar theater. Maybe twice - depending on who I can get to go with me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Kira, Becca, me, Ashley

So my roommate, Becca had to work yesterday. Sometimes when she does she gets home really late. So I didn't think anything of it when she got home at a quarter to six.

But apparently, what she really was doing was baking a cake over at Apartment 304 (Skye, Jake, Levi, and Travis').

So when I announced that I had to shower before FHE, because I hadn't for the day, my roommates all looked at each other, and was like - you can't. Apparently they had plans. After much b
ribery and threats of being tortured with cold water and/or invasion of the bathroom...I promised to take a fast shower; (I know this comes as a shock to most of you - but I can do it.) and I did. I just, may have, not put on make-up and I definitely did not do my hair...which sort of ruined the pictures. Oh well.

We headed to the Thai Kitchen, where sometimes they can speak English, and sometimes they can't. They are always incredibly slow. Don't expect refills. And yet, the food is DELICIOUS. My absolute favorite. Yum... I just get happy thinking about it, even a day later. Never mind what it does to my insides afterwards.

Chris, me, Colin, Jackie, Ashley

We got home just in time for FHE. Despite our group getting split up, we had fun. After we viewed everyone's pictures from the photo scavenger hunt, I was hanging around socializing - but everyone cleared out pretty fast. So when Ashley suggested we leave, I didn't really have a choice.

Apparently Ashley was trying to get me to open the apartment door, but I was too slow to pick up on that - so she had to open it, and when I walked in Skye was laying on the counter, similar to the way people may lounge on a piano... and I started laughing and was like, "Oh, well...this is quite a surprise!"

But that was just the beginning.

Colin, Kevin, and a few others jumped out from hiding spots. Then they were like, "There's a present in the laundry room," And I was thinking it was gift that Becca bought, because she had come home with something earlier that week that she wouldn't let me see. So I open the laundry room and Jake is sitting there with his arms wrapped around his knees, and he was like, "Did anyone order a BYU student?" And then got off and started dancing. Of course, it was very funny.

A few more people showed up and Becca came out with the cake that she had so deviously gone and made under pretense of fellowshipping one of Skye's roommates and they sang. We listened to the Twilight soundtrack, and chatted it up.

Kevin, Skye, Colin, me, Chris, Jake, Levi, Bryce

Becca really had bought a present though, so she brought it out and they got me a popcorn popper! I, apparently, told Becca that I wanted one the VERY first day we met. Which is true. I often walk by the air poppers and want to buy one every time I go to the store. Now I can find something else to pine over. Hooray! I love air popped popcorn!

It was a pleasant surprise, and I was very grateful to have such good roommates and friends. I love them all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On my nerves...

Things that are really getting on my nerves today:

  1. People who expect you to read minds when you never claimed to be psychic or Edward.
  2. People who do not understand what an acceleration ramp is.
  3. Motorcycles that take up a whole parking place - especially when they have a section reserved specifically for them.
  4. Being poor.
  5. My alarm clock - it is certainly doing an inadequate job. Not that it really mattered today.
Things that are not on my nerves today:
  1. Good friends who love and support me.
  2. My sister, Amy. I love her.
  3. The weather - it is absolutely lovely today.
  4. Surprisingly, school. Though I still wish it were closer to finishing time than it really is.
  5. Food. I will be hunting for it now...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

8 is Gr8

8 Things I am passionate about

1. My family
2. Etiquette
3. Reading
4. Thanksgiving BEFORE Christmas
5. Traveling - please ignore the fact I've not done any
6. Prop 8
7. MY music
8. Seeking happiness in all the eccentric ways I'm able to find it

8 Words or Phrases I say often

1. Also...
2. SLAY!
3. No problem
4. SORRY! (thanks, Kira)
5. as it were
7. like such as
8. Interesting.

8 Things I want to accomplish in the coming year

1. Graduate
2. Have a "magical" evening (not sure what that entails, but I want a real night that can be legitimately termed as magical!)
3. Leave the country
4. Tour the east coast
5. Re-cultivate my relationship with my sister
6. Get a new job
7. Start learning a new language
8. Finish my book

8 Places I would love to go or visit

1. Scotland, London, Ireland
2. Austria
3. France, Germany, Italy, Spain
4. Thailand
5. New Orleans, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia
6. Morocco
7. Belize, Mexico, Cuba, St. anything in the Caribbean
8. Romania, Czech Republic, Turkey

8 Things I need or want (sadly mostly material things came to mind)

1. Winter clothing
2. an iPod
3. a passport
4. an alarm clock that actually wakes me up
5. a new bed
6. kitchen stuff, for when I become a culinary artist
8. tuition

Eight Shows I Like to Watch:

1. The Office
2. Chuck
3. Pushing Daisies
4. House
5. those medical anomaly shows, like the man with no face
6. ER
7. Bones
8. Samantha Who?

Eight Restaurants I Like to Eat at:

1. Costa Vida/Cafe Rio
2. Thai Kitchen or Thai Pepper (I can't remember what they changed the name to)
3. Any Chinese
4. Zupas
5. Gurus
6. Rumbi
7. Stan's Diner
8. Chili's

Eight Things I've Done Today:

1. Talked on the phone while eating and driving
2. Stayed awake in class
3. Watched a movie in Italian
4. Texted 15+ people
5. Went to the post office to mail my sister a birthday gift
6. Took a test
7. Wrote on a chalkboard
8. Perused the library for European cookbooks

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward to:

1. Graduating
2. Thanksgiving in California
3. The end of this semester
4. Seeing my family
5. Christmas
6. EEE - European Eating Extravaganza
7. Going to Europe in 2011
8. Going to bed in 3 minutes

Eight Things on my Wish List:

1 - magical night
2 - boots to keep my feet dry this winter
3 - good grades at the end of the semester
4 - tickets to see Twilight
5 - ,000 dollars for tuition
6 - happy family members
7 - days where I'm actually on time to things
8 - hours of sleep

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sooner vs. later: Is there an ideal age for first marriage?

I was discussing this very same topic with a coworker of mine who got married at 20. Most of my friends have gotten married between the ages of 19-24, so it is an interesting spin. In the church we are pretty much raised to think that you get married, and the sooner the better. I think trends have changed a little bit in the last few years, although, not evident in the examples of my friends...

Basically, we are groomed as Young Women to become wives and mothers. I'm not against this. In fact, I am very much a fan of traditional roles as a wife and mother - and yet, I think it puts a skewed perception on what college is for. Young Men are taught that they are to go on a mission and then immediately start searching for a spouse, who typically happens to be an itty-bitty freshman on campus.

For those of us who make it past graduation without a husband or wife in tow, I think the question is often asked, "What's wrong with you?" I don't think there is anything wrong, of course (or not always) but more that we are starting to take other things more seriously. An education is critical to be successful. Life experiences like studying abroad, or traveling for internships, or just living life before settling down is becoming increasingly more important. On top of that I think we are beginning to realize that this decision that some people have come to decide at 19 and 20 has eternal consequences. When we get married in the church, we are getting married for eternity! And I don't think that is a choice we should be making without very serious reflection (not that my friends didn't take the time to realize this... only, sometimes I wonder how much hormones were involved over the actual realization of the fact).

So is it so bad that we are getting married a little later in life? I've heard talk of this in church about how we get married younger because we know that marriage is important, etc. And that those that are putting marriage off are secular and of the world and things like that. I have to disagree. The church seems to be following a similar pattern. I've lived in two wards where the median age is 25 or older, and we are all single. I think this is a sign that marriage is being taken more seriously. And I think I am finally going to make it to 25 without being thought an old-maid because I'm still single.

Emily Becker wanted to be married by age 30. In June, at age 28, she and Joe Becker, 29, were married. They were the last of their group to tie the knot.

Even though they began dating in 2003 — around the same time as most of their friends — "it took us almost twice as long to get married," she says. "We both knew we wanted to marry each other. We just kept having to put it off."

The reason? Careers. Both are doctors. They spent four years in medical school. Three years of residency were in different cities. They got engaged in October of last year and now live in San Francisco.

"If we had been together in the same city, I think maybe we would have married sooner," he says.

Like many young adults today, the Beckers waited to marry until they felt the time was right. Others are also holding off while maintaining a single-but-together status that can last years. That may be one reason the age at first marriage has been climbing steadily for all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The median age is now the oldest since the U.S. Census started keeping track in the 1890s: almost 26 for women and almost 28 for men.

And as young people wait longer to marry, there is growing debate over whether waiting is a good idea, and if so, how long is best. Those who advocate marriage in the early to mid-20s say that's the age when the pool of possible mates is larger, it's when couples can "grow up" together and it's prime for childbearing. But others favor the late 20s or early 30s, saying maturity makes for happier unions and greater economic security — both of which make divorce less likely.

As a result, researchers, sociologists and family experts are taking a closer look at the attitudes behind the trend to see if there really is an optimum age to marry that maximizes the benefits of matrimony and minimizes possible problems.

"It's better not to get married as a teenager," says sociologist Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University. "Beyond that, I don't think there's an ideal age."

But people do have opinions about it, and those beliefs are clearly changing. In a 1946 Gallup Poll, most found the ideal age to be 25 for men and 21 for women. Sixty years later, in a Gallup telephone poll of about 500 adults, the ideal age had increased to 25 for women and 27 for men.

"A lot of girls have this ideal age for when they want to get married, but a lot don't vocalize it because you don't want to jinx yourself," says Jessica Lim, 30, a graphic designer in New York.

"For me, the ideal age was around 28. I think I was wanting to meet that goal and feeling like I needed to be there at 28, where my fiancé, who is just a few years older than me, wasn't there yet."

It's well documented that those who marry before age 20 are two to three times more likely to divorce, researchers say. But studies are still trying to determine whether marrying at certain ages may improve relationships and help marriages survive.

A study being drafted by sociologist Norval Glenn of the University of Texas-Austin finds that those who marry in the early to mid-20s are slightly happier and less likely to break up than those who marry in the later 20s, but are significantly more satisfied with their relationships than those who marry at 30 or older.

Older may be better

But research by sociologist Paul Amato of Pennsylvania State University for a 2007 book he co-wrote suggests quite the opposite. The studies for Alone Together: How Marriage in America Is Changing used different data and different criteria and found distinct benefits to marrying older.

"We found that the delay in marriage was actually a good thing and it actually improved the average marital quality by a fair amount," he says.

"Older marriages (30s vs. 20s) were more cohesive in the sense they did things more often together as a couple. And couples who married at older ages were less likely to report thinking about divorce or that their marriage was in trouble."

Two yet-unpublished papers co-written by Jason Carroll, an associate professor of family life at Brigham Young University, reviewed data collected in 2004-06 based on student questionnaires of 448 items. One study of 788 college students ages 18-25 from five campuses across the country analyzed marriage readiness by asking "Do you think that you are ready to be married?" Most weren't: 60% of men and 67% of women answered "no," and only 9% of men and 5% of women said "yes." Almost one-third of men and 28% of women said "in some ways yes, in some ways no."

The other study asked young adults and their parents about the best age to marry. The sample of 536 students from the five campuses said 25 was ideal, while parents — 446 mothers and 360 fathers — said 26 was better.

Debra Lermitte of Abington, Pa., has four children and two stepchildren, 26 to 31. She first married at 19 and was divorced after 15 years. She says it's better to wait: "You get to experience life and know yourself better, and hopefully choose someone more compatible once you become your own person as an adult."

That's the message Jamie Hayworth, 25, says she received from her parents. A mental health therapist in Torrance, Calif., Hayworth earned her graduate degree in June. She and her fiancé became engaged in February. Hayworth says she used to worry that she would be too selfish to be married.

"I just felt like for me, I was still thinking in terms of, 'What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to accomplish? Where do I want to live?' " she says.

This relatively new clash between marriage and individualism is discussed in Cherlin's new book —The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today, to be published in April.

Not until they're 'ready'

"People are more concerned with their own self-development than they used to be," Cherlin says. "People are postponing marriage until everything in their lives is working in order. The order means after you've finished your education, perhaps after beginning your career, and increasingly after you've lived with your partner. They're postponing marriage until they think they're ready for it."

Brian Benator, 23, an assistant men's basketball coach at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., graduated in May from the University of Georgia and is pursuing an MBA while working full time.

His focus is on career and financial stability; marriage is not on his mind just yet.

"I think a year or two after college is the time to learn about yourself personally, as well as in the working environment," he says. "Hopefully, I'd like to be settled in the next six years, but it's easier said than done because I'm going to be moving all the time."

Marriage used to be the first step into adulthood, but now it is often the last, which Cherlin says has some implications: A lower proportion of today's young adults will ever marry (though most still will), and they likely will have fewer children.

"I'm not one who thinks waiting to marry is causing a problem here. I think the lives of today's young adults are becoming better and their marriages are becoming more stable. Where I see a potential crunch is young adults who want to have more than two children," he says.

Those who do worry include John Van Epp, a clinical counselor in Medina, Ohio, and family therapist Alan Singer, who has offices in New York City and Highland Park, N.J. Both say many young adults view marriage as something in the distant future.

Van Epp presented a program this summer about the repercussions of marrying in the late 20s and early 30s. Singer's blog urges parents to change the wait-to-marry message. He's particularly worried that medical advances in treating infertility are giving couples the wrong idea.

"It gives people confidence — almost invincibility — that we can delay these things and science will rescue us," he says.

Fertility researcher Richard Paulson of the University of Southern California says that, as a general rule, women should start having children no later than age 30 and be done by 35, when statistics show fertility declines.

The federal government is also taking new interest in these young adults. The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, a government-supported clearinghouse, hired a market research firm to survey 3,600 adults ages 18-30 and will target that demographic with a website expected to launch next year.

Although preliminary, the data have identified distinct but very diverse attitudes, ranging from those who can't wait to marry to those who are afraid to marry and others in between. Just over 20% of those sampled have very low motivation for marriage; they view it as a risk that interferes with their independence or they were fearful of divorce.

Researchers say divorce rates are down for the better-educated. Those with college degrees marry later, have better jobs and more income. But an analysis of 2006 Census data by the American Council on Education finds that only 35% of those 25-29 have an associate's degree or higher.

The Beckers' extended education may bode well for their marriage, even though Emily Becker says it's tough to see their friends already settled with kids as the Beckers just begin married life.

"I've now found out marriage is such a wonderful thing, I wish people would have told me to get married sooner because I had found the right guy," she says. "But I'm actually glad we waited because we knew what we were getting into."

I refuse to listen... you cannot make me!

The annual WalMart boycott has begun. I made the mistake of going to said store earlier last week, needing just a few items for dinner group. As I was strolling along the aisle, looking for stir fry seasoning, I noticed that the music in WalMart was somewhat different. There were strange bells, and it was all classical, and I couldn't peg exactly...

And then it hit me.

EVERY YEAR I have to go through this. The WalMart fast, all because they play Christmas music from November 1 until December 31. Can I just remind you... that there are at least two holidays in between that time (three if you are counting my birthday) - 3 HOLIDAYS! And they are just skipping right over the most important holiday of the autumn season - that being, THANKSGIVING!


(Just so you remember, the WalMart boycott will only last through the month of November. It's too cheap to give up altogether!)

I love Thanksgiving. I love everything about it (when done "right") and I HATE to see is skipped over just because WalMart thinks they can make a few extra bucks in sales by reminding people that Christmas is on its way and they should start buying now through music. It's like subliminal messaging, only blatant!

In other news: I think I am going to boycott Macey's as well. And definitely all the radio sations that have already started playing Christmas songs. Why don't they make Thanksgiving songs? Anyway, I was walking down Macey's Seasonal/Promotional aisle, and you'll never guess what I saw. Oh wait, I'm sure you can... Christmas...Christmas...more Christmas. Reds and Greens, Elves and Santas. Candies of all sorts donning reindeer and Christmas trees. Rows and rows and rows of candy canes. Oh, and one eenie-weinie space for Autumn things. Autumn things! Not even Thanksgiving, just autumn in general. For all I know, they had it on display during Halloween and didn't bother to move it in order to make room for all their too-early Christmas items.

It makes me sick. And irate. And irritated.

Why is it that people and stores can't be like me. Come December 1, you'll hear nothing coming from my speakers but Christmas music. I'll have my house decked out in lights and garland. I'll be enjoying Christmas the right way, in its right time.

I encourage you to do the same.

Thank goodness for pilgrims! Thanks for turkey and mashed potatoes. And ROLLS! But more importantly Thanks for my family, for my Savior, the gospel, living prophets, the scriptures, good roommates, wonderful friends, a free nation, pillows and blankets, an education, technology, good music, being well fed, having a job, a car that runs, a phone to communicate with, and everything else Heavenly Father has been so generous to give.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dangerous? Pah!

Safest and Most Dangerous U.S. Cities, 2007

The following table ranks the safest and most dangerous cities in the United States as of 2007. The cities all have populations of more than 75,000. The rankings are based on a city's rate for six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

Safest Most dangerous
Rank City Rank City Rank City Rank City
1. Mission Viejo, Calif. 14. Cary, N.C. 1. Detroit, Mich. 14. Compton, Calif.
2. Clarkstown, N.Y. 15. Greece, N.Y. 2. St. Louis, Mo. 15. Youngstown, Ohio
3. Brick, N.J. 16. Chino Hills, Calif. 3. Flint, Mich. 16. Cincinnati, Ohio
4. Amherst, N.Y. 17. Coral Springs, Fla. 4. Oakland, Calif. 17. Gary, Ind.
5. Sugar Land, Texas 18. Troy, Mich. 5. Camden, N.J. 18. Kansas City, Mo.
6. Colonie, N.Y. 19. Farmington Hills, Mich. 6. Birmingham, Ala. 19. Dayton, Ohio
7. Thousand Oaks, Calif. 20. Centennial, Colo. 7. North Charleston, S.C. 20. Newark, N.J.
8. Newton, Mass. 21. Glendale, Calif. 8. Memphis, Tenn. 21. Philadelphia, Penn.
9. Toms River, N.J. 22. Broken Arrow, Okla. 9. Richmond, Calif. 22. Atlanta, Ga.
10. Lake Forest, Calif. 23. Parma, Ohio 10. Cleveland, Ohio 23. Jackson, Mo.
11. Irvine, Calif. 24. Sterling Heights, Mich. 11. Orlando, Fla. 24. Buffalo, N.Y.
12. Orem, Utah 25. Simi Valley, Calif. 12. Baltimore, Md. 25. Kansas City, Kans.
13. Round Rock, Texas

13. Little Rock, Ark.


For some reason, I am very proud of how little Dayton is, and yet how much havoc they are creating. I love Dayton.

Dayton, OH, population 158,873, is located in Ohio's Montgomery county, about 43.7 miles from Cincinnati and 64.9 miles from Columbus.

Through the 90's Dayton's population has declined by about 9%. It is estimated that in the first 5 years of this decade the population of Dayton has declined by about 4%.

Dayton's property crime levels tend to be much higher than Ohio's average level. The same data shows violent crime levels in Dayton tend to be much higher than Ohio's average level.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I paid extra money to make sure my ballot was in on time (thanks, Mom) and this is why: VOTING IS IMPORTANT. Especially when you live in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Luckily, I still am registered in Ohio. I'm hoping that my vote for Ohio's underdog will help declare a victory for the lesser of two evils.

From Yahoo:
Among the 50 states, Missouri has a record of picking presidents that’s hard to match — the Show Me State has voted for the eventual winner in every election since 1904, with the exception of 1956, when it voted for Adlai Stevenson. Ohio’s not a bad predictor, either: It is almost always close to the national average, and no Republican has ever been elected president without carrying the Buckeye State. In fact, in the 14 presidential elections since 1952, Ohio has gone with the winner 13 times. Just three other states can boast that record of accuracy: Missouri, Nevada and Tennessee.

On a completely separate note: I know that everyone that reads my blog is Pro Prop 8, but I thought I would put another plug in there for anyone who stumbles across this in the next few hours (hahah...riiight). Yes on PROP 8! It's not about discriminating, hate, or intolerance. Prop 8 is all about preserving the sanctity of marriage and protecting the family as God intended.

For some interesting views on Prop 8, check out these videos:
They call us intolerant.
The truth:

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I LOVE reading. Love love love love love it. In fact, I love it so much that I can spend an entire day doing nothing but. Sometimes I love it so much that I don't even have to be reading any particular book, but just a compilation of excerpts from a certain author. Blowing 2 to 10 hours means nothing to me if I am divulging in a good book. It's why I've created the rule that I am not to be reading leisurely whilst in school. (Not that it stops me... but sometimes.)

However, spending time during the Regency era, or on a ranch filled with muscly cowboys, or even, hanging out with vampires - all comes with dire consequences. You see, each time I open a book I am absorbed into the world that the author has created. I am completely withdrawn from reality, and then, when I am finished, the re-entrance into my life is harsh and painful.

You see, I am the Harriet of Emma or maybe even Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice. Well, maybe not Charlotte. I am very much like Marianne Dashwood (see here) but without Mr. Willoughby and Colonel Brandon vying for my hand. The point is - I am not the leading character. I am surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, athletic girls that get noticed all of the time. Sure, they have their own boy troubles to deal with. But they can also walk into a room and have at least two guys by their sides, seeking their attention.

I'm not saying that I'm not pretty. Because, really... I know that I'm not a dog. Or animalistic-looking whatsoever. I have "body type" issues. But even still, I feel that does not constitute my being shunned from the male population. And yet, I know that I am never going to be one of those girls that men just pine after. That's OK.

But this is where the problems come into play. It is widely known and accepted that I am of the romance-reading type. [There is very little else I spend my time on...which, I know is not something that I should advertise. And I don't. Whenever I go to the library or Seagull books (where I find MLM) I am very quick about my selection and then scamper away as quickly as possible.] Anyway, it's just that...when I emerge from my books, after the guy has gotten the girl; after the epilogue where they have lived happily ever after, and she still melts at his touch and he still craves to hold her in his arms - I realize, I am not ever going to be that girl. And that's depressing to me.

I DO realize that no guy, no man, has really gotten lost in his wife's eyes, or caught his breath because of the way she walked down a set of stairs. There are few girls who, when they are in the arms of their love, sigh in contentment and have knees the consistency of jell-o. These are things written by very corny authors who live the dream in their heads. But while you're reading, it's nice to think that men are actually gentlemen and have a sort of code they must follow. Sure, they play the devil seducer and whisk the lady away for a private rendezvous, but they always stop or leave just in time! How luxurious, how romantic! And how non-existent.

How sad.

So, re-emerging from my dream-state, I have to remind myself that no matter how unpopular the girl was in the book (and I often compare myself to those types, the Cinderella or Ugly Duckling types...the ones that aren't expected to get the guy and then almost always do) and even though she got the guy, it doesn't matter. It doesn't mean that I will. And it definitely won't be like that. No guy is going to look at me for the first time, feel the floor fall from under his feet and then pursue. I'm almost 100% convinced that I will have to be friends with my eventual husband for 5-10 years before he's says, "Oh, hey! We've been friends for like, 10 years, why not?" Which is so completely the opposite of romantic, that it's bound to happen that way.

Anyway, the main consequence is a pity party. And I have to remind myself that I am pretty, I do have personality, and I will get married...eventually. It is also nice to hear it from someone else. Which is why I call my dad. Even if I do have to fish for compliments, to hear that I am pretty or that I have reason to hope is always the main objective.

In the end, I know what's important in life. I know that Heavenly Father is looking out for me. And I know that my family loves me.

Pity Party's over... ok, 5 more minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Weirdies at the Bonfire

SO last night for FHE I decided that we needed to have a bonfire. Because they are fun, and I enjoy them quite a bit. Also, s'mores.

Becca and I drove up to Nunns Park in the Canyon a half hour early to claim our spot. It was already getting sort of dark, so when we pulled in and walked around, we took the first place we found that was open. Luckily, there was a family at another spot with a fire already lit that offered for us to have it, to which we took and began conjuring stories about how we built the fire with flint and our own two hands. Every few minutes, we ventured away from our little fire to find tinder, to keep it going. Sticks, mulch, weed...I mean weeds, and the like. As we were venturing, these two people were shining flashlights on us and where we were hunting. The lights helped us find some really great poking sticks, so we didn't mind...even if we did feel like runaway convicts trying to escape the security guards.

After one such adventure, we were sitting and admiring our poking sticks, and talking when a really old couple approached us...with the flashlights. The lady, who reminded me of Dr. Frankenstein, mumbled something, and I turned off the music on my phone and said, "Excuse me?" She asked if we were camping and I said, uh, no. And then they both, Frankenstein and her husband, Igor...who I then recognized to have only 1/2 a face because the other half had been paralyzed by a stroke or something, started chanting and moving closer, "You can't be here. You must leave. Get out. Get out!"

We said, whoa there lady... we just showed up, these people gave us their fire, (we didn't want to claim it as our own crafty work with her yelling at us) and she got all snippy and said, "You have to leave. You didn't pay for this spot. You have to go to the picnic area. This is the camping area. Put out your fire and get out of here." To which we happily responded, "'s the thing. Our group is coming with something to put the fire out. We don't have anything. We'll just wait until they get here." And she pointed to the river with her clawed hands, there's a creek right there.

To which we said...yes. That's true. Good job. But we don't have ANYTHING to carry the water in. Do you want us to take off our shirt and dip it in the water, and then ring the shirt out in the fire? Should we carry the water in our hands? I promise, that does not work!

She pointed to our plastic bag (the one full of s'more stuff) and said, you can use the bag. I told her that we'd just stay there until our group came, thanks, and then we'll put out the fire. But this was unacceptable. We couldn't stay a moment longer, we had to put out the fire and leave. Igor scampered off and seconds later brought us a bucket from the shack, we now suspect, they live. Becca climbed down to the river and nearly fell in and drowned, right as our group was arriving. We had to explain the whole thing to them, and then relocate the fire to the "PICNIC AREA" where we had to rebuild our fire...which made me so mad because the other fire was the PERFECT s'more making fire.

Igor and his mistress were kind enough to let us keep the bucket. I think she was sweet on Skye, who we made ask for the continued use of it. She really did not like me, though.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spread the Word

I couldn't help but share this, mostly because it is what I have been telling people for about four years now.

Dear BA Foodist,

Can you set me straight on tipping? I was once told that 20 percent is for great service, 15 percent for bad. Unless a waiter's gone overboard, I'm an 18 percenter, but I was recently accused of being stingy. Am I wrong, or wasn't 10 percent considered fair not too long ago? Give me a tip I can use. --TIPPER G., Albuquerque

Dear Tipper G.,

Ah, the great tipping conundrum.

It's disappointing to receive anything less than 20 percent of the total bill. Most waiters at today's better restaurants expect that much for average service, and even more if they do it with a smile. So unless you're planning never to go to the same restaurant twice, the days of 10 percent tips--and even 15 percent tips--are long gone.

Waiting tables is a job everyone should be forced to do at least once, if only to learn that it's not okay to snap your fingers when you want something, and also to find out what it's like to eke out a living on tips.

The BA Foodist's Tipping Rules

RULE NO. 1: Unless the server is rude, condescending, and/or completely absent, tip between 18 and 20 percent.

RULE NO. 2: Never tip on tax. Tip based on the subtotal. And if you're calculating your tip simply by doubling the tax, stop it--you're being cheap.

RULE NO. 3: Unless you drink like Dean Martin or have a taste for expensive wines (i.e., $40 or more, depending on your budget), it's best to include booze when calculating a tip. Bartenders expect a dollar tip per drink (which is usually about 20 percent of the drink's price), and it's no different with waiters.

RULE NO. 4: Never turn a blind eye when others are tipping--especially if they're unfamiliar with our tipping culture (i.e., Europeans). If you think your tablemate is lowballing the service, it's best to hand the waiter a few bills on the way out.

RULE NO. 5: If a few dollars here and there really matter that much to your bank account, perhaps you shouldn't be going out to eat in the first place.

Article located here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More things that you probably already know...

  1. I am thoroughly convinced that once someone is married on BYU campus, they should be sent to a satellite school. The mission statement of BYU doesn't necessarily say that its mission is to get people married; but we all know it's true. Therefore, why should the married students get to walk around, taunting us with their good looks, unattainability, and worst of all - their success at getting married? I don't think they should. They should be sent away, to somewhere far and out of reach, like Springville or Payson.
  2. I chronically check my gmail and facebook accounts. I know that nothing changes in 5-10 seconds, but... I just have to know. Status changes and updated pictures make me very happy. On top of that, I look forward to emails from Katie and Courtney, which area usually entertaining, but most of all - proof that friends can move away and STAY friends. I really appreciate that.
  3. I LOVE fall. Too bad Utah doesn't allow it to stick around for longer than 2 days. I love the color changes - the reds, dark greens, golds and yellows. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the crisp, cool evenings.
  4. I love geography. Every time I actually take the time to study, I remember how much I love it. I wish I could sit and study forever...and yet, when I have to, I fall asleep. But I don't want to do research. I just like to read things.
  5. I am learning that I am not prepared to graduate. The closer I get, the more scared I am. What am I going to do after? My Dad and Grandpa say I need to get a job right out. I am thinking I want to go to Grad school...but I don't know what that entails, or how I'd pay for it. Or what I'd do while in Grad school. Shoot. I don't know.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lost: Pumpkin Patch

Look... it's not that complicated. All I want is a hay ride and a patch of pumpkins. It's Halloween for heaven's sake. So Utah doesn't offer such things, but Idaho had one, and even though it was freezing, I'm glad I had the chance to go!

I was going to write some witty anecdote or entry or whatever, but I've lost the zeal to do it. So I'll just post pictures.

This is in Twin Falls. It was so PRETTY! (Except that nice, big 'ole man-made pipe.) And cold. And only the beginning of the cold, as we had to drive through snow. It looked like Christmas about 5 miles south of here. I couldn't believe it...but it did sort of get me in the mood for FALL! (Which is really too bad, because we're already to the winter season it feels like...)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dear Shelli...

Just a few reminders as you travel through this thing we call life. You seem to be forgetting, or letting your imagination run away with you, and I just want to make sure you keep your head on straight.

  1. No matter what you think - studying is important. You can't sit and read or watch television, or even hang out with friends if you think you are going to pass your classes. Just because you didn't learn it in class, doesn't mean you can't ever know the material! Study - and you will do really well on your tests.
  2. Um, Shell, hun... your room does not clean itself. If you are sick of stepping over your piles of laundry, you have to put them away. The same goes for the laundry, it will not make it to the washing machine without your help.
  3. Just like you cringe every time someone puts on their favorite country song or listens repeatedly to the same song you can't stand, please remember that not everyone likes YOUR music (even if it is fantastic).
  4. Hey, I can read your mind. And you know what? That guy that you are staring at, well, he's not going to push you against the wall and molest your lips with his, no matter how much you will it with your mind. He will also not do the following: say some witty remark in speech only appropriate during the Regency era, whisk you away to go horseback riding in the sunset, propose marriage within seconds of meeting you (I know you know that, but I just thought I'd throw that in...don't get testy with me!); he's not going to fight over you with your other imaginary boyfriend, and he's definitely not going to rescue you from some life endangering circumstance. When is your life ever in danger anyway?
  5. To go along with number four, just remember... things like that DON'T happen. I know, shocker! Marcia Lynn McClure, Diana Gabaldon, Deanne Gist, Eva Ibbotson, and all your other favorite authors write FICTION. As do you. Get over it.
  6. Everything you have been promised in your Patriarchal Blessing is dependent on your faithfulness, and by doing what it says in order to accomplish those things. So stop wondering why it hasn't happened yet. You know why. Besides, Heavenly Father knows what He is doing. It will happen when it happens.
  7. Not buying groceries and pretending that you aren't eating, doesn't mean that the calories from Wendy's, the Hard Disk, or BYU don't count. You should probably just buy some healthy food from the grocery store and eat that.
  8. The four minute dance party, Monday through Thursday, does not count as adequate exercise. Especially since you DO NOT know how to dance to that kind of music. No matter what your roommates say.
  9. If you want to go to Scotland, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Morocco, Bermuda, St. John's, Jamaica, tour the East coast, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Romania, Brazil, Argentina, etc. You need money! You can't get there without it. And you need a passport! Speaking of cash. Money is not a renewable resource; if you aren't earning it, you'll run out! So get back to work!
  10. Everyone knows you are single. You can stop bringing it up. I know it's habit now, but it's also annoying.

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