Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Feminist that I'm Not

When I was hired to work at KMA, I was asked if I was easily offended. Of course, I said, "No." But what I really meant was "No." Because the types of things that it turns out could be offensive, are not. At all.

That's because I'm not a feminist.

You see, I work with a bunch of contractors and subcontractors. Which means, invariably, I work with a lot of men. Men are funny because they are casual and laid-back and low-key. And funny. They burp and talk about farting, but then again, so does my roommate. They like to talk about women. Whether so-and-so is hot in real life because her voice and her name totally are or who was on the cover of Victoria's Secret weekly e-mail. They also call me "beautiful" and "honey." (And sometimes Kevin calls me "Fingers" because of my amazing typing ability.) And I think some women would be offended by things like this. I don't understand it, really.

It has made me sit back and think of all the other non-feminist ideals I have. I love the idea of being a stay at home wife and mother. I don't mind sitting back and letting the head of the house preside over the family. I like when my home teachers come over and I can turn everything over to them. I loved being an FHE mom and turning the conducting over to Colin, as "head" of the family. I like the idea of a strong provider who goes to work while I cook and clean (and write, spend money, play with babies, etc.). I have never been one to oppose traditional gender roles.

I'm not against Stephenie Meyer because she wrote Bella a a co-dependent, weak-minded female that couldn't exist after Edward disappeared.

I don't resent guys who think that just because I'm female, I'm bad at math. I AM bad at math. I also can't find my way to save my life - and I'm a geography major. My sense of direction is just bad. I also love gossiping. I love to shop. I love chocolate. A perfect day is sitting in a bubble bath or getting a pedicure. I know more about Hollywood than sports. I don't get offended when I hear sexist jokes - even though I like to pretend that I am. If guys call girls "skanks" or "sluts" sometimes it's because I think they actually are.  For some reason derogatory statements aren't really that offensive to me - maybe they should be?

I do think that women deserve respect. And I am very much against the abuse of women. I don't think that the wife is property to be owned...though the whole ownership thing does have a sort of appeal to me. As long as the husband isn't infringing on his wife's agency and controlling EVERYTHING, then I don't mind a little domineering. Maybe that is too strong of a word, or maybe I don't really know what I'm saying because I'm not married/in a relationship. I know that God reveres us and has give us a very special role in this world. But I embrace that. I like to develop my creative, nurturing, homemaking skills. Still pretty much, I am your average female dip. And I don't care. I like it.

I like that God gave us men to balance us out. That's why I need a man who is good with money (and math), makes rational decisions, thinks about the future and isn't as impulsive as I am.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Seven Deadly Sins Survey


1. Who did you last get angry with?
Stats - it's always stats
2. What is your weapon of choice?
3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?
Sure - if they deserved it
4. How about of the same sex?
Probably not
5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you?
Probably Becca.
6. What is your pet peeve?
What isn't? Smoking mothers. Bad drivers.
7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?
Both. It depends.


1. What is one thing you're supposed to do daily that you haven't?
Read my scriptures. Clean my room.
2. What is the latest you've ever woken up?
4:00 p.m.
3. Name a person you've been meaning to contact, but haven't?
My cousin, Simon.
4. What is the last lame excuse you made?
I was tired!
5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through?
6. When was the last time you got in a good workout?
7. How many times did you snooze your alarm clock today?
Hahaha. Like 6 times.


1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice?
? I like water
2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark meat??
3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you've had in one night?
0 oz.
4. Have you ever used a professional diet company?
5. Do you have an issue with your weight?
6. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods, or spicy foods?
Depends - I like Thai. A little bit of everything in there.
7. Have you ever looked at a small house pet and thought "lunch"?
Oh, false!


1. How many people have you seen naked:
Assuming that myself and babies do not count... 0
2. How many people have seen YOU naked:
I should hope, no one. Though, there would be no way of knowing...
3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at someones chest/crotch?
Uhhh... no?
4. Have you "done it"?
IT! No.
5. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender?
6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute?
LOL. I wish. No.
7. Have you ever had to get tested for an STD or pregnancy?
"Congratulations. You aren't pregnant." I've heard that a few times. Phew!


1. How many credit cards do you own?
2. What's your guilty pleasure store?
Any book store
3. If you had $10 million, what would you do with it?
Travel, and get conned into spending it somewhere dumb
4. Would you rather be rich, or famous?
5. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks?
I don't know if I could... a boring, easy job? Sure.
6. Have you ever stolen anything?
Nope (I don't think so)
7. How many MP3s are on your hard drive?
Zero - they are stored somewhere else


1. What's one thing you have done that you're most proud of?
Finished writing a novel
2. Whats one thing have you done that your parents are most proud of?
Nearly graduated college - and I'll get there, so they'll be proud then for sure!
3. What things would you like to accomplish in your life?
Get published. Make some money from it.
4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place?
Depends - but yes
5. Have you ever entered a contest knowing you would win?
That's the only time I enter
6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score?
Of course not
7. What did you do today that you're proud of?
I haven't fallen asleep on my desk or under my desk


1. What item does your friend have that you want?
A husband
2. Who would you want to go on "Trading Spaces" with?
Amy - because she hates that show
3. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?
I like being me
4. Have you ever been cheated on?
That would imply...nevermind. No.
5. Have you ever wished you had a different physical feature?
Every day
6. What trait in others do you wish you had for yourself?
More motivation
7. Do you wish you'd come up with this survey?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best one yet: Pistachio Cheesecake



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 6 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 5 eggs
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Whipped cream and chopped pistachios, optional


  • In a small bowl, combine the flour and almonds; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/4 in. up the sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, milk and pudding mixes until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Reduce heat to 350°. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove sides of pan. Slice cheesecake; drizzle slices with chocolate syrup. Garnish with whipped cream and pistachios if desired. Yield: 12 -14 servings.
In August I spent a week in Kentucky working for my Uncle Ivan. While there, my cousin Quin and I went to Baskin Robbins or some such ice cream place and I got pistachio ice cream. It was delicious. And it made me think of how awesome a pistachio cheesecake would be. About a month later, I went to Barnes and Noble and contemplated buying a cheesecake recipe book - mostly because there was a recipe for pistachio cheesecake.

So I've been craving this for a while.

In a previous post, you read that I auctioned off my amazing cheesecake-making capabilities at our ward service auction. Having done so, I bought the cream cheese while it was on sale and waited to be told what kind and for who exactly. Only, I haven't heard anything, so I decided to make the above recipe for the guys at work. They've been showering me with presents and treats and sveets (read: sv-eets) all last week and this morning so much that my blood has turned to syrup, so I thought I would make it up to them.

The recipe is pretty good. I would change only two things. I did not like the almond crust. It was way too chalky (probably my fault) and actually too thick (also, my fault). I usually like a thicker crust, but this wasn't the best. In fact, I would change it to be more like the crust my mom uses for her barber shop dessert. It's basically the same thing, only pecans instead of almonds and probably more butter. Or, a graham cracker crust would be good too.

The other thing I didn't like was the fact that the pistachio flavor is so subtle. You could probably add a third package of the pudding, or some pistachio extract (do they make that?) or something - maybe put some chopped nuts in before you bake it. Make sure that you mix the ingredients really well, because there isn't a lot of liquid (zero liquid, except the eggs) and it isn't as runny as I've had before with baking other cheesecakes. That kind of frightened me, so I added an extra egg, which caused it to bake about two inches out of the pan. It didn't make a mess, just made it rise a lot higher and baked the top. I sort of over cooked it, but I took the time to cut that part off, so the inside was good.

I did not put chocolate on it - it would have killed me. But I did put a thick layer of cool-whip on before I put it in the fridge over night and garnished it with chopped pistachios and maraschino cherries. Which were both an excellent idea.

I think this is my favorite cheesecake to date. If your daughter isn't allergic to nuts (sorry, Mom) I would recommend trying it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Pictures

After I did my Christmas card, Becca and I decided we'd one up it and actually do Christmas cards. So we "hired" our friend Laurel - who is trying to start up her own photography business - and had her come and take pictures. We went to the Marriott hotel in Provo and took some pictures by the tree and in front of the fireplace and felt like complete dorks in front of all the guys working the night shift on a Sunday. So here are some of the pictures that we liked:

This was a good one.

I love this picture. I feel like it is the epitome of what Becca has to deal with sometimes. My scheming ways, my little excitements over small and juvenile and really ridiculous things...and her response. I'm an idiot. Ha.

And THIS is the masterpiece that happens to be the focal point of our Christmas card - which quite perfectly says, "Sending you holiday hugs and kisses." If you don't get it, you're slow and I'm disappointed. Just look again, I was completely tickled! I would put a picture of the actual card, but then I'd have to scan it, and that's not going to happen.

Twilight Years

HAHAHAHA. I love it.

Twilight Years from Tom on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I am a Legend

First, Congratulations Derek (DAK!) and Ashley: the new Mr. and Mrs. Boogaard. There wedding dinner was done in great taste and they looked especially happy. I am thrilled for them.

While sitting at the table waiting for dinner to be served, I looked over and saw my former boss from Power Innovations (2006-2007) sitting at the table next to me. Karen was my direct supervisor for most of my tenure at PI. I was able to interpret the things that she needed done and figure out which "CRISIS" actually needed attention versus which could be ignored. And I knew that if you asked about her grandkids, you got a paid forty-five minutes of stories. I thought that we were fairly tight. She defended me when I was unfairly let-go, she's given me GREAT references when I've needed them the past few years and yet, when I went up to say "Hi"... She didn't recognize me.

The truth was, I saw her husband, Bruce, first. I kept looking at him, knowing that I knew him and then it hit me, and I looked around and saw Karen. She looks basically the same. I suspect that my hair has changed about a hundred times since I've last seen her.

The point of this post is that, Karen didn't recognize me - but she's still been willing to give me a raving review whenever I've given her as a reference. So why would she do that?

I recently read a book called The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies. In it, one of the local boys is lost in action and then eventually declared dead. This boy, who was so much considered a nuisance or strange or weird or having held any number of quirks that were annoying, was suddenly transformed into a local hero. Because he had served his county and represented his home town and died in the cause, he was immortalized. So, I think, perhaps, because I was terminated so unjustly, perhaps Karen remembers me as someone who was better than I really was. In her mind, I wonder if I am immortalized as someone she owes because I was a good employee but still had a premature ending with the company. My memory lives on - even though she is no longer able to tell it's me.

It doesn't matter, of course. I've been able to find two good jobs because of her. I gained a lot of experience working at PI: like being able to work in a technical field that I don't understand but need to still be able to answer questions, or learning about marketing so I could get that job at Novell. In the end, I owe her a huge thank you. I was able to tell her that tonight, and now... now, I think that she can forget me forever. Unless, I really am a complete legend at Power Innovations. (Somehow I doubt it, though.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Late December back in '63

December 10 is probably one of the most underrated days of the year. But it should be celebrated with GUSTO! (GUSTO I SAY!) Because it is my mom's birthday and she deserves to be celebrated. I was trying to find a poem or song or something that fit here, but they were all really gay and my mom just doesn't deserve a gay poem on her commemorative post.

That being said, well, there isn't much more to say. My mom is the most awesome, caring, faithful woman I know and I love her more than life. She is literally my best friend. I hope that she knows how much she means to me. (She should, I only call her six times a day in order to tell her! That's right Mom, my calling you and telling you every mundane thing that happens in my life is just a way for me to tell you how much I love you!)

So, Happy Birthday, Mom! You deserve a very wonderful day!

BEWARE! You, too, can have sensitive teeth and overdraft charges!

Oh Facebook! So full of knowledge and useless information. Used for cheap shout-outs, desperate requests for sympathy and product endorsement. Facebook itself is not a scam, at least, it hasn’t gotten me yet. And when a friend of mine posted as her status:

Judy Starbright* :))) I got my free teeth whitener trial today and my teeth are so shiny and white!! I feel like a new person.. for those of u that are gonna ask were I got it at here's the link, use promo code: whitetoday.. you're welcome!

*name changed to protect the innocent.
I thought, “Hey! I could really use that,” and didn’t stop to question what I was getting myself into. So I typed in the The promo code said that if you paid $1.95 for shipping and handling, the product was FREE. How can you do better than that? The website seems legit. I didn’t really question anything, especially because if my friend had done it without problems, I assumed I would be fine as well. So I ordered it and provided my debit card number in order to pay for the shipping. I got a confirmation email from
The product came within three weeks. So far, so good. It wasn’t very good quality, and the gel that they raved about was nothing special, and actually pretty gross. But it was a trial, and so I wasn’t too upset…until I checked my bank account and saw that Ultifreshwell had removed $49.89 from my account. I wasn’t sure what it was for, but I thought that maybe it meant they were sending me a longer lasting package, that I could send back for a refund, or something like that. Nothing else came in the mail. A few days later, Sup*Smilebright removed $86.93 from my account. And I currently have $48.23 pending to be taken out of my account from Sup*Whiteteeth.
I’ve canceled my bank card and started fraud cases on all three transactions, and of course, have yet to see whether or not that is going to be enough. I did some research after it all happened, because the numbers that are provided on the statement for the company are completely bogus. The numbers took me to a few discussion boards that talk about the ads seen online for “A stay at home mom discovers the trick to whiter teeth!” The discussion boards also give several different company names such as Dazzle Smile or Dazzle White. But they all sound like the same thing and they all have reoccurring charges on their account. Some resorted to closing their bank accounts altogether. I really don’t want it to get to that point, but it might be the only thing to stop the charges.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas Card

Tis the season for Christmas cards. I've always wanted to send them out, and I never do mostly because I'm lazy. But also because Christmas cards are for 1) people who want to brag about their kids 2) new couples who want to prove that they love their choice of spouse 3) someone who has traveled around the world...etc. Since I don't fall into any of those categories, and because really, I blog and you are able to read about all of the things that have happened to me throughout the year... Shoot, I'm totally talking myself out of doing this.

I designed the "card" above. It's sort of my new favorite thing to do on Picasa. It's complicated, and I feel like I am tricking the system for what it is meant to do. I would rather have Photoshop - all it's cool features...sigh. So how do I want to do this "Christmas card"? A run down of the year's events? Ok.

The year started in Ohio, as I have been lucky enough to do every year since I moved to Utah. Since I had been out of work since November, this trip was a Christmas miracle and was completely due to a generous gift given to me by my awesome roommates - who bought my plane ticket home. I was living at the Omni with Ashley, Becca and Kira. We were partying it up, doing one-song dance parties in the parking garage. I was serving as the FHE Mom and having a blast with my family. This was also the beginning of my last full-time semester at BYU.

I became an aunt! Kelsie was born at the beginning of the month. I was sad that I couldn't be there, and felt completely left out of the loop because I could never get a hold of anyone, and when I did get on the phone with someone, Amy was so RUDE to be in the background yelling and stuff. Guess she was in pain or something. I really wish I had been there, still.

When I finally got my grubby hands on some pictures, I could tell that she would be pretty much the cutest little girl in all the world. I think I am a prophetess. All the pictures I have received thus far have proven me correct.

I don't remember March. We celebrated Becca's birthday by taking a party bus to Wendover, Nevada. Colin and I were still FHE parents. I was still in school, although, wrapping up the semester. I really did like all of my classes - they were interesting and fun and I had great professors.

I finished the semester amongst moving (typical) and organizing a ward video for the Stake FHE Oscar Night. Becca and I moved into a house by Seven Peaks with Roberta (Becca's Mom) and we fell into the lap of luxury, basically. More room - storage, a pantry, different rooms to put things! Stairs and a garage. I dropped off my car to be repaired - transmission leak - before I went home and met Kelsie for the first time. Amy held off the baby's blessing so that I could be there, and it was a very nice treat. I had found the ticket for so cheap that I used some of my loan money to pay for it. I'm still glad I did it, even if I have started paying back student loans this month.

May was a super busy month! I went to California one week to attend Kira and Reuben's wedding reception. I drove down with Levi and Colin and Aubrey met up with us. It was seriously a blast. Then the next weekend, I took off to New Mexico with the FTC and we spent Memorial Day weekend in Santa Fe. I was lucky that I didn't have to worry about getting off of work, and I was only taking one geography class because I decided to drop my stats class and sign up through independent study. I'm still sticking by my decision to do that...even if I could have been done about 700x by now. But that's mostly because I'm ridiculously stubborn. Becca and I established a party house by throwing a successful Cinco de Mayo party. 

June - July

Becca and I memorialized Michael Jackson by throwing a Michael Jackson party at our house. We also celebrated our one-year anniversary in Bear Lake. I can't keep everything straight, so sometime during these two months, my mom, Amy and Kelsie came out to visit and go to the Bollschweiler family reunion in Moab, Utah. I haven't been to Moab, and it was really cool to walk around instead of drive through. I was still in school and had to balance my time between the two. It was nice to have my mom around. We went up to Idaho to visit my uncle and his family. I contracted the piggy flu and was down for a day or so, and tried hard not to kiss the baby. It was impossible.

August Back to Ohio for the Armstrong family reunion. And that was the most exciting thing I did. It was so fun to be home with the family. I was very blessed to have my ticket paid for by my uncle, and then he allowed me to work for him for a week in order to pay him back. I was starting to freak out about money, so I was really looking for new jobs, toying with the idea of moving back to Ohio and not doing stats like I was supposed to be doing. I enjoyed a lot of laying out in the sun and reading. It was fabulous, really. 

Stats is still not done. And since I didn't have a job, I took off to Idaho planning to stay a week. A few days in, I got a phone call from KMA, wondering if I were available for a second interview. So I headed on back. It was the smartest choice that I made, since I got the job. I also finished one of my tests for stats and did terrible. I started toying with the idea of going to Korea to teach English. I even got my passport! But when it came down to it, I had to have stats done...and well, you read the first sentence.

October is a busy month. I had to completely replace my brake system in my car. I officially started my job working at Kevin Madson & Associates as the office manager. I can't tell you how much of a blessing it was to finally have a job again. Plus, it's pretty much the best job I've ever had. I work with all guys - that are hilarious. Kevin has the biggest heart and is the best boss (not neurotic at all). It was hard getting back into the swing of having a full-time job. I maintained the sleeping schedule I've had for about six months (you know: wake up at 11am, do whatever, take a nap outside, go to lunch with the FTC, play and party, read, and then go to bed at 2 or 3 or 4am. Repeat). Having a job sitting at a desk is exhausting! But, if you do it well, you will get a raise within fourteen days - which I did. The best part of October is Halloween; and Becca and I made sure we did this with a bang. We threw an awesome party at our house, complete with formal invitations, test tube and dry ice drinks, a DJ and awesome decorations. The guys dressed up which was way sweet. I hit up a party at the Omni ward. And then Becca and I went to Salt Lake for another party.

MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! I made sure to celebrate all month long. Not really, but I did celebrate for a good two weeks. See previous post. We had an awesome sleepover when New Moon was released and that was a lot of fun. I went to Southern California for Thanksgiving. Work is still going really good.

I can't believe December is here already. And I can't believe that for the fifth year in a row, when I've thought that there was no way I was going to make it home (though I am always determined to go anyway) a miracle - in the form of relatives, roommates or this year, my boss - I am able to go. I've been trying to work out my finances so I could justify a plane ticket and when I looked I found cheap tickets, but hadn't talked to my boss about getting time off, and then the prices rise and I thought that there was going to be no way. But my boss called me into his office and handed me a check. "It's not much," he says, "It might be able to buy you a dinner for you and your boyfriend." But when I opened it, it was much more than that. It was enough to pay for an expensive ticket... which I didn't have to do, because the prices had dropped again. So not only did I get money that I wasn't expecting, I also got a great deal on my flight. Anyone who does not believe in Christmas miracles and answers to prayers are just not opening their eyes.

So that's the year. I can't believe 2009 is over! It seems absolutely crazy that I'm 24. And I know, I'm not graduated or married or working some high-paying job or even doing an internship in my major. But, I'm happy. I have great friends. My relationship with my family is good. And the Lord continues to bless my life, even if I am a complete screw up. This next year will be full of new things: I'll probably get my stats done which means graduation, hopefully I will leave the country and USE my passport, I'm definitely moving within the next month... and who knows what else!

Merry Christmas. I hope that your year has brought you as many ups and downs as mine (hopefully more ups than downs) and you've been able to learn and live and grow.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Just my 'magination!

When I have dreams they are easily the most vivid things that come to mind throughout the day. Last night I was talking to Amy and she was telling me a weird dream that she had had and it was very detailed. Very much like my own - when I tell people they usually have a response similar to this: "Also, I do not believe anyone has these dreams." - Kati

But I was thinking. Perhaps our vivid dreams are a direct result of our vivid imaginations we possessed as children. Whereby, as children, we created the Dream Machines.

Dream Machines were complex devices that Amy and I set up on an almost nightly basis where we would repair, modify and program the machines to ensure the best possible dreams. Sometimes the machines needed to be upgraded or if we had a scary or dissatisfying dream, there would be a long drawn out process of trying to figure out what was wrong with it because obviously it needed repairs. This usually resulted in the need to order new parts, which would inevitable be delivered bedside through chutes, tunnels, hydro-powered doors or winged, mystical creature. The repairs could take a while, during which Amy and I would talk about normal, everyday things as if we were really working on these modifications.

All of this was done as we were tucked in our beds, lying on our backs and making the could typing mimics in the air on our wireless keyboard. Everything was completely conjured up out of our heads. We both really loved those dream machines - and I think they have proven to continue to work now that we are adults. Else why would we dream so vividly?

This discussion then turned to the sad state of affairs that the younger generations face. I'm fairly certain that my thirteen year old sister has never conjured up anything remotely close to a dream machine. Part of it might just be that she hasn't had a playmate the way I was blessed to have Amy. We were so close in age, it made it very easy to play and have fun and bounce ideas off each other, and get in trouble...etc. and Mackenzie, for the most part, has had her own room and done her own thing. But the other problem is that generationally, Mackenzie has had Nickelodeon (and not the GOOD Nickelodeon of days gone by) and stupid Disney shows to entertain her. She watches Sponge Bob and youtube. She's never been dependent on her imagination for entertainment, but has insisted on other people entertaining her. Her friends all just want to go and walk around the mall. Whereas, Amy and I were creating and designing paper houses with people that had lives and stories. Even as we aged, we named the giant rock that sat on the river bed and presented offerings to it as we passed by. If it had been washed away, then we knew Gus accepted it. If not, we had to present something greater. There was something ridiculous in the way that we dressed up in sheet togas and covered our faces and then decided to bow to each car that passed us on the street, while chanting "Oh-na. Oh-na."

I don't think Mackenize (or Morgan or Hannah or Rachel) ever thought to do anything as cool as that! And as a result, they are bored. I'm sure I told my mom that I was bored at some point in my life - but now that I am older, I don't remember EVER being bored. We were always coming up with crazy games and stories and adventures. All because we used a little of our imagination. I feel sorry for the generations that are expected to be entertained by poor role models and monotonous laugh tracks on their stupid television shows (that are played on repeat for months at a time).

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Birthday Pictures

From Movies

I'm experimenting with posting a video...ish, (slide show really) of the pictures from my birthday and it isn't working. You won't be able to watch it from an email or probably Facebook, but click to my blog [click here] and then click on the video, and it will take you to it. (Grandma, it's not really that complicated!)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hey Kid! Quit playing Hot Cross Buns on my nerves!

Disclaimer: This post is random. And dumb, but I'm posting anyway just fits with today.

I was walking around the store today and this seriously annoying kid was screeching out the lyrics to Hot Cross Buns. I feel like I have a pretty high tolerance level for kids (I'm lying right now) but this child was out of control. I came up with the phrase above, though, and was easily pacified.

I've been in a weird mood today.

I don't know how it started. Maybe it was because I had an enjoyably long shower? Or the fact that my breakfast consisted of Reese's. Maybe because it was pay day? Or even the fact that I am antsy and nervous and excited to be trying something new and made an advancement towards that by paying my deposit to my new place in Single Tree #5. (Sorry Amy, no pictures or website. I will take some when I get a chance.) Whatever it was, it came to when I went to lunch with Wein and Fern.

Anyway, I've gotten side tracked. The point is... this crazy mood has seen me throughout the day. I watched Glee on Glee is the best show on television. That is until Chuck comes on in January. And I'm not discounting The Office... but yeah, it's hilarious. It made me cry. I love it. And work was good and busy, but not crazy so I could breathe. And I got paid. I bought some groceries, for the first time since I moved in with Roberta. (Like legitimate grocery shopping... like, I have lunches for work and stuff.) And I didn't do Stats - though, I seriously thought about it. I didn't get my laundry done. Or clean my room. But I did talk to my mom (x3), my dad, Amy, Brad, Mackenzie, my cousin Andrew (x2), my cousin Chloe and my aunt Elouise.

I really feel like this day is complete. Oh! And Roberta made me brownies for my birthday. They had walnuts in them. AND someone called me "hott stuff." I've lost my train of though again, so I am ending this absolutely pointless post with exclamation points!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

You Know You're in the Wrong Ward When...

...your ward Christmas party is an auction where the members can afford $300+ items.

I've lived in the boundaries of my ward since May of this year. It has been a difficult adjustment, because I really loved my Omni Ward. I blamed the fact that I was out of town for most of the summer. Of course, fall semester is almost over and I don't know many more people than I did when I moved in. Becca and I try to attend all our activities. We go to FHE (we have to, Becca is the mom) and ward prayer and choir and we both participate in our calling. The Bishopric (who are all awesome!) all knows who we are. And yet, we still don't seem to be fitting in.

For a while we pretended that it was just the ward. We had heard that it was a hard ward to get into. But we've watched several move-ins in the last month or so integrate themselves into the ward without a problem. So, basically, we know that it is us .

Somehow, even though we are the coolest people you could possibly know, we give off a stand-offish vibe and are, surprisingly, forgettable. We've had countless numbers of people in our ward re-introduce themselves over and over.

I don't know what it is. Maybe it is the fact that I just feel so uncomfortable in my ward. I'm easily the heaviest girl in the relief society. I don't wear clothes from Forever XXI or Banana Republic or wherever they shop. I don't have a nice car or flawless hair and skin. I don't make my own hairbows or own a pair of expensive boots - I don't even own a pair of cool tights and I definitely don't wear 4-inch heels. So it is clear that I don't look like any of the girls. I don't run marathons. I don't date. I haven't traveled anywhere really cool. I really just don't feel like I fit "in" with these girls. The guys in our ward go for the girls in my relief society - or, they do enough to talk to them....they haven't really gotten the dating/marriage thing down, or it would be happening more often. Whatever the case may be, I don't talk to many of the guys in my ward.

And after tonight, I must admit, I don't know that I ever will! I think of the quote in the movie Pride & Prejudice when Lizzie is protesting against visiting Pemberley because Darcy is so rich and her uncle says, "Why Lizzie, what a snob you are!" And I have to admit, I am sort of a snob against the rich. We went to our ward Christmas party tonight at the Spring Haven Lodge. They have been talking about this activity for a few months in ward council and whenever they did, I kept thinking to myself, "These people are nuts! No one is going to spend that much" or "You'll never get them to do that!" But boy was I wrong! After dinner we had a service auction, where we were to bid on the services offered by a ward member. Money bid would then be used to purchase money for the Utah Food Coalition. I've done things like this before. Services offered were like: bake a cake, clean the kitchen, a haircut or something similar. Granted, we had some of these things. (I offered to bake a cheesecake.) But this auction had items like: An overnight 6-person horseback trip in Wyoming, a weekend in Vegas at a house owned by the member, a weekend in a cabin with snow mobiles provided, an opportunity to volunteer in a Mexican orphanage, a day skiing at Sundance for six people, etc. etc. Basically, it was crazy. More crazy, the fact that people were bidding $300-400!

I don't know about you, but I don't have $400 laying around for a Fly Fishing trip. My measly cheesecake was no comparison. And I left feeling the same way.

I have a feeling that if the Christmas party was the first activity I ever attended, I would have gone RUNNING back to the Omni and not thought twice about it. As it is, I will only be in this ward for another month or so and then I am moving to try a more poor-college-student-friendly ward closer to campus. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Rest of Birthday Week and Plans for Today

After Monday's birthday celebration with the FTC, I went to work. It doesn't seem like much to add to the festivities, but let me tell you - I'm still just so grateful to have a job. Even though getting up in the morning is hard, and I don't like that I don't have the energy to get anything done after... I still love where I am working and the fact that I have a paycheck every two weeks.

Anyway, for Day #2 of birthday week, we went to Red Robin. I typically don't like Red Robin, BUT, I got a coupon in my email for a free burger, and I wasn't about to pass that up. So I met Meghan and Kati for lunch and we had an enjoyable lunch sitting of the Red Light District lights and talking about...things. As we are known to do.

Day #3 was spent, for the most part, in the car. After working a half day (in which I was in the office completely alone, as the guys went on a field trip) I went home and packed and then we were off to California. I sat in the back of the car the whole time while Reuben and Kira had a taste of the Hunger Games on tape (THANK YOU MEGHAN!) and I slept on and off. So really, the drive wasn't bad at all. We stopped in Vegas and got In-N-Out.

Day #4 is Thanksgiving. So of course, it involved a lot of food. I got to sleep in. I lounged around. And then we had dinner. Outside. OUT-FLIPPING-SIDE! It was awesome! I don't think I've ever had nice enough weather that Thanksgiving dinner could be eaten OUTSIDE! It was so warm, and lovely, and beautiful. Sigh. I loved it. We had traditional-enough food: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries (I didn't touch those, but they were an option). Of course, I missed my mom's rolls. And the mashed potatoes didn't turn out. But it was delicious nonetheless.

Day #5, Birthday Eve, We went shopping. I wasn't about to go if they went at 4:00 a.m., but they didn't, so we went to Target, Old Navy and Bath and Body Works. I bought a couple of things, but they were all pretty cheap, so I don't feel bad about it. Then we came home and relaxed, had leftovers for lunch and then went to the beach. I'm going to have to get the pictures from Kira. Every time I go to the beach, it is cloudy or near sunset. I'm not sure what that means, but it was pretty anyway. Afterwards, we walked around Fashion Island and saw the giant Christmas tree. We came home to Round Table Pizza and wached Christmas Vacation. I still don't understand why people think Chevy Chase is so funny...but whatever. And then I went to bed! It was only about 10:30 p.m., so it was very refreshing. I even heard my phone go off at 6:30 this morning, which means I was well-rested.

TODAY: The plans are to watch the BYU vs UTAH game. Go on a bike ride. And have dinner at El Torrito. There might be some tennis thrown in there or something of the like. We might hit up the beach again, just to test my theory of always being cloudy. And then who knows?

Last year I made a birthday goal/wish and it didn't happen. So I think I am going to stay clear of those this year; instead I'll just wait it out and see what happens during my 24th year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday Week: Day #1 "Your birth is definitely something to celebrate."

When the FTC says that they have come with the perfect way to celebrate your birthday, you need to be a little wary. It isn't that we don't like to celebrate birthday - because we do, we really like birthdays. We like to torture each other, as if our bodies don't do that enough as we age.

So when Pepper and Fern said that they knew EXACTLY what to do for my birthday, I wracked my brains. Would it be nice? Would it be humiliating? Would it stretch me out of my comfort zone? Would they force some poor pathetic guy to kiss me? Would they make me hike up the freezing cold mountain? - No, they wouldn't do would be too cold for them.

They wouldn't tell me what my surprise was. I begged, I pleaded, I tried to trick them, I tried to go behind their backs and get G to tell me. In short, I did everything I could and they were like vaults! Locked down, baby. I couldn't believe that I couldn't get them to crack.

Finally the day arrived. They picked me up at work at 4:30pm and we went to Zupa's. (Much to their satisfaction, I had every intention of Cafe Rio and ended up really just wanting soup.) It was delicious. They gave me a $30 gift card to spend as I wish and paid for my dinner and then bought cookies. Then we headed to Fern's house. Chest (her cat) wished me a happy birthday and let me hold him. We watched a weird ninja video (which, guys, I still don't understand) and then they blindfolded me.

I honestly don't know all of the things they were planning. The blindfold threw me off. The comments about needing a coat and other random things... I had no idea. And I won't embarrass myself with the things that I thought were going to happen. Pepper held my hand as we waited for Fern to "get the goods." I heard a feel people snicker at the poor sap in the blindfold. And then they opened the door and I smelled the popcorn. I knew we were in a theater and I kind of figured we'd go see New Moon. But when they took off the blindfold, I was standing in front of a Christmas Carol. It was a clever ploy. You needn't ask why. CHRISTMAS! (I think I gave the appropriate response they were looking for. Also, if they had taken me to see A Christmas Carol, I would have been fine.) They steered me to the "other" theater, which shockingly did not say what movie was playing. It was when the kid wearing a "team Jacob" shirt that I realized we were seeing NEW MOON!

You don't realize the sacrifice this meant. The true devotion and love for a friend. Because Meghan had SWORN that she would not watch it. When I asked if we could go a few days ago, they both said "FALSE!" and really, I never thought I would be able to force them to pay to see it. And yet, here we were. The end of the movie resulted in no vomit. Only a few gagging noises. And luckily, Jacob put on a shirt before the old ladies next to Meghan tried to jump the screen.

Over all, the surprise was excellent. A true display of great friends. So thank you, Meghan and Kati. You guys are seriously awesome. And I am really pleased that I scared you into thinking I guessed what we were doing. That makes me smile.

FTC forever! :)

Thanksgiving Comics

Finished product

A couple of years ago I started writing a book.

It was the product of reading several books that I just knew I could do better. The whole, "If this can be published - surely I can be published," really inspired me to write. I mean, have you read some of those - especially cheesy LDS fiction - books out there? And of course, I should probably thank Stats for being my inspiration as well. I'm certain out of the 510 pages, about 60% of my book was written while I was supposed to be doing stats, was doing stats or was sitting in class for stats. It certainly brings out my creative juices!

Anyway, after two years I've finished my book. It is a fairly huge accomplishment. I can't help but feel a little puffy about it. So I sent a few copies out for friends/editors to read and I printed out a copy for myself to begin the red-lining. I left out the 250+ pages sitting out and Roberta started reading it.

The first comment I heard from her about the book was through Becca who had overheard Roberta telling a friend on the phone that she was reading a book that "the little girl that lives with me" wrote, and that she was enjoying it. She finished it in a couple of days - yesterday, reading for 6 hours or so. And the consensus: She loved it. She had a lot of really good things to say about it, couldn't put it down, etc.

I am very pleased. We both know that there is some work to be done. Some rewriting to do and some congruency fixes. But according to Roberta, it is publishing-worthy. And, maybe even career-worthy. Which, I must say, I would love! And there are more books in the works, so I guess we will see. I will keep you updated as I edit, and start sending this piece of work to publisher.

One good review, and I've totally let it go to my head.

An excerpt:

He didn’t have to peek at his cards again because he knew exactly what he’d find. He’d mastered his poker face some time ago, but the knowledge that he was about to win a rather large sum of money made him want to smile. And it wasn’t because he actually needed the money; it was more the fact that the men he was playing with all needed a lesson in humility.
He looked at the blonde, scruffy man sitting across from him – not closely, he didn’t want to be caught staring – but enough to read the look of desperation on his face. This man needed to win. What was supposed to be a blank slate instead showed exactly what it shouldn’t – he was in deep. Of course, the man wasn’t going to win. Ashton had this in the bag, and for a second, he felt a little guilty. He really didn’t need to win. The casino they were sitting in was owned by his very wealthy grandfather, which would mean that he’d inherit the wealth eventually. He was the only grandson and his grandfather had promised him that he would get part of his inheritance as soon as he married. The death of his parents had already left him set in the financial department, anyway; though many wouldn’t know it considering his current state of homelessness.
This self-chosen placelessness was what found him in his grandfather’s casino in California. Here in California, men were throwing money and gold down as if it was as worthless as feed corn, and now that he was here, he was enjoying being a part of it.
“Call,” the blonde said as they went around the table again.
Ashton hid his smile behind a cough and laid his cards face-up on the table. He heard a few muffled grunts of approval and awe. He tried to ignore the cursing on the other side of the table and the threats. He didn’t think that the threats were something he should be worried about. He’d be leaving the casino as soon as possible, and probably the state. His grandfather was notorious for being notified of Ashton’s presence and he didn’t necessarily want to be found, which meant never staying in one area for too long.
“You cheated,” the blonde man accused him, rising from his chair.
“I don’t think so, friend,” Ashton said, gathering his chips carefully. He walked over to the counter to cash in, leaving the man in the hands of the other players who were trying to hold him back and calm him down. Yes, Ashton would leave the area tomorrow. It wouldn’t do to have some angry cowboy wanting his head over a game that he had won fair and square.
“Ashton Hurst?” The man behind the counter asked, before Ashton could say anything.
He nodded in assent and leaned against the counter, knowing what to expect.
“I have a message for you, sir.” The man slid the missive over to Ashton. Then the clerk took the pile of chips and began counting, giving Ashton a moment to read his letter.
The Old Toad had found him, at last then. Ashton looked at the time-worn letter that looked as though it had traveled all over the country, maybe just one step behind him. The crisp writing was familiar enough, though he had managed to avoid it for three years, and he already had a decent idea of what the letter would be commanding him to do. It was exactly why he had wanted to take off. Later that night, he ran his calloused fingers through his hair, and set the letter and his hat on the slab of wood that served for a nightstand next to his dirty bed. It would be heaven to just curl up and fall to sleep. No matter how dirty the bed was, he was worse off. He hadn’t seen even a body of water since last week’s cattle run. He unbuckled the belt that held his gun, and carefully hung it on the bed post. If his grandfather had any idea of what he had been doing for the last few years… he smiled as he imagined the old man’s usually green features turn into the burgundy that was commonplace during a full blown tantrum.
Ashton walked to the wash basin that held the tepid water that he knew would give him instant relief, and began wiping down his face and neck. The dirt and grime that clung to his body after everyday had become so familiar, that he almost felt naked without it. He looked back at the letter sitting on his nightstand. He hadn’t read it, yet. After cashing in his chips, he decided to use the money to go and see a man about a horse, literally. He wished that he had stopped at the bathing house, too. And now, he dreaded opening the wretched letter. Still, a morbid curiosity was dying to read it – he cursed his curiosity and then sighed. He supposed that now he had it, he might as well read it. In a few long strides, he was back in front of the nightstand with ancient letter in hand. It had probably been written months ago. The news might be so old that it wouldn’t matter, he reasoned, as he tore open the seal. Ashton scanned to the bottom of the letter, it was not signed. The Old Toad –as Ashton referred him, others knew him as Martin Hurst, proprietor, businessman, and influential personality in New York – did not need to make his mark. The seal on the back of the letter was enough, as were the words.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Importance of the Director: New Moon

Oh. Hello, Jacob!

This weekend, for those of you living under a rock, one of the most anticipated films of the year has been released. New Moon is the second installment of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Of course, you all know that I am basically... well, knowledgeable about the series at least.

Like the last film, I have been keeping tabs on whatever is released about New Moon. The new trailers, stills, interviews and anything that I could get my grubby hands on, I viewed and notice a lot of differences about what to expect. The major one being: This movie actually looked good.

Considering the clips and material that I got when Twilight was being worked on, I could tell that there were going to be some major differences between to the two directors, Catherine Hardwick and Chris Weitz. Everything from location to lighting to feel, to effects, wardrobe... You could definitely tell that Weitz had more money to spend than Hardwick. But also that he had a different vision.

Hardwick tried to make Twilight artsy and edgy and...weird. The added lines, "Hang on tight, Spider Monkey," the wanting to put Edward with "romantic, long flowing locks" and the strange angles of the camera all really hurt the film. We watched it last night in prepping for today's feature, and everything about the movie was terrible. We literally ripped it apart from beginning to end. I won't go on with everything, but the general consensus was that Hardwick did not push the actors to be the best that they could be. They are all pretty young, inexperienced and definitely not A-listers in the Hollywood scene. In fact, after watching Twilight, I was fairly certain that none of them actually COULD act. There were lines in the script that were so out of character that make me want to hurl. There are several mistakes (see Bella's oxygen in the hospital scene) that should have easily been fixed. I imagine a scene wrapping and Hardwick going, "That was incredible! Wonderful!" While all the actors and set people were like, "Really?" And then they shrug their shoulders and move on, when they should have probably done another take. The list goes on and on. Hardwick was trying too hard to make it something that it's not. On top of that, she just wasn't staying true to the book.

Fast forward to Chris Weitz. Yes, he had more money. And the bigger budget allowed for better effects (thank goodness, or the wolves would have been terrible) and enough make-up that ears and necks and other body parts actually got covered, instead of just putting stage make-up on their faces; and other things that I listed above. Which is great, and really added to the film. But holy cow! That's not the only difference. The movie IS the book. The discrepancies are few, and those that are there were necessary in order to be translated on film, or barely noticed. The actors - they can act. Really? You don't believe me? Well, I'm not surprised by your lack of faith. But they certainly weren't as terrible in this film as they were in Twilight. And Kristen Stewart wasn't nearly as annoying. I just can't describe the difference! It was so incredible. I'm not going to mention Taylor Lautner's 30lbs of muscle. Why? Because you saw the picture already. Watching THAT for two hours was no burden. Despite the differences, Weitz was able to tie in the first movie so that the series flows. He uses clips from the last film as flashbacks, which was surprising but worked. Which was also surprising. I loved the relationships between the characters, and the actual dialogue instead of just staring at each other. I was really just, pleased with the way this film turned out.

When the film ended, Becca turned to me and asked when we were going to see it again. I would say that that meant it was a high compliment, but I'm fairly certain we said that about Twilight. Of course, the difference is that now neither of us ever has to watch Twilight again because New Moon is so dang good. Which is the biggest difference of all. When we went into Twilight, we had fairly low expectations and therefore weren't disappointed, but we weren't excited either. We didn't love the movie, but we didn't hate it. Now, I hate it. Because New Moon is what Twilight should have been. I wish Chris Weitz would take on redoing Twilight really quick. Keep the low budget, but just make it more like the book and less artsy. Push the actors to give their best - or at least to do better!

Eclipse is set to be released in June. It has a different director, and I am a little worried about his being able to stay true to the book. He has already said that he wanted it to be darker and more violent. Plus, with the actress that plays Victoria being changed from Rachel Lefervre to Bryce Dallas Howard and who knows what else? From my experience, it is the director that makes these movies work. And I hope that David Slade is up to the task.

But - New Moon is good. And that is all I'm saying.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Turkey gift

Question: How does a fat, jolly man in a red suit with a white beard turn one into a raging volcano of fury and spite? It's inexplicable. Be that as it may, I'm sending you this to negate the Santa that put you into such a foul mood. Happy THANKSGIVING.


(Also, are dead to me. Take your Christmas cheer and shove it - you know where.)

Force Feeding Me Christmas

A new favorite band...Click here.

Are you being force fed Christmas long before it is due?

You can choose to not hang the lights, to wait for the tree and to keep the CDs in their case until after Thanksgiving. But there are some things that you just can't avoid. WalMart is cheap, so if you have to shop there, you are going to have to listen to Christmas music. If you study in the library, and they already have their Christmas decor up, there really isn't much you can do about it. Working with over-zealous holiday harlots are another problem. I know that Amy has to listen to Lite 99.9 at Sunset... I'm sorry, Amy.

And today, when my boss came and put the poinsettias up on my desk and switched out my candy jar for a SANTA jar... well, there really is nothing I can do about it. I mean, I still protested. I threw a mini-tantrum under my desk. And I've quietly stared daggers into poor Santa's head since 10:30 am.

It isn't his fault, I know. And had it been December 1, I would have happily and graciously accepted my new friend. And then on top of that, my boss went on to say that she "skips right over Thanksgiving" (as if that is a good thing) and I was "lucky that he hadn't been brought out the day after Halloween."

It took me a minute to remember that my job is actually more important than Santa sitting on my desk. But, I really can't be held accountable if a turkey shows up on Monday to replace him until December... And I will continue to burn my mulled apple cider candle - or as I like to call it, Autumn in a jar. Delicious.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I saw this...

Becca and I were sitting in the front room chatting and watching the Proposal when the big window lit up like a lightning storm. Becca saw the fireball and tail and everything, but I wasn't in the right position. It was really neat. So incredible - that Becca might have shot off like a comet herself, tripped on a chair and headed to the balcony to see if she could see more. It was gone by that time.

The article below is what KSL had to say on the matter. I don't know if they interview dips on purpose, or that Utah is just full of them?

November 18th, 2009 @ 10:08pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- A fast-moving meteor lit up the night skies over most of Utah just after midnight Wednesday. Moments later, the phones lit up at KSL as people across the state called to tell us what they saw and ask what it was.
Scientists are calling it a "remarkable midnight fireball." The source of all the excitement was basically a rock, falling from space.
In addition to KSL, witnesses to the meteor quickly began call 911.
"I'm currently driving, but I just saw a giant blue flash in the sky, and it came down into the city," a caller from Ogden said.
A caller in Bountiful told dispatchers, "It flashed from the west, and it lit up the whole freakin' neighborhood."
A Salt Lake City caller said, "Ma'am, I'm not kidding you. I am terrified."
Professor David Kieda is chair of the University of Utah's astronomy department. He said the energy of the meteor coming into Earth's atmosphere was so powerful it has to be measured in Terawatts.
"It's almost like the consumption of the United States all at once. It was a fraction of a second," Kieda said.
When a meteor enters the atmosphere, it gives off a lot of heat and light. Folks at the Clark Planetarium say this rock was big--between the size of a microwave and washer-dryer unit.
"I mean this thing lit up the sky, literally. It was like daylight." - Patrick Wiggins, NASA Solar Ambassador
At exactly 12:07, people from all over the western United States watched as the bolide meteor crashed into Earth's atmosphere. In some areas, the flash of light was so bright it caused light-sensor street lamps to shut off.
Clark Planetarium Director Seth Jarvis said the stony meteorite was probably traveling 80,000 miles an hour when it hit our atmosphere. He said it happened 100 miles up in the air; so despite the brightness, Utah was never in any danger.
"These collisions can do damage, but they are extremely rare; and literally once in a century do you observe something that's actually doing damage," he said.
Witness Andy Bailey said, "Oh, it lit up the whole sky, like almost brighter than the day. It was bright."
Don White was in Wyoming and told KSL Newsradio for a moment he suspected a nuclear strike. "With something that brilliant and that fast, it was like, whoa, did we just get hit or something? It would have been some bigger noise I guess if a nuclear device had gone off," he said.
"I've seen falling stars before, but nothing like that before," said witness James Albin.
KSL received reports that the light show was picked up as far away as Tucson, Santa Fe, Butte and Frisco Peak near Milford in southwest Utah.
The University of Utah has an observatory at 9,500 feet on Frisco Peak, which captured images of the fireball itself.
"All of the sudden the whole entire sky turned blue almost like lightning was striking." - Jon Olschewski
Everyone who saw it has a once-in-a-lifetime story.
Resident Jon Olschewski said, "I noticed to the left something streaking through the sky. It was this meteor that was exploding. It was breaking off into at least five big chunks."
Many surveillance systems captured the spectacular blast of light.
"When you got this mass coming through the atmosphere, and these things are going fast, it's like if you could travel that fast on I-15, you could get from Salt Lake to St. George in a matter of 5 seconds. So these things are really going, hits the atmosphere and it makes so much pressure on its leading edge that it just shatters itself," Jarvis explained.
Roy Merrell also saw the light. He said, "There was this flash in the room, the room basically just lit up."
Others recorded a sequence of shadows as fantastic as any Hollywood studio could create.
Patrick Wiggins, NASA Solar System Ambassador to Utah, said, "To realize it was up so high--people are thinking it's right close--but the thing was up so high it was seen between L.A., Las Vegas and, of course, all over Utah. I mean, this thing was way up there."
Scientists believe it was not part of the famous Leonid debris stream; instead a sporadic asteroid, a midnight fireball, which exploded in the atmosphere with an energy equivalent of up to one kiloton of TNT.
"It was almost, I could say, like celestial," Olschewski said. "You know what I mean? One of those kind of moments like 'oh my gosh,' like 'I'm not ready' kind of thing."
In Tooele County, residents reported that they felt that moment when the meteor shattered. Wiggins said it took about 5 minutes for the sonic boom, but said he's not surprised people felt it.
"Most meteors, you don't hear them, but this one was close enough and big enough that, yeah, you definitely heard the thing. It was exciting," he said.
In fact, seismology monitors at the University of Utah picked up the rumble from the air.
Wiggins said, from his calculations, the pieces of the meteor likely fell over Dugway. He said it's possible meteorites could also be found elsewhere. He said it can't hurt to look around your yard; if you happen to find one it could be worth thousands of dollars.
KSL also received video clips of the meteor from Utah residents. Click on the video links to the right to watch the clips.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tales from Work

Talking about lunch:

Steven yelled down the stairs, "Shelli, if you went and got Mexican, you probably need to go get a shot."
"Of tequila?!" She asked excitedly.
"Or that!" Rob yelled back amongst the chuckles.
"I was thinking more like... for H1N1 or Tetanus..."
"Or hepatitis!" Todd adds.

 Dissolve into laughter. 

I love working here.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


"Are you coming to the Couple's Retreat this weekend?"
"Oh, no, my husband died in the War in Heaven."

(Thank you Stake Conference.)

Also, I am currently listening to the CES Fireside given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He is amazing. And funny. And awesome. So...listen to it here.

Our friends and family were God's Children before they were our friends and family.

Our friends and family were God's children before they were our friends and family and God will not turn His back on them - or us.

Today was Stake Conference. I sort of felt like they tricked us into a full day of church,  but in the end, I can't say that I minded. It was totally amazing. They told us that conference started at 1 pm, and didn't mention the fact that there was a session at 1 pm and a session at 3 pm - with only a half hour break between the two. Usually Stake Conference consists of a 2 hour meeting on Saturday night and a 2 hour meeting on Sunday. Since they combined the two meetings on Sunday, it was a FULL day at church.

But it was really good, regardless.

The first session had a mini speaker and then a Q & A portion. Because of technology, members of the stake were able to text their bishop on the stand and then have their questions answered. There were a few questions that I thought were interesting, and then some others that of course, don't really apply to me. Like such as the dating ones.

The next session was really spectacular. The Relief Society president spoke and she talked a lot about dating. She was funny though - so it made it OK. She sang the song Wonderful World by Sam Cook

Don't know much about history 
Don't know much biology 
Don't know much about a science book 
Don't know much about the french I took 

But I do know that I love you 
And I know that if you love me too 
What a wonderful world this would be 

from the pulpit, and a few people sang along which was pretty funny. And then they turned the time over to several converts of the Church. I love listening to converts speak. I like hearing about what changed their hearts and their minds to the Gospel. I love the enthusiasm they have in learning about Christ's Church, about His grace and  His atonement. And I love knowing that the Holy Ghost is there to be a confirmation of all those things. Plus, we have people in our stake from Eastern Europe, Brazil, Puerto Rico and South Africa. We had some converts that had been baptized 16 years ago, and others that have been members for only 3 weeks.

I was really struck by one comment from the guy who is from South Africa. He was talking about how his older brother, who is about 45, has been less active in the Church since he was 18 years old. In the time that he's been out of the Church, he's married a Catholic, fathered two girls who are now in their teens, and lived a life that by Church standards would be considered very worldly. This brother who was bearing his testimony spoke about how he had considered his brother beyond feeling. He had been out of the Church for so long, that he didn't think that there was a chance that his brother and family would ever make it to the temple - even though their mother had envisioned this family dressed in white and being sealed in the temple. But recently, one of the daughters has expressed her desire to be baptized. She has been attending church with her grandmother, and has gained a testimony of the gospel. And so the brother said, "Our friends and family were God's children before they were our friends and family. He will not turn His back on them and He will provide a way for His children to return to Him."

I've been thinking about that a lot because I was recently having a discussion with a friend who is not a member of our church, but is a true Christian. While trying to explain priesthood authority, he shared his concern with the fact that our church seemed to be "exclusionary" but he believed that Christ accepts all men and women. I want him to know that I know that our Heavenly Father and His son love us all. They want us to return to live with them and they have provided a way for all of us to do so. It is why he has established missionary work and more importantly temple work. It's why there are missionaries in the Spirit World. Heavenly Father will not forsake us. He wants us to return to Him. He loves His children.

Anyway, Becca and I got yanked up to the choir, and so we sang the prelude music and a special musical number, and I really enjoy doing that. Plus we were in the Fine Arts Center on campus, which means that church is in an auditorium. So performing is pretty cool. Plus, I really love singing. It is really my favorite part of church. I loved that we sang all the verses to How Firm a Foundation. And I loved that they didn't cut out the closing hymn of the closing song, because we actually ended on time.

Our Stake President, President Shallenberger, is pretty much the greatest guy. When he speaks, you hear the sincerity of his message and the love in his voice. You know that he cares about us as a stake, and I really can't put a price on that. Plus, he's funny. He seems to relate to us as young single adults. He speaks on our level.

There was a lot of talk on dating throughout the meeting. This always gets a little old, because in order to put into practice some of their advice, you have to actually be dating. Which we all know that I am not. So, that's kind of sad. But I did like listening to President Shallenberger's stories about dating. He also gave us 6 important acronyms that he encouraged us to live our life by.

  • ESP - everyday scripture and prayer
  • KTC - keep the commandments
  • CT - Celestial time (as in, the opposite of Mormon Standard Time - as in, be 5 minutes early)
  • BMC - be morally clean (keep a pure, open and clean mind)
  • IT&S - improve talents and skills - seek to be the best (unfortunately, this ruins my complacency with being mediocre at everything)
  • BPT  - big positive thoughts (as a man thinketh, so is he...use words like "unbelievable" and "great!")
G - Gratitude
R - Resourcefulness
E - Enduring
A - Attitude
T - Tenderness

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