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 that...it 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.
“Fold.”
“Fold.”
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.



THANK YOU, MEGHAN!


(Also, Fern...you 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

Widow

"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

The Box

I walked outside tonight because I needed to run to the store and was struck with awe at how beautiful our view is at 1:00 am. Our house is located at the base of the mountains and with the mountains and the clear sky, the distance from much of the city lights - it's beautiful. I can't believe how bright the stars are. They literally catch my attention every time I step outside. Tonight they were shining so brightly that I know that if I knew ANY constellations, I would have been able to see them all. It was so stunning.

That, of course, was the up side of my night. The downside was paying $9 to go see one of the worst movies ever made.

If only I had read this before I went to see it:


I feel compelled to warn the human race!
by Frank (movies profile) Nov 7, 2009
7 of 8 people found this review helpful


I would rather let a medical intern practice inserting a urinary catheter into me for 2 1/2 hrs. By far the worst story line for a movie I have ever seen. A third grader must have written this movie. Do yourself a favor and go watch old people eat for 2 1/2 hrs at the Old Country Buffet, that would be much more entertaining.
So basically, do what the man says and go somewhere, ANYWHERE and save yourself the money. The plot is weird, and just...dumb. The acting is so-so. I believe that actors can only do as well as the screenwriter and the director give them. In this movie, it wasn't much at all. I sat through the nearly two hour movie (thinking that I had wasted five hours of my life) wondering how Cameron Diaz or James Mardsen could even get through their lines without wondering WHY they were there in the first place. There were a few jumpy scenes. But ultimately, it was DUMB, BORING and basically torture to sit through. The group of people in front of us got up and left, and I promise that I was sitting through the movie wondering if I could get away with doing the same thing. At one point, Becca and I were rolling our eyes behind Jake's back while he was rolling his eyes at Kevin in front of me. (That doesn't describe what happened very well, but basically the roommates were making the EXACT same face of boredom and torture to each other...)

So don't go see it. If only for your sanity. It's not worth it. And I may feel just a bit dumber now having watched it. It doesn't even look good on the trailer. And trust me - it's not.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

tu mama es la rana estrana de mi corazon

I don't like when I call someone and I am ignored.

I don't think anyone likes that - but I can be particularly annoying about it. If, say, my mom doesn't answer her cell phone when I call, I will try the house phone and then Amy's phone and then Dad's phone... And then my mom again. Of course, this is just because I know that she is likely just charging her phone and doesn't hear it. But you get the point. I'm annoying.

But that isn't what happened when I called Meghan the other day and she didn't answer. I didn't leave a message or anything. But apparently I woke her from her nap, and that was enough for her to do to me what I do to others.

Namely, she called and left me seven messages of a random variety that were meant to be annoying and instead made me laugh - out loud. I can't remember what they all said, but some of them went as follows:

  • Did you know that the wanker of a killer whale is over 2ft long? Message one.
  • Did you hear on the news that.... Message two.
  • tu mama es la rana estrana de mi corazon. Message three.
  • Cat pee glows under a fluorescent light. Message four.
  • Etc.
Who could ask for cooler friends?

On a completely separate note...

My boss just informed me that our Christmas party will be before Thanksgiving. Not only that, but considering the fact that my entire office is of the married species, I, too, am meant to bring a date. Kevin warned me that they would all be checking said date out to make sure he is suitable.
"I guess that means I need to bring one of the good ones," I quipped.
It's a running joke in my office that I am somewhat of a party girl and have many boyfriends to spare.

GULP.

Where exactly do I find one of these good boyfriends that I supposedly have on hand?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Trade Off: Shelli's Version (Don't read this Meghan!)

My friend DeeAura posted this same blog post a few days ago...but, it is SO true that I couldn't help do the same.

Yesterday was a bad day. There were tears, frustration and phone calls made to Mom that included tears, complaining and frustration. That's the sort of thing that stats does to me on a regular basis. Of course it was made worse by seeing a low test score that I had hoped would be much higher. I had been almost confident when I went in to take the test, and then realized that no matter what I do or how much I know the material - I will still probably just barely pass the class. It squashed any type of motivation I had to move on to Unit 2. Gosh I hate stats.

So I was in a fairly bad mood. Emotional, bitter, resentful, angry, frustrated and anti-social. But I popped online and my sister's "For Shelli" folder of pictures had been updated. A new album had been created for Halloween pictures.

And I got to look at this cute thing for half an hour:

 
She's just stinkin' adorable. I can't even stand it. I could look at her all day. Seriously Amy, anytime you want me to take her - I will. You just have to get her here. :(

Monday, November 02, 2009

Family History

I wanted to do a big long post - but it's late and I need to go to bed. I just wanted to record one thing that we discussed in my class today and I can type faster than I can write.

My first lesson for my Family History course is, of course, about the gospel principals that accompany the work we do in relationship to doing temple work and the saving ordinances.I watched the short clips that the teaching manual provides and was really struck with how important this work is. How much we need to change our attitudes about doing Family History and how much work there really is to do.

It struck me in the video, one of the brethren that was interviewed was talking about how there are many who leave this life wondering if there is a God, and if He knows and loves them. There are so many that depart this life feeling burdened by grief, pain, loneliness and sin - and by providing a way for them to be saved by us, shows that a loving Father in Heaven is mindful of them and has provided a way to return to Him. Not only that, but that every name on every record that we are able to gain access to represents a living, breathing person from the past who had a family. Someone who lived and loved and struggled throughout this life and has work that needs to be done. We have to remember that these lists of names aren not just names to be forgotten - they are sons and daughters of God who need to have their work done just as much as we do ourselves.

One of the girls in my class described Family HIstory in a very striking way. She said that Family History and temple work have been designed like a relay. In a relay, it is common practice to put the second to fastest runner/swimmer first. That way, they are able to get the work going and pull into a comfortable lead. The second and third person go, each playing an important part in this race. And then the fourth person is set forth - the fastest. The one who is meant to close the race with victory. While she was telling this analogy, I thought of the pioneers and how they were so excited when the revelation of baptisms for the dead was given. They used a wooden font to the point where they had to replace it with a stone one. They continued to do the work while being driven out of their homes. They worked unceasingly in the temple in order to provide their deceased loved ones with the same saving ordinances in which they held so dearly to themselves.

We are in the finally leagues of the race and we have to be the fastest. We have to do as much as we can in order to get this important work going.

www.familysearchindexing.org

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