Friday, October 31, 2008

And a great cry went up throughout the land of Provo...and there was great weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. For they did fear the future...

And because of their great pride in their recent prosperity, they new they would be brought low. For it was the mighty nation of the Utes, that humble and graceful people, that had been bidding their time, waiting for that choice moment, in which to make war with those Cougars of the South. The Ute Nation had pressed forward, enduring with all diligence, speed, agility, and humility, awaiting that time when they would, once again, become the BCS busting Mountain West Champions, and more importantly, aide that frivolous and hard-hearted kingdom of the South, to recognize their weaknesses before them.
The time is upon us. The Count Down Begins.

Rice Eccles Stadium
Utah vs BYU - November 22, 2008
So let it be written...

(Pic courtsey of Janers the Wench)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Presenting Joshua, Missy, and an altercation with a beanie wearing "Venue" worker

Last night I went to the Joshua Radin/Missy Higgins concert at In the Venue near the Gateway.

It was basically awesome. I love small venue's like that. It's a much more chill, relaxed, setting where one can have more "interaction" with the artist. Josh and Missy (yes - that's how close we became) were very down to earth and...well..."cool." Joshua Radin didn't have a "set song list" - so he took requests from the audience - played what we wanted to hear. He was kinda dorky - but in a "quietly confident" way. Missy was the same; confident, chill, but down to earth and relatable. Gasp! Just like regular folks. (I hate it when anyone meets someone "famous" and explaims with wonder "they're just like regular folks!"...like, what did you expect?) Here are some pics and video from the nights events...
I've got some serious red-eye in this pic - but check out my "concert wear." Gold shoes! Perfect! Group Shot! Camille, Misty, Rob, and Moi. Red-eye galore. I know I can fix that somehow. Meh. Goes with the Halloween theme. Joshua himself...
Blurry Missy - hey I tried. Not much you can accomplish with my Digital Camera of amateur...ism.

A bit of a duet. Most excellent.

And I've been trying to download my vidoe of Joshua singing my FAVORITE song - Today - amongst a few other tid-bits (I tried to yell PAPERWEIGHT for him to sing...my other favorite song, buuuuuut - it IS a duet and last night it was only him and his gee-tar. So...next time I will offer to sing it with him...), but the computer just isn't feeling it. I will post them somewhere else later.

And now...the Altercation Explanation

We also had a little "altercation" with a beanie wearing girl. Yes true. You know me - I don't get into altercations...often..unless passionate about something...or provoked...which I was provoked. Ahem. We had all decided to enjoy the concert from the balcony. This helps the "wee ones" of our group (read me and Camille...averaging 5 feet 1 inches respectively), and it's fun to "look out" over all the folks below. We were there early enough (read: Rob was there early enough) that we got some really good spots on the balcony for to watch said concert. All four of us were standing by each other with a little room to spare. We stood like that, 4 of us right next to each other, in the exact same spots, throughout Joshua Radin's set. When he was finished, there was a brief (read 30 minutes! Geeeez) break between sets and Camille and Misty decided they might have to visit the Ladies Room. Honestly - they were just discussing it and had merely "stepped back" about one foot from their "leaning spots" when suddenly two girls and a "dude" swooped in and elbowed Camille right out. RIGHT OUT! She stood there for a moment like "er..." then went and sat on some steps about 3 feet from us. It was as if this group of spot usurpers been waiting to snag some unsuspecting concert goers excellent standing spot the MOMENT it looked like they MIGHT be moving. Truth be told non of us had left...and had barely moved at all. We kinda looked at each other with the "uh...okay" look and then eyed the two girls - one of them wearing a very woolly large beanie INSIDE to a concert, clearly annoyed. Well, we didn't want to make a fuss - so we kind of squished in there together and tried to spare a little room for when Camille came back from her "I need to sit down" moment. What made it all really awesome though, was that beanie girl kept "sliding" our direction...trying to really elbow us out of are designated territory. Misty finally started to say something - seeing as she was suffering most of the "elbow" brunt. I caught bits and pieces of their conversation - one where Misty asked her to slide down a bit because she stole our friends spot in the first place - and beanie girl started to raise her voice: "Oh! You pushed US first! You had left! I work for a magazine!"

What? What ARE you smoking dearie? And shouldn't you have like... a "media pass" or "better seats" or something?

I jumped in at this moment and said "Uh...we've been here the entire time. You've probably been waiting in the wings to swoop in and take someones spot. You've been elbowing us out the. entire. time."

"Oh no! You pushed me AND you left!" She was very passionate about that point...the leaving.

I gave her a look that said "You know you're a liar." Then said, "No one left. We've been here the entire time and you keep trying to shove us further out. It's pretty lame what you're trying to do."

The "dude" finally steps in and says "Naw...er...you guys left."

Well we didn't acknowledge him and continued with our "fuss" with beanie girl. Finally she said, all puffed up, beanied, and important, "Well I WORK for In the Venue! So you better watch it!"

So wait...a magazine for In the Venue or In the Venue? Or neither? Yeah...neither.

Now - I can be rather sarcastic at times. I have sarcastic humor - and if I were really a mean person - I'm pretty sure I could turn my sarcastic powers to evil. I try not to do this. I would like my powers to be used for good - for " good natured laughs" if you will - but beanie girl said just the right thing to turn my mean sarcasm dial to full power:

I conjured up the most "ohhhh YOU'RE the Queen of the Universe? I had no idea!" look at responded: "Ohhhhhh! Oh had I KNOWN you WORK in the VENUE we would've let you shove us right out the door! Oh! Had I ooooooonnnnly knooooooown THAT!" And with that I turned back towards the concert.

Beanie girl mumbled something like "yeah...you better watch it.." to which I giggled audibly but softly and shook my head. Beanie girl and dude stayed for about 10 seconds of silence - and then they left. They also left their other friend behind - but she seemed okay with this. I assume "beanie" was going to try and find her "Venue" buddies that didn't actually exist. She never came back.

So aside from that little "altercation" - the concert was awesome! And I would go see both of them again in a heartbeat! Maybe next time I'll wear a wool beanie with my golden shoes and cover all the bases.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Apparently Doughnuts Don't Cure Nostalgia

I woke up this morning thinking about my job at BYU Independent Study. Ya know, the one I gave up to "travel the world" about 3 months ago. (3 months ago? What the?!??!?).

Does that ever happen to you? You suddenly wake up in the morning with a thought already in your head? It's as if you've walked in, in the middle of your own conversation - only just catching the last bit of a phrase or thought. Actually I even felt like I had woken up halfway through a sentence..."and that's why we don't give out student information..." The memory was vivid and as the mind can do in an instant - all the faces and good people I'd interacted with at BYU IS suddenly flashed through my mind - like a slide show set on "super-speed" flash forward. Inter-mixed with the familiar faces were snippets, almost snapshots, of familiar areas in the Harmon Building where I worked: Lauren's Desk and her "special chair for special people", the Tutor cubicles, Caye's Office, Rachael's work station, the breath taking mountain view out of my office space windows that never grew old - never grew routine, the sun rising at 7:25am over the peaks, the bustle of "testing" employees beginning to arrive, Teri coming by carrying her lunch and offering an always cheery "good morning" as she strolled by, Joseph and his sarcastic remarks, friends peaking over my cubicle wall to see what I was up to, Naomi's sardonic and wonderfully entertaining emails, SPARK, and the dozens of little employees coming back to ask questions or change their schedule or tell me about their life. All of these details passed through my mind in an instant - and left me clearly nostalgic - but also rather melancholy and empty.


As I crawled out of bed, rather immersed in these new and sudden feelings of nostalgia for a place I dearly came to love and no longer part of my everyday, I began to remember even more details, more little "routines" and catch phrases that created the "every day" of BYU IS. It's so rare to find a place you love working, even with it's own little ups and downs, with good people you enjoy working with, in an atmosphere that's overall welcoming and progressive. I started to think of my quiet mornings from 6am-8am - when it was me and my handful of employees at a wee hour - just trying to wake up and start the day. I thought of how shamefully I would buy a Diet Coke from the...oh what was that place called...I can see the label in my head...Oh! The Crest Station...and a pack of hostess crunch (can I tell you I always have called them crumb doughnuts? Crunch? There's not crunch! But many a crumb) doughnuts for my morning "pick-me-up." Luckily - by starting the morning out so unhealthily - I was motivated to be healthy and even exercise later that day. Is there a name for that? Disgusting Calorie over-load reverse psychology? Just plain nausea and shame? Maybe a combo. Anyway, upon remembering this "early morning" tradition - I resolved to try and bring back some of that feeling of "home" I finally felt at BYU IS, this morning. Yes. That would life my Spirits and solve the hungry nostalgia that had so sneakily bombarded me first thing this morning.

However- even when I bought the "crunch" doughnuts from the vending machine and swigged a Diet soda - it just wasn't the same. True - I still feel shamefully nauseated at what I'd just consumed. True - I feel like for the rest of the day I should eat salad greens and drink purified water - but it didn't fulfill that little void, heal that tiny little ache, that BYU IS had left inside me. It wasn't so much the doughnuts or the soda - but the buying it from the Crest station at 5:55am that I missed. It wasn't the sugary satisfaction or the caffeine ZING that I craved - but my good friends, my little employees, and my sun-lit windows.

The truth is - the doughnuts or the beverage didn't cure my nostalgia like I thought it might. Sometimes I feel like I was taken away from my "Provo life" a little early - like I didn't have time to sit back and thoroughly enjoy finally finding some stability in my job, a good circle of friends, sports nights, and other such lovely little things of life, before it was gone. I guess that's some of the risk of the choices we make - and I did CHOOSE to leave all those things behind for something I'd been dreaming about my entire life. So, you can't blame me for leaving, can you? Childhood dreams and fairytale wishes is a fairly GOOD reason to take a risk. Though, in the end, the dreams ended up evaporating in the light of day - as dreams tend to do -and as it turns out, fairy tales are just that...fairy tales. Though - I've never been one to completely give up on the whimsical... as much as reality tries to make me.

You can, perhaps, blame me for not loving what I had when I had it, when it was "right there" and finally feeling good - feeling comfortable - feeling like I finally belonged again - feeling like home. What I wouldn't give to feel like "home" again.

And no more of those early morning doughnuts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Come to find

I really hated that background I had going. Too....MUCH, wasn't it? It was. I also felt like I was squinting to read. Don't noooobody want to squint to read. Back to some clean cut and classic designs, yes? Yes. Much more...me I would say.

A rather musically inclined weekend...

I've come to find that my weekends have taken on "themes." I only just noticed this as I started to report on my weekend happenings just now.

Last weekend was all about the sports! Volleyball games, football games, played some of my own sports. It was a Sporty McSport weekend. This weekend was very musically themed. I honestly don't do it on purpose - but perhaps my subconscious OCD mind likes things to be properly grouped, categorized, and at least matching...weekends are no exception.

My friend Terilyn and I saw the Opera, Madame Butterfly, on Friday night. I love love LOVE love going to the theater - in any form. LOVE the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, love musicals any which way, love the ballet, very much enjoy the symphony in any and all respects, and...I'm "okay" with the Opera. When it comes to Opera I will likely only go see those more "popular" productions: The Marriage of Figaro and clearly, Madame Butterfly, etc. Our seats found via KSL.com were pretty good, and the music was fantastic. If you don't speak Italian - which really in Utah I bet more often people do - you have to see pass the rather cheesy translations and just enjoy the beauty of the music. One thing to be said about Opera is how completely blown away I am by the power of the performers voices. How they can project such a rich and vibrant sound out of their bodies is a talent far beyond me. Oh - also - Elder Oaks and his wifey were in the audience. It's always exciting to "Apostle-spot", and in SLC it's not uncommon. I saw Elder Holland in the Avenues Smiths once. Fancy that! Terilyn and I found our seats on the West side of the bottom floor and as I was taking off my jacket and scanning the audience (I'm a people-scanner), about two rows in front of us and sitting in the middle section I saw a familiar face. I looked at Terilyn and asked her "So...who is that gentleman over there? Is that Elder Oaks?" Terilyn glanced and confirmed that indeed it was. Pretty. Neat. O. Also - I had a rather notable experience with the girl sitting on the other side of me. She was dressed to the nines and probably about my age or a little younger. I appreciated that she'd dressed up for the Opera. I also dressed up. I have a huge pet peeve about how incredibly casual we are here in Utah when it comes to cultural events. Would it KILL us to dress up and go out? I think it's fun. And maybe most folks think that Sunday is enough of a "dress up" for one week - but honestly - we're even starting to look a liiiiiittle shabby on the Sabbath as well. A rant for another time probably. Anyway - chica sitting next to me seemed excited about the production and sat quietly with the rest of us enjoying the first and second acts. During the final 3rd act - where all the sorrow and tragedy come to a head - this girl next to me starts gasping, and making "crying noises." I say "crying noises" because she wasn't even in the remotest way actually crying. She was just making the noises - through the last 20 minutes of the production. I glanced at Terilyn to see if she'd noticed - but she hadn't. I tried to peer through the corner of my eye at "the cryer" to see if in fact she was so "culturally touched" and discovered complete dry cheeks and no girl-wiping of the eyes (ya know - how girls have to wipe tears in such a way as to not smear this and that - staring at the ceiling and wiping beneath the eye lash line), yeah, none of that. And she had plenty to smear if tears should've actually escaped her totally dry tear ducts. Sister, I was impressed that 1. You being dressed up and attending this Opera 2. Without a date, but with another female buddy and 3. Did not text through the entire thing. The fake tears to show how "culturally sensitive" you are - yeah - not necessary. When the lights came up her "tearful empathy for the dead Madame Butterfly" was most abruptly at an end and she simply turned to her friend and cheerfully exclaimed "Well that was good! Lets go!" Huh. Okay.

Saturday wasn't too incredibly musically inclined except I GOT MYSELF A GUITAR!! TA DA!!! That's right! You recall my thoughts upon wanting to get one for Christmas and finally try to learn an instrument I'd been "meaning" to for years. YEARS I say! Well, whilst perusing ksl.com (lovely site really) I found a bran spanking new guitar including tuner, picks, and Basic Guitar for Dummies booklet, for an incredibly reasonable price. The girl selling said guitar explained she had bought it with all the intentions to play, but because of a wrist injury due to a motorcylcing accident (yeah - she's that kind of cool) she couldn't do it. Huzah! We had a bargain! She lives in Brigham City while I'm in SLC (er..Taylorsville) so we decided to meet in O-Town (That's Ogden to the non-Utahn). We did just that on Saturday morning. Thus, I'd like to present the newest edition to my traveling gypsy lifestyle...naturally...
Clearly it needs a name. Any suggestions? I was thinking something striking like...Daphne or...Zoe. Sophia? Ginny? Gwendolyn? Hmmm...thoughts?

Here I am tuning the thing. It seriously took me over an hour to do it. And every time I've sat down since I've tuned and tuned and tuned. I like it to sound just right. My left handed finger tips are numbed. They had some deep grooves in them all weekend as I strummed and practiced and strummed. I'll have you know I'm already rather proficient with the A, D, and E chords. I feel G and Em will come along this week. I can also already sketchily play Kumbiya, My Lord. I'm well on my way to being a professional. I've composed a "song list" I'd like to be competent at by this time next year...
  • Paperweight - Joshua Radin and Shuyler Fisk - a duuuuuuet.
  • Today - Joshua Radin - here he is performing it on Ellen (so...cheesy lame moment. If any man were ever to sing me a song - this is the song I would have him sing. Someone should mental note that...anyone...)
  • I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You - Colin Hay
  • Come Come Ye Saints - I had to throw a hymn in there - one of my favorites
  • Winding Road - Bonnie Somerville

Maybe one day I'll even write my own little composition. Ooo - look at that ambition! I remember making up all sorts of little diddys on the piano in my High School days. I'm just incredibly happy to have BOTH a piano AND a guitar at my disposal now. Come to find my Aunty has a piano - so Sunday - to stick with my "musical weekend" theme, I dug out my piano music and loosened up the old piano fingers. And BOY did they need loosening. My goal for Piano-ing is to APTLY (very key...get it? Key? Snort.) play Dawn from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack as well as Pachalbels Canon in D. I'm getting there. I forget how therapeutic playing the piano is for me. It's like reading...and sports. I can put whatever stresses and worries I have in the world on hold and just enjoy the music, and enjoy focusing on something worth while and controllable. I may not know what lies ahead in life yet I must continue to live it - however, when I practice the piano (and now the guitar) I know eventually I will get better and better. There's some comfort in that...some stability...some distraction in the moment.

I also made cookies!!! And SOUP! And Bread! And took some loverly fall pics at Liberty Park!Only the cookies (dough) and leaves are featured here...

To top off my musically inclined weekend I watched a fabulous Indy film called "The Visitor." When I rented it I didn't know it was about music in any respect - and it wasn't entirely - but clearly part of the overall theme. I HIGHLY recommend this film. It's wonderfully simple and well-done. It's one of those movies that leaves you pensive, yet satisfied in the end. It was a lovely topper to a lovely musically inclined weekend...with cookies on the side.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What to wear...what to wear...hmmm

My favorite holiday is Halloween. True Story. I think it has to do with the under appreciated and not fully explored thespian spirit within me. I always feel I'd be a good "stagey" (I made that up - but you get it), but have never taken the risk and tried out for anything. I mean, I've not been blessed with the seemingly pointless ability to do a multiplicity of fairly decent accents for nothing right? RIGHT!?!? Self-discovery note: I'm finding there are a lot of things that I'm interested in (seemingly everything) and for some reason have never explored. Why is this? What have I been waiting for? Will you allow me to foreshadow for a moment? In light of this recent "why have I not just been doing and trying all those things I want to" I've purchased something that I'm picking up this weekend from Ogden. Intrigued? Excited? Indifferent? Well stay tuned my friends because I've finally decided to buckle down and learn something I've always wanted to and never had the where-with-all, the confidence, nay the TIME to try. You better believe there will be a post about it - and pics. Always some pics.

Ahem. Where was I? So Halloween. Love it! I love dressing up. All year I try and gather ideas for what I will be the next year. I've hardly had any "big" Halloweening plans - but so long as I can dress up at some point (or many points) I'm one. happy. camper. That said, here are a few thoughts I've been mulling over. I require YOUR input as well. What do be this Halloween Season?
  • Eliza Dolittle as the Cockney Flower Girl (kinda wanted to save this one until I had an 'Enry 'Iggins to go with it but hey, who knows how long THAT could take)



  • Little Red Riding Hood - classic, simple and cute. Now if there were a Wolf to go with Little Red that would be a great coupling...alas...again with the lack of coupling as of late...or...ever, really. Cough.


  • Punked out Cat (I'm thinking some great big colored hair, kitty ears, a tail, and some "punky" clothes...it's a vision..and I thought this pic was GREAT!).

  • 20's Flapper - inspired by one Angelina Jolie in her new film "Changeling " I really most seriously LOVE her hat. Eh? At least there's a "decent" pic of this.
And that will do it. I'd like you to know, dear Internet, that is a whittled down list. I also tried to find some decent pictures a la Google image to help you make a more "informed" decision - but honestly couldn't find much. I know right? Even of Eliza Dolittle (as a flower girl)! I tried to Google image Little Red Riding Hood and well - Google and I have very different ideas of what constitutes an image search like that. Cough. So that came to an immediate halt. I just picked something "close enough" and ran with it. Ran far away.
So! With a little imagination and serious consideration - lets figure out this Halloween costume. And can we do it in a timely fashion? I'm on a deadline.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Someday?



See JCrew - and hurt inside like I do.

Unless you CAN afford it - then don't tell me. I guess I should've picked something other than teaching if I wanted to wear things like this. Ha. Or not given up my entire world to "go see the world" which now I don't get either. All my lost dreams culminate in this olive green silk taffeta ruffled dress. I think I would've worn it in Rome. If only I were going to Rome...

C'est la vie.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Proposition 8 Gains Momentum - and those "wealthy" Mormons are behind it all

"Mom, guess what I learned in school today?" asks one young actress in the commercial. "I learned how a prince married a prince, and how I can grow up to marry a princess!"

The honeymoon's over for gay newlyweds as Mormons lead revolt

This is an excerpt of a story I found on my friend Lauren's blog. The "opinion" of the article is clear - but the fact it recognizes that religious groups - one of which is the "wealthy Mormons" - have spear-headed the Prop 8 campaign and taken the "opposition" off guard - is well over due.

The time has come to choose - and it's difficult. We can no longer reside in the gray areas. It's time for black or white. This or that. Do or Don't. Honestly folks I have some politically traditionally "leftist" leanings myself. But after reading this article and seeing that an elementary school in San Francisco chose a same-sex wedding for a FIELD TRIP put me over the edge. What ever happened to the Zoo? Have our field trips gone from tours of M&M plants and Petting Zoo's to Abortion Clinics and Same-Sex Marriages? What if a school wanted to take a field trip to a religious edifice like a Cathedral or historic church site? We can't "force" God upon our children - but we can "educate them on the ways of the world" by encouraging "Princes to marry Princes" or "If you get pregnant - that's fine - just abort it and keep having unsafe sex." If my children can read about Princesses falling in love with Princesses in school then by damn they can pray if they want to too. Where's the line? How far can school's go under the banner "it's to educate" our children? I choose the 3 R's myself - what do you choose?

I believe we can not hide ourselves away or create a "bubble of safety" around our children. As much as we want to shelter them from a world seething with contention and moral decay - we can not fully do that. We can't choose for them. And we certainly can't keep them in a dark room, curtains drawn, and the TV unplugged. I believe children need to learn to cope with the world - learn about it and choose to not be "of it." We need to equip them with the values and virtues they will need to survive in a world of ethical disembodiment. It's not about hiding away - but about preparing for the battle.

If I were a Californian - I would vote Yes on Prop 8. It was a decision I thoroughly researched and have not blindly made. It's not fully a decision based on my Churches counsel - though of course I will always follow the Churches counsel - but one based on what I think is right. I can't stand in the gray either.

The time has come to choose. And we aren't only choosing for ourselves where we stand - but we're choosing for our children. Think about that when you go to the polls California. Think about it carefully.

A Be-Ute-a-Ful Weekend. Boo-yes.

As it turns out, the Utes are pretty good at sports. True story. I knew it all along though.
This weekend I went to several sporting events of winningness and fun (yes, winningness). Friday night was the BYU vs Utah women's volleyball game down in ye olde Provo-Town. Directly after work - Nikelle and I took her brothers car (seeing as both of our cars a. may explode soon and b. aren't the best on gas) and headed down to Happy Valley. Our tall friend Ryan was coming with us - and apparently he thought we were supposed to pick him up from his work in Lehi. We had discussed it - but I didn't realize we'd solidified it. Psh. He called us right when we were crawling (literally crawling) passed the American Fork exit and threatened us with losing his friendship if we didn't turn around "IMMEDIATELY" and pick him up. "Okay Princess, we'll be right there" I soothed him. Being the true friends we are, Nik and I took the next exit - right on the cusp of being released from crawling Friday night I-15 Southbound traffic- and picked up Princess RyRy. Phew. Close one. We almost lost a FRIENDSHIP! We made it to the game just in time for "spike-off" - ah ha ha ha - I kill myself. Ahem...

Here are a few of the memories caught in 7.0 mega-pixels:

Go Utes! And GO they did! The Utes won in 3 rallies. Piece. Of. Cake.

Tall Ryan and Wee Me

Ryan trying to be fresh and me trying to hold strong...Abort! I lost this game of chicken...barely.

We had ourselves some delicious Pizza Factory tastiness afterwards and called it a night. Yep. In bed by 11:30. That's how I roll. It's still a bittersweet experience when I go to Provo - I miss my life there - but hey - guess it was time to press on.

The next day I went to the UofU vs CSU football game. I can't even describe how incredibly beautiful it was that day. Oh heck, yes I can! It was LOVELY. It felt like June rather than an October that snowed last weekend. The weather was perfectly pleasant and the game even more so. The Utes were in top form and dare I say CRUSHED the opposition - 16-49! Holla! The defense always looks good, the offense pulled through, and we need not even mention Sakoda - the Utes constant. My friend Chris and I had a great time - and we hope to see another crucial win against TCU come Nov 6th. Considering BYU LOST BIG TO TCU (sorry - I've been restraining myself for days and finally wanted to shout BYU LOST!!!!! BWAhahahahahaha!), it puts the Utes in a great position for a BCS bid. Not BYU though. Oh the humbling.

And the highlights are as follows. Mmm hmmm.

Rice-Eccles! Oh...behold the Crimson!


Come to find there are some very serious Ute fans. How great is this guy?



Avast! Ye Scabrous dogs! Ye Bilge Rats! Have at us!

Making the play.

video

Ahem so - I realize this video is side-ways. I didn't know I couldn't rotate it later. And maybe I can but don't have the "know-how." Never the less this is a little video of the "Crazy Lady." This lovely woman has some sweet dance moves and the crowd loves her! Every football game between the 3rd and 4th Quarter she comes out and does her "crazy" dance for the crowd. It's rather cooooooool. Tilt your head and enjoy. It's worth a kink.
After the game I went out to dinner with my good friend Terilyn. We ate at "The Atlantic" because it's deliciously my favorite and I've probably mentioned it in about every single post that includes going out to eat. I guess I should compose a "Just for You, Atlantic" post to familiarize all ya'll on where exactly it is I love to eat all the time. Excellent notion! We also went and saw The Duchess with Kira Knightly. Ahem. Honestly - the movie was - "good" in the sense that it was well-done and the acting was spot-on. However, I felt it should've been rated R what with all its..."scenes" and "noises" and more "scenes" that just kept going. Kira Knightly did a fantastic job - and the costumes and music was really amazing - however, as I sat there watching it I thought "Yeah...I'm done with PG-13's forever." True, everyone. It's getting ridiculous what constitutes a PG-13 anymore. I wouldn't let any 13 year old sit through that movie - I shouldn't have sat through that movie - and after watching a horribly violent and dark X-Files - I just think it's best to avoid the whole lot. I guess that's a rant for another time though...
GO UTES!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A bit of a rant on Mormon modifications of clothing that just shouldn't be

I'd like to talk about this item...
Being LDS there is a standard, a code if you will, of appropriate attire. We are a "modest" people (though this does not mean unstylish...oh no no no). We (ideally) shy away from styles and fads that are overly extreme or overly revealing. This goes so far as to include hair color and piercings. We are counseled to avoid the too low, too high, too unnatural (clearly bleaching doesn't count...snort...and yes I had some green sprigs in my hair once...my ONE moment of rebellion and it's green hair sprigs...), and generally too "much." A lot of this counsel most clearly is directed towards women - since women clearly have a greater range of clothing choice and, lets say, more private areas to consider covering.


That said...


Although I "appreciate" that LDS women are trying to find ways to "modest-ify" some of the worlds more popular trends, and even have started businesses that specialize particularly in more modest and "covering" attire (which really is great - I mean finding a formal dress that doesn't require something over it or under it is the find of a CENTURY - am I right ladies?), I do NOT appreciate the universal white t-shirt that all (read: most...) women assume can go "under" EVERYTHING and match anything. The truth: it can't and it doesn't. For some reason some LDS women are under the notion that the white t-shirt dictates they can suddenly WEAR the tube tops, the halter tops, the sleeveless what nots, and the spaghetti straps. Oh thank the Lord for the generic white cap sleeved tee. Right? No, I disagree. I find it completely tacky in MOST respects. No, not all respects, but MOST respects.



I also don't understand why it's always the white tee. I mean there ARE other colors and I admit I've seen the "wear a t-shirt under that immodest dress" idea pulled off rather nicely. Example: General Conference I saw a girl who had a black dress on and a black t-shirt under it. It looked really good - and the t-shirt boasted other natural fibers other than "casual cotton." She did it well. She realized that the white tee can be taken to other lengths, like colors - and THIS I feel is possibility for making some revealing bits of clothing more "wear-able" for the LDS woman.


Point: the white tee is NOT the universal "go under." One of my biggest pet peeves and one of the tackiest things I've EVER seen is the white "cure all" tee under a tube top. Shudder. Ladies - I think we all just have to accept as LDS women who want to follow "the dress code" that we simply can not wear some things. I think the attempt to Mormon-ify some styles is commendable, and as mentioned it DOES work sometimes. I mean, why do we always have to put things UNDER our straplesses and sleevelesses, why not put something OVER it instead? A tasteful cardigan should be the Mormon women's staple item. I have 3 myself - in your basic cream, dark brown, and black - and I'd like more. Take a risk - look into cardigans. Nordstrom has many.


So, come come ladies - expand your ideas for "modesting" your clothes and put something over "it" - and PLEASE don't think just because it's a white tee shirt it can go under ANY "immodest by itself" item. Just accept that there are some things out there that you just plain can not wear. If we're going to follow these guidelines - then lets not try and include the "world" in them by trying to modify a tube top with a white tee. It really looks THAT bad. Tubes weren't meant for tee's - and thus tube's weren't met for "modest conscious" LDS womens. Trust me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ex-Mormons Gather in SLC for Conference - and I'm not referring to the semi-annual one.

I found this...odd. I've never heard of any other group that would "gather" because they used to be "part" of another organization - especially if that organization is a religion. I've heard of the "exWives Club", but that's really the only thing that comes to mind - and it's not even real. Mostly it seems that groups gather to support a common cause and unite in that cause because they are FOR it or part of it - this is like the anti-thesis of gathering - it's like gathering because you don't believe something specifically and we need the support for our "non-support." I thought those were called protesters or lobbyists. And an Ex-Mormon support group? Like, comparable to Alcoholics Anonymous or intervention for former drug addicts? I guess there are "support" groups for all kinds of things - this one just seemed incredibly off-kilter to me. And the fact they're meeting in SLC seems a little against the point of their "organization" doesn't it? Come to the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we'll talk about how we left it. Refreshments will be served - and it won't include green Jell-O or any sort of casserole.

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10735564

What if I really just want this...

I'm fairly simple when it comes to jewelry. I prefer timeless classics rather than gaudy now. Thus, I'd like to inquire, what screams "CLASSIC!" more than pearls...this is my question...and this is my desire...and this is maybe for my Birthday next year from some "unknown lovable source." I sure am pinning a lot of hopes on one beautiful pearl necklace...and "non-existent lovable source."

Find more here

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It stings a little inside - this irony thing

Have you ever read something about someone elses life or experience and thought "Hey! Wait a minute! That was supposed to be my incredibley storybook-esque moment! And I was right - I would've been blindingly happy..." No? Well I don't recommend it. ;)

I just read a post on a blog I frequent - and realized the story she just posted was supposed to be my story before everything was turned completely upside down and then kicked for good measure. Ya know - those times when your dreams are "right there"..and then not. One of those "too good to be true" instances that you have hope for - and then reality sharply grabs your attention again and pronounces with a wagging finger; "Tsk tsk tsk...what made you think that was really going to happen?" Well, I don't know why I thought that. Just plain sillyness I suppose.

A glimmer of the non-obscene on TLC

While living a pointless existence in Corte Madera California for a month, I started doing something I don't ever usually do. It's not because I think it will "melt" my mind or it's a waste of time (though it kind of is - I'd rather read), I just don't find it THAT entertaining. Which is weird - because that's the point right? Oh, I'm talking about watching TV. Yes yes. In my old age I only watch CNN, the local news, maybe a splash of The Office or The Simpson's or the History Channel or the Food Network now and again. TV just doesn't hold my attention for long amounts of time. I can take about a hour and I'm good. However, in Corte Madera Steven and I didn't have a whole lot to take up our time, so we got into a bit of a "TV Routine." We woke up each morning to a few classics such as Saved By the Bell and my personal favorite - Fresh Prince. Also. So. Very. Lucky for us that the Olympics were going on too. Boo-yes. Volleyball (beach and otherwise), diving, water polo (which I learned much about!) swimming swimming swimming, gymnastics (which I didn't get to watch a lot of - hiss!), and we even witnessed in wonder and awe the amazing dexterity of Badminton. Have any of you WATCHED real Badminton players? It's pretty intense! Youtube it. I also got Steven into watching one of my favorite shows What Not to Wear a la the TLC network. How can you not LOVE this show? I mean clearly the subject matter appeals to a very specific (usually female) audience, but the Clinton Kelly and Stacy London cleverly hilarious and sarcastic combo probably accounts for half of the shows appeal. I find myself laughing as well as oggling some of the fan-tas-tic makeovers that some decent clothing and hairspray can perform. Think about it. If people would just bath and buy things that FIT them - everyone would be much more attractive in general. I mean - take someone who is reasonably attractive on their own - and show them how to dress their body and holy on-sale Banana Republic jeans and clearanced JCrew Polo! - hottness. I went completely "girl" on that entire last sentence didn't I? Well, come to find I am a girl.

That said, since I came back from Corte Madera, I have started to see what else the TLC network has to offer. Honestly, go ahead and call me Pamela Prude or Molly Mormon, but regular TV these days is just plan disturbing, or overtly sexualized, or nauseatingly violent or all THREE! I HATE even the mention of Desperate Housewives. I've seen maybe a quarter of an episode and I just absolutely abhor the whole idea of it. Must we demean EVERYTHING good and sacred LEFT in this world? I also watched the premiere of a show a couple weeks ago...oh what's it called...Fringe I think (from the co-creators of Lost (which I DO love - and which will now go down the toilet as a friend of mine predicted it would if the creators started working on a new show...just like Alias ended stupidly..apparently. Hopes. Crushed. But I'll still watch. Mmm, Dr. Jack. Ahem...where was I?)), and on the first episode everyone's FACES melted off! Okay, kinda cool, but I found myself slightly disturbed with that image burned into my skull for a couple of hours. Perhaps I've also become extra sensitive in my old age. Naw, the world is enveloped in desensitizing media that continues to push the "crude, obscene, what-else-can-we-get-away-with" line until soon - no one can turn on day time television without naked breasts or exploding heads (or exploding breasts!) thrust upon them. And I use the word thrust on purpose.

With that rant out of the way - might I share with you - dear Internet of Pamela's and Molly's - some shows that TLC has so greatly created for the wholesome good enjoyment of all.

What Not to Wear - clearly!


John and Kate Plus 8 (I really love this show. Most women probably watch it and think - auto-birth control - nope - I watch and think "Yeah! I could do 8!" Maybe I should stop watching for awhile. Cough.)

Little People, Big World

I like these shows, well mostly the last two, because it's pushing against the grain of where the world, where "conventional" media is headed - the slums. They are stories about families. They are stories about husbands and wives who love and support each other. They show the ups and downs, the stresses and the reliefs, the sadness and the joys. THIS is closer to "real life" than Desperate Housewives or Sex in the City or other such garbage. It is part of the reality TV craze - but I walk away from these shows uplifted rather than sickened. On a grander scale - it proves that there is SOME form of wholesome entertainment out there and that the entire world hasn't gone all "drama-sex-adultery-melting faces" on us.

Oh - and a note on What Not To Wear - having a little "style" in life doesn't hurt either. ;) Doesn't hurt a-tall.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Your Birthday! Blizzards and all!

This weekend I turned 25. DAH! What? Where? No no, it's okay. I think 25 is a good...ripe..age. Ripe? Well it's a good age. It's the mid-20's! Most literally. You're not old (no you're not!) and you're not "too" young either. It's a time in your life where you've probably accomplished SOMETHING and/or are pointed in a good, solid direction. Funnily enough - I feel neither - but I turned 25 anyway. Though I was supposed to be in a Turkish Bath or a Greek Yacht..I guess Emery County is close enough. Cough. I also go to "exchange" some books. It's like my own personal library! I took some home - and picked some more up. One day my beloved books will be at my side again. I also got all my piano books as well as the one guitar cords book I'd bought a year ago! That's right! I am SERIOUS about getting some more talents. Can't have too many
Here are some Birthday highlights...

video

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! My mom got my this Birthday Card - for she knows of my Hoops and Yoyo Ob-se-ssion! I think they're hilarious.



The cake. Mmm. The Cake.


It also happened to Blizzard on my Birthday. You can't really tell around me that it's snowing - but if you look towards the back of the pic - you can see the flakes outlined against someones red bug. (Plus there's something "bunchy" going on with my sweater here - hm - rethinking pic post)

I'm not sure what to think of snow on my Birthday to be honest. The first snow fall of the year in SLC and it lands squarely on my Birthday. I'll tell you a little something about the last two years of my life - 23 and 24 - respectively. NO GOOD! Well - some good - but man - a VERY rough 2 years and I'd really like 25 to be "my year." Ya folks know what I'm saying right? You just want it to be the YEAR OF ANDREA...or whatever. This is the one. I thought last year was going to be my year - and well - though many things happened and new experiences were acquired - sheesh! It was a rough one - just like the one before that. So - here's to 25! May you resemble nothing of 23 or 24!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Talking Stain Commerical



I thought about this commercial the other day and started randomly laughing on the street. Apart from a few passer-bys thinking I had the crazies - I enjoyed the moment and thought you should too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beautiful Strokes

I discovered one Steven Nederveen from the creative blog So Sweet and So Cold. Her blog took me to this... where you may peruse artists of your liking. This one is absolutely beautiful...almost ethereal. I love the colors and the idea of poppies...This one made me think of Virginia Wolfe a little believe it or not. Almost a tragic loveliness. The tiny blasts of light really make art seem like a dream...something we all imagine ourselves in. Just a brief moment of beauty.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oh You Betta Be-lieve I got tickets! As well as some ambitions.

I am officially going to the Joshua Radin/Missy Higgins concert, Oct 29th in SLC at "In the Venue." I got two tickets - one for me and one for "unknown." Ya gotta be optomistic right? Perhaps I will have filled in "unknown" by then (shaking head no). I'm really excited. I've liked them both for sometime now - and can't believe I get to see them together. Huzah! It's pretty much awesome. Yeah. Pretty. Much. (Ooo - look at her cute hair - hmmmm (wheels a-turning))

Also - as a follow up to my "I have all these great aspirations and don't ever do anything about it" post, I've chosen one. That's right!!! Since I already have the Kitchaide and have been working on my cooking skills for a little over a year - I feel that it is a habit I will continue to practice and improve upon (once I get a real place to live, and a kitchen to go with it) - I feel that a whole NEW talent awaits me. This is one I've actually been known to slightly attempt (read: stolen little brothers acoustic guitar and actually bought a "Beginners Music Book of Chords"..something) but haven't ever had the time...nor patience...to really cultivate. SO! I am going to do it THIS year. That's right! I got a second job at Barnes and Noble (in addition to the first PERMANENT job I just procured at USHE - did I not mention that?) to help pay off some bills AND to help save for my own acoustic Gee-tar. Mom will help at Christmas of course (right Mother dearest?) - but if I can come up with half - that's what I want. Yes yes. I've chosen this talent because

1. I can't tote a piano around with me (clearly)...playing the piano is always a big stress reliever for me at home or at some religious edifice that boasts many piano's for the choosing..but when I'm without home and don't want to find a religious edifice in which to forget my life among the musicness...well you see the problem here

2. I should work on cultivating talents I don't YET have but would like, and I really do like music

3. Because I'm intimidated by it and should give myself a challenge. Plus I've been too proud to try because it seems like everyone here learns to be "cool" - I wanna learn just to learn.

4.Uh...mostly that's it. Stress relief, talent cultivation, and rising to the challenge/humility. Why not? Why not indeed. And with Joshua Radin and Missy Higgins for inspiration - I'm well on my way to all sorts of new aspirations! My next goal....Saving Humanity! Baby steps though...baby steps.

Monday, October 6, 2008

General Conference. It's kinda a big deal.

I had a Singles Ward Bishop at Snow College that gave the ladies 4 things we should look for in an "eternal companion" (you can imagine the pens poised over notebooks now - all young 18-21 year old girls eagerly waiting for Bishop to tell them how to find their "destiny"). He said that any man we date should possess the following (ahem hem ..hem):

  • Holds a Current Temple Recommend
  • He loved his mission (although hard - he loved it)
  • How he treats his Mother
  • The priority he gives General Conference Weekend (including Priesthood Session)
My friend Nik and I have always kept those guidelines in the back of our head through the years (and years...and...years). Of the hundreds of talks singles hear about singleness and marriage and do this and expect that - those 4 have really stuck with me. I think they are some pretty decent guidelines - and says a lot about an individual. I most especially thought of the last one this weekend - it being General Conference weekend. Most particularly I think watching the Saturday session is a big deal. All the sessions are important, but Saturday, to me, is the one that is easiest to dismiss, thus the one I feel we should all make it a priority to watch. We get approximately 52 Saturdays a year. What's 2 Saturdays of those 52 to take and watch the Prophet and Apostles teach us valuable principles and doctrine? Well it's WORTH it I can tell you that. And yes, I am aware you can "read" it in the Ensign later or watch it online - but I think it says something to watch it on a Saturday when it's on. That's how important it is to me. And I know I may get criticism for "oh sometimes stuff comes up" and yes it does - but General Conference to me is a big priority on Saturday AND Sunday - and I don't think it's too much of our "time" (that isn't even really "ours" anyway) to watch and learn on the days we are supposed to. It's for our benefit...and our blessing.
That soap box out of the way - IT WAS GENERAL CONFERENCE WEEKEND! I had the opportunity to go to one session and almost two. It was a very rainy Saturday - and my friend Misty had gotten some extra tickets to the Saturday afternoon session for me and Nikelle. We walked down to the Conference Center between Saturday sessions trying to share a BYU Independent Study balloon (er...umbrella. Balloon? Why would I write balloon? Carrying a BYU balloon to Conference? Bwahaha! The very thought! I meant Umbrella). Yes. Imagine 3 girls in their Sunday best trudging to Conference under a BYU Umbrella. Classic. As we approached the Conference Center the crowds got bigger and bigger. Adding hundreds of umbrellas into the mix didn't help the chaos of folks trying to get in line and out of the wet rain. Nik and I were walking behind Misty and we paused to take out our cameras when we reached the Conference Center. When we looked up - Misty was no where to be seen. Greeeeeeeat. She had our tickets and since we were in a hurry when we left - I didn't grab my phone. Nik and I tried to find her among the throngs. We stood on a small wall and tried to peer over the crowd - but with the rain and umbrella's (no one had balloons...weird) - we couldn't spot her. We didn't even know what door she would be at. After searching for 30 minutes we gave up and tried to get in the "stand by" line and get in that way. However, since we'd waited so long the stand by line was gone and no one was letting us in without a ticket or stand-by pass. Alas. She must've gone in without us...and we were wet and weary. We had no choice but to trudge back home. We hurried as fast as we could through the rain - and made it to the TV in time to catch the last bits of Elder Wirthlin's talk. BLAST! I guess I WILL be watching a little of it on the Internet after all. I would've anyway - but I was hoping it would all be a review. We had expected to actually BE there - so I think our efforts were commendable.
We got to actually attend the Sunday Afternoon session with no hitches. Phew! It was an awesome session and the weather was Fall perfect; crisp, clean, and clear. Here are a few of the memories...
That's right. That's Carol MaKita of Channal 5 News. She approached our group and asked what we thought about Conference. We nominated our friend Robby as the spokesperson. Although I DO recall squeaking "We loved Conference! Te he!" Great debut...I know. Eye roll. Where's my BYU Balloon?

Me, Robby, Nikelle, and Rob's Dad. What a good lookin bunch!
And finally, what would General Conference be without some crazies. Seriously. I support free speech and if these folks want to exercise their right by protesting another religions semi-annual gathering then fine. I just can't wrap my brain around what goes through some people's heads though. I mean do they prepare weeks in advance - start buying supplies for their "clever" posters and visuals - just to go stand out in front of another religions house of worship and tell them they're wrong? It's just odd. But hey, it's the American right and they can do what they like...Hellfire and all.
And THIS one I don't get at all. Free Hugs? What's the catch? I choose not to touch you.
Needless to say I very much enjoyed General Conference weekend; even with the rainy weather and Saturday afternoon adventure. I anticipate it more and more every year. It's an exciting and enlightening time; one in which I personally gain greater insights and broaden my understandings. General Conference is kinda a big deal to me - and will always be a big deal. In such times as ours - I believe General Conference is more and more vital to the spiritual survival of the individual, the family, and anything good and upright we hold dear. Yeah...kinda a big deal is an understatement.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blaaahsweeebuhhlaaaa...UTES!

In-ter-net!!! Tell me SOMEONE watched the Utah vs Oregon game last night? YES? YES!!! Now I'm not a sports writer (surprise! I know, right?) BUT! I would like to, for a moment, relive an amazing moment of the Ute Season that transpired during the big game last night. To set the scene: I was at home watching it alone. Awesome...

About 3 min left in the game. The entire second half has been...ridiculously frustrating to say the least. The LEAST! Brian Johnson - dude - seriously it's a love/hate relationship. Sometimes the man pulls through - and sometimes I want to pull HIM through something tiny and spiked. The score stood at 21 Oregon 20 Utah for the last quarter and a half. Now, after Oregon's touchdown and field goal with 3 min left in the game, the score stands at Oregon 28, Utah 20. Sigh. Yes. And as mentioned - about 3:00 left in the game. I want you to remember that. 3. Minutes. I'll admit I didn't have much hope. But, never the less, I continued to watch.

What happened next was pure amazingness. That's right I said AMAZINGNESS. The Utes drove down the field. Brian found his game again! A 25 yard touchdown pass to Godfrey brought the Utes up to 26 vs Oregons 28. Now...for the 2 pt conversion. First try - a no go. Hopes sank - but a late flag on the play and a pass interference call against Oregon gave the Utes a second chance. Johnson ran the ball in for the 2 point conversion giving the Utes a 28-28 score. Now for the magical defense to play their part - and 1:29 remaining. If there's one thing the Utes can handle it's DE-FENCE! They held strong and received excellent field position from the punt. Now all the Utes have to do is get our secret weapon, our GEM!, or constant, the All-American kicker Louie Sakoda, in field goal range. The offense pulled it off and brought Sakoda within 37 yards of the End Zone. A cake walk for a kicker like Sakoda! With 2 seconds - 2 SECONDS!!! - left on the clock - Sakoda made the game winning field goal and brought the Utes VICTORY! WHAT. A. COMEBACK! It was Pandemonium at Rice Eccles Stadium (where I wanted to be)! I was jumping around and trying to subdue my yelps of complete amazement and utter JOY alone at The Mansion. I'd just witnessed the completely unexpected! It was the first real happiness and excitement I'd experienced in a loooooong time. Thank you, Utes! Thank you.
Caps off to Louie Sakoda! The Hero of the Utah Utes!!!! We're not going away anytime soon BYU...so you better prepare for November...prepare REAL good.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

If you've not heard by now - you ARE a bad Mormon

Here's the Blog "Seriously So Blessed"
http://www.seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com/

I've heard and/or read things from said blog. It's so totally the rage.

It's just a plain mockery of all things Provo-ite, LDS-Culturalisms of Doom, Scrapbooking, so-like-oh-my-gosh, bleached ridiculousness. Parody! Irony! Sarcasm! (Why didn't I think of it? Like, crap).

The irony of it all is the clever creator/writer of said blog was on Good Day Utah. Cough. I really hate that show.

Here's "SSB" interviewing with KSL: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4108250&autostart=y

I'm glad I didn't have to make this decision...yet...er again.

After working for BYU IS - I decided that working for Universities or just Higher Education in general is the way. to. go. It's just ironic my Utemp job brought me to USHE (Utah System of Higher Education). Not to mention my lofty aspirations of wanting to be a Professor of English eventually. That said, when I got back to Utah I started to peruse a few Utah campuses looking for work. I applied to positions at the University of Utah (naturally, dahling), as well as perusing BYU, and SUU. The U had 100's of positions - it being such a huge campus - but most of which were for Primary Children's or other medical institution where I have no experience. Good old English Major. I found two positions at SUU that seemed appealing and applied to those. Living in Cedar City with my Aunty for free was/is VERY appealing. I then promptly forgot about it.

This last Tuesday I got a call from SUU wanting to interview me this Friday at 1:30 for one of the positions I applied for. It is working in the Graduate and Education office on campus; awesome benefits, full time, and again my desire to "live for free" with family and pay off student loans loomed in front of me. However, because of some decisions/circumstances made the 3 weeks following my applying for the SUU positions, I suddenly got a panic attack about moving to Cedar City. Do I want to LIVE in CEDAR CITY? I think the town is beautiful. And lets not even discuss the Shakespearean Festival! Drool Drool. In fact I was planning through most of my High School days to attend SUU - I went down there for scholarship camps and EVERYTHING. I even got a scholarship - but ended up going to Snow College at the last minute instead. Now, SUU was possibly before me again - and if I should get the position - I was afraid of the decision I would have to make. Cedar City? Really? I made a list of Pros and Cons - a spreadsheet of the financial benefits it could afford - and so on and so on. I wondered why the Lord would do that to me. Ha. Why he'd want me to go to Cedar City NOW. BUT - I also knew that if He wanted me there - by JOVE I would go! And I'd let all those things that would make me worry about Cedar City (one of them my being OLD...no really...25 is like the "cut-off" for towns like Cedar as far as singleness is concerned..I'd be hanging with 18 years olds...shudder...) take care of themselves.

Then I got a call yesterday. As everyone in the ENTIRE UNITED STATES knows - we are in economic crisis and we here at the Utah System of Higher Education (that's right - I'm "name dropping") know that Higher Education is taking a big financial cut. In fact, as part of my job I peruse the Utah Universities online newspapers looking for headlines particularly pertinent to Higher Education, and many of them have been reporting how much their University is losing. SUU particularly is losing 4% of it's funding. That's millions! That said - my call yesterday from SUU was to cancel my interview. She said it was because of the financial cuts and they were taking the position "off the consideration block" so to speak, but they would keep me in mind.

PHEW!

Although I was disappointed because I really WANT a full time job at a University and Cedar City IS lovely it wasn't the plan for me...yet. And I felt a lot of relief considering other circumstances I would have to face. I'm so glad I didn't have to make that decision - especially with all the other decisions before me. However, it did lead me to decide to live with my Aunty in Taylorsville and although this means a lot of commute to Downtown - it will be WELL worth it in the financial long run. I'm really excited about that. I also had an interview here at USHE for a job working with Regent Scholars and I'm optimistic. It's part time - but with the potential of going full time very soon. I hope I get it.

So Cedar City has yet again thwarted me. Ha ha. There is something about that place that always draws me though. I can totally see myself living there...in a married state...NOT a single state...and being very happy (and making my Mom very happy ;) that I would be close). Maybe when I become a Professor I will make sure SUU is on the consideration block again. Somehow...it always seems to come up anyway.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Hills Are Alive...With My Quiet Talents

In my religion - that of the LDS - we are encouraged to cultivate and share our talents. In my CULTURE - that also of the LDS, but which brings with it some quirks, social oddities, and hair colors that really don't have anything to do with the religion but more of the "culture" that has sprung from it - the talent that everyone cultivates and shares has some foundation in advanced music something or other; be it singing (like angels), playing an instrument (or 5), singing different "parts" perfectly on key for a four verse hymn, whatever. Not only are LDS people musical, and ridiculously good at it (read MoTab), but I've felt for a long time that we are all EXPECTED to be brilliant musicians to be a good LDS person (and I'm going to go ahead and say woman specifically). I'd LOVE to be a brilliant musician - or mostly just sing like an angel. I play the piano - but I'm not an incredible proficient by any means. Truth is, I am not a brilliant musician - but I am LDS.

Growing up most especially in Utah, there have been times in my life where I have, as Elder Wirthlin suggested in his Conference address Concern for the One, "feel as though they don't belong...perhaps because they are different." I know some of you who know me find this odd. But I've always felt like I'm stuck in some oblivion of middleness - I'm not the fully eclectic type of member, nor am I the "BYU girl" what with her amazing homemaking abilities and homegrown aspirations. There are things about me that are culturally "spot-on", and things that set me apart from the "usual LDS cultural" crowed. I don't feel like I belong to one - or the other - but rather am a swinging pendulum between the two extremes. I get along with everyone. I can be friends with anyone. And I've created many an awkward group when I've tried to meld my variety of friend groupings together. MANY. An. Awkward. Group.

Music is one of those things that makes me feel like I'm not "LDS" enough. I know, right? But I know many a non-musically inclined LDS person has felt the pressure, or at least the worthlessness, of not being able to sing in Sacrament Meeting or inspire congregations with their own piano rendition of "Come Come Ye Saints." I think music has always been something I'm drawn to and love - as mentioned I do play the piano and though I don't sing like an angel - I love to sing anyway. You should hear me in the car - I really get going! I remember watching Mary Poppins and singing along with her to every song and then rewinding it and doing it again. I love Julie Andrews and she's always been one of my heroes. She's so beautiful and so talented. I remember always wanting to be like her. However, though Julie Andrews can sing 9 octaves (yes ! You realize that's only 2 less than all the octaves on a regular piano), I'm what you'd call a "campfire or choir voice" IF I'm not feeling intimidated by my clearly more musically inclined "campfire/choir" compadres (did I spell that right?). I've participated in my share of High School Honor Choirs, Missionary Farewell Quartets, and Karaoke Revolution matches (I seriously love this game! LOVE IT!), but dear Internet if I can tell you something between you and me, I've always wanted to be that beautiful angelic soloist inspiring the congregation with my sweet vocal notes or be part of a incredible duet be it "The Spirit of God" or the "Elephant Song" from Moulan Rouge (mostly the Elephant Song - I have both Kidmans and McGregors parts down pat...go ahead...try me) But alas, thus far it is not my talent to fully enjoy. So for a long time, I felt like I didn't really have much in the way of talents - just because my musical ability wasn't even comparable to some of my brilliant LDS counter-parts. As far as music is concerned - I'd like my pendulum to swing to the "BYU culture" side. I even think it would make me far more appealing for what all LDS singles are ardently in search of - eternal companionship. I just totally swung culture-side with that comment. But hey, we all have our silly insecurities. And usually the kind of guy I like is very much BYU (so cute) and thus very much "expectant" of a few of those cultural "bonus" qualities.
And then Elder Wirthlin said this, "Tied to this misconception (that members feel they don't belong) is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole."

Clearly the irony for me is he's using a musical analogy - ha ha - BUT his words bring me comfort that it's okay for me to embrace my differences compared with the cultural stipulations Utah LDS-ism brings with it, and that those difference don't ostracize me, but actually increases the richness of what I can offer. I don't sing. I'm not a brilliant musician. That I know - but then I started to wonder what talents I DID have. What CAN I do and what AM I? Then, as I had been struggling with the idea of my worthlessness and LDS unattractiveness because of my lack of musical genius that so many value in the Church, Elder Uchdorf spoke to the sisters in the General Relief Society Meeting on Sunday and brought me some much needed peace and confidence to my soul. He explained that women at many times feel discouraged, disheartened, and inadequate; that we don't "measure up" no matter how hard we try. However, he explained that we all have talents, that we all have gifts, and that we should cultivate what we have and recognize what we have to give to others, as well as how much or Father in Heaven loves us. He explains we were created to "experience a fullness of joy" to seek and experience "eternal peace", and to do this we must create things. It made me feel that I was part of the symphony and not "less of an LDS woman" because of what I seemingly lack.

Some people are blessed with the incredible ability to utilize music for the inspiration and uplifting of others. This is a talent I greatly admire and in some small level get to add unto in my tiny way (entertainment value if anything - eh?). However, it's not the ONLY talent valued. It's not the ONLY talent out there. Although my talents may not be seen from the pulpit or manifest themselves as beautifully as singing or being a concert violinist, there are still things I can do to help uplift and inspire others. I do have the desire to CULTIVATE my musical talent and with work and practice I can add to my musical abilities. I may never be Mary Poppins -but I can surely find joy in campfire songs with friends and family. Also, and most importantly, there are talents I have right NOW which help me realize MY worth and that I have something to offer (hear that BYU boys? BIG things). My culture does value music - I value music and want my kids to have music abundant in their lives (I've planned at the age of 8 they will each start music lessons of their choice...yes yes), and perhaps they'll have the talent for vocal performance I don't have - but my religion, my Heavenly Father, values ALL talents, even the quiet ones that aren't as readily or easily recognized. Everyone is needed - singers or not.

Well, as for one talent I recognized within myself, I think I write okay. That's one of my quiet talents I can cultivate and utilize to build the Kingdom. The pendulum is happily swinging in both directions - and I'm okay with that. And besides, there has to be someone to appreciate the musically brilliant.