"I can go the distance," said Herc.

"I can go the distance," said Herc.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Solitary Life

It only took a day for me to realize a very important truth.

I never want to live by myself. 

I've always told my friends that just once in my life, some day, I would like to live by myself. Just to experience it. But this week my roommates all went home--well, that's not true. Three went home, but the other two have more important things to do than sit around the apartment all day. So, I'm basically doing what I always wanted: living alone. At first it was pretty sweet. I can turn up the music as loud as I want, stay up late without having to worry about bothering someone in my apartment, and everything stays super clean because it's just one person using all the dishes. 

And then the boredom set in. I made a delicious dinner, watched three movies in a row, and finally went to bed. Then I woke up and spent copious amounts of time getting ready for my day, even though I knew I would only be spending it at work. When my roommate finally showed up, I swear I literally leaped for joy just to hear another human voice in my apartment. 

I understand why single people get animals now. It would be nice to have more than a frog to live with, especially because the only thing the frog can do is just stare at me creepily while I eat my breakfast. For some reason, the tank is on the kitchen table. 

Now here I sit, on my couch, blasting the Beatles, waiting for my fudge to set in the fridge that I will clean tomorrow. Since it's my day off, I have the whole day in this apartment. Wooooot! 

If I happen to end up an old maid most of my life, I fully intend to become a mad cat woman who sits on the front porch with a shot gun, yelling at kids to get off my lawn. 

Either that or I'll save money and get a roommate. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Howl!

There are two types of Howl at USU. The first is the annual Halloween party held at the student center every year. It's pretty much a skank fest, but can be extremely fun if you go with the right people. The other is the annual Howl at the library during finals week. Every finals week, in the middle of the week at night, students gather in the middle of the library and howl. I guess it's a way to blow off stress. Tonight was my first howl ever. My roommate and I stood on the third floor and watched (I howled, she just stood there). And a half hour later, a silent dance party erupted on the main floor. People had their iPods in their ears and were dancing to the beat of their own drum, so to speak. It was awesome! Eventually, people formed a train and we all went up the stairs to the fourth floor. People were coming out of the elevators dancing. Oh the ways we think up to defeat stress.

I love college. Period.

Well I should sleep. I have an eight-page paper due tomorrow and it's only halfway through. Plus it sucks. C'est la vie. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Coffee Shop Romance

It was beautiful, it was brief--heck it only lasted about five minutes.

Those who know me have probably heard my standard rant about the romantics. In fact, I wrote a blog post about this. See, my theory is there are two sets of romantics in this world, and I like to count myself among the sane ones. But even though I am generally one of those rational types who enjoy chick flicks and day dreaming and DON'T expect Mr. Darcy to come galloping up on a white horse any time soon, there is the other part of me that says "WHY COULDN'T THAT BE POSSIBLE?" Add to that my rampant imagination, and you have just another hopeless romantic.

Today, I got out of class early, and since I'm living at the library this week, I swung by the Quadside Cafe, a brilliant invention built right in our own library on campus. An assortment of intellectual types populate this establishment at all hours of the day. I mostly enjoy going there to people watch, and eat the bagels. It's on a corner, right next to the front doors of the library, and the walls are glass, so I usually like to perch at the lunch counter and observe the comings and goings of my fellow Aggies.

Today the cafe was packed. The lunchtime rush was lounging around on almost every available seating surface. One of the things I really like about being at a university is that students and teachers can interact a lot more than in grade school. I used to wonder where the professors hang out, until I discovered the Quadside Cafe. I suppose it must be one of the few urban intellectual settings in Cache Valley, and since most of our professors are from out of state, the Cafe must be a bit like home.

Anyway, I ordered my customary small soup and 1/2 sandwich (It's pretty much the best lunch deal on the whole menu. Cafes are expensive!), and went to go get my soup and wait for the sandwich. As I dished out my soup, a young man approached the counter to pick up his bread bowl. Needless to say, he was pretty cute.

He asked me, "Is this the chicken and wild rice?"

I said, "Yes."

That was pretty much our entire conversation, but I knew there was magic from the moment our eyes met.

I squeezed onto a bench at a narrow table between a girl having a conversation on her Blackberry with what sounded like her mother, and two women talking about the stroke and subsequent brain surgery one of them underwent a few years ago. Stimulating lunch conversation.

My friend chose a table at the other end of the room. Occasionally my eyes would flick to his face, and I swear once he looked at me, too. What can I say, hopeless romantic.

I got up to get my sandwich. He stood. My heart pounded. Was he coming to say hi? Would this be the beginning of something? I sat quickly at my table, heart galloping like a herd of wild stallions. Surely... He walked closer. I was right, he was coming! I straightened my posture, flipped my hair over my shoulders, and smiled. Then he stopped at the garbage can, tossed his plate in, turned, and walked right out the door.

Sighing, I proceeded to eat my sandwich and people watch. As sudden as it began, the love affair ended. Ah, well, I consoled myself. He probably thought you were just another weird girl sitting by herself eating lunch in a coffee shop.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What have I been up to? Well.

No, I really don't have pink hair. I just love this picture so much.

Hm.... where to start. Well, it is Christmas season, and consequently I am asking myself why in the heck I work retail. Not that I don't love my job, because I do. I just wish I could disappear for the Christmas season and reappear when all the long lines, angry customers, and minor disasters are over. That sure would be nice!

If you see me around campus, you probably won't recognize me. That is the conclusion I came to last week. See, I wear this really hideous big brown coat that only old ladies really wear. I don't care, though, because it keeps me warm! But for some reason it just doesn't look attractive. Hm... So, I just slog through the snow and mush on campus, bundled up like the abominable snowman's niece who rolled in the mud. Last week I woke up to -10 degree weather, and there were still people in shorts outside. Welcome to Logan.

The blizzard that really wasn't!

At the midnight Harry Potter premiere, guess who I dressed up as? Guess! Okay, I'll tell you. Luna Lovegood. Oh yeah.

I have this thing about leaves and Fall colors.... now it is all covered in snow and the leaves are dead. Sad. :(

So that was the last month. Pretty much this week I intend on living in the library when I am not in school or working. If you're there, be sure to come say hello!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Life is Music.

I've decided that I live my life in music. It's so true. Recently my roommate told me, "Lis you have a song for EVERYTHING." Well, I do.

My theme songs for life.

Some of them sound pretty depressing in retrospect. That's okay. It's who I am.

I also think in colors. That's why these songs are multicolored.

  • "She's So High" by Tal Bachman
  • "Mixed Tape" by Jack's Mannequin
  • "A Place in This World" by Taylor Swift
  • "Broken Hearts, Torn Up Letters, and the Story of a Lonely Girl" by Lostprophets
  • "Rooftops" by Lostprophets
  • "Last Train Home" by Lostprophets
  • "When You Were Young" by the Killers
  • "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift
  • "Change Your Mind" by All American Rejects
  • "Night Drive" by All American Rejects
  • "Mary's Song" by Taylor Swift
  • "Must Have Done Something Right" by Relient K
  • "Chances" by Five For Fighting
  • "When I Look At You" from The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • "Into the Fire" from The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • "Land of Chocolate" by Death By Chocolate
  • "Seventeen Ain't So Sweet" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • "Damn Regret" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • "Miles Apart" by Yellowcard
  • "I Should Have Been After You" by Rooney
  • "Crooked Teeth" by Death Cab for Cutie
  • "5 Years Time" by Noah and the Whale
  • "Come Away" by Crash Kings
  • "She Takes Me High" by We the Kings
  • "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas
  • "Time to Time" by Fictionist
  • "Hello Brooklyn" by All Time Low
  • "Shine" by Anna Nalick
  • "Always Love" by Nada Surf
  • "Songbird" by Eva Cassidy
  • "Space Doggity" by Jonathan Coulton
  • "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble
  • "Pork and Beans" by Weezer

I found this on Sparknotes while procrastinating. That's all I ever do, in fact. =/

ADreamerWithAPen: If I could be any person, dead or alive (or fictional, I'm assuming), I would be the protagonist of a Stephanie Meyer novel. Here's why:
1. The worst thing that would ever happen to me is that I would get everything I ever wanted. Or I would just trip a lot.
2. Dan Bergstein would finally get to blog about how epically amazing one of SMeyer's characters were.
3. I would make sure that all of the werewolves had jetpacks, and awesomesauce coated battles with zombies, robots, ninjas, and zombie robot ninjas. Uh-huh.
4. If I had a child, I would name it Optimus Beyonce.
5. I would get tons of unexplainable, unnecessary super powers. This would the ability to turn invisible, see through walls, shoot lazer beams, bake blueberry muffins with my mind, vomit jetpack fuel (for all of my werewolf buddies), transport Dan Bergstein to me, and, of course, the power to move sideways quickly.

Bah, ha, ha, ha.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Day the Music Died

"A long, long, time ago, in a galaxy far away, Naboo was under an attack...."

--What? That's not how it goes! For those of you who do not know or just don't appreciate the classics, Weird Al's "The Saga Begins" is not original. Just the lyrics are. For some reason, I've become quite enamored of the song "American Pie" lately. I looked it up and, according to Wikipedia, it's a rather interesting enigma of pop culture.

I put it in the music box to your right, ------------> So go press play and listen to the real version, the better one (though Weird Al's is still pretty dang good).

According to Don McLean, who wrote the song, it is about the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in 1959. It was the Day the Music Died. He also makes a ton of other allusions in the eight and a half some odd minutes this song goes on for, and people have been trying to figure out what they mean for the last 39 years. Don isn't telling. What do you think? If you didn't know much about pop culture, then it just sounds like he was high when he wrote these seemingly random lyrics. But underneath is something deep, something we all understand and can't quite grasp at the same time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Get outta the cave!

M'kay. So I should be studying (I'm at the library, after all), but when I walked in there was this girl on Facebook and I couldn't help myself I just had to take "one Facebook break" and then of course that led to blogs and now here I am posting. Well, then I got the idea that while I'm posting I'll just study as I post! How will I do this? Kick back, people, you are about to learn some philosophy.

We have been studying, since the beginning of the semester, Plato's Republic. Sound boring? Not so! It's really fascinating. If you read this book you will definitely be a more educated person, and will be able to enter smart people circles and participate in philosophical conversation. It's only 303 pages long.

Tonight we will discuss the CAVE. Did you know we all live in a cave? Plato says (Through Socrates, the protagonist of the whole book. Sometimes I wonder if it is really just Plato's views, and not Socrates', that we are hearing, though my teacher would like to tell us otherwise. She is in love with Socrates.)--Socrates says--that each city, or community, is its own little cave.

Have you ever read or seen the City of Ember? I don't want to bring this up in my class for fear of sounding stupid, but it sounds like it to me.

So in this cave are people, shackled so they face one direction, the cave wall, and cannot turn their heads even so that the wall is all they can look at day in and day out. The only light is this fire (artificial light) above and behind, and it's only there so that shadows are cast by people walking by behind these people on a roadway. They are carrying artifacts that represent all the stories, norms, traditions, etc. that a community has. And those carrying these artifacts (the poets, say,) are whispering the stories as they go. These stories are not necessarily true, but because they are all that the shackled ones see on the wall and here behind them, to them the stories are true. Now, the one who really wants to (or has the higher ability to, as Socrates suggests) can break free of the shackles and make the ascent to the sunlight outside. Once he/she gets there, the sunlight blinds them. This is like reaching enlightenment. But does this person want to go back to the cave once they have adjusted to sunlight and learning about why things are as they are and seeing stars and a whole open, new world? No. They don't.

Confused? That's okay. Here is a picture someone drew for us on the internet.

You know how I can really confuse you, though? Here is a more complicated picture!

But it explains a lot more, doesn't it.

See, as I was saying, once the enlightened one (AKA: the Philosopher) gets out of the cave, he/she does not want to go back. The only reason they do is because they are the ones, according to Socrates, who are best suited to rule. They must lead the education of the young to produce more philosophers as well as continue the traditions of the city and ensure that everyone is just and does what they are best at. Socrates seems to suggest here that not everyone is going to make it out of the cave. Sort of an enlightenment for the fittest, anyone?

Anyhow, that concludes our discussion on philosophy tonight. Unless I find something else with which to confuse you.

Get outta the cave!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I got people, and they are the best!

I have the VERY BEST friends and family in the whole wide world ever! If you even try to compete with me, I will prove your wrong. First of all, my computer (bless its heart) is limping along and is just about kaput. So, my super awesome brother-in-law and his brother (my brother-in-law once removed?) have been taking time out of their busy schedules to try to fix it. Rock on!

Meanwhile, my dad, who is very attached to his laptop, is letting me borrow mine at school. Super dad!

And then, last weekend I found out just how great my friends are. I was expecting to go to the football game, then wake up early next morning and leave for home and spend a quiet (and somewhat lonely) birthday weekend with my family. To my surprise, (How could I have been so surprised? They are my friends after all.) we WON the football game for the first time against BYU in 17 years. I try to be humble, but I like to think that I had a hand in this.

Then, after that I got taken to Wingers with a bunch of cheery people late at night where we partied on different flavored lemonades, popcorn, and eventually regular food. I've never been to Wingers before, and I think I'll go back again. Those sticky chicken finger wing things were so delicious. And I got free pie! What I really like about getting free pie there is that unlike most restaurants where it is a single serving for only you, the pie is a giant piece with spoons for everyone. Sharing is caring and brings warm fuzzy feelings. :)

(Ah!!! I just sneezed. This had better just be my allergy pills wearing off and not Sophia's cold.)

Around midnight they closed after all the football fans were through celebrating. So, we were the last group to leave and the Wingers people were so nice about it. When I walked through the door in our dark living room, I saw dimly a big sign and streamers on the walls. "Oh, cute, guys," I was saying, and then Amber and Jared popped out! "Happy Birthday!" They made me a cake and gave me Battleship and Pokemon (apparently it's going to make a comeback. Lol.) and there was confetti EVERYWHERE. In my bed. On the floor. On the couch. On the counters. I woke up the next morning with confetti stuck to my skin; did you know that it stains? I've been waking up with random shaped pink blotches on my arms, legs, face, etc. all week. Ha, ha.

We were all tired and everyone went to bed after we lit the candles and sang. And that was just the beginning of the day. Next morning, Elise made me breakfast and our buddy Mark Houtz came over and we listened to conference and then beat up the pinata Amber got and everyone went their separate ways for the weekend. That night my parents took me to dinner and then we went to see The Scarlet Pimpernel, my favorite musical. And before that my mom and I went to Womens Night at Deseret Book where I won, believe it or not, a BYU cookbook. But don't worry, because I'm making it into an Aggie cookbook. "Helaman Hall Hoagies" is going to be "Old Farm Hoagies."

On Sunday I got to finally lay around (I don't do much of that lately) and just watch conference with my parents. I know I always complain about conference falling on my birthday, but I guess the best part about that weekend was conference. I really needed it. President Uchtdorf's talk was my favorite, but they were all fantastic!

That night, my super AMAZING family all got together. David came down from Logan, and Kathy and Richard came over, and we had lasagna for dinner. Richard and Kathy brought homemade peach cobbler and ice cream! And David gave me this really cool slim card holder that fits in my pocket, which is actually a cigarette holder he says but I don't care because it is just so pretty. And Kathy made me a cool purse that is so dang crafty. Seriously. If you want a cool purse, ask her to make it for you. (I don't know how much she charges for this, though.)

That weekend was the BOMB.COM. I even got to do some creative photography. Heidi asked me to take her roommate pictures for them and I think they turned out pretty good! They are really cute girls and very expressive too so that made it all the more fun.

Well, I should get back to writing my paper. I am already behind and if I could write it as easily as I wrote this blog post, then I would have it done by now.

Thank you, everyone! You all make such a positive difference in my life. It truly is a testimony to me that Heavenly Father will not let us be alone without people to comfort and support and encourage us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Helloooo October!

Hey, October! It's nice to see you. How are ya doin? As I write this, I am trying my hardest to learn HTML for my Online Journalism class. It is nice, but I think I prefer having it automatically done for me in most cases. It's easier.

So life has been sucking a bit lately, but I am cheering up. Reading one of the latest posts, about the "Shine" song, made me feel somewhat better.

And can I just say that Pandora Radio has a sick, twisted sense of humor?

I am very excited for this weekend--not only because it is General Conference, but also because it is my birthday!!! I have the best family and friends in the world. They are going to keep me busy and cheerful. I am especially excited to listen to the words of the prophets, because they are the coolest old guys you'll ever meet on this earth. I know that watching this conference will provide answers, inspiration, and comfort.

Speaking of awesome friends, my buddy Elder Rowley sent me a package and I got it today. There was one of those funny Hoops&Yoyo cards where they sing "one, two, three, go! Happy birthday, happy birthday, la la la la la la la la..." to the La Cukeracha (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) tune. It cheered me up immeasurably. I don't know if I've mentioned my two best missionary friends (Seriously, they are just my friends), Elder Rowley and Elder Beach? They rock! I can't wait for them to get home so we can party.

Ha! You don't know this but I just used my mad HTML skills to make the word "just" underlined! Ha! I did it again. Okay this is way too fun.

SO, there is a gap under our front door, and tonight the wind is whistling out of the canyon (as usual) and blowing underneath, right at my feet! We need to get our fledgling managers to fix that. I feel bad for them. They are still learning how to do this manager stuff and we keep coming to them with problems. Can we help it if our apartment needs help? At least we don't have a mouse (unlike somebody I know.)

Well I think it is time for bed. Peace out, children.

Good night, Never Land!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I want a baby polar bear

Late on night this summer I was surfing the TV waves (something I don't do very often) and started watching a documentary on the polar bear Knut! (pronounced "k-noot")
Isn't he adorable? Apparently I'm not supposed to want a baby polar bear, because they aren't as cuddly when they get older. Watching videos of him on YouTube make me forget how much I shouldn't want one.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Like Stars!

I rediscovered one of my most favorite songs in the whole wide world. Funny enough, it reminds me of a song we sang at Laurel Legacy one year--which if you don't know what that is it's like Girls Camp only just for the 16-18 year-olds.

It's called "Shine." Go to the player on the side of this page and select that song by Anna Nalick. It's not the acoustic version, which in the case of this song is so much better, but it still gives me thrills to hear it.


Oh, the night makes you a star
And it holds you cold in its arms
You're the one to whom nobody verses I love you
Unless you say it first
So you lie there holding your breath
And it's strange how soon you forget
That you're like stars
They only show up when its dark
Cause they don't know their worth

And I think you need
To stop following misery's lead
Shine away, shine away, shine away

Isn't it time you got over
How fragile you are
We're all wait-
Waiting on your supernova
Cause that's who you are
And you've only begun to shine

There are times when
The poets and porn stars align and
You won't know who to believe in
Well that's a good time to be leavin'
And the past, it knocks on your door
And throws stones at your window at 4 in the morning
Well maybe he thinks it's romantic
He's crazy but you knew that before

And I think you need
To stop following misery's lead
Shine away, shine away, shine away...

So my message to you all this week is to be happy! Be upbeat. Think of the good in life instead of the bad. Remember how you really are special. 'Cause I don't lie. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Lately, I've gotten a bit preachy.

Sorry, I guess that's what happens when you aspire to be a political reporter.

So time for something RANDOM!

  • I love music. Seriously. I love it love it love it.
  • Recently I discovered that I don't get text messages from my roommates Lindsey and Sophia. Now either this means that my phone is boycotting one third of the apartment, or that AT&T hates me.
  • Have you ever heard of Libbie Linton? She is THE BOMB. Check out her music. There is really nothing like it, and it makes me feel so good. It's just chill. I love all her songs, but the one I'll recommend you listen to is "Eventually you have to grow up."
  • She is also a chill person. I've met her on occasion, I even wrote a story about her for the paper.
  • Although my brother professes he loves that we now live in the same town again, and we are in the same department for our majors, my roommates run into him more than I do.
  • My favorite song at the moment is "Must have done something right" by Relient K.
  • The song that iTunes is playing right now is "We the Dreamers" by Kate Voegele. A very chill, saddish song that you don't get on the regular version of her album (A Fine Mess).
  • My married cousins all have blogs, and for the most part they are pretty darn interesting to read.
  • Tonight I went to a free concert for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and decided that though the lead singer is good at screaming, he sings much better on their album.
  • I'm still confused about how to attach videos to my blog.
  • My favorite band at the moment, though almost tied with Death Cab for Cutie, is Fictionist. My favorite song by them is "Time to Time."
Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hicks and Gangsters: The Polar Opposites of Ogden

I really hate the people who comment on news stories online, and yet I still can't help but read.

For some reason, it makes them think they have the right to be obnoxious and rude. True colors show in the online forums.

Take the story about the Weber County Fair, for instance. I was there. Now, while the fair attracts some of the more backwards people of the county, most of us are not inbred cud chewin' farmers who drive beat up old pickup trucks and wear orange vests all through hunting season. However, that is pretty much the consensus of the people commenting on KSL's story, and believe me when I say that online forums also reveal stupidity. Seriously. The story was about some guys who got arrested for a fight while paramedics in the arena were trying to save the life of one of the drivers. As you can see from reading the comments here, there was little discussion on what happened to the driver compared to the plethora of redneck jokes.

That is the view of Ogden you get from the Salt Lake crowd. Now, the blessed people of Layton north to Logan have a completely different picture of O-Town. It's that we're gun shooting gangsters and even walking down Wall Avenue in sunny daylight puts you in danger of being mugged.

I worked in Ogden for about five weeks this summer, all of my shifts ended around midnight, and I think I have a right to say that I know a bit more about this town than the folks who avoid it because it's "seedy." First, I will agree with them. Yes, it is dangerous. Yes, it is a bit rundown in certain AREAS. And yes, there are gangs.

Now I'm going to stomp on your assumptions. It is only dangerous at night, and the less people and more dimly lit it is the more dangerous it gets. What kind of idiot walks around any city that size at night and doesn't expect to be harassed? The one who ends up on the nightly news the next day. Actually, in even larger towns, they might not even make the news just because they were stabbed. Maybe--just maybe--they will be tucked in a tiny corner of the last page of the news section as a blurb. Because believe me, Ogden is not nearly as bad as other cities.

As for being seedy and rundown? You bet it is. In certain areas. In recent years Ogden has been making progress at improving the condition of downtown. Hence the Junction. The closer you get to the mountain in Ogden, the nicer the homes are, and the safer the neighborhoods. Nobody ever sees these places because they only head to Ogden for the shopping and these are just residential areas.

Frankly, I like Ogden. I was raised around it. Being nearby taught me to be careful and lock my doors--something everyone should know better about, especially since the Logan Lurker disturbed the close-mindedness of many Cache Valley residents last year. I'm proud of the slight twang in my speech, how I say "ya'll" and leave out the t's in some words, but that does not make me a hick. Just as Ogden is not completely ghetto/redneck, so are small towns not the little safe haven where you can trust anybody.

As my grandpa used to say, "It's not the people here that I don't trust, it's the ones passing through."

On a side note about the derby, I hope the people involved--especially the driver who got hurt--is okay now. Here is the video of the derby on YouTube. It's a little long but tells the whole story from start to finish.

Live long and prosper.

Peace out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Something we should all be concerned about

Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban

Last Saturday, my weekly copy of Time magazine arrived in the mail, like usual. Only instead of the usual cover illustrating the perilous state of the economy, I was shocked to see a picture of a beautiful Afghani woman with dark almond shaped eyes, wavy hair, and a gaping hole where her nose should be. The woman, named Aisha, ran away from her husband's house at the age of 17 because, she says, her in-laws were abusing her. The Taliban found her and punished her by having her husband cut off her ears and nose with a knife, leaving her in the mountains afterward to die. She finally made her way to a secret womens shelter in Kabul. This happened last year.

I didn't start this blog with the intention of spouting political ideas, but this story (linked in the title above) really got to me. It's making a lot of other people think about what could happen in Afghanistan if we leave before kicking the Taliban out. It's a haunting picture. It was also daring of Time to print it, considering the grotesqueness of it all and that it will be seen from child eye-level at news stands across America. I think it ought to be seen, and by as many people as possible. We can't hide from reality, even if reality is ugly. I understand that we have many challenges here at home, but as a part of a global community we have the responsibility for the basic human rights of everyone.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life Musings and Utah Arts Fest

Chapter One: Life Musings

Sunday I went to three missionary farewells. That's a lot of church. Whew! But I was very happy to go to all of them because I saw a lot of people from high school I actually don't mind bumping into. (At the pool where I work, I run into a lot of people I'd rather not ever see again.) It got me musing and reminiscing and I've decided a few things:

  1. I would not mind going to my high school reunions. It will be a good study of the changes in our human nature, and I have some friends I'd like to see again.
  2. I do not ever want to do high school again because--
  3. Life after high school, whether you are going to college or working or whatever, is so much better.
Last night while at my ice cream store job, two girls that graduated a year ahead of me came in. I expected at least a "hi" or nod of acknowledgment from one because we sat next to each other for a year in algebra but hey, she didn't act like she knew me. Sometimes I wonder if people from school that see me still in my old jobs think I'm not going anywhere or doing much with my life, which is so not true. I quit those jobs to go to school and when I came home for the summer I discovered that one just isn't enough. (So, ironically, I now have three.)

I really wonder what sort of "smart" and "not-so-smart" choices some of my former schoolfellows have made in the last year or more. A good number are already married, parents, in the military, or in college. I expect at least one is in jail because my class was not the brightest and a few of us had rap sheets even before graduation. What I look forward to about our reunions is seeing those who turned their lives around. That would be an epic story to see, for sure.

Life does not always happen how you expect. Cliche? Yes. But true. Those of us who blasted off to great fanfare and high expectations from everybody will crash. I felt like I was coming close to that several times last school year. There is so much I want to do in my life that I feel like even if I miss a few leaps over the bar I will make plenty enough to have a satisfying finish.

Chapter Two: The Festival I Missed :(

I cannot believe I missed the Utah Arts Festival!!! I had it in my plans and totally missed it. Also, I think I missed the one in Logan because I had it on my calendar for July but actually it was a couple weeks ago. But if you are looking for a great festival with lots of mega artsy stuff, the Utah Arts Festival looks to be it. Here is their link in case you want to look at what it has to offer: Utah Arts Festival.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why I Enjoy Being A Hopeful Romantic

Heart, are you great enough
For a love that never tires?
O' heart, are you great enough for love?
I have heard of thorns and briers,
Over the meadow and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it
Flash for a million miles.

-Excerpt from "Marriage Morning" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Okay. So I know I just barely posted something (finally, and yes I will get to the Manti Pageant later), but I wanted to briefly talk about this one.

I recently discovered an acquaintance of mine is a huge skeptic about romance. And, it got me thinking. As I was finding out just how much of a pessimist this guy is I grew troubled. What is wrong, may I ask, with believing that love can and does happen? Sure, it usually doesn't come striding up all wet from a swim in the pond wearing tight breeches like Colin Firth, but that does not make a happy ending unlikely. On the contrary, I think that the epic or cute or downright hilarious romance stories that our society has become so accustomed to make us appreciate those sweet moments in our own lives even more.

And then, there is the pansy of a girl who can't stop reading Jane Austen and can't see past the title page to the reality before her. There are women (and I suppose men too) like this and they give romantics a bad rap. Personally, I think being called a hopeless romantic is sorta not right. The weirdos who judge every man they date by Mr. Darcy are hopeless. They can't hope for that sort of thing in their own lives. However, a Hopeful Romantic? That's the majority of the romantic population. We hope that something like that can happen in our lives, and know that even if it is not exactly the way Anita Stansfield would have written it, that mystic whispering touch of romance will be there. And that, my friend, is what truly makes it romantic.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Though wind, and through rain, they still wore kilts

June 12. Thanksgiving Point.
We went to the Scottish Festival and Highland Games of Utah! It was very fun. After driving around lost by the golf course we called in, discovering we were on the wrong side of Thanksgiving Point. Oops. When we finally found the field, the sound of bagpipes greeted us. Cars filled the parking lot and overflowed onto the roadside. Men, women, and wee children in kilts were walking around. Today was going to be a good day!

Many bands played around the fair.

The weather report said thunderstorms were due, and it was cloudy, but the rain held off until we went to the food pavilion. I had a delicious Shepherd Pie. When the mini tsunami came people in kilts put on these really cool ponchos that I can only assume are so nice because they came with the kilts which are European where it rains so much.

Another good piece of news is that when I finally found the House of Stewart's clan table I learned a lot more about my heritage. Yay! Turns out that because of the Jacobian Uprising in the mid 1700's a lot of Scots were deported to work as indentured servants on the King's plantations in America. That's how my ancestors got here.

In addition to a lot of booths selling stuff, there was entertainment on the stages from Celtic bands and Scottish bagpipers. And also there were "strong" competitions of traditional Scottish sport that included lifting a big heavy barley sack with a pitchfork and flinging it over high bar. Cool.

At the end of the day there was the Closing Ceremonies. The massed band marched and played the pipes. We were on the sidelines with a front row seat, which was cool and also--really loud. I think I can add a video so I'm going to try posting it! And the drum major of the Wasatch Pipe Band got to show his stuff with the big baton thingy. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of him flinging it in the air and catching it, but he did some cool stuff.

Indeed. There was an interesting booth that sold stuff that had interesting labels.

Te, he.

A Scottish Deerhound. Everybody and their dog was there. Sorry for the pun.

All in all, it was a great time. Next stop... Manti Pageant.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I just thought I'd tell you all... I HAVE 5 FOLLOWERS. Woot. Okay, I will go back to eating the delicious breakfast BFF Elise has made for me. What a nice best friend. Have a lovely morning!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WHAT have I been up to lately?

Ohmygosh has it really been so long since I last wrote? I bet you are all (well all three of you, at any rate) perched on the edges of seats, just waiting earnestly for the next chapter in the saga that composes my dreary life. Well...

I now work three jobs. Ugh. Enough said.

But more importantly, the question you have all been asking, I am sure, is...


Answer.... (drumroll...) The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Now, I know when you all see that phrase you either think, "what?" or your mind turns to this semi-OK 1982 movie with somewhat alright acting featuring Jane Seymour. Okay. First, the book is so much better than that. And second, the musical is even more amazing. Let's start in chronological order now, shall we?

Baroness Emmuska Orczy, a banished Hungarian living in England, wrote the novel first. However, no one would publish it so she had to claim it was also in play form and the publisher agreed to produce it to stage. It first hit the stage in 1903, and, with some revision, it was put on in London in 1905. The picture to your left is of actor Fred Terry playing, I assume, the main charater Percy (who is the Scarlet Pimpernel) in 1905. Looks terrible, I know, but audiences loved it!

Then, once it was a success (despite critics calling it "old-fashioned"), Orczy was allowed to publish the book.

It was a success and Hollywood has been grabbing at it for adaptations since 1917. It has also been spoofed on a number of times. -Think Daffy Duck as the Scarlet Pumpernickle. And like Daffy, who masquerades as a snuff sniffing aristocrat, Sir Percy Blakeney, the real Pimpernel, is a jolly Englishman who puts on the facade of having an empty head whilst rescuing people from the guillotine in the 1790's French Revolutionary phase in daring escapades. It has also been spoofed upon by Monty Python's Dennis Moore sketch ("He seeks them here, he seeks them there, he seeks those lupines everywhere!") I did not know about that one, and it cracked me up.

And finally, the adaptation that made me love the whole series, the musical! Some diehards are against the musical, but I think it covers the story better than the popular movie (sorry if you are a fan) with Jane Seymour. The musical ran on Broadway from 1997 through 2000, and had national tour as well. The music, by Frank Wildhorn, is amazing. I personally love the song "Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go!" Heck, I just love it all. Yes, it has Chauvelin singing. And yet... some of his songs are the best. The musical truly evokes the dramatic spirit, the passion, and the adventure of the story. I think Orczy would be proud of it if she were alive today.

Recently, I was excited to find that the Terrace Plaza Playhouse will be putting the musical on again this fall! I fully intend to go see it.

How did the Beatles get here? Oh well. Have a nice day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Living Traditions Festival

Friday. May 21. 2010. Living Traditions. Salt Lake City.

Oh yeah, Festival Adventure Numero Uno!

I finally got ready for the day about an hour before I was due to pick up Eliza to go down to SLC for some rockin' good multi-cultural entertainment. Living Traditions takes place each year at Washington Square, which is around the city/county building, the one that looks like Hogwarts.

We got there and after finding parking a block away (oh Salt Lake, with your lack of good parking), trudged optimistically past the beautiful architectural marvel that is the Salt Lake City Library. It looks like the coliseum, and I wish I took a picture of it. First thing we did was head for the Japanese Calligraphy booth. This nice, albeit quiet older man showed us what he could do and then we headed for the north stage, where I really wanted to watch the Scottish country folk dancers. Being of somewhat distant Scottish heritage myself, I was very interested to watch. Though some of the dancing was boring, the little boy they brought out in the last part sure was cute. He never really turned around. See the sword dancers! That is cool. I still remember that from Anna's wedding last year.

There was so much food! So many varieties. So, in between dodging under trees to wait out sporadic thundershowers, we sampled foods from different parts of the world. I fell in love with Scottish shortbread and will not rest until I get a good recipe for it. I also had a Vietnamese spring roll, and samosas from the Pakistani booth. Eliza and I fell in love with these things. They are basically mashed potatoes, veggies, and spices wrapped up in egg roll dough and fried like one. You dip them in sweet chili and it is like heaven on earth. They are the triangular things on the left.

There was a plethora of food tents. The rain stopped no one for long.

It took me forever to figure this out but the guy in the orange is a monk! This was the second time in two days that I ran into a monk--although the Thursday monk was Catholic and he surprised me by breaking out into profanity in the middle of a monastery gift shop. Believe me when I say you have not tried to stifle laughter as hard as I did when suddenly, out of the stillness, I heard the sweet old guy break into frustrated exclamations of, "Oh my ----! What the ------ is this? These are all mixed up. Things like this just make me want to kill." As a good Catholic friend of mine explained, they are still human. I know, I know, but it doesn't change the fact that it was so startling it was hilarious.

I broke down and purchased a Utah Scottish Association water bottle, filled with Ribena, a blackcurrent juice popular in the UK. It is also known for its high concentration of vitamin C. Basically, it tastes like cranberries, only sweeter. Note on the food: the prices were relatively cheap for festival food.

I wish I had pictures of other crafts and souvenirs, but Eliza and I spent most of our time touring the food tents and hiding under tree branches, hoping not to get struck by lightning. There were a ton of crafts. I had a delightful conversation with a man who grows bonsai trees, and there was a German-born lady who teaches classes on decorating European Easter eggs, aka Pysanki. I remember making those at a camp when I was 14.

So all in all, this festival was worth it. I got drenched and a little cold, but absolutely worth it. Don't get me started on the ride home, because that was terrible. Even so, I had a great time.

First picture came from http://www.slcgov.com/arts/livingtraditions/media.html. All the rest are by me.