Friday, December 26, 2008

"Yeah."

I was very spoiled for Christmas. Among my other presents came a flip mino. Pretty cool. Anyway, I don't know how often I'll be making useful or interesting videos, but with the simplicity of using it and getting the videos from it to the lappy, you may see more on my blog.

This was John at work today.



J:"Hi"
D:"Hi John, how are you today?"
J:"Great."
D:"Good! Did you have a good Christmas?"
J:"oh yeah"
D:"yeah? Did Santa bring you a lot of good things?"
J:"yeah"
D: "what was your favorite thing that you got?"
J: "Diane."
D: "Yeah, I didn't get here til the next day, did I."
J: "Yeah."

<3

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Wildly White Christmas

Those of you in P-town: have you seen this glorious weather? And if you're not, but you've ever seen snow, I suppose I'm asking you too. I absolutely love it. It has snowed so much this year. Right now I'm sitting in the warmth of my apartment, gazing out the window (except for the occasional glance at the screen to be sure I'm continuing on with my impeccable spelling. Except the first time I spelled "impeccable" just now, the computer corrected me because I spelled it "impecible". Ha ha, ironic. How hypocritical of me. Or is it hippo-critical?) at the soft flakes drifting down, and that [fill this space with a word which is a simile of "amazing", "incredible", "beautiful", "awe-inspiring", and 20 mas o menos other terms all into one] sky. I love it when the sky becomes so white and bright in the middle of the night. What the heck, add it to my top 15.

I've been wanting to blog for some time, but keep getting "busy". Tonight, however, I decided that if I let it go one more day without at least leaving one post, I'll most likely explode. Too much blog-worthy material is swelling up in my brain. Potential posts about events that were frustrating, traumatic, silly, laugh-so-hard-you-cry-funny, etc. need to be born.

And so, for tonight I would like to write about something that happened last week, but, beware: it is not for the faint of heart. Hopefully I'll be able to get through it without getting the jibblies.

I enjoy brushing my teeth. It's a pastime, really. The other night, I was brushing along, minding my own business, when I decided it would be good to focus on how I brushed. Instead of a careless back and forth motion, I thought little circles on each tooth might be good to ensure for optimal cleanliness. I was concentrating hard and staring at those pearly-not-perfectly-white-but-our-society-makes-this-a-bigger-issue-than-it-needs-to-be-I-mean-why-would-you-buy-teeth-whitening-strips-when-you-could-donate-that-money-to-an-actually-important-cause s in the mirror, when my eyes started wandering up the handle of the toothbrush. And then a sudden realization stilled my circles. This was not my toothbrush. Glancing up at the toothbrush holder, my fears were confirmed by seeing mine, sitting there, stationary and unused. How long had I been using the wrong one? They were both purple.

I didn't tell my roommate.

Merry Christmas! If you are in a funny mood and it's really late, check out this link. So very weird, but I love it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Comment on the last post

I don't know if that made sense. In my dream, I actually thought about how I needed to blog about what was in my dream. Not after I woke up. Over and out.

Addicted to Blogging... sorta

I had very vivid and bizarre dreams last night. The funniest thing though, was thinking when I dreamt (dreamed?) up something strange, 'Wow. I really need to blog about this.' That is often what I think when anything strange or noteworthy happens in my day. :) When I don't write on my blog since... December 5th or so (for example), it's because of a lack of time and creativity. So... this one's just a teaser. I still don't have time or creativity. Until next time!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thoughts of Late

Culture is so huge in shaping the way we think about everything! The idea of arranged marriages came up in my Social Psych class, and the girl next to me said "Oh, that would be awful!" as people audibly gasped or squirmed in their seats, wondering aloud how people could really marry for any reason other than love. Just because we don't agree or understand something, doesn't mean the whole world feels as we do. Many of our notions of what is "universally" right or wrong are in reality western and modern ideas.

Yesterday we were watching The Truman Show, and I thought of how this movie would only appeal to an individualistic culture such as ours. Isn't it funny when you have a small stain on your shirt and you're so agitated, worrying that people will notice and think you're a slob, when in reality they're all worrying about their bad hair day or zits or whatever the case may be?

With Christmas approaching, I've started to think about the gift. Why are gifts given? Out of obligation? Out of love? Out of tradition? Do you buy someone a really nice gift so that they'll buy you a nice one the next year? Is it a power trip?

Yep. Just some ideas. This post is probably really run-on-sentence-y and lacks wit and charm, but it is as the title claims: it's what I've been thinking about lately, and it's quite late. 1:48 am. I should go to bed.

Perspective

Gloomy, burdened, dark with pain
It’s cause I could not find
It slowed my step and thoughts of me
Were flooding up my mind.

Then suddenly, through some small sort
Of miracle I guess,
The cold wind stilled and sunshine brightly
Lit upon my face.

I felt such joy and gratitude
And that I will get by.
I am convinced it was a gift:
That comfort from the sky.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Disturbing Mystery

How do people get this far in life not understanding the differences and correct usages of your and you're, along with there, their and they're?????????????????????

Darwin's "survival of the fittest" has no merit here. People are born, grow up, go to college, get jobs, get old and die, never understanding grammar.

It chills me to the bone. Is this one of you're pet peeves?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"I love you two bits."

-John
"Wow! How much is that?"-Diane
"A whole lot."-John

Can I just tell you that I have the coolest job ever? I go over to John's house every day to talk, do puzzles, play chess, do math problems, push-ups, read picture or choose-your-own-adventure books, and get plenty of hi-fives and laughs. John has such a good perspective about life. He has really influenced me to do some thinking about what is really important. It's so great to feel like I'm making a difference in his life, and he is definitely changing mine.

"We have so much in common!" -J :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Are you happy in your heart?" -Mary Lund

Once upon a time, Diane wanted to be a heart surgeon.

Although it was an extremely ambitious idea, I was interested in the medical field, details, and healing hearts. But as the reality of the cost, competition, amount of schooling ahead, and lack of interest in chemistry or any of the hard sciences became apparent, I drifted away and altered my dreams.

There are things that you could say to describe me. People have said that I am friendly, thoughtful, silly, and impulsive. But I doubt you would say "Go-getter".

Being the youngest (at least for 12 years) in my family taught me to be very dependent. I looked to my siblings' examples in everything. They seemed to be successful, so instead of exploring things for my own, I attended the same schools, took the same classes, had the same types of friends, was involved in the same extracurricular activities, and carefully hopped from footprint to footprint, failing to make my own impression in the snow. It was too risky, too uncertain, too dangerous. Because my siblings were involved in good things, I was happy in my mimicking, and enjoyed my experiences. But especially as I made the decision to come to BYU, a school where my parents and all of my siblings had gone, I began to long for something more. I wanted to do things for personal reasons, so I could be sure that I wasn't just trying to please other people, but that I could someday look back and say, "I spent so much time, effort, and money here, because I truly wanted to learn at BYU."

I see this pattern over and over again. I have so many desires: to get out of Utah Valley and gain a broader understanding of the world around me. To maybe even leave the country and get my feet wet in order to feel the full intensity of the culture shock. To grow up. But I find myself continuing in what is comfortable and letting these opportunities pass without much more than the thought, "Oh, I should've gone to that informational meeting!" or "I should really research those websites and see what that would involve... sometime." Am I lazy? Am I afraid? I think a little of both. So many times as I am feeling lost, I just wish someone would take my hand and guide me through every step to ensure that I can catch one of these trains before they all leave me, standing alone at an empty station.

I still want to heal hearts. It may be symbolic rather than literal. I want to be the kind of person that others can come to, and I can truly help them as they struggle with transitions. Whether it be the difficulty that comes with becoming an adult, or a divorce and the traumatic effects on the couple and the family. These feelings of frustration and prolonged uncertainty nag at me every day. If, someday, when I figure it all out, I can take someone else's hand, and sincerely guide them until they feel that they can do it on their own, I know I will have made a significant difference.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Snow-bama...

This morning when I looked outside, I couldn't help singing "Snow" from "White Christmas". The flurries have inspired a spark of creativity. Or at least I thought of how to turn my recent thoughts into a blog post.

After I voted yesterday, my 8 year old (and apparently politically-minded) brother John E. asked me "Who'd you vote for?" about 10 times. After being ignored, he proceeded to tell me "If we could vote, everyone in my class would vote for McCain. Except Melanie. She'd vote for Obama." and then "Preston says that no matter what, he doesn't want a Democrat for President. I don't want one either." This made me laugh and roll my eyes a little. I remember being that age, growing up in Utah Valley and stubbornly believing that Democrats were the enemy, and must be blood sucking, baby killing, stealing, cheating, cannibals or something. Ha! Let's just say I grew up a little bit.

I don't affiliate myself with any party... yet. I'm pleased with the results of the election. And if McCain had won, I would've been pleased as well. Of course there are instances of corruption and false promises similar to those from High School elections (I never saw any Mountain Dew coming from those drinking fountains!), and there are things that bothered me about both candidates. Of course they told us what we want to hear, and it's likely that we'll experience some disappointment. But I thought that was a given. Have some hope, people! America is made up of Americans. It's our responsibility to keep the country from falling apart and to accomplish the things that we want to see done.

And Proposition 8 passed! It was interesting to watch my opinion change concerning the issue. At first I was leaning toward saying "No" to the prop., thinking that it intruded on the agency of others who happen to have different views and morals than I do, and also thinking that it didn't really affect me personally. But thanks to some blogs and words from the church, I got a glimpse of what would happen if the proposition didn't pass, and how much it really does affect me. What a turn-around! There is so much truth in this statement: "...marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and ...the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

I enjoy talking politics because, although I don't know much, I love to hear the arguments and be involved in learning more about unfamiliar views. The more I learn, the more I hunger for intelligent discussion. I ditto Robyn's thoughts that she shared in her blog last night.

The End... for now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Running on eggshells

I'm blogging today mainly to move that Adam Sandler/Dianey Face transformation down the page a little. It's kind of creeping me out. I'm tired of it being the first thing that my fan from Bangladesh sees when they come to the site. :)

And now for an update of my lists! I do realize that I haven't listed all of my Top and Bottom 15 here, but if I did that, no one would ever have to talk to me in person. I'd just wear a t-shirt that says "Don't talk to me, just read my blog. dianeyface.blogspot.com " Actually... that's a good idea! More traffic.
Just kidding, I love talking to people!

Top 15:
-Running
-Meeting someone new and talking as if you share a secret or you know each other much better than you really do.

Bottom 15:
-When food goes bad, especially when it seems like you just bought it. I can never eat my bread and vegetables fast enough.
-When my ipod dies and says it needs recharging after it's been recharging for 5 hours. Usually I can bring it back to life though. :)

Quote of the Yesterday:
So I work with this guy named John who is mentally handicapped. We just play and read and do fun math problems. It's a blast! Yesterday I was counting for some reason (can't remember why) and our dialog went like this:
"1, 2..."-D
"Buckle my shoe"-J
"3,4"-D
"shut the door"-J
(etc.)
"9, 10"-D
"The big fat nun"-J
I almost cried from laughing.

Self Discovery:
You know how some people count their chickens before they're hatched? I count, name and either befriend or eat my chickens before the eggs are even warm in the nests. Sometimes I have my whole life planned out, and then I'm surprised when things happen differently from expectations. But these are growing experiences. For which I'm grateful. I have a lot of room to grow.

Over and Out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Manly Dianely

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities

This is awkwardly hilarious. I was trying to be cool like Janae, and so I picked a picture I liked and, voila! Instead of someone beautiful like Grace Kelly, apparently I look like Adam Sandler. Kind of...creepy to be matched up looking like a man, but hey, he's funny, and I try to be funny so I guess it works.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"It is by loving...

...and not by being loved that one can come nearest to the soul of another." -George McDonald

This is profound. When it's a Friday night and I don't have a date and am definitely not dating anyone, it's easy to forget this, and feel a little grumpy about not being loved. It's easy to sigh and reminisce about past times when it seemed like I was the most important person to someone. That was a pretty neat feeling.

Sometimes it feels like there isn't as much purpose to life when you're single. You don't have someone depending on you to be there for them. You don't have someone that you can go to and tell everything to, and you know that they are genuinely interested in knowing (although, I share an awful lot with Robyn). It's easy to feel like you could disappear, to the library or to your bedroom, and no one would care anymore.

But then, just before the pity party starts, and the nerve impulse from my brain to my legs (to get up for some ice cream and plop on the couch and put in a chick flick, which would be living vicariously through some fake story where the music swells in all the right places and everyone is always perfect and attractive) has a chance to finish it's course, I start to think about things. As wonderful as it is to feel loved, what I really miss the most is the feeling I get when I love someone else. In that situation, I like who I am: happy and excited and ready to do whatever I can to show that person how I feel about them. Ready to find out how they need to be cared for, even if it's not how I would normally show it. I admit it: this is #1 of my Top 15. :D

I believe that one of our purposes on this earth is to come close to the souls of others. Why else are we born into families and have friends and so many opportunities to interact with other people every day? We can still feel joy from serving and loving and getting to know other people. It doesn't have to be such a concentrated, romantic love. Love in itself is very powerful.

Each of us have so much to offer the world and each other. Each of us have so much potential to love. And each of us can do so much good with this love.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The things I do for a little extra credit...

I went to the Testing Center with a quest. I didn’t have any tests to take, but I thought that this was the ideal place to go and break a social norm. I sat down next to a young-looking guy and got out my notes and book and looked as if I was studying and cramming. It was 8:45pm, and the last tests are handed out at 9, so if I really did have a test, it would make sense that I was anxious, like I had left it to the last minute. It was quiet and there were others nearby, also cramming for their exams. After about 3 minutes of my pseudo-study, I looked over at before-mentioned guy and said, “Excuse me”. He looked up. And so did everyone within earshot. Our dialog went something like this:
Diane: “Hey, um… I’m really nervous about this test. Would you give me a kiss for good luck?” (I tapped my cheek with my finger and tried to have a cute smile on my face)
Random Guy (with color creeping to his face): “No, I can’t.”
D: “Oh.” (in my mind, ‘"Can't"?! I didn’t even do a ring check. I thought he was a Freshman. I hope he’s not married. Ha! It doesn’t matter! I’m breaking a social norm! Did he not see my finger tapping my cheek? Did he think I meant a real smacker? Ha ha, this is funny!')
RG (blushing furiously now): “I’m sorry!”
D: “It’s okay. Bye!”
And I got up and went up the stairs. I waited about thirty seconds and then walked down them again, glancing to see if he was looking, but he had his head down and was studying (I presume) so I had safe passage out of the building.
When I got out of the testing center, I laughed probably a little too loudly. I was proud of myself that I had gotten up enough courage to do it. I felt a little bit dumb, but mostly just smiled at his reaction. It’s fun to let strangers know that you’re a little bit odd. My friends already know.

Monday, October 6, 2008

"I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!!"

- from the movie Elf

It's true, everyone. My heart is brimming with joy. I can hardly contain myself.

He's been there all along, but I finally realized that what I was feeling wasn't just a warm regard, but true LOVE.

Here's a picture, expertly created by yours truly through Paint, until I get my pictures up.

As for other news, I'm still looking for jobs and scholarships like crazy. This one made me laugh:


I don't know if I could live on that much. Or that little, rather.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday's List

I copied my title from Gabe. I couldn't think of a title that would connect all of my random thoughts, so I used someone else's creativity. Bwa ha ha ha haaaaa.

-Allergies became apparent today. :( [frowny] :'( [crying frowny] :'-'( [crying, sniffly frowny... or maybe a crying man who is crying because half of his mustache got ripped off... kind of like in Kung Fu Panda: have you seen it? I've seen it 3 times. Except it was a cute 'lil fox with the mustache, not a man.] I'm pretty grumpy about it. Spring was my favorite season until I started getting allergies. And then Autumn became my favorite, with the bright crunchy leaves and the gorgeous deep blue skies. I've never had allergies during the Fall months before. Sigh.

-Today I felt this weird excitement that I think is correlated to the idea of becoming an adult. I've always been afraid of all the work and responsibilities and everything that comes along with the "adult" thing. But lately I've gained more of an interest in politics, cooking, sewing, cleaning, and sometimes I just get really excited to be a mom someday. This is really really weird for me. It actually doesn't even sound like me. Is this me?

-The country version of "Home" (originally done by Michael Buble) made it to my bottom 15 today. I can't stand it! It makes me appreciate Michael's... beautiful yet manly voice even more.

-This morning I finished a fabulous movie: Amazing Grace. It's about William Wilberforce, a man who spent his life fighting against the slave trade in England in the early 1800s. I loved it! So well done and truly inspirational. The word that comes to mind to describe it is "wholesome". It was really nice to see a well-done movie that didn't have parts that made me feel awkward or uneasy. And the best part was, it's a true story. I would recommend it. In fact, I think I'm going to buy it, and then you can watch it with me! Hooray!

-Today was such an incredible day. I was so happy. It seemed like the world was extra lovely, with the changing mountains, the colorful leaves, and the beautiful cloud-streamed sky. I love my life!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good morning... er... afternoon...

This morning when I finally woke up, I looked at the time and a guilty, surprised laugh burst out of me. 10:41am. I almost beat myself up. If I had woken up at 7, I probably would've gone running, showered and gotten ready for the day, eaten breakfast, read my scriptures, and maybe done some homework or cleaned up the kitchen by 10:41. But instead, I couldn't stop smiling, as I realized that this time in my life is probably the only time I'll ever get away with doing this.

When I was young, I would be prevented from sleeping in each Saturday by one of four ways:
1) Saturday Cartoons. My favorite was Bobby's World. It was easy to jump out of bed and run over to the TV and plop down a little too close to it with anticipation. It was almost like Christmas, but it came every Saturday!
2) My dear sister, bless her heart, jumping on me, singing a shrill version of a song that she got from girl's camp or something: "GOOD MORNING TO YOU!" and something about annoying little birds singing "sweetly" in the trees. Yeah. I wanted to kill her.
3) My mom had the strange ability of being able to wake me just by standing at the door and quietly saying my name. She would say it with love, but perhaps a note of disappointment that I was still in bed. Guilt trip!
4) The smell of hot, fresh waffles wafting into my bedroom. This was my favorite and perhaps the most manipulative tactic. Or strategy. I'm not sure that I know the difference between those two. Anyway, who can stay sleeping when they hear the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen, knowing that homemade waffles and syrup are waiting to be consumed?

So there's a review of my past.
What about my future?

1) I might go on a mission. And if I do, I'm planning to be obedient. That means bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am every single day for a year and a half.
2) I'm hoping I get married some day. And when I do, I imagine feeling self-conscious about sleeping in too much. I won't want my husband thinking I'm lazy. I'll need to get up to make him breakfast or clean the house or do other typical wife-y things.
3) Eventually I'll be a mom... depending on 2). Mom's never get to sleep in. They never even get to sleep for most of their lives because of crying babies and worrying about rebellious teenagers.
4) When I'm an old woman, sleeping won't be as easy. Insomnia is common as the body wears out.

Wow. Both the past and the future look bleak as far as sleeping in goes. And that's why I smiled so much today. I stuck it to the man! "The man" is my sister, my mom, my future husband, my future kids, the media, food, and old people. I feel great.

Now it's about noon and all I've done is showered and blogged. Time for brunch.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Song Dedications

Often a song/band plays on the radio or on itunes, and it reminds me of a certain person in my life. So I compiled a list of my friends and the songs that remind me of them. This isn't complete; as I was doing it, I realized it would probably be impossible to make it completely perfect. If I left you out or something, I'm sorry, and I still really like you. Many of the people on this list don't even read my blog, and may never know that their names are posted somewhere on the internet. Maybe they'll find it when googling themselves. :)

Abraham Engh: Crystal Ball - Keane
Barney Lund: that one funny Thai or Indian song with the really weird video on YouTube... can't recall the name
Becky Oman: Green Eyes - Coldplay
Brice Peterson: It's still Rock and Roll to me - Billy Joel
Brigg Olsen: The Eagles; Journey; Boston; Chicago
Calista Howes: Wasted - Carrie Underwood
Cathy Bearce Webb: 100 Years - Five for Fighting
Cherise Weber: Defying Gravity - Wicked Soundtrack
Chris Engh: No Air - Jordin Sparks
Christian Huff: Here (in your arms) - Hellogoodbye
Clark Early: Viva La Vida - Coldplay
Collin Evans: When you come back down - Nickelcreek; The Longest Time - Billy Joel
Dexton Upshaw: I want to hold your hand - The Beatles
Elizabeth Alor: That's the way it is - Celine Dion; Beautiful Soul - Jesse McCartney
Gabe Proulx: Landed - Ben Folds; Beautiful Mess - Diamond Rio
Hana Doggett: Swing Swing - All American Rejects; I'm a Believer - SmashMouth
Janae Card: Carry On My Wayward Son & Dust in the Wind - Kansas; I lost it - Kenny Chesney
Jared Webb: Queen
Jason Francis: They Might Be Giants; REM; John Coltrane
Jonnie Proulx: Apologize - OneRepublic
Josh Ruchty: The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Justin Karoly: Sadie Hawkins Dance - Relient K
Justine Alor: Remember when it rained - Josh Groban
Katie Alexander(my ex-roommate, not my sister's mission comp): Broken - Lifehouse
Keith Harten: Coldplay(especially The Scientist); Yesterday - The Beatles
Lydia Worden(and Monica Lindsay): Paper Bag - Fiona Apple
Maggie Worthington(and Ryan Holmes): Blackbird - The Beatles
Marcie Fillmore Francis: Thank you - Dido
Mary Francis Lund: My Maria - Brooks&Dunn; Ave Maria - David Bisbal; For Good - Wicked Soundtrack
Marybeth Mack: Uptown Girl - Billy Joel; Skin - Rascal Flatts
Matt Mitchell: Radiohead
Matthias Boone: Jack Johnson
Matthew Wise: Minimum Wage - TMBG
Mike Struthers: Would you go with me - Josh Turner
Nabby Parkinson: Ghost - Indigo Girls
Nate Evans: Tu de Que Vas - Franco de vita
Nicole Stoddard: Bubbly - Colby Calliat; Cake
Paul Epperson: Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync; And So it Goes - Billy Joel
Paul Mann: Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
Robyn Brough: These Days - Rascal Flatts; A thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton
Roo Adamson: Colors
Sarah May: Don't stop me now - Queen; The Way I am - Ingrid Michaelson
Shaylee Wright: Love Song - Sara Bareilles
Sondra Merritt: Absolutely - Nine Days
Steve Francis: Dinner Bell - TMBG; Dancing Queen - ABBA (don't ask)
Steve Porter: Animaniacs theme song
Suzie Davis: Yellow - Coldplay; Love Today - Mika; Short Skirt, Long Jacket - Cake
Taylor Worthington: Banjo Boy - Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand; Square One - Tom Petty

Are you weirded out, and confused about my song choices for you? Just ask and I'll tell you the stories and the "why"s.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where can I turn for peace?

Breakups are brutal. That's why there are so many songs and poems and blog posts written about them. They hurt with an intensity that you never thought you would ever have to feel. I suppose you don't realize how big your heart had become until it becomes deflated with the sharp realization that for whatever reason, the relationship isn't going to work out.

It's been a tough couple of days. I work at a place for 8 hours a day, with hardly anyone to talk to. I do busy work which needs very little concentration, and provides absolutely no distraction to my tormenting thoughts. To cope, I first created a playlist of bitter, angry songs. But as I listened to them, I realized that they didn't make me feel any better. First of all, I can't relate to any of the songs in this situation. I'm not angry. I don't feel cheated or betrayed. I still think so highly of my best friend. When listening to these songs, all I felt was more anxious, regretful, doubting, and confused.

Today at work, with my 8 hours to myself, I chose a different approach. I went straight to lds.org and listened to hymns and primary songs. I also listened to probably half a dozen conference talks and wrote down quotes that stuck out to me. As I went through this long process of listening to and pondering these beautiful words of truth and testimony, I was impressed with the astonishing amount of peace that came over me. Then this scripture came to my mind:

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The world teaches us to be angry and bitter and to hold on to these feelings when we're going through hard things. Granted, I do enjoy the bitter songs now and again. I feel like they come from real people who have had real and relevant experiences, so they're legit, and full of emotion. However, the gospel teaches us to trust in the healing power of Christ's Atonement, and everything will be okay. Even if it isn't right now, with faith, everything will be okay eventually. I know, believe, and trust that this is true. If I didn't have the gospel in my life, I don't know where I could possibly find peace. I am so blessed, even through my trials.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Political Ponderings

This is going to be a controversial post, so hopefully I'll get a lot of comments. :)

I always thought I was a conservative Republican, because all I knew about Democrats was their acceptance of abortion and gay marriage, both of which are strongly discouraged in my religion. Besides, I thought that elephants were cuter than donkeys, and so useful with their trunks, which can feed them or cool them or swat the flies away. When asking my parents why they were Republicans, my mom said something about the party being the lesser of two evils. I never really understood or cared. I used to say, "As long as we don't have a king, I'm good." I was apathetic, and thought that to be involved in politics meant to grow up, so I avoided them like the plague. Besides, Poly=many, tics=annoying little bugs, right?

This summer I had a lot of discussions, exploring my mind and opinions with friends who listened and respected them. I've been really excited about my major, Sociology, and a lot of our discussions were focused around it. It's been fascinating to think about societies, especially ours, and analyzing the issues and possible solutions. But politics naturally became part of these kinds of conversations... it was unavoidable. We talked about gay marriage and abortion. We talked about welfare and homelessness. We talked about the environment and gas prices and the war in Iraq. We talked about adulty-type things. And yet it was wonderful! I enjoyed discussing and suggesting and thinking about these things.

People have told me lately, that I'm liberal. This was a surprise; as I said before, I always considered myself conservative. From some, especially people my age, I hear good things about being liberal... like it means I'm open minded and I care about what's best for the society. But from others, often older folks, I hear liberals talked about like devil-worshipers, which makes things awkward when it seems that I'm slowly becoming one of them. People say that most college students are liberal. Is this divide a difference in maturity or wisdom? Or are younger people with less experience really more open minded and willing to see and discuss more than just one side of an issue?

Remember, you don't have to agree. You just have to understand. Discuss, think, ponder, wonder, ask, think again. I don't know all the answers to those controversial issues in our country and in our world. But they're wonderful to think about.

To give my parents credit, later when I discussed these things with them again, they gave me a more thoughtful answer as to why they are conservative. But I don't think they realize what is happening to their little girl...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Six Strings

I wandered aimlessly down center street, glancing through the windows of small, random shops. A shoe repair, a small community theater, a greasy diner. After a while, I happened upon a little guitar shop, and my hand independently introduced itself to the large brass door handle. The place smelled of fresh wood, which was being shaved and painted into the shapes of beautiful handmade guitars. My feet echoed on the old wooden floor, as I was alone. Each instrument was in a different stage. Some without a neck, some prior to being painted, some nearly done: and all had tags with the names of their future owners. I kept walking and came to the finished, glossy products hung proudly, but lonely on the walls. I hesitantly approached them, my eyes admiring their perfect shape and appearance. My fingers ached to touch them, but the fear of any potential inflicted damage stilled their twitch. I held my breath, to avoid fogging up the glossy finish, and moistening the wood with condensation.

"Can I help you?" A worn-looking man with silver hair pulled back into a long, yet masculine ponytail approached, without a smile. He had piercing eyes that seemed to see right into the very deepest darkest corners of my soul. His wrinkles came from worry and tough times, and any hints of laughter were now extinct. I'm not sure if I was still stunned from the gorgeous instruments, or his unique appearance, but I was only able to stammer something about looking for a guitar, and a cheap one at that.

He brought me over to another wall, which displayed guitars that looked much more ordinary: a sharp contrast from the previously viewed, so beautiful that their sound could almost be heard with only the effort of a glance. "These are the cheapest we've got. They start at $350." "Did you make them?" He gave me an insulted and defensive look. "No, these are imported. The ones I make start at $1200 and you've got to wait at least a year to get your hands on one." He gestured at the guitars I had been drawn to when I first came in.

$350 was about $300 too much for my budget. But even if I could afford to splurge, I wouldn't buy just any old guitar with those fantastic, handmade guitars in existence. I couldn't explain how I knew, but each had a story. Looking at them told me pieces of that silver-haired man's life. Pieces that I almost felt guilty discovering. Like he was allowed to see my soul, but his was too painful, too personal to be shared.

I left the place, empty handed, my pocket just as heavy as before, and somewhat in a daze. The sun seemed much brighter, but perhaps it was just the contrast from my short visit in the dark life of the guitar maker.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Maybe we should've let the elephants keep their ivory...

I almost didn't include this one in the blog, but I realized that I write a lot better when I know people are going to read it. Even if it is just the one or two that actually do.

Warning: This one's a little dramatic. Not for the frequent eye rollers.

Hangnails are on the bottom 15 list. Also is the feeling of when you slaughter a brilliant piece of music in front of a lot of people. Tonight my ward had a closing social/talent show. I wanted to be involved, but didn't really know what I would do. I put on the list "probably Piano something-or-other" which meant by default Rachmanninoff's Prelude in C# minor.

I started taking piano lessons when I was probably about 5. My mom was a piano teacher, and insisted that I continue with them until I graduated from High School. I've taken lessons on and off again since then. But this piece, I've known for years now. I love it. There are moments in it where only the soft pedal is down, and I'm barely touching the keys, and there are parts where I'm pounding on the piano until my forearms ache with the amount of force I exert. I play it best when I'm angry, and I almost always feel better after I've finished. It's therapeutic for me.

I went to the front, gave a little intro, and sat down at the bench. A hundred pairs of eyes were staring at me, and I felt the blood rush to my face before I had even begun. The first few notes were perfect. The mood was set, and there was so much potential for me to communicate the kind of emotion that I believe Rachmanninoff intended. And then the first wrong note came. And the second. And the third. Pretty soon I was stumbling and confused. I felt like I had just had a lobotomy and that my occipital lobe (responsible for memorization in muscle memory) no longer was a part of me. My fingers shook and hesitated, and everything went all wrong.

After stumbling a bit but trying to keep going, I skipped to the next section, which is one that rarely gives me trouble. But my frustration due to messing up in the first place distracted me, and I found myself stumbling again. I just wanted to cry, or die, (or something else that rhymes with "I") but I had to keep going. I thought for a minute that I could salvage it... that it could get better. I thought that I could perform the rest of the piece with the greatness that I knew I was capable of, and hopefully the crowd would forget about the first part of the piece. But I stumbled again.

This horrible pattern continued: skipping to a new section in the song, skipping over these beautiful notes that Rachmanninoff crafted together so well, skipping over elements of music that have such power to move and to communicate. I interrupted the awkward pauses when I was trying to continue with comments like "Um... sorry everyone, this wasn't planned" or just saying "Sorry" again and again. I knew my teacher would cringe if she had heard me. You never say sorry, or anything during a performance. You just keep going and hope that nobody noticed the mistake. But everyone noticed. It was choppy and crude and ruined.

I reluctantly let out the last few chords, after what seemed like an eternity of utter humiliation, and I returned to my seat. Despite the loving applause from the audience -- people who are my friends and don't really care if I make mistakes -- it was all I could do to hold back my tears. My eyes were brimming each time anybody talked to me, even long after the show was all over. They came to me, complimenting me, telling me I was so brave to get up there and keep going, telling me I played wonderfully. I knew they had good intentions, but I couldn't help but think that everyone just felt so sorry for me and felt like they had to say something to make me feel better. But they made me feel so much worse.

It's like when I was young and I played on the playground during recess, and I'd get hurt somehow (inevitable for a young rambunctious child). Sure I'd be in pain, but I could hold all the tears in, just as long as no one would notice me or put me on the spot. But pretty soon someone would "kindly" ask me if I was okay, and the attention and embarrassment would start the water works. I hated that feeling. So pathetic, so ashamed, such a little girl. So on my bottom 15 list.

I felt so much pain when I wasn't able to share Rachmanninoff's incredible piece with others just because of my own self consciousness or shyness. It hurt, because no one knew that I knew this piece. It was my piece. And I wanted to play it. A piece that I love so much, and I killed it. Call it damaging my pride, or damaging the ear, call it whatever you want... but I call it tragedy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Tale of the Timid Explorer

Lately I've had some experiences which have shown my character, or lack of, and it's been really revealing. The past week or so, I've been hoping and praying for experiences where I can better serve other people and stop being so self absorbed. I'm in a relationship and I feel like I've been focusing on him, or me, or "us", while leaving friends and acquaintances and people I could possibly be nourishing a friendship with, behind. Not that spending a lot of time with someone as kind and fun and uplifting as Taylor is a bad thing in any way. I just think that sometimes it's selfish of me.

So, I've been praying for these opportunities to best know how to help people and show my love for everyone. And it's been amazing how I've watched these chances come, watched myself chicken out, and watched the opportunities for increased happiness in at least two lives, pass us by. Amazingly tragic.

Usually it's been strangers: the woman who seems to need just a conversation or a compliment or a smile while we're baking in the August sun, waiting for the bus, or that man carrying a little too much while I'm riding my bike past him. How hard would it be for me to take out my ear buds and start that conversation or hop off my bike and give him a hand? Apparently too hard for my small heart. I just keep listening to Keane, willfully preventing myself from blessing a life, and being blessed in return.

Many things have entered my mind in these situations. The Dianey Angel and Dianey Devil have left permanent impressions on my shoulders, and are tiring of the debates. 'You shouldn't reach out. They'll think you're weird.' 'They'll probably never see you again, so even if they think you're weird for stopping to help, it really can't hurt.' 'But they'll think you're so weird!' 'It doesn't matter. It's worth it. Why do you care what this stranger thinks of you?' 'They'll be offended by your random attempts of friendliness!' 'More likely you'll cause them to smile a huge smile, and you know it'll make your day too!' 'But... they'll think you're so weird!' 'You already said that.' 'But..."

I'm confused by my hesitation, because I love people. I love knowing their complexities and exploring them to find out who they really are. It's even what I have chosen to study in school. I'd like to argue that every man, woman and child is an island: an undiscovered, beautiful island with treasures and traps and surprises-- good and bad. How exciting to be the explorer, knowing the secret short cuts and the reasons/history of why this island is shaped and functioning the way it is! How exciting to be the explorer that is trusted with a rare trust, where they are willing to open up to you and show you their own wonders!

So why do I continue to cut myself off from them? Why does it scare me to talk to them? Why does it scare me that I actually might learn something or feel something or gain a new friend and enjoy it?

I truly hope that I can and will change my response when these opportunities come my way. I hope that I can be brave, listen to the wise advice of the Dianey Angel, and simply be able to treat people like people. Like great people. People who long to be understood and loved. People who need me. Besides, I need to be needed anyway.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words...


I was just going through some old pictures and found this one of my dad and my brother John E. I don't really know what was going on, but it made me laugh for probably 4 minutes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thin Girl's Lament

Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed breakfast at Kneaders, where they're known for their all-you-can-eat French toast, and for good reason. They start you off with two thick slabs, and the option of a sweet yet buttery syrup or the whippiest whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The aroma alone is enough for the tongue to swell and saliva to rush to the mouth with anticipation. This French toast puts the French to shame.

You start by generously spilling the sweet smooth syrup until the toast is glazed and you can see your reflection in the new pond you've created. Next, your spoon applies the whipped cream, which starts to go runny when coming in contact with the nice warm toast and syrup combination. Finally the strawberries complete the masterpiece, with a juicy, tender bounce. Your fork holds it all together while your knife slides back and forth, gently tearing at the thick, beautiful bread. As the first piece enters your impatient mouth, it surpasses your expectations. Your jaw becomes confused, chomping quickly with excitement, and ignoring signals from the brain, screaming to calm down and savor every moment. Soon however, you have no choice, as the thickness slows you down and your stomach seems to be brimming long before you are ready to be done.

They start you off with two pieces. Lamentably, I was only able to eat one. I took the other home in a box, which I ate for breakfast today. It wasn't quite as incredible as when it was fresh, but it's sure nice to take a break from Western Family's Honey&Nut Toasted Oats™(a poor person's Cheerios). Sometimes I wish "all-you-can- eat" meant "all-you-want-to-eat". I have the potential of selfishly cleaning them out of all their French Toast... until everyone else would have to go to France if they wanted an even somewhat comparable experience.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

¡Me gustan las montaƱas!

I've lived in Utah my entire life, and I've never ventured up the side of Mt. Timpanogos. On Saturday, I finally went with some friends on a very difficult but amazing hike.



Taylor's such a stud!


"The hills are alive... with the sound of music..."


The Three Billy Goats Gruff

At the top. My hair does funny things in the wind.


Getting pretty psyched to slide down a majorly steep glacier.

I'm pretty proud of the fact that I slid down that thing on just my rear end.



Little streams and waterfalls that went across the path.

It was so incredible to be up in the mountains, away from the world, and to have the fulfillment of actually reaching the highest peak of a mountain. Muscles I didn't know I had are pretty sore now, and it'll be a little while until I do it again, but I'm really glad I did it. I am often so amazed by the beauty of this earth and how much joy we can feel by what we see and feel and experience while we're here. It makes me feel so grateful and so extremely happy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Analysis of the Hippo-cryte

Those who know me well have heard me say "Man! They're (or "I'm'") such a hypocrite... emphasis on the hippo!" We all thought that I was just being silly. And then I realized how interesting it can be to compare the two.

1. Weight
  • Hippos are fat.
  • Although there is no proof linking hypocrites and obesity, there is a correlation. Hypocrisy is viewed negatively in our culture, and so is obesity.
2. Buoyancy
  • Hippos float on water.
  • So do hypocrites. And witches. And wood.
3. Danger
  • Hippos are surprisingly fierce. They can run short distances at 30mph, and are considered to be "Africa's most dangerous animal, and [are] among the most aggressive animals in the world."(-Wikipedia)
  • Nobody suspects a hypocrite to be dangerous at first. Their hypocritical behaviors surprise you and make you angry because it was something unexpected. And although they can't always physically destroy you, their words and actions can hurt.
There are also some differences.

1. Ser vs. Estar
  • A Hippo is a hippo. It has always been a hippo. It was born a hippo and will die a hippo and will never be a gazelle or a rhino or an elephant.
  • Although there are some that have the reputation of being a hypocrite, that is still subjective and due to change because of personal experiences with that person. Everyone is hypocritical at times, but people have the ability to learn from mistakes and become the opposite. Like a hypercryte.
2. Spelling
  • Hippo
  • Hypo
Those are the only differences I can think of. But seriously, when I was thinking about hypocrites, I thought of how some people are really called hypocrites. When does someone go from a person who occasionally makes hypocritical mistakes to a hypocrite? I really think it's when a personal grudge is in the equation. I think we need to remember that people aren't perfect and we should cut each other a little bit of slack. I believe that people are generally good and not spiteful, that sometimes we just make mistakes. Don't be offended and give them/us the benefit of the doubt. But don't be so accepting of the hippos... I know they're cute but the fences at the zoo are there for a reason.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Assumptions about Assumptions

Every culture has them. There's a "correct way" of behaving, appropriate things to say, and viewpoints to have. There are also behaviors and ways of thinking that are taboo with certain groups within each culture, and some things that are generally accepted by almost everyone as just wrong. Like Hitler and Cannibalism (I guess besides the Nazis and the cannibals :D). A person's "normality" (whatever that means) is judged on their ability to understand the social norms and follow them in a way that keeps everyone comfortable.

The tone of voice in which you say something could be potentially dangerous. Sometimes I feel like I'm misunderstood... like I sincerely meant what I said, but people assume I'm sarcastic or have hidden implied meaning, and they react in a negative way. With some, I feel like I have to start my sentences with "It's my opinion" or "It seems to me" and end with "That's not what I meant" or "Sorry." I hate having to be so careful.

I assume that people will be understanding and allow me to discuss things with them in an open way, where I feel comfortable and not attacked. And there are some people that I feel totally comfortable exploring ideas and forming opinions with. But there are also people who make me feel like I'm always wrong, or just make me timid to say what I really want to say. I greatly appreciate someone who is open minded enough to discuss things with me, and to create an atmosphere where we can try to understand each other. That's one of my favorite things.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Under Construction...

Sometimes when I get bored with things, I'll just change my blog instead of moving around the furniture. Be patient with me... it'll look really cool soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wha??

I got this in an email today. Nice "prize".

Thursday, July 3, 2008

...

Have you ever had a paper cut? Well, how about a manilla folder cut? Ouch.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My most recent realization

I used to wish that everyone would be forced to set our watches and clocks at the same exact time in each time zone. Too many times I've been late to an appointment when I thought I was right on time, because my watch was slow, and "their" watches were fast. But the other morning when I was getting ready and heard an alarm go off at 7ish, and then another start to go off about 30 seconds later, and then a third one making the duet a trio just after that, I realized what a problem my innocent little wish could potentially create.

Imagine: if everyone's clocks and watches were set at the exact same time, then at 6:30 or 7 or whenever the most amount of people get up for work, a beeping sound from the culmination of every alarm clock in the entire time zone would ring out, waking up everyone, even the deepest of sleepers. And it may be so loud that we'd all go deaf... and I don't know enough sign language to get by. And maybe already-deaf people would take over the world because they'd have the advantage of already being able to communicate. And if we could no longer even hear our alarm clocks, how would we ever wake up for school or work or that breakfast date?

I'm really glad everyone's watches are set slightly off from each other's. In this case, diversity is something that may save many ears.

Tap...tap...tap...crack!

Earlier this week, I was awakened at the darkish and dreary hour of 6 am by pebbles of some sort being thrown at my window. I peered out suspiciously, but with my eyes behind an outdated prescription, didn't detect the culprit. This got me thinking...

How is throwing rocks at a window romantic?

I didn't necessarily assume that the thrower was an eager young man who wanted to run off with me, but I reflected upon the idea, as this is often done in the movies or sometimes in real life by the menfolk with these same romantic intentions. What if the pebbles didn't do the job, and the thrower threw something a little too big and the window broke? Oh the potential embarrassment! "Hey, I woke you up way before you wanted to be woken up, just to give you something to clean up, make the landlord/lady angry, and stress your tight budget!" And-- perhaps this would be a worse scenario-- what if the thrower actually succeeded in awaking his sleeping beauty? I can tell you this much, I look really funny when I just wake up. My hair is crazy and I'm squinting from behind before-mentioned glasses, and I'm disoriented in my pajama pants and over-sized T-shirt. Besides all that, I have quite a temper if I'm ever unnecessarily awakened from that beautifully rare phenomenon called sleep.

Turns out my sister was out for a run and just wanted to say hi. A little less exciting, and nothing embarrassing or problematic ensued. But I want all you male readers who are hopelessly in love with me to think twice before doing such a thing... it could turn real ugly real fast.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The name's Nancy. Nancy Fancy Pantsy.

My coworkers and I are working on our pen-spinning skills at work right now. Sometimes the billing department is behind and we have some down time. Facebook and Youtube are blocked here, so at times like these, we have to be creative and entertain ourselves in other ways. But when you work with Gabe and Brenden-Scott, there's never a dull moment. We talk and philosophize about relationships mostly... it's great.

Entonces, I decided to blog! Yay! I work in the Funding department of a Summer Sales Security Systems Company (like the alliteration?) and I spend a lot of my time looking at names. Some people have the weirdest names! Like "Morning" or "Andrewnetta" or "Pandora", or my favorite, "Joesph". And no, I didn't spell that wrong. I hope they don't pronounce it "Joe-s-ffff", but I don't know how else you'd say that. Anyhow, when there's nothing else to talk about, we'll call out a funny name we come across and then make fun of it for a while... it passes the time. One day I kept coming across the name "Barbara", and it made me think of a boss (named Barbara) I had a couple summers ago when I worked at an ice cream parlor place. She would always call me "Nancy". The first couple of times, I corrected her, but pretty soon it was no use. It was kind of fun to have an alternate ego. "Nancy" was a hard worker who was getting a little fat from all the ice cream samples and looked way stylin' in the generic hat and apron, soiled with dribbled Earnestly Chocolate. "Nancy" was responsible and efficient and happy and amazing at what she did. "Nancy" got paid hardly anything and only kept working there for a few months.

If you ever forget my name, but for some reason feel the urge to call me "Nancy", there's a pretty big chance that I'll answer to it. And if my answer is "A cup, or a cone?", don't be alarmed. Some habits are hard to break.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"It's like it's my birthday or something!"

Well, it was, about 42 minutes ago according to my clock on the bottom right corner of the computer screen, which is quite slow, which is the reason that I'm almost late to work every day. So, probably more than 42 minutes ago...

Yeah. I say that (see the title) when something really cool and happy happens, which has been a lot of times in my life. Sometimes I'm just overwhelmed with the kindness people show toward me. I feel like I have a birthmark on my forehead that says: "Be extra nice to this one." and everybody complies.

Like today, (well, a little while ago) it was my birthday, and I was standing in line with a really cool guy waiting to ride a ferris wheel. We thought that if we needed to pay for it, we could when we got to the front of the line. It was a really long line, and we had waited for quite a while, when suddenly we heard chatter about needing "tickets" of some sort. It turned out that the ticket selling booth was closed, and when we got really close to the front of the line we saw a sign saying "Tickets only, no cash accepted". I felt slightly anxious... I mean, it would've been okay not to go... it wouldn't have killed me, but we were so close, you know? And then, the people in front of us gave us (for FREE!) some tickets so that we could have a really fun time, and it was like it was my birthday or something.

Things like that happen to me even when it's not my birthday. I just feel so extremely blessed to have the friendships and associations that I have. And even complete strangers being so kind??! Life is beautiful. This isn't really my regular blog style, and it may seem a little cheesy and impersonal, but I just want to shout out to everyone who may read this, THANK YOU for your influence on me and for helping me not just have a great birthday, but also such a happy, incredible life!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Toodle-pip! I'm off to Spatula City!"

I came across this clip when I was youtubing the other day ("youtubing"? I youtube, you youtube, she youtubes, we were youtubing, they youtubed...) and I smiled a smile that ran all round my face two times (Rudyard Kipling: Just So Stories reference). I saw this commercial when I was young, and it's been a family inside joke ever since. We sing the little jingle at the end all the time. It was really funny to see it again. My favorite is "Bar Mitzvah" and "There's no better way to say 'I love you' than...". I love how you can find just about anything on youtube these days.

Also, last night I introduced Jeeves and Wooster to some friends who had never seen it. Man, that show is good. I love how after watching 50ish minutes of British Comedy, it's difficult to refrain from saying "Cheerio" and "What ho!" every so often. My friend Kendel seemed to really identify with Bertie Wooster, played by a younger and less crass - than "House"- Hugh Laurie. Why? I don't know. Maybe they share hilarity and slight awkwardness. (I only included that because I know that Kendel is a new reader ;) ) Anyway, I looked for the soundtrack on the internet and just found a lot of sites saying that the music was all out of print. :( Maybe I'll go to DI... sometimes people throw away the most valuable stuff. (insert hopeful smiley here)

I almost bought a blue acoustic guitar off of ebay just now. But then I realized that I don't have any money. I suppose I'll wait for my next paycheck.

I think I want to go to Ecuador in January. I'm still researching the possibilities. I'll keep ya posted.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Relay for Life

I had a really cool and touching experience last night. I went to the Relay for Life at a local Junior High School. I was invited by my friend Marybeth and thought it would be good to see what it was all about. The Relay for Life is a celebration for those who have survived cancer, and a memorial for those who have passed on because of it. People walk around the track, and the point is to have somebody from every team walking or running on the track all through the night. There were performers including KISS (no, really... and they look and sound scary!), movies playing, donuts, pizza, the choice of hot chocolate or coffee, friends, family members and it was just a really cool sight to see. It was fascinating to remember how many people that cancer affects, but it's great how it is becoming more curable than it was. Technology is getting better, doctors are careful and wise, and there is hope.

I am so grateful to be healthy. Every breath I take is a miracle. Life is wonderful!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jumbo/Large

I think it would be really fun to go on a roadtrip sometime soon... maybe just over a weekend or something. It's great to get on the road and sing along too loudly with the radio, snack on Pringles and other such necessary-for-road-trips-snacks, create fun memories, traditions, and inside jokes, and make fun of the names of small towns that you pass. I've been on many road trips with my family, so I have the authority to say that roadtrips with friends are a lot better. Part of it might be because I was traumatized as a child by having to sit on a lap all the way to California (or wherever else we'd go) for our annual road trip. We had 5 kids in my family at that time and only 5 spots in the car... let's just say it got pretty cozy. There we were, myself, my three brothers, my sister, somebody's discman, somebody's pillow, somebody's book, a half-dozen pens that had run out of ink, crumbs all over the seat, a bag open and ready for trash and/or vomit, and constant whining, "Are we there yet?"s and bickering. But hey, it builds character, right?

So, if you have any ideas where I should go on a roadtrip this summer, let me know. And if your name is Robyn Brough, then I'll want you to come along.

Click on the link. That's got to be one of my favorite Strong Bad Emails.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The most serious addiction plaguing our nation: Youtube

When I woke up, my mind was belting out: "Brown paper, white paper, stick 'em together with the tape, the tape of love: the sticky stuff!" If you want to understand my reference, see a pretty sweet jacket and vest, and have your culture become more rich with hilarity, and also maybe waste some time today, check out this video.

Sellotape

Others that are good from Flight of the Conchords:
Albi the racist dragon
Jenny
Issues
Foux de fa fa
Cryin'

I wouldn't watch everything from them... I hear they're a little bit crass sometimes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Last night I thoroughly enjoyed a man flick, starring Bruce Willis as the invincible, macho John McClane. It had amazing cinematography and really sweet graphics. I also appreciated the comic relief, and the clever lines. I really like intense movies: ones that make me jump but aren't horrifically frightening and don't give me nightmares for the next few weeks. The film had the ability to make me believe the crazy feats and effects, even though my brain knew it was pretty unrealistic. For those who have seen it, the scene with the Kung Fu half-asian girl and the elevator shaft was the only part that I really scoffed at. I mean, being hit by that car at that speed and not even breaking any bones? Come on!

Spoiler:
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That part at the end where McClane kills the bad guy by shooting him through himself because the bad guy is behind him!?!?!? Crazy. Awesome. Perfect ending.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anyway, I was pretty impressed, and also surprised that I liked it so much. There I was, watching this manly, violent, explody-type movie with some guys, instead of begging them, "Couldn't we watch the 5 hour Pride and Prejudice again? I love that movie, and want you guys to suffer through it while I watch the whole thing just for that part at the end [SPOILER again] when they realize they really do love each other after all! Please? And while we do that we could put together scrapbook pages and paint my nails."

As much as I liked the movie though, I was kind of scared that it didn't bother me how violent it was and that there was a lot of cussing. Being from Utah, I haven't been constantly bombarded by cussing as some are. Sure I heard it at school, but I often knew what group of people would be saying all the expletives, and what part of the hall (literally- my High School was like one big long hall) to hum my favorite hymn. But in the past week I've twice experienced people that I'd never heard swear and didn't expect that they would, surprise me. It's been strange, and I didn't say anything, but It shocked me, and a lot more than when I hear swearing in the movies. It's sad to me that slime is so commonly found in the media -which influences our culture, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors so much! (Don't get me started on this... I could go on forever.) And it's even more disconcerting that I can let the words just wash over me when I go to see a movie, and don't even consider walking out or being offended. I know some people that would definitely think twice before watching so much violence or hearing such language. I feel like it's just so expected, that it doesn't bother me anymore. I see that a movie is PG-13, and it's as if I think, 'Okay, this one will probably have some bad words and some "parts". Bring it on!'

Music is dangerous too. I usually know where the bad words are (if there are any) in my favorite songs, and I'll run over to the CD player just in time to mute that one word. This would be great if my mind didn't automatically fill in the word that has been silenced. I think what works best is to make up new words and think/sing them loudly. Something funny and irrelevant like peanut butter and cheese fries. Hmm... I think my stomach is speaking through my blog... clearly I'm hungry. :)

I wish I had an automatic media guardian in my mind that just wouldn't process or understand or hear bad words or parts in the media. Or maybe I wish I had the courage and ability to realize when I should stand up and refuse to allow my mind to be influenced by such garbage.

PS: I'm learning Blackbird (The Beatles) on the guitar. Yay!

PPS: Don't get me wrong. I loved the movie. :D

Friday, May 23, 2008

A cold front is blowing in from the left side of the screen...

Utah weather is predictably unpredictable. I live in a bipolar State: one day it will be beautiful and almost a little too hot outside, and then the next day the thermometer trembles because it's O degrees... and that's Kelvin. We have drizzly, windy, sunny, snowy, haily, lovely, miserable, and it is likely that I will be sniffly, shivery, or sweaty in a matter of hours. I've heard it said, or actually probably seen it written on some website somewhere, that Utah is the only place where your hand can be burned on the door handle of your car because of excessive heat and freezer burn in the same day.

I just really wanted to write because I haven't for a while. There hasn't been anything really blog-worthy in my life lately. So I did what you do when there's nothing interesting or controversial to discuss... talk about the weather.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Drowning in Dreamland

What a strange morning! I wanted to wake up at 7:30, just to get on a better schedule and get things accomplished. Instead, I woke up at 7ish because Sarah was having car trouble. I went out to help her in the epitome of frumpiness: pjs, laughable morning hair, and my style-less glasses that I've had for about 8 years, but rarely wear in public. It was early enough that I didn't worry too much about who might see me. I got back around 7:10 and then had the choice: to stay awake and start my productive day, or sleep away those 20 minutes I had promised myself. Knowing me or maybe just human nature in general, it was the fastest decision I've ever made, and pretty soon I was sighing with comfort while engulfed in the sea of warm, comfy sheets, pillows and blankets. After what seemed like 20 seconds, I flirted with the snooze button a while, and presently turned the alarm off altogether.

Often my dreams are really weird but make perfect sense to me when I'm having them, but these were just strange. In the first one I was in danger, like in a battle or something and soon everyone I recognized was gone. I knew I was sleeping, and the only thing I could think of that would save my life is if I were to wake up. So I tried, and tried, and did!... except I "woke up" in an unfamiliar bed and room and soon realized I was still dreaming. I asked people in my dream about advice for making yourself wake up, although they convinced me that I was awake. The love interest was a boy that I haven't seen since High School but haven't spoken to since 6th gradeish and... that was weird too. I was on my driveway, just turning around and around, and each time I looked at the houses in my neighborhood, they changed. They resembled the houses there at first, but soon gained different characteristics like gargoyles and towers, and I was sure I was sleeping even though everyone was trying to convince me that I wasn't. Finally I did the only thing that really made sense to me, which was to call my sister and ask her to please wake me up. I pushed 3 and held it down (she's on speed dial) and she did wake me up! But again, I wasn't in my bed, and she was wearing a pink formal dress. Her reason for being dressed that way was perfectly logical, and she wouldn't listen when I stubbornly insisted that I was still asleep but needed to wake up to start my day. In all of these dreams I was wearing those good ol' glasses, and had no access to my contacts, which I think signifies the frustration of being perceived differently from who I feel I really am.

I don't know how I finally woke up. I took a deep breath of real air and swung my feet off the bed to feel the solid ground beneath my feet and appreciate my agency, and the reality that I am not a victim.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Like a lion's mane

Something else made it to my top 15 today: the sight of my hair in the morning. It's always so poofy and froofy and funny lookin' until I tame it. And it makes me laugh aloud nearly every day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Highlights from Chicago

From the road. I love my camera! What a beautiful world we live in! How fun to document it!

These are not necessarily in chronological order...
I drove 22 hours to Chicago with my parents and two of my brothers. Mary flew and met us there, and my oldest brother drove from Indiana with his family and met us there as well. We visited people that Mary taught on her mission, and then did some touristy stuff in the city. It was a really cool experience and I got to practice my Spanish a lot. The people were so kind and encouraging. It was a great experience.


My brother John E. and my nephew James pretending to be seagulls. "Mine, mine, mine!"


If you squint you could probably see the word "Blog". I took it as a command from a higher source and eventually obeyed.

Mary, Steve and I on our way to the temple. We're so attractive.

The Chicago Illinois temple. Gorgeous! That night it rained and was really windy but not cold, and I had a lot of time to think while waiting for my family to finish up (I did baptisms).

Jimmy Jim Jim...He's definitely his father's son.

These kids were a riot. My brother John E., niece: Paige, and nephew: James all doing John E.'s trademark face that he does each time he sees the camera come out.

So, Paige must've liked the taste of her tights...

:D


One of the highlights was definitely taking turns naming Steve's mustache. The aquarium was really cool too: dolphins, whales, penguins, sea otters, sting rays, etc.


Probably my favorite part of the trip was seeing Frank Lloyd Wright's house. I didn't take pictures of it because cameras weren't allowed, but this is a house that he designed in the neighborhood.

A lamppost in the same neighborhood. It was so beautiful outside: drizzly, green, with a lot of trees. Basically a Utah girl's paradise.

This was at the museum of Science and Industry. Mary, the should've-been Dairy Princess, is so photogenic, she looks great even next to Bessie!

Look how tall I am! No, it is not a trick mirror. And no, my torso and legs are not awkwardly out of proportion...

Kind of a "no duh".

A cool shot of the Sears Tower from a distance.


Before going up to the top of the Sears Tower.


The view from the top of the Sears Tower. I felt like I was in a chick flick or something, and that the man of my dreams would come at any minute. He... didn't. :(

Mary and I at the top... the background is a little hard to see.

Me and Louis. There were tributes to famous people and things of Chicago at the top of the Sears Tower.


This was my favorite painting in the Art Institute of Chicago. It was done on canvas and there are actual holes in it and it's tied up in knots... the picture doesn't do it justice. I just felt like I knew precisely what the artist was feeling. It was so descriptive! You can almost feel his anguish, not that I pretend to ever have felt anguish quite like that.

This is a wire fence in the Art Institute. Pretty cool...

We went to a Chicago Cubs Game! Very fun, besides the fact that my appendages quickly became numb due to the cold, and the beer drinkers were a bit rambunctious for comfort. That hat cost about $20 too much.


John E. got tired, and was too heavy to carry on one's back...

Saying "Adios" and "Hasta Luego" to my new amigos JJ and Pepe. Mary taught them on her mission.

This was on the way home. I just wanted to show how much room John E. commandeered in the back seat.

It was an awesome trip! I loved spending time with my family in and around the windy city!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Diane in Real Life

Life is so funny sometimes. Things happen that I never would've been able to predict. My life is so different from what I planned or thought or hoped, although, in the long run it has surpassed expectations. I have been reminded lately that patience is an attribute that I really lack, and I need to just chill and have more faith. Sigh... easier written than done. But I can do hard things. As the Little Engine that Could so pointedly did not say, "I know I can, I know I can!" Yay for inside jokes!

The new apartment complex is fantastic! The people here are overwhelmingly friendly, and I feel very happy and blessed to be here. A change of scene was just what the doctor ordered. I can't wait to meet new people and have my life influenced and changed. Bring it on!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Have you ever seen Nacho Libre? Have you ever watched them eat that corn on a stick just as commonly as a young child would be sucking on a Popsicle in July? I have and I've wondered what it tastes like. So, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, my friend Matt and I made it. Basically, you cook corn on the cob, smother it in butter, mayonaise, lemon juice and chili powder, skewer it, and enjoy. I was surprised, it actually wasn't bad. Yay for trying new things!