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.
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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!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The roomies may kill me but...

...I think it's worth it.

So, I have to stay up until my laundry is done and my camera is being stubborn and not letting me upload my videos and pics from the Chicago trip (or maybe I'm just technologically challenged), so I did a little digging and found this.

If any of them actually killed me, it would be Suzie.

But she's threatened many times, and somehow I'm still living.

Enjoy.

video

Friday, May 2, 2008

Chicago: Chapter X

Snowed In: South Dakota Style

The policemen are giving out tickets to people who are trying to drive. Not that we could anyway... the car is covered entirely by an uninterrupted sheet of ice, and the snow drifts from the hotel's door to the car are treacherous. I think that my dad is the bravest man (at least this side of the Mississippi) for retrieving our left baggage, which provided a little more comfort to those who didn't realize they'd be staying in this hotel for more than 12 hours. Honestly though, I'm glad to be stuck here. The past two days, I've been feeling really sick and I feel I've been... I don't think that "suffering" is too strong a word... in the car for about 16 hours. I'm glad to be stuck in a place where there's a bed and a bathroom and all the applesauce cups I could ever hope for. I've felt three emotions over the past three days: the desire to hurl, all worn out, and intense pain. I'm gonna be really excited when it's all over.

Snow on May 2nd? The first thing I think of is Christmas in July, but Christmas is actually fun. I hope it doesn't become "Hanukkah in May"... I don't think I could take another 5 crazy nights.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chicago: the Prologue

I've got a riddle for you. What do you do when you have been in the car for at least 6 hours and you can't see the end (all the times your brother said "Are we there yet?" he got ignored, but you are burning with that same question), you can't stretch out your left arm or you'll disturb your now-sleeping brothers, you can't stretch out your legs or you'll squish the sandwiches, and you can't breathe or you'll distort the car's perfect air pressure? Given up yet? You blog. I wrote quite a long one that I'll put up after I get home... I need the computer there in order to put up all my awesome pictures and videos. Stay tuned...