Saturday, December 27, 2008

Procrastination

I'm supposed to be studying for the GRE right now. Naturally, I'm putting it off and posting on my blog about what I'm supposed to be doing instead of actually doing it.

Good news is that I have been studying on and off for a good part of the afternoon, so it hasn't been a completely wasted day. I've been focusing more on the math than on verbal or writing. I've taken a couple of verbal practice tests and that score has gone up as I've taken them, which is nice. My math (or quantitative) score goes up and down. It seems that sometimes I just get lucky, and other times I don't. The second-to-last test that I took for math I got a 640. If I get that on the actual test, I'll be in really good shape. Then I took it again and got a 410. Sheesh.

So, I guess I know what I need to focus on.

Well, I guess I'd better get back to doing what I should be doing.

Update on Stalker Fred - he requested me as a friend on Facebook for the 3rd time yesterday. What the devil...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, and Training the Battery...

It has been a wonderful Christmas. It was so much fun to see my niece and nephew (ages 3 and 1) with their gifts. Iris got really excited over a lot of her gifts and would run over to show me different things that she opened up, and even had me help her open one or two of them. Jimmy warmed up to his gifts fairly quickly, but then started focusing on a one-handed monkey with a maraca that does back flips - something that he's seen multiple times before. But they were both adorable and very cute to watch.

Some extended family came by and it was fun to see all of them. I went down and exercised with Jen for 15 minutes. She was on the stationary bike and I was on the elliptical. It wasn't a ton of exercising, but I think we both felt better after all the food that had previously been consumed.

The day is still not over. Mom is on the phone with Adam, Harper is on the phone with Bethany, and Dad, Graydon and I are waiting (all of us on our laptops) for the two of them to get off the phone so we can start a Christmas-gift movie - Next. Never seen it. I'm excited.

Again, it's been a great day. Tons of snow - a great white Christmas, and a warm fire. I've loved every second of it.

I hope you all had an equally wonderful Christmas. Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

Now for the Battery -

All right. I've continued following the drain-the-battery-completely-before-you-charge-it-again instructions. It may be working. It has been unplugged for over 12 hours, and I've only lost one bar of power. Now, to a lot of you, that may sound fast. If you'd been the owner of this phone, however, you would find reason to rejoice in the loss of only one bar - such as I have done. I had an almost ten minute phone call ('sup, Bess) and have received and sent a couple of texts to people. So, not a ton of use, but it hasn't just been sitting there either.

Anyway, I consider that good news. I actually did go to a Verizon store yesterday to just get a new phone but it was an independently owned store and they couldn't do it for me there. I decided that with Christmas and crazy day-after Christmas stuff, the earliest I would get there is Saturday. With things changing this way, I may wait for a bit longer before I go (if I go). If things keep looking up, then yay for that!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

He's Baaaack...

this picture isn't really stalker fred, but i typed in "stalker [his real name]" in google and this image came up

I once heard that blog courtesy requires a 6-month waiting period after the said event happened - regarding situations of a dating/relationship nature. This story is one that can loosely be tied to that category, but not in a good way. And please note that I never did go on a date with him. I did dance with him once and that's because I had never said no to anyone before. I had always thought, "If he has enough guts to ask, the least I can do..." It was after that instance that I decided I didn't always have to say yes.

Anyway...

I finally decided that Stalker... - we'll call him Stalker Fred - warrants a post on here. I met him during the short time I lived in CA - over two years ago. He became creepy while I was there, and that was one good thing that came from my moving back to UT.

Since moving, he has emailed me through the BYU website, tried to add me as a friend on facebook - twice (he's the first - and I think, still the only - person that I have "rejected" on facebook - twice), and just last night sent me messages through another connection-type website. This morning I saw another message through that site from someone else, and I have no idea who that person is. Because it came in so close to his other messages, I'm wondering if he created another profile... yuck.

The content of his messages -
"Intriguing information - it leaves me wanting more." (regarding my very scarce info on the page)
"Merry almost Christmas old friend."
and the one from the unknown individual:
"Hey there... how's it going?"

I'm disturbed - especially at the prospect of his creating a different profile to "trick" me. I'm not worried that he'll be coming to UT anytime soon to find me, but I'm still disturbed. Pretty, very disturbed. But, as a co-worker pointed out, that's the kind of thing that can happen when you put yourself on the internet... Blast it.

May I also add that while living in California, I had three lovely friends who knew exactly what was going on and took it upon themselves to set up an "Honor Guard"...

around me whenever he was in the vicinity. Alanna, Bobby, and Rafa, I will be forever grateful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Strange Crush...

I recently admitted to my roommate that I have a strange type of crush on Hugh Laurie (a.k.a. Dr. Gregory House). I'm not sure what it is, but I love the show and I kind of love him.


I'm not really sure why. He's not the most attractive person. I think any of these guys easily top him in the looks department (although, I must say that I found a mighty attractive picture of him - that's the one above. He just doesn't always look like that).

First we have Mr. Cam Gigandet (it's French). You may recognize him in his latest roll as James in Twilight. I haven't read the books, and have no desire to see the movie - at least not until it gets to the dollar theater, and even then...

We can't leave out the most recently reigning "sexiest man in the world." Hugh Jackman looks fabulous, as always.


And now, Colin Firth - I think this is a fantastic picture of him. Wow.

In the show Hugh Laurie is not a very nice person. That's one reason I'm quick to admit that it's a strange type of crush.

Speaking of things I love...

icicles. i love icicles. these have formed on my apartment building.


this is a bad picture of icicles formed outside of my bedroom window.

i love the movie White Christmas. it started at 7 tonight which is the same time House starts. i had a hard time with the flipping of channels. this is one of the scenes i was able to catch with perfect timing during one of House's commercial breaks. i love it when breaks are well timed!


i also love dreyer's peppermint ice cream. it's a seasonal thing. buy it. love it.

and lastly, comfy sweaters. this isn't the exact one (i couldn't find the exact one on the website) but my dear friend got me a similar one for Christmas.


i swapped it for the sweater i had been wearing at work then went downstairs to show her. i told her i felt like i was wearing a blanket - which was fabulous! when i pulled up the fur-lined hood i told her it felt like i was wearing a bear rug - still fabulous! i absolutely love it! she was with me when i saw it at the store. i pulled it on then walked around the store with it. i tried to make myself take it off quickly enough so no one would become suspicious of my motives...

Now, on the flip side, talking about things I haven't been too fond of recently...



My new phone. The Samsung Sway. The battery life is driving me crazy. Fully-charged, and it doesn't last for 24 hours. I'm not a huge phone user. I have occasional phone calls, and some text messaging, but I really don't use it a ton. Even with more use, less than 24 hours is ridiculous, right? Back me up here. I took it in on Saturday and explained the problem so they gave me a new phone. I did it completely right this time. I had it off and let it charge with no action over night. My brother told me that he heard that a good thing to do with new electronics was to charge it then let the battery completely drain out until it shuts itself off before you charge it again. So I did. I did everything I was supposed to, and still... it's ridiculous. I'm considering buying the extended life battery, and I'm considering just trading it in for a new phone.

Last night I was lying in bed reading when I heard the little chime sound that it was almost out of battery power. I picked it up and saw that it was half full still. I heard it a few more times before I finally realized that it was my old phone that hadn't been charged in a little over a week. It was just barely running out of battery. I couldn't believe it. That was kind of salt in the wound and reminded me what a good phone that had been (I only got the new one last Monday, so you'd think I wouldn't have forgotten already). I only had to charge that one once every 3 or 4 days - so nice! Maybe I should take that one back in and get it reactivated.

Any suggestions?

perhaps I should also mention that I do love everything else about this phone. it's display settings are pretty sweet. I'm completely satisfied with everything except the battery!!!

I Love Nice People!

I do. I really do. I'm talking about the nice people who do nice things for no apparent reason. It's just because they're nice.

Yesterday work ended early. A little before two, campus sent out an email advising offices to close because of the snow storm that had been going on for the majority of the day (I think we ended up getting more than 6 inches). I've never heard of that happening, but I don't look gift horses in the mouth.
(in case you don't know what that phrase means, click here) So, I walked out to my car around 2:30 or so. I was mentally prepping for the need to scrape off the foot (slight exaggeration) of snow that I knew would be on my car. I stuck my key in the lock, opened the door, and realized that instead of this,

I was seeing this.

Okay, so my car really isn't that nice, and actually my car was completely uncovered. I just chose this picture because I think it's a pretty car.

And yes, in case you didn't pick up on it, I had the door wide open before I realized that there was no snow on my car. Once it clicked, I stepped back, took a look at the car to check that it was mine, then looked around at all the other cars to see what their snow situation was. It just wasn't clicking that my car would be uncovered when none of the others around me weren't.

As I was driving away I called my friend Sharla who also works in my building and mentioned the super-kind act that I had been the recipient of. I had an inkling of who it may have been, turns out I was right. She texted me later and confirmed that John, her boyfriend, had taken the time to dig out my car. So nice!

I had to scrape off my car this morning (took about 20 minutes to finish it) and was reminded of how grateful I was to have had someone do the deed for me the day before.

Really, Yay for nice people!

Friday, December 19, 2008

There's So Much to Be Grateful For...!

I've been meaning to write a Thanksgiving post since... Thanksgiving! Haven't gotten around to it. Since I really don't like the idea of having to catch up on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I figured I could get this done before the other needs to happen. If you followed that thought, then 2 stars for you!

I really do love Thanksgiving. I love the time spent with family, and the meaning behind the holiday. I don't care if the story they gave us in elementary school isn't exactly the way it started. I like the thought of dedicating a holiday to being grateful.

This past Thanksgiving was wonderful. Almost everyone was able to gather at my parents house (Faith and her three boys celebrated the holiday in Tulsa and were definitely missed). It was so nice to have (almost) everyone all together again. I love the big family gatherings. I love the kids running around playing with their cousins, I love the interaction with my siblings (interesting to think how much the dynamic changes as everyone gets older), I loved playing NCAA football on the playstation (I think that's what it's played on...) and re-learning how to play Super Smash Brothers with my brother-in-law (and actually getting "good" enough that he didn't feel like he had to go easy on me anymore - or at least as easy). I loved it all.

This is one of the first things I saw early Thanksgiving morning:

In case you can't tell what it is, it's my dog (Dingo) curled up on my bedroom floor with a couple of stuffed animals. He's got a pig by his head, and a bear between his paws. I thought it was adorable.

This year my sister, sister-in-law, and I started what I hope becomes our new Thanksgiving tradition. We ran a 5k the morning of Thanksgiving. Dingo got up when he heard me moving around and started following me around the house. He was acting really anxious so I thought he needed to go outside. I opened the door for him twice with no response. I thought maybe he needed food and water, so he followed me as I checked his bowls. Nothing. I went downstairs to make sure Bethany and Jen were up. He followed me downstairs too - normally he'll wait at the door upstairs for me. I couldn't figure out why he was so intent on staying with me, then it hit me. He wanted to go running with me. I used to take him running quite often while I lived at home and later when I was just visiting. He loved it. Somehow he knew what I was planning to do, and didn't want to miss out on it. It was really sad to have to leave him at the door. Before the weekend was out, I did take him for a walk - which he loved.

It was raining a bit when we left, so we were planning on being cold, but I didn't think it was really too bad. I met up with a friend who had also signed up, and we ran it together. I had my phone in my pocket (I always have it with me when I run in case of death or dismemberment or something) and was going to take a picture of us running, but we decided we'd probably turn out better if we waited until after the race. Unfortunately, I forgot to take one after, but I think we looked something like this -

- except we had more clothes on and were wearing lower heels. Other than that I think the similarity is quite shocking (what do you think Heather?).

At the end of the race, I raced a motorcycle.


And yes, it was moving as I was racing it. As we were rounding the last corner, a cop on a motorcycle that had been following the route came up behind us. I called out, "Can I just jump on the back and you zip me around to the finish?" He said, "Oh, you're almost there, and it's only a one-seater." I told him that I didn't mind driving. He replied, "Tell you what, I'll race you to the end, whoever wins, gets to drive." I accepted, looked over at Heather, then took off running. He started revving his engine and was staying right behind me. People could see what was going on and they started yelling, "Yeah, you got him!" and "Way to go!" I totally won. I think. I don't know, but it was a lot of fun and a great way to end the race.

While we were running, the guys in the family went up to Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Turkey Bowl. How'd they get in? - "They know a guy." They had a lot of fun playing, and there weren't any injuries to report.

After the race there was a lot of cooking (tons of food) and lots of great time with the family. It really was a wonderful day and weekend.

Now, in the true spirit of Thanksgiving - I'm thankful for my family. I'm grateful that we're all friends. I'm grateful for wonderful in-laws who are a great addition to the family. I'm grateful for my knowledge of God's plan for us and for help that we get in doing the things required. I'm grateful for the gospel. I'm grateful for wonderful people that God has put in my life at specific times to help me become a better person.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Funny. Funny, funny.

Make sure the volume is up.

(Katie, I know you'll enjoy this!)

video

Update: the title of the video is: Shopping in Texas.

E-U-C-A-L-Y-P-T-U-S

video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christian the Lion - Amazing!

I had heard about the story, but hadn't seen the video. My brother just sent it to me. (thanks Harper!) It's pretty incredible. Enjoy!

Update: Check out this link for more of the story.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Too Early for Christmas?

I've become involved in numerous discussions with my co-worker on when it is appropriate to begin listening to Christmas music. I know of two radio stations that play Christmas music beginning on 1 Nov. until Christmas (and maybe beyond...). I've tried playing some at work without her noticing (with our desks right next to each other that can be a little difficult). Today, because it was the first real snow of the season, she agreed to let me play Christmas music.

I'm not planning on playing it every day. I just really enjoy it, and I think that after Halloween (not my favorite holiday) it's kind of nice to set the mood for things to come. Some people argue that if you play the music too early, Thanksgiving gets overlooked and kind of passed-by. That is not at all my intent. I love Thanksgiving too. I think that the two holidays can be combined to become a wonderful two month season of niceness and joy! Okay, that last sentiment is a bit cheesy, but I really do think the two can be combined without rushing past the first.

So, what are your thoughts? Strong feelings either way? Neutral? I'm curious as to whether or not I'm alone in this way of thinking or not. Let me know!

Speaking of Christmas music - I'm going to add Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" to my video side-bar. "Little Drummer Boy" is really not one of my favorite Christmas songs, but I love this version. I hope you take the time to listen, and enjoy!

Wearing Black...

I'll be wearing all black tomorrow to express my mourning for my country.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Plug for Proposition 8

I found this through my sister's site and liked it so much I wanted it on mine:


I'm sure you know what Prop 8 is. Just in case- it is on California ballots this upcoming election and throws a clause into the state constitution saying marriage is between man and woman only (i.e., not between homosexual partners). The reason California has to vote on this again is CA Supreme Court judges ruled Prop 22 unconstitutional by 4-3 votes, despite the proposition passing by 61.4% in 2000. Thank you liberal CA judges! Now California and Massachusetts are the only two states in fifty to allow gay marriage. Whether in style, economy or descent into moral abyss we are always front-runners! A genuine hooray for our great state!

"Who cares?" -you ask. That's what I asked too, initially. Here is why I care and think you should too.

1) God's current prophet and previous ones have declared marriage to be between man and woman.

Check out the Proclamation to the Family's first paragraph. Since solid traditional families are the underpinning of civilized society, we would do well to uphold those values, rather than undermine them by legitimizing sinful relationships.

2) Homosexuality is a sin and doesn't deserve any allowance.

I have gay friends and I love them. I have friends that are adulterers and fornicators and I love them. I am a sinner sometimes and I love me. But I don't want the law to be changed so I can feel better about my occasional bad behavior. Everyone has their weaknesses. Perhaps yours is gambling, drug addiction, same gender attraction, opposite gender attraction, etc. But it is WRONG to give into those temptations. An illegitimate homosexual relationship in no way deserves the worthy title of marriage.

3) Redefining marriage will change how schools teach children about families and sex.

Unacceptable. Public schools are past the line as it is.

4) If Prop 8 fails and gay marriage continues, organizations that uphold traditional marriage and condone state approved homosexual unions could lose tax exempt status and other forms of persecution.

Thus, perceived 'intolerance' is intolerated. (Which makes new school tolerance an anti-virtue as the requestor of tolerance demands, "Accept what I do and don't judge me!" [see entry below on judgement]) With this attitude growing, traditional institutions could be persecuted for not keeping silent on disaprooving stances on this issue and others.

I could probably drum up more, but those are the most persuasive for me. Leave it at 1) and I would be 100% sold on YES. It is unfathomable that Christians could vote NO. Take God and sin and commandments out of the debate and it is hard to argue for YES. However, God exists whether you believe or not, so it is hard for me to debate this atheistically.

Let me know what you think.

Here's his blog if you want to link directly to it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Wanted to Share

A lovely story.

I Should Have Known!

My first clue was when I started my car and turned on my radio. While waiting for things to warm up (i.e. waiting for the rear defroster to kick in, which, thankfully, doesn't take too long) I flipped on the radio to hear that great song from the Bangles, "Manic Monday," playing. ...

Six oclock already
I was just in the middle of a dream
I was kissin valentino
By a crystal blue italian stream

But I cant be late
cause then I guess I just wont get paid
These are the days
When you wish your bed was already made

...

You know the one - the difference was I didn't have a "valentino" or a "crystal blue italian stream." I could appreciate a song about Monday when it actually was a Monday, but little did I know that "Manic Monday" could accurately describe the way work was going to go. Not too long after 8 things started getting crazy. We had a request for specific information from the President's office, a list of "honor code offenders" that had been emailed to us that we needed to go through, a phone call from a Stake Presidency member regarding the status of three students in his stake, and some other fun little projects that popped up.

It was 10:21 and I was ready to go home. For the week.

However, the good news is that I got a lot of sleep this weekend! Maybe I shouldn't be bragging about being able to do this, but my light was turned off before 9:30 on Friday, around 10 on Saturday, and at 7:40 last night. Last night was because I could feel a migraine coming on (I'm so sad that I know what those feel like) and wanted to avoid it if at all possible. I didn't actually fall asleep until a bit after 9, but it was good to have the dark and quiet for a while.

Because I had such a good weekend as far as sleep was concerned, I was better prepared to deal with the demands of the day. I was able to just take things and deal with them calmly and rationally rather than get irritated or snippy with people. I was grateful for it and I'm sure, had my coworkers known the possible risk, they would have been grateful for it too!

Now the question - if I can manage to get to bed that early on the weekend, what's to keep me from doing it during the week? Tonight will be the test...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eat to Live... don't live to eat...


It has come to my attention that some of my friends have health issues that have befuddled, bamboozled, and otherwise confused the doctors that they have gone to see. To quote one of them, "If they don't have a test for it, you're fine." Now that's just sad, especially at our age!

I've mentioned this to some of you, but now I'd like to mention it to anyone who reads this. Eat to Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The basic idea is that by making our diet consist almost entirely of fruits and vegetables, our bodies will get all the nutrients and fuel to take care of themselves better. They'll be able to function properly, and clean themselves out of all the unnecessary junk we put in them.

I can't say that I've followed this perfectly, but overall, I've been eating better than I had before. Just last week I got results back for some blood work that BYU pays for me to get done. Thankfully, they include my previous results with the new ones so I can compare. Here they are:

Sorry it's a little fuzzy...

Okay, so, not perfect still, but much better. In fact, by my Sept. Triglycerides and HDL they had typed "verified." My best guess is that because they were so much better than last time's, they ran it again to check the numbers.

The couple of weeks before my blood was drawn, I wasn't even following the eating plan as well as I had been when I first started reading the book. So, I can imagine how much better the numbers would have been if I had stuck to it better. Anyway, the proof is there, that changing your eating can drastically improve your health - if you change it in the right way, of course.

In the book, he gives examples of people who changed their diet and got rid of all symptoms of health problems they had been diagnosed with previously. He talks of people who were on multiple blood pressure and cholesterol medications who no longer use any medications. It's pretty amazing stuff!

I really hope that anyone who reads this that is struggling with some kind of health issue(s) will at least give the book a chance. I haven't read it all, but what I have read is very compelling. Let me know if you have any questions, and if/when you give it a shot!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Same-Sex "Marriage" in Massachusettes

Okay, here's another article that my sister linked to her blog. As she does, I'll give a warning that some of it should be considered "adult material."

It is just really scary and disturbing how in-your-face people have become about accepting same-sex behavior. This is not about being equal, it's about imposing your lifestyle on the vast majority that doesn't agree with it. It's the "tyranny of tolerance" as Elder Bednar (and very possibly others) has said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More on Prop 8

As left in a comment on yesterday's post about Prop 8, here's another website that has some really good thoughts on it. Thanks Kathy!

And this, because I think it's a good idea to be familiar with what our church leaders are saying.

If anyone has anymore information on finding things in favor of Prop 8, please let me know and I'll be happy to add it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Voting Yes on Proposition 8

My sister Bethany has been really involved with all of the Proposition 8 business going on in CA. She's posted a lot of information about it on her blog, and I think there a lot of things she's linked to that are worth reading or watching. I'm going to give a brief list here:

This website is a good way to become familiar with the proposition and it's effects on the entire nation if it doesn't pass. You can also make a donation to help the fight in favor of Prop 8. (just fyi, because sometimes it's confusing, those in favor of marriage being defined as a union between man and woman will be voting Yes on Proposition 8)

Here is an article about things that have happened in Massachusetts since they legalized homosexual marriage.

An interesting thought...

A family's fight against gay marriage propaganda in their children's schools.

A 1st grade field trip to meet their teacher after she married her partner. Here's an article, and here's a video.

Because a lot of words have been flying back and forth between the groups for and against Prop 8, here's an article about "who's really lying."

Feel free to check out my sister's blog. She has some more videos on hers.

When I think about the damage that can be done (and has already been done in Massachusetts) it really scares me to think about this spreading through the country.

Church leaders have also spoken about how important it is for us to maintain the sacred bond of marriage and keep it between a man and woman. My friend Christine has a couple of videos with church leaders on her blog as well. You may want to look into those too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Marine Mud Running


Okay, first of all, it was on a Marine Base (Camp Pendleton), but I'm sure what they have the marines do for training is much harder. So, really, it just makes me feel better to call it a Marine Mud Run. There were marines there... that counts for something, right?

Second (and maybe more importantly) of all, the above picture is not of me totally biffing it. I just wanted to make sure that that was absolutely clear.

So, around 5:50 this morning, Bethany, Dominic, Jen, and I climbed into the car and headed south for Pendleton where we met a long-time family friend, Matthew, and Beth's brother-in-law Jeremy and a friend of his. We got there and quickly checked in, then we were not so quick about getting to the starting gate. After we checked our bags in, and Jen was pinning on Dominic's number, Matthew said he thought he heard the cannon go off. We quickly headed over to the starting line, and after wading our way through tons of people (waiting for the team run to start) we finally were on our way.

They didn't wait too long to get us wet. They had a couple of trucks early on spraying water at us, and a fire hose going off to soak everyone. If you tried to avoid it, they'd take aim and nail you, often following you as you ran. I never tried to fight it, so I just opened my arms and embraced the water - I had seen that it was not worth trying to run.

About a mile and a half into the run people were backed up taking turns forming a single-file line to cross a narrow part in the stream. While moving up for my turn, I passed by a marine who was standing by watching over things. As I was walking past I said, "So is this where we tag team it, I give you my number, and you finish the race?" He looked like he had just realized something and said, "Oh, you were the one I'm supposed to put on my back and then run the rest of the race." I told him I liked his idea even better.

Here and there throughout the race there would be marines "barking" at us as we ran past. Telling us to run faster, push harder, etc. It was always followed by a smile and words of encouragement. I think my favorite thing of what I heard was, "If you're not first, you're last!" Well, I was definitely not first, but I still enjoyed it!

Now, perhaps I should have prefaced this by saying that I have gone running once in the last two or three months, and that was just under a mile last week. I've run 10ks before, and haven't had a hard time. And, actually, this one went much better than I could have anticipated.

What may have already been a long story, short - It was a lot of fun. I would definitely do it again, and, in fact, we're talking about doing it next year. I say - bring it on.

Now to finish - here's a picture of the last mud swim we had to do. Yay for this!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Correction

In an earlier post about Les Mis and how amazing Anthony Warlow is, I mentioned that there was a different guy singing the "Hyde" part, while Warlow sang for Jekyll. I had read that somewhere a few months ago. Trying to figure it out tonight, however, I found out that that was incorrect. Warlow sings both parts. That's what I had originally thought, so it lost some of it's umph for me when I read that it was two different people. It really is quite amazing that it's the same man singing the very different-sounding parts. Now that it's been confirmed that it's always Warlow, the umph is back where it belongs.

While you may not care, I felt like I had cheated Warlow out of proper recognition of his amazing talent. Now, I feel as if I've made amends.

note: I just added a youtube sidebar. Right now I have it switching between Philip Quast as Javert, Anthony Warlow as Enjolras, Anthony Warlow as Jekyll and Hyde, and Philip Quast and Anthony Warlow singing Lily's Eyes from Secret Garden. If you have a minute (or a few of them) to listen, let me know what you think - but keep in mind that if you don't think they both have incredible voices, our friendship may be on the line...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Funny...

Paul Newman

Only women of a certain era will fully appreciate this.... True story.

A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New Englandtown where Paul Newman and his family often visited.

One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.

She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.

There was only one other patron in the store: Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.

The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes.

The actor nodded graciously and the star struck woman smiled demurely.

Pull yourself together! She chides herself. You're a happily married woman with three children, you're forty-five years old, not a teenager!

The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman's direction.

When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty. Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store? Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something! No ice cream cone was in sight..

With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman. His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman, 'You put it in your purse.'

My co-worker emailed this to me. I checked it out on snopes.com and turns out it's not true, but I like it anyway - besides, it's a great picture, isn't it? Although it'd be funnier if it was true, it's history on snopes is kind of funny too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Sister Rocks!

I went to St. George this past weekend to watch my sister Bethany participate in the St. George Marathon. Originally, I was going to run it with her, but the Dr. nixed that plan about a month or so ago. I stayed with her and her family at their friend's home, then drove over with the kids and her husband to watch her cross the finish line. It was awesome seeing her finish her 26.2 miles in 4:59:10!!! She was hoping to come in around (or under) 5 hours, and she did! I am so glad I was able to be there to see that. It completely inspired me, and motivated me to follow-through with my plan to run a marathon myself. Maybe the Salt Lake one in April? Maybe. For now, I'm working towards a 10k in a couple of weeks. Bring on the 6.2! But, back to where I began, go Bessie Mae!

**Updated** As she left in a comment, Bethany corrected the time as 4:59:50. But still, totally awesome!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Les Mis!

This past Saturday I went down to St. George to watch Les Miserables at the Tuacahn Amphitheater. It was amazing! On the way down I had the opening notes running through my head and I was getting pretty excited. I was a little worried that I would be too critical of the singers because I have the Complete Symphonic Recording completely memorized and I know how it's all "supposed" to sound. At the beginning I kept telling myself, "it'll be different, don't expect it to sound the same..." and after the first few minutes I was able to handle the differences pretty well.

Here are some characters that I thought did an amazing job (even if they did sound different from what I was expecting):
Ryan Anderson was the Bishop of Digne. It's not a large part, but his voice is beautiful. I loved hearing him sing. I liked him much better than the guy who played Valjean and my friend and I decided that Anderson should have been Valjean's part instead. Great voice!

Jay Pierce as Javert. Another amazing voice. He sings with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra too. I loved hearing him. He was awesome! He has a fabulous bass (my favorite part to listen to!) voice.

Another very gifted singer! (I couldn't get a picture of him without the "about" stuff.) John Preator played Marius. He was also amazing. Such a beautiful voice.

I now have a picture of the lovely Melinda Lockwood Debirk who played Cosette. Her voice was beautiful. Very angelic sounding.

The rest of the cast was also great, Valjean - as already mentioned - not being my favorite, but not too terrible either. His mannerisms were kind of weird, and not what I'd expect from the part being played. Oh well.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It's such an amazing story and the music is incredible. It was a neat setting with the mountains around us, and having the army fight from the mountain. It was also really neat to be able to see the stars while Javert was singing "The Stars."

I'm waiting for them to come out with a musical movie version. If they can do Phantom, why not Les Mis?

Now, because there are some members of the Symphonic Recording that can never be topped (in my opinion), here's a shout for them:

Philip Quast as Javert. (Isn't that a great picture?! He looks very... inspector-like...) I don't think anyone will ever sing Javert's part as well as he did. This Aussie has got a fantastic voice!

Anthony Warlow as Enjolras (another Aussie). When watching it on Saturday I'd get really excited for Enjolras to burst out with lines like, "One more day before the storm!" because I knew exactly how it "should" sound. The Enjolras at Tuacahn did a good job, but he didn't have the power that Warlow has. Imagine my complete delight when I found out that Warlow also sang the part of Jekyll and Hyde in the Jekyll and Hyde songs that I have come to love. After it clicked, it made complete sense that it should be the same person because I loved both voices so much.

side note - if you ever want a treat, look up Philip Quast and Anthony Warlow singing Lily's Eyes (from Secret Garden) on youtube. It's great.

This picture is just because it's during one of the greatest songs - "One Day More."

Now after all of that, guess what I'm listening to at work today, as I type. I'll give you two guesses, but you'll only need one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yay For This!

A co-worker showed me this yesterday. I think I could watch it over and over and never get tired of it. It's amazing!

I can't figure out how to load the video itself... but hopefully the link (click on the "this" above) will work. If not, go to youtube or video.google.com and type in Classical Gas Tommy Emmanuel. Then sit back and enjoy the next minute and a half!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silence... of the phones...

For the past almost four weeks my phone has been on silent mode. It began when work started getting busy with people calling in about not being able to register. The phone at work was ringing so much that I decided I didn't want to hear more phones ringing when I was home. So I silenced it. This has been one of the best ideas I've had since I got the phone.

Sure, I'll miss calls, and sometimes I'm really slow getting back to texts, but it's become more of a convenience for me rather than making myself a "slave" to anyone who needs to get a hold of me. For a while I worried about someone calling me needing help. Then I realized that I am nobody's only friend, and if they really need help, there are other sources to go to. Is that totally selfish? It's not that I don't want to help people, it's just that the sound of a phone ringing drives me crazy. Even if it is the theme song from the Brady Bunch, or Jeopardy. Even Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts can get annoying because it's noise. I'm okay with eliminating noise from my life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Warm Showers...

... are so much nicer than cold ones! But that's probably not a surprise to anyone reading this.

When one roommate moved out, and another moved in, it was necessary to have the name on the gas bill changed. Well, Jennifer called to cancel the gas last week, then told us that we had until Friday to get another account with a different name put on it. ...

... Saturday we woke up to cold showers. Yeah, that was fun. I went running in the morning then came back and quickly moved into the shower hoping that if I was still hot from running that the cold water wouldn't feel so cold. I learned that no matter how hot you are, after you get under cold water once, from then on, you're just cold. So, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I did the cold shower thing. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't exactly "fun" either, but it wasn't horrible. It reminded me of at least two months on my mission when I didn't have hot water. Kind of nice to reminisce.

Anyway, moral of the story - we have hot water again and it's nicer taking warm showers than it is taking cold ones.

But, again, you probably already know that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Learning to Deal... Blast it!

There's good news... and there's bad news... which do you want to hear first? They're actually very closely-related, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.

The good news is that my hip hasn't been locked for almost two weeks! Yay for that! For the last... years... my hip has hurt when I walk, and it's been worse when I run. I just figured that's how it was going to be for...ever. At the encouragement of my sister-in-law (thanks, Jen!) I finally went in to see a physical therapist. Since I thought nothing could be done, I wasn't in a rush to go in. First visit, he told me my hip had been locked (the joint just wasn't in the position it needed to be in to move smoothly) and unlocked it for me. When I left the office, for the first time in almost as long as I could remember, I walked without pain. It was incredible!

I've been going to the physical therapist about three times a week for the last month or so. Last week he told me I was unlocked and I could (finally) start running. Slowly. First 1/4 mile, then 1/2, then a full, then come back and we'd talk. I went running, then went to see him yesterday. He knew I had been entered in the St. George Marathon and I was hoping to be training for that, but "healing the hip" took priority. He wants me to add 1/4 mile to my run every other day, with a good rest during the day off.

Now for the bad news... the marathon is off. At least for me. I was really excited for this because it was to be my first marathon, and I was going to be running it with my sister and her husband (their first marathon too).

Anyway, that's what I'm trying to learn to deal with. So, definitely not "yay" for that. But, yay for me being able to run a 10k on Oct. 18 (a mud run that multiple members of my family are signed up for!) and maybe running a half-marathon in November that I should be able to train for just fine.

So, I guess it's good news that my hip is better and I'm actually being smart about this injury and trying to take care of it so it will just keep getting better.

And... I suppose that when I'm finally ready for 26.2 miles... somewhere, there will be a marathon that I can sign up for. (hey, I'm trying to be positive)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Puddle-Splashing!!!

Is it just me, or is puddle-splashing one of the most therapeutic things in the world?! If you don't have recent enough experience to answer that, then I'm sad for you. Although, in all fairness I should admit that I belonged to your numbers until recently... until about an hour ago, actually.

I was walking home from some friends' place with my roommate. It had been raining on and off for a lot of the afternoon and got harder in the evening. While walking there we had tried to avoid the puddles. I was barefoot (wearing flip flops earlier that kept slipping off my feet, I changed into slippers and somehow thought that it was a good idea. i ended up carrying them with me for most the way there, and all the way back because they got soggy pretty quickly.), and wearing an ankle-length skirt that I was trying to keep off the ground. When leaving their house, I walked right into a deep puddle. Figuring the damage was already done, I started jumping up and down. Esther tried to avoid it at first, but the fun was just too addicting. By the time we got home, we were both soaked. We had some good times kicking water at each other and jumping up and down in the puddles. My skirt was dripping water from it's hem, as was my hair onto my neck.

But, friends, it was so much fun! We decided it was a great way to start the week. It completely cleared my mind of last week's unpleasantness, and helped me relax. I recommend to anyone reading this that at the next opportunity, you jump in the puddles. Don't think about the soaking wet clothing, or the possible run-ins with mud, just grab a friend and enjoy the rain!

ps, obviously I'm not the subject of the picture, but I figured it was a similar enough with him being in a suit, and me being in my Sunday clothes...

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Could be in New Orleans...

... and I don't mean that in a good way. I spoke to a branch president on the phone yesterday who works on a marine base in New Orleans. He was trying to get something figured out for a student who's coming back to BYU this fall and was hurrying to get it done before they were told to evacuate because of the hurricane headed their way.

I had been in a... not-very-nice-mood for a lot of the day because I was tired of dealing with students whose registration problems were their own fault, but they refused to take responsibility for it.

After speaking with this branch president, I tried to remind myself, "You could be in New Orleans getting ready to evacuate right now." It didn't really help. Then I remembered a guy who had come into the office the day before needing help. He was not one of the problem-students. While working with him, he mentioned that his professors already new that he was undergoing chemotherapy, and had been for a while. He had been in a good mood, and was grateful for the help I was able to give him.

These two thoughts combined to help get me out of the rut that I had been in for the majority of the week. Then, in looking for a new "quote of the week" which I hang on the wall at work (which, more often than not, turns into the "quote of the month" because I forget to change it), I came across this: "Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life." - Joan Lunden

So, the day ended with me in a much better attitude than I had started in. It helped that my car passed it's safety and emissions tests, and I finally got the oil changed, and I got the little rock chips in my windshield repaired for free!

So, even though I sometimes enjoy quotes like, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then throw it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for," it's probably not a good idea to post that on the wall when I'm trying to give myself a positive attitude adjustment.

So, until it becomes more natural for me to just be in a good mood regardless of the stup- ahem, "special" people around me, I'll just keep telling myself, "Hey, I could be in New Orleans."

Friday, August 8, 2008

8/8/08

They say today is the luckiest day of the century. Apparently 8 is considered the luckiest number in China.

This is when you pull out a gun, snarl at the camera and state, "I make my own luck." Or you can just stare straight into the lens and say, "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

Or, you could do neither of those things, decide that lucky numbers don't really exist and go through your day just like normal.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Reason I'm Starting This Blog...

All righty. I just tried sending pictures to multiple people and got back a lot of "undeliverable" messages back. So... rather than beat my head against a wall, here is what I was attempting to send:

This is how I spent last Saturday -

Running to the Plane.

Getting on.

Climbing to Altitude... (14,000 feet)

Ready...

Set...

Go!!!





Flying Blind.







Awesome View. Loved it!



Yay! That was the first thing I said when I landed. I loved it!