Friday, September 28, 2007

Not the Only One

Remember my post about hugging? Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks about its appropriateness. I just read this article, and even the Emily Post Institute had something to say about it.

I also remembered another awkward hug moment where an orchestra teacher had been in browsing my shelves. We'd never met in person before that day, but she hadn't been the easiest person to deal with over email. When she was done and came into my office to finish up, we talked whilst I remained seated. Then, just before she left, she opened her arms, offering a hug, which I had to stand up to accept. It was a little strange.

Time for a good hugging story! My mom has trained us to give her a hug when we walk by her, just by opening even one arm. This is particularly applicable if she's sitting at the family computer, which is just at the bottom of the steps into the family room. We usually joke about it now, once we realized our little tradition, but we still do it.

Hugs are awesome more than they are awkward.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Being Accountable

Since I know all of you are wondering how my first week of my newest commitment went, I shall tell you.

Fantastic! Thanks for asking!

I almost completely stuck to my menu. Eating organic food really is as delicious as it's made out to be! For instance, I've always liked bananas. They're good, but they've never been an explosion of taste in my mouth or anything. That is, until last week. So good! The same can be said about the green and red peppers I've been munching on. My menu has been called boring, but it really isn't. It's also made up of easy, quickly prepared recipes, and I look forward to eating. Sure, I fudged a little. I've had more sweets than I really should have, thanks to social gatherings and a roommate who has suddenly decided to start baking a lot. There's a little wiggle room in my plan, so it's perfectly alright.

I've also been working out more. I teach a dance class for a show choir once a week, which keeps me moving, and I'll try and join them every week for an aerobic workout beforehand. I've gone walking around my neighborhood, and tried some new ab workouts.

This morning I started a Couch to 5k running program. Day 1 went very well. I made up a playlist on my iPod with songs of the exact length of each portion of today's prescribed run/walk, and I did it! I normally hate the idea of running just to run. I can run all over the place in an Ultimate Frisbee or soccer game, but just running has never appealed to me. However, I see all these 5K benefit runs, and I'd love to be able to do that, so here I go! This morning was really good, and I only have to run 3 times a week to make this work. Hooray!

Overall, I've felt really good this week. I've slept better, not gotten as tired throughout the day, and generally just felt noticeably better. You know, all the benefits you hear about. I'm not a desperate case, by any means. My BMI is on the high end of what is recommended, but not in the scary end just yet, and I'm planning on bringing it down even more.

Oh yeah, and I'm down four pounds from the day of that first post. That, dear readers, is excellent news.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hypothetically . . .

Occasionally, some friends and I engage in an online game of Truth or Dare. Dares must be proven with photographic evidence, and don't happen nearly as often as truths.

Today I received this question:

Wildcard: You have a date tonight with a person who is SO totally hot, but there are signs that there is a good but unquantifiable chance that this person is ultimately a dud.

Sitcom complication: a person you were very into a long time ago shows up, wanting to make amends, or at least go for a date tonight. This person, of course, hurt you, but there are, again, signs that there is a good but unquantifiable chance that this person might well make good.

Whom do you choose?

Me: Having recycled boyfriends before, and knowing that has never worked out for long, I'd go with the hot guy. Sure. It could be a dud, but it might not be. He could be totally great, and he would be new, and there would be no tainted version of our future.

I don't think I could ever choose the 2nd guy. If he really wanted to make amends and impress me, he'll wait until tomorrow night.

Or, if I really wanted to make it a sitcom, I wouldn't choose. I'd go out with both tonight. I would have an early dinner with the first guy, maybe catch a movie or something. He's been told that I have a lot of schoolwork to do tomorrow, so I need to call it a night early and get some rest. The date goes fabulously, and he takes me home. The second guy has been told that I already had dinner plans, but maybe we can go out for dessert at at the 24 hour cafe down the street and then shoot some pool at the bar around the corner. It gives us time to catch up and I can see whether or not I really want to give this a second chance.

And, since this is a sitcom, when the first date goes late or the second shows up early, or the first date decides to hit the bar too, and they meet - the 2nd guy sees how hot the 1st is and realizes he's got some major competition. The 1st guy gets protective. They fight.

I leave with the really hot bartender, who is both hot and intelligent and is tending bar whilst he works on his Master's at GMU. And, since this is my fantasy sitcom, and this is important to me, he just happens to be talking to the LDS missionaries.

Who knows? It could happen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2 More Reasons I Want Lasik

I've been wearing glasses since I was nine, and contacts since I was 14. I'm on my 3rd and 4th pairs of glasses.



Aren't you glad you missed the giant red glasses phase? The second pair was a lot like the 3rd in shape, but a little thicker and the earpieces were pink. Now that I think about it, that's kind of cute. What did I do with those?


I alternate between the two pairs of glasses and contacts, depending on my mood, how I look, what I'm wearing, etc. It's fun having options, especially because my eyes can be really annoying.

They're super sensitive. I swear if I didn't keep putting eye drops in them and using my special contact solution, they'd shrivel up like raisins. They get so dry and itchy, and staring at a computer screen on a fairly regular basis does not help. I love the color of my eyes, and that I'm able to see, but they bother me more often than not.

I have a brand of contacts that one can wear night and day for several days in a row - if your eyes are the non-sensitive type. They're supposed to allow more oxygen or something. I do like them, but I shouldn't wear them to bed.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I should have known it was going to be a bad contacts day. I'd woken up in plenty of time for church, so without even getting out of bed, I picked up book I'd started the night before and began reading. My eyes felt really weird, and after a few seconds, I did a quick test - can I read the things on my wall?


Drat. I must have been so tired that I forgot to take my contacts out. So I rubbed my eyes intermittently for a few minutes and they eventually felt fine. It was nice that I could immediately see upon waking, but it would nice to just do that and not have to fight the contacts at the same time. (Reason #1)

Church was great, and I came home with the intentions of making dinner, getting ready for the fireside I was singing at with the Mormon Choir, eating dinner, and going to the concert. I was trying a new recipe, and it involved green chiles. I put everything together and ran upstairs to change. Naturally, my left contact was bothering me, so I took it out, rinsed it with saline solution, and tried to pop it back in. I tried unsuccessfully a few times, and now my eye was burning. Fantastic.

Since I was running out of time, I decided to take out the other contact and just wear glasses to the concert (which I hate doing). As soon as I did that, my other eye started burning.

Oh yeah. I had fresh chiles in my dinner. OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!

I grabbed my eyedrops, finished dressing, and ran out the door, thanking my roommate for taking dinner out of the oven for me.

The concert/fireside was wonderful, even if I did have to wear glasses.

As I was eating my dinner and Skyping with my parents, it dawned on me that I had picked up jalapenos instead of Anaheim chiles.

Anaheim chiles -

Jalapenos (except mine were skinnier, and slightly lighter in color) -

No WONDER my eyes hurt.

Reason #2

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Commitment

I hereby promise to eat according to my personal menu, which is full of fresh produce, organic products, and all sorts of healthy, yet delicious food, for the next two weeks. I also promise to work out 4-5 times a week for the next two weeks.

There. I told someone. Now I'm accountable for it.

I actually love grocery shopping. I love planning a menu and a corresponding grocery list. It's my mother's fault really. She taught me how. If I don't make a grocery list or menu, I end up wandering the aisles until my grocery cart is full, and I think I have enough food to last me until whenever I decide to go grocery shopping next. It's usually full of food that's somewhat healthy, but not fantastically so. When I do make a list, and I know what each food I'm buying will be a part of, I get excited about cooking and partaking of the goodness.

Now, I don't love getting used to the layout of a new store, but I decided to do the bulk of my shopping this morning at Whole Foods. Organic really is better for you, so I made my menu and list and wished myself luck. I did end up with some conventional foods, but this due to lack of understanding the organization of the store and knowing that it won't kill me. I still have quite a bit of totally organic products, and I'm excited for this transition to organic eating.

Overall, I spent more than I anticipated, but about what I had budgeted, so it will work out. Aside from my organic instant oatmeal and organic frozen waffles, there isn't one pre-made, sodium-filled product that I brought home. Half of my purchases were fresh produce.

I'm looking forward to the next two weeks. If I can do this for two weeks, then I can do it for another two weeks. Once I've done it for a month, I can do it for another month, and so forth. I don't want to freak myself out with any more long-term goals than I already have, so that's why I'm choosing to only commit to two weeks.

Who knows? I might like it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm not a real doctor, but I am a re-al worm

Last night's concert was awesome! Smash and I, with our unintentionally matching hair, enjoyed every minute of it. (Okay, so I didn't enjoy being stuck in traffic for two hours, smelling of cigarette smoke, or the drunk people behind us, but these things can be overlooked.)

There was an excellent mix of old and new songs. I probably knew 75% of the music they played. They were hyping their new album, which I've only heard one song from, but they still had a lot of things I did know. For a career spanning twenty years, that's not bad. I danced and sang along throughout the main set and two encores. I L-O-V-E their music.

The Johns are hilarious. They interact so well, and get the rest of the band involved too. They did a bit where they took phone calls from dead people. So, John F. went backstage and called in as Edgar Allan Poe. He said that the show had inspired him and convinced John L. to let him read a poem he just wrote. He started his poem, and we slowly realized he was very seriously quoting Metallica's Enter Sandman. The lead guitarist, Dan Miller, pointed it out first, but everyone kept a straight face and then John L. accused "Edgar Allan Poe" of being a phony. Good times.

As we were driving to the concert, and pulling into the parking garage, we saw the tour bus. John L. was standing right by it and then headed toward the building. We weren't totally sure it was him, but he was wearing the same shirt onstage. Alas, they were not out yet when we left.

I had a fantastic time, and really enjoyed being with Smash. If you get a chance to see this group - go! This is my second time seeing them, and most likely not my last.

However, if you can't go to a concert, here are some pictures that make you feel like you're right there. Or not.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


If I haven't mentioned it already, grad school is in full swing. I'm taking two classes, which shouldn't amount to much, right?


This still means I have 3-4 hours of lecture to download and watch/listen to every week. 7 textbooks. Endless textbook excerpts to download. Hundreds of discussion board posts to wade through. And so on and so forth.

With a resolve to not study on Sundays, a church calling that keeps me busy on Monday nights, and choir rehearsals on Thursdays, I have 3 evenings and one day a week to do all that (and almost anything else) in. So far, so good on that. I even had a study-free Saturday last weekend, in which I slept in and cleaned my house before watching the BYU game with friends. It's also great that I get to go to school by lounging on my bed in my jammies, if I so choose.

A new school year also means a very busy time at work. Between work and school, I spend way too much time at the computer.

Life really is good, just very busy. There is certainly not enough time to do everything I want, because even when I have some spare time, I don't always have the energy to do anything but catch up on my TiVo'd shows or read some fluff. When one friend said that they missed me, I realized it had been almost two weeks since I'd seen her, and I was sad.

So in honor of my busy-ness, I shall make two lists:

Things I Do Not Have Quite Enough Time/Money To Do On a Regular Basis
  • Blog more
  • Teach myself to knit
  • Catch up on my Netflix queue
  • Read non-fluff non-school books
  • See all the cool fall movies
  • Hang out with anyone
  • Finish my dining room
  • Organize the heck out of my bedroom/bathroom
  • Go home sometime this fall
  • Get to know my new "nephew"
  • Organize my music
  • Eat as well as I'd like
  • Be in a show

Things I DO Get to Do!

  • Learn interesting things
  • Go to England for Christmas
  • Go to the temple, especially with my missionary brother in 6 weeks
  • Enjoy my Sunday, Monday, and Thursday non-school activities
  • Talk to my family all the time
  • Go to the They Might Be Giants show - right now! Bye!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

11 September 2001

It was my senior year of high school. As usual, I was rushing to get out the door, when my brother came downstairs and said something about planes hitting buildings or something. I didn't give it much of a second thought, and we ran out the door. Our drive to school was only about 3-5 minutes on average, and while they were talking about it on the radio, we didn't have enough time to get a clear picture of what was going on. We get to school and head to our first classes. There is some buzz in the halls about the events.

My first class was Video Production, and we usually had the news on before class starts. For the first time, I really understand what has been happening. The Pentagon had just been hit. I didn't believe what I was seeing, and most of us just watched in silence as we tried to make sense of it all. We watched as the towers collapsed. Flight 93 crashed as I was walking to my second class. The attacks were all anyone could talk about in the halls.

My AP English teacher (2nd period) was determined to keep us on track that day. We weren't going to watch the news, but were going to carry on as normal as possible. In Acapella, we talked about it and watched the news more. The footage of the collapsing buildings was shown over and over again. At lunch, everyone was huddled around a TV. In AP European History, we were a pretty tight group anyway and loved discussing current events. That day was no different. Most of us had had our fill of watching the destruction, but we couldn't stop talking about it. By then we'd heard some of the more personal stories, which made it just a little bit harder.

I don't remember if I had to work, rehearse, or do homework that afternoon. I remember watching the news again at home and continuing to sort through it all in my head.

The world was forever changed that day.

6 years later, I'm still saddened by our country's loss. Since then, I've been to Ground Zero in NYC twice, and I now drive by the Pentagon every few weeks. I have friends that have been to Iraq and others that work on Capitol Hill. We've all been touched by this in some way, and have come together with a shared determination to not let it happen again. People can debate all day about whether or not the Bush administration is handling the war correctly, or whether we should be in Iraq at all.

That's not the most important thing to me. What's important is knowing that everyone of us has a little bit of hero in us all. When tragedy strikes, we are there for each other.

We should never forget. It's changed our country, and I hope we come out better for it in the end.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Labor Day in the South or Music City, USA

This last weekend, Darin and I went to Nashville, TN. We stayed with my uncle and his wife, and one of my aunts came down to see me too. It was so great! Darin did all the driving, which I didn't complain about one bit. There were some tense moments, but overall, I think we had a wonderful weekend. I really enjoyed seeing my family, getting to know Darin better, and enjoying the following activities:

Driving all night - facing torrential rain, crazy drivers, and a diner that closed 5 minutes before we arrived

Nashville Shores - fun water park, plus some excellent people watching

Southern BBQ - both homemade (at a friend of my uncle's) and Jack's BBQ (downtown Nashville)

Southern cooking in general - Darin even tried grits! He had a couple bites off my plate at the Waffle House, thought about it for a while, then came back and tried them again. I think he's still undecided.

Ryman Auditorium - Original home of the Grand Ole Opry

Jam session in my uncle's friend's garage - I love this kind of thing, and I'll never get tired of hearing my uncle play

Exploring downtown Nashville - Hooray for the BatBuilding!

Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Outlet Mill - I didn't find anything worth buying, but it was a cool mall, and the outside of the hotel was beautiful. We decided it wasn't worth paying $12 for parking to see the inside

Seeing the homes of the stars - Darin bought a map off where the country music stars live, and we went exploring. LeAnn Rimes, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw/Faith Hill, etc. He as all the pictures, but I'll share as soon as I can. We felt a little silly and voyeuristic, but it was a fun adventure.

I'll share pictures eventually, but I figured the news was the most important news.

And, speaking of news, I found out that I was accepted into the Mormon Choir of Washington!

Back to the daily grind, but I'm very glad I had this last weekend.