Friday, November 30, 2007

Okay Emily, I've got one for you

I love my sister.

She's gorgeous, talented, funny, and an amazing friend. Of course, we haven't always been this close. I definitely will never share a bathroom with her again. Also, she totally hogs the bed. (Sorry Future Brother-in-law, it's true.)

When we were little, Emily totally hero-worshiped me. My favorite color was red, so her favorite color was red. Then I changed it to purple, and she changed hers to purple. I finally stopped having a favorite color, and I still don't. Hers is still purple (and pink). She always went along with whatever game I decided to play, like House or School, etc. We loved to play Barbies, dress-up, and trolls. Of course, she always wanted to tag along wherever I went, and Mom usually made me take her. When I was six, and she was almost two, we moved from Utah to Texas, and she leaned her head out of her car seat and onto my shoulder to sleep for the entirety of our three day drive. I was not pleased.

We also teamed up against our brother all the time. If he and I had an argument, she was always on my side. He learned to deal with us kissing him with our ballet lipstick on after recitals, and doing all other manner of girly stuff. We'd even let him play Barbies with us with his X-men action figures.

Emily and I went through the teenage drama at different times (which is good, because it might have killed our parents otherwise), but we started being able to share clothes, stories about boys, and makeup tips. I've loved watching her grow up and become an amazing woman. I hate that we live 2500 miles away from each other, now that we're finally really, really great friends.

We still call each other all the time with good news (even if it's 2 AM for me), or just to talk. I even have a photo collage on my desk from a time that we were on the phone together whilst she was bored and working at the Sears Potrait Studio. She has the phone to her ear and everything. I love it.

My sister rocks. That's really all there is to it.

Plus, she'll love me even if I share this picture with all of you. (This is on our way home from our cousin's wedding. We were very tired, and I swear my lipstick looks better fresh.)

Hooray for Emily Pemily!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I guess this is growing up

I had the following conversation with my good friend Telikey (whom I dated six years ago) last night:

Telikey: Oh my friend Alison is calling, can I call you back?

Me: Sure.

[10 minutes later]

Telikey: She wanted to know my list.

Me: Your list?

Telikey: Yeah, you know, THE list.

Me: No. What list?

Telikey: The list of what you require of your future spouse?

Me: Oh THAT list.

Telikey: Yep. So I sent it to her. You know, you contributed to my list.

Me: What!? How did I, no don't tell me. No, do. What? Is it something like "Don't marry a girl who totally flakes on me but I tell her I've forgiven her five years later, but still manage to bring it up all the time?"

Telikey: *laughing* No.

Me: Then what?

Telikey: Good communication skills.

Me: Oh yes. Of course. Well I'm definitely better about that now.

Telikey: Yes, you definitely are.

Me: And it wasn't just me who needed improvement. We're both better at that.

Telikey: I agree.

It was quite nice to realize that yes, I have grown up and matured over the last several years. You think you know everything in high school. Really, you don't. In fact, the older you get, the more you realize you don't know. You may specialize in a few things, but there are many more you don't know at all. With this particular relationship, I remember one reason I was losing interest was because of how immature Telikey was. I really didn't have room to talk, since I was just as immature in a different way. I have noticed a marked improvement in both of us over the years. (We remained friends in high school, but lost contact when he went on his mission until March of last year.)

See? We're all sorts of mature now.

I'm still determined to never completely grow up, and remain as youthful as possible for as long as possible. At the same time, it's nice to look around and see that I get to be an adult. I don't exactly get giddy about paying bills or stressing about things, but I do enjoy the best of both worlds. I may even decide to make a blanket fort in my living room and watch DuckTales, and no one can stop me. Unfortunately, this will probably have to wait until after finals.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No Creo

When life gets rough and everything seems to be against you, it's easy to stop believing in yourself and whatever else you might believe in. Life for me is actually pretty great right, despite the last couple of days. No matter what happens or how overwhelming things might seem, I can't stop believing.

I believe in my bright and wide-open future. There are a lot of great things ahead of me and I can't wait to experience them. I believe in my family and friends, who all support me in everything that I do. I believe in myself. I am awesome and I can do anything.

I believe in Heavenly Father and in His son, Jesus Christ. They, above all, want what is best for me, and I have no intention of going against that.

So watch out world, here I come.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nasty habits are here to stay

Apparently, I'm all about lists recently, so what's one more? We all have bad habits. Things we do, but know we probably shouldn't. Here are a few of mine.

I'm a terrible procrastinator. Most of my school projects are done the last few days before they are due. I often don't practice low-key performances pieces until the last minute. I have been known to pick things up that I need for particular things on my way to that thing. The list goes on. Now, I did finish an assignment that's due tomorrow on Friday, so maybe I'll be better from here on out.

I easily lose patience. I don't understand how people can get lost twenty times coming to my house. I don't like being micromanaged on something. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to be helpful. Luckily, I usually can check myself and just deal with it rather than blowing up at the offender. That doesn't mean, however, that I won't be writing an alternate response in my head.

As much as I love having a clean house, when I get busy, that's the first thing to go. I figure it's not usually urgent, and I get to it when I can. Trust me. Come December 5th, I will be in a whirlwind of random cleaning/organizing projects I've put off all semester.

I usually let my nail polish chip off for quite some time before I remove/redo it. That probably goes with the procrastination thing, but I'm definitely not obsessive about my nails. Yes, I currently have some clear nail polish chipping off my fingers.

I check just about everyday. This is a sickness and must be stopped.

If I don't respond to an email within a day or two of receiving it, chances are I'll forget about it for weeks.

I'm easily distracted. I can be very excited and gung-ho about a project or something, but I can just as quickly lose interest, or get excited about something new. For instance, my craft table? Very neglected right now. Another thing I'm looking forward to revisiting next week.

I think I've been self-defeating enough for one post. I have some great habits too! I brush my teeth everyday. I clean my kitchen whilst cooking whenever possible. I always wear my seat-belt.

Maybe admitting these things will be the first step toward correcting them. One can certainly hope!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Let's Give 'Em Something to Talk About

It's an interesting paradox that the more you talk to someone, the more you have to say to them. I can IM with Fran all day and still think of something I wanted to tell her whilst driving home. Yet, if suddenly I find myself talking to someone I haven't spoken with in weeks, we're limited to small talk, at least initially. Unless, of course, you're my paternal grandmother. I love her very much, but she'll never run out of words. Ever. Talking to her is always an adventure.

I do enjoy talking. Phone, IM, Skype, texting, whatever. I like writing letters and journaling. I obviously like blogging.

Unfortunately, blogs don't talk back. One-way conversations can be quite tricky. After 25 days of random "Oh by the way. . . " topics, I find myself with nothing to talk about but talking itself.

Happy half-birthday to me!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Everything will always be alright when we go shopping

I know all of you were up at 4 AM to hit the early bird specials for Black Friday, but were wandering around and just didn't know what to get me for Christmas. So I thought I'd share a few ideas. Really, my mother asks for a Christmas list every year, and I thought I would make it into a blog.

Honestly, I have everything I need - a roof over my head, clothes, food, and friends and family galore. Also, one of my favorite things is shopping and finding that perfect gift for someone that they would never expect but love. So, feel free to deviate from this list and get me anything, or nothing more than a hug. I'll be happy either way.

My Christmas List

tea kettle

Pirates of Caribbean: At World's End End - 2-disc special edition (say what you want about the movie, but I should complete my collection)

1.5" barrel curling iron

digital video camera

cold weather running gear

sewing machine

reading lamp (this one is kinda cool)

Dress tops/tunics

Black pumps (For my male reader, pumps are shoes)

Enough tuition money for the rest of my grad school career

A man, no complaints if he looks (or sounds) like this one:

And since I'm just getting silly now, I'd also like a hippopotamus.

Also, a list of places I should probably just take a registry out for:

The Container Store



Bed, Bath, & Beyond


Really, I don't need any of this. Not to be a total sap, but friendship and time spent with those I love is all I really need. Oh, and comments on my blog.

Hooray for Christmas!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble gobble goo and gobble gobble giggle

The requisite post for things I'm grateful for is found here, on my all too neglected gratitude blog.

I love the holiday season. It's full of tradition, remembrance, great food, and surrounding yourself with loved ones. Unfortunately, as a single person, with my closest family being 700 miles away, it can also be one of the toughest times of the year. As I'm writing this, I know that my parents and siblings are probably watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and putting together final preparations for the big dinner. They might be laughing about the time that J got up really, really early one year and was distraught because he thought he'd missed the parade. Mom found him flipping channels when she got up to start the turkey.

Obviously, I'm not home, and I wish I was. I love and miss my family like crazy.

I'm still going to have a great holiday. I get to have dinner with the family of my "nephew" - his parents and some of their extended family. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm very grateful that I have someone to share this day with.

That's one of the cool things about friends. They're the family you get to pick. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a wonderful, real family. But I also have wonderful friends. People who care about me because I'm me, not because I have the same DNA.

Overall, I'm really grateful for the people in my life, family and friends alike. Life isn't worth living without them.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have an amazing and safe holiday!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Because I am a queen

I am a dancer because I move in an artistic way, whenever the mood strikes me. Sometimes there's music, sometimes there isn't.

I am a singer because I randomly burst out into song. I've also taken voice lessons and sung in choirs for years.

I am a sister because I have two wonderful siblings.

I am a daughter because I have two marvelous parents.

I am a friend because I care and others care back.

I am a reader because I read EVERYTHING. I read my recycle bin today as I carried it back into my house.

I am a music fanatic because even if I'm not listening to something, there's always a song in my head.

I am an artist because I once had a show in an art museum.

I am an actor because I act. Usually on a stage. Sometimes when I'm trying to do something scary.

I am a writer because I like organize my thoughts into words and put them on paper, or a computer screen.

I am a geek because I enjoy science fiction.

I am a queen because I say so.

Who are you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why does this girl smell of orange trees?

Nancy tagged me, so I now have to come up with seven things you may not know about me.

#1 - I prefer French cut green beans over any other kind. I think it's because it has less bean skin texture and taste, and more of the inside, which is the good stuff. This is one of the few things I will buy without a specific meal in mind. I love them.

#2 - I HATE getting out of bed in the middle of the night, for any reason. I'm not afraid of the dark, nor do I think that someone is going to jump out and attack me. I just don't like it, and will often contemplate just how much I need the bathroom or how thirsty I am before I finally get up. It's probably leftover from when I was younger and was so terrified of conjuring something in my mirror that I thought even flushing the toilet would do it. Remember those mirror games and the scary stories the older kids told you? Yeah. I was freaked. For awhile after my grandfather died, I was scared he would appear (not that he would attack me, but remember I'm being anything but rational here), other times it was Bloody Mary. Sadly, last night, after going to bed thinking about this post (I read Nancy's blog late last night), I had to get up twice in the night, and both times thought "I need to add this to my list."

#3 - I own Casablanca, but I still haven't watched it. Nor have I watched The Triplets of Belleville since I bought it. Maybe that's what I'll do once finals are over . . . I highly recommend Triplets. I'll let you know about Casablanca.

#4 - I still wear clothes from high school. In fact, the sweater I have on right now is one I wore in in my senior pictures. They still fit. They're classic enough to still be fashionable. So there.

#5 - I still sleep with a stuffed animal. His name is Jordan. I've had him for more than 22 years, and have slept with him the entire time. He's a small, light pink bear, very worn, faded, and loved. He doesn't go on all my overnight trips anymore, but that's only a change as of this last couple of years. He's been to Europe with me, and will be going again. I'm not sure what I'll do when I get married.

#6 - I once made up a religion with my high school best friend. We called it MoJewBuCa - Mormon/Jewish/Buddhist/Catholic. I don't remember what our Jewish or Buddhist tenets are or where those parts came from. But, we decided on the Catholic part when we were in Macey's one night and saw the Catholic prayer candles. Speaking of Macey's . . .

#7 - I've been kicked out of Macey's. For my non-Utah readers, that's a grocery store. It's cheap and kind of geared toward Mormon families (lots of bulk items, etc.), and you pretty much can't go without running into at least three people you know. Getting kicked out is rare. It was a Friday night and my friends were in an ice cream fight, which got all over the floor. I was only guilty by association, but we were all asked to leave.

Hopefully you're a little more enlightened now. I had fun with this.

I tag Reimsy, Miss Giggles, Theater Geek, and Fran, and anyone else who wants to be tagged.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

E-mail my heart

We all know that breaking up sucks. As long as the other person isn't abusive or creepy, it's hard to leave someone you know is a great person but they're just not great for you, for whatever reason. However, we shouldn't make it harder for anyone than it already is going to be. When a breakup is inevitable, the dumper should at least be as polite and respectful as possible to the dumpee. What I mean is - do it in person. Do it as soon as you can from the time you know you can't be with them anymore. Be clear, and concise.

(Disclaimer: Break-up here is defined as one person telling another they don't want to be with them anymore, whether it be after 6 days or 6 years and regardless of "officiality" of the relationship.)

I just heard of yet another instance where a serious, long-term relationship was ended in an email. Seriously? Man/Woman up! Every single time I've had to be the dumper, I've made sure to do it in person. With two notable exceptions. One during senior year of high school, wherein I was a total dork, and I have since profusely apologized and this guy and I are great friends. The second being last December, the guy was so pushy and begging to be with me after only two dates of him being an arrogant creep, that I couldn't bring myself to see him again. If he didn't take it well on the phone, it could have been disastrous, or even dangerous, in person.

I've been disappeared on (where he just went away, with nary a word) twice. Not a fan. I'm also not a fan of the break-up over the phone. Pretending to still be in love with me for four days, so that you don't actually break up with me on my birthday, would make you more of jerk than just breaking up with me.

Just as two people should be very clear about the relationship going into it, they should be clear when it ends. For me, if things aren't working, tell me and we'll either fix it or move on with our lives.

We're grown ups, right? Act like it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I think its the getting to the point that is the hardest part

I'm a big fan of brevity. Of course, sometimes I will wander around a story I'm telling just to make sure I'm getting all my facts right and remembering it correctly. Or, it's possible I'll go off on a random tangent, or let someone else do the same. This situation is totally fine when you're with a friend in a social setting. However, this weekend, I was seriously reminded of times it is NOT okay to do that.

I have two professors this semester. One is clear and concise and straightforward, almost to a fault, and we get a lot of information in her one hour lecture. The other is not so much, and we take two hours to hear what could often be said in one. I understand that a lot of his lectures are done with a live audience, so he takes more time to interact and discuss than the other. However, yesterday, I was tired, I had things to do, and I wanted to finish my lecture before going out for the evening. So, when he gave us an example query of "homeschooling", he proceeded to actually ask his audience their opinions about homeschooling. This was completely unrelated to anything, and I wished I could fast-forward. I would have if I knew which minute he got back on track. I also didn't get to finish my lecture yesterday, but I'll do that soon.

Last night was our ward's annual Thanksgiving dinner and Talent/No-Talent Show. There were several great acts, but a 15 minute piano recital piece, a random on-stage jam session, major technical difficulties, and a host of other things did not make for a quick evening. I think the whole show was just over two hours. Everyone was either very talented, or quite humorous, but it could have gone better. Dress rehearsals should be mandatory, even for ward functions.

Tonight, the Mormon Choir of Washington was performing at a "Why I Believe" fireside, where a Mormon prominent in the community speaks. It's really a cool thing, and I love singing in the choir, so I was happy to be there. Senator Orrin G. Hatch was the speaker, and he made some excellent points. Then, he expounded on those points. And made tangents to those points. And told needlessly detailed (however neat) stories. Firesides are usually done within an hour. Sen. Hatch spoke for over an hour, making the whole event about one hour, forty-five minutes. Add that to the fact that I was sitting on the stand in a hard chair and was up until 3 AM the previous evening, and I was done with the whole thing very quickly. A filibuster if I ever saw one. I hope someone was touched, but I ended up just being grateful that my house and my pajamas were only five minutes away.

On Friday, when I was speaking a middle school career day, I had 30 minutes to give my presentation. I was done in 15 one session, and 20 in another. This gave me lots of time to bribe the students to ask questions, but if I'd been able to, I would have just dismissed them. It's a nice break sometimes when things like that are informative, and over early.

Some people just need to learn when to stop.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Laylabean asked: What does the word “Plenty” mean to you?

I once heard a statistic that was something like if you own more than three pairs of shoes, you are in the top 5% richest people in the world. The exact data isn't important, but most of us take for granted what we actually have. On days I'm feeling poor, it's a nice reminder that I'm not. I know where my next meal is coming from.

I should also never complain that I have nothing to wear.

A closer look:

That may be half my shoe collection. May. Instead of arranging them all artsy like Laylabean did with her spoons, I just took the picture as is. They are about five feet from they should be, which is on one my three shoe racks. That pile is currently on the opposite side of my room, and I can't see it. However, on this side of the room, looking around I can see ten pairs of footwear very much not where they should be.

The point is not that I should clean my room, though that's painfully obvious. The point is that I have plenty. I have everything I need, and then some.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I once was lost, but now I'm found

My roommates, a friend, and I were just rehashing the mystery of the pants. Despite our best efforts, we were no closer to finding an answer. The last time I had used the sleeping bag had been at the end of May, and I can't think of anyone who would have touched my sleeping bag then either.

Just as we were about to give up again, I had an epiphany - my sister!

Granted, I haven't lived with my sister in over two years, but my sleeping bag had been at my parents' house until the beginning of May of this year. It's entirely possible that she had borrowed it before that time.

I call her up. She doesn't answer, but she calls me back while I'm in the middle of leaving a message.

Me: "Are you missing a pair of pajama pants?"

Sister: "What kind?"

Me: "Pink plaid?"

Sister: "I was wondering where those had gone to. Where did you find them?"

Me: "Have you read my blog this week?"

Sister: "THOSE ARE MINE!?"

Mystery solved! My roommates and friend were able to tell from my highly amused face what her answers basically were. And all of us, sister included, were laughing our heads off. I literally fell to the floor.

We have no idea when she borrowed my sleeping bag and left her clothes there. It's been at least six months. This also means that for at least three nights I've been sleeping with someone else's underwear near my feet. I'm just glad it's someone I'm related to.

E - Do these look familiar?

Friday, November 16, 2007

The magic's in the makeup

Women are held to unrealistic beauty standard, thanks to the media and celebrities. We think that's what the men want, and women have killed themselves trying to attain that. This is nothing new.

What we don't realize is that that's what the men think they want too. Think being the operative word. Too many of them, it seems, are convinced they deserve a supermodel, a woman who stops traffic, someone everyone notices. Sure, women like Angelina Jolie are hot (or so I'm told), but we can't all be her. And, I'm willing to bet that she has bed hair sometimes too, and not the sexy kind.

The thing is, it takes a LOT of effort and money to look like that. I certainly can't afford a personal trainer, hairstylist, and makeup artist. I can't spend hours on my hair everyday or even make sure my eyebrows are perfectly shaped all the time. Rather, I can't spend hours everyday while someone ELSE does my hair and shapes my brows. I also don't get paid just to look pretty and not once has a designer begged me to wear his dress to an event.

So, I'm going to look the way I do, which I don't think is half bad. I actually have the same measurements that Marilyn Monroe did (and have an independent filmmaker who's really been wanting me to play her in his most recent project), but by today's standards she's a BBW. Why that category even exists is beyond me. (PS - Don't Google it.)

I do like dressing up and doing hair and makeup, as anyone who has seen my bathroom can attest to. Unfortunately, as a brilliant woman once said, "I have a couture taste, and a Target budget." Plus things like school and work are at a much higher priority.

I don't expect my future husband to wake up looking like this:
So he shouldn't expect me to wake up looking like this:
Because she doesn't either!

What we all need, and deserve, is someone who stops US in our tracks, regardless of what they're wearing or doing. I want someone who thinks I'm just as sexy vacuuming in my pajamas with a baby on my hip as I am when I'm dressed for something fancy. I'll be happy to return the favor.

Dove Campaign For Real Beauty

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You would kill for this, just a little bit

A meme I took from the lovely Kate the Great.

Here's how it works: choose 10 recommendations of things you know would help your friends, if they knew about them. For mine, if they aren't useful, they'll definitely lighten your load somehow.

1- - Both Kate and Nancy have asked for recipes recently, and this website is my secret. Sure I have a stash of recipes I love from home, or that I've come up with over the years, but when I want to try something new, this is where I go. They even have a section devoted to quick and easy recipes, for when you're feeling lazy but want something tasty.

2 - TiVo - Best. Thing. Ever. I don't watch crap TV anymore. I pretty much get to watch what I want when I want, without commercials. And! I can create wishlists so that any time anything related to Johnny Depp, for example, comes on, my TiVo friend records it automatically.

3 - Washington DC - All the cool kids are doing it. I could use some visitors, and I might even let you sleep on my futon. Great place to visit and even live.

4- Google Reader - While I don't get stats on how many people subscribe to my blog if you do this, it certainly helps me keep track of all the blogs I read. I love Google in general, but this is my newest favorite feature.

5 - Celestial Seasoning Gingerbread Spice herbal tea - SO GOOD. I can still vaguely taste the cup I had this morning. It's the most fragrant and flavorful tea I have ever had.

6 - Pushing Daisies - One of ABC's new fall shows. It's an absolute delight and I've loved every minute of it.

7 - Netflix - I know this isn't anything new, but there are still some people who don't use it. It keeps track of what I want to watch for me, sends me things automatically, and it doesn't matter how long I keep them. My queue is always full. It's a wonderful idea.

8 - Shout - My personal favorite stain remover.

9 - Think Geek - Great geek toys, shirts, etc. Christmas is coming . . .

10 - Flight of the Conchords - HI-larious. More on YouTube, and this is one of my favorites.

In turn, I tag Fran, since she needs to update her blog, and anyone else who wants to accept the challenge.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Requiem aeternam dona eis

My water bottle died today. I loved that thing. We've been together since March. It held an entire day's recommended water, and I usually finished it by about 2 PM. Most anyone who saw it was amazed by its size. The convenience of having all my water with me was worth the awkwardness of carrying it around. I would freeze the bottom third of it at night and then for at least half the day, my water would be cold, which is how I prefer it.

Alas, that expansion of frozen water was finally its demise, for this is what I found in the freezer this morning.
*sigh* It's currently thawing in my sink. A burial service will be performed at approximately 6:30 this evening. All are welcome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

These are not my pants!

Luckily, not all my ward activities are as unfortunate as the Film Festival. The first weekend of October was our ward retreat at Camp Greentop in Northern Maryland, and it was a lot of fun. We had a bonfire, games, mini-classes, an excellent speaker, and delicious food. We spent the night in cabins, about ten people to a cabin.

In the morning, due to the cold and being modest, I did the change-my-pants-in-my-sleeping-bag-dance. Once I got out, I finished dressing and immediately rolled up my sleeping bag and took all my stuff to my car. As I recall, no one else was ever in my sleeping bag or even touched it.

Fast forward to Friday, November 9. I have the day off from work, and I'm cleaning my room whilst listening to my lectures for school. I finally brought in my sleeping bag (my duffel had come in weeks ago). It needed to be re-rolled before I stored it again, and as I was unrolling it my pajama pants from the retreat fell out, as did some other pair of pajama pants and underwear. Without even blinking, I decided the pj pants must be my roommate Jane's and I was about to put the underwear in my hamper. Suddenly, I remembered that I don't wear that kind of underwear anymore, as it is of a more secular nature, and I certainly didn't have it with me at the retreat. Someone else's pajama bottoms and underwear had been in my sleeping bag for six weeks! Eek!

Still, I decided all of it was Jane's, since she's the only one in the house who wears that underwear style. She wasn't home, so just put it all on her bed and forgot about it.

Sunday night, Jane and I were talking, and I suddenly remembered about the pajamas and underwear.

"Did you find your pajama pants?"

"Oh yeah, I did, I meant to tell you. They aren't mine."

Eek again! We then pondered on whose they could be, but we could only think of one other person in our cabin who could possibly be the owner, and they were never anywhere near my bed or car or sleeping bag that second day of the retreat.

Conclusion: We have no idea who left their pants and underwear in MY sleeping bag.

Let me know if you're missing any . . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

Your face implodes in my experimental film

(Disclaimer: The following should mean no offense to anyone who may have been involved in what I'm about to discuss, nor is it a cry for help. I love you all, and I'm fine.)

Last night, was, well, not my favorite in recent memory. The Young Single Adults of Northern Virginia gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Adams Morgan for a short film festival. For weeks we've all been encouraged to submit 4 minute films and 30 second commercials to be viewed during this event. We had a red carpet, a photographer, and about 75% of us dressed up. I wore a burgundy and gold dress, my hair was slightly wavy, and my makeup flawless, if I do say so myself. Overall, the night had a lot of promise, and I was rather looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, it started on the wrong foot. I missed the train into the city that I wanted, so I had to wait for fifteen minutes for another one. This did allow me to run into some other festival-goers, so I did have someone to walk into the event with. (My roommates were otherwise engaged.)

My hopes were still high. Sadly, I didn't immediately find anyone to sit with until I saw my friend Kat that I knew at BYU. We hugged quickly and the MC began.

Before you read the next paragraph, keep in mind that I have a degree in Theatre, and have taken several classes in film and narrative composition. I know of what I speak.

Once the films started, Kat and I both stared, agape, at the screen. They were all in good, clean Mormon-y fun. But, most of them lacked a good script/any script, tight camera work, decent editing, correct spelling, and the sound was just bad. A couple of them were actually a little insulting, and bloopers are rarely funny, particularly if they're longer than the original film.

There were actually a few that were pretty decent. Not Sundance quality or anything, but still good. There were some creative ideas and every film had at least one funny moment, if not more. I applaud and appreciate those that took the time to produce them, despite how they turned out. I may have been a little hyper-critical, and for that I apologize. Overall, however, I was disappointed, and Kat and I weren't the only ones.

The night didn't end there. There was a dance for about an hour, and I while I love dancing, I just wasn't feeling like a part of the group and wasn't getting into it. It's weird, but sometimes I can feel completely alone when I'm surrounded by people. The music consisted entirely of heavily edited hip-hop, and I'm sorry, but Soulja Boy just isn't the end-all be-all of the music world. I was also a little disappointed that not one guy complimented me (thanks to the girls who did!).

I was able to leave with the same girls I came with, but I was the only one metro-ing as far as I did. I got home tired, hungry, and cranky, as I mentioned last night, and it bled over into today.

I guess we all have bad days, and not every night I wear a fabulous dress will everything be fabulous. I just hope that the rest of my week goes much more smoothly. My mood has already improved since I got to play with my "nephew" and his parents tonight.

Just don't be surprised if next year I'm a little hesitant to attend this event.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Out Tonight

I just got home. I'm tired, cranky, and hungry, but a post must be made. Despite the late hour, I am going to cook myself some dinner and eat it whilst I watch some "Gilmore Girls". More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I enjoy being a girl

In another forum, the question was recently raised as to what traits you have that are masculine and what traits are feminine?


  • Shop with purpose
  • Hate asking strangers for directions
  • Money cannot buy my happiness
  • Independent
  • Ambitious, daring
  • Love the outdoors
  • Good at science and math
  • Dress for comfort more than fashion
  • Prefer honesty
  • Enjoy action, drama, and intellectual films
  • Logical
  • Prefer clean and neat over floral and frilly
  • Enjoy science-fiction
  • Prefer backpacks/messenger bags to purses
  • Enjoy sports

  • Nurturing
  • Love hair and makeup
  • Teacher
  • Love the arts
  • Love dressing up on occasion
  • Shoes
  • Fairies, butterflies, fantasy
  • Hate stupid humor
  • Love romantic comedies and escapism
  • Cook
  • Clean
  • Romantic
  • Potentially giggly
  • Enjoy fragant bath and body products
  • Move like a woman

I'm actually reluctant to answer the question. I do consider myself a woman, and a feminist (not a militant feminist, mind you), but I don't feel it necessary to delineate my traits as one thing or another. I understand studying the history of gender identity, but the future is that we're all parts of both. I am more interested in what makes a person a person, not a guy or a girl. If we're trying to get past stereotypes and generalizations, not answering questions like this is a good place to start. As I've discussed before, we are all so unique that we should be more concerned about that person, not a whole group of people that may or may not be like that person. There is some scientific evidence that we are both with certain gender traits, and a study of that I can support. But looking at stereotypes and trying to fit ourselves in them seems backwards to me.

It's okay with live within those stereotypes, but they shouldn't define us. I'm a woman. I cry. I don't cry because I'm a woman, I cry because something has made sad, angry, or blissfully happy. Everyone else, male or female, should be allowed to do the same, in any situation.

Now I am a librarian, and I do try to organize materials into specific categories which they may or may not fit in. But people? It just doesn't sit well with me. We are living, breathing, ever-changing things, and trying to categorize us is an exercise in futility.

Comments are welcome. I may not agree with you, but I'll certainly listen to your opinion.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thursday - Sloppy Joes and burritos in a bag

From first to eighth grades, we always packed our lunches. I can't tell you how many ham (just ham and mayo) sandwiches and smushed Oatmeal Creme Pies I had during that time. I still am rather opposed to the Oatmeal Creme Pies. They were fairly healthy lunches - sandwich, fruit, Little Debbie dessert, and milk. My mom actually bought the little water bottles and for the first few weeks of school would estimate how much time between packing the lunch and when we ate lunch, how much milk she would freeze at the bottom. We'd report back - Too frozen, too warm - and she'd try again the next day. Soon, each kid had their milk bottle with our frozen milk level marked on with our initials. I hope that make sense, but either way the memory amuses me, and I guess it saved us money. Once a month, we were able to choose a day to get cafeteria lunches. We got monthly lunch schedules and would pick our days accordingly. When we had field trips we had to provide a sack lunch for, we did get to pick out something special, like Lunchables and Hi-C.

Once I got to ninth grade, Dad had a better job and we always got cafeteria lunches. We were given a certain amount each month. If we ran out before the end of the month, it was our own fault and we were left to our own devices.

In all this time, I had no idea what my parents did for lunch, nor did the thought ever cross my mind. I do have a vague memory, however, of thinking that lunch would be different when I was an adult. I'm not sure how I expected it to be different, but it was supposed to be better, more glamorous, or something.

It isn't.

In fact, lunch annoys me. I can't properly cook anything, and leftovers are rarely as good the second (or third or fourth) time(s) around. So, more often than not, I'm back to sandwiches, fruits, and water. (No, I don't freeze milk the night before.) Lunch is the meal I forget about the most, whether that's planning for it or simply eating it. Mom isn't there to stock up on lunch foods for me or to remind that I should pack it the night before, and I definitely don't know what I'm going to be hungry for when I'm trying to eat breakfast and pack lunch at the same time.

It's also no good when I'm running low on food, because I've forgotten to/hadn't had the time to grocery shopping in weeks, and I have to take whatever I can. Bagels from who knows when aren't the most appetizing of entrees.

As much as I love food, lunch is not my favorite meal of the day.

I do think that, providing I do finally go grocery shopping this weekend, I'll pick up a box of Little Debbie Star Crunches. Now those were good.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The rest is still unwritten

I really enjoy keeping a journal. I like physically writing down the things that have happened in my life, and then detailing exactly how I feel. Since I'm the only one reading my entries for now, I don't have to censor my thoughts or cater to an audience. Also, writing it, with pen and paper, allows my thoughts to flow a lot more freely. I can't go back and delete a whole sentence, or rearrange a paragraph. Usually, my thoughts and memories are much faster than my pen, but I do the best I can and I'm usually satisfied with the results. When I was on my study abroad in London, and a few other times in my life, I wrote every day. I even remember being so struck by something in an art museum that I sat down, pulled out my journal, and started writing. While I don't get to write every day usually, I'll generally write every few weeks or months. When I go back to read it, I usually read a resolution to write more often in every few entries, which amuses me.

Last night, I wanted to journal something from yesterday. I was horrified to realize that it's been so long since I journaled, that I wasn't even sure which journal I was using. I found the white one that included my London trip, three years ago, but that was full. The silver one by my bed is my scripture journal. The dark blue one was from high school. What was I using!?

Finally, on top of some books in my bookcase, I found my light blue journal that I started in March 2006. The last entry was dated in July 2006 !

I was not pleased with myself and my lack of journal activity. So much has happened in the last year, and it's been an incredible journey worth noting. Luckily, I have almost weekly family letters that discuss the events of my last year, and blog posts that flesh them out a little more. It's better than nothing.

I must, MUST do better. I don't think I'll jump into writing daily, but somewhere between once a day and once a year is a good place to start.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen

It's true that we are all unique. With close to 7 billion people on this Earth, it's rather amazing that not one person is exactly the same as another. There are just enough variables in the paths our lives can take that we each have a different experience and different reactions to those experiences. No one else but you knows exactly what it's like to being doing what you're doing, in the place that you are, at this particular time in your life. It is these variables that make us interesting. Of course, we like being unique, and I certainly know that I get a kick out of being the only one doing whatever it is I'm doing or feeling.

Now, while no one else may be able to relate to the exact circumstances of your life, there is definitely a chance that they'll be able to relate to the feelings.

For example, no one else but me could know exactly what's like to stamp and number 10,000 octavos in 6 weeks, staying late and coming in early to get it all done, and worrying that I'm going to get blamed for anything that goes wrong. I do know, however, that there a lot of other people who know what it's like to stress about a looming deadline and feel like failure equals everyone hating you.

It's easy to forget that. It's easy to play the martyr and feel like the world is out to get you and that no one else could possibly understand. I guarantee you that someone does. This is the reason that support groups and group therapy even exist! People with similar experiences can gather and talk about their individual circumstances and others can share how they've felt or learned from similar events.

At some point, we're all betrayed, heart-broken, or overwhelmed by the general stresses of life. Anyone with any sort of heart would not knowingly inflict that pain on someone else.

The world is not out to get you. We just have to trust it a little more. Trust is a huge thing for me, and I've had the trust I've placed in others completely shattered, but I've bounced back. We all can. We must choose to change and trust and believe before it magically happens, and it can be done.

In the meantime, look for those who may know how you feel. I promise you that they'll have some insights into the situation and will help you find a way through it. Don't assume they don't know, especially if you're only starting to get to know them.

This is true of the good things too, and when you share your good news with someone it might brighten their day simply because they're happy for you and/or they remember a time that it happened to them.

It really is worth it to put that trust out there. We fell a lot when we were learning to walk, but look where it's taken us now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

There's a fire inside me that won't stop burning

One thing I love and hate about my job is my lack of deadlines. I have goals and ongoing projects but only a few times a year do I have to have certain things done on a certain day and time. One of my biggest deadlines is tomorrow morning, at approximately 9 AM. I worked for almost 12 hours today, and I'm hoping to be in my office again very early tomorrow morning. I don't think I've ever been to any job as early as I plan on being in tomorrow, and I used to work at 7 AM everyday. I also have to moderate a chat session for class tomorrow night, and I must remember to vote.

So my fire is definitely burning. I'm a woman on a mission to exceed the expectations of myself and my colleagues.

Hopefully this fire will cool just long enough for me to at least get a little sleep tonight.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I am beautiful, no matter what they say

Good things I did today:

  • Created a chicken dish from scratch. Just threw some things together and it was delicious. You know it's good when one of the people you shared it with compliments it again out of the blue an hour later.
  • Curled my hair. It's pretty.
  • Invited someone over for dinner I have directly avoided for several weeks. It was weird and awkward, but it needed to be done. It definitely could have been worse.
  • Remembered again just how great my friends are.
  • Enjoyed church, potentially awkward social engagements, and playing tour guide despite having a fairly constant, nagging headache.
Today was just one of those reminders that I do have my life together, and I can accomplish anything I want. I have the Lord, my family, and my friends on my side. It's a wonderful feeling.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I'll be there for you

So far, having the place to myself has been lovely. It was a little unnerving last night when I kept hearing noises and thinking that someone else must be in the house. I had to keep reminding myself that the low rumbling was just my laundry, and I finally realized the beeping was my smoke alarm. (Note to self: replace battery. Even the signs on the Beltway today were reminding everyone to check their smoke alarms and change their clocks. What I couldn't figure out was how the two were related . . .) I was amused at my anxiety, because I had the main part of the house all to myself in March and April anyway, and I was just fine without anyone then.

I was thinking today about friends, and their various purposes in our lives. Some people have friends that they've known all their lives and have been there for everything. I don't have any of those because I keep moving too much. I've made cross country moves every eight years of my life, and the elementary school I attended didn't feed directly into the middle school I attended across town, which didn't feed into the high school I went to a few thousand miles away. For the last five years, I've moved almost every year, which means new wards, new roommates, and new parts of town.

Aside from my family, the only friend I've known longer than nine years is Captain Deviance, whom I've known and talked to on and off again for twelve years. I haven't seen him in person in nine of those years, but somehow we've managed to keep in touch, and I'm glad he's part of my life, even sporadically. It's nice to have someone to compare growth with, and directly see how we went from awkwardly slow dancing to "You Are Not Alone" to graduating from college and taking over the world.

Some friends, like some I knew this summer, are only around for a few months. You have a good time when they're around, but once you or they take off, you simply have fond memories and hope they're doing well.

Others, like my Fran, you have only known for a relatively short time, but it feels like you have known them forever. Fran and I hit it off immediately four years ago and have now seen each other through everything. I was 19 and had just finished my freshman year, and she was about to go to her 10 year high school reunion, but we're perfect for each other. I miss having her physically close like crazy some days, but talking to her everyday is something I look forward to.

The ones I miss the most are those who are a huge part of your life, but then suddenly just disappear. One in particular came back in my life three years after high school and we were instantly connected at the hip. We saw each other almost every day for the next two years, vacationed together, even independently apartment hunted and ended up within four blocks of each other. They saw me through a really hellish time in my life, and I'm so grateful for them. But they haven't returned my phone calls since July.

Some of the best ones are those you know are there, no matter how long it is in between visits or chats. You watch each other grow, cheer each other on, and mourn with each other when necessary. Then three months goes by with nary a word, but you always know you both care. You can laugh about the time four years ago when you asked them for advice on what to say to your homesick missionary or when they crashed on your couch after a late night at the karaoke club. But then you can rejoice now about their upcoming wedding or how much better life is now that you aren't dating So And So anymore. Whether it's been two days or a year, you know they're genuinely excited to hear from or see you, and you them. (Hi to anyone reading this that I haven't talked to in a while!)

And the best thing? They're is no limit to how many friends, in all their capacities, that you can have. Love is endless and it's up to you to spread that love and find those people out there who will make your world a better place.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Everybody's workin' for the weekend

This weekend is going to be wonderful. The opportunities before me are rare and I'm rather looking forward to it.

First rare opportunity - all of my roommates, including the one in the basement I hardly see anyway, are going to be out of town from now until Sunday night. This means that no one can fight me for hot water, the stove, the washer and dryer, the remote, or the best spot in the living room. We actually never fight anyway, which is great, but I don't have to defer to anyone's needs but my own.

Second, I have surprisingly few social engagements. The last month has been filled with a myriad of activities, and I've enjoyed them all, but not having any is also really nice. I am meeting a friend tomorrow at the temple, and again on Sunday evening to visit the monuments. As far as I know, that's it. If anything else is going on, I haven't heard about it yet.

Third, that friend is my dear Theater Geek, who will be visiting from Utah for a work conference. He's a great friend, and I admire him very much. I look forward to being able to show him around this fair city, at least a little bit.

So what am I going to do with all my spare time and empty house? If you thought read until my eyes fall out, watch lectures, do ALL of my laundry, and clean as much of my house as possible, you were right! I also intend to make a paper chain to count down until the Christmas break I am desperately looking forward to. Oh, and a quick visit to the mall is in order as well. I have a few things to return and some promotions to take advantage of.

Plans, of course, may change, but I'm really looking forward to blacking out (no mere checking off) some things on my to-do list.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Here We Go

This month is Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal is, starting November 1, to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. It's about quantity, not quality. I have some very ambitious friends who are engaging in this project.

I'm not that brave. What I AM going to do is accept the challenge of its offshoot - NaBloPoMo - or National Blog Posting Month. It's as simple, and as hard, as posting one blog everyday. To make things more interesting, I want to try and make every title a song lyric. Today's is brought to you by N*Sync. Kate the Great and Miss Giggles are doing it too.

I have no idea what I'm going to talk about for the next 30 days. So, if you have any comments, suggestions, memes, tags, questions - let me know! I love blog comments and knowing that someone out there, all 3 of you, is reading this. It will give me something to go off of on days where nothing blogworthy happens to me.

So, here we go! One more time! Everybody's feelin' fine!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This is Halloween! Everybody shout and scream!

I love October. I love fall. I love it, I love it, I love it! This October has been particularly awesome:

RennFest - Smash, Reimsy, Amy, and I attended the Maryland Rennaissance Festival near Annapolis and had an absolute blast. We enjoyed watching jousting, sword swallowing, window shopping, and parading around in our finest RennFest gear. (Reimsy is wearing a Halloween costume of mine. Thanks Miss Giggles) In the picture, I'm the little sprite peaking around on the right.

My Brother! - My brother FINALLY returned home from his mission. He first left right for Atlanta, Georgia, after I graduated from BYU. After completely shattering his elbow, he was eventually sent home for more surgeries and recovery. He was able to drive me out to DC and returned to the area four days later to complete his mission in Baltimore. I was able to see him twice during his mission, and on his last day here. I went with him and the other "Go Homes" to the temple, then to the mission home for dinner and a testimony meeting. It was a really special experience. While it's a little sad that he's no longer within a couple hours driving distance from me, it's great to be able to talk to him more often. It was a lifetime ago that he first left! This picture is one of my favorites of us, from our cross-country drive. (Proof that I did drive at least some of the time.)

And, of course,

If you can't tell, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love putting together fantastic costumes and dressing up.

Two years ago was one of my favorite costumes (the same dress Reimsy wore):

I was recreating this painting:

I also love the other activities associated with Halloween. We did pumpkin carving for FHE last Monday (I'm leaning on my BYU pumpkin. Photo courtesy of Shelley.)

This week, we took a ghost tour of Lafayette Square, supposedly the most haunted site in all of DC. We learned about ghosts including Dolly Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Phillip Barton Key, and others. It was really interesting. While we saw no ghosts, a rat did run by at a rather crucial
moment in a story, and it was really funny to watch the whole front row jump back.

Last night, several of us attended the High Heel Drag Race in Dupont Circle. We had a perfect vantage point for the race, right on the edge of the sidewalk. The race itself is quite entertaining, but is only two blocks long and over quite quickly. So, the most fun is had during the promenade before the event, as all the participants can walk around the race route and show off. I almost wasn't able to go, but I'm glad I did. It's a very DC thing to do, and we all enjoyed it.

Going out of order a little, Friday was the 6th Annual Halloween Barn Dance, sponsored by one of the wards out here. It's a bit of a drive, but we made a smaller party just out of getting ready and that was almost as much fun. My friends rock.

Here's the gang:

And here's Aphrodite, AKA me:

I'm actually dressed like that today, and while my evening plans mostly involve studying, it's still Halloween. I did just win "cutest" among those in my building, so that's excellent news. I've also watched several ghost specials on TV, and I'm listening to EVPs on 101.9 The End this morning. Good times!

Hooray for one of my favorite months!

Have a Happy (and safe!!) Halloween!!