Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Philosophy:

No, not one of Sally's many philosophies from "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown." Not even something profoundly written by Aristotle or Socrates. My philosophy comes from one of the weirdest, yet most original people to ever walk this earth. His name is Andy Warhol, and he's one of my crazy/fantastic heroes. He had the ability to make art from the world around us. He believed life to be one grand joke, and he lived every day as though it were made for him. That's why his philosophy is mine:

"Every day's a new day."

I have it written and sitting on my window sill. I see it as I get up each morning, and I notice it before going to bed each night. It is this philosophy that keeps me grounded in the moment, for as we all know, only today really matters.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Day in the Life


I would like to live a Beatles song. Maybe not one where they're all high, like "I am the Walrus" (well, maybe I would like this one... coocoocachoo) or "Sun King" or even "Revolution 9," but a Beatles song nonetheless. I just think that I would enjoy my day more if it were a song like "A Day in the Life" or "Blackbird" or most definitely "When I'm 64." While I see myself as a modern-day Eleanor Rigby, I do not think that I'm above using a silver hammer to knock some sense into my friends. I also want to marry a man named Jude, and I hope we have a daughter named Lucy and a son named Rocky. Let's just say that I'm quite a fan of the Beatles, and I think that my life is better if one of their songs plays during my day. The end.

Just kidding. One more. My favorite.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Brief Rant

I'm a little bit riled up right now, and I didn't see facebook as the appropriate forum for my words. So here I post, and I hope that whoever reads this will know that it is an opinion, based in research, and not declared as fact.

I am so sick of people who want others to fail. Where I am sometimes guilty of looking down at others or making snide remarks about another's misfortune, I believe that it is all of our duty, as children of God, to wish the best out of one another. That said, I cannot believe some of the hasty, heartless, and haughty things that I have read today. I don't believe that our democratic government set us up to wish each other to fail, but I feel like some people have taken recent the election, bills, speeches, etc of President Obama as an excuse to attack any group of people for their specific beliefs.

Now I'm not saying that we all have to think the same way. The beauty of this world is the fact that we have over 6 BILLION different opinions waiting to be shared. I do not believe that I have the right to declare my opinion as fact, but I do believe that I have the right to think/choose/act in a way that I feel reflects my personal ideologies and my core principles. I wish all people would feel the same way, but as for forcing them, I cannot do that.

Our country is great, and for the first time in a long time, I feel proud to be an American. I know many people throughout the world who look to America and see a promised land; I don't think we realize just how good we have it, because we are too busy looking for the faults of an imperfect leader that a subtle majority voted into office. Let me just say, Barack Obama doesn't run America, and neither does Congress or the party who holds more seats in the Senate. Americans run America: the hardworking, willing, hoping, fighting people who want to see this country succeed. There are 330 million of us, and I would like to see all 330 million one day wake up and realize that it's their responsibility to, like Gandhi said, "be the change [they] want to see in the world." That's it. We can do it. I know we can.

And PS, I love this man:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And So I Write

When I can't understand, I write. I dream. I hypothesize. I hope.

I believe that this world has something greater for me, but I'm not quite sure what that something is. I want it to be somewhere far away. Somewhere that looks like this:

[Unique, New York. Unique, New York.]

[Beautiful Boston.]

[Lovely London.]

[Dreamy Drammen, Norway.]

[Bonita Barcelona.]

I feel privileged and blessed to have been to all of the above places (and yes, I took those pictures) without ever having lived in any one of them. I can't wait to return, though, for it is when I envision my life outside of Utah that I feel truly happy inside.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Compartmentalized



I'm confused as to which compartment I belong. I don't know how to squeeze into a 3x5 box in order to fulfill the requirements for a "good"_______ (anything, really).

I think we all do it. We're always ready to put someone neatly into a social box: the smart ones, the lame ones, the friendly ones, the perfect ones. I don't believe that I fit into any single box, and that's where I become most lost and confused. I feel torn by immediate and unnecessary passions. I can't decide which part of me is more important, the intellectual or the charitable one (because we all know that "scholar" and "philanthropist" are polar opposites). I don't know if I've created a world full of compartments, none of which fit me perfectly. And yet, I can't dig a tunnel between the two; there's nothing connecting me and my interests except for a few friends and random google searches.

Like the New York City skyline, lit up with tiny squares of separate lives, we all live in pin pricks, in holes that only we can fill. We create these worlds for ourselves, and although we're excluded from participating in all of the compartments (for no one can be that smart or that well rounded), we're able to create a light that, in turn becomes part of a beautiful skyline.

I'm Gonna Be Better

I think that two days in a row might be an all-time first for me. Instead of stalking all the usuals before heading off to bed, I decided to create a little somethin' somethin' myself. Let's hope it goes over well and that this is the first consecutive night of many.

Can I say something real quick? (Rhetorical question: it's my blog, and I can say whatever I darn well please.) I love shoes... and bags... and coats... and... and... Today I got my newest pair of dream heels in the mail, and let's just say that my day was a wee bit brighter after I pulled out the cute box with an even cuter pair of shoes inside. Now for the less-pleasant bit (and maybe some other girl readers can help me out with this one):

How can shoes be so cute and so impractical at the same time? This isn't the first time I've been posed with the problem of fashion over function, and it won't likely be the last. I just want to know how in the world I'm supposed to be that poised woman with awesome peep-toe heels (that inevitably make me 6'2") when my feet feel like they're going to fall off. I'm slowly learning that pain equals beauty in every sense of the word, and I can guarantee that you won't find me complaining (except to my dearest friends and family) about the excruciating pain of a new pair of shoes.

That gets me thinking, though, I could really use a new pair of flats...


{These are godliness in the form of heels. I love Christian Louboutin.}

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It All Comes Down to This


{A picture of my perfect exposed-brick kitchen, minus the red Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer}

I only think to blog when I run out of all other healthy options for procrastinating. Actually, I don't have anything due for the next couple of days, and sans thesis, I find myself with a surprising amount of free time. So while cookies bake in the background, I'll fill any non-existent readers with the high- and low-lights of my all-too unexciting life.

Let me begin by re-emphasizing my love for this time of year. I think that there must be something in the autumn air that gives me hope for the bleak winter ahead. I love fall. I love crunchy leaves and the smell of rotting summer foliage as it returns to fertilize the earth. I love the way inside and outside temperatures vary, so that you feel comforted by coming indoors and refreshed when you go outside. I love the holiday season. There's no need to explain it, other than saying that I feel so alive right now.

In my (other) spare time, I plan for an imaginary future. I apartment hunt for that perfect 2-bedroom walkup in lower Harlem, where I will spend the next two years of my life. I might be chancing fate, considering that I don't know if I'll actually get the job in New York City, but it's just too much fun to pretend that I can plan my life so perfectly. This imagined future is the only thing I know for sure, as paradoxical as that may be. Other than the present and the ideal, I don't know where my life is headed. I live in the moment, but I cannot understand my actions any more than I can predict the future.

Oh, and one last thing: I graduate in 4.5 weeks. Yes, four point five weeks until my life belongs to me again. I am ready to bid the bureaucratic university adieu and resume the reading that has sat on my shelf for far too long. Maybe I'll even find a new hobby, like glass blowing, to fill the extraordinary amount of leisure time I will have. Again, another ideal that we both know won't be filled by any major productivity. Oh well.

Have a good one. I must tend to my baked goods.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

fuhgeddaboudit

So, I haven't blogged in an eternally-long five months. I don't know what's gotten into me, but I just feel like I don't have anything to say. My life revolves around school, and with only ten weeks between now and academic freedom, I'm feeling a little bit of pressure. However, instead of being actively engaged in my thesis-writing, book-reading, test-loving life, I spend my days figuring out the best ways to avoid these tasks.

On to better topics:

Guess what? I got a final interview for Teach for America, even without having a phone interview. I feel extremely happy about this, and yet I'm still terrified for the final interview. This is something about which I am passionate, and I cannot imagine spending the next two years of my life in any other service. Let's just hope that it works out for the best. I also talked to a recruiter from TFA yesterday, and she gave me some really sound advice for preparing myself for the interview day and the experience as a whole. It was good to voice my opinions and concerns about the program, and I feel like I came away with an even bigger resolve to be a part of the TFA corps.

One last thing:

It's FALL! And I love it! And I have plans this weekend to travel to see the witches at Gardner Village! And I'm going to Kneaders! I can't wait!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back from Europe

I have been back for almost 48 hours, and it still hasn't completely hit me that the most wonderful month of my life has come to a close. There is no way I can express in one blog post, or even many, just how much I learned about myself over the past four and a half weeks. I can't relate all of the times when I recounted hilarious moments with myself because there was no one else to tell. Many people have told me that they could never travel by themselves, but I challenge everyone to find somewhere to get away and be alone with only your thoughts and your emotions. It is a powerful experience, and there is no way I would trade my semi-solitude for the company of another. I had an incredible time, and I really hope I get to share all of my many memories with the readers of this blog. That being said, please tell me to shut up if my ramblings ever get to be too much to handle. I have a tendency to tell stories even when no one cares to listen.
I just wanted to share one of my final journal entries before flying back to the good ol' U.S. of A. This culminates a lot of my thoughts about the trip, and I really like the ideas inside. It explains a lot of details about my final adventure in England (you can skip over that part, but it really is pretty good). Most of all, read the last part; I think it perfectly explains all of the things I learned over the past month.

Today (August 4, 2009) was both the highest and lowest point of my trip. Low point #1: leaving London. I fell even more in love with that city over the past two weeks, and I will do whatever it takes to return there as soon as possible. I made my buses and train to Gatwick without any problems, and I was pretty positive concerning the rest of my trip. And that's when they lowered the boom on me. I stood in line to check my bag, and I was nervous about all of the signs I saw concerning hand baggage size and dimensions. I knew that my bag wouldn't fit into the provided corrals, but I knew that if I could sneak it in, I would be fine. So I checked my one bag, proceeded to security, and received the horrible news that I couldn't go any farther with my second piece of hand luggage. I had no idea what I would do, so I walked back over to Easyjet to see what options they could give me. They told me that I would have to pay for the additional bag, and any additional weight on top of my 20 allotted kilograms. Well, my first bag weighed in at 20.4, so I would have to pay the price of 9 pounds/kilo on top of the 16 pounds for an additional bag. I was immediately overcome with emotion, as I thought about the cost of taking the bag in the hold. The man at the information desk told me that I had the option to ship my bag as cargo, and I could pick it up when it arrived overseas. With this news, I ran to the shipping counter, hoping that they would be able to help me. The man there was very nice, but the price he quoted me was worse than the first. To ship my bag, I would have to pay 250 pounds, and there was no way I had that much cash to send my bag home. I pleaded to him, hoping he would be able to help me figure out a solution, and we thought that I might have the option to store my bag at Gatwick and pick it up during my layover at Heathrow. He told me that I needed at least 2 hours to make the return trip, and my 3-hour layover didn't leave much cushion in case of delays. I didn't want to jeopardize missing another flight, so I dropped that option and considered doing the other thing he suggested; namely, calling British Airways and figuring out how to cancel the leg of my journey that would bring me back to Barcelona. This would still leave me with getting back to Heathrow, and I didn't like the idea of paying the fees to change my flight. Plus, I only had about 40 minutes until my flight to BCN left, and I needed to get my first bag off of that plane if I was going to stay in London. It was an awful situation, and I was nearly hysterical as I walked back over to Easyjet to determine my fate. In the 5 minutes walking along the terminal, I decided to pay the extra 196 pounds and take my bag as hold luggage to Barcelona. Even though I could not afford this exorbitant amount, I knew that I had to stick with my plan and rely that things would work out for the best. I went back to the ticket counter, and the man said I needed to wait in line again to check my second bag. With the clock ticking toward my departure time, I walked back over and asked the woman if she would let me stand in the shorter line. She put me there, and I waited for about 5 minutes to see someone at the baggage counter. And that's when things went exactly as if God stepped in and delivered me. I was ushered along to the same man I saw the first time I checked my bags (the same man I told my anxieties to). I stepped up to the counter, and, crying, told him my situation. His face softened, and he asked if I would be able to pay any of the extra fee needed to check my bag. I told him that I could only fork out 30 pounds, and he just nodded his head and said, “That won't be necessary.” I almost didn't believe that he was letting me off scott free, but my bag rolled out of sight, and I thanked the man profusely and told him, “God bless you.” I walked away from the counter with tears of relief and gratitude in my eyes. I immediately said a prayer to thank my Heavenly Father for guiding me out of the awful situation, and I walked to security feeling as if my heart would burst.

In the past month, I have met some of the world's craziest, creepiest, and most heartless people, but I have also met their polar opposites. I have seen the very best this world has to offer, and it comes not in steel or in stone, not in shopping or in guided tours, but in the faces, words, and gestures of the people I have met. The best in this world is Ximena's smile, Alejandra's laugh, watching Mark and Sartan dance it out last night at FHE. The best in this world is the easyjet man, the hot guy on the plane to Heathrow, and the salespeople in the designer shops in the airport. It doesn't take money; it doesn't take beauty (except in the case of the hot guy on the airplane); it only takes a little time, and a little kindness. I truly believe that we can change the world by smiling more often, by holding open the door for a stranger, and by recognizing the need we all have for love. It's inspiring that I can learn more about myself and about mankind than I could ever wish to learn from artifacts in a museum or a library.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another Adventure

Never mind the horrible night I had last night. Kidney stones or not, I'm alive and on my way to London as I type this. But, it wouldn't be right if there wasn't something to liven things up on this 2 hour train ride. That energy comes from the general direction of the tap and the 8 wasted sods that occupy my coach with me. Here's what I have to say about them:

It wouldn't be an adventure if something crazy didn't happen every step of the way. In addition to dragging my luggage all around Beansheaf, I am now spending the next hour and a half with the craziest Scots I have ever encountered. I thought that drinking was saved for only the elite European travelers of 2007, but these eight have got alcoholism down to a fine art. It's only 1.30 and the majority of them are already wasted. A rocking train is bad enough when you're trying to keep your balance while sober. There is no stopping these winners, though, and they're topping off their bottles of wine, smirnoff and beer like it's nobody's business. Their antics completely redefine the meaning of a quiet coach. I can't even believe that there are people like this in the world. I've managed to avoid them for the majority of my time here, and their complete disregard for rules and disrespect for others leaves me with no other emotion but disgust towards them. It's appalling to me watch them interact with each other, and I realize that some people really are better off left completely alone. Let them have their stupidity, their alcohol, and their foul language, I know that their happiness is a facade that is only enhanced by their ability to put others down. Save the brawls for the bar, I paid to sit in a train and ride to London, not to partake of your crude gestures and mocking tones. Not everyone can have as much fun as you, but fun or not, I'd rather take life's knocks while sober. That's all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mullet Addendum

After my post about mullets, they started cropping up everywhere I looked.  Unfortunately, I was unable to catch any pictures of these rare specimen, because I wasn't in a public space where I wouldn't be noticed. (I can just imagine someone seeing me take their picture on the metro; what a reaction that would be.)  Anyway, I just had to let all of you know two more versions of the mullet that I found last week.  

1) The dread-mullet: This person cut the top of their hair like they were ready to join a league of professionals, and, perhaps, even wear a tie; but, they get caught by a group of weed-smoking, Marley-loving hippies who force them to reject society and dread their hair as a symbol of loyalty to the Rasta in their soul. 

2) The half-hawk, half-mullet:  The head of this person is the result of experimenting lengths with a pair of clippers.  They first tried a 0 on the sides and weren't sure if they liked the whiteness of their scalp.  As an alternative, they opted for a lengthier top... but not so lengthy as to get in their eyes.  A 1 did the job quite well, and it left enough for styling into one of those cute little faux-hawks that everyone is wearing nowadays.  Here comes the kicker, though: the clippers ran out of batteries before the person could decide the length for the back of their hair.  So, with 7-8 inches of gorgeous mane left, they ran with the look.  Just watch, he'll be in next month's issue of HairTrends International.

Friday, July 10, 2009

European Adventures: The Mullet Chronicles

I have decided to chronicle my time in Europe through a series of mullets. I have seen more here than any bad 80s hairdresser, and I've just started taking pictures to create a memory book filled with creative, crazy, and cute (is there such thing?) mullets.  One would think that they're all the same, but believe me, a mullet can be worn in many different fashions.  Americans have recently become more familiar with the "reverse mullet" worn by Kate Gosselin, but Europeans have yet to catch on to that craze.  With only a few styles of mullets under their belts, Spaniards wear them in one of two ways: the business in front/party in back-style, or the "I want a short haircut but I'm not willing to give up my length"-style.  The wearer can then decide to pull the mullet back into a half-ponytail, with the top hanging freely, or clip the top whilst allowing the mane to flow gently down their back.  It's wonderful that I have finally learned to recognize and respect all the many varieties of mullets.  This is one step to becoming a more loving individual.  After all, I think Jesus's hairstyle was as mullet-esque as deity can get.


This man wears his mullet proudly at Tibidabo, Barcelona's premiere mountaintop amusement park.  Adding to the finesse of his hair is the lovely green backpack, and his enthusiastic smile (not pictured) as he watches his son or daughter on the carousel.  Please try not to judge.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Writing



I was thinking that I could be a writer someday. I would write stories about life and how people find themselves during the normalcy that we all try to avoid. I would send these stories into a publisher and they would be wrapped and bound with the cape of wisdom that comes to published works. The picture on the front would not represent the characters or ideas in my imagination, as any artistic representation could not do justice to the boundless nature of my irrepressible mind. The pictures would stunt the minds of readers, who looked to these renderings in order to guide their thoughts. My thoughts and words would act as a guide to those looking for their own creative outlet, and I could sleep better at night knowing that my stories had found a place in the hearts of millions.

And then the message popped on my screen that my battery would soon switch over to reserve power, and in only a few minute's time, the power would shut off to preserve the work I had created. How would I ever be able to share my soul's story in fewer than 35 minutes? With life oozing out of my computer, my fingers are not propelled fast enough to compensate for the waning energy. I'll turn off the superfluous programs, darken the screen, and hope to God that these small measures allow me a few extra minutes of synapses and sentences. There would never be another time for me to say these things. Now, with my eyes squinting to see the dimness of my screen, I know that my plans for a marvelous story are well under way.

...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What I Do

Lately, my time has been filled with awesome adventures.  I might not leave the comforts of my home, but I'm able to escape through other means.  Recently, I've filled many a spare hour with Photobooth.  I never knew I could be so photogenically hideous; it really is a talent.  Here are some photos, just for your viewing pleasure.

I'm a one-eyed, one-toothed creepster!

Tyler and me emanating our true artistic abilities.

And now... my dual personalities escape as I sing a duet from "In the Heights"
video
See you at the Tony's!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And Then She Posted

I can't believe I have neglected my blog for more than a month.  It is not that I don't have the time.  Rather, I have just found other things to occupy my day.  With jobliness and playingness, I am a busy girl.

In a little more than four weeks, I will return to a land that I love.  I can't wait to revisit my friends in continental Europe and Scandinavia.  I think that the four little flights might be the most adventurous parts of the whole trip.  I hope I can return with my sanity and wallet intact.  Let us all pray that I won't become like those girls in the movie Taken.  (I refused to watch that movie after being told that my cute cop cab ride was a sin... can you even imagine?)

Other than trip planning, I have notched many more memories into my "Summer Adventure Belt."  I reconnected with my friend, Tyler, and we have been able to continue our random outings to the greater land of Salt Lake City and IKEA.  We even decided to make our own "Adventure Books" like the one in the movie UP!.  I'm sure that we could fill volumes with our many silly adventures; there is no one besides Ty with whom I would rather have those adventures, though.  We really are one-of-a-kind.

From happy thoughts to mere rambling: I think that I might go insane if I can't have a good, solid, intellectual conversation very very soon (please note all of the italics in the previous sentence).  I don't mean this to sound harsh, but both family and work life leave something to be desired in the realm of intellectual stimulation.  Now don't go thinking that I have something against meal planning, television, or boyfriends, but they are nothing compared to the passion that flows in an English classroom.  I would even give up Tori and Dean if I could find someone who would teach me more about World War II Britain.  My parents have made it very clear that my interests have nothing to do with them, and they distance themselves from me whenever I try to engage them in a topic that I find fascinating.  Where my mom likes "The Antiques Roadshow," I enjoy CNN.  When I try to talk about books, they bring up "The Readers' Digest" or the "Ensign."  Don't think that my interests are in any way superior to theirs; however, they are very different.  This discrepancy leaves me feeling alone and alienated in my own home.  They have made it very clear that they don't want to like what I like, and I feel basically the same way about their interests.

My rant ends there, but I end with a plea for someone to call, email, text, or visit me to talk about something other than television or school lunch!  I beg of you!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Instead of Studying

Who knew that blogging would be so far down on the list of alternatives to being productive.  I'd almost forgotten that I had a blog until about two seconds ago when I went and reread some of my past entries.  Now I feel like it is an appropriate time to re-address the subject of my bland life as I withstand the homework calling to me from six inches away.
Life is grand!  I am almost finished with another semester of school, after which, I'll be off to California, New York, and Europe for a MONTH!  I can't wait: another thing adding to my current lack of motivation.
Other things I have done to curb productivity are as follows:
Blog Stalking (of course this is a #1 priority, even when I don't have other activities to be doing).
Making Food (my fridge is now filled with more food than I can possibly eat in the next three days before I move back to live with my parents).
Eating the above-mentioned food (self explanatory).
Writing thank-you notes to anyone and everyone... 
*Brief hiatus from list-making to fully endorse note-writing*
I think that everyone should make a list of people worthy of thanks and then sit down to express gratitude to them.  I know that this is usually an activity saved for November/December holidays, but I feel just as grateful now as I am in the dead of winter.  I'm so happy that I've been blessed with such rich examples and inspiring mentors, and I feel it is the least I can do to be able to share my gratitude with them.  I highly encourage anyone and everyone to buy some cute stationary (it just so helps that I found these at Borders for $10!), sit down for 20 minutes, and express your gratitude for the kindness, helpfulness, patience, encouragement, etc. of someone you know.  I promise that it will make life just a wee bit brighter, for you and for someone else.
*Back to the list*
Flower arranging (provided by the bouquet that I bought almost two weeks ago from Sam's Club, and that still hasn't completely died).
Phone conversation-ing (I've talked to more people about more things in the past two weeks than I think I have all semester...).
Internet shopping (just today I've added two pairs of pants and some shoes to my repertoire of online purchases... EEK!).
Planning the aforementioned trip to Europe (I scored with my round-trip ticket(s) for a total of $151.59).
Partying, socializing, and then taking the always-necessary decompression back into hermit-dom.
Finding a reason to go to the grocery store every day.
Walking, driving, biking places outside of my normal routine.
And finally... watching, listening to, or otherwise participating in movie-marathons, broadway sing-a-longs, and discussions about whatever movie seems to be playing in my head on a given day.
The End.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not Always Greener

I find it fascinating to know how many people would swap lives for a taste of something different. I have always been a person who thought the grass was a whole lot greener on the other side, but I'm slowly learning that that is not always the case. In fact, the life I have is pretty darn great, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who would love to trade me places for the joys of snowy springs, literature obsessions, and antisocial tendencies (these might sound negative, but I promise they're not... okay, maybe some of them are). This week, my roommates have a friend from England staying with us and enjoying all the many adventures that Logan, Utah has to offer. I would never ever pick Utah as my vacation choice, especially if I were from somewhere as beautiful and diverse as the UK. That must be just my personal opinion, because this girl seems to love the bounties of Cafe Rio, Coldstone, and American Eagle. She actually offered to switch me identities so that she could enjoy the comforts that I take for granted, and so that I could have a taste of her life in Kent. After thinking about it for just a split second, I had the realization that my life here in snowy Cache Valley is the only life I would want to live. I would not choose to be anywhere else, doing anything else than what I'm doing now. Granted, I'm not planning on being here too much longer, but I am planning on making the most of it while it lasts. I guess that means that the grass really is green where I am (if you remove the 4 inches of snow that are currently covering my front yard). Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

San Diego Splendor

I have never done something like this before. I have never traveled 1000+ miles to take part in being a "groupie." Yesterday I got home from my 24-hour stint in San Diego, and I must admit that those 24 hours went so well that I wished they were 48, or even 72.
We got in to SD at 3:30-ish, and we had the pleasure of riding a shuttle van to our hotel, which was fifteen or so minutes away from the airport. Our driver was really nice, and we chatted it up about music and other random topics. He even suggested that we come see him after the play, and he would suggest something "fun" for us to do for the evening. Who knows if he was flirting or not, but we enjoyed the company. We never got his name, so he was dubbed with the title "Drover" (not because he was a hot Australian, but because he had an Aussie tag hanging in his window, and because he drove us). The hotel smelled like stale sheets and musty air conditioning, but it was nice nonetheless.
After we got settled in, we decided to mosey on over to the train station and head downtown for the evening. We walked through the beautiful Town & Country Inn, asking people where we could find public transportation. The first lady told us it was on the other side of the "behemoth" building, and her directions proved to be most useful, especially her naming of the grand building that was the hotel. We passed large black ducks and "mallard and girl ducks" as we made our way to Brooke's first encounter with public transportation. I'm happy to say that she wasn't too scarred by the experience, and I might have even sold her on the subject that "white people like public transportation when it's not buses."
We got downtown with plenty of time to spare, and we decided to check out the mall food court to curb our hunger. Brooke went with the vegetarian option of a baked potato the size of your head, and I went to town with my second panini that day. We mostly enjoyed our dinners because we could people watch; there are many attractive males and many annoying females that walk the malls of San Diego.
RENT was amazing!!! Even though we sat at least 1,000 feet from the stage, I was amazed and inspired by the words and lyrics of that play. The people might have been tiny, but I knew that one of them was my love, Anthony Rapp, and that made everything top notch. During intermission we hit up the souvenir stand, and I spent nearly all my money on RENT paraphernalia. Oh the joys of being a RENT-head. After the show, we staked out a place amidst screaming fans, and we waited, and waited for Anthony Rapp to show up. Unfortunately for us (and the girl who was dressed in an identical Mark sweater), he made a sneaky escape to his hotel, and we never saw him. It was then that I made a vow to myself that I would meet him in NYC... someday.
Our post-RENT adventures served to be almost as memorable as the show itself. We walked and walked and walked (in circles, might I add) around the Gaslamp Quarter, trying to decide whether we were hungry, and which of the many bars/clubs/restaurants would serve our hunger needs. After a couple creepy encounters with homeless/drunk people, we decided to hit up Dick's Last Resort for some good ol'-fashioned ridicule. I started off the night well by ordering just a water, and the waitress told me that I should stay home with a baby bottle if that's all I wanted. After we had our drinks, we sat around talking with our pregnant waitress about making customers cry; you know, the normal restaurant experience. She was hilarious, and the pin-up girl matchbooks she gave us definitely topped off our time at Dick's.
As we made our way back to the hotel, the clock steadily moved toward midnight, at which time all public transportation ceases to serve the general public and instead moves to the nightime habitation of the city's homeless population. We made it onto two of the final trains, but while we were on the second train, we realized that we would not be able to make it back to the hotel. Fortunately for our scrambled schedule, we were able to find a cab just outside of the Old Town transit center, and we split a taxi with an extremely good looking male who was in our same predicament. As we drove back to our respective hotels (he was staying at the "behemoth" Town & Country Inn) we discussed all of life's deepest questions: namely, his job in Connecticut and our mutual disdain for Utah. You might say that our souls connected during that 10-minute cab ride, and Brooke can attest to my late night ramblings about the "hot cop." We even tried posting a "missed connection" on San Diego's craigslist, but it wouldn't work on Brooke's cellular device.
Next day: our quest to find "hot cop" is unsuccessful. It could just be that we meandered through the parking lot, hoping he would jump out at us with fistsfull of hydrangeas and love verses, but we didn't spot him again for the rest of the trip. He is now added to my list of "people I'm going to meet when I move back east." The list grows each day.
Instead of waiting around for a man, we decided to do the next best thing: we went shopping! The Fashion Valley Mall, across the street from the transit center, had everything we could possibly want, from Tiffany & Co. to H&M. We were happy girls wishing we had a lot more money to spend. I walked away with only a book and a pair of earrings, and Brooke held fast to her minimal purchases, choosing instead to encourage my deep pockets to give up their free-flowing cash. Not really.
After one mall, we decided to do some more low-key shopping, and we took our tourist selves to Seaport Village, one of San Diego's premiere port attractions with pigeons and Ben & Jerry's galore. We enjoyed the bookstore, pausing to reflect with such literature as Stuff White People Like. After our hunger pangs grew loud enough to distract others' reading, we decided to scope out somewhere for Brooke to get a "homemade tortilla," since we knew that San Diego must be abounding with such flatbread wonders. Our search ended with each of us ordering a cheese quesadilla at Margarita's Cantina, and we were sorely disappointed with our child portions, even though we ordered off of the kid's menu. The best part of the meal was definitely the Orange Bang! and the refried beans stain on my skirt.
With only an hour left before our trip ended, we decided to finalize our shopping at the same mall where we ate dinner the night before. This time, we hit up Nordstrom instead of Cinnabon, but the results were generally the same. We walked away having made a good friend in the Coach store, and realizing that we were much too poor to ever shop seriously at a mall with Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors boutiques.
(You're guessing correctly if you're thinking that I fit into the female generalization of "loves to shop.")
As we made our way back to the hotel, our sense of time slipped into oblivion once again, and we wound up with no ride to the airport and only minutes before our departures. Fortunately for us, we were able to plead with the hotel shuttle driver, and he sped us to the airport for much less than it would have cost to call a cab. This trip truly revolved around our ability to finagle our way out of stupid situations. (I never mentioned the crazy lady in the wheelchair, did I?) Luckily, our problems were never too big to solve, and we made it back with only blistered feet and windblown hair.
There you have the 24-hour adventures of Brooke and Emily in San Diego. Who knew that so much excitement could fit into only one day! And writing this only proves to me that I hope to be able to further extend my travel writing someday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

48-Hours and Going Strong

I just finished working for 48-hours straight, and I'm actually quite surprised by my emotional state. First off, I've never worked that much time consecutively before. The second-longest shift I've had was over the summer, and I really thought those 40 hours would kill me straightaway. As you can see, I've lived through both, and this past few days was actually one of the more enjoyable times I've been at work in the recent past. Now, to those of you who don't know how it's possible to work for 48 consecutive hours, I'll have you know that I'm no God. I work at a group home with three women with disabilities, and the time I spend with them is usually rather low key. We cook food, go shopping, watch movies, go to church: all normal activities for me, with an extra couple of old ladies in tow. I have a lot of fun, mostly because this job allows me to keep my busy lifestyle while also "working." Don't get me wrong, though, it can be extremely taxing at times. There are emotional stresses with this job that wouldn't be as prevalent in a retail-esque job, if you know what I mean. All in all, it was a good 2 days, and I'm glad that I have the morning off tomorrow before heading back in for another 16-hour shift.
... Then I'm off to San Diego!!!
Snapshots to come!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Am I a Reliable Narrator?

This semester I'm in a class about memory and trauma. With each new discussion I realize that my life has not been impacted with the pain or joy necessary for a truly great narrative. I hope, however, that I can experience something that will provide me with an inspiring (or uninspiring) story. I hope that my life will someday provide the narrative necessary for a unique piece of fiction or memoir. If this blog is all I've got, though, I'll make the most of it.
With the discussions in my class about how our lives are shaped by memories, I wonder to myself about the reliability of my own thoughts. We all deceive ourselves on a daily basis, telling ourselves that our actions are either more or less important than they actually are. I read about people who think that their existence makes others' happiness possible. While their stories might contain inspiring elements, I am ultimately unimpressed by narcissism and haughtiness. I am equally unimpressed by people who think that their role in the universe is to maintain anonymity. God did not make any of us to stand back and watch life pass us by. But still, how do I train my mind to think certain things about how my life is, how it will be, and how it has been? My thoughts sometimes run away from me, and I'm left picking up pieces of incoherency. Other times, I have deliberate control over whether or not I think certain things. I mask insecurities, smooth imperfections, and accentuate my talents in my mind, and even if those thoughts never form into words, my persona is somehow impacted by thinking these things. Is this making sense?
If my "present" is something totally relative, something without boundaries or narration, am I able to create my existence into something arbitrary or grandiose? In my mind's words, I write the story of my days, my life, and create harmony from disjointed fragments of experience. I think we all do this, and it is my goal to find out how my mind's story differs from those of the people I know.
Tell me your mind's story...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Emily, the Only Over-Achiever

So all of my other posts have been highly positive, and I promise that this one won't stray far from that motif. However, I just have to say something that is really irking me right now.
I know that everyone knows that I strive to go above and beyond in pretty much everything. My life is far from perfect, but I try to keep things as clear and organized as I can. I keep my room clean, always; I cook good food; I do my laundry once a week; you know, the normal activities of a highly organized (some say anal retentive) person. The same organization leaks into my school work, naturally, and I find myself completing all my assignments with (at least) hours to spare. I don't procrastinate, and I could be classified as an "over-achiever." That said, I'm not one of those who goes so above and beyond as to look desperate, or in constant approval of my professors. I don't visit my professors during their office hours in order to discuss my ivy-league anticipations (I don't even know if I have such anticipations). I don't turn in 3-page papers where only 150 words are required. Are you catching my drift?
Well, the people who bother me the most are not the ones who don't make their beds or who neglect school assignments. I have one up on them, so I really couldn't care less. The ones that bother me the most are the ones who try so hard to be the best at everything that they end up looking like fools. I don't like seeing people try harder than me, as prideful as that may be. I want to set the benchmark for perfection in mediocrity, and I don't like it when anyone tries to trample on my A efforts in order to get an A++ (just in case you didn't know, there aren't such things in college). Anyway, that rant is over.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Around the world in a matter of seconds

I can't believe the interesting experiences I'm able to have every day. Today, those experiences came in the form of a cross-continent conversation I had with my cousin in Norway; it really is so remarkable that I can stay in contact with so many people. I don't know how it happens, but I have managed to accrue friends in places around the US, Europe, and Asia, and I've managed to maintain pretty good contact with these people after years of not seeing most of them. The amazing web of technology makes my friends in Spain and Florida only a mouseclick away, as I find ways to employ my infamous blog stalking to stay informed on others' lives.
In planning a trip to Europe this summer, I've managed to round up all of my friends across the pond and ask them if they'd be willing to let me stay and see their country from the perspective of one who lives there. Right now I have plans to go to Spain, Norway, and France, but I'm trying to round up any other continental European folks who would be willing to put me up. This European adventure will definitely turn out to be a lot different than the last one; this time I won't be so much a tourist as an observer. I'll be staying with people who know the cities, and I'll be able to see their day-to-day adventures in places that are only slightly familiar to me. It should be fun!
This is the family I met in Barcelona. I'm so excited to see them again in July!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why Does Everyone Think Valentine's is a Sad Day?

I just don't get it. Hearts and flowers should make people smile, but instead I see people who are bitter. I don't think that the absence of flowers and hearts would make winter any less miserable, so I'm one who sucks it up and enjoys Valentine's Day as an excuse to give gifts, dress up cute, or any other activity that needs excusing. I also don't think that companionship is necessary for this day intended to celebrate a Christian martyr. Singleness can be celebrated just as openly and wonderfully as marriage! I intend to live this day as if there is nothing I would rather do than to expand my mind, feed my soul, and LIVE.
This week I accomplished many tasks set before me. I did not have a planned schedule with designated time for all my necessary activities, but I still found time to do everything I needed. Most of all, I realized that there are truly people in this world on whom I can rely, and for whose help I am indeed grateful. One of my professors wrote me not one, but two letters of recommendation in a 48-hour crunch, and it is her willingness to be my mentor that is helping me on my way to an exciting thesis project and an adventure to London. Right now my life is really better than I could possibly imagine! This perfect week was enhanced with poetry readings, chats with professors, haircuts, and baking four dozen thin mint cookies. Needless to say, I feel completely at peace right now.
Is it pathetic to admit to liking school so much? I don't know if everyone reading this already knows that I'm a huge nerd, but I have just verified it with the previous sentence. I can't believe that I get to go to school every day to learn and discuss new ideas and perspectives for looking at the world. I can't believe that I am surrounded by such brilliant people who not only love what they're doing, but who also push me to love what I'm doing. There is no way I would be who I am today without the guidance of some amazing people, and one simple statement: "You should change your major to English." Those seven words have had more of an impact on the Emily sitting here writing these words than any other words I have ever heard spoken to me. Someday I will be able to fully express my gratitude for those who have brought me to this point, but for now, those many words will go unspoken.
This post has turned out to be an assortment of rambling thoughts that spilled from my brain and onto this computer. I hope that someone can make sense of it all. Just know this: I am happy, I am exuberant, and I'm a nerd.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Waiting on slow internet connections

As I sit here waiting for Netflix to finish adjusting for my slow internet connection, I feel prompted to write a blog. I am pretty sure that my life's musings are of little to no interest of the rest of the world, but I find them fascinating all the same.
Today as I walked home from class with a friend, I briefly told her my blog "title" and shared with her what I thought it meant. Let me relay those thoughts again in complete, semi-coherent sentences:
My life is a snapshot. I do ordinary things, framed by ordinary people in a normal world of blue skies and green grass (covered by grey-white snow). At almost every moment I can be found doing something normal, but it's those few special moments that I care the most deeply about. It is those moments of perfectly positioned beauty and understanding that make me want to continue on in the mundaneness of life.
My life is a series of synapses. I am constantly thinking, wondering, feeling, and hypothesizing about the world around me. Those "ordinary" things that I mentioned above do not escape my attention, and I feel alive when I can make connections between the "real" (walking down the street, seeing a stranger, saying hello) and the "imaginary" (reading a book, meeting a character, falling in love). I am on a quest to combine those "real" and "imaginary" aspects of my life into something grander than I can make from these few words.
My life is a synecdoche. I am a part of something which is wholly bigger than I can possibly comprehend. I am one of six billion people trying my best to live my life the way I should. However, I truly believe that amongst those six billion people, I am the only one who can live my life, feel my emotions, and think my thoughts. With this synecdochizing phenomena, I am able to be a part that somehow makes the whole better. I hope I can; I know I can.
There you have it. My life in three alliterating words. I cannot think of a better way to describe who I am or how I'm living right here, right now. I love it, and I'm so proud of the life I'm a part of.

Friday, January 9, 2009

First Blog Post EVER!

I am an infamous blog-stalker, with many well-known blogs kept close under my watchful eye. Never before now did I see the need to create my own blog. I still don't quite understand the purpose of putting my ramblings online, but we'll see how this goes. I feel like this blog is more for my sanity than for the reading pleasure of any of my friends. I don't have too much to say anyway, and what I do say can be disregarded or misconstrued at your leisure. I do think, however, that my blog will be a place for me to maintain my sanity as I struggle and succeed at finding my place in this wonderful world. I'm excited to see where my words can take both myself and all those who take the time to read them.
Here is my "Welcome to my Blog" Snapshot.