Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dancing in September

Fall approaches swiftly. The weather seems to be having a final hurrah this week with semi-high temperatures, but it's only a matter of time before it drops. That's all right. Just have to get in my outside time as much as possible before that happens. Fortunately, I had a few opportunities to do so over the weekend.

Thursday (yes, not the weekend, but this was an outdoor activity), several of the people in my office went to Mt. Timpanogos Park to do some planting, weeding, digging, etc., as part of our "Spirit Week". Trying to dig holes in rocky soil was quite a chore, but we were victorious, and it was so nice to have a break from the cubicle for a morning.

Worker bees

Was I really this happy digging in the impossible ground?

 Clint gets a little jarred from hitting some stubborn rock with the pick axe

Friday night Jay and I went to Sundance for the full moon lift ride. I was thankful that it was a clear night, because it would have felt kind of wasteful to go during cloud cover. Since this was the last weekend of the full moon rides, there were plenty of people (cough, cough, understatement) waiting around, so we stood in line a lot longer than I originally (and naively) anticipated. No worries. It was a tad chilly, but we survived, and it was excellent dangling my feet for an hour and talking under the stars.

 Token picture from the lift ride

Sunday afternoon, my roommates and I went out the canyon to see the changing colors. There were plenty of colors to see in the canyon as we drove, and we stopped at a park to have a photo session, but it's still early enough that the trees in the park were all pretty green. You had to look up a few feet to see red, orange, and yellow. But no matter. It was still a gorgeous day, so we had a good time walking around, taking pictures and climbing trees, simply enjoying ourselves and the afternoon.

Feelin' the love

 Cute girls Betsey, Sarah, and Lisa (yes, even with Betsey's face)

Gorgeous Lisa

Tree hugger

Betsey helps Lisa climb. How sweet.

 They took me seriously when I said "Attitude!"

I still don't know if I'm completely ready for the change of season, but at least I haven't been completely wasting the nice weather while we've got it. Besides, I know that there are aspects of fall that I love, so bring it on!


"September tries its best to have us forget summer." -Bern Williams

Friday, September 24, 2010

He Left All the Books to Her

The other day I was looking up possibilities of books to read and check out of the library (decided on The Brothers Karamazov and The Portrait of a Lady, if anybody's curious), and while searching through lists, I came upon a title written by Honore de Balzac. And the first thing that popped in my head was Hermione Gingold's (as Mrs. Shinn) distinctive, disgusted declaration of "Balllllllllzac!" in The Music Man. And it made me ponder how fun it is that we associate completely disparate things together, that hearing or seeing one thing can make us think of another. (Of course, I also had "Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little" stuck in my head the rest of the day, too.)

Okay, so Mrs. Shinn referring directly to Balzac isn't much of a stretch of the imagination, but what else makes me think of something completely different, that because of experience I associate two distinct (and possibly random) items with one another?

1. Ballroom Dancing with Gilbert Blythe. How did that happen? Thanks to an old friend named Caleb, who did ballroom dancing, but also dressed as Gilbert Blythe for Halloween one year to complement Megan Young's Anne Shirley.

2. Family Dinners with The Three Musketeers. Because half our dinner conversation while I was growing up was probably movie quotes, I suppose any movie could suffice, but I always think of my brothers quoting Rochefort. My opinion is that they did it in order to imitate his gravelly voice, but I still laugh when I think of them saying such things as "Burn it" and "There are three". (and then i laugh harder when i remember that i occasionally made the mistake of trying to imitate him, too.)

3. "The Blue Danube" and American Football. I wrote about this in a previous post, but it's definitely one worth mentioning again for the sake of this list. Thanks to a terrible little film named "NFL's Greatest Hits", this music and sport will forever be linked together in my memory.

4. Kinko's and Little People. No, not the politically correct term for midgets, but the Fisher-Price toy brand. I don't know if it was a Kinko's, but when I was little, I remember going with my mother to a copying store and there were toys to play with while I waited. I don't even know for sure if it the toys there actually were Little People, but that's what pops in my head whenever I walk into my local Kinko's to make a copy.

Weird, huh? There are lots of other little things, and of course they don't matter to anyone but me. But I suppose that's what makes me special. Unique. A little strange. "Pick-a-little, talk-a-little, cheep!"


"The National Rifle Association says, 'Guns don't kill people. People do.' But I think the gun helps." -Eddie Izzard

Friday, September 17, 2010

All My Only Dreams

I never used to be able to remember my dreams. I kind of miss those days. I wouldn't call my dreams at all prophetic, considering I never plan on creeping around my church building with Josh Groban, a la James Bond, or falling in love with a potential murderer or getting shot in the shoulder by a group of renegade soldiers. But it does make me (and others) wonder ... what is going on with my head?

I suppose dreams aren't ever supposed to be normal, but mine have certainly strayed to the morbid side of the dream spectrum. Murder, unrequited love, skulking, shootings, being forced into an office I don't wish to enter (or was that reality?) ... None of them have been nightmares, per se, but goodness. How about something a little more uplifting and hopeful? (yes, being forced into an office was a dream, but i don't know why i didn't want to go in. maybe there was a balrog on the other side?)

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to have dreams where I'm skipping in meadows of daisies, singing "I Honestly Love You". (there's an image.) I'd wake myself up retching if that were the case. I wouldn't mind some happy love; not overkill, naturally. Or if there has to be action, I'd be more than happy to destroy the Death Star or escape the crumbling walls of the cavern housing the Holy Grail. And if there has to be unrequited love, I'd be perfectly content if it were someone else's love for me ... someone else like, oh, I don't know, Richard Armitage, for example.

In my dreams. Oh, wait ...

I'll just have to accept that I can't control my dreams while I'm asleep. At least I can have a semblance of control over ones I have when I'm awake. The one where I become a famous author/singer and can afford a new car is an especially nice one.

Yeah. This is a good dream.


"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later." -Mitch Hedberg

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

That Don't Impress Me Much

I'd like the publicly thank Elder Scott for calling movie dates "stupid" because 1), it's pretty much totally true, and 2), it made me laugh out loud during the CES fireside on Sunday night. I will admit, I've gone on movie dates (both by asking and being asked), and none of them have been bad, mostly because I've generally gone with guys that I already knew to some degree and we had fun commenting on them.

But it's true. Movie dates are stupid. And after being a third wheel to an extremely awkward and terrible movie date on Friday night, I especially feel that way. Even if it's going well and you're getting along, movie dates are still a bad idea.

So begins my list of dating activities and habits that I definitely think are faux pas (and i've done some of them myself, so this is partly learned from personal experience):

1. Movie dates. Sure, it's fine once you've known each other awhile, but if you're attempting to know someone better, sitting in the dark for two hours with them isn't going to help you do so. (that goes for making out, too.)

2. Over-long dates. There's nothing wrong with keeping a date short. One of my favorite dates in semi-recent history was an ice cream date that wasn't much more than an hour. Bulking up on activities or attempting to draw it out, even if you're both interested, just isn't worth it.

3. DTRs on a second date. "Oh, my gosh, we've made it to a second date, which means you must really like me a lot, so please be my boyfriend!" Okay, maybe they're not that desperate, but unfortunately several boys and girls (in utah county especially) go on so few dates that when the miraculous second date occurs with the same person, you jump the gun.
3a. Actually, DTRs in general. While not always required, they are often a necessary evil. But I don't think anyone enjoys them, even if there's a good outcome.

4. Mentioning past relationships. While you may want your date to know that you are attractive and past relationships are proof that at one time someone thought you were, you also don't want to make your date think you're still hung up on a previous significant other ... or that you're a bitter girl who hates men as a result of a bad break-up.

5. Obsession with being original and creative. Sure, you want to make an impression, especially if you're hoping for recurring dates, but it can cause some really unnecessary grief. Pres. Uchtdorf had it right when he said, "Dates don't have to be -- and in most cases shouldn't be -- expensive and over-planned affairs. ... Relax. Find simple ways to be together." Amen to that. Maybe I'm boring, but the standard activities that people are afraid to repeat simply because they're unoriginal are more than acceptable to me. I still like having fun, but you can have fun going out for ice cream. There's a good reason why it's a tried-and-true activity.

(something about this list tells me i like ice cream.)

So what are some good dating habits? Maybe that should be my next post, so I'm not just focusing on the negative.


"Computer dating is fine, if you're a computer." -Rita Mae Brown

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gotta Get Back in Time

My neighbor borrowed my Back to the Future trilogy a couple weeks ago, and naturally any mention of those movies brings on some very deep discussions among my friends. A popular discussion topic, with the year 2015 nearing, is how accurate Back to the Future II was in depicting its fictional future. What futuristic devices from that movie do we use now or could come close to using in five years? (disclaimer: i do not stay up on recent technology or inventions, so this is all my limited perception at the current moment.)

First things first: Successful predictions.

1. Multiple-station TV. With picture-in-picture settings for televisions and multiple-tabbed-internet use, this definitely makes the list of accurate predictions (plus, it's clearly a flat-screen tv).

2. Video conferencing. Granted, the picture is never as clear over Skype or Gchat as it is when Marty gets railed on (and subsequently terminated) by his angry Japanese boss, but we've definitely got it ... as well as five years to improve the clarity.

3. Video advertising. Goldie Wilson III basically gives a commercial from a billboard. Yeah, we've got automated billboards, and video advertising abounds on the internet (banner ads, anyone?).

Unfortunately, the number of failed predictions far exceeds the number of successful ones. Examples include:

1. Food hydrators. As nice as it would be to have really, really tiny food that expands within a matter of seconds so as to save room in the freezer, this just hasn't come to pass. We'll have to content ourselves with our microwaves.

2. Holographic movie titles. This one is debatable, considering the trend of 3-D movies in the last couple of years, but anybody wearing the 3-D glasses outside of the theater simply for the experience of being attacked by the 19th incarnation of Jaws is just going to look like a goober.

3. Self-drying clothes. While this would come in handy the next time you're being chased by bullies and have to make a quick escape into the pond in the courthouse square, I'd suggest stashing a change of clothes elsewhere if you want to become instantly dry again. On a related note, we're not any close to inventing jackets that automatically adjust their sleeve-length, although apparently Nike's filed a patent on self-lacing shoes (but you'd still have to press a button to get it done, which defeats the whole purpose).

4. Hover boards. Far and away this is the prediction that has caused the greatest disappointment among my generation by not coming true. The hover conversion (complete with flying cars) maybe could still happen some day. There is hover technology out there (for bunches of dollars), after all. But it's definitely not at a point where it will be so prolific in five years that child-geared hover boards are produced en masse by Mattel.

So, for a little while, where we're going, we will still need roads.


"The future will be better tomorrow." -Dan Quayle

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who Let the Dogs Out?

It's a usual trend that long weekends are never quite long enough. But we move along, accepting that sad fact, being happy in the knowledge that we made good use of our extra time.

Thursday evening (not technically the weekend, but close) Jay I went to the "Look Who's Talking" event of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. It's basically a preview night, when you choose a pavilion in the park and get a brief glimpse of several amazing storytellers in one sitting. They all have different styles and strengths, but all were just incredible. Great night.

Friday began the commandeering (voluntary on my part, just to be clear) of my time by Megan and Mashell. So fun. After going to dinner with my pal Tim, I headed over to their place for a movie night, during which we also made a midnight run to Macy's in our jammies and danced in the aisles.

 Mashell, Megan, Amber, and Sarah at Swiss Days

Saturday brought with it a fabulous pancake breakfast with the girls (and we ate probably about a third of the food prepared), then a brief break to head home and get ready for the day. Then it was off with the M's, new friend Amber, and new roommate Sarah to Swiss Days in Midway. Yodeling, wurst, fun market booths. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and early evening. Sweet teeth hit that night, and the M's and I satisfied our cravings for chocolate and caramel apples before watching another movie and then laughing through several viral videos.

 Soldier Hollow Championship spectators

Monday took us to Soldier Hollow for the Sheepdog Championship there. Wow. We got there at the beginning of the day, so it was an "early morning" for a holiday, but no worries. Watching the sheepdogs and their handlers round up and herd a bunch of idiotic sheep was pretty astounding (and at times, nerve-wracking as they raced against the clock). Dogs are pretty much awesome, as clearly demonstrated as we watched the trials, the duck herding, and the K-9 unit. And despite my best efforts, my face was very lovingly manhandled by the sun. Even a hat and multiple applications of sunscreen isn't always enough to protect you. Well, it's not always enough to protect me, at least.

Nerdy me in the morning before being burned

Thanks, Megan and Mashell, for letting me tag along on a fabulous stay-cation.


"Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably be a dog. sigh There's so little hope for advancement." -Snoopy