Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Super exciting update post

I haven't really blogged much lately so I figured I'd give you all the rundown on what's been happening the past month...I seriously can't believe December is almost over. Only a matter of weeks before another year has come and gone...

1)Finished my second semester...woot! Official grades don't get posted until tomorrow but I'm fairly positive I did pretty well in each of my classes. As I was thinking back over the past two semesters I was somewhat surprised, not how easy it all was because it's definitely been a challenge, but how it all just seemed to click and make sense for me. It's been stressful and at times, emotional but I love what I'm learning and I love that it seems to come somewhat naturally for me.

2) Got two new Church Callings...bringing my grand total to THREE church callings. I am the Fellow shipping CoChair with the lovely Lisa, I teach Relief Society once a month and I am now one of two Stake YSA Reps. Add in my school/work schedule for next semester...I'll be a busy girl. My old ward was so massive that you (or at least I) felt more like just another nameless face in the crowd. My current ward is so tiny that it's impossible to be invisible. It's nice to feel needed and appreciated...like what I have to offer is worthwhile.

3) Had a fabulous Christmas party. It was sort of a celebration for me finishing up my semester too. Well, for me it was, I don't think anyone else had any idea. But it was nice to see some friends I hadn't seen in quite a while and get caught up on the goings on of their lives. It was also a chance for me to get my inner Martha on. I had fun decorating the house (with the help of the roommies) and setting a festive table. I am truly my mother's daughter. I love to set a pretty table and have everything look just so. I know most people don't really notice or care but I like doing it and I think it adds a little something extra to whatever the occasion.

4) To piggyback off of #3, I am hosting Christmas Eve at my apartment this week. I LOVE the Christmas Season and I love when all the family gathers around to celebrate. We sing carols and eat yummy food and just spend time together. It doesn't happen to often these days so it's nice when we can all get together.

5) I'm heading to Denver for New Year's! I'm super excited to get to see my adorable niece and nephew...their parent's aren't too bad either. :) I don't' know what we'll do but I am definitely excited to see them and spend some time with them.

6) Coolest.Roommate.Ever. For Christmas she bought me a beautiful copy of Wordsworth's poetry printed in the late 1800's. It's bound in beautiful blue leather, has gold leaf edges and a great frontispiece of Wordsworth's portrait. Best.Gift.Ever!

6.5) Actually, the legwarmers I'm wearing under my jeans today, are coming in a close second. It's cold and wet outside and just plain cold inside, they're keeping my legs nice and warm!

I guess that's all for now. I know, not the most riveting post ever but I felt the need to 'put it out there', as it were. Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Be safe!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Tell me, is it morally wrong of me to suddenly want a Nook? Not just want but really want? I know. I'm a literary purist snob. I love the smell of dusty book covers and old leather. I love the feel of a worn and loved book cover. There's something comforting about the weight of book. It's reassuring and exciting. They're old friends that can remind you of moments in the past. Whenever I look at my bookshelves that are crammed full, overflowing with delightful stories and old friends, I can't help but sigh in contentment.

And yet...I really want a Nook. I hang my head in shame....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Focus, Kelly...Focus!

This has been a fairly busy week. A final on Monday, classes, haircut (love Frank), lesson plan portfolio, interview on Friday, date on Saturday, Patrick's Senior Recital on Sunday...

I'm sitting here trying to finish my lesson plan portfolio and I can only finish a small section before my brain says "Break time!" I'm trying to differentiate six different lesson plans for the process, product and content for an imaginary ELL and SPED student. Blah! It's easy enough but it's tedious and I find myself wanting to differentiate the entire lesson plan instead of just one section. I know, you all find this so fascinating. After next Friday, I will be done for the semester. Did you hear the choir of Angels singing? I know I sure did. It's been a rough semester and I can't even tell you why. The assignments and readings were more intense last semester but I think I just enjoyed it more. It just seemed more difficult to balance everything this semester...work, school, church, social life. Next semester isn't going to be any easier. I have class three days a week 3:30 - 7:20 and then I'll work 8 - 11pm most days with a long day on Tuesdays. I'll have some field work during the day and in between all that i'll have to finish homework and do all the other mundane tasks of life. Only two more years of this...woohoo!!

Enough of my complaining...life is good. I'm happy, if not a little stressed. I'm doing what I love and life is good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This and that...

Today was a slightly frustrating day. In class this morning we were treated to a lecture on professional behavior because apparently this cohort is suffering from a lack of professionalism. Now, Westminster's Education department is fairly liberal as far as their educational philosophy is concerned, especially relative to the rest of the state. This fact tends to attract a certain type of student. We are outspoken, passionate, potential reforms, movers and shakers. There are also quite of few of the "Utah Haters". These are people that are not part of the cultural majority and are vocal in their frustrations/animosity towards the dominant Utah culture. Usually I don't let it get to me but today I was beyond irritated. The comment was made (in reference to professionalism in schools) that we are joining a conservative profession in a conservative state. A student added that could it possibly that conservatism that is causing the rising drop out rate of high school students?

Huh....? There are so many other factors that lead to high school drop out.

I struggle with this. The idea that 'liberal' people are more open minded and welcoming than conservative people. It's one of the great ironies of the label 'liberal'. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to educational philosophy and legislation, I think there needs to be some serious conversations and change but I don't think it's a problem unique to our conservative state.

It's like the class last year where everyone started railing against NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Is it flawed? yes. Is it punitive? yes. Do I think it needs to be tweaked, adjusted, changed? Absolutely. However...ranting and raving about it in a graduate class in a small liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, isn't going to change the federal legislation. It is the reality we are faced with as educators and it is better to figure out how to work within the confines of the regulations while trying to effect change.

It's a waste of time and energy to rail against the mountain. We need to be involved and vote responsibly but it's not going to change overnight and we need to know what the reality will be and how we can be effective teachers within that reality. The conservative nature of Utah is not going to change...Do I wish it wasn't quite so conservative, sure, but it is and I need to know what my reality is going to be as an educator.

I get frustrated when people act like they know better or are more enlightened than the masses that are simply blindly following dogma. It's disrespectful and it certainly is not professional.

Whew....that has been eating at me all day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little something for your auditory pleasure

Blog worthy moments

As a, possibly, fellow blogger I'm sure you understand or have used the phrase "blog-worthy". I wonder if it's part of the urban dictionary or if it's even in the dictionary. How long does it take for a word to be added to the dictionary? I know "bootylicious" is in the dictionary.

Bootylicious (adj.): slang sexually attractive, esp with a curvaceous buttocks.

No joke that is the definition of bootylicious on dictionary.com. But I digress...what I mean is there are moments in life that are ironic, sad, happy, exciting, hysterical, upsetting, weird ect. and I think to myself...man, that's blog-worthy. Now, sometimes I'm blogging simply for my own catharsis. It's a bit narcissistic, I know, to assume that the anonymous masses out there would actually care about some of my so-called "blog-worthy" moments. BUT blogs are narcissistic in nature and if you can't get behind that then why have you read this far...hhhmmmm?

But I digress yet again, my apologies. The point of all this yammering is last night I had a 100% blog-worthy evening. I went with a couple of people to see the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert at Century 16. You know all those previews you see for the Met? Well same concept except this was Les Miserables. Oh my heavens....so so so so SO good!!

At the very end of the concert, after the finale they brought out the original cast. Colm Wilkinson (original Valjean), Alfie Boe (Valjean for the concert) another London cast of Valjean AND John Owen Jones, arguable the best Valjean I've ever heard, all sang a gorgeous four part harmony of "Bring Him Home". It was amazing. The writers, lyricist and the original producer were all there. It was so worth the $15 I paid.

Nick Jonas played Marius and I had to giggle a little...or a lot when he first showed up. So serious and earnest! But I reread the bio info and apparently he played Gavroche in the original Broadway run of the show...go figure!

Shannon and I decided that we'll go to London for the 50th Anniversary concernt because THAT would be amazing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Too much...?

I have a tendency to want to take on the world and I load my plate up with all kinds of wonderful goodness. I see so many great opportunities and I just can't help but want to be a part of it all. A professor I had is involved with an educational outreach program through Westminster in India. It's a school for young girls that have been orphaned or abandoned by their families...right up my alley, right? I know, that's what I thought too. So I signed my name to the sheet of paper he passed around for those of us that would like more information. We've gotten occasional emails about meetings and such but I haven't been able to make it to one due to class/work conflicts.

I was also sitting in class last week and my professor started talking about all the endorsements Westminster offers. I was already planning on doing the Special Ed (SPED) endorsement which, as it turns out, isn't an endorsement but an additional license (K-12). As I've become more aware of what my reality is going to be as a teacher I thought it was also be a good idea to tack on an ELL (English Language Learners) endorsement...a lot of districts are actually requiring this now or are moving in that direction. My professor also mentioned Westminster offers a Reading endorsement. My brain automatically perks up and says, I can totally do that.

But...it doesn't stop there. Nope, not me. Why stop at only two endorsements and two license? That would just by silly, wouldn't it? Well, I thought so too. Which is why, when my professor told us that after completing one of the endorsements (any one) we'd only be a couple of credits away from a second Master's (MED - Masters in Education).


For those of you who know me really well, you know where this is heading. Two Masters?? Suuuurrrre! Sign me up!

And yesterday in my intro to ELL/SPED class, I thought to myself, "self, wouldn't it be so great if you could speak Spanish...?"

...I don't think I've quite mastered the principles in Elder Oaks' talk

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I think the universe may be trying to tell me something...

...on my super cute new memo board I have three coupons for three different shoe stores. I have a $10 off at DSW, $10 off at Famous Footwear and 10% off at zooshoo.com. I have been searching said stores for something to use these discounts with but alas, I haven't found anything that just cries out...BUY ME!....

I'll wait while you all recover from shock....



Fortunately, they don't expire for a while, so I've got some time to find something adorable!

Hobby Heaven

I'm a huge fan of craft stores...especially around the holidays. I get the craft bug. I can wander around Michaels and Roberts for quite a while, but I typically don't buy too much. I also LOVE home good stores. I love the kitchen/home decor section of Khols. I love Home Goods and the Ross kitchen/home decor section. I love IKEA, Tai Pan Trading and the upstairs at Smith's Market Place and all their decor. I love it. It's cheap...ish, it's cute...what's not to love.

Yesterday Lisa introduced me to the glory of Hobby Lobby. We were driving home from Tai Pan Trading (got ten water goblets for $20!) on our way to Cafe Rio. After a wrong turn and a slight detour we found a newish shopping center with a Cafe Rio and to Lisa's extreme excitement, a Hobby Lobby. Now, Lisa has talked about this store for a very long time. She talks about it the way a little kid talks about a toy store or a candy store. There is one in Layton and every year she goes home for Thanksgiving she comes back with an entire carload of various home decor/crafty items. Okay...maybe it's not an entire carload but it's a ton of stuff.

Let me just say...I have been converted to the wonder and amazingness of Hobby Lobby. Seriously. They were having a huge sale (which apparently is a pretty common occurrence). I got several boxes of Christmas ornaments for $4 and $3. I got a super cute memo/magnetic board for my desk area. I also got a light switch plate...random, perhaps but I have been wanting one since my last apartment. I've also been wanting decorative knobs for my dresser and desk. I love the ones at Anthropologie but I'm not about to pay $12 a knob when I need 11 plus a new handle for my nightstand. I'm not that rich. Hobby Lobby had a huge selection of knobs...however, I already spent quite a but so that'll be next time.

They had fabric, silk flowers, furniture, Christmas decor, sewing, knitting, crocheting supplies, wall art, hooks, clocks, mirrors, frames....seriously. It was amazing! I love Hobby Lobby!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Vanity project

Many thanks to my dear friend, Ashley Stolworthy, and Lemon Drop Photography. Because every girl deserves to feel beautiful.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I wasn't sure what or even if I would going to dress up this Halloween. My ward wasn't doing a Halloween party (we went to a Haunted House instead...bleh). But Wednesday night after getting off of work around 5:00, I decided I wanted to dress up as my childhood nickname namesake. Lisa and I went to Joanne's to gather supplies and I realized how little I know about sewing and fabric. I also realized that two days before Halloween is not a very good time to be heading to the fabric store...it was packed with last minute costume creations. Anyway...here's the final product. I must say, I'm actually pretty proud of myself.

There was lots of glitter involved

Pretty good if you ask me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do you like Vintage stuff?

Do you like supporting good causes? If you do, this Saturday you should come check out the grand opening of "For Jake's Sake". I'm going...you should come too!


I saw the movie Waiting for Superman yesterday afternoon. I could get up on my righteous indignation soap box but I'm not going to because I think the film truly speaks for itself. It's heartbreaking and frightening and if it doesn't make you at least think a little bit about the future of our country and the future of our children, then nothing will. So really, go see it. It's playing at the Broadway Theater. Really....go see it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Shoeologist

I think today is a shoe themed day. Go check out this website for all our shoe loving needs! Trust me...do it!

And Bows!

Oh how I love fall!!

Oh the Buttons!

You know how I love buttons!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Get out...Now!

I'm standing at the Redbox at the 711 on 13th and 8th south, perusing the selection, minding my own business. I was debating if I really wanted to get Prince of Persia. Is Jake Gyllenhall really worth the $1+? I decided it was. As I'm waiting for my movies of choice to "vend" (Redbox term) I hear loud...really loud rap music pouring out of a red Explorer. I look over my shoulder, a normal reaction when one hears such loud music in such close proximity. Walking...or rather strutting, into the 711 is the scariest looking man I have ever seen in my entire life. He looked like he had just walked out of...I don't know what - something really scary. I had been planing on going into the 711 to get a box of Junior Mints or possibly some Swedish Fish. BUT as the scary, scary man walked by me and my blood literally turned cold and my heart started to race, the thought entered my mind. Leave. Get in your car and leave. Just as I was walking to my car he walked out of the 711 and watched me walk to me car. I had to make myself walk calmly to my car. I very calmly (at least tried to) got into my car and resisted the urge to peel out of the parking lot. I had a minor heart attack when I saw him get out of his car and head down the same direction on 800 South. Nothing happened but it seriously freaked me out. I'll be the first to admit that I have an over active imagination. I once was house sitting in California and called my older brother in Utah at 2am (California time) because I heard a thump in the house and was convinced someone was trying to get in the house. However, I have never before in my entire life been so terrified, and I've taken on a Semi and lived to tell the tail!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Love or Not love

I love...

  • walking out to my car in the morning, looking through the trees and seeing Orion perfectly framed by the branches (yes, I leave early enough to still see the stars clearly)
  • learning a new skill
  • exploring my inner craft goddess
  • crispy leaves
  • Mint Moose Tracks Ice Cream
  • engaging in interesting discussions on topics I am passionate about
  • listening to the ordered chaos of a lively family dinner
  • new socks

I do not love...

  • waking up long before the sun comes up
  • the lock of the driver side door of my car is broken and I have not had the time/energy to deal with it yet
  • allergies that make my nose red and raw
  • the days seem to get away from me

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dark and Twisty

We all have our dark and twisty moments. Moments where we doubt ourselves, doubt each other, question what we're doing with our lives. I recently went to my dark and twisty place... very dark and twisty. We're talking creepy Putty Caves dark and twisty. The place where the government had to seal it off because people kept dying, dark and twisty. There were several triggers for it, school, beauty and sense of self, friends, boys, family, work...teeny tiny crisis of faith.

I have had a rather complicated relationship with food most of my adult and pre-adult life. I have dabbled in various diets, work out routines, a youthful indiscretion with disordered eating. I love food, I do, but it seems to me that the ambiguous "they" seems to tell me that's bad. I shouldn't love food the way I do. I eat a cookie and I feel guilt for hours after. I want to eat pizza or pasta and there's the voice inside my head that worries what people will say about the heifer eating the carb heavy extravaganza. I just want to eat my bread in peace. Can't you just let me, oh creepy voice in my head? It's gotten to the point where I have started to equate my happiness and prospects in life to a slice of pizza or a delicious fudge brownie or ice cream. If I eat that ice cream, I'll gain 300 pounds and the I'll die alone and no one will know until the fire department is called in because of the smell. (Putty Caves).

In my rational, feminist, go me, thought process, I know this is ridiculous. I do. I know that eating that cookie or that plate of pasta isn't going to damn me to a lonely unfulfilled life of doilies and cats. I know this...but I still can't seem to shut up the voice in my head. I sometimes wonder if it's something in my head and no matter what my previous experiences, are I would still feel this way or if it had never even been an issue, if I would still have such a complicated relationship with food.

I had originally planned a fantastic, scathing, diatribe about the social construct of beauty. I even started writing it several times. It was going to raise a righteous indignation in the masses and start a grass roots movement to change how the media portrays beauty and the double standard of physical attrativeness between men and women. (Anyone seen Hitch?) Obviously, that didn't happen.

Last night I mentioned my dark and twisty moment to a roommate and she didn't know I had gone to my personal Putty Caves. In her defense, since school has started I tend to hybernate in my room, so not too much changed in my general behavior. It really was a mental shift. The comment was made that she didn't know that I wasn't a subdued person in general. That made me sad, I know that wasn't her intended purpose, but it made me sad, nevertheless. Somewhere along the line I've slipped into survival mode. I've diverted all excess energy to keeping the main functions of life moving forward. School, work, eating, bathing...breathing some days. It's sad that I don't have the energy to get all agitated and passionate about the topics I love. If I don't think about it too much I can almost pretend that everything is alright and the scary thing is, most of the time I believe it. We all have our personal Putty Caves. Our dark and twisty places.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This never gets old..


Boys Will Be Girls

Have you all seen this?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have been very disappointed in books lately. I read Mockingjay and I enjoyed it but thought the first book in the series was better. I wasn't seriously disappointed but mildly let down in my desire for a fantastic ending to an interesting and entertaining trilogy.

I then moved on to this book. Again, the premise sounds so interesting, especially considering society's preoccupation with beauty and the thriving beauty product industry - surgical and otherwise. I think I made it about a third of the way before giving up. I just didn't care about the story the author was trying to tell. I was interested in characters that didn't play a major role and I wanted to know more about some of the secondary characters rather than the primary characters. Needless to say, I stopped reading. It has been placed back on the shelf...possibly for another day, but probably not.

And then there's this book. Why in heaven's name, why?! I'm sure you've all seen this book and others like it..like this book. No? What about this one or perhaps this one. I've passed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies enough times in the bookstore to have gotten over the initial urge to cringe each time I saw it. As I saw more and more of these types of books pop up lately, I'm sorry to say my curiosity got the better of me. I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I want my $10 back. Oh and those several hours I spent reading it...yeah, want those back to.

Now, I know I'm a bit of a purist (ok...a lot of a purist) when it comes to the traditional English Literature Cannon but I can appreciate creativity and ingenuity when I see it. But I had to draw the line when after killing three of Lady Catherine De Bourg's ninjas, Elizabeth Bennet killed the third by pinning it to the wall with her Katana sword (huh?) and then finishing him off by punching her hand through his chest and ripping his heart out of his body and then eating it. I'm sorry...what?

Where is all the humor and satire? It seems the "author" (i use that term very loosely here) took out all the wonderful aspects of Austen's story and inserted Zombies, muskets, ninjas and dojos. Obviously he's catering to a very different audience but then why use Austen at all then? Or Tolstoy? or Shakespeare? The more I think about it, the more it irritates me. I suppose I should just be happy people are reading the "classics" but are they really?

I'm not saying that one has to read Austen or Tolstoy or any other of the "classics" to be an intelligent, well read person but if you're going to read them, at least read the original. And if Mr. Grahame-Smith had been in the least bit clever in his approach I probably would have enjoyed it. However, the only similarities between the two were character names and places. He would also occasionally insert some of the original dialogue...sometimes and very small portions.

I know Zombies, Vampires and werewolves are hot right now but really....? Enough already!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Late Night Internet Window Shopping

So cute...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do you ever...

Do you ever have one of those days/weeks/months/years when it seems everything is conspiring against you? Yeah...me neither.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Twice in one week...

I went to campus yesterday to pick up my books for the semester and it was teeming with undergrads there for freshman orientation. I had to chuckle a little at how terrified most of them looked. They moved in packs and timidly moved among the shelves of books at the bookstore. Most of them were still wearing name tags and clutching campus maps and class schedules. I was probably just as terrified but it's slightly humorous to see it from the other side.

I went to evening Institute Choir tonight and holy hannah! They're so young. I would estimate that a good 80-85% of the choir hadn't even started their first year of college yet. Yeesh...it makes me feel old!

Friday, August 20, 2010

This and that....

-I am leaving for St. George in hopefully two or three hours...waiting for laundry to be done.
-Went wake boarding for the first time in nearly a decade on Tuesday and totally rocked it.
-Face planted twice on Tuesday due to not wake boarding in nearly a decade.
-Found several bruises and scrapes from Tuesday but I figure if you don't go home with some bruises then you're not playing hard enough. Go big or go home, right?
-Spending the weekend with Ash, Sarah and Jon....big laughs are sure to be forthcoming!
-Half Naked man swinging around on synthetic vines and singing with men/women dressed as gorillas...somewhat skeptical about this one but we'll see how it turns our.
-Start school next week along with new work schedule.
-Considering auditioning for the Institute Singers. Pro- get to sing regularly with talented singers and sing at CES broadcasts and such. Con- would have to wear a not so attractive choir dress. thoughts?
-Made a new friend via Facebook chat...wouldn't you know it, a social networking site actually did some social networking.
-Get to see Lion King next weekend with my niece...very excited!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check it...

You all really need to check out this blog. I've also linked it over in my sidebar thingy. I have a feeling this is going to a be brilliant thing. It's started by a friend and all posting is completely anonymous. If any would like to contribute let me know and I can send you the details. I've got a couple gems myself!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Here's my beef...

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again...I am the medical anomaly in my family. Remember 2007? No...well read here and here oh and here. Go ahead, I'll wait....

Yeah...it's fun being me, isn't it. Since my surgery I have been fairly healthy. No random trips to the ER or unexpected hospitalizations. No more monthly trips to the labs to get my blood drawn. Then almost two years ago I moved in with Lisa and suddenly I start getting sick like every couple of months. I got strep. I hadn't had strep since I got my tonsils out when I was 8. And yes, strep is every bit as horrible as you remember it. I also got the flu. Again, haven't had the flu since I was a kid.

More recently, I almost didn't go to the Shakespeare Festival because I had a strep-like sore throat but two days later it was gone. This morning I woke up feeling a little bleh but got up and went about my business and was at work on time - 6am, to be precise. As I got started with my day I became increasingly nauseous. All of which culminated in my loosing my proverbial cookies around 8. Obviously, I went home and promptly went back to bed.

I woke up several hours later to discover the reason why I had lost my breakfast. The.worst.cramps.ever. Yes, they were so bad I actually upchucked. On the bright side, I know exactly how long it takes for Midol to kick in...25 minutes. I know because that's how long I laid in bed in the fetal position curled around my heating pad.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Words are great...

I love words. I love finding just the perfect word that absolutely encapsulates the meaning and feeling of what I'm trying to convey. I was reading the introduction to The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol and came across this little gem- excoriation. It means to denounce or berate severely; to verbally flay. "To verbally flay". How fantastic is that!! Not that I would ever want to be verbally flayed but isn't that imagery just fantastic?! It goes beyond anger straight to evisceration. Love it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So excited..

So excited for this project!!

Roses and Thorns

Spent the morning taking photos of my shoes with my sister. She's making me a shoe calender. I know, she's pretty cool.
Got to see Audra McDonald in 110 in the Shade...pretty sweet.
New shoes really do fix most problems.
I am a matter of weeks away from being done with my first term of grad school.
I get to go to Bear Lake next weekend.
Went to Lagoon last night.
I absolutely love my Curriculum Design class.
I may buy new bedding tonight...I love bedding, books, and shoes. It doesn't take much to make me happy.
My right eye has been twitching since Thursday
No more boy.
I've had the same headache since Monday.
I've got a two big curriculum projects due on Monday.
I've had Bad Romance by Lady Gaga stuck in my head since last night.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Retail Therapy...what?

I just purchased four pairs of shoes from zooshoo.com. Got me some sexy new heals and some cute new flats. And all is right with the world....Photos to come.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

110 in the Shade

I got to see this last night!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Three Feet...

....is all the separated me from three time Tony award winner Audra McDonald tonight. I got to see her perform at the Hale Theater in Orem in 110 Degrees in the Shade. A guy from my ward is in the cast and was able to get us some pretty sweet tickets (3rd row) for super cheap. I had never actually heard of this musical and didn't know much about it, but a.may.zing! Hale Theater is theater in the round and it's a tiny little theater so there really wasn't a bad seat in the house. BUT we were third row and I was right on the end so whenever they used those stairs for entrances and exits I could have reached out and touched them. Audra McDonald. She's amazing!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Remarkable Soul of a Woman

As a spirit daughter of our Heavenly Father, happiness is your heritage. You are a choice daughter of our Heavenly Father, and through the things you create and by your compassionate service, you are a great power for good. You will make the world a better place. Life up your chin: walk tall. God loves you.
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Raspberry Milanos and Orange Juice

My first two grad classes ended last week. I'm still working on a few papers, but after tomorrow afternoon I will officially be done with them. I have thoroughly enjoyed my classes and the discussions we've had in class, but towards the end of the class I got fairly frustrated. I'm not sure if it was just the nature of the two courses I was taking, or if it was the nature of education, but we just seemed to talk in circles. We spent approximately 6 weeks discussing educational theories and what is currently working/not working in our current educational model. I firmly believe that to be a good teacher it is critical to have a firm understanding of what the issues are. However, if all we ever do is talk about this issues, how is anything ever going to change? In the 6 weeks and endless conversations we had in my two classes, we never really quite got around to how to fix the issues.

I don't think anyone can argue that students that are coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural differences, ELL students, Special Education students, and other underrepresented groups are at a distinct disadvantage. The studies have been done to back this up. It's an accepted aspect of the public school system. It's important to understand this in order to teach effectively, BUT what are we going to do about it???

In our last class discussion we were doing a general wrap up and I commented that I was frustrated because we didn't seem to discuss any possible solutions. This opened up a can of worms from many of my classmates about how easy it would be to fix if we just fixed it. I wrote in my notes - We're studying multicultural education and the myriad of difficulties and problems associated with multicultural education. Yet, we are treating it as if there is one blanket solution that will fix all these issues. It's naive and won't work.

The more I study and the more I learn, the more I'm considering going on and getting a doctorate in administration or policy or something. It's the administrators that determine the culture of the school. I'll definitely teach for a while but long term goals may be changing and shifting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life is good....

....just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Being called darling, three times by the cashier at Zupas the other day.

Seeing a young dad teach his son how to ride a bike driving back from work.

A wonderful late night and waking up in a good mood despite the lack of sleep.

Turning in a paper that I actually had time to prepare for.

Finally having a washer/dryer at home and doing laundry at home.

The neighborhood cat that likes me the most for some inexplicable reason - especially considering I can't touch her due to allergies.

My adorable, almost three year old, niece dressed up as a ladybug for her first ever ballet recital.

Not feeling stressed and overwhelmed about school.

Practiced our song for Sunday and we sound pretty good (now just need to write a talk).

The flowers I planted in pots outside my backdoor are not only still alive, but thriving.

Highland Games on Saturday - real men wear kilts, or at least they'd like you to think so.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Check, check..1..2...is this thing on?

It's reality check in the Buie household...hard core reality check time. I've been in school a mere three weeks and oh my heavens, it is kicking my butt. I am still loving everything about it, well almost everything, but it's so much harder than anything I've ever had to do before. To kind of put things in perspective, in order to be considered a full time student at the graduate level one must take 9 credit hours. Full time for my particular program is 18 or 19 credits - almost double. I am taking 9 this term and I'll be taking the same number next term in addition to field placements in actual classrooms to be followed by student teaching shortly thereafter. I was planing to do all of this while still working full time. I mean, who really needs sleep these days? Well, apparently I do. I also would like to have some semblance of a social life and try to maintain my sanity. I didn't think this was too much to ask. Again, apparently it was.

So lets rewind a week, shall we? After a wonderful and deliciously relaxing Memorial Day weekend, I went to class rejuvenated and excited to get back to work then Wednesday rolls around...I got my first paper back on Wednesday. Umm...... Not so bueno. Turns out grad school is hard, really hard. From there the week turned into a downward spiral of stress, extreme anti social behavior and on several occasions almost breaking down into tears. So what am I going to do about it, you may ask? After doing the research and thinking and praying about it all, I do have a solution. One that I am not going to talk about right now for logistical reasons. However, if all goes according to plan, and you're all good little children, I may be able to tell you all by the end of the week.

In other news, I had another pretty fantastic weekend. I woke up early on Saturday and played tennis with Lisa. Hey! I play tennis! Or at least, I try to play tennis. I took lessons when I was a wee young thing and haven't played in over a decade but it's still fun. Showered, ran some errands with the mum, came home worked on my paper and had a few hours to kill. I then went on a picnic up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Now, when I first proposed a picnic I was envisioning a park or something and playing Frisbee and what not. I, accordingly, wore shorts, a tshirt and flip flops. Did you know there is still snow on the ground up at Brighton in June? Well there is. We still had fun, though. I should probably learn to pack a spare pair of shoes and socks and a sweater..possibly gloves and a hat....and maybe snow boots. But really it was a fun night.

Next week Lisa, Shannon and I are all speaking and singing in church. We haven't been in the ward a month yet and they've already put us to work. The ward is pretty small, probably 40 or 50 that come regularly, so it's no surprise there. They wanted us to speak over Memorial Day but thankfully Lisa and Shannon were out of town. So between writing another paper this week and field placements and class, I get to write a talk...without being given a topic. I've got a couple ideas mulling around in my head but nothing too concrete so I'm open to suggestions!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Update of Sorts

May has been a busy month for me. Moving, school, work, guys...it's been busy but good. I still love my classes and school but I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay on top of everything. I had to ask my dad to change the oil in my car because I didn't have time to do it between class and work. I'm barely keeping up on my reading but I love the discussions we are having in class and the do enjoy the readings. It's just sad that I don't have the time to devote to it that I would usually like. I also need to register for the Praxis 41 English Content Exam. I shouldn't need to spent too much time studying for it but I should at least brush up on some of the content. I don't know how the students going full time fit it all in. I guess most of them aren't working but it is still a fairly intense program.

I've had a pretty fantastic weekend. I went to the Outlet Mall in Park City and did some shopping on Friday night with Lisa. Saturday I finally got some flowers planted out back. I opted for some flower pots instead of planting something in the ground out back. I just don't have the time to maintain it and the more I thought about it I didn't really want to spend all this time improving someonelse's property. So we now have three cute flower pots on our back porch. Saturday afternoon I went to a Bee's game with a great guy and had a lot of fun. Of course I had today off and spent the morning at the zoo with the fam and then a picnic in the park. I also got a cute pair of Converse and a book I've been wanting for a while. All in all a pretty fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Should I be worried...

I started grad school on Monday and I after two classes I absolutely love it! I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around being in class every day for three hours after work and planning my time well enough that I get all my reading done, but the classes themselves are fantastic! We get to talk about learning and education and teaching....all the things that I am passionate about. Now if we could just incorporate shoes somehow, I'd be in heaven. But really, it's amazing. I was worried and anxious I wouldn't be able to hack it but I'm loving it so much that it won't matter if it's hard or not because I'll be enjoying what I'm doing.

My first class I got into a debate with one of the other guys about school funding and governance. We went back and forth for a good ten minutes and it was so invigorating and I had to really think. He challenged me and I challenged him. My dorky, geeky little heart was in absolute heaven. It makes up for the craptastic work week I've been having.

Really, if I knew how great grad school was going to be, I would have done it ages ago!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother

I know that a lot of people think their mom is the best and I'm sure they are wonderful women, but I'm sorry to tell you all that they're wrong. My Mom is the best. For the past 26 years she has always been there for me. She drove me to dance lessons, piano lessons, tennis lessons, swim lessons and school. She's stayed with me when I was scared, frightened and sick. She's cheered me on when I was unsure of myself and talked me down from more than one proverbial ledge. She's a wonderful example to me of what a mother aught to be. I know we weren't always an easy group of kids to deal with, let alone love but she managed to do it with fairly little yelling. So in honor of Mother's day and the worlds best mother, here is my list of reasons why my mom is the best...

1. She let us have a puppy - even when she didn't particularly want one.

2. She'll humor me and go shopping with me when I don't want to go by myself.

3. I can call her on a Saturday afternoon and she'll go run errands with me if I want company.

4. She'll play Christmas carols on Christmas Eve even when I know she would rather be singing.

5. On more than one occasion she has completely unpacked my bedroom and set everything up all homey (senior year of college, multiple moves since).

6. She flew out to California for the day just to be with me when I got some medical test results back even though money was tight.

7. She always believed me when I told her something was wrong (medically) even though all the doctors said it was nothing or they didn't know what was wrong.

8. She can be the scary momma bear - even when her kids are all grown up and gone.

9. She's willing to sew her 25 year old a Halloween costume.

10. I can stop by and she'll feed me.

11. She has always, always always believed that I could do whatever I wanted no matter what obstacles popped up along the way.

I could go on and on and on but I won't bore you. For this and many other reasons my mom is the best.

Love you Mom!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


What started off as a pretty craptastic day (just ask my mother) ended fairly well. We're going to gloss over this morning because I was in a bad mood, stressed to no end and very nearly on the verge of tears and I don't care to dwell on it. Anyway, I went to my MAT orientation this evening. It was a ton of information and it sort of scared me a little but as I was walking around campus and I saw the young wipper snapper freshman walking around I got a little giddy. We went to the bookstore and picked up our books (included in tuition, sweet, no?) and I decided to actually do the reading - not going to have too much time this weekend and let's be honest, I was excited to crack open my first textbook in FOUR years and mark up the pages. I know, I'm a dork.

I've been nervous and anxious about heading back to school but as I was reading my book tonight I was excited and engaged. I'm still nervous about the time management aspect of it all but I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now and I am extremely excited to get started. I promise I won't do this often but I just loved this quote from the reading:

If we are to succeed as a nation both in international trade and in leadership for democracy, we need to use the diverse cultural laboratory of our own country as a training ground for producing citizens who value differences, respect the validity of our own perspectives, understand the independence of people, and who have the interpersonal skills to effectively communicate across all spectra of ethnicity, nationality, language, culture, gender, values, and even political ideology. It is less important for students to learn to appreciate ethnic foods than it is for students to understand equal rights. Yet, much of what we have taught under the rubric of multicultural education has fallen into the trap of "Tacos on Tuesdays". That is, the trap of teaching about cultures and about cultural differences without teaching an understanding of how cultural differences, or gender, class, and other differences, contribute to the unified whole of a democratic nation."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Summer Reading

In the mail this afternoon I got a nice surprise. It was a large white envelope with the Westminster logo on it. I open it not to find financial information or registration/orientation information...no I find my first homework assignment. I haven't even started classes yet and I already have homework. I don't know why I'm surprised. I mean, it's grad school and it's summer term which means the classes are shorter but are still required to cover the same material as during the normal semester. It makes complete sense for them to send out information before so we don't waste the first class of the term. But...I have homework. It's like summer reading, never mind the fact that it has been fairly chilly lately, the principle is still the same. I haven't had summer reading since the summer before my senior year of high school. I haven't had real homework since spring 2006...four years ago. Needless to say, I'm a little out of practice. This suddenly became very real. I am starting grad school in less than two weeks. I am actually working towards a quantifiable goal that I have had since I can't even remember. I've always wanted to have a list of letters after my name...MA, PhD. It's actually happening and I got myself here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mr. Knightley vs. Mr. Darcy

No offense Mr. Darcy or anything but I think that Mr. Knightley totally kicks your butt. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the book and we can't forget the iconic A&E movie adaptation but it's been bumped.

The 2009 Masterpiece Theater version of Emma with Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley and Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse. Romola Garai is Emma and does a much better job than Gwenyth Paltrow (no offense, again). Emma is one of my least favorite of Austen's novels but this movie made me want to watch it again. It captures all the wit and humor of the book and the secondary characters are charming and obnoxious as the occasion calls for it.

I think Masterpiece Theater should redo Pride and Prejudice...don't you?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Roses and Thorns

When I was a Peer Mentor in college we would have our Team Lead meetings once a month and we would always start with Roses and Thorns. It was a way for all of us know get a brief look at what was going on with each other. Here are my Roses and Thorns for the past month-ish

I was complimented several times on my hair and outfit today

Finished a good book

Started new job responsibilities - just one job this time!

Found cute new duplex

Start school in a couple of weeks

Spring has finally arrived after a freak spring snowstorm

Had consistent, fun, rewarding voice lessons

Great friends have volunteered to help with the move - without bribing!

Went to a musical fireside and got to listen to great music - with a great bass section. :)

Have painted 3.5 rooms in the past week - 2 more to go

Surrounded by boxes stacking in every corner

Have had strange dreams about moving and not being able to find my new place

Start school in a couple of weeks

Worked 50-60 hour work weeks

Sarah's Key (6/30)

Sarah's Key
-Tatiana De Rosnay

This was a book that I had passed several times before I actually picked it up to see what it was about. It centers around the Vel'd'Hiv' round up of Jews in Paris on July 16, 1942. Sarah is awoken in the early hours of the morning by the French Police pounding on her apartment door. She is eleven years old. It is just her, her four year old brother and her mother as her father has gone into hiding. The police tell them to pack a bag and to come with them. Her brother hides in a secret cupboard and Sarah locks him in, thinking she'll be back soon to let him out. Her father comes out of hiding to so the family can stay together. With more than 13,000 Jews, Sarah and her family are packed into the Velodrome d'Hiver stadium for several days without food or water. Those that survived were then shipped to Drancy internment camp outside of Paris. There the men were immediately sent to Auschwitz. The mothers and children were later separated - the children left in Drancy to fend for themselves. The children were then shipped to Auschwitz and immediately sent to the gas chambers. Sarah manages to escape from Drancy and is taken in by an elderly couple on a farm in Orleans.

The driving character of the story is Sarah but you actually don't spend much of the narrative specifically on her story but rather how her experience during WWII changes the life of Julie Jarmond, an American Journalist living in Paris sixty years later. Julie has a unique connection to Sarah and her family that she is completely unaware of until she is assigned a story of the anniversary of the Vel' d'Hiv' Roundup. Sarah's story is absolutely tragic as are most Holocaust survivor stories but it's how Sarah's life and the mystery of her life affect Julia and her family that is interesting. Julia is completely changed by what she learns about the round up and Sarah specifically and it sends her life on a completely different trajectory. It's as if de Rosnay is saying that no one who truly understand the horror, despair and tragedy of the Roundup could ever possibly be the same again.

De Rosnay uses the uncertainty and mystery surrounding Sarah as a beautiful and tragic metaphor for the thousands of nameless Jewish children that were rounded up that night, separated from their families and later shipped to Auschwitz and immediately sent to the gas chambers. No one knew who Sarah was - not even her husband or son. She died crippled under the knowledge that her parents were killed in Auschwitz and her younger brother starved to death in Paris. When her son finally discovers the truth about his mother and his heritage, he, just like Julia, is completely changed.

It was wonderfully written and beautiful in it's tragedy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Please explain this to me...

I have moved a lot in my life. I have moved 8 times with my parents, 4 times on my own, plus moving out of my dorm room at the end of every year in college. I am not a stranger to moving and yet this time it all seems far more daunting and stressful and I'm not entirely sure why. We're moving two weeks from today. The apartment is in shambles, boxes everywhere, empty bookshelves and half empty closets. The apartment always has the faint (or not so faint) smell of paint permeating the air. This place has always been a bit of a refuge for me. It's always been a place where I can just relax and veg. Not anymore. I'm sitting in my living room with my life backed and stacked in boxes and I am fighting the urge to just yell or scream. The clutter and mess are driving me nuts. I was going to be productive today and paint my room and finish up packing all non essentials but I woke up this morning and just couldn't do it. I can't paint or pack anything else today. Partially because we're running out of places to put boxes but also I just don't want to. I wish we were moving today or even next Saturday. The thought of living in this chaos for another two weeks makes me want to run for the hills!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Change is a commin'

I am sitting in my living room surrounded by boxes. Everything is pushed to the center of the kitchen and the fan is going full blast to help the newly painted walls dry. My hands have small splatters of paint primer all over them and I have even managed to get paint on my pants. I'm tired and overwhelmed. Lisa, Shannon, DeLayna and I signed a new lease this morning. We'll be moving in May 1st into our new place. It's nice - lots of space and light - but it's different from our current place. Since we painted our current apartment we have to paint it back and because life is hectic right now we decided to get a jump start on it. With the help of Lisa's parents we have managed to get a coat of primer done in the kitchen and the bathroom and we'll hopefully finish the kitchen tonight. We've boxed up the nic-nacs in the living room along with the DVDs. I honestly wasn't expecting to be as emotional about it as I am. I mean, I'm not sitting here in tears or even near tears but there is definitely a little pang. This has been my first real 'home' in such a long time. It's not going to be as easy to leave as I thought it would be. Now, don't get me wrong. I am happy about our new place. It's a lot bigger, it's in a nice neighborhood and it's closer to school. As far as personal space goes...it's kind of a step down. Both Lisa and I are in the basement and our rooms are considerably smaller. Both Lisa and I think the change will be good but I'm surprisingly attached to my current place.

The next month is going to be stressful - work, moving, school. I feel myself slowing down whether or not I should. sigh....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Literary Rut (5/30)

I confess. I have been in a literary rut of late. I have gotten more than half way through Les Miserables and I just hit the proverbial brick wall. I couldn't bring myself to read more. Instead I went on a bad/cheesy/horrible chick lit spree. Yes, I know. It's shocking and disturbing. They were light, fun (sometimes), easy to read and best of all required absolutely no brain power. I finished several books in a matter of days. After reaching my fill of contrived plots and overly dramatic romantic climaxes, I tried to read something a little more stimulating. Animal Farm, The Secret Life of Bees, Me and Orson Wells....all to no avail. The stack of approximately ten books on my night stand in varying stages of readness (yes, I said readness) will testify to the literary stupor that has held me captive of late. I searched in vain for the book to break the spell. I spent far too much money at Barnes and Noble but still could not find the book that could capture my attention as well as engage the mind. It wasn't until I perused my bookshelves late at night in search of something that would catch my attention.

Lo and behold, there it was - hiding on a double-stacked shelf, out of site. Could it be that I have never actually read this book? I've had it for well over a year...the receipt inside can testify to that. Really? Never? I immediately crawled into bed and rejoiced in the delicious sound of a new book spine being broken, the smell of ink and paper inviting me into a new adventure. Let it be know that my Literary Rut has ended all thanks to Cokie Roberts and her book...

Founding Mothers: The Women who raised our nation.

As you can probably tell this book is about the women behind the men known as the Founding Fathers of our nation. Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Betsy Ross, Dolley Madison and Mercy Otis Warren just to name a few. Roberts thoroughly explores the maxim - behind every great man is an even greater woman. By using excerpts of letters to each other, family members and their husbands, Cokie is able to paint a portrait of vivacious, intelligent, caring, ardent patriots that made the work of their more famous husbands possible. At one point Cokie states that if it hadn't been for their husbands, history would have forgotten or never known these women. Her point being, they didn't do anything out of the ordinary for their time and yet their lives were extraordinary. In a time when women were not expected to do much of anything by societal norms, these women and hundreds - thousands of women like them - defended their homes from the British, ran business, plantations/farms, supported the Revolution in spirit and physically in the form of donations of money, time, supplies and on more than one occasion by joining in the fighting. My favorite person is by far Abigail Adams. As her husband was off signing the Declaration of Independence, in Paris working on the peace treaty, being Vice President and then President, she kept the home fires burning. She managed their financial matters and often advised her husband on political matters. She often understood the political climate and events better than her husband (the President) and could predict quite reliably what would happen. She wasn't afraid to tell her husband what she thought and let him know she was upset with him. On more than one occasion in letters to anyone who would listen, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, her husband, she advocated the education and equality of women. She was feisty, independent and deeply loved her country and her husband.

If you have any interest at all in women's history or even early American history this book is a must read. Cokie's style of writing is easy to read and entertaining. It's more like talking to a good friend who happens to know quite a bit about early Revolutionary women.

PS. I didn't just arbitrarily skip to (5/30). I did read The Sari Shop Widow (3/30) and O, Juliet (4/30) but I am not going to review them as I didn't like or dislike them enough to make it worth the effort.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I decided it's time to buy a new personal laptop. I got my financial aid award and I'll have some left over so I'll actually be able to afford a new computer. Here's the rub...I know absolutely nothing about computers. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I've looked around on different websites but all the specifications are just gibberish. I have no idea what makes one computer better than another. This is where all you folks come in...I need your help. This is what I need from a computer:

1. basic word processing - I'm going to be a student again soon and the majority of what I'll do is papers and projects and such.

2. Music...lots of music.

3. Reliable - few - if any -problems. Like I said, I don't know anything about computers and I'm not exaggerating. So if something goes wrong I won't have any idea how to fix it.

I guess that's it. I don't need too much but I really, really, really, really don't want a computer that is going to crap out on me all the time. I go back and forth on the Mac. I know they're really great for designing, music, photos all that stuff and they're totally hip but are they worth the money for just basic computer processing? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Monday, March 8, 2010

Reason #86 why my roommate rocks...

Our Saturday morning conversation went something like this...

Me: Man, I really need a vacation.

Lisa: I know - me too.

Me: I think we should take a roadtrip...soon...before I start school.

Lisa: Well, I don't have anything to do next week....

Me:.....wanna go somewhere?

Lisa: Sure, why not.

The next couple of hours we looked at different options. Flying to California, taking the train to San Fransisco, Denver, flights to Boston, New York. Even looking at last minute cruise deals. We considered St. George - it's close and there's a possible free place to stay. But we decided on the city that never sleeps...Vegas. Lisa's cousin hooked us up with a major sweet deal on a nice hotel right off the strip. We're toying with the idea of renting a car (my car isn't that comfortable on long trips) and possibly going to see Lion King while we're there. We'll do a little shopping, touristy sight seeing and pool lounging...possibly. It's supposed to be low 60's and our hotel has a heated outdoor pool.

Yeah...I know. My roommate rocks.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Let's take a vote...

I have been doing quite a bit of online window shopping lately. I have been working insane hours lately and have been racking up quite a bit of OT so I'm trying to decide what to buy myself as a reward. Not to blow it all but just a something pretty for myself. I think I have found several options but I need your help...let's take a vote!

And the candidates are...

1) This pretty thing. It's a little retro-y, vintage beauty. I love this website and all the fun, quirky jewelry, shoes and clothes. But when I saw this watch and just fell in love and the bonus is it's not that expensive but oh so pretty.

Option 2 - I don't particularly care for Ferggie's fashion choices in general but I love her shoes. Seems a bit odd, but she's got some pretty great shoes...for example:

Option 3- Or these beauties. I've been salivating over these for quite some time. Sassy, yes?


I could just go to Barnes & Noble - enough said.

What do you think?

Monday, February 22, 2010


Today's Happies are as follows...

1. Registering for my first semester as a graduate student...Huzzah!

2. Getting Hot Chocolate with friends.

3. Leaving work when it was still light out.

4. My mom made my a chicken sandwich with cranberries. So tasty. Is it just me or does everything taste better when your mom makes it? It is the mom gene that lies dormant until you give birth?

5. Making mental lists of office/school supplies....sigh

This is actually a pretty good list for a Monday!

Hallelujah...and maybe Amen too..

It took me far longer than I anticipated, hoped, planned for but I am finally going back to school. I found out on Saturday morning that I was accepted into Westminster's MAT in Secondary Education program. Do you hear that....? That, right there....that noise you hear? It's a choir of angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus. I cannot tell you how great it feels to actually be moving forward. I've been talking about it for almost 4 years (yes, it has actually been almost 4 years since I graduated, what of it??) now but it's actually happening. I was so excited I couldn't stop smiling to myself most of Saturday. I've been in a pretty good mood since (except for the fact that I've been dead tired too...eh, we can't win them all, can we?). This may sound a little melodramatic (but it's me, remember) but I feel like me again. School is what I do. It's what I'm good at so to be repeatedly denied and uncertain and un-studenty (yes, that's a word) took a toll on me. I didn't even realize how much until I heard that I got in. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Turns out I am not an utter and complete failure at life. It's nice. I have a purpose, a direction. There is a specific goal in sight. I'm working towards something quantifiable. It's rather exhilarating.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It was a good day

We're going to ignore the fact that I am breaking out like a 16 year old and declare today a good day for the following reasons:

1) BOTH my state and federal tax refunds hit my account today - I can finally pay off my medical bills. Let's all say it together...YAY!

2) At our department meeting today I was declared the "Records Rockstar". This meant that me putting in insane hours lately has not gone unnoticed and unappreciated, $10 gift card to Harmon's (I get lunch there frequently) and - the best part - a pretty rockin' sign to hang in my cube.

3) Went to Hatch's Chocolate and had Hot chocolate instead of dinner...and it was worth every single calorie.

4) Finished cataloging all DVDs in the apartment - 354...to be exact, including TV shows (at least they aren't all mine).

5) Received a phone call from my recruiter from Westminster and she let me know that all my application materials had arrived and my application was being reviewed by the committee. Turns out they actually call you when a decision has been made. Yikes! I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm used to the impersonal, somewhat less humiliating anonymity of a letter. I'm not sure how I'll react with a rejection from a live person. That's a conversation to look forward to. But the good news it I should know soon. She said the next couple of days but seeing as how we're going into a long weekend, I imagine it should be next week sometime. Now I just have to not think about it for the next week...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What does this say about me...

I am in the process of cataloging all of my books. I know, you don't have to say it, I'm a nerd. It's for my own pleasure but also to know what I have, don't have, books I haven't read in a while and maybe once this is all done I can get them all on my bookshelves in a way that sort of makes sense. Whenever I try to organize my books I end up forgetting a book and find it later and then have to reorganize the entire thing all over again. But if I have them all in a handy dandy excel spreadsheet, I can sort it however I want and put them back on the shelf however I choose. I'm not quite done, I have three more shelves and then the few stragglers that are lying around. So far i have 204 books. I honestly thought I would have more. I don't think I have any books that I've lent out to people. But I guess when you think about it 204 books isn't bad for someone my age. And I've acquired most of them since I graduated from College 3...almost 4 years ago.

....I need help.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Don't judge 2/30)

Mr. Darcy broke my heart - Beth Pattillo

I've been reading Les Miserables and really enjoying it but my dear friend Victor can be a bit on the heavy side. So when I went into Barnes and Noble last weekend I wanted something light and fun that I could get through quickly without the urge to mark passages and make notes in the margins. I was perusing the new fiction table and I noticed this book because of the cover. There is a woman in a pretty red dress...what can I say, I like pretty dresses!

I read the back and the first few pages and was intrigued. Now, here comes the disclaimer - even though I really hate to have to put one, I know I need to. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on modern representations of Jane Austen and actually devoted an entire chapter to Chick Lit - a term that just rubs me the wrong way. It irritates me that it's an actual literary term but so it is. What was I saying...ah yes...thesis. I was looking at how Austen has been used and maybe abused by authors today in a myriad of different ways. It's interesting to see that what is being said usually says more about the person saying it than Austen herself. It's something that still interests me a great deal so when I see a book that has anything to do with Austen I take a look. I've read it all. Continuations of Austen's novels, retellings and works "inspired" by Austen's novels. Some are quite entertaining and others are glorified fan-fiction with sex, duels and heaving bosoms. But I digress...

Pattillo actually surprised me with this story. What could have been more of the same - glorified fan fiction and heaving bosoms intrigued me. It takes place in one week while the main character, Claire, is attending a summer seminar at Oxford on Jane Austen. Claire has recently lost her job, she has a boyfriend that is less than enthusiastic, her parents died when she was 18 and she has been taking care of her younger sister ever since. While there she just happens to meet an old woman who just happens to be a direct descendant of Austen through one of Austen's brothers. And this woman just happens to have the lost manuscript of First Impressions - what would later become Pride & Prejudice.The plot is ridiculous but it's just what keeps the characters moving. Claire, of course, meets a good looking, mysterious man while there but it's not what you think it would be.

Pattillo does something that I haven't encountered with other Austen spin offs. She uses the larger than life character of Mr. Darcy as a vehicle for self discovery for her heroine. The story isn't really about Claire's love life or who she will or won't end up with. It's about her finally coming to terms with her parent's death and letting go of her little sister. It's not the best novel I've ever read but I was pleasantly surprised with it. The sections that took place in the classroom were fun for me because it reminded me of my own Austen Seminar Senior year. This definitely isn't a book for everyone but it was a good antidote to Hugo and his heavy handed metaphors and suffering.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Happy Place

As you all are well aware, I am a HUGE book lover. I love all things related to and pertaining to books. When having a bad day I can pick up a book or walk into a book store and immediately feel better. I've said this many times but growing up I always dreamed of having the library from Beauty and the Beast and I am well on my way. My mom joked that when I get my own place and/or get married, I'll need a two bedroom apartment just so I can fit all my books...tee-hee. It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

I have a friend from the ward, Heidi. She has a hilarious blog - check it out here - seriously. It's great. Anyway, she goes to this used book sale in Phoenix every year and it's next weekend. Can I just say how insanely jealous I am? If I had known about this sooner I definitely would have gone.

Well...there's always next year!

Chivalry is dead - sorry ladies

I don't know if you all have heard this yet but it's true - chivalry is dead. Deceased. Terminated. No longer alive. It has kicked the proverbial bucket. I'm not saying this to rag on the menfolk or be rude or anything but I felt it my duty to let my fellow woman know and I have proof.

It was approximately two weeks ago on a windy, cloudy forlorn Friday evening. I was still at work and I got a phone call from my sister, Annie. Her car had died in the Harmon's parking lot not far from my office and she asked me to come and jump her car. Her husband was at home with the kids and couldn't come to her aid. I jump in my car and hurry over to Harman's. (side note- apparently Harmon's is the place cars go in my family to die. Mine did the same thing several months ago and would not start.) When I get there I pull up next to her car, pop my hood and get out. For the life of us we could not get her car hood open. She is texting her husband and he says to just pull the lever. We pull the lever and nothing happens. No magic popping noise telling us the lever released the hood. We both tried together, separately, there was jiggling and much effort but to no avail. And here's the rub. While we were standing there in the crowded, busy parking lot we were passed by many people - male a female - and not one person stopped to help us. We were obviously struggling but not one person offered their assistance. Two men parked and left in the spot right in front of my sisters - both of them even looked at us peering up into the hood of her car but did either of them stop to see if we needed help? Nope. They just got in their car and went on their merry way. Now, I know I may not be much to look at sometimes but have you seen my sister? Yeah...She's pretty. So no one stopped to help us. I ended up driving her back to her apartment so her husband could take a look at the car. He's a good guy and handy with mechanical things. He fixed my car for me!

Now, I know we're in the age of the "liberated woman" and I'm supposed to be able to do all these things for myself and I shouldn't want guys to be chivalrous. Can't have it both ways...blah blah blah. I've heard it and in fact said most of it before. However, when we were in obvious need of assistance and no one and I mean no one would help us out...something is not right.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde - see the musical (1/30)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

I think most of us are at least familiar with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There are movies, TV shows and even a Broadway musical based on the story. In fact, it was the musical that made me want to read the original source material (it's good!). I went to my local Barnes and Noble and got it for about $8 (I love the B&N Classics Series). Excitedly I sat down to read, looking forward to the suspense, mystery. Murder! Mistaken Identities! Good vs. Evil! A real page turner, right? Hm...not so much. It's not a full novel but rather a short novella...about 60 or so pages. I got to the very end where Dr. Jekyll explains what he did and I didn't even want to read it. I wasn't attached to the characters, I didn't care what happened to them or what Jekyll's reasons/motivations where. I just did.not.care. If you're looking for an exciting story with a little mystery, don't bother. However, if you're looking for a story that kind of sort of looks at Victorian morals, this may be the story but probably not.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dating Tirade

So I'm seriously breaking the "no late night blogging" rule but for whatever reason, I'm still up and on the computer. Feel free to stop reading now.

In the past several days I have had multiple conversations with several different people from completely different areas of my life about being single. It's not just LDS women either. And we all seem to have the same issues. Lots (in some cases) of first dates but no second dates or really, really, really...really bad first dates and then the guy thinks you're going to go meet his parent's in Washington for Christmas. Or no dates at all. Or relationships that have no potential to go anywhere. Or insanely creepy stalker boys. Or emotionally and mentally unstable basket cases that belong in a straitjacket...you get the point. MY point is...well, maybe I don't really have a point other than seriously...seriously?????

I know so many beautiful, wonderful, smart, talented, successful women that beat themselves up because they a. can't get past date #1 b. get past date #1 only to realize the poor schmuck isn't worth it c. aren't in a relationship heading towards the white picket fence, a dog and 2.5 children. Why do we do this? Why do we associate our sense of self with what don't have instead of what who we are and what we have to contribute. It makes me sad/mad when I see girls that have everything in the world to offer a guy and they get treated like crap by guys that have no business even asking these women out! Why do we put up with this?!

I may be closer to 30 than I am to 20 (and apparently in UT that means I am past my expiration date) but I deserve better than I've been getting dag-nabit and so do you (that is, of course, assuming that you too are single).

ps. I'm not really as bitter as I sound and this was in the context of several conversations and general bombardment of lack of coupledom.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Look, there goes another lemming...

I wasn't going to do a New Year's post and I wasn't going to list my "New Years Resolutions". Mostly because I think New Years Resolutions are kind of cheesy and silly. If you're going to work on something and set goals, then why do you have to wait until January 1st to start? If it's important enough, you should start working on it right away, no matter what the date, right? Well, in theory yes that's true. But the truth is people (myself included) need a little kick in the pants. It can be difficult to actually get started on your goals and if a certain date helps you to get started then who am I to judge, right? I guess I don't like "Resolutions" because it's almost expected that you're going to fail and you'll do really well for the first couple of weeks but then you give up. But, I digress...that's a tirade for another post.

Instead of listing 'resolutions' I am going to list things that I want to do/accomplish in 2010. Isn't that the same thing, you ask? No. It's not...simply because I say so.

Just go with it...

1. Physically fit - cliche, a little but I don't really care. I'm not saying 'lose weight' because that involves a whole steamer trunk of baggage associated with dieting and all that. But I do want to be healthy. So I don't really have a target weight or a dress size in mind. I'm also not doing this for the boys...because honestly, I don't think that will change all that much.

2. Financial Responsibility - It's just me. I have no one else that is dependent upon me to be financially responsible. So if I spend a little too much on a new outfit or maybe an adorable pair of shoes (ahem) I'm the only one that has to deal with the fallout. I think that's part of why I haven't been better about my spending habits. I'm not saying that I run up a balance on the credit card or I'm constantly shopping and spending money. I just don't really think about it that much and that leads to trouble. I'm closer the 30 than 20...isn't it time that I start being smarter with my money? Save more, spend less.

3. Do fun stuff around town. Including but not limited to...
3a. Three Musketeers at Hale (Draper)
3b The Scarlet Pimpernel at Hale (Orem)
3c Michael Buble Concert

4. Music. This is kind of a blanket goal. I'm still taking voice lessons and I want to take it a little more seriously, meaning actually practice between lessons. Contrary to what I've thought my entire life, I'm not an alto and according to my teacher, I'm not even a Mezzo...I'm a soprano. Who knew?

5. Go Skiing at least 3 or 4 times.

6. Fold and put laundry away instead of letting it sit on the floor of my room all week

7. Read a European History Textbook cover to cover. anyone know where I can get one??

8. Cook more - this will help with both 1 & 2.

9. Learn, memorize & perform Italian aria without making a fool of myself

10. Grad school...please...for the love!!!

11. Learn to knit something other than a scarf

12. pay off piano (so close!)

13. pay off medical bills

14. purge and organize closet - including shoes sniff, sniff

15. Take spontaneous road trip -the spontaneity may debatable seeing as how it's on the list but go with it..

16. Tuacahn - that happens every year anyway, I might as well add it to the list

17. Read 30 books and post reviews

18. Go to a bonfire

19. Host a dinner party

20. Go through photos and order prints, frame said prints and give to subjects of photos and hang on walls.

21. Journal more frequently

22. Read all the books that I have purchased but have yet to actually read

23. Compile family photos/stories into nice little book...this should be an ongoing project

24. fix desk drawer(s) so they actually close & buy screw to put on handle of second drawer

25. replace and/or refurbish night stand

I'm sure I'll come up with more stuff as the year progresses or the need to tweak these listed, but I figure this is a pretty good starting point.