Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

So help me out guys: I'm going to be on a plane and on the beach this week, and I'm fresh out of ideas of books to read. Suggestions please?

Things I overheard when talking to myself

One year ago:
I was full of excitement and fear and anticipation for college. I was devastated to lose most of my friends to other schools. The thrill of being a valedictorian, national merit scholar, and rocking my AP tests was just beginning to wear off, and I was scared for chemistry.
I didn't even know how to use a balance.

Now I can run XRDs in my sleep.

I was thinking about that yesterday, how much has changed in just one year, how much I've learned at college. At the same time though, coming back and living at home and being with all those friends I felt like I lost has shown me that things maybe haven't changed as much as I thought. We slid right back into old routines of watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and hanging out whenever we didn't have work and I don't know...it's all so easy. I missed you guys last year, I really did. I missed that feeling of being with a big group of friends who have all known each other for years and who have so many memories together. It doesn't feel like we have to do some huge activity every time we're together unlike when you meet new people and if you don't have something to do it gets awkward fast. With us it's so comfortable.
Bah. It's almost over. Can you believe it's nearly August? I'm really excited to go back to school...I just wish you were all coming with me.

You know what, I really like Garrison Keillor's writing style. I completely disagree with him politically, but I like his style.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm in the 3 couple cha-cha!!!!!
And I can't change my facebook status to reflect my excitement because I'm using it as advertisement for selling my dresses, so I have use this as an outlet!!!!
AHHHHH!!!!! I can't believe it!!!!! New team members are never in those kinds of numbers!!!!

Also, I am in: west coast, viennese waltz, pirates (I'm a pirate, not a soldier), MicGalaxy black light dance, samba (!!!!), and the latin medley. I'm so excited!!!!

Okay. I'm done now.

Wake up, mud frogs, wake up!

She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.
It was wonderful to see, wonderful to be in the middle of: we mud frogs awakening all around. We were awash in tiny attentions. Small gestures, words, empathies thought to be extinct came to life. For years the strangers among us had passed sullenly in the hallways; now we looked, we nodded, we smiled. If someone got an A, others celebrated, too. If someone sprained an ankle, others felt the pain. We discovered the color of each other's eyes.
It was a rebellion she led, a rebellion for rather than against. For ourselves. For the dormant mud frogs we had been for so long.
I was used to peering through the lens, to framing the picture, and I could see it. I could feel it in myself. I felt lighter, unshackled, as if something I had been carrying had fallen away. But I didn't know what to do about it. There was no direction to my liberation. I had no urge to color my hair or trash my sneakers. So I just enjoyed the feeling and watched the once amorphous student body separate itself into hundreds of individuals. The pronoun "we" itself seemed to crack and drift apart in pieces.

from the book Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Friday, July 25, 2008

THE Cruise Post

Cruises are weird.
Every day our "stateroom attendant" would come in and clean our rooms and fold our towels into different animals. We got a monkey, an elephant, and a person sunbathing.
One night at dinner our maitre d' announces that all of our servers have a special performance for us. The song "Feeling hot, hot, hot" comes on and in parade our servers dancing with various objects on their heads (dessert plates, vases, bowls, etc). Then the macarena comes on and he invites us all to get up and dance!!!! It was really funny actually. The night after our servers sang this one Italian song that supposedly everyone knows, but I don't...
Every chance they could, the cruise photographers had backdrops and things set up so they could snap our pictures and then charge us an arm and a leg to buy them. Every night was like the prom. People would be all dressed up, lined up to get their photo taken before going in to dinner.
Sometimes it felt like I was at EFY. There were all of these activities planned out every day for people to participate in and have lots of FUN!!! Also, about an hour after we boarded we had an emergency drill where we all got herded around wearing these life jackets that were probably from the 1940's and wouldn't hold up anyone if we had to abandon ship. We all lined up and headed up to the proper decks with cruise employees directing our path just like EFY.
The Windjammer where we ate breakfast, lunch, and late night pizza smelled like burnt crayons and wet rags.

Cruises are fun.
Food was constantly available. Breakfasts had every possible breakfast food item you could possibly want (and some that you definitely didn't...grits, anyone?). Dinner was like eating out at a top quality restaurant every night. Pizza was available in the Windjammer until 2 AM. Bartenders were always walking around willing to get a drink for anyone. Room service was free since we'd already paid for all of this food with our ticket.
Sure, the two pools were filled with salt water, but even that was kind of part of the fun. It was like the ocean minus creepy seaweed and sharks.
There were all of these excursions you could sign up to do. I signed up to snorkel! It was the most bizarre feeling, sticking your head under water and breathing air...I had to remind myself to stop holding my breath. I saw orange geribaldi, petted (? maybe poked is a better word) a sea cucumber, and saw a bunch of other fish. I managed to avoid sea weed and other aquatic plants, thank goodness.
Our tv had a million movie channels all showing "Enchanted" and "National Treasure 2" in different languages. I watched them both in French for a while, which for me is definitely a fun activity. Also, E True Hollywood Story was on every night and Becky and I would watch it until we fell asleep. We learned all about the lives of Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, and Vanessa Williams (totally didn't know she was Miss America).
I saw dolphins. A whole entire pod of them was swimming near the ship while I was walking out on one of the decks. They were so beautiful!

Cruises are eye-opening.
On the dining staff alone were people of almost thirty different nationalities. We had servers from Panama, India, and the Philippines. The passengers were equally varied. I overheard native French speakers on several occasions, much to my pleasure.
Living where I do, people don't really drink...like ever....I don't think I'd ever been around drunk people before the cruise. People drank pretty much all the time on it though. The "general store" on the ship was 5/8 alcohol, 2/8 cigarettes, and 1/8 candy. Drunk people doing karaoke...I have to admit, it's kind of entertaining.
We got to visit another country!! Going to Mexico was really interesting. We got to go shopping in all of the little stores packed with touristy items (and shirts saying the F word...not sure those are big sellers, but whatever...)and haggle with the sales people and whatnot. The best part: seeing a huge Mexican flag flying and realizing that we were definitely not in America anymore. So cool.

Anyway, cruises are pretty darn fun. I love the feeling of the boating rocking in the water. I love the gorgeous sunsets with the light reflecting off the ocean. I had a blast. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm going back to the start.

Hmmm, what to say, what to say....here's a few unrelated thoughts (posted under an unrelated title. It's a line from a Coldplay song):
I'm going running tomorrow for the first time in weeks. I can't wait.
Do you ever just get that antsy feeling in your body where your muscles just want to be used? I get that sometimes, where I just feel like running or flinging myself around dancing. Maybe I'm just a weirdo...but I've been feeling like that a lot lately. I crave movement. I guess it comes with the territory of being a dancer.

Today I went through and did the "assignment" we got from mission prep last Sunday. We had to come up with five questions of the soul and then find answers for them in the Book of Mormon. So I came up with five questions and then starting flipping through the topical guide and sure enough, I found answers for all of them in more than one place. It was a nice reminder that if you have questions, you really can search through the scriptures and find answers. I love it. The church is true guys, the church is true. :)

I'm really annoyed with the Obama glorifying in the press. It's not helping him out at all in the polls. It's still a dead heat between him and McCain. And if he cozies up with the Europeans it's not going to make him any more popular back at home. And that was really ugly and boring syntax for this paragraph. Just think about the ideas behind the words, not the sentence structure itself...

I need to go to bed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I love it when the weather matches my mood.

I'm in a really meh mood right now so I do not want to gush about my vacation.
I guess I sort of forgot about the competitive aspect of team over the summer. I really hate the feeling of trying to be better than everyone else so that you get chosen to do the comp or be in that routine or get that spot. I hate it!

Ok, so I'm overreacting, and it's the first rehearsal of the year, and there will be many more, and Embassy's not until the 28th, but still!
The email I wish I could send to my director (highly censored, you never know who reads these things):
Dear [director],
I do not understand why you put me in this medley since the choreography is obviously so awkward on me. May I also remind you that I haven't even taken a [particular dance style] technique class yet? I respectfully ask to be moved to the [other medley], which is so much more of my style and body positioning. I'm not sure how you missed that during the auditions. Maybe my height is a problem? Although I know of three girls on the other medley who are the exact same height as me. Just saying.
Thank you very much,

And yes, I'm very grateful to even be on the team. I cried when I found out I made it I was so happy. I'm just not feeling the love for this medley right now! So shoot me. Meh.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Land Ho!

I'm back on land, but not back at home yet.
I'm at my grandma's again, waiting to eat lunch and then begin the awful drive home....we'll probably get back around midnight tonight. yuckyuckyuckyuckyuckyuck.
More on the cruise to come. It was a blast. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bon Voyage!

In 48 minutes, more or less, I'll be departing for the harbor for my cruise! I've never been on one before, so I'm very excited, even if it is just a small one along the coast of California and Baja Mexico. Keep your fingers crossed that I'll get tan...the tanner I get naturally, the less fake stuff I have to put on next month before my Vegas comp.
Anyway, I went to Urban Outfitters this morning. It is quite the cute little shop. It sort of reminds me of an edgier Anthropologie with guys' clothing too. They had really cute home furnishings and kitchen accessories and things. I noticed these Obama and Hillary mugs, so I went over to see if they had a McCain one, and yep, I found one. Too bad it was an ANTI McCain mug. What the heck? Democrats aren't the only ones who like quirky, funky stores. Young Republicans can like that kind of stuff too! So why are you only catering to them? That annoyed me a bit, but I put it aside to enjoy the really cute lampshade with black velvet birds all over it (sounds retarded, but it was cute, trust me), and the mouse cheese grater. Maybe I'll write them a letter, just to see if I'd get any sort of response back. I'll look into that when I get home.
36 minutes left now. This may my last post for the next week, so au revoir, mes amis! I'll be seeing you! Check out Urban Outfitters if you can (even if they are totally politically biased). Loves!

Friday, July 11, 2008

100th Post

Post writing warning: This post basically is a long rambling after having my brains shaken around at an amusement park all day. Read on at your own risk.

This is my one hundredth blog post. Congratulations to myself for being such a busy little blogger.

I'm not really in a celebratory mood, though. I just got back from Magic Mountain, and holy cow, that place will wipe you out. My brother, sister, and I went on Revolution, the Viper, Colossus, Goliath, the Batman ride, bumper cars (now those were intense), and this "family friendly" log ride that was not in fact, family friendly by my definition. I have never been on so many crazy rollercoasters in such a short period of time in my life. I still feel like I'm weightless dropping down a huge descent. And it's been well over an hour since we got home. It was great, though, it really was. :)

Do you ever have it happen to you that after you read a novel you really got into you start thinking or writing in the same sort of voice as the book? I finished Davita's Harp (no underline function available, so we'll go with italics) this morning and I keep thinking a bit like the main character, a sort of melancholy, innocent, serious voice. I love Chaim Potok. I wish Mormon culture had a Chaim Potok to write about our religion. I read his books and find myself so intrigued with Jewish culture. It's so interesting. I wish someone would do that for my religion, make it accessible and interesting to those who know nothing about it, not these cheesy Mormon romance novels and Jack Weyland books...ugh (no offense if you're a fan, I'm just not, hehe). Also, I'd really like someone to do that for ballroom culture as well. Believe me, it's its own sub-world.
Back to the book. Now that I've finished it, I really want to see Picasso's Guernica (italics work for painting titles too). I wonder where that painting is. If this internet wasn't so darn slow I'd google it. Is it even in America? Maybe the Metropolitan Museum in New York? I'm going there (the city, maybe not the museum) next springish.
Which brings up another point. I love art museums. I think they are so fun to visit. The only problem is, most of my siblings do not, so every time we go on vacation we don't stay very long. When I went to DC two? three? summers ago, I had to drag my brother through the National Art Gallery so I could see everything I wanted (it still wasn't enough). I once heard that the average person looks at a painting for less than thirty seconds. That's kinda pathetic. So I try to look longer.
And that reminds me of something else. We went the the Huntington Gardens a couple of days ago (which I highly, highly recommend if you're ever in the Los Angeles area) and I finally got around to seeing their old book and manuscript collection. It was amazing. First editions of Shakespeare's plays, a Guttenberg Bible, tons of old illuminated manuscripts, letters written by George Washington and Charlotte Bronte, an original copy of the Canterbury Tales, one of Thomas Paine's pamphelets, and much more. So cool! After I amass my fortune I want to collect old books and art. (Which reminds me of something else: my parents are letting me have a drawing by my great Uncle Roman who was an artist. Thus begins my art collection.)

All right, I think this has gone on long enough. Congratulations if you read all the way to the end! You deserve something great. Go get yourself an imeem account and listen to free music. OR, go to youtube and watch videos by frezned and get a free laugh. OR, even better, do both.
Have a great weekend guys :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I could not think straight enough to come up with a title for this post. Pick your own.

Hello from beautiful California!!

Actually, since I'm visiting in July the weather is exactly the same as back home. BUT, there are lots more palm trees and kitschy old houses so I'll stick with my original statement.
I'm at my grandma's house using her computer which has....dial...up...internet...(remember my rant about slow internet from a little while ago? I think this is my payback...)

You know what, I don't think I've ever really been in LA as a touristy-tourist. First of all, whenever I come with my family we always stay with my grandma, never in hotels. We go to beaches that are unknown and not crowded, we only do the Disneyland thing every few years, I've only been to Hollywood once and it was because my uncle really wanted to go, and we always go to Griffith Park. Who on earth comes to LA and then goes to Griffith Park? How many people have even heard of Griffith Park? Exactly, I bet none of you have. That's because it's not a touristy-tourist attraction. I don't even know what the touristy-tourist attractions are here. I know there's a 7-11 around the corner and where all the cool rock caves are on Leo Cario (spelling...?) beach and which famous paintings are in the Hunting Gardens gallery, but that's about it. Oh, and I know about the pony ride at Griffith Park. It's a real treat. I had to do some major research for my trip in a few weeks with my friends here to figure out what normal tourists do in LA. It's kinda nice actually. I can only handle so much Disneyland. Coming here is what a vacation is supposed to be: unplanned, relaxed, wake up late (which I do anyway at home actually since I can set my own hours), go to a quirky museum or a random concert, get some shopping done, go home feeling refreshed.

Question: capitalization or no capitalization on facebook? I honestly cannot make up my mind. (Did I already write a post on this? I can't remember.) No capitalization is nice and informal, but it can also come off as unintelligent. Capitalization makes you look like a grammarian (so long as the rest of what you're saying is correct I guess), but it also feels a little uptight unless you throw in a million smilies or ellipses (which I do anyway whether I'm capitalizing or not...see?) to lessen the blow. I usually just go with whatever the person I'm talking to does, but that's a little wishy-washy. I should just make up my mind once and for all. Am I a capitalizer or not? Hmm...

I have spent far too much time in a vehicle with six other people today.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Something I should try to keep in mind:

Shut up and dance.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

God Bless America.

I am an American.

I think we've all heard that line way too many times as a result of that lame commercial on Channel One all through junior high and high school. I finally feel like I appreciate the sentiment of it, though.

I went and heard Glenn Beck speak as part of all the Freedom Festival festivities. At the beginning of the fireside (hmm, not quite the right word for it, but it'll do), the band played all of the theme songs for the different branches of the military. As each was played, people who had served in that branch stood. The center was completely packed, and there were the people standing who had given so much to our country. I was fighting to hold back tears. That's never happened to me before! I've never gotten emotional about anything military, but there I was rapidly blinking, being fully overwhelmed by gratitude for their service. How lucky we are that we don't have to physically be on the battlefield fighting for our freedoms. How grateful we should be to those that are.
I think though, that we do have a responsibility to fight for our freedoms back at home. I think that it is our job to ensure that the constitution doesn't get twisted into whatever people in power think it should mean. I think it is our job to fight for the values that we hold most dear-families, faith, virtue, hard work, service, love of God and of man, etc etc. We can't just sit by and let this country turn into a politically correct, socialist society. Get out and vote guys! Do your homework, research the candidates, figure out what positions they have on issues. Don't let the left-wing media feed you an opinion. We cannot afford to become politically apathetic, something of which I have definitely been guilty...but no longer :)

I can't believe it took me nineteen years to come to this, but I love America. Of course, I've always "loved" my country, I think everyone does (except for liberals who hate America and everything for which it stands, but that is another topic for another day), but I finally realized today that I love America in a very concrete and real way. I love this country. It is my home. I love the western mountains, the east coast trees, the southern rivers, the west coast beaches, the midwest corn fields, I love it all (don't peg me for an environmentalist though). I love the good people here who are trying their best to make this a better place. For all of my complaints about liberals, taxes, and the government in general, I'm not immigrating to Canada anytime soon. This is home. "I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor." I want to spend the rest of my life serving my God and my country in whatever capacity I can. I am so very proud to be an American!
(ah, so cheesy, but at least I'm sincere.)

Happy Fourth of July, guys. For once I'm going to try to remember why we celebrate in the first place.

God bless America, my home, sweet home.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Television Without Pity

I'm convinced.

This is not a dance competition anymore. It's a "who's got the best personality/who's the hottest/who does Nigel like the most" competition.

I cannot believe how blatantly manipulated everything is. I do not think it's any coincidence that Kourtney and Matt got a hiphop and a salsa routine, two routines where you have to get "down and dirty" when the judges tell Matt week after week that he's "too stiff" and "too high" (which is absolute bull crap...oh my greatness, Matt is such a gorgeous dancer). Matt could dance the most amazing routine in the world and the judges would still hate it. They're so predictable. Every week they tell Matt he sucks. Every week they tell Will he's a genius. Every week they tell Jessica she's not as good as Will. Every week they overly praise Katee and Joshua. EVERY FLIPPING WEEK. If you watched the first episode the whole way through, you could just skip the judges' remarks for the rest of the season. And how about the fact that Mary seems to have forgotten that she's the ballroom expert? When was the last time she made a comment that demonstrated that? All she ever says is what Nigel says with some screams thrown in for fun.
Another thought: can we please fire all of the hair/makeup/costume people? Honestly, we have had some seriously hideous things parading on stage (like Katee's hair from tonight's episode. What were they thinking?!) Oh, and how about the half dresses from last week? Real classy, Nigel, real classy. If you look at me from a certain angle, it looks like I'm not wearing anything at all! Yay! Great for family tv!!! (and this is coming from a ballroom dancer who's seen her share of skimpy costumes so I have a really high tolerance for that kind of thing. But on prime time? Come on, my little sisters watch this show.)

GAhhhh, it makes me so angry. I'm so sad. My favorite show is not so favorite anymore.

But I'll keep watching it anyway.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm horribly indecisive. It's awful shopping with me when I'm really shopping. I try on a million things, spend forever in the dressing room looking at myself from every possible angle, trying to decide if I really like it enough to spend the money on it. And then half the time the clothes (actually mostly just jeans) end up not fitting right when I get home and wear them...

So I'm not waiting anymore.
I have an answer.
And I still don't know what I'm going to do.

A poem for your reflection:
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I know that when people think of this poem the general idea people give to it is that we should all chart our own ways in life!! take that road less traveled!! and all that crap. But I think it's saying that in life we can't do it all. We can't travel down all the roads we'd like to. Sometimes you just have to choose between two things that have been "worn...really about the same," and you "doubt if [you] should ever come back." You'll never know what might've happened if you had gone with the other thing instead. And I hate that! It reminds me of a quote from Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar (it's way long, but really good):

"..I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.
From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out.
I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet."

I sit in a fig tree with options surrounding me, but I can't just pick a darn fig to eat so I sit there while they drop.
And this is getting way more dramatic than the event inspiring it ever demanded, but oh well. I'm good at hyperbole on this blog.