Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Sam!

Yesterday, in my busy day (yep, I have busy days now) I forgot that it was a special someone's birthday. So in an act of contrition, I offer Sam my birthday wishes today! And even though I haven't seen him since high school graduation eight years ago, I have great memories of spending time in Kansas at the lake with him and the rest of his family.

Hope your day was great!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reading Time

Since getting my bus pass and utilizing it for the past month, I've not only gained much needed freedom and independence, but I've also been able to increase my reading. This was one of my favorite parts of living in New York and riding the subway--all the time to read. I love not having to be in direct control of getting places, having to pay attention to the road and other drivers and just listening to the radio.

In the past month I've read four (almost five, once I finish The Scarlet Pimpernel) books and it's all because of the ample amounts of time I have to read on the bus. It's not that I don't have other, non-bus time to read, it's just that there's no better time to read than when you have no access to any other devices that could steal your attention, i.e. bed, computer, tv. It's really great when you get a book that's so good you wish the ride was longer, which has been the case with four of the five books this past month.

I started with The Wednesday Wars, a charming little book about a boy growing up in 60's Long Island. Then I indulged my passion for all things Jane Austen, successively reading Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. Oh, to live in the world of Jane Austen, where good people get good in the end and the not so nice ones get their just desserts. I so immersed myself in Jane Austen, with books and movies, that my speech patterns and word usage changed!! It was next on to The Time Machine, because it was a classic, short, and I needed something different than the book I was trying to read but couldn't get in to. Nothing much to say about it, except that it probably accounted for me totally engrossing myself in the book I had written off two chapters in, The Scarlet Pimpernel, that I started reading after. Yesterday I was on page 40 and now I'm on page 174!

So thank you, Utah Transit Authority (and Cat and Pam for the recommendations) for allowing me to indulge my reading passion and making the time spent on the bus and train fly by as if I'm learning Shakespeare in Long Island, wearing corsets and dresses while learning about love, traveling to the future, or on a quest in Reign of Terror France to find a certain red-flowered hero. Because other things, like this, aren't really the best ways to use public transit.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Found It!

That would be this, the last image from the Itty Bitty Scavenger Hunt that I had yet to find on this, the last day of the Hunt.

I was afraid that I wouldn't find it and my hard work of scavenging twenty blocks of downtown for twenty various images would be for naught. And then, after searching for about ten minutes from the car I randomly looked over while at a stop light, I found it! The sign on the window of Perry's Barber Shop on State Street and 400 South.

All my sweat from searching in the sun, all my blisters from walking around in endless circles, and all my frustrations from walking right by some images numerous times paid off. And it was all worth it to see parts of beautiful downtown Salt Lake that I'd never paid much attention to. It was also fun seeing other people on the streets with paper in hand and, getting desperate on the last Saturday of searching, trading clues for images the other had not found.

This is the 17th year of the Itty Bitty Scavenger Hunt and I recommend doing it. It's quite exhilirating when you find that first clue, then another, then another. And not only that, but you really are treated to the amazing early archticture of Salt Lake City. It also made me look at things differently and really look at the things around me. So I'm ready to do it again next year, and if anyone wants to participate....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What I Learned at the State Fair

Pigs are awesome, and not just because they give us bacon, ham, and hot dogs, but because they also help save lives,

have cute little piglets,

and sleep like this.

I also learned that in Utah they call their scones Elephant Ears (in Idaho they're Tiger Ears), even though the worlds smallest woman has no bones and is part snake she will still talk to you, 4H girls and boys can do amazing things, cow auctions are very interesting, and if you want an imminent storm to somehow not produce rain go with someone who is experiencing their very first Fair.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It Was the Worst of Times....

There hasn't been much going on lately so there's been nothing much to write about. But tonight, as it gets later and I still don't feel tired, I really felt like blogging. I could give you a rambling diatribe on how much I have come to hate driving and the people who think it is their right to go through a turn light even though it's red, or about getting caught in the rain with no wellies, umbrella, or person to kiss, or I could even tell you about my excitement for the new seasons of The Office (which premiered tonight) and How I Met Your Mother (which premieres Monday). But I think what's most important is that, for the first time in about a month, I actually feel hopeful and that things are getting on track.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


This is a bit how I felt this week. It was a rather hard week where nothing seemed to go right. A job I interviewed for wasn't to be. School this semester is also not to be, as it was decided, after two weeks of attending classes, that I was actually a non-resident and I could not afford to pay the much costlier tuition. And don't even get me started on my current living condition, or the lack of funds, and the carless-ness. So yeah, I was feeling a bit deflated.

But more than that, I was feeling very impatient. I moved back to Utah for a reason, and saw going to school as a fulfillment of that. Even though everything else wasn't quite on track, at least that was. I've never been one to have much patience; I go running once and expect to see immediate results. So being told that I'd have to be patient for at least another semester, maybe two, it was more than I could take. My impatience immediately started to creep in on every other aspect of my life, and I wondered why, at twenty-six, my life was not at all where I wanted it to be.

Before I tackle that question, let me present you with a great talk from Neal A. Maxwell titled simply, "Patience." If ever there was a talk aimed specifically for me, this is it.

Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his.

Patience is not only a companion of faith but is also a friend to free agency. Inside our impatience there is sometimes an ugly reality: We are plainly irritated and inconvenienced by the need to make allowances for the free agency of others. In our impatience, which is not the same thing as divine discontent, we would override others, even though it is obvious that our individual differences and preferences are so irretrievably enmeshed with each other that the only resolution which preserves free agency is for us to be patient and long-suffering with each other.

I'll be working on this virtue for some time, I'm sure. In the meantime, I hope to exercise enough patience and faith to know that if I do all that I can on my end, help will come and things will work for my benefit.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember

I remember September 11, 2001. It was a Tuesday and my best friend and I had an early English class that morning at Snow College. We never watched tv in the morning, so when we got to class and saw that our teacher had the tv on we were shocked to see what was going on. Everyone in class stayed there and watched for awhile. School was canceled the rest of the day. I then went home and just watched the news all day long.

I moved to New York (the city) in September 2007. I remember telling my sister I would experience 9/11 in the city that it happened. I don't remember what I did that day, but I remember it being strangely like all the others. I don't know what I was expecting the day to be.

The next year I was working at Tribeca Film Institute. I looked at pictures online from that day seven years before. I had to make a bunch of deliveries that day around the city. I thought it might rain on me. I wrote a post that day, but made no mention of the fact that it was a day to be remembered. I'm pretty sure that night, as with the year before, I watched something on tv about it.

Right now I'm watching 102 Minutes that Changed America. Instead of your usual program on 9/11, this one uses only footage shot from regular people that day. There are no narrators, just the people who were there, in the moment, experiencing the tragedy and commenting on it. It's very real. It's amazing to see a city of millions all experiencing the same thing; a city where people are always in their own world and in a hurry to be on their way all stop and stare at the same thing. The city that never sleeps stopped.

I worked with people who were there on that day. They worked downtown in buildings close by. When they told me their storeis I got goosebumps. Whenever I would walk by Groun Zero I would have to hold back tears the emotions were so strong.

I heart New York and the people who were so heroic that day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Peanuts and Crackerjacks

Saturday night I went to my very first Bees baseball game. For those not in the know (which sorta includes me, since I had to ask my friend) the Bees are the minor league Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Even though I am more of a sports fan than the average girl, I do not follow baseball at all. I think it's boring, it takes too long, and there are long stretches of nothing followed by spurts of exctiment (which my friend Jeff remarked is how life is).

But anything is automatically cooler when experienced live, as I was reminded of as I sat in Spring Mobile Ballpark, cheering on the players, clapping for Bumble, hoping to catch a flyball (which was nearly impossilbe as we were sitting behind homeplate and there's that net to protect fans), and participating in the best part of the game--the seventh inning stretch. I sang, "Take me Out to the Ballgame," at full capacity and loved the feeling of the entire ballpark singing together.

The game came down to the very end when, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, a homerun was hit with a runner on first. Along with a very exciting fifth inning, those spurts of excitment were worth it. Oh, and there were fireworks after the game. I love fireworks. So all in all it was a lot of fun (except for the fact that my friend Jeff was feeling sick and had to leave before the seventh inning and missed a lot of the fun), and I find myself wanting to go to more games next season!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Man in the Moon

Tonight I saw the Man in the Moon. I presently cannot sleep and blame it on him. He showed himself to me and now my mind is filled with thoughts previously not there and preventing my sleep. The Man in the Moon can be tricky like that. He's in the sky for such a short time that he makes the most of it when he's there, causing weird dreams, lunacy, the tides to turn, dogs to howl, and girls to lose sleep.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Defying Gravity

It was two years ago today, September 1st, that I arrived in the bustling city of New York and made it my home. I can remember everything from that day. I remember driving on the New Jersey Turnpike and seeing the buildings of New York just across the river. I remember all the traffic and standstill that accompanied our ascent onto the George Washington Bridge. I remember driving through my new neighborhood and being a bit shocked--I wasn't in Utah or Idaho anymore.

I remember meeting Maria for the first time in the halls of our new place, as she had told me our apartment was 2D when it was actually 6D. I remember talking with Rosemary on the phone and hoping we would be able to coordinate the people helping us move in. I remember Maria saying that all three of us had red hair, which was fun even if only Rosemary's is authentic. I remember riding the elevator and unloading my Penske truck. I remember meeting Martha, Roseline, Elisabeth, and Marcus as they helped this stranger move her stuff in.

I remember seeing my new apartment for the first time, its looong hallway and wooden floors, its strange kitchen and even stranger shower set-up. I remember moving all my earthly belongings into my bedroom and the feeling of excitement that overcame me.

I remember walking the streets of the city for the first time on my way to my first New York City subway ride. I remember talking with Maria on the train and her telling me that she had no worries that I'd adapt just fine to the city. I remember coming out of the subway at 34th street and having all my senses on complete overload!

I remember eating at the Tick-Tock Diner with my mom and sister and having my first lovely taste of sweet potato fries. I remember making our way back to my apartment without the aid of Maria and figuring it all out just fine.

I remember going to church the next day and feeling like my mom, sister, and I stuck out like sore thumbs on Dyckman Street. I remember seeing my mom off on the bus headed to the airport as my sister and I headed downtown on the subway to explore the city. I remember being completely turned around and lost wherever we went. I remember running into a Brazilian festival in midtown and then going to the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.

But what I remember most was this feeling of, "Wow! I really did it. I live in New York City!" I felt on top of the world and capable of doing and being anything. I remember riding the subway after my mom and sister had left, and having, "Defying Gravity,"play on my ipod; all of a sudden it became my anthem--I was defying gravity and everything else by being on that subway train in the middle of Manhattan. I'm listening to the song as I write this, and must admit that I got a bit emotional listening to the words and the inspiration they were to me two years ago:

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down..

I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But 'till I try, I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love - I guess I have lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down...

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately -
Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me -

Tell them how I
Am defying gravity!
I'm flying high
Defying gravity!
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!

Life sure is different two years later. I certainly didn't think I'd be sitting in the Marriott Library on the University of Utah campus. Sometimes it feels like a step backwards, and other times like I'm doing what I'm supposed to. But I know that when I'm sitting in my Intro to Transportation Planning class, despite missing New York, I feel like I can again defy gravity.

Anyone who still wants to know about the New York experience, read my friend's lovely blog, New York Minutes. She has a great way of capturing the idiosyncrasies and wonderfulness of living in the city.

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