Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Movies

It's been a tough year for movies. At least in my opinion. Normally at Christmas time there a ton of movies I want to see and I have to make an actual decision about what movie to see on Christmas Day. This year it was a choice between movies that I was indifferent about. We settled on Mission Impossible 3: Ghost Protocol, mainly because I liked the third one so much and J.J. Abrams, while not directing this one, produced it and he always does great stuff. The movie was sort of interesting, but it felt looooong and Tom Cruise was looking old but trying to not look old. I would rather watch a movie where Jeremy Renner was taking over for Tom Cruise.

Thursday I saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and was not entirely engaged with it like I was the book. While sometimes the book had too much detail (a whole page was dedicated to listing the titles of books on a book shelf) I felt the movie missed a lot of finer points. And yet the movie felt long. Maybe I preferred being able to formulate the images in my head (or not in some instances) but the movie produced actual images for me to cringe at (that dead cat nearly did me in).

Looking back on the year, I haven't had very many movie posts. Maybe it's just because I was busy with school and therefore saw less movies and blogged less as well. But if a movie is awesome I make time to blog about it. With that being said, I think my favorite movie of 2011 was Super 8, followed by Moneyball, and then possibly The Debt. Like I said, it was a bad year for movies for me.

For now, I'm looking forward to 2012 for The Hunger Games and The Lucky One.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Day at the Movies

I must've been in a mood when I went to a movie today because a lot of things were bothering me.

--seriously, who was the moron who greenlit a sequel to Ghostrider?! Nicolas Cage should seriously consider a different career path.
--was I the only person underwhelmed by the new Dark Knight trailer? These movies have suffered from the the law of diminishing returns (I know I am in the vast minority here)
--in a fairly open theater at 2:20 on a Thursday do you really have to pick the four seats right next to me!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby Athena

Athena Avienda Anderson Arana (yeah, totally awesome super-hero name) was born December 23, 2011. Even though she was due January 18th, scheduled to be C-sectioned out on January 11th, she decided that as soon as her parents were married she was ready to make her debut (Jared finally, after six-years, decided to put a ring on it [I mean this jokingly, as neither was in a rush to get married] one day before in a simple and beautiful ceremony).
She has Jojo's nose and feisty-ness, Jared's feet and eyebrows, and my hands (no joke). She's precious.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Best Semester Ever

This past semester was the best ever. Since my grad program is only four semesters, I'm including all my undergrad semesters as well (although I keep my two semesters at Snow College separate because, well, they were just special!). I had four classes this semester and was completely overwhelmed and busy most of the time. But I learned so much and had so many moments of, "Wow, this is what I want to do with my life." I had great classes and made some great friends. This semester really solidified a lot of things, and I'm hoping the trend can continue with next semester.

But for now, I need to catch up on some much needed leisure reading, Netflix-watching, movie-viewing, and sleep.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost Done

I have a couple draft blog posts, about being on the Graduate Admissions Committee and Bacon Day at work. They'll probably stay as drafts for awhile...

The last couple weeks have been crazy with school. I have a final on Thursday that I should be studying for right now. This class is super important to me and I want to do well in it.

Once that is done, my time will be filled with baking goodies, wrapping presents, visiting friends, and relaxing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pros and Cons

There are some things I love about Facebook. I like connecting with my family--aunts, uncles, cousins, sister, brother, mom and dad; it's like an online reunion sometimes. And since I have a pretty large extended family, and we live all over, it's nice to be able to know what's going on with them, seeing their kids grow, where their careers take them, and the general goings on in their lives.

And obviously, we all know Facebook is pretty handy when stalking that person you like. Is there a person of the opposite sex in their profile pic, are they listed as "Single" or "In a Relationship"? Do you both love Parks and Rec and The Shawshank Redemption? Handy....and also less handy when you learn a whole lot about them without ever having a real conversation with them. It makes the whole getting-to-know-you-phase sort of moot.

I also hate how it allows me to compare myself with tons of people that I would generally know very little about. They've traveled more than me. They have a better job than me. They have 3 kids and I'm still single. They went to that concert I wanted to go to. But the thing is, that's just their "online" life; real life is much more fun.

And comparing never got anyone anywhere.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Nieces and Nephews

These are my nieces and nephews. I love them, even though they can't seem to make a normal face for a picture (mainly the boys!).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

48 HRS and the Stolen Car

I love my car. Scratch that, I LOVE my car. I don't know if I ever shared the entire story about how I got it, but I know for sure that I was meant to have this car and that divine intervention was involved. So when I walked outside to head to church Sunday afternoon and saw it not sitting there, I was pretty devastated. After doing a mental check that I had left it there the night before, I went inside to call the police. I made it through that phone call, and the subsequent returned call of an officer, before I cried for about 5 minutes. Then I sat on my couch just staring at nothing, feeling numb and trying to comprehend.

It's not that my car is new and fancy and beautiful. But it is my car. It's paid for and it gets me around as I need. I was sad for the loss of the freedom that it gives me.

I scrambled around to get a bike from my sister to use the next day. And when the back tire was having an issue making it unrideable, I was bummed for most of the day. This morning I had a bike, took it on the bus, and rode from Primary Children's Hospital to my work in Research Park. It was sort of fun and exhilarating, if not a little tiring and sweat-inducing. But I kinda felt cool all day at work knowing that I had rode my bike!

Don't get me wrong though, I was still hoping my car would be found. Because even though I think public transportation is awesome, and I want to ride a bike more, it is sort of inconvenient and it is super cold outside. And when the call came that my car had been found, almost 48 hrs exactly after I called it in missing, I was overjoyed.

My car was found over on the west side, with the back tire propped up on the curb. It looked to be fully intact as my coworker and I drove up to it. Everything essential was there. It was stolen for its stereo (really?!! the thing's gotta be worth like $200 max!), which had my favorite Avett Brothers cd in it, and ended up taking an umbrella and my work ID card with it. Not too shabby.

I LOVE my car and I'm very grateful that she came back to me in one piece.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Tonight I made the trek out to West Valley to go with my brother as he took Ivy, Elliett and Mo trick-or-treating. It's been a long time since I actually went door-to-door on Halloween, and it was pretty fun. I love the idea of all the neighbors giving out candy to the kids who knock on their doors and say "Trick or Treat!!"

It was an eventful night, as the kids got chocolate, doritos, popcorn, and more than a few scares. Mo was scared by a spider that moved when a front door was opened, and also by a house that had just a single red light at their front doorstep. And poor Ivy was scared so much she cried when she went into a Haunted House in one of her neighbor's garage/backyard. Good things Elliett and Mo didn't go, too!

Here are my cute nephews and nieces:
Josh and George

Mo (who refused to look at the camera), Elliett and Ivy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Making Excuses

Saturday morning I participated in the SoJo 5k. When I signed up a month ago it was a way to lose a little weight before heading to Portland. Also because I need motivation for running and a race that I'm registered for is a good way to get that motivation. And for the first week I was awesome at it, full of motivation and running three times that week.

But then it came to a screeching halt. I started taking a new medication that gave me crazy intense headaches, making running a near impossibility. By the time it all got figured out, two weeks had passed and I had only ran twice. Then I was in Portland the days leading up to the race....

So I showed up to the race not quite ready. But ya know what, I got a time within seconds of the time of my last 5k a year and a half ago. Even though I knew I gave it my all while in the moment, I can only imagine how much better I could be if I actually was ready for it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This past week was Fall Break, and I always try to get out of town during the week. Partly to save my sanity from work/school stress, and because I really love experiencing new cities. I had a voucher from my delayed flight in Chicago this past March and debated on where I would use it. Portland was the winner over Seattle and Em and boarded a flight Tuesday morning headed to PDX.

We shopped, taking advantage of their no-sales tax. Em didn't pack an umbrella (!!) and we had to buy one for her. I was on the hunt for skinny jeans to go with my new boots. We went to the movie theater kitty-corner from our hotel to see The Ides of March (I know some people think that seeing a movie while on vacation is stupid and silly, but for me movie-going is an experience that I really love, just as much as someone who would travel to see a pro sports team/eat at a restaurant/visit a museum/check out a famous burial site) and we loved it.

Then it was to Astoria to check out the house from The Goonies. Em and I LOVE The Goonies, so it was pretty awesome.

Thursday we did a bike tour around the river. It was like 20 miles or something. We rented cruisers and cruised along the riverfront. Oh, and Em fell off her bike. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants! She lost her balance or something, and I watched as she slowly fell to the ground. Best. Moment. Of. The. Vacation. We'd start laughing whenever we thought about it.

And then it was relaxing in our hotel (which was super awesome!), more shopping, including Powell's Bookstore. We had a good time and it was nice to get away, but I don't think Portland is a place for tourists. I'm sure it's a cool place to live and all, but there's not much to do if your visiting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don't Turn Off the Lights Pt.2

When I lived in New York, there was a couple of nights where I left the light on as I slept to protect myself from cockroaches that would come out to play in the dark. It helped my psyche more than anything.

I do not have a cockroach problem in my new abode, but have had enough spider sitings and incidences (the bathtub is the worst) to make me a little wary. I know rationally that there's not really anything to fear about spiders; I don't know anyone who's died from a spider bite and their lifespan is probably pretty short. But somehow the irrational part of my brain cannot accept this, and I end up worrying about them being in my home. I've actually had nightmares about them, where I've woken up in the middle of the night because my mind made me think I saw one falling down onto me. I jumped out of bed and turned on the light. Of course there was no spider, but I couldn't make my mind be convinced.

So my solution was to sleep with the light on. Not quite sure how this helps, but somehow it does. I feel very foolish about this, but I think spider fear is quite real, even if it is irrational.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sport Movie

I skipped class tonight to see a movie. It was Moneyball, and I highly recommend it. I love movies and I love sports (more than the average girl, but not as much as a guy). It was like combining two things that I love to make an awesome hybrid of movie entertainment and sports intensity. The movie is about Oakland A's manager Billy Beane and how he reinvented baseball. It would've worked better if they had won that last game.

I've never been a huge fan of baseball; it's long and sometimes boring. It is very much a mental game, which can be difficult for the casual watcher. But this worked to my advantage, as I had no idea how this story ended (it's based on a true story) and was therefore completely caught up in what would happen. Would the team win? Would they get that twentieth straight win? Did Billy jinx the team? Did the idea of applying statistics to the sport really work? I watched it like I was watching a Jazz game. It was exciting.

The movie actually made me care about baseball. The behind the scenes machinations of a baseball organization was interesting, and made me actually appreciate the mental-ness of baseball that I before had found boring. Baseball has always been full of nostalgia and a certain sense of romanticism, more so than other sports, I think. Billy and his Yale-educated economics right-hand man Peter tried to take that away and make it about numbers and winning. While numbers don't lie (but anyone who's taken a stats class will tell you that they do...distort what they want) they can't override emotions, human error, or the romanticism of baseball.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Running Again

I have decided I need to start being active again. I was sadly super un-active all summer long, and it's showing. In my clothes especially and they way they don't quite fit the way they used to. I'm pretty sure I weigh at least 10 pounds more than I did in the spring, and even then I was about 10 pounds over what I used to be.

So I have registered for the South Jordan Marathon/Half Marathon/5k on October 15th. I'm of course doing the 5k. Remember when I used to do those? And when I once ran a 10k? I let my own busyness and, mostly, laziness stop me from doing either of those earlier this year. I figure that I set aside time in my day to do things that don't really matter--watch a tv show (Vampire Diaries premieres this week!), surf youtube, peruse Facebook, take a nap--that I can at least set aside 20-30 minutes to go for a jog.

That's what I did tonight. And it felt great. There's this cool website,, that lets you map your run. My walk/jog tonight was 2.39 miles; my jogged stretch of the exercise was really great--I actually didn't want to stop!

Monday, September 5, 2011

How Do You Know It's the End Of Summer?

There are many things that signal the end of summer--school starting, the weather changing, your favorite flip-flop breaking. For me, though, I always know it's the end of summer based on movies. Summer is always heralded in by big-budget, flashy tent-pole pictures usually involving a superhero or some sort of number in the title signifying it's a sequel of something that was popular two summers ago. Basically anything a teenage boy would like to see.

But then we get to the end, where a lot of the smaller films that aren't quite summer movies (read: there's no superheroes or animation) get unloaded. Films like The Help, One Day, and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Generally they're based on books.

It's a very fine line between when those end and the fall movies start, but I think the distinction this year is made by the film The Debt. I hadn't heard a single thing about this movie until just last week, but the trailer seemed pretty convincing, especially since it starred Helen Mirren, the delicious Sam Worthington, and new "It" actress Jessica Chastain. See the movie, you will not be disappointed. Director John Madden stages the film with lots of suspense, emotion, and intrigue that I couldn't look away.

Also, three of the four trailers before the film I wanted to see. That's also how I know summer is over. I don't need a barometer to know the changing seasons, just give me a movie theater.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The City Anniversary

September 1st, 2007 I arrived in New York City. It was a momentous occasion and quite the ride. So much of who I am was discovered and developed during my small but decidedly important time in the city. I always like to remember the day I arrived each year, and think about how far I've come, how things have changed, and where I hope to be going in the next year. Thanks New York.

Losing It

In the intervening months between Spring and Fall semesters I have lost my jump drive. It never even crossed my mind during the summer; I never had a need to write a paper and save it, nor to create a powerpoint and work on it while at work, and not even the need to update my resume. But as soon as school started, and I was working on a project, I realized I needed to save it so I could print it at work. I went straight to my backpack to retrieve it. Not there. I've looked everywhere, even in the hole in my purse pocket. It's not there.

I've lost it, along with everything that was on it.

A Spider Story

One night I was sitting on my bed reading a book (or possibly watching clips on youtube....) when I had the sudden feeling that I would see a spider. I was sure that a spider would start to crawl on my alarm clock sitting on my nightstand next to my bed. Not a moment later, I looked over to see a spider come out of nowhere and crawl on my alarm clock. I watched it move around a little, and then move down its spiderweb-pole onto the floor. Where I immediately stepped on it.

I'm thinking of starting a business of Spider Whispering.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hey, School Started!

Yep, summer has ended and school has started. I'm actually glad for this. I sort of flounder when I have nothing pressing to do, no assignments or homework or things I have to get done, no schedule that I follow. So while I had big plans for my summer, I didn't really do anything. And not a whole lot of the things on my list (I certainly didn't blog more!).

But now I will be consumed by school and homework and a schedule. Yay! My first class today has already started out great and I'm excited for all I will learn (it's Intro to Transportation Planning, the class I started taking 2 years ago before it was sadly discovered that I was not a resident. Luckily for me, though, the book I bought back then is still being used!).

Some things I'm looking forward to this semester:
--getting to leave work early for classes ("See ya, suckers!" is what I would say to my co-workers if I was mean and didn't like them)
--using my brain
--walking around campus (to hopefully help with the shedding of some of these extra pounds I seem to have found on my body)
--late-night paper-writing sessions!
--Fall Break (where should I go....)
--using my brand-new notebook and seeing it get demolished as the semester moves on
--meeting people who are as passionate as I am about the things I'm passionate about :)
--getting that much closer to graduating and getting a real, career job!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Picture Post

I have been doing things recently. Here are pictures to prove it.

Grandma turned 98 and we had a big family get-together in Ephraim.

Family Reunion in Blackfoot. (My mom and her sister Debra)

Saw best friend Lindsay-loo in a play in Pocatello.

Went to Bear Lake with some co-workers (I'm in the pink swimming suit).

Celebrated Mo's sixth birthday.
Visited with my cousin Rachel and her new baby, Kieden (sadly, no pictures were taken).

Ice cream with old friend.

Continued my obsession with, and got my sister also hooked on, The Vampire Diaries.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another TV Distraction

If you read my blog at all (all two of you) then you know I have a tendency to get hooked on things that are sort of stupid that takes me away from blogging. That stupid things is usually a tv show. From Lost to Chuck, I seem to get easily addicted and sucked into something that it kind of takes over my life.

I am sort of embarrassed by this.

A couple weeks ago it was Party Down that I discovered on instant streaming on Netflix (don't get me started on their 60% price increase). Adam Scott is delish.

Now it is The Vampire Diaries. I feel completely dumb admitting this because a) it is a vampire show and it seems like I am jumping on the bandwagon of all things vampires (but, as with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was also weird to admit to watching, it's really good), and b) it is on the CW, and I'm slightly past the age demographic of watching anything on that channel anymore. Have you seen what shows they have? They are slightly atrocious.

But I like to think of The Vampire Diaries as an anomaly. It is not dumb and moronic like Gossip Girl or whatever other teen shows the CW puts on the air. The writing is excellent, the mythology interesting, and the acting great. And, even without a single beard on the show, some really nice eye candy (if you're into that sort of thing...) Of the two vampire brothers, Damon is apparently the one fans and such love. But, having come to this two season into it, I've missed the boat on Damon and have no idea why anyone would prefer him to Stefan.

Yep, I sound just like a teenage girl. Which I guess is appropriate if I'm going to admit to watching a vampire show on the CW.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Being an Aunt on Pioneer Day

For the Pioneer Day holiday here in Salt Lake there's a huge parade downtown. So huge that people camp out overnight to get the most awesome seats. To ensure that we were one of those people who got awesome seats, I spent the night on the corner of South Temple and State Street, in front of a Big-O Tires on a tarp covered with sleeping bags, blankets and pillows with Ivy, Elliett and Moses.

So we watched the parade, had breakfast, went swimming, took a walk, ate pizza and ice cream, played at the park, and watched the fireworks while sitting the rain. Well, most of us watched the fireworks. Ivy, Elliett and Moses all fell asleep. I guess it was all the things we did that day and it was past their normal bedtime with no naps.

I love love love them. I love nothing more than combing their hair, or having them give me a hug, or showing me what they've colored, swimming with them, playing with them, and loving them. I even love when I have to take all three of them to the bathroom in a street-side porta-potty.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Avett Brothers

I discovered The Avett Brothers about a year ago. I heard one of their songs on a tv show and bought their cd I and Love and You based off that one song. I love the album, and when I found out they were coming to Salt Lake this summer I immediately got tickets.

And tonight, Pammy and I braved the slight rain coming down to attend the concert. I love, love, love live concerts, the energy and excitement and fun they create. Nothing is better. I'm only familiar with their most recent album, but I enjoyed all the songs they sang. They have a ton of energy on stage and really get into their songs. I love it. (Have I used the word 'love' enough in this post?!) The rain let up early on in their set and it was just pure fun and love after that.

On a random not, I had no idea what they looked like when I bought their cd. I bought it based purely on how much I liked the sound of it (my brother thinks it's country because they're from North Carolina, Pam's husband refers to it as 'hippie music'. It is neither.) But if you know anything about me, you know my strange affinity for beards. And The Avett Brothers really rock the beards.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jurassic Park in the Park

Friday night Em and I headed over to Fairmont Park in Sugarhouse to check out Jurassic Park in the park. As you may know, I'm a huge fan of movies in the park ever since I experienced it the first time in New York. I love when summer comes and parks all over the valley have Movie Nights.

You might remember Jurassic Park, the Spielberg-directed tale about dinosaurs gone amok on an island in Costa Rica, and the people who unfortunately get in their way. I remember seeing this movie when out came it with my whole family. Tickets were like 5 bucks, we bought two large popcorns and two large drinks, I sat with my mom and dad while Jared and Em sat on the front row. The theater was packed and it was a pretty cool experience.

The movie and dinosaurs hold up really well after all these years (it came out in 1993). It's intense and scary and a great ride. Spielberg rarely misses, and this one is definitely a hit (too bad the subsequent sequels weren't quite as good).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Car Adventures

This latest car adventure was entirely of my own making. Afton (as I've named my car) this time was not in the wrong. Instead she suffered from my lack of preparation. After driving around town yesterday running errands, and being too lazy to get gas (because I hate getting gas), I thought for sure I could make the trip out to Sandy for the baby blessing of Pam's son and back, no problem, with the gas I had.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

As I exited the freeway my car started lurching, and I was afraid that it would stop right there on 600 S. I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it to a gas station, as the lurching was getting worse and accelerating was not happening, so I crossed four lanes of road to take a quick turn. My car slowly came to a stop on the side of the street by a car and doggy wash (separate businesses next to each other).

And once again my brother came to my rescue, this time with a gas can full of gas.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baby Explosion Pt. 2

Guess what?! I'm going to be an aunt again! Jojo is due January 14th and I'm super excited. Being an aunt is SO much fun. We haven't had a baby in the family since Mo, and that was six years ago. So including Jojo, I know three other people who are pregnant! Somethin' in the out!

This picture is 3 yrs old, but I love it and couldn't find a more recent one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Temple of Doom

The iconic Indiana Jones has been around for 30 years. To mark the occasion, the Gallivan Plaza downtown is showing all four Indy movies for their Monday Movies this summer. I unfortunately missed the first one, but last night my sister and I caught the showing of my favorite Indy movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple Doom.

Yes, it is my favorite. I remember first seeing it when I was a kid. Raiders of the Lost Ark was slightly above my understanding at that age, and something about Indy, Short-round, the kids, and everything else really appealed to me. Most fans consider this the weakest Indy outing (until the utterly awful Indy 4 came out) because of the very things I liked about it. It fell victim to the sequel curse supposedly, but it is really a trilogy's middle act, not a sequel. And as such, it is quite good.

As I watch it as an adult, I am sort of shocked at how dark it is. People's hearts are getting ripped out, Indy is 'posessed' for a little while, children are forced into slave labor. I have no idea why I enjoyed it so much as a kid (or how my parents let me watch it!) But as an adult, I still enjoy it. I loved hearing other people in the park laugh at funny parts, get grossed out by the wacky dinner entrees, freaked out by the bugs and creepy-crawlies, and clap at the end.

Indy is pretty much the coolest archaeologist out there. July 11th is The Last Crusade. Be there with me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

J.J. Abrams Has Done it Again

He got me to see a movie I was initially not interested in or averse to seeing. He did it first with LinkMission: Impossible 3 then again a couple summers ago with Star Trek. And last night he did it again with Super 8. When I had first heard about the movie, I was not interested. Even the early trailer didn't do much to make me want to see it. I guess I thought it was going to be about kids making movies (since Spielberg is a Producer, it made sense).

Man was I wrong. J.J. Abrams is that good (and Spielberg, too).

What happens to the kids as they make their movie is amazing and terrifying. The title would never lead you to think that it's about some secret operation that takes over a town and the possible other-worldly-creature that they are tracking. The later trailers definitely lean more towards an alien-type movie, but even those are misleading, I believe.

The story and characters never take backseat to the alien, and certainly never to CGI. It's not melodramatic or sappy or absurd or silly. The dialogue is real and funny, and the emotions not faked or flimsy. There's real suspense and intrigue; early on in the movie, Summer screamed and Julie jumped, causing me to jump as well and my box of Reese's Pieces to fly in the air, raining down on me and my neighbors. For another sequence I sat with my jaw dropped. One scene I cried. Multiple other scenes I laughed.

The movie's been compared to The Goonies, Staned By Me, and E.T. And those are all great comparisons. The movie is so well-executed that I find myself wanting to see it again. Although if I go with you, I will be jealous that you get to experience it for the first time!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weird Blog Things

Have you ever checked the stats on your blog and noticed that a completely random website is one of the referring URLs? I expect to have my blog checked by family and friends, basically the people whose blogs I also check out. I even expect a few random ones from people who go down the rabbit hole and end up clicking on mine from a common friend's blog (you know you've all done it!) But it's the complete random ones that I find strange. Like today there was an online psychology degree website that had checked out my blog. Very strange indeed.

This is almost as strange as when people I do not know, sometimes living in a foreign country, comment on my blog.

Seriously, who does that?!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Karate Kids

Ivy and Elliett are karate-chopping kids! They had a tournament on Saturday to show off their skills and it was pretty impressive. They were awesome and I love them!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why I Like Having a Car

--careening down the freeway and singing at the top of my lungs
--it's more time-efficient than the bus
--ever tried taking a lot of groceries home with just your two hands to carry it? cars make that much easier
--I can give rides in it
--running multiple errands in various parts of the valley is an actual possibility
--when I need a Jimmy John's fix I can get there in five minutes
--helping friends move (yes, my little car can be somewhat useful in this department)

And why I don't:
--um, have you seen gas prices?!
--slow cars in front of me
--having to concentrate while I drive, instead of being able to sleep or read or daydream
--being too tired to drive with all the work that is required with a stick shift
--finding parking
--car problems (thankfully none of those for awhile)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Blog

I realized that my blog was in dire need of an update today as I read my friend Jeff's new blog. As much as I loved my owl and pussycat template, a change was needed. This new one is called "Keep Dreaming."

I'm looking for a cool, every-day-on-that-day-I-blog-about-something-specific idea, because then I would at least have one blog a week. My friend Pam has her "A List for Tuesday" and my friend Jeff has "Hoffmann of the Month". What should mine be? Suggestions??

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Falling Asleep Anywhere

My brother, sister, (faux) sister-in-law and nieces and nephew headed down to Vegas over Memorial Day weekend to visit my dad and his wife. I took practically no pictures while there--none swimming, or of my dad, or of my brother or sister--but I did capture these gems of the kids sleeping.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Domino Thinking

I don't really have anything to write about, but I was thinking today that my blog hadn't been written on in awhile. And that got me thinking about how when I lived in New York there always seemed to be something to write about. And that got me thinking about how two years ago at this time I was on the road with my sis traveling back to Salt Lake. And then I remembered how a year ago I was getting ready to apply to grad school and was stressing about the GRE. And then I thought about how five months ago I was starting grad school.

And here I am, sitting in my living room thinking about homework, New York, dating (I'm watching the Bachelorette), traveling, and the future.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Time For Family, Friends, Home

With my abundant free time this past week, I was able to finally get face time with family and friends that had sadly fallen by the wayside in my end-of-semester overload. Last Saturday I spent the morning doing Race for the Cure with my fam. Sunday was spent at my mom's for Mother's Day. Thursday I visited my friend Pam and held her two-week old baby, Dane. Friday night I watched my talented friend Cat perform in Oklahoma. Saturday I had lunch with my old roommate Julie and then went home-improvement shopping with my sister, buying paint for my unfinished Ikea table and purchasing the two remaining chairs I needed to make it complete.

It feels good to have time again to do things other than schoolwork.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What a Week

This last week has been brutal. Now that I'm at the end of it, I'm not sure how I did it. Sometimes knowing that pretty soon it'll be over, that the deadline will come no matter what, is a nice motivator. I spent many hours and nights (and days for that matter) in the lab. I stayed up late working on papers (that I sadly procrastinated) and projects that were contingent on another similarly busy person. As I rushed and worked and wrote and created, I felt I had time for nothing else.

But now, it's done. I spent today without the worry that I should be doing homework instead. And it was nice.

With my free time this summer, I plan (hope) to do some things:
--read more
--make my home cute
--exercise (we've proposed a Family Biggest Loser competition...)
--get a bike
--visit with friends
--outdoor concerts
--date (if anyone wants to set me up....)
--summer movies!!
--blog more :)

And as I reflect on my first semester of grad school, I see that there are so many things I have learned. I definitely underestimated how much work it would be. I exercised poor time management and procrastinated a lot. I hope to be better next semester. I have all summer to work on it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

I don't know if you heard, but there was a wedding this morning. Ya know, just a simple marriage between a Prince and a commoner. We see this all the time, ho-hum, nothing to see here.

Yeah right! I've been looking forward to this since William and Kate announced their engagement in November. I was ecstatic that it was so close to my birthday (April is a good month because my friend Pam had her baby yesterday, too!). I even asked for the day off from work so I could watch (well that and catch up on all my homework that I didn't do last weekend).

I awoke at the early hour of 3:30 to watch Kate get in her Rolls Royce and be driven to Westminster Abbey. She was stunning! The ceremony itself was beautiful, with marvelous and inspiring words given to the couple. They emerged from the abbey to the sound of ringing bells, and it was not unlike a Disney fairy-tale, except that it's real!

As they appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, everyone waiting for the traditional kiss, one of the commentators had a rare moment of real insight. He mentioned that we're all waiting for this one little kiss, but, in the sermon given after their wedding, it was said that a marriage is about every day loving someone and living your life together in the normal everyday moments.

It was everything a wedding should be. Made better with all those hats!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter and Birtday

Today is Easter. It's also my birthday. There's nothing worse than a Sunday birthday, except having a holiday Sunday birthday. I asked my mom if my birthday had ever fallen on Easter before. Nope. Hopefully it won't happen again.

Yes, I was a little sad I had to share my birthday. But then I went to church, and the sacrament meeting was so wonderful and inspiring that I got over it. The reason for Easter--the resurrection of the Christ--is quite amazing and one of the most important aspects of my beliefs. We had a violin-flute-piano performance, piano solo, and the ward choir. When we closed out the meeting with I Believe in Christ, I sang my heart out (and I believe I was even on key!) It was nothing short of inspiring.

I then had Easter dinner with my fam, followed by an ice cream cake and presents. It really was a great day. So I guess there are worse things than sharing a birthday with Easter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baby Explosion

My friend Tina had a baby about a week ago. My cousin Rachel had a baby yesterday. My cousin Kemp and his wife had a baby this weekend, too. My friend Pam is due any day now. Not to mention all the friends and family that have had babies in the past couple months. Babies everywhere!! It's crazy. I'm excited for all of them, and realize that my poor mom has been stuck at three grandchildren for almost six years now, while all her sisters keep getting more and more. My response to that: you should've had more children, mom, preferably sons.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 12: My Town

A photo of the 'town' I live in. Here's a photo I took my front porch a couple months ago. I love the sunset over downtown and the mountains.

I LOVE downtown Salt Lake.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 11: Make-up Bag

What's in my make-up bag is the question for today. My make-up bag is pretty simple because make-up just doesn't stay on my face. What I can't live without is foundation and mascara. Foundation is pivotal for covering up my acne (which my dermatologist is working on getting rid of) and mascara is equally important and essential to my make-up routine. When I'm putting together my outfit for the day, I can't ever get the full effect until I have on mascara. I think everyone looks better with a little mascara to make their eyes pop. I've been told that I have pretty eyes so I think it behooves me to do all I can to accentuate them.

But really, what does it matter, when at the end of the day it seems like all the foundation is gone and the mascara is creating black circles under my eyes :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 10: A Place to Eat

A photo of my favorite place to eat. When I lived in New York, there was this deli on the corner of 137th and Broadway, right by the downtown subway entrance of the 1 train. I could get a hero and a can of pop for four bucks. After a long and stressful day, there was nothing I wanted more. It always hit the spot, and it's one of the things I really miss about New York.

Other places I love to eat at: Jimmy Johns, Chipotle, Hard Rock Cafe, Cafe Rio, Su Casa, any place that has a rockin' hamburger selection.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Ivy!

Ten years ago, my first niece was born. It was a rainy/snowy day in Pocatello when she arrived at 1:24 pm. She was 7 lbs 10 ounces, 20 inches and I loved all of her. Sadly, this was before digital cameras, and I can't find the picture I know I have of me holding her in the hospital. I'll just post some pictures of her that I have on my computer.

I love this girl, and can't believe she's already ten! Wow. She's an amazing girl who's smart and artistic and so much fun.

A Utah Premiere

Two years ago I worked on a movie. It was called Snowmen. That movie finally had its Utah premiere today at the Broadway theater downtown as part of the Tumbleweed Film Festival. Anyone who remembers reading my blog when I was making the movie, it wasn't always a great experience. It was cold and the days were long and it really reminded me why I didn't want to work in film for the rest of my life. It was the job that was the catalyst in my leaving New York. So yeah, it was sort of a pivotal moment in my life.

As I sat in the dark movie theater, watching memories on the big screen, I was rather impressed with how it all turned out. It looked great and had a great message for kids. All I ever saw were little snippets as we filmed (in non-chronological order), as I was usually either away from the action or working with the extras. But seeing it all come together on screen, it was quite amazing.

Also amazing--seeing my super short, out of focus, wouldn't-know-it-was-me-unless-I-pointed-it-out-to-you (which I did to my sister) stint as an extra. That was cool. Almost as cool as seeing my name in the credits! And in the cast/crew photos during the credits. Yep, pretty neat.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April First

Guess what?! My new laptop arrived yesterday! It was very exciting, and I was up very late installing all sorts of things on it so it would be just like my old laptop. Which I realized was very old and outdated. But, I sorta miss it, mainly because it was comfortable and I had everything on it. Now starts the grueling task of transferring everything over.

What I'm most excited about with my new laptop is that it now holds enough memory for me to install ArcGIS on it. Yes, this is sorta dorky, but it's a computer program I need for my GIS class and having it on my personal laptop means I no longer have to go to campus to work on my project.

And that project is going to be a lot of work. So I'm glad I can do it at midnight, sitting in my pjs, while watching Buffy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My laptop will be arriving at the end of the week, when I will continue with my Blog Challenge (well, hopefully. Honestly, I write blog posts in my head all the time and this not having a computer thing has really been a downer). Right now I'm in the Marriott Library, gearing up to write a paper for one of my classes.

I just wanted a place to document the excitement I felt today. I left work early to meet with a professional who works for the UTA to ask for his help with a project I'm doing for my GIS class. I get really excited when I think about the future and all the things I'll get to do. He said he doesn't make a lot of money, but he enjoys what he does at the end of the day and goes home happy. That's all I really want. I truly get excited when I talk about planning and transportation with people. I currently hate my present work scenario, and can't wait for the day when I actually enjoy my work.

I also had a seminar class tonight. Our speaker was a member of the City Council (or something like that) and his whole presentation was on making downtown more transit, pedestrian and bike friendly. We talked about the new light rails, bike lanes, trails, increasing public transit. It's so interesting to me and I can't wait til I get to actually do it all for a living.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On Hold

So my laptop has finally gone kaput. And this time I think it's for real. Within minutes of turning it on, it switches to a blue screen that says something to the likes of, "Your computer is totally messed up, so we shut it down." I am in the process of buying a new one, but I'm sorta a procrastinator and don't know when I'll get around to it (because, well, I don't have a laptop at home to browse laptop selections! Oh, the irony.) Maybe this week.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 9: Last Purchase

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 8: A Song

Just one song to match my mood?!! When I listen to songs, I tend to always find a way for it to relate to my life. Or to a way I was feeling at some time in the past. As for how I'm feeling right now...I feel tired after a long day of work and then school. I've recently discovered Jeremy Messersmith, and I love his song, A Boy A Girl and A Graveyard. It's sort of a melancholy song.

When I'm not feeling sad or tired, I really like this song by The Naked and Famous. It makes me want to get up and dance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 7: Perfect Wedding

Well, I guess most girls think about their wedding day long before it happens. And I'm not going to pretend I'm any different. So while I have thought about it, I have not thought about the specifics. It's more of a feeling I expect to have, being surrounded by my family, extended family, friends, and my new family, extended family and friends. Of being with a person that I love and feeling supreme happiness. I want to feel like the luckiest, prettiest, happiest person on Earth at that moment. Because life is hard, even when you're married, and I want that one day to not have any worries or concerns, but just to be enjoyed and celebrated.

And I guess I have thought about a few of the specifics. I'd like to have my reception either outside in a lovely park (like the Gallivan Plaza in downtown Salt Lake) or at the Union Pacific Depot downtown. I'd like to have a live band and a really rocking reception, where people dance the night away and really feel like it's fun!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 6: A Pet

I'm supposed to put up a picture of an animal I'd like to have as a pet. In a world not constrained by size or location, I would love nothing more than having an elephant for a pet. Or at least as a mode of transportation. Since I live in Salt Lake City, where there isn't exactly an abundance of elephants, I guess I'll settle for the stuffed elephant I've had since I was little.

My picture in my last post is me with my cat, Rambo. I got him from my friend Holli when her cat had kittens. I named him Rambo because he was so rambunctious as a kitten. I hadn't had him too long before I had to leave for college. It was sad to leave him, but I'm sure he could care less (you know how cats are). Through a series of sad and unfortunate events, Rambo was lost. It was too sad to continue looking for him at the Human Society in Pocatello, so I just accepted that he was gone and hopefully living it up somewhere else.

When I was growing up we had a dog named Max. I still get a little sad when I think about him. We found him at the Humane Society when we were living in Bountiful. My sister claims she's the one who found him, but I know it was me. We named him after the dog, Max, in The Little Mermaid. My family had Max for over ten years. I loved him, and the day we put him down was one of the saddest days of my life. I cried all day.

Pets are awesome, and I look forward to the day when I can have one again.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 5: High School

Day 5's challenge is to post a picture of myself from high school. High school was ten years ago, way before digital cameras took over film cameras. So while I have a ton of pictures from high school, they are all on film and I currently have no way of getting them onto my computer and then onto blogger. But what I can give is a photo of a photo that I took with my ipod touch.

This is me with my cat Rambo, around the end of my senior year of high school. Actually, come to think of it, this picture might actually be my first year of college. Oh well, it's pretty close, right?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 4: Best Friend

I thought it very fitting that the Day 4 challenge fell today, because today is Oscar day and my best friend and I have a long tradition of watching them together. That's sorta how we became friends--we both really loved movies. We started watching the Oscars together the year Shakespeare in Love won, and I was beyond upset that Spielberg won Best Director for Schindler's List but lost the Best Picture trophy (I've since gotten over it, because I really do love both films). It was our tradition every year. Then sadly, a year came when we lived in different states. And for seven Oscar ceremonies, from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King to The Hurt Locker, we watched them separately.

But this year, we planned ahead. Lindsay got the next day off work and she drove down here to watch them with me! It was awesome! Besides my sister and sister-in-law, I can't think of anyone better to watch the Oscars with. For this momentous occasion, I decorated my house with a red carpet, stars, a Hollywood sign, and a scattering of the Award-winning movies that I own (sadly, I didn't take any pictures). Simply put, the whole thing was awesome.

Here's Lindsay and I on her wedding day.

And this one is from my going away party before moving to New York:

Most of the really great pictures of us are from pre-digital camera days, and someday I'll get a scanner....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 3: Perfect Date

My description of the perfect date. Hmm. I feel like I'm a fairly simple girl when it comes to dating. I don't need big elaborate dates that require a lot of work. I'm really just a dinner and a movie type of gal. I guess the date would be pretty perfect if we saw an awesome movie together that we were able to discuss over dinner (or lunch). Then we'd go for a walk, maybe get some ice cream (or gelato!) and just talk about random things. At the end, when he's walked me to my door, we'd have that awkward moment that I really hate. But hopefully we have a great hug and he says something about wanting to do it again. That would be pretty perfect.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 2: Food

Day 2: A picture of something you ate today.

I LOVE almonds.

Here's the 30-day Blog Challenge if anyone else wants to do it, too!
Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.
Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date.
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – A photo of yourself from high school.
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.
Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.
Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.
Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Day 23 – 15 facts about you.
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – What’s in your purse?
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 27 – A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Day 28 – Your favorite movie.
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 1: Me

The other day I was lamenting to my co-worker that I hadn't blogged in over a week. She told me that she's even worse than that at updating her blog, but said she was trying this "30 Day Blog Challenge". So I'm going to give it a try.

Day 1: A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.

My day was pretty much like all the others. I got up after hitting my snooze button a few times, got myself ready, was thankful my nighttime self got my lunch and bookbag ready the night before, and headed off to work. My work is NOT exciting. But it pays the bills and allows me to go to school. So, good thing. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I leave work for two hours to go to class. I really like this class. Last week we talked about Baroque city structure and it was fascinating. We talked all about Rome, last week Venice and Florence, and today Paris, and I always leave with my travel bug just itching!

Today was also weigh-in day for our company-wide Biggest Loser competition. Mine did not go well :( I'm also taking part in my department-wide Biggest Loser competition. Weigh-in is tomorrow morning, so I'm trying to work out tonight, but am distracted by my new ipod touch. But seriously, I need to get motivated because I don't want to pay anymore money and I want to feel better. Any idea for getting motivated??

My class tonight was canceled, so I came home and spend a lot of time fiddling with my new ipod touch. I seriously can't get enough of it. I had had my old ipod for over fours years, and it was so ancient that it was only 1GB! That's about 250 songs total!

And now a picture of myself:

This picture was taken during my trip to Europe after graduating college. It's nearly four years old, but I love this picture for a few reasons. One, I'm in Rome and that is awesome. Two, those were my favorite sunglasses ever and I lost them a couple years ago. Very sad. And three, I just think I look good. And I'm happy.

Blog Template by