Friday, December 28, 2012

Do You Hear the People Sing?

My first brush with Les Miserables was the summer of '04, when my then-stepmom, Jana, got tickets to the Capitol Theater production. To say that Jana loves Les Miserables is an understatement; she was so excited to share it with me and my sister--the story of Jean Valjean and his redemption. I saw it on stage again when I first moved to New York, getting cheap student tickets with my roommate Rosemary and her sister Martha. There truly is something lovely about changing one's life, caring for others, paying it forward, loving and living.

 My New York Les Miserables experience, September 2007

However, I was not overly excited to see the newest theatrical version, even though I would see Hugh Jackman in almost anything (and I have). But everyone who had seen it proclaimed profusely how much they loved it, Anne Hathaway was getting rave reviews, and suddenly I had to see it.

My mind is still percolating on what my overall feeling of the movie is. No doubt, the story and music are amazing, that's not a question. But how did this specific movie do? At first I thought it was long (am I becoming old and out of touch??!!). In the moment I thought it wasn't anything special, but as I left the theater and walked downtown I couldn't stop whistling "Do You Hear the People Sing?", or thinking about Valjean and how he raised Cosette as his own and loved her, how Eponine was selfless and caring, how Javert spent his life looking for one man who he considered a con but was actually so much more. My lasting impression of it is that it is a very nice production and does the history of Les Miserables proud.

On a technical note, I thought it was very cool how the director was able to give nearly every actor a one-shot song solo, from Valjean to Fantine to Eponine to Marius. As most everyone knows by now, the actors sang live on set, and it shows. It's very cool. The director perhaps used the close-up too much, but that's just a little quibble. The story is moving, and I found myself getting teary-eyed more times than I'd like to admit, but I was in good company with the rest of the theater, who I could hear sniffling. When the rebels stand at the barricade and finish singing "Do You Hear the People Sing" a girl in the audience actually whooped. And at the end we all clapped.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012 was white and merry, just the way I like it. Although, it can stop snowing now that the holiday is over (it's been snowing since early this morning).

I got a sewing machine! Now I'm gonna get my craft on with all those things I've seen on Pinterest. I really want to make a quilt of all my old t-shirts from races and travels and random events. We'll see how that goes.....

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Perfect Weekend

This weekend was the absolute best way to get ready for Christmas. There was a Peter Breinholt Christmas Concert downtown, which is always beautiful and perfect. Afterwards, mom and Em and myself had a delicious dinner at the Olive Garden, followed by a stroll around Temple Square taking in all the lights and wonder. We capped off the night with a drive around the Avenues and Federal Heights neighborhoods to see the houses decorated with Christmas and Hanukkah lights.

Sunday we celebrated my niece's first birthday with family and friends. It was perfect.

After a few hours at work, I am now home finishing up the last of my Christmas goodies before heading out to Jared and Jojo's for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. And with the newly fallen snow, it really is quite perfect.

Merry Christmas and I hope your Holidays have been joyous.

Friday, December 21, 2012

An Afternoon With George Bailey

My local independent theater is showing It's A Wonderful Life now thru December 27th. I of course could not pass this up, as it has been three years since I last watched it on the big screen. I absolutely love this move. So much. Everything about it is perfect.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Christmas Spirit

This week has been spent Christmas shopping for loved ones and baking goodies. I love having the free time to do these things. It culminated today with my work Christmas party at City Hall. We had the best chicken cordon bleu I've ever had, followed by white elephant gift-giving. I love laughing with my co-workers and getting to know them better.

I left work and headed to the Gateway, where I bought my almost-last present and was helped by a very nice (and cute) dude at the Fanzz Store. Everyone, from shoppers to employees, were smiling and in a good mood. I love that the holiday season does that.

A last stop at Harmon's to get the last of my needs for goodie-baking brought it all home. I've always loved the Salvation Army Bell Ringers that pop up this time of year, and I made it a goal to always put at least a dollar in each one I passed this year. This particular bell-ringer had a boombox blasting Christmas music, and as I put my dollar bill in the bin and he said a very genuine thanks I was overcome with the Christmas spirit. I had to fight back tears as I entered the store.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa--they're all wonderful and worth celebrating. So Happy Holidays to everyone who reads this!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hobbit

I wasn't planning on seeing The Hobbit. Maybe at the dollar theater months later, but certainly not on opening weekend (I love seeing movies on opening weekend). But when my awesome friend Pammy asked me if I wanted to see it with her and the equally awesome I said yes, mainly just to hang out with them.

Not quite sure why I wasn't excited to see it. Fellowship of the Ring was my favorite of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with my liking of each successive film diminishing a bit (I haven't watched these movies in a long time, so maybe I need to rewatch them....). I think that's why I wasn't jazzed for The Hobbit. Also, I haven't the read (but I also didn't read Lord of the Rings).

So I went into the movie with pretty low expectations (which is good for me). And honestly, I didn't really like it. It was loooooong. I do not believe for one second that the exact same filmmaker who was able to make one excellent movie out of each book for The Lord of the Rings needed to make three  from one, much smaller book. The movie feels padded. Extremely. It takes a long time to get going, and then it doesn't even get interesting until Gollum appears. Which is near the end.

If you're a hardcore or even passing fan (basically if you read the book and liked it) then I think you'll probably like it. Although, when I told my brother, who is a pretty big fan (he went to a marathon viewing of of the trilogy last weekend) about the movie he was afraid that too many liberties would be taken and that it would feel stuffed. We'll see what he thinks once he sees it. 

And maybe I was just distracted from the horrible events that had happened earlier in Connecticut.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Old Foto Friday

My brother with his sisters, May 1999 at his wedding reception. We're all so young (and thin)! And a little washed out from the flash.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And I'm Done

Today was it. It was the last day of a lot of work. It was the day I finished my school work for a masters degree in City and Metropolitan Planning. I had to present to faculty and students the work I did for my professional project, which was a Transportation Study for Morgan County. I really enjoyed my project and was pleased to share my work with others. It's always nice to hear complementary comments about something you put a lot of work into.

I then spent time in the library finishing up a chapter on Poisson and Negative Binomial Regression for my stats class. It was tough, as this was a doctoral level course with extremely smart students all writing dissertations and generally being heads and shoulders above me on understanding what was going on. But I powered through and wrote a semi-decent chapter. As I logged off the computer for the last time and made my way outside to the bus stop, I couldn't help but look around and savor the last moments on campus. I spent a lot of time in the library. It's a comforting place.

After a year and a half of waiting patiently, then two years of school work, it feels good to be done. It's nice to follow through and complete a plan that was set in motion a long time ago, before I made the move back to Salt Lake, way back when I was in New York and discovering an interest and passion for cities. There were setbacks, there were miracles, there were times it was a slog working full time and doing school full time. But to be done, I can say now that it was all worth it.

And now all that's left is to get a job. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Old Foto Friday

This is my friend Natalie and I at my second Matchbox20 Concert (this was before they changed to "Twenty"). I was in my freshman year at Snow College, so this picture is Fall 2001. My sister and best friend, Emily and Lindsay, were also there but I can't find the picture of all four of us at the concert.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

From Here to Timbuktu

I'm finishing my Masters degree in a couple weeks. And as such I've been applying for jobs like crazy. I have a spreadsheet of all the jobs I've applied for, noting when I applied, when it closes, the pay, who I used for references. So far I've applied for 32 jobs all over the country, from North Dakota to Florida to Texas to California. Here's the map:

Sometimes I get excited when I think about moving somewhere new. I let my mind wander to the new path my life could go on. Other times I think that I love my home in the avenues so much and never want to leave it. I think that if I cant' find a boyfriend in heavily-LDS Utah, how would I ever find one in Minot, North Dakota? What would I do without my family? I remind myself that I've done it before when I moved to New York, and this time I would be moving with a job.

In the end, what happens will happen and I'll roll with it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

I think we started a new Christmas tradition: gingerbread houses. The kids had a lot of fun decorating their houses with all sorts of candy and chocolate and snow (cotton candy). I love seeing how creative they are and the concentration on their faces as they contemplate where to put that candy cane or rolo. They all turned great!

On top, from left to right: Ivy, Elliett, Moses. On bottom, left to right: Jorge's mansion, Josue's.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Old Foto Friday

Lindsay-loo, Jeanne and me at Lagoon. This was the summer before our senior year (I'm pretty sure, it could've been the summer before our junior year). And yeah, I'm still a poser in pictures.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New York Christmas Trees

Tonight the tree at Rockefeller Center was lit up. I moved to the City in September, and that first December I was pretty excited to see the tree. I didn't have my blog at that time, so I'm going to share some pictures from then. I'd share some memories, but I have an awful memory and pretty much remember just feeling like it was magical.

When you don't live in New York, you tend to think that the tree at Rockefeller is the tree of the city. But it's really just one of many. I really liked the tree at Lincoln Center, which is lit up at Winter Fest, an event full of music, lights, people and hot chocolate. 

The next year, before leaving for Salt Lake to work with Sundance, I went to the tree lighting at Bryant Park. I like how each of the trees are distinct from one another.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Feeling the Stress

I have two weeks of school left (technically three I guess if you count Finals week, but I don't have any finals, so...). Ever. This semester has literally flew by. I remember thinking back in August that I still had so much time left for my projects. But I don't.

And all of a sudden I felt stressed about it all. I've been very checked out and laid back (more than normal) all semester, so this is kinda strange. Maybe I'm afraid I won't graduate. Because that would be really, really sad.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lincoln on Thanksgiving

This year my Thanksgiving Movie was Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg-directed, Daniel Day-Lewis-starring movie about the last months of President Lincoln's life as he worked to get the 13th Amendment passed. The move is extraordinary. I don't know if I have enough awesome words to convey how much I loved this movie. Lincoln is without a doubt the best President ever, and it is amazing how Day-Lewis brings him to life. It's as if I spent the evening with the President himself. I could feel his weariness of the war, his desire to make men free, his love for America.

Spielberg generally directs with a lot more flair, but here he lets the actors all do their things (and there's  a lot of them) with very simple camera movements. The scenes are lit sparcely (shot by Janusz Kaminski, longtime cinematographer for Spielberg) as perhaps it would be like in 1865. The White House itself is an office as much as it is a home, with people coming and going, the President doing his work throughout.

The cast is pretty incredible. Day-Lewis is nothing short of amazing. He's surrounded by Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace (!). My favorite, other than Lincoln himself, was Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant. Harris is a brit known mostly for his role on Mad Men and I loved seeing him doing this completely different role. Day-Lewis is clearly the star, but all the other characters get their chance to shine and do so much with their little screen time.

Even though I knew how everything would turn out, the political maneuvering was intense and when the final vote was taken I was anxious to see what would happen. When Lincoln leaves the White House to attend a play at Ford Theater, I wanted to yell at him to not go. I cried when he died. What a remarkable man. 

I got chills watching a particular scene where the President, holed up with his Cabinet in the White House, forcefully conveys to them why this Amendment is so important--why right now, at this moment, it must be seen through. Then, at the end, when the Amendment has been passes, there's a simple scene of Lincoln sitting on a porch with Ulysses S. Grant. He speaks with so much compassion about the reinstatement of the Southern states and the men who fought for the Confederacy. It's beautiful.

See the movie. It's awesome.

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving this year was pretty great. Jared and Jojo hosted at their new home, and all the space was really nice. We had food, pie, laughter, a few tears (from the baby) and a game of Phase 10, which I won while having the second highest amount of points. Hope yours was just as awesome.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Friends Thanksgiving

This is my favorite holiday-themed episode, ever. Brad Pitt guest stars as a high school friend of Ross, Rachel and Monica. I could probably quote this entire episode with my best friend Lindsay-loo.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scholarship Luncheon

Remember how I received a scholarship for this semester? Well, because of that I get to attend all sorts of cool things. Today it was the annual Scholarship Luncheon at Red Butte Garden. I love when I get to mingle with cool people who are interested in what I'm interested in and want to help me land a job when I graduate. 

I'm really grateful to have gotten the scholarship. I know I'm not the smartest person in my program, but I'm passionate about transit, I work hard and I want to make the world a better place.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Old Foto Friday

My friend Holly's wedding. This was in Pocatello, summer of 2001 or 2002 (I can't remember). That's me on the far left, Natalie B., Jill, Holly the bride, Jessica and Natalie S. We all worked at Wendy's and were good friends. Good ol'Wendy's.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jazz Game

It snowed like crazy yesterday in Salt Lake. But that didn't stop Emily, Mom, Ivy, Elliett, Mo and myself from going to the Jazz/Suns game last night. It did, however, mean we had to get all bundled up.
After leading the whole game, it looked as though the Jazz might blow it in the last half of the fourth quarter. They pulled out the victory though, and we were rewarded with lots of snow falling as we left the arena.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Old Foto Friday

This was a family trip we took to Yellowstone in July 1993. Em  and are both wearing purple shirts, but I have accessorized with a massive bow in my hair and pink sweater while Em decided to forgo her arms. I think my dad is wearing a Celtics hat--I do not remember him being a fan of them. When I see old pictures of Jared I'm struck by how much Mo looks like his dad! And again, Em is the tall one (or at least the same height as Jared).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Time to Vote

Election Day!!

Just like when I was in New York, I got up early to vote right when the polls opened. It took about thirty minutes to get in and out. And the experience was awesome, with people being nice and considerate and helpful, all of us exercisin' our right to vote for our leaders. And getting stickers, which I wore all day with pride. Now I'm watching the results come in on PBS. It won't be exactly like my election experience in New York, but I do hope to have a bowl of popcorn and a Dr. Pepper.

My friend at work asked what I would do if Romney won, and I said I'd just go on living my life. Obviously I'd be a little bummed, but life goes on.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bad Luck

Yesterday I broke a mirror that I've had for quite some time. I'm not particularly superstitious, but I really can't afford 7 years of bad luck right now. I'm graduating in a month and need all the help and luck I can get to get hired. I also need some help with the motivation to finish all my assignments. Also, I'm nearly thirty and still single, so seven more years of bad luck with dating would be nearly unbearable.

So if everyone could keep their fingers crossed for me, just a little superstitiously, maybe I can avoid the seven years of bad luck. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Club: The Sleeping Beauty

Last night I had two book clubs! The first was with my former co-workers at Myriad that we've been doing since we all read The Hunger Games. We meet at Red Robin after work and talk about the book while we eat fries and hamburgers. The book this month was The Princess Bride, and since everyone loved it we didn't have a whole lot to talk about it. But really, who doesn't love the classic tale of true love, intrigue, sword fighting and fire swamps?!

The second was my monthly book club started by my friend Pam. It was my turn to host, which is always fun. We were short three of our members this time, so it was a small, intimate gathering of just three. Our book this month was The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey. This book took a good 100+ pages to get interesting, and even then it wasn't entirely engaging to me. More than once I wondered if the trials to gain the princess was really what the whole book was going to be about. There were story parts that got stranded and were never returned to, which was kind of annoying. Also, there was a lot of describing going on, and I felt it needed to be edited a lot. That being said, we had a lot to discuss and the night was wonderful.

No picture taken. Oops.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Old Foto Friday

My family had a dog when I was growing up. Max was a part of my life from when I was 7 to 19. I have a lot of pictures of him. I came across this one when finding the pictures for last week. This was Spring '98.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Five Books

My friend Pam shared on her blog the five books that changed her, and asked for ones that had changed her readers. I shared mine, and now I want to go into detail about them.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin This book was read in my sixth grade class, and I can still hear my teacher Ms. Gillespie reading it aloud to us when we were doing art time. I immediately got caught up in the mystery of who was Mr. Westing and how the tenants of Sunset Towers were connected. The writing was funny and clever, sometimes breaking that fourth wall and talking to the reader. I loved it, and still do--I own this book and try to read it once a year.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte I think I've already professed my love for this book and Mr. Rochester a couple times. The story of plain Jane who sticks to her morals and still gets everything she wants in the end--love, fulfillment, stability, independence--just hit me when I read it. Lots of times people don't get everything they want, but why should we strive for anything less?

John Adams by David McCullough  I got this book from the New York Public Library and couldn't put it down; early American history and the Founding Fathers has always been fascinating to me. I was amazed at the amount of research that went into the book. John Adams was stalwart in what he believed and was truly integral to the building of America in the early years. The author describes events so beautifully that it was like poetry. The letters written between John Adams and his wife, Abigail, are lovely, and makes me wish that we still wrote letters.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee I don't know how anyone can not love this book. I had seen the movie first, in a Film and the Law class as an undergrad, and just loved Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. It was a few years later when I picked up the book and realized that the source material was beautiful. Atticus, Gem, Scout, Boo Radley--wonderful characters. Such an excellent portrait is drawn of the South, families, learning, and understanding others that it should be a must-read for everyone.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck My first brush with Steinbeck was ninth grade honors English when we read The Pearl. My fourteen-year old self didn't really get Steinbeck. Then, while at Snow College (in another film class) I had to read Of Mice and Men and then compare it against both move versions and the play that the theater department was putting on that semester. Even at eighteen, I don't think I quite got Steinbeck. Then, while waiting in Port Authority for a bus to Washington D.C., I read it again. It's a short book and I read it while waiting all morning for the bus, and was so caught up in the tragic tale of Lenny and George. Now, I think I get Steinbeck.

Honorable Mention: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Not because I liked the book, but because it was the book that introduced me to Pam.

All but one of these books was read while I lived in New York. I don't think that's a coincidence. It was a time when I felt like I was discovering who I was, so the books I read while there influenced me a lot.

What are the books that changed you?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Old Foto Friday

Since I didn't post something last Friday, here are two fotos!

Saturday is my best friend Lindsay's birthday. These are from the American Heritage trip we went on in ninth grade. March 1998. The top one is at Mount Vernon, and the bottom at the "Friends" fountain at the Smithsonian in D.C.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Half Birthday

I'm exactly six months into my Thirtieth Year today, and I don't have much to report. I got hit with a serious case of lack of motivation a couple weeks ago. This came about because I felt like the hard work I was doing--jogging, working out, eating better--wasn't making any difference (scale-wise). Also, I had boy blues. It all combined into a general sense of lethargy, and I gave into it. Hardcore.

Sorry Thirtieth Year. I'll try to be better.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Captain Buddy

My friend Pam and her husband went away for the weekend (to the Utah Shakespearean Festival) and were in need of someone to watch their dog, Captain Buddy. I used to  also watch their chocolate lab, Bo, when they were out of town. Captain Buddy, however, is a cute little malti-poo so I was able to bring him to my house for the weekend. I've wanted a dog for a long time, but currently cannot have dogs at my place (my landlord just left for six months to Uruguay to set up an eco-park, in case you're wondering how I was able to have him for the weekend).

Captain Buddy was rescued by a co-worker of Pam's husband, and after getting him cleaned up and neutered they offered him to Pam. After the (very sad) death of Bo, they asked their four-year-old if he wanted a small dog or big dog, and when he said small dog they jumped at the chance to take on Captain Buddy. His name was Buddy, but four-year-old Dutchie wanted to call him Captain so a compromise was struck to name him Captain Buddy (but he responds entirely to Captain now).

I LOVED having Captain with me. He immediately loved me as only dogs can. He is very cuddly and always wanted to be up in my business. We went on walks morning and night. He went to my sister's with me to carve pumpkins (Emily loved him too). I would look forward to coming home because I knew he'd be waiting for me. Honestly, a dog is the best thing for a single gal!

Pam and Dutchie picked him up yesterday, and it was so cute to see Dutchie love Captain and have Captain love him right back. They missed each other, I think. I missed Captain this morning as I got ready, and coming home for school wasn't as exciting.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

Saturday afternoon we all carved pumpkins! It was lots of fun watching the kids choose their patterns and then try to replicate it on the pumpkin. Some chose to make their own creations while others went with elaborate patterns. They all turned out great!

SoJo 5k

A few months ago I talked my family into running a 5k. It was meant to be a competition, because some of us are fairly competitive and I thought it would make us all try harder. But on race day, the competition didn't matter. It was just awesome to see my mom and sister out there with me, doing something they'd never done before. They always show up at my races and cheer me on at the end and take pictures; this time I cheered them on as they crossed the finish line, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Old Foto Friday

This is my most favorite picture of Ivy. We are at my Grandma's house in Moroni for the Fourth of July. Ivy was four when the picture was taken, and she's just so happy about those bubbles. I love her.

Friday, October 12, 2012


This was taken from my former home teacher's Wall on Facebook:
              "Rude (rood). Adj. 1. Your political candidate at a debate. See assertive.

               Assertive (ah-SUR-tiv). Adj. 1. My political candidate at a debate. See rude.

              Can we move on now, please?"

It got me thinking about my obsession with perspective, which stems from a verse in Alma from The Book of Mormon that I could not find again until a couple weeks ago.  It is Alma 62: 41 and is this:

       41 But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their aafflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.

We choose to see what we want to see, and react how we choose to react based on that. Perspective is an interesting thing. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Review of Batman

After seeing The Dark Knight a few summers ago, and being much less in love with it than everyone else, I knew I wouldn't be that into its eventual sequel. The previews did nothing to excite me to see it on opening weekend. Of course I would see it eventually....when it came to the dollar theater. Which it finally did. I went in with pretty low expectations and still came out of it disappointed. It turned out it was worse than I had imagined it could be.

Don't get me wrong, it's not bad like Batman and Robin was bad, or bad like Spiderman 3. This was bad in that so many talented people got together, under the direction of Christopher Nolan, and made something that was weak. Worse than that, it wasn't fun or interesting at all.

The movie is long. Really long. Nearly three hours. It's probably a half hour longer than it should be. For a very large chunk of the movie Batman is gone. Completely gone and the film is given over to Bain and the cops trying to fight against him. One could argue that his absence was because Bain was in control of the city and the audience needed to feel, just like the residents of Gotham, that all hope was lost. I do not buy this argument.

Which leads me to my next issue with the film: the villain. The Joker, understandably, is a hard act to follow. But it was not an insurmountable task, especially with a director like Christopher Nolan. In my opinion, Bain was not charismatic or even interesting. He was just brute force. Then the switcheroo to Tate being the real villain felt a lot like lazy writing.

I also took issue with the film trying way too hard to be a relevant movie, with the "rich vs. poor" mentality espoused by Bain. I believe that the actual Occupy Wall Street movement had issues that were important to discuss. I do not think anyone believes we should pillage and demean the rich when the poor have taken over. Not at all. And I found it hard to watch it.

From a filmmaking standpoint, the movie was nothing spectacular. The cinematography was flat as was the direction. The music was loud and distracting. Again, I expect more from a director like Christopher Nolan; he's not Joel Schumacher or Michael Bay. All the actors seemed to be tired and just saying their lines. Batman exists in his own world, but this movie brought us a bomb, nuclear fusion, and the President of the United States. It was all so incongruous that it felt like a bizarre alternate universe where Batman and his cohorts were dropped in on.

This quibble is a small one, but I just couldn't get past it: the football stadium scene. First of all, why wasn't the stadium completely full? It looked like whoever had that task in the CGI department forgot to finish it. The previous films, although filming in either New York or Chicago, always made Gotham its own city. This movie was so obviously shot in New York and wasn't even attempted to make it look different. It bothered me.

And finally, Bruce Wayne/Batman was whiny and just too sad. I get that he loved Rachel, and the films took a chance on giving Batman one real, constant love throughout them. However it was bungled in this third one. As my friend said, it needed some rewrites so it wasn't stumbling across the finish line.

There you go. A very long dis on The Dark Knight Rises. It's much more fun to dissect what you think is bad about a movie than what was good. If you liked it, feel free to let me know!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Riding the Bus

There are a lot of things you get from taking transit that you just don't get with a car. Being a car is so individualizing and cuts you off from other people and the world. It's hard to appreciate your surroundings when you have to focus on the road and the car in front of you and shifting and all that. One of the things I loved about living in New York was that we all rode the subway and it unified us in a way that driving a single occupancy vehicle just can't.

I took the 209 bus today to Sugarhouse to check out (finally) The Dark Knight Rises at the dollar theater (this will more than likely get a lengthy post shortly). I walked four blocks thru my neighborhood to the bus stop. I then read while on the bus. I then walked a couple blocks along the streets of Sugarhouse to the movie theater. It was lovely and perfect. While waiting for the bus to go home, I helped a nice girl figure out where she was going on the bus. Lots of times I can get annoyed with people talking to me, but I feel like at this moment I was meant to help her. I've been stuck a lot on myself lately, worrying about me, me, me, and I'm thankful for this small moment where I felt like I could be of help to someone.

Today I had a meeting with my advisors for my Professional Project, and it was very cool to just talk about transit and providing services for people and feel like I could really be a part of something great happening.

We should all take transit a little more. I'm a transit nerd, and I'm okay with that.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Old Foto Friday

This was our Spring Break '99, when we went to Bryce Canyon. Again, this is classic Em and Julie. Our personalities and clothing styles have been quite different ever since we were teenagers (and probably before then).

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Donut Falls Hike

Em, mom and I went on a hike to Donut Falls today. It's up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and is a pretty easy hike. I mean, kids in diapers were "hiking" it. Once you get to the actual falls, though, it can be kind of tricky climbing up the wet rocks and such. But worth it. The scenery was awesome, and at the end we saw two moose just hanging out.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Old Foto Friday

Eldon Cleon Perkes, my grandpa. Today would have been his 96th Birthday. He passed away when I was young and I sadly don't have any memories of him. Below is my mom's tribute to him today.

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have been 96 years old. He was the best dad in the world. He was a spud farmer in Idaho who loved his job, his family and the gospel. Him and my mother taught all 7 of their daughters how to work hard but also showed us how to have fun. We spent many days helping dad on the farm doing what any boy could do. After a hard days work during the summer, we headed to the baseball field to play and watch games. My dad loved baseball! My dad would help any one in need and ask nothing in return. I wish my kids would have been able to have known him. He passed away a year and half after mother died. We always say he died of a broken heart. I have missed you a lot over the last 25 years, dad. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!! LOVE YOU!! --Pamela Perkes Anderson

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The 2012 Emmys

Some of my favorite things about the 2012 Emmys:

Update: Thank you to my friend Jeff for reminding me that Daniel Faraday was a presenter, as he won Best Guest Actor, Drama, and I nearly freaked out, losing all brain function for a little while; I might have a small crush on Daniel Faraday (his real name is Jeremy Davies, FYI)
--Idaho, the great state I lived in for all of my formative years, was name-checked twice; first for Philo T. Farnsworth creating the television and therefore making the awards show possible, and then Aaron Paul, who won for Breaking Bad, shouted-out that he was just a kid from Idaho
--nerdy Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer becoming a screenwriter and winning an Emmy for Game Change
--Kevin Costner won, on whom I had a massive crush when I was about 10. See: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
--my friend Jeff live-tweeted the event
--Jon Hamm sadly lost. Again. That's five in a row. I guess he'll have to settle for his beard.
--Julianne Moore's dress (yellow was a hot color, but hers was the BEST)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Old Foto Friday

January 1991, again at our first house in Pocatello (the yellow one at the end of the street). This was our first winter in Poky, and if I remember it was rather mild. I love that Max is in the picture, too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Club: Kill Me Softly

This month for Book Club we read Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. I struggled getting into this book, but once things started getting revealed I was interested enough to keep reading. The story is essentially a retelling of the fairy tale Bluebeard, which I had not heard of, with lots of others mixed in, including Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast. The book takes on the thought that fairy tales are essentially curses, where one is bound to follow through on it whether they want to or not. The idea of free will in spite of circumstances out of your control was an interesting point of conversation. Overall, no one loved it or hated it.

(We missed Pammy! I left early to watch the BYU/Utah game! Cat took a photo but I don't think I'll ever see it!)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Y Fan, U Student

When I was growing up, every November meant Thanksgiving and BYU/Utah football. My dad was a graduate of the Y so we were all naturally die-hard Cougar fans. I never thought I would attend the U, let alone get two degrees from them.

But life has a way of turning out not as we expect, and in November 2006 I was a senior at the University of Utah. I decided to take advantage of my student status and get tickets to the BYU/Utah football game. I knew that if I was going to be sitting in the student section with my Y sweatshirt I would need backup, so I got a ticket for me and a ticket for my brother.

I had had this gut feeling that my brother for some reason wouldn't be able to make it the days leading up to the game. So when I got a phone call from him early on the morning of the game, I wasn't too surprised. I was, however, a little panicked as I needed someone to go with me, preferably male who could protect me from those crazy Ute fans. I called my cousin Rick. He turned me down because he had some date with a girl that day. I was annoyed--I mean this was the BYU/Utah game!--but since he ended up marrying her it was probably a good choice :).

At this point I was desperate to find someone to go with me. I called my stepsister, as she was a student at the U, to see if she knew of anyone. She miraculously came through not only with a dude to take the ticket, but he was also a Y fan! (If we ended up dating this would be the coolest story ever, but he was married)

When I walked into the student section and proceeded up the stairs with my blue Y sweatshirt I got a few dirty looks and calls. But at least my companion was also a Y fan. The game was difficult at times, and at one point my companion and I thought about leaving early because we didn't want to be in the stand with those crazy Utes when the game ended. Man are we glad we stayed.

John Beck threw a touchdown to Jonny Harline with no time left. And we won the game! I started jumping up and down, high-fiving the few Y fans around me. The dude and I, who had only met just hours before, hugged and celebrated in the middle of the Utah student section. It was so completely awesome. AWE-SOME.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Old Foto Friday

Jared's baptism, 1988. Jared, Em, Me, dad and Aunts Debra and Saundra (my mom's sisters).
My mom informed me that Jared was baptized in 1987. Em was in 1988.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

State Fair

Wednesday night Em and I went to the Utah State Fair. We had some awesome fair food, including chicken ranch pitas, curly fries and Tiger Ear scones (they call them Elephant Ears here in Utah, but they're better in Idaho and we call them Tiger Ears).

We watched the exciting horse pull, saw the sheep, goats and cows, and marveled at the amazing quilts. The fair is awesome.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Solitary Adventure

I really like hanging out with people. But I also really like doing things by myself. Yesterday was, as  my cousin Phaedra puts it, a day for solitary adventure. I could've called various people to do these activities with me, but I just felt like having a day to myself. I did my training for the 5k I'm doing in October in the morning, extending the length so I could see the temple; I hit up the Avenues Street Fair and bought some kettle corn and awesome owl earrings; went to my friend Mary's wedding reception in West Valley (which brought back some crazy memories from when my sister and I first moved to Salt Lake and Mary was one of the first friends I made in my ward); and then, because I didn't feel like going home, I made my way to the Broadway Theater to catch a showing of Celeste and Jesse Forever. It's a bittersweet movie that sadly I could relate to.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Old Foto Friday

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson visiting us at our yellow house at the end of the street on Ardella in Pocatello for my baptism. May 1991.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Selling to Me

Trying to sell something to someone can be a difficult task. I know that I'm awful at it. But there's one thing that I do know: I will never be convinced to buy your product or vote for you or change my ways if your selling point is ragging on your competitor. Tell me what your product can do that's amazing, tell me what you can do that's amazing, tell me why your way is awesome. Tell me what you can do, not what is so awful about your competitor.

(Disclaimer: I know this comes off as a political rant, but I've had this thought in my head for awhile, and it stems from a lot of things, like my best friend buying a Kindle because the salesperson's pitch for the Nook was basically bashing the Kindle. Obviously, though, it can be applied to politics, religion, what school to attend, what job to take, who to marry,.....)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Owl Craft

I have a thing for owls. So when I saw a super cute owl wreath on Pinterest I wanted it for myself. I corralled my mom and sister into doing it, too. It was a lot of work wrapping the yarn around the styrofoam wreath, and it was sometimes challenging figuring out the owl without a proper cutout. But they turned out great and the fruit of my labor is now hanging on my door.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Five Years Post the City

Five years ago today I arrived in New York City, with no clue what I was really getting into.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Old Foto Friday

Em and I jumping on the tramp in the backyard of our Spaulding Ln house in Pocatello. I love that Em and are being silly. I love Max standing by the fence. I love the field behind our house. I love that the sun is low and beautiful. I love our big backyard (that was awful to mow...or so I heard. Being the youngest I never had to mow the back, just the front.) I love that it was probably my mom who saw us out playing and came out to take our picture. I'm not entirely sure when the picture was taken, but I'm guessing it's somewhere between '95 and '98.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dads Are Important, Too

Dads get the shaft. Especially in the media. Remember all those P&G commercials during the Olympics that said, "Thanks Mom." Ann Romney spent a good portion of her speech talking about how women and moms and daughters have made this country what it is, that moms work hard. I'm not saying they don't. But where's the love for dads?

I have a very strong belief that dads are just as important to their kids as moms are. Dads love, too. Being a mom is hard, but that also means being a dad is hard. But the rewards are the same for both. If we keep treating moms like they're these mythical creatures that nearly every mom feels like they can't live up to, and keep giving dads the shaft, we'll only continue to feed into the disparity.

Moms AND dads are important.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Huckleberry Friend

Tonight my friend Pammy and I laid out under the stars in Pioneer Park to watch Breakfast at Tiffanys. This was the last outdoor movie of the summer, and with school starting this week I think I can officially declare summer over. But it ended on a great note, with the tune of Moon River, a rain-soaked kiss, a cute cat, and a fabulous friend.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Old Foto Friday

These photos were taken two years apart during the summers I used to spend in Kansas with my best friend Amber and her family. The top one is when I was 12, proudly displaying the biggest fish I caught. The bottom one is two years later on Amber's birthday, July 2. My mom likes to point out that I was a chunky little kid, but then one day, almost overnight it seemed, I lost my baby fat and got tall.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Old Foto Friday

This pic is from our first house in Pocatello, the yellow one at the end of the street on Ardella. I'm probably 8ish in the pic. Max was our dog and Milo was our cat.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bourne Again

I loved the first Bourne movie, The Bourne Identity. It completely changed action movies and their heroes; Matt Damon was at first considered an odd choice for the lead role. But once the movie debuted, every one was in love with him. Remember how he pulls out the map before a car chase? Awesome. Two sequels were made, which I lost interest in the moment Marie was killed in the opening minutes of The Bourne Supremacy.

Normally I'm not a fan of series that ended and try to get going again with a different character who is somehow linked to the original. But most the time those movies don't include Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner.

Edward Norton is super cool--he's the thinking person's celebrity crush. He always gives so much to every role that I'd watch him in anything. Also, his graying hair is kinda hot. Rachel Weisz is fantastic as usual (I'd expect nothing less from 007's wife). Jeremy Renner plays a good version of a slightly (medically) tweaked Jason Bourne.

The movie is a little slow at first, with a lot of medical backstory being explained and political maneuvering getting covered. But then it kicks into high gear and just keeps going. It's intense, and the car chase in Manila is pretty awesome. I really liked that the movie showed the CIA and all those other government agencies having to do some leg work to find Aaron and Marta--on the phones, figuring things out, telling all the underlings to ask for help if they needed it; it made the movie seem more real and grounded. Although I still don't know how the man chasing them on a motorbike always knows where Aaron and Marta are and is not hindered at all by two gunshot wounds.

The movie was great and I can't wait for the sequel.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Old Foto Friday

My best friend Lindsay-loo and I at her wedding, five years ago on Saturday. August 11, 2007.

How Did That Happen?!

Since it's summer and it's hot, I've been wearing a lot of skirts lately. And since I'm working a "professional" job I've been wearing my "nice" pants to work. Tonight I went to a friend's get together and wore a pair of jeans I don't think I've worn since late May.

They were tight. Tighter than the last time I wore them. And it was sad. How did that happen?

Okay, so I know how it happened. So I guess a better question is, What am I going to do about it?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Playing Favorites

I have six nieces and nephews--three girls and three boys. I love every single one of them. But I will cop to having favorites. Being a favorite, though, is a fleeting thing that changes quite frequently for me. It varies based on age and interests and what I'm doing and all sorts of things. They're all such unique and fun kids that each one holds a very special place in my heart.

My Grandma has over twenty grandchildren. I know she has favorites. I also know I'm not one of them. And this doesn't hurt my feelings at all. Such is the way of life when there are so many choices.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Neil Diamond

For Christmas I bought my mom tickets to Neil Diamond. Seven months of waiting ending last night when we saw him perform at Rio Tinto. Neil Diamond has fans young and old, and it was fun to watch everyone dancing and having a good time. He sang the classics (which are the only ones I know), including a subdued and more Monkee-fied version of "I'm a Believer" (with the former making it quite the lovely love song). The biggest hit was "Sweet Caroline", whose chorus (which is awesome) was repeated about ten times. And each time the crowd gave it their all. My mom had a blast, even though I wasn't the best company that night.


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