Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Subway is Awesome

Yesterday I randomly caught an episode of Seinfeld that I had never seen before. Generally when I catch an episode it's one of 5 or 6 that I have seen, which is rather annoying.When Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer all got on the subway, I couldn't stop watching. And was treated to a supremely funny episode about riding the subway in New York City.

The subway was always an experience, whether riding at 3 in the morning, or at rush hour, or during a rain storm, or in the humid awfulness that was summertime, or late at night after work. My favorite subway-riding memory is when a long-stalled train from Brooklyn to Manhattan after fireworks on the Fourth of July started moving again and we all clapped and someone yelled "Happy Birthday America!".

There was also the time I ran into a friend who recognized me by my awesome coat. And the time I dropped my iPod onto the tracks. Or the time I magically caught an express train very late at night on my one-year anniversary in the city. Or the time I almost got pickpocketed. Or the times when someone would give me their seat. Or when I rode the subway with a turkey. And these are why the subway is awesome.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ticket Stub Tuesday

The summer of 2008 saw two movies that involved asteroids hurtling toward Earth that needed to be knocked off their path to save billions of people from dying. I preferred Deep Impact over Armageddon. This is my second ticket stub from this movie, and my journal entry from that day mentions that I cried the first time I saw it.

I Know Exactly How You Feel

Watching The Bachelorette is my summer tv guilty pleasure. It's generally fun and simple and you don't have to get too attached to anyone because you know it's all based in a fake reality and not meant to last. But tonight was real and heartbreaking.

The Bachelorette was dumped by her first-choice suitor. But this dump wasn't like any of the other ones we've seen on this show; this one felt like it was real. I know because I have been in the exact same situation and everything, from the words said to the body language, was something I experienced. The only difference is that I was married when it happened.

Mine also wasn't being recorded for national television audiences to watch and judge. Mine happened quietly, in a little apartment in West Valley, before the social media explosion of facebook and twitter and hashtags and microblogs. Since we had eloped, there wasn't a big wedding and therefore less people knew about the marriage. Close family, friends and co-workers knew about the marriage and subsequent divorce, but there are large amounts of people I've met since then who don't know anything about that time of my life.

Truth is I was ashamed to tell people about it. Afraid that people would be silently judging me for making such a poor decision. Surely I must've known beforehand that it wasn't right, these people would be thinking. Not only did I not want anyone's judgement, but I didn't want their pity either. 

So while Des is hurting now and feeling inconsolable, it is a million times better going through it now than after you've gone through the wedding and marriage.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Find Me On Facebook

Saturday night I attended a dinner and dance event for singles in the Kansas City area. Despite feeling way too old to be there, I danced the night away with friends from my ward. The DJ for the night was set on playing slow songs, much to my annoyance. Slow songs in general don't bother me, but when it is a dance where you have not come with a date, the absolute last thing I want is for some stranger to put his hands on me when I'm all sweaty from dancing to the fast songs.

But I did it anyway when I was asked. This boy was very nice if not far too young for me. As we were "dancing" he said something to the effect of "You can find me on Facebook." I knew I wasn't going to do this for many reasons, but thought that that is a sad way to get to know someone.

Let me share a story from last summer. I was at a tri-ward FHE where the boys were all from a ward different from my own (and the boys in my ward were with girls from a different ward). I spent the evening chatting and flirting with a boy. When it came to the end of the night and we were parting ways, he asked for my last name so he could "stalk me on Facebook".  Yeah, nothing ever happened.

He should have just asked for my number. I mean if he was really interested. Facebook has lots of great things about it--I love staying connected with all my family all over the place, I love staying connected with friends I've moved away from.  And I myself have used it to stalk people I like, then get disappointed when their profile is private or, worse, they aren't even on  Facebook. But, I really do not want to be "friends " with a crush on Facebook, or have have someone use it in place of calling me. I want someone to get to know me by actually talking to me, not by looking at all my pictures and seeing things I like and conversations I have with friends. And I don't want to learn all about someone that way either, and I certainly don't want to be wondering about other girls I see them with in photos!

I went through my Facebook friends the other day to see if I could get rid of anyone.  The majority of my friends are family members. The rest were people I actually care about staying in contact with. For me, it's not a place for casual aquantances or a place where I send potential dating opportunities. It's for people who already know me. And they know that I'm better in person than the snippets on my Wall.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Old Foto Friday

This photo was taken one summer when I was visiting Amber in Topeka. I think it was '96 or '97. We were standing on this corner downtown because a building was going to be imploded.

This photo was taken yesterday from the same spot--6th and Madison. Which is where I work. Who knew17 years later I'd be living and working in Topeka. It's a strange world sometimes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My (Creative) Job

There are parts of my job I like doing, some I really like doing, and other things that I do because I have to but  don't really like. Surprisingly, I have found that I really like doing things where I'm creating something in ArcMap or even just plain old Publisher. It's not overly creative, and nowhere near on par with what real creative people do, but it's this portion of projects that I like the most.

I've been creating maps for the placement of new bus shelters. I've created a map for bike count locations. I created supporting documents with site photos and descriptions for bus shelters. I sometimes get carried away with the visual stuff that I forget (or put off, rather) doing the things like returning phone calls, responding to emails, transcribing minutes or creating agendas. Sadly, though, these things need to get done, too. I do them, but I'm much less excited about them.

Whenever I do any of those personality tests or horoscope readings or have someone read my aura, they all say that I'm a "creative person". I've always thought this was totally wrong, because I have never thought of myself as creative. But if everything was saying it, then it must be sorta true, right? I'm not creative like some of my friends who use their macs and every photoshop tool in the Adobe suite to create awesome presentations. I'm not like friends and family who are handy with fabric and yarn and buttons (although I do now have a sewing machine....). I don't naturally yearn to just make all the stuff on my Pinterest Craft board. But I have my own kind of creativity, and thankfully it serves me well in my job.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ticket Stub Tuesday

Today's ticket stub is from a very popular movie back in 1999--She's All That. For any one who's not familiar with this classic--Zack, Mr. Popular, makes a bet with his best friend that he can make any Laney Boggs, a "frumpy" art student, into Prom Queen. I use "frumpy" in quotes because the fact that wearing glasses and overalls and liking art can make someone frumpy in Hollywood is just funny. The movie works mainly because of Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s charm and the fun secondary characters (Usher! Anna Paquin! Kevin Pollack!). This ticket stub is from February 5th, 1999, which was my mom's 46th birthday. However, I probably saw this with friends and not my mom....but I really don't know. Since I was 15 and kind of a brat I probably saw it with friends.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Baby

My birthday is April 24th. Or 4/24. Just like I love seeing my birthdate on movie posters and trailers, I also love whenever I check the time and it is 4:24.

So imagine my happiness when it was reported that the royal baby was born today at 4:24! Very cool, probably only to me (and maybe other people born on 4/24). Happy for the couple (and the myriad other people I know who are pregnant or just had a baby), even if I was hoping they'd have a girl.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Going to Things

I started attending a student/singles ward in Lawrence (20 miles east of Topeka, home of KU) in May. My reasons for this were varied, but one was because I needed social activities. I'm not generally an overly social person; I generally prefer small groups (small is like 2 or 3) over large groups with lots of people. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable, sometimes I just prefer being alone, sometimes I don't like feeling like I'm fighting for time to speak, sometimes I don't like the company. I think Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice said it best when he stated, "I do not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before."

So even though I generally like being alone, sometimes I do want to do things with other people. Last night we had a Relief Society activity that I attended. Whenever I decide to go to an activity I always end up enjoying myself, so I don't know why I don't go more. There was an after party and it was nice to hang with some girls and just talk.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Old Foto Friday

This is a photo I found at my grandma's house when we were going through everything after her funeral. My then-sister-in-law must have sent it to her. I adore everything about this photo--my niece Ivy, just six months old, rockin' a pumpkin hat that my grandma had made for her. Ivy still looks the same as when she was a baby and I love it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baseball at Shea Shadium

This blog has become a trip down memory lane lately. Topeka just really isn't that exciting.

Last night was the All-Star Game. I watched it with not a lot of interest; it was mainly background noise. However, the game was played at Citi-Field, home of the New York Mets. The Mets at Shea Stadium was my very first MLB game back in September of 2007.

I had been in New York just a week or two when my roommate Rosemary told me about a ward event of going to a Mets game at Shea Stadium. It was actually "Mormon Night at Shea Stadium", as the missionaries in the area were set to sing the national anthem. We rode the subway out to Shea Stadium and I remember feeling very cool riding the train to a sporting event.
See all those white shirts? Those are the missionaries. 

I don't remember much from the game because I ended up running into my friend Becca, who had recently arrived in Queens as a missionary! It was random and completely awesome. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ticket Stub Tuesday

All my tickets from my Matchbox Twenty concerts. Well, except for the ticket from NYC which I can't find. There are a lot of good memories associated with these tickets; good times with good people. I will note again that summer 2003 was epic, not only for movies but also for concerts. The same month I saw Matchbox I also saw Tim McGraw and went to Champions on Ice with Lindsay. It was probably the perfect summer.

Monday, July 15, 2013

City Perspective

As I was flying over the mountains into Salt Lake last week, I was so happy to be around mountains again. I have spent a lot of time missing the mountains and lamenting to a lot of people here in Kansas that I miss them. They're probably annoyed by this. I just stared out the window of my window-seat and smiled like a girl seeing her missionary after two years (I would imagine, I never had a missionary but my love for mountains is pretty deep).

Interrupting my happiness was the lady sitting in front of me. She was saying how flying into Utah is kind of sad because everything is brown and ugly, whereas in Kansas everything is green and beautiful.

Huh. It's all about perspective. And she was right--flying over Kansas and Missouri was pretty in all its green splendor.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Matchbox Twenty Concert 2013

I spent more time driving to and from the concert at the Sprint Center in Kansas City than I did at the actual concert. There was an accident on the turnpike, which brought it to a veritable parking lot for five miles. Then I had to stop at the service station to put some air in my tires (long story). Then the toll plaza was extremely backed-up, creating another parking lot situation. I was deeply annoyed.

Because of this I missed the opening act, Kate Earl, and half of the real opening act, The Goo Goo Dolls. However, on the plus side was that my seat was upgraded to a really sweet spot in the lower section from the upper section. That practically made up for the turnpike grumpiness.

That and seeing Matchbox Twenty!! This was my fifth time seeing them in concert, and they never fail to impress. Rob Thomas sounds amazing live. Seriously so good. I love when he gets behind the piano and sings and plays.

 There wasn't a lot of talk between songs, so it's a good thing I already know all the stories behind the songs from previous concerts.

I've liked Matchbox since I was 15, when I heard "Push" on the radio and then ordered their cd through one of those Columbia House deals. After all these years, they have a lot of songs, and it's just not possible to sing them all in an hour and a half (I would suggest getting rid of opening acts and devoting more time to the main show, like when Tim McGraw did his Dancehall Doctors tour). All of the main hits were performed, with a surprising amount from their first album, but many of my favorites were missed.

Here's Rob singing "Push" for the encore. It was awesome.  This has been their encore song for every concert I've been to, and every time it is worth the wait.

All the band members came out wearing shirts that read "Gay OK." This was in direct response to a group of people outside the concert who were apparently bashing gays and claiming to be Christians (since I was very late I didn't catch it). I liked the statement. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Old Foto Friday

Tonight I am going to see my fifth Matchbox Twenty concert! It also marks my first time going without either Emily or Lindsay-loo (or both!)--sometimes it sucks living in a different state.

My first Matchbox concert; went with Jeanne and Lindsay our senior year of high school. We felt very cool driving down all by ourselves. This concert was October 17, 2000 and was at the McKay Events center in Orem.

 The second concert was when I was a freshman at Snow College. Lindsay and I drove up from Ephraim and met my sister and friend Natalie at my mom's before heading to the concert. I love that someone captured me mid-jam out. This was September 20, 2001 at the E Center.

Concert number three was the summer of 2003. I went with Lindsay and Emily, and was notable because that same week Em and I also went to a Tim McGraw concert. May 31, 2003. Delta Center.

Number four was pretty awesome because it was at the Garden in NYC! My sister flew out for the concert and spent the week with me. The concert was on February 14, 2008, which is also Rob Thomas' birthday and I remember singing Happy Birthday to him.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Baseball

Since Topeka does not celebrate Pioneer Day, I am short one fireworks-viewing event for the summer. I scoped out some options and found that the Royals were having fireworks after their July 3rd game against the Cleveland Indians. Obviously I got tickets.

It unfortunately started raining as we got closer to Kansas City, and the rain did not let up for two hours. I was not alone like last time so I at least wasn't bored. I also remembered that attending the Royals game on Memorial Day was not my first MLB game, as I had gone to a Mets game the week I arrived in New York. Since I know very little about baseball, it was nice to have someone to ask my questions to.

We stayed the entire game because I really wanted to see the fireworks, despite it being past midnight and still having to drive back to Topeka. However, the fireworks were pretty awesome and well worth it. Also, the Royals won.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


There has been a video on YouTube making the rounds on Facebook about the evolution of the swimsuit and modesty. I have watched the video, and have many thoughts on the subject of modesty. Since this is my blog, I thought I'd get those thoughts out there.

First of all, I'm all for modesty. I'm actually for dressing however you choose to feel comfortable. I choose to dress modestly for a variety of reasons. However, I do not dress modestly to control how men think about me. I fear that many times modesty is taught as a way to not have men objectify you and think impure thoughts. It is not my job to control how men think, and if they are thinking impure thoughts based on what I'm wearing then that is something they need to work on, not me.

In the video, the speaker states that men who see a girl in a bikini are more likely to think of her as an object and this is not empowering. First of all, there is a difference in wearing a bikini to the beach and wearing one to, say, the office. If I wore a bikini to the office, I think it'd mostly be perceived as very unprofessional, regardless of being objectified. At the beach, I think wearing a bikini is totally fine. If you feel comfortable wearing it then wear it; it is not up to a girl to have to always think about what her clothing is doing to boys. And a girl shouldn't be judged because she is wearing a bikini.

I get very easily distracted by a man with a beard. Or who's wearing a suit and tie. Or who's wearing a t-shirt. Or who's wearing shorts. Or who's wearing a sweater. Or who's wearing shoes. My point is that we naturally find the opposite sex attractive, but we can control how we react to them and either treat them like persons or objects.  This should be expected of men who see women dressed "immodestly" and women, too. Modesty should be a personal choice based on what you want to wear and what you feel comfortable in.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Birthday

Today my grandma would have been 100. I think my grandpa wanted her for himself on this momentous day. Her funeral was lovely, and even with the knowledge of life after death still a time for many tears and sadness. The most beautiful and heartfelt rendition of "I Know My Redeemer Lives" was sang by a former caregiver of hers. Beautiful prayers were offered by my uncles and cousin. Remembrances of her life were given by my aunt and dad. My cousin Phaedra spoke for all the grandkids and represented us well with her memories and a perfect poem. My cousin Joy sang a song that my grandma had requested her to sing and it was beautiful.

It was a beautiful sunny day at the cemetery, where all the grandsons acted as pallbearers and laid grandma down to rest next to her beloved husband.

We then had a celebration of my grandma's life. The great-grandkids all ran around and made it a joyous occasion. Then it was one last look at grandma and grandpa's house. I love that home with the l-shaped porch and all the memories I have there.

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Grandma

I started writing this the day my grandma passed away, June 27th, but could never get the words just right.
A hundred years is a long time, and that's how long my Grandma Anderson had been on this earth before she passed away this afternoon. It is amazing to me to think of all the things she has seen in her life. It's even more amazing when I think about the family she has left behind and how she will live on in each of us.

My grandma studied at and graduated from BYU, back in the day when not many women attended college. It was there that she met her husband, George McKay Anderson.  They married on December 23, 1936. They created a life in Moroni, UT, raising seven children. This could not have been easy, especially when she had four boys in a row in the hot summer months.

My drawers are filled with crocheted house slippers and dishrags that she made and gave away every Christmas (or anytime you visited). She collected thimbles, and whenever anyone went anywhere they would bring her back one. A meal was an event, with a tablecloth and everything in a dish. She hosted General Authorities and prophets in her home as the wife of a Stake President.

So she was prepared when many kids and grandkids would descend to her home for the Fourth of July. We would sleep anywhere there was room--the hide-away bed in the living room, the "window" room, or outside in the front yard. After breakfast at the park provided by the firemen, chairs would be set up in the street in front of their home to watch the parade. Then it was food and fun all afternoon until fireworks that night. I have such wonderful memories being there for the Fourth that it is my favorite holiday. 

After my Grandpa passed away nearly nineteen years ago, there was a common saying in our family around holidays and events of "this could be Grandma's last." But she kept living and spending time with her family and loved ones. Sadly, as the years have gone on I have seen less of her. I am so thankful family was able to be with her during her last week. And I'm so glad she has been reunited with Grandpa. Rest in Peace Afton Jewel Kay Anderson.

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