Sunday, May 13, 2012

find me!

Hello dear followers! Thank you for reading. I've actually started a new blog, so I won't be posting on this one anymore. Here's the link:

I'd love to see you all there!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

i miss you!

every time i think about this blog, i feel a little guilty because i never post anymore and i wish i did! the fact that i'm maintaining two other blogs for classes this semester may have something to do with it, but i still miss my little blog. let me share a few things about my life currently:

  1. i am now 27 YEARS OLD, as of yesterday. it feels so WIERD. 
  2. i had a delightful president's day weekend with my roommates and my family. my roommates and i went down to zion national park for a day and a half, and then went down to st george for the rest of the break. it was lovely, save for the flat tire. ah, mi vida. 
  3. this weekend has been great because i've actually gotten consistent sleep. let's see if i keep the trend coming throughout this week. 
  4. i'm probably going to get a kindle for my to take to england with me. i have to bring a ton of books with me, and rather than pay extra money to bring all my books with me in my incredibly heavy suitcases, i'm going to get a kindle. this actually makes me cry inside a little because i really don't like the idea of reading without the book. i am 100% an advocate of the printed word so i feel like a hypocrite. please don't make fun of me. 
  5. i love my students so MUCH this semester. they are my favorite class so far. granted, it's only the second semester i've taught, but so far, these kids are so fantastic. don't tell my last semester's class that they are now second best. 
i'll stop there (: oh, one last word: 

downton abbey second season season finale = FANTASTIC. it made most of the mid-season eye rolls worth it. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

i hate to admit this, but...

i have a few obsessions. yes, yes, i know that you know that i'm obsessed with school and that's why i am putting myself through a master's. but i also have two obsessions i'd like to confess.


meet benedict cumberbatch and martin freeman, stars of bbc's tv show "sherlock." think csi + london + impossible cases that only holmes can solve, and you've about got it. it's delightful, really. i always hate to admit that i'm obsessed with tv shows but this one i can't seem to get enough of--which is why my roommate paige and i were happy to find a less than reputable website where we could watch the second season (it already aired in england, but doesn't come to the usa until MAY. why in heaven's name would we wait that long?)

one more thing before i move onto obsession two. i was watching the commentary last night for one of the season one episodes, and the commentators were talking about benedict cumberbatch (sherlock) and said that he's so much different than his character in sherlock, that he has more of a "gentle occupation of the alpha male role." ah, benedict. benny. sign me up!

okay, obsession two:

i think it's just british drama that really gets me. downton abbey is in its second season (i'm watching this one legally, folks), and i love it. it might get a little soap opera-ey at times, but in a more distinguished, high-class british kind of way.

so now you know what i'm doing when i'm not slaving away doing schoolwork or teaching.

like i did for most of today. i was sitting in the SAME SPOT on our couch from 10:30 till maybe 6:30 doing homework. and surprise, surprise, i still have more! it's times like these when i have to remind myself that i'm doing this because i want to. nope, no one is making me but myself. and i'm off to do more reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

mostly pictures

i'm just now (sheepishly) posting pictures from thanksgiving break. also, there are a few pictures of jessi's wedding (how sad is it that i didn't take any pictures around christmas? that i'm ashamed about)

(my nephew) gavin's birthday is the day before thanksgiving, and he had the day all planned out: first, carousel, second, the yoda/count dooku fight from start wars episode II. here are some carousel pics: 

st george recently renovated an antique carousel--so neat!

lori's not going to be happy with her face in this picture, but i love it nevertheless! here are the thayns.

my cherry cardamom pie for thanksgiving! holy cow, yum. it got a little too brown on top (i didn't cover it with tinfoil, but it still turned out pretty good)

drumroll, please! yes, ladies and gentlemen, i cooked the turkey this thanksgiving. i commandeered the job from my dad, who did a lot of the dirty work for me (: i brined it, which was great and made it super moist and absolutely delicious. if i do say so myself. 

how often is it warm enough to eat outside for thanksgiving dinner? i love southern utah!

yummy thanksgiving food

here's one of gavin

ashton, me, and sorry gavs, your face got cut it half

jessi's reception! the saga of the 1,000 paper cranes. yes, we folded them all, and yes, we hung them all. there were actually more like 1,050

here's the lovely bride! i love the skirt of her dress, and the veil is my mom's! lovely lovely

jessi's sequin jacket and taylor's shiny suit. razzle dazzle bride and groom

the cute little cranes on her cake! also, the cake stand is cut off in this picture, but it was a tree stump.

mindy and me

lastly, a full shot of jessi's cake and her bouquet.

that's all for now! new year, new semester, and new resolution to post once a week. i can do that, right? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

here's to this fantastically marvelous time of the year!

one of the best things i love about school is that i appreciate the holidays so much more. i don't want you to think, however, that this is the only thing i love about school--it's just that i have a love/hate relationship with school, and a love/love relationship with the holidays. i just love the feeling of waking up in the morning and realizing that i don't have anything pressing on my schedule for the day. no ten-page papers i have to write today or else, no staying up until four o'clock in the morning grading papers. i can actually EXERCISE, and go shopping with my sisters, and bake yummy things, and pleasure read, without worrying that spending time doing these things is taking away from my schoolwork. 

i must say, though, school is rewarding. i love writing essays, reading essays, revising essays, submitting essays with a prayer and a hope that i'll be published. i love clicking "save" on a paper that i've spent so many hours trying to complete. i love spending time with smart people hoping some of their intelligence will rub off on me. i love knowing that i can stand in front of a class and actually teach them something. i love reading "you are the best english teacher i've ever had" on a student's reflection. all of these things make school rewarding and remind me why i am still there. 

but i love, love, love the holidays. i love christmas. i love buying things for people and trying so hard to keep my mouth shut about the presents i can't wait for them to open. i love drawing holly berries on everything. and i love celebrating the savior's birth and the hope that it gives me in my life. 

happy christmas. 

bless us. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

just thought i'd mention

i'm going to try and stay as composed as possible while i tell you that i'm going back to ENGLAND! :D

next summer, for 3 months, doing a field study (basically independent study. i'll be creating my own syllabus and such--so reading and writing mucho)

oh, and i almost forgot to mention. i'll be there for the OLYMPICS! i'm such an olympic nut. i love the olympics almost as much as i love england. i love my life.

bless me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

on companionship

Today, I'm grateful for good friends and food--rather, eating good food with friends. Good food and good friends. Let me 'splain.

Last night I realized at about midnight that I still had a redbox movie I needed to return, so my roommate Paige was kind enough to accompany me to the nearest redbox to return Captain America, and when we got back I had the sudden urge to make guacamole. It didn't come out of nowhere, because I had three ripe avocados waiting to be eaten, but making guacamole at midnight isn't something I usually do. Well, since I've been in grad school I'm up at all sorts of odd and unearthly hours, eating irregular meals and such. So I guess it wasn't that unusual. Just not a typical midnight food. Anyway, I didn't have any onions so I improvised with garlic (not as good as onions, but it worked), threw in some lime juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil (I didn't have oregano, which I usually use) and yum. Paige and I ate it with blue corn chips while talking about centipedes and other things, and it was quite a marvelous time.

And today, after my first two classes, my friend Laura and I decided to go get food while working on an assignment for the Intro to Grad Studies class. We got banana chocolate chip bread, which was good (but not as good as Laura's), and sat next to each other and worked on our assignments. It doesn't sound like anything monumental, and it wasn't, but there's something peaceful about being right next to a friend and, even though we're working on our laptops, sharing food and talking. We talked about her gratitude for a patient husband, and my hope for a husband someday who is also patient. We talked about marriage, and that it's such a miracle when it happens, that it makes sense that it happens for some sooner than for others.  And so on.

Maybe what I'm getting at is the gift of companionship. Being single and twenty-six could mean being bitter or hopeless that I'm not married. I've tried on that idea and it doesn't fit very well, because I can't ignore the fact that I have so many things to be grateful for, like the companionship of wonderful friends to eat good food with, or the hope that someday I will get married, because I definitely want to get married. I'm just happy with where I am in life and what I am doing, so there's no need to pine. But there is always a need to hope.

Meanwhile, I am also grateful for slippers and essays by GK Chesterton.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

i wonder about humanity, sometimes

like this week, for instance. I feel like I've spent a lot of time examining other people's faults, and I know exactly what this isn't advisable: because when you look for the faults of some, that becomes all you look for. I'm not exactly proud of this, but when someone hurts one of my sisters, I'm usually the first one in line to throw a punch. And when two of my sisters gets hurt in one week, I have a hard time forgetting it. I find that it's much easier to forgive someone who wrongs me than it is to forgive someone who wrongs someone I'm close to. And when it's one of my sisters, forget it. Let me use the words of Mr. Darcy: "I find it hard to forgive the follies and vices of others, and their offenses towards me [insert--my sisters]. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever." Sounds harsh, yes, but I'm trying to be honest here. Like I mentioned, if someone causes me pain, I do my best to give them the benefit of a doubt. I'm not so charitable in other circumstances.

This week was typical for me (full of stress, but still happy), but it was a bad week for my baby sister. Well, she's not a baby, she's sixteen. But she is the baby of the family, which means when she gets hurt then she has five older sisters to beat up anyone who tries to cross her. I only wish it were that easy, though. I don't really need to get into the meat of it, but imagine being betrayed by almost every single friend you have in one week, and you would get somewhere close to what my sis went through this week. One particular friend, who has in the past been my sister's really good friend, I shall simply call Regina George in this post. She has been especially vicious, talking about my sister behind her back, hosting parties several times without bothering to invite my sister. For these and other reasons Regina is, to put it mildly, a wench.

Anyway, I don't understand why my sister has been thus treated by her "friends." It is, of course, in the nature of older siblings to protect and defend their younger siblings to the death, but listen to this anyway: how many sixteen year olds can carry on an intelligent conversation about subjects like politics, music, history, and literature? how many have memorized the entire Declaration of Independence when they are twelve years old? and read most of Shakespeare's plays? and remember off the top of their heads that the 10th Amendment is about the states' rights? and play the piano like nobody's business?

Not too many teenagers are quite that bright. And it's not just that! She has so much integrity! and faith! and determination! and I don't usually put this many exclamation points in one post!

I'm not trying to rant. Then again, maybe I am, because another one of my sisters was very hurt and disappointed by a good friend this past week too. And I don't think there are many more things on earth that make me angrier than that. I guess it's just hard because I've been through similar experiences, and I know how much it, well, sucks. But I know that it was in such times that I grew closer to my family, and realized how grateful I was for parents and sisters and dogs and cats and books and mountains and chocolate. And new friends. The "tender mercies" of the Lord, in other words. It was in times like those that I found scriptures like this one:

"...have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." (Alma 34:41)

and this one:

"They friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." (D&C 121:9)

So maybe instead of spending my time railing on my sisters' terrible friends, I could spend time encouraging, and uplifting, and giving hope. Because I turned out okay, right? If I could do it, then they certainly can, who are smarter and nicer (and better looking) than I am.

Regina George is still a wench. Arg, changing for the better is not always easy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

you choose: palm reading or cleaning the house

So, I may or may not have spent this evening reading my roommates' palms. I'm not a professional by all means, but a little creativity and internet access can go a long way. We spent way too much time (ha! what am I talking about? roommate bonding time is an important activity to engage in) reading palms when we could have been cleaning the house--because we have cleaning checks tomorrow.

Cleaning checks. Let me tell you what I think about them:

Ahem. Cleaning checks are absolutely ridiculous. That's all.

Well, not really all. My roommates and I are pretty clean already, so it's not like cleaning checks are a huge ordeal, but I would rather clean when I want to clean. Plus, mid-week cleaning checks? really? por favor!

Anyway, so back to palm reading. I got my palm read last year when I was in London--I simply couldn't pass up the quintessential gnarled gypsy woman reading palms--but I felt a little ripped off because she spent the first five minutes of my palm reading chasing down a guy who had taken pictures of her booth and forcing him to delete them. And then fetching security to make the guy delete the pictures. By the time she got back to me, she was so grouchy I'm pretty sure I didn't get my money's worth.

Granted, I don't buy that palm reading is accurate, but I'm curious enough about it that I want to go again. In short, I'm still a little bit obsessed with it. Anyone want to join me in my next palm-reading adventure?

Monday, October 31, 2011

boo on technology

You know, one of the terrible things about technology is when it FAILS. I was teaching my class today and had a fantastic lesson plan that completely depended on the computer/projector actually working. So, when I went to go plug in my laptop, there was no connection. SERIOUSLY?!? $@!!%. $%?#. Boo.

It ended up fine, and I think (hope) my students enjoyed my alternative (aka, impromptu) lesson plan. They just didn't know how completely awesome it would have been if the computer actually had worked. Boo.

Speaking of boo, I decided that I am a total Halloween scrooge. I am not a fan (ever) of decorating with spiders and ghosts. So, bah humbug. Well, I partially take that back. The only good thing about Halloween is Thriller. No, I'm not just talking about the song (although that is a part of it); I'm talking about Odyssey Dance Theater's production filled with dancing skeletons, Frankenstein's monster, zombies, and river dancers getting picked off by a sniper. Morbid? yes. Delightful? also yes.

And also, I do like creepy things (not like slasher creepy, like Edgar Allen Poe and the Bronte sisters creepy).

Maybe it's just the arachnid decorations and strange people dressing like fairy tale princesses. It's like what they say in Mean Girls: "Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it." Not that I see too much of that at BYU. I did see one guy walking around sans shirt though (that's about as scandalous as it got today). People seriously spend so much time (and money!) on Halloween costumes--I don't really get it. One of my students said he was disappointed that I didn't dress up today (he said out of all his professors, I was the one he expected to see dressed up. whatever that means), and I refrained from ranting. Even though I was totally in the mood to rant because the computer wasn't working. 

So you might just have to disregard everything I say here because it's just a spawn of today's technology hatred. 

Thank you for reading my rant. I'm going back to reading now.