Wednesday, December 29, 2010

see the world hanging upside down

my christmas vacation, by the numbers.

5 - number of pictures i took on the trip
0 - number of people in the pictures (i'm the worst photographer in the history of ever)

1 - number of video cameras present when my sister biffed it on the ice christmas eve
4 - number of potential witnesses to said biffing.
0 - number of actual witnesses. how did we miss that?

67 - number of minutes spent christmas day skyping my little bro on a mission in argentina
12 - number of people present to skype little bro
3 - number of minutes little bro's video actually worked and we got to see him. good thing we know what he looks like,

40 - number of minutes spent in the ER the day after christmas, reading espn the magazine and watching lord of the rings
3 or 4 - number of drops of blood my mom had left in her body after her vein burst and she left a puddle on the floor. (she's ok, thank goodness!)
472 - number of times we quoted this kid.

five hundred and fifty billion - number of decibels i was screaming at in energy solutions arena monday night
6 - number of points the jazz lost by, despite my best efforts
9000 - number of three pointers deron williams hit, and number of times i said i love him

3 - number of courses consumed at the roof tuesday night
2 - number of paragraphs i have left to memorize in "the living christ" (i didn't quite make the deadline, but i got close)
4 - number of times i wanted to spontaneously quote it while wandering around temple square

7 - number of hours driven in snow with white knuckles wednesday
70 - number of dollars spent so i could slum it here at the ho jo in flagstaff until the 17 is open again and i can get back on the road (wish they had a wii in my room, so i could hone my nba jam skills)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

his law is love and his gospel is peace

my christmas present to you all... (because if you are reading this, you're cool and deserve a present.)

of all of the millions of versions of "o holy night" i have heard, this one is by far my favorite. if i were stranded on a desert island for the rest of my life with one song, i would hope it was this one.

merry christmas! let's hope i actually make it up to utah tomorrow without dying.

Monday, December 13, 2010

with thankful heart and joyful mind

merry Christmas everyone! (a little early, but i'm bad at waiting!)

i love everything about this song. the best part of the video, though, is homeboy playing the tiny bells. plus, i wish i could play the cello. and sing like alison krauss. i want her to sing me to sleep every night.

the other night i watched "the nativity story" and i cried. (i'm thinking i need to do some serious consideration about continuing to bill myself as a non-crier. i seem to be crying more in my old age. or maybe i'm just selective...)

the part of the movie that got me was the end, with the shepherds coming to the stable. the shepherds have always been my favorite part of the story (besides the most important part, of course.) and while i was watching that part, i kept thinking of John chapter 10, which is one of my favorites. i remember when we studied the new testament in seminary and my teacher had us go through the chapter marking the characteristics of the sheep, and the hireling, and the good shepherd.

watching the shepherds come and worship the newborn Savior led me to thinking about the Atoning Savior - the Good Shepherd. i love these characteristics of our Good Shepherd:

- "he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out."

- "i am the good shepherd, and know my sheep"

- "he goeth before them"

- "the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep"

those lonely shepherds have always amazed me - coming to worship a baby in humble circumstances, with faith that someday He would be their King.

my home teachers came yesterday and talked about what gifts we can give the Savior. i know we hear that a lot, but i was thinking about it in conjunction with these other things, and i want to be a better sheep - a better follower of our Savior. i want to know His voice, and follow Him, trusting in His love and His teachings. and i want to be a better shepherd, with more faith in His plan and more love for the people around me.

i love the line in that song up there that talks about Mary "attending on the Lord of Life, who came on earth to end all strife." thinking of the Good Shepherd, and the sacrifice He made for everyone to "end all strife," helps all of the frivolous things that can creep up on me this time of year to fade into the background, and helps to strengthen my resolve to be a better person (just in time for new year's resolutions.) i think it's a nice refresher at the end of the year, preparing me for the challenges in the next one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

fifty doors to choose from

in the next month, i will be:

- hoping my present selection this year is up to par (i always try to be one of those people who gives amazing gifts, but it never works out. fingers crossed that this is my year...)

- having a piano recital, and playing for the ward Christmas program and hoping voldemort doesn't avada kedavra me

- spending Christmas in utah with most of my family, and hoping the roads are clear

(lots of hopes so far, i just realized. moving on...)

- enjoying the 80 degree weather with my windows down and my Christmas music cranked

- maybe watching the jazz win a few more (at this point, looks a little iffy)

- and doing something wild and crazy (open to suggestions) because you know what?

in exactly one month

i'm turning 27

and i can't turn 27 as lame as i am right now.

however - i am not as apprehensive about it as i was before. i can't shake the feeling that 27 will be a good year...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

swear to be sturdy and strong

Pres. Uchtdorf's conference talk keeps popping up in my life. (sidenote: i'm digging the church's new website.) i talked about it with my friend andrea last week, we discussed it for our relief society lesson on sunday, i listened to it on my ipod today. i guess there are some lessons i need to learn from it maybe.

one thing that stuck out to me is the story he tells about the lady who decides to be a good listener. i've thought about that a lot, in a lot of different ways - why are good listeners of such value in our lives? how can i be a better listener? have i been appreciative enough to the good listeners that i know?

i know that is a small part of the millions of wonderful things he has talked about, but i feel like that is an undervalued part of so many people's lives. i don't know why it is so important to have good listeners around us. i don't know why it is so meaningful to have someone listen to what you say. but i do know that it is - that every time i have a good conversation with someone, in which we both do the talking and the listening, i feel happier, more motivated, less burdened. i don't know what it is about sharing our problems/worries/concerns with others that helps lighten the load, but i do know that it works. so thanks to all of you who listen to me (even when i'm being a dork, or talking about basketball ad nauseum) and i'm going to try to be a better listener for all of you.

(quick shout out to andrea/spreading eagle. she is one of the few people i know who can rebuke me (rebuke? counsel? something) and not make me resentful, or want to go do the opposite of what was said just to be rebellious. and one of those friends you can go without seeing or talking to for months at a time and pick up right where you left off. too bad you live in oregon and not arizona.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

robbers in my thoughts

(this post will not contain anything about basketball starting 7 game win streak now)

i've been reading a lot of malcolm gladwell lately, as you have probably gathered. he's pretty awesome - makes things interesting that maybe shouldn't be, and makes me wish i was smart enough to be a scientist.

i finished his third book today and it contained a lot of really cool ideas (especially about education.) and after reading his books, i have come to this conclusion - i would like to have someone follow me around, all the time, with brain analyzing instruments and all of their considerable knowledge, and tell me all about what i do. (like a genius stalker maybe?)

i would like to know what the potential outcomes of all of my decisions are, and why i feel inclined to one thing over another, and what i am doing wrong in any given situation. and i don't think i can work all that out on my own - i don't have the brain power or the instruments or the time that would be involved. but i would still like to know... (is that weird? i feel like it is a little)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

hotel, motel, holiday inn

*warning: super nerd alert*

i wondered about this today, so i did the stats (i maybe could have googled them, but it is more satisfying to do the work yourself eh?)

top 4 teams in the western conference right now: spurs (15-2), mavericks (13-4), jazz (14-5), lakers(13-5. i get such satisfaction out of typing jazz before lakers.)

now, let's take a look at those schedules, shall we? spurs have played 8 teams over .500, mavs have played 10, jazz have played 9, and the lakers? 3. just 3.

and guess what is so special about those + .500 games for the team from l.a. -

they have lost all three of those games. (which means the teams they are beating are... sacramento, minnesota, houston. garbage.)

when life starts to make me feel sad, i just look at that stat and smile again. someone please explain to me why the lakers are supposed to be so awesome.

(also, i would appreciate it if no one rained on my parade. i know this means not a whole lot in the grand scheme of the entire season, but it made me super happy.)

update - i was wrong. the lakers have played 4 teams over .500, and won one of those games. but they lost to houston the other day, so it evens out.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

to thee we raise

i have so many things to be grateful for - remember this list? it just keeps growing. every time someone mentions something they are grateful for, i add it to my list too. i could count for days and days and still not be done.

but, since it is thanksgiving day and i have so many blessings, here are just a few, in no particular order:

- supportive and loving family and friends
- blankets, and a bed to sleep in
- my wimpy dogs
- the restored truth of the Gospel on the earth today
- everything i am free to do
- my job(s) and the people i meet doing them
- music in all of its forms (maybe most of its forms)
- basketball (i won't elaborate)
- beautiful warm weather
- my Heavenly Father and my Savior
- whatever the future holds (my life has tremendous upside)
- the Book of Mormon
- mad skills

and many many more. like i said, my list keeps growing. happy thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

you sit tight shotgun

seems like my life is usually so full of funny stories, but i'm not sure where they have gone lately... however, the past few days have had their moments, including-

- homeboy ate an entire bag of jelly bellies (minus 2) at "blizzards & wizards" friday night, and then had an ice cream cone for dessert. so, pretty much an awesome night. for real. made for one entertaining dj sweet j.
- saturday night, some boy told me the jazz were his second favorite team. his first? the lakers. get real. that must be in violation of all sorts of guy codes, or basketball fan codes, or something. (maybe i should help a brother out a little and educate him. he called the jazz's all-star point guard "derek" williams. whoops.)
- nerd alert - saturday night, during the "mr. and ms. san marcos pageant," my question was "what is your favorite tv show right now?" my answer? "inside the nba." what a dork i am.
- forgot to wear my jazz shirt to meet jeff malone. lame.
- someone used the word "cajones" in their talk in sacrament meeting on sunday, and it reminded me of the time (in sacrament meeting) i heard patience referred to as the "marijuana of virtues" (because it's the gateway...)
- "sometimes they are for to be to get you dead"
- my little bro likes to say "yarp" in his texts. i heart that.
- paul millsap, making threes? seems like that should happen more often. (that is old news, but i forgot to talk about it earlier. something else i heart - every game the heat lose.)
- this video. i love love love love it,

in case anyone is bored or sick of the basketball references, i apologize. i'm crazy about it - something about the sound of that ball hitting the net and those shoes sqeaking on the floor makes my heart thump.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

make us free

i've been thinking and thinking about what i wanted to write about thanksgiving. i love this time of year - i don't think there is anything about it i would want to leave out, in planning my perfect... time of year. (or something to that effect.) when i had a hard time thinking of the exact right words to say, though, i found other people who had said it better. so, without further ado, my three thanksgiving quotes.

"Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. "Unto Three, O God, do we give thanks," the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the "wondrous works" of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers."
-Ronald Reagan, Thanksgiving Proclamation 1985

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God...

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People."
-Abraham Lincoln, 1863

"And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!

I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."
-Mosiah 2:19-21

Monday, November 15, 2010

all mixed up in the wash

apparently, i've been putting some of you to sleep. i'll try to be a bit more exciting today.

this weekend, i was asked to compete in the first annual "mr. & miss san marcos pageant." (i said yes, reluctantly. who thought it would be a good idea to have me be in that? i'm a much better spectator.)

that's right - i'll be up on stage, doing... something. i'm debating back and forth between inviting everyone i know so i'll have a cheering section, or calling everyone the hour before and saying the activity was cancelled.

maybe i can pull the fire alarm right before it is my turn. hmmm...

anyway, wish me luck, and come cheer me on if you can! (if you can make it physically, and if you feel like you can add to my moral support and not make fun of me acting like a fool. there is a talent section. is watching basketball a talent? or playing this video on my laptop?)

"Build Me Up Buttercup" from on Vimeo.

Friday, November 12, 2010

one is the loneliest number

i finished this book last night. very thought-provoking - i can't say i agreed with everything (especially the second to last chapter) but it contained some very interesting points.

like this one (another addition to the "i've never thought of it quite that way before" portion of this blog...)

talking about the way our relationships with others form a collective memory, he wrote "knowing someone well enough to know what they know, and knowing them well enough so you can trust them to know things in their specialty." so, knowing someone and what they know - like who to call for a basketball discussion or who to ask about a recipe - is part of your memory. you don't have stored in your brain the information you need. what you do have stored is where to go to get that information.

it was interesting - he talked about divorce being so devastating partially because that collective memory you develop as a married couple is gone, and you lose the information that was part of that collective memory. i found it interesting as i was reading it, anyway. put a different spin on relationships - the book almost made it sound like that was the only reason relationships are valuable, which is probably over-simplification to the extreme. but i can get behind that aspect being a good part of what makes relationships nice to have.

(and, in other news, how about them jazz? i have a stronger-than-usual love for the nba right now, mostly because the lakers lost last night.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

i waited up all night

what a crazy weekend.

driving range friday night. (thanks to whoever invented lighted driving ranges. lit driving ranges? what a struggle that is...)

party at my house saturday night, during which we played beatles rock band and the jazz pulled off an exciting double ot win.

yesterday I left my house at 12:30 pm and returned at 11:15 pm. it was worth it though - I got to see my awesome grandma and aunt, say goodbye to tiffany bee, and witness the insane dance skills of annie and kenny. (this video is for you annie. don't mind my stupid cackle. or the text message i got in the middle.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

you may rescue, you may save

i read this quote today, and i like it.

"the one great revolution in the world is the revolution for human liberty. this was the paramount issue in the great council in heaven before this earth life. it has been the issue throughout the ages. it is the issue today." - Pres. Ezra Taft Benson

isn't it amazing to live in a country where your voice can be heard, where you can exercise your rights as a citizen and not worry about those rights being taken away?

i have always loved reading about the revolutionary war, about our founding fathers, about the civil war, and the rest of the history of our nation. it seems like the hand of the Lord is so evident in our history, that things happened so deliberately and precisely.

i know things aren't perfect, but we have our freedom to choose. and having that gift from God is worth sacrifice.

i hope someday everyone can have the privileges we do - that the whole world will know how sweet it is to choose to follow our Savior and become more like Him.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jesu, joy of man's desiring

Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.
Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

i heart this

Sunday, October 31, 2010

sometimes in our lives

october is just about over, and soon enough, it will be thanksgiving, and then christmas, and then my birthday (uuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.) this time of year always makes me think about my family, and how awesome they are.

i was more especially thinking about them at church today and thought "family tribute post time?" i think yes. here it is:

mom - my mom is the coolest. she is so thoughtful, and patient. every time i call her and murmur about my life, she listens and tries so hard to help me. she doesn't even complain that all i do is call her and complain. she sends me treats and elephant things just because she knows i love them. and she doesn't even get mad when i throw pillows at her while she is sleeping, and then get the giggles.

dad - my dad is so funny. i think he and i share our sense of humor, which makes it fun to do just about anything with him, because we usually end up laughing at some point. my dad is so welcoming and inviting to everyone. he takes time to talk to people and get to know them, and is genuinely interested in them and their lives. and he gives some of the best advice i have ever heard (even when i don't want to hear it.)

ragan - my little (big) bro. ragan is a combination of the best parts of both of my parents. he loves to talk to people and always makes them feel special and loved. he is a spiritual giant, but not overbearing about it. he just does what he knows is right and isn't afraid to do it even when some people might think it's weird or crazy. he tries his best to be the best friend he can to everyone, and to not miss any important event in his friend's lives.

alex - another younger and bigger brother. alex is another fun lover. he knows how to have fun, even when it is just sitting around on the couch playing rock band or watching a movie. alex is always so willing to do whatever he can for anyone. he doesn't complain (too much :)) when you ask him to help you out, and he usually ends up making things more memorable and exciting when he joins in. he's another spiritual guy - serving the Lord in the cold depths of argentina (and tierra del fuego!)

michael - last younger and bigger brother. michael is one of a kind. last i heard he was helping ragan make moccasins out of an elk hide they got from someone. michael is one of the funniest people i know (or even that i don't know.) he invented the party roof. michael is a talker, but his listening skills are right up there too. he loves to help people and do what he can to make other's lives better. and he never takes the easy way out - always finishing what he starts and doing it right.

heidi - little baby sister. heidi is super super cool - i wish i was as cool as her. she loves people and makes things so enjoyable just by being around. she is super steezy, and loves to try new things no matter what anyone else thinks. she's like that with everything - doing things just because she is interested or curious and not minding what people might think of her. she is always willing to talk to me and finish my song lines when i text them to her.

i love my family, and these qualities about them. i am hoping i can keep these things in mind and become more like my crazy cool family members by emulating some of these qualities they have.

(i could go on and on and on - i have a pretty incredible extended family too. but i just wouldn't know where to stop, and this list could turn infinite...)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

someone to open each and every door

gregory peck sure is a handsome devil.

i can't wait until november 15th.

mark twain's autobiography is finally (after 100 years) being published. should be an interesting read. i'm actually thinking of making it my next book club selection. either that, or to kill a mockingbird, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of it's release. (which was originally staci's idea - can't take credit for that one.)

if we did mark twain, i could make huckleberry pie, we could paint some fences, and go rafting down the canal.

to kill a mockingbird - eat a ham and some delicious cake, carve soap figures, and roll down in a hill in a tire. maybe watch a trial or something.

decisions, decisions. (any suggestions? preferences? criticism?)

(side note - i don't cry that often. i'm cold hearted. but last time i read to kill a mockingbird, i cried three times. i knew what was coming but i still had to get some tissues. not sure what to think about that. maybe i'm only semi-cold hearted...)

Friday, October 22, 2010

text versus romance

Point of views or points of view?

(Book of Mormons or Books of Mormon?)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

hey, what troubles you?

i was watching the news tonight with my dad, and some congressman from pennsylvania came on. this sentence came out of his mouth (seriously.)

"i think the constitution should be upholded."

ladies and gentlemen, our elected officials!

so i listened to this song to cheer myself up. i wish i had jenny lewis's voice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

a stealer of hearts


more specifically, jazz basketball!

my life can start again in ten days (and counting!)

(went to a preseason game on tuesday though. jazz won. i sat in the 7th row, for part of the game at least.)

kyle 2.0 and deron williams, doin work. i know he's only shooting free throws, but it is the only action shot i got

for your reading pleasure, here is a survey done by all the gm's (dream job! and they all have crushes on steve nash, i think.)

General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to each question of the survey, rather than all 30 GMs.

Which team is the most fun to watch?
1. Oklahoma City 51.8%
2. Phoenix 23.2%
3. Dallas; L.A. Lakers; Miami 7.1%
6. Golden State 3.6%
- Last year: L.A. Lakers 30.8%

Which team has the best home-court advantage?
1. Utah 46.4% (word)
2. L.A. Lakers 21.4%
3. Oklahoma City 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Boston, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Miami, Portland, San Antonio
- Last year: Cleveland 37.9%

Which player is most athletic?
1. LeBron James, Miami 50.0%
2. Josh Smith, Atlanta; Dwyane Wade, Miami 10.7%
4. Dwight Howard, Orlando;
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; JaVale McGee, Washington; Derrick Rose, Chicago; John Wall, Washington
- Last year: LeBron James 69.6%

Which player is the best pure shooter?
1. Ray Allen, Boston 53.6%
1. Kyle Korver, Chicago 21.4%
3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City 14.3%
Also receiving votes:
Also receiving votes: Stephen Curry, Golden State; Jason Kapono, Philadelphia; Steve Nash, Phoenix
- Last year: Ray Allen 57.1%

Which player is fastest with the ball?
1. Derrick Rose, Chicago 21.4%
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans;
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 17.9%
4. Rajon Rondo, Boston; John Wall, Washington 10.7%
Also receiving votes:Gilbert Arenas, Washington; Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix; Aaron Brooks, Houston;Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee;
Ty Lawson, Denver
- Last year: Chris Paul 42.9%

Which player is best at moving without the ball?
1. Ray Allen, Boston 40.7%
2. Richard Hamilton, Detroit 37.0%
Also receiving votes:
Caron Butler, Dallas; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Paul Pierce, Boston; Luis Scola, Houston; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland
- Last year: Richard Hamilton 67.9%

Which player is the best at getting his own shot?
1. Kobe Bryant 70.4%
2. Dwyane Wade 11.1%
3. Carmelo Anthony 7.4%
Also receiving votes:
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; LeBron James, Miami; Brandon Roy, Portland
- Last year: Kobe Bryant 69.0%

Which player is the best offensive rebounder?
1. Dwight Howard, Orlando 37.0%
2. Kevin Love, Minnesota 11.1%
3. Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers; Brendan Haywood, Dallas;
Zach Randolph, Memphis; Josh Smith, Atlanta 7.4%
Also receiving votes:
Al Jefferson, Utah; David Lee, Golden State; Paul Millsap, Utah; Greg Oden, Portland; Luis Scola, Houston; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland
- Last year: Dwight Howard 74.1%

Which player is the best passer?
1. Steve Nash, Phoenix 75.0%
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans 14.3%
3. Jason Kidd, Dallas 7.1%
4. LeBron James, MIami 3.6%
- Last year: Steve Nash 58.6%

Which player is most dangerous in the open floor?
1. LeBron James, Miami 67.9%
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans 10.7%
3. Dwyane Wade, Miami 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Jason Kidd, Dallas; Tony Parker, San Antonio; Derrick Rose, Chicago; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
- Last year: LeBron James 62.1%

Which player is the best finisher?
1. LeBron James, Miami 60.7%
2. Dwyane Wade, Miami 17.9%
3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Carlos Boozer, Chicago; Dwight Howard, Orlando;
Josh Smith, Atlanta; Amar?e Stoudemire, New York
- Last year: LeBron James 55.2%

Which player does the most with the least?
1. Luis Scola, Houston 14.3%
2. Steve Nash, Phoenix 10.7%
3. Shane Battier, Houston;
Marc Gasol, Memphis; J.J. Redick, Orlando 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Carmelo Anthony, Denver; Matt Bonner, San Antonio; Glen Davis, Boston; Kirk Hinrich, Washington; Dwight Howard, Orlando; Chris Kaman, L.A. Clippers; Kyle Korver, Chicago; Brook Lopez, New Jersey; Kevin Love, Minnesota; Kevin Martin, Houston; Paul Millsap, Utah; Joakim Noah, Chicago; Mehmet Okur, Utah; Kendrick Perkins, Boston; Rajon Rondo, Boston
- Last year: Mehmet Okur 14.3%

Who is the toughest player in the NBA?
1. Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers 37.0%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 18.5%
3. Dwight Howard, Orlando 7.4%
Also receiving votes:
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Reggie Evans, Toronto; Kevin Garnett, Boston; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Chuck Hayes, Houston; Stephen Jackson, Charlotte; Shaquille O?Neal, Boston; Kendrick Perkins, Boston; Luis Scola, Houston; Ben Wallace, Detroit
- Last year: Ron Artest 42.9%

Which player is the best leader?
1. Steve Nash, Phoenix 32.1%
2. Chauncey Billups, Denver 17.9
3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; Chris Paul, New Orleans 14.3%
5. Tim Duncan, San Antonio; Derek Fisher, L.A. Lakers;
Jason Kidd, Dallas 7.1
- Last year: Chauncey Billups 28.6%

Which player has the best basketball IQ?
1. Steve Nash, Phoenix 46.3%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 22.2%
3. Jason Kidd, Dallas 14.8%
Also receiving votes:
Shane Battier, Houston; Chauncey Billups, Denver; Andre Miller, Portland; Chris Paul, New Orleans; Tayshaun Prince, Detroit
- Last year: Steve Nash 36.5%

Which player would you want taking the game-winning shot?
1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 78.6%
2. Carmelo Anthony, Denver; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas; Dwyane Wade, Miami
- Last year: Kobe Bryant 89.7%

(here's the link, if you're interested. it has pictures.)

some questions - why oh why are the jazz in the same division as portland, oklahoma city, and denver? toughest division in the league, do you think? and where is the love for d. will? also, who else misses the good ol' days - hand checks, pasty gangstas, the mailman, leapfrog jumping, bleeding on the court... i miss it. players these days are sissies. (m.j.'s claim is pretty legit.)

also, i really like reading bill simmons. i think i remember reading that he doesn't like girls, or at least girl sports fans. don't ask me why - it's weird. but i enjoy him nonetheless. (and i definitely could be making that up...)

next on my agenda? golf trip to albuquerque next weekend! i realize the irony - that i am leaving warm arizona to go to cold new mexico to golf, but i have to pick up my new golf clubs sometime.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

but only illusions

watching the miners in chile has been an incredible, emotional, eye-opening experience for me.

seeing those men come out of the ground and see their families - after spending 69-something days under tons of rock, not being able to see the sun, to smell the grass, to feel the wind - with their good attitudes and faith intact. how i wish i could be more like that. (i've been crying all day! :))

watching this process has led me to do some soul-searching and attitude-adjusting.

i've been so focused lately on me, on the things that i want (and the things that i don't have). i've needed to see this to realize how skewed my perspective has become. with just me to worry about, i've lost focus on the people and things in my life who deserve more from me. i haven't spent months literally under ground, but i feel like i've been spending days underneath a weight of worries and trivialities and problems (so-called) that in reality are insignificant. they only have significance because i have been giving them space in my head and thoughts to fuel the fire.

i loved the talk President Monson gave in conference about gratitude. one line that has stuck with me since then seems especially poignant today -

"We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings.

Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, 'He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.'

... Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings."

i've been experiencing a perfect storm or circumstances and timing this week - general conference playing on my ipod, spending time with my loved ones, watching those miners, preparing a relief society lesson. and that combination of things has helped me realize something:

it is so easy - dangerously, frighteningly, maddeningly, disturbingly easy - to lose focus on what is important and instead give weight to the feathery matters in our lives. and they take hold, like burrs, grabbing on and entangling themselves into daily occurrences until they are nearly impossible to extricate.

living a good life takes hard work and focus and dedication. living the gospel requires honesty with ourselves and others, and our Father in Heaven. and living a happy life on this earth is greatly benefited by an eternal perspective.

i can feel as though i am having the darkest day in history, but as soon as i turn my thoughts to the Lord i find the things that are truly insignificant retreating back to where they belong (instead of monopolizing my brainwaves.) the eternal perspective helps me to focus on what is truly important and forces the things that don't matter into the background. i'm not weighed down by the ridiculous, but instead my faith is strengthened and i am closer to seeing things as they really are.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

i gotta wake you up

i know everyone has been waiting, with bated breath, for thirty six hours, for my fantastic las vegas wedding weekend update. so, without further ado...

it was awesome!! that's all.

alright, alright. i'll try to be a little more descriptive. first of all, let me just say that i love vacations with my mom, and my second family. the only thing that would have made it better would have been if my own siblings were there too (and it would have been a lot better, because they are cool)

but it was still pretty amazing. we played games, ate peanut butter m&m's, went shopping, laughed at crazies, got small amounts of sleep, and didn't even go to the strip once! oh, and went to the wedding of the year in there somewhere.

waiting for the ceremony. don't wanna brag, but i took this picture. it's incredible.

it isn't bragging to say i took this one too - it's pretty bad. but first dance! i missed the dip...

jen's wedding was beautiful - so unique and totally jenalyn. she was a beautiful bride.

also, a great feature of the wedding was the photobooth! not a real one, but an ultra flattering one with mustaches and lips and fun glasses. we monopolized it, or at least were in danger of that. good thing those francis girls are so photogenic.

some things i learned this weekend:

- how to count in binary (nerd alert)

- i get the giggles REAL bad in the middle of the night (might have already known that, actually)

- sleeping on a fold down couch is not the same as a bed

- how to make multiple cute flowers

- i am not good at keeping track of my phone

- sitting in the back seat between two cute boys makes for one enjoyable 7 hour drive.

see? who could resist those faces, or those dimples? i'm a sucker for dimples.

- scott is probably better at winking than i am

and a video, just for good measure.

give us your dreamers

fantastic las vegas wedding weekend preview - me and my majah.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

to the sleepless this is my reply

i don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone when i say i love music. for real. whether it is playing on my ipod at work or in the car, or teaching little squirts how to read and play it, or playing it myself (even with voldemort breathing down my neck) i can't get away from it.

you can find music for anything, that fits any mood. you can find a song to get you out of a funk, or to help you stay in one and wallow in it. i memorized doctrine and covenants section four with the help of a song over ten years ago, and i can still sing it. i would imagine that one of the most fun jobs in the world is picking the right song to set the mood in a movie or tv show or commercial or something else that needs a mood set...

i think one of my most favorite things in the whole world is when you find a song that shoots right to the center of your brain and makes a home there. when someone is singing their guts out and you want to hurry and learn all the lyrics so you can sing your guts out too.

i do have a problem though - when that happens to me, i usually do a silly thing - i buy the sheet music. while that may not seem so silly at first glance, trust me, it is. where do i think i'm going to play these songs? i doubt anyone is going to let me sing billy joel or death cab in sacrament meeting anytime soon.

i feel like i could invite people over for a little sing-along/concert, but that is slightly crazy for more than one reason. the main one being this - i'd chicken out. and that's a pretty silly activity. (hey, come over so i can play the piano and sing for you! get real. :)) i guess i just really need to find a band in need of a back up singer/tambourine player.

p.s. another road trip to vegas in a couple days - this time with my mom and a staci and bori's and francis's and some cute kids (who are bori's, but who also deserve their own mention). i'd say that is one pretty killer road trip

Monday, October 4, 2010

when my mirror speaks it never minces words


general conference? check
peanut butter m&m's? check
pedicures, complete with hot towel? check
cool people? check
best monday possible? check

when all forces combine at exactly the right moment, an amazing three days is what you get. general conference was amazing, per usual. girl bonding during the priesthood session was also fantastic, as was the conference watching party on sunday. and then today... what could possibly make it better, you ask? i'll tell you - a delicious burger and strawberry shake and a walk in the freaking hot (thanks sweet j! again? next week?)

life never ceases to amaze me - seems like just when i need it most, i have some days like those i have just recounted. they turn my mind back to the important things that occasionally get pushed into the background and help me realize just how blessed i am. thanks life!

(also, dre dawg gave me a challenge! i better get cracking - i'm pretty awful at memorizing.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

living in a powder keg

(in case you ever play a jenna trivia game)

things i thought about today that made me upset

- lebron james
- dentists
- 100+ degree weather
- hair in need of a haircut
- sleeping on my neck funny which leads to a kink which leads to a knot in my shoulder
- black widows

things i thought about today that made me happy

- conference! (and conference parties)
- cheesy '80s love songs
- friday
- sleeping
- maybe getting to go camping at some point in my life
- getting a haircut next week
- the majah

Monday, September 27, 2010

we'll generate sparks

alright, no more late night posting for me. it is obvious that i can't be normal past midnight... whoops!

i changed things up a little around here. first one to discover it wins a prize! (for real - no one ever wants to claim my prizes when i offer them. i'm just itching to give something away!)

(i didn't mean to imply i didn't sincerely mean what i wrote late last night. just that i wrote it like a nerd alert.)

by thy help i'm come

as I lie here unable to sleep, I have been thinking about the relief society broadcast I watched yesterday. I commented to my buddies afterwards that I just feel so much love for everyone after I go to those, or to general conference. And I want to keep that feeling going.

Imagine this - everyone you know and love in the same room. It sounds like heaven to me! I just want to get all of my people together in one big group hug/cuddlefest, where we talk and laugh and enjoy each others company and tie quilts and read good things and do service projects and eat cinnamon rolls. And we keep adding to the group - bringing more and more people in to share in our happiness without changing the dynamic - well maybe changing it for the better. (little did you know when you started reading this that it was going to turn into a lovefest.)

Anyway, I probably sound crazy enough, I should maybe stop. That's just the feeling I get after a really good meeting.

Ps can it be march madness again? Or at least nba season. These cougars are disappointing me greatly, and I am ready for some basketball to lift my spirits.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

so we could shoot the moon

i realized something today.

i do not like it when people say "there is nothing worse than _______."

like this - "there is nothing worse than driving around for five minutes looking for a parking spot."

or this "nothing worse than the dentist!"

or "can't think of anything worse than finding out my next-door neighbor has my same engagement ring and then i had to break my $100 bill to buy a fifty cent pack of gum, and then i got some bird poop on my brand new bentley."

i understand there is some hyperbole involved here, but really? you can't think of anything worse than that? i can come up with a whole list without even trying very hard.

nuclear bomb
getting fired
taking a bite of something and then finding half a bug
someone telling you they don't like you
getting kidnapped
falling down the stairs

i encourage the world to try something different.

maybe "i really get bugged when someone eats all my ice cream."

or "fake crying is one of my hatiest things."

or "i can think of a whole list of things worse than this, but it is still pretty bad: annoying phrases."

alright, rant over. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

what would you think if i sang out of tune?

i'm not sure if there already is one or not (a quick google search yielded unsatisfactory results), so i am declaring today "friend appreciation day" (like mother's day, but for friends. and i'll try not to make this too sappy.)

i have had multiple experiences over the past little while that make me realize just how great the people i am friends with are (that sentence is weirdy, and i don't feel like trying to fix it.)

those experiences include, but are not limited to:

- temple trips

- movie nights with the boris

- speed dating on saturday (strange inclusion, you say? not so, say i! there is nothing like awkward conversations with random strangers to make you appreciate the random strangers you already know and like and actually want to hang out with.)

- vegas vacations

- talking on the phone twenty hundred times a day for five seconds each time

- late night conversations (after fhe might not be super late, but it felt late enough. thanks for helping me make a decision, ladies of the saragosa suites!)

- football games

- hershey doughnuts and rock band (even if it isn't the beatles. i might get over it someday.)

- blog comments, text messages, phone calls, etc.

you guys are all wonderful, and i just wanted you to know that i think so!

Monday, September 13, 2010

please hear me ohio

forgive me in advance, because this is a little weird.

i have this dream house all cooked up and planned out. it looks like this:

except with dark shutters. this house would be somewhere in the midwest. (preferably the place in the midwest where it is 85 degrees year round. you know the place...)

there would be cows and chickens and one of these -
there would be a garden, and a big white kitchen

with a sink just like this one.

it would have a big room for my piano that i don't have yet, and maybe a pig, and some kids running around. there would be a pond and a creek, and a big tree with a tree house and a tire swing.

and while i'm dreaming, let's throw in a million dollars and a pony.

always get hit out of nowhere

i was thinking on saturday as i was watching the byu game (before i got disgusted and turned it off) that the only real sign of fall here in az is the start of football season. and then...

i got to go to my first asu game, thanks to senator mccain! (and valerie, and glenda and darren. they are cool - they let me go with them, even though i was wearing blue...)

we had awesome seats (the perks of being a senator, i guess) plus free food and soda. i did put my purse in some beer, accidentally, but it was worth it. i just had to drive real careful on the way home so i didn't get pulled over...

and those little devils won! thank goodness one team i cheered for that day pulled out a win (air force, cougars? really?)

i was pulling double duty as spectator and substitute ESPN score giver, and my phone battery was in a precarious situation, so i only got the one picture. i guess i'll just have to go again, and be a little more prepared next time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

may my love reach you all

i may or may not have been listening to this over and over since yesterday...


side note #1 - i have been by myself at home all week (my dad and char went to hawaii without me) and the other day, after discussing it with a lady at work, i decided to take a weapon into my room. i don't have a gun (because i hate them) or a baseball bat, so i took in a golf club.

as i was getting it out of my bag and talking to my mom about it on the phone, i thought about having to actually use it. and freaked myself out. who wants to actually use a weapon? i then had to enter a completely dark house, and to make matters worse -

i discovered i had left the back door unlocked all night. wow.

side note #2 - i can't believe no one has even asked me about my surprise news! not that i would tell yet, but still - no one is even curious a little?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

don't call my name

i just helped a guy find our office by giving him directions over the phone.
for half an hour.
he was at the intersection less than one mile away.

(total number of times he turned around: at least 7.
total number of times i wanted to bang my head against the desk: at least 200.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

cautious and safe

i read a calvin and hobbes one time where calvin wishes his life had a rewind/erase button. that's a feature i need in my life.

think about it - i could get back all that time spent watching lame movies or reading lame books or going on lame awkward dates.

but there is one area of my life where i would use a rewind/erase button the most - sometimes, i find myself saying/doing things while this inner monologue is taking place:

"what am i doing? what is going on? is that really coming out of my mouth? am i really being that annoying right now? seriously, why am i saying this? why isn't anyone stopping me or slapping me upside the head?"

and while i'm having that inward anxiety attack, the words/actions coming out just get worse and worse, because i'm concentrating on how lame i am being and not on trying to stop or make it better.

rewind/erase buttons - that's the way to go in the future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

better find out where they want you to go

aren't fridays great? i feel like they are even better when you have the following things:

- a fantastic grandma
- good gym workouts
- a long weekend ahead
- byu football ahead
- this awesome website (someone get me one! that's an order)
- a magic ipod
- some good things to think about

i hope this weekend turns out as fantastic as i am planning on it being. (how's that for a good sentence?)

(also, just a teaser - be looking for some exciting news coming up here in the next couple weeks/months!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

i don't belong here

it must be monday.

i got bad news twice before lunch!

first - someone got my credit card number. not sure how it happened, or what they were thinking, but i now have six dollars in cash to last me until i get my new cards. wonderful.

second - did anyone else see that article about the dictionary being phased out? (not that i would call the today show the pinnacle of reporting, or anything like that. but it makes sense, right? the internet is taking over the world.) call me crazy, or old fashioned, but if no one makes books anymore i will be very upset.

i love books - the smell of them, the way they feel in your hands, just the weight of them, and they way they look on the shelf. plus the promise a new book holds. when i read something significant in a book, i always remember everything about it - where it is on the page, where i was when i read it, the way i felt about it. you don't get those same feelings from an electronic device. the magic just disappears.

i can see myself in fifty years as the crazy book lady, in a house surrounded by bookshelves on every wall with books on them that i have never read - i just own them because they are becoming extinct and i want to preserve them if it is that last thing on earth i do. (yup, i'm crazy.)

anyway, i guess the only way this day can go from here is up!

Friday, August 27, 2010

night gathers round my soul

sometimes life is just hard.

i've had a somewhat rough week - full of frustration and discouragement. i hate to admit it (or just even say it, i guess) but it is hard to be a twenty six year old single lady. i try to forget it, because most of the time my life is wonderful and happy in spite of that fact. but it is an ever present fact - always hanging out, teasing me, and every once in a while i get hit over the head with it, and i struggle for a little bit.

luckily, i can't stay down forever. i have great friends, incredible parents, and faith in my Savior. i know He knows me, and understands me, and can help me. the days that knowledge fades into the background are the hardest, but luckily i know how to bring it back - listening to general conference, reading my scriptures, getting good advice from people i love, etc. etc.

yesterday, i was listening to some conference talks, trying to find the hidden messages just for me. they are always in there, but i occasionally have to listen intensely to find them. not yesterday - they were everywhere! and as i sat listening and thinking, it was like the kaleidoscope shifted, and i could see clearly again. life is still hard - that won't ever go away. but having the right perspective makes all the difference.

things will work out - life will go on - i will survive. and if i try hard enough, and stay focused enough, and have faith enough, i will survive well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

happiness hit her like a bullet in the head

road trip recap

we started out early, after saying good bye to cute little scotty and isaac (scotty was asking to come - "i wanna go to began." that means vegas.) and dude said bye too. we hit the road jack, and almost died pretty immediately. jessi racked up two of those, which meant i got two freebies on the way home.

the road is meant for jenna, and for the format - we sang our little hearts out! (in case anyone is wondering what to get me for christmas, or my birthday, i can always use a road trip. i love them, if you weren't already aware.) at one point, we got a little carried away with the dam jokes - needlessly, because it was not even backed up on the way there. and right before we got to jen's house, we stopped at the nicest mcdonalds in the entire universe - even nicer than the two story ones i went to in china. seriously - there were chandeliers in the bathroom. it was like the twilight zone.

this is the coolest bridge ever.

jen's shower was so nice and fun, plus it had the added bonus of being in an old mafia house. (that is unconfirmed, but once i heard about the bullet-proof glass, i was convinced. there was just a mafia vibe.) after the shower, it was all fun and games with those crazy brinkerhoff ladies!

the drive back was a little longer - the dam was backed up then. but that's what road trips are for! jessi and i had a blast - talking and reading and listening to some more good tunes (ps if anyone is looking for new music recommendations, so am i. i have a few i could probably swap, but i'm bored to tears of my ipod these days.) all in all, a fun girly weekend! thanks for taking me, jess!

Friday, August 20, 2010

watch you laughing

my favorite two year old.

also - sister, brothers, if you read this - have some kids! (well, get married first.) i would like some nieces and nephews.

vegas in the am (early i'm afraid). and fun best friend sleepover tonight! sounds like a weekend of party to me...

(ps i hope my voice is that nasally because of my illness and not because that's just how it is.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

oh, don't deceive me

three things of note in my life:

- i got a new lifetime high bowling score on friday - wait for it - 80! i was hoping to break 100, but i'll take 80. especially since i was bowling instead of working.

- i finished re-reading the seventh harry potter book last night. i like reading them all in a row, as quickly as possible. i know i've said this before, but i love reading things over and over and over. i can't help but get sucked in, every time. (in general, i'm good at remembering details, not so good at remembering plot.) reading them again has caused me to desire this. but it's $450. yikes.
- i killed it playing the piano for choir yesterday. all that practicing was worth it, i guess. (also, reading harry potter causes me to have harry potter sightings in my life. i won't tell you who the choir director looks like... he must not be named. ha ha.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

they'd tell you by now

there was a new episode of radiolab yesterday - hallelujah! - and i listened to it this afternoon. it was all about words, and language, and it started the wheels turning in my head (does that surprise anyone?)

i'm going to try to summarize and communicate my thoughts about the episode in a timely manner, but no promises. here goes -

they started off with a story about a boy who was deaf and went until he was 27 before he was able to communicate with anyone - he was 27 before he even knew that things had names and words associated with them. there was also a story about a deaf school in nicaragua and how the students there came up with their own language, and it was only after they did so that they were able to process thinking about other people's thoughts and thought processes. before that, it seems they weren't aware that other people can think. makes sense - if you can't communicate with anyone, how do you know they feel and think and act just like you do? if you can't talk to them, life would be more like watching a movie than observing others acting autonomously.

those two stories were what started me thinking, and this is what i thought. if lack of communication leads to isolation in general, then does our ability to communicate, and the ways we communicate, lead to the connections we have with others. (i'm sure i'm not breaking any new ground here, but i had never thought of things in quite this way before.)

if i meet someone, and we communicate in generally the same way, is this what sparks a close relationship? because the way i see it, humans in general have the same experiences, or at least all experiences boil down to approximately the same things. if i tell you a story about my life and the emotion (or emotions) that experience caused me to feel, chances are you have also had an experience that caused you to feel those same emotions. everyone feels loss and hurt and anxiety and love and happiness and fear and peace. the experiences we have that cause us to feel those things differ, but the feelings we get from them are the same from person to person. so if i am a good communicator in general, or if i communicate that experience to you in a way that you can easily recognize and relate to, then we both identify the emotion and share a connection.

so does our ability to communicate dictate the relationships we develop? seems kind of like a no-brainer, but the light bulb went on for me. maybe that is the reason some friendships never get off the ground, past the superficial stage. maybe that is why i just can't get that boy to date me, or why i spend so much time with some friends that we start to sound alike. we either can or can't communicate well with each other. (there is a possibility i am oversimplifying this, but i think there is a strong possibility that this is at least one of the factors in a complicated process.)

i love radiolab.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

ready to bolt

this weekend was a weekend of firsts.

- i donated blood for the first time ever! i've been too scared ever since jessi had a horribly freakish experience in high school, but i went saturday and now i feel like a new person!

- i made cinnamon rolls, from scratch. and boy were they delicious. if you are nice to me i might give you one, because i accidentally made about five million. so i guess the amount of nice you have to be is inversely proportional to the amount of desperate i am to get rid of them...

hmmm. maybe only two firsts this weekend. i'm sure if i tried real hard i could come up with other things, but my brain is slightly foggy at the moment, and i don't really want to try really hard. just know it was a great weekend full of two firsts...

p.s. here's something you don't see every day - homeboy is wearing plaid shorts and a striped shirt... i think this may be a first - not sure i've ever seen someone try to pull that off before. but it was on thursday, so not this weekend...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

everything that you want to say

when i was little, my dad had a ritual to start fhe every week - old business/new business. he'd ask for old business first, and we got to share with the group, and then the same deal with new business. really, it was just us saying whatever we wanted, and i think most weeks it ended up more like bad news/good news. anyways, here is my version of "old business/new business."

old business: our email was out at work all day. a-nnoy-ing.
new business: somebody went on a frosty run on their lunch break, and i got a free frosty!

old business: i've been stressing out about not very much the past few days. (i think my brain is broken.)
new business: i finally got some inspiration for mom's birthday present! (however, i am going to need an editor. if anyone feels inclined to volunteer, please let me know asap.)

old business: this week is not looking very promising in the monsoon department.
new business: pazookies are wonderful! and jessi and i sure know how to party

old business: practicing the piano for choir gets old fast.
new business: road trip to vegas in a few weeks!

and that brings this session of old business/new business to a close.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

tune my heart

watch this -

or this -

you won't regret it.

(nothing like a little message from President Monson to brighten your day.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

send the sun

i love sunday drives - with the windows down, the sun setting, some nice peaceful music on the radio, clouds in the sky and rain in the air. (a little bit like this)

i think they are one of my absolute favorite things in life.

i was just missing one thing to make it perfect.

but it was pretty dang close.

Friday, July 30, 2010

offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn

twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
when blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
i came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"

and if i pass this way again, you can rest assured
i'll always do my best for her, on that i give my word
in a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"

not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
everything up to that point had been left unresolved
try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"

i was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
poisoned in the bushes an' blown out on the trail
hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"


well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
but nothing really matters much, it's doom alone that counts
and the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"

i've heard newborn babies wailin' like a mournin' dove
and old men with broken teeth stranded without love
do i understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn?
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"


well, i'm livin' in a foreign country but i'm bound to cross the line
beauty walks a razor's edge, someday i'll make it mine
if i could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm"

today is a bob dylan kind of day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

how i wish you could see the potential


- i thought it was going to storm tonight, finally. monsoon season is the only reason arizona summer is good. and yet again, it passed my house by...

- last night was the fourth night in a row i lost sleep because of "inception." i knew i was wimpy, but i didn't know i was that wimpy. (yes, it scared me. i'm wimpy. stupid five seconds at the end.)

- i've been thinking all week about tie-dying some shirts and making cinnamon rolls, but i just can't bring myself to invite people over for that in case it turns out super lame. so maybe i'll just do it myself. (and deliver cinnamon rolls to random neighbors, because i can't have those things hanging out at my house. i just want to make them, not eat them.)

- i'd feel good about a four day work week/three day weekend. every week.

- i ran out of radiolab to listen to, and now i'm bored at work again. sunday night we watched a show about the universe on the science channel, and i knew all the answers. :)

- the bulls are turning into the poor man's jazz. (except they got kyle korver and ronnie brewer, so more like the jazz 2.0. raja bell and gordon hayward better be worth it, or else.)

- i'm getting more impatient, the older i get. no bueno.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

consistence from somebody

things have been a little serious around here lately, so here's an awesome video for your viewing enjoyment.

my favorite commercial + my favorite institution for higher learning = really awesome

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

in the darkness of my night, in the brightness of my day

nerd alert - (don't read this if you hate nerds)

listening to radiolab some more. they are discussing the universe, and i am slowly becoming obsessed with it. (can physics be a hobby? i think i'm headed that direction. without the math, if that is possible.)

the specific discussion that i'm fretting about today refers to the shape of the universe. (which is different from the center of the universe.) here's a little excerpt:

"we don't know that the universe is infinitely big. it could be that you go on for some distance and you walk and you walk and you wind up coming back from that direction, sort of like the surface of the earth. it has a certain size - it's not infinitely big. it doesn't have an edge, you can't fall off, but nevertheless, when you keep on going you return to your starting point. it could be that the universe has that kind of a shape. the data seems not to support that at all, at the moment. the best astronomical data supports a universe that is flat as opposed to curved."

i have to say, when i heard that, i was somewhat relieved. people tend to use the circle as a model of infinity, saying that it has no end. but when i think of something like, for example, eternal life, i can't reconcile those two things in my mind. if eternal life was like a circle, we would keep coming back to the same moments over and over again, right? i would relive this exact moment more times than i could count.

i've never felt like that is right. the way we are taught about our lives, the plan of salvation, seems to me to be linear. so when i heard this explanation, it just clicked in my brain. feel free to correct me if i'm wrong (it would not be the first time.)

(here's a link to the show, if anyone is interested in listening. WNYC - Radiolab - The (Multi) Universe(s). the part explaining about the universe being like swiss cheese is also very intriguing.)

different ways in the mind

something funny happened to me today. funny-hmmm, not really funny-haha.

i was standing in the bathroom at work, washing my hands, and suddenly i was sad. it kind of felt like someone had exploded an atomic bomb of sadness in my vicinity, and the sonic wave washed over me. i was sad for that one instant, and then it was gone.

i thought it was interesting, and tried to remember if there was a reason, or if maybe some depressed ghost had just walked through me. and i realized i had been just letting my mind wander, somewhat randomly. i must have found the area of my brain that contains all of my sad thoughts and accessed it instantly before i could stop myself - before my safety mechanism kicked in saying "wait wait, now is not the time or the place for that. put those away before you hurt yourself."

funny how our brains work, eh? i just thought all of that while washing my hands.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

love of life will urge me say


sundays are good
sundays are great
sundays are wonderful
how could i hate?

and now, for a slightly better poem.

the great yes - by constantine p. cavafy (english translation)

For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It's clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,

he goes from honor to honor, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he'd still say No. Yet that no -- the right no--
drags him down all his life.

just some food for thought.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

can you see the people

i tell you, i am geeking out.

does the universe have a center? because the way i see it goes like this - the universe is constantly expanding, which means it has no edges, which would make it hard to have a center...

anyone who can successfully and satisfactorily answer this question receives a delicious homemade prize courtesy of me. (and no, "jenna" does not count as the answer.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

here i am, where i've been

so, i've been listening to radiolab the last little bit, and forgive me for geeking out a bit, but i really love it. it's like bill nye the science guy, but for grown-ups.

take today, for instance. today, i learned about the little men who make our dreams, einstein's theory of relativity, how rats and iguanas and ducks and dolphins sleep (and how that compares to human sleep), and how to make the best zoo exhibits. in one day, and all while i was typing up orders and answering phone calls and opening mail.

also occurring in my monday - one of those moments that just hit you where you feel so happy you just want to sing and dance and be in a musical. i was just minding my own business, folding some papers, when i thought about all of the wonderful things in my life - past, present, and future.

- china
- being set apart in a new calling yesterday
- going to the temple tomorrow
- new plans, and new ideas
- learning new things

it hit me like a boulder - knocked the wind right out of me! i'm blessed, and loved, and just because life isn't perfect doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable. those two things are not mutually exclusive. i guess some days i just need a reminder of that - a glimpse of what i forget during the normal hours of my life.

(now here's a picture, just because. i'm wearing my favorite shirt, at my favorite sushi place, with my favorite sister. so, pretty much incredible.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

like a good captain

if you find yourself having a day where you hate the planet, feel free to try my foolproof formula to get yourself over that hatin'.

take one best friend, one two year old, and one five month old (the cuter the better. the best specimens reside in mesa, az.)

add a delicious dinner and some chocolate custard.

let sit for approximately an hour and a half, or the length of one silly chick flick.

throw in some good conversation and a dash of cold war kids.

voila! you've got yourself the recipe for success right there. nothing like the power of a two year old to cure anything that ails ya.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

each morning i get up i die a little

i just finished reading this

for what is probably the twenty hundredth time, give or take a few. i love it. love. as in, if that book were a man i would grab him by the hand and make him marry me and talk me to sleep every night. (is that weird? it's the truth.)

when i get about 47 pages from the end, i always think "there are too few pages left. i wish this book could go on forever, like the neverending story. i wonder how quickly i can start reading it again." (i have a rule - i have to read at least 8 or 9 books in between readings of this one, or i might start to love it less.)

so there you go - my book endorsement for the day. in case you still need some convincing, here's an excerpt:

"And now, because a story is told for all, an admonition to the mindsick:

Be careful whom you choose to hate.

The small and vulnerable own a protection great enough, if you could but see it, to melt you into jelly."

it's like music. i love it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

the air, simmerin

things that are awesome
- getting off work early
- 3 day weekends
- fireworks
- sewing machines
- swimming pools
- peanut butter filled pretzels
- air conditioning
- the most comfortable pajama pants in the history of the world
- good books

things that are not quite so awesome
- forgetting to write your missionary brother
- when everyone you know goes on vacation
- going back to work after 3 day weekends
- bugs
- sleep deprivation

good thing the awesome outweighs the not quite so, eh?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

wanna be startin somethin

way back on may 18, i posted on my facebook status these exact words.

"i'm so sick of hearing about lebron james already. doesn't everyone know he is a baby?" (for real. i looked it up.)

and yet, it continues. i can't wait for this summer to be over so we can get back to some real basketball. (although i do have to admit, i'm a little intrigued by the possibility of lebron, dwayne wade, and chris bosh the dinosaur all playing on the same team... seems slightly unfair, but also slightly awesome.)

i'm ready to go back to the good ol' days. john and karl agree.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

i made a clean getaway

happy birthday to... my blog! this post is number one hundred, and in celebration, i'll tell you a story.

once upon a time, about four months ago, one of the guys at work asked me if i would like him to set me up with someone, namely his son. (those were his exact words. he's lds, and thinks i'm getting a little ancient.) after a few weeks of his persistence, i agreed to give him my number for his son.

the persistence of the father was the first red flag. the persistence of the son should have been the second. i am a busy girl, and he'd call when i was busy working or teaching or hanging out with some friends. but he kept trying, and when we finally talked he set up a date.

so, the date was kite flying. sounded like a good idea at the time, but it turns out flying kites is only fun if the person/people you are with are also fun. i stood there, holding my kite string, thinking "what now?" and then it started to rain. and still, we flew kites. it thought i might have a benjamin franklin experience, but was spared, luckily.

after we finally got done with the kites, we went to lunch. at quiznos, where my date had never been. he paid for our sammiches, then left the counter without them. we sat at our table, me thinking "is he going to get them? should i go get them? am i going to have to make myself a sammich at home after this? what is going on?"

finally, one of the nice worker girls brought our sandwiches to us (probably got sick of looking at them) and set them down on the table. now, by this time it was about 4:00 and i was hungry. so i picked my sammich up to take a big bite, and got asked this question:

"oh, are we just going to say individual prayers then?"

so... we ate our sammiches, got up to leave, at which point i was informed that i would be working on answering mindtrap questions on the way home, and he would help me when i got stuck. boys of the world - if you ever want to have a second date with a girl, it may help if you don't insult said girl's intelligence at any point in your life. i showed him though - i killed those mindtrap questions.

that's the end of my date story, and my stories of that boy. now i want some homemade ice cream...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

do they collide?

my plans after work included this:

coming home and changing out of my skirt
curling up with my laptop and a little white dog
watching the jazz pick ninth in the draft

only one of those things happened fully - the other two are happening halfway, because someone is an idiot and forgot to check what time the draft started (that idiot would be me), and it's way too hot for dog curling up.

i three quarter-heartedly approve of the jazz's pick. they really needed a center, but what can you do if the pickings are slim? gordon hayward is decent... we'll have to see what happens before i pass any more judgement.

on another note, it was 112 degrees today and i saw a guy in full motorcycle regalia on the freeway - leather jacket, chaps, boots, helmet, all black. what in the world? isn't he afraid of melting? i would be! there is no way he could be cold - why wear all the gear? it's a mystery, i guess.

and speaking of freeways, today was one of those days - sitting at work i felt a road trip coming on. anyone else ever get that feeling? suddenly all i wanted to do was jump in a car (that someone else is driving, preferably. i'm slowly losing my desire to drive all the time and would like to be the passenger more often these days.) with a good playlist and good company, and an exciting destination that includes a beach. driving through the desert at sunset with my feet on the dash and the stereo up sounds like just about the best thing i can think of at the moment...

Monday, June 21, 2010

i won't be sleeping much tonight

after a crazy weekend which included a) the jenna show at church yesterday (i spoke and sang, in that order), b) first pool party of the year and c) more confusion regarding the world of dating boys, i am ready to get on with this week. (hopefully sans confusion. but who knows if that will happen. seriously, what are you guys thinking? i would like to know... and that's not a joke.)

next week will be the first official meeting of the book club... of jenna and staci. we maybe should come up with a good name for it - something catchy but also intelligent sounding. i'm hosting it, and i've never run a book club before. what do you do? i will probably end up looking up some questions online, ignoring them, and using my own theories to start some discussion. if it's just staci and i, the discussion should be pretty exciting. at least that would be more successful than the last book club i tried to have, which consisted of me.

and if this fire in flagstaff puts an end to my camping plans this weekend, i might cry. it has been far too long since i went on a good camping trip. and this one promises to come pretty close to that last one (i doubt you can beat singing les mis and phantom around the campfire, followed by waking up to discover you camped in the middle of two roads, and then fishing. but i'm sure going to try!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

this story's old but it goes on and on

i'm back.

sorry it has been so long. i'm a hoser. but i'm back now, and life has just been going on and on. too much to update everyone on right now, especially because i'm really excited about this post! maybe i'll update as i go, because i'm sure i'll be reminded as i go.

so, now for the fun - i've been thinking lately i should make a bucket list. maybe not a bucket list exactly, but along the same lines. i want to accomplish this list as fast as possible so i can write a new one. so without further ado

101 things to do
1. read all books on top one hundred (maybe the bbc's list... or another one.)
2. make a list of one hundred places to visit before i die
3. write a book and get it published
4. adopt a child
5. learn another language
6. get my pilot's license
7. attend a playoff game that wins the series (preferably the nba finals, and the jazz. still a jazz fan.)
8. master fifteen recipes so i can just make them off the top of my head
9. sew three quilts (i made myself the awesomest purse imaginable! pictures to come)
10. ride an elephant
11. have two picnics on the beach - one in the day and one at night during a full moon
12. sail around the world
13. meet the prophet
14. publish a magazine article or story
15. go on a cross country road trip from san deigo to maine
16. read every book of scripture
17. learn to make jewelry
18. run a half marathon
19. write one hundred handwritten letters
20. memorize twenty-five scriptures
21. go to the temple once a week for one year
22. learn to play hungarian rhapsody and clair de lune on the piano
23. visit fifty temples and at least one on every continent (with a temple)
24. sing with a band
25. volunteer at least one hundred hours
26. unplug for one weekend - no phone, no tv, no computer, no ipod
27. plant a tree and carve my name in it.
28. bury a time capsule
29. spend christmas day helping out
30. meditate for three hours in one sitting
31. learn how to successfully make pasta
32. read a book a fortnight for one year
33. cook something i've grown (there is now a garden in my backyard. pictures to come of this also)
34. build a treehouse and sleep in it
35. buy a stranger's lunch
36. build something that will outlast me
37. leave a love note on a windshield (somewhere not at home)
38. watch the sunrise from a mountain
39. send a message in a bottle
40. learn to make sushi
41. spend two nights in a hammock, at least one of those nights on the beach
42. get married in the temple
43. spend one day each with my siblings, my parents, and my grandparents
44. throw away or donate one hundred of my unnecessary items (if i have that many... i'm sure i do)
45. sit front row at a basketball game (again, preferably the jazz. maybe in the opponents arena, and be really obnoxious.)
46. make up a new game
47. read one whole novel out loud to someone
48. write a song (at least lyrics and melody)
49. raise chickens from an egg
50. learn to play the cello
51. go on a humanitarian mission
52. spend one whole day without looking at a clock
53. take one picture everyday for a year
54. memorize five poems
55. work out six days a week for one month
56. simplify, simplify, simplify
57. say something to someone's face that i would normally say anonymously, or not say at all
58. stand on top of a mountain
59. visit the capital and/or largest city in all fifty states
60. sing with the mormon tabernacle choir
61. read every book i own
62. leave a $100 tip
63. swim in all seven seas
64. start a dinner and game night group
65. learn something top secret
66. visit the senate and the house of representatives and see our government in action
67. be the boss
68. sit on a jury
69. teach someone to read
70. make a personal mission statement, live by it, and revisit and revise as needed
71. buy a house and spend time making it exactly what i want
72. take a hot air balloon ride
73. make a hole in one in real golf (not mini golf)
74. have long hair again
75. learn to scuba dive
76. own a brand new car
77. get lasik
78. read thoreau at walden pond
79. play a game of cricket
80. shower in a waterfall
81. finish my one thousand paper cranes (nope, not done yet. i'm lame.)
82. fly first class
83. go on a safari
84. play a round of golf in augusta (my team got second place in our work golf tournament in april! i won $20!!)
85. learn tai chi
86. create my own list of one hundred best books
87. be debt free
88. help someone in a way i wish someone would help me
89. try a new food every week for three months
90. be on a game show
91. take one hundred hour long walks
92. take a trip by myself
93. got camping for one whole weekend five times
94. learn to make good bread
95. write in a journal every day for a year
96. participate in a walk for a cause
97. create a list of my top one hundred songs of all time
98. interview my remaining grandparents, and my parents
99. go one week without sugar
100. eat one hundred meals while enjoying the great outdoors
and 101. is a secret...

alright, hopefully that wasn't jenna overload. i'm back though, for real. and i'll keep you posted on the list progress.