Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Defying Gravity, Again...

"I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so.
Some things I cannot change,
but 'til I try I'll never know."

Just re-watched a scene from an episode of Glee that aired two weeks ago. It features two voices I really enjoy listening to; Rachel, a soprano, and Kurt, a contra-tenor. They both audition for the lead in a group performance of Defying Gravity, from Wicked. As the song plays, it cuts back and forth between both performances, creating one musical number. I hope that makes sense. If not, it's not the important part, so no worries.

I don't know what it is about this song, or even this particular performance of this song, but I just started crying. The kind of crying that is deeply emotional. Cleansing. Cathartic.

Well, at least it would be, if I could figure out why it affected me so strongly this time.

I know that I tend to tether myself, trying to be more practical than dreamer. I try to find the happy mediums, the goals and dreams that I can accomplish; ones I can see the way to achieve.

But I don't think I'm having issues with being able to dream. I'm taking steps to accomplish some things I really want to accomplish. I feel like things are happening for me. I might wish sometimes that they would happen without so much effort on my part, but I don't mind making the effort, either.

So why did I get all emotional listening to Defying Gravity? I have no clue.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beauty and the Beast...

Friday my computer contracted a virus so bad that I had to do a complete system recovery. It kind of sucked.

Now I have all the work of getting a new computer to where I like it, without actually having a new computer.

On the plus side, even though the system recovery deleted iTunes from my computer, it didn't delete my music files, so I haven't had to do any work as far as recovering my music library. That's nice. Of course, I still have to go through and redo my ratings for songs and find album artwork for many songs. That's kind of a drag. Oh well.

Money has been kind of tight recently, and I've been trying to watch what I spend it on. Of course, when money is tight, this is when Borders sends me 40% off coupons in my email. That's the one coupon I can't ignore. It's just too good a deal. On top of that, I recently earned $5 in Borders Bucks, which I would need to use by the end of the month anyway.

So I went book shopping.

I didn't really expect to find anything I really wanted. I was wrong. At the Borders at the north end of University Avenue I found the Starman omnibus. A very nice hardback collection of 17 issues of the very highly regarded Starman comic book series published by DC Comics. I've wanted to read this for a while, and with my two discounts I managed to save $25 off the cover price.

Now I know what I'm going to be spending my "extra" money on for the next while. I know there are at least 3 volumes out, and a total of six planned.

This is an absolutely beautiful work of literature. And I haven't ever used the word beautiful to describe a comic book before. I don't think I've even used it to describe any sort of book before. It's that amazing.

Normally, when I read a book, I blaze right through. I read really fast, and it annoys me sometimes. With Starman, I find myself slowing down, savoring the words written on the page. Enjoying the emotions. I haven't been moved to tears, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened a couple times down the line.

How's that for a jump? From something I've never read to being my favorite comic book series.

I can't wait to read more.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Go Figure...

I've got some very fun activities planned for the next couple days.

I'm going to go see the Wizard of Oz in the theater tonight. Ever since I saw the ad, I've been so excited to see this movie I can hardly stand it. It's the 70th anniversary, and they've remastered the movie in high definition. So it'll be Oz like it's never been seen before.

Then, tomorrow, I'm driving to Cedar City. I'm going to talk to the school to see if I can at least get student loans so I can take the classes I need to take in order to feel qualified to apply for the Master's program I want.

Plus, I get to spend a little time with my friend Julie, and that's always fun.

So wouldn't you know it? Yesterday I get a fever. As in, I got home from work and put on sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt. And my lower back and legs were aching horribly. So last night I took a couple Aleve. They seem to have helped. I got some good sleep at least.

But I still don't feel great. Just better.

Go figure.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Visit Home...

...was very rough on me.

My dad is suffering from dementia. We figure he has, or is developing, Alzheimer's. Hasn't been officially diagnosed, but all the indicators are there.

I went to Kanab to get my car inspected and registered, and to help my mom keep an eye on Dad. During the day, he's usually fairly normal, but once the sun goes down, he starts getting more and more agitated and upset.

You can't convince him to go to bed. Apparently, he's afraid that if he goes to sleep, he will die. At least, that's what he told my brother before. So I didn't get much sleep while I was there, as I would sit up with Dad until he went to bed, then I would lie on the floor in the room next to his, and try to sleep as much as possible. Then I would nap during the day for a couple hours.

Friday was really, really bad. He didn't get normal during the day; he was very agitated all day. He wouldn't go for a ride with one of his friends. In the evening, he said he was going to die because he wasn't breathing. I tried to explain that he WAS breathing, because he was still talking, but he just said we would see. He told my mom to give him a hug goodbye. Then he went to sleep. He woke up about an hour later.

He was up all night. He got me this morning, very agitated. I couldn't handle him, so I got my mom, who called my sister and brother-in-law. They took him to the hospital. The doctor on duty ran tests, then gave him a shot that would supposedly put him out all day, and most of the night as well. That was at 7 or 8 in the morning, but he was awake and agitated by the time I left at noon. I hated to leave Mom and Dad like that, but I wanted to go visit my brother and sister-in-law, and, to be honest, I just couldn't take it anymore.

I think he would do better if he would just sleep. His body is obviously exhausted, but his mind won't let him go to sleep. I don't know what to do.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Life in Review: Wizard of Oz Pop Up Book

I recently was sent a 40% off coupon for Borders. I knew what I wanted, and the website indicated it was in stock, so off to Borders I went. And spent an hour trying to find something I wanted to buy, as what I had originally planned to buy was not there.

At the end of that hour, I remembered another book I wanted. And it was in stock!

It's a pop-up book. The Wizard of Oz. And it is a work of art. So I decided to include pictures in this review.

Here's the cover:

With each page turn, there is a large, two page spread pop-up diorama. There are also smaller pop-ups, with a lot more story included as well. In the smaller sections you meet Dorothy's fellow travelers, as well as see an action shot of the wicked witch melting. It's a great design.

Now, this picture may not look all that impressive, but the tornado actually twists as you open the book! It's amazing!

Here's the Emerald City. I like the architecture of the city. Also included are green spectacles to wear. If you're familiar with the book, you'll understand why.

The final picture is of the scene where the wizard flies away in the balloon. The balloon is suspended from string so that it dangles and sways when you turn to this page. Hanging underneath is the wizard in the basket. Sorry for the picture quality.

Anyway, this was a great purchase, and I love this particular depiction of my favorite book.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Song of the Week

I don't really intend this to be a regular feature, but I couldn't figure out what else to title this post.

I've been relating quite a bit to a Patrick Fiori song called "Je Ne Serai Jamais." It really fits, for the most part, how I feel about myself. Kind of cool.

Here are the lyrics in French:

Je ne serai jamais ni l'ombre d'un homme
Ni le pâle reflet d'un autre que moi
Je suis toutes mes failles mes blessures et mes fautes
Je suis ce que tu vois

Je ne serai jamais le héros de tes fables
Ni ce beau chevalier dont tu rêves parfois
Si je dresse mes bras en murs infranchissables
Tu vois je ne suis, je ne suis que moi

Je ne serai jamais ni prince d'illusion
Ni de ces beaux marquis si brillants et narquois
Je suis de mon histoire de mes passés, de mes passions
Je suis ce que je crois

Je ne serai jamais un regret pour mes pères
Un de ces baladins à la solde d'un roi
Et je veux des enfants toujours fiers d'être fier
Je suis ce que je dois

Mais je pourrais ma belle si tu le demandais
Décrocher les étoiles te couvrir de soie
Faire enfin de mes bras le plus beau des palais
Mais je ne serai jamais, jamais que moi

Je ne serai jamais, jamais que moi.

And my quick and dirty English translation follows:

I never will be the shadow of a man
nor the pale reflection of another person
I am all of my failures, my emotional wounds, my faults
I am that which you see

I never will be one of the heroes from a fairy tale
Nor that handsome knight you sometimes dream of
If I put up impenetrable walls around my heart
You'll see I'm not, not anyone but me

I never will be that fairy-tale prince
Nor that handsome marquis, so brilliant and mocking
I am made of my history, my past, and my passions
I am that which I believe

I never will be a regret for my parents
Nor a minstrel in the pay of a king
And I want children I can be proud of
I am what I should be

But I could, my dear, if you asked me
Bring you stars from the heavens and cover you in silk
And make by my own hands a palace most grand
But I never, never will be, anyone but me.

So, yeah, it's a very, very rough translation, but I really enjoy the song and relate to almost every line.

No, I'm not going to say which lines I don't relate to.

Coming soon, a review, with pictures, of a book I bought recently.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Life in Review: Recent Music Purchases

I recently was introduced to a music download service that is much more affordable than iTunes, and is compatible with iTunes. The songs only cost 9 cents each. It doesn't have quite the selection that iTunes does, but it actually manages to have some albums that iTunes doesn't. It's a good thing, I think. Really liking it.

And my music collection is growing by leaps and bounds. Scary, really.

I just bought the album Funhouse by Pink. I like Pink, and I have really, really enjoyed a lot of her songs. This is the first complete album of hers that I've bought. It's mind-blowingly fantastic! It does not have a single song that I don't want to listen to again. In fact, using the rating system, of the 14 tracks, only 4 are three-star songs, and those are the lowest rated on the album. One five-star song, and the rest are four. Pretty amazing. It's still very much a Pink album, but there's an emotional, vulnerable edge to the songs. Can you have a vulnerable edge? Did I just invent an oxymoron? Anyway, it's a great album. I'm completely floored by how much I love it.

Oh, and I figured out who my guilty pleasure is, as far as music is concerned: Kelly Clarkson. I keep buying her songs, I can't help it, and I like them. Just don't tell anyone, okay?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Five-Star Songs...

One of my readers told me they enjoy my posts where I do lists. I've been trying to think of another list to do, and I finally have one.

In my iTunes library I have 3,293 songs. According to iTunes, it would take me 8 days, 13 hours, 5 minutes and 47 seconds to listen to each song once through, all in a row.

That's a lot of music. I try to use the rating system faithfully. I won't often change a rating once I've assigned it to a song, but it does happen.

Out of those 3,293 songs, there are only 39 that I felt deserved a five-star rating. Some of my criteria for giving a five-star rating are: I have to have an emotional connection to the song; it's a song that I rarely, if ever, skip when it pops up on a random playlist of the entire library; it's a song that I generally will play several times in a row, that I just can't get enough of. There are other criteria, but those are the ones that are easily describeable.

I won't make comments about each song, as this will be a huge post anyway. Also, the songs aren't in any order of preference. They are all five-star songs.

  1. Answer by Sarah McLachlan
  2. Again Today by Brandi Carlile
  3. Arms of Love by Amy Grant
  4. Maria by Blondie
  5. Hold On by the University of Illinois Rip Chords: Originally by Wilson Phillips, this is an a cappella version. And this song has become one of my life anthems.
  6. I Wish the Best For You by Emerson Hart
  7. Feels Like Tonight by Daughtry: this song recently moved from four-star to five.
  8. Nella Fantasia by Amici Forever
  9. So Far Away by Amici Forever
  10. Land and Freedom by Amici Forever
  11. Smooth Criminal by David Garrett: a Michael Jackson song, performed on the violin.
  12. He's a Pirate by David Garrett: the theme song from Pirates of the Carribean, on the violin.
  13. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
  14. High Enough by Damn Yankees
  15. Walkin' in Memphis by the U of Wisconsin MadHatters: an a cappella version of the Marc Cohn song.
  16. Already Home by Ha-Ash and Brandi Carlile
  17. Highwayman by the Highwaymen: This group includes Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, and it's just a frickin' cool song.
  18. Between the Lines by Sarah Bareilles
  19. City by Sarah Bareilles
  20. Gravity by Sarah Bareilles
  21. (You Want To) Make a Memory by Bon Jovi
  22. Any Other Day by Bon Jovi
  23. If You're Gone by Matchbox Twenty
  24. Come What May by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman
  25. Nearer My God to Thee by BYU Vocal Point: Amazing version with latin being chanted/sung behind the words to the hymn.
  26. Dechire from Notre Dame de Paris
  27. Tu Vas Me Detruire from Notre Dame de Paris
  28. Lune from Notre Dame de Paris: I particularly love the line(Translated): "see how a man can suffer from love."
  29. A Change in Me from Disney's On the Record: originally from the Broadway Beauty and the Beast. I experienced deep, wrenching, cleansing sobs when I listened to this song the first time and it came to the line: "For now I realize that good can come from bad. That may not make me wise, but, oh, it makes me glad."
  30. I'm Movin' On by Rascal Flatts: "I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons. Finally content with a past I regret."
  31. Creep (The acoustic version) by Radiohead
  32. Lie to Me by Bon Jovi
  33. Something to Believe In by Bon Jovi
  34. Fools Like Me by Lisa Loeb: "Love was surely meant for fools like me."
  35. Gives You Hell by the All-American Rejects: I can NOT stop smiling when I listen to this song.
  36. I'm Not That Girl from Wicked: I've often felt that I'm not that boy that girls would want to fall in love with.
  37. Defying Gravity from Wicked
  38. As Long As You're Mine from Wicked
  39. Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz: Whenever I watch this movie, I always cry when she sings this song. Always.
There you go. What do you think?

Things I Enjoy...

My friend Julie does this sort of list every now and again on her blog. I thought I'd give it a shot. I don't know that it will be as long as hers, but I'll do it anyway.

So there!

Things I enjoy:

Being naked

Trying recipes

Delivering pizzas when little kids answer the door

Pushing Daisies

Just sitting and thinking

Well, that's all you get, because that's all I can think of at the moment. I thought about doing explanations for each item, but changed my mind. It's more fun this way. :)

So there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Parental Advisory....

....explicit content.

No, really, I'm really going to rant this blog. I don't usually like to include vulgar terms, but I don't know that I'll be able to stop this time. Read on at your own risk.

I hate Bart Smith.


The stupid bastard probably has no idea what he has done to me this past week. Even worse, he most likely does not care.

He is the franchise owner of the Domino's Pizza I work for. He writes the checks. And my paycheck bounced. Among the other little goals that I had for that money that I wasn't able to accomplish, this occurrence sent me into a nasty depression. Every single fucking time I get depressed, it makes me doubt every single goal and dream that I aspire to. So now, after Bart's lovely escapade, I have to somehow get my head screwed on straight again, against every part of me that is screaming that I should just wallow in despair.

I realized today that I after this last hellish week, I don't want to even try for grad school. Damn this depression.

I know that's what I want, but have no drive to try for it. I get paid again tomorrow, and if that check bounces as well, I don't know what I'll do.

I'm pissed at Bart, but I'm pissed at myself too. I'm mad, and completely enervated.

And annoyed that every single time I try to make goals and start to accomplish them, actually do good things for myself, that something bad happens to throw me off track.

I really have problems with the divine equity of that track record.

Rant over, depression continues.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And it All Started So Well....

Today started out great! I accomplished three of the four specific goals I had for this morning when I went to bed last night. I felt great! I went in to work in a great mood, and that doesn't really happen to me. I can be pleasant or in a decent mood when I get there, but never in a great mood.

The day looked good. Had deliveries right off the bat.

Then it started going downhill. Work sucked. Didn't get good tips. Or any tips from the two big deliveries I made. 14 and 12 pizzas, respectively. To the same company. A company that usually tips, and tips well. By the end of my shift, I was upset. I was actually almost in tears at one point during my shift.

I made an effort to be outwardly pleasant, and that helped me get through the day.

Then I got home tonight and found out that my last paycheck, from last week, bounced.

We recently changed from being paid every other Friday to every other Tuesday. So for this last paycheck we had to wait an extra four days. One of the reasons the owner decided to make the change was to give himself more time to make the transfer to the payroll account.

So now I'm exhausted, wanting to start getting ready for bed, and I'm too upset to relax.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Decision Made!

Well, I've come to a decision. Well, I guess I've come to four decisions, really.

Here are the schools I'm going to apply to, with handy links, if you wish to look at the university's website:

Washington State University in Pullman, WA. I like the program, and I like that they give their Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) an office.

University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. Can't remember the particulars, but I like this program. Not that this had any bearing on the decision, but my favorite bishop ever lived in Eugene for quite a while.

Sacramento State University in Sacramento, CA. I liked the Spanish program, but what put this one over the edge was the fact that in the summer of 2011 they are having a travel study program going to Peru!

University of Nevada, Reno in Reno, NV. I really enjoyed the look of the program and "felt" like a good fit.

You would not believe how much stress this search has caused. I didn't let intimidation keep me from liking a program, but some of these programs have very, very intimidating reading lists for the Masters program. And I don't read all that fast in Spanish. Terrifying!

Oh well. Next step: getting ready for the GRE, again.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I know you may not believe it, but I've actually set some goals for myself. Actually wrote them down and everything.

Very doable goals.

Here's the story: I just found out last night that I most likely won't be able to even apply for the graduate program at the University of Miami. Turns out that they want a total of 2 10-15 page research papers, one in English, the other in Spanish. And you can't send a couple smaller papers to replace one. Now, I could probably work up one of my Spanish papers from SUU and make it pretty decent, competitive, even. However, I just can't see it being possible to write TWO good research papers before January 15th.

So here are my goals. I will compile a list of 5 universities that I will apply to for a Master's degree. This list will be finished by the 12th of July. That's a week from Sunday. I figure that will give me plenty of time to sift through all the universities in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska and find the one's that I think will fit me best. I've made it easier by defining the geographic region I would like to live in to go to school: the Pacific Northwest. I'm going to look at the University of Utah, but if I like others better, I'll go with them. This may mean that I apply to six schools by January, but that's okay.

My second goal is to sign up to take the GRE again. I will have signed up for a date, paid for the test, and purchased a study book by the end of July. My goal test date is near the end of September/beginning of October. And I'm going to take the test in Las Vegas. Yes, there are probably closer test centers, but I'm going to toss in a celebration vacation while I'm at it.

Why take the GRE again? I think I can score better. And I scored well the last time: 690 overall. I want to break 700. Also, if I remember right, to get scores sent to schools after taking the test, there is a charge. However, if you take the test, you get to send your scores to 5 schools, and the cost is included in the cost to take the test. And there's a good chance I will better my score. Why?

Because I'm determined to.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Today. Plus: My Life in Review: Red Robin

Today has been a good day. As a whole, I mean. Things that haven't gone as planned are: couldn't find a book to buy, even visiting 3 book stores; didn't buy the new Buffy comic book, as the shipment came in late; and it was hot!

Overall, I felt lucky. I went to the Devil's, I mean, the University Mall here in Provo. I found a parking spot that was super close to an entrance. I don't mind walking a distance, but it was nice. In the GameStop, I found a game I've been looking for for a couple weeks, and used store credit to buy it. At the Towne Center mall, I found another close parking spot. (What are the odds? Two in one day?)

These may be little things, but they feel very lucky.

I've decided to start reviewing some of my activities. Not necessarily the things I do every day, but special occasion activities. For example:

Today I went to Red Robin. I really wanted a burger today, and that was the closest non-fastfood joint. I ended up waiting about 5 minutes for someone to notice me and seat me. The service was slow in general. I like Red Robin's decor, so that's a plus, and I really liked the elevated toy train that circled the bar. The "background" music was a mix of eighties tunes, so that's right up my alley. May not be for everybody, though. And it seemed like the volume was a touch high, but the other tables seemed to be able to converse fairly well.

I ordered the Chili Cheeseburger. It sounded good, but most places serve chili that's too hot for me. This one was just right, though. I loved it. Easily the best part of the entire experience. I really like Red Robin's fries, so that was a plus, as well.

My waiter seemed really indifferent and not all that attentive. When I eat alone, I usually like to tip about $5, as I really enjoy getting $5 tips. However, his service got his lowered to $3.

Overall, my rating of this restaurant is: Won't be going back, even with the really tasty chili cheeseburger.

So there you go! I plan on reviewing movies and other events as well, in the future.

Monday, June 29, 2009

This Weekend....

I really had a very enjoyable weekend. My friend Julie came to visit.

Really, we're just friends.

Anyway, she gives a great account of the weekend, just click on "Julie" at the right edge of this blog to read it.

I just want to add a point or two.

The gift I bought for Ashlee was a remote control tarantula. I saw one at the Toys R Us in Denver, and Andi and I (Andi AndI? Hmmmm.) thought of Ashlee as soon as we saw it. I should mention that Diana, Ashlee's mother, is absolutely terrified of spiders. Ashlee loves getting toy spiders and torturing her mother with them. So I'm in trouble for this gift.

But honestly, the look on Ashlee's face when she opened it, then again when she started controlling it, made all the trouble I might get in worth it. She was thrilled.

When we went to Kneader's, I tried to pay for Julie's lunch, but she wasn't having any part of it. So when we went to breakfast on Sunday, I paid for breakfast. I'm not sure why it bugs her, but she was my guest, so I wanted to pay. Granted, she was staying at my sister's, but she was still my guest. So I paid.

I got in trouble a lot this weekend.

It sure was fun, though.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thanks Joe!

He doesn't read this blog, but I want to thank my friend Joe Willis all the same.

When we lived together in Cedar City, about 4 years ago, he was addicted to Amélie, a French movie he watched almost constantly once it came out on DVD. He kept telling me that I should see this movie; that it was wonderful.

Of course, this is the same Joe that saw Napoleon Dynamite 13 times in the theater. And I didn't like that movie. At all. So I never got around to watching

Until today.

On a whim, because I'm stressed about money, and when I'm stressed about money I tend to make more impulse purchases, I bought
Amélie from Best Buy.

I just finished watching it.
Amélie is amazing! Such a great film! And in French, which I need to practice listening to anyway.

This movie made me believe in dreaming and falling in love again. I feel like I can hope to dream and fall in love. It's a nice feeling.

Thanks, Joe.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Train Ride (detailed)...

Well, now that I have an internet connection at home, I figured it was time to do a full post on the train ride that I took just over a month ago.

I went from Provo, UT to Denver, CO. The trip lasted just over 15 hours. Which, according to Google maps, isn't all that much longer than driving there. And I didn't have to drive!

Anyway, I took notes along the way as I thought of things that I really enjoy about train rides. This list isn't in order of preference or importance, but just in the order that I thought of things.

So here goes:

1. People on the train aren't worried about quickly getting to their destination. They are enjoying the journey. If you smile at them, they smile back. And there's no hint of the "are you psycho?" look that I often get on planes.
2. Infants and young children aren't as much of a nuisance. Frazzled mothers who have been awake all night with their children can actually pick the kids up and walk through the cars in an attempt to comfort the children. It makes a big difference.
3. The train conductor from Utah to Colorado would occasionally come on the loudspeaker and mention points of interest, turning the train ride into a semi-guided tour. For example, he mentioned when we were passing through Cisco, UT, which has a population of 1. Yes, one. When we got to Ruby Canyon, on the Colorado River, he mentioned that the only way through this canyon was either by train or on a raft. He had a particular way of speaking that made you think he was just pausing for a moment when he's really done with that particular announcement. It was hilarious.
4. No motion sickness like I get on boats or sometimes in cars. No air sickness. Just a soothing rocking motion. I actually fell asleep a couple times, only to wake myself up when I started snoring. I should mention here that I can't normally sleep on planes or in cars. Don't know why, but it's not one of my talents.
5. There's no big security fuss to go through. The train stops, they check your ticket, and you get on. It's that simple. They stopped for about 15 minutes, at the most, in Provo.
6. I could bring my own food and drinks! Lots cheaper than prices in airports.
7. No seat belts. I could get up at any time and stretch my legs or go to the bathroom.
8. The leg room was amazing! I once found myself wishing that the seat in front of me was a little bit closer so that I could reach and use the foot rest and the fold down tray a little easier.
9. Tunnels! I'm a big fan of tunnels. There were many on the way through the Rockies. One was a 6.2 mile tunnel. It was fairly close to Denver.
10. The lounge and dining cars. The lounge car had large windows and seats that faced out the windows. You can just sit and take in the sights or converse with other passengers if you've the urge. The dining car was a little expensive, and they have assigned seats, but it was nice to get a hot meal.
11. Train moved fairly quickly, but still slow enough to enjoy the sights. Some of the things I found interesting and saw along the way include: Ducks, Canadian geese, a wild turkey, rabbits, a prairie dog, a bluejay, a golden eagle, river rafters (the younger ones mooned the train), and Juicy Lucy's steakhouse in Glenwood Springs, CO.

So if I get the chance, and have the time to spare, I will absolutely travel by train again. I think it's my favorite mode of travel now.

If you get the chance, take a train trip. It's wonderful!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Life is insane.

Still don't have an apartment. We're waiting on the background check from my nephew's job. Once we have that, we should be able to get in. I hope. If not, I've made back up plans. (Thanks Julie! You're the best!)

I'm planning on doing a big blog about my recent trip to Colorado. I'd do it now, but I packed the notebook I made notes in, and I'm not sure what box it's in.

For now I'll say that I had a wonderful time. I had lots of fun. I LOVED the train ride and want to travel by train again.

That's all for now. Just wanted to let everybody know I'm still not dead. Heh.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Been a While....

Life's been kind of crazy lately. I recently had a 47-hour work week, which is good for the paycheck. And I've been busy hunting for apartments and starting to pack and everything.

It's a good busy, but busy nonetheless.

Anyway, I recently worked on a project where I scanned in slides of my mother and her two brothers when they were kids. It can be fun, and kind of a shock, to see your parents as children.

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite slides that I scanned.

This one is of my mom, Mignon, and her brother Mark. It's a great moment captured perfectly on film. It reminds me of something that Norman Rockwell would paint. Yeah, my grandpa was apparently a prodigy at photography.

This next one is Mignon kicking water at Mark. Great, great picture, and hilarious to boot.

Finally, we get this image of Mignon and Mark holding their mother's hands while walking among autumn leaves. I particularly like the fuzziness of the picture, as, to me, it makes the picture seem more like a cherished memory than a photograph.

So there you go, that's my most recent project. Now time to get back to packing!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Interesting Times...

I had two new experiences this week. One was bad, the other was, well, interesting.

First the interesting. I delivered a pizza to a man today who rode his horse up to my car. I gave him his order. I think I was making his horse a little nervous, though. Or it might have been my car's running engine. Interesting experience.

Also, my last paycheck bounced. Not sure how to react to that one. Well, anger is a given, but what else? Shock. Fear. I just got another paycheck. Is this one going to bounce, too?

Who knows.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Good Things/Bad Things...

I really would be okay with the good things happening by themselves sometimes. You know?

Oh well.

I came to Kanab for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. Along the way I stopped and visited a couple friends. I also went and visited my sister in law and stayed the night. And it's been fun visiting with my parents.

In the last couple days I've heard a strange knocking sound when I hit bumps in my car. So I took it in to see what it was and how much it would cost.

It's a strut. And it's going to be about $200 to fix it. And really, that's not bad, but I wanted to use that $200 for other things, so it's disappointing.

Oh well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mystery Gift Game...

Ehhh, why not?
My friend, Julie
, posted this on her blog, and I thought it was a fun idea. Plus, I like getting mystery gifts. Well...I've never been given a mystery gift, but the premise sounds fun. AND, this year, my goal is to give all home-made gifts for Christmas, so this will give me some practice. Here are the rules:

The first three people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog.The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!
Who's in?

Come on, give it a shot. I'm fairly creative....right?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Okay to Dream...

This is a reaction to my friend Julie's recent post. I was thinking of putting this in the comments, but it was just too long once I started thinking it through.

So here's the thing. In my first visit with the therapist I just saw recently, we discovered that I was afraid to dream, because I was convinced I only got one shot at happiness and I didn't want to waste that one chance, so I never took it. It makes sense, in a weird way, but it's certainly not healthy.

Even if it's a dream you know isn't exactly fulfillable, like, say, walking on the moon, it's good for you to imagine the experience. Dream it.

If you don't, you just get depressed and withdrawn and unhappy. And of course you're not going to be happy, you can't dream. Can't hope for a better tomorrow.

Dream big. Dream lots. Dream small, too. Maybe keep lots of folders filled with different dreams of differing magnitudes. Keep one for the dreams that you know you can accomplish. Check them off one by one. Accomplishing goals and dreams is a good feeling. Almost as good as the initial rush of "I really, really want to do that someday."

Got a dream?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be slain." G.K. Chesterton, as quoted in the prescript to Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

I love that quote. When I first read it, it resonated with me in an almost audible fashion. That is part of the reason why I love reading fantasy novels so much; you know that the hero will find a way to win. It's part of what makes reading books so safe and wonderful.

I'm doing well today. I've got three days off in a row. I got my federal and Arizona state returns already. I'm getting my car fixed tomorrow. Going to a book exchange today. Good things are happening.

I feel like my life might actually be moving in some sort of direction, rather than hanging around in a hold pattern.

I have some decisions to make and things to prepare for, but I feel like I can do it now.

And that's a good feeling to have. You know?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Some Days...

"I feel, every now and then, that I want to bite someone."

That's from "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Sung by Snoopy, it's all about wanting to give in to his animalistic nature and become a fierce jungle animal.

I don't necessarily want to be an animal, but every now and then, I just want to lash out at somebody or something.

It's probably due to internalizing everything. I don't enjoy making others suffer when I'm out of sorts, so I keep it to myself and slowly simmer in dangerous emotional juices. ( I think this is the first cooking analogy I've ever used. Go me.)

Anyway, the point, kind of, is that I'm tired of having a roommate and living in a tiny little box of a bedroom. I want my own place. I don't know if I can truly afford it, but I want to. I've found what seems like a decent deal. One bedroom apartment for $565 a month, which includes utilities and basic cable. It's close to where I work, which is a plus. And I think I can afford it and the other monthly bills I have. I think I would have to give up on having the internet at home, because I don't know that I could fit that in, but this place is also close to the town library.

Another thing to consider. Getting this apartment would mean giving up on the idea of finding a job that utilizes my talents better. But I'm okay with that, as I don't plan on being here after July of 2010. I hope to be in Grad school by then.

Am I rationalizing too much? Am I giving too much up? I don't know. But it feels like what I want, which is nice.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 Things

This was a chain letter type deal from facebook. I figured if I was going to fill it out there, I may as well post to my blog. I'm not going to tag anyone here, because, well, I don't usually do that sort of thing.

Here you go, 25 sort of random facts about myself:

1. Above all else, I try to live by the Golden Rule, treating others with the respect and consideration I would like to be given.
2. I try to be honest and consistent in what I say and do.
3. The original 15 books of the Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum are probably my favorite books ever.
4. I almost always prefer the books to the movie.
5. The only exception is "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
6. I've almost worn out my DVD player. It's starting to make bad sounds.
7. I'm starting to write a piece of creative non-fiction in the style of Dr. Seuss. Yes, that includes illustrations.
8. I want to create my own webcomic.
9. I'm trying to learn to play guitar.
10. I miss playing the piano on a regular basis.
11. I collect toys.
12. I'm a huge fan of "The Muppet Show."
13. I consider myself more spiritual than religious.
14. As much as I enjoy Disney movies, I don't like how they generate some of their ideas.
15. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
16. I get addicted to new TV series' very easily, especially once they have a couple seasons on DVD.
17. I think I'm better at editing photos I've taken than actually taking the photos.
18. I don't like being in large groups of people, unless I can sit on the sidelines and just observe.
19. I really dislike being the center of attention.
20. I've learned to occasionally enjoy watching sports.
21. I'm starting to become better at standing up for what I want, and not giving in so easily to what others desire.
22. I think I'm finally starting to grow up a little.
23. I often prefer the fictional worlds I visit to the real world.
24. I cry at movies, books, music, plays, and other forms of entertainment. If it's emotional, I'll start to cry.
25. I'm actually starting to enjoy working at Domino's. Most days.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two Days..., and I don't know what to do with myself.

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty to do, I just don't know where to start.

Oh! I actually feel creative again, which is nice, and means that the depression is finally starting to recede.

Conversely, I think, I feel a little more guarded and don't feel like sharing so much of myself right now.

So I won't.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Man, I must have done something pretty awful in a past life, because I can not catch a break, here.

So I finally get a job. Delivering for Domino's. Not thrilled about it, but at least I'll get tips, right? And I get to drive around, listening to music. Should be at least somewhat tolerable.

Now my car is acting up. The one thing I own that I desperately need to do my job. Not to mention get there, as the store is in Spanish Fork, the next town to the south of here.

Even worse, my car is doing the same thing my previous car did before dying a horrible, gasping death.

Yeah, color me stressed.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Okay, so I had a rather fun experience on Saturday. I went to the Springville Library to use the internet for a moment and to check out new cds to load onto iTunes.

I decided I wanted to add a new post to the blog, so I typed in my address. It got blocked! My blog has been censored by the Springville Library!

I think I like it!

And, no, it's not just blogger that's blocked, as I was able to open other blogs that I read.

The worst part? I can't remember what I was going to blog about.

Bwahahahaha! I've been censored!