Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dream Small

If the Lord could be born in a humble stable, surely I should be satisfied with a humble home.

I like small spaces. 

I think this is a result of living in a fairly large house most of my life. The apartments I've lived in have been modest, but I could still go smaller. When I come home to my family, everyone is off in their own little world, far from each other. This video is my dream. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

girl on fire


I just finished listening to "World War Z" and "Catching Fire" (2nd in the Hunger Games trilogy). I'm in a bit of a dystopian mood, so if anyone has any book recommendations, I'm open to suggestions. ALSO. New song released for the HUNGER GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!! Sung by... T-Swift?

I don't care. I love it already. The Civil Wars are awesome.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some festive photos

I love being back in Salt Lake. My room is still in shambles, but I feel settled in here for the next month. I'll have to make the most of it. Here are some decorations from around our house:


We embrace our Scandinavian heritage during this season

Nesting dolls and nutcrackers.

Tree with our initials on it
I felt like the holidays didn't really start for me till Friday. I went to a gingergread house party at Wyatt's, and felt inspired by Katy Perry, apparently:

I thought I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. I watched Elf with Mel and Katie at my house. "Zooey Deschanel: Blonde Version"  kind of weirds me out. I'm more used to her New Girl persona:

ANYWAY. On Christmas Eve, i spent most of the day Christmas shopping. Yep, I'm one of those. And then we went to Irene's for our family dinner. (NOTE: You don't pronounce her name "eye-REAN" but "eee-RE-neigh". We're Latin, a little bit. The English pronunciation bugs me to bits). 

I think I need to get some bangs. My forehead is out of control. Also, I am short. Also, Jeremy is not really suffering, he just looks like it.Also, Christian mostly always smiles like a claymation character: 

And then we went home and opened up our Christmas pajamas. LOOK AT ME AND MY MOM WE ARE SO CUUUUTE!

And then we went to bed. And then we woke up and opened presents!

Cool albums from Jeremy and Sennheiser headphones

Jeremy channels the Bolivians
A sneaky smile from Christian. He got me a book about Harry Potter

Lovely Lovely. I had to leave early for church since I sang in the choir. I thought the program was very nice. We had breakfast (ekekow, sausage, and christmas bread), finished opening presents, and watched Scrooge. Then off to family dinner at my Grandma Billie Ann's. Most of my time there was commandeered by Pierce who gave me a play by play of his favorite TV show, Jurassic Fight Club. Specifically this episode. Eww.

Hope you had a happy boxing day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas and Beginning Again

For those who haven't watched this movie before, this scene might seem a little silly. But it's my favorite scene from my favorite Christmas movie, Scrooge. I feel that it perfectly encapsulates the blessings that came with the birth of Christ. Through his atonement, we too are able to have a new start, and begin again. .
Alma testified about the power of the process of repentance in the Book of Mormon:
Alma 36:19-21 
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
I know that this is true; I've felt it myself.

I hope that you all have a happy Christmas, and that you also find peace and joy in your life, from whatever source guides you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Light, and lack there of.

I got an e-mail from Banan Republic this morning that told me that today is the shortest day of the year. Which means it's Winter Solstice. I wish I had remembered this on my own. I wish I had cool plans to party like the pagans do.

But no. I will be in lonesome Provo, packing up my apartment with Gossip Girl playing on my computer in the background (I only pay attention when Chuck and/or Blair is on screen). I will then work as an Usher at my second-to-last BYU basketball game where old people will yell at me for asking to see their ticket. "I've been coming here since before you were BORN! Don't you know who I am?". Oh dear. Here is a great music video from a couple years ago about daylight, which we will be lacking today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Something Christmasy, or something.

Sorry I've been MIA the past few days. When I have nothing that I need to do, I choose to do nothing at all, even if I generally like doing it. Hence, no blogging.

Some updates:

  • I'm slowly, but surely moving home (I'll be there for a month).
  • Allison's wedding was great. Such a happy thing. 
  • I went to the library and was so excited. I could finally read for fun again! But, I checked out too many books, including: The Princess Bride - William Goldman, Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut, Complete Short Stories of Evelyn Waugh (who is not a girl, by the way), The Commitments - Roddy Doyle, Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury. I also checked out the audiobook World War Z. Yep. It's about zombies. Perfect for Christmas, right? It actually focuses more on the social and political effects of a zombie war. Like a collection of interviews that an anthropologist would compile. Oh man. I'm a nerd. It's good, but not good enough. I should of just checked out the book so I could get through it faster. But I knew that if I read it, I would get to freaked out. Book scare me more than anything else. Some of the images from The Road still haunt me. ANYWAY. I probably will just wait for the movie to come out instead.
  • On a related not. I'm listening to Catching Fire. Definitely on a Hunger Games kick. Note to Jade if you are reading this: I hope it's not past due. I'm planning on dropping it off at the library for you!
  • I'm working on make a duvet cover/quilt out of some old sweatshirts from high school. I know it sounds lame, but I think it could look cool. Hopefully it will turn out something like this.
  • I drove to Provo on Sunday night, and I'm not leaving til Friday morning. It is super weird. Feels abandoned.
So here is something Christmasy for you. My favorite scene from one of my favorite Christmas specials: "Merry Christmas Mr. Bean!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas for me.

I'm so glad it's Christmastime. And I'm so glad that finals are over, and I can finally enjoy it!

     My Sundays have been extra special this month with Christmas on the horizon. It brings all the lessons and talks I hear into greater focus. I know plenty of people who celebrate the holidays without reference to Christ, and they have a wonderful time; I don't feel like it's my place to say they are doing it wrong or that they don't know what the "true" meaning of Christmas is. Christmas means a lot of different things to different people: Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, Exhibit 3. If you really want to get to the bottom of it, the true meaning if Christmas is stickin' it to the pagans... but that's a story for another day.

     So instead of talking about the "true" meaning of Christmas, I want to talk about what Christmas means to me. It's a time to spend with family and friends. A time to stop thinking about what I want, and   to remember to think about what others need. It's a time when we can separate ourselves from the rest of the world and just spend time together. Or we can go out, and look for service to be done, find ways to lift one each-others  burdens. We remember the birth of Christ. At Christmastime, we try and show our love for him, by serving others.This is the "truest" part for me. I couldn't be more grateful. 

Last Sunday, our ward had our Christmas program. A group sang this song; it was beautiful.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, 
that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. 
For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; 
but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:16-17

That's why I love Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I am the Snail

I collected snails when I was younger. When we lived in our flat in London, I would go into our tiny plot of garden and search for snails to fill my pail. One day, my mom put the snail pail in the alley so that the snails wouldn't get back in the gard. I was so worried. The buildings were so old, the walls curved in at the top. I was sure that they would fall down any minute, and crush my sails. So I steeled my will, held my breath, and ran down the alley to save them. I remember that being one of the bravest things I ever made myself do.

So that is partly why I made a board for snails on Pintrest.

Which led me to this.

Which then led me to a lovely poem:

"Upon a Snail" - John Bunyon

SHE goes but softly, but she goeth sure,
    She stumbles not, as stronger creatures do;
Her journey s shorter, so she may endure
    Better than they which do much further go.

She makes no noise, but stilly seizeth on
    The flower or herb appointed for her food ;
The which she quietly doth feed upon,
    While others range and glare, but find no good.

And though she doth but very softly go,
    However slow her pace be, yet ’tis sure ;
And certainly they that do travel so,
    The prize which they do aim at they procure.

Although they seem not much to stir or go,
    Who thirst for Christ, and who from wrath do flee ;
Yet what they seek for quickly they come too,
    Though it doth seem the furthest off to be.

One act of faith doth bring them to that flower
    They so long for, that they may eat and live;
Which to attain is not in other’s power,
    Though for it a king’s ransom they would give.

Then let none faint, nor be at all dismay’d,
    That life by Christ do seek, they shall not fail
To have it; let them nothing be afraid;
    The herb and flower are eaten by the snail.

I quite like it. Even fits for Christmas. I hope I am like that snail.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This is it. Is this it?


I have officially graduated from college! I should be getting my diploma in the mail anytime now, and in four months, you're going to see me in one of those fancy schmancy robes! 

Guess it's time to conquer the world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Slightly Haunted Christmas

Did you know that people used to tell ghost stories at Christmastime?
You know, like the carol says:
There'll be parties for hosting,
marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow.
There'll be scary ghost stories
and tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago
I wanted to learn more about the topic, and the best (quickest info) I could find was this article in the Deseret News from last year. Here is a bit from it:

     As Lord Protector of England during the mid-17th century, Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell was perhaps not entirely without justification when he tried to abolish the celebration of Christmas. As he argued, nowhere in the Bible does it tell Christians to celebrate Christ’s birth on the 25th of December. Nor, in fact, does it mention any “holy day” other than the Lord’s Sabbath. 
     On top of that, the 25th of December was not an arbitrary choice for early Christians. Rather, it was selected because of its connection with pagan festivals like Yule and Sol Invictus (the birthday of the Unconquered Sun), both of which commemorated the winter solstice or the longest night of the year. These festivals celebrated the death of light and its subsequent rebirth the following day. It was for the obvious symbolic connotations that early Christians adopted dates significant to pagan Romans and Northern Europeans.
     In addition to being the longest night of the year, however, winter solstice was also traditionally held to be the most haunted due to its association with the death of the sun and light. It was the one night of the year when the barrier between the worlds of the living and the deceased was thinnest. On Christmas Eve, ghosts could walk the earth and finish unsettled business, as exemplified by the apparition of Marley in Charles Dickens' Christmas masterpiece.
     In short, the Victorian Christmas celebration, which drew heavily on pagan symbols like yule logs, holly berries and Father Christmas himself, also embraced the winter holiday’s associations with the supernatural to create one of its most popular annual traditions. Unfortunately, of all the traditions and rituals that have survived through the generations, the Victorian custom of recounting blood-curdling ghost stories with friends and family around the fire on Christmas Eve has been almost completely forgotten.

Let's keep this tradition alive; I think it's wonderful. Will you join me?

Actually, what really inspired this post was a certain song that I found. You can listen it on this podcast. The whole session is great, but go to 9:55 to hear a particularly bewitching version of "White Christmas" as interpreted by Ragtime Ralph. It takes a while to load, but it's worth it.

When I listen to it, I can't tell if it make me happy or sad. It leaves me somewhere in between, undecided. I love it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The end of don Quijote

I took the final for my don Quijote class yesterday. It went all right. I did very well on my term paper though. It was about the cross-dressing women of don Quijote; their motivations and characteristics, how it connects with the traditional Spanish societal values. I'm quite proud of myself. Let me know if you want to give it a read. It's in spanish though.

I'm sad to leave don Quijote. I'm sad that our world today is so much like his was. Noble ideals, honor, and sincerity are not very trendy. At least in America, we like to applaud the smart, the snarky, and the cynical. The realists. There is little room for the don Quijotes of the world. We crush them.
So, he was crazy. So, he was foolish.
I really liked him.

This is the song "To Dream the Impossible Dream" from the Man of La Mancha, the musical that is based on don Quijote. The video is from the BYU Homecoming Spectacular back in October. Yep, that's Brian Stokes Mitchell. He is great. Since I was working at the event, I got to watch from the orchestra pit. It was incredible. I don't know who took this video, but it's sort of contraband, so watch it before they take it down.

This song has extra meaning now that I've finished the book. I can't hear it without tearing up.

Farewell don Quijote.

"Tuvo a todo el mundo en poco, 
fue el espantajo y el coco
del mundo, en tal coyuntura,
que acredito su ventura
morir cuerdo y vivir loco"

Monday, December 12, 2011

A time for JOY

I had my first glimpse of true, Christmas joy a little over a week ago. I had been all over Provo; paying rent, buying groceries, running around campus; and finally on my way to the car. I could feel it was going to start to snow, and felt a little excited. Suddenly, this kid who was walking towards the library stopped and sort of spasmed and shouted.
I was confused.
Then he said, "Oh my gosh. A snowflake hit me in the EYE!" But he said it like it was the best thing that could ever happen to him. He had the biggest smile on his face. He started to skip across the quad laughing and shouting. Did a little dance. I was thoroughly amused. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the first time he'd ever seen snow.
The next night was super busy. Around 10:00 pm after a bridal shower, and working all day, I went to the library. I was exhausted. Then a boy came up, put a rose and a candy on the armrest, and told me Merry Christmas. Lovely.

I am happy that BYU brings these sort of people together.

In that vein, here is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time, five different ways. Watch now.

1. Macy's commercial! (Otherwise known as the Justin Bieber Mariah Carey collaboration)
You should read this while you watch. JAJAJAJA.

2. A real life "Buddy the elf"
How adorbs. His joy is contagious.

3. Royal Navy Edition!
Could you imagine being stuck on a ship for 7 MONTHS!? I think I would go insane. Glad they get to come home for Christmas!

4. "Real moves" version
That man has better moves then I could ever dream to have

5. Love Actually
I watched this movei last sunday for the bajillionth time. It always makes me tear up.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Here's just one of the many ridiculous things I've had to sort through while studying for my Spanish classes:

I will NOT miss it.

Also, I learned today that catering is not for the faint of heart.
Our truck broke down
while I was driving it
on I-15, at point of the mountain
and we were already half an hour late
and it was FULL of food and tables and coolers
and there were no other vans available to come get us.

But my coworkers and I are very blessed with awesome family and friends. They all pitched in to help us on our way. A miracle.
We arrived there after the party has started, and two hours past when we were supposed to set up.
I made sure when the truck broke down, that we at least had cups at our location so that the guests could still have beer and wine while they wait. Neither I, nor those I cater with are partakers of alcohol.  But I sure appreciate it sometimes  in terms of the effect it had on our guests. They were in good spirits, so they didn't miss the late food as much.

In other news, I met a real live man with a hook for a hand while I was working at "Christmas Around the World".
It was awesome.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Set the World on Fire

I attended my last college class today.
My heart feels a little panic-attacky. Anxious.
A girl at work asked me tonight what I was studying.
"Well," I said. "Since I just had my last day of class, I guess I'm supposed to say that I studied Spanish." I have to change that part of my introductory monologue to past tense.
It made me feel very sad.
I think that that's a pat of taking classes based in the humanities or social sciences. Most of my friends don't wax poetic about their favorite organic chemistry courses, or miss their days in Econ 101. But I'm going to miss my classes. The way my perspectives have changed. The little communities we formed. The conversations we had. I think I will need a time of mourning.
Yes. I will continue learning and stretching my limits. But it won't be the same.
My college days are over.

Everything is lined up for my future...
so then why do I feel so unnerved?

Thank goodness for music.
It can solve most things.
Glee was weird this week, but I'm glad that it introduced me to this gem.

It is worth the jump to the YouTube website.
You can bet that this will be on our New Years mix.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December Mix: I'm right here

I am so glad it's December!
I am so excited for the holidays!
And I am so ready to be done with school!
I can't wait for everything Christmas. I've been sampling Justin Beiber's new Christmas album on Spotify, and have a Bing Crosby holidays station on Pandora. But, if you are like me, you cannot handle all Christmas music all the time. *(Unless you are listening to one of my top 3 Christmas albums ever. More on that later)* So here is a mix for that time when your ears need a break. Don't worry, it starts and finishes with Christmas songs, so you aren't a total Scrooge. I also made sure that many of the songs prominently feature bells and jingly Christmas noises, even though they aren't actual carols. And a lot of the themes in the songs are actually quite pertinent to Christmas, so there.

God bless us, everyone.

1. Father Christmas - The Kinks
2. Peter Pan - Jinja Safari
3. Junk of the Heart (Happy) - The Kooks
4. How Charming?! - Rizzle Kicks
5. Heatwave (feat. Martha & The Vandellas) - Cee-Roo
6. Odessa - Olenka and the Autumn Lovers
7. Les amours dévouées - Coeur De Pirate
8. My Body is A Cage (Arcade Fire cover) - Sara Lov
9. Skinny Love - Birdy
10. Five Minutes - Scattered Trees
11. I Will Be the One - Quiet American
12. Oh Yoko - John Lennon
13. Ivory Road - King Charles
14. Modern Drift - Efterklang
15. Edelweiss - The Honey Trees
16. Christmas Time Is Here - Sondre Lerche

1. I debated whether to start this mix out with "Oi to the world". It is a favorite.
2. Peter Pan: Adorable in book form.

Not so adorable in real life.

Peter Pan syndrome. It's all the rage. Coming soon to a college campus near you!
3. <3
4. Rizzle Kicks. My love for you grows deeper everyday.
5. This song reminds me of watching American Dreams. I miss that show sooooo much.
10. So good. So, so good.
13. "You're the fastest of the fish. You're the prickliest pear. You're a chameleon in the night. You're the sahara sun's glare."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nit-wit Twit-lit

Once upon a summer, I got on twitter. I became a twitterer? I tweeted? Anyway, it didn't stick. I think it's because I don't have a smart phone. But I think I'll start again. I don't know. I feel like I need to brush up on my social skills, and social media is the first step. Click here. You can follow me.
This is so weird.
Follow me? Whatever.

Anyway. I was glancing through people I "follow," and I found @Conde Elevator. I forgot how brilliant it was. And alas, short lived. Let's relive it together:

Guess someone at Conde Nast *cough*annawintour*cough* didn't like it that much.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cooking with Gretchen

I'm moving out of my apartment in just two weeks. I don't want to buy food, so I need to be creative with what I have. I have a goal to use ALL of it.

For today?

How To Cook Lentils Like A Boss

- Glance over some instructions about how to cook grains and beans and lentils and stuff
- Grab a bowl of lentils
- Cover them in water and let them soak over night
- Forget about them till a day later. Dang it.
- Realize you didn't need to soak them at all. Dang it.
- Put them in a pan with however much water you feel like.
- Look for herbs and spices and stuff in your room mates cupboard.
- Decide on parsley and garlic salt. 
- Add copious amounts of both.
- Read that you shouldn't add salt til AFTER the lentils are cooked. Dang it.
- Add some olive oil for good measure.
- Add WAY too much. Dang it.
- Decide to add potatoes to make up for the olive oil. (cooking karma)
- Wash, peel, and cut up two potatoes.
- Add to mix and let sit.
- The lentils are done! yay!
- The potatoes are not done. Dang it.
- Add about a bowl full of water and let it cook some more.
- Sample pieces of potato every five minutes or so to see if they're going to be done soon. They are crunchy and undercooked. Dang it.
- Wait for another half of forever.
- Decide it's done enough.
- Put some in a bowl.
- Taste it.
- Realize that despite your mistakes, you pwnd those lentils.
- Boo-yah

Monday, November 28, 2011

Support your brother, sports brother

We just found a video that my mom Rita, and my brother, Christian did for the Utah Parent Center. The Utah Parent Center provides support for families with children who have special needs. Christian has autism and obsessive compulsive disorder. Luckily, he has had the support of his family, teachers, and counselors to help him reach his potential. It can be hard to make transitions, especially for people with autism, so this group provides resources for families.

Check it out.
My mom and brother's part starts around 7:45.

And here's a fun song just for kicks.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Morpin' Time

I've missed you, power rangers. They were a staple in our household since their U.S. inception. Do you remember the PSA's that they would have after the show to keep kids from beating each other up
Confession: I was a little bit in love with the green ranger.
Another confession: Hearing that theme song again ALMOST made me shed a tear.
I wonder if they have it for Rock Band? I guess I'm not alone in this query.

GO GO POWER RANGERS!!!!!!111!!!!1!!!!!11!!!!!!

p.s. hope you had a good thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011

'appy Sangiving!

Note: The title of this blog post is how you say Happy Thanksgiving!in spanish. I love it. It seems more joyful!

I sometimes think this is my favorite holiday. It's just so simple and lovely. A great meal. And some games. Maybe a movie or two. In our family, we go to a neighborhood devotional in our old chapel up in Federal Heights. The last few years, the International Children's Choir performs. It makes us very nostalgic, since I was in that choir when I was in elementary school.

I hope you are close to some love ones on this day. If not, feel free to come by my house. I mean it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What are you doing this Thanksgiving?

I'm going to be watching a lot of Gossip Girl on Netflix.

"I'm Chuck Bass. And I'm wishing you a scandalous Thanksgiving."
It's a problem.

But I'm also going to do some more worthwhile things.

. Write a paper on Borges
. Read  a few capitulos of Don Quijote
. Start moving out of my apartment
. Try out this Yam Frosting recipe from the Carolina Chocolate Drops
. Eat some food
. Learn how to play "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire on the piano
. Sync my iPod
. NOT go shopping on Black Friday
. Go on my Avenues run
. Rock and roll all night and party everyday
. Get rid of all my belongings. Seriously. I need to de-clutter bigtime. Virtual garage sale? Maybe.
. Go to a birthday party
. Watch the Jonsi Go Live dvd
. Drink some mate
. Start cutting up old sweatshirts to make a quilt
. Play some kickball
. Put up Christmas decorations
. Visit the Timpanogas temple for the first time
. FINALLY go to the dollar theater to see Planet of the Apes*
. Oh yeah. And see family and eat food and stuff.

Man. I'm going to be busy! Maybe I won't have time for Gossip Girl anyway.

*You probably thought I was going to go see "The Help," didn't you. I do want to see that too. I'll get to it eventually. Do you want to know my opinion about that book? Ironically, there is a character in the story called "Gretchen". She has a short conversation with Skeeter; she has only one page in the whole novel. Anyway, we share the same name, and the same point of view. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dancing About Architecture

They say that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. 
Some things speak for themselves:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Masters Thesis

Soon, I will graduate.
But one day, I will go to grad school.

Since I never procrastinate, and I know that I will eventually have to write a masters thesis, I've decided to start looking for topics now. Found it: 

Don't let the stoner quality of this footage deceive you; I'm confident that it's actually subtle, psychological commentary on America's financial woes and their impact on society. The coins serve as an analogy for the capitalist building blocks of our society. We treat other cultures and commodities (the foreign coins) as naught, considering them as trinkets in comparison to our great construction. As viewers, we wait with both dread and anticipation; hoping to see the tower collapse in on itself. These freudian desires are a result of our upbringings as commodified,  semi-democratic agents. 
Am I right? 
There's my thesis!
Man, I got this academia thing down. 

Good thing I switched out of anthropology. It would have turned me into a monster.
A very successful, wealthy monster.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Mix: "If somebody's got soul..."

If this mix were a painting, it would probably look something like this:

Check out more stuff like this here.

Here are some songs, just in time for your road-trip home for Thanksgiving! Cause who really goes to those couple of classes at the beginning of the week anyway? Oh yeah. I do. 20 credit hour fail.
This mix is careful, crafty, and cosy. I hope you like it.

1. Solitude - Ella Fitzgerald
2. Comme Si L'amour - Shine
3. That Moon Song - Gregory Alan Isakov
4. It's Around You - ANR
5. All Your Light (Times Like These) - Portugal. The Man
6. What Would You Do? (City High Cover)  - BASTILLE
7. Prisencolinensinainciusol - Adriano Celentano
8. Mouthful Of Diamonds - Phantogram
9. Master of Art - Laura Stevenson & the Cans
10. Collect Call - Metric
11. Knees  - Peter and Kerry
12. Act on Impulse  - We Were Promised Jetpacks
13. Wood - ROSTAM
14. Thanksgiving Moon - DM Stith

1. Trying to teach myself this one on the piano. *note to self* new apartment must have access to a piano.
2. This is not Coeur de Pirate or MC Solaar or Edith Piaf. My knowledge of french music is slowly growing.
3. Thanks to Ann for introducing me to this artist.
6. Yes. It is THAT song. Hello junior high.
10. This song has been my motto for the month. I've tried to take it to heart, but it is really scary.
11. Another scary song. Vulnerability like this is terrifying. "... I mean you had me on my knees," sounds like it's from a real internal monologue. I like that he sings it in a sort of emotionless way because otherwise it would seem overwrought.
13. yaythatguyfromvampireweekendyay
14. Just... wow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

News News News

I just wanted to tell you...

Problem solved!

I have my whole life figured out (at least the next year of it).
I'm going to be volunteering with AmeriCorps and United Way in their Volunteer Empowerment program! It sounds really great. I feel like I will be doing good. AND I will get to use Spanish. 
Perfect, right?
Well. It was kind of a hard decision, actually.
You see, this means I will be living in Provo for another year.

I know, I know.
I had the same reaction.

I actually almost didn't accept the position. Provo has been bearable as a BYU undergrad, but I never entertained the idea of sticking around post-graduation. I didn't think I could handle it. I didn't WANT to handle it. At every turning point, I've always chosen to LEAVE. But at the beginning of this school year, I had an inkling that the next chapter in my life would have me "staying". 

Staying makes me nervous, but I think I will be ok.

Also. Have you heard about this?
Fourteen-year-old me is seriously freaking out right now.

We have to take a trip to New York this spring. Savvy?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Age of Inauthenticity

I've been struggling with a love/hate relationship that has been exacerbated by my return to BYU after the summer.
I hope I don't sound to whiny about it. I love "vintage" horn-rimmed glasses from American Apparel as much as the next girl. I swoon over sheets from Anthropologie. I like those huge faux leather bags they have at Urban Outfitters. But I'm getting annoyed at how easily I'm being manipulated by their marketing. I feel the image that we are being sold is a relatively intelligent and tasteful one.

Cool girls dress like this:

They do tweed rides:

They are well-read:

They take photographs with "vintage" lenses from their iPhone:

And it's great, lovely fun. But I'm kind of getting tired of it. What is our generation going to be remembered for? Being nostalgic for something we never had. Innovation presses forward, but our lifestyles are looking back. Why?

I finally read this article from the New York Times a few weeks ago.
Here are some selected highlights:

“People are looking for things that are authentic,” he said. “I think it started happening after 2001: first there was 9/11, followed by recession. There was a certain exhaustion with the shiny and perfect. People didn’t relate to it anymore.” But the vintage and artisanal, he said, “will resonate with people as long as we live in these times.” Maybe not with everyone, though. As Dmitri Siegel put it: “When you pile Etsy on top of Etsy, it gets really cacophonous: ‘Everything in here is totally unique!’ It starts canceling itself out.”
"Reality Based" from Brooklyn writes in the comments section:
Last evening whilst walking on my urban Brooklyn block I was bemoaning the apogee of faux or "vintage" life-styling seeing another group of suspender and tweed clad hipsters pretend to be a jug band. They were performing a horrendously unmusical, "rootsy" version of the spiritual "When I Die" inside a new bar built to mimic some half baked idea of "vintage authenticity". This impulse to deny the truth of the cultural and political moment and instead seek refuge in an imagined virtualized "cozy" past seems to me the apogee of indulgent sentimentalist decadence.
And then there is this article from DoubleX.

That quirky, vintage, cuteness... it's all being relentlessly marketed to us. They make a profit off of our desire to be authentic, creative and smart.  I am getting tired of it. Just new ways to market uniqueness and nostalgia.

I find my self craving minimalism. Maybe do something like this? I have a strong desire to throw away all the clothes I have. I would find a simple dress. I would wear it everyday. I would let my actions and words define who I am. Oh, you know. Something along these lines: (though that yellow bag would have to go. I wouldn't want any semblance of personality)

And then I will take everything off my walls. I will rip off the sheets from by bed. Take all the knick-knacky things off the shelves. Turn my space into a space like this. 

Yes, that's about right. 
Spartan. Clean. A blank slate.
I would need to get rid of that gaudy pillow though.

I guess this isn't really any more authentic than the fake authenticity being sold to us.
But I like a simple life.
Have any of you guys felt that way before?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Got vibes and charisma"

I just go through a horrid 2 weeks of back-to-back tests and essays. In fact, just this morning I turned in a 8-page essay that I researched and wrote in 6 1/2 hours. New Record! I'm still really busy, and I have a lot of work to do before the semester is done... but that's only 1 month away. A mere 17 school days. I AM ALMOST FINISHED WITH MY UNDERGRADUATE CAREER.

This calls for a celebration.

I scoured hype machine for the perfect tune.

And I found it.

Do I dare say it? This is love.

I want to listen to this everyday.
It will be part of my morning routine.
Let's ring in the new year, 2012, to the beat of this song.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I have a problem.

I've been especially perfume obsessed lately.
I want them. I want them now.
I think it is because in winter, we are robbed of many sensual delights. As in things that ignite our olfactory senses.

Ok, maybe that's not completely true.

We have the fall leaf smell (though it was quickly stolen from us by the early snows).
We have the cosy pumpkin/vanilla/cinnamon smells that are oh so lovely (but the incarnation of them in candle/home spray form makes me feel nauseous).
There are winter smells that I love, I guess.

Real pine with Real lemon:
Fake pine with Fake citrus in this candle from Nordstrom:
"Annick Goutal's Noël candle, scented with
enchanting bitter orange, mandarin and
Siberian pine, with an unforgettable scent of resin,"
Doesn't that sound perfect?
Pomander Balls

It seems like most people hate the smell of paperwhites.
I LOVE it.
But in reality. Most of the "winter smells" are non existant. They are months with an absence of smell. Just cold, cold, cold. When spring and summer come, we remember what smells were. We have our windows open to smell flowers, trees, grass. The rain smell. The sun-warmed smell. I don't feel the need to wear perfume as much
Winter calls for it though. It makes you feel cosy. It brightens the dreariness.

I've been trying to plan out my budget for such an extravagance, but I think I will have to wait till Christmas.

Chanel Cristalle, Eau Verte:
"This concentrated Eau de Toilette reveals a sheer and spirited heart. Magnolia notes are rendered transparent with fresh citrus and Neroli accents, for a new expression of a timeless floral bouquet."

This is one of the first perfumes I sniffed when I got home from my mission. We were in San Diego with my mom's friend from college. My mom loved it. It reminds me of her. And also of my childhood perfume, Celeste. 

Chloé Eau de Parfum, IntenseThe garden of Chloé fragrances,the rose reveals itself 
in different variations, in full bouquets and under unexplored facets, 
more modern than ever. New Chloé Eau de Parfum Intense is the enchanting and
sensual rose of the original eau de parfum. It embellishes the Chloé woman with 

a refined, feminine fragrance and intriguing allure. Notes: pink peony, rose, lychée, 
lily of the valley, magnolia, velvet rose, cedar wood. amber, honey.
Another one of those rose-y, old-lady smells that I like. I don't know what it is about them. Kind of powdery. People meet me and probably wonder why I smell like their grandmother. Whatever.

Juicy Couture: Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there were two nice girls named Pam and Gela who discovered the Juicy Couture world of fashion and fun, fun, fun. They took a deep breath and realized this is how The Juicy Girls smell the world!
Pam and Gela wanted every girl to have her own Juicy Couture, so they made a fabulous line of fragrance essentials adorned as only Juicy Couture can - some with charms and trinkets, and all in the most beautiful bottles and jars you've ever seen! Notes of: 
mandarin, hyacinth, marigold, apple, passionfruit, watermelon, lily, rose, tuberose, patchouli, woods, vanilla, crème brulée.

You may notice that the perfume bottle in the advertisement is ginormous. I chose it on purpose; I need that bottle of perfume to be that big. Isn't the story of Pam and Gela ridiculous? Just so you know, this perfume is not in anyway "juicy". It doesn't smell overly fruity or bubble-gummy or cotton-candy-y as you would expect, though other testers say it does. They are nothing like the velour track suits that say "Juicy" on the bum bum. One me, this actually smells like... you guessed it, an old lady perfume. Love it.

Burberry Body: Wrapped around a woman, the iconic Burberry trench coat evokes sensuality, femininity, and luxury. In this fragrance, an eclectic composition of fruity-chypre notes envelopes the body, creating a suggestion of effortless seduction. The fragrance opens with a fresh, green touch of absinthe and bright hints of peach and freesia. Elegance emerges in the heart, where cool notes of natural rose absolute and iris are set against the subtlety and warmth of sandalwood. In the base, woody cashmeran and creamy vanilla join the sensuality of amber and musk.
Notes: Freesia, Green Absinthe, Peach, Rose, Iris, Sandalwood, Cashmeran, Musk, Amber, Vanilla. 

One of the newer ones from Burberry. I tried it on Saturday, and I think it's great. I like most of Burberry's perfume line. And I like the color palette of their makeup line. And I like the styling in their adverts. Especially Emma Watson 'cause I want to BE her. I want to bring Burberry back.

So there you have it. What I've been dreaming of.... aaaahhhh. OK. If I get a set job lined up for after I graduate, then I can buy myself a bottle as a treat. Right? That's reasonable. Sure. Very responsible of me actually.