Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It's been a struggle not having a camera, so I've resorted to using an old iPhone (I think it's from 2008) as a camera. Here are the results:

On the road

Treacherously foggy road through the Appalachians 

I match my nails to my wrist accessories 

Duncan's party set-up. Those chairs do a good job at standing at attention.

The lamb roasting.

Beza is good at swinging.

A stick fight ensued.

Olivia was a potential civilian casualty.

It had been really muddy the night before. My footprints are still there. 

Did you watch this game? It was glorious.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A light that cannot fade

My grandma Billie Ann is in town, and we were in a whirlwind of preparation for Duncan's farewell party last night. There were multiple trips to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Costco, Giant, Wardell's, Assal (the Indian market), and Abiki (the Asian market). Not to mention, Anthropologie, J. Crew, and Sur la Table. Everything went off beautifully. our prayers for a sunny, rainless day were answered. The food was great. Everyone had fun. In the Devine/Hartt family, there is no such thing as a run of the mill backyard party. We had mu We listened to this cd while we were driving around:

You can listen to some of it here. I was in Women's Chorus when I was a freshman at BYU, so I got to be part of the recording! (I sung on tracks 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 14) One of those songs is called "Things That Never Die," and it is one of my favorites: 

The pure, the bright, the beautiful 

that stirred our hearts in youth, 

The impulses to wordless prayer, 
The dreams of love and truth; 
The longing after something's lost, 
The spirit's yearning cry, 
The striving after better hopes- 
These things can never die. 

The timid hand stretched forth to aid 
a brother in his need, 
A kindly word in grief's dark hour 
that proves a friend indeed ; 
The plea for mercy softly breathed 
when justice threatens nigh, 
The sorrow of a contrite heart- 
These things shall never die. 

Let nothing pass for every hand 
must find some work to do; 
Lose not a chance to waken love- 
Be firm, and just, and true; 
So shall a light that cannot fade 
beam on thee from on high. 
And angel voices say to thee---
These things shall never die.

I couldn't find a video of us singing, so this will have to do.

I hope you had a happy Sunday, and that you will have a lovely memorial day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

United States, I love you, but you're bringing me down.

WODdling soundtrack: Reik, Calle 13, Camila, Aventura

I miss saltenas.
I miss greeting everyone I meet on the street.
I miss South America.
I miss who I am when I speak in Spanish.

Luckily, I am not alone. Yesterday, I went and helped the Spanish branch with a Mutual activity. Hopefully this will be a weekly thing where I can help the ward out, and brush up on my Spanish at the same time. The kids were sweet, and though they are all at different places in life, at different schools, and facing different challenges, they were generally kind to one another. Really, they were great.

My name is the bane of my existence in the latino world as Gretchen is not easily pronounced.
So I was christened "Eli" (Ellie) instead, since Elisabeth is my middle name. And for the rest of the drive from Mutual, I listened to reggaeton.

I've liked the past week or so in Virginia and I keep telling people that I could really settle here. But sometime soon, I hope to get on a plane and not come back for a while.

 I need to go back to my "roots"

I want to go back to Santa Cruz and see the rest of Bolivia

And maybe even go to my on of my best friend's wedding here!

Till then, I will watch this video over and over again, sympathizing with Kermit the Frog.

and then watch this one over and over to pick up my mood.


Oh what a world we live in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let's. Rock. Tonight.

WODdling sountrack: Arctic Monkeys, "Your Favourite Worst Nightmare"

I would like you to examine the list below closely. These are concert dates for the Arctic Monkeys. One of these things is not like the other:

First Ave - **SOLD OUT**
Minneapolis, MN (18+)
The Ogden Theatre - **SOLD OUT**
Denver, CO (16+)
In The Venue
Salt Lake City, UT (All Ages)
The Fox Theatre - **SOLD OUT**
Pomona, CA (All Ages)
Hollywood Palladium - **SOLD OUT**
Los Angeles, CA (All Ages)
Don Valley Bowl - **SOLD OUT**
Sheffield (All Ages)
Don Valley Bowl - **SOLD OUT**
Sheffield (All Ages)

Well look at that; Salt Lake still has tickets! This is almost always the case. It is also one of the only downfalls to being in DC for the summer. Their concerts sell out quickly. Foster the People, Avett Brothers, Rosebuds... I will be missing all of you this summer.

But you know who I might actually be able to see? SONDRE LERCHE! He's coming here June 7th. Is anyone around D.C. going? Anybody?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kids are cooler than me.

Yeah, I'm one of those now.

I'm not married.
I don't kids of my own.
But considering that for the rest of the summer, I will mostly be socializing with beings 20 years younger than me, you better be ready for some kid stories.

oh dear.
I've turned into a "mom blogger" without actually being a mom.


The first kid I watched today was so funny. He LOVES music, so we got along swimmingly, especially when I found this in his cupboard:

It has kids songs by Guster, Cake, and Billy Bragg.
That is neat.

He also plays the drums really well. Like I'm not kidding, the boy has rhythm. I mean, he's at least as good as Meg White, at least.

One of the other boys I watched today was a smarty too. He was jumping around the living room, trying to do barrel rolls and stuff. I said, "Wow, you're pretty good. You must be an acrobat". He kind of gave me a look of disdain and said, "No, I'm a break dancer".
Then, when he was getting ready for bed, he was trying to find excuses to avoid it. He tried adjusting the drapes, picking out more books to read, etc. Finally, I was about to leave the room, and he said, 

"Wait! I have a problem".
"What?" I answered.
"My tongue is REALLY hot."


"Uh, would you like some water?" I asked.
"Nah," he said. "I'll just sleep with my mouth open".

Then he closed his eyes and settled down with his mouth gaping open. 

Awwww kids.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids with Guns pt. 2

Lazy Saturday (no WODdling soundtrack today)

During the post-finals lazy days, I found a movie at the library:

This movie got mixed reviews.
But for what it's worth, I think it's worth something.

You know who else has mixed reviews? The screenwriter: Lars Von Trier
He's been in the news lately because of his confused musings on Nazism, art, and his mistaken Jewish identity. You can read a bit about it here. You can watch his comments, (and watch Kirsten Dunst feel totally awkward) here. He was banned from the Cannes film festival, and kind of sort of apologized.
I don't know.

They showed The 5 Obstructions at BYU's International Cinema last year, and it essentially solidified my opinion that Trier is a pretty twisted individual and that he will do whatever necessary to get under peoples skin. We watched Dogville over Thanksgiving a few years ago. Yeah, why did we rent that movie? It is a great/horrible film that leaves a pit in your stomach.


I was interested in how Dear Wendy would turn out. It has Jamie Bell, who I've had a crush on since Billy Elliot came out like, 10 years ago. He's great. The soundtrack is KILLER with most of the songs by The Zombies. The movie is kind of disconcerting, but not overly so like Dogville. I was most interested in it because it was essentially a cinematic presentation of Latour's thesis in "Pandora's Hope" (the one I talked about last time). Anyway, the movie is a commentary on America's general fascination with guns. I've always been sort of ambivalent about guns in general, but it has become increasingly clear to me that these are issues that we need to think about.

Looks like the world's not over yet...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just in case.

WODdling soundtrack: Sondre Lerche - "Phantom Punch"

They say that tomorrow is the end of the world.

So I thought I would share these videos with you while I still have the chance. 

It's been nice knowing you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Humor me

WODdling soundtrack this morning: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (self-titled album), Hot Chip "Made in the Dark"

Did anyone else listen to Terry Gross on Fresh Air today?
She interviewed Trey Parker and Matt Stone about "The Book of Mormon Musical". You can listen to the interview here.

I have to admit, it sounds pretty funny! The interview gave me a chance to finally hear samples of some of the songs (at least the PG rated ones). The ones I heard seemed like something that could come straight out of "Saturday's Warrior". Of course, they do make jokes at the church's expense, but it seems like it's done in a most good-natured way. From what I've heard of it's crude humor, the show probably wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I'm not really up in arms about it. Any informed media consumer should know that work from these guys is going to be have a lot of profanity, that it will probably be blasphemous, and will be offensive to many. But Matt and Trey are funny, savvy, and smart. They are also fair. I highly suggest the interview to anyone who is wondering about it.

Here is the official church's stance on the musical:
"The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."
See? Classy as always.

My cousin Duncan (whose family I'm living with and whose room I'm going to take over after he's gone...haha), leaves on his mission in less than two weeks! He will be serving in Anaheim, California. I think that this musical may actually prove to be helpful to him. I'm sure people will be interested in his experience, and maybe have questions about what they've heard about the church. Just another way to turn around something that others perceive of as negative into a positive!

On another musical note, my grandpa showed this video to me a few weeks ago, and I think it's pretty great.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stranger in a Strange Land

Over 3 days back east. I am not yet a native.
Virginia and the general D.C. area are places that I would consider foreign.
They have all the characteristics of what I would call a foreign place.

1) Humidity
2) Green
3) Unique architecture
4) Different smells

They share these characteristics with other foreign places I have been to in my life like
Lima, The Cotswolds in Britain, Pokhara (Nepal), and Disneyland.

So far, I like it.

I've been jogging on this trail the past couple mornings:
From now on, I will refer to it as "waddling on the WOD," as I am so out of shape, I waddle more than run. But anyway, the trail is great. My iPod was specially loaded for this sort  of daily endeavor. This morning, the soundtrack to my WODdling was The Black Keys "Brothers" album. A good choice if I may say so myself.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ramble On

Let's recap, shall we?

Roadtrips are so fun...when they start. Mom and I prepped well. We had carrots, we had candy, we had mate, and we had the dulcet tones of Blaine and the Warblers.
Let's just throw this up there so you know what you were missing:

I took a bunch of pictures while we were driving.
And then I dropped my camera in the toilet. boo.

Allison warned me that Wyoming was the worst state in the world. I understand it's bad when it's snowy, but Allison: your home state of Nebraska is about as mind-numbingly dull as it gets.


We spent the night in Lincoln, and then set-off once again. 

Winner of loveliest state to drive through....


Who knew?

We listened to Sufjan Stevens "Come on! Feel the Illinoise" while driving through Illinois. It was sorta awesome. Everything felt very "meta".

I don't remember much else about the drive.

We spent the night with Tia Hortensia and Uncle Bart. 
She had a great delicious soup ready for us (with cheese from Ireland) and cake (a British recipe). Anglophilia runs in the family.
I hadn't seen them in forever, so it was great to catch up.


This leg of the journey was marked by a sudden increase in evangelical radio stations, anti-abortion billboards, and the smell of cows.
So I choose the second option of googlemaps choices, thus leading us to drive on this:

It was beautiful. Very romantic and wild. 
For this part of the trip, we listened to the Cold Mountain soundtrack and The Avett Brothers.

"The rain it fell, and we got gone"

Man, that road was ISOLATED. 
I can't imagine actually living in one of the tiny towns along it. I was astounded at every turn. It started raining and got really foggy. My mom got carsick. 

We arrived safe and sound at Tyson's Corner in Virginia at 11:30.


So far, I have not been disappointed. The families I will be working with our great. The wards are friendly. There is so much to do.

This summer is gonna be sumthin'.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A series of unfortunate (and fortunate) events.

Maybe you want to know how my three-day journey across the country was.
You will have to wait for tomorrow for the low-down. 

If you can't wait till tomorrow, these two equations sum up my emotions during the trip.

plus this:

equals this:


plus this:

equals this:

It was a journey of many emotions. Time for bed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Man's Secret Weapon...

... good clothes.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.- Mark Twain
You may be wondering what inspired this post.
First off, I went to the new, reorganized singles for our area. A representative from the stake stepped up to the podium, and my brother and I gave eachother significant looks:

Me: He looks just like Tim Gunn!
Jeremy: I know! He's just missing the glasses...

Make it work.
A few minutes later, he put glasses on to read a quote, and the vision was complete. Also, over the past week, I have been watching Project Runway (and America's Next Top Model during commercials) and have just fallen in love with it. I watched a full season for the first time last summer, and I am seriously considering looking for them on dvd or something. Also, I recently watched this trailer. AND, my favorite blogs to follow are fashion-y ones and I have been trying to keep them in mind as I've been selecting clothes to take with me back east.
And I've worked at Old Navy.
For all of these reasons, I am an expert on men's fashion.
HAHAHAHAHAH. funny joke.

With this theme running through my head, I've become specifically impressed of the role of men in fashion, and the lack of respect (or maybe just lack of interest) from the general male population.

Boys. I don't think you understand the power clothing. It is truly a secret weapon. I was talking with one of my friends the other day about moving to the D.C. area. She informed me that the types of guys I would find there would be different from the one's I've been around: "They know how to dress". She said.

I am a firm believer that if  a man can dress well, he can do anything. I think this guy summed it up pretty well: 
"...it is indeed remarkable how impressive ugly men can look in really good men's clothes. Is their a finer sight in the world than a hideous man, who is normally just one big explosion of visual pollution, decked out in a thousand pounds worth of state-of-the-art Men's Clothes?      ...men's clothes don't ever change in basic design. They just get ever more perfect and magnificent." 
A guy can get away with a lot if he looks sharp. Case in point: Scott Dissick.

Stolen from this blog.
I think a sense of style may be the only redeeming quality homeboy has.

So if any of you men are looking for pointers, here are few examples to emulate from our good friend, The Sartorialist:

Really guys, I guess you can wear whatever you want, but keep in mind this quote I found while reading about the shows at Coachella.

“whatever a dirty-looking young man with aviator glasses and certain kind of facial hair is doing looks disingenuous” - Ben Ratliff NYT
Note: most of the men in these photos have facial hair, but is is not the "certain kind" that Ben was referring to. You know what I mean.

Be clean. Be genuine. Be styled.