Monday, September 26, 2011

September Mix: Do you got that sweet devotion?

This month has been the longest/shortest of my life. I can hardly bear it. I schedule and plan every minute; juggling between 7 classes, catering, ushering at the games, these classes (I have to go, I just HAVE to), spanish certification tests, group meetings, extra credit lectures, internship seminars, devotionals, firesides, FHE, nightly dinner group... and then every once and a while, I just cancel all those plans and do NOTHING. A deadly choice. Or watch as those plans fall apart while I shuffle through runny noses.
And believe it or not, I like it that way. All that chaos included. I must be some sort of masochist.
So anyway.
Here is the mix for the month. It is very lovey dovey.
What is with that?
It is true, most of my dearest friends are 1) married, 2) engaged, 3) in pretty good relationships. They are rubbing off on me I guess. So music will act as my boyfriend while I run around like a chicken with  it's head cut off. (none time = none boyfriend).
Listen, I guess.

1. Wearer of Masks - Many Mansions
2. Floating Vibes - Surfer Blood
3. Don't Say Oh Well - Grouplove
4. Honey Bunny - Girls
5. What Goes On (The Beatles Cover) - Sufjan Stevens
6. On Melancholy Hill (Live Lounge Version) - Gorillaz
7. Work - 1,2,3
8. #WhiteGirlProblems - Hoodie Allen
9. Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover) - Ray LaMontagne
10. Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer cover) - Florence And The Machine
11. Fall Creek Boy's Choir - James Blake & Bon Iver
12. To Build A Home feat Patrick Watson - Cinematic Orchestra
13. Higher Love (Steve Winwood cover) - James Vincent Mc Morrow
14. Code Breaker  - Tunng
15. Audio, Video, Disco - Justice
16. I Stand Alone - Theophilus London
17. Further - Correatown
18. The Way I Feel Inside - The Zombies

2. This album was my jogging album of the summer.
3. We saw them we saw them! They are crazy fun. That hairy guitarist dances like a hobbit. Awesome.
4. bahahahahaha
6. This version is bril.
7. Tell me about it. This was running through my head as I stood in line at the testing center. "C's get degrees...C's get degrees".
8. BAHAHAHAHA. love love love this song.
10. Florence turns a song I did not like at all to something truly "addicting". Get it? haha? Ok. I'm not as funny as Hoodie Allen.
11. James Blake. Ok. He is my fake music boyfriend. It's decided.
12. Thanks to Jessie for helping me find this song.
14. Uh. Disregard the music video. I think they took things a little TOO literally.
15. yeah yeah yeah
16. I need to know more about this guy. He is great.
18. The most perfect, true to life, love song.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Faux Sea

Remember when I saw Little Birds and told you about the Salton Sea? Looks like that place has been captured on film again.

Salt and small towns.
False seas and desolation.
I like these things.

They are post-apocalyptic without actually going through an apocalypse.
Or maybe life is just one big apocalypse?

There's your deep thought for the day.

I've been reading a lot of Borges lately.
Can you tell?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"...the power of action..."

One of my favorite classes is on El Quixote. Did you know that is is often regarded as the best work of fiction...ever? We've just barely started reading it. 13 pages a day. It may not seem like much, but in spanish, it is a struggle. But I am beginning to see all the wonder about this "man of la Mancha". He is a man of action and character.

"One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The game. Oh, the game.

I haven't been to see a game in Lavell Edwards Stadium since freshmen year. I guess it should have stayed that way. But being an usher was alright. I got to go onto the field to "keep an eye on things" while they set off the fireworks.
It was surreal. Standing on that field knowing that you are in the line of sight for over 60,000 people. For the rest of the game, I was stationed by portal C (I thinks that's where I'll be the rest of the season as well). I ran into all sorts of people I hadn't seen in a while, so that was neat.
I'm not much of an enforcer, but for this job, I have to be. Most people are pretty cool about it though.

Except for the old men.

I don't know what it is, but it seems like they are DRAWN to me. I finished showing one man how to get to his seat, and he smiled, thanked me, then reached over and patted my bum.

I was thoroughly grossed out.

ATTENTION MEN: this is never cool.

Then I thought of this clip from Freaks and Geeks and I laughed and felt a bit better.

I'll be there again this Friday. Let's hope there won't be any handsy-man-cougars this time around.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What goes on in your heart

I'm in the Spanish mindset. I was reading a headline from the  New York Times ("Republicans Suggest White House Rushed Solar Loan"), and was thoroughly confused. “” I thought. “What in the world is that? Is it a corporation? But it’s not capitalized in the article.... I’ve never heard that word before!” Then I realized that in my mind I had been pronouncing it “sol-are” instead of “sol-er”. yeah yeah. Spanish.

And then I was talking to someone what and asked, "What impulsed you to make that decision?"And they looked at me kind of like, "what?" I mean, I guess you can say that in English, but it comes across awkwardly. (Fact: the word "awkward" doesn't really exist in Spanish. Which I guess means they are never awkward. Just like the word "chubby" doesn't exist in Norwegian. Interesting, right?).

All day, everyday, it's spanish spanish spanish. I've become such a language word. I love my grammar class. Can you believe that? Anyone who has spoken spanish with me would assume that grammar is my least favorite topic, but I'm starting to become fascinated by it. There are treasures and hidden meanings in everything. I'm unraveling the secrets of culture and accent. I feel like learning spanish makes me a new person.

But now to what impulsed me to write today. I'm starting to find my heart. I feel secure that I am on the right path. A path that will let me do my part in a bigger whole. Sometimes I forget what I've done. I got this e-mai from Arjun a couple days ago. I'll share it with you:

Dear Gretchen
How are you? i hope you are fine there. Well, we are all fine and working hard for the children.
Today i really much happier as i found your e-mail address. Gratchen, where r you now? i hopw you are working in the Church as a holy girl! We are soon celebrating our Dasain festival during tthat time we have holiday and we all enjoy a lot! Gratechen you are always wel come to visit our home. We never forget you and your kind cooperation and support. could you please tell me more news from there. i wish you all the best. May the Lord Buddha be always with you.
Arjun paudel

This is me, Arjun, and his wife with some of the children from the orphanage.
I had to do a screenshot to get this photo, so it's not the best quality.
You can see more of  my pictures from Nepal on Facebook.
Everytime I look at my pictures from that time, my heart breaks a little. I have ties to these people. It's the same when I look at pictures from my mission. It aches.

Speaking spanish has helped me maintain that connection. 

I can't wait till I get to visit my friends in Bolivia and Peru. I'll be heading back to South America in April. URUGUAY. If all goes as planned, I may stay awhile, and hopefully get a chance to visit my old mission stomping grounds.

Oh yeah. "The Game" is today. I guess that's a big deal.

I just noticed that the U symbol is pretty trendy. You know, with feathers and everything.

We'll see if it affects their game.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Accident

Maybe they weren't accidents. Blessings more like it. With less than a week before school starting up, I accomplished the following:

- Drove from Virginny to Utah
- Unpacked and organized all my things
- Found an inexpensive condo with a Fall/Winter contract a block away from campus
- Interviewed for a job
- Went to doctor's appointments
- Had my car fixed up (a long and nerve-wracking ordeal)
- Got my hair did
- Checked out great music from the library (Here We Go Magic, Japandroids, Yact, and Patrick Park, to name a few)
- Reunited with all those that I've missed over the summer while I've been back east.
- Repacked and organized all my things
- Drove to Provo

Most of my fears were put to rest. I couldn't believe that things could be better, but then...

- I went to my classes, and just got so excited listening to my enthusiastic professors and seeing all the cool things we are going to read (El Quixote! Borges! Isabel Allende! woohoo!).
- Got permission to add 2 more credits (semester now totaling 20 credit hours) so that I don't have to do an independent study and I will be fully done in December.
- Actually moved into my more than adequate apartment (we have a fireplace AND a balcony? yes.).
- Met my room mates who are perfect (so far :). One competes in triathlons, went on her mission to Norway, AND is an English grad student! She was pleased when she saw my Nancy Drew cookbook. The other is on the track team, super friendly and outgoing, AND she is half cuban half mexican so she can help me with spanish!
- Found out that I have a job!
- Wrangled a spot in the History of Christianity class that is ALWAYS full.
- Found out I have another job!
- Reunited with people I haven't seen in a long time.
- Met up with T and Allison. I've missed those girls.
- Got the new schedule for International Cinema. Boys and girls, it is going to be awesome. 

There were tons of mini miracles too. It reminded me of when I was on my mission.
But I know these blessings come with a responsibility. I'm going to have to be extra studious to handle my heavy course load. I'm sure there will come a time in a couple months where I wallow in self-pity due to lack of sleep and too many late-night Spanish cram sessions. I shouldn't even be typing this right now, I have NO time. But for now, I will be happy that it is all working out.

Don't you love it when things unexpectedly fall into place?

P.S. You should check out the rest of Matt Stuart's photos. 
They are so witty.