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.