Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nice to meet you

God bless you Johnny Flynn.
I'd like to know where you have been,
and I wish I knew you sooner.

I really just think you should listen to all of his songs as soon as possible.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Musical Roots

My love affair with music started young. In my formative years in London, Dad says that I loved to jam to "Top of the Pops". I loved musical soundtracks (particularly Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera). When we lived in DC, my favorite station was Radio AAHS (for the longest time I thought it was Radio Oz. I was wrong). The songs on that station made me very environmentally and socially aware. Especially this song (didn't people realize this would terrify kids?) and this song, and of course, this song.  No wonder I turned out the way I did. OH MY GOSH AND DON'T FORGET THIS ONE. I also got this cd for one of my birthdays: 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's "I am the Cute One"

Homegirls were stylin', even back then. This is one of my favorite tracks. Though I'm afraid it takes a whole different tone since this was pre-Monika Lewinsky scandel. Oh dear.

Finally, I got my hands on an awesome cassette. Yeah, that's right. CASSETTE TAPE. One that would lead me to "grown-up" songs and bands. 

Oh yeah!

This tape was AWESOME. Absolutely every song was a winner. They helped me seem cool when I moved to a new state (Utah) and a new school. (I actually forgot that, but I was in the same class as George, and he told me that on my birthday, I told everyone that they were my favorite band. Cool points). I remember trying to explain the depth and complexity of the lyrics from "All That She Wants" to my best friend Genny. I love love loved them. 

Admit it.

You love them too.

That's why I really loved this video I found (could do without the last 30 seconds though):

I like the Flamenco vibe of "Cruel Summer," perfect. Oh memories.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" - William Butler Yeats

Aedh Wishes for the Clothes of Heaven
William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

This recording is from when I was part of BYU's Women's Chorus

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Most of the time, I'm not so good with words. I stress about saying the right things at the right time. I feel pressure about meeting new people and being able to carry on a conversation. Leading me to choose to stay home instead of face the challenge. It's an issue. So much so, that I regularly read articles like this

I wish I had a personal screenwriter. Someone who could load me up with quips and conversation starters every morning. I think I would pick Aaron Sorkin.

I just watched the first episode of The Newsroom yesterday. Check out the trailer (mind you, there are some eff words):

So great! Plus it name-dropped Don Quixote about fifty times, so it HAS to be good. I'm little late to the Aaron Sorkin fanclub. I only recently figure out who he was after watching Social Network a year or so ago. Needless to say, I'm looking for dvds of The West Wing to borrow. I have some catching up to do.

I guess if he's not available, I could have the screen writer from Gilmore Girls help me out. Remember how I was in love with Jess? HAHA


And the screen writer from True Grit.

I think the trick is to never use contractions.

Words are such tricky things.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "To My Heart, Bidding It Have No Fear" - William Butler Yeats

To My Heart, Bidding It Have No Fear
William Butler Yeats

Be you still, be you still, trembling heart;
Remember the wisdom out of the old days:
Him who trembles before the flame and the flood,
And the winds that blow through the starry ways,
Let the starry winds and the flame and the flood
Cover over and hide, for he has no part
With the proud, majestical multitude.

Here's one for the fearless hearts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

OH. Hi Summer.

Today was the first day of summaaaaaaaaaa

Will Smith can do now wrong. He was on top of the world then* and he's still on top of the world now.

I don't know what the last couple months have been like for all ya'll. But for me, summer hasn't started yet. I've only been swimming ONCE. Unacceptable.

We're going to change that this weekend. Heading to my beloved AZ.
Stop by if you happen to be there too.
You'll know where to find me.

*This song came out in 1991, over 2 decades ago. Yeah.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: The Lake of Innisfree

And now onto Yeats.

The Lake of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.


Where is your Innisfree? I have a few.

W&OD Trail, Virginia

Cathedral Wash, Arizona

Ica, Peru

Kathmandu, Nepal

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's official

Monday, I officially became a Provo resident! Sort of.
I finally got a library card. The design with the flying knight.
I'm so excited about it, I should make a video about it, like these guys:

Monday, June 11, 2012

watcha watcha watcha want pt.1

I'm almost half-way through my VISTA year. It's unsettling doing one thing in one place for so long. Time to start thinking of the future...


1. Wedding Singer
Still think it would be the best job ever

2. Google Street View Driver/Bike
You can see some crazy stuff:

 See more here. I love to drive. I love to wander. Sound like a perfect fit.

3. Part of J-Lo's entourage.

First off, I like perks. I want the kind of life where I get regular mani-pedis, go on expensive juice cleanses, and travel the world. Essentially, I want the perks of being famous, without being famous. What better way to do that then be a hanger-on? I already have nanny-skills, and I can cheerfully do meaningless tasks like picking up coffee and laundry. No problem. I would be GOOD.
Plus, Jennifer Lopez is awesome, and I wish I was her. I could use some of her life tips. Plus, she can get away with ANYTHING.

4. Alpaca Rancher

My mom went to Colorado and visited an alpaca farm. When she got back, she told me she could totally se me doing something like that. She was right! It would be awesome. 
Alpacas just seem like they're from some sort of other universe. What strange looking animals.

Look at those eyelashes! They look like magic!

There's even an alpaca ranch you can visit in Utah! I'm going to Denver in July, and I'm seriously thinking of asking to do an apprenticeship at that ranch. For reals.

5. Envelope stuffer/paper stapler/data entry girl

Every once and a while, it's nice to have some mindless tasks. Give me an iPod full of books on tape and "This American Life" podcasts, and I'm good to go.

Friday, June 8, 2012

June Mix: Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am

What can I say? I had to make this mix in a hurry.

It turned out sort of perfect though, if I do say so my self.

1. In the Danger - Blake Miller
2. I Saw You Blink - Stornoway
3. This Head I Hold - Electric Guest
4. The Long Run - Jhameel
5. Ready Or Not - The Fugees
6. Chillin' On The Plane (M.I.A//Lady Gaga//Wale) - Brand-x
7. Manchester - Kishi Bashi
8. Fifteen (ft Chela) - Goldroom
9. Leave The Lights On - Meiko
10. Gone Tomorrow (Live at Cecil Sharp House) - The Staves
11. Alice Springs - Mystery Jets
12. Hjerteknuser - Kaizers Orchestra
13. Holiday - Poor Moon
14. Pioneers - The Lighthouse and The Whaler
15. On the Sea - Beach House
16. Big Black Car - Gregory Alan Isakov

1. Blake Miller. You are a tricky one to find. Nothing on Soundcloud OR Youtube. Strange.
2. I'm just liking these guys a lot of the time.
5. I always forget how AWESOME these guys are. Am I right?
8. You can snag this track for free if you like these guys on Facebook.
12. Norwegian.
15. They will be here soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Poem for Thursday: "A Noiseless Patient Spider" - Walt Whitman

A Noiseless Patient Spider
Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, venturing, throwing, seeking the sphere to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need to be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Danger of a Story

Now that I'm on this story kick, I figured I would share one of my favorite TED talks with you:

I love this talk; it is so needed.
Many of us get frustrated when "our story" is told for us, especially when it is one dimensional and wrong. It makes me stop and think about all the incomplete stories I have heard and believed in my life. I'm worried that it is going to get worse. 
While the information we receive through television and internet becomes more personalized, stories that don't fit our world view are left out. Computer algorithms analyze our searches and clicks, finding information we seem to be drawn to. But is also omits information that doesn't interest us. It assures we are offended as little as possible. Our views our challenged as little as possible. Instead of growing and becoming richer, our world is, in a way, shrinking.

How do we fight it?
Do any of you have an ideas?

I'm not sure myself.
But I know that I want the full story.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Or, you could wait 105 years...

The sky has been very cool the last few weeks. Tonight, there will be a Venus transit across the sun!

And you better check it out now, or else you'll have to wait til 2117. Listen/read to this great segment from All Things Considered about the event. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Stories

Here is another post from the United Way blog!

I love the stories from StoryCorps. Here are some of my favorites that I didn't have space for in my other post:

Watch the animation of this conversation here.

Watch the animation of this conversation here.


I love these stories. I could listen to them all day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Your Meaning

Our Relief Society Instructor used this video to start off her lesson:

I've always had the gospel as part of my life in one form or another. You would assume that as a return missionary I would become adept at answering these worts of questions with scriptural evidence to back up my assertions. But after being home for almost three years, I'm realizing I didn't know as much as I thought I did.
As a missionary, you learn to make and set goals. You do this daily, hourly, by the minute. It is necessary to train us and refine us. It's easy because you can have confidence that it your goals are always true and right. It is good to have conversations with people about the gospel, to teach lessons,  and visit with less active members. It is good for anyone and everyone to do that. And it is right for you to do because you are a missionary and your purpose is literally spelled out and recited everyday. (For me, it is engraven in my heart in Spanish):

Invitar a los personas a venir a Cristo, 
a fin de que reciban el evangelio restaurado mediante 
la fe en Jesucristo y en su expiacion, 
el arrepentimiento, 
el bautismo, 
la recepcion del don del Espiritu Santo y 
el perseverar hasta el fin.

But then you come home, and your perspective needs to make a drastic shift. You are supposed to think of yourself. It's disorienting. Suddenly, what's "right" isn't so clear anymore. I don't mean right as in the difference between right and wrong, but what is "right" for each individual, unique person. We all have the same goals of happiness and peace, but the ways we can reach those goals are unique.

I really appreciated this relief society lesson, because it forced me to reconsider what I am doing and why. My personal mission statement had been constructed on a base of what I could achieve: get a masters degree, find a fulfilling job, marry in the temple, create a family, etc. Those are all worthy  goals, and I'm still striving to reach them. But I think it's important that our purposes be something that we can accomplish daily. They aren't a single achievement but a sustainable state of being. 

And I think that is what living the gospel is supposed to mean. We don't have the gospel so that we can complete our personal checklists, but so that we can become whole.

We have help available to us so that we can figure out what we're supposed to do and who we're supposed to be. Near the end of her lesson, our relief society instructor shared this scripture from Alma  chapter 37:

Seems simple enough. I'll let you know how it goes :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Here's to the Freakin' Weekend.

Actually not freakin' at all, just busy.

I convinced my co-workers to go to that Dance Walk thing that all the hipsters are talking about. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO JOIN ME. Then there is the Free Rooftop Concert . Tomorrow there's soccer (my 2nd to last one! yay!), temple with the ward, and international cinema. Then Sunday has officially been declared "Sleep Day". Yes.

Hope your weekend is equally enjoyable.

Oh, and I've been listening to this song a lot.
That's all.