Friday, July 31, 2009

If You Put Together Many Things I Love...

I love Alice in Wonderland
I love Lewis Carroll
I love literary adaptations
I love Disney
I love Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, and Anne Hatheway
I love things that are creepy
I love going to see a movie on opening night
I love Tim Burton
Now, put them together and...
I know what I'll be doing on March 5th.
*sorry, I didn't embed the video... too tricky for me to figure out without the proper motivation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

As Requested

What MRU looks like...

1. Preparation: This is a tiny glimpse of what our house looked like in the week preceeding MRU. We were a clothes-sewing, boot-painting, sequin-glueing workshop.

2. The Parade: I like parades. And, I liked seeing the Osmonds at this parade.

Of course, this is the person I really went to see:

3. The Rodeo(s):

The contestants and the clown. (that sounds like the title of some strange novel)

This is our little group: my mom, Marti, me, and behind us the SSIR Queen Coordinator, Kris (of Kristi Q designs), Kenzie, and Kasey. My dad is in like two pictures because he took all of them. He was there though : ) Also, the contestants were sequestered the whole week, so this was the first time we got to talk to Marti. It was a looong week.

4. Coronation: This is the royalty (Marti is the one in light pink)

And, this is how the celebration looked:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How Things Went Down

Marti got 1st Attendant at MRU! Yay!

I realize I'm kind of a biased source, but trust me, she did an amazing job this week. And, to do that well your first year is really remarkable.

There are like ten million things I would love to write about that happened this week. In hopes of making it a little less tiresome for you devoted readers, we're going to try a multi-genre experiment today and I'll tell you about what happened to me through a little Q&A.

Questions about the week that I would have to answer "NO" to:

Were you okay with the labelling of the cream cheese at the cute bagel place you went to while everyone else was at MRU orientation? Okay, for the record, regular cream cheese mixed with strawberry jam is not strawberry cream cheese. And I don't mean to be rude, because I really liked my bagel and the atmosphere of the place, but working at Einstein's made me into a bagel snob. I didn't expect it to be double-whipped, but I do love some legitimately strawberry flavored cream cheese.

Did anyone think you were crazy when you were really, really happy not to get the job you interviewed for on Tuesday? They shouldn't have if they did. I applied for that job out of desperation like 4 months ago. I learned something about myself through this experience: I never want to live in a mobile home in rural Utah all by myself. Never.

Did you enjoy your stay in the freakiest hotel in Ogden? I thought we were going to die. Or catch a disease. There were huge, gross stains everywhere; the carpet was coming up in the hallway; people were yelling at each other a lot; and there were people camping by our car in the parking lot.

Questions that I would have to answer "YES" to:

Did you think that releasing 50 doves to honor survivors of cancer was a nice gesture, but rather too dramatic? It was very nice, but totally incongruent with the rest of the program. I felt the same way about the sky-divers who brought in the flags the first time and the flag carried on horseback that emitted fireworks. That last one just seemed like a bad idea. And, all of it together was overkill.

Did you get a little bit giggly and pretend to swoon when you found out the Osmonds Second Generation were the Grand Marshalls of OPDC this year? But, Donny wasn't there, so it didn't last very long.

Are you a fan of attending gala events? Very much so. I liked the atmosphere of the big luncheons and the fashion show and such. It was exciting.

Did you enjoy sitting next to the regal old lady at the modelling luncheon? I certainly did. She was very nice to me, but nothing about anything that was going on pleased her at all. The size of the room was wrong, the number of people per table was ridiculous, the placing of the tables foolish, and, the steak was tough. I thought about asking if she wanted to trade and I'd eat her steak and she could have my potatoes. Dehydrated potatoes. I have strong feelings on that subject. She turned to me at one point and said, "Don't you agree this is simply inadequate?" Actually, I thought it was pretty nice (minus the potatoes), but she was fun to sit by and chat with; she reminded me of a countess.

Did you threaten to slip your mother anti-anxiety pills if she didn't stop being so frantic? And next year I'll be prepared to do so.

Were you glad to take a break mid-week and go see an interesting movie with some cool people? Very.

Were you pleased about how well the quilt did at the silent auction? Monumentally pleased. It sold for twice as much as any of the other quilts. And people gushed over it. Mission accomplished.

Did you think it was pretty awesome to sit by the river and alternatively read a book and ponder life? Amazing. It was so pretty and peaceful.

By the end of the week, did you look like you'd been hit by a train despite several attempts to fix the problem? Just in time for the thousands of pictures! Maybe next year I'll look gross strategically. Because, really, there is no better way to stand out in a room full of beauty queens than to look as terrible as you can.

Overall, did you enjoy yourself? I really did : )

That's mostly it. If you have any questions for me about the week, feel free to ask.

Friday, July 17, 2009


In an effort to practice positive thinking towards (hopefully!) getting a job in the fall, I recently started to tentatively plan a super cool linguistics unit. I think it's kind of ridiculous that most English classes absolutely ignore linguistics (you know, the study of language). I think it's crucial, because looking at linguistics makes grammar so much more approachable and studying English so much more enjoyable.

There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to grammar: the prescriptivists, and the descriptivists.

Prescriptivists= people who are all about the rules of language. They love Latin, and try to make English seem Latin. They have some French cousins who created a whole government department to keep their language "pure." They are also the people who will correct your grammar. (Don't hate me if you're a prescriptivist; I just think you make grammar no fun at all and give people headaches about split infinitives and other such nonsense.)

Descriptivists= people who believe that language is all about how you use it. These people understand that standard English is only of many dialects; each dialect follows unique linguistic rules, and is legitimate in its own right. If they were to talk about correctness, they would tell you that it depends on the context of the usage (beautiful thing called pragmatics). So, standard grammar in scholastic or business settings is entirely appropriate, but using nonstandard dialects (think of things like ain't, ya'll, etc.) is equally appropriate in other settings. To these people, it's all about using the dialect that will lead to effective communication. I am totally a descriptivist.

Is anyone still reading?

It feels so great to be thinking about this stuff again! Here are some things to think about should you like to ponder the English language with me:

*The word "you" is such an interesting word. This word is both singular and plural; in order to clarify people have applied logical pluralizing patterns and came up with ya'll and youse. At one time it was formal, but now it's informal (somewhere in language history "thee/thou" and "you" just straight up switched places- weird!). Who even knew such a little word had so much behind it?

*When someone asks you "How are you?" It is not at all incorrect to answer "I'm good." Am is a linking verb that should be followed by adjectives (like good) and well is mostly an adverb and only kind of an adjective. Well would be appropriate for talking about your health, but not so much your state of being. I was so happy when I learned that. I hate, hate, hate it when people have some snobby comment about how you really meant to say you're well; similarly the "may/can" thing. From now on, I'm just going to say, "Nope. I use adjectives after linking verbs, pal." (Thank you Grammar Girl.)

*Something I've seen a lot lately is people using an instead of a in front of an "h." Unless you're British, or it's a silent "h," it's unnecessary. The whole point is to make sentences more fluid. Two vowels next to each other is not fluid; try saying a 'istoric. Not easy. Now try an 'istoric. Piece of cake. But, if you don't have a charming British accent, you can say a historic just fine, and probably the deceptively sophisticated-looking an historic is actually kind of awkward to get out. Neat, huh?

If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. I'm kind of curious if anyone stuck with me through the whole post.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Probably Mentioned This

So, I told a bunch of people about the quilt I made for the Miss Rodeo Utah silent auction, and I thought you might like to see how it turned out.

The story behind the whole thing is that Marti needed a couple of items to donate to the MRU silent auction. Providentially, she had two important things at her disposal:
1. Material featuring the Ogden Pioneer Days Celebration icon (they sponsor MRU)
2. Me and my mad quilting skills

Now, for you to understand just how providential it is that someone just happened to give her that material forever ago, I need to tell you a little bit about the OPDC's iconic image, the "whoopee girl." This sounds more scandalous than it is (I think), but whoopee girls were more or less western pin-up girls. The first whoopee girl was a girl from Ogden in the 30s; the mayor at the time was looking for something, an image, that would make people remember the OPDC. Turns out he was pretty successful with the whoopee girl idea, because whoopee girls are a major collectors item, and have been for some time.

So, OPDC is kind of a big deal, and the whoopee girls are a big deal to them, and hopefully the quilt will kind of be a big deal at the auction.

Here is a close up (sorry, you still can't see much detail):

And now I have to brag a little; my Grandma Honey is excessively proud of me for this quilt even though it's really pretty simple. Know why? Check out the middle seam... oh, wait... you can't see it! It took forever and a day, and a lot more patience then I generally have, but I matched all those scandalous girls and the cacti and fences, etc. up exactly, and you can't see the seam at all. Yay! (I know, I know... humor me.) Check it out:

I'm excited to see how it does at the auction. I hope people adore it; that would please me very much. I also hope my grandma doesn't try to be sneaky and buy it back; she is heart-broken that we have to give it away.

Now that you know about my secret but illustrious quilting career, you might ask, "What's next?" This:

Sun-Bonnet Sue and 11 more of her friends. It is taking But, I like it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Won a Prize!

One time, CoolBoy and I went to the rodeo, and we were sort of forced into entering a contest to win a truck. I got a call tonight, and I didn't win a truck, but I did win a $75 gift card to Kohl's (and having only a fake job, such a shopping spree sounded heavenly).

BUT then... you had to be at least 25 to claim it.

BUT it's transferrable, so someone who is 25+ could pick it up for me. And I have a mom!

BUT turns out my dad has to go too, and it will "only" take 90 minutes for them to pick up my prizes.

And then... my mom was giving me her "I will kill you as soon as I get off the phone" look.

Having long since realized I was never going to get this gift card, when she did get off the phone, I told her I hadn't realized that it had entailed so much hassle and we could just forget about it. She turned to me and said, "Nothing in life is free. If it seems too good to be true, it is." This, of course, brought me back to the stinky, mean real-world where I don't get any new clothes at no cost to myself and people only want to sell my e-mail address to solicitors.

Also, "Puppies, turn into dogs, who get old, and DIE!"

(I remain unmoved in my idealism, however, because if I switch over to realism I will simply have to cry. The world isn't that bad; it just isn't. Also, I don't actually like Kohl's all that much.)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Did I Ever Tell You

If you google my full name, the third hit you get says "Perfect." I'm serious, try it.

What can I say?

Pretty soon it will also say "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"... because the reading strategies I developed for that novel are the other internet published work I have. BYU is pretty cool that way- the English Ed department is amazing.

I already told you about the radio ad. And, last night I got to see the bio I wrote about my sister in the souvenir rodeo programs. It was on very nice, extra glossy paper; it looked and sounded beautiful. The little girls who had my sister autograph that page will cherish it forever/ for a week.

There's the co-authored, library-bound parody, "Eternity Means Forever." Which... made people laugh, and that was the point. (yay for Saturday morning shifts with Lauren!)

And there are a few other things I've written that I have decided not to tell the world about just yet. Most are uncredited, but some are not. Some have met their deadlines, and some are still in process.

I bring this up because, today is my blog's birthday; I think it's cheesy to bring it up at all, but I was thinking about it today, and I got rather pleased with myself. In that first blog post, I wrote about writing. And, I'm still nowhere near the Annie Dillard or Anna Quindlen level... but I'm writing. And that writing is going places. (Wrangler pockets, for instance...)

When I stop to think about all the little things I've written since I wrote that first post, I'm actually just thrilled to pieces about what I've done. None of it is big or ostentatious, but it's real, and it's mine. And, hey, google thinks I'm perfect.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hate to Bring This Up, But...

Do you know what's not okay? Ignoring people.

I feel okay discussing this here, because this isn't a problem I have with anyone who reads my blog. (Well, I can't account for any lurkers, but if you're blog-stalking me and refusing to talk to me in real life... yeah, that's all you.)

Here's the thing, it's just not okay not to respond. It's not. I don't know if it's a result of how easy it is communicate in various instantaneous modes, and so now people take communication for granted, but it really is still a big deal. I think it's most offensive in personal relationships, but also professionally. Let me share some occurrences of the last few months.

First, let's talk about Potential Employers: um, did you get my application? Did you look at it? Did you hate it? I really have no idea, because you never responded to me, my e-mails, my cover letters, etc. Also, I interviewed at a school, they told me when they'd let me know whether or not I got the job... and they called a week after that. Yeah... I'd pretty much figured it out by then, but, hey thanks. I'd say it's a pretty prevalent problem. I've applied for about 50 jobs so far this summer, and very few of them have been so good as to recognize my humanity and communicate with me.

And, how about the people we all know and love? You know, friends who used to call at all hours of the night but now cannot manage to respond to a text message, or the friend who you wrote faithfully while on their mission but now they cannot manage to type a little IM response, or the favorite professor who claimed to want to help you in any way but then ignored your e-mail and in person requests for letters of recommendation twice. These are just a few that were on my mind last night when the last straw broke.

Sometimes it is okay not to respond. Those times include extremities (read: deaths, being lost in the wilderness for extended time periods, hostage situations, etc.), and that's about it. Because really, how are people supposed to take it if you don't take the 10 seconds-2 minutes it would take to send a text or make a phone call? Even if it was just to say, "Hey, I can't talk right now," that would be something.

The problem with me is I chalk it up to broken phones, shaky internet, lost mail, etc. until that becomes totally improbable, then I take it personally for all of a minute, and then it changes to this silent-treatment inducing rage. Probably not the best reaction, but also a fairly normal one.

Preventing that cyclic rage is probably why our wise forefathers invented manners.