Thursday, November 20, 2008

she's crafty

I was googling the definition of the word "ceintures" for a high school English course that I'm working on and found an adorable French website showing these cute ceintures, or belts, that look like they might be easy to make. I have a gray dress that would look adorable with something like this. Now I'm wondering if my meager sewing and craft skills can make it happen. After my sisters Micol and Jeana worked their spacial arranging/decorating/organizational magic on my new room (photos forthcoming), maybe they would be willing to consult?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wish List / I'm loving . . .

I have a confession. I want things I can’t afford. My taste does not match my bank account. Maybe one day when I inherit gobs of money from a distant relative unbeknownst to me, I should get my wish list ready. Just in case it happens soon. Oh yes, I’ll not waste a single moment in figuring out how to spend said vast inheritance (of course I’ll save most of the money).

Too bad I already bought a generic Queen mattress set. I should have slept on the floor and held out for the forthcoming inheritance to buy this.

How cute is this bed! It's only $15,000 . . .

And this Moroccan bench:
It's only a couple thousand dollars. . . no biggie

Oh, and also a pony.
A big, expensive pony. Freisian's are the
McLaren/Aston Martin/Bentley of ponies.

In the mean time, here are a few less expensive things I'm loving right now. This should get me by until the money comes my way.

Prints and patterns:

Arts and Crafts birds and owls:

I love these little bird hangers I saw on Etsy. I've been meaning to
make my own version out of felt and ribbon and wire.

I love these owl tags - I may have to make some of my own.

Scandinavian Christmas decorations:

Sufjan Stevens Christmas album:

Monday, November 10, 2008

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of separation of church and state, so to speak. But I cannot justify separating my beliefs from the way I vote - it would be unconscionable. My intention is not to offend anyone with opposing views - and I'm tired of the double standard of "you have to respect my opinion, but I don't have to respect yours." This is why I don't understand the recent misguided protests against the LDS church. The church does not get involved in politics - but it's members do. Because we are citizens of the United States of America. Where people have the right to vote however they choose. The right to choose is a huge part of my religious beliefs. And I choose to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

From an address delivered at Brigham Young University, 10 October 1978 by Neal A. Maxwell, “A More Determined Discipleship.”
"Discipleship includes good citizenship. In this connection, if you are a careful student of the statements of the modern prophets, you will have noticed that with rare exceptions—especially when the First Presidency has spoken out—the concerns expressed have been over moral issues, not issues between political parties. The declarations are about principles, not people; and causes, not candidates. . . .

"Make no mistake about it . . . in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)

"President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short . . . not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ! . . .

"Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened. . . .

"Our founding fathers did not wish to have a state church established nor to have a particular religion favored by government. They wanted religion to be free to make its own way. But neither did they intend to have irreligion made into a favored state church. . . .

"Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

"There will also be times . . . when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. . . ."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Not You, It's Your Books

From a NYTimes Essay:

". . . I saw, to my horror, an artfully worn, older-than-me copy of ‘Proust’ by Samuel Beckett.” That, Burroughs claims, was a deal breaker. “If there existed a more hackneyed, achingly obvious method of telegraphing one’s education, literary standards and general intelligence, I couldn’t imagine it.”

From Paper Cuts, a blog about books:

". . . Suffice it to say that for those of us cursed with literary interests — and no small amount of intellectual snobbery — taste in books can have a limiting effect on our romantic lives. It’s hard enough to find someone compatible based on the basics — looks, brains, interests, morals — without upping the ante with taste in books. Therein lies madness. Or maybe clarity. 'There are certain quagmires to be avoided with people,' Norman Rush wrote in 'Mating.' 'You can find yourself liking someone who appears intellectually normal and then have him let drop that his favorite book of all time is "The Prophet."' Touché, Mr. Rush, touché. Has anyone else faced this problem?

What are your literary dealbreakers — or literary deal-sealers?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I was a rock star for Halloween

During the last week of October I jetted off to sunny Orlando, Flahreeda to attend EDUCAUSE, a big higher education conference, and present a poster session. I have been planning for months to present some instructional design stuff I created for work. Can I just say - I am an instructional design rock star! At first, I wasn't sure how my in-house, distance education instructor training course would be received, but everyone seemed to be impressed and asked for more information. Yay me! I feel like a real grown-up now that I've presented something professionally at a conference. The trip was amazing - start to finish. Except maybe Tuesday, which was so freezing cold that I swear I got frostbite. It didn't help that I was outside all day long with just a short sleeved t-shirt and short sleeved hoodie. I swear, I bring cold weather with me wherever I travel. Like the time I hiked to Havasupai falls and it snowed for the first time in 50 years. Yay me . . .

Irregardless (and yes, I say this word on purpose), I had a blast! I stayed near Universal Studios and had dinner at the Bob Marley restaurant. I love me some Bob Marley, and the Jamaican fare did not dissapoint. I know it's so tourist, but I took a picture of the food I ordered: Jamaican veggie and meat patties (amazing I tell you!), yucca fries, jerk chicken salad, and Caribbean BBQ wings. In the background you see some Ting soda - a lovely concoction that tasted of grapefruit and sugar cane.
During dinner, there was a live reggae band called Mystic NRG - but they were less enthusiastic than their band name suggests. They were rather dull, actually. But whatevs, I was in Caribbean food/Bob Marley heaven.

Next up - all of these professional development conferences I have been to have some sort of soiree during the week. Most of the time, they are lame cocktail type parties with bland finger food hosted in some poorly lit Best Western lobby. But the peeps at EDUCAUSE know how to get down - well, as much as a bunch of drunk, pasty, nerdy, higher-ed professionals can anyway! They blocked off a huge section of the Universal City Walk and had buffet table after buffet table of tasty appetizers from four different restaurants as well as a huge dessert table piled high with creepy-looking treats (the best was a wormy cheesecake). For some odd reason, Universal Studios is full of people walking around on stilts and the stilt-people were out in full force that night. There were vampiresque voodoo queens and rasta brah's (not really sure how those two go together) roaming around the party scaring the crap out of unsuspecting party-goers (i.e. ME) preoccupied with watching everyone dance like fools near the jumboscreen playing videos of one-hit-wonders from the 80s. It was actually a really fun party, complete with a metal cover band that was highly enjoyable. Like the pre-puffy Bret Michael's once said, "don't need nothin' . . . but a good time."

I'm just now realizing that a lot of my travelogues have to do with food. Oh well - I went to Five Guys burgers while I was out there and I have to say, it is better than any other burger joint I've ever been to - the fries are absolutely unbelievable and they have the best Diet Coke in the whole wide world. They have them in SLC - excellent.I was also lucky enough to discover the poolside restaurant at my hotel and had a spectacularly tasty chicken sandwich on coconut milk infused Hawaiian sweet bread. Oh my. Oh. So good, I ate two. There aren't many things better than sitting poolside or oceanside in the sun eating some ono grinds (that's tasty food for all you haole's out there).
Yeah, I'll be hitting the gym this week. And the next. And pretty much every day from now on.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"I can't believe you're gonna let a few little letters of the alphabet keep us apart. It is a detail! Just - look, just call me Damon, okay?"

so, it must be a mark of being a thirty-something-singleton or hormones gone crazy or SOMETHING because i keep having dreams about dating famous actors. most of them i don't even like. for example, i had a dream that i was a movie production assistant responsible for picking up george clooney in a red convertible to take him to the set. and of course, along the way, we got "distracted" and started making out. george clooney? i watch oceans 11 for brad, matt, and the mormon twins, not george. and in another dream, i went to the movies with my boyfriend, ben afleck. during the movie, i started falling asleep on his shoulder and he leaned over and whispered, "baby, i'm just not good enough for you" and left just as i was falling asleep. ben afleck? really!? he only looks good when he's tan and sweaty! it's strange really, i never dream about actors that i actually like. until now . . .

in this latest one, robert downey, jr. was my boyfriend. and the thing is, well, i love him. I. LOVE. HIM. i have feelings for him. in fact, it's been a decades long crush ever since i saw weird science. he was so sarcastic and witty, and a total jerk, but he was my favorite part of that movie. i also think he is an amazing actor (not many earn respect from me) - and yes, i loved ironman, okay? i definitely have a thing for scruffy guys with dark hair and eyes (including but not limited to: jeffrey dean morgan, bruce campbell, lee pace, river phoenix, keanu reeves, zachary levi, jim from the office, etc.) . and yes, i'm aware that i sound like a 13-year-old.
{holy crap, i want to sop him up with a biscuit}

so, in this robert downey, jr. dream, i could also sing. like a rock star. i think i sang throughout the entire dream just because i could. i have always wanted to be able to sing - and i can't, not at all. not even a little tiny bit. apparently, my dream (i.e. the universe) is trying to tell me that if i take some singing lessons, i will eventually meet and marry robert downey, jr. and have a bazillion of his babies. hey, a girl can dream . . .