Friday, December 10, 2010

My Soapbox

Every December church talks and tv specials focus on “The Spirit of Christmas,” and people talk about how we’ve lost this spirit and how Christmas has become too commercialized. Along with the pessimistic chatter come inspirational stories of charity and faith to remind us that there is good in the world and that we should take this time to stop and seek it. Every year I hear this, but I think this year is the first year I understand it.

These past few weeks my apartment has been the headquarters for a sub-for-Santa project which has turned my thoughts to charity. While I was working on a paper, I was often interrupted by the knock at the door which meant another donation for these two needy families. Smiles were on the faces of the donators and my roommates who accepted the donations. At one point my roommate came into the room, overcome with gratitude because someone had donated a $30 dollar jacket. I admire the time and money spent on this project and I’m sure that the families will be grateful come Christmas morning. Moreover, this generous spirit is greatly needed, but I think we run into a problem when charity is measured by the amount of gifts we give.

When I say charity, I mean the charity that Moroni writes about in the Book of Mormon:
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things…charity is the love of Christ, and it endureth forever. (Moroni 7:45, 47)

Although I cannot speak for the other donators, I found myself troubled because I thought I had done something good and was ready to turn back to my paper and the other cares in my life. But as I thought about it more, I realized the act of buying a toy for a little boy wasn’t charity. Did I do something good? Yes, but I could buy a thousand toys for a thousand boys and still not be charitable. I am not discouraging or critiquing the project I participated in, but rather, I’m asking that we each take time to consider charity and what it means to us. For me, it is taking the time and thought to care for another human being. Charity shouldn’t stop with a donation, but should extend to the way I treat my roommates, family, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers I pass on the street. Charity is all the times I put aside my own agenda to help another person. This kind of charity can happen all year round. So while this season brings many beautiful opportunities to help out those who aren’t as fortunate as us, I hope that we won’t forget the little acts of service we can do all year round.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


One of the benefits of being an English grad student is that I get to write about songs like this:

A translation of the title is "May it Rain Coffee"; however, as I listen to it over and over again, I'm beginning to wish that it would rain completed seminar papers. Much more useful to me than coffee.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Past Basketball Photo

Back when I was an official player...

and still a stick figure.

Always a Valley Girl: Smells Like Basketball

I was walking out of school on one of those winter days that warmed up just enough so you'd remember that spring existed when my friend turned to me and said, "It smells like baseball." It's been our joke ever since. He texts me when baseball season approaches and I text him when it's time for basketball. Five years later, I think I finally know what he meant by "smells like baseball."

Saying that it's time for basketball or that I'm excited for basketball just doesn't cover it. The anticipation takes over all my senses, even smell. For eighteen years, my weekends between mid-October and mid-March revolved around basketball. And I mean eighteen years since my dad left during the championship game to be there for my birth the next day. The earliest birthday I can remember was in a hotel because it was during playoffs. I just assumed I'd be at every home game and at most of the away games because my dad coached and going to the games was how we supported him.

I couldn't even comprehend life without basketball until my freshmen year in college. No players I knew. No personal investment in the outcome. Was this still basketball? Don't get me wrong; I still love going to a game, especially in the Marriot Center with thousands of fans cheering for one purpose, but even that doesn't quite live up to the nostalgic sense of basketball I've built up from all the other games I've watched.

So when I walk out into the first chilly day of autumn, I take a deep breath and remember:

the warmth of microwaved burritos from the concession stand

my cheek bulging with a sucker my grandma brought so we wouldn't yell at the refs too much

falling asleep on the coat my mom laid on the bleachers

pretending to be sportscasters with my brother

covering my eyes when I couldn't take the excitement of a close game

the burnt smell of mozzarella sticks from the only restaurant open after the game

being the last people to leave the gym

chasing my little cousins around in the half-lit court while we waited

wearing green lipstick and nail polish--proof that I was a true Grizzly fan

the clean swish of a three pointer

the explosion of cheers after a dunk

spinning a basketball in my hand, my fingertips brushing over a thousand tiny hills

Saturday afternoons playing 21 with my dad and my brother

the sense of awe every time I walked into an empty gym and heard my own footsteps.

That is what I mean when I say "smells like basketball."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Dose of Optimism and a Heap of Reality

I feel a bundle of emotion is about to burst out of me. I can't tell if it's good or bad or both, but I have this sense of excitement with an underlying wariness of it. Why? Because of school work. Strange, right? But I find it thrilling.

I'm debating whether or not I want to get my doctorate and I'm starting to get feedback on my research ideas. I feel vulnerable. What if I'm not cut out for this? What if I'm pedestrian? But what if this is what makes me happy? What if I found my niche? I probably shouldn't put so much emphasis on schoolwork, but I want to write something that's actually saying something and I think I'm willing to risk my ego to say it.

I'm such a nerd. And a coward. Because in writing this, I'm also super afraid I'm setting myself up for a disappointment. But what the heck? I want to be daring, even if it's just admitting that I like being a student.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Root of My Sassiness

Too many times a guy has called me sassy. A year ago, any guy using that word to describe me would be automatically scratched off my potential dating list. Maybe that sounds rash, but I was so sick of guys trying to patronize me when they couldn't come up with a witty response and sassy was the word of choice. But maybe I mislead them.

Of late, I’ve been reminded of my lack of intimidation. The most recent reminder being two male colleagues likening me to a puppy—A PUPPY! Before you roll your eyes at what you think is another feminist rant, I will concede that it was kind of funny. They claimed that puppies are cute and people like them, but they aren't intimidating. I’m generally amiable and if I put my hair in pigtails, I think I could slightly resemble a cocker spaniel; however, if I thought these guys were serious, I would have chewed them out for trying to place me on a dog version of the Eve/Mary dichotomy.Still, they had a point. Not that I'm a puppy(I want to be taken more seriously than a puppy and I certainly don’t want to be patted on the head), but I'm not intimidating and for the most part, I don't try to be.

Being aggressive doesn't come naturally to me. Seriously, there’s a video of me chasing butterflies during a soccer game. Growing up in a sports family, the constant comment after my games were "You need to be more aggressive." I tried, but I'd hold back if I thought there was a risk of hurting someone. I have this tremendous feeling of guilt whenever I hurt someone, intentional or not. This holds true in social settings too. I observe the situation and get a feel of what is acceptable before I contribute to the conversation. I don't want to embarrass a guy I don't even know by calling him out on some ridiculous line he's trying to use to impress a girl, even if that girl is me. That's just not cool. I realize that this is problematic. There are certainly times in my life that I wish I’d spoken up or asserted myself more, but for the most part, I like this attitude. I get along with most people and live a fairly drama-free life.

I love to joke around and be sassy with people I know can take it. As some people get to know this side of me, they are surprised and I honestly like surprising them, especially when someone realizes that I'm semi-athletic. The only problem with keeping my sassy side kind of secret is that some people never realize that I'm more than a sweet, English nerd. Or in the case of the guys I won't date, they find out the cute, quiet girl actually talks back.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Romanticized Literary Life

There are some days that I all I want is to read and travel the world. I see glimpses of this imagined life.

A cozy flat in Hampstead. Walks in the heath with my Welsh springer spaniel named after a famous author like Tennyson. Breakfast every morning at my favorite café while I watch people walk by. On especially beautiful days, lunch in the churchyard. Trips to see the Taj Mahal, Alhambra, or any place that intrigues me. Hikes along coasts or up mountains just to take in the view. A journal and a book in my bag wherever I go.

That is my dream life. That's what keeps me going as a literary studies person--not really the details of my imagined life, but the idea that I can absorb and appreciate life in moments.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Always a Valley Girl: Colorado vs. California

The Valley is like a vacuum--you can leave, but you'll always get sucked back.

I don’t know how many times I heard some form of that joke growing up, but my fear in high school was that I'd never leave The Valley. Just like in the movies, I was a small-town girl who wanted something more than the small-town life. I had to escape.

I can safely say that I feel differently now. Besides just growing out of my teenage angst and moving to a different valley, I’ve come to appreciate the landscape and culture that has influenced me even when I thought I was fighting everything it valued—i.e. wrestling and football heroes. I’m not saying this to be nostalgic (though nostalgia certainly plays a part) or because I want to move back (I DON’T!) but I have realized that I can’t and don’t want to escape the perspectives I have from growing up in The Valley. So the joke is true; I’ll never truly escape, but that’s okay. To celebrate my valleyness, I’m going to start a series in which I share my valley perspective.

To kick it off, I’d like to address the California controversy.

This summer, a few of my co-workers and friends were under the impression that I hate California because of the song “California Gurls” by Katy Perry. Let me make this clear: I don’t like that song, but I’m not totally against California. My mom was born there, my dad served his mission there, I have family still living there, and there’s a chance I will end up living there. So I don’t hate California…I just think Colorado is better.

I could argue over the climate, the landscape, or the people, but I’d rather argue over the songs. On California’s side, we have doll-like Katy Perry and “California Gurls” (the Beach Boys just weren’t specific enough):
California gurls, we’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes, bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin, so hot, will melt your popsicle
California gurls, we’re undeniable
Fine, fresh, fierce, we got it on lock
West Coast represent, now put your hands up

I can appreciate feeling fine, fresh, and fierce, but the rest is a little shallow, no? I mean, I feel sorry for California girls if they are only described as being able to melt a popsicle.

On Colorado’s side, we have the folksy (and okay, not very well-known) Townes Van Zandt and “Colorado Girl”:
The promise in her smile
Shames the mountains tall
The promise in her smile
Shames the mountains tall
She bring the sun to shining
Tell the rain to fall

I don’t mind being represented by this at all. Having a smile that puts the Rockies to shame? That’s a pretty amazing smile. And he’s not even talking about brilliant, white teeth, but the promise, that something special, in a smile. It just makes me happy to be a Colorado girl.

So to me, the clear winner is Colorado, but don’t be sad California, I still think you’re okay.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In-the-Zone Music

You know how athletes have a pre-game playlist to get pumped up? I'm creating on a playlist for homework and grading papers. I'm the kind of person who can't concentrate with complete silence, but if a movie's playing, I want to watch it, and if people are talking, I want to join in. So to get work done, I pretty much have to slip on my noise-reducing headphones and lock myself in my bedroom.

Then there is the dilemma of what to play. Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. The music dilemma comes after I've cleaned my room and made myself a snack because those are my go-to procrastination excuses.

Okay. Now, what to play? Some hip-hop and rock might get me pumped up, but it's hard to focus on my reading when I want to dance to Kanye's "Gold Digger" and most of my pump-up music is just too strong to allow me to focus on a mental task. You might think that I must resign myself to easy listening or bluegrass, but that's being too extreme. Besides, I still haven't forgotten that bluegrass killed my first ipod-- that's a blog for another time. My compromise are bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (suprise), the Kooks, and my newest find, Mumford & Sons.With these bands combined, I'm building my best playlist ever! Well, until next year at least.

Here's a sample:

So you might have noticed a folk vibe which is pretty close to bluegrass, but they're British so it doesn't count.

I'm also adding Bruno Mars because his song is an apartment favorite and well, I'm still a sucker for a cute love song.

Hopefully, this awesome new playlist will keep me from procrastinating or at least entertain me once I finally get to work.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Morning Person

By looking at my sleeping patterns, you'd never know I love to see the sunrise, but twice this summer I've been convinced to hike at insane hours just to see the sun peak over the mountains.

For this trip, I joined a rather large group of people to hike Timp at midnight so we could watch the sunrise from the saddle which is not the summit, but pretty close; We could see the valleys on either side of the mountain. It was a fun hike at first, (paved trail, a waterfall, and random conversations among the hikers) but around 4:30am I turned into a marching zombie and conversation had died unless it was to ask for a break. Finally, around 6am, we made it to the saddle where we huddled up and waited for the sun to rise. Take a look at these pictures and tell me it wasn't worth it.

Now if only I could convince my legs to quit complaining.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm a if that's a surprise

I'm beginning another school year for the 18th time and I couldn't be happier. Is saying I'm as giddy as a school girl too much? Okay, maybe giddy isn't the right word, but it's close. I'm talking about rhetoric and transnational lit in my classes and then (drum roll please)I'm teaching writing & freshmen! I get to have office hours and a desk. Yes, I might have thought "I'm a big girl now!" to the Huggies jingle, but no I was not so excited that I needed their product.

At my mom's request, I took a first day of teaching photo. And I promise it was really at her request, but I happily complied.

I thought carefully about that outfit and had it approved by all the roommates. I hope you're picking up on my enthusiasm.

Besides teaching and having a desk, it's back to school as usual. I have homework to do, ward socials to go to, (My new ward is hyper-social. I'm talking 6 activities in one week.) and football games to watch. My roommates and I went all out for this first game. The only reason we didn't have blue hair was because we forgot.

So basically, I'm loving this semester and it looks like I'll continue to love it...until I have to stay up late consistently working on papers, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Writers Can Be Scientists Too

I write like
Margaret Mitchell
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

At least, according which will analyze paragraphs of your writing and let you know who you write like based on word choice. I tried it a few months ago and got Stephen King, but the same text today resulted in Margaret Mitchell so I wouldn't go around telling people you'll be the next Stephanie Meyer or Herman Meville.

Since it uses keywords to analyze and sort, I thought I'd see how genre affected my results. Putting my high school science education to work, I hypothesized that since my word choice and tone vary according to the rhetorical situation that my results would change according to genre. I tested a few some fiction pieces, blog posts, and academic essays and as predicted my results changed between the genres. My academic essays both resulted in H. P. Lovecraft and my blogs posts resulted in Cory Doctorow, but my fiction ranged from Margaret Mitchell to J.D. Salinger. Why? I'd guess because I'm still trying to find my voice with fiction while I have a set voice in my other writing, but it will take another experiment to confirm that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stifling Summer Unproductivity

The beginning of every summer, I set goals to be more productive in non-school related activities. Summer time will be mine to use however I please (insert maniacal laugh here)! Time to write, paint, read, and be social. I imagine a magic summer of creative endeavors and nature hikes. Reality: sleep, work, game nights, movies, eating out, sleep, naps, and a little reading.

I'm not saying I haven't done cool stuff this summer, because I have...perhaps even more than my previous summers. I've gone camping, hiking, played softball and soccer, gone to a concert and about every ward social event they could come up with. My social life has exploded with new names and faces. The last time I made so many facebook friends so fast, I had just joined. Consider my goal to be social accomplished, but what about all the creative me time?

No novels started. No awesome watercolors of mountain landscapes. Not even a scrapbook page. I've been slacking with my blog too. I wanted to tell you about camping along the Colorado river and having moonlight shine through my tent, about hiking at 5 a.m. to see the sunrise at Delicate Arch, about my near death experience with backyard fireworks, or about how I don't like "Float On" because I was crammed in with a bunch of smoky, sweaty, drunk, people who were mostly at the free concert for that one song--I was there for two songs so I'm so much deeper...two times deeper to be exact-- but every time I thought about blogging, I got distracted by the internet or a movie going on in my living room. So half way through the summer, I'd like to say this will change, but it won't. Not that much at least. I'll probably read and write a bit more and produce a mediocre painting, but that's it. Oddly enough, that's okay with me because even for all my "wasted" time, I've had fun and I've received a few lessons despite not being in school--my consistent efforts to exude awesomeness and inevitably falling short being among those lessons.

Fortunately, cameras don't require much work, so I at least have some pictures from my camping trip to prove I did something with my summer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The International Language

I went to another wedding reception this weekend. This time it was for two people in my ward who went with more of a party feel than a reception which meant a live band and dancing. They played a lot of 50's/60's rock'n'roll, especially the Beatles. My roommate from Brazil who knows only a little bit of English would look at me, shrug and mouth "I don't know" for most of these songs. Then the band started playing "Mmmbop" by the Hansons and her face lit up with recognition. Really? She didn't know the Beatles, but knew the Hansons. Blew my mind for a bit until I thought about the lyrics. You really don't have to know English to appreciate "Mmmbop".

Thursday, June 10, 2010

As Promised...

Here are a few pics of me as a bridesmaid.

Jumping in those shoes was a bad idea, but I told you I lucked out on the bridesmaid dress.

This Town Grows on You

For lunch today, me and Elis decided to try a local favorite that we've never been to, Sammy's. Trendy little diner, chicken strips, and an ice cold Pepsi. Blissful. And as we left Sammy's, it started to thunder and huge drops of rain fell on us--a quick summer storm--but we could see blue skies reflected off a glass building. It got us talking about how wonderful this town is during the summer and how different it feels since we moved here as freshmen. Not saying I want to live here forever, but for now, I don't mind calling it home.

Oh and my chicken strips were so hot they burned through the Styrofoam.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Photo fun Saturday

I thought I'd take a break from my pondering and just show some photos from the day.

Becky's holding a mug full of hot cocoa fudge. Why is it in a mug? I have no idea, but it was good over ice cream. We also made delicious momo's which are like Chinese dumplings, but I forgot to take a picture before we ate them.

This is my typical Saturday morning.

Basically, I have the hair of a wild woman. Why didn't I live in the 80's when big hair was rad?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Song Association

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. After watching a few music videos, I wouldn't be surprised if that band made you think mary jane or just plain creepy. Seriously, most of the videos I watched consisted of either a portrait shot of Tom Petty while the background changed or Tom Petty doing something creepy like filming people or dancing with a corpse. It's almost ruined my admiration for his music. Almost.

But I hear the first chords of American Girl or Free Fallin' (John Mayer should not have touched that song) and I feel grounded and safe. I remember my dad teaching me to sing "yer so bad", his black pick-up truck, and being asked if my grandpa's truck was better than my dad's. I think about summer and roadtrips and nights around a campfire. I wouldn't say that my life views are anywhere similar to Tom Petty's, but for some reason, I connect to his music.

I'm betting most of that connection has less to do with lyrics (I have no idea what a dance with mary jane would be like) and more with association. I associate Tom Petty and a lot of older rock music with my dad and since I generally like my dad, listening to that music makes me happy. It's not a new idea. But it made me wonder how much of my musical taste has been shaped by associating memories with music. Could my ipod be a history of my life? An autobiographical act? I think so, but then what story does my ipod tell? I'm still figuring that one out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Gym--the Final Frontier

There's a good chance aliens re-wired my brain. Or perhaps it's just that ideas seem so much better at 1 a.m., but along with two of my roommates, I've decided I'm going to start lifting weights. And that means going to the gym. The Gym. Going running is weird enough for me and I'm even more shocked that I enjoy it, but running isn't really that athletic. It's more of a health thing. And more importantly, you don't have to be good at it. This is not to undermine competitive runners, because they honestly intimidate me and that kind of running is definitely a sport. However, everyone and their dog can go for a run without being "sporty." Going to the gym is a whole different thing for me.

Today I remembered why I've avoided the gym for so long. I walked in and two guys just looked at me. Typically, I don't mind the whole guys-looking-at-me-when-I-walk-into-the-room thing ('cause it happens all the time...NOT)but I had absolutely no clue what I was doing and the last thing I wanted was an audience. I walked around a little, trying to find a machine to work on. I didn't know what half the machines did. Once I found one that looked familiar, I started doing a few reps. The equipment is incredibly close together so that while I'm doing arm pulls there's a guy two feet away from me on some other machine; while my butt is in the air doing some leg lift, someone's right behind me doing a leg press. All I could think is that these people know my technique is all wrong and are laughing at my ridiculously low weight. Could this be my own insecurities messing with my mind? Yes, but how does everyone else get over it?

The old Kelsy, would probably have left and waited another 4 years before returning and then only under duress, but I'm being brave this summer. So I decided to make a study out of it. I'll keep going to the gym (hopefully, with a better plan of action) and see what I can learn about gym culture and maybe get in better shape while I'm at it.

But if I start taking protein shakes and flexing on my downtime, you'll know it was the aliens.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Feminism, the West, and Me

A few weeks back, I was listening to my ipod on random and pondering the woes of dating when Johnny Cash's song "I Walk the Line" began to play. The man in black seemed the perfect voice to express my disenchantment with love, but while listening, I found strength and resolve instead of deeper melancholy. He sang,"Because you're mine, I walk the line." I decided that that line was probably the most romantic thing a guy could say. If a guy said that to me and really meant it, I'd probably melt. It would also be beneficial if that guy said it in a deep, Johnny-Cash-like voice, but let's face it, not every guy can be Johnny Cash. Anyway, I stored that line in the romantic dream compartment of my brain and continued on with my life.

I might have heard that song a few more times and each time I returned to the thought, I want a guy to say that to me
but it wasn't until after a discussion in my American Autobiography class that I even thought about why I found Johnny Cash and that song so romantic. You see, in my class we do talk about various American autobiographers, but we also discuss what makes an autobiography and how we perform autobiographical acts. That day, we had talked about how we write our own narratives and how those are informed by the world around us.

I often proclaim myself a feminist, but my feminism is different from another person's. My feminism is formed from the examples of strong women in my family and in the strong ranch women type that Western ideals have created. In other words, I think a feminist is a strong woman and a strong woman to me is someone who sticks to her beliefs and fights for her dreams. That does not mean she wants to be just like a man or that she necessarily wants to even compete with men. She can be a soccer mom or whatever else she wants to be, but that's the qualifier--a strong woman lives her life the way she wants to. I'm not physically very strong, but I am resolved to get my education and to raise a family according to my beliefs. So when I write in my journal or even on this blog, I write with the strong woman in mind. When I face trials, I think about being a strong woman. And to bring it back to Johnny Cash, when I decide what is romantic to me, the strong woman inside tells me that the man I want will work just as hard as I do for his dreams and beliefs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Meet me in St. Louis

Last weekend, I was a bridesmaid for my friend Sarah. It was my first time being a bridesmaid and fortunately, Sarah chose a bridesmaid dress that I can honestly say I'll wear again(I'll post a picture of it sometime). Sarah looked beautiful, her husband looked happy, and seeing them walk out of the temple made me want to cry for joy. Despite all the chaos getting ready for the wedding, everything turned out beautiful. Congratulations Sarah!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hello Summer!

Finals are done, I've graduated, and life is good. As far as I'm concerned, summer has begun and today was a great day to start.

I may not have been able to leave Provo and go on the great American adventure, but I did get to drive around town with my windows rolled down. I think eating in-n-out while listening to "Hotel California" is a decent substitute and things only got better from there.The evening included a kickball game, 24, a bonfire, a toast with cherry limeade, and an impromptu performance of "Lean on Me" (around the bonfire which makes it better). This is when I remember that I love my life.

Since I've declared it summer already, it's time to give this summer a name. Last year was the summer of nerdiness and with my currently single status, I was seriously tempted to make this the summer of flirtiness. It just sounds fun in the literal and metaphorical sense, but this summer means so much more to me than the potential for a fling or two. No, this summer is the summer of freedom. It kicked off with our ward's closing social being called "Wardstock" and me finally having a car (free at last from relying on roommates to go grocery shopping). How this summer ends has yet to be determined, but the possibilities look promising.

KC, Me, and Elis getting psyched for Wardstock...

...and a dance. They're a significant part of my summer plans.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I am an American Girl

Right now I'm fighting the urge to jump in a car, roll the windows down, turn on some Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and just leave this town.

Isn't that what you're supposed to do when you graduate? Leave everything to have one last summer of freedom--to have your own adventure. Well, I decided to ignore it all and jump straight into school again. I should probably have my brain examined by a trained professional or maybe, just maybe, this is my way of having an adventure that is mine and not a simulated adventure that society tells me I should have.

Still, a roadtrip is tempting.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Refresh and Rewind

Despite the snow today, I can feel spring coming and my resolve to end the semester at least decently and bring order to my life has been renewed. I've already started running which is shocking enough, but get this...I kinda like running. Corny as it sounds, I find it therapeutic. So I'm working on making it a habit. With a little more free time coming may way, I'd thought I'd make a list of other things I'm going to try, work on, or just enjoy more:
1. Read (not new, just haven't read for fun in awhile)
2. Work on a novel (I'm starting one for a class and I want to keep it up)
3. Play some ultimate frisbee/ whatever other sport that tickles my fancy
4. Cook more (I'm starting a recipe book, now I just need to plan my meals)
5. Just have fun (It's kinda my last summer without major responsibilities and I want to enjoy it)

So speaking of enjoying myself...

Let's go back in time to 2000. I'm a seventh grader sitting in my "literature" class and Mr. Smith puts on this ridiculous movie about ancient Greece from the 80's (I think)and some hilarious claymation special effects. Do you know what movie I'm talking about?

I'm going to assume you have random, weird taste and have been yelling at your computer screen "CLASH OF THE TITANS." And if I assumed right, then you're right. If I assumed wrong, don't worry. You probably have a life. The point is that 10 years later, I'm psyched to go see the new and hopefully improved Clash of the Titans. Finally, ancient mythology and action combine into what I hope will be awesomeness. Enjoy!

You'll notice Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes as Zeus and Hades. All the more reason for me to watch this.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Laughing isn't just for dolts

This weekend I watched a Laugh Out Loud improv show on campus. Because it's improv, the jokes can be either really funny or just awkward. I thought overall LOL did a pretty good job. Sure, there were awkward parts, but it was kinda fun watching them trying to come up with something that was funny and BYU appropriate at the same time.

The friends I went with were cracking up which made everything funnier. I had one friend who was probably laughing louder and more frequently than everyone else, but it made me laugh to see all the things he found funny. He was a great audience member and they improv troupe needed that.

The reverse of that would be some of my classmates who were also at the show. As part of my American Comedy and Satire class, we were supposed to watch an improv show and I noticed them sitting behind me. I looked back a few times and every time they were stone-faced. I understand not finding something funny, but they looked liked aristocrats sticking up their noses at the peasants and their little games. I could just imagine what they were thinking about my friend who was laughing his butt off.

These two different reactions got me thinking about the politics of comedy. We talk in my class a lot about role reversal and the carnivalesque as elements that subvert the status quo in order to either reinforce roles or to work towards social/ideological changes. While I've certainly seen that in a lot in the texts and movies we've discussed, I also think that we've looked at comedy simplistically. We've assumed that every audience would judge these texts as successful comedies or satires. But think about math jokes. Only someone with that knowledge finds it funny. Comedy can be just as exclusive as any other art form, if that's how we use it.

Though I find my classmates to be very intelligent people, I do not think all of the jokes at the show were below them. But I do think the attitude of critic and reviewer would make it seem so. I say this just as much for me because I know I've looked down at a paper or performance because I'm analyzing it, but can't we all just not take ourselves so seriously and laugh a little?

So my most recent laugh was this clip about Twilight. Yes, I like the books/movies, but I also like laughing at them.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The letter came in and I've been accepted to BYU's Masters program!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I promise I remember I have a blog

What is it my Dad always says? Winners don't make excuses? Well, I'm going to anyway. I haven't blogged lately because 1) my camera is broken so I can't get pictures up, 2) it's been a busy semester, but I've been procrastinating, and 3) I've been waiting on replies from grad schools. See? 3 decent excuses. If I had to write a paper about it, I could.

So I'll get the boring part of my update done first. As of this morning, I haven't heard back from any grad school. I'm hoping that this is a good thing because they weed out the ones the definitely don't want first, right? Well, whatever happens there, I'll be sure to let you know when I find out.

School is going well, but I'm struggling to stay motivated. Last semester, I was working towards grad school and this semester I feel like I'm biding my time until graduation. Not the best attitude for getting homework done. But don't worry, I'm trying to buckle down and I've even managed to get an A on one of my many Spanish tests.

In social/entertainment news, I watched Leap Year last night and I think I've found my new favorite movie. London movie nights have turned into dollar movie nights (we watched all the movies we owned). Last week was Princess and the Frog which was good, but I was seriously laughing out loud during Leap Year. Let me list all the reasons I loved it:
lovely Irish landscapes
an even lovelier Irish romantic lead
hilarious scenes of Amy Adams falling
Amy Adams slipping down a hill that reminded me of our climbing adventures in Scotland
cheeky dialogue
an anti-materialistic message
and a way cute ending
Yep that's it and it didn't hurt that I was sitting next to Ashley who laughs at my reactions to movies and then I laugh at her for doing the same thing.

Well, that's it for now. Au Revoir! (or should I say Adios now?)