Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Getting Political . . .

. . . in the most superficial of ways. I get too fired up when I'm serious about politics and then I get hot and then when I cool down I'm cold, and I get cranky when I'm cold. And if I'm hungry? Forget about it.
The truth is, I like politics a lot. Hold up . . . I like government a lot. I like issues and substance and good people trying to make an honest improvement in the world a lot. Politics seems so be totally separate from all of that these days. The other day in the Daily Beacon (UT's student newspaper) someone wrote about how this election has been going on for over 2 YEARS already and how its always the same things said over and over and how everyone is bored and ready for this election already. That's how I feel. The next month is only going to bring more mud-slinging. Issues just aren't as important these days.
In that spirit, let's review each candidate while taking into consideration everything EXCEPT their political beliefs. Seems like that's what a lot of other people are doing. ("Like wow, so many movie stars wear Obama shirts. I have to have one!") Just so you know, I'm about 95% Republican (dang sociology major stole 5% of my soul) and I'm not watching for bias.
Hitting lead-off for the Dems is Barack "Obama is My Homeboy" Obama. ("Oh, my gosh, Obama is so cute and he would be the first black president which is super awesome. And he even talks like a white person!"). The thing that drives me insane about Barack Obama is that he is such a pop culture movement. Fergie at the DNC convention, Oprah as a HUGE supporter, Matt Lauer worshipping him subtly (or not so subtly) in every news report, hip Obama t-shirts, shoes, panties . . . and exchanging emails with Scarlett Johannsson ("how cool is that!"). And all the lemmings who love how hip it is to love Obama. (Now if you know what you're talking about, and know what Obama really believes other than his spoutings of "change", and you are Pro-Obama, than that is wonderful. I'm glad you care about politics--no sarcasm). Anyway, I'm almost certain the Dems are going to win in November. People hate Bush that much and Obama is My Homeboy is too appealing. And there's a huge chance he'll get a Democratic House and Congress too---Matt, remember how you said Canada was too socialist? Wait 'til Obama is My Homeboy takes the reigns. Oh no! I'm getting too serious. Anyway, if it comes down to people looking at Obama is My Homeboy and looking and McMaverick McCain and saying "who should I vote for?", then Obama will win that straight up. Who could resist that smile?

Super-Obama's old and experienced sidekick is Joe Biden. Honestly the only time I ever see Joe Biden is when he is saying something mean about Sarah Palin. He seems like he's there to give the ticket some sort of merit and to be the attack dog. Actually, that's probably exactly why he is there. Really, I don't know anything else about him. That's all I have to say about that. ("Oh wow, does he really know Obama!? I'm so jealous!").

Did you know John McCain was a POW? I had never heard that before! (please detect my sarcasm). I'm not belittling that one, trust me. McMaverick McCain has served this country his whole life and so did his father and now his sons are too. I think that's great. In fact, in a time of war a man who has spent a great deal of time in uniform would probably be a healthy little qualification. ("But he isn't email-pals with any movie stars!") And a HUGE bonus: his wife is so cute and SUPER stylish. My greatest fears about McCain: a war that never finds an end and the fact that he's kind of old. They say a 2-term presidency ages you 20 years (have you seen Bush lately? He looks horrible). That would take McMaverick to the ripe old age of 92. Hmmmm.
The Republican runner-up (she was runner-up for Miss Alaska too, poor girl) is Gov. Sarah Palin. I'm not gonna lie; I heart Sarah Palin. She's my BFF. She's cute and down to earth and smart and successful. She's got a beautiful husband and beautiful kids and comes from a beautiful state. She's funny and personable, like the kind of woman you'd want to meet for lunch at Applebees. But I'm not so sure she is ready to be a heartbeat away from the BiG Chair. Especially when that heartbeat is 72 years old. If I could have my way, I'd take 8 years off of John McCain's life and add it to Sarah Palin's.
Actually, if I REALLY had my way, I'd be able to vote for a Romney-McCain ticket. That would be nice. Talk about beauty and brains.

Don't forget to vote. Election Day is November 4th.

Monday, September 29, 2008

These are MY confessions - the manly version

Ok, I rarely post on this blog because Erin is an extremely creative person and her posts would put mine to shame. However, her last blog about 13 confessions that few people know about intrigued me and so I've decided to make a confession list of my own. And by the way I can't believe my wife was beguiling me into getting her water!!! I thought she was completely innocent! Now the games will begin....

1. I love to cook. No seriously, you can all stop laughing. My closest friends know that before I married Erin, I didn't know how to cook chicken. Wow, that is very embarrassing. My meals consisted of nachos and toast. Now I'm constantly looking up recipes, studying great chefs like my mom and Erin's dad, and trying new things. I'm not very accomplished yet but I make a mean corn chowder!

2. Again my closest friends know and have mocked me for some time now, but I can't burp. Yea, make fun of my manliness or whatever, but I can't do it. Oh my sisters can knock buildings down. Really, they will lay waste to anything with one belch, but I just can't do it. When I try (and I've tried, believe me) I just throw up! So I constantly make these strange sounds from my chest, known to my family as a "YAR" because that's what it sounds like. My dad can't either. Genetic perhaps?

3. I have two career choices I would have loved to do if it were possible/rational..... The starting third baseman for the Chicago Cubs or a demolition expert in the military.

4. I love fast food. Much like Erin is addicted to Chocolate, I absolutely go nuts over cheeseburgers. I love them, especially the huge ones. We never go to fast food restaurants, because I really enjoy it and because its slightly unhealthy. I let go once with cheeseburgers.... it was on our honeymoon. In six days, I consumed 7 cheeseburgers - something might be wrong with me.

5. I really love the west (not including California, new Mexico, or Nevada). The mountains, the air, the camping! Even though I've always lived in the Midwest, I want to settle in the mountains. Montana would be so nice, but Erin won't allow it.

6. I met Elder Russell M. Nelson on my mission and he made fun of me. I think. I'm really quite gullible.

7. I drink out of the milk jug.... especially when Erin is not watching.

8. I have no control over my emotions when watching "I am Legend". The part when he is forced to kill his dog and only friend, Samantha, because she is infected with the virus, makes me cry every time. I was actually crying in the movie theater the first time we saw it, I felt pitiful. Chick flicks are comical to me. Depressing movies I find very stupid. But "I am Legend"...... that will get the waterworks going. That's right, I love dogs.

9. When I was a kid, I was a fan of es cargo. Not the edible kind. My mom said I used to pick snails up off the sidewalk and just chew them up. Now I don't remember this, so its not for sure. Those of you that know my mom know she is very capable of deceit:).

10. Spiders really scare me. I don't have bad dreams about murders or kidnappings, but about huge, violent, terrifying spiders and sometimes velociraptors. I check the sheets at night to make sure they are not in there waiting for me. No I'm not ashamed!

11. I often wear a pair of snoopy pajama pants my mother gave me three Christmases ago. On them Charlie Brown says, "I don't have any girlfriends.... all I have is a dog."

12. I think of my best friends and ex roommates as brothers in every sense.

13. Still sleep with same brown blanket as I did when I was a kid. It is to this day unmatched in pure comfort, insulation, and security.

I don't think I'll tag anyone, because that's kinda wierd.

These are My Confessions

Have you ever heard that Usher song about confessions? Its horrible.

Anyway, I was tagged a while back, and since I cannot think of anything else to blog about this time around (I'm getting desperate, considering I've been blogging about Swedish hockey arenas and bad headlines that aren't really bad) I figured I'd go ahead and do it. So lets get on with it:

13 Confessions

1. I love watching random movies on TV at 2 in the morning. One time we watched "Cold Mountain" from 1 am to 4 am, then had to go to our friends' wedding in Salt Lake the next morning. It was bad.

2. I can't take a shower under 20 minutes. Actually, 20 minutes is pushing it.

3. My most rebellious teenage act was when I didn't speak to my parents for a week. Then I realized they were right.

4. I have stolen from a store a grand total of once in my life. It was a chocolate chip. I was standing next to one of those big bulk bins in the grocery store (I was probably 8 or 9) and saw a bin full of chocolate chips. I'm a sucker for chocolate, so I reached in when my mother wasn't looking and popped one chip in my mouth. It tasted so horrible. Disgusting. I knew instantly what had happened: God had cursed the chocolate chip so it would taste bad because stealing was wrong. I felt horrible. As I walked away I glanced up and saw the sign above the bin: "Sugar-free Chocolate Chips." So that's why it tasted horrible; talk about a guilty conscious. Nevertheless, the lesson stuck and I never stole again.

5. I'm a sucker for chocolate (see #4). We no longer keep it in the house because I have absolutely no self control.

6. I miss being a student. A lot.

7. I don't have a biggest fear. I'm afraid or nervous about a lot of little things, but I don't really have one thing that terrifies me more than anything else.

8. There are certain people that I dislike for absolutely no valid reason. I try to fight it and push it back and ignore it, but I can't help but not like them. (No worries, I can assure you that it isn't you.) Most of the time it happens with total strangers/random not-so-famous people. A few examples are Rick Fox and Kim Clijsters.

9. Sometimes I say things like "I'm thirsty" in front of Chris because I know he'll get up to get me some water. Then when he does I'll say "Oh, no I didn't mean for you to have to get up. I'll get up in a second." But he gets up anyway because he is good to me. And I know he'll get up anyway. Isn't that evil?

10. I love celebrity gossip: People magazine, E! News, etc. Its a horrible waste of time.

11. I blog stalk. (But, honestly, who doesn't?)

12. Sometimes I don't call home because it makes me too homesick. Its easier to pretend home doesn't exist.

13. I truly adore Dr. Pepper.

I tag: Dore, Lindsay, Caroline

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tennessee Traditions

So my new job is at the UT Undergraduate Admissions office. One thing the office does is put on campus tours for incoming freshmen, so the powers that be decided I should go on one of the tours. It was actually quite fun and interesting, and I learned a lot about some of UT's traditions. Its funny to think about, because each university does have its own way of doing things and its own lingo. I had gotten so used to BYU's ways that I didn't realize how different if would be elsewhere. So here are some of my favorite traditions, some of which were mentioned on the tour.

The Checkerboard Endzones
Anyone who has seen UT football highlights (sadly, you may not have seen too many this year) has noticed the distinct orange and white checker endzones. Well, there is actually a story behind them. The most distinct building on campus is the math building. It sits atop "The Hill" and is very recognizable. You can see in this picture that at the top of this building there is architectural detail that makes checkers out of white stone and red brick.

Well, back in the day, before more buildings were built and before Neyland Stadium was added onto for more seating, the football players could see the math building up on the hill when they were on the field. During practice, sprints, drills, whatever, the coaches would yell "Run to the checkerboard" meaning run in the direction of the building up on the hill. Well, the saying stuck and eventually they painted the endzones with the same checkerboard so the players would always "run to the checkerboard". Cute, huh?
Volunteer Nickname
Got this from the UT website: "Since the Revolutionary War, Tennesseans have been quick to volunteer for military duty. During the Mexican War, Gov. Aaron Brown issued a call requesting 2,800 volunteers for military service and 30,000 responded. A UT athletic team was dubbed the Volunteers for the first time in 1902 by the Atlanta Constitution following a Tennessee-Georgia Tech football game. The Knoxville Journal and Tribune did not use the name until 1905. By the fall of 1905 both the Journal and the Knoxville Sentinel were using the nickname. The name "Volunteers" is frequently shortened to "Vols" in describing Tennessee's athletic teams." So there you have it; Tennesseans volunteer a lot. My favorite thing about this nickname is how the use "Vol" in so many clever ways. The newly renovated business building is called 'Vol Street' (get it, like Wall Street) and they have 'Vol Night Parties' (get it, like All Night Party). They do that a lot, and it's so clever. Love that. Smokey the Mascot
In 1953 the campus Pep Club sponsored a contest to have a live mascot. Smokey, a blue-tick hound, was the last to be introduced at the half-time contest. When his name was called out, he barked. The students cheered and Smokey threw his head back and howled again and UT Knoxville had its new mascot. According to a lady I work with (in the thickest southern accent possible): "If you'd ever heard a blue-tick hound howl, you'd know why we picked him". The same family has been supplying UT with a line of blue-tick hounds since that time. Today’s mascot is Smokey IX. Smokey leads the Vols through the “T” prior to each home football game.
"Rocky Top"
This is the university song (and the state song, for that matter). "Rocky Top" was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1967. The song did not become popular until after 1972 when the Pride of the Southland Band used it for one of their drills. The football crowd loved the tune and its words; the more the band played it, the more people wanted it. It has now become one of UT's best-known traditions. UT's band (to be mentioned later) has been asked to play at a bunch of presidential inaugurations and all over the world. No matter where they are, they are always asked to play Rocky Top. I originally thought the song was horribly annoying, but its grown on me. [Listen here]. The lyrics, however, are hilariously Tennessee-esque.

Rocky Top
by Boudleax and Felice Bryant
Wish that I was on ol' Rocky Top
Down in the Tennessee hills
Aint' no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top
Ain't no telephone bills
Once I had a girl on Rocky Top
Half bear, other half cat
Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop
I still dream about that.
Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee
Once two strangers climbed ol' Rocky Top
Lookin' for a moonshine still
Strangers ain't come down from Rocky Top
Reckon they never will
Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee
Corn won't grow at all on Rocky Top
Dirt's too rocky by far
That's why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar
Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee
I've had years of cramped-up city life
Trapped like a duck in a pen
All I know is it's a pity life
Can't be simple again
Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee

Pride of the Southland Band
The University of Tennessee band was organized immediately after the Civil War when the university reopened. Since then, enrollment in the band program has grown to more than 400 students. The “Pride of the Southland” has represented the state of Tennessee for the last 40 years at 10 consecutive U.S. Presidential Inaugurations, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush. The band also has made more than 40 bowl appearances. The band is a big deal and they do a pre-game show that I hear is a real site to behold. I'm looking forward to that one.

The Rock
Unearthed in the 1960s, the Rock probably soon thereafter became a “canvas” for student messages. For years the university sandblasted away the messages but eventually deferred to students’ artistic endeavors. The Daily Beacon has editorialized: “Originally a smaller rock, The Rock has grown in prestige and size while thousands of coats of paint have been thrown on its jagged face. Really, its function is as an open forum for students.” Its amazing because the rock is literally painted several times a day. I drive by it twice a day, and its never the same. It was crazy though, because my first week here I was thinking this place wasn't too different from BYU. I drove by the rock and it read: "Had Sex? Get Checked" and a phone number. Wow, I wish I would have gotten a picture of that one. Ha ha.

So its been fun to get to know UT and some of its traditions. It crazy how important knowing that kind of stuff and make you feel all the more at home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

He Done Good in English Class

I know I've already posted today, but I'm in a strange giggly mood and can't think of anything I feel like writing extensively on, so there is a good chance I'll do several short posts throughout the day. Check back.

The most recent thing that made me laugh out loud in an embarrassing way in this very quiet office is . . .

I was reading up on my Penguins (to understand the beginning of my hockey fandom revolution, click here) and found an article about how one of the players fell into head coach Michel Therrien during practice and knocked him down. Here is what the headline said:

Therrien felled during practice

Oh, wow. I don't know if its just my giggly-condition right now or if its really that funny, but I'm pretty sure that's not how you use the word 'felled'. I can't stop laughing. Tears of laughter.
(Wait, my confidence is waning. Is that the way you use felled and I'm just an idiot?)
Late Edit: so my good friend Lauren informed me that "felled" is used when describing chopping down a tree. So if the headline was an comparing Therrien to a tree coming down, it works perfectly. And come to think of it, that's probably what it was doing. I read it like it was supposed to say Therrien Fell During Practice, which is a crappy headline anyway, but when you replace 'fell' with 'felled', it makes it that much more funny. So I'm just uneducated in lumbering terms, but that made it all the more funny.
Speaking of my Penguins, I also saw this picture of my boyfriend Sid Crosby getting primped for the team photo shoot. Isn't he so cute like a puppy?

Ok, I'll shut up about my Penguins now.

Big Announcement!!!

Well, its finally time to announce the big news . . . .
What, did you think it was something else?
(more details to follow later)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Knew the Swedes Were Amazing . . .

. . . but this amazing? I would never have guessed.

My favorite hockey blog (yes, I have a favorite hockey blog) talked about this and I thought it was fascinating. My Pittsburgh Penguins start their season out this October with a game in Sweden. They are playing in the Globe Arena in Stockholm. It’s the largest hemispherical building in the world, with a diameter of 361ft and volume of 21,188,800 cubic ft. But that's not the cool part.
The cool part is that the Globe represents the sun in the world’s largest to scale model of the solar system (1:20,000,000). All other planets of the solar system are represented by other precisely sized and distanced objects throughout Sweden. As an example of the distances between these models, the dwarf planet of Pluto can be found 300km from the Stockholm Globe Arena and has a diameter of 12cm.
Here are pictures of some of the planets.
Clockwise from top left (click for sources): Venus, Jupiter, Earth, and Mercury
Isn't that amazing?!?
A giant model of the solar system, to scale, spread across Sweden.
P.S. Today is the 3 year anniversary of me and Chris's first date. He remembered before I even said anything about it. I caught a good one;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Not-So-Great Smokey Mountains

People say funny things here sometimes.
Things my brain doesn't compute.
The other day at Church somebody said in their talk how lucky we were to be "only" 3 hours away from a temple. Only 3 hours. He's right, I know. 3 hours is nothing compared to 3 days. But I like my temples 5 minutes up the road.
Then a guy at work said the Tennessee vs. Wyoming football tickets were only $40. Only $40? For the Wyoming game? I guess Florida tickets went for $80 out of the ticket office, but good ol' BYU tickets only go for $15--and BYU actually puts on a show!
But my absolute favorite is when people say "the mountains". The City of Knoxville is at the foot of the Great Smokey Mountains. People always say things like drive toward "the mountains"; a beautiful view of "the mountains"; we went camping in "the mountains". But here's the deal: I cannot find the mountains. You can't see them from the ground. You can't even see them from the 5th floor of my office building. Supposedly they are toward the east, but I've never actually seen the Great Smokey Mountains. And its hilarious, because every time someone says "the mountains", I just want to say: "People, I think you have to be able to see mountains in order for them to be considered mountains. These are mountains":

In a completely unrelated topic:
A big shout-out to Carlos Zambrano,
who pitched a no-hitter for the Cubbies on Sunday night.
We watched the last inning and I though I was going to throw up I was so nervous for him.
It was awesome.
The Cubbies are now 8 games up in the Central Division.
Finally, a friend of mine brought this up on her blog and you should check it out because she hits the nail right on the head. But here's my two cents on this one.
Lindsey Lohan recently posted on her blog her feelings about Sarah Palin. That's great, whatever. At some point I'll probably get around to doing a political post of my own, if I ever find the energy. But I hate when celebrities get high and mighty on political issues. The worst part about it is that for some reason lots of people care about what Lindsey Lohan or Oprah or Ben Affleck has to say about politics. And voting for someone because Lindsey Lohan likes them is a bad sign, people.
Anyway, just one expert from Lindsey's inspiring words:
"Is our country so divided that the Republicans' best hope is a narrow minded, media obsessed homophobe?"
Um, where do I begin?
Conservative does not equal narrow-minded.
Conservative does not equal homophobe.
Conservatives see things one way.
Liberals see things another way.
That's the point.
And "media-obsessed"? Wasn't that Barack Obama I just saw on the cover of Rolling Stone?
Honestly, the last person who should be giving political advice is this girl: That was kind of harsh, I know.
Maybe that's why I've been avoiding my Election 2008 post; I get a tad passionate.
Utahns, say hi to the mountains for me.
Go Cubbies.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"We Have Power to Do These Things . . ."

Late edit: so Chris read this after I posted it, and he said that it made me sound les miserables and him sound like he's being tortured in grad school. That honestly was not my intent. In fact, I was in quite a good mood when I wrote this and all of it was written in humor. Challenges are challenges, and if these are the "hard" parts of my life, I'll take it; because I actually love Knoxville and I'm happy we're here. My point was sometimes little things bug you; and the scriptures can be an answer to any question and a great source of comfort. That being said, on to the original post:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .

(I've been wondering when I'd get the chance to use a cliche line from famous literature.)

But that's really how I feel sometimes here in Knoxville. One minute everything is good and flowing nicely, then the next day it gets all . . . . crappy (love that diction).

I would never say my problems are all that significant in the long run. I'm ridiculously blessed and fortunate. I have the things that really matter: food, shelter, Chris, the Gospel, loving family (not necessarily listed in order of importance). So I'm lucky. And I know I'm lucky, and I'm grateful that I'm lucky. But that doesn't always prevent the crappiness.

One problem is called Chronic Lateness and I have yet to find a solution. It doesn't matter what time something is, I can't make it there on time. In Provo, church started at 1:30. I don't think we made it on time the whole year. Whether I wake up early, on time, or late, I'm always late to my destination. This has been particularly bad here because I drop Chris off on the way to work. Due to my chronic lateness, he is late, then I am late. And he HATES being late, especially in graduate school. So we leave the house in a rush and huff, and both start out our days rough. Go, me. Now, I know this specific "trial" is my fault, but I've seriously done everything I can think of to correct the problem to no avail. And it makes me so mad inside. I don't know whats wrong with my internal time-keeper.

Another problem is called Bad-Job. I work in a nice place with really nice people. My job is defined as "temporary" which means they'll keep me working 40 hour weeks as long as they need me--but don't have to give me benefits. I'm desperately trying to find a great permanent job, but in the meantime I'm here. At it would be great . . . if I had something to do. I think they hired me thinking they could use the extra help, but when I got here it turns out they really don't need me all that much. I just sit here probably 6 out of 8 hours during the day. Its torture for me, and awkward any time someone walks by. The just don't have any work for me to do. So I feel useless . . . and the days pass by painfully slow.

Then bring on the "Beyond Spousal Loneliness". I have Chris. That is wonderful. Without him I'd be horribly sad and lonely (granted, I probably wouldn't be in Tennessee, but that's beside the point). I'm glad Chris and I can make this adventure together. But we have no friends. We have no family (ok, we see Jenny on Sundays, but still.) It has been surprisingly lonely here. And when people are jerks and school and work and you feel like no one has any idea who you are or where you are coming from and you don't get to see your spouse for 7 more hours . . . then its really lonely.

Finally, I have a serious case of "Can't-help-ya-there". Graduate school is a biggy. Its hard. We expected it to be, but its really hard. And Chris can get frustrated now and then, and I don't blame him. But I can't help him. I can speak soothing words the best I can, and that helps, but in the end I can't make classes easier, I can't make classmates nicer, and I can't make professors more helpful. And I know absolutely nothing about Exercise Physiology. In fact, I have a hard time spelling exercise. But I wish I could make it all better. I wish I could smooth the way. I wish I could help in any way beyond soothing words. But I can't. And unfortunately I think graduate school all about the bumpy ride.

(I don't mean to complain--I'm actually quite happy these days. Just venting a few minor frustrations.)

So yesterday morning I was reading in Jacob 4 (The Book of Mormon) and you know how the scriptures you read always seem to apply to you specifically? That's crazy how that works. This is what I read (I bolded my favorite parts) . . .

7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.

9 For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?

10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works

So basically, the Lord gives weaknesses and trials to show us we have the faith and strength to overcome them. We can't understand the way He works. But if He can create the Earth and create man by simply speaking, then can't he make sure our lives will turn out just right if we follow Him? Why yes He can. I know that. And that's why I love the last line the most: "For behold, ye yourselves know . . . ." You know. You have faith in the Lord. You know. Now its all about just keep on keepin' on from here on out.

Gotta love that BoM. It makes me smile.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Covet . . .

I'm really not that into fancy electronic gadgets.
I picked my cell phone based on its color (pink) rather than what features it had.
The only things I truly covet are chocolate and shoes.
Until now . . .
How would I even choose?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

This morning I was thinking about exactly where I was 7 years ago (7 years!) today. I was standing in my bathroom holding a curling iron in my hair, preparing for another day of 9th grade at Franklin Jr. High. I went out to check the Today Show (I depended on it even then) and saw that a World Trade Center tower had been hit by an airplane. What a dumb pilot, I thought. Or maybe he was drunk. How could he not see the buildings? When the second plane hit, it was painfully obvious that I was ridiculously naive, and it wasn't an accident at all. A vulnerable United States was something my generation had never considered, let alone actually seen before our own eyes.
When I was looking for pictures for this post, the phrase "Never Forget" came up in captions for many of the pictures. I remember that phrase being a rallying cry in the days after September 11. Its bittersweet, really, to remember how united the country was at that time, how we really thought we'd "never forget". We thought we'd "never forget" Pearl Harbor too, but most years December 7th passes without notice or remembrance. Whether its because of a heated election, a disputed war, or the simple passing of time, I don't think we've really lived up to our rally cry. I have no intention of getting political about the war, because one person's mess is another person's success. I just thought for a second we could "Never Forget". This song is a little corny (it is a country song, after all), but I really like the words anyway.
"Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" By Alan Jackson

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry
Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride

For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do

Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer

And look at yourself to what really matters

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Teaching a class full of innocent children

Driving down some cold interstate

Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor

In a crowded room did you feel alone

Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her

Did you dust off that bible at home

Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened

Close your eyes and not go to sleep

Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages

Speak with some stranger on the street

Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow

Go out and buy you a gun

Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching

And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger

Stand in line and give your own blood

Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family

Thank God you had somebody to love


I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man

I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you

The difference in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God

And I remember this from when I was young

Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us

And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love

The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

Monday, September 8, 2008

How Do You Like Them Boys?

So you know on the movie Top Gun when all the men are playing sand volleyball with their shirts off? And that 80s song is playing that says "Playing with the Boys"? Well, my whole life, until about 6 months ago when Chris set me straight, I thought it said "How do you like them boys?". Neat, huh? I should actually do a post about mistaken song lyrics (I think I will, no one steal that idea because I'm so sure its never been done before). Anyway, the point is "How do like them boys" came to my head yesterday as I watched the Colts play the Bears (that's football). Sadly the Colts lost, but the thing is, I heart their quarterback Peyton Manning.

In fact, I heart all sports (and by "heart", I mean "love" but love is a pretty intense emotion in real life so I don't really drop that word left and right, ya know?). Some sports I prefer at their peak--you know, March Madness, NBA playoffs, the Olympics, the World Cup--but I don't think I've ever met a sport I didn't like. And since I appreciate sports so much, I really appreciate those who excel at those sports because its insane that anyone is ever as good at a sport as some people are . . . . which brings me to my boyfriends.

(I just realized this post is going to be quite complicated and the pictures won't show up until the end; sorry about that). 'My boyfriends' are people who are kind of cute in their own little way and seem nice and sweet and are really talented (usually) who if I wasn't Mormon and I hadn't found the love of my life when I was 19 then maybe I'd have a crush on them or maybe not--maybe I'd just want to be friends and meet them for dinner once in a while. These are "my boyfriends" (they also come in the female variety, which are called my "BFFs"). Anyway, the title "my boyfriend" originated from my mother, and has been applied to everyone from a 16-year-old at Highland High School to a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (although, we try to erase from our memories anyone ever saying "my boyfriend, Jeffrey R. Holland" because I realize it is totally inappropriate and please don't judge me on this--though I was not the one who said it). Here's an example: "My boyfriend Peyton Manning plays quarterback for the Colts". Now this may seem strange, but Chris understands where I'm coming from and that they aren't actually my boyfriends (that could be confusing), and he knows he's my No. 1 boyfriend anyway, so its all good. He does put up with my Christian Bale, after all.

My boyfriend Peyton ManningMy boyfriend Roger Federer

My boyfriend Sidney CrosbyMy FORMER boyfriend Rich Hill. He was a Cubs ace last year but totally blew it this year and got moved down to Triple A. So, naturally, I had to break it off.

My FORMER boyfriend Michael Phelps. I don't go to dinner with boys who touch scantily-clad waitresses' bottoms. Shame on you, Michael. But we can stay friends because you do have 14 gold medals.

Wow. . . that was really much longer than it needed to be. There you go. Now you know me that much better -- for better or for worse.

So, how do you like them boys?