30 September 2011

One Free Ride Closer to World Peace

For the past several months, I have been on a quest to find answers for world peace.  This is what I've got so far:  flash mobs, Jimmer's All-Stars, and hitchhiking.  Flash mobs made the list back in March because...well...unity is just beautiful!  Jimmer's All-Stars was added last week after I watched Jimmer and a gaggle of other NBA rookies play together for charity at the Marriott Center.  Surprisingly, it wasn't even the charity part that hooked me.  They could have been playing to campaign for Obamasaurus and I still would have been over-come with joy watching those former competitors join together as teammates to play the happiest game of basketball I've ever watched in my life.  As of Tuesday night, hitchhiking made the list.  Nothing promotes peace like picking up seedy strangers off the side of the road.  Especially when they look like this:

So, props to our kind benefactors who made it possible for Brett, Stephen, and I to tear up the dance floor (Also, dancing = world peace.  Seriously.) at Randi Olson's wedding reception.  We only had to wait there with that sign for 10 seconds.  Literally.  That's love.

25 September 2011

Siberian Stress Relief

This is what happens to me after studying too much tor a Russian Lit exam.

I also made up a song today using the 12 Russian words I know.  It's actually pretty good and likely to be performed at an open-mic night somewhere in the greater Provo area.

Happy Sunday: Be Good

BE GOOD. It's my favorite catch phrase, farewell, advice, admonition... I'm sure that I have personally told you to be good at some point or another. It just rolls off the tongue. My mantra, perhaps. I never really knew why, until I read THIS today:
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)
BAM. In the fight against evil, your greatest weapon is your goodness. Believe it or not, there are actually good things happening in the world right now. Easy to forget sometimes, but nevertheless true. We have the media and our own human desire for scandal and gore to blame for that. My friend recently posted this video. It may have made me shed a tear or two...or 30...of joy. Good people doing great things actually exist in this hand basket headed for Hell! Be one of them. Be good.

20 September 2011

I Miss Jimmer (Part II)

[Part I can be found here.]

Indeed, the only highlight from the BYU-Utah football game this weekend was when Jimmer's smiling face on the sidelines graced ESPN for about 6 seconds.  For an instant of wild imaginative bliss, I truly thought Bronco Mendenhall was going to toss him a helmet and sub him into the game.  If only...

I'd probably watch a lot more BYU football if this was the case.

There was, however, another redeeming factor from Saturday night's embarrassing showcase of hog slop.  This was the fact that possibly the biggest fan in Cougar Land was my dear friend, Emily Craner.  Emily was on holiday from the the Greater Northwest Region, experiencing Utah and Mormonism in its extreme for the very first time.  Not being a member of the LDS faith, Emily was entitled to yell whatever tactless, profane comment she could aim at any crimson-clad Ute fan she saw walking around Provo town.  This isn't to say that I, as a Mormon, don't think these things (what?!  There's a fine line between animosity and school spirit!), but Emily was at liberty to blurt out loud whatever she pleased without feeling ashamed.  She may have created some hostile enemies while driving down University Ave.  Luckily for her, 1.) this isn't East L.A., and 2.) she'll never see them again.

During the game, shouts of  "Take that, you Ute!  It's God's wrath!" and "Come on Cougars, do it for the pioneers who crossed the plains!" could be heard in loud, sporadic bursts coming from Emily's seat.  I was happy to see that she had remembered some Mormon history from the tour of Temple Square we went on a few days earlier.

Her best cheers were Jimmer-themed.  She taught me that every Jimmer Mania catch phrase and proverb that was used during basketball season could easily be applied to a football game.  If you played for one BYU team, you might as well play for all of them, in Emily's mind.  I admit, I like her logic.

Mostly, I just miss Jimmer.

18 September 2011

Happy Sunday: Lifting Burdens

Today in Sunday School, someone made a poignant comment that resonated with me.

We are accustomed to thinking that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is for overcoming sin. In reality, it encompasses much, much more. It is for overcoming trials.
One of those simple things that I've always known, yet forget to apply.  The Atonement is real. Remember it. Use it. Apply it. In moments of weakness, sorrow, triumph, joy...allow the Savior to play an active part in your life.

Happy Sunday,

17 September 2011

Mad Cow Disease

is actually what happens when a territorial cow living in Spanish Fork canyon turns into a straight up gangster when innocent Honda Civics filled with bright-eyed hotspring-seekers encroach on his hood.  His hood in the woods.  A potential rock slide to our left.  An abyss of forest to our right. Gangster cows straight ahead.  To make Homer's expression more appropriate to Utah geography, we were "between a red rock and a hard place."

Gangster Mama cow was ready to throw it down, out of protection for Gangster Baby.  We were so close I could see the evil gleam in her eye, the spittle frothing at her mouth, the knife tucked into her sock.  I was fully expecting home girl to charge head-on into my car, smash the windshield, then pop a cap in  all our heads.  

Fortunately, enough screaming on my part and moo-ing on everyone else's part was enough to keep the Moo Thug at a relatively safe distance.

At least 12 other members of her gang were spotted on our way to the hot springs.  Most likely a lucrative business set up by these rabid bovines to prey on unsuspecting adventurers and traffic them into their hood in the woods.  Never again to return.  Let this serve as warning to all those who ever plan on hitting up the Spanish Fork Hot Pots.

11 September 2011

Happy Sunday: Remembering

That fateful day in September, ten years ago, I walked into my morning journalism class at Cope Middle School.  In a manner of solemnity and soberness, yet striking urgency, my newspaper adviser, Mr. Locke, advised us to purchase the paper on our way home from school.  "Keep it," he said.  "and never forget."  

I still have that newspaper, laced with the thoughts of bewilderment, humility, and fear that raced through my naive 13-year-old mind.  I haven't forgotten how I felt that day or the days that followed, and how those thoughts of initial shock and confusion developed into deep feelings of love and respect for my country.

I haven't forgotten the homes proudly flying the American flag.

I haven't forgotten the cars bedecked in patriotic decals and slogans boldly calling upon the blessings of God.

I haven't forgotten the national pride that surged through my veins as I listened to powerful renditions of our anthem.

Nor have I forgotten the near-tangible spirit of unity, liberty, and closeness to God that softened the heart and lifted the head of every humble U.S. citizen.

Thomas S. Monson, God's living prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says it better than I can from this point on.  As a guest writer for the Washington Post, President Monson discusses how the calamity, destruction, and heartbreak of 9/11 enabled us to rebuild spiritually.  Read this.  Seriously.  It's good.  

Wherever you are in the world, never forget.  Never forget that in every tragedy and tribulation, there is a God above who loves you endlessly and will never forget you.

08 September 2011

On Foreign Language Acquisition (or, Utah's Homegrown Weirdies)

I write to you, humble readers, from the depths of the Jesse Knight Building on BYU campus, where the girl next to me is practicing Spanish 101 by reading her textbook out loud (keyword: loud).  Evidently oblivious that the only sound in this whole hall is coming from her own mouth.  "Yes!  We're conjugating today!"  she just cried enthusiastically.  To herself.  Or, perhaps she is speaking to me?  Should I respond?  Is this a conversation I should be participating in?  She might think I'm rude if I don't say anything.

I am wracking my brain for random Spanish phrases that I've picked up throughout the course of my life.  Mariposa (elementary school in my hometown).  Gato Negro (a beer...).  Permanezca sentado, por favor (Disneyland).  I think the last one should do the job.

06 September 2011

Duct Tape

It's the miracle invention that solves every problem.  NOT.

If you drive a used car, you are aware that previously-owned vehicles come with flavor.  Character, if you will. My little beaut has a sun roof that likes to pop up when I drive over 60 mph, thus creating a hellish whistling noise that is enough to make any driver go insane.  So I did what any bright, college-educated, white, middle-class girl would do:  strap 'er down with duct tape!

Surprise!  Duct tape does not react well in conditions that involve high speeds and scorching sun.    

This is an 80%-accurate replication of my drive to California with Lani early this summer.  The heat was infernal, the wind was deplorable , and my car was wrapped in so much duct tape that it looked like a giant present to the God of Miserable Road Trips himself.


A Mount Timp-Labor Day Partay!  

Boo yeah

At the trail head, with far more energy than I should have at this time of night.

Good morning, world.

Super-trekking back down 

Jeff and Ethan von Trapp

Me and Lila von Trapp
Livin' off the land

04 September 2011

Happy Sunday: God is Our Father (or Moving Mount Timp: Part Two)

There are  not many places where I feel nearer to my Heavenly Father than when I am in nature.  Surrounded by His awe-inspiring creations.  Enveloped between majestic mountain peaks and crashing waterfalls, I feel so small yet so significant.  Significant to Him, because He created me with even more care and love than He created the breathtaking art forms all around me.  As His precious sons and daughters, we are his greatest masterpieces.  And he loves us more than anything.

Last week I attempted to hike up Mount Timpanogos---the stunning mountain that looms over Provo and has been calling my name ever since I had a post-card view of it from my 7th-floor dorm room Freshman year.  We left at midnight, aiming to reach the summit in time to watch the sun rise.

I was a ball of fire until about 5:00 a.m.  With only a couple more hours to go, the fact that I would normally have been sleeping at this time hit me like a ton of bricks.  Crazy how fatigued you can get after being awake for 24 hours.  Just add scrambling over rocks and ice for several miles, and you've got yourself a straight up zombie.  Named Sarah.  Who could no longer see straight nor lift her foot high enough to clear a pine needle.

So, as much as it kills me to admit it, I headed back down the mountain (after collapsing in a bush and eating the breakfast burrito I had planned to enjoy in the company of the sunrise).  Those who know me understand that it seriously pains me to not finish something that I've started.  I felt LAME.  Which is why I am here, one week later, preparing to do it all over again!  It's like childbirth.  You magically forget how much it sucked the first time.  Perhaps this is one reason why I feel so close to God.  He always seems to be right in the middle of our throws of pain and peaks of joy.

Tomorrow I plan on sleeping as soon as I get home from church and taking off up that blasted mountain some time during the night.  And as a Labor Day gift to myself, I will conquer it.