31 March 2012


Me + Board Games = Bloodthirsty, irrational raving lunatic

I'm competitive, folks.  And my competitiveness is directly translated into violence.
Ask my poor roommate, Lila.  I nearly killed her over a game of Taboo.  And she was on my team.
Just last night, blood was drawn during Spoons.

I need help.  Or the number for a domestic abuse hotline. For Lila.

30 March 2012

Best Job EVER

This is the promo for the Humanities Department that launched me into the biznass of videography and documentary script writing.  Finally finished!  The only reason I ended up down in Moab to film these interviews and B-roll is because the cameramen weren't available.  And then I somehow got roped into writing the script (the order of footage and audio files)  Not bad for a first timer, eh?  Ok, editing can make anything look good.  Don't be fooled.  You probably weren't.  

25 March 2012

Happy Sunday: Finishing the course and keeping the faith

Today's Happy Sunday post is a shout-out and hats off to the most hardcore roommate I know.  Lila finished the Antelope Island 50-miler yesterday and never looked better!

As I eagerly awaited her arrival into the 33-mile aid station (where I tracked her down after manning the Main Gate and issuing packets to loads of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and most likely deranged runners--seriously, people, 4:30 a.m.? 50 miles? Are you sick?), I was a little taken aback.  I watched as various runners--some haggard and mangled, some seemingly unfazed by the arduousness of 33 miles and 17 remaining--I was so impressed at what these people set out to accomplish.  For what, like, a free mug that says Antelope Island Buffalo Run?  The only way you could get me to run 50 miles is if I was running from buffaloes.  And the buffaloes would have to be rabid and I would have to be the only woman left on Earth and therefore the only hope of continuing the human race.  Only then.

But that is beside the point.

I thought about what motivates these people. What motivates anyone to endure discomfort and push through to the finish of any challenging task? Because the ends justify the means.  The satisfaction and joy of accomplishment outweigh the pain of the journey.  Why else would we take on life as we know it?  It's no easy task.  But we know there is a higher cause, a reason for this mortal life, a  purpose to the trials that it thrusts upon us.  We are becoming something great.  Something God sees in us and which we only catch glimpses of from time to time, but which nevertheless spur us on to finish the race that we've started.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)   

So much more than a mug.

21 March 2012

Food-tography or, Why What You Ate Today Is No Concern of Mine

I was craving Romanian food last week so I decided to wield my authoritative power and influence as a Romanian instructor (I share an office with a room full of wacks and I lost count of how many people use my desk.  Really, it's not that glamorous.) by making my students bring food to class for a grade.  Romanian Day! Wooo!  They eat, I eat, they all get A's!  It's a win-win-win, in the words of Michael Scott.

But that's a bit beside the reason for this post.

There is something strange afoot at the Circle K.

Something that has been severely bothering me and which, no matter how hard I try, I just cannot wrap my mind around.

Food-tography: (n) the act of taking pictures of the various meals which one consumes throughout the day, giving those pictures an urban, cutting edge flavor using Instagram, and then posting those pictures on Facebook so the universe can see all the hip food that one eats.

What is NOT classified in food-tography are photos of food for the the purpose of recipe blogs and foodie mags.  You know, where a picture of food actually serves a purpose.

But seriously, people, why is this a thing?  Someone, please enlighten me. The eggs Benedict you had for breakfast.  The pad thai you whipped up for lunch.  The sea scallops and roasted asparagus you ate for dinner.  I. DO. NOT. CARE.  Are you showing off your refined pallet?  Your laudable calorie intake?  If you document it before it goes in, what's stopping you from documenting it when it comes out?  Do not ever do that.  But...I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if that started trending.  

Should I start photographing my daily meals?  I'm sure you're all dying to know what I eat. How selfish of me for keeping you in the dark.  Here you go:


(That burger came from Pendulum Court and there actually was a girl taking a picture of it, so I could hunt her down and get a copy of it if Paint doesn't cut it for you.)

So, what did you take away from this besides the fact that I like spinach?  Nothing.  Case in point.

Pretty much the only time I want to see you practicing food-tography is if you ate a sheep's head, a sushi roll the size of a Samurai's thigh, or a Corn Flake that looks like Jesus. Things that hold some weight in gastronomy. No rice pilaf allowed.

Bon appetit!

11 March 2012

Happy Sunday: Be Like Little Children

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14).

From my photo Pinboard (click here), which is littered
with tons of other adorable kiddie photogs.

It seems that lately I have had several occasions to admire and appreciate childhood--the innocence and purity and honesty of little children that tragically dissolves with adolescence and adulthood.  One of those occasions came Friday night when I saw We Bought a Zoo for the first time. One of the best movies I've seen in a long time.  Everything about it was just so real. The situations, the characters, and especially the sweetness of little children.  That red-haired girl? Angel face.

But, really.  Children are miraculous and oh so smart!  SO much smarter than we are, for they don't care about what the world thinks, how others are judging them.  They have no social veneer to inhibit them from doing what makes them happy.  They are not hindered by societal norms and expectations.  They say what's on their curious little minds and act what's in their precious little hearts.

The heavy 5-year-old audience in the theatre was as entertaining as the movie itself.  They would laugh hysterically, clap their hands, repeat out loud what they thought was particularly funny, strike up conversations with the strangers sitting next to them, climb all over the seats and the people occupying them.

I think this is the attitude we need to have towards living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to embrace it in such a way that says to the doubting and disbelieving world, "What you think doesn't effect me; this is what truly makes me happy!"  Don't let the skepticism and scoffing of others forbid you from coming unto Him, with your whole heart and soul.

09 March 2012

What my old-school music collection says about me...

So I posted every single one of my 8 billion CDs (CD?  What's a CD?  That's, like, soooo 10 years ago) on-line.  I have accumulated quite the impressive collection since 1997 when I got my first CD: Spice Girl's Spice World.  It is time to say goodbye.  I was holding on to them as part of my aversion for the iPod.  Though my relationship with the iPod has changed (read about it here), I refused for the longest time to get rid of them, as a way of manifesting my stubbornness against modern technology.

Anyway, this girl responded to my Craig's List posting, wanting the following CDs:

3 Doors Down
Matchbox 20
Audio Adrenaline (a no-name Christian rock group)
Dashboard Confessional
Bob Marley
Cinderella soundtrack
Titanic soundtrack

"This girl has really weird taste in music," I said.
My roommate responded, "Well they are all your CDs..."
I have really weird taste in music.   

Star Struck

Tuesday night I went out with my outrageous friend Chris and my roommate Lindsay to mooch off of Red Robin on their Free Oreo Shake Day.  Yes, I have an email account solely for the purpose of receiving junk coupons and deals from restaurants.  But not junk.  Nay, pure gold.

Sometime between Chris' predictable schmoozing of the waitress and the second round of bottomless steak fries, Lindsay spotted who she thought might be the blonde guy from the District 2 (for anyone who served an LDS mission within the last 2 years, you know what I'm talking about)--you know, the nice one that everyone likes who is companions with the loud, obnoxious one that apparently no one likes, but who was totally my favorite because he took no crap.  I was skeptical.  How could she tell?  He was facing away from us and wearing a baseball cap.  And he had his arm around a girl.  There's no way that missionaries from reality mission shows actually come home and lead normal lives, like date and eat out at Red Robin!

But, alas, it was him.  I was finally convinced when I saw the ENTIRE cast (except for the one that said he wanted to be a blue chair when he grows up....he was odd) filter through the mall entrance doors.  That one girl...with the short hair...don't remember her name.  She's super hot!  With long, dazzling blonde hair.  Goes to show that sister missionaries all look like death warmed over on their missions.  A shapeless, long skirt and dowdy Amish blouse will do that to a girl.  Don't pre-judge her.  She's probably a babe underneath.

So the three of us spent the rest of the night goggling at them, merely inches away, concocting plans of Chris asking the Latina girl out.  I only wish I had brought my White Handbook for them to sign.

08 March 2012


Whilst on my way to class today, THIS GUY walked past me.  [Minus the beer stein.] 

So eat your words, all you haters who complain that BYU lacks diversity!  

I will and will not miss this university...

03 March 2012

The Philosophy of Dance

My professor Dr. Kerry, who is too brilliant for his own good, brought up in class the other day that he had toiled for months when Napoleon Dynamite first came out, over-philosophizing and analyzing to discover why this bizarre film had become a cult classic practically over night.  That's one folly of brilliant people: they can't help but attempt to find any sort of strain of intellectualism or philosophical undertone in even the dumbest, most purposeless movies or t.v. shows.

With this one, however, I think he hit the nail on the head.  He said something to the extent of Napoleon Dynamite resonating with the youthful generations because its characters ignored social cues and expectations.  They were rebelling not in a teen angst or social revolution sort of way.  That's Ferris Bueler's Day Off and The Shawshank Redemption.  They were just straight up weird--unaffected by societal norms.  The word autistic may have been used, but that argument only goes so far, since the characters were actually aware of the social cues that were flying over their heads.

Ok, that last sentence is kind of an oxymoron, but you get my drift...right?

With this new outlook of possibly the most over-quoted film in the last 8 years, I attended the 2nd Annual Euro Trash Dance Party.  And there, I saw it.  Napoleons and Pedros and Kips all over the place.  I realized I was one of them.  Dancing--as the cutesy cliche goes--like nobody was watching. One attendee remarked: "It's like everyone's just dancing in their own little world!"  Dance parties at my friend Austin's house have a way of encouraging that, somehow. It's my favorite place to dance because NO ONE cares.  About anything.  It's liberating. It's something like this:

And then....one of my students showed up and I knew I had lost any shred of respect that she may have had for me based on my authority, my Romanian skills, and my Oxfords. A proud moment in any teacher's life.

01 March 2012

Photo Essay #2: Religious Icons

Round 2 on the photo essays for my French photography class.  I like the idea of the essay way more than the photos themselves. They're not as strong as I'd hoped; probably because it was a total awkfest as I was lurking around church, not blending in at all with a giant *borrowed from work* Cannon 5D Mark II around my neck. The run-away baby is probably my fave, with its strong lines and the fact that the baby's movements mimic exactly those of the woman he's following. Anyway, enjoy.

Religious Icons: An Ordinary Day at a Mormon Church

Robert Frank’s street photographs of what later became iconic emblems of American-ness made me consider what I see regularly in my surrounding environment, but which I fail to recognize as definitive of my culture.  It took a Swiss—an outsider, looking in—to notice the things that were symbolic of and unique to American city life.  Thus, I attempted to assume the role of “outsider,” “foreigner,” in order to better identify and appreciate the scenes and objects that slip under my dulled radar.  What is iconic in my own environment?  Most obviously, my church.  It is a community and society and culture that I’ve grown up with.  So, naturally, what could be seen by an outsider as a rather peculiar atmosphere is quite normal for me.  This photographic, role-reversal experience opened my eyes to all of the iconic displays that truly define the Mormon church-going culture. 

The Sacrament Meeting ditchers: the know-it-all, the flirt, and the gamer
The run-away baby
The folding chairs, the accordion room-divider, and the music stand 
The coat rack and two...CIA agents? Nope, just 20-somethings with scripture cases and callings
The waiter-in-line-to-meet-with-the-Stake-President; a typical Suburban parked out front