Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Late Birthday, Dan!

Happy Birthday, Dan! I heard you ate Cookie Crisp in bed and everything. That sounds like a perfect day to me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AIDA and Blackbeard

A few weeks ago I went to go see AIDA. I've been thinking about it ever since. It's an Egyptian love story that parallels Romeo and Juliet. I loved it. Elton John did the music for it. Usually, I feel uncomfortable during musicals when characters spontaneously begin to sing, but in AIDA it seems natural. I loved it. I wanted to go back and take all of my favorite people with me.

I was watching this pirate documentary on the Discovery Channel a few months ago. I always thought that Blackbeard was mythical. Apparently not. Anyway, they said that he actually used to cause smoke to rise up from around his head to make him look more intimidating to the opposing ship. I think intimidating is a little bit of an understatement. So, of course, I have to see Blackbeard the Musical. I wish I could take my brother, Benner, to see it. I think he might like it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I hope your birthday is perfect! Here are a few of my favorite "Mom" memories:
When you would give me some extra change as McDonald's to go get us some ice cream cones after a long day of shopping.
When you used to read to me.
When you would come and hang out with me in my room before you went to bed even though you were tired and had to go to work the next day.
When we ate a stawberry pie with our fingers.
When you were my teacher in Sunday School and it didn't seem to phase you when my classmates were hanging out the windows when you came in.
When you drove the Bug for so long before you got a new car even though you had to sit on pillows to drive it.
When you made me peanut butter balls for the first time from the cookbook you bought from my pre school.
When you used to give me a pan full of flour to play with on the back porch. It was strangly so intresting.
When you used to set me up with some crayons, tin foil and a hot plate for the afternoon.
When you would make me a lunch of finger foods. It never tasted better!
When you sat down with me before I went to college to plan out everything I would need to do to get ready even though it wasn't for another year.
When you helped me study for my math section of the CBEST and I passed.
When you were my teacher.
When you took me to the Arboretum and I fell in a creek so you gave me your coat and said, "Are you ready to go home?"
When we tried to save some money and sleep outside the St. George Temple, it was too bright.
When you took me and Kat on the tour of Route 66.
The way you get excited every time I come home.
Here are a few that were on the tip of my mind. I love you. You're the best Mom I could ask for. Someday I hope I can pay it forward just like you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

This quilt over at Old Red Barn Co. is up for grabs. Go sign up for the giveaway by Tuesday the 22 (FYI MY BIRTHDAY).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Kat! This picture reminds me of how Kat is when you really know her. Kat has always been my best buddy. When I was little she used to let me be her tag along. Everything was fun when Kat was there. Even dishes and sweeping. She washed, I rinsed. She swept, I scooped. We also used to take long walks to 7-11 and the street fair. Kat used to make me these really great salads with all the toppings. We'd watch movies and endulge. We also used to make peanut butter balls. Best of all is when Kat would do a jig for me when I was bummed out. She would dance like she was still a Rude Girl and make me laugh. Then, when she really wanted to make me happy she would pretend she was Bette and sing "The Wing Beneath My Wings" with the hand motions and everything. Happy Birthday, Sister!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Toni Morrison

When I did my student teaching I read the handful of books that I was going to be teaching shortly before I actually taught them. My student teacher-teacher, Lisa, and I would sit in her classroom everyday before the students shuffled in and discuss books amongst other things. She was great. I learned so much from her and I can't imagine a better experience.

One of the books I read at that time in my life was Beloved by Toni Morrison. I loved it. Oprah played Sethe in the movie version. Sometimes I think that actors aren't able to step out of who they are in Hollywood enough to protray a character. I think Oprah was wonderful, but I'm biased. Anyway, here's the reason for this post. I was tearing off yesterday's paper on my desk calendar when I noticed today's quote. It was like a treasure meant to remind my of my favorite book and times.

"Love is or it aint. Thin love ain't love at all." -Toni Morrison

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Survey Says...

In Case You Were Wondering

1. Last movie you saw in the theater? Wanted with Angelina.
2. What book are you reading? The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
3. Favorite Board Game? I get bored of them easily. I’d say Scrabble.
4. Favorite Magazine? I don’t read magazines; I only look at the pictures. I’d say a good gossip magazine like OK or People.
5. Favorite Smells? I love the smell of wet soil and grass at Monrovia High School’s track, clean laundry, a new book, and Febreeze.
6. Favorite Sounds? I love the sound of a lonesome ocean. My recent favorite was Oahu’s North Shore. I am also fond of the sound of the birds chirping outside my open widow of my bedroom at my mom’s house.
7. Worst feeling in the world? Feeling nervous. It makes me stomach hurt.
8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake? “Why did I pick the 6-3 shift?”
9. Favorite fast food place? Right now I like Yoshi’s. I love the avocado rolls and teriyaki bowls.
10. Future child's name? Henry.
11. If I had a lot of money I'd... travel, buy my mom some property in Missouri, pay off my car, and buy my dream RV.
12. Do you drive fast? I’m extreme. I drive too fast or too slow, never just right.
13. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? No, I just sleep. Sometimes I ruin my books when I fall asleep with them. I wake up angry at whoever rolled over my paperback.
14. Storms cool or scary. I think storms are moody. I like them. I especially enjoy a monsoon. I love the smell of the warm concrete and Arizona dust after a monsoon.
15. What was your first car? The first car I drove was a ’66 Mustang. I can’t wait to get another one and relive the feeling of freedom and power. I loved feeling propelled against the back of my seat when I drove up Mayflower in Monrovia.
16. Favorite Drink? Crystal Light, Sunkist, and Root Beer.
17. Finish this statement, if I had the time I would... teach in a foreign country, do volunteer humanitarian work, go to nursing school, take photography classes, travel, and read.
18. Do you eat the stems on broccoli. Yes.
19. If you could dye your hair any other color, what would be your choice? I think my hair is too hard to brush when I dye it, but I’d say blonde, blonde.
20. Name all the different cities you have lived in? Monrovia, CA; Rexburg, ID; Higley, AZ; and Mesa, AZ.
21. Favorite sports to watch? Hockey
22. What’s under your bed? A Ziploc of spare change and the books I want to read next.
23. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you? She always has my back and she taught me most of what I know.
24. Would you like to be born as yourself again? Yes, is that vain?
25. Over easy or sunny side up? Over easy
26. Morning person or night owl? Night owl
27. Favorite place to relax? I love to relax by the pool with a book.
28. Favorite Pie? Strawberry
29. Favorite ice cream flavor? Dulce De Leche

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


This is a picture of me and my grandfather, Sharner. He lived with us when I was little. I was actually given my baby's blessing sitting on his stomach while he lay in bed. He had a hospital bed in my mom's dining room while he lived with us.

I'm not really sure where the name Sharner came from. The story goes that I just started calling him that when I was little. I think it fits.

Sharner died when I was about four. I was sleeping on the couch in the living room with my sister, Annie. I remember waking up and walking into the front hall where my mom and dad where standing. "Where is Sharner going?" I asked as I saw them taking him away. My parents told me that Sharner had to leave but he was going to a better place, to heaven. I wasn't statisfied with this answer, but I also knew I didn't have a choice. I remember watching as the emergency vehicles drove alway. I remember feeling so much loss when I couldn't see their red and white stripes and sirens anymore, but feeling strangly calm.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have grandparents that were still alive, but then I look back on my memories and I am happy with my experiences with my grandparents even if they were long ago.

Goldfield Ghost Town

Heather and I went to Canyon Lake to go kayaking, but when we got there they didn't have any kayaks, so we went to the ghost town instead. It was a lot of fun. We took the train around Goldfield and the the engineer told us all about Goldfield's history. As you can see, we also had a photo shoot day.

Victor Hugo

Today I was googling one of my favorite books Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Recently, I watched the movie adaptation and soon I hope to re-read the book. I like this quote:

"We should judge a man much more surely from what he dreams than from what he thinks."
--Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Volume III, Book V, Chapter V

Above is the orgnial advetisment for the publication of Les Miserables in 1886.

I collect a lot of things like smashed pennies and pins from the places I get to visit, but there is nothing better than an old book. Books are more enchanting when you know that many hands have passed over them. However, this would be one of the best books to own even if it is in French and I can't read it. When I look at this picture I hear a church chior in burst into spontaneous song. It's the first edition, of course.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Same as Me

This is a photo of Amy Tan and her Mother, Daisy.
Currently I am reading The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan. I'm excited because I love feeling like I am a member of the Chinese culture. Tan makes this possible for an outsider by introducing the generational transition to American culture. It is easier to understand the Chinese culture when the main character grew up in America with Chinese parents because the writer can identify with the American and Chinese cultures. Tan’s style of having reluctant appreciation of her elder generation and culture is exhibited in both The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club. I'm excited to learn more about the themes of mother-daughter and cultural appreciation she often defines. I love to see the process of reluctance to appreciation though learning and experience. This is definitely a mother-daughter read.

When I as little my mom used to read books to me. I remember lying in her California King with my head on her arm as she read me books. My favorite was The Island of the Blue Dolphins. I re-read parts of it last year and it brought back all of the magical memories I remember as a child. Every once and a while I would get distracted by my thoughts and ask, "What just happened? I wasn't paying attention." Mom would always summarize what she has just read and I would ask questions. I always loved that she didn't get upset with me for not listening. Sometimes her throat would start to hurt and I would try to get her to keep on reading. The first book my mom and I read together was Are You my Mother? I think that book will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first book I learned to read. There is something so sweet about knowing who your mother is--that she is the same as you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"The Walrus and the Carpenter"

One day when I was little I went to visit my dad in his office. When I came in he told me had something to show me. He reached for an envelope with the IN-IN-OUT logo on it. I wondered what could be so exciting about an advertisement. Then, he showed me it was addressed to my grandfather who had died when I was under four. He opened it up and showed me the complimentary gift certificate inside. He explained to me that it was his birthday present from his dad and he was going to get a Double-Double. I can imagine the face he had--all big, happy eyes and flared nostrils. It's a family thing.

This story reminds me that sometimes we can get reminders from the people we love. I had a similar reminder recently when trying to name my blog. Yesterday, while making some changes it came to me instantly. I told you my Dad's story, here's mine:

When I was in my teens I would go hang out with my dad in his office. We'd both sit in office chairs and relax. My office chair was fluffy and dark brown. The arms were covered with a rubbery material that I would play with when I was hearing his story, but wasn't listening. His chair was navy blue with dark wood arms. The padding in the top of it was starting to wear and when I put my hands on the back of it I could feel the structure of the chair under the padding. It always reminded me of my dad's aged shoulders. I think this is because he used to keep his favorite blue coat forever draped over the back of his chair. It was covered with patches that paraded all of his accomplishments. Most of the patches were pictures of airplanes. He used to wear this coat when he went on walks. He loved to walk in the rain. It was in those times, when we were both relaxed and sitting in his office chairs that he would always say, "Let's talk." Without fail I would always respond with, "What do you want to talk about?" and very often he would reply with a happy sigh and, "Oh, shoes and ships and sealing wax". I can't imagine how many times he must have said this before I asked him where it came from. My dad had a habit of quoting movies, singing songs, and dancing an occasional jig. He said that the day he ran out of songs that I've never heard would be when it was time for him to die. That's why years later, when he started singing the same songs over I would lie and respond as I always had with, "I've never heard that one before." When I asked him where he got the saying from he told me that when he was a boy he had a book that was titled "Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax". I asked him what it was about and he told me, "all sorts of things--shoes and ships and sealing wax". That is how I came understand that it was a term for random topics. Shortly after he died I found the book in some of his old belongings. But, it wasn't until yesterday when I titled my blog that I looked it up online and found out that it originally comes from the following poem by Lewis Carroll. This makes me happy because my dad died before I went away to college and chose to major in English. It seems like his little contribution to my life after he died. I guess my dad knows I like to read, just like his dad knew he liked IN-N-OUT.

The Walrus and The Carpenter
Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

The sun was shining on the sea,Shining with all his might:He did his very best to makeThe billows smooth and bright--And this was odd, because it wasThe middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,Because she thought the sunHad got no business to be thereAfter the day was done--"It's very rude of him," she said,"To come and spoil the fun!"
The sea was wet as wet could be,The sands were dry as dry.You could not see a cloud, becauseNo cloud was in the sky:No birds were flying overhead--There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the CarpenterWere walking close at hand;They wept like anything to seeSuch quantities of sand:"If this were only cleared away,"They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mopsSwept it for half a year.Do you suppose," the Walrus said,"That they could get it clear?""I doubt it," said the Carpenter,And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"The Walrus did beseech."A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,Along the briny beach:We cannot do with more than four,To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him,But never a word he said:The eldest Oyster winked his eye,And shook his heavy head--Meaning to say he did not chooseTo leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,All eager for the treat:Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,Their shoes were clean and neat--And this was odd, because, you know,They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,And yet another four;And thick and fast they came at last,And more, and more, and more--All hopping through the frothy waves,And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the CarpenterWalked on a mile or so,And then they rested on a rockConveniently low:And all the little Oysters stoodAnd waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,"To talk of many things:Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,"Before we have our chat;For some of us are out of breath,And all of us are fat!""No hurry!" said the Carpenter.They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,"Is what we chiefly need:Pepper and vinegar besidesAre very good indeed--Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,Turning a little blue."After such kindness, that would beA dismal thing to do!""The night is fine," the Walrus said."Do you admire the view?
"It was so kind of you to come!And you are very nice!"The Carpenter said nothing but"Cut us another slice:I wish you were not quite so deaf--I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,"To play them such a trick,After we've brought them out so far,And made them trot so quick!"The Carpenter said nothing but"The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said:"I deeply sympathize."With sobs and tears he sorted outThose of the largest size,Holding his pocket-handkerchiefBefore his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,"You've had a pleasant run!Shall we be trotting home again?'But answer came there none--And this was scarcely odd, becauseThey'd eaten every one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Me and Mr. Gatsby

I just finished The Great Gatsby last weekend. It was a strange experience for me because I usually become very absorbed in the characters I am reading about. This wasn't the case with The Great Gatsby. I found it difficult to identify with and like Mr. Gatsby, but I don’t think that was Fitzgerald’s purpose. Still, by the end of the book I was able to sympathize with his passion for the elusive Daisy and appreciate his methodical mind. To me he resembled somewhat of a mad scientist in his obsession with Daisy.

I felt that The Great Gatsby was eloquent and descriptive. I really enjoyed the glittering atmosphere of the twenties it provided. I felt like I was spending a hot, lazy, aristocratic summer in the West and East Egg myself. While reading I visualized the muted, summery, and glittery tones of blue, yellow, and pink.

The novel’s purpose is to explore the changes that were taking place in the early twenties in regard to the disintegration of the “American dream”. Fitzgerald explored faded morals and excessive availability of financial success. He modeled this change by introducing characters that were not particularly likable as they lacked moral decency. He also chose a setting that indicated the wealth he meant to describe. The West and the East egg were symbolic of both new and old money respectively. This showed the social division between the classes as well as the dynamics of excessive wealth.

When taking the novel to a more personal level, I took this from my reading: Take advantage of your opportunities especially when it comes to love. Don't deny your feelings because you will likely feel the same way years from now when your time is passed. I also feel that it exemplified that once a commitment has been made and you have lost your opportunity it is honorable to keep your peace.

For those of you who haven't read The Great Gatsby, I recommend it as a Summer or Spring read. I think this would be the perfect book to read in a lounge chair on the lawn sipping a sweaty glass of lemonade.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sisters, Seals, and Sun

Annie and I had the best trip to Catalina Island! I had never been and it was great to go with my sister who likes to chill by the pool and sleep in just like me. Actually, we did quite a lot. We spent most of one day kayaking with a very friendly seal who followed us up and down the coast. That is probably my favorite memory. We also biked all around Avalon one day. Those were some of our times that we didn't get documented with photos because we were just having too much fun. A trip to Catalina with your sister is definitely a must! I highly recommend it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Buffy, I couldn't resist sneaking into your account. I know I'm a bad big sister. But, I wanted you to see this photo of you in New Orleans. I think it looks really cool.

Diaper's better than it sounds.

This is a picture of the diaper cake I made last week. This is very crafty of me, but I thought it was fun.
Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I love Hi.

So, I finally went to Hawaii. Ever since my childhood friend, Elizabeth, moved to Laie I've wanted to go. It was even better than I had anticipated.

Day one: I went to Waikiki Beach until my friend, Ellie, got off work and came to pick me up. While I was there lots of strange people talked to me and I got the biggest pinapple saved ice on the planet. It was awesome. Later, Ellie and her friend picked me up and we met her brother-in-law's brother, wife, and mother. Cody, Louise, and Carol. They were very kind and let Ellie and me sleep on the boat that night.

Day two: On my second day we woke up at 5 am and set out deep sea fishing. Cody gave us a narrated tour of Pearl Harbor, which was very cool. While we were out we saw a tortoise, some birds, dolphins, and some flying fish (seriously). This is Ellie and me hanging loose on the back of the boat waiting for the fish to bite. Notice the fishing poles in the background. We had five total.

When we got out of the harbor, Ellie and I got brave and decided to go to the front of the boat and sit on the little ledge. Louise told us it was kinda like a roller coaster up there. Once we found out of deep the water was, we made sure we put on life jackets before we scaled the side of the boat to get up there. While we were up there some dolphins came and swam right underneath out feet. It was so out-of-a-movie. Pretty soon we heard Cody yelling for us. The first fish we caught was a tuna. This was the second fish we caught. It was a 21 pound Onah. Cody said that people sometimes call it a Yahoo because that's what they say when they catch it. I thought that was cool. It has really sharp teeth, so it kinda freaked us out at first. We put it on ice and forgot about it.

After that Ellie and I chilled some more. Man, I love fishing. Good thing we did, though, because pretty soon Ellie had to bring in a Mahi-Mahi all by herself. We caught three at once and Ellie's was the biggest. We took naps on the boat after that.

This is a picture of all of us except Louise after we cleaned the boat. We looked pretty dirty, but we didn't care. From Left: Cody, Carol, Ellie, and me.

We got cleaned up and went to the place where they auction the fish. That was pretty cool. Cody took Ellie, Carol, and me into the room where they keep all the fish. It wasn't pleasant, but we still managed to got eat sushi that night with one of Ellie's friends from church. I was so thankful for Cody's family taking us deep sea fishing. They were probably the nicest people I've met in a long time.

That night after we ate sushi we went to pick Jalene up from the airport. Then, we drove up to Ellie's camp, Camp Erdman, on the North Shore.

Day Three: The next day we went on an Ellie narrated hike to a crystal cave and waterfall. Above is a picture of Jalene and me at the top. That day was Sunday and Ellie got to teach the lesson in Relief Society. So Jalene and I laid on the beach while Ellie prepared. We shared my IPOD and soaked up some sun. Then, we went to church with Ellie.

Day Four: This is a picture of Ellie and me on the boat ride at the Poylnesian Cultural Center. I had no idea it was going to feel like Disneyland. Below are some pictures of the various islanders doing dances from the island they represent.

I liked the New Zealand boat best becasue that's where the cute guys were.

This is Jalene and me in front of the Laie Temple. We stopped there on the way back to camp. Jalene loved it, so we took some extra picture of her there. The sisters gave us some Pulmeria flowers for our hair. She told us it goes on the right if you're single. Jalene is dating Adam right now so she has hers on the left. As you can see, I am still waiting for the New Zealand boys.

Day Five: This is a funny picture of me on the Bowfin at Pearl Harbor. Dan and Kat, this is where I got you a smashed penny. Ellie didn't get to go with us that day because she had to work. This is a picture of me climbing through the door. Family, I felt like I was in Down Periscope. All I needed was a hammock and a srunken uniform. The other picture is of me in one of the engine rooms.

After that we took the boat to the USS Arizona Memorial, which was a little sadening. Below is what you can see from the memorial of the sunken Arizona. Sadly, many of the bodies weren't able to be recovered from the ship. The other picture is the wall that lists all of the men who died on the Arizona.

On the way back to camp that day, Jalene and I stopped in the historic part of Halewia to do some more shopping and get some malasadas for Ellie. We also got some bubble drinks and decided we didn't really like the bubbles.

Day Six: On my last day, before I went to the airport, Jalene and I hung around camp and laid on the beach. This swing was my favorite place to hang out at Ellie's camp. I guess some guy came to do some handy work for the camp. He wanted to stay longer, but they told him he had to be working on something to stay, so he put up this swing. Quite the contribution, I thought. The other is a picture of camp. Across the street is where they filmed the homes of the others on Lost. Jalene said she'd get a picture for me becasue my camera died that day. Ellie saw Sawyer there recently while shooting for Lost.

This is me doing like my Aunt Janet always did with pictures and writing my name in the sand. I wish I had the one of Jalene on my camera to put on here. It was cute. Hawaii was wonderful, but I think the best part was hanging out with Ellie and Jalene.