Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In which I give gifts

Ah, there is nothing like true love!

And cool things! I have cool things to share with you all today.

To my poet-friends and anyone who has an eye for art, I present Book Spine Poetry. This would be a fun date: just take a trip to the library and stack books to make heartfelt poetry! I am going to make some of my own and post them here soon.

To my writer-friends and anyone who likes learning new things, I present the objective correlative. This is a technique to improve the show-don't-tell descriptions of emotions in your writing. It is a fairly simple concept but one that we forget all too often.

To my stargazing friends, I present the 2011 Perseid Meteor Shower. I will be attempting to watch for shooting stars around the full moon this weekend. Also, who else loves that there is a website called Space.com?

To my readers in general, I present this amazing SF nerdtastic music video. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Science Fiction For The Win!

I have done pretty much nothing but consume lots and lots of media since I finished my thesis for the summer. I've been reading blogs, books, short stories, and I've been watching old TV shows and movies, and I've been looking at magazines and fun websites, and naught else! (Although, I did attend a writing conference and a book conference in the interim.) But do you know what I have discovered this summer?

SCIENCE FICTION IS AMAZING! GBRTIFLBT! (that is the sound of my awe)

Not that I didn't already know this, but I have become a 100% SF nerd. Nay, geek. Nay, aficionado. Nay, back to geek. Geek-nerd. It makes my life so much more wonderful! More gbrtiflbt! (probably pronounced gibbertiflibbet)

This is how I react to science fiction. Squee!

That picture was taken after 4 hours of standing in line for the Grand Opening of Star Tours at Disneyland. Yeah: geek-nerd. I know.

It all started last summer, when the Gramps and I drove to Colorado to visit home. Every evening at 7pm in Colorado, the local PBS channel airs a Star Trek: The Original Series episode.

We reach.

The whole family gathers around the HDTV to watch and laugh and quote. We decide who is more like Spock (me), and who is more like McCoy (Mom), and who is more like Kirk (baby sister). Old-school Star Trek is at once ridiculous and awesome. There's no other way to explain it.

Also, Scotty is so handsome. And Scottish. Imagine that.

Don't. Insult. The Enterprise.

So I started watching Star Trek. Did you know that all Star Trek episodes, from all 5 TV incarnations, are available for free online? Yeah. And the wonderful Provo Library has all the Star Trek movies. There goes my life, down the drain. But it's all for a good cause!

Good Causes, Exhibit A: Wesley Crusher

*sigh* Like I said, it's all for a good cause (and yes, occasionally for a handsome one). As Ray Bradbury put it, all science fiction is metaphor. It explores what it means to be human, to live and die, to strive and fail. I would extend this to all speculative fiction, be it fantasy, dystopia, steampunk, etc. After all, did not the U.S. government just compare The Lord of the Rings to the debt crisis? That is because the story is built like an extended metaphor, just as most of our myths and legends are. SF for the win!

So, yes, I like Star Trek (I even found a hidden tribble in the 2009 movie). Yes, I like Star Wars (which is space fantasy, not science fiction, but that is a blog post unto itself). Yes, I like Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne. Yes, I know the Three Laws of Robotics. Yes, I enjoyed Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis's Dragonlance books and I have Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters memorized and I have watched Peter Jackson's documentaries on the making of The Hobbit.

I can't wait for the Unexpected Journey!

Because, you know what? I am concerned about things like time, existence, futility, and godhood. I want to be a better person and to make the world a better place. And I believe that science fiction is the perfect laboratory for experimenting with the questions of humanity. We can learn from the mistakes that we never made and stop ourselves when we have gone too far. We can exist within our time by exploring other times. I like speculative fiction for that.

And, yes, it never hurts when there are lovable (aka crush-able) characters, either. Science fiction just feels like home, and home is where I want to be.

Toni out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The way of an eagle in the air

I am feeling hopelessly romantic this evening because I just came across this scripture in Proverbs:

There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

So poetic! And speaking of an eagle in the air...

video


This is a golden eagle swooping down over my head at the Hogle Zoo bird show. The show is definitely my most favorite part of the zoo.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Deep and Interesting: Two for the Price of One!

Today's post has two important things: a deep thought, and a piece of information that will make you a bit smarter than you were when you woke up this morning.

DEEP THOUGHT

I work as an editor, so I spend a lot of my time with words. I wrestle with commas and modifiers and typesetting and irate authors. But every once in a while, I come across a grammatical debate that reveals how we as a society view the universe. Last week, the debate was over "who" and "that." You probably never notice when you use "who" compared to when you use "that." The rule of thumb has typically been to use "who" when referring to people and "that" when referring to things. See here:

I wanted to go to the store with someone who would buy me a new red dress.

I went to the store to buy a new red dress that would look good on me.

Yes, people often mess this up. Usually, they use "that" to refer to people. The rules seem pretty straightforward. However, I work with manuscripts on animals and insects and plants. What should we use then? If we use "who," are we putting plants and animals on the same level as humans?
There's a scary thought.

If we use "that," are we categorizing them as things? Consensus among usage experts is that "who" is sometimes used for animals. Sometimes? What does that even mean?

And what would happen if we were writing about robots? What about Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation? He acts like a human, but he is not a flesh-and-blood human.

There are so many fuzzies! I did not know that my position as an editor involved dissecting worldviews and universe-ending paradoxes! Be careful what you write because you never know what message you are really sending.

If you are wondering, I chose to use "who" to refer to the stonefly detritivores in the paper I was editing. When I read the sentence to my boss, she said that she was picturing little sentient stoneflies with faces beaming up at her. (We were later horrified when the paper read, "For tests, individuals were sacrificed.")


INTERESTING TIDBIT

No more universe problems. Instead, I'm going to introduce you to the palimpsest. The palimpsest is something that authors use. Knowing about palimpsest will probably make your reading experiences so much more valuable!

Historically, the palimpsest is a piece of vellum (animal skin [I swear I'm not going back to the DEEP THOUGHT here]) that monks would use to write on. But the palimpsest is no ordinary vellum. It had already been written on. To conserve writing materials, monks would scrape the ink off of obsolete documents and use them again. However, the ink had often sunk deep into the pores of the vellum and would reappear within a few years. Thus, we can now read two documents on the same page.

Now, that is interesting and all, but the best is yet to come. The term "palimpsest" nowadays refers to the use of an older text to illuminate a new text.

Huck Finn wants to illuminate, too!

Let me provide an example: in A Dance for Three, the main character is a pregnant teenager in a mental facility. In the story, she reads The Scarlet Letter. Both books focus on forgiveness as one of their central themes, and they also follow similar storylines. Louise Plummer, the author of Dance, used a classic novel to illuminate the meaning of her book, to point to the theme of forgiveness. Palimpsest.

Usually, the other text is not blatantly referred to in the book. This makes it more interesting to read through and try to recognize what story is being used for illumination. Can you think of any palimpsests? It's often when you go, "Hey, this reminds me of...."

Voila! Treasures beyond imagining!

And there you are: you are smarter than when you got up. Go forth and use thy new knowledge!



Thursday, June 16, 2011

In which my mind splodes

Long time, no see! In the span of time since my last post, I have traveled the world (or at least, southwestern United States), turned in a draft of my thesis, attended a writing conference, and discovered a mind-boggling literary connection! I will deal with these exciting things in that order.

1. In May, I went home for baby sister Ashley's high school graduation. She led the tassel turn; thus, it was made of awesome.

She is a lot smarter than she looks in this photograph.

But before that sensational ceremony, Grandpa (my travel buddy) and I got diverted to Phoenix, Arizona. Flight cancellation blah blah blah. Moving on.

After graduation, we drove to Ogden for my cousin's wedding open house, which was very lovely. I wore purple. Like an old woman.

Then, (and this is the most important part) we drove to Disneyland! More on that forthcoming, but here is a teaser.



2. Draft #1 went out and came back, so now revisions revisions revisions for draft #2!

3. I have been attending WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference) this week. My forearms hurt from all the driving back-and-forth to Sandy, but my brain is sploding with awesome ideas! Which leads me to my next point...

4. Oh. My. Gosh. Charlotte's Web is the Lady of Shalott.

This requires some explaining. I came upon this idea while reading Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "The Lady of Shalott," in between sessions at the conference today. I have a secret project that I am working on which involves the Lady herself. Anyhoo, I couldn't help but notice that whenever Tennyson mentions the Lady's weaving, he calls it a web.

There she weaves by night and day,
A magic web with colors gay.

Essentially, the Lady sits in front of a mirror all day and weaves the reflections that she sees. She has been cursed to always weave, to always view the world through the mirror. What a terrible view! Eventually, she cries, "I am half-sick of shadows." She finally leaves the mirror to look out on the world with her own eyes. And then, she dies.

So, Charlotte. She weaves what she sees. "Some pig!" She must stay in the shadows. When she finally leaves the barn to go to the fair with Wilbur, she dies. And...Shalott....Charlotte.... Very mysterious. No? Food for thought.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dream Jobs

Ah, the lazy days of summer. My June deadline doth speedily approach, so what am I doing? That's right. I'm blogging.

But it's for a good reason, I assure you. One year from now, I will be (hopefully) done with graduate school. What then? I read a recent article that said 85% of college grads move back home. 85 freaking percent! I hatehatehate being "just like everybody else," so naturally, I don't want to be part of the 85%. Traditionally, one is expected to get a job after graduation, usually one related to your educational focus. Yeah. Right. Like those jobs are really going to open up to new grads at the exact-right moment next April. However, they are fun to think about.

Here are my dream jobs:

1. Full-time novelist. What! Okay, that one was super obvious.

2. Adaptation screenwriter. I would love to try my hand at adapting books to the screen! Especially this little gem...

3. Editorial staff at Walden Media. I just love these guys! I was especially impressed by the president and co-founder, Michael Flaherty, when he gave a BYU forum address.

4. Editorial staff at Disney-Hyperion. They have a Youtube channel. Just saying.

5. Writing instructor at Oxford. Gotta aim high, you know?

Basically, I want to be surrounded by these.


And to look a little like this guy. Minus the beard.


'Cause way down deep inside, I've got a dream!

Alright. Back to work. ;)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Seis de Mayo!

Hello, friends! There isn't much anything that is new to talk about. I've just been thesising and working at the Bean Museum and getting sunburns from reading in the sunshine for too long. Mundane, ordinary things.

However...

I also discovered some fun things on the internets that I want to share.

1) The Princess Maker! I spent far too much time making little princesses on this thing.

2) Chameleon Circuit! It's a British indie band that plays songs all about Doctor Who. And speaking of amazing British entertainment...

3) Merlin! It's a fabulous BBC show chronicling Merlin and King Arthur's young adult years. When I discovered this, the 13-year-old Toni kasploded inside me! I have always loved British legends. My poet-crush is Alfred Lord Tennyson, who wrote Idylls of the King, a book of poetry about King Arthur and his knights.

4) Muchness! This is a neat article written about the vivacity of heroines in young adult books, looking specifically at Alice. And finally...

5) Brilliant DI find! Okay, so this doesn't really have anything to do with the internets, but I found a great costume dress at DI a few weeks ago. The dress reminds me of a starry night. Here is a teaser shot...of the sleeve!

I love you all! Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In which I instigate

I am in a love-hate relationship. If I didn't love him so much, I wouldn't want to fight him. If I didn't fight him, there would be no point in being together. And so, I am trapped in a passionate and violent battle with my dear Thesis.

Please, gentle reader, take pity on him. I am not the victim: I am the instigator. See here:


Thus far, we have been skirmishing well. He doesn't realize that I have been staying up late at night honing my technique, or that I have been trained how to take him down, or that I have the blessing of the Muses on my side. I have devised a plan with the help of my patron goddess, Athena the Laptop: I will type a few tremulous words here and there, and slowly I will take Thesis by surprise. He will wake up one morning with 35 pages worth of battle wounds, and he will wonder how it happened. And then he will look at me sadly and congratulate me for my victory. And I will laugh and probably kiss him and then he will be mine forever.

Sounds like a wonderful ending, doesn't it? I believe that I can do this, and we have nothing if not belief.

Right? Guys?

P.S. I will knight you (with my favorite pen, for the pen is mightier than the sword, after all) if you can point out some of the myriad allusions that I have made here. Good luck!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why I do what I do

While perusing news websites this morning, I found this disheartening article:

Adults don't believe teens are doing better

Basically, studies are showing that today's teens and young adults have developed better morals than preceding generations. Unfortunately, older adults refuse to believe this. The author points out that some adults base their beliefs on a single case where a teen has done something wrong. Others stake their claims in the stereotype of selfish, rebellious teens. This interaction (or anti-interaction, in my mind) is particularly devastating for the youth.

What is there to do when no one expects you to accomplish anything nor accepts that you are already doing good things?

Life gets pretty hard when no one believes in you, especially when you are in the midst of the age-old struggle to identify yourself. This is one of many reasons why I have chosen to study and write young adult literature. I believe in teens and young adults. They can be forces for good if we love and encourage them. My goal is to help them see their potential!

In the current literature, I have found this potential in a variety of stories. For example, I just (as in 10 minutes ago) finished reading an amazing YA book called The Monstrumologist.
It won the Printz Award last year, which is essentially THE award in YA literature. If you're familiar with book awards, it is the YA equivalent of the Newbery. Or if you're not familiar with book awards, it is the YA equivalent of Best Picture. At any rate, Monstrumologist is not for the faint of heart. A compelling combination of historical fiction, science fiction, and horror, Monstrumologist tells the story of young orphan Will Henry, who has been apprenticed to a doctor who studies and hunts monsters. Along the way, he explores the meaning of monster and other intriguing philosophical questions. There is plenty of gore and plenty of heart (in a good way): one of my favorite points in the book is when the doctor stops saying "your services are indispensable to me" and finally says "you are indispensable to me." Will learns what great things he can do (potential!), both on the grand, epic scale and on a smaller, intimate scale. I can't wait to read the sequels!

When I read YA books like this, I often re-learn that everyone has a purpose. Though we are definitely individuals, we are not alone. We are not useless. We each have gifts and talents that we can use to do some good in this world. But these are truths that are easy to forget, especially with our feeble human minds. Sometimes I think that the curse of mortality is forgetfulness. We need to be constantly reminded of the Truth. And that is why I do what I do.

Most of the time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Queen of Posts


Okay, so that's not the most flattering picture of either of us. But look at those cheekbones!

I have lots to share today, so let's start with the most important/most exciting first.

I. My sweet little hometown is getting an LDS temple! Here is the announcement. I could hear my mom screaming in excitement from across the Rocky Mountains. As for myself, I choked and fell off the couch when I heard President Monson say those three little words: Fort Collins, Colorado. Sigh. I will keep you posted as information floods in. I finally feel like I have somewhere to get hitched! Once it gets built, of course. ;)

II. I only have seven days of school left this semester. Always exciting to see the end coming! (wow, take that line out of context and it has intriguing implications about death [leave it to me to get philosophical on so trivial a thing as the end of a semester])

III. I may or may not be going here this summer. My family is going for my baby sister's high school graduation trip. Also, I will most likely be there for this grand opening.

IV. I'm doing a writing marathon this weekend! Basically, all my free time will be spent writing. I will be eating and sleeping, don't worry. Wish me luck!

V. (You'll notice that the next few announcements are less meaningful than their predecessors, but they are fun! Or funny.) I was watching an old TV show this evening, and one of the main characters died. I knew it was coming (heck, she died before I was born!) and I still wept. Like a baby. Like a baby with no way to stop the tears from flowing unceremoniously from her tearducts. More on the old TV show in a future post. (Aren't old TV shows the best?)

VI. Speaking of old TV shows, I have the Doctor Who theme stuck in my head. Get it stuck in your head!

VII. I dug up my old Battle for Middle-Earth computer game the other day and promptly killed Eowyn and Theoden at Helm's Deep. By accident, I assure you. Those words will haunt me: "Lady Eowyn is no more." Shudder.

VIII. Along the same lines (sort of), I have recently become intrigued by a creepy puzzle-based video game called Portal. Words from this game will also haunt me. Imagine a robotic machine gun calling out to you with an automated, young girl's voice, "Are you still there, target?" Before it starts blasting you with bullets. Yeah. Not to mention the powerful gun in your hands, a gun that allows you to create transportation portals on the walls and floor and ceiling. And the eerie messages left on the walls by those who have gone (and died) before.

IX. This post is long enough. Farewell for now, gentle readers! Don't have too many nightmares...target. Bwa ha ha.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moon, Ship, Word

What do they all have in common? This post!

#1 I am very upset--very upset--that we have cloud cover tonight. The full moon only comes once a month, but this particular kind of full moon only comes once every 20 years. Read more.


#2 I just got back from BYU's performance of Persuasion. It was amazing! Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel; thus, Captain Wentworth is my favorite Jane Austen hero. Besides, this blogger has a thing for men on ships, ranging from Royal Navy to StarFleet. And yes, I think the Tardis counts as a ship. :) Anyway, if you want to see the play, you should!


#3 I am participating in a writing marathon. What! Rissy and Dell need to have a happy ending, and by golly, I'm gonna give it to them! I'm not sure exactly when this marathon is going to be, but if you are interested, check it out! In Bilbo's immortal words, "I want to see mountains again--mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Comfort Movies

Let's be honest: I have comfort movies. When I'm feeling blue or icky, I just want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot soup and a movie. Now, my dear friend Kelli has fantastically comforting comfort movies, like Anne of Green Gables and The Big Green. These movies actually have qualities that soothe, tickle, and cheer.

My comfort movies look a little different. Don't judge; I like to escape into an adventure, okay?

1. The Mummy
This movie came out right before my family made the gihugic move from Washington to Colorado. That summer, I learned this movie word-for-word. I can still remember the lines from my favorite scene in the library:
"Socrates, Seth Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3. T-Tuthmosis? What are you doing here? T, t, t, t, t--T. I'm going to put you where you belong." Which is where she knocks down every single shelf in the library.

2. Godzilla
Nick Tatopoulos, played by Matthew Broderick, would be my friend. He's a nerd, he's sweet, he fights a giant nuclear lizard that he actually doesn't want to destroy, etc, etc. My favorite thing about this movie is that it takes place largely in the rain. I love rain in movies, especially night rain. I'm not sure why.

3. Star Trek (2009)
I'm not even going to get started on why Star Trek anything comforts me, but I will say this: it's in my blood.

4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
He's a hero. He's romantic. He shoots arrows while barrels of gun powder explode behind him. What more does a girl need when she's feeling blue?

5. Jurassic Park
This is the one that I'm currently watching. I love the characters, the awesome dinosaurs, and (of course) the scene in the night rain. I tell ya, that night rain really comforts me. Even when the T-rex has just escaped and is eating people. Soothing. So so soothing. Plus, I have always crushed on Sam Neill. And also, the velociraptors are wicked cool.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Grief!

I have found a cave and it's nice and I'm going to spend the rest of the school year in this cave and I'm going to do all the homework and grade all the papers and read all the books and not come out until summer. Right?

So, the weeks plod on. There are currently five weeks left of classes this semester. I'm registered for one spring class, but I don't really want to take it. Besides, I have devilishly brilliant summer plans. >:) I will divulge these plans soon. But not now.

Mostly because now I need to dry my hair and put clothes on and walk the twenty minutes to work. How many miles is that? I shall google it. Apparently, it is International Women's Day. According to Google. Also according to Google (well, Google maps), I walk 5500 ft to the Bean Museum. That's almost two miles, folks! I must be in such good shape. But that means I have to leave my cave. Momentarily. Just for a wee bit. Then I'll be back. Until then!

Friday, February 25, 2011

If you give a girl a star...

Because of a traumatizing episode in Young Women's, I hate hate hate crafts. Hate hate hate. Double hate. Loathe entirely. Let's just say that one of my leaders did not like it that I was thinking "outside the box" when we did crafts for activity. Every week. For years. Starting when I was twelve.

However, I have found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Normally, I fill my free time with reading, but grad school is starting to wear down my eyeballs. I now "watch" my favorite movies, the movies that I can quote in my sleep, the movies that I do not need to use my eyes to watch. I can just listen to the dialogue and the music and my memory fills in the rest. But I'm fidgety. I have nothing to do while I listen-imagine-watch these movies.

And so, I craft. Tonight, the movie was Lord of the Rings. I made a star out of ribbon, beads, and pipe cleaners.



And then the star needed something to shine on, so I made a fairy.



And then the fairy got lonely, so I made another fairy. This one is my favorite, mostly because of her vibrant colors. And also because she has feathers for wings.


And the fairy wanted to ride on top of a kitty.

And now, if you'll excuse, I need to watch my one of my favorite elves of all time (read: Haldir) die a horrible and unnecessary death. It should have been Legolas.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

CNN Mayhem

Can you spot the unusual, politically incorrect connection between the two news stories?

From CNN this morning: "A doctor in Ecuador notices his shortest patients are some of his healthiest. Evidence is mounting that a brown dwarf star or a gas giant planet is part of our solar system. A look back at some of the week's best stories."

Or is this just one story?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Canadian Flag Day!

It's National Flag Day in Canada. What are you doing to celebrate? Nothing? Hmmm, me neither. Prolly because I'm not Canadian in any way. In fact, I still have a love/hate relationship with Canada from the 2010 Winter Olympics hockey game. But but but...Gilbert Blythe is Canadian! And and and Michael J. Fox! And lots of other great people!

Anyway, while I'm in the process of rethinking my Canadian sentiments, let me show you how I celebrated Valentine's Day:

We had FHE as a ward, and the festivities included a giant game of twister, as seen here. In the top left corner, you can also see a rousing game of musical chairs going on. I, of course, was wandering around picking up the candy hearts that were getting thrown about.

Oh, and I also dressed up for the occasion.

In addition to Red (my favorite color) and Black (in mourning of great people who have been limited by obsessions with love), I also wore a green heart. Why green? Am I preparing prematurely for St. Patty's Day? Never! I'm too Scottish to pine over an Irish holiday. Then why, already?

Because I like Spock, and he has green blood.

Live long and prosper.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Of Colds and Mummies

Hi. I have a cold. It's driving me crazy. How are you?

Seriously. This cold is rebelling, trying to bring me down. It has gone Egypt on me. Yes, I just turned a current event into an adjective.

While we were cleaning for cleaning checks last night, my roommate got a cryptic text message. "Are you watching? It just happened." She had no clue what it meant.

"Egypt?" I offered. I was scraping soap residue off the washing machine. "Maybe they finally got rid of Mubarak."

She thought about this for a moment, on her hands and knees in front of the oven. "Oh my gosh," she finally said, "what if it's the third world war?!"

I stopped scraping. If my brain could ever work at genius speeds, it did right then. In a single second, I imagined all of life during and after World War III. Billions of images flitted through my mind. My family watches too many apocalypse movies, if you ask me.

I picked at some dried blue soap with my fingernail. "I don't think so."

After a long five minutes, we learned that the text was simply referring to the newest episode of The Office. (Really?) No world-wide warfare yet. But maybe--just maybe--having a cold isn't so bad.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Feberwary!

February: from the Latin word for "purification." The Finnish name for February means "month of the pearl." It is the month when Argentina celebrates the National Day of the Sun, when the world celebrates International Mother Language Day, when America celebrates Black History. It is the month of the amethyst, a gem that symbolizes spiritual wisdom and honesty.

But it's a short month. I only have so much time to make it a February of Awesome!

So let's get out there in the cold and the wind, where the fish fly above our heads and the funny little man chops down a tree on top of a cow, where the sheep and the cattle line up for battle. Hey, I made a rhyme!

What is in store for you this month?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Learn All the Things!

I've been feeling a little bored lately, so I went to the Provo City Library this morning to check out some books. I brought back two behemoths.



If anyone wants to know anything about Scottish or Russian history, give me a few weeks and I will know all! Actually, I'm a little concerned: I have this addiction to learning, nay, consuming knowledge whether or not it is directly applicable to my current situation. I guess that's how grad school plays with the mind. Even in my spare time all I want to do is learn learn learn!

Oh, and I am no longer bored. Thanks to the Brave Land and also to Kievan Russia.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Little Awesomes

Hello there!

Life goes on as usual for me, but some awesome, very exciting things are happening to people close to me:

My sister, Katie, and her husband, Ben, are getting sealed in the Denver temple on February 5th!



I wish I could be there!

Also, my former roommate, Alex, and her husband, Nick, have a brand new baby boy! I haven't seen any pictures of him yet, but I am so excited for their little family! I am, however, beginning to imagine what he might look like...


Congratulations to the two happy couples!

Monday, January 24, 2011

2011: Year of Awesome

This is going to be my year. MMXI is going to be awesome. To prevent it from becoming anything other than awesome, I have officially named it The Year of Awesome.

In celebration of The Year of Awesome, I am going to do awesome things all year. I am tackling these books for January. What!

I will learn about dystopian societies. I will learn about spaceships. I will learn about anthropophagi (ask Shakespeare). I will learn about French boarding schools. Learn learn learn I love to learn! Learning is Awesome. Any suggestions for Awesome things to do/learn in February?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Psych


It's time that I explain another one of my obsessions. It's called Psych. I like Psych. I like it a lot.
Here's the full cast:
Reasons why I may or may not be obsessed and uber-nerdy about Psych

(1) I am the target audience! I am in college and I am a fan of awesomeness.

(2) It is super funny! I mostly watch it for the ridiculous one-liners, the fast-paced dialogue, and the occasional I-think-we-just-caught-the-bad-guy dance.

(3) My family likes it! This is very important when it comes to my obsessions. I like to surround myself with people who also appreciate the object of my obsession.

(4) My friends like it! What. See (3).

(5) They make loads of 1980s references! I have yet to catch 'em all (that's a reference to the 1990s of my own childhood), but I laugh and laugh and laugh when I finally get it!

(6) They make fun of themselves! In one of the best scenes ever, Gus (played by Dule Hill, who was also in Holes, a movie dear to my heart) and Shawn (the audacious James Roday) discover a dino dig.
Shawn: Oh, look at that. It's like that movie, the one with, uh, Sigourney Weaver.
Gus: Aliens?
Shawn: No.
Gus: Alien?
Shawn: No!
Gus: Alien: Resurrection?
Shawn: Gus, the one with the holes and Shia LaBeouf.
Gus: They had holes in Shia LaBeouf?
Shawn: The holes were in the ground, dude. Like that. And Jon Voight was walking around all crazy.
Gus: Oh! Anaconda.
Shawn: Man, never mind.
Gus: Gorillas in the Mist? Death and the Maiden?

Get it? They're talking about Holes...which Gus also starred in...

(7) The Blueberry!

You know that's right.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

MMXI

Happy 2011!

How did you ring in the New Year? My family and I celebrated by watching "dumb" movies. We started with Johnny English and Get Smart. Then, we watched Michael Jackson music videos and danced like crazy. Just wait until you see my new moves! But it was only 11:00pm by then, and we were all bored and tired, so we put on an episode of Psych. What! And one of my sisters fell asleep. Everyone left or went to bed at 11:55pm, so once again it was Sam and I alone celebrating the new year. And he was inexplicably sitting in a basket.

But that's okay. I love him anyway. Just as long as he gets out of that basket every once in a while.

A full Christmas report is coming soon. See you then!