Friday, November 30, 2007

Flashback Friday XIV

I can count on one hand the number of times I've handwritten in a journal in the last six years. Ironically, I found this loose piece of paper in my desk yesterday. How fitting that it was written almost exactly one year ago. No photos to accompany.

December 2, 2006

I'm on a plane right now, less than an hour outside of Boston--less than an hour from catching a glimpse of what my next few(?) years of life are going to be like.

I can't even begin to express how excited I am. Sure I'm nervous, but my excitement overrules my anxiety--that's how I know I'm doing the right thing. For the stress ball that I am, this is a HUGE step. I forget how BRAVE I'm being in moving 2400 miles from home all by myself. Especially considering my self-diagnosed social anxiety disorder. (Smile.) But the Spirit is an amazing thing and I've had too many mini-miracles to doubt this is what I'm supposed to do with my life.

I'm meeting my future roommates tonight. And I'm attending the annual ward Christmas Gala. I have in my mind perceptions of how I think things will be; I'll have to give the report on my return flight and let you know how far off or how spot-on these silly preconceived notions are.

I'm kinda freakin' out right now. Six days til my 24th birthday and I have a feeling this is the year that's going to change my life. I'm happy with who I am and what I'm doing.

My 25th birthday is around the corner--my 1-year anniversary of being in Boston is close behind. 2007 is winding down. Has this been the year that changed my life? A year ago, I knew instinctively it would be.

So often feelings can't be put into words. It's impossible for me to really explain to you what I've learned and how much I've grown in the past year. I can't compose my thoughts artfully enough to do my heart justice. I literally sit, wordless--as the cummulative emotions, memories, and experiences flash through my mind.

A year ago I sat on the cusp of something monumental. I was climbing myself out of a hole, and I've hardly paused to look back. Life is so personal, so subjective--I only wish everyone could experience the catharsis of something this great. Maybe your change won't be a 2400 mile move, but I hope it's as personal and touching.

The biggest lesson I've learned this last year is this--we're asked to take only one little step into the dark before the whole light comes. Was it "brave" to move so far from home as I wrote a year ago? Yes. But it was braver of me to act on a prompting.

2006, my 24th year, and Boston -- the big three that changed my life. This is the year I learned how to be me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Tale Revisited

On this very day, one year ago, an epic story began with a craving.

The next day, I scratched the itch.

A week later, I was still itching.

The next day, my roommates scratched the itch.

15 days after it began, I decided to take back my life. On the way to work that morning, I decided to take the itching to work to spread the love and get it out of my system. I swore I'd quit scratching.

On day 26 of my no-scratch policy, I was in Boston for interviews. I was tempted to scratch the itch, but a special friend saved the day.

Even once I was moved and settled, I was tempted.

Since completely denying yourself of something is torturous and will eventually and usually lead you to gorge on the denied object, a goal was set, and a scratch promised.

When the day finally came, 58 days later!, I scratched the itch.

It was the last time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Staying Above the Yellow Line

You know I love The Biggest Loser. I know you know I love the Biggest Loser. Why can't I seem to quit talking about it? Oh right, because I don't know one person who watches the show. Not one. So I can't get my discussion on via gChat, Messenger, email, F-book, phone, or in person like I can for all my other shows. TBL is my guilty pleasure.

So now, it's time for me to talk about the Biggest Loser in a forum that is technically supposed to be for me, and me alone. And since my Tuesday night viewings of TBL are with me, and me alone, I feel justified in brain dumping Biggest Loser style.

The following probably won't make any sense to any of you. But I'll snicker nonetheless.
  • Watching other people work out makes me tired. It also screws with my mind because it makes me feel involved. Sitting on my bed eating cheese and crackers in no way constitutes working out.
  • I can not stand any of the women left on the Black team. Hollie is morose, Julie is animatedly expressive, and Isabeau is conniving.
  • What kind of name is Isabeau anyway?
  • My new favorite player is Nicole. She works hard, she's upbeat, and she chipped her front teeth out diving into the pool. And still laughed about it.
  • Last night Neil shed the 3's and entered the 2's. Crazy for a guy who started the show at 420 pounds.
  • My favorite part of the show is at the end when they show the eliminated contestant today--most of them have lost 80-120 pounds and they look amazing! I pretty much tear up every time.
  • Last week were makeovers and surprise family visits. I definitely cried a lot last week.
  • TBL has the most blatant product placements I've ever witnessed on prime time television. It wouldn't bother me so much if they didn't try to act like they were discussing the product in normal conversation--it sounds so phony and forced. Argh.
  • Several of the contestants are closing in on my own weight. That's starting to make me a little nervous...
  • Every week I wonder how the heck they fill 2 hours of showtime. It drives me a little crazy. It's a good thing I have a black belt in DVR fast-forwarding.
  • Did you know I knew someone who was on TBL? A gal I worked with in Oregon and her fiancee were on a special engaged-couples edition. It was craaaaaazy to hear the behind-the-scenes information.

Did I really just write an entire blog about The Biggest Loser? Sure did! I'm glad it's out of my system. Phew. Now I can get back to my regularly scheduled blogging.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Shame

I don't usually get riled up as far as "the media" is concerned. Maybe it's the four years I spent at BYU being educated to become a part of "the media"--but I'm usually the first to defend the way something is reported, managed, or handled.

A few minutes ago, I read an article that has infuriated me to no end. Literally, no end. I don't typically write political commentaries because I know nothing about politics. (Unless you consider this piece I wrote last year a commentary.) But I'm pretty livid.

On the MSN.com website, which is my homepage, is an easy link to an Opinion piece on Mitt Romney's faith and involvement in the Mormon faith. Typically, opinion pieces are an attempt to prove their point, or pursuade their readers of the validity of their opinion and therby cause a shift in the reader's views or value system. The most successful opinion pieces, my Op-Professor said, didn't read like opinion pieces--in some cases the reader can't discern the difference.

The article linked behind the MSN jump is a terribly-one-sided and oftentimes offensive piece of journalism. It is unresearched and judgemental. The article bleeds with agenda.

This isn't an injustice to politics, it's an injustice to freedom of religion as a whole.

Like most web-writing, I like to read the comments and reactions. The tone on the discussion boards reads much the same as I'm posting here. Mormon or not, writer or not, the vast majority of people believe this article was a shameful display of media agenda. I agree. My favorite comment, and one I couldn't have put into better words is this:
If Romney were a Jew, the anti-defamation league would be all over this. It would simply be unacceptable and immoral for Slate to claim freedom of speech when an article such as this is so obviously hateful. If it was ANY religion but Mormon, which in itself is a misused nickname for the 13 million members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Slate would have passed.

Whether or not you're a Mormon voting for Romney, a Mormon voting for Obama, or a Scientologist voting for Guiliani--I'm hoping you feel the slightest bit of injustice when reading this article. It seems there are still acceptable kinds of bigotry left in this world--and being a Mormon is clearly one of them.

The author is allowed to believe whatever he wants, and since it's an Op-Ed piece, I guess he can. My battle is more with the sensationalism this article sells.

Shame on MSN for posting it on their liberal magazine site at all. Double shame on MSN for linking directly to it from its front page. Shame on the media for selling sensationalism.

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**Less than an hour after it was posted, the link from MSN.com has been removed. In less than an hour 760+ comments have been added (most of which are well written and discussed). Though some are written by practicing Mormons, there's no way all of them can be. There's something to be said here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Thankful for Digital Film

Oh geez. I haven't blogged in a week. Are you ready to loot and pillage? Are your pitchforks and torches at the ready? Or, have you been offline, out and about and enjoying the holiday? I'm hoping for the latter. I only want what's best for you you know. I'm doing this because I love you. ::insert other parental catchphrases here::

Well, I have my life back. The Wms. East Coast Extended Thanksgiving Extravaganza has run its course. Ten days. Two major cities. Four living locations. Two Ford Focuses (Focci?). Three trips to the Texas Roadhouse (to our credit, once was just to pick up rolls for our Thanksgiving dinner). Two pots of Taco Soup to feed the friends (you!) who came to meet the family. Eight trips to the Christmas Tree Shops. Endless giggling. It's what happens when four sisters get together.

You know what else happens when you get four sisters together? If you know me, or my family, it's probably not hard to guess. Heck, if you read consistently, or geez! even occasionally, you know I take photos every where. With any one. Doing any thing. Are you ready for this?

You really wouldn't have guessed it was Thanksgiving Day in Boston. Isn't it supposed to be cold?

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I think this one is my ultimate favorite. Believe it or not, we didn't discuss our color palate once. Pretty perfect though, wouldn't you say?

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Insert the Mom.
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Some people know how to pose.
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Others most definitely do not.
Elbows are overrated.
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Once upon a time we thought it was cold enough we'd need coats. Pardon the black eye I'm sporting, on our first shot I took one look into the sun and that was the end of my perfect eye makeup. I wasn't made aware of the black eye until about 50 photos in. Aren't family's supposed to take care of each other? I thought it'd be cool to try to bring the cravat back. The nineteenth century is the new twenty-first century.
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Every time our entire family is together in Boston, we take a picture in this exact spot. (Have you been with me when I request we do this? It happened on the 4th of July, the Great Boston Adventure, and the JT concert.) As soon as I can get hold of the photos from yesteryear, I'll post them for your comparison. Trust me, they're world's different than the photo below. Strangely enough, there were tons of people milling around (more than should have been on T-Day), but the auto timer on the camera knew the exact second to click away. 1 point for technology.

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In the series below, I really thought we'd be able to off set each other's balance enough to keep us on that post.
Not so much. 1 point pillar.
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So that's it. Can you believe you made it through that slideshow? Are you happy or sad I'm only posting one day's worth of photos? (Please note: there are 250 unposted photos from this same day. I scaled waaaaaaaay back.) Want to know what I'm both equally happy and sad about? The family is gone, which means I stop eating waaaay too much food. Equal parts joy, equal parts pain.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We Spread the News

Hundreds and hundreds of NYC photos. STOP.
Surprisingly busy at work. STOP.
Overwhelmed. STOP.
Enjoy these quick highlight photos until I can get a breath. STOP.

aren't we fabulous?
lost in brooklynmy top 5the big 3
i love colorthank you strangerconnect 4
my dinner datewhen we shook the adultsagain!
M&D on the brooklyn bridgecity hallinvu4uraqt
the other big 3the view from our hotelat the hotel

video

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Flashback (Fri)day XIII

Today is the day I leave for New York to see the fam. Are you tired of hearing about it yet? I hope not. I imagine you'll hear about and see quite a bit of it in the next few days. I'm at work for a few hours this morning and wanted to provide a Flashback post, even though it's technically not a Friday.

For the record, I feel guilty flashbacking to events that have already been blogged about. You already had to read it once, why do it again? However, I usually try to tie my Flashback posts to current events; and as this is the last FF post before Thanksgiving, and I only have last year's Thanksgiving photos at my disposal... you get to see how awesome last year was. Again.

Last year the festivities started early--back when the baby was youngish. Everyone came into town for her blessing. (Look how funny she is now!)

One thumb up for baby.The weekend my hair turned grey.One baby to rule them all.

We ran a 6k on Thanksgiving Day. It's kind of a miracle no one was seriously injured as we're not exactly the running type of family. We did all right. Are we repeating this year? Ummmm. "They're taking time to travel and celebrate the holiday like the pilgrims of old," the official family spokesperson said yesterday.

Made it out alive!And then I did a herky.Not really number 1.

You may remember we had our family photos done. How could you forget? The photos are ev er y wh ere. Regardless, I still love love love these photos. Stay tuned for this Thanksgiving's round.
Las hermanas de WmsWe're so Utah...baby got back

Do you have Thanksgiving 2006 firmly etched in your memory now? I hope so... 2007 is on its way!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Evening the Playing Field

freerice.com

Every time you correctly match the vocabulary word with it's definition, 10 grains of rice are distributed through the United Nations. It's fun, it's educational, and it's totally stealing philanthropic bandwidth from Global Warming.

Just as it should be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the typically atypical

I'm coming off the longest (self-imposed) weekend (see post below this one) in recent history. It's almost Wednesday, and it feels like my weekend just ended. We did a lot. A lot, a lot. (Say that out loud a few times fast, it's rather enchanting.)

Friday was the day we celebrated Julie's birthday. This included dinner at her favorite establishment--Costco. Yes, the discount warehouse. Seventeen of her closest showed up to dine on fine hot dogs, churros, and pizza. The looks we received weren't all too odd until we sang. It's not too often you hear people singing in Costco. Fun, right?
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Saturday, we went candlestick bowling again. This particular alley was so old, you had to keep your own score. The mathematicians took great care; I didn't do too badly. For the record, candlestick bowing is hard. Much harder than big-ball bowling. The pins don't fall as easily, the balls are harder to control, and it just doesn't feel too real. We had two lanes of seven people, and our team whomped all over the competition.
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Also on Saturday, Julie and I tried to catch the sunset. The Mt. Auburn cemetery very close to my house is the largest in Mass., and also one of the oldest. On the grounds is a tower you can climb to take photos of the surrounding area (it's the highest point in a several mile radius). For the record, the tower closes at 4. No climbing for us. We did what we could in a graveyard near dark.
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Isn't that last picture kind of creepy? I didn't enhance my eyes at all, they just always red-out. Especially creepier in a graveyard, right?

Just think--I don't even have photos from Sunday or Monday. Those two days involved church (and some extremely fashion forward ankle-boots), a wonderful dinner with friends, a viewing of my favorite urban movie "Honey", a sleep-over, homemade soup, grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, laundry, a DVR-clearout, and a host of other goods. 48 hours until I'm in NYC--before then I've got dinner at the Texas(!), a Celtics game (5-0!), and some Christmas wrapping to do. Not enough time!

Maybe I should take a holiday tomorrow.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!