Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On the Ride

I've started a new project. I guess it could still be considered another blogging endeavor, but more than anything I'd like to think it a writing exercise. Not that blogging isn't writing, (because it is! and everyone who blogs is a writer! go blogging community!) and this is probably splitting hairs, but I think it's time to separate the zippy, off-the-cuff, running life commentary from the short stories of my life.

It's not that the stories of my life share anything significant or life-alteringly profound. But I feel I have an interesting place and voice in this world. There are some blogs that cover what it's like to be single, Mormon and in a big city. None are to my taste, so I've decided to create my own. In the between, I plan to both record the present and remember the history of how I got to where I am today--and it's been a ride, I'll tell you that much.

Did you know I aspired to to be a romance fiction writer? (Those who can't learn...) I learned two interesting lessons from that experiment. That and more!


I may or may not be worth a bookmark, but you can decide for yourself. The page above links to the "About," but for my very first actual post, I've made like the first hit, opening song in one of my favorite musicals of the high school variety and kareoked The Start of Something New.

Maybe I'm being ambitious, but someone gave me ambition for my birthday apparently...

Monday, December 21, 2009


I'm working on a new blog. Not a post, an actual new (supplemental) blog. More to come on that soon(ish), but I need your help in the meantime. Life and death here people, so I've created a new poll in the right real estate. Please respond. No one's feelings (read: mine) are going to be hurt, I'm just trying to figure out the taxonomy (tagging) system for my new stuff.

So. Help me. Quickly. And don't feel bad.

Also, happy Monday. Did you enjoy your weekend? Did it have crazy snow? Mine didn't, but you wouldn't have guessed with the number of times I left the house. Nothing like last year. Glad I got out of Boston before the BIG ONE hit! Travel safe everyone. XO.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wms. and Otherwise

I'm not even kidding when I say this picture makes me happy to be alive. If I can't be in Utah where my sisters and besties are, I'll settle for them getting together without me. And they do it willingly, I don't even have to push! There are a ton of really cheesy statements I could make here, but I'll limit it to one big SQUEE.

Building a Mystery

Mystery Google.

Have you been there yet? Type anything into the Google search box and the results returned are what the person just before you searched.

Today, to mess with the person searching just after me, I typed in “I’m watching you.”
The results returned? “Who’s behind me?”

What’s the word or phrase for what just happened to me? I can’t push my brain past YOU GOT SERVED. I’m blaming it on jet lag but it’s probably just my love of C+ street movies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tacky at 27

Despite my protestations, Brenda really wanted to throw me a birthday party this year. I've had some pretty stinking memorable birthdays (the red dress at 25, and the disco skate-a-thon as my SLC send-off), but I'm pretty sure this was my favorite party yet. There's something to be said for someone else doing all the work!

I love December, you all are very well aware. So B turned my birthday into a tacky holiday-themed event. Having thrown my ugly sweater gem away when I left SLC, I was on the hunt for a new one. Instead, I stumbled upon this tacky gold sequined disco top. How could I turn it down? I was like a cat distracted by shiny things all night. But seriously, the food was incredible (hot cocoa, fudge, cookies, rice krispy(!) wreaths, candy, soda, cheeseball, shrimp(!!!)), the mood festive, and the company fantastic.

If you want to see me awkward, put me in a situation in front of people where I'm not quite sure what's going to happen. (I'm too much of a planner to love too much of a surprise!) The awkwardness is exponentialized when a "very special number" is announced, and you're pretty sure the loosest dude cannon in the tri-state area is going to give you a "very special dance." Don't worry, he just took his pants off as a special Christmas treat.

So all in all, a wonderful evening. Relatively low key (but maybe that's because I just had to show up?) but a perfect end to another year, another birthday, and another Boston holiday season.

Heading home tomorrow! Woot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy/Sad for the day

After a ridiculously amazing weekend, I find myself having an off day.

The good news is I'm convinced there's not much the perfect batch of snickerdoodles can't fix.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Like a Kelly Clarkson song

Do you want to know what I've been doing the last week? Well, the answer is basically trying to breathe. I've had the Head Cold of HorrorTM that's threatened my very desire to stay alive and kicking. Now let me compare this cold to a Kelly Clarkson "I don't need you fool, I'm on my own now" anthem. The songs hit hard and fast from the opening measure, right? And the bridge endures two key changes and some slamming guitar solos and then pounds out to the closing notes? Yah, that's what's happening with my face. And the bridge happened to hit on my birthday. Holler!

As a lil birthday treat to myself, instead of working (sick) from home, I just didn't work at all. A legitimate sick day. I've only taken one day in the last 20 months, and that was for cosmetic surgery. That's right, only one day, and I've been pretty sick this year; I'm just reluctant to spend my PTO time not in a foreign country. I'm nothing if not resiliant.

So I was home in bed, profusely weeping from both my left eye and nose for the majority of the day I was awake. In the brief interludes between naps, I was gifted with the kindest emails, facebook posts, texts, and singing phone calls. If there's ever a day to be home, it's a day when all you hear is nice things about yourself. In between the Dayquil, Nyquil, and *menthol nasal spray.

Not wanting the day to be a complete waste, hauled myself out of bed and into the shower to go out to eat with my girls still in Boston. What a lovely evening we had--marred only by the fact our waiter could not keep a comment to himself. Not a photo exists of me with a whole face, but that's fine, that left side has given me nothing but trouble this last week. I'd cut it off if I had the 3D chance. Gives a whole new meaning to the line, "Since you been gone, I can breathe for the first time," eh?
* Menthol nasal spray represents both the absolute best and worst of times. On the "best" side of the coin, 3 sprays in each nostril and you go from plugged up to breathingly clear in 30 seconds and lasts for 10 hours. (True story.) On the flip "worst" side, any kind of nasal spray (if used properly) is like jumping into a pool without your nose plugged--and the menthol makes it cold and tingly. I read the directions on the bottle last night and it said not to use longer than 3 days, or the spray could be exasperbating the problem. I'm pretty torn here. Frankly nasal spray, my December and life would suck without you, but perhaps it's time for me to breakaway.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Birthday Letter

Happy Birthday self, you’re another year older.


You’re a year older, but are you wiser too? Did you make the most of 26? Are you a better person coming out on the other side?

It’s okay to admit that 26 was a bit of a rocky year; no beach is composed completely of sand. There were times of intense heartbreak and crippling letdown, but you lived to tell about it, didn’t you? And not only is your heart still beating, but it’s stronger and more aware.

This was the year the training wheels came off and no one was holding on to the back of your seat to keep it upright. Alone and far from home, this was the year you fully created a new home. More people moved out of your life than in, but what of it? You’ve managed to irrevocably knot your heart strings to those who’ve earned a place there. They’re better people for it. You’re better for it.

All those things you love about yourself? People love those about you too. And the rough spots? Well, people may see those too, but you’re your own harshest critic Nat. You know that, now remember it in year twenty-seven.

Surely there are moments in the last year you wish you could take back, but because you can’t go back and change it, there’s no use feeling regret or disappointment. Move on and use historical data to project future outcomes. A year just past. Don’t let it be in vain.

Riding on your own has also allowed you to experience breathtaking views. Moments so grand your breath was taken completely away and in its place settled a general feeling of rightness. Not only celestial experiences surrounded by loved ones, but also irreplaceable moments steeped in the silence of independence. This is the year you learned to fully love and appreciate you. That gift is impossible to purchase or give, but is earned through struggle and perseverance. If the rocky roads were payments credited toward this ultimate treasure, they’re roads worth taking again, aren’t they?

This is the lesson you should remember from year twenty-six.

On the last night of your twenty-sixth year, you open a card from your grandparents. “We applaud your success and think you are brave,” it says. Your heart warms not only because you feel the collective support of those who’ve had a hand in forming the mold, but also because for the first time ever, you believe it too.

And that’s something you feel good about. A worthwhile year. May this next year be as good as the last.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

On the first weekend of Christmas...

My face is kind of a wreck. To put it mildly, I've been weeping from two of the three holes in the left side of my face for two days now. (I paid for fully branded lasik eye surgery, so no Liz Lemon mouth drain for me.) The good news is, I'm not letting this stand in the way of the most wonderful time of the year. You've heard about it, right? My obsession with December?

In years past I've let Christmas sneak up on me. I've vowed for this year to be different. I've been listening to (and enjoying!) Christmas music, the soft glow of the twinkle lights set up in our living room, and finding the perfect gifts. And it snowed for the first time yesterday. A lot!

Tonight, I attended the most festive party of my Boston existence. The spread of food was mind boggling for one person to put together (rockstar!), but we ate and ate and ate some more. Everyone was festively attired, and we gathered around the piano to sing Christmas songs four separate times. Two things we learned: 1) "O Holy Night" is a very, very high song and 2) "We Three Kings" sounds an awful lot like a pirates' song. But that might have been the homemade egg nog talking.

My grandmother collects nativities from every place she visits. In my continued quest to a) be more like my grandparents and b) revel in nostalgic traditions, I decided to take on the same challenge. I'm not at 100 percent, but I'm trying. And let's be honest, some locations facilitate easier procurement than others alright? So my home is now hosting the truest Spirit of Christmas! Let's take a tour shall we?

This is perhaps my favorite purchase of this Thanksgiving trip. I saw this Nativity in Mexico City our first day at an outdoor market. By the time we went back that afternoon (as I didn't want to haul it around), the entire market had been taken down. Somewhat devastated, we vowed to spend time the next day looking. Que suerte to have found it again from a different vendor, huh? The pieces are probably 9 inches tall and somehow I didn't get the shepherd photoed:

The set is tiny! I feel like a giant trying to set these pieces in their proper place. The woman who sold both Colleen and I this set in Mexico City (yep, I bought two) was too adorable. She saw us looking at nativities and unearthed these sets. She unwrapped the baby Jesus and in her sweet Spanish (that I understood! holy gift of tongues!) told us how cute he was. Agreeing, we immediately bought without even seeing the other pieces. When the price is right... Colleen aptly named this set "The Grab Bag Nativity." Los Gauchos de Argentina:
My final nativity piece was purchased last year in Italy. The snow globe plays Silent Night and I'm still ecstatic that it didn't break in my suitcase:
I hope you're each enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. Take the time to enjoy it! President Monson reminded us in tonight's Christmas Devotional that Christmas shouldn't be a time of pressure and fatigue, but rather we should relax and enjoy the Spirit of the Season. Join me, the weather is nice.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

La Dia de Gracias

Last Thanksgiving, it was Sicily, Italy by day, cruise ship by night. This Thanksgiving, it was Buenos Aires, Argentina by day, Mexico City by night. Hot, humid, and festive!

Contemplating the homeland:
The pilgrims and indians still getting along (even after eight days of 24/7 togetherness):
While you were carving a turkey, we dined on all-you-can eat Argentinian beef:
The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. This conquistador discovered this flag in 2009:
An armed guard at La Casa Rosada. Yes, the President lives in The Pink House (translated).
The best we could do of us and La Casa Rosada:We spent quite awhile listing the five things we were most grateful for this year. A few tears may or may not have been shed--but it may have been due to the high carbonation in the Coca Light or Fanta we were drinking... but most likely not. The things I'm most thankful for this year:
  1. My job; the challenge and the learning and the fact I'm getting better
  2. Modern technology (nerd alert!)
  3. The way I've learned to love myself this year (which I feel is directly related to...)
  4. The Temple
  5. The people in my life--both family and friends
I hope you each had good food, good company, and a good time reflecting on how much we each have to be thankful for. Until next year!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the best part of today

Bless Boston's heart, but it's a bit of a revolving door as far as people are concerned. Two years is the median length of time folks stay in the Hub. This presents situations in both sides of the glass, but I'll submit to the jury that there's nothing quite like having a friend with whom time apart melts away in a matter of seconds should the right phrase, song, or memory present itself.

I was lucky enough to meet Alicia my first year in the dorms at BYU and we bonded fast and furiously. We lived together off and on the rest of college and then I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid at her wedding 3.5 years ago. We've only seen each other a handful of times since then but this week we bonded over a shared memory of Claiken, and tonight, I got a text message that made me smile:

"Can't help but think of you when this happens."
Only people who really know and love you can bank on you're predictabilities (or have minds like steel traps and remember blog posts from three years ago) can display such love. Today was a pretty good day, full of good music and books and TVs and pizza with Linda... but this text trumped them all.

Happy. So go, right now, and email or text or chat a good friend and remind them about something you know or love about them. It'll make them (and you!) happy too. Now GO.

Winner winner pollo dinner

The polls for the highly official Luna Nueva GIVEAWAY have closed. Thanks to those who played. I ran the comments through Random.org and the big winner is.......... Comment #1!

Congratulations to my cousin-in-law Brittney. This busy, hardworking lady keeps a fun blog of her crafting and projects outside of tending to the needs of her three boys under the age of 5. (I usually feel lazy after reading her posts. You're amazing Britt!) Send me your address and I'll get this terrible copy of Luna Nueva in the mail.

As a note, I previewed the DVD last night and it *does* work, but well... let's just say I'm glad you've seen it in a theater. But it is dubbed in Spanish, so it's pretty funny. You thought the acting was terrible before? Add in the overexaggerated Spanish and it's worth a few minutes of laughter.

Three random tidbits about today:
* It's 67 degrees outside. In December. In Boston. This can only mean it's going to snow tomorrow, right?
* I got the "In the Heights" Soundtrack today and it's amaaaaaaaaazing. And the show is coming to the Boston Opera House in January. I'm just beside myself. Life just keeps getting better and better.
* My rather addictive personality has flared up in terms of "fine" dining. I finally got brave and looked at the nutritional facts online and am beyond relieved that I'm not on the way to breaking the scale--but just maybe am on the fast track to heart disease. But it's such a tasty, and locationally convenient way to go.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Last Thanksgiving

I'm kind of obsessed with Taylor Swift's cover of "Last Christmas." (I'm happy to send it to you should you be so interested.) Consta-repeat over here. But that's not what this blog is about. This blog was supposed to be about Turkey Day in Buenos Aires, but it's not about that either. (I keep distracting myself.) Instead? It's about last Thanksgiving.

You see, I started what was supposed to be today's blog by comparing and contrasting this and last year's grand events--both which took place overseas but which had very different experiences. I got to reviewing the photos from the cruise with my cute grandparents and my gorg sister Alaina, and I got sucked into the photos. And then I was sorry (again) for not being a better blogger last year. (How can I remember my life if I don't publish it? It's like that tree that fell in the forest but no one heard about it.) But Thanksgiving on floating city with tuxedos, formalwear, an ice turkey sculpture, and an on-board casino? That stuff can't be left alone.

And how can I live a complete life if this photo isn't posted? Really. How could I? Hello new desktop background.
Learning from a pro

Not going to lie, I love the slots. And I may have corrupted Alaina--she was the big winner of the trip. A one-night addict! I can't complain though, she was kind enough to share her quarters with me.
Thanksgiving Aboard

Where they tried their best for a turkey dinner, it left something to be desired. I may or may not have had a shrimp cocktail (or two) and a hamburger instead. But on holidays (and cruises) you do what you want, right? And per tradition, we followed up our nightly three course meal with a piece (or two) of pizza and a cherry coke on the way back to the room. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

So this blog isn't what it was supposed to be about. Big deal, I'm the sheriff of these parts. If you aren't ready to put me in blog jail yet, I'll tie this blog post into a nice neat package and give you the T.Swift version of Last Christmas. Because this blog isn't supposed to be about that either. Oh well. Happy Thanksgiving 2008.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Death (of) photos

I felt really awkward taking photos on my trip. Perhaps it was because we were traveling outside of the common tourist destinations, or maybe because every inch of my very tall, very blonde, very straight-off-the-Mayflower look just didn't blend too well in Latin America--but I couldn't bring myself to photo too much of our surroundings. Mental pictures will have to do until I can rewind it all in Heaven.

On our first full day in Buenos Aires (martes for those who care), we cabbed our way to La Recoleta Cemetery to check out where the rich Latins go once they up and die.

I've tried to weed it down, really I have. But this place begged to be photoed. And none of these folks were alive and kicking long enough to be bothered by the photos I took.

It's hard to describe how insane these memorials were--the glass work, the granite work, the coffin work. It was awesome. And kind of creepy; we saw more than one coffin with the lid all askew--in fact, that one had a window broken out of the tomb as well. Ai yie yie!

All in all it was nice to take a little break from shopping, eating, and relaxing. But soon enough, we were back at it.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

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