Saturday, February 28, 2009

This week's music crush

Thanks to everyone for your responses to Thursday's post. I feel so encouraged - you've convinced me to stick with this life thing. It also occurs to me that while I'm sad about not working at that great job anymore, I'm really grateful that I had a chance to work there at all. I was lucky to be there and it gave me direction for where I want to go in life.

In the meantime, here's my music crush this week. Pretty harmonies. Generally, I rarely listen to the lyrics - so they're not really a strong point of songs that I like. But I like songs that have something interesting musically going on.

You should listen to at least the first minute, then you'll get an idea of the chorus. (For you RSS feeders, you'll have to visit this page to see the song. But on the plus side, you can check out my new skin - I did it all by myself, aren't you proud of me?)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I was on the front page of BYU's paper today

That's me in the lower-left corner.
You can click on the image to go to a .pdf of the newspaper.

The photos are from September 2007. It's hard to know what to say about this - really it's kind of cool but sort of bitter-sweet at the same time. I really loved that job and I was so sad to have to leave. Isn't there some sort of saying about how ghosts from our past creep back from time to time?

And they could have spelled my name right. =) Just kidding, that's not a big deal. Actually I'm sort of more miffed that they used photos that I took of Kelsey without any credit to me... of course they had no idea who took them, I'm sure. That was actually something like Kelsey's first or second day working there, and she was obliging me by standing in for some photos - but we were being a little silly and she was making too-serious faces in some of the photos. So of course they chose to use THOSE photos on the front page of the dang newspaper. Poor Kelsey. She would appreciate me adding a disclaimer here - she in no way looks as "pleh" as she does in the photos, and is, in fact, a very attractive person. (In fact we were chatting about it and she said, "I could sue them for defamation of character") lolz.

Actually, I've been in the Daily Universe once before, when we were installing the Minerva Teichert exhibit that I worked on in different ways for about a year - first helping with the curatorial process of getting the exhibition ready to go (and the book that accompanied the exhibition), and then later I moved down to the registration department and had the good luck of getting to help install the show - so I was involved in a lot of the steps. It was great experience - it really showed how an exhibit goes together from beginning to end. So I like it that I had a little commemorative newspaper appearance to go along with the exhibit that was so important to me.

But today's article? Not really as gratifying. And I know that so many students do great jobs as employees at BYU and are inevitably let go when they graduate, and I bet that a lot of other students had jobs that they really liked and wish they could have continued. It kind of depresses me that I'm just another brick in that sad wall. Just another student employee who wishes they could have stayed. And now there are new student employees that stand out much stronger in the minds of those people who work there permanently, and if positions do open up, they go to the latest kids... I become more obsolete with each month that goes by. And that's really kind of sad.

Sorry! I have to dump a little. Last April, when I turned 24, I was so excited for the upcoming year. I thought it was going to be a great one. Instead, it has been the hardest and most difficult year of my life. Last summer life was so difficult to cope with, then my miscarriage in the fall, then winter rang in with kidney stones and five ER visits, and now we're swinging our way back to April with my wisdom teeth being removed (and now infected).

I'm aware of all the silver linings. But life is just so baffling and overwhelming sometimes. And we get little reminders (or, if not little reminders, then someone uses large space on the front page of the newspaper) - reminders that show us where we've been so far.

And sometimes it makes me just a little nauseous.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If river stones were real money, I'd be rich.

I saw this advertisement a few weeks ago when I was at work. I've been thinking a lot about finances lately and for some reason I was struck with how simple and visually appealing this little financial lesson is.

Who knew things could be so simple? Finance is just one big Jenga game with stones.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov is a poet who died in 1997. She was born in England, but lived in Washington at the end of her life. I've been going through some of her poems lately. I keep thinking about one that I read a few days ago:

Empty Hands

In the night foundations crumble.
God's image was contrived
of beaten alloy. A thin clatter
as it tumbles from its niche.

Parts of your body ache,
each separate, ominous,
linked only by emplacement within
a worn skin. Convictions

wheel and scatter,
white birds affrighted.

In time you sleep. But wake
to the same sensation: adrift
mid-ocean, frayed mooring ropes
trailing behind you, swirling.

Yet when you open
unwilling eyes, you see the day
is sunlit. You walk
down to the real shore.

Over the city,
a scum of brown. But it is quiet
among the trees, grass
strewn with first-fallen leaves,
a sheen of dew. The past night

remains with you, but your attention
is drawn away from it
to taste the autumn light, falling
into your empty hands.

Further on in the book of her poems, I found one that seems like a companion piece to this, yet they weren't intentionally linked in any way, except for her own repeated motif.

A Gift

Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.


The movie Coraline is pretty surreal in concept and visual imagery...

On top of that, seeing the movie in 3-D was pretty stunning and magical.

But seeing Coraline,
in 3-D,
while on percocet...
Well, it was pretty awesome.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wisdom Teeth

All four got taken out on Thursday. They said that on the third day I would have the worst swelling, and that's pretty much true: today is the worst day yet as far as swelling and pain are concerned. I know I'll be fine soon enough, but not today, and maybe not tomorrow (but soon and for the rest of my life).
So, of course, I'm not exercising at all. But oddly enough, I've been able to do the 12-8 sleeping schedule just fine. Well - it's pretty easy to fall asleep anytime when you have painkillers like I do. Also I have discovered how blissful two bags of frozen corn can make your life.
I don't look like a chipmunk, you can barely see the swelling on the outside, but inside it's a pillowy land of pain. I do have lots to eat, though, lots of jello, applesauce, soup, mashed potatoes, etc. I can't wait to chew again, though.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Gahh.... desperately want to get back in bed...

you all... are evil...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Give the people what they want

Thanks, everyone, for voting in my poll. Here are the results:

In bed by midnight and up by 8:00am it is!
Actually, I'm not far from this schedule right now, so I was a little disappointed that this wouldn't be more challenging. But I keep thinking: routine, routine! I think it's really important for me to establish a routine so that good things will come more naturally to me (rather than being awash in whatever urgent matter I can remember at that moment). Plus, I've heard that getting healthier involves a three-pronged attack: exercise, diet, and rest! So what's wrong with making sure I get a little rest? Bring it on.

So, for the next 21 days, the two most important things that I absolutely have to do are: 1. get in bed by midnight and set the alarm for 8; and 2. exercise every morning.

I have other ideas for things I want to add to my routine, and I can try for those, but if I'm feeling tired and want to throw something out of the window, it absolutely can't be #1 or #2.

Now, I'm planning on starting tonight and counting tomorrow as my first full day, but there's a problem. Tomorrow I'm getting my wisdom teeth out. Tenative plans are: go ahead with the goal as expected. If I'm absolutely out of commission from the wisdom teeth, then I'll postpone the goals for a few days and start early next week. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Set aside 15 minutes to watch this video.

If you don't have 15 minutes, you can just watch the first 2 and a half minutes, but the whole thing is better.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I had to postpone my Thursday polling due to illness, but we're ready today. I'll leave this up for voting until Monday or Tuesday, and then I'll start my new goal next week.

In the meantime, I did all of my 21 days of workouts before I got sick, so I was very glad to have accomplished that goal. I returned to my workout today and I feel great and I'm noticing some more nice changes in my muscles. I'm excited to keep working out and to add a new goal next week. Line upon line.

Some Notes:
These are my personal goals - I hope that if some of you guys are already pros at this stuff, you are glad that I'm trying to get better (and hopefully you don't think I'm gross or ridiculous).
One of these options was "Increase the daily workout from 15 min to 30 min every day," but I've already been doing this, and I just felt like putting it on here would undermine the fact that I've already committed to do this. So off it went.

Also, if you want to start your own goals and you want to keep track, consider using
They have some handy tools and hundreds of goal ideas taken from other site users.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two more days to go

Thursday will be 21 days, and a new habit. I think the whole "21 days to a habit" concept is pretty accurate. It's part of my routine now, and I just make sure to make it part of my day. I think it's all about routine - if I can get a good one going each day, then I think I can get a lot done. Getting a normal routine is a little hard, though, when my work schedule varies so much each day.

So my exercise goal was to do at least 15 minutes of these workouts everyday. But around day 15 I started to realize that I wasn't sore anymore, and my workout was getting pretty easy. So I talked it over with Michael (for advice), and I decided to try to push it to 30 minutes everyday, which I've been doing since Saturday. And I'm exhausted! I think starting out with 15 minutes a day was a really good idea, because it didn't kill me, and it helped me to establish the routine. And as soon as it got easier for me and when I started being more consistent, moving to 30 minutes wasn't so de-motivating that I stopped doing it altogether.

Not to say that it hasn't been hard. Yesterday I answered "Nothing can stop me!" When Maya asked me how I was feeling before the workout started, and unfortunately I thought I was going to die from minute 2 to 30. Today I answered "Not too bad" and thankfully sadistic Maya didn't make my lungs ache for air by minute 2 this time.

But I think 30 minutes is a good place to be, though it's a little harder to work into the schedule. I'm sore again, which oddly makes me think I'm doing something right. Even suggests at least 30 minutes a day of exercise for a healthy lifestyle.

So Thursday will be day 21, or alternatively, day 1 for a new habit goal. I've been thinking A LOT about what I want to do. I have a big list of ideas, and I'm tempted to try to combine some of them, but I think focusing on one thing really helped - it wasn't overwhelming and I could see my progress. Plus, having to remind myself to do several new things each day might make it easier to rationalize throwing one out the window here and there... Nope, it has to be one new goal to focus on for 21 days. Does anyone have any ideas for me to add to my list? Stuff that maybe you yourself want to do better on?

I think I'll put up a poll on this blog on Thursday, and you guys can vote to help me pick my new 21-day goal. I think this will be a good way to sneak in two goals, because I can have a personal goal and a group goal. So be sure to check back on Thursday and vote! (It will probably be depressing for me to see how few people read this blog) Be sure to add comments with ideas for me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

14 days so far

I'm 14/14 on my 21-day workout goal (the ultimate goal is to make it a habit by day 21)

I'm still enjoying it, and I have been improving little by little. I've also been making improvements in a number of other areas of my life, and I catch myself thinking feverishly about how I can fix one problem or what to do about another issue. I was wondering today if my lack of lethargy has anything to do with the physical improvement. I guess if I'm building my own nuclear reactor by next week then we'll know.