Monday, February 26, 2007

Music a la Designer Impostor Perfume

I borrowed this from my fantastic sister-in-law Tiffany, because It's a great game! My love of music is enhanced because of her and other friends who love music. We often swap new found joys and little ditty's. I have stumbled upon some of my favorite bands because I went to a concert with a friend or they recommended a CD. It really makes me happy! A few months ago one of my best friends sent me mix of stuff she loves. All REALLY great stuff (thanks Allison!). Some I knew, some not. One I was less familiar with was Stellastarr*. I just bought the CD this weekend. SO SO SO SO SO GOOD!!!!!!! seems rather Cure-like. It's not often I buy I CD that I love this much. It's been a while.

As I've been listening to this CD over and over again, I remember Tiffany again. She started a little game she likes to call "Music a la Designer Impostor Perfume." Remember back when you were younger and you'd get those aerosol spray bottles of "perfume" that said things like, "If you love Georgio, you'll Love Prego" or "If you love Eternity, You'll Love Forever" Or whatever they were. YES!!! This is the game we play with music. It's a great way to link bands and see what we like. We don't always agree with some of the linking, but it's still a great game! So Let's Play!!! I know a lot of my friends around Boston AND ELSEWHERE are huge music lovers as well and could play a round or two.

If you don't know what I mean, Let me give you a few examples. Feel free to disagree...

If you love Nick Drake, You'll probably love Alexi Murdoch.
If you love The Cure, You'll really dig Stellastarr*.
If you like Jimmy Eat World, Promise Ring will probably satisfy.
If Death Cab's your thing, Band of Horses is worth checking out.
If you like Modest Mouse, check out Architecture in Helsinki.

My friend Whitney introduced me to a fun little site: You can type in some band or a song you like and then the site will create a playlist type thing of other bands with similar styles. It's interesting to see how they link music. It's a lot of fun to play with.

Tiffany, I'm still searching for a good link for The Innocence Mission.

Friday, February 23, 2007

irregardless and other words that should be avoided

I realize this may not be a big deal, however, It gets on my nerves!


I've heard it used several times and every time it makes me cringe mentally. I heard it again a few days ago and it's been dwelling on my mind. Why does this bother me? well....

1. unnecessary
2. isn't that a double negative?
3. does the ir and the less cancel each other out? But then it leaves it "regarding" and that's never how it's used!
4. it is used as one would say regardless and regardless makes a lot more sense!

Since I'm a nerd (finally! this is just one of MANY things that that constitute my nerdiness) I thought might shed light on the topic. I also needed to know if my pet peeve was irrational (NOT RATIONAL):

Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements
ir- and -
less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective,
irrelevant, and irreparable. Those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may
do so from a desire to add emphasis. Irregardless first appeared in the early 20th century
and was perhaps popularized by its use in a comic radio program of the 1930s.

I like how it agrees with me and then renders it usable. I don't understand that. Perhaps will tell us more? Here are a few highlights taken in the context I want:

* Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style,
when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing.
* it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and
regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix
in a single term.
* it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

VALIDATION!!! Thank you. I feel so much better.

Other words that just get on my nerves (short list of ones I actually recall, I try to ignore and forget others as much as possible) although I doubt I will ever find a valid reason for my irritation:

MOIST--sick. just sick.
OINTMENT--maybe I hate the oi sound?
PANTIES--yeah, just...ew.
CRISP--when describing the weather
the C word. I cannot write it. Good luck figuring that out. For some it's obvious, for're hopeless!
CLEARLY--when overused
OBVIOUSLY--are you sure? I just hate that. (yet I probably overuse it as well)
PUS--a gross word

Phrases like these make me want to lash-out:
COMING TO A HEAD--are you kidding me?!?!?!?!
WE'RE PREGNANT!--for some reason I just don't think so Buddy!
KICKING AGAINST THE PRICKS--not really sure why, maybe cause I don't get it. I used to think it was bricks, which in my mind made a lot more sense
any thing that begins like, "NO OFFENSE...BUT..." or "I AGREE TO AN EXTENT BUT..." no! actually you DO NOT agree (which is fine, just own it) and you're also telling me I should probably be offended by what you are going to say but you don't really care! Thanks. Cool.

There are SO SO SO many more. I'll probably be thinking about this for the rest of the weekend. I just know there are more that should make the top of the list.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Peggy and Linda visit HOME!!

For Presidents Day my dear friend Peggy and I decided to venture home to Balmer Merlan. It was an amazing trip: so relaxing and yet we did so much! Let me share some highlights with you... We had to change planes in New York where our plane was delayed for a VERY LONG time!! This is us practicing our faces for the airport personnel. Here we are anticipating them telling us we must check our baggage.
So we finally got home! How excited are you Peg? Wow! She's THAT excited! And what about me? Well...
FRIGHTENINGLY excited I tell you! We have so much to look forward to...Like our Saturday night sing-a-long with David, Tiffany, Amanda, and Scott!
Dave, I mean Art Garfunkle, provided the music as we sang to all our old fave's like: weezer, dionne warwick, pat benetar, nirvana, america, simon and garfunkle, bread, guns and roses, sheryl crow, and so many other goodies I can't even remember.
The only one Dave refused to do was November Rain because that ones better on the piano...look forward to the Sunday sing-a-long...piano style!
Here Peg and I are doing music research. Me, "no peg, dave's not going to play imagine. I don't know why, he just never does." Peg, "oh, how about hit me with your best shot?" Me, "I believe he will!" and HE DOES!!!
It's Shopping time!! The Hampden Village in Baltimore has some cute little shops. We're excited to go!!
What this street needs is a really huge pink flamingo...oh wait! It already has one!
There were a lot of cute shops including Shoes and Chocolate! Does a store get any better than that! I don't think so. It was amazing!
Amanda and I were trying to get out of the smelly lotion shop. sometimes it's just too much. Dave was calling to make sure we'd make it to his evening performance and Art Garfunkle for the ward talent show.
Sunday Seth and Jenni joined us for church in DC. We attended the Washington 2nd ward and ran into great people including Sarah Jenson (old LPer), Jay and Jeff Sparenborg (went to high school together AND they lived in my back yard for a while), plus and old MTC teacher Brother Hall! Plus a half-Asian named Tim who claimed to be friends with Mike and Cyrus...right, like they have friends in DC!
After church we went to see some monuments because Peg has never been. It was also ridiculously cold so I lent Seth my new hat!! Isn't it cute! Seth really wore it well and it also helped to identify him from across the room. My head was freezing though! Vietnam memorial. I always like that. I love how they place photos of people at the base of where their name is found. It's really humbling when you see a photo and the caption says forever 19, 22 or whatever. So many people.

WWII monument we found Massachusetts. We're so excited and FREEZING COLD!!
I love this picture. Peg?
old abe!!
starting to get a tad numb.
It's sing-a-long piano style time!!
my family eats this stuff up. and they absolutely LOVE peggy!

I really wish more people could have witnessed these festivities.
My parents can just stare at peggy, I think scott was stunned into amazement as well..."I can't do that!"
Ha ha ha! No you can't Scott.
I think my parents favorite routine of Peg's is her Karen Carpenter singing slightly flat.
My parents were in tears.
I think my favorites are the Burt songs, Elton's select few and any of the big 80's! Little Max had a grand time as well. He's only one of the cutest kids EVER!! He really enjoys playing the piano and leading the music especially. He'll just start waving his arms around. It's awesome.

Piano style started with pretty much All of Burt Bachrach's songs. Thanks Dionne for making many of them popular. We also did some fantastic middle school and high school shout outs including Dust in the Wind, and November Rain.

My parents even sang their own little ditty. From the Music Man, my parents sing a song that we used to request as children. It's still great to see them sing it together. Especially with my dad pretending the song is in the hymn book, turning the pages for words. It's just fun!

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's too quiet!

My first few years of college I had a pretty close knit group of friends. We had so much fun together because we always came up with something to do that would be WILDLY entertaining. None of these things were really that big of a deal...Tuesday night breakfast feasts, courtyard wiffle ball tournaments, Friday morning meet and greets at the same round table in the student center (I'd skip my volleyball class to be there, I almost failed!!), Wednesday afternoon snowboarding, ROASTS!! There were so many things we did, but it was the things we didn't do, that just happened, that made our lives so entertaining.

We would meet each week and watch Seinfeld. This contributed a lot to our approach to the regular events of the day. It was unspoken, but we had some kind of understanding that we would make the most of everything and turn it into the best Seinfeld moment we possibly could. We then had memories including the Pizza Warrior, Golden Boy, Nic on crutches yelling profanities as he struggled in the snow, swim tournaments in the complex pool with strangers, busting into band practice, rescuing little puppies and kittens...

Lately I just feel like it's been too quiet. Although these friends have all moved on to other phases of life I'm sure we all try to keep our youthful, innocent, narcissistic view of society intact. I miss these people!! Kelly, Camilla, Natalie, Trent, Nic, Brennan, & Teddy...I solute you all!!

I pledge to recommit myself to finding the ridiculous in the mundane and routine. Life will not be too quiet. I'm taking it back...I'm taking it all back!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I feel most like myself when...

Today, in one of the groups I facilitate, a very interesting topic came up. One of the clients said something about being able to be herself in the group but not anywhere else. Someone else had a strong reaction to the comment and talked about how she NEVER feels she can be herself. I found myself really thinking about this idea. It reminded me a lot of some conversations I've had with some friends about "I feel more masculine/feminine when..." It made me think about when I feel most like ME!! When do I let some walls come down, when do I feel more at peace with myself, when do I feel the most pure joy, when do I feel like I'm not trying to hide a part of me or try to control what others see or think of me... I know it's a lot to think about. This is what my job and school do to me. I can't get out of my head!! But I like this idea.

I feel most like myself when...

I'm outside and the world looks beautiful! I feel like I'm part of a fantastic world where I play a part and it's all a gift from God. I am a small but important part of it. Stress and worry from day to day tasks disappear and I am able to see myself as a daughter of God! Hiking, swimming, running, all different seasons and scenes...It all provides an opportunity for reflection. Sometimes it's these moments that allow my mind to clear and insight is gained.

It's like going to the temple in a way. Being alone in a setting like this allows for a lot of growth. Plus there is something about messing up a quiet scene. When I lived in Utah there were a few times my friends and I drove up into the mountains to areas with untouched snow. It was so cool to stomp through that snow. It was like leaving your mark, using snow that had been forgotten. It's the same with swimming or skiing on a glass lake. There's no wake until you get there...ahhh! I want to go outside!! It's a snow day here and in the city it's pretty brown.

I was talking with a friend last week about how when she travels there seems to be time to think and reflect on where she is and if it's where she wants to be. To me it's another opportunity to see just how big the world is and think about what role I want to play in it (and to know that I DO play a role in it). This summer I went to Northern Ireland and it was amazing. I went with friends from BC and it was such a refreshing trip.

I also feel like myself when I notice that I don't have to watch what I'm saying or doing, or how I may be coming across. In Belfast this summer I really let some walls down (some, but others probably came up as a result) but it was such a great experience. It was also a moment that made me really appreciate the blessings I have. That leaves a feeling of freedom and like you can do no wrong.

I went to Sweden just over a year ago. I was able to visit one of my best friends and it was amazing! My mom is from Sweden and I've been there several times. I think I feel like myself so much when I travel because I notice things that are not a part of the mundane. I think it comes down to feeling like I have a connection with culture and heritage.

I love it when I have those moments when I can just let myself go. I wish it happened more. But there are some times when I really let myself share what I think is funny, what I really care about, and what really matters to me. I've made some good friends here in Boston. There are some people I've noticed that I let see me more than others. I don't care about shooting them with nerf guns, helping myself to their cereal, or singing Whitney Houston like I AM Whitney Houston. Not very many people see that side of me. I LOVE it when I get to show that!!

I've noticed that I can just be myself without shame, judgment or criticism. These are refreshing moments. These are moments when I'm out of my head and letting go of the seriousness of everyday stuff. It's interesting how singing kareoke and dancing seems like I'm being me more. Maybe it's just because I can't sing and dance through my day (no matter how much I wish my life was a's not).

I love it when I don't care what I'm wearing, what I'm doing, what someone might think if... It's so nice! I feel like this is gradually becoming more and more the case. I think that I am myself most of the time. It is so fun when I let other sides of me show!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Greeting Cards and Ward Stare

Once upon a time I discovered that I LOVE cards. There is a certain brand of cards that I find especially hysterical. Fresh ink? Yeah, so sometimes I'll just go and look at these cards to see what's new and to purchase more of old goodies. So about five years ago I discovered my FAVORITE CARD OF ALL TIME!!!! No joke. It will probably never be replaced; it's that good. I held onto the card for about three years just waiting for the right moment to give it away. One day, a friend of mine was having a difficult time. He was probably breaking up with some girl and was having a hard time, who knows. But because I care so much about my friends, I decided that I would write something in this precious card and give it to him. Long story short, card gone!!!! I never really got over the loss of that card. I've been searching for it ever since!

TODAY!!!! My dear friend Jenni came up to me at church and told me she had a gift for me (she's been with me in card stores searching for this card and knew what I was looking for.) She gives me the card!!! It made my whole week! Let me try to describe this card for you...

Front: light, sloppy drawing of the top of a girls head (eyes and above). sassy eyes, stunning hair, and a little tiara with glitter and even a small sequin on top.

front caption reads:

I should've been Homecoming Queen.
But I'm over it now.

Open card.

But I should've been.

That's it. I LOVE it. It's like me in card form.

So today at church I'm showing this to everyone and we are all laughing about how funny this card is. It sounds so silly, but it really is one of the greatest things EVER!!!

This prompted some discussion. We should have a homecoming or prom court!! Just for fun. Nominate people, or something? Maybe? NO.

I have a better idea.

I think we should put together a creative list of superlatives. Just like high school year book. We could have a lot of fun with this. But it also sounds like a lot of work and I'm NOT in high school anymore. Maybe it's not such a great idea. Hmm, but it's something to think about at our next ward-stare.

Which brings me to my next thought of the day. Munch and Mingle? Linger Longer?
No my friends, It's a Ward Stare.


1. to gaze fixedly and intently, esp. with the eyes wide open.
2. to be boldly or obtrusively conspicuous: The bright modern painting stares out at you in the otherwise conservative gallery.
3. to stare at: to stare a person up and down.
4. to effect or have a certain effect on by staring: to stare one out of countenance.
5. a staring gaze; a fixed look with the eyes wide open: The banker greeted him with a glassy stare.
6. stare down, to cause to become uncomfortable by gazing steadily at one; overcome by staring: A nonsmoker at the next table tried to stare me down.
7. stare one in the face, to be urgent or impending; confront: The income-tax deadline is staring us in the face.

Just something to think about.


So I was reading my sister-in-laws blog and her brother knows a girl who's in Jerusalem studying right now. She wrote an email about all the stuff that's been going on. It's an amazing account. I think you all should read it.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Killing Time

I have a crazy schedule on Thursdays. It's my last semester of school, I have two classes and one is at 10:30 the other 4:30. I have so much time! I thought it was a good idea-think of all the studying and stuff I could get done in between classes! NO! I have become queen of doing nothing. (not entirely true, I've already met with a professor about my policy paper, finished a group outline-no help from the group, called to follow up with a job possibility, networked-aka talked to people around this place). I still have 1 1/2 hours til my next class...SO...

You get my latest thoughts and musings on funny situations and life in general! where to begin...

* yesterday I was putting gas in my car. In the past I have been able to just set the handle trigger thing so that I can avoid the elements and sit comfortably in my car. NOT in Mass. I guess they feel like something bad might happen and so they make you stand there in the freezing cold, wondering why the tank won't fill faster. So I'm standing there FREEZING, watching the numbers, wondering why the state hates me and won't let me sit in my car, and FINALLY the handle pops (or whatever people call it). Usually I'd carefully put the thing back, but seeing as i was freezing, I pulled the nozzle (that's what it's called!) and put it back as fast as I could. In the process gas leaked onto the gas cap and when I put the cap back I put my gloved hand into the little puddle of gasoline. This may not sound like a big deal, but it was actually traumatic for me. When I was a kid my brother Dave sprayed my feet with gas (still not able to recall if it was on purpose or what-who cares, not the point) The point is, I was really little and I had seen movies where things blew up and it was because of gas. I spent the rest of the day wondering if I was going to blow up. The smell of gasoline on my glove yesterday triggered these old feelings. It's like terror, am I going to die? is this how my life ends? I sure hope Dave gets in trouble.
(side note-It's Dave's Birthday!! Happy Birthday Dave! and I think I do remember you feeling bad about spraying me with gas and trying to help me feel better. I think you said something about staying away from heaters and anything that sparks.)

* The evolution of dance. I'm going home next weekend and I'm so excited about it. My sister-in-law Tiffany told me the other day that Saturday night is their ward talent show. She wants me and my friend Peggy (who is coming with me) to assist her in a special performance about the evolution of dance. I'm really excited to do this. I've been spending some time trying to figure out how to set up the link so you all can see this on youtube. I don't know If I'm technologically stupid or what, but I haven't figured it out yet. As soon as I do, you'll be able to see just how fun this is going to be. I think we're going to throw in some Supreme's, Spice Girls, and other faves to make it our own. Screw it, check here:

* [story removed at mothers request]

* Way back when I decided that when I was 27 I would participate in a triathlon. I don't know why I said 27. Anyway, I turned 27 last July. This goal came due and I was about to toss it aside as yet another goal that wasn't really a goal, just a thought, when my friend Jenni told me about an open water swim on the cape. I was so nervous but I did it!! I came in third too (non-competitive heat, I had no times to submit). But I was pretty pleased with how well it went that this spring I'm going to follow through on my goal. Because it IS a goal. I'm not going to let this one slide. So I've been spending some time looking up possible triathlons. I'm looking into three right now. I may just do three! The Webster Lake Tri, the Danskin Women's Tri, and the Witch City Tri which includes an ocean swim. I'm so excited about this and am looking for people who will do it with me. any one? any one? please?

* I was asked to help the stake YW with basketball and volleyball this month. I said I would. I don't know anything about setting something like this up for basket ball.

* I'm going to a ballet tomorrow night! I'm really excited about it. It's been a while since I've gone to do something cultural. mental note-start doing this more.

* hmm, what else. I've been trying to think about what I do that's nerdy and/or goofy and I can't think of anything. This is actually really frustrating because I know I have MANY things I do that are incredibly nerdy! It's what makes me! I think that my creativity and imagination has been compromised. Drastic measures need to be taken to restore and refresh my outlook!! I think it's just the mixture of school, internship, YW basketball, firesides, visiting teaching, swimming, running, and way too many social things!! It's time to stop. I'm done with that! I have goals!!

If you have continued reading to this point, I must say you are quite the friend! Thanks. I think I've killed time sufficiently enough.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Ode to Family

Today was a great Sunday. It was one of those days when you realize some amazing blessings in life and also receive new insight. Today I was thinking about how lately I have been feeling rather homesick. I've never felt homesick before. I was thinking about this and all-of-a-sudden I realized why! When I moved away from home in Maryland, I moved out west. I was away from "home" but I had brothers and sisters living near me. For a while I got to live with my brothers and sister Sarah. Even when people seemed further away I had wonderful Aunts, Uncles and cousins who always welcomed me and I felt at "home".

Since moving to Boston I have been on my own. There is no family nearby and it has been a challenge. I depend on my family for so much. My Sisters and Brothers are my best friends. I love that they are married (except Amanda) because the have wonderful spouses. I do sometimes wish they were single so we could still hang out more. But I guess that's a stupid wish because my sisters-in-law are also like best friends now and I LOVE hanging out with them. Maybe I'm just lonely in my singledom. But I adore my family and so want to send a short shout out to each one. I will not focus on the FANTASTIC niece and nephews because they will get their own spotlight later.
The is my oldest sister Elise, her husband Dan, and their four boys Danny, Jonathan, Mark and Eric. To me they are like a poster family. My sister is beautiful, Dan is handsome and their children are so kind, sweet, thoughtful, and ADORABLE!!

Elise has always been such an amazing example of faith and dedication. Her testimony is solid and she is grounded in the gospel. She wants to do what's right no matter what and sets such an amazing example to me. I love her so much and admire who she is. She is a princess!!

My brother Chris is one of my heroes. His wife Tiffany is such a beautiful and generous woman and their daughter Brielle is an angel!! I miss them so much and can't wait to see them in a few months. I used to call them whenever I wanted. They would always invite me over to eat with them, play games with them, and just be with them at the Gledhills. Tiffany's family is amazing too.

Chris is always so thoughtful and kind. He will call me and just talk to me about what I'm doing. He always wants to know what's wrong with the guys in Boston. He has a way of building me up and making me feel so loved and special.

This is David, Tiffany and Maxwell. I LOVE this family. I am so happy that for now they are living in Maryland so when I do get to go home I get to spend time with them. Tiffany is so talented and stylish! She is one of those uber-creative, everything she does is magic, kind of people.

I feel a special connection with David. We both took daring steps to come back east to pursue our graduate degrees. Often I would call him and we would talk about some of the challenges we were facing in our programs. He has also been a HUGE example to me of faith and walking in faith, knowing that our prayers are heard and answered.

I have always considered Sarah my best friend. This picture does NOT do her justice because she has rock star hotness. This is her husband Ben and their wee one Benson. They are another beautiful family. Ben is so smart and ambitious!

Sarah is one I always count on. I can call her about anything that's on my mind. She always understands me. When we are together we just laugh and laugh at who knows what...actually we do this with everyone in my family...we're hilarious!! and no one appreciates it quite like we do. I mean, how often do you meet someone who makes you laugh out loud hard? It's rare, but not with these wonderful people!!! Sarah is another example of faith and humility. Submitting to the Lords will. She is incredible!

AMANDA!!!!!!!!!! She is now 12 years old and our family would not be the same without her. I love how she is so smart, funny, beautiful, talented, fearless, and confident!! I love going home and visiting her. We always try to go on little adventures and make memories (tobacco and peppermint). She is destined for greatness!!

As I think about my fabulous brothers and sisters, I really stand all amazed!! I am so blessed that we love one another. We would do anything to support and care for each other. I pray for their success and happiness daily and I know they do for me too.

Thank you all so much for your love and support!