Thursday, February 28, 2008

Take that!

I came across this clip while I was looking for my favorite movie scenes. It isn't one of my favorite movie scenes, but it might be making it on the list soon. If I don't get in to the school I applied to, this is what I'm going to say to them. Warning: there is a swear! (I'm trying to keep in mind the different people who read this!) I also have to add that Christopher Guest is a genius.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another movie moment

Hopefully this doesn't post twice. Blogger is having some issues. Or maybe it's my lack of skills. Anyway . . . I love Matthew McConaughey in "Dazed and Confused", and especially in this moment. You have to see this movie. If you're a non R-rated movie watcher like myself as of late, make sure you catch if next time it's on t.v. It also has an awesome soundtrack full of great 70's music.

Shun the non-believer! Shun!

My friend, Cathy, introduced me to the wonder that is Charlie the Unicorn a year ago and I thought I would share the joy and joyness with the rest of you. I've found that you either think it's the stupidest thing you've ever seen or the funniest thing you've ever seen. I hope you enjoy it. Last year for Cathy's birthday we baked her a Candy Mountain cake. It was magnificent.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Part Four, Kinda

O.k., so this isn't from a movie, but t.v. is close enough. This is from "My So-Called Life" which is probably the greatest one season show ever. Seriously. If you have never watched this show, you have to go get it. They just re-released it on DVD with new special features. Other than this scene and pretty much any with Jordan Catalano aka Jared Leto, my favorite moment of the show was in the very first episode where Angela aka Claire Danes is sitting at the dining room table eating dinner with her family and talks about how lately she can't even look at her mother without wanting to stab her repeatedly. That's pretty much how I felt at the time too. (Love ya, Mom!) But anyway, this scene is the best scene of the whole series. I can't even explain it to you if you're a loser and haven't seen it. Go rent/buy it. Once again, the music makes the scene. Are you noticing a theme here?

Part Three

No list of favorite movie moments could possibly be complete without this clip from "Say Anything." "In Your Eyes" is now and will forever be my favorite song because of this moment. Thank you, Lloyd Dobler and Cameron Crowe.

Favorite Movie Moments Part 2

Of all the different versions of Pride and Prejudice, this is my favorite version of this particular scene. I love that they keep getting closer and closer like they're going in for a kiss.

Favorite Movie Moments

Since I watch movies all day, I thought I would start sharing some of my favorite movie moments. This scene is the end of "Wicker Park." The song totally makes the moment. You will never again be able to hear this song without thinking of this movie.

BYU Update

There is no update. I'm going to end up with an ulcer by the time they get around to making a decision. And technically, it's only been a day. They didn't officially log my application as being complete until yesterday. I'm going to end up crazy and with an ulcer.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Idina Menzel

I love me some Idina Menzel. Her new song, I Stand, kinda irritates me though. I loved it at first, but then two lines started to get on my nerves. See the lyrics below. The two lines are "I hope for a hero to save me." and "I don't try and change the world; But what will you make of me?" Why do you need a hero to save you? Save yourself. The whole song is about what you stand for and what you believe in, but then you hope for a hero to save you? Um . . . how about you be the strong woman that you are and just do it yourself instead of waiting and hoping for someone else to do it for you. Then the part about "what will you make of me?" I don't know if I'm just not understanding the lyric correctly, but life shouldn't be about what the world or other people make of us, it should be about what we make of ourselves. And I don't know about the rest of you, but if I can change the world, you best be believing I'm going to do it. Why would you not? Think of all the lives you can change and all the good you can do if you're not sitting around waiting for a hero to save you!

"I Stand"

When you ask me, who I am:
What is my vision? And do I have a plan?
Where is my strength? Have I nothing to say?
I hear the words in my head, but I push them away.

'Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.
I stand for the strange and lonely,
I believe there's a better place.
I don't know if the sky is heaven,
But I pray anyway.

And I don't know
What tomorrow brings
The road less traveled
Will it set us free?
Cause we are taking it slow,
These tiny legacies.
I don't try and change the world;
But what will you make of me?

'Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.
I stand for the strange and lonely,
I believe there's a better place.
I don't know if the sky is heaven,
But I pray anyway.

With the slightest of breezes
We fall just like leaves
As the rain washes us from the ground
We forget who we are
We can't see in the dark
And we quickly get lost in the crowd

'Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.
'Cause I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.
I stand for the strange and lonely,
I believe there's a better place.
I don't know if the sky is heaven,
But I pray anyway.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I have a new church calling

I have been called to serve in the Primary and I want them to take it back. I finally got the manual tonight and found out who my class is. They split the five year-olds, and I have the boys. This isn't why I don't want the calling though. I may have grown up in the Church, but I'm just rebuilding my life within it. I'm trying to meet people in the ward and build a support network down here in Orem. I'm actually enjoying going to Sunday School and Relief Society and making friends with sisters in the ward, and now I've been banished to the Primary. Or at least that's what it feels like. I know what's going to happen though. I'm going to get there on Sunday and look at all those cute little kids and feel completely horrible that I thought for even one second about not wanting the calling. Kids can melt even the grinchiest of hearts like mine!

So Cupcake Part Two

My boss forced me against my will to go get cupcakes for our team meeting today, so I got to try the lemon flavor! It was pure deliciousness! It's my new favorite. We arrived at an awkward time though. They were doing the ribbon cutting and the Holladay City Commerce something or another people were there, along with Carole Mikita and her camera peeps. I don't know if it'll be on the news tonight, but if you look closely, you might just see me lurking in the background, trying to coerce the frosting lady into selling me some cupcakes even though she didn't know how to use the cash register. I'll be the one with the t-shirt, hoodie and ponytail!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can you say bitter?

I've been in kind of a bad mood lately, mostly due to factors related to my age and single status. I think I'm over it now, but yesterday I was watching the movie "Bed of Roses" and at the end, where normally I would think "Awwww, that's tender!" I found myself instead thinking "I hope you both get gonorrhea."

It's a miracle!

That's right, a miracle! I went to work today and looked like an adult! My hair was did and I wore a presentable ensemble, including jewelry! Now this may not seem like much of an accomplishment to most people, but I get up at 5 am to make it to work in Salt Lake by 7. Keep in mind that getting up at 5 allows me exactly enough time to put my hair in a ponytail, throw on a t-shirt, hoodie and dress pants. The dress pants are so that I look like I'm wearing business attire and the president of my bank can't get mad at me. But yeah, pretty much every day-a ponytail, t-shirt and a hoodie. They are semi-dressy t-shirts though. So now let's go back to the fact that I didn't look like a bag lady today, and I'm pretty sure that it was a miracle. I have no idea why I am devoting a whole blog entry to this. I was just so proud of myself. It's kind of sad that I'm so amazed at how nice it feels to not go through the day feeling so scummy. In fact, here's a happy face picture for you. Notice the nicely straightened hair. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a picture of my normal homeless look for you to compare the difference.

So Cupcake

A great new shop, So Cupcake, just opened by my place of employment. Technically, the grand opening isn't until tomorrow, but we've already been there three times. They specialize in . . . you guessed it, cupcakes! They have mini and regular sized, and as a favor to my numerous blog readers, I have taken it upon myself to try almost all of the different flavors. I love the cinnamon and sugar, red velvet, blueberry and carrot cake flavors. The strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter are good too, and I haven't tried the lemon or brownie cake yet. Lemon is Cathy's favorite so we keep going back hoping to get that flavor but we keep missing it. We have been assured that they will have lemon tomorrow though. So if you happen to be in the the area tomorrow (39th South and Highland), make sure you stop by-they'll be giving out free mini cupcakes to celebrate their opening.

Cathy without a lemon cupcake.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And finally

This is pretty much how the weekend felt . . .

. . . like a whirlwind passing me by. It went by way too fast. And yes, that is Ashley, and that is the speed she moves at pretty much all the time!

More fun with Ashley

I spent forever trying to get a good picture of Ashley. She either wouldn't hold still or wouldn't smile nicely.

Then she wanted to take silly pictures.

There was another one that was a close up of her nostril, but I thought I would spare you.

Weekend with the nieces

Without fail, I always forget to take pictures until the very last day that the girls are here, and then I just take a few because I'll be mad at myself if I don't.

Sariah, all bundled up to go outside

The toy box was immediately dumped out all over the living room floor when they got here.

This is a horrible picture, but if it only had sound, you would die laughing. Ashley was trying on new clothes, and when she takes her clothes off, she runs around screaming "It's a naked baby! It's a naked baby!"

Mmmm . . . Cheerios are delicious!

And just for fun, a nasty string of spit hanging from Darcy's mouth. Make sure you click to make it bigger!

Pizzeria Seven Twelve

Last week I went to Pizzeria Seven Twelve with the fam. Since we had never been there before, we decided to try several different things:

Braised beef shortribs, with anson mills polenta and horseradish cream. I realize that appetizers are supposed to be small, but this was basically one shortrib on a bed of polenta. It was really yummy though. This was probably my favorite dish so it would have been really nice if we had been able to have had more than one bite each.

Another appetizer (or maybe it was a salad) that isn't on their online menu, but had sweet potatoes, pecans, and greens (or as I like to call them, weeds). This one was really good too. I highly recommend it. This might actually be the first salad on the menu, with the squash, but I don't think so.

Roasted beets, house made ricotta, endive, walnuts, tarragon. Mmmm, beets. I had never in my life had beets until I went to Vegas a month and a half ago, but now I love them. They taste like dirt, but in a good way.

There was another salad too that doesn't appear to be on the online menu. It had blue cheese in it I think. It was good too. It had weeds in it also. Maybe I'm confused about the salads and what is and is not on the menu. Oh well. I would venture to say that you could pick anything on the menu and it would probably be tasty.

Pizza with roasted fennel, house made sausage and mozzarella. Very tasty, but its deliciousness was slightly dampered by Mark remarking that the roasted fennel looked like dead bugs.

Pizza with speck, soppressata, garlic and mozzarella. I think we all liked this pizza the best. Speck is a kind of prosciutto, and sopressatta is salami type sausage.

So, all the food was delicious, but I think Mark was a little disappointed because he was expecting more of a typical pizza place, and this was a fancy schmancy pizza place with ingredients we had never heard of. He may have been happier staying home with a frozen Totino's. Also, other than the pizzas, the portion sizes are really small. Don't think that you can order just a salad and have that be your meal. Actually, maybe you're a size two and you can actually do that. If so, good for you and I hope you choke on a mouthful of beets!

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's finished

The BYU application is complete and out of my hands. Well, actually, all I had to do was turn in an Ecclesiastical Endorsement, but it's done, and almost a full two weeks before the deadline! Usually I turn things in the day before or the day of. Despite what people say, I still don't think they're going to let me back in, but I'll let everyone know what happens. Or I won't say anything and you'll know it was a big, fat rejection!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

The girls will be here tomorrow! I can't wait!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Christmas 1982

I love this picture because really, what says Christmas like a facemask and a bottle of liquor? Wendy, were your Christmases with Grandpa Brown anything like this?

He can fly!

Mark went to a costume dance tonight and dressed up as Peter Pan.

Doesn't he have great legs!!!

This was my favorite pose but it turned out kinda blurry.

We were tough

Friday, February 8, 2008

They were "special spirits"

On my drive home from work today (which, by the way, seems to be getting longer and longer), I was reminiscing about the Singles Ward I attended before I moved back to Orem. I thought I would share two special memories with you.

1. A guy who we'll call Creepy J, cornered me in the hallway and used what may be the greatest LDS pick-up line ever: "Have you met President Monson? 'Cause I have." I thought I was special, but apparently he uses that line on all the girls.

2. We did an activity called Girlfriend/Boyfriend for Five Weeks. Basically you were matched up with someone and you went out once a week for five weeks and then played a game at the end to see who got to know each other the best. I was paired up with The Aviator. Where do I even begin? He picked me up forty-five minutes late, immediately looked me up and down and realized I was not his normal type (skinny and blond). We went to meet another couple to play Frisbee Golf and I have driven with many crappy drivers in my life, but never have I feared for my life as I did with him. We were weaving in and out of traffic on the freeway, going abnormal speeds, etc. I was seriously holding on for dear life. During this time, the conversation went something like this:

(Picture his lines being said in a suave, soap opera-y way. Not that they were actually said this way, but it makes it more fun.)

Him: Did you sing in your high school choir?
Me: Nope.
Him: Well I did.

Him: Do you play any sports?
Me: Nope. (In my head I was laughing and thinking what a funny joke that was!)
Him: Well I play soccer for my college.

Him: Have you ever been to Ireland?
Me: Nope.
Him: Well I have.

Him: Have you ever been to Australia?
Me: Nope.
Him: Well I have.

Him: Have you ever hied to Kolob?
Me: Nope.
Him: Well I have.

O.k., well maybe not that last one, but you get my point. So we get to the Frisbee Golf place and pretty much I suck. Fortunately, so does the other girl, so The Aviator and his BFF play ahead and we're left behind. She was actually really nice. The BFF was too. It was just The Aviator who wasn't. So after what felt like fifty-six hours of stupid Frisbee Golf which, by the way, is not a sport (sorry, Cathy), we went to dinner. Dinner was better because I could talk to the other two, although The Aviator did have to throw in all the other places he's been to, and all the Broadway plays he's seen, and how he regularly wrestles with alligators. Dinner ends and as we recklessly sped out of the parking lot, there was apparently a cop behind us. I did not actually see the cop as I was too distracted by the fact that The Aviator looked over at me and said, and I quote, "Do you mind if I run from the cops?" And he did. Needless to say the rest of the drive home was a bit awkward. When we finally got back to my place he started opening his car door to walk me to the front door, but I just said bye and hopped out as fast as I could. We never spoke again.

I should probably mention that I call him The Aviator because he is currently in flight school. A bonus of flight school is that apparently you can tell which direction clouds are coming from and what the chances are of them pouring rain on your game of Frisbee Golf.

An explanation

I just wanted to explain why I included New Kids on the Block on my gratitude list. I'm realizing after the fact that it sounds kind of weird. It's because my cousin, Erin, and I were huge NKOTB (yes, I did just use the abbreviation!) fans back in the day, and when I wrote the gratitude list, we had been emailing about how there is supposedly a reunion in the works. So I don't actually sit around listening to their music anymore, but the thought of a reunion tour makes me happy. I never got to see them when they were popular, so you better believe I will be there this time around with an I heart Jordan t-shirt and everything! I wonder if I could fashion some sort of faux rattail like all the guys used to have. Hmmm . . .

Oh, and while we're on the subject (since we probably never ever will be again), my mom was going through all our movies, and you'll never guess what she found . . . my New Kids "Step By Step" video. Ahhhh . . . the memories are just flooding back!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Because I know you care . . .

Here are a couple pictures from when I was 5 (1986) and I was sent to a YMCA day camp called Kimball Camp. I went there several years, and if I recall correctly, we did sing Kumbaya. I think the look on my face in the first picture perfectly sums up my opinion of camp in general. Also, you may not be able to tell, but I'm wearing open-toed, white jelly shoes with white socks. I'm not sure if this is because I dressed myself that day, or if my mom fell victim to the 80s whilst choosing my ensemble.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Hinckley Challenge

I found a great website, The Hinckley Challenge, that challenges you to read the Book of Mormon in 97 days in honor of President Hinckley's 97 years. Technically the challenge started on February 4 and ends May 10, but I think the website actually offers reading tracking all the time for free. You just go in each day and put in how much you've read and it makes you your own little graph. So . . . even though you may be starting late like I am, I still think it's a great idea to to re-read the Book of Mormon in honor of President Hinckley. I'm pretty sure if he could choose one thing that each of us would do to remember him, that would be it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I needed a picture

There were too many posts without pictures, so I thought I'd throw this in. This is from Christmas 1988. We were all pretty stylin' back then!

It doesn't go much bigger than this-sorry.

Thought of the day

"Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great and good and worthwhile things. Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in very deed a son or daughter of the living God. There is something of divinity within you, something that stands high and tall and noble. Get above the dirt and the filth of the earth and walk on a higher plane with your heads up, believing in yourselves and in your capacity to act for good in the world and make a difference."

Gordon B. Hinckley
"Stand a Little Taller"

My two cents worth: It is really, really hard sometimes to be above the dirt and filth of the earth and walk on a higher plane. I tend to let things get to me WAY too easily and become bitter, cynical, sarcastic, gossipy, rude, vicious, and basically just not a nice person. This is definitely something I am trying to work on. I want people to be better for having known me, not just think yeah, she was pretty funny, but also kinda mean sometimes. I'm trying really, really hard to watch my sarcasm and not to make jokes so much at the expense of other people. It really just isn't helpful. Actually, negativity in general just is not helpful at all. I'm going to try my hardest to be more positive and uplifting.

an iTunes education

Most people have iPods, but very few of those people are aware of all of the great things that are available through the iTunes store for free. If you go to Podcasts you can download all sorts of great stuff like foreign language lessons, news radio, pop culture info, etc. I did a couple of searches for "LDS" and "Mormon" and found some great sites like LDS Women's Book Review, The Ensign (just the articles each month read aloud), and LDS Voices. It's really nice to be able to listen to gospel-centered literature, music and discussions at work. I've gotten some really great book ideas from LDS Women's Book Review. They also have a website with book suggestions, but half of the fun is listening to the ladies chit chat.

There is also another section called iTunes U, which has class lectures, speeches, etc., from many different universities all over the country. The other day I listened to "Title IX at 35: A Conversation with Billie Jean King," which was a great forum recorded at Stanford. Some other ones I've downloaded but haven't listened to yet are "The Heart of Nonviolence: A Conversation With the Dalai Lama," "Iraqi Women's Ordeal Under Occupation," and "Poetry and Peace," with Maxine Hong Kingston.

Seeing as how iTunes has exorbitant prices for everything else, I would highly recommend that you take advantage of all of the great free stuff that they offer.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I couldn't not share this . . .

I've been going through old papers that my grandparents saved, and I came across this letter that my grandpa, Clark Brown, wrote to my grandma, Ellen Walker Brown. It's dated February 12, 1972. My dad said this was shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. She died in April 1973.

Dear Ellen,
It has been a long time since I wrote you a letter. May I take the occasion of this Valentine Day to express my thoughts to you?
Perhaps you will recall that it was on another Valentine Day twenty-six years ago when you were living in Provo that I sent you those first red roses.
Much has transpired during the intervening years. There were those few carefree, happy days when we were first together in Long Beach. There was that December night when I watched the stars dancing in your eyes after you accepted the ring from me. There was the joyful day when you and I knelt across the altar in the Salt Lake Temple and pledged ourselves to each other for time and all eternity. And, of all the brides there, you were the loveliest, the most wonderful.
Then followed those years of struggle when we labored together to establish our home. I had little money and it pained me that I could not give you the nice things I would have liked you to have. But, through it all, we loved each other; and I could not have been happier, for all my world revolved about you.
And then came the children to make our little world complete. How proud I've been of them and how grateful that you are their mother!
As I have watched couples whom we know, and seen many of their marriages falter, I have come to realize, Ellen, what a rare and wonderful thing your love has been.
You have always been kind, gentle, helpful, understanding, patient, forgiving, faithful and true. Your love has been new and fresh each day. You have kissed away the dark hours and calmed my troubled mind.
You have sustained me in all I have undertaken and have ever sought to push me onward and upward to good things. You have made me a better man. You have strengthened my determination to so live that we may be together always.
You have ever been willing to sacrifice your own desires for others, to go out of your way to make others happy.
Your love has been like the gold of the sunlight, the matchless colors of the flowers, the melody of a lovely song, the deep, silent beauty of a precious gem-a steadfast, noble love.
You have been everything for which I have yearned. You belong to my heart, now and forever.
And so, my beloved, on this Valentine Day, I salute you and pray that for you "the morning breaks and the shadows flee away."

Yours always,

I still can't read this letter without getting teary-eyed. Once again, I am reminded how wonderful it is that we can be together for eternity, and not just for this lifetime. None of us grandkids ever got to meet our Grandma. Shane, the oldest grandchild in the family, was born I think just a few months after she died. I still get teary-eyed every time I think about meeting her some day. I'm pretty sure there won't ever be a time when this doesn't happen. Maybe it seems weird to some people that I love and feel so close to someone whom I've never met, but I really do feel my ancestors around me all the time. I know they're on the other side cheering me on, and I'm sure I did the same for them when they were here.

Phew! Sorry about the two emotional posts-it's just been one of those days!

P.S. I can't figure out how to properly indent/separate the paragraphs on this post. I've tried putting lines in between the paragraphs indenting, and using spaces, but nothing stays once I publish the post. Grrr.

Better late than never

I'm a little late with my President Hinckley post, but I guess it's taken me a little while to gather all my thoughts together. I have to say that I am so very, very happy for him. I can't even begin to imagine how joyful his reunion with Marjorie was. It's so sad to think of people who don't believe in life after death. I can't imagine being with my family for only this life.

President Hinckley holds a special place in my heart, not just because he has been the Prophet longer than anyone else in my lifetime, but because when I first started thinking about coming back to the Church, I read his biography. There have been few times that I have felt the Spirit so strongly as when I was reading that book. It was exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time. For most people contemplating membership in the Church, they probably feel the Spirit most when they read the Book of Mormon, but I was a little different. I had grown up in the Church and pretty much knew it was true, but I just didn't know if I wanted to be a part of it. I struggled a lot with whether I would ever be good enough, how the Church could be perfect but the people so imperfect, whether I was being judged, etc., etc. Reading about President Hinckley and his family gave me hope and made me feel loved. It made me feel like everything would turn out o.k. and that I'm not perfect, but I'm not expected to be yet. I'm just expected to keep trying and keep taking the next step in the right direction.

I had better be honest, though-it was about another year after reading his biography that I actually did start going back to church on a semi-regular basis, which was a little over a year ago from today. Considering what I've been through the last six or seven years, it's weird for me to say this, but this past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. Every step of the way though, whether it was in General Conference, or the Ensign, or an old talk on BYU TV, President Hinckley was there with me, saying exactly what I needed to hear in order to either take the next right step, or more likely, get myself back on track and where I needed to be. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today spiritually if it were not for President Hinckley and his example. Words cannot express how grateful I am for him and how selfishly sad I am that he is gone.

I love President Monson too, though, and I'm praying for him because I'm sure he's overwhelmed with the huge shoes he has to fill. I think he's up to the task. I'll bet he has lots of stories, even gospel stories, we haven't even heard yet!