Tuesday, December 9, 2008

dalmation plantation

It's tall, it's skinny, it's crooked, it has more Strawberry Shortcake paraphernalia than you might initially expect. I think it's clear what's happened here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

reindeer games

I want to commend the National Football League for really getting into the spirit of the Christmas season by pitting the San Francisco 49ers against the New York Jets yesterday.

All that red and gold and green and white. I've never seen a field so full of holiday cheer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Tonight I got a Christmas tree (be assured, more to come on that) and when I was done putting it up I found myself covered in sticky, gooey sap. My next item on the to-do list was setting up my new DVD player but obviously didn't want to do it with sticky fingers mmm Wingers so I went to wash the sap off. I used soap and water and washed over and over and over but nothing. Still a sticky mess, just sort of globbing together into a tar-like substance. Then I remembered that I maybe had heard something about peanut butter that could be relevant, so I opened up my trusty jar of Jif and smeared the stuff all over. Presto! All the sap was instantly slicked off. It was a pretty good trick. But then I had to rinse the peanut butter off of my hands and so put them under the faucet and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed but the creamy delight would NOT come off. Irony! But then I got really innovative and tried washing it with soap, and wouldn't you know, it came right off. And finally my hands were clean. I think there is a lesson to be learned from all this, I don't know what it is yet, but I do know that from now on instead of playing rock-paper-scissors I am going to play sap-peanut butter-soap. I'm still working on the hand gestures for each.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

earth fire wind heart

I have a somewhat ugly confession to make.

Earlier tonight I needed to do the dishes, so I turned on the faucet to wait for the water to get hot. Then unexpectedly my doorbell rang, so I went downstairs to answer it. It was just one of my piano kids wanting to tell me about his upcoming orchestra Christmas concert. We chatted about that for a while, then talked about the Jazz, and how the Orem Tiger freshman basketball team was doing, and I watched him take a few 3-point shots in the driveway.

There is nothing ugly about any of those interactions with good old Josh, but I am a bit ashamed to admit that after ten minutes or so I went back upstairs to find that, duh, I had left the water running. At a pretty full blast. And I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I am a spoiled, privileged, takes-things-for-granted American girl, who just lets something quite precious go to waste. I couldn't help but imagine the devastation on the faces of people in third world countries if they saw those gallons and gallons of clean, fresh, drinkable water just gushing down the drain. There are millions of people who are willing to walk miles and miles or carry more than their muscles should be able to or pay ridiculous prices they can't come close to affording just to get some clean water into their bodies. And there I was, completely careless about what I was throwing away, fully expecting that whenever the whim strikes me, I can turn a little knob and all the water I could care to use will inevitably come flowing out.

My friend Judy has a goal of building a water project in a third world country every year for the rest of her life. Last year her efforts helped establish a water system in Nueva Concepción, Guatemala, bringing fresh water to 367 people. This year the target is San Luis Potosí, México. It is the home of the Huichole people, and it is extremely dry and water is scarce. The aim is to build a project consisting of three water cisterns and an animal corral structure with a roof that will harvest rainwater. As you might imagine, these things do not come free.

In this time of giving thanks for our abundant blessings--and I think I can safely assume that the internet access allowing you to read this post would automatically categorize you among the blessed--please take a moment to consider those many many people who lack the basic necessities vital to survival. I realize that there are many causes and charities that could use your support, and especially at this time of year, it is easy to be bogged down by requests for help. But imagine for a moment that you can't just turn that knob and get a drink of water. If you would like to learn more about the water project or make a donation, please click the button below to find out more, including details about how to help.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

de medicina praecepta

Remember back when President Bush and President Obama both, in totally independent speeches and settings, said that they wished they could wave a magic wand and make gas prices go under two dollars? Yeah, we all had a good laugh. Impossible! But I think those guys must have both brought their magical A-games to their meetings together last week, because yesterday this happened:

The sad thing is now when I'm sitting on my couch trying to think of something to do with myself, one of the first things that pops into my head is "ooohh, I could go get gas!" There is just something oh-so-satisfying about seeing that gallon meter hit 10 before the dollar meter hits 20.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

rosa sat

I'm not going to lie.
I may have shed a tear or two looking at that little white X on that 8 bit screen today.

Let's go change history, America.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

not surprised at all

My friend Matt is a very talented artist, writer, comedian, and I suspect maybe even musician somehow, since he's good at everything else. I can't confirm the last one, but he definitely is talented at sending me mp3s of good songs. They always come through without a download error or virus! So yes, my friend Matt is good at everything. And I've long admired his artwork and finally got just vain bold enough to ask him to make some artistic rendering of me (because apparently I am Jan? Look for my new candle line in stores spring 2009). Ignoring for a minute how completely self-indulgent it is to first ask someone to draw you, and then to plan on displaying said drawing in your own home as if it is as worthy a subject matter as Don Quixote or Dora Maar, I just want to share this. Because I quite love it. And even though I'm no revolutionary fictional character or muse to one of the greatest artists of all time, Matt is pretty revolutionary for our time, and his work deserves to be shown.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

make a note of this

You know what I've decided I like more than food? Drink.

Exhibit A: A lot of times at a restaurant as I'm perusing the menu there is no dish that looks particularly appealing to me; meanwhile I am drooling at the beverage offerings on the last page tucked in that bottom corner. I don't know why they don't give drinks a place of more prominence on menus. They deserve it. I think one of these days I'm just going to go for it, get what I really want when the waiter comes up and asks if he can start us off with some drinks. "Could I have a Diet Coke? And a raspberry lemonade? And a chocolate milk? And a cranberry juice? And a water? And keep all the refills coming, please."

Exhibit B: If you look in my fridge right now, you will find orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, limeade, white cranberry peach juice, milk, assorted water bottles, assorted flavored water bottles, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Korean plum juice, root beer, and then, like, some cheese.

Exhibit C: I'd rather drink an actual liquid milkshake than eat a bowl of ice cream. I'd rather suck a blend of fruit and yogurt and juice up through a straw than sit down and munch on some oranges and strawberries and bananas.


I thought of an Exhibit D: Every time I do the dishes the ratio is something like five glasses to every plate.

Drinks, for the win.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

falling off at maturity

Lately everyone who lives in Utah and has a blog has been going on and on and on and on and on about how beautiful the fall leaves in their given local canyon are.

And everyone in Utah is RIGHT.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I think Man really does a pretty good job sometimes of creating things that rival even the mountains and waterfalls and meadows and constellations in beauty. And if I'm being honest, I might even have to award an extra point to us mortals for so expertly and efficiently combining beauty with function. Not that mountains and waterfalls aren't functional--I realize that providing shelter and hydration are pretty necessary tasks--but then humans come along and add a water wheel and boom, this scene is more quaint and picturesque plus it can now provide enough power for an entire Swiss family.

My favorite man-made structure, though, has long been the windmill. Maybe it's because I got to go inside one once, maybe it's because of their frequent proximity to tulips, maybe it's because a good soundtrack was created around a particular red one. I'm not sure why I have such an affinity for windmills, but I think they are beautiful and strong and I love the idea that they are harvesting the air to turn it into something so usable. So you can imagine my delight when earlier this year, I looked southward and saw that the inversion had lifted its heavy, smelly blanket to reveal that a smattering of windmills had popped up! Right here in my very own valley! I've been wanting to get up close and personal with them ever since but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I finally had an opportunity to take a drive through Spanish Fork canyon and get acquainted. Unfortunately I couldn't get any closer to them than my passenger seat would allow, but I think it's best that our first introduction be casual anyway. Now that we're a bit more familiar with each other I will undoubtedly be making another expedition that involves actually getting out of the car and walking right up to them, and you, dear reader, are welcome to come with me.

Just look at these nine little darlings!

They're definitely a bit more contemporary in design than those ferocious molinos of Don Quixote fame, but I think the windmills of this generation are just as magnificent as their ancestors.

For a parting gift, you really should go do a google image search of "windmill" right now; that first page of results is just so lovely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

number 32 (not page)

It's really hard to do anything right now besides look up reviews of the So You Think You Can Dance shows that have already happened on this tour and get myself so so worked up about what will be right in front of my eyes in a few short hours.

And it says specifically that no recording devices of any type are allowed but those jokers can't stop me, I'm totally going to bring in a notebook and pen to take notes of everything that goes down.

I see no shame in pointing out cool things about myself when I think it is deserved, and I deserve this--it's quite a fortunate quality to be completely fine with going to "things" by yourself, and enjoying them every bit as much as you would if you had some semi-reluctant friend in the seat next to you.

Ba da ba ba.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

fah who for-aze

I kind of love that emotions sometimes cause real physical reactions. It seems like the best form of validation of them, like "hey no you can't dismiss my feelings--see this salty discharge all over my face? These things are real!" And sure there are the obvious things like how we laugh when someone says something hilarious or how our lower lip sticks out and droops a little when the stores run out of Cadbury mini eggs the day after Easter. But even those feel a little conditioned, a little too voluntary. Like if I am mad at the hilarious person because he ate my last Cadbury mini egg, regardless of how funny his joke was, I can make myself not laugh. Other times though, the psychology trumps the physiology, and emotions overpower the body, and it doesn't matter how much you tell yourself you need to eat because you haven't in twelve hours, your broken heart just won't allow it. Or you really wish all those sudden little bumps on your arms would just lie flat and stop alerting the whole world that you're super excited to be having a flirty little conversation with that guy, finally. But it's a futile effort. Sometimes emotions take over.

And lately the weather has finally, finally cooled down, and the mornings smell like Christmas, and Timpanogos has its first sprinkling of snow, and the next time I have a day off work it will be for Thanksgiving. And the past few days as I sit at my desk and think of these things, and think of the drives through the canyon to look at fall leaves and the unplanned parking lot snowball fights and the football games and the trick-or-treaters and the baking and decorating and loving and all of these things that are headed my way, I just can't help it. My breath catches for just a second and then suddenly I inhale so quickly and deeply that my lungs are just about to explode and I get a miniature oxygen high and it's as though my body needs all that excitement that is in the air to be inside me, immediately. And I don't choose to do it but it just happens, and every time it thrills me to see how a feeling announces its presence so blatantly, making sure the rest of me doesn't miss the fact that my heart is so delighted.

It's coming--it's coming!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

challenge: hurled


I know your existence is the basis for my earning a living and all that, but please go away.

Thank you. Now I can enjoy parking spots and short lines at Target and no waits in restaurants again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I still haven't forgiven Willy Wonka for discontinuing the green Pixy Stix.

Doesn't he know lime is the best flavor of everything???!?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

winter dreams

I can't remember the last time I was this excited about a movie.

Scratch that, I just watched the trailer for the seventeenth time or so and I'm sure I've never been so excited about a movie.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

dangerously hazel

There's this happy little song that's been on the radio quite a bit of late, and you know what, I don't mind. Not at all. In fact I rather enjoy it; it puts a smile on my face and and usually sends my feet a-tappin' on the brake and my hands a-beatin' on the steering wheel.

And there are a lot of things I like about it but probably my favorite thing is the little shout-out to my people that the singer gives, when he calls on his audience to listen to the music of the Mormon people dance and sing. I really appreciate that he's recognized what we have to offer. Because let's be honest, Mormon people do dance and sing.

You can listen to the tribute yourself if you like--it's about midway through the second verse.

((Okay I used to have a link to the song here but the file's gone so forget it, just forget this post ever happened))

Thursday, August 14, 2008

weensy powders

Okay so in general I do not recommend a complete lack of organization as a lifestyle. It certainly causes me more trouble than it benefits me and I know I would be a lot better off if I would keep things in their place and have every bit accounted for. But! There are rare occasions where it pays off big time, and they almost make all the other confusion and disarray worth it. For example, when you are finally, finally, going through all the stuff you have stashed in your closet haphazardly to be sorted out and dealt with later, and discover that you have a completely full, unopened bag of these waiting for you, in August.

Family size, fools.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a dip in the yangtze

I know everyone's been all about the men's 4x100 relay, and I mean, rightly so. It was everything an athletic event could ever hope to be. But still, that Olympic moment was topped for me.

It was topped when, amidst a flurry of celebrations over earning an unexpected bronze medal in men's gymnastics, USA's Jonathan Horton suddenly turned to the camera and cried out in utter jubilation,
We're going swimming in the river TONIGHT!!!

Oh heck yes.

Celebratory festivities do not get any better than that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the only bee in your bonnet

I have a new boyfriend, and his name is Ched'R Bites. We've been seeing each other regularly for the past couple of weeks and it's going so well. He puts my old flames, A&W Cheese Curds and BK Cheesy Tots, to shame. Plus he brings along his cute brother, Buttermilk Ranch. Oh it's a match made in heaven.

Today though when I ordered my ched'r bites and diet vanilla coke, the guy working at Sonic asked, "do you want to add anything else to that, like maybe some mozzarella sticks?" Um, no, I think one batch of fried cheese is enough, thank you.

(But if we're being honest, one batch of fried cheese isn't really enough.)

Then for some reason instead of doing their usual Nukem's Nineties at Noon today on the radio, X96 decided to go a different route--Every Song Tracy Loves That Will Make Her So Happy. Nice of them.

Finally, speaking of anniversaries: happy birthday, bionic spine. Here's to twelve months of great parking spaces, learning how to bend and twist again, too-short shirts, excellent posture, complications at airport security, stress-free internal organs, level shoulders, and every kind of pain management this world has to offer. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Well, do I look any different?

(I think the descriptor you're looking for is "wiser")

Monday, July 14, 2008

go forth to serve

Part of my job (most of my job) entails administering surveys to people associated with Brigham Young University--students, alumni, faculty, surrounding community members, blah blah blah. Before we send out one such survey, for obvious reasons, we test it out ourselves, to make sure the questions make sense and the links on the interweb work and that we didn't accidentally write "extreamly satsifide." That is not how either of those words should be spelled, though it does look kind of cutely old-timey. So in preparation for our upcoming Freshman Pre-Arrival Survey, today I had the opportunity to reflect on my state of mind before arriving in Provo that fall of 2001, and remember what I would have said were I given the survey at that time.

I don't really want to talk very much about that, except to use it as a point of introduction to what I actually do want to talk about. Today I reveled, gloried, in the reminiscing of one of the greatest and most important breakthroughs that I ever made in my college career. An epiphany that struck me with the full force of a thousand thunderbolts about two months into my first semester. It's laughable, now, to think that it took me that long--it was staring me right in the face! How could I have lasted so unaware for so long?! The signs were all around me! Nevertheless, despite being a little slow in finally picking up on this vital piece of knowledge, it came. Eventually, it came. I learned possibly the singular most significant reality that would come to have an impact on the rest of of my college career; nay, on the rest of my life.

Holy crap, I didn't have to go to class.

It happened one morning around 9:30, on a day after I had been up probably until about 3am flirting with a boy studying for a test. Psychology started in half an hour, I hadn't showered, my eyes would barely open, I had time to brush my teeth and pull some jeans on and get to the SFLC. I did these things, and proceeded to gather up my materials for class. I looked in my notebook to make sure I had my assignment in there, ready to turn in, when the syllabus coyly hinted at me that I had nothing due. There wasn't a quiz, either. In fact, the chapter we'd be going over that day was only a continuation of the previous class, because many people have difficulty with that particular section (synapses--who knew?), but I felt rather comfortable with the material. Suddenly, the room brightened. All became clear. I could get right back into bed! Nothing would change--not my grade, not my academic standing, not the amount of tuition BYU wanted from me, not one thing. The only consequence would be that I could get an extra hour and a half of sleep, and be that much more alert for American Heritage later in the day. My oh my. Universe, I accept.

Things were never the same after that. Sure, I went to class most of the time. But I realized that sometimes things needed to be prioritized, sometimes the prescribed course of action was not the best course of action, and sometimes, sometimes, I knew what was better for me than my professors or administrators did. And that may just mean taking a break from class at times when going to class would break me. Thank you, heart and mind, for enlightening me, and making my academic experience all that it could possibly be.

Note: Mom, this post is a complete joke, I totally went to every single class I was ever registered for, always.

Second Note: Erica, you better go to all your classes this fall. If you don't go even once you will probably fail college.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

zoom zoom

Things my car can teach you about me:

I live (and kill bugs) in Utah.

I work at BYU. Uhh apparently my parking pass is expired? Maybe I'll check on that.

I am disabled, at least for another month.

I think diet soda tastes better.

I prefer my music the old-fashioned way, recorded on tangible objects.

I love happy hour at Sonic. Hello Route 44 cranberry limeade.

I have a parent in the military.

I'm a Democrat. Also, it rained recently.

And because I told her I'd bombard her with wishes in every possible medium: happy birthday Kristen! You're my favorite of all the Kristens I know, or even the Kristins.

Aaand because I love So You Think You Can Dance so much, enjoy this song from last week's episode. I've been listening to it pretty much nonstop since then, and my choreographed routine to go along with it is nearly complete. Move over Mia Michaels.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

we at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of

Black car + near 100 degree heat + metallic stereo buttons = daily dilemma: Which do I value more, listening to a good song on the way home from work, or intact fingerprints? I mean the non-melted variety.

Friday, June 27, 2008

shear genius

What's up, world. Oh me? Not much, just having a personal photo shoot featuring the shortest hair of my adult life and terrible lighting. I think I ask other people to indulge me way more than my fair share but guess what, it's about to happen again. Check it.

Commentary: It was really hard to keep it to only two peace signs. My skin does not really glow supernaturally. Side and top views are apparently important inclusions. My bangs do poke my eyeballs sometimes. It is not the worst thing ever; neither is it the best. I'm pretending the off-center pictures create a more interesting layout. All of these pictures do look better in their original size, I think. You can click on one or more for proof. Let me know if you want a recommendation for a nice salon in Provo--they even offer you a beverage when you arrive. Unless you hate my haircut, then you probably don't want to go there. Not even for the can of soda with a straw stuck in it. Bravo has the best reality shows, besides SYTYCD.

Monday, June 16, 2008

glad as I can be

You know how sometimes somebody will ask you about somebody else in a very general way, as in, "oh, you're dating someone new? What's he like?" Or maybe something along the lines of, "so tell me about your boss." They're not looking for any specific information, just whatever little bits of that person you find worthy of sharing. In most cases I hate this type of question, because come on, what is there to say? With most people I love dearly, despite the fact that they are completely awesome, there's not really any great way to convey their utter coolness to someone else just with a few summarizing statements. "Well.. he/she likes music, and things that are fun. Sometimes he/she says interesting or funny things. Other times he/she's in more of a quiet mood, and doesn't talk as much. Umm.. I'm sure he/she has some hobbies." Yeah, not so fascinating. But! There is one person whom I love to be asked about. Because he may very well be the Most Interesting Person I Know, and it's so easy to quickly spout off loads of intriguing tidbits about him. And it just so happens that he fathered me.
Presenting Gary Lee Keck, ______ extraordinaire. There is nothing this man cannot do. Scuba dive all over the world in exotic locales? No problem. Build an entire house from start to finish with his own hands, including all electric/plumbing work? Ain't no thang. Be King of the Army? Check. Work as a prison guard at Shawshank? Old news. Repair antique mechanical clocks to get them working and beautiful again? Uh, only every other day. I could go on and on, but I feel that format is quickly becoming tiresome. Suffice it to say, my dad is incredible, and I love talking about him. Okay, he may be a little overzealous with punctuation in emails, but besides that he is the absolute tops. There's never been a moment when I wasn't positive that my dad is capable of solving each and every one of my problems, and he very generously does so all the time. In fact, I wish he were here right now because instead of all the hassle and cost I'm about to endure on account of wrecking my car's bumper, he would have it fixed and looking better than ever lickity-split. And I'm so glad that he was the lucky bachelor who won my mom's heart and hand (shout out to my mom's awesomeness--she had three options). Happy Father's Day, Dad-Dad-Daddy-o. Love ya, mean it.

P.S. Busi-ness?? Mankind was my busi-ness!!
P.S.2. Oh-solmio-it's-a-rigatonio
P.S.3. What? (you know, because, deaf)
P.S.4. Isn't out yet, get on it Sony.

Sorry, if you're not a Keck, you miss out on those jokes.

just when you thought it was safe*

Orcas have been known to co-operate with humans in the hunting of whales. One well-known example occurred near the port of Eden in South-Eastern Australia in between 1840 and 1930. A pod of Orcas, which included amongst its members a distinctive male called Old Tom, would assist whalers in hunting baleen whales. The Orcas would find the target whales, shepherd them into Twofold Bay and then alert the whalers to their presence and often help to kill the whales. Old Tom's role was commonly to alert the human whalers to the presence of a baleen whale in the bay by breaching or tailslapping at Kiah river mouth where the Davidson family had their tiny cottages. This role endeared him to the whalers and led to the idea that he was "leader of the pack", although such a role was more likely taken by a female as is more typical in Orca cultures. After the harpooning, some of the Orcas would even grab the ropes in their teeth and aid the whalers in hauling. The skeleton of Old Tom is on display at the Eden Killer Whale Museum, and significant wear marks still exist on his teeth from repeatedly grabbing fast moving ropes. In return for their help, the whalers allowed the Orcas to eat the tongue and lips of the whale before hauling it ashore. The Orcas would then also feed on the many fish and birds that would show up to pick at the smaller scraps and runoff from the fishing. The behaviour was recorded in detail in the 1840s by whaling overseer Sir Oswald Brierly and recorded in his extensive diaries. It was recorded in numerous publications over the period and witnesses included Australian members of Parliament. The behaviour was recorded on movie film in 1910 by C.B Jenkins and C.E. Wellings and publicly projected in Sydney although the film is now missing. In 2005, the Australia Broadcasting Corporation produced a documentary "Killers in Eden" on the subject. The documentary featured numerous period photographs taken by C.E. Wellings and W. T. Hall of the phenomenon and also featured interviews with elderly eyewitnesses.

Thanks, wikipedia!

*Alternate title: Just when you thought killer whales couldn't be any more awesome (they can).

Monday, June 9, 2008

you and the cap'n make it happen

Delicious Horchata Recipe:
  1. Pour one heaping bowl full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch® cereal.
  2. Add milk (2% is best).
  3. Procure spoon.
  4. Eat cereal out of bowl at a leisurely pace, perhaps while watching an episode of Scrubs.
  5. Surprise! Once the cereal is gone, your bowl is full of horchata!
  6. Enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

blather and dither should not both be words

A couple of things:

¤ Sometimes I weep (on the inside) because no guy will ever fall in love with me for my cooking. I will not prepare you an amazing meal. I'm sorry, for the both of us.
¤ There are two female full-time employees in the Faculty Office Building, and two women's restrooms. I am rather territorial over the south end one. Walking in to encounter another patron in said restroom is generally the greatest shock I experience in my life.
¤ The Faculty Office Building used to be called the Staff Office Building, but the name was changed once the People In Charge realized the inevitable abbreviation frequently used to refer to the edifice. Hilarious!
¤ There is one reality competition-based show that matters, and this is it: So You Think You Can Dance.
¤ If you've ever been concerned that I might one day become an intravenous drug user, please put that worry straight to rest. Needles are not my friends.
¤ This funny little bullet symbol is made, in Windows at least, by holding down Alt and typing 0164 on the right number keypad thingy.
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ See?
¤ Heated pools are actually the key to happiness. In case you've been wondering about that.
¤ Nine constitutes more than a couple. Forgive me.

What the heck! A picture!
Wow, Kecks are hot.

Monday, May 12, 2008

barbie dream house

The picture doesn't do enough; the wrap-around porch is obscured by the bushes and you can't see the sprawling yard with rocks for climbing and a stream for splashing and a miniature but equally beautiful Victorian playhouse. But: pink blossoms, weather vane, white wrought iron fence, the chimney, the turret. It reminded me of these favorite toys from my childhood.

I guess "move to Draper" is now on my list of things to do.

Monday, April 28, 2008

the fourth, the fifth

It's difficult for me to acknowledge that the most moving and introspective experience I had on my recent trip to southern Utah took place in a pet cemetery. I'm not even into animals that are owned by people who aren't scientists. Most especially the three types most prominently represented at Angels Rest. Angels Rest, no apostrophe. Which makes the second word a verb, not a noun, which makes the name entirely more interesting. Most likely it was also entirely unintentional, but I'll forgive them their oversight since it works so well for their purposes. Obviously the beauty of the moment had nothing to do with being surrounded by graves and ashes of dogs and cats and birds, and everything to do with being in a place with the sun shining on me and vibrant colors as far as I could see and desert plants somehow thriving and the perfect amount of wind simultaneously causing the perfect amount of quiet and noise. And most of all, this glorious and awesome (and by that I do mean awe-some, old school definition) music resonating to me and through me from every direction, creating harmonies so lovely it was painful, gah, I had no idea harmonies and tones like that existed. I don't even want to say what the source of the music was because I feel like that would demean it; once I said what it was then everybody would think of their own experiences and think they understood but they wouldn't, it wouldn't suffice, it was more than that. Supposedly Vladimir Lenin said something about Beethoven's Appassionata, that he couldn't listen to it too often because it made him want to say kind things and stroke the heads of his enemies instead of beating them. This was music capable of such feats. I may have lived the most peaceful 30 seconds of my life standing in that cemetery outside Kanab.

I feel like this is a copy of a something I recently read, a too conveniently similar idea as expressed by someone else. It's not a copy, it's a coincidence.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I got it from my pianist Joe Zawinul

I have a couple of introductions I need to make. And by a couple I literally mean two, and fortunately I can do them both at once. The first is my new laptop. I went ahead and spent my economic stimulus (ha) before I received it, which I'm pretty sure is a really wise financial habit. Sorry to geek out about a computer so much, but it really is exciting to me, for lots of reasons. I'll mention a few. I finally have (stolen) internet at home without having to carry my work laptop back and forth all the time, and it even works on the couch! Not just up against the window by my bed! Also it has an HDMI output which means I can plug it into my TV and watch things from it in big screen high definition, whoa. It came with a remote control, which, maybe every laptop does now? I have no idea, but I think it's way too awesome. Finally, there is a webcam, so you can expect to see a lot more pictures of my face with various parts of my apartment in the background. I'm sure those will be thrilling for everyone. All right, maybe not so much, BUT! It will allow me to present to the world all my friends and lovers, starting with the #1 person on my list and in my life, this guy:
This is my nephew, Kyle. Apparently he is nothing but trouble. And likes to eat cookies. I realize that most everyone who reads this here weblog also reads that of my brother and sister-in-law, and so you are already well acquainted with his utter adorability, but for the few who are strangers to Brad & Tiffany, soak it in. He. is. awesome. This actually isn't the best picture ever of Kyle, he's kinda wonky-eyed, but I love how into that cookie he is. He's not messing around there. There's no time for posing for pictures. There is a cookie to consume.

Hey Mom there's some of my ceiling, do you miss it?

Let me know if you want an Obama '08 sticker for your car. Especially if you want a "Republicans for Obama" one. I will be so pleased to hook you up with that.

I've never said 'geek out' before; Jenna Fischer made me do it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

into the future

This morning a woodpecker was pecking away on my chimney. It came in short bursts of staccato, like I was either under gunfire or receiving an urgent message in morse code. I think I don't have to tell you that this was an incredibly annoying event, especially to be taking place before my alarm clock went off. He just kept pecking and pecking, not giving up, determined to build his new nest (is that why woodpeckers make holes? I don't know) in my chimney.

The thing about my chimney, though, is that it's made out of metal.
What an idiot.

Before this morning, yesterday to be specific, I was on a walk (from my office to my car) and noticed a girl in front of me eating a banana. It looked to be just the perfect ripeness, and I was quite jealous of her, as I was in the mood for an afternoon snack and bananas are quite possibly the world's perfect food. Just ask Miss Chiquita. So I kept close on her tail, lest she be struck by a sudden desire to share (sharing is caring), but she decided on a different course of action instead. Right in front of my eyes, she dropped the peel of said banana right in the middle of the sidewalk. At first I was bothered--who would so carelessly toss their garbage right to the ground as soon as it is inconveniencing them, despite the presence of a perfectly functional trash can not twenty feet ahead? But then I had a second thought--maybe she's not a litterbug. Maybe she's just a student of comedy. If cartoons and Mario Kart have taught us anything, I think it's that there is little in life funnier than somebody slipping on a discarded banana peel. I'd like to think that after
nonchalantly walking a few more steps away, the girl hid behind some bushes giggling to see someone fall prey to her clever trick. Man, just thinking about that possibility makes me laugh. I mean, look at this image! Hilarious! It even looks like she got one of those jerks from the business school!

Note: Contrary to popular belief, not every male business student at BYU is a jerk. I'm lookin' at you, Kirk.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

your new bicycle

Reason #287 for my hatred of America's health care: the 806 more dollars I suddenly owe for stuff that went down over six months ago.

Somebody please fix this broken system.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I've got a thing or two to discuss with you, Utah.

Item 1: Traffic. So you finally recognized what we've all known for ages, that the traffic in Utah Valley has gotten absurd. Apparently you thought the answer to this was installing a metering light at the Orem Center Street entrance to I-15. One car per green, eh. That's sure to clear things right up. I'm not sure about the status of University Parkway, 800 North, and 1600 North's entrances. I know Provo Center Street has remained intact. I was pretty annoyed about having to pause before I merged the other day, but really it's just an indication of a problem that was already there, nothing that new. But is this really the best solution you could come up with?

Item 2: Ice cream. Seriously, residents? You can keep Leatherby's, Cold Stone, Baskin Robbins, Coney's, the Malt Shoppe, Hogi Yogi, Provo Fro-Yo, Dairy Queen, the Creamery, and Sub Zero in business, but you cannot sustain one little Ben & Jerry's? Don't you know this was the best ice cream you had going for you? Now this one I feel some personal responsibility for. I won't lie, there have been times when I've thought, "man, a scoop of Sweet Cream and Cookies with hot fudge sure sounds delicious right now," and haven't acted on that impulse. Shame on me. I should have never failed you, Ben & Jerry's. I'll never forget the joy you brought to my life when you opened up within walking distance from my apartment at a time when I didn't have a car. I'm sorry my loyalty wasn't strong enough. I should have been in line every week. But to an even greater extent, shame on Utah County for apparently opting for any other of the multitude of ice cream shops here over the one that was clearly the best, and is now gone.

Item 3: D-League basketball. Sorry Utah Flash, but I'm not sure your best marketing is in flaunting how Morris Almond used to be in the NBA, and now he plays for you. League leading scorer though he may be, it still puts far too much emphasis on his demotion. You might as well put up a billboard that says, "These guys are worse than the basketball you already know and love! Come check them out!"

You can go ahead and get back to me when you've come up with viable responses to the above matters. I know you've got it in you, you can work like honeybees after all. Let's keep our deseret lovely.

Friday, March 7, 2008

whoa whoa whoa whoa

World, check this out:

Rare White Killer Whale Spotted

(too excited to keep talking)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

wal-mart baby

This was the coolest thing that happened today:Yeah, totally awesome day. I couldn't even fully appreciate this odometric phenomenon because it just reminded me of a really terrible movie, one which is easily confused with an equally terrible movie that came out the year before. Not the high points of Natalie Portman's career, lemme tell ya.

Over the course of the past few hours, I have progressed from "I think I'm starting to get a cold" to "I am sick and probably going to die by sundown." I know I could have taken some Airborne®, but I don't trust schoolteachers to create my medicine. Give me a scientist or a doctor, please.

Friday, February 29, 2008

uh coodle doodle doo

"Honey, could you go out to the store? We need some chicken."
"Sure dear, what would you like?"
"Oh, just whatever, I think they're having a sale on miscellaneous bits down there to Ream's."

This sign is hilarious even totally ignoring the innovative spelling. That just makes it that much more amazing/creepy. Good to know it's only the best, though.

Name that Bluth!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

good king wenceslas

Have you ever snowshoed? Because guess what I HAVE. I couldn't say that last week, but I can now. This past Saturday my partners-in-adventure and I woke up bright and early and proceeded to drive up past Sundance to the trailhead leading up to Stewart Falls, a trailhead I have acquainted myself with many times previously, but never before under 5+ feet of snow. We strapped on our gear, so generously provided free of charge by Heritage Residential Treatment Center, and set off. The hike to Stewart Falls normally takes maybe an hour and a half round-trip, but such is not the case when you're trudging through snow and the trail is buried to the point of invisibility. We got lost a couple of times but never so badly that we didn't quickly realize it and turn back to find the right way. I found that snowshoeing is one of few physical endeavors where my slight stature becomes an advantage--that snow was not sinking underneath me nearly so deeply as it was for near-300-pound Tom. Still, some parts were very difficult, specifically climbing up steep very slippery slopes, but it was definitely worth it to take in sights such as these:
That picture is stolen! I don't feel guilty about it. We did eventually make it to the frozen waterfall and it was a thing of beauty; I wish I had a stolen picture of it to show as well. The descent was much quicker, as we could follow our own tracks. We passed a few other snowshoers making their way up as we went back, and I felt pretty well pleased with being the first ones out that morning and therefore leading the way for all those to follow--the trailblazers, if you will. Just call us a fairly unexciting NBA team from Portland.

The best part of snowshoeing though was sliding on my butt down a really steep hill on a slide that had been carved out and polished by two butts before me. It was so fast and so exhilarating! It's a fact: snowslides put waterslides to shame.

Look up the words to that carol if you don't know them; pay attention to the 4th and 5th verses. They're relevant.

Coming soon: something interesting happened at my job--what??, pop culture.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

a few of my favorite things

I've just been sitting here trying to decide what to write about, as I'm long past due for a new post, and as I was sitting and deciding I was also munching. On a triple cheese panino, my favorite cheap-but-still-good-and-not-too-far-away-to-walk-to lunch option. I was really drawing a blank and was going to give up and navigate away from this page, until on a whim I looked down at the sandwich in my hands that was almost gone. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature cheese star, and a tiny crumb galaxy.
Naturally I took a picture on my soon-to-be-retired phone to share with all of you lovelies. I certainly had no intention of creating this little guy, I was just absent-mindedly biting away at my sandwich, but apparently even my subconscious has a penchant for those five-pointed figures. I like it. And that last star bite was just delicious.

Speaking of celestial orbs, tonight there is a full lunar eclipse! I'm choosing to be excited about it. I love an eclipse that gives me full permission to stare straight at it. I will love it even more if I get to enjoy it by the glow of a fire in a snowy meadow in the midst of mountain peaks. Let's make it happen.

I'm really annoyed that I like this song by Ingrid Michaelson. I am fervently opposed to Old Navy commercials, and all their people slowly sauntering towards each other in strangely empty feeling spaces. And this song was a part of that. It's a huge conflict of interest. But now that I've heard the full version and the part about buying rogaine, well, it's a little harder to dismiss. I just don't know what I'm going to do. Help me decide?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

love, American style

I want to tell this story, but I'm too lazy to form narrative thought today, so here:
y: you would be so so grossed out by me right now
é: why?
é: why moreso than usual i should say
y: I accidentally dropped a significant portion of my gordita on the floor
y: and obviously was not going to throw it away
y: so I gathered it up and scooped it back in the paper and am eating it
é: but but but
y: occasionally pulling out hairs or lint etc. from it
é: you have a substandard janitorial worker
y: I KNOW they NEVER vacuum
y: it should not be that gross from being on the carpet for five seconds
é: you should leave a note
é: to whom it may concern
é: i dropped my cheesey gordita crunch on the floor today and was not pleased with what i found
y: 2-3 hairs per bite
é: hahahaha
y: as an interesting flip-flop, I just got sour cream in my hair
é: are they long red curly hairs at least?
é: haahah
y: so hair in my burrito, burrito in my hair
y: no they haven't been mine, which is reeeally sketchy
é: so someone is sitting at your desk
é: putting their hair everywhere
y: or my carpet hasn't been vacuumed well in two years
é: neither is particularly appealing

Also a very happy valentine's day to all of my loves. I love you. I started to list you but then there were way too many. I guess I can consider myself a very lucky girl. I do want to make a particular shout-out to two, though: Priya and Legend. You were the fastest heart-winners I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

civic duty

Let's talk elections. I'm proud of my current state of residence for awarding its votes to Barack Obama, and particularly pleased with Utah County for giving Obama 66% of the democratic vote, the 3rd highest percentage in the state after Summit and Cache counties (69% and 67%, respectively). On the red side of things, Utah County placed first in highest portion of votes for Romney, with 94% of the county's republicans or unaffiliateds supporting that man. Unfortunately, he did not fare as well in the rest of the country. I have a hard time not thinking a lot of people in the south and east are stupid at times like these. I don't want to feel those things, I love those regions and those people, but come on guys, McCain? Who self-admittedly doesn't understand the economy very well? I mean, I could understand if we were voting for this guy:

If the John McCain of 1974 were running, I'd give him all of my votes based on sheer hotness. But that's not who we're dealing with. We're dealing with an old belligerent not well-enough educated man. Who does sketchy sketchy things in West Virginia. People, stop voting for him.

Back to the democratic side, though, I'm still feeling happily confident about Obama. I've got to ask, though: California, what is your problem? I thought you knew better. Why couldn't you listen to your first lady of state? Maybe it would have been better if one of these women had publicly endorsed Barack Obama.

Personally I wouldn't listen to Joyce Palmieri/Rachel Crisp; she has a bit of a history of choosing bad men to support. But maybe the others would have worked. I mean everyone loves Kelly Preston.

If your primary hasn't happened yet, please make sure you're registered for it and please participate in it. I'm getting nervous that we may end up with a vote between Clinton and McCain, in which case the main decision I'll be worried about making is which country I'll be re-locating to. Maybe though that will allow for Obama and Romney to run together on an independent ticket! That's plausible, isn't it? No?