Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
All that red and gold and green and white. I've never seen a field so full of holiday cheer.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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
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
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
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
Friday, September 26, 2008
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
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
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
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
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
Family size, fools.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
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
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
Monday, July 14, 2008
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
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
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
Friday, June 27, 2008
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
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.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.
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.
*Alternate title: Just when you thought killer whales couldn't be any more awesome (they can).
Monday, June 9, 2008
- Pour one heaping bowl full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch® cereal.
- Add milk (2% is best).
- Procure spoon.
- Eat cereal out of bowl at a leisurely pace, perhaps while watching an episode of Scrubs.
- Surprise! Once the cereal is gone, your bowl is full of horchata!
Friday, June 6, 2008
¤ 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
I guess "move to Draper" is now on my list of things to do.
Monday, April 28, 2008
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
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
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
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
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
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
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
"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
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
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
y: you would be so so grossed out by me right now
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
y: as an interesting flip-flop, I just got sour cream in my hair
é: are they long red curly hairs at least?
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
Let's talk elections. I'm proud of my current state of residence for awarding its votes to Barack Obama, and particularly pleased with
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?