Tuesday, May 29, 2007

sweet caroline(a)

I think I could live in North Carolina. It is beautiful, open, breezy, warm, sunny, and simple. Granted I have only really been to the Outer Banks part of NC ... but I still think it is great. I would settle to at least be able to vacation there often ... preferably I will "summer" in North Carolina (if you are going to dream - dream big).

I didn't take many pictures on this trip. I just didn't feel like it. Not because there weren't good things or people to take pictures of, but because it just didn't ever seem to flow for me. I never wanted to stop and take out my camera. I was taking it all in I guess. Luckily for me (and for you all) I have a friend that LOVES to take pictures. When she gets her photos online I will be sure to post some of them. However, here are a few for your viewing pleasure until then. Details to follow.

Must. Sleep. Now.

This is what happens when you car hop and leave your camera behind ...
people take pictures of themselves.

This shot makes me think of the Nickel Creek Song Lighthouse.
"I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves."

Water pump ... I love rust.

Me and my BFF April.

I want a house with a porch just like this.

The lighthouse sight-seers.

Matt Fischer ... trying to relieve his sunburned feet.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Everybody's Working For the Weekend ....

.... I know I am. Work is especially hard these days since I only have about two months left. Its not that I don't care about my job - its just that its hard to care when things don't really change even though you try and try and try and try. Its hard to keep pushing against the wall ... that wall that is the AHA. Anyway - I need a vacation (again).

So I am memorializing this weekend (to steal a phrase from a co-worker - who I think secretly reads this blog) by going to Duck Beach in Outer Banks, North Carolina. I am excited to have this second and perhaps last Duck weekend to make some memories. Hopefully some good pictures and stories will come of it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

You Are the Goddess of All That Is Good and Kind

I saw a GREAT movie tonight - The Waitress. It was a witty, dark, funny, sad, lovely and wonderful ... all at once. The characters are so deep, yet very basic and simple. They have dimension and accents like you would not believe. Each character has their own ... character (for lack of a better word) or personality, if you will. They are not archetypes of people ... they felt like real people. The script is AMAZING ... witty and quick ... light but also biting at times.

But the best part - my roomie and I were the only people laughing out loud in the theater ... and it was hilarious. Laugh out loud funny ... but the crowd acted like they didn't get the humor in it. So my thoughts are this - we saw the movie in a Georgetown theater. Did the upper crust (hahaha, no pun intended - wink, wink - as this movie is all about pie) of DC not understand the humor in it all? Were they not quick enough for the subtle nuances in the writing and the delivery? I would normally doubt that ... but this stoic crowd is making me think otherwise. Perhaps the problem lies in the time we saw the movie - it was a 7:35 pm show ... perhaps too early? Did we go at the "old people" time? But old people have a sense of humor as well - exhibit A: my dad (hi dad! love you!). Anyway - it made us laugh even more. A few highlights:

- pie naming
- spontaneous poetry (sooo funny)
- accents
- cast (Kerri Russell and Andy Griffith - awesome)
- GREAT one liners (hence the title of this post)

One review said this (mostly I picked this quote over others because it uses the term baroque to describe the pie names):
"Pies, as it happens, are what the movie's heroine uses for therapy. Stalled in a marriage to a crude galoot named Earl (Jeremy Sisto ), small-town diner waitress Jenna (Keri Russell ) sighs and folds her emotions into desserts with baroque names and quixotic ingredients: I Hate My Husband pie, I Don't Want Earl's Baby pie, Baby Screaming Its Head Off in the Middle of the Night and Ruining My Life pie. Pastry is her prose, the daily specials board her diary."
Sad side note ... the writer and director was killed last November. The film is now dedicated in her memory.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On Incentives

The new book I started today Freakonomics was published in 2005 and was on the New York Times Bestsellers list. I started this book without finishing my last book I blogged about because I tend to do that ... not finish a book. I don't like to read the ends a lot of the time. So anyway - this new book is great so far (only 25 pages into it) and is about a new way to use the tools of economics. The authors actually use economics to answer interesting questions - I like this idea. The main reason I am writing about this book already is because of this idea of incentives that it brings up.
"Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing."
- page 20

"An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing. But most incentives don't come about organically. Someone - an economist or a polotician or a parent - has to invent them."
- page 21
This particular idea has been popping up all over in my life. A little over a week ago I gave a lesson at Family Home Evening on Elder Anderson's talk It's True Isn't It? Then What Else Matters? and the thing I focused on the most was if we truly believed the Gospel to be true, how was that demonstrated in our activities? In other words, how are we spending our time and what motivated us to spend time in positive ways - or in Levitt and Dubner's words, what incentives motivate us into action? President Hinckley said it this way:
"When [an individual] is motivated by great and powerful convictions of truth, then he disciplines himself, not because of demands made by the Church but because of the knowledge within his heart."
I love this quote because I need to work on discipline sooo much.

I was telling my co-workers the other day about the positive peer pressure at The BYU to obey the honor code or even to not walk on the grass by using sayings as "Cougars Don't Cut Corners" - brilliant whomever thought that one up.

Another example of this idea popping up in my life was in a meeting at work today. We were talking about incentives to complete surveys. I completed one because it came with a $2 bill in it - I couldn't just take the money and not fill out the survey! A co-worker completed one because it came with Godiva chocolates and another co-worker completed a survey so they would stop sending it to her for the tenth time.

The book also talks about the differences between morality and reality, which to my idealistic self is very sad. "Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work - whereas economics represents how it actually does work." - page 13. I wish that these two were a little bit more in line.

Incentives. Motivation. Its what makes us tick. When listening to friends mill over a decision they have to make I always find myself saying, "you have to decide whats worth it to you." What is "worth it" to me might not be "worth it" to you ... and vice versa.

So what makes you tick? Think about it - be a little introspective for awhile. It may be more telling then you would like it to be.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Sadly, I am not spontaneous. I am a planner. But I would like to be more spur-of-the-moment ... because I am trying to be more fun. I mean, I think I am fun in my own way just not in the adventurous and spontaneous way ... and I would like to try to be a little less structured. You are only young once - right?

So this weekend I did something out of character for me - I decided to go camping in Shenandoah National Park with less than 24 hours notice. While it was not like I up and went in an hour, it was still on the fly for me. Also, due to some poor planning on my part I ended up showering and packing in less than an hour ... this is pushing it for me! I like to make plans - I am flexible - but I still usually have a general plan to improvise from. I didn't know where we were going, I only knew two of the six people and I had packed no food or water with me - I just didn't have the time. We were going to buy food and a tent on the way out of town.

In my world this type of trip is crazy and just mocking the universe. This situation was just begging for something to go wrong and one could argue that something did - there was a lot of rain (that is an understatement) and of course, I forgot my toothbrush. Classic. But guess what - it was a blast! Well the part where we were sleeping in a leaky tent and a wet sleeping bag wasn't the highlight, but the fact that the only camp site with vacancies was either Goony Park or Jellystone Camp Ground (yes, a-la Yogi bear) made for an eventful start to the camping experience. Goony Park was hands down a NO-GO when we saw the woman who ran the place and the fact that the bathrooms were labeled "dump station" and had signs that said - "water not for drinking" ... not very confidence inspiring. The other girls and I convinced the boys that Yogi Bear and the "family friendly" camping ground was a better alternative to the witch looking woman asking for $50 for each camp site.

Yogi and Boo-Boo it is! Ahhhh - it was great! Not really like camping, more like sleeping in a tent and pretending to be outdoorsy, but still so fun! Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and just chatting with good people. And then the rains came and our little tent could only take so much before it started letting the water come in. Three of the girls defected from our tent at various points in the night to sleep in the car - but I am proud to report that I slept (lightly) in the tent the entire time. I had one wet spot in my sleeping bag that I carefully avoided for the duration.

All in all - I love to camp. It is so much fun. And being spontaneous is fun too! Road trips are great - its nice to get out of the city once and a while and to sing with your friends as you drive through the beautiful VA countryside.

I heart Shenandoah National Park. Anyone want to go camping soon? Oh wait, don't tell me until the night before - I like to be spontaneous.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

um, excuse me - could you STOP doing that?

Cutting your fingernails on the metro is NOT ok. It is so wrong. Its disgusting actually. Who does that? Middle aged white people on the green line train apparently. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it today. I was so grossed out.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

the new me is sort of like the old me

Most of you know that this dark hair of mine has not always been ... well, dark. Growing up in the OC of course I had blond hair, mostly because my hair was so easily bleached out by the sun and my beach/pool going summers ... until I started working. I started highlighting my hair when I was 16 and started working during the summers and on weekends. That went on until college when I decided to go darker and while I did have a stint of highlights for a six or eight month period of time in college, for the most part I have steadily gone darker. It makes me feel older and more sophisticated, sort of.

This last October (2006) I donated my hair to locks of love and also got back to my roots ... the natural color of my roots that is. Since July (2006) I have not highlighted or dyed my hair and because my hair grows incredibly fast, when I cut 13 inches I was basically cutting off most of my dyed hair. Because I do not see my family nearly enough living across the entire continental United States they tend to forget how dark my hair really is (I too tend to forget and I see me in the mirror everyday!) It takes a while for people that we have known our whole lives to replace that mental image etched in their minds. I would estimate it takes 2-3 years for our own self-image to catch up with reality (in my mind's eye I am younger, blonder, and thinner than I actually am - one could argue that we all think along those lines). Up until about 8 months ago I would still catch myself doing a double take in the mirror, forgetting my hair was sooo dark ... and I have had dark hair for about 4 years!

So now that my mental image of myself is getting some-what in line with reality, I decided to change it up for the summer (just trying to keep my life interesting I guess or maybe I am trying to recapture my responsibility free youth). In honor of my family who still (and probably always will) picture me as a blond, I have gone lighter! I post the pictures here to provide documentation. The lighting is not the best, but I hope you get the idea. I am still trying to warm up to it - I think the front is a bit too light for my taste, but hey its just hair and it will grow. I can change it any time I want.

Me and my new hair!
(check out the pictures to the right to do a before and after comparison)

Picture is kind of washed out, but I also got my make-up done.
I told the woman that I wanted to bring out my eyes more but with
natural/neutral colors. I kind of think she pulled it off.

This is a technical shot - can you see the highlights?

This is what I do not like about highlights - it looks too streaky ...
I am waiting for them to fade.

Funny cyclops shot (my hair is never this big)!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

singles wards = match.com with a purpose

According to my good friend number4 I have described singles wards in a way that made her say, "it kind of sounds like match.com with a purpose". This probably means I have failed miserably at explaining the program of a sacrament meeting. I simply relayed some simple facts and she drew her own conclusions ... and folks that is what she came up with. To her credit, this is what I said:

"So this guy spoke at church on Sunday and while he was being cute, witty, and well dressed at the pulpit my friend and I were thinking - "huh, he's pretty cute - I'd go out with him" and then I looked around and realized AT LEAST 20 other girls thought the same thing."

At this point, one of our other friends said, "Wait, do they have guys speak in church just so girls can check them out?" To which I responded, "No, but its an added bonus".

LDS Singles Ward = match.com with a purpose. This might be unfair to match.com because I think they probably have a purpose as well ... maybe it should be "match.com with a higher purpose". Ya know, I think that marriage for time and all eternity could qualify as a higher purpose, don't you?