Friday, August 31, 2007

unemployment = a great tan

You know its been a good month when you have managed to get the best tan you have had in years. Really it just represents that I am unemployed and will soon be heading back to school ... but I am perfectly ok with that. Either way I am more tan now than I have been in the past 4 years combined!

Working is so over-rated. Living with your parents for a month in Southern California, going to the beach a few times a week, and driving your mom's 350-Z around town is sooo under-rated. But one does need to make a living to support themselves, so I will live it up now while I still can. Only four more days of the OC vacation life ... then I am off to Oregon on Tuesday to start the next chapter of my life - GRADUATE SCHOOL (imagine dramatic music here).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

can you hear me now?

My phone bit the dust today .... and of course I lost all my numbers. I got a new phone so email/call/text me with your number so that we can still be friends. I miss you already ... I'm missin you like candy, even.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the happiest place on earth - vintage

Kelly and I went to Disneyland the other day. It is always magical ... wouldn't expect anything less of the Magic Kingdom. On our way in under the bridge and onto Main Street, I always love to look at the posters they have up for the different lands and movies. Very retro, very vintage. I LOVE IT. Then, on the way out we stopped in some shops and I came across a bunch that you could purchase. Now, I couldn't justify buying any of them since I don't have a place for them (aka: a home), but I found them online to share ... love, love, love these posters.

Don't even know why this is tomorrowland ... but I want it.

Perfect for a little boys room!

Love the colors and the shapes in this one!

For a little boy again.

I love the drama of this one ... and the yellow background.

I think that the Haunted Mansion is the place
I would want to work if I worked at Disneyland ... I love the old Victorian house!

And last, but not least ... how can you not LOVE Small World?
Its old school - yes ... a little politically incorrect - yes ...
but it means well and has a great message.
Sad to say its in Fantasyland ... never really understood that one ...
however, we must remember that it was built before the internet.
I think the idea that the world is small is no longer a fantasy ...
ladies and gentleman, we have arrived (the world is now officially small!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Missin You Like Candy

Mandy Moore at the House of Blues, Anaheim ... it was great. Go ahead - judge me. I don't care.

Have to respect a woman who can look back at being 14 and agree that it was silly. She too thought that "missin you like candy" made no sense ... but I was still happy she sang it for us. She sang this song too ... you may hate it, but I thought it was good.

Let me just say that I like that Mandy Moore ... she's a nice girl.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

travel as education

Traveling teaches so many lessons. Everyone should take some time to do some traveling. To get the most out of your traveling experience, one should go to places that you have never been to before because this world is full of surprises. When you get on a plane, train, or metro you are bound to have some interesting experiences. Community travel (aka commercial airline, train or bus and NOT a road trip in your own personal vehicle) is a talent, one that often must be learned. Patience, kindness, and compassion are just a few traits that can be developed while traveling if you will only allow it. And believe me, it is not always easy. Crying babies, individuals with more bags than they can carry (I have done this while moving across the country so I know have a little more compassion), loud snoring, loud talkers, bad smells, circulated air ... really the list could go on. But seriously, all these things just end up being good stories to tell ... so don't worry - you'll get through it.

Staying in a new place, whether it be the pull out sofa-bed of my brother and sister-in-laws
condo with their four little kids waking up at 6:30 am all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, or in the plush double-bed of a Hampton Inn suite, also teaches a few lessons. It always requires some flexibility and adventure when you aren't in your usual sleeping environment.

Traveling also breaks down stereotypes and preconceived notions. So many times have I been to places with low expectations and discovered the unique gems that individual cities have to offer. Boise, Idaho is a perfect example of this. It is a great city with a fun downtown vibe. Quaint but hip. I really really enjoyed it.

I believe places have souls - drawn from the people, the architecture, the environment, the history, and the present activities. You can feel a city's soul almost immediately ... you just get this cool vibe from places and you can feel what a city is all about. That is not to say that these vibes can't change and evolve with time as you spend a few days walking down its streets and seeking out the aspects that give the city its defining characteristics ... because they most definitely do. But I have found that time just ends up elaborating on the first impression vibe.

The more I travel - domestically and internationally - the more I realize that this world is amazing. There is so much to see and do and experience. So many different ways to live your life and so many places to live it. With all the places I have traveled to and all the states I have lived in, I find that each location provides me with a different perspective. Sometimes I feel like a chameleon because I change a little bit depending on the city I live in. My style changes a bit, my activities change a bit, and my interests change a bit. Sometimes that makes me feel like I am unsure of who I am, but really I think that its just a reflection of my learning and growth. I hope that the places I have been will continue to shape me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dem Peeps

No, I don't mean "them peeps" ... I mean Dem. Peeps ... or Mormons that are democrats. My favorite example, unfortunately, just passed away August 10, 2007, President James E. Faust. Now, you may be thinking ... "hmmm, I would have thought that Brother Harry Reid would be her favorite example of a dem peep" and you would be correct in the realm of politics. President Faust was very political yes (as you can see here) but he was not currently serving in a political capacity for the last 12+ years. He was instead serving the Lord as the Second Counselor to the President and Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley at the time of his passing and for those of you who are thinking "and that means??" ... it means that he was pretty well respected in the church. Not to mention he was pretty in tune with the man upstairs if you know what I mean.

President Faust's thoughtful talks given in General Conference and his kind demeanor are things I will most miss. He was compassionate, loving and urged forgiveness and brotherly kindness. Most important to me, especially at this time in my life now, he represented that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not political. At least it was not meant to be politicized or polarizing. The Salt Lake Tribune refers to Faust's own sentiments expressed to his biographer:
"I am a conservative on fiscal and property matters, and I am liberal in terms of human values and human rights," Faust told his biographer, James P. Bell. "I believe what it says in the Book of Mormon, that the Lord values all of his children equally - black and white, bond and free, male and female, Jew and gentile - and that the Lord likewise has compassion for the heathen."

"He went on to say that the LDS Church would prefer to have members in both parties."

My dad jokes that the "heathens" he is referring to are the Republicans ... only I don't think he is actually joking when he says that. Anyway, the article opens up with a great reference to Bill Clinton - please read it (see link above).

I know what will be on my Christmas list this year - President James E. Faust's biography by James P. Bell In the Strength of the Lord: The Life and Teachings of James E. Faust.

Friday, August 10, 2007

home ain't so bad - even if it is the OC

Driving around in my mom's hot little car - windows down, Led Zepplin blasting, dancing and singing at the stop light - I forgot how great the weather is in SoCal. It was even a bit chilly at night (to me since I was used to 90 degrees and tons of humidity at midnight).

So, home is good. I sort of remember why I didn't stick around ... but it sure is a nice place to visit.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

will i ever stop moving?

I am waiting for my queen size bed and ikea dresser to be picked up right now ... they won't be here for at least an hour ... and I am thinking. Uh oh ... thinking. Yeah - I agree, its a dangerous past time.

But anyway - I am doing it. Thinking about moving ... past, present, and future. I leave on a plane tomorrow headed for LAX and really I don't know when I will be back on the East Coast. Geez, I am totally getting sad. My parents have lived in Southern California for pretty much their entire lives. I joke with them that I have lived in more states in my 24 years than they have in their 35 years of marriage. As I am looking at my life packed up in suitcases I can't help but wonder when will this end? When will I feel comfortable enough to "settle down" and actually live in one place for more than a few years. I am not even talking about just living in one city or area ... an even bigger accomplishment would to be live in the same house/apartment/dwelling for more than one year. Well thinking back to my college days, I did live in one apt. for two years but I lived in a tent for two months in between those two years ... but still, I think that is the time frame to beat.

For fun - lets chronicle the locations:

1. House I was born in - Irvine, California - January 1983 - August 2001

2. Deseret Towers - Provo, Utah - August 2001 - May 2002

3. House I was born in - Irvine, California - May 2002 - August 2002

4. Sparks Apt. - Provo, Utah - August 2002 - May 2003

5. Foxwood Apt. - Provo, Utah - May 2003 - August 2003

6. Campus View North Apt. - Provo, Utah - August 2003 - May 2004

7. Tent - Escalante, Utah - May 2004 - July 2004

8. Campus View North Apt. - Provo, Utah - July 2004 - May 2005

9. House I was born in - Irvine, California - May 2005 - September 2005

10. Crystal Plaza Apt. - Arlington, Virginia - September 2005 - August 2006

11. Rhapsody Condominium - Washington, DC - August 2006 - August 2007

12. House I was born in - Irvine, California - August 2007 - September 2007

13. Hideaway Apt. - Eugene, Oregon - September 2007 - June 2008
(then who knows ... will I stay or will I go?)

Let's count it out people. That is 13 moves in 6 years. Two of those are across the country and 7 of them are from one state to another. I am tired, how about you?

But I am excited for this new adventure. Sad to leave behind my many good friends that I have made here, as well as those of you who have been in my life for awhile but happen to be here with me. It has seriously been soooo great. I love the East Coast and I love everyone I have gotten close too. I know that this move is a good one for me (as have so many of the previous moves) and I look forward to the challenge of school and meeting new people. I am also very excited to serve the Lord in a new way in a smaller church setting in Eugene - I know it will be good for me.

So, here goes nothin'.

see ya later

Because self-portraits should always have Tara in the background sticking her tongue out ... it just makes sense. Well, maybe not ... but it does make me smile. I will miss that girl.

Monday, August 06, 2007

sick days should always be this fun

A few weeks ago my sister and mom came to visit me. I should have posted this earlier, but I got distracted by the opportunity to see Senator Reid speak. Plus I called in sick to spend time with them and I didn't want to blog about it while I was still employed. But since I no longer work - I feel like its ok to show photographic evidence of my sick day. The photo is not dated or anything, hehehehe. Not the greatest photo of us, but family is so great that its still worth posting.

Mom, Sarah, Bethany ... taken in the reflection of the Vietnam Memorial.

It was my sister's first time out to DC and she got to visit without kids! It was a fun vacation for us all, even though we were reminded of how very very different we are. Its funny how siblings can be so different. But diversity (even in the family) makes the world go round and I am thankful for our differences. I hope one day it won't feel like they are so big, but until then I hope we continue to love each other for all those little things we each bring to the table independently. I am really glad I got to share this city with my big sister and mom for a few days ... it was great!

(Lets see how long it takes for my sister to actually realize that I posted this ... she doesn't read my blog much and I get on her case about it all the time)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Field Trip!

DC is wonderful when you don't have to work! I have been walking all over this town, meeting up with friends for lunch and running errands while everyone else is workin away in their offices. It is the best because I get to go on field trips too! Yesterday I went to the Natural History Museum and was amazed by a few things:

1) Geology is the coolest! I always knew this ... I would have totally majored in geology if I could just understand chemistry ... tooo much chemistry to understand how all those metamorphic, sedimentary, and ionic rocks are made. Heat, pressure and atomic elements - its really amazing. I was memorized by the minerals and gems.

Virtual Display

2) PLATE TECTONICS ... I have always thought that this was the most interesting concept. The earth's crust is broken into different plates that float around on magma and slide, crash, grind, and slip past and into one another! Crazy!

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3) Women/mothers that go to the National Mall on a hot hot hot day with more than two children in tow are AMAZING. I saw multiple women with gaggles of children and they were still having a good time! It was awe-inspiring. But I was not envious. It was soo hot and soo crowded - they are good mothers to be still braving it all to give a little fun and education to their kids. I solute you mothers of the world that visit the National Mall in August ... you are rock stars.

Perils of a Large Family - photo

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

getting tagged a few months later

Bea tagged me for 8 things ... but I did something similar a few months ago ... remember how Lindsey tagged me?

So I add a few more, just because I only listed 5 for Linds. Hmmm ... some people know these ... others might be surprised to learn these:

6) I am not a good pet owner. I am not really that fond of animals ... but I don't HATE them (Lis tried to spread lies about me at work! hahaha). But I feel that this makes me a responsible citizen of humanity - I know I am not good with walking, feeding, bathing, etc of household pets and thus I don't own them and treat them poorly. However, I think if I had a little lap dog it might be different. We always had smaller big dogs (too big for you lap but not really considered big dogs). But I think if I had a purse dog it would be nice. Oh, I like cats too, but I am a bit allergic.

7) I have a hankering to buy a house. An old house that I can restore and make my own. Its not happening ANY TIME SOON. But that's the thing I really want (besides all the normal other stuff ... a cool job, marriage, babies, blah blah blah) right now and I hope to pull it off by the time I am about 31-32 ... that gives me 7 or 8 years (secretly my time line is 30 ... but that might be pushing it considering school loans). This also requires that I settle down and not move every year! That actually would be nice.

8) In my very first Anthropology class at BYU my freshman year (I now have a BA in Anthropology, just in case you didn't know) I earned an A+ on a paper ... an A+!!! I didn't even know that teachers actually gave those out! I had been concerned about the whole college thing before - could I do it? Would I fail out of college? The pressure! But after this - I was golden. I thought: "I can do this college thing!" (For reals, I remember thinking that very phrase). My paper was copied and given to each student in the class proceeded by a lecture on how much better their papers needed to be ... like mine. I have thought that I am a great writer ever since. Blame my big head on Dr. Crandle ... hehehe.


9) I have a secret wish to grow a garden one day. This came about in the past few months and perhaps will leave when I actually have the space to do it ... but I think it would be really great to grow fresh veggies and have plants. I will start small by having potted plants and then planting mature plants and gradually move to starting from little seeds. I want to have some awesome pots for my potted plants someday ... sigh. A girl can dream right?

the wonder years

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This is one of the greatest shows ever conceived. The voice overs are amazingly funny. I rediscovered it tonight and man oh man - amazing! The drama and intensity of Kevin's adolescence is perfect.

Tonight's episode was about Kevin and his 14 year old friends trying to crash a 10th grade girl's slumber party where they were convinced that there are lacy nighties and pillow fights - all night long. Oh, and as long as they have beer - they are in! Hahahaha ... why do boys always think that girls are scantily clad and feather's flying?! Has that ever happened? To anyone? Who came up with that? And why is that hot?

Anyway - if you don't know about The Wonder Years - you missed out on A LOT.