Wednesday, December 21, 2011

christmas lately

the last few days have been nice and cozy, and full of christmas festivities...
an italian dinner with family
time at temple square, in the joseph smith memorial building
the nutcracker with the sisters
hot chocolate by the fire
and the first snowfall of the christmas season!

calisthenics and mile thursday

when i was in seventh grade we had to run the mile every thursday.  i dreaded that day all week every week.

i love this video for so many reasons. watch it before you read more.

the freckles,
the puddles,
the train,
the yell-singing,
the heart pumping,
the fireworks.

i want to be friends with every one of these kids,
that last boy especially.
keep running, kid.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

writing tip of the day: love you some math

when writing something that requires intense logic (like, say, a THESIS), turn it into a math equation.

M is believed to be true romantic love.

M=Hermia & Lysander's relationship, believed to be true romantic love
x=Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe myth
x=true romantic love
Shakespeare's rendition of Pyramus and Thisbe myth=1/x  (in other words, it is an inverse.  the Shakespeare rendition is a reversal, as it turns all of Ovid's moments of sincerity into farce.)

The mathematical function of MULTIPLICATION means that one thing acts itself upon all the parts of the other thing.  (Instance: 3 x 5 = upon every part of the number "3" (1+1+1), 5 enacts itself: (5+5+5), therefore 3 x 5 = 15.)

Therefore, when Shakespeare's Pyramus and Thisbe myth is enacted upon Hermia and Lysander's relationship, it shows the assumption as false: M is not true romantic love.

M=1/x (meaning they are set beside each other as a equals, for the purpose of comparing, which is what Shakespeare does in act V.)
This yields x=1/M.
Therefore when set side by side, "true love"=inverse of Hermia & Lysander's relationship.

Therefore, when Shakespeare's rendition of the Pyramus and Thisbe myth is acted (yes, double meaning) upon or beside the Hermia and Lysander relationship, it reverses the meaning of the relationship, such that what was believed to be true love is exposed as the inverse of that: FALSE LOVE.

This is especially helpful because it reveals holes in your thinking.  For instance, wouldn't 1/x turn anything upside-down, even healthy relationships?  I think there are more variables than what I've figured out here.  Also the definition of multiplication I have used here should also work in reverse ("5" broken into parts = 1+1+1+1+1, and when each of those parts, acted upon by the "3" (3+3+3+3+3) still yields the same result).  So how does Hermia and Lysander's relationship act itself upon all the parts of Ovid's myth?  This is going to be one I keep thinking on...

Please, let me know if you have mathematical insights, as it's been some ******* years since I've taken a math class.  (Although I will say this: senior year of high school, much to my utter surprise (and the surprise of all my fellow Gural-classmates) I somehow got the math prize of the year.  I still to this day think it was a big mix-up.  But mix-up or no, I got the SWEET book pictured above.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

and this one's on love

wanna know what happened at my house tonight?  

remember this scene?  mr. collins comes to propose to elizabeth?  remember how in the background, elizabeth's mom and four sisters are peeking through the door and listening?  yeah, that's what happened tonight.  okay, not so much the proposing part, just the part about my entire family looking on while an eligible bachelor visited.  he is eligible because he is about my same age and single.  not because he's, you know, interested, or because we've gone on a date, or come to think about it ever even had a conversation.  but still: same age and single=eligible.

it was horrendous.

dating is bad enough without having your whole family (aka: mom and four sisters) watching, secretly thinking, "oh my gosh he could be the ONE!"


so here's a post to dating.

the beautiful courtney posted this quote, from one of our favorite recently-found articles on the subject.  we wanted to shout this article from the rooftops but couldn't find a way to get up there.  so it looks like she's taking the blog-post avenue and i'm going to follow suit.  it comes from a site called, "the art of manliness" so you know this guy means business.  the quote goes like this:

A lot of men today don't seem to believe it, but getting hitched to the right woman is a very desirable thing.  So while there is nothing wrong with hanging out, it's not a replacement for dating.  Dating is the pathway to finding your true love and eventually settling down and getting married.  Marriage is a one-on-one relationship, so you need to start getting to know women on a one-on-one basis.  You might be hanging out with her and your friends right now, but if you don't take her on a date, she'll forever be just your friend.  So, start dating and stop hanging out.  

now please understand: this is not meant in any sense as an indictment of the boys in my life.  i think for the most part the boys i know are pretty first class.  but it has given me a chance to think through some things, the first of which being that i know there are a lot of merits to hanging out.  let's think about them for a sec:
1) you get to see what the person is like in everyday, casual situations.  sometimes you can formally date someone for months and never see this side, and when you finally do you're so shocked, it's hard to recover from.
2) hanging out is low pressure, which, for those people who are timid or shy or need wingmen, can be really comforting and help them to be themselves.

3) hanging out is cheaper than dating.  and i'm being serious here--it's got to be hard to be the boy and have to spend hard-earned money to go on date after date with girls, especially if those girls string you along or aren't upfront enough with you to tell you they aren't interested before spending your money.
4) when you're in that liminal space between serious heartbreak and being open to love again, hanging out can be a good transition.  you gain confidence being true to yourself again, you are able to be with people (and thus stave off the loneliness) in a safe way, and typically you can laugh a lot--hanging out doesn't really lend itself to serious conversations, which are often the last thing your heavy heart can take after major trauma.  


aren't serious conversations beautiful?  aren't those when you feel like someone is really validating who you are, seeing things as you do, stretching themselves to understand who you are?  isn't that where true friendship--friendship, not even relationship--comes in, when you've spent enough one-on-one time with another person that you know how they tick?  how they think?  how they feel about things?  that never comes out--not really--in hanging out.  all you learn are things like what their favorite youtube videos are and how many doughnuts they can eat in one sitting.

maybe i'm nuts, but i really want to know people better than that.  
i really want to know    (name of any eligible young man)    better than that.

and that doesn't even necessarily mean going to dinner, or ice skating, or any other Formal Date.  it just means being one-on-one with each other.  getting to know each other away from the crowd.

the other contention i have with hanging out (and this is wholly and entirely a personal problem, not one i extend to other people) is that hanging out usually leaves me feeling self-conscious.  hanging out often feels like a game of king of the hill--who can get the most laughs, who has the best dance moves, who can dominate the conversation for the longest amount of time.  it is never the quiet people that you get to know well when hanging out.  this is a little known fact about me, but inside i think of myself as one of the quiet people.  from years of pushing myself off the wallflower wall at dances and forcing myself to go to parties i didn't really want to go to, from years of talking myself into telling jokes or personal stories in "hang-out" scenarios, i've learned to mask the shyness inside.  i've learned to be okay if the group doesn't laugh at my jokes, or if we go a whole evening without anyone really trying to sustain conversation with me (or without anyone responding positively when i try to sustain conversation with them)--it's all just part of hanging out, and i understand that.  it's part of the comfort and ease of the thing.  

but that doesn't necessarily mean i walk away from hangouts feeling super good about my social skills, or about my value to the people in my life.  i'm just another one of the girls, just another friend in a vast world of friends.  on dates, however, for those couple of hours, you feel like the most interesting, funny, or pretty person, because that boy clearly thought you were cool enough to get to know better.  dates make you feel appreciated, even if only in a small way.  in hanging out, that doesn't happen--you don't feel like you're especially interesting, funny, pretty, clever, or anything.  you're just another one in the crowd.  

now, i know a boy who would say this is all ridiculous--this teaching yourself to be more outgoing than you are naturally, this whole caring what the crowd thinks.  he'd say, "i don't want to go to some lame dance.  i don't want to go to some lame party.  i'm not into talking to groups of people."  see, he does exactly what he wants to do.  i'm entirely enamoured by this idea.  i'm fairly confident he will never read this so i feel like i can air some info: in fourth grade, i had a crush on him.  this crush continued on and off for more or less my entire adolescence.  this kid is uber-kool.  we're talking he could have a pompadour and everyone around him would suddenly wonder why they didn't have one too. in fact, i'm fairly certain that he was the one who gave bruno mars the idea.  --------------------------------->
and if fedoras are ever going to make a comeback (which is one of my christmas wishes), Kid's our only hope.  i wish i was content enough with myself that i too could say, "psh, forget all them people.  i don't care."  unfortunately we all (or maybe just i) can't be as kool-with-a-k-cool as Kid.  and i mean this sincerely: i admire his confidence.

and when i leave hangouts and feel self-conscious, like that i'm unfunny and uninteresting and un__(adjective)__, that maybe my conversation skills are just so boring that i'm shocked anyone would want to hang out with me at all, i remember what, funny enough, the quote from earlier brought up: that "marriage is a one-on-one relationship."  maybe i'm not built to be the queen of hangingout-cool.  in fact i'm purrrdy sure i'm not (although i'm always and probably forever will be jealous of the people who are hangingout-cool).  instead, i'm built to make a commitment to one person who thinks i'm the funniest and the interestingest and the prettiest and all that jazz, and the majority of our lives aren't going to be spent hanging out as friends in large groups of people.  (at least hopefully not.)  the majority of our life together will be us building us--just the two of us--and growing closer and closer, and building a quiet, funny, beautiful, adventurous, secret, happy little life together.  and despite our 21st century social models putting a premium on who can be the "funnest" in a group of hangout-ers, i say i'm happy and content just to be working on being a better one-on-one person.  i think that'll serve me and Mr. Husband so much better.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

{magic of the season}: black tie white christmas evening party

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares that infest the day

Shall fold their tents like the Arabs

And as silently steal away.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

i think i'm a pretty luck girl, to have such great friends who like to dress up and bring hors d'oeuvres and play fancy for an evening.
this is the fourth year we've held this evening party, can you believe it!

every year new friends come and old friends come and everyone gets to meet each other and laugh and remember what good friends we have.

this year we even had a slow dance, courtesy of meredith and alex!

i'm so grateful for all these people who make my life merry & bright.

no shave november


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

focus on your ability. {finals week '11}

got shackles on,
my words are tied

fear can make you compromise

fast enough
it's hard to hide



funny boys

i have certain male friends that almost nightly get us to the point of tears from laughing so much, what with their shenanigans.  i've decided to start documenting these moments.

tonight, bobby swam through one leg of jimmy's swim trunks at the hottub, while jimmy was wearing them.  the swim trunks were quite stretchy, you see.  but bobby still got stuck.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



pronounced by my friend as "high-FAL-you-tin."

correctly pronounced "high-fuh-LOO'-in."

he refuses to pronounce it correctly because he says it makes him sound like a backwoods hick.

this is especially hilarious to me,
given that "highfalutin" means pretentious and pompous,
and that the reason for said friend's mispronunciation is because he is too pompous/pretentious to pronounce it the correct way.

(endless giggling)

{magic of the season}: music!

last christmas i did a lot of listening to this great free album called "hey it's christmas!"
and what do you know,
this year these wonderful people put out another one!  
also free, also beautiful.
(i mean, would you look at this album art?  that alone should convince you to download.)

favorites include silent night and little drummer boy.

*other music fixes lately include:
spotify (which is currently blowing my face off it's so cool)
les concerts a emporter (i could spend hours on here)
buying a guitar strap.  finally.  which has resulted in me spending too much time wandering around the apartment troubadour-style singing josh ritter to my roommates

Monday, December 5, 2011

thank you everyone!

thanks to all for your help with the pictures!  i ended up submitting these three:


now for the crossing of the fingers and such 

happy monday!

photo competition SLASH plea for help

dear people who want to have a voice in this world we live in,

i'm entering a photo competition for "compelling" photos that capture the cultural essence of an experience abroad.  
i aim to win.
i can only submit three photos.
i've whittled the 3700 down to six (pathetic, i know.  trigger happy i am.)
if you were a judge for a photo competition, which three would you say are the strongest?
(and i need feedback by noon so comment-up!)

now for an incentive:
if i happen to win thanks to your judicial comments, i will bring you a helium balloon with a smiley face drawn in permanent marker on it.
by me.

thanks world!  sure love ya!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

{magic of the season}: jazzy shoes

what i learned today:
it is impossible to listen to this song while wearing these shoes and not dance everywhere i go.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


making rolls

bacon-wrapped waterchestnuts & aprons

i saw a girl on campus this week who didn't have her left arm.  i got to thinking what that would be like. if i didn't have a left arm, i think i'd dream dream dream of what it would be like to have one.  it is something so simple--something that everyone has--but that one car accident could claim or one blip in my dna could have prevented.  and for it then to be impossible to ever have one...  king lear, over his daughter's dead body, cries, "this feather stirs; she lives!  if it be so, it is a chance which does redeem all sorrows that ever i have felt."  i imagine i'd have dreams sometimes of waking up with an arm, or of scientific miracles that'd make it possible to attach one perfectly.

that is an unparalleled happiness!  for something impossible to suddenly be given to you, something you've waited and dreamed for.  getting that arm would be a source of total joy and gratitude for the rest of my life.

and here i am, two arms, two legs, good hearing, good eyes, both parents and all siblings alive and healthy, a warm warm bed and good good food, money in the bank.  i do not have diabetes, or cancer, or wheat or dairy allergies.  my family who i love loves me too.  i know who i am, i love God, who also knows who i am and loves me.

how am i not in a constant state of constant excitement?

what a joy this thing life is.

"there is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish.  the thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have.  remember scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not here any more."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

happy birthday grandma, or why i love my family

october 9th, we had a birthday part for my grandma.
this is what it felt like.

i love her for so many reasons.
she is kind
and ladylike.
extremely intelligent,
but never self-applauding.
oh that i can be like her when i am grown.

a gentleman's game

let me just say i wasn't expecting it either.

i mean, sure.  i hide around corners to jump out at my roommates and shoot them with my finger-guns (pew!pew!).  yes, once i army-crawled up an entire flight of stairs just to get a clear shot at courtney before she turned around.  and true, i do have an uncanny familiarity with the flight plans in star wars (the original 3) and the attack tactics (say that one out loud) in mission impossible, lord of the rings, and home alone.  

so maybe that explains it.

("it" being that in a vicious game of laser tag this monday, i had 46 kills (16 of them being my brother), got 45,849 points, and placed second--second only to a legitimate policeman.  you know.  no big.)

ya'll better run.

Monday, November 7, 2011

monday maintenance

favorite moment of the week:
hottub wednesday.  hands down.  i had forgotten how nice hottubbing is!  this will need to be a repeat for sure.

gentlemen of the week:
1.  a certain gentleman, upon seeing my feet turn lily-white from the cold of the church room, took off his wool socks and let me wear them.  later he told me he has athlete's foot, so i guess that'll be fun.
2.  a certain gentleman, upon realizing that he could wrestle me to the ground to retrieve the glove i'd stolen from his apartment (more on that forthcoming), instead opened the front door for me and said, "go ahead.  it's yours."
3.  a certain gentleman, upon wearing a green knitted sweater that made him look oh so huggable, let me hug him.
4.  a certain gentleman, namely my father, the most gentleman of them all, took me to my favorite thai restaurant for lunch, wherest we enjoyed lovely conversation, as we always do, my dad and i.

adventures of the weekend:
--wrote a song about a window washer
--slid down stairs in a sleeping bag

--friend went to e.r. for apendectomy
--stole gloves from people, as part of the great glove heist, 2011, in which our entire ward/neighborhood is trying to steal gloves from each other's apartments.  how many have we stolen, you ask?  that's classified.
--saw an [airsoft] shooting (as part of said glove heist).  the crime reel from my window:

yep.  things gettin pretty dangerous round here.