Monday, December 31, 2007

Ah, I don't know.

...New Years Eve. What's the point? Another excuse for a party I don't want to go to? I'm supposed to make resolutions I know I'm going to break and spout off empty claims about how this year is going to be that much better than the last. I have to come up with an escape route so I don't have to kiss someone I don't care for or don't know and then pretend like I really wanted to but somehow never got the chance. "That's odd, what WAS I doing at midnight? Oh well. Next year maybe." It's either that or admitting I don't kiss people out of obligation...unless of course we're dating.

You're counting down to something very few people are really anticipating. New Years Day is just another day but with a different ending. What's with the build-up? Are people really that excited for a new year? It just means rewriting checks for the next few months because you habitually wrote '07 instead of '08. You don't get candy, you don't get to dress up, you can't have a barbeque, you don't get presents. You get the day off...which (unless you work for the government) makes it better than...Flag Day.

Have I lost the spirit of the new year? Am I bitter because I never could keep goals very well? Do I dislike New Years because I don't have someone special to smooch? To this I reply, perhaps...but perhaps not. Can you lose something you never really had? Shouldn't you attempt improvement every day of your life? Would having someone special make kissing for mere tradition less frivolous? Do we really need an excuse?

I do like sparkling grape juice. I also enjoy banging pots together.

Um, Happy New Years.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tag I'm it.

I'm back and in the best shape I've ever been. This is a post to remember. There's nothing better than playing cyber-tag. Does this mean someone has to crawl under my legs or I'm frozen forever? or do I need to name a cartoon show? I guess 6 random and not-so-well-known facts about me will have to suffice.

1. I never made any team I tried out for in High School. One of the reasons I participated in track...I'm still working on the reason why the incoming freshmen were faster than me.

2. My family has a weird obsession with penguins for me. I'd say they think that I have a weird obsession with penguins--which I don't--but they don't. They know I don't and yet...penguin socks and the movie Surf's Up for Christmas this year.

3. I crowd surfed for the first time this summer. It was a matter of life and death.

4. I once swallowed a guitar pick. Another matter of life and death.

5. I very much dislike it when people chew with their mouth open. All that smackin' does something to my nerves.

6. If I ever have the chance to open new peanut butter, I carve a heart in it. It's from an old commercial.

I apologize but I'm going to take a hit on this one and not tag others. Lame maybe but...that's how it's going to be. If you feel so inclined, feel free to post 6 random facts about yourself on your blog...or mine. Peace out and Merry Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's still about war. Peace...anti-war...peace.

You know, I wish I could say that I am gearing up for some excellent, blog war winning posts, that I'm fine tuning my humor and brushing up on infrequently used vocabulary words, or that I have some posts up my sleeve that will blow my unsuspecting blogging nemeses and soon-to-be victims out of the proverbial water...but apparently I only have long sentences and little to say.

I am tired.

Like so few others, I have faithfully updated despite the lack of reciprocation (remember I give so you'll give). I have waited patiently for blogging antagonists to run up their flags and return to the front line. Now they are allegedly back and I have nothing left to give.

In the spirit of Christmas I am sidling away from my throne, I am relinquishing the stage...but I will not be gone for long. Like General Douglas MacArthur I am not retreating--I am merely advancing in another direction. Like a wave that recedes only to crash with greater strength upon the sandy foundation of your blog, I will return.

It gives me great pleasure knowing the sleeping giants are rousing, because like Goliath, they too shall fall.

Friday, December 07, 2007

More pictures reminiscent of home.

It's Martinelli's, I swear...

This picture is a few years old. We jumped on the trampoline like that...which didn't last long because we got WAY too hot. We probably thought it would be less dangerous.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sometimes it hits me.

I haven't been home in a year...and I miss it.

I miss my little brothers who I haven't seen in a year. I miss sledding in our front yard. I miss celebrating Easter. I miss late-night games. Our fireplace! Snow football. I miss acting like a kid. Family scripture and prayer. Taco Bell runs. Movies in the sunroom. Grilled cheese sandwiches on Sunday. Bike rides. The candy drawer at my dad's office. Raiding my mom's candy stashes at home. I love candy. Acting like a kid again. Thunderstorms and playing in the rain. Watching soccer and going to Frosty Treats. Fall colors. My dad's book collection. Getting stuck in the driveway. Trampoline basketball. Saturday basketball. The hammock. Reading for hours. Lake Superior. Woods! Watching the Packers. Unlimited summer rentals from Blockbuster. No obligations. Trips to the Lake. Quoting movies. Childhood memories...

Oh man, Christmas can't come soon enough.

Sledding in the front yard. The end result of which is inevitably this:
Ring out wild...pans? Literally ringing in last year's New Year.

Believe it or not, this is home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Feliz Thanksgiving!

On a whim, I packed my bags and drove down to Baja California for Thanksgiving with two Mexicans and a token white girl. The trip is almost impossible to describe. I think our native friends felt the need to entertain us and show us around which meant we ended up doing some pretty random and (to me) unnecessary things. Instead of writing another long and detailed post I've decided to write a brief overview.

Highlights of the trip include:
Thanksgiving dinner with friends
faux-Latin dancing
crashing a QuinceaƱera
being pegged for Utahns
Ruben...Trumen? Rumen...ate?
a brief moment of freedom in search of a beach
solving Mexico's economic and cultural problems
pretending to understand Spanish
a U-turn on a divided highway in Death Valley...that was also kind of a low point

Of course, no trip is complete without more than a few low points, like:
a steaming mound of chewy sea creatures
a movie called The Perfume
lack of sleep
an 18-hour car ride home in a mysterious time warp
coming home with only 5 pictures

Three cheers for an authentic Mexican experience! Hip hip...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Setting the record straight.

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion concerning some very important issues. Since I've taken it upon myself to help educate the general public, I thought I would address these topics. I realize this post may seem a bit similar to one I wrote awhile ago, but...it's not...and these things must be dealt with.First things first, as a certified archaeologist I find it highly unamusing when someone tells me there's a lot of "that kind of work" in Vernal, Utah or that their son really likes dinosaurs, too. Archaeology, in essence, is the study of the material culture of humans, it is a sub-discipline of Anthropology. Paleontology is that other thing.

I do rusty tin cans and arrowhead fragments not fossils the size of a schoolbus. There are some similarities between the two: both of them involve digging in the middle of nowhere and neither of them provide steady jobs. This is why I'm working for the Church. Which brings me to my next two points. The Church History Library and the Family History Library are two totally different entities. The Family History Library has the world's largest collection of geneological information. The Church History Library, on the other hand, chronicles the history of the Church through manuscripts, pamphlets, books, photographs, journals, patriarchal blessings, board games, anti-Mormon materials...you get the idea...I hope. If one has ancestors tied to Church history, then the Church History Library is an invaluable resource to flesh out some family history.

So, no, I don't sit around and look at microfilm all day. My job is much more glamorous than that...but not so glamorous as to be located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I really hate to disappoint on this issue but the Archives are in the Church Office Building not the Granite Mountain Records Vault. Before you ask, because I know you will, I have been up there. They have 2.8 million rolls of microfilm and a reservoir of mountain spring water. They have masters of family history records and masters of other important records the Church doesn't want to lose should major catastrophe strike. They also have terrorist drills.

The last thing I want to touch on here is the name Laura. So, all my life I've been Lohr-a. No questions asked. I move to Utah and suddenly everyone wants to know if I pronounce my name Lohr-a or Lahr-a because they know a girl who hates being called whatever they think they're not. For me, if it starts with an "L", has an "r" sound in the middle, and ends in an "-uh," then you've got all the essential parts and I'm happy. Perhaps I grew up with my grandma calling me Lahr-a. Perhaps my mother's been using both all these years. I'm not sure. Either way, I don't have a preference, really. Call me Lahr-a, call me Lohr-a, just don't call me a Paleontologist.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wind is your favorite thing ever?!?

Say that to the old lady with a plastic bag over her head. I know you put curlers in your hair every night at 8:00 right before you go to bed but, c’mon, a plastic bag? What a poor example to children everywhere. One must always think of the children.

I watched as a sister missionary walked into gale force winds the other day and outstretch her arms as if welcoming the wind to pick her up and take her away. If only it had. She must have been from Kansas…or Wyoming. Her companion and she started singing “I Need Thee Every Hour,” not out of desperate need but sheer joy. Interesting selection. Her high-spirited nature got me thinking. Wind?!

Of all the things to choose as your favorite ever. Wind. Not oreos, not hugs, not babies or other small things like walruses, not free (legal) music, not working at the Church Archives, not...more oreos...

I mean, would you rather live in a place that’s perpetually rainy or perpetually windy? Let me put it this way, would you rather live in the Pacific Northwest or an internal combustion engine? Singing in the Rain or Gone With the Wind?

Not only does wind cause tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards but it spreads wildfires and volcanic eruptions...and...pandemic diseases. Heavy rainfall, on the other hand, puts out wildfires and prevents droughts and killer heat waves.

Now, if I remember correctly from my English classes, in order to have a good argument one must concede a few points. Here they are:
1. On a really hot day a cool breeze feels great...not as nice as a little drizzle...but great.
2. We have yet to invent a way to extract electrical energy from rain. Though, if we did, perhaps we could finally take down those wind turbines in Lehi.
3. ...maybe rain contributes to floods and landslides...

I'm not really sure how this became a competition between the forces of condensation and the forces of...well, air pressure and temperature distribution but I have one final point.

Isn't precipitation romantic?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Roommates, reunions, road trips, and errr, babysitting?

This weekend saw a reunion of what some affectionately call the Fearsome Foursome. While I'd like to claim that we didn't come up with that title ourselves, I'm not entirely sure that's true. Let's move on. We met Freshman year in the dorms and lived together Sophomore year (that's where these first pics are from). Those of us still single and living in Utah drove to California to visit the one of us who has moved on.

It was an interesting trip. Plans were few and preparations were minimal. We left Thursday night with plans to stay in Vegas. Unfortunately, all of us neglected to check the Las Vegas convention calendar and our dreams of getting a cheap hotel were thwarted by Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. We got in a small argument about whether or not $25 each was too much or if we should sleep in the car. For some reason, I thought we had come a long way from being too cheap to even buy a container for our silverware drawer. Apparently some things never change. Luckily we found a place in Mesquite that could satisfy all of our casino...I mean financial needs.

When we arrived in Southern California Friday afternoon I realized that, unlike Utah, it's still warm there...and I hadn't packed for warm weather. In fact, I had brought many things I didn't need (like a sweater) and had forgotten some things that were absolute necessities (like toothpaste and a razor...and food for the drive...and um, cash).

We spent all afternoon visiting and trying to get our friend's 2-yr old to adopt us as aunts. Of course he said my name first. Apparently, the effort put into that plumb wore me out and, reminiscent of times in high school, I spent that night in my jeans. I fell asleep on the couch and was too tired to get up and get ready for bed when everyone else was, and by the time I decided that I really should...everyone else was asleep and I didn't want to wake them up. It would seem my friends don't feel comfortable enough to pester me into action.
Saturday morning we braved the chilly coastal temperatures to visit Venice Beach. We enjoyed the ocean and sand almost as much as the couple near us were enjoying each other. We walked around for a bit enjoying the sunshine, and then took off to see the La Brea tar pits right in the very heart of L.A. The only thing that wasn't free was the museum and the only thing worth seeing was, well, the museum. At least that's what I imagine--we didn't actually pay to go in. On the way home we drove through Hollywood and saw preparations for the premier of Fred Claus at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Honestly, I couldn't see much that makes that area worthy of immortalization--in song, in film, or in the very hearts of the American public.
That night we sent our friend and her husband on a date and promised we would take care of the little guy. Bath time provided a great distraction for Mom and Dad to slip out but somehow by the time we got him out and put on his pajamas he realized he hadn't seen his mom for awhile and was starting to whine for her. The only thing we knew he knew were animal sounds. Rapid-fire questioning commenced replete with actions and spontaneous song and dance. I'm surprised he enjoyed so much spinning and jostling...there comes a time when children are too old for Shaken Baby Syndrome, right?

video

It's amazing that one 13-yr old can take care of 4 kids at a time and it took the 3 of us all we had to entertain one 2-yr old. Next, we convinced him to participate in a lower-key activity and he picked out a couple books for us to read. Luckily, he was a very responsive child and every time he would get a little whiny and stand up to look for his mommy I would tell him to sit down because we weren't done with the book. Logical reasoning has never worked better on a child...or perhaps he was merely responding to the desperate pleading in my voice. Either way, the next thing we did was to get him to help clean up. Then we backed him into a corner and started singing like Indians, baby shaker and all. Finally he quieted us down and asked, "All done?" At which time, Mom and Dad got home! Good timing!

The next day we went to church and then piled in the car for a long drive. After nearly running out of gas before St. George, we made it safely home. All in all, the trip was a wild success.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Let's talk about dating.

October is my month…was my month.

In lieu of a formal dating review, let’s just say that during the past month my dating life has gone through dramatic changes. I would say that the amount of dates I’ve been getting has increased fourfold but anyone who’s taken math remembers that anything times zero is still zero…so the difference lies merely in the fact that I am now going on dates and they haven’t been set-ups! Guys have asked for my number and then actually called. It’s really strange.

This anomaly of success has become kind of a standing joke--at least to me it has, I’m not sure if anyone else finds it that funny. They’re probably tired of hearing me talk about it. It’s just that I keep expecting my life to go back to normal and when it doesn’t, I want to have a good laugh--a good hearty laugh.

I’m really not sure how girls keep this up. It’s kind of exhausting trying to keep them all straight and remembering what I’ve told who and who’s told me what. Who’s on first? What’s on second. As if that whole Abbott and Costello routine weren't enough, then I’ve got to decide how I feel about all of them!

So…uh…Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Winter is upon us.

It is cold...and dark...and almost impossible for me to get up in the morning.

As luck would have it, two of my coworkers are gone. Audrey is moving to New York and Gaylen, my toupee wearing, snowsuit loving coworker, is participating in the annual beet harvest--yes, folks, it's a real thing. Of course this means we have to pick up all their extra circulation hours. Not that I'm complaining. Times like these are my moments to shine.

There are a few things to look forward to when daylight hours are few and you walk around your house wearing 5 blankets because you're too cheap to turn up the heat: snow and everything associated with it (snowball fights, snow football, snow angels, sledding, skiing, and hot chocolate); sharing those 5 blankets with someone else--I include this merely for the sake of everyone else who has someone to share with; Christmas and everything associated with it (Halloween, Thanksgiving, music, lights, presents, families...); and finally, peppermint ice cream.

Peppermint is my favorite kind of ice cream, but it only comes out once a year. In my rememberance of days long past, my love for peppermint ice cream began with the Schwan's food truck. For those of you not familiar with this practice, Schwan's is like the ice cream truck plus real food and minus the annoying jingle. So actually, it's not really like the ice cream truck at all--you order food and they deliver it. I guess it's more like, a grocery store catalog on wheels. I digress.

In the spirit of some things winter, I splurged and bought Dreyer's peppermint ice cream this weekend. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. All that I require is an abundance of peppermint pieces and Dreyer's did not deliver. In an attempt to find the best peppermint ice cream there is, I'm soliciting the help of you, my dear faithful blogging companions and advocates. Rise to the call. Don't think "problem," think "opportunity." Give me reviews or give me death.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The creative means I have at my disposal.

Since I'm lacking subject matter for new posts, I've decided to respond to Stef's question: If you were to retire right now, what would you do with your time?

It really wasn't a difficult list to compile. I think a lot about everything I want to do but can't because I must merely survive. So here you go. I would:

1. Return to the Archives as a Church Service Missionary--I just can't get enough of this place
2. Travel, travel, travel (look forward to the second and final installment of my travel blog)
3. Develop my natural abilities
4. Keep up my blog with greater fervor
5. Rock climb
6. Become musically inclined--I did write a song recently so I'm well on my way...
7. Write letters to the editor...or maybe just a book
8. Read
9. Date. Work is really the only thing that keeps me from getting this accomplished--work and pretend crushes who quelch my spirit.
10. Take really great pictures
11. Drive slowly
12. Play the stock market
13. Geneology work--I'm serious

Uh, yeah, so that's what I would do to retire from the active life. Afterlife? Vampires? Eclipse. Get it now at Frost's Bookstore.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Here's a personal question.

“So you said you have about two crushes a year. Am I one of those?”

I felt my face ignite as I scrambled to gather the pieces of my quickly crumbling composure. I looked out the window. I squirmed in my seat. I leaned forward and searched his face for a lead. He was looking me straight in the eyes, his face stoic and unreadable. “Uh…,” I awkwardly laughed, “how am I supposed to answer that question?”

I swear he instructed me to tell the truth, but I also remember him allowing me a pass. A pass?! As if my stammering, nervous laughter, and flushed face hadn’t already given me away. We were seated across from each other, an odd distance apart, against the wall of a small and empty restaurant, quiet jazzy tunes filling in the background. Our empty bowls, crumpled napkins, and Tillamook cheese wrappers lay piled atop our table. I looked out the window again, glancing at the cars driving past, desperately trying to find safety. I was trapped. I was being forced to confess something I was not prepared for nor ever had the intention of confessing.

I felt like an idiot. “Maybe,” I lamely admitted. Maybe? What was I thinking? Was I trying to maintain deniability? Was I clinging to some small vestige of pride? Quite possibly it was purely instinctual. What child, when caught stealing a cookie from the cookie jar replies to his mother’s shrewd questioning, “Yes, Mother, I stole this cookie. It looked delicious and I couldn’t resist”? Why couldn’t I just own up to the fact? “Yes, I have a crush on you. You look delicious and I can’t resist.” (Mom…Dad…I don’t really think that way.) Perhaps I should just be grateful that I didn’t answer, “I don’t know.”

“I want to make sure that I’m not leading you on,” he explained. “I’m not in a position to pursue anything right now.”

I took a drink from my small plastic cup even though there was nothing left but ice and tried to cover my tracks, “Well, yeah, it’s more like a…pretend crush. You were in California and I knew nothing was going to happen.” It didn’t occur to me until later that I should have made it clear that not once did I think he was interested—that there really was no reason for his extra precautions.

He continued to enlighten me. He claimed that he valued our friendship and enjoyed talking to me. He pointed out that he can’t talk to other girls like he can talk to me. I told him that was nice to hear. What I really meant was, “It’s nice to hear you don’t hate me but that’s kind of small consolation…since I knew that already.”

Conversation transitioned to other topics. Admittedly, I couldn’t focus. I felt exposed, trying to keep my head above the floodwaters while he sat, untouchable, in his “I don’t like you” tower. I wondered why he felt the need to throw down the gauntlet on my seemingly not-so-obvious, completely mild, and almost laughable pretend crush.

We left the restaurant and he apologized if I was blind-sided by his question, as if I could have seen that coming somehow.

“I thought it would be better if it was all out in the open,” he defended. I mumbled something about honesty being the best policy. We got in my car and I drove him to the airport. Conversation was intermittent but lighthearted and promises were exchanged that we would remain friends. Our goodbye was short and semi-sweet. He was going back to California, pretend crushing all of those mild hopes and laughable dreams.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Get me outta here! (First installment)

Just recently I was reawakened to my deepest darkest desire: to travel the world. As depressing as the task was to compile a list of must sees, at least it's a list. That way I can avoid being distracted by must not necessarily sees. As in all things, this list is subject to change. Maybe you'll even get ideas for your list...and then we can travel together.


Greece/Turkey:
Athens (Acropolis, Agora, Parthenon), Corinth, Delphi, Meteora, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Ephesus, Istanbul (Hagia Sophia)








Italy:
Rome (Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Circus Maximus), Vatican City (St. Peter’s Square, Sistine Chapel), Herculaneum, Pompeii, Tuscany, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre


Israel/Egypt/Jordan:
Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Galilee, Masada, Giza (the Great Pyramid), Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, Karnak, Petra


Cambodia:

Angkor Wat


India:
Taj Mahal






Russia:
St. Petersburg, Moscow (the Kremlin)






Tibet:
Potala Palace





Switzerland:
the Alps, Matterhorn, Geneva, Lake Lucerne


Africa:
Tanzania (Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Something has to change.

The jobs I’ve had since I’ve graduated have been unstimulating, uninspiring, and completely unproductive…or maybe that’s just me… They have been shockingly similar, though: alpha female supervisor, tedious work, fear of getting fired due to distraction, strong temptation to quit, disgruntled coworkers...

As a result, I’ve thought a lot about going back to school for a different degree. (It’s true, I’m facing up to the facts--archaeology just isn’t for me. Turns out I don’t like contract jobs and creepy old men and surprisingly long trips to the desert. Weird, huh?) In an attempt to pinpoint my interests, talents, and inabilities, I decided to take some “exploratory” classes this fall at the Salt Lake Community College.

The class I’m taking right now is in Engineering Drafting and Design Technology. It’s Intro. to AutoCAD, which is a computer program drafters use to create accurate plans for fabricators. I’m not going to bother explaining how I chose this subject; I would like to maintain at least some level of mystery in my life.

Here are two of the more recent homework assignments. The house plan was perfect--I’m really loving italics right now--but something happened when I converted it to .jpg. You get the idea.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's raining posts and blogs!

Uh, when it rains it pours? And what could get you in the mood for some serious Utah bashing more than pouring dirt-rain?

I’ve never been a big fan of fall in Utah. Before you mob me with cries of “Heretic!” allow me to explain. Fall used to be my favorite season. I come from a city that sits on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. If I remember correctly from my middle school science class (and I think I do), trees like water. Utah is a desert. Here, fall means winter and winter means cold and dark. Here, you have to catch the colors and drive to the snow. In my hometown, the colors catch you and on average, snowfall reaches 2-3 times more than in Salt Lake City. Admittedly, Utah has it’s own beauty, so maybe it has nothing to do with whatever it is I’ve been talking about (I offer this token of peace to appease all home grown Utahns). Perhaps my displeasure with fall has to do with the fact that Halloween and Thanksgiving have never been my favorite holidays and they’re even less appealing without family. Regardless of the reason, I’ve been in a state of denial. The days have been warm but the mornings are cold and I’ve refused to wear a jacket…until today.

Well, it was something of a breakthrough, not just because I yielded to the pre-frosty air, but because after work I suddenly became excited about fall. I don’t know if it was Temple Square’s preparations for Christmas (they’re putting lights on the trees), the hint of a chill beneath the sun’s rays, the leaves blowing across the sidewalk, or the thought of successful Halloweens and Thanksgivings of the past, but I no longer weep over the loss of summer. Instead, I remember everything I love about fall: sweatshirts, hot chocolate, crunching leaves, football, school, a respite from intensely uncomfortable weather, candy, costume/dance parties, turkey bowls, did I say hot chocolate?

In fact, I even look forward to “catching” the colors in the mountains. Who’s with me?

Coincidence? You decide.

I’m feeling the pressure to update and while I have some posts in the works they still require tweaking. Therefore, I shall write about something that I really should document but lack the fortitude to scribble into my journal. Here goes.

Last week was an interesting week. In all honesty, it was a terrible week. For some reason--or actually for reasons I won’t elaborate here--I was in desperate need of validation. I wish I could claim that I am an island…and a rock. However, I need people. Perhaps it comes from an innate hatred for being wrong but I try not to assume, or even deduce logically, how people feel about me--hence the need for words of affirmation (queue theme song for The Five Love Languages). The point is, and believe me there is a point, all of the uncertainty and frustration came to an anti-climax on Thursday. I was angry and emotional and was supposed to go to the temple but wasn’t really feeling the spirit of it. I took a minute to talk to a friend and get a hold of myself and then went. I wish I could say that I had an amazing spiritual experience that answered all of my prayers and compensated for any suffering I subjected myself to…but I didn’t. Instead I felt only slightly better and perhaps even a little slighted, until I entered my car, drove out of the parking garage, and noticed a little note flapping in the wind. You guessed it; it was exactly what I needed to hear. In the last vestiges of the week, a couple other people said things I was hopelessly seeking. It's interesting that help comes only after you feel like you've exhausted all of your resources and you've almost lost all hope. Then, there can be no doubt as to whose arm you're leaning on.

The note started out, “Coincidence that you parked yourself conveniently here on a Thursday? I thinketh not!” Well, I thinketh not too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

“This is incredible, starving, insatiable. Yes, this is love for the first time.”

I never believed in love at first sight…at least, not until now. Not until it happened to me.

I stumbled into love on a sunshiny Saturday surrounded by some of my greatest friends. The day was almost over, I was tired and my body hurt...and then it happened. The moment I saw him, music filled my ears. It was as if a band was standing on queue, waiting for the man that would change my life forever. His brilliant smile captured me even from a hundred feet away. I was drawn in, and it took only a few words from his well-crafted face before I was lost completely. I heard him comment about how pretty the girls were in Salt Lake and I hoped beyond desperate hope that somehow...I was one of those girls. The words to a song echoed through my very being, “You have stolen my heart, you have stolen my heart…” I lost sight of him multiple times, but I never stopped searching for his face amidst the crowd because every time I caught a glimpse of him, my heart melted...and then...he was gone... After he disappeared it was as if the world was suddenly empty, as if there was nothing left to stay for. That night, I found it difficult to sleep because his words repeated themselves through my head...

Ah, I don’t often share feelings like this, least of all to the whole world (and we all know the whole world reads this blog) but there’s really no sense in denying it. There were over a hundred other screaming females that could testify to feeling the same thing…

So, his name is Chris…and he’s the lead singer of Dashboard Confessional.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to meet him.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Anti-semantics (copyright Stefanie Star Snow, Esq., Inc., & Co.)

I thought about changing my headline to “Bloggerismifica: A collection of posts that closely resemble essays.” You laugh because it’s true. So I thought I’d give you, my adoring fans, a break and be brief…if that’s possible.

On her blog, my friend Shelley called herself a book snob. What she didn’t tell you is that she, along with myself and one other friend, are sometimes particular about the way people use words…affectionately called “word Nazis.” Mostly I chalk it up to our extreme brilliance and our well-read-edness. (Realize that, as in everything else, although we’re particular about what other people say, we don’t expect ourselves to keep the standard. I know it’s not fair, but tell me, when has life ever been fair?) In order to educate the general public I wanted to post some words that people may be having trouble with…or really just distinctions that I think are interesting.

Further/farther:
Further: refers to degree or extent
Farther: refers to physical distance

Graveyard/cemetery:
Graveyard: usually a small burial ground near a church
Cemetery: a larger area set apart for burial on the edge of town

Among/amongst:
They are the same, although amongst is probably older and more common in Britain.

Interpret/translate:
Interpret: oral
Translate: written

Weep/cry:
Weep: shed tears
Cry: shed tears noisily

Allegory/parable:
Allegory: lengthy story using figurative language to represent an abstract idea or general truth
Parable: short comparison or story using familiar situations to illustrate a moral principle

Hieroglyph/petroglyph/pictograph:
Hieroglyph: pictorial character used in a system of writing to represent meaning or sound
Petroglyph: picture pecked or carved into rock by prehistoric peoples
Pictograph: picture painted on rock by prehistoric peoples

Patriartichal:
This word was difficult to pinpoint but I believe it derives from the Greek patria meaning lineage and articulus meaning joint or division and thus translates to a division of lineage. For example, a patriartichal society is one in which tribes and family schisms dictate the social order. Also, a patriartichal blessing is one in which you find out about the division of your lineage…ok, that’s FALSE.

FACT: the word is patriarchal.

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

Massecrated:
NOT a word.

So much for being brief...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What adventure are we going to have today?

I graduated from college with a degree I have no desire to use. Ever since I realized that, I’ve been afraid to commit to such a large mistake again. I have wanted to be sure of something before I decided it was the path I should take. I was certain this was a recent fear, but my dad has said I was the same way with walking—I wanted to be sure I could run before I tried to walk. It’s been a frustrating path because I’ve never received the confirmation and assurance that I’m looking for. So I’ve tried to change my attitude as of late. I’ve tried to have the attitude that even though something might not lead to a desired end at least I had the experience. For example, my major may not have landed me the job of my dreams but it’s shaped the way I think, probably without me even realizing it. My education has been more than worthwhile and the friends I gained at school have been life-changing.

Likewise, I have often been frustrated here in Salt Lake because I saw this as a temporary stopover until I figured out where I wanted to be. Two years later I’m still here, and it’s not because I’ve found a job that I’m satisfied with. Instead, I have had tedious jobs that suck the life out of me…however, I have learned more in my time here than during few other times in my life.

I think that too often I get wrapped up in trying to figure out if I’m really happy that I don’t allow myself to become fully immersed in the things that will make me really happy. I could be a poster child for missing the mark. President Faust has said, “I have spent a lifetime making my living in an arena where I was not shadowboxing with life’s problems. I have learned from this experience that life is fuller and richer and better for those who are not afraid to make a new beginning.” Similarly, Theodore Roosevelt once stated that, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” It is not possible to achieve victory without risking defeat. It is not possible to achieve anything without risking something.

There are a million books I want to read, a million places I want to go, a million and one things I want to learn, and half a million things I want to become but no one (not even myself) should expect that to happen all at once. In fact, I imagine that if it did, it wouldn’t be enjoyable at all. I may not be doing something with my life—I am neither married nor do I have a fulfilling career—but at least I’m doing something.

Just recently I had a conversation with an older coworker about her grandchildren. She was relating how she tries to give them different experiences. She takes them to the Pacific coast in Oregon every year and tries to have some craft for them to do even when she’s staying in a hotel. She is not working at a job that she enjoys but she hasn’t let that spoil her. She has curried a mildly spontaneous attitude and a love for adventure. Because of that, when she arrives at their house, her grandchildren ask her, “What adventure are we going to have today?”

I suppose this is the question I direct to each of us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The summer of firsts.

As the summer comes to a close I would like to take a brief inventory.

I started out the summer with a bang by breaking up with my boyfriend of 6 months (first boyfriend, first breakup). Before that happened—though somehow directly related—I took a trip to Moab for some not so serious mountain biking…and of course it was the first time. The trip was a success and despite my inability to pedal up hills I’ve been attempting to become a “mountain biker” all summer.

Memorial Day weekend I went on what has now become the Tour de S’Utah with my cousin and uncle. We went to Bryce, Escalante, Capitol Reef, and Arches; the first time I’ve been to any of those locations besides Escalante (where I actually spent 7 weeks of my life at an archaeological field school). Despite almost dying in Capitol Reef the hikes were amazing and food has never tasted so good.

I finally convinced my friend to take a road trip with me and we drove to Seattle, which, as it turns out is the first time I’ve gone on a trip with ulterior motives. This trip was also a wild success, though probably not for the reasons you might expect. Highlights of the trip included a ferry ride, skipping rocks on the beach, Pike Place fish market, bridge jumping, lunch at Ivar’s, Snoqualmie Falls, and a romantic night in a tree…oh wait, that wasn’t me, nevermind.

My 19 yr. old brother came out to live with my older brother and me for the summer. Over the 4th of July his girlfriend and my little sister both came to visit. We went to Lagoon, played tennis, watched fireworks, and went to Warped Tour. At Warped Tour I tried to blend with the pot-smoking teenagers and the tattooed adults…unsuccessfully…and, forced to choose between death by trampling and engaging in an activity I have always disapproved, I chose the latter. We were in the front of a New Found Glory concert and push literally came to shove so we opted to crowd surf out of there.

Wallet still in hand I headed off to San Francisco for the second road trip of the summer. We hit all the necessary sites, biked across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, and even spent a day in Santa Cruz where I tried to surf for real for the first time. The weather was accommodating but the waves were not; they weren’t big enough to propel us to stand. Instead, my friend and I became acquainted with a 13 yr. old Jewish boy who thought we were in middle school. Despite our failed attempts to surf, a desire to be a “surfer girl” as well as a “mountain biker” was awakened.

My love for all things watery and mountainous spurred me to go on two ward camping/boating trips. One of which I organized, the other (thankfully) I did not. During one of these I wakeboarded for the first time and even got up my first try—the real first try was, of course, a practice run...

Before I end, I want to include a few honorable mentions:
For the first time in my life I didn’t go home for any length of time over the summer.
I went to my first ever demolition derby and am still recovering from the un-culture shock.
I swam/was driven around/was tossed around/was tenderized in a truck-pool.
As if that wasn’t enough, because I listen to books at work and because of my dedication to the literary world, I read 18 books this summer. Some of them were short stories but I include them for counting purposes: The Peacegiver, The Wind in the Willows, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Jungle Book, The Red Badge of Courage, Kidnapped, The Time Machine, A Christmas Carol, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Wizard of Oz, War of the Worlds, The Phantom of the Opera, Candide, War and Peace, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Mere Christianity.