Friday, August 27, 2010

Hunger Games

I've decided to read the Hunger Games books 1 and 2 again for a refresher before I go in for the 3rd and final book. I forgot how addicting those books are. I'm reading a good few other books but those have all been put on the back burner now. I love it when books do that. They suck you in and you absolutely have to read. A book isn't absolutely amazing if I can forget about it throughout the day. Some books are good... I can just read them at night and slowly make my way through the book. But Hunger Games is nothing like that.

Hunger Games makes me want to live out in the wild. Not in the sense of trying not to get killed in a sick game put on by the capitol, but in the ways of being resourceful. I wish I could pour out knowledge of things to eat while stranded in a forest, what berries not to eat, what bark is eat-worthy... It seems all very appealing in a non-realistic state. I'm sure if that was my actual life I wouldn't like it one bit. But it's okay, I can live in my imagination every now and then.

So remember when I did this... Well I decided to start it up again. So on the side of my blog I'm going to have a running list of books and page numbers I've read since Aug 25, 2010. I could just say August, but I don't remember the other books I read, so I'll just start with that date. Happy counting!

Chalk Art

This break has not been very kind to me in aspects of chalk art. There are certain rules one must observe if they want a good piece of artwork.

Rule #1: Check the weather. Find a week where the chance of rain is slim to none.
Rule #2: Find a good area. Sidewalk is everywhere and you have your pick of the lot, but you'll want to find a nice flat, smooth chunk of sidewalk. Make sure it's not in an area where tires will be bound to run over it. (At least until you're done and the art has been captured on camera.)
Rule #3: Find a good substitute for skin. (I'm still trying to figure this one out.)
See, I like using my fingers because I feel like I have more control, especially when I get into those skinny strips of coloring. But unfortunately I manage to rub off a good layer of skin in the process. (To put my anatomy and physiology class to good use, I rubbed off my stratum corneum layer of the epidermis) Ha.

And Rule #4: try to finish within 2-3 days. I promise, the longer you take and keep putting it off, the more the color will have worn off from previous work.

My dad has suggested his leather gloves to use next time. Hopefully those will work better then a rag... do NOT use a rag unless you want stray edges smearing your hard work, and huge piles of black chalk that you have to blow away but can't do an efficient enough job because your lack of powerful lungs. It worked nice to smooth out my black guy on the logo, but created a mess at the same time.

I attempted 2 pieces of chalk art work this break. The first was the Chesire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
Disney Characters - cheshire cat
My plan was to keep the trees in my pictures, but instead of the black background, use the sidewalk as the coloring...therefore less chalk work and the cat would look more see-through in the ribbon area of the body.
And that's how far I got before it rained the next day or so...

My next attempt was the logo from the FIFA World Cup 2010. It's an awesome logo.
And I did really well and got really far! Was working on my shading and all... But after I got this much done...
My fingers were raw (as shown in previous picture.) So I had to give myself a couple days recovery time so I could use my fingers again and finish my almost done masterpiece. Do you know how strange it is not to have that layer of skin? Things were colder on just those two fingertips. Showers were no fun when rubbing in shampoo and conditioner. Driving a hot steering wheel hurt like heck so for a couple days those fingers became unused.  

But of course with this ridiculous Utah summer we've had... it rained. 

So... any ideas for a new chalk art drawing?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Thanks to Heather's making of headbands and showing me the ropes I've caught the creative bug of headband making.
Thanks to this lovely site of treasures, (careful this site can be completely overwhelming and make you feel like you've accomplished nothing in your life in comparison) I was able to find new ways of headband making. We have the ruffle design... mine still needs some work but here's the finished product. 

The other design I decided to try out is the rosebud headband.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goals and a Farewell

Some goals that I've been thinking about today:
-Finish Doctrine and Covenants by the end of the year, which means reading 1 section a day.
-Starting next year, instead of reading by sections or chapters, read a half hour every day in the Book of Mormon.
And my reminder for my life long goal:
-read the Book of Mormon at least once every year

Today was the farewell of one of my good friends from high school. Sometimes I feel like a missionary's farewell talk can be a little awkward. They wander in their talk and are nervous, about to embark for two years... but I have been blessed with great friends. Darren's talk was awesome. He is going to be such an amazing missionary, I was just beaming with gratitude of what a great guy he is during his whole talk. He made me think of the other guy friends that I have had through the years, the ones that I have such great respect for, and admire because of their righteousness. They were always fun to be with, but respectful of us and protective even, especially at dances. People sometimes would try to come up and dirty dance and those boys would just push them away and close in our little circle of goofy dancing. They kept my innocent bubble from popping. :)

Thanks guys for being examples to me. I really am so lucky to have had the friends that I did. Good luck Darren on your mission, I know you are going to be a great missionary.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fail Again

Remember that guy in the kiosk next to me... well I came to work a couple days ago and it was completely empty.

Talk about a lame work day.

Now there's a sign up in the kiosk "retail merchandise unit is available". I guess it's a good thing I'm going back to school in two weeks.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Swing Dancing

So last night I went swing dancing with Heather and Jake up in Salt Lake at Studio 600. It was absolutely fantastic! Despite the fact that the guys I danced with were...interesting... they were really good and I picked up on the following act so it felt like I was good too! Ha but really it was all in the guys leading.
One guy liked the dips, he did them quite a bit and he would dip me clear far back and then hold me there longer then I thought was necessary... I'm surprised my back isn't broken from his majestic dips.
Another guys I danced with at the beginning when they teach you steps, so he helped show me how to follow, and apparently he just really wanted to show me the "cowboys tango", so he requested the song and came and found me. Let me just tell you that the "cowboys tango" is no fun. I was so caught up on the stupid 1-2-cha-cha-cha and trying to get my feet right, while he was trying to turn me and then I get all messed up again! Dah But at least he got to show me that dance, which I don't know why he wanted to so bad because it's not that great of a dance.
I got lifted a few times by another dancing partner... that was epic.
And in the dance room next to us they had top 40 radio songs which amounted to tons of crazy dancing, extremely fun. It reminded me of high school dances with my guy friends. How we all get in a circle and just dance wildly. I love it.
It's sad that I get introduced to this great place, fun dancing, 2 weeks before I move back to Idaho! (Yes I move back in exactly 2 weeks from today!) Hopefully the school puts on some swing dance nights... I think they do once a week actually. I love to keep learning how to swing!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beatrice and Virgil: Yann Martel

I'm undecided on how I feel about this book. I'm sure there are so many layers I failed to pull back and understand, perhaps repeated readings will elaborate.
Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, has a brilliant way of taking a story, and making it about more then anything that was ever said in the book. He makes you think. He also has a thing with animals. As do the two main "human" characters in Beatrice and Virgil.

The first main human character is Henry a famous author who is trying to write another book, a flip book about the Holocaust. One side will be fiction, the other an essay. He spends 5 years endlessly researching and creating this work, only to have is slashed to the frays by his publishers. He moves and stops writing.

The second main human character is Henry the taxidermist. He is writing a play about a donkey and howler monkey named Beatrice and Virgil. He asks Henry for help. The play is mostly them talking about talking.

      VIRGIL:  We could do with a little good cheer.
BEATRICE:  We could.
     VIRGIL:  Something funny.
BEATRICE:  Something very funny.
     VIRGIL:  But not empty good cheer.
     VIRGIL:  Although better empty good cheer than no cheer at all.
BEATRICE:  I don't think so. The contrast between despair and empty good cheer would only make the               despair worse.
     VIRGIL:  But if empty good cheer were expressed in extremis, might the irony of it not push one to transcend despair and bring on genuine good cheer? At that critical moment, might empty good cheer not be the first rung on a philosophical ladder to complete cosmic realization?
BEATRICE:  It's a remotes possibility.
     VIRGIL:  Why don't we try it? Why don't we agree to fall into empty good cheer when we are truly desperate, as a last resort?
BEATRICE:  We can try?
     VIRGIL:  But are we truly desperate at this moment?
BEATRICE:  (with a trace of good cheer) No, we're not.

A line from the book that I liked goes like this: "Stories identify, unify, give meaning to. Just as music is noise that makes sense, a painting is colour that makes sense, so a story is life that makes sense."

Yann Martels take on using stories to make sense of life is carried over from his first book, Life of Pi. In that book the boy talks about the people in the book as if they were animals, making their actions less horrible and traumatic to a young boys memory.
The same theory is used in Beatrice and Virgil.
Beatrice and Virgil is a donkey and a howler monkey that are the main characters of a play, in the play they are unwanted in society essentially because they are animals. The donkey is taken and beaten horrible, graphically described... it made me angry and moved in a this-is-horrible-i-hate-these-people-beating-him-this-is-disgusting kind of way. The play is essentially about the Holocaust.

But the book is a little confusing. There's so many ties going on. Both of the main human characters in the book are named Henry. Both try to write about the Holocaust. Both have used animals in their stories. Yann Martel is an author who writes using animals, writes a book about the Holocaust about two men also writing about the Holocaust using animals. The book and play aren't entirely about the Holocaust. More the victims of the Holocaust. The donkey and howler monkey. The taxidermist who is so closed about himself that you know nothing about him, except for his love of animal taxidermy and his play, ends up being reveled as a Nazi collaborator.
Sometimes throughout the book I felt like the Henry's were really one person, having two frames of mind with trying to write about the Holocaust.

The book leaves you with a strange taste in your mouth. You don't leave the story happy. You feel almost betrayed with the ending but the ending supports the tragedy of the book. I hate taxidermy, I hated it before and I hate it now.
The book invokes emotion.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I've always felt like people who go to the mall spend more time dressing up and preparing to go to the mall, then they do shopping. Now I am a shopper but I don't feel like I dress any differently then what I normally look like... but I normally don't notice these people as much since my face is stuck in clothes. However, working at a kiosk gives an eternal amount of time to watch and analyze the lovely shoppers. See, they dress up because they are on the prowl...even though they're only about 14... but honestly going to the mall to scope out the guys is like going to the married ward. You'll only make yourself depressed seeing all the couples walking around.
It's always interesting working near Victoria's Secret. I love watching the different reactions people give as they walk by... or get pushed in.
The other thing about Victoria's Secret is their ostentatious bags. There's no hiding that you went to Victoria's Secret. I feel weird carrying their bags around, it's like I'm screaming at people, "Look at what I bought!" So I hand the bag over to Heather and walk a little ahead.

Living in New Jersey is starting to work out even more. Today I figured out that I'd still start the radiology program the same year even if I spent a year in New Jersey. Brilliant.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Change In Plans

It's interesting how just a week and a half ago I had things "all planned out", for about the next 4 years of my life, as far as schooling goes. And now an opportunity has presented itself which of course will deter my plan a little bit. In essence, it'll move everything back a year. So I still have the same outline, just the dates are different now. And living in New Jersey as a nanny for a year gets squeezed into the outline.
I feel like whenever I start to really plan things out for the future, something always comes in to displace things. Not that it's bad, it just takes away my feeling of having control for a little bit. I remember during winter break where I started dating seriously and everything went up in a whirlwind. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen for a while, should I go back to school, should I transfer down here, will this all work? It was massively confusing but things settled themselves out as they always do and I went on my way.
So now I get to do some research and planning and see if this is really what I want to try. A year commitment to live with a family and watch their 2 kids, housing is paid for, food, a car and gas all paid for. I would make fourteen hundred a month, which if I saved a thousand a month I could look at getting a used car when I got home... which would present so many opportunities that I haven't been able to look at for a long time. Like working in the hospital in Rexburg would now become an option because I would have a way to get there! Of course living in New Jersey with New York 20-30 minutes away with all those New York broadways will be my tempting choice to splurge money.
If everything worked out, I would start in January. Which means I would miss my spring semester, just take it off, probably take some online classes though, and then finish up my associates when I get back. Crazy crazy. I need to figure all this out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Epic Fail

So I have a new job.
I work at a kiosk in the mall. 
Which is probably exactly what you imagine how working at a kiosk in the mall would go...
And I keep closing which equals slow hours
But, hey, good-looking working the kiosk next to me! 
And what else do I have to do besides check him out, look for ring...good, no. Age guess... no idea but RM? Probably. 
Tall, dark hair... you get the picture. 
He keeps walking around his kiosk while reading a book, dang I wish I had brought my book... maybe the hours would go by a little faster.
Wait what? He keeps staring into American Eagle. Gosh dang it that can only mean he's watching a girl, like how I'm being creeper and watching him, except he probably knows the girl, and I don't know him. 
(I'm really not that creepy, but it's the mall and what better to do than people watch?)
Closing time finally comes and of course there's a girl with him. blar
Background information you should know... it's my first time closing by myself. When you close a kiosk you have to un-hinge the overhead stuff so it comes down (please like 5'1 me could reach that... grab the chair). You then have to take this giant tarp and hook it into the stupid hooks, that are again clear above my reaching abilities... 
So I'm taking my sweet time closing up the register...hoping he'll leave fast so I won't have to make a fool of myself. But when do things ever happen the way we want them to? So I get going on putting up that tarp. 
Drag chair over
climb up
hook tarp
jump down
drag chair
climb up
yank on tarp wires
hook tarp
jump down
I come to the end of this ridiculous business and find that I've put the tarp on upside down. *grumble, exasperated sigh* So I start taking it down again. 
Out of my peripheral vision I can see handsome and the girl walking over...gosh dang it again! No just leave! I know I look like an idiot but I can handle things!
"Hey you need some help?"

So he gets it up there way more efficiently and guess what else, the girl is a sweetheart. Way nice, really pretty, the kind that makes you feel bad cause he's got such a great girl already and now you have no chance.
They leave me as I zip up the tarp and then I ran into them again outside! He's all..."hey there she is!"
(yes I know I'm the moron that can't figure out how to close my own kiosk and now I feel utterly ridiculous, hi how are ya?)
I just said thanks for the help and went on towards the car. 
But hey if I see him again I can say hi to him now, instead of casually noting him (not stalking thank you).  

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The broadway In The Heights has a song called 96000. And it got me thinking, what would I do if I won the lottery? 
First: get a car. Nothing too fancy, just something that'll work for a good while. Maybe a duel tank with natural gas. That would be bomb, except that Idaho is anti cheap natural gas... But hey I'm only there for another year so I could make it work. 
Second: Pay off my school loans and put aside enough to cover the rest of my tuition. 
Third: Get tickets for awesome seats to see The Lion King.
Fourth: Books and more books. 
Fifth: Study abroad in Europe. Switzerland, Italy, or Greece. 
Sixth: Get harmonica lessons.
Seventh: Get a panini maker. 
Eighth: Go hang gliding.
Ninth: Get a new camera.
Tenth: Get a turquoise ring. 

I'm not entirely sure what else right now. The wise thing would be to invest in something or save the money for other more important things. Maybe I'll do that with half... save for the future important stuff, and do whatever with the other half. Alright sounds good. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Planning Ahead

I've have a sketched out plan of the next... 4 or so years of my life. Here's how it's going to go:
Fall semester of college at BYU-Idaho. I'll be taking Anatomy and Physiology, Math, a humanities class, science foundations, and a religion class.
Next I have winter break, where I'll most likely do some online classes, work as much as possible, and try not to become a hermit where I will get angry from a lack of social atmosphere.
Spring semester arrives as my last up at BYU-Idaho, I will complete all the classes needed and get my associates in general studies. I'll be taking an Abnormal Psychology class, which I'm kind of excited for. Hopefully it turns out well.
I can't send in my application for the radiology program until the beginning of the next year, so I will do volunteer work at a hospital, hopefully snag a job somewhere in the hospital too, and I will work diligently saving money. If I get into the program first try (fingers crossed) then my schooling will start again in the fall. So I'll be able to work for a good year or so. Once I get into the program, it's 5 semester straight, where I'll have lab and class twice a week along with 24 hours a week of clinical work.

I'm kind of excited.
It's going to be epic.