Monday, December 12, 2011


I'm getting married on Saturday. Hoo boy. I also have finals this week (meaning outlandishly long papers...thank you archaeology major). But I'm bored of writing right now, so I thought I'd take a break and show you my awesome craftiness.
I made an advent calendar of sorts for Sam. Just for him, nobody else.
Each envelope (Day 1-25) has either a fun thing to do (ie driving to look at Christmas lights, decorating a tree, drinking hot cocoa, going to a movie, etc) or a special message from me to him letting him know what I like about him, or what I appreciate that he does, or whatever.
I saw it on a website of a lady that has kids, but this advent calendar is just for the husband, not for the kids, so it makes him feel special and appreciated. I know that (even though we won't be married or living together for another 5 days) Sam has really enjoyed opening an envelope every morning and reading what's inside.
Some people (like the aforementioned lady I stole the idea from) make it all scrapbooky and crafty and complicated, but I just wrote on 3x5s and put them in envelopes that I drew on. And really, the hardest part about this project was coming up with a different picture for each envelope. The messages came really easily.

So yeah, happy holidays and all that. Have a good week! I probably won't write again until after the wedding. And I will be a married woman! Wahoo!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Progress for the Sake of Progress

I have a framework for my 15-minute presentation (I only lack numerous colorful photographs to accompany my super intelligent speech on Anasazi red ware sherd distribution in Fremont sites).

I have 9 out of the required 15-20 pages of my paper on the symbolism of the Greek goddess Nike (and I'm not perturbed that I stole it from a paper I wrote for another class at another university).

Progress! This deserves a little break to watch this video (but mostly to listen to the song) for the five-billionth time (and maybe work a little on wedding stuff?), and perhaps get the lyrics out of my head (no, nope, I don't think it's possible, they're too much fun):

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blargh School!

Did you know that if you take the letters in the word "school" and remove the "schoo" part, and replace it with "evi" that it spells EVIL??? IT'S TRUE!!!
Sometimes professors apparently forget what it was like to be a student. I think they also forget that all their students are taking more than one class (usually). I'm only taking two classes (that matter-- two others that don't really) this semester, and I'm still getting overwhelmed. I have two major essays and a major presentation due soon. And a massive test to study for (read: relearn everything I was supposed to learn this semester).
The days of this phenomenon are upon us:

Oh PS Happy Veterans' Day. Hug/email/text/call your various veterans and thank them for what they do/have done.
PPS It's also 11/11/11. The world still isn't ending.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Happened.

Winter. It is here. I have to wake up earlier to scrape ice off my car. I get to wear the same shirt I sleep in because I wear 209,367 sweaters all day and no one will see it anyway.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I think there's no avoiding it-- I'm going to need to live near the ocean. The last video I posted, plus this one... Man.

The Perennial Plate Episode 77: Lobster Pie from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Oh, and if you're wondering where I find all these day-in-the-life food-related videos, they are from The Perennial Plate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Des Momies!

After a year of research and work and trials and tribs, the mummy case in the Learning Lounge in the MPC (where I work) is finally completed. I invite you all to come and see it and be proud of me. This project isn't over yet, it will eventually become my senior thesis, and I'm submitting to a couple of research symposiums. Wahoo!


I really like this video, even if I feel like some of what he says is just strings of philosophical hubbub. It made me happy. I miss the ocean.
A Day in the Life of a Seaweed Harvester:

The Perennial Plate Episode 76: Seaweed Man from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We're too poor to get nice furniture for the apartment. Instead, I've been perusing KSL and Ikea and Craigslist for dills and sells (that's Utah speak for deals and sales for those uninformed) and buying things little by little.
A couple of weeks ago we bought this table for $20. The chairs were $25 each, and we got 4 so we can entertain guests or something.
I call the color something in the neighborhood of puke green.
Then last week we bought this a-mazing dresser for $40 (it was originally $50, but there's no way I'd pay that much for this beast). Those are glow-in-the-dark red stars. Just fyi.
Anyway, clearly these needed fixing. So we went to Lowe's where we had a coupon for 10% off everything and bought paint and hardware for the drawers.
And then the great project began. We sanded everything (I took stalker-y pictures of Sam working)...
Here are post-sanding pictures:

Then painted the table a "lovely green"
Then painted a gray base coat on the dresser
Then painted it turquoise and sanded some more to make it look sort of antiqued
Et voila! The finished product!
This was my first experience attempting antiquing of something. It turns out it would have been loads easier had we rubbed a candle on parts of the base so that the top coat would have come off a lot easier. But you live, you learn, right? And I think it looks pretty dang good for a first attempt.

P.S. These are crappy pictures taken at night with my phone and/or Costco camera. It looks a lot cooler in person, promise.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Win It Nao

Since I was one of the first three commenters on my cousins' cousin's blog the other day, I am obligated to post this too as part of the winnings. But I'm actually really excited about this. So here it goes:

Here are the instructions: The first 3 people to respond to this post will get something made by me! However, there are some rules, which are:

1. I get to decide what it is.
2. But I will keep you in mind and it will be personalized. I'm not going to make you a teapot if you don't drink tea. I wouldn't make a teapot anyway, I have no clue how.
3. You'll probably have to wait until after the wedding. I'm too insanely busy to get it done beforehand. That ok?
4. It can be anything. Maybe I'll paint you a picture (on canvas), maybe I'll embroider something for you, maybe I'll bake you something...It all depends!

The catch is that you must re-post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog. The first 3 people to leave a comment telling me they will win it forward get a fabulous homemade gift by me! Oh, and if you have a blog, be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I feel like I haven't talked about my real life in a while, aside from the post I wrote in the hospital.

This has been an interesting semester so far. Between the numerous doctors' appointments and blood tests and diet changes and the veritable pharmacy I carry around with me everywhere I go, my health has sort of taken center stage. I don't like it that way. Not at all.

Another thing is the whole being engaged thing. People tell you planning a wedding (and carrying out those plans) is a menace, but they often forget to mention all the learning and growing you and your partner do. That, my friends, is a process. It's rather time-consuming. It makes me forget that I have a life outside of Sam, that my friends are still my friends. But if I'm going to spend the rest of my life with Sam, we need to work out the kinks and learn to be together, and not act as though we are two people, or single people living together. I'm not sure I got that point across, it's complicated.

And of course, as far as school and work goes, I have (typically) bitten off almost more than I can chew. Well, it's more like one of those enormous bites you take where you have to cover your mouth for a while to prevent things from flying out until you can get a handle on everything you've shoved in your mouth. Yeah, nice image. I have four research projects this semester, two of which I volunteered for. And the display case I've been working on putting together at the museum is finally almost up. And yet, the inevitable things are going wrong.

That's something I've learned to deal with better (at least I hope so) lately. Sometimes things don't go the way you plan, and as hard as you try and push to make it work, the universe (or people...) push back. Nothing will ever be perfect, not in this life. It's part of my growing experience to learn to be truly flexible and learn that not everyone, no matter how kind they can be or how well-meaning they are, will act according to plan.

But I have a lot to be grateful for. I'm actually grateful for all these experiences, even if it means I can't have my wedding precisely the way I want (note to the world: if it's not your wedding, it is NOT your wedding), or that I have to redo the labels in the display three times over and over, and get cut by a razor in the process, or that I live from meal to meal, wondering how everything I put in my mouth will affect me. And I'm grateful that I have friends who have offered support and anything they can do to help me. And I'm grateful for family, who constantly make me laugh and provide an outlet to really be myself. And I'm grateful for Sam, who will one day be my family, and who already understands me better than anyone else, and will do anything for me. We will work through the years ahead together, and I feel more confident knowing that he'll be by my side.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Has Fallen

This past Sunday after church, Sam and I hopped in the truck and drove up to Sundance to look at the Fall colors in the leaves on the trees, since I've never driven through a canyon or anything to do so (I've only even had two other real Falls before, and I missed it both times).
Needless to say, it was a beautiful drive. I wanted to do more, but we ran out of gas. Such is life.
On another, completely irrelevant note, I bought new mascara the other day and used it this morning for the first time. I've read about Maybelline's Great Lash for years-- all magazines everywhere rave about it. I've never tried it, but this time I was attracted by the neon-colored bottle. When I pulled out the brush from the bottle this morning, I noticed how small the bristles were, and frowned a little. Surely it would be ineffective.
But wow. It worked like a dream. Absolutely zero clumping of eyelashes or anything! I literally said "Wow" to myself when I saw the results. So here's my plug: go try it. Seriously. I got it in waterproof in blackish brown.

Coming Soon: Our apartment is starting to take shape! I'm starting to actually like spending time there because it doesn't seem trashy any more. Ha!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lying in Wait

Everything for the wedding is planned. This sort of happened by accident because of the whole anticipated-trip-to-Italy thing. Alas, we all know that that didn't happen because of the illness.
Anyway, it has been nice not having to make serious decisions every day about wedding things, and all that's left is putting the plans into action, which is infinitely more fun and less stressful! And I really am looking forward to some of the stuff that I can't do until later, like decorations and baking and getting a marriage license and taking bridals and... yeah. And getting married.

I'm excited :)

P.S. I read this morning that they are building an Avatar theme park at Disney World in Florida. If you've read my rant, you know exactly how I feel about this.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


This afternoon Sam and I got our engagement pictures taken. I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to be myself, but Sam kept me laughing, as he always does, so it was actually easy.
Anyway, I'm super excited to get proofs of all the photos, but in the meantime, our wonderful photographer has posted a blog post with a few of her favorites. I hope she forgives me for borrowing the one I'm reposting here...
Anyway, go here to see it (and the rest of her amazing work).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Le Weekend!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have officially made it through the first (for me) week back at school! Hoorah! I can tell I'm going to enjoy attending only part-time this semester, even if it does funny things to my tuition since I can't have my scholarship anymore (boo).
I'm living at my grandparents' house for the semester and loving it so far.
Aaaand...I'm trying to adjust to the new doctor-prescribed diet that will hopefully keep me out of the hospital for months to come.
Anyway, since it's Friday, and I'm lazy at work, here are some things I've found across the intranetz that piqued my interest:

Things to do with paint chips (the tufty one looks really cool)

Cool fingerprint rings (although reading the backstory is way more interesting)

Swallowable perfume? What the...

Ghetto hack for sous-vide cooking? I'm intrigued...

P.S. The photo is from a sunrise trip to the west side of the lake two years ago. I'm hankerin' to go back.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Truth Universally Acknowledged

Surprise (not)! I got engaged this week.
To be honest, I'd known it was coming for weeks, but the fact that Sam was in Connecticut for the summer made it a little hard to make it "official" any sooner. And then there was the whole hospital debacle, which made it harder because I refused to be drugged up with a tube up my nose when he asked me. Anyway, can you imagine? The nurse comes in to check my vitals: "Hold out your finger for the ox meter...Woops! Here's your engagement ring! Surprise!"
Anyway, I was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday after 10 days, spent the day in lethargy and nausea, and was eternally grateful that Sam was still waiting (but was it ever going to come?). The next day I felt better, but I still had the tube in. We went up past Sundance in the truck and looked at the stars-- tres romantique, except for the feeding tube and the electronic pump I had with me. Still no ring, phew.
Thursday I pulled the tube out in frustration (only slightly against doctor's orders, don't worry) around 5pm and felt an exponential increase in my happiness. Woohoo! I knew it could come at any moment, but I was hoping he would wait until Friday so we could have some neat-o date first.
We went to Ikea to look at furniture (I told you we'd known it was coming for ages), and then stopped at Ihop for some dinner (where I was forced to eat fat-free...this whole pancreatitis thing sort of sucks). Sam proposed we make another drive up the canyon, but I shot him down, saying I was too tired (it's hard walking around when you've been lying in bed for two weeks, let me tell you). So we drove back to my grandparents' house, where we're both staying at the moment. We parked in the parking lot near the club house and got out of the car. I stared at a cat sitting in the sprinklers on the lawn near the lot while Sam gathered his belongings from the truck. Then he came up to me and gave me a hug.
"There's a cat in the sprinklers over there," I said.
"Oh really?" said Sam.
"Yeah, that's kind of weird."
"Shannon, are you serious?"
"About what, the cat?"
"About this. About us."
I looked him in the eye. "Of course I am."
"Then you need this." He put the ring on my finger as I said something to the affect of "Le gasp!" (not really)
Lots of hugging and laughing (that sounded like crying-- um, what?) ensued.
"I take it that means 'Yes'?"
"Well you still haven't even asked me!"
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes, I will, of course!"
(More sappiness)
Then we walked back to the house hand in hand and showed my grandparents and my mom, none of whom noticed the ring really before noticing the absentee feeding tube.
It wasn't incredibly romantic, but it was simple and nice. I don't care that it was Thursday, or that I was tired and sick, or that it was in a parking lot by a strange water-loving cat, or that we ate at Ihop. Because that's life, and I love it.
On December 17th I get to marry him. And that makes me happy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Allow Me to Be Sappy For Once

Maybe it's the narcotics they're giving me, or the fact that I'm going to be alone for the next couple of hours of the day, or maybe I'm just having one of those days, but I feel the need to say this:

Since I've been in the hospital for the past week, I've come to learn a lot. I've learned a lot about patience (and I always thought I had enough of it-- I'm learning that still isn't true), about hope, and also about love.

I'm grateful that my mother is in town, by my bedside nearly all day, entertaining me, talking to me, rocking me when I get so frustrated or can't deal with the pain. I'm grateful that I have a man in my life who always tries to make me laugh when I feel depressed as I lie in bed, who massages my feet so they don't atrophy, who thinks that I'm beautiful despite the voluminous hospital gown, messy hair, and feeding tube up my nose; who is patient with me when I take my frustration and cabin fever out on him, who walks me through the hallways at a too-slow pace like a 95-year-old woman, and who cries a little from frustration when there's nothing he can do to help me (don't tell him I said that last part).

I'm grateful to my siblings who come to visit me almost every day, for the good friends that I have that come to visit and talk about food so I don't forget that all there is in the world is gross broth and a chemical mixture they shove through your nose; and who come and talk and laugh with me about normal things so I don't feel like an invalid in a hospital.

I'm grateful to the countless nurses I've met over the past week who get to know me, who seem concerned for my welfare, who see me still here a few days later and are sad that I haven't been able to go home yet, who are vying for me to be able to go home so I can do all the exciting things in my life I have coming up.

I'm grateful that this is only a case of acute chronic pancreatitis, and not anything more like the other poor souls in this ward who have cancer and deal with much greater pain than I do now.

Thank you to all of you who are praying for me, who come see me-- to all of you, I love you, and I'm so glad to have you in my life at this time.

Have a good Saturday :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Un Mistero

This is not what I normally write about. Forgive me.
Ok, here's something a little random. This is a picture of me in May of 2006, right before my 17th birthday. The part that I want you to notice-- not my strange pose or the glowing eyes of my cat-- is my belt. Yes, I know it's very difficult to see...but just know that it was an awesome belt. I stole it from my Dad's closet (now you know where I get my skinniness from), as he hadn't worn it in decades. It was one of those ones with the leather buckle-y part, and the rest was cloth-- it had blue, green, and yellow stripes. It was a sweet belt. I literally wore it until it fell apart.

Anyway, as much as I love the belt I use regularly now (which has awesome dogs and birds):
I'm ready to diversify. And I have found myself thinking back to that old belt I wore religiously in high school (with terribly light pants...). I want one like that again-- something subtly colorful, but still normal enough to be able to wear every day if I want to. Something like this maybe:
Minus the weird flag shirt. And the light pants again. And the phone necklace.

Keep your eyes peeled for me?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Allow me one brief post to complain.

1. Yesterday I rear-ended some dude stopped in the middle of the road. He didn't have his brakelights on. It was wet. I couldn't stop in time. There was no damage to either of our cars. He is telling my insurance company anyway so he can get a new paint job. My insurance is going up, even if it ends up costing $5 to "repair" that little smudge that was already on his bumper. Awesome.

2. If you are a company that sells expensive items, and you originally charge me double and make it so I can't buy food for a week and have $2 total in my bank account for that long while you poke along attempting to void the transaction, and THEN have the guts to tell me I can't have a refund on my $500 thing when I say I don't feel good about buying it anymore (after the first thing got straightened out), without telling me in the first place it was final sale, then you are an idiot. End of story.

3. My pizza burned. And stuck to the pan. Lame lame lame.

Then I saw this, and I'm trying to make it make me feel better, but I don't if it's working. It is funny though...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Face the Music and Dance

I was doing some exploring this evening on songs, and dancing, and dancing to songs, and I inevitably wound up looking at dozens of clips of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I have my mom to thank for a great appreciation of old movies.

Here's Fred Astaire doing "We Saw the Sea" from Follow the Fleet. I sing this all the time, but people just give me looks askance. Pshaw. It's funny.

And Fred and Ginger doing "Never Gonna Dance" from Top Hat.
Embedding disabled, but still, watch it:

Fred Astaire singing "Let's Face the Music and Dance." I love this song. And to think they originally said of FA "Can't act, can't sing, can dance a little." It's just the song, no video to speak of:

...And Ginger Rogers singing "Let Yourself Go," another one I often sing. It starts about 54 seconds in (the beginning is instrumental). Video is a slideshow of pictures from the dance of the same title, but really you're better off just watching them dance. Unfortunately there's no singing though in that version.

Some days I wish I had tv solely so I could watch Turner Classic Movies. I miss that.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Sometimes you find nice things on the intranetz.

For example, this is cool. I may have exclaimed out loud.

This is funny and cute.

And this may be my new favorite website. Too bad there are only four pages of goodness as of yet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It All Ends

I may not have known it at the time, but I have honestly been waiting for this moment (or I guess tomorrow night's moment) since I was in fifth grade.
It is the premiere of the last movie of Harry Potter, and it is the end of the series that has carried me into adulthood (is that sad? Yep. But I don't care.)
It feels bittersweet...

Monday, July 11, 2011

American Talk!

I posted about the first video, but here, in anticipation of Harry Potter coming out on THURSDAY NIGHT WOOHOO!!!! is "American Talk 2: Red, White, and Yee-Haw!" with (some of) the cast of Harry Potter!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I was in Connecticut this past week, and while we were walking on the beach of the Sound towards a lighthouse, we came across this adorable wedding reception. It was in an old building with a carousel inside. I am in love with it, and totally jealous of whosever reception it was.

Here is my favorite song today:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Maya Elizabeth

My sister gave birth to her third child last week-- a beautiful baby girl. She had me come out and take pictures. You can see more on my facebook, or if you are family and are interested in seeing all the pictures in all their states, let me know and I will send you some!

Friday, June 17, 2011

If It Keeps on Raining...

I feel like I don't really post about my own life very often. But now I feel a personal post is necessary, as so much has happened lately!
I am going to make a list, because I am lazy, and I like lists (and a random picture):
1. I have a new niece! She is adorable. Her name is Maya, and I love her already. I hope that she keeps her dark hair, since both her parents have dark brown hair, and neither of her siblings do. I took some photos of her with my film camera for my sister, but they haven't been developed yet, or I would share some of my favorites with you. Look for those in a post to come...

2. Field School finished yesterday, and boy am I glad. I learned so much over the past two months, and I am incredibly grateful for the experience, but as I have learned, my feeble body cannot handle that kind of physical pressure for that long. That and I think when you throw that many similar personalities together for that long, people come out loving (but mostly hating) each other. Which is sad.

3. I have exciting vacations ahead, and I am stoked. First off are four days back home in Fallbrook to see two of my bestest old friends, then (after a two-day hiatus in UT where I will work super hard at the museum to earn back monies lost during Field School) four days in Washington DC/ New York City with my dear sister Adrien, then a few more days in Connecticut relaxing and doing fun eastcoast-y things with my friend Sam.

4. Ok, wait, he's not just my friend. I guess he's my boyfriend.

5. I'm going to Italy in September? Yeah, I am. Well, as soon as I pay I am. I'm super stoked though :D I need to learn Italian liek nao. I will be taking a language class, a couple of humanities classes, and doing a cooking "internship." I cannot believe I have this opportunity! I'm very excited.


My Dad sent this video through the family email:
Which is, of course, hilarious. But I need to know: why didn't they just fly away???
Maybe geese enjoy getting sucked into riptides...

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I saw this this morning and it made me happy. Look at him go!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Sometimes things come at just the right time for me. This blog post that talks about patience in looking for marriage, and watching Under the Tuscan Sun for the bajillionth time with my sister.

Even if marriage isn't something I or you or anyone is worried about, the principle can be applied to anything. Happiness, mainly, I think. Just be happy, because it's going to be okay eventually. Don't worry about it, just let it be!

Under the Tuscan Sun is one of my favorite movies because it really lifts your spirits, even if it is a little cheesy at times (not to mention the fact that she basically is living my dream in the movie). This is the message I'm talking about that it gives:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I feel like I've head a really productive past few days. Saturday I took two finals and submitted two final essays, then I came home and cleaned out the laundry room (which now looks spic and span, too bad the washer is broken so we can't hang out in there and enjoy the cleanliness). Sunday was Sunday. Yesterday I exercised with my roommate, then I embroidered adorable designs (if I do say so myself) on two onesies for Unborn Niece Swinford and went for a run (the first time in over a year--and I did 10 blocks straight before walking! Go me!). Oh look, here are the onesies:
Then I graded all the remaining assignments for the class I am a TA for-- now there are only finals to grade.

This morning I found out I got a scholarship for Fall semester! It makes me happy because it will be kind of the same cost as if I were to graduate in December, which I can't do anymore due to one stinkin' class in Winter term. But it's excellent, I love getting free money! Then I went to work for about four hours and moved approx. 30 metates from all over the museum into one room, and built the shelves for them to go on (metal, evil). This is a metate for those unaware (the big groundstone, not the smaller "mano" used to grind):
Yeah. 30 of them. My boss helped, but still. Then I was told to destroy a giant plywood workbench to make room for new shelving. Eep! It took about 45 minutes, and I acquired a few scrapes and pokes, not to mention a bruised knuckle when the tabletop fell on my hand at one point, but I did it.

Needless to say, I'm very worn out. That is why this post is not very exciting. But! I only have two finals to go this week. I get to move upstairs on Saturday. I'm happy and feel accomplished. And very hungry! What to eat, what to eat...

And now, I order you to get up and dance for the duration of this song. It will make you happy, guaranteed:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thinkin' That the World Looks Fine

Essays, grading, studying for final exams, working, trying to keep up with everything... Finals, once again, are trying to get the better of me. The stress makes me do strange things, like crank out actually really good stories on the spot about dancing circus elephants, put up a hearts saying "S+J" next to the James Dean poster that appeared in our bathroom yesterday, and eat ridiculous amounts of cookies to keep me awake when I'm up at all ours doing the first two things.

And yet, I must be a glutton for punishment, because I'm already planning which Grad schools I want to apply to next year. Like this one, for example. Courses include "Research and Reconstruction of Old Ships," "Deep-Submergence Archaeology," "Classical Seafaring," and "Outfitting and Sailing the Wooden Ship." How can I pass that up?

Anyway, if you're in the same wooden ship of Finals as me, maybe take a break and listen to some good songs (I'll make the format small so you're not intimidated, there's no videos anyway):

A little 80s:

A little 60s:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

When Life Gets You Down... this video:
Thank goodness for stop-motion animation and Spanish-y guitar.
Courtesy of Coldplay.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

I have a problem. Did you ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (or If You Give a Moose a Muffin)? If not, I'm sorry you had such a sheltered childhood, and you should probably make a trip to the local library. My problem is that I am basically the mouse (or moose) in that story. Sometimes I'll be doing something, and find a few minutes later that I've accomplished something else entirely, and have gone through a chain of other things. I tell myself "You're such a mouse-a-cookie." And it's so sadly true.

For example, when I walked in the door a little while ago, I picked up the gas bill that was lying on the kitchen table and walked downstairs, intending to write a check for it immediately so I wouldn't forget to do it later. I realized that my checkbook was sitting by the computer, so I walked over there, decided I needed music to write a check to (I need music to do almost everything. But that's another problem entirely), and sat down at the computer to turn the music on, but realized I hadn't checked my email in a while. The second message was a notice about an end-of-the-year pizza party for my TA job, so I grabbed my backpack to get out my planner to check the date and write it down, but my backpack was very heavy, and it reminded me that I had had to balance it and the groceries I'd bought on my way home from work while I was coming in the door earlier that day. Then I realized the groceries were still sitting on the counter waiting to be put away, so I walked into the kitchen, opened the first bag of groceries wherein lay the receipt, which I proceeded to throw away. As I looked up from the trash can, I saw the extra Brita filters on top of the fridge, and realized that I was about a month overdue in changing out the old filter (don't tell my roommates, they've been bragging to people who come over and drink our water that it's clean and superior to everyone else's), so I rinsed out the filter and set it to soak in preparation for replacement. Finally, I got somewhat back on track and turned back to the groceries. There in the bag was a box of cookies I'd bought as a treat for being such a diligent student lately. My mouth watered and I went to open the box, when I realized what was happening and thought to myself, smiling, "Mouse-a-cookie," especially since I was about to eat a cookie, and knew that I would then want a glass of milk (which is how the story goes, for those uninformed).

In any case, the filter is ready to be replaced, the groceries are put away, two cookies are eaten, I'm writing this blog post, and...oh wait, I'm supposed to be writing a check for the utilities.

Be right back.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


A friend of mine posted on her blog the other day this other blogpost right hurr.
I thought it was really...good, just because I can't think of a better word. Anyway, it was really good to read, so you should check it out. Just sayin'.

Another good blog post was found on this blog, which I often enjoy reading. Here it be. Or just read this talk, since that's why I liked the post so much. That talk/post, plus hearing this talk in conference yesterday have really kind of made me hope that someday I'll be married to someone terrific. I just hope that the guys (or just A guy, since I only need to marry one at a time) I know feel the same way...

I'm currently in the process of completing a 13-page essay on the relationship between men and food-eating contests. It's ridiculous. I promise I'll get back to "real" blogging (aka well thought-out posts) when things calm down at school (ie when Finals stop breathing down my neck).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deathly Hallows

Have you seen the new teaser poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2?
The comment was made here that the series has matured incredibly since the first film:
I feel like I am one of the lucky ones to be someone who grew up in a way with Harry Potter (as cheesy as that might sound). I feel like I've been about the same age as the characters almost the whole time, and the Harry Potter books make up a huge part of my childhood post-elementary school. Anyway! That's only a part of the reason why I love it so much. Sidetrack.

I also recently became aware (from here) of a deleted scene from DH part 1 that was released pre-DVD (which comes out April 6th-- woohoo!). Take a gander:

Also, just because, here are a couple of neat videos to check out:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trevor Hall: Or, How I Learned to Stop Criticizing and Love the Hippies

Monday night marked the occasion of my very second concert (not including the strange Christian Rock concert I went to for reasons I still don't understand). I wasn't terribly excited because I knew there was no way it could outshine my very first concert experience. In any case, it didn't start off with a (good) bang.

The time on our tickets said the doors opened at 6pm and the show began at 7pm. Two of my roommates went early, and my other roommate and I arrived at 7pm. Unfortunately, the folks at Velour must have slept in, because the doors didn't open until 8pm. We spent the hour in the shadow of the building, forlornly watching the thermometer at the bank across the street as the temperature slowly dropped from 32 degrees, to 31, to 30...and finally the doors opened. There was then a good 45 minutes of sitting on the hard wooden benches under the vigorously blowing fans before at last the first opening act ascended the stage: Cubworld, a large bearded Hawai'ian man and his accompianists. I'd heard a few of Cubworld's songs a couple of years ago, and they seemed mellow and nice, but this time around, it was quite different, way more rock-y. After Cubworld came Cas Haley, another large bearded man who was very fun and funny as he sang. He gained a lot of respect from me until he sang a song about legalizing marijuana, which was just ridiculous. But I'm still going to brag about how he pushed past me in the crowd afterward at least three times.

Finally, FINALLY, Trevor Hall's band came on stage to set up, and one of my roommates and I weasled our way up through the harangue to the front where the rest of our party was standing excitedly waiting. As we were waiting, listening to the incomprehensible music coming over the speakers and chatting casually, I felt a sharp pain in my back, as though someone had rammed their cranium into my shoulder blade, which is actually what happened, as some random hipster dude in tight pants had passed out onto me. This definitely happens to me a lot-- a girl passed out on my feet during a boring tour of the Denver Public Library on our King Tut trip last semester. Actually, people passing out kind of freaks me out a little, because I feel obligated to use my first aid skills. Not that I don't want to, I just don't want to find out at the wrong time that I'm incompetent.

Anyway, after that episode, fog filled the room, a sitar hummed, and Trevor Hall descended from the ceiling. Just kidding. He walked on stage nonchalantly, feet bare, jeans cuffed, prayer beads and dreadlocks swinging. Most of the songs the band played at first, I hadn't heard (apparently the 18-song CD my roommates made for me in preparation wasn't half of what he has put out), and I was beginning to feel a bit ridiculous, and the French Composition I had yet to write began to nag at the back of my mind. The two boys at my left pushed past me to show a message to the two girls at my right (which read something to the effect of "Let's hook up after the show"), and I felt even more ridiculous. The drummer suddenly was the only one on stage, playing a crazy solo that could've been at any metal show (but what do I know). But then, the noise stopped and the drummer disappeared, Trevor Hall walked back up on stage, the crowd obnoxiously began yelling requests, Trevor Hall felt embarrassed and criticized and shyly began to play his solo song, and I had a revelation.

He played a song called "Te Amo," and it was beautiful. I can't get it out of my mind, and as we all stood silently taking in the simple melody and poetic lyrics, I surprisingly felt like crying. The whole night, the crowd had been loud and crazy, and suddenly we all felt the same quiet peace. At risk of getting far too overly cheesey, I'll leave it at that, but really, there was something there.
Trevor Hall playing "Te Amo" (that's actually a lie, but it's the best picture of T-Hall by himself)

Listen (ignore the chit-chat and just focus on the song):

After "Te Amo," the band came back and they all played a number of other songs, one of which was "Om Shakti Om" (yeah). During the chorus, we all clapped in time and sang "Om Shakti Om" (those exact words) together, and my French essay faded away, and the criticism I knew would come when I recounted these events to certain people subsided (but now that I'm thinking about it again, I fully expect the criticism to come!), and we jumped and clapped and chanted/sang together and it was wonderful.

There were a few more songs, including a two-song encore, a slightly random poetry recitation (of the song "My Baba"), and then came the last song, the only one played that night (besides some Bob Marley remixes from Cas Haley & Trevor Hall) that I knew all the words to-- "Lime Tree," one of my favorite songs that appeared on the CD from my roommates.
The band playing some song

When the concert finally ended, and the crowd rushed to greet Mr. Hall, my roommate and I pressed our way through the throng and finally escaped into the cold air, away from the smells of patchouli and energy drink. We ran quickly to our car, still on a high, ears ringing in the way they do after over-exposure, much like how everything appears green when you come inside from a bright day. As soon as we were home we went directly to bed, and I let the memories of the sounds sink in, smiling a little as I realized it was okay that hippies were silly, because sometimes it's nice just to let go.
Check out these good songs by Trevor Hall if you're interested:
Te Amo (see above)
Lime Tree
Other Ways
To Zion
31 Flavors
...and a few others. If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you some more.

P.S. If you get the movie reference from the title, kudos to you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A few days ago, I noticed that there were flowers growing on the side of the house! This is totally normal, we have tons of flowering plants around the yard, but it's only the beginning of March! These are the first flowers I've seen growing in a long, long time. I'm totally stoked to see these purples beauties, and I hope the rest of the yard (and state!) quickly follows.
There's even a BEE! Hooray for pollination!

The End is (not) Nigh

I meant to write this on Tuesday, so I'm going to pretend like it still is, because it's more relevant that way.

Today is Tuesday, March 8, 2011! According to the Maya calendar (as I was informed today by my Mayan Archaeology professor), the date is:, 13 Cimi, 19 Kayab

Those numbers refer to the different position on the Maya calendar that today is. Bear with me, this may get complicated. There are two calenders that the Maya used-- a 260-day one and a 360-day one. The two calenders combined created a calender that you rotated through in which there were periods of days with one name (pretty much like our months), and a certain number of days that made up units that were numbered (like March 11, for example). With the two calenders combined you get two names for each day. The system kind of looks like a series of gears rotating and lining up periodically.

You cycle through these and no day will be repeated until the end of a cycle. A cycle typically lasts about 52 years (although there is a longer cycle that I don't really get...), and then the calender realigns at "1." These 52-year cycles are rather like our centuries, and the Maya celebrated them like we do. Part of the celebration was carried out in fear, however, because the Maya believed, like many of us do, that one day the world would end. The end of the world would occur, they believed, at the end of one of these cycles, though the Maya didn't know which one it would be.

Now, Maya recorded their dates by the number of days since the beginning of the last cycle. That's another reason the number that is today's date is so long-- it takes a lot longer to say what day it is if you're counting DAYS from 0 AD up to March 11, 2011. This system is called the Long Count. Long Count dates were used primarily during the Maya Classic period (and before, but not as extensively). However, in the Postclassic Period, the Maya got lazy and started using what we call the Short Count. Instead of starting at the very beginning, they started at the beginning of a 7,200-day cycle, called a Katun (read like "cartoon" without the R...and I swear every time my prof says "katun," I think of Daffy Duck, really). When the Spanish arrived in the Yucatan in the 16th century, the Maya were still using the Short Count.

Since the Maya switched the way they recorded dates, we have a hard time lining up their calendar with the Gregorian one that we use. Also, there is apparently some disagreement over whether one part of the Long Count calendar ends after 13 units or 19 units.

Now, as you all know, people are freaking out about December 21, 2012. I'm pretty sure you've been told that "the Maya predicted the end of the world," or "the Maya calendar ends, at that means the end of the world," or some other such nonsense. Here's the deal:
-IF the cycle is only 13 units instead of 19, then the date on Dec 21, 2012 will be the date that marks the end of that particular CYCLE.
-IF the cycle is 19 units, we have a good 4,000 years to go before the end of the cycle.

Aside from the fact that Maya scholars (who know WAY more about reading the Maya calendar than you and I, I promise) cannot figure out for sure whether the end of the cycle is next year or four millenia from now, and aside from the fact that I'm pretty sure YOU are not Maya, or even subscribe to the Maya religious beliefs, and aside from the fact that Y2K came and went without a hitch, I really think that you (meaning the world, not you in particular) really need to calm down.

Although maybe it would be better if the world ended before I had to translate this huge load of number and date glyphs...

That's all. Phew!

P.S. I just read through this and it's sort of confusing/possibly contradictory. Sorry, it's because I'm still trying to understand it myself. But you get the point.