Saturday, March 31, 2012

Toy and Where I Relax

I don't really have any toys, but Brozhy does. He has this weird feather bug thing we got him that he throws around like a shuttlecock. He sometimes carries it around in his mouth so he can play with it near where we are.
Where I relax is typically the bedroom. I don't think our couches are very comfortable, and anyway, with the new arrangement, we get more sunshine, and I really like it.
Since Mom mentioned it, the picture of Brozhy is of him playing with his toy mouse (which he treats the same as his weird feather bug thing I mentioned earlier). But since you can't really see it and maybe you feel cheated, here's this video:

And as even more of an added bonus, this is what I walked into the bedroom and saw just now:
Brozhy likes to rearrange the bed to his liking. He moves the pillows and pulls down the blanket. Crazy cat.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


After a long day in heels and a skirt, it's nice to have a husband who loves your feet. I mean you.

I'll post about the NCUR a bit later.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Also known as a very good toy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's In a Name?

Ironic that today's item is "your name," because I was going to blog about this anyway.
Read this program closely. Look for it... Ahh, yes.
I didn't legally change my name after getting married a few months ago. It just didn't make sense to me to go through all the trouble of changing my name legally when I'm still in school and have all this fiddling paperwork to deal with (not that I won't have to deal with it later, but I'm sure it will be significantly less not trying to deal with the various departments at the University).

But people don't seem to understand why I would do that. I changed my name on Facebook, which apparently magically changes my name all other places, and now I'm having a sort of identity crisis.

For some reason, people have always felt the need to call me by my first and last names as if they were one word: "Shannonwooooood" (and yes the "oo" is normally drawn out), and as soon as I got married, they kept doing it, but they changed my last name (at least now they enunciate instead of slurring it together). Whenever they do, I feel something squirming around inside me and I cry out lamely "That's not my name you know!" I'm not really sure why I do that. I should be totally proud of my new last name, especially since I never really liked my old one-- too common, too at-the-end-of-the-alphabet. Maybe that's what the issue is. I moved up all of 1/15 of a space in the alphabet. My poor kids will always be picked last for everything. At least the T-Z line is always really short.

Maybe it's because the new last name is German for "King of the Muddy Bank." If that's not a regal title, I don't know what is.

I guess eventually I'll stop feeling like I'm lying every time I say my last name. I guess I'll get used to the change eventually.

Just please don't call me Suzanne.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Lo and behold, they key rack thing!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Today was Fast Sunday. Therefore, dinner was breakfast. We went to Megan and Jared's but I forgot to take a picture. So here is Maya eating dinner instead.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why Hans Zimmer Deserves an Oscar

Let me preface by saying this isn't a completely random post. I was listening to my favorite song from the soundtrack from "Tron," which Hans Zimmer consulted with Daft Punk on. I could hear some of Zimmer's style in there, and it reminded me about this post. I feel the need to write it every time I see a movie Hans Zimmer has scored, and again when Oscar time rolls around and Zimmer is again slighted. Okay, I realize that technically he has won an Academy Award for Lion King. But really, of all his work, Lion King? Not that the soundtrack wasn't amazing-- it definitely was, and also one of the more influential movie scores of my childhood (if only because I watched that movie about 5,000 times), I just wonder why only Lion King?

I'll start with a simple idea: Academy Awards are given to recognize achievement in a certain category. How do you define "achievement" then? Is it the amount of work? A quick glance at IMDb will tell you Zimmer has scored 145 titles. Is it for using groundbreaking techniques? Zimmer is known for being a pioneer in combining classic symphonic composition with electronic synthesizing (put that in your pipe and smoke it).

I would argue that it's more important than all those things. To me, when you listen to a piece of music, you should gauge its power or beauty or strength or whatever by how you feel when you hear it. And when you pair a powerful piece with an incredible bit of film (by the way, I feel like I'm going to have to do a post sometime on how underrated film editing is) and you get those chills and your eyes widen and your heart races and your whole body vibrates with excitement that you can't explain-- THAT is what it is about. And that is how achievement should be measured.

Example One: Inception. Hopefully you've seen it. If you haven't, drop dead. Just kidding. The track I'm using as an example is called "Dream Within a Dream," and occurs in the film during that incredibly action-packed, nerve-wracking, and very emotional sequence towards the end (unless I'm mistaken, but it doesn't really matter). You can watch the scene I'm talking about here (okay, so the music isn't exactly the same throughout I don't think, but you get the idea). Here it is. Please actually listen to it so you know what I'm talking about, or if only because it's awesome and worth listening to. And make it nice and loud:

If you consider the music in conjunction with the scene from the film, it's a little more obvious to see the point I'm about to make (again, the film editing is also very crucial). In the piece, you can hear the intense emotion that the characters are feeling in the film, and hear the progressive press of time pushing in on you! I remember going to see Inception in the dollar theatre for the first time. The seats were completely jam-packed. I was by myself, but the people next to me and I had this energizing connection for the last 30 minutes of the movie. Zimmer's music is a progressive, emotional ride, and mirrors perfectly the message the movie gives.

Example two: Sherlock Holmes. I have two examples (I mean favorites?) here, "My Mind Rebels at Stagnation" and "He's Killed the Dog Again."
What I like most about Zimmer's interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack is that he uses instruments that you could imagine being period-appropriate, with the addition of course of the synthesizers to add that sort of mystical (as in the unknown, not necessarily "magic") quality. I also love that the beat brings you through the inner workings of Holmes' mind as he solves the mystery. And Holmes is really quite present in the music, as in the times when the violin becomes persistent (because we all know the violin is kind of a symbol of Sherlock Holmes). But one thing I really love about the soundtrack is that persistent throughout the whole score, you hear elements in the music that remind you of the setting. England is in the Industrial Revolution, and you can hear heavy industrial sounds at times. It's awesome. I know that a lot of composers, if they're worth their salt, are certain to do their research in composing a score, but many of them just go off what they imagine (which is fine). I greatly appreciated it when I read in movie news that Hans Zimmer had spent some time amongst Gypsies in order to obtain a new and accurate sound for the music in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (which movie is a whole other story-- you can hear Romani elements throughout, as well as hear and feel the desperation the characters are feeling from the utter darkness at times, and hear the impressive global scale of the conspiracy; my favorites here and here).

Okay, I won't bore you with any more, but just think about it. Thanks to Hans Zimmer, we have awesome soundtracks (which I've linked my favorite pieces to, so they're all worth clicking on) not only from Inception and both Sherlock Holmes movies, but also some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Gladiator, Pearl Harbor, Prince of Egypt, the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, Lion King, Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, The Holiday, Madagascar, Spirit, and on and on!

I tip my hat to him. Since I have no vote in the Academy.

Oh, and for the record, the reason I'm able to analyze this so annoyingly is because I've been involved in music for 13 years, and spent probably 6 or 7 of it seriously thinking about composition and what went into it (never enough to do it myself though). I also am freaking obsessed with movies, and constantly think about what goes into it in order to make the viewer connect with the film. I was pre-film at Cal State Long Beach before I transferred, too, if anyone cares. There's your explanation.

One more thing, then I'll stop talking. He's not like my all-time favorite film composer ever. He's definitely in the top 3. I don't have a #1.

The Moon

I'm trying to finish up a number of projects required for my online astronomy class so I can finish the course before the deadline next month. One of them was estimating the size of the moon, but my math was all wrong (as per usual), so I asked Adrien for help. Just so you know, the weird spelling, grammar, capitalization, and randomness are all very typical of our conversations.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Everything But

Today's picture is the kitchen sink, which you will see here shortly (and which disgusts me to look at it...please don't judge). I also wanted to share what we did for dinner tonight since I enjoyed it so much. We grabbed a pizza after class this evening, and since it was still warm, we went up to Rock Canyon Park and ate outside. It was beautiful and I loved being outside. Also, Sam is going to regret trying for the creepiest face possible. Serves him right.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I'm a few days behind on this jig, so I'll cut to the chase.
First: funny. I saw this at the doctor's the other day. Maybe it's just me, but I thought it was funny that they had the creepy little clamp or whatever holding back the covering of the intestines. As in, it's a drawing, why not just leave it out entirely? And the wrinkles....
Ok, fine. Next: a corner of my home. This is a corner in the living room. It houses the pretty lantern Sam got for me in Turkey last summer. It's kind of the inspiration for the living room's style, actually (if there is one).
Next: before and after. I didn't know what to do for this one, so it's just what I looked like before bed and what I looked like after waking up. Pretty much the same, actually.
And finally: delicious. I love blueberry Special K. It is delicious.
The end.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Yesterday was St Patrick's Day. I had a lot of fun eating and spending time with family. We went to breakfast before a used book sale (because I definitely need more books of course). Sam took this picture of my nephew. Even though he looks a little morose, he had a fun time (after waiting patiently for his French toast).

Anyway, I kind of love it, so it's the one for the day, even though I didn't take it.

Friday, March 16, 2012


A couple of years ago a wise person advised me to reduce my sunglasses-wearing in order to expose myself to more sunlight and therefore be more happy and more aware of nature. I've done it, photosensitivity be darned, and it really has helped. I consequently haven't broken as many sunglasses as I normally would have in that time. So these puppies are a few years old, which really is quite a record.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The dashboard. Nuff said. Also, we are apparently out of gas. Story of our life.

Clouds and a Sad Cat

Megan said something that got me thinking about whether or not these picture posts really provide insight into how my everyday life goes. Maybe it doesn't all that much.

Therefore, I have two pictures (from yesterday; today's are forthcoming).

The first is clouds-- even though it looks otherwise, it has been pretty warm lately. I took the cloud picture from the 10th floor of the SWKT on campus. Beautiful view.

Also, Brozhy has been prescribed several medications he needs to be given twice a day. He doesn't like it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Sign

Sign: It's a sign of warmer weather, and it makes me happy to be able to stand barefoot on the porch at 6:30 in the evening.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Someone I Talked To and a Fork

I seriously didn't leave the house yesterday except for church and didn't talk to anyone except Sam and Brozhy and a woman who gave me a recipe for taco soup-- and I wasn't about to ask her to pose for a picture while she was handing me the paper. So both pictures are from today.

I talked to both Brozhy and the horse when I took the cat to the vet, so that counts. We didn't get the best care today, but maybe it was because they had an emergency hit-by-a-car surgery on a dog and a guinea pig euthanasia to do. Glad Brozhy's not in that bad of shape!

And the fork... We just need to do the dishes. Gross.

Also, can I just add how awesome it is the effect cats have on guys who proclaim to hate cats? Both Sam and my Dad fall into this category, and I've often heard both of them talking to their cats high-pitched voices. It's awesome.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blogging at 5am Also Might Be a Mistake

It's 5:30 in the morning right now and I can't go back to sleep. Sam woke me up about two hours ago to have me look at a knife cut he gave himself while doing dishes yesterday. He thought it was infected. It wasn't. I made him take Tylenol and put him back to sleep, and he now lies next to me snoring grossly.

I've been tossing and turning for a long while, trying to get back to sleep and, failing that, trying to figure out why I can't. And I realized it's not because it's dangerously boiling under the covers because Sam is his own central heating system; nor is it because I have "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees playing over and over in my head; nor is it because my stomach is acting like I haven't eaten in days.

It's because I'm having a bit of an identity crisis right now (although maybe I'll need to eat breakfast early...and possibly put a hit out on whichever of those musical apes decided to write that obnoxious song). I'm trying to figure out how exactly I portray myself to others, and also to what extent it matters. Not that this is anything new, rather that my life's worry has recently culminated in this obsessive and frustrating concern over how I appear to others.

There have been a few incidents in my life that have taught me that I need to be the best person I can so that when I exit a person's life, they won't have any reason to be really glad of it. But you can't please everyone. About a week and a half ago I found out that my actions in a brief and seemingly unimportant (but apparently very momentous for some others) incident a couple of years ago may have completely altered my career plans, and at the very least, destroyed my confidence in some of the people I admired.

I realize that's a super vague statement. However, the fact that I've hashed out the scenario a trillion times in my mind and several more out loud to people who'll listen makes me rather want to avoid doing it again.

But telling the story isn't really the point of this post. It's more about why I can't figure out to what extent we need to worry about how our actions effect others. Sam is kind of the epitome of not caring what people think of you. He is kind of a duck, and everyone's opinion of all the little things he does-- annoying, bold, whatever-- just roll right off his back like water.

Apparently I'm more like a sponge. I remember everything anyone has every said to me about things I've done that may have bothered people or been insensitive, or whatever.

Like when I was 15 and my Young Women's teacher was having a baby shower and I asked (maybe not in the best tone), "do we have to go?" I was really asking because I had a band thing that day and I was afraid of overlap, but it sounded rude, and I could tell she was offended. Or like the time on a school field trip when I was bored out of my skull and asked the people in the car with me kind of a personal question, unaware that it was kind of a sensitive issue for someone in the car with me.

So maybe the issue here is that I'm often just clueless and stupid. Or maybe my behavior has always been just mild enough that I've never needed to be reprimanded, and I therefore think I can get away with having a bit of an attitude, or acting on any number of the other quirks I have. Unfortunately...people don't know me as well as I think they do, because I'm typically kind of a private person, unless we're very close already, so acting fully myself around some people is apparently a bad idea.

But on top of that, misunderstandings happen. And sometimes people are crazy and totally blow things out of proportion. Just because I have to be told twice doesn't mean I'm going to take criticism personally and get revenge. What??

Ok, I'm starting to bore myself, so I'll be plain. Here's the problem I'm trying to sort out (there are a few parts): how do we trust the people around us to gently point out when we've done something to offend them so we can reverse the damage before it's two years after the fact and the kept grudge has festered and grown and is now keeping you from going to certain graduate schools or participating in certain really awesome work experience opportunities? And when those people are people we admire, how do we know they won't betray us or at least not stand up for us when faced with critical (and potentially crazy or overly angry) people? And most importantly, how can we repair the damage if we were stupid or careless or more focused on making conversation or making people laugh or whatever else?

People almost never tell me what they think of me. And since no one has ever tried to punch me in the face, I assumed people just liked me. Now I'm starting to feel like that assumption isn't true, and that scares me.

Also, I'm apparently going to have to take up a new/weird hobby because I will either not be going to grad school for a year, or not be going at all. Suggestions?

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Loud: I wanted to take a picture of the downstairs neighbors. Alas. Anyway, tonight we had our awesome friends Mel and Eric over for dinner. We were all loud, but only Eric was photogenic enough. Or maybe I was too lazy for a group picture. Or just embarrassed. Heh.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Red: Ralph was in town tonight and treated Sam and I to delicious dinner at the Mongolian Grill in Springville. Yummy! There was a LOT of red there.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Window: All my pictures seem to be of cats...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

5 PM and Something I Wore

5 PM: the last picture this phone ever took! I got a new phone yesterday, and it's so pretty and...capable! So much more so than my old frustrating beast of a device. Rest in peace, Solstice.

Something I Wore: Sometimes I think my legs look a little ridiculously spindly, especially when I wear big boots and a poofy-ish jacket. Brr... (reflected in the windows of the SWKT)

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Smile

A Smile: One of Sam's favorite shirts. If you see someone wearing this beaver, you know they're from Texas. No one else in their right mind would (ha!).

OH! Also, I co-found my first "cool" thing at site today: a token "Good for one 12 1/2 cent cigar"

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Bedside: Here we are, on a nice Sunday evening, trying (and currently failing) to study for my exam

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Time

Adrien twisted my leg into participating in the March photo-a-day thing too. So, here we go!

Up: Brozhy, up on top of one of the bookcases. Pretty self-explanatory.
Fruit: from this week's Bountiful Basket. SOOO MUCH FRUIT. This doesn't even show the 6 bruised bananas we got for free to make banana bread with. Also, Sam was like "WHOA I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THESE ARE!" (referring to the mangoes). I told him he can remember that they're mangoes because they look like the Partridge Family. He was confused. Whatever. Somewhere out there is a picture of mangoes that I gave faces and put on a tour bus. I can't find it.
My Neighborhood: Those two dumb white vans are ALWAYS parked backwards, no matter which side of the street they're on. An old roommate got ticketed for doing that in Provo once. Why are these people not in jail??? It drives me up the freaking WALL!!!!

Anyway. Look forward to another month of super interesting photos from my life.

UPDATE: Huzzah! The mangoes! Thanks Mom :)