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Friday, December 9, 2011

I am not sure I like what you think I like...

Blind dates can be fun, but I think my favorite part is seeing who your friends think you will hit it off with. I recently attended my friend Katelyn's young single adult "Holidate" activity, which was rather like a progressive date - one date during the salad, one during the main course, etc. For the first round, since Katelyn was running the whole activity, she hand-picked my first date. She told me she thought he was my type, which piqued my curiosity - what exactly does she see as my type? Well, the guy she set me up with was, as far as I could tell, definitely not my type. I mean, he seemed fun and interesting, but not like any of the other guys she's seen me take an interest in. Not that I didn't enjoy myself - I had a great time and enjoyed meeting him. But I found it surprising that she would pick him for me. It's interesting what people think you like or what will fit you, especially when they know you really well. Either way, I enjoy meeting new people regardless of their fit or appeal to me.

NOTE: I just found out from Katelyn that the boy I had my first round date with was actually NOT the guy she picked for me ha ha ha. So this post now has less relevance.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life Update

Wow, so it's been a while since I blogged. At least on this blog. I have another blog where I've been writing - that one is more focused on actual writing than the journaling I do on this blog. I should just pick one blog and stick to it...but that won't happen. I also have a movie blog I'm working on. That one gets even less attention than this one. But here is my resolution to blog more. On all my blogs.

Anyway...I guess it's time for my life update! Woohoo!

Well, work is going well. I love the people I work with. We've begun decorating our office area for Christmas, including a fake fireplace in our little editing room and paper stockings hung on the wall. It's been really fun. I just finished up a batch of videos about education in Kansas City, Missouri. Now I'm doing odd-jobs around the office.

My Papa (grandpa on the Poelman side) passed away the Saturday before Thanksgiving. What a great man. And he has left a fantastic legacy. All of my brothers came to Salt Lake for the funeral and were able to stay through thanksgiving. That was one of the many blessings that has come because of Papa. I'm so glad to be numbered among his grandchildren.

The Muppets came out and I saw it twice in 24 hours. It was amazing. Just what I needed. I made my own Muppet - his name is Nelson.

In my ward I'm still the FHE co-chair and that's going well. We've done some fun activities and service projects. Its a little more work than in other singles wards I think, because we don't have actual FHE groups. We do ward FHE every week. It can get a little tiresome at times, but what calling doesn't? I'm happy to be involved in the ward, and hopefully I help make it fun.

I am in the process of applying to grad schools. Not sure if I'm actually going next year (wasn't planning on liking my job so much) but I'm applying regardless so I have that choice. I h e applied to USC and NYU film studies programs so far and I have like five other places I am interested in applying to. I'm just hoping one of them will feel right.

But life is overall great! I am very happy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


So I just watched this video. My cousin and I were in downtown Salt Lake last night and saw people in their underwear but didn't know what was going on. I have several problems with this stunt. Firstly, I don't think things like this actually work. What does having thousands of people running around in their underwear actually do? Sure, it's fun for the people (I guess), which is fine. That's a fine reason to do something. I personally would never want to run around in my underwear in public like that. There has to be more intelligent and fully-clothed fun to be had. But the people with political messages on them? I think they got lost in the crowd of jiggling flesh.

My advice to those complaining about Utah being so uptight: go live in a different place. This city is full of conservative people. Sure, it's becoming less that way - more diversity - but it's still Utah. For those who want to make a political statement: contact your elected representative. That's what they're there for. Or, better yet, grow up and run for office yourself. Maybe some of the underwear clad have plans to do so. Or, as I suspect, maybe they're outwardly upset with the way things are but inwardly too apathetic to actually do something about it. I never thought I'd be the one to say this (having a severe case of Peter Pan syndrome), but just grow up! Some things, like running around in your underwear, are best left in childhood. But hey, at least they're out there doing something about politics, even if it is stupid and ineffective. It's better than people who sit at home and do nothing....I guess. At least they got a news story.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Today my dog Luke passed away. He was 11 1/2 years old - the cutest and best Golden Retriever you ever did see. Besides my frogs and a few lizards when I was young, I've never had a pet die. I've never even had a family member or close friend die. Luke was a family member and a friend. My heart hurts. And I have discovered that the way I best deal with things is by writing about them. So here goes.

When I was 10 years old, I decided I wanted a puppy. My parents were reluctant - they wanted to be sure I really wanted one. I did research to find out which breed was the most family friendly and I read Dogs for Dummies from cover to cover. Every day I would go to the classified section of the newspaper and cut out the section advertising Golden Retriever puppies for sale and place it on my daddy's pillow. I did this for what felt like months. We made a jar that was labeled "Puppy Fund" and put it in our kitchen so my older brothers' friends could donate.

One day, two days before my brother Josh's tenth birthday, my dad told us we were going to go get a puppy. We drove out to a nice family's house whose purebred Retrievers had just had a litter. We decided we wanted a boy, so they brought out three adorable Golden puppies. They crawled all over me, Josh, and my parents, but one caught my eye - the blondest of the bunch. I chose him. On the way home Josh and I took turns holding our new puppy. He fell asleep in our arms, and then burrowed his nose up my sleeve. We named him Luke (Josh wanted the name because of Redwall, I wanted it because of Star Wars, and my mom liked it because of the bible). He was the most adorable thing in the world. He slept in his kennel in my room for a week until we had his dog run in our back yard finished (my brother Mike and other relatives were allergic to dogs, so Luke had to live outside).

We took him everywhere with us - my mom even let us bring him to the high school where she worked one summer day. We let him run around the library and the halls of the counseling center. We took him camping and as he grew we took him rollerblading around the neighborhood. He was a strong dog. He would pull my brother Danny on rollerblades up the hill to Rosslyn Heights elementary school. Our family would go on long walks with him, some rollerblading and some biking. My dad would run with him, but Luke wasn't a very good jogger. He would sprint for the first 20 minutes and then want to go home. We would take him to play in the stream at Sugar House park. When he saw other dogs there he would just ignore them. I'm pretty sure he thought he was a human. He only barked when he wanted our attention.

I trained him to sit so well that whenever he wanted anything he would sit and try so hard to behave himself. One time he went camping with us and he followed Josh and I into a cave that he was then too scared to climb out of. I had to carry him up the steep rock. He would sit out by the road leading into our campsite and stand guard, his ears perking up whenever another car passed. He liked to steal things and put them in a pile off our campsite. He stole a few whole carrots, a glove, and almost got away with a pan before we caught him. Luke was one of my best friends growing up. I would go out and sit with him in my dog run when I was sick or when I was sad. I would put my arms around his neck and cry into his wavy golden fur.

When my parents moved out to Saratoga Springs they left him at a kennel/dog hotel, for a week or so until they had everything set up for him. I went with them to pick him up. He looked so happy to see me and ignored my dad - I think he was angry at being left there with those strange people. It helped to have Luke with me at the new house - made it feel more like home. It took some getting used to, but I think Luke really liked the new area. My dad took him on walks down to Utah Lake and let him run free. He got to explore and go where he liked. He acted like a puppy up until the very last.

I wasn't prepared for him dying. I thought he had at least a year left. At least Josh got to see him. Josh got home from his mission and took Luke on one last run before heading back to school. As Josh says, it was a tender mercy. Is it silly to feel so attached to a dog? I'm just glad I've been home to be with him these last few months. It looks like he died in his sleep, which I'm glad for. I hope it was painless.

I miss Luke. I can't help but feel one more element of my childhood slipping away with him. We've had Luke for more than half my life. I adored him. I feel awful that he is gone. He was old. His time had come. But I'm still sad. Heartbroken. And now I think I'll watch All Dogs Go to Heaven, as per my brother Danny's advice.

I love you, you silly old puppy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The things one does when bored

Sometimes when I’m bored I do math. But only practical math.

For example, by my calculations, I make about 25 cents per minute at work. If someone handed me a quarter every minute during my work hours, in one day I would leave with approximately 480 quarters! In a week that would be 2400 quarters. I could play 12,000 nickelcade games with that. Or buy 6000 Lil’ Homies from one of those coin machines in the front of grocery stores. This means I make about half a cent every second. Who knew?

Final Countdown

Josh gets home in less than a week!!!! I can hardly wait. This is going to be the longest week of my life.

You'd think after years of watching the movies and reading the books I would have learned...

Today I learned that I am more and more like Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables every day. I grew up emulating her - a writer/actress with too much imagination for her own good - but I was determined to never make her mistakes. I told myself time and time again that I would never, EVER let my Gilbert Blythe get away. I mean, it always seemed so obvious to me that they were meant for each other. Well…..

This young man liked me, you see. He’s one of my best friends, and he liked me just the way I am. In fact, he adored me. But I had “bigger” plans. I wasn’t interested. He moved on and dated someone else (Gil’s Christine, anyone?). I was surprised by the violence of my feelings of remorse. I became Anne, crying when she realized she may lose Gil without him ever knowing how she really cared. I let him get away.

Sure, things aren’t over with this guy. Perhaps there will be a time in the future when we’re both single and both interested in each other. But there also is a chance there may not be that time. And that’s the part that kills me - what might have been…. But then again, Anne may never have come around to loving Gil if she hadn’t almost lost him first.
I needed that wake-up call. And you can bet I won’t let another one slip away.
Lesson learned.

Saturday, August 6, 2011



Emily done got married!

One of my best buddies, Emily Anderson, got married on Thursday, August 4, 2011!

Emily is the mother of our little group of friends from high school known as the Anderson family. Trying to explain this family is a bit convoluted, but here's a brief description: when most of the kids were at breakfast one morning, Steve Anderson sat at one head of the table and Emily Anderson (no relation to Steve) sat at the other head. The matching last names and the seated positions automatically fostered the image of mother and father - thus the Anderson family was born. Each friend received a nickname that delineated their role in the family - Favorite Child, The Annoying One, Rebellious and Mischievous Child #1, etc. You may be wondering how I fit into all of this - I'm not exactly sure how I lucked out, but I was the only person adopted into the family post-creation. It might have been because my brother Josh was in the family. Whatever the reason, I became the Older Sister Who Is Never Home (I am a year older than all the other kids and went away to college before they did.) I love this group of kids - they are some of the nicest, most caring people I have ever known. It really is like a wonderful family.

Three of the family members, now including Emily, are married. For Emily's wedding we got to be a part of the temple pictures, wedding luncheon, and reception. I love receptions; everyone is generally ecstatic and smiley. However, my least/most favorite part of the reception (I say both least and most favorite because I both love and fear awkwardness) is usually the bouquet toss. Not only is it generally awkward but I really don't enjoy the idea of catching the bouquet and getting the "you're gonna get married!" comments because I haven't dated anyone exclusively in about two years and currently am not dating anyone. Well, we single ladies were all predictably lined up towards the end of the evening for said toss. I made sure I was in the back so the chances of me catching the bouquet were lessened. Regardless of my lack of desire to catch it and my hidden position in the back of the group, the bouquet came soaring towards me. I muttered an "Oh, crap..." before catching it, much to the chagrin of the girls who actually wanted the bouquet. My mom was there, and apparently her face upon my catch was priceless - a shocked, kind of frightened look. The bouquet looked and smelled gorgeous, and in the end I'm quite glad I caught it. If marriage comes my way in the near future....woohoo! If not soon, no biggie. I'm not in any kind of what could even possibly resemble a hurry. I have a lot of personal issues that will play a larger role in when I get married than a wonderful bouquet will. And now I get to keep these beautiful flowers! All in all a win-win situation, right?

Anyway, the rest of the reception was great fun - dancing, singing, laughing, etc. I think it's one of my favorite receptions I've been to. It was simple and beautiful. And I had a lot of friends there. And I came home with awesome flowers!

My grown-up job!

I am now an employee of the School Improvement Network. It's my first real, big, grown-up job! I have a 401K and benefits and everything - I get a SALARY.

I had mixed feelings about taking this job, not because of the job itself but more because it meant I had to grow up even more. This summer really has been the official ending of my childhood, which is both exciting and daunting. I'm pretty sure I could be clinically diagnosed with Peter Pan syndrome.

The job itself is wonderful. I am an Assistant Video Editor. I have a name plate and everything! This basically means that I do everything involved in editing without actually editing. The senior editors get to do the final edits. But I help them get there! I convert footage, compress footage, create basic edit timelines, and laugh with my co-workers. The people I work with are really dedicated and super nice. They have definitely made me feel welcome. For the first two days I felt a bit lost, but I'm starting to get more of a footing now. I am still amazed that I got a job in my field straight out of college. I feel very fortunate.

The School Improvement Network is located in Midvale, UT in a building that used to be a bowling alley. They took all the bowling lane wood and made desks out of it - my desk used to be a bowling lane! Pretty cool. There are three different kinds of water in the break room - yes, it's that high-tech - and pretty good restaurants around. There's a fun company atmosphere and team themes and goals. There's a Hawaiian theme here, which is fun. the company is growing like crazy. I completely believe in what we do, too. I have always felt that media should be used to teach, and here I am helping make videos to help teachers become better teachers! I still work in a cave, like I did at Independent Study, which is actually rather comforting. It feels more like home.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Captain

I saw Captain America again last night. Yes, AGAIN. I absolutely love it. It's not a perfect movie, but it hits most of the right spots. I just adore the Marvel Universe and the Marvel movies especially. I love seeing all the different comic book stories cross paths and interact. I especially love the Avengers. And Captain America has quickly become my favorite of the heroes part of that group. I think the thing I like most about him is where he came from and the person he is. Some heroes have cool powers, some have cool gadgets - Cap just has accentuated human features. That's not to say he isn't super. He most certainly is. But he's good. He was chosen to be a hero because of his goodness and compassion and strength of heart. I think the thing that really sets hims apart is that he was actually chosen for his job. Most superheroes are born with powers or opportunities that lend themselves to superheroity. Their struggle is coming to terms with their responsibilities as heroes. Cap wanted to be a hero - to stand up for the little guy and sock Adolf Hitler in the jaw - and he was given that chance. It kind of gives him a unique position in the superhero world. He's smart and a great leader too.

I think one of the other things I love about him, though, is his lack of skill with women. It's endearing. Most superheroes are pretty suave when it comes to girls - Superman flirts with Lois about the color of her underwear in the first movie, Tony Stark is a notorious womanizer, Thor is extremely chivalrous and uses it to his best advantage. There's nothing wrong with these men's dating habits, of course - I would die to have Superman flirt with me. Captain America, however, gets supremely nervous around girls (I refer to the heroes' movie incarnations - I've not read the comics, though I would like to). For some reason I find that more intriguing than the womanizer. A man with killer good looks and a to-die-for heroic attitude would naturally be flocked by women. I loved seeing his face each time a girl came on to him - it was all new for him, something that he was constantly surprised by. And how baffled he is by women is chuckle worthy. So much fun.

I think Cap takes his place above Iron Man as my favorite Marvel hero. Superman still holds his spot as king of the DC universe. Superman has always been my all-time favorite. We'll see if that continues to hold true. Cap is giving him a run for his money, that's for sure.

Next up? Learn more about all things Marvel, starting with the purchase of this resource: The Marvel Encyclopedia

Friday, July 29, 2011


Watch, please:

I finally learned how to do a lightsaber video - I've wanted to make one since forever. Lucky Mather was kind enough to embarrass himself for me. We filmed right off of Redwood Road near my parents' house. Special effects were done on After Effects, and as you can tell from the video, we had entirely too much fun. Of course, we filmed more than this one scene. It just takes a long time to do lightsabers...someday I will do part 2, but it may be a while from now. Part 1 is the best anyway.

Here's to embracing your inner teenager and making a lightsaber video!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goodbye, dearest Freddie

On Sunday, July 24, 2011, Freddie the Frog was found dead in his water bowl. The cause of death remains unknown, though he was found in a suspiciously tight nook of the bowl, between his decorative rock and the glass. This brings to mind a few causes of death, the most troubling being the potentiality of suicide. It's very possible that Fred was an old frog, ready to move on. I'm not sure exactly what the life expectancy of his species is. However, if it was suicide, I feel awful that Freddie would no longer want to continue his life, especially since I tried to make his earthly stay as comfortable as possible. Perhaps his minuscule brain could no longer take the mundane lifestyle. We shall never know.

Fred is survived by his buddy Ricky the Frog, who has now taken entirely to hiding underneath the decorative rock, as if he is searching for his lost friend. I fear I may find him in a similar condition as Fred any day now. Hold on, Ricky!

Rest in peace, little Freddie. Rest in peace.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I am a Gleek

I discovered Glee this week. My mom and I watched the entire first season on Netflix as I did some video editing. I love it. And I now have a major crush on the Glee advisor, Will Schuester. Predictable, I know, but hey - I am who I am. The music is wonderful, and I find that though the subject matter is at times a little more risque than I normally enjoy, they treat that subject matter in a very moral way. I guess it's a moral look at immorality. I find myself very attached to the characters and I can't wait to see the second season, though I hear from reviews and such that it's not quite as good as the first. We'll see. I am glad to have found a new TV show to follow while I wait for the next seasons of Bones and Doctor Who.

Voldemort is vanquished at last!

I have seen Harry Potter 7 Part 2 three times now, ha ha. And it's only been out for little more than a week. I absolutely love it. I think it's my favorite movie of them all. Normally I'm a little disappointed in how different the movie is from the book, but I haven't read HP7 in a couple of years so it all seemed fresh as I watched it. What a brilliant series of books and movies. Man, I love it. Each time I saw the movie something different made me cry. The first viewing brought tears with the battle - seeing the Professors all defending the castle and then seeing beloved characters dead. That hurt. The second time, I cried after the battle when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were finally free to live normal lives. The prologue did make me tear up this time. The third time I cried during the entire prologue, but for a different reason. As childish as it may seem, I saw the Hogwarts Express and felt the strongest desire to be on that train, heading off to Hogwarts. And then I watched the train leave without me. That was, perhaps, the biggest sting of all. But I still love it. And I love that I love it so much. It's nerdy and childish and completely me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dear Harry,

I met you when I was about 8 years old. We were one of the lucky few that heard about your books before they were a sensation in the US. My brother Josh and I adored them. I could literally feel the magic of your story seeping off the pages of my 1st edition copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I wanted so badly to be a witch and to go away to Hogwarts. It didn't matter that I didn't get a letter of acceptance - I already felt so much a part of your world.

I feel so privileged to be part of the Harry Potter Generation. My life seemed to mirror yours as each new book or movie came out. I was 11 years old (1st year age) when you headed off to Hogwarts in your first movie. I received my AP test scores literally the same day I read about you receiving your OWLS. I stayed up late reading about you - I went at midnight to pick up your books and to see your movies, determined to keep my place at the front of the line of HP fandom where I began. Every late night, every page, every second I have absolutely adored.

And now it is all coming to an end. It seems funny to me that this thing that has united so much of my childhood and adolescence is coming to an end as I move on from college out into the real world. I've watched you grow up, Harry, and I've grown up with you. I can't help but feel sad that my nieces, my nephews, and my own children will never grow up waiting for the next Harry Potter installment. They won't get to feel the excitement of opening one of your books for the first time before anyone else in the perceivable world has read it. They'll already know how your story ends when they begin it. That won't stop me from trying to create the same magic for them, though. Because guess what I've learned? Even though people tell me I need to grow up, get a job, move on, etc, part of me will always be a child. And that child will always be in love with the magical world of Harry Potter.

So here's to you, my old friend. Here's to a wonderful journey - thanks for letting me tag along. Now go kick some Dark Lord booty!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Kitty Nextdoor

Our next door neighbor's cat just had kittens a couple of weeks ago. I'm allergic to cats so I've never thought about having one as a pet or really even wanted one - they make my eyes itch somethin' awful. But, kittens are ADORABLE. And it turns out that having kittens next door is almost like having my own kitten except my eyes don't itch - perfect solution. The neighbors leave their garage partially open so the kittens can get out and play. They've found a hole that leads under their driveway and they crawl around down there all the time. There is one kitten in particular that I am rather attached to, and who, if my feelings are correct, returns the adoration. Here's the story:

One lovely summer morning at 5:00am, my dad and I were walking down to the neighborhood clubhouse to do our P90X when my dad found himself almost stepping on something - a small, black kitten with white paws and a white chest. The kitten was mewing in fear, obviously far away from it's home all the way up the street. It's curiosity had gotten it quite lost. It kept putting itself under our feet and followed us into the clubhouse. I put him (honestly, it could be a girl. But I have always assumed animals are boys until I learn otherwise. Maybe it's having all brothers? I dunno...) I put him back outside, feeling rather sad and hoping he wouldn't wander off and end up road kill somewhere (there's an excessive amount of road kill out here in Saratoga Springs).

For the first 10 minutes of our workout I could hear him mewing outside, but then he seemed to wander off. I became worried until we went outside and there he was, peeking his little face out from under a minivan in the clubhouse parking lot. As we walked home he followed us part of the way, but then he became scared again and hid under a car. My dad kept walking, telling me he would make it home eventually. I didn't feel so sure about that - rumors of the cougars that roam the area were running through my mind. I tried to get the kitten to follow, but had to resort to picking him up. He alternated between freaking out and purring as we walked up the street. He didn't understand why I was taking him with me until we arrived at his house. Then I could see the little wheels in head turning - I'm home! he was thinking. This girl saved me! I put him down on the ground and he sprinted gleefully for the hole to their little burrow. I felt heroic, but I wasn't sure he would remember me.

The next morning, however, there he was, at 5:00am, waiting for me outside his house to say hello! He came up to me and let me pet him and scratch behind his ears. He is there almost every morning now. His siblings have begun coming to meet me too. There are four of them, I believe - at least four that I've seen. But my little buddy is the first to run over to me. Now they like to climb up in the under parts of my truck and hang out. My kitty buddy has definitely been one of the simple yet favorite highlights of the summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I love the 4th of July. Mostly I love it because of the atmosphere of Sugar House, where I grew up. It feels like the 4th in the movie Sandlot. Suburbia, fireworks, barbecue, baseball, summer magic. Out in Saratoga Springs it's not so much that way. So my parents and I headed into Salt Lake for the fireworks at Sugar House and a movie beforehand. We saw Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. It was a mostly enjoyable popcorn movie with incredible special effects. Man, that is an expensive movie. The number of digital artists working on it seemed to outnumber those working on a Pixar film, which is entirely digital. I felt a strange sense of nostalgia sweep through me as I watched Optimus Prime transform into and out of his truck form, like I was a 12 year old boy again (which is funny because I've never actually been a 12 year old boy...). However fun the movie was, here are the problems with it:

1. Leonard Nimoy, as the voice of Septimus Prime, quotes Spock in the movie. Really, people?

2. Optimus Prime was turned into a blood-thirsty, vengeance-seeking dirtbag. They took away the one perfectly redeemable character of the series. After ripping out Megatron's spinal cord in a vicious frenzy, he spouts off some line about wanting peace. Bologna.

3. The romance. I have never like the Transformers love stories, with the exception of bits in the first one because they were funny. I really disliked Megan Fox, and the new girl, though slightly better, still exudes a "I'm really hot but have no brains" quality. She's cute in it though. And man, skinny jeans really work for her. I wish I looked like that in my skinny jeans.

4. The Decepticons. As voiced by one of the characters in the movie, why do the Decepticons get all the good stuff? Though many of them are cool, I had issues with the giant worm one. As I read somewhere, it really is just metal in a blender every time it comes on screen. Over and over, grinding metal. It is sweet when Optimus takes it out though.

So see it, by all means, if you want a straightforward, futurist action movie with lots of flash and bang but no heart. I really did enjoy the time I spent watching it - all the above problems were mostly laughable, except the Optimus Prime thing. I really am upset at Michael Bay and his team for turning Optimus into a jerk. But it was fun, about exactly the movie I thought it would be.


Fireworks were fun! We ran into some old friends and I took some sweet pictures with my gorgeous camera. Man I love my camera. Good stuff. Lucky Mather, the wonderful person that he is, let us park in front of his house, so our exit was rather smooth. It was a very fun day. Happy Birthday, America!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Phase One - She DONE!

Phase One of P90X is officially over! Woot! Four weeks down, eight weeks to go. I feel like I'm in better shape, but my physicality really hasn't changed that much. My dad, on the other hand - he looks great! Not that he didn't before. Now his love handles are almost gone. He's doing great at all the workouts, working so hard and completely exhausting himself. I am not quite as intense. I do what I can and that's good enough for me. Still, it's been hard. I've gotten into a horrible sleeping schedule. My dad has to work out at 5:00am in order to get to work on time and I, being the young, work-free person that I am, stay up until midnight most nights. So I now sleep in two shifts. Midnight to 4:50am, then 6:30-9:30am. It's not a good idea. Don't do it. My mom says it takes about 6 weeks for an exercise routine to give you an energy kickback. Until then, you're pretty much just exhausted. I can't wait for that to happen. It's probably just a mental thing. Most things are. Something tells me it's going to be hard to work out at 5:00am no matter what. But hey, I'm doing it! My sexy beach body is on its way, perhaps slower than it should be, but it's coming.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Updated Life Plans

Okay. Here's the plan:

I am going to spend the rest of the summer doing freelance video and photography work. I will go to India for a few weeks with a humanitarian group (hopefully - this one's still in the works). I will search out and apply for various masters programs all over the country and perhaps even in England (squeee!) My brother Josh with come home from his mission and we will have many mucho funs. In the fall I will work as a substitute teacher in the Salt Lake City School District, maybe Alpine School District, and see how that feels. I will be accepted to all the masters programs I apply to - naturally - and then I will pick which one I would like to attend. They will give me many scholarships. If India doesn't work out this summer, or if I like it enough to go back, I will find my way there next summer. I will move to wherever I decide to go to school, and then I will begin my masters degree. I will finish, then get a job either in teaching or in film production. I will write screenplays in my spare time. I will win Academy Awards. I will move to India for a year to study films. I will meet Shahrukh Khan. I will find a good Mormon man, preferably wealthy, and marry him. Nationality isn't important, though currently British and Indian and American men are what interests me - ideal combination being a British Indian who lives in America. PERFECT. We will have 5 children - 3 boys, 2 girls. I will continue writing screenplays while my kids are at school. We will travel, as a family, all over the world. We will end world hunger. Wherever we live, we will visit family in Utah often. Who knows, maybe we'll end up in Utah. My husband and I will live to be 100 years old, and then we will pass peacefully on to meet God, having lived according to God's will to the best of our ability.

So....somewhere after next summer many of these plans turned into wishes...but hey, it's good to dream right? There it is. My life plan. Next time someone asks me what I'm going to do now, I'll just zip them a link to this post. Simple. Sound good? Good.


Click on the link above. Watch the trailer. You should have seen my reaction. I started screaming and weeping tears of pure joy. I literally can't wait for this movie. Thank heavens they're back :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sexiness Approaches

For my dad's birthday we bought him P90X. A couple of my brothers have been using it and really like it, and my dad mentioned he might want to try it. So we got it. He opened it and literally groaned...we had tried our first P90X routine that morning with my brother Scott and my papa was not feeling to peppy towards it. Then I told him it came with a workout buddy - me. That's when he got excited. Though I had previously been less than thrilled about the commitment I was about to make, I found that as my dad became excited I did too.

Today was Day 3 of our 90 day trek to sexy. We're doing the lean routine (not the classic one - we wanna shed the fattiness. My body fat % is definitely much higher than I would like it to be). So far so good! I used to sneer at people who did P90X, thinking they were fitness nuts and didn't realize that they were putting their body through unnecessary pain. Don't get me wrong - I think working out is great. It's good for you. But I've never liked it. I am humbled by my sudden fondness for P90X. The workouts are engaging and really do work your body. I never thought I'd say it, but working out is fun. This may change. I may get sick of the workouts, though they're so various that I think it will take a while. And maybe I'll hit an exhaustion point where I just can't do any more. We'll see. But I'm determined to push through, if not for me then for my daddy. Having a workout buddy makes all the difference. So here's to 87 more days of 5:00am workouts. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Hunger Games

I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy last night. Let me start off with this: what a fantastically engrossing story. Wow. I definitely got sucked into that one. I had dreams about it the night after beginning the first book. I started my dad on them too and he quickly passed me up and read them all before me.

I had been told by several people that the third book wasn't very good. Some told me to not even bother reading it - ha ha, yeah right. Like I'm not going to finish a series that is that engrossing. I loved the first two. I liked the third. Yes, the third one built up and up and up and you thought there was going to be this huge finale, then there wasn't one. Not a dramatic, flashy one at least. I like the way it ended, for the most part. It pulled a bit of an Ender's Game ending on us, turning the tables until none of us knew which way was right anymore. I think that's exactly what the author wanted us to feel. It worked. It worked well. It left me wanting more, not in a disappointed way but more like I was wishing there was another book.

Everything in the love triangle ended the way it should - that's all I'm going to say about that. I loved the characters overall. They were each distinct and strong. Katniss was intriguing as a character and narrator.

I guess the biggest reason I liked the series was that it seems like something I would write. I love writing in 1st person, inhabiting a character's mind and exploring their world. The Hunger Games let me do that. I can only hope that something I write could be as successful as this series is.

I can't wait for the movies, though I'm curious how they are going to make them not R-rated. They can't give them that kind of a rating because their primary audience is teens and pre-teens. But I'm super excited to see the stories come to life. If done right, I can see the movies being even better than the books.

My brother Mike, the lawyer/businessman...and airplanes

This past weekend my mom and I flew out to Washington D.C. to watch my brother, Mike, graduate from American University! He got a JDMBA. Way to go Mikey! It was a blast to hang out with him, Alexis, and Ryder for a few days. Entirely too short, but wonderful.

We visited the Jefferson memorial, which I hadn't seen before. It's now one of my favorites. A very inspiring fellow. And we went paddleboating on the Potomic! We bought FBI t-shirts (something I've always wanted - it seems only right to get it in D.C.) and did a lot of playing with Ryder. We rolled down the makeshift slide in their living room, constructed using the inflatable mattress my mom was sleeping on. And we shot hoops too - Ryder at two and a half years old is already a better basketball player than I am, no joke. That kid's got skills.

This trip also included some of the most interesting airplane experiences I've ever had. On our flight from Denver to D.C. I sat next to a young man about my age. His name was Paul, and he had never met a Mormon before. I found it rather fun to explain my beliefs and way of life to him. He was a really neat guy - we talked the entire 4 hours of the flight! It was great. He's an inspiring entrepreneur, already running his own business and meeting with goverment officials. Wow. And super friendly. I definitely wouldn't mind being as driven and successful as he is. I'm pretty sure he's the first person I've ever really had to explain my Mormon-ism to as well, growing up in Utah and all where we're very common. I definitely enjoyed that experience.

On the way home was an infinitely less enjoyable experience. I've been known to get car sick, but it's been years since I've actually vomited. Well, the airplane was experiencing a lot of turbulence, and I was in the back of the plane. Four hours of being jiggled around like so much jello left my stomach less than happy with me. As we went in to land I started sweating and getting dizzy. I thought to myself, I should get one of those barf bags just in case. As luck would have it, no one on my row had one. That's when I passed out. The next thing I remember I was doubled over in my seat feeling significantly better. Then I heard my mom freaking out from her seat on a different row: "Jenny! Jenny! Are you okay?" And I saw the small yet very disgusting pile of vomit that made it's way onto my copy of Mockingjay, my pants, a bit of my shoe, and my backpack on the floor. Welp, there's a first time for everything. I can check "vomiting on a plane" off the list things I've never done before and will, hopefully, never do again. In Denver I loaded up on Dramamine and then spent the next flight, the drive home, and the next 12 hours in and out of consciousness. I still got slightly hot and dizzy when the second plane landed too. Sheesh. Oh well. The weekend was entirely worth it.


Well, I heard from BYU about the Theatre and Media Arts Masters program, and....

I didn't get in.

I kinda had a feeling I wouldn't, deep down inside, simply because I didn't quite fit the requirements for one of the tracks and my interest didn't quite fit the other track. Oh well. It's good, in the end. I was a little bummed, but now I am starting to see all the great things I can do in the next year while I apply to other programs. I just need a job. Honestly, one of the biggest reasons I was bummed about not getting in was that I would have to give up my job at Independent Study. I loved that job. We had a going away party last week for all of use who are graduating and leaving - it was sad...I miss them already.

So now I come to work with my mom every day, working on a video project for incoming freshman and helping my mom with CRT testing. I'm being paid for these jobs, probably not as much as I should be. But it's actually very fun - I love the high school atmosphere. The Student Body Officers for next year are a great group of kids. I could definitely see myself working in a place like this down the road.

I just don't like not knowing where I'm going. I will, soon enough, but not immediately. And patience is a virtue I have always struggled keeping a firm grasp on. God's just giving more of a chance to develop that virtue, right? Right. I'm am open for suggestions on what i should do for the next year, so please feel free.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Begins

And now the famous question: what now? What will Jennifer Anne Hardy do next? Well, I began my summer with a well-deserved awesome California road trip with fellow graduates Stephanie Abraham, Cori Hoffman, Megan Knell, and Katelyn Dot Scott - my forever roommates. And I fully documented it! It will soon be video that I will add to this post. It was EPIC fun.

And here's a list of the things I have done since:

I bid farewell to my Independent Study co-workers, hopefully only temporarily. I got booted because I graduated, and since I have not officially been accepted into the BYU grad program I can't continue working there. Sadness. I miss those silly, wonderful people.

I have been spending most of my daytime hours at my high school, Highland High, in Salt Lake. Every year since I graduated from there I have made a video introducing the school to freshman. Last week I started working on the video for this year, and I have been helping my mom (who works at Highland) with CRT testing (which she is in charge of).

I gave in and finally bought The Sims 3. Yup. I started this addiction way back when I was like 10 or 11 or something and I have successfully bought the first Sims and all its expansions, The Sims 2 and all it's expansions, and now The Sims 3. Don't worry, I only bought it with the personal determination of not becoming a social hermit. Real people are still more important to me than simulated people, though I do find myself becoming rather attached to my Sim girl who wants to be an International Super Spy and has since childhood, and the mother who paints and writes on the side, and the child music prodigy. Fun stuff!

Speaking of video games, I'm also working on beating Chrono Trigger on my DS. I love this game so much, it's not even funny. I could play it over and over (and I have). I could beat it now, but I'm determined to do all the side quests too. NERD ALERT.

I have also delved deeper into the world of Bollywood. Oh, how I love it! I have literally considered moving to India to make/study films, not just a glancing thought but an actual search for schools and jobs. Yes, it's mostly just a fun idea. But lately I've decided that if I'm going to study film history I'm going to be the world's foremost expert on the musical subgenre, meaning I need to get to know Bollywood even better. So hey, I'm working on my career when I watch them! So far my favorites include Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Om Shanti Om, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham, Kal ho Naa Ho, Jab We Met, Dil Bole Hadippa, My Name is Khan, and Chak De! India. I've started by watching Shahrukh Khan and am slowly working my way through his filmography. After him, I'll probably move on to Kajol. She's my favorite Indian actress. Then Rani Mukherji. Then Kareena Kapoor. I've already dabbled a bit in Shahid Kapoor. Hrithik Roshan will find his way in there too. There's just too much to discover! Every summer I find a movie or film movement to latch onto - last summer it was the 80s and Crossing Delancey. This summer? BOLLYWOOD!

Speaking of movies, the summer movie season has begun! Yay! My dad and I saw Thor, which I thoroughly enjoyed - just a good summer action hero movie. I love superheroes. I'm so glad Marvel is making all the Avenger movies. I love watching them intertwine and cross into each others stories. The Marvel Universe rocks.

Speaking of the Marvel Universe, I gave blood for the first time last week! I had my Marvel bag with me and everyone liked it. It wasn't a scary experience at all. And apparently I have really fast blood - I filled the bag in record time! It was definitely a good experience and I will go back as soon as I can.

Speaking of superheroes, I have been watching the new season of Doctor Who as well! I love that show more than I can say. The new season started off with a literal bang, and I am eager to see how it all turns out. Such an intriguing show. I LOVE IT.

I have also read the first two books of the Hunger Games series and am working my way through the third. I will save my review of the books until I have finished, and then I will discuss my thoughts. They are extremely addicting - I really do like them so far, but I have heard the third one isn't up to par or something, so we'll see. I love reading books for fun! NO TEXTBOOKS! Next on my list of books to read is Tale of Two Cities.

I haven't been able to play with my friends as much as I would have liked - they all live about 30-40 minutes away from me, so hanging out is a bit more of a challenge than it used to be. But, we have had a Bollywood party and birthday celebrations and other such fun things. Hopefully, there will be many more fun things with friends in the near and distant future. Katelyn and I plan on going to each other's Young Single Adult activities. Oh, and Lucky Mather gets home from his mission in the next few weeks - YAYAYAY! I'm excited to see him.

Pretty fun summer so far, huh? :)

Monday, May 2, 2011


Welp, I finally did it—I got a B!!!! Yeehaw! (I’m trying to be excited about it, though I am truly kind of bummed). Econ 110 at BYU? A joke. Really, an introductory course should never be that difficult. It wasn’t even that material that was hard. It was the tests. Our teacher and TAs never prepared us adequately. But, the good news is that it’s OVER! It’s done, it’s finished—the end, finito! And that’s the best part. And I'm going to have a mediocrity party where we celebrate our shortcomings. Because we came here to earth to learn and to live and to break our hearts - to feel and to experience everything we can.

So there it is, folks—Jennifer Anne Hardy is, in fact, human.


Why don’t they call any of the actual ceremonies ‘graduation’? I mean, there’s commencement, then convocation, but no straight-forward graduation. It’s probably an ancient tradition like those robes and hats we wear for reasons unknown to most of the graduating population. Commencement was nice. It was long, and the speakers, excluding Elder Scott, were rather dry, but it was fun. Sitting there next to some of my best friends from the past 4 years in my cap and gown, the tassel swinging in my face, was very fulfilling.
By that point I had just dropped off my research paper—the last homework of my undergraduate career. I sat there, homework free and sleep deprived, and just smiled. Convocation was even better. More of my friends from the film program were walking than I knew, and my speech went really well. In fact, I loved giving my speech. It wasn’t boring or super serious, but it was meaningful and I put a bit of me in it. In fact, I think I’ll just post it here:

The Frog is Stayin’

I am honored to be speaking to you this morning. My name is Jenny Hardy, and I am graduating in Media Arts Studies. I would like you to think back to when you submitted your application to BYU. Why did you do it? Why did you want to go to college in the first place? Why did you pick this school over all the others to apply to and attend? Maybe BYU blue runs through the veins of your family, like it does in mine. Maybe you’ve never wanted to go anywhere else. Maybe you came for the unique spiritual atmosphere, to gain an education that is both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging. Or maybe it just felt right for you to be here.
Now I want you to think back to when you applied for your major—why did you do it? Why did you choose to be a dancer, a filmmaker, a singer, a songwriter, an actor? You could have done anything—why this?
I had many reasons for coming to BYU. It was far enough from my home in Salt Lake to be “away” without actually being away. My three older brothers graduated from BYU. I loved the idea of taking religion classes. And, there was no way I was ever going to the University of Utah.
I chose to study film because as a small child I became thoroughly smitten with movies and their power to express ideas. I was the kind of kid who had Fred Astaire for an imaginary friend. I watched movies, I made movies, I devoured movies. The film bug had bitten me and I had mighty dreams. I wanted to change the world. I wanted to help people feel joy and excitement. I wanted to change the way people look at movies, to help them see that they are more than flickering images or entertainment alone. Movies are lives that we are allowed to step into, experience, and then leave feeling better off than we were before. So, I packed my bags and with my cheap camcorder in hand I set off to make my mark.
But as I started working my way through, semester after semester, I found it wasn’t all giggles and roses. It was hard work. I found my motives questioned from every possible angle and I did not have the same confidence that I had when I was 10 years old and writing the next Academy Award winning screenplay. I inadvertently put that 10-year-old in a box somewhere, out of sight and earshot, and struggled through.
A great philosopher once found himself in the same situation. His name was Kermit the Frog. In The Muppets Take Manhattan, Kermit and his friends move to New York City to make it big on Broadway, but things don’t go as planned. Every door is slammed in their faces, and, one by one, Kermit’s friends leave. They forget the dream. And now I would like you to watch Kermit’s reaction to his troubling circumstances. (Then I showed a movie clip where Kermit says the following:

"Look at all those people out there. Lots of people. But my friends... my friends are all gone. Well, I'm gonna get 'em back. I'm gonna get 'em back! 'Cause the show's not dead as long as I believe in it. And I'm gonna sell that show. And we're all gonna be on Broadway. You hear me, New York? We're gonna be on Broadway! Because, because I'm not giving up! I'm still here and I'm stayin'! You hear that, New York? I'm stayin' here. The frog is stayin'!"

“The frog is stayin’.” This poster from the Foundation for a Better Life hangs on my wall. Is it silly to be inspired by a frog? I don’t think so. I mean, look at him!
After all the challenges BYU brought me, I rediscovered myself. I found that, in addition to actual filmmaking, I loved mostly discussing film, writing about film, and learning how film works and what it teaches us about life and ourselves as people. I am now going on to graduate school to continue my study of film, and that 10-year-old self I put in the box all those years ago—the one with the dreams of being a screenwriter and changing the world—is coming with me.
And now, more inspiring words from Kermit: “Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name. Is this the sweet sound that calls to young sailors? The voice might be one and the same. I've heard it too many times to ignore it. It's something that I'm supposed to be. Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers, and me.”
I look at Kermit and I see us, each of us with many things we want to achieve in our lives. We entered BYU to learn, but I would like to suggest that what we came here to learn was not limited to our specific major, our chosen emphasis, or our eventual career, but something much more universal and eternal. We came here to learn how to keep going when it gets rough and to trust in God that it will all work out. Sometimes, all we can do is look back to the beginning of whatever road we are on and hold on to why we took that road in the first place.
Life after graduation holds new and bigger challenges, as I’m sure you and your parents, friends, and family here today already know. We can give up and shrink away, or we can be the frog that stays.

It was really fun, and I received a lot of compliments about it. My film friends seemed to really like it. Afterwards I got to hang out with my family—so many people came: my grandparents, aunt Jorji, cousins, parents, and brother Scott and his family. Props go out especially to Scott and family for dragging their children out of bed at the crack of dawn to come to my ill-timed 8:00am convocation. Yikes. I had hard time getting there that early. I can’t imagine bringing 3 small children along too. And Mr. Stephen Anderson also gets massive props - besides my parents, he was the only person to make it to both my commencement and convocation. Yay Steve!

After all the convocating and commencing was done we went to the Spaghetti Factory, my favorite, and had a grand old time. I felt supremely celebrated and loved—thank you to all who have supported me throughout the years and held me up when it’s been hard.

I made it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

College? SHE DONE!

That's right. You're reading the blog of a girl who has just graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Film. WORD, G-MAN! It's done! I can't believe it's been four years. It feels like I just barely moved out of the dorms. Wow. This week was one of the longest of my life. I have never been less motivated and more bugged that I'm not motivated. I literally had to set a timer for myself in order to focus - do homework for 50 minutes, and then you can watch a YouTube video. God is merciful and wonderful and I'm sure was sending down blessings of long-term memory recall for me. The biggest hurdle was the Econ 110 final. I was so freaked out about that exam. I was sure I would fail it. But I arrived at the test and got an 84% - not too shabby for an Econ test! The average for past tests is in the high 60s-low 70s, so I did great! Woot! I don't know if, with the curve, it will be enough for an A, but I am happy with my efforts and life is moving on. Special thanks to my mummy for giving three pep talks a day in order to help me get through and Shahrukh Khan who made studying bearable. Blessed Bollywood.

So, at 1:30 AM on Thursday, April 21, 2011, after I finished my last paper, Katelyn and I celebrated finishing finals (she's been done for a week) and did something really awesomely stupid. I admit fully that it was my idea. And we caught it on film! I'll be vague to protect both my and Katelyn's reputations, but just know that it involved fire and an Econ textbook...yeah... Moments like that come along once in a lifetime! We may not have any common sense, but we do have college degrees! All I can say is "Look out world! Here we come!" The world doesn't know what's about to hit them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Game Show Hilarity

YouTube - KBC 3 - Hilarious Contestant wid Shahrukh Khan (+subtitles!):

Ha ha ha ha oh my goodness. Poor guy. He definitely phoned the wrong friend.

Hey, if SRK hosted this show in America I would definitely watch (no offense, Regis or whoever hosts it now).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Summer Plans

I already know how my summer is going to be. It looks like this:

Yup :D

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The End is Nigh

My college days are slowly coming to an end. It's so strange to think I'm done. Of course I'm not quite done. A Masters and possible PhD loom somewhere vaguely ahead, the masters less vague but still up in the air. I only applied to BYU's film studies program. There was no time for other applications, plus I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. I'm still not sure. But I get excited about the prospect of watching and writing movies, sometimes I think about directing. That's something. I feel odd thinking about so-called grown up things like full-time jobs, careers, moving somewhere other than provo for a while. I'll be honest - I'm scared. I'm scared to move places alone. I'm scared that I won't be able to work somewhere I love. I'm scared that I'm doing the wrong things.

Even though I'm feeling this way, I've also never felt so trunky in my life. I'm sitting in my Econ class right now. I swear he's not talking about anything that will be on the test. So I'm blogging! I'm paying attention, really I am. But i have finally realized, after four years of busting my booty for straight A's, that grades are secondary to knowledge. Yes, grades can reflect your knowledge and allow you to obtain more in the form of scholarships and acceptances to programs (and, despite what everyone tells you, a GPA makes a BIG impression on a resume. I'm pretty sure I can attribute most if not all of my being hired at different workplaces to the fact that I have a 4.0 - everyone who says they don't matter doesn't have one), which is why good marks have always been important to me, but it's not a measure of who I am as a person - there! I finally said it. Whether or not I believe it is still in the works, but at least if Econ kicks my booty this semester I can celebrate that I'm human.

It's still important to me to get good grades. I'm kind of upset that I may not finish my college career with a 4.0 (how snobby is that?!) I've worked hard for strait A's and who knows, maybe I'll still get it. But in the end, I'll have a degree and that's the truly important thing. I put so much pressure on myself. It doesn't help that my advanced writing teacher saw my resume and now refers to me as his 4.0 student when we talk. He expects it from me now. Why do I care what he thinks? Well, his expectations only reaffirm my own. I respect him and I want him to respect me. It's the same with all of my teachers - doing less than my best would disappoint them and me. I like being the one who gets all A's. It's probably a pride thing. In fact, I'm sure it is. It would definitely hurt my pride to not finish with a 4.0, but hey, like I said before - grades don't make me a better person! And perhaps dying academically in Econ is just a little nudge from God to help me be more humble.

In summary: I know I'm good at school. But there's so much more in life that I'm not good at, and most if not all of those things trump school in a heartbeat. In a few weeks I'll know what my final GPA will be. Though I wish they would be all A's, in the end (like my mummy has been telling me since kindergarten) life will go on, and it will rock.

COLLEGE? She DONE! Almost... :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why didn't anyone tell me?!?

I am so grateful I'm in the musicals genre film class. If you know me, you know I love musicals. However, my personal education in this genre was lacking in two areas--Elvis Presley and Bollywood. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THEY WERE AMAZING?!?

We'll start with Elvis. In class we watched Change of Habit with Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore. It is an AWFUL movie. The acting (with the exception of Mary, who is always charming) is terrible. Elvis is so bad, and yet....I find myself loving him. Maybe it's because he's so attractive. I had never thought so before, but seeing a movie with him finally made me believe it. Attractive he is. I don't know what it is about him--maybe his complete lack of acting skills made him endearing in some way. There's a charm about him, something that I can't quite place. But he just makes me want to watch more of him. And, admittedly love him while I laugh at him. The end of the movie was just terrible. No resolution. At all. Disappointing. And, by the way, it's NOT a musical. Yes, Elvis sings in it, but it's not a musical.

Next, we have Bollywood. Holy cow, I found a new passion! I can't get enough!!! We watched Om Shanti Om in class tonight and let me tell you, I could not stop smiling during and after the movie. The filmmakers are completely aware of what they are doing, and they make the most of it. I want to live in India now. Add this movie to my top 20 all-time favorite movies list--no joke. They just do whatever they want, and they do it marvelously and beautifully. What a fun style! And I may just have a celebrity crush on hero Shahrukh Khan now. I think it's his hair. And his dancing. And his goonish charm. Why didn't anyone sit me down and make me watch these movies before?! Life will never be the same.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Graduation Announcement

Here is my homemade graduation announcement!

My dad took the picture with my Nikon d7000. I photoshopped the image and created the announcement. It was actually really fun and fulfilling to be a graphic designer for a bit :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Summer Plans

I applied for a job as an instructor at a youth technology camp called iD tech camps. It looked like an awesome organization with goals and attitudes I believe in. I put on my application that I was willing to travel anywhere. A friendly woman called me from back east and interviewed me for a position as a digital video/digital photography instructor at a camp in Poughkeepsie at Vassar College. I wasn't sure I wanted the job--it would be far away in a new place where I don't know anyone, plus stressful and time consuming. But I want to eventually be a teacher, possibly at a high school, so this looked like a great opportunity. I found out my brother Mike, sister in-law Lex, nephew Ryder, and their new baby would be in New York too. I would love to hang out in NYC with my big bro. I looked up pictures of Poughkeepsie online and began developing kind of a romance towards it. I started falling in love with the idea of it and the idea that I could work on my photography and play with kids all summer.

Well, I found out on Tuesday that I got the job. I was thrilled, but really nervous at the same time. I still wasn't sure if I was going to go, so I did what any self-respecting slightly obsessive compulsive would do and made a pros and cons list. Honestly, the pros far outweighed the cons. It seemed like the perfect answer to everything I would like to accomplish this summer: great experience, outside of Utah, good pay, and fun. I studied it out, and I decided to do it, but not before I prayed about it.

Now, I've always believed in personal revelation. As a Mormon, I believe that God does speak to individuals through the Holy Ghost. I've prayed about other things in my life--what college I should go to, applying to the film major at BYU, applying to London study abroad, etc. I generally pray about everything, and I feel really good about the decisions I have made up to this point. Everything in my life has worked out splendidly. But as I prayed about this tech camp job, I received a distinct impression that I should not accept the job. I have never had the "no" from the Spirit before, at least not in something like this. I was confused. I had finally convinced myself to go and to be excited about it--I really wanted this job! I tried to rationalize the feeling away, thinking it was just nerves. But I could not get the "don't go" out of my head.

I don't know why this happened. I don't know why as soon as I decide that it is the right thing to do this summer the Lord tells me it's wrong. I don't know why it's wrong, and initially that really bothered me. I am a rational person. I enjoy facts and answers and reasons. There have always been some things that I can't explain that I have taken on faith, like how the Atonement actually works and where dinosaurs fit into everything. But never anything this immediately personal. The only thing I know is that I don't want to risk ignoring the Spirit and regretting it. It's worth losing the experience of living in New York, no matter how badly I want it. There is some reason why I am not supposed to go, some other grand adventure I am supposed to pursue. I don't know what it is, but the Lord does. And if there's one thing I've learned this year, it's to trust the Lord.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

J-HARD dates!

So, last semester was a bit of a dry spell dating wise...but this semester has been full of dating! I'm a dating machine! Okay, compared to some people I am not a dating machine. But compared to the Jenny of last semester? Definitely. I think I've been on some sort of a date almost every week! Record breaking. Take this moment to do a victory dance to a Lady Gaga song.................................................Oh yeah, baby! Anyway, dating is fun. Most of the time. I went on a rather interesting date last week that I'm just itching to write about.

I met the guy speed dating. I didn't even want to go speed dating in the first place, but my roommate Katelyn insisted we be brave and, as the great goddess Nike would say, just do it. So we did it. We wrote our names and phone numbers on a big poster in the corner of the room, with our corresponding name tag numbers and sat down. And it was super fun! I mean, I can hardly remember most of the guys I talked to...there was definitely a really attractive boy from London...but it was an experience worth having. Towards the end of the speed dating I met this guy that I thought was rather attractive, friendly, and from Holladay-- right by where I grew up! The people running the event had given us a little sheet with ice breaker questions on it. One of them was, of course, will you marry me? Well this particular guy asked me that question. With a smirk of course--he wasn't one of those weirdies who was serious about marrying someone after 1.5 minutes with the girl. So I played along. "Sure! I've always been partial to the Salt Lake Temple. You?" He laughed and we joked. And we flirted. I'm not a particularly skilled flirter but I felt pretty outgoing at that moment and laid it on as thick as I could. He was cute, so why not? He asked for my number, and there you have it. I was thrilled. I got his phone number off of the sign-up posters and that was that. The wait began.

I had determined to wait a week to see if he called or texted, but then he was at this missionary fireside I went to. I hung around after and tried to catch his eye, see if he remembered me, perhaps even talk to him. He was there with a girl and was talking to a bunch of other people, so I never got the chance. I scolded myself for the next couple of hours. Then the thought entered my mind--what if I texted him? Just a simple, harmless little text. Katelyn encouraged me, and feeling really brave in a unimportant sort of way I texted him! It might sound stupid, but I literally felt so outgoing and brave. This was not typical Jenny behavior. He texted back, we had a bit of a conversation, and then he asked me if I wanted to do something next week. Inside I was screaming YES! but my text read, "Sure, sounds like fun." Casual as can be. I was thrilled though. And, low and behold, the following week he texted me and asked me on a date.

We arranged to meet a 9:00PM after my musicals class. I left class all nervous and scared, my one jolt of courage coming from the fact that my hair looked AWESOME. I waited for a little while, but then I saw him approaching. He got closer, and he was glancing around--he didn't remember me! Oh well, I didn't really blame him. We had only talked for two minutes a week and a half ago. But I smiled at him and he figured out it was me. We went downstairs in the Wilk to go bowling, but it was bowling team night so we played pool instead. Now, the date started off normally. How was your day? What are you studying? What do you like to do? etc. Typical questions for a first, practically blind, date. But then he started flirting with me. Really flirting. He would put his hands on my waist and make comments about how "distracting" I was to his pool game.

I'll be honest and say that, at the time, I was super flattered. No boy has ever been that forward with me, especially on a first date. But then it started to become a bit much. He pulled the "lean around the girl to get the shot" trick, basically wrapping his arms around me. He upped his number of compliments to my beauty. He told me that if he ever made me feel uncomfortable I could tell him or elbow him or something. Right. But the topper of the evening was the make-out joke. "I've never made out on a pool table, you know. And there's a first time for everything," said with a half-serious look in his eye. Really? I mean, really? He made this comment not once, but TWICE. Okay, I know that I'm a cute little Mormon girl with a rather naive view of dating and flirting. I know that. But still, on a first date, does anyone pull those moves on someone they barely know? Not unless they're looking for some action--some make-out-on-the-pool-table action would seem to be his specific preference. He was mostly kidding, I know. But still, that little hint of "actually I wouldn't mind if we did make out on the pool table" weirded me out just a little bit.

Besides the octopus hands and the make-out comments he was a complete gentleman the entire night. He offered to carry my backpack as he walked me home. He walked on the side of the street closest to the cars (a gesture, I must admit, that has never made complete sense to me--if a car spins out of control towards us, him being nearest to the road won't matter. We'll both die. Nice gesture though, I guess). He was perfectly considerate and kind. But for some reason I don't think he'll be calling me again. He probably thought I just wanted to hook up and make out or something and wasn't bargaining on the fact that I don't do that or that I was actually legitimately interested in getting to know him. Or maybe he's just not interested. No biggie. I've kinda lost a bit of my interest too. That's what an octopus will do to ya.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yes...I just did that...

I feel pretty confident about my cooking abilities. Impossible recipe, you say? I can muscle it into place. And yet, sometimes my brain falls out of my skull and I do something really incredibly stupid. Like today, for instance:

I decided to make my yummy healthy chili. Everything started off well - the ingredients all got into the pot with relatively little mess. I didn't have any onions (miracle ingredient in every recipe, by the way), so I added some other spices for additional flavor. I was experimental and added cinnamon. I set the timer on my phone and left to do some reading in my room while the chili simmered. About 20 minutes later I was super hungry, so I decided to take my chili off the stove early and eat it as it was. It was a good thing I did too. I came into the kitchen to find a smoking vat and a sufficiently burnt smell. My roommate Stephanie was so engrossed in whatever she was doing that she didn't even notice the smell or the clouds of grey billowing through the room. I hurried and removed the pot from the stove, but it was still smoking profusely. I didn't want to set off the smoke alarm or leave that lovely burnt smell wafting through our apartment, so I ran the pot outside to cool off. I wanted to stir it and try to get some of the burnt chili off the bottom of the pot, so I set the pot down on the ground. I laughed to myself, imagining what I must look like squatting in the hallway of our apartment complex, stirring a smoking brew. The smoke began to clear, so I grabbed the pot to take it back inside. It wouldn't budge. That's when i remembered the ground was carpeted ground. Idiot. I yanked the pot and up came a layer of carpet, leaving a circular burn mark just outside our apartment door. Good thing I have a sense of humor - I started laughing out loud as I walked back into my apartment. Silly Jenny.

The chili tasted alright, but it turns out it really does need onions. Burnt chili, burnt carpet, burnt chef's ego - awesome moment in college life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My new toys

Photoshop and a Nikon d7000 = AMAZING. I am having so much fun playing around with my new toys!
(each picture below is put in "before photoshop" and "after photoshop" pairs so you can observe the wonderfulness of photoshop :)

I'm the only person who currently sits still long enough for me to practice picture taking, so that's why all the pictures are of me. I'm hoping to convince my roomies to take pictures with me soon so I can practice some real photography. I love it! It's so fun!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top Ten of 2010

As 2010 comes to a close and a new year begins, I have been reflecting on the events of the past 12 months and realizing exactly how amazing this last year has been. I decided to compile a list of the “best of” or the “top ten” of sorts of events or adventures that I experienced this year, mostly simply to remind myself how wonderfully blessed I am. Here it is:


I was fortunate enough to be able to live in London for nearly two months. I saw seven West End productions, two plays at the Globe, a Scottish rendition of Peter Pan, and Eurydice, the weirdest and most quotable play I will ever encounter. The food - best chocolate, wonderful fish and chips, and Magnums galore – was amazing. The friends I made I will have forever. Serving in the Wandsworth Common ward was a wonderful experience. I got to see so many historical and cultural sights, I found the TARDIS, and I fell head over heels in love with British children. The best part, however, was probably the independence I gained. I grew up a bit in London. I travelled to France afterwards and saw so many amazing things, and then continued the adventure in Washington DC visiting my brother Mike and his family. What an adventure!


I discovered the power of friendship this year. My friends bring adventure to me, cheer me up, teach me how to be a better person, and simply provide a shoulder for me to cry on when life gets to be a bit much to handle. Special shout-outs go to Sam, Brad, Rowdy, and Trevor for providing me and my roommates with so many adventures; Peter Alden Larkin for letting me sob all over him and for giving me a pep talk when I wasn’t liking myself very much; Dustin Homer (spider slayer) for selflessly entertaining and caring about me and my roommates; and my roommates themselves – Stephanie, Bonnie, Katelyn, and Kristie – I don’t think they know how powerful a force they are in my life. They inspire me to be better every day.


Family always makes my top ten list of anything. My mom is super woman and my best friend. She loves me even when I’m lost and lashing out at anyone and everything near me. My dad can fix anything, from broken shelves to broken hearts. My brothers are my biggest fans and perennial bodyguards. My sisters in-law give the greatest love and advice, even when I don’t deserve it. My nephews and nieces encourage my goofy, crazy side, which is refreshing, especially when I feel like so much of the world is telling me I need to grow up. I loved getting two new nieces this year too; both are beautiful. Also, this year has been yet another year of realizing that my brother/Irish Twin Josh is my other half, and when he is gone I get lost for a while. I will always be grateful that I have had him to grow up with.


I have adored Hale ever since I was in the summer performing arts class in like seventh grade or something. I still have the t-shirt. This year I had season tickets, and Santa just gave me season tickets for next year. There are several male performers I’ve seen at Hale that I definitely wouldn’t mind dating. I was inspired with several story ideas for screenplays through my Hale experience and even though I saw so many Broadway caliber plays this year, some of the plays I saw at Hale stand out as equally memorable. I adore it there.

#5 - MY HERO

This past fall semester I was able to work as 1st Assistant Director on the set of a student capstone project entitled “My Hero.” I learned so much from this production. I learned that I know so little about many aspects of filmmaking. I learned that 10-year-old children are awesome. I learned that I love my fellow film students – it’s amazing how close you can get in such a short amount of time when you’re working on a film set. I learned that I have a lot to learn and I sincerely appreciate the patience of those around me in dealing with my lack of experience. I love being on-set, though, even if I’m completely clueless. I also learned that I can do hard things. My favorite moment from this production was when I got to yell, “That’s a wrap!” I’ve waited my entire life to officially say that on a real set.


I was able to participate in a screenwriting class developing short scripts to pitch to BYU Broadcasting for their Writer’s Block TV series. I learned so much about story and screenwriting, made a bunch of new friends, created a leading male character that I absolutely adore, and realized that I love screenwriting more than anything else I’ve done in the film program. Yes, I love being on set and directing, but screenwriting is my biggest love. Unfortunately, I just found out that BYUB won’t be using my script. Bummer. But the experience of being in the class and working with 7 other very talented students and a professor who really knows what he’s doing was a wonderful experience.


Okay, I know this might sound lame to have a TV show on my top 10 of the year, but seriously I loved following the Doctor this last year. It was the first full season I was able to watch as it was actually airing. I was in Britain for half the summer, which made it more meaningful. I feel like it has been a long time since I was truly a fangirl of a TV show and followed it regularly. The feeling of anticipation and magic of great entertainment was nice to have back in my life, even if it was just for a show. But, as you know if you’ve read a bit of my blog, Doctor Who is no ordinary show. Watching the Christmas Special on Christmas Day was an experience I never had before and will definitely be a tradition for me from now on.


I’ll be honest and say that this year was the hardest year I’ve had regarding self-esteem. I spent many a week/month not liking myself very much at all. I saw so many imperfections in myself and no way to get past them. Thanks to a supportive family (especially my Mom), friends, and God I made it through. I like myself now. I know I’m not perfect, but that’s no reason to forget everything good about me. This struggle is not over either – I will continue to have a hard time with this. But I have the help I need and I will make it.


This year I acquired my MacBook Pro named Gareth and my Nikon d7000 named Gregory. Yes, these are investments in my future that I plan to make money using, but they are also marvelous playthings that I have had a lot of fun with so far. Perhaps it is kind of lame to list material items as one of my top ten best things about 2010. But it is true – it’s been a big year for big money purchases.

#10 – MY JOB

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Man, I love my job! I have learned so many skills and made numerous best friends simply by going to work, not to mention the fact that I get paid to do it. My boss is incredible. My coworkers are more than just buddies. I have learned how to better use Final Cut and After Affects and several other programs that I might never have tried on my own. And everything I learn at work I can use in my future experience, from editing to people skills.

All in all, life is pretty darn wonderful. 2010 was a year of ups, downs, money gained, money lost, friendships gained (hopefully none lost), and learning a bit more about life. Now on to 2011!