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Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Love

Okay, I love the Oscars. I love them. I watch them like I'm watching a sporting event, rooting for my favorite team (in this case, The Artist) to win. Last night every time The Artist won something I got up and did a victory dance - seriously, this is my favorite sporting event.

I was so happy with the way things turned out - The Artist took away three of the biggest awards including surprise Best Actor to Jean Dujardin (I thought George Clooney had this one in the bag, though I wanted Jean to win), the Muppets won best song (well, Bret from Flight of the Conchords won, but same thing), Kermit and Miss Piggy presented, Billy Crystal was a great host, and the entire evening made me want to move to LA and try to make it in showbiz. Again. Why I don't move to LA is another story - this post is about Oscar.

I was sad that Viola Davis didn't win for The Help. I thought she deserved it more than Meryl Streep. But Meryl is fabulous in every movie she's in, so I don't doubt she deserved it too. I'm not really great at predicting who will win - I tend to pick who I want to win. Not always the same thing.

Jennifer Lopez's dress was AWFUL. That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis were hilarious. The assistant girl who brings the Oscars out to people was awkward. And Best Speech of the night goes to Octavia Spencer (with a second place award going to Jean Dujardin, simply because I'm in celebrity-love with him).

Overall, when the Oscars ended I felt a rekindling of love for the movies, not that I really needed one, but I always appreciate it when something makes me love movies even more. The wonderful event combined with making Swedish Toska Cookies with my mom and cousin Melanie made the evening quite hard to top. And I couldn't help but imagine myself up on that stage, accepting my own Oscar. Holy cow, I want one.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Thoughts on Marriage

I think I heard of three or four engagements in the last week, one of a boy that I used to date (and honestly expected to date again in the future when the timing was right), and several engagements that are imminent. Spring fever come early much? I've gone through a wide variety of emotions and learned some things about how I look at marriage.

First, I learned that I want to get married some day. Hearing of all these engagements plus reading Georgette Heyer romance novels has instilled in me the desire to fall deeply in love with a handsome man and tie myself to him forever. I am, undoubtably, a hopeful (notice I didn't say hopeless) romantic. And I want children - lots of 'em.

Secondly, I learned that I am not ready to be married. Obviously I'm not dating anyone (which makes marriage harder), but even if I was I don't feel like I'm ready to settle down. I have places to go, things to see. When I found out the guy I used to date is now engaged, I couldn't help but think back to about 8 months ago when he wanted to date me. If I had dated him, and things had gone well, I imagine that it would be me with the ring on my finger now. Thinking about that freaked me out a bit. I know that if the right guy came along I would probably feel more ready to be married than I do now, but the right guy has not come along, and if he has I'm obviously not ready to recognize him because I have no idea who he is

Thirdly, I learned that I am not going to marry super young. This point necessitates a definition of the word "young." Young, to me, is anything under the age of 30 (If you're over that age, don't worry - you're not old. You're what I would call "in your prime." Old comes MUCH later). Super young is anything under the age of 24. I believe you aren't fully your own person (and therefore should not get married) until you've A: lived on your own for an extended period of time, B: been alive for at least 23 years, and C: gone to a movie by yourself. I have yet to do B and C, so marriage is definitely out of the question. I turn 23 in June, so at that point I may start looking at boys. But probably not, because -

Fourthly, marriage is not something you look for or force. I am of the belief that, as a character in Dan in Real Life says: "If you're open to it, love will find you." As long as I am doing the things I love, I will find someone. Sure, it's easier to find someone in certain places. I've been told Australia is a good place to go. The guys I am most interested in are the ones going places, doing things, so if I want to find those guys I have to do the same.

Fifthly, and finally, I have learned that I am very emotionally independent. If a guy ever falls in love with me and wants me to marry him I feel sorry for him because he is going to have to sweep me clean off my feet and carry me to the altar. It's not that I don't want to get married (that was my first point, remember). It's that I don't need to get married. I will be perfectly fine if I never get married. I can support myself, I can find useful ways to spend my time. I would rather be married and have kids, but I will also do some neat things if I remain single. So, good luck Future Husband! You have your work cut out for you! But I promise you, I'm totally worth it.

There you are. These are my thoughts on marriage. I know a lot of exceptions to these rules. Some people are excessively mature and ready for marriage at 18, some don't need to leave home before they get married, and some actively seek love and relationships and find it. But those people aren't me. Perhaps I need to change the way I do things. Feel free to tell me where I need to change and I will consider it. I can be pretty stupid sometimes. But I probably won't change, because I generally like me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

High Five For Friday

Happy Friday! Here's my High Five:

1. It's not only Friday, but a long weekend Friday! Yay! That makes it extra Friday.

2. I didn't get a full-blown cold! I felt one coming on, so I went home Monday night and slept and slept, and I didn't get all the way sick. I am so very glad.

3. I watched The Phantom of the Opera 25th anniversary performance at the Royal Albert Hall - we bought it on Blu Ray for my daddy for a Valentine's gift. It is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Oh my goodness. Just a great show. The Phantom, played by Ramin Karimloo, was amazing - I got to see him as the Phantom in the original cast of Love Never Dies when I was in London. He is just made for that part, I swear. And Sierra Boggess was Christine in the 25th anniversary and I also saw her as Christine in Love Never Dies - she is absolutely fantastic. And together? Magic. I love being able to watch such a wonderful performance any time I want.

4. I completed a big section of a project I'm working on at work! It feels great to have it done. I mean, it's not completely finished but I've got a good portion under my belt.

5. I filed my taxes and I'm getting back about $1000! That's great considering what I made last year. I hate money...except when I'm receiving it :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Nature of My Job

I'm sitting here at work, unable to do anything on my computer because it is entirely occupied with rendering video files for my current project. Rendering takes HOURS. I set up a queue of renders yesterday at the end of the work day and it took 14 hours... That's the nature of my job sometimes. Most times I have lots to do, but after you finish editing something you get to the point where you just can't do anything but sit and wait. So I'll try to learn new programs like Photoshop and Illustrator and the like while I wait. Or I'll catch up with my co-workers (not that I really need to - we all talk a ton as it is). So I'm learning new things and making friends while my computer does all the work. It's nice, but I think I prefer actually editing the videos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

To commemorate this special day full of romance (for some - for me, not so much yet...but someday, right?) I compiled a list of my top 5 favorite love stories - the ones I always come back to. The ones I have yet to get tired of. Here they are:

1. Pride & Prejudice - this book will always be one of my favorites. Not only is it romantic, but it realistically characterizes people, their motivations, their personal growths, and their shortcomings. It feels very real while still remaining a bit fairy tale - completely delightful.

2. The Scarlet Pimpernel - I adore this book and most of the film versions of the story (especially the Jane Seymour one). It is, at all times, an adventure, a comedy, a political commentary, a caper, and a romance. AND it has a rather enjoyable musical theater version. What more could you want?

3. When Harry Met Sally. This movie is absolutely wonderful. I love most of Nora Ephron's work (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail), but I think this is probably her best and my favorite. I think this RomCom is more true to life than most - the person we end up falling in love with is most always not a love-at-first-sight person, but an old friend. At least I think that's the way it should be. The writing of the movie is clever, the characters are quirky yet real, and it still pulls off what some would say is a cliche ending without once feeling cliche. (Note: this movie is not for kids. I'll just leave it at that. The edited version (ClearPlay or otherwise) is fantastic.)

4. Romancing the Stone. This has been a favorite of mine since I was really young - too young to actually understand what was even going on. But I understood enough. I think I see myself in Joan Wilder, the rather dowdy romance novelist who spends her days thinking up grand stories rather than living one. I guess I want what happened to her to happen to me - I want to live an adventure romance. I wouldn't mind ending up with a guy like Michael Douglas either.

5. The Music Man. This story is probably my all-time favorite. Not only is it a fantastic musical, but Harold Hill is one of the most complex characters I have ever encountered. And I love him to death. I could spout on an on about the brilliance of this show. I just think there's nothing more romantic than someone believing in someone else so much that they make them a better person. Marian sees what Harold wants to be (even if he denies it) and helps him get there. And he likewise brings her out of her shell. All around, everyone is happier!

So tonight, instead of being with attractive men, I will most likely be doing my taxes while watching attractive men on TV. But thinking of these movies helps me remember part of the possibilities of Valentine's Day. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Facebook Creepers

You try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. You try to be friendly and welcoming to people you don't know. You try to be a nice, good person. Then someone comes along and takes advantage of all these qualities for some twisted pleasure of their own.

This didn't happen to me, but to a friend of mine from my young single adult ward. A guy - "Clark" - messaged her on Facebook, saying he had a spiritual impression that he needed to give her a message. If there's one way to a single LDS girls' heart, it's by saying you're "impressed" to talk to them, I fell for it in high school, I fell for it again when my friend showed me the message this guy sent her. It sounded like he was just being a nice, spiritually aware guy.

Clark proceeded to tell her all sorts of things about him - his wife died in childbirth, he's a single dad raising a 14-month year old girl called Sadie, he is a quadruplet and has 11 sisters, he speaks 8 languages fluently, he's a pilot, he's a seminary teacher, he has two Masters degrees, etc, etc. Sounds like the perfect guy, right? It's hard to find nice, single, attractive, Mormon men (even in Utah where they supposedly hang out). He was flirting up a storm too - very flattering. I was skeptical of the guy, but I wanted him to be real for my friend's sake. She has spent a long time being single, wanting to be married. She has done everything right and deserves an amazing guy like this one.

Well, she told her brother about the situation and he volunteered to do some internet sleuthing for her, and found this:

Over forty girls reporting to have received identical messages from "Clark." He uses the same spiritual impression to manipulate girls into flirting with him and agreeing to meet him. It looks like he never actually shows up for the meetings or actually does anything but talk to the girls, so he can't be arrested for anything. And every time a girl finds out who he is, he deletes his Facebook and starts all over. He creates multiple accounts, posing as Clark, Clark's sisters, Clark's seminary students, etc. In a nutshell, he's a creeper with no life of his own.

My friend was quite hurt initially - embarrassed that she fell for it, sad that her hopes of a decent guy being interested in dating her were dashed. I was angry. But now we both just feel bad for "Clark." It's sad to think of the kind of person you would have to be to do this - the kind of life you must be living to want to escape it so badly. It's just like the movie Catfish (See it!).

Anyway, there were a lot of red flags with Clark that should not have been overlooked. So here I give some good tips for Facebook safety:

1. (The most important) NEVER ADD SOMEONE YOU DON'T ACTUALLY KNOW. I can't think of a more simple way to avoid stuff like this. Simple.

2. Never put your address or phone number online for anyone and everyone to see. If you must, use a private message.

3. If you still feel the need to use Facebook as a dating site (even though you shouldn't), remember this: anyone who seems outwardly too perfect - no flaws, speaks 8+ languages, etc. - is probably hiding something big, like...say...another identity. Just be careful, people! Do your research! Snoop a little - it's okay if it's protecting you.

I love Facebook - I have chatted with some old elementary schools buddies that I haven't seen in years through it. I've made some good connections. But everything good has a bad side, and this Creeper Clark is a perfect example. Just be careful, okay?

Friday, February 10, 2012

High Five for Friday

So this blog I peruse does this High Five for Friday thing where on Friday you list the top five highlights of the week. I like the idea, so I'm stealing it!

High Five for Friday:

1. Human Foosball for FHE on Monday night was a huge success and took very little planning. That's the best kind of FHE.

2. I finished editing my friend Nate Haines' percussion recital video! I filmed it way back in November, and I'm just finishing. I feel awful about having taken so long - there were footage issues and render issues and a whole lot of other stuff...but it's finally finished and I am so happy to be done. Now it's exporting...which has taken FOUR days so far. Hopefully it will be done by Saturday when I deliver it to him.

3. I finished reading Arabella by Georgette Heyer - so fun! I love her books. The characters were delightful. That seems to be Ms. Heyer's greatest strength (her books are a little plot-light, but that just makes them quicker reads). And now I'm a good portion of the way through These Old Shades. I guess I'll keep reading her books until I get tired of them!

4. Last night I went tubing up at Soldier Hollow with my stake! I love tubing there - all the fun with none of the work.

5. It's Friday! And I get to play with my Katelyn-friend tonight! Fridays are the best.

Happy weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Okay, so I have realized that some of the New Year resolutions I made are unreasonable. Or, rather, I picked too many to effectively make them happen. So I'm going to revise some of them. Here's my revamped list of resolutions for the year:

New Year Resolutions

Photography 365 project - take a photo every day, trying to capture that day in that one shot, an post to my Flickr account weekly.  Photography 52 Project - take a self portrait once a week. A creative, technically competent portrait. Post to Flickr semi-regularly, at least once a month if not every week.

Read the Book of Mormon every day

Work out 4+ times a week and lose 15-20 pounds.

Read one or more NEW books each month (Tale of Two Cities at top of list)

Blog every day, alternating blogs - one day on my personal blog, one day on my movie review blog, and one day on my writing blog. Blog every week on any of my blogs, but mostly this blog. Write a review on every movie I see in theaters and book I read and post them both here and on my movie blog.

Write in journal every day (digital or hard copy - I think digital so I'll write in more detail) Write in journal every week for sure, every day if possible. 

Finish Spanish Rosetta Stone

Finish watching Lost (I need to be free of it!)

Write feature length screenplay and/or a novel - write for at least 15 minutes a day or 30 minutes every other day. Let people read my work and give feedback.

I think I just found myself maxed out with all these daily resolutions. I needed to scale back and really focus on what matters in each goal (why I decided to do them in the first place).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

30 Prompt Project: Prompt 3

My most embarrassing moment....


Well, I have a lot of stupid little embarrassing moments - tripping, falling, etc. But I trip a lot, so it's not really embarrassing anymore. Nothing too fun to tell. I think my most embarrassing moment isn't all that embarrassing.

I would have to say the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was the first time this guy I was dating in high school kissed me. He made the night really special, including playing me a romantic song on his guitar as we sat in his car. Unfortunately, it was late and I was really tired...and I fell asleep during his song. I don't think he knew (I was pretty good at hiding it). The rest of it is a bit of a blur. He walked me to my doorstep and kissed me, but I was in a sleepy fog and don't really remember it.  That's pretty embarrassing looking back now. My first first kiss was also pretty embarrassing. No offense to the guys I have dated, but kissing has generally been a pretty awkward thing for me. Is kissing awkward for everyone? Sheesh, I hope not.

Friday, February 3, 2012

30 Prompt Project: Prompt 2

Five of my favorite things:

1. Cheers - the television show. I can't get enough of it. I just started the fifth season - bless you, Netflix. I've watched a lot of the episodes before, but I'm making my way through from start to finish this time. I love each of the characters, especially Sam and Frasier. Cheers ranks right up there with Doctor Who and Frasier on my all-time best tv shows list.

2. My new car. I love having my own car - I even love paying for it! It's mine, all mine! No one ever has to borrow it, no one else drives it. I can put whatever I want in it. I can have mini ninjas on my dashboard. I can live wherever I want and still get to where I need to be. I got a great deal on her, and she is simply a really attractive vehicle - super sexy.

3. Broadway and film musicals - these are eternal favorites. I will always loving watching people break out in song and dance whenever they so desire. I am glad that they are having a bit of a comeback (and they never left India! Oh how I adore Bollywood!), though I sometimes wish I could live in the 1940s and 50s for a while so I can experience the Golden Age first hand.

4. The smell of books - old musty books, new fresh-off-the-press books, and anything in between. The only way I can think to describe it is that they smell like adventure to me. I especially love the smell of brand new scriptures - next time you're in a Deseret Book take a whiff of a Book of Mormon. I think that's what heaven must smell like.

5. Having my brother Josh home from his mission. This is probably my most favorite thing. I love that kid more than anything. The week after Christmas when neither of us had work and all we did was play Zelda and hang out - that was my most favorite week in recent memory.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

30 Prompt Project: Prompt 1

My freshman year roomie, Lauren Lytle, started this daily project on her blog for the upcoming month and I so liked the idea that I thought I would do it too. But I probably won't make it fact, let's just be honest and admit that I won't do it everyday. So perhaps my goal will be to complete the list at some point this year. Yes? Yes.

Prompt 1: Five Facts Most People Don't Know About Me

1. I am terrified of making phone calls, even to people I know really well. The only people I call with no fear are my family members. Even then, I prefer texting. I have gotten better at making phone calls - I just got off the phone with my car dealership people, and i didn't freak out! I just hate doing it. I feels like I'm intruding when I make a call...

2. I haven't been kissed in over 4 years. I probably shouldn't tell people that, but I write it to help others afflicted by the same ailment to not feel badly about their condition. I don't kiss just anyone - I was even rather exclusively dating a guy for a few months and we never kissed. I obviously haven't caught the vision of how much fun kissing is, or perhaps I'd be doing it more. Or maybe I just haven't found a guy worthy of my skills. I have been told that I am a good kisser, so maybe that makes up for the lack of kissing. I don't need the practice ;)

3. When I was about 12 I decided I was going to be an actress when I grew up. I bought books on auditioning tactics, I took voice lessons, I joined a youth theater group, etc. One day I told my junior high school counselor what I wanted to do, and she told me that I would never make it and I needed to pick a "real" job to work towards. Even those sobering (and rather rude, I might add) words did not stop me from becoming an actress. I tried, but in the end it was my sudden shyness in high school that done me in. But I'm still trying! I'm taking voice again and I've taken some dance classes - musical stardom here I come!

4. I don't like choral music. I spent all of junior high and high school in advanced choirs. I loved it then - I loved performing an being part of a group, but I would never choose to listen to choral music of my own volition. I discovered this a couple of years ago when I took a University Chorale class (I was bored to tears most days) and last night as I attended the BYU Winter Choirfest. Just not my thang.

5. I don't like food. Or rather, perhaps I like food too much. I'm not sure which. I really dislike how everything that tastes good is bad for me, while everything healthy is rather bland. It's just one of those sad paradoxes that will never be resolved. I don't like cooking food, I don't like eating out, I just don't like it.

Well, now ya know! Woohoo!

Here's the whole list of prompts I will be following:

1. Five facts about me most people don't know
2. Five favorite things
3. Most embarrassing moment
4. A photo of myself 10 years ago
5. A photo of myself today
6. Favorite YouTube video
7. My dream house
8. What's in my closet
9. What's in my makeup bag
10. Picture of my shoes
11. Favorite recipe
12. Favorite animal
13. Favorite song
14. Something I made recently
15. Favorite scripture
16. Picture of the place I work
17. Three things I'm grateful for
18. Picture of my day
19. Picture of a good friend
20. Favorite city
21. Favorite quote
22. Something I could never get tired of doing
23. Picture of my family
24. Favorite movie
25. Dream vacation
26. Favorite game
27. A piece of art I made
28. Picture of my home
29. Something I'm saving up for
30. A dream for my future