Sunday, April 29, 2007

She's Like, So Whatever

I spent this weekend enjoying houseguests and attending some of the activities at a singles conference my church was having here in Huntington. I have all sorts of thoughts swimming around about THAT experience that I intend to post later this week but since some of the weekend reminded me a wee bit of high school, I want to post this first.

I'll admit, I sort of like Avril Lavigne. I don't own any of her CD's or anything but if I had teenage girls who wanted to listen to Top 40, I'd rather they like a girl who appears to have a somewhat authentic personality, writes her own lyrics and always cover her ladybits. She just seems like she's her own person and even when she was an annoying 16 year old wearing those stupid ties, her music seemed reflective of her age. She didn't sound trampy like alot of her peers at the time.

All this is to say that I wish this song "Girlfriend" had come out when I was a high schooler. When I used to watch the boys chase the five or six "hot girls" and think, "I could totally be a better girlfriend than her!". I can picture singing this song with a bunch of other sixteen year old girls on the way to the movies when someone's mom let us take the car alone. Or maybe I can even picture singing it with my friend Seth on PCH yesterday. Because quite frankly, there are still days where," hey hey you you I don't like your girlfriend!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Perfection is Overrated

My sister Emily and I had a conversation last night about perfection in the Blogosphere. You know, all the blogs you read where people eat better, dress better, decorate better, read more, do more, live more than you do?

I was going to write a post about it but then I read this one and really couldn't think of a better way to say it.

I'm still trying to live in a way that is as fun and interesting and inspiring as possible but not while I'm watching the girl next to me. Or her blog.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm Not Well

If this doesn't make you happy, I don't think you have a soul.
(it starts a little slow but around 54 seconds in you will see what I mean.)

May I please work in a place with a bunch of nerdy, creative, computer geeks? Particularly the guy who shows up around the 1:47 mark.

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger on Vimeo

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I also think that if you've read this blog much it goes without saying that I am a huge music nerd. And maybe just a little bit passionate about stuff I like.

My friend Ashley made me a mixtape years ago, back before even kindergartners knew how to burn a CD, and there was a song that practically leapt out of the stereo at me. But do you remember how bad the quality on a taped tape was? It eventually wore out and Ashley didn't have the original anymore. Since I am also a huge internet nerd I figured I could find it online but repeated searches yielded nothing. Then one night in Boston I was lamenting the loss of my little treasure. About half an hour later, my goddess of a roommate, Linda, had googled out a used copy somewhere and I snatched it up.

I don't like cheesy love songs. I don't like hyperbolic lyrics. But something simple and genuine can really knock the wind out of me. So tonight I give you "She", by Hummingfish. These lyrics pretty much sum up what I hope to feel about someone someday and what I hope he feels in return.

You've been in love maybe two times
They never chained you; didn't touch you deep inside
They seemed to need from you too soon
You became a planet with an unwanted moon
Her visage didn't smite you in the eye
Like lightning striking from the sky
But she looked right at you, and smiled and asked your name
You couldn't know that your heart would never be the same

She is not what you expected
You thought you were garrisoned
You had all your sides well-protected
She is more than she seemed; asks more than a dream
Nothing less than everything
She gives you more than you knew you wanted
Now what you're wanting you never, ever had before
Real, true, imperfect love
Real, true, imperfect love

Funny how life becomes so complicated
It's easy to argue; she is opinionated
So are you
But simple things can bring you back
When you're riding on the wrong track
She takes your hand, gives it a squeeze
A small white flag blowing in the breeze
You make some dinner and laugh at little things
The sun sets gently on today
Your soul is singing

She is not what you expected
You thought you were garrisoned
You had all your sides well-protected
She is more than she seemed; asks more than a dream
Nothing less than everything
She gives you more than you knew you wanted
Now what you're wanting you never, ever had before
Real, true, imperfect love
Real, true, imperfect love


Monday, April 23, 2007

It'll Change Your Life

People (me included!) tend to throw that phrase around a lot. I just finished a book however that I think might have actually done just that. It's called Mountains Beyond Mountains and it's about Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of a social justice and international health organization called Partners in Health. It's a tough book to summarize and that actually isn't the intention of this post. This excerpt is a great introduction though and I highly suggest giving it a peek.

Briefly, the book follows Farmer around for a few years while he and his small team of scientists, doctors and philanthropists set out trying to rid Third World countries of diseases the First World has managed to eradicate.

Think about that for a minute. There are entire countries with such poor access to health care that people DIE, regularly, from diseases that you and I don't even have to think about. Early on in the book, the author makes an observation about Dr. Farmer:
Education wasn't what he wanted to perform on the world, me included. He was after transformation.
Ever since I picked up this book I feel like it has been doing just that. I simply can't continue to be the kind of person who, as Farmer puts it, "feels comfortable with the current distribution of money and medicine in the world." This is a book, and I guess more accurately a man, who doesn't simply inspire you, he reshapes the way you think.

I haven't quite figured out what exactly that is going to mean in my own life. I am pretty sure it doesn't mean I am going to sell all my possessions and move to Haiti to work in Farmer's hospital. But I'm also pretty sure it can't end in writing a check once. I underlined the heck out of the book but I was particularly struck by something Farmer said about "white liberals".
WL's think all the world's problems can be fixed without any cost to themselves. We don't believe that. There's alot to be said for sacrifice, remorse, even pity. It's what separates us from the roaches.
He is quick to point out that WL's make up a good part of his funding stream and he is very thankful for them, but I can understand his frustration with the idea that actual change can happen without any effort or discomfort.

I spent the weekend in an expensive hotel room overlooking a fancy golf course. It was a beautiful place and I felt really lucky to be there but the whole time I couldn't get this passage out of my head:

...He's still going to make these hikes (seven hours to see two patients) he'd insist, because if you say that seven hours is too long to walk for two families of patients, you're saying that their lives matter less than some others', and the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world.

It should make all of uneasy that the medicines exist to cure many infectious diseases and that the resources exist to provide clean water and suitable housing for entire villages but there are still people dying of TB and living in squalor because quite frankly, not all lives seem to have the same worth to enough of us. The things I worry about-weight,career fulfillment, boys-these are luxurious things to worry about. But I no longer feel like it's enough to just count my blessings that I drew Fate's long straw. Partners in Health believes that health is a fundamental right, not a privilege. Don't read this book unless you are prepared to figure out your responsibility is making that come true.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Reason number 75847 that my grandparents are rad-when they took my cousin Jessica and me on a trip to San Diego when we were 14 they took us to Sea World AND the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The Salk Institute is a research facility in La Jolla founded by Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine. His goal was to build a facility that would attract the best science brains in the world that would also be "worthy of a visit from Picasso. Architect Louis Kahn did a pretty perfect job of creating such a building on a spot of land on the impossibly beautiful Torry Pines Mesa in La Jolla.

Even as a fourteen year old, I knew this place was special. The first time I went back as a grownup I was actually moved to tears. So this weekend I was in San Diego and decided to take a little visit.

Unfortunately the inner court is closed on the weekend and the security guard on duty was completely immune to all of my charming attempts to let me in anyway. The back of building however, is NOT locked so I did get to see at least a little bit.

I don't know, maybe this would actually be considered the front.
Because it looks out over this

See how the wings are staggered like that? Kahn didn't want any of the offices to miss out on the spectacular view of the ocean. So they don't.
What I didn't get to see this weekend was the inner court area which looks like this:

Like a lot of amazing architecture, you really need to be IN it to understand but what I always feel when I come here is how seamlessly the man made building blends in with it's natural surroundings. When you stand in the inner court it looks as though the stream is running right into the ocean. I think that much concrete could seem cold and industrial but it is one of the most peaceful and serene places I have ever been. And there is a little part of me that is so delighted that this stretch of what I am sure is astronomically prime real estate is a place I can visit anytime I want to.

I sat for a long time just taking in how spectactular it all was.

As I was leaving there was this sign on one of the doors that for some reason made me giggle.

Even in a famous research center there is a reminder to take off your dirty lab coat before you come in!

Southern California can sometimes feel like such a strip mall and suburban wasteland that I love being driving distance from a structure like this. If you ever go to San Diego, put it on your list. It doesn't disappoint, even when you can't get in!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Time Warp

If you were a college age girl in Utah in the mid nineties to early 2000's, chances are you've been to a Colors concert. Colors was made up of three boys who went to Davis high school, started a band and managed to gain a little cult following amongst said college age LDS females over the years.

They played at SUU my freshman year and I was one of hundreds of starry eyed girls sitting in the Student Center living room daydreaming about what it would be like to have a boyfriend who wrote songs with my initials in it. They played a song that day that was about a girl who has a crush on a boy and he doesn't feel the same way but he doesn't want to hurt her. Well I was an eighteen year old college freshman so OF COURSE there was a boy in that room I had a massive crush on who may or may not have actually known I was alive and so the song felt VERY personal. I was terribly disappointed when it turned out to be a new song that was not on the CD every single one of us bought after the show. I tried to keep the few lyrics and melody I remembered in my brain by singing it to myself as often as I could.

About a month and a half later, Colors played at a Student Government retreat I was attending. After that show I pulled the kid who wrote the song aside and asked him if I could get the lyrics. I'm sure he thought I was some weird fan who just wanted to talk to him but he was nice enough to write them all down. I would read them over from time to time and cry about various boys throughout my college career. I kept those lyrics in a folder for YEARS until Colors finally put the song on a CD after I was back from my mission. By then they had rewritten it a little and I thought the arrangement was kind of cheesy. I'm not really sure what happened to those lyrics either.

My friend Lisa gave me a copy of their "farewell" concert a few years ago and I ran across it tonight while I was looking for something else. It caught my eye because Lisa told me this week that the boy who wrote those lyrics down just got married. It has been a long, long time since I have listened to a Colors song and so of course there are a hundred ghosts hanging out in my room tonight. The most sobering one is that 18 year old me who is maybe just a little disappointed that in the twelve years since she first heard that song I haven't changed much but the geographic location of my unrequited crushes. I'm sorry 18. But just trust me, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing. And I have way better shoes than you.

So here you go, the arrangment is still a little hokey but it might wake up a few ghosts at your house too. Hey Girl by Colors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Since I started this blog I've become something of a blog junkie. Which I think you can see from the loooooooong list of links over there on the left. One of my favorite daily reads is Oh Happy Day. She finds all kinds of lovely things and then posts them for the rest of us who don't have the same killer eye. A few weeks back she posted some photos of the decorations she did for a church party. I fell in love with the tiny wheat grass planters she made for each person and decided to make some myself. They were so easy but ridiculously satisfying.

First, I bought eight little terra cotta pots for $.50 at the gardening store. Then I spraypainted them a nice springy green.
After they were dry I filled them most of the way with potting soil. I left about a quarter of a inch at the top.

Then I spread them with a layer of red wheat berries that I bought in bulk for about a dollar at a health food store. I packed them tightly and then covered them with another layer of lightly packed soil.

After a week of sun and watering (which Corey did for me while I was in Texas!) and talking to the little guys, look what they did!

I put five of them up on our mantle and they look so cute and springy! I'm taking the others to the girls I visit for church and one is going to come brighten up the beige wonderland that is my office. I imagine this is a fun project to do with children because it's really easy, just the right amount of messy and produces fun results relatively quickly.

Just another reason that I love the internet!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007


I'm not usually in a hurry to post competitors advertising but this one is only running in South America. And it's also totally awesome.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Electrical Storm

One thing I really miss about Boston is those good old, down and dirty, me vs. the elements early spring outdoor runs. After a long winter of being cooped up on the treadmill, but before it was really warm enough to actually enjoy a run outside, I would occasionally bundle up, brace myself against cold and rain, and usually end up feeling like some kind of Olympic Champion when I came home sopping wet and red nosed.

Lately I have been sort of a pansy and if there is even a slight wind I will find an excuse not to go outside. I've also been working late so it's dark when I get home and the result is that I've been on the treadmill alot. Frankly, too much indoor running makes a girl forget why she likes it in the first place.

Enter theWasatch Back Relay. It's just a little 178 miles relay from Logan to Park City that my siblings did last year and managed to rope me into in June. There are 12 of us on the team and everyone runs three legs of three to seven miles of Utah mountains. You would think that such a thing would have had me pounding the pavement since February-you know, the month the training program on the website starts. But no, I've been catching up on television and nursing my ninth cold since November. But Wednesday my sister sent out a reminder that um, we are registered and paid and there is no getting out of this now. She also sent the training schedule. The 35 minutes for that day is practically a warm-up compared to some of my marathon training days so I figured it was time to get serious.

Well it was also cold outside. I mean kind of chilly. OK, I needed a long sleeved shirt instead of a tank top. But for California, it was cold. Weather I am no longer used to dealing with. But as I was lacing up my new shoes and strapping on my ipod, I got that same feeling I used to get in Boston. That sort of cocky, "I could make a hundred excuses right now but I am an athlete and I choose the road instead of the couch." iPod was particularly attuned to me that night and started me off with a shot right to the heart mash up of "Seven Nation Army" and "Hypnotize" that you can find here. It was cool and cloudy and the sun was on it's way down but I felt as good as I have in months.

The great thing about my house is that in about five minutes you are at the beach. It doesn't matter that I have run there at least 150 times in the last year, I get a thrill every single time I cross PCH. I decided that if I'm going to survive this race, I need to pick things up a little so I opted for running on sand instead of the sidewalk. I had decided to run the pier too for a little variety and as I got out to the middle, the wind REALLY picked up, the Footloose soundtrack kicked in and the waves started crashing in a way that both delights and frightens me. I love water and I am a good swimmer but in all of my dealings with the ocean I know that it always wins. It is awesome in the true sense of that word and it knocks the wind out of me sometimes that I get to see it every single day if I want to.

By the time I finished the pier it was dark. And I'll throw in a disclaimer here that on a dark, windy, cold night it is probably a bad bad idea for a single female with an iPod to run near the water. And I usually don't, but occasionally just the hint of something kind of dangerous elevates the moment in a way staying on the sidewalk can't. So I'm down near the water and the sand is wet and hard and the wind is making me fight a little bit and iPod decides to give me U2's "Electrical Storm". Tell me this doesn't sort of give you the chills:

The sea it swells like a sore head and the night it is aching
Two lovers lie with no sheets on their bed
And the day it is breaking

On rainy days we'd go swimming out
On rainy days swimming in the sound
On rainy days we'd go swimming out

Yeah. It's dark and the ocean is roaring and four tiny little white birds suddenly fly in right in front of me. They are just skimming the surface of the sand and they seem to be teasing me. I'm running as fast as I can to keep up with them

You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
If the sky can crack there must be someway back
For love and only love

Electrical Storm
Electrical Storm
Baby don't cry

And it's cold and it's dark and my lungs are starting to burn and all I'm thinking is that THIS is why I put up with three roommates and too much traffic and high gas prices and too much traveling and a dating pool stuck in neverland. This feeling is why I live here.

It's hot as hell, honey in this room
Sure hope the weather will break soon
The air is heavy, heavy as a truck
We need the rain to wash away our bad luck

And I have an inkling that when it's 2:00 am and we've been running for 24 hours and our legs are sore and we've had our fill of Power Bars and sleeping on a car seat but I get out to run in my mountains under a blanket of twinkly stars that I will feel that same way.

Those moments don't came as easily on a perfect day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lauren Weisburger you are on notice

I love reading but sometimes it's hard to find time. So I try to take my books with me on the zillions of planes I'm on in any given month (I got through The Count of Monte Cristo in about two weeks once just on airplanes if that tells you anything about my life). This weekend I left mine at home so I decided to pick one up at the airport. There wasn't much selection at the gift shop in my terminal and so I ended up with the second novel by the woman who wrote The Devil Wears Prada. Although that was one of the few instances where I think the movie actually corrected the problems I had with the book, I figured it would be a quick and relatively entertaining read.

About ten pages in I was seriously regretting my decision. One hundred pages in I was actually kind of upset. By the time I got to my layover in Houston I was so mad I almost threw the stupid thing in the trash. What made me so angry? Well let's just start with the fact that it's practically the same plot of The Devil Wears Prada just set in PR instead of fashion. The heroine is the same super clueless dork who finds herself dropped into a soul sucking profession, pursued by some sexy but shallow guy in the industry and proceeds to ditch her closest friends and almost lose sight of who she is before some melodramatic situation plunges her back to reality.

I could spend an hour on how the writing is only marginal, that it depends on a lot of lazy celebrity name-dropping to make it seem "in the know", how the characters are mind-numbingly one dimensional, or how I could go the rest of my life without reading or watching one more thing about shallow, spoiled, self-centered Manhattan glitterati.

But I won't. What I will say instead is that I'm officially off "Chick Lit". Ok so yes, I did enjoy Bridget Jones' Diary. But even then I remember reading it and thinking, "how hard is it really to get to work on time?" People kept saying how they really related to her and it bothered me. Bridget was funny but she was such a disaster. It seemed like life just batted her around like a rag doll until she fell into a great job and a fabulous boyfriend. I'm all for a nice realistic profile of single women in their 30's but I couldn't help thinking that she'd be the friend whose exhausing drama would make me avoid her phone calls. Chick Lit seems to rely on messy heroines. And not messy in any kind of interesting ways-messy in annoying, self absorbed ways like they can't figure out how to catch a guy, lose 10 pounds or control their spending. They invariably end up being swept up by some incredibly romantic man who bears no resemblance to an actual male. It's a women's fantasy version of a man. The kind who likes to shop and notices your haircut and says sweet things without prompting. In many chick lit books, this guy is also super rich and successful but the heroine doesn't usually know that until the end.

I guess for a lot of women, that's what they want in a book. A heroine who makes your own messy life look like neat as a pin, and a man who if you knew him in real life would actually be your gay friend. But I'm done with this drivel. Done with whiny, superficial women with silly problems, done with male characters that are either complete steroetypes or create unrealistic expectations.

Maybe that means I have to write one myself.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Everything is bigger

A few months ago my friend Mary called with a brilliant idea. She is the president of the Ad League of Central Texas and needed a speaker for one of their monthly meetings. So she proposed that I come down and speak and then hang out for the weekend. Mary and I have been friends since we were baby college freshman and I've known her husband Jer for almost as long. Of course I couldn't resist.

The presentation went well and it was fun to watch my little Mary conducting a meeting like a real grownup. It's definitely a world away from the Southern Utah University Senate meetings....afterwards I was starving and anxious for some real live Texas BBQ. Until we got to this place

And that's when I became a vegetarian and we went to get Thai instead!
They moved to Texas because Jer was in the army and stationed at Fort Hood. We went on a tour of the town and Mary showed me where Elvis Presley lived when he was stationed there. (I took this picture solely for Dainon!) That night we went out for sushi with a really fun bunch of Mary and Jer's friends. And of course we stayed up way, way too late talking.
The next morning, and by morning I mean it was about 11 a.m. when I crawled out of bed, we woke up to this. It's snow. In Central Texas. On Easter weekend. So guess what we did? Watched almost 5 hours of TLC. We were in heaven. Jeremy fixed stuff in the house while we commiserated over bad wardrobes with Stacy and Clinton and I drooled over that guy on The Handyman for the Weekend show. I renounced my vegetarianism from the day before so we could eat chicken strips and fries like we used to do EVERY NIGHT at the 24 hour Denny's in college. It will come as no surprise if any of us die of heart disease. We finally managed to get ourselves off the couch and ready for the day of shopping near Austin we had planned. We asked Jer to come but for some reason he thought the idea of some quiet time to work on the bedroom shower might be more fun than watching us try on shoes for four hours. First we had to make a pit stop at Randy and Bentley's house. My new favorite people on earth. I wish there was someway to post Randy telling a story on the blog because he really might be the world's funniest human. He worked on The Bachelor for a couple of seasons and had me nearly wetting my pants with his stories.
We pulled up and noticed that the kids across the street had built a little snowman. In Central Texas. On Easter Weekend. Also, apparently it's important for Texas snowmen to have a noose with them at all times.
And here is the poor palm tree in Randy and Bentley's backyard. They look really funny with snow on them.
So this is actually Randy's parent's house that they are taking care of while his parents are stationed in Louisiana. His mom is a designer and she did this rad display for Christmas that I am totally going to steal next year.
We finally did make it to the shopping where the bargain fairy really smile on us. I walked off with a nice spring makeover for my wardrobe that didn't make my bank account cry TOO much. Somehow we ended up staying up until 2:30 in the morning once again. It's a wonder we ever graduated from college because that was pretty standard behavior for us back then. The next day we (I) slept in again and then we ate the greatest boneless chicken wings and various other frighteningly fried foods for Easter Dinner. It was perfect.

And then I had to say goodbye to everyone. Mary, Jer and the giant television. It was soooooo fun to see all of them and to just relax. When you are hundreds of miles from home you have no choice but to forget about taxes and messy bathrooms and Costco runs. I even wrote an entire marketing proposal on the plane that my boss really liked which I think was a product of clearing all those worries OUT.

Hope you all had a great Easter too. I'm off to the grocery store to see if there are still any peeps leftover!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Oh no

Several people over the last television season have told me I remind them on Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon on 30 Rock. I've been watching the show and I'm willing to take that as a compliment.

So I'm catching up on The Office tonight and there is a 45 second promo that begins with Liz Lemon: Professionally Gifted, Romantically Challenged.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Deep in the Heart

Well I'm off to Texas for Spring Break. I might not come back if I meet a nice football coach...

Happy Easter everyone!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


My friend Keith was in this commercial. I don't know if it ever made it to the TV but it's pretty awesome.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Stranger Danger

OK, fine, some days I go to Fat Burger for lunch.

Today was one of those days. It was also one of those days where I became completely obsessed with some strangers. Weeks and weeks can go by where I don't even notice the people around me and then "BAM!", someone piques my interest and I'm enthralled with figuring them out.

So today it was this cute little family sitting a few table over. I have had a steady stream of wedding announcements, baby showers invites and photos of pregnant bellies as of late so maybe my brain is just extra tuned to families lately. I have been studying alot of them lately-observing the way the parents interact, the way they talk to their kids, how tired the moms look-just gathering information and filing it away.

Enter adorable Aliso Viejo Fat Burger family. Dad was super cute and casual in jeans and a t-shirt with square black hipster glasses, mom had long blonde hair and fresh looking makeup, and was clearly in good shape. Their little girl was wearing itty bitty Chuck Taylors and lit up when the jukebox lit up and started playing old Stevie Wonder songs.

I fell in love with them. They had newspapers and stuff strewn all over the table and were alternately talking to each other, to the baby and reading. It seemed like they were at home having breakfast. But they weren't. They were at Fat Burger on a Monday at 1:30. This made me like them even more. They didn't look like they eat hamburgers everyday or anything but I liked that they were letting the kid eat fries. Raise your hand if you got a Happy Meal now and then and still turned out to be a healthy adult. It made them seem reasonable and fun.

We got up to leave at the same time so I watched them go to their car. Silver Acura, very cute. She drove. So I've decided they came to take Daddy to lunch before they went home for a nap and some Mommy time. I was going to make him an architect (because I am obsessed with architects. I have always wanted to marry one. A creative career that requires smarts and can actually pay well? D-r-e-a-m-y)but he was dressed to casually so I turned him into graphic designer. She's staying home with the little one right now but she does some freelance writing. They live in a cute little pre-fab modern house in Mission Viejo with their Alaskan Malamute. Right now they are saving up for a trip to Iceland in August. They still haven't decided if they will take the baby or not but they do like the idea of encouraging interesting travel at a very young age.

I could go on and on but suffice it to say, although I like my life plenty, sometimes it's really fun to let yourself into someone else's for the afternoon. Even if you are making it up.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

We Have a Winner

It's called everyone.

Solid suggestions folks. If you submitted a list, send an email to

with your shoe size (or the shoe size of your signifigant female) and mailing address.

I'll keep you posted on where we are going with these names.

And here is something fun for the rest of you.