Friday, September 26, 2008

Spinning in Circles

As some of you know, I got a nifty new camera in April. In addition to being red and small, my camera also came with the nifty panorama feature. To sum up, it helps you take overlapping pictures and comes with a program that stitches them together. Neato, right?

I've used it a few times, starting in Logan, Utah, in May. We were staying on the side of the mountains so it, to say the least, a great view. Check it out!

The tricky thing about panoramas is that you want them to be big enough to see the details but the bigger it is the longer it is and the more you have to scroll. Which is maybe why I'm partial to the last of the Logan panoramas.

I tried to get a panorama of Disneyland from the hotel but it was night and it just didn't turn out. One more thing to try again when I go back! Anyway, so on that same trip I got a 360 degree of BYU on the south border. It's super long.
In more pedestrian panoramas, this is the luxury pond at my old apartment complex. Why I took a panorama of it, I couldn't say.
And finally, in August we went to the art museum in St. Louis, which is in Forest Park. And Forest Park is so lovely I had to take a picture of it. Look at all that lovely Missouri-ness!
A few weeks ago I stumbled on this gorgeous nighttime panorama of Paris. Unfortunately I don't have the URL and I have no idea who did it, but luckily I saved a copy. So look at it and imagine a photographer and a website and say "Wow, imagined photographer, you got mad skills!"
Wait a second...I'm supposed to be doing homework right now. My bad.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Don't worry, I did not have another run-in with the maintenance man. The blog title just refers to the fact that I stole the entire construction of this post from Drew. Because he is more creative than me.

Three things I'm looking forward to this year:

  1. Halloween! Because I always look forward to Halloween
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood...DANG IT, WB!
  3. Quantum of Solace
Three joys in my life:
  1. The fam.
  2. Books!
  3. Friends! And emails from friends far away.
Three movies I've watched multiple times (recently):
  1. Last of the Mohicans
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Penelope
Three fears:
  1. Being scolded by an authority figure
  2. Nighttime intruders
  3. Dinosaurs suddenly appearing in the area, forcing me to use one of my many thought-out evasion tactics.
Three favorite foods:
  1. Mom's lasagna
  2. Ice cream
  3. Portobello and mozzarella panini from St. Louis Bread Co./Panera
Three goals I've set for myself:
  1. Get up on time on a semi-regular basis
  2. Draw better
  3. Go running on a semi-regular basis
Three TV shows I watch:
  1. The Office
  2. Project Runway
  3. Battlestar Galactica
Three current obsessions:
  1. Becoming Ferskner (Facebook will provide evidence of my success...very soon)
  2. Snickers (the candy bar)
  3. Unlocking King Boo on Mario Kart (it's all for you, Ferskner!)
Three places I've visited:
  1. Disneyland!
  2. Chicago
  3. Phoenix
Three places I'd like to visit:
  2. Disneyland
  3. Disneyworld
Three random facts about me:
  1. I like lists
  2. I love the sound of train whistles at night
  3. I wish I knew the constellations better
Three embarrassing facts about me:
  1. I fell on a treadmill once
  2. I have a weakness for a few now-defunct British boy bands
  3. I think a lot about what I would do in completely impossible situations (see #3 in "Three Fears")


20 years ago I:
  1. Was 5
  2. Lived in Alabama
  3. Was in kindergarten (all day kindergarten!)
  4. Was really into Love-a-Bye Babies
  5. Loved this particular dress that looked pretty when I spun around

10 years ago I:
  1. Was 15? REALLY??? Oy.
  2. Got really into Star Wars
  3. Read a lot of Redwall books...right? Maybe that was later.
  4. Started trying to draw realistic people
  5. Was pretty over my musical phase
5 years ago I:
  1. I was 20 five years ago? This is very depressing.
  2. Was in the Illustration program at BYU
  3. Was still resisting Harry Potter
  4. Lived in the Hacienda house in Provo
  5. Had one of my favorite years at BYU (okay, so most of my BYU years were favorites)
3 years ago I:
  1. Was getting *super* excited about Goblet of Fire
  2. Lived in the apartment named Earnest, which was awesome
  3. Was in my first semester of French
  4. Had a fire in my apartment
  5. Had one of my favorite years at BYU, besides the French
So far this year I:
  1. Moved to a new apartment: D'CALC
  2. Went to Disneyland (Have I mentioned that?)
  3. Got a new nephew
  4. Finished my first year of grad school
  5. Have made some great friends
Yesterday I:
  1. Went to two libraries
  2. Finished the first Crispin book by Avi
  3. Watched some Season 4 of the Office
  4. Saw that dead squirrel again
  5. Stayed up too late but got a cupcake for my trouble
Today (Saturday) I will:
  1. Go running
  2. Update the book blog
  3. Get ready for the birthday party
  4. Finish Coraline
  5. Probably eat too much junk food
Tomorrow (Sunday) I will:
  1. Go to my RS presidency meeting
  2. Spend a lot of time with the copy machine
  3. Have British Sunday
  4. Finish At Home in Mitford
  5. Wear my new skirt
In the next year I will:
  1. Go back to Disneyland
  2. Graduate
  3. Get a real job. And a dog. Or a husband. Probably a dog.
  4. Go to England
  5. Maybe buy a new purse (that one's for you, Mom! We both know it will never really happen)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Few Recommendations

Another thing I should have put on my 100 Things List is that I like recommending things to people. Some people might call it "forcing" or "pushing" or "harassment."

That said I have two recommendations for you all, my lovely faithful blog readers. Your reward is to hear about two food things that are simply divine. Almost as divine as the Fleur de Sel ice cream I recommended way back (anybody ever follow through on that one? You're missing out if you haven't). Or are they diviner? It really all depends on which one I'm eating/drinking at the moment. But I digress.

Recommendation #1: Imo's Pizza. For those of you who live outside Middle Kingdom, you probably haven't heard of Imo's. I hear you saying "It's just pizza. Pizza is pizza." But this pizza is extra special. First off, it's thin crust. I don't like thin crust but I love this thin crust. It's thin, without being crunchy or overly crispy. Second, they use Provel cheese, which is a blend of three cheeses that I can't remember (provolone, swiss...cheddar?). Thirdly, they have some kind of extra special sauce too. It's sweeter without being gross or weirdly sweet. Fourthly, they don't shirk on their fine-quality, varied toppings. And finally and fifthly, on Monday after four, their pizza is half price. At at least one location.

Recommendation #2: Gatorade Rain lime flavor. Here is the trick, people, Gatorade RAIN. Do not make the mistake of picking up regular lime or lemon-lime or strawberry lemonade or strawberry kiwi. Gatorade RAIN. I have only recently come to appreciate Gatorade, but this kind? I love it. I will chug it because it tastes so good. If you came to my house, I would give you some. But those of you who live in my house already had some, and the rest of you live elsewhere. So go buy some!

I know this was a random topic for a blog, but these are the things I think about at night. And day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wish me luck...

In an effort to 1) read a YA book 2) explore the vampire fiction world beyond Twilight 3) read something current 4) read something easy 5) read something I think will be awesomely bad I am about to start reading Vampire Academy. Vladimir's Academy, to be precise. It's located deep in the heart of the dark woods in...Montana. And these are the first few sentences:

"I felt her fear before I heard her screams.
"Her nightmare pulsed into me, shaking me out of my own dream, which had had something to with a beach and some hot guy rubbing suntan oil on me."

Why do I do this to myself?!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dinner and a movie? How about books and a movie

As some of you know, this semester I'm taking Materials for Youth. That basically means we read at least 40 picture books and 30 novels with a variety of plots, authors and reading levels. We have to keep track of these books of course and to do this I started another blog, which I am pleased to say is called Books and Cleverness. Today I added the books I read this week so if you're interested, you can check those out. Also, if you have any recommendations for me of either book type, let me know! 50% of my books have to be written in the last 5-7 years so keep that in mind.

Books I am intending to read are: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Tale of Despereaux, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (sneaky!), The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Fairest, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Inkspell, The Golden Compass and something by Vicki Grove. I need some more "real life" books and I need more books directed at boys, but really I want to hear any and all recommendations.

And thus concludes the book portion of today's blog.

Last night I watched Son of Rambow, and overall, I liked it pretty well. It went a little long, and sometimes I get a little impatient with movies only about and only featuring kids. Now that I sound like an ogre, I have one more thing to say about this movie. OK, for those of you who don't know the premise, the main character is a little boy who never watches TV (his family is very religious) but he's extremely creative. He happens to watch First Blood at a classmate's house and loves it. So, long story short, he and this friend are making a sequel to First Blood where the little boy has to save Rambo(w) from the Evil Scarecrow.

So, I did really love something about this movie and that was how magical Rambo was to this little boy (William?). He started wearing his tie around his forehead and ran everywhere, jumping on things, and fist fighting with the air. It wasn't that he turned violent or mean at all, but it just excited him so much and he was so exhilirated. I started wondering how often that happens now. It seems like everything is so well advertised and easily accessible, that it would be hard to be sort of hit over the head by something now. I mean, we hear about movies months before they're released, we see the trailers and the stills and merchandise. The only experience of mine that I can equate to the First Blood experience is seeing Return of the King for the first time. In that case, I hadn't read the book yet, I didn't watch the trailers, I didn't see any stills, I read no spoilers whatsoever. Of course, this led to me having minor nervous breakdowns in the theater but it was so worth it to be completely blown away. But even then, I'd seen the first two movies so I had some idea of where it was all going.

Anyway, I liked that Son of Rambow really captured this little boy's experience of seeing something thrilling for the first time and having it really work on his imagination and change his life. Plus the movie that sparked all this was First Blood, which is totally unexpected but it works so well! So, long story short, I would recommend it because, in addition to all that stuff I rambled about, it's also well made, quite funny, creative and the cast is all very good.

Did I mention it's British?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The other day I was walking home from class and talking to my Mom. I get to the building and I go up the stairs when I see that the front door to our apartment is open. And this is the part where I will interrupt myself and say that breakins/burglars/thieves/nighttime intruders/etc. are pretty much terrifying to me. Not that other people don't find that terrifying but I use a lot of mental energy thinking about them and making plans of how to escape or hide or call 911.

Anyway, so I see the front door is open and my heart starts hammering and I say "My door is open!" My Mom, she's so nice, she says "Oh that's good." While I was explaining this, I hear someone inside rustling around, and I wondered if Vera had already been stolen. I didn't go in of course and instead I ran back outside.

As I'm standing there, dying inside, I hear sirens and I think "Somebody already knows! They're coming to save me!" I was also wondering if you had to pay for the police to come save you from burglars.

And then...I see an ambulance drive by and bypass the complex.

And then...I look up and I see someone at the window!

And then...I realize it's the maintenance man fixing the blinds in the living room.

So...I go back inside and the very nice maintenance man apologizes for scaring me.

The end.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Brief Summery

I bet you're all thinking that I'm such a dingdong because I wrote "summery." But what you don't know is that this is my report on summer! See what I did there? Oh ho ho! Tricky me.

It's September now. That means school, jackets, leaves falling, real shoes and apples. It also means that, once again, summer is over. It's always a sad thing to see summer go because lots of wonderful things happen in summer and only summer--although, isn't that true of all the seasons? I had a lot of fun this summer. Here are some of my favorite summery things that I did:
  • Went to Disneyland for the first time
  • Went to In-N-Out Burger for the first time (on the way to Disneyland!)
  • Went through Las Vegas for the first time (on the way to Disneyland!)
  • Ate lots of barbecued tastiness
  • Ate tomatoes right off the vine
  • Went nightswimming--with a frog!
  • Played MarioKart on the Wii
  • Bought a car (maybe one day I will be able to register it too)
  • Went to Utah
  • Set off and watched fireworks
  • Watched a movie in the park
  • Saw blockbuster movies
  • Caught fireflies
  • Went outside in a thunderstorm
  • Listened to the bugs at night
  • Stayed up too late
  • Read books outside
Of course, some of these things will still be possible in the lovely season that is autumn, but some things, like barbecues, aren't the same in chillier weather. Luckily every season has its own attractions so now I'm looking forward to fall things such as:
  • Apple cider. Or as I like to call it: "nectar of the gods"
  • Sweaters! Boots! Jackets!
  • Colorful leaves, and walking through them on the sidewalk
  • All the colors of fall: brown, red, gold, dark green
  • Halloween!
  • Going back to Hogwar--wait...
OK, I promise the next time I blog I will actually write something instead of making a list. Have I mentioned that I like lists? Maybe I should have added that to my 100 things list...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Confessions and/or Admissions

Today I was at a loss for a blog topic, and Ferskner was helpful enough to give me a suggestion. So today I'm going to admit to liking some things that I'm ashamed to like. Actually, let me correct myself: I'm not ashamed of anything that I like. So today I'm going to admit to liking some things that I'm not ashamed to like but perhaps should be.
  • Knee socks. I love knee socks. I mean the preppy kind, not the fancy kind kids these days are wearing. (Example from the mall last week: grey knee highs with multi-colored hearts, coupled with super-short gym shorts.)
  • "We are One" from the Lion King sequel. I just listened to that song about five times in a row.
  • Van Helsing. There are so many things to love about this movie I don't know why it's not more popular...except for all the obvious reasons.
  • Charlie and Lola. I haven't read any many of the books, but I love this show. It's so cute and English. "Cha-lie!"
  • "Leavin'" by Jesse McCartney. I KNOW.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean techno remixes.
  • Vienna sausages.
It was hard to think of this list because, to quote Marcue: "You like cool things. HP, Pirates, the Office. All cool." She also accused me of secretly liking Strutz, which, if true, would be cause for some serious shame on my part.

And now, gentle readers, I encourage you all to comment with your own lists so that I can mock read them.