Wednesday, March 30, 2011

my time in the UT

went to utah last weekend.  started a bit rocky when i saw the line for security at terminal 3 of jfk airport.  thankfully used the sky priority line and got through just fine.  was also able to see most of the byu v. florida sweet sixteen matchup. would have been a better outcome if the cougars had pulled out the win.  oh well.  i got to share in the excitement of the three annoying spring breakers behind me who were loudly proclaiming their allegiance and adoration for kemba walker and the uconn huskies team.  if only i was allowed to pick the people that sat around me on an airplane.  alas...

friday i got to meet my newest nephew named mckay warren.  he is the cutest thing with gorgeous hair.  i mean a full head of hair.  poor little guy wasn't feeling great so he mostly slept which meant i took his older brothers blake and jaxon to pick out a toy at target and grab some grub at the local mickey d's.  our little journey in the minivan also taught me that bribery is a time tested method for getting children to do what you want.  i got an obedient blake and he scored a plastic cougar toy.  that's what i call a win win.

friday evening i had purchased tickets to the byu men's volleyball match versus hawaii.  myself, joani, coyote and the nephews attended the match at the smith fieldhouse on byu's campus.  the crowd looked really young to my almost 10 years since i graduated from byu eyes.  we had a good time and the boys loved to watch the players hit the ball really hard.  jaxon even got some high five action from cosmo when we spent a bit of time outside running the track together.  the cougs finished off the hawaii warriors in a tense and fun 5 set match. 

i just felt bad that sunshine couldn't join us due to mckay's illness.  luckily joani has found the volleyball love and she and sunshine will cheer the cougs to victory this thursday.

saturday was all about my friends runner and g-man's wedding at the salt lake temple.  it was so great to be there for the special moment of starting their forever family.  the bride and groom met in nyc, dated in nyc, got engaged in nyc and opted to marry in slc.  their celebration was extra special because i was able to reconnect with friends who left nyc and live in utah.  didn't want the party to end.  runner looked absolutely beautiful and glowed with happiness.  i've seen many a bride in my time but never one as calm and confident as runner was that day.  very grateful to be their friend and hope for many more tennis matches with the newly wedded in nyc to come.

sunday we celebrated grandpappy's 83rd birthday with the always enjoyable pork roast and potato casserole feast.  grandpappy was sung to, opened presents and told us how much he loved us.  couldn't ask for a better celebration.  able to spend a little time with my byu attending cousins from north carolina as well as gooch's parentals, sibs and niece.  sometimes i forget that my cousins have grown up and aged like i have.  seem to still think of them as pre-teens.  did learn that the NC cousins had a bit of a bad track record while driving in high school.  the things you learn.  also have checked off all but two places every child should see from list flex shared with us all.  still missing some national park in idaho and alcatraz.  aunt K-T nailed all ten places.  well done!

went downstairs after the festivities and that is when i was introduced to a show on lifetime called "coming home".  should always be leery of any show on lifetime network.  this one is about service men and women and the way they surprise family members when coming home from duty.  it was joyful, emotional and gave me an overwhelming sense of who the men and women are of our armed services.  am so grateful for their sacrifice and that of their famiy.  and of course i cried like a baby.

flew home on monday. 

these trips to the UT always make me happy because i get to be with my family and enjoy a little bit of surburbia.  thankfully only 3 short months until the next sojourn to happy valley. 

and this time joani didn't forget to pick me up from the airport.  progress.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

what i've learned recently

going to try to do a new series on my little blog where i share things i've recently learned or observed about myself.  last night is a perfect example...

i always make a "to do" list before heading out of town for any length of time.  a standard "to do" on that list is to clean my apartment.  joani would always leave our home spotless prior to any family departure and i have kept the tradition alive.  so last night's "to do"s were laundry, dust & vacuum the living room, clean the bathroom, make dinner that can be used for left over lunches, burn CDs for joani's classes and one for me while i drive the wilds of utah roads. 

here's the part where i realized something about myself.  i'm a creature of habit which means lounging must occur for at least an hour after getting home from work.  all of my "to do"s lasted from about 6:15pm to around 10:15pm last night.  you would think that i would prep for sleeping at their completion since it was about the time i like to hit the hay.  but instead of doing that very practical thing i chose to lounge on my couch and watch hawaii five-o and then bethenney ever after (my new guilty pleasure - shhhh).  i chilled on the couch for over an hour watching shows that are still parked on my dvr.  why??  this meant i didn't actually turn off the lamp next to my bed until 12:30am because of course i had to read for a half hour.  that's just ridiculous! 

now i'm tired and a bit grouchy from only 6 hours of sleep last night.  hmmm.  need to seriously work on the newly discovered lounging requirement after my "work" for the day is done.  or at least move the lounging to my bed so that i can get to sleep at a decent hour and not worry about bethenney's religious hang ups.

Monday, March 21, 2011

jimmer fever from 30,000 feet

thank goodness there is nothing currently worth watching on television right now because all of my focus the past weekend has been ncaa men's basketball.  been glued to the BYU men's basketball team and watching their success.  it has been fantastic to see jimmer play as well as all of the BYU players.  well done boys.  well done for moving the farthest a BYU team has ever gone in the tournament since it expanded.

after the win on saturday over gonzaga i was concerned about the broadcast timing of their sweet 16 matchup against florida.  the reason why is that i'm heading to utah this weekend to meet my newest nephew and attend the wedding of some good friends.  i fly out thursday night which is when the cougars are scheduled to play the gators. 

this morning i quickly located the time and broadcast network for the sweet 16 games.  my cougars are playing at 7:27 EDT on TBS.  quickly pulled up the delta website to determine if TBS is one of the satelite television networks available and learned that IT IS!  woot woot!  my guess is there would have been quite a few anxious individuals on my flight wanting to know the outcome of the game immediately upon landing or paying the ridiculous fee to obtain wi-fi access to watch on their phones or iPads whilst flying the friendly skies.  thankfully, i can view the game in its glory from 30,000 feet while enjoying a nice tall glass of water.

some of the awesome highlights by jimmer & co. versus gonzaga on saturday night:

just might start calling my oldest nephew "jimmer" instead of jimmy...

pathways #9

it's raining, it's pouring...

from top of Eiffel Tower
click on picture for larger view

this week's simple moments

1.  getting an iPad 2 in manhattan is virutally impossible
2.  still detest st. patrick's day revelry in new york city because the air smells like alcohol
3.  saw first sprung daffodils in central park
4.  shocked by knock on my door by exterminator at 9:05am on a saturday when he had from 9am - 12pm to stop by and spray
5.  allergies attack

Thursday, March 17, 2011

personal progress update

an update on all things i'm trying to achieve, avoid or change in my life:
  • still haven't won the Wicked lottery after about 35+ attempts
  • only caffeine consumption since january 1st was on valentine's day
  • facebook remains in exile until conclusion of lent
  • attended my jazz funk dance class on thursday nights 6 out of 7 times (continue to work on double pirouettes without getting dizzy)
  • first book club meeting last night provided plethora of reading options for the next few months
  • successfully avoided ticket purchase to london to see jimmy eat world in concert
  • habitually arrive on time to work in the morning
  • have not added any new television shows to current DVR record settings
  • reading harry potter 4 on my iPhone during commute
i think i'm doing pretty well all things considered.  always open to suggestions on things or ways to make my life fuller and more meaningful.  just no justin bieber related suggestions please.

Monday, March 14, 2011

don't tease me mr. weatherman

my weatherman chris cimino told me that this friday the temperature in new york city is going to approach 70 degrees.  holy moly!  haven't seen the number seven with another number behind it in a very long time.  hoping this trend continues but kinda figuring that mr. cimino is giving me a small taste of what is in store in another month and a half.  patience is not one of my many virtues.

in celebration of this news i woke up in the middle of the night suffering from itchy throat and sneezed about 6 times in a row upon arrival.  and hello to you seasonal allergies.

Friday, March 11, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  went to the gym multiple times this week
2.  achieved an almost perfect score on "beat it" from the michael jackson experience for the wii
3.  felt no pity for people waiting in line in the rain at the 5th ave apple store for the iPad 2.0 release today
4.  gchated with doc while she was in costa rica
5.  booked condo for charleston, sc vacation in june and hotel in union square for san francisco in april

honorable mention:  watched 6 1/2 episodes of gilmore girls season 1 in 5 days which means i'm already ahead of schedule

jimmy eat world in london

already explained why a trip across the pond was ruled out for 2011.  that decision was made before i found out that my favorite band jimmy eat world is performing in london in late june.  at their show they will be playing their most awesomest record ever "bleed american" or the renamed "jimmy eat world" in its entirety! 

all of the songs off "bleed american" are my absolute favorites.  i could listen to that entire album on repeat for hours.  hence why i'm contemplating using some hard earned frequent flier miles to enjoy the sounds of my favorite band. 

it doesn't hurt to hear the male concert attendees sing along with british accents.  that's what i call an added bonus.

earthquake memories

the awful destruction and loss of life in japan is so sad.  it is always a bit shocking how one minute the earth is still and the next it is shaking and rolling, causing damage and despair.  this morning's news took me right back to the worst earthquake i experienced living as a child and adolescent in walnut creek, california.

it was october 1989.  my joani, baby sister moocher and i drove to my aunt and uncle's apartment after school to visit because my grandma was in town to support my aunt before she had her 2nd baby.  we were hanging out in the living room.  i remember that i was standing with baby moocher while the adults were sitting on the couches.  suddenly the earth started moving.  it was almost like a rolling sensation.  my pre-teen self thought it was "awesome".  my grandma was nervous and worried.  my aunt and joani seemed unfazed.  we left soon afterwards to get home which was a 20 minute drive or so.

we pulled up to the house and the gardeners were clustered around a little radio listening to the earthquake report.  it was a 6.9 magnitude on the richter scale and a portion of the bay bridge collapsed.  it was amazing to me that i could go from "riding the earthquake wave" to understanding how this 15 seconds had caused massive damage and lives were lost.  suddenly it was a somber event.

the other piece was that my father worked in san francisco's embarcadero center and was virtually stuck in the city because the BART trains weren't running.  he would have to push his way onto a ferry to cross the bay and then look for a bus to try to get him towards our home.  it took quite a long time for him to get home that evening.

i've been in other earthquakes...even one at school when i was a seventh grader, but this october 1989 quake will forever stand out in my mind.  i saw a showing of community solidarity and outpouring of love by strangers to help each other.  if only natural disasters didn't have to happen to motivate people to care about each other.

i pray that those families affected by this quake in japan will find solace wherever they can but more importantly, love and support each other.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

46 days without facebook

one great thing about living in new york is that it has educated me on other religions and their holy days.  i especially like the catholic celebrations of the easter season.  they observe lent which is to give up something to show gratitude and humility.  i've tried to incorporate this thought of sacrificing for the 46 days between ash wednesday and easter sunday.  this year i'm saying bye bye bye to facebook.  it seems that i rarely use facebook so i'm hoping it won't be too hard of a stretch.

what are you giving up for lent this year?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

spelling and grammar epidemic corrections

found a helpful guide at the oatmeal for teaching how to use proper spelling of words that can confuse peeps.

you can purchase a poster of these helpful hints for your home, office, school classroom or car here.

Monday, March 07, 2011

honor code commentary

i've come across some interesting commentary by some non-sports peeps about the honor code violation and enforcement of brandon davies.  in so many ways i'm shocked by the positivity coming from the american media towards my alma mater.  generally i feel like they want any excuse to laugh at us.  seems to show that society is ready to applaud a person or entity who actually understands and lives the definition of integrity as well as choice and accountability.

The Times article

The Washington Post blog post by LDS public affairs chief Michael Otterson

New York Daily News editorial

bring on the gilmore girls

as previously explained, i watch television episodes on my computer in the morning as i get ready.  i used to watch tv but that became to distracting.  series television on dvds is the perfect combo of entertainment, no commercials and i've already seen it so don't have to pay as close attention as necessary for tv watching.

over the last almost two years i've enjoyed the following: alias (5 seasons), grey's anatomy (2 seasons), felicity (4 seasons), dawson's creek (1 season), brothers & sisters (3 seasons), studio 60 on the sunset strip (1 season), friday night lights (3 seasons) and the big bang theory (3 seasons).  today i started on a journey that includes seven seasons, 154 episodes, 6,622 minutes or 397,320 seconds of gilmore girls.  if i watch one episode a day for the 5 business days a week then it will take me over 7 1/2 months to complete the entire show; meaning i'll be watching gilmore girls from today, march 7th until approximately the first week of october.  this is if i don't watch any episodes in the evening or on the weekends.

i'm diving head first into the world created by amy sherman-palladino of lorelai & rory gilmore, residents of stars hollow, connecticut.  maybe when i'm done i'll get a t-shirt made that states my great accomplishment.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

pathways #8

i haven't shared something from my "pathways" series in more than a year.  figured it was past time to be reminded why i enjoy taking pictures of this amazing city.  just need it to be warmer so it isn't so difficult to be outside for hours.

brooklyn bridge
click on picture for larger view

there's just something about sunday

i kinda don't like sundays.  let me clarify - i enjoy attending church and spending time learning the gospel with the primary kids.  the reason i don't like sunday is it often allows for way too much weekly personal reflection and evaluation.

i need a sunday afternnon/evening hobby.  there is just too much solo time after waking from my necessary three hour nap.  it might be time to actively make a plan to accomplish something every sunday.  you know what they say about idle hands.

this week's "hobby" was to bake some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies while watching the les miserables 25th anniversary concert.  the only problem with this chosen activity is that self reflection doesn't go away while baking cookies & eating cookie dough.  instead it highlights the negative and encourages eating empty calories.

Friday, March 04, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  my local 24 hour CVS store employs the most kind hearted graveyard shift workers
2.  bathroom toilet has a powerful flush
3.  friends to bring soda crackers and sprite while suffering from stomach flu are worth their weight in gold
4.  television programming in march is full of re-runs and made for TV movies
5.  best intentions to go to bed before 10pm failed on more than 3 occassions this week

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

BYU honor code violator

first things first...joani close your eyes and don't read this post if you don't want to read about your eldest daughter's rebellious ways as a BYU college student...

i attended BYU for my higher education.  it was a choice made with a clear understanding of how i would live my life for the next four years.  ok, in all honesty it took me five years to finish my degree.  but that's beside the point.  every year i was required to be ecclesiastically endorsed.  my bishop and i had to sign a letter that i was living all aspects of the honor code.  the honor code was clearly defined.  thankfully for me i grew up in a home that required honor code living.  it wasn't a stretch to be honest, chaste, abstain from alcohol, dress modestly, attend my church meetings, etc.  that was until halloween of 1998.

my roommate, who shall remain nameless, and i went over to our friend tyler's apartment prior to attending a party.  while we were there he was lamenting that he didn't know what costume to choose for this very pivotal halloween party.  since he had numerous options, roomie and i decided to give him our opinion.  we entered his room to review the choices in his closet.

let me back up for a moment - there were about 5 other guys in his apartment at the same time as our quest to help tyler find that most awesome halloween costume.  ok, back to my rebellious ways...

we finally found something that we knew would be great so we left tyler's room and went to eat some crackers and chips and salsa with the dudes while tyler changed.  and then off to the party we went.

about a week later i received a letter in the mail from the honor code office.  i was scheduled to meet with an honor code advisor to discuss my possible infraction.  i was absolutely dumbfounded.  i had NO idea what i had done to warrant a possible honor code infraction.

the day of my meeting i put on my sunday best and went to the honor code office.  when i met with my advisor i learned that one of tyler's roommates had contacted the honor code office about the fact that i had entered his bedroom.  my very first inclination was to think..."are you kidding me!  i was in the room with two other people, the door was wide open, numerous people were walking down the hallway and it was halloween!  how could that possibly be a problem when i have been an exemplary honor code student?"  thankfully i didn't say any of these things.  instead i listened to my advisor when he asked me if it was true.  it was.  i admitted to being in tyler's bedroom.  that's when the advisor smiled.  not the "i've got another one to send out into the cold with a large HC Violator on her forehead."  instead it was the smile of one who wanted to listen to me and motivate a renewed vigilance in keeping all aspects of the honor code.  our little chat probably lasted half an hour.  i walked out of the honor code office not feeling beaten down, indignant, enraged or disgusted.  instead i left with a renewed determination to walk the line perfectly.  i wanted to live up to the trust and faith brigham young university had put in me.

i've been following the byu men's basketball team this season.  it's been fun to watch their success and the amazing talent they share as a team.  the decision to suspend brandon davies from the team saddened me.  but i have gained a new found respect for some sports commentators who have not mocked the standards that BYU requires all students to uphold.  they have been complimentary to my alma mater based on its decision to care more about their integrity than a possible road to the final four.  as many sports dudes have said, very few schools would do the same thing at the same point for their team's possible ultimate success.

i echo their statements.  well done BYU!  and i know from my experience that those in the honor code office are ONLY there to help students who might have faltered.  it isn't a place for judgments or defeating the goals and aspirations of a student.  instead they are there to motivate and teach what is most important in this mortal existence.  again, well done BYU!  i wish brandon davies a great advisor to help him return to full status on the court but most importantly on his personal road to achieving the ultimate reward.

now about that time i was cited at the library for drinking an open can of soda (non caffeinated of course)...

spelling and grammar epidemic

i think there is an absolute epidemic of people who don't know how to spell or use correct grammar.  under my personal pet peeves, i must admit that bad spelling and grammar is close to the top.  i think it shows a definite lack of care and pride in your work.  it could also be the perfectionist in me.  there is no excuse for not learning how to properly spell a word and to use it correctly in a structured sentence.  my writing is by no means perfect but i know how to spell. 

epidemic case in point...all of the media attention on charlie sheen's antics produced the below screen grab from an interview on "good morning america."  there is a glaring spelling mistake.  take a look and let me know if you can figure out what the good folks at morning television obviously didn't learn in their more than likely very expensive education.