Monday, January 31, 2011

The "Information Age"

I happened to glance at my living room floor the other day, and it struck me as a good illustration of our times:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Arena

I had a really interesting dream last night, and I wanted to capture it somehow, so I wrote out this little script this afternoon. I'm not sure if it means anything, but there was enough literary meat there to make a decent meal. (I've become rather heavy-handed/misguided in my metaphors lately, but don't worry, there aren't any metaphors in the following script.) (Oh, and Carrie, the other part of the dream was that you and Scott had a son, and he had red hair. Your son, I mean. Bets on if that comes true?)


An indoor soccer arena. The stands are filled, and there are people standing on the edges of the field. ELAINE and JOSHUA (husband and wife) walk in and find a place against the wall. As close friends of DANIEL, they have VIP pins on their shirts. A girl named JESSIE stands nearby. She is average height, but round. She dresses about 10 years behind current fashion, and her hair is pulled back into a ponytail with a scrunchy. One can tell she lacks confidence, mostly because of her weight. Her friends are fixing her hair, and one of them pulls the scrunchy off and replaces it with a ribbon. She is constantly fidgeting and keeps looking up at the banner of DANIEL’s face hung at one end of the arena.

ELAINE: (to JESSIE) You nervous?

JESSIE: (nodding) I talked with him yesterday.


JESSIE: I don’t know if he’d remember me, but I…(glances up at the banner, and then at ELAINE. Something in ELAINE’s face invites a sudden confidence)…but I think I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember.

ELAINE: Did you know him? I mean, before all this?

JESSIE: We went to school together. He used to call me “Piglet.” (looks down) I don’t have any hope that he’d…you know, that he’d…pick me. But I just wanted to…

ELAINE: …say good-bye?

JESSIE: (tears fill her eyes) I was going to say wish him luck, but…I guess that’s it too.

Suddenly the crowd starts cheering madly, and DANIEL walks out into the arena, through a door right between ELAINE and JESSIE. JESSIE frantically wipes her tears away, and pulls on her shirt self-consciously.

DANIEL: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming out here today to witness this! This has been an incredible journey, and I have met some truly beautiful women. (winks at a few) I’m sure you’re all waiting to find out my choice. There have been many incredible options, but I have chosen (walks toward JESSIE) someone who’s got all the goodness of the world in her heart! (takes JESSIE in his arms and kisses her, the crowd cheers madly and camera lights flash) Yes, yes. The future is beautiful. And I can’t wait (leans in towards ELAINE seductively, ELAINE backs away and gives him a “Really?” eye roll) to discover all the beauty the world has in store for me.

The crowd claps wildly. DANIEL waves and signs autographs. JESSIE has burst into tears, and is being led out of the arena by her ecstatic friends and several of DANIEL’s employees. Soon the arena is empty except for JOSHUA, ELAINE and DANIEL.


ELAINE: (arms folded in anger) Do you realize what you’ve just done?

DANIEL: What? Only made that little girl’s wildest dreams come true!

ELAINE: (almost under her breath) Yeah, because you’re just perfect, aren’t you?

DANIEL: She seems to think so.

ELAINE: (advancing angrily) You know what I hate?

DANIEL: (backing away) Wait a minute—

ELAINE: Come back here so I can hit you!

DANIEL: I just did a good thing out there!

ELAINE: (catching up and hitting his chest angrily) The worst thing about you good-looking people is that you don’t have to put any work into being perfect! (pushes him into the lobby) People just like you, and they don’t even know who you are!

DANIEL: Hey hey hey!

ELAINE: Do you love that girl?


ELAINE: Do you love that girl?

DANIEL: Who cares?

DANIEL: She does, you asshole! Dammit, Daniel, everyone in the world is looking at you! You have—ugh! You have the opportunity of a lifetime. She worships the ground you walk on. You have the opportunity to make someone really happy. And you’re throwing it away. You’re taking that girl’s love and you’re throwing it away. In front of thousands of people.

DANIEL: She digs me. Who cares what else happens?

ELAINE: (turning away and shaking head)

DANIEL: (calling after her) I’m a frickin’ Samaritan, that’s what I am! Did you hear that clapping? I'm the greatest thing any of them have ever seen!

ELAINE: (turning back) Right. Tell her that when she finds out about your first affair.

DANIEL: (advancing seductively) And who will that be, I wonder…

ELAINE: Don’t you touch me. (pause) If you were as perfect as everyone thinks you are, you would go to that girl right now, and break it off.

DANIEL: But that’s—

ELAINE: Break it off, Daniel. (walks back into the arena for JOSHUA)

JOSHUA: Did he listen?

ELAINE: Don’t ask me that.

(JOSHUA and ELAINE walk out of the arena and out of the building, leaving DANIEL in the lobby)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things that have inspired me today

Watching the State of the Union 2011

Acting Class, and exercises in breaking down barriers and just being honest with other people

Jacob's sacrifices and hard work to get things done and make ends meet

These songs:

(They're two very different songs, but the Silverchair one is just so dynamic and interesting, and I want to make a short film that incorporates the "Home" one...keep your eyes peeled to see if that gets realized.)

Anyways. "There is beauty all around," as they say. Happy Wednesday.

Monday, January 24, 2011

But not a real green dress, that's cruel

I know the way I dress doesn't make this fact immediately apparent, but I secretly love fashion. But more in a "look at beautiful things on and in Vogue magazine" kind of a way, than in the "actually buying and wearing things" way. Anyway, sometimes I get consumer-lust, and I find fun things like these:

Don't they make you want to tap dance? I love the big ribbon tie and the texture detail.

A little Victorian throwback. I don't think I own a single thing that I could wear with these shoes, but I think they're gorgeous. And perfect for Rexburg winter Sundays! (I'm also looking at these and thinking that they could be made at home, given the right supplies and a Saturday afternoon.)

And how fun are the ruffles on this dress! I don't know if the top would be particularly flattering on me, but I love the texture and layering on the skirt. If I owned this dress, I would want to go dancing every single weekend.

Too bad I don't have a million dollars to drop on clothes.

Although, to be honest, if I had a lot of extra money to drop, I'd probably drop it on one of these.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Things that Jacob's done lately that I've liked

Played with Baby Jack, which is always fun to watch. (It included playing the electric guitar for him and teaching him how to dance to it, as this photo is evidence of.)

Told me I was beautiful at least once a day

Celebrated my announcement of "I'm sleepy" by impersonating a low-energy, but very feminine cheerleader ("Hoooorraaay!") (Maybe you had to be there...)

Gotten a slide for his guitar and started to learn how to use it.

Walked from the kitchen into the living room where I was doing homework and said "I know it smells like something's on fire, but I have everything under control."

I sure like that guy. I'm glad I get to spend forever with him.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The beginning

The winter blues have officially settled into my bones. Everything is blue blue blue gray gray gray. The only things I think about eating are warm, calorie-rich baked goods, and I wake up every morning longing for the enveloping warmth of the shower. And I get annoyed with showering most of the time.

It's only the middle of January. How will I last until May?

I sing the body

"I marvel at the miracle of the human mind and body. Have you ever contemplated the wonders of yourself, the eyes with which you see, the ears with which you hear, the voice with which you speak? No camera ever built can compare with the human eye. No method of communication ever devised can compare with the voice and the ear. No pump ever built will run as long or as efficiently as the human heart. No computer or other creation of science can equal the human brain. What a remarkable thing you are. You can think by day and dream by night. You can speak and hear and smell. Look at your finger. The most skillful attempt to reproduce it mechanically has resulted in only a crude approximation. The next time you use your finger, watch it, look at it, and sense the wonder of it. You are a child of God, His crowning creation."
--Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Body Is Sacred," The New Era, Nov 2006

Friday, January 14, 2011

Big news

Jacob's financial aid came in.

It's final. We're going to New York City with the BYU-Idaho Theatre Department in April.


Oh, and I didn't post pictures of the fact that we'll be eating wonderful food at delightful restaurants, or that we'll be doing readings of original works at the Guild, or that we'll visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

* I have a recurring fantasy that Daniel Radcliffe becomes really good friends with Jacob and I. I have such an older-sisterly affection for the fellow. I like to think my fantasy is valid because it's devoid of romantic content. I want to unofficially adopt Daniel into our family. You know, Sunday dinners and the like. Talks about acting. Is that creepy? Even if my intentions are pure? 

Five-year-olds have the final word

Jacob: Are you sick?
Miss K: I am!
Jacob: What do you have?
Miss K: Allergies.

“My tummy huwts. Maybe it’s time to eat somefing fow me.” – KidB

Jacob and Liz: (brief kiss)
Most kids: EEEwwww!
Queen Anne: I’ve seen kissing before! My aunt and my uncle!
A Team: Kissing is only in opera.

Liz: Oooh, cool drawing. Is this a planet?
A Team: Yes, and this has bombs. (walks away calmly)

“I popped up! Like a feather!” – Queen Anne

Jacob: You’re quick! Quick as a wink!
Kid B: Winks! waptors awe fastew than winks!
(I've been saying this at least once a week since it happened.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This is dictionary school, not my journal*

* reference to a seriously, so blessed! post found here. (one of the greatest parodies ever, ps)

Dear blog-world/world in general:

Something has recently come to my attention, and the future English teacher/lover of specificity of language in me feels a need to make a clarification.

With the memory of New Year's still fresh in our hearts and minds, I've been seeing a lot of lists in the blog world lately. And an extraordinary amount of them have been labeled "Bucket List."

But an FYI. The term "bucket list" comes from the phrase "kick the bucket," and is specifically a list of things you want to do before you DIE (as in "kick the bucket"). THAT's what a "Bucket List" is. Technically, things on this year/month/week's to-do list could ALSO be on the "Bucket List." But let's stick to specifics. "Bucket List" is synonymous with the phrases "Life List," "List of Things To Do Before You Die," and "That movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman that was pretty fun but didn't do too well at the box office."

A "bucket list" is NOT:
- a list of things you want to do this month
- a list of things you want to do this year
- a list of things you want to do in your 20's
- a list of things you want to do before you move out of town

A list of goals/resolutions, with any other deadline but death, by any other name is still just a list of goals/resolutions. Don't let that get you down, though.

You can still get creative. The Monthly Must Accomplish List. Twenty-five Goals While You're Twenty-five. Things To See in DC This Summer.

To Do This Week.

You know. 'Cause, hey, I dislike New Year's Resolutions too. But please, don't bandy terminology about like a volleyball.

an overly-aware-of-language blogger

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Testament: The Martyrdom of Stephen

Hi blog readers! I have some pretty epic things about happiness to tell you about, but I'm still formulating them and deciding which ones to share. In the meantime, you get a glimpse into my homework/testimony/religion. In my New Testament class, one of the requirements is to do a weekly "student choice" activity. We can do a short essay, a podcast, a powerpoint, or a blog entry, among other things. And being a fairly avid blogger, I chose to blog this week.

One of the things we read this week was the martyrdom of Stephen. His final testimony is found in Acts 7: 51 - 60. It's a pretty powerful testimony, and I encourage you to read it yourself in its entirety. But in summary, Stephen says some pretty powerful things. He calls the religious leaders out on resisting the Holy Ghost, and mentions that it's been going on for generations. He calls the wicked rulers "betrayers and murderers" for having put to death the prophets and the Son of God.


This would be a really uplifting story if his words got through to "fertile heart-soil," but as the title of this blog entry would imply, the story serves more as a warning and testament. Those Stephen spoke to were "cut to the heart" by his words, and stoned him to death.

Stephen's story is similar to another ancient prophet's...that of Abinadi. The story of Abinadi is found in Mosiah 17: 7-20 in the Book of Mormon (if you'd like to learn more, you can obtain a free copy of the Book of Mormon here). Both men were straightforward in their message, and fearless in their deliverance. Both called upon God in their very final moments. Both men were killed for their testimonies.

Something I've often wondered about is whether Abinadi and Stephen knew what they were getting into. I wonder if they knew they weren't going to get through to the people, and taught them anyway. We know that one person listened to Abinadi (Alma, who ran away and wrote everything down, bless him). And someone must have done the same with Stephen. But in wordly terms, both men were "failures." The people didn't listen. They didn't repent. They continued to kill the prophets and reject their message. That can pretty discouraging.

But maybe that's not what they were supposed to do. Sometimes I think having men like Abinadi and Stephen are evidence of a merciful God...a God entreating us to turn back to Him. To give a final warning before He must be just. Almost equivalent to a parent telling a child that if they don't eat their vegetables, they're going on time-out. Sending a Stephen or Abinadi is like a parent counting to ten before giving the punishment they said they would. God does not punish us because of spite, just like parents don't (or shouldn't). He does it because justice must be served, or God would cease to be God.

Which makes the Atonement of Christ so incredible. If we repent, Jesus' sacrifice already paid the debt owed to justice. And we can receive mercy.

Man, the scriptures are awesome.

As an interesting side-note, the language in the book of Acts provides some important insight on the nature of the godhead. Acts 7:55 tells us that Stephen was "filled with the Holy Ghost," looked up into heaven, and saw "the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Latter-day Saints believe that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct persons. The verses in Acts contains some compelling "textual evidence." =)  (If you'd like to learn more about LDS beliefs about Jesus Christ and the godhead, click here.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Role models

I've decided recently that I want to be this person.

Well, not Marjorie Pay Hinckley exactly, but I'd like to be a version of myself that's a lot more like her.

I've spent the last year or so seemingly shelving my rose-colored glasses...locking them away in a cupboard, as it were. And I decided yesterday that I don't want to be that person. I've thought about getting those rosy specs off the shelf at least once a week, but always conclude that it takes too much energy. A foolish excuse.

Friday afternoon, as I was driving home from Broulims, where Jordan and Heather had to come to jump my car, and where I accidentally blocked President and Sister Clark (University Pres) into their parking spot, it occurred to me that it was the kind of afternoon that years ago, I would have laughed at. I would have seen it as one of the adventures I say to pray for. As I drove, I thought to myself "Good heavens. Could it be that I'm losing my sense of humor?!"

And my soul awoke a little. My sense of adventure/rose-colored glasses/sense of humor/ability to have a good attitude raised its head and sniffed the air hopefully.

So after a year or so of "emotional laziness," I'm re-learning how to be positive again. (Fitting that this should coincide with the new year. Even though I don't believe in "New Year's Resolutions." It seems like an arbitrary time of year to make goals. I say, just make the goal whenever you feel the need or desire to change. And give yourself as long as it takes...a month, a year, five years. I'm not sure why I feel the need to defend my resolution as a non-New-Year's-Resolution, but I guess I am.)

Anyway. I've got a lot of examples. This person and this person, most recently. And the late Sis. Hinckley. I'm realizing there are "seekers of happiness" all around me, and being "too tired" is not a valid excuse for excluding myself from their ranks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 15 Movies

Without looking at your shelves, your facebook profile, or anything else, list the first fifteen movies that you think of that have "stuck with you"...those you think about often, those that profoundly impacted you, those that you keep coming back to.

Here are mine:

East of Eden
Lost in Translation
Little Miss Sunshine
Peter Pan (film version of stage production with Mary Martin)
The Birdcage
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
A Beautiful Mind
Into the Wild
Singing in the Rain
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

This is harder than it seems. I had to cheat and look at my shelves for the last three.