Monday, January 31, 2011

Intrinsically Emotional

I plan to write an entire entry dedicated to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, but for now, I'll merely give you a taste.

Sundance is about passion.  It's about expression and the freedom to express one's self without boundaries.  It's about film - art.  It's about raw emotion... and the surfacey ones as well.  I even caught myself getting emotional here and there.  For a woman who is so intensely passionate about everything that means anything or nothing, I seem to hold in parts of my emotion pretty well.  Sundance is about networking and forming relationships.  It's about meeting those who think like you do, or who think completely differently... and it's about accepting those differences for what they are - individuality. 

It was a great experience for me, where I met a lot of amazing people, saw old friends, enjoyed good (and not-so-good) films and music, slept very little, worked like crazy and learned a lot about the industry and myself.  That may seem cheesy, but it's the truth.  I learned more about what I am made of and what I want to be made of - what I want to accomplish and become.  I also learned that in some of those aspects I am clueless, and though that's hard or simply annoying, it's okay. 

Today I saw a film that I had been waiting to see ALL week.  Like Crazy.  I tried numerous times to get in and failed miserably three times before success.  I have to say, I wasn't disappointed, but I also was not satisfied.  It was one of those films that left you wanting.  It left me feeling nostalgic and a bit empty.  I can't say that I didn't enjoy the film - I did... and yet, I cannot seem to put my finger on why I felt so emotional at the close of the film.

In attempt to NOT give away the ending (as the film WAS bought and will be distributed), I will warn that there is a SLIGHT spoiler below this point. 

At the close of the film, the viewer is left with the task of determining whether the two lovers of the film end of together or not.  I suppose that most left the theater and didn't dwell on the topic - they figured this is how the director and creators wanted the film to end it's really not important whether they end up together or not.  I've been out to the film for two hours now and I can't cease thinking about it.  During the film, I never felt extremely emotionally connected to the characters, and yet I must have become just that.  I wanted them to be together so desperately... but in honesty, I felt that though they were physically together, they were elsewhere... and it hurt for some reason.  I can't seem to pin-point why I feel this way, but I knew I had to write about it...

I felt as though the film was central to some part of who I am, and yet I have never been in that particular situation in my life.  I was intrinsically emotional.  

I guess I gave you more than a taste - I gave you a whole slice of the pie.

Song of the Day:  This song was perfect for my emotions today... Eet, Regina Spektor.  How many of us try to "drown out the sound of our minds" because of fear... I'm just learning how NOT to do this... Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Silhouette Giveaway, Comin' Your Way!

So, I have been getting into crafting blogs this past week because of my lovely sister-in-law and her crafting fanaticism.  I love it about her because it's getting my creative juices flowin'... As I have said before, she's a crafting guru/genius... I love Cami.  Haha!  No really though, I do.

SO, there is this AWESOME giveaway that I found on a crafting blog called Keeping It Simple.  It's a great blog not only for the giveaway (though this puts her on the "flippin' awesome" scale, rather than merely "really awesome").  It's great because she has things that can be done for adults or children, so you can create gifts for ALL occasions.  Plus, she has tutorials on how to create many things like cute skirts, personal calendars (that the kids can HELP create), and even seasonal crafts.  It's just a fun blog to learn new things... and I need all the creative, crafting help that I can get.  Haha!

SOOOOO, here is the deal with the giveaway - I am posting about her awesome blog and the giveaway and endorsing her.  Yep, I Linze Struiksma endorse this message.  Here is the link for the giveaway:  Here is the link for the silhouette tool website (AWESOME!): AND, here is the cute button for her blog! :)
Keeping It Simple

Check her out and get crafty!  Okay, that was cheesy... but you should still do it.  Do that, enter the giveaway too, and pray that I win. Vielen, vielen dank!

Song of the Day:  So, today we watched the glory that is the movie, Hook.  It was good... we did that while playing Spoons and Frustration.  Great times... So, in honor of the amazingness that is this Spielberg film, making the song of the day When You're Alone, sung by Amber Scott (Maggie in the film).  Enjoy this trip down memory lane... and if you have NOT seen this movie, shame on you.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Geocaching, Aprons, and Music Videos...?

So, the last two days were full of adventures!  Oh, and when I say adventures, I mean it. We started off Thursday afternoon by going geocaching a mere few minutes from Cami and Derek's apartment.  For those who DON'T know what geocaching is, it's where you plug in specific GPS coordinates to a GPS device and go "treasure hunting" around the area of those coordinates until you discover the "treasure box."  Sometimes it leads you to TINY boxes that have only a paper to write your name and the date on them.  Other ones are bigger (like the ones we went after) and have little "prizes" people have left behind inside.  The rule is, if you take something, you must replace it with something else.  It's pretty tight.  I plan to hit up some UT locations upon my return... :)

Sidenote:  On "The Mormon Bachelor," a girl took the bachelor on a geocaching date around Huntington Beach and she was my favorite... just sayin'.

Friday, Cami and worked together to create jean aprons!  We took pairs of our old jeans, cut out a basic apron shape, added fun fabric on the sides and a pocket on the front, sewed it all up, and created two of the cutest aprons out there. Yep.  We're pretty much awesome.  I have to admit, as much as I don't enjoy sewing, I always feel accomplished after I have created or fixed something.  I learned a lot about sewing during my time in Germany, and it's nice to say I can work a sewing machine on my own now and figure out what all the little buttons mean... well, most of them.  Eh.  We can't know everything, right?  Right.

Then, there was last night... Me and Cami got a little bit crazy and after singing Bad Romance all day under our breaths, we decided to add a whole new dimension to the song.  That's right...we made a music video.  It's below for your viewing pleasure, so... enjoy?  In layman's terms, the result was what happens with dance music, little amounts of sleep, and one too many cups of Crystal Light.  

 Eat that, Lady Gaga.  I mean that in a loving way -I kinda love her.  Do you think she needs two more back-up dancers for her next single?

I'm not even ashamed.

Song of the Day:  Well, I could take the easy way out and put Bad Romance as our song of the day, but no... I shall determine another one for your listening pleasure.  I am loving on Nicole Scherzinger and her new single, Don't Hold Your Breath.  Classic.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Family Reunion in Seattle: Part One!

Before my return to the states, I made the choice to take a trip to Seattle to visit my brother, Derek, and sister-in-law, Cami, soon after I arrived back on USA land. Back in October, I bought a ticket with some of the little money I had left (judge me), and they offered to help me with the rest of my expenses while I was visiting. For all their wonderful hospitality in letting me stay with them for ten days and showing me around the area, I have been helping out with the cleaning, laundry, and cooking. They didn't ask me, but I thought it was a good idea. It's actually been great because I've been teaching Cami some new tricks in the kitchen and she's been teaching me how to craft.

My sister-in-law, Cami, is an AMAZING crafter! She is creative and versatile. She has the ability to see something, a project or an object, and come up with a way to make it cuter, usable, or just better. I'm kind of amazed by her, and slightly jealous of this skill... I can now do a basic crochet stitch, create glass-looking magnets, make a vintage-record clock, and cut out vinyl lettering. Yep - I'm a master. Okay, not even close, but I feel the drive to be more creative and try out some new projects - haha! If you want to see more of her amazingness (and you should!), check out the link below and enjoy some pictures (some of the stuff we made is pictured below) and tutorials from her craft blog - plus, she's pretty dang funny.

Anyway, aside from crafting and cooking with Cami, I have spent time watching sports and shows with Derek, playing games, seeing downtown Seattle and the Pacific Science Center, taking my first Zumba class(which I LOVED! I plan to sign up for a class as soon as I have a job!), and going to the zoo! I still have five days left here too! Perfection.

The day after I got here, my brother and Cami took me to downtown Seattle to see the Pacific Science Center. It was totally awesome! We walked around some of the different centers, learning how water works, how to do mind-puzzles (Derek is SO good at those...), playing with computer graphics, watching naked mole rats race, played with the little kid areas, AND going to the butterfly house. I LOVED the butterfly house! It's a giant, tropical room with TONS of butterflies surrounding everyone. Right away, a beautiful butterfly landed on Cami's arm and stuck with her for a bit. As we continues around, a few more landed on her and Derek, but none on me... I guess I wasn't sweet enough. Haha! It was still super awesome...

After our time up there, we headed over to Pikes Place Market - a giant shopping market, where the original Starbucks is located. Haha! We sampled a million and one jams, dips, fruits, breads, that were all really great. We saw beautiful dried-flower bouquets, a very loud street performer, cool jewelry and pictures, and just had fun wondering around for a few hours. It was a really neat place... We got lunch down there too - Gyros. Man, gotta love me some lamb.

Sorry to all you "strictly herbivore" folks out there.

After Pikes Place we headed back up to the Science Center for... The Harry Potter Exhibition!!! The Science Center had the traveling exhibition stop in Seattle for the month of January, on into February, and I happened to come at the perfect time. It was the most awesome exhibit, but I'm sad that I wasn't able to take pictures. Usually, I am able to sneak a few good shots, but security was really tight, so I didn't test my luck. Haha! It was a cool exhibit though, with closes, props, set, and video from all the films and characters in the series - WAY awesome!

That was all on Saturday... WOW! Haha...

Sunday was church and the BSC championship game - both great. I was rootin' for Auburn, so that was nice... and I like church, so that was good too.

On Monday I went to Zumba, and then came back to shower before hitting up the local mall with Derek and Cami. I'm not usually a mall person, but this was a call one - it reminded me of San Diego's outdoor mall that I loved to go to growing up.

Tuesday I hit up a cool book-shop with Cami while Derek was in meetings and then got pizza before heading to Derek's work-site with him. He is in charge of one of the after-school program sites for the YMCA here in Seattle and works with kids K-6. He has some adorable ones! It was nice to see him in a action for a bit before sending everyone home early in preparation for the snow-storm. When it snows here, barely snows at all, they shut down everything. So, after watching the snow fall for a few hours on the porch that evening, I awoke to the news of a snow-day for Derek and Cami. YAY! This meant that they had no work... and we could spend all day playing. Haha!

So, that's what we did...

We headed out to the zoo for the day and it was basically deserted. We were able to see a lot of animals up-close and with no crowd surrounding us... plus, as we sang the Lion King songs and reenacted recent SNL skits for the animals, we found that some seemed to be captivated long enough for Derek or me to grab some good pictures. Haha! You think I'm kidding, but I'm really not. Especially with those meerkats.... They really perked up!

After the zoo we came back to the house, made some soup, and played board games, and watched some Psych and 30Rock for a quiet evening at home... It was good. Life here in Seattle is good - I have the best brother and sister-in-law a girl could ask for, and I am SO glad I made the choice to come and visit them. I'm a lucky girl.

Sidenote: The new nanny in Germany says that Nico and Finn are doing well, and that makes me really happy... I have really been missing them this week. I'm glad to be home, and ready, but I'm also missing certain things - especially the two little boys who taught me so much about childcare, life, and myself.

Song of the Day: Cami posted this song to her facebook the other day and I fell in love with it and the subtle hilarity of the video - the video really is worth watching for four minutes of your time. Here is The Temper Trap with Love Lost. It's great!!! Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reunification Dinners!

This past week I had the chance to see even MORE of my friends as people came back into the state from Christmas break. I was super excited to rejoin with some of my friends, catch-up on their lives, and just be surrounded by friends again. I had friends in Germany, great ones at that, but they were far and in-between.

First, I picked up my friend Chad from the airport! I have been friends with Chad for the past few years now and it was so great to see him again - new beard and all. Haha! We headed into SLC after I picked him up and got dinner at Trolley Square's Old Spaghetti Factory. I hadn't eaten there since freshman year, and I must say, it was rather good. Haha! Plus, it was a fun atmosphere, and good company - win, win, win. Haha!

The next evening I headed down to Provo for multiple reunions. First, I headed over to my friends BG and Rosa's house. BG and I have been friends since the end of freshman year and he started dating/got engaged to Rosa right before I left for Germany. I hadn't seen them as a married couple yet, and I must say, they are perfect for one another. I feel like BG really found himself a good fit in a good person, and they work. I'm excited for them both, and it was SO good to see them.

After visiting with BG and Rosa, I headed over to my friend Janae's house to see her and meet her husband. It was WONDERFUL catching-up with Janae! Whenever I talk with her, I always leave feeling fulfilled and like a better person. She has accomplished so much and kept her head on straight while doing so... She has strong opinions about things, and holds no fear in expressing them - similar to me. It's refreshing seeing her and learning from her... I am so impressed with the person that she always was and has become. Anyway, we visited for awhile about her life, my life, thoughts on marriage and the temple, and being working women and mothers (someday). We talked about the past and friends... It was just GOOD. I love seeing her, and I hope that it's a common occurrence.

After my time at Janae's I headed to Pizza Pie Cafe in Provo to meet up with Adam Ruri for his "passing through dinner" before heading to Austin, TX for his new job. I walked in and saw Chance, Bethany, Brianna, Scott... It was great! We all chatted and ate dinner - it was nice to catch-up and form some new friendships. I must say I have always wanted to hang out more with Bethany - hopefully once I'm back in Utah that will happen! :) It was nice to visit with Brianna too. She was a nanny on in New Jersey this past year and we spent a good chunk of an hour swapping stories and laughing about experiences. I got hit on a lot by Scott and that was pretty classic... That kid is a lot funnier than I imagined... Plus, I talked more with a common friend of me and Adam, Deidre. We have a lot of the same friends, but have never really been friends ourselves - she's pretty classic though.

Then, there's Adam and Chance - I adore those two! I am SO lucky to have them around in my life. Adam and I spent about 45 minutes chatting on the phone the next day while he drove to Austin and I found myself again feeling more full. I think that's why I am such a lucky girl. I have friends that make my life feel more full and make me grow personally and intellectually. They make me think and feel good about myself, about my life. Adam is one of those friends, and so is Chance. Chance and I will spend time together over the semester, I'm sure, and I'm excited about that. He teaches me a lot, and we have a good time together... I have GREAT friends!

After dinner, I jetted over to Jon, Bryce, and Taylor's apartment to see them and catch-up. I ended up seeing some other friends to that night randomly. Sarah and Sam both came over to the apartment and we all spent a few hours catching up-swapping stories from the past and talking about the future. As we visited, I looked around and realized that all of our lives are going in different directions and forming themselves into adult paths... It's weird. It's exciting, but weird. I'm ready to have a job and be a career woman, a family woman within the next few years... We all were talking about the future and where life is headed - I'm excited to see where we all actually end up.

It was good to see Sam and Sarah, of course, and really great to see the boys. I have missed those guys and it was great to catch-up...

I still have more people I am excited to see, but now, I'm in Seattle! I flew here this morning where Derek & Cami picked me up. I'm staying with them here in Seattle for ten days and they have a ton of fun things planned! They even have an itinerary on a spread sheet. Haha! I love them... I'll keep everyone updated on my Washington (and maybe, Canadian) adventures. Cami even wants to head to Forks.... Forks, Washington. Cullen-ville. I'm down.

Song of the Day: Okay, so this should not surprise anyone, but here is David Archuleta's most recent song leak - Senseless! It's SOOOOOOO good! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sophomore Roommates & The Three Musketeers!

Saturday I had the GREAT privilege to see three more close friends mine! I am in love with this reunion thing... Haha!

Saturday morning I headed to the airport to pick up my old roommate and best friend, Nicole. She has been one of my closest friends since the end of Freshman year, and I am SO blessed to know her! I wrote a blog about her before, but... it doesn't seem that I said enough. She got into the car and we were instantly gabbing and laughing like before, no issues whatsoever. I love it...

We headed straight to Provo to meet up with our roommates from sophomore year, Lauren (with her husband, Doug, and baby, Ashlyn!) and Sarah. It was SO nice to meet and catch-up on each other's lives! We have all grown and changed so much, and things are good for each of us in different ways. Lauren got married right after our sophomore year and just had a baby about 8 months ago. Doug and her live in Texas now and Doug works for a good company down in San Antonio. They seem to enjoy it and be truly happy starting they're own family - I can already tell what amazing parents they are and are going to be.

Nicole and Sarah both served missions to Argentina and Portugal, and I spent a year as an Au Pair in Germany... We've all had foreign experiences and grown in many ways - spiritually, mentally, educationally, and physically. We can all speak some foreign languages - some less than others. Haha! We learned about cultures and how to deal with different people, and we changed for the better. Me and Nicole have graduated and Sarah only has one more semester left before she's done. We're all excited for her. We're all excited to see where we end up, and what we end up doing in the next few years of our lives. For now, all I know is that I'm glad I still have those four ladies in my life.

Later that evening, after spending a few hours lying on Sarah's bed and singing along to YouTube videos, we headed to the BYU Men's Basketball game at the Marriott Center. We picked up Sarah's brothers, Bryan and Andrew, and their friend, Ryan, along the way and we all went to the game together. It was a blow-out game and a lot of fun - I haven't been to a basketball game in forever! I missed it.

After the game, we headed back to Sarah's apartment where Sarah, Nicole, and I - aka: "the three musketeers" - had a fifteen minute photo shoot on Sarah's bed with my camera taking pictures. Haha! It was quit hilarious... always fun. Shortly after that, Sam came over to visit! There was another sweet reunion... I got to see four of my closest friends in one day - Love it! As I said before, I'm kind of loving on this reunion thing.

Sidenote: Remember the time we all "blew kisses" off my hand, cause I was in the middle? Remember the time I was "backin' it up" and Sarah's roommmate walked in on my stupidity? Remember how I never fail to make awkward comments because I randomly cease thinking before I open my mouth? Oh yea, me neither. :)

"Johnson and Johnson... and together, they make baby products!" - Me... and trust me - it was awkward!

"I, Linze, having been born of homely parents... wait a minute!" - In response to Nicole's texting T9 saying "homely" before "goodly." You had to be there, obviously.

This week - I get to have about ten more of these reunions. Yep, still a lucky girl.

Song of the Day: Okay, this is a video story PLUS a song - Amazing, right. I know. It's a pretty classic video that I discovered yesterday... It's the Backin' It Up jam, courtesy of the interviewed lady on the Kansas City news. EPIC - may or may not have watched this seven times already. Enjoy!