Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good Friends and Good Odds!

Last week I had the chance to play catch-up with one of my best friends from my High School in New Mexico.  She was in the area visiting and made time to spend a few hours visiting.  It was fantastic!  It's one of those relationships that has had ups and downs, almost quit at times, yet stuck it out, and has always been there in the end.  We've seen each side of each other from the ages of 13 and up, and still like each other - That's sayin' somethin'!  Haha...

All in all, it was fun to see a bit of where we've been this past year as we haven't talked much.  I really appreciate who she is and I know it's reciprocated.  The thing I enjoy most about our friendship?  There's no need to explain anything to each other, or reveal big background stories because we've known each other for so long.  There's no judgment passed or expectations - we just are what we are, and we're each fine with what the other has to offer and become.  We can go forever without speaking and then when we hang out, it's still natural.  I enjoy that a lot...

I have many friends and acquaintances, but there are few that I can truly say I feel completely confident in them to not pass judgment or expect something from me.  It's nice when one of these type of friends comes into your life.  I value them so highly.  I'm going to try and be that kind of friend to more people... :)

On another note, she now lives in a rather small area in Arizona.  She is thinking about different options for the upcoming years because of her job situation and living conditions.  One part of that is the people there... Not only in relations to dating potentials, but also with friends, her grandmother put it as:
"The odds are good, but the goods are odd."  

I died laughing... I thought about how there are so many times that this statement has played in my life - especially being in a church single's ward.  I know that being here in Utah I'm suppose to have a higher chance at finding eternal bliss, and perhaps I will.  I have met some amazing men here... However, sometimes I think the odds, as good as they are, really are a bit odd.  Haha!  Then again, so am I!

P.S.  Because I know SOMEONE will comment on it, I know that eternal bliss is much more than finding a man and getting married.  I was merely making an attempt at humor.  Did it work?

Song of the Day: I can not stop jamming to this song while I drive to work, work-out, and get ready in the morning.  It's a bit scandalous, I know... Still!  Here is "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 (Feat. Christina Aguilera).  Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 2011: A Month in Pictures

This past few weeks I have done some pretty awesome things with some friends... I think I'll share just a few with you!
We had a pudding slip-n-slide night, but it turned into an all-out pudding fight night!  It was pretty epic!

Above:  Our pudding crew making a classic pyramid! Below: Nicole sandwich!

On the 15th of July I was sitting in a theater at midnight with a ton of other Harry Potter fans watching the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - The ending to an era!  It was AMAZING!

Above: The Draper rodeo!  Candace and I went - it was awesome... Below: Amber and I met a bunch of friends in our ward to head to the SLC Rodeo! I'm not really a rodeo person, but I went to two this summer, so that says something...?

Kay and I went to the first night of SLC Twilight Concert Series to see Explosions in the Sky!

Sam is kinda in love with mini-golfing, having the pass of all passes, and had me come along while I was staying down there with her this last month.  Loved it! I even got three hole-in-ones... but also three scratches.  Yikes! :)

Song of the Day: This is a good jam - just becoming popular, and rightly so... Here is Gym Class Heroes (Feat. Adam Levine) with "Stereo Hearts."  Check the lyrics - my favorite part?
"I only pray you'll never leave me behind, because good music can be so hard to find."  
Love it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Break Me Down To Build Me Up

“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

My friend Kate used this quote often in college, but I never fully understood it until recently. I have come to recognize the beauty of this idea, and simultaneously, it's stupidity.

Why would you put up your own walls and barricades? Why make it harder for people to get close to you?

There are a million and one answers to these questions... Fear comes readily to mind, as does the desire to be sought after. I'm not just talking about in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, but also in any relationship. You want your friends to want make effort and reach out. You want your family to do the same. You most definitely desire for those you date to do seek after you and your well-being. You want the people around you to care enough to ask questions, and take real, genuine notice of how you're doing or feeling.

I'm lucky I have fabulous friends. I really do have friends that care about me, and love me.

However, sometimes I think I still put up walls. There are times when I don't really want to shut people out, but I want to see who cares enough to not only look at me or talk to me, but to really SEE me. I didn't realize that I did it until this week...

I can't explain it, but while I feel filled with absurdity over this somewhat-trivial tactic, I also feel validated. It is completely unintentional, but it happens... and I think we all do it at certain points in our life or relationships.  It's hard because I think it's a lame notion, and yet completely comprehend the reasoning behind the idea... We want someone to SEE us - not just see us.  In a world where instant gratification and rapid amounts of change are upon us in each wake of life, we lose a sense of self-importance and worth.  It's humbling, and yet startling... You need friends and family there to care enough to lift you.

I don't think I really noticed how deeply I need people in my life - I need love from those surrounding me - to function fully.  For all of you have been there for me at any point in my life, Thank You.  Thank for you caring enough to see past the outer shell, and take the time to notice me, truly SEE me, and to genuinely care.

Thank you for giving the time and energy I have forced from you in order to break-down my walls. 

Song of the Day:  This song has nothing to do with breaking walls, but could perhaps draw analogies to not putting up so many walls...?  Haha!  I think it's just fun to work out to, so that's that.  Here is NKOTBSB (New Kids On The Block & Backstreet Boys) with "Don't Turn Off the Lights," with the Dancing With the Stars cast from this past season dancing to the song.  Only qualm - Nick just isn't that great live on this... Boo.  Haha!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Been Awhile Since I've Heard a Good Quote...

I'm just going to get to the point of this entry, so here you go...

"I'm done with the church." - Amber (Spencer had to go back to the church after our ward "Munch N' Mingle" for meetings and asked if anyone wanted to go back with him.  We were all ready for naps and Amber's comment was too funny not to take differently...)

We were watching Harry Potter 7: Part I and the part where Harry, Ron, and Hermione get to Grimwald Place and see the fake Dumbledore apparition created to scare intruders came on.  After the part played, Hermione says there are traps set to scare Snape if he comes snooping.  Ammon, the brother of the little girl I nanny, turned to me and said, completely sincere, "Is Snape really scared of dust or something?"

"I've got boobs!" - Linze... I was talking about a problem with fitting into certain kinds of clothing, but it was one of those "everything-got-quiet-randomly" moments.  Sidenote:  As much as I love them, it can be annoying when a shirt of dress doesn't fit solely because they're too big - blech.

"Can you just hold my pocket open?" - Matt (Hahahahaha...  Pudding.)

"I don't usually shower with girls." - Matt (Sidenote: We had a giant pudding fight and couldn't get in a car that dirty, so we showered at Jasmine's all together...and we all had clothes on, in case you thought otherwise.)

"You lick me and then I'll lick you!" - Nicole... Again, with the pudding...

"I don't understand these." - Linze with a look of utter confusion after eating the new "airy" Hershey's kisses - What?  They're weird!

"Black people come to rodeos?!" - Random guy at the rodeo to his black friend - quite hilarious really cause we weren't sure how to respond till we saw they were friends.

"I just want the pigs to DIE!" - Linze... Guess what game I was playing...

Nick looked pretty awkward trying to get the giant beach balls put away, having to run in front of the stage and it led to a very awkward conversation.  The gist?  "It's cause I wasn't there." - Linze (You had to be there to get how funny this was...)

"Anyone got eyes on Danniey?" - Linze
"I've got eyes on you." - Nick

"Faith over fear, people.  Faith over fear." - Stephen Jones  (This couple at SoF said they had been dating for three years and he asked why they weren't engaged, to which the boy fell silent and Stephen gave his take!)

"You are suppose to support me in this relationship!" - Linze
"I'll support you tonight, girl." - Nick... meaning the show, SoF!

"It's because he's dsylexic." - Mckell

"That has nothing to do with being able to walk!" - Linze

"She's a really fun person outside of sacrament meeting!" - I don't recall, but it was so hilarious...

"I want you to picture that when you go to bed tonight." - Nick

"I'm sitting on something hard...Oh my gosh!  It's your computer!" - Linze

"I could write my thesis in 'Zorro' writing... That would be epic." - Linze

"Please, just slap it!" - Spencer, trying to get us to hit his bug bites.... He also tried to get me to touch his "man-thighs" because I hate them... Most awkward moment ever - or at least this week. 

"I'm a princess... and princesses EAT!" - Eliza

"I'm a princess.  Mama, you're the queen, Daddy is the prince, and Linze... You're a witch." - Eliza... It was fairly classic.

Song of the Day:  My friend Nicole showed me this song the other day and I love it - it's way motivational!  Here is Fabolous with "It's My Time."  Enjoy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Tactics Fashion New Results

"To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did."
 - Annonymus 

Someone told me God said it... Where is that in the Bible?  Oh, right next to "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."  FYI - God never said that.  Jesus never said that.  However, they both said things with similar sentiment... Here comes more religious folklore.

Now, all joking aside, I really love this quote above.  I think oft times we maintain "trying harder" as a good option to obtain what we desire.  There's another quote I enjoy,  
"The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

In theater class, I loved learning and teaching about TACTICS.  As an actor or an actress we know that we have objectives for our character, and have to think of a way to gain access to successfully achieving that objective.  However, when one tactic doesn't work, you have to be willing to switch it up.  For example, if I want twenty dollars from my friend I might walk in and ask him if I can borrow it from him.  However, if he says no, I might try something different... I might beg him, bribe him, blackmail him, or seduce him.  I might even cry (low, I know).  I just know that I want that twenty bucks, and I need to get it at all possible costs.  So, I do whatever it takes to get it from him. 

I wish I applied this more to life... I think sometimes we get stuck in a rut in our jobs, relationships, school, etc. because of the monotony of it all.  We do the same thing over and over again until it exceeds being comfortable and easy, and grows to become boring.  On the same note, we may have big dreams and try to get to where we wanna go by doing the same things over and over again.  Obviously we haven't gotten to where we wanna go yet, so maybe it's time to change paths, or modes of transportation... Try something new, and a new result will ensue. 

It's science, really... It's a hypothesis and an experiment.  Though I hate science, this time it has a good point... and makes sense.

There is a story about Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, and him allegedly saying,
"I have not failed 1,000 times.  I have discovered 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb."   

Realistically, I'm not sure if the quote is 100% accurate.  Nevertheless, I've thought of this quote often.  Edison did not try the SAME thing over again... He changed things slightly until his idea came to fruition.   Do we do the same when in the process of creation... or do we stick to what's comfortable and safe?  

I'm guilty.  I'd like to say that I'm brave, and sometimes I am... but I have wimped out of plenty of things in my life.  I have missed opportunities because I was scared to fail or to be made uncomfortable.  For a girl who states that she rarely gets embarrassed or feels awkward (though I am VERY awkward at times), I wish that I would take more chances in relationships that might make me feel just that way, but could coincidingly pay off.  I wish that I would try for more things in theater, music, and events, suppressing the thoughts that I might miserably fail, because I might also succeed. 

Wishes are empty dreams... until you do something.  Action is required to make things happen.  I intend to be more active in achieving the things that I want out of life.  If it creates moments of failure, I'll look at is as an opportunity to learn and try something new the following time.  If it creates moments of discomfort, those too will pass... Awkwardness can only last so long.  Trust me.

So, color outside the lines.   
Break a personal barrier.
Go beyond your comfort zone. 

Push yourself to do one "hard thing" this week that has the potential to bring you closer to something you want to achieve.  If it doesn't work... change your tactic, change your game, and concurrently change your life.

I want to know, what will YOUR "hard thing" be this week?

Sidenote:  I recognize that sometimes it's a matter of trying the same thing again to make something work... but think about it this way.  When your goal is to hit a bulls-eye with an arrow, you don't shoot exactly  the same the second time in order to hit the mark... You change the trajectory slightly.  In the words of Elder Uchtdorf, it's "a matter of a few degrees."  He talks about the negative effects of a bad decision in his talk, but what I'm drawing discussion over is that the unknown isn't always bad - just scary.  Use the spirit to guide you even in the simplest things and you'll know if the course is off-target... Trying new things is a part of life, because we don't always KNOW the path, and must trust ourselves to take chances and make mistakes.

Song of the Day: I have recently RE-discovered this band... and they are just as great now as they were in the past.  I have a soft spot for pop/dance/clubbing British bands of the 1990s, and that love will always be present.  Thus, here is Steps with "One For Sorrow," one of their MANY great jams!  In relation to my entry above, maybe if they had taken some different kinds of chances, they wouldn't be in "love sorrow central."  Haha... My favorite part of the video is the peace sign across the eyes... HAHA!  They're perfect party music... Enjoy!

Water Works Wednesdays!

Two weeks ago the local kickball team (The name of the team?  Kick Balls.  I know - awesome, right?) invited me to come fill in for a girl who couldn't be there on the evening of a game.  I'm proud to say that I rocked it - got a run and helped others get some runs... It was fun!

After the game, a group of us went over to our friend's (Karin & Michelle) house to go swimming and chill.  It was something in that entire night that had me feeling as though summer had finally hit.  I think I ate strawberries and watermelon that day too... and those things also solidify summer to me.  Haha!  Oh, the lists that I could make regarding things that mean summer to me (hot coals, fireworks, BBQs, swimming pools, fresh summer fruit, ice cream, late night walks, sports in the park... etc.), and we all know how I love lists!  Haha...

Sidenote:  I really do LOVE making lists.  No idea why, but a good list makes me happy!  Haha...  I'm odd - not ashamed.

Anyway, that evening we got a bit crazy with my beloved underwater camera!  It was one of the best buys I ever made... A little bit of extra money got me the underwater feature and a million and one fun photos & memories.  I love it.

This week, also on a Wednesday, I took Eliza swimming for the first time at her local recreation center and it was a lot of fun.  Yes, I did gt my first sunburn of the summer (haven't had one in three summers actually),  but it was overall a very positive experience.  Haha!  Eliza and I both had "Bee" swimsuits, meaning her's was an actual bee outfit and mine was yellow, white, and black striped- haha!  It was adorable and she was so much fun to watch and play with.  She would tell me to sit at the edge, go into the kiddie area and use her "wings" to float, run back to me and yell, "I did it again!  Did you see?  You wanna see again?" and run back to do it again... about 15 times (not exaggerating).  Then she changed it up and would do the same thing, but ask, "Were you worried?  I'm so proud of you!  You weren't worried!  I'm going again."  Haha!  It was the cutest thing ever... behold the cuteness above and below.


Song of the Day:  I'm gonna go out on a limb here...don't be a hater, but I am way into the new Joe Jonas song, "See No More."  In fact, I kinda love it - a lot.  Check out the music video, listen to the jam, and ENJOY!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stadium of Fire 2011: Baby, You're a Firework!

Cue the music...  
STADIUM OF FIRE!!! [Insert flame sound here]

Many of you know that in the past I have been an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) for Stadium of Fire.  Excluding last year, I was involved the two years prior and have done this for a total of three years... three marvelous years!  Whenever I'm involved, I'm reminded of why I love event planning and theater so much.  There's the moment whenever you're involved in creating a show or event that you have to stop and take it all in... You watch the people and happenings around you, hopefully breathe a sigh of relief, and bask in the beauty of what you helped create.  You feel fulfilled and accomplished.  It's an amazing feeling - and I love every ounce of stress, laughter, work, play, and growth that I take part in throughout the process.

Pretty much - I'm an event/theater geek... and proud of it!

So, this year was drastically different from the previous years for me.  I was oddly very busy at moments and grasping for work at other moments.  I was given the job of ASM again, but dealt directly with special talent.  I was in charge of all the pre-show individuals and additional announcers (sponsors, the head of Freedom Festival, the Chaplin giving the invocation, BYU Basketball players and coaches, etc.), making sure that they were where they needed to be, when they needed to be there, with the items they needed to have.  For example, we'll look at my work with the Chaplin.

First, I had to track down his contact information and get a hold of him... Now, this could be an easy feat and in his case it was, but in other cases it was definitely NOT so easy.  We took on the saying, "Hurry up & Wait!"  Haha... After getting in touch with the person they needed to be given a call time for rehearsal and the show, be met with when they arrived at the stadium, and given anything they needed to make them comfortable - aka: water, a chair, etc.  I also had to get them each credentials, parking passes, stage placements, needed props (mics), and stick with them through their rehearsals so I could take notes for them and get anything they needed.  On top of that I was given other ASM duties (cues, stage placements, props, etc.) to make the show run smoothly.  It was a lot, and yet it was "all-at-once" work... aka:  The work seemed to pour in all at once each time it would come. 

I had a great time, made some new friends, learned more about the process, and seemed to do a good job because they encouraged me to apply for a paid position.  I'm hoping the work that I did pays off, and I've noticed that I could do even more - I could push myself much harder... and I'm ready to.  Bring it.

The show went great, but there were a few behind-the-scenes hiccups that we had to fix.  I won't go into details, but we were quick and fixed everything that needed to be fixed in order to have the audience not notice and enjoy the show.  In other words, we're good.  Haha!

Two cool moments:  First, I have to remind you that I spent a good deal of my childhood growing up in Philly- aka: Philadelphia and other areas of PA.  I miss the East Coast a lot!  The host of the show this year just happened to be a Philadelphia Eagle of the past (though he did say, "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle"),  Chad Lewis.  I was rather excited about this.  I mentioned to him that I grew up in Phillie and use to watch him play, which led to us having numerous conversations and met giving him the address to Moochie's Philly-Cheese Steak shop in downtown SLC.  I'll tell you right now, Chad Lewis is hilarious.  He has a classic sense of humor and he was probably one of the most easy-going guys that I have ever met in my life.  When he saw my on the show day, after we'd talked about Philly he walked up smiling and said, "Hey, Philly girl!," while giving me a high-five... a simple thing, but I felt cool.  Haha!  It was an honor to meet him - really. 

Also, I chatted a lot with Stephen Jones and he remembered me from doing his makeup a few years back for the BYUSA Murder Mystery dinners one year.  He was hilarious then, and is just the same now.  He has some great ideas for comedy routines and a YouTube channel, and I'm hoping it's successful for him - he's a nice guy.  He did a fantastic job hosting his side of things.  Favorite Quote?  When he was talking to a random couple in the crowd, givin' em' a hard time and asked how long they'd been dating.  They said three years, to which he replied, "Three years?!  You've been dating for three years?  Faith over fear, brother.  Faith over fear."  Hahaha!  Loved that.

As for Paisley and Archuleta, I didn't deal with them at all directly.  I didn't plan to.  I saw David walking around now and again, and saw Brad ONCE for two seconds (literally) backstage when passing from the stage to his trailer after his set, but that's all.  Haha!  I'm not that cool, friends... sorry!  However, I did get to set the dancers for David's set on "Stompin' The Roses," (my favorite song off his last album) which was cool... I was more excited to learn the dance from them, then to set them.  Haha... We were all joking that I could take the place of one if something happened.  Too bad I only learned about 32 counts of the dance... Good thing I didn't have to go on, huh?  Haha! 

As a final note, you might (or might not) be wondering when I had my "moment" of looking out around me at the event, taking a breathe, and enjoying what I helped create... Of course, it was during the fireworks.  Unless something terrible goes down with the fireworks, everyone kinda stands mesmerized by the display of music and light... I love fireworks.  They always make me happy - never fails.  I just stood there in the middle of the field basking in the evening sky's glow from the fireworks and being overwhelmed by the music... Love it.

Enjoy the BBQs, the family/friend time, the patriotism, and of course, the fireworks!
Baby... YOU'RE a firework!

Song of the Day:  One of the bands that competed last night in the local artist search was a band called The Whits.  Not only do they SOUND awesome, but they are legitimately some of the nicest individuals - I was rootin' for them, and though they didn't win, I'm still hopin' they get more success down the road.  It's still a a huge deal to play at Stadium of Fire, really... and her note at the end?!  AH-mazing.  Here are The Whits with "Give Me Back My Heart."  Enjoy!