Monday, August 30, 2010

I stressed out my dad tonight...

I think you'll get the basic idea from Bob Newhart. The good news is that no one died and the cars are just fine.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I've got backup!!!

So I took a film class during my undergrad. We talked about westerns, romantic comedies, film noirs, and a few different Hitchcock films. If you talk to my roommates from that year, I'm not very much fun to watch movies with because I get a little too excited when it comes to analysis. Luckily, I went on the mission soon thereafter and quit watching movies altogether. I kind of broke myself of the habit. A few years ago I decided to watch SOUTH PACIFIC over the Christmas break. I had an enlightening experience. I vaguely remembered a 15 minute blurb on musicals during my film class. We talked about how they use bright colors and music to give a happy-go-lucky impression. I dismissed the thought until I watched SOUTH PACIFIC. Talk about mega-issues: race, prejudice, war, relationships, etc. Oh boy. I decided that the purpose of the musical was to take bright colors and music and major issues and diffuse them into a happy-go-lucky experience. Since the experience, I think my ideas have adapted a bit too. Now, it's more of the canvas to paint the issues in a way that the general public can see them (maybe even with rose-colored glasses), but they are still there. My uncle has a PhD in Theater. Currently he's teaching a 19th Century Irish Lit class, but as I talked to him about the class they are looking at Irish theater as well...the stock melodrama character (as displayed through Lucky Charms, Notre Dame, and Finian's Rainbow). The conversation turned to contributions of different locations to theatrical community. America's original contribution to theater? The American Musical: taking issues, making them pretty and giving them to the public. HA! I do still have intelligent thoughts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Horn of plenty...

Last week I met up with one of my old Nebraska friends for ice cream at one of the coolest places I've ever been. That day, my daring flavor was Sweet Corn Blackberry. (They make their own ice cream.) While we chatted, she updated me on things to do in Boston. In the midst of learning about the awesome Indian place above the Staples in Harvard Square, I wrote Harvest Square. She politely corrected me, and we went on. (Consequently...AWESOME TRIP planned for Boston.)
Today Roommate texted me to let me know that I'm missing the Harvest. Not going to lie, I've been thinking about that since before I crossed the state line. My one consoling thought was, "Hey! Mom and Dad have tomatoes in the back yard-I'll be fine." Right. I got home, checked the planter box for tomatoes, and found...dirt. Upon questioning, Mom said they sprayed out the planter with Round Up. WHAT!?! Why would they do such a thing to TOMATOES!?! Apparently every plant they have ever planted in that box has come back the next year. Four years later, they had quite the mix: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, berries, rabbits, etc. Yeah. Rabbits were the surprise crop from two years ago. Anyhow, the planter box.
Wait. Back track. Let me apologize for the rotten transition. (It's never been my forte.) In Utah we had a family joke. We always had a garden and we loved the harvest, but it seemed that the one thing we produced most efficiently was rocks. Every springs we hauled piles of rocks out of the garden and every fall there was a new batch. I didn't get it. Still don't get it. Makes no sense in my mind. This is why I was completely fascinated when I came home from my mission to find my parents with a garden not even 1/16 of the size that we had growing up. They had tomatoes and a cucumber growing in the box and to be honest, it was awesome. I don't think they had ever dealt with soil so fertile. The thing that made us giggle was the cucumber. They next door neighbor is very Catholic. She has her traditional Mary shrine in the back corner of her yard, right through the fence from our planter box. Over the course of the summer, the cucumber grew through the fence. One night while we were mowing the lawn we noticed that the cucumber was growing around Mary's neck. Amusingly enough, it wasn't even just the vine. It was an actual cucumber. Eek! We're not disrespectful! Honest! We just have highly fertile soil!
Flash forward 4 years. My parents were tired of worrying about what was and wasn't growing and how exactly to keep the rabbits out of he said garden so they Round Up-ed (is that even a word?) everything. The morning before yesterday, the neighbor caught Mom in the driveway and handed her a bag of tomatoes. She explained that she didn't really care for tomatoes, but they had a volunteer plant in their back yard, It just kind of appeared. Mom thanked her for the tomatoes and came in to share the story. We looked out back and noticed that this year Mary is nestled in nicely to a thriving tomato plant. We may get the tomato harvest yet...if not, Roommate, you'll have to save me something, yeah?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some things don't change... ;)

I've discovered that somethings don't change:
1) Remember how I'm "that one laugh" in the movie theater? Or the non-movie theater? I discovered that I am also "that one laugh" in Methodist Churches during charity concerts featuring "Italian" tenors with ridiculous mustaches singing "You Are My Sunshine". I'm beginning to question whether I should be let out in public at all.
2) Nebraska is one of the stickiest states that I've ever dealt with. I was doing okay with my running regiment until I entered the state that requires a de-humidifier in order to breath while participating in physical activity. Oh yes. They make them. There were two of them with the 11 fans in my 3 bedroom apartment the day it flooded.
3) Hugs from Mama B NEVER get old.
4) Piggybacking the sticky comment above, my hair doesn't know how to deal with humidity. Strangely enough I think it likes to be straight in Nebraska and curly in Utah. I don't know how it works either. Makes no sense to me.
5) I've been wearing the same running shoes for 3 years and you'd never know it to look at them. They still look brand new...unless you look at the bottom. The soles are wearing off.

I guess one thing can change. I witnessed my father sing "You Raise Me Up" at the benefit concert. That is ONE thing that I never would have expected. Ever.

And...the jury is still out. I have a severe "dislike" for anything Bronte. I have many friends who have a passionate "like" for JANE EYRE(the epitome of my previously mentioned dislike). I've decided to read it again and give it a fair chance...I'm trying. Really I am.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Home...

I've learned a few things since I came home and feel the need to share them.
*My dependency on chocolate milk most-likely came from my mother.
*I believe in feng shui. I tried to go running on my parents treadmill this morning and nearly fell over because the furniture needs to be re-arranged: completely out of balance. I couldn't focus on anything. The good news is, I have a project now.
*Photo montages make road trips go much faster. I inadvertently created one on my drive home. I took a picture every time the scenery changed. I was more aware of my surroundings and Colorado went by a lot faster that way. Who would have guessed? (I was also highly amused by the diesels carrying the GIANT Target shopping carts, Toby Keith's roadies, and the motor home towing a John Deere tractor. Bless I-80.)
*Toads have striking similarities to rocks in the dark.
*Playing the piano is like riding a bike. You never really forget.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

sensory overload...

So...the GRE. I've reached a level of total satiation. Sensory overload. There's only so much that I can cram into my brain about reading comprehension: how to read, what kind of passage it is, what kind of message is it sending, what was the author's purpose in writing said passage, how many question can ETS (the GRE people) can twist out of the passage, etc.
I took the day off.
A good friend of mine is a park ranger at Timp Caves so I went for a visit. It was good for me. It felt good to work hard to climb the 1,000 feet to the mouth of the cave. It felt even better to get to the top knowing I was winded, but not exhausted. (I think the running has helped. Maybe I ought to add a few hills to my routine.) She hooked me up with what is called an "IC" tour. I had no idea what that meant. Apparently "IC" stands for "Introduction to Caving" What does that entail? A hard hat, leather gloves, a head lamp, boots, seeping water, and a lot of really dark 45 degree air in an enclosed space. That was a drastic contrast to my Dinosaur experience, a million degrees, giant glass building, T-Shirts, sandals, small plastic dinosaurs, and NO water. The only similarities were rocks and bats. And people. Tourists are the same everywhere you go: people looking for an escape from their real lives, they came to see you on purpose, and they are excited to see you.
I'm a geek. I love to know why rocks are important and why water is an integral part of cave formation. It never occurred to me that caves are living entities. They require air and water to continue to grow...to survive. I learned a lot and re-affirmed something about myself. I love education. I love seeing people learn things that make them happy. Classrooms scare me. I loved school: kindergarten through college. I think I have a fear of public schools because of my public school experience. I don't regret my experience at all, but I did see how many of the other students treated their teachers and their educations. I know there are lots of politics in education and I tend to steer clear of them too, but I had flashbacks to NPS politics today too. I guess this is a really round about way of stating that I do see teaching in my future.