Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Graduating

This has been a pretty fantastic evening. It started with Brandon's celebratory graduation dinner at P.F. Chang's, which was really yummy, even though I didn't like what I ordered, but everyone else had enough great stuff to share that it ended up being great anyway. Also we loved our server a lot, and Baby Goose was incredibly entertaining slash adorable, so dinner was wonderful. 


Then we walked around the pretty outdoor mall, and the weather was incredible, and it was a lot of fun. Dafni and Brandon went off to shop with my parents, and Mike, Joseph, Daniel, and I took Jaylee and walked around, and she didn't get upset once that Mommy and Daddy weren't around! We walked across a park and a little girl, probably around six years old, ran up and asked if she could look at our baby. We said yes, and the girl said she was really cute and asked her name. Mike told her it was Jaylee, and I said we call her Baby Goose, and the girl went "Goose!" and started laughing. Then she said "Thank you!" and ran off. It was so cute, and very polite.


Then we went to Borders, where Mike and I bought Jaylee a book, partially because I gave it to her to play with and then looked down to see that she was ingesting it. The others joined us then, I bought Joseph some delicious Borders hot chocolate that we shared with my mom and Daniel, and then we left.


Mike and I had books to return at the Allen library, so we dropped them off, then wandered around contentedly with nothing in particular in mind, just picking things up as they looked good. This is probably going to sound silly, but for me it was really nice to not be thinking of what books I need to get for a challenge, but just to browse.


As we were leaving Mike asked if I wanted to go to a movie, so we went to the theater to see what was playing. The only thing that was starting within the next hour was Narnia, so we went... and, sadly, it was terrible. They added all kinds of junk to the plot that isn't in the books and seemed contrived; Reepicheep wasn't Eddie Izzard (although they misleadingly used his voice in the trailer!) and was annoying instead of loveable; the fight scenes were cheesy; the dialogue was just bad; and Will Poulter--the kid from Son of Rambow--was by far the best actor in the cast. We ended up leaving halfway through and were very grateful to get our $18 back. We never go to the regular movies anymore anyway, so it would have been really disappointing to spend so much on a movie we didn't like.


Then we came home and watched Friends--episodes we'd never seen because the disc is missing from our season 5 but we'd finally managed to borrow it from Dafni and Brandon!--and now Mike is playing a weird looking game while I write. Our window is open, the breeze is incredible, and we can hear the barn door banging around, which, I am surprised to find, I think is really cool. As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to bed, hopefully to sleep better than I have been all week. 


Also, I found out this afternoon that my cousin and his wife will be living in Austin for the summer, which is happy news, since it will mean visiting. And the video of Jaylee that I've been trying for days to upload to Facebook finally worked! so you can check it out if you are interested in seeing some adorable baby dancing. It's adorable, I promise.


So tonight was wonderful in about a zillion different ways, and I am content. Huzzah for a beautiful evening.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blerg

The last few days have been so busy. Moving... My phone breaking in half... Discovering a million voicemails this morning that apparently came in the hours last night before I borrowed a phone from my sister... Working... Wiping snot from the faces of babies at least once every five minutes... Organizing our new room at my parents' house... Planning brother-in-law's graduation dinner (P.F. Chang's, about which I am really excited!) and brother's birthday outing (Yogurtville, about which I am also excited)... Being excited for my library interview on Monday... And so on. No time for blogging, although I have two drafts saved for next week when things hopefully slow down. The end.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 28

A picture of you from last year and now, how have you changed since then?


Christmas 2009, in Utah


the week before Christmas 2010, also in Utah


I don't know that I've changed much in quantifiable ways in the last year. I'm more of a work in progress.


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 27

Why are you doing this 30 day challenge:


I like how this question makes it seem as though this 30-day challenge is a moral quest or something. Also, I like how it says it's a 30-day challenge, but there are only 28 questions. 


In any case, I am doing it because why not. Maybe so I'll have something to post on my blog during this super busy month when I don't have much time to post on my blog. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 26

What do you think about your friends:


Well, I think they are pretty cool, or else they wouldn't be my friends. This seems like kind of a silly question... Am I supposed to do individual friends? I don't really want to. Maybe later (but not now, meow).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert--5/10

I had no desire to read this, but it came up in so many conversations that I decided I should. It's funny, though--for all the hype about it, I actually have very little to say. I didn't hate it, and I didn't love it either.


After reading (listening to) it I don't have a desire to see the movie (whereas a few months ago my feelings were the opposite, especially because I like Julia Roberts). People's primary complaint about this story seems to be that they thought she was selfish, and I didn't think that. There were small things that annoyed me about the book, but I think that's true about anything, and I do think her story is amazing. Everything kind of cancels everything else out, though, so basically I'm neutral about it.


My strongest feeling about the book is that I am really jealous of the incredible spiritual and physical journey she went on, and would love to have an experience like that myself. 

Inhale... Exhale... Don't Rip Hair Out By Roots...

I am having difficulty believing how awful today is. It's like when I first started watching Liron, and he screamed all day and nothing I did helped, only now it's Lana too. I hold them, they cry. I put them down, they go insane screaming bloody murder. I try to feed them, put them to sleep, can't figure out what they want. So now Lana's in her playpen with her pacifier and the door shut, and Liron's in the high chair with Cheerios, and I'm on the couch with headphones in my ears and instrumental Christmas music turned up really loud. Please let 3:00 come faster than I think it will. 

Day 25

What I would find in your bag:


wallet
camera
keys
Chapstick or other lip balm
Altoids Smalls
my iPod
whatever book I'm reading
a pen or two
hair clips
cell phone
dental floss
two AA batteries (usually)
Excedrin (always)
Clean & Clear oil absorbing sheets
a small bottle of lotion
a Tide to go pen
earrings
a tampon
sticky journal (petals on brown)


And, since we've been traveling, fourteen different kinds of snacks.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 24

Your last five Facebook statuses:

Miri Gifford Shorten  My best friend's getting married in the morning... Ding dong the bells are gonna chime!
Friday at 11:52 pm

Miri Gifford Shorten  I can't believe I just saw a billboard with the sole purpose of opposing a "mosque at Ground Zero." A billboard. Wow.
Thursday at 9:31pm

Miri Gifford Shorten  "It's like Christmas lights, without all the exhausting work. It's like fruitcake, without being disgusting."
Thursday at 6:02pm  

Miri Gifford Shorten  Bumper sticker that made me laugh at the MOA: "Democrats think the glass is half full. Republicans think the glass is theirs." Hahaha.
Wednesday at 9:20pm

Miri Gifford Shorten  When I'm in Utah I always remember how much I love the mountains. If there's anything that could make me want to live here, they're it.
Wednesday at 2:42pm

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 22

What makes you different from everyone else:


This is hard to write without sounding self-deprecating or something else undesirable, but I honestly can't think of a trait that makes me different from everyone else. There are plenty of things that make me me--my love of reading and language, the fact that I am an intensely emotional person but am handicapped in my ability to express my feelings, my distaste for cheap culture ("beach" books, trite chick flicks/crude comedies/plotless action movies, most hip hop and pop music), the importance of music in my life, my strong feelings about family connections, my moral code--but that's not the same as making me different from everyone else, and I know plenty of people who have the same traits. Maybe it's my hair... I guess I never have met anyone else with hair exactly like mine.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 21

A picture of something that makes you happy:






Electrifying... Infinite Time (Time (Time (Time)))...

There is some kind of time warp in Utah; that's the only explanation. Not just forward or backward, but in a whirlpool, so that the past and the future are swirling around and mixing with the present in the strangest ways. 

Mike and I have been back to Utah four times since we left exactly two years ago. Up through the third visit, in May of this year, nothing much changed--Joe's Crab Shack disappeared outside the University Mall and In-N-Out showed up (along with approximately 80 bajillion frozen yogurt places, but that's happening everywhere, it seems). Fairly manageable. 

Seven months later, starting just outside the airport, I can't even count the things that have changed.
  • There's a new "Welcome to Utah" sign outside Salt Lake;
  • The E Center is now the Maverik Center;
  • Subway and the Sinclair are gone, apparently to make way for a new underground walkway from UVU to the Walmart parking lot;
  • The TGI Friday's where I worked has been replaced by Magelby's;
  • The mall at the Riverwoods has been changed a lot and is still under construction;
  • Hogi Yogi/Teriyaki Stix is gone for good, it seems, since three of their locations (including former headquarters) are deserted (and I never thought this would happen!);
  • There's a Texas Roadhouse where Joe's Crab Shack used to be;
  • Orem High School is a completely new building now, albeit in the same parking lot;
  • Albertson's is gone in two locations, replaced by Ridley's;
  • There's a new pizza place right across University Parkway from Olive Garden, along with a million other new small businesses that have cropped up;
  • And now, strangest of all, the Provo Tabernacle has burned down.
And yet, in spite of all these disproportionately recent changes toward the future, the music on the radio seems to be coming from the past. I can't count the number of times, just today, that Mike or I said the words, "Whoa! When was the last time you heard this song?" And the answer is always in years. ("It's just a little crush... Not like I faint every time we touch..." Yeah--on the radio this morning.)

What is going on in this place??

(Start at 1:30 if you don't understand the title of this post--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLa8Br569gA)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 19

Nicknames you have and why you have them:


Moira--my siblings have called me this ever since we were little and watched Hook


Mimi--my mom called me this when I was a baby, and still does occasionally when she's in a silly mood.


Miri Muffin/Miricakes--my Utah friends for some reason developed many food-related nicknames for me... Don't ask me why.

Mirilynn--Amanda and Bethany, and I think occasionally Lindsey, call me this.

Miffy Pop--my dearest friend Katie and her friend Justin, with whom I was excellent friends for approximately one summer, gave me a whole host of nicknames. This was the one that stuck.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mike's Been Asleep for an Hour and I'm Bored on the Internets

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/celebrities-at-my-party-15
Celebrities photoshopped into some guy's party pictures--pretty funny. Lots of them look real.

http://graphjam.memebase.com/
Graphs about life. Ex:

http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/
Eggcorns; aka, it's funny when people misunderstand words.

http://www.travelpod.com/traveler-iq/worldphotos
Geography quizzes--this one shows you pictures of things around the world and you have to place them on the map. A. Ddic. Ting. I have been playing for about half an hour and have only paused long enough to post this... Now I'm going back. (I finally made it to level 4!) 

Day 18

Plans/dreams/goals you have:


In January (after the holidays... too much yummy food before then!) I'm planning on doing a juice fast, then basically going natural with the food I eat. Mike's with me on this--we're going to cut out processed foods from our regular diet as completely as we can, buy as much organic and local food as possible, and start cooking--really cooking--a lot more. (I will write more about this later.)


I have always dreamed of traveling, and Mike and I are tired of how we never go anywhere, so we are planning to take a trip sometime in the first half of next year.


As I think I mentioned a few months ago, next year I'm planning on reading the Bible from start to finish, learning to play the guitar, and becoming conversational in Hebrew. In fact, one of my dreams has always been to learn several languages, and an idea is forming in my head as I talk about it--a new language every year. It's ambitious, but I like it. I must ponder.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 17

Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why:


I'm thinkin' I would like to switch lives with my lovely cousin Sara, because she is in law school (which I wanted to do for several years); she lives in San Diego; she travels to amazing places; and basically she lives a life that is really different from mine, and which I think would be really cool.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 16

Another picture of yourself:
Please excuse all the spots on our dirty mirror. This is right after we got home from the cast party following the last performance of the madrigal.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 15

Put your iPod on shuffle--first 10 songs that play:


I am the Walrus--Across the Universe soundtrack
Oceano--Josh Groban
Dancing Queen--Mamma Mia soundtrack
Hakuna Matata--The Lion King
The Pretender--Foo Fighters
Swallowed in the Sea--Coldplay
New Born--Muse
Sing--Travis
Goodnight LA--Counting Crows
Supermassive Black Hole--Muse


Second ten (because I think this is fun):


Emergency--Muse
Four White Stallions--Counting Crows
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing--Jack Johnson
The End--My Chemical Romance
Wayfaring Stranger--Eva Cassidy
Beat It--Michael Jackson
The Gallery--Muse
Under the Sea--The Little Mermaid
Ghost Train--Counting Crows
Atlantic--Keane


In other news, I really need to organize my iPod.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 14

A picture of you and your family:


Giffords

This picture is thirteen years old and has something like 54 family members in it; it is also missing several family members (at least 14 who weren't in the picture, and upwards of 67 who weren't born or married in yet), but it's the most complete one I've ever seen of my dad's side. 

Zahavis
This is the most complete picture that exists of my mom's side, to my knowledge. It's missing one aunt (and her several children and grandchildren, none of whom I've met because they live in Israel), two uncles, one set of grandparents (my mom's mom and her husband), three cousins, a great-aunt, and approximately twenty spouses and babies who hadn't joined yet.

Shortens

Shorten extended family

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 13

A letter to someone:


Dear Mike's family and my Utah friends, 


I will be seeing some of you in three days! I will be seeing most of the rest of you in four days! And then I will be marrying off my best friend/other half of my head! I am really excited about all this. Merry Christmas!


Love, Miri

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte--6.5/10

This book has been on my shelf since before I can remember. I've seen one or two of the movie versions, and I started reading it once or twice, but I never got past her years at Lowood. So when I created the "books I own but haven't read yet" category for the 10/10/10, this was one of the first to go on the list. I'm really glad to finally have finished it, and I did like it... But actually, not as much as I expected to. 



I have a little bit of a hard time with Jane as a character. She's kind of judgmental, and a teeny bit self-righteous. I hate how she talks to Mr. Rochester, particularly after the wedding fiasco when he is desperately fighting for her and she keeps telling him to turn to God. It's true that her inner monologue assuages a little bit, since, as the reader, we can tell that her words maybe don't completely match her feelings. But I just imagine saying those things myself, or having someone say them to me, in a similar situation and I think, "She's kind of a jerk."


I don't dislike Jane--she just has some traits that I find less than endearing. And I do love the writing, particularly when I get to read it in this miniature edition which makes me feel rather Jane Eyre-y myself (or Elizabeth Bennett-y, really). But as far as the Bronte sisters go, I still prefer Wuthering Heights, which I now want to read again.

Day 12

I found out about Blogger when I lived at Glenwood and a few of my roommates started getting blogs. I resisted for a while, but they talked me into it, and I finally got one myself in February of 2007. There was a small disaster with my first blog wherein I had to just start a new one, but there were only two or three posts on the original, so it wasn't a big deal.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 11

Another picture of you and your friends: (limited) college edition










By the way, I am so excited that I get to see ALL OF THESE GIRLS (except one--miss you, Landon!) within the next week!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Songs I Hate

There are plenty of Christmas songs that I don't like (because as I have mentioned before, I am really picky about Christmas music), but these songs--especially the middle two--make me want to stab my brain whenever I hear them:


Last Christmas--Wham!
Wonderful Christmastime--Paul McCartney
Mele Kalikimaka--any NUMBER of people
Merry Christmas Darling--the Carpenters


If I somehow miraculously do not hear these songs this Christmas, my holiday season will be perfect--so please don't be surprised if we happen to be riding in a car together and I cover my ears and start yelling frantically to change the station when these songs come on... I have to warn you now that it's really likely to happen.


And as a final side note, I need to tell you that I just saw "Feliz Navidad" spelled "Falec Nav a Da," and it hurt me a little bit. (For the record, this is one of those songs that I don't loathe, but don't particularly care for either.)

Cooking Blog!

So, as if I didn't blog enough already... I'm joining Dafni's cooking blog! It's called A Kitchen Cafe and you should check it out. I'm kind of excited to do it, especially since she's moving down here and we can experiment together. Plus, since we're gonna be staying with my parents for a few months, I will have a lovely kitchen in which I have more than one square foot of counter space to work! Oh yes... It's going to be good.

Day 10

Songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad:


Happy:
"You Make My Dreams"--Melee
"Change the World"--Eric Clapton
"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"--Keane
"Time is Running Out"--Muse
the Hairspray soundtrack
the Mamma Mia soundtrack
"Goodnight Socialite"--the Brobecks
"Tragedy"--the Bee Gees
"Fat Bottomed Girls"--Queen
"Starlight"--Muse
"Have You Ever Seen the Rain"--Creedence Clearwater Revival


Sad:
"Mad World"--Gary Jules (and sometimes Adam Lambert)
"Creep"--Radiohead
"Sing for Absolution"--Muse
"Atlantic"--Keane
"Say Goodnight"--Jump Little Children
"Hurt"--Christina Aguilera
"Fix You"--Coldplay
"Raining in Baltimore"--Counting Crows
"Eye in the Sky"--the Alan Parsons Project
"A Long December"--Counting Crows


Now, no judging; I am warning you up front that this next one is partially a guilty-pleasure kind of list. What can I say? Sometimes all it takes is a good beat.
Hyped: 
"Sedated"--the Ramones
"Tik Tok," "Take it Off"--Kesha
"Poker Face"--Lady Gaga
"Four Minutes"--Madonna and Justin Timberlake
"Uprising"--Muse
"Knights of Cydonia"--Muse


Mad: 
"Pain"--Jimmy Eat World
"DOA"--Foo Fighters
"Paralyzed"--the Used
"House of Wolves"--My Chemical Romance


I'm not really sure how to do bored... I don't think I have any music specific to that mood. Maybe if I'm bored, it's because I'm NOT listening to music!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 9

Something you're proud of in the last few days:


I am proud of the madrigal dinner I participated in with my friend Meredith's church. It was awesome. And it is fitting that the last thing I posted was on Wednesday, because from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday night my life was completely taken over by dress rehearsals and performances. This is the only video I've seen so far, taken from someone's cell phone; I'll post pictures when I get them!


(Once the song starts, I'm on the left, wearing a dark dress.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 8

Short term goals for this month and why:


By December 2, have costume ready for madrigal dress rehearsals.
By December 11, go grocery shopping and have food ready for Muppet Christmas Carol Party, plus presents ready to give to friends.
By December 13, have Megan's wedding/bridal shower gifts, Christmas presents for Utah family/friends; be packed and ready to fly to Utah!
By December 22 or 23, have all presents finished up and ready for Christmas.
By December 27, have house packed and ready to move.


Throughout all this time, be selling off excess junk that we are getting rid of! And, of course, I will be working and volunteering at the library as usual. 


It's a pretty busy month for us.