Monday, October 31, 2011

Elaine Dalton

My hopes went up when Elaine Dalton started talking in Conference earlier this month--a woman was actually going to address the men!--but they went steadily down as she continued speaking. It was a fine talk, but nothing special, and nothing everyone hasn't heard approximately eight billion times.

I wish people in the church would occasionally expand the "good fathers" talk beyond the importance of virtue, providing for the family, and not looking at porn. There's so much more to being a good dad, and frankly, those three things are kind of basic for Mormons. If you're LDS, you know about the priesthood and being righteous--but being righteous does not necessarily make you a good dad.

How about discussing the fact that a father can do just as much nurturing as a mother, not just providing and "protecting"? How about mentioning that a father needs to be more than just a provider, or a disciplinarian? How about letting fathers know that loving their children's mother means working with her, doing their share of housework and raising the kids--not just saying the words and giving her flowers three times a year? How about discussing the attitude a father can have toward his daughters; how the way he treats them influences the way his daughters will relate to men, the way his sons will relate to women, for the rest of their lives?

These things, unlike "be virtuous and worthy priesthood holders," are not always common knowledge. They are not constantly discussed at church. They could stand to be mentioned every now and then--and the other topics could stand to be let up on occasionally. (Don't you feel like people start tuning out when they realize a speaker is just repeating things everyone's heard before?)

Besides which, I believe that trying hard is vastly more important than always being "worthy." In fact, it's impossible to always BE worthy. You can be a good father without having a current temple recommend, and you can have a current temple recommend without being a particularly good dad. There are non-priesthood-holders who are much better dads than some priesthood holders.

In the case of the "good father" talk, I think we should be emphasizing those secular aspects rather than going on about virtue, etc. The virtue thing comes up basically everywhere in the church, and these are issues that don't get touched on as much. Being a good dad is much more about these other things than it is about the priesthood, and it's a fantastic topic that deserves to be actually addressed, instead of just a disguise for the same old virtue-and-purity talk. All I'm saying is, if you're going to talk about being a good father--then do, talk about it. Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Actors Who Make Me Want to NOT See a Movie When I Find Out They're In It, Even If I Did Want to See It Before, and Often for No Good Reason:

*the caveat here is sort of the opposite of the last one--the favorites are not necessarily favorite roles that actor has played, but are more likely movies that I enjoyed in spite of these actors being in them

I find Cameron Diaz really annoying for some reason. I really don't know why; maybe it's that she seems kind of vapid.
Favorite: In Her Shoes, The Holiday, Knight and Day. Least: The Green Hornet.  Refused to see at least partially because she was in them: Bad Teacher, What Happens in Vegas, My Sister's Keeper.

I have long hated Kirsten Dunst, and though I feel a little bad saying that because I'm sure she's a lovely person, I just really cannot stand her. I have often said, and been told that I'm rude for doing so, that she just makes me want to punch her in the face. It is rude of me, I fully agree. And yet...
Favorite: Little Women, Mona Lisa Smile. Least: Spiderman 1-3. Refused: Wimbledon, Bring It On.

It pains my sister that I dislike Katherine Heigl so, but it is true. She always seems awkward to me, in the way she talks and carries herself. 
Least: 27 Dresses, Killers. Refused: Life as We Know It, The Ugly TruthOne for the Money (this movie combines two things I can't stand, so I think I can safely say that I'd as soon stab myself repeatedly with a toothpick as watch it).

Not a fan of Jeff Bridges. He's a good actor, but something about him just weirds me out. Maybe it's because he's too good at playing villains, I don't know.
Favorite: True Grit (his character, not the movie). Least: Iron Man (his character, not the movie). Refused: TRON: Legacy.
Every time we watch a movie with Aaron Eckhart, Mike is appalled at my totally arbitrary dislike of him. I don't know, maybe it's that ridiculous Crimson Chin jawline; maybe it's the way too boy-next-door nice-looking-ness. I never said this was a logical list.
Favorite: The Dark Knight, Thank You for Smoking. Refused: Battle Los Angeles, Rabbit Hole

Oy, Ashton Kutcher. I just can't take that guy seriously, and I don't find him funny, either. Blech. He's pretty, though, I'll give him that. Way too pretty.
Favorite: The Guardian. Least: Killers, My Boss's Daughter, Dude, Where's My Car? Refused: No Strings Attached, What Happens in Vegas, Guess Who.

With Philip Seymour Hoffman I think we have the same problem as with Jeff Bridges--he's just too good at being creepy. I actually haven't seen many of his movies, but I've been creeped out by his characters when I have.
Favorite: The Ides of March. Least: Doubt.

I think John C. Reilly's IMDb bio pretty much explains things. I was surprised to really like his character in The Hours, and actually I enjoyed Cedar Rapids and kind of liked him in spite of his character's obnoxiousness... But only kind of. 
Favorite: The Hours. Least: Cedar Rapids, Never Been Kissed. Refused: Step Brothers, Cyrus.

I'm not really a fan of the Seth Rogen/Jonah Hill style of humor. And I was not pleased that the second time I have ever seen my name come up in pop culture, it was associated with that group. Kind of unfortunate, you know?

Favorite: How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Horton Hears a Who! Least: The Green Hornet, The 40 Year Old Virgin. Refused: Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Superbad, Get Him to the Greek.

I can knowingly attribute my dislike of Jonathan Rhys Meyers only to the fact that he looks like a jerk. (I mean come on, look at that picture.) However, I have seen Bend it Like Beckham and Mission: Impossible 3 but don't remember him in either movie, so maybe my subconscious is just holding onto something from one of them.
Favorite: Match Point (I love the movie, but don't like his character). Least: August Rush. Refused: The Tudors (oh, the magazine ads for this show creep me out).

I used to love Matthew McConaughey--several years ago, when I was in my chick flick/Delilah radio phase (yeah, I know, I was awesome). I still secretly sort of love How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but maybe that's because I haven't watched it in years so I just have nice memories. :)
Favorite: The Wedding Planner, U-571. Least: Sahara, Failure to Launch. Refused: The Lincoln Lawyer, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Fool's Gold.

I'm always turned off to a movie when I see that it stars country singers...

Tim McGraw--Friday Night Lights, Flicka, The Blind Side, Four Christmases
Toby Keith--Broken Bridges, Beer for My Horses
Taylor Swift--Valentine's Day
Billy Ray Cyrus--The Spy Next Door
Miley Cyrus--The Last Song
Trace Adkins--The Lincoln Lawyer
Dwight Yoakam and Tim McGraw--Dirty Girl

Or current/former child stars (see Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus above, Justin Bieber, Taylor Lautner, etc.)...

Anyway. This is by no means a complete list, but these are the first ones who came to my head. I'm sure more will come up in the comments!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baggage Claim

Yesterday on Smart Pretty and Awkward I found a website that I think is kind of great. Check it out.

(Megan W L, this totally is something you could have invented.)

Actors Who Make Me Want to See a Movie When I Find Out They're In It, Even If I Specifically Didn't Want to See It Before and Know It Will Be Stupid:

*in no particular order
**and when I say "favorite," I don't necessarily mean the movie--just the actor's role in that movie

I think Meryl Streep is one of the most elegant people alive. Her voice is beautiful and totally underappreciated in her career; actually, she and Madonna used to be up for a lot of the same roles, including Eva Peron in Evita.
Favorite: Mamma Mia, Julie & Julia, The Hours. Least favorite: Adaptation. Top of the to-see list: Postcards from the Edge, The Iron Lady, Lions for Lambs.
Helena Bonham Carter would be incredibly intimidating to me in real life. She's a brilliant actor, and I love that she can play total lunatic (Bellatrix Lestrange, the Red Queen) as well as absolutely normal (Queen Elizabeth, Mrs. Bucket). She's pretty much the epitome of cool.
Favorite: The King's Speech, Harry Potter, Fight Club. Least: Terminator Salvation. To-see: Les Miserables, Toast, Twelfth Night, Howards End.

Emma Thompson is sort of sneaky in her awesomeness. She never seems to be the point, you know? like even when she's in a leading role, she's just sort of understated. So you have to be paying attention to know how funny she can be, in addition to that understated elegance.
Favorite: Much Ado About Nothing, Love Actually, Stranger than Fiction. To-see: Pirate Radio, An Education, The Remains of the Day, Howards End.

I feel like I want Minnie Driver to be my best friend. She's good in a serious role, too, but mostly I love when she makes me laugh, playing amazing characters like Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera. I wish she were in more movies.
Favorite: Good Will Hunting, An Ideal Husband. Least: Ella Enchanted. To-see: Princess Mononoke, Take.

I haven't even seen Emily Blunt in that many movies, and some of them--like The Adjustment Bureau--were fun, but not anything special. But I really like her quirky attitude. 
Favorite: Sunshine Cleaning, Wild Target, The Devil Wears Prada. Least: Gnomeo & Juliet. To-see: Charlie Wilson's War, The Young Victoria

Well, I do not think this needs to be explained. Tina Fey is one of my heroes, and she is a comic genius. I want her to be in more movies, and I don't even care if they're all silly--a movie can be total crap, but if Tina Fey is in it, it's still worth seeing.
Favorite: Mean Girls, Ponyo, and of course, 30 Rock. Least: The Invention of Lying. To-see: "Elmo and the Bookaneers;" all the episodes of Saturday Night Live that I haven't seen yet.

Alec Baldwin has become one of my favorite actors since I started watching 30 Rock. I love his satirical humor, and I think Jack Donaghy is probably one of the top ten best TV characters ever.  
Favorite: 30 Rock, The Aviator, Madagascar 2. Least: Saturday Night Live: The Best of Alec Baldwin (oh, some of it is so funny, but the gay sex jokes are just too too much for me). To-see: The Good Shepherd, The Royal Tenenbaums, Running with Scissors.
I don't really know what it is about Alfred Molina, but I love seeing this guy in movies. He's brilliant as a villain, but somehow I always find myself liking his characters even as I hate them.
Favorite: Chocolat, Maverick. Least: Spiderman 2, Abduction (I say this with the intent to never, ever watch this movie). To-see: Vivaldi, Poe, Frida, Magnolia, Anna Karenina.

Ah, Cillian Murphy. I find this guy incredibly attractive, I'm not gonna lie. Whether he's a villain or not, I am just intrigued by that completely un-macho intellectual persona.
Favorite: Batman Begins, Inception. To-see: Intermission, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Cold Mountain.

So, Mike always makes fun of me for how much I love Jeff Goldblum. He says "You've barely even seen him in anything!" Which is sort of true, actually, but the things I have seen him in are just awesome.  
Ultimate favorite: the episode of Friends where he plays Leonard Hayes. Also: Independence Day, The Switch. To-see: Morning Glory, Man of the Year, Mini's First Time, the 1980 TV movie of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in which he plays Ichabod Crane.

Stanley Tucci is actually one of my very favorites, and I wish he were in more movies! I love the characters he plays and I swear he's the kind of guy I just want to be my best friend, or my favorite uncle.
Favorite: Easy A, The Devil Wears Prada, Shall We Dance. Least: The Lovely Bones. I have not seen this, and I will not, because I saw a trailer and have read part of the book and know that he will be too, too good as that awful creepy man and I cannot have that creepiness associated with Stanley Tucci in my head. To-see: The Hunger Games (!), Burlesque.

I just like Michael Caine a lot. I like the fact that he was a hotshot playboy in the 60s, and I like that he plays nothing but crotchety old men now that he's older. (He does crotchety old man really well.)  
Favorite: The Prestige, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Miss Congeniality, The Eagle Has Landed. To-see: Alfie, The Man Who Would Be King, Hannah and Her Sisters.

Paul Giamatti makes me happy. There's something endearing about him, and I always want to like his character no matter what.
Favorite: Cinderella Man, Lady in the Water. Least: Saving Private Ryan. (This is a cop-out because it's not really a Paul Giamatti movie; also, I didn't hate it, but was traumatized by it and never want to watch it again.) To-see: Ironclad, Barney's Version.

I don't think I'd seen Robert Downey Jr. in anything before Iron Man. (Just kidding--one movie.) Most of my thoughts about him are based off of three movies (and only two characters), but he does those characters really well and I think he is fabulous. I am a fan of that dry clever wit. ("You wear a jacket.")
Favorite: Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man. Least: Due Date. To-see: Good Night and Good Luck (have seen this, but before I knew who he was), The Avengers, The Soloist, Chaplin, Sherlock Holmes 2.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a funny one for me--I was in love with him in eighth grade, when Titanic came out, and then when I got older I was embarrassed about it so I specifically didn't like him, but now that he's older he's actually become a really fantastic actor and I know that any movie starring him is going to be interesting and substantive.  
Favorite: Inception, Shutter Island, The Aviator, The Departed. Least: Guess! To-see: J. Edgar, The Great Gatsby, Gangs of New York.

Emma Stone is funny. She's smart. And I loved her enough in Easy A that ever since then, I'm interested in anything that she's in. It is also awesome that she keeps working with others who are on this list.
Favorite: Easy A, Crazy, Stupid, Love. To-see: The Help. (And then only things going forward, because I'm not interested in anything she was in before Easy A.)

I just remembered Maggie Gyllenhaal. She's another one that I would love to know in real life; her characters are always so daring and snarky and laid-back, and she just seems like a lot of fun. Any time I see her name in the cast, I'm more interested than I would have been. (Does anyone know if it's a coincidence that she's in so many movies with Drew Barrymore? I've seen three on IMDb already.)
Favorite: Stranger than Fiction, Mona Lisa Smile, Away We Go. To-see: Paris, Je T'aime, Learning to Fly, Donnie Darko.

Thanks to Lori, I have also remembered Cate Blanchett, who is another new-ish favorite.  Her place on this list dates to when I first saw The Aviator, and she was amazing as Katharine Hepburn (my number one favorite actress of all time, but I only included living actors on this list).
Favorite: Lord of the RingsThe Aviator, Robin Hood, Hanna. Least: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. To-see: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Elizabeth, The Shipping NewsThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button (which I've been avoiding because the idea kind of creeped me out, but now I'm interested in watching because I like her).

Honorable mentions (aka I find them really attractive):

In a few days I'll be doing the opposite of this collection: actors who make me NOT want to see a movie, even if I'd wanted to see it before I found out they were in it. Who are your favorites?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Philosophy Series: Filling Out the Abortion Discussion

An article from 2008, which I recently saw linked in the comments of a blog I was reading: When Moral Issues Become Political Issues. This article addresses the practical ramifications of making abortion illegal with exceptions, and many of them were things I'd never considered--like the fact that in order to make it legal in the case of rape, all allegations of rape would have to be tried and proven in a court. The two issues I see as the biggest problems with that: 
  • Court cases, even simple ones, usually take several months, and it would be impossible to conclude them in time to perform an abortion. 
  • In order to prevent all women who want abortions from claiming rape, the women whose cases could not be proven would have to be punished. This is problematic for two reasons: one, that rape often can't be proved even when it did happen; and two, that it would discourage even more women from coming forward when they have been raped, because they would be afraid of the consequences if they couldn't prove it. These are not casualties I am willing to accept.
For the record: I believe that forcing a woman to go through with a pregnancy that resulted from rape is a kind of rape in itself.

  • "The Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience," but "allows for possible exceptions for its members."
  • "Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct." Italics added, to emphasize that the Church believes this is a personal decision.
  • "The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion." In its policy of political neutrality, the Church has made clear that they "reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church." This is what the Church did in regard to Prop 8; they have not done it for abortion.
Some things to think about. 

For the record (because it seems to bear repeating): My personal beliefs are identical to those of the writer of the article I linked to--and, incidentally, mesh very cleanly with the Church's stance.

Morally, I believe that elective abortion is very wrong, and in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life, I believe it should be considered seriously first. 

Politically, I believe that it should be legal. Unlike that of gay marriage, the question of abortion is one in which I can understand wanting to involve the law, because we are talking about a human life. But there are too many reasons why it would be wrong to do so; there are too many cases where exceptions would have to be made, and there is no way to legislate those without seriously wronging innocent women. (And for those in the camp of not making those exceptions, there are even more things that are just wrong about what they want to do--like the hypocrisy of being "pro-life" when you would not allow an abortion that would save the live of the mother.) In the end, plain and simple, I believe that the responsibility and choice can lie only with the woman.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Cloudy Day

Today has been off for me, but the last few hours have been incredibly therapeutic. I was feeling vaguely stressed out all morning and just kind of emotionally fragile, so Mike and I decided to head outside, where it's cloudy and cool and absolutely gorgeous after the storm last night. He took me to a part of Wylie I've never been to (!) and it was beautiful--there's a dam, and we stood out on a fishing pier and watched fish and turtles in the water below us. Then we went to a place by the lake, laid out blankets, ate sandwiches and just listened to the wind in the grass and the crickets chirping nearby. We stretched out for a while and read our books--I was starting The Lord of the Rings--then headed home when it looked like the clouds might be clearing. (Today's just a cloudy kind of day, and we're not really in the mood for sunshine. :) )

Nature is amazing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Evil Summer 2011

So I found out today that we're being upped to Stage 3 Water Conservation, because the drought is continuing and expected to last for something like the next six months. This is not good news. We've had some rain, but not enough, and we're not making up for it fast enough to fill the lakes (man-made) back up. I was planning on sharing these pictures anyway, so this seems like an appropriate time.

This is what our backyard normally looks like:

And this is what it looked like during the summer.

These are dead leaves falling in July.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why I Blog

You may have noticed that I've been sharing more than I usually do on my blog.

My time offline last month had me asking myself the question of why I do this, and I'm going to share what I've discovered with you. (I think it's kind of appropriate that this happens to be my 1000th blog post, too; I don't generally bother with the commemorative posts anymore (because my well of ideas ran out several milestones ago), but maybe this can count as one.)

When I went offline, I told you about how dependent I'd gotten on comments, how I wasn't having fun anymore because I'd get frustrated when I wasn't getting enough feedback. So of course I thought about learning to "do it for myself," figuring out how to not need the comments, just being happy with putting my thoughts out there. But I have realized now that I don't just blog for myself, and I think that makes sense, because let's be honest--if it was only for me, I'd just write in my journal.

I blog because I'm a person who needs to discuss ideas, to have connections with people, to share things I care about with others. I don't want to just make speeches about my ideas without knowing that someone is listening, and I don't really like people to just listen without responding, either. (This is not to say that I don't want you to read if you're not going to comment--I'm just explaining what motivates me. I absolutely welcome all readers, and you don't have to comment for me to love you!)

Another reason that is not why I blog: to argue.

I don't believe in just ignoring the hard issues, so people often think that means I like to argue. But I don't. In fact I really hate it. I don't like it when people never comment on my blog except to argue with me, because it feels like they're not actually interested in me, and just like the opportunity to bicker about politics. And it's sometimes a little unsatisfying when people comment only to agree with me, too, without offering any of their own ideas. (Again, please don't think this means I'd rather you didn't comment at all; everyone likes to know that someone agrees with their thoughts, even if they don't expound on it. The support is valuable in itself.)

So, in the last couple weeks, I have decided to really put my thoughts together here. I've been sharing a lot more of the things I think about, because that's what my blog is for--and at the same time, I've been trying to dial down my neediness for responses. They're a big part of why this is fun for me, but as I discovered when I was offline, the writing itself is a big part of it too. Blogging, unlike Facebook, was one thing I really missed when I wasn't doing it. So I'm going to continue.

It occurred to me a while ago that I have a lot of life philosophies besides the political ones, and I'd like to start including those in the philosophy series. I don't know when that will begin, because I haven't thought of any specific ones to write yet (although I do have one in the political arena that will come up soon). But I figured I may as well introduce the concept.

So that's it. That's why I blog. I've been doing it for almost five years now, and I will probably still be doing it in another five; after all, everyone needs an outlet. I'm glad mine connects me to all of you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski--9/10

This book was so surprising to me, and so very beautiful. It's lucky that I didn't know what it was about until the day I picked it up to start reading, because honestly, I'm not really into "boy and his dog"-type stories; I probably would have been totally turned off to it if I'd known. I'm so glad I didn't.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is about a boy who is born mute (but not deaf), on a gorgeous farm where his parents breed and train dogs. Edgar has an incredible relationship with these dogs, who can understand him better than most humans can, and he is the one responsible for naming them. Every time a new litter is born he plants himself in the barn with his dictionary, and I have to tell you that Edgar's love of words is one of the things that makes him so wonderful a character to me. I just loved reading those scenes.

Edgar is a wonderful character, and the Sawtelle dogs are some of the best non-human characters I've ever read. I kept being surprised, even as I was reading, at how lovely the language was, how engaging the characters were, how interesting--and tragic--the story was.

The summary you get from the inside flap is that one day, something really terrible happens on the Sawtelle farm and Edgar ends up fleeing into the Chequamegon, the 800,000+ acre forest wilderness in northern Wisconsin. A few of the dogs come with him, and together they survive as Edgar tries to work through what has happened at home. I can't write much more without including major spoilers, so I will say only that I was surprised to find a seriously strong resemblance to a certain Shakespeare play, which was not what I was expecting; like I said, the story is intriguing. I think I could recommend it to just about anyone.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It has come to my attention that my iPod no longer holds a charge for more than a couple days, even if untouched. I charged it before we left for Utah and then didn't use it until the plane ride home; pulled it out to listen to The Book Thief, and discovered it was dead. Read SkyMall magazine instead. It was very sad.

The speed limit on the President George Bush Turnpike went up to 70 mph several months ago. I have developed a theory that the reason for this was to make PGBT so much more convenient than the alternative (highways 75 and 635, where the speed limit is 60 or 65) that people would choose to drive on it in spite of the tolls. Further theorizing takes us into conspiracy territory: The traffic on 75 and especially 635 is always unbelievably bad, with frequent accidents, but somehow George Bush is always pretty much clear and was even before the speed limit hike. Unless people just choose to be better drivers on George Bush... I'm just sayin'.

The weather app on my phone is fairly useless. The whole time we were in Utah it gave me Wylie weather; last night, back in Texas, I looked and it gave me Payson. We were never even in Payson, unless you count flying over it, at which time my phone was turned off. What the heck, T-Mobile?

I miss playing the bass clarinet so much that I cried during Lori's community band concert last week. Yeah, I'm admitting it. If you've ever been in a performing group, you can probably understand at least a little. I miss playing music, and I miss being part of that kind of group. Lori lives in Frisco, 40 minutes away in good traffic, and we only have one car... but I'm still half considering joining. That's how much I miss it.

And, finally, I have lost another Facebook friend. This one was family, so that's kind of extra awkward, especially because I'm pretty sure at SOME point in the rest of our lives she will want to be friends again, and then she'll have to send me a request, and it will be silly. Sigh. I hate that people have such personal reactions to just talking about things. That's six down.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I feel like sharing this here in addition to Facebook. It was posted by someone I love and deeply respect, but reading it tied my stomach in knots and made me kind of upset.
So here is my response (updated slightly from Facebook):

I left college with $70,000 in debt and no degree (long and crappy story).

I worked 20+ hours a week making less than minimum wage while I was there.

I chose an out of state university where my tuition was partially paid by the members of the church that runs it.

I started working at age 16, and the money I made went to insurance payments.

I got decent grades in high school and received no scholarships.

My husband and I live with my parents, knowing we can't have everything we want. We don't eat out every day, although we do eat out more than we'd like to because it's hard to share a kitchen and cook when we both work all day and he sometimes doesn't get home until 8:00 (after a 13-hour day). We have no credit card, one car that we bought for $1500, no iPad (or cable or internet), and cheap phones with no data plan that can connect to wi-fi. Considering that we both work and have no children, we're not thrilled about our situation. And we don't assume that everyone who's struggling is doing so because of bad decisions, because we're too smart to think we know everything about other people.

We have never made enough money to be able to save anything, though we've tried countless times. We expect nothing to be handed to us, and will probably continue to work our asses off and still not be able to make ends meet.

That is NOT how it's supposed to work.

We are the 99%, and we do not judge people about whom we know nothing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So, We're Back!

Our trip was lovely. Ever since we moved, Mike and I seem to take bad weather with us each time we go back--and true to form, Utah gave us some truly crap weather when we first arrived. As soon as Anna's wedding was over, though, it warmed up, stopped raining, and became the gorgeous Utah autumn that I know and adore.

Wednesday night: Arrival at the Provo Municipal Airport. I am hesitant to talk this up too much because I don't want our secret to become too well known... But since you are my friends I will tell you--flying into and out of Provo is fantastic. Less stressful, simpler, quicker... Seriously. With any luck I will never see the Salt Lake airport again. (Also, Frontier now serves warm chocolate chip cookies on their flights! Shameless PR plug, obviously, but who even cares those cookies are good.)

Thursday: Hung out with Dan, Candice, nephews and brand new niece, Sapphire Katarina Starr Shorten. Weather cleared up enough to give us hope for Friday; saw a terrible movie (Zookeeper), hiked Rock Canyon, went to wedding dinner at Brick Oven.

Friday: The Wedding of Anna and Bryan. Spent the day setting up, wedding at 4:00, reception at 6:00.

Saturday: Hung out with Liz and Jeremy in the morning, lost track of time, and were not ready when Dan came to pick us up for the X96 Big-Ass Show in Salt Lake. Mike and Dan dropped me off to meet my online friend Megan for lunch. Then she and I went to a Feminism-and-the-Church conference at the University of Utah, after which she dropped me off at the show, where we saw most of Panic at the Disco (lead singer had malaria). That guy in the blue is the lead singer of The Neon Trees; it was basically Panic at the Disco karaoke, with various lead singers of other bands filling in for different songs. It was still fun, and the lead singer of the Brobecks was also there. I was happy (except for the tree right in our line of sight).

Sunday: Walked in the mountains up Provo Canyon. (Gorgeous.) Went to Dan and Candice's to hang out before family dinner. After dinner, played Boggle with Rick and Nathalie (I won, and Nathalie drew me a champion's belt and made me hold it over my head while she cheered). Watched The Terminal while Rick read the book we gave him for his birthday and Nathalie slept (Mike joined her toward the end).

Cillian loved the dinosaur book we gave him, and I love this picture of him reading it.

They followed him around the house like this for about ten minutes; Mike was making zombie noises and asking where they were, pretending he couldn't see them behind him.

Monday: Lunch with Mike's friends Sam and Ryan, plus Ryan's wife and new baby. Good times. Repacked our room, which had been a disaster ever since the first day when Mike tried to find his work-out clothes without waking me up. Wandered around our beloved Barnes and Noble for a few minutes. Dan, Candice, Kennedy, Mia, Cillian, Foxx, and Sapphire came over for dinner. Played a couple rounds of Boggle with Mike's parents (he won, and displayed the belt). Went to Dan and Candice's to watch a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

Tuesday: Flew out very early. Mike was sick and I got super nauseated on the plane, but no barf bags were needed, and lunch in Denver solved my half of the problem. Benjamin picked us up; spent the rest of the day watching 30 Rock (oh, how we missed Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy in Utah). Not kidding--we watched probably ten episodes.

Exit row = actual room for your legs!

Wednesday: Back to work.

It was a good trip. Still waiting to get rich so we can make it more than once a year.