Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Confessions of an American Idol addict

As they say, confession is good for the soul, so here's my confession: I am completely addicted to American Idol!

From January to May, I make it a priority to ALWAYS be home if possible on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. so I can watch the show (I don't have cable or a VCR so if I don't watch it live, I can't see it) preferably with my very dear Speak. She is as much of a fan as I am! Plus, since she has more of a musical background than I do, I love listening to her critiques, which often make me burst into giggles because of their snarkiness. . . :)

Here is my other addiction: I love reading Michael Slezak's American Idol reviews on I stumbled upon them last year, and now I find it imperative to sneak a few minutes during the day to read the reviews once the show has aired. I love his pragmatic approach and that he knows what he's talking about. Sometimes he can articulate what it is I was thinking but couldn't put into words.

Here's the link from his column about Tuesday night's auditions:,,20007164_20171835_20255444,00.html

And yesterday, to my surprise and delight, I discovered another aspect to his American Idol coverage in the form of Idolatry. These are videos of him and another member of the EW staff discussing events which happened during that week. Last week they talked about the Joanna Pacetti controversy. (She had a record deal and recorded some music but it didn't work out so now she's on Idol. It's kind of the same situation Carly Smithson was in last season. The controversy is always should these types of people be allowed on the show since it's intended for undiscovered talent?) This week he interviewed Melinda Doolittle, the third runner up from Season 6, who is talented enough to have been the winner but tragically got voted off early.

Okay, I know that right about how you're thinking just how pathetic that I am, and I know it. I can't help it! I am addicted to the world of entertainment news and pop culture, especially American Idol. When it churns out such talent as David Cook (the smokin' hot winner from last season who deserved the Idol crown) and Carrie Underwood, I will never say it's all bad. Enjoy the eye candy below. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An eventful week

It's pretty much been all week since I've written anything and although I just posted something, I'm feeling the need to write more. This is partially because the last post is kind of depressing, frankly, and because this week has been full of events that I want to talk about in my blog.

First of all, we said hasta la vista to George W. Bush as our president (many people cheered at this and even booed him off the stage, but although I think he made some bad decisions, I don't think he deserved that kind of treatment) and we swore in the first African-American president ever, Barack Obama. He seems to be making waves already and doing his best to turn our country around from the bad situation it's in. I haven't always been an Obama supporter, but I respect him for stepping right up to the plate and starting in the government offices (with salary freezes) to turn things around. I'm holding out hope, like so many other million Americans, that he can be true to his campaign promises and really bring about change.

This is also the second week of American Idol. Yes, I know this is not nearly so groundbreaking as the first item, but it's foremost on my mind, so I'm going to discuss it. Honestly, the auditions were not so great this week. I thought it was really sad that the judges spent two days and saw 11,000 contestants in San Fran and only 12 made it to Hollywood!! Louisville, Kentucky wasn't much better; only 18 made it there, although I did see a couple of promising people. Idol's doing more of a touchy-feely thing in the audition round this time and while it adds a humanistic touch to the show, it's also early in the competition for them to try hooking viewers to a contestant. Within the next week they're going to be showing the auditions from our very own Salt Lake City!! I'm pretty pumped to see those.

I guess nothing else too historic happened today. However, I received a confirmation once again today of just how screwed up Utah's weather is. For the last few days it's felt more like March than January and it rained on both Saturday and this morning. I was pretty surprised when I got out of church today to see snow falling like crazy!! And it continued for most of the day. It's a very wet, heavy snow and if it freezes tonight, conditions will be treacherous tomorrow, even though my drive to work is pretty short. I must admit, though, that I am delighted to see precipitation because it means we're finally rid of the haze and the terrible air! Yay!

My very dear Speak discovered she had a bad gallbladder this week and had it removed on Friday. The surgery went well and she has been feeling pretty good, until today. She is receiving the best possible TLC from her parents, but I must admit that I'm having Speak withdrawals! I hope she feels better so she can come back soon!

Oh yeah--I know what else eventful happened this week. My friend and I bought tickets to Washington, D.C. in March!! Wa-hoo! I'm really going! I've never been back east before, and I think this will be a great opportunity! Plus, I get to see my very dear Kathryn who lives there now. I promised her I would visit her wherever and whenever she settled and here is me fulfilling my promise! Washington, here we come!! (well in three months anyway) :)

My sister and my niece are coming up for her doctor appointment tomorrow, and I'm excited to see them! In fact, I'm going to include a picture of my sister and my niece because it makes me happy. Enjoy!

You Can't Go Back

Sometimes I think that in the heat of the moment, we don't appreciate what a good thing we have until it's gone.

We take it for granted and although we love it and try to make the best use of it, we begin to think it will always be there, that we can come back to it no matter what.

But things don't always stay the same; in fact, they're always changing. And you never know when that one thing that means so much to you is going to change or no longer be a part of your life. You'll do your best to move on but still find yourself looking wistfully backwards, hoping you can find the missing thing and return it to its former place.

But the truth is you can't go back. No matter how much you may want to, you have to keep pressing forward. You have to accept the twists and turns your path through life makes and learn to be happy with the changes that come your way. Besides, if you're constantly looking back, you're going to end up running into something and just think how embarrassing that would be! It helps to be flexible so when these changes hit you, you don't snap and break. That would be pretty painful.

So the advice I leave for you, anybody who reads my blog, is to appreciate the good things when you have them. Hold tight to them and avoid taking them for granted. You never know when you're going to have to let go and move on to something else, but just keep in mind that it can be done, no matter how difficult. Try to keep a positive attitude--that's sure to help too.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The View from the Front of the Chapel. . .

The view from the front of the chapel is very different from the view in the back/middleish area where I usually choose to sit. First of all, I'm facing the congregation. Yes, that means everyone gets to look at my lovely face all through Sacrament meeting, which means I darn well better avoid falling asleep! And I need to make sure I'm paying attention, which I most definitely was.

I also found it so easy to see exactly who the people whose names were called for callings, releases and new memberships in the ward. Instead of craning my neck around hoping to catch a glimpse of whoever the person is, I could just look right at them. What a novel idea!

Why was I sitting in the front of the chapel? Well, I had the privilege today of speaking in Sacrament meeting. Public speaking doesn't really bother me, but I still found myself feeling quite nervous, especially after the bishop announced my name as the first speaker. At least this time I wasn't last and had only 5 minutes to give either a 13 or 8 minute talk. . . (that's what happened the last two times I spoke-I was last or nearly so and ended up with very little time but I dealt as best I could) Today I had the privilege of being first and I did give my whole talk, based upon Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's final conference address "Come What May and Love It." I'm pretty sure it went well, based on compliments I received from people. I just wish I was better at channeling funny. I can do cute just fine but not so much funny.

While I enjoyed having a different perspective today, don't get the mistaken idea that this means I always want to be sitting on the stand because that just isn't so. And I'm relieved that I have now spoken in Sacrament meeting in the new ward because that means unless I get a major calling, which I don't foresee happening, I am free and clear! No, I promise I did NOT just jinx myself by saying that. But as Elder Wirthlin said, "Come what may and love it. . ." :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Life Lessons

I have a few words of advice:

1) Don't assume anything. As Kathryn has reminded me many a time, you know what they say about assuming and what it turns you into. . .

2) Avoid jumping to conclusions. Don't let anger, misinformation or an assumption allow you to reach an inaccurate conclusion. Trust me, this only leads to grief, and it's no fun to deal with that!

3) Keep a cool head. It's really easy to fly off the handle, but it's much better if you're slow to anger and quick to apologize.

4) It's bad to keep things in, particularly anger, but it's much better if you can find an appropriate way, including time and place, to express what you're feeling. Speaking out when you're mad is one of the quickest and easiest ways to offend or hurt people.

5) Eating crow doesn't taste good! Before you express a passionate opinion about something, accuse someone of something or get in a debate with someone, make sure you have a strong base to stand on. Even then, avoid making it an "in your face" kind of thing. You never know when you might be wrong and will later have to eat it.

6) Above all, don't be afraid to apologize. Don't wait to say you're sorry either, especially when you find out you're wrong about something. I know certain people like to think they're never wrong, but I have to say that EVERYBODY is wrong sometimes! See item 5 for why this is bad.

I'm going to close by putting a link for a video of Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel singing "Defying Gravity" from Wicken. Originally I thought it tied in because of that part at the beginning where they talk about flying off the handle and saying sorry, but this video doesn't have that part. Oh well! I guess I could say that this is what happens if/when you decide you don't give a darn what anybody else thinks (and you could turn "wicked" like Elphaba does. Enjoy watching it anyway:

Friday, January 16, 2009

All's Well that Ends Well

You know what? Today was not a very great day.

You know what else? It's okay.

I'm a believer in the idea that all's well that ends well, and such is the case with today. I'm not going to go into detail about the day (I don't want to bore you all with a long post of me whining after all) but suffice it to say it wasn't my favorite day ever. However, it's over, and it can only go up from here, right?! That's what I choose to believe anyway.

And the reason it ended well? See the picture right above? Yes, a very beautiful Gerber Daisy. I went to my friend's wedding reception (one of the good parts of the day) and her colors were fuschia and lime green, an interesting choice I thought at first. However, they were so different and so vibrant that it was beautifl. These were the flowers she chose. They had extras so her father encouraged me to take some home, which I did. It was a flowers kind of day (meaning a not so great day where it would be so wonderful to receive flowers from someone) so to receive such beautiful flowers as this really made me happy. It soothed my stress right away. Now I hope you enjoy seeing this beautiful flower too!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Losing one's voice is never fun

Do you know how much fun it is to lose your voice? I personally don't find it very amusing.

However, it's double sucky when you work at a job where you have to talk to/interview people all day long, and the first thing the client says to you when you get on the phone for an interview appointment is, "You must have a cold," it's even less amusing.

Today I was trying to think of all my tasks at work that don't involve talking, and I did a pretty good job. However, right now's the time I need to be calling clients like crazy and setting up interview appointments! I guess I'm just going to have to deal with it because what other choice do I have? I wish I could say I sound much worse than I actually feel, but that's not quite accurate. I was okay this morning, but by this afternoon, I felt pretty lousy.

Last week was a stressful week for me, and I didn't take care of myself as well as I should have. Now I'm suffering the consequences of my stupidity. Unfortunately everyone I have to talk to is also suffering since they have to hear my sick cow-sounding voice! I couldn't even have an IM convo, which doesn't involve any talking, with the Fashionista today because her computer was broken. Sad day!

Here's to hoping my voice makes its reappearance soon!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

They just don't make 'em like they used to

A frequent topic of conversation in our house is culture.

Or in my case, the lack thereof.

Yes, my very dear Speak tells me on a daily basis (sometimes hourly depending on who we're talking to J/K!) that I lack culture because I haven't seen the laundry list of old movies she thinks I should have. * Sigh * It's not my fault we didn't watch a ton of old movies growing up. I've seen most of the Doris Day ones, a few Carey Grants, several Audrey Hepburns and even "White Christmas." I know that selection is limited, but I can't help it. Speak has made it her personal mission to rectify this situation and expose me to as many classics as she possibly can! Okay, that was embellishing for dramatic effect, but it created an effective picture, didn't it?!

After this weekend, I am officially more cultured because I have now seen two of Speak's favorite flicks: "The Court Jester" starring Danny Kaye and a surprisingly young Angela Lansbury and "Hello Dolly" starring Barbara Streisand and a shockingly young Walter Mattau. Yes, I liked both of them. In fact, Speak thought I was going to fall off the couch when we watched "The Court Jester" because I was laughing so hard. It has all the elements of a good movie: a solid plot, talented actors, a whole lot of wit and, most importantly, snappy dialogue. Of course, it also has a few cheesy songs (it is a musical after all), but in this movie's case the songs only make it better. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it!

"Hello Dolly" is along much the same lines. It has more singing than "The Court Jester" but it's so well done that it works for the movie. It's also full of wit and snappy dialogue, and also, a strong female lead. Speak tends to like books and movies with strong female leads, but I can't imagine why. . . ;)

The point of this whole post (yes, Kathryn, I'm sure you're tired of my prattle already so I'll get to the point) is that Speak and I both agree that they just don't make good movies like they used to. Don't get me wrong--I have seen more than one movie that dazzles me, such as August Rush, but movies just don't have the same quality they used to. They rely too heavily on big name actors, toilet humor, sex and innuendos than a solid plot, good acting and quality dialogue. Hollywood also fails to come up with original plot lines--most often they either a) remake older classics, which are often abominably horrible; b) translate foreign films; or c) make movies based on books. It's sad to see the lack of creativity in Hollywood and sadder still (yup, pretty sure sadder isn't a word, but it worked for me, so I used it anyway --insert diabolical laugh here) that the American public still goes to movies as often as we do. I am as guilty of it as anyone else, I must admit. And I like a good portion of the movies I see, with the exception of a few horrible ones. However, I suppose that makes watching a classic all the more enjoyable.

What do you think blog readers? Do you think the glory days of Hollywood have passed (even if movie stars get paid more than ever before) and movies just aren't as good as they used to be? What are some of your favorite classic movies?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Can't Believe I'm Actually Doing This!

Here is me doing something that I thought I would never do: I'm making a public post about my goal to lose weight. I hate doing this for many reasons, but I've decided that like it or not, this time it's the real thing, and writing about it is my way of increasing my accountability!

Weight loss is something I think about constantly, especially because I know I am in such desperate need of it. I can never seem to find quite the right motivation to get myself to do it, which means it's a constant battle. I also don't have anyone that I'm accountable to for my progress. However, today I officially joined a "Biggest Loser" contest at work, even putting money in to participate, and I don't want to lose my investment, so now I'm more determined than ever! I'm ready to make a secret and strong desire a reality, and I'm going to need all the help I can get. So, between the contest and this blog post (which makes me accountable to everyone who reads this) I'm hoping that will do it. (Thanks for the inspiration, Angie! I was thinking about your post today and decided it's a perfect idea to write about it in my blog no matter how much I may be opposed to the idea.)

All I can say is that it's about time I decided that I'm really going to do this!! No more looking in the mirror and thinking how horrible I look all the time or looking at pictures from college and wishing I could be that skinny again, when really I wasn't that skinny to begin with, just more so than now. Three months from now, I'm anticipating having made some very positive changes, shaped up and worked harder than I ever have before. Wish me luck!! Yes, I will be reporting on my progress from time to time, although it might not be weekly.

Game on!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Differences Inherent Between Men & Women

Happy 2009 everyone! I guess that I kind of took a hiatus from writing in my blog last week, but now I'm back and ready to go again! For anyone wondering after my last post, my dad is still pretty much the same. He did finally get his MRI and learned that he has two herniated discs in his back, so I suppose he and my mom are trying to figure out how to move forward from here. I'll let you know if there are any updates, which hopefully there will be!

Yesterday I had an interesting experience that I've been dying to write about in my blog! However, it's been a bit of an eventful day so I haven't had the chance until now. My younger brother was moving up to Rexburg on Saturday because he starts school at BYU-Idaho this week. Since my dad is still out of commission, it was going to be up to my mom and perhaps my brother and sister-in-law to move him. He had requested that I come to offer moral support and lend my expertise since I am a BYU-I alumni myself. I was only too glad to do so, and I recruited a friend to come with me so I didn't have to drive 8 hours by myself. The trip was fine but it reinforced to me just how different men and women are. Here is a side-by-side comparison (yes it's exaggerated for dramatic effect) so you can see what I'm talking about.

1) When a girl goes to school she packs the entire contents of her room, a good portion of kitchen items and every single stock item she can think of--toilet paper, soap, towels, toothpaste, cleaning supplies and extras of all her favorite cosmetic items. She has enough stuff to fill the entire back of a mini-van.

With a boy, it's a limited selection of his favorite shirts from the closet, a couple pairs of pants, maybe a few items from around his room, any technological gadgets he has, one towel and set of sheets, a few kitchen items and food staples his mother is forcing him to take, a laundry basket and maybe a bar of soap. Practical items such as toilet paper, shower curtains or dish rags don't cross his mind. His stuff can be packed in the trunk and part of the backseat of a compact car.

2) When the girl arrives in her new room, she immediately starts infusing it with her personality. She's brought her entire picture collection, crafty wall hangings she made in Young Women's and anything else she could think of to make her room look "homey."

The boy brings his stuff into the room, looks for a reasonable place to unpack it and calls it good. (And when his sister happens to suggest he could have brought something like say, mission memorabilia, to decorate his walls, he laughs in her face, telling her she's "such a girl!" But really how can she help it?!)

3) A trip to the store for our female involves a shopping list, meal planning guide--complete with nutrition information--and mapped route around the store. She thinks in terms of supplies.

On the other hand, the boy walks around the store purchasing the bare minimum he can to stay alive that can be prepared in 10 minutes or less. He walks somewhat aimlessly through the store, picking up a few items here or there. A wiser mentor with him who has been living on his own for years now (so he knows what single male living is like) gives pointers as they walk along. When the sister suggests buying staple items like meat for her younger brother, he says no because "that would be a commitment to cook something" and her brother doesn't want that.

4) After returning to the apartment, groceries in hand, the girl wants to take a detailed tour of campus, perhaps searching out where all of her classes are, pick up her books (even though it's four days before the semester starts) and print out a detailed schedule.

The boy shakes his head at the offer of a campus tour or going to get his books so he doesn't have to lug them across campus to his apartment, since he's without a car. He assures his sister that "he'll figure things out" as far as which buildings his classes are in. Oh well if he has to haul his books across campus. He's a man so he can handle it.

5) When it's time for good-bye, the girl hugs her parents, perhaps clings to them a bit and sheds a few tears as they pull away.

The boy hugs his sister and says, "See ya later!" as he settles down on the couch to watch football. No tears there. This could be partially because he's already spent two years in a foreign country on his mission, though. Being only two hours from mom and dad is nothing to him and perhaps equals a bit more freedom. . .