Friday, December 11, 2009

Blog Update Overload

So, it's been a while and there are a few experiences to share.

First, computers are funny. My desktop has been acting a little crazy lately. Every time I type the letter "I" at the beginning of a word it automatically capitalizes it. It's like the automatic fix thing for the word "I" went on overtime. So, when typing things I have to add a letter in front of the "I" in order to keep it lower case. For some reason I liked the letter "W." So, interview became winterview, in became win, into became winto, idea became widea, and so on. Now, if this ever happens to you and you follow my example of adding the letter, just be sure you remember to delete the additional letter.

Second, I have now been a witness at a wedding. One of my students was having a small wedding in a chapel and asked me to be a witness. Now, when I say small wedding, I mean it. There were five people there, total. The couple, the bishop, and the two witnesses. It was actually really sweet. There wasn't a big hooplah, just something simple. It was a nice reminder that all the big expensive accessories aren't necessary. And what made the experience even better was that it was all in Chinese. I don't speak a word of it, but witnessed it all the same.

And third, today was our work Christmas party. We did a white elephant gift exchange. I love those things. It's an excuse to give away junk. So, lucky me, I had actually just cleaned my place and had a big ol' pile of stuff to give to DI. I just went through the pile and grabbed a bunch of random stuff. It was a hit. I actually won the prize of best gift given. It was an honor, but I don't think I want it again because as my prize I got the best white elephant gift ever: pickled imported mild Greek golden peperoncini. In short, pickled peppers. The joys of Christmas.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween Dance

So, I really do enjoy planning the dances for the ELC. Yeah, it adds a lot of stress, but it's fun too. For the Halloween dance, in addition to the dance and refreshments, we had a haunted hall, a costume contest, and a special performance by some of the teachers and staff. Check out the pictures below.

We did some special advertising for the dance. Two other teachers and I wore our costumes and announced it to the students in their classes. Our costumes were Queen Narissa, a Ute fan, and the girl from The Ring. The students were totally creeped out by that.

This is a glimpse of the haunted hall. It was darker than the flash implies.

A fortune teller "welcomed" the students.

Medusa surprised them around the corner. (Even though she does look rather friendly here.)

A wraith followed them after they passed.

A zombie startled them on their way out.

Then there was the costume contest. The funniest costume was a monkey. The scariest was a vampire. The best was Beetlejuice.

We did a performance for the students. It was 12 Days of Halloween. It was to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas, but with words more suited for Halloween. The 5th day was five scary spooks. Each time we sang this, one of the "five scary spooks" would kill of a member of the choir until there was finally nobody left. Then all of the dead choir members rose from their fallen state and ran into the crowd of students. Pretty awesome.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Automatic Everything

Everywhere you look there is something that is automatic. You really can't escape it. Just look at some public restrooms: automatic faucets, automatic soap dispensers, automatic paper towel dispensers, etc. So, this weekend was, and still is at the moment, the I-TESOL Conference. It was held on BYU campus this year. Lucky me, I didn't have to travel anywhere. On Friday, after many hours of going to presentations, presenting, having dinner, and listening to a plenary speaker, I had to use the restroom. We had finished the conference in the Wilkenson Center (The Skyroom Restaurant to be precise. After all the hype I've heard about the place I really wasn't that impressed with the food.), and I searched for the nearest restroom and went right on in. I entered a stall, took care of business and looked at the toilet paper dispenser. It was automatic. I was like, "No way." So, I tried it out. I did the little magic wave under the dispenser and tp began rolling out. Let me just say that it was a good thing that no one else was in the bathroom because I started laughing. Really?! An automatic tp dispenser? I mean, I see the point in all the automatic stuff: don't be wasteful. But let's be honest, you gotta have the right amount of tp, especially when it's the really thin stuff they have at all schools. So, what do we do? Just wave our hand under it again. In the end, I honestly don't believe we are saving that much toilet paper. What will people find to make automatic next?

What Once Was Lost, Now Is Found...And Given Away

So, here's a funny story. A friend of mine wanted to borrow my Finding Neverland dvd (wonderful movie, by the way), so I loaned it to her. Usually I check the case to make sure the dvd is in it. This time I didn't. I saw her a week later and asked if she had watched it yet. She said, "Oh yeah. I've been meaning to tell you that the dvd wasn't in the case." And of course, I thought, "What the junk happened to it?" I searched everywhere in my living room and bedroom for it. I asked other friends who usually borrow dvds. It was nowhere. So, I gave up looking for it and just decided to buy a new one. I got it, watched it to make sure it worked, and put my name on it like I usually do when I buy a new dvd. About two weeks later I got home very late after a long day and my roommate came up to me, with her hands behind her back and said, "Don't kill me." I told her I would never and could never do that. She then proceeded to show me her hands which held my missing Finding Neverland dvd. As she was begging for mercy, I just started laughing. I mean, really, knowing my luck I should have known that was going to happen. It turns out that when she first moved in she tried to watch that movie on her TV and dvd player, but her TV was broken. She turned it off and put it all away, but forgot the dvd was still in there. So, a few days later I told this story to a friend of mine. She said she loved that movie, and I asked her if she had it and if not, then if she wanted my copy. She did not have it, and so I gave her my copy. Lesson to be learned: Always check your roommate's dvd player, even if it is shoved in a closet. It may save you $10.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I need a bigger plate

So, you know the phrase "Don't put too much on your plate" (or something along those lines)? Well, I never follow this, and I always regret it. Let me explain what I have done to myself this time. I'm working two jobs, going to school almost full-time, working on and finishing my MA project so it can be piloted next semester, co-presenting at a conference, planning the Halloween dance,...I think there's something else, but I can't remember which is probably not a good thing. Honestly, really, I just need to get a bigger plate.

Monday, August 31, 2009

What's Really Inside a Bludger?

I was hanging out with a few of my long-time friends over the weekend watching various "happy" clips from movies. Fun thing to do, by the way. My friend has several hundred movies and we each chose a few that had happy moments. They could either be funny, romantic, whatever. Then we showed movie clips to each other and just laughed. The ones I chose were: Fellowship of the Ring - the hobbits' drinking song, The Three Amigos - my little buttercup routine, While You Were Sleeping - the random kid falling off his bike, Johnny English - recording of him dancing to ABBA song, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - the explanation of quidditch. Now, with the last one I mentioned, one of my friends reminded me of our explanation of bludgers that we came up with many years ago. If you really sit down and think about it, what makes those killer balls fly around on their own and make that irritated, angry noise? Explanation: There is a little chiuaua inside each and every one. Really. Can't you picture this tiny chiuaua just running around inside it. Every time the ball is set loose it attacks innocent players. It's always doing it's "Aararraraarrrar." When it's hit, it comes back to take its revenge and its irritated growling gets louder. It moves fast and at chaotic angles. It makes sense, right? Check it out for yourselves. Watch the first Harry Potter movie when Wood is explaining quidditch to Harry.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swinging in the Mountains

I have experienced a new joy that everyone should try. Last week I went with a friend of mine and her parents to their family cabin. Wonderfully relaxing, by the way. Anyways, at the cabin they have these swings. You climb up the hill a little from the cabin and you see these two tall tree trunks with a metal pole connecting the two at the top with about 20 foot chains hanging from them. You attach the swing seats on the lowest link so you have the biggest swing (even though it makes pumping difficult because your feet would hit ground). Now, the trunks are at the edge of a small ledge. So, imagine, if you will, walking up the sloped hillside, launching yourself down and over the ledge and above the downward slope. At the peak of your swing you are about 15-20 above the ground heading straight for a group of trees, and then you are pulled back down and up the hillside. Just always make sure you keep your legs straight if you are on the last link; otherwise, you hit your feet on the ledge and they proceed to drag along the ground. (It happened to me. I cursed my lucky stars for something happening, and they cursed me back by having my feet hit the ledge.) Now, all of this sounds magically blissful, but what is even better is doing it at midnight. My friend and I went out with flashlights to hike up to the swings. We got them all prepared, checked for any wild animals ('cause, you know, who wants to bump into a bear or something while swinging?), and turned off the flashlights. Now, there was no moon shining, only billions, upon billions of stars. This made for a very interesting swing because the sky was brilliant with constellations, planets, shooting stars, the Milky Way, and any and all stars within the vision of mere mortals, and it also made the ground and everything around absolutely pitch black. You couldn't see anything, even after your eyes adjusted, it was a vast nothing. After a few moments of gaping at the awesomeness of the scene, we launched ourselves out into the pit of darkness followed by the glorious wonders of the sky. Almost a scary feeling when you fly out and look down and see nothing when you are 15 or so feet in the air. But, then when you fly out and look up you feel like you are about to join heavens shining above you. The most majestic experience I have ever had. We did it every night we were up there.

If you ever have the chance, go swing in the mountains at midnight. One recommendation though, don't use one of those flashlights that you wear on your head. The moths like to crash into your face.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Awesome Quote

So, one of my students wore a totally awesome shirt last week. I think it is one of my favorite shirt quotes of all time. It said,

"I didn't slap you. I high-fived your face!"

Oh my gosh! I was laughing my head off! It probably made me look even less professional as a teacher, but whatever, I loved it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't Say It Unless You're Sure

So, quickie story here. I needed to drop off an endorsement at the Honor Code Office this last Friday. I wasn't exactly sure where it was at, but I guessed it was in the Wilk. My roommate said she knew exactly where it was and said she would show me. So, I didn't bother to look it up since she "knew." She said it was in the Tanner building. I had my doubts, but she said she was 100% positive because she had just been there earlier this year. I hence told her that if she was wrong, I'd kill her. She said that was fine since she was 100% sure. So, we went. Parking was interesting for two reasons: 1)I had to park illegally since my sticker expired a year ago; 2)We parked in this new parking garage and the dumb thing had no way to get to the Tanner building except by walking out the way you went in. No stairs, nothing. Very poorly designed, in my opinion. My roommate led me to the 5th floor and it was nowhere to be found. We asked around in a few offices, and they all said that it wasn't there. The last one said to check the Wilk. That office happened to be the Accounting Office. A light went on in my roommate's brain, and she realized that at the same time she had gone to the Honor Code Office earlier in the year, she had also gone to the Accounting Office to get her taxes done. We had been parking and searching for about 20 or so minutes (really not that bad), just to find out that my hunch was right to begin with. I was laughing pretty hard, and she was begging me not to kill her. Eventually, we did make it to the Honor Code Office, which was indeed in the Wilk.

So, lesson to be learned, never say 100% unless you are really 100%.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Fun

So, I know I'm running behind in my blogs and such, but whatever. I'm a busy girl. I thought I would just share with you some of my adventures over the summer so far. It's long, but deal. Let me begin with the Scottish Festival. I love this thing! I have gone to it the last 3 years, and each year I discover something new.

This year I watched the Opening March (or something like that). There were hundreds of bagpipers and dozens of drummers. Totally freakin' awesome.

This is my favorite Scottish musical group ever! The Wicked Tinkers. One of my favorite songs is called Wallop a Cat. The title alone makes me laugh.

Oh the Highland Games! There is nothing better than seeing men in kilts throwing incredibly heavy and incredibly awkward things. Oh what men will do to show their masculinity.

Now the 4th of July was an awesome and fun-filled holiday. It began with sleeping in, one of my ultimate favorite past times. Too bad I rarely get a chance to do it. I woke up just in time to go to a sibling bbq. The food was quite yummy and I got to play with adorable nephew, Owen. We enjoy entertaining each other.

And he also, apparently, likes to stick his finger in people's mouths.

My brother was incredibly cheesy. He dressed Owen that morning in matching clothing. Cute though.

Ah, you can't have the 4th of July without fireworks. This is my friend, Diana. She loves fireworks and so does her family. So, I went to their show.

Since the store-bought fireworks don't get very big, I thought it would be cool to get some zoomed-in pictures. The two below are a couple of the ones I took. I think they look pretty funky.

Now, before watching this video, you may want to turn down the volume on your speakers. Diana and her family, mostly Diana, taped 164 (I think) screamers to a piece of plywood and set all the screamers off at once. Now really, what better way to show your patriotism? Once again, I am warning you to turn down the volume before watching the video.

On the 24th, two of my friends and I went to visit my parents in southern Utah. While visiting, we spent quite a bit of time in nature.

Here are my friends, Soonyeun and Mayte standing by a natural bridge just outside of Blanding.

We went to Arches and it was so much fun. I love the look of the red rock. Southern Utah, in my opinion, is the best part of Utah.

Since we were spending so much time out in the sun, I decided to try and even out my tan. I have driver's tan, and I hate that. So, while hiking I would hold my arm out to get more exposure. It really didn't help much. Do you like how my dad is mocking me?

This is a view of Delicate Arch from the view point or whatever it's called. And just some other random pictures below.

Now, the pictures below are of one of my ultimate favorite places, Muley Point (I don't think I'm spelling that right, but whatever. Sorry nature.) You just stand out on the edge and you have this 180 degree view of the goose necks 4,000 feet above them. Absolutely gorgeous.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Disco Fever

So, I love helping with the student activities at the ELC, and this semester I got the chance to plan one. I was asked to plan the midterm dance for the students. I was thrilled. The theme I chose...Disco. It took a lot of planning and organizing, but the students LOVED it.

Instead of the food they usually have at activities and dances (pizza, sandwiches, cookies, etc) I did fondue. Huge success...not to pat myself on the back too hard or anything...but hey, it was a brilliant idea.

This is me with my present roommate, Soonyeun. She works at the ELC too. I dressed as Cher. Can you tell I like orange?

At the Halloween dance last year a bunch of the teachers/staff got together and did a "Thriller" performance for the students. I thought it would be cool if we did something like it for this dance. So, my friend, Trevor (the guy with the green hair which I still don't consider Disco), is a dancer and choreographed the performance. We danced to "Saturday Night Fever." The next several pictures are of the performance. It was frickin' incredible.

Now the picture above isn't exactly the best, but I included it to tell what was going on at this moment. We went right up to the crowd of students to do these cool moves and some male students who were directly in front of me started to grab my clothing and hair (wig) and scream their guts out. Well, I decided to get into it and pumped up my groove. They freaked out even more. Quite entertaining. I must say that I have never quite been in that same situation before.

Here's a pic of the crowd of students.

Me and my friend Trevor. We're just a touch crazy. My ginormous fake orange eye lashes had fallen off at this point. Too bad.

A student of mine from last semester. He's absolutely nuts, which means he is absolutely entertaining.

Behind the scenes in the kitchen. Had to start working on those dishes that got incredibly dirty making all of the fondue sauce. We did chocolate and cheese.

Me and one of my students. It was clean up time and it's hard to clean with a 2 1/2 - 3 foot wig on your head, so I meandered around with my wig cap. Yeah, I know I look weird, but accept it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Take on Pianos

I have officially decided that I never want to own a piano. Here's my reasoning: I plan on moving around a bit in my life and moving a piano is a huge, frickin pain. A good friend of mine texted me last Friday night and asked if I would help her and her family move that Saturday morning. I, being the good friend that I am, volunteered my services. I went the next morning and was told that we were going to be moving a piano. There were five girls and one guy. Hmm. I've heard of it taking a lot more people and most were of the male gender. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to the task ahead of us.

The layout of the house was such that the back door led to the parking lot where the trailer was. Now the back door was a sliding door that led onto a rickety, old, wooden porch with 6 steps leading down to a fenced in area which then led to the parking lot. My friend's mother apparently thought I was tough or something because she had me lift the back side of the piano with my friend. The mom had one end, her son had the other, and the two apparently not so tough girls had the keyboard side. We moved it down a frickishly narrow hallway where the two keyboard girls had to let go. We got it through the kitchen and to the sliding door. Now this sliding door is one of the narrowest ones I have ever seen. There was only enough room for the piano to slide through. The mom went through first to balance it out while the rest of us lifted and slid it though. My friend and I then had to go out and around the house to help out on the porch. The porch was rather narrow as well and we needed to angle the piano in order to get it out the door. The first attempt led to failure. The second led to success, but with great effort. We then needed to turn and parallel the piano with the steps. After accomplishing that the mom, son, and daughter went to the bottom of the steps to support the piano as we took it down. That left my friend and I to lift it down the steps. There wasn't enough room for the other girl to help out. With much strain and effort we lifted the piano down each step, all the while I was thinking that the rickety, old porch would collapse beneath us which would lead to the destruction of the piano and myself. We finally got it down and turned (again) to head out the fence and into the trailer. Things were going well until the trailer. The mom wanted me and my friend to get into the trailer first to lift it up into it, which was no fun considering I had to do some serious squatting and lifting. We got the edge of the piano over the lip of the trailer, and then they set the piano down on the other side. As soon as they did that the other end of the trailer lifted completely off the ground by at least a foot or two (since it wasn't attached to a truck or anything yet). The two keyboard girls ran to sit on the other end and we lifted the piano again. We lifted and skooched and slid that piano across the trailer with the trailer shaking all the while (again, it wasn't attached to anything) and banging my toe in the process. We got it into the corner thinking we were all done, but no, the piano had other ideas. As we were all getting off the trailer was shaking about (not to sound redundant, but again, it wasn't attached to anything) and the piano decided to start falling forward. Luckily, my friend caught it and others ran in to hold it up. The mom and son grabbed boxes from the house to set beside it to stabilize it. Finally, the task was finished. And what do you know, as soon as we finished another guy showed up.

I came away from that experience with very few injuries. 1) the toe that got banged, no break but very sore, 2) extremely tired forearms that couldn't even lift a jug of milk, 3) very sore muscles the next day, and 4) a pinched nerve or something in my pinkie finger. How the junk do you hurt a pinkie finger while moving a piano? The other "injuries" are understandable, but a sore pinkie finger...I don't get it.

So, anyways, to make a long story even longer, I will never get a piano. I am perfectly content with electronic keyboards. They may not sound as good as a piano and may not look as formal, but at least they are light and portable.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jersey Vacation

I have documented below part of my journey to New Jersey. It was so wonderful being back there. I spent all day every day with my brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids. The little ones kept me busy, but very entertained. We did many exciting things: go to Philly, celebrate Spencer's birthday, go to the Wild Safari, go to Princeton, etc. In the end, I didn't want to come back home. So much so that I had to fight back the tears at the airport when they dropped me off. But work is work and when it calls you back you have to go.

Now, one thing I have to tell you is that either my memory card or this computer is being very stupid. It will only let me download some of my pictures, not all. There were some more I wanted to put on, but you will just have to be satisfied with these. If my camera will let me, I will post some of the more artistic photos later.

Waimea playing with flowers.

Spencer being a curious, little boy.

Spencer striking a pose for the camera.

Spencer doing who knows what, but keeping himself entertained.

Waimea carrying her security blanket.

Mother and daughter playing piano. Waimea sings along too.

Part of the obstacle course at Spencer's birthday party.

Ooh. The pinata, which I got to blow to pieces when the kids couldn't break it open.

Waimea loving that cupcake.

A lovely view of the ostriches at the Wild Safari. One of them even tried to eat the windshield of the car. Not very tasty, I'm sure.

A lovely sunset from one of our walks at night. We saw some big, fresh animal prints soon after I took this picture, so we booked it out of there. None of us wanted to encounter a big, furry animal.

Evan and Spencer playing soccer.

Waimea joining in on the fun.

Katri and Waimea chillin' in the Princeton fountain. Waimea was not a fan of getting completely wet. We tried.

But Spencer was a big fan.