Saturday, October 15, 2011

Homecoming weekend and then some

I wish I were better at creating titles. But I'm not. Last weekend was Homecoming. The entirety of last week, if you remember, was absolutely rainy, cold and miserable, except that I didn't let that get me down. I was still in high spirits. And those spirits still existed when me and Ryan decided to watch the Homecoming Parade and ride our bikes to get there. Thankfully it wasn't rainy when we went at 8am to partake in the free pancakes that were to be served at every announcer's booth (about 1 announcer every quarter mile). After doing some light maintenance (which, for what it's worth, I can NEVER spell that word!) on the bikes, we headed out with quilts in our backpacks so that we had some warmth and a place to sit for the parade. The bike up was really invigorating and we were both hungry and ready for some pancakes. Get this: the pancakes were dyed BLUE! And so, there we were, sitting by the duck pond south of BYU campus, cold and sniffly, but eating delicious blue pancakes.
Ryan partaking in the blue pancakes.
He got ahold of the camera. And I made this face at him.

BLUE! And whipped cream! Yum!

The parade was okay. All the candy they threw were salt water taffies. Love them, but it got a little old. We did get a free beach ball from a friend of Ryan's who recognized him. Woo!

We biked back, absolutely frozen from being there for 3 hours (the parade started at 10) and warmed up by doing our weekly chores: laundry, cleaning, homework...and then at 4:15 in the afternoon, I had to head to the football stadium to work my last. football. game. ever. Gasp! I wish I could say it went smoothly. But it was a bit rough. I left in high spirits, though, and now I am only employed at BYU Broadcasting.

This past week was a bit of a load. I had to film my test footage for my final documentary in one of my film classes. I emailed the author of the blog, Verbal Vomit, and asked her if I could film her as she created a piece of art (she's a fellow BYU student). And she agreed! So, yes, I've met the humorous and delightful Hannah, the creator of Verbal Vomit. And I'll be seeing her again to film the final footage this coming week. She was extremely easy to work with and I'm excited to start getting this documentary together.

I also had to film our spoof film for my other film class that's ending on Tuesday the 18th. Me and my group decided to spoof, or "swede", the film "Eclipse" from the *gag* Twilight Saga. So me and Ryan had to watch the film so I could do proper research. It wasn't as bad as I was anticipating, but it was pretty poor quality. We did that all day Thursday, from noon-6:30 at night. Yikes! But it was fun. And I'm pretty sure it'll be freaking entertaining.

My French 101 class is wrapping up this week as well. On Friday, I took two tests/quizzes in that class: one was the listening comprehension/Culture quiz for chapter 6 and the other was the oral exam for chapters 4-6. And on Monday I'll take a listening comprehension/culture quiz for all the chapters, and then on Tuesday is the final and the test on chapter 6. Yes. Two tests. In ONE sitting. I only have 3 hours to do it. It's gonna be intense, but my teacher has a lot of faith in me and said I'd do well in the 102 accelerated class that starts two days after the final. I'll be hitting the ground running when it comes to French. But it's really fun! I can actually carry a conversation with my native French teacher!

Oh, and the weather? It's not rainy anymore. It's been absolutely gorgeous! And so, that brings me to today. I didn't do anything extraordinary with the weather. But me and Ryan made cinnamon pancakes and cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast, I had a mid-morning power nap (I'm getting over a cold), we did laundry, and then we headed out to do some errands.

My ward is starting a sewing club and we had our first meeting on Tuesday. I went, since I've decided I need to make friends in my ward. And now I'm uber inspired to try and sew some things by myself. Our first stop, then, was Joann's Fabric. McCall's was having a pattern sale and I got two patterns for $0.99 a piece! One is an easy dress (or so it told me) and the other is a long skirt. I held off on buying fabric because, I'm embarrassed to admit, I had no idea what all the different things on the back meant. I knew roughly what I wanted, but then it said other things and I just got confused and my confidence waned. So...I'll get that next week. I pulled out the sewing machine my mom got me as a wedding present and got myself acquainted with it. Looks like I'll need to buy pins, spools, and a pin cushion along with the fabric, zippers, and buttons when I go to Joann's again next week.

The next stop was Menchie's. I had my final check, the $50 return for giving back the uniform, and some tip money waiting for me, and I needed to return the key to the store. We also had some free yogurt gift cards so we enjoyed some new flavors like german chocolate cake and chocolate-dipped banana. Yum! Then we headed to Target to finish off our gift cards (yes, we are still accumulating them!). We bought a 2-qt crockpot, some kitchen towels, a fancy ice-cream scoop, and all the ingredients to make homemade philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

When we got home, I started on the hoagies.

The beginning of the process
After an hour and a half of rising!

Once they were separated into their little mounds to make separate sammiches, we started on the philly cheesesteak filling.
The veggies! Aren't they beautiful? (the red pepper is organic)
 The steak all cut up and ready to cook in the melted butter.
Ryan doing what he does best: stirring up the meat while I get ready to cut up the veggies.

The end result was pretty good. My hoagies sunk down and became more of a hamburger bun, and we could've been more experimental/exotic with our use of spices in the mixture. But all in all, it was delicious and we have some leftovers to look forward to!

 My Philly Cheesesteak Sammich!
 Inside the sammich: steak, green and red peppers, onion, and provolone cheese on top!
 The mixture in the skillet
Ryan waiting for his to be finished broiling in our (awesome) toaster oven.

All in all, today was good for my soul. Autumn is good for my soul. I got to spend time with my amazing husband and I hope he didn't find this endless time with me exhausting. I absolutely loved it!

Until next time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Letter

Since having no social networking sites to distract me, I find myself drawn to my blog more and more. I do a lot more reading as well (on my Kindle app on this laptop or the physical book I'm reading), and I do plenty of cooking and sleeping so I don't feel like blogging is that much of a time waster. I've got all my homework done for the week and most for the weekend is complete and so here I sit, snuggled in a quilt made by Ryan's mom, listening to Phoenix and writing this blog post while Ryan putters around on the internet, searching for new apps or StumblingUpon new things.

A little while ago, Ryan went to go check the mail. He came back damp (since it's spitting cold rain outside) and holding a package from my parents and a letter from my dear sister, Sarah. I immediately went to open the letter since she had told me she wrote me one and I was anxiously awaiting it. Upon opening it, I remembered her words saying that it was a letter full of word vomit. But despite her warnings, I went ahead and started to read.

And what I read were some of those beautiful and troubled words I've read in a long while. My heart went out to my sister, my friend, my kindred spirit who was seeking guidance through her life. As someone who was in roughly the same position a year ago, I have the deepest empathy. I won't go into details as to what is going on in her head, but it's nothing horrible like murder (though she's written fiction about it), just normal things concerning the future.

I will admit I am sitting right in the middle of my dream life: working on an amazing film major at BYU, married to the man of my dreams who makes me laugh, and I know exactly where I want to be in five years and how I'm going to get there. And then there's my amazing sister who doesn't know what the next year holds for her. I want nothing but the best things to happen to her and I wish I had the power to control her future for her. But I don't. We all have agency so that we may earn our privilege to spend eternity with our Father in Heaven. So it's up to her and her alone (with some good insight and advice from friends/family and the promptings of the Holy Ghost) to make the best choices for the future.

I keep thinking about what my sister, Elise, said about her experiences in Indiana. It wasn't necessarily a failure, but it led her to the path she's taking now. Much like dating, making wrong choices in men and women and career paths isn't wrong: it's a growing experience. There are people who do it right the first time around (Like me, marrying the only man I've ever loved), but there are others who try hard but it just doesn't work out. Thank goodness for the Atonement, right? There was a parable-like story in Brad Wilcox's book "The Continuous Atonement" that I loved that talked about the priests reciting the sacrament prayer and messing up. It's up to the bishop to catch those mistakes and let him know, if he doesn't know already. And he recites it again and again and AGAIN until he gets it correct. He doesn't go into the prayer with the thought "I'm going to mess it up on purpose!" No, he has the purest of intent. And that's how we are going through life. Unless we're trying to screw things up, we make decisions thinking that they're the best for us and our path.

So, Sarah, that's my public advice for you (I say public since we'll talk more intimately in the future). Whatever decision you make, make it prayerfully and you might not get an answer with "angels and trumpets"(like my sister Emily said when I asked her how to know if marriage is the right thing), but if you don't get any red flags I say that that's the best answer for you.

Sorry that this ended up so preach-y. But I suggest that you all listen to this song. I really want to use it in one of my short documentaries since, you'll notice, it has a kind of cinematic plot structure: there's the exposition, the inciting incident (where things start going crazy), the rising action (things keep building and get crazier), and the crisis (ultimate crazy moment where it's the biggest!), and the climax, when it starts to resolve. And the gorgeous ending bit would be the falling action where everything is new, a new normal. And, Sarah, this is how your life will play out in the near future. You're in the middle of the rising action right now, but your falling action will come and it will feel as good as this song.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Beehive Stories

okay, I know I just posted a blog not too long ago, but that was before I attended the screening tonight of a project my professor and filmmaker, Brad Barber, has been working on and is still working on called "The Beehive Stories". It's a project in which film students and Brad go to every single county in Utah and film a story there about a person, profession, just different lives that exist in this diverse state. We screened 5 of the potential 29 short documentaries that are no more than 10 minutes a piece and they were simply gorgeous. The soundtrack was originally scored by a brilliant musician and they all look professionally done.

So here is my shameless plug to promote these fantastic bits of life in and around Utah: Go there to watch all of the previous episodes. But if you want to see the ones I saw tonight on TV (they aren't on the website yet), each of the new 5 episodes will be airing on KBYU next week, Monday through Friday at 6:50pm MST, each day showing a different episode. I recommend watching the Wednesday and Thursday since those are my favorite episodes of those five.

I HIGHLY recommend you watch all of them. They are so simple and yet so wonderful and they've made me really appreciate my surroundings and how beautiful Utah truly is. Slowly but surely I had been discovering this by myself but these little vignettes have helped immensely in that appreciation.

Watch them! That is all.

Two Glorious Months

Hello all, greetings from the land that's had rain all day.

Yes, it's been a gloomy Wednesday. Already they tend to be my busiest day because I have class from 8am-6:40pm (with breaks in between). I have French from 8:00-8:50am (daily), then one of my film classes from 9:00-11:00am, another one of my film classes from 1:00-3:00pm and then the second half of the Book of Mormon class from 5:00-6:40pm with Ryan. In my 1-3 film class, we watch a movie on Wednesdays and since it's right after I eat my lunch I always fall asleep for at least 15 minutes. So I miss significant chunks of the exposition of the film. I enjoy the class, but I'm so sleepy after eating!

After my class today, though, I went home for an hour and baked a dozen cookies from an already made-up batch of cookie dough and made Ryan a sandwich since he doesn't get to go home before our religion class and needs food to keep him happy. So today hasn't been nearly that bad.

In my 9-11 film class, we watched our silent documentaries. After we filmed our processes, we swapped footage and had to edit someone else's process without their direction or help. So my appraised film footage was in the hands of someone else and I was left with 20 minutes of barely watchable footage. It interesting experience. The first silent doc we viewed was, of course, my edited version of someone else's footage. It was interesting having people critique my work when half of it wasn't mine in the first place. But it wasn't boo-ed, and people actually found parts of it laugh-worthy (in a good way).

And now I've gotten away from what I was going to blog about originally. I guess it doesn't really matter what I talk about on here since it acts as a pseudo-journal of sorts. But as of today, me and Ryan have been married two months! I swear I won't do this counting thing much more, except for anniversaries and stuff. But holy cow! Two months?! There's something vastly different when someone asks you how long you've been married and you change from responding "one month" to responding "two months". Two is plural! I feel much more official and experienced even though we're only talking about months, not years. Not only has it been two months since our marriage, but we've now been together 6 months! That's HALF a year since I started seeing this guy as much more than an FHE goer. I can't believe that 6 months ago we started this journey. I can't believe that within 4 months of the start of that 6 months, we were married.

I'm so excited to embark on many more months (and years) with this man. We're already setting righteous goals for ourselves, getting into a healthy daily pattern of life, and amongst our crazy schedules we still have time to spare to strengthen our budding marriage and each day I feel that much closer to him emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

In fact, we're in the middle of one of our projects: both of us have given up social networking sites (Facebook, twitter, Google+) for the month of October so as to increase our productivity. I already notice a difference in how much time I have to first do the things I need to do and then have time to spare for the things I want to do. I've noticed it with Ryan as well. This act was inspired by Elder Ian Arden's talk in General Conference about time management. So we decided to do this on a whim and I haven't missed it nearly as much as I thought.

And even though it's rainy and gloomy today, the rain indicates that the weather is finally turning into Autumn weather and the fall colors will emerge and the smells of leaves and crisp air will fill my nose. Ah! I'm so excited! Carving pumpkins, drinking hot cocoa, wearing jackets and coats and scarves...I love this season!

This post was kinda all over the place. Deal with it!