Monday, December 28, 2009

The Aftermath; or What I Have Read

Theoretically I should have pictures on Christmas but I didn't (typical.)
Anywho, it was a nice day, devoid of any meltdowns or tantrums (even Avery was well-behaved.)
I'll track down some pictures and write an update...

In the meantime

Here are the books that I have read since I've been home for Christmas:
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I started reading this book while I was an undergrad at Weber. My grandma (who was a professor there) had borrowed it from the library and asked me to return it on my way back to the Browning Center. I started reading it and I probably would have finished it, sitting in the cold outside the library, were it not for class. I read it over two days and it really made me think about grief and death. I wondered if it is worse to have someone die of a disease rather than at the hand of another person because there isn't really something to attach the blame. Try as you might, "cancer" doesn't really make a good bulletin board for your pain and grief.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
I am SUCH a sucker for historical mysteries. If a book has footnotes or a person doing research in a library, I am SO there! I think that is why I enjoyed the books Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke and the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud so much; FOOTNOTES! I read this book in a day, mostly because I just wanted to know what was going to happen to grad-student Connie and her historical detective work.
I highly recommend this book even though the ending was a bit off.
Cumorah Christmas by Bob Lonsberry
Bob is a friend from my mission and this book is set in my mission. I was fun to read about places that I was able to visit. The book was short but it was a nice story about a man who is reminded of Christmas in a sacred place. My Mom picked up this book for me a week or so before Christmas along with the next book.

Saving Madeline by Rachel Ann Nunes
My Mom surprised me with a signed copy of this book (thanks!) for Christmas. It was fun to meet the author because I really enjoyed the Ariana series when I was in junior high. My tastes changed and I didn't continue on with the other books Ms. Nunes has since written. I read this book on Christmas, after we arrived home from visiting my grandparents. The plot was engaging: a lawyer defends a man who kidnapped his own daughter because the mother was dangerous even though the police didn't have any evidence of the mother and her dangerous ways. I really liked it even though parts were a bit silly-romantic but the other parts made up for it. This book also has brought my number of autographed books to four.
Tangent: When I was younger I LOVED the Baby-sitter's Club book by Ann M. Martin (Hilary read the Babysitters Little Sister series for a little while.) Anyway, we went to a book signing with our parents at a mall so we could meet Ann M. Martin. I was so nervous I couldn't even tell her how much I liked her books or how much I was able to relate to ALL of the girls in the club. All I was able to do was spell my name.
I was so nervous.
I can't remember how old we were or where the signing was held. I just remember there were A LOT of people and I was very nervous.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Vacation so far...

Has it really almost been two weeks since school ended? How did that happen? Seriously, where did the time go?

Here are some of the places it has gone:

Seeing friends from New York
Visiting with family and cousins.

More family stuff...Lauren went to the Christmas dance last night. Nope, she's not 16 but apparently dances have ventured from the land of dates to "school activities." Anyway, I can't believe she is 15 and so grown up.

I've also done a lot of shopping with my parents. During a lull I did some people watching and here are some things that I noticed:
  • Neck tattoos, probably not the best place for a tattoo although it is slightly better than a face tattoo. Only slightly.
  • Wearing sunglasses inside and you aren't either fresh from an eye appointment nor are you famous in a paparazzi-hiding-in-the-bushes kind of famous. Even then, I think you draw more attention to yourself if you are wearing sunglasses inside.
  • Bright pink hair. There is small percentage of the population that can carry off pink hair and it's something you have to commit to with your wardrobe and grooming. It doesn't work if your hair is a lovely shade of magenta and you are dressed like a boy.
  • High heels with jeans and sweatshirts. This is as a bad as really nice church clothes with flip flops in the summer time or Uggs in the wintertime. Ugh.
  • Manpris. Confused? They are capri pants worn by a man. Not a good look. At all.
  • Plucking your eyebrows into obscurity. Seriously. Why do people do this? It just makes a person look old and haggard.
  • Hair styles that weren't cool twenty years ago certainly aren't good today. Enough with the feathered and frosted hair already!
  • Wearing cartoon characters on sweatshirts and you aren't 12.

I took notes on my cell phone while people watching. I sort of wish that I had taken a few pictures as well. That's probably pushing it though.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Of all the odd things that I enjoy I am going to share another oddity with you: infomercials. Not all, just a few:

Burt Sugarman's The Midnight Special
Romancing the Seventies
and BareMinerals by BareEscentuals

First up, The Midnight Special. Even though I've seen this a bajillion times, I STILL have a hard time falling asleep once this one starts! I think it's because I love watching musicians perform and it features a couple of David Bowie performances. I also think I continue to hope that the infomercial will change and show different clips. OR it could also be due to the late hour that I usual see it.

Next up, Romancing the Seventies. WHERE do I start? There are so many things to love about this silly program. First off, it's hosted by Tony Orlando and some lady who has apparently made a career out of hosting music on TV type programs because she seems awfully comfortable with the whole deal. Setting aside the obvious awesomeness of Tony Orlando, some of the music choices are really horrible. REALLY horrible.
  1. Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again Naturally" (#27 on my playlist) While the song may appear to be just another mellow piano and cymbal based song, take a minute to LISTEN to the lyrics. Yep, he DID just say he was contemplating suicide by throwing himself off a tower AND his life really sucked.
  2. Engelbert Humperdinck's "After the Lovin'" Oh, I don't know if I can even get past his name and the song title. I find the idea of singing someone to sleep with a song you "wrote yesterday" not particularly romantic. Not so much writing the song but specifying WHEN you wrote it. Also I have problems with the phrase "the lovin'" and the name Engelbert Humperdinck. Why change your name from Arnold George Dorsey? Is it that bad?
  3. Diana Ross's "Touch Me In The Morning" It's probably just the clip they show but every time I follow her line "touch me in the morning" with "don't even think about touching me any other time of the daaaaay." Probably only really funny to me and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
  4. America's "Horse With No Name" Since when is this a love song? Seriously, have I been missing something?
  5. Same goes for Paul Simon's "Kodachrome."
  6. B.J. Thomas' "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" Holy CRAP, that is A LOT of words in that title. I'm putting this on this list for the sheer tongue-tying aspects of the title alone.
  7. Helen Redding "Angie Baby" I'm pretty sure this song is about a "lady of the night" or a "lady of questionable morals" or a "strumpet" or the same subject as the Reba McIntire song "Fancy." (A side note, Jessica Simpson's perfume is called Fancy. It STILL cracks me up!)
  8. Bread "Guitar Man" Just because a song contains the word "love" I don't think it qualifies as a love song.
There were a few others but I honestly can't remember what they were. Maybe I'll write down my ideas the next time I'm sitting around and the informerical comes on.

Last up is something I actually really LOVE.
I started using Bare Minerals in September and I have actually seen an improvement in my skin. Honestly. I bought it via Sephora and it was well worth the expense of $60.
The kit contained three brushes, magical primer, two foundations, "warmth" (sort of bronzer that doesn't have a cheeto effect) and "mineral veil" (a translucent powder that looks really sparkly but somehow isn't.) It also came with a how-to DVD and a booklet. While the infomerical sort of drove me nuts with the host (CEO Leslie Blogett) repeating "swirl, tap, buff" so many times it could be a drinking game if I were the drinking type. Plus, it all seemed too good to be true: it covers, doesn't feel like make up AND it is good for just about any skin type? It took a couple of conversations over the summer to help me make my decision to purchase the kit (namely two conversations with actual users and numerous infomercial viewings.) The prognosis?
I love it!
My skin is a heck of a lot clearer than it has been, well, since I started wearing make-up and it feels softer too. The only downside is I ran out of primer a month and a half ago (the kit contained a deluxe sample size, just enough to get you hooked.) I've been substituting Benefit's Dr. Feelgood and Korre's Face Primer. (I purchased the Benefit product on a whim a couple of months ago and only figured it out recently. I received a deluxe sample of the Korres primer via the Beauty Insider program.)

There you have it, the infomercials I sort of like. I'm even more strange than you though!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jet lag without the jet

Is it possible experience the effects of jet lag without traveling? Is it possible to have your sleep schedule thrown totally off by one all nighter? Let me explain...

On Monday I stayed up until 4:00 AM, working on my final project for design studies. (Design studies is a class that is mandatory for all design grad students to help them refine their rendering skills and to bulk up their portfolios. We complete "paper projects" which can be anything from costume design renderings to a model of a set or lighting designs complete on Photoshop. ) Anywho, I slept until after 10:00 AM on Tuesday and I went to bed at 6:45 PM on
Wednesday night.

I know! I know! I shouldn't do things like that to myself! Staying up for over thirty hours in the middle of the week has really screwed up my sleeping schedule. REALLY screwed it up.

But, I finished my project AND it looked really great if I don't say so myself. It was nice way to finish up my first year of grad school. I'm going to post pictures when I scan my renderings. Pictures don't quite capture the colors or the shading.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crunch Time (not nearly as much fun as Hammer Time)

Is it procrastination when you are just taking a break from working on a project?
I started my final design studies project a few weeks ago and I haven't really slacked off since. I worked over the break and I stayed up obscenely late last night/this morning. Is is still procrastinating if I'm blogging instead of painting? I'm fully prepared to stay up all night if I have to, I need to finish my project. I kind of feel like this guy
when he's taking about standing up to his father after wreaking the car. Taking the heat and all that jazz.

Sort of.

Anywho. Apart from painting and drawing a lot lately I have also caught up with some old pretend friends.

I have made it through the entire first season and I'm well on my way to finishing the second season tonight. I'd say it's a pretty big design project if it takes two seasons of Gilmore Girls to finish it.

I should take this time to thank my roommate and her family for their love of TV on DVD. I have benefited greatly and I appreciate it.

Do you want to know what else I appreciate? Johnson's baby lotion. Seriously. I have sensitive skin and that pink wonder not only moisturizes but it does it without freaking out my face.