Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Share the Love

Upon celebrating her 300th post, Adiel named me as a recipient of the "Sharing the Love" award. As explained in her post:

"This award was created by Crystal, who's son Noah received a heart transplant. She created it in honor of the donor that saved her son's life.

In order to accept this award, I have to link back to Crystal's Blog and then share the award with other blogs that I read and love."

First off, thanks to Adiel. Know that if you hadn't given me the award, I'd be giving it to you :) Adiel is one of the truest friends in my life. We have known each other for about 10 years (holy crap) and even with a slight 4 year interim of not really seeing each other, we have recently rekindled an incredible friendship with her offering me help and support in so many ways. She is so fun and her blog often gives me the lift needed to finish out a boring day. So thanks, Ads. I love ya.

This pleasant little surprise came at a good time with what I'd been planning to blog about today. The blogs I love the most seem to translate into the people I love the most. No, I'm not playing favorites among my friends, but I am admitting that I love my sisters more than the rest of you. :) No offense, of course. So the blogs to which I'm giving the "Sharing the Love" award are:

My Little Corner of the World
The Ashley Adventures
Dear to my Heart

The reason I said this award fit into what I was going to post about is that I've been so grateful lately for the technology that allows me to continue to stay in better touch with people, especially my sisters. I think we've always been a close group of siblings, but my sisters became my best friends about the time I started college. I love spending time with each of them, but as we get older and as our (well, their more than my) lives progress sometimes it's hard to see or talk to each other as much as we might like. But I know I can always glance at their blogs for a quick run-down of what I've been missing. This certainly doesn't replace real one-on-one time with my sisters, but it helps hold me over.

I respect and love each of my sisters for many reasons. Some of those reasons are universal for the three of them while still others are unique to each one. So I'd quickly like to explain one reason I love each of my sisters.

Jen, you teach me what love and family are about. When I was at your house yesterday and saw your face light up when you got that text from Strider, I thought, "Wow. Now that's true love. More than 15 years with the guy and he still does that to her." Your relationship with your husband and kids are unreal to me, and I am so grateful that one more of God's children will get the chance to be a part of your loving home.

Ash, you epitomize the word "service" for me. I used to think that no one could match up with Dad's willingness and desire to help other people, but you and Nic are beginning to prove me wrong. The little things you do make such a big impact. The Dr. Peppers, the bag from Yellowstone, keeping me entertained with emails at work, Friends quotes in my inbox, agreeing to come to the Breaking Dawn party when you haven't read the books...all those things combine to create who you are--a loving and thoughtful sister and wife. And what a great example your future kids will see in you and Nic.

Jess, you make all those corny sisters quotes real to me. Case in point--I just googled "sister quotes" and these were the first on the list:

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there. ~Amy Li

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister. ~Alice Walker

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. ~Linda Sunshine

Corny, yes. But they're all so true! You are a best friend, a true friend, a confidante and a mentor. I think you're the only sister I still fight with :) but I see that as a good thing. It means we're still close, it means our lives are still somewhat parallel. I love talking to you about cheer, having someone so close that is going through the same frustrations as me. I love helping you unpack or clean or giving you feedback on choreography because it's a chance to spend time with you. I love that you always forgive me when I act like an idiot but aren't afraid to be honest when you're bugged by me :)

Jen, Ash, and Jess, thanks for who you are and the roles you play in my life. Thanks for never seeming to mind a third wheel when I hang out with you and your husbands. Thanks for the things you teach me every day about life. I love each of you and all of you (meaning as individuals and as my sisters collectively). P.S. I'm so excited for Friday. Who cares about the book? It's GIRLS NIGHT TIME!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Too Old for This

Yesterday after I was done with class, I decided to head up to my little sister's house. They just moved last week and I wanted to see their new place. Well as I was leaving campus I heard Viva la Vida on the radio, which currently tops my "Favorite Songs" list. So I started to wonder if that cd was out yet. I had bought the single from iTunes awhile ago and at the time, the whole album wasn't available. So I stopped at Walmart and was pleased that Coldplay was sitting on the "New Releases" display. As excited as I was for that, my enthusiasm increased tremendously when I saw that Miley Cyrus had a new cd out. Sadly, I'm not even joking about this! I bought both, of course, and have been listening to Miley while getting ready for work, totally loving this cd. I know I'm too old to be a fan, but I can't help it. I REALLY like her music. Am I the only twenty-something out there with this problem? Probably. That's okay though.

Friday, July 25, 2008

SYTYCD Thoughts

I've been putting this off for long enough, but I finally decided that I couldn't let my sorrow end my allegiance to the show :)

I figure I'll go through with my standard couple-by-couple evaluations and try not to let them be tainted by last night's results show.

Courtney and Will began the show with a Samba. I tuned in about a minute late, but loved what I saw of the routine. They looked good together, they looked good as individuals, and overall I felt like they looked very professional. Their second routine was a "Lyrical Hip Hop" as Napoleon described it. Again, I really enjoyed this routine. Tony, this week's guest judge, mentioned that Hip Hop has become an art form and I've been reflecting on how true that is. Hip Hop is becoming more about choreography and meaning than tricks, while still effectively incorporating those tricks. I think this is especially true of Tabatha and Napoleon's choreography. They're magnificent, as were the dancers performing the routine.

Katee and Twitch were given a Mia Michael's Contemporary. While Mia is my favorite choreographer of all time, and while her genius is always very apparent in her pieces, I definitely like some more than others. This particular routine was well-acted, well-performed, but only came off as mediocre to me. There was nothing wrong with it; it just wasn't my favorite. In the second half of the show, they performed a Broadway routine. I felt very similar with this piece. Tyce is unbelievable, but this piece simply wasn't my favorite. That's really all I can say about it.

Next up was Comfort and Mark with a Hip Hop. I was so impressed with Mark in this routine. I felt like he really shined, and he and Comfort did a good job at performing at the same level as one another. Yes, Comfort did well, but I'm not going to rave about her, which shouldn't surprise you. The biggest thing for me was comparing Tabatha doing the routine in rehearsals with how Comfort performed it...there simply was no comparison. In my mind, Tabatha is the type of Hip Hop dancer you should expect to see in the Top 8. Not Comfort. Second for them was the Fox Trot. I have to admit that I was expecting a lot worse from Comfort. She even remembered to point her toes this week, though she was still less than remarkable. On the other hand, Mark really impressed me again. When he's choreographed, I remember why he's in the competition. His solos don't evoke the same recollection. Anyway, overall I thought the Fox Trot wasn't bad, and I thought the judges were harsher than necessary.

Finally we had Chelsie and Joshua. I thought they were such a fun partnership. Their first routine was a Tango. Chelsie danced beautifully, and I think Josh was very impressive as well. Chelsie always looks good, but when she's in a ballroom routine--really in her element--I am always amazed. The second routine they performed was a Disco, which I also loved. In the beginning they looked really scared of the routine, and you could see such a difference once they were past the lifts. :)

After Wednesday's show, I was so sick of Comfort that I decided to vote as many times as I could for the other 3 girls, which I did. I kept calling until my phone died. Unfortunately, while I felt my time was well-spent when it came time for Comfort to leave, I was heartsick with the results for the boys. When Twitch and Will were put in the bottom two I was not only shocked, but I knew I couldn't be happy either way. I did know I'd be more happy if Twitch was off. I love Twitch, but not even Danny (from last season) compares with Will for me. Unfortunately, Will is gone. I was proud of myself for repressing tears, but I think that was only possible because I wasn't alone and I would have been too embarrassed to cry lol.

As soon as I'm off campus (Youtube is blocked here) I'll post some of his best dances, which also happen to be my favorite routines of the season, so stay tuned for that.

All Done

Sometimes I get bugged that I read so fast. As I mentioned before, I decided to re-read the Twilight books so that they were fresh on my mind to start into Breaking Dawn. Well I'm still a week away and I'm already accidentally finished. Luckily the Edward withdrawals haven't been nearly as bad this second time around, probably because I know the next book is right around the corner, but I still wish I could have dragged out the reading this time through.

It's interested how my opinions changed with my second reading. For instance, I used to always think my sister was crazy for how much she likes Jacob, but I really feel for him now. Or before, I really connected to Bella, and while I still do in a lot of ways, I often didn't feel like she experienced as sincere of guilt as she should have for what she was doing to Jacob. But I don't fault her for the difficult decision she had to make. Hmm...maybe it's good I finished early so I can decide how I actually feel, because I'm still a little confused!


I found out this week that some people are afraid I was referencing them in my "Is This Okay?" post. Please rest assured, if you are a good enough friend to be reading my blog, chances are I'm not offended when you tease about my car. If you're someone I barely know or haven't seen for three years and the first thing you bring up when we run into each other is something about my car, I might get bugged. :) All in all, I can take a joke. The mirror thing just pushed me over the edge. Lol. So I apologize if I had you worried; that was just a chance for me to vent. Please forgive me if I offended you by being offended.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Second Time

I re-read Twilight yesterday. I think it was as good as the first time. I wondered if any of you have plans to attend or know much about any of the Breaking Dawn release parties. My sister and I started looking into them tonight and I just wondered if you had any input. Let me know!

Is This Okay?

Last night (Friday), I went with a bunch of people to see Dark Knight. I was, predictably, excited. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you that aren't part of the "opening weekend" statistics, so I'll just say I wasn't disappointed. :) But that's not why I'm posting.

On the way to the theater I had to stop for gas and I was so excited to realize I had passed my goal of 40 mpg on my last fill-up. I got into a conversation with my little brother about my car. I drive a piece of crap, that's not a secret. But I love my car. In today's economy, how could you NOT love a car that gives you that kind if gas mileage? But what irks me is that over the last few months, more and more people have apparently felt the urge to point out the fact that my car is less than spectacular. Some people even seem to have the right to know when I plan to buy a "real car." I guess I'm just confused by that.

I have a vehicle containing all four wheels, a reliable engine, and seatbelts. Why do I need anything else? Yes, my car has 310,000 miles on it. I'm PROUD of that, not ashamed like some people think I should be. I'm in college with enough income right now to basically pay for me to commute to school. This last week I drove about 650 miles, and my car didn't leave me stranded anywhere. I got where I needed to go (and for a lot cheaper than most of you on the road). So tell me, why must you insult my car?

When I am out of school, engaged in a career, or even starting a family, will I look for something new? I can almost guarantee you a yes. But if I don't feel the need to unnecessarily spend money right now, that's not really any of your business, is it?

Anyway, after my rant to him about people's insensitivities toward the car I love, we went to the show. I came out of the movies on a high. Fun company, great show. Until I got to my car.

You know how side mirrors can click backward in the event of getting hit? Well that's the position my mirror was in, and the mirror is completely gone. We couldn't see any glass around so I guess it's possible that someone stole the actual mirror, but it looks more like it was hit. I just don't understand how someone could be okay with that. We're not talking a little dent added to the many already on the body. My side mirror is gone. You can't drive very safely like that.

So where's the note of apology? The check for ten bucks for a new mirror? Some sign of a conscience? My brother-in-law suggested that someone who "hits and runs," so to speak, would do that regardless of what car they damaged. But my overly sensitive car-owning self feels sure the person dismissed what they did because they had done it to a "piece of crap" car. I'm probably wrong. But still, it's upsetting.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

And finally, some updates...

I know that I've been sparse on normal, daily-update type posts. So here we go. I figure a quick rundown on the last week should suffice. Last Thursday I had an awesome dinner with Adiel and her sister, Stephanie. Adiel does the evening more justice than I, so check it out on her post.

Friday I had class and then had dinner with my friend Mary Anne and her family. After that, I headed toward Talisa's house for "Fondu Night" with her and Kelli! I have to admit, I was skeptical of the idea at first. But we had so much fun!

After dipping all manner of treats in chocolate, we watched videos from high school. What a night.

Saturday was the Boys Like Girls concert. The Maine, Metro Station, and Good Charlotte all opened. They're way good bands but I don't love a concert unless I know every word to belt out at the top of my lungs. It was fun, though.

Tyson and I were a bit sweaty by the end of the night, since he insisted on staying close to the stage the whole time. That meant being surrounded by jumping, screaming, pushing teenagers. That only added to the concert atmosphere...and the smell.

All this week I have been housesitting for Mary Anne. That's one of my favorite things about summer--being asked to housesit. I think it's probably because I'm someone that needs a good change of scenery every once in awhile. And since I've been living back at home for the last 7 months (the longest time spent there since I was a senior in high school), this summer I'm especially grateful for my own place for a week or so. Once Mary Anne is back, I'll move on to housesitting for my sister, so the summer should end up nice and fun for me in that respect.

Sadly enough, I think that's all in the area of updates.

One more thing, when I was posting my reply to Jen's tag, I realized with the "hair color" question that I never told you all when I went brown. I know it's blurry, but it's the only one I have with it down. I was tired of keeping up the blonde, so I'm natural colored again.

SYTYCD Thoughts

I don't know that I can do this...

Last year was my first exposure to SYTYCD and Neil was my favorite from the first moment. Since he landed himself in the finale, I didn't know just how painful being a fan of this show could be.

I've been told that I'm too harsh on Comfort, but after her ridiculously unearned second chance on the show, I'm not really inclined to ease up on her. Did she look good last night in her hip hop routine, yes. Even I'll admit that. However, Mary nailed it on the head when she made the comment, "If you did every number like you did that hip hop..." Exactly! Lil' C was obviously drunk when he said that she is the dancer that has evolved the most on this show. She doesn't begin to know the meaning of improvement, progress, let alone evolution. Anyone that cast a single vote last night for Comfort should be ashamed. She should have never made it to the Top 20, she most certainly should not have lasted longer than Kourtni and Chelsea, and above all, she is the dancer that LEAST deserved a second chance. If I were Kherington, I'd be looking for grounds upon which to sue her. The fact alone that Comfort has outlasted her on the show is insult enough to be considered defamation of character, right? :)

Anyway, she doesn't deserve any more time on this post, so I'm moving on...

Let's talk about last night's show. Maybe that will lift my spirits.

Joshua and Courtney did a great job at adjusting to each other as new partners. Their Hip Hop wasn't utterly amazing, but it was commendable. And I LOVED their Rumba. They are both such entertaining dancers, although maybe Joshua should get some help choreographing his solos. :)

Mark and Kherington did not do their best, especially with the Country Two-Step. It did look labored, as the judges pointed out. However, I think the judges were unnecessarily harsh about their Jazz. Tyce specified the absence of a storyline and that this was a routine to showcase technique, and that it did! Mark and Kherington are unbelievably talented, and I don't think it was fair for the judges to ask for that "something special" when they did everything Tyce expected of them. I really enjoyed the Jazz, for what it's worth.

Twitch and Comfort's Smooth Waltz: can someone please teach the girl what a pointed toe is? Or maybe the concept of turning out? I know she's only expected to be ONE OF THE TOP TEN DANCERS IN AMERICA, but maybe we could try to improve in those areas. Hip Hop: good, great. Whatever. At this point in the competition, no one cares that you can dance in your own style.

Will and Katee stole my heart yesterday. I think in the past I have been less than complimentary toward Katee because I still held a grudge about her attitude in Vegas. But I have let that go completely. They are simply beautiful. The Broadway routine was so clean and precise it's really kind of hard to believe that it was put together in only a week. I loved it. Now the Pas de Deux...where do I even begin? I cannot remember a single routine that I have ever seen--throughout my entire life--by which I was quite so captivated. The dynamics involved in that choreography were remarkable and the execution of the movement by these two dancers was transcendent. That routine, in my mind, cannot even be categorized with the other numbers on the show. I know I've mentioned my love of several numbers this season, but last night's Pas de Deux is on an entirely separate level.

If Will and Katee stole my heart, Gev and Chelsie were fighting awfully hard to take it away from them. I thought that both their Contemporary and Jive were outstanding. Chelsie is beautiful and Gev is just so versatile. Gev has been a favorite from the start; I find him so lovable.

After the show, I got distracted spending time with my sister and realized all too late that I missed the time slot in which to vote. I had intended to vote repeatedly for Gev, and I was so upset that I missed that chance. Now I stand fully validated for those feelings.

So tonight's results...I can't say I was surprised by the bottom 4, but I was devastated by the announcement of who was going home. Devastated. Poor Gev. :( I was also upset about Kherington, but now I'm just being redundant.

As a few sidenotes, that opening group Bollywood routine was awesome. So visual! Just a great way to start the show. Mia is amazing, even when she is slightly disturbing. :) It's nuts how she does so much with so little. I mean, so much of that routine was done just sitting on the edge of the stage yet there was SO MUCH to it. Loved it. Was anyone else not surprised by the revelation of our "mystery choreographer"? Come on, Nigel. You're not that sneaky. I do have one question, what was with the guys' outfits for their group number?

Also, I think I figured out the cause for my illness (see previous post). I think subconsciously I KNEW just what a horrible turn this week's SYTYCD would take. Lol

Anyway, we'll miss you Gev. You're incredible.

Is There a Doctor in the House?


*So tired I never feel awake
*Uncontrollable nausea
*But still fully functional, just irritated by previously stated ailments

for 5 straight days!

What's wrong with me?

Book Tag

Adiel tagged me on this clever Book post.

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The nearest book is My Soul is Rested

Sentences 6, 7, and 8 on page 123:

"'It seemed almost fictional. There they were suddenly, the marshalls confronting the mob. They had arm bands on, U.S. Marshalls...they didn't draw their guns, but they used their clubs and forced them into a park and then dispersed those who had come to the church.'"

Wow. It's kind of interesting how something so random can shed so much light on the subject of the book--in this case, the Civil Rights movement.

I tag Jessica, Nicole, Alli, Spencer, and Natasha.

Tagged by Jen

I promise I've been intending to post for a week now. But I've been splitting time between home and the place I'm housesitting and always wind up at a computer in one house with my camera at the other. But since my sister tagged me in her "Getting to Know You" post, I figured I'd take advantage of the chance to blog with no need for my pictures.

Wendell Williams, a radio DJ and friend of my parents. Yes, he is a man.

Tuesday night watching a movie.

Completely depends on the day. I basically have four different handwritings that emerge. I like two of them.

Turkey turkey!

No, but 4 1/2 nieces and nephews that are enough for now :)

Lol probably not. That's sad, huh? But to be fair, I'm not naturally inclined to be friends with many girls, and I just don't think I'd make the cut.

Uh, yes. I'd say a large part of my communication is sarcastic.

I believe so.

Depends who dared me to do so.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Honey Bunches of Oats

Flip flops don't have shoelaces to be untied :)

I used to be.

Strawberry. Or flavors that involve peanut butter or brownie chunks. Or possibly both!

The way they speak; I can't help but notice when people have their own "catch phrases" or are grammatically incorrect.

PINK. I hate the color red.

16. What don't you like about yourself?
I'm a slacker. I didn't used to be that way, so I need to change back.

Miss? I'm around the people I love most, but I miss my family in Pennsylvania, especially my cousin. It's weird how spending one summer with someone can make you so close. :)

Was this meant for an email? I don't know how people would send it back. But if you post this, comment and let me know!

N/A...I'm wearing a white skirt and bare feet.

A bowl of fruit loops. Or is it spelled froot loops?

My fan.


Most Victoria's Secret scents, Lucky Brand perfume, rain, vanilla, anything while it's cooking (except fish), recently dried towels that were washed in Tide

My sister Jessica

Jen's one of my best friends, of course I like her.

College Football and Pro Basketball are a tie. (Ditto to Jen's answer)

Lightish Brown. I love that I don't have to include blonde anymore!


Nope. 20/20

Club sandwiches, Dr. Pepper (I drink enough of it that I think it should constitute food), and fresh chocolate chip cookies

Definitely happy endings. I used to LOVE scary movies but then all of the sudden they started scaring me too much.

The Kite Runner. Rent it. Right now.

Salmon tank with a white shrug.

Definitely winter.


Marie Callender's Chocolate Satin Pie

Adiel, Ash, or Jess

I don't know. Probably one of you people that always reads my blog but never comments so I don't know you're there :)

None. (*GASP*) I've been too busy with classes. :( I'm going to start rereading Twilight today though.

Uh. It's black?

So You Think You Can Dance, of course.

Music lol.

I hate old music.

Which is farther from us--New York or Pennsylvania?

I can edit papers well. Lol. And make an old, beat-up car go pretty fast.

State College, PA

Now for the tagging part.

I tag Ashley, Jessica, Adiel, and Sophie

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I write really long posts. Sorry about that.

SYTYCD Thoughts

Poor Thayne.

No one can say that the results of this week were unexpected, but there is one term that I believe completely applies...bittersweet.

But before I talk about tonight's results, I'd like to give my thoughts on the performances yesterday. I would say that overall, last night's show contained the best choreography of the season. I have had routines really stand out to me each week, but there were several yesterday that had me applauding.

Let's start with Chelsie and Mark. First off, did anyone else think Chelsie looked gorgeous last night? It didn't hurt that she pulled off their first routine flawlessly. They did a Salsa that was fabulous. A few times in the past I felt like Chelsie wasn't all that impressive in their ballroom routines for being a ballroom dancer, but yesterday changed my mind. She was technically sound and beautiful. The Broadway routine they did was really good, but not necessarily anything to write home about. Mark did a good job at standing out in that routine, which I think he needed to do because he danced very quietly in the Salsa.

Next, Comfort and Thayne. Their first routine was a Hip Hop that got torn apart by the judges because of the couple's lack of a connection. I can't disagree with the judges' assessment there, but I thought that Thayne did a remarkable job at overcoming his shortage of Hip Hop experience. Comfort should have been "in her element" but was nothing special. The Contemporary they did made me so sad for Thayne. You could tell that somewhere under Comfort's flexed feet there was some special choreography, and the poor guy was never given a chance to uncover it. BTW, bravo to Mia Michaels for the comment she gave Comfort: "You can only fake technique so long."

Jessica and Will began with perhaps the best choreography of the season, rivaling Mandy Moore's Contemporary that was performed by Gev and Courtney. Before I go into the performance, WHO KNEW that Tyce Diorio could create that?! It was simply beautiful. You saw such a connection between the two dancers, you believed what you were seeing, and you were left amazed at the creativity displayed in the movement. I hesitate to say more lest I do the routine injustice... Second routine, Quickstep. Who likes the Quickstep, anyway, right?

I love, love, LOVE Courtney and Gev. Their Cha-Cha was hot, their Jazz was entertaining. How can you not love these guys? The Jazz choreography made me very happy. I feel like some of Mandy Moore's routines struggled at the beginning of the season and I'm very glad to see her back in her groove.

Kherington and Twitch had their first "off" night of the season in my opinion. I hate Krump routines and the Smooth Tango didn't really do anything for me. I thought that the Mr. and Mrs. Smith idea was so clever, but I failed to see it fully realized on stage.

Katee and Joshua were solid as always. Their first routine, the Viennese Waltz was nothing spectacular. Katee seemed too "big" in some of the smooth movements and, sadly, I think Mia hit it on the head when she commented that Joshua looked like a football player trying to grasp the movement. Their Bollywood routine, on the other hand, was so much fun! I mean, you can't really say much about the choreography when you've never before seen that style of dance, but I can say that I enjoyed it.

With all of that said, I left yesterday impressed by the choreography, confident that Comfort would be gone, and hoping for a miracle to keep Thayne around. I knew it was a long shot, by Thayne has been high on my list since his audition, and I can't help feeling like he deserved another partner. The miracle I was pulling for was that Chelsie and Mark would find themselves in the bottom 3. Nothing against Mark, but he's never stood out to me as bad or good, and since I love Thayne, I would have been fine seeing Mark go home. But when they announced Mark and Chelsie were safe, my hopes for Thayne were shot.

The solos were danced and I was disgusted, once again, by Comfort. Knowing that my time on the show hinged on those 30 seconds, I can't see myself standing in a dance studio to choreograph my solo thinking, "Okay, I'll start out with the jazz splits...always a crowd favorite. Then maybe I'll just run around the stage for half of my solo. If I run on the very edge of the stage--right by the audience--that should make it interesting, right? Oh and then...maybe I'll try out those jazz splits again!" Then to hear Nigel say "You really pulled it out with your solo." I was like, "WHAT??? Are watching the same SHOW???" Thank heavens he came to his senses and voted the girl off.

When I watched the boys' solos, I found myself thinking I'd be okay if Twitch went home. I know he's a crowd favorite--heck, he's a Wendy favorite!--but I still couldn't keep myself from hoping for Thayne to stay. But the results were given and I think Nigel was sincere when he said he wished they could have kept all of the guys this week. :(

Bittersweet--The bitter loss of Thayne and the oh-so-succulent farewell to Comfort.

Poor Thayne. Another Utahn gone. Another beautiful contemporary dancer gone. Another reinforcement of what keeps this show on the air...It's thrilling, intense, frustrating, heart-breaking, and wonderful.

Agree with me? Disagree completely? Let me know! I know that several of you watch this show too, so put me in my place by leaving lots of controversial comments. I welcome them!

Monday, July 7, 2008

"If David Holland wasn't Superman, he was basically the same thing."

I finished a book today. The title of this post reflects my favorite line in the whole story. Taken out of context it's not nearly as humorous as it was to me when I read it, but if you want to glean the same Lisa Scottoline's Dead Ringer. You'll find the funny on page 164. (Sorry, just trying to cover my bases so as to avoid inadvertent plagiarism...that's what History 490 does to your thought process!)

In reading over my last few posts I realized I've been sounding like a downer! I want you all to know that I'm not cynical; in fact, cynicism really annoys me. So I'm dedicated to making this an upbeat post. ("But, surprisingly, UPBEAT!"- How to Lose a Guy) How better to incite optimism in the lives of my readers than by giving you a rundown on my Fourth of July weekend?!

We started the day with our traditional hometown parade. It was fun playing with my niece and nephews, buying them Slurpees in spite of my sister's threats regarding messing up their white shirts, and just enjoying the festivities of the Fourth. Sadly, without our whole family at the parade, it didn't quite feel like it used to. I guess that's what they call getting older.
After a long, but enjoyable, nap, I headed up to my sister's apartment to plan out the rest of the evening. We were pretty indecisive about things (not uncommon for us), but ended up agreeing to visit this fun little restaurant. I think it's because our dad is a small business owner, but our family really enjoys supporting small, family-owned establishments. This restaurant makes my list of favorites. Mama's Southern Plantation Restaurant had great food but an even better atmosphere. It's humble and homey, and the historian in me couldn't help but love the simple display of artifacts documenting the restaurant's roots. If you're up for a fun evening, it's on 1394 S. and West Temple.

Finally we set out out for the true fun of the Fourth--fireworks. It took us a couple tries to actually find somewhere to go, but we ended up seeing a pretty good display up north. This picture would have been really neat had my sister not bumped me excitedly to draw my attention to the fact that the finale was upon us. :) All in all, it was a good Holiday.

Saturday I woke up relatively early (well, for me on a Saturday) because I was on call for work. I was grateful when I didn't get called in because I could do some housework I'd neglected during the week along with some critical school work. When I'd had enough of that, I got ready for the evening and went out on a really enjoyable triple date. I don't think I'd ever gone out with my one sister and her husband, so that made it even more fun. We went to dinner and saw Hancock. Some members of our party were less complimentary, but I loved the show! I love Will Smith and I was just thoroughly entertained by the story. Then again, I can't really remember the last show I saw in the theaters that I didn't like, so maybe that says something...

Sunday was Sunday, crazy as always when the whole family is over.

There is one other thing I've been DYING to post about. For those of you who have not yet read my sister's latest post, I'm going to be an aunt again! I've known for awhile and have been waiting for her to officially announce it to non-family before I spread the word. And now that she has, I couldn't stay quiet any longer! Congrats to my fabulous sister and her equally fabulous hubby! (U2Pup) I am so excited for you. I love being an aunt more than anything in the world, and the idea of new babies in the family makes me so happy. So thanks for continuing to give me the opportunity of "aunt-hood" :) Yay!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tellings of a Bank Teller

Lately I've been obsessing about all the things that bug me about working at a bank. And they're totally nit-picky! I know I shouldn't care about them, but I do. So I figured if I blogged about my irritations, perhaps I could slowly begin to educate the world about what bugs tellers. Well, what bugs irrational and moody tellers like myself. :)

*Something I didn't realize six months ago is that people simply don't know their account numbers. This is something I really can't fathom. I'm a numbers person, generally speaking. Birthdays, phone numbers... I remember them easily. So when I was 12 and had my savings account number memorized, I thought I was normal. Boy was I wrong. This is only a small frustration of mine. Really it only gets me when we're really busy. But if people have a hard time memorizing numbers, can't they just write it down somewhere?

*This leads me to the next thing that irks me. Even if you don't know your account number, couldn't you still maybe fill out the rest of the deposit slip? Or is that asking too much? I mean the date, your name, the amount deposited... It's not rocket science.

*Following a pattern now...If you're a large business or perhaps an individual who for some reason receives a multitude of checks, invest in a calculator. Total the checks before handing your teller a stack of 25 with your empty deposit slip. My job isn't to do your accounts receivable, believe it or not.

*Have you ever noticed the sign in the bank that says something like "Wait here for next available teller"? There's something clever about that sign. The clever thing is that it does not say "Please storm the teller window as soon as the client in front of you walks away." With almost every transaction, there's paper work still printing even after the client walks away. So do us a favor. Wait for the words "I can help you down here." That's a clear sign your teller is ready.

*I'm going to stray a bit from the things that regularly irritate me and address an anomaly. Mystery fluids. Today I was handed a deposit slip that was stained brown over about half of it. How am I supposed to know what that is? Coffee? Coke? Something slightly less sanitary? I don't know, but that's gross. Another time I got a check with a smear on the back that looked a lot like blood. Some people might be surprised to find out that we don't keep rubber gloves in our drawers for such occasions. Sure we use hand sanitizer, but that's to protect us from the standard disgustingness of money. If for some reason you got blood on your check, I personally think it would be appropriate to ask the remitter to issue a new check. Or how about the thick, clear, sticky fluid on a dollar bill someone handed me? I'm not making this up...

*Most bank tellers have not received a degree in psychology. Therefore, we might not feel particularly comfortable hearing your strange personal problems. Do we enjoy chatting with our clients? Absolutely. It keeps the day moving and entertaining. But the fact that your girlfriend came with you to Utah from New York and suddenly decided to call the cops and claim you kidnapped her, leaving you in jail for the last four days? That's weird. How do you honestly expect me to respond?

*Additionally, deep political discussions are probably not appropriate. Asking who I think Obama's running mate will be? Reasonable question. Telling me under your breath that the client next to you should speak English because we're in (curse word) America and illegal immigration is out of control? Probably getting a bit too deep. Or you could be the person who asks me why our sign saying we're closed for the 4th of July is in English and Spanish, adding that it doesn't make sense because of the essence of the holiday being "American". If you know me, you won't be surprised that my initial urge (which I refused) was to explain that in fact the "essence" of Independence Day is our country's against-all-odds melting pot beginnings--a celebration of the uniting of people of every possible background to defeat an insurmountable foe. Instead I just smiled cordially externally while chuckling internally at the client's ignorance. :)

With that beautiful segue... Happy 4th of July!!!
I've gotten enough off my chest that I think I will be able to completely enjoy one of my favorite holidays (second favorite only to Christmas).
Maybe it's the History major or maybe it's the fact that I've always considered myself a Patriot.
I love the display of red, white, and blue.
I love the fact that on one day, everyone loves the National Anthem as much as I do.
I love the fireworks, the parades, the respect we duly pay servicemen and women, the remembering that we're all American.
My hope this year, as our country is torn on so many issues, is that we can remember what it means to be "One Nation Under God."
Many people fear that we are too easily forgetting the "Under God," which is definitely cause for concern.
But I'm equally worried that we're straying too far from the
"One Nation" ideal.

So as sappily utopian as I might sound, remember what this
country stands for.
Today, let's make our Founders proud.

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Free Glitter Graphics

Thursday, July 3, 2008

SYTYCD Thoughts

The ending credits haven't even begun but I can't stay quiet. I cannot believe the results of tonight's show. I am mad, sad, and so disappointed. This is supposed to be a competition to find "America's Favorite Dancer" and I strongly believe that entails talent. The fact that Comfort is still in the running is ridiculous and insulting to the other dancers on the show. Beyond that, it is a huge insult to Chelsea and Kourtni--two beautifully talented and passionate dancers--that preceded her in leaving the show. I jokingly made the comment last week that if Matt and Kourtni were kicked off the show this week, I would stop watching. Part of me sincerely wants to keep that promise.

When Nigel announced that Kourtni would be leaving, I started bawling. Not like a tear rolling down my cheek by shoulder-shaking sobs. Why? Because she touched me. When she auditioned, I got the chills. When she dances, I see how she combines technique with emotion and am constantly left in awe. I know that as the show goes on, by nature of the process, we begin to see good dancers left behind. But the reason I cannot accept tonight's results is Comfort. Setting aside the fact that she has never impressed me...not once...her solo was pitiful. The solos are set up so the dancers can "dance for their lives" and she seemed to commit suicide. On the other hand, Kourtni once again amazed. All season I've shied away from answering the question of who is my favorite dancer, and I realized all too late that it's been Kourtni all along.

As for the boys, I can't be quite as upset. I definitely like Matt and Gev more than Thayne, but I also love Thayne. So I'm very sad to see Matt leave, but I recognize that it was a lose-lose-lose situation.

I wish there were a way to vote people OFF rather than just to keep them on. I wouldn't stop dialing until Comfort and her unimpressive hip hop were gone for good.