Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Life Between Semesters...PURE HEAVEN!

So, there have been many people that have told me to enjoy school because I will miss it. At this point in time, I don't believe it. Since my last final, I have done nothing but sleep in, read (for pleasure), and play games. Not once have I thought about school (only the dread of having to return for one more semester. To those of you wondering why I chose to continue school, I am one of you and I have no answer. All I know is this better be worth it!)

I normally have the tradition of reading the Harry Potter series every Christmas. I don't think I will ever get tired of those books (it hasn't happened yet and I've read them 6 times so far!) However, I have been missing the suspense curiosity that comes with a new series, one that I don't know the ending to. In my quest of finding a new series, I talked with some friends and was told of three:
  1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  2. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
  3. Leven Thumps by Obert Skye
Percy Jackson and the Olympians topped my list because it's about a modern-day greek hero (part human, part Olympian). In this series, Rick Riordan combines Greek mythology with modern-day adventure. It's fantastic! I was able to borrow the books from the library and read through them in a week. Now, I'm awaiting the final book (The Last Olympian, due in May 2009). Even though the story line is very juvenile (and there's nothing wrong with that), it has been a page turner because I am extremely fascinated by Greek Mythology. I think these books are a must-read for any avid Greek mythology lover!

Fablehaven and Leven Thumps sounded interesting as well and, I must say, have always caught my eye every time I enter a bookstore. I just started reading Fablehaven, only because I'm still waiting for the first Leven Thumps book to become available. I wanted to wait with Fablehaven because that series still has two books left to be published (and I really hate waiting for books to be published!). However, I did start and I like what I've read so far.

Other books on my I-Want-To-Read list include, but are not limited to,
  1. The Mayor of Casterbridge
  2. Paradise Lost (in the middle of this one, fabulous!)
  3. The Return of the Native (also in the middle, read previously, also fabulous!)
  4. Beloved
  5. Don Quixote
  6. Cien Anos de Soledad
  7. War and Peace
  8. The Idiot
  9. The Koran
  10. The Apocrypha
I am also open and looking for other good books to read (it's so much more entertaining than watching tv!) I also have a pretty lengthy list of previously-read material that I really enoyed! However, this post is already a novel, so I will postpone my list of top reads! Until then, stay tuned :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Irritating or Insightful???

We are all aware of the most interesting Chrismtas song "The 12 Days of Christmas". As annoying as the song is, it is surprising to me to hear so many different versions of the song (each version seeming as though it will never end). Luckily, there have been some versions that are quite enjoyable and hilarious, but they seem to be few and far between.

So...where did this song come from (and how drunk was the writer?) I researched my query (oh my goodness...I've been in school too long!) and this is what I found out. To properly cite my source, I found this information in Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins.

In Britain, during the sixteenth century, the Church of England was the only legally recognized Christian church. Practicing any other religion was punishable by law. To protect themselves from legal recourse, people began preaching in secret and in code. This included teaching their children.

In the song, the "true love" is a heavenly love. The meaning of each gift is as follows:
  1. Partridge in a Pear Tree--"Courage and devotion above what man ever showed on earth"
  2. Two Turtle Doves--Old and New Testaments (also, doves symbolize peace and truth)
  3. Three French Hens--Expensive food items...a meal fit for a king. The hens implied gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
  4. Four Calling Birds--Represent the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  5. Five Gold Rings--Five books of the old testament.
  6. Six Geese-a-laying--Represent the six creative periods of the world.
  7. Seven Swans-a-Swimming--Gifts of the spirit ("prophecy, service, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and mercy")
  8. Eight Maids-a-Milking--Milking cattle was the lowest job possible and having a lady do that meant she was of little worth. This represents Christ's humility. The number eight also signified the beattitudes.
  9. Nine Ladies Dancing--Represent the gifts of the Spirit ("love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control").
  10. Ten Lords-a-Leaping--Represent the 10 Commandments.
  11. Eleven Pipers Piping--Represent the 11 apostles who preached the Gospel after Christ's resurrection.
  12. Twelve Drummers Drumming--Represents "The Apostle's Creed":
"I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. Who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, descended into hell; the third day he rose fromt he dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. He shall return to judge the lviing and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the boyd, and life everlasting."

Looking at "The 12 Days of Christmas" from this perspective, it is actually an amazing song. However, it might be better as a poem instead of a song...I don't know. Either way, it is brilliant!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


So, I have heard (from many sources) that they feel that the Thanksgiving Holiday is ignored because of the Christmas hype. I understand their argument, but...I have to respectfully disagree. I see Thanksgiving as the beginning of a wonderful time of year. People are nicer, happier, and more pleasant to be around (well, most people). Thanksgiving is a time of year when people are more likely to recognize things they are thankful for, blessings they have received throughout the year, and miracles that have happened. It also is a time when people begin to recognize how important family and friends are. This is very similar if not identical to the Christmas Holiday. As with Thanksgiving, families come together, friends realize how important their friendships are (old and new), and people recognize how their lives have been blessed. The major difference I see between Christmas and Thanksgiving is the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Now, for those of you who share in the ideology that Christmas must wait until after Thanksgiving, please understand I respect your decision and this post is not meant to be demeaning or disrespectful. This post is merely an explanation as to why some people enjoy Christmas "a little too early". In my mind, Thanksgiving is a great time to allow the Christmas Spirit to begin to grow. Additionally, can you think of a more appropriate time to express gratitude for family, blessings, opportunities, protection, and above all, the birth of our Savior. The only thing I see missing is a little Easter celebration, recognizing the Atonement, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift and miracle given to the human race!

I now step down from my soap box and give thanks to those of you who read this post. As a prize, you get to vote for your favorite Christmas song! (I know, I know...I'm so generous :)).

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Unfortunate good friend Celine is dealing with a nasty bug and has had to reschedule her Salt Lake concert until Feb 22 (so far away!!!) To everyone out there anxious for a detailed description of the concert will have to wait just a bit longer. The silver lining in this terrible news...there might be more tickets available for those unable to attend the later concert. More good still have time to save money for tickets :). Good news for me...the concert is now more of a prelude to and celebration of graduation instead of motivation to help me get through school and stupid papers (as I do not foresee this next semester to be extremely difficult).

As for me, I will be viewing Celine's A New Day DVD to help me endure yet another long period of waiting.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Too Much to Contain

It is official...I can no longer contain the excitement (that and it has been awhile since I wrote a post and I figured this would be a good one). Yes, yes, as those of you who know me well, you know of my little crush on Celine Dion. Also, as you may know, she is finally coming to Salt Lake City! Being Mr. Prepared and Mr. On-Top-Of-Things, I signed up for tickets last November (like I said, it's just a little crush) and have been holding on to them since that time. I bought two because I wanted to take a date...and I had no idea who the lucky girl would be (double lucky...she gets to see Celine Dion live and she gets to see her with me!)

I had a couple of options of finding a girl to go with me. The most creative way that was suggested to me (by my internship supervisor) was to put a listing on KSL, Ebay, or Craigslist for one free ticket to the concert (and a free date). After much deliberation, I figured I'd be safest and most guaranteed to have a fun time if I chose who I took.

Anyway, the big day is November 21 at the Energy Solutions Arena and it's going to be amazing!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This Was Inevitable! (Cont'd)

So, I tried to put a few of my favorites on the post, but it would only let me upload so many (I guess), so I'm doing a second post to put the rest on (I couldn't leave any of these out!) These albums come highly recommended, especially by myself. By the way, the picture inside the LDS Conference Center is there to represent the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square (I couldn't find a satisfying picture). That picture also represents the concerts given by Sissel, Bryn Terfel, Audra McDonald, Frederica Von Stade, and Angela Lansbury, along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They were absolutely fabulous! ENJOY!

This Was Inevitable!

I do not apologize for this! No matter how hard I try to wait until after Thanksgiving to play Christmas music, my efforts were futile. With the little snow that fell last weekend, the sudden cold weather, and Faith Hill's new Christmas cd that was released at the end of September, I am now completely immersed in Christmas music. For those of you who enjoy Christmas music whenever, I am sure you understand. For those of you who insist that Christmas music only be played after Thanksgiving and before New Years, I will try to keep it to myself until November 28, but I make no guarantees.
PS, Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn in Utah County

Because I had not been to the canyons to see the leaves as different colors, I decided to do so before the cold and, possibly, snowy weekend. The day actually turned out to be a perfect day for touring the canyon (Alpine Loop and Cascade Falls...and surrounding areas). The photos really don't do it justice, but they're still exceptional (and not just because I took them). These are only some of the many that I took. I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cultural Experience

It seems that every year, for as long as I can remember, I would look at the calendar and notice holidays like Boxing Day, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Kwanzaa, among others. In high school, we had a display in one of the halls that had a display that showed up around November with wishes such as "Happy Kwanzaa", "Happy Ramadan", "Happy Hanukkah", and "Merry Christmas". I was impressed and wanted to learn about these holidays and be able to experience them. My first experience was Rosh Hashanah.
After reading about the significance of Rosh Hashanah, I learned that it Rosh Hashanah it is the celebration of the Jewish New Year and that it also represented the day man was created. In addition to this information, I found some food information. Three examples of food were apples and honey (which was very tasty), tzimmes, and glazed apricot carrots with peppers. Here are some pictures of the tzimmes and glazed carrots:
Both dishes were quite tasty, but my preference were the glazed carrots! My roommate, who decided to participate as well, preferred the tzimmes. However, we both really enjoyed the apples and honey.
Overall, Rosh Hashanah was a great experience! My next experience will be Hanukkah and I'm pretty excited!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Celebrity Look-alikes

It's funny how there are some people you greatly resemble and others who don't look a thing like you. What's even funnier is when people tell you that you look like someone who doesn't even look like you. This mostly happens to me when people tell me I look like celebrities. The other day, I was at work and someone told me that I looked a lot like Brad Pitt.
I wanted to laugh but realized that it would be inappropriate for the situation I was in, so I refrained. However, that comment made me remember some other celebrities I have been told that I resemble. I could only remember the names of 2 other celebrities. These include Val Kilmer and Guy Pearce. What can I say...I knew I was destined for stardom!! Here are some pictures...I'll let you judge for yourselves. I don't think there's much of a resemblance...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"[To dye] While the Sun Shines"

When it comes to boredom, I believe everyone is unique in how they deal with it. When I am bored, I try and think of something I can change. Some examples include moving furniture around in my room. Many times, I will clean, do yard work, read (but that usually delays boredom for a few hours...depending on how good the book is), and so forth. Recently, I attempted to change my hair color. I was confident there would be no problems because I had been successful in the past. Just a few months ago, my friend dyed my hair a darker color (dark brown with some red in it). It went well. However, over the last couple of months, the color faded and, I thought, was gone.

I decided to go blond (not bleached, just blond) and I found the right color. I put it in my hair and left it in for an hour. After washing out the chemical, I realized I was in some trouble. My hair had turned orange and had some dark brown highlights (areas I must have missed...I was sure I put the chemical all over). Well, I did not want orange hair, so i decided that bleached hair would be better than orange hair, so I bleached my hair again (that was twice in the same day). While my hair did not go white (it was a lighter orange...almost golden color. It reminded me of the way I pictured the young Gellert Grindelwald), it was at least still attached to my head (as opposed to falling out, which was possible because I bleached it twice that day).

Well, I figured before I did anything else to ruin my hair, I'd wait a few days and try and ask someone who knew what they were doing. I went to my parents house for a couple of days and my mom knew a professional hair colorer and made an appointment for me. When I went, the lady asked me what I had done and I told her everything. Between her bits of laughter, she told me she was surprised for a couple reasons. First of all, that my hair was not whiter and, second, that my hair was still there. She told me that the most likely reason for what happened with the hair color was the previous dye job a couple months ago, when I died it a darker brown (with red tints). Luckily, she was able to work her magic and turn my hair back to a normal-looking color.

In short, I learned a valuable lesson. What was supposed to be a cheap ($8.00) and quick (2 hours) alternative to boredom ended up being a $45 4-day alternative to boredom. I have now learned my lesson and can guarantee that the only change my hair color will experience from here on out will be the result of growth and, hopefully in the very-distant future, graying. Whatever the change, it will be natural!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Here I Am

Well, as opposed as I am to blogs...I've decided to make one (and I don't even know why). Before I do anything else on this blog, I must warn you that I am not witty and will probably have nothing worthwhile to say about anything important. I guess this will just be an update of a day in the life of yours truly :)!

Having given the warning, here goes nothing. I am anxiously awaiting the end of April 2009 when I will be done indefinitely with schooling. I may go back for a doctorate, but that will only be after 25 years and probably a very serious head injury (it's going to take a lot to forget the wonderful experiences of teachers who think their class is the only one you've signed up for, the late nights trying to study for an ambiguous test, and trying to figure out the answer a teacher wants you to give instead of other possibilities, etc...oh, the joys of school). I did just finish my summer internship that falls into my list of the three hardest things I've done in my life (next to an LDS mission and dating...I haven't experienced marriage yet, which I'm sure will make the list of the top four hardest things I've done in life). Notwithstanding how difficult the internship was, I learned a great deal about the social work field.

I am now about to start my last year of the Masters of Social Work program and am excited (and nervous) for the mysteries and surprises (as well as experiences) that await. No doubt I will keep you updated.


"[Confucius] taught that the country which develops the finest music, the grandest poetry, and the noblest moral ideals--that is, the country with the most exalted culture--will always yield the greatest power in the world."

-Letters from the Jade Dragon Box by Gale Sears

"Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I am in Somebody's hand!'

-Mr. Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge

"...[T]he magnitude of [life] is not as to [one's] external displacements, but as to [one's] subjective experiences."

-Thomas Hardy in Tess of the d'Urbervilles

"...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed--because 'Thou mayest.'"

-Lee in East of Eden