12.25.2008

The Bottom Line: The Advent Conspiracy

I found this on Laura's blog, who found it on Kelli's blog (remember her? the awesome photographer in my Kaiizen group who took pictures of those Ghanaian orphans) and I'm passing it on because I found it totally and completely inspiring.

Please take two minutes and watch it.


The Advent Conspiracy Promo Video from theadvance on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas, folks. Really. Christmas. Think about it.

The Night Before...

I spent at my brother and sister-in-law's (Kevin and Debbie) fabulous home in Lehi for their traditional Christmas Eve Buffet. There, we ate, laughed, played, I got attacked by my nephew...a few times...and we tracked Santa. About every ten minutes, we'd get a reminder from one of the little'uns that we needed to check on where he was at that moment. This, perhaps, was the highlight of my night. There's something wonderfully magical about being around tons of kids (or, in this case, 5 kids and 6 kid-like adults) on Christmas eve, faithfully and innocently anticipating the arrival of the wondrous Santa.

Yet, inside, as each family reads from the Bible on Christmas eve, we never forget to keep the real meaning of CHRISTmas in our hearts.

Merry Christmas Eve!

12.23.2008

Body Worlds!

I went to "Body Worlds 3: The Story of the Heart" tonight and I LOVED IT!!! It was fascinating.

According to trusty Wikipedia, Body Worlds is "is a traveling exhibition of preserved human bodies and body parts that are prepared using a technique called plastination to reveal inner anatomical structures. " These cadavers are presented in a very artistic manner, yet with lots of scientific background and base. It started like my artistic anatomy class did: bones first, then muscles. This exhibit went far beyond, into the more physiological and medical side of things, all in a very appropriate manner.

Here's 9 of my favorite things.

1. I had to sign in as an "artist". I felt pretty special as I had to sign a release form a and wear a little sticker that labeled me "sketcher". Honestly, though, I wrote more than I sketched. Upon entering, everyone received little sketchbooks/notepads to write our thoughts in. As it was at The Leonardo in SLC, the front of the books states, "Leonardo Da Vinci explored the fascinating intersection of science and art. In this spirit, we invite you to use this notebook to record questions and impressions as you discover Gunther Von Hagens' Body Worlds." If you know me well, you know that I love mini-things. This definitely qualified.

2. I loved that everything I'd learned in Niki's class was applied, at least as far an bones and muscles go, as I studied the exhibit. My friend who took me, Craig, had some anatomy experience, but let me explain to him things that I observed in the exhibit from the knowledge I've gained through my artistic anatomy class. It was fun to see what I knew and what I needed to research more.

3. It was far more educational than I thought it'd be. I guess I assumed it would be, but the exhibit went into so much more depth than I thought it would. There were lots of signs about these different bodies and body parts that were helpful. For a bit more money, we were also supplied with little electronic guides, so if we were curious about a certain part of the exhibit, we could type in the accompanying number on the little key pad of this walkie-talkie looking thing and would be able to hear a detailed audio track about what we were seeing.

4. The "pregnancy" part of the exhibit blew my mind. It showed the embryo from the middle of the 5th week all the way til the 31-33rd week. Something that just looked like a bit of dust you'd find under your bed can be transformed into a living, breathing and fully functional human being. It was hard for me to fathom. No wonder procreation is such a sacred and supremely important thing in this life. I was reverenced and awed by it.

5. I thought it was way cool that as the lungs were exhibited, they included a set of lungs that were a very dark coal-color. The lungs of a smoker. Instead of just showing this, they also had a box for smokers to put their cigarette boxes in, with a mantra having to do with quitting now. They also had a video going, of Yul Brenner pleading for people not to smoke (his last testimonial before he died). There were also little cards provided with "my testimonial" on the front and on the back spaces for information if someone wanted to call and ask why you quit. I thought this call to action was cool.

6. The full bodies were all arranged in very creative and interesting, yet very educational ways. This was so innovative. Each position had a specific purpose. One cadaver was displayed in 3 sections to show the compact quality of the inner workings of the body. One of my favorites was doing the splits with his feet resting on two balls, supporting himself with a hand on the 3rd, while the other hand was holding all of his internal organs up in the air. The superficial muscles of his back were cut away and facing upwards, so that you could visualize how everything fit together, but still have everything in tact there for you to see. (i couldn't find an image of this online, but he's the very last one displayed in the video in this link. check it out)

7. In the exhibit, they showed not only the healthy parts, but what they look like with different diseases, injuries, etc. Some parts of the body were shown healthy compared to unhealthy. For example, they had a cross-section of a brain, then one with a tumor. Another displayed an entire woman with various injuries, and provided metal joints and attachments to compensate for what the body was lacking. It explained why these different conditions occur, and how to prevent them if possible. This is, by the way, the *picture on the right, although you can only really see her metal knee in this shot, and part of her broken jaw.

8. Throughout the entire exhibit, they encouraged us to take care of and respect our bodies. Not only did they expound on purely scientific information, they related it to our normal lives and had cool quotes on the walls about life in general. They included interesting facts, and among them were these: simply being optimistic (as opposed to pessimistic) greatly reduces probability of heart disease, you really can die of a broken heart (because of a "toxic overload of stress hormones resulting in stress cardiomyopathy-- same symptoms as a heart attack) , the reasoning behind goose bumps and numbness, the tiny electrical signals from the nerve cells can travel up to 250 mph (!!!), your heart pumps 1800 gallons of blood daily (they had one red-tinted room empty except for 33 huge oil barrels and a huge heartbeat playing on speakers with this information as a visual reminder. Kind of eerie but way cool).

9. At the end, there were a lot of interactive stations: one provided little tiles you could write on, answering the question of the week (this week's was "Can you judge somebody by their physical appearance?"). Then you could add your tile to the great wall of tiles with everyone else's answers. Another station had a camera set up, and you could record your story and watch the stories of previous visitors. Another had a bunch of listening stations, where you could listen to certain experiences of different people. Because we'd been there so long, I didn't make Craig wait while I explored all of these things. But they were awesome!
As an artist, I loved viewing the body as a visual reality.
As one fascinated by and interested in the sciences, I enjoyed learning more about the functions therein and how they relate.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this testified to me even more how real God is and showed me that the human body was no "accident".
As a human being, I learned to respect and appreciate my body so much more.

And I'd go again in, well, a heartbeat.

(By the way, at The Leonardo, this closes on January 11, so hurry and go buy tickets! It's so worth it.)

*Also, note that photography wasn't allowed in the exhibit (sadly, but i understand why) so i didn't take any photos. the photos of the bodies are all from the internet.

12.10.2008

Angels I Almost Heard On High

I've had a suddenly stressful last two days. But tender mercies are always plentiful, if you look for them. After figure drawing, I was kind of overwhelmed and as I went to exit the H-Fac, I saw a whole bunch of little kids, probably from some elementary school, singing on the main floor! Though I'm super stressed, I decided to stop and soak in some music. It did my heart some good to hear those children singing. That was 34 minutes ago. I have been to the bookstore to cut my illustration board, grabbed what is probably the only food I'll have time to eat today, and am in the h-fac again, and just heard echoed voices singing "Angels We Have Heard On High" from somewhere in the bowels of the H-fac above. I couldn't see who was singing, but I took a video because I had a camera on hand and liked the ethereal harmonic sounds, disembodied by a choir as far as I could tell. (If you're curious, check back later for the video...I'm too busy to upload it now....)

Then the choir tromped down the stairs. The otherworldly feeling was gone, but as they continued their rehearsal close to where I am sitting, I enjoyed the music nonetheless.

Amist all my finals, I'm glad I get subtle reminders that it's also Christmastime.

12.07.2008

what you DON'T know

jeff tagged me a while ago and i've been thinking about what i wanted to write ever since. (not like this is going to be a very profound post or anything, just very thought-provoking for me.)

6 lesser-known things about myself~

1. more often than most people i know, i long to have a one-way glass bubble shield around me. it'd look somewhat like the hamster named Rhino in Bolt, except that i would be able to see people and they wouldn't see me (or the bubble, for that matter)...and i'd probably be less furry. i love people-watching but sometimes people act differently if they know they're being watched. i really do think about this more than is probably necessary. in a non-creepy, non-stalkerish kind of way.

2. i can't roll my tongue...or whistle. i'm very untalented as far as that goes. i know that tongue-rolling is genetic, but my older sister robin can just because she was stubborn enough to learn how to, regardless. i don't think i have that drive. maybe someday.

3. i absolutely love words. one of my all-time favorite books is "30 days to a more powerful vocabulary" and we used it in my ap english class. i love journal-writing. and i enjoy editing papers.

4. i may or may not have a piece of glass stuck in the bottom of my foot. a very long time ago, i was walking with my friend marie dayton in the provo river in lion's park. i stepped on glass and got out of the water, leaving bloody footprints, and her mom had to perform a little operation right then and there to get it out. to this day it still hurts at times, and there is definitely still a bump. we may never know if there's still something there....

5. i have a fascination with little things. anything that is smaller than it should be or smaller than it's usually thought of. for example, i love little boxes. i also love little notes. little photos. little baskets. little books. little vials. little...whatever. so long as it's little.

6. something that really excites me is when i have a musical connection with people. it's quite possible this is not as cheesy as it sounds, but i recently realized that most of my closest friends are those who share the same love of music as i do. this can be due to similar tastes in music, or a love of sharing new kinds of music with each other, or playing instruments or singing together, or sharing similar experiences (such as choir) together. however, musicality is not a requirement for friendship.

well...there you go.

i tag jess, laura (both of 'em), thomas, jefe mabey, and kaylie.

12.02.2008

Come What May, and Love It

From the LDS newsroom:
SALT LAKE CITY | 2 Dec 2008 | Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died last night, age 91. Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11.30 pm of causes incident to age.
I loved last conference especially, because though he looked frail in his old age, he spoke with the power and confidence of a man of God. This conference I especially loved how the leaders of our church were all so united. I specifically remember that when Elder Wirthlin was done talking and Elder Holland got up to speak he started by saying, "There is no apostle more loved, than Joseph Bitner Wirthlin".

In this last conference talk, Elder Wirthlin said,

"How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life."

With the counsel of learning to laugh, seeking for the eternal, understanding the principle of compensation, and trusting in the Father and Son, his last conference talk focused on his mother's counsel: "Come what may, and love it." He was a wonderful example of that in his life.

i think my favorite part of the LDS Newsroom abstract was this:
His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present [when he died]. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006.
They are together! Him and his wife! As Jeff put it, that's a pretty great Christmas gift. :)

Their wedding day, May 26, 1941

11.29.2008

brilliant.

please look at jeff's post.

my holiday music is rockin, my toenails are red, and my scarves are ready for duty.

we just got our tree, and i smell like pine.

i'm excited for Christmas.

11.28.2008

a week of thanks-giving

tuesday:
I had to work in the morning.
I am thankful for my job and the security it provides.

I had a busy day, doing things that weren't very fun.
I am thankful for un-fun things, so that I may enjoy fun things more fully.

I played in leaves with my friend Adam at a park.
I am thankful for the simple joys in life.

I had an interview with the Bishop.
I am thankful for having a bishop who really cares about me as a person.

I was crammed and stuck in the backseat floor of a small-ish car with a blanket over me for about 15 minutes (no, it was not a hostage situation).
I am thankful that it was with Jess, to surprise Diana to take her out with her fiancee for her birthday. :)

wednesday:
I attended the temple at 7am.
I am thankful for the temple. And for the opportunity to go so early to start the day right.

I then cleaned my room...all day.
I am thankful for my house!

I was alone for the majority of the day.
I am thankful for Frank Sinatra, and other good music, that kept me company, and in good spirits.

My family came to town and our quiet home turned into a chaotic mass of people.
I am thankful for my family and that we are friends with each other.

I was in charge of family pictures, in a hot basement with ugly lights and 20 people, including 7 tired kiddos.
I am thankful for the ability we have to preserve memories, especially with our grandparents there.

I wasn't able to participate in the gal's traditional "pie night" because I was so sleepy.
I am thankful that we have traditions, and that I was present for this one.

thanksgiving day:
I didn't wake up as early as I'd have liked.
I am thankful I woke up to the Charlie Brown Theme Song and the sound of little children.

My sister didn't get me up to make the last pie like I'd have hoped.
I am thankful for the opportunity I had to make eggs and omelets for many of my hungry family members.

I didn't go with my sisters to get fun lil' pedicures (I'm poor).
I am thankful for the time I spent reading my scriptures and being with my brothers and mom.

I unfortunately found myself with nothing to do for a bit.
I read Tim's blog and decided to text some of my friends that I felt I needed to say hi to.

Our Thanksgiving dinner, originally set for 1 or 2 pm, wasn't actually ready until 5pm.
I am thankful for the delay. Jeff reminded me that "there's something wonderful about that": I appreciated the food more.

Our poor grandparents Curtis came on time at 2pm, and they had to wait all that time for dinner to start.
I am glad for the longer time we had with them.

We tried to watch Kung Fu Panda after but there was a lot of whining from various kids.
I am thankful for that those little kids have good parents who are teaching them so well. I am also thankful for the 'pause' button.

I had a headache for a good chunk of the day.
I am thankful that I had the chance to take it easy and rest.

My friend Austin, who is in the Marines, came to visit me.
I am thankful for transcendental friendships.



I am thankful for Thanksgiving. (not just the holiday-- the action.)

11.23.2008

Shattered Windows and the Sound of Drums

Lights. Lasers. Smoke. Cameras. Giant globes. Sound that shakes walls. Though there weren't any "shattered windows", Coldplay in all of their glory came to Salt Lake City as part of their Viva La Vida tour and it was absolutely fantastic! Coldplay is arguably my favorite band (arguable because of Tally Hall, of course...I think maybe they both tie for first) and I saw them last night in concert. Here was the set list:

Life In Technicolor
Violet Hill
Clocks
In My Place
Speed Of Sound
Cemeteries Of London
Chinese Sleep Chant
42
Fix You
Strawberry Swing
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face/Talk
The Hardest Part
Sweet lil piano something-something by Chris
Viva La Vida
Lost!
The Scientist
Death Will Never Conquer
A mixed recording of Viva La Vida again
Politik
Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love
Death And All His Friends
Yellow

I love that even though they're one of the biggest bands in the world, they were still super humble. Chris Martin introduced them as Coldplay, a band from Great Britain. It was awesome. They let us (the audience) sing a bunch of parts of the songs and at one point Chris commented, "Man! That's some good singin!"

So now I can say that I sang with Coldplay. :)

This was such an amazing concert. I called some friends during songs that I thought they'd appreciate just to share the joy, because I think that everyone should have experienced it. Here's the playlist again, with my commentary in between: (this is mostly so I can remember it, but it's awesome how they formatted the concert, so you should read it too. ;] )

Life In Technicolor
My, what a way to start the show. Especially after the headache-inducing (no, really, it did) second opening act (the first, Sleepercar, was good) that was all techno and weird animation. Life in Technicolor was a perfect way to set the mood, with a stunning setup of lights and color, introducing the night.
Violet Hill
I loved that this was next because it kept up the excitement for the show and kicked up the momentum of the feel of the concert.
Clocks
What a classic...I loved the lasers especially in this performance.
In My Place
Gorgeous rendition! I loved how throughout the concert, you could just see the band members bond. I could tell that they really enjoy playing together, and their chemistry definitely showed throughout the evening.
Speed Of Sound
Another beautiful typical Coldplay song. I think it was this one that had smoke with lasers, and Adam commented that he felt like he was floating in space, to which I agreed.
Cemeteries Of London
Each song had a different mood to it; with this it was a lot darker and cemetery-like feel. This added so much to the show!
Chinese Sleep Chant
42
Serious, this whole show was amazing with light and color and used them well. I also thought the camera men did a fabulous job of capturing all the great angles and a lot of the time I felt like it was a ready-made music video, but it was live!
Fix You
Adam and I got really excited when we realized it was this one...I don't know why. It was SO beautiful though! This is ultimately one of my all-time favorites.
Strawberry Swing
I learned chords for this song on my guitar, but haven't learned the solo yet. After this, I'm motivated to do so. And their guitars were SWEET!!!
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face/Talk
This was cool...the band members all came onto a white-lit platform and played together. It started out with a weird distortion and no one could tell what song it was first. When we finally realized, it was so rad! Then they went straight into Talk; the transition was so smooth that I didn't immediately realize it was a different song until he started singing Talk. I love when bands reward you for coming to their concerts by busting out stuff like this.
The Hardest Part
This song has actually been one of my all-time favorites (unlike you, Joe, haha) because it applies to me on so many levels in so many situations. Chris and Will, the drummer, made beautiful harmony. It rocks my socks that the drummer sings so well. Because Chris was still on the white platform and Will was back on the main stagewith the drums, they filmed it so there were two spotlights and the video screen showed them both.
Sweet lil piano something-something by Chris
I definitely didn't mind this :) {I later found out it was "Postcards from Far Away" from their amazing EP}
Viva La Vida
The whole concert was amazing, but everyone jumped up immediately and started cheering when this started to play after the simple, pretty piano solo. The band members had such energy and it was so great to watch them play this song that most people have come to know. Their energy reverberated off the walls and spread to the audience so quickly!
Lost!
This was my favorite song when I first heard the new album. I don't think I could stop smiling when I sang along in the concert.

The boys packed up like they were done, thanking us and running off stage. We, of course, wanted more, and lo and behold, the next thing we saw was them running up into the audience at the other end of the center...to seats with instruments already there! Chris announced that there are "super babes" in Utah and maybe the reason bands usually stayed on stage is so that they wouldn't get distracted with them in the audience. :]
The Scientist
He then explained that this was the portion of the show where the band played instruments that they didn't know how to play (except for Jonny, who plays the guitar). Chris played the harmonica (Adam and I were pleased) and they performed The Scientist! It sounded pretty dang good for not knowing how to play.
Death Will Never Conquer
Sung by Will, playing the guitar! I love this song. I got it free off of their website a while ago. We thought the concert was definitely done this time...

As we cheered and they ran off again, a mix of Viva La Vida played on a recording. The lights were dark and the audience realized that to add to the Coldplay light affect, we all had cell phones, and suddenly there were gajillions of cell phones dancing along. It looked so sweet!

All of the sudden, the stage erupted with huge bright lights , again pulsating to the beat of...
Politik (!!!!!)
We went nuts, of course. At this point, I just busted the last songs at the top of my lungs. I loved it.
Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love
This was accompanied with sweet old-fashioned clips of "lovers" and it was hilarious! I called Diana during this one; it reminded me of her and her awesome fiancee, Jonny. In the middle of the song, they dropped tons and tons of little confetti butterflies over the audience on the floor! It was awesome.
Death And All His Friends
After this one, we thought it was over...again...and encored them. Again. They came back on and thanked us again for coming, announcing they'd end with one more song.
Yellow
As the stage was flooded with yellow light, I couldn't have asked for a better ending song. Yellow was the first Coldplay song I ever heard, and one of the first I learned on my guitar. It just seemed fitting that they ended with this one.


Anyway if you like Coldplay, you should really talk to me about this concert. I have other fun things to show! ;) It was pretty much another perfect night.

AND now I have seen Tally Hall and Coldplay BOTH in the SAME year. (Jack Johnson was also a bonus!) :D

11.18.2008

slow shutter savvy?

For a while, I've really wanted to try long exposure photography at night. I've never done it before, but I wanted to try. Light fascinates me.

After FHE last night, I decided to try it and Nicole Bagozzi was happy to be my accomplice and model. :]

It was so fun! We tried a few different things, and got some pretty cool results. These are just straight from the camera.


Have I ever mentioned how much I adore photography?

Cuz I do. This is one is my favorite:


If anyone has any feedback or tips, please comment and share the knowledge! :)

11.16.2008

Prophecy: Fulfilled!

Happy Sunday morning.

I just received an e-mail from my brother Kevin, who apparently got it from his wife Debbie, about Prop 8 and our LDS church; take a look.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Meeting the Challenges of Today" BYU Devotional,

October 10, 1978.

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters -- in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.'

"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.

"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as un-trendy and unenlightened....Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some Skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.

Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, summer is nigh. Thus, warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."


My brother said, "He gave this 30 years ago and he nailed our day." I heartily agree.

Good day to you all.

ps. I wrote this earlier today before church, but didn't publish it yet. During church, we talked about Mormon 8. I think that this topic fits nicely with vs. 28-33.

11.11.2008

tangled wisdom...from ecuador with love

My necklace has been tangled all morning long. It's hard to untangle, because it's a bunch of big wooden beads with string separating each one. I tried to untangle it briefly while riding the bus, then gave up in pursuit of reading while on the bus.

I got to school and tinkered with it again, but to no avail.

I went to my class, and for the first 20 minutes, tried in vain to untwist and untangle it.

The knot wouldn't go away.

Then I couldn't get it off my mind.

Now, this isn't just any necklace; it's a necklace that Diana (one of my very best friends) brought back to me from Ecuador. Therefore, it's much more special to me than just any trite piece of jewelry.

After class, I sat down (right here...literally, this just barely happened) and worked on it again. I realized that part of my problem was that I kept pulling from the ends of it, untangling those parts, when in reality the problem was the knot in the center. And it was huge! I didn't know what else to do so I just dove right into the center, worried that I might break the string. After a few minutes of concentrated, hard effort, focusing on being gentle with it, it started to loosen. However, i wasn't done yet...I still had to work at it. Ten minutes later, I got to the point where there were just a few knots left. I couldn't stop here, though, for I'd learned from this morning: if you work to the point to where there's just a little knot, it's still a knot. And with time, and circumstance, in this case, time at school in a messy backpack, it will just get worse.

Finally, my necklace was successfully untangled. I grinned, looked around, perhaps in vain hope that someone would celebrate with me in my accomplishment. Though no one was present to share in my personal little triumph, I smiled to myself and placed the necklace carefully around my neck as not to tangle it again.


Then, I sat, and thought for a second. I pulled out my laptop and wrote this.

And here's why:

This little situation can be applied to life! It seems so simple, and it is! But sometimes I just forget. I thought of many applications, but decided to summarize.

To untangle a problem, don't just fuss around with the little details and ignore what's really wrong. Don't beat around the bush, hoping that it'll fix itself by him-hawing (word?) around the issue. Get to the heart of the problem, though it may break things, or hurt, or take courage, or all of the above. However, don't ignore the little things either; with the ends of my necklace intermingled, solving the middle knots would have done no good. It's a fine line of balance, and nothing can be ignored. All things must be weighed and put in their order of proper priority.

I'm sure there are lots of flaws in this analogy, but it's kind of a tender mercy, because that's the analogy I kept thinking of as it was happening. And I realized, and now confess that this is a problem I have in life in general: Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the details of the little stuff that I miss the big picture. Other times, I get the big picture, but ignore the little things that help the overall whole. And that's something I need to remember right now. As my hands were busy working on the necklace, my mind was given a lot of time to remember this.

But when there's something you really care about (there are many necklaces in the world, but only one from Diana to me from Ecuador), fight for it! With time, patience, perseverance, tender care and focus, things can be resolved.

Now, after I've successfully disencumbered my necklace, I'll be much more careful in the future in my care of it. For now, though, I wear it proudly.

ps. I just got some very funny looks when I took off my necklace, placed it gently on the bench on which I'm sitting, whipped out my camera and took a picture of it. It's not a very artsy picture because I didn't want to distract anyone else. :)

11.09.2008

doodle

so...i've been doing so much academic realism and hardcore assignments for my art classes, that i feel like i've forgotten how to just sketchbook for fun. my imagination gets bored.

but sometimes...i feel my hand moving, and i glance down to see what's going on...and i'm doodling again! and suddenly life is good. well...good-er. :)

11.05.2008

halloween and politix

not a likely pair, eh?

Halloween day...
i studied for test ALL day, took it, didn't do too hot.

All Hallow's EVE
:
my friend Jeff invited me to accompany him and some other friends to see "The Nightmare Before Christmas"...in 3-D!!! I LOVE that film. AND I loved it in 3-D (I've actually only ever seen it in 3-D). Man, warm fuzzies all around! Tim Burton is such a genius...and I LOVE the compositions and the music! I guess it's just so artsy and such a good story and I eat that stuff up. And Jeff was bouncing up and down, enthusiastically mouthing the words to the songs. So it was easy to be excited :)

The HSM3 posse came, too.


...actually, we just posed next to their cardboard cut-outs because of the lack of "Nightmare" movie posters.

When Jeff drove me home, we sang fabulous songs such as "Dead Man's Party". Oh, I'd also like you to note his snazzy vest and awesome orange shirt and my wicked orange coat...ahhh. The essence of Halloween. :]

After= Jesscabarry (to me, it's all one word, with no "i") and I frantically scrambled to get our costumes ready for our parties.

it took forever, but we were finally ready.

We were whos. You know. From Whoville. Our amazing outfits (and hairstyles) were short-lived, sadly...we didn't wear them in public for more than an hour.

But those who got to see us can testify...


they. were. awesome.

the rest of the night didn't quite go as I'd planned, but the things we did get to do were fabulous. i did find it a little ironic that later that night, i found myself "all dressed up with nowhere to go". :]

Elections were yesterday. I'm not going into details, because I'd just rather not (although I can have a pretty good discussion if you ask me in person, heehee). I wasn't for Obama, but oh well. We are the United States of America! Elections are over, let's be UNITED!

And I am SO very glad that Proposition 8 passed. I believe it wasn't a political issue; it was a moral one. And despite the controversy, the First Presidency of the Church asked for our support for it...and that's good enough for me. :)

11.02.2008

i need sundays.

My thoughts are utterly jumbled.

Today has been amazing...just what I didn't realize that I desperately needed until it happened. So many times lately, I make a decision then wonder if I'm doing the right thing, or the best thing. Never are my choices between good and bad; they're always between good and better, or better and best...and I find it is sometimes a very fuzzy line that separates these distinctions. Reminds me of Elder Oaks' conference talk. Anyway, tender mercy upon tender mercy has presented itself to me today, and it reminded me of part of one of my very favorite quotes by Boyd K. Packer:

"Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that "leap of faith" as the philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two..."

He's talking about gaining a testimony of the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints, of which I am a firm member, but I think it applies to more than just that. This just keeps coming back to me. Is it possible to re-epiphany?

Life is so hard at times, but so good. How lucky I am.

10.27.2008

Heads up for Mexico


Real quick...

I wrote about Mexico when I came back...*cough* threemonthsago....*cough* but it's finally up! Look in the July postings and you'll find it...them...all four of them. Let me know what you think. :)

10.18.2008

garage fame

the best thing EVER just happened.

i'm sitting here on the computer, trying to figure boring school-esque things out, and my mom is outside in the garage. the door connecting our house to our garage is open. i hear little footsteps approach her, and luckily heard the conversation. it made me so happy that i went straight to blogspot to record it (i know...i had a discussion earlier today with tim gustafson about the supreme but proud geekyness it is to have something awesome happen and automatically think, "i'm gonna blog about that!").

this is how it went:
little girl #1: "excuse me, excuse me! the other day, we heard someone playing the guitar in your garage, and she was SOOOO good!"
mom: [chuckling] "yeah, that was my daughter. she likes to play the guitar and sing."
little girl #1: "she is so great! we came up and pressed our ears up to the garage door so we could listen. we knocked on the door and wanted to know who it was. my sister asked, 'is that a famous person in there?' and i was like, 'no famous people live in utah!' "
little girl #2: [interjection] "yeah they do!"
little girl #1: "my sister plays the guitar and sings, and she's pretty good."
mom: "well, i'll tell my daughter that you liked her music!"
the event to which they were referring happened about a week ago when i needed some jam time in the garage. indeed, it was just about the cutest thing ever, to see two small shadows creep up against the door, pressing ears intently against it. if they did like my music, i wanted to create something akin to santa clause for them...something that might excite them and get their imaginations going, but somewhat elusive, so i never did make myself known to my little audience. i actually wanted to get a picture of their silhouettes, but my camera was nowhere to be found, and unfortunately there are no spare cameras in the garage.

i am reminded of "the incredibles", when robert parr asks the little tricycle kid what he's waiting for, to the response of, "i dunno...something amazing, i guess!"

though i'm not amazing, i'm extremely happy and feel very privileged to have sparked the excitement of these two little girls.


can i just say that from the praise of these little...6? 7?-year olds, i can't stop smiling?

10.16.2008

phones are funny things

This evening, upon walking from my humanities class in the JFSB to my Anatomy for Artists class in the H-Fac (about a 4-minute walk), I had a funny incident occur.

I needed to make a couple calls before my class started.

However, as I was got out my phone, I noticed that EVERY single person I passed was talking on a cell phone! I looked around, and realized that the vast majority of people were on their phones, in their own little wireless worlds, and it seemed as though no one was enjoying the sunset, cool breeze, or each stranger they passed.

For some reason, this was entertaining to me and I started to smile as my brows creased together in amusement. Stubbornly, my hand flipped MY phone back closed and I was determined that I wouldn't make the phone call...just to see if I could make contact with another person with simply a smile. And, because I refused to be caught as a victim to this merciless 2x4 inch electronic master I now clenched in my hand, as everyone else was doing. To no avail, though...all those I passed were engaged in conversation with an unseen companion as they walked along, via a little Verizon, Cricket, or AT&T box in their hand.

Two minutes later, my resolve fading, I shook my head and chuckled to myself, again flipping out my phone. After it started to dial, I looked up, just in time to glimpse a person passing me--a completely phoneless person--and then another right after him!

I couldn't say hi, though, because the recipient of my call answered and I started to talk. I did, however, feel a smile creep onto the corners of my mouth in irony.

10.09.2008

Tally Hall's Internet Show

Okay, quick heads up: Tally Hall is doing an Internet Show, and it's finally up and running. They have episodes which you can check out on their website, www.tallyhall.com, but also have just a bunch of really funny short videos.

A couple of them have iffy content...but the majority are fabulous. I put my favorite of the new ones here, to apologize for not posting recently (but I'm doing better at blogging more consistently, eh?!)

By the way, if you're new to Tally Hall, check out my Tally Hall post. It's here somewhere.

Enjoy the Hall.



Ps. Have I mentioned that Tally Hall rocks my socks?

9.23.2008

feeling alive all over again


With the projects that I have due tomorrow, tonight will prove to be one of little sleep, lots of productivity, and loads of brain sqeezing (in hopes that creativity will seep out).

But I wanted to jot down a thought I had...more like, quickly document a brief experience from tonight. I took the bus home, and was determined to be productive. On the ride home, I was quickly doodling some thumbnails for an assignment due tomorrow, with one bud of my iPod headphones in, when a song came on. Suddenly, I looked up and realized that I loved this experience. This bus ride. As I sat stationary and watched the cars speed past in opposite directions and people go their busy ways, a smile started to spread across my face for no apparent reason, other than the fact that it was dusk--one of my favorite times of day--and that the bumpy rumbling bus had its windows open, so there was a distinct breeze of freshness that brushed across my face and hair, and this song was pulsing in my ear. It was a fabulous feeling that just took me by surprise.

I decidedly hopped off the bus 4 stops prior to my usual stop and, grabbing my camera out of my bag, went to one of my favorite places to watch the last remains of the sunset. It wasn't even that earth-shaking tonight, but an image of simplistic beauty.

I commenced "photographic doodling", as Jeff has so cleverly coined it. I love the fact that Heavenly Father paints a beautiful new picture for us each day and night on His canvas of sky. To me, sunsets feel like a reward for finishing another day, with colors that just hint at what will come of the beautiful sunrise that will surely follow the next morning. If we let it, it leaves us excited for a new day.



(images copyright Kristin Gulledge, 2008)

9.19.2008

Musical Goodness from Last.fm

Last.fm is like Pandora.com. It allows you to have a specialized musical profile, based off of artists you like. You can get an account and be "friends" like on Facebook, and it will show musical compatibility, etc. As I have only one "friend", I don't use this feature much.

I have a widget on the bottom right of this blog (scroll, scroll, ah. there.) that shows the songs I've listened to lately. I haven't visited Last.fm for 22 days now, because the last playlist that I listened to was SO good. and the widget refreshes every 10 minutes when I'm listening to Last so it'll erase itself.

I'm itching for more music time, so I'm gonna record my Playlist of Awesome:


PLAYLIST OF AWESOME:
The Way I Am --Ingrid Michaelson
Don't Stop Me Now -- Queen

Merry Happy -- Kate Nash

Breakable -- Ingrid Michaelson

Gracie -- Ben Folds

Shine -- Collective Soul

New Born -- Muse

With or Without You -- U2

You Picked Me -- A Fine Frenzy

Whatever You Want -- Vienna Teng

It's crazy how many good songs there are to be found over the decades. Anyone have any favorites from these? You should listen to ALL of them, because they're all fabulous.

9.17.2008

Encounters With Potential

I have tons to do, but I need to write because I've been inspired yet again. I love the recent close proximities of my encounters with potential...mmmmm life.

I just got out of my artistic anatomy class. It's taught by Niki Covington, who just returned from a year of study at the Florence Academy of the Arts in Italy (which, in and of itself, recognizes a dream of mine: world travel, especially to Italy). He teaches us of anatomy, and how important each "lump, bump, and curve", as he so often puts it, is important to our study of the body and our consequential drawings.

Today, we talked only about the pelvis. I never realized what a useful and complex structure it is! It's a pivotal point (literally) on which so much anatomical information hinges. I was soaking everything he said in, and it was like drinking from a fire hydrant (as Bro. Bott would put it). It applied to so many functions, from where our legs articulate to the rest of our bodies to childbirth. Wow, the range of possibilities is seemingly endless.

Last class I was struggling with proportions and he told me that the next class period, he'd show me how he started a drawing. So today, he took my pencil, sharpened it, and went to work. It was fascinating! There is SO much to be learned! In this class alone, we talk about the different parts of each layer of the body (we're just on bones right now), how they articulate with each other, their form and function, how they relate to other parts and other layers, and on top of that, we learn how to draw it all! When Niki took my pencil today, he made just a few lines on my paper, but he explained that those few lines held more accurate and telling information than those of anyone else in the class, because they were so accurate and simple. He spends a lot of time on this stage, then moves more and more specific. He said that this information he's putting on the paper is subject to change any time, and any mark that is newly placed should contribute to the accuracy of the information already there.

Whew.

So I walked out of class feeling as though my brain were a jug of water with a sponge at the very bottom, soaking it all in, while simultaneously threatening to spill over the top and be lost.

Then...I walked past an amazingly inspiring photography exhibit in the hall of the HFac. The photographer, Kelli Saunders, had taken portraits all in black and white, her subjects being the children of the Hands of Mercy Orphanage in Ghana. I read her artist statement and almost got emotional. Suddenly, I realized how much art can be a way of communication and how it really can benefit people, because as I read her statement, I was the beneficiary rather than the artist. I want to go help underprivileged people...I have so many resources at my fingertips, but what will I use them for? I feel so selfish using my talents solely for my own pleasure, when so many have so little in their lives. I thought of my friend Amy, who's going to Ghana on a research semester next summer, and ideas started coming to my head about going with her, doing some type of research that would help someone. This was, mind you, before I realized that Kelli's photos were actually taken in Ghana. Which was cool.

THEN, I looked up her site on the net and realized that the name Kelli Saunders sounded familiar because she was on the Kaiizen trip! Kaiizen is an organization that goes to other countries and help orphanages....I went this summer to Mexico and the blog will soon be posted (still getting the pictures up). I know this girl, and her work is so inspiring!

As I walked out of the HFac, I started noticing things in different ways. There is SO much to learn, so much to accomplish in this life, so why on earth am I EVER lazy?!!

Mmmmm. There is much to be done.

I would really like everyone to go see the exhibit on the 4th floor of the HFac for yourselves, but if you don't want to make the journey, click 
here.

8.19.2008

A Shoebox of Photographs, with Sepiatone Lovin'

Beautiful, breezy night. Gorgeous Moon. Deep blue sky. In the company of good friends and family. USANA Ampitheater. Jack Johnson.

Perfection? Yes. Need I say more?

Probably not. But I will anyway.

Last night was a wonderful night, for those reasons, mostly. I had planned on going to this concert forever ago, and my friend had somehow coerced his family into making it their FHE. I thought I'd give it a try too, and asked my mom if she wanted to go to Jack Johnson for "FHE"...and she agreed! I really wasn't too surprised...but a bit shocked at her readiness nonetheless.

We took Katie Nay, and met Tricia Clifford and her friend (who's now a friend to all) Shaun Hartman there. Arriving 2 hours early, we got great seats for having lawn tickets. Before the concert, we visited all of Jack Johnson's environment-saving booths. This wasJack Johnson's Green World Tour, and I was impressed that this musician spent so much of his money and time to do things to improve the world around him. (To hear really awesome music a nd find more about his project, click here. It's really interesting, actually.) We each received little "passports" with areas to get stamps around the booths, for things such as:

*recycle something
*carpool (if you carpooled with 4 people to the concert)
*refill water bottle
*visit a non-profit organization
*donate to a non-profit organization (which would be matched by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation)

After we got at least 3 stamps, we put the passports into a drawing that would produce the name of a lucky person and friend who would watch the concert from ON STAGE!!! Alas, we were not the lucky folk but I was actually glad that our little group didn't get split apart. Besides, I was able to spend good time on the grass doing useful things, like entertain our group by painting my toenails (I happened to randomly have polish in my bag....)


As for the concert...USANA Ampitheater is one of my favorite venues. It was packed at this concert...so fun. For the two hours of waiting, we filled the passports, bought amazing shirts (all organic, of course), and commenced utter narcissism as usual with Tricia's camera. The first two bands were good, but nothing compared to The Johnson himself.

When he came out, we couldn't contain ourselves. We stood up with everyone else and cheered, and with no further ado, he started to play. We ended up standing the entire concert.

I loved how the stage was set up...there were screens above where he was playing that would simultaneously show shots of him singing and playing, the other performers on stage, and peaceful scenes or psychedelic colors for mood. It. Was. Awesome.
I love that Jack Johnson is just a humble guy who just happens to be ridiculously talented and environmentally conscientious. His whole crew was super chill. I loved the keyboard player...during a song that didn't require his assistance, he just got up and started to dance! He had crazy awesome dance moves. Later, Jack asked the audience if we wanted to hear "The Devil Goes Down to Georgia." and took a diplomatic poll. Turns out that we were a unanimous YES...but he just shrugged and said, "Well, the only one who knows how to play that is so-and-so (one of the band members) so I guess he can do that for ya." With that, he sat down and played it, accordion and all. It. Was. Awesome.

During the concert there were some crazy kids behind us dancing, and their beer cups were precariously placed in the grass. I made small talk with some of them before the show, and lucky me...in the middle of the concert, I stepped back and noticed my foot was wet: I had stepped on a cup of beer. Guess those friends liked me so much that they decided to share their beverage of choice with me. It. Was. .......Quite disgusting, really, I'm not going to lie. There was also a strong scent pushing through the air; I wondered who'd brought incense to the concert. Heh...sometimes I realize how sheltered I have been. So, by the end of the concert, my foot had tasted beer and my hair and clothing smelled like Marijuana. Quite the experience.

During the concert, Jack had started a s
ong, and some guy up front yelled a less-than-appropriate thing to Jack, and it was SO funny...Jack suddenly stopped singing and said, "Um...I'm not going to lie to you. I totally messed up that whole part of the song. I got distracted! [then, turning to the bass player] Did you hear what that guy said?! He said [I won't repeat it, in case any sensitive eyes are reading this]...anyway, thoughts started going through my head, and...okay. I'm just gonna start the song over and pretend like that never happened. M'aam, your husband has obviously had too much to drink." It was SO funny!!! Whoever said, "The show must go on"?! Apparently this didn't apply if you're Jack Johnson.
Katie took very careful notes and came up with a pretty accurate set list:

Hope
Flake
Taylor
Sittin' Waitin' Wishin'
Sleep Through the Static
Go On
Upside Down
False Hopes
Do You Remember
Bubble Toes
Wasting Time
Unknown Song with guests (? and Rogue Wave)
Constellations
Accordion Song
Wanna Lay You Down
Banana Pancakes
Same Girl
Staple It Together/Rodeo Clowns
If I Had Eyes
Good People

Encore:
All At Once
Time Like These
Home
Better Together

I liked the fact that even though he
was releasing the new cd "Sleeping Through the Static", he still played a lot of songs that are old favorites so we could all sing along. I was surprised at how many songs I completely knew.
I love going to concerts to hear all the things that aren't included on the released albums, and there were many in this concert. On a few songs, Jack really jazzed it up, and on others, he combined songs, which made it sound even more amazing. Below is a photo of him playing with guys from the opening band, Rogue Wave.


My favorite songs in the concert, live, turned out to be:
Staple It Together
Constellations
All At Once
Better Together

I was incredibly happy with the encore. At this point, our friend Adam McBride joined the group, as his family left, so we had a happy crew of six. Jack played three of my absolute favorite songs, which are the last three mentioned above. It was just him on stage, with star-looking lights sparking behind him. During the whole concert, I was waiting patiently for "Better Together" and, alas, that was his last song. So there was the glorious picture: Six friends, swaying, on a blanked, beer-infested lawn, soaking in the last crooning sounds of Jack Johnson.

Glorious.

After the concert, there were feel-goods and warm fuzzies all over the place. We waited out the traffic by talking for a while, which was nice. The wind was fantastic, and the company superb. We took a couple more pictures to document the fabulousness of the night.
 














And really, what more could you ask for than a shoe box of photographs with some sepiatone lovin'?

8.06.2008

Artsy

So...I originally wanted to put a lot of art on this blog...but I haven't yet. It's kind of an all-around random blog. So, surprise! Art stuff! Well, Photoshop/Illustrator stuff. I just whipped this up in the last half hour of work (when my co-workers were done with tasks and were playing Starcraft...I felt justified).

Jonathan Urie learned this from a tutorial this morning, and he taught me how, so I can't take credit for the discovery. I liked playing with it, though.

This is the original picture:


And this is the final project! A vector image, completed in Illustrator:


8.04.2008

Apologize: So Epic

So i still have to blog about Mexico (It's coming along...it's just a HUGE post) but to sustain Matthew, I decided I needed to stick something up here. So I'll do this: it's embarrassing but way funny.

Well, the first part's suppose to be so serious that it's funny--that's just how Greg and Brandon's humor works. They love making music videos, and I was privileged to be in the last one made together before their missions. The rest of the actual music video, though, is pretty good...at least, I like it. Besides, it's documentation that I drove a crazy stick-shift truck...eh? eh?



It's interesting, though. What you do to your body really does affect your mind. For example, when we were putting the words on my face in the, well, words-on-my-face scene, I really did start to get depressed, even though I knew full well that it was just acting, and these guys were my friends. I couldn't wait to get the words off. It was an interesting experience.

7.25.2008

ABBA Tribute Band: Arrival!


So my mom called me the other day: "Hi, honey. Who's Abba?" I responded that they were a band from the 70's/80's. She said, "Oh, well I wound up with tickets to their concert. Want to come with me?" Would I ever!

It was actually a tribute band, but was awesome. Before it started, the American flag was presented and so were the theme songs to each of the military divisions (Army, Marines, Air Force, etc) and on cue with each song, someone would march out carrying the flag to that specific division. I love old guys in uniform. When they were all lined up, the older gent who had been announcing each one said, "My that's pretty music...but it's getting really long!" So the music dimmed and stopped, almost bashfully. Everyone laughed, and we were off to a good start.

The singer before the band came out was good, and sang "I Will Survive", and "Respect". She told us all to get up and dance, but being a bit shy at the beginning, not many did. Those who did, though, were golden. Two old guys got up and started dancing together, busting moves all over the place, which rocked just about everyone's socks. Another notable daredevil was about 45 yrs old, and he was just rocking non-stop with sweet disco moves.

Arrival did a fabulous job of covering ABBA's stuff. Like ABBA, they were from Sweden, and it was such a good time, for various reasons:

1-Good repertoire, including "Does Your Mother Know", "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)", "SOS", "Fernando", "Voulez-Vous", "Money Money Money", "Knowing Me Knowing You", "One Man, One Woman", "Winner Takes It All", "Chiquitita", "Mama Mia", "Waterloo" and "Take A Chance On Me".

2-During "One Man, One Woman", they said that they were performing this so they could see us kiss and hug each other...and as the song crooned on, an older couple got up a few seats away from me and started dancing! I...WILL...be like that...when I'm part of an "old couple" someday. I hope.

3-During one of the songs (Fernando maybe?) The now-dark ampitheater was full of cell phone lights and I added mine to the sea of waving phones. I beckoned my mom to join me, and, after a moment, said, "okay!" and, grabbing her phone, did the best cell phone light wave I've ever seen. Waved it like a princess. I loved it!

4-I had seen two of my friends there, and during Mama Mia, I rand down and danced with Jade, with whom I work and love to pieces, and her awesome friend Aubrey, and company. Needless to say, we went crazy. SO fun!

5-After "Mama Mia", I came back to mom, and convinced her to dance as well...good timing as the next song was "Take A Chance On Me". It was so great. She and I should be on a dance team...no, really. :)

4-As they finished up, they still hadn't done Dancing Queen, and my mom was terribly distressed by this. I told her they'd probably do it as part of their encore, but she suggested we yell "DANCING QUEEN!" so we did. Oh, the good times. For an encore, they did "Summer Night City", "Thank You For The Music", and--finally--"Dancing Queen". We ALL danced to that. (What are YOUR favorite ABBA songs? I wanna know, people. Let's post it.)

5-Costumes of the band were 100% authentic, and sweet. Gold go-go boots: +87 points to the gals. I'd totally wear them. (Pictures WILL come...check back)

6-Guest star: the same guy (older now) who performed with ABBA performed with this group tonight, with the same sweet Gibson guitar that he used back in the day!

So, thank you to Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid. Yay for Abba.

It was a good time. And can I just say how cool my mom is?

So cool.