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.


a week of thanks-giving

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. :)

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.)


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
In My Place
Speed Of Sound
Cemeteries Of London
Chinese Sleep Chant
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
The Scientist
Death Will Never Conquer
A mixed recording of Viva La Vida again
Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love
Death And All His Friends

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.
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
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!
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.
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


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! :)


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.


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. :)



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. :)


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. :)


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.