Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You Ruin Everything Nicholas Sparks.

So this week I found out that Zac Efron has started filming a movie "The Lucky One." Imagine my dismay when I found out this movie has been adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, and I use the term loosely. Strike one and big mistake Zac. The second mistake is related to Zac Efron's character. He is playing a solider deployed to the middle east so he has sheared his head military style. Not happy am I. This is strike 240 billion for Nicholas Sparks. Just look at the result of the hair cut.

You can't tell me you don't prefer Zac's longer hair in a faux hawk. Stupid Nicholas Sparks. He is so formulaic , he takes himself too seriously and his books, in essence, are all the same story. Observe:

In a recent interview with USA Today, Nicholas Sparks criticized Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Ernest Hemingway, and romance novelists in general for essentially writing the same story over and over:

"(Romances) are all essentially the same story: You've got a woman, she's down on her luck, she meets the handsome stranger who falls desperately in love with her, but he's got these quirks, she must change him, and they have their conflicts, and then they end up happily ever after."

But he claims that he is not a romance novelist. He is a fiction writer who writes love stories.

"You read a romance because you know what to expect. You read a love story because you don't know what to expect."

Really Nicholas Sparks? Really?

Just to drive the point home and review, I don't know what delusional universe he is living in or what illegal narcotic he is smoking but, as a fellow hater pointed out, here are the facts.
1. Nicholas Sparks is an author who churns out about one romance novel a year.
2. All of these books are almost immediately made into movies.
3. All of these books are the same book.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


So Christmas was great and I got some lovely presents.

I got a Novelle Watch set. I got 4 watches (one black, one white, one pink, one purple)

Adrienne got my name for Christmas and gave me this Dana Rebecca mini ruby necklace.

I got some awesome black Balance boots. As Jordan stated, they are pretty boss.
I also got an awesome Revue red wool coat and a Linda Lucia purple sweater/ jacket, which I will have to post pictures of when I get a camera with a charged battery.

We also all got to drive to Bicknell to see Grandma and Grandpa. We had dinner with Brad and Susan and drove around to see Christmas lights. Grandma stuffed us with a huge turkey dinner and we all got to go to church.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Christmas

This is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. I was thinking of it tonight particularly as my family got together to have dinner (chicken noodle soup and rolls and salad) and have our white elephant gift exchange. It gets pretty cut throat, let me tell you. I ended up with a piggy bank and pennies, flashlights and a cheap-o make up kit. Isabel traded me an embroidered quote by President Monson for my piggy bank, and Jake traded me his book "Agent Bishop" for my flashlights. Lindsay still got the Starbucks gift card, if Jordan and I had planned better we could have traded it around 3 times and taken it out of circulation just to make Lindsay upset for fun ha ha. I know we are brats, but that's what younger siblings are for.

Anyway my point is the lyric in the song that says "through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow" reminded tonight of how much I wish Adrienne and Erin and their families could have been here in Utah for Christmas. Especially after a particularly pathetic text Adrienne sent us because Will was at the hospital til 9 tonight. We haven't all been in the same place for such a long time. They were all here this summer but Jordan was only here a day or two and then had to go back to New Mexico. Every Christmas Eve I think about how we'd celebrate Nick and Nathan's birthdays, when we were all still at home and spent Christmas together. We would get together with the Madsons and the Walters for dinner. Then we'd have a crazy game of Balderdash (family against family) or a canasta tournament. I miss that tradition.

But we all had a lot of fun and I can't wait to give my parents their presents tomorrow. Anyway I am about half way through A Christmas Carol. I try every year to finish that book but I never give my self enough time. I still have tomorrow, and we will see how far I get. Merry Christmas everybody. Enjoy the song.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 12

I am doing 2 songs again. I never really gave the hymn I heard the Bells on Christmas Day much though except for the past year or two. I fell in love with it when I heard the story behind Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, and I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing it at their Christmas concert. This is a little more rockish than I would have liked but I hope you enjoy it.

The next song is Heirlooms by Amy Grant. This song always reminds me of my sisters. Not only is this a Christmas song but my sister's sang this at my grandma's funeral years and years ago. We all still have a hard time listening to this but its a very beautiful song with a great message.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 11

So I am doing two songs again today. O Little Town of Bethlehem. I love this hymn. I hear it in movies or sing it in church and it just reminds of Christmas. I also love Katharine Mcphee and was so excited to hear that she recorded a holiday album. I picked O Come All Ye Faithful as well because to me it epitomizes the Christmas story. The Shepherds and the Wise all came to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weekend Trip to Idaho

This weekend my best friend Holly Wilder and Wayne Jackson got married. I was invited to their luncheon but unfortunately I had to leave early because my family was leaving for Idaho. We were going to hear my niece Faye sing in church. Of course there had to be a down pour of snow the night before.

The roads were pretty clear and not at all as scary as I imagined they would be. Just passed the Utah/Idaho border and going through Malad, we saw four cars off to the sideof the road. The driving actually very smooth, and the only low point of the trip was the Blimpies where we stopped near the Idaho border.

Frank and Jamie were great to chat with and the kids are just as cute as ever. Isaac has the greatest hair in the history of babies. He has this long patch that sticks up on the top of his head that you could make into a pony tail. He is one solid kid. He is 6 months old and already has 4 or 5 teeth. He is handsome one though.

Gracelynn is at that stage where she is learning to talk. We laugh at everything she tries to say. She loves sucking her thumb and showing me her belly button. Jordan tried to take a picture of her with his phone and she turned into the biggest ham. She is so cute.

Faye is very precocious. She is very smart, and very energetic. She is 6 going 30. She really took to uncle Jordan. Jamie said "Jordan, I think somebody wants your attention" and Faye responded "that's me!" All during sacrament meeting Faye was whispering times tables to Jordan. When she got up to the stand to sing Away in a Manger, she had never practiced with the microphone. So, before the piano started its introduction for her she turned to her Jamie and said into the microphone "what am I supposed to do just stand here?"

We had a great time playing with dolls, reading books, and fighting imaginary bad guys.I also came to one last conclusion after our quick trip: I think I want a St. Bernard.

Day 10-Baby its cold outside

Whoever is reading this I'd like your feedback. I really like the song Baby It's Cold Outside, but I have two different versions I like for different reasons. I'd like you to vote and tell me which one you like the best.
I have known about the Lady Antebellum version for quite a while, and I love how simple it is. I really like how the changed the line "maybe just one cigarette more" to "maybe just one little kiss more".
I like the more whimsical feel of this version done by the Glee cast. I also love that this version uses harmony at the end to build more of a climax. I really don't like that its two guys singing it for some reason. It should be a guy and a girl. If it was a guy and a girl, like it has been done traditionally, this version would be perfect.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Day 8 and 9

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. I love this song. I grew up learning this for voice lessons, with two different teachers. It is definitely a classic. I'm sorry for those who disagree, but when it comes to classics, nothing beats the original. Brenda Lee was only 14 when she recorded this. Feel free to sing along, you know you want to.

No music list is ever complete without my boyfriend, Michael Buble. He sings this next song on my list, I'll be home for Christmas. His voice is beautiful, the song is lovely, it just works. For all the fans, or anybody reading this for that matter, Michael is supposed to have a full length Christmas album out by next year. Please ignore the movie clips from the "Santa Clause" movies.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Trivia

Today, merry, as in "merry Christmas" suggests gaiety, a mood for celebration, but its original meaning was quite different. For example, the carol we sing as "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, should read "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." The word was at least four hundred years old when it was first written down in 1827, and at the time merry didn't mean joyous, but rather, peaceful or pleasant.

In 1939, when Robert May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward, wrote a promotional Christmas poem for that Chicago department store, its principal character was Rollo the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but the corporate executives didn't like that name, nor did they approve of May's second suggestion, "Reginald". It was May's four year old daughter who came up with "Rudolph," for the title for a Christmas Classic.

Sleigh Ride-Day 7

This song is so fun and it always reminds me of when we played it for orchestra in High School. Whenever I hear this I think of our Christmas concert and how my conductor wanted to prove that the strings knew how to swing, and we did.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Even Stephen

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry breaks even playing poker, and then Elaine throws Jerry's $20 bill out the window and then Jerry finds another $20 in his jacket pocket? That has what this whole week has felt like. Karma is definitely bringing good things my way though.

First, I finally finish my art review, a movie review about Inception. However, we weren't just turning in our paper. There were 2 other time consuming assignments to type up and discuss as well. There first was background info about the director and actors of the movie, what worked in the movie, what didn't you like, how was the theme portrayed. The other was critiquing how others have approached movie reviews, and choosing a publication to write for.
So, the upside is that the morning this packet of assignments is due, I get them all written, but my printer is completely out of black ink. So I have to turn in this packet printed entirely in blue ink. I also had to print out a study guide entirely in red. I also did really well on my other "official" final.

I am the only one out of 8 or 9 of my family members who entered to win the raffle for the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert with David Archuleta that won any tickets. I got 4 tickets for the Sunday morning performance. I was leaving on Saturday to go to Idaho to hear my niece sing in church and I couldn't use the tickets. So I had to give them away.

My friend texted me Tuesday night and asked if I wanted to go to the Tabernacle Choir concert on Thursday night. I was excited that i had found a ticket and someone to go with, but my friend told me his grandma had
one ticket she wasn't using and he didn't want it so I had to go by myself. Luckily the show didn't start til 8 and I had time to get to salt lake
The traffic was so bad going North, especially downtown, that I made it in line behind a bunch of people but not in time. I was really close to getting into the conference center but they filled up all the seats and closed the door. Fortunately I got to go into the overflow theater and watch a simultaneous telecast. We basically got to see what is going to be recorded for the DVD of the concert. It was nice because we could see the choir and the headliners (namely Archuleta) up close.

Christmas is next week and I have been stressing about money and buying presents and replacing my printer cartridges, add registering my car. Fortunately we got a bonus at work. An extra 419.00 is very much appreciated but will be gone far too quickly.

Day 6-We need a little Christmas

Sorry for another Glee song. I really love this version. I like the pick up the pace and race to the end. This version I enjoy because it has more playful childlike qualities than say the Johnny Mathis version.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 5 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, Gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay, Remember Christ our Saviour Was born upon this Day. To save poor souls from Satan's power, Which long time had gone astray.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 4 O Holy Night

Okay, I love this song. At my single's ward in Provo,our choir performed O Holy Night for our Christmas song and it was beautiful. There are so many great versions of this song. I have chosen a Carrie Underwood recording but the Glee Cast and Josh Groban are both beautiful as well. I have also included the worst rendition of O Holy Night, in honor of uncle Dennis. You might want to listen to that one first in case you, like my dad, think this version is sacrilegious. I just think its stinking funny.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 3-Joy to the World

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns; Let men their songs employ;

The first reminder of what Christmas has always been about. Let us celebrate Christ's birth

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 2-All I Want For Christmas is You

I'm not really a Mariah Carey Fan, but this song is fun and you can't really go out or ride in your car around Christmas without hearing it. Its so fun and for some reason reminds me of Erin.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 (probably 13) Days of Christmas-White Christmas

I have decided, to do a little countdown of my favorite Christmas songs. There are
so many beautiful and up lifting songs this time of year so I have picked not only
my favorite songs but my favorite versions as well.
First up is "White Christmas"
This might be an abomination but I am not totally in love with Bing Crosby's version, the original version of this song. Its okay, but I am a bit indifferent toward it. However, I recently heard a version by Rascal Flatt's and it is as smooth as a lullaby and the harmonies are beautiful.

Changing State of Mind

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my perspective has changed and I appreciate different things. Every year one of my siblings or my parents asks me what I want for Christmas and my list might look something like this.

I would like a bumble/beaded watch.

Or a cute pea coat from American Eagle
I wouldn't mind a new Ipod touch. I love my Ipod Classic, but its starting to freeze up on me and after I charged it over night, I got a white screen of death
I would really enjoy getting a plane ticket to New York. There are so many things to see and places to visit and I think it would be fun.

Now I am really grateful for things like gift cards and a ream of paper for my printer. I was happy when my mom got me a new ice scraper for my car. It was bigger and it had a brush so I could clean off the snow. I don't know what's caused the change,but I think this time of year is perfect to stop and think about what we take for granted, and to be grateful for how much we actually have.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Judds

Last Night I got to see Naomi and Wynonna Judd in concert. I know they are country and because they recorded between 1983 and 1991, they were technically before my time. But, thanks to 3 older sisters, I grew up listening to them.
It might seem completely cheesy but I have special place in my heart for their music. My sister's covered a couple of their songs while they were performing at Six Flags in Chicago. I also got to sing one of their songs "Grandpa, tell me bout the Good Old Days" at my grandparents 50th anniversary when I was 8.
Overall it was such a fun show and I am glad I was able to go. I will always be a Judd fan.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Today was my last day of class at BYU. Its kind of a surreal experience to tell you the truth. When you leave High School you think you are all grown up and ready for the "real world". That just means college, and more school and more classes. Now that I am done with my Bachelor's at BYU I don't know what to expect. Even though I have graduate school looming on the horizon, I feel even more than before that I am supposed to be entering the adult world and I'm still not quite sure what I am doing with my life.
There are times that I miss High School. I miss a few of my teachers, I miss doing orchestra, and I miss having all of my friends together and being able to see each other everyday. As fun as High School was, I have had a blast in College. Its been a learning experience living on my own and I have loved being in new wards and meeting new friends. Though I don't feel quite prepared to leave, I am feeling more than ready to be done. I have put in my time, and heaven knows more than enough money, and I am proud that I made it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Inception- a Review

I am really looking for opinions about my movie review I wrote for my English class. I don't know if I gave away too much of the story or if it seems like I'm screaming "I love this Movie." I would really love any suggestions or comments. I know the end needs one more sentence to wrap it up. I know its longer than you'd expect but Please let me know what you think.

Christopher Nolan (Momento, The Prestige, Dark Knight) is back and doing what he does best, making a thought provoking thriller, full of suspense with just a hint of something fantastic. With the film Inception, Nolan creates a refreshing spectacle by taking an idea as simple as “business competition” and playing it against a backdrop of hostile dreams and psychological tension.

Set in the not too distant future, Dream Sharing has been developed as a new training program for the military. Soldiers are able to fight and shoot each other without actually being hurt or killed. The technology has been put to a new and sordid purpose and is now being used as a tool for corporate espionage. Thieves or Extractors are hired to steal business and trade secrets from their competitors. Dom Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) is the most skilled extractor and the overzealous leader of an extraction team. While Cobb is very good at his job, he is also more complex and more vulnerable than he lets on to his teammates. Cobb and his team are hired by a man named Saito to sabotage a rival energy corporation.

The twist is, rather than steal information, Saito wants the team to plant an idea into his competitor’s mind. Cobb is coerced into participating in this one last job with the promise that he will finally be able to return home to America, but a dark secret threatens the success of the operation as Cobb becomes increasingly unable to tell his dreams from reality. Headed by a powerhouse cast, Inception uses drab and doleful surroundings, reminiscent of Gotham City, contrasted with elegance and designer suits, to create a world that even Freud would find fascinating.

Dicaprio is exceptional as he portrays the duality of Cobb’s character. You cannot only see, but understand the conflict that divides his loyalty between the well being of his team and his own guilt and fears. Cobb’s right hand man, Arthur (Joseph Gordon Leavitt) is the straight laced side kick who always tends to follow the rules. He is a nice complement to Dicaprio’s Cobb, and is probably more helpful and understanding than he gets credit for. Gordon Leavitt brings a charm and ingenuity to a role lovingly referred to as a “stick in the mud” and proves that he has leading man potential.

The rest of the ensemble, including quit witted Tom Hardy and the ever likeable Cillian Murphy, fit together nicely as whole, with the possible exception of Ellen Page. Page’s character, Ariadne, is the new architect hired to create the feeling and detail of the dream world. She is the only character strong willed and confident enough to question Cobb. Page’s star power, however, pales in comparison to her costars. She lacks the attitude and maturity to be entirely convincing. While she does a good job, she is surely a questionable choice for the role.

One character who was cast quite fittingly was Marion Cotillard. She is inspired as she portrays Mol, a symbol of Cobb’s troubled history. Mol is dangerous and like Cobb, dynamic and multifaceted. Cotillard demonstrates a desperation and fragility to character that might be seen as strictly short tempered and unstable, making her one of the more interesting characters in the story. While she is frightening, Mol is a key component to piecing the story together. In a way, she is a manifestation of how dangerous the concept of inception can be.

At nearly two and half hours this movie is usually too long for my taste, but you truly do not notice the time passing by. Nolan is never explicit with his work. He makes you work to make sense of it all. He gives you all of the pieces, however subtle they may be, and leaves it up to the audience to put the puzzle together, and weigh in on whether his work was done well. As with many of Nolan’s work, the plot is so intriguing, it draws you in so that as part of the audience, you are focused on the moment. From the first minute of the film, Inception hits the ground running and goes full force all the way to the end. You are thinking about what is on screen and nothing else. That demand for your full attention is the sign of a great story teller, and Nolan is a master. He truly gives a new meaning to the phrase “making your dreams come true”.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

End of the Semester

My roommates and I put up a little Christmas tree in our apartment this week it dawned on me just how soon the year, and this semester will be over. I realized I have 2 days left of class, and I am graduating from college. I have a 5 minute presentation to do Tuesday, on my research paper about Autism. I have the best writing assignment to turn in during finals week. Our assignment is an art review. I am doing a two to three page movie review for Inception. Then I have one test/final to take and I am done and I will have a B.S. in Communication Disorders. I can't believe I am all growed up.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My New Philosphy

These are words of wisdom from a sweet 92 year old lady:
Life isn't fair, but it's still good. When ever you're in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to wast time hating anyone.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won't mess up your present.
It's OK to let your children (or loved ones) see you cry.
Don't compare your life to others because you have no idea what their journey is all about.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
Be eccentric now.
Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words, "In five years, will this matter?"
Forgive everyone for everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does.
Believe in miracles. They are waiting everywhere.
Show up and make the most of it now.
Growing olds beats the alternative.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Get outside everyday.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
Envy is a waste of time.
No matter how you feel, get up, get dressed, and show up.
Remember, that friends are the family that we choose for our selves.