Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2010

In which I recount some adventures I've had this week

Finding the very perfectest gifts for the very bestest people in my life.
Hearing my two favorite Christmas songs on the radio. This cover of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and this version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Good day, eh? Going to the Carl Bloch exhibit. Building a gingerbread house. Actually, a graham cracker trailer park. But I digress. Losing the gas cap to my car. Playing Ticket to Ride with an astoundingly awesome person. Deep-cleaning the Cannon Center...I think I got high off of degreaser...multiple times... Free pie Wednesday!!! And catching up with awesome friends from high school. Hittin' the powder at Sundance with my siblings. My sister vastly improved my technique with one simple phrase, "Karissa, lead with your shoulders, not your hips!" She is wise. Reading all my favorite children's books that I'd forgotten about. "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey," "Babysitter's Club," "But No Eleph…

In which I almost spread a little extra love

Today I was on the phone with a bank teller, putting a hold on my missing debit card. (I seem to have a talent for losing that...) I was ending the conversation, saying "Thanks for doing that" about to say "Have a great day, bye" when I caught myself starting an embarassing sentence: "I L..."
Yes, that's right. I almost professed my love to a female bank teller today. Probably because the only people I ever talk to on the phone are my mom, my dad, my brother and my boyfriend. That's kind of just my default way to end phone conversations now.
Maybe I should have gone through with it...everyone needs a little love, yeah?

In which comics are more profound than expected.

I'm really trying to break my addiction to xkcd. I really am. Promise.

But today...I went to go check if there was a new comic up and I saw this one. And it hit me pretty hard. Thankfully, it doesn't apply to my life right now. But oh goodness does it remind me of how I felt all summer.
Without going too much into the unnecessary, gory details, I will state that this summer was one of the darkest times of my life. I spent much of it feeling alone and broken, not knowing where to turn for comfort. I worried that I was doing something wrong. After all, they teach us that if we do all the right things, share our toys, and believe in ourselves, everything will work out hunky-dory, right? So if you hurt or you're scared or you're alone or you can't go a day without locking yourself in your room and bawling you must be making a mistake, right?
But I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, and that made me mad. Every inspirational quote about the power of op…

In which I have a flashback

So when I was in junior high, I was forced every day to watch ChannelOne News, a news program oriented towards teenagers. The anchors were all young, hip individuals, meant to inspire us to care about current events. I had the names of all the anchors memorized, knew which ones were cute, which ones would be adorable together, and which ones seemed a little...less heterosexual than the others. So today I'm sitting in my boyfriend's front room doing my homework while his sister watches Katie Couric. And I overhear Miss Katie say, "Seth Doane has the story." And that name sounds so familiar. Why? Did this Seth used to be a Utah reporter? And suddenly I remember...Seth Doane was a ChannelOne reporter when I was a young'un. A ChannelOne reporter I had a massive crush on. I'm glad we were reunited.

In which I sally forth

I am going on an adventure! An adventure the likes of which I have never experienced! An adventure full of new experiences, below-zero temperatures, lots of food, and wonderful company. I'm a little bit terrified. But mostly thrilled.
That is all.

In which I quote

Sometimes I run across things that are perfectly what I needed to hear and they make me happy. I thought I'd share just in case it's what you need to hear too."Too often we want to be given answers to questions and problems that, if they were given in the manner we ask for them, would take away our agency and the blessings that come from reaching out to the Lord for answers and direction. Some think it would be nice to have "spiritual fortune cookies" we could open to find the answers to life's challenges. Wouldn't it be nice to have a labeled jar we could reach into for our answers? But that is not the way it is meant to be." Elder Robert D. Hales

In which I narrowly avoid being offensive.

Once upon a time a few minutes ago, one of my facebook friends had a status with which I strongly disagreed. This fellow is a good friend of mine, and I thought I might be hurting our friendship by disagreeing, but my argumentative nature won the inner battle, and I composed a snarky and biting response.
When I hit "Comment", instead of seeing my witty words appear under his status, I saw an error message from our good friends at Facebook Inc. "Oops, something went wrong. We're working on getting this fixed. Please try again later."
A bit miffed, I tried again. "Oops, something went wrong!" said Facebook.
I paused, reread my comment, and realized that I wasn't being fair to the writer. So I toned it down a bit, still retaining my sarcastic tone, but trying (and perhaps failing) to keep it civil. Resent the comment and...
"Oops, something went wrong...."

It was all starting to seem entirely too coincidental, so I closed the browser tab and t…

In which I take a religion test

Please read the following excerpt and then choose the best answer from the questions below.

Dear BYU religion professors,
Thank you for wording your tests in such an utterly confusing way. It really helps me focus on the exact wording and nitty gritty details of every verse instead of on the actual principles being taught. I'm so glad that you have your priorities in place. I know emulating the "simplicity that is in Christ" by actually asking straightforward questions would make your class far too easy to pass.

Is this letter-writer
A) Sappily sincere?
B) Quite fed up?
C) Named Karissa?
D) A BYU student?
E) Happy that temple recommend questions are worded more clearly than religion test questions?
F) Quite pleased with the religious education program at BYU?
G) A and B only?
H) B and C only?
I) A, C, G and H only?
J) All of the above except for C?
K) B, C, D and E only?
L) All of the above?
M) None of the above?

Answer: K.

In which I am near to bursting.

I love my life.
Today I was visiting taught and home taught, both for the first time in months. And I love my visiting and home teachers so much already. My visiting teachers especially are such wonderful examples of kindness and going the extra mile. I want to be just like them when I grow up. =) And it's raining. RAINING! I love rain. This is fantastic. I get to go hear my little brother give a talk today. I get to go play with all my cousins. I love my major. My homework this weekend was: write in the chords for about 15 children's songs and then figure out how to play them on the ukulele. Do a full chordal analysis of "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess. Practice Bach and Mozart for hours on the piano. And do some sightsinging. Yes please! (minus the sightsinging assignment of death....) I also have the world's greatest roommates, who I can laugh with, cry with, and work on my Beyonce dance moves with. boyfriend's pretty rad too. I'm pretty …

In which I reflect on my weekend.

There is something magical about a day that begins with playing trains with a two year-old....
and continues with making music on my own for 3 hours..... and then with exploring, playing, climbing and breathing in the mountains.... and then with a concert where I'm torn between standing transfixed listening to the music and dancing like a maniac.... and then with a heaping serving of ice cream....
Yes, this was a good weekend.

In which I eschew the use of an umbrella

Today, it rained.

I put my hood up at first. And I looked around and saw all the people with umbrellas, and wondered if I even own an umbrella. I don't do umbrellas. I don't like carrying them around, and I don't like feeling cut off from the weather, like I'm putting a barrier between myself and my favorite natural phenomenon ever. I almost pitied those using umbrellas because they were missing out on the rain. And then I realized what a hypocrite I was being, hunching over with my hood up. So I threw back my hood and tipped up my face to receive heaven's gift of life, letting the sky kiss me soft all over my face and head. And my hair was ruined, and my makeup washed off and I was cold. But I'd take sky kisses over comfort and perfect hair any day.

In which euphoria reigns.

There are so many things I want to blog many thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head crying for freedom. Unfortunately, I'm mortal and subject to time (curses) which pretty much means I get to do my homework, practice piano, do my calling, and sell my soul to Homecoming Spectacular instead of blogging this week. But I had such a wonderful weekend that really opened my eyes up to how great my life is. I just had to take a second to focus on all that I'm grateful for.

1st: My family, both immediate and extended. I have pretty dang exemplary parents, awesome little sibs, adorable cousins, and aunts, uncles and grandparents who are both fun and inspiring. 2nd: General Conference. Mostly I just like spending an entire weekend on my couch (Oh, and also in Salt Lake for a little bit). Laziness aside, I love the opportunity to hear God's word and am constantly amazed at the way He gives me answers through their talks. I feel spiritually refreshed and rejuve…

In which I am nowhere to be found

Dear Karissa,

Where have you gone? I miss you. I know I agreed to cover for you, live your life while you were gone, but I thought you were only taking off for a couple of days. Not the whole semester. I mean, I know you've stopped in now and again and I appreciate that. You came to the music preschool last week to play with Leyla and Niko and all the other kids. And there is that certain boy who can sometimes tempt you to come back. But then you disappear as soon as you arrived. I'm pretty good at pretending to be you, but my disguise is slipping. This morning Sister Kenney commented that my teaching lacks passion and commitment. If it had been you teaching, there would have been passion and energy up the wazoo. And it's only a matter of time before Dr. Shumway notices, since I simply don't play the piano as well as you do. I don't do school as well as you do. I'm terribly shy and can't even handle basic social situations as well as you. I just can&#…

In which I hesitate

I wonder....

Maybe when God led the Hebrews wander-ways through the wilderness, He let them stop to rest at times. And maybe they started to get comfortable, thinking that this was it, the Promised Land, not just another place to camp. And then the next morning...or the next week...or the next month...whenever...when Moses finally called "Pack up your tents! We're moving out!", they moaned. They didn't realize that the full richness of Canaan lay further on, far more bounteous than their small oasis.
But maybe once they finally got there, they were afraid. Afraid that maybe this wasn't the real Promised Land, but just another campsite along the way. Afraid that maybe this was just another nest for the fiery flying serpents. Afraid to be disappointed. Maybe every morning they listened with bated breath for the call to keep moving, to journey on. Maybe some never did unpack all the way, never quite let themselves feel at home in the Promised Land.

Litany against Fear

I've repeated this to myself more times than I can count in the weeks since school started, and it's been an invaluable calming mechanism. Thought I'd share:

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." -Dune, Frank Herbert

In which I let go...

Sometimes I make plans.
Sometimes these plans are for the day: move in on Tuesday.
Sometimes these plans are for the semester: take a lot of crazy hard classes so I have no time for life.
Sometimes these plans are for the year: lifeguard/teach lessons at the pool.

And...sometimes I hold on so tightly to these plans that having the very rigidity stresses me out, but I'm afraid to let go and surrender to the unknown.
But today I let go.
I have to move in on Thursday. And I am happy.
The pool has decided not to keep me for the fall/winter. And so I will have time to do homework.
My schedule for fall is not the most rigorous I could possibly handle. And I am trying not to feel guilty about that.

And I feel good.

Actually, I might just feel good because I'm listening to "7/4 shoreline" by Broken Social Scene, and it's my new favorite song on earth. Guys, it's actually in 7/4!!! (I just discovered Broken Social Scene for myself today. Brenton, if you still read thi…

In which I am frustrated.

A week ago, I lost my wallet. I've searched frantically, and have determined that it was probably stolen out of my locker at work. Awesome.
So today, I began my quest to replace it's contents, and have become increasingly incensed with the paradoxical nature of this process.
I need to buy a tank of gas today. Therefore, I need a debit card. I obviously don't have one anymore, so I need to get a new one. You need photo ID to get a debit card, and so off to the DMV I went to replace my driver's license.
So I get to the DMV, only to find out that not only can I not get a driver's license without proof of Social Security, which I didn't have with me....I need to pay a 30 dollar fee. Since I definitely don't have 30 dollars cash laying around, this definitely means...I need a debit card.


The good news: I have a passport. If the bank doesn't count that as photo ID, I think I'll just give up and go live under a rock. Hooray.

In which I tease your curiosity

I just looked through all the posts I've written, and realized how many I write and don't post. Some I start and never finish. Some, I write in the heat of an emotion and then wait to see if it will still be a good idea once the emotion has subsided. And some I write in blog form because typing releases my thoughts faster than hand-writing in my journal, but I'd never post these thoughts because of their sensitivity.

I've written five of the latter kind in the last month. Two in the last two days. Maybe I'll post some of them someday. Maybe I won't. Maybe I need to be braver.

Or maybe...I just wanted to tease you a little bit...see if you were still paying attention. ;)

In which I am contrary (old post that I just decided to publish)

I've never liked having things dictated to me. I sometimes like a little rebellion for it's own sake.
Theological argument at Family Home Evening? I play devil's advocate.
Blanket statements about why Batman is better than Superman? I take Superman's side (though I know Batman's better).
Everyone I know starts getting married? I take a vow of celibacy. (Well...for the time being at least).

I'm the one who doesn't actually watch R-rated movies, but who gets defensive when you tell me I can't watch them.

I'm the one who could easily come in before midnight, but once the Honor Code tells me I have to, I don't want to anymore.

I'm the one who is perfectly fine to sit and wait for good things to happen, but once someone tells me I have to be patient, it suddenly feels impossible.

How's that for a stupid worldview?

In which I notice a family resemblance

Today I was in my kitchen, chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool....when my 8 year-old sister suddenly appeared right in my face and yelled out, "SHOES!!!"
After an initial blank pause, I asked, "Um...what about shoes, babe?"
"You're wearing them," she stated with a smile.

Yep, that kid's definitely related to me.

Poem form of the day/week/whatevs: Limerick

There once was a young girl named Riss,
whose life would be untempered bliss, were it not for the friction caused by Internet addiction, so she spends her nights writing on this.
There once was a girl who loved Guster, And with all the love she could muster, she listened and sang, as the chords they all rang, With such music, she'd never feel flustered,
There once was a girl late at night, who blogged as a form of respite, from her grown-up chores, (balancing checkbooks and more) but now wonders if it was right.

In which I state many unpopular opinions

Dria and I used to play a game where we would shout out political and cultural buzzwords, chosen specifically to generate controversy. These hot-button words included, "Obamacare!" "Abortion!" "NCMO!" "Gay Marriage!" "Islam!" "R-rated movies!" "Caffeine!". The rule was, you could yell out the topic, but never actually state your opinion on it, and then just watch the people around you start to argue. We always wanted to try it on campus but it never quite made it out of the apartment. Now, I'm not trying to intentionally stir up controversy, but having just had a fascinating conversation on the need for honesty and diversity of opinion at BYU, I would like to share a few opinions I have that may or may not mesh with those of my peers.

I don't think caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. Honestly, as a lifeguard, I feel better about downing some Dr. Pepper at the beginning of my shift than I would about …

In which I again wax poetic

Thy living water pours through me,
golden-glowing in thy Light, dampening my dry and barren ground. Making of me a more fertile soil. A seed, burrowed deep within, begins to take root, stretching out timid, hopeful tendrils. But, my heart is a sieve. And soon thy water trickles away, unnoticed at first, until the earth dries, hardens, cracks. The seed, the sprout, withers, my desperate tears a poor substitute for that first watering. Perhaps the stream was imagined after all? 'Twould be a tempting thought, were it not for a dampened spot remaining. A poor oasis in my desert.
Oh Lord, I shrink to ask thee to send thy rains again, for I fear my sieve will again betray me. And so I ask, remake my sieve. Mold me. Fire me in thy kiln, e'en thy refiner's fire. Make me tight like unto a dish, a fitting vessel for thy love, fertile ground for thy word.

summer makes my brain flabby...

Today I learned that my brain tires infinitely faster than my body. Evidently, while my body has become a browned, toned, fit version of its winter self, my intellect has grown weak, easily exhaustable, and adipose. This morning I woke up at 5:30 and spent 3 hours running around 7 peaks helping pull "victims" out of the water, allowing my fellow lifeguards to strap me to a backboard, and *cough cough* kicking absolute butt in the CPR competition, all as a part of the Utah Valley Lifeguard Games. Then, I stayed for another hour riding slides with my guard buddies, drove straight to Utah Lake for some tubing and (attempted) wakeboarding with my family, came home, cleaned the boat, and still had enough energy that I'd planned to go on an 11-mile run.
And then I decided to figure out my fall schedule. For the past hour I've been staring at the computer screen, debating such important questions as , "Will I die if I take nothing but music classes in the Fall? Maybe …

Rain brings water flowing to things growing in the ground.

I find it interesting that crying is often simply equated with sadness.
It seems to me that tears serve to indicate how much emotion someone's feeling, but the presence of tears says jack squat about what that emotion actually is. In fact, just for fun, let's make a list of all the emotions tears could indicate: Sadness (obviously) Frustration Pain Misery Hopelessness Despair Fear Grief Sorrow Anger Confusion Desperation Bitterness Exhaustion Relief Nostalgia Surprise Absolution Discovery Fulfillment Humility Regret Joy Love Longing Mirth Overwhelmedness (is that a word?) Awe Spirituality Happiness
Also, a million more emotions that don't come to mind right now, as well as the infinite number of combinations that we can create from this list (because, I don't know about you, but I rarely feel just "sad" or just "happy". For example, right now I'm feeling "exhausted-melancholy-brave-optimistic-satisfied").
So, yes, I've been cryin…


Guys, I love going on adventures and all, but...I HATE planning them!
I'm much more happy with the spontaneous "Let's go do something fun right NOW!!!" approach. Unfortunately, my brain isn't wired to work that way. I need a Plan. I need to know who's driving, when we're leaving, who's bringing tents, is food separate or together, do we have to pay to use a campground, are there bathrooms, what hikes are near our camping site, are there bears, are there cougars, are there wild hellhounds from the pit of darkness, will I even survive the planning stages of this trip or will I die before we ever get there?
And since I'm usually the only one uptight enough to care about most of those questions...I get to be the one who gets to find the solutions to ALL of them! And sometimes other people think up questions, and guess who volunteers to find the answers for those? Yeah, me.
A one-night trip should NOT cause me so much stress.
I guess on Saturday I&…

It kind of...itches?

Sometimes I get this weird there's something terribly wrong with my worldview, and if I could just put my finger on what it was, extreme emotional pain would follow suit. Which is probably why my subconscious seems to block me from ever putting a finger on what it is.
It's a strange feeling though. You know that itchy spot in the middle of your back, that you can never quite scratch and it drives you absolutely crazy? It feels like that. Except that also the itchy spot is a scab over a massive wound that's just going to reopen if you scratch it (sorry for the gory details). So you're torn...leave it and itch in misery? Or scratch it and feel pain from the wound itself? Not as if the question actually matters, because you can't reach the stupid itchy spot anyways...

Poem form o' the week/month/whatevs: Haiku

Rec Center Patrons:
Toilet paper on the floor,
Pick it up yourselves.

Efy children:
I let your wraps dry out.
They're crumbly...don't hate me.

Summer, let's be friends!
Sorry for my unjust hate...
I like you again.

Haikus are tricky:
Easy to compose and yet,
Hard to make clever.

My favorite comic on the whole wide internet...

So...there's this little comic, with these little stick figures. And I've been thinking about it all day. Sometimes it's crass, sometimes it's inappropriate, sometimes it's wayyy too nerdy for me, and sometimes it's a little pretentious. But sometimes it makes me laugh until I cry. Sometimes it makes me think for hours. And sometimes it makes me shiver, because somehow, this weird little stick-figure comic captured one of my deepest, most private thoughts.
Here we go, Karissa's thoughts, xkcd style: How I do relationships: What I'm scared of (a series):, (profanity warning on that last one...), and How I think I'll redecorate my apartment next semester: A fun game that I did before I'd ever even read this comic: Food for thought: Maybe I'll change my career path?: Anyways. I fe…

Thou art merciful, for thou hast heard my prayer.

Oh, me of little faith.
I shouldn't be so surprised that that just worked.
I could feel my emotions spiraling downward, and felt terrified at my inability to fix them.
I didn't know where to turn.
And so I knelt.
I explained my problem. I explained what I was feeling. I felt a little silly, letting an event so small make me so sad. I felt even sillier asking for help about it. But I didn't know what else to do.
I knelt.
I didn't even ask for help. Just talked.
But help came anyways.
A finger stuck in the dam of my emotions.
The situation is still the same. I still don't know what to do. And it still makes me a little sad.
But my emotions are no longer swirling out of control.
Thank you, Lord.

Still awake?

I don't suffer from insomnia.Once I lay down in bed, I'm out like a light. I suffer from a severe lack of desire to sleep... Every single night... For no reason... I get this bizarre energy burst at about ten, and so I just want to talk to people, and play and have adventures but I live at home so everyone goes to bed and no one can play with me. And so I get on facebook, and I blogstalk (sometimes the blogs of people I've never met...friends of friends...don't tell!) and I try to pretend that the people I'm reading about are really talking to me and that we're friends. And then I realize that I could have gone to bed 2 hours ago and I have to wake up to go to work tomorrow and I still need to read my scriptures and this is why I don't read for more than about 2 verses per day these days. Ok, but tomorrow I'll go to bed at a decent time, right?

Blogging adventures.

So once upon a time, I started to write a blogpost and not publish it. Sometimes typing things in blog form helps me think through things, but this was kind of a gooey/sentimental/sensitive post that I didn't want to make public. So I wrote it, and it was poorly written but that was ok because it was just for me.
And then I accidentally hit publish. If you happened to be on my blog in the exact right 3 minute window, you got to read it. You are lucky. I couldn't figure out how to delete a post (yes, I'm retarded). So I hit "edit," deleted all the text and hit "publish" again. Voila, an unsightly blank blog post. Then I got to thinking, "You know, that post wasn't half bad. With a little editing, it might even be worthy to publish again." I'm trying to learn to open up to people more, so maybe posting it would have been an ok idea. I thought I'd used cut and paste when I cleared the text, so with excitement, I hit edit again and…

What the cuss?

I've been thinking a lot lately about profanity. As far as I can tell, the only scriptural reference to profanity in language comes in the commandment not to take the name of the Lord in vain. I can understand that. It is most certainly wrong to use God's name flippantly. I'm just confused about all the other "bad words." The leaders of the church have frequently warned us not to swear, to use good clean language. In the BYU community, letting a bad word slip can get you instantly judged as an apostate, a Jack-Mormon, or at least "kinda sketchy."
I've often said that of all the vices in the world, I think swearing is one of the least serious. Gossip, lust, idleness, ingratitude, my opinion, all these are worse than throwing out the occasional "hell" or "damn".
So why is profanity considered wrong at all? What's so bad about letting out my inner sailor every once in a while?
I found a blog today that share…

Singles Wards

Having been Young, Single, and an Adult for coming on 2 years now, I've been in my share of singles wards (Three, to be exact). My ward has usually been my prime source for new friends, a place where I can find those going through the same trials and adventures as I am, and of course, a venue for all kinds of fun activities (ok, I have a history of being too "busy" to attend the activities, but sometimes I try).
And yet I wonder if we're missing out on something.
I can understand the purpose of singles wards: to give young singles like myself an opportunity to be strengthened by those our age, to give us a sense of community at an age when it's so easy to feel like a social nomad, and, of course to Get Us All Married Off.
But sometimes, in the company of so many so much like myself, I wonder if I could benefit from a little...diversity. I like going to my Relief Society in my home ward, and hearing the comments from the mothers and grandmothers, those who have…

At least I got my brownies made? Sort of?

I will never understand why the days in which I have the "free" time in which to, y'know, be productive and stuff, tend to be the days where I sit around all day, do absolutely nothing and then feel like a lame bum.
Case in point:
Today was Sunday. I don't have church until 2. My family has church from 11 until 2. I usually wake up around 10:30 0r 11, leaving me 3 to 4 hours to fill. I usually get realllllly bored. Today I decided to counteract said boredom by drawing up a list of objectives, a "to-do list," if you will. Here it is:
1. Read my scriptures.
2. Make a training plan for my half-marathon.
3. Put my missionary letters in the mailbox (they've been written and sitting on my nightstand for a week).
4. Make cookies for my dad for Father's Day.
5. Write my dad an awesome, artistic card.
6. Balance my checkbook.
7. Get in a good hour of piano practicing.

I even woke up at 9:30. That's really early for me! Somehow though, all my awesome…

Chocolate chip cookie dough crunch? What are you doing here? And what happened to all my OPINIONS?

So some days, there are just so many things I want to quote! So many snippets of joy I want to share! And I lament that I have but one facebook status in which to bless the world with my out of context quotations. So just to get it out of my system, here are the quotes rattling in my head today.
" it difficult to have opinions around ice cream." Dino Comics
"But there's a time and a place, you know? Maybe the best way to build a bright new world is to peel some spuds in this one?" Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
"In a world where we all move in curves, he proceeds in a straight line. And going straight in a world of curves makes things happen." Night Watch
"People are content to wait a long time for salvation, but prefer dinner to turn up inside an hour." Night Watch.
"I'm not aware of too many things, I know what I know, if you know what I mean." Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.
"'He's probably having a …

Sweet, juicy victory.

Every day at work, with shaking knees and pounding heart, I face my nemesis. It is a terrifying beast, complex, powerful and dangerous to boot. I've seen grown men quiver in its stare, and it rules the hosts of the Cannon Center with an iron fist. What is this fiend? It is the Cannon Center juice machine. (Or for the sake of accuracy, the juice machines. I refer to them as a single entity because I'm sure there's some kinda hive-mind thing going on there).
Many times have I faced down this demon, and many times have I been defeated. Two weeks ago, I was cleaning the front of one of the machines, when it suddenly began spewing grape juice everywhere. Its power froze me in my tracks, leaving me only enough strength to weakly call, "Claire? I'm gonna need your juice key...." Oh the shame that coursed through my body and soul as I mopped up the carnage left in the monster's wake. I had failed.
Three days ago, however, I had the chance to redeem myself. I…

Life keeps on going

Hey look, my blog's all different now! It needed a change. Yes, I know it looks like a frumpy sweater but...its a cute frumpy sweater, yeah?

Today for Memorial Day, I went with my parents, siblings and grandparents to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery to visit the graves of some relatives. There was remembrance hanging heavy in the air today, some sorrow, some grief, and felt peaceful, restful and quiet. I sat by the grave of my great-great grandparents and listened to my grandfather tell stories about his polygamist grandfather living in the Mormon colonies in Mexico. I felt a connection to these people I'd never met, that somehow they are inextricably a part of my life in every way. I felt, not like an individual, but like a single thread in an enormous tapestry of my family.
We also went to visit Brandon's grave. My cousin Brandon died when he was 6 years old, 6 years ago this Saturday. I was 13 years old when he died. I remember feeling such intense emot…

I miss winter just because I miss when I knew you best...

Have you ever inadvertently heard a song that expressed exactly what you were feeling at that moment?
Have you ever listened to the music and the lyrics and, bewildered, wondered how on earth the artist read your mind?
Have you ever felt that stab of pain listening to words saying exactly what you'd tried to pretend you weren't thinking?
And then, have you realized that maybe you're not alone after all? That somewhere in this world, someone felt the same way you did, and they wrote it down and set it to music? That in listening to this song, you and the songwriter and the singer and maybe a few other listeners shared that moment, that thought....

I have.

Man, I love music.

Do I have to...?

I'm just posting this on here so I'll be accountable for it. Goals inside my head are a lot easier to neglect.

Tomorrow, I'm not going back to sleep after family scripture study. I will stay awake and do something productive, goshdangit!

Whew. Thanks for listening!


So, in my new ward I was called as the ward organist. This is great and all, but with one drawback.

I've never played the organ.

I mean, I've played the piano for 13 years, so I should be able to just pick up the organ instantly, yeah? It's not like they're two completely different instruments, or anything.

I wish.

Surprisingly though, I'm really starting to enjoy this calling. I'm already discovering new and unexpected perks to this assignment.
First, and most obviously, I get to learn how to play the organ. I wanted to learn a new instrument this summer, and since my guitar learning has been temporarily suspended, it's awesome that I have some new instrument to replace it.
Next, I think this is going to help out my piano skills. A lot. I've always been really, REALLY pedal-dependent. So being forced to play a keyboard instrument where there's no damper pedal to blur over my mistakes, and I have to actually use (gasp) finger legato will be go…

Feeling content

Some things that I like today:
The fact that my laptop is sitting on my feet keeping them warm.
Nate Ruess. Hey, Dria, remember that time...?
Friends who call me when I'm bored and keep me entertained with their witty words.
Along the same lines: drowned muskrats.
My new favorite word: raconteur. Now that I've discovered what one is, I've gotta learn to be one, I think.
Adobe's "We love Apple" ad campaign. (Ok I'm a little bit of a nerd...but you have to admit this is the world's most passive-aggressive ad).
Peanut butter Rice Krispie treats.
The fact that I can do laundry for free. There are perks to living at home.

Goals goals goals goals goals....

I've had a lot of time on my hands lately. This is great. Unfortunately, it also tends to give me a lot of time to drift around and do nothing. And so, to ensure that I harness this time and make this the best summer ever, I'm going to make a few goals for the summer. Here they are, in no special order:
Train for, and run a half-marathon, and the Red Rock RelayGet my average mile pace under 8 minutes for anything less than 5 milesMeet someone new at church every SundayLearn how to cook something new every weekSmile a lot moreGo to the temple at least every other weekServe someone every dayConsistently read my scriptures earlier in the day (I'm too sleepy when I read at night)Read at least 2 books each monthWork on my Honors program Great Works requirementsKeep better track of my belongingsLearn how to talk quietly when I'm on the phoneLearn my Debussy and Bach pieces, and become capable at playing the organGo on ADVENTURES!!!! Yep, that looks like a pretttty good summe…

Feelings? or something....

What are you supposed to do with unpleasant emotions?
I'm not trying to be angsty, this is a legitimate question I'm wondering about.
Part of me wants to say, "Repressing emotions is bad!" and revel in cathartic misery. Nothing more therapeutic than yet another round of sobbing, right?
Part of me says, "Emotions hurt!" and wants to build a thick wall around my heart and just...stop feeling.
I know there's gotta be a balance somewhere. Because I don't want to be a stone wall. I know if I don't let myself feel some sadness, I cut myself off from feeling joy later.
But I also know if I spend my days curled up in a ball crying, or falling apart at the most innocent reminders, I won't ever be able to move on with my life.

Oh boundary, where are you?

"Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time..."

I once had a friend say to me, "Karissa, do you ever wake up and just think, 'Anything could happen today. Today's events could change the course of my entire life'?" I find it thrilling how unpredictable life is, how often I find myself shaking my head in wonder and saying, "Wow. I sure didn't see that coming when I woke up this morning."
Yesterday was one of those days when I said, "Wow. I sure didn't see that coming when I woke up this morning...and if I had, I probably just wouldn't have gotten out of bed."
But this same unpredictability is what gives me hope. I look over the past year of my life and see how many blessings have poured in that I'd never have expected. New friends, rich experiences, fun times, hard times, opportunities, and lessons in love, in trust, in letting others in. I never would have seen this coming. And so maybe a year from now, I'll look back on this weekend and say, "Yep, that sucked.…

Oh, just runnin' around

Today, I had finished all my finals, my roommates weren't home, my friends were all either taking finals or studying for finals so...I decided to go running. I think this is the fourth or fifth day in a row that I've ran, excluding Sunday, and I feel like I'm starting to get back into a rhythm. I'm feeling that addiction coming back, which is good because once I catch the bug, I don't slack. I feel like I'm finally starting to push myself a little more, even when I don't feel like it.
For today's run, I ran down Bulldog to State Street, then around to the Veteran's Memorial Pool and back. I got to check out the pool that I might be working at this summer, and I came across a reception center where I used to have dance at the age of 7. I'd totally forgotten that place. It had these big stained glass windows all around the room we danced in, and I would find my favorite patch of color each day and sit in it, until my teacher made me actually…

Happy days.....

I missed my mountains. Today I got to spend hours climbing around rocks, looking at hawks, goats, deer, and squirrels, staring at the way the sun hits the cliffs, and feeling infinite as I looked at the mountains looming around me. I got to do my favorite thing, in my favorite place, with my favorite person.
Yeah, this was a good way to start finals week.

Whining: Read at your own risk.

No, this is not going to be a deeply philosophical post about whining. This is going to be me, whining. Get ready.
Guess what I don't want to do right now? I don't want to write my paper. I don't want to practice the piano. I don't want to do finals or go to class. I just dont' want to be a responsible human being. I don't want to feel sick or tired.
Guess what I do want to do? Go home and fall asleep on my bed. I might not even make it to my bed. I might crash on the couch before I get there. And then wake up and read a book all day. I could pick "Great Expectation" back up or borrow "Hunger Games" from Andria. I could sleep, and read, and watch a movie, and maybe get some cuddling in there too, and order a pizza just for me, except that that doesn't sound appetizing so maybe just some cereal...
Anyways, I don't want to do anything.
But guess what, I have to. So I might as well. I got this out of my system and now it's time to ge…

This is the birth day of life and love and wings

In honor of Easter, and spring, here is one of my most favorite poems, by one of my most favorite poets, e. e. cummings. (Yes, he really doesn't capitalize his name, I'm not just being a lazy blogger).
(P.S. for best results, read this poem out loud. It's better that way)/
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me....

So...I've been thinking about respect lately. What is it? And why is it important, especially in relationships?
In an incredibly cliche but effective move, let's see what our good friend Noah Webster has to say.
Respect: Esteem for or the sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.Deference to a right, privilege, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges.To hold in esteem or honor.To show regard or consideration for. These aren't all the definitions, but these are the ones I felt were relevant. To me, respect has a broad spectrum of meanings. I think to respect someone means to recognize their worth as a human being, to strive to see their good qualities, and to outwardly manifest your esteem for them. I think it means granting people the rights they deserve as human beings: the right to a voice, to Christlike love, to a fair hearing, to…