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Showing posts from 2011

In which this year is finally over.

Dear 2011,
You have been my most intense year yet. You've brought me some of my happiest times and greatest adventures. You have been a year of romance, of friendship, of hiking, of random dance parties with roommates.  You started with me slaving away at the piano preparing for my sophomore recital, which I somehow managed to prepare for and perform. You brought me new friends and reminded me how much I love my major, even when I feel insecure about it. You took me to Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany. I learned how to survive in airports by myself, how to deal with homesickness, and how much I miss my family when they're far from me.

You haven't been the kindest year. You took my brother and my best friend from me, replacing them with letters and weekly emails. You gave me scary and exhilarating questions about my future, which started full of excitement and optimism, led to confusion and doubt, and eventually ended in heartbreak. But even then, 2011, you ga…

In which I love Elder Holland.

"Second, we must change anything we can change that may be part of the problem. In short we must repent, perhaps the most hopeful and encouraging word in the Christian vocabulary. We thank our Father in Heaven we are allowed to change, we thank Jesus we can change, and ultimately we do so only with Their divine assistance. Certainly not everything we struggle with is a result of our actions. Often it is the result of the actions of others or just the mortal events of life. But anything wecan change we should change, and we must forgive the rest. In this way our access to the Savior’s Atonement becomes as unimpeded as we, with our imperfections, can make it. He will take it from there."

"Broken Things to Mend," April 2006.

In which I am content to begin with doubts.

Sir Francis Bacon:

""Another error hath proceeded from too great a reverence, and a kind of adoration of the mind and understanding of man; by means whereof, men have withdrawn themselves too much from the contemplation of nature, and the observations of experience, and have tumbled up and down in their own reason an conceits.

"Men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge...sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men: as if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching or restless spirit...But this is that which will indeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action may be more nearly and straitly conjoin…

In which depression really sucks, you guys.

You know how sometimes when you cry, your makeup smears, and then some of that makeup gets trapped behind your contacts and then it stings really really bad but you don't want to take your contacts out because you like being able to see and your glasses are broken?

Yeah, that's why crying is a poor choice.

In other news, the semester is almost over. So, ya know, that's good.

In which a shameless plug is made

So, this semester I'm participating in the Artsbridge Scholar program at my university, where I get to work in an elementary classroom helping to integrate music into their curriculum. I'm going to be going to a 4th grade class once a week to teach music, and I am incredibly excited. As part of the program, I'm required to document my experiences in a blog. If you're interested in seeing what I'm up to, you can check it out here:

In which I am excited.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my favorite. 
Also, I visited the dump today, which I had never done before.

And yesterday, I decided that fourth grade is my favorite grade to teach, which is ironic, considering it was my least favorite grade to be in.

Also, today will be the first time I've ever listened to more than one Sufjan Stevens song in a row. And I can't decide how I feel about him. I think we're going with, "Bizarre, but in a way that kinda really appeals to me." But I'm not sure. Maybe I just like it because people have been telling me for years how much I would like Sufjan Stevens.

That is all.

In which ward conference is more entertaining than usual.

Our poor stake president. Just trying to get all us singletons married off. Never even saw it comin'.

"Girls should be the passive ones. Don't argue with me!" he glared at those who giggled. "Boys need to be more aggressive."

"Have you ever seen a flower chasing a bee?" he continued, "No! Flowers just stand there, and look pretty and smell sssoooo gooooood."

And then a raised hand, "President, you do know that any bee you see outside the hive is female, right? The male bees stay inside the hive and pretty much do nothing."

Made. My. Day.

EDIT: I should admit that I took a little artistic license on this one. What he actually said was that all bees are girls. Which isn't true. So I changed it, because it's my blog and I can do that.

In which I edit

Sometimes I go back and read my old posts, and change around the words and phrases I don't like.

Because I can't do it in real life, so it's nice to be able to do it somewhere.

In fact, I just did it with this post. One full paragraph, GONE. Just because I can.

In which I put in my two cents on "The Great Hipster Debate"

Hipsters, the twenty-first century enigma.

Everyone has seen them.

Everyone can recognize them.

But when asked what exactly a hipster is, we all find it problematic to describe them without incriminating ourselves.

We mock them. We revile them. We makeblogs about them. And we protest vehemently if anybody accuses us of being them (except for those of us who wish we were cool enough to be hipsters...but that's an issue for another post)

The main beef people seem to have with hipsters is that they are disingenuous. They listen to obscure music to sound sophisticated (but not music so obscure that nobody will be impressed by the band names). They eat organic food, wear TOMS shoes and recycle in order to appear socially aware.

They dress in thrift store clothes to look original and unique, but really just end up looking like everyone else who shops at thrift stores.

They liked Arcade Fire before they won a Grammy.

In which I state a clear preference.

Since I'm going to teach elementary school one day, (well, actually tomorrow, if you count guest-teaching in somebody else's classroom as "teaching elementary school,") I think it's important I take a stand on a very divisive, and yet important, issue.

Markers versus Crayons.

I thought about listing the relative merits of each, but really all the marker has going for it is a lack of controversy about the pronunciation of its name. (Everybody, crayon is pronounced CRAY-ON. Not "cran." Not "crown." Not "crenn." Ok?) So I'll just list all the reasons why crayons are the superior coloring implement:

With crayons, you don't get ink all over your hands and then leave inky smudges all over your previously-pristine visual aids.

Crayons never run out of ink.

Kids can't vandalize each other's faces with crayons.

Crayons give you a much more brilliant color than markers, typically.

There is so much tactile satisfaction to be had…

In which I iterate a list of things that irk me

The phrase: "Attitude of Gratitude." I don't know why, but it makes me cringe. Every. Single. Time.

The Washington Post Social Reader Facebook app. I refuse to download the app because I don't want the entire Facebook community to know that I'm reading about "Beyonce's Incredible, Unique, Miraculous Pregnancy." This means, however, that I get to see all the tantalizing headlines from articles my friends are reading, without being able to read them myself. It's...maddening.

Spotify. For similar reasons.

Too-long eyelash extensions. Girls, having baby tarantulas attached to your eyelids is not attractive.

The dating scene. I would like to either be completely single and romance-less, or have a boyfriend who loves and adores me. None of this going on dates with boys who I don't actually like that much. None of these mini-crushes on menfolk who won't ever reciprocate. As Patrick Henry once said, give me true love or give me asexuality. Or, w…

In which I add my drop.

Friends, let me tell you a story.

Three years ago, a friend of mine started a club. The purpose of this club was to raise awareness about human trafficking, and to make what difference we could in ending modern-day slavery. I was passionately involved in this club, and the following year, was an officer in it. I believed in the cause, I loved the people in the club, I felt like the little we were doing mattered. I had a grand vision of myself graduating college, swooping into third-world countries, and saving them from their poverty and despair. This vision expanded beyond slavery; in my fantasy world, I was going to solve world hunger, end poverty, and give everyone an education.

And then...something changed.

Maybe it was fighting with my then-boyfriend about whether or not I had a "Savior complex."

Maybe it was the remorse I felt after I stood up my roommate for a temple trip in order to chat up the visiting founder of a non-profit organization I was particularly intereste…

Copied from the Vienna Journal, Episode 2

Stephansdom Cathedral, 25 June 2011

Gothic cathedrals don't make me feel small. Or rather, they do, but they make me feel as if being small isn't a bad thing at all. I follow the lines of the arches and vaults and my soul expands to fill the entire space, joining with hundreds of other expanded souls, reaching, spilling upward to Heaven, to Our Lord.

I do not feel small because I do not feel any size at all. I feel my being melt and merge into a Holiness full of souls, where each soul is unique and precious, and all are filled with the light and love of Christ.

Copied from the Vienna Journal, Episode 1

I scribbled this down while awestruck in the Rembrandt room of the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna

I think art, in its best form, is a way we share ourselves with each other. A way of saying, "This is how I see the world, please let me show you." All truly honest painting, writing, musical composition, tries to do that.

And I think that sharing of souls, of perspectives, is so important.

"Here is what I think is moving, touching, beautiful, sacred, frightening. Please share it with me."

And the sharing is never perfect. Everyone interprets each artistic conversation according to his or her own experience. But I think the communication is often more clear, more perfect than with verbal language.

And I think it's wonderful that I can sit in front of these paintings, and maybe feel for a moment how Rembrandt felt about his son, or understand how he envisioned the Apostle Paul, or what the lines on his mother's face meant to him.

In which I smile my way through several tests and papers

You know you're in the right major when simply doing your homework for hours relieves your anxiety, loneliness, and worry more than any of your leisure-time activities do. I've been in a bit of a funk all week, and though I felt better while I was playing with my Callie, hiking with Warren, watching Rifftrax movies with Cindy and Josh, and singing in my choir concert, it was a distractional relief, gone as soon as the distraction ended. But spending hours and hours today and yesterday reading up on child development, studying classical concerto forms, analyzing a Mozart piece, and writing a paper about social competence in 4 year-olds has brought a lasting, permanent mood change. It's like the difference between...I don't know, a pain-killer and an antibiotic? I think the fact that I'm doing something productive, challenging, and enjoyable (to me) has some kind of magic to it.

In which I feel like a deprived monkey

So, one time there was this psychologist named Harry Harlow. He liked to study monkeys. In one of these studies, some baby monkeys were separated from their mothers, and had two choices of fake "mothers": one made of wire with a bottle attached, and one made of cloth with no food source. The baby monkeys would use the wire mother when they were hungry, but then would instantly jump back over to the cloth mother to cuddle with it. Harlow's conclusion? Attachment is based more on contact and comfort than mere physical needs.

Today I feel like one of those monkeys...except that I don't have a cloth monkey to cuddle with. My basic needs are being met, I have friends and people to talk to, everything is going right...
But I am definitely not meeting my hugs-per-day quota. And some days...that is really hard to take.

In which I have many options, none of them viable

So I'm at this point in my life where beginning to date someone would probably be a stupid move on a lot of levels. And I know this. But I think the part of me that generates romantic feelings, my "twitterpater", if you will, gets bored without a subject. However, so as not to compromise my emotional security by thrusting me into a relationship, my twitterpater has fixated itself on completely unobtainable (and sometimes non-existent) guys. Don't believe me? For your viewing pleasure, a list of some of the men I've fallen for in the last week of my life:
Simon from Firefly The boy I had a mad crush on in 10th grade (or rather, his Facebook persona. I don't think I've actually seen the boy himself since he got back from his mission) The fellow who used to come to the Cannon Center every day back when I cashiered there (or rather, his blog.) The Piemaker from Pushing Daisies A Humanities student who I tutor Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina (seriously, I would …

In which I feel like I should post something

Guys...I'm TIRED.

I feel like I wake up so early and then I run around and do lots of things and then I go to bed far too late.

And a lot of the times I'm sick of it, and wish the weekends were longer and that I could relax.

And then I reflect on how much time today I spent making music (4 hours today, peeps. And half of that I got class credit for). And how much of that time I was listening to music. And how much of that time was spent having fun with my family, or chatting with my awesome work friends. And working with a children's choir. And talking to one of my best friends for the first time in 2 years (and realizing that friendship is a pretty durable thing, even when time stretches it). In all honesty, it was a wonderful day.

So yes, as I crawl into bed tonight, the thought of waking up again in 6 hours sounds dreadful. And yes, I wish I had more free time in which to write, to read, to run, to hike...

But still, though tomorrow will be as exhausting as today, it ho…

In which I decide to be the coolest parent ever

I'm currently sitting in the main gallery of the Harris Fine Arts Center, doing my homework. There's a beautiful student art exhibit going on right now, entitled, "Transformed by Light". Right now, there's a man (one of my professors actually), exploring the exhibit with his kids (who look like they range in age from 3 to about 7). Typically, the terms "art exhibit" and "kid-friendly" don't seem to mesh well. Kids don't have the attention span, sophistication, patience, depth, etc. etc. to understand art, right?
But he's walking with them from painting to painting, saying things like, "Whoa, check out the line on this guy's arm, isn't that cool?" and "Why do you think the artist decided to paint him like that?" And then one kid sprints across the gallery to another painting, saying, "Dad, Dad, this one's really cool!"
These little guys understand art. It speaks to them. They may not know al…

In which I miss the pond's other side.

Things Austria does better
Ice cream (Zanoni and Zanoni's, baby....)
Bread (I would seriously kill for a loaf of Wienersopft right now)
Kebabs!!!! (Ok, this isn't really something Europe does better. This is something Europe has that America doesn't. I think we need to get more Turkish immigrants here so that we can have kebabs...I miss me a good Doener).
Cows (Austrian bovines are some of the most beautiful cows you will ever see).
Green frolicking hills
Architecture (even the dizzying rococco architecture that made me want to vomit is more beautiful than anything I've seen here)
Street performers. (Honestly, listening to street performers was possibly the best part of my entire trip to Europe. I should post some of the videos I took..)

Things America/Utah does better
Mac and Cheese
Having Karissa's friends and family be there
Slot canyons

That is all for today.


What makes me "me"?
If someone were to ask, "Who are you?" how would I respond? Some answers: A musician, a teacher, a student, a friend, a wordsmith, a pianist, a runner, an adventurer, a daughter, a sister, a human.
Sometimes I worry that I'm not "me" enough.
Or that I let some me's crowd out others.
The student's been crowding out the pianist and the runner lately. I must do what I can to bring them back, without letting my grades slip.
The friend died for a day or two last night, but was coaxed back into life by loving hands.
The wordsmith feels neglected, the musician longs for more.... and
the human... is still trying to figure out what this all means and where this is going and whether anyone out there can understand and who am i anyways?
I am an adventurer. I am a musician. I am a friend. I am a human.

As a side note:
Today I decided that I need to climb more trees, splash in more puddles, and jump in more leaves.

I also discovered tha…

In which I create an alternate reality in my MIND!!!

I have just decided that I cannot accept the way this afternoon is going.
I am writing a paper I don't care about, eating a peanut butter sandwich where the bread is dry and crumbly, AND I have a knot in my back.
So, using only the power of my imagination, I have created a solution.
In just two minutes from now, the most attractive man on earth is going to walk through the doors of the HFAC, stand beside me and say, "Karissa, you are the raddest chick in creation, and to commemorate this fact, I have brought you a footlong sweet onion chicken teriyaki from Subway. Also, your favorite shake from the Creamery! I have also brought along my sidekick who is an expert in child development research methods, and he's going to write the rest of your paper for you!" He will then give me a neck and shoulder massage. The chicken teryiaki will be delicious. My paper will get an A. Life will be grand.

Like I two minutes....wait for it....wait for it.....

Nothin'. Gee…

Some reasons for happiness today.

I'm wearing a happy yellow Threadless shirt, cargo shorts, and no shoes.
My feet are happy and bare.
The end of my homework is in sight.
I just took some delicious bites of a Milka bar (how I missed European chocolate...)
I don't have to go to work today!
I had Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast today (that, in and of itself is reason for rejoicing).
I had Mac and Cheese for lunch (Can you see the importance of food in my life?)
I'm listening to my little sister and her friends make a movie about pirates. It's hilarious.
I watched SOOOO much Kid History today.
I'm starting to recognize the joyful new opportunities that come from painful life changes.
I get to have a girls night with my favorite apartment of friends tonight.
I got to sightread Beethoven for a while today...for homework! is good.

In which I turn one year older and wiser too.

Today I am 21 years of age. It doesn't feel like that big of a change, because I've been telling people I'm 21 the entire time I've been here (I have this tendency to lie about my age sometimes...). But nonetheless, I am now a real adult. I have a history of being out of town on my birthday: 2 while I was at girl's camp, one in Yellowstone with Jessie, and now one in Vienna. It started with a package from my mother (which I forgot to take pictures of...oops), full of American granola bars (a staple of my life) and a cake mix that I shall make later today. I spent my morning learning about Klimt, Schiele, Mahler and Schonberg (PS did you know that Leonard Bernstein had like, the same life story but in reverse? Mahler was born in Europe, conducted the Vienna Phil, and then crossed the pond to conduct the New York Phil. Bernstein was born in America, conducted the New York Phil, and then conducted the Vienna Phil. Oh also they both were Jewish. So it's fitting tha…

In which I cross a pond.

So, you may not have known this, but I recently made the move from little old Utah to Vienna, Austria, to study German and Humanities for the summer. And I feel like I'm supposed to be documenting that somehow.
But documenting my life...that's never been the purpose of this blog.
I thought about making this into a travel blog, updating about every week with what I've been up to.
But I'm already writing travelogue-esque emails on a pretty frequent basis to my parents and to my boyfriend, and keeping a detailed journal. I don't really feel like writing out all my adventures in yet another medium. I'll hopefully be putting a big load of pictures on the book of faces pretty soon, for those who truly need to live vicariously through me.
So this blog will stay what it's always been. A place for me to share my thoughts and feelings when I feel like it, hopefully to the enjoyment and edification of those who read. (There will however, probably be more pictures from…

In which the mess is everyone else's fault.

My apartment tends to exist in a constant state of messiness.

Every time I try to figure out why the domicile can't stay out of pig-sty zone for more than a day at a time, I can only come up with one answer. It's not "my" apartment after all. It's "ours".

There are, in fact, six of us currently living in my tiny little flat. Six college-aged girls: three in school, two with boyfriends, all with jobs. We're all far too busy to clean up anyone's messes but our own. And whenever anything is messy, it is definitely anyone's mess but my own.

Crumbs all over the counter? Well, I'm always careful when I eat, so they couldn't possibly be mine. Let the perpetrator wipe them up
Dishes in the sink? Why can't those silly roommates of mine take the time to wash their cereal bowls?
Trash needs to be taken out? I can't believe they'd let it overflow like that!

Notice a pattern? Nothing is ever, ever my fault. And I have a feeling everyo…

In which I go to a movie by myself

I had never seen Casablanca before. And well, to say I'd heard it was good would be grossly understating the matter. More like, oh, one of the greatest movies ever made? So when I heard it was playing on campus today, I went. Even though I had important things to do. Even though I couldn't find anyone to go with me.

And...I'm still not sure what to say about it. I was enthralled the whole time. I fell in love with Rick. The ending was immensely satisfying.  But I'll be honest, Ilsa really, really bothered me. "Do the thinking for both of us, Rick!" Really? Really though?

I think the part that really bugged me about Ilsa was how much I related to her (minus the whole marital infidelity thing). I know what it's like to get so lost in your emotions that you can't think straight. To want to stop trying to figure things out and just collapse into tears while others fix your problems for you. And I've definitely been guilty of that on multiple occasions…

A Letter

To the Ants I Killed Yesterday,

I was only doing my job. You have to understand that up front. I have to keep that bathroom clean for the students who use it, and a small colony of insects living underneath the urinals is not traditionally the sign of a hygienic bathroom. I'll admit, I'm still not sure why it was so important I got rid of you. Your kind doesn't traditionally carry diseases, and none of you were stealing any food or really, doing anyone any harm as far as I could see. You're all black ants, so probably not the biting type. But, like the dirt in the corners and the soap scum on the counters, you look dirty, and are unwelcome in a modern, clean restroom.

And so I sprayed your corner with poison.

Did it hurt? Did you scream? Did you die instantly or did you suffer and struggle first? Did some of you run frantically, looking for loved ones, hoping they'd survived?

Do ants love? Do they have families? Were the stragglers all alone and desolate, having lo…

In which impatience reigns.

I feel as if I'm stagnating. No learning, no progress, no new-ness. I clamber out of bed, clean dorms, eat lunch with Michael, accompany for a few voice lessons, and then clean toilets. Day in and day out.

I'm so ready to leave for Vienna. For new countries, new languages, new foods, new people. I'll miss my roommates, my family, and of course my Michael. But beyond that? Not much. I'd be gone today if I could be.

It all feels like...drudgery. Like I've lost that talent I had for seeing the beautiful in everything. For finding new ways to progress and grow. Where did it go? How do I get it back?

Because, like it or not, I have two more weeks here in Provo. And so I'd better make the most of them. How though?
Go running in this beautiful weather (I think I will do that as soon as I finish typing.)
Read all I can about Vienna so I can be even more excited.
Smile more. Reach out a little more to my coworkers and ward members.
Play the guitar a lot.
Read my script…

In which I share a couch with Darth Vader

Blond and cherubic, with a hint of mischief glinting in his eyes, he sat on the couch, surrounded by cheerios, crayons, and a gray, winged mask."Hello!" I smile at him, and he grins back. "Is this a Tron mask?" I ask. He frowns, and I quickly correct myself. "Thor, I mean." He beams and nods. "What's your name?" I ask eagerly. He glances around furtively and then whispers, "Dawf Vadew." "Darth Vader? Wow!" I cry, honored to be in the presence of such a famed figure. An exasperated sigh. "Brady..." says the woman across the room, "Darth Vader is the bad guy, remember? Why don't we want to be like Darth Vader?" His brow furrows, "Dawf Vadew is bad because...because he cutted of Wuke Skywalkew's awm." "That's right." She sighs again, "He keeps calling me Emperor Palpatine. Every time I ask him to do something he answers with, 'Yes, Master'".  Her James Earl Jones …

In which I share a string of possibly unconnected thoughts.

It's raining outside. Everything is misty, and the mountains are wrapped in heavy white clouds. It makes me homesick for this place:
(Can you be homesick for a place that was never your home?) 
I think I'm long overdue for some Oregon beach-camping. Hopefully I can make it summer.

In other news, yesterday was Norwegian Independence Day. Which doesn't mean much to me, except that I got to enjoy some good food and good company. I am officially in love with this: Oh, and this:
That is all. 

In which I run

I used to map my runs, to keep track of mileage and speed. Lately though, I've run lazily, without a watch, without keeping track of my distance. Just exploring, running where it looks interesting, and coming back home where I'm done.
Tonight was a beautiful evening for a run. The spring sun sifted through the glowing leaves, couples walked hand in hand, children laughed, gnats bit me.
I saw windows with cartoon characters glued in them,
                            And windows with butterflies painted on.
I saw an old man smoking, a wrinkly hippy riding his bike, and children playing with broken toy cars outside a crumbling apartment complex.
I saw a man and a woman playing frisbee. The catch? She was pushing a stroller, running with it to catch the frisbee while the tiny girl inside laughed and laughed.
I smelled barbeque, grass, and my own sweat.
I saw a boy playing his banjo on the front porch, but lacked the nerve to cross the street and ask to listen.
I saw a front porch …

In which I missed a milestone

Guys. Guys. I just realized something. That last post I wrote was my 100st post to be published on this blog! (We're not counting the ones that never made it onto the wall. And yes, that is 100st not 100th.) So, yeah. Celebration. Happy, happy, happy...

Okay, let's be honest, my heart's not really in it anymore. I think about blogging a lot, but in the end I haven't done much of it because I don't have much to say. I don't feel that same desperation to get all my thoughts and ideas onto the Internet posthaste. That's not to say that I've stopped thinking about interesting things, or that I'm not clever or awesome anymore (insert winking face), it's just that I don't feel alone anymore. Remember last summer, when I wrote ALL THE TIME? I didn't really have anyone to reach out to, anyone I felt safe talking to. So flinging my thoughts into cyberspace, hoping that someone would read, understand, and respond, was the best I can do.

But now...…

In which I pine.

I miss my blog.
That's really all I have to say. Or rather, all I should say.
I'm writing a research paper. But my brain keeps jamming up.
I keep having all these awesome ideas for blog posts and no time to write them in.
And I just really miss my blog.
I like to think my blog (and my readership?) misses me too.
And so, I hope to write again. Something actually interesting and clever and long and funny.
In the meantime, here is a comic for you, about our two favorite Romantic pianists!

In which I may have conquered a fear.

A friend once asked me what I feared most. The conversation had consisted of answers along the lines of spiders, snakes, rapists, the like. My response: "Being wrong." I was terrified that I was going to die, and find out that everything I ever believed in was wrong.  That I would wake up, look around and realize, "Hey, this is hell, not heaven!"
But today, I realized...I could handle that.
Well, not the being in hell part. That would suck. Just the being wrong part.
That if I died and was having a good old heart-to-heart with God, or St. Peter, or my great-great grandmother-- whoever shows you the ropes and answers your questions after you die-- and was told, "You know, your beliefs were great and all, but the Baptists were actually a lot closer to the truth" I'd be a little confused, but I could take it.
That if I learned that the Trinitarian conception of the Godhead was a lot closer than the Mormon one, or that the prophets have made mistakes and …

In which the bloggy-blog gets a makeover.

Hey friends. Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, I was thinking about starting a blog (actually, I had to for a class) and I was trying to think of a URL for it. Around the same time, I watched a documentary on the life of an LDS concert pianist named Reid Nibley (Yes, Hugh's brother). When Reid was asked what advice he had for young piano students, all he said was, "Practice beautifully."  That little phrase changed my perspective. Previously I had practiced mechanically, trying to memorize songs, perfect technique, all that jazz. But how much more enjoyable, how much more wonderful can practicing be, if every second that I'm at the piano, I am striving for beauty, for emotional connection with music, for purity in sound and feeling?
And outside of music, what if we lived every second like it mattered, not like it was a practice for something later?
I decided to take Nibley's "Practice Beautifully" one step further, and use the phrase "Live…

In which I plug my nose, get a big glass of water, and swallow.

You know it's a bad sign when:1) Your mother gets you an herbal supplement to help "regulate your cycle" 2) She warns you beforehand to take it with something that has a really strong taste to mask the pill's taste. 3) The active ingredient is called "Chaste Berry" (What does that even mean...?) 4) The pills are poop-colored. 5) You open the pill bottle a foot away from your face and still almost gag from the smell.
Oh, the things I do for hormonal balance.

In which I really should be doing my homework.

You know what I realized about people today?

Everyone is right in some ways. And everyone is wrong in some ways.
But everyone is right and wrong in different ways from each other.
Which makes it really easy for one person to say, "Look, I'm right and you're wrong!"
And for the other person to say, "Um, no, I'm right and you're wrong!"
And for both statements to be true. Because both of them are right. And both of them are wrong.
I think that's the cause of most conflicts. Global, national, political, cultural, personal, familial.
Everyone's right. And everyone's wrong.
So if we could all just cooperate enough to put all our rightnesses together, and then help each other get rid of our wrongnesses....
Wishful thinking, I suppose.

In which my mind is blown

Guys! Guys. GUYS!!!

I just realized something amazing.
Listen to this. Now listen to this.

Yeah, I know, weird, right??

It's highly possible I will be telling everyone I know about this for a few days.
And even more highly possible that they'll look at me and say, "You never realized they were the same? Wow...."
I'm still really excited about it though.

In which I summarize my year:

2010 has been a year of firsts...which always makes for an adventure.

First time writing a check (I'm such a grownup!) First time holding a job while taking classes (and first job not at a swimming pool) First time getting a flower for Valentine's Day (Thank you, random Cannon Center customers). First time applying to the Music Education program First time getting accepted into the Music Education program First relationship lasting longer than 2 weeks First kiss First real breakup First time getting rejected for a job I applied for First half-marathon First time living at home since coming to college First time attending a non-BYU singles ward First time being ward organist First time visiting Washington D.C. First time going on a date with a co-worker First time singing with BYU Women's Chorus First time failing a test First time getting a B minus in a class (and being deliriously happy with it) First time introducing a significant other to extended family First time havi…