Australia

Have you ever read the delightful book Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

It follows the misadventures of a third grader named Alexander. From the minute he wakes up and finds a huge wad of chewing gum ceremoniously embedded in his hair, the world seems to be against our young protagonist. He doesn’t get the cereal or shoes or lunch that he wants, is blown off by his best friends, embarrasses himself in front of his entire class, is reprimanded or ignored by almost every member of his family (including the cat), and injures himself several times throughout the story. After each page detailing the misfortunes he is forced to endure, he alternates between proclaiming, once again, that this day is no good, horrible, terrible, and very bad, and declaring his intentions of moving to Australia.
Well, Pineapple Pals, this has been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week.
And I’m moving to Australia.
I don’t want to bore with the minute details of my week from Outer Darkness, but let’s just say it all culminated tonight when I ruined my dinner. No big deal, you might say, it happens to the best of us. Really? Does the best of us ruin Mac & Cheese??
When I would read this book when I was younger, I frequently wondered what Alexander would be like on a good day. What kind of person would we meet had their been a sequel to this fantastic book: Alexander and the Wonderful, Fantastic, Totally Awesome and Very Good Day? For one, I bet he wouldn’t be this unfortunate looking.
(Of course, it was written in the 70’s, so it’s entirely possible he looks this ridiculous all the time)
But I feel like in Alexander’s Wonderful, Fantastic, Totally Awesome and Very Good Day, the things that he does wouldn’t change drastically. He would still wake up (hopefully without gum in his hair), still go to school (hopefully getting the window seat on the ride there), still hang out with his friends (who would hopefully not blow him off and share their jelly donuts with their dessert-less friend), run errands with his mom (hopefully remembering not to inadvertently turn on the copier or get his foot stuck in the elevator), and eat dinner with his family (probably with the Lima Beans. Sorry, Alexander–we can’t all get what we want all the time). Alexander’s Wonderful, Fantastic, Totally Awesome and Very Good Day probably wouldn’t even differ that much from his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, and Very Bad one. It would just be his perspective that changed it. Sure, waking up with gum in your hair does seem an ominous sign when it comes to the quality of your day, but all the more reason to make the gum-free days that much more Wonderful, Fantastic, Totally Awesome and Very Good.
So yeah, I’ve had a rough week, and if I make it to Friday alive, I’m hopping on the first train to Australia. But surely I can get through a week of gum hair and get back to my Wonderful, Fantastic, Totally Awesome and Very Good Life, right? Terrible, Horrible, No Good and Very Bad Days happen all the time, but I know I can get through them when every other one is Wonderful, Fantastic, Totally Awesome and Very Good.
Even in Australia.
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Hare Krishna! And Other Idol Worship.

Every year in March, the Hindu Temple in Spanish Fork throws this huge celebration of spring called the Holi Festival of Colors.

Not Holy as in sacred. Holi as in an evil witch goddess in India.

I had never been before, so I was a Holi Virgin (tee-hee!) but my Choir-Friend-Candace invited me to go along with she and her sister and roommate. I feel like no words can accurately describe the chaotic mele of chalk-throwing that ensued, so I’m going to insert several pictures now. Enjoy.

Before the madness…kind of. We were attacked on our way in.

Me and my Choir-Friend-Candace. Someday she’ll get a name without hyphens…but that day is not today

With the Hindu Temple in the background

Right after the grand throwing…

Oh, the good, clean, dirty fun we have in Utah.


End of an Era

They say all good things must come to an end. I guess I just never believed them.

Our Cougars put up a valiant fight last Thursday, but unfortunately lost to Florida in overtime. (North Dakota has now been replaced as my least favorite state in the Union) Not only did this sad loss mean that I would have to wait several months to watch my team play some basketball again, it meant that I would never be able to see this guy shooting miracle throws for my team again.
I love this picture. His face shows the disappointment I’m sure was felt all over campus, but white bandage of courage on his chin shows the good fight he and all the other players put up against the Gators. Also, I love his Jewish fro.
I’ll miss the swish that came every time his three-pointers from out in the boonies made it in. I’ll miss the stunned look on the opponents face when he made impossible layups. And I’ll miss Jimmermania-the craze of the fans, the bordering-on-sacrilegious Jimmerisms, and the impossibility of his fantastic game.
There are several writers that have been hating on my dear Jimmer since Thursday night, and several who doubt he will be successful in the NBA. Sure, his game was a bit off in his last game of his college basketball career, but he was the one who led the Cougars to the Sweet 16 in the first place, a position we hadn’t been in for 30 years. So while some may doubt him, let’s be honest–how many athletes have gotten a definite article put in front of their name?
Long Live The Jimmer

Count Your Many Blessings

Normally at work I sit at my desk, process paper work, answer the occasional phone call, and help the random people who come in. Many times, the applicant uses English as their second language—this can provide for some interesting situations. Most of the people do a fantastic job, and I only feel minimally bad when they make a few English mistakes. Someone came in yesterday, though, that completely changed my way of thinking about the applicants that come in and the way I look at life in general.

The Korean man walked in with the help of someone else, lightly hanging on his arm. His friend introduced him to me, explained his basic questions, made sure that the man would be ok on his own and told him to call him once he was finished. He even offered to stay, but the Korean man was insistent—he wanted to do this on his own. After his friend left, it became quickly apparent that the Korean man was blind. I answered a few of his questions before my supervisor, Becky, decided to take over so I could finish one of the menial tasks I am frequently assigned. As I went through the documents (like the glorified paper-pusher I am) I observed this man from the corner of my eye.

He listened to everything Becky was telling him, but repeated questions so frequently I wasn’t sure he actually understood. From time to time, he would quietly murmur “yes, yes,” gripping his walking stick even tighter in his hands, earnestly listening to an explanation he was clearly having a hard time grasping. His chorus of yeses, interjected at every pause in the conversation, made it seems as if he knew what Becky would saying before the words escaped her mouth—almost like a modern day Tiresias, only this time acting as a blind prophet who was deperately trying to comprehend the complicated world of international admissions. The irony of his occasional “I see” simply broke my heart–it was clear that it wasn’t just the person standing in front of him that he couldn’t see. After several clarifications of the same concept and a repeated explanation that we could not help him in our office, his repeated “yeses” and “I sees” turned into a recurring message of gratitude for the help we had provided him. After he took several minutes to gather his things, including a campus map, absolutely useless to him, he ambled out the door, taking baby steps into the hallway until, little by little, he disappeared from my view.

This is a busy week for me. I have two Spanish presentations, two English papers, and a music fireside on Sunday that will be a literal miracle if I can pull off the organ pieces. For that half hour though, I realized how good I have it. Yes, I may be lucky if I make it through the week without having a nervous breakdown, but even if I go down in flames, the Lord has blessed me with so much. So really, I’m just lucky, no matter the circumstances.

Happiest Place on Earth

When you first apply to BYU, they conveniently forget to mention to you that you will not be able to enjoy a Spring Break. So while I was dealing with having to wake up an hour earlier than usual because of this dumb thing called Daylight Savings Time (yet another reason why Arizona is superior to every other state in the Union) and doing homework and taking tests and writing papers and going to work…sigh…apparently hald of the world went to Disneyland.

So now I want to go too.

We had loosely planned to go over MLK day this year, but that plan fell through when we all realized we didn’t actually have any money. Next year, it will be different. I will get to Disneyland within the next year if it’s the last thing I do!

Divine Comedy

Last night I went with my Choir-Friend-Candace and her sister Courtney to Divine Comedy. It was quite the event, let me tell you. We first met at the Cougareat for a gourmet meal, courtesy of Taco Bell. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to some ice cream at Sugar and Spice where Candace was not only shamelessly hit on by the boy scooping ice cream, but also nearly died choking on the Cherry Cordial ice cream he practically forced down her throat (apparently she has a strange aversion to artificial cherry flavoring) We made the walk from the Wilk to the Tanner Building, watched Modern Family on Hulu to pass the time, and then it was time for the main event:

Divine Comedy
My love affair with Divine Comedy began in high school. In my sophomore year, I had to a project about Dante’s Divine Comedy (no relation) When I googled it, I noticed that a BYU website was one of the options. It took me to Divine Comedy’s main website where I fell in love. Here I found videos like none I had ever seen before–absolute hysteria surrounding the BYU stereotypes I so looked forward to being a part of. You should probably go check out their website–now. (Well, maybe finish reading this post first. And then you can go look at them) Be sure to look at their videos, their MormonAds, and their Daily Universe covers. If you don’t laugh, you probably don’t have a soul. Or need to come to BYU so we can slap some sense into you.
One of my favorite parts of Divine Comedy is their spoofs. They usually pick one movie (either a recent one or something classic like Little Mermaid) and redo it-Zoobie style. As an added little bonus, one of their shorter skits was a parody this time–the BYU version of PSYCH!!! I died. There was no way to recover from my favorite comedy group paying homage to my favorite TV show. For reals. Sigh….it was amazing. And then they did The Little Mia Maid. Words cannot explain to you how great this really was, especially if you’ve never seen any of their previous spoofs. It was chock-full of BYU-sims, BYU stereotypes, poking fun at Utah Valley University, and, of course, a little bit of Jimmermania.
(Sorry. Until March Madness ends, this blog is going to keep getting Jimmered.)
As this post draws to a close, really–check out Divine Comedy. I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

My Letter to Hogwarts

As I was at work today, processing just one of the millions of pieces of mail I’ve sorted through in my year of working there, I came across a transcript for a boarding school in Jordan. Because I needed to look it up to see if it’s an accredited school (sorry for all the International lingo–it makes sense to me) I came across the campus map. It showed all of the little dormitories, the President’s House, the Dining Hall, sports stadiums, and the cool classrooms, including one large lecture hall that could fit the whole student body for special events, such as speakers or special presentation.
All of a sudden I was totally jealous. I wanted to go to a boarding school! More specifically, I wanted to go to a boarding school that taught me things like “Alohomora” and “Wingardium Leviosa.” I wanted to go to a boarding school where the dormitory stairs turn into slides if boys try to break the rules, were I can walk past the Headmaster’s office every day, where food magically appears before me, a sports field where I could witness magical sporting events take place, and where I can not only learn in cool classrooms with the best equipment, but also from brilliant speakers who know their stuff. Kind of like this one place called Hogwarts.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
So while I was mourning over the fact that I didn’t get that special letter 9 years ago and I could never participate in any of the fun things that seem to accompany a magical boarding school, a realization hit me.
I live in a magical “dormitory” where boys magically leave at midnight.
I work in the administration building where President Samuelson works too. (I’ve only seen him twice, but still)
Food magically appeared for me every day in the Cannon Center. It doesn’t now, but it was fun while it lasted.
I get to experience magical sporting events all the time in the form of this wizard.
For those of you who don’t know, I LOVE JIMMER!
And we have this fantastic gathering place called the Marriot Center where I’ve gotten to hear several apostles and even the prophet speak.
It turns out, my school’s a pretty magical place after all. Oh, how I love the Y 🙂