Friday, May 27, 2011

What, exactly, is "normal" ??

Five bucks says I know more unique people than you do.
Before you even try to refute that, let me show you a few videos that will definitely change your mind.

So it was my good friend, Spencer's, birthday, and to celebrate, a group of us (me, Naomi, Colin, Dan, & Matt) decide to take him out for ice cream later that night. To make a long story short, the Campbells, me, Spencer, and Matt ended up getting to the ice cream place first, waiting for Dan to meet up with us. We were nearly done, when Dan walks in--with an accordian. In front of us and everyone else in the place, Dan proceeds to serenade Spencer with one of the best renditions of Happy Birthday known to man. (I don't actually have that video, I wasn't quick enough, but Naomi does, and maybe I can get it from her.)

From there on, the night just deteriorated. Or got a million times better. Whatever.

Okay. I'll apologize right now for any fingers that get in the way of the camera lense, and for the shakiness; A) it was cold, and B) I was laughing super hard.

A little after Naomi and Colin had to leave for the store, we decided we just had to share Dan/Spencer/Matt's talent with others. Soo...we went to the gas station.

Then Matt proved he could still do really well without this whole "college-education" thing.

Best. Street Performer. Ever.
Just saying.

You still wanna challenge my initial statement?
Try it. But I want video proof.

I love my friends. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A little dusty? Sure. But dead as a doornail? I sure hope not...

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. I first met Mike Merrill my first semester, in a science class, actually, though we're both music majors. Through the Snow building and mutual friends, Mike and I have grown closer, until he is now one of my greatest friends.

There are a lot of things that I love about Mike; he's a very talented musician, he's got a great sense of humor; The Penguin Dream (if you don't know what I'm talking about, ask him. it's quite epic); and he is probably one of the best guys I know.

Here's a great example of just how awesome he is.

If you just read that blogpost without knowing Mike, you might think, "Oh, yeah, sure..this guy's just talking big to impress girls..." Well, I can tell you that is absolutely not the case. I know Mike. I know him well, and I can tell you he practices what he preaches daily.

Hopefully you all went and read that blogpost, because, honestly, the whole thing is just great, but I'm going to highlight a few of the things I love the most, and, if I may, add a few of my own opinions.

"Ladies, you ARE beautiful. You don't need to worry yourselves about what you look like. As men we really do appreciate it when you get all dolled up for us. We recognize that it takes a lot of effort and yes, you do look very pretty when you do so. But you know when else you look just as pretty? When we're out throwing a Frisbee in the parking lot after being on a bus for seven hours and your hair isn't quite in the same placement as you intended; When you're exhausted from working so hard in your studies and however many jobs you're working to make ends meet at college; When you decide to not "put your face on" that day because you were up all night taking care of a sick roommate and you just don't care. The list goes on..."

So much to love about this particular paragraph. I mean, let's be honest, we all know those girls who refuse to leave the house without makeup on. The ones who feel like they have to have at least a pound of makeup on their face in order to appear beautiful to the general public. The ones who get "dolled up" just to go to the swimming pool. The sad thing is that the biggest reason these girls are like this is because they feel like no one will look at or like them; that guys will ignore them because they don't find them attractive.

Now, I'm not going to be all idealistic and say that every guy looks beyond the surface, because we've all known enough jerks to know that that's not true, but you know what the cool thing is? I genuinely believe Mike is telling the truth. Girls. We don't have to wear a ton of makeup in order to be pretty, and guys? Go ahead and appreciate a prettily made-up face; but don't forget to look beyond.

"Be sweet, but not ditsy. Be assertive, but not manipulating. Be patient, but not blind. Let us open doors for you - we're not patronizing you, but rather trying to show you courtesy. Don't come out to meet us for a date if we honk our car in your driveway or text you that we're here. Acknowledge our efforts when we're doing something right - we're secretly more self-conscious then you may sometimes realize. Please don't get upset if we don't pick up on your hints - guys don't speak in hints. We just slug each other. Let us know openly when we're doing something wrong. And please, PLEASE realize that just because he asks does NOT mean that you have to say "yes."

You know, it's sad--and kind of frightening-- how very few girls realize that there is a definite line between "sweet" and "ditsy." It's okay to be funny, but what value is there in pretending you are stupider than you really are? How can we expect men to respect us when girls are acting--yes, acting--like total airheads to get attention? It's not really that charming--in fact, to those of us who aren't "caught up in the moment" and are actually using our sensible minds, it's rather annoying.

I could never believe girls actually let guys get away with honking from the driveway for a date--until I actually watched one of my roommates go down to meet a date after he texted her to let her know he was there. Girls. Come on. If any guy tries to pick you up for a date in any other manner than actually walking to the door and ringing the bell, don't go.

Now we come to a very often discussed topic: Door Opening.
"[Girls,] Let us open doors for you - we're not patronizing you, but rather trying to show you courtesy."
"[Men,] Open doors for girls - it doesn't make you a wimp."

1. Men? Open doors for women. Just do it. It's polite, it's chivalrous, it shows courtesy. It's not a hard thing to do. It doesn't mean you have a special interest in the girl--although if you do have a special interest in a girl, you darn well better be opening doors for her! You wanna know something interesting? I'm pretty sure that the only reason a man opening a door for a woman is seen as something "special" is because it doesn't happen often enough any more! Think of it. If every man opened a door for any woman, no matter who she is--stranger, casual acquaintance, friend, girlfriend, fiancee, or wife--it wouldn't be seen as having such a "special" meaning. Oh, and PS? We like it when you open doors for us. We respect you for it. If you're not interested in us specifically, you should know that we will probably go home and brag about your good manners to all of our roommates and other female friends, and you never know which one of them you may be interested in-- I don't really see how you can lose...
2. Ladies? Let them open doors for you. Don't be obnoxious about it, but let them do it. It doesn't mean you're weak--we all know you can manage to open a silly little door all by yourself. Please believe me; it's a sign of respect that they open the doors, not a lack thereof. Also, the next most important thing? Thank them when they do. I have actually heard from quite a few guys that they get frustrated opening doors for girls who don't even give a simple "thanks." Here's something else to consider: as I mentioned earlier, too often I think doors aren't held because both sides are worried about the "way it might look." So, girls? If we expect guys to forget that social stigma, we have to do our part as well; don't act silly or make a big deal out of it. Say a simple, but sincere, thank you, and move on. 

I really think everyone should read Mike's blogpost. It definitely addresses a lot of issues that aren't talked about much, but that everyone should be made aware of. "Chivalry isn't dead--it's just not required anymore." I think this is something we can change, and something that, if changed, will benefit our society greatly.

Well done, Mike. Very well done.  :) 


I am grateful for the music that gives you goosebumps, the people that love you always, the laughs that make you ache, the tears that help you heal, and the trials that make you tougher.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oh, this has gotta be a good life, this could really be a good life, a good life, good life...

Life is hard.

This is pretty much our apartment's favorite saying. It doesn't really matter what happens, whether it's a failed test, a dropped pen, or the never-ending/never-easy decision of what to eat for dinner (a sandwich, or macaroni and cheese?????), it always comes back to the same thing: Life is hard.

The funny thing is, though, that life is actually really hard. There are things that frustrate and hurt and try their best to take you down. There are days when it seems like everyone, their dog, and its best friend are combining against you, determined to push you to the point where all you can do is crumple in a ball on the floor, crying, "WHY?!" (You know why! Movie reference. anyone? anyone??)

But as much as life is hard, it is equally good. Oh, so good.
Sometimes it's just hard to see the gray skies through the blinding sun.
(Oh. Nothing against sunshine, but I love rainy, cloudy weather.)

So, fair warning: this blog post is about to be super long. Cuz here's the thing--once you start focusing on the good things in life, it's kinda hard not to notice a million and six of them.

Tori, Chanel, Kelsey, Kacey, & Kelly

So I'm back in Rexburg, starting my fourth semester (FOURTH SEMESTER) at BYU-Idaho and I happen to be so incredibly blessed to live with an insane group of girls. After spending an entire fall semester in giggles and sarcasm with these wonderful ladies, we all decided to live together again for spring semester--and for the foreseeable future. But the best part? We moved out of the painted-windowed, moldy, spider-infested hole in the wall and into a new, super nice apartment. Okay, don't get me wrong: having 'nice things' isn't the most important thing in the world, but having to share a bathroom with only one other person and having our own washer/dryer is NEVER going to be a bad thing.

Minus Kelly. Boo.
I love these girls so much. They are, every single one of them, incredible people. We tease each other mercilessly, have far too many inside jokes, delight in scaring each other to death, know a lot (read: too much) about each other, and will always love and take care of each other. They are some of my best friends & people I hope to have in my life for a very long time. So, a little shout out to Miss Inconsidadate, the Dolphin, Harry Potter, the filterless Runner, and the Friendly Thug: I love you girls! Can't wait to see what we do this semester. Whatever it is, it's gonna be big. Trust me.

Shower crayons. Yup, you heard me right. Remember, the average age of our apartment is roughly 6. Here's just a small taste of what happens when you actually have a nice bathroom you can decorate (I'm thinking there will be a post later dedicated to mine and Kelsey's bathroom. It's awesome.) So here's the thing: a hot shower after a long day--or before a long day--is absolutely awesome. Add some Crayola bathtub crayons, and the epic-ness that follows is almost immeasurable. The only problem is, I think we're running out of room...

I am probably (read: definitely) going to start giving Brother Tueller's quotes their own posts, but for now, this link will do. I've mentioned it before and I'll definitely mention it again: I love my cello teacher/symphony conductor. One look at that FB page I just linked to, and I think you'll have to agree. Studying at BYU-I has impacted my life and blessed me in so many ways, and Brother Tueller (or "Bro T" as we all refer to him) has absolutely been a part of that. To be honest, the faculty we have at BYU-I are just incredible, every one of them, but I think we are particularly spoiled in the music department. Because they spend so much time with us (read: it's not really their choice, we just don't leave the music building that often..) our music faculty know and love each and every one of us. In the cello studio, we refer to Bro T as our "cello dad;" he is the one any of us would go to if we had a problem; he definitely knows more about us than he probably wants to; and he absolutely is impacting all of our lives--and not just by making us Baroque- or Beethoven-snobs. 

Isaac and Daniel
I love the people I have in my life. 90-95% of this blog is basically dedicated to them. So you've already met my roommates: let me tell you about a few of the other people in my life whom I absolutely adore.
Both Tori and Chanel have married sisters that live in Rexburg and had their first babies last year-- Isaac (pictured above) and Ella. Because Tori and Chanel do a lot of babysitting, we're lucky enough to have babies at our house all the time.

Okay, I love kids. It's probably because I've had little kids in my life since I was three. My youngest sibling is 15 years younger than me. I babysit a lot, and during my winter break, I was frequently subbing for sunbeams adn nursery. I just understand kids. It's one of the reasons I'm so excited to go into Music Education; to teach little kids music. So, needless to say, I love when we get to babysit for a while.  

Anyway. Isaac's dad, Bryan, is a french horn music major and his mom, Lauren, is in a choir this semester, so Isaac is at the Snow building a lot. One day, Chanel and I were babysitting at the Snow, and Isaac happened to meet someone who understands him perfectly: Dan. The two were having conversations about anything and everything, and at one point, Naomi snapped the picture I have posted above. I think it is probably one of the most adorable pictures ever. Isaac looks so tiny next to his good buddy.

Naomi and I at a  Mindy Gledhill concert
That's Naomi. She's basically one of the coolest people I know and one of my greatest friends. Oh, and we're basically twins. Don't believe me?
I swear this wasn't planned. It just happened.

Even our lockers are twins!
This wasn't planned, either. At all. Let me point out a few eerie similarities. Baroque cello (white case) in the locker; modern cello (colorful cases) outside. Backpack in the locker. Books in the locker. Green bag hanging from one of the hooks.  TWINS.

Aliens. On a random old farm building. Don't ask.

Life is hard. 
Let's be honest. There are lots of things that make life hard. But you know what the great part is? There are many more things that make life really, really good

Oh, this has gotta be a good life...A good, good life.. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ten years.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers, the man who orchestrated the worst attack on American soil is dead.

Ten years, you guys.

I can never forget that day. There are things about September 11, 2001, that will live forever in my mind. There are images I can't un-see; things I heard that I can never get out of my head. Memories that will never leave me. There's a huge crater in New York City that won't ever let us forget.
And now he's dead.

I won't ever forget this day, either.
Our church ends at 4:30, so as soon as we got home, we started cleaning and making pasta, because a bunch of people were coming over. Tori's sister and brother-in-law (Dana and Dallin, with their adorable baby Ella), Chanel's sister and brother-in-law (Lauren and Bryan, with their adorable baby Isaac), and two friends of Chanel's from her home town came over at about 6 o'clock. After we ate, we were all playing Apples to Apples. Things got pretty loud, pretty crazy. It was good fun. A little before everyone left, Tori said, "Hey, I just got a text that says to turn on the news..."
Everyone was quiet.
Ten years.

The strangest thing is, though, that I can't feel completely relieved. I'm happy we got him...but there's a knot in my stomach. Something doesn't feel right.
Surely this evil man, the man who orchestrated the deaths of thousands of Americans, has backup plans. Surely he has a "just in case" system of command.

What kind of retaliation will we face for this?

bin Laden is dead, but he was one man. One evil man, absolutely. But he was not the only one involved.
God bless America. There's no way we're done with this yet.

President Obama addressed the nation about twenty minutes ago. He gave a great speech, as always, but all the "I" s and "me" s and "I did" s and "I ordered" s....
I am afraid he just found his re-election platform.

I can't even form logical, complete thoughts right now.

Ten years.
God bless and be with us all. 


I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to Idaho's capital. Counting occasions and not separate...