Monday, November 30, 2009


Dani and I have a new obsession.

It all started like three weeks ago because Dani and I wanted to watch a movie. For some reason, for the first time in her life, she was interested in the prospect of watching Lord of the Rings. I jumped at the opportunity, and after she swore that she remembered what happened in the first movie, we plopped in the second.

She was hooked from like the first note of that amazing, Oscar winning original score. And as I explained the deeper details of the characters and plot she got more and more intrigued. And so, up to this point, over a period of a couple weeks (and Thanksgiving break was included in there), we have watched the second and third movies, and started over with the first one yesterday.

This is how we like to watch them. We get all cozy and settled in Dani's room. She has two beds in there- they are parallel to each other. We sit on her bed, with our backs against the wall and feet hanging off the end, and put my computer on the other bed with her speakers hooked up to it. We turn off all the lights, and I use my handy dandy little remote to adjust volume and to pause it if we have to text someone, answer our phones, run out for a cookie break, or discuss recent happenings. Those discussions usually include yours truly trying to explain some concept that I barely remember but can't really put into words very well. I generally try to use as mush Lord of the Rings lingo as possible so Dani thinks that I know what I am talking about. But seriously, I've only ever read those books once. How much could I possibly remember for real?

I've trained her up pretty good too. She really likes using names like "Uruk Hai," "Sting," "Isildur," and "Nazgul." And she was ridiculously excited when we were watching Return of the King and she realized the Aragorn WAS the king who would return. Why it took her until half-way into the third movie to realize that, I will never know. But her joy was contagious. :) AND, I'm pretty sure she's dying to read the books now. I brought my copy back to Provo with me from Thanksgiving, and when I told her about all the awesome appendices at the back, she got SUPER excited. That's the kind of enthusiasm I like to see, especially from a former LOTR hater.

Experiencing Dani's conversion to the wonderful world created by J.R.R. Tolkien has reminded me very fondly of my own conversion to the wonders of life in Middle Earth. I was fifteen years old. I mere sophomore in high school. I had two really good friends, Moe and Jenn (notice the two "n's" Jenny-- I think that's the first time I've ever done that), who realized that my life was lacking, and decided to subject me to an all-time LOTR party. This was, of course, before Return of the King came out into theaters. So, on the appointed night, the three of us went to Harmons and picked up the appropriate snacks: caramel treasures, mint oreos, peacheos, and sour patch kids. (an assortment of chocolatey, sweet, and salty) Oh, and we got a "hot and ready pizza please" at Little Caesars. We watched the movies down in Jenny's room on a little TV that she usually kept close for nights such as these. We set up our beds and bags of food, and watched the extended versions of movies 1 and 2. We paused them VERY OFTEN, because I was frequently very confused, and I think that the two of them were super annoyed at me because I kept not waiting for the movie to answer my questions. But, we had a grand all time as a result of the wonderful movies, splendid company, yummy treats, and let's not forget-- the talented Paul Handy. By around 3am, I was fully converted, and NEEDED to see the third movie.

We went to movie 3 on New Years' Eve, just as 2003 ended, and we welcomed in 2004. Yes, my first moments in the year 2004 were spent in the Stadium 8 movie theater with Moe and Jenn. And I kind of think I brought my teddy bear (he was recently adopted from build-a-bear, okay?). But watched the movie, and it was fantastic, and I loved it. And we got home around 4 in the morning, and didn't get to bed until 6. Let's just say that to this day, it is still my favorite New Years' Eve ever. And do you know why? Because I love Moe and Jenn, I generally hate New Years' Eve, and LOTR IS AWESOME.

After that I read the books, bought the movies, and have watched them several more times. And I even own a One Ring. Creepy. Oh, and I made a pinata of the Ring for my Spanish class assignment. And mean Mr. Robinson gave me a bad grade, even though my ring was WAY AWESOMER than his silent son's basketball pinata. I mean, come on! That pinata almost gave me my first A-. But it was a pretty sweet pinata, and I hung it above my bed like a halo for the next several years.

Plus, Aragorn is just too handsome and rugged and chiseled and great.

Good times. LOTR.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sweet Victory

Yesterday I drove back up to Provo- two days early- to go to the BYU-Utah football game-- arguably and most important game on the BYU schedule. Other games may matter more when it comes to stats and rankings, but the Utah game means the most to BYU fans. It is a BIG DEAL.

So... I had a front row ticket. My wonderful all-sports pass randomly placed me in the front row, south side, right in the middle of the endzone behind the goal posts. I could literally touch the net when it came up for an extra point kick or field goal. I have a picture of the football flying at my face when it was kicked. I actually made eye contact with one of the Utah players. I made kind of a mean face. I say "kind of" because my face can't really get that mean, even when I try.

I went to the game with my friend Brittanie. Love that girl. She was all excited about it with me, and we got BYU tattoos to put on our faces. And we bought Cougar Dogs, which are the best hot dogs ever, and she screamed and screamed with me.

The minute the team ran onto the field, I knew we were going to win. And you wanna know why? They were wearing the beautiful royal blue (aka Dixie blue) uniforms worn by successful cougars in the past-- a memorial to the 1984 National Championship team. And I LOVED the Dixie blue uniforms. They looked so good! Or maybe I just love that color of blue. I would be very happy if BYU went back to the traditional royal blue color ALL THE TIME. They would have my affirmative vote if there was ever a poll.

The game was super intense. I let out involuntary screams several times. My throat hurt. It made me cough. But it was so great. The lead we had until Utah caught up in the 4th quarter was insane. And both teams gave an amazing showing on defense. It really was a battle of defenses.

And boy was I nervous. I had a very sick, hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach as that last field goal flew up (right towards my face) and went in, tying the game, forcing overtime. Unluckily for Brittanie and I, they chose to play the overtime on the opposite end of the field from where we were sitting, so it was very hard, and sometime impossible, to see what was going on. That last pass to Andrew George that won the game for us was totally invisible to me. We just heard the cheering, and joined the jubilation and merry-making. I saw many replays later, though. Don't worry.

When they started the overtime, though, policemen came down and lined the field. They put the net up to keep fans from spilling out onto the field and tearing down the goal posts. Brittanie and I had been really nervous about the end of the game (if we won), because we thought there was a high probability that we would get trampled, us being slow, frightened girls stuck in the front row and all. But it turned out all right. We ended up jumping down from the stands and running under the net and around the policemen to join the celebration on the other end of the field. It was pretty awesome. I mean, I've rushed the field and/or court for high school games, but rushing for a college game was a whole new experience, especially considering the much, much larger scale. We cheered and wandered around the masses of excited fans, running into football players every once in a while. They are like celebrities.

They had a little presentation ceremony for the seniors, and then everyone dispersed. As Brittanie and I were walked away, an events staff person stopped us to clear the way for the people behind him. Those people just happened to include PRESIDENT CECIL O. SAMUELSON. As one of Cecil's biggest fans, I was seriously starstruck when I saw that man. No joke, he was a foot away from me, and I didn't know what to do. I accidentally oggled at him. He looked at me, nodded, and said, "hi." Yes, President Samuelson said hi to me. Icing on the cake.

After he walked away, Brittanie and I just looked at each other with open, silently screaming mouths. No words.

We walked up to the Victory Bell at the Marriott Center, where people were gathering for the traditional ringing of the bell. Two players came up to ring it, and then they let other people ring the bell. Together, Brittanie and I rang in the victory! Last time I rang the bell was after the BYU-Utah basketball game (remember the tent post from last winter?). Pretty great.

We like beating the University of Utah around here. It makes us cougars super duper happy.

And as for what Max Hall said about the game, whatever. I don't care if he thinks that or feels that, because honestly, I'm sure that he gets crap from Utah fans everywhere he goes. He is probably very much abused everytime he sets foot in Salt Lake City, and man, that would be tough. So, I think that his feelings are probably justified. He probably has good reason to hate Utah, their program, their fans, everything.

(Quoted: Max Hall: "I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, I hate their fans, I hate everything. I think the whole university, their fans and their organization is classless. They threw beer on my family and stuff last year, and they did a whole bunch of nasty things, and I don't respect them, and they deserved to lose.")


He did not have to say all of that on national television. So not cool, and it makes him look like a sore winner.


He probably knew exactly what he was doing, and made that choice. I wouldn't be surprised if he had that speech planned. He obviously had a lot to say, and it was probably all stuff that he had been wanting to say for a long time.

So, I don't blame him. But it still makes me a little disappointed.


I'm still a fan of the guy. Go Max.

In conclusion, I think that was the most fun I have ever had at a football game. It totally rocked my socks off, and did not disappoint in the slightest. I loved every minute of it, and it will be hard for next years' football games to top this one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why do people feel the need to take their friends on tours of the periodicals in the HBLL and push the buttons to make the shelves move? It's not that cool, or that entertaining.

Monday, November 16, 2009

L-O-V-E. Love.

I just noticed a line in a Michael Jackson song that I had never noticed before. It's in the song, "Childhood." The song is supposedly his most autobiographical song. In fact, I heard it from his own mouth in a interview. It says:

"Before you judge me, try hard to love me."

It just breaks my heart.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My little buddy's baptism.

I drove to Huntsville last weekend to see my favorite little cousin, Daxton, get baptized. He is such a sweet little boy (even if he is a little crazy), and we have always been best friends.

A couple years ago he used to call me and just talk. Like every day. It was very sweet, but when it got excessive, his mother hid my phone number from him. He found it though, and proceeded to call me while hidden under his parent's bed so his mom didn't know. By the time she discovered this, he had already memorized my phone number. :)

Daxton is one of my favorite things about visiting my relatives. At our last family party, the best part was when Dax and I went into the basement to play dominos- just him and me. And we used to jump on the tramp at his house all the time, and he was so little that he would just fly around like Captain Smallet on Muppet Treasure Island, and I would fall down laughing at him, and he would be like, "what?? What's so funny??" while he kept flopping around. I spent so much time with this little boy that when I would go home to St. George (his family lives in Huntsville, Utah), I would miss him like crazy. I used to stay at his family's house and sleep in the extra bed in his room, but when we went to sleep, he would crawl in bed with me, and even though we slept on different sides of the bed, he would curl his little hand around my neck to sleep. It was so incredibly sweet.

I love this little guy, and I had the honor of speaking at his baptism. I told him how important the gospel was to me, and all about baptismal covenants. I hope he remembers.

But anyway, It was awesome to be able to see him get baptized. This is just another reason why I'm glad that I decided to stay home from a mission for the time being-- to see Dax and to speak at his baptism.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rays of Sunshine: A Pocket Book of Pep

I love my job at the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the HBLL. I love it love it love it.

And I love it because I get to look at cool old stuff all day, organize it, and tell other people about it!! What could possibly be greater?

So, today I found several gems. You see, I'm going through a collection of papers and junk that was owned/collected by Nellie Gubler, a long-time St. George/Santa Clara resident. She did a lot of family history and St. George history work, plus kept and used everything that she ever came in contact with. It is my job to sort through all her stuff and make sense of it. And all of this purely for historical reasons, of course.

But anyway, today I went through a ton of family history stuff, WHICH I LOVED. It was fascinating. But, I won't get in to all of that. The noteworthy stuff of the day came in the afternoon when I looked through several binders of Nellie's that contained pages and pages of inspirational stories and craps that you get at church and at activities like enrichment night, and recipes, songs, poems, etc. Just lots of junk that most people don't keep. I am sure glad this lady kept all of it, though, because it can be highly entertaining. I found some pretty great stuff today, which is as follows:

1. The title of this post was actually the title of a pamphlet found in one of the binders. Like it was a real thing.
2. "Remember that 'American' ends with, 'I can.'" I'm just trying to figure out why Obama didn't think of this. It would have worked perfectly with his campaign.
3. "Is the carpet in your bedroom worn most in front of your bed where you pray, or in front of your mirror where you primp?"
4. In a random quiz that denies its taker of any point or purpose, there was a question that read:

How would you describe your hair?
a. Pretty.
b. Long.
c. Fluffy.
d. My crowning glory.

hahahahahah. Crowing glory. kay, that's funny anyway, but that is ACTUALLY how Stephanie describes her hair. Why, I don't know. But those words have actually come out her mouth in reference to her golden locks of hair. Her crowning glory.

5. "People do not plan to be poor, they just do not plan." So maybe if you plan to be poor, you won't be, because you have a plan.

6. Dr. Whitt N. Schulyz gives us: How to Get an Extra Hour out of Every Day:
(which is something that I have been complaining about and desperately need. So, when I saw this, I exclaimed in joy, and proceeded to read, hoping to glean some useful information for my life. Unfortunately, people several decades ago think a little differently than we do today.):

1. Make up and follow a detailed, daily schedule (duh, I already do this)
2. Get up earlier (this is not worth the extra time it will give you. What if the extra time you need is for sleeping?!?)
3. Avoid allowing other to waste your time (yeah, since it's our fault, and we can prevent it, when other people waste our time).
4. Make creative use of lunch time (I already do that too.)
5. If you commute to work, use the time to study or plan (This is actually a good one)
6. Eliminate activities which make little contribution to the best results of your life. (Are we saying that no fun is allowed?)
7. Skip desserts (yep, no fun is allowed).
8. Lay out your clothes the night before (FINALLY! something that will actually help me!)
9. Relax. Ready yourself for the important jobs in life. (I thought that we were trying to save time! How can relaxing possibly do that?)
10. Learn to do other "unnecessary things" while watching TV or listening to the radio. (Isn't that already what TV and radio are for?? Making multi-tasking possible?)
11. Learn to read more rapidly (If only that were easy and possible...)
12. Avoid interruptions (because interruptions are purposeful and easy to avoid).
13. Work to your top capacity (ALL THE TIME?!?!?!)
14. Nap an hour after dinner. Then take a shower. Begin the evening hours relaxed and refreshed. (Oh wow. This one is my favorite. It really defeats the purpose of having that extra hour, if you are going to use it for a nap and extra daily shower.)
15. Call on specialists to accomplish work you cannot do efficiently. (Yes, let's pay everyone to do all the things that we can't do fast enough ourselves. We'll learn really well that way.) :)

Dear Dr. Shulyz: I'm sorry, but I don't think your advice is very meaningful or useful in a modern context. But it is very entertaining. Love, Audrey

7. In one of the binders is this old St. George song. I found it positively delightful:

Oh, what a dreary place this was when first they Mormons found it,
They said no white man here could live; and Indians prowled around it.
They said the land it was no good, and the water was no gooder,
And the bare idea of living here was enough to make men shudder.

Mesquite! Soap-root! Prickly-pears and briars!
St. George ere long will be a place that everyone admires!

Now green lucerne is verdant spots redeems our thriving city,
Whilst vines and fruit trees grace our lots with flowers sweet and pretty,
Where once the grass in single blades grew a mile apart in distance,
And it kept the crickets on the o[p to pick up their subsistence.

The sun it is so scorching hot, it makes the water sizz, sir,
And the reason that it is so hot is just because it is, sir.
The wind with fury here doth blow, that went we plat or sow, sir,
We place one foot upon the seeds and hold them till they grow, sir.


So you see, sorting through old stuff all day really is entertaining. There are all sorts of treasures to be found. And that is why working in the Special Collections really is a blast from the past.