Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm here I'm here I'm here!

I have lots to say. And like zero time.

First of all, I don't have internet in my apartment yet. So I'm in the little internet zone in the lobby of my apartments.

Speaking of apartments, I'm stoked about this one.

I have a 12th floor balcony that looks out at the city of Arlington, VA.
I have a doorman who helps people carry up their things.
I have a business center where printing is FREE.
I have a gym on the top floor with big big windows.
I live about a block from the metro and a giant super fun mall.
All the bedrooms have giant walk-in closets and huge mirrors in the bathrooms.

I'm still the only person here-- there will eventually be eleven of us. I think someone else is coming tomorrow. We will have two apartments between us, and I think I'm going to be in the one that I'm not in right now. The second one isn't available until next week. So, the 12th floor thing might change, unfortunately. But I'll still have a balcony. And maybe an even bigger apartment! (because it's the 3-bedroom rather than the 2!)

Last night and today I roamed around the district and fondly remembered my old stomping grounds. I have already covered Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Penn Quarter, and a lot of Crystal City. The Mall is next on the list (it would have been first, but I have to follow Stephanie's plans because she is only here for a couple of days. She flew out with me, btw). I love it too much. I'm so happy to be here!

ALSO, tomorrow I am going to NYC for NYE. Yay Times Square. Look for updates on THAT!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rain, rain, it finally went away.

Until today, it rained in like the whole state of Utah EVERYDAY. And gosh, I hate rain. I don't know how I'm going to survive Washington, DC. Eek.

1. I feel like the weather, though, reflected my own inner turmoil as I finished my finals and packed up to leave Provo for the foreseeable future. I don't have specific plans to go back... which means that I no longer live in Provo and am done with BYU. It's a depressing thought, really.  I have loved my time there more than I can possibly say, and it just breaks my heart to imagine never going back to that life. But I have come to terms with it. I'm excited to see what happens next-- I know that I will love the next stage of my life just as much as I loved my years at Brigham Young University. (look ahead to a post about BYU and why I love it so much. It may not come until April, though, when I actually graduate). I packed and cleaned, said good bye to A LOT of people that I love, and admittedly cried about the whole ordeal kind of a lot. It was hard. I didn't want to leave.

2. Meghan Newby and Lorina Binning are back from their missions!!! I had the privilege and honor to visit Meghan in the Salt Lake airport during her layover there last Thursday. And I cried like a baby when I saw her. It was embarrassing. I tried to explain that I was just emotional because of all the crazy things of that week, but really it was just good to see her. I was happy to have been able to see her because she'll be back at BYU, but I'll be in DC and won't see her or Lorina at all. The airport was my one chance. But I'm excited to be able to talk to them and catch them up on everything.

2. Anyway, it rained on Saturday. Rachelle's wedding day. And despite the poor weather, the day was beautiful. The temple was lovely (even though everyone's hair was all messed up in pictures), the luncheon was perfect, and the reception was charming. The wedding, like the packing and moving in the days before it, was an emotional, draining experience (as was reflected in the rain). I have had many best friends get married. This was actually my 5th time as a bridesmaid. But I do have to say that it was one of my most meaningful experiences as a bridesmaid. Rachelle and I have been through a lot together. We've been friends for a long time. It was painful to lose her. I have to admit that I panicked a couple of times in the process of her courtship and engagement to Brad and some tears were shed. But I am so happy for her, and I can't wait to see where life takes her. I just hope against all hope that we can maintain some of the closeness that I love about our friendship. I just love that girl.

3. On Sunday morning my family drove up to Ogden for some family stuff. It rained the whole way. The whole way for real. That night we had our family Christmas party, and I was struck by the fact that my family is extremely understanding and accepting of everyone. My extended family (on my dad's side) is a hodge podge of people, many half-related or not even officially married-into our family. It can get very confusing. But everyone is loved and welcome. I'm so grateful for that. We all love each other. And our once-a-year get-together is very well attended. Everyone comes. And it still surprises me when a cousin who is never heard from except on the day of that party every year, shows up with new children and/or a new significant other. And everyone is welcome. I love it.

4. On Tuesday night my family went to the basketball game between BYU and Weber @ Weber. We are a Weber family. My parents went there. My grandpa has worked there for like 60 years. He is actually in the Weber State Athletic Hall of Fame because he announced all the athletic events for like 30 years. He was "The Voice of the Wildcats." And while we were at the game and I had dozens of aunts, uncles, cousins (and even siblings and parents) rooting for Weber, I held true to my own school. (The Beach Boys song, "Be True to Your School" comes to mind). I yelled for my Cougars. It was the last time I'll see our BYU boys play (live) this season, because of my silly decision to move out of state. I really am upset about this. And if I hadn't been so excited about the game and our win, I maybe would have shed a tear out of pure nostalgia for the game of basketball and the joy that our boy Jimmer has brought me. :)

this'll be me again soon.
And today, the rain is gone. The sun came out, and the mourning I have felt for my past life is over. I am cleansed and ready to move on, seriously. I am extremely anxious for Washington. Cause, you know, it doesn't even feel like it's an exciting thing that is about to happen. Or like I'm doing anything unusual. It just feels normal. So meant to be. Like, of course I would do my student teaching in Washington. Living in DC feels normal. And good. And I'm anxious to fly out there and begin it all. To re-live the fairy tale, but in a different way.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Once again, it's finals week

...and all I can think about are things to write on my blog.

1. Costco paper towel manufacturers are cheaters. My roommates and I collectively purchased a giant package of paper towels. We have gone through several rolls incredibly fast. I realized today why that is. The individual paper towels are GINORMOUS. They are much larger than is necessary. But, those people at Kirkland are making a ton of money off of their giant paper towels. Larger paper towels= less on a roll= more rolls used per household because one roll runs out really fast.

2. I went to The Nutcracker last Saturday with two of my sisters- Stephanie and Elise. We went to dinner beforehand and we were all dressed up and kind of matchy-matchy. It was adorable. And I loved the Nutcracker. The Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy were my favorites because they have very very sparkly tutus and they are just so beautiful. They looked delicate and perfect and I wanted to be them.

Anyway, while we were there, I remembered something funny. I went to The Nutcracker once before when I was 9 or 10. I remember that earlier in the day, before going to the ballet, I somehow acquired a new box of crayons. These were not any crayons, though. They were glow-in-the-dark. And I was obsessed with them. What is a 9-year-old girl who  loves crayons and colors more than life itself to do when she has evening plans and a new box of crayons? Bring them with her. And watch them glow in the dark theater throughout the whole ballet. Yes, that is what I did. And actually, the glow died out during the first half, so during intermission I ran into the bathroom and held my crayons up to the light to re-charge them.


3. Rachelle's bridal shower. It really was a blast. Just about everyone who was invited was able to come. And we ate pizza and delicious cupcakes that Kaitlin made from scratch.

I realized while throwing this shower that the point of the whole thing is to socialize and chat and give the bride good presents, but really it is for the bride to feel loved and appreciated by her best friends. So I hope that's what we accomplished. Rachelle, we threw that shower for you because we love you and we want you to know how much we appreciate you.

4. I met a boy at a party the other night who said he wanted to be a history teacher so he can coach football. We make jokes about those kinds of people all the time in my program. We despise those kinds of people. The boy actually said this, "yeah, I figure I should do history instead of one of the real, hard subjects like biology. History just isn't as important, so I figured that would be a good idea." And I actually said, "wow. Watch who you're talking to when you decide to bash history." Seriously, kid. Not cool. Not cool at all. And if you ever read this post, please do every child, every history teacher, and the beloved subject of history itself, a favor, and please please please do not become a history teacher. I'm way to passionate about history and the way it is taught to allow someone who could care less about the subject but just wants to coach football to let this happen. Anyway, it made me really mad. How can someone be so stupid?

5. Dani got engaged. Yes, ma'am. She is to be wed. To Michael James Everton. In March maybe? read the whole story on her blog.

6. BYU basketball now 10-0, AND we're ranked #16 on the AP poll. If we keep moving up in the rankings, imagine the possibilities!!!! We could get a good seed in the NCAA tournament, play crappy teams in the first couple rounds and actually go pretty far in the tournament. Wouldn't that be just so so so exciting!!?!?!?
7. About an hour ago I was in the Terrace of the Wilk eating my last hot bread and honey butter as a student at BYU. I sat across the table from two boys deeply engrossed in conversation that I couldn't help but listen to every word of. Eavesdropping. A favorite Terrace pastime.

Anyway, these boys appeared to be discussing some sort of court case they were planning. I assumed that it was for a moot court final in some class. Which is cool. They used very expert terminology and really sounded like they knew what they were talking about. One boy was smiling and looked very happy about something, and the other (who was dishing out most of the information) looked very smug. They were both wearing Newsie hats, and the smug one was markedly more attractive than the other (who was on the unkempt, in-need-of-a-shower, and chubby side)

After a while of listening to their banter I noticed some unusual terms. To quote:  "Alario," "the six gates," and "overhill." Suspicious. I became even more suspicious when this conversation took place:

(Happy, chubby one) "What if I told you that I informed my superior of all this?"
(Smug, attractive one) "By superior, you mean your father?" (tone was incredulous)
(Happy, chubby one) "Yes my father. The king."
(Smug, attractive one) "You mean the king knows the location of the gate? I can't subpoena the king!"
Conversation followed by intense laughter from both parties regarding the idea of forcing the king to the stand in trial.

They also discussed the possibility of putting one "Ryden" on the stand.
Smug, attractive one exclaimed in surprising animation, "but he doesn't know the location of the 6 gates!" The other then countered, "What if I told you that Alario wrote a letter to Ryden about the gates, and I have the letter." (Smug one answered) "Hmmm. Even so, we would have to prove that Johnathan has a good reason to keep Alario alive. Alario is in Johnathan's custody."

Alario appears to be the man on trial. For murder I think. Or maybe he killed someone to cover up the crime that he committed regarding the 6 gates. I couldn't make sense of it all. Either way, Alario is an evil villain, and the sentence prescribed by smug boy was to put him on the front lines of some battle that was supposed to happen so that he was forced to fight.

Before getting up I asked them what in the world they were talking about. I couldn't resist. I was hoping they would say dungeons and dragons. They said it was a role-playing game. They were vague. And then one of them started to explain what an RPG is. I quickly said that I was familiar with the term. I told them they were nerdy but funny to listen to (in a nice way). They laughed and resumed their deep and important discussion while I walked away, smiling to myself and carrying a handful of notes that I had taken on their conversation.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Audrey's early politics

At the gym (about 10 minutes ago), I was watching CNN while listening to my Motown #1's. On CNN there was a breaking report about how Bill Clinton supports Obama's new tax something or other. And I remembered something.

When I was in 3rd grade during the 1996 presidential election and Clinton was campaigning for re-election. My elementary school was full of excitement-- all the classes took a poll and we kind of ran our own election. There was a giant graph in the hall that showed the polls and everything. Elementary kids in Utah were largely in favor of Bob Dole, token republican of the campaign.

I, however, was 100% behind Bill Clinton because for some odd reason, I thought that President Clinton had been in charge of the opening ceremonies at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and I was obsessed with those Olympics and their opening ceremonies.

Seriously. My political views of age 8 were directly correlated to the grand show I had seen on my little television set several months earlier.

I remember that very specifically. And all the other 3rd graders thought I was crazy for liking President Clinton.

The end.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I still love Lee and have not stopped listening to Live It Up since Thanksgiving. It's happy music.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Pearl Harbor Day.

I celebrate this memorial day in two ways: 1) I generally wear a patriotic pin on Pearl Harbor Day, but I couldn't find mine this year. 2) I watch the movie. Compelling history+Ben Afflek+Josh Hartnett+a confusing love triangle=a very good idea.

But mostly I just like to remember. I like to remember how it affected our nation. Today in my history teaching methods class a group presented their project and did a little bit on Pearl Harbor and September 11th. The parallels they drew between the two were fascinating. I swear, I got the chills probably 4 times during their lesson. It was powerful. And I was so glad to remember both Pearl Harbor and September 11th. They were important times for our country, and I think that many people often forget that.

Also, today I did some research on the more militant side of the Civil Rights movement for the unit plan I'm working on It was fascinating and I can't stop thinking about it. Probably my favorite character of the movement was Stokely Carmichael, a college student and head of the Student Non-Vionlent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) for a couple years in the mid-1960's. He's just an interesting character. His involvement in the 1960s Civil Rights movement began with adherence to innovative non-violent forms of protest. Eventually, though, as he began to see the violence and pain that he and his followers were subjected to, he began to be more militant. He actually coined the term "black power" as it applies to the Black Power portion of the movement. He stepped down as head of SNCC (well, they kind of kicked him out because he was too much of a celebrity) in 1967, and joined the Black Panthers. In April of 1968 he played a significant role in the DC Riots following Martin Luther King's assassination.

Anyway, I think he was interesting. And a little crazy. :)
And I have, for your viewing pleasure, a clip of the speech (I think) in which he first used the term, "black power." It's incredible. He was such a good speaker.

Some other things of today:

1. New Michael Jackson song available on Ping (a new music social networking thing on iTunes). It's a collaboration with Lenny Kravitz, and I really like it. It was recording during the Invincible sessions, and ya'll know how much I love what came of that.
2. I realized that I wear some sort of blue most days of the weak. I have a lot of blue clothes. Especially navy blue. I like to wear navy blue and white.
3. I decided that no matter what, pea coats are actually not comfortable at all. I will always be more comfortable in a sweatshirt or puffy down coat. Seriously. I like pea coats and I think they are adorable, but they are not cozy and comfortable. I can't stand wearing one with a backpack. Can't stand it. At all. Lame, right? Why do I have to dislike scarves (they choke me), boots, and cute coats? It seems as though all the things that girls like about winter I don't like.
4. I leave Provo a week from tomorrow. Such limited time it's freaking me out. But I'm getting really excited too.
5. Rachelle is getting married in 10 days.
6. I don't get enough sleep. Ever.
7. I went to the American Crafts warehouse sale this morning with Elise and Audrey P.
8. Now that I'm done with my last research paper of the forsee-able future, I'm kind of sad. For real.

The end.

Monday, December 6, 2010


The polls for week 5 have been released and WHA-BAM!!!

BYU is #18 on the AP Poll and #21on the Coaches Poll.

Check it out here.

Woes of the 490 paper that I should have worked harder on.

So it's finally due today. Today is the day. THE day.

I've been waiting for this day since my first semester at BYU when I was being murdered by my History 200 paper and learned that I would have to repeat the experience x10 when I took History 490-- the last history class I would be required to take before graduation. I filled with dread and actually changed my major for a semester to avoid this one class.... the dreaded 490.

Well, I've written a lot of papers since HIST 200 and am no longer scared of writing more than 20 pages in a paper. I've done it multiple times and really, I don't care that much about if my teacher thinks my paper is awesome and worthy of publishing or not. Just don't care. I've stopped associating my success in school with my value as a person and the strength of my character (my habits are much healthier these days).

So I've done minimal work. At this point my paper stands 20 pages with 4 additional pages of bibliography, a total of 63 citations (ridic, I know), one map, and a killer (fine, it's boring) title page. But I think I've produced a pretty good paper. I mean, really, I am excellent at organization, topic sentences, tying in quotes, and analyzing primary sources. My weaknesses lie in being too wordy or making up words. I also like to have really, really long paragraphs. I'm quite long winded if you already couldn't tell just by reading my blog. Also, my conclusion is super cheesy and my introduction is NOT attention grabbing. But it does the job. My historiography is a solid 5 pages but is really just what I gleaned from scanning through my sources, it's hardly an in depth analysis. I know that my first argument is weak. I lack the primary sources. I know that section 2 of my third argument is weak. It actually doesn't tie very well to my thesis. But that's a secret. None of my editors noticed- not even my professor- so I'm hoping it'll slide in the final draft.

My paper is lacking. But I'm turning it in anyway (because it's due in less than 2 hours). I think it's good enough.

But I want to talk about the drama of today a little bit. First, I was up until 3 working on all sorts of homework for my marriage and family class (despite the interesting discussions I ultimately regret taking that class. It's going to shoot down my GPA for the semester simply because I didn't care.) I got up at 8 and came to campus and have been working on my paper ever since (besides an hour at work in Special Collections). Unfortunately for me, I forgot my computer power cord. I had heard somewhere that it was possible to check them out at the library. So, close to noon, when my computer was about to die, I ran up from the first floor (where the serious studiers are) to the third to ask the information desk where I could find a power cord. They directed me to the LRC, on the 4th floor. I ran up those stairs, got the power cord, and then went to the 2nd floor to Dani's locker to get all my books about the Mormon Battalion for my research. I couldn't remember the locker combination. So then I went back to the first floor where I had left my stuff, looked up the combo, plugged in my computer, then went back up to the 2nd floor, went to the bathroom, got into the locker, pulled out my stack of 11 books, and then proceeded back down to the 1st floor where I am now writing this blog post while I should be cleaning up my paper some more so that I can turn it in in less than 2 hours.

I am just ridiculous. And I know I'm being dramatic about this.

But the point is, I'm turning in my paper today. And I could not be happier about completing this enormous hurdle in the process of my education.

edit: It's 1:36pm and I'm about to print of the dumb thing and turn it in. I thought I should save some photos, you know, just to keep the memories of this semester-long saga.

A screen shot of the final product in print preview:

I had to pull out all the post-it notes that I used to mark important things in all my 11 books about the Mormon Batallion. I'm not kidding, probably 200 post-it notes. And those things were my lifeline. They labeled everything. It was surprisingly painful to take the post-it notes out. I had mini heart attacks with each one- small pangs of panic-- it felt like I needed to leave them in there, cause what if I needed to know where something was again??!! To comfort me in this process I listened to Freddie sing, "We Are The Champions" and I felt like a champion.

And that's all.

The End.