Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On the art of reading teleprompters

My husband knows me too well. Now, when he does something very husband-worthy, after he's had his moment to bask in the pride of being such a great husband he asks me: "are you going to blog about this?"

Ha ha

So, because he really is awesome, here is the latest feat:

He knows I really, really want to anchor the newscast this semester. It's my last semester, I think I've got what it takes, and I want it bad. So last night I read him a bunch of scripts out loud as practice. Tonight, when I got home, he had prepared a little "exercise" to help get me ready for the audition:

He had found a YouTube video of a teleprompter so I could practice reading the real way. (People, reading from a teleprompter is not as easy as it sounds! And after a summer of not doing it, I wanted to get back in the groove, you know?)

Anyway, it was an awesome idea, and now I'm all ready for that audition tomorrow. Wish  me luck!

And because I need to rant just a little bit... There are fifteen million girls trying out, and about three guys. But of course, they like having a male/female anchor duo, right? So... guys just have it too easy. I feel like I'm in ballroom all over again. Ugh.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Driving myself around is awesome

I'm feeling very grateful today. I'm really glad to have air conditioning. Also, a driver's license, a good car I can use that license with, and traffic rules. Thank goodness for traffic rules. The road is dangerous enough as it is. On the other hand, I am not too thrilled that all the students are back in town and that University Avenue is impossible to go through.

I'm also really happy to have classical 89 -- the crispest, clearest classical music station I've ever heard (and probably ever will hear).

And since I'm listing stuff, here's a few other things/people that make me happy:
my incredibly supportive husband.
my major
my excellent taste in food :)
amazing parents-in-law
the fact that my family is coming here for Christmas
a job that will allow me to graduate from college debt-free
a scholarship
the fact that I get to teach Sunday school tomorrow (maybe it'll turn into a calling? hint hint?)
the gorgeous Utah valley I've lived in for the past 4 years... and counting. I'll really miss our beautiful neighborhood
our awesome apartment that has room for a table!
Dryers. (as in to dry clothes with. Since we got back from France, Andrew has developed a strong distaste for paying for hot air so he's been hanging clothes all around the apartment... it's pretty funny to see the place on laundry days... that being said, I'm very happy to have access to a dryer.)
the view out my window
did I mention our not-ghetto neighborhood?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I love Sundays

Especially the ones where Andrew stays awake the whole time (now that we have church at 10:30 instead of 8, it's a lot easier on both of us...) and we come home and rant about all the dumb/false doctrine/stereotypical/gender-unconscious things people say. It makes for very stimulating mealtime discussions. It's nice to have an intelligent husband.

On a completely unrelated note: I'm making Tunisian couscous for dinner, which I'm really excited about. And pretty nervous too. This is my first time making middle eastern cuisine not from a box (you can buy it everywhere in France, completely prepackaged and all you have to do is basically heat and dish up).

I'm also looking forward to the new school year, despite some apprehension. Oh hey, our home is finally pretty much settled in, complete with homemade pillows and frames on the walls. I guess that means it's time for a housewarming party! And did I mention there's a good chance my whole family will be coming at Christmastime? I'm pretty excited to host our first Christmas :) Unfortunately, I'm also working over Christmas break. Lame.

Anyway, as part of preparation for school we're trying to fit in all that stuff we said we'd do and still hadn't done. So yesterday we went tubing down Provo river with some new friends (hey, I've made new friends, aren't you so proud of me?!) and it was plenty of fun, but there was a bit of a freak out when a little snake got curious and swam up to us. He slithered onto one of the guys that was there and just sat there with his head up, flickering his tongue and looking straight into his face... Nobody knew what to do, but thank goodness he just swam off after a few seconds (although it felt like more of an eternity). So I'd say yesterday was pretty exciting. Oh wait, I forgot the other exciting part: I drove myself all the way to Walmart and back, and ran other errands all by myself. Yes, it's pathetic, but I'm so proud of myself. It's the biggest distance I've done by myself yet, so yeah, it's kind of a big deal. I love driving!

And how about a bit of a spiritual thought to end the post:

"I don't feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them."


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A while... and a rant (but a rave first)

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I've just been working and enjoying life with my husband before school starts, bringing with it the inevitable end of life as we know it. That, and trying to make major life decisions that don't result in our being haunted by the ghost of Spencer W Kimball. It's so good to be back and be settled in. I love our new apartment, and our neighborhood. South of Center Street was... kind of ghetto, I'll just say that. Now when we go on walks there are gorgeous, ancient trees to give us shade with little children playing in sprinklers, lovely little homes and a perfect park right next door. And my sewing corner is now in our bedroom which gets gorgeous sunlight in the evening, so I have my own corner of heaven. This really is the ideal place to end our time at BYU. I'm sad now that it seems so close: it's been a good life here in happy valley. Did I mention we now have amazingly fast internet? I love it!

So here's a funny story. The other day I saw this girl who looked vaguely familiar. I remember thinking how overdressed she looked (massive heels, too many bracelets, an overly sophisticated hairdo...) The image of a little girl that got into her mother's closet came to mind. Later this week I realized she was a friend of a friend on Facebook and I remembered how I knew her. Minimal Facebook-stalking later and ta-daa, she has a blog. But it gets better: it's a fashion blog. And here's the thing: there were a lot of nice outfits and all, but it just felt... overdone. And there was a "shop" page were she sold old clothes she didn't want anymore. What?

All of this to say: I'm not quite sure what to make of all these so-called fashion bloggers. I follow a few that I like, but I get the impression that these days everybody and their dog is a fashion blogger and writes "what I wore Wednesday" articles and "outfit posts". Meh. You have to have a killer sense of style to venture into that... and an interesting personality. (Also, how are student newlyweds affording an entire bookcase-full of designer shoes? It kind of screams credit card debt--not cute.) For example, I love this girl because she's just really funny. Not taking yourself too seriously is important, especially if you're launching yourself into something as... well, artificial, as fashion blogging.

I'm not a fashion hater; in fact, I really enjoy getting dressed up. I even blog about it every once in a while. But I have little sympathy for fashion victims. There's a problem when what you wear gets in the way of "you." The whole point of wearing clothing (well, apart from covering your nakedness) is to look good, right? But when you're overly trendy or your accessories get in the way of your mobility... you just look like you're trying too hard. I still remember these wise words from a girl in my freshman dorm: "I want the clothes to make me look good, not the other way around."

By now you're probably thinking "how do you get away with being such a style snob?" No credentials, but I do have a trump card: my country basically invented fashion (and after a summer in Paris, I can tell you that middle-aged french women are the classiest ladies ever). I also spent a good amount of my teenage years learning from trial and error. I'd show you photographic proof, but I'm pretty sure my parents were too ashamed of me because we mysteriously have very few pictures from my teenage years...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just another late-night rant

I hate how sometimes people will congratulate you for something but manage to give themselves a pat on the back at the same time. "Welcome to the club, married life is great" and other statements like it seem to banalize your personal experience. "Hey, you have a baby too now! Isn't being a mother so incredible?"

So I realize it's not that horrible, really, and I understand the idea of relishing the common experience, yet a lot of the time I get the sense people are really saying "oh look, I did so-and-so before you and I'm just one step ahead of you. Because this is actually a competition."

That, and trying to put people into the same "club" or "box" just doesn't work. A new mother is in awe at the wonder of her new experience, a newlywed is blissfully excited about their spouse (barring postpartum or honeymoon blues), and hopefully doesn't care about having attained some idiotic status symbol or joined some special "club." And as much as we like to think we know other people, each experience is unique.

Saying that my life is exactly like yours cheapens my experience, because believe it or not I don't care to be like you, or anybody else. I think to a degree we all want to live life at our own pace and discover it with new eyes.

Also, since I'm already being snooty, I want this saying on a shirt:

The madman's well

Yep, that's what Puy du fou means :) And it's even more fun than it sounds. It's basically a park tucked into gorgeous woods with all sorts of shows and attractions portraying different time periods of french history.

And more specifically, it also tells the stories of the region , la Vendée.

One of my favorite attractions is the Gallo-roman stadium, complete with Christians being fed to lions (don't worry, there's a miracle and the lions don't touch her. A hyena chases the roman senator though :), bloody gladiator fights and chariot races. It is AWESOME. For those of you that don't know, the Gauls were the people that lived in a large area of what is now France when the Romans took over. If you've ever read Asterix and Obelix comic books, they're Gauls.

So here's an idea of how awesome it is:

oh no! here come the lions!

two rebel Christians drew a fish in the sand, an early Christian symbol

and they got in trouble

thank goodness, turns out Damien the centurion is one of theirs!

It's awesome because they really make you a part of the show. I may or may not have teared up a little... At the beginning, we were sitting on the same side as a group of Gauls who were booing the Romans that arrested the Christians (before the show started) and all the spectators started booing the senators and other Romans, it was awesome.

We had lots of fun, as you can see.

letting my inner viking shine

my cousin Estelle and aunt Adeline

my other aunt Véronique

Then there's the seriously incredible falconry show:

this guy was a bit close for comfort

Andrew has the wingspan of a royal eagle

And there were plenty of other shows, like the one where a viking drakkar rises out of the water to attack a village...

And in between there are villages, shops, artisans...

aw, a little crusader

Oh and of course there's a musketeer show, although that one was kind of random. And there was jousting and doing all sorts of acrobatics off horses.

The grand finale is an evening show overlooking a mini lake and castle with over 2000 volunteers, pyrotechnics, and all sorts of awesome stuff. The show tells the story of the region beginning in the middle ages and goes through world war II. One thing that really struck me was the pride that the people of the region take in their history and the enormous work they do to preserve it. For example, the falconry show isn't just a really cool show: they use those proceeds to breed and care for endangered species of the area and to perpetuate the tradition. This guy flies around the park all day with his geese following :)

The whole place is fueled by a school of performing arts with the specific purpose of preparing youth to continue to maintain the park. It's really incredible.

Interesting fact: Vendéens were actually staunch royalists, so during the revolution they suffered a lot because they refused to accept the new government and had tried to fight for the king. It was kind of interesting to see the other side of history portrayed in the show, it's a story that's rarely told. I had always just assumed everybody was glad to see the king go, but to the Vendéens it was also a religious issue: "God and the King" was their motto, and they believed that being faithful to God meant supporting their king, who was a divinely appointed man.

Many of the attractions had deeply religious messages, so the stories were not just fun and exciting, they were also very inspiring. So if you ever head over to France, you should definitely not miss the Puy du fou!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I didn't think I was a stripe kind of girl

But everyone can find their match. And this color combo was just yelling "wear me Lydia!" from the hanger, so being the kind person that I am I obliged.

Also, I FINALLY finished these pants. You wouldn't believe how long I had this fabric... then the time it took me to finally cut the fabric. A month later, I started sewing, but didn't have the proper thread. Then, it turned out the pattern was ridiculously over-sized and they looked like clown pants, so I had to rip apart almost all the seams and redo the entire waist/belt section... at which point I sewed them too tight and had to rip apart the side seams and re-position the pockets, and by that point I just gave up for a while. But this time... perfect!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I take that back

I just watched Fox 13's newscast at the gym... I may or may not have laughed out loud several times.

I am so ready for advanced reporting it's not even funny.

And... I realize that may be just a teeny bit pretentious.

"Silence radio"

has it already been a week? yikes! actually, I have nothing to say, I've just been soaking it all in lately. It's good to be back. I'm slightly anxious about the upcoming year and having to be a serious person again. I'm excited for advanced reporting, but I also know it brings stressed-out-of-my-mind feelings with it... and I also very much want to be an anchor this year. Also, I came back from France with quite a few extra pounds of... we'll call it body mass. Hence the trying not to eat too much lately.

Oh, and we celebrated our second wedding anniversary Monday by watching the last Harry Potter and having dinner at Zupa's. Harry Potter was awesome. (Andrew is too, of course)

And I finally get to go back to the hairdresser's this weekend! Getting any sort of service in France is... not cheap. Thank goodness for hair school.

There, you survived a series of completely mundane sentences. Well, the anniversary wasn't mundane. It was awesome actually. Isn't my life so exciting?

(Insert plenty of things about failure that I almost wrote publicly on this blog. Awkward.)

Subject change!

Check out the new apartment (not entirely settled, but getting there. And I'm aware the photos aren't great quality, but hey the place isn't even finished yet. I plan to have a proper housewarming first):

Couches -- plural! 
You mean I get my OWN closet? Gasp!

A pantry just for us? Aw shucks

We're getting there

 Come visit why don't ya!

Oh, did I mention my back was KILLING me for the past month or so, and going to a chiropractor just made it feel worse? Awesome!