Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ESPN GameDay: Oh Yeah

Thanks to my job at BYU Athletic Communications, I was told that ESPN needed some "runners" to help out with GameDay last weekend. After a great debate I said no because ESPN was asking for three straight days, averaging 12 hours of work a day. I had already missed school earlier in the week because of the deer hunt and had also committed to covering the 4A girls high school soccer championship for the Daily Herald.

However, they called back and said I didn't have to work Friday, clearing up time to go to classes and cover the I said yes. The soccer game turned out awesome; I went up with mom and watched with the Oaks and my alma mater won on a last-second goal. (You can read my article here)

Working for ESPN, even for just a while, was a DREAM COME TRUE. Here are some photos of my two days:

My favorite thing my fellow runner and I did on Thursday was go shopping. This is the list my supervisor wrote out...all the snacks and drinks we'd need for the food tent. After handing us the Disney Corporation credit card, he said, "Really, this is an outline. Money is just not an issue. Really, it doesn't matter. Get what we need." How many times will I hear those words in my life?

We cruised around in a nice rental car. They put these stickers on the back for whatever reason, possibly my pride. Before doing to get groceries we had to buy a director's chair for the guys to sit in while they had their makeup done. The cashier asked for ID when we used the credit card, but I said, "We're actually buying this for the ESPN guys setting up for the game tomorrow." "Oh," the cashier said. "Oh that's just fine then," and she rang the thing up. Did I pull out that card? Yes, yes I did.

I had to be at the compound at 4 a.m. on Saturday. The guys got there much later but went over some stuff before the show. Corso is as fun as he seems on the show, Fowler seems pretty down to earth, and Herbstreit I didn't get much of a feel for except that his eyes are a crazy bright blue. Not that I was, uh, looking deeply into them or anything...

I took some of the guys to J-Dawgs on Thursday for lunch. They definitely went back for seconds, then had a smoke outside, haha. The stage manager who went with was nice enough to let me go sit at the desk before the show. It was my main goal. :)

The boys got in front which was nice because I could talk to them in between takes. This is also where Cosmo suddenly decided to jump onto the stage. No, it wasn't planned. Yes, yes he did get totally chewed out by my supervisor and others. I think if he would've just stopped by and then got down, that would've been fine. But instead he rips up a couple of their papers and stays for 20 or so full seconds. On the flip side, my buddy Daniel got the pen Chris Fowler threw at him as he finally got off the stage.

Stop looking at their legs. Apparently they didn't want BYU national championship trophy because they had this one. Oh sponsorships. I still like my buddy's idea for Bronco and the Cougars to win the thing, then take the glass football and break it to pieces, spit on it, and point at the BCS commissioner. But, uh, that's not going to happen anytime soon.

LaVell Edwards owns BYU. I was trying to explain his mystique to a crewmember was there and was having a hard time. You know, usually when it comes to people of the older persuasion, LDS Church members think of the prophet, apostles, etc. But LaVell...he's not only loved because he is a great guy, but because he singlehandedly gave our university and its sports program credibility. He's one of those few people who gets a standing ovation wherever he goes. You could argue that he was just a football coach, but his personality and care in other regards is what puts him over the hump from fan favorite to an almost worshipful grandeur.

Oh, and Chris Fowler is pretty cool too. My favorite guy on GameDay.

The stage manager, my two supervisors, and one of the camera guys. I was surprised at how I was used to them and felt like we had worked a lot together after just a few hours of actually doing so. They were all really polite and very, very good to us. It made me happy that ESPN doesn't just look like a fun and quality organization, but they are one.

Again, it was a dream fulfilled. Will I work for them later? We'll see. I am really, really enjoying my time in BYU Athletic Comms. Like, REALLY enjoying. People ask where I'll work when I am done with school in April...and I'm about as confident as a chameleon wearing tiedye in my answer. But God always provides.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Halloween

My roommate Scott is celebrating the holiday early with a sweet rendition of Monster Mash featuring some of the former members of Apartment 203. Of course, I'm the woman.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boom, Roasted.

So tonight's FHE was at the second counselor in our bishopric's house. There were about 20 of my fellow ward members all gathered in the living room. We were talking about Conference and somehow got to the point where our host asked, in essence, "Did Jesus differ between Jews and Gentiles?"

There were a few quiet answers of "no," which, considering the context, was correct...but before I really knew what I was doing, I said "yes." Looking up, I saw everyone's heads turn in unison to stare me down. Now feeling a bit sheepish, I tried to explain myself by saying how Jesus ministered only to the Jews and that it wasn't until Peter was told in a vision to minister to the Gentiles that Cornelius was baptized and that part of the world opened up to the preaching of the gospel.

Then I felt like even more of a nerd.

But I'm not going to lie, it was kind of fun roasting him.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Early Marriages and Mission Ages

I have wanted to start being a bit more philosophical in my postings, get some thoughts out there and let people run with them. Between not having enough time, or at least motivation, that hasn't happened. Now, thanks to a link by my boy Matty Cakes, I have one.

And it's got to be one of the granddaddies of them all for my peers--marriage. Not only marriage, but getting married young (everyone gasp!). An article in the Washington Post arges not only for marriage, but also claims that young marriage gets a bad rap.

I don't believe that getting married young means your marriage is going to fail. Neither does Mark Regnerus, the author of the article and a professor at Texas. I believe it depends on the attitudes of the two people. Are younger people more immature? I would argue that they are often just as mature as many people that are older.

This is especially true for women, which is especially good considering they are likely the youngest of the two genders in a "young marriage." I can see how my views would be flawed if 19-year-old men were getting married all over the place--I don't trust their maturity, either. I certainly wouldn't have trusted mine. But a woman the same age is likely to be more emotionally advanced and fits with a guy in his 20s (see #2 below).

There are many reasons why men go on missions at 19 and women at 21. But I would say that one reason is that it helps men grow up so that they are more mature and marriage-ready when they get home at 21. They are more on a level with a younger girl. Sure, it's not what us proud guys would like to believe, and of course there are many exceptions, but I think it's the general rule. Women don't go at that earlier age because it is a great time to get married, especially to these 21-year-old returned missionaries, most of whom, whether due to social norms or, more likely, commonalities in thought and where they are at in life, are looking for a younger woman. Think about it, it would be foolish to say girls don't leave until later because they aren't as ready for a mission as guys until they are 21 years old, right? The sisters in my mission could've destroyed us elders at any time.

Regnerus cites the fact that divorce is high among young marriages. To combat this argument, he says:
1) "The age-divorce link is most prominent among teenagers (those who marry before age 20). Marriages that begin at age 20, 21 or 22 are not nearly so likely to end in divorce as many presume.
2) Most young women are mature enough to handle marriage. According to data from the government's National Survey of Family Growth, women who marry at 18 have a better shot at making a marriage work than men who marry at 21. There is wisdom in having an age gap between spouses.
3) Third, the age at which a person marries never actually causes a divorce. Rather, a young age at marriage can be an indicator of an underlying immaturity and impatience with marital challenges -- the kind that many of us eventually figure out how to avoid or to solve without parting...But what really matters for making marriage happen and then making it good are not matches, but mentalities: such things as persistent and honest communication, conflict-resolution skills, the ability to handle the cyclical nature of so much of marriage, and a bedrock commitment to the very unity of the thing. I've met 18-year-olds who can handle it and 45-year-olds who can't."

I agree. I have, at minimum, five great friends that married young girls. All married girls that were 20 while they themselves were around age 22. Of course, I can't foretell the future. But I can see in each the genuine love they have for each other. Many of my PR friends are the same. The teachings of the Church and the guidance in their lives from faith and parents help them love the good times and give proper perspective to the hard times.

The conclusions of my ramblings are these: You will never hear me worry about someone marrying young (how soon after meeting someone is another completely different topic). If anything, I am for it. I'm not going to try and cite some uncle's cousin's dad's step-brother's mission president that said get married fast, but I do laugh and love Apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks's comment: "It’s marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it." An apostle has faith in it, and I honestly think of it as a straight up commandment to do what you can to fulfill it wisely.

Sidenote: How does this affect me, being a strapping 24 years of age, not young but still not as old as the national average of first marriages (age 28)? Obviously the comments above are not universal. There are always exceptions. That said, I still honestly think all the time about why I may be different from the friends I listed above. I don't generally think down on myself, though I do wonder why. Was I any less mature than my friends who got married younger than me? Quite possibly, but maybe not. Regardless, I pray I am progressing and becoming better as I get older so I may be able to complement my wife, wherever she is and however young (or old) she may be.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Two Girls

You know, in case the Provo plan falls through. How could I deny them when they're looking at me like that? Answer: I can't.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Best Summer Project You've Ever Heard Of

I started off this summer with the goal to read as many works of Shakespeare as I possibly could. I made a list, grabbed my roommate's anthology, and went at it. I did truck through Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, The Tempest, and Much Ado About Nothing in less than two weeks.

Oddly, I enjoyed it. Not so oddly, the project fell through the cracks in behalf of another, more amazing project--watching all of Disney's full-length, animated features. I figured out the order of the movies from the first one made and on and have now watched the first thirteen (don't worry, the old ones didn't last much more than an hour).

Note: Fantasia never happened. Also, I didn't include the collections Disney did during the World War II era.

My mom and occasionally another sibling join me, with an additional shout out to Amy who sat through Sleeping Beauty. Here are some thoughts on those classics you loved but never watch anymore:

  • I was intrigued by how many movies portrayed smoking and drinking. Pinocchio was loaded with it. Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians all had some (I'm blanking on whether Sleeping Beauty and Aristocats had any). Of course, the Elephants on Parade in Dumbo comes about because Dumbo and the Mouse get dead drunk (by the way, that's my least favorite part of any Disney movie ever. Don't talk to me about pioneering in animation. It's stupid). They've changed their tune nowadays, but I thought it was interesting. I'm also proud that I thwarted established research by being subjected to all these "influences" during my childhood and not ending up chain-smoker/drunk. But if I did, I'd definitely do it like this.
  • Briar Rose/Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is the prettiest Disney female ever. I will not argue about this.
  • The Jungle Book is highly underrated. I may have enjoyed it the most (Cinderella, a long-time favorite of mine, was also just as bomb as ever.) You'll really can't deny King Louie. Watch it. You'll like it.

  • I was a little bothered when, right after Jungle Book, I watched Aristocats and found that the main cat, Thomas O'Malley, had the same voice as Baloo. Now, early on in Disney voices were recycled all the time, but to have two main characters in back-to-back movies was a little much. Apparently it's still not over, either--the voice actor for them all, Phil Harris, is also in my next movie to watch, Robin Hood, as Little John.
  • Did you know the guy who voiced the Magic Mirror in Snow White is named Moroni? Yes, he was LDS.
  • I still think Ursula is the best villian in Disney history, but Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty is freaking crazy.
  • Bambi is still a horribly dumb movie, in case you were wondering. If you don't agree, remind me to offer you some of my jerky after the hunt this fall.
  • After Bambi, Alice in Wonderland was my least favorite. I know it's supposed to be nonsense...but it was still a little much for me. That said, I am all about Tim Burton's upcoming edition.
  • The fact that the cat in Cinderella is named "Lucifer"
  • Did you know Tinker Bell is actually a whiny and murderous little thing? She's all smiley in the Disney ads and such, but in Peter Pan she is best described using a word I don't use. Also, between her, the mermaids and Tiger Lily, there was a lot of girlish figures to go around in that movie. Just making an observation.
  • Aristocats, also fun. The kittens are actually quite cute and I never use that word. The villain in the movie has exactly zero scare appeal, however, though his fate (getting shut in a cramped trunk to be sent to Timbuktu) is the total shaft. Solidly entertaining though.
Finally, here are my Top Lists from the first 13.

Favorite Characters
1. King Louie (Jungle Book)
2. Jaq (Cinderella)
3. Marie (Aristocats)
4. The Crocodile (Peter Pan)
5. Mr. Smee (Peter Pan)
6. Gus Gus (Cinderella)
7. Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)
8. Thumper (Bambi)
9. Lucky (101 Dalmatians)
10. Roger Radcliffe (101 Dalmatians)

Best Villains
1. Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
2. Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
3. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
4. Madame Mim (Sword in the Stone)
5. Share Khan (Jungle Book)
6. Kaa (Jungle Book)
7. The Queen (Snow White)
8. Stepmother (Cinderella)
9. The Mouse (Lady and the Tramp)
10. Jasper (101 Dalmatians)

Favorite Movies
1. Cinderella
2. Jungle Book
3. Aristocats
4. 101 Dalmatians
5. Peter Pan
6. Lady and the Tramp
7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
8. Sleeping Beauty
9. Pinocchio
10. Sword in the Stone
11. Dumbo
12. Alice in Wonderland
13. Bambi

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The People Who Made Chicago Great

Today is one of those days I'll remember for a long time. After two months at working at Ruder Finn in Chicago, I fly home to Utah on Saturday. With people taking summer hours tomorrow, I took my camera to work to capture the memories, shall we say. I cannot say enough how much I LOVE and enjoy the people in the photos below. They were so good to me, good at their jobs, and always happy and hilarious.
The going away pizza party they threw for me and my fellow intern, Julie. Of course, my supervisor Zach (summer hours), Michael (ummm...) and Lauren (call) did not make an appearance.

Three of the happiest people you'll meet. My cubicle was on the other side of the hallway that had their offices lined up in a row, which was always entertaining and allowed me to know when everyone was going out to lunch!

This is the building our offices were in up on the 16th floor.

Switching other favorite people, the other BYU interns (and our buddy Patrick from Carnegie Mellon). This was from one of many of our good times and Uno nights.

Before watching the midnight opening of Harry Potter 6. Worst idea EVER...but also my favorite picture.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Because I love books

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? The ones I have read are in bold:

THE ALCHEMIST • Paulo Coelho (Read it in one day on a plane flight from the U.S. to South Korea...should probably read it again)
ANIMAL FARM • George Orwell
ARTEMIS FOWL • Eoin Colfer
THE BFG • Roald Dahl
BIRDSONG • Sebastian Faulks
BLACK BEAUTY • Anna Sewell
BLEAK HOUSE • Charles Dickens
BRAVE NEW WORLD • Aldous Huxley
CATCH 22 • Joseph Heller
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE • J D Salinger (Stupid, stupid book. And don't tell me I don't catch the themes and symbolism.)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL • Charles Dickens (Now this is a book with great themes and symbolism. Cited by President Monson as "inspired.")
COLD COMFORT FARM • Stella Gibbons
THE COLOUR OF MAGIC • Terry Pratchett
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO • Alexandre Dumas (One of my favorites)
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT • Fyodor Dostoyevsky
DAVID COPPERFIELD • Charles Dickens (My favorite book of all-time)
DOUBLE ACT • Jacqueline Wilson
DUNE • Frank Herbert
EMMA • Jane Austen
GIRLS IN LOVE • Jacqueline Wilson
GONE WITH THE WIND • Margaret Mitchell
GOOD OMENS • Terry Pratchett
GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM • Michelle Magorian
GORMENGHAST • Mervyn Peake
GREAT EXPECTATIONS • Charles Dickens (Solid read)
THE GREAT GATSBY • F Scott Fitzgerald
GUARDS! GUARDS! • Terry Pratchett
THE HOBBIT • J R R Tolkien (Can't remember much, it's been too long)
HOLES • Louis Sachar (So-so book, but Shia is the man)
JANE EYRE • Charlotte Brontë
KANE AND ABEL • Jeffrey Archer
KATHERINE • Anya Seton
THE LION,THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE • C S Lewis (Another great read both for the story and for the themes. Remember when I got to go to a movie theater on my mission?)
LITTLE WOMEN • Louisa May Alcott
LORD OF THE FLIES • William Golding (Read this book a few months ago. Somewhat interesting, but I'll never read it again)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS • J R R Tolkien (Fun stories but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them)
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA • Gabriel García Márquez
MAGICIAN • Raymond E Feist
THE MAGUS • John Fowles
MATILDA • Roald Dahl (Good times...good times...)
MIDDLEMARCH • George Eliot
MORT • Terry Pratchett
NIGHT WATCH • Terry Pratchett
NOUGHTS AND CROSSES • Malorie Blackman
ON THE ROAD • Jack Kerouac
PERFUME • Patrick Suskind
PERSUASION • Jane Austen
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE • Jane Austen (A really good book)
REBECCA • Daphne du Maurier
THE SECRET GARDEN • Frances Hodgson Burnett (The musical is one of my favorites, too.)
THE SHELL SEEKERS • Rosamunde Pilcher
THE STAND • Stephen King
A SUITABLE BOY • Vikram Seth
A TALE OF TWO CITIES • Charles Dickens (Famous for its ending and its beginning quotes)
THE THORN BIRDS • Colleen McCullough
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD • Harper Lee (Need to read this again)
TREASURE ISLAND • Robert Louis Stevenson (If you're looking for 1800s entertainment, this is good)
THE TWITS • Roald Dahl
ULYSSES • James Joyce
VICKY ANGEL • Jacqueline Wilson
WAR AND PEACE • Leo Tolstoy
WATERSHIP DOWN • Richard Adams (Probably the most underrated great book I have ever read. I love it but never hear anyone mention it)
THE WOMAN IN WHITE • Wilkie Collins

Total I have read on this list: 25. Obvously slants British which is bad in some ways. On the other hand, my boy Charles Dickens is represented well. This time next year I'll hopefully have at least six more of these marked off.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I Think It Was the Fourth of July

Have you ever heard the song Saturday in the Park? There first lines say "Saturday, in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July." The thought struck me two days ago that it was a 4th on a Saturday and to top it all off, guess who sang that song? The band Chicago! A little spooky...

Because it has taken me three weeks to finally post what I've been doing in Chicago, I have been forced to give only a summary taken largely from my journal. I apologize that I haven't spiced it up more for you, besides a few links and such, but I promise that from now on I will include more anecdotes that are a lot more entertaining. After reading, if you have any questions let me know and I will address them next posting. Enjoy and thanks for caring about me. :)

I’ve only flown alone one other time in my life when I went to New Jersey to visit Tyler a while back. I had a seat on the aisle and in the middle and window seats were two men in the army reserves in full regalia. However, before we left, one of the soldiers in my aisle went to another row where no one was sitting, giving me and the other guy more room. After that, a stewardess asked a few of the men if they would like to enjoy first class. As they walked up front, the captain made an announcement that they were on board and everyone clapped for them. I then had a whole row completely to myself which was amazing. I sat in the middle and stretched out, even lying down at one point during the flight.

I had contemplated taking a taxi to my apartment, but I’m cheap and had mapped out taking the subway and then walking. Well, the subway trip went without a hitch. However, the walk was a little longer than I expected with three suitcases. Plus, with a quarter of a mile left, a wheel on my biggest suitcase gimped off and wouldn’t spin, making my walk a ton worse. I was sweating like a dog. I finally got to my apartment. It’s at Thomas Beckham Hall, dorm 479. I hadn’t eaten lunch or dinner, so I took a trek to a grocery store a couple blocks away. Bought the necessities: peanut butter, jelly, bread, milk, and cereal. Preston actually drove a car here, so hopefully next time I go he can hook me up. As I was walking, I crossed over some freeway and had a great view of downtown at night with the Sears Tower dominating. It’ll be a great learning experience living somewhere outside of Utah County for a while. South Korea was so different and the same and nice. Here there are so many different cultures, levels of prosperity…it’s interesting. I’ll learn a lot.

My first two days of work were really slow; it was like they didn’t know how to incorporate me into anything. Plus, the other intern, a girl named Julie from Ohio State, wasn’t going to start until Tuesday. So the first day I just learned the basics of the phone, the office, met everyone, learned about the various media databases we use to compile lists of contacts for clients, website statistics, etc. Wednesday and Thursday went by much more quickly because people started giving me stuff to do. Yesterday I did everything from research honey and the art of Japanese “basho” (in preparation to submit two proposals to two prospective clients) to preparing a media list of Los Angeles area newspapers, radio stations and TV stations to buying a subscription to a magazine and attempting to find how to buy a back order of some issue one of the employees wanted. Of course, those are little things, but the spontaneity and wide variety of tasks in public relations are two of the aspects that drew me to it.

The office is full of people who do work hard to do a good job, but they are also chill and fun at the same time which is great. My cubicle is on the other side of a small hallway from their back-to-back offices. I have a computer and a phone with some desk space. The cubicle walls are so high that if someone wants to talk over them they look like Wilson on Home Improvement.

Food here is going to wipe me out. I have a decent amount of money in the bank right now, but I had to pay $836 for summer tuition (Now the things I hate about BYU go to four: the ticket office, lack of parking, the fact that campus is on a huge hill and their irrational scholarship policies) and then tuition again around a thousand dollars for the fall. Every lunch costs me between six and eight dollars until recently when I get the Subway sub of the day for $3.11. Kills me because I am such a tightwad. At least the places I have eaten at have been really good. I hit up Chipotle my first day and on Thursday I was treated to lunch at Big Bowl, an Oriental restaurant whose Kung Pao Chicken was awesome. At the end of Friday they had a belated party for Michael’s birthday. I didn’t have to go through the “decline the alcohol” scenario because they’ve already had interns and have Joseph. But they all drank a lot of Coke and vodka, though I really didn’t notice anyone’s behavior change. I ate tortilla chips, haha. We played a game called the DMA game. DMAs are geographical regions for the media, organized according to which is largest. For example, DMA 1 is New York City and its surrounding environs, so if you hit up the New York City DMA you are contacting all the media outlets within that region. The game consisted of Emily announcing a DMA and everyone else trying to guess where number it was. I got two (Toledo and Erie, Penn.) the closest.

I’m really tired and sleepy even when I get home every evening. I think it’s because I am sitting and looking at a computer for eight hours a day because I am getting plenty of sleep at night. To get to work, I used to take the 12 bus east on Roosevelt to Michigan, then take the 3 or 4 bus up Michigan to Ontario Street where my building is. Now I take the 12 to the Roosevelt subway station and take the red line up to Grand, then walk a few blocks east to the building. This new route has shaved off a lot of time, helped me not be quite so frustrated having to wait for buses, and allowed me to ride the subway. I’ve always loved subways. I guess it’s because it seems almost magical how you go down into the ground, race along in the dark, then come up again at a new place. I even like the smell!

Many nights the eight interns, including me, usually gather in some quantity and play either Uno or Sorry!. Simple games, but it’s been so much fun. This past week we did a lot more out on the town. The Taste of Chicago was going on, a week where around 50 restaurants offer a few samples of their fare for a certain number of tickets you can buy. Thousands of people converge on Grant Park and eat their hearts out. There is also a big stage with free concerts. In three straight nights I saw Counting Crows (I like Big Yellow Taxi), Barenaked Ladies (saw them in my first concert with Mom during the favorite of the three) and Ne-Yo (Didn't know any of his songs but like a few now; the one below isn't my favorite, but his most popular).

We managed to get up to the seats close to the stage and had a pretty good time.

Another night I hyperventilated myself into paying $11 to see Transformers 2. Awful, awful movie. I liked the first one okay, but this one was terrible. No plot, the action was lame, the humor was crude and unoriginal and so on. Hopefully Harry Potter 6 will be a lot better when it comes out soon.

My roommate Preston and I are getting along great. I like him. He likes to play the guitar and sing and he’s really pretty good. His favorite phrase is, “Now you be sweet to me.” He likes to chew on ice cubes. A lot of the time he is hanging out with Chris, another intern, but he keeps me in the loop.

This past weekend Stella came over with some of her friends from Cincinnati. She joined us in watching the fireworks which the city mysteriously had on Friday, July 3, at Grant Park right on the shore of Lake Michigan. I was pretty disappointed at the show. It was still light when they started, there were a bunch of streetlights they left on that were in the way, the show was short and the fireworks didn’t get very high up nor were they very varied or big. I honestly like my Richfield fireworks way better. Not to mention it was on July 3...whatever.

We finished off the night by talking to a kid named Patrick. He is a roommate of a BYU intern living in our same building. Good guy interning with US Soccer so we get along well. He came with us to the fireworks and then stayed around. We got on the subject of religion and I asked him to tell me about Catholicism and its services. He then started asking about Mormon beliefs, church services and so on. Stella and I told him about it for a two hours and he seemed to be listening pretty intently. I did my best at being clear and bearing my testimony of the Church and the Book of Mormon. I’m going to get one and give it to him at some point before I leave and hopefully it’ll do some good. He’s actually is a practicing Catholic and enjoys his services each month, but he also expressed interest in what we believe. I came into this trip hoping to do some missionary work, so this makes me happy.

On the actual Fourth, Stella and I went to the Federal Reserve Building here and looked around a Money Museum they have. We saw a million dollars in one-dollar bills and read about the history of money in the U.S. In the evening, Stella and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the Harry Potter exhibit. We went through and saw tons of props direct from the movies. I’m not a fanatical Harry Potter fan, but I do really like the books and movies so it was pretty fun to see the actual stuff. I was amazed at how intricate and detailed every prop was, from the books to the clothing to the wands. They really do create another world. My favorite part was throwing a quaffle through various hoops.

I haven’t consciously been homesick but when I think about my friends and family at home I do miss them very much. I miss being able to just talk about nothing with or play ball with the boys. I miss getting hugged by my Mom and seeing what Dad is up to, talking about world events. I want to play with my siblings and see how Mickelle is now that she’s married. That said, time has flown by and I am grateful I still have time left here. Work is still interesting and I have things such as a trip with everyone to Nauvoo this weekend and Cubs games to look forward to after hours.

In my spare time I work on a puzzle book I bought from Target or read the scriptures. I like the quiet time I have to myself when Preston goes to hang out with Chris or takes his bike for a ride.

Well, that is more than enough to get you caught up. Next time I'll touch on my new favorite food, downtown, Saturday Night Live, and updates on everything else. Love you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Little of This and That

I'm living at my parents' house in Orem for another week until I leave for Chicago a week from tomorrow. Some thoughts:

My sister is going through the temple for the first time tomorrow in preperation for her wedding a week from today. Wahoo! This is a picture of me and her from the 4th of July last year.

I miss my PR friends. It's fun getting into a major and having classes with the same people because I like them so much...but this summer I have barely heard from them, much less done anything with them. Kevin has been good, but too bad he has to go to NYC (alone, but's NYC). Jill got married and is working up north at Church Headquarters. Susan is realizing she loves her Utah friends. Christine didn't even answer a simple text I sent her. :p Abby is gimping around Provo. Stacy is in Puerto Rico??? That's all I'm getting from my facebook stalking. Hope everyone is great!

Speaking of friends, I swear mine in high school were not as loud as my sister's friends. Almost every night she has had anywhere from 8 to 298 friends over to watch TV or something. Can somebody tell me what it is about girls and shrieking?

I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey last night for the first time in my roommate's amazing blue-ray, 7.2 surround system home theater. I was a tad restless at first but liked it overall. Doesn't mean Kubrick isn't a psycho, but it was interesting. I actually liked the monkeys and the music the most.

I visited my mission president who has recently been called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. It's been interesting to have someone I've been so close to get called to such an important position. Sometimes whether it be in sports, movies or higher church callings we think people are more than just regular Joes. Now, of course they have some skill or knowledge that does put them on a different plane at times, but there was my President in his jean shorts, looking a little tired, talking to me like old times. He is a very special, amazing man, but he is learning as he goes just like the rest of us, still has to clean the garage like the guy next door. I love him very much.

I have this ginormous TV sitting in the middle of my already pretty small bedroom. And I can't even hook it up or anything. Dang.

I have Skype now if anyone wants to sign up. It'll be especially useful for when I am in Chicago. Let me know!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Interview on Media with Grandma

Here is an interview I did with my Grandma about her experiences through the years with various media mediums. My professor also wanted us to post the transcript on our blogs, so here it is.

Jordan: This is the Janet Kane Christiansen Media History Oral History Project, session number one with my grandmother, Janet Kane Christiansen on April 7, 2009. It is being recorded as I interview her via telephone; I am in Provo, Utah, while she is at her home in Lehi, Utah. The interviewer is her grandson, Jordan D. Christiansen, a current public relations student at Brigham Young University.

Jordan: Grandma, when and where were you born?

Janet: That’s easy. Salina, Utah, October 26, 1938.

Jordan: Though you lived in a small town, did you have easy access to different types of media as they became available? Let's first start with the radio.

Janet: You know, we moved away when I was five to California. I was just little. First time we had a radio was when in California we had a big tall radio.

Jordan: Can you tell me more about it?

Janet: It was quite tall. Have you seen those old radios? It had big things down where the speakers came out, sort of square. Plain old radio, no fancy things like AM, FM, no record player. I don’t remember listening to it in California, but it was impressed on me when they were talking about WWII because everyone was so depressed. Oh, and we hid money on the top of the radio; it’s where we put our money.

Jordan: How did you do that?

Janet: There was a silver dog, two feet high and we stuffed the money in it. One time I told my babysitter that’s where we hid our money.

Jordan: Why did you stick the money there?

Janet: That’s where mother and dad put the money. I guess it was better than the drawer. When I was older, we moved back to Salina when I was six and Dad went in the army. I remember rushing home from school and going to the basement to watch different shows like The Shadow Knows, Sky King, Roy Rogers and Trigger.

Jordan: Sounds fun
Janet: On Saturday we would always listen to Let’s Pretend. That’s the program where I would hear “Cream of Wheat is so good to eat and we’d eat it every day…” Let’s Pretend was a program where they’d tell Fairy Tales, then advertise. There was another ad for Skippy peanut butter. I heard it and it sounded so good I went in and got a sandwich.

Jordan: Effective advertising! So there were just programs?

Janet: Yes. We didn’t listen to music, we’d just listen to programs.

Jordan: Okay, let’s switch gears a little now and talk about TV.

Janet: Let’s see, when I was in the eighth grade we moved to Gunnison. I was 13 maybe. My dad owned a car dealership and I just remember that we were the first ones to get television in Gunnison. Before that, we’d go to Dad’s brothers. We all thought it was wonderful. It was an old thing with rabbit ears, the snowy stuff. I looked through it and could see Ed Sullivan and just thought it was so wonderful.

Jordan: So how and why did your Dad get your first TV?

Janet: We sold them as part of the car dealership so we got one of the first ones.

Jordan: What else did you watch, do you remember watching?

Janet: I don’t remember sitting and watching a lot; it’s not like being glued to the TV. We’d watch the Ed Sullivan Show with singing and different acts. Movies were never on. It was all black and white; when your dad was a little kid television was still in black and white. Only later did they get to be all color. But television wasn’t a big part of my life.

Jordan: So you stuck to the radio for music?

Janet: We did have a radio with a record player. Oh yeah, we had records because when I was in high school we’d do these 45s. We listened to a lot of records.

Jordan: Do you remember the first time your car had a radio or tape player?

Janet: I don’t. I didn’t even know whether cars had radios in them. When I got to high school, it wasn’t a big thing to turn up your radio and go down the street like young people do today.

Jordan: Hmmm….okay, let me see if I had some more questions. Well, let’s take a big step forward and ask about the Internet. When was the first time you remember using it?

Janet: Oh my gosh, school, I taught school. I am trying to think…I kept records and things but I don’t think they let us get on the Internet. We did e-mail, but the school didn’t let us get on the Internet. It’s taken a long time to get Internet. When you were sleeping upstairs in Grandpa’s room we had it really slow. I’m sure we had it at least by then because Grandpa looked up church talks and things. I don’t know the computer like you guys do. I can look up things and do church work.

Jordan: There have been a lot of changes over the years. You’ve seen a lot from the time of the radio to the Internet. What are some of your feelings on that?

Janet: It’s really something; it’s changed a lot. Your dad can remember when we didn’t have computers. We got your dad and Mike three or four hundred dollar calculators once, and that was a big deal. We had typewriters at home.

Jordan: Has the change been more gradual or really amazing every time?

Janet: It’s been gradual because you learn things a bit at a time. I thought it was wonderful when we could get rid of typewriters. You couldn’t make mistakes, you had to have these white erasers to make corrections. We evern had to make carbon copies because we didn’t have copy machines. I don’t know, I guess I’m pretty old, things have changed a lot.

Jordan: Let’s see, I think I had one more question. Oh, do you remember hearing about or watching any big events?

Janet: Well, we had a young marrieds party and we watched the men land on the moon. That was a big event. Of course, everybody saw 9/11. When JFK died, we saw all that. I remember exactly where I was when he died. I had two boys and was feeding them lunch. Your dad had just put a pea up his nose and I was trying to help and they announced that. Still remember I was making dinner, hot dogs, and they announced that.

Jordan: So you heard about it through the TV?

Janet: I must’ve because we had this little TV on a stand. It was black and white until after your dad was older.

Jordan: What has been your favorite parts about the media?

Janet: The television. It keeps me company. I enjoy movies and things on the television. The internet is fine and I do genealogy, but the TV keeps me company. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Jordan: Do you listen to the radio much anymore?

Janet: No, but I do some. Sunday morning I listen to Manti’s station. A little bit but not a lot. Of course, when I get in the car I turn it on because they have some old-fashioned song channels and things.

Jordan: Well, Grandma, I think that’s it. This has been great; we’ll have to talk again more.

Janet: Well, I don’t think I said much, but hopefully you can write up a nice report.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tabernacle Choir Tidbit

My boss is a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and told me a sweet story today. The secretary for the choir was contacted by a Relief Society president with a song request. A man in her ward was just diagnosed with stage four terminal cancer and was slated to die in just a few short weeks. Since his trial, this man has found the most comfort in the song, Consider the Lilies, and this sister was wondering if there was a chance the Choir could sing it.

Only problem is that the song list is submitted months in advance to be reviewed by the First Presidency and so the Choir can begin practicing. The secretary checked the list and didn't see Consider the Lilies and told the woman the news. However, a little bit later she reviewed an updated list and that song was listed. Apparently after director Mack Wilberg had submitted his original list, he felt impressed to substitute another song with Consider the Lilies, something he had never done before. The sister was called again and the small miracle was told.

Isn't it interesting how God works in small ways? I sometimes wish very much that I could understand how, with "worlds....innumberable unto man" God can say that "all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them" (Moses 3:35). Yet I bear my testimony that despite not being able to understand, I have felt and experienced so many of His very personal answers to me that I know He does care. As small and as sinful as I am, He still loves me and wants to help me, and that gives me the power to go on.

My boss showed me the other music the choir will be singing, including one of my favorites, O My Father. Don't forget to enjoy the wonderful music as we listen to some wonderful talks this weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Life is Weird

I don't know what is going on, but I have seen some weird things in the last couple days. Today while driving to class there was a girl waiting to cross the street. She was fully decked out like Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, complete with the brown basket, red slippers and pigtails. Okay, so it's near a college campus, whatever. I drive by her and go to turn the corner when I see a man leading along a three-legged dog. I've seen more pathetic dogs (see the video below), but that was interesting.

But that's not too bad. However, yesterday I was walking in Provo and went by a girl who was apparently practicing her tight-rope walking....and she was actually pretty decent. I wonder how the desire to become a great tight-rope walker rises up in someone. Lastly and bestly, I was driving from my house to a friend's and was doing past the old Word Perfect buildings in Orem. To the left the houses are sort of up on a hill. Down this hill and onto the street I saw two deer fall (it was really dark). One got up and tried to run but seemed to not be able to get traction on the blacktop. But then the two deer were running into each other which confused me until they managed to get closer and I saw that, yes, there was one deer, but the other animal was what looked like a golden retriever with it's teeth sunk into the deer's neck.

I'll be danged if their struggle didn't take them right in the middle of the lane I was in. I stopped obviously and wanted to get the dang dog off the deer, so I tried honking and flashing my brights. They continued to struggle right in front of me for a time, then the dog managed to drag the deer to the other side of the road and down a hill toward the office buildings out of sight.

I'm a deer hunter, but there's something different about seeing a crazy dog just doing at a deer that you know is totally done for. I really do wonder how the deer got into such a predicament in the first place; usually a dog wouldn't be able to get close enough to make a move like that. Anyway, it is odd and was just one other random thing I've witnessed. We'll see if it continues.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Case of the Disappeared Car

I came out of my house today not very willing. I was going to work for a few hours, then spending the rest of the day making a brochure for one of my classes that I've been dreading for a week now.

I start to walk toward my car, except I wasn't walking toward my car. Why? Because my car had disappeared. Maybe I'm crazy, I thought. So I walked up and down the street in front of my apartment, then walked all the way around the complex to see if I had drunkenly parked it as far as possible from my apartment. No.

My dad tells a story from his Snow College days how he and a friend once went out to the parking lot of the frat house of sorts they were living in and took off everyone's tires, laid them flat, then put the car resting on the top of the four tires. They even did it to their cars to hide who the perpetrator was. One guy, a little off his hinges, came totally unglued when he found his car pranked and was ready to pull a Liam or Denzel spree.

(A 203 favorite, just make sure it's edited.)

I, however, decided to go to the office. They said that no one was allowed to tow a vehicle off of their premises without their permission. (Apparently once upon a time a girl was going to be in the Miss UVSC pageant. Someone called in and had her car booted so she couldn't get to the pageant in the morning. It worked. Hence the policy.) Oh good, I thought, some Grand Theft Auto nut decided to blur fantasy and reality last night. Only he'd be an idiot GTA nut because my car is a 2002 Honda Civic, quite possibly the most boring car known to man.

Anyway, I decided to call the bane of BYU students' existence, namely, University Parking Enforcement. (I would love to see a website devoted wholly to these gimps. How many students have been hosed by them in some way in the last 10 years? 10,000? 25,000? 50,000?) I thought I spoke to them very civily all things considered. These are the same people who, when I came out of an apartment 7 minutes after curfew were booting my car. Despite the fact I got there right as they were putting the thing on, they insisted that once it was on they couldn't take it off without money. I'm sure you have your own stories you could tell, too.

Well, it turns out they have my car. According to them, some resident called them, posed as someone from the office, and had them take away my car. That sounds like it could have some promise when put in an episode of the Office (or at least sounds like one of my favorite episodes in Season 4 "The Chair Model." Sorry I can't get a link) but for some reason I just didn't find it amusing in the slightest. Now, where I was parked was in one of the entries to the lot, but with plenty of room for cars to get in and out; people have parked there plenty in the two years I've lived in my apartment. I don't imagine they knew which car was mine and that this was a personal attack. If it was, someone needs to get a life and come talk to me. If not that, they must've been driving a tank and were angry they couldn't get into the parking lot.

Or they'd had a bad day and needed to take it out on someone. If so, I hope they feel better themselves. I thank heaven for tender mercies and that it wasn't stolen. I was amazed at how calm I felt throughout the process of tracking it turned out to be a good experience on trying patience and faith.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MWC Basketball Race

I've been fiddling around trying to figure how BYU can win the MWC regular season title while keeping Utah and everyone else out of it. Here are the standings and games each team has left:

Utah, 10-2, UNLV, @BYU, @UNM, TCU
BYU, 8-4, @SDSU, Utah, @Wyo, AFA
UNM, 8-4, TCU, @CSU, Utah, @Wyo
UNLV, 8-5, @Utah, AFA, @SDSU

Before we get to BYU, here are some thoughts: The coolest scenario (besides BYU winning) would be if all five teams finished with an 11-5 record...which could very well happen. Actually, if BYU loses only game and Utah loses all but one game (both very viable scenarios) and the other three teams win the games they should, then New Mexico could very well finish 12-4 while everyone else goes 11-5. The Lobos have the easiest schedule remaining, though the Aztecs do have 3 of the last 4 at home.

To win the title outright, BYU has to win all its games. Period. I know it's statistically still possible if they don't, but you and I both know that's not going to happen. Next, Utah has to lose its next three games. There's no way they're beating BYU or UNM on the road, so it really comes down to the game at home tomorrow night against UNLV. If the Utes win, they're champs.

In sum: After these two games in the next two days, things will either be really clear or really exciting...Look out for New Mexico...If BYU loses tonight, at the best they'll be kissing their very ugly sister...Cheering for UNLV is okay from here on out...Wyoming does have two home games against these teams, but TCU is the team to watch to see if they totally gimp a championship hopeful.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thoughts from the Weekend

After getting work and school out of the way on Friday, I spent a couple hours finishing up John Adams, the HBO miniseries. My great friend Stella stuck with me to the end (it's about 7-8 hours long). I've read the book and loved that too; if you don't know, I am huge into history, especially early American history. Those men were THE BOMB. I'm glad they all made it to heaven so I can talk to, assuming I make it there, also. John Adams is definitely underrated.

He knew it too: "The history of our Revolution will be one continued lie from one end to the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin's electrical rod smote the earth and out sprang General Washington. That Franklin electrified him with his rod - and thenceforward these two conducted all the policies, negotiations, legislatures, and war."

So by giving him mention in my first real blog post and being one of the most intense 1776 (the it, I dare you. I mean, c'mon, Adams is played by Mr. Feeny, and I know you love Mr. Feeny) fans alive, I'm hoping I have given Mr. Adams at least a few more props.

On Saturday I covered my first ever rugby game. Now, if there's one thing I like more than history, it's sports, but I haven't taken the time to learn much about the Down Under's favorite sport. The game pitted BYU against UVU. Both are quite good for the division, but BYU is DI compared to the Wolverines' DII, so the Cougars 56-0 win wasn't surprising. Luckily my cousin's husband is the team trainer, so that helped with some clarifications. There are some big boys. This guy, the team captain, scored two tries (think touchdowns) after getting six staples in his head earlier in the week. They don't get the money the other programs do, so it's cool to know they play simply for the love of the game.

Finally, I went on Tyler's and Nichole's good graces to the Jazz/Hornets game. They honored Larry Miller before the game due to his recent passing. His commercials weren't my favorite, but he did name a mall after me and kept the Jazz in Utah, so he's tops in my book. We ate at Crown Burgers both because the food is delish and you get free parking a block or two away....but if you take my spot now because I just told you that, I'll act like I didn't get my plane ticket. Okay, maybe not exactly like that.

And if you must ask, yes, I listened to some of the BYU basketball game...looks to be the same old, same old. It's amazing how much the basketball team has mirrored the football team the last five or six years. Wait, I take that back...the football team has actually won a postseason game since 1993, my bad.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Beginning

And thus it begins.

After much deliberation, here I go. I have a lot of ideas for this blog, but let's see how it actually goes. My main goals are to 1) have fun being random and 2) be entertaining to the outside world. But really, I figure things will just develop as I experiment and get feedback. Tell me what you like and especially what you don't like!

If all else fails, I'm also a public relations major, so a little dabbling in social media can't hurt. Please link to my blog whenever you'd like, whether it be permanently on your site or just whenever you enjoy a posting. I'll often comment on other blogs and websites as well.

Okay, enough with being boring. Here we go.