Love Story meets Viva La Vida

I've been a bit out of the loop on this one so you have probably heard/seen it--apparently with over 1 million views in 6 weeks it is the second highest-rated music video (possibly the highest now) of all time on YouTube. Anyway, Utah's own Jon Schmidt created this amazing arrangement of "Love Story" and "Viva La Vida" for his little girl. Check it out and then if you would like a tiny bit more information on it go here.


May I recommend:

It is my new favorite CD (I know it has been out for a couple of months now) and is a collection of folk hymns and spirituals such as one of my all-time favorite hymns (wish it were in our hymn book) Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. While I really do love all the selections on this CD, my favorite, without a doubt, is Amazing Grace. Give me a strong bagpipe and an excellent drum roll and I'm sold. They don't have a music video of it yet (they do for one of the other songs on the CD so I am hopeful) so here is an improvised video from YouTube:

I would really, really love to see it performed in concert (why don't they have Utah tour dates?).

For those keeping track at home, the concerts I would like to attend are as follows (in no particular order):

1. U2
2. Green Day
3. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir


More Short Films

I thought I'd throw up a couple more Short Films that I have seen lately for the long weekend.

This first one (done by Taza and Husband over at The Rockstar Diaries) documents a 2009 cross-country road trip:
And this second one documents SIX YEARS of Polaroid taking by Jami Saunders (a larger version can/should be viewed here):


Meet the Brockintons

Ran across this over at The Rockstar Diaries (one of my new favorite blogs) and fell in love with it. I've been seeing quite a few of these short films being made by "regular" folks (this one was done with the aid of a film student) around the blogging world and it really makes me want to buy equipment and software and talent and do one myself. Short of that, I'll just keep on enjoying all the excellent work being done by others (I've watched this one several times already).
Sam and Ashley are photographers and you can view their work website here or visit their blog here.


Wishing I Were British

because if I were British I would probably be living in Britain eating fabulous chocolate while making purchases like this:

and this:

and this:

from Hen and Hammock.

Or perhaps this:

and this:

from Clothkits.

But as I am neither British nor able to afford the rate of exchange and the international shipping I will merely have to satisfy myself with sighs over my laptop--really not very satisfying at all.


Just Say No...

...to 'Reality' TV! That is to be my mantra for the coming year. No more! I will not be sucked into your mindless entertainment! I will not sit through up to three hours of any one of you in a single night. I will not waste any more time on you.

Bold words, I know, but after spending 4+ hours watching the final episodes of Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars I've decided that I need to create my own personal intervention. To be fair (to myself), I've never really been much of a reality show watcher. I don't watch American Idol, or Survivor, or The Bachelor (cause really we all know he isn't going to end up marrying the girl--never has before), etc. and never have, but as has recently been highlighted even if I only watch a couple they are robbing me of my precious time--time that could be spent doing something that is actually productive like finishing one of the loveliest books I've read this year: Fine Old High Priests by Donald S. Smurthwaite.

When I first thought of swearing off reality shows I thought it might be difficult especially when others begin talking about what happened the previous night. But then I realized that people don't really talk about what goes on on reality shows--probably because much of it is such mindless "entertainment" that there is nothing to talk about after it is over. For example, I could say that last night Gilles was robbed of the Dancing with the Stars trophy but beyond that there is not much to say. Perhaps you could attempt to argue the point but as neither of us are dancing experts the argument would quickly fall into a "who is prettier" discussion and clearly Gilles is the winner:

You might still try to argue the point, but then we would begin to sound like the 12 year old girls in my ward who spend 2 hours at a service project seriously "discussing" who is better: Edward or Jacob (clearly Edward) until they are annoyed/mad at each other for not seeing the obvious and no one wants that--trust me I've lived that.

After solving my worries that interesting conversation might drag me back into the clutches of reality TV, I began to look around for other possible reasons I might be sucked back into its evil clutches but finding none (cause let's face it positive, uplifting reality rarely gets air time) I feel pretty happy and empowered by my decision. And now I bid a happy adieu to reality TV!

Here's hoping this little post will keep me strong the next I have nothing to watch.


Paper Heart

I really like the look of this movie.

I especially like the perfect date idea from the little kids.

I also thought the ordering from the menu to make the waiter think you've been around was awesome because I've done that--only that tends to misfire when you mispronounce the item (or when you are in Belfast, Northern Ireland and you can't convince the waiter or others at your table that the way they are pronouncing "quesadilla" is the correct way).


Everyday Chic

I recently received the most lovely package in the mail from a very good friend of mine. It was lovely both because of the wonderful detail in wrapping and because of the contents which included a lovely silver bracelet, a cute compact mirror, and a fabulous apron made by her sister Alison over at Everyday Chic. After oohing and ahhing over my gifts (and trying on the fab apron) I headed over to Alison's website and fell in love with the rest of her products.

Products like this:
and this: (I love cherry patterns)

and this: (with the Eiffel Tower design)

And they are all so reasonably priced (I nearly fell over dead at the prices people wanted me to pay for aprons in the mall over Christmas). There is also an assortment of baby items like bibs and burp cloths available in equally cool fabric. It is people with mad sewing skillz like Alison or Katie that make me want to learn to sew. But then I remember way back in Junior High when I took sewing and tried making a pair of shorts but they turned out to be literally unwearable (I transferred into Shop shortly afterword where I made nearly unrecognizable bird houses) and I think it is better that I support others in their talents.


Are You Ready?

318 new laws go into effect today. Not sure how we are supposed to keep track of all of these plus all the laws that were previously on the books, but here are a few laws you may want to be aware of:

1. You can no longer text or e-mail while driving (in Utah) unless it is an emergency and doing so with cost you your driving license for 3 months. Sadly it is still legal to talk on your cell phone.

2. All voters must show picture ID at the polls. This one seems like a no brainer and something I have wondered about because really what keeps someone from walking into my precinct seeing my name on the list at the front door and then walking up and declaring that they are me (other than the fact that my Aunt does the signing in at my precinct)? I'm trying to think of whether this law is discriminating against anyone, but it does seem reasonable.

3. Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert can now perform marriages. Not sure if it is Gary Herbert who can now perform marriages or the Lt. Gov., who currently happens to be Gary Herbert, who can now perform marriages.

4. Regular people can't give drugs to wildlife.

5. You can now legally homebrew up to 100 gallons of beer or wine a year without a state licence.

6. You can carry a loaded handgun in your car, and you can take a handgun onto your employer's parking lot in your car, even if the employer has a no-gun policy for his property. This one disturbs me, particularly the last half of it.

Well there are just a few. You may want to go look up the rest just so that you can be sure that you are not a law breaker.

image: Salem News


Pretty, Pretty To-Do Lists

Check out these pretty to-do lists that you can download for free over at the lovely Blah, Blah, Blahg! Download here. Check out the rest of her fabulous blog here.

image: Blah, Blah, Blahg

Man Candy Monday

It has been quite some time since I did a man-candy post so I decided it was about time to come up with one. Fortunately my weekend provided me with just such an opportunity to discuss here when I met one of my pretend boyfriends.

Not one of my five (which is probably a good thing because while Hollywood sightings are not actually that rare in my part of Utah, the stars are usually here because they have entered a local rehab clinic--happily, to my knowledge, none of my pretend boyfriends have had cause to visit my area for rehab reasons) but my Olympic crush: Rich Lambourne.

Remember how I spent Thursday night at the NCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship, well he was in town for that as well (he played for BYU before going on to his Olympic success) and he and Ryan Millar (another former BYU player volleyball player and Olympic Gold Medal winner) put on a little free discussion/clinic about their experiences so naturally I attended.

I took my little 3 year old niece with me because A) It is highly unlikely that another grown adult would have agreed to go with me so I could check out my Olympic crush and B) If I had found such an adult they probably would have done something embarrassing like tell him that I have a crush on him. It was quite a bit of fun and it was nice to hear both athletes speak rather coherently and without using the supposed words 'um' and 'you know.' It was also rather nice to hear both athletes talk about the importance and satisfaction of teamwork over individual glory.

After the speaking and playing bit was done they invited us down for autographs and so I dutifully lined up for my chance to meet and talk to my Olympic crush. Of course my 3 year old niece stole the show and I'm sure Rich made the assumption that I was her mother so any dreams of attending the London 2012 games as an athlete's wife are pretty much destroyed. But here is the picture to prove that it all happened (or at least to prove that I was in the general vicinity of him for a brief moment--I didn't want to turn total stalker in an attempt to get a really great shot of him because I don't think I am entirely crazy--yet).


Using my Camera

I don't use my camera nearly as often as I should. But that is about to change--or at least I am going to make an attempt at changing that by having my camera with me as much as possible.

This new attempt/project started last night. Here are the results:

Not really a great shot so after I get the idea of having my camera with me down I need to work on getting a better shot.

I went to the NCAA Men's Volleyball National Championships last night which are being hosted for the first time ever at BYU. It was a fun atmosphere complete with a band and some rowdy fans, but I was a bit sad that BYU wasn't in it (especially since BYU could have beat two of the teams that were playing. Not that I'm saying BYU should have been there. They had their chance and didn't play the way they needed to and ended up 7th in the nation. Only 4 teams get invited to the National Championship with three of the teams getting automatic berths as conference winners. This means that this year (and pretty much every year) the final four teams consist of the #1 team, #4 team, #5 team, and #10 team. By whose definition is that a respectable final four--in what other sport does the number 2 team in the nation not get a chance to play for the national title?--other than BCS football. Sadly this is not likely to change because of the lovely Title IX which in theory seems all nice but in practise severely limits the amount of sports that men are allowed to participate in at the college level, prevents the NCAA from spending time, money, and energy in promoting a real final four in sports like men's volleyball, all while trying to find some other random women's sport without wide-spread interest so their numbers look good). Not that any of you are likely to be overly interested in my little rant on college sports so let's move on to something that might interest you just a little bit more:

My niece turned 3! Here is the beaming princess:

And here is her very pretty Tinkerbell cake:


Here is the scene at my local library:

photo courtesy The Daily Herald

The apparent story (as best as anyone can guess) is that an owl flew into one of the windows at the library and left this imprint (some believe it is dust that transferred from the owl to the window on impact). They checked around the library for the owl but couldn't find anything so there is some hope that the owl survived the collision.

I just can't get over the detail of the image left. Amazing.