Friday, May 29, 2009

Song of the Lark

I graduated with a degree in English Literature. I love to read and my favorite literature is Western American Literature. I think Willa Cather is one of my favorite authors, so I was really looking forward to reading Song of the Lark. I even read the really long foreward. The story is supposed to be semi-autobiographical, so that drew me in.

The writing is great, but I just could not get behind the main character. In the end, I found her quite unsympathetic. In this story, she is an opera singer instead of an author, and there is a heavy focus on what the woman sacrifices to be the artist she was born to be. The sad thing is that she really loses out on all the intimate relationships she could have had because she is so focused on her art. I guess I just question the either/or mentality. If someone is meant to be great, then I don't think that having real relationships with people would put that in jeapordy. I do realize that the lifestyle of an artist comes with some sacrifice, but there was just too much for my liking.

One thing I really liked about the book was the side story about how the girl goes to sing with the Mexican community in her small Nebraska town, much to the dismay of most of the Scandinavian town folk. Her mother doesn't mind it, so she's not having to sneak away. She really seems to connect with several of the Mexican characters, but they are still shown as very marginalized in the context of the story. I think that's just part of the period she lived in.

Willa Cather really is masterful at setting a scene and taking you there in every way. I could almost feel the rain when she described the stark Arizona landscape and the afternoon rain shower in the canyon. If you want to read Willa Cather, I would recommend My Antonia or Death Comes to the Archbishop before this book, though.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Couple Days Late for Memorial Day

Please read this very beautiful blog post. Thank you Sean for what you do. Thank you Nathan. You're the only two people I know personally who are in the military right now. I think you're pretty great for doing what you do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Need a Laugh?

Read the comments on this shirt on Amazon.


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Promise of Warmth

We had a lovely weekend, but this morning, it sort of felt like Summer when the DH and left the house to go to the gym in the early hours. The sun was already up, and it smelled summery. It was still cool, with plenty of dew on the ground, but I loved the feeling I got walking out of the house.

The day started out overcast and a bit chilly, but I still left home without a jacket. The thought that crossed my mind was that it was well within the rules. As kids, we were allowed to put on shorts if the thermometer got above 65 degrees. The day promised 67, so surely I could go without a jacket. I remember begging to put on shorts as soon as it looked nice out in the Spring. It may have only been 53 degrees outside, but it was BEAUTIFUL! It looked like shorts weather, so I needed to be wearing shorts, already.

I'm a little more practical now (and wear shorts far less often), but I did ask myels, when would it be appropriate to start wearing capris to work? Is there a rule about that, like no white shoes before Memorial Day? At any rate, we quickly approaching that day, so you'll be seeing me with capris and no jacket for the next few months.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanks, Whitney!

I've finally put away the last of the Christmas presents. Are you proud of me?
The very last thing to do was to hang the very cool note board that Whitney made for me. The magnets are from the Duchess over at Yarnation. It's all very cute.
The first pic is the closeup view and the second is the view for context.
The note board is hanging in the laundry area of my kitchen. I love how it looks! Thanks for the cool Christmas present, Whitney.

Funny Spam (Redux)

I just went to delete the mail in my Spam folder and got a good laugh out of some of these, so I just had to share. I have not doctored any of these. They were real subject lines for mail sent to my e-mail address:
  • You've recieved an answer to your question
    (funny, I don't remember asking)
  • Putting Holy Fire in your Marriage!
    (I don't want to know how they plan to make that happen)
  • Erase your man troubles xjum
    (still wondering what the xjum is and how it might help)
  • Obama: I hear voices of dead people
    (Really? would that get you to open the message?)
  • Don't Waste Your Time
    (Don't worry, I didn't)
  • Pqraz Wubag
    (Who opens mail with that kind of subject anyway?)
  • Buy our goods -- live 200 years!
    (No thanks. All my friends would be dead.)

All that and many very offensive messages and other crazy things. I do get a kick out of some of these though.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Fun Weekend

I realize that it's been a few days since my return, but I still need to catch up on the fun weekend I had last week.

It started with a flight to Salt Lake on Wednesday evening and then a drive to Springville to visit Camille and her brood. It was great to see all her kids. They're growing up into such great people.

On Thursday morning, we left Springville for Provo and the BYU Women's Conference. I had some trouble sitting for long periods of time in the stadium seats, but other than that, it was really wonderful. We heard some great, uplifting presentations and went away from the day spiritually full. That evening, we went to Jason's Deli for dinner and then to the Scera Playhouse to watch Thoroughly Modern Millie. It was such a fun show! Diana's father-in-law did the sets, so we got comped tickets and it would have been worth it even if we'd paid full price. It was a little different from the movie and just as fun. It was also great that Ann joined us for the evening.

On Friday, we had more Women's Conference and I also spent the middle of the day with my old friend Browynn. We were best friends during our freshmen year at BYU while we were both totally engrossed in the music program there. When we were in school, we'd meet up in the main lobby of the HFAC and then wander over to the CougarEat for lunch and laughter. For this day, we just met at a local restaurant and then spent a couple of hours remembering those days and catching up on what we've been doing in the interim. Browynn has six (yes, six!) kids and lives outside Lehi now. We talked of struggles and joys and everything in between. I had such a nice time, I almost didn't want to leave. However, I knew more fun people were waiting for me back at BYU. We finished off the Women's Conference that afternoon and then drove up to Heber City in the canyon and checked into a condo there and then went out for dinner. We talked and laughed and had a great time staying up too late.

On Saturday, we stared with an early lunch at the Zermatt resort and then went into Park City. Ann, Camille, Karen, and I went for pedicures, then met up with the rest of the ladies at the outlet malls. We took a break for a movie (the forgettable Ghosts of Girlfriends Past) and then went back to the outlets until they closed. After that, we went to dinner and then back to the condo for more talking and laughing.

On Sunday, we ended our stay in Heber with a huge buffet brunch at the Zermatt resort. It was the best meal I've had in ages. We really enjoyed it, too.

Then we drove down to Salt Lake and walked around temple square. It was gorgeous! The flowers were beautiful and we got a bit of a break from the rain while we were there, so we could really enjoy it. Then Shannon, Gwen, and I were off to the airport and had to bid the Dixon women goodbye. It was sad to leave, but we had such a great time and I was really missing the DH by then.

While I was waiting for my plane in the airport, I was sitting by a window when a huge storm rolled through. The rainbow at the end was beautiful! The picture doesn't quite do it justice, but it was a wonderful end to a great weekend.