Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Thoughts on... Country Music

One of my all time favorite things to do (on a normal day) is to drive around in my car with the windows rolled down so that wind can blow through the car and my hair and I can smell the outside. I don't get to be outside very much with my job and I've found myself loving those times that I leave for lunch or get to go home. Not that I don't love my job, because I do but I love the feeling of driving. Driving with the windows down and your hair blowing all around just isn't complete without one thing: blaring country music. Country music is just the icing on the cake. I started realizing this when I first got my license when I was 17 and I could just take the car and go but it was just this summer when I figured it out. To me country music has a feeling and a message about enjoying the little things in life. It has a sound that just goes along with warm weather and beautiful surroundings. It talks about America and the freedom we have, it talks about taking back roads and being off the beaten path, going camping and exploring the world. It's just simple. And when you're driving around and looking around and feeling like you live in a great place and the mountains are ridiculously beautiful today the only thing that you can make you love it more is listening to a great country song. 

I also love having my windows down and country music turned up way too loud because I think it's funny. Usually when people blare music it has a really heavy beat and really loud rapping or something. I get a kick out of the funny looks I get when I pull up next to people in my red Santa Fe shamelessly blaring "How Country Feels" and singing along... Sometimes. Sometimes I am a little embarrassed to go quite that far, at least at a stop light- on the interstate? No problem :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Thoughts on.... Bathrooms

Don't ask me why this has been a constant thing on my mind but I find myself thinking about it every time I go in a bathroom so I wanted to share:

Bathrooms are just set up so that it makes relieving yourself awkward, I think this for a couple reason, mostly having to do with noise.
1. Why are bathrooms made in a way that echoes so much? No one wants to hear what is happening in the bathroom, whether it's a public or private I feel like anyone in the near vicinity can hear what is going on in there. That's gross. And awkward for everyone involved. My bathroom at work is a fairly large, open room with a toilet in the corner and a sink in the other corner, every single noise echoes. I'm pretty sure that anyone walking down the hall can hear exactly what's going on in there. I know that padded walls would be kinda gross, tile is much more sanitary and easier to clean but it'd be nice to have something to muffle the sound.

2. Why are bathroom walls so thin? I think that bathrooms should be at least double insulated. Seriously. How many bathrooms in houses are there that are just off the kitchen so anyone in the kitchen can hear a guy peeing? I don't mind the location as much because quick access is a good thing but it'd be nice if you didn't have to hear it when you're eating dinner. Or when you're going to the bathroom after your roommate already goes to bed and you know that she can hear you because her head is right next to the bathroom wall. If you can't poop comfortably in your own apartment, where can you? (And yes, I do the "turn on the fan" trick, it helps but it's still weird.)

3. I think that all public bathrooms should be required to play some kinda soft music. Elevator music would be perfectly fine. This would seriously increase the comfort of anyone who is using the toilet. Especially if there is only one other person in the entire room. That's what elevator music is for, right? Breaking up awkward silences? Well bathrooms have the awkward silence accompanied by awkward noises... It just seems like such a simple but effective solution to this problem.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Unwritten Rules on How to Drive in Utah

By writing down these I am now making them written but these are things that I have learned by experience while driving in Utah for the past 3 years. Take these to heart if you ever plan on driving here, it will help you survive.

1. If you want someone to pass you, turn on your turn signal and pretend you are going to merge in front of them.
2. Turn signals are optional- because then people know what you're doing and try to pass you and you have to win.
3. Driving is always a race, no matter where you are going.
4. Red lights are also optional, especially when it was kinda close to a yellow light.
5. Yellow lights mean that you need to go really fast or you will get stuck and lose the race.
6. When driving on the interstate, pick a lane, any lane and drive however fast you want.
7. Speed limits are the minimum speed that you should ever go.
8. There is always a right turning lane, even when there isn't one. So you should squeeze past the cars that are waiting to turn left or go straight.
9. Stopping for pedestrians will make you lose the race.
10. Headlights are optional. When you can see fine in the dark, you don't need your lights because that will let other cars see you and it's none of their darn business where you're going.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Les Miserables

Ok, to start, I do not normally do this, ever. I don't want to be a film snob or anything, I love blockbusters, I don't watch a lot of indie films or anything so that I can show people how much I know about movies... but for Les Miserables my film major-ness really kicked in when I was watching it and then when I started seeing people's commentary I have so many things I want to say in response to them so I'm writing this, which no one will even read, but it'll make me feel better. I'm going to to address the things that people say about this film and give my own response.

I love the musical Les Mis. I have never read the book, I haven't seen the other movie. The first experience I had with Les Mis is going to see it in London this past summer and then listening to the songs a lot since I saw it. So that's where I'm coming from. Not a die hard fan, not emotionally attached, I just like it.

Complaint #1: The disclaimer
"I liked the movie, there were parts I didn't care for but in all it was good." and "It's so good except for the graphic rape scene" and "I have decided not to see this movie because I heard there's a graphic prostitute scene, I won't judge any of you who see it, but I will not. I'm so sad about this"
Did I miss something? Did we go see the same movie? For one, there was no rape scene, Fantine consents, it wasn't rape. And if you know the story at all you know that is what happens, why are you surprised? Two, what was graphic? I don't think I am past feeling on this by any means, I feel uncomfortable with sex scenes, always. I went to the movie with my mom and she didn't notice anything that made her feel uncomfortable... my mom, who feels so uncomfortable talking about such things that she was afraid to give us "the talk." We have been trying to figure out why people are so upset by this scene. It is hard to watch, but I think that the filmmakers did an amazing job with Fantine. I thought that entire part was completely necessary and it was handled in a very tasteful, reverent way. There was no skin, it wasn't glorifying, it didn't prolong anything longer than necessary. It took the time to show he descent and the decisions she made and why she made them. That's the most important thing, the why. You can see her pain and it's not easy to watch but I think that you take that journey with her and you feel the way she feels. At the end of scene with the captain you feel her despair because you went through it with her, making the song "I Dreamed A Dream" incredibly powerful. Can I just say how amazing that was? Anne Hathaway's performance there was mind blowing. Seriously, that song was all done in one shot. She sang that whole thing right in front of the camera with that much emotion. The emotion she put into the song, especially with the line "he took my childhood in his stride" mixed with the emotion you were already feeling was so powerful. One more thought, why are people dwelling on that part? There is so much more to the film, I didn't even remember that until everyone started these disclaimers like they are afraid of being judged if someone sees this part and remembers that they said they liked the movie and approved of it.

Complaint #2: The bored one
"The movie was so slow"
Slow does not mean bad. If you were expecting The Avengers, then yes, this film was slow but if you are expecting to see the musical Les Mis, this film moved just as fast as I remember the musical on stage going. The thing that makes this story so powerful is it takes the time to develop the characters so that you know exactly who they are, where they came from, and why they do the things they do. Every Javier, the "bad guy" of the film, you understand that he is just trying to do what he believes is right and his job so he can in no way be disliked for his actions. The theme of redemption cannot be shown quickly, it has to come with time and effort. I have a hard time with this complaint mostly because anyone who says this has no idea about slow films, try watching Fires on the Plain or Diary of a Country Priest and then we can talk.

Complaint #3: The singer
"The singing was not very good." and "Why was Russell Crowe in this movie?!"
I don't know much about the mechanics of singing or anything like that, I just like the songs from the musical a lot, but I thought the singing was great. I thought Russell Crowe sang really well for not really singing very much from what I know and I thought his song "Stars" was awesome. Except for the awkward position he was standing in during the last shot of that song, why were his arms sticking out like that? Was I the only one that noticed that? No, the actors were not broadway singers but if you want to see those kinds of singers than you should probably go see the actual play. Film acting is so much smaller than stage acting, I think those big voices would have been slightly overwhelming. It's hard for actors to go from one to another, Eponine (Samantha Barks) is a great exception, but I have seen stage people trying to tone it down for the camera and most of the time it doesn't work.

Those are the biggest three complaints that I've seen and I disagree with. I have one thing to say to the girls who keep posting statuses saying "I am Eponine." Please just stop. haha I understand relating to character, what girl hasn't liked someone who didn't like her back? But most of these 16 year old girls who are saying this are not seeing the complexity of the character who gives her life for love even though she knows he doesn't love her back and they are just saying that to try to get the attention of the guy that they feel like they've been friend-zoned by.

Other thoughts:
I wanted Enjolras' voice to be a little bit stronger. He was really really good in the movie but in the play he had a voice that was mesmerizing like the Phantom's that made you actually want to get up and fight with him. Wasn't it cool how he fell out the window and hung by one leg when he was killed in the same position that he dies in on the barricade in the play?
Eponine has the greatest dimples on her cheeks, I wish my dimples looked more like that haha
I don't like the Master of the House song. I didn't like it in London either. It's too much.
I'm amazed that those actors allowed themselves to look THAT bad on that big of screen. There were no glamour shots in this movie. None. They all looked horrible the whole time haha, and that made it so much more real and I loved that.
Russell Crowe still has a baby face to me.
The sewer part was so gross! But that helped it be more real.
Marius did a weird head shaking thing when he held long notes... thank goodness the editor noticed and cut to a different shot during all of his longer notes. (I don't normally notice editing, you're not supposed to, but when he was singing there were times when I wanted it to cut and then it did. I liked that.) His freckles were cute.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

6 Months

I guess you would think that because it's technically Christmas right now I would be writing a post about Christmas and how it snowed today and I was able to get all of my shopping done in 3 hours this afternoon, we were able to skype with my sister in Thailand for a couple hours, and I am now sitting here writing this in my new zebra print footie pajamas... but that's not what is on my mind right now.

I have been thinking recently about the past 6 months. You know, some people have a hard time living in the present because they are so busy looking forward to and planning for the future, I'm not like that. I have a hard time living in the present because I like to remember the past... it's one of the curses of having a ridiculously good memory. It's how I am able to see someone I met once and place where I met them and what we talked about, and how I was able to keep myself completely head over heels for a guy that I hadn't seen or talked to in 2 years. Anyway, these past 6 months I think it's safe to say have been the most life changing for me out of any other 6 month period so far in my life. Let me explain a little bit.

6 months ago I was living in London. I was immersed in a world that was unfamiliar but I loved so much. I was surrounded by amazing, fun people all the time. I was using foreign money and spent my time going to museums via the tube. I spent a couple of hours a day on skype and the rest of my down time dreaming of the next couple of months to come.

You know on 500 Days of Summer when there is the split screen of expectation and reality? Looking back on this 6 months feels a little bit like that.

I came home from London and went to Colorado and had a perfect week. I cannot think of a single thing that went wrong during that amazing week of four wheeling. Then I came back to Provo and things changed. In the past 6 months I have felt hurt and pain unlike anything I have ever felt before. My heart was completely crushed and I found myself having to work my way back up from what seemed like nothing. The pain has dulled now, that's something that I have found happens over time.

Good things happened too, amazing things actually. I applied for graduation, making this past semester my last full semester of school ever! I was blessed with the greatest roommates in the whole world, one of which is my kindred spirit and has been a life saver for me. I secured a job for next semester that will give me a set schedule.

 I have completely re-evaluated my life and straightened out my priorities. I have become the kind of person that I want to be and that I am proud of, all on my own (with help from a loving Heavenly Father, of course) but without the influence or motivation of another person. I have made changes in my life that I did not even realize that I needed to make before.

My best friend got engaged 5 months ago and was married this past weekend, and I was able to go! I turned 22, which is an age that I have been really excited about for a long time. I had a party and just gave people an open invitation to show up if they felt like it. I had 30 people who I love so much from all of the 4 years that I have been at BYU show up at my apartment to wish me happy birthday! I still can't believe that I have met so many incredible people here! I love them!

This past half year did not go at all the way that I planned, but sometimes God has a better plan for your life. That's what I've learned.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What a Great Weekend!

This weekend was a really good weekend. Yesterday I only had one class. So I went to class for an hour and when I came home I skyped with Julie who is my awesome sister who is studying abroad in Madrid right now. Isn't she gorgeous? Seriously, I have the prettiest sisters.

Then I had to do an assignment where I had to do a lighting set up and light someone... but there was no one around and I couldn't set up lights for myself. So I called Nich who lives really close and was done with class for the day. Then I ended up with an awesome picture like this. haha Jolly Old St. Nich.

My Mom came down to hang out with me for the night. It was awesome! We went to dinner at Zupas and then walked around the mall. (Which doesn't mean just walked around I got a pretty great jacket, thanks Mom!)

I got an awesome letter this week from my sister Erin who is on a mission in Thailand. My mom brought it down with her. It was one of the best letters ever, she somehow knew exactly what I needed to hear. Missionaries are good at that :) See? She's awesome too, she plays with tigers.

This is the envelope that the letter came in, isn't it great?!
She added a little commentary in the last picture:
"So Asian"

This morning I got up early (7 am!) and went to help film a capstone. I was really cold the whole day. I worked on camera for the first real time, it was a lot of pressure! I think I did ok... There were two Red Epics on set today so instead of doing the second assistant camera person job that I've been trained to do, I found myself being the 1st AC. So I had to focus the camera. I have only done it once before. I made a realization about myself, my left eye is very rarely actually in focus. I'm guessing it has to do with my astigmatism... but I had to focus the camera with one eye haha. It was a little rough, but good practice for when I'll be helping out with camera again next week :) I love working with camera, they are so cool!

Tonight I went to a international movie with my roommate, it was extremely weird. and that's coming from a film major who has watched an unreal number of movies.

When I got home tonight I was just tired... so I sat at home and watched Youtube videos with my roommates :) I found a playlist of 40 of the best cat videos... so worth watching! haha and now I am still not in bed, even though I have now been awake for 14 hours.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 1

You know, I have never really understood the phrase "today is the first day of the rest of my life."
But today I understand it perfectly.
One of my first thoughts this morning was, "ok, day 1. Let's do this." I haven't felt like that all day by any means but that's ok. I guess you just have to take some things one day at a time and eventually it won't even be a conscious decision, it will just be automatic.