Showing posts from 2012

2012 Books (2)

Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear - Grade: A+. AGH! WHY IS HE SOOOO GOOD?! This book was like literally 1000 pages and I just read and read and read them until there were none left and then I was heartbroken. Every word is necessary, every page is rife with story and excitement, and yet there's STILL SO MUCH he is keeping from us! I want to know all! I want to know now! One of the best books/series I've read this year, bar none.

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragons of the Dwarven Depths - The Lost Chronicles, Vol. 1 - Grade: B-. If you've been following along, you know that I love me some Dragonlance. So when I discovered that they had, years later, penned a trilogy that took place in the MIDDLE of the original trilogy, I was apprehensive but excited. My mixed feelings proved to be with good reason. The storyline was a little shaky, but the characters I know and love were all there and all written properly. However, the authors seemed to have forgotte…





And I will fight every day to have them. And I will never stop until I draw my last breath.

Thank you to all those who believed in me before I believed in myself. I owe so much to you. And thank you to all those who continue to believe in me and buoy me up as I continue fighting every day to make them reality. I am so, so blessed.

"Roots Before Branches"

So many things
To do and say
But I can't seem
To find my way
But I wanna know how
I know
I'm meant
For something else
But first
I gotta find myself
But I don't know how

[Rachel with Finn harmonizing:]
Oh, why do
I reach for the stars
When I don't have wings
To carry me that far?

[Rachel with Finn:]
I gotta have
Roots before branches
To know who I am
Before I know
Who I wanna be

When The Stars Align...

So as many people know, I was in Dallas this past weekend helping my brother move so he could start a new job. However, on my way to the airport I left my phone at his house. I discovered this when I was ready to check-in. In a mad dash, I flew back down the escalator and got to my brother before he pulled out to drive away. We searched his car and I upended most of my things frantically. It became evident that I had not had my phone on the 40-minute drive to the airport, and that it had to be at his house. Unfortunately, I had to work on Monday and all the flights for Sunday didn't look good, and so this was the last flight out of the day, and I had to be on it. No time to go back.

When my brother got back to his apt, he discovered that indeed my phone was there. He took it to a FedEx shipping center and overnighted it to me, but since it was the weekend they weren't shipping. It would go out Monday and arrive Tuesday by 3pm guaranteed.

However, the tracking number he gave me…


I have to say that I'm really excited for Election Day. Because it's an opportunity for me to stand up and say that my voice matters. And it does.

And I don't have to necessarily side with either of the two parties backed by ridiculous, absurd amounts of $$$ coming from PACs and Super-PACs. I can vote for the person I believe most accurately represents me. Which is what everyone should be doing, no matter the state, no matter the party, no matter the debates.

I commend and applaud all the third-party candidates who were unable to get time on the big screen in the main presidential debates, because we are focused on the broken two-party system. This is supposed to be a democracy, not a left-against-right battle. The work they are doing to make sure that everyone has an equal voice and an equal opportunity receives not only my nod of approval, but my support. Watching the third-party debate was enlightening, and refreshing.

Many people I hear whining about how their vote doe…

Project: Creative Writing

I tell everyone all the time that I am a writer. But really, what do I write? Because I'll even confess to not writing as much as I should be.

Part of this I attribute to laziness. Part to ADHD. Part to anxiety. Part to...I could make a really long list.

Suffice it to say that a few days ago I dredged my computer for excerpts and scenes from my novel, and I found way more than I realized I had. Go me! I *AM* a writer! Including whole scenes that I think about and say "hmm this will be difficult to write." Yeah, except I already wrote it!!! :)

So to help me overcome some of my obstacles... I've been trying to find ways to be more creative about my creativity. The newest foray: Choose-your-own-adventure-style collaborative decision-making. I've resurrected my other blog and will be peeling back the curtains on my writing. Which scares me to death. I'm also kind of excited.

But I'm doing it anyway. I will be sharing characters, cities, world, etc., as well a…

2012 Movies

50/50(Jan 7) - Grade: B. Triple play action! To celebrate my newly-rediscovered freedom, we went to the Dollar Theatre for a triple-flick extravaganza! Woo! First was this movie which I had seen slated as a "comedy." And Seth Rogen was in it too. So I was thinking your Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express type of comedy I don't generally appreciate. But I believe this film was mislabeled. It was serious, and actually rather heavy amid its light-hearted comedic quips. I really enjoyed this film.

Real Steel(Jan 7) - Grade: B-. A lot of people have hated on this movie for being absurd, horrid, ridiculous, etc. You name the adjective, it's probably been thrown at this movie. But I don't really agree. Granted, it's not your X-men, but I didn't think any of the acting was poorly done. It's a camp story, but it was executed in the right ways, and I enjoyed this flick just as much as the next kid.

The Help(Jan 7) - Grade: A. I haven't read the book, so …

2012 Books

James Dashner's The Death Cure - Grade: A. This is the third installment in The Maze Runner which, if you haven't started reading them, you should. Because they are pretty awesome. Again, I struggled to remember what happened in the previous book, especially some of the characters. I don't know if that's because they weren't developed well-enough to be memorable, or just that I suck at remembering. But again, Dashner is in his element, producing a heart-pounding, page-turning, gripping novel. As I got near the last 30 pages, I didn't want to keep reading, because THE END was coming! Nooooooooo!!! I don't WANT the end! My heart was racing for so much of the book. Dashner knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats, that's for sure. I enjoyed this one alot.

Rick Riordan's The Son of Neptune (second book in The Heroes of Olympus series) - Grade: A-. Another victory for Riordan. I struggled to get through this book at parts, but for the most …

[BACKPOST]: Top of the Charts in 2011

So here we are again, except this year I'm posting this in October. So 2010 clearly wins. And you've all been good and read the Best of 2011..., right? You better! Also, can I just say - part of the reason I think I procrastinate posts like this (and the Best of's) is because they take SO LONG! I can't just gush and his "publish." These posts take work, editing, setup, comparison, etc. This post took me like 4 hours to completely write.

The numbers are pretty interesting this go-round, and I'd say they have definitely been affected by Pandora. Because I could listen to that at work, but not my iPod/iTunes. So my #4 from last year comes in just under the #1 for this year, but then I have 9 songs this year that received less plays than the #25 last year. So there's alot more disparity in numbers in 2011.

I went on a shopping spree right at the end of 2010, so alot of new music, plus further buys in 2011 based on my Pandora loves. There's almost a…

[BACKPOST] - 2011: The Best Of...

So 2011. It was a year of routine, hard work, and changes. I definitely had my share of struggles in 2011, but overall it was a good year for me. This is going to be a really hard post to write though, because this information is all almost a year old now. Oh, I'm such a bad blogger!

Best Trip of 2011:

You're probably thinking I'm going to pick Cedar Point since it was my favorite trip in 2010, and we did have our first Family Reunion (just my family, no extendeds) there this summer. But I'm going to have to pick a different one, to be fair.

The winner? Pittsburgh.

Because it was my first time to this City, and it happens to be home to two of my favorite people. Love ya ladies! We had a blast on this trip exploring and riding boat/cars, visiting the sights, spending time, good eats, it was just an amazing trip (so great that I went again this year!)

Best Restaurant of 2011:

What can I say? Old habits die hard. I'm cheating, I know. But I'm picking the same plac…

By popular demand...

6 Months without a blog.

Has it really been that long? Man, I suck at blogging. Heh. And sometimes I dream about getting paid jut to blog. Yeah, not like this.

Well. Some of you miss me, and I sort of miss me, so I guess I'll come back. :) Maybe I just needed a break? Or maybe I'm just lazy.

It's kind of funny really, how things change in your life. When I was in college, you'd never ever find me without my journal. I wrote in that thing like a madman. 1000s of pages. About everything. And I don't regret it. I wish I had written more actually. And then when I started blogging, the scene shifted and I journaled less. And blogged more. Because then other people could read my "secrets" and react. And I liked that sharing aspect.

Then things got more balanced, I figured things out, and my blogging tapered off. I guess I should be happy and chalk that up to the joys of "self-actualization" and adjusting to society. But I'll be honest - I miss it …

On Display (3) - 30 Days, 30 Stories

Must be April. That means the Utah Children's Writers are doing their 30 Days, 30 Stories again just like last year.

This year I decided to do a piece from 2007, to highlight the struggle I had when my brother was diagnosed with diabetes: Hope Without A Sugar Coating.

In 2008 I did the JDRF Walk for Diabetes as well, for my brother and some friends' children. If you can, please take a moment and donate to the JDRF. My motto still stands: A dollar, a difference. Thanks.

Hello L.A.

So before the end of the year came around, I had Arbitration for my accident. I knew that after that, I was going to need a break. Good or bad outcome, it was going to be a stressful day and I would need something to take my mind off everything.

So the day after we arbitrated, I hopped a plane to Burbank to see Turtle.

When I landed, I went outside and greeted the sun. Oh yeah, California is WARM! I waited and waited and Turtle took forever (just kidding). Once we were on the road, we put on the GLEE: Christmas album, even though to her it didn't feel like Christmas. It was 67 degrees outside after all.

As we were driving, we decided to get brunch. I said, "I want to eat at a hole-in-the-wall dive." So we looked for a bit, and then found "Tom's #7," which from the outside appeared to be an old school burger joint. Inside it was a mexican restaurant completely staffed and patronized by non-whites. Fantastic. I got a pastrami quesadilla, because why not? Pastra…

articles of 2011

Ever since 2009 when I claimed to not read articles, and then 2010 when I acknowledged that I started reading, I've been thinking about articles.

Because I read A TON of them.

So for this year's best of, I wanted it to be harder to choose (and it will be). I started tracking the articles I perused. Granted, I wasn't super diligent about it, so this list isn't wholly representative... but I think I did a pretty good job.

So disclaimers: No guarantee any links will work. Not a comprehensive list. Don't read if there's going to be something that offends you.

Articles of 2011 included:
Movement to restore children's play

Zodiac sign hasn't changed


Women obsessed with LDS blogs

Mormonism: room for everyone?

Serenity/Firefly after

Mormons and Iomega

Disney ditching princesses

11 Things to Know at 25(ish)

NEI Responds to AP Article

Utah braces for floodings as hot temps melt snowpack

Scientists create first memory expansion for brain

Toddler who fell in Vi…

Movi3s (Rounding out 2011)

Immortals (Nov 19) - Grade: B+. This one wasn't really on my radar, and I'm pretty sure I even got invited to see it once or twice and declined, but everyone was talking about it, and then I must've been in the right mood because a friend invited me and I agreed. I'd never seen 300 so I was worried I would be lost, but I found out it was just the same director, not the same story. The story was pretty intense, but cool, though I must say that WOW, I was unprepared for all the blood and gore in this! There were some scenes where the slow-motion cinematography was cool, but GROSS! It was also interesting to me to "go behind the scenes" and read about how much the stars all worked out and how far in advance they trained so that they could have ripped, awesomely hot bodies for the movie. The preparation and dedication to a movie part can be pretty ridiculous if you ask me!

Let Me In (Dec 3) - Grade: B-. This movie had always caught my eye from the time trailers we…

Pages Visited 2011 Edition - 2.0 (Rounding out 2011)

C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle - Grade: B. Probably my least favorite Narnia book. SPOILER: I like the fact that Lewis brings everyone back, but not that the majority of them die. It just seems unnecessary and unhelpful. Also, the spirituality/christianity aspect gets overly-heavyhanded here. It's tolerable in the other books, but here it becomes a bit much, in my opinion. Turtle was happy to be done with the Narnias so we could get to the last book in the Chronicles Series, Dragons of Summer Flame.

Sarah Southerland's Not Another Sarah: Avoiding and Escaping Abuse - Grade: ? I don't really know how to grade this book. It's written by a personal friend of mine about her true story account of being in and escaping from a very dangerous, abusive relationship. The account is harrowing, almost unbelievable in places, and gripping. I read the book almost in one sitting. Something intriguing Sarah has done is pair her account with a guide - "Everything You Need To Know …

Pages Visited 2011 Edition

Somehow, someway this post got missed being published. I swear I wrote the thing months and months ago, the original draft was from Jan 31, 2011, but when I opened the draft there was no content! So I guess I failed on that one...

James Rollins' Altar of Eden - Grade: B-. A co-worker recommended this book to me. I don't think the storyline was necessarily bad, just weird. Some parts of the book came across as too contrived for my liking. It took me a long time to get through this novel. Parts of it were slow, and then others held my attention raptly. I was up and down on this book quite a bit.

Perry Moore's HERO - Grade: A. I didn't think the plot in this book was super-tight, nor were all the characters well-written and developed, but I'm going to give it an A anyway for breaking boundaries and daring to be different. This book is basically a re-invention of the superhero. The main character is gay, his teammate's ability makes everyone sick, and the girl who …

True Confessions: 11.

I did something crazy.

I started a new blog! (I know, I know, I can't even keep up with this one... what makes me think I can do another one?!)

But this one is for my writing. My reading. My re-"taking" of a college course I had 6 years ago. I'm pretty stoked about it. You should follow along. There will be new posts everyday ("homework" does that!)

Come on over and see me read, write, evoke, ponder, and be.


Fast Five(May 30th) - Grade: D. We were going to see Bridesmaids but then the times were all messed up, so we ended up watching this one instead. It was a fast cars doing amazing things movie like all the others. I'll admit I haven't kept with this series (I didn't even really know it was a series... I don't even know if I've seen any of the other movies?). Reminded me alot of Gone in 60 Seconds, but I thought that one was better. Lots of glam, violence, and cars, cars, cars. Just another alright movie.

SUPER 8(June 10) - Grade: A. I was SO excited to see this movie! The trailers looked AMAZESAUCE. And it proved to be true. Went to the midnight showing and so glad I did. This movie was everything it promised in the names of Spielberg and J.J.Abrams. Definitely one to see if you haven't.

X-Men: First Class(June 10) - Grade: C-. I'm sorry to be picky about X-men, but as previously mentioned I really take issue with having my childhood ruined and redone. If you…