30 September 2008

in the interim...

hey party people! i know you all come here for updates about me, me, me... so lest i keep you waiting too long here's a random post full of random things to keep you entertained until i post about my amazing sytycd weekend wherein I may or may not (may) have taken 400+ photos (300 of them at the show). just know this- i held a shark. a real shark.


-you know when sometimes you comment on someone's blog post and you have to do a word verification? i can never, ever get it right the first time. never. it makes me crazy.

-it's pumpkin season again. is anyone else as excited as i am about this? pumpkin!

-sometimes when i see people listening to or talking about Brandi Carlile i instantly think they're referring to Belinda Carlisle and i get really confused that she's still so popular, even without them go-go's.

-getting rejected to donate blood is one of the worst things you can do to my ego. i was turned away last week because my pulse was too. slow. seriously. also, the worst part about donating blood is getting my blood pressure taken. it just hurts! so, not only was i not able to give blood last week, i got my finger pricked and had my blood pressure taken twice so they could make sure they got an accurate pulse and blood pressure reading. but seriously. too slow! it was only 46 bpm and the acceptable range is 50-100. i told them i could go run around the building really quickly but they didn't fall for that. i like to think i have an amazingly efficient heart and that i am really calm but maybe it was proof that i am just a heartless bitch. anyway... i'm heading to the blood bank again tonight to try again. wish me luck! (ps- good news. i just checked my pulse and it's currently at a dizzying 51bpm... i think i can keep this up until my appt).

-oh yeah. i almost forgot to tell you that i pulled out of the st george marathon. i just couldn't find a good reason to run that far sans training. i kept reading blogs and articles about the importance of muscle memory (the reason for the long runs) and it freaked me out. that was the final straw. so, in lieu of sgm (which i'll aim for again next year) i'm on track training for the las vegas marathon on dec 8th. you should probably come cheer me on.

ps- we're 10 posts away from the 300th post on this blog. maybe we should have a party. or a give away.

24 September 2008

i had a baby.

ok... i didn't really have a baby but one of my best friends had a baby yesterday and at lunch today i went to visit them at the hospital. i'm pretty sure at some point in the next week i'll be stealing that baby. not only is she absolutely perfect, she has jewelry AND she puckers. her. lips.

clearly she was meant to be mine.

welcome to the world little pj!

22 September 2008

confession: acclimatization

Tonight on my way home from class I was so cold I had to turn on the heater in my car. Guess how cold it was outside. 80 degrees.

photo sho

I turned in my first photography assignment tonight- the Scavenger Hunt. I think it went pretty well though I definitely felt there were some images I could have improved upon. We critiqued everyone's photos in class and I was quite contented (read: proud- the prideful kind) to see that mine were among the better shots. So... here are some of my favs:

*These look so much better on the calibrated monitor at school.

20 September 2008

my boys in blue

So... guess who just bought tickets to "Homegame 2" for the Dodgers post season play. Me! Let's just keep our fingers crossed that they actually make it.

On either thurs 10/2 or sun 10/5 (yes... the Lord's Holy General Conference Sabbath) I will be hangin' with my boys in blue! Woot!

I got one extra ticket. Wanna come?

17 September 2008

26.2 in 16 days? really?

Lest you think the only thing I blog about anymore is politics and because I know you've all missed my running posts here's one for ya. The reason for their absence is because I've been totally absent from the running scene. This is a problem. Why? Because in 16 days I'm supposed to run 26.2 miles. You know how much I've run in the past 2 weeks? 3 miles. And I did that tonight.

So, here's my dilemma- should I do it? I see great potential for injury and/or death upon attempting to run the full marathon but seriously I'll die a little inside if I don't do it. 13.1 miles- no problem. Beyond that- big mystery and/or death. What to do? What to do?

Here's another option: I'm also registered for the LV full marathon the first weekend in December which would give me 2 more full months to train. So, in the unlikely case that I don't do St George I could just get more training in for LV. But... St George is so much cooler than LV! Lit'rally and figuratively. Bah!

This is a conundrum.

So, about my run tonight. I could say I haven't had time to train but the truth is I haven't TAKEN the time to train. I've been lazy and/or pursuing other interests (read: photography and singstar). But I've been feeling so tired, lackluster, lackadaisical and melancholy lately that I knew I couldn't let anymore time pass without getting some exercise and boosting up my endorphin level. So, I went to the gym and decided to run for 30 minutes to see how I felt. I felt great. But then again it was only 3 miles. And then I came home and ate cupcakes... (seriously, I've been on this baking cupcakes kick and I am AMAZING at making cupcakes. Last week- red velvet. This week- cookie dough. COOKIE! DOUGH!)

Anyway... my conclusion is thus: I'm gonna seriously train for the next 2 weeks and see how things go. If by then I feel like I won't die on the course or get picked up by the clean up crew I'll take my chances with the race. Wish me luck!

overheard on IM:

cropstar says: man good life decisions are HARD!
consumer says: tell me about it!
consumer says: I guess the scriptures are serious when they say "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it"

12 September 2008

i love paying tithing

I thought this article was really, really, really interesting.

So much about this article is interesting but if you don't want to read it the basic gist is that the presidential and vice presidential candidates have released their tax records. These people (well... Obama, Cindy McCain and the Clintons) make a sh'load of money! Most donate a decent part of that to charity. However, Senator Joe Biden (who, in 2007, earned $319k and donated $995 or 0.3% of it) has donated an average of $369 PER YEAR over the last decade to charity.

Is it seriously sad that I donate more PER MONTH than Biden has donated PER YEAR over the last decade? Yes. Yes, it is.

10 September 2008

Republicans do it right

Believe me. I'm not one of those Republicans that chose her party simply because her parents were ultra conservative Republicans. I spent my first 2 decades being totally apathetic. Then I spent the next few years not really caring about politics (get it?... cuz apathy and not caring are the same thing? hilarious, right?)

Four years ago my interest in politics was piqued during the presidential race. I actually cared about who won. I even had a W bumper sticker (and yes, I still like him). In the interim I became even more interested- and more importantly- more educated. I've spent a lot of time pondering on what makes someone a Republican, Democrat or Independent. What beliefs lead one to support one party over another.

Now here we stand at the brink of yet another intense battle for the presidency. It seems the popular thing to do amongst folks my age is to be all PrObama. Not this gal. I mean, I'll give it to the guy- he gives a great speech. I watched the DNC. I feel like Hugh Hewitt:

And of course, he is a brilliant, almost hypnotic speaker. I broadcast from the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004, and was in the hall when Senator Obama blew away the crowd and the national television audience with a remarkable keynote address about which I can recall nothing except the beauty and skill of its delivery.
I've vocalized my feelings about McCain (meh) and Palin (lurve!) before here on blog. And even though I don't feel that McCain is the best candidate ever (cuz that would've been Mitt), he and Palin will be getting my vote because they are the better (by far) than their opponents and basically they stand for what I believe. I've studied the voting records of both McCain and Obama and let me tell you- I fear an Obama presidency.

So... what's my point? I AM A REPUBLICAN! and proud of it baby! There are 3 specific things I read/heard in the last few weeks that have put perfectly in words why I am a Republican through and through:

From Jay Nordlinger's article "Palin Fever, &c"-
Loved something a senior politician told us in Minnesota: It’s hard to run against the Democrats. Because they’re the party that proposes to give people free stuff. And it’s very, very hard to run against people promising free stuff. You have to say, “We, by contrast, will give you the opportunity to make your own way, while keeping a net under you lest you fall too far.”
Interestingly formulated.
From Mike Huckabee's speech (never would I ever have guessed I'd like something that guy said because I have it on good authority that he's certifiably insane) at the Republican National Convention-

Let me make something clear tonight: I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich. I'm a Republican because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.
And finally from the book "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch (I realize this doesn't address politics or Republicanism directly but I thought it was relevant. Also, this was seriously one of the BEST books I've ever read) -

I understand the arguments about how the billions of dollars spent to put men on the moon could have been used to fight poverty and hunger on Earth. But, look, I'm a scientist who sees inspiration as the ultimate tool for doing good.
When you use money to fight poverty, it can be of great value, but too often, you're working at the margins. When you're putting people on the moon, you're inspiring all of us to achieve the maximum of human potential, which is how our greatest problems will eventually be solved.
Also, it's really convenient that I'm a Rep because I love elephants. And also, I'm still welcome at my parents dinner table (wouldn't be the case if I were a leftist liberal freak).

09 September 2008

all i've thought about for the past 5 days is...

hawaii HAWAII hawaii HAWAII hawaii
hawaii HAWAII hawaii HAWAII hawaii
hawaii HAWAII hawaii HAWAII hawaii
only 52 more days

06 September 2008

My life is more awesome than yours.

I am an intrinsically happy person. I always have been. Of course that doesn't mean that I don't have my off days, my moments of worry, stress and sadness. But it never takes long before I can respond "I'm great!" and mean it when people ask me how I'm doing.

I live a blessed life. Seriously, I must have won the life lottery in Heaven or something because I know I haven't earned 1/100 of the good things I enjoy in life. I feel like everything in life has been handed to me on a silver platter. Of course, I haven't yet received everything I want in life (like, ya know... a husband or unlimited wealth... but I'm sure those things are coming) but I can't deny that I've received everything I need and almost all of what I want.

In short? Life is good!

Saturday I was a busy bee all morning doing chores around my beautiful little cottage of a home and just thinking about all the things that make me happy, all the things that make my life wonderful, all my blessings. When I was in college I kept a running list on the last page of my journal called my "Happy List". I wrote down every little thing that made me happy. So, here's today's happy list in a little more detail and in no particular order:
  1. I have a job. In and of itself that's pretty great, especially considering the economic state of our country, world, etc. I complain a lot about having to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, trying to concentrate, having to deal with idiot clients and trying to manage my projects and my boss's recent bout of micromanaging. But, every time I get my paycheck I remember how blessed I am to have a college education (thanks mom & dad!) and a job that allows me to live a comfortable life. And to add icing to the cake I'm grateful to have a boss that doesn't say anything to me about how late I stroll into the office most days (believe me, this is a BIG deal for someone who hates mornings as much as I do).

  2. I am so healthy. Well, let's be honest... now that I'm in my advanced years sometimes I feel really old. But, that's just life. I am so grateful for a strong body that is able to do what I ask it to. I very rarely get sick. All my limbs and organs work properly. Also, I have awesome hair.

  3. My family is always there for me. I'm am the youngest and therefore have my entire family wrapped around my little finger. This I know. But I try not to use my powers for evil (most of the time). But, knowing that my family would drop everything at a moments notice to help me with whatever I need provides a ridiculous amount of comfort and stability. And I am never more myself than I am with my family (read: acting like a 6 year old). My family is "good people". My sisters are adored by all and are my best friends. My parents used plenty of words to raise me up in the way I should go but I learned critically important life lessons from their example: read the scriptures daily, always go to church, write in your journal, give to others and always wash the baseboards.

  4. I love (and I mean LOVE) being 30. I don't necessarily love the number or the fact that I'm getting older and closer to death while watching my life flash by. But... the awesome part about getting to this age is that I know who I am and I am totally fine with it. I am so beyond caring about what other people think of me. I've finally come into my own. Quel relief! I spent the bulk of my childhood being too shy to speak to anyone who wasn't my immediate family or my best friend. I spent the bulk of my teen years trying to blend into the background. I spent the bulk of my early 20s liking bands I didn't really like because the boy I liked liked them, being too scared to go anywhere on my own for fear that people might think I'm friendless, being too shy to meet new people if they didn't approach me first, harnessing my inner freak (and I mean that in a totally non-slutty way). Let's face it folks... I'm cah-razy! Seriously. Sometimes it kind of weirds me out how unshy I can be, how unabashedly I can make a fool of myself in public, how much I love talking to strangers. So, my gratitude is directed towards every uncomfortable moment in my life that has forced me out of my shell and formed me into the person I am now.

    And now the short list:

  1. Awesome friends.
  2. Singstar!
  3. Red Velvet Cupcakes.
  4. Dancing, dancing and more dancing.
  5. A clean house.
  6. A full tank of gas.
  7. Cool autumn evenings.
  8. Laughing until I cry.

02 September 2008

i call shotgun!

I went out shooting tonight at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge on the far north edge of town because the evening lighting was sure to be exciting and the weather just right for getting some fresh air. I got some cool shots and got scared by the wildlife more than once. And by wildlife I mean rabbits, frogs and other unknown moving things in the bushes. I know... super scary huh?

Along the way I must have made a friend I didn't know about because after I got home, pulled into the garage, parked and turned to grab my belongings I got a fright by my passenger.

Sorry the quality of the photo is really horrible but I was scared and wanted to get out of the car asap. I'm not kidding, that gigantic grasshopper thing had a 3 or 4 inch body alone, not to mention it's legs and antenae. Yikes!

I would show you some of the photos I shot but I had to shoot in RAW and I don't have a program to open that file format. So you'll have to wait to see them.

scavenger hunt

For the first time in 9 years (yikes) I actually had to pay attention to when school starts in the fall. And for the first time (maybe ever) I was actually excited about it. I'm taking a photography class at the colleeege because I figure having a fancy schmancy camera isn't really worth the investment if you only use it on automatic mode.

Last monday was the first class and I loved it, though I've never felt simultaneously smarter and stupider. I finally understand what f-stop, shutter speed and ISO are. However, I don't know yet how to use them properly. I'm very much a hands on learner so all those words only took me so far. Now I've got to put them into practice and see if I can get some decent exposures (that sounds dirty).

Anyway... I'm scared. Typical Cropstar M.O. is thus: If you're not instantly good at something, don't even try. If it's not going to turn out perfectly, don't even start. So, I'm scared that my photos aren't going to be print-ad quality right off the bat. I know, I know... this is beginning photography and I shouldn't expect to be a pro after the first class. But I really hate not being good at stuff (ya know... because it's so rare that I'm not good at stuff). So, I'm trying to convince myself that if my first assignment is less that stellar then by the end of the semester it'll just look like I've really improved (hopefully). But, really I just want to be better than everyone else in the class.

Here's the part where I come to you for help, my dear readers... all 3 of you... I need some ideas. My first assignment is a photo scavenger hunt. I am to shoot 24 things from a list we compiled as a class:

  1. traffic
  2. architecture
  3. automotive
  4. nature
  5. texture
  6. water
  7. child
  8. pet
  9. color
  10. landscape
  11. family
  12. fashion
  13. light
  14. sports
  15. motion
  16. close up
  17. emotion
  18. portrait
  19. insect
  20. music
  21. technology
  22. food
  23. smile
  24. shadow

any cool ideas of what i could shoot?

a perfect labor day requires no labor

dinner with friends i don't hang out with enough
mamma mia sing-a-long
zowie bowie
sleeping in until noon
lounging around the house
spending way too much money at costco
usu@unlv football game
zowie bowie again
egg muffin breakfast
guitar hero
more singstar
impromptu sleepover
sleeping in until noon again
synchro diving
seeing house bunny
wandering the outdoor mall
even more singstar

i wish everyday was labor day

mother nature did us a favor and gave us the most perfect weather ever for this lazy, perfect weekend. the fact that i left my house at 5pm on sunday with only the clothes i was wearing, and my phone and didn't return home until 11pm on monday only added to the perfectness of the weekend. more good news- i totally wasn't afraid to dive. this is big for someone who cheated at swim lessons at age 6 and was afraid to even learn to dive until age 25. if you're lucky i'll post the videos of consumer and i and our magical synchro diving skillz. london2012 here we come!