Sunday, March 30, 2008

Symphonic Hobbits

Clever title, eh? Okay, so it's probably stupid, but I didn't want to title this one The Symphony or The Lord of the Rings. However, that's what this post is about. Several months ago, I began hearing advertisements on the radio for the symphony. They were going to be playing music from The Lord of the Rings. It was to be "a multimedia event!!" I love The Lord of the Rings music. I also enjoy the symphony, although I don't think I've ever been to one before. I waited too long to purchase tickets, so by the time I did, the cheapest were gone. I probably did something really foolish - not only did I buy a ticket for myself, but I also bought a ticket for someone else. I thought it would be a nice date.

As the day approached I still didn't have a date because I was trying to figure out who to go with. Truth be told, there was someone specific, but I didn't consider him to be an option, so I just put off figuring it out. Friday, while showering (isn't that a great thinking time), I started coming up with people I thought would enjoy it. My dad's always been against things that might be called "cultured" (except for yogurt), so somehow that has made me think that all guys hate the symphony, musicals, Pride & Prejudice, etc. Fortunately for me, I've begun to realize that there are guys who do enjoy some of those things.

Anyway, I ended up getting a date, and we went to the symphony, and the show was great! A couple of choirs, as well as a few soloists, performed with the symphony. There was also a screen that drawings from the stories were projected onto. I was super tired and wanted to close my eyes and listen, but I didn't want to miss the pictures, so I forced my eyes to stay open. My favorite song in the first half was one of the dark ones - the one where you here metal being beat and chains rattling. It was fun watching the percussionist beat this piece of metal. The soloist in the second half was amazing!! I could have listened to her sing all night. I figured that the guys were probably all totally in love with her, at least for last night. She was totally on. I'm so grateful that the Lord blesses people with musical talent, and I'm glad for those who develop those talents and let the rest of us enjoy them.

After my first symphony, I have concluded that if I am ever rich I would like to have season tickets.


Okay, I don't know if I spelled it correctly, so correct me if I'm wrong. Friday evening was one of my favorite Fridays in a long time - Why? you may ask. It's all due to Hootenanny, or however you spell it. The parents of one of my roommate's invite us over occasionally for folk singing. I did not grow up folk singing. Nor has it ever been a music form that I have cared to familiarize myself with. However, I have decided that I love participating in it. I can't say that I would totally enjoy going to a concert - at least not yet, but I think it's more meant to be done in the setting that we sing in anyway.

We all went up to Roommate's parents' house and had a fabulous supper. Then we moved into the living room, and the fun began. Roommate's mom plays the guitar, Roommate plays the banjo, and the rest of us play different percussion instruments, if we so desire. This time, one of my other roommates played the tambourine. And, one of the new guys played a bunch of things - the harmonica, the ukulele, and the spoons. My favorite was when he said, "Ready?" and played the spoons on me. I don't think I've ever been part of an instrument before, but it was fun.

What I like about folk singing is how communal it is. You don't have to be a good singer. You just all enjoy singing together. Roommate's mom doesn't even give us sheet music (is there such a thing for folk music?), so we have to listen to her to figure out the tune. She always has a program printed up for us, with spaces throughout for different guests to pick a song. I always choose Joshua because my dad likes to sing it. However, the really funny ones are some of the most enjoyable, like What Do We Do with a Drunken Sailor? There are also some more serious ones I really like.

By the end of the night I realized that I was totally relaxed and content - a state that I am rarely in but that I totally enjoy. I think that the other guests enjoyed themselves, too. I liked looking around at everyone throughout the evening and observing the grins on their faces and the twinkles in their eyes. I can't wait for the next Hootenanny!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Break

What a Spring Break I have had!! I was gone the entire time, and now it's back to the normal grind. You know what, though? I'm okay with that. It feels good to have a routine.

That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the break, though. Here's a quick (maybe) recap. I will try to figure out how to do a slideshow and post the pictures of my trip sometime soon.

Day 1: Drive up to Jacob Lake, AZ, with my sister-in-law. I went up to visit one of my former roommates, who recently returned from her mission - actually, if you read the blog, you already know about her. It was the first time I've seen her in almost two years. It was terrific!! It didn't feel like it had been two years. It was just kind of like we'd just seen each other yesterday. Isn't it nice when you're close to people like that. She gave me the best hug I've had in quite awhile - thanks! I don't think some people realize how important those are, nor how much can be communicated in them.

Day 2: It snowed all day! So, I made a snow angel and we took some pictures in the snow. It was Sunday, and Roommate's bosses had let her have it off, so we got to play all day. We colored and played the guitar. Then, at about 9:00 p.m. that night we had Sacrament Meeting. It was interesting because there were only about eight of us there. My roommate spoke - she gave an excellent talk!

Day 3: This was Roommate's normal day off, so she drove us north a bit to Zion National Park, where we spent the day. Most of the pictures I took are from there, and, as I mentioned earlier, they should be up soon. We just did a couple of short, beautiful hikes. We also found a small beach while not finding a couple of trails we wanted to do, so we relaxed there for awhile. I think that was my most peaceful moment of the break. You know, running water is really therapeutic, I think. On the way back, we stopped in a little hick town (no offense to anyone there) for dinner, and I was reminded of "Sweet Home Alabama."

Day 4: We said good bye, and Sister-in-Law and I drove back to her place. She looked at the atlas and plotted a vacation for herself and my brother while I drove and gazed at the "general splendor." It is a very beautiful drive, and I highly recommend it. I detoured through Sedona to make the drive even more scenic.

Day 5 - 10: I drove to my parents' and spent the rest of the week veg'n. It was nice and I read some more of a book that I started a long time ago. I also played the piano and practiced the guitar. Today is Day 10, and we had a lovely Easter dinner.

Isn't Easter wonderful? I'm so grateful for the Savior. I can't wait for the Resurrection - it's going to be great. I don't mean that irreverently, either. I'm really looking forward to a perfected body and mind. And so, once again, I am so grateful for the Savior, because without Him, there would be no resurrection. Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Posting Addition

I didn't write last week because I was in the middle of nowhere - Jacob Lake, to be exact. I will post all about that soon.

In the meantime I wanted to welcome my good friend, Lizzie - er, Lu, I mean - to the wonderful world of posting. You should check out her blog:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Boys Who Do the Dishes

I just had one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had in a long time. I've been wanting to invite some particular boys over for dinner for awhile but haven't had the chance to until this week. I like to invite people over for dinner on Sundays - I kind of enjoy cooking for others, and it's a nice way to get to know people a little better. I felt a little stressed for today's meal, though, because there were going to be lots of us eating, which meant that a lot of food needed to be prepared. My sister promised to help out, though, which made me feel like it would be manageable. She and my brother-in-law, as well as my roommates, all helped out, and I think we made a pretty fabulous meal - salad, bread, paella, and homemade lemonade for dinner; flan and lemon meringue pie for dessert. Yummm! The food was good, the company even better. I felt shy, as I often do around cool people that I don't know well, but it was still fun to listen to everyone talk and joke, etc.

After dinner I got to go to a fireside with Sis. Susan Tanner and her husband, who spoke about hope, faith, and charity. I've met Sis. Tanner once before and enjoyed listening to her. I've wondered what her husband was like and was really impressed with his thoughts tonight. He is a dean at BYU, and you could definitely tell that he's an educator. I told my roommate that it made me miss college - I would love to take a class from him and just soak in his thoughts. He presented hope in a way that I have never thought of before by talking about the opposites of hope and faith. He and his wife also spoke of repentance as being the process of coming back to oneself; sin is a going away from oneself. So, the fireside was wonderful!

And, if all of that wasn't enough, which it really was, after we got back home, the guys suddenly showed up and washed our dishes for us - AMAZING!! They're keepers, for sure. I kind of wondered if they would do that - they seemed like they might be of that caliber, but it definitely wasn't anything they needed to do. It was just thoughtful and nice. Lately I'm realizing how cynical I am because of how surprised I am that someone would do something like that for me. So, thanks, boys, for shattering my reality (in a good way)!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Think before you speak (otherwise you end up sinning).

Sunday, March 2, 2008


One of my roommates and one of my friends just started a club called E.F.L.U., which stands for Ethnic Food Lovers Unite. Each weekend, their goal is to go try a different ethnic restaurant. They let me join. So far we have gone out for Thai food, Indian, and . . . Sushi!! Now, I dislike seafood. I have had some fish that I have been okay with, but as a general rule, I don't like it. I therefore try to avoid it as mush as possible.

My friends like sushi, though, and have been wanting to go for it. I finally decided to suck it up and try it, so we went Friday night. A couple of other friends joined us. We went to Sushi Saga, which was a good choice on my roommate's part because it offers Mexican sushi with chipotle sauce. I ordered the Jaime, since it was my name. It had crab in it, which I thought I could handle, especially since it also had cream cheese and avocados. However, although it was not disgusting, I didn't enjoy it all that much. I liked the Las Vegas roll and the Chipotle roll much better. I didn't quite have the courage to try the one with eel - maybe next time. I wish I had taken pictures so I could post them, but I didn't. Sorry.

My friends are probably going to kick me out soon, too, because I have been wary about the last couple of foods we've eaten. I hope they don't make me leave, though, because I have tried some new things. And, I think I will really like the next couple of places we go.

To finish off the evening, we went to a concert at the university. One of our friends plays the oboe in one of the orchestras. We missed the first half of the concert, but I really enjoyed the part that we made it for and hope I get to go again soon.