31 December 2010

Happy New Year

So in true Thomas fashion we celebrated the coming of the new year by playing games. I got crushed playing Five Crowns. And my parents pretended we were on east coast time and went to bed at 11:00 p.m., naturally.

Every new year I wax quite sentimental. I am filled with all the hope in the world that the coming year will be magical and that I will experience so many new things. This past year has been one of quiet growth for me. I don't feel that a lot changed for me externally, but I am now a different person than I was last year, and a better one I believe. In our culture we get so caught up in the overt manifestations of progress: new car, new house, new whatever. These aren't bad things necessarily, but they can mask the beautiful subtlety that life can bring through the visually silent progress a person makes.

So for this coming year, I am filled with the hope that I can, like the Army always tells me, be all I can be. And I suppose, do all I can do. So here's to changing the world a little and to changing myself as well. Happy New Year everyone. May it be a year of growth and joy for all of you.

22 December 2010

Easy Wonderful

So for years I have loved the band Guster. It's good music that makes you happy: my favorite kind. Recently these fine gentlemen to the right came out with a new album. It's called Easy Wonderful. And it's just that. It's easy to listen to and wonderful. The best part is that it grows on you.

I'll admit, the first time I listened to it, I wasn't sold on it being as great as their previous works, but after listening to it a few weeks ago, I was converted. It's fantastic. Check it out. I think you'll like it. And be jealous of me (or come with me) on January 15th when I see them in Salt Lake.

If you want to check out there music, go here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B0041ON37S/ref=pd_krex_listen_dp_img?ie=UTF8&refTagSuffix=dp_img

If you want to check out this gem of a website to see short film interpretations of the songs, go here: http://www.easywonderful.com/. You will be delighted. Bad, Bad World was particularly good.

Merry Christmas.

20 December 2010

More on Texas

70 degree weather. In December. That's all I've got to say.

19 December 2010

Head Out on the Highway, Looking for Adventure . . .

There are many things that I love about being home: seeing my family, hearing people talk Texan, my bed, the pantry at my house, seeing all of my friends, watching endless movies. But there's one thing that I can't replicate outside of Texas: driving on the highway.

Whenever I come home I look forward to driving on US 75, or really any of the other highways in Dallas (there are several, Dallas is huge). The lanes are wide, the lanes have lines, there are lights, people actually drive at least the speed limit (gasp!). But what is the best is that I am reminded that the way people drive here is the reason I drive the way I do. I expect the fast lane to actually be a passing lane. Here it is. I am not shocked for frustrated when people change lanes frequently. That's just the way it is here. I feel free as a bird when I begin to merge. (Yes, people don't hang out in the far right lane either, and if they do, they let you in. Amazing, right?)

You just can't beat driving in Texas. I'm ready for whatever might come my way.

10 December 2010


Be advised: I'm flustered.

So I love living in Utah. The weather's nice. There's no humidity. BYU is a great school. I love my professors. I love what I study. I live with the nicest (and cleanest) girls I've ever lived with. I have great friends. Life is good. But there is still one thing that I can't stand about living in Utah: the prevalence of flakeyness as a socially acceptable behavior.

Now I realize that it's not only in Utah (I'm sorry, I should specify), Provo, that people are flakey. I've lived around the country and outside of it. I know that people have their fair share of flakeyness. But it is rampant here. How is it acceptable to make plans with someone and then never follow through with them?

I'll give you an example from my day today:

So I went up to Salt Lake to hang out with some friends from my mission. So three of us were talking and I thought, hey I should call my friend, we'll call him Dane. So I pick up the phone to call my friend Dane to see if he wanted to hang out with us. He lives in Salt Lake and he complained to me at our mission reunion that we never talk anymore. I mentioned that it was because I was always the one to call him. He apologized and said that at least he always called me back. So since then, I've made more of an effort to hang out with Dane. Two times since then, I've called him to make plans. Two times we've made plans. Two times he hasn't called me like he said he would. But tonight I thought I might have more luck. After all, I was in Salt Lake. All he had to do was take a hop, skip, and a jump and he would be there. So I call him. He's at the Jazz game and picks up the phone. I tell him who I'm hanging out with and invite him to come. He says that he'd love to but he's at the Jazz game. I understand this and so I tell him to just give us a call when the game gets out and he can catch up with us. (After all, it wouldn't take any time to get over to us.) So I continue with my perfectly pleasant evening. I keep expecting him to call to at least say that he can't make it. But no. No call, no text, nothing. Three strikes. He's out. At the very least, he could have made some recognition that he couldn't go.

I don't expect people to drop everything and come running to me with daisies and lollipops and teddy bears. No, we all have lives and schedules. I get that. I really do. But still. Is it that hard to just call and say you can't do it? Really.

I realize that my ranting is not going to change anything. I get that. I really do. And I'm not saying that I haven't been the culprit. But it just drives me crazy. I know rejection is face-threatening. I study linguistics; I've studied this. But just saying you can't is so much better than just letting the other person wonder. So please guys, if you make plans with me, just communicate. That's all I ask.

05 December 2010

Happy Hanukkah

Okay, so if there's one thing that I'm crazy about, it's Jewish culture. Growing up in Kansas City, there was a large Jewish population and I looked forward to Jewish holidays and celebrating all things Jewish. I even attended the seder dinner during Passover one year and my friends always gave me their matza and Hanukkah presents. It was great. So in honor of my dear Jewish friends, I am sharing this lovely video that my roommates just showed me. It's delightful.


P.S. Hanukkah is celebrated this year from Dec. 1 to Dec. 9. Happy Hanukkah!!

Coping Mechanism

So for those of you who don't know, this has been the semester to end all semesters. Really. I had to withdraw from a class for the first time just so I could keep my head above water. (This is coming from the girl who, in times past, has taken 17.5 credits and worked 20 hours a week. Insane. I know. But I managed none the less and actually got remarkably good grades. Hmmm.) So this semester I'm only taking 12.5 credits and working oh probably 15 hours a week if I'm lucky. It's been ridiculous. I've spent HOURS on designing a magazine as a collaborative senior capstone project for the editing minor. It's taken over my life. (It'll be posted soon. I promise. And I'll share it with all of you.)

With all of the stress of this project I also have a Brazilian literature class that has been super consuming. We've read (or been expected to read and tested over) I would estimate 900-1000 pages. That's a lot for a class in your native language, but absolutely insane for a second language course. Not that it's been horrible. It hasn't. I've loved this class and working on designing a magazine. They've both been good experiences, I've learned a lot, and I've made good friends in the process.

But this all leads me to one thing: how have I coped with all of this. Let me tell you. One little word has changed the last part of my semester, when I could have been overwhelmed with craziness. But no, one little word has changed everything for me. What is that one word, you may ask? Psych. That's right, you read right. The one word is Psych. With a capital P.

This show is quite possibly the most delightful thing that has happened to television since I Love Lucy. Yes, that is how much I love it. So thank you Psych for helping me survive this crazy semester and bringing laughter to my life every time I watch you.