Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I got an A in every class this semester. Don't ask me how I did it. I have no clue. I'm especially confused because I spent more time playing and procrastinating this semester than I ever have before. And I've never gotten straight A's in college. Can you tell I'm pretty freakin' proud of myself? Cuz I am. And I'm grateful for merciful teachers and the bell curve--and so I should be grateful for other lazy students, since they helped keep the curve down, right?

I'm also very happy and grateful that my family will be together for Christmas this year. Yay for happy things.

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Musings...

I know I'm not the only person in the world who has ever fallen in love with a fictional character. In fact, I admit to being in love with many, many, many fictional characters. Recently I've fallen for Jackson Brodie. Even though he's old enough to be my father.

I also know I'm not the only person in the world who sings along to "...Baby One More Time." In fact, I admit to singing along to "Bye Bye Bye," "You Got It (the Right Stuff)," "Gangsta's Paradise," "Nookie," and "I Wanna Know What Love Is."

I can't possibly be the only person who tears up during the songs while watching The Sound of Music. For that matter, I defy anyone to watch Fiddler on the Roof and not feel that teary feeling, even if the tears don't actually fall. Man, I watch almost any movie and find something to feel teary about, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to Lars and the Real Girl to Labyrinth and everything in between.

And I know I'm not the only one who watches the four or five hours of NCIS reruns on USA Wednesday nights. Or catches up on Lost on Hulu. Or never misses an episode of Heroes on NBC. Or keeps Law and Order playing as background noise almost any day of the week.

Mostly, I want to know if I'm the only one who feels lonely enough to keep some kind of media playing at all times while at home, unless reading. Otherwise the apartment is full of silence which only serves to remind me that I'm all by myself.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life's Little Pleasures

There's this guy who walks the halls on campus smiling, and playing his ukulele. He's most definitely on his way to and from classes, since he's carrying his backpack. He looks around him as he walks and plays. Last Thursday I heard him approaching and had to smile to myself. A fellow student also heard the approach and turned to face the Ukulele Man. He said something about the Ukulele Man and his banjo. The Ukulele Man stopped and turned.

'A banjo is like a drum with a neck and strings that you pluck, but don't really strum. It's bigger and sounds different.'

'Well, what's that, then?'

'This, my friend, is a ukulele.'

He turned back the way he was walking before and continued on his way, smiling.

I just saw the Ukulele Man again, Tuesday early evening. He was smiling again, and playing a gentle rhythm, the notes smoothly flowing into one another, "do do do, do do do d-do..." I can still hear it. And I'm still smiling.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So, there are exactly nine days until school starts up again. How excited am I? Not very, to be honest. Though I'm also not as down-hearted about it this semester. I think the fact that this is my second to last semester has something to do with my not-so-sad-about-the-end-of-summer feelings.

But first, a recap of the past few weeks!

The Chinn family reunion was quite fun. It's always amazing to me that our entire family can get together without too much drama. Of course, there are little spats and some sore feelings, but all-in-all we get along pretty stinkin' well. Each family was assigned a holiday to use in decorating their meal table. The Heywood's got Halloween. As part of our decore we hung up a stuffed man with quite a hideous face--a mask, of course. Well, on the last day we were all there, Uncle Matt put on the stuffed man's clothes and his ugly mask and proceeded to scare the living daylights out of quite a few family members. Me excluded, of course. I'm just too smart to fall for something like that. Besides, I had heard the screams from the tent about fifty yards away. Still, pretty darn funny. We had a ducky derby, which was kinda fun. We floated rubber duckies down the little stream just outside our campsite. And the Aunts put on a little show--lip-syncing and dancing to "Take a Chance" by Abba. Pictured is our t-shirt. 55 points to whoever can pick out all 55 names on the CHINN family tree--good luck!

The Heywood family reunion was fun as well. Marie, Jana, and I missed the camping and beach stuff, but we got there in time for the swim party at Aunt Becky's, and we were there for church in the Wasco Ward (which is still weird to say, since it was the Wasco Branch my whole life until just earlier this year). We had a lunch and talent show after church (Tyler and Jana performed "Falling Slowly" from the movie Once), and just enjoyed each other. This picture is of those of us who were able to be there. There are 32 people in this picture, and 25 are missing. Yes, that means this is just over half the family. We're quite a group, right?

While in California, Jana and I, along with Kelly (aka Kel-Kel--What do you get when you put Jana and Kelly together? A Kana Jelly. haha, get it?) were able to go play at Knott's Berry Farm. Note: go in the afternoon. I know that sounds nuts, but seriously, the crowds thinned out and the sun was going down and it was much more enjoyable later in the day! They have a new ride called the Pony Express. Oh, man, that was the best. It's like a kiddy ride at the zoo; it just goes around this little circle with not much of a climb or drop and no loops, but here's the kicker: you ride a horse! Like a carousel horse. That alone made me giggle like a school-girl. Well, OK, let's be honest. It made me giggle like I always do. But then the back (the black thing behind me in the picture) comes up and presses you into the "riding" position and doesn't let you sit back up until the "ride comes to a complete stop." That made me laugh flat-out.

There were other highlights, but I think I'm boring my reader... Well, I would be if there is anyone even reading this. So, I'll just wind up with this: a trial in modeling with Jacob. Hunter got this soul-patch stick-on from a vending machine in the dollar-movie theater. It got itchy (and Hunter got bored) so he put it on Jacob. I told him to make a face. This is what I got: Angry Face, Worried Face, Pensive Face, Sad Face, and Happy Face. Go ahead and try to tell me that this isn't the cutest kid in the world. His only competitors are his older brother and sister. Equally cute and sweet. I love these three kids to death. I love being an aunt.

Some movies for your consideration: (500) Days of Summer (if you were one of the little girls who thought little Joseph Gordon-Levitt was cute back then--in the days of Angels in the Outfield--you're gonna be one of the big girls who thinks he's hot now), I'm Reed Fish (from 2006--I missed it when it came out, but was recently exposed and really liked it), and Julie and Julia (want a clean, girly movie--you know, a cute story about a girl minus sex and stupid men?--then go see this one).

And I'm done. For now...

Monday, July 27, 2009


This is my new favorite thing to type when I'm feeling particularly yucky. I'm determined to make myself feel better, to force myself into a good mood. I've been very ornery lately. My apologies to those who unknowingly fell into my war path.

I don't care what people are saying, I loved Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Was it off a bit? Yes. Of course. What do you expect? Taking an insanely long book and trying to put it into two and half hours, you're bound to miss out on some stuff. Get over it.

My Forks trip got moved to October. But I'm really OK with that. I mean, what's the best time to see Forks as it's meant to be seen, completely wet and green? The fall, of course. I'm very excited.

I watched an OLD Hanson video yesterday (at Jana's request, believe it or not) and about died laughing. I can't wait to see 'em in concert again. Yay.

This is going to be the longest five days of my life. I cannot wait to go home. I'm so homesick, it isn't even funny. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why I've been so crabby of late. I just really miss my parents and my brothers, and I can't wait to go home. Sunny, hot, muggy San Joaquin Valley, good ol' Kern County, and the sleepy town of Wasco.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh, the joys of life!

Seriously. I am in love with my life this week. And the rest of the month, really, and on into August. And September. Let me explain.

This Friday, I will be making a t-shirt. Well, not really making a t-shirt. I'll be decorating a t-shirt with an iron-on of something fun, maybe even witty. And I'll be spending that afternoon/evening with some of my favorite people in the world. And that's just the beginning!

Tuesday night (or, technically, Wednesday morning), I will attend a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, wearing said t-shirt. (I'm leaning toward a "Weasley is Our King" logo.) Oh, boy! And that event will be made even more enjoyable by my friends and family. Heather and Hunter, Jana, Julia, Ashley and Doxey, and a handful of Jana's friends/roommates. I'm very excited.

Then on Thursday evening, Ashley and I are going to see Incubus! This will be my second Incubus concert, and Ashley's first. I'm very happy about this. I really like Incubus, and I'm still secretly in love wiht Brandon Boyd, and so I'm very much looking forward to seeing/hearing them in concert again. And what makes it even cooler is that we got our tickets for about half the regular price, and we got good seats. SEATS! At the USANA! Yay! No grass for us, baby. Nope, we get to sit!

On Friday I get to go down to join the Chinn family at Maple Grove Campground the "THE BEST DARN NEW YEAR’S, VALENTINE’S, EASTER, 4TH-24TH, HALLOWEEN, THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS DAY EVER!!!!" Well, at least that's what we're calling our Family Reunion this year. It's going to be completely overdone and hectic, but absolutely wonderful and fun. Plus, my parents and brothers will be there, and I'm so stinking excited to see them! I miss my momma's hugs and daddy's kisses. Can't wait.

Then it's back to life, working on campus and going home to read the afternoon and evening away. I love that part, too. Work isn't too complicated and I have some pretty great co-workers and supervisors. And to spend the afternoon with a good book is like spending time with friends. I'll do some exercising and eating and cleaning and regular "life" stuff, too. And then I get to say "farewell" to Taylor, the son of the owners of the pizza place my sisters and I spent time working at. He's going on his mission to Argentina, and his farewell is that Sunday. And then some more of the regular life that next week...

Until the afternoon of Friday, July 31st, when Marie, Jana, and I will be heading home. California, here we come! We'll be there for the Heywood Family Reunion (which doesn't have a theme, but will be equally fun). After the reunion, Marie and David will fly to Guatemala for a week, while Jana and I spend time chillin' at home, going to the beach, hitting Six Flags, and all that fun stuff you get to do while vacationing at home: sleep, eat, read, watch movies, and don't feel guilty about it at all.

Then back to life and the real world for a while. Until Labor Day weekend, when Julia and I are going on a road trip to Washington state. Yep. Forks. (Shut up! I hear you snickering... you're just jealous cuz we'll get to see the forest and the beach and you won't!) I'm looking forward to the road trip. As long as you have good company and good music, any road trip is at least bearable if not enjoyable.

And then the end of September, in which we'll have a new member of our Heywood family. Our little David will marry the little Britney! And they will be David and Britney Heywood. And I'll have a sister-in-law. She's very sweet, very cute, and very much in love with my brother. And because they're getting married in L.A. and the reception will be in Bakersfield, I get to go home again! And since I'll be home and they're going to be playing at the Kern County Fair that following Monday, I'm going to see Hanson in concert. For the second time. In eleven years. haha And they're probably going to play "MMMBop" and I will be happy.

I'm so excited for the next two months of my life. Seriously. And I'm sure I'll be posting updates on the blog... which no one reads... But since this is more for me than anyone else, I don't really mind. Yay for on-line journaling. Journaling. Yes, I just made it a verb.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dreams and Tinted Windows

Unfortunately, I have nothing cool to report on the dream-front. I've been remembering my dreams more, which is kinda awesome, but I can't control anything yet. I'm working on it. It's hard to remember that I'm dreaming and that I can control what's happening! Piece of advice: If you want to have some really trippy dreams, just read some trippy books. Man, I'm telling you. Brisingr, Enna Burning, and A Great and Terrible Beauty made for some very interesting dreams. Just think dragons, magic, attraction to someone of the opposite sex, visions, fires, floggings, and battles. Pretty weird stuff.

On a different note, did anyone know about Taylor Hanson and his new band? Yeah, the Hanson brothers are still out there. (Do not start singing "MMMBop." I swear I'll kill you.) In fact, they are working on a new album. This will make studio album #5, so shut up, Robbie Winder.

Apparently, our 'middle brother' Taylor has joined another band in addition to his duties to Hanson (and his wife and twenty babies). Crazy. The band's called called Tinted Windows and is made up of:
Taylor Hanson (lead vocals)--a member Hanson
James Iha (guitar)--one of the original members of the Smashing Pumpkins, and has also been a member of A Perfect Circle and a solo artist
Adam Schlesinger (bass)--in the bands Fountains Of Wayne and Ivy
Bun E. Carlos (drums)--the drummer of the legendary Cheap Trick, with whom he has played since the group's inception in 1974

So, basically this band is kind of a side-project for all four members, it sounds like. Interesting... I'll let you decide for yourself what you think of their sound.

Of all the Hanson's, I really wanted Zac to branch out on his own. Maybe he will. I sure hope so. A Zac band would sound a lot...different.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

God Speed Sweet Dreams

I'm serious about this whole dreaming thing. I really wanna fly. I want to have more control over what I dream: go on adventures, be on stage as a singer or actor, find inspiration for a novel, FLY.

So, I've found a website called Dream Views: Staying Up All Night. I've read the information about how to better my dream recall, how to identify dream signs, and how to have lucid dreams. I'm going to put these things into practice, including keeping a dream journal, and forcing myself to wake during REM sleep to write down what I remember of my dreams. We'll see how it goes.

In fact, last night as I was drifting, I knew I wanted to remember whatever I would dream, in case it was a flying dream. It must have been in strong in my mind, cuz I remembered my dream pretty well when I woke up from it in the middle of the early morning. I did feel like I had flown, though my body never left the ground. I wonder if I had the same sensations because that's what I was focusing on...

This blog may easily turn into my Dream Blog. Get ready for some juicy stuff.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Food for Thought

One of my favorite paragraphs in its entirety from the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand; and, no, it's not taken out of context:

"That special pleasure she had felt in watching him eat the food she had prepared--she thought, lying still, her eyes closed, her mind moving, like time, through some realm of veiled slowness--it had been the pleasure of knowing that she had provided him with a sensual enjoyment, that one form of his body's satisfaction had come from her.... There is a reason, she thought, why a woman would wish to cook for a man...oh, not as a duty, not as a chronic career, only as a rare and special rite in symbol of...but what have they made of it, the preachers of woman's duty?...The castrated performance of a sickening drudgery was held to be a woman's proper virtue--while that which gave it meaning and sanction was held as a shameful sin...the work of dealing with grease, steam and slimy peelings in a reeking kitchen was held to be a spiritual matter, an act of compliance with her moral duty--while the meeting of two bodies in a bedroom was held to be a physical indulgence, an act of surrender to an animal instict, with no glory, meaning or pride of spirit to be claimed by the animals involved." -p. 711

Take from it what you will. I love it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life is Good with Family and Friends!

Last Friday, I went to the Women's Expo at UVU with my wonderful Ashley friend. I'm so glad she called me up to go. We picked up some cute clothes (and since I wasn't expecting to pick up anything at all, I think that was definitely a good thing--I love shopping) and Ashley picked up a lot of business cards! She's a smart one. Just take the cards and shop on-line instead of talking to the pushy sales-people in their booths. It was a lot of fun. I love spending time with Ashley. She's a sweetheart and a great friend!

Later that same day, Marie, Jana, and I got dressed up (well, we wore dresses) and went to dinner at a yummy bakery that I can't remember the name of, and then to the Utah Symphony Orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. It was SO fun. I had forgotten how much I love not just live music (which is always a rush) but live classical music. I'd love to go again, and soon. After the symphony, we ate ice cream and watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? at Marie's apartment. Mostly I love that I got to spend that evening with my beautiful sisters.

Saturday was Jana's birthday, so after we spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa Chinn's helping with yard-work, and after getting clean, we went shopping and out to dinner to celebrate JANA. Again, it was just a really fun day. We went to Buca di Beppo for dinner, and the food there is always yummy. The service was even pretty good, once we got a server. The weird thing was that our waiter asked for a piece of Jana's cake and then sat and chatted while he ate it. And then tipped himself 20%. He probably would have gotten more if he hadn't just assumed we'd be OK with him adding the gratuity. But that's his loss. What a great day, though! Helping family (surrounded by family) and celebrating my youngest sister. I love her to death and I'm SO grateful for her in my life. We went around the table and said what we loved about Jana. I said I loved that she was my friend. I really do. She's one of my best friends and I'm so blessed to be able to say that! Though there are many people who can, since even though she's feisty, she's friends with everyone! And it shows just by the caliber of people around that table celebrating her birth! The Parker's, Becca, Red, the Rasmussen's, Julia, Justin, Marie, Ashley and Dylan! Wonderful people, all, and all of them Jana's friends.

Sunday morning I woke up and found my mail outside my bedroom door. My momma had written me a thank you note. How sweet is that? It's Mother's Day and she's thanking me for being a "sweet daughter" and telling me that I "make being a mom easy." Right. I don't question that she meant it. My momma is very sincere. But I question her sanity! I make being a mom easy? Ha! I remember crying on her shoulder almost every night when I was in junior high. I know I fought with my siblings, I know I complained about chores, I know I asked for money, I know I needed rides constantly, I was moody and loud and annoying, but somehow that was easy?? I'm sure I make being a mom easy now. I'm not at home for her to have to listen to complain and be annoying and loud and moody. I think my momma is the best one for me. No one else could love me like she does. Jana and I joined Heather and Travis and their adorable kids for dinner. Travis grilled steaks to PERFECTION, accompanied by a really yummy salad, Jana's perfectly baked potatoes, and my pretty-darn-good homemade rolls. The kids showed off what they had made for Heather for Mother's Day. They're the sweetest kids! Hunter made her a "Super Mom" card (he drew Heather in a Spiderman-meets-Batman sort of costume), Jacob made a "I [HEART] MOM" card in nursery, and Courtney bought her some very yummy dark-chocolate covered almonds with her own money! And they were all pretty pleased with themselves. It was so cute and sweet to see these kids so excited about what they had done for their wonderful Mom. And Heather really is a great mom. I learn so much from watching her. She's really a Super Mom!

This week at work we've had what's called "Summer University," which basically means that we have to go to listen to inspirational speakers and to workshops. For us part-timers, it means enduring these little meetings after hours, in other words getting paid to be bored out of our minds. OK, not completely bored. One of the speakers truly was inspirational, and we got to go to a dutch-oven cooking demonstration, meaning lunch! I'm just glad I have a Julia friend to attend these things with me. I don't know what I'm going to do when she leaves. Well, I know I'll miss her, that's for sure, and I'll be bored at these things, that's also for sure. But I'm happy that she's graduated and will soon be employed full-time (I just know it!) and will be moving forward with her life! Yay for Julia!

And now I'm looking forward to spending Saturday watching movies with my friends and family all day long, and then seeing my David brother on Sunday (and meeting his new girly friend).

How wonderful life is! I forget sometimes how wonderful it really is. I'm so blessed to have such great people in my life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Research Paper on Twilight??

Some people have expressed a desire to read the paper I wrote about the Twilight saga. I hope it isn't too disappointing to all who choose to read it... Anyway, if you're on of those who has any interest, here it is! Enjoy...or don't. Whatever. Just remember, you asked to read it!

PS Can I just say how freakin' excited I am to be DONE with the semester? Man, oh man, I am totally looking forward to reading, crocheting, walking, movie-watching... *sigh*

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wa-wa. Selt-Pity Sucks.

My goodness, I'm sounding like a big, fat cry-baby lately. Now that it's out of my system, I humbly apologize to anyone who came in contact with my self-pity.

Anyone on Facebook, please go read my new Event and respond. It's a time-crunch thing, so hurry.

Apparently my dad was on death's bed. Who knew? I mean, I knew it was bad, but in talking to him last night, I found it was a lot worse than Mom let on, which is completely typical of my mother. OK, so maybe he wasn't on death's bed, but it was pretty bad, and, like, a leaning on death's bed, basically. Like, the sheets were turned down. But, as was previously stated, he's fine now and went back to work today. It's kinda funny, though. The rumors were spread all over the county, it seems, ranging from his blood was thick as molasses to his heart was giving out.

You know those songs that are just really, really great, and when you hear them you just feel it? Elton John's "Yellow Brick Road," INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart," Tears for Fears's "Everybody (Wants to Rule the World," Damien Rice's "Cannonball," Ray LaMontagne's "Forever Friend," and Sting's "Englishman in New York" (to name a few) do it to me every time. I don't know why. I just absolutely love these songs.

What's a good study snack? I like pretzels, personally, but I have to pair them with a Dr. Pepper. The combo is great, but not the healthiest. Speaking of funny-sounding words (go back two posts for a Gertrude Stein reference), SNACK!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Faith, Doubt, and the Single-Life

This is not intended to incite sympathy or pity at all. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about, as a single 26-year-old woman is occasionally allowed to do. I don't need empathy, either. Just thought I'd share.

That whole "I'm unmarried without children" thing totally sucks sometimes. Like, for example, when I went to Caitlin's baby shower. (Sorry, Caitlin! Don't feel bad!) All of her other friends had babies and two of them were pregnant with their second babies. Ashley and I were the only one's without babies, and she's at least married! I felt like I was so behind in the real world. What am I doing with my life? Why am I still alone? I know, I'm going to school, and close to a degree, so I'm not completely wasting my life away. And I'm active in the Church, fulfill my callings. I just don't feel like I'm really doing anything. And I am really, really baby hungry. And I want to have one the right way, besides having someone to help raise the kid! I want someone to share my life with.

I'm actually working on fixing my mentality about this whole thing. Hope and Faith are canceled out by Fear and Doubt. I have to let go of the fear that I'll never find a companion, and the doubt I have in myself. This is gonna sound kinda weird, maybe preachy, but here's what I've figured out (with a LOT of help from my Heavenly Father and my family): Alma 32 says to make a place in your heart to plant a seed of faith (in the word), right? Well, I've decided that I have to plant a seed of faith in myself. Faith that I can live a good life, married or not. Faith that one day, I will be blessed with a companion, and with children. Faith that it will happen in the Lord's time. Faith that He loves me and wants me to be happy, and so He will not deprive me of these blessings. FAITH. Not doubt.

I'm trying. It's hard. And it's new, so I'm still learning, but I want to be more faithful in my life, so that's my goal. I have to nourish that seed now. Consistant and faithful prayer, scripture study, fasting, temple attendance, etc. And I need to "forget" myself and "go to work"! I'm going to get myself into family history work more.

I think I'm writing this in my blog in hopes that (1) someone will read it, and (2) in telling, I've made myself more accountable.

The frustrating thing is that when it comes to certain things, my faith is so strong. For example, my dad was in the hospital this weekend. He's on a blood thinner to help keep his heart in rhythm, but it thinned his blood too much. It was a little disconcerting for about five minutes, but then I said a prayer and I just knew he'd be fine. Sure enough, he was home on Sunday, is taking Monday off to rest, and will be back to work on Tuesday. For some reason, I didn't even get too worried about my grandpa when he was going through his heart stuff. Sure, I was concerned, but I just knew everything would be fine. And it has been, so far. Why can't I channel that faith??

Anyway, if anyone has any advice about how to "keep the faith" please feel free to share.

Uh Oh

Last week, when it was especially cold and rainy, I was writing a message to my Lindsle friend. This is what I wrote:

Know what'a funny word? Big. It's small for what it represents. And it sounds funny. Say it outloud. Big. Big. Big. Big big big. BIG. Big big. haha (Have we had this conversation before? Maybe not; maybe it was David.) Have you heard of the concept of repeating the same word over and over again until it sounds strange and loses its meaning? It's kind of a popular pratice in the DADA world. Gertrude Stein does it a lot in her poetry. Love, love, love, love, LOVE, LoVe. Love. Love. lovE. lOvE. love love love love love, love. lOve. Here's a poem for you called Very Valentine:

Very fine is my valentine.
Very fine and very mine.
Very mine is my valentine very mine and very fine.
Very fine is my valentine and mine, very fine very mine and mine is my valentine.

(from: "A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson," 1922 - in A Primer for the Gradual Understanding of Gertrude Stein)

She was a lesbo.

I have no clue where that tangent came from. Sorry it got loaded on you. It was just in my mind so it came oozing out my fingertips.

I'm beginning to remind myself of my father.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What a Wonderful Weekend

This weekend was wonderful. Not only did I dye my hair (just a wash-out, 28-day hair color), and finish crocheting a blanket, but General Conference was this weekend! I love Conference. I love listening to the leaders of our Church, God's messengers, the living prophets. I love the teachings received, the lessons learned, the chastisement deserved, and the comfort and peace gained. There were some wonderful things said that I needed to hear.

Doubt not. I've been having issues with this. Not that I don't believe the Gospel is real or true. I firmly believe that the Atonement is sure, that Repentance is real, that the Scriptures are true. Sometimes I forget that I believe it, though, and that's when doubt steps in, because of my pride. I have to remember that I believe it all, remember that I have a testimony, remember that I know.

And I am never alone. I loved Elder Holland's talk. His testimony of the Savior is beautiful, and it has strengthened my own. I am never alone. I always have the Spirit with me, if I live to be worthy of it. I always have Heavenly Father on my side, even when I mess up. He loves me, He wants me. How wonderful to know that I have a Father in Heaven who will always love me, no matter what.

I'm so thankful for my family. I had the opportunity to spend most of the weekend with my sisters. I love them so much. Heather and Jana came over Friday. Jana needed to do homework on my computer, so Heather and I (along with my Kami roommate) went to Zupas for dinner. I LOVE Zupas! Such yummy soups... I'm hungry for a bowl of their chicken enchilada soup now. Kami, Heather, and I went back to my apartment, and Jana and Ann (another roommate) joined us in watching "Twilight." Man, I love and hate that movie. It's so wonderfully great and awful. On Saturday, between sessions, after I colored my hair, Jana and I headed to Heather's house to watch the rest of Conference with her family, and Marie was already there. Marie even made pizza for dinner (yum) and we just hung out. I love spending time at the Rasmussesn's. It's so nice for us to be together. We got to talk to Mom and Dad Sunday evening, too. And Jana made biscuits and gravy for dinner. It was a really great weekend. The only thing that would have made it better is if Mom and Dad, David and Tyler were with us.

If you're at all curious about the weekend before last and my fun time at Color Fest, check out the pictures on my Facebook account. Good times!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Prose: A Rant

Have you ever done one of those personality profiles for singles on those on-line hook-up cites? You answer all of these questions about what you’d do given certain circumstances--which is almost unfeasible for me since I don’t have a clue about myself--and the cite tells you what kind of person you are and with whom you’d be best compatible. They’re silly, really, and nearly impossible for me to fill out, but I can’t help myself. I’ve done so many of them, I can’t even put a number on it. If pressed, I’d say maybe five or six...or seven or eight. The only thing worse than trying to answer questions about what I’d do in certain circumstances is filling in those personal greetings they make you do. They usually end up sounding really cheesy:

“A little about me...
"Hopeless romantic. Drives me crazy about myself, but it's true. I'm easily swooned. I'm never sarcastic. Ever. Pretty organized; I find filing and cleaning very therapeutic. No, that wasn't sarcasm. Usually wear a smile and I laugh a lot. I love getting all dressed-up and pretty, but I really love pajamas. I come from a great family, born and raised in California.
"Basically I'm your average Miss Bennett looking for her Mr. Darcy, Hermione looking for her Ron, Bella looking for her Edward, Buttercup looking for her Westley, Anne looking for her Gilbert, Lafawnduh looking for her Kip...”

You re-think the list of couples, but decide maybe it’s funny. Then you get into all of your hobbies and pass-times. It starts to sound like a laundry list after a while, and there’s almost no way to make it sound otherwise:

“What I do for fun...
"Movies, especially dramas and action. Some favorites are Dear Frankie, Everything is Illuminated, 3:10 to Yuma, Lars and the Real Girl, the Bourne movies, and Sweet Land.
"Music, especially Indie, Rock, Classical, Jazz, little Country: Diana Krall, Ray LaMontagne, Jimmy Eat World, Tim McGraw, Elbow, Imogen Heap, Snow Patrol, Feist, Sting... eclectic, I know.
"Books, getting lost in fictional lives. Few favorites: the Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, the Lord of the Rings by Tolkein, the Kite Runner by Hosseini,, A Solitary Blue by Voigt...
"Homey stuff: crocheting, scrapbooking, cooking, baking (my specialties are French bread and pumpkin cookies).
"Walking. My favorite way to exercise! No, really.
"Like watching sports, but don't play. I'm not a big camper, but a happy one! I like going a few times during the summer. I love boating. I wish I could go more often.
"Spending time with people I love, no matter what we're doing!”

Then you go back and take out that part about walking and not being that into sports, and replace them with running and watching a few college football games in the season. And the book list is a little pompous, so you go back and add the Princess Bride by Goldman, the Harry Potter series by Rowling, and Austenland by Hale. You realize your movie list is a little heavy on the drama and those listed are mostly independent, so you go back and add the Dark Knight, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You leave the music list alone, though. If they don’t know who those artists are, they should be executed, I mean educated.

And it’s all in a pathetic attempt to win over some internet stalker, could-be rapist/serial killer. You send messages and chat through the singles-cite, maybe exchange email addresses. Some of them want to skip right to phone numbers. Some just ask right-out for a little non-committal make-out session. After weeding through the jack-asses, you might find a nice guy who’s really looking for a nice girl--not that! So you end up texting then talking for a little while before meeting (in a public place) for ice cream or hot chocolate. Then the shoe drops. He’s obsessive-compulsive. He’s not even close to as cute as his profile picture. “Average build” was code for 400 pounds. On the off-chance that he’s still good looking and of average build--and mentality--you agree to a second date. And a third. All of the sudden, you’ve got yourself a steady beau! Good for you!

How often does this really happen, though? I can tell you right now, it’s never happened for me. The furthest I’ve gotten with any of these scum-bags? A chat that went something like this:

“Wanna make out?”
You’re funny, too!
“I’m not kidding, haha…”
What possessed you to ask me?
“You looked fun, and you live close.”
…Five minutes later…
“So, do you wanna?”
Umm, as flattering as it is to be asked, no thanks.

Or the persistent messages from a forty-year-old father of four, the eldest child being ten whole years younger than me. “Come on, it’s not that bad.” Right.

Why is it I can’t find a decent human being to share my life with? Even the internet mocks me. I like to think that I’m a Minnie looking for Mickey, June Carter looking for Johnny Cash, Eve looking for Adam. It feels more and more like what I really am is Jessica looking for Roger Rabbit, Sharon looking for Ozzy Osbourne, Jane looking for Tarzan, Wendy Peffercorn looking for Michael “Squints” Palledorous. All of these couples were destined for failure, but they stood the test of time.

I don’t really care what kind of couple I end up in, just as long as I end up in one.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just Cuz I Feel Like It::

Albums I've recently been listening to, over and over again, in no particular order...

Kutiman: Kutiman

Billie Holiday: The Millennium Collection

Imogen Heap: Speak For Yourself

Arcade Fire: Neon Bible

Sting: Mercury Falling

Diana Krall: All For You

Zero 7: When It Falls

Interpol: Antics

Johnny Flynn: A Larum

Damien Rice: O

Various Artists: If I Were a Carpenter

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Greatest Hits

My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves

Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid

Ray LaMontagne: Trouble

Friday, January 30, 2009


So, the week is ending better than it began. That's good, right? I got in a few extra hours at work (this week and last), which after taking two full weeks off at Christmas is a blessing. I got caught up and a couple of chapters ahead in the Grapes of Wrath and I just got caught up in Song of Solomon. I'm even doing the journal work for my Steinbeck class. I was in the middle of it when Mom called. I'm so glad she did. I was thinking about her today. She always seems to know right when to call. I should do the same thing, just call when I'm thinking about her. But she's such a busy woman, I don't want to interrupt her groove. But, like the call just now, we don't have to have a long conversation in order for it to be worth-while. I'm starting to realize that. And to realize that if I'm thinking of someone, I can call, and if that person is busy, they'll tell me and that's OK. I love my Momma. I should call her more often.

I took a Spanish test on Wednesday that I'm pretty sure I didn't do very well on. I don't think I failed (I hope not, anyway) but I don't think I got a very good grade, either. I guess we'll see next week. This semester of Spanish is really gonna be HARD! But if I make it with a "C" I'll pass, and that's all I need!

I hate that school and work are the center of my life. I need to fix that. But how am I supposed to get an education without focusing on school? I need to have a social life, but I need to get my degree. Conundrum.

K, that's all, for now.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Mostly for the sake of a new post and also because I don't want to be reading my text book, I've decided it's time to write.

Before I launch, Grandpa is doing really well! Thanks to those who've sent up prayers in his behalf and my family's. We're all doing great and we're happy to have Grandpa on the mend.

School sucks. I really don't want to go. Every morning I have to talk myself into getting out of bed and starting the day. I know that if I just get started, get myself ready and off to work, I'll make it to the end and everything will be OK. But today, I had to talk myself into going to every class. I hate having to talk myself into things I know I need and that are good for me, like school and work. I hate having to go, though, too. It's all very frustrating.

I really like cookies. I have a few of those off-brand Nilla Wafers. They're good.

I'm getting an iPod, finally. I can't wait to load it. I'll probably waste a lot of time playing with it this week.

I just got two movies and a book in the mail. I love Amazon. I now own Dear Frankie and Sweet Land, plus River Secrets by Shannon Hale. I really wish I had time to read that novel right now, but it'll have to wait. I have an amazingly long line of books I really want to read. I may not get to them until after graduation, sadly. The next few semesters are going to be devoted to reading required material. Hopefully it will all be interesting. So far, so good. I just finished Americana by Don Dilillo and I'm currently in the Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck and Song of Solomon by Morrison. All depressing, but very interesting.

Love Life and Learning. This was the lesson in Relief Society the first week of January. It was a great lesson, and I was really feeling the message through the Spirit. Today, I'm not really loving life or learning. Not good. Maybe I need a refresher course on loving life and learning.

Marie might move to St. Louis. That kinda freaks me out. But what an amazing opportunity for her. She also may be staying in Salt Lake to work for the Children's Museum. That would also be a great opportunity to build her resume and gain some more business experience.

I had lost count of how many cousins and cousin's kids there were in my family, the Heywood's and the Chinn's. All of them, including my family and my aunts and uncles and grandparents...there's 98 of us. With two on the way, and a ton more to come. Can you imagine your entire extended family? Ancestors and posterity? This is just the family right here, right now. Not my grandparent's brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Not even my parent's aunts, uncles, and cousins. Just mine. 98, soon to be 100. And I'm on the older-side. Lots and lots of cousins younger than me and four siblings unmarried, five including myself. Imagine how much bigger we're going to get. It's nuts.

OK, I think I've ranted and gabbered enough. I am going to read now. And probably fall asleep doing it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This has been the longest six days of my life, I swear.

It all started with the end of my first three days of school. Believe it or not, I was late to my second "Steinbeck" class and I left after five minutes. No, it wasn't the teacher, students, or content of the class. I will explain.

My Grandpa Chinn went into the hospital for an angiogram. The doctors found major blockage and saw that part of his heart wasn't receiving any blood. They decided to schedule an emergency bi-pass. This was all happening very quickly Friday morning. By the time I arrived (late) to my class, Jana had called to tell me she could pick me up in twenty minutes and we'd be on our way to Salt Lake. Needless to say, I left class. We picked Marie up at her new apartment in Salt Lake and headed to St. Mark's Hospital where we met Heather and Travis and the rest of the family. When we got there, we did a lot of waiting and talking with uncles and aunts. We finally got to see Grandpa just before they took him into surgery to put a balloon in one of his arteries to keep it open and help the blood flow in preparation for the bi-pass he would have on Saturday morning. We kissed him "goodnight" and he was rolled away. We waited and waited til they brought him back out, went to see that he was still alive, gave him a kiss goodnight (for real this time) and went home. My mom, in the mean time, was buying a plane ticket, getting packed, and driving to Long Beach to fly into Salt Lake late Friday night so she could be at the hospital before Grandpa's surgery Saturday morning. She made it. No worries.

Saturday morning, Jana and I met the family in the waiting room. The bi-pass took only three and a half hours (as opposed to the estimated five to six, maybe eight hours). Everything worked out beautifully, according to the surgeon. They did a quadruple bi-pass. Things were mostly "wait and see" all day Saturday and Sunday. We all spent most of our time in the hospital, waiting to see. He was doing really well, according to the nurses and doctors, and spent a lot of time sleeping Saturday, and sitting-up on Sunday. (P.S. Jana and I went with Marie to her new Ward on Sunday... all the single, good-looking, older guys in are Salt Lake, I swear! I may have to move... )

On Monday, his heart started to go out of rhythm, and they had to "jump-start" him three times, only to have no real change. So they put him on a medication that helped to even out his rhythm. He's doing much better now, and the doctors have even decided not to put in a pace-maker. If his heart goes out of rhythm more often and more irregularly, they'll obviously change that decision, but as of right now, everything is GOOD!

Interlaced with the weekend that never ended was a lot of reading and homework that didn't get done. So Sarah's been playing the catch-up game all week long, and it's only the second week of school!! But I'm not really complaining. It's been good for me to do all of the assignments in speed-mode. Besides, my grandpa is alive and well. Why complain?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas in California

I'm so happy to report that I made it through this Christmas at home almost completely unscathed! Not that I don't always enjoy my time at home, but this year was especially great. Here's a short breakdown. Well, short for me. We all know how verbose I can get.

The Chinn Family Christmas Party with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

We got to visit Disneyland! I really like Disneyland. It was a rainy and overcast day, so all of the season-passers weren't there! It was so nice! Our longest wait was for Indiana Jones, and that was only 30 minutes. We basically walked right on to every ride!

On the Pirates of the Caribbean

In front of Tom and Huck's Island

The Tree. See all of those presents? Well, we (meaning my siblings and I) were supposed to get Disneyland tickets and only Disneyland tickets for Christmas, but the Chinn grandparents contributed to the ticket purchases and we each put in $20 for our own tickets, so we got more Christmas. There were more presents for us than for the poor niece and nephews, who's Christmas really was mostly Disneyland. Poor kids. *evil grin* And yes, we were watching A Christmas Story.

The Heywood Grandparents

My youngest nephew really likes tape. His parents are trying to help him get over his tape obsession, but he was indulged while at Grandma's house. Here he thought he was pretty funny, walking around with a long piece of tape covering his eyes. Yes, he's strange.

Here's my oldest nephew, chillin' on my uncle's couch. We spent a few hours on Christmas day with the extended Heywood family, but I think my nephew got a little bored. He spent most of his time playing video games, though, so maybe he wasn't bored.

Of course Dad wasn't bored. He had a piano to play!

Here's my niece modeling her new PJs. She's pretty cute, huh?

We played games a few nights. Jana stole my camera and took this picture. Not very flattering of us, but it's real. Yes, that's my adorable double-chin!

This is a demonstration of Wasco: fog and orchards. This is a moving picture taken through the car window of an almond orchard. Imagine these trees in full-bloom, covered in pink and white blossoms. It's gorgeous and reeks havoc on my sinuses.

Need gas? Oil? It's ALL over California! Why are we so worried about oil?? It's all over the place, and we dig it up constantly!! It baffles me, really.

On the first day of the new year, my sisters, Mom, and I took a three-hour road trip to San Luis and Pismo Beach. Here's a great shot (in my humble opinion) of my Mom watching the frustrated surfers. (My mom is the one in the white sweater with her hand covering her eyes--I don't think she knows about this picture.)

Pretty poetic: Christmas in California. The tree, the poinsettia, and the bright, happy sun!

It was such a beautiful day on the coast! It couldn't have been less than 72 degrees and there was a slight breeze. That sun made it warm and happy!

So, that's all. It was a great trip home. I loved being there, relaxing, not having any time-constraints, no papers to write, no required reading, and mostly being with my family! I hope everyone else had equally wonderful Christmases!