ultimate relaxation

I got back to CO on December 18, but I forgot my camera cord in Provo (along with my glasses, which my roommate mailed to me--they haven't arrived yet. . . .). So this is a picture-less post but will hopefully fill my blogger needs.

December 20: BYU lost the Vegas Bowl. Blast.

December 21: Christmas Sunday in the Applewood Ward. It ended up being a Wood-family sacrament meeting, actually. Mom and Dad gave the prayers, Grandma and Grandpa spoke, and Emily and I gave the musical number. And as always, I had encounters with some of the more unique members of the ward and was asked if I was engaged. I'm asked that question at least once every time I come home, sometimes more. Family dinner was Shamazing: roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, ice cream cake roll.

December 22: I got my hair colored again. It's super dark again. (Grandma is calling me her "Indian Princess," a reference I'm still not quite getting.) Too bad my camera cord is in Provo; otherwise, I'd post a picture.

December 23: We all went over to Grandma's in the afternoon and had a bake day! I read, helped with the sugar cookies, and just sat there, still detoxing from finals.

December 24: Christmas Eve! Delicious dinner, Christmas Eve program, new pajamas, electronic LIFE game=awesome.

December 25: CHRISTMAS!! I spent the entire day in my pajamas, watched P.S. I Love You (which I got from Emily) and Prince Caspian (from Santa) (for whatever reason, Blogger won't italicize Prince Caspian--my inner editor needs to give that caveat for the inconsistency), ate whatever I wanted, napped, and was a complete agoraphobe.

December 26: At least I showered and got dressed, but I still didn't leave the house. We watched almost the entire first season of "Chuck," which Santa left for the family. I think we watched another movie that night, but I don't remember.

December 27: I planned on leaving the house, but woke up with an acute abdominal pain. I can't figure out where it came from. It could have been the huge bloody nose I had in the middle of the night where I swallowed a significant amount of blood, my horrible holiday eating habits, PMS, or a horrid combination of all three. Regardless of the cause, I was pretty much incapacitated all day. (I think I've been watching too much "House," because during my bloody nose trip to the bathroom to grab tissues, I had visions of the blood not stopping, blood starting to come out of my ears, and then the cut to the opening credits--good grief.) I planned on leaving the house but didn't go out until about 7 pm for a friend's birthday party. That marked about 72 straight hours in my house. Wow.

December 28: Another day of church and another engagement query. On Christmas Eve, one of the missionaries who was over actually asked me in all sincerity if it was uncommon for a girl at BYU to reach her junior year without being married. I replied that no, it was not out of the norm to be single at twenty-one years old--I am not a BYU anomaly. Good grief. Mom, Emily, John, Sarah, and me (Dad was at home with the stomach flu, yet another possible cause for my freaky stomach pain the day before) went to a vow renewal for one of Mom's good friends. They weren't LDS, and I left feeling so grateful for the priesthood and temple marriage. Dinner that night consisted of a delicious, light meal of Cream of Wheat, scrambled eggs, and toast.

December 29: I cleaned, read, played Guitar Hero World Tour, watched "House" despite my self-diagnosed "House" overdose, ran errands with Mom, ate a delicious dinner, and the current blogging.

Sorry for the lack of pictures that would break up the grayness of this post. Oh well. Kudos if you made it through :) Thankfully I still have a week left (well, six days now), and I look forward to the Crop Day tomorrow, a homemade donut New Year's Eve, shopping with Christmas money, and more movies and TV, because I really need more time in front of the tube.


first leisure book of the break

I just finished reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, my first leisure book of the break. I love leisure reading. I read all semester long for class, so you'd think I'd be booked out; however, I find few things as enjoyable as plopping down on the couch with a good, leisure book in hand. I read so much at school, but it's never quite like reading something I read just because I want to read it. I can analyze as much as I want; I can retain as much as I please; I don't get a grade; I don't take reading quizzes. I read because I want to.

I really enjoyed this book. I've read this author's first book, Everything Is Illuminated, and like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close better. For those of you who haven't read it, the plot follows the story of a nine-year-old boy, Oskar, trying to connect with his father, who died in the WTCs on September 11. The subplot, which eventually ties in with the big story, centers on the boy's grandparents, who survived the WWII Dresdan bombing. I thought that the story was fascinating, and most of all, the narration style was captivating; I felt that the narration style was hyper stream-of-consciousness, which I didn't think I'd like, but I surprised myself.

I thought the character development was superb and the emotion in the pages profound. However, I felt very dissatisfied with the very very end. I liked the part with Oskar talking with his mother, but when Oskar wishes to rewind life, I felt depressed. The story does have a depressing underlying tone, because the characters don't believe in God and often feel hopeless themselves, but I thought that maybe the ending would contain some thread of hope for the future and for happiness. I didn't pick up on such an ending message. I was able to find traces of hope in my reading but felt let down the last page or so.

For those of you who have read this book, what did you think? I really really really liked the book, almost surprisingly so, but the ending left me unsettled and sad for the characters. Is that how you felt? If haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It reads fast and is incredibly captivating, I think. Once you read it, let me know what you think. I'm still processing.


last day of class

Thursday was my last day of class for the semester--YAY!!!! Here was my day:

Instant oatmeal, hot chocolate and scripture study.

Cleaning my computer from a campus-wide USB-transmitted virus.

Hideous editing at work.

Laundry--I hate laundry.

Emily's concert! She was awesome!

It was a good day :) Now I just have to get through finals, and I'll be home free. . . .


my dad

Monday was my dad's forty-seventh birthday. (He hates that number because it's prime--I think that's funny.) I love my dad--he is amazing to the max. He loves me no matter what. I love him back. :)


new landlord

I think I should start making out my rent checks to the library instead of to the Colony. My new roommates are Dorothea Brooke, Jude Hawley, and universal healthcare.


a third orchestra concert

Tuesday was my third orchestra concert I've been in at the Y. I love it!! I love playing!! I love being in a fun, non-diva orchestra where my stand partner is one of my really good friends and the conductor is a Ukrainian who resembles a hobbit. It's only one credit hour, and we meet once a week for a couple of hours. So far, I've been in the University Orchestra, which is the full orchestra (not only strings, but also brass, percussion, and winds). Full orchestras are my favorite to play in, but next semester, Erica and I will be in the string orchestra because of scheduling conflicts. I'm still excited though--I love having the opportunity to play even though I'm not majoring in violin performance.

The concert on Tuesday went really well. My orchestra played a Pomp and Circumstance march, a piece by Verdi, one of the Reformation movements by Mendelssohn, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies and the Dance of the Flowers of the Nutcracker Suite, and the Radentzky March. My favorite was most definitely the Nutcracker selections.

My very first concert (a year ago), Brooke and Alexis came--it made my night! The last concert, my roommates, the guy I was dating, and a couple other friends came. Tuesday night, though, I think I had the largest turnout of Charlotte supporters: Brooke, Anneli, Matt (Anneli's boyfriend), Katie, one of my visiting teachers, Blake, first-date Luke, and my favorite person who came, Emily.

I was SO excited that Emily could come and see my concert: she is my only family member to have seen me play in my BYU orchestral experience, and it really meant so much to me that she was there. She even gave me a big bag of holiday M&Ms that she gave me license to hoard. It's always a bummer that my family can't come and see me perform, but having Emily there made me so connected to the rest of my family. I was reminded once again of how much I LOVE having her out here.

Alas, I didn't get any pictures, but I know Emily took some, so maybe she can get those to me.

I'm glad that orchestra finished up before finals are underway, and I love playing. I love being able to play my violin simply because I love it. I love it that my parents indulged my fourth grade desire and went on to pay for my exquisite instrument and my private lessons. I love it that my family and friends have always encouraged me in my playing. I love every aspect of playing music.


being a hideous intern

I can't believe it was already a couple of months ago that I left my job at the Physics Department and started interning at the Maxwell Institute. I think it's about time for an update on the intern situation.

I'm loving it! For about the first month or so, I wasn't too sure. I always planned on sticking out these two semesters, but for a while I was pretty frustrated. I felt like I didn't do things right, I would forget things all the time, and even though I'd do a pretty thorough proofread, my boss would always find stuff that I missed and that's what he pointed out. My boss would also bring up the last intern all the time as an example of what was awesome to do. I don't think that he meant to make me feel bad, because he mention once that he didn't bring up the other intern to make me feel bad, but she was just the most recent intern and therefore, the closest reference.

After the first four weeks or so, though, things definitely picked up. I feel like I'm definitely in a groove--I know what to do, I know how far to go on my proofing and editing, and my boss and I are friends, which always makes working easier and more fun.

I like what I do, and generally, I look forward to going to work. Sometimes I feel mentally drained after work, because my brain is basically working all day now that I can't watch TV during work hours. But I like it. I think that this will be a good leg up to other internships, and I feel that I'm getting great experience.

I love being a hideous intern!
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