lovely day

Birthdays are a big deal for me, and they always have been. So when Josh's birthday rolled around, I made every effort to make it wonderful. I made muffins for a late breakfast (when we ate them at 11:30ish, Josh was still in his pajamas--I'm glad he sees birthdays as holidays too), and mid-afternoon we headed up to Thanksgiving Point to go through the dinosaur museum there but decided last-minute to see Avatar in 3D instead.

While seemingly not my kind of movie (this was my first time seeing it), I surprisingly enjoyed it. And I found the 3D actually cool instead of headache-inducing.

Now get ready for the real adventure of the day: Josh accidentally locked the keys in the car. So his brother and sister-in-law were awesome enough to drive up and give us the spare key. Hahahahahahaha. While waiting, Josh and I moseyed over to the Show Barn where we watched a few numbers of a jazz dance competition. (Sarah and Dad will actually be here next week for Sarah's clogging competition, which will also take place in Thanksgiving Point's Show Barn.)

After dinner at Five Guys with his siblings, siblings-in-law, and grandparents, our birthday celebration concluded with a few episodes of "30 Rock" (I gave him the second season), birthday cake, and part of The Prestige. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

And one of my favorite parts of the evening? Lighting the candles (yes, 25 of them) super quick and opening the front door to dissipate the candle smoke and turning on the stove fan while physically fanning the smoke out to avoid triggering the smoke detector. Happy birthday, Josh :)


a saga of baking redemption

I was so ready to bake this cake. So ready. I had all the ingredients out, all my favorite baking utensils in cute colors at hand, my apron on, my iPod playing--everything was set to make a wonderful cake.

I was so ready.

I sifted the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt for a grand total of three rounds through the sifter

I beat the batter for the exact times specified.

And then I put those filled cake pans in the oven, expecting cakes deluxe.

I cockily licked the batter, expecting grandiosity.

And then, this is what I found after the timer went off, allowing me to check the oven.
Dammit. Yes, I said it. Epic fail. It's a blinkin' swimming pool, for cryin' out loud. Oh, how my heart sank, how it sank to the bottom, how it sank as low as my cake. I called Grandma, and I may or may not have used a couple of mild expletives in my venting.

I took as stiff a drink as I could.

However, I resolved to try again, this time implementing the high-altitude adjustments. Both Emily and Grandma had told me that they didn't think I needed to worry about that, and being a lemming--justifiably so, may I add--I didn't think to double-check that information. So this morning I woke up early (early for a Saturday, anyway) and tried again.

I felt greatly vindicated.




Wondering how my cake baking is going so far? Don't. Just don't ask. I'm despondent.


a bit daunted

There is a particular birthday on Saturday, and I need to make a marvelous cake. I mean, it needs to be incredible. I want to make this cake because I love baking and making food from scratch, but you know what? I can't remember the last time I made a cake from scratch. Perhaps it was never. So I'm sitting on my bed flipping through my Betty Crocker cookbook and talking to my cake-savvy sister desperately hoping that I make the cake wonderful. A wonderful cake for a wonderful day for a wonderful person.

Wish me luck.


a memorable tribute

Yes, Canada regrettably lost to the USA in Olympic hockey, and yes, I have mixed feelings about that, especially given my beloved Canadian heritage. However, as a consolation to my Canadian DNA and to my Canadian family members, please enjoy this musical tribute.



In response to Anonymous: "Do you have a copy writer for so good articles?" Global clarification: I am the copy writer. I hire no one. This blog is all Charlotte Jane. I'm flattered that you enjoy my posts, and please take note that they are all mine.


Saturday night date

After a laid-back yet productive day of mostly schoolwork, I enjoyed the following evening:
  • Famous Dave's Barbeque in West Jordan with Josh. It's fun to go out to eat every once in a while.
  • Barnes and Noble browsing--love it.
  • Wal Mart for $5 DVDs
  • Katelyn's birthday party, complete with speed skating watching and toasted marshmallows
  • The Fifth Element--a little ridiculous but kind of funny sometimes
I love a good Saturday night.


my real life

My life—the big-picture stuff—has all been planned up until this point, the point of my collegiate exit. I have only a couple of more months before I live out the rest of that life plan, and after that, everything seems uncertain. I've been able to postpone quasi-adulthood with my summer New Era internship, but after that, I don't know how I can avoid "real life." But really, isn't "real life" such a flawed term, anyway? Because the life I lead right here and right now is my real life, regardless of how "adult" or otherwise it is at any given moment.

So in living my real life, I'm facing an aspect of living I've never had to encounter before. I've always been able to steer clear of a long-term 9-to-5 job, car insurance, and a mortgage. Even the rent I've paid for my college apartments has been subsidized by living with three other girls. The real life I'm living is facing impending and unfamiliar change; I don't think I've ever experienced a change as significant as the one I'll experience in my transition from college student to quasi-adult. I feel like every decision I'm making right now has life-altering ramifications.

Sometimes when the world seems so overwhelmingly vast and I seem so unbelievingly small, I want to rail to the universe and cry, "Just give me a plan!!" That's all I need. Except that I'm wrong. I rarely know what I really need; because when I think I know what I need I get something else that makes sense only later.

In those moments when I doubt and question myself and my place and role in the world, at least I can fall back on the knowledge that I'm a daughter of God, who is a divine and exalted being, and it's my destiny to become like Him. In those moments when I second-guess my potential and underestimate my abilities and worth, at least I can know that I have a Heavenly Father who knows my true potential and worth better than I do, a Father who will never lose faith or hope or confidence in me because I'm His child. He believes in me because that's who He is.

And in those inevitable moments of blank uncertainty, once I feel the comfort of a loving Heavenly Father, then I can take a step back and go on listening to HP on my iPod.


10 for 12 . . .

So I wanted to do the 12-for-12 deal many other bloggers tried last month, and I came up with only 10 photos. Bah. And I don't have time/means to do the grid, so I'll just post them in a list. I know the novelty is the grid, but I'm giving it what I have. Here's my February 12!

HP to kick off my morning. No surprise there.

The mass of BYU students in between classes. I thought a picture of a typical school day would be appropriate.

My recent extra appendage. Not lotion Puffs, however. . . .

Yes, I went to the doctor today, and yes, they made me put on a mask because of my cough. And Josh, good guy that he is, didn't laugh at me (or at least in front of me). And no, I couldn't bring myself to take a self-portrait in the doctor's office.

Mabye TMI. I won't go into further explanation.

 More McCarthy. No Country for Old Men is, so far, more accessible than Blood Meridian

Writing a paper or watching "Alias"? Like that's a hard decision, especially when I have being sick as an excuse for laziness.

 The Malte Shoppe with Josh. Oreo shake=lovely. I could even taste some of the bites I took. (Being able to taste food is a luxury denied me for the past week.)

 The doctor gave me drugs--hallelujah. With the other OTC drugs I've purchased, I'm a walking pharmacy.
 In 10 minutes, I will be in bed, with the lights out, and this humidifier on. Thanks, Diana, for saving my sleep.

Happy February 12, everybody!


Operation Superhuman Reader: Jekyll, Jekyll, Hyde, Jekyll, Hyde, Hyde, Jekyll

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Norton Critical Editions) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I know the basic story line of Jekyll and Hyde, but I didn't know the details. I really liked this story! I thought it was creepy yet allegorical (in a literal, applicable way). The story is easy to follow and quick to get through. If you want a quick yet engaging read, this is a good route to take!

View all my reviews >>

And to augment your Jekyll/Hyde experience, or at least your experience reading this review, enjoy the following:

taking it easy

Last night I should have finished reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde . . . but instead I watched this

while I made this

and waited for this

so he could eat what I made while we watch this.

Yes, he will watch "Gilmore Girls" with me without being under too much duress.


sick of being sick

When I sat down to watch the devotional with Emily, I started crying because I still feel sick and I'm so sick of being sick. And as the tears slowly fell, Emily tickled my back during the whole devotional and then gave me the rest of her Junior Mints. When I blew my nose for the millionth time, at that moment I was more grateful for my Number One than I was frustrated with my green-gunk-stuffed nose.

Operation Superhuman Reader: More of the Fantastic and McCarthy

The Turn of the Screw: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions) The Turn of the Screw: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism by Henry James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book epitomizes the fantastic genre. Told from the personal narratives of a governess, The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a haunting. The governess—who is never actually named—is convinced that the ghosts of a former servant and a governess are trying to take the children. Throughout the book, you're never sure if there really are apparitions inhabiting the estate or if the governess is simply a victim of psychosis: there is evidence for both arguments. Henry James does an excellent job of maintaining suspense and telling you just enough to pique your interest but not enough to answer any of your questions. If you're looking for a classic, 19th-century ghost story, this is a great option!

View all my reviews >>

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'll up it to three-and-a-half stars and maybe will give it a higher ranking once I discuss it more in class. This book was bloody. Very bloody. The violence isn't necessarily gratuitous, but it is plentiful. This book takes a look at raw evil and how it affects the coming-of-age of a character known only as "the kid." I don't really know how to respond to this book. I'm glad I'm reading it for a class where I can discuss it with other students, because otherwise I think I'd be lost. This book is often called McCarthy's masterpiece, and I'd like to gain a better understanding of why that is. This book is expertly written, but it's a book that I don't quite get yet.

View all my reviews >>



Dear Whoever Stole the Note and Banana Chip Bar I Left for my Sister at the Testing Center,

That wasn't yours. I wrote that note, covered the envelope in "buddy buddy buddy"s and "Number 1" in giant letters, a salutation that was clearly intended for a specific person. I even stapled the banana chip bar to the envelope to indicate that the note and treat went together. That was for my sister who just took her first accounting 210 exam. That wasn't for you.

And frankly, I'm appalled that you would be so audacious to steal something that was intended to brighten a specific person's day. Emily is my sister, my number one: you, on the other hand, are not. Right now, in fact, you're number infinity--the last on the list. I mean, who does that? Steal a treat from the testing center? You, apparently. Anyway, I don't know you, and I probably never will. Just know that you contributed to my loss of faith in humanity and in BYU students.

Charlotte Wood


take me away

Bedtime cannot come soon enough.

midweek miscellany

  • The aforementioned impending chest cold is now full-blown chest cold. I've been hacking up green gunk for the past two days.
  • Despite my increased need for decent sleep because of said chest cold, the past two nights I've been sleeping horribly. Last night my dreams were a combination of "Alias" and InDesign layouts.
  • I'm buying some Nyquil today.
  • I'm reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James for my senior class, and I like it.
  • Despite what my nursing friends say about the pointlessness of Airborne, I'm using it and am convinced it works.


fuzzy brain

Fuzzy brain: inability to process academic information (e.g. the concept of "home" in McCarthy's work); decreased motivation regarding schoolwork, housework, etc.; increased desire to wear stretchy pants and watch multiple "Alias" episodes; can be induced by recent accidental head-whacks and impending chest colds; can be treated with Coke Zero and Oreos

Note: the explosion on my chin is not a symptom of fuzzy brain, but simply an inexplicable frustration of vanity.
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