"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Have Been Changed for Good: 10 Years

I like this reminiscing stuff. January 28th marks 10 years or two HUGE milestones. I thought I would re-post a blog entry I wrote on a different, private blog. It explains...a lot. It wasn't written the day of the milestones, but it shares what I experienced with one of them.

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009

Day 7: Wicked Worries

There comes a problem when you have loved something so much for a time, and then excitedly and anxiously come to encounter it again: you are afraid it will not measure up--up to your memories of and up to your love for it.

I've seen this worry happen with books. Movies. Places. People. This time, it's Wicked. (What else?) Nothing can beat the first time you experience anything. Whether good, happy, funny, sad, scary, terrible, or whatever the experience, nothing beats it. And my first experience with Wicked? It's one of the most unbeatable of the unbeatables. All I knew when I entered that theater was

  1. It was a story about the witches in Oz
  2. I'd heard 1 or 2 songs which I vaguely remembered
  3. It was ranked #3 of all the musicals playing on Broadway
And all I thought I knew when I entered the theater was
  1. The whole musical takes place before Dorothy comes to Oz
  2. The witches were friends but shows how they became enemies
  3. The musical shows how the Wicked Witch becomes wicked
I was wrong. In so many, many ways.
There I sat for over 2 hours thinking That's why she's going to become evil. And That's going to be a big reason she turns bad. I--like the rest of Oz and, yes, the world--was so ready to believe her to be bad. Willing to let anyone tell me that this meant she was evil, that meant she was bad, and told to shun and hate her because that's what we do with people we don't know or understand. (Beauty and the Beast: "We don't like what we don't understand, in fact it scares us...")
Do any of you have any idea how much I hate prejudice? Being pre-judged about something and then summarily treated a certain way because of that pre-judgement, with others not bothering to get to know who you really are. And there I was at the end, sobbing not only because of everything that had happened on stage, but everything that had happened in me. How could I have thought what I did? And been ready to believe what I did? And how often do I do that every day in my own life? "Till [that] moment, I never knew myself." -Elizabeth Bennet
Well, not just the life-changing part of the the musical stood out. The characters. Who was who. The costuming (some bizarre yet very Oz-fitting things there). The effects. The music. That last one alone would have made for a most magnificent experience.
All of it was new to me when I was in the Gershwin theater in NYC. Every bit was absolutely increcible and I had to record every possible thing I could in my memory. Then, of course, I went through typical post-watching musical symptoms--most of my cast was better than the recording. (I couldn't listen to any Les Mis recording for months after my first time seeing the play, because the jaw-dropping Randal Keith beats out the wonderful Colm Wilkinson any day.) No picture or pirated copy of a scene here or there could compare with actually being there. Nothing compares to actually being there.
So the worry that comes is when you're going to encounter it again. My first experience was incredible. I'm not saying it was perfect. (Ben Vereen was sick and wasn't there as the wizard. Terrible disappointment!) But as my first everything with Wicked, it was perfect. And a second encounter is a worrisome thing because what compares with perfect? What if Galinda's Galinda-ness is way too much? (Because I do think that's possible, even for a self-centered airhead.) Or Fiyero's voice just doesn't make him the Winkie Prince? Or Nessa's character gets sadly underdone and overlooked. Or the effects/costuming just don't have the pizzazz? Or the choice of staging is not quite how I would have imagined or wished for? So many things that just might not...measure up. And yet, that is the joy of
The Theater
And like so many other things in this life (particularly theatrical stuff), we find that it doesn't have to measure up. It never will. Because each instance, each movie, each book, each place, each musical, each garden, each building, each person is its own thing. There is no need to measure up to anything except itself. And since 1/2 of what we get out of a thing is what we bring to it ourselves, then how in heavens could we expect to measure it against something else. Compare, yes. I will certainly do that. But measure it up? No. This performance will be its own performance. Separate of any and all I have ever seen or experienced in life.
And I wouldn't want it to be any other way.
Some pictures of times I've been to see it since, and 2 of the 3 times I've dressed as Elphaba for Halloween.
My 1st Halloween as Elphaba (the year I first saw Wicked - 2006)

2nd time seeing Wicked - Norfolk, VA in 2009

Virginia YSA 2010 Halloween Dance

3rd time to see Wicked - SLC tour in August 2012

And the journal entry recording the milestones? It was written on Feb. 1st, partly. Because that was the same day that I got my first ever Ouidad haircut, and learned how to style my hair the Ouidad way. And that was a huge part of my NYC day-trip. I managed to write that part. It was late when I finished, and I never got back to writing about the play part. Completely shocking, but then SO much happened that year since I unexpectedly moved back to UT only 6 weeks later. But I figured I'd still include the journal entry because both Ouidad and Wicked were HUGE life-changing events for me.

I had about 5 hours of sleep. Then I was up & ready. Jen got me around 7:20a.m. And we were on our way! We got to NYC & parked @ the GMC Parking Garage by 9:30. They parked the car for us. We walked to the Ouidad Salon. I was nervous about meeting Ouidad. She seemed to like me hair. SHe held it out on both sides & asked, "What is this?" I replied, "My hair?" - "How long?" "2 1/2 years." - "No way. It would have been to here" (my shoulders). - "Yes, that's about right." 

I seemed to diagnose my hair type & problems right since she didn't correct me. She looked at the album I put together of my hair history on Friday. She thought it was great I was donating my hair. She had me stand up by the side of the chair, turned to the women behind her & said, "I'm committing murder." I was to hold the hair. She asked if I was ready, then she cut. She didn't pull it straight like the directions said you could. She cut 11 inches--curly--off because it asks for 10 & they can't use the ends. My hair was to my shoulders when she finished & she had me look in the mirror at it. By that point, she had no option of keeping it longer or making it short. It was going to be short. It was kind of weird holding my hair as she cut. Looked like I was holding a horse's tail. 

As I was heading back to get my hair washed, she stopped me & said. "We could go shorter!" meaning I could have shorter hair & still get the curl--what I wanted every time I had a hair chop. Her assistant washed my hair. It was almost like a scalp massage. Then Ouidad cut it. What a thing that was to see. Her signature "carving & slicing" was very impressive & I couldn't get enough of watching. It was pretty much cutting on a diagonal & starting further up than I'd have expected. Then her assistant took me from then on. I agreed to a Deep Treatment ($50 more) because it's what 1st made Ouidad famous & I wanted to see how to do it. I was under a dryer thing for 20 min. Then she put in Ouidad's products & explained what she was doing. Air dry is preferable after that, but you don't leave a salon w/ wet hair. So I was under the dryer for a bit & then she used a diffuser on me. 

When I was able to sit up in the chair & see in the mirror, I had a head of curls! It was neat to see. Even Ouidad turned & looked & was surprised to see how well it turned out. I suppose even w/ all her knowledge, every curly head is different & will display itself w/ its differences. Many in the salon (& since) keep thinking that I must be shocked by the change. But it's not the length that gets me. I've had at least 2 "drastic" cuts & I can well remember having hair that length or growing out of the length. I think most of college was that way. What gets to me is how much curl there is. I've washed & styled it once since then. Let it air dry. Not as much lift & all like at the salon. But there is definitely curl. 

I decided to buy the products she used since I was there & she'd marked everything she used in my instruction booklet. The whole bit ended up costing ~$350--twice what I'd originally thought. But, my last 2 cuts were chops, and they were guy related. Something drastic to remind not to be an idiot (in the same way) again. This time, it was for me. So it was a cut. And by someone who knew what she was doing and could help me start fresh. I am happy w/ it. And it's fun to have more prominent bounce & swing. The back is apparently really curly & looks great. But I don't really see the back. I only see from the front. I'm not as pleased w/ that because I still feel like it's winging out from my face & making my face look rounder & bigger. I think it will continue to take practice styling before I'm fully satisfied w/ the front.

However, I still prefer long hair over short. Maybe not as long as it was. I want it to look healthy. But I love to play w/ it. And long hair just feels like Princess Hair. I feel regal & beautiful when my hair goes past my shoulders. When it's short, I feel cutesy. I like both feelings, but I'm not going to keep my hair forever this length & style. And Ann keeps telling me that I have to & that she will change my mind about long hair. She thinks I cut my hair because she has boy-short hair. (Which haircut, by the way, she got long before I ever met her.) I really feel if she keeps talking as she has, I'm going to end up hating my hair. 

But for now, I do like it. I'm just annoyed by all the comments of looking "better" & "more mature." Was I immature before? Ann makes me feel like I was ugly before it went short. I understand looking older because long hair at my age makes one look rather young. And all of the old hair is gone so it looks healthier. And darker because the lower part was light from such long sun exposure. But I have to constantly remind myself that DE people are used to me w/ long hair & college friends are used to me w/ short. When they hear about the cut, they won't be too surprised. And in the last 5 years, I have learned that those who meet me w/ long hair prefer me w/ short & those who meet me w/ short prefer me w/ long. Well, I'm the one that it matters most. I love long. And no, Ann, no matter what you say I will always prefer long! If anything, that is one thing Mom has learned about me over the year. (That, & I love green.) And I'm pretty sure the more others press for me to stay short, the more I'm going to grow it out....

Happy 10 Wicked & Ouidad Years, Me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The 2015 Book Challenges Wrap-Up

Amazingly, among all the busyness of last year, I got some reading done. Granted, it came in spurts and hardly anything would have been read if it hadn't been for children's books and audiobooks on the 10,000+ miles I drove. Still, I read. And I was WAY under goals. But if it hadn't been for my splurge of December reading, I would have only been at 50% of my main reading goal. As a reminder, here was our points system for the S-n-H Challenge:

1. Each book must be at least 100 pages to count. (Under 100 equals .5 points.)
2. The first book in a category is worth 10 points. The rest are worth 5.
3. Any book you own is worth 25 points.
4. Any books on your goodreads "to-read" list previous to 2015 is worth 25 points.

This past year we piggy-backed on another's challenge, and worked on 51 categories. 51!!! Again, I am amazed that I finished all but 2. There wasn't really a strategy. Periodically I'd look at what I read and fit them in a category somewhere. It wasn't until December that I actually started to pick books to fill a category. And there may have been a couple of categories that I tweaked a bit to fit more of something that would actually interest me.

So, here are the spreadsheets of the 51 categories, as well as my 2 "other" books, my Pic bks, and my Total Points. There is also my random A to Z Scrabble Challenge--because I just can't stop myself. This year I was interested to see how many letters I could cover, not so much the points. Scoring goes as follows:

 1 point: A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, U
 2 points: D, G
 3 points: B, C, M, P
 4 points: F, H, V, W, Y
 5 points: K
 8 points: J, X
 10 points: Q, Z

 Can only count an author once. (Which is always to my disservice in my liking series.) For my name's letters (H and T), I get to add 1 point on for each time that letter was read.

And the comparisons!

2013 Total Books: 287
2014 Total Books: 299.5
2015 Total Books: 182

2013 Total Pages: 29,584
2014 Total Pages: 24,656
2015 Total Pages: 15,766

2013 Points: 1152.6
2014 Points: 1429.9
2015 Points: 1043.2 (not bad, considering!!!)

For A to Z:
2012 Titles: 246
2013 Titles: 223
2014 Titles: 79
2015 Titles: 51

2012 Title Letters not read: Q, X, Y, Z
2013 Title Letters not read: G, J, K, N, Q, X, Y, Z
2014 Title Letters not read: K,Q, U, V, X, Z
2015 Title Letters not read: J, K, N, U, V, X, Y, Z

2012 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (30 points)
2013 Highest Scoring Title letter: H (35 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Title letter: B (27 points)
2015 Highest Scoring Title letter: W (24 points)

2012 Authors: 210
2013 Authors: 254 (whoa! Go me!!)
2014 Authors: 64
2015 Authors: 39

2012 Author Letters not read: N, Q, U, X, Z
2013 Author Letters not read: E, I, Q, U, X, Y
2014 Author Letters not read: I, N, Q, R, U, X, Y, Z
2015 Author Letters not read: G, I, K, L, O, Q, R, X, Y

2012 Highest Scoring Author letter: W (28 points)
2013 Highest Scoring Author letter: Tie! B & H (30 points)
2014 Highest Scoring Author letter: H (35 points)
2015 Highest Scoring Author letter: J (16 points)

2012 Grand Total: 456
2013 Grand Total: 477 (wow. higher even with reading less.)
2014 Grand Total: 346
2015 Grand Total: 233

Oh. My. Wow. Seeing the final numbers--I really didn't read much at all!!!!

For 2016: I'm not going to set a goal with the intention to read less like I've done the last ~5 years. I'm setting a goal, and I'm going to aim for that goal. Aim high, but not too out of reach. Hey, a single girl has to do what she needs to do to get married! And work well at her job and Church calling...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

One last SOA nostalgia moment, if you please

Look at these screen shots I took of me as I watched my SOA videos during my nostalgia. Yep. THAT hair. It would be another 7 years before I learned how to get a better, less fluffy curly look. But once in a while, I still love having that 80s do. All it takes is a brush. :-)

Upper left - putting a new roll of film into my camera. Top of Grindelwald--just before I went down a slide and got my bum all wet. And then unthinkingly illegally picked a Swiss flower.

Upper right - singing in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. Oh the sound!!

Lower left - singing at Luxembourg cemetery. Many tears.

Lower right - Venting/ranting/expostulating at a Paris restaurant. The video caught me JUST after I'd finished saying something, and I broke out into embarrassed laughter because I thought she'd caught it on tape.
 My spot--front one on the very end. It's were us shorties go. And in the other shot, you can see how I was always somehow near the percussion players when we performed with the band. I didn't mind. I gained a great love and appreciation for percussion (and a crush on that male percussionist there).
Singing in Notre Dame cathedral!!!!! Still one of the greatest experiences I know of for a girl who studied French and France in high school.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering September 11, 2001 - 14 Years Ago

In the nostalgic spirit of the year, this was my journal entry 14 years ago:

9:55p.m. This day will go down in history. And not just for me, but for the entire world. I woke @ 6. Read scrip. We didn't get out to walking until 6:50 because we were waiting for Mandy & Jessica who wanted to join us. Today we ran for a bit. We went down by the Carriage ride place & beyond to a magnificent view of the river. Near the Statue Garden, Mandy & Jessica went on home. We 3 went in the Garden & collected leaves & flowers for our Botany prints in Pioneer Life. Came home & put my collection in books to be pressed. Went to breakfast & then to work.

It was near the end of work that I heard the Worldwide, country-shattering news: 2 planes had been hijacked & deliberately crashed into the 2 World Trade Center towers in New York City. Soon after, both buildings completely collapsed leaving unsurmountable turmoil, debris, casualties, etc. everywhere. Then it was learned that 2 other planes were hijacked. One ran in to Pentagon collapsing one wall & a fire still rages there. The other plane was headed for L.A. but crashed near Pittsburgh. Unbelievable devastation, fear, & anger in this horrific terrorist act. They say it's the worst since Pearl Harbor.

Reports & info. keep coming in. It's hard to keep track of everything. I think I would prefer to keep small tabs on the whole thing, but return to my purpose here in Nauvoo. I told Nathan in an e-mail that I'm glad I have such beautiful, spiritual, & peaceful surroundings here so that I can personally heal from this & watch the country heal. It is still very unbelievable. It looked too much like the movies & movies are fake. But this is real. To think that when I see the NYC skyline again, those 2 huge, identical twin towers will no longer be there.

Well, I had to pick up information throughout the day. All morning my feelings built up inside of me. I had an Eng. 430R meeting w/ Bro. Dahl. Then I finally had time to shower. Rel 390 (Teachings of J.S., Jr.) was @ 10:50. We were to have the Batemans' devotional @ 12 our time, but it was cancelled from today's events. BYU had a Prayer Assembly thing. We watched a Pres. Packer devotional from Nov. '93. Then the Academy gathered & had a prayer. It was then that I broke down. Mardie Jo was there for me. I needed her strength. I would have struggled much more today had she not been here. I called home to see if all was OK (of course, it was) & to talk to family. Only Andrew was there. I know he tried to comfort me as best as he could & I'm grateful.

I went to lunch & then we watched the news about "it." W/ everyone's comments & feelings being shared, I was able to stop focusing on my own worries. I started to cope w/ this & rely on my spiritual blessings to help me understand & accept what happened. I am doing much better. Talked to people in the Mailroom lounge for a bit. Had Choir @ 3:45. We sight read an arrangement of "How Great Thou Art" & "Here I Am, Lord." I liked both. We let out a little early, so I checked my e-mail. I got e-mails from Kiersten, Veronica, and Nathan :-)! I was very happy.

Went to dinner & then to work. Melanie quit her Tue. night shift to I could have it. Isn't that kind? I finished. Mardie Jo & I went to watch more news. Then I went & e-mailed Nathan of things I've learned & felt today. It was a good e-mail. I e-mailed Elise afterwards & told her that I put a lot of me in it. We learned at dinner that Andy's (guy here in the program) grandmother and aunt were on one of the planes that crashed into the W.T.C. I really didn't have it that bad compared to him.

I'm upstairs looking @ the temple. I'm remembering the peace of my present home & I'm given the assurance that our country will get through this & I believe we will be the better for it. We sang "God Bless America" in Rel 390 today & I heard "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" I know the Lord is w/ us & is watching over us. I know there were reasons for this. And I find comfort in the scripture I heard today: "Be Still, and Know That I am God." We are loved. We are watched over.

Friday, July 24, 2015

SOA Memories Part 11

15 years ago - My European tour conclusion. The one morning Natalie woke up on her own (we blamed Krista's hair dryer). Having a Sabbath day with Jenny and Ciarra. My 5th and last lunch in Europe. Only getting to see Heidelburg castle from a distance. Experiences with The Gold Bus Song. An extremely emotional me that led to an extremely emotional last 24 hours as we said farewells, flew home, rode buses to destinations, and "slept off" the 1-2 hours of sleep we all got on the last night. My emotional causes were typical and a bit pathetic, especially at that age. But oh well. Even with all that, my European tour was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

 Our bus song. For all the world to see.... unsure emoticon smile emoticon

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SOA Memories Part 10

15 years ago - My most difficult day on tour (one of many examples of how I was punished for so many years for being an introvert, and feeling guilty because I didn't understand what and how I was yet). But aside from that, experiences included seeing Reims cathedral (most reverent one I visited). Meeting LDS missionaries on the street! Concert in Luxembourg. The very somber morning of visiting Luxembourg Memorial Cemetery and singing at General Patton's grave. Sharing ice cream twice in an afternoon. Trying to play a bugle. Being cat-called at. Strasbourg--our last concert. frown emoticon

Luxembourg Cemetery at 11 minutes.

Second picture of us all together.

Natalie Spring Oh no! I hope I didn't make you feel bad. I was probably just trying to liven up the group. Heaven knows Krista wasn't the most talkative person.  I was maybe a little too Extra back then! Haha!

Heidi-Marie Tice Oh, Natalie--it wasn't you at all!! You were the perfect roommate and helped me get out of my shell more than I ever would have on my own. It was Gavin who started to accuse me of being in a bad mood and to drop it and then later proceeded to make fun of my standards and way of living.

Natalie Spring 😕 Well that's no good! Sorry about that. People can be dumb especially teenage boys!

Monday, July 20, 2015

SOA Memories Part 9

15 years ago - Disneyland Paris! Our concert was first (and the only time the choir sang Ol' Joe Clark correctly). Gavin & the Mormon Trio going on the rides together (Pirates of the Caribbean with the drunk people!!). Trying 3 times to buy The Perfect Beauty & The Beast music box, and failing. frown emoticonGetting my first Winnie-the-Pooh (oh the irony!). Seeing Chad jump over two guys--I wish my picture turned out better. Another hyper night because...I drank Fanta again...

Yes, I do save napkins from places. AND a receipt because it says Winnie Mini on it. smile emoticon

Now you can watch the last half! (Start at 6 minutes and see the correctly sung Ol Joe Clark.)