Sunday, December 13, 2009


Do you ever just stop and think to yourself, while maybe suppressing some mild profanities,

"What the crap am I doing with my life?"

or better yet

"What do I want to do with my life?"

Yeah. It's just one of those days.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I see things like this and I get so jealous of it's cute-ness and Anna's creativity that it makes me feel like i'm not doing anything at all with my life. At. All.


Typically, when i'm bored or feeling directionless i look at this stuff. Even when i've seen it eight-thousand-seven-hundred-and-thirty-four times.

Maybe i'll name a child after her. Anna. How unique!

Good thing I've ordered a custom wedding certificate from her. I suppose, now, life can go on?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello, My Name Is:

Hello, my name is "House." And Lizzy recently moved into me. I was built around 1900, so I am very old. A lawyer (or doctor? Lizzy can't remember) built me then, after he moved here from New York. Polygamy may or may not have been a factor in his moving to Utah.

Incidentally, Lizzy's window is in the bottom right corner. The apartment is a perfect, one-bedroom apartment with very high ceilings (I'm talkin' 12-14 feet!) and a lack of electrical outlets in the front room. That small jut-out part of me (House) on the right is an addition in which is a laundry room, and Lizzy's bedroom.

Speaking of Lizzy's bedroom - it's rather fabulous. You enter through a door off the kitchen, and you must step down to enter! Neat!

Lizzy's bedroom fits a queen sized bed, a desk from IKEA, and will soon have a dresser as well. But for now, her favorite part are these fantastic curtains she got for $8 at DI. They hang over the closet (there are no doors.) But, they're wonderful, really.

The kitchen, in so many words, is GINORMOUS, with plenty of cupboard and storage space. Pleasantly, the cupboards are a bluish-green color (that I'm sure was chosen somewhere around 1948 and has simply been matched and maintained since then...)

The bathroom is under the stairs. Parts of it are very updated. Parts of it are not (thank goodness! They're so charming.) One of these parts is the claw-foot bathtub, once blue (to match the light blue floor and once-blue walls) but now painted white.

It's gorgeous!

Lastly, allow me to introduce you to the cozy front room, complete with original fireplace. I love this original piece! Think how many people have looked at, touched, scraped against and warmed up by this fireplace (complete with stove outlet - as shown above!) Unfortunately, the chimney, now, is a means of travel for the gas pipes and such, and the actual fireplace itself is somewhat of an eyesore - but the original bricks are, indeed, a treasure.

Another treasure is the steal of a deal Lizzy and Spencer got on furniture! A couch, matching chair, 4 pillows, coffee table and side table - unused, unworn and BEAUTIFUL for only $550! Seeing as a new IKEA couch on it's own is $299 to begin with - i'd say they lucked out. It's so cheerful, sturdy and comfortable! Hooray!!

That's about it, folks! It was nice to meet you!
Do come visit!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts about being 20.

A tradition I have every year is to write in my journal the day before my birthday. 1. I don't write in my journal very often so i figured the least i could do is a yearly recap. 2. I find it oddly nostalgic to record my last thoughts as a whatever-year-old.

Unfortunately, last night got busy, I didn't go to bed till 1:30 am and here i am at 12:10 am the next day trying to relive the last 24 or so hours of "birthday." What a rude awakening into "adulthood."

Or is it adulthood? I'm no longer a teenager, but i can't buy booze, nor does my driver's license expire, till next year. What good am I?

I am getting ready to get married, yes. I think if someone were to tell me that this time LAST year I may have laughed but secretly known deep down that it would have been reasonable to assume that Spencer and I were headed down that path. Had someone told me my sister would get married this year I would have raised an eyebrow. Had someone told me I'd STILL be a music major I may have threatened physical abuse.

This year? I don't know how to describe it. I guess I'd call it a "good" year over all because - why not? But really, it's been pretty nuts. SO many ups and SO many downs. I hate my major/i'm okay with my major, major roadblocks to marriage/freedom to do whatever, sitting in insufferable rehearsals/touring to Japan and Korea - Yeah, world - I was in flippin' TOKYO this last summer. Who does that?! I mean, really, I lucked out.

I just wish that my emotions could be consistent. I think that's been the strangest factor of my 19th year. I can't seem to stop my life from spinning to REALLY think things out before freaking out about it. I've never been too emotional and this year I've been ALL over the charts.

I guess it's all for a greater good, though. I've grown a lot. I've matured a lot - I can feel it. I spend my time doing more "practical" things. I spend my time thinking about HSA's, furniture, and the ever-looming idea of a career. The semester is halfway over and I haven't even thought about making a music video. Sad.

What else? Hey! I'm officially checking out of school (mentally)! I suppose that may not be healthy, or good to admit out loud...but it's true. I plan on finishing as soon as humanly possible, and I will beg, plead and brown-nose as much as I need to. I have no shame about this.

But my sense of "self" has changed a lot. I don't take crap as much. I'm more assertive. I think people, in general, take me more seriously than they used to. I admit that I am affected by comments regarding my age. People say "You're too young to get married!" or "'re HOW OLD!?" Well you know what, world, thanks very much - you CAN'T pull the 'teenager' card any more, HA! :) And in approximately 18 months (or less PLEASE less), I will very well start "providing" for my family as Spencer finishes up school, or launch into a master's program. YES. I can make big decisions.

One regret about my 19th year? I've hardened. I've become a lot more bitter and cynical in general. I don't like it, and I'm really trying to overcome it. But situations being as they have been, I have found reason to feel hard....It's disappointing, really. I should know better.

Another thought about being thrust into the realm of adulthood. I think it would be easier if people, in general, were more supportive of each other. It's not that people are UNsupportive but to be supportive is to encourage and provide emotional help. I feel more of a general acceptance and tolerance rather than support. It's really sort of lonely, but does provide great opportunity for learning and growth when charting one's own path.

Well anyway. Who'd have thought this year would be so tough. But good. Tough. Good. I'm beginning to feel they're basically one in the same.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Blog

Soooo a few months ago I decided to try to get a different blog off the ground. Inspired by the fact that I did pictures for 3 weddings this last summer, I've been digging into photography, photoshop and all that. I'm pretty sure I want to hit up UVU for a year after I graduate from BYU to get some sort of formal training in photography and graphic design.

Anywho - the blog I created a while ago is I took some fall pictures up the Alpine Loop about a week go! Check 'em out and let me know if you like them!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Idea

Sooooo lately (and by lately I mean the last few months) I've really been thinking about getting involved with Women's Issues. I think girls ROCK and I wish that more girls felt that way about themselves. Heck, i wish i felt more that way about myself. It is a lot easier to think other people are more awesome than you. But usually i just feel like we're all pretty neat.

Anyway - I've checked out various organizations and what not and it seems that anything currently established as a "Power to the Women" type of organization is, well, just that. Sickly feminist and pro-abortion all ov
er the place!! Now, i'm all for having opinions but I'm also all for being a part of something that you believe in ONE-HUNDRED percent, which is why i can't associate myself with certain ideals, promoting unmitigated feminine dominance.

I have found solace in the Women's Services office at BYU where i can sign up to mentor an adolescent girl here in Provo. I also would like to volunteer to run a week-long "Love your Body" event on campus where girls can get together, wear free t-shirts and feel good about themselves, who they are and where they're going.

However, I'm still appalled at the social media, what it promotes and what it says about women. I'm disgusted by the pornography industry. I'm nauseated at the thought of domestic violence toward women (and men for that matter, but that's a different story.) And I wish women all over the world knew just how incredible we all are, individually and together.

This is where my idea comes into play:

Instead of fight this fire with protests, petitions and all that sort of unreliable and ho-hum hoo-ha, I wish to begin to start my own small chapter in this world to do my own bit of good. I want to start a blog. Maybe this blog will become a magazine and maybe that magazine will become a TV show and maybe these things will some day influence the world for good. Who knows. But for now, I'll start with a blog. And this blog will be dedicated to strong, amazing, normal women who are normal-sized, who promote good, normal things and are beautiful in every way because they do what makes them happy.

Once a week this blog will highlight one woman, who she is, and what she does that rocks. As this blog would hopefully gain a following, there would be a place to submit names, pictures, and descriptions of ladies who should be interviewed and spotlighted. And perhaps we could find comfort and inspiration in reading, even just once or twice a week, about women who seem to be like us and are powerful and unique in their own way.

What do you guys think? Should i go for it? Do you think people would respond and be willing to be interviewed and participate?

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I signed up for an aerobics class. No, this isn't a class i'll get credit for - heaven only knows I wouldn't be able to wake up on Saturday mornings if it were required. But I signed up for a StepKardio/Zumba class held Tuesday and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 and Saturday mornings 8:30-9:30. I went for the first time yesterday.

I loved it.

Here's why:

1. I am taking it with a dear friend and old roommate (always roommate at heart.) I'm so glad to be able to do something fun with her on a regular basis so we can keep in close touch with each other despite not living together this year.

2. I've been wanting to exercise more regularly. I get SO BORED with the notion of "Eh...I'm just gonna 'go out for a run' today." Boring Snoring, right? Well, a StepKardio/Zumba fusion aerobics class is ever so exciting. After spending a half hour doing intense step aerobics, we spend the last half hour doing what is called Zumba - it's a very African-ey and Latin-ey style workout. I wouldn't call it "dancing" but i wouldn't call it just an aerobics routine, either. It rocks.
the #3 reason why i love Zumba is touch-ey-feel-ey. I have adequately prepped you, now.
3. I think it's an INCREDIBLE feeling to be a part of 100 or so girls doing something difficult. I love the feeling of pushing thru my weaknesses and overcoming physical obstacles. And each and every girl in there is doing just the same as me! How fantastically motivating it is to be a part of something so huge and so grand. It is so empowering to think "Yeah. We're all doing this together." We're all overcoming the same obstacles, and we're all trying to stay fit and we're all trying to do something good for ourselves. How. Cool.
- - - On that note, I have an idea. Read my next post and tell me what you think! - - -

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Morning

School starts in a week. How does this make me feel? Well, quite frankly, i would rather do many other things than go to school in a week. Of course, pleasant things would be nice. I think just about anyone would rather eat a a peanut butter and jelly sandwich than have to start school in a week and commit to it's intensive 16-week abuse. Unless someone were allergic to peanuts...or bread...then eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich may not be the more preferable choice.

You know, when i really think about it, i guess I don't so much mind the idea of starting school in a week. No, i really don't. I'll get to live with my roommates again and live near campus. It really is the idea of the 16-week long rigmarole that's making my insides feel all jumbly. I'm just feeling suddenly resistant to responsibility and change. I've had too much of that lately and it's wigging me out just a little, honestly.

Not to mention the fact that i'm SICK SICK SICK of "due dates." Bleh!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Here's the Scoop:

I'm trying to break in to the whole wedding-photographer thing. Why? I like it a lot, so far.

But here's the catch - i still need to build the ol' portfolio. Now, i've done 3 weddings this summer but i'm looking to get a few more under my belt before i feel i can really call myself legitimate. I also need more Bridal and Engagements practice.


If anyone knows of anyone who's getting married, (and let's face it, who DOESN'T know someone who's getting married...) tell them about me. Tell them I'll be TOTALLY able to work within a budget and also that I'd love to do a free session of engagement pictures just for practice.

Please, tell them.

Y'all know my number - 400-5789
Y'all know my email address:

or even more officially :

Cuz that's my website. (it's currently under construction.)

Anywho - thanks for your help, all! Love you tons.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Come one! Come ALL! I need YOU!

Sooooooo here's the scoop.

One day i was driving to work listening to KOSY 106.5 and they announced a silly promotion for silly people to do something VERY silly.

Sounds like they were talking right to me, doesn't it?

So they said - just upload 15 seconds of yourself singing a song to our website to have the chance to win a FREE trip/hotel stay/concert tickets to see Beyonce August 1st in Las Vegas.

Oh. Baby.

So i did. And it's ridiculous, i know, and I'm NOT amazingly talented, NO - but it's based on VOTES. Not talent.

That's where you come in!!

Just go to this link:

Click Entry 11 (ELEVEN) and submit your e-mail address.
(All they will use your email address for is a confirmation email that you actually want to vote and I'm not just going in and entering obscure email addresses to boost the numbers.)

It only takes about 30 seconds so PLEASE take a minute to do it because, i mean - let's be honest - how RAD would it be to go to Las Vegas, and a BEYONCE concert to boot for FREE!???!?!

(Not to mention that there are only THIRTEEN ENTRIES! I have a 1 in 13 chance of going! ACK!)

I know.

So go ahead and vote!! And tell all your friends, family, co-workers and such to click the link - take 30 seconds and put in a quick vote!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

With a sad heart

I had to change my display name to "Lizzy D" because i'm officially a contributor of BYU TechNews and, well, apparently "dizzy" is an "inappropriate name" for a BYU website. Understandable, i suppose.

All i ask is that i can remain 'dizzy' forever in your hearts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Animals and the Elderly

So long story short i want to be doing more "service" in my life. And i say "service" because i mean more than just unloading the dishwasher for mom, giving a smile to a passing stranger or holding the door for my friend walking behind me. I mean I want to go-out-of-your-way-to-babysit-children-and-build-houses-for-people-in-need kind of service.

In thinking about this and discussing this desire with the Spence, I said "Why am i not taking care of animals? I need to do more with animals. And with old people."

Strange combination? No, i don't think so.

Really, i think Animals and Old People have similar perspectives of life. I think they're two groups of living "creatures" that have a greater sense of self, spirituality and the world in general. No - your general mule deer hasn't fought in WWII, but i think both war vets and mule deer know what it feels like to be hunted! Animals have animal babies and they get run over by cars and fall out of trees - i'm sure animals suffer heartache like people who've lived full lives have suffered heartache.

It's a stretch, i know - but...can you go with me on this one?

Sure - - Maybe i'm crazy...but it's just the way i see it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


AND i'm currently watching "Whale Wars" on the Animal Planet channel. I really like it so far. Way to catch the evil whalers!! Go, animal rights activists, GO!!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Going Green

Something about it seems to trendy to handle.

On the other hand, something about it really appeals to me. I mean, i've always been into recycling and crap - (one of my favorite "totes" says 'recycle to save our birds, children, animals and earth!!' - made with recyclable material.)

I also enjoy the general style of all things "green." The 'au natural' theme of the Burts Bees products, for instance, have always been appealing to me. Such beeswax-y, peppermint-y joy to behold!! I also like bags made of recycled material and "natural" things. I just like the way they look. I'm also obsessed with growing things. I've got many a plant to my name. (Though i haven't named them....yet.) Oh, and i have a sea monkey aquarium.

In addition, I seriously enjoy hiking, backpacking and camping, and kinda-sorta always have. I guess you could say I'm a fan of the earth. (They probably have one of those links on facebook - "The Earth: 4 of your friends are fans!") I'm also a fan of do-gooding websights like

Regardless....I just don't know how i feel about the whole trend with "going green." Please notice that most of the young ladies you see wearing shirts advertising "going green" look hardly like you'd imagine a true naturalist to look.

"Hmm...what should I wear today? How about my "I've Gone Green!" Shirt??!?! This looks great. Now, where's my super gloss lipstick and the keys to my Lexus?"

You know what i mean?

Granted, i also have a hard time taking the other side of the spectrum seriously. Please, go buy something that's not made out of hemp and shop some other place than "Good Earth."
(Though i'll admit - having checked out the official store, there's some pretty trendy crap. Also please don't get me wrong - i'm totally a fan of healthy food. I just think it's strange to be so snobby about food that you don't eat anything. But Good Earth....doesn't Smiths sell veggies and whole wheat pasta, too?...i digress...)

I guess what I' trying to say is - I'm sort of "green." But I think that's something i'll just keep to myself and smile about every time i save newspapers to take them to recycling or put bottles in the 'blue bin.' :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Facts

I so bought this dress today. And can i just say? It seriously rocks. I'm just being honest....:)

Not to mention I got it at that White House | Black Market store, so they treated me like a celeb. and made me feel like I was prized merchandise in a posh store. They gave me my dress to take home in a GARMENT BAG. How much cooler does it get? No. It doesn't get cooler.

Annnnnywho - perhaps if there were any special occasion for which i would wear this dress..i would. Not that there is a special occasion like that coming up or anything...but should there be one...where I'd need to wear something that i'd look good in pictures that lots of people would see...i just might wear this one. Because it's just that awesome.

(and would look fabulous with a pair of red (or yellow) heels, don't you think!?)

Okay. I'll stop being a girl now :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day TWENTY!!!!!! - im actually sort of sad about leaving. I have had SUCH a wonderful experience here. My heart truly has been changed in so many ways that i know will be very difficult to explain to you all when i get back, which is so sad. I so desperately wish everyone could have come with me!! The land is stunning, the people are beautiful and the lifestyle here is so good and polite and Ive absolutely loved it.
Today was a sleepy day. We went to church from about 10-1 and then ate another HUGE lunch afterwards, around 1:30. At about 3 we did a devotional meeting which consisted of mostly music (just two small talks) but even still it lasted over an hour and a half!! We were all pretty wiped out after that. Long day - and sadly, the members of the congregation weren't as social as in other places, so we didnt really make as many friends.

We ended up going to a different ward then we had planned because the government in Osaka has discouraged people from gathering in large groups so as not to spread the swine flu so all the church meetings in Osaka were cancelled! Oh well. We are all hoping that the USA doesnt quarantine us in San Fran. because we're flying out of Osaka....!!

The church members provided us with a bag of food for dinner, which was nice. We drove to a park outside the Osaka Palace to eat for about a half an hour. Rachel and I heard the sound of distant drumming! So we explored the park and found where it was coming from and Roger Brough and Matt Slack (a percussionist) had already found them! After they were done we introduced ourselves and i told them Matt was a drummer. He asked if he could play with them and they let him! Way cool but SO LOUD! I think my ears are still ringing!!

We got back to the hotel around 7 and Tiffany Allen and i just sat in our beds in our hotel room and talked for about an hour and a half about everything! She is so great. We also went into serious detail about analyzing how much time we had left here in Japan. As of now its about 33 hours and 45 minutes total - but only 19 hours, 45 minutes if you subtract the ammount of time we intend on sleeping during the next 2-ish days mushed into one :) It will be great to be in one location for more than 3 night in a row, thats for sure!!

See you soon! I think this is the last blog and final installment of my documenting this trip. CrAZY!!! Thanks for keeping up with me!! Have a great day!!

Annyeonghi gyeseyo and SAYONARA!

Cute baby at church.

Today was a beaaaUTIFUL day!

The japanese drummers!

Yay for Matt! He sounded really good :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 19


Today was pretty thrilling - - I will tell you why.

We went to the city of Nara and headed to Todaiji. Its another buddhist temple. HOWEVER, this one they call 'big buddha.' (Not to be confused with the popular game 'big bootie...') Anyway i was like 'yeah...whuteva. It cant be THAT big' but im telling you - this was one BIG buddha. Walking to the actual place was pretty cool too though because there are these giant herds of deer (not herds of giant deer..) that are all tame and domestic-afied and you can pet them and they'll touch you and follow you around and theyre fuzzy and cute and wonderful and my dreams of cuddling with a deer have FINALLY come true!! They were great. You could buy little cakey thigns to feed them. Lisa did but they were so aggressive in wanting to eat them that they were pulling on her sweater with their teeth and stuff...fer SWEET!

Anyway the Buddha was pretty fantastic!! It was GINORMOUS. The pictures really wont do it justice -but i totally cultureafied myself. I donated some change and burned an incense stick at the front (to start the purification process) and I definitely took part in something way cool. There is a hole in one of the 300 year old pillars and if you stuff your body thru it - the legend goes - that you will have good health for a whole year!!! The hole is the size of the big buddha's nostril, so the way i see it - you fit yourself up buddha's nose, and you wont get sick! I say...RIGHT ON, BUDDHA!!!

We ate at another grocery store/food court/market dealio like the one we ate at in Korea though this one was less extensive and fancy. Rachel and I pooled the moolah they gave us and had a nice lunch of edamame, cherries and some little dumplinger thingers and then topped it off with some good ol' Baskin Robbins!!!

After that we went to the venue and started to rehearse and crap. The venue was a little smaller but the acoustics were redeeming. We rehearsed for too long, i think. They were recording it so we took advantage of that killed some chops, thats for sure.

The concert tonight was SERIOUSLY amazing. We definitely peaked today and that was a wonderful feeling. Despite our lips being dead and shot (at least mine were...) there was a general sense of energy that hasnt always been present in our other concerts. Its too bad that its such a hard phenomenon to explain. For the first time, the people were on their feet yelling 'bravo!!' immediately, as opposed to after the 1st encore. When we sang 'Go Ye Now in Peace' to them, I saw many people dabbing their eyes (which looked a little funny over their face masks - which most people were wearing, maybe 95% of the audience) but nevertheless it was obvious that they were touched. We were touched too. Many of us began to cry and it was a very lovely experience. Im amazed by how much love I feel for these people who I dont even really know. Theyre so gracious, loving, kind and wonderful. I really hope to be able to come back here some day.

Im excited to be home, too. Our 2nd to last encore piece was the Stars and Stripes Forever and that just made me think of the 4th of July and i got excited...America is a great place to be :) See you the day after tomorrow!!!

We're just chillin' like ice cream fillin'....

Purification rituals! Hooray!!
He's huge.

I will be healthy for a YEAR!!!!

Our last venue for our FINAL CONCERT!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 18

Oh MAN. Day EIGHTEEN. Time flies when youre having serious loads of fun, i guess. Today it hit me that im actually kinda sad to be leaving (SHHH! Dont tell anyone!) Its going to be bittersweet for sure, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that today was SOO amazing!!!

We got up and hauled all our crap to the station again for our last train ride! We got off in Kyoto and went sightseeing first to the Nijo castle. It was beautiful inside. We had to take off our shoes to walk around and as the signs said there was 'No Photographing.' The castle was built from 1603-1626 and the majority of the stuff inside is original. Granted, there wasnt much 'stuff' other than intensely cool paintings and decor. But i think the floors were original. Theyre called 'nightengale florrs' and were a security dealio. When you walk on the outer floors of the castle there is a very distinct squeak/squeal that sounds. Its not LOUD but its definitely noisy and soudns like squeaky metal rubbing against more squeaky metal. Back in the day it was a way to catch creepers and stop them from creeping!!
The gardens around the castle were glorious. There were bridges and waterfalls, lilly pads and moss covered rocks. I just about wet myself. Its in places like that where life seems pretty fantastic, afterall and i feel most in my element so today was pretty much nirvana for me.

The second place we went was the 'Golden Pavilion' (i think youll be able to pick pictures of that out pretty quickly..) and that, too, was intensely beautiful. If theres one thing the Japanese can do best - in spite of Toyota or Sony electronics - its gardens. The landscaping was breathtaking and the fact that today was a humid, rainy, misty day just made everything green and lush and lovely. I met some little friends at the golden pavilion. they pulled out a booklet and read these words 'Hi, my name is so-and-so - do you speak English?' then 'would it be allr ight for us to ask you some questions?' finishing with 'Thank you so much. This was an exercise for us for our english lessons. Thank you!' They were pretty cute and giggly. I was happy to meet them.

Lastly we went to this Buddhist/Shinto shrine/temple combo thing. It was, aaaas usual STUNINGLY gorgeous. The smell of the rain, mixed with the smell of the woods and the smell of the smokes and stuff they were burning was unbelievable. I took so many pictures - but i couldnt: help myself (and they all make for STINKIN GOOD desktop backgrounds for my laptop!!) Its amazing to see people worship at these places. Its so serene and tranquil. I cant even really explain how touching and glorious it all is.

Walking from the temple back to the bus was fun because there are TONS of shops on the way so, naturally, we shopped and that was good. Stuff all starts to look the same after a while, though. Ah well! I got some last minute good gifts for folks.

We hopped on the bus and drove from Kyoto to Osaka and stopped along the way at a rest spot for some food at a restaurant. They treated us very well there - its the cleanest rest stop ive ever been to!! After we got to the hotel (a sheraton) and i REJOICED! heres why:
1. Tiffany Allen is my roommate again. she rocks.
2. FREE INTERNET AND BUISNESS CENTER!!! (the angles are singing for me, i can hear it!!)
3. ...we walked in the rooms and there are....soft beds. I think this will be the first night in 3 weeks that i will be sleeping on a bed that ...SQUISHES! what joy and rapture filled my soul upon this discovery!!

Have a great day!!! :)

The Nijo Castle!! So huge and pretty!!

Big guys in the moat. Say AAAAAWWWWW!!!! (He's saying 'I am monsterfish. ME HUNGRY!')

The most beautiful garden in the world. Kelsey, a flute player, was quoted to say 'This puts Versailles (spelling? Sorry!) to shame. When i went, it was crap. cuz it was the summer and everything looked dead.'
Can you guess?! its the Golden Pavillion!! (hmm..what we gonna call this buildin', eh?)

Oh well...y'know. Its me and the ...i cant remember what its called. Just to prove i was there!

The cute English students!
This is the Buddhist/Shinto place.
The view was not to be believed! Even on a gray day!

The Shinto area had a 'matchmaking' corner with a lot of good tokens for love/marriage/relationships and stuff. They had this dealio where if you can get from one rock (where the other similarly dressed people are standing in the background) to the other without any help and with your eyes closed, you will undoubtedly have your 'love wish' but if people have to help you (i.e. bear to the left!!!) then you may need a little advice along the way, but you will eventually get your love wish and if you miss it completley for you.

So ive been learning about him, and it turns out that Buddha is a pretty cool guy. He gets it, you know?
More views....

The temple again...

Shopping, heeeey!

I don't know what this little gremliney guy is but...he was everywhere, it seemed. Even in this candy store (full of free samples HOORAY!!!)

Love you all

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 17

Guys. I slept for 10 hours last night. Oh joy, my life is so complete - and i may just get a ton of sleep again tonight! AH! Gloroius. Its really helping me to heal from my lil' illness thiang ive got going on here....

So today was a good day. We went to the Nagoya Palace (built in 1613, destroyed in WWII and reconstructed in the 50s, and is still undergoing reconstruction today!! and spent some time there. Twas a very cool place - very beautiful. It sits really high above the city so you can really see a lot and its quite lovely. I took tons of pictures.

We went to lunch at this cool buffet-like place only there is a huge grill thing in the middle of your table - not unlike Shabu Shabu, but its not filled with water. So you grab a tray and some dishes and fill it with rice, veggies, curry and raw meat. I only took one piece of beef. There was something yucky and unapetizing to me about looking at a wall of shelves of ..dead and picking some up and cooking it. A little at a time - sure! For a family of 4 - sure!! But trays and trays and shelves of raw meat was just not...yummy. But the veggies and soups and noodles and junk were delicious so i was satisfied. Also the dessert was abundant. So was my sweet tooth.

We got to the venue early. It was on the bigger side, but the acousitcs were not so hot. I was nervous today because Dr.Don announced that i'd be singing again (which has been the norm - i have sung at pretty much all but 2 or maybe 3 concerts!!) but ive been sick and my voice sounds very tired, but the other leaders said it sounded just fine and i felt okay about it anyway so ....all is well i suppose!!

We rehearsed for a little while and had about an hour and a half to chillax before the concert. I went with Rachel across the street 1. To avoid dinner (we were so full from luch!!) and 2. to see the beautiful park across the street. I went a little nutso with pictures there but i couldn't help it, it was SO GORGEOUS. I wish there was a park like this in Provo!!

The concert went well. It, like the other Japanese concerts, started at 6:30 instead of 7:30, but for some reason Dr. Don indulges in playing MORE music because of the earlier start time - so at 6:30 we started our two hour and fifteen minute long concert (19 pieces total - including the 3 encore pieces...) It went well. Nothing too special. But afterwards the members of the church who were there really wanted to meet us. They were SO gracious and kind, it was a joy to meet with them. Later, our leaders explained that Nagoya is a big-time hub of automobile stuff and has taken the hardes hit economically in Japan so it was really impressive for there to be as many people as we had a the concert. One family wrote us a note about how much they liked the concert and told us how their daugther, in 9th grade, had some serious tests to take today and tomrorow but she:s a clarinet player and really wanted to come to this concert. The note explained that they prayed that she would be able to study hard and do well on these tests so the daughter woke up at 3 am this morning so she could study enough AND come to the concert today. They said it really mean ta lot to them that we would come so far and they have no doubt our music would make miracles happen in this area. Crazy!!!!

The next few days should be interesting. We are scheduled to do a lot in Osaka, however - thereare about 230 cases of reported swine flu symptoms/incidents and EVERYONE in the city is wearing masks. Task A. Get all of wind symphony masks. Schools and stuff there are closed as well because they're paranoid. Task B. Cancel activities with high schools and middle schools. They dont think anyone will come to our concert unless we provide masks, but all the masks in osaka are sold out. Task C. Prevent cancellation of our final concert by importing 1000 masks from Tokyo to Osaka for the audience members. Task D - do not conctract swine flu. (But we're not too worried - apparently people here are uber paranoid.)

Soooo anyway - not much else is new. We have another late start tomorrow morning so it will be nice to get some extra sleep again. We are just doing sight seeing and such in Kyoto and then going on to Osaka - nothing too intense (other than more bullet train acition YEAH!)

Enjoy the pictures! I love you all!!

Lunch time!!

We watched this 9-minute presentation about the Nagoya palace. It was definitely in 3D and our 'tour guide' was an animated version of one of the dudes that ruled over Nagoya a few hundred years ago. At the end of the movie he gave a shpiel about how he hopes the palace can be restored and we can all, someday, meet there again together. Then he vanished in a whirlwind of sunshine-icons and daisies as he said 'farewell!' Man..leave it to the Asians...
There are these giant gold dolphins on top of the palace. You can kinda see them in the next picture. They were supposedly to protect against fire...too bad WWII got in the way of that one....
This is the Nagoya palace. And me.

Bahaha. We had fun with this one.

There was a BEAUTIFUL rose garden in the park across from the venue!

Apparaently 'Amazing Grace' is the girl on the right's favorite song! Her mom said it made her cry tonight! They were really nice people.

I met a friend in the park. So. Cute. (And nice to boot! Reminded me of Bonny..gee, i wonder why...)
A small taste of the beautiful park in front of the venue (the big building in the back.)

The Venue!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 16

Hey everyone! Wow the time sure is flying!! I've only got 4-ish days left!! WOAAAAAAAH.

Today was another interesting day...we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel - which was 100% japanese. Yay for seaweed wrapped rice and miso soup in the morning!

We traveled to an elementary school to see the TKWO play for a little assembly they were having. Needless to say, the concert was fabulous. They played some kid-friendly pieces and ended with a ROUSING rendition of "Tequila!" Oh joy. The children were adorable, and it was fun to watch them. In general, what they say is true about Japenese schooling because i've seen first hand that the elementary aged school kids CAN sit thru classical wind ensemble assemblies and not squirm, chat, or giggle. I'm sure you'd say i'm crazy for saying it - but it's true, my friends. They were also wearing some interesting clothes. Note the pictures below.

The members of the TKWO were again very gracious to us. They were happy to see us again, recognized us, waved to us and some came to talk with us again. We have all been so stunned by how welcoming and warm these people are. Lisa Christensen keeps saying she just needs to move to Japan "where people are...nice." We were all guessing that had this been some high-profile American ensemble they might have acted differently. Who knows! It was great to build a little bit of a relationship with them. Interstingly enough, we learned today that one fo the reasons they were so kind and willing to meet with us is one of the directors (not conductor, but guy in charge of the ensemble's doings and such) dated a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints back in the 70s, and she helped him to quit smoking and she was a great influence and basically changed his life. Soon after, he came to Utah for a day or two and had such a positive experience at temple square that he expressed the desire to do whatever it took to give us the same hospitality and graciousness that he felt in SLC. Cool!

Sadly, it feels like most of what weve been doing here in Japan is traveling. When the bus came to get us we drove back to the hotel, picked up our bags and lugged it thru the train station again for another 4-6-ish hour ordeal to get to Nagoya, which is a beautiful city. On the way we were able to catch glimpses of Mt. Fuji! Hooray for Japanese landmarks and stuff!!

We got - can you guess? Burgers and fries on the train. The members of the church have been providing lunches for us here. They'll meet us at the station and drop off bags of food (which is so kind and great!!) seems to always be burgers and fries. I've had more "American" food in Japan then i've had in America in a long, long time. There is some mild frustration among the group, actually, that we're not really getting to experience the culture here in terms of food (or sightseeing, for that matter - tons of time spent on trains!) Oh well. It's beautiful and it's very easy to appreciate everything here since people are so kind and helpful and such.
We got to Nagoya, dropped our stuff off in the hotel (which is a little bigger than last nights, but i think it's a higher star hotel because this internet in the front lobby is costing e 100 yen per 10 minutes! POO! Oh's worth it :) ) and we went to eat in the marriott (the twin marriott towers are pitured below!!) and that was pretty delicious. Now, its ten minutes to 8 and we have FREE TIME! Which, luckily, means a shower and sleep and hopefully healing 100% from my dwindiling sickness. Bleh!
Thanks for reading this blog, by the way.

Have a lovely day!! Love you all!!



Tequila!! Hehe...he's a horn player.

(Man, whoever designed this shirt took the words RIGHT out of my mouth :) )
Though i love the gorgeous dress for parties,
I love the boy-like everyday style
I want to bold even the clothes of the usual times cool
But it is my style not to decide too much well.
Boy-Like Everyday Style.

Never bend your head, guys. Never, ever bend it.

Nagoya at night :) So purdy.
The twin Marriott towers. We ate dinner on the 13th floor here.


Waiting to get off the train, HOORAY!

Mt. Fuji, a sad attempt to capture it's greatness. I promise, it's lots bigger.