Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tell-All

*I still haven't recovered from our crazy wedding weekend--probably because I've only gotten about 9 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours, I'm carrying around three extra pounds, and my feet still have blisters from walking around so much in heels. It was totally worth it though.

*You may (or may not) be wondering why I've only gotten 9 hours of sleep in the past two nights. Well, it's because of a little misfortune with our swamp cooler. You see, it broke last summer. And, when we told our landlords about it, they said they would have someone come and look at it (last summer). No one ever came. So this summer, we kept bugging them until someone finally looked at it, and it turns out that it's too 70's ghetto to fix. We have since been informed that since our managers don't have the moolah to fix it, we are just out of luck. Something you may not know about me: I have a VERY difficult time sleeping when it's hot inside (how I ever slept on my mission is beyond me). So, as a result of our apartment being about 80-85 degrees upstairs at any given moment, my body has decided to cease sleeping until it gets its way when it comes to ambient temperature. Picky body.

*Oh, and the fact that I had a super creepy nightmare that still has me a little wigged out also didn't help. I blame the fact that we were all telling real-life creepy experiences at Matt's family party on Sunday.

*After a little too much decadent eating over the weekend, I am finally back on the health wagon: I didn't touch any sugar yesterday (a minor miracle), I finally did some real cooking (Matt was probably so glad it wasn't mac and cheese and hot dogs again), and I actually summoned up enough energy to go to a yoga class at the rec center. I'm rather proud of myself over it, actually. Especially since I'd actually gained 5 pounds over the weekend, but not I'm down to just 3. Boo-yah.

*Funny story about my yoga class last night: so I always have this random fear that I'm going to pass gas during some of the poses (since some of them just tend to push the air down, ya know?). Well, last night, not just one, but TWO people totally farted right in the middle of two of the more strenuous poses. And, due to the silence of a yoga class, everyone could hear it. I felt so proud of myself for not giggling.

*Have I mentioned that our laptop hasn't been working for a couple weeks? So, as a result, I've been doing all my blogging at the USU library (that's one reason why I haven't done quite as many posts as usual). The reason I tell you this is because TODAY is finally the day that we can take the laptop in to be fixed (since we've been waiting all this time for a replacement part to come in the mail). The day has come, friends. The day has come.

*I can't believe it's already going to be the 4th of July next week. Where is this summer going? And what on earth do I have to show for the last month and a half besides three extra pounds and tired eyes? I've got to step it up.

*Last night while Matt was at class, I popped in the movie Julie & Julia (which I'd picked up from the library--yay for free movies!). You wanna know what's weird? I thought the book was a huge disappointment, but I really quite loved the movie. Isn't it supposed to be opposite?

*Speaking of movies, I really can't wait to see Brave. Have you seen it? How was it? Is it worth all the hype I've been generating about it?

*I am almost 1,000 pages into Count of Monte Cristo. Just throwing that out there to semi-justify that I have been doing something productive with my days.

*Speaking of books, I really loved the comments and conversations from my post on the 100 Most-Recommended classics. It has me all sorts of reinvigorated to get going on that life goal again.

*On a closing note, my sympathies go out to the Montgomery family for the loss of their beautiful mother. Lisa was a stalwart, strong, and exemplary model of faith and fortitude, and my life has been forever touched by her testimony and her endurance in the face of hardship. Our prayers are with their family.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kayla and Sam

Oh man--you know what's almost as great as you getting married yourself? Your best friend getting married.

I'm just so happy for my best friend Kayla that I could almost pop.

Plus I feel like Sam fits right in with our little group of friends, which is important because it means that now that she's married, she won't disappear off the face of the planet.

Ya know?

And their reception was super cute (but I knew it would be because our friend Petrice was in charge of the food display and Kayla's sisters have all been on Pinterest for months).

My favorite thing?

The little "picture walk" made from clothesline and clothes-pins.

So cute!

And do you see those two little bride-and-groom strawberries below?

Yeah, Matt totally made the groom one (after Petrice showed him how).

I'm telling you, my man has serious culinary talent.

And, since I didn't get to give a speech at the wedding luncheon, I just want to say this:


You are the best friend a girl could ask for. You have been there for me through thick and thin, through good and bad, through late nights and early mornings and boys and school and teaching and everything--and it has meant so much to me. I'm so happy that you have found Sam, and that he is worthy of you in every way. I was so glad that we could be a part of your big day, and I'm even more glad that we'll continue to be a part of your life together. I love you so much, and I'm so proud of everything you have become. May your marriage be full of joy and triumph, growth and love--

Your best friend forever,


Mikey & Ashtin

Welcome to the weekend-of-weddings recap! The lovely couple you see above is Matt's best friend Mike (who will heretofore be referred to as Mikey) and his beautiful bride Ashtin.

(Funny story--because I have only recently begun to really get to know Mikey, I always had all these crazy ideas in my head about him. Every time I would say something like, "Oh, I bet Mikey is like this," Matt would just roll his eyes and tell me that I had it dead wrong. Moral of the story: don't judge someone by their behavior on one double date several years back. And Mikey, if you're reading this--I think you're awesome. I really do. And we will have to do a double disc golf date sometime soon, so that I can prove to you that I don't hate the sport.)

Anyway, we're super happy for these two--and we're especially happy because they had an ice cream bar at their reception like we did (so obviously they've got great taste). And a cheesecake wedding cake?


My favorite part of the reception? The fact that not only did they have a photo booth, but they provided lots of accessories for you to put on before you went in. If I had a scanner, I would totally scan in our little photo strip, but I guess you will have to wait to see that little wonder.

All the happiness to you both, Mikey and Ashtin!

Thanks for having us!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 100 Most-Recommended Classics

When I was a high school senior, my AP Lit teacher gave us several book lists at the beginning of the year to help us become more well-read. I set a goal then and there that I was going to read every single work listed on the "100 Most-Often-Recommended" list (list taken from here). I wish that I were creating this post to tell you, "Hey, guess what? I read all 100 works!"

But I'm not.

I'm creating this post because I want to share the wealth...and compare books.

The ones I've read in their entirety are in red.

Those which I've read excerpts from are in blue.

Which ones have you read? Any that I haven't, and that I should start right away?

Any that you hated? (Like Heart of Darkness, maybe?)

Let's talk books.

 P.S. Yes, the reason that I've read more from the beginning of the list is because I just started to go through and do the thing in order. Shebam.

***Note: list updated with my latest reads 2014
The 100 Most-Often-Recommended Works
Novels and Short Stories
Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
British, 1813
James Baldwin
Go Tell It on the Mountain
American, 1953
Saul Bellow
Seize the Day
American, 1956
Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre
British 1847
Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights
British, 1847
Albert Camus
The Stranger
French, 1942
Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
British, 1865
Willa Cather
My Antonia
American, 1918
Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote
Spanish, 1605, 1617
Kate Chopin
The Awakening
American, 1899
Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness
British, 1902
Stephen Crane
The Red Badge of Courage
American, 1895
Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe
British, 1719
Charles Dickens
Great Expectations
British, 1860-61
Feodor Dostoevski
Crime and Punishment
Russian, 1866
George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss
British, 1860
Ralph Ellison
Invisible Man
American, 1947
William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury
American, 1929
Henry Fielding
Tom Jones
British, 1749
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
American, 1925
Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary
French, 1857
E.M. Forster
A Passage to India
British, 1924
Gabriel García Márquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Columbian, 1967
William Golding
Lord of the Flies
British, 1954
Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
British, 1891
Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter
American, 1850
Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms
American, 1929
Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God
American, 1937
Aldous Huxley
Brave New World
British, 1932
Henry James
The Turn of the Screw
American, 1898
James Joyce
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Irish, 1916
Franz Kafka
The Trial
Czechoslovakian, 1925
D.H. Lawrence
Sons and Lovers
British, 1913
Sinclair Lewis
American, 1922
Bernard Malamud
The Assistant
American, 1957
Thomas Mann
Death in Venice
German, 1912
Herman Melville
American, 1851
Toni Morrison
American, 1973
Flannery O'Connor
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
American, 1955
Tillie Olsen
Tell Me a Riddle
American, 1956-60
George Orwell
Animal Farm
British, 1945
Alan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country
South African, 1948
Edgar Allan Poe
Great Tales and Poems
American, 1839-45
J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye
American, 1951
Sir Walter Scott
British, 1820
Mary Shelley
British, 1818
John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath
American, 1939
Jonathan Swift
Gulliver's Travels
British, 1726
William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair
British, 1847-48
Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace
Russian, 1865-69
Ivan Turgenev
Fathers and Sons
Russian, 1862
Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
American, 1886
John Updike
Rabbit, Run
American, 1961
French, 1759
Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five
American, 1969
Alice Walker
The Color Purple
American, 1982
Eudora Welty
Thirteen Stories
American, 1965
Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence
American, 1920
Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse
British, 1927
Richard Wright
Native Son
American, 1940
Greek, 458 BCE
Greek, 411, BCE
Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot
Irish, 1952
Bertolt Brecht
Mother Courage and Her Children
German, 1941
Anton Chekov
The Cherry Orchard
Russian, 1904
Greek, 431 BCE
Johann von Goethe
Faust, Part I
German, 1808
Henrik Ibsen
A Doll's House
Norwegian, 1879
Christopher Marlowe
Doctor Faustus
British, 1604
Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman
American, 1949
The Misanthrope
French, 1666
Eugene O'Neill
Desire Under the Elms
American, 1924
William Shakespeare
British, 1600
George Bernard Shaw
British, 1913
Oedipus Rex
Greek, 430 BCE
Oscar Wilde
The Importance of Being Earnest
British, 1895
Thornton Wilder
Our Town
American, 1938
Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie
American, 1945
Allison, Alexander, Editor
Norton Anthology of Poetry (Shorter Edition)
British & American
British, c. 700
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
British, c. 1350-1400
Geoffrey Chaucer
Canterbury Tales
British, 1387-1400
Italian, c. 1320
The Odyssey
Greek, c. 9th C. BCE
John Milton
Paradise Lost
British, 1667
The Aeneid
Italian, c. 18 BCE
Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass
American, 1855
Greek, 4th C. BCE
Saint Augustine
Italian, 397-401
Bible (esp. King James Version)
Charles Darwin
Origin of the Species
British, 1859
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The American Scholar"
American, 1837
Benjamin Franklin
American, 1771
Sigmund Freud
Civilization and Its Discontents
German, 1930
Edith Hamilton
American, 1940
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Prince
Italian, 1532
Karl Marx
Communist Manifesto
German, 1848
Michel de Montaigne
Selected Essays
French, 1580
Greek, c. 370 BCE
Henry David Thoreau
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