Saturday, December 5, 2009

Festivities of the holidays.

Last night I was taken to the...

in Sandy, Utah. It was AMAZING. There were over 800 stunning Christmas trees decorated in various themes and a truly unbelievable Gingerbread village. These were some of my favorites:

As far as the Christmas trees go, I don't even know where to start. It was incredible. The themes were so creative and diverse! I kept walking around and thinking, "Oh! This one is soo Lauren." Or, "This one is soo Trent." I eventually just took out my camera and decided to make a blog post out of it, for the very best people in the world to spend the holidays with: my family. It goes like this:

This tree is symbolic of my crafty and resourceful mother. It's amazing what she can do with a sewing machine, some paint, and a little glue gun. I have yet to meet someone so creative. I'm pretty sure she has the same superhuman DNA as Picasso, Beethoven, Dali, and Chagall. She's a genius and I feel so fortunate to have lived in her home where every holiday is decorated like Christmas. It has constituted such a large part of my childhood.

I also thought this one represented you, Mom.

Wait for the close-up:

It's just like your freakish leprechaun I have nightmares of. Read this.
I've come to trust that this is a part of your genius creativity too...haha.

The BYU Football tree. You know where I'm going with this--my dad. He's obsessed! He flies up from California with my mom for nearly every home game, and has done this for as long as I can remember. If you take the time to ask, he can tell you all the statistics about the players and as additional reinforcement, he will load the Cougarfan website on his blackberry. I love my dad for his infatuation with BYU football. I've come to realize than in an unorthodox way, it's sort of romantic. (To this he would probably respond with some mild potty joke.)

This Utes tree is for my brother-in-law Craig, a die-hard fan of BYU's biggest nemesis. This guy adds such dynamic to Saturday game days. It's one of the reasons I respect and adore him so much. The entire family will be decked out in their navy blue and white Cougar jersey memorabilia, and then there is Craig in his unspoken red defiance. Despite the apparent odds of their respective superstar teams, Craig and my dad share a close friendship through other mediums: their easy-going personalities and a mutual obsession in another category of sports--golf.

I know this picture isn't great, but it's a tree adorned with jewelry. Adorable, chic jewelery to be exact, in honor of my older sister Danielle. She recently created Modern Vintage Boutique, an online store of super cute accessories and clothes. I sometimes get to see her inventory in person and just gasp at the pretty reflections made as the sun passes through her trendy trinkets. I love and am proud of the entrepreneur she has become.

I introduce the dessert tree, dedicated to my older sister Lauren. This woman is controlled by her enormous sweet tooth and love of sugar. She eats her glucose-enriched foods before/in substitution of a conventional entree. Her pantry is swarmed with such goodies, which is one of the many reasons I love stopping by (I admit). I don't understand how she looks so great. Where does it go?!

Okay so I know these are dirt bikes, but it was the closest I could find to my biking brother-in-law Ben. He's the next Lance Armstrong in my book. He loves, loves, loves his bikes and I love him for the knowledge I acquire from it. I went to one of his races in Park City this summer and learned all about Lotoja and the like. THEN, the next day I met the president of the Biking Club and sustained a ten minute conversation about it. I like to think Ben would have been proud..

This tree is in honor of my older brother Trent. Even after his "maturing" mission, he would beat and tickle me, claiming that someday when he made it famous, I would appreciate the hassle. He used this excuse a lot actually; he used it when forcing me to iron his shirts, make his bed, clean his car, do his college organic chemistry homework packets, etc. (You get the jist of our relationship.) I guess in a way he was right. He is now residing in Nashville and going to fancy-pancy events with the likes of such Hollywood icons as Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.

My beautiful sister-in-law Brooke has a thing for birds, though the ones she likes are more chic. When the Griffiths lived in Costa Mesa, they had the cutest apartment that had them furnished everywhere. I even think Anthropolgie copied her...because I'm noticing that nearly everything they have in their stock recently has birdies incorporated into it! I'm telling you, she has the best style and agrees.

For my older brother Blake I have a couple representations.
Number one.

The Nightmare Before Christmas' music score was done by Danny Elfman, Blake's idol. Whenever I drove in the car with Blakie I'd make sure that this was the soundtrack that was playing because it was the only thing in his quirky music genre that I recognized. We bonded over it. This, and Ween.

Number two.

Blake is very artistic and likes avantgarde and eccentric things. He's a nonconformist. That's why I love him. I would imagine him to have a tree like this.

Number three.

Even though Blake is brilliant and has some major musical talent, he claimed for the majority of his adolescence that he was only applying to clown college. What a goon! Though he has confessed to his larger ambitions, he's still a clown at heart. He watches High School Musical with me and has a crush on Disney's Ashley Tisdale. He even still wears his spiderman boxers. Luckily, he exterminated his booger collection along with the clown school idea.

This is what I refer to as the beanie-baby tree (notice that they are hung as ornaments). I thought this was symbolic of my little sister Mackenzie. Though I haven't formally verbalized it, I still hold quite a bit of a grudge regarding these little treasures. You see, growing up Kenzie and I had to share everything as the "little girls"; we had to share identities, a bedroom, a bathroom, the sought after Spice Girl barbie dolls I would have given my arm for, and yes you guessed it, my prestigious beanie-baby collection. Back then I was the same person that I am now...a little OCD. I tried to take such cautious care of my babies, even placing them in their separate plastic boxes to be admired from a distance. I was convinced the beanies would make me rich someday....that is until I'd come home and find that Kenzie had ripped off some of their tags. Gasp. Tears. Heartbreak. I'm still bitter. Eventually we graduated to Pokemon cards where we no longer were forced to share. Can you believe she had the audacity to get the Charizard halligraphic card before I did?! Hmph.

There you go. My family in a nutshell. I can't wait to be home for the holidays!

Monday, November 9, 2009

SYTYCD Tour, Season 5

On the blissful evening of Saturday, November 7th, 2009, I was fortunate enough to have a ticket that redeemed me a seat at West Valley’s E Center to see the top ten finalists from the television show So You Think You Can Dance season five, perform live. Words really can’t describe my ecstatic state as the lights were dimmed and Nigel Lythgoe’s recorded British accent rang from the speakers announcing the talent of such dancers as follows: Jeanine Mason, Brandon Bryant, Jason Glover, Kayla Radomski, Kupono Aweau, Evan Kasprzak, Rrandi Evans, Ade Obayomi, Melissa Sandvig, and Janette Manrara. As one of the show’s biggest fans (that is, alongside my sister/best friend Lauren), I feel almost as if these ten dancers are my close friends; I’ve followed every week religiously and have even spent countless hours re-watching my favorite routines on youtube. To see those same routines in person was simply and utterly amazing.

I really, sincerely wish I could express in words what a momentous occasion this was for Lauren and I. IT WAS HUGE! I thought I was the world's most embarrassing creature for having caused mascara to run down my cheek simply for witnessing their introductions. The thought of being so close to people I admired (and envied) was too much. It was right then that Lauren turned towards me; in the crazy colored luminescence, I could see she was crying too. We really are from the same family. Don't be fooled by our differing outside appearances.

For those of you that are not familiar with the show, shame on you. By the end of this, my goal is to have converted you. So forgive me for the long, arduous text that follows. This really can't go without being said.

One of the most recognizable and loved routines from this past season is a piece choreographed by Mia Michaels and danced by Kupono and Kayla, regarding the sensitive and traumatic subject of addiction. Though there are many aspects of addiction, the problematic obsession and the detrimental effects it has on family and other loved ones being only a few, this particular piece deals with addiction’s enslaving nature. The choreography depicts the struggle between an individual, portrayed by Kayla, and her addiction, characterized by Kupono. In all facets of their movement and facials, the dance feels real. Kupono has an ominous smirk the entire routine, symbolic of an addiction’s pleasure in capturing its subject, and dances calmly, but powerfully, almost serenely holding his new prey in agony and torment. With forceful, but slow reaching lines, Kupono catches hold of Kayla and never lets go. Despite her efforts to escape his release and in effect “kick the habit” (both literally and physically), he always manages to keep a hold on her, controlling her body and movement. The struggle between the two parties crosses nearly every corner and foot of the stage, illustrative of the toll it has on every feature of an addict’s life: relationships, work, school, happiness, etc. Kupono also always keeps in close distance of Kayla, the two entities nearly exist together as one, as she can only keep him away for a few counts before she relapses again into the addiction. While Kupono is menacing, powerful, tantalizing, and only has to use a limb or two to demand dominance, Kayla has to use every muscle in her body, producing very big, dramatic, contrasting movement. Her face illustrates the struggle and effort that coincides with such a forced energy, seeming weak and frail.

Every element of the routine is successful in portraying Mia Michaels’ message and purpose, which is why I believe this dance is so powerful. I’ve watched it a million times, and even when I saw it for the hundreth or so time in person, I was still catching symbolic details. The music of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” was so much more touching as it rang loud from the stadium’s speakers, the theme song to Kayla’s struggle. Although the costume was the same as on the show, I realized that Kayla was tattered and ragged, while Kupono wore an immaculate suit of authority, even accessorized with shards of Kayla’s costume material, again symbolic of his possession of her.

Really. Watch it. Be prepared to be blown away.

If you are interested, my other recommended routines to research are:
*Jeanine & Jason Contemporary
*Janette & Brandon Cha Cha & Disco
*Jeanine & Phillip "Mad" Hip Hop
*Randi & Evan Contemporary

The list really could go on...

The So You Think You Can Dance Tour was breathtaking and stunning, even down to the last spoof of the Russian Folk dance, which I normally wouldn’t find engaging. Despite the dancers having to rush into costume changes and perform an insane amount of routines, they kept up their energy and created an amazing show. They all were so much better in person and I’ve come to respect them not only as dancers, but actors, and entertainers.

Watch Season 6, it already has the promise of sensational performances!

AND Get tickets for the season 6 tour, just don't buy the ticket for the seat within the first three rows that is intended for me, then I might have to come kick your butt.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let's talk creativity.

Emily & I still can't get over this...

We found it waiting outside our door one night....a cookie invitation from a boy to hike up to the Y. I wish I could say it was for me.

Totally speechless. Words, I have none. Calories, quite the surplus. (I can't decide if it's a blessing or a curse that Em likes to share.)

Do these boys ever sleep?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What haven't I done in the last four weeks?

This past month has been by far the busiest, most bizarre, most adventurous, most surprising, most almost-every-adjective-you-can-think-of in my entire life. Just as a little recap:

I embarked on my last official year as a teenager--the big (or not so big) 1-9. Two of my roommates, Emily and Mallory, had a birthday within two weeks of mine as well; it was a crazy couple of weeks of presents, chocolate molten cake, door decor, and celebrations!

Here's my belated birthday wish to myself! Cheers wawa.

(FYI-that's Martinelli's Cran-Apple Cider..not to worry)

Out of everything, even the ridiculously cute clothes from mom and dad, this was my favorite present by far...

It's still in my fridge....I guess that sign is really working!

Also in the last few weeks, summer turned into fall..

Pretty, huh? It's unfortunate that it only lasted two weeks. Now it's snowing, which was fun for the first twenty minutes.....but I think I'm going to have a hard time coping with this till spring. I'm buckling my seat-belt everyone, it's going to be a long, cold winter.

So I realize I'm not exactly going in chronological has been one big blur so I'm not exactly sure I could even if I tried.

There's been some great (some not so great) football games..

Totem poles..

Trips to the ghetto of Salt Lake, the train station.

Reunions with friends I haven't seen in years!

(Travis Williams aka T-Dawg- my freshmen boyfriend who moved to Idaho & then Hawaii)

Cat fights...

Not pictured: I ran into a deer.....not a live one of course, it had already been hit, but nevertheless very scary. Even after being assured that no harm was done, mom didn't find it very funny.

One too many laughs with these lovely girls..

And now that my cd player AND auxiliary outlet are on the fritz (I swear I think my life is almost over) due to jammed pennies (don't ask) and other technical problems.....we've had to listen to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" & Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" non-stop.

**Side note: my new mission: get Utah radio stations to find new songs to overplay!

Hope your last month has been just as eventful!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And so it begins...


Well first...because school puts on stuff like this:

They call it True Blue.

We made such a mess when we came home to was the cleaning room-check night too with our RA. Let's just say we didn't pass the first time around... :]

Second. Football season also brings good tidings of:

*Highly caloric & processed foods. (cotton candy, slurpees, hawaiian popcorn, and the like..)
*Crazed crowds
*School spirit
*THE wave
*The best of all? Being able to wear FALL clothes.

You know you feel the same.

Andrew is grey-shirting for the team this year and invited Trav and I on the field for warm-ups and the player tunnel. It was SOOO cool.

I got to be so up close and personal! We were standing on the sidelines as they did their thing and then all of a sudden they were charging at us! Before we knew it we were in the cracks of their HUGE formation. It was quite silly.

I nearly had a heart-attack when I turned to my left and saw Bronco standing less than ten feet away from me...and then a few minutes later cosmo came by. BYU has the best mascot. I've never seen any other of his kind do standing tucks and aerials.

Let's go Cougs!