Friday, September 26, 2008

Five Random Thoughts (or are they?)

  • I'm sitting here in my class at UVU while my students work on an in-class essay about fall. And by fall I mean autumn. Word choice is critical in this assignment--I've asked them to write in a very specific tone/style of their choosing and give it a great title that reflects where they're heading in their essay. I was inspired to have them write about this topic on a run up the canyon this morning. I'm still not ready to let go of the weather as we head into winter. I think I would title my essay "Living in Denial." For example, I'm going to wear sandals as late into the fall as I can bear it.
  • We have now officially joined the ranks of U.S. citizens who are personally affected by a fallen financial giant. Actually, I don't think it's going to make that much difference to us, but our mortgage was held by Washington Mutual and I assume it is now held by JPMorgan Chase. Just for the record, we pay our mortgage in full every month. But clearly that was not enough to save WaMu.
  • Twice in one day earlier this week in two completely separate conversations, two different friends brought up the book As I Lay Dying. Should I be concerned about that?
  • I've got to renew my UVU parking pass this afternoon. It expires on September 30. Why would they give me a pass that expires September 30? Should I be concerned about that?
  • Roger, if for some reason I'm not around on October 1 (like if I end up dying in the hospital because I'm not dressing warmly enough for the weather), will you be sure to make our mortgage payment? Though I'm not sure who we're supposed to pay now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Five Things That Have Made Me Very Happy in the Past Week

  • Spending time outside, especially running up the canyon and walking across campus, in this amazing fall weather. I wish we could have this weather forever.
  • Bowls of Archers Farm capellini with broccoli and parmesan cheese and bowls of Archers Farm muesli cereal. (Archers Farm brand is from Target, and we're going there tonight after a friend's piano recital to stock up on more!)
  • Scale readings that have been heading down despite my bowls of food (I do try to watch my portion sizes!).
  • Getting invited to a neighborhood girl's night out (dinner and a movie) next week.
  • Listening to Jack report that he got full credit for a poem recitation at school (10 points for memorization, 5 points for standing up straight and tall, 5 points for a loud and clear voice, total of 20 out of 20).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Biggest Loser

Note: This is not a political blog post despite what the title might lead you to believe. I'm taking a break from expressing my opinion for a while. 

I should be at the city council meeting supporting the library bond, or grading papers, or cleaning the house, or reading House of Mirth for book club tomorrow night, but what am I doing instead? I'm watching the season premiere of the Biggest Loser.

I didn't start watching the show until last season. Then I watched all of the reruns of the previous seasons. I'm a total addict now. 

But one thing is different as I sit down to watch it this fall. I'm actually feeling pretty committed to exercising and eating healthfully these days. I may not keep up with the contestants this season, but I plan to head the same direction. I'm even ready to blog about it!

When Roger came home from work today, I went for a run on the canyon trail. I've eaten whole grain cereal and breads, and fruit and vegetables today. I drank lots of water. I'm on my way!

P.S. I am folding laundry while I watch the show. Just want you to know I'm not a total slacker!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unbound Blog Launched

Blog happy me has just launched a new blog for the art exhibit. Click here to access it.

The Opening

Save for a few signs I still have to get up and few books I still have to track down for the bookshelf, we made it! The opening yesterday was a great success.

More than 15 of the illustrators attended the opening reception, and with five exhibitions opening in conjunction with Celebrate Your Museum Day, more than 800 people came to the museum! Despite the fact that there was a BYU football game in the afternoon!

We started off the morning with two story times.

Then we had the opening reception at noon, complete with a chocolate fountain (many, many, many thanks to the Priest family!) in the adjacent gallery.

Relaxing with some of the museum staff at the end of a long day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You're All Invited

Everyone is inviting the opening of the exhibition I'm curating at the Springville Museum of Art (126 East 400 South, Springville, Utah) called Unbound: Original Picture Book Art by Utah Illustrators.

The reception will be held this Saturday, September 13 from noon to 3 p.m. Many of the 27 artists represented in the show will be attending. Hope to see you there!

I can't even begin to describe how exciting it's been to see the show come together. I've still got 48 hours that will be crammed full of things we need to do to pull it off, but it's nearly ready!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bleeding Heart

A few random thoughts about the things that make my heart a bit heavy these days. And then I really have to get some sleep.
  • Sometimes it feels like people equate freedom with being free from having anyone tell them what to do with their money (and, I suppose, being able to vote for people who won't tell them what to do with their money). Sometimes it feels like money is the end, not the means to an end. Sometimes it feels like money is what we care most about and that it drives most of our decisions. I worry about what we're overlooking.
  • I don't really understand why the very loudest cries in our quest for energy independence aren't for conservation (which, incidently empowers everyone to work toward solutions). Of course we need to become more self-sufficient and develop energy sources (oil and all sorts of alternatives), but the loudest cries are "drill, drill, drill." It's like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors crying "feed me." Do we not hear how consumed we are with consuming?
  • I think it's a very good thing that the U.S. is a strong world leader. It's not about apologizing for our strength, but about being gracious and wise in that strength. It's about being an example and using our powers for good. It's about lifting people up, not steamrolling them. Sadly armed conflict is sometimes a part of that, but it should only be when we see no other way.
  • It worries me when people equate diplomacy with appeasement and, as a result, dismiss diplomacy. And that we barely blinked when we turned into a country that would initiate a preemptive strike.
  • Don't we, as Americans, believe that our constitutional rights are fundamentally derived from our rights as human beings? If, for example, it is unconscionable for an American to be detained for months, even years, on end without being told why, shouldn't that hold true for other human beings as well?
  • We absolutely need to be aware of threats and smart about how we handle them, but we seem to be operating from a place of fear, which makes us turn inward, and I think that will hurt us more in the long run than anything we're afraid of. We hold so tightly to the things we're afraid we're going to lose, that we risk losing them and so much more. Imagine how much more amazing our country would be if we were generous and open in spirit rather than fearful and protective. If we're smart about it, we wouldn't lose our way of life, we'd enlarge it.