Monday, December 28, 2009


So... I've pretty much royally screwed up the whole NaBloPoMo thing this month. It's not really a HUGE deal, since I did it pretty successfully this May and can therefore keep my participant sticker up. Better luck in 2010, I guess?
Anyway, Christmas was lovely, as I expected, and break has been going fairly well so far! :) I've gotten to see lots of old friends who I missed tremendously, and this next week I'll get to see more of them. Hopefully today I will start doing some recording with a friend of mine, but I'm mainly excited because I get to see him again!
In some weirder news, today I walked around our old house, which I lived in from age 5 until I left for school this past August. My family moved to a different neighborhood while I was away, so it's been kind of odd. Our new house already feels like home, however, and the old one just felt really... surreal. Everything looks smaller without our furniture, and it was also kind of like when you go back to your first grade classrooms and realize that everything was really, really little. Only I haven't gotten taller. The house just felt weirdly small anyway, and my whole life there kind of felt like an odd dream, even if that sounds super cliché. It also brought back the memory of moving in when I was about five years old, and I remembered picking my old room for Madelyn and I, because I thought it looked "pinker." Both rooms were white. :)
Another thing- my mom is making me these two really pretty skirts that I found a cool pattern for. I'm super psyched to wear them once they're done. I love clothes...
That's all for right now, I guess.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve...

This was most interesting and culturally enriching Christmas Eve I've had in a long time, if not ever. It starts with me getting up and eating cornflakes, and it ends with our yearly tradition of bread and cheese (Mary and Joseph style) on the living room floor. The interesting part comes in between these. :)
Yesterday the ward missionaries came over. One is from Tonga and the other is from Chicago. They were there to make a test call, since the Tongan elder is making his annual phone call from our house today. Anyway, they ended up staying at our house most of the day, playing ping-pong in the backyard and serenading us on the guitar and the ukulele. Our Tongan elder even played us a song he wrote for his girlfriend.
My family is really good friends with a Mexican family in our ward, and I didn't know this until last night, but it's a Mexican tradition to make tamales on Christmas Eve. After having their boys over the whole day to hang out with my little brother, they invited us over to learn to make tamales. We ended up making dozens and dozens of tamales with them and taking them home with us. We even got to speak a little Spanish. :)
Christmas Eve ended with the usual tradition. We read the Christmas story in the Bible and sang "Silent Night," complete with random harmonies everyone made up on the spot (this is normal at my house). We stayed up and talked a while, I wrapped my present for Madelyn, and then I went to sleep.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bless the Card!

Today I am reading a cute story called The Romance of A Christmas Card. You should all pick it up, or read it on Google Books here, if you have the time. It's about a lady who designs a Christmas card that affects a bunch of people's lives for good. At the end of the book, all the main characters exclaim in a state of Christmassy content, "Bless the card!"
It reminds me of how, for my job, I get to design a Christmas card next year. When I told my friend Greta, the first thing that came to her mind was "Bless the card!" :P We both had to read this book earlier for our history class.
Anyway, Merry Christmas, and hopefully I'll have a more interesting post tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And this is the last of the three!
I am finally home for Christmas and having a lovely time seeing all my family! My grandma had a Christmas party last night, which was really fun. My sister and I played Mele Kalikimaka with her on the ukulele while I harmonized. It was great to see a lot of my relatives and friends of the family. :)
So I am posting three times today. :P


Okay. I am about a full three days behind.
(continued in next post)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Still more...

In other news, yesterday I gave Sam a bag shaped like a taco for Christmas and he loves it, which made me really happy. :) Also, I Skyped Charné yesterday and told her about life since Tuesday, which was fun. I CAN'T WAIT TO GET HOME.
My Grandma Nora is having a Christmas party on Monday night! I can't wait to see her, since it's been such a long time. She's definitely one of the most prevalent influences in my life. :)
Anyway, for the party the family and everyone are all doing something musical. I think I'm going to arrange a piece and sing it or something. :)


I never know what to title my posts. Today I am STILL in Provo and I don't come home until tomorrow morning. So I get to think of ways to use up my time. I already passed my cleaning check. I think now I'm going to finish Mansfield Park, since I started watching a decent version on Hulu yesterday night. I also found out that we DON'T have to take down our Christmas decorations, thank goodness! I like having Christmas up as long as possible. :P
This post is kind of for yesterday. I shall continue in the next possssssst...

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I tweaked the time on this post, because I don't feel like today is really over yet. Today I went to the Joshua James Christmas show with my friend Sam and then he came over and we made cookies, worked on our song that we're writing, acted goofy, and hung out until 1:30ish. :) It's been a nice end to the day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


(I love you like a sistah, sistah.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am in the library right now. I am going to go do my project. Talk to y'all laytah.

I think it's sad that now that I'm in college, I've created the label "stress. " It will probably appear on a lot of posts in the future. :(

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's been a good day.

If unproductive.
Today I got up and eventually went to campus and ate lunch at the Cannon Center with Charné and Marissa. Then I went to the actual campus and hung out with Greta for a long time, walked home, and am working on my project.
So I am going to do that...
Peace and Blessings.

I forgot to post yesterday. AGAIN.

Okay, so yesterday I went to church and everything was really slushy, so my feet got all wet. In church, I played the organ, since I'm the ward organist. However, this was our last Sunday with our callings, so it was the LAST DAY of that calling. :(
Later I went home, researched random things on my computer, did some work, talked to my family, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...
Oh! Something funny happened last night! One of my friends came over to my apartment because he wanted to hear my music, and afterward, he, Charné, Marissa, and I were talking. We told him about how we sometimes spy on people from our top-floor window and stuff. Anyway, he left later and Charné went to take the trash out. A while afterward, Marissa and I were looking out the window to see where she was when we noticed a group of people to the side. We were looking for Charné among them when we realized our friend was there, and he looked just as I wondered aloud if it was him!!!
Marissa and I went down behind the windowsill like little kids when suddenly we heard a snowball hit our window. We popped back up and he and another friend were throwing snowballs at us! We cracked up and made faces; I fell off the couch, I was laughing so hard. Charné came up again later and they were still throwing snowballs at us, so we opened a window and yelled at them a bit from it. Eventually we waved goodbye. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Hi. This post has to be kind of quick, because I have a lot to do this evening.
I really, really, REALLY wish I could go see NightNight at Velour tonight, but I can't. Because I procrastinated myself into a terrible pit of destruction and the only way out is to finish this crazy project.
So. Today I went to the mall with Charné, procrastinating some more. I smelled perfumes. I'm still in love with GAP's Heaven. Not only is it what I would smell like if I were bottled, it is my favorite color. So we are perfect for each other.
In related news, I'm not really in love with the mall in Provo and I will probably end up doing any real shopping at quirky indie stores from now on. Which is way cooler anyway.
My life is a liiiiittle bit scattered right now. I don't really know what I should do. I think I'm going to fast tomorrow.


I forgot to post yesterday! So here is what I did, I guess, and I'll post twice today??
Anyway, I went in for training at my job in the TMA office (WHICH I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT!!!) and learned a lot about InDesign and how fun and amazing that office is! I'm so psyched to start work there. I'm going to get to do all these awesome design projects all year. I think I'm going to learn a lot, which is what I'm looking forward to the most.
Later, after that, Charné and I went on an adventure and got lost on the bus system until we got to the post office in Provo (which, thankfully, was where we were headed). There, we got a very important letter my mom sent to me which the postman, for some reason, thought I needed to sign for. Anyway, it was this big stupid mishap. We rode back to campus after that, and I went to the Student Employment Office and finally got hired OFFICIALLY. Maybe I can get paid before Christmas. That would be amazing, because then I could get everyone amazing presents.
After that, I walked home through the snow with the best intentions of being productive. And then I got home and just... wasn't. :/
Later, Charné, Marissa (our kind of adopted roommate) and I all went to a farewell party for two guys in our ward who are leaving on their missions soon. It was really fun. :)
We got home around two in the morning. And then I knocked out.
In a few random pieces of news:
I think I've finished my song in G... but I'm kind of afraid that it will say too much.
I love the Weepies. I LOVE them.
I can't wait to come home and feel the sun and see all the people I miss!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last Day of Classes!

Today was the last day of the semester, as the title denotes. I went to all my classes and whatnot. Yep.
In more interesting news, today I went to the Sloan Speech Showcase with Greta, which was way fun, and later she and I and our friend Caitlin all went to Five Guys Burgers or something together. The burgers are HUGE, which is why all my fries ended up in my fridge. Anyway, those were the highlights of my day. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


It's been a good day, kind of. Finals and final projects are eating me alive. I think I'm getting sick, too, and on top of all this, it's FRIGID outside. Augh.
Still, it's good to remember that I'm going home soon and that everything is going to work out all right. Anyway, I have to go make a PowerPoint and write some stuff for my classes tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BLAM! I have this awesome job.

Today I got up and trained for a job I'm taking once winter semester starts. I'm going to hold two positions- the first is what's called the Fulton Secretary, which means I keep track of and organize applications and such for the Fulton Grants. The other is the actual TMA Assistant- I'll be designing cards, posters, etc. for the department throughout the year. I'm really excited to start and I think this will really develop my creativity, design-wise. :)
In other good news, I made a really great friend today, the snow is still here, and BYU's Got Talent is tomorrow!

Monday, December 7, 2009


It keeps snowing, and I love it! :) My friend and I were walking around campus today and it looks so different! This should be a great week!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Only a very select group of people will get that reference.
Like, Madelyn.
I need to organize my ideas. I think I'm going to do the list thing again. That's always fun.
1. Today is Sunday and IT SNOWED!!!! That is- it's snowed before, but this time it's sticking, and it's deep, and it's unbelievably gorgeous!
2. Yesterday, our ward had an activity and we rode the train to Salt Lake City and walked around temple square together! It was so pretty to see all the lights, spend time with friends, and get to know some of those people better. (I feel like I don't go to those activities enough)
3. Tomorrow, a great band called NightNight is playing at my favorite music venue: Velour! I can't wait to see them play!
4. If anyone feels like obliging me for Christmas, I'm in love with these boots. Click here for the link.
5. I'm writing my next This I Believe about serendipity... and sort of finding something good when you're at an ultimate low. It should be good. :)
I guess that's all for now!


Blah blah blah blah blah.
Sorry. :(

Friday, December 4, 2009


It's the next day already. In fact, it's 12:51 tomorrow right now. Forgive me that my days end later than most do.
Anyway, today my bit of service didn't really happen. :( I'm pretty disappointed with myself. It's just been kind of a busy one.
ACTUALLY, I think I did do a kind of service today, but I don't think it's blog-worthy. Ask me if you want to know more, I guess.
I really need to sleep, since I'm doing SERIOUS service in the morning with Rural Housing Development. I'm so excited!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Piano=Service (in more cases than not)

Since I might be home later tonight (and I don't really have anything better to do, I've decided to post in the morning. Today, my act of service is accompanying one of my best friends for a musical number he is doing. It's "Abide With Me, 'Tis Eventide" and we arranged it ourselves over the past few days! I'm really excited to play for him and serve while doing something I'm good at. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On the Second Day of Christmas...

Today, my random act of service was exceedingly random. I'm not even sure it counts as service. Therefore, after I post this, I'm going to do the dishes in our apartment (hopefully before my roommate gets home).
Here's what happened:
Around 4ish, I went to the library to check my email for updates about a job I'm getting hired for (hooray!). There weren't any, so a while later, I left the library, planning to walk home. However, as I was walking toward the entrance, I heard, "Emily Brown!" coming from somewhere. I looked around lamely and then saw two of my friends who really like my music! :)
We started talking and I told them about how I'm writing a new song. They wanted to hear it, so we walked back to their dorm and I played it and a few other things for them. It was really fun and a nice way to do "service" for someone. Though I'm not positive it counts, as I mentioned before.
As a random aside, I love Christmas so much. My roommate and I are decorating our apartment with lights and snowflakes and other Christmassy stuff. It's so pretty. Pictures soon to follow!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo and This I Believe

Hey, everyone! I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of December (and CHRISTMAS!!!). It's my goal this month to do something specific and good for someone every day, so you'll be hearing about that a lot, I guess. In fact, that should continue after December. :) It just so happens that the theme for the month is "Mitzvah," which, according to Wikipedia, refers to 620 commandments in traditional Judaism. However, the word also means "an act of human kindness," which goes right along with what I hope to do.
Anyway, for my first post, I've decided to put up my most recent This I Believe essay. Enjoy!

Thicker Than Water
I have a personal mandate from the universe which is literally in my blood.
I learned this as a senior in high school, when I donated blood for the first time. I have O-Negative blood, which means I can donate to any other blood type. I'm what's called a universal donor.
We'd known about the blood drive for a few weeks. I was seventeen, so I could officially donate by then. The only thing holding me back was my own fear. It creeped me out that the nurse might dig around in my arm for a vein, or that I might pass out if I hadn't eaten enough. My dad, who is a giant at 6'4" and the last person you'd expect to freak out, faints when he gives blood.
I went anyway, of course, and missed my Spanish class fifth period less-than-grudgingly. Some friends and I walked over to the gym at our school and waited in line. I was terrified, to say the least. Waiting in the queue with my friends, I kept saying out loud how unafraid I was, as if it would help me feel better. Eventually I went into a booth where a lady pricked my finger and found out that I'm not anemic. Shortly after that, I was sitting in a chair with blood flowing out of my arm.
Despite my thin, deep veins, the nurse had found my vein without a hitch. The needle didn't hurt. I wasn't passing out. I was just talking to the nurse about vacations I'd taken, and suddenly I was drinking water and eating cookies before going back to class.
Donating blood, however, wasn't successful because I evaded pain or because I managed to stay conscious the entire time. Donating blood is simply a form of service, something I can to do keep someone else from dying, or worse, from the immeasurable grief of losing a loved one.
Just as I was afraid to open a vein for a dying patient, I believe that it's hard to find room in my schedule, my home, or my heart for serving other people. It can appear inconvenient, time-consuming, and downright frightening. Yet, in the long run, I believe that when I give up part of me for the sake of someone else, I am doing my part as a member of the human race.
I believe we're all universal donors of a different kind: we have the power to donate our time, our love, and ourselves in the service of another person. In our blood, which we share, we have an infinitely more unifying factor than inherited antigens or whatever it is that makes a blood type singular. We share our humanity. This brotherhood and sisterhood is our mandate from the universe to do everything we can for one another. I believe in giving my blood and my life to someone else, because every person's blood and life are equally important as my own. Every human bleeds red. There is no one on this earth who doesn't need to be loved. I believe our blood unites us. I believe in being a universal donor.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


It's only 12:17 right now in Arizona, and nearly everyone is asleep.
I remember when I was eight years old and used to think that nine was late. I'd be up at night with my little light on, reading Harry Potter books and thinking I was so mature to be awake at ten o' clock. The house was dark and everyone else was already asleep.
My cousins' house is so quiet now. It makes me wonder if my mind determines lateness by how much things slow down. At school, it feels like nothing ever slows down.
Well, I'm heading back tomorrow. See you again in a few weeks, family. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Also, if you visit today, could you try and leave a comment on this or the next post? I need to know whether comments are fixed yet, since I've been having complaints about that!
Thanks so much! :)

10 Things I've Been Doing Lately

Hello, my dears! So much has happened in the past month or whatever that I think I will just make a list.
1. Last Friday, I bought my first pair of TOMS. TOMS is a wonderfully humanitarian company that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes you buy from them. It's really a beautiful thing. I bought the Aira Cordones, and they're adorable!
2. Registration has begun at last. It's pretty near impossible to get exactly what you want; therefore, I'm enrolled in Psych 111 and trying switch it for an impossibly full creative writing class.
3. My roommate Charne and I Skyped each other from adjacent rooms yesterday. It was hilarious.
4. I have written a new Sestina and a Villanelle, which are both really good.
5. I was accepted into BlazeVOX Fall 2k9 yesterday! Once the issue is up, please read my three poems here.
6. I finally have a job as an accompanist for a friend of mine. He's taking voice lessons here and needed someone to play his pieces. This is really good for me, because it gives me a more concrete reason to practice, and I have to learn pieces I wouldn't have picked myself.
7. If you are near Provo, check out the newest exhibit at BYU's Museum of Art, "Mirror Mirror." It's a really interesting look at how people perceive each other-- and who can beat the flaming moustache? (also, admission is free!)
8. I was a flapper again for Halloween, only this time I was Daisy Buchanan and I friend of mine was Jay Gatsby.
9. I'm trying to write a song in G, since I have this idea that I'll do a show and move up a key for every song. G is such an awkward key for my voice, though. I don't really know what I'm doing. :/
10. Sammy's has the best milkshakes EVER. They are also having a "Hot Chocolate Kickoff" this weekend that I really want to go to.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Parable of the Bicycle Thief

This is my second This I Believe essay, and I think I've done a slightly better job this time around. Enjoy!

I named my bicycle Alex, after the artist, Alexander Girard. It was a vintage-style beach cruiser, candy-apple red, with Mr. Girard’s “Madonna” painted on both sides of the skirt guard. It had a chrome lamp on the front, powered by the wheels, and a silvery-sounding bell, which friends, acquaintances, and even strangers would ask to ring.
Most days when I go to ride my bike to school, I scan the rack for a minute or so, trying to remember where I parked the day before. Last Thursday, I did this, weaving through the rows and glancing around for that familiar flash of red.
It was several seconds before I realized that my bike simply wasn’t there.
Later that morning, I told my friends that our beloved Alex had been kidnapped. Some told me furiously that they would knock over anyone riding my bike. More than one of my good friends has scoured Craigslist and the rest of the internet, hunting for my bike. That night, my roommates walked with me in the freezing cold to every single bike rack in our apartment complex to look for Alex, and at last, to the one I used to park at.
“I feel like we’re standing around a grave,” said Chelsee.
“Alex was a good bike,” I said, jokingly.
“Whenever I saw him on campus, it made me smile!” said Charne.
I have wondered about the kind of mean-hearted person who stole my bike. My thoughts, originally, were full of prejudices and resentment, but mostly pain that any feeling person could do that to me. I will probably never meet the bicycle thief, but that person hurt me without any reason to. Conversely, since I'm a freshman in college, the friends of which I speak are people whose trust and love I have gained over mere months, weeks, or even days.
Lying on the grass with one of my new friends, I listened to her tell me about how maybe the bicycle thief was a kind of Aladdin character. She said maybe he’d stolen the bike to pay for a dying child’s operation, and once he had a magic lamp, he’d give me my bike back.
Obviously, this is extremely unlikely, but despite the fact that there are bicycle thieves in the world, there are friends who make up ridiculous stories to comfort you. There are roommates who will walk in the freezing cold with you for a nearly lost cause. There are people who will search all over the internet for something formerly irrelevant to them, just because they care about you.
All people have the power to be bicycle thieves, but every human being also has the power to share happiness . My encounter with the bicycle thief taught me that bicycle thieves are, fortunately, a minority, and that there are people who will wrap you in love whenever you even vaguely need it. Thankfully, those are the people I find around myself now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Minstrels on Campus

The other day, after our Progressing in Honors class, some friends and I were walking through the quad in front of the JFSB when we saw a small band, (consisting of a violin, a guitar, a mandolin, and a small harp) playing outside! We walked over to them and sang along while they played "Hallelujah," and it was all so nice and poetic.
There is not much else to say about this, but Greta thought I should blog about it, so I am. Plus it is a cute story. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Emily and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday morning, things were going all right. I looked cute, my homework was (essentially) done, and I was writing a new song.Then I walked outside.Those of you who know me are aware that I am the proud owner of one of the prettiest bikes ever. It's truly beautiful, and it makes me happy to ride it. It also brings spice and smiles into the lives of people around me, and even passersby on the street.
Yesterday morning I walked down the stairs from my apartment and then to the bike rack where I park every day. On Wednesday, I hadn't ridden my bike to school because of the rain (my roommate gave me a ride). Standing before the bike racks, I tried for a few seconds to remember where I had parked my bicycle two days before. I scanned the rack for it and couldn't see it. I walked around the rack and couldn't find it.Then I realized my bike simply wasn't there.
I mumbled exclamations and gasped Nos for a few seconds and then whipped my
phone from my bag and called my mom, crying, and beginning the long walk to school. It was 10:40 or so. I had a class at eleven. I talked to my mom for a long time, crying and worrying about what I should do. In my classes, the friends of mine who know my bicycle (whom we have fondly named Alex) mourned with me, gave me hugs, and offered hilariou
s consolations about bike thieves.
I feel like someone's died, and as if it was one of my best friends.
I have registered my bike here at If you live in Provo, or anywhere thereabouts, please keep a lookout for any bike like mine. Here is a picture of it, in case you don't have time to check out the link.
I am also keeping an eye on all the Craigslists around Utah and the KSL classifieds. I plan to look at Ebay as well.
My bike's information is all online, so please help if you can! Thanks so much!

Yours sincerely,

Emily Brown

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Yesterday Charne (one of my roommates) and I went to the Wilkinson Center and signed up for BYU's Student Service Association! BYU doesn't have a student government like most schools, but BYUSA is a kind of equivalent. As a church-subsidized school, 80% of every student's education is paid by the tithing of church members; we are here, in many cases, because of the widow's mite. BYUSA is one way we give back to our school; it's a volunteer association in charge of many student activities and leadership.
Anyway, Charne and I went on a tour of the office and we talked to a guy who helped us get involved, and now, we are in charge of planning a formal dance in February!!! Thankfully, there are people over us who will help us when we start planning our event. We're super excited!
I have to get to the testing center soon, so I will update more later!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice!

Today, President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whom we members regard as a latter-day prophet, came to speak at the BYU Devotional! I was super excited, so I got to the Marriott Center three hours early in order to get a good seat. Even by then, the line was really long, but luckily, my friend Mike was in it and he saved me a spot with that group. When the doors finally opened, we RAN down the stairs to try and get floor seats, and miraculously, Mike and I ended up with some of the best non-reserved seats in the house! In these pictures, I am the girl in blue on the right side, in the fourth row aisle seat. You can also find me standing up as the prophet leaves in the second picture.
Aside from being wonderfully close, I was so glad to be spiritually edified today. When President Monson entered the room, a wave of happiness came over me like nothing I have ever felt before. I knew that he speaks for Jesus Christ. I could see it in his face and I felt it in his presence. I was one of the first to see him, and almost as immediately as I sprung out of my chair to do so, I began to weep. I must have cried for a solid ten minutes or so. The Spirit of truth was so strong and I could really feel the love he and the Lord have for everyone when he spoke his first words to us: "You are quite a sight!" I feel so blessed to be here at Brigham Young University, and every day, I am aware that the experience I am having here is vastly different than one I would have at any other school.
(This is entirely worthy of my next sentence, don't you think?)
This I believe.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This I Believe

In addition, for the seminar I am taking, I have written my first This I Believe essay, which was really fun. We're going to write several this semester. My professor liked it and so did the other students, and since I'd like to put more effort into my blog posts, here it is:

The Crush I Composed For

I never had a really big crush until the eighth grade, and I was all of thirteen the first time I remember having my thoughts completely overtaken by a face and perfectly imagined persona. He had straight, white teeth and curly blond hair, his smile could flip my stomach in fifteen different ways, and he played the guitar.
Despite all this, what really sets this crush apart is something completely different: he was the first boy for whom I wrote music. I have been composing for five years now, so when I have any strong feeling, a new piece comes running invariably after it. That feeling, however, was the first to draw such a response. I used a fairly standard chord progression, I was later to find out, but I felt like a musical genius when I incorporated my own initials into the notes of the song. I continued to write for this boy throughout the eighth grade. Then, in high school, I continued to compose for various crushes, most of whom didn't know I was doing it. I wrote good music, I think; it was thoughtful, well-worded stuff (when there were words), and the idea of these boys inspired me to do better work.
The boys were not important, in the end. It was the emotion that drove me to music, and the reason that today, I can look through my old notebooks and amateur recordings and have a record of the way I felt from the eighth grade to the present. I know the way I felt and I know when and what made me feel that way- and what I thought of it.
Music changes people; it can affect their emotions and therefore, their actions. But as a musician, composing helps me let my emotions go. Regina Spektor, a popular singer, songwriter, and pianist, sings, "Ideas that have left you never come home." Whereas, for a listener, music may intensify emotion, writing music lets me step away from my emotions and examine my feelings with more distance. I can put everything I feel into words and music and walk away better and happier for it.
So I believe in music, and I believe it's taught me to see my thoughts more clearly- to feel more clearly, in a way. I know that composing music and writing lyrics for songs has helped me to understand myself better. I think it's also helped me not to explode. I understand now that the boy in the eighth grade- or the ninth or the tenth, for that matter- wasn't what made those years so wonderful. It was the personal growth I experienced, which always resulted in my knowledge that I had developed a lot that year, and that the music was there to prove it.
This I believe.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Bucket List

This semester, I am taking a freshman seminar titled "This I Believe," (after the wonderful NPR program) about personal narratives and statements of belief. For one of our first assignments, we had to write a list of one hundred things to do before we die. Here is mine (organized by categories my professor suggested):

  1. Write to the President.
  2. Write to my Congressman.
  3. Have an editorial published in the WSJ.
  4. Vote at all major elections.
  5. Serve on some sort of decision-making board.
  1. Publish a novel.
  2. Learn to play the guitar.
  3. Publish an album on iTunes.
  4. Perform a big concert.
  5. Publish poetry in a big magazine.
  6. Conduct an orchestra or choir, performing a piece I composed.
  7. Be in a musical.
  8. Learn to play the cello.
  9. Be in a band.
  10. Get an essay published on This I Believe.
  11. Sing opera in public.
  12. Participate in Story Corps.
  13. Participate in NaBloPoMo without missing a day!
  14. Paint a picture I am proud of.
Friends or Friendships
  1. Don't be afraid of strangers.
  2. Don't withhold compliments.
  3. Smile at random people.
  4. Show genuine interest in people.
  5. Be a better conversationalist.
Spiritual Life (or values)
  1. Have mighty, sincere prayers.
  2. Read the Old Testament.
  3. Have a smile for everyone.
  4. Fulfill my Patriarchal Blessing,
  5. Always be willing to serve in callings.
  6. Go to the temple frequently (once a week, if I am close).
  7. See my whole family in the temple.
  1. Never be overweight.
  2. Always keep the Word of Wisdom.
  3. Exercise daily.
  4. Take vitamins.
  5. Ride my bicycle places, even when it's far.
  6. Be a vegetarian for a week.
Helping, Service, Civic Action
  1. Serve a mission (senior or as a sister missionary).
  2. Work as a poll worker.
  3. Volunteer at various organizations.
  4. Give a bunch of cheeseburgers to hobos, like Chris McCandless in Into the Wild.
  1. Learn to make clothes.
  2. Sew a decent dress.
  3. Learn to make Foccacia and other bread from scratch.
  4. Have a "famous" recipe for something.
  5. Read to kids.
  6. Bear testimony to kids.
  7. Teach kids to be responsible.
  8. Have pictures of Christ all around the house.
  9. Have a musical family.
  10. Read the scriptures every night as a family.
  1. Learn Swedish, French, and German.
  2. Learn to compose music really well.
  3. Be a great, coherent writer.
  4. Be a ham radio operator.
  5. Finish The Brothers Karamazov.
  6. Read Crime and Punishment.
  7. Consistently read different books out of any general type.
Love or Love Relationship
  1. Fast and pray before marriage.
  2. Marry a return missionary.
  3. Marry in the temple for eternity.
  4. Write a song with my future husband.
  5. Do whatever I can to make my spouse happy.
Money or Standard of Living
  1. Be able to stay at home with my children.
  2. Make a living composing or writing.
  3. Live in a house with lots of windows.
  4. Have well-designed furniture.
  1. Paint a mural where I live.
  2. Have a "park day" with other moms and kids in my neighborhood.
Play or Recreation
  1. Get really good at tennis.
  2. Learn to play ultimate frisbee.
  3. Learn to waterski.
  4. Live on Gotland for at least a year.
  5. Drive a fast car, fast, on Gotland Ring.
  6. Visit Charne in South Africa.
  7. Play with lions.
  8. Swim with dolphins.
  9. Go on the big roller coaster at California Adventure, overcoming my fear of roller coasters.
  10. Skip around New York City, especially in public places.
  11. See the Pyramids.
  12. Go to Israel and Jerusalem.
  13. Go to Australia.
  14. Go to Spain and speak Spanish to real Spaniards.
  15. Pull one all-nighter. Then never again.
  16. Hike Timpanogos.
  17. Visit all fifty states.
Relationships with Children
  1. Give birth.
  2. Teach children about the gospel.
  3. Make sure they know I love them.
  4. Have great Family Home Evenings.
Relationships with Relatives
  1. Be patient with uncles and aunts.
  2. Write letters to grandparents.
  3. Be the future host of Cousin's Conference.
  4. See grandchildren often.
  5. See great-grandchildren.
  1. Don't be afraid to take risks.
  2. Smile at everyone.
  3. Overcome phobiae.
Work and Retirement
  1. Work at a radio station.
  2. Be a professional musician.

This is flawed; some of the "Home" stuff belongs in "Relationships with Children," but for me, those will be basically the same thing. Plus, these aren't all exactly concrete. That is, I can't check them off the list in the near future. I guess I've made it more like a list of goals I'd like to accomplish in the long run. Anyway, I'm sure I will edit and add to it in the near future, and I'll keep you updated when I do.
A note to Madelyn: can you configure your blog so that I can leave a comment? As it is, I will just have to say here that I have never seen a Beanie Babie with the seam ripped; now I wonder what's in one. :) Ha ha ha! I miss you a lot, and when I get back, we will have to go on some kind of adventure. I am glad you're having fun in school; re-read what I wrote in your yearbook if you need me to reiterate how wonderful you are!
Another thing: you all need to log on to Skype more or Google Chat or something. And write something new on The Brown Dirt.
I think that's all. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Furthermore, A Dissection of Feelings...

I will try not to be quite so cryptic this time. I think I will just make a list of ideas and things I'm thinking about. Lists work well, do they not?

1. I do not have class until two today, which is exactly what I need right now.
2. Sibelius (the program) is my hero.
3. I have written my This I Believe essay and I like it well enough.
4. I want to write another This I Believe essay.
5. I want to make a movie.
6. Last night was really fun. (Ye Olde Party)
7. I want to visit the duck pond and feed the ducks.
8. I need to read for Honors 240.
9. I miss you people!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update. Sort of.

I'm not really sure what to write, but since you wanted an update, I will give it you.
We need a vosotros in English, by the way; I meant "you" as a plural.
Today, I got up. Really! I got up, for once this week! I walked over to the church building at Wyview with my roommate, Chelsee. We had interviews this morning. Guess what my calling is?
The best calling ever, of course! Ward Organist!
I'm really tired, so that will have to be all.
Love you, Mom. Dad. CollinMadelynSpencerMelissa.
Various family members. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

For a Minute There...

Today and yesterday have been well spent jamming with my friend Mike (whose blog is here) and we are going to try out for Acoustic Explosion together! Mike is an extremely talented guitarist, and I am so happy to be working with him! We will be playing two of my songs (Enemy of Time and Here Have I Loved You, which is premiering) and Radiohead's Karma Police, which I'm harmonizing with Mike on. We're super psyched; hopefully we'll make it!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Apples bought at the creamery: 3
Times I've cried this week: 5
Longest time spent crying: 15 minutes
People with Finnish CTR rings: 1
People coming to my concert: 8? I think?
Grains of rice in bag: 4,000
Records picked up from music department: 11
Times I've ridden my bicycle: 37
Instances when random people have spoken to me about my bicycle: 6
Jam Sessions: 2
Pictures taken: 18
Quotes on door: 2
Price of books: 102.95
Slow dances: 14
Swing dances: 2
New thoughts: Googleplex
Stories finished: 1 (Pizza Funiculi)
Pieces finished: 1
Regrets: 3
Things forgotten: 8
Smiles: [this census does not have sufficient information to calculate a response]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here I am.

I'm in my dorm right now, reveling in the wonder of finally having my own room. When I was younger, I used to play with architectural and interior design programs, designing what I imagined the perfect room/house/building. I would put art on the walls, an aquarium, way too much furniture, etc.
The one thing I never left out? A piano, sitting like a conspicuous giant in the corner of my bedroom.
Here in my dorm at Wyview, I've got some interesting things around: reams of books on the shelf above my desk, a tiny boat in a glass bottle, a map of Gotland (which I've gradually memorized this year) a painting my great friend gave me, post-its on the wall, a box I decorated with a quote by Einstein on it.
Then there's my piano.
I walk in, and I'm in love. I can't ignore it. I walk in, and I have to play it; already this week, composition is going very, very well. I've said this before (here), but wherever I am, piano is so familiar that I feel at home. Maybe that's why the transition has been so easy.
It could also be because my family keeps calling me. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Music Page!

Hey, guys! I just got a website for my music, which I will use to post updates on all that music stuff. It also has a link to my music page, so if you have a Facebook profile, please be my fan! :) I'd really appreciate your support.
Click here for my music blog, and thank you! :)

Third Time's the Charm

This has happened to me before, but never has anyone been so insistent that I see them again. We first met in December and spent a good afternoon together. In May, we had our second encounter. But after this morning, I'm convinced.
The Blood Donation Center is in love with me. They won't stop calling my house, they bribe me with cookies, free Soak City tickets and restaurant discounts, and they always insist that I stay fifteen minutes after every donation.
Talk about creepy.
Today was our third date; yesterday, they called me yet again. I tried to get out of it by saying I'd been out of the country, but apparently, they don't have malaria in France or Italy. (Hmm... I forgot to tell them about Monaco.) In the end, they insisted I come in today at 10:30.
Once again, because of my thin, deep veins, the lady had to dig painfully around in my arm. The donation went fairly well after that, until I got really dizzy and started to black out. There were little spots everywhere and my vision got a lot darker and I felt like I had earplugs in. Very weird. Luckily, I didn't actually faint, because the lady kept telling me to open my eyes. (Except I've always sort of wondered what it would be like to faint...)
When I told her I was dizzy, she leaned my chair back and made me stay there for-ev-er. Eventually I could see straight again, and then I sat down in the waiting area for a while and drove home later. :) It was a pretty good one, even though both these times at the actual center I've nearly blacked out. :/
In three more months, my stalker the Blood Donation Center will call me again. By that time, I will have cleverly changed locations and be out of their radar until they discover me in Utah. Ha ha ha... :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Yes. It's the sorry truth. There is only one more week until I leave my lovely, beautiful, sunny, warm desert for the adventure of college at BYU (and wearing socks on a regular basis for the first time in... hmm... my entire life)!

I feel like Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods, when she sings, "And [it] made me feel excited- well, excited and scared."

Today I was at my old high school picking up a packet for my younger sister and I heard someone saying something about seniors. At first, a little bell went off in my head, like Oh! That's me! Then, if my life were a movie, a little montage would have played, really quickly, with all of my gorgeous (and very over) memories of the last year. It did, in my head. All the music, all the jokes, all the people and love... it's all over.

I said this when I came home from Sweden, but it applies more often than not.

I look forward and backward.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blogging Landmark!

I am now a member of four blogs, and this new one is the first one I did not play a main role in creating! It is a site for my This I Believe class at BYU and it is located here. We will be discussing our class and talking about statements of belief once the semester begins. I'm so excited!!!
In unrelated news, I have spent a wonderful week in Newport Beach with my little sister, Melissa! I got to take her to the beach two times and we also went to the OCMA, the Pageant of the Masters (along with their Festival of Arts), and a lot of other cool places. Melissa especially liked the Environmental Nature Center or "ENC," where they had a butterfly house. While we were in there, a butterfly flew up to me and landed on my finger and then it came back and landed on my shirt. I tried to take a picture, but I wasn't quick enough. It was really cool though.
I'm excited to get back to the desert and finish up things before I move away for the year!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Leslie and Why She is Amazing!

In honor of Leslie's birthday, I am writing about her, how amazing she is and how wonderful a friend she is/has been to me!!!! I have decided to make this a list. But first, some introduction (this could bear similarities to the post I did this fall- oh, well).

I met Leslie at a scripture mastery event when we were both sitting with our friend David. We were all doing speed chase together and Leslie called me her muse. It was pretty funny. :) When we went to girls camp that year, we hung out together and talked about Pride and Prejudice, because I'd brought the music for it with me! That year, we hung out together at all the lame stake dances because we were both afraid of dancing. So we sat with my brother and threw candy around (literally). :) We have become great friends from then on! Anyway, I am going to do a list of twenty reasons why Leslie is an awesome person (one for every year she's been alive). So. Here they are:

1. Leslie is very intellectual. She has great knowledge of basically everything.
2. She is not afraid to try new things. For instance, last summer we were going to go paintballing with Collin and David, and she was pretty excited.
3. She is an avid reader, of course, and always willing to recommend a good book.
4. She is passionate about her opinions, which is why she will be a great lawyer someday.
5. She is a great writer and supports her opinions well.
6. She is philosophical, especially in her poetry!
7. She is crazy about Jane Austen, which is an asset to anyone. :)
8. She loves animals and has the greatest number of pets of anyone I know.
9. She is compassionate.
10. She has a strong testimony of the gospel.
11. She is a very serious photographer and can use a real darkroom! (She never photoshops!)
12. She has a knowledge of the scriptures and reads them a lot.
13. She loves her family and would go to the ends of the earth (or Idaho) for them. :)
14. I have never heard Leslie play the clarinet, but I know she is very good because of the way she talks about it.
15. She has great taste in music, by the way. (Like mine! Hee hee.)
16. She speaks fluent Spanish and is always willing to help me with it.
17. She knows all kinds of cool Mexican recipes and foods like Arroz con Leche. (Remember that time when we made fried rice and I randomly put cheese in it?)
18. She is a very faithful, loyal friend.
19. She gets up really early (REALLY EARLY) to run.
20. She writes super long letters, attests my brother! :)

There are lots of other things I could add, but I will just close by saying this: Leslie is honestly amazing and everyone should bring her something besides cake for her birthday!! :) (she doesn't like cake.)


Sunday, July 26, 2009

What goes on in your mind?

Well... life is fun. I went to the beach last weekend, so I just thought I'd post about it here. While Madelyn and I were walking along the bay on our way home from Balboa Island, we noticed a particularly picturesque spot where the lights were shining on the water (I'm just about to post the pictures here. While I was looking at it, talking to Madelyn, I realized something: I spend so much time (and I think other people do this, too) trying to think of ways I can bring an image with me that I don't really enjoy the image when I am looking at it. I am so caught up with trying to bring the things I'm living to my future that I don't enjoy them in the present.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Think

it would feel good to be a violin. I've been playing the guitar more than usual the past few days (I get out the guitar every summer- it's just a summery instrument) and it feels so nice to have the music so close to you, just thrumming through your heart. I wish I could play the cello; a lot of my friends are probably sick of hearing me say that. I'm also working hard at "Time Does Not Bring Relief" and it sounds really good. Hopefully my old choir director will (if I'm really lucky) have my high school choir do it. Does that even sound possible?

Another thing I feel like doing is riding my bike. I got my bike for Christmas this year, and even though I've never photographed it and posted about it really, it's the most beautiful bike that ever existed. Riding my bike makes me feel so... free. I just have time to think. I have so much time. I feel awake and alive- I feel. A part of me adores books, which is why I spend so much time lying around reading, but another part of me wants adventure so much I think I will explode. But I am a coward. I want adventure in the form of travel and beauty and points of interest. Sometimes I think danger would taste good, but I have no heart for fear.

I also feel like being in love. This statement is self-explanatory, right?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Design [of mine], you are divine.

As my first official post on design/fashion, (since I have become vaguely interested in it while reading various design blogs in Google Reader) I am going to show you two things. The first:
is an AWESOME boot I discovered through another design blog. It is called a Winklepicker and it is from an awesome British company called Underground. The shoes are rather expensive (over $100 dollars, not counting shipping from the U.K. Yikes!) but I am determined to save all my money working at my Dad's office this summer because I literally do need a pair of boots for school, and if I must wear boots, why not a wonderful pair like these?

The second design item is a bag I designed myself. Okay... I actually didn't design it, if my understanding of the word design is correct. But I designed the design on it, if that counts.

Right. Let's be straight with one another. I colored the bag. Here it is:

The text is a few paragraphs from an essay I had to write about Toni Morrison's Beloved, which I never actually read. :( As a matter of fact, the essay was sitting on my desk and I was copying "Time Does Not Bring Relief" on to one side of the bag (from memory, and poorly) and the capital "T" turned
out weird. I flipped the bag over, and I noticed my essay and read it over, and then, on a
whim, I started copying it onto the bag. Once I was done, I flipped the bag over and drew the cord of the lightbulb and decided that in order to erase the ugly "T", I would color in darkness around the bulb and cover the writing. The writing showed through more, so I wrote a bit more to make it look like it was on purpose, but I got the poem all wrong, so if I do want a bag with that poem I'll have to get a new one.

Speaking of that poem, it's one of my new favorites. It's by Edna St. Vincent- Millay, and it won't take up much of your time if you want to read it here. I am currently composing a choral arrangement using the words, but I have yet to get Sibelius (the notating program I got for my birthday when I was 14) to work, or to have time to load it onto a different computer. :(