Sunday, January 30, 2011

#16. Visit A Zoo.

Yesterday I visited the Hogle Zoo with some of my favorite people in the world.

By the way, NightNight: Another reason I'm glad Scott and I are friends.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Grain of Salt

Disclaimer: I wrote this for my English class and edited it a bit for blogging purposes. Also, the transitions are choppy and/or nonexistent.

The Provo Tabernacle burned down last month- but only on the inside. Since the outer facade was made of brick, both it and the turrets of the building were preserved. On the morning it burned down, friends of mine posted pictures, taken at some ungodly hour, on facebook and blogs. The tabernacle was in flames in the tell-tale pinkish grey of early morning. It looked and seemed surreal at first. There were people at the time who said that the destruction of the Tabernacle was a blow to their testimonies. Others noted the preservation of a painting of Christ and thought that was a sign from Heavenly Father. It’s easy to make metaphors out of life events, and to take the connections one makes in a few seconds seriously.

“I’d have taken it as a sign from the man upstairs,” said Scott, “if it didn’t have swears in it.” He saw a train scarred with graffiti last week and the first legible line he noticed was, “F--- fake hos,” followed by the name of his most recent ex-girlfriend. Would God cuss at us to get a message across? What if it worked? Would he burn down a beloved, albeit old, building?

Or would he send us revelation via fortune cookie? “Change is in your future.” “You will soon happen upon a great deal of money.” Book on Tape Worm went out for Chinese last weekend and we got four fortune cookies each, opening all of them together. Our eyes widened and squinted as we read and pretended to believe each pseudo-sage message. We saved them in our wallets. Maybe we'll refer back to them someday, connecting their prophecies to then-past events.

I smashed my finger in the door in late September, and then Skyler asked me out. For the brief time we dated, my middle right finger was purple and swollen. When we broke up, my fingernail fell off. I pretended it was a sign. I also pretended that the jack-o-lantern I threw away in November was his head. I pretended that when the glass jar and candle I hung outside fell down and shattered, it was a metaphor for letting him go.

I’ve lost the bracelet he gave me. That might actually mean something.

My dad came to visit me back in December and he and I drove down University Avenue, just past Center Street, and parked next to the City Hall. He snapped some pictures of the Tabernacle, flanked with firetrucks. We walked to the top of the parking garage next door to get a better view, talking about philosophy because that’s how my dad is. I realized later that even the Tabernacle could be a metaphor- but for clearing out old things and building new ones. I used that metaphor to build me. I thought, “Sometimes we have to be burned down inside in order to be remodeled into something better. Everything will be okay in the end.” The Tabernacle is being remodeled, from the looks of my last drive-by.

Most people’s astrological signs changed a week or two ago, right? Consulting the newest star charts, I discovered that I was no longer a Gemini, but a Taurus. I felt vague disappointment, even a loss of identity. Then the astrologers told us this change only applied to those born after 1999 or some arbitrary date. We breathed a sigh of relief- as if our futures would be any different if we kept the same star signs.

How much clout can a sign hold? What makes something a sign to which people? Even though I hope God sometimes sends signs to people, I think it’s important to use discernment in naming a heavenly message. If I create a sign that saves or ruins me, grant God the credit for letting me make the connection, or give me the blame for taking it too far.

I like pretending that I live in a book and that some author (like Emma Thompson in Stranger than Fiction, although hopefully less morbid) is making allusions and writing beautiful imagery into my life, but I think I know better than to take her too seriously. I am the only narrator I know of, and my awareness of the metaphors around me may even be irrelevant. I believe that regardless of the author, I am the text. I’ll take my metaphors with a grain of salt.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's a party in here!

Dear friends,
Welcome to my 301st post.
I spose the last post should have been the party, but I didn't realize it was the 300th.
Regardless, it's a party on the blog now. Let's dance.

Images found via, Rhythm Junkie, and

Your pal,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wisdom from the Cupboard:

1. In order to break a bad habit, wear a rubber band on your wrist. Snap it when the habit reoccurs. I'm two days and counting not thinking about a particular person. (snap)
-Aubrey Johnson
2. You can always exchange what wanted before for what you want more, now. It might be difficult at first, the change becomes easier and more appealing every time.
-Hannah Johnson
3. Take your first impressions of people into account (intuition is key) and when you make friends, learn their impressions of themselves.
-Courtney Perry
4. There must be moderation in all things. Also, people are just happier when the dishes are clean.
-Chantelle Fowler

These are not direct quotes from any of the Cupboard girls, but a FEW (or just one) of the things I have learned from them.

By the way, our apartment is nicknamed the Cupboard Under the Stairs. It's 'cause we're in love with Harry Potter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Trip to the Zoo.

Friends, Neighbors, Countrymen,

Remember my bucket list that I didn't finish during the summer? Number 16 on my bucket list is "Visit a Zoo." I think we should visit Hogle Zoo together.

Here's the thing. If 20 or more people want to do this, we get a discount, and we all get to look at animals and take pictures together. I like you people. I want to look at the New Guinea Snake-Neck Turtle with you.

January 29th's the day, folks. If you live in Provo, we'll meet at the parking lot across the street-ish from my house (192 E. 700 N.) at 10:30. Then we will drive to Salt Lake in our cars and visit the zoo and have a picnic together (so bring lunch, if you feel inclined) and later we will go home with newer, better memories than before.

Who's up for it? Here is the facebook event. Invite your friends. Invite yourself. This is going to be an adventure.

Yours sincerely,

Emily Brown

Monday, January 17, 2011

I am blogging about Ciera Black

in honor of National Blog About Ciera month.

On Saturday, Ciera and I drove to Annex Studio, where we were about to record some Book on Tape Worm songs. When we got there we realized that Scott wasn't there yet, and so we decided to explore the neighborhood. After some house-hunting, we came to an open house. Deciding that we needed an excuse to explore the house, Ciera told the realtor that her uncle "Ron Smithson" was looking for a house in the area and we wanted to check out the floor plan. The design and decor in the house (Okay, I know that phrase makes me sound super phony, but seriously-) was so well done. We even found these alligator pillows in the hypothetical little boys' room and got so excited we took pictures.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Live Through This and You Won't Look Back.

(Image: David Daniels Photography)

I learned something new today, about friends (which, yes, I am still blogging about) and about myself. I was writing a letter to my friend Mike, who is currently serving a mission in London. I've been in a weird kind of funk lately; I woke up this morning super stressed with absolutely no reason to be, and I feel dissatisfied with most things most of the time. I was writing about this and I asked him for advice when I guess I answered my own question. Looking for more interesting news to write, I told him about how the Provo Tabernacle burned down inside last month.

Next, realized the following:

a. I wouldn't be writing about ideas if I weren't writing to Mike. Sometimes the best friends are the ones who provoke thought. I have always been able to have deep conversations with Mike, gospel-related and otherwise, and I'm grateful that for a friend who I feel comfortable having those conversations with.

b. I don't know how else to say the second part without just using my letter. I'm just going to quote.

In some other news, the inside of the Provo Tabernacle burned down a few weeks ago, which was really sad. The good thing, though, is that the outside (which is brick, if you recall) is preserved, and it provides an opportunity for a great remodel and update of the Tabernacle now. I’m not sure how soon that will happen, but from the looks of what I saw driving by yesterday, they probably will remodel.
You can even see that as a metaphor! It’s like getting rid of old habits or things you don’t like about yourself, I guess. Sometimes you have to get all burnt up inside in order to make a clean start, and in order to progress from there. The inside doesn't even necessarily have to be negative. The Provo Tabernacle was a great building, and it served perfectly well for hundreds of years. But maybe it wasn't as great as it could be. It’s like exchanging something okay for something awesome. That’s hard, of course, because you don’t know whether the “okay” will even be replaced with awesome. I guess that’s where faith comes in. We have to trust that the Lord lets us go through trials and get a little damaged in order to make us and our lives greater than we ever could have been before. Maybe on our own, we can be decent, and even good. But when we submit our will to the Fathers’, and rely on him in the face of trial, he can make us great. I’m grateful for that.

Anyway, it's good to be learning things. I'm the worst at conclusions, so this is all I'll write.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In first grade I had a friend named Erica. We were in Mrs. Valley's class together and  once we found a spider's egg sac in the corner of the playground. We were learning about spiders in class at the time and we brought it back from recess with us to show our teacher.

That's really all I have to say.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Fast forward to the present for a moment, if you please. All I can say is that my roommate and close friend Hannah and I reorganized our schedules so that we have a whopping THREE classes together on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It has been supa fun. I love that girl.

In conclusion, friends are good because they don't steal your bicycle, and they let you take classes with them.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Moving to the Desert.

I moved to Rancho Mirage and went to kindergarten (and the rest of elementary school) at Washington Charter School, complete with an obnoxious theme song that was written while I was there. I don't remember many specifics about who were my best friends, but the girl hugging my shoulder in this picture is Cassie, who I became better friends with during high school.

On another note, because this post is short, it's interesting how quickly little kids can make friends with each other. When I was a kid I felt like age was the only thing I had to have in common with a person for us to  have fun together. Add some arbitrary toys or a make believe game like "Lost Kids," (which my cousin Connor and I made up) and you've got hours of enjoyment.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Now that we've gotten past the fact that my family are my friends (and my closest, at that) I have a story for you.

When I was 16 months old (fact supplied by my mom as I sit on a kitchen stool while everyone else makes lemonade) we moved to Pasadena, California. Home of the Rose Parade and a two-story house on South Los Robles where my mom would eventually grow a spectacular garden and win an award for city beautification. My favorite part of our yard, after the flowers, was the three plum trees in the front.

It was like this:

I had three good friends in Pasadena before we moved to Palm Springs in December of '97, when I was five and a half. Their names were Amber, Allison, and Marilyn. The parents in our ward organized a day at the park every Thursday, when we would all play together. We always got super excited to watch the dump truck pick the trash up outside the park:
I'm the pink and purple one on the far left.

Here is a picture of me and those friends at my fifth birthday party, about six months before I moved away. (Note: my name was scrawled in pink marker on the back of this picture.)
Order, left to right: baby Spencer, Amber, Me, Allison, Marilyn (who was a year younger than us)

Life in Pasadena was fun. I was sad to move.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Again, I'm attempting to blog for the entire month in honor of NaBloPoMo. This month, I'm going to share with you thirty stories from the past and present about my experiences with friends. Best friends, old friends, new friends... frenemies?
We'll go chronologically. This is Collin. He was my first friend ever, if you count brothers as friends. I think they are.