25 December 2009

He's an Angry Elf--Favorite Christmas Movies

This time of year, it's always fun to pull out the Christmas movies to help set the mood for the holidays. Since Christmas always seems to sneak up on me, I only get the chance to watch a few every year, but those few are always the same year after year. They are my essential Christmas/holiday movies. Of course, there are a couple of classics that aren't on my list because I've never seen them (I'm talking about you, A Christmas Story). Maybe next year I'll branch out and make room for a few I've never seen to add to this list. The top 5 movies that have a special place in my heart as favorite movies are:

5. A Muppet Christmas Carol--my favorite version of the Christmas Carol story. The muppets are hilarious. The musical numbers are catchy. Michael Caine is Scrooge. What more is there to say?

4. The Grinch--Both the classic cartoon and the one with Jim Carrey. Dr. Seuss is a genius and I always get a little teary-eyed at the Grinch's realization that "Christmas doesn't come from a store."

3. Christmas Vacation--It's really, really not Christmas until I've watched this AT LEAST once.

2. Elf--Will Ferrell, Ed Asner, and James Caan are cast perfectly. Elf is funny and has a super cute Christmas message. In fact, I'm watching it right now.

1. The Santa Clause--My family still watches this every year on Christmas Eve before we go to bed. It reminds me that Christmas doesn't just have to be a magical and powerful experience for kids. It can be that for everyone.

12 December 2009

Staying Sane in the Snow

I kind of hate winter. I'm not a fan of extreme cold and I strongly believe that snow should stay in the mountains where it belongs. When it's cold and dreary, like it is this time of year, all I want to do is hibernate until spring. But the worst part about winter is that it takes a huge toll on my mood. I start to snap out of it some time around February, but I hate how grumpy and down I feel in the meantime.

This year, I have resolved to not give in to the wintertime blues.

I've decided the best way to fight my slight tendency toward SAD (as people in the psychological field call it), is to distract myself. I'm developing a list of goals or projects to work toward until spring comes and I start to feel normal again. This is what I have so far:

First, I really, really want to start a book club. I know for a fact that I have two friends that would definitely be interested in this. I've been told by one of them that I need to be the head organizer in order for it to happen. So, I've decided to take it upon myself to start this thing up after Christmas time.

Second, despite some initial reservations, I've decided to defend my title in Andy's next Ten Dollar Shorts Short Film Contest. That's right, for those of you that don't know, I am a short film contest grand prize winner. The idea that I have rolling around in my head isn't nearly as inspired as the film I submitted for the last contest. But I'm too competitive to not try to win a second time.

Finally, I'm working on a little project titled "Get the Hell Out of Utah." (Amy loves this one.) I don't really know where I'm going or what I'll do when I get there, but I plan on having those details worked out in the next few months. My parents are working on a similar project, which may or may not influence the outcome of mine.

Anyway, I feel very confident that these things will help me survive Utah-winter-yuckiness for the next couple of months. Any additional suggestions to aide me in this endeavor are greatly appreciated.

28 November 2009

Fighting Boredom

When I was much younger, I had many activities that I enjoyed doing during those moments when I was all by myself and didn't have anyone to interact with. I would read for hours. Or I would write plays and draw pictures of fancy dresses in this notebook I had. T.V. was another source of endless entertainment. I'm pretty sure I could spend all day watching the shows on Nickelodeon.

Now that I'm older, I have a much harder time keeping myself entertained. I never know what books to read, I'm no longer interested in a career in the entertainment industry, and T.V. during the day feels like a waste of time. I'm pretty busy with my job, so I don't usually have to find ways to occupy spare time.

However, when a long weekend comes along (not exactly a rarity when you're a teacher), I have NO idea what to do with myself. I feel like I spend my days off wandering aimlessly around. I'm glad to have an extra day in my weekend, but depressed that I don't know how to fill the time. Heaven forbid I spend it on anything work related.

I've been trying to think of things I used to do to when I had spare time to myself to keep me from feeling isolated and down. Today I decided to cook. I found a recipe from Epicurious, went to the grocery store to buy ingredients, and poured myself a glass of wine (makes me feel much classier than I actually am). Then I got to work cooking dinner for my family.

This was one of the best ideas I've had in a long time. Having something to focus on kept my mind from slipping into the ever-present problem I have of "thinking too much." In addition, making dinner gave some purpose to my day, which always makes me feel so much better. Plus, the meal was actually kind of good and something that I would like to make in the future, with some tweaking to the recipe. Even if the meal had been a failure, I'm pretty sure the experience of trying something new would have been enough to keep my spirits up on an otherwise mundane day.

21 November 2009

Best of Winter

It's been a long time, so I decided to find something to blog about and I find that list blogs are the easiest way to go when I'm in a writing rut. Although I don't believe in celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving (the underappreciated holiday), there are a few Christmas references in this list.

Without further ado, my list of winter favorites:

Hot chocolate with marshmallows
Cozy fireplaces
Hats, mittens, and scarves
Ice skating
Holiday parties
Christmas craft projects...that I always talk about doing but never actually do
Seeing long lost friends and family
Glittering holiday lights
Christmas movies (especially "Christmas Vacation")
Christmas music (especially the NSYNC Christmas album)
Looooong holiday breaks

10 August 2009

So Long, Summer

My summer vacation has finally come to an end. These are the things that I'll miss the most about my break:

Sleeping in
Staying up late
No commitments
Eating Popsicles
Going for long evening walks
Hanging out on week nights
No brown bag lunches
Driving with the windows rolled down
Pool days
Bike rides
More than 12 hours a day of sunlight
Never having to plan a single lesson

Good bye, summer! You'll be missed!

04 August 2009

A Failed Attempt

I changed the title of my blog today.

I got freaked out.

I changed it back to the original title.

I do not like change.

21 July 2009

Wanted: A New Title

Ever since I started this blog I've felt really annoyed by the name I gave it. I didn't have any ideas for what to call it so I just used the first thing that popped into my head for the title. Well, I need a change, but once again, I'm lacking inspiration. Any ideas? Anyone? Anyone?

07 July 2009

Summer So Far

I'm going to attempt to tell the story of my summer using images.

Road Trip to the Northwest

Outdoor Fun

Fourth of July Festivities

06 June 2009

Lazy Days

The last day of school was yesterday, which means I have approximately 2 months before I'm heading back to my classroom to get ready for next year. While I'm sure the first couple of weeks of my vacation will be quite relaxing, I'm a bit concerned about how I'll feel once I realize I have nothing to do. Therefore, I'm soliciting suggestions for what I should do during my summer break.

(If you have a blog (that means you Linds and Lib) and you don't post a suggestion, I will begin to seriously doubt our friendship.)

04 April 2009

I think I'm failing...

A couple of weeks ago I found a notebook containing my list of New Year's resolutions for this year. I couldn't remember any of my resolutions, so I decided to glance over it to review how I was doing.

Resolution #2: Read 2 books a month.
How it's going? Not so well. I had been reading the same book since November. Last week I officially gave up and began a new one. I'm 3 chapters in. Wish me luck.

Resolution #3: Exercise at least 4 times per week.
How it's going? It's not. Post-work-laziness and tendinitis of the shoulder have left me unmotivated. But now that the weather is warming up (haha, not really), I've decided I'll start running after work.

Resolution #4: Write in my journal.
How it's going? I think I've maybe put in 2 entries since the New Year. Maybe it's time for me to decide that my journaling days have passed. Aren't those things for junior high-ers anyway?

Resolution #6: Cook one new thing every month.
How it's going? Really, really good. Thank goodness for monthly themed dinners with good friends. I've recently discovered that I can make a really tasty queso dip and killer veggie lasagna.

Resolution #7: Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
How it's going? Does coffee satisfy this requirement? I like water. I really do. I just forget about it.

I'm really not comfortable with failure, so I guess I'm off to get a glass of water before departing on my 5 mile bicycle ride to the park where I will sit on a bench reading my new library book.

(P.S. I know how to count, but I found a couple of resolutions too personal or redundant to write about, so I left them out.)

18 March 2009

My Apologies

So...I've received emails and phone calls all related to my "emo" moment last night. I'm very sorry to have worried anyone. I was having a rough few days and my letter was meant to be a cathartic experience for me. It was. I feel much, much better today.

17 March 2009

A Letter

I've been having a really rough week and it has everything to do with you. I've been exhausted the past couple of days and I know it's because of worry, frustration, and sadness over what I did. I wish I was stronger. I wish you would let me apologize for how I treated you. I wish I didn't have guilt over the way you are treating me right now. I don't want to care, but I can't help it. This is just how I am.

18 January 2009

January Blahs

I don't really like January all that much. It's cold, gray, depressing, long. The Christmas high has worn off. You can see and taste the air, at least you can in SLC. It just isn't a great month. This time of year I start begging my family to plan a trip to southern Utah so that I can spend a few days in the sunshine. Luckily for me, they usually go for it, which isn't usually the case with a lot of my schemes.

Anyway, today was fun. I went with my parents up to Park City to attempt to stargaze at the Sundance Film Festival. I'm always really embarrassed to be up there with them around film fest time because they have a tendency to loudly argue about the best methods to find celebrities. I also start to feel a little territorial when we go up for it. Park City is my favorite place in Utah. I often think that if I stay in Utah for the rest of my life that it will be okay as long as I have a home and job in Park City. It makes me upset to see tons of press and other starstruck Utahns, such as myself, clog up Main Street.

All right. I am getting away from where this post was intended to go, if it even had a destination in the first place. Our day in Park City was quite successful. My parents sighted Peter Gallagher, of The OC fame. We joined a mob of people surrounding Elijah Wood, aka Frodo, as he conversed with one of his people. And my mom got a picture with Pierce Brosnin. I may never hear the end of that one. There were also rumors of Ashton Kutcher being in the vicinity. Alas, we could not find him. But Linds and Andy apparently saw Ashty after viewing his film. I look forward to hearing their story of this sometime in the future.

02 January 2009


I'm really dreading returning to work on Monday. I've become quite accustomed to living life without my alarm clock and will probably feel devastated when it goes off Monday morning. Sure, I've been bored a great deal since my Christmas break began. But I sure will miss the little things, like non-sack lunches, staying up past midnight, and checking my facebook account 43 times a day.

On the other hand, not working has led me to spend massive quantities of money that I shouldn't be spending if I want to move out and go on my two-week long vacation this summer. I'm also pretty..."out of it" a lot of the time. Too little mental stimulation makes me weird.

I also decided just this morning that I am going to go on a 90% meat free diet, except for fish products. Yes, I said "products." I think I was semi-inspired by my friends' sugar-free New Year's resolution. I don't really have a sugar problem. But I've considered vegetarianism for years now. And I kind of want to see what life is like mostly meat free. Now, I haven't quite figured out what 90% means yet. It could mean that for every 10 calories I consume, only 1 of those calories can come from meat foods. It might also mean that out of 10 meals, only one can have meat. Hm. Maybe I'll just say that once a week I can indulge in a burger or steak. Otherwise, it's meatless for me.

Finally, I have discovered a great scam that is going on in the spa industry. Well, I didn't really discover it. But I had forgotten about it until this morning. My parents gave me a spa gift certificate for Christmas, and today I happily used it. However, I think it is very cunning of spa personnel to make you all relaxed and feeling good about life and then ask you to buy their far-too-expensive products. Can anybody really say "no" when their brain is set to zen mode?