Category: Random

Parents Moving and Other Happy News

Sorry again for a week in between posts. It was one of those weeks that just flew by. I’ve been busy and happy and more than a little bit tired (the Olympics threw off my sleep schedule badly). Anyway, I’ve been having a lot of fun working on my youtube channel and movie blog. I am almost at 1,000 subscribers so if you aren’t subscribed help me out!🙂 I have particularly enjoyed doing podcasts with friends. My friend Tom and I are almost finished reviewing all the Star Trek movies (that’s 13).  The last one will be this week.

I also posted my Disney Canon video of Hunchback of Notre Dame and my friend Christine felt really differently. We did a podcast and talked about our differences. I’m really proud of it and how it came out. It shows to the internet you can disagree without being disagreeable.

On non-youtube front there has been lots of stuff going on. The biggest news is my parents have officially moved to Utah. There was definitely a time when this would have annoyed me, having my parents so close. But now I’m actually really excited about it. It’s nice to have them close by so I can drop by and visit and have support when I need it. I’ve also enjoyed being close to Sam and Madeline my siblings who will now be living close to me. I went to movie screenings with both of them last week (went with Madeline to Kubo and the Two Strings– fabulous. And Sam to Morgan– not good). I’m really excited for the years to come and having all of that family support!

Other fun development is I’ve started entertaining a little bit more. I had people from my new singles ward who all live by me come over to watch the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. I got Trader Joes appetizers from all over the world! I was having so much fun I didn’t even take a picture.🙂

I also went to my blogger book club last week where we read the graphic novel One Dead Spy which was very charming history book for kids. Then yesterday I had 4 of my friends over for my smaller book club where we talked about The Martian. The ladies all seemed to like it even if it did have a little more bad language than they are used too.  It was so much fun because I had freeze dried ice cream and tang for the treats! Perfect for your astronauts!

So that’s what has been going on. I’m very busy at work creating a game day campaign and my channel and blogging takes up most of my free time but I love doing what I’m doing.

What do you guys have going on in your life? Anything exciting? Let me know.🙂

Also if you have any ideas for a regular series I could do on this blog let me know. I was doing the Teaser Tuesday book reviews but they didn’t seem to get much attention, so I stopped.  I could review books or music. Something simple I could do each week.

Quick July Update

Hey guys! I just realized I hadn’t posted since the 13th. I’m sorry about that. Life just got a little busy trying to get back into the swing of things after my trip. What have been doing you ask?

Well, I saw the new Ghostbusters and enjoyed it very much. My friend Rachel came by and helped me film this video. I did a little skit that I think was a creative way to address the internet nonsense surrounding the movie.

I have also been getting ready for the latest Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond by podcasting on Star Trek 6, Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek: Into Darkness with my friend Tom. I loved Star Trek Beyond by the way. For my review click here.

It’s also been a lot of fun digesting all the buzz from Star Wars Celebration and ComicCon. There are a ton of trailers and announcements about franchises I like which make me very excited. I am particularly pumped for the new Disney film coming out in November called Moana. If you missed the international trailer here it is:

I also had fun at book club this week and everyone read my choice, Finding Audrey and to my delight they all liked it! Humor is so subjective so I wasn’t sure what they would think. It’s a great book. You should read it.  On vacation I read a book called Sandition which was interesting. It was started by Jane Austen and then finished by ‘another lady’ and you could kind of tell it was different voice finishing it off but in an interesting way. Either way it was fun to read something fresh from Jane Austen that I hadn’t read before.

I’ve gotten busy with my new ward. I already have a calling on the communications committee and have attended an activity. My movie-watching is going to be a little impacted because now I won’t be seeing movies on Mondays but going to FHE but I think that is a good change!

My roommate of 3 years is moving out. It’s weird to see her room all empty. I’m actually not going to replace her, at least right away unless my brother is interested in the room. I am thinking about using the room as a studio for my youtube work. That way I can have my actual room back to me again. We’ll see. We didn’t see each other that much but I will miss her nonetheless.

I’m getting ready for another open water swim- the only one I decided to do this year. I will be swimming the Deer Creek 1 Mile Race for the 5th time and I’m a little nervous about it. I just don’t feel as prepared as some years but am going twice this week to practice. I’m sure it will turn out fine and be a fun time as it always is.

So there is a lot of busyness and fun times in my life! I hope you are doing great! Let me know what is going on in your life. You seen any movies this summer? Over all it’s been pretty disappointing summer. Have you been reading anything? Anything else going on? Would love to hear all about it.

Sure love ya

The Small Yet Big of Modern Life

small yet big lifeBy most reasonable standards I lead a small life.  As Nora Ephron said ‘valuable but small.  And sometimes I wonder do I do it because I like it or because I haven’t been brave?’  That question kind of hangs over me and when I’m feeling up to it I ponder its implications.

How is my life small?  Well, I’m single.  I don’t date a lot or hang out with lots of friends.  I used to but most of that has passed on to infrequent yet prized get-togethers with individuals.  Swim season is a bit different because that tends to be a group activity and I do have book club.  Still, there is something about having a marriage partner and children that stretches a person outside the circle of a single influence.

My life is also small because I have chosen to work from home and I am not currently going to school. I have had people tell me I should get a regular corporate job because I’d have a better chance of meeting someone than in my current situation.  You might as well tell me to sign up for a stint in prison because I could meet someone there.  My happiness is just too valuable to sacrifice for the small chance of widening my circle of friends/dates.

Nowhere do I feel smaller than at church.  I am part of a family-based faith.  People are friendly, even bending over backwards to include us single saints, but the difference is always there.  They are living a huge part of the gospel that I am not.  In that sense, it is a smaller life than they get to lead.

But wait…

If my life is small how come I will post a video in a few minutes and it will get viewed by friends (yes friends) in London, UAE, Germany, Florida, DC, California etc? Same is true with my blog posts.  This very post should have between 150-500 views this week alone.

I’ve been having terrible headaches lately and have received advice from people all over the world.  Isn’t that such a weird thing?

So under a certain lens my life is very big. I’ve gotten to the point on my youtube channel (over 800 subs!)  and movie blog that I post most days.  Not only is it a blast going to the movies (and other reviews) but it satisfies such a creative longing I didn’t even know I had.  Every day I write, film, edit, promote, design material for all of my content (and also for work of course).  The creative energy is really quite remarkable.

Then of course you have all the social media that helps us connect with friends and make new friends.  I am soooo grateful for this service in my life.  I can’t tell you how many days I’ve started tweeting or following a post on facebook and it has brightened my day.  Of course, there are the trolls and rude people but isn’t that the case in any group experience in real life or online?  I think so!

At this point I have been blogging for 8 years (you longtimers- can you believe it?).  I’ve been on facebook for 9. I’ve had times where I wonder- do I have anything left to say?  But then an idea will come and my fingers will fly!

So, my life is very small and big at the same time. Perhaps this is just modern life for everyone?

Do you feel that way about your life at times?  How do you deal with moments of loneliness that we all experience from time to time?

Continuing on with the Nora Ephron quote:

“So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.

So good night, dear void…”

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragons loyaltyToday I have been given an award tag by a fellow blogger I have enjoyed following.  She is a teenage blogger named Natalie who blogs about Disney and makeup on her blog Disney Freak with a Bit of Mascara and does a great job with it. You would never know that she is so young by her writing.

She even delights in pointing out the flaws in my favorite Disney movies like Little Mermaid and Frozen. LOL. It’s all in good fun and she does a good job stating her opinion in a thoughtful and coherent way. And she’s always respectful of people who think differently which is a great attribute in a young person (I sound like I’m 150!).

Everyone check out her blog and give her some more followers.

Anyway, she has tagged me and it is a pretty simple one.  Here’s the steps.

1.Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2.Include the award logo.

3.State seven facts about yourself.

4.Nominate a few other bloggers.

As far as facts about myself you guys know everything there is to know about me.  So most of this is a review to my regular readers but I hope you enjoy it.

7 Facts About Me

  1. I have a lazy eye and have had surgery twice to help correct it.  Read here Strabismus
  2. I served my LDS Mission in Indianapolis, Indiana and it was a grueling but incredibly valuable experience.   They are getting a temple this month!!  So excited.
  3. This weekend will be my 10th finish in an open water swim race. (assuming I finish of course).  The last one I finished was Bear Lake Monster Swim
  4. My cousins and I love playing board games especially scrabble, boggle and bingo.
  5. 3 of my cousins closest to me in age have passed away. (That’s a sad fact but true).
  6. I graduated with my MBA in 2008 from University of Phoenix and it was a very proud moment for me.
  7. I’ve never been kissed and I’m 34.  Not ashamed just the way life has worked out. I’m happy with who I am.
  8. Lastly I currently have 2 blogs, a youtube channel, pinterest, periscope, snapchat, twitter, facebook, and more.  It’s madness but I love it!!! :

I always struggle with these kind of tags or nominations because I don’t want people to feel like they have to do it.  They seem kind of like a chain letter but I have fun doing it so hopefully others do as well.

I nominate

Animation Curration-

Swanpride (she’s never done anything like this on her blog but I would be genuinely curious to learn more about her.  Nevertheless check out her great feminist media blog)

HopeforHeather who faces a crippling chronic illness but has great strength.  Definitely worth checking out her blog

Veronica’s Cornucopia-  She does the cookie swap I participate in each year and is an awesome blogger and Mom.

The Simple Things- does a lot of travel and other updates and is a delight to read.  Check out her blog if you are in the mood for a pick-me-up

There you go.  That’s good for the moment.  Thanks for the nomination and love all of you.  If anyone wants to do the post feel free even if I haven’t nominated you directly.

The Oddness of Modern Community

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on this blog I am going to be in New York next week! On Tuesday night I am taking the red eye to the Big Apple and going to be visiting until Saturday!  I am so excited because I love New York, get some time off work, see a show, visit with my sister and meet up with a bunch of friends I’ve never met before in real life.

Let me explain that last one for a second.  It’s an interesting situation.  You guys know I like the show Survivor.  I find it fascinating to look at the choices men and women make in the game and how every game is different with a different style of win (except for Sandra who won twice).  It’s now going into Season 30 and we have a very promising season with a lot of super fans after season 29 was a super snoozefest.

I would say I was a big fan at the beginning of Survivor and then picked it up again in spurts when there was a Utahn on the show and then with Heroes vs Villains I started watching again regularly.  I missed One World and Philippines but got the rest of the seasons but nobody I know is into the show, which is frustrating because it is the kind of show you want to talk about with others. 
In fact, I miss the social aspect of movies and TV.  In my 20s it was quite common for me to gather with friends and watch American Idol, Survivor, Lost or The Office.  Now that never happens.  Same thing for movies.  Most movies I go to by myself these days.

But around Season 26: Survivor Caramoan I stumbled on a podcast where former Survivors Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach were talking about the show each week and I loved it!  A lot of people don’t care for Caramoan but I love Dawn and Cochran and it was my introduction to the podcast and the Rob Has a Podcast Planet.

I think someone could enjoy Rob’s podcast even if they didn’t watch any of his shows.  Kind of like I enjoy Car Talk and I hate cars.  Rob’s just so personal, funny and engaging.  Plus, it was so much fun to get involved on the chatroom and talk about the episode.  Again, it reminded me of those times in college when media was a group experience.

Well last year Rob made a proposal to his little planet that if we would support his podcast for .25 cents an episode he would give a monthly patroncast where we could ask questions and set up a patron group to further discuss the show.  Wanting to support Rob I decided to become a patron and so I joined the facebook group at the same time.  I believe I was in the first 100 patrons in the group.  Now I don’t know how many hundreds of us there are but it is an active vibrant group with patrons from all around the world.

rhapWe even did a secret Santa last Christmas where I came up with a gift for a woman named Ana from Brazil and I received maple syrup and some bacon bowl makers from a patron named Rebekkah from Canada!  Each week we talk about whatever reality show is on (Big Brother, Amazing Race and Survivor being the big 3) but also scripted shows, movies and occasionally other silly news.  There have been a few cantankerous souls in the group and some people are too sensitive about spoilers IMO but for the most part its been great!

It sounds crazy but I really feel like it is a community of friends and it seems amazing to me something as silly as a podcast about reality TV could bring people together in a community.  It shows it really doesn’t take much to gather people together, especially in the world of social media and the internet.  But I think even in real interaction if you can find something you have in common with another person, it can be the silliest thing and yet that is enough to start a friendship and get people talking.  I’ve seen it a 100 times that a shared love of dolls, books, Judy Garland, musicals, whatever it is, it’s all it takes to get the ball rolling and create a relationship.  Get enough of those balls rolling and you have a community. Kind of amazing!

I’ve seen it with my open water swimming- how a love of the water and being outdoors brings people who have little to nothing else in common together and fast friendships are formed.  It seems to me sometimes all it takes is finding that one thing you have in common with someone, no matter how stupid, and you can make it work.

Anyway, when Rob announced they were doing a live podcast in New York on March 11th I initially dismissed it.  Who flies across the country after all to listen to a podcast?  That’s crazy talk!

But then the rest of the community kept talking about it and it sounded like so much fun. A few weeks ago I decided to look at plane flights just out of curiosity and to my surprise they weren’t half bad, and then I found a hotel which was reasonable and in a safe neighborhood.  The idea kept germinating and I finally said

“What the heck!  Why not! I’m a super predictable person and for once I’m going to do something strange and fly across the country for a podcast!”

So I got my ticket and it turns out my sister is going to come down the day after the show and we are going to spend a couple days in New York together!  It should be a ton of fun!

There is a side of me which still thinks I am nuts for going to a podcast and meeting strangers but another side is really excited (and nervous) to meet all these people I’ve interacted with over the last year.  I’ve heard their voice when they call into the podcast.  I’ve read their posts, sometimes surprisingly personal and I feel like they are friends.  I really do.

I just hope it is a good experience and people aren’t too rowdy.  I normally don’t go to places like bars or comedy clubs but it is 300 people and the girl I am sitting with doesn’t drink and there are other dry members of the group so it should be good.

I love being a part of this strange modern community so I hope it is a lot of fun.  At the very least it will be something new and different and that is a good thing.

(Plus I get to meet a whole bunch of famous Survivor contestants which I am very excited about!!!).

Have you ever been a part of a community that was unusual or strange?  Maybe played bunco with girlfriends for years or have a group of online chess players or something like that?  I’d love to hear about your experience.  Do you agree sometimes all it takes is finding the one thing you have in common with another person and a friendship can be built?

Well, I look forward to sharing the week with all of you.  Take care!

Why I Am Jealous of Introverts


Any reader to this blog knows I am an extrovert. I think anyone who shares their life online is pretty extroverted but in some ways I am jealous of my introverted friends and family (who occasionally make me crazy with their introverted ways!).

1. I’m jealous of introverts following, not leading

It would be so nice not be expected to lead all the time.  Extroverts are often turned to for leadership and most of the time it is ok because we are the most outspoken about how we want things done. But sometimes it can be exhausting and I just want to be a follower.

Perfect example is in my new Midsingles committee.  There are a 11 stakes involved and who ended up leading discussions- me.  I was up front trying to corral everyone’s thoughts and write them on the board, trying to make the meeting run as smoothly as possible and we only went over by 10 minutes.

There was a side of me that was exhausted but a little exhilarated after because it was a challenge leading the meeting.  There was another side who wished I could have just sat in a corner and written down what I had to do and be done with it.  But then who would lead the meeting?

In this case I don’t know if there was anyone who could have led the meeting and I was happy to do it but I do envy how little introverts have to lead others. It’s hard being in charge!

introvertextrovert-by-boris-pramatarov2. I also envy introverts lack of a need for social interactions.

If I am not actively meeting new people,  making friends, spending time with friends, I get depressed.  My introverted friends can have an evening out with the hubby or a friend once a month and be fine. The older I get the harder it is to get together with friends and sometimes I wish I could turn the part of my brain which needs it off and be happy regardless.

That said, I do a great many things alone and am comfortable with it but it is never my preference; whereas, introverts may often prefer to be alone.

3. I envy how much work people must do to get to know an introvert

On the same breath I think sometimes introverts have different relationships than extroverts.  Because they are usually quiet and more reserved it takes more effort to get to know them; thereby, making the friendships they do achieve very meaningful and important.

My friends mean everything to me but as an extrovert I am extremely easy to get to know.  I literally have no secrets with the world and I think that is a good thing; however, it can lead to me investing more in friendships than others and being disappointed when people flake or aren’t as serious about the friendship as I am.

Introverts-or-Extroverts34. I’m envious of the way introverts learn and study.

There are all kinds of stereotypes which go along with being an introvert or extrovert, but one of the most prevailing is that introverts are more academic and smarter than extroverts.  There is probably some truth to this notion because introverts are more likely to read and do other solitary academic activities.

The challenge can be as an extrovert I need to express my thoughts on subjects in order for me to finish out my thinking.  This can be seen as combative or challenging to introverts who don’t want to debate topics especially in a group.  Groups can be frustrating because I am always asked to lead but it is the best way for me to actually learn most topics.  I can read something by myself 4 or 5 times and not get it but then have a discussion with a friend and pick up right away.  I guess I’m envious of the brain which doesn’t need the social component to learn if that makes sense.

I mean how many brilliant people have been extroverts? Not many…

5. I am envious of an introverts ability to listen

Because introverts are typically more soft-spoken and quiet (at least in groups) they tend to be good listeners.  Sometimes I can get frustrated at them not expressing their opinions or sharing their thoughts with me.  It can feel closed off, even dishonest, when they are probably listening, pondering and formulating opinions by themselves.

While I may be formulating my opinion while they are talking, waiting to express it, introverts are usually listening to what I am saying and then communicating carefully what they feel and think.  There’s something great about that which I have worked on over the years but will never be my top attribute.

Listening takes focus for me and I have learned to bite my tongue and let everyone share.  But it’s hard for me so I envy those who just want to listen.

chickenextravert6. I envy an introverts peacemaking skills.

Jesus said ‘the meek shall inherit the earth”. Why does He speak so highly of the meek introverts? I think it is their peacekeeping skills that help calm down us extroverts.  I get passionate and excited about a variety of topics and it is my introverted friends who pull me down from the ledge and get me to see both sides, even when I really don’t want too.

Sometimes introverts can frustrate me because they seem to not have opinions on anything.  It’s so hard to know what they like or dislike, or where they stand on key issues.  However, often it is the introverts who see the middle ground, the compromise, and I am able to let go of my pride and concede at least a few points.

In the end we are who we are and we can’t change that.  We can work with it and tweak it but our core personality is always with us.  We all have different gifts and can learn from each other. All of these introverted traits I try to apply as much as I can in my life without it stifling who I am. And I am sure introverts have a list of reasons they are jealous of extroverts.

Thankfully we can all learn from each other, be patient and get along no matter what ‘vert’ we are.

My Top 10 Favorite People


Just kidding…

I wanted to start this post off with a crazy title because I want to talk about our societies seemingly insatiable need to quantify and rank everything.  Why do we do that? Why can’t we just enjoy something for what it is instead of wondering if it is better than something else?

If you don’t think it is a problem check out  They have lists for everything and when I say everything I mean everything.  Like here is their list of the Top 10 Ruthless Dictators (this is wrong on so many levels).

They also have a Top 10 Infamous Mass Shootings and a Top 10 Worst Humans of All Time. Why? Why does such a thing need to exist and what does it say about human nature that it does? I think we feel an innate need to make order out of chaos and somehow ranking everything makes us make sense of what we don’t understand.  But I think just because it is a natural impulse does not necessarily mean it is good.

Why would we never rank the people we love? Why do most people refuse to admit they have a favorite kid? Well because we love them all in different ways.  The things I love about my Dad are so different than my Mom that ranking one above another is completely impossible.

The more I’ve thought about it I think that is the case with almost all rankings (or hate them all equally depending on the list!). I always want to have about 10 ties because I like things the same or I appreciate different things in different ways.

I first thought about this when I was ranking the Disney Canon for my Disney blog. I’m happy with my list.  It is fairly accurate of my feelings but I am also a little frustrated with it.  A lot of people were upset with me having The Lion King at 13 and I was upset too because I love that movie. Same with Aladdin which got pushed down to 19!

My rationale was Lion King humor is a little annoying and a few of the songs are a little corny but it’s great.  I love it.  It has a fantastic villain, amazing artistry and a story that pulls at my heartstrings.  Aladdin was 20 simply because I think the 18 other films are more artistically special but I love Aladdin so it’s very frustrating.

In a way it is kind of silly to compare the movies.  I mean there isn’t much in common between Fantasia and Aladdin aside from being animated movies and yet there I was comparing them.  Why? Because I felt I had to make a list after watching all 54 films. I felt my readers wanted it and I felt a need to do it myself as a conclusion of the project.

I’ve also seen this list making tendencies in my Survivor forum that I’m a part of.  People are constantly wanting to rank Survivor winners, contestants, and seasons. The great thing about Survivor is no two winners are the same (except for Sandra who won twice!).  Meaning each one has used a different strategy and won in a different way, so ranking them becomes kind of futile.

I guarantee you if I were to make a ranking of winners there would be people who would be upset with me for putting so and so too high, and so and so too low.  People would debate it for hours and not the pleasant kind of debate (at least IMO).  The kind of debate that is exhausting.

Just like I was left frustrated at Aladdin at 19 I am sure I would be frustrated with a winner I love not being high enough on my own list!

I prefer lists that are in no particular order and just a bunch of things I like but even those can be frustrating because I invariably forget to include something. Like the other day I made a list of my favorite Disney sidekicks and going into it was going to put Sgt Tibbs from 101 Dalmatians and I completely forgot about him!

What do you think about this tendency of our society to quantify, list and rank everything?  Do you like it or are you sick of it like I am? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section.  Thanks!