Thursday, April 22, 2010

Avatar...My classes ROCK.

Classes are over for Winter semester. It's been a crazy ride; I feel like I stumbled across the finish line. But it is done. I took some of the best classes of my life this semester, with excellent results. One class project turned into a business, which turned into a coordination of life goals into a brilliant long-term business plan. A couple classes finally got me to show my more socially opinionated, passionate, and surprisingly liberal side, shocking some of the more mildly mannered SFL classmates. (everywhere else I'd be a right-leaning moderate, but here in Provo...well, I guess that is a different story).

One class brought me back to Theatre, full force. This post highlights the final of that class--beginner makeup.

I decided to use one of the Na'vi, from the new movie Avatar, as my final character. I had a lot of fun. Annalisse Booth took these pictures of it; I'm really glad she's so talented and willing to help. Also, shout out to Eliza for helping attach the long braid and color my hair, and Jason L Black for driving me all the way to Lehi for the beads and props.

I made the ears out of rubber latex, and yes, that is my real hair, and no, I'm not wearing colored contacts. The nose is putty (it's a little off in these shots because I smiled too much). The rest is a mix of creme makeup, powder makeup, and lumieres. The braid in the back is crepe hair. These were my first (and thusfar, only) attempt at the design.

It was ridiculously entertaining to walk around campus this way, and then visit various ward members (on purpose AND on accident).

<--I even got the teeth down. Yeah, it was cool.

This is a shot of the makeup in more even lighting. It's basic Na'vi skin, plus war paint over the top. The long uplink-braid is tossed over my shoulder. I await the intermediate class with eager anticipation. Who knew I'd love makeup art so much?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This bunny is super cute. As it is Easter shortly, I thought I would include a bunny in this post. As far as how bunnies got associated with Easter, there are a lot of stories, but this one seems to be the most common:

So it really has nothing to do with the Spiritual aspect of Easter; much as Santa Claus has very little to do with Christmas.

But, bunnies are cute! :-)

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

You know those days when you really just need a hug?


The week or so has been like that. It's frustrating when the people who are "supposed" to be supporting you, can't anymore. When the problems affect everyone so deeply, you can only help each other so far. Turning to those outside of the situation doesn't substitute the needed support and love, partially because they are not aware of the depth of the problem and partially because it's simply not their place. There's really no one to turn to but the Lord.

But sometimes hugs help, anyway.
I don't normally ASK for hugs. And, if I've done it more lately, it's because I've found myself in an extremely abnormal situation. Sometimes, girl hugs just don't cut it. They remind me too much of my mom, I suppose. She hasn't been able to actually give hugs in a very long time. Guy hugs don't remind me of my dad; I've rarely hugged my dad since I was a little girl. Guy hugs are just better. Stronger, maybe? I guess they make me feel safer, and slightly less pathetic.


The fact that I admit to simply needing a hug at all makes me feel pathetic, to a certain degree. And asking for one is embarrassing, and mildly awkward, especially if the other person avoids me or gets awkward themselves. I am very sensitive to public embarrassment, thanks to a variety of factors. To oversimplify, I'm prideful about my ability to do things myself-- just me, and the Lord, and nobody else needs to even know about it. To anyone that knows my mother, this is a familiar story. Consequently, if I find the need for a hug to outweigh publicly embarrassing myself by actually ASKING for one, you know it's a desperate situation. If it was anything less, I'd go hug my blanket or something. Or maybe even one of my roommates (they are much better huggers than blankets).

Unfortunately for me, sometimes guys misinterpret my need for a hug. Sometimes, rather than seeing the request as a sign of trust and a call for help, they see it as a (VERY) lame attempt at flirting or something. Um. No. But apparently girls actually do that? o_O

Okay, to clear the record: If I want to flirt with you, I probably already do. My asking for a hug is NOT some pathetic, whiny, "I'm so helpless," coquettish female manipulation, trying to get you to fall in love with me or something. If that were the intent, I'd be much more smooth about it. Or much, much more blunt. :-) It's a sign of trust, and, probably, that I've run out of other options. That's not to say that trusting someone and flirting with them are mutually exclusive (nor should they be), but they are NOT the same thing. So stop fretting.

Sometimes I see Derrick and Amy and I'm a little jealous of their relationship. I used to have guy friends like that. Sometimes they developed into more than friends, but that's not the part I miss the most. I miss having someone to go to, to talk to, to listen to, to spend time with just because. Someone I felt comfortable with, that I trusted, that I didn't always feel self conscious around about their opinions of my makeup, clothes, hair, social ineptness, whatever.

It takes time for relationships like that to develop. And, most of my friends are in the stage of life that relationships like that are to be built with individuals they want to date/court/marry. As soon as it is determined that I am not one of those people, it is right that their efforts be focused elsewhere. It's not a bad thing.

But sometimes a girl just needs a hug.

On a related note, please pay attention to the following diagram, particularly #2. Misuse of this hug is a personal pet peeve. Also, #4 has been known to cause injury to either/both parties involved.

Recent Conversation and Springtime Pondering

Ofttimes we hear the phrase "Why don't boys date me?" "Why do the same few people get asked out all the time?" "Why is everyone so in love with so-and-so?" "How did SHE get a boyfriend, while I am still SINGLE?"

or, on the male end of things: "I'm asking girls on dates, but I can't seem to make it go on from there." "Why is it that the girls that I'm not attracted to, like me, and the girls I'm attracted to, like me--'as a friend, or a brother'?" "Why is it all the girls I want to date, are already dating someone else?"

And other such variations on a theme. Well, kids, here's a question for you:

How do you find someone you are attracted to, convince them that they are attracted to you, too, and then date that person?

(voice)I don't know. How DO you find someone you are attracted to, convince them that they are attracted to you, too, and then date that person?

The answer?

First, you must BECOME the person that someone you would be attracted to would date, thus attracting someone you would be attracted to, and then each of you get up the courage to enter that relationship of your own free wills.

(voice) Well, THAT'S not an answer to the question!

Well, did I promise you an answer to the question?

All poorly written allusions aside, I honestly think many of us ask the wrong questions. People are so focused on finding someone they want to date, of finding the one-and-only that will give them their long-sought 'happily-ever-after.' Truth is, they are only your one-and-only AFTER you've committed to get married. You choose your own soulmate. We've heard all this before.

I disagree that we need to (put on your best Mia Maid Instructor voice here) "BECOME the person we want to marry." I don't know about all y'all, but I'd like to marry someone who, well...isn't me. The key is to become someone to whom our ideal would be attracted.

So, that's great. But what does that mean? That sounds suspiciously like changing myself. Aren't we supposed to be loved for who we ARE?

Absolutely. We need to be loved for who we are, not in spite of or because of any characteristics of self, but simply for the whole of it. On the flip side, though, we have an obligation to be the best version of ourself that we can. On a brilliant social comedy called "Community," a favorite character of mine, Abed, explains it this way: "Let's face it; I'm pretty adorable. I got self-esteem falling out of my butt." (friend) "Well, if you like yourself, why did you change?" (Abed): "Well, when you know who you are and what you like about yourself, changing for other people isn't that bad."

Abed understood what many of us miss: That as long as he knew who he was, knew what he liked about himself, and kept those qualities, he was able to use that as a anchor point as he tried some new things. (Moving past the Community analogy now) As we apply this to the dating scene, we can start to ask those previous questions honestly, and actually expect answers. ("Why" questions are often statements in disguise rather than actual questions).

My "homework break" time is running out, but a few thoughts to consider (and will probably be expounded upon later):

--Dating is often about first impressions, and the initial contact people have with you. How close is your appearance (both physical and manner of conduct) to who you really are on the inside? If you come off as harsh or bullying and on the inside you're a marshmallow, are you accurately portraying yourself? Think of the person you want to attract. What are THEY looking for? Are you giving off that kind of image?

--Are you aware of social norms? You don't have to FOLLOW them, necessarily, but it helps to be aware of what's going on.

--don't fret about the situation. As a friend of mine put it once, "It's only a matter of yes, or no." For example: "Do I like her? (yes.) Does she like me? ('maybe' is not an answer-- it's merely saying you don't know the answer yet. So, "answer unknown") Should I ask her out? (yes) Will I ask her out? (if yes, then do it. If 'no', then move on)."
First date went well? Great. Now it's "Did I have enough fun to try this again? (yes--repeat above process; no--move on)."
It's really that simple. It gets a little tougher when it's "Do I like her? (yes) Does she like me? (no)." The only way to get things working again is to change one of the answers. It's a lot easier to change yourself then to change them, but that doesn't always mean changing your answer to "no." Sometimes that means understanding yourself enough, and wanting them enough, to critically analyze yourself and make some changes, in an attempt that their answer will then be "yes."
**This can be dangerous for those not grounded; however, if the changes are good ones, that make you a better person (as they should be, otherwise the person you are trying to date isn't worth it) it doesn't really matter if the relationship works out. You've been left a better person, and better able to attract you future spouse!

The fretting comes when a) we don't know the answers to the basic yes/no questions; 2)we try to figure out the answers ourselves and/or convince ourselves that it's one or the other without actually knowing; c) we aren't grounded enough/willing enough to refine ourselves into the person we know we COULD be; or 4) Some variation of the above problems.

Now, I'm not saying these are the only reasons people don't date, I'm simply saying they are common ones.

More later.
I wrote this back in the day during a "poetry war" with a friend. I'd never written a sestina. This was one of the later poems, chastising Andon for writing the same meaningless 'trash-talk' in all of his war-poems.

A Sestina: On Writing Poetry

A form is but a package for a poem
It holds no message, taken on its own.
And if one studies poems of the masters
He’ll find, at once, his fallacy is shown-
That his poems, though quite craftily written
Are naught but silly words and haughty tone!

Rhythm, rhyme, and meter—also tone—
All contribute greatly to a poem
But when that poem’s begging to be written
These tools alone cannot make it your own
If only skills with these functions are shown
It makes us ask: “Are you really a master

Of the pen? For, actually, a master
Would possess much more than witty tone--
A message or a story might have shone
Through the words that constructed the poem.
And as he wrote it, he would have to own
That the inspiration sparking what he’d written

Came from somewhere else. And when he’d written
Something worthy of his name, a master
Then would realize that he’ll never own
Anything about it, save the rhyme, rhythm, and tone.
And thus we see the paradox of poems--
In each, the writer’s weakness always shown.

But if, by some sweet chance, there is more shown
Inside that lovely work, so carefully written,
Than shows itself in any other poem
Then, perchance, the writer may have mastered
A piece of himself. Then, he starts to tone
That little piece, until he finally owns

All of himself. And in this quest to own
He finds more of his weaknesses are shown
And then restarts the battle, using rhythm, rhyme, and tone.
And as he looks o’er all the works he’s written
Though this life, he knows he’ll never master
That art that some great ancient called the “Poem."

I hope, throughout this poem, I have written
Something worthy to be shown a master,
And not simply my own sarcastic poem.

I think the main idea presented here--that poetry must be more than merely words plugged into a formula, that there must be meaning somehow, and that that meaning is often inspired from elsewhere--can apply to life on a more general level.

We can't just go through the motions. Even if those motions are exactly what they "should" be, following and exact "form" of what is expected of us-- even if that is the case, they mean less unless some kind of meaning or purpose is established.

The key, I suppose, lies in analysis--and action.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hedgehogs and Heartsmiles

As I'm sitting here waiting for BYU's server to not be quite as overloaded, I decided I needed some happy so I looked up pictures of hedgehogs.

I LOVE hedgehogs.

They are naturally curious creatures, and they like to lick things and sniff things. They love to run and explore.

<---Generally harmless... ...and who can resist that FACE? ---->

Oh, dear. What would I do without Google Images when hugs are needed and none to be found?

I used to have 3 hedgehogs. Well, we had 3, then I thought they were lonely and so I taught them how to climb over the walls of their separate cages. Then, we had 11 hedgehogs. They were super super cute. We sold the babies, so then we had 3 again.

I miss them. Max, Petunia, and Nancy.

They weren't very good huggers--one needs arms for such things--but they could always make my heart smile.