Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh the weather outside is...delightful

Just makes you wanna stop and smell the flowers

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

~Charles Dickens

Oh summer, how I've missed you!

And just think! Spring is here and you usually enjoy visiting after she's left. You're coming back so soon, I can barely contain myself!

The last day of March is cause for reflection and excitement. We've let three months of this year slip by us already. It's been three months already? Sheesh.

As for myself, I prefer to look forward to just a few weeks and months when the warm weather is here to stay for good, and swim suits and flip flops are everyday attire. It's April tomorrow? We have HOW many weeks left in the semester??

But no. I will not dwell on those questions. That wouldn't be wise. I hear a knock at the door

Stress stands there, holding a very delectable plate of chocolate chip cookies with a hint of lunacy in them. Take those away! I won't take the bait this time. I've learned my lesson.

I start to close the door when Pleasantly Busy comes up the walk, an old friend of mine (we get along much better than Stress and I), we see each other now and again. Never as much as I would like to. He asks if he can stay with me till the end of the semester. I agree.

Will our good will and friendship last?

Stay tuned and find out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the colors of life

Cheesy title right?

Sorry, the brain couldn't think of anything more creative at the moment.

As this semester is drawing to a close this month, my life gets more and more busy. Bad thing? Nawwww, I love it! It helps me to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Last weekend, my dear sister came down from Idaho for the Hindu Festival of Colors that was being held at the local Hindu temple. It's become quite the thing to do around here, and there were thousands that flocked to it this weekend. Insanity right? And this is just at one point during TWO days. There were people constantly streaming to and from the all encompassing cloud of colored chalk. Don't know much about the Holi festival?

I don't know much either.

You can read up a little bit about it here. Basically it's celebrating the end of winter and the advent of spring. Neat thing to experience!

More importantly, this week is the week before General Conference! My favorite time of the year. I looked back at my last post right before the one in October, and thought of the questions and thoughts answered and received during that wonderful weekend and I get even more ecstatic.

This week, me and a few friends decided to do something a little different than normal. We decided to not only prepare ourselves spiritually for all the wonderful moments this weekend, but also physically and mentally. Every day this week, I will exercise, read my scriptures and pray, and get enough sleep.

It's been three days.

I think I might just continue doing this after conference. There are few times when I have felt better, or gotten more accomplished than in these past few days. It's a reminder lesson to me that by small things, great things are really brought to pass. All of us, whether we be LDS or not, can benefit from living our lives well and taking care of ourselves.

Ideas you might have about preparing for conference or just enjoying life more.

Go ahead and post em.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Lost and Found

It's Friday. It's pretty disgusting outside.

I was listening to my iPod, when I got my inspiration for my post today.

While today I'm feeling pretty good, occasionally in the last little while, I've felt like I've taken steps back instead of moving forward.

Trust me not a good feeling.

I almost felt like I had lost my way. Momentarily. Asking myself if I still knew what I was doing.

I finally figured out how to stop feeling that.

How you may ask?

As you wise folks know, when you have people who keep you in their hearts-your family, your friends..the Lord most of all- you can never stay lost for long. Even when you feel like there's no hope and everything's falling apart, everything that you've been working for. Those we love keep us anchored to hope and remind us of things we're missing in our lives. The Savior gives us His peace when we ask for it. They are our map to where we want to go.

We're all going through this life together. We all have things we're dealing with. We all get lost.

My inspiration:

"'Cause you are not alone and I am there with you
And we'll get lost together till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done and the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
And the world's crashing down and you cannot bear the cross
I said, 'Baby, you're not lost'"

Lesson for the day guys- Please don't stay lost.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

San Fran Part Dos

You may have been overwhelmed by the last monster of a post. I told you to expect a lot. It was just simply a beast of a trip.

This post will be much shorter so don't you worry. Only one or two things...

-Fisherman's Wharf! Possibly one of my new favorite places ever just from the sheer amount of things to do there. And I just spent my time there on Pier 39! There were 50 other things to do and not enough time to see em all. Oh well, gives me a reason to go back. We found a fun little puppet place.. we had a good time.
This wonderful specimen of seal lion is known as Magnus. I mean isn't that what you would name him? Just look at him!
I had the BEST seafood I have ever had. You think I'm exaggerating? You should see the look on my face right now. Not exaggerating.

-Final big concert of tour! The Chapel of the Chimes. I mean the name itself is heavenly. The church and attached mausoleum were even better than the name suggested, the architecture exquisite. Plus we had, in my opinion, one of the best concerts we've ever had. The serene mausoleum (yes I had to look up how to spell that word).

-Dinner at Fenton's. For those of you who don't know what Fenton's is, think of the movie Up. At the end of the movie, Karl and Russell are sitting on the curb eating ice cream cones.

They are sitting in front of Fenton's. Pretty legit. Seriously had one of the most delicious ice cream sundaes I have EVER had. It's a San Fran MUST. PS- Those glasses that I have on. Pretty legit right? New favorites. Not real. But still love em.

-Last but not least, we got to sing in the sacrament meeting of my choir director's home ward. A nice end to a hectic trip...

But wait.. there's more?!

Due to a closing of the Donner Pass, our trip home was diverted on a different route than the one we had originally planned. Diverted about 5-6 hours. Therefore, instead of getting back home at 12 or 1 in the morning, we did not get home till 5:30 am.. we spent ALL night on Le Bus. Things got a little loopy.. Nuff said.

But that wraps it all up. Best choir experience. Ever. The End.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Foggy City

This past week of my life was spent in the city of California known as San Francisco.

Ever heard of it?

It quickly became one of my new favorite places. I mean just look at it! The architecture, climate, and the fact that it was so GREEN and summer-like made me want to pick up and move there immediately!

The UVU Chamber Choir decided this year to escape to this paradise to tour at a few different places. Our director is from the area so, obviously he knew a lot about it.

In all honesty, I have NEVER done so much in one week as we did. It felt like we were on San Francisco Overload, and I certainly did not mind one bit. Let me just give you a run down of the kind of trip I had:

-A stop at the Golden Gate Bridge was a must. The first stop of our trip actually.

-Chinatown, in all it's glories! Oh how I love the Chinese.

-A visit to the LDS Oakland Temple, a gorgeous edifice if I do say so. That same night we had a sang with a Tongan choir from the local LDS congregation. They fed us before.
Do I need to repeat that? We were fed a Tongan dinner. Nuff said.

-Next stop: Coit Tower and Lombard Street,"The Crooked Street" Both were beautifully awesome. For those of you who are confused by the last two pictures, go watch the movie Hot Rod. Understanding will come to you.

-Singing in Grace Cathedral. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Words cannot express the pure delight and awe that I felt at getting to sing in this awesome space! I mean look at it!

When we would finish singing, the notes would literally hang in the air for a full minute. It was beautiful.

You tired yet? It was only the second day...

-A visit to UC Berkley for a workshop with the choir director there. She was fantastic. We then went to dinner at telegraph avenue where I had literally the BIGGEST calzone I've ever seen. It was deliciousness.

-Next: Golden Gate Park. It was raining. We were miserable. But we made the most of it as you can see below. Still prolly my least favorite moment of the trip. I was soaked for the rest of the day..

-A clinic with the director of the San Francisco Symphony. He's Swedish. It was epic. We then went and sang at Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco. The basilica inside of it was unbelievable and it was one of my favorite places to sing. You don't realize how much these resonant spaces matter in music till you get the chances to experience them firsthand. This was the space we sang in. Fantastic right?

-The San Francisco Symphony! One of my favorite moments of tour. The director that we had had a clinic just that day directed the San Francisco Choir and Symphony in Bach's B Minor Mass. I was worried that I would fall asleep during the performance, we all were pretty tired at that point. Nope! Stayed awake for the whole thing and loved every minute of it! I realized once again how much I love music.. Don't we look snazzy?

-We then spent the night at a hotel on the beach. And we woke up to this: Ireland or Scotland anybody? It was stunning.. I just wanted to stay in that moment forever.. You see I'm a hopeless romantic, and my favorite kinda days are the brooding, cloudy, rainy, foggy, wet, everything's so vibrantly green from the rain that it hurts your eyes, waves crashing on the cliffs.. This was my kinda place.

And that brings us to the last few days of the trip.. Are you in shock of how much we did?

Yep. So were we.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I realized how much is in this post so I might just save the last few things for the next one. So stay tuned for San Francisco Part Dos!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rinse and repeat

Don't you sometimes wish there was a Repeat button in life?

It occasionally pops into my head.

I have to admit.

Take this weekend for example:

-Two birthday celebrations for two fantastic friends
Jessica's on Friday, Brielle's on Saturday
One with amazing cupcakes, the other with amazing Italian As you can see, James and Winston just couldn't contain their excitement.

-Seeing the movie Tangled for the 5th time in theaters (dollar theater of course.) Can one see it too many times? I submit that you cannot.

-A wonderfully spiritual Sunday. That can make or break a weekend.

-Having my very first experience directing a "choir" of sorts. It was intense and a bit unnerving. Not gonna lie. I enjoyed it. Conclusion: much rather be a participant and get to sing myself.

-Playing Monopoly Deal for a few hours and then have some conversation that was deeper than a kiddie pool with some friends I hadn't spent time with in a while. Usually file those type of convos underneath the file of "Good Times and Favorites".

-Getting to sing hymns at my new favorite place in the world, The Beehive House, to some of my new favorite women, the sweetest and sassiest you will ever meet. And all over 80. They are sharp as whips, I tell ya.

I mean who wouldn't want this kind of weekend on repeat? Of course there were a few things I wouldn't mind leaving out the next time, BYU and Carolina losing in their championship games and plus there was those 6 hours of work on Saturday...

But ya know those moments are part of life too.

Good and not so good.

I guess I'm kinda glad, though, that there isn't a Repeat button. That would mean that I would never get to this week and get to go to San Fransisco! That's right ladies and gentlemen, first time in California for the Joester. Bout to take it by storm, that you had best believe.

I might try and post every day that we're there in SF, just cause I know there'll be a lot to write about. Can't guarantee anything though. So you'll just have to sit tight and see...