Thursday, August 31, 2006

top movies from my childhood

I'm listing my childhood favorite movies, too. Aren't there those movies that are so dear to your heart, that no matter how many other movies you see, none can top the ones from your childhood? Me too.

The top five:

Swiss Family Robinson

I love, love, love this movie. Who doesn’t? Tight-knit family, daring adventures, wild animals, marauding pirates, handsome brothers, and they live in a TREEHOUSE! I wanted that treehouse so bad it hurt. Then all my dreams came true when I toured a reasonable facsimile at Disneyland. And then my dreams were shattered when they turned Swiss Family Treehouse into Tarzan’s Treehouse. What the …?!!!


A girl from the streets pretends to be the long-lost granddaughter of an eccentric old woman so that she can search for the treasure hidden somewhere in the mansion. (I’m a sucker for movies about hidden treasure.) But then she starts to fall in love with the motley family she planned to steal from, and that’s when it gets good. Disney and Jodie Foster at their best! I will always have a place in my heart for this movie.

The Goonies

At the time that I saw this movie, it seemed like the most amazing, most adventure-filled, funniest, and scariest movie I had ever seen. My parents were in Las Vegas when my siblings and I watched this, and I was truly scared! The Fratellis were frightening (especially Sloth!), the gang was so funny, and their underground adventure and search for pirate treasure is every kid’s dream. And also I was in love with Sean Astin.

The Neverending Story

Back in the days of cassette tapes and VHS, my parents rented this movie for us while they went out on a date. My brother, sister, and I watched it and fell in love. We loved it so much that we had to have it for our very own. So what did we do? We got out our tape recorder, put it up next to the TV as the movie replayed, and recorded the whole movie onto cassette tape. Did we ever listen to that tape? I think only once, but it makes me smile at how ardent our love was for that movie. I believe that tape is still around somewhere.

The Karate Kid

My sister and I used to play that the Kobra Kai gang was chasing us. Also, my sister was the sensei of the karate dojo while I ran the knitting class (“This is a karate dojo, not a knitting class!” – Why did my sis get to do karate while I knitted?!!) Like I said in a previous entry (and I stand by this), I don’t know if you can make a movie better than the Karate Kid – action, romance, character-building, comedy, suspense, and catching flies with chopsticks. What other movie has all that?!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

5 most influential books from my youth

I’ve noticed that the things I saw and read in my childhood made such an impression on me. I’ll read a book or watch a movie now and forget it by next week. But the stuff from my childhood, some of those things I’ll never forget.

It’s hard to quantify which books were the best or meant the most, but the five listed below truly made an impression on my life.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O’Dell

This book was so well-written, so lyrical, so tragic. I was mesmerized by the story of one solitary girl’s survival on an island. It was haunting, and the story stuck with me long after I read it.

Summer of the Monkeys
by Wilson Rawls

This book was so vivid to me, and so magical. The adventures of one boy and his desire to earn money for a horse knew no bounds. The monkeys were hilarious. The story was touching. The little sister Daisy was so influential for me that in 3rd grade my goal in life was to become a nurse. (And then I learned that nursing involved blood and other bodily fluids and my dreams were quickly shattered.) But Summer of the Monkeys is one book I will always treasure.

The Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sara Crewe was the portrait of a princess – kind, giving, loving, open-hearted – even when life turned against her. She started out as the star pupil at a boarding school, but circumstances brought her low and she became the maid to girls she once learned with. Her imagination and buoyant spirit couldn’t keep her down, and this is one book I plan to pass along to my kids.

Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery

Who wasn’t in love with Anne of Green Gables? I think I dreamed of having a bosom friend just as wonderful as Anne was. Her vivid imagination and flair for the dramatic made the books delightful to read. And Gilbert Blythe? Come on! Every girl loved this story, and if you haven’t read it, remedy that right now!

Trixie Belden series
by Julie Campbell / Kathryn Kenny

Oh, Trixie Belden. Loved her name. Loved her detective adventure stories. She and the gang (comprised of her brothers and several friends) were always having adventures. Trixie would discover some kind of mystery, but no one would believe her until she had solved it and saved the day. I think I loved her because while she was nothing like me (she was tomboyish and daring), she was also not the most beautiful, she was clumsy, and she sometimes made mistakes. I related. “Oh whoa!” Plus, this is the series that inspired my dream to become a writer. I am still in the process of collecting all the books in the series (There are 39 total), which isn’t easy as they’ve been out of print for a while.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

maybe we should move to australia...

My husband had one of those days yesterday -- a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I'm not going to chronicle it (he might, who knows), but send some good vibes his way, okay? He could definitely use them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

It's Friday! I haven't been good about updating my blog lately. Maybe because I just don't have a lot to say.

Recently I weighed myself and found out that I had gained two pounds. Fact: If I eat cookies and candy all day at work and don't exercise when I get home, I'm going to gain weight. So...I decided to start up SparkPeople again (I sort of slacked on that) and watch what I eat. John has been good at keeping me motivated for the exercise. He keeps going on DDR after I would have stopped, so I get more exercise in, which is good.

AND, I got enough sleep last night, which is a first. Guess what? I don't feel tired today! I feel wonderful. All I did was go to bed an hour earlier, and look what happens! I can't believe the difference it made for me.

How boring am I? Talking about losing weight and sleeping. Sigh.

Monday, August 21, 2006

monday monday monday

Happy Monday. Top thoughts of the day.

5. I hate work. The situation just gets worse. A coworker was brought into the boss's office and berated for things she had no control over. We all pray for a way out of this office.

4. I taught Relief Society at church yesterday, and the lesson was on families and eternal life. I feel the need to be a better person. I know I need to, but it's so hard to change!

3. I need a haircut desperately. My last haircut was great, and looked sort of like this, though with less bangs. I think I'll do something similar again:

2. Saved by the Bell watching is going strong. I know you're dying for some quotes:

Mr. Belding: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! *What* is going on here?!!
Zack: I like school... it's a good way to kill time between weekends.
Lisa: Screech, would you like to rejoin the human race?
Screech: You always said I wasn't a member.
Lisa: I'll sneak you in.

1. I am so excited! My husband said I can crochet this and he would wear it!:

Friday, August 18, 2006


Guess what we just purchased?
Yep, Saved By The Bell Seasons 3 & 4! (I gave John Seasons 1 & 2 for Christmas.) Any guess as to what we've been doing lately? John and I have some specific goals we're working on, and to stay motivated, we get rewards! This is John's first reward for doing well on his goals. May he accomplish many others and bring us closer to owning all the Saved By The Bell episodes!

We've been watching lots of episodes every night. And sadly, I've been neglecting my crocheting. Usually I crochet while watching episodes, but I got sick of it! While on our trip last week, I crocheted all the way to Nevada, all the way to Utah, and all the way back to Nevada again. In all, I think I crocheted 40 rows of the baby blanket I'm giving to my nephew Isaac. I finished the body but still have the edge to do. I'm just crocheted out!

In other news: I'm Kelly Kapowski. But I have a hard time believing that's true. Which character are you?

Which "Saved By The Bell" Character Are You?

I'm sure I've mentioned before that:
I still hate my job, and that gets me down sometimes, BUT...
It's alright, cause I'm saved by the bell!

Monday, August 14, 2006

weekend update

This past week has been quite busy. First, my younger sister Alexis came to visit for the week. Since she was about 11 and I was living in Provo, Utah, she has come to visit for a week during the summer. Now she's a senior in high school, and the tradition lives on!

We had fun doing DDR together, clothes shopping, watching Saved by the Bell episodes (Oh, Saved by the Bell, how I love you!), and eating delicious food. Good times.

On Friday, John, Alexis and I took a road trip to Nevada to take her back home. Saturday morning we were up early and on the road to St. George to see my cousin's wedding in the St. George temple.

We decided that it would be necessary to visit the St. George Wal-Mart. Why? Well, John had never seen a poligamist before, and we needed to remedy that. (What? You haven't seen a poligamist either? Well, you're missing out on an interesting phenomenon. I direct you to the Wal-Mart store in St. George, Utah, usually in the fabric section. I guarantee you'll see at least one.) I won't tell the rest of that story for now, because I think my husband is going to tell it. But rest assured, poligamist sitings galore were had by all.

Sunday morning we went to church with my family, watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (which was much better than I expected it to be), and then drove back to good old Arizona. I wasn't ready to come back, though. I love being around my family.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

chinese proverbs and calligraphy

A while back I said I would post projects from my Chinese calligraphy class. And today is the day that I do.

I took the class this past spring, but I've been wanting to take it since 2001. It was a dream, and I did it. The reason I wanted to take it? I was in China, November of 2000. My American friends and I were walking through a park in Beijing. The weather was cool, and it was overcast as usual.

As we walked along, I saw an older Chinese man. He was holding a paint brush that was nearly as tall as he was, and he was standing straight, painting Chinese characters on the sidewalk. But the brush was made of sponge, and the 'paint' was actually water. He would paint a row of beautiful Chinese characters and by the time he got through several rows, the first row had faded away to nothing.

It was spontaneous art, and the beauty of it overwhelmed me. The man didn't care how fleeting his art was, he was only intent on creating it. Right then I decided I wanted to learn Chinese calligraphy. I didn't think I'd ever get the chance.

Then I came to ASU in 2001 and saw that they offered Chinese calligraphy courses once a year! The planets never aligned until this year. It was one credit hour; it was fun. Chinese calligraphy is very relaxing, and I think I'm actually good at it!

Here are a couple of projects.

This first one is a rough draft of the final project we had to turn in. I don't know what the writing says; it's from an inscription written on somebody's tomb. This is the project my teacher was so impressed with she offered to frame it while she was in China! I was speechless...

And this last pic is actually a project I did after the class was over. I made it for my husband when he graduated from ASU with his MPA. I can't remember the exact translation, but here's the gist: "When you have climbed the highest peak, the mountains below you seem small."

Anyway, I love Chinese calligraphy. It's an art form that I would like to keep up because it's beautiful, it's relaxing, and it's a hobby that's pretty unique (unless you're in China!).

Friday, August 04, 2006

a handful of nothing

Hey, all! I've been busy the past while, so I haven't been good at updating. Maybe when I start updating again, I'll include pictures more regularly...maybe. Or then again, perhaps I'll start a blog completely elsewhere. Who knows.

Have a good weekend.