Sugarhouse Life Drawing

Dear Blogosphere,

So I had a pretty fun hour-and-a-half today. Nice break from regression, for sure! It was a drawing party and lovely Jessie was the model. I can't draw to save my life (ok, I guess I can draw a triangle) so I brought my cheap Samsung camera. It is pretty nice, but next time I will for sure snag my mum's Rebel.

I've been thinking more about UCD and the U and have been talking to professors and grad students about it. I haven't gotten any super strong recommendations for the U (except for a professor who said he'd like to work with me). One professor told me to think about things in terms of untapped knowledge. Lots to think about. And I have until April 15.

...Dinner: Impossible tonight is for Pixar artists and there are three theme menus: Cars, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille. I think I'm going to go watch it now...



This Time Tomorrow & Buddy Holly

Dear Blogosphere,

Things were pretty crazy today. It was
fun but sort of stressful, too. So I
decided to spend sometime just
listening to music. Here are some
good ones that you might enjoy!

This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks

Buddy Holly by Weezer (sweet video...)




Dear Blogosphere,

This is a cool thing that is spreading on Facebook. Here are the directions:

FIRST Go to Google image search
- Type in your answer to each question
- Choose a picture
- Use this website (
http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php) to make your collage
- Save the image for use in this note
- Post and tag all your friends

1. What is your name? Natalie
2. What is your favorite food? Thai
3. What is your hometown? Salt Lake City
4. What is your favorite color? Aqua
5. What is your favorite movie? Ratatouille
6. What is your favorite drink? Raspberry Lemonade
7. What is your dream vacation? Tour of Scandinavia
8. What is your favorite dessert? Cupcakes
9. What is one word to describe yourself? Enigmatic
10. How are you feeling right now? Optimistic
11. What do you love most in the world? Bunnies
12. What do you want to be when you grow up? One that professes

Mmm... that gluten free cupcake looks delicious.


Dress for Emily's Wedding

Dear Blogosphere,

Here is the dress I will be wearing for Emily's wedding! Isn't it charming? I love the boatneck. I will be wearing a little "peak-a-boo" skirt and a sash in a lighter purple. Ali will wear the opposite colors as me (light purple dress, dark skirt & sash). Now I need to go on a hunt for shoes...



Dear Blogosphere,

Don't ask how this sort of thing happens, but I was reading about the letter "W." It is the only commonly used 2-syllable letter in the English alphabet (œ, as in Cœliac, is the other one). It takes thrice as many syllables to use the abbreviation "www" as it does to actually say "world wide web."

That made me laugh.

And this nerdy moment was brought to you by Natalie and Wikipedia!





Dear Blogosphere,

I've decided to let Ben hang out inside for a bit longer. Since I won't be going to sleep for a bit longer, I figured... why not post again today? Especially when I have good news!

So, I got information about funding for the U's program. I was pleasantly surprised with how much they could offer me. I heard back from UC Davis today, and the offers are essentially the same. So, yay! And... now I have to make a tough decision.

So, the U would be a "safe" choice. I know many people in the department and I know who I could work with. I also would be able to stay living at home (which would be pretty sweet) and, get this, have money left over from the stipend. Davis has more opportunities but some risk. I think I know who I'd like to work with, but I don't really know them yet. It has great research facilities and experts in their fields. Rent in Davis is a lot more than in Salt Lake. I wouldn't be able to get a 1 bed or studio for less than $800, even in the crumbiest of complexes. (I can't have a roommate, unfortunately, because of Celiac Disease.) So, I'd have to rely on family and my precious savings to help me out with food and other necessities.

I think it would look better to whoever it may concern if I got my master's degree from a different school than I'm getting my bachelor's from, too. Though I have this weird superstitious fear that my scholarly achievements are purely conditional (i.e. dependent upon being at the U).

Well, decision time is coming up quick. April 15! I have to figure this out fast... yikes.



Tomorrow is Today

I've been livin' for the moment but I just can't have my way
And I'm afraid to go to sleep 'cause tomorrow is today
People tell me life is sweeter but I don't hear what they say
Nothing comes to change my life so tomorrow is today

I don't care to know the hour 'cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow 'cause I saw it yesterday

So I listen for an answer but the feelin' seems to stay
And what's the use of always dreaming if tomorrow is today
Still I'm waiting for the morning but it feels so far away
And you don't need the love I'm giving so tomorrow is today

Oh, my, I'm goin' to the river. Gonna take a ride and the Lord will deliver me.
Made my bed, I'm gonna lie in it. If you don't come, I'm sure gonna die in it.
Too late. Too much given. I've seen a lot of life and I'm damn sick of livin' it
I keep hopin' that you will pass my way

And some day if your dreams are leavin' you, I'll still believe in you

I don't care to know the hour 'cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow 'cause I saw it yesterday

Though I'm living and I'm singing and although my hands still play
Soon enough it will all be over 'cause tomorrow is today

Dear Blogosphere,

So, as a spring break activity and celebratory gift, I went to Randy's Records and bought a couple of new vinyls. I got Cat Stevens' Teaser and the Firecat, Buddha and the Chocolate Box, and Catch Bull at Four. I also got Billy Joel's Streetlife Serenade. I've been listening to the four over and over again, but tonight I decided to get out some other records I have. The first one I put on was Billy Joel's Cold Spring Harbor. Billy Joel is one of my favorite musicians. I grew up listening to Billy Joel, which was partially my parents' doing and partially my doing. I listened to River of Dreams obsessively (that may explain some of my personality! Ha ha). I also listened to The Bridge and An Innocent Man, as well as a "Best Hits" compilation.

In high school, I started listening to his older and more obscure stuff. Piano Man, The Nylon Curtain, Turnstiles, The Stranger, and others. During my senior year of high school, I got into my parents' record collections. I loved listening to what was new Billy Joel to me....

So, when I pulled out Cold Spring Harbor, I thought, "Man, I haven't listened to this in forever!" Here are the tracks:

Side 1: She's Got a Way, You Can Make Me Free, Everybody Loves You Now, Why Judy Why, Falling of the Rain.
Side 2: Turn Around, You Look So Good to Me, Tomorrow is Today, Nocturne, Got to Begin Again.

I was listening to side two and thought, this may just be my favorite Billy Joel album. Turn Around is fantastic, You Look So Good to Me is just adorable and upbeat, Nocturne is beautiful (Billy Joel's instrumental music is divine), and Got to Begin Again is awesome too. But, as I was listening to Tomorrow is Today, perhaps with the past few months' events, I realized what the song was actually about. I decide to venture over to Wikipedia to read about Cold Spring Harbor and learned a couple of interesting things. Aside from affirming what I thought the song was about (really? furniture cleaner?) I learned that the vinyl I had was from 1983 as opposed to the original release in 1972 (this was Joel's first solo album). The 1983 was remixed to make it more popular, without the help of Billy Joel himself. So, am I dying to buy the original release (it is in my Amazon cart as I type). I found the original version of the song on Youtube (not the one embedded above) and it is spooky. Much more "rock and roll," with strange rhythms and accelerandos, etc. So... this whole record thing may just start to get expensive as I am now in the market for a new turntable, not to mention the many records at Randy's that I wanted to buy (Paul Simon... Bob Dylan... Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass... John Coltrane... Quincy Jones...).

So... I guess that's it. I hope this was as interesting to read as it was to write.

...Now I'm listening to 52nd Street. Oh! I love Half a Mile Away! Enjoy the rest of this lovely Spring Break!



Pictures of Ali in a Spiffy Dress

Dear Blogosphere,

Just another fabulous day in the life of the Sadler girls! Ali got this cool wedding gown at the D.I. (Deseret Industries, for all you non-Utahns, is a second-hand store in Utah owned by the LDS Church). We decided to take pictures of her to add to our collection of awesome photos (mostly of our ancestors) in our new/old library. The last photo is the one that we are planning to use.



Obama Ends Stem Cell Funding Ban!!

Obama ends stem cell funding ban

US President Barack Obama has lifted restrictions on federal funding for research on new stem cell lines.

Mr Obama signed an executive order in a major reversal of US policy, pledging to "vigorously support" new research.

Ex-President George W Bush blocked the use of any government money to fund research on human embryonic stem cell lines created after 9 August 2001.

Scientists say stem cell research will lead to medical breakthroughs, but many religious groups oppose the research.

Announcing the new policy, Mr Obama said he was authorising a change "so many scientists and researchers and doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for and fought for these past eight years".

Opinion polls suggest most Americans support stem cell research, reports the BBC's Richard Lister, in Washington, but the National Right to Life Committee described the move as a "slippery slope". It has also been condemned by the Vatican.

"At this moment the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown and it should not be overstated," Mr Obama said.

We will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction
US President Barack Obama

"But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand and possibly cure some of our most devastating diseases and conditions."

He invoked the example of the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who became a staunch advocate of stem cell research after being paralysed in a horse-riding accident.

Analysts say Mr Obama's decision could also lead Congress to overturn a ban on spending tax dollars to create embryos.

That ban, known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, has been in place since 1996 and renewed every year by Congress.

But Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette told the New York Times newspaper that several anti-abortion colleagues were open to the possibility of reversing the ban if this was necessary to help research.

The stem cell decision is indeed a repudiation of a Bush policy but it is more: the strange death of socially conservative America, which began in the mid-terms in 2006, continues apace

Before signing the executive order, Mr Obama said he hoped Congress would act on a bipartisan basis "to further support this research".

Stem cells are cells with the capacity to turn into any other type of human cell, be it bone, muscle or nerve cell.

One embryo can provide a limitless supply because the cell lines can be grown indefinitely.

But the use of human embryonic stem cells in research is controversial with some campaigners saying it is unethical.

The practice of creating embryos is routine in private clinics, but the ban put constraints on federal researchers even before the restrictions imposed by former President Bush, forcing them to use embryos left over from fertility treatments.

Correspondents say the policy change is part of President Obama's pledge to make clear that his administration wants scientific research to be free from political interference.

Announcing his development, he described himself as a man of faith who had carefully weighed the implications of the decision, and said moving forward required a "delicate balance".

Like Mr Bush, President Obama has profound Christian beliefs but he has defined the issue in terms of integrity.

To that end, he also signed a memorandum directing the White House's science and technology office to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government.

And he vowed that only research meeting strict ethical guidelines would be allowed, stressing that under no circumstances would stem cells be used for research into human cloning.

"It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society," Mr Obama said.

Researchers 'freed'

The move to lift the ban on federal funding was welcomed by stem cell researchers but criticised by opponents and social conservatives.

Peter Wilderotter, president of the Christopher and Dana Foundation, praised Mr Obama for "removing politics from science" and freeing researchers.

President Bush and other social conservatives argued that the embryos are human life and therefore should not be destroyed. Mr Bush twice vetoed congressional attempts to have the ban lifted.

Following Mr Obama's announcement, John Boehner, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, said the president had undermined "protections for innocent life, further dividing our nation at a time when we need greater unity to tackle the challenges before us".

Story from BBC NEWS:



Davis, California

I have returned from Davis! It was great weather; sunshine, few clouds, and not a drop of rain. I arrived early afternoon and got checked into my hotel. I walked not too far to downtown, where I was completely charmed. The buildings are fairly new (meaning 1950s-on) and they are small. A few of them have apartments above, but nothing is taller than three stories. The huge trees tower above. Most were leaf-less, but quite a few were blossoming. There are only a few chain stores downtown (I can only name Chipotle and 31 flavors). Almost everything is mom-and-pop.
I had heard of a restaurant downtown called Farmer's Kitchen Cafe that had a totally gluten-free menu. I was quite hungry, so made somewhat of a bee line to the restaurant. There I was greeted with friendly staff and was handed a menu. Sandwiches, soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, and desserts -- all gluten-free, bioregional, and organic! Welcome to heaven! I decided to eat one of my favorite sandwiches: the BLT (with bacon, or a vegetarian substitute, an heirloom tomato, and romaine lettuce). I had to wait a while, but could hear and smell the bacon cooking. They do not precook anything, which could easily be tasted. I meant to take a picture of the BLT, but was so hungry that I practically breathed in half of it. I ate the second half and completely enjoyed the buttery bread (I had to pull a cook/server aside to make sure it was gluten free!) and delicious tomato.
I then headed to UC Davis' campus where I was completely blown away by all of the bicycles! They even had bicycle round-a-bouts. I wandered around for about three hours, watching bicyclists, women and men's tennis practice, listening to two professors discuss a soil quality exam, and chatting with various squirrels, ducks, and rabbits. I found the Center for Child and Family Studies, where I checked out the playground and saw some cute cottages located very close to the center (they appear to be $900/month for rent... I want one...). I wandered back through town, and got dinner at Chipotle (I know, I know, but I was tired and knew that they were good with gluten-free diners). I then headed back to the hotel where I met another recruit and watched some mind numbing television until a fellow suite mate arrived.
The next two days were packed full! Quite a bit of fun! The first day and first half of the second day sort of made me wonder why I was there. But by the last two tours, I was starting to see where I would fit in. I won't bore you all with details. :-D
I spent Saturday at the farmer's market. The produce looked so good, but I only had the chance to eat two apples and a tangelo. I saw some adorable piglets, a baby lamb, and some goats. I then went to lunch at the Farmer's Kitchen Cafe, ate a chicken salad sandwich, and bought six rolls, some lasagna, and two boxes of cookies to bring home. Delicious.
It looks like I will have to put my photos in another posting. So look above!