I Am...

One Annotated Bibliography and
One Bus Ride and
One Plane Trip
Away from Home.

In Thirteen Hours and Five-Hundred and Fifty Miles
I Will Be Home.


Lisa Jane

Lisa and I danced together for several years at Janet's. I remember a few of our chats before ballet class would start. I was about 10, I'd say, and she was 13 or so. She and I would laugh, she would give me fashion advice, and we became pretty good friends. And sometimes we'd get in trouble for talking during barre. She stopped taking at Janet's but then we ran into each other again at Highland. She was a senior -- in dance company, of course -- and I was a freshman. I haven't kept in touch... but I was speechless when I found out that she had passed away. So, here is her obituary.

June 14, 1985 - October 17, 2009

Lisa Layton Okland passed away in Tempe, AZ on October 17, 2009. She was born to Clark and Renda Layton in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 14, 1985. An honors graduate of Highland High School in 2003, Lisa was a student leader and served as Dance Company President. She married her high school sweetheart John Christopher Okland on June 23, 2006 in the Salt Lake City Temple. Lisa graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography. An accomplished dancer, artist, photographer and triathlete, Lisa set a standard of excellence.

Spending time with family was Lisa’s greatest joy. She cherished her role as a wife; her greatest blessing was her loving and supportive husband, Chris. They shared many adventures in the great outdoors from the deserts of the Southwest to the Fjords of Norway, often joined by their dog Ralph and always by Lisa’s camera. Children adored Lisa! She lovingly nurtured many children in her family as an aunt, in her community as a nanny, and abroad as a teacher in Ukraine and Mexico. Sweet, giving, creative, selfless, kind, energetic, fun, thoughtful, and helpful, Lisa rained light and love on our lives. She was a blessing from above. Her grace, beauty and goodwill touched and charmed us. Always expressing appreciation, Lisa was a supreme example of what it means to be grateful.

Lisa choreographed her life with passion using every part of herself: a mind for learning, an eye for composition, an ear for listening, a heart of kindness, a hand outreached, a smile for everyone, and of course . . . a sense of humor.

Indeed Lisa showed us all how to “take life by the hand and dance.”

Lisa is survived by her husband John Christopher Okland, her parents Clark Layton (Christine), Renda Layton (Robert Strong); her grandparents Arthur and Joy Wiscombe, Richard Layton; her brother Jacen; sisters Melissa, Katherine; half sister Elizabeth; and step siblings Brian, Randy, Darren, David, Amy.

In honor of Lisa’s passion for dance and photography and her dedication to the pursuit of higher education, a memorial scholarship fund has been established in her name. Contributions can be made online at www.slc.k12.ut.us/sites/slef/ or mailed to the Salt Lake Education Foundation, Lisa Layton Okland Scholarship 440 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 12:00 noon, at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 South Wasatch Blvd., Salt Lake City, UT. Friends and family may gather Thursday October 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ, and Friday, October 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT and from 10:45 am to 11:45 am prior to the services at the Monument Park Stake Center. Interment at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.


Cinnamon Sugar Chips

So, while reading about infant cognition, I started craving a churro. I knew that wasn't a possibility, so my mind wandered to gluten-free snickerdoodles or just vanilla ice cream with cinnamon in it. Then I remembered my corn tortillas for which the clock is ticking! I decided to turn them into cinnamon sugar deliciousness! Easy as can be and very economical, too!

What you'll need:
3 corn tortillas (I used white, but it doesn't matter)
Vegetable oil (around a half-cup)
Ground cinnamon

The gear:
A medium sized saucepan
A large slotted spoon
Plate topped with paper towel

Pour the oil into the sauce pan. Make sure you have enough to cover the bottom and come up about an inch or two. Heat the oil on near-high.

Cut your tortillas into eighths. Once oil seems hot, test it with one tortilla triangle. If it bubbles, you are in business! Add two or three more. Once golden brown, quickly remove the chips from the oil with your slotted spoon and drop 'em on the plate. Immediately sprinkle with a good amount of sugar and a little cinnamon. Repeat until you have a plate full of goodness. Give one a little taste. If it is lacking flavor, add more sugar!

These would go lovely with some vanilla ice cream or even a fruit salsa! Double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe if you've got friends coming over!




"I apologize for the length of this letter, but I didn't have time to make it shorter."
-Mark Twain

Dear Blogosphere,

Summarizing is hard. Shorter papers are harder than longer papers.
Maybe you don't believe it. But it's true.


P.S. Hello to my readers in SoCal and Japan!


Where in the World is Davis, CA?

Dear Blogosphere,

Darling Jenn made an inquiry on my last post as to where Davis is in relation to San Francisco! I decided to snag a map off of Google to give you an idea! So, Davis is about 20 minutes outside of Sacramento. The Amtrak train follows I-80, down all the way to Emeryville (not labeled, but just south of Berkeley and north of Oakland). It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to get to Emeryville, then about a half-hour to get across the Oakland Bridge and into the city by bus.

I consider that to be quite close! Indeed, many UC Davis students go home to San Francisco on the weekend. UC Davis was originally an extension of UC Berkeley (the University Farm). I think it's a bit far to commute, but hey, it's California! Someone probably does it!

So, while this map is up, I might as well tell you about some other spots I want to visit/have visited. Walnut Creek is a gorgeous town! I would love to live there. There is an $8 bus to UC Berkeley on the weekdays, so in the future, if I decide to go to San Francisco on a weekday, I might take it and then take BART into the city. But I also want to check out Berkeley, so that will probably be my next trip.

I've heard great things about Suisun, so I want to go check that out and take a tour of the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. I also want to go kick it in amongst some redwoods. And, of course, I want to go see some tasty wine country!

So there you have it!

Writing from Davis,


San Francisco!

Dear Blogosphere,

Here are my favorite pictures of my trip to San Francisco! They are in reverse chronological order... so, keep that in mind. :-)

Above: Me at Pier 39. A storm was starting to blow in!

Above: The sea lions! Arrgk! Arrgk!

Above: Me kicking it on the pier.

Above: The boats!

Above: The Historical 'F' cable car! This goes along the wharf, through the shopping district, and apparently up to Castro (famous for good old Milk)!

Above: Ding ding ding!

Above: Shopping district/Union Square-ish area.

San Francisco is my favorite city. I love the architecture, the hills (get those thighs burnin'!), the bay, the seagulls, the sea lions, the smell of sourdough, the shopping, the people! I plan to visit often!

Thanks for readin'!


October Sobfest and News!

If you haven't seen The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, get your hands on it as soon as possible! I decided to watch it because it was on Netflix online, I am in love with San Francisco, and I am fascinated by birds. But I forgot that it is a sobfest! So I spent a good twenty minutes of the film crying! If you watch it, you will know why. But it's just one of those few films that is inspirational, through and through.

So, after watching it, I decided to read up on when and where to visit the parrots on my next trip to San Francisco. The babies take flight in September, so I'm thinking that it's not too late.

So news! I will be coming home for one of my two favorite holidays! Halloween! I'll also be in town for Ben and my mom's birthday! I'm so excited. I am starting to get homesick so I definitely need some sister and mom time! Yay!

Well, I am going to put together a San Francisco post. So... look above! Haha!



Manicish Monday

To do list!

-Cook lunch + dinner
-Tidy up apartment
-3 journal articles + attempt to get ahead
-1 outline of an additional journal article
-Plan meals for the week
-Go to the grocery store

Woo hoo!

P.S. I love this bag. So cute and it's the dimensions I'm looking for to tote my huge binder to class + purse-y stuff. What do you think? And where might I find the money to buy it?

P.P.S. I went to San Francisco on Saturday. I have some pictures to post. I'll post them soon!


Graduate School

Dear Blogosphere,

I have been trying to think of a word to describe my experiences so far. I have come up with two. It's both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Here are some details:

-By the end of the quarter I will estimate that I will have read at least 3,500 pages. I read about 350-400 pages a week.
-This isn't "easy" reading by any means. For one class, we only read chapters from the Handbook of Child Psychology. These chapters make journal articles look like picture books! It makes me miss textbooks!
-I'm taking three courses. The first focuses on early development (conception through 5 years). So far we've been reading quite about about genetics and neural development. The second is where we read The Handbook. The third is sort of an independent research course. My faculty advisor and I come up with reading lists and at the end of the quarter I'll write a traditional term paper or an annotated bibliography. I ultimately want to look at romantic relationships during adolescence and emerging adulthood. For now, I am getting background information about emerging adulthood and peer relationships in adolescence.
-I used to procrastinate by hanging out on Facebook or chatting on MSN. My new procrastination techniques include: hole punching, printing off articles, cooking, and reading for another class.
-After a weekend of reading, my eyes hurt so bad that I don't want to watch TV or look at a computer screen!
-In order to maintain my sanity, I have required that I leave enough time (or make enough time) in the day to do one of the following things: go on a walk, knit, or write in a journal. It keeps my brain from melting!

Now, I'm looking back on this, and it does look a little like a list of complaints. So I want to add that...


Sounds a little masochistic, perhaps, but it's like those few really, really good classes in college where you work your butt off but every minute you put into learning the information you get right back. I'm looking forward to December 11, when I sit back, relieved that the quarter is over, and am able to look back at who I was in September and smile.

I am amazed at how much information I'm processing. There's a lot of really cool concepts to wrap my head around!

Until next time,