The Songs of 2010 + Stats

The songs that aided in my survival and made 2010 that much more fabulous.

Things You Think
Heels Over Head
Funny Little Frog
I'm On a Boat 
From Above
Tighten Up
Little Boxes

It's been a fun, crazy, awesome, surprising, busy, happy, intense year.
I have a feeling 2011 is going to be all that and more.

Now for some fun facts! This blog had...

  • 870 visitors with 2998 visits and 7420 page views!
  • That's an average of 2.47 page views per visit!
  • The five top pages viewed were: the home page, Montreal, About Me, Marimekko and Converse, and .FIVE.
  • Visitors came from 54 countries! Top 10 countries by number of visits: United States, Canada, Brazil, Finland, United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland!
Thanks for a great year of blogging, Dear Blogosphere. Here's to 2011!


library hopping

Cool, eh? (snapped with iPhone, not my instax mini)
I took my camera out on an adventure today! My sister needed to get her hands on a book at the University of Utah's library, so we went up there. I snapped a photo of her perusing the archives. She stayed up there, getting work done, exclaiming that "I can see myself studying here!" Yay!

I left and drove around the U, feeling nostalgic for my undergrad. Then I went to the main library which is probably one of my favorite buildings in Salt Lake. The above photograph is of a cool piece in the middle of the library. Tiny books with tiny butterflies make up the head. Isn't it sweet? I snapped a photo there as well, which turned out dark and a little menacing. By the way, I am loving my new camera...

(I know it's lame to post a photo taken with my phone. I'll be scanning in my instant photos and posting my favorites on here once I get back to California.)

I've got an appointment with my favorite hairstylist, Casey, tomorrow morning. I'm going to stick with the bob I have had, I think. I'm particularly excited to gush about all the excitement in my life. Gush. I love that word.

And now I'm going to try to get some work done. It's so hard to work when I'm in a good mood. :-(

Woe is me. Haha.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

The big gifts this year were china sets for Em and Taylor, snowshoes for Ali, tv for Wes, and...

A sweet instant camera for me!

This blog is about to get a little more lomographic!

Merry Christmas Eve!

From the family who celebrates Christmas three days late!

I've had a very lovely day. So much to write about! I went to lunch with three of my friends from elementary school, Abbi, Nessa, and Suz. It was very fun to catch up -- all of them are doing amazing, remarkable things! Nessa also brought along Ev, her 6 month old super cute and chubby boy. So sweet. And I headed over to *her* house (I have a friend with a mortgage and a baby!) for a grand tour of the relic from 1960. Holy pink oven, boomerang countertops, and vintage furniture! So awesome!

Then tonight my mom gave me copies of a whole bunch of old family photos that she has scanned. It was fun to tag faces and take notes! Here are a few of my favorites... there are so many good ones but I'll only post five... six!

The Andruses go to LA! On the far right in the white shirt, is my great-grandmother, Pearl. And on the front row on the right, you see a younger gal. She's somehow related to me, too, but directly next to her on the left is Manomas. Manomas is my great great grandmother who was... is a plural wife. I am four generations from polygamy. Pretty crazy, huh? 

My grandparents, Hap and Roma, on their wedding day!

My great grandmother, Clara, holding my grandmother and her twin, Ralph!

My grandmother holding my mom! 

My grandfather and a Model T!

My great grandfather, Clair, playing the fiddle. His twin sister, Orphie, is front and center.
Isn't this photograph all sorts of fun?!

My great grandfather (Clair, again) with my great great grandfather, Richard (not a polygamist) preparing their honey to be sold at the fair. My great great grandfather was a beekeeper AND had a freaking amazing beard.
I think they're quite enjoyable to look at and I'm looking forward to drilling my grandmother for more information!


boxing day

Holiday gift from the City o' Salt Lake

Now, which should I pick?

Still in Utah... a book display at my supermercado

So, the vague posts continue. And I might seem a bit bipolar as I am SUPER happy. Happy day! Something exciting. Once I get the "go ahead," be prepared... YAY!

Just a nice day, you know? One of those days that makes the others worthwhile. 2011 is going to be fantastic.

In other news, I am planning a trip to San Francisco on the 2nd or the 4th. Anybody interested in joining me? :-)


December 25 Festivities

So, my family is celebrating Christmas or what-have-you on the 28th. BUT we had some fun today too. Photographic evidence follows...

"Hey, Ali! That's creepy... go stand by him."

Santa heads as ornaments... creepy Christmas continues.

We had breakfast with our dad at Little America.... Had to get a shot of the chandelier + Creepy Christmas + Ali.

THE best dessert I've ever had (flourless chocolate torte with ganache and crushed candy canes). It's wonderful news for the Morris clan to have a pastry chef in the family! Thanks so much, Misty! I'm probably going to eat the rest tonight...

Wes in shock that I've never heard of John Carpenter let alone seen any of his films. 

My favorite redheads helping cutie pies Madelyn, Clara, and Owen build a Buzz Lightyear spaceship out of Legos.

Some of the Morris gang! (From left: Misty, some gal, Wes, Ali, Paula, mum, grandmum, and Alan.)
Hope you all had a Happy Christmas (or what-have-you)!



My apologies for the vagueness of my 3 AM post. It was vague because it had to be. Family stuff, you know? But I really needed the emotional release of throwing it out there. So, that's how it goes.

Now for a game! Pick your favorite(s) of the following:



Pearl Bracelet


Sapphire Ring

thanks for taking this so well.

It's all ambiguous. It's anger and apathy. It's relief and fear. I want to run from it but I can't just leave. I'm so confused. I want to ignore it.

I wish he had asked, "How are you taking this?" Not thanked me for "taking this so well." Maybe I was, at that moment, taking it just fine. Because I had to. What other choice did I have?

I feel very alone... sad... overwhelmed. So I'm shopping on Amazon to distract myself. Maybe I can ignore all of that until later today. I have a gift card. And a few ideas.

Sexy, fantastic speakers.
Some Le Creuset cookware.
Save it and eventually buy a Mac Mini.
An instant camera.
Textbooks, et cetera.




I've returned to my old Ben Folds (Five) habit and decided to watch the Ben Folds with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra concert again. I left my copy on my hard drive in my apartment but fortunately it's on the YouTubes. Here are my three favorites. Really interesting arrangements.


holiday greetings

Friend, Brittany, posted her family holiday letter. It's completely enjoyable. Ours is not quite as hilarious but I thought the Blogosphere might like to read the summaries of my siblings' 2010s (compiled by my mum).

Ali just learned she will be representing Skyline High School as their Sterling Scholar nominee in the area of Social Science. She works as a docent at the DUP Museum and has formed a history club. She was captain of the Skyline women's tennis team (State Champs). She enjoyed a summer trip to France, Italy, Austria, and Germany to study Art History.

Natalie is living in Davis, CA, enjoying the challenges of graduate school and discovering the beautiful Golden State. Her thesis topic is on social and emotional development in adolescence and she is excited to present her findings at a conference in Montreal this spring. She says that 2010 has brought her a lot of growth and happiness! Here's to 2011!

Wes is still on the map in Sugarhouse and is embarking on a new career path as a Pharmacy Technician. His zine was one of three nominated in City Weekly's 2010 Artys issue. Wes has a vast knowledge of pop culture and is always ready with random facts about the latest offerings on the big screen.

Emily and Taylor are enjoying their home in Bountiful. They have remodeled the garage, improved their yard and painted until each room is the perfect shade. They enjoy working together at home and at KSL. Emily is the producer of KSL's new Sunday morning show "Sunday Edition." Taylor is a wonderful addition to our family (and great tech support).

Yay family!

treats galore and xkcd

Santa cupcakes for Ali's yearbook party!
Lots of delicious things around here, blogosphere! I left the kitchen while my sister and mom made and decorated the above cupcakes -- cute and I'm sure scrumptious -- on account of the presence of flour. Last night I made Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chex Mix for her Spanish class party. Ha ha, so good. But it's really difficult for a Chex Mix to go wrong.

Tonight, I made Tyler Florence's Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. I've made them before but this time they were WAY spicier... I thought extra green chiles would be good and not too spicy. Not wise move! Fortunately, it's nothing a little extra sour cream can't cure. Heh heh. Anyway, it's a great recipe.

I've really enjoyed being able to cook again. Living alone, I can cook but I can't really make soups and casseroles because I can never finish them before they become something of a science experiment in my fridge. I also can't cook anything with raw meat as I can't bring myself to touch it (at some point, I really need to tackle this fear). Plus, cooking is much more enjoyable when others are around to sample the fruit of my labor... and when someone else cleans up!

So, to switch topics completely, I've been catching up on xkcd tonight. Lots of great ones. Here are a few that tickled my funny bone (click to make them larger):

Similes, metaphors, and analogies:

Great idea:

Everybody needs to have some standards:

Depth-first searches:



vintage holiday cheer!

My sister and brother-in-law, Emily and Taylor, went vintage for their holiday decor. I love it. A couple of times during my childhood, my mom would pull out her 1950s or 1960s, most likely toxic, bubble lights to decorate the tree. Nothing like the combination of children and bubble lights! But seriously, no lights are cooler than these. Or hotter, actually. Ha ha.

Anyway, Em and Taylor... nicely done. :-)


my grandma's kitchen

There is one place in my world that has never changed. The earthy, funky striped wallpaper, dark cabinetry, delightful mustard yellow oven. This place is my grandmother's kitchen.

Just looking at these photographs elicits all sorts of food-based memories. Homemade vanilla ice cream with raspberries from Bear Lake, my grandmother's inventive soups, her simple but mind-blowingly delicious toast. I remember spending time with her and my grandfather after preschool, I wish I could recall the conversations we had, but I remember once remarking to my grandfather that he used too much pepper and that pepper made me sneeze, all cartoon-like.

It's incredibly comforting to me to know that no matter where I go and no matter how I or the world around me changes, that this kitchen will remain the same.

Plus, it's just so perfectly retro.


holiday cheer, etc.

Holiday Cheer:

Our tiny, elegant tree!
I love my mom's ornaments -- especially the one to the left.
An ill Ali watching a holiday spectacular. 
Et Cetera:

Made a totally delicious soup for dinner. Here's the recipe.
Gentle reminders at Macy's that I'm definitely in Utah.
For the unacquainted.
Lovely day in ye old Salt Lake. Woke up late, picked out a tree, rescued my sister from the literally toxic atmosphere of her worksite, did some gift shopping, cooked dinner (so good!) while my sisters decorated the tree (so lovely!), and then we watched the Glee Christmas special. All of this with delightful chit-chat and banter. AND there was some bunny time. Ben is not too pleased that one of his favorite spots (beneath the baby grand) has been taken over by presents. So he worked on moving them to create a path while I bugged him with a shiny garland. When I stopped, he slowly, one foot by one foot walked toward me and pushed his face against my knees. That means one thing, we both agree, it's time to cuddle. Aww, Ben. You little rascal, I love you, too.


five covers

Five Things Friday!

Five covers I love.

Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps -- Cake

Sweet Child O' Mine -- Taken By Trees

Songs of Love -- Ben Folds

Sweet Jane -- Cowboy Junkies

Common People -- William Shatner

the morning and the mimosa

Neighbor Sarah and I had breakfast this morning to celebrate my surviving fall quarter and her acceptance into the English Honor's program. It was a perfect way to end 2010 in Davis. Sarah and champagne and fresh squeezed, pulpy orange juice, conversation and laughs. And a few photographs.

Thumbs up!

Tonight, I'll be sleeping in my warm, turquoise bedroom. :-)


Happy December 16!

My darling neighbor told me tonight that she was surprised I got it all done by Dec. 15.

Haha. It was a little crazy there, let's not lie. And I've had way too much fun this quarter, too much daydreaming.

So what happened Fall Quarter 2010?

  • Three 16-page stats papers. The big three wacky analyses of variance: Straight ANOVA, MANOVA, and ANCOVA (but because of my research question was a MANCOVA). Came out of the class disliking ANOVA. Good old regression is the way to go, people. But don't tell that to my thesis.
  • Wrote a measly 35 pages of my thesis. *sigh*
  • Kept up with season 5 of Dexter. Was a little underwhelmed by the finale... but really, there's no way to top Arthur Mitchell. Perfect villain.
  • Made lots of delicious meals with groceries from the new TJ's!
  • Had a really crazy experience that I can't blog about. Sorry. 
  • Two observations of adolescents in their natural habitat. I took video of the second observation, sped it up, and set it to music.
  • Played a mad game of trivia at Sophia's with Clinton, Caitlin, Carolyn, and Stephanie. We lost. But we had fun doing it! 
  • Found out I'm presenting my research in Montreal next year!
  • Read about 1,150 pages on peer relationships in adolescence. (I already miss that class!)
  • 15 page paper about men's height and dating status. Very enjoyable even though the paper wasn't my best work.
  • Hung out with Caitlin a lot!
  • Didn't see Stephanie enough!
  • Two PhD applications done!
  • Presented a delightful paper written in the 1940s about homophily. Homophily is one of my favorite words ever, FYI. I could say it all day. Also, I love old psychological and sociological research. The studies and methods are so quaint!
  • Presented with the best stats group ever -- Caitlin, Jon, and Lisa -- Jon's work on attachment and mindfulness.
  • Made new friends! And old friends new again! Yay.
  • Got some sort of flu/bad cold that knocked me out for a solid week, mid-November.
  • Revised a study for IRB approval. It got approved with my one revision!

All in 10 weeks.

Now I'm going to finish cleaning my apartment and pack for home. Two weeks in wonderful Salt Lake City with even more wonderful people.



I love when my screen looks like this.
It gives me a sense of peace.

Of course, I'm about to start messing it up again,
but I thought I ought to share a moment of serenity.


new years resolution

Quick post before I crash for 2.5 hours.

Just finished a 15 page paper in 17 hours. Oh yeah! Is it any good? I don't know. I'm just glad it's done.

I'm feeling completely awful about myself, academically speaking. I feel incredibly self-conscious and a little bit like I might be engaging in some good old self-sabotage... without my consent.

I'm having a bit of an existential crisis. And it's not a good time to have one. I don't know when the appropriate time for existential crises are, but never when you're up the creek I am. I ought to be paddling, not overthinking myself and life and what I want to do and if any of it is actually worth it -- to me or anyone else. I have this overwhelming fear that everyone is just being nice and secretly they all think I'm a grand ticking time bomb of idiocy and crazy.

I want to take some time off to think though things. I know I'm doing the best I can with the tools I have, and I'm working hard to sharpen and improve those tools, so that's what I think success is, more or less. But I think some time off would help me clarify my goals in life and in academia. Hopefully, I'll get into a PhD program and won't have the huge unknowns hanging above my head. You know, where will I be living in 6 and 9 months? Agh.

I know I'll feel better when I get on that plane heading to Salt Lake. I hope to clear my head and take a few days off to enjoy regular people things, then take some time to think about it all without the stresses of this quarter prodding me in one irrational direction or another.

It will be nice to get together with my Salt Lake friends. I hope you are all ready to see me unravel a bit. As Caitlin described, I'm a poaching egg that needs a little vinegar to hold me together. That's precisely how I've been feeling. There's just been too much emotion here. Good and, well, bad. Perhaps you guys can be my vinegar. :-) I can't wait to hear about what you all have been up to. I want the skinny, the 411, the juice.

Sleep now.

EDIT: Left out the main point for this post! Never again. I'm not doing a quarter this way again. My new year's resolution is to... do it differently.


eating for two

Peurk tod... the "root" cause of my future untimely demise. 
I am so ashamed of what I am doing right now...

This is the third time since Thursday (go ahead, calculate it) that I've eaten Thai food in a restaurant. And I just ordered a huge noodle dish and a deep fried appetizer. And I'm alone.

BUT! The way I justify it is that I'm eating for two: Baby thesis and I.

Yep, I just typed that. Nope, I'm not going to delete it.

I'm feeling better.

I'm feeling better since I surrendered.
You can't climb until you're ready to fall.
You're not a landmine. You're not a goldmine.
No, you're not mine at all.

-Ben Lee

I've come to a place of acceptance. It's peaceful in the 24-hour study room. I'm not sleepy now. I think I've caught my second wind. But I don't think I'll be drinking any more Red Bull today or listening to any more Lady Gaga. I just want to melt away. Not explode.

Two and a half more hours to try and prove that I am not a total slacker.

Let's keep doing this thing.


Dear Blogosphere,

I don't think I'm going to make it this time.
I don't want to be just another grad school casualty.
But I'd also enjoy a little sleep.

Two marshmallows on the 16th.
All of this will so be worth it.



still autumn

Look at them! This is one of the many things I love about California. It's December 11 and I'm still enjoying autumn.

So, as I was putting my phone away after snapping these, I heard, "NATALIE!!" and turned around to see Sarah and Joe across the street. They were on a photographing date and took some candid pictures of me taking pictures. Haha. Fortunately I decided to wear jeans instead of sweats to run my errands...

And since I know Sarah's going to read this: I have a great idea for a photograph of you and Joe! :-)


i feel therefore i am

I am
happy and
anxious and
nervous and
overwhelmed and
ecstatic and
exhausted and
grateful and
hopeful and
terrified and
proud and
queasy and
warm and
stressed and
overwhelmed (again).


Caitlin and I are having a sleepover! 

It's just like we're in junior high... 
well, except for all this paper and thesis writing business.

Yay for not sufferin' alone!



I am happy.

It really isn't more complicated than that.

I'd elaborate but I think I'll let that statement lay there,
quietly soaking up the late morning, California sunshine.



Or whatever they say.
Running statistics...

No valid cases were found.
Execution of this command stops.

What? Decided to explore my variables.

There are no valid cases. Statistics cannot be computed.

Almost start to cry. Then I go to close my data set and reopen it.
What's this data set called? Oh, I don't know...


Nice. Real nice. You see, when one of your variables is girls' body dissatisfaction and there are no girls in your data... things start to fail. *Smack*


A bunch of miscellaneous photographs from November...

Pomegranate season! Mmm...

I'm sorry, but did I really need all these options?
I just wanted whatever would make me human again.

Nothing like a lazy day soup!

Snapped this from my thesis advisor's door...

Oh, Zombies. Consider yourselves starved!
Back to work!