6 Hours in San Francisco!

I had a lovely day in my favorite city! Here's what I did and where I went! (I apologize in advance for the materialism!)

Got a little work done on the Amtrak train. But just a little.

What you see in the window appears to be a reflection... well, it is. But what's really on the other side of the BART train is... the TRANSBAY TUBE! That's right! It goes under the the bay. So freaking awesome. And BART from Richmond is totally the way to go. It is a slick transfer from Amtrak!

Union Square! Interesting weather today, everything from downpour to mist. But it was pretty warm. Certainly warmer than when I was there last year!

First stop was Tiffany and Company. I dropped off a bunch of pieces to get cleaned and polished. The gal who assisted me was very friendly. She asked me about some of the older pendants I have. She didn't recognize two of them! Yep, I'm pretty old school. I also sent in a ring to get resized. I asked where they send them and she said New York... well, actually New Jersey. I laughed and mentioned that no one wants to be associated with New Jersey post Jersey Shore. She brought up Snooki and we talked about her and her *smarts* for a few minutes. I have never felt so sophisticated in my life.

Next, I hit up the Paul Frank Store. It was fun to walk around but I think PF caters to a different crowd than me. Honestly, I haven't bought anything PF since high school and that's probably for a reason. I was tempted by one of the iPhone cases but $40?! I'll take my business to...

Kate Spade. Which I did. The hard polka dot case is on my birthday wish list, but I wanted to see it in person. It is oh-so-cute!

Then I crossed the street over to Coach to check out some earrings also on my birthday wish list. They are even cuter in person than they are on the Internet! I really like the Poppy line. They have some really funky plaid bags and, you know, I'm a sucker for plaid.

And to H&M! I love H&M for so many reasons. There are some really funky, crazy clothes that no one besides mannequins should wear. Another reason is that it is pretty darn cheap. And the last reason is that sometimes the clothes fit you so strangely you just have to laugh. I tried on about 20 sweaters and only 4 of them fit properly. Two of them were "meh" so I tossed them. I ended up getting a really cute, long black cardigan and a black sweater dress. I also got my first pair of leggings (to go with the sweater dress) since third grade. The sweater dress definitely needs something. A colorful scarf or belt.

I also went to Saks Fifth Avenue but didn't take a picture because that place is like a museum! There are a lot of fun coats available there... and none of them are under $3000. The highlight was when I found a sale rack that had some pretty hideous blouses on it. I looked at the tag. Originally $396 now just $216! I did think, for a split second, "that's a great deal!" Then laughed to myself. Someone came over to ask me if she could be of assistance and I said no, "But these are such a great deal!" Hahahaha.

On my way to Sugar Cafe, I saw my name on some signs. Haha.

This is especially for my favorite brother-in-law!

Inside Sugar Cafe in the Theatre District where I got some work done.

My "artsy" photograph of the trip! A BART train speeding through Powell Station.

Goodbye gorgeous, huge, harsh, cold, lovely bay! I'll be back soon.

It's nice to have an escape from the usual every-so-often. And San Francisco is anything but usual. Such a great mix of people, charm, architecture, and landscape. I think it's the New York City of the West Coast.

other great things boyd k packer has said

We've always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians. The counsel has been wise. You may say again, "Well, I know of exceptions." I do, too, and they've been very successful marriages. I know some of them. You might even say, "I can show you local Church leaders or perhaps even general leaders who have married out of their race." I say, "Yes--exceptions." Then I would remind you of that Relief Society woman's near-scriptural statement, "We'd like to follow the rule first, and then we'll take care of the exceptions."
1977. One year before Black men were allowed to receive the priesthood and ten years after interracial marriages were legalized with Loving v. Virginia.

The counsel has been wise.

Read the speech in full: Follow the Rule.


"your love was a radical storm"


To San Francisco for studying and (mostly window) shopping!

And if you clicked on the map and looked a bit closer, you would notice that Tiffany's is my point of reference. I will only be window shopping there... slowly walking past their signature tiny displays....

I'll take pictures so the blogosphere can pretend it was here with me!

P.S. My trip to San Francisco is pretty neat... but friend of mine (Stephen) is going to the Rally to Restore Sanity. Le sigh, that's hard to beat. :-)

glee and boys' body dissatisfaction

Interesting episode last night; I'm glad the writers brought up boys' body dissatisfaction. I read through most of the comments on hulu and liked this one:
...What I haven't noticed anyone else talk about is the idea of the male body image. It's never really talked about... ever. In anything. It's always about female body issues. I like how Finn has problems with himself and, to a level, Sam. He's the other way around, though, and fully embraces the social norm....
There isn't a whole lot of information about boys' body dissatisfaction out there but we know that boys are generally dissatisfied. Most of the academic literature looks at steroid use among teenagers. It's also difficult to use self-reports of body dissatisfaction (though there's no other way, really, to do it). Girls report more body dissatisfaction than boys but is that because they're more dissatisfied or because it's more socially acceptable for girls to report being dissatisfied?

Things to address in the discussion section of my thesis...

five photos of bunnies

Five Things Friday!

Five photographs of bunnies near and dear to my heart:

Baby Hufflepuff, my sisters, and I on adoption day!
Polka Dots Checks & Stripes and I
We were best friends... he was such a chill rabbit.
We would even go on bike rides. I'd but him
in my front basket... awww...
Hufflepuff and I hopping on the trampoline.
Benjamin, my sisters, and I on adoption day!

today, tomorrow

I had grad yoga today and Caitlin came along -- she's taking the class, yay! Anyway, today was all about the spine: loosening it up and working on strength. It was really the most relaxing hour and a half that I've had in a long time. It's flow yoga, which as far as I can tell, is pretty low impact and gentle. But still a work out! During one breathing break, I could hear my loud, thumping heartbeat. We mostly flowed in and out of cat and cobra poses. The highlight were the last poses... I can't remember the name, but it's where you twist yourself up, laying down, one leg thrown over the other. Anyway, after all the spine stretching and yoga-style push ups, that stretch was pure heaven. Then we did breathing exercises and the yogi, with her very soothing voice, talked us through the exercise. Deep breaths for about 5-10 minutes, then let your breath return to normal, feeling your abdomen drop to your spine with every breath. Ah, it was so nice to be removed from life for an hour and a half. It made me appreciate my body, which is something I don't do often enough. I can't wait for next Thursday!

Today was a really great day. I only got three hours of sleep which wasn't the greatest, but I had great meetings with some of the fabulous people in my lab and with my thesis adviser. I'm feeling better about life, PhD programs, thesis, and the other projects I have on my plate. This quarter is definitely going to be challenging but I am finally feeling like I'm really going to make it... and possibly make it great. YES!

Tomorrow I have a really fun project to work on. I'm going to go observe high school students at their lunch. I'm going to listen in on their conversations and write a paper about something or another. I'm also planning to go on Monday to do, perhaps, pre- and post-Halloween weekend topics. I'm excited to do it. I am also going to have a draft of my methods and results for my thesis to my adviser tomorrow by midnight. It's going to get done. It's going to get done. It's going to get done.

Have you seen this week's Piled Higher and Deeper?



wine and whine

I'm all warm and fuzzy inside. I have a few rules that I live by and I've broken one of them tonight: drinking alone. But this week has been rough and I've decided to take tonight off to retain some sanity. And if I post while I sip, it's not really drinking alone. The whole blogosphere is here!

There's a lot on my mind, so I'm not sure if I should do a serious post or a non-serious post. I think I'm going to go non-serious and talk about stuff that bothers me. I don't like that part in that John Mayer song where he says that "you" (his ex-girlfriend) could tell the difference between Miles Davis and John Coltrane but his new artsy girlfriend can't. Who can't tell the difference between Davis and Coltrane? That's outrageous.

I don't like it when couples (probably the girlfriend/wife) start couple blogs and both husband and wife are listed as contributors or who-have-you and the husband never posts (sorry for the heteronormativity). If you're going to have a couple blog, I want to hear from him, too. I can only think of one couple blog where both husband and wife post: The Travels of 2.

I get irritated when people automatically think I'm naive because I'm from Utah. I get even more irritated when I realize that those people might be right.

It bothers me when people don't specify the type of diabetes they're talking about. It really bothers me when they don't specify in the developmental literature.

I don't like it when people hate on Justin Bieber because he "sounds like a girl." What's wrong with sounding like a girl? And so what if his voice hasn't dropped yet.

It bothers me when parents confuse their issues with sexuality with "protecting" their children. Like that Katy Perry and Elmo skit that got pulled. There are far worse things for children to see than a little cleavage (e.g., Elmo).

There you go. Now I'm going to take these warm fuzzies to bed.



to this i must confess

Stats paper done. A little glimpse into the process.

I don't like my paper. I haven't been satisfied with anything I've written since undergrad. I don't know if that's normal but it's definitely depressing.


five photos of utah

Five Things Friday!

Five favorite photographs of/in Utah:

We made this sign to proudly hang in our hall.
Somewhere in Southern Utah
My old house's big lawn.
East Canyon in the winter. Chilly but gorgeous.
No place like home for the holidays!


Week Five

It's week five here, suckers, so you know what that means!

I've already started taking ibuprofen and setting a water bottle full of Crystal Light Focus on my nightstand so that when my alarm goes off, delicious caffeination promptly begins. Yikes.

Here's what's shaking: I'm behind on my thesis, have a 12 to 16-page paper ("mini-thesis") due on Monday, data management that will get done as soon as I've reasonably caught up on my thesis, and a midterm on Monday. I'm going to put off application stuff until after the midterm.

Thank goodness grad student yoga starts tomorrow! I'm starting to feel... tense. 90 minutes of stretching is going to be amazing.

Anyhow, the moral of the story, the purpose of the post, is to say that I won't be posting until that paper is finished. It's sad that I even have to post that, but it's the only way I'll stick to it. Scheduled posting will continue, as the posts are already written and... scheduled to go.

Have a fabulous week and weekend! See you on the flopside!

look inside NYCB's costume shop

One more post today, if you're craft or dance-oriented you'll enjoy this short video about "recreating a tutu's splendor."


You may also like to check out this blog written by the woman who runs the ladies' costume department: Awesomosis!

two items of business

(1) HAPPY U.N. STATISTICS DAY! Read about it here.
(2) If you need a laugh, watch this clip from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It had me in stitches.


nice rack

Things have just gotten a little more sophisticated in the Nat Flat!
(Sorry about the title... I really couldn't help myself.)

good readin' II + good humor

Interesting articles in the New York Times:
I think I've told almost everyone I know about this... but just in case you haven't seen it, I'm conveniently placing it on my blog for easy viewing. All of the stories are good but my favorite is about guns in bars! Woohoo. Please tell me it's already legal in Utah.



fire and rain

The above photograph was taken about this time last year (October 14?). It was the first big rainstorm of the season. I needed my shiny red wellingtons that I bought on a rainy, heartbreaking day in Georgetown.

I love dramatic, slightly terrifying rainstorms. You know where the thunder is so loud that your heart jumps out of your chest, but then you laugh quietly to yourself... why all the fuss? I like how the rain makes me want to simultaneously cry, if only I had someone or something to cry about, and act out the classic scene from Singin' in the Rain. I like the way the skies are so cloudy that they are one constant shade of grey and how, consequently, my apartment is dark from dawn to dusk, allowing for restful afternoon naps.

I like turning all of the lights out in my apartment then lighting a few candles. Listening to raindrops irreverently patter on my windows while I watch the flames flicker in response to my breath. Proof that I am alive.

Mmm... rain.

things i'd like to have

My mom asked me to make a birthday list. I was, of course, happy to oblige. And thought people may like to check it out. Just a few ideas.





I'm quite intrigued.
"Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron" by Alice Ramsey.
I hope there's a chapter on googly-eyed nuts!!

On vinyl please!
Big colorful colander. Aqua or avocado if possible.
5x7 rug to cozy up the place.
(Urban Outfitters)
Bunny rug!
(Urban Outfitters)
Sweet nesting owls.
(Urban Outfitters)

Adorable earrings.

So cool.
(PHD Comics)
Polka dot!
(Kate Spade)

"For Audrey".
(Sally Beauty Supply)

eat rice - Libo

You have no idea, Libs. No idea.

His answer to everything in statistics was "eat rice." It was only applicable on one day, for one question. Vance asked, "How do you plan to save money in college, Libo?" Haha.



Deciding on potential PhD programs. Here's where I'm thinking about applying by state/province.


Diverse. The programs look good -- faculty researching things I research. But here are thoughts on the locales.

"I'd rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona" - Lucille Bluth
Pure, unadulterated love.
It's like Utah, but without family or a theocracy.
Humid. Palm trees. Opportunities to tan and board up my apartment during hurricanes.
Universal Health Care. Maple syrup. Celine Dion. Poutine. Emigration.
I don't know much about Tennessee. I don't really have an opinion.
Humid. I could easily talk my younger sister into visiting me. Close but not too close to my Mules. Haha.

I'm starting to get a little excited. I love California but I like adventure...




I was looking through old pictures and ran across this great one of me and Bob Bennett. This was in 1998 or 1999 when I was in 5th grade. That year I met all of the greats -- Orrin Hatch, Chris Cannon, Merrill Cook. Thanks to Cook, I'm in the Congressional Record. I think that's pretty cool. I won't lie.

I was in DC as Utah's representative for JDRF's Children's Congress. I was able to meet with Utah's representatives to explain why funding for research for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes should be a top priority. It was an amazing experience.

Being in DC with just my mom was a blast. Serious mother-daughter bonding. It was the first time I had my mom to myself for an extended period of time. We went to several museums and sites in DC and Virginia. It was also my first time really being surrounded by history. Inspiring. That's an understatement.

Anyway, there are three things to note about that photograph. First, I think I had just watched Cannon eat about 5 hot dogs in about 60 seconds before it was taken. Second, I look like the proper height for a ten year old. That's because Bennett is 6'6". Third, and most important, I was adorable. Just saying.