Saturday, April 24, 2010

I just ate a whole cucumber, plain.

Now that think about it I probably have some things in my cupboard that would have been very complimentary to the cucumber, but the truth of the matter is that I need to go to the store and the cucumber was the most appealing thing in the fridge. Things have been pretty slow since finals--hence all the catching up I've done here--and I've had a lot of time just to sit around and think.

Being on campus all day yesterday for work and seeing all the graduates has made me very anxious. I think part of it's a social anxiety because a lot of my friends are leaving for the summer, plus I've just been alone a lot this weekend since a lot of people are traveling. But it also feels strange that I could have been one of those graduates. I know that waiting to graduate was the right thing for me, but watching everyone surrounded by there family and excited to be done at least made me sad that I am not with my family. It just feels so strange sticking around, especially since I am having to say a lot of my goodbyes now.

So I've been feeling kind of emotional and a little down lately and so today I re-read David Foster Wallace's commencement speech from 2005 at Kenyon college. My Dad read this to me, I think when I was back in High School and I would encourage anyone who hasn't read it to read it--especially my friends who are graduating, but I think it's really applicable to anyone.

I think I am going to get out of the house and get some books for my summer reading!

Bridal Shower Part 2

For the rest of desserts I made raspberry crumble bars, caramel brownies, and lemon bars--all things I've made before. I also made individual banana cream pies. My mom gave me the recipe and I've made the pie several times, but it was my friend Candy's idea to make them mini! Mini graham cracker crusts with a layer of banana, budding, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream.
Jack did a lovely job making them look pretty.

I also wanted to share pictures of the decorations! I got the idea from a great blog here. I made a banner with the couple's names and then Jack cut out red hearts
and hung them from the ceiling, and they were so pretty. I even had some extra so I hung them in my room and I think I'm going to make my own banner. My favorite thing about the decorations was a total surprise--but because the timing and lighting of the party the decorations made some great shadows on the walls.

There was a really good turnout and throwing this party for Alexis made me stop and think about how long we've been friends, all the good times we've had together, and I'm really glad that I got to do this for her!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kirsten's First Bridal Shower Part 1

Of course this would be my first time throwing someone a bridal shower. I in fact, after four years in Provo, consider myself a bridal shower connoisseur of sorts. I showed off my invites earlier, and here are pictures of the real deal. I decided instead of having a brunch to have it in the evening, and do desserts (mostly this was because ofthe timing) and started looking around for ideas. My first idea sprang from my original idea for the invitation of doing silhouettes. I got the idea here.

Did you know there are places where you can get your own custom silhouette cookie cutter made? But they also take weeks to make, you have to send in pictures of your profile, and the run about $30 each. I tried to come up with a cheaper option: making my own cookie cutter!

I found a how to here. Basically you take one of those disposable aluminum lasagna pans and cut the bottom into 1" strips.

Make sure you wear gloves because jagged aluminum is sharp!
Here's me feeling silly (but safe) with my gloves on:

Then (I guess you could so this before hand) draw out the desired shape of the cookie cutter on paper. The instructions say that your cookie cutter should only use one strip of aluminum and it works better that way, but I had to use two. Then you can use pens,your fingers, etc. to mold the metal into the shape you want. For some reason I don't have pictures of me making the
boy cookie cutter. You staple the cutter together at the ends.
Then I set about making the sugar cookies
(The dough is so good raw!) There was a lot of flour involved.
Then I let them cool and covered them with a vanilla glaze. I made the ladies yellow, and the gentleman.I got several comments at the party that my gent looked a little like JFK.
Then I let them dry and tied blue bows in the lady's hair.

Then after a long evening of baking, I went back to my room and to this:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tree Symbolism

I have been busy and stressed lately, but there have been a lot of good things too. Earlier this week I went on a bike ride in the sun with Jack down to the french house (Yes, there is a house that looks like it has been transplanted from the south of France, but is really in Orem) and ate stuffed peppers and it was so happy.

Last night was Alexis' bridal shower, which was a lot of fun! I really want to put up pictures, but it doesn't look like I can upload them until tomorrow--so I won't spoil anything now. But it was great to spend time with old friends.

The I went to Jack's and watched Bright Star, the movie about Jon Keats and his muse, and I highly recommend it. I especially loved the beautiful shots of Fanny sewing at the beginning! It is just a beautiful film in general.

Then, on our way to church Jack and I smelled the "fish trees" anyone whose been in Provo in the spring knows what I'm talking about. The beautiful white blossomed trees that are everywhere, and they smell awful. As we spelt them on the way into the building Jack and I were discussing how there has to be some symbolism in gorgeous blossoming trees that smell awful. Finally Jack came up with the perfect metaphor: "Even pretty girls fart."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

But I Can Dream, Can't I?

Today I was inspired by a post off of Moniter Mix (if you haven't heard of Carrie Brownstein or listened to All Songs Considered, you should) where Carrie talks about writing fan letters. She talks about some of her experiences and includes a hand-written letter a 21-year-old from Paris received from Iggy Pop. Somewhere in my head I thought "Hey, I'm 21" and I don't think I've ever actually written a letter to someone "famous".

So, I picked up some pretty airmail envelopes

and I plan on sending some letters to some of my favorite musicians--and other somewhat famous people. Any suggestions of who I should write to?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Last night, as I was laying in bed I had an interesting thought:

I am an open window but closed door kind of girl.

Not even really open windows right now, because it's so cold outside, but if I had my way the blind would never be closed.

On the other hand I hate open doors. The room to my bedroom is never open, and I swear I'm not doing anything weird/secretive, I just feel weirdly exposed with the door open--which is strange considering the number of times my roommate has to remind me that I should probably close the blinds while I'm changing.

That probably says something about me, but I'm not sure what.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You are so beautiful, like cappuccino foam

So, not to overload you on the music front, but I have been meaning to write about one of my newest interests: Korean boy bands.

But really just one boy band, Super Junior. Supposedly they are the biggest boy band in the world, with 13 members. Liz introduced me to them at work a couple of weeks ago and its been like my ipod is stuck on replay.

This last one is especially funny:

It's sad how hard it was to only pick four.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wizard Duel

Tonight I was texting my sister when all of the sudden she got all defensive and this was our ensuing conversation:
"Aloha Mora!"
"You mean expelliarmus? You are so dead"
"But I got that special wand."

I think I was born into this family for a reason, but sometimes the level of our nerdiness frightens even me.

But on to what I really wanted to blog about: music. If you don't want to read any of my musical ramblings, then by all means stop reading here.I have been listening to some great things lately and thought I should share a few of my very favorites.

First, I know there has already been a lot of buzz around this album, but I have to throw in my two cents about the new She & Him volume 2. I actually never got into volume one, but one of my friends (whose music taste I greatly respect) recommended volume two to me, and after listening to the whole album on NPR's first listen I became a woman obsessed and have been listening to both volumes ever since. The songs are light , summery, and a little reminiscent of Jenny Lewis. You can listen to the whole album through the 13th here.
The next album I've been listening to a lot lately was another that I'd been meaning to listen to, but it wasn't until another friend sat me down and made me listen to it that I was finally motivated to go out and get it. The album is Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom, and is full of great lyrics like:

"I regret how I said to you, honey, just open your heart when I’ve got trouble even opening a honey jar"

from the song "Good Intentions Paving Company". I know that a lot of my friends object to Joanna because of her distorted voice, and will be glad to know that she's toned down her voice a lot in this album, but while still keeping its beautiful and quirky quality.

My last recommendation just came out, and is an album that i had been looking forward for some time. If you are a Sigur Rós fan, then you will surely love Go by Jonsi. Some of my favorite track so far are: Go Do, Boy Lilikoi, and Animal Arithmetic. You can also listen to this album on NPR's first listen, but only through the end of today. If you are interested I would also encourage listening to this interview where Jonsi plays guest DJ on All Songs Considered.

Looking forward to one of my most anticipated albums for the summer (this one's for you Sarah!!), Canadian band Stars is coming out with their fifth studio album which they are putting out on their own label. The album is called The Five Ghosts, and even though June seems a long time to wait, they already have put out a single entitled "Fixed"
that you can download for free here.

Wood You?

As the maid of honor for my dear friend Alexis' wedding I get to throw her a bridal shower up here in Provo for all her college friends and I've had a lot of fun coming up with ideas. This last week I made the invitations for the shower and it was a lot of fun to have an excuse to do something crafty instead of my schoolwork, and based on the invitations alone it would seem that my theme is "young love".
I had the idea to make the invitations look like initials carved on a tree and so I scoured the local scrap booking store for paper that looked like tree bark or rings, and almost gave up when one of the lovely ladies who worked there showed us this:
you may not be able to tell from the picture, but the paper is actually a think slice of cherry wood, mounted on white paper. I am admittedly a little obsessed with this paper, and I wrote the couple's initials with charcoal. Then I continued with my pseudo-theme and used an idea from Offbeat Bride.In order to further evoke the middle school mystique, I found a great handwriting font that dotted all the i's with hearts. I chose envelopes in one of the bride's wedding colors, and found some stamps that pulled it all together. Finally I filled each envelope with hand-punched confetti made out of notebook and red paper. It was a lot of fun coming up with invitation ideas and now I'm on to invitations and food... more pictures to come.

Life in the Dragon Lane

Today it seems like everyone want to talk about General Conference, which I love--General Conference that is, but if I have to sit through another conversations like this:

"Conference was just great"
"I love conference"
"Me too."

I might just scream.

Every conference is inspired and good. I'm all for spiritual conversations and personal insight, but the generalizations I keep hearing make it feel like, at least this week, conference is being reduced to something akin to talking about the weather.

hmm. I did in fact have a great if not sedate conference weekend in which I saw "How to Train Your Dragon" which was the most fun I've had at a movie in a while, although it did leave some side effects. One being the intense desire to adopt a pet dragon, the other being an insatiable urge to substitute the word "dragon" for the subject of every sentence I hear (you should try dragons. Dragons are fun.).

The movie also reminded me of my sister Bridget's sage advice, "You shouldn't name your child Astrid, that's like naming them uranus."

Sunday morning I awoke to snow at Jack's house and we carried her bright blue kitchen table out into the living room where we ate breakfast and the morning was happy and peaceful.

I also rediscovered some of my favorite childhood cartoons (another effect of my dragon obsession).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Although I meant to write this a while ago, some good things have been happening to me in the last week. Although it seems so long ago. Almost a week ago now I presented my paper "City, Suburbs, and Home" and the undergraduate literary conference. My paper brought together a lot of different, such as African Americans moving to the suburbs in the 50s, how the suburbs and suburban ideals developed, theoretical ideas of space, and how this all applies to the play "A Raisin in the Sun",

Here is the real ad from 1959 that I used on my handout:
I was really nervous all week as a frantically tried to revise my paper with very little disposable time between all the projects and tests I also had to do. But Saturday morning rolled around and I had an awesome outfit and I stood up in front of the small crowd (I'm not sure it even classified as one) and put on my best confident face and tries to interact with my audience as much as possible, and in the end I felt good about my work. My professor was there and sent me a really nice email afterwards, and I also got some good feedback from some of my fellow students who were in the audience that were great to hear.

Which leads me to another good thing. My friend, J, was so kind and she brought me a bouquet of flowers to give to me after my presentation. I appreciated them right away, but I am loving them even more now that the lilies ( they are lilies right?) have bloomed and look gorgeous on my windowsill and kitchen table.
aren't they beautiful? It's amazing how much a vase of flowers can brighten (literally and figuratively) your day.