Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BYU Devotional

For all of you who aren't at BYU or for those who are, but choose not to go to the weekly devotional (don't be ashamed... I rarely go), I'm letting you all know that I had my first televised solo performance. Yay! Every Tuesday, BYU has a spiritual devotional or forum from 11am-12noon. For the devotionals, they always have a musical number preceding the speaker. I've sung in devotionals before, but that was with 45+ people in choir, so I didn't really feel that much pressure. And I hardly got any camera time on those performances because well, let's face it, I'm short and the front row never gets good coverage (but I also believe the camera guy is determined to show the same 5 people every 3 minutes, which never includes me... so it's a lost cause).

Anyway, spring/summer term devotionals aren't as big because of the lack of people there, so they hold it in the JSB instead of the Marriott Center. So a few weeks ago, my voice teacher sent me an email telling me she submitted my name to the head honchos of the devotional committee to perform a musical number - The next day I got an email from them asking me when I wanted to perform. Scary! So, along with my voice teacher, we picked one of the first songs she retrieved from her never ending pile of music and I performed it yesterday around 11:15am. Anthony was generous enough to accompany (convenient, eh?) and I think, overall, it sounded pretty good. I was definitely beyond nervous, so much that my leg started shaking from fright. It wasn't an uncontrollable shaking, but I had to shift my weight every now and then to stop it from being too noticeable. What's weird is that I've performed in front of countless master classes and juries with my peers and professors intently listening for every little mistake, and I've never gotten nervous. But put me in front of a congregation of average listeners who don't know the first thing about reading music, and I start hyperventilating. It's weird...

So if you want to witness my somewhat successful performance (or get a close up of Anthony hands) here's what you must do:
  1. Go to and click on the "Tune In Now" tab in the top left corner.
  2. Click on the link provided and download the media player (if you don't have it already)
  3. Then, when it's loaded, scroll down the "Choose a date:" list and click on "Tuesday, July 22, 2008"
  4. Scroll down to 11am and you're there!
The devotional doesn't actually begin until 11:05am so you'll catch the end of the previous program. It's not that bad, but if you're impatient (like me) you can fast forward to about 9:00 and begin criticizing me on my hair, outfit, facial expressions (or lack thereof), posture, singing, or anything else you're bound to think of.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

White Trash

(I know, it's been awhile. Please forgive me)

I would never EVER consider myself as being anything resembling "white trash", but this past July 4th weekend, I definitely fell into that category. :(

Anthony, Jess, and I took a trip to Mesa, Arizona to attend a wedding and spend the 4th on the Navajo reservation. We left on Wednesday morning and drove the entire 12 hours in one day and it wasn't actually as long and miserable as I thought it would be. The thing I wasn't expecting, 118+ degree heat for more than 20 hours of the day! I couldn't believe how HOT it was and much less believe that I actually lived in heat like that for 18 years of my life. It's the kind of dry heat that still lingers even after the sun goes down. At 11pm it was over 100. Yuck. Luckily the house I stayed in was well air-conditioned and very comfortable (thank goodness!). Moving on.... Thursday morning was the sealing at the Mesa Temple and since I am not yet endowed, Anthony and I spent the morning browsing through the best store on the planet earth : IKEA. This was a wonderful way to spend our morning because IKEA is pretty much a theme park, but we had to drive about 45 minutes from where we were staying to the next city over: Tempe. It was really easy to find (luckily) because it was right off the highway, and we arrived there just as it opened at 10am. We really didn't have anywhere else to be until 4pm so guess how long we stayed? 4 hours! :) We looked through every display, sat in dozens of sofas and chairs, and even tested the comfort level of each mattress. (sigh) Heaven. We finished our little vacation with a veggie wrap and almond tart in the food court, and decided that we should probably go back into the real world. So we braved the heat once again and headed back to Casa Grande, where the luncheon and reception were being held.

We were both pretty tired from all that walking, so we drove in silence for about 10 minutes until something in my car started vibrating very irritatingly (if that's a word). Wanting to reestablish tranquility, Anthony started searching for the culprit and eventually discovered it was the enormous pile of change in the ashtray. I had completely forgotten that it even existed, so he counted the change (for fun) and said I had over $5. Sweet. So after counting the booty, he placed the ashtray back in the slot, in hopes that it would no longer vibrate. But during the 2 minutes that it took him to count all that change, the vibrating had gotten worse. And then, my steering wheel started shaking and my car was having trouble staying at 75 mph. Obviously, I was getting a little nervous so I got in the right lane and slowed down to about 60 (the speed limit was 75). Anthony was about to call and ask his mechanic uncle for advice, when my car exploded.

Well... it didn't actually explode, but the entire tread of my tire did come off and the sound of my fender being ripped apart pretty much sounded like an explosion. As I pulled over on the side of the highway, I seriously thought my tire was gone, my hubcap was destroyed, and the whole front left side of my car was completely gone. Luckily, the tire was still in tact (missing it's tread) but the left fender was pretty much annihilated. Luckily, a nice latino guy came 5 minutes after we pulled over and helped us with the tire and cut off my pathetic excuse for a fender. I didn't really think of taking pictures right after the incident (I was busy crying from fright and future repair payments) but this was the finished product after I got a new tire.

Ouch. So this is the part where the white trash comes in. This happened Thursday afternoon... We weren't going back to Provo until Sunday morning. Yeah... We were white trash all over Arizona. Just lovely. It actually didn't give us much trouble. Anthony's uncle was able to fix the blinkers while we were at the reservation (notice the lack of orange blinker next to the headlight in the photo) and we just had to tape the computer wires running to the dashboard up and away from the tire. It ran fine and sometimes I even forgot it was missing a fender. But considerate people like the policeman running checks over the Hoover Dam at 11pm commented, "Hey. You don't have a left fender." Moral of the story: don't neglect replacing your poor car tires. One day, they might take their revenge.