Saturday, February 28, 2009

Random Thoughts...Something I Haven't Done For Awhile

Recently I've just posting random crap I find amusing on here like it's facebook or something. I haven't really felt like writing lately, which is weird, because I generally enjoy writing. But today I'm just going to write. It won't be anything fantastic or ground-breaking, and very possibly not even thought-provoking or entertaining, but at least it's from the heart, not from somewhere else on the Internet.

I think I haven't really felt like writing because I'm stressed. I may not have classes right now, but this whole jobless state is very wearing on my soul. Fortunately I have substitute taught a little bit to get some money in my pocket and to take a break from job searching and the unending and fruitless applications process I find myself completing over and over and over again. At least Teach For America is looking hopeful! And that is what I really want to do, but I wish I had something now. I do like being at the schools when I'm subbing, though. I like being with the students, and don't even mind the jokes I get about how young I look. Last week one kid joked "are you lost? This is the high school. The middle school is across the street." I'm told all the time that I look 17, though, so slightly older than middle school. I just blend in with the high schoolers. Except I don't dress like them when I'm there. I wear teacher clothes, and it sounds weird, but one of my eyebrows is suffering from baldness or something, so the mornings I sub, as I fill my eyebrow in I joke to myself that I'm drawing on my "grown up eyebrows." But really I don't do them any different than usual. But I don't exactly enjoy the subbing itself, because it's like babysitting. I just pass out a worksheet and then sit at the teacher's desk and do nothing. I did break up a fight last week! I think when I got after them I surprised them that I could actually be stern because I look so little and nice.

I'm excited for someday when I'm actually the teacher. Then I can do more than keep students quiet in their seats. In fact, I think sometimes I'll do exactly the opposite! In my classroom I want my students excited about what we're learning and participating and discussing. To really learn, you can't just be spoon fed facts and then know them for good. You have to discover for yourself. It's like when I was a kid and I wanted my parents to buy me something (what comes to mind is that Jasmine Barbie I wanted so bad when I was around 9) but my parents said, "If you want it, then save your money and buy it yourself." I remember my mom saying many times that when you work and buy something with your own hard-earned money then it mean more to you and you'll take better care of it. So I put my Barbie on layaway at Shopko and saved my meager chore money and had a lemonade stand for days until I had enough money to take her home, and she meant more to me than the Barbies I got for my birthday from some neighborhood girl. I think knowledge is the same way. When you have to work to get it, it's more valuable to you, and therefore more memorable.

Enough about teaching and comparing knowledge to Barbie dolls. I've been thinking about Kelly a lot lately. Of course, this isn't very unusual, but lately I've found my thoughts flickering in his direction even more often then usual. He's coming home in less than six weeks, now. It is strange how these weeks feel stretched before me looking as long as the two years I've already waited through. Six weeks is nothing to two years! Why does it feel longer than any six weeks I've ever experienced before? I keep thinking it will be here before I know it, but...six weeks might as well be eternity for me right now. I think part of it is I've never really worried about when he gets home before. I suppose I just subconsciously thought we'd spend a day adjusting and then jump right back in where we left off. But I don't know that. I kind of suspect it, because the 4 times we've spoken on the phone while he's been gone, after a few minutes it was like we just talked earlier that day. He is so familiar to me, no matter how long we are apart. I miss our perfect spring break before he left. I think that week holds some of my favorite memories of all time. It's just filled with sunshine and riding in his old tan Mercedes over the pass with the windows down, and stargazing in the valley and coming home late at night when we don't need to talk anymore; we were just content with sitting in the car holding hands. The feeling of being together enough for the moment. I heard a song by Death Cab for Cutie that is exactly like those nights.

Passenger Seat

I roll the window down
And then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road
And the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home

Then looking upwards
I strain my eyes and try
To tell the difference between
Shooting stars and satellites
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home

"Do they collide?"
I ask and you smile.
With my feet on the dash
The world doesn't matter.

When you feel embarrassed then I'll be your pride
When you need directions then I'll be the guide
For all time
For all time

Six more weeks...I just want to know what it feels like, what it looks and sounds like, to finally be able to look for his face in the crowd and know it will actually be there.

I'm on top of the world
Excited and nervous
To finally be there.
Focused past the uniforms
And metal detectors.
The onslaught of passengers
Pour down the escalator.
I'm searching for the one face meant for me.
Standing on my toes
On top of the world
On the floor of the airport.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Start a Band; Make an Album!

I was stumbling on firefox and found this. It is raining outside, I'm bored, and I think I am getting sick. Having nothing better to do at the moment I tried it.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click here
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click here
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click here
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. (I just used the basic paint program.)

If you make one, send it to me and I'll post it on here!

Here's mine:

And here's my second album...with my other band...seriously, this took me like 30 seconds.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Advice for America

This is it. Seriously, it's what people need to know.

The following is also very useful, but start with the first one.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Yesterday I was waiting for my laundry to be done. I have been at my parents house for the past week-and-a-half for various reasons, including a doctor appointment in Clearfield, a Teach For America ALL-DAY interview in Provo, and also for the pursuit of some type of employment. I was scheduled to make the five hour drive home after my laundry was done, but not really having anything at my apartment to get back to (except THREE letters from Kelly, which came only hours after my departure :( ) until Thursday. I was packing my stuff when I was persuaded by my little sister to come to yoga with her. I enjoy exercise. I love hiking and biking (although I always scuff up my leg with the pedal. I'm skilled that way.) and I am known to ice skate or run, can do more than my fair share of push ups (a little memento of my old marching band days) and I exercise every morning with my ball and weights first thing when I wake up. Despite all this, I have never tried yoga. I've never exactly looked down on it--I mean, it looks serene and all, but it's never really been something that I saw and thought "I want to be a yogi!!!" either. Well, I put my trip off a day and tried it last night. It was wonderful! I absolutely love yoga! It was hard, and I could feel myself working and stretching, but it was relaxing at the same time. I loved the feeling of working my muscles but also meditating simultaneously. It was absolute serenity. I wish I had money because I would sign up for a yoga class 6 times a week! There was a part where my leg was folded under me in a way I didn't think was humanly possible, and I could feel my hamstring stretching, but we just held it for 10 minutes on each leg and just kinda lay there. It was nice. At the end we just sat there and concentrated on who am I for a few minutes. You know, I'm not much of anyone, but I'm not so bad either. It was nice to think of who I am to other people: a daughter, a sister, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend, student, neighbor, confidant, roommate, stranger, just some girl, or that special girl. And I thought of who I am to me. That's harder, you know? Try to think about who you try to portray yourself to be, and who you really truly are inside. I don't think I'm too different from the Dani everyone else knows, but I know all my weaknesses that I try so hard to hide. I know who I want to be and realize that I'm not quite there. It was nice to have some time in a quiet dark room to just exist and think. I didn't have to think about what to do next, what I have to do on my honors presentation, what I promised to who, finding a job, or what my hair looked like. I don't even give myself that luxury before I go to bed or when I get up in the morning. I'm always going here or eating this or reading that or writing to someone or at least thinking of what I'm going to do next. I think I enjoy my life. I really do. I see beauty all around me and thank God for this wonderful earth and the people who have come in my life and the trivial things like dry socks, a comment on my blog, or a friendly smile, but it's for a moment or two and then I'm on to the next thing. I really do need to take more time to meditate. I'm a meditation/yoga convert! Thanks Cami!

P.S. I have delayed my trip back longer due to the 2 feet of snow we got today. Oh well, I exercise through shoveling our driveway and our elderly neighbor's driveway, not as fun as yoga, but probably more practical for today.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Creative Commons

One time in my Honors class we had a discussion about Copyright and how it sometimes limited amateurs from creating Remixes and stuff and posting them on YouTube. It was pointed out that remix has been part of music for CENTURIES.

The Death chant from the Middle Ages, Dies Irea, is in SO MANY things. It's in Berlioz' "Symphony Fantasitique"; it's in the modern piece based off of the first written story "The Epic of Gilgamesh" by Robert W. Rumbelow; it can be heard in the soundtrack of the horror movie "The Ring." This is merely scratching the surface of ONE piece.

Vanilla Ice was, well, iced for using David Bowie & Queen's bass riff from "Under Pressure". I agree this was proper punishment. What he did was wrong. This is why copyright is important, but what about the amateurs? Amateur literally means "for the love." I'm talking about people who take other people's works and mix them up and create something new, but give credit where credit is due, and don't make money off of it. They do it simply because they love it.

Videos are taken off YouTube everyday for using other people's copyrighted works. They didn't SELL the song, they aren't making a profit, they aren't making free copies for people's iPods, they aren't taking the credit for writing it. Honestly, it's free advertisement for song writers. I can't even tell you how many times I've been on YouTube and heard a remix and bought one of the original songs, or saw some homemade trailer for a movie I was never interested in, but then saw the movie because of it. I'm not saying I'm anti-copyright. It's important for artists to receive credit and the money from their creations. As a musician I am fully supportive of this. I just think that Creative Commons has a good idea. Check out this talk by Larry Lessig. He explains it better than I do.

Pretty much what I'm trying to say is there are only 12 notes total. That's it. That's all we have to work with from the dawn of time to today. There are only so many ways to mix it up. Do the math you math people. So I found this video that illustrates how the same four chords in the same order and rhythm can be traced through popular music history. Eat that copyright people! Get Creative Commons!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wingsuit Jumping!

Hey all,

I know it's been awhile, but things here are...boring. I am still in Cedar City even though I graduated from SUU in December, and I'm still looking for a job. I have substitute taught at the high school a couple times. Since I look about 16 years old, everyone was incredulous that I was actually the substitute. Fortunately, high school boys think I'm cute or something, and in every class it's the males that help me out and even scold their classmates for being disruptive. Ha ha ha. Other than that, I have the best friends in the world, so I do a lot with my roommate Janalee and I'm at Becky's house about every other day for The Office or Sunday Supper and whatnot. We even played Mafia a couple weeks ago! In high school that game was all the rage. I remember at one girls camp we played it for 3 days straight with Old Maid cards because face cards weren't allowed.

Last Thursday I was able to go to the play "The Seagull". My good friend Bryan was in it as Semion Medvedenko the school teacher. I had a really good time, although through the whole play I had that song from the Wedding Singer stuck in my head ("You love her, but she loves him, and he loves somebody else! You just can't win. And so it goes till the day you die. This thing they call love it's gonna make you cry. I've had the blues, the reds and the pinks. One thing for sure: LOVE STINKS! Yeah-yeah!") Tragically that's pretty much how the play goes. It's like the biggest love...polygon ever. But I know quite a few of the people involved in it, and I have to say, you just can't top a guy in a three-piece suit. I was going to go again on Saturday with all of my friends, but I got sick and they ended up having an amazing-fun adventure without me afterward, involving a spur-of-the-moment trip to St. George, In-N-Out, and an appearance of Bryan's previously unknown alternate personality, Willy the Walrus.

So really why I decided to write on here today is because I found an amazing video. I want to do this! Maybe I won't honeymoon to an Irish cottage, but do this instead. But Kelly is horrifically scared of heights, so we'll probably be sticking to the rocky beaches of Ireland. (Or, more likely, no honeymoon at all, what with the jobless state we're in, and the fact that we could be spending our honeymoon moving across the country for Teach For America. Well anyway, enjoy this! It's freaking incredible!

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.