Monthly Archives: May 2014

Seeing Things Differently

The human brain is incredible, complicated and brilliant. This video tells the story of how the brain worked around damage caused by a stroke.

It’s important to remember how often tragedies are the beginning, rather than the end, of a good story.

Read more here via NPR.

Utah, I heart you.

Sweet Ty Burrell, who won me over with his performance as an Interpol agent in Muppets Most Wanted, recently wrote a love letter to Salt Lake City. Since ideas seem to mean more coming from celebrities, you can go ahead and just read that but I wanted to add some photos to his thoughts. Utah is not the worst.

It’s been green and lovely this Spring and it’s really starting to feel like home.

Salt Lake City:


Pretty, right? It’s Utah’s “big city” but it’s not far from the mountains. I like Salt Lake because it is home to many people that I love. It has parks with outdoor concerts in the summer (Beck is coming this year) that only cost you $5. There are good eats and up-and-coming companies, pretty buildings that belong to different religions, and easy-to-use public transportation.

One hour away from Salt Lake is my home.

My senior year of high school I told myself I wasn’t moving to Provo. But here I am seven years later and I’ve only lived away for the couple of years I was in Italy. I had a hard time accepting that Utah was pretty because it’s not green like my homeland. The two places are different, but the nature here is great in its own way.

This is Provo:


Also pretty. There will be many posts to follow about all that I love about Provo. Now that I am graduated I keep thinking of moving away. I probably will, but it will be a bit heartbreaking.

I spent the last week up in Park City working as an assistant for someone in LA who is remodeling a home up there.

This is Park CIty:


More pretty.

This is somewhere in between Provo and Park City:


Not the worst commute.

So, if you haven’t, you should check out these big-little, often overlooked, cities. They’re not so bad.

Man-Crush-Music-Video Monday

This video combines some of my favorite things: good puns, Sesame Street, and Zachary Levi.

Ironically, when this video about moderation in social media came out I got a text, a tweet, and a Facebook post from separate people with the link to the video.

I like Zachary Levi. It’s no secret. Especially to my Twitter followers. I tweet at him regularly that we should go bowling but haven’t gotten an answer out of him. Which is kind of rude. I guess he has a billion people tweet at him every day but what we (could) have is different.

I want to write musicals for him. He was recently on Broadway in a show that ran a few months and had rather uninteresting songs. I think John (my composer) and I could write something better for him.

Additionally, he’s a good, Christian boy and I try and be a good, Christian writer so I think we could do some good collaborating.

And, no, it doesn’t hurt that he’s sort of a heartthrob.

So, @ZacharyLevi, if you’re reading this (which you’re not) let’s go bowling. We can talk about our next project.


I had, what I thought was, an original idea to do five-word movie reviews. It’s not original (see: but I’m going to do it anyway.


My friends slept through it.


Five-word tagline: Lazy dinosaur saves the world?

TM&TF: Sorry

Your Music Video Monday for today is a song from a band that started in Provo and still remains much beloved around here. Lots of cool people worked on this video.

This song has been stuck in my head off and on since I heard it for the first time months ago. It’s catchy, his voice is alluring, and there’s something about listening to someone  sincerely asking for forgiveness that is so relatable.

I’ve been watching a lot of Friday Night Lights lately and if there’s one thing that show has, besides beautiful Kyle Chandler, it’s a lot of apologies.

Apologies are abundant in that show because people make a lot of mistakes. Every character, at some point, “messes up real bad.” No matter what their mistake is, it always involves someone else. Very rarely do we make a mistake without dragging someone else into it. If we’re screwing up our own lives it’ll affect our family or other people who love us. People will get hurt by our actions.

We make mistakes

and it’s okay.

Mistakes are good because they give us an opportunity to change. Some of the most empowering moments in my life have been when I’ve had to apologize to someone. It’s in these moments of humility that I knew I was doing the right thing. You can’t go wrong with apologizing. You have to acknowledge that mistakes were made but that they do not define you and they don’t have to define your relationship with someone else. Sometimes people aren’t going to forgive you but you can apologize and forgive yourself.

Life is for making mistakes. If you think you’re perfect, or that you have to be perfect, you’re doing it wrong.

Lessons Learned from Mom


She’s taught me so much in my life.

She taught me:

It’s okay to cry during movies.
Even if you think the dog is really obnoxious while it’s living with you, you still might sob uncontrollably when it has to be put down.
That I should wear makeup sometimes (but I still don’t).
That naproxen sodium and heating pads can ease the pain of being female.
That french fries and grilled cheese can ease the pain of heartache.
Magic tricks with your fingers are legitimate forms of entertainment on road trips.
It’s a good thing to have candy in the house at all times–sometimes that means hiding it in your room or random drawers so it doesn’t get eaten immediately.
Dance parties should happen often in the kitchen.
How to be creative. I can’t tell you how many wood things I’ve painted with her.

She taught me it’s okay to be me. We had a lot of conversations that went like this, “Are you sure you want to wear all those colors together–okay, if anyone can pull it off it’s you.”
“Are you sure you want to study film? Okay, I can see that you’re working really hard.”

She taught me to love holidays.
She sends me something every Valentine’s Day.
She made an Easter dress faithfully every year I lived at home.
She throws great birthday parties.
We have one of the best decorated houses and tallest Christmas trees from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

When I was in Italy on my mission I didn’t get back until January 29th and my mom left up the Christmas decorations–even though the tree was all dried out–so I wouldn’t miss it.

She taught me how to have fun. You’d never guess it was the nurse who pulled the most pranks at Girls’ Camp.


She was there when I needed someone to hold me and let me cry and she’s just about the only person I’ve really cried in front of (until that season finale of Mindy Project but that’s another story).

She taught me that the mean things people say don’t matter. She always had my back.

She taught me how to love and that there’s always time to serve and help others.

She taught me, “Anyone who can read can cook.” But she also has her limits.
“Mom, how do you cook Kale?” “How do I cook Kale? I buy it, put it in the fridge, and then let it sit there until it gets gross, then I throw it away. That’s how I cook Kale.” 

She taught me how to have a good sense of humor–which is the greatest gift I could ask for.
“We like to be funny and that’s good.”
“You have to be kind of edgy, that’s the business you’re going into…but I’m not going to read your Twitter because I don’t want to know.”
“Someone said I exaggerated the story I was telling and I said, ‘That’s how you tell a good story.’ Right?” 

She’s still my favorite person to tell stories too.
“Tell me a story from your life. Downton Abbey has ended and I need more drama in my life.” 

She’s a great mom and a great Grammer to my nieces and she can rock an ugly Christmas sweater.



Eat Your Birthday

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 00.10.13

Last year I decided to sign up for every birthday offer I could find. I found some lists online but that wasn’t enough so I started looking up every restaurant in the area online and signed up for their “clubs.”

Most places will email you a coupon that’s good for the whole month. I went on a month-long eating rampage that almost killed me, but it was worth it. Now I’d like to share the secret because you deserve to get free food just for being born.

Note: Some places give you something free just for signing up so I recommend not waiting until your birthday month to sign up because then you have twice as much to eat that month. Free IHOP is great, but going twice in one month isn’t necessarily that great.

You’ll also get pretty regular emails from these places but hopefully you have Gmail that sorts them out for you.

Restaurant Free B-day Item Conditions
Which Which sandwich
Rubio’s meal up to $7
Smashburger shake
Red Robin hamburger
Dickey’s BBQ sandwich
Wienerschnitzel corn dog
Jason’s Deli $5 off
Tucano’s meal b.o.g.o
Noodles and Co meal up to $9
IHOP pancake meal
Cinnabon mocha latte
Sweet Tooth Fairy  cupcake
Sonic tots or drink
Texas Roadhouse appetizer w/meal
Buca di Beppo appetizer w/meal
 Brick Oven sample  w/meal
Einstein’s Bagels bagel w/drink
Sbarro slice w/drink
Baskin Robbins scoop
Maggie Moo’s cone
Coldstone ice cream  b.o.g.o
Mimi’s dessert
Del Taco milkshake
Rita’s Ice  TBD
CPK dessert
Krispy Kreme donut go day of
Firehouse Sub sub go day of and show ID
Denny’s meal go day of and show ID

Happy birthday! Even if your friends won’t get you presents these restaurants will.

Leave me a comment if you know of more great birthday deals and I’ll keep adding to the list as I find them.




Song: Burning Gold

I’ve had enough

I’m standing up
I need, I need a change
I’ve had enough of chasing luck
I need, I need a change

I’m setting fire to the life that I know
Let’s start a fire everywhere that we go
We starting fires, we starting fires
‘Til our lives are burning gold
‘Til our lives are burning gold

TBT: To Do List

From my 14-year-old self:

Go paragliding. Overcome fear of fish. Jump into a pool of noodles and/or jello. Go on a mission. Be in a movie. [see Unicorn City, most student films I’ve worked on and this]. Learn to play the bass. donate my hair. gallop on a horse. Wear a ballroom gown. Go somewhere exotic. and to europe. buy a golf cart. See Lion King on IMAX. Volunteer at the Humane Society, Buy a Golf Cart [important enough that I put it twice], Go cardboarding at midnight. See LOTR II again, and LOTR III on the day it comes out. Meet Orlando Bloom. Take a tapdancing class [for two weeks then I dropped out]. Write a childern’s book. Go to a Get Up Kids concert. Do something heroic. Go to Walt Disney World. Start a band. Talk on the phone past midnight. See West Side Story in a big theatre. Be on Wheel of Fortune with Hilary. Go to the premire of a movie…Any movie. [Any movie being key here]. Get a puppy and name it Sirius.

Looks like I’ve got some work to do still.