Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And that's how we roll...

Today in biology was hard. We just didn't feel like paying attention (shocker). Anyway, the professor got off on a tangent somehow (this one wasn't even started by Bradley). While the professor was tangenting, someone mentioned Plankton. I think they were saying that plankton has a type II mortality rate. That got Bradley and I going...we couldn't stop drawing characters from Spongebob. Ross was the judge. Bradley's Spongebob was better than mine, but my Plankton totally took the cake.

Here are the results of the last class before the break:My Plankton rocks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why I don't give standing ovations

I hesitate to post this blog, but I just want everyone to know. Let's get down to business (remember that I'm not eloquent).

I don't normally give standing ovations. They are to be done "after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim" (wikipedia.org. I know, wikipedia isn't exactly the best source, but hey). Standing ovations are considered to be a special honor. If we are giving standing ovations after every high school play and band concert, the act loses its honor and meaning.

Sure, your show was amazing. Your band played spectacularly. But that doesn't mean that we need to stand. I believe that the standing ovation is becoming severely devalued. It used to be special; now it's something people do when they like a performance. Clapping is what should be done when a performance is enjoyable and even amazing. We can give words of love, encouragement, and tremendous praise. If we gave a gold medal to everyone who participated in the Olympics, the gold medal wouldn't mean a thing. So it is with the standing ovation. If everyone gets it, who cares?

When I really began my musical experience in junior high, our dear band teacher taught us the importance of helping things maintain their value. For instance, it bothered him to have music playing in the background of our lives--we should be stopping, listening, and enjoying music, rather than taking it for granted. His view on the standing ovation was the same-it is becoming so frequently used that it's losing its meaning and people are forgetting.

I realize that I look like a jerk when the whole audience is standing and I am still sitting. Maybe I am a jerk. But the fact that I'm sitting does not mean I hated your performance. I probably loved it. Hey, I didn't even give Wicked a standing ovation. I just want you all to know that I do not have hateful feelings in my heart when I am left sitting after a performance. I'm not sitting there thinking that I'm better than everyone else. I'm just standing (sitting?) for something I believe in.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Last year at this time

The Elison family was staying at the Zermatt resort in honor of Grandma and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary. On the morning of the big BYU v. Utah game, the Elison clan headed down to breakfast decked out in our BYU apparel. There was another family in the breakfasting nook. They were decked out in red. Our two families sat on opposite sides of the restaurant. No interaction, until...
...we were presented with this gift. Yeah, right.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today a teacher came through the bookstore and her first name was Natalya. It made me remember how good he and his family were to me. He was my best friend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ward Prayer: Apartment 129 style

So, every week at ward prayer a different apartment gets the chance to be spotlighted. Last night was apartment129's turn. The boys of apt. 129, our good friends, decided it would be funny to shake things up. So...we agreed to dress up like the boys and present ourselves to the ward to see if everyone could guess who we were. It was a success. And...I can't believe I did it.

This is Phase I of my costume. I got to be Patty, the gun wielding wrestler.

This is Phase II of my costume. I was lucky enough to wear Patty's wrestling singlet under his huge (but warm!) camouflage jacket. We didn't get a picture of me wearing the jacket and big furry hat, but it's okay.

Here is apartment 214 posing with our 129 boys.

Cookie and Sasha, Ben and Suzanne, Thayne and Alice, and me and Patty.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Save the June Sucker, please.

This is a picture (that was in the Salt Lake Tribune, I might add) of my dad and his colleagues releasing the dear June Sucker into this river. They are trying to bring back the species. There is a June Sucker fish hatchery in Logan, aiding with this relief effort.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to say that one of the men in the picture is from the Fish and Wildlife Services. I have considered this as a career. I looked at changing my major to Conservation Biology last year, but I keep coming back to Elementary Education. I have been through so many desired careers. 1) Dancer 2) Forest Ranger 3) Dentist 4) Dance Teacher 5) Biologist (relating to the National Park services) but I'm really happy with the major I have now. I'm happy in the life I have chosen (but we'll see...I may end up changing my mind again this year).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The elevator angel

Last week I went to visit my mom in the hospital for the first time. I went into the East building and headed towards the elevators, hoping to soon arrive on floor 6. There was already an older woman in pink volunteer scrubs standing in the elevator when I got there. I got into the elevator and watched as the women pressed the button for floor four and then floor six.

She turned to me. "I bet I know where you're going!" she said sweetly. "Um, yes..." I replied with a smile. "Room 673!" She declared. Now I was taken aback. That's my mom's room! I was thinking. "I heard your mom is doing very well." She offered. "Thank you" I replied, confused, as our elevator reached the fourth floor and the woman got off.

I felt like it was a scene from some "Touched by an Angel" episode. You know. The distraught girl enters the hospital, almost frantic with grief. As she gets on the elevator, a woman (the angel) appears out of nowhere and offers words of comfort and consolation. And then the woman is suddenly gone.

Anyway, the woman turned out to be my grandpa's neighbor who has probably known me since my third month of life. Still, it was a funny experience.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Warning: Really long post about a missionary

Well, I've alluded to this problem before but it isn't going away so a whole post will now be dedicated to Elder Kalil*.

To start off this post I'll just say that the aforementioned missionary does not like to act as though he likes me. So basically everything I do or say is wrong. This all started when I smelled shampoo one time (see this post). Ever since then, all our conversations/interactions consist of me doing weird things. Here is part of a conversation we had last week.

Me: So...you think I'm weird?!
Elder K: No, but the things you do are weird.
Me: Actions define a person. Who was it that said that? Oh, yeah, Thomas Jefferson. "If you want to know who you are, do not ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you".
Elder K: Okay, it's weird that you memorize quotes like that. Well I have a quote for you. "They won't remember what you do, they won't remember what you say, but they'll always remember how you made them feel".
Me: Well then, I'm sorry I make you feel weird.
Elder K: Je suis desole. (I'm sorry)
Me: Non, Elder, JE suis desolee. (No, Elder, I'M sorry)
Elder K: Why are you sorry?
Me: Parce que tu penses que je...(because you think I'm...) oh, I can't remember the word for weird...
Elder K's Companion: I think the word you're looking for is awkward.
Me: You think I'm AWKWARD now?
Elder K: It's awkward that you're speaking French.

After this conversation I was bugged, but then I started feeling guilty and resolved to always be nice to Elder Kalil no matter what. So, today...

Elder K: Natalie, how are you? How's school?
Me: I'm great! School is good.
Elder K: Yeah, BYU must be hard. I'm sure a real college would actually be a lot more difficult than BYU.
Me (trying really hard not to get mad and say something I might regret): Um...thanks, Elder.
Elder K (to companion): There she goes again. Calling me the generic "Elder".
Me: What would you have me say?!
Elder K: I have a name.
Me: Okay, good. Elder Kalil, how come I can never do anything right? I go to BYU. Wrong decision. I call you Elder. Horrible word choice! I just don't get it!
Elder K: Well, Natalie, you have a great day.
Me: Okay, Elder Kalil. You too.

So anyway, I don't understand.

*His last name has been changed to a name that means "good/best friend" in Arabic.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm not eloquent. Please bear with me.

As I'm sure we all know, Obama was recently elected to be the next President of the United States of America-our dear country. We aren't all democrats, and I know we all don't agree with everything Obama says, but please , "can't we all just get along"? The country is probably not going to be obliterated. There is no need for us to move to New Zealand. I am of the opinion that we all just need to accept this President and support him regardless of whether or not we voted for him.

Okay, Obama is the President. That has been established, and maybe our country will run into difficult times. But those times are going to be so much worse if 49% of the country is sulking for the next four years over the fact that their candidate did not win. Let's be mature. This is a democracy. The people have spoken. Let's give him a chance before we all flee the country. Please.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

When you start celebrating Christmas too early...

It does NOT make people happy.

(Somebody didn't want to dress like Santa!)

Confession: I have been listening to Christmas music. How could I not? It was 5:30 AM, dark, cold, way snowy, and I was in the car. What ELSE would you listen to at a time like that? Queen? Of course not.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Another piano duet

Well, Mom, Mariel and I have started practicing our Christmas song! Keep in mind that this is the first practice of the year, so please disregard any mistakes.

And if you can't tell, Mariel is slamming the kitchen cupboards to recreate the sound of the whip that usually accompanies this song. The first time she did it a couple of years ago it was a completely hilarious surprise, and we have kept the tradition going strong every year since. It still cracks us up, though-you may be able to notice our laughter.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Our little duet