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Friday, May 25, 2012

What I'm Reading

My husband and I have recently discovered how awesome it is to be able to check out books for our Kindle app on our iPhones. My biggest complaint with eReaders is that you have to buy these books that you may never read again. (thats also my problem with bookstores in general. You pay a lot for a book you may not even like.) But with the digital library, we can check books out for 3 weeks, have them on our phones, and read whenever we like.
I read all three of the His Dark Materials (the golden compass books) this month on my phone. We went to the library to get more stuff to read and I ended up getting:
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Food and the City
Revolution at the Table
How to Eat a Small Country
Ruby in the Smoke
Time Traveler's Wife
I stayed away from getting mostly novels because of school. I can't get absorbed into a book and stay on top of homework. I am really excited to read the food books though, that is a topic that always fascinates me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Music and the Spoken Word

Today I had the chance to go up to Temple Square to see Music and the Spoken Word, which is the longest running broadcast in the United States. Today was their 4,312th broadcast. The music was wonderful, as was the message. I love that through the media this message can get around the country so easily. While many people in the church are hard on the media, I think that they just forget that with all the bad also comes a lot of good.

Do you think the media is inherently good, bad or both? Why is that?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blogging

It is so interesting to sit and listen to a discussion on a topic that you know a lot about and have a lot of experience when people who don't have that experience are the ones discussing. In class, we talked about blogging and why people blog. I thought it was really interesting that nobody in class mentioned the community that a lot of bloggers feel that they are a part of. Through this community, the bloggers get sympathy, advice, and all around good friendships that can extend beyond the internet. Part of me wishes that I could have a (moderately) well known blog so I could be part of one of these communities. As an avid blog reader and infrequent commenter, I feel sometimes feel like a sneak watching these friendships from the outside, knowing fully that I could join in the conversation at any point, but being too afraid to say something dumb. Ah, it seems silly now...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Music and Identity

I think that the media helps to shape our individual and group identities. Certain groups have music that helps them create their traditions. Personal music tastes help to describe what the individual is like. I think that the music we listen to shapes who we are, but we also are not passive beings, left to be shaped by our surroundings. We actively decide what music we listen to, and thusly like. I don't know that the individual groups that I like to listen to sets me into any particular category, though I do know that some music that I dislike eliminates me from certain categories.
What do your musical tastes say about you?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Slowing Down


As a teenager, my favorite book was The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. This book follows the life of a girl, Macy, after her father dies unexpectedly and she has to cope with losing him, dealing with her mother, and coming to terms with her over the top perfectionism. She begins to work as a caterer,  where she meets Wes, who is so different from the life she has built around herself, that she can’t help by be intrigued by him. My current favorite book is Under the Tuscan Sun by Francis Mayes. This book (which is very unlike the movie) describes a woman, Francis as she buys and restores a summerhouse in the Tuscany area of Italy. She describes the misadventures of an old house, working with Italian contractors who have very different priorities than she expected, and the experience of living in Cortona.
The Truth About Forever was (and to some extent, still is) my favorite book because I wanted to relate to Macy. I have some tendency towards perfectionism in me, and I loved reading about her learning to live in the moment. I have tried for years to live in the moment, to be spontaneous without planning, but I’m still working on it. Macy demonstrates that sometimes the best parts of life are the parts that are unplanned and unexpected. All of this was very comforting as a teenager, to see that it was okay to experience life moment by moment and the sometimes the best things come when you aren’t expecting them.
I love Under The Tuscan Sun and blame it for my passion for Italy. So much of the book is topically about things that I love: food, old houses, Italy, passion for life, and even travel based literature. I loved the spontaneous nature of Francis, when she suddenly decides to buy and restore a house halfway around the world from her apartment and university job in California. I love her descriptions of the house, and through them, I came to realize my love of Mediterranean design. The theme that had the biggest impact on me was her experiences learning to slow down, (like the Italians) and enjoy the small things in life. She beautifully details the joy that comes in simple things.
After thinking about my former and current favorite books, I recognized a common theme: slow down. I love books that push to enjoy the moment, to take life as it comes. Making spontaneous decisions sometimes leads to the greatest joy. I really like the reminder from what I read to take time and slow down to enjoy life as it happens. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Television

I have been quite sick in the last week, and as such, have been watching a lot of TV. I would feel VERY safe saying that I have watched more TV this week than I have in the last 4-6 years total. In watching so much, I have learned a few things:
There is a lot of stuff on that isn't terribly interesting. I have yet to discover the wonder/purpose of the home shopping network.
There are a lot of very strange shows. Example: American Stuffers- a show about taxidermists. Weird. It was kinda creepy for the couple minutes I watched it. (nothing-and I mean nothing- else was on, and I didn't have any books handy.)
Commercials are painfully repetitive. When you find yourself humming the song for the Cotton: Fabric of Our Lives commercial perpetually, you start to realize how much you actually see it. 
I have been really interested to see how commercials are targeting different people. The majority of them during the day are targeting women: home care, self care, weight loss, etc. 
It will be interesting to see how much TV I end up watching in the coming weeks as I settle back into a non-sick routine. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Learning the Smart Phone

I ventured into the world of the smartphones about 6 weeks ago. I transitioned from a VERY dumb phone to an awesome, sleek, shiny iPhone 4s. I had a little experience with the interface, but I was familiar with the Apple interface mentality, so adapting to the phone came really easily to me. I LOVE apps (I will have to do another post about them later) and have an embarrassing number of them on my phone. I love having a specific program designed for a single task- a way to flawlessly do whatever I need to have done.
2 weeks ago, my grandma got an iPhone and David and I helped her set it up/get apps/show her how to use it. With every new app or task that we showed her how to do, she would ask how we came to know all this stuff. I have no idea how we learned it, I just felt like I knew what to do with everything. Once she got the feel for the phone down, each new task or app came easier to her. It was really fun to see her learning everything so quickly, without the background that I had. All this made me wonder how I learned to interact easily with the technology surrounding me.


How do you think you learned the technology that you use on a daily basis?