Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Exam time

Exam time
Originally uploaded by mr_phillip.

Finished! A's in both classes! YEAH!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Provo, Utah

Provo, Utah
Originally uploaded by BellePhotos.

I looked for photos on flickr that would somehow convey Utah or Provo and while this isn't exactly what I was looking for, I sort of love it. It's an interesting diptych. Both photos are taken on campus here at BYU - on the right is the Harmon building which is where the department who governs my particular degree here (through independent study) is located. Also, as an undergrad here in the 80s, my ward met in that building. So it's oddly appropriate, plus, I just like it.

My entry doesn't have a whole lot do with anything related to the photo though.

Everytime I get off the plane in Salt Lake a few things occur to me - well actually things start to occur to me before I ever even get on the plane.

1. I have never seen so many people "pre-board" on Southwest as the people who are traveling from Phoenix to Salt Lake - and it doesn't occur as much in reverse (though theoretically it should...could be the time of day I am flying), "Pre-board" are people who have children under the age of 5 or the Elderly, especially those in wheelchairs. There are scads of both and all of the families are usually big families. So it might be a family with 6 kids and one of them happens to be under 5. With Southwest there is "open seating" so this kind of annoys some people, although it doesn't annoy me. I just notice it as some kind of phenomenon particular to people flying to Utah.

2. Immediately after you get off the plane in Salt Lake the number of people traveling with children increases exponentially. Explodes actually.

3. Utahns and by extension, mormons, have a particular "look". Now I don't mean in that "I can just tell they are mormon" way - that's a spiritual thing and it is true, sometimes you can "tell" and that happens to me in Phoenix all the time when I am at a restaurant or something and I can just tell someone sitting near me is mormon and then this is usually confirmed by the spotting of underwear lines or some such thing - a ctr ring perhaps. I am talking about something else. It's a physical look. It's almost like there are "types" and there are these certain looks, it's quite a combination of something I would think of as typically scandinavian and brittish. Also there is an "Idaho" type that is more specific and I can spot people in the airport who are from Idaho. Actually I can hear it and see it in their dress too. It's a very subtle distinction, but one that I am aware of most of the time.

4. Utahns and Idahoans have an accent. Do people from Arizona? I don't know. When I moved to Utah from Idaho long ago I noticed that in Idaho if you are going to the store you would say "goin to the store" and in Utah you would say "goEnG to the store". The 'i' becomes a strong 'E' sound and the "G" is emphasized like the begining of the word "grapes". I think in Arizona it is just said "normally". And all "ing" words are like this. Sometimes in Utah you will find people who take it a bit further and say "goINK", the 'k' in replacement of the 'g' is subtle, but it's there. In Idaho there are little oddities, like my Grandpa used to say "Pert Near". Which meant something was "almost", it's an adulteration of "pretty near". So there are little things like that which I wouldn't hear someone in Utah say. However in Utah there are little things people say which are so uniquely Utah that they almost grate on my nerves. Take the word "favorite" for example. In native Utahn it is not pronounced "favor it" or even the more usual "favrit", no they have to take it a step further and say "favor ITE". As in that is my FAY VOR EYE T color. I'm not exagerating, it usually has FOUR syllables. People also sound like they are talking with a marble in their mouth. Odd vowells and consonants are drawn out. Like in the sentence "They were really quick". In Utah that might sound like "They whirrrrr rilllly QWwwick" . It's a drawl, but very different from a southern drawl. There's a girl on the radio who when she calls guys "hot", says "hawwwwwwT". They emphasize that last consonant a lot. It's often louder than anything else in the word.

4. There are billboards for a lot of "live free or die" types of groups. The state is largely republican but honestly, what is really is, is largely libertarian. Because if you really start to analyze the way that mormons here think politically, it's not really so easy to peg as republican or democrat but something else entirely. I think this may go back to the days when the church had an entirely seperate political party. When that was broken up Brigham Young assigned families - you be democrat, you be republican - but ulitmately, we never really trusted the federal government, we were much more of an independent bunch. I think this is why many mormons feel more comfortable with republicans who talk about "small government". It's part of our tradition. But our tradition too is very collective, it's very communal, so we have these odd juxtapositions that don't fit in neatly with either party completely. There are some estimates here in Provo that roughly 40% of the population here in Utah County are republicans, 30% are democrat and 30% are "other". The other vote republican often enough for it to swing things significantly in that direction but there have been many notable exceptions.

5. The buzz on the street here regarding Mitt Romney running is very mixed. I would say about half the students I've talked to think it's great and half have big concerns. Many people are so independent they do not want to be pressured to like him just BECAUSE he is mormon. Interestingly, a recent poll here in Utah showed that Romney has the majority but in a close second is Barrack Obama. In one news story they showed that those who had actually read the book "The Audacity of Hope" were more likely to vote for Obama than Romney, mormon or no. Now there's a problem with that statistic because probably, people who were already leaning that way are much more likely to have read the book. However, I do find it interesting that he is second to Romney, and not a different republican. I would have guessed McCain.

These are just little cultural tid-bits for you.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bonnie Pointer

Originally uploaded by juicefreewithsoul.

Today's observation: It's pretty much impossible to remain distressed over the book you are reading for class "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters" which is a heavy, heavy read involving eating disorders, of which, I know a little something about, while listening to Bonnie Pointer.

Well, Bonnie Pointer put an end to the book for now. I'll pick it up again later when it isn't weighing so heavily on my soul.

So to Bonnie: "Heaven Must Have Sent You". The salve of Disco. Some will consider that blasphemy - but I absolutely refuse to believe you can listen to her AND stay in a bad mood. So in this case, Disco does not suck.

Besides it reminds me of roller skating with my friends in 6th grade. Awesome.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Originally uploaded by Blacksmith369.

I'm back. It's starting to feel slightly schizophrenic this back and forth and back and forth thing. A few hours ago I was taking my kids to the Madison pool and a now I'm in Lehi - home of these flour mills.

Remember that movie Footloose? This was where Kevin Bacon (or rather his character) worked. They filmed that whole movie in Lehi at the flour mills, at the local high school and in the surrounding area. When I was 16 and a Junior in High School my friends and I got this idea that we should come to Provo for the weekend. Now to drive to Provo from Rexburg Idaho is about a 5 hour drive on perfect roads in good weather. It was "spring" , which in Idaho means, there's still snow. I think, although I'm not sure, it was March. Tina's dad said we could use her parents car - they had a VW Rabbit, which was relatively new. It was me, Tina Marlowe, Tirzah Thompson, Kari Hammar and Alicia Hansen. We drove to Provo and stayed with our friend Jenny Perkins who had moved to the Orem/Provo area from Rexburg a few years before. We stayed at Jenny's house and went to the movies and went out to eat and went to the mall - girly stuff like that. The movie we saw was "Footloose" and we all loved it.

Several things amaze me about this now. (aside from the love of Footloose - which I'm not going to apologize for - I'll still watch it if it comes on late night tv). Our parents let us do this? Doesn't this seem kind of amazing? They must have really thought that we were very trustworthy! And we were - I'm not saying that - but I think a lot of parents would hestitate to let five 16 year old girls head off in winter weather in a VW Rabbit - each of us with just maybe $100 to our name.

I specifically remember my mom giving me $100 and I had an awesome time on that $100 - I bought clothes at the mall - we ate out all weekend, I helped pay for gas and I came home with money left over! That's amazing too!

What a great time in life to be so young and kind of clueless.

It's weird to me too that most of my friends still live in Rexburg. They moved away for a while but they all ended up back there. That's a whole other blog for another day.

I just remember driving past those flour mills on the way back from Provo to home, after seeing them movie, and the "Footloose" song came on the radio as we were driving by - and there were 5 girls in a compact car screaming and singing all the way to Salt Lake.

So I think about that when I drive past this every day and I smile.


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