Thursday, August 24, 2017

Summer Synopsis.

Summer has been good. Here's what happened:

What I Watched:
Summer is not complete without some healthy binge-watching, although I'm not sure the word "healthy" can ever be applied to that term. 
  • The West Wing - an old favorite. The complete series is on Netflix!
  • Hogan's Heroes - what I've been watching with my dad recently.
  • Shenandoah - Dad's favorite movie, but I wanted to hit Jimmy Stewart with a 2x4.
  • The Magnificent Seven - Steve McQueen is McDreamy. 
  • Casablanca - flawless in every possible way. 
  • Wonder Woman - delightful and seriously hokey.
What I Read/Listened To:
I've read my fair share of garbage, so I'm only putting the books that I absolutely loved, loved, loved... except maybe Sense and Sensibility. I feel like that's a rite of passage novel that you have to read. I also wanted to hit Marianne Dashwood with a 2x4,
  • The House of a Thousand Candles, Meredith Nicholson
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  • The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  • Persuasion, Jane Austen
  • The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  • The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (read this every summer!)
The Hoods' Music Playlist:
Every time we go on vacation, I try to compile music playlists that will appease everyone. I think the one unifying similarity between all of these artists is that they sported terrible hairstyles. Whenever I drive back to Provo, I laugh whenever people see me singing in my car. They probably think I'm singing to whatever junk is on the radio. I'm actually singing a duet with Karen Carpenter.
  • Styx
  • Carpenters
  • The Beach Boys
  • James Taylor
  • Stray Cats
  • ABBA
  • The Monkees
  • Elton John
  • Fleetwood Mac
Where I Went:
The family vacationed in San Luis Obispo, and it was delightful. We visited all of our favorite places, and we got to spend time with grandkids/nephews. Theo and Alex loved playing together. They squealed, chased each other, and threw rocks off the deck. My grandpa, who is ever so concerned about my health, encouraged me to quit my job and take up gardening or floral arranging. My parents celebrated their 30th anniversary, which is pretty fantastic. They went to a fancy steakhouse together, but I know that they were secretly yearning for my presence. 
Morro Bay—isn't this perfect?

On the Home Front:
Traveling is fun, but spending the summer in Ephraim is pretty wonderful, too. It's much cooler than Provo—stripping to just my garments is never necessary. My dad uses an oil drum that's been sawed in half as a fire pit. We make fires and eat s'mores. I don't really care for golden brown marshmallows. I prefer to consume polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that cause cancer. In other words, I like my marshmallows charred... completely black. I swear ash flies off my s'more before I take a bite. 

Ephraim has become a kind of retreat. As I've said many times before, our friends and neighbors are perfect. The natural landscape of the area is beautiful. At night, I love looking at the stars from the patio. We're so removed from civilization (seriously) that you can see millions of stars and swirls in the sky. Our backyard is perfect, too. My dad's garden is like an oasis, and he always plants my favorite flowers along the back fence... sunflowers!

Isn't this perfect, too? We live here!
What I'm Doing Now:
1 - I am preparing to teach three sections of WRTG 150 at Brigham Young University. I've been hired! I am so excited for the semester to start, but I am nervous to teach 60 students. We had an adjunct training meeting today, and I feel ready to go. I consider this my first real big girl job. I have an office, a copy code, a mailbox, a hole puncher, and a fake plant. It feels amazing

Upgrading all of my lesson material and plans!
My office! And this might be my first ever selfie.
2 - I am still working through my prerequisites. My social work class is nearly done, but I'm at a standstill because my criminal background check for volunteering at a certain agency has yet to be cleared, which seems sketchy. As far as I know, the only crime that I've committed is that I've never seen Star Wars. But I'm willing to live with this blemish on my record. 

3 - In the beginning of this week, I got a glimpse of the freshman orientation at Snow College. It was really fun to meet new students who are eager and terrified to start a new chapter of their life. I also enjoyed being my dad's shadow as he helped with various aspects of the orientation. I watched him give a little lecture, and it made me so so so proud that he's my dad. 

4 - Sometimes I feel like I dream in poetry, but my life is prose. I have massive expectations about how I think my life should pan out—career options will seem clearer, classes will go smoother, dates will be more successful, and I'll handle stressful situations more gracefully. And then, I find myself sorely disappointed when things don't go according to plan.

But today, I made a humbling discovery. Five years ago today, I had my very first day of school at Arizona State University. Five years ago, I walked through a massive campus feeling like I had made the biggest mistake of my life. But it was the best decision of my life. And now, five years later, I have a bachelors degree, a masters degree, and an excellent job at a fine institution (I hope I don't sound really pretentious). I am glad that my life didn't precisely follow my blueprint, and I am glad for the unexpected twists and turns that have gotten me here. So when I quit thinking like a fool, I see that my life is the dream!


  1. Love your writing which blends humor with satire and sometime irony. Happy that you have a fake office plant. I think you make an awful roasted marshmallow choice and last night was Star Wars night at the Readng Phillies. It was awesome and we all had our SW shirts on!!

    1. So so fun! And most people abhor my marshmallow preferences :)

  2. Your first selfie is so cute. I love to read your adventures. Enjoy your big girl job. We sure miss the Hoods.