Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye 2009

What a year this has been! Even though I know time is relevant, I'm still committed to using it as a measuring stick for everything in life. I love what a friend wrote in her blog about her fast approaching birthday. She came to the realization that being a step closer to middle age really doesn't really mean anything because we are as old as we feel. This topic could continue in a multiplicity of directions, but I will steer it in the following:

One thing I have learned this year is; the only limitations we have are the ones we impose on ourselves. This fact was reinforced in my mind as I watched a particular movie yesterday. My friend Matt bought a Clear Play DVD Player which filters out any unwanted elements from PG-13/R rated films: language, sex, can even kiss "mushiness" goodbye!

Thus, Slumdog Millionaire became a PG movie, and we watched as Jamal emerged from the pits of oppression, neglect, and greed. He did not allow his circumstances to dictate his future. He used what he was dealt to his advantage, stayed focused on his goal, which was "others-centered", and achieved.

I am ready to do better in 2010.

May God bless you with a safe and happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Job Hunt Continues

I've just submitted my resume again.
This time it's for a product photography gig in San Gabriel.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm excited to show Catherine her head-shots! I have a portrait shoot this afternoon in San Pedro and a website looming in the not too far off future. Christmas is less than a week away and a dear friend just flew in from Colorado! I'm excited to reunite with him!

I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season!

Much Love!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Haw Ha!!!

Last night I returned to the studio where I was going to do a re-shoot. Two fellow class-mates were waiting with me. No one ever showed up to unlock the lab. We ended up laughing and having a good time anyway. That was nice-ness #1. Nice-ness #2;

I walked to my car, got in, inserted key, turned it, nothing-

Long story short, I had my first dead battery.

Thank Goodness my grams has carried me on to her AAA account for the last umpteen years- free roadside assistance! Ricardo came, gave my car a jump, did a diagnostic test and confirmed my battery was the trouble maker.

As I drove home, a principle flashed through my mind: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS DAWN!!!

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

So, I am thankful for:

My new car battery- and to my generous grammy for picking up the tab.

The great experience I had with Ricardo the AAA guy- got to give him a Joy to the World Pass-along card!

For having to leave campus early so I wouldn't have to wait for the tow truck late at night, in the dark, by myself-

For the Holy Ghost!

For Jamie Van Santen who's getting baptized on Sunday!!! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One More

Still Life

Today was a challenging one- in studio- I attempted a 60's style still life with lava lamp- It didn't turn out the way I'd hoped- I'm going to re-shoot... The picture above is inspiring- Human creativity- its an amazing thing- I can't begin to imagine what Heavenly Father's brain must be like!

A beautiful night to all- or day, depending on what side of the hemisphere you're on~

Photo by Dan Tobin Smith

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hair Creme?

I did my first "hair shoot" yesterday- Loved it. Sudie was a fantastic model- such a sweetie- and her stylist, Hannah, was extremely helpful- it was a gorgeous afternoon in the park-side. I had tons of fun and can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


p.s. photo by Jason Tran.
p.s.s. I love my studio lighting class!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ghostly Calm

I have a lot to be grateful for... I attend an awesome ward (congregation). I have a wonderful family. Heavenly Father blesses me often. I had a wonderful Sabbath today-

Last Night: Kristen hosted a ghoulishly delightful party at the Lawrence Manor- Loved the music, freshly baked bread, and the sabotage of the "Hanging Doughnut Garden". Derek wins a silver!

As Justin and I walked back to the car after the party, it was closing in on 1:30 a.m. The street was silent black- the only sounds were the harmony of piano and Catherine's voice spilling out of Kristen's opened door, carrying down the road- It was so still and so peaceful last night- We stood in the middle of the street, almost holding our breath- absorbing the calm-

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October Goodness

Fall, how I love thee- Let me count the ways! I love the cooling of the weather. Even though an Indian summer is in full force, my morning walk was crisp, breezy, and cool- It filled me with excitement for the months to come.

I just spent the last two weeks with a former missionary companion; Michelle "Williams" Ma Chong. We engaged in a light-speed tour of Southern California and now she is in Salt Lake, getting ready to experience General Conference up close and personal.

It's been a blessing to see her again- I've learned so much from her during our brief visit together; what it means to love, "It's not about you", Aussie culture and life... The list is lengthy, but I'll stop there.

In sum, I am grateful for the people Heavenly Father places in my path.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

My Wacky Family

During our family's evening prayer, offered by my mother just moments ago, she gave thanks for "the diverse and interesting people we,(our immediate family), find ourselves to be." That phrase caused me to combust with laughter.

Some of us have been amicably challenged as of late.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Literacy through Photography

I am fascinated by the interconnection of the visual arts, critical thinking, and allignment of the body and spirit. I found a link today to a plentitude of nonprofit websites. Their common goal is to teach chidlren to better understand themselves and their world through the help of photography. Of course, a true understanding of our lives and the world develops through coming to know the One who has given us both.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dream Dream Dream

I had the most beautiful healing dream this morning- all because I choose to ignore my alarm clock and fall back to sleep. I felt as if I had recieved a love note from God, reminding me that everything with work together for good.

Also, I had my first studio lighting shoot- still life- white on white- and managed to leave my 4 gig flash drive in one of the computer lab computers. Thus I am waiting for the lab to reopen at 7.

And now I go on with the eternal job hunt...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Rose is a Stone

I was doing a bit of reading about the Rosetta Stone this morning. The article was covering the progression of the Egyptian languages... in order for all of Egypt to read the writings of the Stone, the Egyptian priests inscribed the Stone's decree in 3 languages: Greek, hieroglyphics, and Demotic. They wanted everyone to know their King was a good fellow deserving of admiration and respect.

Because hieroglyphics was such an intricate and sacred language, the Egyptians developed hieratic, which was like an abbreviated version of hieroglyphics. Hieratic was used to record some governmental and business transactions, but it wasn't used for sacred purposes. By the Ptolemaic Period,(Ptolemies a line of Greek rulers of Egypt, 323 B.C-30 B.C), when the Rosetta Stone was inscribed, Egyptians had turned to Demotic, an even more simplified version of hieroglyphics- keeping hiero sacred.

Until the fourth century A.D., the Rosetta Stone was perfectly readable. But as Christianity became more widespread in Egypt, hieroglyphics was abandoned for its association with pagan gods. Demotic wasn't a taboo language like hieroglyphics, but it eventually evolved into Coptic. Coptic was based off of the 24 letters in the Greek alphabet as well as a few Demotic characters for Egyptian sounds that weren't represented by the Greek language.

When Arabic replaced Coptic, the last frayed thread to hieroglyphics finally snapped. More than a thousand years of Egyptian history became lost in translation. Egypt made way not only for a new language but also for new politics and religion.

It was the cracking of the Rosetta code that allowed access to this lost Egyptian history.

I wonder if hieratic or demotic is the reformed Egyptian the Book of Mormon was originally written in. Any ideas?

For more info on the topic, I found an elaboration of the above info here:

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Game is Ah' Foot

Yesterday I got to photograph Alan, Stacey, and baby Noah! We braved the 100 degree heat and the neighbor let us shoot in their carefully manicured back yard! (We are in the middle of a heat wave and it isn't fun!) I am building a portfolio of portraiture and look forward to learning how to run my own business. I found a new favorite photography site today! :)

She's amazing. I want to be like her, temporally/professionally.

Happy Friday! Much love to all or any who read this!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A week ago Today.

Just want to give thanks for the great time I had last Friday- Girls night out. It's been a long time since I can say, honestly, that I had that much fun. Maybe my attitude is responsible for that:) I drove out to Erin Foxy Nuggets house and so did Erin's good friend from film school, now my friend too, Nabby. Nabs brought over garden burgers, Erin made hot chips- we talked about love, life, projects we're working on, and then we went to a Karaoke bar and sang our little hearts out! (I want to take a moment to compliment Erin on her beautiful singing voice- she's got the voice of a 40's style lounge singer- she sounds like heaven!)

We closed with a personal favorite, Don Henley's Heart of the Matter, India Arie style. We got Yogurtland afterward, upstairs, and walked to a community Dojo to watch and film young martial artists at work. We went back to Erin's place, watched The Blvd and I snapped a couple of photos of Ms. E. I loved my night with the goils. Thank You Muchly for the great evening.

Now on with my part time job search.

P.S. I can't seem to get away from school land- I started my Digital Work flow and Studio Lighting classes this week! Love the professor.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

*Things that make you go Boom*

I was sitting in the computer lab on Wednesday feverishly finishing editing Corri and Karri's photo shoot when my phone began vibrating. A 310 #. No I.D. I answered. It was one of the professors in the film department. She was looking for someone to boom for her the following day in Santa Barbara. She's in the process of making a documentary detailing the corruption of the UC/CSU administrations and regents. I hesitated to accept as I have never done spontaneous boom work- all my experience is with sit-down interviews. But, she convinced me to go...(I couldn't say no to the money.)

I hopped on the freeway at 5am the next morning and sailed northward. I exited Mission St 2 hours later- record time! Found a park, went for a walk, photographed the Santa Barbara Mission- near and dear to my heart- (all 4th grade Californian children construct a miniature version of a CA mission, with gobs of help from parental units- and you guessed it- mine was Santa Barbara!)

After the morning festivities I was still plenty on time to Sharyn's accommodations.

We set up the camera- checked all equipment- she taught me about time coding and the rainbow bars that encode all the info an editor could possibly need to sync sound with picture...I ran some last minute errands as Sharyn loaded the car- We ate breakfast and drove to the shoot location.

We connected all cables, batteries, and did a light metering and balancing test- and then we dove into the crowd of protesters who had pooled outside the UC chancellor's hotel which he would be speaking at that day.

I was good for the first, maybe, 10 minutes. A little arm shake- I tried to find a position to stand in that would allow the rest of my body to shoulder some of the weight of the equipment. It just wasn't working for me- the only results these various strategies brought about were back and neck cramps. As the interviews progressed, I began to note the increasing pull of my messenger bag which had been stuffed with extra DV tapes and mammoth sized batteries-

Note to self: do not perform any work that involves raising your arms above your head for any length of time if you have low blood pressure.

We crossed the street. Sharyn had periodically let me know "sound is good!" We maneuvered almost flawlessly. This was a feat as I was connected to her camera by a 15 ft XLR cable. Unfortunately, it was at this point that a slow wave of nausea began to set in. My arms were struggling to hold position- Sharyn suggested I reposition the pole beneath me with the mic pointing up- it had begun dropping into frame- I wish this shift would have made the difference, but now my arms felt like lead pipes and everything seemed to be pulling me downward.

Mental ramblings went a bit like this: Don't throw up dawn. Hold in there ol' girl. You can do this- this interview will probably wrap in a minute- then you'll just tell Sharyn you really gotta sit down. Crap! I'm really going to puke everywhere! I feel like death! I can't do this another minute!

My left hand reached out for Sharyn's arm while my right continued to keep mic in correct position. All I could muster was a whisper. "Sharyn" She couldn't hear me. She was wearing ear buds- the only sound she was channeling was the input from the mic that was about to come crashing to the ground along with the girl gripping it.

On my second and last attempt to call her name zero sound left my lips as I had no strength with which to speak. The next thing I knew I was regaining consciousness- a white soundless blur of light broke the darkness. I heard people talking but couldn't understand anything they were saying- I began to make out the shapes of people faces and outlines of palm trees. Then the horrible realization hit me: I'm not in my bed... I', not waking up from a dream... I'm on the ground. I was supposed to be holding a boom pole! I must have passed out! NO!!!

I was being cradled in the arms of a stranger- Sharyn was barking orders at people: Everybody back up! Someone get a damp cloth for her face!

One of the protesters was shielding my eyes from the sun with his sign. Another man was praying for me...and my parents had been concerned that it would be a violent crowd.

I didn't want an ambulance to come- Death would be better than an inflated hospital bill! But I couldn't answer anyone's questions: What's your name? I shook my head yes and began to lose consciousness again.

No one ever plans to have an emergency- No one ever plans to leave their house that day only to end up on a cold metal tray, clothes being stripped away at lightening speed- please don't cut my shirt off my body- I.V.- E.K.G.- CAT Scan- they ran a billion tests on me- I was so thirsty- this wasn't in the contract- I'd gone into convulsions after I my head hit the ground. Diagnosis: Concussion. Do not pass go- Do not collect $200.

Sharyn was the perfect blend of mother and professional. I feel so bad about the whole thing and so does she. Her friend picked us up from the E.R. 3 hours later. I rode in the back seat with her friend's dog Willy licking my face the whole way to the house. I received top rate TLC. It could've been so much worse and at the same time it feels so bad.

Concussions leave one negotiating constant bouts of dizziness and nauseousness. I am taking it easy for a while. I am thankful for the wonderful staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital- and all those, pre and post hospital escapade, who nursed me back to life.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Raising money 4 romantic

As I exited the 405 freeway at Santa Monica Blvd, a very curious person came into view. A wild puff of golden hair swayed atop a wide blue-eyed head. A million dollar smile flashed in the daylight. He was holding a piece of cardboard with the inscription, "Raising money 4 romantic". Romantic what? I've seen some clever cardboard signs in my time, but this one was particularly intriguing to me.

He must have discerned my puzzlement for it was then that he flip the sign over, which finished the sentence: Comedy. Raising money 4 romantic comedy! Ha! I loved it!

I began jiggling with laughter! He responded by joyously jumping up and down. Non-verbal comm. It's a beautiful thing. I sat for a moment wanting to do something- roll down my window- make some sort of contact- give him a dollar! Anything! But, alas- the light turned green before I took any action aside from pushing on the gas pedal.

I thought about that young man the rest of the way to the temple, during the session, and afterward. I resolved to speak with him if he was still standing street side when I drove back to the freeway. And what do you know? Three hours later he was still there! But he was on the wrong side of the street which meant I had to get on the freeway, exit, get back on the freeway and exit- you get the picture.

Upon exiting Santa Monica a second time, my unnamed brother had shifted stations. He was now standing on the median. My heart was racing- must go opposite direction to connect- turned around- light is green- check mirror- no one behind me- Yay!
I pulled up next to him, braked, and the light turned red which gave us time to talk.

I rolled down my window wanting to give him the gift of the gospel in return for the giant smile he put on my face. "Hi. I don't have a lot of money, but I have something I feel is more valuable..." I gave him a pass along card- we had a great 2 minute convo- His name is George- he's from upstate NY and knows about the church- He held my hand the entire time we talked- As the light changed, his parting words were, "You're so loving!" That love is the Lord's love! It was incredible.

I then drove to Curry in a Hurry and met up with long lost friend Erin Fox- We digitized footage for the YSA Conference coming up next weekend- listened to favorite YouTube music vid's, and laughed as we watched the footage I got the night before of Brigham and his viola!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HT be an Explorer of the World

Click on the list to enlarge - it's easier on the eyes- :)

Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She is the author and illustrator of several books. I love these scribbled in the middle of the night thoughts!


For double the softness...

This morning on my walk I met a lady named Joyce. Our introduction: Her full sized poodle Weezie almost took a bite out of me! Luckily Weez was attached to a rope that yanked her back right before her teeth connected with my side. Joyce gave her an earful and then we started a great convo. Joyce is a homemaker- and artist- a Christian- a crazy quilter- she invited me to her church's singles group. I told her about my congregation and the humanitarian project the Young Singles are crewing next month- we're going to make 1,000 quilts!

Joyce donated a Hawaii quilt to our cause- I finished my walk with a fleece lined quilt in tow. It was awesome.

P.S. New fact about Adenmore: many residents have lived on this street for several decades- some were born and raised on this street and were later able to buy their own piece of property- it's home for them... :)

Friday, July 10, 2009



I just got back from shooting a friend's wedding reception and it confirmed to me that this is what I want to do with my life! I want to live my life in pictures- taking pictures-- I get such an absolute rush from it- I thanked God tonight as I drove home, for giving me that unexpected opportunity tonight to photograph Kira and Brando's reception- their other photographer bailed on them right after the temple- THE NERVE!

I have had 3 photo adventure this week- on Monday I photographed Corri and Karri the twins- who model- hence they were the easiest people to work with- coaching each other on how to pose, constantly morphing facial expressions from cute to exotic. We shot at Forrest Lawn in Glendale (where Michael Jackson was laid to rest the following day!) and in and old Cathedral in Pasadena.

I shot Kira's Bachelorette party on Tuesday- action packed and full of fun. And you know the rest. Experience gives us...experience. I now know, thanks to this week, why photographer use external flashes- so there's no camera delay while the flash recharges=continuous shooting power- and diffused beautiful light! and why they use a 105mm lens or 18mm-200mm, so they don't have to ride people to get the good shot!

So, list of things to do:

Buy professional lens
Buy professional flash
Buy professional body


I can't wait!!!

And my friends Derald and Elaine met with the missionaries at my house today! It was GREAT!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I started a Morning Walk regimen this month. Seeing as I usually wake up around 5am... early to bed early to rise...I decided to get out into the neighborhood, give my regards to fellow early-risers, and get a bit of exercise while I'm at it. (They say the best time for cardio is on an empty stomach. Another plus for the time frame.)

So many great interactions have been created because of this new practice. I'm beginning to know my neighbors and I love it!

I enjoy studying the quirky landscapes and architecture of Lakewood.

I even scored a free art print of Jack Vettriano's The Singing Butler- one of my all time favorite paintings and one of the UK's most celebrated and successful artists. Thanks to Rachel and Yvette's yard sale. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Thing Called Love

I just read a friends Love Story online. She's getting married soon- never thought love would come her way, and here's the rub: The night she had her first real convo with her soon-to-be hubby, she was in a low place, emotionally speaking. She was stressed out about work and money and didn't feel like being around anybody- let alone a coursing gathering of over 100 people. (She'd helped to put together the night's event.)

She escaped for some fresh air, Brian followed her, listened to her vent, encouraged her, even invited her to dinner for that same night- and they've been inseparable ever since! She was depressed and still met a wonderful faithful man!

I want to add to this, a thought that's been simmering in the mental pot for a while. I was conversing with my brother and a guy friend earlier this year. My friend's brother-in-law has a gaggle of cute single sisters, two of which attend our congregation. My brother asked our friend if he'd ever considered dating one of them. He quickly replied, "No way! I know too much."

That sentiment sat with me and then this thought came: Loving someone is knowing "too much" and loving them anyway.

All the myths I've built up in my head about having to be perfect or perfectly prepared to meet a great guy, are crash and burning at my feet. Yes prepare. Yes have a strong relationship with the Lord first... but, perfection may just be a starry-eyed dream, reserved for the other side--

Monday, June 01, 2009

Me Graduated Now

The Crowning Event of my closing CSULB career occurred last night. It was the Advanced Documentary track Student Showcase, where my film, No Place Like Home, debuted. After weeks and weeks of intense, tiring, glorious work, my doc hit the big screen at the William Link Theater on campus. It received praise all around!

I grimace to think of all the premature and needless fretting I exposed beforehand- The sound isn't perfect- That voice-over happened too soon...True, it needs a little fine tuning, but the other fact that's just as true is, people dig it! :)I am so thrilled!!! I look forward to cleaning the film up, and begin to learn the festival submission process. I am so thankful I stayed on another year to do a film production minor- and for Kirk Marcolina who was hired 3 days before the start of the Fall semester to take on my class- he is brilliant- a true God-send- I learned so much from him!


Happy graduation to all Spring 2009 graduates!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great Scotts!

What a day! I slept at my editors house last night- attempted a late night and morning crunch session of final editing, as Maya left for San Fran this morning at 9. Still work to do- so tired- work was hectic- After work I drove to LBCC where I have my Photojournalism final in 30 minutes- Needed the memory card in my camera, which I forgot at work- drove all the way back to work- back to LBCC- left my flash drive at home- borrowed one which fried my memory card- drove home and cried- took Jen to the airport- so tired- came back to school- lost some great photos- which are now being retrieved by a man named Scott at the computer lab on the 2nd floor of the newly beautified LBCC library- God bless Scott and his file retrieval software!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Swing Like There's No Tomorrow!

I really like Ingrid Michaelson's The Way I Am. Just wish she didn't support smoking.

It's the eve before crazy, wonderful, endless editing- Maya and I are about to have a 48 hr marathon- We're finishing up the Documentary.

I'm so thankful I've had this afternoon/evening to regroup and rest.

Earlier in the day, I went to an ancient cemetery to photograph my final photojournalism assignment; Death (Is Not the End!)

The stone and woodwork that fashion the ceilings and facade of these final resting grounds are absolutely amazing- Unfortunately there is a No Photo-Taking policy indoors- Otherwise I would've snapped away at the 400 ft swinging pendulum this swings smack dab in the middle of this archaic maze! -With it's gigantic stone weight, swooshing slowly, yet powerfully, through the air- It's antiquated song echoed through the empty halls- mesmerizing- creepy- lovely.

P.S. We're in luck- someone broke Mausoleum Code of Honor and posted a pic of the very pendulum I was referring to on Google Images!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fried Pineapple and a Soccer Ball

Mmmm mmmm. Nothing says lovin like the ooey gooey-ness of pineapple slices fried in their own juices...the thick brown crust that forms around the edges- how the natural sugars seep out and solidify. Yes. Frying pineapple is one of my most favorite preschool activities to conduct. Today the children laughed and pointed as the steam rolled upwards from the hot plate, fogging my glasses. We feasted upon fried fruit as the coolness of the morning whipped around us.

My fellow teacher assistant Sarah L. asked me to save her a slice. I looked up a bit later to find her replacement. She'd gone on break, so I saved her a bit of tropical heaven. When she returned, the pineapple was still warm. She smiled and said, "aww. you really do care about me." Then skipped over to the sand box. It filled my heart with joy. Like I'd given a little secret treasure. It is such a good feeling to connect and to give. Back to giving- I want to give more. Maybe 2 RAofK a day...

Right before lunch I got involved in a rousing game of soccer with the kids- I had SO MUCH fun. It was 5-8 against 2. The odds, although fair, (I was on the 2 member team), made me laugh. I realized once again how great team sports make me feel. I never played them growing up and didn't appreciate them then, but I certainly feel the benefits of them now!

One more thing. Morgan, our preschool chef, made the best chicken mac n' cheese and cucumber salad today for lunchy! And Sara the kid brought her hamster to school:) Toot-sey Sparkle Diamond is the hamsters full name.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

D to the P

Yesterday, friends from Charles Lauren Films came over to help with pick-ups (shots/scenes still needed) for my doc. I am so grateful to David and Kelsey for all their help and hard work! You can see some of their commercial work at:

They are brilliant and talented!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ahhh Sunday

As I sit at the computer, my grandma is occupying the room next to me, giggling away at the Sunday funnies. Laughter is one of the things I love most about living at home. No one can cause fits of laughter to seize upon my soul like my family can. I think it's one of their superpowers. Yesterday for instance, my brother at I were driving homeward, he'd just gotten head shots done. One of us made the comment, "it's a small world..." This sent Justin into a seismic sing-song production, rearranging the words of Disney's It's A Small World. "The world is someting, the world ah ah,...the world is smaaaaaall!" What made it so silly is the nasally-whinny-latin accent he was singing with- I love my brother.

My dad is endless quick-wit. I was on hold with the DMV customer service line this week- every few minutes this automated voice would come on the line encouraging me to hang up and opt for clearing up my issue online- "Your hold time will be more than 10 minutes..." I ignored the prompt, leaving the phone on speaker. My dad and brother were putting about the kitchen also encouraging me to end the call. The 5th time the automated voice came on, there was a glitch; "Yer...yer...yuh". The machine was trying desperately to spit the phrase out. My dad chimes in, "It's laughing at you." He mocked the recording (and me for waiting so long) adding repressed laughs between each "Yer".

Maybe you would've had to have been there, or get my family's humor. :) It's a blessing to have so much fun con mi familia.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Like this List A-Lot.

So I'm gonna share it:)

9 Things You Can Do to Be Happy in the Next 30 Minutes (+2)

1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you’re on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better…

2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

3. Reach out. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more friendly toward you, but you’ll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a big rush of elation.

5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time cleaning off your desk and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.

6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by e-mail, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. In fact, you can also…

7. Save someone’s life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. “Do good, feel good” — it really works!

8. Act happy. Fake it 'til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you’re smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.

9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that really interests you, not something you think you "should" or "need" to learn about.

10. Pray sincerely, even if you don't feel like you want to. The adversary wants to keep us from praying because he knows how helpful and potent it can be- not to mention, his main objective is to cut us off from the presence of God-

11. Read from the scriptures- return to a favorite verse and try memorizing it. My current favorite is 2 Ne. 8:12

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Maya the Brilliant!

Maya pulled off a intensive full night of editing successfully and I am ecstatic! She stayed for my Doc production class, watched the rough cut with us and we were able to take in the positive reactions together:) I am SO grateful the 1st rough cut came together!!! And I am SO GRATEFUL for Maya! 3 more weekends of filming, a 2nd rough cut, and hopefully a lot of changing for the better will be wrought in the life of the main character because of this experience!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

You want a Necklace Beard too!

And I want to make you one! :)>

On Tuesday, one of the girls arrived to school clutching a handmade necklace for her friend. Her mom marked how excited her daughter was to Give. It was another inspiring moment for me- I want to get into that habit of finding Joy in Giving to others just for the sake of Giving-

Speaking of giving, Saturday March 28th Matt came over to help me film- I interviewed my parents talking about their hopes and fears for the main character of the doc- It was during this interview that my parents taught me I don't have to be perfectly prepared to find love- we're never really prepared for marriage when it comes our way, and the right-person-for-us can help us become the person we need to be-

The following day at church, preparing for Linger Longer, I learned that one of the mellowest people I know used harbor a boiling temper. They had ripped down the garage overhang and pulverized it to bits the day they banged their head on it- they were married to a easygoing happy person even!!! One day they finally decided it wasn't worth it to lash out in such violent bursts. Slowly over time they changed- the point is 1. they decided to change and 2. That change came after the person had married a wonderful companion-

I'm not saying we should enter into that most sacred union nonchalantly, lazily, or purposely under prepared. I realized however that what's Ideal, isn't always what's Real.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fuse Beads

There is a time guzzling drug marketed specifically to 4 and 5 year olds- It's manufactured in a multitude of colors, with or without glitter, transparent or opaque... Yes! Fuse beads! If in your youth you missed out on this activity of wonder, there's still hope- somehow adults are willingly lured into the fuse bead festivities of their children-

Today at work a valuable lesson was reintroduced to me. Gabriel had be slaving away at a circle template with a deliberate color pattern. This had involved asking everyone at the table to excavate their individual fuse bead bowls for a few rare and precious black fuse beads. Then he had to convince the other 6 children that they wanted to devote their coal colored beads to him. It was an arduous process. I had been so proud of him for working hard to obtain his goal.

Meanwhile, one of the girls was drawing a crowd at an adjacent table with her 3 pokey-backed black caterpillars she'd captured at home. Gabriel and "Carlito" left for a moment of admiration and upon return, Carlito's elbow sent Gabriel's beads rocketing across the deck- Gabriel's face dropped, his brow crinkled, he huffed a few understandably flustered words and jetted to the structure to be alone-

My heart ached, especially because Gabriel refrained from retaliation (a common response at this age). I wanted to scoop all the orphaned beads into a bowl and recreate his masterpiece for him. As a Purple Side teacher, I know that fixing or saving a child from disappointment is a big no-no. Still, I let my natural response mode get the best of me, at first. I collected as many black, green, red, and white beads as I could find from the floor, put them in Gabe's bowl and even started beading the black periphery. Years of training began creeping into my mind.

Am I helping Gabe by trying to take this negative experience away? It might make me feel a whole lot better. In the long run though, kids need to go through hard things so they learn how to handle trying situations, the emotions *and appropriate solutions* that accompany them.

I dumped the beads back into Gabe's bowl, set the template on top, and asked another teacher to check in with Gabe. No immediate response. A while later he started playing with Ricky. Then! A half hour later he returned to the table. This was terribly rewarding to see.

I offered him the scavenged remains and his barren template. He refused the template saying he wanted to use a square instead of a circle. With the same color scheme, he created a white door with a black nob and deemed it far superior to the original. In his words, "I didn't like the other one. This one is a lot better."

As he made this remark Andres' fuse beads spilled from his template. Disgruntled, he began chucking the beads across the table. I stopped him and explained how Gabe had lost his work that day and that sometimes when we are forced to start over, it is an opportunity to assess where we've been and create something better- :) The principle clicked and Andres began a new project, agreeing that he could like this one even more than the last.

Great lessons for life. I heart preschoolers!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ansa Verse SOiReE

A soiree- a party; a social gathering of celebration and recreation, with religious, cultural, or seasonal implications...

Last April I ventured to the desert wonderland of Ansa Borrego with my dear friend Erin. Yesterday we returned to this arid landscape, bustling alive with flowering spring- it was GORGEOUS! And, instead of two, we were three! I accompanied Erin and her fiance of two months, Brandon, and shot a days worth of engagement photos.

As I reminisce about the day's activities, I smile. It was truly a fun adventure- Loved every minute- even the moments I stepped and sat in cacti! I'm still laughing about that! :)

Thank you Erin and Brandon for a great day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Momma

I gotta pay some homage.

In countless ways throughout my life, my mother has shown me what it means to put her children first. She has modeled sacrifice, sheltering, and selflessness. I hope to shadow her one day.

Let me share two illustrations.

Two weeks ago, she attended an annual Spaghetti dinner fundraiser- after dinner, to add to "the pot", they had a dessert auction. My mom monetarily maneuvered her way into winning a plate of rice krispy treats sprinkled with a rainbow of M&Ms. Let's just say those turned out to be the costliest marshmallow delights in the world! AND she gave them to me to take to church the next day for the Linger Longer Pot Luck! Elmo says sharing is caring.

Yesterday, after having spent a full morning orchestrating and running the Scouts Pinewood Derby then grocery shopping the afternoon away, she agreed to prepare and host a family dinner especially for a scene in my documentary short film. She fed all the family and my small crew of friends and helped dinner convo to stay on topic. She is a lifesaver! God bless you Momma! Thanks for 31 years+ of hard work and love.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Free at Last

Friday was laced with good intention. I attempted to fulfill requirements for 2 photography assignments in one go; one project focusing on color, the other composition. I drove to Signal Hill's industrial district, parked in 1 hour parking, and began to scout the area on foot.

I stumbled upon a photographic treasure trove at Gardena and 29th St. A giant lot heaped with monochromatic and analogous colored scrap metals, orphaned car parts, and towering trucks. I asked the 2 men sweeping for permission to take a few photos. They welcomed me. Before I knew it, 1 photo led to another and another...and...

One of the men called to me as he was leaving, "Good luck with your project!" "Thanks!" I called back. Half an hour later it occurred to me that it might be beneficial to my pocket book to move my car so I wouldn't get a parking ticket, or worse, towed.

I walked towards the gate I had originally entered. Strange. It was closed. Anxiety inducing. It was locked. It was the only way out and I was the only one inside! Which left me with this chilling challenge: To find a way out!!!

Like a pinball rickashaying off all 4 walls, I bounced from corner to corner, searching for a loose board, a latter, anything that would help me scale the tall gate sporting it's wiry barbed hairdo. Nothing.

My eye spied the vintage truck parked beside the gate. I hopped onto the running board which lent me enough height to become a floating head. "Look at me, here I am, right where I belong..." A bobbing head-

I tried waving down the cars driving by, yelling to cell phone man down the street- no one noticed me- My car! I had to get out of here! I offered a desperate prayer. Heavenly Father, please please please send someone to rescue me. Five minutes later a delivery truck pulls into a driveway across the street. On his way out, he begins rolling down his window. I call to him, he stops! He let me borrow his cell phone. I called the cops.

An officer showed up with backup. The first thing he said to me was, "So you're turning yourself in for breaking and entering huh?" "No officer, I got permission to be here." "Oh yah? From who?" "Shoot. I didn't get their names." "Oh. You don't know their names..." He gave me a really hard time, laughing all along the way.

The officer had just completed a two hour lock picking training a couple weekends before! Unfortunately it didn't help him. Somehow they were able to get a hold of the company's owner and 2 hours later I returned to my car. Yes! It was still there and no ticket! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Answer to prayer #40,109,327.
After rushing to class last night, I was surprised and saddened to see the lens cap was not attached to the lens of my camera. Where could it be!? I was sure it was intact before I got in my car to drive to school...

Long story short; I tore apart my room, my car, and retraced all my steps. This included leaving a half hour early for work this morning, returning to school to comb the grassy lawn, carpeted floors, and hallways.

Fortunately, I had more than luck on my side. I'd prayed to find cappy and the Lord saw fit to align circumstance. The Lord has the power to put us in the right place at the right time. For me, this meant being in my car, facing west in a parked position at 8:15 a.m. Having to wait for peace of mind any longer than that may have figuratively killed me.

After scouring the campus, I returned to my car defeated, yet oddly hopeful. I opened the driver side door, eyes skimming the ground as I sat down with door still open. And there it was- a brilliant ray of morning sun, acting as a spotlight, shown into the floor of my car in the exact spot where my lens cap lay, upside down, atop a patch of plastic flooring that matched the cap exactly.

I immediately and profusely thanked God for this tender mercy and went to work with a huge smile on my face.

The night ended just as wonderfully. I had a great reciprocal visiting teaching session with Meagan, Alyssa, and Ashley. I love those girls! It's such a blessing to be surrounded by people who share my values.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thirt Tee Won

I had a great birthday today starting with a serenade from my mum and salmon tinted tulips from Autumn (my favorite flower and sister). When I walked into work, all the teachers and kids sang to me- I got lots of hugs- they made me a birthday banner signed by kids and staff, complete with a gaggle of glitter! As I was getting ready to leave work, a group of kids walked the completed banner towards me, surrounded me and cut off my air supply. Not really, but that would've been creepy. The afternoon staff and kids sang to me- more hugs!

I went to Institute, Br. Johnson and the people hanging out sang to me- a stream of texts poured in throughout the day- I have yet to check my facebook profile, but as of yesterday I'd had several happy birthday posts. Do I feel loved or what?!

I went to Disneyland in the afternoon *for free* It's their new promotional for the year, and then upgraded and bought an annual pass- a gift to myself- Autumn and I met up with Kristen and her friend Joseph-- We went to dinner at the Grand Californian and rode Heimlich's Chew Chew Train- it was my first time, and I laughed my head off for the entire duration of the ride! What a great way to end a first day back at the park-

The day finished with my beloved photography class and when I got home I opened a gift that had been dropped off by my friend Jon...a 24 carrot necklace. That's right folks. Literally. We plan to juice it tomorrow.

p.s. I got my first dslr camera last Friday from Momma. YaY! I shot pix all day on Saturday- loved it! A BIG THANK YOU to everyone whose helped to make this birthday SO special!!! xoxoxo

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Crazy Chicken

I was sitting in Moran's History of Broadcasting class last night when he offered this philosophical gem: We are unnecessarily competitive. There is more than enough for everybody, if we organize it right- so stop hurting each other.

It's a beautiful thought and invitation. What kind of world would it be if everyone operated from a place of abundance rather than scarcity? Certainly our mortal sphere would be a much different place, if everyone had sufficient for their needs.

This is not a Utopian theory- it is a call for the elimination of greed and a belief in abundance.

I'd come home between work and class- Momma brought home El Pollo Loco for dinner-bringin home the chicken- I noted that each of us prefer a different cut- and when all is divvied up, there is a perfect amount for each of us and everyone gets what they want- it works out perfectly. With a little faith, maybe this is how all areas of life are meant to work- not just dinner.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saved from the Eternal BBQ

This week has been filled with goodies, with the best yet to come; a weekend in the mountains with family- we leave tomorrow- yay!!!

The 24th marked the 8 year anniversary of my return home from my mish and the 27th, my 1 year celebration of semi-regular contribution to this here bloggie-poo.

On Monday, my coworker brought homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies to work- I told myself I would wait to snag one after a proper lunch, if there were any left- When I finished work, there was one lowly cookie, staring up at my open mouth as I chomped it to oblivion. One left, just for me!

Little Albin came running up to me today, hands cupped, smiling. he said, "dawn. guess what i have." "what is it albin?" his hand blossomed to reveal two plump purple worms with bodies swirled around each other. albin's smile widened, "they're wrestling!" we both started to laugh. SO CUTE!

A miracle transpired yesterday. If ever you've wondered if miracles still happen today, I am here to tell you they do.

I've had a power strip that plugs into a wall outlet, closest in proximity to where I lay my head at night to sleep. This power strip has been the hub of all nightly electrical activity in my room; the alarm clock, stereo, lamp, cell phone charger, and camera battery charger have all juiced up here until two nights ago.

It was akin to a scene from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. It started with my alarm clock, which began to flicker. My lamp sulked 12 degrees dimmer than usual, emitting an eerie fluorescent glow instead of it's usual intense white light. There was a faint smell of electrical burn, but I couldn't pin point the source and assumed it must be my lamp which I then promptly turned off. The smell subsided.

In the morning, I found my alarm clock completely dead and my cell phone uncharged. I went to turn on my stereo to listen to my morning news show- it fuzzed out twice, defaulting the tuner to the beginning of the fm dial, causing inconvenient interruptions to my programming. What the heck was going on?!

Long story shorter, I later shuffled things around and plugged my lamp directly into the wall instead of the power strip to see if it would bring back the brightness. It did. As I was plugging my phone into it's charger last night, surely I was hearing a sizzling sound coming from behind my bed. I crouched down to get a closer look. There it was. The converter situated between the power strip plug and the outlet was melting before my very eyes! Hence the smell and all other weirdness.

I quickly unplugged everything and threw the power strip away. An electrical garden had been sucking energy from that source the entire day. A fire could have easily spewed forth from that wirery orifice- I am completely convinced we were protected from harm these past few days. Thanks be to the sheltering hand of the Lord.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Did I Do That?

All week, my sister's car has refused to do it's job and start! Well, today is street sweeping day and you know what that means. Move it or be fined. It was early, round 7:15a.m. Zack came over to give Autumn a ride to work. In addition, he thought he could jump-start her car so she could drive, rather than push, it onto the sidewalk and out of the Sweeper's way.

I'd previously overheard Autumn explaining she'd just bought a new car battery and felt sure that wasn't the source of malfunction. Still, Zack was now attaching battery cables. Old Red's ignition clicked away- nothing connected. Zack unplugged the cables and while storing them in the back seat, I decided I could make his job easier by shutting the hood of his car for him. He could then simply board his car, back it up, and we could push Autumn's car to safety.

Sturdy and almost unwavering, I really had to give his hood a good shove downwards before it connected with the rim of the front bumper. All I saw was the expression on Zack's face, a combination of terror and quivering lips.

Yes. There was a metal rod holding the hood in upright position. And no! I had not removed it from said position before closing the hood! You can imagine my dismay when my eyes commuted from Zack's panged visage to his now v-shaped hood. Oh me! Oh my! Oh no! In the immortal words of Urkel from Family Matters, "Did I do that?"

I immediately boosted the hood back up and reached for the latch which proceeded to break in my hand. That couldn't be good either. The whole thing was just sort of unbelievable. I left the house with intentions of being helpful and I broke Zack's car instead. I'll probably have to pay a pretty penny to get it fixed.

Moral of the story: when given the choice to stay inside your warm cozy home or egress to the frigid exterior and help someone in need, Please! Stay inside! Both of you will be glad you did.

A Vote for Walkable Cities

I would love to live in a walkable city. Why? Opportunistic for cool shoes! And the real reasons: For cleaner fresher air, water, and world; less traffic accidents; less DUI's; retention of moola that might have been spent on fuel, insurance, registration, tickets; increased physical activity; added opportunity for cordial community exchange; less conflict over peace? OK. Maybe that's taking it a little too far, but the list of benefits go on!

Transportation could be provided for the necessaries: large loads to carry, women giving birth (other medical oriented stuff), travel to far away places, etc. But, if a majority of movement could be made by foot, everyone might just be a lot happier and healthier. AND incidents (as mentioned in above post) would be eradicated from reality.

P!S! After walking back to the house from noted auto-fiasco, we discovered the storm drain had detached itself from the side of the garage and landed on top my grandmother's Camry, leaving a large gray scratch in place of the once umber-toned paint. Another mishap that could have been avoided if we didn't have such a dependency on automobiles!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Spirited Away

Today at work I was surrounded by the chitlins- I've been given an opportunity this week to get to know some of the younger kids at The Center, as age groups 2&3 and 4&5 are combined for Winter Session.

We were in a woodsy corner of the yard where clusters of bamboo and pine tangle together forming a natural wall separating us from the outside world.
Some of the kids were showing off their bamboo balancing skills when without warning, pine cone particles began spilling from the tree tops. I heard a rustling in the boughs and told the kids we had a visitor-- "A squirrel is having lunch up there." I pointed skyward.

A hush fell over the group. We all huddled together, chins up, trying to locate the little critter. "I don't see it!" came the bewildered chorus. "I don't see the squirrel either." I tried to appease them. The kids resumed their acrobatics.

Claire approached me. Something had just fallen on her head. I removed a russet colored pine cone piece. And then the little showers of debris began again. This time the squirrel was hopping from one tree to another. We watched it shower over there, then there, then there... I smiled.

Phoenix deduced, "I can't see the squirrel, but I can hear it! And I can feel it!" The thought came, "this is a perfect parallel to the Holy Ghost!" I paused. My eyes began to get all salty-wet as I looked at this sweet little girl and thought of how precious kids are- We had just experienced an eternal truth in a new way.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Jan You Air Re

This smorning Erin and I put our best feet forward! As tradition, 2009 marks year New Years Day Hike #3. :)

We rolled along the 110, and followed the twisting curves of San Pedro. Across the board, every possible view was dripping with fog. It reminds me of the new song my brother and I made up last night. Put to the chorus of The Killers, Human, "Are we driving? Or are we flying? Are they clouds? We can't tell..."

8 hours later the land of So Cal was still blanketed in brume. Erin and I managed to arrive at a perfect hiking spot. We drove aimlessly right to a hillside dropping down to a rocky beach. Here is what we found on our adventure:

1. Drunken ninja man, dressed in black from head to toe, stumbling over the tall grass across the street. He was calling out to the wind, "Yaaaaaghhhh! Ughhhh-Yaghhhh!" fighting some invisible force known only to him. We stood in amazement, hoping he'd win.

2. A beach side cat colony- approximately 60 gatos! They are being fed and cared for by a team of volunteers, one is a woman named Sandy who had pushed her graying hair back with a fuzzy black cat-eared head band. She gave us the low-down on the situation-

3. Sea glass for Sarah L., frosted by the relentless pounding of the sea.

4. A network of rock-side channels, miniature water slides.

5. Rob and family who'd arranged a tiered kaleidoscope of flowers and fruits as an New Year's offering to the God of the Sea. Talk about organic art. Swollen purple grapes, placed inside a halved coconut, floating in a bath of molasses, mangoes tangoing with oranges... Yum!

It was such a beautiful varied morning & early afternoon, which brings me to my New Years Resolution. Grateful girl in 2009.

Happy start of the year to you all! Much Love!!!