Friday, August 24, 2012

Confession: It's Cool to be Hip


When I grow up and have kids, they will inevitably look back on old photos and journal entries and tell me what a huge nerd I was and probably still will be.  I’m writing this because for once in my life, I can identify with an actually cool movement, and I want them to know that at least right now, geek is chic  (that’s what one of my nieces told me anyways when I asked why she was wearing some big fake glasses lol). 
I’m not “a hipster” (lets face it, no one will claim the label these days, because it’s "in" to be underground), but I was just thinking today of how funny it is that I have some hipster-ish traits.  If you don't know what this is, I don't think anyone else really does either, except to say that it's the newest movement that I saw a lot of at BYU, and can only be defined by what hipsters do and things they like or wear.  

So here are some things I have in common with Hipsters: 
  • I blog.
  • I’m in my 20s
  • I’ve been writing poetry and song lyrics since I was 13…and I don’t talk about it…
  • Mike and I own or have owned Keds & Sperry’s (but no TOMS)
  • I’ve always loved to read classic literature
  • I thrifted a purse for $2 that other Hipsters think is bomb
  • I like Indie music.  My favorite band list right now includes Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Florence & the Machine, The Civil Wars, & Flight of the Conchords (just for fun)
  • I’ve been playing violin for 10 years and I learned to play the guitar for love (specifically: Mike)
  • I minored in art in college
  • I love foreign dramas
  • English has always been my favorite subject in school, and I love to write
  • I know a lot of abstract artists & their pieces
  • I have a lot of quirks, like that I’ve always secretly wanted to become a FBI agent or criminal mastermind
  • I LOVE ironic TV shows with lots of playful banter (Gilmore girls, 30 Rock, etc.)
  • Mike and I don’t eat a ton of meat
  • I was raised on thrifting all of my clothes & home decor
  • I actually am near sighted (even though I don’t wear Hipster glasses)
  • I like it when Mike grows a beard & looks so rugged
  • We love to go camping & be in the outdoors
  • I wash my hair like twice a week and mostly leave it natural
  • Our apt contains a lot of Ikea furniture
  • I’m socially pretty shy when you first meet me, and later I’m pretty sarcastic and have a dry sense of humor/irony
  • I own a Mac.  and skinny jeans. ‘Nuff said.
  • I like cats

But just to be clear, there are some definite things that separate me from this group:  
  • I’m not Democratic
  • I don’t get super worked up about global warming
  • I have no bumper stickers on my car
  • I don’t hate McDonnalds or Walmart for being monopolies 
  • I’m not trendy & don’t own the latest gear
  • I don’t do the ‘fake moustache’ thing.
  • I'm not super technologically savvy
  • No messenger bag
  • I don’t drink coffee or hang out in bookstore cafĂ©’s
  • I’ve never been to an outdoor concert
  • I don’t play Ukulele
  • I could never live in LA or NYC
  • I don’t have an awesome camera or moped or Iphone
  • I don’t get Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, etc. 
  • I don’t photograph everything I eat

Some people seem to get so offended when you call them Hipsters, especially because they like to be viewed as individuals.  Unfortunately, there are so many individuals that have the same taste in things that it seems to have turned into a mainstream movement, which has turned it into something ironic in and of itself.   I don’t use the term negatively; I have a lot of friends who fall into some hipsterly trends (starting their own bands, buying vintage clothing, traveling abroad, taking tons of Instagram photos of what they ate that day) and I think that they are awesome people...the truth is that I sometimes find myself wishing I was that cool.  I know saying I’m hipster-ish puts me outside the group, but in a way I’m proud that there are a lot of people that are funny and like satire, ride bikes, recycle old clothes and care about current issues and the arts.  I know that soon, like big hair bands, goths, emos, or boy bands, the whole "hipster thing" will run it's course, but I think I'll still ride out the wave and then remember these college years fondly when my kids are teasing me about still wearing too-tight skinny jeans.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shell We Camp?

One of our favorite things to do is to go camping.  
Here are some summer photos from above Shell Canyon, WY. (Sanderson style)
Mike teaching the nephews things every boy ought to know, I'm sure 

The proud new camper owners.  What a spacious abode
Mike's still unsure of babies. In general. 
Here's my niece! Little Zaili (sorry Tami for the spelling) Young.  She makes the best faces
Little brodi-bot! (Broden) lookin fly with his daddy and his sunglasses
Mike and I decided to go all celestial in our matching outfits I guess

The water here was probably around 40 degrees!!! 
My perfect butt print.  So proud

Ruth coordinated some awesome games, songs, and skits to do one of the evenings there.  It was so fun!
Here's more nieces and nephews playing the skittles game (Christian, Shiloh, *friend*, Alec, Karsten, Saige)
The best part about being married is getting adopted into a whole other family, and getting to know and love each of them like the ones you've grown up with.  I love my newly enlarged family, including all my sibling-in-laws and all of their great kids.  I'm really grateful that they've returned the favor by accepting me as their family and loving me as one of the bunch.  We're very blessed to be in the Sanderson clan!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Canadian Border Patrol and Gymnastics

So I just wanted to post two more of my favorite YouTube videos;  the second one especially in light of the 2012 Olympic games, found after I watched women's gymnastics.
I hope you enjoy these at least half as much as I did!

Canadian Border Patrol

1988 Paul Hunt gymnastics comedy floor exercise 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Home Sweet Home at Last

Here is our bedroom.  We painted the dresser over the summer and found some black knobs for a total of $3 at the local Habitat for Humanity 'ReStore'
The set of stools I'm using as nightstands were $6 a piece at Goodwill,  and I'm in the process of painting them (as you can see here) to match the tan rustic look of the dresser.   
Tan couch: free from a storage unit in Colorado (thanks Dad!), and of course my thrifty place matts and $3 curtain rod from DI

We're using the extra bedroom as a study for the time being

I used masking tape to mark off this bulletin board while I painted chevron stripes on it.  I think it makes for a cute addition.   
Some of my inspirations on the wall opposite the desk
I don't need Instagram to make my photos appear aged and fuzzy.  My old school five mega pixel camera should do the job :D

It's been about a week since we've finally settled into our luxurious two bedroom, one bath apartment in Laramie and we're loving all the open space we have here!  My friends probably hate me as much as Taylor Swift's friends do her; always nervous that I'm going to post something personal about them on my blog.  But I am excited about our new ward and all of the cool families we have met here.

Mike started Med school last Monday, and has recently taken up the hobby of stalking our deck-mates: the pigeons.  He's quite hilarious waiting by the door, broom in hand for them to sneak into his masterfully crafted "pigeon trap" which entails a small opening through the bottom of our cardboard fortress, allowing the pigeons onto the deck area where they can comfortably poop all day long.  While watching them the other day, I recorded his following remarks: 

Mike: "the beauty of it is that it's only open on one side, so they can't escape.  So I can beat them to a bloody pulp if I wanted."
        -continues to monitor their movements with keen interest
"Seriously.  Dang pigeons.  I'm going to obsess about this."  ....
"It's like a rat trap...It's like a 'rats with wings' trap."
       -sees one on the deck and *shhhh's* me for coughing too loud
"Here pigy-widgies.  What do pigeons eat?" ....
“Seriously, if they don’t go away, I’m going to have you buy mouse traps to put out there by the entrance to their hole.”

Mike finally cornered one and started swatting at it with the broom until, and this does not reflect negatively on his manhood, he let it go free with the send-off "Go tell your friends!"

Over the past few weeks we've developed a system that serves us well.  I cook an "omelette du fromage" (Mike's French is compliments of an episode of "Dexter's Lab") for breakfast and sammi with Triscuit and Banana for lunch.  He goes off and learns stuff while I take care of homely things, then he returns to draw medical things on my anatomy and care for my ailments.  We've enjoyed spending time with each other, the new Batman movie (!!!!!), decorating the apt, cooking together, battling each other, visiting with the fam, and meeting the other people in the program and our neighbors.  

Since last Tuesday, I've had the worst cough, phlegm (I hate that word worse than 'sphincter' and 'secretions' combined), and fevers combined with some heavy fatigue.  After some detailed research on my part, and what Mike describes as “Ashley’s favorite new past-time for herself: creating illnesses for herself on ‘web MD,” I learned that I most likely had a virus that caused a little case of Bronchitis.  (But seriously, I did love typing in different symptoms and seeing what the outcome was, especially when a red box popped up, warning: "If you have all these symptoms, please go to an Urgent Care facility at once!"  Me: “ooh!  They have ‘fits of rage’! Sorry, just let me hulk out.  And urinary incontenance…let’s add that to my list of symptoms…”).  A long overdue trip to the doctors today, some Halls, Mucinex, chicken noodle soup, an inhaler, and other medicine I can't pronounce later and I think I may live.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Education of Little Tree

This year, my summer "Read List" included:
I give it five stars!  “The Education of Little Tree” portrays powerful life lessons through sweetly frosted narratives of a simpler life in the mountains.  The beauty lies in how Forrest Carter (Asa Earl Carter) uses the removed and innocent perspective of a Native American boy learning “the way of the Cherokee” via his grandparents, to teach deeply insightful lessons on everything from the double standard of many religious folk and the meaning of true education, to how to love and be in harmony with the world around you.  Aside from narrations of mountain and city-folk life during the great depression, this book held many quotable sections and one-liners, which include:
  • “A man rises of his own will in the morning” (p.6)
  • “’This is the Way,” [grandpa] said softly. ‘Take only what ye need...’” (p.9)
  • Comparing men to the turkey: “’Since he knows everything, he won’t never look down to see what’s around him.  Got his head stuck up in the air too high to learn anything.’” (p.10)
  • “To [my grandparents], love and understanding was the same thing.  Granma said you couldn’t love something you didn’t understand; nor could you love people, nor God, if you didn’t understand the people and God.  Granpa and Granma had an understanding, and so they had a love.” (p.38)
  •  “Granpa said back before his time ‘kinfolks’ meant any folks that you understood and had an understanding with, so it meant ‘loved folks’. But people got selfish, and brought it down to mean just blood relatives…” (p38)
  •  “’If ye don’t know the past, then ye will not have a future.  If ye don’t know where your people have been, then ye won’t know where your people are going.’” (p.40)
  •  On the physical & spiritual minds: “”Granma said that if you used the body-living mind to think greedy or mean; if you was always cuttin’ at folks with it and figuring how to material profit of’n them…then you would shrink up your spirit mind to a size no bigger’n a hickor’nut…In such case, you lost your spirit complete.  That’s how you become dead people.  Granma said you could easy spot dead people.  She said dead people when they looked at a woman saw nothing but dirty; when they looked at other people they saw nothing but bad; when they looked at a tree they saw nothing but lumber and profit; never beauty.” (p60)
  •  ‘”When ye hear somebody using words again’ somebody, don’t go by his words, fer they won’t make no damn sense.  Go by his tone, and ye’ll know if he’s mean and lying.’” (p.79)
  • “That is the way Indians give gifts.  They do not present it unless they don’t mean it and are doing it for a reason.  They leave it for you to find.  You would not get the gift if you didn’t deserve it, and so it is foolish to thank somebody for something you deserve, or make a show of it.” (p.148)
  •  “…if you were thrifty, you used your money for what you had ought but you was not loose with it.  Mr. Wine said that one habit led to another habit, and if they was bad habits, t would give you a bad character.  If you was loose with your money, then you would get loose with your time, loose with your thinking and practical everything else.” (p.164)
  •  “..she learnt me how the Indian bears pain.  He lets his body mind go to sleep, and with his spirit mind, he moves out of his body and sees the pain—instead of feeling the pain.” (p.192) 

Part of the reason I loved this book, and I hope he won't mind me saying so, is that the protagonist's 'Granpa' reminded me of my own father-in-law in a few key ways.  There was his calculated, thoughtful speech, without wasting words, that made a body really listen to catch the true meaning of all he said.  Or how he would stop whatever his task to give full attention to the speaker.  And as well, the way his political thoughts peppered his opinions on so many subjects.  All of things make me think fondly on my relative.  Another reason I loved this book was for the personal insight I gained from a culture long removed from today's 'modern' world, and a people who trust more in the spiritual than the physical.  

From this book, I personally learned how to carry emotional and physical pain, without the burden of external weakness, from a strong people driven from their nation.  I learned to trust that the simpler life can be found from looking to the natural state of things around you; that like the seasons, change and death are a part of the cycle of life; that animals can feel if you like them; that happiness can be found in harmony with physical laws, through hard work, sacrifice, spending time with those you love, and looking for the meaningful in everything around you.  I found that in this book, as in Oliver Twist, the pomp, aloof churchgoers and people of the world were portrayed as judgmental and mistrusting; a comparison which highlights the hypocrisy of worldly religion and education and roots out the notion that these institutions provide adequate education in anything that truely matters.  And I respect the author all around for his ability to provide all these life lessons in a nonchalant, and nonjudgmental light; as if they are just inherit and for you the reader to pull out from the text.  

Overall: I highly recommend that you read this book only if you are interested in a light and whimsical narrative plot with deeply profound undertones.