Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the "Mayan Apocalypse"

I wasn’t going to say anything about the so-called “Mayan Apocalypse,” but the general misunderstanding has me frustrated enough to write about it now.

Briefly: ONE OF the calendar systems of SOME OF the Mesoamerican peoples is known as the Long Count and counts the days since the end of the last Great Cycle. A Great Cycle is comprised of 13 bak’tuns, or 1,872,000 days. The first day of the present Great Cycle corresponds to 13 August 3114 BC in the Gregorian calendar. The last day of the present Great Cycle corresponds to 21 December 2012. The Long Count system was used to understand the world in greater increments than the usual 52-year cyclical calendar. Never did any culture in Mesoamerica think that the world could only span 13 bak’tuns. Especially since their historical records cover multiple Great Cycles, obviously, since they only last for a few thousand years if the present one started in 3114 BC. In short, no living Mayan person today believes the world will cease to exist after this Friday.

They do, however, believe the world will end on Friday when the Great Cycle ends. Just like they believe the world ends EVERY SINGLE NIGHT when the sun dips below the horizon. How do they, as a people, cope with this belief system? Simply. They regularly perform rebirthing ceremonies which bring the sun back up the next morning, which start the 52 year calendar over again, and, yes, which start the 1,872,000 day long Great Cycle over again. So for the real Mayan people living in the world today yes, the world is going to end when this Great Cycle does on Friday, but don’t worry, because they’ll rebirth it.

So before buying out all the candles in the stores and purchasing assault rifles (to, what, protect yourself when the world explodes?) take a minute or two to think about someone other than yourself and try to understand a different culture and way of life; especially if you are basing your thoughts about the end of the world on misinformation regarding their belief system. I suggest the book The Maya by Michael D. Coe, published by Thames & Hudson. Obviously it’s just a few extremists who are really buying assault rifles in preparation for the destruction of the earth and not the majority, because otherwise what was the point of gong to see An Unexpected Journey if I can’t see the other two movies, and how could the world end when The Great Gatsby is finally going to be released in 2013? In that case, the real hype about the “Mayan Apocalypse” is nothing more than yet another media exploitation of another culture’s belief system by people who won’t take the time to understand it. And, to me, that is even more upsetting than thinking the world is really going to cease to exist. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Me during the new James Bond movie, in the museum scene identifying all the paintings in the shot, and hoping that bullet that went through that guy's head didn't harm the Modigliani in front of him.

And everyone else is just enjoying the violence. 

From the best tumblr ever here:

Me at Thanksgiving after procrastinating all semester:

From Here:

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Very David Sedaris Christmas

A commonly-asked question around December regards Christmas traditions. It is fully expected that everyone grew up with certain traditions that their family did every year at Christmas time. Often these include watching Christmas movies, classics such as "It's a Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Story," and "Rudolf the Reindeer," among others. Other traditions include when different families open Christmas presents and eat a big dinner. When people who participated in Christmas traditions grow up, these annual events are not just fun for them, but symbolize Christmas and everything about it. They create Christmas itself, as well as that that sometimes-elusive Christmas Spirit.

In 2005 my family went to Hawaii for Christmas. Coincidentally, Jason was at BYU-Hawaii that year and his family went to visit him at the same time. Our families spent a lot of time together that Christmas break in Hawaii, foreshadowing the then-unknown future in which our families would be united forever through our marriage. Minus Hawaii.

It was that Christmas when our family discovered something that would change our lives forever, and would be an essential part of Christmas for me every year since. And it's not eating a McDonald's Filet-O-Fish for Christmas breakfast, which I did. It was that Christmas when my mom, in a Honolulu hotel room if I remember correctly, first read David Sedaris's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and consequently his story "Six to Eight Black Men." She was laughing so hard she couldn't breath and nearly fell off the hotel bed, so we made her read it to us. We were changed forever.

Now in my adulthood I look back fondly on the Christmases of my youth, and remember our family traditions. When Jason and I were engaged friends and advisers stressed the importance of creating traditions in our new family, especially Christmas traditions. They urged us to accept our spouse elect's family traditions and cooperate in creating an amalgamation of both families' traditions, as well as creating new ones. People always had a look of concern on their faces when they told us this, as though they personally knew a couple who had split up over whether or not you should leave cookies and milk out for Santa, a tradition which I think really just depends on where you live and what the likelihood is of mice or cockroaches getting to the cookies before you can sneak out and eat them yourself.

Ever since Christmas 2005 reading or listening to David Sedaris's Christmas stories has been a necessary aspect of my Christmas, and this year, though he has listened to it before, Jason grasped the full beauty of them. I think it's safe to say that our new family will be strong now that we have such a timeless Christmas tradition of listening and reading to "Six to Eight Black Men" and "Santaland Diaries." I hope you enjoy them too.

"Santaland Diaries" can be listened to in four parts here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All Babies Love Harry Potter!

I made these totes adorbs I <3 Harry Potter onesies! See them modeled here on a couple of my bestie's babies.

You can order a HP onesie for that special baby in your life now! Write me on Facebook if you want to order one (POR):

Monday, May 9, 2011


One time I graduated from university. Brigham Young University. Which, I have always thought was poorly named. I wish the school had just been called Young University. First of all, it makes more sense. Also, then we would be called Young or Young U instead of BYU, which I think sounds cooler, fresher, and more hip.

So graduation. It was pretty nice. I bought a nice purple dress to wear, and then I covered it up with poorly constructed, borrowed graduation robes. See?

You can see a hint of my pretty dress just there.

I didn't go to the graduation Commencement, but I went to the Department of Visual Arts Convocation because I graduated in Art History and Curatorial Studies. That's where you actually get to walk across the stage and shake peoples' hands, and they give you an envelope. They hand you an envelope to trick the audience into thinking you really got a diploma, but psyche! It's really just a display case for you to put your diploma in. You don't get your real diploma until you officially pass all your classes, you pay back all the money you owe the school, and you can prove you have a mailing address and aren't living on the streets.

The Convocation ceremony was pretty nice. I could see my family sitting in the audience so I was on my best behavior, but it turns out they couldn't see me anyway. I got to sit by my bestie Miss Breezy. You can see she's holding the trick envelopes that we were given.

Note the difference in eyebrow bushiness.

After you walk across the stage you get to have your picture taken in front of a fancy green screen. They send you an option to buy these pictures later. I'm waiting for my pictures to come in the mail--I selected to change the plain green background for a plain blue one. But you can get much fancier than that. You can make it look like you braved the crowds to have your picture taken in front of the "Enter to Learn Go Forth to Serve" sign. I neither braved the crowds, nor pretended that I did. I think the best background option was the one with a little Jimmer angel floating above your head. This is so you can remember that you graduated in the year that Jimmer didn't have mono.

Jason graduated too! He chose not to attend Commencement or Convocation. We all pretended this was ok with us us until after my Convocation. Then we were all mad at him. It's so nice when we can do things together.

Before the VA Convocation we took pictures in the MOA Sculpture Garden. I worked in the MOA the whole time I went to Young U, as well as my senior year in high school. I'm pretty sure I set a record, but that didn't stop them from terminating me last Friday. Here are some pictures from that photo shoot. (Some people have profesh photogs document their important events. These came from my mom's iPhone.)

Helping J-Boy fix his stuck zipper. Story of my life. JK. Check out the new shoes I bought for the occasion.

The whole fambly.

With Bestie Natalie!

Told you it was a photo shoot.

Avec Maman.

Hopefully with my weight loss goal and Jason's swinging a pickaxe in the Mojave all summer we can do this without it being so much of a big bum, straining face pose. We're so in love!

So ya, that pretty much sums it up! I am a college graduate! Please let me know if you hear of any job openings.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things That Are Awesome

Here is a short list of some things I thought were awesome a couple weeks ago during church.

~ Jason

~ Church

~Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1

~ Pokemon

~ Beaches

That's me way down there having awesome fun times in Oregon, Summer 2010.

Hukilau Beach. In Hawaii for Spring Break 2007.

Sunset Beach, Oahu. Too many good beach pictures. I like them a lot, ok?

~ Sea Glass--Jason gave me the best book about sea glass for our anniversary, which we spent hunting sea glass.

~ Reading Books

~ Harry Potter

~ Italian Sodas

~Art and Art History

I'm writing my thesis on the Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner.

~ Pycnopodia helianthoides

~ Cutthroat Island--One of my favorite movies--don't judge.

~ Peter Pan (In all its glorious forms.)

~ Dresses
Atop the Grand Staircase Dress

~ Cardigans

~ Tights

~ SCUBA diving with sharks in the Bahamas
We also saw eagle rays, sting rays, scorpion fish, turtles, many other kinds of fish.

~ Music

The Raccoon River Quartet.

Hanging out with Lee Rocker.

~ Star Wars

~ Dread Pirate

~ Jacks
This is the kind I have, only they come in a turquoise leather pouch. Yes, I still play.

~ Pies (making and eating)

~ Sewing, knitting, and jewelry-making

I made my hoodie.

~ Sledding

Talisa, Manders, and me, circa 2005.

~ My Bed