Friday, June 26, 2009

2:30 AM

I have to be up in 3 and a half hours to get ready to go to Lubbock for a family reunion. How exciting. At least I don't have to work this weekend. I also plan to finish Three Cups of Tea, which I've been looking forward to reading in time increments greater than 5 minutes.

I don't know why I stay up so late. Jerry Seinfeld has a joke about night guy and morning guy. Night guy will stay up late, knowing he has to wake up early, but thinks that part is morning guy's problem. And morning guy always hates night guy. Morning Shelley always hates night Shelley.

Also, I really dislike some of the people I work with. Particularly management. I really can't wait to go back to TAing in the fall.

Also, I seriously miss Brad.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mix CD for a Missionary

So Brad told me that his mission president was fairly lax on the kind of music he and his companion are allowed to listen to. I really like a particular type of religious music; somewhere between MoTab and EFY. This is what I came up with for him:

  • Vocal Point - Nearer My God To Thee
  • Vocal Point - Praise to the Man (Vocal Point is an a capella group from BYU)
  • Sufjan Stevens - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • Sufjan Stevens - Transfiguration
  • Marvin Goldstein - Because I Have Been Given Much
  • MoTab - I Know that My Redeemer Lives
  • Tiffany Fronk - As Sisters in Zion (Brad really likes this song....go figure...)
  • 259 - Be Still My Soul
  • 259 - I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked
  • 259 - Woman, Why Weepest Thou?
  • 259 - Via Dolorosa
  • 259 - He is Jesus Christ
  • MoTab - Abide with Me
  • Relient K - Deathbed
I plan on making more...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Ice Cream Cake

So I made this masterpiece for my dad today. It was a little tricky, but totally worth it. I thought I'd take a break from my usual type of entries and tell my readers how to make an ice cream cake.

You'll need:
  • A box of your favorite cake mix
  • At least a gallon of your favorite ice cream (you want to get more than you think you'll need. After all, leftover ice cream poses much less of a problem than not enough ice cream)
  • 2 cans of your favorite frosting
  • 3 round cake pans of the same size
  • Anything you'd like to put on top (fruit, sprinkles, etc.)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Foil
So after getting all of your ingredients, here's what you do:
  1. Let the ice cream out to thaw for 20-30 minutes. Line one of the cake pans with plastic wrap and spread the icecream in the pan. Make sure you get in all of the corners and that you make the top as flat as possible. Cover with foil and put in freezer over night.
  2. Grease and flour the other 2 cake pans. Prepare and bake the cakes according to the box.
  3. After the cakes are completely cool (I let them cool over night), frost the top of one of them and the bottom of the other.
  4. (This part goes fast) Get your ice cream pan out of the freezer. Carefully slide the plastic wrap out of the pan and turn the ice cream upside down on top of the top-side-frosted cake. Peel off the plastic wrap. Take the other cake and put it frosting-side-down on top of the ice cream.
  5. As fast as you can, frost around the ice cream. This can get tricky because the ice cream will start to melt and the frosting will slide off. If this happens, just add more frosting and smooth as much as possible. After you've frosted around the ice cream, put the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes just to let the ice cream freeze a little more.
  6. Take the cake out and frost the entire thing and decorate as desired. *note* if you want to use fruit to decorate, save it until right before serving. I made the mistake of putting strawberries on top and freezing the cake, thus freezing the strawberries and rendering them inedible.
  7. After the cake is decorated, put it back into the freezer until serving. Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and re-freeze.
You can't really go wrong with ice cream cakes; everyone likes them. They're fairly easy to make, but the trick is frosting the cake quickly.

Errand of Angels

I recently saw Errand of Angels, a fairly-new LDS movie which tells the fictional story of a sister missionary in Austria. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good movie. But there were some things I didn't particularly like.

What I did like:
  • The independence of the sister missionaries from men. There were no elders or mission presidents that had to save the day. The only mentionings of males in the mission field were when the mission president sent a letter to the set of sister missionaries congratulating them, and an elder baptizing someone. Other than that, the sister missionaries were portrayed as strong-minded, capable, and independent.
  • The scenery. Seriously, I want to go to Austria now.
  • Character development. I always like movies that make me hate one of the characters at one point, then love them at another.
What I didn't like:
  • The one sister missionary that was portrayed as bossy and lazy was overweight, wore no make up, and dressed like a grandma. The "nice" sister missionaries where thin, dressed fashionably, and always had their make up and hair done.
  • In every other missionary movie, there's always one elder whose plot line includes a girlfriend back home. Why did none of the sister missionaries talk about a boyfriend back home?

I thought it was a pretty good movie, worth seeing, but reinforces LDS cultural gender stereotypes a little too much.

I give it a B.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Church today

I've loved going to church since I've been home. I think not being at BYU has made me realize how much I take Sunday church meetings for granted. I also think being at BYU made me forget how much I love family wards. The kids in the singles ward tried to get me to come to church with them at the beginning of the summer, but I didn't want to. There's something about family wards, screaming kids, old people in testimony meeting, and twelve year olds trying to look like they know what rows to go to when passing the sacrament that makes me feel at home.

Community and belonging has always been one thing I've loved about being Mormon. I don't agree with the majority of Mormons on a lot of political/social/etc. issues, but I still feel so embraced by this community.

I sit up on the stand with my mom because she plays the organ and my dad is in the Bishopric, so if I sat in a pew I'd be alone. Also, I enjoy people watching. I love watching families interact with each other, siblings teasing each other, and pinpointing the exact moment everyone stops paying attention to the speaker.

Even if all of the doctrine that the Mormon church professes weren't true, I wouldn't leave it. I love the people way too much.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things lately

I seriously can't wait to go back to school. Is that crazy or what? Not that I don't love being home (because I do), but I'm really excited about my classes and everything with the Vegetarian Club and my blogsBYU project I'm starting and getting accepted to the communications department (I know I am) and a whole bunch of other crap. I feel like my sophomore year was exponentially better than my freshman year, and I'm hoping my junior year will follow that trend.

I've been buying a lot of crap lately. I got my eee pc in the mail yesterday. It was only $250 and I wanted a computer to take to campus with me because my hp pavillion makes my backpack weigh about 200 pounds. I also had to completely restore my system because everything crashed, but I upgraded it to 2 gb ram and 320 gb hard drive. So my computer(s) are pretty much awesome.

I need to save an additional $500 for clothes before I go back to school.

Also, I'm finally learning how to drive. It's about time.