cook and bake whatever I want, but must follow recipe
sing and dance Bon Jovi with mum when she gets home from work
pray that Nate stays safe in Egypt
let singles ward boys take me to movies I really want to see
skype Dallin after movie
Once again, I love being home. It has taken about three years to come to love this place. I testify that changing your attitude and perspective into a positive and eternal one brings miracles into your life. Home is safe and warm and beautiful.
Someone shredded my bike tire at the bike racks, so now it is flat.
Please send someone else to fix it?
Or at least let me ride on Provo Girl's scooter?
I have to feel the cool autumn air in my hair before it turns into an ice cube.
Sometimes I think God speaks to me through my iPod.
This morning, I was trail running. I went up and down, up and down all along the path. Sometimes, the path gets so steep I neither want to run up nor down: I just walk to have enough control not to fall on my face either way. Well, as I slowed to walk at one point, my iPod was playing "Don't Give Up" by The Whitest Boy Alive. I said to myself, "Really? Is that you God? Are you kidding me?" So, I picked up the pace until I heard "Don't make a move, you'll look ridiculous again." So then I laughed and started walking again. It really must have looked a little funny? Nice encouragement, I guess.
Running can be very spiritual for me, so that's why I think it's not ridiculous to believe that God communicates with me while I run outside in the open air. Running has always been very hard for me, so I pray about it. I know it's good for me, I want to run long distances, but I can't do it alone. I think God is always with me, encouraging me, helping me, laughing with me and, of course, at me. I'm thankful he's with me.
I called the Tom's Hotline and Cameron answered the phone. He was very nice and helpful. He apologized for my sore armpits and sent me a sensitive skin formula to try out. I must say I am apprehensive, but he assured me there are very sensitive ingredients for very sensitive people like me. So now we are waiting until the cool cucumber-berry stick comes in the mail. Let's hope this one works.
I love to buy, use, make, and do things the natural way. I am a proactive all-things-organic seeker and love to try out new natural products, if it's not too expensively natural. Well, the other day Mum so generously fed my organic-hungry appetite and took me to the store to buy new toiletries. I got a shampoo and conditioner made of carrots and Tom's Brand toothpaste and deodorant. My roommate Becca jumped on the anti-anti-perspirant train a while ago and it struck a chord with me. Anti-perspirant contains aluminum in an extracted, chemical, processed, inorganic form. From my understanding, the body absorbs it and prevents sweating. Well, it's natural for your body to sweat, and in fact a natural continual way to release toxins, so why not sweat. We, however, still don't have to smell. So I got apricot scented Tom's deodorant. When I used it, my armpits felt all tingly, in a good way like when you brush your teeth and get the minty fresh feel and taste. As I continued using it days later, the tingle became more like a burn but I thought it was the all natural goodies battling my odor-making-bacteria. Yesterday morning, I come to find out that it wasn't just the odor being burned away, it was my skin! I was looking in the mirror while putting my hair up and noticed my armpits were bright red! And the skin was peeling away from the center forming a ring showing where the deodorant had been. The all-natural deodorant was alive and eating my armpits. Not good. My faith has been slightly shaken due to this experience. I'm back to the old lady speedstick and probably going to get cancer. But my armpits do feel better. Any suggestions out there?
So yesterday was a good day. Mum and I went thrifting. I looked up a few consignment/thrift places on google maps and we searched for them. We went to this town called Belleville. Isn't that a nice name? Main street was old-fashioned with old city lamps and an old-style theatre or "show house." The other day, I told a friend how I don't like shopping and spending money, but I don't feel the same about thrift shopping. In fact, I feel like I'm helping the world when I go thrifting because, essentially, I am reducing, reusing and recycling. How redeeming is that. So I bought a pair of black shoes, the coolest black shoes. I'll have to show them to you. Mum thinks someone died in them- as with all of the things you'd find in a thrift/second hand place.
I'm not a big movie person, but my mum is. She's a movie person. She pretty much knows all the actors and actresses of big-hit movies whether old or new. So, I like going to the theatre with her because she likes it. And you can't say much in a theatre that will annoy the other. So we went to a matinee in this old world town yesterday, only $4.50. They had antique candy machines! I don't even like candy, but I had to use this machine. They are the kind where you put 3 dimes in, pull the knob, and candy pops out the bottom. So satisfying. Three Smarties.
In the theatre, Mum offered me popcorn. I took a few and said "This is way too salty." She took it back, ate a few and said, "You're right. It is too salty." I had to soak it in this moment where I was "right" for once. Then she goes, "Well that's good because I've been dehydrated, lately." I turned and looked at her with this face that said "You do have a college degree, don't you?" but I just said, "Really? Mum salt dehydrates you, sucks all the moisture out." "Oh," she says and merrily finishes the popcorn. Sometimes she really makes me laugh or worry.
I really got a kick out of this place. I'm pretty twitterpated with her. I have to go back to the old Schwinn bike shop and Mum has to buy something at the butcher. Yes, they have a local butcher. Besides the part where they slaughter animals, I think it's a practice that shouldn't go out of style if people keep eating meat.
I'm slowly reaching my goal for liking this place and finding its awesome niches. I've been getting great advice from people to help me reach this goal, so thank you everyone.
What is one of the most treasured things in life? Free internet. You can call it mooching or not, but being in the right place at the right time is priceless.
I'm currently in the Houston airport awaiting my flight 933 to St. Louis. I'm actually anticipating going home. It's been a crazy two weeks down here in Florida and I'm ready for some constancy, some routine, some peace. Yes, I said it, I'm ready to go home to my parents' house.
I've made a to-do list:
make a paper origami chandelier
build an easel
explore St. Louis
I really need to take advantage of my new hometown. Just now, I stole Southwest Airline's Spirit Magazine because it has a lengthy report on the magic of St. Louis. It is one of the greatest cities in the U.S. It is home to the best preserved architecture in America and the tallest National Monument. You can buy the tallest apple pie here, too! I want to see a show at Pageant Theatre and walk through Forest Park and paddleboat. It's taken me about two years ago to be charmed by this new "home." Let me just say this to the world, it's never worth it to wait to be happy. I'm going to try being happy where I am as soon as I am there. I'll find and make my own happiness. Who's in?
Wednesday was wonderful. It will be recorded in my history as one of the best days of my life.
I was in Destin Commons with my friend Jamie and her baby. We had lunch together and walked around. I wanted to go to Starbuck's because I knew my good friend Robert Bennett worked there. Robert and I met in 8th grade, about 7 years ago. We haven't kept in touch very much since then, but we've always been dear friends to each other. So, naturally I was thrilled to have the chance to see him, especially in one of my favorite places - Starbuck's. Unfortuantely, he wasn't there, but someone else was. As I stood at the counter waiting for my Red tea herbal latte, soy, iced, someone said, "Please tell me you are Jessica Myers." I looked to my right and it is was my dear friend Katie Bernard whom I knew since Middle school and sat next to in Life Management Skills in 9th grade. We hugged and laughed and couldn't stop talking. She invited me to a friend's party later that night. Then she said Robert should start work in 30 minutes. So, you could say I was elated. I went from disappointed to do-I-deserve-all-this-joy-at-once--ment? I saw Robert 30 minutes later and it was sweet. The only thing that had changed in 7 years was he took out his labret piercing and had a tattoo on his left arm: Liberado. Later that night, no one made it to the party, we just sat outside of Starbuck's as he finished his shift and remained seated for the next 5 hours catching up and telling stories. Katie, Robert, Kayleigh his wife, and me. It was the sweetest feeling in the world.
This experience has made me wonder if I should get facebook... I feel like if I don't reactivate my account then I'm going to be taking advantage of serendipity. I'm going to be greedy for more experiences like that, but if I get facebook, then the chance for serendipity to intervene will be diminished. But keeping up via facebook will keep me up to date more efficiently because it's so instantaneous. But, I hate the detached/removed/desensitization it imposes on friendships. A friend is someone you meet, spend time with, exchange phone numbers with, serve, talk to - not just press a button for. I know I can choose to be friends with "real friends" but I don't want to take anyone's friendship for granted because it's right there in front of my face everyday, updated, tagged, etc. I don't want it to get old, I suppose. Oh gosh.
Anyway, I thank God for Wednesday. I'm grateful He put us in each other's paths again and that we didn't forget about each other. After all this time, we are still precious to one another. We are meant to be friends forever.
Lately, I have been devoured by a life of ease. Devoured is the right word. It is just eating me up. The queen-size blankets swallow me whole I can hardly get out of bed in the morning. The pool just drinks me up in the afternoon - we look like a patriotic cocktail, red and blue and whitewhitewhite. And then Britt and her friends come home from school and lavish me with party hour fruit slushies from sonic. Life is good.
is it safe to consider an inanimate object a friend? I hope so, because I consider a pair of bobby pins my best friends over diamonds any day. I wear them in my hair everyday, I can't go without them. I'm trying to get creative with them. I like the nest look, probably because my hair looks like a nest most of the time. and how cute is this origami rose bobby. On my search for all things bobby, I found a new blog: www.bobbypinblog.blogspot.com. I'd also like to make a shout out to bobby johnson, on whom I'll always have a mega crush.
I recently made my very first purchase on eBay. I haven't quite got the hang of bidding and auctions, but I'm excited to practice. eBay really does making spending money fun. The fun factor lies in the fact that spending money has actually become winning a product. Instead of saying "Thank you for your purchase," eBay says "Congratulations, you've won suchandsuch." Who doesn't like winning, is my question? So eBay has turned the filthy habit of spending money into a game of strategy and a bit of luck. Way to play with our minds, eBay. I love it, I really do.
The truth is you can get quality stuff for a very nice price, a price you set yourself. And the process of bidding results in the comfort that you've worked for it, you've fought for it, you've researched appropriate competitive prices. It's really an all around good feeling - especially when you're currently living for free at your parent's house. I better live up my new lifestyle before Aug. 30th.
I bought LOST seasons 1-6 for my parent's 28th anniversary. $75. not bad, right?
I spent the day with the Italian cousins. We began the day with an early lunch of fresh homemade pasta with tomato sauce, crusty bread, and stuffed canolis for dessert. Zia Connie makes everything homemade: all types of pasta, lasagna, jams, pastries, etc. It is a beautiful thing. I've been learning from my family that the Racioppi's have a great appetite. They tell me I am a true Racioppi because I have a great appetite and love food - no surprise there. I just don't know how to let food pass me by when it was made by hand with time and practice and care.
My Zia is a smart lady. She is actually distantly related to me by marriage, but in Italy, everyone is family and everyone eats at the same dinner table. Zia has a bad shoulder and is going to hospital tomorrow for shoulder surgery, but that did not stop her from cranking out fresh fusilli, stirring the sauce, and reaching the candy cabinet for a box of chocolates. I like a lady that doesn't let anything hold her back. She holds her bad arm up with the good arm to accomplish all these things. And why? Because it is important to her. It is important to feed her family and bring people together.
Her husband passed away a couple months ago, Zio Luigi. Aside from the kangaroos, koalas, and cream buns from the bakery, Zio was the face I took home with me in my memory when I left Australia the first time. As soon as I met him, he embraced me, kissed my face many times, and praised me with wet eyes. He was so happy to meet his family. He was a beautiful man to me, and I'm sad I don't get to see him this time around. But I do get to see him in a way. Zia lights a candle next to his picture every day and his face lights up the home.
If Australia isn't cool enough, my family sure makes it magical. I'm so glad to have roots here to people who still live life to the fullest. They are generous, they are smart, and they work hard and live modestly to be able to enjoy life, travel, and take care of one another. They are good people.
Last night, I went clubbing with my cousins Ben and Michelle and their mates. We went to this place called the Havelock in Adelaide. First, we had a typical pub dinner. I ordered salt and pepper squid and a lemon squash to drink (sprite). Then the party got started on the dancefloor. Of course, again, I had to wait a while til people got more tipsy to get the party started. Basically, we danced the night away until the pub closed at 1 a.m. It was awesome, it was a real night in the city.
Notes to self:
always wear heels or boots to a club to withstand the shattered glass and sticky floor - no cute black flats.
Today is Tuesday. We are making dinner for Aunty Birgit, Uncle Michael, Ben, Michelle, and us. Birgit has cooked for us every night. It has been delicious. We've had Italian Minestrone, Chicken with Satay Sauce and Cucumber Salad, Cold Cuts Crackers and Pomegranate Walnut Capsicum dip and the list goes on. Hopefully tonight's dinner will stand up to Birgit's home-cooked hospitality.
On the menu, we have fajitas! We're having Mexican. I was inspired by my homesickness for the local Mexican restaurants at home: Diego's, Cafe Rio, El Gallo Giro, and Red Iguana. You'll be hard-pressed to find a legit Mexican restaurant around here, so I thought I would try my hand at making Mexican Down Under. With a little help from recipezaar, I made a soy/worctershire sauce with garlic, peppers, onions, and lemon juice. On the side, we are having chips and homemade salsa. Certainly. It was fun to make the salsa- warmed my heart. Making salsa reminds me of The Fort. I can't count how many chips and salsa parties we've had at that place, and always homemade. I hope it will be wonderful.
Here are the pictures from the footy game. it was a very cold and rainy day and I think I'm getting more chins in this winter weather.
Alright, I've been MIA for a long time. Its because I got my heartbroken. Not by any guy, no of course not, but by my computer. Approximately two weeks ago, I got online in the morning to get my pictures ready for the blog. By the afternoon, I was ready to post them but decided to take a break from the computer. Later that day, I turned my laptop on but there was only a white screen. I tried again, again, again. Nothing. My heart broke.
I was devo, devastated, but heard dad's words saying, "Its nothing but a thing."
Anyway, they were beautiful. The best set I had taken on the entire trip. They were pictures of Uncle Peter's house in Koondrook. His house is on the Australian registry of landmark buildings like the house next to mine in Provo. There were pictures of Aunty Julia teaching me to cook Fijian curry, there were pictures of pub-goers, and fallen red gums into the Murray River. It was really my favorite place thus far.
From now on I will listen to mum when she says "don't erase the pictures from the camera."
On a happier note, I am going to a footy game today. Uncle Michael is taking me to the stadium to barrack for Port Adelaide: Port Power! This is going to be awesome. Their colors are black, white, and teal. That's excellent because those colors look great on me. I bet the players would look great on me, too. Just jokes. I'm researching AFL rules so I can have some idea of what's going on. Basically the rules are they run with the ball but bounce it once every 10 metres, they pass the ball by holding in one hand then punching it to the teammate, when they get 50 metres away from the goal, they kick it in. They cannot hit in the back or strangle around the neck, but pretty much everything else is a go. I'm sure I'll learn more today.
Today, I made dinner for everyone. Dinner has, lately, consisted of everything fit for king and queens. Aunty and Uncle have fed us well, and its about time I returned the favor, or favour rather. I decided sausage rolls should be on the menu. Sausage rolls and Meat pies are the staple here. It is nothing more than hearty mince meat wrapped up, rolled up, or sheltered by mouth-watering puffy buttery pastry. This is just not something you find in any American grocery store, sadly. So I took on the task of learning how to make and serve sausage rolls. My inspiration came from my adventures here Down Under, but my education came from Master Chef, Australia's Top Chef. We've been watching this show almost every night. Let me pause here and say that all is not lost within the Myers' identity. Just when I thought I didn't really belong in this family being a "hippie and all" as they like to label, here is common ground when it comes to food and food networks. We love watching cooking television. No one ever gets tired of it, and I think we all love the food as much as the sounds of the spatulas on the metal bowls and the wooden spoons on the pans. Oh, it's delightful. Anway, Master Chef made sausage rolls the other night, so I knew with their guidance I could not go wrong. It was simple enough: combine sausage mince (pork, not beef thank you very much), sauteed onions and garlic, shredded carrots, oregano and thyme. Work it with your hands then form it into logs and wrap in puff pastry. Brush with egg wash, cook at 120C (I don't know the Fahrenheit equivalent, look it up with your iPhone McGoogle hands) then enjoy. They're Good As, as the Aussies say. That's all for now.
We caught a bus to Bondi Beach, a $5 1 hour round trip. When we arrived to the coast, it was raining, so we warmed up in the Cozzi Cafe with fish and chips and rich hot chocolate. After about half an hour, we walked a good portion of the coast, about 3 hours. The most interesting thing I saw was a swimming pool right next to the ocean. Why? I'm sure there is a reason. I think the life savers (lifeguards) train there, maybe little babies swim there. I just think its funny that its right next to the ocean. Maybe its for people that are creeped out by seaweed in their feet. Either way, it was a beautiful sight to see. We came home later in the evening. We were too tuckered out to walk the city, so I just worked on my hair for a couple hours. Dreads are the most high maintenance things I've ever had to deal with. I thought since I didn't own a brush or care to fix my hair beforehand, dreads were right up my alley. Wrong. If I don't tease them or wax them a little every day, they are a disaster. They are great though, and not just for looks. They brought a lot of people together in my living room, all working on my hair together. It was quite bonding. Anyway, Mum's not too keen on the locks, so I managed it by myself. For two hours. I went to my first bar that night. The hostel hosts a a side bar for the young backpackers in Sydney. My last experience with a bar was not very successful. Seth and I wanted to see Dr. Dog play at Urban Lounge, a 21 and over bar in SLC, so I thought I would use my roommate's ID to get in. After interrogating me asking how to spell my last name and my zodiac sign, the bouncers decided I, in fact, was not't McKenna Lane and told me I had to leave. So, you can imagine the excitement I had at handing over my real ID to get into a real bar. I giggled a little in the exchange, which did not thrill the bouncer at all, but whatever. Side Bar seems to be the favorite around here. There was a great cover band and heaps of beer. However, all I wanted to do was get out and dance. For all those who think I'm crazy for going to a bar in Sydney all by myself, don't be alarmed. It was right around the corner from the hostel, so I had virtually 15 steps to walk- not bad. I got there a little early, around 9, so I had to wait for people to get a little more wasted before anyone started dancing. Finally, people were dancing. I met a couple guys from Chile that were the sweetest. Then their hostel roommates came, Lucy from Korea and Fanny from France. We had a good time dancing together and showing off our best moves. Sometime into the night, Ifelt someone pull on my hair. I turn around and this guy asks if my dreads are real. Of course they are. We ended up talking a while, he told me he had dreads for 10 years and gave me some tips. That's lucky. So I went back and forth between my dread friend and my dancing buddies. Eventually, dread friend asked if he could buy me a drink, and I said no I was fine. He kept asking, and I finally told him I don't drink or smoke, I just liked to dance. "Are you religious" he asked. "Yea, I'm Mormon, so I don't do any of that stuff." "What's Mormon, never heard of it." That was a short conversation. Can you believe he never heard of a Mormon before? He was bewildered just as much as me to say the least. So then he asked if he could buy me a vodka instead of a beer. Noooooo, I'm fine thanks. "Let me buy you a f*** drink." He wasn't rude at all, just didn't know what to do with me. It was really amusing, actually. So I just kept dancing some more then left soon after with my new girlfriends Lucy and Fanny. I said goodbye to my good, Chilean boys who weren't gonna let anyone mess with me then bye to dread friend, who in his shock and horror didn't know what to do with me except grab my head and kiss me on the cheek. One of the funnest and funniest nights I've ever had.
The trip begins in Salt Lake. We flew from Salt Lake to LA to Brisbane to Sydney. Everything went off without a hitch except that our carry-ons were too large for the Qantas flight from LA to Oz, so we had to check our bags. This wasn't too much of a hassle because we were tired of lugging them around in the first place, and - let's be honest - I only packed shoes in my carry-on. If it got lost permanently, it was probably for the best.
Day 1 We arrived in Brisbane, skipped Monday and jumped right into Tuesday morning. All our baggage came on a different flight so we had to wait around for it. Finally, after two hours of waiting in the airport, we got onto the shuttle toward our hostel, Wake Up! It was a funky little place with a cafe, a movie room, a bar and nightclub, computers, and a laundromat. Mum booked us a private bunk room for 3 days. What a lady! The first day there, we fought jet lag by walking all over the town. We went for an hour-long walk from the hostel to the harbour. We saw the Opera House and the Bridge. It was spectacular. There are hardly words to describe things you've only seen in pictures and movies. When they come to life, you have to pause and really savor the moment. Then search for the next thing to fly off the pages of your dreams. That's why I can't wait for heaven. It's gonna be better than anything anyone has ever imagined, described, depicted or interpreted. Everything in this harbour was much more grand, big, and real than I could have imagined. After that, we came back down to earth by grabbing our first meat pies. This was the defining step, the initiation, the icing on the cake, it meant we were truly in Australia and here to stay for a little while at least. Meat pies, sausage rolls, cream buns, etc. are a trademark of Australia. You can find them everywhere for less than $4. They fill you right up. After a delightful evening in the city, we made it home and indulged in some much needed shut-eye.
Today I had a terrible dream that Deathcab was going under, as if they were a restaurant on the verge of closing for good. It was so sad. They were performing free concerts, playing songs by personal request, doing whatever they could to get the rejuvenating support of their fans. Why would I dream about that? Ben Gibbard, don't stop the music. We are here for you.
knock. knock. anyone there. wow, this place is dusty. Looks like Jenny is still where I left her. Time to update. Hello. I came to the library thinking I needed to finish a homework assignment, but it's already done!! And not due until tomorrow. wow. So here I am. home.sweet.home. on my blog that is. Eating crunchy carrots and pretty salty pretzels, probably upsetting the silence of those so studiously working among me. But hey, a carrot top needs her beta-carotene.
Nothing really to say except I'm back. Oh and did you know the Wasatch Front lies on a huge fault line? Bec told me that the other night in light of the earthquakes of Haiti and Chile. God bless them. What if there was an earthquake here? What if a volcano erupted between us when we were sleeping? What if a hurricane swept us off the sidewalks with the leaves and fire hydrants? Let's put those knee pads and helmets on.