Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ben Franklin's Virtues

In October, for English class, we had to make a list of our own personal virtues like Ben Franklin did in his autobiography. I came up with something and turned it in, but I continued to think about and refine that list over the past year. Here's what I've finally come up with:


1. Observation
Pay attention to the world. Form your own opinion. Notice details. Find beauty.

2. Rebellion
Break rules. Challenge authority. Take risks. Don’t allow others to define you.

3. Perseverance
Challenge yourself beyond your capacity. You have an inner strength that only appears when needed. Find it.

4. Reflection
Keep a journal, not of your day-to-day life but of your emotions, thoughts, and opinions. Be honest.

5. Self-expansion
Find good mentors and travel.

6. Gentleness
Allow yourself to be taken care of and be willing to take care of others.

7. Determination
Make unfathomable plans. Dream bigger than you think is possible. Address your every whim. An opportunity will arise and you will do something amazing.

8. Openness
Love, be vulnerable and cry, tears show sadness, fear, anger, happiness, and love better than any words.

9. Kindness
Lend your heart to compassion and generosity.

Our curtains are motorized

Sometimes, I forget that my family is so weird.
We make Alzheimer's jokes, because at this point my parent's aren't considered early-onset. Museums, movies, and some restaurants are super cheap because we're two children and two seniors. My dad collects minerals and my mom has to be forced to spend more than sixty dollars on an item of clothing. We have a heated floor because the rock gets too cold in the winter. Our basement door doesn't close all the way, so when it rains worms come crawling onto our carpet. Our dog is the most high maintenance member of our family. We have six shelves full of church books (including like four different kinds of bibles). Our attic has quotes written all over the walls and posters from the seventies. We have a room filled with animal heads (caribou, moose, 2 elk, 3 deer, and a sheep). Seventy-five percent of our mail is from the church for my dad. My mom can't hardly hear anything, so she has special headphones to watch tv. And of course, our curtains are motorized.
And yet, despite all our weirdness, I love my family. Most of the time.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Birthdays

My family isn't one that has a lot of rigorously upheld traditions. We go to Hawaii at Christmas and do fireworks on the fourth of July and we decorate the family room for birthdays. When Sam and I were younger it was so exciting to wake up the morning of our birthday, come upstairs, and see what Lorin had cooked up that year. It was equally exciting to rip down the streamers and balloons a few days later. Last year I was in Europe for my birthday (it was a great one), and needless to say there were no streamers. I was pretty happy to wake up this morning and find the front room all decorated again. It was really sweet of Lorin to get up extra early (first meeting this morning was at 6) and decorate the family room. I'm terribly lucky to have the family I have.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Creepsters

Last year in Europe, I had a few run ins with creepy men, most notably the numerous Mozart men who never failed to acknowledge the presence of girls passing. After returning to the states (love that I can say that), I can't say I missed them too much. In fact, getting caught up in junior year, I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to hear those German comments as I walked by.
That all came back to memory last week when I was in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Williamstown houses the lovely, amazing, dream of a place, Williams College. The town is tiny, but pretty. It seemed very much shaped by the nearby college.
Anyway, Williamstown was the first time of the trip we had even a second to breathe. We got there right when the light was pretty, so I headed out with my camera, which I had been lugging around the whole trip without taking a single picture. [I started my 3rd photo blog for my summer assignment for my photo class. Check it out if you're interested in the fruits of my walk http://hannahsummerassignment.blogspot.com/]
Anyway, I was walking along stopping frequently to take a few pictures. I stopped with my back to the road in front of one extra beautiful New England home when a car full of guys drove by, honking and shouting. I jumped a little, apparently having forgotten how surprising it is to be honked at. It doesn't happen that often in Sandy, Utah.
I continued on, undeterred, and shot more pictures. I guess I should have known better than to be wearing a skirt, because I got honked at 6 more times. I think Williamstown forgot to instill manners and class into their young generation of men.
I was getting over the honking when one car pulled up on a side street and started talking to me. He was an apparently nice guy from New Hampshire.
"Hellllllo fellow photographer" *shows me his point and shoot camera and tripod
"Um... Hi?"
"I just drove by and saw you taking pictures and thought I'd say hi. You know, I'm in Williamstown and I'm so bored."
"Yeah, it isn't very big."
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm looking at Williams college."
"Ohhhhh cooool. What kind of camera do you have there? Is that a D90?"
"It's a D300."
"Is that one with a large sensor?"
"No, my dad wouldn't get that one, it was a few thousand dollars more than the D300. But it's still a really great camera to shoot with."
"Right. I just use my little guy here. It's a G7" (editors note: G7 are really nice little point and shoots, old and nothing compared to D300)
"That's cool. Nice that it's so compact."
"Yeah. Soooooo, would you maybe wanna go to dinner?"
"Yeah, um, sorry, I can't"
"You sure? It's just I'm in Williamstown and I'm sooooo bored. It's like, God, there's nothing to do here."
"Yeah, I can't. Ummm, it's been nice talking, but I've got to get going. Bye"
"Bye" *drives off

I forgot how it feels to be hit on by a random stranger much older than you. It's a little unnerving, but equally flattering. I do hope he found something (someone) to do that night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Road Trips with My Mother

The past few days, my mom, Judy, and I have been driving around New England visiting colleges, because, you know, I'm an adult and now need to make adult decisions, like which college I'd like to attend.
The biggest drive was from Philly to New London, Connecticut. We rented out a GPS with our car, because trying to find our way around on maps would be a disaster. Judy initally named the GPS Opal after her neighbor, but then decided Ruby was more fitting. Why we're naming our GPS after people who were born around the turn of the century I don't know.
Anyway, Judy refuses to look at the GPS's map; she'll only listen to what the GPS says. Unfortunately, the GPS doesn't speak extremely clearly and Judy doesn't hear too well either. What does this lead to? Well, it leads to us driving by New York City on our way to Connecticut. It leads to Judy nearly taking the Harlem exit off the freeway. It leads to extra hours of our road trip. And, it leads to lots and lots of laughing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Today I cleaned my room

Here's some of the great stuff I found:
3 pairs of scissors
Rolls of scotch, painters, duct, and double-sided tape
4 Starbucks mugs, 2 of which has something in them
2 unmatched left shoes
6 Europe outlet changer things
3 purses
8 reusable grocery bags
34 hair bands
3 head bands
2 deodorants
1 ice pack (needless to say, it needs to be put back in the freezer)
3 pairs of sunglasses
Flight plans from my trip last year
AP Euro study guides (also last year)
6 bottles nail polish
2 tubes lip stick
5 earrings