I predict that the nominees for president will be (drum roll):
John McCain
Barack Obama.


What President Hinckley Means to Me

Gordon B. Hinckley died today, about three hours ago. He was the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, of which I am a card-carrying member. I have sustained him as a prophet of God, believing that his words can directly from the Source. He's been the president of the church for 12 years, exactly half my life. I can't really remember any other church president's teachings as I can President Hinckley's, nor has any other president had quite the personal impact upon my life as President Hinckley. 
I was at the Conference Center and heard live President Hinckley give his famous "Six Bs" address. I was sitting on the right side and the echo was awful. I remember that in the talk he said something about not being a scrub, which was funny because TLC had just come out with the song "No Scrubs." 
It was during his administration that we had the rebuilding of the Nauvoo temple. My love for the prophet Joseph Smith is probably equal to the love I feel for President Hinckley. And here was President Hinckley rebuilding the temple in the City of Joseph. And it was to that temple that I went to received my own endowment in preparation for my missionary service in Germany. 
I remember a talk he gave just after the death of his wife, Marjorie, called The Women in Our Lives. He said, "She was the woman of my dreams then, and now she is still the woman of my dreams." My heart broke. I remember something she once said about him -- "You've have given me wings, and I have loved you for it." 
President Hinckley didn't take himself too seriously. He would wave that cane around and hit other old people (you know, like apostles) with it. He joked and his jokes were always at life's expense or his own --  he never made fun of anyone. Ok, I take that back. He once told a group of missionaries that "You're not much but you're all the Lord has." 
He was a pleasant person to be around. I didn't know him personally but whenever I heard him speak I felt more full of energy. Good karma. I could always trust him, trust what he was saying. He was a prophet after all. And I can take comfort in that. His voice was calming but firm. He was loving and kind. Listening to him talk, I felt love from my Heavenly Father. 
Things I'll always remember about him: his large lower lip, the cane, his hand gestures, his smile, his interviews on Larry King and with Mike Wallace, and the way he was with his wife.
President Hinckley wrote hymn 135, I Know That My Redeemer Lives. The lyrics follow:
I know that my Redeemer Live
Triumphant Savior, Son of God
Victorious over pain and death,
My King, my Leader, and My Lord
He lives, my one sure rock of faith,
The one bright hope of men on earth,
The beacon to a better way,
The light beyond the veil of death.
Oh, give me thy sweet Spirit still, 
The peace that comes alone from thee
The faith to walk the lonely road
That leads to thine eternity.

New Car!

It was a long Saturday filled with high prices and cars full of regrets. Then we spied this little jewel. A 2007 butter yellow P.T. Cruiser. Be still my heart. These are pictures of car like my car and that is not a picture of me. You see, I found these pictures on the internet, but they are exactly what I really have. The car is retro-style from the  door handles to the grill. I think my favorite part is the round-headed gear shift. Oh, and the yellow! dash board. 
It fits in perfectly with my new Pushing Daisies inspired life. A life full of chintz, stripes, and bright, contrasting colors. The car is the opposite of sleek. It is plump, unique, and very much me!


Austen and Masterpiece Theatre

PBS's Masterpeice theatre will be airing BBC versions of Jane Austen classics. Following is the schedule.
27. January -- Mansfield Park
3. February -- Miss Austen Regrets (dramatized Austen biography)
10., 17., and 24. February -- Pride and Prejudice (sans Keira Knightley!)
23. March -- Emma (Kate Beckinsale version)
30. March and 6. April -- Sense and Sensibility
Keep in mind that these are the BBC versions, so no Emma Thompson or Gwenyth Platrow. I love the versions I am used to but I am excited to see new takes on my favorites. And, of course, let's not forget that the "right" version of Pride and Prejudice will be shown.

Bringing Heartthrob Back

Who are the men that women dream about. Is it Bond? With his pimpin' ride, his gadgetry, and British accent. Is it Jason Bourne? Troubled, loyal, and willing to kill all who get in his way. Or maybe it's someone like Justin Timberlake? He brings sexy back after all. These are "men's men." These are men that other men would like to be. And I think some women get a kick out of them too. 
But then there are some men who other men just don't understand. But women love them.
He is the effeminate heartthrob. Also sometimes called the nice guy. He doesn't kill. He is usually nice, sensitive, and fights for what is right. And they are all straight! Straight hot!
The first one may have been Ashley, from Gone With the Wind. Compared to Rhett Butler's swearing, womanizing ways, Ashley (kind of a girly name) seems rather tame, safe, and sweet. Totally adorable. Totally too good for Scarlet. 
The way Kevin Bacon dances in Footloose is amazing. Cartwheels, spins, and a skinny body. That's hot. And he is fighting for what he believes in and thank goodness he does. The last dance scene is the best. I don't think many men rent Footloose. Women do. Why? Because Kevin Bacon is hot somehow. 
In the music world, there's Mika. He's smart, skinny, and sings really high. His mouth is huge; his hair gorgeous. No one can feel down, unloved, or ugly when they hear Big Girls. He wrote Lollipop for his little sister. How sweet! He speaks French, used to sing opera, and really understands musicality (versus, say, the genius that is Good Charlotte).
And the modern version of this type of heartthrob? Zac Efron. His troubled eyes when he's worried, his effeminate hand movements, and wearing capris in HSM II. Check out this dance from HSM II, an ode to Kevin Bacon's famous warehouse dance. This is hot and it's no where near Bond.
Who would you add to this list?


A Memo to the President Elect

I was at Borders getting a book about travel in France (and the odd impulse buy of Mona Lisa Smile) when I saw a book with a peculiar title. It was called A Memo to the President Elect by Madeleine Albright. All I could think is, "Hey, how many of these did they order because I think the book was only supposed to go to, like, 20 people... and it won't apply to most of them." I guess I just find it odd to publish personal correspondence. 


The Symphony

This weekend I attended the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall with a friend of mine. Before the performance, featuring Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," we attempted to eat at one restaurant. We found it closed and, because we were already parked, we searched for somewhere new to go close by.
We end up at Lamb's Grill Cafe. It's the type of place which disguises itself as a small, mediocre pub but is really a jewel. It is both home-like and sophisticated. The booths are intimate and cozy, with coat racks, and linens to give it an air of class. The table has a small lamp and a candle. There is a soft rumble from the other patrons' conversations -- a couple celebrating s promotion, the girlfriends getting together to gripe about boys, the daughter taking her elderly mother for a nice meal. The food was swell. I think you can always tell what kind of place you've come to by their hot chocolate. Ours was served in a tall glass with whipped cream and drizzled chocolate. The atmosphere was divine and the food reasonably priced -- for a sandwich, hot chocolate, and dessert, my meal was about $10.
On to the symphony. Parking was a beast and my shoes were not made for walkin'. We sat on the highest tier, on the front row. The program explained all about the performance -- you know, the why-this-piece-is-wonderful. These sorts of details are important for people like me -- people who understand that classical musical is pure genius but aren't sure exactly why. 
I considered myself brilliant when I was able to pick out some musical points of interest or feel the emotion the composer was getting at. But I felt best when a rush of relief breezed over me as the 18th variation -- the famous variation -- of the "Rhapsody blah blah blah" began. Da, da da, da daaaaah, da, da, da, daaaaaa. 
It was a lovely evening. We dressed to the nines and enjoyed ourselves even more. There is so much "of good report or praiseworthy" in this world. Why do we ever settle for less than the best?


Chances go Bye Bye!

I've been working on this guy for a year. We'll call him Scott*. I knew him from a ward. Then we both moved out. Then he moved in and back out. Then I moved in and soon out. Last Sunday he was at my ward. We reconnected! I flirted. He touched his arm in the way that books tell you to touch arms. He got my number (Like the third time I've given it to him). Maybe this time...
Later that week... I took my dad out for his birthday. As we were waiting for a table I ran into Scott.
"Hi! This is my dad." Now it's time to introduce Scott but I can't remember his name. Brain fart. Well, it's sure to come by the end of the sentence. "And this is ... Steve."
"Scott," Scott corrects.
I didn't think I had too much of a chance to begin with but I don't think my apologies de la millions conquered this mistake. As we parted I said, "Send me a text so I'll have your number..." and so I can apologize another million times. No text. No call.
*Names have been changed to protect the uninterested.