World locations have reputations. If, for example, you tell someone you're moving to Wichita it might not have the punch of, say, New York City. When I lived in Germany, being American was very ok and sometimes a talking point. But you'd not find the Germans proclaiming their Germaness (unless it was World Cup season). I don't really find anything wrong with Germans, but country-pride is not looked well on since WWII.
Some places are allowed more pride than others, which is unfortunate. LA is rad, Wichita is less so. though I am quite certain Wichita has it's charms.
It is of one of those spots I'd like to write. P-town, where I live, receives mentions usually in an apologetic way.
"I gotta get out of Provo."
"And I really didn't want to have to move here."
"Yep, still in Provo. Eek."
It's like P-town is not allowed to be liked. One cannot be proud of it. To like it means you have no taste or that you haven't gotten out much. But I like it. I really do. And I flatter myself that I am somewhat well-traveled and educated. To prove my love, and encourage it in others, I have a top ten list of the things I really enjoy about it. These aren't really in an order.
10. Farmer's Market. Sometimes it's more market than farmer but it's fun to be with a community and some of the food is really yummy.
9. Bridal Veil Falls. The grounds make a good walk.
8. The grounds at BYU. If you need a walk or just want to spread a blanket or you like to people watch, this is the place.
7. Gallery Stroll and F-Stop Cafe. The art is fun and the cafe has about one patron, making it friendly and actually the hot chocolate doesn't suck. I went in there one day and there was a puppy just hanging out.
6. Center Street. It's just a cool looking walk.
5. Cocoa Bean. It's slightly bitter and that makes it beyond delicious.
4. Library. I've decided this (and the one in Orem) is my happy place.
3. Riding bikes on Uni Ave and near Center.
2. International Cinema at BYU. And it's free.
1. Communal. Try the squash and the pot de creme.



I have a game I play with clients who don't seem to be interested in actual therapeutic endeavors called Table Topics. It's a box of questions from "What was your favorite childhood meal?" to "Do you believe in an afterlife?" I've played it often enough that I have my prescribed answers and the game holds little mystery for me. I want to be as honest and open as possible (modeling, a therapeutic term I use for my notes to somehow justify the session's activities). However, some questions baffle me. "What one thing would you ask a psychic?" and "What is your biggest pet peeve?"
I would like to announce that I have an answer for the second (the one about pet peeves). It is the misuse of the word literally.
Literally means in all actuality, the concrete meaning of a word -- no metaphor, no idiom. The antonym of literally is figuratively. Figuratively means metaphor, idiom, a figure of speech.
I have the following rules for the use of literally.
First, the thing must actionable and have actually, physically happened. For example, in telling the story of her son's (figurative) broken heart she said, "He was literally crushed." What! Oh my goodness! Is he okay? Another example, "Time was literally flying." This brings up visions of clocks with wings, stalking prey like Hitchcock's birds. In both of these examples, the events did not actually happen. The offenders intended to strengthen to power of their statements. What they should have said was something like "He was totally crushed" or "Time was definitely flying." One can be totally crushed, so to speak, and time can be metaphorically definitely flying.
Second, it must be the opposite of figuratively. Because literally is used to create emphasis, offenders often use it in a way that can only be literal, making the word unnecessary and out-of-place. For example, "I was literally speeding down the road." Of course you were. There is no metaphor or idiom about speeding down the road. No one is going to think you weren't actually in a car. They get it. Another example, "The duck literally took the bread from my hand." Really? Glad you clarified. Otherwise I might have thought the duck wasn't real. A better way to say it would be "I was speeding down the freeway... really I was" or "The duck came right up, man, and dang if that bread wasn't taken from my own hand."
The best time to use literally is when you actually did something that might be mistaken as figurative. For example, "I literally bought the farm" or "Maria was literally relieved when she got to the restroom."
Check out this misuse from Kristen Stewart and this youtube clip from Frasier.
In sum, I now have a great answer for Table Topics, and it's one (as you might surmise from the impetus to write a blog about it) I feel quite passionate about.


Empire State of Mind

Last week I went to NYC with my mom and sister, Fred. I owned that city.
We had dinner with my girl, E Masi, and I even crashed on her couch (when our hotel messed up our "order"). She is always a delight to be around and I miss her tons since she moved to NYC.

We saw Memphis. Good show. It was about a white, 8th-grade educated loser from, you guessed it, Memphis who rises when he plays "race music" on the radio and subsequently falls for a black singer. It's got the same basic idea as Hairspray but is much more serious.
We visited the island.
And the Statue of Liberty.
Fred and I with Manhattan in the back ground.
Although we couldn't reckon that any of our ancestors came through Ellis Island, some folks with our name did.
The World Trade Center site. It was kind of sad to look at think of how horrible 9/11 was. As we walked the street around the site I kept thinking about the people who ran from the site 9 years ago and the people who were never found.
I got to meet up with Heidikins, who just happened to be in town.
Scouted for wizards but in the end, Waverly Place was just another street. But a really cool street.
The Brooklyn Bridge -- "Brooklyn, I spent a month there one night."
SofL is smaller from Brooklyn.
Imagine no possessions/
I wonder if you can/
And no need for greed or hunger/
A brotherhood of man/
Imagine all the people/
Sharing all the world
Breakfast at Tiffany's
In the Heights -- which I really enjoyed -- staring Corbin Bleu (Jordin Sparks will join him soon). It's the story of Usnavi, a first-generation immigrant living in NYC's Washington Heights. His neighborhood is going to pot and they have to pull together and decide what's really important. It's got great music, good script, and memorable characters. Totally recommend it!
Everyone has a good time in NYC.