Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities


It wasn't until recently that I realized why it bothers me so much when people call the town I grew up in Cedar City. Now clearly from the outside it sounds ridiculous that I would be bothered that someone would actually refer to it by it's actual name. I could never quite explain why it bugged me so much until I discovered that within this town located in Southern Utah there are two very distinct and different towns. Cedar and Cedar City.


"Cedar City" is the quaint little town that the general populous considers where I am from. When they think of Cedar City they think of Shakespeare, Southern Utah University, the gateway to the National Parks. I like to call this the "Gilded Cedar City". This is the high class, educated, cultured portion of the town I lived. The people associated with this are either tourists, college students, or what we lovely refer to as "move ins." Although my parents have now lived in this town for almost two decades.... they will always be considered "move ins." Cedar City folk eat at The Garden House, a charming Victorian style cottage, or Pastry Pub, a French inspired organic salad, wraps, croissants shop. They enjoy road biking, traveling, learning, going to concerts and play, art museums, and culture. Living away from this town whenever I tell someone I grew up here and they respond, "OH I love Cedar City!" What I have described above is what they are thinking of.

"Cedar" home of the Redmen, on the other hand is quite the contrast. Cedar is a small farming/ranching community that has existed since Brigham Young sent pioneers to Iron County. When I think of Cedar I think of pick-ups, four wheelers, snow mobiles, and trips up the mountain to the family cabin. I think of hunting, football games, and cruising Main. The locals of Cedar have direct lineage to the early settlers of the town. Cedar folk eat at Brad's Food Hut, the local hamburger joint with English chips and fry sauce and for finer dining The Pizza Factory. On rare special occasions they might travel up the Moun'ain to Rusty's Steakhouse. Oh and for breakfast they head to Market Grill for chicken fried steak or biscuits and grave. They dip everything in ranch. Think that Lucky is an expensive designer brand. This is the town that I grew up in... the town that I love.

So when people call my town Cedar City I am bugged because they don't know the real town... they know the veneer... the facade, the mask, the guise. But what is worse than hearing some random outsider call my town Cedar City... what really hurts is when I hear a local call it Cedar City.... like they are ashamed. But I guess I am glad that most people don't know Cedar because if they did I'm afraid it would lose some of it's ambiance.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Brown vs. Blonde



It's shocking how many times I start a blog and don't finish it. Some I don't finish because I become uninterested. Some I don't finish because I'm afraid it's too offensive. Some I don't finish because I feel it reveals more about myself than I would like the blogging world to know.

Tonight I was going through my unfinished blog posts and found this interesting one titled Brown vs. Blonde:

I think almost every girl faces this dilemma at least once in her life if not over and over again.
What color should her hair be. Do blondes really have more fun? So often we see some sweet girl who clearly doesn't have the right hair color for her skin tone because either she doesn't care or no one tells her.

Well sadly I face this stupid dilemma all the time. What color should my hair be? Because of the dilemma and my fickle ways my hair color changes so much that my old principal wrote about the many changes in the yearbook! Well I am getting my hair done in a couple of days. Which color should it be this time?

***Disclaimer: If you think this is the most obnoxious, egotistical post ever.... you are probably right. Hence I didn't post it the first time I wrote it. But I am really getting my hair done and have no clue what to do!

I tried to find the closest hair style as possible.... any thoughts?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Addiction Part II



I have heard from time to time that it takes two weeks to break a habit. For some reason this here-say has given me some sort of comfort when I have tried to break a habit. If you want to keep believing such a fallacy then you probably should stop reading...

On December 16, 2008 I wrote my first post called Addicted. It is now two years later. I tried so hard to break this habit... I tried and I tried and I tried.... I cried and I cried and I cried...(I don't know if I really cried that much, but I thought it sounded good as I typed it) and for a few moments there I actually thought I really could overcome this habit... but that is the problem with addictions. They never go away. And I don't know why confessing my addiction to the blogging world is a relief... but it is. I have failed.

Some of my favorite addiction pictures:




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Disappointment

We always talk about how no one is perfect.... how easy it is to fall... but it's still shocking when you find out that someone who has made you better, someone who has inspired you to be great.... does something really stupid.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

She must have a lot of cats....

As I was searching on Amazon this morning for a world puzzle I came across this doozy of a review on a 18,000 piece puzzle. For your pleasure and enjoyment I have highlighted some of my personal favorite parts.



"I purchased this puzzle as a gift to myself in August 2009. I have been doing jigsaw puzzles since my childhood and I am now in my 30's. After putting together countless 1000 piece and 3-D puzzles, I felt that I had already had my "fill" of puzzles; my puzzle days were long gone and a part of my past (or so I thought). Then I spotted this eye-catching "Skylines of The World 18000 Piece Puzzle" on Amazon.com. I didn't purchase it right away. I spent months wondering whether or not I possessed that ever necessary staying power and fortitude to take on such a monumental task. Then one day I decided to stop wondering; I needed to attempt this 18000 piece puzzle. It had now become a matter of "now or never" and I HAD to do it!

At first glance, the amount of puzzle pieces was overwhelming for me; I had never put together a puzzle even remotely close in magnitude. In spite of those nagging feelings of discouragement, the notion that "maybe I can actually do this" helped keep me on track and superseded any feelings of doubt. And so the construction process began...

Each quadrant of this beautiful puzzle brought me to that sought-after level of challenge and beyond. Some quadrants are more agonizing than others, but the entire process of putting this puzzle together was still fabulous and unforgettable. Very difficult to express the feelings of joy and ecstasy after completing the first 4560 pieces, and then the next, and then the next... Feelings I was not at all prepared to deal with. Akin to that amusement park thrill ride where you just can't seem to get enough; where you're on a high and you simply have to keep going!

I highly recommend "Skylines of The World" to all puzzle aficionados out there who may also be thinking that they too have had their fill of this ageless pastime (or for those who are just serious puzzle extremists!). This deliciously insane puzzle will inevitably soak up hours and hours of your time and challenge your tenacity. But most importantly, your love for this brilliant hobby will be renewed in the most marvelous and satisfying way!

The completion of this lovely puzzle was the best way to bring in the first week of 2010! I began constructing this puzzle on August 18, 2009. I completed it on January 8, 2010. I will soon be mounting this stunning piece of art to display on my living room wall. It will represent a true milestone in my life, and it will serve as a reminder that anything is possible.

Good luck to everyone out there daring and courageous enough to attempt this puzzle!!!"








Speechless.




Twitter


A brilliant friend of mine told me that a study has shown that on average those who twitter are of a higher intellect. Now honestly, I know nothing about "twittering". A few times I have tried to read some twitters... but I don't get it. All these @ signs... All these incomplete thoughts.... I never understood all the hype. But after hearing my friend's statement about the intellect of those who twitter, I am determined.

So you can follow me at @krisparson....
(I guess, I have no idea how to even tell you where to find me.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Love Struck


Every morning as I drive to work I look like this.

Totally and completely love struck.

Sadly it's not because I'm listening to a 9 year old boy desperately trying to help his widowed dad.... Rather I am listening to a guy that gets paid to be the logic, the skeptic, the reasoning of the Glenn Beck program. He tells Glenn when he is overreacting. He tells Glenn when he's being ridiculous. Each and every time Stu speaks, my heart just melts.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dreams....... Part II




Well clearly my last attempt at dreaming didn't pan out very well... it was awful. Absolutely devastating. It was so terrible because I was foolish enough to get my hopes up because for a moment there I really had reason to believe my dreams might come true!!! I felt like I could fly! My life had meaning! It was all for a reason.....

Well I swore off dreaming.... for what a month?? I have concluded my problem was, clearly, I wasn't dreaming big enough! So I have come up with new dreams, bigger, wilder, more unrealistic dreams than ever before.

All day I have been listening to this song by Brandi Carlile on repeat. I have probably listened to it 50 times today alone. Why? Because by golly I have dreams!

Now why am I not telling you my big dreams? Well you see, the mocking that would follow would be so harsh that my little heart might not be able to dream anymore. This dream is so out there that I might as well tell you I want to be the first woman president because it might be that realistic. So instead of sharing my dreams I am going to just keep listening to Brandi belt out how I have dreams! With every repeat of this song, my courage gets a little stronger and just maybe one of these days I'll act on my dreams.

Listen to Blog


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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Love Stories

If you had to pick a love story which one would you want to be in?

I've been thinking a lot about this question the past few days. All growing up more than anything I wanted to be Anne Shirley and Gilbert Bythe. For a period of time, I really thought it might come true... until clearly my Gilbert didn't understand his role in the story. After I turned down his first few proposals he was supposed to let me go out "searching for my ideals". Sure, he could date, he could even get engaged to "Christine"... but in the end he was supposed to break it off because he realized there would be no one for him but me. And magically after my first year of teaching I would realized I didn't want sun burts or marble halls.... I just want Gilbert. Well my Gilbert Bythe.... got married. I'll never forgive him for not waiting for me to realize what I wanted... but whateve, when he got married I realized I needed to search out a new fairytale.

That was when I discovered Pride and Prejudice. I dreamed that the day would come that a guy would fall for me despite the inferiority of my connections, the conditions of my life so decidedly below his own... he can't help how he oddently admires and loves me. When I met the Mr. Darcy of Provo, I thought there was a chance. I was warned by many that he was very reserved, sometimes came off as prideful... But when I walked around his beautiful grounds of "pimberly" that overlooked the valley, I saw a side to him I didn't expect. He is a closet artist, sensitive book loving nerd... but in the end... he really was just a jerk.

So I have been on the search for my new love story. My latest inspiration started with a conversation at PF with Ashley... yes, quite the inspiring location I know. She said, "Kristin, just marry for money." Then later that night I watched one of the most classic love stories of all time, Pretty Woman. Craig came home at the end of the movie as I exclaimed, "THIS IS EVERY GIRLS DREAM!!!!" Quite confused he said, "To be a prostitute?" I must clarify minus the whole prositute thing...

It is a dream story. A common girl, confused about what she wants or where she is going, randomly meets an elite billionaire that although he doesn't know it, needs a girl to lighten up his world. Help him see that there is more to life then just making money.... that money is meant to be enjoyed :) Clearly the best part of the story is when she can show the snotty workers on Rodeo Drive what they missed out on because they refused to help her. Yes, the more I write about Pretty Woman the more I am convinced that this is going to be be my love story... now where do you find good looking, ethical, single billionaires?


But I am curious, what love story would you want to be?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Going Private.


We all think it. As soon as we see someone's title "going private" we get super bummed.... even if it isn't your ex-boyfriend's wife's blog that you wouldn't ever dare to ask for an invite. We all get bummed. Sure there is the hassle of clicking on their blog rather than just seeing if they have an update, but I don't even think that is why we get so bummed.

We get bummed because even if it is a blog we hate, we know as soon as someone goes private.... inevitably they stop blogging. Ok, to be fair, they don't quit completely, but the amount of posts are substantially less.

Every time I check my private blogs to see if they have posted, I think about this phenomenon. Why is it that whenever a blog goes private, some with time, but some almost immediately stop blogging? I mean it really doesn't make a lot of sense. More than likely anyone that the blogger wanted to read the blog has an invite... so more than likely about the same amount of people are reading the blog. So what causes the change?

I have concluded that it comes down to the mystery, the excitement of not knowing exactly who will read the post. That bit of risk lures bloggers into keep writing. I love bloggers that state the purpose of the blog is for journal sake. I am sure that is partially true, but obviously there is some satisfaction in knowing that other people read the post or the blogger would just have a journal. We like that people are reading our blogs.

Sure sometimes I am creeped out a bit about the fact that I really don't know everyone that reads my blog... but mostly it just adds to the excitement. I love looking at my Live Traffic Feed to see where the people are from that are looking at my blog. For instance I was just looking at my Feed, someone from La Vista, Nebraska. As far as I know, I don't know anyone from La Vista... or nicetono.blogspot.com. I have no idea who this blogger is, as far as I can tell this blogger has never left a comment.... yet the blogger and some of his/her followers frequently read my blog.

So I have concluded that one of the aspects that entices bloggers to blog comes down to the hope that there is a Rachel Lynde out there that is snooping in.







P.S. You private bloggers, whether you blog or not, I still love you.
P.S.S. No, I am not going private.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Gym Part II - the inner ring

Now I know it isn't much comfort to my students, but I tell them although people may not discuss it as much, although people try to be more discrete about it, life and social interaction doesn't change much after junior high. I tell them, " I wish I could say that people grow up. I wish I could say that people change. But really, life is always pretty much like junior high." We all have the desire of wanting to fit in, to feel included. Cheers said it best, "Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name." So people do some crazy things in order to fit in.... to be a part of a group... to get that sense of belonging.
"I believe that in all men's lives one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local ring and the terror of being left outside." - C.S. Lewis, The Inner Ring

No place has the junior high mentality more than at the gym.

The Plastics
The step class. It was really quite intimidating at first. It is easy to tell who belongs in The Plastics, and clearly who doesn't. The plastics wear matching exercise outfits, always set up in the front, and there is an obvious addition that makes it easy to call them The Plastics.

Whenever a new-comer trys to attend to the step class they put on their happy smiles, welcome the new comer to class, but recognize that within the first 20 minutes of the class due to the complicated and fast pace of the class, the new-comer will leave.

Now when I went to the class for the first time, I was quite confident in my step ability. I was a step instructor for heaven sakes! But sure enough, I left within the first 20 minutes because I couldn't keep up. But unlike other newbe's I came back the next morning. And with time, over the past 3 years I have become one of the regulars of this class. (I haven't seen another person break in since me) Now although I can keep up. Although I am one of the best at it now, I still didn't break through and get into the "ring" until the instructor, the head plastic, met my dad at Swiss Days. Since then not only am I on the "in"... the instructor has me lead the class!

The Advanced Spin Class
Every Monday morning there is a different look to the worker-outers that walk into the gym. They always wear their most recent marathon or triathlon shirts. They don't wear stylish exercise clothes like The Plastics, they wear hardcore workout clothes. I never see them at the gym besides Monday mornings. They don't seem like the gym going type. They are the running in the dead of winter, biking through the rain, swimming with a wetsuit kind of people. So when I saw a class they were all attending, I thought I'd check it out.

They call it, "Advanced Spin Class".

I don't know how I actually got a bike in the class the first day. Almost every bike is saved. Everyone has spin shoes. Everyone wears padded bike shorts. Everyone has a jersey. Everyone knows each other by name. Each week they talk about the most recent race they competed in. When the sign-ups for the next race is. Or the latest energy gel that gave the extra kick for the last few miles. One thing is for sure. I am not one of them. Sure I have a bike, but I've never done a century. Sure I run, but I've never done a marathon. But I'll tell ya one thing, I can spin just as hard as they can! So I've been attending this class for two years. It's probably my hardest workout of the week because so bad I want to become one of them. Throughout the class the instructor calls out one of the spinners names and tells everyone to spin as fast as that person is. Over the past two years I have started to look more the part. I have spin shoes. I have biking spandex. but still the teacher doesn't know my name. The teacher hasn't acknowledged me and my biking skills.

I thought it was because I was still considered "new". Until one day a new girl in a t-shirt and tennis shoes came to class. I scoffed "amateur" as I set up next to her. I clearly span way faster than her, so I couldn't believe my ears when the instructor said, "Hey new girl, great job!"

That was until the day that the instructor didn't actually ride with us. He gave up his bike to one of the "group" who came in late and didn't have a bike. (He had already turned 5-6 other gym members saying the bikes were full) Anyways, the workout was brutal. For those of you that are familiar with spin, we sprinted all class. Up hill, down hill, sitting, standing. All we did was sprint. And I sprinted my guts out. As I went to leave class the instructor said, "Hey what's your name?" Kristin. "Kristin, great job today."


All the hard work, all the dedication, the constant yearning to fit in.... is finally worth it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Gym


If I was ever to become an anthropologist, my area of study would not be the typical Amazon Tribal People, Sudan Desert People or even the Himalayan Tibetan Monk People ... it would be the 9th East Gold's Gym People.

Today I just want to describe a bizzare thing that is very typical... without thinking the other morning I threw on a t-shirt and went to the gym. Now I never wear t-shirts to the gym because of exactly what happened.

Now this might be TMI but despite popular belief particularly among the gym socialites when you work out, you sweat. The better shape you are in, according to my "how to be an aerobics instructor" professor, the more you sweat. But an interesting thing happens at the gym when you sweat a lot. Instead of getting high fives and words of encouragement for working out so hard.... you get looks of disgust. When I walked out of the dark stationary bike spinning room the other morning and looked in the mirror and saw this:
I was absolutely horrified! I glanced around the gym hoping that no one had seen me, but it was too late. I could feel the dirty glares coming from all across the gym! I felt the need to apologize to all the gym goers at 6:30 AM for producing such an awful sight.

But ya know...despite all the dirty looks... no matter how disgusted the other gymers are with my wet clothes, every time I get home and look in the mirror I get such a satisfaction from all my hard work.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Introducing...


I'm proud to introduce the newest member of my blog list...


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life Won't Wait

Death is one of those things we all handle differently. Last night a 17 year old boy in the town that I teach passed away. I didn't teach him. But I taught his brother. I know his friends. I know his extended family. I hurt for those that I know that love him. I don't hurt for the boy that passed away. I have a testimony that through God's mercy, even with his mistake, the boy will be fine. I hurt for those who have to keep living with the guilt, the pain, the longing.

I looked the boy up on facebook. It was beautiful to read what all these teenagers I know that can be so selfish, thoughtless and even cruel sometimes had to say after hearing that this boy had passed on. It got me thinking. I wonder if the boy would have done what he did, if he knew.... if he really understood how many people loved him.

I think it's a tragedy that we wait until people are gone to have a funeral service. I have been thinking about all the people in my life that I care so much about. I wonder if they know exactly how much they mean to me. From reading the hundreds of posts on this boy's profile I've decided I am not going to wait until something tragic happens for me to express my love, admiration, and gratitude to the people that I love. Because sometimes, life won't wait.





What his 16 year old brother wrote on his profile this morning:
B... you were my best friend and always will be, I love you man!! I can't wait to see you again!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010

For Emmie's birthday we played clue. So so so fun!
While everyone was on a scavenger hunt around Utah Valley, I went back with the birthday girl and tried to capture some of the fun... I guess you could say this is my first attempt at photographing an event... the coloring is a bit off but I'm too lazy to fix it right now :)










Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rejection

The Problem With Dreaming Is No Matter How Unrealistic The Dream Is, No Matter How Much You Try And Convince Yourself It Won't Happen, There Is Always Hope...And The Feeling When It Doesn't Come True Makes You Question Whether You Should Ever Dream Again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween

I've never really cared for Halloween. I think it all comes down to the fact that I am scared of the dark... But my friend Linz tagged me in a Halloween blog and threatened she would post some awful blackmail pictures so here is my tribute to Halloween.
Baby Smerf - 1984
Clown of 1985
The CUTEST witch of all time.... 1986
Rainbow Bright 1987
Bitter Princess of 1989
Witch of 1990
Model of 1992
(Yes there is a HUGE jump to 1999 because quite frankly I want to forget those awful outfits... particularly the green hair that stayed for 2 months. P.S. if any of you have any of those pictures I would LOVE to see them!!!)
Hippy of 1999
Dr and Patient of 2000 (I wish I had the actual dance picture cuz it's hilarious!)
BamBam of 2001
Love Child of 2002

Sarah Palin 2008
Faith Hill 2009
2010..... to be continued.