6.30.2009

A sad commentary

This morning, I received a business email from one of our company associates. This would be a professional marketer who works with my company. The email was literally riddled with spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. It made me cross-eyed just trying to read it. It was barely comprehensible. It was embarrassing! I was embarrassed for him, that this working professional couldn't take the time to use a spell-checker, which is a sad commentary in and of itself.

Why did our society stop caring about this? When did it become socially acceptable for a working businessman to be unable to write properly? Honestly, I see emails like this, and I can't repress a certain amount of scorn. It automatically makes me feel like I'm dealing with someone uneducated, or at least uncaring.

Good writing skills are supposedly important. I wish we could take out the 'supposedly' there. I mean, doesn't the business world (and most of the rest of the world too, right?) function on good communication? Which is being severely hindered by the texting generation, and the utterly blase attitude toward anything remotely resembling educated thought.

Reader, I plead with you. Don't fall prey. Use good writing skills. At the very least, please employ your spell checker. It would do us all a world of good.

6.29.2009

Life is good

I haven't been a very avid blogger here at the Muse lately. I just wanted to report that life is good. It is (predictably) very busy. I work full time, I go to church activities and to Taekwondo, I work hard as a volunteer with FSA, and I try to play hard with my friends, roommates, and ward members.

I've started working on edits of the novel I finished in January (aka the Behemoth). My friend Sam and I are also working on development for a new project, but we'll see how it goes. It feels good to be writing, I've been rather stymied in that department for awhile now.

Also, I've picked up "Warbreaker" by Brandon Sanderson, who is my current favorite fantasy author. So far I'm enjoying it immensely, as I have all of his work thus far. I'll give you the full scoop when I'm done.

Woot!

6.18.2009

Families Supporting Adoption conference!

The national conference of Families Supporting Adoption is coming up fast! On July 31& August 1, friends of adoption will gather from across the country for two days of education, discussion, and networking.

I'm particularly excited to announce the birthparent portion of this conference. It's grown a TON from last year's conference (the first time birth families were invited to attend) and there are going to be lots of great classes for birth parents in every stage. Here's just some of the session topics:

-What Adopted Children Need From Their Birth Parents
-What's Next: Living Life Post-Adoption
-Uniting as a Birth Family
-Deciding Who, When, & How to Tell Your Adoption Story
-Being a Birth Mother is Just One Part of Who I Am
-Navigating the Difficult Conversations
-Telling Your Children Your Adoption Story
-Sharing Your Passion for Adoption
-Letting Go and Moving Forward
-Husbands of Birth Mothers (Panel)
-Desires, Expectations, and Disappointments
-Step by Step Through Your Pregnancy & Placement
-United by Love

While Families Supporting Adoption is closely connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, birth parents of all backgrounds are invited to attend, for FREE! All the details are over at this blog: http://lettinglovelead.blogspot.com.

Spread the word! It's going to be a great conference, for birth families and adoptive families alike. If you have any questions, let me know!!

6.15.2009

New York City, part II

Let me just say this: my expectations for Wicked were COMPLETELY blown out of the water.

It was amazing. (Read: REALLY FREAKING ASTOUNDINGLY AMAZING.) Afterward, I was at a loss for words. All of the little tiny nit-picky details that had bugged me about Wicked in Chicago were gone. And so much more! It was wonderful.

The best thing about Wicked is that it is so clever. The script is clever. The lyrics are clever. The music is clever. It's all so well-written. It takes your breath away.

Obviously, I really enjoyed Wicked. =)

Friday morning, we started off by getting lost on the Subway. We ended up in Brooklyn, briefly. That subway station, by the way, was incredibly ghetto. The best ones are the ones where all the tourists go. Anyway, we eventually made it back to Manhattan, down at Battery Park. From there, we boarded a ferry on our way out to the Statue of Liberty.

It had rained all day Thursday, and the fog Friday morning had us worried. However, during our trip over to Liberty Island, things started to clear up. The Statue of Liberty was beautiful. It was even larger than I thought it would be. We walked around the island and took pictures, and I enjoyed it immensely. Definitely recommend it on your future visits. Then we sailed over to Ellis Island. In the brochure itself it says to plan on at least three hours to even begin to see everything at the museum. Well, we sure didn't have that kind of time. So after a brief stop and a glance, we were back on the ferry and heading back to Manhattan.

After lunch, we walked down through the finanical district, past Wall Street and the bull and the square where Peter almost blows up New York at the end of the first season of Heroes. Then it was a block over to Ground Zero. You can't see much, now, because the whole block is wrapped up for construction. But it was still powerful to see this whole block, empty but for the construction cranes. Crazy.

Then it was up to the Empire State Building. I was thinking it would be like the Space Needle...pretty, but not that exciting. However, we got the audio tour as part of our city pass. Totally worth it! I wish we had done the audio tour at the Met. With that, we were able to identify what we were looking at. I've got such a better understanding of New York City now than I ever would have without it. And the view! It was crazy. 86 floors up, you sure can see a lot!!

Friday evening we saw The Phantom of the Opera. We sat on the 2nd row. Seriously! When the chandelier dropped, it was literally dropping right toward me. So cool. However, Phantom just didn't measure up to Wicked, or to the Lion King. Still AMAZING, of course. And the technical aspects were really stinkin' cool. =)

On Saturday morning, we were visited by some relatives of my mother's. I swear to you, I've never heard of most of these people before. I'm pretty sure my mom's only met them once before. But it was nice, I suppose, if awkward. It was my grandpa's sister and her three kids, along with a husband and a boyfriend. They were over for about two hours. The hummus was very popular.

Then it was off to the matinee of The Lion King. Again...astounding. Blown. Away. I was expecting it to be good, but I've seen the movie and we have the original Broadway cast recording. So I wasn't expecting to be surprised. But I was blown away. The puppetry. The technical aspects. But the singing! The vocals were overpowering. I was moved. Mm.

After the Lion King, we hurried over to this big discount ticket place to see what tickets we could get for that evening. We were (yes!) hoping that we could go see Wicked again, but it was probably sold out months in advance. Without Wicked, we were a bit at a loss. Dad wanted to see South Pacific. Mom wanted to see...something else, I can't remember. I kind of wanted to see 9 to 5: the Musical! but only because Allison Janney is in it, and I love her. We considered Mary Poppins, but eventually settled on Shrek the Musical.

Yes, sounds silly, doesn't it? But don't worry, it was still entertaining.

First we went shopping (my mom and her shopping! She's so funny) then out to get some authentic (read: GREASY) New York pizza. I won't lie. I prefer Chicago-style pizza. The thin-crust stuff just doesn't do it for me. The Pesto was good. The grease was gross.

Then it was back over to the Broadway Theater for Shrek the Musical. It was some lighthearted entertainment. I found that the music itself was good, but that the lyrics weren't particularly clever. Lord Farquaad was highly entertaining. But overall, it just didn't compare to the other shows we saw.

Sunday we were homeward bound. I would just like to reiterate here that I hate traveling on airplanes. They make me sick, they are claustrophic, and they are exhausting. After finally arriving home, I crashed from about 8 o'clock pm until 7 o'clock this morning. If time weren't always so limited, I would rather drive.

6.11.2009

My feet are sore

In case you didn't pick this up from other sources (aka Facebook, email or ME), I'm in New York City! It's a family vacation with my parental unit, whom I adore for bringing me and indulging me every step of the way. =)

We got up at 3am Mountain time yesterday, caught a flight from SLC to Minneapolis. Our flight out of there was delayed, and THEN we were put in a holding pattern above Pennsylvania for over half an hour while the weather cleared in NY. Finally we landed at La Guardia. Then we took a taxi into Manhattan--and I will make a note here that my mother does not handle taxi rides well. Sorry mom, just sayin'. Finally we arrived at our hotel. It's called the Manhattan Club, and it's literally a block off Broadway, and just a few minutes' walk from Times Square, which we visited later last evening after a dinner at the Whole Foods Market just off Columbus Circle. Times Square, by the way, is a gaudy tourist trap, but it was still immensely satisfying to go and take pictures like any other tourist. There's just something about five-story neon ads for musicals that makes my blood race.

This morning we were part of the studio audience for "Live with Regis and Kelly", except that they had given out too many tickets, and we had to stand off to one side in the aisle. I'm pretty sure we were on TV once, for about a second and a half. But it was still fun to go and see the live filming of a TV show. The stage manager (or whatever her title is) was fun. She had tape on her pants and what looked like four sharpies strung on a lanyard around her neck.

Then we took a stroll across Central Park, which is a lot bigger than you imagine it being, even being forwarned that it will be bigger than you think it will be. We didn't even see half of it. I wore my cute new shoes, and they gave me a blister (or maybe two), but still totally worth it. After exiting the park, we bought lunch from a sidewalk stand, and they totally ripped off my dad. You live and you learn, I guess.

But the highlight of the afternoon (well, the sole thing we did this afternoon!) was visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is enormous. They say they have over two million works of art. The museum practically takes up a city block. We spent, what? four hours there? More? And I feel like we barely breezed through. I really loved the 19th century paintings (those were the ones I recognized most frequently--lots of Van Gogh and Degas and Picasso, etc), but I also really enjoyed the early European paintings and sculpture. They also had an ENORMOUS wing of Ancient Egyptian stuff--that was the first exhibit we visited, so we spent more time there than those that followed, because we hadn't yet realized that it would take us years to get through at that pace. Anyway, it was an amazing experience.

Tonight we're going to see WICKED. I'm very excited. I'd probably be more excited (as in, ridiculously, uncontrollably excited), except that I saw it last year in Chicago. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very excited. =) But for me there is a magic in a show that I've never seen before. That's why both Phantom of the Opera and the Lion King have a bit more hold on me right now. We're also thinking about seeing a fourth show on Saturday night, possibly the Fantasticks? We'll have to see--we were planning to go to two museums today and only made it through the one, so we'll have to see what happens. Either way, I'm a happy girl.

Yay for New York City!

6.01.2009

Watch the video, it makes me laugh


video