Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An update, of sorts.

I will never have a cute blog.

I don’t take enough pictures. I don’t use any cute instagram filters. My outfits are never put together enough to be shown off on the internet. My recipes are nothing out of the ordinary and never my own. I don’t own a house to decorate with frames and wallpaper. I don’t have any kids to recount silly stories or a horrible boss or my own business to promote.

Instead, my blog will be plain. And most of what I post will not be interesting. And it will never have a fancy header or a pretty background. I’ll post every few months, each entry becoming more vague than the last. My family will continue to be the majority of readers, my best friends will comment out of pity and all my opinions incredibly biased.
But, this blog will always be mine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Double Deuces

Tuesday was my best friend Melissa Dean Connor's 22nd birthday.

I knew for a while that I wanted to write a blog about Melissa, but I wasn't exactly sure what to say. How do you sum up the best of times (and the absolute worst of times) with a few perfectly placed words and quotations that everybody can understand?

Well, it turns out you can't.

If I had to sum up Melissa and I's friendship in one way, I'd tell you this story: A few weeks ago we were both super grumpy, neither of us having a good day. I was all the way out here in Washington DC, and she was in LA. During my lunch break, I texted her to complain. Work is blah, I'm tired, so and so is annoying, I hate everybody, etc. And I don't know whose brilliant idea this was, but somewhere along the conversation one of us decided to list all the people we hate. So we did. For over and hour, Melissa and I texted back and forth names of all the randos in the world, and both our grumpy moods were instantly cured. What does this say about Melissa and I? Well, a lot of things. Go ahead and judge the fact that we both really need to at least pretend like we like people, but that's a different story. To me it's the ultimate act of friendship. What would I do without her?

There are thousands of other stories like the above, and most I would not be able to get though without laughing. As I thought about Melissa's birthday I thought a lot about all the things we'd done together, and I made the following list. These are 22 things that sum up my favorite part about Melissa and I's friendship:

1. "I need to stop, I've done enough telesital stuff for the day"
2. Once we called our friend to take us to get McDonald's ice cream at 3:00am. After he took us through the drive thru, he asked what we wanted to do next. We told him to take us home and we ate ice cream in our beds with the lights off.
3. During our freshman year at BYU, Melissa took BIO100 at the same time all of our friends went to lunch. She ended up retaking the class a few semesters later.
4. Melissa met a boy in a hot tub and we rewrote the song "Baby" by Justin Beiber to describe their relationship. I will never sing the original lyrics again.
5. We were hiking in Yosemite and one of Melissa's shoes fell off the side of the cliff. She hiked the rest of the way down in one sock like a champ.
6. She almost always orders fettuchini alfredo when we go out to eat, but nothing beats her homemade recipie.
7. Melissa knows all the words to Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind" and will rap them on the fly.
8. The two of us commuincate via dolphin noises.
9. In order to marry Melissa you must take her to Burger Supreme at least once a week.
9. We once googled "men in pulka shells."
10. Melissa has created some genius nicknames that include but are not limited to fairy girl, the white witch, beeker and the villian.
11. People don't like to hang out with Melissa and I because we have our own conversations on top of whatever everybody else is talking about.
12. One time Melissa and I were convinced that all the Chili's had been closed and we almost broke down.
13. Melissa loves Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She calls MoTab her "jam"
14. Once Melissa used my little sister's baby pictures for a presnetation about her own life because she couldn't find any of her own.
15. Melissa Dean Connor knows every single word to Aaron Carter's "Aaron's Party" and can sing them without missing a beat.
16. We both say "sorreh" like Gilly.
17. Sophomore year we made up a dance for the ward talent show. Ask Melissa about the Reindeer Click.
18. We once attempted to create a blog called The Legit Blog where we discussed topics of variying legitimacy including Heidi Montag, Twilight and Hawiian shirts.
19. Senior year, Melissa found a long green sock in her bed that didn't belong to anybody we knew. She threw it in the hall outside our apartment and it stayed there for weeks.
20. Melissa and I know more about Vegas than you do, and are more than willing to discuss our adventures in ~da club.
21. My junior year at BYU I was completely in love with a boy I studied with. One night I came home and found Melissa making a PowerPoint slidshow presentation which displayed his best pictures and were synced with the song "SuperStar" by Taylor Swift.
22. Melissa is Jay Z, and I am Kanye West.

If you could please convince her to drop out of school and/or graduate school early and move to DC that would be much appreciated. I can't go on for much longer without my best friend.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There is no eloquent or interesting way to say this, so welcome to the most boring blog post in the history of this blog.
I have a job! I've been working as the Administrative Assitant to the Finance and Operations Department for The Solar Energy Industries Association. SEIA is a the national trade association of the US solar industry and filled with incredibly talented, motivated and passionate people. I've been with SEIA for almost a month now and am very happy to be settling in. My office is located across from the International Spy Museum, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the heart of DC. Yesterday I had lunch in front of the Peterson House, where Abe Lincoln died. I am a legitimate DC commuter who spends 3 1/2 hours a day hating on the Metro, swiping my commuter card and complaining about tourists (even though I was one just a few weeks ago. Irrelevant).
Because I have no creativity, I'll copy something I do frequently on my LJ.
Current Likes:
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
My brand new iPhone
Retelling hilarious stories from LeakyCon 2011
Current Dislikes:
Being 1,836 miles away from Provo, Utah
Until next time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

DC Adventures

In my currently unemployed state I've spent much of the last 3 weeks couped up in my new Virginia bedroom studying for the GRE and sending out a billion resumes. But, I have had a chance to explore DC a little and enough time to realize how different the east coast is. I've been all over the US, and this is definitely not my first visit to the DC area, but I've never lived here. You'd think that by this day and age we'd all basically be the same - we watch the same TV shows, read the same magazines, see the same movies and (for the most part) listen to the same songs on the radio. I was shocked to find out how different DC feels. So, throughout my first adventures in the area I recorded a few observations. The following list is the result:

- DC is "The District" to locals, just like San Francisco is "The City"
- American flags are everywhere. The Metro door, on every bench, hanging over the freeway, etc.
- I've always thought wearing a watch was kind of dorky, but it's super classy here
- Everybody seems very aware of their American heritage and what it means to live in or around our nation's capitol
- You've got to know your politics if you want people to respect you
- Lots of men and women in uniform, both on and off duty
- Fireflies are so magical, all the rest of the bugs are not
- The humidity can be brutal
- A lot of people smoke cigars
- There is this sense of regality that I can't quite put my finger on

I'm really starting to fall in love with the area. I can't wait to finally have a job and start really settling in socially. I miss Provo and California (especially the people who live there) every single day, but I'm quickly becoming a DC girl.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Land of the Free

It's not often that we get to enjoy a sense of pride and unity collectively as Americans, and tonight was one of those rare occasions. I could almost feel the eyes of the entire nation glued to their TVs as they announced the death of Osama Bin Laden, the sense of honor and reverence that lingered in the air as Obama talked about 9/11, reminding us that during those hours "no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family."

Once again, we can come together to be united in this way.

This is not to say that we should celebrate death or rejoice in the end of somebody's life, no matter how cruel and terrible a person. Instead, we should bask in the relief and sense of peace that has been delivered to those personally effected by Bin Laden, and be reminded of the sacrifice and power of the soldiers who keep this country free .

Let us hold on to this feeling of community and love for our country and fellow men.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Things I Know For Sure

During Graduation last week, a lot of people talked about what we learned throughout our education and the things we now know. Because I studied philosophy I mostly came out of class knowing that I don’t know anything. But, even though I’ve become accustomed to doubting anything that is “known” (thanks Descartes), there are a few things I know for sure.

I know about the couches in A101, or the Man Cave as some people like to call it. To me, it’s “the boy’s.” I know that their door is unlocked 74% of the time and my favorite blanket is hardly ever in use. I know which plug works best in the living room and that everybody can see through the front window when the blinds are open. I know a lot about best friends becoming family and that fort making is not just for 8 year olds.

I know about the fourth floor of the JFSB. I know the professors by name, first and last, and can point you in the direction of their offices. I know a little about philosophy and a lot about writing papers. I know that Kierkegaard got it right when describing how to be a true Christian and Kant is tough if you don’t know what to look for.

I know about Harry Potter. I know that Harry is a wizard and Dudley is a muggle. I know that Snape had to kill Dumbledore, that it was all part of the plan that was set into motion long before any of us even realized. I know that “lumos” means lights on and “nox” means lights off. I also know exactly what butterbeer tastes like, and what it feels like to be at Hogwarts with the people who’ve made my life magical.

I know a lot about Vegas. I know what it’s like to walk down the Strip in the middle of the night and how weird it feels to drive through during the day. I know which songs at the Bellagio fountains are the best and exactly how to get to each Panda Express. I can tell you what to wear if you plan on going to The Bank or the hot tub. And I can promise you that you won’t regret staying at the Best Western Mardi Gras.

I know what it means to be a believer, to be a Christian. I know a lot about faith and a little about God. I know about scripture and prophets and church and hymns. I can tell you exactly what it means to be Mormon.

I know a lot about college and Netflix and hiking and making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, but I don’t know a lot about “the real world.” I don’t know what it’s like to have a real full time job that isn’t a student position or a summer temp. I barely know what it’s like to be 21 years old. I don’t know how to buy a car or what it means to have money in your savings account. I still get nervous when I have to call people on the phone and I’m not eloquent or elegant. But I guess that’s part of growing up, part of picking up and moving on – my “I know” list will continue to grow longer, and for that I'm excited.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

enter to learn, go forth to serve

Yesterday I graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy, and a double minor in History and Logic.

Now what?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

you mean i have to leave provo?

"Hey Hannah, you graduate in two weeks! How do you feel?"

How I typically respond: Excited! Can't believe my time at BYU is over. I'm really looking forward to moving to Washington DC in May.


Friday, April 1, 2011

I've spent the last few months trying to make sense of how shady people are.

It is in our human nature to hurt each other. We're inherently broken, born into this fallen state. We spend our whole lives interacting with each other, trial and error, give and take. And sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't. Most of the time we do the wrong thing. Most of the time we lie or cheat or say something we shouldn't. There is no rule book for human emotions, no way to rationalize and weigh our options every second of the day.

How are we suppose to survive when the world is this way?


We have to forgive. Because he hurt you today, but you're going to hurt her tomorrow. Sometimes people mean to be malicious and hateful, but most of the time they don't. We have to step back and realize we all share a common fault. Humanity is essentially inhumane, we all share this experience. Without the power to forgive we are doomed to fail.

Forgive. Forgive them just like everyone has forgiven you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

thanks for the jimmeries

What an incredible season. Love my BYU boys. Sad to see it go.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

and yeah, we're still mormon.

Everything I do in life is defined by the fact that I'm Mormon.

"I go to school in Utah." "Oh that Mormon school?"
"Jimmer Fredette, POY material?" "He's Mormon!"
"She doesn't drink she's Mormon"
"Hi, my name is Hannah" "YOU'RE MORMON."

Yeah. I am.

It's not like I'm ashamed of my faith, you know? My religion defines a lot of who I am and who I want to be. But getting past the "Mormon Girl" definition is difficult. I'm other things, too.

I guess I never noticed it before until a friend brought it up a couple of weeks ago. I'm so used to being That Mormon Girl that it hardly phases me. But since that conversation I've been paying more attention, and I cannot escape the stereotype. Yeah I live in Utah. I love it here. No I'm not going to be one of those sister wives, or whatever they're showing on TV these days (that's not how we roll here in Happy Valley anymore, gotta go down south for that). I go to church on Sunday and spend the rest of the week involved in various church activities. My family is Mormon, I'm going to marry a nice little Mormon boy someday and have lots of Mormon babies - what gives? I like other stuff too. Philosophy and theology, lets talk religion outside of Mormonism. Harry Potter, that's kind of a big deal to me. I love hiking and camping and being outside, I could talk for hours about my outdoor adventures. I like books. I like dance parties. I really love ice cream and otter pops and... shall I go on?

Everytime BYU beats SDSU in basketball, their student section chants "you're still Mormon!" as our team leaves the court. And yeah, we're still Mormon. And apparently being Mormon means you can't be good at basketball, and it means you don't know how to have fun or live in the real world. This Jimmer Mania has added a whole new dimension to the apparent shock people have when they realize Mormons can do things too.

Maybe I'll always be Hannah the Mormon Girl. Probably. But I hope that stereotype changes from the weird cultural stigmas my religion has to and understanding of what being Mormon really means theologically. (Yeah - a girl can dream, right?).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes we give our hearts to people who don't really deserve it.

But that's part of life, isn't it? Allowing yourself to become vulnerable in order to build a relationship. Kierkegaard said the only way we actually deceive ourselves is if we do not love. I never liked Kierkegaard's Works of Love, and on this Valentine's Day I hate it even more. It seems unfair. You know how much easier my life would be if I just gave up and became a nun?

I was crying on my bedroom floor this afternoon, thinking about all of this. Then, as I was literally giving up, I was reminded about the real meaning of love. You know, the kind that keeps you safe and comfortable, the kind that stands up for you and cheers you on, the kind I think Kierkegaard was really trying to get at.

My friends pulled me up off the floor, shoved ice cream in my face and helped me remember that there are a lot of people who come and go, but the right ones will always stay. That's so painfully cheesy, but I'm the luckiest girl in the world because I'm surrounded by genuine love. Real friendship, a family that I got to choose myself. There is nothing on this earth that could ever replace the genuine concern we have for each other. I'm rambling, but I really needed to remind myself (and everybody else ) that no matter how hard it seems right here, right now, I never have to go it alone.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

some philosophy

"What is our course, and what is our means of flight? We should not rely on our feet to get us there, for our feet just take us everywhere on earth, one place after another. Nor should you saddle up a horse or prepare some sea-going vessel. You should put aside all such things and stop looking; just shut your eyes, and change your way of looking, and wake up. Everyone has the ability but few use it...For no eye has ever seen the sun without becoming sun-like, nor could a soul ever see beauty without becoming beautiful. You must become wholly godlike and wholly beautiful if you intend to see god and beauty." - Plotinus

I've been thinking a lot about this idea of ridding oneself of the body and the senses in order to reach the divine and complete the process of theosis. I've been studying this idea in the light of neoplatonism recently, but it shows up everywhere. Mormon theology puts such an emphasis on the body, how it is a temple and that we should care for it, which seems to contradict the idea above. But, I don't know if it does completely. Don't have any conclusion to present, really. Just some thoughts that have been bouncing around my head the past few days.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I have one thing to say to you.


Also, Jimmer is in range when he steps off the bus.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I bite my nails.

All the time.

If this were a normal day, I would have already paused in writing this to...bite my nails. My fingers are constantly in my mouth. I bite my nails when I'm tired, I bite my nails when I'm bored, I bite my nails when I'm nervous, I bite my nails when I'm thinking, I bite my nails whenever I feel like it. I don't even realize I'm doing it anymore.

I've decided for the 50th time in my life to break the habit.

In high school, I had acrylics for a short time because of Senior Ball and guess who bit those instead? And I've had manicures. And my nails are always painted. I try and sit on my hands when I'm not using them to resist the temptation. Nothing seems to help.

So here's the deal. I'm done. I'm 21 years old, not 6. The madness must end and it's going to take absolute concentration and willpower on my part. I'm going to give myself a month, and at that point I'll update you all on my progress. If I've failed...well, we'll just move on to attempt #51.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nothing changes on New Years Day

I've spent a lot of time this past week staring at blank Word documents, trying to come up with some type of ~year in review~ to share. Obviously I have not succeeded, and this is the result.

2010 was by far the best year I've lived through, with 2007 coming in close second. But I can't sum up what set this year apart from the rest though pictures or top ten lists (those who read my LJ saw my sad attempt). Because writing "logic dinners" and putting a number next to it doesn't capture those nights in Shelley's apartment where we laid on living room floor and played Truth or Admit until nobody could keep their eyes open. "Infinitus" means nothing if you weren't walking around Hogwarts with some of the most important people in your life or being ridiculous in the hotel lobby. Summer afternoons by the pool, weddings, driving across the country, missing flights and long awaited reunions - writing about it just makes it feel dry and generic.

I have three goals for the new year.
First, to become better at articulating myself. To be more eloquent, to learn how to say what I feel and what I mean.
Second, to write more. By this time next year I'll hopefully be able to capture all the best moments of 2011 with words that reflect the memories.
Third - idk. But a list isn't a list if it just has two things.

(this entry was just too serious, it needed some all caps action.)