Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Today, I watched the final episode of Parks & Recreation.

I don't really watch tv, so I've never felt anything like this before. I've never felt the sting of knowing that there's no more--that all I have is all I'll ever have.

Listening to the theme song won't ever mean the same thing. We've been together for years, and now, for the last time, we are all actually moving away.

Of course, the natural thing to do is to try to find a new show to watch. But I don't want to do that. How could I love Parks & Rec as much if I loved another show?

They're my one and only.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Lately, I find myself stopping on the Spanish radio stations.

There's something soothing about listening to people talk without knowing what they're saying.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Tonight, Alyssa and I listened to records and danced to them.

In a day when you can pull up any song you can dream of on your telephone within 10 seconds of getting the urge to listen to it, the draw of vinyl is almost inevitable.

You can touch them. They're cumbersome. You have to be careful with them. There's movement involved. You can actually see the needle progressing through all the songs. You have to get up and walk over to the record player to flip to the other side. 

And there's this warmth and richness to the imperfection of vinyl--like a beautifully stained wooden table. Like the musical instruments making the sounds are actually inside your heart, and the music is playing from the inside out.

That little scratchy sound that the needle makes when it just touches the record? That one moment is brimming with life, like the rise and fall of empires hang on it.

I could go on.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Smell of Summer.

Today, I got in my car after work, and it smelled like summer.

It took my completely by surprise. Not until that moment had I considered that the inside of a car that had been sitting in the sun all day would have a specific smell, let alone that it was the smell of summer.

But it was obvious and it made my heart laugh.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Democracy Now!

Today, I wrote emails to my state representative and senator. I asked them to give higher education employees the same 3% cost-of-living adjustment as other state employees, instead of the proposed 2%.

The Professional Association of Campus Employees at UVU sent me an email and asked me to. And I said, Hey, I'm an MPA student! This is my type of thing! I'll do it.

I looked up what district I was in and who my representative and senator were. I browsed their websites. I found their email addresses, and I wrote them.

Then I went back to my homework.

#civicengagement #makingadifference #democracy #merica

Friday, March 6, 2015

I'm not listening when you say goodbye.

Tonight, I went to a 90s dance party.

It was freeing, because I knew that if anyone thought my dancing was weird, they'd attribute it to me making fun of the 90s. Not to me actually dancing weird.

And they'd be wrong, and I'd be happy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Heartache & Confusion.

The minute you walk into the grocery store and realize they don't have the type of bread you want is the minute you should turn around and go home.

If you choose to stay, you will only find heartache on the cracker aisle and confusion on the cereal aisle. You'll go home with a few containers of Greek yogurt and little else.

Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Not Even Once.

This morning when the alarm went off, I opened my eyes and the lights were on.


The lights were on, and laying there next to me on the bed was the book I had been reading last night. I was laying there facing it, just the way I had been last night.

And even through the fog of not quite being awake, it was clear to me that I had slept all night and hadn't even turned over once.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Presidents of the United States: In Order of (Youthful) Handsomeness

A while ago, Khiah showed me this ranking of the presidents in order of hotness.

Of course it was my favorite thing in the world. But the list compared them in hotness at the time of presidency--not exactly fair, since everyone becomes president at different stages of handsomeness.

So I decided to level the playing field.

The Presidents of the United States:
In Order of (Youthful) Handsomeness

(Of course, there are presidents who got better with age. Franklin Pierce and Zachary Taylor, I'm sorry you weren't higher on the list.)

43. James Buchanan

Coming in last place, the only president who never married. I'm sure it's unrelated.

42. Martin Van Buren

What Martin Van Buren lacked in physical beauty, he made up for in facial hair.

41. Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon sent this picture of himself to his future wife. Maybe she loved his big nose as much as I do? Or maybe it was the message that got her: "For Bird -- a lovely girl with ideals, principles, intelligence, and refinement, from her sincere admirer." #swoon

40. John Adams

It's actually impossible to get an idea of what John Adams looked like, because each portrait of him looks like it could be of a different person.

39. Abraham Lincoln

Beauty is only skin deep, obviously.

38. Millard Fillmore

I bet he'd be smiling if he knew that the capital of Utah was one day going to be named after him.

37. George Washington

Did you ever realize they had normal hair under those powdered wigs? I thought they were born old men.

36. James Monroe

You know it's James Monroe by that cleft chin.

35. Richard Nixon

I can verify that this is the only truly handsome picture of Richard Nixon that exists. He's got the smolder down.

34. Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor got instantly handsomer whenever he wore his military uniform.

33. William Howard Taft

He be like, "Not only am I gonna get stuck in a bathtub one day, but I'm going to become a Supreme Court justice after I'm president."

32. Grover Cleveland

Look at that casual stance, thumbs resting in the pockets of his classy knee-length overcoat. Grover's got swag.

31. William McKinley

I actually really just wish he had combed the other side of his hair.

30. Bill Clinton

I like this picture because it feels like a picture of your dad on his wedding day. Of course you think he's handsome (even if he's really not).

29. James Madison

My AP US history teacher in high school had a legitimate crush on James Madison. Maybe because of this portrait.

28. Franklin D. Roosevelt

People like to make jokes about Eleanor, but.

27. Chester Arthur

Yes, that is a full head of beautiful curls, a tent-shaped mustache, a unibrow, and frizzy mutton chops that you see. Your eyes don't deceive you.

26. Thomas Jefferson

He's got that James Dean daydream look in his eye.

25. Harry Truman

As a kid, Harry had such bad eyesight that he could never play sports, but I'm not even mad about it.

24. William Henry Harrison

I hear he had a hunting lodge in Pawnee, Indiana, actually.

23. Jimmy Carter

"Carter is widely considered a better man than he was a president." Also, handsomer.

22. Benjamin Harrison

Just two slots away from his grandfather, William Henry Harrison. Handsomeness runs in the family.

21. Andrew Johnson

Actually, the handsomest picture I could find of Andrew Johnson was when he was 52 years old, so. He woulda been higher on the list.

20. Chester Arthur

Pictures of guys in Civil War uniforms. They get you every time.

19. Woodrow Wilson

I could come up with 14 Points about why Woodrow Wilson is the greatest.

18. Herbert Hoover

Do you think they call it a Hoover because he just sucked up my heart?

17. Warren G. Harding

You have to assume he had a way with the ladies.

16. Andrew Jackson

Maybe we could have put this portrait on the $20?

15. Franklin Pierce

They didn't call him "Handsome Frank" for nothing.

14. George W. Bush

I spy another unibrow.

13. Barack Obama

Was this picture taken yesterday? Because he's still just as handsome.

12. Dwight D. Eisenhower

I like Ike.

11. Gerald Ford

Not only was he a football star, but he was also a male model. That's true.

10. Calvin Coolidge

"Keep it Cool with Coolidge."

9. John Quincy Adams

This was really unexpected.

8. James K. Polk

Later in life, he had a mullet, but what we've got here is real good.

7. Theodore Roosevelt

At this age, he was preparing him to fight bears later in life.

6. Ulysses S. Grant

The beard got him to number six. There were pictures of him with no beard, and he wouldn't have been number six.

5. Rutherford B. Hayes

Makes you wish he wasn't such a bad president.

4. John F. Kennedy

Sometimes I forget that JFK really was handsome and think that it's just because he was only in his forties when he was a president. But I'd be wrong on that one.

3. George H. W. Bush

Read my lips: handsome.

2. John Tyler

This guy had 6 children by the time this picture was done. He had 15 in total.

1. Ronald Reagan

It was a close race, but Ronald Reagan won this one for the Gipper. Mostly because it was so difficult to choose between all the handsome young photographs of him.

Honorable Mention:

Joe Biden

Delaware's Finest.