1. BYU Ballroom Dance Corp (I think that's their official title- I forget). A couple of weeks ago, they were in Indy as part of their national tour. I'm not sure how Rachel found out about it (most likely, her bishop made some announcement in the ward...), but she signed up to host a couple of the female dancers. In exchange, we got a pair of free tickets to their performance May 5th. Let me tell you, it was an amazing performance! Granted, I didn't recognize a lot of structured ballroom dancing steps- to me, it seemed more like a combination of a professional-level show choir with some ballroom dancing techniques thrown in. But then, I will confess that I am not knowledgable enough to be a dance critic. Whatever the case, it was some incredible dancing (with some exquisite costumes- as well as some really weird and bizarre ones). Seriously, I'm not sure humans were really meant to move like that- astounding agility and flexibility! If you ever find yourself given the opportunity to go to one of their performances, go. It is a visual delight!
2. I have always loved handbells. Although I haven't tried to keep that a secret, I haven't really gone around and told people about it- it just never really came up. But I think handbell choirs are amazing and fun and so cool! I have always been a little sad that our church does not have congregational handbell choirs (which is understandable- the initial cost is considerable, from what I've heard, and I realize our funds go to other, more important things, like helping out starving hurricane victims or helping support missionaries that are trying to bring people to Christ). Anyway, long story short (too late!), I joined a handbell choir a few weeks ago! It is at a Methodist church in Castleton, and one of the players is also a teacher at TEch (which is how I made the connection). I have had so much fun learning how to play the bells (there is a lot more to it than just ringing, let me tell you!), and my "big" debut on Sunday went fairly well (only a few mistakes, nothing too major). Sadly, they are done for now- we won't start up again until the fall. But a lot of the members were very friendly and eagerly asked if I would be coming back in the fall. That's definitely the plan! I am excited about this new way to develop my musical talents!
Okay, that's it for the updates (I think). Now, since J.Ammon complained about haters in my last post, I thought I'd show him that it's not all about hate (though I did forget to mention in that list that I absolutely despise beets, that I hate Romeo and Juliet as a love story, that I think Maraschino cherries are disgusting, and that, unlike most people, I really do not care for movie theater popcorn. I hate the way it coats your tongue and the roof of your mouth in layer after layer of pointless cholesterol...)
Anyway, I decided to do a list of things I like that most other people seem to dislike/hate. Here goes (again, in no particular order):
10 things I LIKE that most other people seem to hate:
1. William Shakespeare: I know that his name may be considered the equivalent of a four-letter word to most high school students, but despite the aforementioned dislike of R&J as a love story, I can honestly say I love Shakespeare. This is not any kind of obligatory English-major acknowledgment of one of the greatest writers to ever live. I genuinely love much of Shakespeare's works (I will concede that I do not love his works universally- there are some of his plays and poetry that I can do without). He had such a brilliant knack for description and imagery. I will argue till the day I die (and maybe even beyond) that one of the greatest speeches ever written is King Henry V's pep talk before the Battle of Agincourt. Goosebumps every time.
2. Hamlet: Going with that Shakespeare vein, I love Hamlet. It seems that even among those that like Shakespeare, Hamlet does not seem to be one that is often cited as a favorite. It is definitely one of mine. I love the intricacies, the complexities, the ambiguities of it all. Most of all, though, I love Horatio. He has long been (and always will be) one of my absolute favorite characters, Shakesperean or otherwise. I especially loved the way he was portrayed by Nicholas Farrell in Kenneth Branagh's production of Hamlet. (The best is the scene between him and Hamlet, just before Hamlet's fatal duel with Laertes).
3. Washing dishes by hand: Most kids do not like to do chores (heck, most adults don't like to do chores either), but out of all the rotating chores my parents had us do, I never minded doing the dishes. For most of our childhood, we did not have a functioning dishwasher appliance, so they always had to be done by hand. I actually found this rather relaxing, especially since we had a window above the sink that looked out over the back yard. Though there is no window above the sink in my current apartment, I still don't mind doing dishes by hand, even with a working dishwasher appliance. Weird, I know.
4. Cleaning in general: You wouldn't think it to look at my room, but I really do like cleaning: mopping, scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, straightening/organizing...I enjoy doing it all! (Although, keep in mind that having a cluttered home is not the same as having a dirty one). While it may not necessarily be relaxing to me like doing the dishes is, it is still a refreshingly satisfying thing to do. It really does bother me when the house is dirty and out of order. Granted, I'm not obsessed like Monica on Friends, where I'll do it above doing many other things. No, other things sadly do take precedence...but I'm still working to balance my life in such a way that I can get more cleaning done on a regular basis.
5. Snow: I don't like driving in snow when there are panicky idiots on the road who make life unsafe for anybody around them, but I love a good snow--especially around Christmas. Anytime between mid-late November until the end of February, I will almost never complain about getting snow (unless it is not getting enough of it, such as on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day). I love the way it looks, I love it when it crunches or when it swishes or when it sparkles or when it glistens... It is so beautiful in so many ways. So, to those living in the Midwest who hate it or complain about it, I always say, Nuts to you. Move to California or Florida. If you live in this part of the country, you're going to have to accept snow. You don't have to like it, but for heaven's sake, quit complaining about it out loud. I don't want to hear it.
6. Ice Storms: Like the snow, I don't necessarily like the dangers that ice storms present- it royally sucks (stinks!) if the power gets knocked out for more than a few hours, and roads are significantly more treacherous than with snow. Still, I love the way an ice storm makes the world look, as though it were encased in glass or crystal. I love the way the ice sparkles in the sun like diamonds, and when it puts a crust on the snow, it's kind-of fun to crunch through that layer of ice... I just think it makes everything so beautiful.
7. Peanut Butter Kisses: Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Those Halloween taffies that come in the black and orange wrappers. Sure, they are probably used by dentists for tooth extractions, but I love them! I remember my first year at college (and my first year away from home on Halloween), Mom and Dad sent me a small box full of them! (Probably Sarah and Kirsti's discards, but so what? I sure didn't care!)
8. Turkey dark meat: I am one of the few people in the family who prefers the dark meat to the white (I think Mom shares this same preference). I just think it tastes so much better, and unlike white meat, which always tastes a little dry, dark meat is always so much more moist and tender. It really is the best stuff! (My family is welcome to disregard that statement, though- if you start moving in on my dark meat, I may have to beat you with a wet noodle...)
9. Teaching Relief Society/Sunday School (or even giving a Talk): Part of this may be because I just naturally tend to talk a lot (not that any of you have noticed, right? :) However, I think it is also just one of those gifts that God has given me. I think there is a reason I have wanted/planned to be a teacher for most of my life growing up. I think it is just in my blood. I really do enjoy it, especially getting to teach an older group of people (I don't know if I'd still love it if I had to teach 4-5-year-olds, or even adolescents- I've never had that opportunity...). One friend asked once how I do it without ever getting nervous (she'd had to to teach Relief Society earlier that day). I explained that I do still get a little nervous, but I've somehow found a way to use those nerves to my advantage. I just don't worry too much about what I'm going to say. I try to focus more on how I'm going to say it (i.e. through the Spirit, hopefully).
10. The smell of freshly-cut grass: While there may be many others who also enjoy this smell, I know it bothers a lot of people mostly because in order to get that smell, you have to actually cut/mow grass, which releases a lot of pollen and other allergens into the air, which most people hate. My bizarre allergies are kind-of come and go, but even if mowing the lawn were to aggravate my allergies, I would still love that smell- definitely one of my favorite harbingers of summer and all the delights that come with it!
So there, Joe. As you can see, I'm not just a hater. I like lots of things. There are plenty of other haters in the world that hate things I like. So why don't you just quit hating on us all? :)
Here's hoping any and all of you readers out there have a beautiful week!