Do you have a question about relationships and flirting?

You can email me about any of your relationship and flirtation questions, and I'll be happy to address them in my blog. Won't that be fun! Its very Dear Abby, but hey...I'm just as good as she is! Just put "Dear Ottis" in the subject. Make sure your letters are annoymous though, to protect you and me. Send all questions to DearOttis@gmail.com

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Notice

As tradition dictates, I must now remind us all that today is Christmas Day!  Merry Christmas.  God rest you merry.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

O Holy Night

As many of you may know, O Holy Night is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time.  I am constantly searching for wonderful new recordings.  I have several that I love.  So, I thought I would give y'all a few of my favorite versions to listen to.  Enjoy.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Notice

I have officially lost 40lbs.  I also go off drops tomorrow.  I'm hoping that by Tuesday, I can be at my 45lbs goal.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Carol of Joy

I just was blessed to attend the First Presidency Devotional for Christmas this past Sunday.  It truly helped to put me into the Christmas mood.  What a wonderful time of year this is when we can focus on the things that are truly important.  That great and glorious story of Christ's birth.  As I think of the great celebrations to come, it always makes me miss Christmas in Europe.  Anyway, I hope you'll indulge me in a little Christmas moment:

Friday, December 3, 2010

As Seen On Facebook pt. 2

So, As I was doing my usual search of facebook, I found this little gem.  As probably few of you know, I spent two years with the Oregon Marching Band pit and 2 years in the pit in HS.  I played the xylophone/marimba/vibraphone/bass synth for these groups.  This guy made his own instrument from PVC piping, and place this great little medley.  Enjoy!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Diet Update

So, I thought I'd give y'all a little update on the progress of my hCG diet.  What an adventure it's been.  Its been quite a roller coaster, filled with big losses, some gains, and constant change.  And even though I always tell people they should give it a try, it is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ode to things that make me happy

So, over thanksgiving break I had the joy of being sick.  At first, I thought it was strep.  A trip to the friendly local Student Health Center taught me that strep was just not the case.  So, I spent a good portion of the trip in bed, with a ridiculously sore throat.  Luckily, in these times of pain and need, I return to the things that make me happy.  These videos, are some of my absolute favorite one.  They can always pick me up.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Notice

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Let us all be so grateful for the bounteous gifts that the Lord has given each of us this year.  I am thankful that I've now passed the 30lb mark on my hCG diet!  Yay!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Les Frères Gourmands

As many of you know, I have a little catering group called Les Frères Gourmands.  It is run by Devan Chatelain, Mark Burtenshaw and myself...thus les freres gourmands...haha.  Anyway, I started a little blog, and I think y'all should take a little peak at it here, and let me know what you think.  It has selections of the various foods that we do, and some beautiful pics.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

As Seen On Facebook

This is a status that I saw on facebook and it absolutely cracked me up!  I'm all about breast cancer awareness and all.  Some of the dearest women I've known have had to battle breast cancer.  Some have lost, some have one.  Either way, this is kinda funny.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

21 Accents

Hello, I'm Mary Walker.  I'm 25 years old and I'm from _____

This girl is absolutely amazing to me.  Now, some people have told me that a few of her accents aren't perfect.  But, lots of them are also SPOT ON.  Let's just remember that she is doing 21 accents in 2 minutes...one right after the other.  That's pretty dang amazing.  I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Notice

I have now officially lost over 20lbs.  I am officially 1/3 of the way towards my "Before Christmas Weight Loss Goal" of 2010.  Yay!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank You Lunch

This past month Mark and I decided to make a little late lunch/early dinner for the girls that helped serve at the two weddings that we catered.  It was nice to have a fair few of them up at the villa so I could cook them a little something.  I was excited to show them a bit more about the kind of food I like to cook, and not just the bulk wedding food that they saw.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Notice

This Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 in the DeJong Concert Hall at BYU the Concert Choir and BYU Singers will be having a big concert.  I encourage all to attend.  I have 2 for 1's if you're interested!  Hurry and by a ticket before they're gone!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Welcome Home

Watch arriving passengers be given a welcome home to remember at Heathrow Terminal 5.  Its great fun.  Here is a list of songs that are performed, in case you want them!



0:10 - 0:37 Etta James - At Last
0:37 - 0:56 Mel Torme - Comin' Home Baby
0:56 - 1:19 Mark Morrison - Return Of The Mack
1:19 - 1:39 Iggy Pop - The Passenger
1:39 - 1:53 Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town
1:53 - 2:06 Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God
2:06 - 2:26 Michael Mcdonald - I Knew You Were Waiting
2:26 - 3:05 Peters & Lee - Welcome Home


Notice

I have now lost over 10lbs.  Yay for me.  Tonight, I'll be treating myself to a very small steak.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not another diet...

  Well, I've decided to try a new diet.  Note that I've never been a big fan of diets.  Indeed, one might say that I hate them.  Though, I've seen various success in them.  This one is one of the more intense ones I've done.  So, I thought I'd let you all know and follow along with me.

  I'm doing the hCG diet.  Basically, that means I'm taking holistic hCH drops every day and then only eating about 500 calories a day.  Those 500 calories are broken down into 2 meals.  In each of those meals, I get to eat 100 grams of protein (only chicken, white fish, shrip, or veal), 1 apple/orange/handful of strawberries, 1 serving a very limited assortment of veggies, and one grissini stick.  Beyond that, I drink lots of water and herbal tea.

  From what I've heard from the various people I've talked to who have participated in this program, there is a 1-2lbs per day average loss.  I'm going to be doing the 42 day program.  I've just finished day 3, and I've already lost 6lbs.  I'm excited to see the progress continue!

  I'm also lucky to have two dear friends participating in the program with me.  They are doing the 21 day program so as to be able to partially participate in Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I'm thankful to have their support.  I hope they have total success.  I'm excited to watch us all progress.  So, here's a big Thanks to you girls!  Good Luck.

  Anyway, I suppose we'll see how everything goes.  I'm hoping to loose between 45-60lbs.  I'm hoping it'll be a drastic change for when I go home for Christmas.  I hope my family will be impressed.  It does take a lot of will power to do this, and I will have to miss thanksgiving this year, but...Such is Life!

Monday, November 1, 2010

4 Horsemen of the Apcocalypse

No, I'm not talking about the end of the world...rather, the end of a relationship.  There are 4 sure ways of knowing when a relationship is going to end.  And these are them.  They are brought to us by relationship/marriage guru John Gottman.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Photo Shoot

So, for my first time ever, I got to be involved in a photo shoot...well sort of.  My food was the focus of the shoot, but I was super excited.  I've put some of the photo's here for your enjoyment.  Let me know what you think!  I'd love input and so forth.  Obviously not everything is perfect (my fault, not the photographers) but, I'm still pretty proud of what I did.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Don't Be A Sue!

This week was the premier of season two of Glee.  Let me just say Hallelujia.  It was glorious.  Sue was back with all her great one liners, as was Brittany.  Sunny (played by singing sensation Charice) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) both audition for the group.  Sunny had a great voice, as she sings Beyonce's Listen and Sam sounds pretty decent as he sings Billionaire with the rest of the fellas from the group.  We also meet the new football coach Ms. Beiste.  I'll admit that was very hard for me to decide whether or not it was a man playing a woman, or really just a man.  Well, it turns out she is played by 15-time World and 6-time National arm-wrestling champion Dorothy-Marie "Dot" Jones. However, one of the best parts of the the whole episode was actually a commercial done by Jane Lynch (as Sue Sylvester) for "Member's Project" by American Express.  It was hysterical.  I've included it here below.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do you like Cilantro?

Cilantro is one of those interesting herbs that people either love or they hate.  Well, for those of you who hate it, you'll love Glozell's take on it!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Glozell

Here is Glozell's translation of Ke$ha's "Your Love Is My Drug"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Harvard Sailing Team

This is sooooo funny!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Notice

School has officially begun.  Be aware of lost, confused, and peripatetic freshmen on campus!

Week of Weddings

This last week Les Freres Gourmands catered 2 weddings:  the McKown/Fletcher wedding and the Nicoles/Holmberg wedding.  Naturally we developed two wonderful menus that surely tickled the palate of each invited guest.  Here is a description of all the food that we made and my take on things.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuscany

"Leave everyday life behind and escape into the exquisite beauty of Salt Lake City, Utah's fine dining treasure, Tuscany Restaurant. Located at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Holladay Cottonwood, Tuscany Restaurant hosts an enchanting atmosphere that allows you and your guests to immerse yourselves into a true Tuscan landscape. Experience one of the charming Tuscan inspired dining rooms or slip out into the aria fresca on one of three breathtaking patios. 

Take pleasure in an exceptional Italian-American menu paired with a Wine Spectator's Award for Excellence rated wine list for an unforgettable dining experience. Consistently rated one of America's top restaurants and awarded "extraordinary" by the Zagat survey, Tuscany is sure to impress any guest. Private events are easily accommodated and welcome, including business luncheons, seminars, family occasions, or large wedding events. The perfect venue for any occasion, Tuscany looks forward to fulfilling your every request for your next special event."


This year for my birthday Monica decided to take me out to experience some of Utah's fine dining.  After much searching we decided on Tuscany.  It had amazing reviews, not only from costumers, but also from various food critics.  We were excited the entire drive up there.  Monica and I were excited to make a foodie of her little sister, Hannah.  This was to be a night to remember.

Then the horror started.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Ottis-

I've recently begun grad school and am really enjoying my year.  It's been a nice change for me.  I'm in a family ward now and I'm a primary teacher for the 6 and 7 year olds.  Thus, I'm not around a lot of single students anymore.  In conflict to it being a nice change, it also means I'm not moving toward dating or marriage. I realize that's a rather obvious outcome, but I think that I need to change more about myself before just being around singles will work for me (i.e. will end up in me actually dating). I'm realizing that I need to be more active in this area of my life, and it is for that reason that I want to ask you a question. You can be totally honest. As a strong, confident, independent woman, what kind of impression ought I to give to men.  I don't really date much, which doesn't horribly bother me, but sometimes bothers me- have you seen the April Ensign yet? It's about marriage. Anyways, it made me all emotional and I realized that I need to do something. Is there anything off-putting I may do or anything that I should do more of, etc. You are one of the more observant men I know, so I thought I'd ask you. 

I hope all is well,
Confused Grad Student




Friday, June 11, 2010

Some more Lee-isms

"What are you doing? What what what are you doing?"
-from Sassy Gay Friend youtube clip

"Oh, stop yourself!"
-Lee

"You are not consididate. Not consisidate at all, SHOOT!"
-from Push-up bra will help me get my man youtube clip

"And thatssssssss bad. . . ?
-Lee

"Girl, you trippin?"
-Lee

A few of my favorite things...

In no particular order. . .

1. Watching the rain from inside, where I remain nice and dry

2. Trips to the farmer's market

3. Getting an email from someone

4. Listening to great music

5. Gourmet cooking

6. Going out on the boat and camping

7. Laughing really loud

8. Glee/Modern Family/Will & Grace/Law and Order: SVU

9. Seeing that people other than me looked at my blog. . . lol

10. Catching people flirting

11. Road trips

12. Singing

13. Talking about about gourmet food

14. Awkward moments

15. Writing music

16. Friends

17. A hug

18. Going home to Oregon or California

19. My niece Rebecca and my two nephews William and Andrew

20. My family

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Notice

I am now an uncle. . . again!!!

Andrew Collin Spindler was born at 8lbs and ??inches. Both mother and son are happy and healthy. This is my older brother's 3rd child. He is to be given a name and a blessing on July 4th, for which I'll be heading west to attend. I'm so excited to meet the little guy. I'm guessing as the 3rd child, he'll be more like me: calm, quiet, caring, decent, mature, and of course ridiculously amusing. Here is a pic too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza: Conclusion

After Savannah, we headed back to Blythewood and Columbia. We spent the last couple days there with his family, and seeing Columbia. We also saw the Greenley family, Blythe and her family, and James' grandma.


East Coast Extravaganza: Savannah

Savannah was one of the quick stops on our trip. Apparently, Savannah was a big pirate place. They even have the statue of one of the pirates in one of the many squares. I was excited to go to there because it is Paula Deen capital. I really didn't know too much else about it, but it was exciting to go.

East Coast Extravaganza: Dinner 3 - The Peninsula Grill

Our last stop in the amazing, expensive, top quality dinner tour is the Peninsula Grill in Charleston, South Carolina. Now, this place was made famous because of an episode of Throw Down with Bobby Flay. The challenge was based on the legendary coconut cake that the Peninsula Grill and chef serves. I just had to try it.

East Coast Extravaganza: Charleston

Charleston is an absolutely lovely town. It was an absolute delight. This was definitely one of our low key areas where we just kinda strolled around the city, taking pics as we saw fit, and looking at what interested us. That is definitely my kind of vacation.

East Coast Extravaganza: The Plantations - Boone and Magnolia

One of the highlights of this trip for me was seeing two of the many plantations in the south. I have often felt that this was the life I was mean to lead. . . not that I want to own a plantation, just a plantation house. They are neo-colonial renaissance style houses that fit me wonderfully. What was very interesting to me was to learn that both of the plantations that we visited are still privately owned, with the family still living on the property, and sometimes in the house.

East Coast Extravaganza: Dinner 2 - Butter

Butter is one of the best culinary experiences of my life. The food was beyond amazing. It was perfectly seasoned, brilliantly cooked, divinely presented and was just all around incredible. For those of you who don't know, Butter is one of the city's chic places to eat. Its got a nice ambiance, and you need a reservation a month in advance to get a seat. Its not uncommon to see various NYC celebs there. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is one of the Food Network chefs. She is one of the intense judges on the show Chopped and has her own show Alex's Day Off. She's great.

East Coast Extravaganza: NYC - The Sites


After leaving wonderful DC, he headed up to New York City. After paying like $35 in tolls to get there, we parked in New Jersey and headed to the Statue of Liberty. We also went to the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Butter, Chelsea, Central Park, 5th Avenue, and Broadway. Even our hotel was exciting. The Wolcott was exquisite.

Glee Assignment

In this weeks episode of Glee, the group had to become more theatrical. To do this, they called in the best of pop music today: Lady Gaga. The girls of the group. . . and Kirt loved this assignment and went all out. The boys on the other hand were a little uneasy about the assignment. They didn't want to sing a girl's song (since obviously they have never done that before. . . ).

Well, as usual, I shan't be singing, but just found my favorite Lady Gaga cover. This is a 13 year old kid that became famous after his rendition of Paparazzi went viral on the internet. He's quite good. His piano playing is pretty flawless and his voice. . . well its that of a 13 year old. However, the changes that he made were wonderful, dramatic, and very inventive.

Here it is. I hope you all enjoy it!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza: Dinner 1 - Citi Zen

As many of you know, one of the primary goals on this trip is to have some good eating from the east coast. I'm going to posting some of the more exciting eats of the trip, pictures of the dishes, and my intense critiques of them.

East Coast Extravaganza: DC - Monuments and Capitol


The past couple of days have been completely packed with seeing the sites of the capital city. After waking up early and experiencing the delightful DC metro system we made it to the National Mall. We looked at the White House, all of the war monuments, a couple of the Smithsonian museums, the capitol building and of course the supreme court.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notice

So, it turns out that I won't be having much internet access during this trip. So, I'll be posting when I can.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza: DC - Mount Vernon and National Cathedral

The past two days have been filled with excitement. After a long flight, layover, and another flight, we finally arrived in North Carolina. After a quick trip to the Waffle House, we went to bed to get ready for our nice long drive in the morning. After waking up bright and early with the sun, we loaded the car and hit the road.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Quick Rant Concerning Patience

I consider myself to be a relatively patient person. I grew up with an autistic brother and have always tried to be an understanding and patient person. I like to think that most of my life I've been pretty successful at this undertaking. Surely on the outside I come off as a patient person, but I have to say that sometimes I can feel myself just getting as annoyed as can be and my patience running thin. Let me rant about an example.

At work, I am now employed by two different librarians: Kayla, for whom I've worked for just about 4 years, and Ruth Ann with whom my employ is very recent. One of the student employees working for Ruth Ann has the assignment of training me and Jason on several projects. If you were to hear him training us from the cubical next door, not knowing with whom he was speaking, you would seriously assume he was talking to 5 year olds. And that is not to say that he is working with people that have a 5 year old work ethic.

His condescending way of dealing with us, and his assumption that our knowledge bank on the project starts at zero, remains incredibly frustrating for both me and Jason. Remember, I've been working in this department for over 4 years now, and am officially the longest working student employee in the department. After these years, one would assume that I picked up on a few terms or a procedure or two. . . but not this one. He feels this incessant need to explain what every delimiter means, every indicator, every subfield, and every field. WE KNOW. WE'VE BEEN DEALING WITH THESE LONGER THAN YOU.

I'm a very patient person. I get along swimmingly with most people. I'm what some would consider to be a people person. Well, after this people may have to sing a different tune about me. . . but Such is Life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Glee Assignment

Anyone who knows me understands that I'm a gleek (prolly in more than just the traditional lover-of-the-tv-show way). I watch the show religiously. Not only is there great music and pretty great voices, but it also has that wonderful thing that I do love so much in a great TV show: drama. It just takes me right on back to how awful it was to be in high school.

In this week's episode the glee club was given the assignment to find and perform a song that represents who they are at that moment in time. Some wonderful songs were chosen. As I watched that episode I thought about how amazing it is that songs can perfectly describe us, our circumstances, our emotions, our relationships, hopes, dreams, fears, desires, and even our entire being. I've decided to do the same as the club today and take this assignment on full force, though I will most certainly not be performing them for anyone. Rather than pain countless people with my attempting to sing them, I simply found the videos on youtube and put them here below.

Perhaps some of them will surprise you, perhaps some of them will make you think "Oh...that explains a lot" or perhaps you'll just learn a little something about me. Here you go, in no particular order.

1. Unforgettable - Jack and Karen. Besides the undeniable truth that I am completely unforgettable, its also true that I have a slight obsession with Will and Grace, or more precisely with Jack and Karen. Here they are at their best. Just remember...I'm unforgettable too!

2. The Awakening - Joseph Martin. Being a student of the choral arts, I obviously had to pick a choral song. More than any other choral song I've heard or sung, this song describes my love of music. Not only is the text powerful, but he music is dramatic and moving.

3. Perfect - Alanis Morisette. Chalk this up to childhood.

4. Crush - David Archuleta. Ok, this one is not what it seems. I have this nasty tendency of quoting song lyrics to people but trying to make it seem like they are my own words. I've had some wonderfully awkward moments doing this. This song was probably source of one of the funniest of all!

5. Say Goodbye - Katharine McPhee. This is a song from her new CD. Don't really want to explain too much about how this one fits in, but. . . it does.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Notice

For those who have been asking. James is officially back in Utah. He'll be here until Saturday the 22nd. He does have himself pretty booked, but I'm sure he'll want to see whoever. Let me know if you wanna get together, and as his temporary personal assistant, I'll see if I can't pencil you into his schedule.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"I will cut you!"

Well, after putting Anjelah's new clip on, I realized that I never put on her original: the very famous "Nail Salon" and "Bon Qui Qui" clips. So, here they are. Enjoy. She is ridiculously funny. . . in my opinion anyway. And after all, this blog is all about my opinion :)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anjelah Johnson

Many of you know that I have a certain love for a comedian named Anjelah Johnson. Well, the chica is at it again with some new material. She was recently on the Bonnie Hunt Show. Here is her act! Its got some good stuff!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some Lee-isms

"What is this, what's going on here, what's happening?"
--Lee, stolen from Karen Walker on Will and Grace

"Ugh, you're such a man sometimes"
--Lee, from a conversation with Chuck

"Things are going swimmingly" "No, they are going glacially"
--Syd and Lee, a conversation

"I make a pro/con list for everything. 'Should I talk to Sydney today?' pro/con"
--Lee

"Listen, j'adore you ok. Je can't get enough of you."
--Lee

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear Ottis-

Normally I don't go for anyone I see at the gym. Ever. They're just not my type. But there's this guy who works there, and I can tell from the way he swipes my card- he's not like the rest of them. He always smiles at me, looks me in the eye and asks how I'm doing- like he knows me! Today he even looked at the computer screen to get my name and said something like "have a good day, *Hottie." (*name has been changed to protect me and the cute gym guy) So. How do I get my flirt on with a guy I see twice a day for 2 seconds?? (usually that second time- on my way out- I am not looking attractive...so I try to just rush out) Help, Ottis! Help! (then again... he could just be a friendly guy. Aghhh!)

Much love,
The Hottie in the Story


Dear The Hottie in the Story,

Thank you for you letter. What a very intriguing story you have here, one unlike any I've received before! I'm very excited to try it out and see what we can come up with. I've done some pondering, and these are the points I've landed on.

The first concern is that he may just be a nice, friendly kind of guy. This is definitely a legitimate concern. He is in the costumer service industry, and thus may just be good at his job. However, we need not forget that we're in Utah, and friendly costumer service have nigh been one of the strengths here. So, thats looking up.

Second, about the flirting part. First off, I'd recommend getting the bulk of your flirting done upon the entrance of your gym time and not at the exit, since you'll be sweaty and such when you leave. As for how to actually flirt with him, you need to figure out a way that you could stay and talk to him for a spell. Maybe you could have some kind of question that you could ask him upon entering. Something quasi-playful and quasi-legit. Then see if you can't strike up a little conversation with him. This is a good time to catch his name (I'd recommend doing a formal introduction thing, instead of just looking at his name badge. . . though, if you think you could pull that off in a very flirty way, go for it). Once you get his name, you should USE IT. . . consistently. When ever you see him as you come in, say it. This will show him that you've taken the time to remember his name. Always a plus. From then on, little conversations, smiles, and winks should get the message across.

Good luck with your flirting. There are many techniques that have been outlined in other Dear Ottis letters that I'd recommend looking at. Or, if you attended any of my seminars, then you should be set. Just remember these three important things: confidence, humor and charisma. Happy Flirting!

Ottis

Life Goal: Graduation

This weekend was one of the pinnacle moments of my life. I have now officially graduated with my BA degree. I'm the second in my family to do so, and the only to accomplish this feat at my father's alma mater: BYU. It was a glorious occasion, and one that was shared with many family members and friends. My cousin Rachelle and I both walked together, which made it an extremely fun happening.
Joining us for the festivities of commencement were several members of our ward, the BYU 198th ward. We decided it would be fun if we all went into commencement together and sat in the same row. It definitely added an element of familiarity to the commencement ceremony.
We all gathered in the ASB parking lot, and then began our processional to the Marriott Center. On our way, we passed several flags from the countries of our graduating comrades, and a tent filled with the dignitaries that would be attending the commencement and convocation ceremonies. Walking with the graduating seniors felt a bit like being herded with a variety of peripatetic farm animals.
They herded us down into the tunnels in preparation to entering the Marriott Center floor. The feelings of anticipation were near overwhelming. Everyone was filled to the brim with excitement, nervousness, anticipation, thrill and joy. I was so happy to be sharing this experience with dear friends.
As we stepped foot on the floor in the Marriott an overwhelming sense of humility over came me. I am so blessed to have been able to attend this great institution. To have such amazing, inspiring and dedicated professors. And to see all of the friends and family members of the graduating class there, supporting their student, was so powerful.
We quickly took our seats and waited for the dignitaries to come in so that the commencement would. . . you know. . . commence. Rachelle and I of course began the tireless search for our parents.
Once President Samuelson and the others entered, we began. Elder D. Todd Christofferson was to be our commencement speaker.
We had a grand old time. I'm so glad that I decided to participate in my graduation ceremonies. I'm also glad that my parents were able to attend. I owe them so much. They have been so supportive and instrumental in my success. I am so grateful for them and their love.
In the days that followed we had a very rainy day of convocations, and many a dinner out on the town. It's always fun being with family at these times. We also went to the Brown's and the White's for some BBQ/party type fun. It was great. We of course invited all the peeps to come along.
We also engaged in one of my favorite Smith family pastimes: singing.
All in all, it was a great weekend. And in the final words of Elle in Legally Blond, "We did it!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Picnic Season

For the past several weeks we have had a few intermittent days of utter beauty. Well, that is to say utter Utah beauty. There have been some beautiful sunny days, and this year I've committed myself to taking full advantage of them. Therefore today I say, "Welcome, welcome picnic season! Now we rest from every care!"

There is something beautiful about being able to throw on a pair of shorts, a beat up pair of flip flops, grabbing a blanket, some aviators, and a basket of snacks and heading to the perfect grassy knoll. I have taken the time to do this 3-4 times in the last couple weeks. It's a time that I set aside, knowing that when I'm done I have to get back to studying, writing papers, doing homework, and preparing for life. Regardless of the countless things that life has for me to do, every second of that time I spend out in the sun relaxing is worth it. Maybe I'll bring a long a book to read, maybe we'll play a little frisbee, or maybe I'll just have a good old heart to heart conversation with some fantastic individual to pass the time.

I encourage everyone who may read this to go and spend some time out in the sun. Take your family, take your significant other, take your roommates, take your inner circle, or just take yourself and get out to a wonderful picnic. It'll do your body and your mind some good to just be free for a few. We all have crazy, hectic schedules and various things to do, but hey. . . this is the time to enjoy life. So, cast care aside and enjoy your summer! After all...Such is life!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Notice

Thanks to JenJen, I now have a new look to my blog. The Such is Life: A Lee-ism was actually designed and created by her. She's so talented! Thanks Jen! It looks great!

Reading Day, part 2

Well, my second reading day proved to be less exciting than the first (thus the delay in writing it). I actually had to go to work, study, and continue working on a paper. Absolutely boring, I know. But, there a couple bonuses. So far, I've unofficially been hired on to do three weddings this summer. One in the Salt Lake Valley, one in the Utah Valley, and one in Arizona. I've been talking nonstop with Devan (my amazing friend/sous-chef/lyricist/former mission companion) about menu ideas. I tell ya, you put the two of us together for something like this, and we'll come up with some dang amazing food. So, if any of you need someone to cater your wedding reception/luncheon/rehearsal diner. . . you've got some very capable and talented people here!

Also, I've found that I can watch full episodes of Modern Family on the internet today. Hulu only had a few episodes, but I got a site that has them all. Can I just say, that show is hysterically funny. I hope my life can be that funny someday! Ugh, love it. Until that day, I'll just be here. . . blogging. Trying to sound funny, but. . . Such is life!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reading Day, part 1

Reading days are these exceptionally wonderful days accorded to us by the university so as to allow us time to prepare for the dreaded finals that are fast approaching. As a very studious young man, and as one who is always on top of things, I make sure to take full advantage of my reading days. Allow me to take you with me on this journey. Today, I woke up a little later than usual. Ok. . . a lot later than usual. I think I finally got out of bed and into the shower around noon. It was so amazing to just stay in bed all morning and really catch up on my sleep. I'm proud to say that for the first time this semester, I feel totally rested! Now, I don't typically endorse such overtly lazy acts, but heck. It was so worth it.

After getting ready for the day. . . or afternoon, I watched a good episode of Matlock (the show that first convinced me to go into law) and the history channel at the same time. The history channel program talked about how Oregon was the capital of the skin head/modern KKK movement in the United States. It started in the Portland prison system, go figure. It was very interesting to watch indeed.

After my fill of TV I headed over to Tucano's for the annual Men's Chorus Feast. I was very proud of myself for two reasons. Firstly, I only got one spot on my shirt. For me, that huge, thats like a blessing from heaven, like guardian angels were taking the hits for me. And for that, I'm thankful. Secondly, I didn't gorge myself as usual. Typically at Tucano's, and like most members of the men's chorus, I'd eat until my stomach hurt, then take a nice break, maybe walk around, and then start again. Basically, its a formula for intense stomach pains for the rest of the day. This time around, I only ate till my stomach hurt, then I just stopped, and stayed strong. After eating, we sang the Miq Maq Honor Song and Witness for the people. They enjoyed, as usual. Then, after all the hugs and good byes, we got our Men's Chorus year books and went our separate ways. Its always rather sad to leave. To say goodbye to such fond memories. Luckily, I know I'll still be around for another three years.

Afterwards, I popped up to Barnes and Noble to buy Glee Season I Volume I. Then, I headed up to Highland to the Kendrick's house to get some watching in. It was a delightful time. I got in a good gossip session with Tonya and then watched a disk of Glee and American Idol result show with Tonja. I do love my Tonj/yas. I didn't get home until. . .well, now. It was so much fun, as always.

Such an amazing life we lead on reading days. Like I said, I'm a very studious person. I like to get all my things in line. That didn't happen today, cause it was warm outside and I wanted to play and be happy. I may regret it later but. . .Such is Life!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Musical Journeys on Youtube

Today at work I decided to go on one of my customary musical journeys...perhaps I should start off by explaining what on earth that is. Basically, I get on youtube.com to listen to a song. As I listen to that song, it either reminds me of another song, or there is another song I want to listen to in the "related videos" column, and thus begins the journey. I can literally spend hours doing this. Today's journey was a little more impactful on me than usual. Let me bring you along on the sparknotes version of my journey.

It all started when I was watching a documentary on the making of Wicked; one of the greatest musicals of our generation. This lead me to ask the questions, what's good old Idina doing these days. Well, low and behold she is going to be joining the cast of glee on this weeks episode. Naturally, I had to go watch come clips from that. Its gonna be amazing. And herein begins the musical journey.

After watching the teaser for today, I watched Glee cast members Lea (Rachel) and Chris (Kurt) sing there rendition of Defying Gravity (since I was already on a Wicked kick). Can I just say that its pretty incredible. Mostly just that Kurt hit some freakishly high notes. And he can get up so high without going totally falsetto. Amazing.



After watching this, what did I spy in the "related videos" but the cast of Glee singing the national anthem for the world series. Now, having listed to several different renditions of the national anthem performed at various locals, I have to say that it goes right up in my top 3 favorite. They have actually taken their places beside the ultimate diva Whitney Houston (who's rendition is widely considered the best version) and Destiny's Child's crazy girl group version (which just makes me chuckle every time I listen). This one just gave me chills. So good.



This clip got me thinking about that crazy kid, Sam Tsui, who got together with his friend Kurt Schneider to make some incredible musical experiences. I was exposed to him when he covered Glee's version of Don't Stop Believing to which I've already blogged and posted about. What makes him absolutely entertaining is that he provides all his own back up music. He is a one man Glee, thanks to todays technology. Well, he has posted some new videos. Of note, he did a Michael Jackson medley, Owl City's Firefly, Whitney's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, and Katy Perry's Thinking of You. No one can deny that the kid is talented. . . has way too much time on his hand, but talented nonetheless. He also enlisted the help of his gal friend Allison Williams to covered Breaking Free from HSM. I have to say, I think its better than the movie version. A little different, but this is what real singing is all about. I highly encourage you all to give him a looksy on youtube. Its worth it!


Now, don't get me wrong. This is just today's journey. I don't always go on such. . . musical theater-esque journeys, but it was one of those days. Though there were many other songs in between, by the time I ended with this last number I realized something: nothing gets my heart going and my entire being excited like music. Its part of my very being, it dominates my thoughts, its rejuvenates my mind, it captivates my ears, and brings pure joy to my soul. Rare it is that I feel as much excitement about anything else as I do with good music. I suppose Devan and James were right when they independently told me that I was meant to be involved in music for the rest of my life before, well before I even knew I was supposed to but...such is life.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Exciting News!!!

In the iconic words of Mortal Kombat the movie: "It has begun." Due to the popularity of my presentation of Flirting: A Seminar For Beginners along with the other private flirting consultations and lessons, I have decided to begin writing a book to compliment and remind readers of the techniques and practices taught in those presentations. The book will also introduce a wealth of new information that goes above and beyond the scope of flirting.

The book will cover preparing to flirt all the way through to the engagement or inevitable breakup. We hope to some day have a companion DVD to help illustrate the points made throughout the book, as that would constitute a huge resource to the novice flirter or relationship beginner. Perhaps in the second edition?
*If you're interested in participating in the production of the DVD, feel free to let me know!

Since this manual will be focused primarily on the BYU and Mormonia dating culture, it will also feature a glossary of terms that the outsider might not be fully aware of. This will aid the incoming students who were not raised in the Happy Valley/Jello Belt cultural abyss. Included in the glossary will be words that I constantly use (e.g. Mormonia) which may also need defining.

We're also very excited to announce that this book will feature some new data on dating at BYU. We're in the midst of getting our IRB approval to begin our research. I hope that each of you will take a few minutes to fill out the survey. It will help enormously in shaping the path this book will take. I will also be including several of the Dear Ottis letters that I've received to help illustrate common problems. So, if you have any other dating/flirting questions please feel free to write in. The more the merrier!

Here are the tentative chapters to be discussed in the book.
Chapters:

Foreword: Introduction, Disclaimers and Things to Note

Part One
I. The Basics: Confidence, Humor, Charisma
II. Flirting 101: Introduction to
III. Flirting 102: Preparation
IV. Flirting 201: Across the Room
V. Flirting 202: Close Encounters
VI. First Date Etiquette
VII: Touching 211: The Basics
VIII. How to get a Second Date
IX. Non-committal Dating
X. Frenshman Year Dating

Part Two
I. How to Convert Casual Dating to Serious Relationships
II. The DTR
III. Relationships 321: Understanding Commitment
IV. Relationships 322: Communication
V. Relationships 340: Conduct in Groups
VI. Relationships 341: How to fight Fair
VII. Touching 311: Advanced Techniques
VIII. Dispelling Myths
IX. The Breakup and Post Breakup Dating
X. On to the Engagement

Glossary
Appendix A: Quick Reference for Men
Appendix B: Quick Reference for Women

Feedback is welcome! Thanks!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Life Goal: Sing in the Conference Center...check!

This year the BYU Men's Chorus, along with the men of the Concert Choir, BYU Singers, and various alumni of the choirs were asked to sing in the Priesthood Session of General Conference. I've always dreamed about having the opportunity to sing in that marvelous building. We prepared three wonderful pieces: God Loved Us So He Sent His Son arr. Danny McDavitt, Choose The Right arr. Rosalind Hall, and finally The Iron Rod arr. Dr. Ronald Staheli. Each song had a unique feel and spirit involved. Danny's arrangement was simple, elegant, reflective, and humble. It was a great way to open the conference. Sister Hall's arrangement was lush, dense, Eric Whitacre-ized, stunning, and unlike anything I've ever heard at conference. Dr. Staheli's arrangement was moving, powerful, spirit filled, energized, and the perfect way to end a session. It was such a joy to learn and sing these pieces.

As Saturday arrived we headed up to the Conference Center in SLC. We went into the Little Theatre on the north west side of the large edifice and began to rehearse.
This was actually my first time ever going into the Little Theatre. It was lovely. We rehearsed there for a little over an hour. Then The conference center staff surprised us with some Luncheables, carrots, water and some candy.
There was of course a wild frenzy over who could get to the left overs first. As policy dictates, seconds are on a first come first serve basis.

After our rehearsal we lined up in the tunnel and headed up to the choir loft in the main auditorium. As we rounded the corner and headed up the choir loft, looking out was quite the site. This marvelous hall is unlike any other in the world. Seating 21,000, the space was absolutely enormous.
As we sat in our seats and did our quick run through of the music for the technical team, it was hard to not marvel at the space and the experience. This was to be our biggest performance ever. Not only to the full auditorium, but to the millions watching around the globe. The hall quickly filled to capacity.
It was quite the site to behold. We were all so excited to share our musical message to the world that would be listening to us.

This was an intensely spiritual experience for all of us. The session was definitely one of the best I'd ever attended. As we all stood in quite reverence to usher in the Prophet, the spirit rested upon us. We knew he was the Lord's anointed servant. I greatly enjoyed the discourses shared. As we sang The Iron Rod at the end of the meeting, the spirit once again swept over me. What a marvelous opportunity it was.

At the end of the session, we all stood quietly allowing the general authorities time to exit the auditorium. Clay Christianson was on the organ, quietly playing. He had but a hymn book in front of him. This man is absolutely amazing. He played very simply at first. Then he began modulating all over, introducing imitation, pulling more and more stops. What an amazing musician. Few noticed this organist having a bit of fun on his instrument.
Dr. Staheli and I both looked on, enjoying watching this masterful musician show us what that organ could do. His modulations because more complex, the volume increased, the counterpoint more apparenty, the stops kept being pulled out. Until a huge ending rocked the whole building. I could feel the vibrations from the organ as he played that last huge chord taking the pedal down an octave. I was in utter awe.

As things calmed down and we began exiting the auditorium I passed by the huge conductors podium. I had the distinct feeling that some day I would be atop that podium, conducting an ensemble in that building.

This was the completion of a life goal. Now, I just have two more to accomplish: sing in the Tabernacle and direct a choir in the conference center and/or tabernacle.

Here are the videos:





Thursday, March 25, 2010

Political Love Letter


The Following unique letter was written by a Greenfield young man to a young lady in Lockwood. It's a good example of how fun flirtation can be:

My Dear Miss,

I hereby announce myself a candidate for your hand and shall use all fair and honorable means to secure the nomination. I know there are many candidates in the field, and I hesitated long before entering the race, but now I am in it to stay.

My view on love and matrimony have often been stated in your hearing and now I need not repeat them here. You know I favor a gold standard of love--a 100-cent dollar love--and a maintenance of that standard after marriage.

If you decide to confer upon me the honor I seek, please fix a date for a caucus with your mother. I have no objection to her acting as temporary chairman, provided it is clearly understood that I am to be chairman of the permanent organization. Should the result of the caucus prove satisfactory we can soon hold the primaries and select the date and place of holding the convention.

I have never believed in long campaigns so if you decide to honor me I would ask you to fix the convention date as early as possible.

Devotedly Yours.

The following was telegram answered it:

Caucus unnecessary; nomination unanimous. Come at once and fix date of ratification.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Creme Brulee vs Jello


We're all looking for different things in life and in love. Some of us are enticed by the elegant, powerful, wealthy, and luxurious. Others of us are satisfied by the simple beauties all around us. Some of us are looking to find that elegance in a companion and others just want a simple love.

Sometimes however those worlds inexplicably collide. The simple ends up with the powerful and wealthy. The tall with the short. The beautiful with the. . . not so beautiful. Sometimes these matches end up to be surprisingly perfect: a real match made in heaven. Sometimes however, we look at these combinations and think to ourselves "How did that happen. . . mismatch!"

You can't deny it. We've all seen it. We've all felt uncomfortable at the sight. We've all secretly hoped that we too could be with someone way too amazingly hot for us. But, it really just comes down to finding what we each need, what we are truly comfortable with. Some people are Creme Brulee and others are Jello.

It reminds me of one of the best parts of the movie My Bestfriend's Wedding. This great scene between Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts illustrates perfectly the point. Allow me to set up the scene. Julia has just successfully thwarted the pending wedding between Cameron and Dermot. Dermot sends Julia (his best friend) to see how Cameron is holding up. Cameron doesn't understand what happened. This is how Julia explains the situation. Enjoy.

Julia: Ok, you're Michael. You're in a fancy French restaurant. You order. . . Creme Brulee for dessert. It's beautiful, it's sweet, it's irritatingly perfect. Suddenly, Michael realizes he doesn't want Creme Brulee. He wants something else. . .

Cameron: What does he want?

Julia: Jello.

Cameron: JELLO? Why does he want Jello?

Julia: Because he's comfortable with Jello. Jello makes him comfortable. I realize compared to Creme Brulee its Jello, but maybe thats what he needs.

Cameron: I could be Jello.

Julia: No, Creme Brulee can NEVER be Jello. YOU could never be Jello.

Cameron: I have to be Jello.

Julia: You're Never Gonna Be Jello.