Hello, again.

Hi, to those of you who may think I have died. I haven't, so don't worry too much. :)

Becks, I'm glad you had fun in Disneyland. :)

SC, In Defense of Food is great. I hope you thought it was good, too.

I've had a good summer so far. I discovered the farmer's market, which is great fun. I also discovered very quickly that the earlier you go, the better it is. They have some great stuff there! I've been getting to read lots of books. It's great! If you would like to read some of my book reviews, go here. I don't promise that they'll be great reviews (and I need to update that, too), but it's something. I've been reading a lot of things, and having a great time. I've spent some time with extended family (both mine and The Franchise's), learned how to play Killer Bunnies, and have been enjoying the fresh fruit and veggies found locally. I have touched my flute once since graduation (to play in my aunt's ward while I was sick and stuffed up). I'm currently trying to figure out what's next in my life, but all I seem to be getting is "keep doing what you're doing. More to come." Grad school sounds like a bad idea, and the job search isn't going as well as I'd like it to be. I'm trying out new recipes, and teaching myself how to be a better cook. The only downside to that plan is that I don't have a dishwasher. That combined with tendonitis can make doing dishes a bit frustrating. I suppose I'll live, though.

I also auditioned for American Idol this summer. It was interesting and kinda fun, but also one of the most boring experiences of my life. I'm glad I did it. It really helped me realize some things about myself.

1- I find getting up in front of people to be really unpleasant. People are really surprised to hear me say this, since I can converse easily in small-ish groups. But seriously. I thought my stage fright (which got a LOT better during school) would go away after my grades didn't matter anymore. Until I got nervous right before I stepped up to sing for the producers, and I turned to jelly. Then I realized, "nope, still there." This includes doing things like teaching. Anyone. The thought of standing up for 50 minutes and teaching a Sunday School lesson scares me.

2- I'm not really a limelight person. Sure, I can flip orange (take some attention) if I need to, but I like to choose the occasion. I don't like being forced into it. I'm MUCH more comfortable if someone else is the center of attention. Here I am, sitting in my seat trying to endure the auditions, and everyone around me is practicing (like the girl sitting behind me who was SO annoying), and trying to look the best, or stand out the most. I realized after I'd had a chance to process some things that I have a form of what I call "EST syndrome." Est syndrome is common for, but not limited to, people involved in The Arts. In school, I spent lots of time and energy trying to be the bEST flute player. People need to become the bEST dancer, bEST artist, bEST pianist, etc. But it doesn't stop there. How many people (especially women) who have to be the cutEST, sweetEST, smartEST, bEST cook, bEST employee, have the bEST department, be the smallEST, skinniEST, etc. You get the picture, right? After sitting for all those hours at the auditions, I realized that the EST competition is a really big waste of time. Who cares? I knew this before, but it was different to experience it. In the long run, it just doesn't matter. Why waste time trying to prove to other people all my ESTs when I could just be learning to be me and figuring out the things I love in my life? The tough thing, though, is getting out of that mindset. I started piano at a very young age, and have been quite involved with music since then. I'm so used to it that it's become ingrained in my brain. It's nice to realize all this and be able to start going a different direction. After talking with one of my other music friends (and she's going for a D.M.A - a PhD in music, basically), we realized how thoroughly music has consumed our lives. We're both now on the process of figuring out what we actually like to do. I think I'm going to try taking a yoga class or something.

Anyway, life's good. Travel possibilities for the holidays are looking up now, which is good, though we still can't promise anything yet.

My apologies to Brozy and Bawb, who may think we have forgotten them or something. We'd love to hang out again sometime soonish, but are aware of how expensive gas is (especially with how many times you guys were willing to drive up here - you're wonderful). Maybe if The Franchise's schedule ends up mellowing out in the near future, we can hang out again soon.

Thanks for reading!