Monday, December 28, 2009

Empire state of mind

For the past 5 days, my family will randomly break out into the chorus "New York! concrete jungle where dreams are made of..." over and over again because we can't remember the rest of the words. And then inevitably, someone will then say, "Argh! I hate how grammatically incorrect that is! Made OF what?!?" We are a little bit dorky, but this does not preclude us from dancing to it.

For your viewing pleasure:

And for your viewing pleasure, the Stephen Colbert/Alicia Keys version:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Someone I can Trust

Someone I Can Trust by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
Someone I can Trust.mp3 (13694 KB)

What is love? It has a lot more to do with our own decisions and behavior than people often realize.  We are responsible for allowing ourselves to fall in love, and stay in love, at least according to Michele, who realized through a divorce and remarriage what it is that love means to her.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

The year of the almond

In Finland, there is a Christmas eve tradition which involves rice porridge and an almond. For the annual Christmas eve luncheon, our family makes a huge pot of rice porridge, and from oldest to youngest (sometimes youngest to oldest, depending on the whims of the patriarch) every member of the family scoops a serving into their bowl, without being allowed to peak, because there is a single almond hidden in the pot. The recipient of the almond is promised a year of good luck. For those who are of age and single, it is also supposed to bring a husband or wife. This is of course incredibly coveted and a big drama takes place at the lunch table as everyone peers through their bowls, hoping the almond is in their bowls and then accusing each other of having it in theirs and hiding it. For years, my dad always found the almond and in an attempt to keep us kids from losing interest in the rice porridge, he would hide it until we were stuffed to the gills and then reveal it triumphantly. It is a fun tradition.

I have never, ever gotten the almond. The closest I'd say I thought I came was last year, when the boyfriend I brought home for Christmas got the almond. Of course, it was a lucky year for him, but not so much for me, as we broke up about a week later. Ha, yeah, not so lucky.

Well, this year, I thought, I will be the lucky one and get the almond. I could really use a change in luck in just about everything. I ate my bowl of rice porridge, but the bit of yellow was just some burnt milk. I ate another bowl, and nothing. And then, I lifted up my bowl, and suddenly it was there! The almond. The coveted almond. I looked around, and spotted my brother-in-law Jordan, who had been acting suspiciously and we had been accusing of having the almond wink at me. I fumbled the big reveal, and the truth of the generous benefactor came out, but I think that for all intents and purposes, the almond will still hold magical powers of good luck. And since it now had extra generosity attached to it, I think it is extra lucky. I popped the almond into my mouth, crunch, crunch, and swallow.

And so, dear friends, my year of the almond begins. My year of good luck. I believe in the power of the almond.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

James Tissot

It's snowing here! About time, I say. NOW it feels like Christmasy, and i am ready for it. I spent the day with friends (although I should've probably spent more at home doing laundry and cleaning before i leave for Toronto!). Brunch at Chavella's with grad school friends i haven't seen in a while (why do I do that? i like these people! No need to be a hermit!). Then off to deliver goodies to the ladies i visit teach from church- homemade peppermint chocolate fudge. It was yummy, but i had to avoid eating too much (you know, keep my girlish figure). Ok, really, I just had to make sure that there was enough to fill these four christmas tins and if i ate too many, there wouldn't be enough for my friends, we all know i don't care about my girlish figure.

I ran into a friend heading over to the Brooklyn Museum to see an exhibit by James Tissot on the Life of Christ. Please go check out the link. It is amazing. I figured I'd go over too, seeing as it's Christmas time and all, and thus far my celebration has involved parties and christmas trees and amazing Bergdorf goodman Christmas windows, but very little Christ (well, actually, the messiah sing along counts. but in any case, not much). I lvoe these 350 little watercolors that James Tissot did in the late 1800s after he traveled to jerusalem about the life of Christ. I loved the inclusion of Jewish mysticism in the paintings, and the feel of them. All too often, Mormon paintings are just too... clean? Clean lines, pastel colors, people with Northern European heritage. I loved the opaque watercolors, blurring, colors of the temples and clothing, diversity of people in the paintings. If you are in Brooklyn, it is up until January 17th. If not, well, that's your fault for not living in New York City.

Also, amazing exhibit on "Who shot rock 'n' roll?" on the photographers of rock stars. Totally amazing candid shots, and it made me want to be a rock star just a little bit. And then that thought made me tired. Way too much partying for my taste. I especially liked a photo of Kurt Cobain after a show, crying because it had been so intense. seriously moving.

Ok, i'm off to head into the snowstorm now, meeting up with my friend Misha who has just come back from Nicaragua after a few months of trying to be a photographer. Let's see how he did at this.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The calm in love

The Calm In Love by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
The calm in love.mp3 (14452 KB)

A recent interview with Neil and Candy, who have been married for 10 years, reminded me of a Robert Browning poem:

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made, Our times are in his hand who saith, "A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!"

In this interview, they share with us how they have grown in their marriage, through trials and the good times that make it all worth it, and how their love has aged from the euphoric young love to a much finer, comfortable calm.

Music credit: Allison Krauss "When You Say Nothing at All".

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kent- En Helt Ny Karriar

Download now or listen on posterous
2-05 En Helt Ny Karriär.m4a (3935 KB)

Winter makes me think of Nordic music.

Posted via email from the mixtape club

Monday, December 7, 2009

Making Space for Love

Making Space For Love by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
Making Space for Love.mp3 (16490 KB)

Helen made space for love in her life by clearing out her closet, thinking in twos, and posting "Love in 2009" everywhere she looked. Love seems to have found her.

Check out her cartoons about love and relationships at

The song, "Because of You" was written and performed by Helen. She's great, isn't she?

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Coney Island Dream

Another amazing submission to the LINGOS film festival, this one made by my friend and incredibly talented photographer Joshua Brown (hire him for your wedding!).

It's a snowy day at Coney Island, eerie and beautiful. I really, really love this piece.

Coney Island Dream from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.


Some kids i know from church made this for LINGOS, the nyc mormon film festival this weekend. I kind of heart it. For all you Twilight fans out there, enjoy!

Twilight Years from Tom on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The romantic comedy lens

When my friend Karly was in town, we got to talking about relationships (I know, surprising, right?). We were talking about how we react to things that happen to our friends and us and realized that while in real life, if a guy we think is perfect for us ends up dumping us and leaving, it is a tragedy. But, if life were a romantic comedy, we would be cheering, because we would know that it will be just a matter of minutes before the goofy, shy, perfect boy shows up and sweeps us off of our feet. In real life, if your friend says they are in love with someone after a day or a weekend together, you try talking them out of it, but in a romantic comedy, you shed a tear of joy that they found each other. See? It’s a little bit different, and, let’s be honest, much more fun.

So, rose colored glasses out! We decided to start looking at things through the romantic comedy lens.

Okay, so if you were really thinking about it, someone would be hiding something big from the other person. Some hick like Matthew McConaughey would get the smart, accomplished girl. They would definitely hate each other upon meeting and then fall in love. And don’t forget the sidekick—you know, the awkward friend who says the wrong thing and is always uglier than you are and has impeccable comedic timing.

Unrealistic you say? Well, yes, but that is why we love romantic comedies so much. A couple overcomes some sort of obstacle to find true love, and true love is someone who loves you for who you are—the lies you told to win the bet when initially asking you out, the aggravating things you do that should drive them up the wall, the emotional breakdowns, the crazy family—they love you in spite, and yes, sometimes even because of these things. Every breakup from the wrong person is a chance to find Mr. Right. Jobs that are unsatisfying and bosses who are aggravating are tossed to the wayside in pursuit of the dream, which always turns out. When two lovers are parted, they always find a way to make it back together despite seemingly insurmountable odds. It always ends with “I just realized I couldn’t live without you,” and who doesn’t want to hear that?

And what does that have to do with real life? Okay, so things don’t happen in the neat little hour and a half long packages with a bow tied on at the end (usually at the wedding). But couldn’t we gain something from looking at life a little bit more like a romantic comedy? On the subway, I could’ve been Karly’s awkward sidekick and told the cute guy standing by us that she dug him, who could’ve been “The One”! The cute doctor in LA who Karly has been out with a few times but just hasn’t made a move is really petrified by her accomplishments and is drumming up the courage to tell her how he feels! And it’s about time that dashing, adventurous film maker I was dating has exited the stage because that leaves space for the real hero to come in from the wings where he has been waiting for his big scene!

If life were a romantic comedy, my career crisis would be the perfect time to come up with some amazing, fulfilling business or take off to live in Africa. And the boy I was in love with (and maybe still haven’t gotten over) would follow me there and tell me he realized life isn’t complete without me; or, I would meet a rugged economist working on some microcredit project that was transforming the economy of a village. If life were a romantic comedy, I would take my friends to Vegas after a break up and encourage them to get married on a whim or believe 100% that every relationship, no matter how short of long, could end in happily ever after.

Maybe the lessons to be learned from the romantic comedy lens are to 1) be hopeful and believe that love can happen at any moment. Right now! Look to the left! And 2) take chances and risk big, because that is when life really changes.

So here’s to sappy love stories all around.

Words to live by

"Each of us needs to develop the courage to listen with our whole
heart and mind, to give love without asking thanks in return, and to
meet each person ad a chance to know a new individual, not as a way of
reaffirming prejudices. Our work should remind us all that the poor
the world over are out brothers and sisters.

But empathy is only our starting point. It must be combined with focus
and conviction, te toughness to know what needs to get done and the
courage to follow through. Today's world needs more than
humanitarians. We need individuals who know how to listen and who have
real and tangible skills to share. We will succeed only if we fuse a
very hard-headed analysis with an equally soft heart."

Jaqueline Novogratz, "The Blue Sweater"

Monday, November 30, 2009

mystery google

I don't know if you've ever tried mystery google (it's all the rage with middle schoolers I think). I did today, and feeling slightly down about my future, I typed "what should I do with my life?"

The response?

Robbie William's "I'm on a mission." Now, you may think, wow, how amazing and it must be a sign, which is what i initially thought. And then i read the lyrics. All I have to say is, well, I think I'm going to give figuring it out on my own a go. Or, I'm screwed.

"I'm on a mission"

To abuse my position
Abuse it with you

Love, I'm a cynical bitch
I'm gonna scratch that itch
With a bitch like you

Harder thinkers make me miserable
Everything is unforgivable
If not for you
I wouldnt come at all

Find a place to crash
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)
Move your phoney ass
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)

Love me like I'm cash
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)
You can feel the clash
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)


If theres a freak in here
Looking for someone like me
I fit their description

Boom boom boom
I bet they'll desert you
They would if they met you
Met you with me

Every move you make is poetry
They all fake what you do naturally
If not for you
I wouldnt come at all

Find a place to crash
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)
Move your phoney ass
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)

Love me like I'm cash
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)
You can see the clash
(Boom boom, boom boom labida)

Kiss me with your mouth
Teach me with your brain
All right

Oh yeah, oh yeah

Things that I say
When I say nothing at all
It leaves a taste in my stomach
And its no taste at all

I can sing, I can't dance
But it don't stop me at all
Its a ball and I'll call , if I call you at all

Love is the reason but it wont pay my rent
Only baloney fill your dish in the dent
I wont be happy till the moneys been spent
I forget to forget, oh forget, oh forget

Thursday, November 19, 2009

who are these?

How do you even begin to think that this is a good idea? I watched this whole thing with my mouth gaping open.

Tim Burton

The MoMA has an exhibit on Tim Burton that just opened yesterday for a members preview (thanks parents for the great christmas gift last year!) and so I went on over there with my lovely friend Karly (visiting from san Diego) and Sindri (welcome to funemployment). I love his drawings and ideas-- he is pretty much a 13 year old boy who never grew up and managed to become successful drawing monsters. Just morbid enough to be fun but not really scary. Go see the exhibit if you are in town!

This is Vincent, a short film by Tim Burton.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I wish I could've taken pictures of the Swedish circus I went to on friday night (shout out to Melissa! you are the best!), but alas, BAM doesn't allow that. Check out this brief video of Cirkus Cikor on the BAM website. Although there were no elephants (and we all know how much i adore elephants) it was still by far the best circus I have ever been. Granted, ic an't remember the last time I went to a circus, but my impression is that there are scary clowns, bad music, and abused animals. This one had no abused animals, amazing music, and the type of acrobatic feats that made me gasp and wish that I'd spent more time hanging upsidedown in trees or learned to juggle instead of reading books or watching tv. There was this guy who twirled around in a giant metal circle doing tricks and a lady... i can't describe it. Next time, just be ready to drop everything for a magical night.

I think i want to learn to juggle. 10 minutes a day should do it, right?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I believe in a thing called love

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
I believe in a thing called love.mp3 (11289 KB)

Once upon a time, Sarah created an alter-ego super-hero called dating girl, because she felt that you almost had to be a superhero to be a successful dater and to believe in love. Dating girl soon became somewhat of a legend around our group of friends, and helped countless women, down on their dating luck, believe in themselves and in love. Sarah is departing the world of dating girl and shared her thoughts on love with us.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Thursday, October 29, 2009

new job, new life

the life of a hermit, that is.

I'm heating water on the stove because i realized that the hot water isn't working, and I can't take a shower in tepid water when i'm going on day three of not showering. This isn't a problem i usually run into (the not showering), but this week I've officially become a hermit and showering just seemed like such an enormous effort when i really needed to get some work done. Last week I had a hard time focusing while working from home, and this week, well, I'll give you an example of what has happened.

I no longer answer my phone, but let it go to message. i think I am afraid of it. I'm starting to talk to myself. Really. I also sing. left my apartment once yesterday, at 7:30, to go to book club for an hour and a half. And I was really debating whether or not to go. I've been waking up at 6:30, rolling over, and getting right to work. On the plus side, I'm exhausted from my day of sitting by 10:30 and so have been going to be at a reasonable hour. Last week I ate all local, this week cooking seems like too much trouble so i ate pistachios and string cheese for dinner. Neither of which is local. But at least I'm saving water by not showering. Last week I couldn't get anything done if anything was out of order. This week, my roommate left for the week and I am finally getting around to dishes. Dust bunnies are scurrying around my floors and the bathroom needs serious attention, but it can wait. sun is shining. I'm in workout clothes but feeling the pressure of getting this grant done so I'm debating whether or not to go out today. I feel like I am such a slow learner at this, and I am spending all my time trying to get it right. So much so that I might be going crazy. It doesn't help that the boy who was my distraction called it quits and ran off to Bali.

I'm blogging not because I have time (i'm subtracting these 10 minutes from my working hours today, unfortunately, i only count productive hours of work) but because I think i'm trying to intervene for my own sanity.

I think my time would be well spent riding my bike to the bookstore. Getting some fresh air, interacting with humans, and buying a manual on grant writing. What do you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

don't get scared.

It's just Zombie Prom with Karly (from San Diego! On her way to Senegal! Thanks for coming!), Jeff, Laura, and Tyson.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pistachios don't grow in New York

But other than that mindless munching that I did this afternoon, I've been pretty darn good with this eating local challenge today. I'm working from home these days, which means that afternoons get a little bit slow for me. So after a breakfast of smoothie (blueberries and peaches I picked in New Jersey, raspberries from connecticut, milk from ny), I headed outside (yay! beautiful sunny day!) and was about to head to my usual coffe shop haunts when I thought, uh oh, do they serve locally grown food? The tea I was craving today was a vanilla rooibas-- from south africa, and I'm just not sure what teas are locally made, so i opted to not have any (luckily, again, not a cold day, because chocolate also would be questionable for being local). I wandered in and out of a few different coffee shops and restaurants, finding organic and a fish sandwich shop, and an all local gourmet hot dog restaurant (!) called Bark, which looked yummy and local, but for $4 a dog was a little spendy, and they had no wifi, but I'll probably make my way out there later on this week as I try to keep this up.

I finally ended up at Blue Marble, a fantastic ice cream shop/cafe with the best ice cream in new york, locally made! I had a bergen bagel, glass of water (mason jar) and pumpkin ice cream cone. No waste and all local, and all sooo good. So far so good.

And then I ended up coming home and trying to work some more. but since i was up pretty late due to hanging out late with a nice boy, i was struggling to stay awake and started popping the pistachios-- not candy... and then realized that they were from San Joaqin, CA. Blast! Ah well, dinner reformed me, with roasted local potatoes from the farmers market (a yummy mix of blue, red, white, and sweet potatoes) and sauted mushrooms, onion, and celery. Not elaborate, but good. The question I guess is then, can I use salt? I'm pretty sure that's not local, but it is kosher.

So, eating local all the time? probably not feasible for me right now. But trying to? I am a believe in this-- eat local, eat seasonal, eat less processed-- it just seems healthy, it tastes delicious, and it is environmentally more sound. Cost-- well, a body that doesn't fall apart in my 50s, no heart disease or diabetes, well, that's worth it to me.

What about you? Where does your food come from?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Day 2: Monday: Trash
"Find out if wasting less improves your life."

Today, the task was to create no trash. Think about it for a moment, do you even realize that you are creating trash? I'm usually just proud of myself for remembering to throw things away or recycle stuff. So I spent today thinking and wincing each time i threw something into the rubbish. Which made me try to avoid it as much as possible (do you think it counts if i just tucked something liek old papers away to throw out next week once the project is over? Sigh, i didn't think so.)

An examination of my trash today (sorry, this is kind of personal):
- kleenex
- cough drop wrapper
- pistachio shells
- paper towel used for drying veggies
- tampons
- napkin at the restaurant for dinner
- dryer sheets for laundry
- cotton pad for makeup

Not bad. Most of that was, i feel, unavoidable. So today I was constantly thinking about what it was that I was throwing away, but what is it like usually for me when i don't think about it? Old school papers, magazines, clothing, food garbage... I'm producing so much trash. And it goes into the garbage bag, which goes down the stairs to the trash, and into a truck, which then travels through NYC picking up other garbage, then taking it through the Bronx to the dump along with all the other NYC dump trucks (and there is a LOT of trash in this city), all of which produce so much pollution that kids in the Bronx nearby have abnormally high rates of asthma. The story of trash.

Memories of trash--
walking by a river in Cambodia, which was totally polluted with garbage. There was a fishing net draped across the river where the garbage-- old tires, plastic bags, dead animals, rotten food-- was caught. A little further down the river and around the bend, I found the swimming hole. Kids, jumping and playing in the river, maybe 12 feet from where all of the trash was filtering the water they were swimming and playing in.

another memory-- I was in Tanzania, living in a tiny fishing village called Matemwe on the island of Zanzibar. it was early one morning, and I was on my way out of town for a weekend in the main town. before leaving, i wanted to get rid of the nearly overflowing blue plastic grocery bag in the corner of my room, so I tied it up and went wandering to find the dump. But there was no dump to be found. Any trash was thrown into the strips of rocks and plants seperating one section of the village from another-- old flip flops, plastic bottles and bags, scraps of paper... But my trash bag was too big, too full, and now I was ashamed for having made so much garbage when evidently no one else did. I had papers and plastic wrappers of all sorts, empty jars of nutella and fanta cans, and I can't even remember the rest, but just thinking, wow, no one else is throwing this much away. but i had to do something, so I opened the bag and dumped out the contents, hoping no one would trace them back to me.

We are lucky to live in a place where we aren't confronted with our garbage. it smells much nicer here. but, maybe if we were, we would be horrified into not making as much of it.

Have you thought about how much garbage you make each day? How can you reduce that?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Day 1: Sunday: Consumption
"Live a fuller and happier life by buying less stuff."

We (Laura and I) watched the Story of Stuff tonight, and while a bit didactic and simple, also tells a powerful story about where our things come from and where they go. The most powerful take away for was pointing out that our (American) economy and values are based on the continual consumption of goods, and how industries since the fifties have focused on creating not goods that last a long time and are of high quality but break continually so we have to buy the latest model. I’m not as embarrassed anymore that I’m typing this on my 2005 iBook G4, even though it isn’t sexy at all. In order to be a good American, we are supposed to consume goods to fix the economy. Well, I don't want the old economy, I want a better one.

It’s Sunday, and so I can’t help but related this to some of the things I’ve learned at church. Tithing is one of those things that as a missionary I was always loathe to mention, because seriously? No one wants to hear that they are required to give 10 percent of their income to God. YOU work hard, you earn this money, you have needs and wants, and then you have to give 10 percent to a church?? But, in fact, it is a reminder from God that all that we own comes from Him, and to not become too attached to it. There was a great talk by a church leader, Robert Hales, about living providently. While a simple story, the story of his wife telling him that they couldn't afford to buy a new dress for her was one that came to mind. There are so many things that I don't need to have-- can't afford to have when looking at my finances, the space I have in my apartment, and with the impact that owning this new item has on the world-- the materials it is made from and what I do with it when I'm done with it.

So, how do I take this challenge to decrease my consumption and become a more conscientious consumer? This week, my challenge is to not buy anything new. Since I just got a new job and I need to start paying off loans soon, that shouldn't be too hard, but still, i know that when I do buy things, I tend to go with cheap and immediate. So, I guess my criteria for being a wise consumer will be:
1) Do I need it? Or can I borrow this from someone else for a day?
2) Can I get it used? Or local?
3) Will it last a long time?
4) Are there any harmful materials/practices that were involved in its creation?

What do you think? How can you be a more conscientious consumer? Any recommendations for me?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Impact Experiment

I may have scoffed at the idea of living no impact when I first heard about Colin Beavan's experiment. A ploy for a book; a passing fancy; a yawn because this guy is going to now be all superior about consuming less than everyone else. But, as I came to read the No Impact Man blog and heard him speak, I found him to not be a self-righteous environmentalist, but a sincere individual who wanted to try living no impact for a year for a book and found it to be incredibly fulfilling and positive lifestyle change. Every time I read something, my heart gets kind of warm and fuzzy, and I think, man, I wish I could live no-impact. And then sigh, and continue to forget to bring my canvas bag to the grocery store.

And so, when I heard about the No Impact Experiment, I decided that I could commit to living this lifestyle that I so admired for a week, to evaluate my own consumption patterns, and to see if I could live just a little bit kinder to the earth and my community. I'm excited! It starts on Sunday, so if you are interested, go here. And join me! I'll keep you posted on how it goes for me on the blog.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The thought of being with him in 50 years

Vilja & Jordan by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
Vilja & Jordan.mp3 (7903 KB)

My sister and her husband realizing that they were in love and making the decision that they wanted to marry each other.  They've been married for a little over a year and are perfect together. I'm so glad that they made the decision to be together forever.

Song credit: "If I Were a Fish" by Mum.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Monday, September 28, 2009

The heartache almost made it not worth it

Ashley by Suvi Hynynen  
Download now or listen on posterous
Ashley.mp3 (14889 KB)

Love stories don't always end the way that we want them to, but that doesn't mean that the love story is any less valid. In fact, it is sometimes through the pain that we realize the extent of the love, as we hear in this interview with Ashley.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tweeting the General Assembly

I've finally decided to take this techiness to a new level. I spent a
few days this week at the UN General Assembly (at the last minute
getting my hands on tickets to observe! Too bad not on Wednesday...).
It was pretty amazing to see so many presidents and to hear them
speak. And it was crazy to feel blase about hearing another president
speak. These are world leaders! For any single one of them I would
line up specially! And there I was, just listening to one after the

So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I tweeted my thoughts. You
can follow me at i think this is maybe
what twitter was made for, but I may be mistaken. Josh, any thoughts?

For those of you who don't want to go check out the twitter feed, i'll
give you a brief synopsis- every single president talked about climate
change, some of them sincerely (like the small island developing
states that are experiencing the effects now and are sinking) and
others were just getting on the bandwagon. All the presidents I saw
were male, although there were 5 female heads of state listed. FIVE
out of what, 195. Wow, we've got some work to do. The financial crisis
was also a major topic (understandably) and I could sense a bit of
anger I think towards the major world economies (US, GB, etc.),
because while housing prices and employment have been hit here, those
countries have just been devastated financially with food shortages
and loss of capital. (I tweeted some good quotes on that I think...
go check it out).

I don't know if it's bad that I wanted to see Robert Mugabe, but I
did. I've never seen a real live dictator before, and I wanted to see
what he would say when facing the world stage when he's been so
horrible to his own people. And what did he say? he blamed the
sanctions on Zimbabwe for the death children there. Other than that,
he was rather more timid than I expected.

Now, Hugo Chavez was something else. This man was comical and
charismatic. i can see why he's drawn a following. That doesn't mean
that I agree with him or his policies, but he was really fun to listen
to, joking about the Cuban delegate throwing a shoe at him, inviting
Obama to the Socialist club, pulling out a huge Karl Marx book and
reading from it, and concluding with a song.

It was also interesting to hear Benyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas
(Israel and Palestine, respectively) speak, about the same things. A
two state solution, reaching out to the other side in peace, defending
themselves in Gaza. The same things they've been talking about for the
last what, 40 years? I wonder if peace will ever be possible there.

So, this week I saw presidents. It both overwhelming, and at the same
time underwhelming. But more than anything, it made me want to do
something important with my life, and in some way change the world and
not jsut talk about it. Like Asha, this incredible Somali woman
honored by the Clinton Global Initiative and my org WOW (come to the
conference and here her speak Oct. 10th in Utah! for
her peacebuilding work there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'll throw my arms around him when he comes to the door.

Liina & Jarom by Suvi Hynynen  
Download now or listen on posterous
Liina & Jarom.mp3 (4699 KB)

I posed this question of what Love feels like to my sister Liina and her husband Jarom.  I love how Liina describes it, because I totally had these conversations with her back when she was single and we were roommates.  She would come home from a date, and I would know that this guy wasn't the one because she couldn't open up and be as ridiculously romantic as she wanted to be.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Love is cantaloupes.

Evan by Suvi Hynynen  
Download now or listen on posterous
Evan.mp3 (12535 KB)

Interview with Evan, the day before his wedding (marrying my friend Lindsay from the previous post). The music editing into this one is a little awkward, but I like it nonetheless.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Love is coming home.

Lindsay And Evan by Suvi Hynynen  
Download now or listen on posterous
Lindsay and Evan.mp3 (11397 KB)

Interview with my friend Lindsay, the day before her wedding. This is one of the first stories that I stole back in 2007.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't have a job? Look on the bright side!

This is how I've been feeling lately.

If I've learned anything from being unemployed (other than the fact that I really would LOVE to have a job, let me know if you have one for me), it is this-- it is really, really easy to get depressed and in a funk. But if I've learned anything else, it is this-- the best way to get out of it is to start a creative project to make you feel like you are accomplishing something.

So, I've been spending more time on the UN stuff and my book. Life is looking much peachier. And, I start my tv production class tonight with Victoria and we are going to be famous!!

At my prime

Dear friends,

I've reached the ripe old age of 29. I celebrated on Saturday with some friends coming over for waffles in the morning, an afternoon of spiritual feasting at the institute conference, and a truly delightful dinner with Mike, Laura and Tyson at Smorgas Chef, delicious Scandinavian restaurant I've been wanting to go to just to indulge in herring. And oh, how I indulged! Birthday, i loved you. Thanks for being low-key and lovely.

This brings me to my thoughts on being 29. You probably don't know this about me, but I have a deep animosity towards even numbers. or numbers that end in 5. Everything fits so neatly into them. If I have to pick a number between 1 and 10, you can be assured that I will pick an odd number, and it will probably be either 3 or 7, because those are prime numbers (and even in this case, the 5 gets no reprieve). I think i maybe feel sorry for odd numbers, where things just don't match up. And prime numbers especially! Oh how I love prime numbers! They make my heart break! Nothing quite fits them, they are so uneven. As Mike pointed out, it's been 6 years-- the longest time ever!-- since my last prime number birthday. As a child, I had all sorts of prime number birthdays, almost every other year, and even in the teens the prime numbers came with a frequency to match the awkwardness of being 13 or 17 years old, not quite sure of life or my place. 23 was a good prime year for me, on the brink of a brand new adventure after graduating from college and embarking on my mission. What a wonderful year that was, a time of real growth and finding myself!

So here I am at 29, a respectable prime number, just on the edge of 30 (which we all know means real adulthood). Independent, strong, but still not easily divided, so somehow feeling out of place, just a bit. I suppose this is a fitting time for me to be 29, in that case. Independent, for certain, and at this place, on the brink of something great... waiting to embark on this career but in this awkward place of uncertainty. Not quite fitting in because I always thought that by 29 I would be divisible by 2. It's a lonely number, to be sure. Awkward and lonely.

But yet. I feel like I'm at my prime. My body works well-- it craves healthy foods (for the most part) and I've finally developed some level of physical discipline. I feel more attractive now than at any period in the past, and finally have some realization of clothing and styles that suit me. I have a masters degree, which proves how smart I am. I've had an adventurous, exciting path behind me and no longer have anything to prove, feeling ready for a slightly steadier one ahead. I like my friends and have true ones. I've proven that I am capable and open to love, but can stand and thrive on my own. I'm not as afraid or shy as I once was, and I've learned to nurture myself when I do feel that way.

So, I'm ready, 29, I really am ready for you. Just don't speed along too quickly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Xixi no Banho

One great way to save water! As recommended by the Brazilians.
Xixi no Banho

- 1 Translation(s) | dotSUB

Shared via AddThis

Friday, August 21, 2009

eternal + bliss

I had an interview today! I will not tell you anything about it because I might jinx my possibilities. But I had an interview, and that helped alleviate the i-don't-have-a-job -(aside from the GI doc's office)-what-is-wrong-with-me-I-must-be-a-terrible-person-and-lazy melt-down from yesterday. But, i know I'm not alone in this, and something will work out, and my life is amazingly good aside from the not knowing what I'm doing with my future bit.

Also, going to the temple helps me feel less crazy and more centered. I've been called to serve as a temple worker, so every Friday afternoon from 3-7 you'll find me in the Manhattan temple (66th and Broadway), soaking in the peace and trying to help others have a good experience as well. I love going there because of the light I feel. I also love going there because after feeding my spirit, I feed my sweet tooth with goodies, often from yummy local bakeries like Magnolias and Levain Bakery. Mmm, i love it. Today I treated myself to some ice cream sandwiches from my fridge, and when I say some, I mean I really did eat a few while lying here in my bed in front of the AC and watching hulu.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Motorcycles and leapin' salmon

My friend Tyson works for Air Canada. He also happens to be a rather hip and interesting individual that I'm working on getting to know better, and so when he invited me to go to Vancouver Island with him on a motorcycle trip this last weekend, I jumped at the chance. Well, that is, after I questioned his motorcycle riding record, type of bike (1982 Yamaha, which can't really go faster than the speed limit), and riding style. After ascertaining that he was responsible (despite daredevil antics elsewhere, he promised to be safe, and he was), I jumped at the chance to go to beautiful BC. Aside from the motorcycle and lovely scenery, he also promised an uncle Tom at the family reunion who can cook salmon in 17 different ways, which was really the main selling point. Oh man, was it delicious. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about that smoked salmon. Mmmmm. i'm going to just take a moment thinking about this.

Okay, done licking my lips, although I might just find myself at the Chelsea market tomorrow for some lox. Back to vancouver. One of the highlights of the trip was reconnecting with an old friend, McKay (Alanna, you remember him?) who went to Tanzania a year before I did. I haven't seen him in what, 7 years now? So what a treat to get to spend some time with him, since he and Tyson also go way back (Mormon world is very, very small). More smoked salmon was involved with that meeting and lunch by the lake. Thanks to some connections Tyson has (by the way, i think he has more hook-ups than any other person I know, he manages to find everything for free), we made our way across the world's longest suspension bridge! I can't remember the name, but it stretched over this canyon, and we were very, very high up. Heights make me a little nervous, but it was nothing compared to watching people leaping to their deaths on a bridge going bungee jumping or on this ridiculous thing called the "King Swing" which is essentially a thousand foot drop straight down and then swinging away just before you hit the water. My heart just about stopped beating just watching that. I thoguht I was brave, but i know my limits. And my limits were jumping from a respectable, albeit small, cliff into a nearby river and rope swinging. I will not tell you how long it took me to build enough courage to do either of those activities, because you will mock me, but luckily Tyson was kind enough not to mock me for it, at least to my face. He, on the other hand, dove right in off of a much higher cliff, but then again, he is very manly and rather brave, and slightly crazy too, I think.

I haven't spent much time on motorcycle, aside from a few shorter trips with Andy back in 2003. But boy, with the wind at your back, and sun on your face, it is quite a fantastic experience. Ok, so really, the wind couldn't really get to my back because I was the designated backpack carrier (that's what I get for not knowing how to drive) and the sun didn't much touch our faces under the space helmets we wore (but we were SAFE), but still, you know what I mean. it was rather liberating to be on a bike on the road, amongst the trees, by the ocean... ah. I almost felt like part of the brotherhood of motorcyclists. but not quite, since Tyson didn't have a handlebar mustache (nor did I for that matter, but many of the female riders in Canada did), and we had to push start the bike every time (that may have hurt our street cred just a tad). It was lovely. I got to ride on a ferry boat! On the ocean! And see purple starfish (did you know they were purple? I thought they were always orange!)! AND, i got to see a bunch of orcas swimming! That was pretty darn magical. I have a thing for sea mammals. I really was hoping to see some seals ( do so love piles of furry animals), but no luck, ah well.

So now I'm back home. I went into the GI doctor's office again today to work, and daydreamed about breathing fresh air between booking colonoscopies. I think there is something to be said for escaping life every once in a while. And for friends with airline privileges.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My celebrity sighting

Yeah, that's Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN. She is way
better than any rock star or actress and I was pretty giddy to shake
her hand.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fruit of my labors

I went peach picking in Connecticut with the church ladies. 22 lbs, 5
lbs of blueberries, 3 lbs of plums, a bruised knee, sun kissed cheeks
and hours in the car and laughing with the ladies filled the day.
Homemade peach jam and bread were the ultimate outcome. And it was
good too! Which was a surprise, because I had no idea how to make it
and spent hours over a hot stove dressed in a moomoo (hey it was
rather warm inthe kitchen and k was home alone!), lamenting the lack
of thickness and whether I had added enough sugar and then whether I
had added too much and then it burnt to the bottom... Anyway, I'm
still proud, and I took some to the office and gave a slice to an old
lady, and she said it was really good. And if an old lady says that,
then it really must be.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maybe I will be a farmer.

Suvi's adventures in the career search continue!! Yesterday, she trekked to the country, yes indeed, scenic Stony Brook in Long Island! In a car! This was a reunion tour with Ryan and Emily (from the Nauvoo trip... which i think i failed to blog about... but it was fun and we bonded, so much so that we had to get together again). In any case. Ryan is a gardener. Well, he is a grad student at Stony Brook, but in this summer he decided to plant a community garden, which i highly approve of. He grows all sorts of treats, like tomatoes, green beans, radishes, lettuce... you know, the usual goodies. Unfortunately, no one else seems to want to work in the garden with him, so Em and i finally made our way out there to get our hands dirty and help him out.

We spent the afternoon finding sticks in the woods to act as support stakes for the tomato plants and tying them to these beams of wood. I kind of felt like an Old MacDonald sort of McGyver, gerryrigging twine and old t-shirt to sticks to hold up a tomato stalk bearing a bounteous harvest.

No pictures of that though, because we were too busy working.

The thing is, after spending weeks sitting in front of my computer (yeah right! I know you are thinking that, but really, I am very selective in the information i share with you-- trust me, you don't want to know how many hours i spend staring at a computer screen!), I absolutely loved being there, getting dirty, being productive in a very obvious way, helping plants to grow. It felt good to work with my hands and be outside. I read books like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The Omnivore's Dilemma and learn about food policy and eating local... It feels good to know where your food comes from and to be part of that process. I was talking to the plants, thanking them for growing and providing me with sun-ripened goodness. It feels natural, and healthy. Part of me really wants to just go work on a farm for the rest of the summer and fall-- go harvest corn or something. But could I do it for a career? I wonder. I enjoy a lot of other things and might get bored. but then again, I think of my friend Jackie and she has a garden and just got chickens and is well on her way to having a cow... little by little she is growing closer to her food and loving it. it seems strange, we had the industrial revolution that changed the world from subsistence farmers to allow for all sort of other professions. I'm grateful for that, but do you think that maybe we moved too far from it? We are so distant from the land and what keeps us alive, and as I learn more about food, the closer I want to be to the process. Regressing, progressing...

I went to the movies last night with Melinda to see Food Inc. It was really good, even though it didn't share much that i didn't already know from past food policy research about the agro-industrial complex, farm lobbies, evils of Monsanto, food access... it was just a good reminder that while it seems impossible to go up against the corn industry, with their high fructose corn syrup in everything, we vote every day, three times a day for what food we want. And it makes a difference. I mean, Wal-mart has organics. It's frustrating to see fresh produce, hormone free milk, and non-feed lot raised meat so expensive, but i think that there are so many things that we can do, for our own bodies, for the environment, for our kids future. Sounds crazy, but eat less meat, eat more veggies, cut out some of the non-essentials like eating out and snacks so we can feed our bodies what they really need and want. I'm not awesome at this by a long shot, but it is something that I think about a lot, and feel strongly about. I know that i feel better when i eat veggies and less sweets. I want to raise my babies like that, because I feel like that is how I was raised to a certain extent. In fact, i think that's a deal breaker.

As for being a farmer, maybe not this year, but don't be surprised in a few years...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Someone has been beating me up in my sleep

I discovered this bruise on my foot yesterday morning. Well, I noticed
it a few days ago but just assumed that my feet were dirty (a
reasonable assumption in the summertime). It doesn't hurt at all, just
looks kind of funny there. And with a bruise like that, you would
think I would remember.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One day, one job

I know I'm not the only one looking for a job. Turns out that only 20% of graduates had a job lined up. Many of my friends are in the same boat that I am in, so i don't feel too bad, but it is still a struggle to figure out how to do this whole job hunt thing right. This website, sent to me by a friend, One Day, One Job, is a nice little advice/place to go during the hunt. Check it out!

when I grow up, I want to... beg for money.

This week, i've decided that I do want to be a development officer (aka, fundraiser) because it would be useful for any further positions in the nonprofit sector. Sure, it may have something to do with the fact that that is the ONLY thing people seem to be hiring for these days. But I really do think it would be useful, especially right now, since I just finished up creating a fundraising plan for WOW, and I can honestly say that 1) it was kind of fun and I'm excited to see it put in motion, and 2) I wish i knew what I were doing. Now to just figure out how to word a cover letter that would help me sell my complete lack of experience in this area to an organization that wants someone with 3-5 years of experience.... hey, if I can't sell myself, how on earth am i going to manage to beg for money from potential donors?

If anyone has any experience creating a fund-raising plan, give me a holler and i'll send this one to you to take a look, I could use some help!

I went to the library and checked out a stack of books on the topic. By golly, I'm going to be an expert at this. Or at least able to use the right words. I figure i might as well gain a useful skill of sorts while i'm doing this whole job hunt thing. i can't always be meeting friends for brunch in Williamsburg. Although, it was rather delightful to catch up with Elly and tales of her wedding, and to ride through Hassidic jewish Brooklyn on my bike.

I'm on LinkedIN, come find me and be in my network!

Friday, July 24, 2009

get down, get down, yeah

My friend Sassy Sarah is getting married and she recently posted this video on her blog. I had to steal it because it was just a blast. If I weren't so keen on getting hitched in the temple, I would totally do something like this. Hmm, I wonder how they would take to someone busting this song out when entering the sealing room....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I will find a job, yes I will

Guys, this job hunting things is.... well, I'm not going to lie, it is a challenge. I'm not sure that I am doing it right. i know what it is that I want to be doing, but I think that I keep expecting the perfect job to just land in my lap. Which, unfortunately isn't the case.

- searched on no luck.
- searched on the wagner career website: one possible job at human rights first. researched the org for a while, finding a job as a fellow developing policy for Iraqi refugees, which I would love to do but I don't speak Arabic and don't have 5 years of middle east experience (this is a fellowship! an opportunity to LEARN supposedly!) and decided to apply for the now less interesting job i initially found
-spent hours staring at the word document on my computer screen trying to come up with the right words for a reasonably non-lame cover letter. came up with something but didn't submit it because i now have to find a suitable writing sample.
- went to a picnic b-day party for a cute 1-year-old, became jealous of his accomplishments.
- rode my bike around and around prospect park, willing endorphins to flood my body so i wouldn't be too depressed. nearly swallowed a lighting bug.
- reviewed the LDS employment leads list and emailed a friend who had a lead, even though I am not an MSW and thus not qualified for the job. Email may have sounded slightly desperate.
- blogged until way past my bedtime. Blast! I was supposed to be in bed by 11.

-Started all over again this morning.

Friends, how have you found a job? What am i doing wrong? Am I maybe doing something right? Any words of wisdom here?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

I'm going to make you all jealous.

One of the best things about summertime in NYC are all of the fantastic free concerts that they have here in the various parks. It is closely followed by the fantastic, if not so free, concert by amazing musicians played here that I've gotten to attend. Summer evening sky, fading from bright blue to red to gray and then dark blue with tinges of orange on the edges of the lights from the city reflecting skyward. If you're in Prospect Park, there are fireflies that come out just at dusk, lighting the field like stars darting around, as well as some real stars shining their brightest to reach us through the light pollution. It's on nights like those, laying on my back, listening to beautiful music played by the NY Philharmonic Orchestra in the grass, that I wouldn't trade for anything. i live in the best place in the world. Especially when i can ride my bike home after the fireworks display (friends, we get fireworks more than just on the fourth of July).







Fireworks!!! Best part of the night. I love them so much!!

I also wouldn't trade having a picnic with my sister Meri and some fantastic friends while listening to the Met Opera perform in Central Park (yes, even the battling old people pushing in line). I was reminded of how incredibly romantic opera can be, as Paulo Szot (star of South Pacific) sang some love songs for all of the swooning women in the audience. I think I just about managed to convince meri to move here just for him...

Meri giving me her usual expression

Beautiful singing by beautiful people

Or the giant mosh pit I was trapped in on Pier 54 while dancing to Brooklyn's own Matt & Kim (luckily, I had two strapping young men, Misha and Josh, to protect me from the rowdies. Only my poor feet were subjected to a beating).

My heroes, Misha and Josh

Or the Philharmonic again but in Central Park this time with a view of tall buildings behind the trees, with Tyson while trying strange berry pills that changes lemons into lemonade in your mouth. Even if the fireworks were canceled due to rain.

Or experiencing the Bowery Ballroom for the first time in my life with Josh and shaking my booty to the incredibly shakable Harlem Shakes, a fantastic little band everyone should see. Bowery Ballroom, we shall meet again.

I also wouldn't trade seeing an actual Beatle performing Beatles songs. Yes, you heard it right, thanks to a friend with some good hook-ups, I was invited to go see Paul McCartney and see a fantastic show, complete with pyrotechnics! There is nothing quite like hearing Paul singing Hey Jude, and the crowd going completely nuts. he kept talking about the first time he played Shea Stadium, and how they couldn't hear a thing because of all the screaming girls. Of course, that set off a hoard of screaming girls in his honor (well, actually mostly middle aged women in capri pants) and he quite enjoyed it.

(that's Paul playing the piano. you can't see him, but he is there).

Music makes my ears and my heart so happy. Especially outside. .