Thursday, February 26, 2009

Organ Rites of Initiation

I do not consider myself an organist. Yes, I play the organ, but it's not my main instrument (although technically I haven't played my main instrument in five years, so does it still count?), I haven't ever had any kind of lesson for the organ, and I don't use organ shoes, which professionals do (I play without shoes).

However, I have, over the past little while, experienced some events which make me feel more credible calling myself an organist. I wonder what other rites of initiation I am missing to truly be an organist. Here's what I've experienced so far:

1. An apostle showing up at my sacrament meeting. I must say, I think it was a good thing Elder Oaks showed up and I did so poorly on the organ. It really encouraged me to improve my use of the pedals, and be more bold about attempting to include them. Nevertheless, it's quite unnerving to want to play absolutely brilliantly for an apostle, and not be physically capable of doing so.

2. A sacrament meeting devoted to hymns. This is one of those things like a testimony meeting, but instead of sharing a testimony, individual ward members get to pick any hymn they want, explain why they like it, then pick a verse to sing right then and there. It's pretty fun if you're in the congregation. As an organist, however... Well, it was exciting, at any rate, and I played pedals on all of them, if only for a few notes.

3. Someone asking me what stops I use. Are you serious? Me? I just push them all down and hope something good comes out! Ok, ok, that's not true at all, I do spend a considerable amount of time fiddling and listening and figuring out what does what. But still... someone asked me for my stops! I was flattered beyond belief.

Those are only three. What are some other things I need to do to become fully initiated? I know buying shoes is on the list, but I so love using just my feet. That's like trying to play the piano with gloves on. Or the horn while wearing a scarf. Why must it be that way? Alas.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shell Photograph

This is one of my favorite photographs:

I took it last year when Olive, Elegyrl and I were at the beach.

What you see when you first look at this picture is a shell on top of a mound of pebbles and sand amid some rocks.

What is actually in the picture, however, is a hermit crab (in the shell--you can see one of his legs poking out if you look closely) and a sea anemone posing as a mound of pebbles and sand.

Friday, February 13, 2009

In-N-Out in SL County?

I read an article today that said that In-N-Out Burger is trying to get into Salt Lake Valley. All I have to say is:


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Harry Potter: Wands

As I am a Harry Potter nut (some would say freak), I do own several wands for those times when I dress up and need such a prop. I even made some nifty wand holsters out of drapery tie-backs (it was quite ingenius of me, if I may say so) so that I can wear my wand from my belt as you would a sword, since my robe doesn't have a wand pocket.

Here are the different wands I have:

1. Book-specific Harry wand

The first wand I bought was from an independent seller online. It is 11 inches and made of holly, exactly like the wand Harry uses as described in the book. When I got it, it seemed a little stubby, so I measured it. It really is 11", it just turns out that 11" is quite a stubby wand in my opinion.

2. My personal wand.

I bought my second wand from Alivan's, a quality wand-crafting company. I would recommend that store to anyone looking for good Harry Potter products. At any rate, I got a wand that looked something like this one, though not exactly--they've stopped making the exact model I have. It is made of ebony, however, and is about 15 inches long. It's the most beautiful wand in the world.

3. Movie-specific Harry wand

My third wand was purchased at Phoenix Wands, which now has an actual store location in Santa Monica. The store itself is quite fun, as it is made to look like Diagon Alley, with a bunch of different little rooms pretending to be separate stores. The wands are beautiful, and you can buy a beautiful wood case to keep it in, too. I bought this wand, which is made to look like Harry's from the earlier movies. This is the wand I use when I pretend I'm actually Harry, rather than Betty the Ravenclaw (which I only do in cases of extremely short hair). I also use it when I can't find my personal wand because it's in a box in the garage in California.

4. Toy wand

My fourth wand was given to me by my nephew D. He's such a sweetie, though I guess I shouldn't say that now, as he's almost a teenager. Sigh. At any rate, his stepdad handmade it. It's big, about 20 inches, thick, and unfinished, and I love it. I've never actually worn it to a book or movie opening, but I do love it.

I suppose having all these wands means that I collect them. I do sometimes look at them online.

I should buy one from the Noble Collection to see how they compare. Hermione's wand would be cool, or Sirius's. It doesn't actually say what they're made of, though, so I'm not sure if they're wood. Sure are pretty, though.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Amanda Huggenkis

Amanda is the name of a girl I visit teach.

Amanda is the name of my visiting teacher.

Amanda is the name of someone I'm supposed to call to share a hymn.

Amanda is the name of the pianist I have to text the RS hymns to each week.

How many Amandas do you know in your ward?

Bonus points if you know what was referenced in the title of this entry.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yellow Alert

The air is dirty today. Be cautious. Avoid breathing when possible.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Red Hands and Yellow Lights

Flashing red hands do not mean, "hurry up and run across the street."

Yellow lights do not mean, "Speed up so you can get through the intersection."

I learned these things when I was 5. Did anyone else?

Ok, I'm done venting. Thanks for listening.

Wait, no I'm not:

Non-flashing red hands do not mean, "walk across the street any time you want irregardless of how many cars there are."

Stop signs and red lights do not mean, "Look to make sure no cars are coming and if it's ok you can roll through and if it's not you can go out really far and edge your way into traffic."

Ok, I think I'm really done this time.

The end.