Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Since cake plates seemed to turn out so nicely, I decided to try my luck at wrangling some friends over for another easy crafty evening. I fell for this idea right about the same time the cake plates came around, so it seems fitting it's the second attempted project. Cus really how do you mess up stamps?

I have 8oz of green ink, a crapload of various fabric textures from IKEA and enough for real creative ladies coming over that it should be somewhat successful at the very least. And please, if you happen to be downtown, stop by E Street.

Monday, September 29, 2008

on this side

Sometimes you get a weekend that is practically perfect.

All of the times I want to eat this baby's face (when is that 1/4 mexican going to show up though?).

Friday, September 26, 2008

slow and low

Friday is a slow day right? So that's why I can justify that I just watched the whole first season of Sex and the City?

Hello rest of the universe, I'm finally joining you. I'll probably finally see the movie in like 4 years (or next week if I keep up this rate with all the seasons).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

our way to fall

Can I do this thing again?

This is what I have to do every autumn (buy a bunch of socks cus I loose them all in the summer).

This is what a neighbor sleepover looks like.

This is why studying at my mom's house on Saturdays is a good idea.

This is how many glasses Janelle and Naomi and I used in one sitting...oops.

This is actually normal (notice Jayne is just patiently waiting for them to be done).

This and

this is why it's probably worth it to have a baby.

This is me trying to use my ears for too many things.

This is what 45 people look like before they ride their bikes up and down four canyons (I am very proud of Nate and Joel).

This is nothing strange.

This is kind of strange.

And this is why I don't want it to snow ever.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I shall be released

Today on my bike, in the cool morning air, I chased down a train for 10 blocks and caught the sonofabitch. I can now categorically say that is the best feeling ever. Let me further contribute to the autumn talk that is everywhere these days by saying my general disposition improves as the leaves change and I can wear layers and scarves everyday. This stage in between the hot and dry and the cold and snow always feels like such a gift of practically perfect. This year my love of the season is amplified because I have discovered that there is nothing more invigorating than riding a bike in this weather and filling my lungs with fall air as I peddle around my life. It is amazing.

On top of that, the news this morning told me Warren Buffet might save us, the presidential debates are this weekend, and Bob at work just sent me 6 TV shows to watch, so what a great day already.

I meant to post this yesterday because Wilco sent out this link, which strikes my patriotic heart's fancy. What a great idea and getting a Wilco/Fleet Foxes cover of a Dylan song should be reason enough to vote if one of the millions of other reasons doesn't do it for you...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

television, television

So I think I've been pretty clear so far about my love of television. And I watch a crapload of shows because one of the designers at my office brings in everything he Tivos and puts it on our server...all in the name of building a creative atmosphere of course. So you can only imagine my delight in the fall when it all comes back after a summer of separation.

Heroes my friend...I love you and I also kind of hate you. Not the love/hate I feel for 90210, because that is straight up hate. But you still bug me sometimes like when Silar conveniently finds all the bad guy files on Claire's kitchen table in a box labeled Dad's Office. Really guys? You've come a long way since Season 1 or last year with the flying kid ("I know you can heal yourself Claire, but I never want to see you hurt"), but in this premiere you reminded me that you still have the potential to make me roll my eyes.

Luckily you will always have this:

Oh 30 Rock and Pushing Daisies and Friday Night Lights, I can't wait to see you too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

fade into you

Over the weekend I realized it's high time I start coming up with some really important requirements for whoever becomes the eventual Mr. Emily Clifford. You know, a checklist I can look at to make sure I'm really getting a best of the best kind of guy.

So first?

Must want to get it on to Mazzy Star.

Friday, September 19, 2008

blow by blow

So it's funny that a girl who knows basically nothing about video games works in the industry, owns 2 PSPs and a PS3 and has been to E3. So even more funny then is that that same girl also knows basically nothing about alternative sports but got to go to the AST Dew Tour last week because of that video game job. I guess I need to learn some crap about both those things!

But since PlayStation was a major sponsor and since we had worked on some of the Dew Tour promotional stuff, I got a weekend of dirty boys on skateboards and bikes.

Conveniently my friend Aaron is like a 12 year old boy so when I saw him at the BMX dirt finals on Friday, he was able to explain to me the competition and catch me up on the rider details.

And I was both nervous someone would break an important bone and totally impressed by the tricks at the same time.

Here is the fruits of our labors which is always so fun to see in real life (if you ever go to Blockbuster with me I will drag you through the video games and point out all of our titles, just FYI).

I enjoyed Saturday with these people even though most of them weren't really that helpful with competition details.

OMG IT'S RYAN SHECKLER!!!!! (but I really do love the Life of Ryan)

But my favorite part of the Skate Park Finals was 14 year old Chaz Ortiz winning. He was seriously so adorable and even though most of the competitors are like 40 year olds, skating and teenagers just seems right.

Over all though, Sandro Dias and the Skate Vert were the best (he's on the left above the ramp). That event was so much fun.

And I learned that Utah is the State of Sport! I had no idea so the weekend was informative on many levels really. Thanks video games!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

another pearl

Another last night story, though different mood altogether. So Logan and neighbor Nate were on my computer last night using my Facebook account to look at people. Apparently I had left my e-mail open cus 12 people gchatted me this morning about this:

I am nervous to see what damage they did to me elsewhere on the internets...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

drive on

Last night I stayed late at work to finish up a take home text for my Evolution of the Human Diet class. By the time I was done, it was dark and I realized my bike blinkie light is currently dead (cus maybe when I got it I forgot to turn it off for 4 days). I called my dad to see if he could haul me to the train stop since Murray in the dark with no light seemed not so smart. En route to the station he said he could just take me all the way downtown, he just wanted to stop at a gas station to get a drink first. It was 9:00, he wasn't expecting my call, and now the round trip would take about 45 minutes.

But then I remembered my dad is a take-a-drive kind of guy. Trips to the grocery store have always been the long way there and back. The cure for middle child self-pity usually involved a ride with him on an errand somewhere and there was often a gas station treat involved (if I played my cards right and appeared really wounded). So last night, as a 26 year old, it felt so comfortable to sit in the front seat with my head out the window while my dad drove me home. I figured that as much as anything explains why I love a car full of friends and a drive up a canyon or why I'll circle the block a time or two when I'm not quite ready to get somewhere.

My mother shines through in my face more and more, and I hear her words about half the time when I open my mouth. I've never wondered about what has shaken down from her to me because I see evidence everywhere...but it's nice when I get to catch a glimpse of my dad in the mix too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the hardest part

The other day my brother Logan and I had a gchat conversation about sad songs versus happy songs. We agreed that there is something mighty powerful about the sad and that break-up songs probably take the cake in awesomeness. Logan brought up that even once those feelings are gone, hearing the music that was the soundtrack to your heart breaking will still make you stop. Not in a depressing way, but more that it speaks of the power of a great track...you feel alive at the very least in those moments.

I started thinking that I totally have a particular song that seems to sum up near perfectly a specific relationship from my past. And that's pretty awesome, I'm actually pretty proud of that because it makes me think if ever my life was turned into a series on the WB (CW now, but it was the WB in my Felicity and Gilmore Girls days so it will always be the WB to me), I would totally have one of those scenes where me and guy are slow motion walking away from each other, or one of us is getting in a taxi to fly off to Europe or something equally as final feeling (also I would have long flowy Jessica Simpson hair). And you as the viewer, your heart would be breaking cus it's slow motion and cus holy crap! this song is playing and it's just killing you that this is happening.

Because you, you were the one who just wanted those two to work out so badly since you'd invested one hour every Wednesday night for two years and this was the on-again-off-again relationship you were sure was going to work out! But man, when Ryan Adams starts and you hear "you and I used to shine like a jewel" you'd know...you'd just know that the the writers had been planning on doing this to you all along because the song so perfectly fits the moment that is summing up the whole damn thing. And after this amazing end you'd call your sister who was sure from the beginning of the series it wouldn't work, and you two would talk for a silly long time about a TV show. But it would be worth it.

And the real life version is worth it too, I'm a big believer in that. So besides my perfect Sweet Illusions, here are seven others that are sad and favorites and Ryan Adams. Listen closely, those lyrics they'll make you thirsty...

Monday, September 15, 2008

hello tomorrow

This is why sinks were invented.

Friday, September 12, 2008

silent all these years

This time 28 years ago these two ladies were neighbors and pregnant.

They gave birth 11 days apart from each other in the winter of 1982 to these two beauties.

Consequently, there hasn't been a time in my life when Callie hasn't been a part of it. We hit a few spells of varying levels of best friendlihood in elementary school (since 5th and 6th grade seem to be when mean girls cultivate their meanness and we were often the test subjects), but we got back on track in jr. high and have have few road bumps since.

As I've gotten older and made all kinds of connections in my life, I've realized I'm one of those jerks who simply does not understand a certain kind of friendlessness because I have always had a best friend. Because I could run the 50 yards to Callie's any time I wanted. Because we were two peas in a pod at church and any church related activities. Because we could lay on her kitchen floor and listen to Tori Amos and revel in how awesome and weird we thought she was. And because I knew without ever having to think about it that we were always there for each other. So when some difficult family things happened to each of us, or when we were stalking boys at school (this is before the internet made it easy by the way), or when we were simply living the young lives that made us each who are, there she was for me and I for her.

When high school graduation came and she moved all the way to Cedar City for college we hardly skipped a beat because we were both capable of marathon e-mails and long phone conversations and Callie was a frequent weekend visitor. We did each grow more into ourselves and different from one another, but that didn't seem to matter much. We were each others' dates to high school related social events and weddings. I found that always when I ran across old friends or parents of old friends they asked me how Callie was doing and I gladly gave updates on my smart little woman at SUU. When at 21 I was leaving for Armenia, Callie was there with me to make sure I had my missionary check-list supplies and then sent me a letter every. single. week. AND organized parties to make other friends write me too. All the while she was being a really amazing person, getting perfect grades, being the president of clubs and associations, graduating college, getting a masters degree and teaching rowdy teenagers all about business. You see Callie has, and always will have, her shit together. I am far less certain about my shit but existing on opposite ends seems to work just fine for us.

The years of our actual adulthood, we see each other much less then in all the time before...but that doesn't change anything really. We always manage to pick up right where we last left off because by now our friendship is effortless; it is beyond comfortable and full of enough depth and experiences that it breaths it's own breath. And last June when Callie got married, I spent 2 days crying through the whole thing because that day was here! Because we'd giggled about boys our whole lives and here she had found hers. And he was fantastic! And she was so happy! And I was so happy! And I tried to make one of the groomsmen like me but neither of them were having any of that! But oh well...best friends marrying best friends might have been overkill.

So two weeks ago today when a great job whisked her and that husband away to Maryland to live and start a new adventure together I was excited because of all that confidence talk I've now spent an essay's worth of words describing.

But it's not entirely fine.

I feel a bit lost I guess not knowing her heart is beating somewhere in this valley or state or even this side of the country; this distance isn't a set time like mine was when I left, this feels far more permanent. And truthfully, I do feel all of those happy things because I think this opportunity is fantastic for them. I know Callie and I can dust off those marathon phone conversation skillzzz and there will be trips there and visits here of course. But I miss her still.

I guess perhaps my feelings are just telling me that pretty soon I'll also have to start a life on the East Coast...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

a long and a sad goodbye

Today is a day not unlike most days for me...there is work now and school studying later and too much diet dr. pepper throughout the day. And it's not much different for me probably because I don't have a personal connection to anyone whose life was lost on September 11, 2001. But it still feels somber. I woke up to news about the memorial at ground zero and the moments of silence. I have remembered the things I felt 7 years ago as there was first confusion everywhere and then immense sadness as the reality of what had happened was realized...such a strange time.

I mostly just hope all those friends and families feel okay today, my thoughts are with them. Hug the people you love today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

wild pack of family dogs

The Utah State Fair is upon us again and though you will spend $20 in the blink of an eye, still leave hungry and have only ridden one ride, there are plenty of great reasons to go.

One I wasn't expecting though, was the joy that would come from this booth.

David stops to casually peruse the wildlife t-shirts...but quickly things turn serious. He goes back and forth between two in particular; one a scene of two deer walking through a forest, the other a noble wolf howling in the mountains. Walking around the booth, Danny runs across a denim colored tee with the top half of overalls painted on the front and a baby snow tiger in the pocket. He immediately purchases.

In the excitement Dallas spots one with an eagle soaring through a canyon, glories in it's majesty, and also purchases. Meanwhile, David has convinced Paul that he also wants a wildlife t-shirt and between the brothers both the deer and the wolf will live. As the boys pay for their finds, Janelle spots the childrens' section and on a purple background, a unicorn running on a shore speaks to her.

So I walk around the rest of the night with this crowd.

Which was a pleasure really.

(click on either of these last two photos to enlarge, cus you really should check out the detail...)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

a good man is hard to find

Last week I fell in love again with my old boyfriend Sufjan Stevens. We met in August four years ago after I got home from Armenia. It was amazing and filled my ears...and there were horns! So I knew it was love. And I've always loved him but sometimes other boyfriends have gotten a lot of my attention. So when Sufjan Stevens showed up for the first time in a long while randomly on my iPod last Monday when it was a holiday and rainy, it felt perfect. I wondered why it had been such a long time since we'd been together (and so did he!) so during the rest of the week he kept me company on my train rides to and from work. We went on a couple of drives together and he sang me to sleep over the weekend.

And I remembered all the reasons why he is so fantastic, this particular one ranking near the very top.

Monday, September 8, 2008

this apparatus must be unearthed

I'm trying to get all the way through 2001: a space odyssey right now. Some years ago my friend Jonathan had people over to watch The Wizard of Oz set to The Dark Side of The Moon record (which was totally awesome) and we watched the 2001 scene that works with Pink Floyd too. But besides that and the handful of times I watched clips for film classes, I've never watched the whole thing from beginning to end...because you know, it's kind of boring. It's also beautiful so I'm trying to let that part win today.

But my point for coming to post really is that I have two friends who have each created excellent green blogs. I like Judy's blog, Make A Better Earth because she talks about realistically applying environmentally helpful habits into your life. And Erin's blog, GREEN on the poor scene is great because it stresses treating the earth right even when you're working with a tight budget.

Also, both of these women are awesome. In real life they are each striving to lead healthy and productive lives for themselves and guiding their friends and families to do the same. Seeing that work is inspiring to me and I'm delighted to count them as friends and to soak up their wise advice. So read their blogs because otherwise the terrorists win. GO AMERICA!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

the morning of our lives

The one tiny swamp cooler in our apartment which is supposed to cool the whole place, is located in my bedroom. So during the hot summer months, every night I go to sleep and then wake up to the sound of the old machine trying it's hardest to push out enough cold air to stay ahead of the heat (it never does).

But now that the weather has shifted and the swamp cooler is no longer needed, I get to return to my evening and morning fall/winter/spring routines. At night, it consists of falling asleep listening to mellow music. In the morning, it means setting my alarm clock for a time earlier then I would ever actually get up, turning on a light and NPR and falling back to sleep. So I fade in and out listening to the news, tearing up at the StoryCorps stories and realizing it it must be a Wednesday whenever I hear Frank DeFord's voice. There is something very comforting in it especially in the winter when the mornings come cold and dark and those Morning Edition voices sound friendly and awake.

Today while I was rushing around (because I'd hit the snooze button too many times of course) this story about the feminist bra-burning myth came on (listen to the audio, it's much better that way).

I thought it was a great piece and really interesting. Listening while curling my hair and generally prettying myself up, I thought how wonderful it is that I can be totally aware of both my femininity and my intelligence at the same time. I thought how I'm grateful to the women who took the crazy hit through their extreme measures so I can go about most of my days not ever feeling limited or held back or respected less because I am female. I find that rings true in the workplace and the schoolplace and the socialplace. When I look at the shinning examples of friends and family members I have who are strong women and equals in all senses to their husband counterparts, I believe that will carry into the wifeplace and motherplace too someday. And though I do go about half my days bra-less, the real liberation of that feminist movement comes in how wide open the world feels to me.

So thanks angry women of the 1960s, this girl sure appreciates you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

september baby

I used to think a book and a park was the best way to spend my lunch hour, but then nephew came into my life.

And now, this is the best way to spend an hour.

Because you get to see this,

and admire those eyelashes that your brother passed onto his baby.

There is a tiny right arm that finds it's way into your armpit,

and adorable socks on legs that are finally filling out which you kind of want to squeeze until they pop (but you won't).

Then he'll readjust, sink his head into your shoulder and put a perfect hand on your neck (which makes butterflies).

And since he dropped the soothie out of his mouth in the adjustment then you get to see those lips and keep irritating him by kissing them.

And then for your patience and near perfect care, he'll wake up and thank you by smiling at his mama like she's the only woman on the planet.

So I guess maybe I just need one of my own right? Any takers?

hey stranger

Dear Marla-
I also have no idea who you are but thanks for making me feel AWESOME!!!! I am totally not funny at all in real life, so I better never really meet you (unless you've also watched the first two episodes of the new 90210 in which case we will get along just fine...).

Emily the Cliff

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

friends & neighbors

Back in June I went to lunch with some old friends Nate and Joel. During the conversation they mentioned they were looking to move downtown. I mentioned that I thought the apartment upstairs from me was opening up.

And then it was August and two boys I've known since elementary school became my neighbors.

And since they let me make them jump in pictures, obviously it's been a lot of fun so far. Which is why it then seems kind of normal when last night you wake up at 1:00 in the morning to get a drink of water, you go into the kitchen, and Joel is there brushing his teeth and Nate is epoxying a bike helmet.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

peace train

I have a new friend who insists that I am a hippie. Which is funny to me because I don't think anyone else has ever come close to calling me a hippie before in my life. Yes I do drive a Subaru and I drink a lot of water from my Nalgene bottle but welcome to Utah. I don't smoke weed. Isn't that like #1 on The Hippie Checklist?

I still think the boy is off base, but loving Cat Stevens as much as I do, and particularly loving Peace Train as much as I do, probably doesn't help my case. I fell in love with it in jr. high when that song was on The War soundtrack (best movie ever by the way) and I'd listen to it over and over and over and feel really emotional...the peace train! Why must we go on hating?! Why can't we live in bliss?!! I felt that song with the fervor only a 14 year old girl can feel.

Since then I've been kind of fascinated with Cat Stevens the guy; that he left music right when he owned it, converted to Islam and dedicated his life to humanitarian pursuits. And since he started playing music again, it's been really interesting to see and hear the difference this time around compared to when he was young.

Give yourself 10 minutes, it's really worth watching both.

And yeah, I still furiously love it...

Monday, September 1, 2008

the suggestion box

Riddle me this internet...why would I have all these empty shoe boxes under my bed?

Because I'm stupid is the answer.

My room is ridiculous. Any previous ideas of saving and storing I had are ridiculous. So besides sleeping in and soaking up this cool and perfect lazy day, today I am spending time decrapping my bedroom. Roommate and I already got in a cleaning frenzy on Saturday which pretty much took care of the rest of the house so just the underbelly of my ignored closet and mysteries under my bed remain. But it feels fantastic, what a fresh way to welcome in school days and knitting weather.