Monday, November 29, 2010

A Feast of Becca Proportions

I've had sundry ideas about posts over the last few weeks; I've just been too lazy to actually write them. You know what that means? A single post dedicated to more topics than anyone should be able to digest in one sitting! Please, consider this my Thanksgiving gift to you. A tasty array of subjects that you'll visit, fill your plate, stuff yourself senseless, and repeat!

1) I'm wearing a BYU-Idaho hoodie. Despite the fact that I attend the southern Brigham Young University (and it being 27 balmy degrees Fahrenheit), today my outerwear consists only of a navy blue hoodie sporting the logo of my older siblings' school. Here's my reasoning: A hoodie made for students attending Frozen Wasteland University must be a thousand times warmer and more effective than any other coat, hoodie, or parka (excepting coats and parkas made for BYU-I students, of course). Is it working? Pretty much, yeah.

2) The Turn of the Century. I was at work (BYU Broadcasting, "monitoring" TV), vaguely watching some sort of Education Week discourse about health and nutrition when the woman said something that caught my attention.

"The Atkins Diet became very popular at the turn of the century..."

My first thought was: "Wait, what? No it wasn't. It was popular late 90's, early 2000's. I was alive for that one. Turn of the century? What is she on about?"

And then I realized that "Turn of the Century" can be applied to the early 21st century. To be honest, I got a little depressed that the phrase won't be associated with bustles and spats anymore.

3) Rice. I'm a rice fiend. I probably should have been born an Asian, cos I could eat rice all the live long day, every live long day.

Have you ever looked at a rice field? Not very appetizing. Especially when the workers don't wear shoes. Then it's gross. But somehow I can't equate the solid deliciousness of rice with the ickyness of the fields. Oh well.

4) Third World Countries. I'm taking an anthropology class this semester, and then whole time I've wondered about anthropological studies. Think about it. We leave our own "advanced" culture to study people we think are less developed. What if the people in third world countries did the same?

[The following is an excerpt from the anthropological journal of Gai, a Bushman studying the Utah Mormons]

Today I participated in a cultural ritual that involved singing, very little eating, and crying women. They called it "Sacrament Meeting." The men wore silly things around their necks which had no purpose whatsoever. When asked, they seemed bewildered that anyone would question the authority of the "tie." The men and women were separated for different meetings. The children were left to the less fortunate men and women to be taught the traditions of their people, some of which involving "popcorn trees" and "snowmen." (I am trying my best to understand these people, but really? Snowmen?)

I'm pretty sure there are tons of books circulating third world countries filled with amused studies of us first world snobs.

5) The Croatian waterfalls of the Plitvice Lakes. I was at work, watching "Rick Steves' Europe" when I saw the most beautiful national park! It's called the Plitvice Lakes National Park and it is gorgeous. Behold!

I've been to my fair share of national parks, but that is something else! Croatia is now on my list of places to go before I die.

6) My Grandma Dottie. My Grandma Dottie is totally my best friend. My family spent Thanksgiving at my maternal parents' house, and I was once again reminded of her awesomeness. She was cracking jokes the whole time, poking fun at my mom, telling hilarious stories about my grandpa, the whole nine yards. She and I are two peas in a pod; we both love making pies, and we both love making jokes.

When we were in Idaho a few months ago for my nephew's blessing, she and I were sitting together on the couch while my sister-in-law's family were singing for us (at my dad's request). And we laughed the whole time. I can't even remember what was so funny, but she was giggling and I was snorting and everyone was looking at us like we were on crack. My little brother Seth finally had to sit between us to get us to knock it off. It was only partially effective.

Well, that's it. Aren't you in a coma yet? No? Have some pie.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hi, my name is Becca, and I'm a nerd.

So there was this one time when I was eight years old.

Crazy, right?

Anyway, I was in second grade and there was this craze going around. (No, I'm not talking about Pokémon, although it did emerge in the same period now that you mention it.) There was some stupid book that everyone was reading! Good gravy, it drove me to distraction.

And because I am a non-conformist, I hated it purely on the principle that everyone seemed to be raving about it.

In my rebellion I spitefully called it "Harry Snotter."

Then one day I was bothering my older brother Brandon who was reading the first one. He was ignoring me, so I read over his shoulder to irritate him more.

"How did you get here?"

"Flew," grunted Hagrid.

"Hey," I said, "what's going on? Who flew? Flew how? Who's this guy? His best friend?"

I don't remember what happened next, but Brandon probably told me to scramoose and my curiosity gnawed at me the rest of the day. Somehow I got my hands on a copy of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and promptly devoured it.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand thus began my eight year love affair with Harry Potter.

For said next nine years it was exceedingly easy to shop for me; if it had "Harry Potter" on the label, I was likely to scream in excitement.

This wasn't the legit WB merchandise either; this was the early stuff. Troll booger glue. Terrible day-by-day calendars with awful illustrations. Sticker books of said awful illustrations. Goofy-looking wand keychains. Puzzles of said awful illustrations. Snow globes. Bertie Botts. Weird figurines.

Then in the fourth grade, the first movie came out. This started the merchandise as we know it; robes, stuffed owls, action figures, posters of Dan, Emma, and the ginger. As the years and movies progressed, the paraphernalia got steadily cooler. Cooler robes. Cooler action figures. Cooler wands. Cooler posters.

(When I go home, I'll take pictures of my stuff and post them.)

I grew up with Harry Potter. I grew up with the characters, and I especially grew up with the actors. Emma Watson's only a year and a half older than I am (despite being three hundred times more talented, gorgeous, and amazing). I lived, slept, and breathed Harry Potter.

And then the seventh book came out, and I was furious with JK Rowling for pairing Harry and Ginny and the other ginger and Hermione. Hermione is far too good for that one ginger kid, and the same with Harry and Ginny. Good grief, where was Ginny in the seventh book? NOT THERE, that's where. Pulling silly pranks on Snape at Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione have one of the best relationships in literary history, and there is no closure.

I was mad.

So I bid the Harry Potter franchise goodbye. I took down my posters, mostly covered my Gryffindor fireplace painted on my wall, and packed everything up to put it in my closet.

How is it that then even after three years famine I can still tell you trivial facts from the books? How is it that even now none of my family members wants to challenge me to Harry Potter games? How is it that I still bought tickets to the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows Part I? How is it that I'm still dressing up?

Hi, my name is Becca, and I'm a Harry Potter nerd through and through.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Take THAT, Social Norm!

At the beginning of the semester my friend Cami told me about a psychology class that was assigned to go into the Wilk and break social norms and observe peoples' reactions. One girl took a fry out of a guy's hand, ate it in front of him, then walked off. My reaction was somewhere along the lines of:

"MAN! I am SO in the wrong classes!" followed by me assuring Cami that if I had the opportunity, I wouldn't be uncomfortable in the slightest breaking social norms. In fact, I would relish it.

Today was the Day of Reckoning.

We were talking about social norms in my anthropology lab and twenty minutes before the end of class, our TA took us outside and said, "Have at it. Go break some rules."

There was a lot of hesitating. No one wanted to go by themselves or they couldn't think of anything.

I totally wanted to rip a guy's earphones out, but I chickened out because I would feel bad. The same with my idea of taking someone's phone, saying, "Halla!" into it, then handing it back without a word.

Instead, this girl in my class and I settled for knocking all the bikes in the rack over. We got several dirty looks from passerbys, but no one actually said anything. The whole time I kinda wanted to go back and fix it.

Darn social training.

So I'm not as bold as I previously supposed. Which is a bummer cos I always saw myself as a non-conformist type. Yeah. Not so much.

After class, I had an empty milk jug (chocolate milk for the class; deeeelish), so I decided then and there to hand it to some passerby without saying anything and then walk off.

So there I was, walking towards the SWKT with a milk jug in hand when a poor unsuspecting young man happened to walk past me. I held out the milk jug to him silently.

He kept his hands firmly glued in his pockets and said, "Uh, what's this?"

I shrugged. "I dunno. You just look like you needed an empty milk jug in your life."

This seemed to satisfy him and he took it. I walked off. He stood there looking bewildered for a while, then went on his way.

Worth it? Oh yesh.

However, I'm still not as hardcore as I would like to believe. That whole time I had people from my anthro class watching my back. This will have to change.

Or not, and I can continue talking big without anything whatsoever to prove my hardcoreness.