Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to Win Contests

You may recall that I WON a trip to the MLB All Star game.

Reaction from acquaintances: "No way!! That's amazing!!!!"
Reaction from friends: "Of course you did. Who is even surprised."

My friends are used to it. Because, well, my family wins. Quite a lot, actually.

My first memory of winning something is when I was four years old. I was at my friend's birthday party and I guessed the exact number of jelly beans in a jar. Not only did I do it, but I did it twice. Two different jars, hundreds of jelly beans in both. I got both of the numbers right. On my first guesses.

But pretty much the radio is our domain.

I've won  tickets to multiple concerts.
My dad... well, it's amazing. He's won countless CD's, giveaways, concert tickets, (lots of) money. He's won a trip to Disneyland and a trip to New York City (plus Broadway tickets). One of my favorite memories with my dad  was when he came to my school and told me he had won Coldplay tickets for me. It was magic.

How do we do it? How do we win all this stuff?

A lot of it has to do with the phone you're using, or natural ability, or luck.

Here's the secret, though: (and I hesitate to even tell you this...)
You try.

For every contest we've won, we've lost hundreds. For every time the radio station picks up our call, we've seriously called countless times. For every prize we've won, there are dozens that we haven't.

You will lose. You will fail. But you get back up, and you try again. And again. And again. You pull out your phone at every single cue-to-call. You make videos even if you feel stupid.

So for your enjoyment, here is the video that I submitted to win a trip to Kansas City.
It's not good, really. I had never made a video before. The sound is kind of poorly done. I did the video all by myself I snuck around my house and yard. I filmed myself driving. It was a complete secret. Actually, I'm kind of embarrassed to show it to you. But hey, it got me to the All Star game!

This imperfect video won. I tried, and this one pulled through.
Just try. Every single time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

For Aurora, Colorado

I cannot begin to explain how I felt and how I feel.
I cannot tell you how my heart aches for those victims.
I cannot put a number on how much time I've spent thinking and reading about it.

I cannot tell you
                          the shock
                                          the horror
                                                           the heartache
that plays through my mind daily.

And I knew no one in that movie theater. I can only imagine the pain of family and friends.

The media is already moving on. Tragedy only sells papers for so long. "Let's get back to the celebrities, the election, the humor."


I know that it's hard to pin down reasons. I know investigations take time. I know that killer might never be fully convicted for what he did.

Maybe he did have mental issues. I bet he did. But that does not take away from the disgusting fact that we glorify violence.

Did you know that Warner Bros. had a trailer before The Dark Knight Rises where the characters are shooting into a crowded movie theater? Did you know that they took the commercial out of the previews because now it's too disturbing? Why weren't we hurt by it before?

Why did it take a tragedy to wake us up, and how long until we fall back asleep?

I cannot see The Dark Knight Rises any time soon. Not because I'm scared for my life, oh please. Policemen in movie theaters won't make me feel better (they'll be gone soon, anyway).
I can't see it because I would see screaming people behind my eyelids. I'd see girls pushing the dead bodies of their boyfriends off of them. I'd see a calm man with one hundred magazines shooting and shooting and shooting.

Terror just became all too real for me and I can't watch it glorified on a screen, no matter how "fantastic" the movie is. No.

But I want to thank the heroes.
I want to thank the people that tried to drag other victims out of the theater, even when their own life was in danger.
I want to thank the movie star who visited the hospitals.
I want to thank the community that is staying strong.
You don't need to go to superhero movies for you've become your own heroes.

I don't really know where I'm going from here, but I do know that this changed me. The ground underneath me seems to have shifted.

Aurora, Colorado... I will always remember you.


Friday, July 20, 2012

What To Do When Your Favorite Book Hurls Itself Off Your Nightstand

How do I say this?

Okay, it's like this:

You really, really like a book. You love it. This book is practically your other Bible. You know every sentence in it by heart. You'd rather read it all day every day than go outside and do something else. This book takes you to magical places and makes you become something better than you ever imagined. It makes you happy.

And then your book burns. Or gets thrown out the window. Or decides "You know what? This reader isn't worthwhile anymore." and then stops letting you turn its pages. It jumps from its spot on your bedside table and commits a sort of book suicide.

But you've got the book memorized. You don't even need to read it to still know every word. Your love prevails because there has seriously been nothing good as this book.

Then you go to the bookstore and you see all the brand new, beautiful books. And you think "I don't want them." You know you should want them, but you don't. For Pete's sake, your book LEFT you. Of course it won't ever show up at your door and be like "Jokes! Love me again!" Nope! So just love the other books already!

But you don't love them.

And it has been eight months since your book left you two weeks before Christmas. You should stop reciting your favorite passages. Your friends no longer want to hear them.

You keep reading the backs of all the other books but you keep on looking for the same storyline: The Beatles, baseball, red hair, and glasses. You become so ashamed that you can't move on after eight whole months that you box up everything that reminds you of your book. This, you think, is the end.

You find that you don't have the book as memorized as you thought. Instead of quoting a scene word for word, you can only recall vague images. The book has become an idea and an ideal.

So what do you do when your life is like this?

1) Remind yourself (yet again) to stop saying the title of the book out loud or in your head.

2) Smile. Your life is beautiful.

3) Be patient. Because you're 17. You're stupid. Really, you are. Get over yourself. Also, realize how pathetic you are. This is a big step.

4) Don't go to the bookstore anytime soon. You're not ready, obviously. (Okay, go to the actual in-real-life bookstore. That's okay to go to.)

5) Think of hideous similes for how you feel. Like this one. Then you can laugh at yourself. That's the best advice: Laugh at yourself.

6) Read Harry Potter. Try not to get upset whenever it mentions the Weasleys. Or Ron. Or Hermione. But read Harry Potter anyway, because it's magical.

And pray. Actually, that's step number 1: Pray.

Friday, July 13, 2012

MLB Allstar Game. I went. (Updates and Thoughts)

I wish I could find that perfect balance between a "Here's an Update With My Life" blog and a "Here's a Really Poignant Thought" blog, but that's really hard to do.

Here's my attempt at it.

An Update:
I made a short video and entered it in a contest to learn to drive stick-shift with Chevy and then go to the MLB Allstar game in Kansas City, Missouri.
A Thought:
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. I had never made a video before, but I took a chance and it payed off.

An Update:
The trip was all-expenses paid. I flew first class and got shuttled everywhere and slept at a nice hotel.
A Thought:
It's so easy to slide into the life of luxury. It's also incredibly easy to slide into having a big head because of the said life. Don't do that.

(This was my meal. They gave me couscous. On a plane. And my own salt and pepper shakers!)

An Update:
The Home Run Derby and the Allstar game were absolute dreams come true. It was a piece of heaven.
A Thought:
We focus so much on not being disappointed when plans fall through. Can we rejoice for a second on how great it is when they don't? On the overwhelming joy of experiencing my first Seventh-Inning-Stretch?

An Update:
As I flew in the airplane, I looked out the window and saw a quilt of fields.
Many Thoughts:
Flying in airplanes makes me sentimental.
You don't miss mountains until they're gone.
Objects and places mean nothing until you have a relationship with them.
There are so, so, so many people. So many. We get so involved in our own worlds that we forget that. We forget how incomprehensible and beautiful it is that we're all individually loved by a loving Heavenly Father.

I'm so grateful for the trip and for my mom and for Kansas City BBQ and for kind people and for temples all over the world and for baseball and for memories and for... and for life. That's what I'm grateful for the most.  Life. My life is full of people and experiences and emotions. My mom said something to me while we were in Missouri. "Kimberly, when you like something, you like it all the way. You don't just like something. You love it."
And it's true. I live life fully by loving everything with all I have.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


My favorite things I possess are my memories.
I recall useless facts about the Inca civilization, sign language I was taught in first grade, the exact spot I met some of my closest friends.

And I fear forgetting.

I've kept a journal noting everyday for four years, but it's not enough. How many tiny memories slip through? Will I remember how it smells like the sea when it rains? Will I remember my daily walk to work? Will I remember how I felt July 3rd or 4th or 5th?

I don't want to forget. It terrifies me.

Please, let me never forget how I screamed hearing The Beach Boys sing in concert or how the hot asphalt felt on my feet or what it feels like to be kissed.

I've almost forgotten that one already.

Take a moment.