Monday, May 31, 2010

Feeling Out of Place...

Went to Church yesterday. In the ward I attended when I was in Young Womens. And it was very odd. For starters, they have a new building. A stake center actually. Since I moved away when I was 18, they created a new stake...and the stake center is across the street from my old high school. Very least, for me it was.

Then there is the ward. About 1/3 of the families in the ward were there when I moved away...but what's weird is that some of them are people that were youth with me, and they are now married, have different last names, and have KIDS...not just one, but many!

Yeah...weird. At least my old YW President is Relief Society President. Gives me a little feeling of normalcy...

And then I don't know anyone else in the ward...I know one member of the bishopric from when I lived here least I know one member of the stake presidency...he used to be my Bishop. :)

The new building is HUGE...biggest stake center I have been in, and I thought nothing could top the Birmingham stake center...I of course am not counting the tri-stake center in Mesa...

Anyways...strange to be home. But nice too. Dad made me my favorite meal that he makes...spaghetti and meatballs, using Grandma Madsen's meatball recipe (SO GOOD). And I had me a tuna sandwich using Dad's relish for lunch today...yummers...and we've already had Mom's cheese toast...I am fully expecting zucchini casserole next. :) And homemade root beer. YUM!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Made it...

Made good time today, even with stopping at the Big Texan (that tourist trap in Amarillo where they give you a 72 oz steak for free if you can eat it and the baked potato, salad and 3 giant shrimp in under 1 hour...a bunch of my friends have gone there as they were passing through, so I decided I needed to check it out...9 guys were all trying that 72 oz deal when I left...crazy people) for nearly 1 hour. It was nice to get a steak...I think I am low on iron, cause it tasted REALLY good and I wanted another one...

As soon as I got home, my sister calls me and asks if I would like to go to a friends wedding reception. He went to our ward and was in the cello section with me in high school, so of COURSE I wanted to go! :) It was kinda fun seeing everyone there.

I am living amongst the car halfway's amazing how much easier unpacking my car is...but then again, I don't have 2 flights of stairs to walk up and down between my room and my car...nor do I have 99% humidity outside here in NM. Anyways, I am already getting things moved out (Dad's old computers) and am thinking about moving the room around a bit...I suppose I better get the rest of the stuff out of my car first...but that can wait til Monday.

SO excited about sleeping in MY bed...I hope I sleep better tonight than I did last night...I had some wacko dreams last night, and had the hardest time staying asleep...but I am writing off the extra ounce of sleeplessness to be due to the Dr. Peppers I drank (I had a LOT of caffeine in my system) and being in a strange room...

Anyways...night ya'll.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I am OK and am in OK...haha...I just came up with that all on my own.

I know, I should stay as far away from comedy as a profession as possible.

Got a late start, but being a night owl, it didn't make a difference to me. The drive has been pretty much totally uneventful. I still hate Memphis with a passion, and try to spend as little time as possible there, but of course I hit rush hour traffic the Friday of a holiday weekend...yeah, I was fuming after a bit...

I got the hook up on a hotel room! I didn't even ask for it, but it has a microwave AND a fridge...too bad I don't have anything to put into either...and there is this ginormous bed in it! I really think it's a California King...too firm for my taste, but I am really looking forward to sprawling...I have been sleeping on a twin which is SO not long enough for me...

So...I've been expecting gas prices to go up, due to the oil spill AND being that this is Memorial Day weekend...has anyone noticed that they have gone down? I noticed that in 'Bama...

And then I get into Oklahoma. I seriously need to consider moving here. Gas is $2.23 where I filled up last. That's 35 cents cheaper than it was in Alabama...the lady who was filling up next to me said that last week they were 50 cents higher...Seriously, why are gas prices going down? Is the economy finally leveling out or something? Do we have a surplus of gasoline?

I thought of one more thing I am going to miss as I was driving along. This car was up beside me for a bit, and I looked over right when the front passenger looked at me, and he smiled and nodded his head, and so did I. I LOVE Southern manners and hospitality. There is nothing like it in any other part of the country that I have been to. I will miss that. I won't miss false know when someone is being polite when they really are angry and want to say something else entirely...I think people should be honest, but in a respectful way...anyways, I will miss true Southern hospitality a lot...

Anyways...I am safe. I had a good dinner, there are cops EVERYWHERE, so even if I wanted to speed I wouldn't, but I have kept within 5 mph of the speed limit the entire time (which is something close to a miracle for me), and am staying far away from scary drivers.

Night ya'll...(yep, already missing Alabama...)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Home Alabama

Things I will/won't miss about Alabama:

Will: Lightning Bugs...they are just so fun!
Won't: Any other kind of bug that grows to ginormous sizes here.

Will: GREAT BBQ, GREAT Fried Chicken, GREAT Fried Fish.
Won't: Most other Southern cuisine due to the fact that pretty much all of it is either fried or dripping with fat...

Will: Green grass that grows everywhere without watering it. And all the beautiful flowers...the hydrangea bushes are astoundingly beautiful right now. And in the fall, the turning of the leaves!
Won't: Allergies.

Will: Having FOUR seasons (as opposed to Arizona...which has Summer One, Summer Two, and the short period that falls under spring-like weather).
Won't: Winter.

Will: The rivers that are actually rivers (not creeks like we have in AZ and NM) and the natural lakes (unlike all the man made lakes back west).
Won't: Massive amounts of rainfall that cause flooding that the South is prone to...

Will: Trees...massive trees, and they are everywhere...and they just grow, you don't have to plant or water them!
Won't: Hurricanes, tornados, and thunderstorms...they are scary enough on their own, but the idea of the wind and rain knocking over one of these massive trees onto me, my house or my car scares me A LOT. The sound of a falling tree is one that still haunts me whenever it is stormy outside...

Will: Alabama Football and tailgating. Rolllllllll Tide Roll!!!
Won't: The traffic that goes with Alabama Football.

Will: Driving with my windows down during the spring and fall.
Won't: Walking outside or opening the door to get out of the car and my sunglasses fogging up due to the humidity that just slammed me in the face.

Will: The Gulf Coast beaches...beautiful beautiful beaches...
Won't: Oil spills.

Will: The beautiful Southern accents. Love them.
Won't: Not being able to understand certain Southern accents.

Will: All my friends that I have made here...I am truly going to miss them. Today was tough for me, saying goodbye to a bunch of my Tuscaloosa friends. I seriously was given two honest to goodness job offers today so that I would stay. Both by good friends.
Won't: Being so far away from my family. And not having a date in...well, let's just say it has been a very long time.

I will be on my way to Oklahoma City tomorrow morning, and then Saturday will get to my parents home in NM. Goodbye Alabama. Hello new chapter in my life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ah Lee...

Well, I can't say I am surprised about Lee winning, however much I wanted Crystal to win. I tried calling both lines just to see how busy things were with the voting last night, and all of Lee's lines were constantly giving me a busy signal, whereas Crystal's I got through 4 out of 5 times...I called about 30 times for her before I got tired of hitting the buttons on my phone.

I thought he was good and deserved the win. I took a listen to the demo of his single on itunes, and I liked it even better than his live performance. I guess they got rid of having them sing a new song as the hit single they first put out, since he did a cover of U2's 'Beautiful Day'. Like the song, and he sounds good on it.

One of my favorite things about the two finalists was that they were both very humble. For some people, this is the thing that they hated most about this one was out for blood, no one was trying to win this no matter what the cost. There was no controversy stirring up ratings. But this is exactly what I loved the most about the contestants this year. It really was refreshing, as opposed to other 'reality' shows where the contestants don't get along, back bite each other, and even try to sabotage one another. American Idol, for the most part, isn't like that. The contestants didn't forget where they came from, and it's obvious that they will stay that way. That's one thing I really like about David Cook (American Idol winner 2 years ago)...I voted for him, he won, and he has not forgotten where he came from. He does tons of charity work for cancer research, due to losing his brother to it. He has stayed close to his family, and far away from controversy. And here he is, still recording and doing very well. Love it. It is too bad that he wasn't able to attend would think that the charity event could've been rescheduled to a day or two later so that he could attend tonight...he was the only American Idol winner that wasn't there tonight.

But Lee. Lee is a funny one. One thing that did bug me about him was that he didn't move comfortably around the the weeks went on, he got better and better at it though. I really hope now that he has won this that he will be coached up on stage presence by an experienced teacher. The 'deer in headlights' look still comes back every once in a while. And the man needs to learn how to smile! He hardly ever smiled, and when he did, there usually weren't any teeth showing.

I do like his voice, and I think he will do well. I think Crystal will become a bigger star, but who knows. I have been wrong before.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crystal vs Lee

Yes, I am still moving, but I took time to watch the essentials on TV tonight. Is there anyone else in the world that isn't happy that American Idol and NCIS are on at the exact same time Tuesday nights?

I watched NCIS live...didn't really feel like a season finale, felt like a normal show. I was expecting a LOT more intensity, but after that Grey's Anatomy finale I don't think any show will be catching up for a long time...yes, I watch entirely too much TV in the evenings.

Anyways, I got online and watched Crystal and Lee perform all three of their songs. Thank you youtubers...

After last week, I was leaning towards Lee winning, but Crystal hands down was the best tonight. She totally blew Lee out of the water. Black Velvet was AMAZING. And like Simon said, that one is difficult to really pull off. She really pulled out all the stops tonight.

I think I am the only one voting. Right at midnight, all of a sudden every call I make goes through. Ryan Seacrest said the lines were open for 4 hours, and I always wait an hour at the least before I cast a vote...either everyone got the wrong message, or Lee is going to win. I won't mind if he does, but based on tonight's performance, Crystal won. Hands down.

Ok, back to packing. least it's easier this time...half my stuff was still in boxes when I started Monday. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


I am moving to Albuquerque, NM for a few months until I land a teaching position in the fall.

The move will be sometime next week. Not sure what day yet...

I would prefer to get a job in AZ, but anywhere within a hours drive of at least one family member would work...yes, I am even looking at Utah. Ugh.

No I have not graduated, but there is still a chance for that.

I have discovered that I already have the credentials to teach at a community college with all the graduate courses I have taken, and I really think that it is a MUCH better fit for me than teaching at a university anyways. At least, for right now it is.

Yes, I am extremely happy to finally be moving on with my life. More like relieved. It's been a long time coming.

Ta dah!

So...what book on tape should I get for the trip back? It will be a 2 day trip, and YES, I am a big girl and am driving solo. I will probably stop in Oklahoma City and then finish out the trip the next day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Carpul Tunnel

I believe that my carpul tunnel problem has resurfaced. Why? I have absolutely NO idea. I have been practicing my cello lately, but not that much. The area just underneath my left thumb is seriously hurting though, and my thumb started going numb within the last hour...


So, the black hand brace has made his glorious return. I will be sleeping with him tonight. (gosh, that sounds a bit scandalous, doesn't it?) Perhaps I am sleeping weirdly or something...anyways.

Announcement coming soon. Don't hold your breath, cause it's not that soon. And it's not all that big.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Spent the entire evening yesterday at the movie theater. I got the hook up! It was's been a LONG time since I've drunk that much soda!

K, my reviews:

Letters to Juliet

I liked it. The movie joked about this story (Amanda Seyfried plays a writer who chronicles the journey she makes with the lady looking for her true love) making people want to go to Italy. Well, I too want to go to Verona, Italy now. I could've used a letter from Juliet a time or two. The one thing that I did NOT like was the very end. The lines were over the top cheesy, and the song they used at the end just didn't feel right...I really was expecting it to go back into the Taylor Swift song, but oh well...too bad I wasn't the music producer on this film. ;)

I loved the woman playing the grandmother, Vanessa Redgrave. She looked SO much like the late Natasha Richardson, and even sounded like her with the exact same English accent...I was astonished to find out that Vanessa was not only her mother, but also Joely Richardson's mother. Talk about an acting family. Their grandfather also was a renowned actor (Goodbye, Mr. Chips was one movie he was in that I recognized) and was even knighted! Anyways, I loved her performance, and after reading up on her I appreciated it even more so. This movie had a good bit of tragedy in it, which Vanessa in her real life has had recently, losing Natasha last year, and then two siblings within the last month or about relating to your character...I believe her love life even somewhat resembles the story in this movie, but I am not too sure about that.

There were parts of the movie where it felt quite awkward, but it made the situation more realistic, which I really liked...of course, until the very end...not so much that it ruins the movie, but it seems like that ending should be a lot better, and that their test audiences would've clued them into it...anyways, go see it...the story overall is lovely.

K, now for Robin Hood...

I liked it. The story line of the tale is changed up a bit, which I found interesting. And they left it open for a sequel at the end, which totally surprised me.

I loved that Robin Hood wasn't this young, know it all, totally sure of himself character. They really humanized the character in this film, made him seem believable.

I don't mind telling you this, cause we all know the story of Robin Hood: they didn't bring King Richard back at the end...pretty much all versions of the Robin Hood story have King Richard making his triumphal entry, throwing down his petty brother John back to the pig sty where he belongs, and they all live happily ever after. At least, the 'fairytale' ones that I have read and seen. This movie was an explanation of how Robin Hood became 'Robin Hood', the outlaw, and how he and his group of merry men came together and how he and Marian met and fell in love. I liked it. Of course, John did succeed Richard in reality, but not before Richard returned to England after the crusades, so...who knows if they will do a sequel or not to this movie.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Just Wright and Baseball

Went to see the Queen Latifah flick 'Just Wright'...totally predictable, but quite clean...rated PG and it was appropriate...and it was good, I liked it.

The best part about watching this movie was that my party were pretty much the only white people watching it...the comments that were being made about the movie were precious...

I was SUPPOSED to be at the Braves game tonight. But the people I was going with bailed due to the fact that there was a chance of rain. (not a drop came down from what I have read so far at the game). Now, if it was an 80% chance of rain during the entire game, and the radar was a big glob of green, yellow and red all over the Atlanta area, I wouldn't go cause it would be a rain delayed game. BUT there were two splotches of green that were in North Atlanta, not central where the ballpark is...and they showed up and then disappeared, like a normal thunderstorm in Arizona.

Yeah...AND they were playing the Diamondbacks.

Not. Happy.

Braves won, and evidently it was a good game, except the D-Backs bullpen wasn't up to par...they are having serious troubles...I am a D-backs fan, followed closely by Red Sox, Braves and Kansas City...I support ANY team playing the Yankees...

Anyways...I need some men in my life. Ones that will sit through the rain to watch a baseball game. Any takers?

I am a bit miffed, but the people that I were going to go with brought a peace offering at the movie...they snuck in ice cream. :) They got me chocolate. So I can't be too mad at them.

Tomorrow going to see Letters to Juliet and maybe Robin Hood...I know, a double-header...:) I am a bit of a movie junkie, what can I say? :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol

K, so...this is very much like two years ago for me...David Cook, David Archuleta and the other guy who's name I cannot even recall. The David's...both were good, and I would be happy with either of them winning the whole thing. But Mr. What's His Name? I was wanting him voted off FOREVER ago. And yet he was still there. Thankfully, he ended up in third place and went far far away...David Cook was my vote for winning, but if Archuleta had won I would've been fine with it.

This year, it's Crystal, Lee...and then there's Casey. Now, I am with all the other women that are madly voting for Casey, along with Kara...he is very good looking. But seriously people? You voted MICHAEL off...while singing an MJ HIT...Michael, who has got some mad singing skills. Please, someone, sign him up for one HUGE contract, cause he is officially good.

I am leaning towards Crystal for the winner, with Lee in second. But, if either of those two win, I will be happy. That duet they did was AMAZING...kinda slow at first, but my goodness, by the end they were about to knock down the house. I hope they do a duet on a future CD.

If Casey gets past next week...I just hope I don't have anything breakable within my reach...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blog List

I finally finished adding my blog list to this blog, and will be deleting the lists on the other one in just a moment...I think I have everyone. I left off those of you that have not updated for over a year, with an exception or two.

If your blog is not on my list and we are friends or if I misspelled your name (sorry, I tried to double check spellings...) please leave me a comment pointing out my mistake!

Also, I figured out how to import the old blog, so I will be deleting all the posts on the other day I will start using that one for music theory musings...:)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Angel Moms

I have, over the years, accumulated a number of amazing women who I consider as true mother figures to me. Church leaders, best friends Mom's, Aunts, friends, coworkers, etc...I count myself very lucky in this, because I know people who never have had a real mother figure, let alone a Mom, involved in their life. I would like to talk about a few mothers who have touched my life.

My primary and young women leaders...I considered all of them mother figures. Most especially my Young Women's president. Outside of my own family, I look forward to seeing her most when I make a visit to my home ward. She helped teach all of us the importance of going to and marrying in the temple. She helped each of us complete our Personal Progress, and taught us important Gospel principles...she was a miracle worker.

In college, the Bishopric's wives, the women in our Relief Society, and the older sister missionaries at the institute all became our mothers, as most of us were away from our own. The sister missionaries would pull out the sewing machines and patch our clothes for us, would cook lunch when we needed it, would be our tutors, would really step into a motherly role for all of us. They made college so much less stressful, and we all are in debt to them.

Here in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa and Northport wards...I feel like all those women in those wards became a mother to me. It's funny, when a young man broke up with me, nearly all the women rallied around me, and even offered to give that young man a good talking too. :) I didn't realize until that moment how much those women cared about me. Of course, I didn't ask them to do that, but I very much appreciated them showing their love to me by 'defending my honor', so to speak, in that way. :) These women that I have had the privilege to serve with in the Stake Young Women and the other auxiliaries...they are all just amazing women and wonderful examples to me, and they took care of me while I am away from my Mommy.

My Aunts...I can't say enough about them. I LOVE my Aunts, on both sides of my family. Talking with them is like talking with my best friends. They really love me, and I really truly love them. They keep me in check, too. They don't let me get away with ANYTHING...:) and I love them all the more for it. They care for me and what happens in my life. My cousins and my cousins wives are all such wonderful examples to me of good mothers, and I count them all as my friends. I love them all so much!

My grandma's, both of which passed away quite a few years ago now...I love them so much. My Grandma Madsen came to visit quite a few times, and we went and visited her. One of my favorite memories with her is going down the hill from her house and getting ice cream when she didn't tell our parents. :) And sneaking us out to go see a movie...I think it was Hocus Pocus! I loved her very much. She and Grandpa had the most amazing garden in the backyard, and these HUGE citrus trees. I loved going into the garden with her and picking the treasures that we would find...especially those yellow pear tomatoes. YUM!!! My Grandma Raisor is who I am named after, she went by the name of Beth. She was as sweet and lovely and angelic as a person can be. I think that's where my Mom gets her characteristics from. She had the most beautiful hands. She made homemade dolls, and everytime we went to visit we were able to pick ONE doll that we could take home with us. She would take me into her lap and say 'you know you are my namesake'. It was tough when she forgot who I was before she died, but I remember a rare lucid moment when she remembered who I was. I will never forget the feeling of love and gratitude that filled the room that moment. It's one of my most treasured memories. My step-Grandma, Connie...she was a wonderful light in my life. We were lucky to have each other while I lived in Arizona. She took care of me, and I took care of her. I am so happy Grandpa married her. She is a great addition to our family. I truly mourned her when she passed away...I will miss watching the Diamondbacks win (we stopped watching the game when they were losing), singing along with the Music Man, or just sitting in front of the Christmas tree as the lights made a dazzling March...:). She was a great part of my life.

My best friends...I can't say enough about them. I prayed for them for years, and I got them at pretty much the same time. It's been amazing seeing Julie with her babies...she is just an amazing example of being a devoted mother and a wife. Becky has such a strong desire to be a mother, and I can't wait for the day when her dream will come true, which hopefully will be soon!

My sister, though not a mother yet, is one of the most wonderful mother figures I have. That might sound a bit strange, since she is my baby sister, but she was the good daughter. :) She got away with everything, her being the baby and all, but she really has almost always been the one that my parents never had to worry about. She's responsible, loving, logical, hilarious, concerned about my well being, can make friends with pretty much anyone or anything except for maybe certain kinds of dogs, talkative, great team player, organized, fun, spiritual, down to earth, and all sorts of other wonderful things. She will be an amazing mother one day, and I know this because in many ways she takes amazing care of me. :)

But first and foremost, of course, is my own angel mom...she truly is an angel sent from God. There have been many times in my life that I have thought that my Mom's main mission here on this Earth was to bring me into it and to help me survive it. I can't imagine being in this world without my dear sweet Mom. Gosh, I am tearing up writing this. For her patience, her forbearance, for her unending endurance, for staying up until midnight so many Sunday nights so we can make a Walmart run to get the needed supplies for the school project that was due the next day, and by so doing teaching me to keep the Sabbath day holy, for putting up with my ridiculousness, for teaching me the Gospel, for starting my love affair with music, for opening my eyes to all things beautiful, for teaching me to forgive as quickly as possible, for forcing me to brush my hair, my teeth, for all the eye drops she had to force in my eyes as they were swelling shut, for kissing all my boo-boos, for loving me no matter what...I can never repay her for what she has given me. If you don't know her, you need to. She was the best playmate I ever had, she comes up with the funniest things to say or sing, she somehow survived me being a teenager and is still surviving me now by some miracle...she made home a loving and spiritual place to be. I was so lucky to get to spend my childhood with her. She made the world a magical, whimsical fantasy. I count myself lucky that she still takes my phone calls. :) She never knows what she will get from the other side, and I am so grateful for her patiently listening when the tears are flowing and my voice is cracking and 3 octaves higher than normal and then lovingly saying 'okay, you need to say that again because I didn't understand one word'. :)

She. Is. The. Best. Mommy. Ever.

To all of you who have been mothers to me, I wish you a very heartfelt thank you. And to all of you mothers, and I mean all mothers, including future ones and those that are 'mothers to others', Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Iron Man 2

I got to see Iron Man 2 last night, and I really liked it. I actually kinda liked it better than the first one. I loved the villain, and I thought it was a shame that they killed him off in this movie...they should've carried him on for at least another movie.

Anyways, go see it. I approve.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Temple Work

Saturday I went to the temple to do the baptism and confirmation for Maritza, my Uncle Tom's wife, who died about 10 years ago I believe. It was really a special experience.

It's a unique thing for me to do temple work for family members...I have generation upon generation of family members on both sides in the church, and many of those did their genealogy and got the temple work done for them already. So to have someone in the family that close to me...who I knew! was a neat experience.

When I walked into the office to retrieve the card, I didn't realize that I had a huge smile on my face...the ladies all commented on it, and so I had to explain who she was...I really felt quite happy and peaceful, and I really believe she accepted the baptism and that she was finally able to see our family who have already passed on once again. What a happy reunion!! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I was officially released today as stake YW secretary...sad day...

I really really enjoyed this calling. Getting to know all the Young Women in the stake was a real treat...made me feel a little younger when I was with them. I earned the nickname 'Twizzler' from carrying around a bucket of Twizzlers at camp last year, making sure that everyone got one...and I mean EVERYONE...I would hunt down people and make sure that they each got the option of having one.

I hated camp as a young women, but going to camp last year was a real treat. Hanging out with the young women and all the leaders was just a lot of fun.

Sad, sad was kinda sweet though...the stake president was visiting our ward today, and when he got up, he had me stand up and he said 'it is with great reluctance that we are releasing Sister Madsen'...good to know that I did something right.

This isn't an indication that I have a moving date...I don't. This is just a preemptive measure before I really do move...

I think I am still going to do all the Personal Progress stuff though...I want to get the new medallion, and I already started working on the new Personal Progress book...wouldn't it be funny if the Bishop of my singles ward in Arizona presented me with the Young Womanhood Recognition Award? :)