Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Calling All Lovers Of Fotobooths

Maybe it's the Asian pride in me or maybe it's just too much pinterest but I have an undying love of all fotobooths, even those itty bitty ones in the mall that only seat 1 1/2 people. So when Asia asked me to put together a guest sign in for Leslie's bridal shower all I could see was cheesy props and pictures in groups of three. Considering our limited supplies in Jerusalem I think it turned out really nicely. End product:

I might be a little proud, but mostly I'm completely stoked that this could actually work for my (distant) future wedding. Of course I'm planning a wedding without a boyfriend. Who needs a boy when you have pinterest? ...Don't answer that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy One Year Anniversary, Ling Ling!

When I started this blog, and all 800 of my journals, I didn't have any particular goals or any general audience in mind. In fact, I didn't even intend to tell people about my alternate persona 'Ling Ling'. You know, the alternate personality who admits how in love she is with her TAs, proudly proclaims her accomplishments across the internet, and thinks she is pretty funny... oh wait, that last one is me. I just meant to write about myself for myself and see where myself would lead me. And after a lifetime of failed journals and one surprisingly successful year of a blog, I have learned quite a lot about myself. I do not care at all about deadlines. I like lame jokes. I care about the real world...the one that exists outside of this Utah bubble. I take pictures. I overuse question marks and colons. I think my family is out-of-this-world hilarious. And lastly, but probably most importantly, I don't care enough about what I'm putting on the internet. Like my dream crush on Devin...totes not approp.

Of course, I guess I did tell a few people about my blog (but only out of honesty when directly asked the question 'do you have a blog?') and so I begun posting with only one goal in mind: entertainment. Maybe I've strictly adhered to this, maybe I haven't. In reference to my journal I once told a friend, "My general goal is to write something that someone will eventually want to read, so I throw in some dinosaurs here and there and call it a day. Historical accuracy? Not really a priority." I apply the same philosophy to my blog, hence the tagline "I reserve the right to exaggerate as much as possible". I sincerely hope you, whoever you are (my sources tell me mainly the continental US, Alaska, and Canada), have been entertained this year. I certainly have. And if you find this need was not met, just follow the links at the bottom of this post. I know plenty of entertaining internet treasure troves.

From some cute girls at BYU who I will probably recognize on campus and then have to pretend like I don't: http://awkwardgirls.blogspot.com/

This is a sophmore at BYU-I and she gets all her clothes thrifted alllllll the time. It's incredible. She's also inspiring me with her No-Make-Up-November: http://thriftedthings.blogspot.com/

You don't know this girl but I do and she is saucy:http://freethebody.blogspot.com/2010/10/shark-week.html

Friday, December 9, 2011


This is normally how I feel about Finals Week:
but this Finals Week I'm already partying!
I finished my last final this afternoon and lemme tell you IT FEELS SO GOOD. In celebration we spent another night at the Western Wall dancing and singing with the Jews as they welcomed in Shabbot. BEST END OF FINALS PERIOD. Now I have one week of homework-less Jerusalem and two weeks of Christmas bliss at home to look forward too. With only one week left, I'm feeling fairly ambivalent. I'm sad to leave one of the most incredible places on earth and all the family I've found here but I just know there are so many equally exciting and awesome things in my future, whatever they may be.

In the name of posterity I'll be posting all those things I was supposed to be blogging in November in the next few days but also saying I blogged them in November. Confused? Don't worry about it, just be checking posts in the month of November.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

C. S. Lovely

On the book list: Mere Christianity

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. That is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of [an] army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means” (Mere Christianity, 126)
Isn't that interesting?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Like People

Looking back at my Jerusalem posts, it's me and...me. I promise there were other people in Jerusalem I interacted with on a daily basis. They are some of my favorite people in the whole world, yes, all 82 of them. I lubba lubba you guys!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Separation Barrier

We traveled to Bethlehem some weeks ago (definitely just typed 'years'. It feels like it was years ago) to visit the grotto where Christ was supposedly born and also to visit Bethlehem university and hear from some of the Palestinian students there. Though Bethlehem is six miles south of Jerusalem it might as well be worlds away because of the Separation Barrier. Bethlehem is in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, and in 2006 the Israeli government built this wall to stop the Second Intifada and to prevent future terrorist attacks against the state of Israel. And while the wall accomplishes this goal it also prevents the Palestinians from accessing jobs, schools, universities, hospitals and family. Most importantly, it's a daily reminder that Palestinians are a people in bondage.

When we passed through the wall returning to Bethlehem a piece of graffiti on the Palestinian side stuck out to me. It was of a lion, the symbol of Judah, bloodied and violently spewing out "Welcome to Israel". Directly underneath was written the word "hypocrisy". On the Israeli side was a nice Board of Tourism advertisement with the same "Welcome to Israel" but this time accompanied by scenic views of Israel. At that moment I did feel terribly like a hypocrite. It's a feeling I hope I'll never forget.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


A very likely spot along the Jordan River where Christ was baptized.

That $12 entrance fee to the la-la-lame gladiator show (honey, all I needed was the Russel Crowe's version and I'm a happy girl) was all worth it for this chariot ride. I felt like I was riding the line between life and death and IT WAS AWESOME. Alas, all I got was this picture as I held on for dear life.

Oh Petra, how you remind me of Utah.

Come on, you recognize this scene from Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail! Don'tcha, don'tcha??

The Siq! It was sick!

This picture is really only cool to me. But to me it is REALLY cool.

Monday, November 7, 2011


One of the best things about being here Fall term is the abundance of fall Jewish holidays. Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles is a harvest holiday as well as a holiday meant to commemorate the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness as directed in the Leviticus chapter 23. Traditionally, the Israelites would build little huts to eat and sleep in during the week-long holiday. The rules are that the hut has to have at least two and a half walls, the roof has to be composed of organic material usually palm fronds and you have to be able to see at least three stars through the roof. I asked why the two and a half walls and occasionally-offensive-friend Tyler says it is because the Jews have a made-up religion with arbitrary rules. I told him to hush. Walking around the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is extra fun because during Sukkot because everyone puts up their little sukkahs.

The not-so-little sukkah at the Western Wall.

Home-made sukkah decorated with pomegranates! Pomegranates have a lot of symbolism to the Jews because of their numerous references in the Bible. They are said to contain 613 seeds after the number of commandments and are also representative of King David's reign, the priestly ephod and fruitfulness.

Hello, Western Wall! In the morning during Bar Mitzvah's:

In the extra-early morning on the last day of Sukkot:

Ultra-Orthodox Jews praying and davoning:
"Everyday I'm shukling, shukling..."

On the first 6 days of Sukkot the Jews take their etrog (lemon-like fruit) in one hand and their lulav (bouquet of a palm branch, two willow branches, and three myrtle branches) and wave them about to indicate that God is everywhere, rejoicing in the Lord. On the last day of Sukkot at sunrise the Jews take their lulav and beat it against the ground while praying. the leaves fall off the willow branches symbolizing the rainfall they pray for.

Isn't Judaism fun?

P.S. This was ages ago but who says I have to post things in order, or on time?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Unda' The Sea

Snorkeling in the Red Sea opened me to a whole new underwater world. Never knew what my life was missing all these years and now I know that it was a snorkel. Finding Nemo, here I come.

Yes, Moses did part this shiz . . . ok, OK that actually was the Reed Sea but a girl can dream.

Supposedly this is the 2nd best snorkel spot in THE WHOLE WORLD. Or so my roommate's travel book says, and I absolutely believe everything I read in a travel book.

Sailing is next on my list of 'things to discover'. Just call me Ferdinand Magellan.

If I had an underwater camera this blog would be PLASTERED with pictures of Dorys and Nemos and various marine wildlife but instead all you get are these pictures of me and friends. At least we're really good at taking pictures.

These are going in my portfolio. Call me if you need a swimsuit model and my secretary will schedule you in.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Saturday Stroll

So we have Sabbath on Saturday. I know...it throws my whole week off. In writing this blog I had to correct my use of Sunday three times. In any case, what I meant to say is Saturday is our Sabbath but after a whole week of classes no one wants to stay in the center all day, so we usually take a little Saturday stroll to one of my two favorite places. Plus the no-lunch-on-Sabbath policy is a little extra incentive to get out and forget my ravenous stomach. Saturdays are hard for me guys.

Number one is...the garden tomb! Though this might not be anywhere near where gur Good Lord was buried it's just such a beautiful spot to sit and think about the Atonement and Resurrection.

"He is not here for he is risen" - written on the door of the tomb.
Sometimes it's good to switch it up though so my other fav haunt is the Garden of Gethsemane. The actual garden is all fenced off and tourist-y and there is this huge church right in the middle of it. Lucky for us right across the street there is a smaller gated garden perfect for small groups trying to avoid tourists.

People sometimes put prayers into the olive trees. This isn't the Western Wall, people.

So recap: Garden Tomb or Garden of Gethsemane ere' Sabbath. NBD.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Millie

Today my (ex) roommate got herself hitched! I figure now that she's married I can finally post all the creeper phone pictures I've been dying to put up. Don't hate me Mela!

Amelia I am soooo happy for you and excited for your new life. Now that I know where you'll be living expect me to show up everyday next semester to hang out with you and hubby. It'll never get old. Promise. Love you tootsie!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oh hey, Tel Aviv, haaaaaaay!

Sunday day trip to Tel Aviv (September 15th 2011)!

Tel Aviv is like the Miami of Israel. Super liberal and extra pruuuuutty beaches.

Look Mom! I'm doing all my homework!

Jaffa, where Jonah was eaten by a whale.

I'm happy. God is good. I miss you all!

PS If you texted me because I begged you too and then I never replied, it's because I never received it. Better just email me! Saaawy!