Friday, March 28, 2008

Disturbing Truths

In a bit of a departure from my usual entries, here’s a small glimpse into my thought process – a practice I usually keep under lock and key...

Voyeur (voi-yur) noun. A person who derives sexual gratification from observing the sexual acts of others (The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed. , pg. 912) a.k.a. Peeping Tom or your basic all around pervert. Unfortunately, it’s also the Not-Too-Distant Cousin of the “Blog-Stalker.”

While I can’t say that people are deriving “sexual gratification” from Blog-Hooping/Stalking (I hope), nor are bloggers generally displaying lewd acts on their posts (Perez Hilton excluded), there is something eerily satisfying about spying on people through their blogs. This isn’t a new phenomenon; many of us are familiar with the excitement of spying on old boyfriends and former BFFs on MySpace and Facebook, but the blogs are somehow much more intimate. AND because they’re more difficult to find, its exhilarating to stumble across people from your long forgotten past – especially when their links include a treasure chest of others from the good ‘ol days (or those days better buried and repressed, depending on one's life experience). Either way, it’s addicting and could easily develop into an obsession.

A friend* recently recounted the sort of surreal and slightly uncomfortable experience of meeting a couple for the first time, but having already read all about them via their blog (because they are friends of a friend, etc). How awkward! Do you immediately come clean with this new acquaintance or do you silently go through the “getting-to-know-you” steps and conversations without informing this new friend that you already know where they went to school, when they got married, what they do for a living, where they’ve been vacationing, etc.? In her blog my friend* mused that this occurrence probably is happening more than people are ready to admit and it will likely increase as more people seek to immortalize themselves via virtual journaling. Interesting. Will blog-stalking develop the same (albeit well deserved) stigma as voyeurism? The phenomenon is still in its infancy, but it’s very possible, and it should be interesting to see.

Anyway, today’s post was inspired in part by my friend’s experience and by my hitting blogging gold this morning: an old boyfriend, old church “friends” and the like. I’m pretty excited. I’ve yet to assess the full value of this find, although my estimations are enough to keep me distracted from getting any real work done. However, as I assessed my excitement, I was a little disturbed by how much I was enjoying spying on these people who I haven’t spoken to in years (and whom I still avoid like the plague when I’m visiting home). I recently ran into said ex-boyfriend and couldn’t even say a simple hello. Here I was thinking I was a mature, confident adult, but apparently I’m still very much a shy, self-conscious teenager; how... depressing. However, to my defense, I can say that I’ve been happily humbled by the fact that most of these people have grown into (as far as I can tell) responsible, decent individuals (not the disgusting, rotten, and mean hypocrites I remember from high school), and I am truly happy for their happiness. AND I don’t wish vengeance and ill-health on them, like I thought I might. (I was(am?) a disgusting, rotten, mean hypocrite too after all.)

I hope that comparing blog-stalking to voyeurism helps me curb my developing obsession, but I will likely still relish the moment of excitement in finding new people from my past. I don’t know that I’d like to meet someone I’ve “met” already via blog, but if/when it happens, I’ll at least have an interesting story to about.

The End. Future posts will continue with the usual recounts and pictures of daily activities.

*I use the term “friend” loosely because, well, she feels like a friend, even though I’ve technically never actually hung out with her. I’ve logged my time though, as I’ve spent much time reading about her on her blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yeah for Branding!

Wow - two family posts in a row! Well, I thought I'd publicly congratulate Amelia and Hudd on their new site, blog, and amazing branding (build with the aid of the ever talented Scott Windes). I'm pretty sure anyone reading this either is family, or knows Amy and Hudd fairly well, so this is probably old news, but if a rare stranger stumbles across this blog, I'll first explain that Amy and Hudd are some first rate photographers. History: Kenny and I asked Hudd to shoot our wedding while he was still at Art Center. He agreed (although I know it really stressed him out), and with Amy's help we got some pretty amazing photos - and $aved a bundle; thanks again, guys! Anyway, in assisting Hudd, Amy decided to pursue photography professionally and has since developed into the ever-amazing, mind-blowing, beautiful photographer she is and as of yesterday she finally got her new site up and running. It's been in the works for quite some time, but she's a perfectionist (which is probably why her photos are so stunning) so it's taken awhile to get everything just right. So be sure to check out the links to the right, and get ready for some eye-candy like you've never seen. (Unless of course, you already have.) Congrats again, guys, it looks sooooo good and I can't wait for our next shoot.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't Be Frightened...

So, I realized that I talk a lot about Kenny and I, but seldom do I mention our families, particularly mine. Well my little brother recently had a birthday and I thought I could give him a formal introduction here. His name is Jeffrey Ryan Nielsen (a.k.a. Ryan). He lives in Provo, UT and works at a mental hospital where he has had the opportunity to collect some amazing (and often disturbing and gross) stories. He's an upstanding young man who enjoys philosophical discussion, occasional forays into vegetarianism, and (heterosexual) time spent with his roommate, Adam, who is apparently our dad's distant cousin. Ryan's interesting, nice, funny, personable, and slightly off-beat/eccentric, which I LOVE. As a testament to his goodness, I used to make him wear dresses and call him Maria, but he forgave me, I think. I'd say we're pretty good friends overall.

Anyway, I was at a movie on Friday night when I got a text from Ryan:

"I just dropped it like it's hot on Leslie Hall."

That's it. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the awesome-ness that is Leslie Hall, I highly recommend you watch "Gem Sweater" on YouTube.) Well Ryan and Adam had the privilege of attending Leslie's show in Utah and got "up close and personal with the performer," hence the text message. Awesome.

Ryan, I was going to get you your very own gem sweater for your birthday, but it looks like you beat me to it. While the sweater isn't as good as the dresses I used to make you wear, it looks pretty good. I'm glad you had a good time with Leslie Hall, and Happy (belated) Birthday. Love you!

Ryan, Leslie Hall, and Adam

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'll bet you didn't know Kenny was going to be famous...

So For the last two weeks I've been more or less home alone. Kenny just returned from a trek to Utah where he was doing "dress parties" with his mom and sister, where they sold a killing! (Good job, babe!) The week before that he went on a "boys trip" to Mammoth with eight professional photographers. I'll digress for a moment to vent a little about this Boys Trip. It was only a boys trip because most of them have wives...and kids, which means the wife had to stay with the kids, hence a boys trip. So I essentially was punished because everyone else (exaggerating) had kids. Am I bitter! You bet! The weekend before they left, it DUMPED in Mammoth - like, 40 inches dumped AND it was amazing weather. Kenny would call me at the end of the day and say things like, "You know how tiring it is to ride powder? Well I've been doing that ALL DAY...I'm beat. Plus the's so hot!" Yeah. Nothing like rubbing it in. He's lucky I even wanted him to come home after insensitive comments like that.

Anyway, because he was the only non-photographer on the trip, Kenny became everyone's model, which means I have TONS of great pictures of my hot husband. Lots have been posted on the photographers' respective blogs, so I pulled a bunch for your viewing pleasure. (To give proper credit to the talented artists, the photographers were Nick Onken, Mike Norwood, Justin Lyon, Fred Egan, Sean Flanigan, Nate Kaiser, Matt Sloan, and Kyle Barnes in no particular order - check out their websites and blogs for some truly amazing and inspiring photography)

The Crew

On a related note, many know our fabulous brother in law, Hudd (Justin). Well there was so much (supposedly soft) snow piled up next to their cabin that they though it would be fun to jump off the roof. Well after three days, Hudd decided to go for it, but just off the porch. I don't know how to embed videos on this yet, so here's a photo (by Nate Kaiser of The Image is Found). I strongly urge you to you check this video out on you tube: "Justin's snow jump..." You won't be disappointed.