Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Keep Trying; Keep Praying

 "No one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying."
 ~ Jeffrey R. Holland

I will not give up.

Maybe I'm foolish.

Maybe I'm crazy.

But I won't give up.

In me, deep inside, I believe Talea Studios can and will be successful.  I believe I can be successful in my music and writing.  I believe the games my brothers and I are working on can find an audience.

There's been bumps in the road with my family in accomplishing our Talea goals: Marriages, moving, new jobs, new families to support, serving missions, etc.  Normal stuff that can easily derail any dream and goal.  But even with bumps we are not giving up.  We all believe in Talea.

"Please don't nag yourselves with thoughts of failure.  Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve.  Simply do what you can do in the best way you know how, and the Lord will accept your effort."
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Though I must be honest with myself.  Have I done everything I can?  Am I working as hard as I should?  Is there a lot more I could be doing?  With these three questions I can easily answer a resounding yes.  There's a lot more I should and can be doing to help the business, and I will.  I've been aimless and unfocused.  I haven't worked as hard as I should.  But here's the nice thing about life, it's not over till it's over, and I plan to live a long time, if God permits.

I'm recommitting myself to my goals and projects.

Recommitting myself to my family's goals.

By the end of the year I will have music to post online.  I'm not giving a date here, as I don't know how long this process will take, and I want to learn mastering and mixing music, so there's going to be a learning curve.  I've been meaning to learn mixing and mastering, but put it off.  And it would be good if I learn how to edit videos, so I'm not so dependent on my brothers.

And there's some other projects I won't talk about until they're close to or at completion, which will be awhile for some of these projects as there are learning curves for these projects as well.  But by the end of the year--hopefully by mid Autumn!--I'll be able to start sharing some of these things.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm Back From Orlando! Visiting 4 Disney Parks in 8 Months

I've been back a couple days now.  Flew back Monday morning, June 13th, at 6:15 am after pulling a 2nd all-nighter in one week.  The first all-nighter was between June 6th and 7th, in which the flight to Orlando left at 11:55pm on Monday, the red eye.  I wanted to take a nap that day in preparation, but didn't find time.  And then I tried to sleep on the plane, but there was so much turbulence I couldn't.  I even listened to Gregorian chants!  That didn't give my the zzz's.  It was that night Tropical Storm Colin made landfall, and we landed during lightening and heavy turbulence.  Seeing lightning in the clouds, dancing at eye level, was both majestic and terrifying. By the time I made it to bed on the 7th, after spending an eventful day at the Magic Kingdom, I had been awake for 38 hours, braking my 36 hr. record during my Sophomore year of High School.  I was up for 29 hours between the 12th and 13th.

To say the least I'm still recuperating.  I can't pull all-nighters like I did back in college, and I just managed two in one week.  But it was sure worth it!!

I went on this trip with just my Mom, and during those 6 days I visited the Magic Kingdom twice, Epcot twice, and both Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios once.

And all of this after visiting Tokyo Disney Sea last October, Disneyland last November, and Disneyland Paris last April.  That's 4 Disney parks in 8 months.  A childhood dream I never thought I could accomplish.  If by some miracle I could visit the Disney parks in Hong Kong and China before October I would have visited all Disney parks in one year.  That's not happening, but it would be cool.

And about the Orlando shooting Sunday morning, I was greatly saddened when I heard about it after waking, as everyone has been saddened about it, and are still sad.  I'm praying for all those affected and pray they can find peace.

It was interesting visiting the Magic Kingdom that day.  Security sent more people through the metal detectors then normal.  And I saw more security during the parades.  Overall I felt quite safe.  I've since heard that the shooter was scouting Disney Spring (Downtown Disney) as a possible target last April, which is right next to the Holiday Inn I was staying in; my hotel room had a nice view over the area.

But now I'm back home.  And my year of crazy travel has come to an end.  Back to work and all the wonderful Talea projects I've got lined up.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Don't Place Limits On Yourself

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life.  There are no limits.  There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."

~ Bruce Lee 
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Read more at:
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Read more at:
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Read more at:
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Read more at:
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Read more at:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blue Apron Meal Service Review

I've been doing Blue Apron for the last several months, so I have a pretty good feel for it now.  There are two meal plans, one for 4 people (4 servings per meal), in which one or two shipments are sent out with two meals each, so there's an option for 2-4 meals a week at $69.92 a shipment.  There's only 4 meal options a week per family plan.  There's also a couples plan, meals with two servings, that send out three meals a week at around $10 a serving, and there are six meals to choose from each week.

My experience is only with the family meal plans.

Each shipment comes with every food item perfectly portioned for each recipe in bags and bottles.  There's ice packs and a bag that keeps everything cold.  If you're worried about recycling, everything is either recyclable or biodegradable.

The meals are hit and miss.

I've learned a lot, such as I don't like cat fish or goat cheese or lamb.

But I've learned a lot about cooking.  The instructions are easy to follow, and the dishes I've made looks a lot like the picture, which is incredible.  Also, the ingredients are always fresh.  All the meat have no hormones or antibiotics.

The meals may be pricey, but I see them as at home cooking classes that have quality ingredients and serve 4 people.  Most of the time I feel like the servings are a good size.  Sometimes we have leftovers.

I still don't understand why they give us eight asparagus for 4 people.

 The recommended cooking time NEVER works out for me.  When I first started the meals it took four times the recommended amount, sometimes taking 2 hours to cook a meal.  I'm getting faster, but I'm still not within an hour.  The prep time takes the longest, especially when I have to mince stuff, particularly garlic or ginger.  By the way, minced ginger smells awesome.

 My prep almost looks like the picture!

 There's a point in the cooking process where it feels like everything is running away from me, and I'm doing some crazy juggling to get it finished and not burnt.

 This udon meal tasted awesome.

 And I loved this salmon meal!

Overall Blue Apron makes cooking less intermediating, and there are many meals I would love to make again, I just need to figure out where I can find white miso paste and snap pea tips.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Captain America: Civil War, mini movie review

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Captain America has been at the forefront of comic book controversy, and as I have strong feelings about a "certain" reveal, which I'll briefly discuss later, this review isn't about that, though it's been on my mind.

Captain America is my favorite superhero.  It might be because I bleed red, white, and blue, but it is his moral courage I love.  His bravery to walk alone for something he strongly believes in.  He's the American ideal that many of us now crave, and that many of our ancestors fought, and in some cases (even in my own family tree) sacrificed their lives for.

When I was a kid I was a DC girl, loving Batman and Superman, going back and forth between them (well, that last movie they were in put a nail in the Superman Batman coffin ), but now . . . (I was going to say my heart belongs to Captain America, but it's not mentally healthy to give your heart to a fictional character), I really respect him.  He's a swell guy, and Captain America: Civil War does him justice.

Civil War feels like an off shoot Avengers movie, only the other Avengers play side characters between the war brewing between Steve and Tony.

There's an International treaty of sorts they must sign; every superhero must decide if they want to be held accountable to a UN like group, dictating what battles they may or may not fight, or they must go into retirement.  There's no alternative.  (And this is where I get frustrated), there are many in the World who fear the Avengers because of how many civilians  die in each battle.  These "vigilantes" cause more harm then good. (So the alternative is to let villains destroy more property, kill more people, and perhaps entrap the entire human race into slaves (a la Loki)?  Yeah, that makes sense.  It's sad when some people die, but isn't a few thousand better than millions or billions?  Seriously.  The root of the problem is the villains.  They destroy.  And good luck getting them to sign an agreement.  Each time the boardroom scene in this movie comes up, and the superheroes are crying tears of regret over all the people they've killed, my Mom and I look at each other and roll our eyes.  Look at all the good that's been done, lives saved, the alien race that didn't go through the space portal in the Avengers movie.  Seriously, it's not rocket science.  Drives me crazy.  I don't mean to be cavalier, lives and civilians need to be protected, always, but the fact that the villains weren't mentioned and completely got a pass is not cool. All the deaths were purely the falt of the heroes. Off my soap box.)

And it is this peace treaty of sorts--a peace treaty by those saving peace--that divides Captain America and Iron Man, plus all the other heroes spread about.

Oh, and Captain America's dear friend Bucky is running around possibly causing mayhem.  Or is he?  Steve Rogers must find out.

Overall I love Captain America Civil War, despite my grievances over logic.  There's a lot of jumping around from scene to scene, but thankfully the screen flashes whatever city they are in to help maintain some flow, unlike a certain Batman vs. Superman that jumps around and feels like a stack of moving Polaroids.

There are two new superheros introduced in this movie: One we've seen many times and another getting his first major screen debut.  For a movie jammed full of superheroes, these two characters were introduced well, and I'm glad to see them in the MCU.

So far I've seen this movie twice, and can easily see it many more times.  And all my friends who have seen it love this movie.

I'm relieved Civil War treated Captain America with respect.

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

(Now on to the comic book plot point I hinted at . . . stop reading now if you don't want the plot spoiled.  Honestly I don't follow the comic plots, besides my binges reading wikipedia, which I recommend because comic synopses are amusing.  But in this latest serial it's been revealed that Captain America is with Hydra, and that he's been with them all this time.  At first I was bewildered and confused, because if this is the case I don't buy it, never will.  But then I read some speculation tied to some comic plot points not mentioned in many articles bashing Marvel Comics decision to make Captain America psycho.  (case in point, two Jewish men created Captain America, so it is a slap across both the original creators and America's faces to make Steve Rogers a Nazi.)  Anyway, there's a side plot where Red Skull now has Professor Xavier's brain, and may be manipulating Steve Rogers memories.  Also, another plot point where Steve become old and then young again by Kobik, and bratty girl made up of Cosmic Cubes, using this power, which has essence of evil or something.  Anywho, comic stuff.  Gotta love it.  I'm not buying the comics, I wouldn't have anyway, but there might be a really good reason why Steve Rogers went all turn coat on us.)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Paris Flood, Counting My Blessings, and listening to Nature's Cycles & Warnings (Earthquakes and Supervolcanoes)

(I took this photo April 12th)

I was in shock this morning, listening to the news on the radio, willing my brain to wake up when I heard the Seine River in Paris France was flooding, and that the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay were closed in order to save precious art.

An article from The Independent showed humbling photos of the floods and the high level of water of the Seine, the same river I walked along over a month ago.

On May 10th, 2016, we drove back from Issoudun to the Charles De Gaulle airport, driving along the A10 through Orleans up to Paris.  Even on that day it was raining really hard.  It was pretty scary, cars zipping by driving over 120 km an hour (74 mph) on standing water.  Really dangerous, especially after the experience my Mom and I had last March driving along the I-15 to Nevada when an SUV lost control in the rain and almost hit us.  The article in The Independent states: "The main A10 motorway from Paris to the south west remains flooded north of Orleans.  On Wednesday, 650 motorists and truckers were stranded after the motorway turned into a river.  Amphibious army trucks were sent to rescue them."

From what I've read the flooding of the Seine happens every century, the last happening in 1910.  Current water levels don't match the level reached in 1910, though with more rainfall predicted it's possible the situation will get worse.  The RER C train, which I took to Versailles, is closed.  If the water level rises a few more feet the subways will be affected.  The situation is grim.

I'm praying Paris will recover, as I pray everyone surviving the Texas floods will recover, where there's 31 Texas counties flooded.

It's important to listen to the cycles and patterns of nature, stretching hundreds, thousands or more years.  Living in the Western United States we have our own patterns to watch for, many of which are pretty terrifying.  The super-volcano Yellowstone, a six hour drive from here, is overdue.  The Wasatch mountains have about a 47% chance of Earthquake in the next 50 years, with great devastation predicted (Utah Valley floor dropping 15 feet, liquefaction due to fine soil sediments, floods from Salt Lake and mountain lakes,etc). San Andreas is 60 years overdue.  The overdue Earthquake that's the stuff of nightmares is the Cascadia subduction zone, which will not just affect California, Washington, and Oregon, but Japan as well, and will be overwhelmingly devastating due to the nature of this Earthquake running along the pacific coast.  The Cascadia subduction zone erupts every 240 years.  The last one took place 316 years ago.  It's due.  And it will be terrifying.  Far worse then San Andreas.  Oh, and there's another super-volcano near Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada's that's showing movement, so there you go.

I didn't write the last paragraph to scare anyone, especially since mostly everyone I love lives in the Western USA.  I'm not moving anytime soon.  I love Utah, and I know this is where I'm supposed to be, but it's important to be aware of the dangers that surrounds us and to prepare accordingly.  A lot of dangers we can't prepare for, but for those in which we can, we should.

We shouldn't live in fear as fear merely robs us of our present and future.

With everything I've thought about today thus far, I'm thankful.  Every moment I'm alive I'm thankful.  And I'm thankful my Mom and I got to experience France and come home safely.  It's humbling.

And I'm praying for all of those living through natural and unnatural disasters/tragedies throughout the World.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Window Displays at the Disneyland Emporium

 Right before my trip to France I wrote 18 blogposts that would update automatically while I was gone, and as soon as I left I had this nagging feeling that there was something I planned to talk about, but forgot.

Honestly, I'm surprised I managed all 18!

But then I remembered: The window displays at the Disneyland Emporium.

It's tradition for me, whenever I come to the Magic Kingdom in California, to see the window displays, which represent scenes from various Disney movies, as soon as I come into the park.  The Emporium is the first shop to the left on Main Street USA, and the windows are right at the entrance.  They're hard to miss, unless you're hypnotized by the distant Sleeping Beauty's castle.

When my family visited Disneyland it was the first week in November, and the park was transitioning from Halloween to Christmas, bit by bit, day by day.

And on the first day of our visit all the window displays were covered up, and stayed covered up through the week.  I was disappointed at first, and wondered if I would ever see the new displays, but as we were leaving the park on our last day, November 6th, sky dark and the castle glowing pink/blue, hurrying to buy final souvenirs, and waiting patiently as the nephew and nieces had their silhouettes cut out, my nephew slept through it, I noticed the curtains for the window displays outside the Emporium were finally open!  I could see them.  And everyone else noticed as well because there were huge crowds gathered around to see.

There was one final display that I wasn't able to see because the curtain was still down, so it will remain a mystery.

 There were five displays from five movies:

Frozen, Princess and the Frog, Toy Story, Cinderella, and Peter Pan.

A little of the old and new.

And each display had two scenes they switched between.  A marvel to watch.

 A sunny scene in Frozen changing to an icy scene, with Olaf walking around dreaming of Summer.

 A swamp scene changing to a celebratory Steam boat scene for Princess and the Frog.

 Woody and Buzz lightyear being played with in Toy Story.

 Cinderella having her pink gown changed to blue and then dancing with her prince.

And the scene from Peter Pan, which was my favorite.  The transition from the nursery scene to flying above the homes was seamless.  I watched this transition over and over.  A lot of fun to watch.

So if you ever find yourself at the Happiest Place of Earth, take the time to watch the window displays at the Main Street Emporium.

It's a fun dash of magic.