Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Speaking of Nerds...

I'm over at Modern Mormon Men today, waxing sentimental about Harry Potter. Check it out!

Who's your favorite character? Any fellow Snape devotees?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Beauty of Nerds

Recently, I spent a few days in Washington, DC, at the home of one of my best friends from college. It was fun for me to reflect on the adventures that we used to have as roommates, the crossword puzzles that we would sneak into acting class, the agonizing over auditions, the secret crushes on fellow performers. I met Elaine on one of my very first days at BYU, as we had a voice and diction class together. I was first struck by her insane beauty and infectious smile, but after getting to know her better, I found that we had quite a number of things in common. With her passion for life and unflagging determination to succeed, she helped me get through a lot of hard days in the good old HFAC, and we celebrated each other's victories. And then one time, we walked across campus after make-up class looking like this:

Today, Elaine is still amazing. She is the wife of Mike, her high school sweetheart, who, much to my pleasure, has retained his Boston accent. She is also mother to three and a half year old Maya, who is incredibly bright and friendly and adorable. Besides her family, Elaine is devoted to yoga, gardening, healthy eating, ice cream, and is currently working on a play at a theater downtown. She's still passionate about the things and the people that she loves, and truly inspiring to me.

While hanging out with Elaine, I was reminded of what exactly it is that draws me to some people. I always hear people talking about what's "cool" or who's "cool" these days, but I have no interest in being "cool." I happen to love nerds. To you, a nerd might be a condescending term, but for me, it is a label of high praise. Nerds are passionate about something, whether it's zombies, dance, Russian literature, Ira Glass, 80's music, or baking non-gluten bread. It doesn't matter what it is, the point is to really enjoy something(s), while not being the slightest bit embarrassed about it. I think it's sad that people will hide or even squelch their passions to appear cool to others, therefore rendering them completely uninteresting. In my experience, so-called cool people are often unfunny, boring, and quick to agree.

When I think back on my nine years in improv comedy, all of the performers that were the funniest and loveliest were by far the nerdiest, and I loved the uniqueness they brought to their work. One guy was an expert on pop culture, one knew about all things fantasy, one loved sports, and my brilliant friend Lisa could improvise about sci-fi all day long (if someone had only asked!) I really miss them.

My own husband was an actual nerd in high school. While watching the amazing TV show Freaks and Geeks once, he said of one of the geeks, "It's almost painful to watch this, he's SO much like I was." It was a minor ah-ha moment for me, as he's not the most comfortable or outgoing in social situations, but still amazingly funny. I loved him all the more for it. If I have my way, I would want all my children to be nerds. Better that than a bully or follower any day. I squeal inside when my children rant and rave about Avatar and Harry Potter, because I know we're on the right nerd track!

When I meet new people out here, I love it when they let it slip that they're addicted to Veronica Mars, or on a quest for the best-tasting macarons in the city. I'm immediately interested and want to get to know them better. Being a nerd is a major part of "Being Hailey" and I'm grateful for Elaine and all the other nerds in my life, because without them, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Besides, who wouldn't want to re-enact a mock alien abduction with their best friend in college?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

I need your blog address!

When I made some changes to my blog, I accidentally deleted many of my links to the blogs of my friends and family. If you happen to stop by, would you please leave your blog url in the comments so I can re-add it to my blogroll? Thanks ever so much!

Pi(e) Night

Do you know Ryan and Kimberly Simmons? You should. They are the loveliest people on the island of Manhattan, not to mention the most stylish, theatrically-informed, and socially booked. When I get squeezed into their calendar, I rejoice, because Ryan is one of my people and sometimes I need my people around. So, to my delight, they had a pie night to celebrate 3/14 and we were invited. Kimberly just so happened to bake 52 different pies last year, one per week, and Ryan ate every single one of them. And he is still skinnier than me. So he is sort of my idol. But I think he eats salad the rest of the time, so there you go. They shared some of their favorite pies with us from last year and they definitely know how to throw a party.

The menu

The fearless hosts

Why can't I have them all?

Saturday, July 02, 2011


As mentioned in some previous posts, Ethan turned 8 recently and, on Saturday, March 12, he was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Lots of people we love were able to make it to the big city for the big event (with the exception of Ben's dad, who got horribly ill after the wedding and couldn't get on the plane with us.) It was a wonderful day and I hope he always remembers it!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Booner Got Hitched!

Daniel, affectionately known as Booner, is my brother-in-law. He is also one of my favorite people of 2011 because he decided to get married and therefore provided an excuse for my whole family to leave the icy grip of the island of Manhattan and spend four glorious days in Arizona at the beginning of March. The trip was fabulous, although we missed Jake's and Aaron's families, who were understandably holding down the forts in London and Okinawa, respectively. Booner is one of the pickiest kids ever, so I knew Lauren had to be amazing--she's an elementary school teacher and absolutely charming and we're happy to welcome her to the family! The reception was gorgeous and I danced more than I have danced in YEARS.* The deejay also said, "Holy Moly, you're a good dancer!" which was thrilling to a nerdy 30-something like myself. In addition to the wedding itself, we loved hanging out with cousins and some of us even cried when we were packing to go home. Here are some highlights from our trip:

Grandma picked us up at the airport--first time in a minivan in 6 months!

We don't care if the water's freezing! It's time for pizza and a pool party at Grandma's.

Caden, Lane, Austin and Lucy

Melanie and I went cruising in the Mustang because we cool like that.

The family dinner was at Cafe Rio, but this cake was from heaven, I think.
All of the adults after the sealing.


The original Smith fam, with Lauren.



Classic Boon expression



I just like this one of Lane for some reason.

Collin, Caden, and Ethan. Maybe Ethan's pant hems are duct taped.

Mila and Kate

The glowing bride with my three girls.

Everyone in our family that was in town! And yes, I got the memo about the appropriate color combination, but no, I didn't exert enough effort to do something about it (see: comment above about the NY winter's icy grip and take pity on me for never desiring to leave my apartment to shop.)


Everyone loves Uncle Booner!

Our family claims three sets of twins.

Boon with baby Abby

My nephews and a cousin just started break-dancing, out of nowhere. It was awesome.

Congrats, you two!

*I'm pretty sure one of my brothers-in-law has some blackmail-worthy photos of my dance moves.