Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Now it's time to tell all of you what consumed my life for the past few weeks.

Since June 2008 I have been working as a student assistant in the BYU Multicultural Student Services office. The office does scholarships and guidance counseling for minority students. My job is basically to be an assistant to Lucky Fonoimoana, one of the counselors.

The major responsibility that this job entails is to put together the BYU Fiesta, an annual event that celebrates Latin American culture through dance. I was interested in the job because of my own love for Argentina and Latin American culture. (I was also interested in having a job.)

It was more work than I ever imagined. For every one thing that I did, there were ten that I either was forgetting to do, didn't know how to do, or was never aware that I was even supposed to do it. Not to mention the fact that the office's organization for its Celebration of Culture programs changed this year. I was not only over the Fiesta, but over advertising & DVD production for all of the office's events (Black History Month, Fiesta, Lu'au, and Pow Wow). Along with this new system came extra help. Now someone else was in charge of food for all the events, someone else in charge of decorations for all of the events, etc.

Anyway, when it came down to the night of Fiesta, it went off smoothly and without a hitch and was a success, I think. We had fifteen countries represented, all by dance instructors and dancers who had been working on their acts all semester. Don't forget, these instructors and dancers are all volunteers, and many of the dancers don't have any dance experience. They just want to show off their heritage and have fun.

The costumes were amazing. I think the dancers could have just stood on stage and the night would have been worth the ticket prices.

The crazy part is...after months and months of planning, in a couple of hours it's all over.

Now is the part where I put together the Fiesta DVD. (If you want one, by the way, call (801) 422 3065 and get your name on the list. They are $5 each.)

I'll put more Fiesta pictures up later. In the meantime, here are the posters that I designed for Lu'au and Pow Wow (I got a lot of good Photoshop experience out of these):

BYU Lu'au

Pow Wow

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Special Preview from

Formulaic but Fun: 27 Dresses

Think of your favorite movie villain. Darth Vader. The Wicked Witch of the West. Matthew McConaughey. The greatest villains are the ones you absolutely love to hate.
This is just one of a few delightful emotions that you’ll experience when you watch 27 Dresses. The story follows a fairly formulaic and predictable plotline, but at the end of the movie you’ll want to cheer anyway. The very fitting cast embellishes and personalizes your romantic comedy paradigm. From the trailers and TV commercials, you know that this is the movie version of “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” But Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman and Judy Greer (among others) take an otherwise generic script and make it their own. You can get this story with any number of actors, but you can’t get 27 Dresses without Heigl, Marsden and the gang.
It’s been a few days since I’ve seen 27 Dresses, and the character I remember the most is Tess (played by Akerman), the oblivious and selfish kid sister of Heigl’s character, Jane. Tess is the girl all the guys want (at least what the one-dimensional guys from romantic comedies want), including Jane’s object of affection, George (played to the utmost cuteness and dimwittedness by Edward Burns). Tess overworks her charming yet empty appeal to hoodwink George all the way to engagement. Jane has to swerve in and out of Tess’ lies to George as she maneuvers her way to bridesmaid dress #28. “When will Jane go berserk?” you ask yourself. You already went berserk a long time ago, but waiting for Jane to react is what makes the movie fun.
(Question for the class: Is the Edward Burns character supposed to typify real life? Are guys in real life actually supposed to like the ditzy platinum blondes with the raccoon eye shadow? Or do these naïve guys keep showing up in chick flicks because girls are just afraid that guys like the Vogue magazine type? Talk amongst yourselves.)
The concern with reveling in such an evil and conniving character is that a deserving comeuppance will never come. (One example: Professor Dolores Umbridge in the book version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.) Lucky for us, Tess is cathartically cut down to size. But, interesting for us, there’s a moment where the audience almost sympathizes with Tess. It’s a lot like that scene in The Devil Wears Prada when Andie finds out that Miranda is on the verge of another divorce. You almost feel for her…until her next backstab. Tess, unlike Miranda, does undergo a bit of pacification. But, thankfully, she is never fully redeemed before the fade to black.
Tess isn’t the only reason to watch 27 Dresses. Marsden plays Kevin, the token dreamboat who stands heads and shoulders above the one-dimensional guys like George. Kevin is a New York Post reporter on the marriage beat, who writes such sweet and romantic descriptions of the extravaganzas he attends but exudes a cynical, faithless shell. Is he just bluffing? Which is the real Kevin? The romantic or the cynic? Whatever he’s doing, it aggravates Jane. This, of course, means she will confess her undying love for him one minute before the final credits roll. It’s a standard annoyed-at-first-sight story. But Marsden is still entertaining enough. (Be sure to enjoy his rendition of “Bennie and the Jets.”)
Without ever seeing 27 Dresses, you could probably fill in most of the blanks for yourself. But not as hilariously or amusingly as this cast does. Akerman, Marsden and all the rest make this movie well worth your time and a treat for both you and your date.
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I'm going to sidetrack a bit and give an update on a non-Erin aspect of my life.

Right now I'm at Brigham Young University. I tried animation most of last year, but after being denied twice I decided to put animation on the back burner. In coming up with a plan B, I thought of a lot of things that I enjoy doing other than drawing cartoons, and one of them is writing.

This semester, I'm taking all of the prerequisites for the communications program, journalism track. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's a lot of work, but I'm eager to do it. I'm realizing that I'm not as great at writing as I thought...but I'm learning fast. And it's been fun to come up to people I don't know and interview them for a story. It reminds me of being a of my favorite parts of being a missionary was just stopping people on the street and getting to know them.

My favorite class this semester is Communications 239, Principles of Journalism. We discuss journalism ethics, objectivity, freedom of speech theories, etc. It's a lot like my political science classes. So, here's a shocker: because I enjoy those kind of classes so much...I wonder if I should get into law. (!)

For another one of my classes, me and a group started an "e-magazine." It's like a blog, only you subscribe to it and the blog posts are emailed to you. So, if you want to support a good cause (my grade in the class!), go to and subscribe. It's totally free. And I'll give you an example of what we do at this blog post here.
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