Friday, December 29, 2006

Stegosaurus, where are you?

"Nothing makes me happier than this cup, and you can't steal my joy!" That's what H told me this morning when I suggested taking the stegosaurus cup back to Provo with me. We each have one, and I thought that maybe this one was mine, until she reminded me that I had used mine for a paint cup forever ago and that this one was hers. I really did love that glass and I have no idea where it is now.

I went downtown on Saturday with H to help her friend out with a project that involved seeing things from another person's perspective. She chose to observe us and see Portland from the point of view of someone who's from Beaverton and is scared of downtown. We rode the bus, which I had sworn I would never do again, but this was in the name of science, or English, or whatever class it was for. Mostly we shopped. We went to Powell's - the best bookstore on the face of the planet, and to think I had never been there before. All I know is that I'm in love- Powell's is 4 stories and a whole city block of new and used books. I picked up Heart of Darkness for $1.95 and considered buying James Galvin's "X", but a sense of frugality stopped me.

I also went to Buffalo Exchange and got a sweet jacket, and at some point when we were walking around on the street I registered to vote - H did too as a matter of fact. It felt good. I'd been meaning to get registered, but had put it off because I was in Utah. I didn't know what to pick, so I checked Not a member of a party. I know nothing about government. I probably should learn what my political views are one of these days.

My youngest sister H2 spends a great deal of her spare time playing a video game called Harvest Moon. It's all about planting crops and chopping wood and gathering eggs -a video game about farming of all things. She was telling me about the game and this is how that conversation went-

H2: I need to get a wife. I'm supposed to go to the firework festival tonight.
me: Why the firework festival?
H2:Because that's where you go to meet people. I'm thinking about asking what's-her-face to marry me.
me:Oh really? Why her?
H2: Well, she works at the bar and she's really fun.
me: She works at a bar? That's not good. Why don't you marry so-and-so? She seems nice.
H2: Oh, no! She's too shy. Maybe I could ask that-one-girl. She works on her dad's ranch, so she could help me on my farm. I don't know - I just don't have time to get a wife.
me:Maybe you should take some time off from work or something.
H2: I can't take time off from work just to find a wife! I'm a farmer - I need to be here to take care of my crops.

It just makes me laugh to wander past the family room and hear my little sister murmuring about how she needs to get a wife.

Kitchen dancing! Now, don't be deceived - I do not like to dance, and I do not believe that people enjoy having to see me dance, but there is an exception to this, and it's kitchen dancing. I used to do this thing where I would dance in the kitchen if no one was watching, except for H, and she would see me kitchen dancing and try to tell others, but no one would ever believe her. Kind of like how Michigan J. Frog dances only for that one guy in the cartoons. I resurrected this tradition Christmas eve with a spectacular display of my kitchen dancing skills. It brings me joy to dance ridiculously when few people can see me, and especially when no one will ever believe those people when they try to attest to my magnificence.

Three more things. (1) Yesterday I finally understood the idea behind gutters after a lifetime of not understanding the concept of runoff. (2) My sister M and her husband A are flying into Portland tonight and I'm excited. They live in South Carolina so we're not going to see much of them over the next 4 years unless something important brings them to the west coast. In this case, A's sister is getting married in Provo, so M figured that since they were going all the way to Provo, why not go a little further to Portland? Anyway, I'm glad they're coming and I hope to get in some quality thrift shopping time with M. (3) M-Lite and I are finally renting a computer from campus so now we'll have some way to put all the music we stole from H onto M-Lite's iPod - apparently she went and picked one up this morning and has it up and running already.

I lied about there only being three. Lastly, and most importantly, I went to WINCO. WINCO is the greatest grocery store in the universe - I bought 7 pounds of gummi worms to ration out over the next 5 months that I'll be in Utah. If I love you, you'll get to sample some. I also bought some Tillamook ice cream for M and myself, because we don't have access to it full time like everyone else in our family. And juice - it's almost 35 cents cheaper here. I love WINCO, which is why I will need to live in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, or Oregon for the rest of my life. There's just no other way.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Good Night, Gorilla

My dad has a small office in our house that's crammed full of books. He buys them secondhand, all genres, anything that looks interesting. He added a shelf around the ceiling, and still they are stacked up everywhere imaginable, overflowing - one day his office will explode, its door coming off its hinges, texts pouring from their hidey-holes and his desk will drift away on a sea of books. Once he went to NAPA to buy some car part for my Dodge, and when he got home he told me I owed him $30.

-What?! How do I owe you $30?
-I went to NAPA which is right next to Value Village, and I ended up spending $30 on used books, and it's your fault!

He spends a great deal of time in there, and doesn't like for people to bother him, especially little kids. My mom used to babysit this little boy in our ward, who would always go up to the door of my dad's office and see him in there reading. One day he went to the door, but my dad wasn't in there and the kid was shocked, and asked "Where's the man who lives in there?!" He had never seen my dad out of his office and was surprised to find him missing from his "home".

Whenever we were bored we could go to our dad's office and ask for a book, and he wouldn't respond for a minute or so, because he'd be reading a book, but if you stood there long enough he'd look up and you could ask again, and he'd scan his shelves and say "Ooh. How about this one?" and hand you something he thought was interesting.

I looked at them today and made a list of titles that I found interesting for various reasons, but mostly because I felt they explained a lot about who my dad is.

The Bible as History
Man vs. The Welfare State
The American Short Story
A Simple Plan
The Outline of History -
H.G. Wells
A Book About A Thousand Things -
George Stimpson
The Dictionary of Cliches
The Pilgrim's Progress -
John Bunyan
A Field Guide to the Insects
A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis
A G-Man's Journal
Comedy Writing Secrets
Red Square
The Book of Mormon
Scarne's Complete Guide to Gambling
Chilton's 1968 Auto Repair Manual
Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense
Typee -
Herman Melville
Deepest Thoughts -
Jack Handy
Crime as Work
Home Food Dehydration
It Didn't Start With Watergate
Hollywood vs. America
The Charlotte Armstrong Festival
Functional Human Anatomy
Occidental Mythology
Understanding Broadcasting
The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
The Book of Rifles
Torture Through the Ages
The Last of the Mohicans
A Treasury for Word Lovers
Miracles -
C.S. Lewis
The Collector's Guide to Antique Radios
The World Encyclopedia of Modern Guns
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

As you can see, his tastes are varied - books on religion, guns, government, conspiracies, classics, comedy, "how-to" type books, and a lot of books about word origins and literature. Missing from this list is a large book of photographs containing all the different breeds of dogs that exist. I couldn't find it, but I remember looking through that one as a kid - also missing were the Gary Larsen books that always occupied the southwest top shelf corner.

Also on the list were the following 5 books that stood out to me, and helped me to realize that I truly am my father's daughter:

Longman Crossword Key
How to be a Stand-up Comic
Under the Black Flag: the Romance and the Reality of Life Among Pirates
Cocaine: Its History, Uses and Effects
Good Night, Gorilla

Most of them have an obvious explanation, except maybe Good Night, Gorilla . It's the book H and I got for our dad last Christmas. It's a children's story that's in the nursery at church, and apparently he's been known to go in and read it to the kids. I think this has nothing to do with being kind to children and everything to do with the fact that he finds it funny and wants to read it himself. It's about a gorilla that goes around with a stolen set of keys unlocking all the cages in the zoo at night. The copy we bought him even came with a little plush gorilla doll. I find this childlike streak of his very funny, but I understand it as well, because I see it in me.

There are so many things about my dad that don't seem to fit, like the fact that he loves both guns and musicals, and knows all the rules of football and basketball but prefers to play tennis because it requires grace. Not that he should have to choose, but I see in him the two extremes and little middle ground. Perhaps he's just incredibly well rounded, and I don't know but that everyone in our family hasn't turned out to be a lot like him in some way or another. We all have:
- weird senses of humor
- good taste in films (an opinion, but still true)
- a love of thrift shopping

We're all very different yet very alike at the same time. M-Lite made a face the other day and I told her she looked just like dad. I like to grab leaves off of bushes, tear them up into small pieces, and then scatter them on the ground - and when I'm done with an orange peel I cut it first into strips and then into tiny pieces. I don't know why this is, but my mom saw me do this once and said I was just like dad. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, after he's done eating his chocolate covered raisins in the movie theatre he tears the box to bits and leaves it on the floor.

It's incredible how much influence your family has on you, your habits, the way you turn out, the way you think and view the world. It's the fact that you've been hanging out with these people for the last 20 years that shapes you; of course you act the same, find the same things funny, like the same people, and share a dislike of cats and communism.

This was from looking at my dad's shelves (which I have done countless times), seeing the eclectic nature of the things he reads, and wondering at, but not being at all surprised at seeing, The Book of Mormon, Scarne's Complete Guide to Gambling, and Cocaine: It's History, Uses and Effects all in one library.

*Editor's note: Not 5 minutes after posting this I told my mom she was sitting in a highly trafficked area. She told me I sounded just like my dad.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Whack-a-Mole

5am Christmas morning, both my brother F and I were awake for some reason and we got to talking about how our arms fall asleep because we sleep on our sides. It happens to me all the time. He said that one time both of his arms fell asleep and when he woke up he thought he was paralyzed or something. Could you even sit up? Yeah, I just had to swing my arms around like this to get the blood flowing again. And he did it and it was ridiculous, or maybe I was sleep deprived or maybe both.

On Christmases past we have always gotten up at 6am because that's the earliest our parents would let us. We all slept in the basement when we were little, and we'd get up at 5:57, gather all together, and then creep up the stairs together. The older siblings have fought getting up at 6 these last few years - I have always been strongly in favor of it - "it's tradition!" I say, but they grumble, and I only prevailed last year because Christmas was on a Sunday and we had to get up and do Christmas and still have time to get ready for church. Then there was the year my mom wanted us to sleep-in and she went around changing all the clocks, but she missed half of them and we woke up confused and arguing about whether it was really 5 or 6 in the morning. She's sneaky like that -I think it comes from living with dad for so long.

This year my mom had to work a 12 hour shift Christmas eve so she wouldn't be home until 8am. We had permission to do our stockings at the regular time still. F and I were going to bed and I noticed him taking a lot of time to set his alarm.
-What are you doing?
-I'm synchronizing our clocks so they go off at the same time.
-Oh. Mine's set for 5:57, not 6:00.
-That means I'll need to set mine for 5:55- your clock's two minutes faster than mine.

I don't know why he bothered to do this.

Clocks set, he proceeded to read, trying to finish 19 self-assigned pages of "The Count of Monte Cristo" before it turned 12:00.

-Why before midnight?
-I don't want to be awake for Christmas

This made perfect sense to me even if it made me laugh at first. You don't want to be awake for the transition between Christmas and the eve of - you want to wake up and have it hit you in the face that it's Christmas morning. Like I said, our mom was at work, but F, H2 and I got up at 6am as per usual and went into the living room where the tree is housed. I actually went downstairs first thing to creep up the stairs, trying to relive that moment when I would catch my first glimpse of the tree over the banister. It's not the same unless you're coming up the stairs Christmas morning.

F checked the family room to see if our stockings were out. They weren't. Mom always does that. They were still in our parents' room and when we went to get them the door was locked and we had to wake up our dad. Stockings in hand we retreated to the family room and dug through first our own stockings, then glanced a bit at our siblings' stuff, then retrieved our individual packages from under the tree. What to do now? I thought about showering, but that seemed sacrilegious - part of Christmas is being in your pajamas with bedhead and having that just-woken-up feeling. We had an hour and a half before anyone else was even thinking of waking up, so we watched Wallace and Gromit and I made toast for the 3 of us, and thought that it could be a nice tradition from now on.

Christmas eve we watch "It's a Wonderful Life"- George Bailey's character is simply hilarious, and so heartfelt - something about his face - I love the part when he comes home and all of his kids are hanging on him as he's trying to come down the stairs. I can't help but love this film; there's something simple and beautiful at its core.

I received some first rate gifts this year, some of my favorites being: The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker, Green Squall by Jay Hopler, The Office: season two, Harry and Walter Go to New York, and an incredible plastic pith helmet from H that I wore all day today, or at least up until I took a shower-I thought it unwise to attempt to be fashionable while shampooing. I also got a phone - I don't quite know why. It may have been because H and M-Lite got phones and so my parents thought I would need one too. It's nothing fancy (for which I am grateful), just a little pay as you go Motorola type thing. I can't imagine I'll use it much - it's really just for emergencies, of which I usually have few to none. I now have a phone, and it makes me a little sad that I'm of the cell phone owning class. Oh well.

My dad got a whack-a-mole game, and how else can I put it, but his face lit up like a child's on Christmas morning. Going to Chuck E. Cheese's he always played their version that has gators, and when we were in Disney World this summer he beat out a bunch of small kids at it and won a stuffed yellow dinosaur, which he proudly carried around and now has displayed in his room.

Let me take this opportunity also to say that I'm grateful for this time of year - for what it does to people, how it gives us perspective, how it changes us for the better. I have hope that I can be a better person. I have faith that life will work out. We have a fresh year ahead of us, and I want to believe that anything is possible, as trite as that sounds. I love my family. I love my friends. I'm grateful to have the gospel in my life. The lesson on Sunday was about work and our teacher quoted "The Little Prince" to us - the part after the part about the fox about the rose, and I wondered what had I ever labored for? what was my rose? I don't really know, but I hope to find out.

I didn't get to writing about everything that I wanted to and this is already the world's longest post. In my next posts I hope to include more stuff on Portland, kitchen dancing, becoming registered to vote, and some over-the-break happenings. I'll be flying back to Provo on the 5th, and I'm hoping to have an Office marathon sometime soon thereafter. Think like a boyscout and be prepared.

And one thing I forgot - every year our dad hides a pickle ornament on the tree and we hunt for it. Whoever finds it wins five dollars. This year he did three - two small ones in addition to the main pickle. We attacked each other to get to the tree, frantically combing its branches for the briny baubles. I found the big one, and my sister F, the two smaller ones. I love tradition.

Friday, December 22, 2006

P-Town

I'm home I'm home I'm home. The SLC airport was a mess, and I get nervous when I fly because I lack the necessary life skills to know what I'm doing and I'm usually pretty hopped up on cold meds to keep my ears from freaking out.(More on the history of my ears later) Luckily it turned out that M-Lite and I were on the same flight. Thank goodness is all I have to say. We flew in and then rode MAX to the Beaverton transit center to be picked up by our mom.

I've lived in Portland my whole life, but I've only been downtown 5 or 6 times, so riding MAX was a treat - I saw a million awesome old buildings, and a million more people smoking. I hadn't realized that I'd miss that. I saw a janitor-looking man in coveralls eating a banana, then on Morrison there were 6 chefs outside having a smoke, and they were all in their white smocks and hats which made me smile for no reason. There are random sculptures everywhere, one of which looked like the statue of liberty had taken off whatever that pointy thing is on her head and dropped it sideways to the ground. The Coliseum, the Rose Quarter, Pioneer Courthouse, Holladay Park, art galleries, small shops, and some really fat pigeons. I was stoked.

All I could do the whole ride was point and say, "treeeeeees! graaaassssssss!" because they abounded and I re-fell in love with Portland. It's like when you have someone you think you're over, but then you see them again and you know that you're not, and you're not going to be over them any time soon. That is Portland for me. The air tastes ridiculously good here - at one of the MAX stops someone brought on with them the piney scent of the outdoors, and it lingered for a good while. I'm in love with home. I've been drinking "Oregon water" non stop. I hope to eat a great deal of Tillamook ice cream as well. It's times like this that I wonder why I ever left home.

Our dad took us to eat at Shari's, a restaurant that Utah is seriously missing out on by not housing, and we ate dinner and dessert while catching up and our dad told us about a song about a dead skunk in the middle of the road. I think the title may actually be "Dead skunk in the middle of the road". I listened to it when we got home and then H and I went to hang out with her best friend A, who apparently had told everyone I was coming and it was supposed to be a bit of a welcome home party for me. When playing the game true colors, I got the most votes for questions: Who here would be most likely to have a secret tattoo? and Who at this table would get up and leave quietly when they're really mad? We went to Shari's for a second time, making me really full of mozzarella cheese sticks. We went back to A's, met up with another carload of friends, then all hopped to M's where we stayed and talked and hung out - M wrote an awesome song for his health class about why you shouldn't do drugs that I need to get a copy of.

I came home and slept - with finals and cleaning checks I'd slept less than 3 hours in the past two days. My dream last night consisted of the second coming coming, but it was kind of odd, because we knew it had come and we all still went around doing our normal things, a little bit more hurriedly than before, but everything was surprisingly normal - part of it even consisted of Flippin editing my English paper and him telling me that my characterizations sucked.

I woke up and my face was swollen for some reason. I went upstairs to get a second opinion but everyone was either gone or taking a shower, so when my brother F got out I asked him, " does anything look different about my face?!" he said no, and was probably confused and thinking to himself that this was one of those trick questions that girls ask, like does this make me look fat? I asked H and she said "kinda" until she saw it in the light and then changed her answer to "oh. yeah, you're really swollen." I called my mom and told her I probably shouldn't sleep in the basement then anymore because it tends to make whoever stays down there sick, so I moved into F's room.

F and I are the only ones home. We played duck hunt and he moved my mattress upstairs for me.He asked me if I wanted to make match rockets. I heard rat match rockets. I asked him if he was kidding. He responded with, "how would I be kidding?" and went off to get the matches and stuff and his book on backyard ballistics. We shot them off the front porch while we blared music from the computer downstairs and I ate an orange for the first time in 4 months. Next we're going to get a dry cleaning bag, some jellied alcohol, and make some sort of hot air balloon thing you can fly on a string. I'm excited for this.

When I'm home I listen to all of H's new music, and I heard the Decemberists for the first time that I know of. I'm in love with O Valencia! and need more. This song was just so sweet -

You belong to the gang

And you say you can't break away
But I'm here with my hands on my heart

Our families can't agree
I'm your brother's sworn enemy
But I'll shout out my love to the stars

So wait for the stone on your window, your window
Wait by the car and we'll go, we'll go

I'm also happy with bands "The Format" and "Cartel" and am looking forward to all upcoming musical exposure.


New fake hit song title from last night: Hungry for your lobster
Question F asked me: Do you need to be 21 to buy jellied alcohol?
Things they have here that I can't get in Utah: Tillamook ice cream, America's Northwest three berry blend jam, good tasting tap water, and my family

I'm cold and my face is swollen and I'm utterly happy to be home.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Free Box

Some things about me that aren't important or interesting in any way:
-My feet tend to turn purple when I clean the upstairs bathroom at home
-I'm a total pack rat
-I can't shop for clothes for more than an hour without becoming tired, because I think shopping for clothes is the most boring thing ever
-I've always secretly wanted to dress really punk
-I've purchased 2 bowling balls in my life, one named Annette and one named Barbara. Barbara is home in Portland, resting until the day I decide to toss her pink ten-pond self down a lane
-I weighed ten pounds when I was born. My poor mother.
-I'm scared of having people hear me when I sing or play the clarinet
-I want to host a talk show
-I always feared that I would die before I was 19. Needless to say, I was kind of on edge during the week leading up to my birthday
-I don't like any kind of soup
-I own a place mat with all the presidents of the United States on it
-If I could only eat 3 foods for the rest of my life they would be (1) watermelon (2) White rice with butter and salt (3) breaded chicken
-When I was little my cousin told me that I was adopted, or rather, that my parents had found me in the free box at a garage sale. I ran into the house crying. It's a fact that my dad loves shopping at garage sales.
-I own less than 15 CD's
-I want my wedding cake to be that rainbow chunk stuff, you know, the kind that has colored blobs in it that taste like wax? It's 99 cents a box and delicious; it doesn't get better than that.
-I can't swim
-I can make anything out of cardboard
The End

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Past and Present

* * *
When the pavement is wet, people leave behind fleeting footprints, which I like to follow. I catch up to someone and walk behind them a ways, getting a feel for the spacing of their steps, their pace and stride, trying to step exactly where they stepped on the sidewalk. Sort of like walking in their shoes. I don't know why I do it, and I never am able to do it for very long; I always catch up to the person due to my inability to slow down my pace to match up with their's. I wonder now if I've ever followed someone and someone followed me and so on and so on- I picture a long parade of puddle-jumping people forming something akin to a really strange conga line, or the lines at DisneyWorld, or if you've ever been to the DMV. It'd be like that, only with slick pavement involved.
* * *
It's weird to consider the paths that your life might have taken but haven't. It's not really worth considering, just weird and a bit interesting at times. I asked people at work if they could go back and change something in history what would it be? Would they change a huge historical event, or something that only applied to them personally, from their own history? Now, there are a lot of consequences when it comes to altering the past. Stopping a world war or an assassination could have really horrible consequences, even if you only meant for good things to happen as a result of your decision. I asked three people, and this is what they said:

S: I would go back and start rumors, foretelling my birth, so when I was born people would worship me.And I'd be given birth to by a chinese lady, but still have myself be like I am now, so I'd be some sort of anomaly.

D: I would have studied and learned more in high school. It would have helped me a lot when it came to getting into college.

N: I wouldn't change anything. If you change one thing it affects everything else.

I couldn't quite decide what I would change (if anything), but these things are fun to think about. What if Lincoln hadn't been assassinated, and Andrew Johnson had never become president, thus altering the economic status of the United States forever? What if I had become best friends with the girl who was in three of my classes last year but I never spoke to because I'm anti-social? What if the Beatles had never existed?
* * *
After seeing Memento on Wednesday I wondered about getting tattoos done in white so they only showed up when you were sunburned, kind of like invisible ink.
* * *
I decided today that I am an emotional glacier - big and white and cold, but slightly melting. I do not come from a hugging family - it's just not something we do, except for when people leave on a trip or go away to college, etc. When my sister A left home we all gathered in the front yard before she drove off and she cried and hugged everyone in turn, and when it was my turn I put a really big piece of ice down her back, which for some reason she did not appreciate.

When I moved to Provo I had very huggy roommates, all touchy-feely which scared me to no end. I couldn't get to my food shelf without being embraced. All very foreign to me; there didn't seem to be any reasoning behind it, hugging people that I didn't really know. However, I've started hugging people of my own free will lately, and I rather like it, because it's on my own terms - these are people I've actually gotten to know over the past year. My glacier is melting- so all hail global warming I say.
* * *

Friday, December 08, 2006

Temple Square (take two)

It was gloriously fun. I fell asleep on the way to Sandy while listening to the soundtrack from Nightmare before Christmas. Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones, an emptiness began to grow. There's something out there, far from my home; a longing that I've never known. While I was out we got lost and when I woke up our driver was taking a picture of Chewbacca on the street corner. We got to TRAX and rode to see the lights. We wandered and told stories -I got to see the visitor's center-we watched a movie about the nativity. Outside again, I jumped up into a Japanese nativity set to have my picture taken with something that was supposed to be a donkey but looked more like an anteater in my opinion. I took one more with a camel. We threw chunks of ice at each other in a frenzied snowball fight that knocked the leaves off of the nearby trees. I ran around. I offered M $100,000 to swim in the fountain. That would be too cold she said. I'll let you hold the button I have in my pocket if you spit on that huge chunk of ice. She did, and held my button until her hands were too cold. There was a statue of Joseph and Emma where he's putting a quarter or something in her hand, so we put my button in her hand instead and took a picture.
Four people in our group ran into people that they knew. B and I felt left out, so we staged a reunion. B? Is that you? It's been forever! Fancy meeting you here of all places! It felt good to run into a long lost friend even if it was a lie. I skipped along as high as I could. I ran. I yelled at the people crossing the street - "Jay-walking punk anarchists!"-as I crossed the street with them. I was spastic. M and I played chicken while we waited for the train. There's a cop now. We did it at the crosswalk and raced while the red flashing hand counted down. I made it across and back 3 and a half times. I won. The fence around one of the trees looked like an umbrella stand. The streetlamps had Indians on them. Native Americans. Red men. I saw a gargoyle and thought how terrible it would be if something fell out of its nose on me.

A boy on the platform had a red balloon and I talked about that old movie that has a boy with a red balloon. There were no seats. When the train went uphill I clung sideways to the handrail and pretended I was being sucked out of an airplane. Your mom's face looks like Jordan! I sang "On My Way" in a high falcetto voice for a bit. I talked loudly about the train being derailed. The movie Unbreakable. What would your super hero power be? Back at the Sandy station we walked on the train tracks. Went back to M2's house. We ate chili and cornbread and drank mint hot chocolate. What do you mean, who's One Eyed Willy? I can't talk to you anymore. On the way home I told stories about our old Ford Econoline van and its mismatched seats and it not having any seatbelts and how whoever sat closest to the sliding door was in charge of holding a short wooden baseball bat. In case of carjackers our dad said. We talked about people we knew who had died driving over Christmas break. The Pacific ocean is too cold. I asked if they had seen Pete and Pete, because of the episode where Pete and Artie (the strongest man in the world) beat up the ocean.

I'm glad I had a chance to do temple square the right way, with friends and naps and snowballs and a lot of spastic-ness. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Faberge Eggs

Sunshine gave me stickers of Faberge eggs. In short, I am happy. Other things that have made me happy recently:

(1) Spending time with some happy pirates at PHE
(2) Talking to sister H on the phone en francais
(3)The Faberge egg stickers again - they count double for being innately awesome and because Sunshine thought to give them to me

Things that have made me unhappy/stressed recently:

(1) Trying to finish my short story for my writing class. It's a very short short story and I don't think my teacher is going to like it very much - it's titled "This is not about the Polkersteins". The whole story is preposterous, but that's what I wanted.
(2) Having to go to a conference for said writing class to talk about my work. I really just want to tell this teacher that I am not a writer and that he shouldn't waste his time.

Things I am looking forward to:

(1) After all these conferences the teacher is going to feed our class pizza. Free food for hungry me=always acceptable
(2)Movie night at Optimistic.'s
(3) The day I can go home for Christmas, or to be more exact, the time when I will arrive home. (I am not looking forward to the flying part of this trip because I am usually partially deaf for two or three days afterward while my ears make weird squirting noises inside my head in an attempt to become fully popped)

This is all. I should study - I should write a ward newsletter for this month - I should do a lot of things, but I won't until it comes time. Here's hoping the end of the world comes before I have to take my finals.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Eternal Question: Where are we going to park?

So I went on a horribly awkward date yesterday - I got asked by some guy in my ward to go to the Christmas devotional in Salt lake. I had never been to Salt Lake - never seen the conference center, the temple, the lights, none of it. I knew it would be terrible, but I said yes anyway.

Mistake #1: He said that T.V. was a time drainer - I then had to tell this guy that I wanted to go into Media Arts and become a screenwriter or television director. He said something about me being able to make quality family programming, to which I responded," yeah, something like that..." and then he enacted a scene about someone named "Joanie" and how she held true to the standards she had been taught in her youth. Fact I did not mention: quality family programming about people named Joanie is not quality - it is dull and predictable.

Mistake#3: His personality and the fact that we have nothing in common (except for the fact that we have both read the Oz series by Lyman Frank Baum, and really there's only so far that you can stretch that subject).

Mistake#8: As we were looking for our seats in the conference center (we were late, and I had been forced to run a bit) I saw a button on the floor and I didn't pick it up even though I wanted to. All I thought about on the ride home was how much I regretted not picking up that button, and I had another button I had found already in my pocket, so it was a constant reminder that I hadn't picked up that button when I wanted to. Dangit.

Mistake#17: We left church early to get to Salt Lake in time, and yesterday was fast Sunday. Normally on fast Sundays I get home at 4:37 and I'm able to eat, but this date didn't end until 9:08. Is he insane? I was starving. And it didn't help that on the car ride home, because we had absolutely nothing to talk about, I was peppered with questions about what's your favorite this or that - the last question being "what's your favorite thing to cook?" Talk of food and empty stomach= not good. Assuming I can cook, also not good, and I gladly told him that I don't cook a whole lot because there's only about 17 foods I actually like to eat, which he had me list.

In-between 8 and 17 I watched the devotional while he snoozed a bit. We saw the lights and I froze a little. I met 3 of his sisters and his mother, who also happened to be seeing the lights. I missed out on eating, going to ward prayer, and my weekly phone call to H, whose 18th birthday it was. I meant to make cookies for a friend and work on my short story for my writing class. I don't know if it was worth it.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Clogging

I am an inconsiderate walker in that I walk too fast and refuse to cede my side of the walkway. Also, other walkers with their molasses pace tend to cause feelings of road/sidewalk rage within me. Recently I was forced to slow down, which takes a lot of concentration on my part-to consciously think about each step I take- and this slowdown was because of the recent snow and general iciness of the walks. Each step causing me to slide a little and almost slip and fall, I wondered how pregnant people manage in the snow. Their weight is shifted to the front, and most pregnant people are therefore forced to lean backwards a bit to compensate -I should think they wouldn't have any balance at all. The weight of my backpack causes me to lean forward, making my feet slip out behind me, so for them it must be the opposite - that their feet slip out from under them leaving them on their backs.

At this I had the glorious mental image of some preganant woman standing at the top of the ramp, only to have her feet slip out from under her, and her shooting down the iced ramp like she was on a waterslide, waving her hands in the air and yelling "wahoo!" all the way to the bottom. And then I remembered that in designing my future home, I used to plan for a slide that came from the upstairs down to the kitchen, the idea being that it would be a quicker way to get everyone ready in the morning and around the table. It was a roller slide to be exact, but looking back I wonder if that's really the best option. People are getting rather fat these days, and it's probably more beneficial to take the stairs down - yet, I don't really consider going down stairs to be the same as going up stairs - it's the going up that exhausts you, so it must be better for you. I'm still undecided on the whole issue, but in the process of thinking about it, I wondered what would happen if a fat kid were to get stuck on the kitchen slide, and clog the whole thing up, and I thought once again about the pace at which other people walk, and the clog that occurs outside of the building where I have my noon class, and then my thoughts diverged on two different clogging trains of thought.

(1) was about the clogged drain in the box shower of the upstairs bathroom at home. It's because of "girl hair" as my brother calls it, (which I think may be what he calls long hair) that our shower ceased to drain properly. There were a lot of us who used it, and we did so without following the advice about navy showers that my dad has tried to instill in us over the last 20 years - "you should be able to take a shower in three minutes - that's how they do it in the navy!" So once when our drain got clogged, and possibly remembering the last lecture delivered at the last unclogging, and because our parents weren't home, we went to fix it ourselves. I unscrewed the drain cover and fished down in there with a bent coat hanger and what I pulled out is the sickest thing I have ever encountered. It was completely rotten and black, but with a slight whitish goopy coating from recent conditionings and it was roughly the size of a gopher. To this day I can still smell it, the whole thing rotting away. We put it in a bread bag, and then because we didn't know what to do with it, left it on the front porch and forgot about it as best we could. Mom wasn't too happy to see it when she got home, and I'm pretty sure we still got the navy shower lecture from Dad.

The wonderful thing about having sisters with red hair is that there's no way to pin the clogging on any one of us specifically. It could just as easily be the other person, so you're safe from accusations. Being a boy and having short hair, my brother F has no such sense of security- but I'm pretty sure he doesn't need it because his hair has probably never caused a clog.

My mom tends to get us kids confused with each other - for a long time my name was fr-aud-mar-mar, as she went down the list, briefly exhausting the names of my older siblings to get to mine. She eventually settled on the phrase "you with the hair" to summon us, which could refer to anyone but our dad. H and A have always been confused for each other because of their looks, and I have always been confused with my brother F. This is upsetting to say the least, and it's mainly because for a good number of years we had the same voice. Mine is too deep, and his was too high, and so we were always mistaken for each other, especially over the phone. This is how I came to develop my phone voice. When answering the phone I speak higher than I would ordinarily, insomuch that people still don't usually recognize me, but at least I'm being mistaken for my mother instead of for my brother.

Clog train of thought (2) was about clogging -that thing that's kind of like tap dancing. My 3 oldest sisters were all in theatre in high school and so they all learned to clog. One day when we were all upstairs watching TV we heard a tapping sound, and to explain it we assumed that our dog, which had very long nails, had gotten into the basement, and was clicking away on the cement floor beneath. When this happened we always sent someone down to put the dog back outside where she belonged, only this time, we found not the dog, but our sister who had found her old shoes from high school and was practicing her tap.
She was more than slightly offended -"You thought I was the dog?"

Monday, November 27, 2006

Living a delicious twinkie filled lie ...I mean, life!

I am now a media arts studies pre-major, and it's a wonderful feeling. I have an answer for when I'm pressed about my plans and goals, and while I still don't actually have any idea what I want, I at least have a very convenient lie. Oh, me? Why yes, I have picked a major! Unfortunately there's only a very slim chance that I'll even be considered for this major, but at least up until the point when I'm rejected I'll have a good cover.

I had to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday, and I was terrified, as I always am when faced with speaking on a subject I know nothing about, or even subjects that I do know something about, but few sacrament talks are given on windmills, the proper way to cook macaroni and cheese, or involve reciting pi, so I didn't really have a great shot at expounding on somthing in my area of expertise. It was combined with two other wards, so the place was packed, and there wasn't a program so I had to wait in suspense, wondering if I would be first. I was. I got up and admitted to being terrified and then went on with my talk. People laughed, in a good way, when I talked about the difference between tetrazzini and a tetrahedron, and afterwards people complimented me sincerely, and all in all it went a lot better than I had expected. All I had been able to do before church was fret and make that weird whining bellowing cry that annoys M-Lite so, but she wasn't there so I made it to comfort myself, and walking to church, my roommate and I fell in with a friend and I all but begged them both to push me into some particularly dense and prickly bushes, the kind that it would take at least an hour to free myself from. And all this long while I was supposed to have been reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin", which was painfully slow reading because all the dialogue is written out as it sounds. I never did finish it, not even halfway, despite my attempt to get up at 4am today to do so.

I talked with my sister H for almost an hour and a half on Sunday - it's surprising how much can happen in a week - and I'm horribly devastated because she's getting back her SAT scores tomorrow, and it will finally prove conclusively that she's smarter than the rest of us in the family, but smarter than M-Lite and me in particular- not that this is her aim, but I'll know in my heart that she's better, and it will be worse than losing at boggle times 12. Possibly times 17 even. I should be happy for her, but I'm a very poor loser, and in more than one sense. Our one comfort is that she isn't mechanically minded at all. I've also decided that I need to come up with a name for her, but nothing has really struck my fancy.

M-Lite cut my hair a little bit on Friday, and all evening all I could do was run my fingers through it so as to get used to it. Well, that's not all I did. I managed to partake of the most glorious confection known to mankind- the toasted twinkie. Toss a twinkie on the grill until it's golden brown (which isn't terribly hard considering that they come golden and all you have to wait for is the browning part) and it's deliciously crispy with a warm creamy center. I don't know how I'll go ever go back to plain ones, except that before this I never ate the plain ones, so maybe I do know how. All I know is that this must definitely become an annual event in order for me to be sated.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of my life

Sunday I:
-got asked to speak in sacrament meeting for next week - curse my stupidity for going up to the front to give the bishopric their ward newsletters
-ate a thanksgiving meal made by my roommates - I even ate some turkey and some green pistachio-pudding-ish thing with pineapple and cottage cheese in it
Monday I:
-worked, went to class yadayadayada
-went to FHE at 1st counc.'s house (by house I mean mansion) and explored before having a lesson in his movie theatre
-went late to happy pirates and has a ridiculously good time as usual
-had a terrible dream that resulted in me being happy
Tuesday I:
-went to class, worked, etc.
-declared myself as a media arts studies pre-major! more on that later
-watched Gilmore Girls with H
Wednesday I:
-worked
-copped out of work earlier than planned and went bowling
-made butt cancer card for Flippin's mom
-went to first movie night at Optimistic.'s and was very disappointed with "Tron" , but will go back to see "Wordplay"
Thursday I:
-spent all day at 1st counc.'s mansion for Thanksgiving. A lot more exploring and a lot of pictures taken.
-watched ice age 2 in their movie theatre downstairs
-played travel boggle and lost which made me bitter because I'm too competitive
-ate some really delicious rolls
-decided that what I'm thankful for this year are people who make me laugh
-had a dream that I had 3 or 4 tattoos, one of which said "Doyle" and was on my upper right arm. I think I had a bird on my back also
Today I:
-found a giant mole on the left side of my face - it's brand new, yet huge, but thankfully hidden by my hair
-am going to be visited by my sister A and brother-in-law-B
-hope to make a birthday card for my friend back home
-should start (a) reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (b) writing my talk for sunday, and (c) all my other homework that I haven't even touched this semester, but I'll probably just (d) hang out with A and B (e) get my hair cut by M-Lite and (f) read and sleep and booze and party and watch movies

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Leap

The words from a Brian Doyle essay called "Leap" came to me in my dream Monday night, and I awoke very happy, wishing that somebody in particular loved me, and instead of being my normal flippant and crude self I instead felt sincere and hopeful and happy. It did not go unnoticed by one of my co-workers who immediately accused me of being too happy, and it's true that I was somewhat loopy. Here are some excerpts from that essay -

"A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached out for each other and their hands met and they jumped….

Their hands reaching and joining is the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here…..

No one knows who they were: husband and wife, lovers, dear friends, colleagues, strangers thrown together at the window there at the lip of hell. Maybe they didn’t even reach for each other consciously, maybe it was instinctive, a reflex, as they both decided at the same time to take two running steps and jump out the shattered window, but they did reach for each other, and they held on tight, and leaped..."

Monday, November 20, 2006

SPIT

I spit down an elevator shaft this summer.I recalled all this after seeing Uffish hock one fierce loogie on Thursday. When I see people spit on the ground I am disgusted. It's sick. At my high school there was an outside back hallway that led from the weight room out to a parking lot and then to the football field and it was always wet with the spit of athletes, and it smelled oddly, just the way you would expect a saliva covered piece of asphalt to smell. And sometimes for my P.E. class, which was actually something akin to yoga, we would have to go outside, and our shoes would already be off, and I've have to walk through this saliva-ed no man's land, dodging loogie landmines. It's disgusting, and I equate it with littering in a way, which I believe to be the ultimate sin. I understand that spit isn't technically littering because of the whole biodegradable thing, but I still think that both are ethically wrong, and you might find it interesting to know that spit is technically classified as a weapon. Yeah, that's right, a weapon. (This is mainly to keep inmates from spitting on prison guards, but it truly is a weapon).

And I spit this summer. Not even outdoors which would have been excusable to most people, (though still not acceptable to me), but indoors. I was at work and there were three of us cleaning the thresholds of the elevators, which requires riding up to a floor, shutting down the elevator, then scrubbing and polishing and vacuuming, before riding up to the next floor before doing it all again. Six floors we're talking about here, and there are two elevators. I don't actually know why it all came about, but one of my co-workers decided to spit down the shaft when we were on the 3rd floor. He actually missed and ended up spitting all over the spot we were trying to clean. Anyway, we said that if he was going to spit down the shaft he should at least go up to the 6th floor and do it, and for some reason I said that if he did it from the 6th I would too, so we went about cleaning, all the while me saving up my spit because I've never been able to spit on command, and so by the time we got up to the 6th floor my mouth was almost full.

He spit, as our third co-worker looked on in disgust, but it wasn't very straight and I think ended up hitting the inside wall of the shaft almost immediately. Then it was my turn, and despite the fact that I don't approve of spitting in any situation except those involving watermelon seeds, I went for it. I put my lips right up close to the gap in the floor and spit. It was almost like in the cartoons when something or someone is falling and you hear a whistling noise before the splat - in my case there was an almost silence and then a "whap" kind of sound. It's highly unlikely that my loogie really made it all the way to the 1st floor, but I like to believe that it did.

So now you know the truth, that I am a hypocritical disgusting person who spits down the insides of buildings, and I hope you think the less of me for it, but still like me. The end.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

73 cents and a brown paper lunch sack

I had 73 cents on my lunch tray after I bought a salad from Sunshine at L&T. I usually pour half of my salad into the lid because it's so deep that I can never get to the lettuce before I've eaten the stuff off the top, so this way it gets evenly mixed when I eat it in halves. So as I ate out of the clear lid I could see through it to the spare change underneath. Spear some lettuce and uncover a dime, fork a bit of cucumber and hey, there's a penny. It made me happy. I once read a book where a character had a bowl with blue flowers on the bottom and she couldn't wait to finish her breakfast so she could see them. I rather liked finding change at the bottom of my salad, and I decided it would be wonderful to have all my bowls be like that; to have change and paperclips and tonka trucks and marbles and things of that sort embedded in all my china, like finding a prize in your cereal box, except everyday.

And as I was eating I watched out the window and saw a man running as fast as he could, uphill and in the rain, and I wondered was he was engaged in the biggest struggle of his life, was he chasing after his one true love, or was he just late trying to catch the bus? And I remembered all the times I missed the school bus as a child. We missed the bus on every first day of school that I can remember, probably because we weren't used to the schedule yet after sleeping all summer, having to be up that early, wondering where all our clean socks had got to, etc. And waiting in the Oregon wetness and cold every morning before getting on the bus that was heated only in spots, and only at your feet at first, and the smell of exhaust that pervaded the whole vehicle. I realized that I'll probably never ride a bus again and that felt strange to me. I like riding school buses - they smell weird and the seats are those strange green plastic-like something that people have written on, and there's no leg room, and the aisle's too narrow and the ride is too bouncy. I love it all, the grossness, the hugeness of it all. I wanted to own a school bus, but I thought that parking would be an issue, that and my mom said no.


You can't really sleep comfortably on a school bus, but on long nights coming home from band competitions you'd have to. We used to drive to U of O in Eugene, 2 1/2 hours away, and it was gloriously uncomfortable. Not only are you two to a seat, but you have uniforms and hat boxes and instruments and backpacks and pillows and all sorts of crap, and some stuff could go on something called the crap seat, which was set aside to pile your crap on, but most of it was piled on you. And we still laughed and tried to play card games and one year we engaged in the most intense game of catch phrase I've ever played on the way to Evergreen High in Washington. The score was tied back and forth every turn, 20 -20, 21-20, 21-21. W e eventually called a truce when we were forced off the bus upon arrival. I'd never yelled so much in my life. I loved it.

And thinking of all this I thought of my former friends, various memories, saying goodbye to certain people and places, and thought that I should feel sad, but in fact I didn't know how to feel, and didn't know if I felt anything at all, and it bothered me once again that I'm too emotionless at times. My sister H is a senior in high school and she doesn't want to leave. She says it's too perfect right now, she's having so much fun that she doesn't want to leave it all for college in the fall, and I envy her a bit and the fun she's having. I don't remember much from high school, and it wasn't that long ago, so it must be that it wasn't that memorable.

I went to pick up my now empty salad lid which was on the table next to my tray and through it I saw a word inked on the table. A name in fact - Journy - and I was delighted to have found this too in my salad, along with the change, like I was eating alphabet soup. There are words on the bottom of brown paper lunch sacks, and it was a treat to discover them each day. I've considered selling paper lunch sacks with paragraphs written on the bottom, each day a continuation of the day before, excerpts from a novel, so over the course of the year you read a story - you choose whatever book you want and then read it off your brown bag while you eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich that got squashed because there was an apple in there with it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Don't want to be white at Christmas

I found at least a dozen more white hairs on the left side of my head today. I always find them during my history or geology class and always they're on the left. I have no idea why this is. Maybe it's the lighting, or the fact that I never check the right side of my head. There's a certain white quota that must be met, but I thought that my skin satisfied those requirements times 12. Apparently not. Apparently as well as shrinking I am now going white. What am I, 82?! I'm aging very rapidly here. Maybe it's stress. At this rate I'll be entirely white come December. People will lose me against the snowy Utah background. My parents will meet me at the airport and won't recognize me.

I call home every Sunday to talk to H in French and my dad answered and was about to hand me over to H but my mom intercepted which was nice because I should call her more than I do which is pretty much never and she asked how I was and I said fine, except that I was tired. Tired of school or tired tired she asked? Both I said. I didn't tell her this, but I haven't slept decently since school started. I'm tired all of the time and I don't want to be in school. In fact I hate being in school, and I wonder if maybe I should just drop out. I mean, college can't be for everyone, right? Some people have an honest to goodness desire to be crammed into seating that has no leg room, scream a lot at sporting events, and spend their lives stressed out, but I can't say that I measure up to any of these standards. I also found out that when my mom was here at BYU she started to develop a stomach ulcer.

To recap, I am an old lady and I am tired. Also M-Lite and I have no lives. We went to see the BYU chamber orchestra play, which was wonderful, but afterward we were bored out of our minds again. Saturday L and her roommate C came over and we played Boggle which made me wake up. I love Boggle, and the evening ended with M-Lite and me attacking L with a pig pile - basically we jumped on her for awhile and yelled a lot, a glorious family tradition of ours.

Yesterday I studied for my New Testament midterm until Uffish, Flops, and Madame Manatee showed up and took me with them to pick up Sunshine to go to Optimistic.'s for to play games. It was unbelievably fun because I like to yell a lot when I play games like taboo and a lot of my favorite people were there. I stayed longer than I should have, but you can only read the New Testament for so long, and I was about 3 hours past that point, so I was glad to be diverted. However, I just took my history midterm and I bombed it. I will probably fail the class, and at this point I really don't care anymore.*

One more midterm today and one tomorrow that I need to study for and take and then I can die, but if I switch the order it might save me some time and grief. Je suis tres fatiguee et je veux dormir, mais je ne peux jamais. Also, goodbye forever.
*anymore denotes that I at one point did care, which is not true in the slightest

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Marriage Cake

I was proposed to today, and I remembered why I like to bake. We had a slew of birthdays at work this last month so I made a cake to bring in. I love feeding people because it makes them happy, which makes me happy. So I dished up the cake to everyone and I hear:

B (through a mouthful of cake): Genuine Draft, will you marry me?
Me: What was that?
S: I think you were just proposed to.
Me: Was he down on one knee? If not it doesn't count.

Over the summer I made a pineapple upside down cake which also evoked talk of marriage-
K: You made this cake?
Me: Yes
K: From scratch?
Me: Yes
K: You are ready to get married.

This makes me laugh a lot, as you can imagine. I shudder to think what would happen if I learned how to cook too.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Roller disco Pope


I'm a giant ham
What joy is Halloween night
Candy in my teeth

Our ward had its Halloween party on Friday at a roller rink, and I now know that roller skating scares me to death. I'm only moderately competent when it comes to skating - I have no control over my speed and direction, and this is a problem when the rink is crowded and when the people in front of you fall over. I screamed out of fear a number of times all while being dressed like Pippi and while enjoying a cookie. I also know now not to eat while I skate - all multi tasking is bad if skating is involved.

Saturday was Sunshine's party and I was the ham from "To Kill a Mockingbird" which was fun, except that I couldn't feed myself and had to have people put food in my eye hole, which for some reason people found funny. Also I won a beautiful trophy that I plan on keeping always, and in my future home it will be prominently displayed on my mantle in the place of honor, with a big light on it to outshine all my other awards. People will come to visit and see my Oscars and Pulitzers, but then, what's this? You won best costume in 2006?! Oh, I relish seeing their jealous faces when they catch a glimpse of my beautiful trophy, and then they'll ask how I came to be so wonderful and I'll be at a loss to explain it because let's face it, people like me just are, we're born this fabulous; not that there's that many of us, only 7 in the U.S. and Canada. It's sad really. Okay, I'm done now. On to a dozen things that scare me and that make me happy, six of each.

Things I 'm afraid of:

(1) Having a horse fall on me when I'm riding it, like what happened to John Wayne in "True Grit". This is completely irrational because I don't ride horses, but I just imagine that it would be awful to have one fall on you, crippling your legs.
(2) Pregnant people scare me. It's gross and not normal and gross, and did I mention gross? I pretty much can't deal with sick girl stuff like that.
(3) Becoming ill scares me - getting a disease that will kill me like cancer or something.
(4) Getting stuff in my eyes terrifies me - opening my eyes under water, but mostly having maggots and bugs fall into my eyes from a light cover. You might think it's not very likely, but it kind of is at my work
(5)Getting in an accident at work. Sometimes I'll be pulling a cart of tables and think how awful it would be if it ran me over and broke my legs, or if I were to slip while carrying something heavy. Slipping on wet things is another huge fear of mine.
(6)Wrists scare me. I can't look at peoples' wrists or veins -it makes me sick and grossed out and I have a history of fainting/puking in health-class-type situations.

Things that make me happy:

(1) Listening to records. Having something huge and black and tangible like a record makes me happy. In a way it's more real to me than listening to music any other way. I miss my record player.
(2)Sleeping. I take a mid-morning nap every day for almost an hour after my morning shower and before I get ready for the day.
(3)Reading the same books and watching the same movies over and over again. There's something wonderful about the familiarity of it. I like reading the sentence that starts on the end of one page and knowing how it's going to end before I turn to the next; kind of like how people who have lived together for awhile can finish each others sentences .
(4)Hanging out with friends makes me happy. Being relaxed and goofy and loud and spastic all at once and it's okay because you're with people who don't care that you're a weirdo.
(5) Old houses. The architecture, the craftsmanship! They don't make them like they used to. You can't drag me away. I find houses and I want them more than anything else; want to know them inside and out, want to own them all, collect them like stamps.
(6) French makes me happy. It also scares the crap out of me. Speaking it in front of people makes me nervous, but saying phrases to myself amuses me. Je veux manger une tigre, mais je ne peux jamais, parce qu' ils sont tres vites. = I want to eat a tiger, but I never can because they are very fast. You get the idea. Every Sunday I call my sister H and we talk in French and she catches me up on the gossip from back home, how A and M are practically dating each other and how our high school trounced Sunset at their homecoming, etc. Conversations make me happy.

And that is the end for now. It's Halloween and I'm happy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Nightmare after Walmart

I feel like death today; it was definitely an "I never want to leave my bed ever again" kind of morning. Yesterday I was on campus for eleven hours and I had to skip work to finish an essay I didn't want to write for my creative writing class, and all I got to eat was some tater tots, and the tots were crunchy and delicious but the essay was crap but I had to turn it in anyway, and the worst part is that you have to give a copy to everyone to workshop and when I go back next week it will be torture. Last night when I got home M-Lite was bored so we sat around and read all these essays-I was only going to read her one particularly funny one at first, but we ended up reading most of them, until our roommates were going to Wal-mart and asked if we wanted to go so we did even though we didn't need anything from there. Note to self: never go shopping with my roommates ever again.

They had a whole list of stuff they were looking for so we split up and agreed to meet back in the entrance at 12, which was 45 minutes away. We wandered and I ended up buying Apollo 13 and a York peppermint patty because it had been a couple years since my last one, and just now I'm remembering that in high school I started the anti-patty club because of my friend Patty, and our motto was "We hate all patties except those of a meat or peppermint nature" and we had plans to screen t-shirts saying as much. Anyway, M-Lite and I were done around 12 and sat waiting in the literally freezing lobby area for another half hour before our roommates showed up.

I believe in efficient shopping. Grocery shopping should take 20-30 minutes, and Christmas shopping should be avoided entirely. I cannot shop for more than an hour unless it is someplace like a thrift store where they have cool junk and old books to look at. After an hour in a real store I start to become extremely fatigued, so needless to say I was kind of annoyed that they were taking so much longer than planned, and I was even more annoyed when it turned out that they had gotten distracted smelling deodorants. Who does that? Anyway, I said to M-Lite while we were waiting for them that we should remember to not shop with them in the future, and she said that all people are like that, and I realized that she's right -no one that I know has our same shopping standards - few people could meet the requirements to be our shopping buddy.

One time M-Lite said she felt bad because we didn't really need anybody else as a roommate because we got along so well, and at the time I agreed, and I believe that it's true of me, but I don't know that it's necessarily as true for her. She needs people more than I do I think - needs social interaction from time to time because she's normal, and I know for a fact that I can be quite annoying with a capital A. Then again I don't think she'd want to live with those people and have to deal with them all the time because she gets annoyed easily and can't be as open about it with them as she can with me because we're related. Oh well, I now own Apollo 13 and I'm happy, except that last night all of my dreams took place in Wal-mart and a lady who worked there was work-shopping my essay and had it projected up on a huge screen for all to see and I think it was one of the worst dreams I've ever had. The end times 12.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Goodbye Forever

At the end of last year I couldn't decide if I wanted to stay at school or go home for the summer. I had planned to go home and work, but I felt that I needed to stay for some reason. Mainly I hate change, hate moving around when I feel I shouldn't have to, and while going home would have been returning to normalcy and comfort, I had developed ties here that I didn't want to lose. This is ridiculous of course; a lot of people go home for the summer and see no one that they know from school and are fine. This is especially true after one's freshman year, when you are expected to return home, but once I settle somewhere I hate to move, hate to change, lest what I've been building should shatter and be no more. Also, I already had a job here and didn't want to find one in Portland. All of this turned out to be terrible reasoning on my part.

Everyone I had stayed for would eventually leave, and I would have had my choice of two terrifically well-paying jobs had I gone home, where I would have had virtually no expenses and therefore saved a ton of money, all while getting to see my family. I did visit home once school got out. M-Lite and I went home in May for a week. I wanted to stay for two, but there was a scheduling conflict. Once I was home I realized that I was crazy for not returning and never wanted to leave again, but the damage had already been done. I'm one of those people who's scared to change their mind. Anyway, my sister H was kind of mad at me for deciding to stay here vs. returning home, and I agree that I would have had a cool summer in Portland. So our last morning at home we're in the driveway getting ready to leave, and H comes out to her car to drive to school and gives me a frown because I'm leaving when we both know that I should stay, and I call out after her "Goodbye Forever" and she says that she hates me and I laugh and she drives away.

That's how the phrase got started, because joking is the only way I can cope with awful truths. Not that I haven't seen my family since then, or don't plan on going home every chance I get, but behind the phrase there's the lurking suspicion that it might be true on some level. Two of my sisters are married, one of them is on the east coast, and there's a good chance that I won't see her for a couple of years. How do people live like this? How and why do we move away and set up separate lives? I live with M-Lite right now, which is awesome, because we're sisters and we've always gotten along pretty well, but one day she'll get married, and we'll split up our belongings - I'll take the movies and she'll take the appliances - and I can't help but feel that it'll be something akin to divorce.

There's no substitute for getting to be with your family. And now I'm sad for having written this, but I can't help but feel that while I'm away at school I'm missing out on something better, and I know that it's perceived as foolish to try and go back, that you have to stop living in the past at some point, but I miss home. I am homesick. Christmas will probably kill me, to be home for just two weeks before having to leave, and it's all part of the larger realization that my home will never be my home again, that it hasn't been my home since I left, that no matter how long I go back for -two weeks at christmas or all of summer break - I'm still just visiting and will have to say goodbye.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Songs of September

Yesterday I brought up the play "The Fantastiks" when talking to M-Lite. I saw it only once, when I was around eight years old. I remember 12 words of one of the songs, one line ("This plum is too ripe"), and the basic idea behind the plot. I remember next to nothing about it, but I like this play. The premise was that there were two neighbors who hated each other so they built up a wall to separate their yards, and they refused to let their children be friends. This of course led to the two of their children falling madly in love because their fathers hated each other and it was forbidden. Then it comes out that the fathers are really best friends and they built the wall and pretended to hate each other preciseley so that their children would fall in love. Now everything is hunky-dorey and they can stop pretending that they're enemies so they tear down the wall, but then everything goes sour. I don't remember much beyond that but I liked the fathers in the play because of their scheming and old-manish ways. They decided that the reason it all ended badly was because pretending to hate each other was half the fun; waiting until their kids were out to sneak over to the other's house for a secret game of cards, etc.

My conflict is this, and I know this is a somewhat inane statement, but I like for friendships to be fun. I don't like having to work for it, put up with drama, etc. I want people who like me as much as I like them. However, although I do like it when people confide in me, I never confide in other people, so they in turn don't confide in me, and it's a vicious cycle in which the friendship never progresses because I'm too emotionally guarded. I'm pretty sure that makes me a bad friend. I can also be friends with someone I don't like, which probably makes me insincere. I can be there for them and listen to their concerns and give them advice and not even really like them. I'm willing to do that when I have to, but I'd prefer not to. I want people who are low maintenance like I am, who like to laugh, and if they have any major problems, I don't know about it. But at the same time I think this says something that I'm not capable of deep relationships, and that I care about people only to a certain extent. Basically I feel both ways and have yet to find a good balance.

One of my sisters, M, and I once talked about what would happen if someone in our family were to die, and we both decided that our family would pretty much fall apart because we have no way to cope with something so terrible. Our mom wouldn't be able to handle it, and I think we'd all go to pieces after something like that. I've never had someone close to me die -nobody in my family, immediate or extended has died. I've got all my siblings, cousins, parents, aunts & uncles, and grandparents in tact give or take a few organs.

My home teachers last year would come and three of the messages in a row were about trials, and I told them I didn't think I had any. Everyone goes through trials, but my life has been somewhat lacking in terrible things, not that I'm complaining, but I sometimes worry that maybe I'll be trial-less for a long time and then this whole slew of devastating things will happen to make up for it and I'll be crushed by it because it will be so overwhelming. Then again I wonder if I do have trials and I just don't know about them. How can you not know you have trials though? I should think it would be obvious. Maybe I'm just not observant enough. Or too optimistic, which seems unlikely. Well, when I do, I guess I'll know, and if not, someone will probably inform me after the fact. I'm always the last to know about things and I don't see why this would be the exception.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hot Dang

M-Lite got in! She's an accepted freshman at BYU. The letter came yesterday. Hot dang I'm excited. Next year there will be three of us here if H decides to come to Provo. Hot Dang - that's all I can say. I knew she'd get in. Well, I said we'd have a party, and we may just combine it with our bad luck party that we're having on Friday the 13th, which was a substitute party for until she got her letter, which she now has. Hot freakin' dang I'm happy.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Thursday makes me happy. I ran into Flippin who came to Sunshine's to watch The Office, and C and J came too like they do every week. The Office pretty much is awesome. Anyway, after The Office I called home to call back my Mom and I also talked to my sister H who makes me laugh. I'll be so happy when I get to see her at Christmas, but more-so when she comes down to school next fall, assuming of course that she comes to BYU instead of going to some crazy ivy league school like she wants to. Our conversation included her saying she misses me not because I'm me, but because now she has to do her own art projects, both of us trying to recite that Tikki -Tikki -Tembo story thing about the boy in the well, and her telling me one story about a stolen statue of St. Joseph that she didn't really steal but everyone in her classes at school thinks she did. Ahh, I miss home. I can't wait to go home this next summer. Our conversation was temporarily halted when Sunshine came over to go to D.I. to look for salvaged materials to build a chair for her design class, but I called H back on Sunshine's cell phone on the ride over to D.I.. Can I just say how much I like thrift shopping? A whole freaking lot. At home there's Value Village which is where most of my clothes and junk come from. And how much do I like thrift shopping with Sunshine? Another whole freaking lot. We left D.I. with 5 pairs of wooden crutches, among other things, and as we were walking back to her car I felt so ridiculously happy for no reason at all, other than that we must have looked pretty funny, walking in the rain along a busy road with a bunch of crutches in the middle of the night. My favorite moment while shopping was when she told me to watch the cart to make sure nobody ran away with the crutches. That made me laugh. I bought a thermometer, which is something that I've had on my to-buy list for at least 6 months. This one has a rainbow on it and is extremely tacky; exactly what I want. I hope to one day have an extremely huge mansion of a house and to fill it with plastic cups, croquet sets, random chairs, and pillowcases, all of them mismatched and used. There's a golf course back home that I want to buy, mainly for the grass, but also for the sand traps which I want to turn into sand boxes and the trees there have excellent tree-house potential. Plus there's a pool and a freaking huge house looking building that probably houses the gift shop and stuff like that. I've never actually gone inside because I'm scared to, but I think I will when I'm home. Coincidentally, across the street from this golf course is the cemetery where I want to be buried. It's small and crowded by the houses in back of it, and its parking lot is always full. Not because people visit the graves there, but because people park there to go across the street and golf. It must make those dead people sad - they're all like "oh look, someone has come to see me, oh wait, nevermind, they're just here to golf, nobody loves me after all." Anyway, one day I will own that golf course I have never been to and be buried across the street in the cemetery that I have never been to either but have always wanted to go to. Also on my list is to go to the light shoppe, because it too would be fun to explore and I've considered going in there for as long as I can remember, to examine expensive light bulbs and chandeliers. I don't think I've actually been anywhere where I'm from.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This cake is only for believers

I just wanted to say that the weather has been glorious. Yesterday when it was windy and overcast I felt happy, and then I was sad because I realized that I hadn't been happy before then, but then I was happy because it was cool and dim out, just like it would be at home. And then it rained and Yom Kippur happened.I wasn't expecting it, but I'm glad Flippin called to tell me it was going on. I got to wear a fish tie. I've decided to celebrate every holiday I can get my hands on, for no other reason than that I want to be in a celebratory mood.

Last year #15 would have fake surprise birthday parties and have #9 over and they'd sing and eat cake. This happened several times until #9 didn't want to play along when it wasn't really anybody's birthday, but said they wanted cake anyway and S said what I still consider to be one of the funniest things I've never heard, which was- "No, this cake is only for believers!" I miss that.

My new roommates are very normal. They are girls. Loud , normal, boy-crazy girls. So loud that I haven't slept much this past month and I'm tired most of the time. I miss the zany weirdos I used to have access to all the time. Do any of these new people know who William Powell is, or what a shiv is, or even have 1/78 of the sense of humor that I'm accustomed to being exposed to? Heck no. In short they irritate me, and maybe I'll get used to them, but then again I'm not really sure that I will, because I'm not comfortable being myself around them, and quite frankly they scare me. I hate new places and people. I hate change. Except for dimes. Dimes are pretty awesome.

M-lite and I have discussed building furniture or a garden path out of pennies, which I think would be awesome because over time they'd turn green. I want to use the word patina, but don't know where to place it so I'm just going to throw it out there. Most of all I want to not be in school, but instead make things like lamps and furniture, and M-lite wants to make chandeliers, so I think we're all set. I want to work with my hands. Why is it that people are all engineers and doctors and scientists? Where are the bakers and carpenters and mechanics? I think I've missed the era I was supposed to be born in.

Most days I feel like a 64 year old woman. My knees bother me when I sit and my feet crack when I walk. I've lost some of my height too. I'm some sort of hunchback, and I try to counteract it by sitting up straight, which causes my back to make funny crackings and poppings, which is something that it has never done before now. I've lost an inch and a quarter. I think that inch is lost forever, but if you find that quarter could you return it to me? It's from 1969.