Thursday, November 30, 2006


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:
-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


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


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.