Friday, December 11, 2009

Ok, that does it.

So there's this social phenomenon going around that I'd like to address. We are all familiar with it. We are all so acquainted with it, in fact, that we probably didn't even notice how awkward it is anymore. Except for me. I notice. I notice, and I say, it has to stop.

I call it "The Long Path". The long path is any time you are walking somewhere and someone is walking in the opposite direction, towards you. At what point do you make eye contact? When do you smile? And what if it's someone you actually know, then what? How long do you wait before you link eyes and acknowledge each other? Am I the only who gets stressed out by this EVERY SINGLE TIME? Sometimes it is possible to defer the whole situation by pretending you didn't see them, or are otherwise occupied. But this option is rendered null as soon as you make eye contact. Say you make eye contact 100 hundred feet away, and this person is an acquaintance, so you know you're going to have to formally acknowldge them. But are you seriously going to just hold that eye contact all the way until you're close enough to actually speak to one another? No. Of course you're not. That would be a long path of awkward. So instead you both quickly avert your eyes and keep walking, not to reunite eye contact until you are close enough to actually say hello. But come on you guys, who are you kidding?! You both saw each other, now you're going to pretend that you didn't? Come on now. So awkward.

The thing is, I don't see any reasonable solution. My M.O. is usually to feign obliviousness, keeping my eyes busy at all times scanning the scenery around me and avoiding faces. Unfortunately it doesn't take long for this method to feel pathetically contrived, and seriously, no one is that interested in scenery, especially when it's the same scenery you see every flipping day when you walk this route.

So the other option, then, would be simply to throw out all these inhibitions and just be friendly, right? Just hold that eye contact. Save yourself some work, keep your face in a perpetual smile so you don't have to time it perfectly every time you cross paths with someone. Remember, sometimes the best act of service you can perform is just to smile at someone! And I'm sure some people live by this, and it works great for them. The problem is that I am not that person. While optimism and cheeriness are virtues I certainly respect, sincerity is one I esteem even higher.

And then we start descending into all that messy business of social etiquette and customs, which most of us seem to agree are unfortunate, yet necessary. I really hate that when people ask me how I am, I have to say 'good' even if I'm not, but that's how the cookie crumbles. I hate that when I say, "How are you?" I'm really just saying, "Oh, hi there." Pero, que sera sera.

If anyone has any alternate suggestions, please let me know. Until then, enjoy your long paths everyone.

Friday, November 27, 2009

more from The Four Loves. How does Clive be so awesome?

"In words which can still bring tears to my eyes, St. Augustine describes the desolation in which the death of his friend Nebridius plunged him (Confession IV, 10). Then he draws a moral. This is what comes, he says, of giving one's heart to anything but God. All human beings pass away. Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose. If love is to be a blessing, not a misery, it must be for the only Beloved who will never pass away.

Or course, this is excellent sense. Don't put your goods in a leaky vessel. Don't spend too much on a house you may be turned out of. And there is no man alive who responds more naturally than I do to such canny maxims. I am a safety-first creature. Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as "Careful! This might lead you to suffering."

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities. I doubt whether there is anything in me that pleases Him less. And who could conceivably begin to love God on such a prudential ground -- because the security (so to speak) is better? Who could even include it among the grounds for loving? Would you choose a wife or a Friend -- if it comes to that, would you choose a dog -- in this spirit? One must be outside the world of love, of all loves, before one thus calculates."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

C.S. Wisdom

Long time no post, sorry loyal fans. I struggle determining which things in my life are post-worthy, and when I think I've found something I am usually met with a sudden blast of sheepish humility, so then I just forget it and go eat ice cream instead. Given that this is the pattern, it would certainly appear that the whole blog thing is not for me.

Until I was thumbing through my favorite work of C.S. Lewis the other day, The Four Loves, and was reacquainted with this little gem:

"Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become, even in the natural loves, more careful of our own happiness. If a man is not uncalculating towards the earthly beloveds whom he has seen, he is none the more likely to be so towards God whom he has not. We shall draw nearer to God not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it." pg. 92

Well shoot, Clive, you sure know how to speak to my soul. I'm sorry to say that my cursory experiences in this realm have left me somewhat, probably unduly, jaded, and rife with all sorts of mental and emotional armour. Clive brings me back to what it's all about.

I should still keep some armour though, right? You can't go out into that big, scary dating world with just a loin cloth, now, can you? (Pardon the unsettling image)

I have much to learn.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

He Was Amazing!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More pix, and a pep talk

This was at mile 18 when I first made contact with TKEEC. Apparently they had been following me for about a mile in snail-slow traffic, but I was jamming out to my ipod so I didn't hear them until they drove right up next to me screaming. It was so great to see them! Their raucous support gave me the push I needed to make it through the next 8.2 miles of death.

This is how I felt at mile 24.

One bite of chocolate peanut butter Clif bar, one suppression of nausea, and one cup of gatorade - and we're off!

Here's a a rear shot of the one from last post. Woohoo!

Thanks to everyone for your support and congratulations. Without waxing too corny, I will say that the significance of this accomplishment, for me, extends far past physical training and endurance. Marathons are without a doubt a mental affair. And yes, it can be argued that those who choose to run them are certifiably insane. Still, I knew going into this and I know now that the completion of this marathon would be as much a triumph of the brain as of the body, and now I have hope once more that I am in control of both. Game on, Mish's brain. Game on.

I'd also like to add that if I can do this, you all can. Seriously. I highly encourage each of you to throw out your preconceived limitations and rethink what you're capable of. I will be running the SLC marathon next April and I would love to have a running buddy this time :)

Shout-out to brother S. on his upcoming marathon this weekend! I have you to thank for giving me the notion in the first place. You're going to own that thing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Gonna Fly Now

Foreshadow? Not likely. Still, this little piece of nostalgia gives me hope that despite my egregious lack of training, I still have it in me. Knee braces, don't let me down. Vaseline, stay by my side. Gatorade, be my beacon and guide the way. After all this I consecrate my fate to that running deity who doubtless knows what it is like to hit the wall, and whom I consequently trust will be merciful.

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Gratitude

I just wanted to give a little shout-out to those of you (read: every reader of this blog) who have inundated me in recent months with your love, support and prayers. They have been surely felt and I consider myself highly blessed for having access to such a stellar support system. You guys all rock. Someday when the haze has lifted, I promise to tell all (think Bill Clinton, "My Life"). Until then, stay awesome everybody.

To distract from the uncomfy feeling of intimate exposure that I now possess, here's a picture of a venus pie-trap.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh yes.

Earlier this week, BYU campus lifted its infamous ban on youtube. The mailroom workers proceeded to celebrate by rewatching every video we had ever seen, plus finding a few rare beauties along the way. I am pleased to present to you: the literal version of Separate Ways. Trust me, you'll thank me.

Oh, and if you enjoy this, I also recommend the literal versions of A-ha's Take On Me
and Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm Back in the U.S.S.R.

Dude. It has been quite a while. So much for my Sizzler approach. I think SKISLN is right about my offending some blogger deity; ever since the offense it has been too scary to risk offending him again. Sort of like how it's been too scary to go back to that C-wing bathroom.

It doesn't help that I have nothing to say and no new pictures with which to compensate.

But hey, who said I needed new pictures? I really enjoy the low amount of blogging effort that the picture-caption format entails, so I choose that. I'll save my discussion on the ethics of whaling for next time.

Halloween 08! With the exception of Kathryn aka Shawn Johnson, my roomies and me dressed up as Disney villains; from left to right: Malificent, Madam Mim, Scar, and Ursula. It was fantastic. Oh, and I made Ursula's costume all by myself, heck yes I did.

This is Steph and me doing our own rendition of an emo heart that we saw online. So maybe it's a little on the angular side, but I still think this is a pretty rad picture. Can't you feel the angst?

I realize that stealing a shopping cart is something I ought to have gotten out of my system in junior high, but I'm a late bloomer. His name was Lewis. We rolled him home, carried him up the steps to our apartment, and unloaded our goods right there in the kitchen. He boarded in our living room for a few weeks and then one day he was gone. Later we found out that one of the roomies had taken it upon herself to wheel him back to Smith's. With her boyfriend inside. College is great.

You know, as far as pillows go, butts are some of the comfy-est things your tired head can find.

This is Mo as a bambino. It is hard to describe the unfounded motherly love I feel for her when I look at this picture. The beaglespot understands.

I know we've all seen this one before, but this pic is so epic that I thought it deserved a reprise. And to think, all it took to spark such brilliance was probably a bunch of us standing around together, and Ma, her Kodak-moment radar not to be stymied, suggesting, "Hey kids, why don't you put on these hats and look at me?"

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Now I Have Guilt

I did something uncharacteristically mean-spirited today and I feel I must confess.
So, remember that favorite napping spot of mine in the second floor, C-wing bathroom of the ASB? Yes, well, it's still my favorite napping spot, and I've taken to napping there nearly every day after the morning route. Today as I was falling asleep I had a thought come to my head, which went something along the lines of, "I wonder if anyone cares that I sleep in here. No one's ever confronted me about it. Huh."

Well. Call it intuition, or maybe foresight, but guess what happened next? I woke up about an hour and a half later and happened to turn over and glance acros the room, where my eyes found this neon sticky note taped to the edge of the counter, right where I could see it:

I was stunned. Who would write such a thing? Didn't they know I AM an employee? I didn't mean to impose on anyone, I just get really tired sometimes! Is it so wrong to want to take a nap in a vacant bathroom lounge? The hearted exclamation point merely added insult to injury.

I tried to go back to sleep, but of course my affronted mind wouldn't rest. Self-conscious distress quickly morphed into bitterness, so I made my way down to the mailroom where I knew I would find a sympathetic co-worker. Kathryn was just as outraged as me. After a bit of brainstorming, we responded with this:

"Dear passive-aggressive employee,
Do you always heart your exclamation points? Anyway, I am an employee here, but thanks for your concern" (followed by three obnoxious hearted exclamation points).

The more I read over that, the more immature it looks. It's probably the brattiest thing I've ever done. And of course as soon as I left it I felt instantly guilty for spreading contention. I will let this stand as another testament of the importance of abstaining from action in a moment of anger.

But. I have to admit... it certainly made our day more interesting. When we went around the building for the noon route, Kathryn checked up on the note to see if the offender had anything else to say, and she found it in an angry crumple in the garbage can, with a hole in it (?!).

On that note, you should all go here
(apologies for the occasional profanity on above-linked website)

Enjoy your workspaces, everyone.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Check it out!

I found this picture online a while ago for a presentation I gave on "Animal Goliaths" at the Bean Museum (they have a Saturday Safari program for kids every week that I've been able to help out with a couple times). Check out the size of the whale shark in proportion to the diver! What's more, check out the size of that stingray next to the diver! What is this world coming to.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In celebration of the end of finals, a laugh

Man, that's the worst!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nothing to Say.

The title of my post should be sufficient to answer any questions you might have. It has come to my attention, however, that a certain eager follower has taken to checking my blog daily, only to find it empty day after day, a la "The Mailbox" (that horrifically sad church-produced video about the old lady who checks her mailbox every day and never gets any mail and then dies - you know the one). Well, I never could stomach The Mailbox or its message, so I hereby vow to give this blog thing a little more effort. Disclaimer: it is requisite that some quality be sacrificed in the name of quantity. We've all been to Sizzler, we all know this. In other words, I can't promise that my forthcoming entries are going to be as rhetorically awesome as they've been in the past, but sometimes even junk mail is better than no mail, right?

I thought I'd get us started with some good old picture-narrations of recent-happenings, kind of like my last post part 2. Yay!
Yes, we made it. Sometime in mid-February it became clear to myself and my roommate Stephanie that school-time was over and that it was, indeed, Disneyland-time. So, in true no-children-or-other-serious-obligations-spontaneous-college-student fashion, we took our boys and we went. And can I just say, that place seriously is so happy. I swear they downgraded the castle since last time I went, and I really didn't remember there being so many Mexicans, but no matter - it was, truly, magical.

Matterhorn! Slightly lamer than we all remembered, but still charming in its own way. That abominable snowman gets me every time.

You can probably tell, from this next series of pictures, why the teacups were yet again my favorite ride.

I was so brave this trip! Not only did I go on Space Mountain and Screamin' (the monster roller coaster at California Adventure) for the first time, but, arguably the longest time in coming, I went on the Snow White ride.

As you can see, the old hag is still as scary as ever, but I'm working on it. I even allowed myself to be compelled to take a picture with her in her non-hag form.

And finally, real-life nuns having fun! You better believe I chased them down with my roommate's camera for a photo of them entering the line for Star Tours. This was the closest picture I could get without being too obvious and/or offensive. They walked with a very determined pace, too, as if they somehow knew that people would inevitably stare in wonder and ask for pictures if they didn't move to their destination briskly.

In other recent happenings, my best friend forever Carol came to visit me for her spring break! I just love her. Her visit serendipitously coincided with the annual Holi Krishna Festival of Colors that the Hindus hold every year at their temple in Spanish Fork. This was my second year of attending and let me tell you, the Hindus throw a mean party. Basically, every year the local Hindus have all these packages of colored chalk imported from India, and, at the appointed time, we all gather on the temple grounds and throw aforementioned chalk at each other, to celebrate the coming of spring and some other stuff that I don't remember. A massive Hindu dance party immediately follows. Henna tattoos are administered, chanting ensues, people climb onto roofs and dance like crazies. It is the perfect flamboyant outlet for us conservative BYU students.

We took this one just as an errant puff of chalk exploded over our heads. Good times, good times.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Yeah, ok, so maybe I can't attribute ALL of my blog absence to introversion. I really don't feel like my life is comprised of very many responsibilities/activities that might justify such a severe case of blog neglect, however, upon further thought I have decided that those few things that do fill my life are major time-sucks. So here they are (unfortunately, taking pictures has not been one of those time sucks, so most of these are going to have to be supplied by Google):

Ah yes, it is a familiar scene for each of us. This is me after a particularly draining day of the pursuit of knowledge. It's not that I don't like to learn; why, George H. Brimhall said that "It is a sin to be ignorant when there is so much opportunity for knowledge", and I think I believe him. Sometimes, though, just sometimes, I can't help but wonder if there isn't a better way. There's something very unsettling about this system we have of cramming our heads by day and partying it all out by night, only to rinse and repeat the next day, and the day after that, every day! And it's at this point that I ought to remind everyone that I'm only taking 12 credits. How on earth do my other, more ambitious peers do this every day without going completely postal? Beats me, but I applaud them whole-heartedly.

Speaking of postal...this quaint picture symbolizes me and my new job at the ASB mailroom. It really is a great job - I get there at 7:20 every morning, sort mail, deliver it to the all the important peeps working in the ASB, stay clocked in while I go about campus doing my thing, come back at 11:30 to sort and deliver packages, clock out, fine. So in reality, this really doesn't take up much of my time, but it's a significant part of my life nonetheless. I've always enjoyed sorting things (silverware being my only exception), and I like knowing that I am the appointed vessel to hand-deliver all the important pieces of mail to all the important people in the ASB. Plus, you begin to feel like you're real hot stuff because you're on a first name basis with Michael Colledge's secretary, you know that Carl Bailey prefers people to knock before entering, and you're sad that Mary Whipple will soon be leaving the records office to go serve a mission with her husband.

This picture represents me and and how much I freaking love my food prep class. Dude. Best class ever. We meet once a week to learn about food for an hour, then cook for three hours, and then we eat all our creations. Lest you need convincing, it is awesome. Today was egg week and my kitchen made a charming chocolate roll cake, read: giant ho-ho. Um, wow. Besides the obvious benefit of having all my meals covered every Wednesday, I really like the abundance of new, tried-and-true recipes I've gleaned from taking this class. Because I love you all, here is the recipe for the fabulous Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze we enjoyed last week for meat week:

1 lb salmon fillet
1 T packed brown sugar
1 T margarine, melted
1 T vegetable oil
a T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 T prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed

1. Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Place salmon, skin side down, in a shallow baing dish.
3. Pour marinade over salmon. Cover and refrig. 30 min.
4. Set oven control to broil.
5. Remove salmon from marinade. Reserve marinade. Place salmon, skin side down, on rack in broiler pan.
6. Broil with top 4-6 inches from heat for 10-15 minutes, brushing with marinade every few minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
7. Discard remaining marinade.

Ok, so I realize we don't all have salmon lying around our kitchens waiting for the perfect recipe. But hey, I'm sure that honey mustard glaze could be a very nice supplement to pretty much any meat dish save ground beef, eh?

There's been a lot of running going on lately in preparation for the annual Rex Lee Run, in which my former roommate Jenn and I will be running the 10k! Woohoo! I think it's safe to say now, after several years of this business, that I really do enjoy running. I always look forward to blasting my ipod and turning off my brain for a good 40-min block of sweet tune-outage. This is probably due in part to the effects of that merciless homework system mentioned earlier. But don't worry all you worry-heads; I am always vigilant of potential rapists. Plus, I know ka-razy, too.

Yes, my first picture already hinted at this, but it's just too large a part of my life to leave out. I. Love. Sleep. I think I will always love sleep. Few things frighten me more than the prospect of having to carry out a full day on less than 7 hours of it. Recently, I have had the good fortune of coming across the perfect campus nap spot: The second floor, C-wing bathroom of the ASB, which has a little lounge area complete with psychologist couch and pillows. Plus, there is relatively little traffic since the ASB houses mostly male employees and this particular restroom has only to accomodate the second-floor ladies. I set the alarm on my phone, snuggle in, and I am out. It is glorious.

Of course, this post wouldn't be entirely honest if I didn't admit that the biggest time-suck, next to homework, is the boy. Not that he's not worth it or anything...but I do sometimes think I should be allowed to factor him in as three extra credit hours or something, just to make myself feel a little better about being such a deadbeat blogger, you know?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Proper Care and Feeding of Introverts

I think this might explain my M.I.A. status on this forgotten little blog: introverts

The best part is that I found this resonant article while hiding from the shrieks of social jubilance emitting from my living room, where a ward party is running its course thanks to my acutely extroverted roommate. Now, if I could only find a tactful way to pass this on to aforementioned roommate...