Saturday, December 10, 2011
Blind, snarky, loveable Dean. This guy never failed to give me a hard time for trying to recruit him for activities. He also never failed to seek me out afterwards to inform me that he went to them. He's my favorite.
Sweet, sweet Ben who earned a silver star in the Korean War, writes books on LDS divorce prevention, and makes me feel like a hundred bucks. This goodbye was especially hard. We even kissed on the lips, but I don't want to talk about that any further. The point is, he's my favorite.
This one looks like an engagement photo, and that's kind of awkward, but I still love this guy too. Casey has the most raucous laugh you've ever heard, wears sunglasses at all times, and brings himself to tears every time he plays the piano in the lobby. Several disturbing lip-kisses at this goodbye too, but I REALLY don't want to talk about that, because this is going to be remembered as a sweet event, ok? Not an icky one. Cause he's my favorite.
Oh, so then I shot the breeze with Bee Money and we said our goodbyes. Frankly, the Bee $ issue troubles me. How do you solve a problem like Bee Money? Eh, I've been trying to formulate in words exactly what I mean, but it's not working , so I'll just insert some key words for now: responsibility, community, mental deficits, caretaking. Just so you know, he's as pure and good as they come.
Oh, and then there was that time Carol, Michael and myself performed that embarrassing photoshoot at the Salt Flats (embarrassing because we performed a photoshoot - the pictures themselves were fine). (That's a lie, the pictures were embarrassing, too).
Oh right, Flenna. Flenna: that thing where you're happily flossing when you notice that your floss seems to be an unnatural yellowish color, and then you follow your discolored string to the source, only to find that you have been unwittingly dragging it through the not-quite-dried henna paint on your hand, which means, of course, that you have been flossing with henna. Flenna.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Second. All I ever want to do these days is sit on my bed and watch 30 Rock. I'm sorry to say my Tina Fey girl-crush continues to escalate to unhealthy proportions.
Third, you know that thing where you're responsibly waiting at a crosswalk for the white stick man to show up, and all of the sudden some bold character shuffles past you and starts crossing the street, and for a brief second you're all confused and thinking Wait! He's not here yet! And next you're feeling all lame and prudeish for being so law-abiding. You know, that thing? Yeah.
Fourth, a very warm welcome to my scrumptious new niece, Amelia. If birth stories are your thing, perhaps go read my sister's blog post about Amelia's birth, cause it's hilarious. Except what am I saying? You all know this! Cause she's your sister too.
Also, totally jazzed to be approaching graduationdom. Larsens, winter the way it was meant to be lived (eat it, Utah), and also T. has agreed to perform an intervention in my out-of-control carb addiction. I predict many convulsions and gnashings of teeth during those first few weeks of detox, but maybe after that my body will be able to accept roughage again. And maybe these next few weeks I'll be unconsciously filling up on Hostess fruit pies to make up for the upcoming famine, or maybe not so unconsciouslywhat? I don't wanna talk about it. Apple's my favorite.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
There now. Pretty good stuff, huh? I think it was B-man that posted the article to his facebook page a couple years ago. Like any self-justifying member of a misunderstood minority, I ate that thing up when I read it. And along with Card, I have found myself not a few times since then reflecting longingly on the idea of a mini-Mormon monastery.
But alas, the structure of faithful church membership remains as it is, three hours, once a week in a designated meetinghouse. And I suppose there must be divine wisdom in that. Still, I have discovered an alternative that I allow myself to take, only every now and then, when my student ward becomes too much to handle.
Family wards. I go to family wards. It started out innocently enough. Oops! By some freak accident I overslept my alarm and missed my ward today, oh well, guess I'll have to go to the family ward instead. After all, it's just right down the street. This evolved into, Geez, my ward meets so early, I'm just gonna catch up on some sleep and hit up the family ward tomorrow instead. This soon became, I only ever go to the family ward because student wards blow. It was a problem.
But you have to understand! First of all, do you know how refreshing family wards are for someone who has only known church in the form of exalted high school for the past five years? It's like stepping out of an artificially-created world into the real deal. To me, family wards represent what real life is like. It's not quite so neatly manicured as a student ward. It's not quite so Stepford Wivesy. And I like that.
Second, do you know how awesome it is for an introvert to be able to sit through all three meetings completely undisturbed? And why is that? Cause no one knows you! Forget the stomach-churning, mind-numbing, soul-deadening chit-chat that is common to halls and foyers, you don't got nobody to talk to! Sure, you might have to endure a few well-meaning souls who want to know if you're new here or visiting, but in the end it's still worth it cause you're never going to see this person again. Off come the chains of social responsibility, you are free! Free to worship as you please, which is privately, in the back row, and only until the last prayer is said, after which you better believe you are outta there quicker than you can say Visiting Teacher. Basically, it's wonderful. The only revitalizing Sundays I ever have anymore are the ones in which I allow myself this indulgence.
Today was one of those days. I woke up, made pancakes, got ready for church, and drove down to the 'ol meetinghouse where I knew a family ward was guaranteed to be meeting. Unfortunately for me, I was barely seated when I happened to make eye contact with my old roommate and her newly-married husband, who are apparently in this ward now. By the time I realized my error, it was too late, and I became obligated to come and sit with them. So much for my hour of private worship.
Unwilling to ride out the rest of the church block with my acquaintances, who would surely feel obligated to invite me to continue on with them to Sunday School, I respectfully bid goodbye to my married friends and headed out in search of another meetinghouse. A short way down the road, I chanced upon the very first ward I ever attended after moving to Utah. I decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately for me, former young women leader who happens to be a psychiatrist who once gave me free counseling is still in that ward, and may have recognized me. I waited out the second hour, but you better believe the closing prayer had me outta there faster than you can say Bad Memories.
The third hour of church finds me parked at one of those fancy new meetinghouses that all look the same. What is wrong with me? I think. Why do I find it so impossibly difficult to attend more than three hours of the same ward, much less my assigned ward? Aw, who cares, I think. All that matters is that I'm attending my meetings and being edified. And then I think, Man, I sure am lucky to be living through this phase in a state where I can find a different ward every quarter-mile. And then I think, Hey, what should I eat when I get home from church? And then I go inside.
And find that no one in that church building currently speaks anything but Mandarin.
You can't say I didn't try.
The last half hour of church finds me at Grant's nursing home. Unfortunately, he is asleep and I am not one to wake people from afternoon naps.
The fourth hour of church finds me at my favorite cemetery overlooking the valley. Hunsaker and Hall are kind enough to let me share their plot while I sort out the complexities of the living world. And it's just nice.
I don't mean to come off as one of those weirdy, God-is-everywhere types. I don't mean to imply that sitting in nature has the same effect as engaging in meaningful study and discussion of gospel principles with people who believe the same thing you do. Obviously the latter activity cannot be replaced, and is important enough that we are asked to participate in it every week. As an introverted Latter-Day Saint, this is something I'm just going to have to learn to reconcile.
Sometimes, you just gotta monk it up. Putting that on a t-shirt.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
For example, the other day I was dutifully applying concealer to the unders of my eyes, when I remembered I had recently heard somewhere that dark circles are caused by delicate blood vessels that break and bleed and pool there under your eyes (yum). I realized then that I had never actually checked to see if my eye skin was dark.
And then, the thought came to me that maybe the problem is not that I have delicate eye vessels, but that my eyes actually jut out so much that they cast a shadow. Inspecting further, I found significant support for this theory. But just to be sure, I had Carol perform an exam.
It maybe looked something like this. Except with more emphasis on me pulling my undereye skin out so she could inspect its pallor.
Sure enough, she confirmed my undereye skin to be peachy-fleshy-toned, not blood-pooly-black.
Now, about here you're maybe wondering what difference any of this makes. Don't I still have to apply concealer?
Yes. Yes I do. The point is, my world is expanded. One day I was walking around thinking something was a certain way, and suddenly it wasn't true. And maybe I never would have even made that discovery, if my thoughts hadn't gone that particular route. What if I had gone my whole life thinking I had delicate undereye blood vessels?! Can you imagine how many delusions you're operating under right now, this very minute?
>another Columbus joke to tie in the title of this post<
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
-extremely sore obliques (this could be a side effect of pilates the other day, but there's really no way of knowing)
-random itchy bites ALL OVER (it's possible I have bed bugs)
-right side of jaw is extremely sore (this actually is really weird)
-oppressive fullness feeling/pressure like I just got back from Golden Corral, even though all I've eaten today is a few bites of Cream of Wheat.
-intermittent bouts of being really cold
-there's nail polish ALL over my hands. This may be a result of a failed attempt at marbling (pinterest made it look so easy)
If anyone can decipher these clues, please let me know what you find out. Until then, I will be here...finalizing my will...overseeing some last minute preparation on that Cold Stone raid...
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Here's what going to be awesome about my last semester: Internships. Yes that's right, multiple internships. I know, I was surprised too. What started out as my semester of chill became, about halfway through the week, my semester of extremely busy/how in the heck am I going to manage this. But the good news is, so far I love it. Do you guys know how much I love old people? I love 'em. Let me tell you why.
1) They are stinkin' cute. Those sweater vests. The corny jokes. The hunched backs, looking so much like wise old tortoises when they scoot down the hall with their walkers...it's too much.
2) They are REAL. I love how the social graces fall away with age, how they're not afraid to say what they're thinking, how they seem to just plain stop caring what other people think. True, sometimes this quality comes at the expense of common civility, but I think it's still worth it.
3) They are hilarious. Check my most recent fb status update for clarification.
4) They emanate wisdom and dignity. Sitting on the bus yesterday as we traversed the winding roads of Heber Valley, a bunch of bobbing white-haired heads all around me and oldies in our ears, I was o'ercome with a feeling of perfect harmony. These people I get to associate with are the survivors. They have lived, loved, struggled, endured, experienced all there is to experience in this life, and you can see it in their faces. And now, having lived through the most dynamic century in the history of the earth, their lives converge on this scenic bus ride. It's the highlight of their day, and most of all, it is enough. The appreciation of simple pleasures. The quiet gratitude for a full and fruitful life. Eyes and hearts pointed heavenward. Isn't the ABA pattern of our lives just beautiful? You know, naked as we came, all that stuff?! I JUST FEEL SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO KEEP COMPANY WITH THE GREATEST PEOPLE EVER, AAHHH!
So I'm probably still stuck in the enchantment stage and will most likely be ranting in about a month about how nasty and ungrateful old people are*. But for now, love. Just love.
In addition, I will most likely be doing my second internship with the Utah County Crisis Line, so pretty much my internships are as relevant to my interests as they could possibly get. I am just blessed, that's all.
*While there is indeed nothing cuter than a sweet and sincere interaction with an old person, there is also probably nothing scarier than getting yelled at by an old person. Which happens...a lot. It's good for me, though. I've always been too sensitive to criticism.
Edit 9/5/11: So actually old people make me cry. So much so that I have to leave early cause the tears are a-comin' and I'm going to make a scene if I don't run to my car NOW. It's going to be a loooooong semester.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Guys, it's over. Summer's over. Having just come to the realization that today is my last chance to nap on the ASB lawn and call it "work", I have naturally been feeling nostalgic. But instead of going out like an ungrateful sluggard, I've decided to release my Vulcan death grip on this particular season and instead outline all the cool things I got to do. You know, for the memories.
Teacher, here's what I did with my summer vacation:
-I put red streaks in my hair.
-I spent two restorative weeks in Sac with the 'rents.
-I spent time with my cute sister's family in Phoenix.
-I read five books (which is about five less than I intended to read, but we're focusing on achievements right now, not regrets)
-I went to a couple town fairs.
-included in one of those town fairs, pie-eating contest.
-I spent time with my elderly friend Grant, and he softened my heart.
-I checked off two more classes.
-I got to take an unexpected and welcome trip to Alabama.
-I started wearing bracelets again.
-I tried out many new food venues in the greater Provo/Orem area.
-I became acquainted with Jillian Michaels for a while, but we're estranged now.
-Ditto with P90.
-I found and utilized the best campus napping spot to date (4th floor Clyde Bldg. women's restroom, that's the ticket!)
-There was a brief streak in which I went to Yogurtland at least twice a week.
-I took full advantage of the FREE.ninety-free Thursday concert series in SLC and saw many way rad bands, including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Bright Eyes, Ghostland Observatory, and Lupe Fiasco. I dressed up for every one, according to each respective style of music. Pictures later.
-I think I got vicariously high off of some of those concerts, but there's no way of knowing, really.
-I discovered pinterest, and life has been considerably more colorful and fabulous ever since.
-I went to the Salt Flats for the first time and they were GORGEOUS.
-I interviewed Bee Money for a documentary that I have every intention of making someday.
-I floated the Provo River with Carol and we almost drowned a few times, but we're good now.
-I went late-night dumpster diving for the first (but definitely not the last!) time.
-I said some goodbyes.
-I lost a lot of money, and got it all back again.
So you see, I really had a very wonderful summer. It wasn't all roses, but despite the bad parts, I'm grateful for this time in my life. I know that these are the days I will one day look back on with crinkly eyes and wisdom, and think, "Ah, youth." Summer is the season of the young and carefree, and I'm just grateful I've managed to live it up while I can.
Monday, August 22, 2011
"Years ago I preferred clever people. There was a joy in beholding a mind bearing thoughts quickly translated into words, or ideas expressed in a new way. I find now that my taste has changed. Verbal fireworks often bore me. They seem motivated by self-assertion and self-display. I now prefer another type of person; one who is considerate, understanding of others, careful not to break down another person’s self-respect. My preferred person today is one who is always aware of the needs of others, or their pain and fear and unhappiness, and their search for self-respect. I once liked clever people. Now I like good people."
So that's one of my favorite quotes. Whenever I get caught up in the vicious cycle of trying to be clever/funny --> not being that clever/funny --> wounded self-esteem cause I'm not that clever/funny --> trying to save flagging self-esteem by trying harder to be clever/funny, I like to fall back on this quote to remember the kind of person I really want to be. I do still enjoy clever people very much, and I think they occupy a special place in the world. But I also believe the world at this point could probably use more good people.
And the best part is, I think it's much easier to be good. It feels more within my reach.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
In all seriousness, Steph is one of the most extraordinary people you will ever meet. She's got one of those larger-than-life personalities that just brims with enthusiasm for life and love for people. I swear the woman has more passion in her little toe than I have in my body. What's best about her though, in my opinion, is her ability to hone in on whatever is good and beautiful in a person. And it could be any kind of person. Present her with a long-haired unwashed heathen druggie and she will find a way to love them, to honestly think they are awesome. It's really quite uncanny. Lucky for me, I ended up making her acquaintance about 3.5 years ago, and she went right to work at finding something loveable in me. I've been blessed by her love and example ever since.
My little Paul is currently serving a mission in Spokane, WA. I miss her and her zany ways. I could not have possibly had a better freshman roommate than this one. Tell me, what freshman girl would sit in my room with me every night, interspersing bouts of personal homework study with thought-provoking discussions on interreligious understanding and neo-feminism? On multiple occasions? What are the chances I would have gotten a roommate who shared my same appreciation for tragic foreign films and straight-up honey butter? What I love best about Paul is that she brings out the maybe not-so-inner nerd in me, and that our conversations are never dull. She has a way of consistently elevating casual drivel to deep discussions of the soul, no matter the time or place. Zany, deep, a kindred spirit in things both meaningful and mundane; I just love that Paul.
Take my friend, Jody (Jojo).
As shown here, Audge and myself share a certain undeniable kinship. The first time I ever really got to know her, I remember feeling distinctly that I was talking to a (hotter, more athletic) version of myself. This was confirmed later when I heard her say one night that all she wanted to do was "eat the night away." I knew then that I had stumbled onto something good. To this day, she is one of my very favorite people. Awesomely chill, non-judgmental, hilarious, gorgeous, has a way of making people feel instantly at ease around her. I frankly wish I was her. But until that transformation happens, I love being her friend.
Whatever other status he has been, there's no getting around what an exceptional friend JJ has been to me, in the truest sense of the word. To be with someone who truly knows every ugly and vile thing about you, and to love you anyway - is this not the raddest dynamic two people can aspire to? I believe some souls come into this world a little purer in spirit than the rest of us, and JJ is one of those good souls. He sees people not only for who they are, but also for who they can become. I only hope that I can yet learn to see and love my fellow man the way he does.
Twinner to my heart, lover to my soul, potential life partner if men don't work out for me. I've always known that I was lucky to have her, but the more I live, the more I realize just how rare our situation is, and how very very blessed I am. Friendship with Carol is as easy as breathing. She gets me. She, as well, knows every vile thing about me, yet still thinks I'm awesome. No one can make me laugh like her. She surprises me everyday with tidbits of wisdom far beyond both our years. Amid all the changes, the uprootings and surprises and goods and bads, she is constant. It is a rare thing to have a friend like this, I am finding, and I don't know how I managed to be one of the privileged few. But when you find a friend like this - one whose presence is comforting to you even if all you do is walk together in silence (literally AND metaphorically!) - well, eventually you stop asking questions. Instead you start pouring out thanks, you begin striving to be worthy of your associates. I am still working on that one.
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. "
Aren't my friends the greatest?
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Starting with, car-cleaning date with Carol! Brendan and Paula sure were grateful.
Every year Salt Lake City has a huge Arts Festival with vendors from all around the country. We knew if we went that there was a pretty good chance we would see unwashed crazies in their natural habitat. We were not disappointed. There was some pretty cool art, too.
Some entity known as Blazing Needles covered this car completely in knitting!
This man's sock was not strictly part of the festival. Or was it?
Ok, so then there was this exhibit with blank pieces of wood that everyone got to paint, to be hung up on a wall as a collective mural.
When we realized they were handing out little cards with specific patterns we were supposed to be painting, and not just willy-nilly whatever we felt like doing with our brushes, we got up quietly and left with haste.
Moving on, here's me and Jdub at the Ft. Rucker 4th of July Bash! We ate gator-on-a-stick, and while I'm not going to say it tasted like chicken, it frankly did. Only a little chewier.
No your eyes do not deceive you, that is Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band! They rocked! And of course Gary Sinise plays a mean bass, cause that guy is way rad.
Tried to watch the sunset from Capitol Hill, but unfortunately were a little too late so the pictures are less than impressive. But the building was impressive, I thought.
Finally, look what Bob found when he recently opened this can of "pineapple tidbits."
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Special thanks goes to my friend Steph for recommending this talk to me. As soon as I heard the title I knew I would love it, and I did. I'm going to curb the desire to hash out the majority of my thoughts on the subject, as they are still in progress. But I will say that my own progression in relation to the gospel has followed a similar trajectory to the one outlined in this talk, so I appreciated seeing it addressed by elder Hafen, especially with such astute insight.
"The fundamental teachings of the restored gospel are potent, clear and unambiguous; but it is possible, on occasion, to encounter some ambiguity even in studying the scriptures... Even though God has given us correct principles by which we are to govern ourselves, it is not always easy to apply them to particular situations in our lives. "
No it is not easy, but it is, perhaps, the substance of what this earth life is all about. I would like to assert that it is through this uncertainty, and our continual efforts to apply the gospel to sometimes ambiguous situations, that we accomplish the majority of our growth. To always be striving, reaching, seeking to bridge the gap between what is and what should be - I think this is maybe a good thing to be. Not forever of course, but maybe just for now, while we transition our tastes from less milk to more meat.