30 September 2007

good things

i'm going to start recognizing the things that make me happy, the things that i'm in love with and the things i'm grateful for.

this weekend was amazing and i'm so blessed to have had all of it happen. this is my shortened list of things that made me happy, things that i was in love with and things i was grateful for this weekend. . .
my generous boss, late night vanilla steamer conversation with julene, engineer chatter for two hours straight, feeling that i had done good after visiting mae in the hospital and keeping her awake, relief society, kens and sarah, the gray sky, president kelly saying 'addictive' rather than 'addicting', chase's face in the choir

starting now

for a while i was in a bit of a slump, an unhappy, unproductive, unexplainable slump.
talking to brad about life in general he said, "i feel like you're jaded now and that makes me feel bad." (brad is one of my favorites because can read between the lines. he can hear my voice in typed words.)
i had let myself go in more ways than one. it was ridiculous. i don't understand why i chose to let it happen.

so, last sunday, i started by grooming my brows. then i cleaned my house. then i studied and studied. starting now, i'm choosing not to let slumps happen in my life. kyle taught me the wonder of agency is that we can choose to be happy. i'm choosing happiness. and i'm focusing on righteous happiness.

this week i went to my institute class 'doctrines of the gospel' for the first time in three weeks. i had avoided it for somewhat obvious, but fairly stupid reasons. the evening before institute i went out to dinner with some pettys for bunny's birthday, then to reid and julene's (my mom's parents) to borrow a fondue pot and a recipe book. at dinner i engaged in conversation actively and merrily. i asked and listened and was listened to. i loved it. at reid's house i chatted with my grandma about many aspects of life. i loved it. after institute i asked myself, "why do i choose not to do so many things that make me happy?" why do i choose to skip prayers? why don't i read the scriptures more? why don't i work harder at school? when i do all of those things i am so happy. i'm righteously happy. when i stay upstairs and chat with bunny, i'm happy. when i call and check on my little sisters, i'm happy. when i bake, i'm happy.


starting now i'm going to be better. i'm happy when i'm good, so i'm going to be good. or at least better.

28 September 2007

last thing

before i go. . .

i think it's time for another music video. i really love music videos. i guess that statement is conditional. i like videos that become a part of the song in a way, videos as visually stimulating as the song is aurally stimulating. one of my latest favorites is first love by the maccabees.



i love the guy with the lipstick hand.
i love the lyrics.
so critical.
nothing's perfect, but i'm hoping i'll do.
but i will not do.
'cause nothing's perfect, so i'll have to make due. . .
it's my mistake, no mistaking.
i would take it back if i could. . .
i made my bed. i'll lie in it
and pillow talk you into it. . .
it's only love.
i love the color tones.
and i love the lead singer, especially the lines around his mouth.

when the dust settles

sometimes i really like the feeling of when i'm left at home alone. not home alone all night, but when people have been over then leave and i'm able to get on with my life. for example, it's a great feeling when a date ends early enough that i have time to watch a movie or catch up on laundry.

tonight is different. i'm not sure what it is.

i'm getting ready to drive twenty minutes south to murray. i'm staying at my mom's parent's house tonight and i am so excited about it. reid and julene are both people that make me really happy. they are so easy to be around and i can really look up to both of them. it should be a nice change of scenery.

presently, i want to talk to almost anyone, about almost anything. but at the same time, i don't know what i would say to a person sitting in front of me or listening over the phone line. the house is quiet and no music seems to fill the silence adequately. about an hour ago dance party tunes filled the basement, then things quieted down to conversation and scrubbing dishes. now, it's me and the clicking of the keyboard. having a companion on my mission will be interesting. i think i'll love it and hate it simultaneously. i think when i come home i'll have roommates (where ever i am). i may be better off being less isolated.

i wish i was in vegas talking to janelle. or i wish i had the courage to make simple phone calls. i'm going to pack and get in the car.

why i wish i was i boy

1. Single young men experience much less pressure to look good everyday. 15 minutes to get ready? Yes, please.

2. Guys get to choose who they ask out. Girls are acted upon and left with the burden of saying, "Yes," or "No."

3. Men's clothing is way cooler than women's clothing. I would much rather be shopping at The Rail than at Brass Plum.

4. Guys are allowed to be funnier than girls. If I did or said half of the hilarious things my friends do I'd be deemed a freak, I'm sure. Guys can be crazy and weird and it's okay, it's admirable. Girls are supposed to be witty but grounded. I wish I could be funnier.

5. Most importantly. . . Fathead Who doesn't want a one hundred dollar, life-sized picture of Jeff Gordon or Reggie Bush watching them as they sleep or observing as they dress and play? If I were male I would have a wall devoted to my athlete crushes. I would special order a John Stockton and put it next to the Steve Nash action shot. I would always be safe with the knowledge that these great men are watching over me as I rest after a long day. Without a doubt, no burglar or escaped convict that may find himself in my bedroom would lay a finger on me. He would be too afraid or too awed by the giant pictures on my wall. If you're a boy and reading this, I recommend you invest in a Fathead.

26 September 2007

ode to the best


i really really really miss wyatt. like really.




wyatt was the most patient with me. and the most readily available. he would do nice things, like leave me a homemade gourmet salad in the fridge with a note when i was stressed about a test.



he was an extraordinary listener and never chided me for my stupid mistakes.



wyatt enjoyed the value of good food. he introduced me to siegfried's and was always up for experimenting with the asian market or magic bullet.



one of my favorite adventures of ours was our winter break road trip to see nickel creek in tempe. we had so much fun dancing in the car, taking in the 70 degree az weather and hanging out with scott and paigey.



wyatt is one of those "do anything for you" type people. he would come over to make things less awkward with whoever else may be visiting the diggs. pretty much, he was/is/will continue to be amazing. july 2009 we will be reunited.

25 September 2007

ripe

And for once
In my life
I saw what I wanted
And took a bite
I picked the fruit
From the tree
And it was ripe



Mr. Lee, you are a poet of the best sorts.




In high school, my head swam with the words of lyricists and rock stars. When most adolescents would doodle through class, I would write the couplets and stanzas from my mind on paper. (Sometimes I was a strange girl.) For a while my love for rhetoric seemed lost. Now, it is found. I cannot get enough of it. Songs, lately, sound different than they used to. Novels are more than reading assignments. Even my psychology textbook holds profound sentences that I try to hold on to; inevitably, they fall to the ground as my palms fill with more clauses, predicates and subjects.

Chloe recently started reading. She had always refused to. Somehow Centennial High School and Miss J coerced her into tackling a four hundred page work. I'm not sure to what extent she'll admit it, but I know she's amazed by the world unfolding in front of her. While I was in Vegas she read 100 pages in a day. The book had become an appendage. I couldn't tell where her arms ended and the paper began.

Words are my favorite. They can pack so much. One word can convey more emotion than some people can demonstrate in an hour of conversation. Words can paint the most beautiful, euphoric scenery. Words are our allies and our enemies, the greatest temporal comfort and a knife that tortures sensitive skin.

While Piaget based his theories of development on systematic learning and processing, Vygotsky based his on language. He asserted that as infants learn to speak they come to understand the world around them. Language provides them the key to unlock social situations, cognitive situations and emotional situations. If language furthers the development of our minds, why would we ever stop reading and speaking and writing? By the age of 3, children with professional parents have heard an estimated 30 million words, children with working-class parents have heard 20 million, and children with parents on welfare have heard 10 million. I want my kids to have heard 40 million; eloquent imps they will be.

Words can be the difference between being understood and not, or understanding and not. I hope to understand, and to be understood. I think I'll go read a book.

24 September 2007

"She works hard at eating well,
That's why I love her."

This evening I ventured upstairs before leaving the house. It had been a while since I last visited with Neuman and Bunny, so I took a seat at the kitchen table where they were situated. After brief conversation concerning the negligence and condescension of many in the medical field Bunny offered me the frozen dinner of my choice. The hallway freezer holds a cornucopia of microwavable delights, and all were mine for the taking. Neuman chimed in that I could take two, three, four or five if I so desired. What an honor. I bid the pair adieu, scooped up my canvas schoolbag and made my way to what I felt to be a mini-mart just steps away.

Standing in front of the six and a half foot, white freezer, I took a breath and imagined the many choices my eyes would soon fall upon. My right hand rose to grip the faux-wood handle. My biceps engaged as I tugged on the door. Nothing happened. Again I tried. Nothing. I shifted my glance down and noticed the keyhole below the handle. I looked to the right of extended arm and noticed a key on a hook. I can honestly, without too much exaggeration, say that I live in a house where food is locked up! Within a few seconds the dilemma made sense in my head and I had a plan of action. The little brain in my stomach guided me to a Marie Calendar's chicken pot pie after turning down a frozen Salisbury steak, a Stouffer's lasagna and the carbohydrate laden bearclaw. I grabbed the green box, shut the door, turned the key to the "locked" position and went on my way merrily.

I secretly wish I were obese, or a binge eater. It would make this so much more significant and dramatic. Food in my house is kept locked! What a control issue this could become. Or a reward system. Or a punishment system. If I had an eating disorder I could occupy my spare time by devising plans to unlock the freezer. Upon a successful pilfering of the keys as Neuman and Bunny slept, I would gorge myself on ice cream sandwiches, cold pecans, and frozen pizza. Not only would I feel the comfort of a 4100 calorie meal, I would also revel in the accomplishment of duping senior citizens in their slumber. My self-esteem would skyrocket for an evening (and then plummet until the next raid). Unfortunately, I have ready access to the key and an invitation to eat to my heart's content. My fantasies of midnight thievery will probably only realize if I decide to date a delinquent or choose to test the thrill of misdemeanor. I don't see either in the near future, but maybe one of those bearclaws some morning this week.

22 September 2007

Where have you Bean?


I'm in Las Vegas.
I am with a cell phone, but without the charger. So, to conserve the battery I have kept it off since Thursday morning. I haven't felt social enough to call any of my mates from the home phone. Instead, I have spent a lot of time with my family and I have loved it.

Last night I took Phoebe, Naomi and Ethan and Tatum Winspear with Chloe to see Mr. Bean's Holiday. I don't remember the last time I laughed so much at a movie (beside last week when Wort and I watched the beginning of Best in Show). Really, it was funny. And I loved laughing at it.

Rowan Atkinson is able to pull the funniest faces. Bean is able to put himself in the strangest situations. My favorite scene was when Bean lipsynched an opera song in the street to get money. But, by far the best part of the movie was looking down the row at the kids intently watching. (I'm a mom.) There was a boy sitting behind us that could barely contain his enjoyment. I love when another's laughter makes something all the more hilarious for you. I honestly thought the boy might get a hernia he was laughing so hard.

When we got into Estrogena (the Excursion), we all recounted our favorite parts. Phoebe was the most unimpressed in the vehicle. I realized that this may mean my humor is below that of a nine year olds. At first I questioned how acceptable that was. I decided that it is okay for now. I would rather be laughing with a third grader and a couple of first graders than sitting stuffily not laughing at anything.

If and when you see Mr. Bean's Holiday, laugh at it.

On a somewhat related topic: This morning the older girls of the family saw The Nanny Diaries. Don't waste your time. Scarlett Johansson and Laura Linney did okay but the plot was lacking. It seemed slow then came to an abrupt end. The love interest, "Harvard Hottie", was slimy and reminded me of Joel. He wasn't real in any way, just a master of lines. Paul Giamatti's character was easy to hate, as intended. (He looked like he gained a lot of weight for this role, a small one that probably didn't pay enough to justify the extra pounds.) In the end, Grayer is a kid that makes you want a kid and The Nanny Diaries doesn't change my attitude towards my job for the better or the worse.

20 September 2007

I am listening, I am all ears...

"But if you believe I am thinking of you,
You are dreaming."

Sweden is the new Iceland.


Stockholm is the new Reykjavík.


12 September 2007

"we talked all night
about everything you could imagine. . ."

One of the greatest gifts a friend can give another is good conversation.
I think we, as a society, neglect the power of words too often. I know that I do.

11 September 2007

used to be

". . . leaning on this broken fence
between past and present tense. . ."

I used to write deep journal entries and passionate letters filled with emotion, metaphor and myself. Sometimes I would write poetry. I used to laugh so hard that I would have a physiological reaction trying to contain myself. I used to be uber friendly and able to meet whoever was sitting next to me in class or church.

At some point this all changed. I don’t feel like I changed in a way that would remove these aspects of my character, but apparently I have. It’s somewhat disheartening.

My thoughts, it seems, used to be worth noting. I don’t even know what they are these days. Half the time I feel empty-headed, a quarter of the time I’m struggling to expunge the memories that get me nowhere, the other twenty five percent of waking hours I’m not sure what is going on up there. I guess it is possible that after a period of feeling like I had no place to put my thoughts they just went away. I’m working on getting back in touch with them. I can find a venue to host them, whether it is a lined piece of paper, a new friend’s ear or a Word document. I want to get back to the mind that wondered and questioned and wrote.

This weekend I laughed so hard I thought I might pee my pants for the first time in close to a year. It felt so good, but it was so sad. Why haven’t I been silly and fun in such a long time? I honestly feel, at times, like a forty year old in a young constitution. Rather than worrying more about having fun I worry about coming up with conversation full of correct grammar. I sometimes look at my peers and wonder when they will ever grow up. That is completely wrong! When will I ever live? This is the time when I should be wasting time and enjoying the air. One day real life will start. In January a mini new life will start. Tomorrow a good life needs to start. I want to get back to dancing in the kitchen, doodling and dawdling on the front lawn.

If I let myself think and I let myself live, maybe I will be able to spread the love to my associates and neighbors. I guess I’m less worried about this one, because my heart is locked and I don’t need a cluster of new mates to make me miss home. But, I do need to be nice and I do need to work on my people skills before I go. I want to get back to easy small talk and uninhibited smiles.

By the same token, I used to be very angry and bitter. I used to choose poor recreational activities. I used to opt for Starbuck’s over sacrament meeting. I don’t want to get back to those places. When I consider these “used to be’s” I guess things are balanced. And when it comes down to it I have gained more than I have lost.

09 September 2007

on my lingual interactions

"falling from my mouth. . .
how heavy are these words?"


I have slowly realized more and more that I am possibly the worst communicator I know. I do not mean to say that I don't know how to express myself; I believe that my turn of phrase is quite sufficient. But, that adequacy comes only when words come from my mouth (or fingers) to another's attention.

Anyone who spends much time with me may realize that my phone often rings without being answered. Anyone who texts me often may noticed delayed replies. Anyone who emails me may not receive a response. This is not because I do not want to talk to people. In fact, I love people and hearing their thoughts and feeling that they have heard mine. At times I want nothing more than discourse (as a distraction). When considering this truth I wonder why I don't pick up the phone and contribute to the verbal relationships I have created over the years.

I know that sometimes I will screen a call because I want to wait until I have the time I need to speak to the person calling. I do this out of love. If L[A]H calls I want to give her an hour of my day rather than the ten minute walk to my next class. I care so greatly about what she has to tell me that I choose to wait for the moment that I can sit and provide undivided attention. I'm realizing that doing so is no way to show a friend that I love them, if I loved them I would pick up the phone, right? On similar lines, there are times that I worry about what I might say in response to someone's initial conversation, especially in texts. I choose to take my time and come up with a really good, witty reply, because they probably deserve it. Not rarely this turns into me mindlessly forgetting to respond at all. Days (or weeks, in the cases of emails) later I'll examine my inbox or received call list and chide myself for neglecting to give back.

Both of the excuses above are centered on the fact that I really do care. And I do. I always do, but there are times when I just do not have the desire to deal with the call. I hate to admit that this may be the most common reason that I am a sucky communicator. I sincerely hope that it is not, and that I am not that selfish. How cruel I am to ignore my grandmother's efforts to be in touch just because, "I don't feel like it." I would be incredibly hurt if I had the knowledge that someone was acting similarly toward me.

Upon this review it is clear that I have not yet found a decent reason to keep from reciprocating the reaching out of others.

Another question comes to my mind: Am I depriving more than my present relations? Am I rejecting the calls of the future? The communication deficiencies in my life are not merely with friends and family but also with the cute, cloth covered, blank-paged notebook on my nightstand. I sometimes ponder the interest my posterity will have in the records of my thoughts and doings. The same conclusion is usually reached, I'm not sure. I'm not sure how intrigued by my grandparents' and great-grandparents' journals I am, so I cannot say if my seed will care to read mine. I am not sure what prophet it was, possibly John Taylor, but one said that from the day he was advised to he never laid his head on his pillow without making a record of the day's events. I can also look at any prophet of old as an example of this. Where might we be had Nephi not "[made] a record of [his] proceedings"? I care not to imagine.

I believe that journal keeping can be an incredible tool towards a stable successful life. There are times that I forget certain things that I know and I wish I had a place where I could find proof of the knowledge I have temporarily lost. I think writing thoughts can be therapeutic. I know that at times it can help one realize what their true thoughts and intentions are. Sometimes it just makes more sense on paper. Ideas can more easily be organized and recognized.

So, I have an Autumn Resolution. I will do my best to be a better communicator, with others and with the page. We'll see where it gets me. It can't do any harm and a new philosophy of mine is that things that no bad can come out of are good things to involve oneself in.