Friday, August 31, 2007


Why do I find my self agreeing when people want to go bowling? It always seems like a good idea at the time and a lovely venture into suburban life. I think I can count on one hand the amount of times I've ever been bowling and whenever people bring it up I think "well that doesn't sound so bad - maybe that will work...." But there is always something tugging in the back of my head - you know... Like when people try to schedule something and something else is tugging at you saying "you've got something going on that day, Don't agree. Don't commit" but you can't remember exactly what it is so you say "let me check my planner and see".

Well - the thing that I always forget about bowling is: I am TERRIBLE at it, its an unmitigated din inside one of those places, and I always, always, ALWAYS severely break a nail in a very painful way at one or multiple points in the evening.

(Not to mention the questionable bacterial content of rented bowling shoes and a very unpredictable cross section of patronage generally consisting of somewhat inebriated people or screaming teenagers. This is a factor anywhere in public so I don't really begrudge that too much but it still seems noteworthy.)

Last night was much like any other. We started it with Chinese food and Gatorade and we ended up on lane 33 at Brunswick. I had my shoes and we were doing the name-inputting thing and I was pulling on my numbered leather clad beauties and *WHAM*! My middle finger's nail popped off (below the fingertip mind you) and was flying through the air. As I watched it land and proceeded to suck the bloody mess my fingertip had just become a number of things happened. Firstly, I had to squash the urge to be a sissy girl and scream "I broke my nail!!" because

a) most people have fake nails and numbed receptors from acrylic overdose so they don't understand the millions of nerve endings that are currently making their presence known and

b) that most people don't get that your entire hand has officially become aesthetically offensive and the tragedy that is. And when you have hands that are less attractive like mine a good set is kind of important. Its like insta-Quasimodo status in the hand department. Bad. Very bad.

The second thing I realized, and slightly more important, is why I don't care for bowling. Because I'm bad at it, I have to wear silly shoes and I always leave damaged. Remind me again how this is fun? Why there are organized leagues? How people get sponsorships and write screenplays about the stuff? Because I just. don't. get it. Maybe because the shirts are sort of cute...

Ironically I got the highest score of my life on the first round - 135- and I got three strikes in a row. Strange - its true. Considering I just stood at the line and threw the ball most of the time. My thumb nail got ripped off half way through the second game but me and my 13lb yellow marbled wing man managed a 125. The cost was high and I remain to be won over but being with my friends is worth it and always has been. So if they love it, so do I. Nails grow back. I will get over it. When my fingers stop pulsating from the shock.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


No hyperbole on this one. This really is something that registers on the Lear Scale. It is a breathtakingly beautiful day today. Its warm but not too hot. Its clear(ish) and there are white fluffy cumulus clouds popping up over the mountains saying "come out and play". And where am I?!??! Stuck inside my cubicle farm. I swear - summer is so hard for me. I get SO restless from having to stay inside all the time. I miss the sun! I just need to get out and hear moving water and feel all sunshiny. Anyone for the Huntington on Saturday? That's where I belong right now. Sitting in the Italian garden or at the lily ponds watching dragon flies and playing tag or something. I mean it - lets go. Right now -

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Dear Mr. Lethargy,
Now I know we haven't been on speaking terms for a while. That's mostly my fault. It usually is when communication tapers off . But I have to be honest, your ever-looming presence isn't exactly what I would describe as welcome or appreciated. Frankly, its been hard not to declare you my nemesis. I have already declared my nemesis to be Purse-Dog Girls and I will not renege on that title. They offend me far more than you do - but you are up there with them. All being some of the most unwelcome visitors in my life. I am not happy with you being around so much. Not happy at all.

See Lethy-boy ---- I have a lot of stuff to get through. They're all on different categorized and prioritized lists of "Want to Do" and "Need to Do" and "Am Responsible for" and "Begrudgingly said Yes to" "Enthusiastically Said Yes To" "Have the God-Given Opportunity To Do" etc. They're labeled and color coded and my schedule is more like a simple set of deadlines now a days. I have goals. I have a system and a plan and a time table for all of it but whenever I find myself in your company it all gets complicated. Horribly complicated.
And you're getting sneaky too - you're coming at me in much different regalia than you used to. You have learned that I like to be productive. Its kind of hard wired into you if you've worked for Franklin Covey and have grown up in my family. So you disguise yourself as something that's busy - and as I am learning, but not productive. They often look like the same thing, busyness and productivity, sometimes they even feel like it but rarely ever produce the same results or emotional satisfaction. Its like frosting in celery shape. You think you're doing something good for you but you end up farther back from where you started. Its just horrible. And whats more is that you're still pretty charming and usually pretty funny but far from the mark that I want to hit.

That's just low man. Wiley and wrong if I were to title the condition. If we can't be honest with each other Lethy then I'm afraid we really are going to have to part ways. Yeah I mean it. Don't scoff! I'm talking here. I'm thinking permanently. Like move you to South Africa or The Iraq. I might even call my cousins Vinny and Guido (not Sarducci) to drive home the point. I'm quickly approaching DONE status. And there really is no going back after that. When I say I'm done - I mean it. Its a phrase I store in the rarely used glass case you need a key to get into. I keep it in there with "I'm in love with you" and "that's impossible" and "video games sound fun".

See - I've been thinking. And not just considering or understanding or processing - I've been thinking and I may be a slow learner, but when I finally get it, it never goes away and I get it. I finally understand that you (in whatever guise you choose that day - YouTube, shopping, toothaches, furniture rearranging, or low iron levels) is the big obstacle keeping me from what I really want and who I really want to be and what I want to be able to offer the world.

You should know by now Lethy! We've known each other a long time now. Probably since my early college days. You should know that I have a finishing complex. I have to see a finished product to feel satisfied about something. I have reserves of strength that I'm not completely aware of and that surprise me a lot. And I have great things I've committed to do in my allotted time and I just don't have any more of it to spare for you. For the first time in a long time I hear ticking. It doesn't scare me, it just reminds me. Reminds me of the lists and how you're not a true friend. You never were. You make me laugh sometimes and even give me stories to tell but you're not the person I'd call if my car breaks down or if the tear ducts won't stop leaking. And if I couldn't call you for that why would I call you at all? I shouldn't and I'm not going to. Not anymore.

So what do you have to say? Huh? What accounting can you possibly have for yourself? I'd venture none. So this is it man - I want my key back and my U2 CD - you could never truly appreciate them anyway.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Giggles and Snorts

There are a great many hilarious things in this world. It's one of the aspects of life that makes it less Inquisitorial (the Spanish kind of course). Because of the Internet we have access to many of them. Some of them highly stupid but others are in slightly more tangible form and have much more to offer

One of these things is Louise Rennisons' book series -The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson - I'm a fan. A HUGE fan. I want to make her my best best besty mate (Louise, not Georgie. Though Georgie wouldn't be a bore by any means. Louise sort of has that "real person" appeal though.) Where was I? Oh -yes we'll be besties and do nothing but people watch from fabby London coffee houses and try on shoes all day. Rachel actually turned me on to these books and I owe her my first born and rooms full spun gold for it (love you Rachel! More than a lot.).

Last night in particular I was reading the 8th installment of Georgie's adventures and about every other page had to put the book down to guffaw and wipe away the tears of mirth.
As an example the chapter headings go something like this "Blah-blah rubbish rubbish dribble dribble dribble arse".
One of the most charming features of her books is the glossaries. She provides them for those of us who haven't grown up on Britcoms or BBC America and who might get lost in the knickers, daft, naff, spotted, lippy of it all.
These were some of my favs
(They just need bloggy immortailization)

Milky pops - A soothing hot milk drink, when you are a little person. (No, not an elf, I mean a child.) Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, when you are a child, people give words endings to make them more cozy. Chocolate is therefore choccy woccy doo dah. Blanket is blankin'. Tooth is tushy peg. Easy is easy peasy lemon squeasey. If grown ups ever talk like this, do not hesitate to kill them.

Emily Plankton - Hang on, now that you mention it, I may be getting muddled up between the famous suffragette Emily Whatsit and the stuff that fish eat. Was it Emily Pancake then? No, wait a minute, Pankhurst - Emily Pankhurst. What is this anyway, some kind of general knowledge quiz?

The Sound of Music - Oh are we never to be free? The Sound of Music was a film about some bint, Julie Andrews, skipping around in the Alps singing about goats. Many many famous and annoying songs come from this film, including "The Hills Are Alive with the Sounds of PANTS," "You Are Sixteen Going on PANTS," and, of course, the one about the national flower of Austria, "IdlePANTS."

Prat - A prat is a gormless oik. You make a prat of yourself by mistakenly putting both legs down one knicker leg or by playing air guitar at pop concerts.

I just laugh and laugh. And then laugh like a laughing loon on laughing pills.
Manna for the soul ladies - manna for the soul.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lesson #43,256

Do not try to do your hair with a 450 degree flat iron when you've woken up late and you're rushing to get to choir practice so you end up doing your hair half asleep and distracted because you will eventually miss a clump and hit your hand instead.
And yes I know my nail is chipped too. It was the required sacrifice my luggage demanded in Tennessee. It makes me sad too - Its like all tragedy decided to focus itself onto my left thumb region. I'm glad I still have a thumb though. Because if not, well. That would be more than a little difficult I think. Aloe couldn't fix that.

Break out the Ticker Tape

This news story brought a very entertained smile to my face.

You'd think that if you were going to choose a fictitional fighting figure you might go the Beowulf, King Aurthur, Chuck Norris route. But this is MUCH better!

Fight on my friends. Fight on.

Monday, August 20, 2007


So I'm graduating in December.

And I've known for a long time that grad school needs to be in my future. Its pretty much my only option if I want to do any good in Education.

And I've been praying about it and keeping my eyes open.

But I have to tell you - as much as I don't want to admit it - I'm really, really scared.

I'm scared that I won't get into any program ever anywhere and I'll be just another English major asking if you "want fries with that".

But whats funny is that I'm even more scared that I will get into one. Because then I'm sure that I will be the short bus rider of the group. There is one specific program that if I do get into, I'm terrified I will just drown in. But I would be a fool not to go. Its this B.A. to Ph.D. track that looks pretty promising.

I mean, a Ph.D. has been something I've always wanted to achieve. Much like meeting Emma Thompson or climbing a glacier. It's always just been a little past reality but fun to think about.

But right now, today - with that last email I sent - it's terrifyingly real and I feel very....... weak. I feel horribly weak. Helpless even.

Am I really smart enough to get through a program? Am I strong enough to carry the class load? Am I disciplined enough to do justice to it? Do I have enough original thought to actually put together any kind of substantial dissertation? Do I have any original contributions or insights to make to my field? I haven't even done a Senior thesis! The longest thing I've ever written have been a few chapters of my adolescent lit fiction novel I've been pecking at for the last couple of years.

I am so scared that my intellectual tendencies might be just that - tendencies. And all of that identity and worth I have found therein is for naught. And if I don't have that to offer, I kind of feel like ... like I don't have anything to offer. I know that sounds silly and dramatic but its true. Like-trying-not-to-sniff-too-loudly-behind-my-cubicle-walls-so-that-no-one-will-ask-if-I'm-crying-because-I-am true.

Grad school represents all of these questions and answers and pathways to me and I am scared I will be found wanting. Painfully wanting.

I know that its something I need to do and I will apply and have faith that if I'm supposed to go I will be accepted. And if I'm accepted I will go and I will be blessed. "Whom the Lord calls the Lord qualifies" I know that this is true and will apply directly to me because it will honestly take an act of God for any of this to come to pass.

If this is His path for me I'll take it. No matter how much is scares me. The fear never goes away I think, my capacity to deal just increases. But I can't ignore my fear either I think, because it just festers and comes out in dysfunctional ways. Like shopping too much or yelling at cars on the freeway.

I'm determined the make my best efforts and submit my best work. I won't let my fear drive my decisions because that always ends a mess. I mean - if that were the case I wouldn't try at all. The only sure way not to be rejected is not to try. But is also the surest way to not be accepted either... and that's just not an option.

And it's not that I don't believe in myself, I'm just not sure there is enough of "myself". I don't want to fail. Not at this. Not at something so important and at something that basically will determine what and where I will be for the rest of my life.

It pretty petrifying - these crossroad places...
Just remember to breathe right? Just breathe...

I'm not looking for/needing validation and stuff. I know there are tons of options and places and ways to do good everywhere and I'm not discounting them. I'm just needing to spalt down all these feelings somewhere so they'll quit bugging me so much and I can get on with it all.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hall o Fame

So Nick and I have some interesting conversations at the gym. There is only so much entertainment 45 minutes on an elliptical machine can provide so we do our best to pass the time by trying to crack each other up or expound on something... normal sibling conversation. Well this particular day we were exploring different modern myths and tearing apart the soon to be released Beowulf (and how they are crucifying the story - but I digress....)

So naturally we were on the subject of Star Wars - and Nick was crediting Lucas for re-instituting the Reluctant Hero in the public psyche with Han Solo etc.

But whenever Han Solo comes up I rarely think of his modern myth contributions. I can only think of the crush I've had on him and on Harrison Ford since I could pronounce "Star Wars".

And this led me down memory lane to all of the recreational crushes I've had on my multi media influences.

So without further ado I give you My Hall of Fame (in somewhat chronological order)

Johann from the Smurfs. Was there a more courageous hero on Saturday mornings? (Remember - Thundercats was weekdays at like 5 am and Transformers honed in on the latch-key crowd in the after school slots of 3 and 4. This was all before "The Disney Afternoon" of course). I don't remember much of what he did - but I remember that it was amazing, he was good with a sword and I thought his name was so cool that I've secretly wanted to name one of my kids after the like. I won't! I won't. Mostly because I refuse to tell my child he was named after a cartoon but Johann was killer cool to my impressionable young mind.

Rex Smith from HBO's production of The Pirates of Penzance captured my young pre-pubescent heart very easily. He could wear shiny shirts, have a Jew-fro, wear thigh high boots, sing and still be the picture of masculine charm. Kevin Klein was also very early endeared to me in this production but hes not the boy I wanted to go to the after school dance with.

Obviously Han Solo is up there and still on my short list. But there is more than one reason every girl in the world wanted to be Leia. Not just for the killer wardrobe and fun toys or the chance to call things "walking carpets" but because this is what came home every night. Rock on Leia- Rock on.

One of the best rolls Val Kilmer has ever taken (aside of Iceman). Mad Mardigan was one of the best parts of Willow and any man who falls hopelessly for a red head has just got to be awesome. Now given, at this point in life I was still falling for characters perse, not the actors themselves (with the exception of Harrison). He loved that cute baby, kicked total butt once he got a sword and looked properly and endearingly goofy in armor.

I actually fell for Brendan after School Ties but I couldn't find any satisfactory pictures. Hes became one of my favorites when I learned that he was 6' 4" and favorite thing was spit wading people in expensive restaurants. Since I've been in the 5' 9" stratosphere since I was 12 this was a big thing to me. And after "Encino Man" I was a lost girl.

From the first time I heard these guys at one of my first all ages show I leaned over to my friend I snuck in with and said "who is the guy on the drums?" - ever since then David Grohl has been on the short list as well. Hes just gotten cuter and more funny and talented with Foo and being married and just generally being one of the awesomest guys on the planet!

Ioan is just an unabashed favorite. He was Horatio Hornblower and I don't think I've seen anyone look better in a period British naval uniform (except maybe Ciarin Hinds in Persuasion). He was the first one I openly called my husband and I still do. He's Welch and has that perfect goofy/intelligent/bada** blend that I think is the perfect stew for Hollywood crushes.

I'm not sure there are enough good things to be said about Gerard Butler (or Gerry). Yay for Scotsman! Where would be be without them? I've gone off a few times before but anyone who can pay his way through law school by fronting a rock band and only not take the bar because he was plucked out of a coffee house by Hollywood gets epic clout in my book. And then making your name by posing as the Phantom of the Opera and a Spartan King... one word - smokin'

The most recent addition to the Hall o Fame is Karl Urban. He was someone that always popped up in my Mom and Dad's Hercules and Xena viewing days but he looked pretty freaking awesome in is Eomer armor in Lord of the Rings. Hes been on the to watch list since. Why do they make them so wonderful in Kiwi-a-go-go? Not to mention that he is lovingly devoted to his two kids and wife. Definitely Hall of Fame worthy.

So there they are -

There is my chronological list of fancy and fun. Can you tell I'm from a movie family? Its kind of silly now that I've laid it all out. But I will forever have this blog to go back and enjoy and that just brings me unabashed joy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Complex Simplicity

So in my cluttered brain I usually have a few bebesque ideas that rattle around and that I mull over in quiet moments, or standing in line at Target, or whenever there isn't an immediate task at hand, and one of these that's been pinging around is that of perceptions.

Lemme a-splain a bit-o background:
Last week the amazing Liz Wolfe wrote a very thought provoking blog about "honor in the ordinary" and my immediate question was - What makes something ordinary? What parts does something have that makes it common? If it's common does that make it more or less real? And is it those parts that make things common or real what make up "reality"? Because your reality is honestly the lens through which you perceive the world. And then I started thinking that it isn't a particular quality that make things ordinary, or real, or part of a reality, its how you see them.

Like Monet - he was a painter in a time when it was no longer necessary to hone the artistic talent of capturing the details of things. The camera had already been invented, so the artistic unicorn was to go inside of the mind as opposed to outside of it. Monet painted the same thing over and over again not to capture the thing itself, but the light that bathed it. He didn't even bother to blend his paint on the canvas most of the time because he wanted the perceiver's eye to blend the colors and make up the picture. That's why every time you increase or decrease the distance between you and a Monet the picture changes. Its a different painting because the way the light hits your eye changes. No two people have ever seen the same Monet. Even when they've seen it at the same time and in the same light. Kinda the whole "can't step in the same river twice principle" except without the dancing raccoons and all that.

But seriously - How beautiful is that? How beautiful is it that we can construct our own worlds so powerfully and still have the mobility to go in and out of each other's worlds as well? We essentially live on 5 or 6 different levels all the time. What we think, what our family might think, what our society would think, what would another society think of our society's thinking. We even have precious insight into God's perceptions and what He thinks. Especially of us.

I think this is one of the things Neal A. Maxwell meant when he outlined his idea of "complex simplicity".

So besides the individual and collective individual's thought windows, what further perplexes/fascinates me is the layers things and people have when being perceived. Its almost as if they want and don't want to be seen at the same time. Like things that are similarly different or are differently similar.

Children all look and act the same to a casual and intolerant eye (small, loud, usually pretty grubby) but are all so beautifully and differently complicated on a second look that it takes a special kind of genius to mitigate more than one.

Books all have the relative same shape and format but all have very different silent messages.

Like - if every car (speaking in a strictly aesthetic sense) in the world had the exact same interior - would we care about what kind of car we drove? People would all see us in our different cars from the outside, but it would all be the same to us on the inside? Would we value what we have more or less? Would we value ourselves more or less?

I don't really know or have any answers that would be valid to anyone other than myself. But I do know that we all live with a complicated hunger to distinguish ourselves but also to belong somewhere. I know that a good portion of people in a crowed room feel alone and that we somehow understand that contained contradiction is an inevitable part of life. We just accept diet candy and fuel economy SUVs. That abusive parents do love their children in some fashion. That we have to fight to have peace. We understand that things can live on two fronts but not necessarily serve two masters. C.S. Lewis said that "Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time." and that might explain everything. So our own dual natures are the cause and cure....
I dont' know. I don't know if any of this makes sense at all. I suppose I'll have to let it rattle around for a little bit longer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Silly Little Things

I'm a big Amy Winehouse fan. She's an original, has a novel voice, writes great stuff and has no fear.

Not to make fun of other people's tragedies or tragedy in general but
sadly, the girl has very little sense as well. She was hospitalized last week and cancelled a bunch of shows because of "exhaustion". But this week some new things came to light -

Amy - Please raise your right (drink free) hand and repeat after me:

"I will not shoot heroine anymore. I will not even think about taking horse tranquilizers and I most certainly will never think about taking both of them at the same time ever ever ever again. I will check myself and my equally maladjusted husband into rehab (despite the song I've written to the contrary), put on at least 10 lbs to remove myself from the Auschwitz Victim bodyfat percentile and continue to bless the world with my amazing talent and fabulous style"

Best of luck Amy -
I'll send you my favorite red pumps if it'll help.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Seeing Green

A few months ago a few of my friends and I were sitting around our favorite coffee house thinking that our lives were feeling a bit too mundane.

So we decided to go to Ireland. No - really. We are.We then concluded that the best way to see Ireland was on a bike. Cars are expensivie and trains and buses only go to the big spots. So our options were walking or biking. It seemed obvious to me. So since that time we have set October 2008 as our departure date and proceeded to get our bank accounts, passports and bodies ready for the journey. We've even looked into taking some Gaelic classes because they don't speak much else in a lot of the little towns we've got mapped out to visit. We've got our tents and camel packs and maps and a few history and tour books.

The thing is - the last bike I owned had purple unicorns and rainbows on it. You braked by back-pedaling and it had a fair amount of streamers as well and those spoke thingies that slid up and down that made popping noises that were the envy of the neighborhood. Though it served is purpose very well (helping me do the best Goonies pretend games ever), its not exactly a piece of equipment you take along the hills on Ireland's southern coast.

So I'm looking to buy my tour bike in the next few weeks and I have found that I have a better command of speaking backwards than of what kind of bike I might need/want.

"Uh - the one with two wheels that goes fast and won't break or break me"

I could take my mother's approach to shopping and just get what looks the prettiest and makes me the happiest - but I have a feeling that that isn't the best approach to this purchase either.

Its all part of the adventure thing we were craving right? Its probably the tip of the iceburg now that I think about it. I suppose I better go visit that new REI at Victoria Gardens and try not the let the cute salesman sell me something ridiculous that I think I might need. Wish me luck.

Friday, August 10, 2007


So yesterday was my birthday and I spent a good part of it with my mother and she kept quoting the adorable Gus-Gus' iconic "da-da-da-da.. uhh happy birthday!" when not quite knowing what to say for Cinderella's surprise dress. Not only did this royally crack me up coming from my ridiculously educated mother's mouth and her dignified turquoise adorned self - but it got me thinking...

Gus-Gus is an awesome character. He was indispensable for Jack-Jack and managed a lovely bit of physical humor and circumstantial irony for the story all in one of the most adorable packages ever. He was the perfect wingman.

Also - for years (since the advent of text messaging) my brothers, cousins and I, to pass the time and in the never-ending attempt to crack each other up, have made a habit of doing Top 5's.
For example:

Top 5 things you shouldn't laugh at but do anyway
highlights being:
-midgets getting injured
-the punchline "not being retarded"
-animals being punted
-Japanese game shows involving costumes from the 90's
- the film Borat

Top 5 things you'd like to steal
highlights being:
- an R2D2 Mountain Dew Dispenser
- Gummy Bear Juice
- the smirk off of Paris Hilton's face
- a vowel
- a prosthetic limb

You get the point -
So naturally I started thinking of my Top 5 cinematic wingmen and this is what I came up with.

5) Gus-Gus obviously for the above stated reasons. I don't think anyone can wear pointy shoes better. Except David Bowie. Maybe.

4) C3PO - the dude could speak 3000 languages and still was second fiddle to R2D2 who was 2' shorter, spoke in blips and squeaks but did have a much better color scheme. He was always there - even in bits and pieces he was there

3) Goose - this is totally self explanatory. "Shes lost that feeling? - Man I hate it when she does that!"

2) Alfred - I'm sorry but Alfred did so much H-en more for Batman than Robin could possibly manage. He's the H-en man.

1) Samwise - the real champion of the Lord of the Rings and an ode to the power of a simple man and a simple life (Honor in the Ordinary Liz... I give you Samwise). AND he was funny because Gollum got to call him chubby and he had that sweet crush on Rosie the whole time. What more can a wingman accomplish I ask you?

And that kind of brought me full circle because Sam and Gus-Gus remind me of each other. Tada.

I think Honorable Mentions should include:
Ron Weasley
Diana Berry (Anne of Green Gables)
Cereal Killer (Hackers)
Brick (Anchorman)
Inigo Montoya ("prepare to die")
The Browines (Willow)
Fred Willard (in whatever movie hes in)
Samuel L. Jackson (in whatever roll hes in)
and Edna Mode (The Incredibles) - she rocked too.

Yay for the wingmen and those that play those rolls in real life too. We're the texture and color as well as the laughs. High 5's all around man. High 5.

A Good Friend

So my cousin just sent me the news.
I can't say I'm surprised but I can say that I'm mourning the loss of him here. Till the end he was an amazing teacher full of jokes and faith. I love him very much and I am glad that he is taking a bit of a rest.
Thank you President Faust.
Thank you for living a beautiful honorable life and helping us see how easy and possible it is. Thank you for being able to love a world full of people through a satellite and microphone and countless acts of service. I am better for knowing you and hearing your voice and feeling the power of your calling and your faith through it. Thank you for hanging in so long so that we all could say goodbye.
Thank you for being true.
Your friend,

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Adorable Calories

So I have a pretty awesome boss. She made me this cake/birthday present for my birthday today. I feel super special.

Do calories count if they're packaged so beautifully? Or if its your natal day?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"...Take me to another place - take me to another land..."

So I just spent 5 days in Tennessee -
It was wonderful. That country is breathtakingly beautiful. Its green green green green. Being there for 10 minutes I could totally see and understand why an entire people would betray their government and go to war to protect that land and the way of life they had.
I went to visit my friend who lives in Franklin. Its this little suburby town 15 minutes south of Nashville and it was just beautiful. Rolling green hills criss crossed with plantation and ranch fences. There were bodies of water here and there and streams running through people's very long and foliage ridden front drives. Every house had a beautiful front porch with hammocks swinging and a few bikes or Nerf guns strewn about. It was all lovely wonderful as long I was in the car. The second the car door opened -

BAM - the dreaded hell of oppressive and unrelenting 100 degree 80% humidity weather exacted its toll. It was everything I read about in Gone with the Wind but like 50x worse. I spent two summers in Virginia and I don't remember that kind of heat. We were always less than 10 miles from the river so I don't know if that has much to do with a tempering of the humidity monster but the second that car door opened I was floored. Like I have never had such an emotional reaction to a physical condition before. Every thing was more difficult and challenging and I felt powerless against it all. Its like instant claustrophobia in the wide open.

Lesson #1) visit Tennessee just not in August
My friend Lisa and I spend a good part of the trip just lolloping about her new house. Which was as beautiful as the landscape might I say. They don't have earthquakes there so they get to build with brick and that just makes me happy. They had a beautiful porch and high ceilings and all that lovely jazz. We just watched movies in her home theater and played with the dog and just generally goofed off. We did watch 300 more than once (and the special features). We even staged a pretty valiant effort to talk the counter boy at Blockbuster to give us the life size display of Gerard in all his Spartan glory. "Spartans! PREPARE FOR GLORY!" I still get goose bumps. Why don't I have men (like Capital "M" Men) like that in my general acquaintance? *sigh* I'll just continue to be in love with him I suppose. It was lovely. Its seems kind of silly to spend 4 hours on a plane to just watch movies with a friend but it seemed worth it to me. I didn't mind a bit.

Relearned Lesson #1) The best trips are to see people, not places or things.
On Saturday we went to downtown Nashville - (OH! and another horrible and unearthly quality that humidity has is that it doesn't cool down at night. How unfair is that?! You can't hide from it or cope with schedules, just air conditioners and sealed surroundings.) So we were traipsing up and down Broadway at night with a million people, and amongst a good amount of mismatched boots and hats, some bad gold necklaces, snarky tee-shirts, a few choice horse drawn carriages and embarrassingly drunk karaoke queens in 100 degree loveliness looking for Elvis bobble heads souvenirs. It was an experience.

Highlights include but are not limited to:
- the R2D2 mailbox on the corner of 2nd and Broadway

- the strawberry shortcake at BB Kings Blues House

- the YMCA table dance from our Hard Rock waiter

- the one karaoke bar that no only gave a mic to a city full of country hopefuls but pipped out the performance out onto the sidewalk. Yes - we personally beheld the 45 year old-smoked a pack a day since she was 15 - 2 shots of whiskey too many-Nashville blond in all her "Sweet Home Alabama!" glory. It was all Lisa and I could do to not double over in giggles on the street.

- the Cumberland River sculpture that I mistook for a roller coaster

- being called "sugar", "darlin", and "sweetie" by three different people in a 2 minute time span
- The Bell South tower that looks like Barac Dur from LOTR

- being so pressed by the crowds and music and humidity that my fight or flight instincts were triggered.

We got home, I took a long and cool shower, finished "Mara - Daughter of the Nile" (very good book may I add) and fell asleep.

Insights #1) Los Angeles is a city with a number of different mistresses; movies, music, modeling, television. But Nashville only has one - music. And that kind of single purpose in the universe lends itself to a lot of fascination and eccentricities and allots for levels of fanaticism that would be considered strange anywhere else. But because of that all of these people; karaoke queens, frisky army boys, people wearing Confederate flag belt buckles in the shape of the superman logo - they all not just color the landscape, but they belong there. And it is all strangely a beautiful thing. Kind of like Kabuki. It's pretty much alien but its SO its own thing and steeped so much in its own frequency that you just step back, marvel that it exists, and accept that there are may different forms of beautiful.
Other highlights/insights:
-don't sit too close to the screen when you go see "The Bourne Ultimatum" I was sea sick for about 45 min after
- Dave's Famous BBQ is worth the trip
- fewer things are more precious than a red headed two year old trying to tell you about the motor cycles from the circus in a Tennessee drawl and then having him call you "Miss Elizabeth"
- don't wear flip flops when shopping during tax free weekend

- "Don't Mess with Texas" was originally a slogan from a state wide anti-litter campaign

- Mascara is a super power and can get you free drinks anywhere

- KB toy store is always the best store in the mall, no matter what part of the country you're in

- Lisa's Mom's pumpkin cookies could be the missing factor in achieving world peace

- "Hilton" does not count in a scrabble game

- Redvines enhance every experience but don't have them for breakfast

All in all it was lovely and I fully intend to go back in the Fall. Yay for new places and new experiences and yay for friends to have with you on the journey.