Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
They kick us out before we get a chance to resolve much of anything. It's just this big angst filled hole of questions, possibilities, hormones, bad clothes and beautiful moments with some pom poms and trophies thrown in for good measure.
I had a teacher there who was amazing. He was smart, well adjusted, a non-bureaucrat and had this way of talking to us like adults that I really appreciated.
Since he was such a good guy they gave him the honors track of kids so we got to spend a good amount of time together. My band also jammed in his office after hours (he was a pretty cool teacher) so we got a chance to chat a lot. We knew he loved his honors kids but he always kind of made fun of us. He called us drama queens and "reactionary" because of the All-Or-Nothing mentality we somehow managed to create and propagate in our over-anxious group think. He would sit back and laugh at how high strung we would get about tests and projects ie G.A.T.E. Syndrome.
G.A.T.E Syndrome - thinking that one flaw in the mix will damn you to a lifetime of manual labor and life in the gutter.
Or what my mother calls "Clearing away the wreckage of your future"
**this is a direct quote from a conversation I had with a classmate before an AP Bio exam in 10th grade. Imagine a stressed out Chinese girl who hasn't eaten for 2 days in mid-histerics and speaking at mach 2.**
"If I don't get a good grade on this test then I will get a low GPA and if I don't have a perfect GPA then I won't get into a good college and then I won't get a good job and I'll have to ask for change in the gutter to get by and take my meals at the Salvation Army."
I shared the views of my teacher for the most part. I never really felt my life was on the line with every test or project. But after him bringing it to light with such candor and seeing such gross evidence of it all around me, I resolved to be a bit more checked when it came to big tests and projects, to perspective, and not fixate on grades. My mantra from then has been "It's what I learn, not the marks I get" and I've been very loyal to it. There was a class in college where I was given an A and all I did was be the talkative person my professor wanted but I didn't learn a thing so I retook the class, got a B and felt much better about life.
But apparently October is the season for departures of rational thinking.
I got my midterm back and I passed and passed well. I didn't lead the class, and I didn't expect to, but my grade immediately left me feeling very foolish about how worried I was about it. I know there were a lot of prayers and positive thoughts going out for and to me because I have a marvelous group of people that love me and that were beautifully patient with my GATE Syndrome relapse - because that's exactly what it was.
Like most things - I am going to be OK.
A bit shook up, and given a reminder that I have to actually try this time around and not phone it in, but I'm OK. I'm still breathing and I'm not going to flunk out of college and become a Meter Maid that lawn bowls on the weekend and watches Bridges of Madison County once a week.
Not yet at least. We'll see how Grad School treats me.
For today, right now, I'm OK - and suddenly missing my band mates from high school. We did a mean Buffalo Springfield cover - let me tell ya.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
for busting out every ounce of affection and comfort their sleepy and devote hearts could give within in seconds of "Dad - don't freak out. I'm ok - I just wanted to tell you I'm spending the night here. Yeah - see...." including a massive Mary Tyler Moore Finale group hug to stop the tears and restore some kind of security in my life. My mom had me giggling within 15 minutes and my dad was online ordering me a new Dell. They are rockstars in every sense of the word. Dad even knew to have flowers and Tofutti Cuties ready the next day.
1,258 Gold Stars to: Neighbor man Brett
for 1) being born 2) being my neighbor and 3) replacing my locks because Maintenance Man was out of town and Apartment Manager Lady was freaking out even though he had plans to go to the Getty and treated me to Peruvian food with the guilt money Apartment Manager Lady gave him for doing Maintenance Man's job. Few would step up to the task. Thanks for helping me start to piece my sanity back together. And for the pollo saltado.
857 Gold Stars to: Officer Garcia and his Partner
For eventually showing up at my place and taking everything so seriously and properly dusting for prints and being so patient with my I’ve seen too many cop shows and still secretly want to join the FBI attempt at criminology vernacular as I answered their questions – “well I think this was the point of entry”… And thank you for coming back when I noticed something else and taking all of it seriously then too. Giving me your cell phone numbers so I wouldn’t have to go through dispatch again was also very considerate. I’m glad you’re both on The Force. Seriously. Not a single Hot Fuzz quote came to mind.
514 Gold Stars to: Liz W
For being thirsty and being up, hearing voices, seeing the police patrolling my place, and being worried about me. It meant a lot. I love having neighbors that are friends as well. I still might take you up on that air mattress offer if my imagination gets the best of me a night or two.
300 Gold Stars to: Kimbo
For not even blinking an eye or finding out what happened before she offered me a TV in case mine was stolen and just being a generally amazing person.
174 Gold Stars to: Nastia
For spending the night at my place with me and helping me party like its 1999 and letting me forget about the trauma of the previous 36 hours
175 Gold Stars to: NaToya and the rest of my Fellow Season Fairies
For having one of the awesomest Halloween parties EVER!!! And especially Toya for slaving away for the last 3 months to design, make, embroider, fit, refit costumes, make wings, do hair and make up and still have homemade chocolate chip cookies to boot, a DJ to jam out to and the capacity to help me forget my problems for tick. Where did I get such amazing friends? I really have no idea sometimes.
100 Gold Stars to: Apartment Manager Lady
For letting me park in her parking spot till I feel safe parking my car in its old spot and for being properly concerned for me. It’s all very comforting.
450,000 Tard Smears to: The Douche Bags who broke into my apartment on Friday night
I’ve been thinking a lot about this award and carefully considering my reasoning. All of you have been on my mind a lot. I want to let you know that a lot of my prayers are going with this award. I have been praying for all of you almost as much as my family. Mainly to keep myself from being consumed in anger and fear and because the One I serve had told me that’s what I need to do in these kind of situations and I think, for the first time, I understand why He takes that spin on things. I really pity all of you. I almost want to meet you and talk to you. I want to know what kind of pain you deal with that has driven you to drug addiction, anger and violence. No one should have to suffer all of those things at one time. Or even one at one time. So you all get a heaping helping of Tards because you did break into my home and steal my computer along with every paper I’ve written in college and 8 chapters of my book that I don’t have hard copies of. Those are all things I can’t replace and will miss very much. But I truly want all of you to get help. I want all of you to find someone in your life to love you and something to keep you from feeling like you need to invade people’s lives to get money to get high to escape from your own. If they catch you I will come down to the station because I want to look into your eyes and say I forgive you, because I do. I am still praying for all of you. And also praying that you lost my car keys during the get away and I don’t need to worry about that any more.
1003 Tard Smears to: The circumstance that took the Police 1.5 hours to get to my house when I couldn’t touch or do anything but still had to stay there and look at the invaded heap my home had become
Enough said. Lame. Extremely uncool.
500 Tard Smears to: My Grammar teacher
For being so psychologically damaging to me that I am STILL more concerned about my midterm than anything else that happened on Friday.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Dear frustratingly sadistic Instructor of English Grammar that should really have been the practicing Russian Nazi you are and whose class I had the gross misfortune of registering for,
Firstly, welcome to the country. I'm sure someone is glad you're here. However, today, right now, I cannot say that its me.
I understand that you've been dealt a hard deck. Its hard to be 5' 1" anywhere in the 1st world. Its also hard to be a woman in academia. And I cannot even imagine what moved you to get a PhD in English Grammar and Rhetoric when you were a linguistics exchange student from Moscow. Its a challenge I'm sure. I'm also sure that you have a deep love for ridiculous complexities like most of your countrymen do. Its loaned itself to many amazing novels and poetry and ballet dancers. I can't imagine what else would have led you to Grammar. It's its own painfully tedious language. Its a series of ridiculous and ridged guidelines inside a TOTALLY subjective universe. There is no absolute anywhere. Its a horrible conundrum for anybody native speakers included.
I don't know which of the Fates I pissed off enough to have landed you as an instructor at this really sensitive time for me. Probably Clotho. You and your class are the one thing that is standing between me and graduation and grad school. If I don't pass your class I don't graduate. If I don't get an A in your class I don't get into grad school. And you only let us take two tests that are each worth 35% of our grade??!! So if the first is a "learning opportunity" there is NO hope at redemption. None. None at all. How is that effective instruction?
So pretty much the stress of your class ruining my life and making me doubt any and all of my academic potential and value as a person in general. And not in the hyperbolic sense either. I am loosing sleep and emotionally destabilizing because of you class and methodologies. I'm not a stranger to challenges. My life has been a string of them. I have taught myself to read with dyslexia. I have sung in front of 1000's of people on a few minutes notice. I have played tennis matches with torn cartilage in my knee and blisters that went through 5 layers of skin and won. I have done some hard things in my life. I have learned languages within a matter of months (I had a lot of help on that one though)! I have never broken down in tears during an exam for sheer frustration or gone into the exam shaking with nervousness. But I did today and all within 15 minutes of each other. I feel like an overacting character in a bad soap opera but it's the truth. I believe its possible for Grammar to be accessible, to be learnable. People have done it for centuries. But in your class I feel like I'm studying Greek mixed with Klingon.
Your midterm that I took today realized every possible insecurity I've ever had. I feel like I should just apply for that good paying Waste Management job and let you consider your job done.
I have studied more for this class that I have the entirety of the rest of my college career. And I was studying microbiology for a good while, but none of it is making sense. I can't even see why it should be important to me. AND I'M A WRITER! This is why I am loosing sleep and faith in myself.
Do you understand that this isn't a game?
That these are people's lives that you're toying with with?
Do you get that your past perfect progressive adverbial clauses and the derivational morphemes exclusive to attributive adjectives in the Closed Class and all other impossible circumlocutory questions demanding short answer essays, examples, and argumentative evidence are sadistic?
And the next question is basically the same one as before but slightly different so that puts me into a slight panic attack wondering if I didn't understand the first one and makes me doubt everything I just said and will say later?
And 8 other pages of the same to get through?
And only having 50 minutes to do it?
And if I don't finish and finish well then I'm damned?
Do you get that?
Do you even care?
Do you know that answering a questions about jargon with string of other jargon that we don't even have a clue about understanding won't help? We don't stand in awe of your knowledge, we loathe the fact that you are our teacher. When the average class performance is below 40% in an upper division core class at a University that should tell you something. We're not casual students and we're not dumb, but we are lost. Very very very lost and running out of patience and time.
I suppose its too late now. The wheels are in motion. I'll get that Trash Lady or Meter Maid application ready right now.
Thank you for telling me to have a good weekend when I turned in my test though. I believe you truly meant it and perhaps felt a spot of sympathy for me if you saw my reluctantly leaking eyes.
Please disregard the fact that there are tear stains on this letter as well. I couldn't help it reliving the last few hours. I apologise for my lack of composure.
Traumatized and completely discouraged,
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Here is another favorite-
You may reconginze this lovely man from the reoccuring Pale Force segment on Conan or a few of those disturbing Skittles commercials (two words: beard comb-over). Hes also sometimes known as "The Polar Bear"
I love this particular set because all of my brothers are chemically dependent on Hot Pockets and it always disturbed me a little. It took Jim Gaffigan to explain why.
Oh - and that little voice he does inbetween statements is his version of the auidence's internal dialogue or reaction to what he might be saying about the joke. Its a running gig through the whole show. Var var funny.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Rules (cause we love rules):
1. The player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
2. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, and then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog for the rules.
So, the Lovely Rachel has charged me to disclose 6 quirks and or strange habits about myself via blog (that I haven't already) and pass on the love.
This might be tough...
6) When I come across something I have a tendency to classify them in one of three different categories; "LOVE!", "Lame", "Loathe". I very rarely feel neutral or "meh" about something. If it's "like" worthy then I pick it apart for something to love so I can classify it in LOVE! And even if there is a morsel that is lovable it qualifies in the LOVE! category. I don't like to loathe things so that's why I designed Lame. I think there are only about 10 things that have a place in Loathe and stay there (abusive people, pedophilia, apathy, liars - those kind of things). This is my approach to everything. Music, food, places, people, books, plate tectonics (LOVE!). I think its a marvelous thing to feel and to feel wonderful so I look for it as often as possible.
5) Tendency #6 leads me to my #5 which is that I have a tendency to speak in superlatives. It is totally unintentional and I have no desire to dilute the meaning of a word or the awesomeness of what I am speaking to, but because I just love things it comes out as "my favorite!" or "the best!" or "awesomest thing ever!". And when I proclaim that I really mean it. Even if its for that space and time of 15 seconds that I pull that particular subject out of the LOVE! file. I've been working on being more keeled in my speech but for those of you that so patiently deal with the fire hose of "Bestest thing ever ever!" - that's why.
4) I have randomly occurring anal-retentive tendencies: My closet is organized according to type of clothing and where it falls in the color gradient. The shoes and purses are separated by blacks and browns on respective halves of it. The shoes don't point to magnetic north, but I have considered it. My movies and CDs are alphabetized. Most bottles in my bathroom are arranged in descending size order and the bills in my wallet always are in numerical faced order. Oh - and I refold clothes in stores.
3) I take particular joy in waving and smiling at people waiting on corners for the crosswalk sign to change when I'm stopped at a light in my car. They always look bored and half afraid that someone will talk to them and super anxious to just cross the street. So I wave and smile to simultaneously 1)realize their anxiety 2) let them laugh at themselves 3) and let them feel like a person not another something that cars avoid.
2) There have been times when I was showing friends where I grew up in Pasadena that after I've taken them on the brief neighborhood tour that I've introduced them to my trees. There were 3 or 4 trees around my home that were always special thoughtful spots for and to me. So yes - I've introduced people to trees. No I did not hug them but, like magnetic north, I have considered it.
1) I've always dreamed of being one of the kids on Kids Incorporated and then growing up to be one of Janet Jackson's back up dancers or having a regular spot as a Solid Gold Dancer. When I'm not lost in some kind of space in my head and I'm just driving I find myself choreographing and dancing to whats on the radio. I am an unfulfilled ballerina/hip hop diva - and honestly, I'm ok with that. Community college ballet classes are just wonderful and remind me why my budding Solid Gold career began and ended in front of my TV in my living room. But there is, and always will be, a pair of worn out character shoes and ballet slippers hanging up somewhere in my heart.
I think that I'm going to tag: Kim, Tracy, Shelly, Mari B, Hannah, and Nick. Cause I'm dying to know. Seriously.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I love to laugh.
I am a living, breathing Mary Poppins song.
I love a good joke.
I even love bad jokes. I collect them even.
And I especially love stand up comedy. It has a permanent table reservation in the restaurant of my heart. I spent entire summers parked in front of Comedy Central and at the Ice House during my high school years. I've found that its getting harder and harder to find truly funny stuff and not just shock jokes or a string of racial slurs and expletives so when I do find someone or something truly hilarious I love it like a loving thing.
So lets get it started shall we?
This guy has been on my favorites list for a good long time. I have a feeling that if we knew each other we'd be fast friends.
Ladies and Gentleman - I give you Brian Regan
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I had stopped buying dairy products like cheese and yogurt a while back because I could never eat all of it before it went bad so I felt like I was wasting money.
Then I started buying soy milk because it cost the same as normal milk and it tasted the same to me but it stayed good for like 3 months and I got a serving of veggies with breakfast. Awesome deal.
I started using canola margarine after my father outlined our family's medical history to me and scared me to death. And I was being more healthy and I found it delicious. Two-fer!
Then I rembembered some of my high school AP Bio lectures - humans don't naturally produce the necessary digestive enzymes to break down lactose. We were not born knowing what to do with milk. But it's delicious and makes everything else pretty delicious so we consume a lot of it and because are bodies are so awesome they adapt and figure out how to break down lactose.
So because I had cut so much of it out for a bunch of different reasons I had inadvertently weaned myself off of milk. And consequently, with a slightly older anatomy than a child - I developed an allergy.
I am allergic to milk. Not even lactose intolerant - full on allergic. The tear ducts are collecting places for toxins and the mucus glads and lymph nodes are waste disposal stations as well so that explains why it was my eye and neck regions that were flaming up. It was all making sense. A lot of tragic but totally logically sound sense. I was ingesting all these dairy products and my body had no idea what to do with them so it started rejecting them.
I lived off of lettuce and protein bars for a week or so and things went back to normal. I even got to wear eye make up for the first time in a while a few weeks back. I fogot how much I missed that.
Now initially I kind of thought "That's not so bad. No more yoohoo and Ben and Jerry's and I shouldn't be eating those anyway" but as the reality of what "no dairy" meant distilled on me, the lists of things that were detrimental to me kept growing and growing and I came to realize that I am one of those annoying "oh - I can't have that" kind of people now. *sniff* I always internally rolled my eyes at people like that and now as an ironic loving universe would have it, I have joined the ranks.
Milk = cheese. As in cream cheese, as in Parmesan cheese, as in cheese and crackers as in blue cheese dressing, as in cheesecake, as in macaroni and cheese and in Pizza
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
I love their songs. I love their stories. I admire their resolve. I marvel at their tenacity and I thoroughly enjoy any graceful use of a bonnet.
But I'm not one of them. My ancestors were Irish, Welsh and Scottish singers who heard a missionary district meeting's opening hymn, were taught, accepted the truth and came over on the railroad. It was fans and tea service for us thank you. Especially coming to Zion.
The docks that they came through and the places that they gathered as a family before making the Utah jump were in Virgina, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
I find it beautifully symmetrical that the places our family has been called to serve our full time missions have been to (me to Virginia and Washington DC and Jonathan to Charolette North Carolina) were the places my family first came to America. It gives me goosebumps when I think about it. The docks that I went and taught tourists at were the same ones my converted family first tasted Zion. I love it. So with this in mind I was sure as sure a sure person that when Nick opened his call it would be for New Orleans, LA but he got it today -
And hes going to - NORTH CAROLINA. Raleigh, North Carolina.
There is still work to do in the big NC so its going to take a few Elder Long's go make it happen. I'm totally sure my kids are going to Louisiana now though. Almost positive.I can't even begin to tell you what I feel and how much of it I'm feeling. Nick receiving his call has been a fantastic journey for everybody. I think we're all way more invested in it than in the previous two calls in the family. Everyone rallied around him. We all changed our diets to help him make weight. We would work out 3-5 times a week. It's every one's call really. He's the best gym buddy that a girl could hope for. Its a bit terrifying to know how real the call is and that as of Dec 19 he will be a plaque wearing member of The Work. I'm so happy for him!!! And I stand continually amazed at the beauty and cyclical nature of The Plan.
So yeah - he's leaving. My baby brother is off to the world. Well - to North Carolina anyway. May the Confederate flag fly and the red velvet abound! We're going home.