Monday, March 31, 2008

Little Tugs

So when I was a missionary traipsing all over the Washington DC and Virginian landscape my mission president would frequently give us challenges to "follow little tugs"; read: the random thoughts, ideas or whatever that enter your daily inner dialog. He always said the "first thought is of God and second is of Man."

My companion and I committed to accept President's challenge and in an effort to more accurately listen to the Spirit and to make our days more interesting and we upped the stakes a little by making the challenge to each other to verbalize them as well. We thought it made them easier to follow if there were two brains working on the matter.

We found ourselves stopping the car frequently to get out and talk to someone that had passed us on the street, drop by member's houses with face painting kits and oatmeal, have 5 minute long belting renditions of "How Great Thou Art", and a number of other seemingly strange but didactic and useful missionary things that led to relationships, testimonies, and miracles. They're marvelous little things, those tugs.

However, this tendency leaked into normal, everyday conversation, not relating to The Work and as a result the concept of non-sequitur became quite-sequitur and led to many moments of sheer hilarity.

It's recently occurred to me how much I treasure those kind of moments where I am able to just pour out the random contents of my disjointed brain and have someone there to catch it all and make sense of it. Even if its in the form of my choreography to "Nephi's Courage" and obsession with the word "topo".

So - to carry it on a bit I've decided to make it a feature on my blog. Whatever piece of randomness I find noteworthy I will do my best to blog about and/or illustrate. You never know what it can mean or where it might lead.

Tug 1) parallel lines that spin in circles intersect in a 2D world but not a 3D one

Tug2) the word ubiquitous

Tug 3) this song -

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Karma [kahr-muh] -
When, in your fantastically adventurous youth, you took full advantage of the prank and sneak-out-of-bed potential that such events as Youth Conference and Girls Camp provided and gave your leaders more than one sleepless night. Then, a few short years later, you are called to serve in the YW program and get to chaperon Youth Conference in Big Bear Easter weekend, and the bouncing flashlights, emphatic leaf crunching footsteps, mumbling voices peppered with annoyance, panic and cold in the distance are not behind you but are your own.

[in-san-i-tee] -
after not sleeping most of the previous night by spending it traipsing up and down mountainsides after restless Young Women in the arresting cold you proceed to get up at 3 am to meet 4:45 am call with the Southern California Mormon Choir, going into a cemetery in the hills, essentially in the middle of the night, to warm up outside, in the dark, singing by flashlight, keeping your voice from seizing up with tea and a homemade scarf, in prep for a 6 am Sunrise Service when "sunrise" isn't supposed to happen till 6:52 am. And who comes to 6 am services outside in the mountains where thousands of dead people are buried? About a 1000 people, thats who.

Token Da-dee-ta-dee
[toh-kuhn da-dee-ta-dee] -
When during said warm ups for such event and in between episodes of nodding off you realize that you had only been supplied with one version of costume for performances in the form of a black skirt and a black boat neck top but those around you are in a lovely Wedgewood blue with pearls. So being the singular choir member that isn't dressed properly you try to sit out but Mr. Director-man won't hear of it so you stand next to the men and hope that no one will see the tall girl, back row, center in the wrong color. In such states of sleep deprivation you decide to be the deliberate flaw in the Amish quilt and leave it at that.

[hi-ster-i-kuhl] -
Driving home from said event such being inspired by the doves being released at dawn while singing the Hallelujah chorus, the ridiculous costume antics, all coupled with the effect of sleep deprivation and the relief that the performance is over, you proceed to have a slumber party worthy laugh fit that fills the entire ride home with your car pool buddy and her hilarious daughter consisting of, but not limited to, SNL sketches relating to Pepper ("peppaaah") and the term "Bellaisma!!!!"

Murphy's Law
[mûr'fēz law] -
Your Young Women's President has been preparing and looking forward to Easter for weeks because she has planned a lesson consisting of a table set close to the floor with a complete and accurate spread of what the Last Supper would have looked like and had a tape that was the Last Supper, conversation wise, that she wanted to play for the kids, having the spread right there and letting them have that fly-on-the-wall experience via the performance of the tape. She asked you to teach the rest of the lesson, and by listening to the testimonies at Youth Conference of your kids you have come to realize that when they say "I don't really have a testimony of Jesus Christ but I like it here" that they need some serious and intimate experiences with The Spirit and Easter is a perfect opportunity and you really really want to make it a good lesson and a powerful experience. So, for preparation your Young Women's president gave the tape weeks ago and when you get home after Youth Conference schnanagans and Forest Lawn Services you go to look for the tape and it isn't to be found. A N Y W H E R E

Game Face [geym feys] -
so while totally reworking your lesson in your head absent of the tape and imagining how you are going to tell your Young Women's president and shoving down the panic that both concepts ignite, you are still committed to sing in part of the Easter program during Sacrament meeting and manage to sit on the stand and sing your solo without coming unhinged.

Tender Mercies
[ten-der mur-sees] -
After manically looking for said YW Pres while trying to be polite to a steady stream of congratulatory congregation members you find her and it turns out she has an extra tape and all is well. You set up and give said lesson on the power of Christ and the invitation to "come to the table" and every single kid is quiet, uncharacteristically not-squirrelly, attentive and sweet. You're praying as loudly as you can in your heart for the Spirit to be there and that the kids might understand, even just a modicum more, their relationship to the Savior. Your half an hour is up and at the end of the lesson you invite the kids to come to the table set with place cards with the Apostles' names on them and with grape juice filled crystal goblets, but at Christ's place, at the head of the table you set and filled a special silver goblet. After the kids had literally eaten every morsel of food on the table and drained every goblet of grape juice and had all cleared out you do what every Youth leader does so well, you start cleaning up . During that process you realize that in the midst of the ravished table they left the Savior's cup full and untouched and you weep because you know that they heard you, and more importantly, they understood.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

I've had a myriad of blog worthy experiences recently, I'm just trying to find the time to do them justice. Lets just say they involve; midnight romps up a mountain, fake tan divas, the Last Supper, sunrises, and the term "da-dee-ta-dee"

In the interim:


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Extended Wednesday Giggles

It just isn't officially Easter without it.

Wild Horses Couldn't Keep Me Away

I don't know wheeennnnn -
I don't know hoooooooooow -
But I know SOMETHING starting right now-----
Someday I'll BE
Part. Of. Your. Wooooorrrld

Needless to say - I will be there with my Flounder plush in hand. I don't need the sheet music either *wink*
If you're game gimme a call

Wednesday Giggles

Sorry I forgot to hit publish yesterday.

I've been saving these. They're called Garfield Minus Garfield. It's just John finally getting his moment in the spotlight and I find them hysterical.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cue: Cherubic "Ahhhh"s

Dear Lemon Creek 1Hr Cleaners,

If there was a Pulitzer, Oscar, or Key to the City specifically for dry cleaners you should win them all.

I've been avoiding you for a while. I'll admit it. I was ashamed.

I know that audacious down comforter of mine is a pain in the butt. It's so bloody thick and from-Norwayish that you have to outsource it because there isn't a washer big enough in this dimension to properly clean it. I'll have you know that I didn't buy such an obnoxious 9" thick thing. I inherited it from my great aunt and uncle. They were moving to the ranch and wanted to get rid of most of their Landcaster house's stuff. I reaped some awesome disturbing old people medical equipment too. It was an adventure, I'm telling you.

See - you know when you forget about something and then when you finally remember it it's been so long it that it would just be plain embarrassing if you brought it up*. And! ....and. And you didn't have a room, bed, or house that was big enough to balance out such a regal thing (like the afore mentioned aunt and uncle did). So you thought that you would just... let it slide... and you end up dearly hoping that the powers that be donated the thing to someone who truly needed a 9" thick down comforter**. So not only did you find a way to get it cleaned and for a very reasonable price but you let me avoid picking it up for a year and a half. You didn't donate it to charity, you didn't eBay it, you didn't even harrassingly call me to come get it. You were simply the picture of patience.

So yesterday when I went to drop off some real clothes that didn't need outsourcing*** there it was. Just sitting there. Taking up half your top-shelf space. Under a 1/4 inch of dust. Looking eager to be used again and very happy to see me. Without a single censuring look you just dusted it off for me, pulled off the faded pick-up ticket from 11/06 and didn't charge me a cent extra. Just because you're that nice.

May the Patron Saint of Dry Cleaners and Patient People rain blessings of many customers and non-crumbly buttons on you forever and ever.

bewilderingly amazed and gratefully yours,

*or picked it up
** like an Eskimo
*** and I PROMISE to pick them up today

Monday, March 17, 2008


So its my People's Holiday, where green Guinness is rampant and its considered patriotic to be drunk. *sigh*

I'm an O'Neil and plucking proud of that fact. I really love and cherish my Irish heritage. It somehow makes me feel just a bit stronger and founded in the world. I can't articulate why, I just do.

I'm also a Stuart on my Scottish side and a bit of Welsh so when people ask me "what I am" I say Celtic. It's the most accurate answer I've been able to come up with. I love them and everything about them. Their music, their folklore, their history, their fashion, their stories, their art - everything. Even Michael Flatley hasn't been able to bust that bubble of awesome that tightens up my chest when I hear a fiddle or a bagpipe (and that's a miracle).

We were the original feminstis (I should say "womanists")
the original emergency preparedness experts
the original scholars
the original gurrila fighters
the first ones to understand Faerie
we don't understand "no" (to our benifit and detriment)
we have the coolest hair EVER
and a myriad of other things

Basically - we're awesome. I think if we all didn't have a drinking problem we'd have taken over the place already. It's the Universe's way of keeping us in check I think.

My Irish comes out in different ways at different times I think. For instance, I was at a St. Patrick's Day party on Saturday night where a group of guys were watching a boxing match. I had never really seen a boxing match aside of those in Rocky and stuff, so I obviously had no idea what was going on. I just saw two exhausted and bleeding men doing their best to beat the crap out of the other. After 12 rounds both of them were still standing and so I said

"well I guess its a draw then"

and the other 15 guys in the room just turned on me with a "what?!" look and I said

"well a fight is only over when there is one guy is standing - that's how you can tell who won. Right?"
and all 15 of them erupted in laughter. I heard a few I like your styles and that's what I'm talking abouts but I was in earnest. I, who have never been in a real fist fight and child of a pacifist hippy, truly thought that's how it is.
I chalked it up to my Irish blood and giggled it off. Some guy named Pacquiao won but I still don't think he did. He's not Irish though, and neither is the boxing assication apparently...
Anywho -
To honor me people I've found some quotes from people that know mine best.

"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."
- Winston Churchill

"If you could drink dreams like the Irish streams
Then the world would be high as the mountain of morn
In the Pool they told us the story
How the English divided the land..."
- John Lennon, "The Luck of the Irish" (song)

"Well, it takes all kinds of men to build a railroad."
"No sir, just us Irish."
- Railroad barons in "Dodge City," Warner Bros (1939)

"I saw a fleet of fishing boats...I flew down almost touching the craft and yelled at them, asking if I was on the right road to Ireland. They just stared. Maybe they didn't hear me. Maybe I didn't hear them. Or maybe they thought I was just a crazy fool."
- Charles Lindbergh

"Ireland, sir, for good or evil, is like no other place under heaven, and no man can touch its sod or breathe its air without becoming better or worse."
- George Bernard Shaw

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
- Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish)

"For the good are always the merry,
Save for an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle,
And the merry love to dance"
- W.B. Yeats, "The Fiddler of Dooney"

"I started with rock n' roll and...then you start to take it apart like a child with a toy and you see there's blues and there's country...Then you go back from country into American music...and you end up in Scotland and Ireland eventually."
- Elvis Costello

"There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were."
- Irish Saying

and my personal favorite....

"No man is an Ireland."
-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
~ Celtic Blessing

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My 100

Well since the two women in the world that I love most and try to emulate* have done a List of 100 Uninteresting Things about themselves to commemorate their 100th post** and invited all to do the same, and since it's something I wanted to do, I think I will.

100 Most Uninteresting Things About Ms. Liz (Part I)

1) I typically find uninteresting things interesting so this might be more of an adventure that I originally thought
2) Picture Picture was my favorite part of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
3) I remember the crayon one the best
4) my ears have always been a bit too small for earbud headphones so they almost always fall out
5) my new bluetooth falls out all the time too
6) and I'm afraid one of these times it will be into the toilet or a milkshake
7) today was the second time I've ever come home from a dentist's appointment without a single cavity
8) I'm addicted to Hempz lotion
9) My best friend says it smells like Trident gum
10) I think it just smells like yummy lotion
11) at choir rehearsal two nights ago a perfect stranger leaned into me, and inhaled deeply and then said "you smell good"
12) I was grateful it was an eccentric soprano and not the retired bass to her left
13) I pulled out my purse spray and and gave her some on her wrist so it wouldn't happen again
14) beware the effect DKNY perfume has on people
15) I've always wanted to have that outfit that Leslie Caron has on when shes working in the Perfume Shop in An American in Paris
16) shes the reason I started wearing scarves
17) Funny Face is my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie
18) I love the city of Paris and the stories it has but have little desire to ever actually visit
19) mostly because I heard that everything reeks of cigarette smoke and it takes months to get out of your system. My friend even steam cleaned her luggage and it didn't do the trick.
20) I'm sure once I got there I'd never want to leave though so I'm prepared to be wrong
21) I think that people who don't like the word "moist" are funny
22) I'm not very fond of the word "cuticle"
23) I am borderline compulsive about keeping mine up though
24) I am borderline compulsive about the whole nail care spectrum of things
25) this is because I think I have very ugly hands so its the least I can do to keep them manicured
26) my mom calls them starfish hands
27) I can text 50 wpm without looking
28) I can type 80 wpm
29) When I found out Pam (and Jenna Fischer) from The Office can type 90 wmp I made a goal to improve
30) second to ice cream and marzipan I think taquitos and guacamole are the best things on earth
31) especially from Alvera Street
32) I have erased 7 different things for this slot and thinking I have 70 more to go
33) I bite my lip when I'm thinking
34) I tilt my head to the left when I'm confused
35) I realized this the first time I had a steak at a hoity-toity steak house
36) after the salad and before the steak they brought out a scoop of sorbet
37) I looked at it like it was an alien
38) with my head tilted apparently
39) I didn't understand what "pallet cleanse" was
40) my friend still laughs about it to this day
41) penguins are my favorite animals
42) used to buy the blue one that was part of the Hello Kitty family all the time
43) I still eBay it once in a while to see if anything still exists
44 ) I also loved Hello Kitty erasers
45) and the mechanized pencil cases
45) I had a pink one that was my pride and joy of the 5th grade
46) Hello Kitty is one of those things that's adorable on children and silly on adults
47) this breaks my heart
48) when I was in grade school I organized my books in my desk according to size and in the corner so they all lined up
49) I still arrange things in descending size order
50) and color coded typically
51) I typically have lotion, lip balm and tissue within arms distance at all times
52) I've had a pink pocket knife since I was 8.
53) I don't think I could abide a pocket knife any other color
54) but I'm not a pink enthusiast
55) Pink and I only reconciled a few years ago
56) we had a falling out around the same time adolescence set in
57) my favorite roses at the Huntington are pink but bloom ivory
58) They're called "French Lace"
59) I've never seen bona fide French lace
60) my old young women's advisor used to crochet lace during meetings and I thought she was insane
61) She also made her own peanut butter and kept chickens but lived in Urban Pasadena
62) I have never been to Sea World
63) I want to swim with sharks
64) I keep a list of things I want to do before I die
65) I made it after I saw "A Walk to Remember"
66) and I'm not ashamed of that
67) "Being on Oprah" and "seeing an aurora borealis" are two of the 215 things on there
68) so is "waving from a float" and "saving a life"
69) my first car was an 1969 Ford Falcon
70) I bought it for $500
71) I called him "Frank"
72) My parents called him "the Death Trap" when I wasn't around
73) 9's and 6's are numbers that follow me around
74) I graduated class of 1996
75) there are 9 letters in my name
76) my mom went into labor with me on Aug 6th
77) I was born on the 9th
78) she still marks my birthday on calenders on the 6th
79) I've gotten used to it and simply draw arrows now
80) this list feels more like a stream of consciousness exercise
81) the first book I read in stream of consciousness was "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"
82) I was a senior in high school
83) my head was tilted to the left so often my neck constantly hurt
84) I'm dyslexic
85) I had to get special tutoring to keep up in middle school
86) I only took AP English because of a bet Senior year
87 ) I got a 5 and still don't believe it
88 ) I remember every teacher's name I had in high school
89) I got my ears pierced when I was two
90) it was because my brother cut all my hair off and my mom thought I looked like a boy
91) I still remember what the girl was wearing that pierced them
92) one my front teeth is fake
93) I've owned and worn Docs since I was 12 years old
94) I swing my arms really high when and walk with stiff legs when I'm walking in hallways by myself
95) my pinky toes are deformed
96) they look like flappy ears attached to my feet
97) it was because of too tight ballet shoes when I was a kid
98) I still have dreams I'm dancing ballet and can feel my feet on the floor in my shoes
99) I've been 5' 9" since the 6th grade
100) I only reconcilled that fact and the concept of hight heals (and let myself wear them) about 2 years ago

So there you go. I hope you're still awake. I have a plethora of rather uninteresting things to talk about apparently. This was kind of fun. I think I might do another 100 for my 200th post - just to have a bit of tradition going on. Yay for blogging and yay for Rachel and Liz W.

*that are in my age bracket and not part of history (yet). Don't wanna shove mom or Margaret Thatcher aside...
**This is actually my 110th post and I toyed with the idea of doing one like the immortal Rachel but I didn't want to appear "mee toooo!"ish but she said it was all right so... :D Happy Day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

There Won't be Bluebirds there -

When I was 17 and getting ready to graduate from high school there was a this lovely woman in my ward in Pasadena who was a lifetime member of the Southern California Mormon Choir. She was a good friend and a musical mentor of mine via ward choir and musical #s etc, and and even though it was unheard of for a kid to be in the Southern California Mormon Choir (the average age is somewhere between 40 and 45 I think), she brought me and I was invited to audition and was admitted. It was a thumb-in-the-suspenders moment for me. We sang Messiah at the Dorthy Chandler Pavilion that year even, which is still on my lifetime highlights reel.
Once school was over and I had this thing called a "normal schedule", and in an effort to not let my talents atrophy, I rejoined the choir about two months ago and its been marvelous. I've done a few concerts already but we have a fabulous one coming up that everyone should know about.

Next week-

Tuesday, March 18th

at 7:30 p.m.

at the Alex Theater in Glendale

We are doing selected Messiah choruses with the Glendale Youth Orchestra (and they are excellent).
There is a bit of a cover so lemme know if you're interested and I'll get you all the details. But the bottom line is you get to her me sing!
Well - sort of.... you get to hear a lot of us sing.

And what is Easter without Messiah? I mean - really.

We're also doing a Sunrise Service on Easter Morning in one of the chapels at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills but thats at 6am. I wouldn't ask anyone but crazy people to come to that (but it is free).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reason, Voice of

Dear choice and gorgeous people I call Friends and Family,

So I'm feeling much much better about Grad School (or lack thereof at the moment). I had a good cry yesterday and let myself feel what I needed to feel and it was gloriously cathartic.

I have many stars to issue on the matter. I truly have some of the choicest group of friends on the planet. I've got a blazing bright future and I know that and I promise I won't forget.

I also have an amazing family.
I talk about them frequently.
Ad nausium probably. Most of you know this.

They're amazing for many different reasons and one of them is that they ignore me when I say "I don't want to talk about it", are strong enough to get me to talk about it, and manage to say exactly what I need to hear in a way that I'll understand.

One of the most visible people with this capacity is my cousin Patrick.

Patrick and I had an exchange yesterday that I think is totally representational of what I was truly crying about and what I needed to hear to stop and if I was to dive into a conversation about the last few days it would probably be a cognate of this exchange.

LIZ: Thanks for the call last night and your message. I'm a mess right now but I'll be OK. I just need to finish crying about it. I hope that's soon - I've had to redo my make up three times today. I can't believe how much of myself I've tied up in this. And I have to tell everyone that I respect that I'm not good enough. I don't know what faction of the Carma Bureau I pissed off but this feels like Catholic Penitence.

PATRICK: I'm sorry I missed your call back. I was pretty beat and I just crashed after I didn't get you.

You've been on my mind a ton. I even dreamt I went with the two guys who owned my gym in Tuscon, and stormed the campus and forced them to let you in. And one of the decision makers was an alien. But that is neither here nor there. And I totally get dropping a lot of one's identity into something. I do it like nobody else.

But to say you're not good enough is pretty obtuse for a girl as smart as you. I bet it feels as such, but the net of their decision is that you weren't a good fit. Not that you personally or even academically weren't good enough.

Believe it or not - I think this might be a blessing. That decision has you free to architect your future in a myriad of powerful ways.

Just a thought. I love you so much. And let's keep talking.

LIZ: I love you too and all your points make sense. Absolute brilliant sense.

You're right and I do feel a bit of relief knowing I can proceed any direction I want at the moment but it feels foggy and so uncertain and I don't feel qualified to recommend myself to much. I don't mean to be obtuse and I don't think I'm a window-licker by any means, but I'm not someone that apparently is qualified to do much besides be a coffee mug wisdom maven.

On paper I am very ordinary sadly. Grades and test scores are the only language these people speak or value sadly. And you have to play the game to change it and I feel like I can't even get a ticket to watch.

Its enough to just make you want to disappear.

PATRICK: I could speak to this at length at some point over coffee and Mexican Cokes. And I understand it lands as simple and trite - but if you believe it, then it becomes accurate. I think you are infinitely qualified. And in an infinite number of way that one can't be taught. And as such one can't put a price tag on you

And you are now potentially free from the linear path that academia provides. I think you and I will come up with a way to market you once you know what direction you wanna take.

Its not time to disappear. Its time to shine. And I'm with you.

LIZ: Then I can't loose can I? Maybe I should just focus on finding a brilliant and wealthy husband and content myself to being a kept woman with charming children.

PATRICK: Always a solid strategy. And you're certainly qualified to snag one of them.

I need to stand back more often and realize how well I'm looked after and how well I'm known and loved. And honestly, that knowledge is worth more to me than a PhD, despite the earning power attached.

I'm out of the emo pit and I have a good amount of work ahead of me but I wanted to blog about this because I don't want to forget what it was like there, who went there with me, what I learned there, and who brought me home.

all the love I have to give and more,
~Lizzie (Jane)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Make it So -

Irish we had one more day off a year.
Irish it could be like a National Holiday thing too.
Irish there was someone with a petition I could sign so that it the idea could be presented on the Senate floor.
Irish there was a link where I could sign and show my support for me Celtic roots. That would be so easy.

And it seriously is.

Fuzzy Ends

I just got the last word back about grad school. "I haven't been recommended" for any of them.

Yes, I'm crushed and humiliated.
No, I'm not too sure about what to do and I'm sorry that I'm not good enough to be more than keyboard monkey and that I've let everyone around me down.
No, I really don't want to talk about it but I thank you for your concern.
I will, however, continue to pretend to feel like I have some voice or value somewhere; bloggosphere or what not, but for right now I think I just want to cry.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Slip Pupils in Dark Corners

"Any decision, even if it looks and feels like the right one, made out of fear will never lead to happiness" - T. N., pg 25, 7/20/2006

I never thought one of the token pretty things I picked up at the bookstore at The Huntington would ever be more than a conversation piece when I was 17. But evolution is its own miracle, even in the form of a tiny notebook.
It's become my catch-all for funny things I hear, profound images I come across and plan to use in a book someday, and thoughts that come to me that I don't want to loose. It's a confidant that I call a thought notebook. Crazy creative huh? I've tried to think of a name or title for it but all wit on the matter has alluded me. It's let me quote myself, reflect back on moments of clarity, and let me feel (just for a second) like the deep person I hope to be someday.
It also lets me add to conversations I've had with myself or fully digest, in retrospect, things I didn't understand before.

There was one quiet moment in church when someone was talking about something related to some brave acts that people in scripture have performed and that got me wandering in my brain about what makes someone brave. I've heard the solder's and Generals quotes saying "courage is not the absence of fear but doing what you have to in spite of it" and like sentiments from people how have had to face real fear and exhibited real bravery and have achieved great things because of it. Fear is then implied to be this constant that you simply have to learn to maneuver around. I didn't like that idea very much, it seemed so Defeatist to me. So I went to a happy place and started thinking about Forrest Gump.

Here's a man that achieved great things and never really understood half of what he did. I felt some connections coming on so I picked up my notebook -

"There is a difference between courage and simplistic fortitude. To have or demonstrate courage one must have a working knowledge of the consequences of failure. Oblivion to the stakes of the situation takes the concept of courage totally out of the equation." T.N., pg 15, 5/12/2004

But Forrest was afraid. He was afraid of a lot of things, like loosing Jennie or his friends, not getting shot in Vietnam or loosing face. His mind was always in higher plains because of his simplicity and that is what enabled him to do such great things, not being brave. He really is an amazing character.

I've taken out the concept of fear more than once since, looked at it, got a few chills, and decided to Scarlet O'Hara it for a day that I felt stronger.

Then I started watching Quarterlife about two weeks ago.
I know, I know.
"Liz - are you really watching that webisode thing?!"
Yes. Yes I am, and I'll tell you why. It's excellent.
(excellent = the writing is honest, the acting is great. It's not pretentious and I think about it after.)

What I've noticed what stays with me is that the way the show talks about fear and is so honest about it. Like I wish I could be brave enough and self aware enough to understand that the reason I may be catty to the person I love is because I'm afraid of them and the sway they have over me, or the real reason I resent my job is because I don't have the ovaries to get up and do what I really want to.

"Fear, pain, and discomfort are almost never the problem. It's the lack control related to each that starts fires" T.N., pg 30, 8/14/2006

The reason I make a lot of every day decisions is because I'm afraid of not being good enough, or not being loyal enough to my generation or the planet or my art, not making bills, not having anything to say for myself at cocktail parties, not being interesting enough even to flirt, of people leaving. It's all there and all scattered through the pages of my thought notebook guised as political insights or bad puns.

I haven't reached any sweeping or new conclusions. I know fear is irrational and based on unrealistic self imposed expectations derived from sensational media, fairy tales, our perceptions of "perfect people" and Oprah. I know that if I don't and am not everything I think I should be a big black hole will not open up in the street and suck me down to the Bog of Eternal Stench. And even if it did I would still probably be OK. My head knows all of this, but I think it's still traveling southward and hasn't landed yet.

I'm still scribbling in my notebook on the matter, but a little distance from it in the mirror of my computer monitor has made me pull out the concept a little more often lately and I've been feeling strong enough to actually look those darly lit slit pupiled eyes head on and I'm realizing they're the same blue as mine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

We truly are living through a golden age of television

Dear Zack Braff,
Will you please be my boyfriend? Pretty please? I cook, smell good, and attend yoga regularly.
Awaiting your call -
Liz (but you can call me Lizzie *wink*)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brain Candy

I've always wondered at the naming streets process, and if they have a version of the Dundies for raised eyebrows. Because if they did I think San Diego County is in the lead for this year.

I ran across this and this at work and did a double take. I mean, I'm grateful for things that remind me that I'm not just looking at data and have a bit of character but I wonder what they were attempting to achieve with stuff like this. Like who was involved in this? Peter Jackson's little bro? And who would live there? Do unbalanced LOTR fans gravitate to places like that? Artisans maybe? Not to mentioned that they're displaying that they're engineers and not readers (or care about spelling).

And this. ??.......!
Do city planners keep a stock of wine about when they're approving plans?

And this one just sent me rolling.
Just because.
Can you imagine giving someone directions to your house if you lived there?
What if it was at night?
And they were from Ireland?
And jet lagged?
And thought you were being cheeky?

I suppose there is some merit to it. There is a section of Catalina named Avalon. I've entertained the idea of a summer home there.

"Oh - sorry. I can't talk right now - I'm off to catch the mists in Avalon. Ta-ta!"