Sunday, July 31, 2005

On The Bright Side, At Least My Bishop Isn't Crazy

Ugh. I need to stop napping on Sundays. That, or church needs to stop being at 9 a.m. so I'm not forced to take a nap in the afternoon. And yes, I do mean forced, alright? Once every seven days, I am stripped of all agency and made to take multi-hour naps consisting of long, haunting dreams and much dehydration and disorientation upon waking. My life is terrible, I assure you.

Also, my phone, it is breaking. Sometimes calls don't go through, and sometimes it won't ring when someone is calling me, and sometimes I want to cry and cry and cry, because why does my phone always let Kyle's calls through and not, say, someone I'd actually like to speak to? I mean, I'm not one hundred percent certain something strange is going on here: it could always be due to bad cell phone reception and freak coincidences. Until I figure everything out, though, I'm enjoying all the frustrated voicemails people are leaving me.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Be Jealous, Alright?

Yesterday, the family decided to take a trip down to Virginia to spend a day on the lake, zipping about in our flashy yellow boat. When I say "family decided," I of course mean my parents cooked up this scheme and then informed my brother and I of our plans for Wednesday. That is how things work, you know, but I submitted to these plans readily, 'cause what kind of fool doesn't want to spend all day out in the sun, wind whipping back a long, blonde ponytail, warm lake water spray in the face, the thrill of jumping so, so high on any number of water toys stirring up massive amounts of adrenaline? I mean, really: Who? And do you know how big of a fool you are?

So I was roused at the ungodly hour of 5:37 a.m. (I know this because I thought I had dreamed someone standing in my room, looked at my clock, noted the time, and went back to sleep, only realizing later that I hadn't dreamt it at all.) and stumbled into my familiar uniform of bathing suit with the racing back that prevents falling offness when crashing into the water at high speeds, blue shorts, and black tank top, all designed to dry quickly. I think I was supposed to help load the car, but by the time I'd grabbed my purse and cell phone there wasn't anything for me to carry. John's friend had spent the night and came with us yesterday, so maybe the extra person made a difference or something; I don't know. I'm not purposely lazy, though.

We finally got to the lake and launched the boat and cruised around, looking at all the $7.5 million houses with the perfectly-manicured lawns and the huge boats and big vats of flowers and snapping American flags surveying over the property, all in an attempt to make things look cozy, I imagine. It's not cozy, all that finery, it's rubbish, and it's fake, and it's terribly uninviting. Those aren't the kind of houses that have secret passages or do anything worthwhile with the millions of dollars thrown at them, and who wants a big house without a secret passage?

Anyway, Dad kicked off the day by kneeboarding for a bit, then Mom tried it and managed to get up and ride about for a while (go Mom!), and we all had a go, and oh my goodness, it is sooo much fun. Except when you accidentally flip upside down and you nearly drown because, hey, you're strapped into the thing and now it's on top of you and you're under the water, but look at that, you hadn't managed to tighten the strap all the way because it'd gotten caught, and you're far, FAR more interested in jumping over wakes and doing tricks than in worrying over a silly little strap, so you can manage to slide your knees out and swim away before anything really BAD happens. But even so, doesn't it sound exciting? Okay, awesome, you're all invited to come along next time.

After that, we got out the tube, and I suggested that the three, well, non-parents all take a go at once, even though it's really only for two people, because I didn't want to wait, and it really is a lot of fun when you're whipped off the tube, I promise. Luckily, the parents let us, so we all boarded it and shoved off, and Dad went about the lake looking for a good place to take us, so we had a long time in which we weren't really going very fast, and all sorts of antics went on. Mom started taking pictures, so I suggested we all pose, and Matt wanted to switch with me so his weight would be on one side and when we all leaned maybe something would happen like on the Tilt-a-Whirl, and there was just general mayhem and amusement. And then the tube ominously slowed, and John and I knew what was coming: S-curves. The boat is fast and whips around quite nicely, and when it goes in an S-curve, the tube will catch the wake on its path and jump into the air, bouncing around, and on down the other side. Well, and we had THREE passengers now, and so more weight, and so more air. Eventually, Matt was ripped off, and I lost my grip as well when I turned to see where he was. We all swam for the tube and got on again, and then Matt fell off again, and we decided to have lunch.

John and I slipped off the tube and headed for the dock and burned our feet and he had to help me up. And then. Then, I heard a honking. And I heard it again. And I told John there were geese somewhere. Except when I looked, it was a couple of mottled, strange looking ducks. Wild ducks mixed with something else and they were honking just like geese. Gucks! I cried. Look at the gucks! Oh how I love waterfowl. Especially waterfowl that warrants a name such as "guck."

After lunch we cast anchor and I jumped off into the perfect water. It was warm and inviting and green and adventurous, and I was hoping to find a tombstone from when they had dammed the river and flooded the town that now lay below us. The tube was still attached to the boat, so I suggested a game of King of the Hill. It's a lot harder in life jackets. Eventually I fell off and grabbed the snorkel gear Dad had bought due to an unfortunate accident that occured last Saturday, the details of which I shall NOT disclose, but they might have involved, um, me running over the rope and Dad being forced to cut it off the propellor. Maybe. Or perhaps I was a valiant hero and saved the family from an attack of snakeheads. YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. So, I snagged the snorkel stuff and fitted it over my head and then put my face in the water and -- well. Snorkeling is basically the best thing ever. I mean, there's usually more stuff to see when you're snorkeling about in the Caribbean along a reef with rays and foreign fish and whatnot, but that's not the thrilling part for me. No, for me, what I like is that slight edge of panic when you first put your face in, wondering if the suction will hold, getting used to breathing for a tube, and forcing yourself to just relax... and then floating about, gazing at things, hearing your breath echoing. That is something I could do all day every day and never tire of it. Of course, all I saw was green murkiness and my own hands in front of my face, the silver of my ring catching the sunlight. I was looking for a tombstone, you'll remember, but only caught sight of Mom's legs or the stripes on Dad's bathing suit or the yellow of the underbelly of the boat. And of course, things kept striking me as terribly funny, so I'd sart laughing, which would break the seal, and I'd have to come up, my mask all flooded; the family would be laughing at me, because of course they could hear me laughing through the breathing tube. My favorite moment was when I was swimming up to my mother, planning on humming the Jaws theme as I came up to her, but collapsed into a fit of unquenchable laughter instead.

We all wanted to tube some more, so the boys got back on, and Matt went flying again, tired out and unable to hold on as the tube flew through the air in a sharp curve. I got on this time, and after a while, there was a big pull and the tube started flying through the air on its side, and John was ripped from the tube, and I barely managed to hang on, and I felt something bumping underneath my legs, and a sickening thought crossed my mind that I was kicking him in the head and he'd drown. The tube righted itself and my mom shouted something about how in the world I'd managed to hold on (but we already covered that, I'm just good, remember?), and I turned to make sure John was above water, that he was breathing, and that I hadn't given him a concussion. Although he kinda deserved one for dropping the bimini poles right on my head that morning, but in the anxiety of the moment, I'd forgotten that. The child survived, but he was exhausted and didn't want to tube any more, so we pulled the tube in and I held it steady for Mom to climb on. Tubing with her is a lot different, it's a lot less extreme, and there's a lot less flying through the air. It's still fun though, so I get a kick out of it.

The rest of the day went pretty much the same, except the boys were rather limp and fatigued because they're wimps. A huge thunderstorm came up as we were packing everything up, but we went into the restaurant to eat, so I couldn't stay out and watch the lightning. Someday, though, I'll chase tornadoes for real, and no restaurants will interfere with my enjoyment of the storm.

The best part of it all is, I remembered to put sunscreen on my face. First time all summer! Go me.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

My Innate Curiosity Gets The Best Of Me, And I Beg For Help

You know you're good when it's absolutely pitch-black in your kitchen and you still manage to set the microwave to reheat your macaroni and cheese for a minute, without being able to see what the buttons say, or even where said buttons are, at all.

You also know you're good when you can manage to dress yourself in under ten minutes, flying out the door and looking almost fabulous, without waking up first.

And when you can manage to hold a phone conversation and various other IM conversations, not all of them in English, and some of them with some very distraught people, dispensing much-needed advice from your rather shallow pool of young wisdom? Yep, good.

I'm good, people. But I'm admitting defeat: I have no idea what "marthmama" means, and my only clues are that it's ungoogleable (trust me, I've tried, and I cannot believe that Google is letting me down), and it might be (read: is) from a play. Help?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wherein I Add To My Already Overlarge Collection Of Books


I'm just a little put-out here. Just a smidgen. I pull into the parking garage and get my ticket and start going through the gate when I catch the sign: C. Burr Artz Public Library Closed at 5 on Fridays. So, I was trapped in a parking garage and unable to complete the mission I had set out on. I swung around (sort of -- "swinging around" is hard in a Suburban) and headed out, and gave the lady in the booth my ticket and, grudgingly, a dollar. A dollar for nothin'. I am too poor to be distributing dollar bills to the City. The good thing is, the nice lady handed back my dollar, probably because I had only been in the place for two minutes.

Well, but I still needed something to read. Trust me, after finishing A Little Princess last night and poring over my mostly-empty bookshelves for SOMETHING that appealed to me (even the best book gets old if you've JUST READ IT for the fourteenth time, and yes, I am serious) and finding nothing. NOTHING. What am I supposed to do with myself during these interminable hours of sleeplessness, if not read?? Because the internet certainly gets boring after hours and hours of sitting on a hard chair with no one interesting to talk to because they've all gone to bed and your brain not really capable of producing witticisms anyway because you're absolutely spent but cannot sleep (and I don't want to hear a single word about this, Parents, we all have our periods of insomnia), and you start to realize how many truly, truly useless trash is out there, and I just need someone to give me some sort of project or something I can work on, okay? I need focus. Purpose. Organized, coherent writing.

I digress.

I went to the library but had been thwarted by some vile thing, so I headed to a used bookstore instead. Shouldn't be too expensive, right? Except they didn't have the book I wanted. So it was off to Border's where I found two books I wanted, but not a third. The third would be coming in three days, could I please call Border's back and have them reserve me a copy? the nice man at Customer Service asked me. Um, no. I do not wait to read things, and I especially do not make phone calls to make reservations to read things. I read things NOW. So I went to another bookstore. I walked in with the purpose of snatching the book I wanted and leaving, except they were having a sale, and the other books I had just purchased at Border's were included in this sale, along with the book I wanted, and it was too perfect, so I got them all at a low, low cost and came home happy.

Apparently, the devil wears Prada. Who knew?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Blah Blah Blah, I Loved You And You Killed Me, Typical Morbid Bright Eyes Lyrics, Blah Blah Blah

Rachael really is a lovely girl (at least some of the time), and there is no one else I'd buy CDs with, or watch Mandy Moore/Freddie Prinze, Jr. (they're the same person, I swear) movies with, or order too much food at T.G.I. Friday's with, or sit on a log with my feet in the Shenandoah with, but. She listens to too much Bright Eyes. And when we're going someplace (or even noplace), I am subjected to the same.

Well, so. I was talking to Nick the other night, and Nick being my musical consultant and just all-around funny guy, I asked him what he thought of Bright Eyes, and specifically of Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes' frontman. This is why I loves me some Nick...
There are a few songs of [Conor's] I enjoy, but he scares me...I think that's why I like (some of) his music, I'm scared that if I don't, he will come stab me in the arm, pull out a few of my veins, and wear them as shoe laces.
Go read some of the lyrics, and then cry for me. Cry and cry and cry, and maybe send a delegation to secretly smuggle all of Rachael's CDs away so we can listen to Tom Petty and Remy Zero and Ben Folds instead.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"I Feel Like I've Been Chewing On Tinfoil"

There is nothing quite like the taste of hours-old, cold hotdog. Mmm mmm. I mean, hotdogs are such a tasty treat normally, this just takes them to a new level of deliciousness. I hear that rat-on-a-stick is good, too.... Actually, in the right company, both rat-on-a-stick and hotdogs ARE good.

Example One: Sitting around a round table in the Morris Center with ten of your best premie (as in, pre-mission, as in, 18-year-old boys) pals, laughing and laughing and laughing at the abomination that is BYU cafeteria food. After almost two full semesters of limp noodles and curious casseroles, not even the largest, chocolatiest pieces of cake goodness could make that food worthwhile, and I usually resorted to snaking a pepperoni hot pocket from the vending machine, but sometimes I'd venture into the Morris Center, and when I found The Guys there as well, well, hilarity ensued. And then they decided to serve us rat-on-a-stick. I swear: rats skewered and labeled as chicken kabobs. Gross, no?

Example Two: Soaking wet from Panther Falls and terribly hungry. Standing around watching two guys build a fire and unbend hangers and spear hotdogs of their own, and suddenly, hotdogs don't seem so bad. In fact, they seem really, really good. In fact, if someone had tried to prevent me from eating one (or two), they would've been kicked off the rock into the dangerous current below. I'm not a naturally violent person, but don't get between me and my food when I want it.

Yep, good times. Now all I need is some Harry Potter. And, I dunno, a nice warm boy to curl up with.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"I Should Be Allowed To Think"

Just checked my class schedule, and holy cow, I'm actually really excited and anxious for next semester. I'd wanted to switch some things around, drop out of literary theory so I could get a different professor to teach me the history of philosophy (Yeah, I'll tell you about the history of philosophy -- did you know that Mill's IQ was significantly higher [as in 25 points or so] than Kant's? Except I don't know how they would know that, so maybe nevermind.), and I dunno, maybe find a really, really exciting class that I would bound out of bed for in the mornings. One can always hope, right?

So my hope got mired somewhere in despair, until I actually really checked out my schedule, doing the whole weekly layout thing, and I realized, hey, maybe I can do this college thing. Especially when all of my classes are either English or philosophy or taught by Hoskisson. And especially especially when my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays don't start until 1 p.m. Maybe I'll even do a little homework and some studying this time around, eh?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I got home safely, and that's all that counts, right? We'll ignore the fact that I shouldn't really have been driving, but fear of Parental Wrath spurred me from my sleepy-warm spot on the couch, out to the damnable car. I should've crashed, just to prove a point, that maybe they should just let me stay until June.

And then I realize that the summer is beginning to wind down, and then I'll be back in Utah, and who knows, I might not even move back home next summer at all. Utah, year round -- the hiking'd better be INCREDIBLE, like I hear it is. And everyone'd better come visit me.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I'm still wearing my gym shorts, and my cat is curled up in my arms, and some eggs are hardboiling on the stove.

In a few minutes I'll be pulling some clothes freshly-cleaned and warm from the dryer to pack into a bag. I always pack too much.

I made a new mix CD. Fuel, Nirvana, Queen, Brand New. Eighty minutes of eclectic listening goodness to add to my collection -- I use it for long drives, or just around town. But long drives are my favorite, with the solitude and the quiet. Sometimes I even turn the CD player off because my thoughts are too loud.

Mom just called me and asked me what kind of shampoo I want. The phone cut out three times, every time she tried to say "tuna salad." Phones like to do that, to pick a specific word to cut out on every time. Mom's lucky; I think I had to repeat "leprechaun" about eleven times once.

See, the present I have no problem with. But I can't place myself somewhere five years from now, and that concerns me. Suggestions for hobbies, anyone?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"The Farther That I Crawl, The Further That I Fall"

I wish I could tell you that I had a breakdown standing the frozen foods section of the grocery store, upon discovering that Edy's was completely out of rocky road ice cream. I wish I could tell you I fell apart and stood there holding a basket, great, fat tears washing down my face and bouncing off my chin. I wish I could.

I've always held out that life is life, and it's not really THAT hard...all you must do is keep on living, and even when everything goes wrong, well, you stay alive, day after day, and you get through it, and things change, and they get better. Hope, it's called. So nothing could ever ruin my life, because I'd still be alive -- "What, am I going to die? Will it kill me?" would be a popular response of mine -- and even if I DID die, well, death's not the end. So how could anything RUIN my life? I preached this gospel, and I lived it, and I breathed it, and it was me.

But what if I told you I was a liar? What if I told you that I was the lyingest liar that ever lied? And what if I were to tell you that the last sentence of the preceding paragraph was in the past tense for a reason? Would it make any difference?

The silence has slain me. Are you happy now?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"You Got Your Hair Combed Back And Sunglasses On, Baby"

So I was driving around on some errands today (who needs to get the oil changed so frequently, is my question) and kinda decided on a semi-whim to get my hair cut. I say semi-whim, because I'd been noticing for a while that the ends were getting ragged and throwing it back into a ponytail upon exiting the shower just wasn't going to cut it anymore. It finally all came together and burbled to the surface as I was driving past a place, so I decided to stop in. I knew nothing drastic would happen, as Art (hi, Art!) had already talked me out of having it all chopped off (How many of you have just wanted to go in and have them hack it all away? Yeah, I see you raising your hands. Put them down now, before the blood stops flowing to your extremities and you lose fingers.), so I figured I had it all under control. Except -- except I wasn't figuring on those communists charging me five extra dollars just because my hair is long. What the heck? I just want a trim, it's not like I want seventeen layers or anything fancy like some of your other customers. Discrimination. Pah, disgusting. I paid it anyway, and a nice tip for Kelly who cut my hair, because I like tipping big (I think it's polite and cozy that way) and because what am I going to do, complain? I am not a middle-aged woman driving a minivan, not yet anyway; I do not complain. They have a monopoly on the act, and if you've ever been to a soccer game or the supermarket, you know what I mean. They frighten me. But I won't get into that now, there are plenty of nice moms out there whom I love (hi, nice moms!), and they are much more deserving of my thoughts. The point is, I paid the extra money for not really anything, and now my hair is three inches shorter, and I am three inches happier. Or something.
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I think you should all note the wisdom of my little toddler cousin who affixed me with the appellation "Def" this weekend. Being so young, she has problems with her th's becoming f's, but has absolutely no problem with b's and d's. She just recognizes that I = death, and has come to accept it.

Friday, July 01, 2005

"Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again"

Airports...are ruining my life.

How about that for dramatic for ya? Yes, I stand by my assertion. I'm leaving for Dulles again in about half an hour, hopefully. I was just there on Wednesday. Nothing about this week is making me like airports any more than I did, and I already pretty much hate the places. Flying, yes, major love. Airports, with the waiting and the lack of an escape route and the potential to be stranded without food or water, are just simply disconcerting to me.

Well, on Wednesday I spent a total of fours hours in a car getting lost and missing exits and being blinded by furious downpourings of rainwater and wishing unfruitfully to be hit by lightning on my little airport excursion. I don't know how this seems to keep happening to me, but I swear some roads just have a habit of disappearing. Some of you know about the disappearing driveway incident -- driving down a country road after dark one night, miss a turn, turn around in a driveway, go back the next day and look for said driveway and it's NOT THERE. It's actually never reappeared, to my knowledge. Well, that pretty much happened to me again, except this time it was with the airport exit, which is a fairly significant road to have disappear on you. To make it even better, I hadn't eaten in six hours, and I'm hypoglycemic, and my body spiraled into a panic attack to force me to eat something, and I called my mom up in a panic, and yes, Mom, I pulled over and ate something. I felt better then. Before, I really did feel like Armageddon was upon us. I love irrationality. I love even more that I can blame it on low blood sugar and casually go about the rest of my day, humming quietly to myself about how I'm not REALLY crazy.

And then, tonight. I hesitate to write about tonight, because I know who reads my blog (Every single one of you -- yes, you, I can see you right now, I have your IP address and everything, don't think you can hide from me. Okay, well, maybe you can, but if you commented, then I would know, and I would be happy, because I like commenting and readership camaraderie.), and he already feels bad about it, but oh well. All I can say is, Don't feel bad, it's oppressive and terrible incidents like these that will give me the tortured genius appeal that will cause my novels to sell like hotcakes. And then I shall give you nice presents at Christmas. So, tonight. My father has spent the last week in Orlando at some kind of "business conference" (read: he was sitting by the pool sipping martinis all week and getting his picture taken with Goofy, I KNOW HIM), and is now returning home. It is my job to go fetch him from the airport. Except his flight time cuts right into the middle of my Friday night. Malls close at 10, United! Do not schedule your flights to make it impossible for me to obtain the Express editor pants I have been coveting for lo, these many weeks. I will write nasty letters to your executives should this happen again! And it gets better...I could've made a (short) mall run, except his flight was delayed. And better's still being delayed. I now have no idea when it's coming in, and I'm hoping and praying the storms that are supposed to afflict our area will hold back until his plane lands and the passengers exit, otherwise WHO KNOWS how long I will spend sitting in the Arrivals line at Dulles.

Wish me luck, everyone.

P.S. I was going to write something on here about dollar bills and tolls and whatnot, but it just never happened, so just pretend I did and don't ask any questions.