Friday, April 30, 2010

um. . .

How is this not the best thing you have ever seen?


It is.

Link.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

dear world

I am not sad, nor shy, nor serious. (I am, however, resisting the urge to quote Much Ado.)

I am just very very overwhelmed. And yes, I know that that was redundant.

I'll see you on the other side of this:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

don't you fret

My head is way too full tonight. I have poems to write and a movie remix to figure out. And I have tonight to figure out the poem, and a week to figure out the remix, and of course my mind is working in reverse.

I was reciting Les Mis to myself last night. Not the whole book, and not the musical. Just the part where Eponine dies (oh--SPOILER ALERT) in Marius's arms because she just stepped in front of a bullet that should have killed him (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) and before she dies she says something to the effect of "You know, I think I was a little bit in love with you."

Maybe I've just rewritten Les Mis. I haven't read it since I was in tenth grade. But I like that idea.

I think I was a little bit in love with you.

How many men could I say this to? I mean, I'd have to be dying in their arms to get up the nerve, but there is a handful of men this would apply to.

Am I making this up?

Not just the quote from Les Mis*, but the handful of men. Have I ever been a little bit in love with anyone? I want to say yes**. And I think I can claim yes now,

but will there be a day when I brush aside those "loves" for something much more real? And by saying this, am I suggesting Eponine's love wasn't real? (Do not debate this--I love Eponine. I love her broken hand and her desparate eyes and her worry that even now he doesn't see her.)

I have a poem to write.


--------------------------------------------
*I found it: “Et puis, tenez, monsieur Marius, je crois que j’├ętais un peu amoureuse de vous.”

 Translation: “You know, Monsieur Marius, I think I was a little bit in love with you."

** I know, I edited this. But that line was too sad. And it made my mother worry. I try to avoid that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

definitionally

Remember how I said I was going to quit posting late at night?

Today I taught a lesson for RS. It was okay. The brilliant opening I had ready was less brilliant once I heard the words coming out of my mouth. But at least it was entertaining. And I think I tied it in eventually.

The opening used the idea that names mean something. I'm always a little shocked that people don't know what their names mean--your name is a word. It means something more than "Hey you." It has a definition, an etymology.

Editorgirl, if you're wondering, means a girl who edits.

I should have said "surprised" instead of "shocked." I'm shocked when someone's bleeding. I'm surprised when someone doesn't know what their name means. Especially the Biblical names. The second counselor asked me after the lesson if his name was in my book. His name is Joseph.

This whole idea of naming/names, definition of, has been showing up in my poetry lately. A lot. Almost as much as the wings of 2005 (to 2009). But I like it. Other poetry recurrences: I keep using the title "Elegy." I'm still thinking of using my chapbook title as my thesis title (Inadvertent Elegies), so maybe this all makes sense.

Maybe.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can tell Abby that her middle name came from a TV show and not the Bible.

Also, I'm naming my first daughter after my grandmothers. Consider this dibs, Sven and Lauren. And Maryn, if you care yet.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

. . .

I hope Lauren doesn't mind me stealing this pic from her blog, but this just might be my favorite picture of Abby ever. I tried to make it my wallpaper, but that's just too much personality for one little old laptop.

In other Lauren-Jesse-Abby-Baby news, Jesse (aka, my genius brother-in-law) just got a super-mega-awesome internship in Seattle with Microsoft Games. I'm a little sad that they'll be even farther away from me, but I think maybe it's time these little duckies spread their wings. . . that metaphor was better in my head.

other words that begin with Q

I am feeling chatty. I'm still at work, and there's no one to talk to right now. They've either left for the day, or they actually have something that must be done before 5:00.

I have done all my must-be-dones and so feel okay about the blogging.

I also feel (all these dang feelings) that I should qualify what I wrote last night, what I write every time I'm spewing loneliness onto this blog. Most of the time--not every time, but most of the time--I choose to be lonely. And then 11:00 pm or midnight hits and I'm lonely and bored, which is a bad combination. So I turn to you, my dear little blog world.

This week was pretty awesome. And pretty crazy. On Monday night, I used my webcam for a birthday celebration with my family. I had presents to unwrap, Abby helped me blow up some balloons, and there was singing.

Tuesday night I had class (video essay awesome class) and then webcam'd (there has to be a verb for this) with Sven and Ashton.

Wednesday I actually had the evening I always thought I'd have once I was in an MFA program in a cool city like Chicago--a few MFA friends and I hit a poetry reading, then retreated to Uptown for some food and music and talking. I got home late and was thoroughly happy.

So by last night, I was ready for some down time. And it was a little lonely. And there was a lot of Hulu. And some ice cream. Maybe some cold cereal. But it wasn't a bad thing. I like having time to myself, time to think and not think, time to unwind.

Still doesn't mean I want to be a cat lady.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

deal?

I live with a list in my head of what I should be doing. For example, right now, I should be going to bed. But I'm not. Just in case you missed that.

Maybe I should have started this way: I have a list in my head of things I should be doing, and a list to counter all those things I should be doing. I should be going to bed, but I'm going to blog or stalk you on facebook. I should be revising poems, but I'm going to watch the series finale of Ugly Betty, and then Top Chef Masters, and then catch up on Lost.

It's amazing how much time I lose on Hulu, just because I'd rather not think. Not thinking for 40 minutes always multiplies into more until--well, until it's time to go to bed.

My lists suggest that I am a productive, and possibly organized, person. I am not. My productivity comes in very short bursts, and usually require human, if not divine, intervention. I need to commit to someone that I will do something before it's actually done. And I actually have to believe that commitment.

I suspect that I'm not the only person who suffers from this mentality. Or is easily distracted--because right there I was just as happy to start quoting Much Ado as continue this conversation.

But. Here's the thing. I know I've been writing a lot about being lonely. And I still am. Part of me is convinced that I need other people around, if only to get me to turn off Hulu and turn to my notebooks--or anything else. Anything else. I quite worried that I'll turn into a cat lady, without the cats (because they are creepy).

Let's make a deal. Don't let me turn into a cat lady. I promise to do the same for you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I got a camera for my birthday

and by camera, I mean a nice camera. After it came with me to a few Church events, a friend in the branch asked if I would take her engagement pictures. I explained that a good camera does not necessarily mean a good photographer, or even a good picture-taker. She explained that they didn't have money to hire a good photographer. (She didn't --she just asked if I'd at least try.) So yesterday we met up at Millennium Park in Chicago to try to take some pictures. I wish we'd waited about an hour for the sun to start going down, but they are busy busy people.

So this is me, trying. Well, trying-ish.




I feel the need to add that there were more engage-y looking pictures, but I'll leave them for Clark and Shelly to display elsewhere. These were a few of my favorites. I know I'm not even close to the genius that is Maryn, but I wouldn't mind practicing some more. (It wasn't until the end of the "shoot," that I asked them, "Is this how you would normally sit?" And they both said no, rearranged themselves, and they finally looked like Clark and Shelly.)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

my friend [my computer]

I have at least half a dozen emails that need to be written. Which is why I'm writing here.

An old friend made an appearance in the comments section of this blog. I suspect he'd prefer to remain anonymous, and I'll give him that (hence my own personal code name for him and another friend), but he made me realize something kind of important. Or really important. Maybe even Very Important.

I went to London in 2001, 2005, and 2007. Each experience was defining for me in some important way. 2001 was the longest I had ever gone without seeing my family. 2005 was when I realized I wanted to teach, and that life isn't a tourist mecca (that might require another post). And 2007. It happened. I made some really good friends. And it was the beginning of the hardest two years of my life.

So three trips to London, all during spring quarters. Which means I have spent a total of six months of my (soon-to-be) twenty-seven years in London. I'm not a numbers person (I just play one during the day), but I'm pretty sure that's a relatively small amount of time.

That isn't to say that short/small periods of time aren't significant in our lives. Or at least my life. But they also are never the whole picture.

So [my computer]. I tend to ignore my time at BYU. Which is foolish. Because despite the way that it ended (nothing shameful, unless you're a prideful academic-wannabe, which I am), there were some really great things that I loved about BYU. And [my computer], along with the man who gave them the nickname, were one of the best parts, some of the best mentors a young writer could have. I was a lucky girl to work with them.

And then, there was this one day, when [my computer] told the story of Chicken George. And then later he sent me speed dating and told me I reminded him of Starbuck. And I thought Starbuck was a man and that [] was weird. So I made him say the opening prayer.

The end.

Monday, April 05, 2010

when will I feel

It's raining, which means I can do one of two things. I can tell you about the events of my day, which were, admittedly, uneventful. Or I can tell you about how much I love the rain, how alive I feel watching it through an open window, how I'll dance with or without you.

No U2 reference intended.

I would run outside right now, but I have to work in the morning and I know that just being in the rain will wake me up to a point that sleep will become impossible tonight. I'll write feverishly, acknowleding the rain drying on my skin and tangled in my hair, and then it will be morning. I will have to dress appropriately, put on mascara, and sit at my desk typing number after number after number.

I know all these numbers. I know what they mean. I know what they do. They are not as interesting as the rain.

Maybe I should write, feverishly, of course. Last night I woke up at 2:00 in the morning, completely frustrated with a memory I couldn't answer. I couldn't remember a roommate's last name. I ran through every other roommate, without a hitch (maidens only--I'm completely lost when it comes to married names). I finally Googled.

Dear roommate. I couldn't remember your last name, but I knew your first, your employment, your current city. I googled you. Hello roommate.

It's not just raining. It's thunder and lightning and the kind of rain you turn the lights off to watch. The kind of rain you watch in silence, and, if there is another person in the room, you hope they understand the silence. I've been lucky enough to have friends who understand the silence.

Tonight I'm sitting away from my window, the lamp is on, and I'm listening to my iTunes on shuffle. Ingrid Michaelson's "Masochist," then Jack Black covering Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" (from High Fidelity), and now Feist's "Let It Die." Which is the song I was going to start with, so it must be meant to be. It sounds like rain.



When I was looking for the song on YouTube, there was video after video of girls wearing glasses, embracing their guitars, singing this song.

I am not one of them.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

since I don't really know you

I am resisting the late-night-diet-coke-induced-insomia-driven urge to email someone I don't really know. I'm resisiting the urge by blogging for the whole world to see.

Should there be another hyphen in that sentence?

A few years ago, I remember telling friends that I would never want to be in a relationship with another poet. No doubt another diet-coke-fueled rant, but let's ignore that small detail. Why would I say this? And why am I thinking about it tonight?

Saturdays are lonely days for me. Every once in a while I make plans and follow through with them, but for the most part, I'm left to my own devices. Which is laundry, movies, school reading, non-school reading, and talking to myself. These are the days when it is easiest to think life would be easier if I had someone to talk to. And since none of you are here with me in Evanston, and I don't want to show any favoritism, that someone becomes a tall-ish intelligent man. From there, I spin other characteristics, to suit that day's fancy. The one thing that never changes is his intelligence.

So that email. I was going to send it to a similarly academically-driven young man to ask him--What the hell is wrong with academically-driven young men?

Not really. But you get the gist of it.

At BYU, there were far more of these menfolk to observe and, occasionally, to crush on. In Chicago, they seem to be in short supply, at least in the groups I find myself in. And because I'm academic, and he's academic, people inevitably point us in each other's directions. We have a nice talk, exchange stories, compare battle wounds. And then, inevitably, he wanders off in the general direction of a Very Cute Girl. I am many things, but a VCG is not one of them.

So here's what I'm wondering. Do they feel the same way I used to? Is there an unwritten rule that there should only be one academic in a relationship? Nevermind that one of my favorite couples is two of the smartest people I've ever heard of. (That's right--Marie and Pierre Curie.) Actually, I can think of multiple academic couples that fit this bill, which leads me to one conclusion:

Boys are stupid.

Note: These thoughts in no way invalidate this post. It's just Saturday talking. Also, I would totally date a poet. Essayist. Maybe a novelist. Maybe.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

surprised?

No, this is not my version of April Fools. I really did decide to change things up, again with the help of yummylolly.com (who also designed my last background). I loved the black and white, but the circles were starting to give me vertigo.

Along with the new design, I considered a name change. This blog started out as "Bitter Diatribes are Redundant." Or something like that. It was a long time ago--2004. I think it was during and after my second trip to London (2005) that I tried to find a new name/identity. And I landed on "the world's first unmanned flying deskset." After five years, surely I've changed. (And I really like the sound of "a snail named patient.")

But, well, I'm not patient, really. I went back to the source.



This is what it's all about for me. Not the parents forgetting my birthday (which is coming up. . . I'm old). Not the teenage angst (like I said, I'm old). But the idea of the world handing you the same tools and you finding, shall we say, new uses for them. New perspectives.

That, and I really like flying.

a snail named patient*

I had so many blog posts running through my head today that I chose to write none of them. Foolish, I know. But since that was the trope of the day, maybe I can tip my hat to it and move on tomorrow.

Work has been really hard the past few weeks. Not so much hard-difficult as hard-frustrating. It reached its peak yesterday/today when my long weekend in St. Louis got canceled, every idiot with an invoice over a year old decided to crawl out from under their desks, and. . . well, I try not to write about work here, at least not in more specifics. Part of it is that I don't want someone from work finding my evil rants online, and part of it is that I'm hoping that in a few years, this will all seem like a very odd dream. Not a bad one, but an odd one.

So St. Louis. And I know Anna and Brooke wander over here from time to time, so I hope they don't mind that I'm writing about this. We were supposed to crash the ACA/PCA conference in St. Louis this weekend. I found train tickets for $48 round trip, and I was going to take two days off work (today and tomorrow). B got sick--really sick--and without her, the trip didn't make much sense. My tickets were refundable, and I was literally going to just crash B and Anna's panels, so I'm not out any money--in fact, this means that I'll have more vacation days later in the year--but I was so ready for a break. The past few weeks--the past few months--have been long and cringe-worthy. I debated just taking a day off, but I'm worried that I'll need that day off in the near future for class work, so I'm holding on to it. Plus I found out that we're closing the offices a few hours early for Good Friday tomorrow. 3:00 p.m. is death lately, so I'm going to skip my way out of that building and into the sunshine.

Classes started this week, and spring quarter is going to be both awesome and deadly. I'm taking a poetry workshop that is focusing on ecological/nature writing and a video essay class, where we'll actually put together video essays. I've always like the idea of combining language/writing with other media--my favorite films at Final Cut were always the films that were centered around poetry--and I'm excited to learn this way of "writing." It's a new-er form, one that I think could set me apart from other PhD applicants, if I can learn to do it well. And I think I can.
___________________________________________________

*Lauren told me the best story today. I gave Abby a board book last year about "feelings." One of the feelings is "patient." The picture shows a duck or a goose watching a snail on its way to who knows where. Today Lauren took Abby to buy a new shirt, and being the awesome mom that she is, let Abby pick the shirt. Abby chose a pink shirt with a snail on it, because the snail is patient.

(I suspect the snail-love is also genetic. Lauren used to catch snails in the garden, and then create "snail hotels" out of bricks. Each snail got its own room. Seriously.)
 

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