Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Zen in the Art of

So Kapka and I had a nice little conversation today while designing inscape. It's going to be beautiful, by the way. The Hampster and I are a lethal combination. Hope everyone else likes black. And white. Maybe a little gray. But that's it.

I had our fearless editor choose the order of the poems so that I could toss (read: tediously place) them into the layout. There are a few poems that occupy a full spread and two were right next to each other. I asked if we could shift them around and quickly got a mini-discussion on the importance of progression in the order she chose. Which I had to agree with.

Anyway, I returned home tonight to finish a CD mix for a friend of mine and Kapka's argument for progression clicked. You can't start off a mix too strongly--you have to build, throw in a few unexpected tracks, and why am I telling you this? This is what happens when there is very limited social interaction. I hate to say this, but I'm ready for classes to start again. Not ready for a 9:00 a.m. with Dean and Gideon in the MSRB, but just the thought of classes and structure sound really really nice. And april meetings. Which reminds me--next Wednesday. Same place, same time. I suppose we should sit down and decide on a uniform time so that means something. Oh well. Good night, sweet dreams, etc.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Land of the Living

Actually, P-town is remarkably quiet. I'm assuming. I actually wouldn't know since all I've seen is my apartment, my office, and the pub. Note to self: must get out more.

This post is to report that I survived Christmas despite the disheartening fact that this year the Christmas tree was in the southeast corner of the front room instead of in the middle of the large paneless window on the west wall, which essentially sets it in the middle of the room. Somehow it seemed less grand this way. My mother argued that it was for the sake of the view, but I've yet to acknowledge that as a legitimate arguement.

This year's Christmas was branded as "the last Christmas we'll all be together as a family (insert sob here)." Next year Stephen will be "on the mission" and during the two years he's absent Lauren will most likely get married. Huzzah. This meant we had to double duty, hosting dinners and watching Christmas specials Dad taped in 1987. It was actually kind of fun. And a note on the 1987 Christmas specials: Garfield's Christmas and Claymation Christmas. We never realized how funny they were until this year when in the opening song for Garfield Lauren shrieked (L has two volumes: loud and louder), "What did he just say?" Rewinding the tape gave us the number one quote of the holiday: "Things. Stuff. Gadgets. Toys. Greed. Avarice. A lot." The Claymation Christmas is equally as funny and as we were sitting five to a couch, Lauren decided to see if it had ever come out on video. It had and at 10:00 that night L and I buzzed down to SLC to snatch up Border's last DVD copy. We were all excited until we realized that half the charm is the fuzzy lines cutting over the picture.

Christmas Eve dawned with all shopping done and everyone sitting around wondering what to do. We cooked. And then around 7:00 my dad turned on his holiday favorite, It's A Wonderful Life. More quotable gems. My brother's favorite: "If you'll point me in the right direction, Mother, I'm going to go do some passionate necking." If you don't remember that, watch it again. I'll join you. The evening ended with my mother giving us our annual pajama pants. I think at one point in time she wrapped them. Now she shoves them in a bag, which she has our father bring out, who then hands the bag to Maryn, who dumps it on the ground and we each try to figure out which pair belongs to which kid. Last year I had to convince Seth that the pair he was holding was mine--it was pink.

And Christmas morning. Not much to say except I was woken up at 7:18 a.m. by my 14-year-old brother standing in my doorway saying, "Luke, I am your father."

Happy New Year, everyone. Although I'm sure to post something before then.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happiness is

Somewhere between witnessing the pig head roasting shindig of the century and participating in a brilliant evening of ramen and Shrek 2, I picked up photos from the april evening of madness, aka, editorgirl feeds the masses. A few of them are now happily framed in my happy little room. A few more are sitting in envelopes in anticipation of giving them to the aforementioned april members. But a week and a half (okay, I'll see K tomorrow night) is just too long. If patience is a virture, it's one I didn't get. That sounds like a line from a poem just dripping with that fake plastic cheese. So, the poet formly known as editorgirl will again take on the guise of captiongirl and give you a quick preview to the beauty awaiting you upon returning to the fair land of Provo. In no particular order:

K, Kapka, Day, and yours truly piled on the couch, with Kapka artfully displaying the defunct dating god of the apartment. All of us are smiling, with the exception of Kapka, who looks as if she is preparing yet another question for Allen regarding Rilke and dance moves.

Steve looking like the master academic/scholar/poet/bum that he is, casually sitting back with his wife, who happens to be the only one smiling. K is also in the picture, sticking her tongue out in commentary on either the institution of marriage or institutions in general.

HMP and Steve in yet another contest of masculinity, this time. . . walking around the room balancing books on their heads? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, april is not only a writing group; it also doubles as a finishing school!

Another one of HMP looking pensive. . . or is it thoughtful?

One off-angle shot displaying Steve's shoe, K's knee, HMP (gasp) clearing plates away, and Kapka and me laughing on the LoveSac.

And finally, we return to the original configuration of the april ladies (or chicks if you prefer) kicking it on the couch. But what's different here? Why, it's someone's abnormally long middle finger. I wonder whose finger that could be. . . one more picture I won't be showing my mother.

I know I could scan these in and post them, but that's no fun. This is. Happy Christmas everyone.

Well you know that it's going to be all right. . .

. . . when we go shopping. (BNL)

While HMP has had philosophical conversations with his father, I have been shopping with my mother, resulting in a new skirt, sweater, beanie, and two pairs of black flats. This is how we bond. I tried mentioning poetry the second day I was home. Apparently it gives her a headache.

I'm trying to describe this without sounding snobby. I have found that my parents have absolutely no problem touting my applications to grad school--to the point that the entire law firm knew and Mary Anne (the founding partner) shouted across the room during introductions, "And where is Sarah applying, Larry?" which allowed my dad an extra two minutes of bragging time about all of his children--Sven is pre-med and pre-mission, Lauren has been accepted for a Mexico sociology program, Seth is a singing sensation, and Maryn is the best of all worlds. Have I said this before? I think we all just keep reminding ourselves how wonderful we are.

Anyway, they enjoy talking about my going to grad school, but if I attempt to bring up why I'm going to grad school, they can't quite handle it. I excitedly announced to my mother that I had a new project--meaning a new poetry project--and she immediately launched into her favorite lecture about how I'm wearing myself out with all the things I'm involved in and I don't really have time to take on a new project. I tried to explain that it was a writing project, but I wasn't given that many words to defend myself. All this on the way to the car on our way to the stores.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Stay on the sunny side

My brother has been sitting on the couch for over an hour watching and screaming at a computer-generated football game. My father has just joined him. Chalk one up to another masculine characteristic that I personally will never understand.

One-and-a-half days into Christmas break. Lauren and I left Provo around 1:30, drove the speed limit most of the time home, and pulled into our driveway around 2:45, only to see our next door neighbors roasting a pig's head on a spit in their driveway. I kid you not. Apparently they had been at it all day, beginning with two piglets and climaxing with an adult head. Joy to the world.

This morning was the famous and infamous law firm Christmas party. Saturday morning brunch at Little America in Salt Lake. To quote my brother, "Bacon, eggs, sausage, and ham. As much as you want." Not to mention the neverending fount of hot chocolate.

An entire family excited to go to Dad's work party probably isn't something anyone ever hears about, but this is something we all look forward to all year. Massive amounts of food. Playing the crystal water glasses. Did I mention the food? And Santa. The bonus this year was that someone finally made the executive decision that the older kids--specifically the older girls--did not have to sit on the jolly elf's lap to get their present. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

The other addition to this year's festivities was the Santa's announcement that no one could open their presents until everyone had theirs. I guess he was getting back at us for the "no girl over 12" rule. Sven and Lauren solved this by opening each others.

So that's day 1.5, with the noted exclusion of my night life, which has consisted of making ramen or some other form of pseudo-pasta with my 10-year-old sister, watching a movie (last night was Shrek 2), and crashing before midnight. What is this world coming to?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Uber clutch

Hi everyone.

I fell asleep on the couch last night after to talking to K about I can't remember what. And sometime between my crashing there and my waking up this morning I made it to my bed and burrowed under the clothes and books and CDs in a manner that I'm sure would impress our resident hampster.

I woke up to my brother Sven calling for the car. I found my coat and hairbrush and headed out the door. It's probably a good thing he called--it was already 9:00 and I had to be to work as soon as he was done with the car. I spent the next hour showering and making myself pretty. I was doing the dishes from last night's soiree when Sven returned with short short hair and asked if he could use my printer. The tempermental thing wouldn't work, so we headed up to his apartment to try. On the way, Sven finally told me that he had a final at 11:00 and wasn't ready for it--it was some sort of presentation. So we spent 30 frantic minutes of me putting together a handout and running to get copies while he wrote up an outline. We finished just in time and as I dropped him off for his final his one comment was "Thanks. You're uber clutch."

I don't pretend to understand my brothers and sisters most of the time. We all have similar worldviews, but they've all been distorted to some extent. I sometimes think that as the oldest I should have set some form of precendent, but that didn't really happen. We've all taken on our roles in the family and in society without directly relating to each other. Does that make sense? A lot of people would delineate their sibling roles as the oldest, the middle, the youngest, but in my family there's this bizarre sense of equality, from me to my 10-year-old sister. I'm the academic; Sven is the cool one; Lauren is the bubbly one; Seth is the performer. Maryn is still too young to have a definite role, but she's becoming this eclectic mix of everything good about the rest of us. She's smart, beautiful, funny, and currently obsessed with dogs.

I've written a lot on this blog about the roles we play and the titles we give ourselves and others. I don't mean to be cheesy or sentimental, but somehow this semester I forgot that while I was playing little sister or whatever role with my friends, I'm the big sister who can be there whenever, even if it means giving up an hour's pay. That's a role I like.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The hap-happiest time of the year

I'm done. Done. DONE. Oh heck, one more time. DONE!!!

And the time is finally right on this thing. Life cannot get much better than this.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Hmmm. . .

I already showed this to K, but I was wondering what everybody else thought. And I don't think K has seen this draft.

Captions: Three Photographs

When sitting side by side
you give something up.

In one minute
the conversation will begin.

The sky is blue. The sea
is blue. There is no blue
in this picture.

The man holds her
between his fingers—
The woman, in turn,
turns, rotating herself
away from him.

Is there a God in this picture?

A conversation stops
every seven minutes.

When standing face to face,
you give something up.

Waiting up for Prince Charming

I am one caffeinated coma away from being done with finals. Tomorrow at this time I will be done with rhetoric, the history of the English language, Irish drama, and that one other class I had. Yes!

It's been mentioned that I need to look on the positive. In rebuttal I'm going to quote one of my favorite poets, Lance.

I don't see myself as being melancholy, at least not unusually so. G.J. Nathan once said, "Show me an optimist and, almost without exception, I'll show you a bad poet." Why? Because bad poets don't usually wade into trouble; they don't dive. If the scriptures and classic literature can be trusted, and I think they can, only trouble is of much interest. At heart I'm a romantic---but a romantic who believes that visions aren't worth much if they aren't tested by everyday living.

Note: my happiness level has just shot through the roof on account of that block quoting tool.

I've been described as a cynical romantic, or a romantic cynic, take your pick. I've also been described as Galadriel-esque, but that's another story. Anyway, this quote resonated with me because I do have that negative, cynical, bitter, angsty edge to a lot of the stuff I write. But who honestly wants to read about butterflies and rainbows and that boy who said something nice to me? Not that anyone wants to read about ex-boyfriends and finals, I'll give you that. But there is discord there and tension--there is something there. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather feel something than feel nothing. Nothing begets nothing, and whether that's art or tantrums, it's still nothing.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The name of the game is surreal.

First off, let's define surreal for any non-English major people out there.

Surreal, noun, a serious tropical or subtropical disease of domestic animals that is caused by a trypanosome, is transmitted by biting flies, and is marked. . . Whoops. That's "surra." Try again.

Surreal, adj., marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream. Thank you Merriam and Webster. Actually, Merriam is not a single person. It's a family or something that bought Webster's dictionary after he died. Crummy people.

"Surreal, but nice."

The weirdness of my life keeps piling on. And although I can't remember portions of last night, I'm pretty sure it started before I had a Mountain Dew Live Wire Slurpee at 12:30 while driving around Provo with my roommate looking for Christmas lights and good cheer of any kind. I had made the mistake of turning on boyfriend number one's demo CD. Here's a tip: if he writes a song for you called "Good-bye" before you even ever kiss, it's a bad sign. Eventually "good-bye" will have to be said, which was actually the point of the whole damn song. Of course, he got most everything else wrong. I'm the one who left. I'm the one who's had "to be a man out on his own." Seriously.

Anyway, the paper of death needs to be read and I have a take home final due at 2:30 that I finally looked at around 4:30. I didn't understand it completely then and I have little hope for now, but it must be done. Tune in later tonight when I describe the excruciating pain of sitting through Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. BF1 played that role. Ack. Go away. Let me alone.

Maybe I just need to write poetry.

Oh happy day!

The paper is death is almost completed. I'm too tired tonight to give it a thorough reading, but other than that it is done. If it wasn't four in the morning, I'd be singing and dancing throughout my apartment. Oh, what the heck. "Oh happy day. . . oh happy day. . ."
Next up: the final, a painful evening at CSMT, my paper for my internship (yuck), and the exegesis of death (yes, they were two different things). Only three more days and then party time! (Please note that I've expended two of my lifetime's 50 exclamation points. I must be tired.)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hobgoblins and yellow roses

I have fallen from my plastic throne.

I have prostitued my pride.

I have. . . this is getting excessive.

Last Monday my roommates and I were eating a fine gourmet feast at the Brick Oven in honor of one roommate's birthday. Somehow we started talking about our most embarrassing moments--don't ask me why when girls get together we feel the need to re-live our pre-teen sleepovers, but we do. But I didn't really have a "most embarrassing moment" and the conversation moved on to guys we like and what color of toenail polish is the sexiest.

I would now like to amend that conversation--as of tonight I have a most embarrassing moment.

I am still working on the paper of death. In a moment of frustration, I'm afraid I threw a first-rate tantrum, complete with stomping and squealing and all manner of two-year-old behavior. At one point I stood on the couch in front of the very large window and screamed and slammed my fists into the glass. And then the glass broke and I fell through the window.

Kidding. What really happened was that I noticed how fabulous my butt looked in my jeans and I called my roommate's attention to it with a few dance moves. And then I jumped off the couch into the LoveSac and the tantrum was over.

A minute later there was a knock at the door and Cute Boy walked in. Cute Boy is a guy in my ward who I happen to be mildly interested in and who my apartment is pretty tight with. So I come out to talk to him and open with the line, "You should have been here a minute ago. You missed the greatest tantrum."

"Actually," he casually replied, "I caught most of it from the street."

Oh well. Happy finals everyone.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Blog abuse

I have a confession: yes, I deleted some posts. Think of it as ripping pages out of my journal (which I happen to leave on the coffee table for everyone to read). Not for the same reasons I rip pages out of my journal, but something like.

I have been in this crummy self-centered mode lately and I apologize to all who have so patiently put up with me. I spent yesterday sitting in a hall of the JKHB talking to applicants for a study abroad program. It was a smack-eg-upside-the-head kind of moment where I realized that I've been so focused on myself and april that I've ignored, oh, I don't know, the film majors and the dance education people. Am I making sense? It was just nice to talk to people about themselves: where they were from, what they were studying, why they were interested in this study abroad. People are (or at least can be) cool.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

To all a good night

April always leaves me with a million thoughts milling about in my head. Usually they are literary with some social commentary thrown in for good measure. Tonight they are completely personal.

I had a panic attack tonight when Aaron was reading Rilke. I suppose that's a poem in and of itself. But I haven't had a panic attack for a little while, and though I'd like to think it was brought on by my possibly overdue library books, of which there are 30, I had to consider the situation in order to calm down.

I adore april. I love the way we interact and communicate and write. But even with a roomful of friends, I think--I know--I function best one on one, especially when I'm playing hostess. This isn't a mandate to april that we find a new meeting place, it's just me thinking. Promise.

On the flip side, and combining Trent's accusation that I really love Christmas and Aaron's statement that he was going to be breathtakingly honest on his blog, I have a confession. I love Christmas. The whole season, from sledding to hot chocolate to caroling, if anyone ever convinces me to go. But I love Christmas my way. I love the Christmas tree that stands in my parents' front room, perfectly decorated by my mother, with at least one present under the tree addressed to "Sarah Elizabeth." I love the porcelain nativity that we put up in our front entry way, the one that I've been responsible for every year since I was eleven. I even love the four foot elf/gnome/hobbit that my brother named Lars who stands guard over our front door. My favorite place in the world--to write, to read, to think, to kiss--is in the front room when the only light comes from the white lights on the tree. Every year I spend at least one night on that familiar uncomfortable couch just looking at the tree and the lights. I am passionate about white lights, placed in a tight line around the ceiling--not too fond of the draping action going on in my apartment this year. I even have the first two lines of a poem complete with white lights. My only problem is that it's a love poem and I don't know what comes next yet.

So there you have it--editorgirl is a peculiar kind of Grinch who likes Christmas, but likes it her way. I suppose that's terribly spoiled of me. But I can't wait for a good snow and a silent house and the night before Christmas, when I'm the one who can't fall asleep, even though I threatened my youngest siblings that if they wake me up before 7:00 I won't get up until 9:00. And the next morning Seth will send Maryn in at 6:30 to say, "We've been up for hours. Can we please go get the others?" And I'll get up, because I've been awake since Maryn climbed off the top bunk at 4:30. We'll get the others and then wait for Mom to line us up in the hallway for another dreadful Christmas morning picture--by height instead of age now that Sven is taller than I am--and then we get to see what Santa brought us. Because he really does exist.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Everyone's favorite crayon

This month I have been matronly, sick-as-a-dog, a saga, and a little sister, the last being quite a feat seeing as how I'm the oldest of five. Tonight I am just tired. Last night I pulled my first all-nighter of the semester, managing to write an eleven page paper, watch Finding Forrester, eat my weight in potatoes, and cut myself shaving, all within a twelve hour period. I finally crashed for a whole hour around 5:31 only to be woken up by my dear sweet roommate at 6:30 with the reminder that if I didn't get up, not only would I not finish my paper, but I would probably be the last to shower. This last was enough to get me off the couch and into the shower where I enjoyed less than five minutes of hot water before the stupid thing went ice cold. Fact: there are few things in this world I hate more than cold showers (although HMP could probably name two of them). I'm afraid this unfortunate event culminated with me stomping in the shower and cursing at my roommates as I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair.
The result of this thrilling day and a day and a day was that HMP walked up to me before my 12:05 class and asked if I was still on cold medications. Nope, ladies and gentlemen (are you gentlemen?), I am not. I now have another reason not to be lucid and to post long rambling blogs for my own entertainment.
Anyway, I am posting to (1) acknowledge that I survived and will survive (no singing please) and (2) respond to something HMP said on his blog, about people being those who ask questions or those who answer.
This month I've also been "cute, thoughtful, and quiet." I believe that's a direct quote. I'm not the type of person to ask questions unless I feel that they are necessary. And they're only necessary if you can't make a connection or need to know unknown information--as Forrester puts it, a soup question. And I'm afraid I'm proud enough to assume that if I don't know it right away, it's stored somewhere in my brain and there is no need for me to ask a question. While this sometimes results in embarrassingly after the fact questions, I usually do figure out an answer. Or I just don't care.
At the same time, I don't seek to enter every argument. Last Saturday I sat stirring marshmallows into my hot chocolate as HMP and my roommate discussed. . . something. I remember thinking about my opinion regarding whatever it was, but I didn't feel like voicing my opinion at that time and I didn't. When HMP and I eventually headed back to his place so he rescue his roommate from the grasp of some evil female (or so his roommate could rescue him from the grasp of some evil female. . . ), we started on a completely different topic. And once again, I wasn't saying much.
Because I don't seem to be fitting into the binary, I propose a triptych (I love that word). The third is, well, whatever I am. The listener, the describer, the analyzer. The person who sits back and doesn't answer until there is something whole.
Now, that being said or at least written, can anyone tell me why I pronounce crayon "crown"? My roommates thought I was on a hunt for some tiaras the other day. Terribly funny. If you were there, that is.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Role Call

Hmm. Last night was a phoentic transcription of a Neal A. Maxwell conference address--I kid you not--and tonight is a paper on some aspect of contemporary Irish drama, which just happens to be my English major capstone course. It's due in 12 hours and I've got nothing. This is only a slight exaggeration. So here's the plan: I'm going to type my little heart out here, in happy self-indulgence, and then see if I have any ideas worthy of a paper.

I am fascinated by drama. It started with Shakespeare (I read Taming of the Shrew when I was 9 or 10) and has since turned into anything in script form. I was about to type "anything on the stage," but that's not true. Some of my favorite plays are those I have yet to see staged, like Stoppard's Arcadia.

There are, of course, certain elements that interest me more than others. High on my list--and the topic of tonight's all-nighter--are plays that require actors to play more than one character. I'm not talking about companies that choose to double cast characters a la A Midsummer Night's Dream (the actors playing Oberon, Titania, and Puck are often also cast as Theseus, Hippolyta, and the butler--not remembering his name right now--Philo-something I believe), but plays that are specify this multiplicity of roles explicitly in the play.

The first play of this nature that caught my attention was Stewart Parker's Heavenly Bodies. It's a Faustian play about the life of a Victorian Irish playwright named Dionysus Lardner Boucicault--completely serious here. Boucicault, or B as I will from now on affectionately refer to him as, is two days away from his death, teaching drama classes in New York City. Jimmy Patterson, an Irish "clown" of sorts, appears to him telling him that he is dying and that his soul has been assigned to limbo. B argues for the chance to defend his life. Parker then escorts us through B's life and plays with B and Patterson assuming different roles and the drama students from the beginning of the play fleshing out the plot. So you have a drama student playing B's second wife Agnes, who then takes on different roles in B's plays.

It gets rather complicated, but I think my arguement is that this is done for at least two reasons: 1) to focus the attention on B; 2) to highlight the theatrical nature of B's life. This method of telling it is very appropriate. And I think I'll come back to my other arguements after I tell you about the second play.

Marie Jones' Stones in his Pockets is difficult to read. Luckily I saw it, oh, three years ago in London. It's the story of a small rural Irish town that is playing host to a Hollywood movie production. Only two actors play fifteen parts. It's amazing to watch. My arguement here will be that this forces the reader/audience to focus on the story as opposed to any one character, because each character is communicating the futility and hopelessness of life up until the end of the play.

My overarching arguement is that this theatrical device of having actors take on multiple roles not only very pointedly directs the audience/reader's attention, but it also mimics reality in the many roles we are called on to fill. I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but I continue to be fascinated by this. Add in the history of Irish drama to use stock characters and mythical characters and I think I can write this paper.

Merry Finals to All, and to All a Good Night.

Am I attracting the man I hope to someday marry?

When I saw that this was the subject of my ward's RS lesson today my only reaction was a helpless "please no." When the Guy Smiley EQ president started the lesson off, I'm afraid my reaction was "hell no" and I tuned out, which was probably a blessing for every sister sitting, well, in that room. Had I listened I probably would have started screaming out of pure torture.

So: am I attracting the man I hope to someday marry? My instant response was to turn to my friend and say, "Yes, I am. He just doesn't exist." But it has led to about 30 seconds of deep contemplation tonight about my relations with guys in general, which in turn has prompted this entry to my blog when I should, as always, be writing yet another paper.

Since I came of age in this great Utah society, I have dated exactly two guys who were both ambition-free and short. I don't know what it is about an intelligent, ambitious, cynical chick that turns guys heads, but they all seem to find me--that is, if they have nothing better to do.

Among certain circles of friends (read: my roommates and other similar girls) I am known for having a new "crush" every other week. But in the past month or so, I have become crush-less. I'm actually quite happy with who I am and what I'm doing and where I'm going. Sure, I wish that I never got sick or had homework, but that I can deal with. There are a few guys who remain on my short list as "guys who I would date if they expressed a desire to date me," but none that I am, forgive me for this phrase, actively pursuing, which basically boils down to chats over ice cream with my girl friends.

This momentary time of clear headedness is allowing me to really evaluate what I am hoping for out of that distant future spouse that everyone tells me is looming on my horizon. And while my joking answer is that someday I'd really like to kiss someone taller than myself (a girl can dream, can't she?), my requisite characteristics are surprisingly few. I am hoping and expecting someone educated, motivated, and honest who expects the same things from me. Read: a guy who respects my education and ambition and isn't cowed by them. I honestly don't know if a guy like that exists. After boyfriend number two I was sure he didn't. But this semester has introduced me to some guys who have somewhat restored my faith in the opposite sex.

This is yet again the late night ramblings of a girl who is, in all honesty, supremely confused with life right now. The things I was always taught I was supposed to be I'm not and I'm realizing that's okay. The latest realization came when my grandfather told me that he was proud of me for wanting a PhD and that he hopes "the young man" will just wait for me to get it. I admit that I had thought for some time that my not being married by age 20 was an extreme disappointment, along with the fact that dating had been a non-issue in my life since age 19.

I'm not writing this for pity or applause. I'm just writing it to write. Mostly to get myself to stop analyzing my current crushlessness and get back to my paper. Boyfriend number two always accused me of prefacing things. He thought it weakened whatever came next. Maybe he's right. And maybe this epilogue is weakening everything I said. But this is me. A little tired, a little doped up (still on that cold medication), but me all the same.

Good night.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


I'm afraid that's as articulate as I'm going to get tonight. I went to Divine Comedy with a good friend of ours and (this is the weird part) my bosses. As in the people I work for. I was paranoid beyond belief--and I know you all can picture me paranoid. What if Friend didn't enjoy himself? (I always feel responsible when I ask people to movies or plays and they don't like it. I about drove my siblings crazy when I chose a ride with a long, boring line at Disney World this summer. I don't like amusement parks. They don't amuse. Just give me roller coasters. That's all I need.) What if my bosses didn't enjoy themselves? What if they didn't let me write the DC article after seeing the show? It was just all too dreadful to comprehend.

And you know what: nothing happened. Friend laughed, my bosses laughed, I get to write the article, Friend and I had hot chocolate before I drove him home. Brilliant evening. And then my roommate and I went to the store. And while we were at the store, or maybe it was on the ride home, she got on a "I don't get the point of Divince Comedy" kick. And it felt like a kick. She was questioning why so many smart people would devote themselves to a non-profit group just to get people to laugh. Why wouldn't they be focusing on social commentary? So I argued that comedy can be seen as social commentary. Hell, it is social commentary; some is just more pointed than others. And, while I don't necessarily believe it to be the case for DC, can I just point out that entertainment for entertainment's sake is perfectly okay? We don't have to be uplifted or informed by everything we watch/read/whatever. But she had made up her mind and Friend was no longer there to help me argue. Which I don't know if he would have helped me anyway.

So I come back home and write up a review. Fact: It took me a little while. And fact: I enjoyed the show immensely. I had also been so focused on the people I was with that I didn't note things that didn't work. If there were any, they were such that I don't remember them now. I just remember a thoroughly entertaining evening. This resulted in an uncharacteristically positive review of the show. But it was their "Best of" show. There wasn't room for trash and therefore no reason for a critique of the performance. Just me enjoying myself remembering my favorite sketches. So I asked my roommate to listen to the review--I catch most of my mistakes when I read whatever I wrote out loud. And I get done and her comment is that it's disgusting--too sweet--I wasn't firery enough. What the hell is going on? I wasn't looking to please anyone. I was looking to write my opinion of the show. Does no one expect me to have positive opinions? I know a "real" review would include some of low points. . . but I didn't think there were any. Truly. Madly. Deeply.

I'm hurting my fingers slamming them into the keys like this. I'm going to go slam them into something else. Good night.

P.S. Friend: thank you again. And Kapka, you are super wonderful.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Forts, Shakespeare, and What I Do Best

Good morning everyone. My roommates and I just finished watching a movie with the girls who live directly below us. Hooray for socialness. We got down there and they had constructed a fort--the couch and love seat and coffee table were all turned on their ends and covered with sheets and blankets that they had stapled to the ceiling. It was brilliant and just a little bit insane.

That has decidedly been the high point of my day. I actually intended for this to be an actual diatribe about the people with dreadful theater etiquette who seem to abound at BYU. I sat by at least 20 of them tonight as my roommate and I watched The Taming of the Shrew. I know not everyone who reads this is a fan of Shakespeare, but the guy did write some brilliant stuff. So imagine my annoyance when the words of one of Katherine's best speeches was altered to reflect the agenda of the director. This is Shakespeare. Actually, I don't believe in altering Wilde, Shaw, Stoppard, or Parker for that matter. They wrote it; it's their words. Cutting for the sake of time I understand. Altering pronouns so that suddenly Katherine is "free" and "happy" is trash. And this is turning into some diatribe.

I went to see Taming because one of my good friends was Lucentio. He's one of those guy friends who you can just love without everyone expecting the two of you to pair up or accusing you of "crushing" on each other. Why can't I just have a conversation with a guy? Just because I am single and living in Happy Valley doesn't mean I'm on the hunt every minute of every day. And even when I am interested in a guy, I don't hunt. I just obsess for about a week and then I get over it. It's very much like a cold in that aspect. Oh, and for the record, my Lucentio friend is not gay.

So Em and I remove ourselves from our seats after applauding a few times--no standing ovation--they're severely overdone in Provo--and head home. As we leave I turn on my phone to find a few missed calls and one text message reading "Where are you? Nate so-and-so has been here twice looking for Emily." Nate So-and-so happens to be a high school friend of Em's who is 100% jerk. If I was feeling charitable I'd say he was just insecure. And I probably would be feeling charitable if we hadn't walked in the door to find him kicking it on our couch. He waited an hour for Em to get back.

I've talked about how I can be a brat or a snob, but I don't think my april friends have seen me in jerk mode. Trent would probably enjoy it too much. But this guy pushes just the right buttons for me to go on the defensive. The word creep is too nice a label for him. And he followed us down for our movie night. It's hard to watch a good chick flick when a guy is snorting at every other line (we snort too, just in our heads) and saying asinine things. The best part was that he was laying right next to me, so I was completely aware of myself the whole time--I couldn't relax for fear of touching him. I hate to sound so third-grade-ish, but ew.

Well, my happiness of the couch fort (and getting a chance to see my friend's very cute photographer brother) seems to have been overtaken by these brief diatribes. It's interesting how that can happen. Oh well. Tomorrow is a Divine Comedy night, so I'm sure to be in a good mood. Won't that be a novelty?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Rushed writing

Because I'm tired of writing blogs about how I'm sick (I think I'm getting better), I thought I'd post this rush write from my work writing group. The topic was, as you'll soon figure out, "a fear." I also want to note that I exagerated about Emily. . . I've seen that girl put away more food than most guys can. And that statement will all make sense after you read this.

Every time I enter the Marriot Center I have the same vision—me tumbling down the full length of cement steps, crashing at the bottom in a pitiful heap, and breaking my nose. Actually, I have this fear when I approach any flight of stairs, the Marriott Center is just the most dramatic. And I’m never worried about breaking a leg or an arm—which would be death for me—just my nose. I can picture this wide gash across my face, a dent breaking the surface where the bridge of my nose begins. It makes me feel vulnerable and a little foolish. The best part is that I’m not what you would call a clumsy person most of the time. I mean, I have my moments, but I’ve only slipped on icy steps and tripped up steps, never actually tumbled down a flight of stairs. But, and I hate to dwell on this, but maybe it’s cathartic, is that the right word, and maybe I’ll be able to sit closer to the front during Devotionals now, I still see myself, watch my back roll over and over, my head bouncing off the steps. Even when I’m falling asleep I’ll suddenly feel that I’m falling—not asleep, literally falling—and I jerk in bed to catch myself. Which freaks my roommate out. Granted, freaking Emily out isn’t that difficult. All it takes is a large hamburger and shake and the girl feels queasy. Katie next door is even easier—she hates the sight, smell, sound, etc. of teeth-brushing, which makes no sense. How does she maintain her personal hygiene?

So fears. Check. My other fear is not being able to communicate. I spend all my time writing or exclaiming or diatribing (good verbage) or just plain old talking. I like talking and I like listening and I like communicating ideas. Which is why, in a very roundabout way, I’ve never traveled to a non-English speaking country, unless you count Wales, which you can’t because more people speak English than Welsh.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Rule One for Reading Your Own Poetry: Don't be sick

I really wish I had Aaron to read this in his amazing Heston voice. As I do not (nor do I have audio with this thing) you'll just have to imagine it. Have fun.

I mention Aaron because today we had our poetry workshop and Aaron was on one. He brought 2 lbs of chocolate covered cinnamon bears and kept going off. I think if he didn't have an audience he'd die. Anyway, he's belting out statements in that classy Heston voice as we workshop some of the most painful offerings of the semester. And then its my turn. Workshopping goes like this: The poet reads their poem and then has to remain silent as everyone hashes out the meaning and the problems. And of course, there's always at least one person who brings up something that isn't there, isn't relevant, and that is what the class latches onto.

So I read, beginning with a revision of "Thanksgiving Day." Just one little problem: I am oh so slowly losing my voice due to that lovely cold of mine. So this poem of mine suddenly becomes a eulogy, the most lamentable and merry comedy of my take on family get togethers. Ack. When I finish reading, I quickly tacked on, before Lance could sush me, "I have a cold, so that came out all wrong." After they attacked that poem (mostly the Legend part--I knew that didn't belong there--new poem), we moved on to "Sum(marry)", which, in my opinion, requires a certain tone of voice, certain pauses. And I botched it. I botched my own stupid poem because I can't breath. It came off sounding like some melodrama, which, somebody please tell me I''m right to think this, it isn't.

I've typed myself out. I am now going to Sonic. Cheers. eg

Post-april thoughts

1. I like Frank O'Hara. There's something nice and deceptive about his simple sentences and word choice and his immersion in the popular culture of that time. I don't know if I got around to saying all of that, so there it is.

2. A cool quote from Simic: "You throw everything out of poetry except what really makes poetry distinct--which is metaphor, one metaphor after another, wild flights of imagination. It's a risky business."

3. A cool quote from Rita Dove (even though we didn't talk about her tonight): "If they don't find themselves compulsively reading--print as they walk by a shopping mall, anything--then I don't think they're really a writer. . . because inherent in the idea of being a writer is to have the whole continuum, have the whole circle be completed. That feeling as a writer that you are writing, someone else is going to pick this up and read it and it's not completed until that person reads it. If you haven't taken part in that continuum, how can you even know how it's going to work?"

4. I like april.

5. I like Miss K's pjs, Kapka's burrowing, Day's quiet amusement, and T-bone's bizarre laugh. And I live the LoveSac.

6. Thank you for putting up with my cold.

7. Would the Sunday after reading days work for everyone to do dinner at my place? I'll cook. . . provided that I've stopped coughing over everything.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Good eye?

My history of the English language class finally made it to the 20th century. . . sort of. The brilliant thing is our textbook and the accompanying workbook were written by excessively old British gentlemen, which makes the sections on slang quite entertaining. Before we got to slang, however, we had to talk about self-explaining compounds. My very nice and very odd professor paced in front of our 10 person class saying "If a horse doctor is a doctor for a horse then a city park. . . " We were expected to complete her sentence with "is a park for a city." It's cake, but it's also 3:00 in the afternoon, so a few people mumble on each one. After a few of these, everyone was falling asleep or daydreaming or doing something with slightly more academically profitable. Except for one guy, who enthusiastically kept up with "a dispute about borders." Our prof was either so surprised or so grateful that she cried out, "Good eye! Good eye!" And they kept going with "a mill which uses wind," etc.
Calling out "good eye" during this exercise is like calling out "good eye" during a T-ball game. Do you remember that stage of your athletic development? I never developped athletically, actually, but I attended more than my fair share of T-ball games. It's the first stage of softball/baseball, where the kids swing at a ball sitting on a plastic prop directly in front of them. And for some reason when they miss, by either swinging above into the air or below into the plastic "T", the stands fill with shouts of "Good eye! Good eye!" No, bad swing. Get your kid off the field. End the humiliation now. Try soccer or tennis or ping pong. Forget the hopes of your kid playing "ball which uses bases."

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