Friday, January 28, 2005


I just got done puzzling my way through Aaron's blog. I have one thing to say: paragraph breaks.

Actually, I have many things to say. This topic came up with Trent and seems to be the central theme of most of our discussions. And by this point in a post I should have identified my topic, but I'm not sure what to call it. Poetic project, poetic theory, poetic function? None of these really encapsulate what I'm after, but slap your own label on it when you get there.

Aaron referenced Leslie Norris and I'm going to follow suit: "I truly spend my life waiting to write." This was towards the end of his presentation in our 518 class. He began it by asking "Why do you write?" and his answer was "Is it because you can't help it?"

I don't want to come off as self-righteous or self-indulgent or even self-congratulatory, but I write because that's what I do. I'm not concerned with my reader. Writing for me is a purely selfish pursuit. My poetry comes when it comes and unless I have an assignment, I don't sit down to write a poem. I sit down to write and I just happen to translate my thoughts into words and hyphens and line breaks. I do admit to being too fond of the em-dash, but as that didn't stop Emily Dickinson, I'm not overly concerned.

I bring a unique reading to poetry in that I'm more interested in publishing other poets than getting myself published. I'm more interested in teaching a class out of poetry anthologies than seeing my name in one. This alters what you do, how you write, and for me is the only answer.

This is turning into altruistic drivel. My apologies. I don't expect that my theories or concepts will work for anyone else. If anything, this thread of blogging proves that we all approach our art from different angles, even if we voice it in a plethora of ways. Yes, plethora. As in pinatas. Aaron has his cat in the orchard. And from that experience, he has given me the voice of the woman sitting in the front seat. Maybe voices are what I'm interested in, even if they all are portions of myself.

Late. Rambling. Good morning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Return of the Midget Stalker

This post will not actually be about the midget stalker, although he did return and this time I didn't have my personal bodyguard/poetic genius friend around to scare him away. Aaron, where are you?

Hickman discussed Benjamin's "On the Concept of History" today. I admit that I only understood every third word. No, actually, I have a decent if simple grasp on Marxism and Hegel's dialectic, so I was feeling pretty good about myself. But the concept of history has always fascinated me. Who makes history? I would argue the writers. Who says what they write is accurate? This becomes a contract between the writer and the reader which is inevitably broken.

This concept of history and historical accuracy and recording has been playing in mind in tangent with the 24 Hours at BYU photo essay. Is that history? It is from our point of view, or at least history from the lens of a camera. There is a website my brother directed me to called the Thought Project. A photographer asked people what they had been thinking about right before he walked up to them, then took their picture. The pictures are simple portraits, but their answers vary in depth and apparent importance and interest. But is that the truest form of history? They must have censored their answers for this random photo-man. And some of them have been translated into English, adding another layer for their stories to filter through. Check it out, though. Just google "Thought Project." It should be the first one to show up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Shuffle Off to Buffalo

Every time I access the internet at work I'm confronted with yet another add for the iPod shuffle thing. And while I am intrigued by a gadget that weighs less than a pack of gum yet will randomly shoot at my eardrums music from my personal collection, I'm a little afraid of the implications. Continuing the literary analysis applied to real life from yesterday, it amazes me that we, meaning Society with a capital S, are so willing to sacrifice choice, control, independence of thought on the altar of chance and do-it-for-me mentalities. Sure I like having a Postal Service song followed by Peter Gabriel, but only when I make the mix. Maybe I just feel threatened that my singular talent of creating bizarre mixes featuring at least one nostalgic-induced track has become obselete. Shuffle indeed.

On my desk is a large bag of Sweethearts, those disgusting, flavorless, chalky hearts with cheesy sentimentality stamped onto them. The bag is red and the hearts are green, white, purple, pink, orange, and yellow. Which is the order I'll eat them in, ignoring the "Kiss Me" "Marry Me" "Be Mine" corporate messages.

I walked through the Bookstore yesterday to find a new calendar. Not that I really want to be the means of my roommates announcing their personal lives to the world on our wall, but there was a calendar earlier this month with brilliant shots of London that I thought would be the cause of much rejoicing, at least on a personal level. The calendar was no longer there, so I checked out my other options. Puppies. Flowers--more specifically, roses. Romantic Europe. Dead people. More puppies. Nothing really tempted me. I mean, the Chinese Propaganda was cool, but doesn't really go with my eclectic apartment. So the great calendar hunt continues.

Monday, January 24, 2005


I'm writing this during class, which is to say I'm writing with pen on paper and will probably make multiple spelling errors, none of which will appear in electronic form if I can help it.

My brother asked me last night why I haven't been posting and today I ran into Aaron who was off to the library to read blogs. Point taken.

I haven't been writing because I've had a crap guy week and after two blogs, plus multiple other drafts, I got tired of writing about it. But I think anyone can relate to not being able to think of much else after rejection and other matters of the opposite sex. This blog will hopefully be a break from past trends, but I make no promises.

I am sitting in English 363, American lit 1914 to 1960, listening to yet another clean shaven, close cropped, tie wearing male present on how the feminine functions in literature, in this case My Antonia. May I be so bold to ask what makes guys think they can understand and explicate the feminine? The best paper I ever read on feminist criticism and l'ecriture feminine was by a guy. Granted, he was married. Maybe his wife wrote it. Anyway, this male/female dichotomy (the ever abused friend of the English major) seems to be appearing in most of my classes, most noticeably in The Dean and Gideon Show (not to be confused with The Gideon and Dean Show). Spurred on by the inexplicable, I have taken scrupulous notes this semester, including pages and pages on this male vs. female concept. What is most striking is that women rarely factor in the literature we're reading and by virtue of their absence, we're allowed to talk about them, use the feminine in correspondence with the nebulous other.

On the flip side, and I apologize for dragging in some of "crap guy week" here, but it is applicable, do we honestly have a definition of the feminine and the masculine anymore? The feminine is the irrational, the other, the mysterious, the weak, the fairer, the innocent. It all depends on what person you talk to, what text you read. And the masculine is the known, the strong, the heroic. The masculine is Odysseus, Dante, Virgil, Siddhartha, Newland Archer. The feminine is something we avoid, something we escape in literature because it's oppression and unfamiliar. The masculine is something we embrace, something we feel safe with. Isn't it? "Crap guy week." Right.

His idea is being the man, taking care of the woman, standing as sentinel over her at all times. ("His" here refers to a specific person.) His concept of a relationship is her (any her) waiting to here how his day went without telling him anything about her day. His idea is that she should be seen and not heard.

Maybe I need to remove literary theory/analysis from real life. But then what is the point of literature? Is it just a bunch of pretty words that create a pretty picture and then we step away, sigh, and say "that was nice" and then forget about Billy Pilgrim and Galadriel and Valancy? If we believed that we wouldn't spend our time reading. We wouldn't be English majors. We'd go study science, we'd break down life into numbers and decided dichotomies rather than allowing the postmodernists to break everything apart so that we can piece it back together again. (Note: I am now sitting in English 365, American lit 1960 to the present talking about The City of Glass. Slightly different mode of conversation here.) Does the Elephant Love Medley accurately or remotely resemble the way we approach life? My brother is defined in many ways by his music. We are all defined by our culture, whether it is the acceptance or rejection of our culture.

Now somebody tell me to pay attention.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


So last night my friend Seth was over. Maybe friend is too strong a word. He's my home teacher and the other "ward menu supervisor." I had called him over to talk about the ward menu, actually, which he really doesn't care about.
Seth is usually a nice guy, but consistently negative, especially when it comes to the fairer sex. Last night I made the gross error of asking him if he was currently interested in anyone. This innocent, albeit stupid, question set him off on a diatribe of his own with poor little old me dodging darts and arrows and the opinions of someone who truly hates girls/women.
Guys can usually get away with telling me how ridiculous females are. I agree. Girls/females/women/chicks/babes, whatever you want to call them are annoying and obnoxious and demanding and stupid and collectively irritating. Not that guys/males/men/dudes/boys don't receive and deserve similar treatment. But at the same time, both guys and girls can be pretty wonderful. It's an interesting dichotomy. The opinions thrown at me last night, however, were of a completely new variety.
Seth has, like everyone else, been hurt by girls in the past. Unlike everyone else, Seth forces these experiences onto every girl he subsequently meets, making the entire gender one nasty mess of a beast. He is holding out for the perfect woman, who in his mind, does exist and will conform to what he wants.
This isn't following logically, and I don't care, but the few points that stuck from Seth's argument were that 1) girls are selfish. Seth complained that in past relationships, the girls expected him to work around their schedules. "Didn't you expect them to work around your schedule?" Of course, but that is the way it's supposed to work; the girl is supposed to adjust her schedule and her life to meet the guy's needs while he continues on as normal.
The conversation continued with me more than a little bugged with him and somehow reached the point of Seth saying he required a girl to show a lot of interest in him before he would lift a finger in her direction. I argued that there is only so much a girl can do before she is seen as forward, chasing, and desparate, and basically discussed negatively in the ward. He claimed that there were certain things a girl can do to let a guy know she's interested. "Fine. Tell me what to do. I'll test your theories." Seth, of course, laughed at me and then asked, "Are you willing to fall in love? And then get hurt?"
He then proceeded to tell me who I would be calling on, if you will. It's a guy I know pretty well, who I respect a lot, but who I have no desire to date. And I now I realize that this is the major flaw in Seth's theories: he doesn't realize that there has to be some form of attraction and that the two people have to want to make the other person happy. I know that this guy Seth decided I should date wouldn't make me happy, and I wouldn't make him happy. Seth only wants someone to make him happy--he's not out to reciprocate. I've gone on dates with him and he is a great date, but he's a great date because that's what a guy is supposed to do, not because he respects the girl he is with and wants to make her happy.
At this point in my own personal diatribe, the doorbell rang and two of the greatest guys in the world were on the other side of the door, which, thankfully, ended the discussion.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Truth, Dare, and Eighth Grade

My roommate Emily and I walked into our apartment Friday night to find it occupied by the strangest of creatures--law students. I suppose we should be used to this by now, seeing as how our other two roommates are law students, but usually they don't travel in packs. And it wasn't so much that they were there, strewn about our living room and kitchen, but what they were doing: threading Fruit Loops onto (my) thread to make necklaces and bracelets and I think one guy made a crown.
The night digressed from there, with Emily and I thrown in the mix, until only about ten people were left (2 guys, 8 girls), and someone decided the next game should be "Truth or Dare." Everyone jokingly went along, writing down truths and dares on pieces of paper. Each person had to draw and either answer a question or perform a dare. This was mildly entertaining until after the first round the questions and dares continued to have a common thread: kissing. "Tell about your first kiss." "Describe your first kiss in detail, but not graphically." "Kiss Rich on the cheek. If you're a boy, throw this back and get a new question." Okay, so the last one was kindly put in by one girl hoping her friend who is interested in Rich would grab it and finally establish some form of physical contact. But still, are you people 3Ls or 8th graders? I don't even know if a self respecting eighth grader would ask and/or answer those questions. Sheesh.
This whole incidence begs the question, what bizarre world are we living in? Is everyone so obsessed with kissing and relationships and physical contact that we can't break away, even in a stupid party game? The sad thing is, the answer is yes. We cannot break away from these conversations and analyses and all-to-human desires that we have effectively distanced ourselves from.
And as for my first kiss, he missed.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Like, there goes another lemming"

In a full on attack of "everybody's doing it," I hereby jump off the cliff.

Three names you go by:
1. Sar-bear (I wish I was kidding)
2. Captain Spanky
3. oh editor queen

Three screen names you have:
1. editorgirl
2. whyherecoldsister
3. barbiegirl

Three things you like about yourself:
1. my hair
2. I know when (and how) to use a comma.
3. my dedication to things

Three things you dislike about yourself:
1. my tendency to trust sterotypes
2. my inability to clean my bedroom
3. that I let people walk all over me

Three parts of your heritage:
1. English
2. Danish
3. Prince John, the phony king of England

Three things that scare you:
1. large bodies of water
2. parking tickets
3. people at Disney theme parks

Three of your everyday essentials:
1. hot shower
2. good music
3. control

Three things I am wearing right now:
1. jeans
2. the ubiquitous navy blue hoodie
3. silver jewlery

Three of your favorite bands/artists today:
1. Frou Frou
2. Rooney
3. America

Three of your fav. songs at present
1. “Accidentally in Love” (Counting Crows)
2. “Such Great Heights” (both Postal Service and Iron & Wine’s cover)
3. “Someone Like You” (Jekyll & Hyde)

Three new things you want to try in the upcoming year:
1. leaving Provo
2. dyeing my hair
3. being lazy

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
1. communication
2. respect
3. height (hey, one of these has to be superficial)

Two truths and a lie (in any order):
1. I got my first pair of glasses when I was 18 months old.
2. I hate peas.
3. I refuse to date psych majors.

Three things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:
1. great eyes
2. great lips
3. facial hair

Three things you just can't do:
1. admit I’m wrong
2. throw away my Baby-sitter Club books
3. be honest about my feelings

Three of your favorite hobbies:
1. write
2. read
3. edit

Three careers you're considering:
1. writing (articles as a professor)
2. reading (student papers as a professor)
3. editing (everything)

Three places you'd like to go on vacation:
1. London
2. New York
3. Washington coast

Three kids names:
1. Beatrice
2. Amelia
3. Gideon

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. kiss someone taller than me
2. visit NYC
3. live in Europe

april showers

I like april. And the great thing about a good april (which I feel tonight was) is that after everyone leaves, I feel like writing. Tonight, however, I'm not sure what to write about. I expended all of my positive energy in my post about my job (Bongos in the RB) and while I know you all enjoy angsty posts and poems from the queen of, I'm just not in the mood.

Over the break I congratulated myself on not having anyone ask if I was engaged to, dating, or interested in any boy. Up until the night before I returned to Provo. I ran into a friend's mom and after I asked how Emily is doing, she had a question of her own. "So are you in love?" I quickly shook my head and said something to the effect of "Too busy to be in love." I am now re-evaluating that answer and here present a list of what and who I am in love with.

1. em-dashes (even though I can't figure out how to do them on this and I'm too lazy to cut and paste from Word)
2. Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk
3. Counting Crows and Frou Frou
4. Muffy (my car)
5. Ethan Hawke in Dead Poets, John Cusack in Say Anything, and Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice
6. photographs
7. Michael Johnson
8. LM Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott novels
9. Drive Me Crazy (yes, with Melissa Joan Hart)

I was going to hit 10, but here's a challenge for all my friends/readers/bosses: what is my number 10?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's my party and I'll. . . never mind

I went to devotional today. I was so proud of myself, for being so spiritual and everything.

Actually, it started out as a crap day. I woke up late, had an 8:00 a.m. interview to get to, got to my interview (looking pretty damn good), and then had to sit through twenty of the dullest minutes of my life. Apparently this bloke was working for the CIA last summer because he didn't want to tell me anything, just that it was "a really great experience" and that he was married.

I returned to work to type up the interview and send out some emails only to find that my wireless connection was obselete for the moment. I could still type up my interview, which I started, until a computer guy (they live in the basement) came up to check out my machine, only to determine fifteen minutes later that he "didn't know what was going on." I continued typing until it was time for devotional.

Devotional itself was brilliant. Elder Pace was pretty funny and he said some cool things. If you didn't go, look it up on the web. (That's an order.) What was not so brilliant was that I ran into my midget stalker from last semester, who after the devotional proceeded to escort me to the JKHB, even though he had class in the MARB. Someone is now going to remind me how much I would like to have a decent guy around and that maybe I should give this one a chance. And in my defense, I will point out that he has two strikes against him, aside from general stalker creepyness: he is a psych major and he is shorter than I am. The next guy I date will be taller than I am.

Class was just proofreading, which I find some relaxation in. And now my day will continue, with or without my permission.


Saturday, January 08, 2005

In My Free Time

I stopped by the Creamery on Ninth tonight to grab some milk. At least a dozen people had the same idea, but after standing in line for a good ten minutes, I made it up to the cashier, who was, naturally, one of those chicks who are "just too cute for words."

Said cashier was in a chatty mood tonight. She asked how this semester has been. "Fine." She then asked what my major is. "English."

"Wow. What do you do with all your free time?"

I didn't get it at first. I just smiled and said, "If I ever get some I'll let you know." And had it been left there, I would have ignored the entire incidence and the cute little cashier would not be making an appearance on my blog. But she continued. "Isn't English just 48 hours?"

Lightbulb goes on and I like Miss Cashier even less.


"I just wouldn't know what to do with myself if I had all that free time."

I bet you wouldn't. (Insert hair toss here.)

Bongos in the RB

Initially I fully intended on writing a true "bitter diatribe" (you people have yet to tell me what movie that's from. Hint: chick flick) about the general herding mentality of BYU, coupled with some commentary on couples and the ickiness of PDA in general. And that diatribe is most likely going to appear sometime in the near future. But last night I had a good little phone chat with a good little friend (okay, he's not that little). We were discussing our schedules and why I should be dead. He suggested I drop something. Can't drop any of my courses. Won't drop inscape or april. So he asked about work. Fact: I love my job. Therefore this post is going to entirely be about the wonderfulness of my job. No brown nosing intended--I'm just happy.

This train of thought started when my boss, the chief editor dude, said something to the effect of "I can't picture myself in this job for the next 30 years." It was a passing comment, until the next day when he i-chatted (IMed) everyone saying, "Remember how I said I couldn't picture myself in this job for the next 30 years?" Unfortunately, group chatting wasn't functioning, so we all had to wait for the explanatory email. In my head I was finishing the ichat with, "Well, I'm not going to. See you, suckers!"

The email came and luckily it was an epiphany regarding the immense cool factor of his job. Which it is. I mean, he gets to work with me. Kidding. Everyone now poke fun at editorgirl in the comments section. But he does have a cool job, and as a small extension, I have a cool job. I get to edit and proofread, which I find a perverse enjoyment in. And I get to write articles, which I love to do. And I work with (brown nosing begins here) three of the coolest guys I know. And the word "cool" has officially been overused in this post. But I'm not done.

Yesterday I got to work to find a note taped to my office door telling me to haul over to a staff meeting. I grabbed my laptop, now complete with a wireless connection, and followed the map they had drawn me. We spent the next two hours talking about the next big project for the magazine, a photo essay of "24 Hours at BYU" (which Kapka's genius brother helped with, by the way). Actually, I don't know if I can say we spent two hours discussing that, because at these meetings, we are the masters of tangential conversation. But it was fun. I probably shouldn't get so much enjoyment from making Excel spreadsheets and chatting people during meetings, but the best part of any day at work is that this editorial triumverate I work for actually listens to the interns.

This post has gotten obscenely long, so I'm going to postpone writing about walking outside the Royal Albert Hall with Todd talking about his brilliant internship at BYU Magazine that made me want to intern there. . . which is now here. Anyway. . . happy Saturday everyone.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Anti-Tangent

I just spent an hour wallowing on the sac of love and thinking about the events of the evening. 58 minutes and one potential poem later, I realized that thinking isn't going to cure anything. Neither will writing, for that matter, but it will let me sleep.
I am a creature of habit. Every time I start a new routine, it takes a major effort on my part just to function. Such an effort was required today with classes starting. Add to that stress the tension that had magically built up in my apartment since Sunday, etc., etc., etc. and I was having a watery blue day. Nothing too serious just off.
Enter ward executive secretary, via a phone message. I thought it was the Sunday School president reminding me about teaching this week. Instead, I was being called in to talk with the bishop. That less than a minute message made everything stop. I couldn't focus on work, I couldn't focus on chatting with my new co-worker. I had to get away. So I did.
Somehow I survived until my scheduled appointment. And I was right, it was a release and a new calling. My new co-chair is a friend of mine and a guy the bishop thinks I should "take care of." What a very domestic suggestion.
In the same hour, I was asked if I was dating another of my guy friends. Apparently the word hasn't finished circulating yet that I'm decidedly single. The odd thing about this question was--and is--that it made me start thinking about this guy, who was already on my short list, and I realized I really would like to date him. Talking with my roommates just made it sound, as always, that much more feasible. I just wish I had paid more attention in Guy Chasing 101. I don't do the whole game playing, guy chasing mess. Flirting I do and can do, but that's about it. Which means this will be just another cute guy who I admire from afar and have intelligent conversations with at ward functions. Hmmm.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Welcome Home (and a bedspread)

Did I just call Provo home? Well, this year it feels more like home. In Provo I have my own room with my own bed and my own books and my own piles of crap that I will get around to organizing someday.

Well now. What I am thinking about tonight: My Christmas haul included a new bedspread. I've been using a gray plaid flannel quilt that I tied (read: that I started and my mother finished) since I've been in college. Apparently my mother thought my room needed an overhaul, because I got a velvety burgandy bedspread, which, if you look closely, does include the colors I usually decorate with. I decided to try it out and it is now dominating my bedroom. This has lead to at least three minutes of serious contemplation.

This new bedspread, whether I like it or not, is me. Or at least one side of me. It's the me that wears button-up shirts and slacks and over analyzes everything. And the quilt--my lovely flannel nondescript quilt--was the side of me that wears jeans and hooded sweatshirts and, well, over analyzes everything. Hmm. Well, maybe it is time to try something new.

There was an intelligent bent to this when I first started thinking out the post. I'm afraid that's all deteriorated. My apologies.

Give me a call when you're back in Provo.

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