30 July, 2008

I just found this in an old journal

An incomplete list I made in the MTC. It's as true now as it was then.

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED ON MY MISSION

1. I am not as funny as Cori thinks I am (7/5)
2. Silence is not unpleasant (7/6)
3. Missionaries are people, except they are on a mission (7/6)
4. Most men don't realize what they are doing wrong, so you have to tell them (7/9)
5. The reason why I shower so much is because I smell (7/16)

WOE, Woe, woe

So once upon a time there was this boy I really liked, and we were very close and I kinda wanted to marry him. Then we didn't get married, yet remained friends. Yesterday this boy informed me (and this was the classy thing to do, in my opinion) that he is engaged. He has only known the girl for a few months.

Describing how I feel about this is pointless because you can probably guess anyway. I am very SURPRISED that things are happening so suddenly. I am HAPPY for him because he is my friend, but I am SAD that he told me so many times that he had no interest in getting married, when clearly what he meant to say is that he had no interest in marrying me. I am JEALOUS not so much of the girl he is marrying, but just of the fact that another friend is getting married and leaving me behind. I am also a little ANGRY at Providence for being so ironic, for it really does seem that the best thing to do in order to get married is to have no desire to get married.

Anyway, you would think that going to the temple would make me feel better, right? Being in the Lord's house, a place of comfort and serenity, yada yada. However, possibly because I am so wicked, this was not at all the case. Because the temple belongs to the Lord, but all its primary shareholders are couples who are maddeningly, sickeningly in love.

I was in charge of seating people in the chapel tonight. Every few minutes, a couple would walk in holding hands, gazing at each other. My, isn't it grand to be in love, they said to me with their body language. We are our own happy little world of love. It made me sick.

Then, every so often, a handsome young man would walk in alone. Every so often a lovely young woman, but we all know women take longer to get dressed so it was usually a man. He would sit down alone for a few moments, and then a young woman would walk in. His little face would light up. They would join the Zombies of the Living in Love people.

I love to watch couples, normally. Pairs are a fascinating part of nature, and it usually does me good to see how many unremarkable people find true love. But tonight it made me angry. Why do so many unremarkable people find love whereas I, who am considered legitimately remarkable by some, have yet to do so? It's not fair. And then Satan came into my head (I know! At the temple, no less! How does he do that? He sucks.)

Satan (who looked a lot like Elizabeth Hurley in tonight's manifestation): You go home every night and drink your chocolate soy milk and write in your little blog. And you go to bed and wonder why you are alone and no one loves you. And you cry.
Me: Not every night ...

And so I cried in the temple. Well, teared up. It's a good thing I didn't full-out cry, because when I really get going I have an asthma attack, and that's just embarrassing. But I have never felt so alone in a room full of people in my entire life. And I have had a lot of opportunities in my life to feel that way.

The thing is, I'm not picky. Really I'm not. I think I could make it work with almost anyone. I don't even want romance. Romance is for sissies who are offended by X-Men. What I want is companionship. Loyalty. Someone to go grocery shopping with. And for someone's face to light up when I walk in the room. That's not too much to ask, is it?

28 July, 2008

Family Home Awkward

Tonight I went to family home evening most unwillingly, because I was (am?) in a bad mood and I felt like sitting home and stewing about it. Then I decided that there was a possibility, though unlikely, of Family Home Evening cheering me up.

And how! Tonight we made balloon animals. Unfortunately, I am not artistically talented enough to make a balloon animal that doesn't vaguely resemble mutilated genitalia. Also, I cracked up like an eight year old whenever any member of my group ran his or her hand down the un-animal-ified phallus of balloon. Classic. I am so childish. But I think it cheered me up.

Photos of my balloon:





It was originally supposed to be a crab, but then it was just weird.

School days, school days ...

I am in the process of perfecting my fall class schedule, and I am almost done. Whenever people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I always say New Year's (because I like dressing glam, and it's the only holiday that involves dancing ... plus it makes me sound cooler than I actually am), but the sad truth is: my favorite day of the year is the first day of school. Which is great for me because sometimes it comes twice a year! Maybe even three times!

I could go into why the first day of school is so satisfying, but be honest, you know, right? Bringing your spanking new textbook to class with nary a mark in it (unless you're me and that book is about English Grammar ... but I've said too much already). Trying to figure out if the professor is lax or fascist. Scoping out classmates of the maler sex. Ooohhh. I want to sit by him. There is no novelty even if you've taken the class before or had the teacher before. I could go to school for the rest of my life and never get tired of the first day of school.

I am pretty down to the wire. Only three semesters left. I am pretty far done in my program--only upper level electives left in my major, and just a few classes short of my actual minor (as opposed to the one I made up). I also have a few GEs that I have been putting off, which I plan to satisfy with the least painful classes possible. Good-bye, Physical Science for Dummies. Hello, Astronomy. I arranged my class schedule so I am free to model Tuesdays and Thursdays, because I am hoping and praying that my employer will let me go come September, and I can return to the stress-free bliss of selling my body for lots and lots of money. Well, the opportunity to create art resembling my body, at least.

I mentioned having a minor that I made up. Let me explain. I started out as an English Major, but I really wanted to study the historical development of English, so I added a double major of Classics. Latin and Greek and all that jazz. I took two years of Latin and absolutely hated it. The thought of learning Greek made me want to cry. It still does. Then I learned of a little major called the English Language major. The linguistics of English? Sign me up!

I no longer want to be a writer, per se. That is, I will always be a writer, but I won't delude myself into thinking that I will be Johnny Depp sitting in front of a typewriter all day in some cabin. I want to be an editor. But I want to publish my own books too. Here comes the made-up minor: they don't have a creative writing minor here. Can you believe it? So I made up my own. It's basically an English minor, except with all the poetry classes I want. *sniff* I'm soooo happy.

27 July, 2008

Inside Joke

My friend Robbie is totally lame. When I want to sleep and try to get him to talk to me so I can fall asleep easier, he doesn't even help me. What a really bad friend. I mean after all I've done for him. We are like super tight and we even have a secret handshake ... and he won't help me when I really need him. Lame. Lame lame lame lame lame. To the nth power he is lame. I mean geez.

26 July, 2008

This dog needs a good home, and I think I want to give him one.


Adorable, no? Found him on craigslist.

"Free dog to good home. He is a mutt, but a very sweet and well behaved one. Great with other dogs and pets. He is about three and a half years old. Has shots and been neutered. House broken and does not chew. He is a very mild mannered dog and does best in a quiet environment. But don't let that fool you, he loves hiking and anything outdoors. Answers to Duke or Doofus Marie."

I rock the Newberry Award List

(though perhaps not as much as I thought)

2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village
by Laura Amy Schlitz
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan
2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar
1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
1996: The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry
1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman
1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
1983: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
1982: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard
1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper
1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong
1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska
1964: It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold
1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
1954: ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois
1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds
1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty
1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy
1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon
1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs
1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis
1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer
1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth
1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field
1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji
1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James
1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman
1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger
1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes
1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon

25 July, 2008

Fantastic news

So first a little Mormon culture trivia for you: when young people serve as missionaries they have a special unique vocabulary that utilizes the metaphor of genealogy. When you enter the country as a missionary, you are "born" in that city. I was born in Pécs, for example. Your first companion in the mission field is thus known as your "mother" or "father." Thus I was born in Pécs to Sister Gillespie. Some missionaries trace such "genealogies" and make a big deal out of them. I am one of those people.

I trained twice on my mission. My first daughter was Sister Welge in Szeged; my second, Sister Beech in Debrecen. My first greenie and I had kind of a rough transfer. I won't go into to detail except to say that it was all my fault. My second greenie had it made because I had learned my lesson with the first (Welge was my first pancake, if you will), and we were the best of friends. Sister Beech went home because of a medical condition after only three transfers (just a few months) so she was barren, as it were. Right before I went home, Sister Welge and I went on splits and had a long heart-to-heart in which I apologized profusely for the mistakes I had made, we made up and became friends. Hooray! No more estrangement!

Despite all that, and because of many other contributing factors, I sometimes wonder if my mission did anyone any good. I had a couple baptisms, but last I heard they are inactive. I worked with a lot of members but I don't know if much came of it. And I had one child on medical leave and one that hated me (until recently). I wasn't sure if it had been much of a success.

Not true! I just talked to greenie #1 (remember, we're friends now) and we had a great little chat. I found out that she opened Békéscsaba, one of the new cities I would have killed to open, annnnnd her daughter, my granddaughter, was also an amazing missionary and opened Kaposvár, the other city I wanted to open.

And thus, my mission was a success. I do rejoice in my posterity.

do do do do ... my body belongs to me ...

There was a Relief Society activity tonight, and I was not planning on going. I can't explain the thought process that made me decide to go, but I think it happened while I was walking home from Checkers with my brand new bottle of brake fluid and funnel. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was so grateful my brakes hadn't failed and sent me to a premature fiery death. Perhaps I felt I owed it to God to go.

So I showed up after dinner to avoid potential vegetarian awkwardness, and at probably the crux of the main message/spiritual thought. You know how most lessons start with some milky basic doctrines that apply to everyone, and then move into charity or food storage or chastity or what have you? I missed the milk. I arrived while we were in the thick of a deep conference about eating disorders and body image.

I am pretty proud of how far I have come in this area. It is one of the few things I can really say I am proud of, in terms of progression in my life. Sister Gunther challenged all of us to take stock of our relationship with our bodies tonight and decide what we need to change and want to change. So. Here goes.

For as long as I can remember, I had the makings of an eating disorder, but never entirely succumbed to it. I remember back to when I was as young as five, when someone criticized me and made me feel stupid or embarrassed, that was when I felt fat. As a young girl I was an average weight, but I remember the feeling of feeling large and disgusting tied in with people disapproving of me in any way. Does that make sense? When I put puberty at the wretchedly early age of ten, I was the only girl in my elementary school with hips and breasts, and I thought they were disgusting. I hated eating in front of people and then I would gorge at home because I was so hungry from not eating all day. Thus, I gained weight above and beyond the normal puberty baby fat. I wore sport bras to hide the huge slabs of fat on my chest (oh how I wish that someone had sat me down and explained that breasts are normal and even little girls sometimes have large breasts, and that this doesn't by definition make you fat) and baggy clothes to hide the rest of my body. This look did not work for me.


Blegh. Talk about your ugly duckling. Kids can be really cruel. I mean kids can really, really suck, and although I felt pretty accepted in my little charter school community, kids in other classes, who didn't know me at all, called me horrible names, harassed me, and generally made my life miserable. To their everlasting credit, my parents weren't terribly critical of my appearance--although they encouraged me to work on my weight problem, they never got on my case me dressing like a boy. I remember my mom trying to help me find incentives for losing weight. She would say things like, wouldn't it feel good to go back to school this fall and have everyone say how thin you are? But the problem was, I couldn't separate myself from my body. I had no concept of people being able to look at me and not think of me as disgusting. I assumed that that 's what they thought when they looked at me, and that would always be the case.

Everyone wants most the one thing they were deprived of when they were little, right? So for me that was a happy little Mormon family where the parents love each other. I don't know who to blame for this, but I got it in my mind that men won't love you unless you are tall and thin and beautiful (Really! Where could I have picked up such a notion?) So when I was little I wanted to be tall and thin and beautiful so I could have a happy family. The two were inseparably connected in my mind. And yet, I could not envision anyone ever finding me attractive enough to marry. I bitterly rejected the boys in elementary school and junior high who had crushes on me, because I thought that there was something wrong with them for them to like me. They must have been crazy.

As I got older I started eating better and exercising, I started putting more effort into my appearance (although I still hate make-up .. it makes my face itch). I took dance classes, which was the first time I realized that my body could be looked at and enjoyed ... not in a pornographic way at all ... but that I could be a graceful person who enjoyed movement, that I didn't have to be self conscious of what my body looked like. In college, I worked as a model for the art department, which meant standing in a bikini in front of dozens of strangers every day for money. My theory was this would serve as a the body image equivilant of electric shock therapy. It was. And surprisingly, it worked.

The funny thing about being shy: if you're shy and ugly people are nice to you because they feel sorry for you. I was so awkward and hideous growing up that it's now hilarious, and most people (well ... adults) were nice to me because that's what you do. You fellowship the ugly kid. . And then I got older, and I became shy and pretty, and people stopped being as nice to me, because when you're shy and busty people assume you're stuck up. I had to start doing the work when it came to meeting people, which was both good and hard. Still, for a long time I was insecure about my looks still, only on the opposite end. I still didn't trust any man that thought I was pretty. I wrote to a friend in an email not too long ago:

"I hate being made to feel ugly because every woman hates that, and it reminds me of being a swarthy hideous child that only wore black and couldn't look anyone in the eye, but I also hate getting attention about the way I look because I'm scared that that's all the person wants from me and my other characteristics aren't enough. Even here in Happy Mormon Marriage Bubble if someone approaches me because they obviously think I'm attractive (as opposed to some other reason) I absolutely freak out. I don't know I would ever marry someone who initially approached me because he found me attractive. I would never trust it. But how else is it supposed to work? Maybe if someone approached me because I had gum on my shoes ... who knows ..."

What I want from a man is much too complicated to get into right now, and warrants its own post. But suffice it to say, I usually go for guys who are already my friends and enjoy me on a human level rather than a physical one, because until very recently it never occurred to me that a sweet, sober man would appreciate me for the way I look and for who I am on the inside. I am working on this. It's a work in progress.

In summary, I am very comfortable with my body now, even though I would still like to get in a little better shape, get a little more toned, blah blah blah ... but I still need to come to terms for what that means. A man who finds me attractive isn't freakish or dirty, because I am, in fact, quite attractive. I feel like I should go on Oprah for saying this. Physical attraction is a normal part of a relationship and it doesn't mean he is going to take advantage of me or not appreciate my other (numerous ... and quite sterling) characteristics. It's a big balancing act that I still haven't quite perfected ... but I plan to.


"Woman" by Keanan Cantrell.

24 July, 2008

A meaningless list of books ...

This list has been going around the blogging community. I don't much care about where it came form, so even though the source is sketchy, I am still going to bold the books I have read.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (started it, found it the more boring, overwritten epic ever)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. The Harry Potter Series JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (I'm about a quarter of the way through it right now .. in Isaiah)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (this one I liked)
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh .
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry .
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Total = 21. Embarrassing.

23 July, 2008

Why I am a Super Hero

The reasons have just been piling up.

1. I can read people's minds. It might be more an "emotionally endothermic" sort of thing (if you understand what I mean by that, I love you) but I can always tell when people are upset or irritated or excited.

2. I have several comic book-esque physical limitations that make me approachable. You know what I'm talking about? With Daredevil, he's blind; Superman is allergic to kryptonite; Batman has a bat phobia (chiroptophobia if you will) ... every hero has a clear weakness. Mine include: being blind in one eye; my heart skipping when I cry (no, really, I have respiratory arrhythmia) and a phobia of fire, rejection and jumping from high places (Arsonphobia, Kakorrhaphiophobia and Catapedaphobia, respectively)

If you want to know where I found those words, check this out. Wowee!

3. I am gifted at deception. My face is totally straight when it needs to be. This one time I was in a Walgreens trying to find clear mascara, so I asked the young saleclerk to help me. She knew they carried it but couldn't figure out where it was. She kept looking and looking and apologizing and apologizing, until I said, "It's OK. I'm from corporate. This was a test." I didn't expect her to believe me, but she almost burst in to tears. Whoops.

If this makes me seem arbitrarily mean, I should add that she said "only old ladies wear clear mascara." Yeah?!?

4. Today at work I dropped a ceramic bowl on my knee and it shattered. A very thick, hard ceramic bowl. Never fear! It is I, Knees of Steel!

5. I drop lines like "it is I" and "never fear" in casual conversation.

6. My hair looks excellent in the wind.

18 July, 2008

I am very weird.

I am in the BYU family history library preparing my Sunday School lesson on how to use and set up the basic computer stuff to do genealogical work. I am concerned that I am going to look like an idiot in front of everybody when something unexpected happens. And something will. That's what this life is made of. Unexpected events.

I have no problem looking like an idiot/admitting I don't know how to do something, but I hate hate hate it when people get mad at me for it. Oh well. I have some faith in the dear members of my ward. Some. And if they don't like the way I roll, they don't have to come back.

I neglected to mention that being in the Family History library on a Friday night makes me a really special kind of nerd. Now that I've gotten that out of the way ...

I have spent blog posts before talking about my name and the interesting (read: troubled) relationship I have had with it throughout my life. I hated my name as a kid, and I'm still not crazy about my last name, but it is definitely better than some of the disasters belonging to people I've met or gone to school with. Gigli. Faalisgaard. Ho. I would have to be desperately in love with the guy to put upon myself a name like any of those.

Now, I think I can say that I have come to peace with my name. I really do like it, even though most people cannot spell my name correctly to save their own lives. One of the things I like about it is that it's unique.

Uniqueness is a liability as a child, but an asset as an adult. Tonight, while I was practicing my familysearch archive-searching skills, I realized what a pain in the butt it would be to have an ancestor named "Jane Smith." Where would you begin? My dear progeny (assuming I ever have any) will have no trouble in this regard. I am thoroughly convinced I am the only me that does now or has ever existed.

My reasons?

Well, first of all, I am the only Elisa K**** on facebook. I recognize that facebook doesn't exactly draw from the entire world population, but there are a lot of freaking people on facebook.

Second of all, I googled myself. Here is what I found:

1. my blog
2. my old livejournal
3. links from my friends' blogs to mine.
4. a query by me from a family history website.
5. my time from a 5K I did last winter.
6. an essay from a contest I won my junior year of high school.
7. a random isolated list of all the girls in my freshman ward ... creepy

See what I mean? Those links are all me. It's neat but also sort of boring. And would theoretically make me a very easy target for stalking. Crud.

To further prove my point, I searched for myself on familysearch.org

206 results. All similar, but none are my name exactly. Some of those records date back to the 16 or 1700s. There's a fair heap of Elizabeth Kahlos, etc. But no Elisa K****s.

I am, for better or worse, 100% unique.

I could make a comment about not being married here but that would be overdoing it. But really, what an asset! If I ever publish a book, no other author will come up when someone searches for me. Actually that's the only asset I can think of. Besides never having to subject myself to a nickname like "fat Elisa K****" or "English major Elisa K****" to distinguish myself from all the other ones out there.

Thanks, Mom and Dad ...

14 July, 2008

Help.

There's a guy in my FHE group who's new. He's obnoxious and irritating and he really pisses me off. I will, out of loyalty to Mel, who's the ward FHE coordinator, and Aisling, who's our group leader, continue going to FHE, but this dude really drives me nuts. Intentionally. I feel like I'm in second grade all over again. What do I do?

Unacceptable answers include:

1. Assume the old adage "when a boy teases you, it means he likes you."
2. Giving him any sort of gift.

Sample scenario: he purposefully pronounces my name wrong because I told him it upsets me. He walks up to me at a ward activity and says, "Hey Eliza." Ideas for action ... or lack thereof? Maybe I'm wicked but I feel like doing the whole "getting a rise out of me means he wins" concept is untrue here because he is expecting me to just grin and bear it. Can I tell him off? Please?

35 "interesting" facts about me

1. My freshman year at BYU I dressed up like a sprite can to promote recycling in the main square of campus.
2. When I was 17 I took a belly dancing class with Cori.
3. I have a secret obsession with names. I love watching things like movie credits, just to look at the names. I also keep numerous lists of names I like and hate.
4. I am terrified of fireworks.
5. I'm a vegetarian, but I do sometimes crave meat. However, I never crave "good" meat like steak, only cheap stuff like corn dogs and chicken nuggets.
6. The only kind of hat that looks good on me is the baseball variety.
7. And yet, I think baseball is the single most boring sport ever invented.
8. I hate mini-golf.
9. I love mayonnaise.
10. One of my favorite things to do when telling stories is speak with various affected accents.
11. The two things I can honestly say I have absolutely failed at are piano and Latin.
12. My latest fantasy is to buy a houseboat and live in Puget Sound.
13. My favorite swear word is the S word.
14. I had a crush on Bill Murray as a child.
15. I hate the sound of German unless spoken by natives. So basically, I hate the sound of Americans speaking German. Which is why I didn't want to get called there.
16. I have always wanted to live in an apartment with a fire escape.
17. My favorite parts of my body are my eyes, my hands and my breasts.
18. That said, I have always wanted to be Asian. When I was a kid I used to pull my eyes back into slits in front of the mirror and hope they would stay that way.
19. I still sometimes do that.
20. I think longboarding is dumb.
21. When I was very young there was a department store Santa that worked at the mall closest to us. My mom thought he was really nice and even bought him a Christmas present one year. I was afraid of him and refused to sit in his lap. Years later, he was arrested for child sexual abuse.
22. On my mission, my journal was still mostly about boys.
23. One of my life goals is to attend a Star Trek convention.
24. The three celebrities I would want to have lunch with (political or social celebrities aside -- I'm talking straight-up famous people) are Oprah, Madonna, and Mike Doughty.
25. I still believe Michael Jackson was innocent.
26. I already have my wedding night all planned out.
27. When I was home sick with the chicken pox for a month at the age of 14, I was really bored, and spent most of my time watching either Lord of the Rings or Newsies, and researching either movie on the internet. If you've ever wondered why I know so much trivia about those two movies, that is why.
28. When I first started using deodorant, it gave me such a bad rash in my armpits that I thought I would never be able to wear it. I had to carry a bottle of aloe in my backpack to relieve the pain.
29. My favorite Spice Girl is Posh.
30. No matter what he is talking about, I cannot hear a quote from Randy L. Bott without inwardly (sometimes outwardly) wincing.
31. I google myself all the time.
32. I am positive I suffer from a mild form of trichitillomania, which is an obsessive desire to pull one's own hair out. I do it in the form of plucking obsessively.
33. I spent a brief stint working for the Howard Dean presidential campaign.
34. I chew about the same amount of gum as someone who is trying to quit smoking.
35. None of the jeans that I currently own fit me properly.

13 July, 2008

I had an awesome weekend.

And it must needs be recorded, lest I forget.

So it all began when my employer, in an act of mercy, let me off work an entire hour early because her sister was over and all the kids were just hanging out. That may not sound like much of a miracle to you, but trust me, if you knew how many hours of unpaid overtime I have put in at that house, you would understand. If any of you within the sound of my voice ever have a nanny, don't be the employer that says: "You don't mind staying another two hours today, do you?" At least, not more than once. Certainly not weekly.

So yeah, I had time to run a bunch of errands that afternoon. Which, oddly enough, I really enjoy. What does it say about me that I still find child-like satisfaction in going to the bank and depositing money in my VERY OWN BANK ACCOUNT? Or buying groceries for my VERY OWN GROWN-UP DINNER? Making payments on my VERY OWN CAR? I know! I'm ridiculous.

That night I had made plans to go out to a movie with this guy I haven't seen in forever. He had texted me that day and described where he lived, but I had tried to drive past it on my way home and couldn't find it. So I texted a mission buddy to ask for directions, and he invited me over. Which sounded like a lot more fun. I figured since the guy had asked me the day of, it couldn't have been that important that I come, yeah? So I told him there had been a change of plans, and watched Lord of the Rings in Hungarian instead.

Saturday was the day of reckoning. Because I work full-time I feel obligated to pack as much fun as I possibly can into my evenings and weekends, and this Saturday I had kinda overextended myself in the planning. But it somehow managed to turn out really well.

In the morning I drove to Antelope Island State Park with Ama and a bunch of other indie kids, because Ama has for years fantasized about floating in the Great Salt Lake, and figured her birthday was a great day to do it. So we ate cupcakes and waded into the Great Salt Lake.

TMI WARNING HERE: BOYS MIGHT WANT TO SKIP

So I was a little freaked out at the prospect of swimming in a lake that was not only salty but filled with brine shrimp. I used to keep sea monkeys in a jar on my desk when I lived in the dorms, but heck if I want any of them crawling on my body, particularly my nether regions. My great fear was that one of them would lodge in my body cavity somehow and I would end up pregnant with a brine shrimp-human hybrid. Sick! Well, that didn't happen. But when we were in the salt lake up to our waists or so, all of a sudden I doubled over in pain ... you know ... down there. I felt like my jay was ON FIRE. I imagine that was the closest I will ever come to a venereal disease. Seriously, it was awful. And I have no idea what caused it. It was throbbing for a while afterwards too, but in the shower on the premises I gave myself the most thorough scrubbing of my life, and I think I'm OK now.

MALES RESUME READING HERE. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!


So, floating in the Great Salt Lake is neat because you really do stay afloat without any effort at all. Nathan got some cool video footage of it. But I will never, ever, EVER (understand?) do it again.

I almost forgot about the spiders! I tried for the longest time to find a picture of one of the many, many spiders we saw on Antelope Island, which would do well to rename itself Big Freaky Spider Island. But to no avail. They weren't hobo spiders, and they weren't brown recluses, but I'll tell you what they were:

1. Big
2. Fuzzy
3. Freaky
4. Around 3 inches long

and yet

5. Awesome

I'm giving up for now, but more on the spider research front as things develop. I really like spiders. Especially the polite ones like these who just sit in their webs and look awesome and don't crawl on me.

Anyway, those suckers were everywhere, except the path. Which makes me think there must be some spider oral tradition about ancestors who were killed by giant brown rocks that seemed to aim for anyone who walked in the flatlands.

After a loooooong quarter shower at the park, we drove home, I dropped off my passengers, and drove straight to Celeste's bridal shower! I was quite late, but that was OK because most of the girls there were boring and brought tupperware. Celeste had explicitly (get it?) requested a kinky wedding shower, so kinky is what she got from me. Observe:


My favorite part is the dice inside. I bought her a pair of panties too, but I won't post a picture on the off chance that my brothers read this blog.

My favorite part of the afternoon was when we were all sharing our favorite embarrassing moments about Celeste.

Haley: The day Richard got back from China, I was home sick for twelve hours, and I had to knock every time I wanted to go in the living room.

Celeste: Well, I hadn't seen him in like a month!

Me, Vilja and Lori: (laughing)

Everyone else: What? I don't get it. (confused looks)

I mean, geez.

Still, it was really fun. I was just glad when everyone else left and Cel tried on the "Officer Frisky" cop outfit that Vilja, Lori and Haley had bought her. There's a a video but I think she might be mad if I posted it.

I love bridal showers.

Later that afternoon we got together for some gatorball. Good times. The weather was fine, the company was also fine (I kinda have a crush on one of Lori's friends that I met at Vilja's wedding ... he was there) and it was an all-around all-American (in an Estonian sort of way) burning of calories.

Then that night Celeste, Lori, Haley and I got dressed up all swanky and went clubbing. When I get a picture of that I'll post it.

We didn't know that the club Cel had picked was

1. 17 and up
2. targeted to an LDS audience
3. hosting Latin night

but that made the whole evening way more fun, and made us look way more swanky and way more white by comparison. Not that I'm proud of being white. But the blond among us sure got a lot of attention. Ha.

So that was my amazing weekend. Yay! I was thinking when I was trying to fall asleep last night, how could anyone ever keep up with me? I mean, I start my day going hiking with indie kids, go to a preppy girl party and eat strawberries, go play a Baltic sport with a bunch of jocks, and then go clubbing dressed as whorish as an RM can and still feel good about herself. I'm like all of the Spice Girls crammed into one crazy person.

Seriously, though, I am really grateful for my high school experience of being in a two-person clique with Cori. She and I moved around all the other cliques at school so comfortably, I have no problem finding common interest with any type of person. I don't see my Saturday as contradictory at all. Merely awesome. I wish I could find a guy who could do all that stuff with me. Dirty South dancing and rock shows? Temple trips and art museums? Running and Disney movies? Hiking and shopping?

I suppose the shopping is too much to ask. But I don't know if I'll ever find a guy that interesting. Darn it.

10 July, 2008

Some people are emotionally fat.

I have always felt sorry for children who are or were victims of neglect. I wonder what kind of parents would fail to provide their children with the basic necessities of life. Any idiot knows that babies need food, water, warmth, and attention. But I figured out something to add to my list of essentials: problems.

I know that God gives me problems because He loves me, Because life is a testing period. Because it makes me tough and even more awesome. And to be perfectly honest, I am grateful for the problems I have had. I think they have made me a stronger, more content, more compassionate person. I can identify with almost anything that a friend is going through because more often than not, I've been through it too. So most of my problems, I wouldn't take away, even if I had the option of living my life over. With the stunning exception of about three experiences in my entire life, which I won't talk about now because it would make me depressed.

My point is: I am also really grateful for the problems my parents let me have. I'm not saying I'm grateful my parents fought, or that they got divorced, and that my Dad has some weird ideas that have screwed me up for life (and no, those aren't the three experiences I was just talking about). But I'm grateful that most of the time, my parents let me do my own thing. They were old enough and smart enough to let me make mistakes, to let me have my own experiences, good and bad. Thanks to them, I had problems, and now I'm a better person.

My six year-old is only six. I know that. But the kid has led a pretty charmed life. Hasn't had a lot of problems. And thus, he thinks that everything, and I mean everything that he hasn't any experience with, is "weird" or "sucks."

Barbershop quartet in a movie? Weird.
Opera singer on Sesame Street? Sucks.
Black girl in a movie with a little afro? Weird.

Today I had enough of it, and I said, "You know, you must have a really boring life to think that so many things are weird."

It was only after I said it that I realized the magnitude of what I had said. Growing up somewhere where everything is provided for you and done for you is not only boring, it's harmful.

My employer got in a car accident this morning, and even though the car was only a little bit scratched in the front, she was completely undone. We had the following conversation:

Me: So how bad is the car, really? It doesn't look too bad.
E: No, it's awful. Come see.
(I come over to get a closer look, press my nose against the bumper, and ...)
Me: Oh. right. There are a couple scratches. (trying to make light of it) I guess that's the benefit of driving around in a tank, huh? I mean it could have been a lot worse.
E: Sigh. I guess.

It's just plain not healthy.

08 July, 2008

cool things I have done

A friend's blog had a list of interesting things. I organized them as seen below. I believe these were all things that he had done, but he might have also gotten the list from someone else.

Things I have done:

Slept under the stars
Changed a baby's diaper
Given more than I can afford to charity
Climbed a mountain
Said "I love you" and meant it
Gone to a huge sports game
Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
Had a pillow fight
Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
Ridden a roller coaster
Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
Adopted an accent for fun
Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
Felt very happy about my life, even for just a moment
Loved my job 90% of the time
Had enough money to be truly satisfied
Watched wild whales
Gone rock climbing
Sung karaoke
Lounged around in bed all day
Played in the mud
Gone to a drive-in theater
Done something I should regret, but don't
Taken a martial arts class
Made cookies from scratch
Won first prize in a costume contest
Spoken more than one language fluently
Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
Bounced a check
Read - and understood - my credit report
Found out something significant that my ancestors did
Called or written my Congress person
Been fired or laid off from a job
Won money
Eaten sushi
Changed someone's mind about something I care deeply about
Gone back to school
Taught myself an art from scratch
Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
Dyed my hair
Rocked a baby to sleep
Brought out the best in people
Brought out the worst in people
Ridden a horse
Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
Shot a basketball into a basket
Gone to an arboretum
Tutored someone
Ridden a train
Brought an old fad back into style
Lived in an historic place
Acted in a play or performed on a stage
Gone roller skating
Sang a solo
Learned how to take a compliment
Had my portrait painted
Lied about my weight
Gone on a diet
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Written a poem
Carried my lunch in a lunchbox
Gotten food poisoning
Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
Gone to the opera
Been stuck in an elevator
Had a revelatory dream
Thought I might crash in an airplane
Laughed till my side hurt
Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
Been a cashier
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
Donated blood or plasma
Built a campfire
Kept a blog
Had hives
Made a PowerPoint presentation
Served at a soup kitchen
Know CPR
Ridden in or owned a convertible
Found a long lost friend

Things I would like to do:

Touch an iceberg
Watch a meteor shower
Swim with wild dolphins
Hold a tarantula
Visit Paris
Stay up all night long and watched the sun rise
See the Northern Lights
Walk the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Grow and eat my own vegetables
Look up at the night sky through a telescope
Build a snow fort
Hold a lamb
Go skinny dipping
See a total eclipse
Go on a midnight walk on the beach
Visit Ireland
Buy a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visit India
Milk a cow
Wear a superhero costume
Go scuba diving
Kiss in the rain
Visit the Great Wall of China
Be in a movie
Get flowers for no reason
Pick up and move to another city just to start over
Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
Help an animal give birth
Ride a motorcycle
Drive any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Read The Bible cover to cover
Change your name
Read The Iliad
Be a DJ
Cook a dish where four people asked for the recipe
Go to a Broadway play
Be inside the pyramids
Dance at a disco
Ride a giraffe or elephant
Publish a book
Piece a quilt
Ask for a raise
Run a marathon
Learn to surf
Fly first class
Spend the night in a 5-star luxury suite
Fly in a helicopter
Visit Africa
Go spelunking
Write a love-story
See Michelangelo’s David
Own a St. Bernard or Great Dane
Learne to juggle
Sit on a jury
Find an arrowhead or a gold nugget
Hike the Grand Canyon
Get a letter from someone famous
Ride in a limousine
Learn to hula or waltz
Have a song dedicated to me on the radio or at a concert
Save someone’s life
Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
Straddle the equator
Send a message in a bottle
Spend the night in a hostel
Conquer the Rubik’s cube
Help solve a crime

Things I would not like to do:

Be in a hockey fight
Bungee jump
Bet on a winning horse
Take a sick day when I'm not ill
Go sky diving
Be in a combat zone
Break a bone
Have your picture in the newspaper
Get someone fired for their actions
Kill and prepare an animal for eating
Be elected to public office
Put someone you love into hospice care
Have a booth at a street fair
Drop a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours
Rake my carpet
Wear a mood ring
Bury a child
Play in a band
Shoot a bird
Eat caviar
Let a salesman talk me into something I don’t need
Make a hole-in-one
Go deep sea fishing
Write a fan letter
Spend the night in something haunted
Run away
Be a boss
Wear knickers
Attend the Olympics
Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
Eat raw whale
Join a union
Wear custom made shoes or boots
Take a Hunter’s Safety Course
Respond to a NJP newsletter

07 July, 2008

My Worst Day Ever

Today was one of those days where I was grouchy and feeling sorry for myself, and for some reason, as I was talking with my roommate Mel, it cheered me up to tell her about things I really really hate. It was cathartic to realize that there are things on God's good earth that I will never, ever, like, and thus, can avoid with some degree of certainty. I made a list, but to make it more interesting, I thought I would combine said list into a theoretical "Worst Day ever." I'm going to make the whole day a date, because although I don't technically hate dating, it is not on my list of favorite things to do. Not even close to the top.

My worst day ever.

I get up to an obnoxious beeping alarm clock with the grungy feeling you get when you sleep somewhere unfamiliar and in an uncomfortable position; and feeling sick like I do when I don't get enough sleep. I don't have time to shower away my headache and stuffy nose. I skip breakfast and head out with Yucky Boy for a morning hunt. By the time we get back everything I own smells like campfire. Again, no time to shower. We snack on bacon while playing several rounds of Malarky, the worst board game ever invented. Then we inexplicably drive over to the fair and ride on the fun house, which has lots of mirrors and assorted creepy items, all to the music of Sum 41. We don't go on any other rides. Then Yucky Boy decides he's hungry so we go to McDonald's. There, we are surrounded by simpering couples who shriek at each other even though their partner is within normal hearing range. All conversation takes the form of whining, and every woman there has visible panties. Next, we head over to Spokane, Washington (pretend it's close by) and set off fireworks in a dry field. Yucky boy brings water for us to drink, but it's warm. Afterwards, we go swing dancing in a hick bar where I don't know anyone. Several men grab my chest. Yucky Boy pretends not to notice. I try to take solace in the bathroom but the line is too long. When he finally notices I am not enjoying myself, we head home and watch Rocky on an uncomfortable couch with no back cushions. Movie snacks are pork rinds, Lays potato chips, and buttered popcorn jelly bellies. Yucky Boy tries to kiss me, but has horrid breath. I go home, and wish I were dead, but at least know that no worse day could exist for me personally, so at least I got it over with fairly early on in life.

Wow. I feel so much better now.

Darth Vader Quotes

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Andy Warhol Art of the Day