31 March, 2010

I'm so bad I scare myself.

Fact: vintage celebrities are cooler than almost all modern female celebrities.

I just love this poster so much.

She, too, is an original badass. I stand all amazed.

25 March, 2010

More 2010 Books

Touts itself as a collection of short stories but then eventually you figure out that EVERYTHING IS INTERRELATED. This was like a juicy piece of fruit for my mind. I love Margaret Atwood, though until this book I was only familiar with her poetry.

I had an elaborate plan all worked out in which I was to track down David Foster Wallace, profess my undying devotion to him, and live happily ever after. Two agoraphobes, together at last. And then what does he do? This book is possibly my favorite David Foster Wallace piece. And that is saying a lot because everything he has ever written is so brilliant there is no one word sufficient to describe it.

Even better than anticipated. Cry cry cry. Totally deserved the Pulitzer. The end.

Shout out to Janssen for the review that got me interested. This was a very interesting read, which detailed how most of the world's greatest success stories can be attributed not only to innate talent and hard work, but also sheer luck/destiny. Like being born at a certain time of year. Of attending a certain private school that had its own computer decades before any other kid had unlimited access to one (Bill Gates). Managed to balance being respectful of amazing talents like the Beatles who worked their asses off to get where they did, while also acknowledging the hand of God (indirectly) in their success.

Seriously, David Foster Wallace. You broke my heart. I loved you. It was the real thing.

I was really excited about reading this book (a memoir of the voice actress who created Bart Simpson) and although I enjoyed reading about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff because anyone who knows me knows I am a DIE HARD WOMB TO TOMB Simpsons fan, the book itself was one of the most self-serving, obnoxious memoirs I have ever read. The entire book is pretty much Cartwright gushing about how great she is and how so many famous people think she is the bee's knees. Insecure, sycophantic, SELF-PUBLISHED. 'Nuff said.

This book was EVEN SADDER THAN THE ROAD. It ripped my heart in half and then only kinda put it back together. I will definitely never see the film this novel led to, because it would probably make me so sad I would cry and forget to breathe and die.

I love David Sedaris' sweet little voice on NPR. This was really funny. I think I have been meaning to read it since I was in high school. David Sedaris is one of those really neurotic people that is so ridiculous you can't help but love him. Like Woody Allen before he turned all creepy.

Super good, lesser-known Lois Lowry book. Different from her other works in that it's a fantasy book: not sci-fi, not dystopian allegory, but straight-up fantasy. Made me cry--mostly because it was about a little boy in foster care (sniff). Made me want to be a foster parent. You, know, more than usual.

24 March, 2010

This will explain a lot.

Anyone who is close to me has probably noticed that I fret about my friends' health and safety like a neurotic mother hen. Many people assume that I will be one of those overprotective mothers who won't let her children cross the street until college. I hope this will not be the case.

I like to think that I am only rattled by situations that are a genuine cause for concern. Real health hazards instead of imaginary ones. I mean, I let D jump on the couch, so I can be too bad, right?

Don't answer that.

I blame my father for my constant worrying about safety. The following conversation will illustrate why.

Scene: I have just gotten home from the dog park and am making some lunch. My dad comes downstairs from the attic.

Dad: I need your help installing some insulation.
Me: OK. Right now? I'd like to eat something first.
Dad: No, in a few minutes. I'm taking a break. (starts rubbing his eye)
Me: Is your eye OK?
Dad: Just some dust.
Me: (putting two and two together) Have you been wearing goggles?
Dad: I don't know where they are.
Me: What the hell? I am NOT helping you up there without goggles.
Dad: Oh, it's just dust!
Dad: You'll be fine!
Me: I am not risking getting fiberglass in my eye. No. Goggles. Where are they?

So he proceeded to find me some goggles, all the while grumbling about what a "baby" I am.


This is why I am deeply concerned about the physical welfare abut everyone who is dear to me. Because apparently my own father is cool with me installing insulation without regulation safety equipment. I mean GEEZ.

22 March, 2010

Being a spider is a tough break.

Longtime followers of my blog will recall that I have an unnatural affinity with bugs. I believe it can be traced at least in part to this song from the film Summer Magic.

I identified with this song as a child. And I really like bugs. I like watching them, though depending on the bug, I don't always like them crawling on me. Caterpillars, potato bugs, stick bugs, yes. Spiders, no. However, I make every effort to capture spiders and take them outside when I find them in the house. It seems like the right thing to do.

So today my employer went up into the attic and brought down one of those jumping activity centers for C, because she is four months old and has long legs and needs to exercise them.

Like this, except with a less creepy baby.

Anyway, so this activity center has been in the attic for a least a year, right? So of course, it has become home to a spider. A very industrious one, I might add.

I have decided his name is probably something like Bernard.

That white and green bulbous thing is his home. So picture this. You're a spider, hanging out in your incredibly comfortable home, when suddenly someone PICKS UP YOUR HOUSE AND MOVES YOU INTO A BRIGHT, LOUD PLACE AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

Suddenly poor Bernard is subject to the following new stimuli:

  • Direct sunlight
  • The sound of a baby crying
  • The sound of the toddler and various adults talking
  • Music (today was Beach Boys and Billy Joel)
  • Various crashes resulting from aforementioned toddler
  • The terrifying electronic "music" emanating from this and other toys
Do you see why today was maybe the worst day of Bernard's life? Apparently most spiders live approximately one year, too. At least this wasn't his only chance to have a good day. At least he wasn't a gnat.

Anyway, so I felt really really sorry for this spider and decided I wanted to give him a leg up. Figuratively speaking. I don my water glass and postcard and attempt to remove Bernard to a better place.

Nothing doing. This is what happens when I come too near.

It was kind of adorable but also really, really sad. Because I wanted to help him, but he made it impossible.

This is not a metaphor.

19 March, 2010

It's the little things...

Today was one of those really long days at work--not so much because it was Friday, but because C spit up on me three times and is teething and D is going through a "throwing food from her high chair" phase and I was just kind of annoyed. Oh well. However, this little moment made it all worthwhile. Maybe.

Note: D is no longer breastfed. She sees her mom nursing C all the time, which is probably the source of this conversation.
Scene: I am standing next to D, age 2.

D: (gesticulating wildly, which usually indicates she wants to be picked up) Hey! Hey!
Me: Hey? (I lean over to pick her up)
D: (GRABS my boobs, one in each hand, like a frat boy) Milk! MILK!!
Me: Uh...no, there's no milk in there.
D: (insistently) Milk!!!
Me: Nope. No milk. Only Mommy has milk. Not Elisa.
D: (looks utterly flabbergasted) No milk? (Her hands have not yet left my breasts)
Me: Nope.
D: (Grabs my shirt and struggles to lift it up, presumably to see for herself if what I say is true) Wanna see! Wanna see!


16 March, 2010

In the past three years

I have twice dreamt about being mauled by a bear. In both of these dreams, the bear ripped my stomach open and I lay there, dying while holding my insides in with my hands. The first time I had this dream I believe I was alone, the second I was with some friends--the same friends with whom I had gone backpacking a few months prior. They expressed sadness that I had been mauled by a bear, and I took comfort in their friendship in my last moments. I mentioned these dreams offhand to my father a few days ago, and he expressed concern about my psychic balance. But he's kind of a paranoid guy who believes in astrology, so let's disregard his opinion for now and consult Dr. Google.

According to the VERY legit-seeming website dreammoods.com, my dream signifies change and a need to be more open with others.

"To see a bear in your dream, symbolizes independence, the cycle of life, death and renewal. It may signal of period of introspection and thinking. The dream may also be a pun on 'bare'. Perhaps you need to bare your soul and let everything out into the open.To dream that you are being pursued or attacked by a bear, denotes aggression, overwhelming obstacles and competition. You may find yourself in a threatening situation."

Baring my soul. Intriguing. Let's see what other experts have to say.

dreaminterpretationsguide.com warns (note: grammatical errors direct from the originals):

"Bear is significant of overwhelming competition in pursuits of every kind. To kill a bear, portends extrication from former entanglements. A young woman who dreams of a bear will have a threatening rival or some misfortune."

A young woman? Oh no!! That's me! Misfortune, eh? Yes, being mauled by a bear is quite unfortunate. That's the connection. The Internet knows my heart.

thecuriousdreamer.com opines that dreaming about a bear represents

"Power, or a power imbalance. The use of power, such as in aggression or protection. Dreaming of this animal can represent:

  • Having too much of one of these qualities, or that you could benefit by being less this way
  • Not having enough of one of these qualities, or that you could benefit by being more like this
  • Someone or something in your real life with whom you associate one of these qualities (an event, situation, threat, etc.)"

This one, however, is by far my favorite. From dreamota.com:

"Because they hibernate, bears can symbolize cycles; birth death awakening motif; power or overpowering (the big as bear); your own cyclic activity or abilities. Is it time for your to awaken into activity, or to hibernate and renew your energy? [Note: yes, definitely!] Mythologically, bears represent mothering, the archetype of the Great Bear. In Greek mythology the bear is associated with Artemis (Roman, Diana) goddess of the moon and woods (fertility and the unconscious), and was associated with the Virgin Mary in medieval writings. Bearskins have protective and magical power, hence the fearless Nordic warriors, were originally known as 'bearsarks' because of their bearskin shirts.

What bearish aspect of yourself do you need to recognize? As pun, it can refer to something that is 'hard to bear'; an overbearing person; a need to bare yourself of your soul (truth/lies)? See also: other animals, naked/ being naked."

The last line there was my absolute favorite. Of course anything I would dream about would eventually end up relating to being naked.

Don't worry, paranormality.com is a harmless little website, which states that

"Bear is significant of overwhelming competition in pursuits of every kind. To kill a bear, portends extrication from former entanglements. A young woman who dreams of a bear will have a threatening rival or some misfortune."

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Doesn't that sound familiar? INTERNET DREAM DICTIONARY PLAGIARISM!!!!! Is nothing sacred????

From sleeps.com, this jewel of wisdom.

"If a bear is pursuing you in your dream this is a sign that you will experience some financial losses in business. A bear also represents a rival you may have for your loved one, if the bear is seen to be climbing, then the outcome will be in your favor."

As far as I can recall, that bear didn't do no climbing. Just mauling. Of me.

And lastly, dream-analysis.com chimes in that a dream about a bear portends an issue with the "Digestive system, colon."

And those are just the results from the first page! There were over 2.5 million hits in all!! Think of what I could learn about myself if I had that kind of time!!!

To review, I should prepare for the following misfortunes:

  1. A generically threatening situation and/or generalized misfortune.
  2. A threatening rival, particularly for a loved one.
  3. Financial losses.
  4. Issues with my colon.
Also, I should consider:

  1. Being more introspective.
  2. Baring my soul/letting everything out in the open.
  3. Whether I need to be either more or less aggressive in my life.
  4. Hibernating? Oh, I am so in.
  5. Buying this pill to make my nightly dreaming even more interesting. Although couldn't I do that with drugs, for free? Oh who am I kidding. Drugs aren't free!
  6. How I might be similar to a bear and how that aspect of myself is "tearing me apart."
Making this clip from the cinematic masterpiece "The Room" even more relevant to my life.
If you squint with your ears, it sounds just like my name.

In short, I have decided I have no need to ever see a therapist, ever. Dr. Google is all I will ever need.

Additionally, if I ever do get attacked by a bear, let's hope it's by this little darling.

Holy adorableness, Batman. You can rip me open with those precious little claws any old day.

15 March, 2010

On Love. All kinds.

I love this song. I love her hair.

I don't always like the feeling she is singing about.

Loving people is scary. It hurts way too much of the time. Often it makes me wish I had no feelings. Today I watched a video of the song that dear Colin Hatch wrote for one Gregory Vann's birthday, and I began to miss my friends in Utah so much that I started shaking.

Hate it hate it hate it.

Damn you, Southwest, you won't be holding onto those cancelled tickets for long.

13 March, 2010

I LOVE YOU DAVID aka "We're either siblings, or friends who look nothing alike."

Here are the ingredients for a delightful evening.



Local soda. Flavors: lemongrass, grape, root beer, and other.

Pigs in Blankets.*

*Mine are vegetarian. Please note that I marked mine with green food coloring to distinguish them from David's all-beef kosher franks. They look alike when cooked. Everyone in my family says that veggie hot dogs are vile, but I like them. They remind me of the nitrate-y taste of cheap meat that I love so much.



In my opinion, David and Christina should move to Seattle, pronto. That way almost everyone I loved could be in the same city. That's what I think.

09 March, 2010

This Morning.

This morning I woke up with this song inexplicably in my head.

Such a catchy theme song, yes? Such a funny show. I don't know what it means that it came to my head this morning, though. A sign? Should I go to Philadelphia? Visit some extended relatives? Should I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?

Also, I've been thinking about this little lady.

Kathryn Bigelow is TOTS bad-ass. Also, I like to think of her Oscar victory as vindication for spurned women everywhere. Her ex-husband made a movie with more time, more money, more resources and STILL lost out to her. She didn't even rub it in his face, either. A triumph, overall. If it were me I think I would have been more like "SUCK ITTTTTTT."

My car is getting valuated tomorrow by Ryan. Keep your fingers crossed that he cuts me a decent deal and I don't have to end up driving one of these. I hear they explode in the event of a rear end collision. Though I suppose that would be not without its motivational benefits. I'm Captain Safety from here on out either way, guys.

07 March, 2010

You blew up my car. I LOVED that car.

Once upon a time I was working full-time as a nanny. I had just gotten back from my mission and I was deeply unhappy. My days were spent commuting in the snow, taking care of children and sitting in my room. I had no friends. This is starting to sound a lot more pathetic than it actually was, for although I was lonely and sad most of the time, that kind of solitude only makes one more appreciative of all the things one can do alone. I started working in the temple. I went for runs. Nobody pulled me out of that darkness. I pulled myself out. Then, fortunately, I made some of the best friends I have ever had, and that was incredible.

During the course of my pulling-myself-from-abyss time, I decided I wanted to buy a car. This is harder than it sounds when one is working off the books and lived in a foreign country without employment for the previous year or so. I talked to some people and they were sympathetic but ultimately unhelpful. I remember the following evening well. It was a weekday and I decided to pray about buying a car, which probably sounds ridiculous. Whatever. I totally did it anyway.

The prayer went a little something like this. It will sound quite casual and perhaps irreverent to your ears, but that's just how I pray.

"Hey, God. So I've been thinking I want to buy a car. I'm working now and I definitely think I can afford it. My commute is currently an hour and a half both ways and if I were to get a car it would probably only be about ten minutes. That would save me a lot of time and I have better things to do. At least, I'm pretty sure I do. Also, I promise if I had a car I would use it to serve others. I think people other than just me would benefit. And I could drive to church when the rest of my house is ready to leave and I am not instead of just staying home. Essentially, we would all win if I had a car. I have no idea how this could possibly happen since apparently I don't qualify for like a loan or anything because of my mission--thanks a lot for that, by the way ... just kidding!!! Anyway, I feel this would be a good thing but I can't make it happen on my own. Thanks for listening."

I kid you not, the NEXT DAY my father called me and said that my godmother was looking to sell her old car, and would I be interested in buying her old Kia?


This solidified my belief that God listens to my prayers even though the things I say are often kind of stupid. This probably also explains why I frequently offered to lend my car to friends in need. It was part of the bargain.

My godmother smokes several packs a day, and I don't think my car ever REALLY stopped smelling like cigarettes. My friends claimed that they didn't notice, but I think they were just being kind. Also, another previous owner was a pothead who had driven the car into the ocean (true story) and so the engine had some pretty bizarre salt-water damage, which is worse than regular water damage. I spilled a big thing of grape juice on the passenger seat when I was trying to drive to a party for the kids in my Middle English class with the dog in the car (bad idea). And I scraped the passenger door pretty badly when I tried to back into the narrow driveway at my first house. I was out of practice, having not driven in several years + being blind in one eye has always made me a poor judge of distance.

However, this car was paid off by me. I OWNED it. It was the first grown-up thing of value that I actually owned. Which was a crazy feeling. I assumed that I would drive it until it died, or until I decided to move somewhere where owning a car would be practical, such as New York City, or anywhere abroad. Although it was a depreciating asset, I had an ASSET, for crying out loud. So even though it was kinda musty and full of dog hair and such, I did love that car.

And I suppose, technically, one could argue that I did in fact drive it until it died.

Poor baby car.

I don't remember exactly what happened. What I can remember is that I was driving my car on northbound I-5, and I looked down for a split second, then I looked up again, and there was a car right in front of me that appeared to be stopped. I later learned that it wasn't stopped, but that's physics for you. Anyway, there was a loud crash and then I heard nothing, and then through the smoke I saw the car in front of me drive away (in my shock, I thought that was because his car was completely undamaged, which of course wasn't true). I sat there for a minute and stared at my smoking hood, realizing that there was no way I would be able to drive my car even to the side of the road. So I reached for my phone and dialed 9-1-1.

Apparently, it's a big unusual to report your own accident, presumably because most people are either too injured or too disoriented to call anyone. Or they can't locate their phones. I thought about calling my dad after I got off the phone with the 911 operator, but that's a phone call nobody wants to make. "Hey, parents? I just crashed my car on the highway and I'm waiting for the ambulance to take me to the ER. There's not really anything you do at this point, though. Bye!" So I just sat there and waited and thought to myself, shit. My car is broken. And I crashed my car like a stupid teenager. This is so humiliating. And then I cried.

I did not cry because I was grateful to be alive. I want to make that perfectly clear. I cried because I had owned something that made me an adult and then ruined it in a very un-adult fashion. And because I was embarrassed. I really don't think I have ever felt so stupid. I should note, though, one thing I did that was not stupid was turn on my emergency flashers. Even though they were on, it is an absolute miracle that nobody hit me from behind while I was waiting for the ambulance to come.

An ambulance came. The EMT was about my age and asked if I knew what year it was. Then she asked who the president was. I laughed. A state trooper opened my passenger side door and asked me some more questions. Someone else strapped a neckbrace to my head. A firefighter asked if I had any allergies, seizures, blackouts, did I use drugs, was I on any medication. No, no, no. Just an idiot. They wouldn't let me walk to the ambulance. I had to be carried on one of those board things. Another firefighter taped my hair to the board.

In the back of the ambulance it was just me and the EMT who arrived first and asked me what year it was. A state trooper stepped in and informed me they would be issuing me a ticket. I almost said something rude but I held my tongue. We drove to Harborview without any sirens. While we were in route to the hospital, I started laughing hysterically, then crying again. It must have been kind of unnerving. The EMT kept telling me to take deep breaths, which was a bummer for her because I almost always hyperventilate when I cry. She put me on oxygen.

Triage at Harborview is always really crazy. I lay on the stretcher in the waiting room and signed consent forms. One of them asked about what religion I was. Then the rolled me into another room with some other people who also looked like they had been in car accidents. Lots of doctors. They kept poking me and asking me to evaluate my pain level on a scale of one to ten. Apparently, if I had exaggerated just a tiny bit, I could have gotten some cool narcotics. Oh well.

By this time I had figured out that I probably wasn't hurt very badly and I just wanted to go home. Oh yeah, and I called my dad from the bed. I had always thought that cell phone usage was forbidden inside hospitals. Not true! Anyway, they put me on an IV and did a bunch of CAT scans and X-rays. It wasn't painful except (TMI) after the IV was in for a while I had to pee really badly and learned how to use a bedpan. That was cool. Also, (MAJOR TOTAL TMI) did you know that one of the ways they determine whether there is any paralysis in the lower back is through a rectal exam? It's true.

They put some morphine into my IV and suddenly, I was very very grateful to be alive. I realized that had there just been a few more inches of intrusion into the car or if my airbag hadn't deployed properly, or if someone behind me had been as spacey as I had been, I would almost certainly be dead. What would have happened if I had died? I ruminated. It would have been sort of anticlimactic, I think. I haven't even done anything cool. But maybe the Dead Girl's Blog would have been published. That would be neat. But my parents would have cleaned out my room and found a lot of embarrassing things. These were my actual thoughts.

I don't think I need to be the one to tell you that the damage is irreparable. The damage to my car, that is. My body is surprisingly fine. Some bruises and soreness, but overall alive, well, un-paralyzed. Apparently I am some degree of invincible, because I got into a serious car accident on the highway and I DIDN'T DIE. Of course, one never knows when one has fulfilled all of one's destiny and can safely die in a fiery car crash, so I won't be pushing the "Invincible Elisa" thing too far, I promise you.

In case you were wondering, I talked to the guy I hit on Friday, and he is fine. He didn't even have to go to the hospital. His car is totaled as well, though his damage wasn't nearly as bad (it was an SUV, but an older one). He was gracious and understanding and my insurance seems to be taking pretty good care of him. Additionally, I am very grateful that his kids weren't in the back of the car on Thursday. I would never have forgiven myself for that.

I hate to reference specific companies on my blog because I don't receive revenue from anyone, but indulge me in saying that the people at Geico have been extremely kind, helpful and understanding. They are covering my medical expenses and giving me a small amount of money for a new crappy car. Bless their corporate hearts.

It's great to be alive, you guys.

This song is only sort of related. I just really like it.

03 March, 2010

On Secrets, or, Look! Words Again!

Please note, it didn't take that long for me to return to the medium with which I am the most comfortable. Which is writing, in case that wasn't clear. However, sharing links of other people's writing is another one of my talents, as you can see below.

Here is what I have been thinking about lately. It has always cracked me up a little bit how alarmist humans can be about new technologies. Every time we come up with a new medium of self-expression, someone out there will insist that THIS will be the downfall of educated communication, that it will overload the human brain to the point of non-functioning. They said that Instant Messaging would ruin our ability to spell (LOL!), they said that the Internet would make us all hyper-reliant on Google, eventually making any and all information retention impossible. I scoff at this. We all scoff at this. Folks in the Middle Ages worried that the printing press would make us stupid, and I think we can all agree that its invention arguably made us all smarter. Do I say this because I love books? I really do love books.

Perhaps it is because of this article in the most recent Ensign that I am pondering this. I agree with what the article says about personal revelation, for the record. I just don't think technology should be solely to blame for that fact that lots of people don't know how to listen anymore. Another reason why this is on my mind, perhaps, is this article which prematurely mourns the fact that as we transition from bound books to electronic books such as found on the Kindle and iPad (worst product name ever!!!!!) we will lose the ability to glance into someone's heart and soul by noting the books on their bookshelves. I do enjoy doing that, but I'm sure we will find different ways to make voyeuristic assumptions about people as times change, so never fear.

This has led me to ponder on the idea of secrets. I like the fact that people can look on my bookshelves and learn quite a bit about me, but only in certain sections of my shelves. I have the requisite classics and poetry books, a lot of books about social justice, art, vegetarianism, politics, etc. Which is all well and good. However, I also have embarrassing YA novels from my teen years and an alarming collection of baby name books. I keep the latter in a box underneath my bed, where normal people hide porn.

That was a secret, and yet I just shared it with the Internet! Here is one of the strangest things about living in the times that we do, in my opinion: fewer secrets. I was talking to the Pearce sisters (whom I love and adore, BTW) about this the other night: because of my personality and the nature of the friendships I usually have (I tend to have several extremely close friends and a wider circle of much more minor acquaintances) I don't think there is anything in my life, any thought or neurosis or experience, that I haven't shared with at least one person, no matter how awkward or humiliating. I think this is healthy, for the record, but also sort of strange. Because of social networking, blogging, texting, email, gchat, et al. if I have something to share, it is highly likely that I will share it somewhere.

What, then, if I have something to get off my chest that I don't want to (or am afraid to) share with anyone? The options are limited: protected file on computer. Old fashioned diary with lock (which are, incidentally, dumbfoundingly easy to pick). Anonymous website, this being one of my favorites, although I don't think I am impish enough to write anything similar. Or you can send a postcard into this ongoing project. Other than that, you got nothing. Oddly enough though, part of me feels that sharing a secret in a forum where I know it will never be connected with me feels like it still wouldn't get it off my chest. Why is that, do you think?

Did you only finish reading this blog entry because you thought I was going to share my secret at the very end? Well, I'm not. Sucker.

02 March, 2010

What I'm Listening to and Thinking About

I promise that very soon I will actually write stuff instead of just posting videos and such. Until then....

These are some songs I really like.

At first I thought this was a music video (in COLOR!) then I realized it wasn't.

Another old school song that I have been listening to lately, though it is not quite as old school as Sam Cooke, is this.

And then there is this. I love how it changes moods right in the middle.

Also, I really want to go to this. Does anyone want to come?

Alternatively, if this is more your style, I am looking for someone to accompany me to this event as well.

Darth Vader Quotes

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Andy Warhol Art of the Day