Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Not even if my life depended on it.

I'm terrible at explaining things. Well actually, 'hopeless' is rather a better word for it, or maybe 'wretched,' or 'defective.' Okay, maybe not 'defective,' but still, it's a pretty darn bad situation.

That's why I'm standing here in front of this firing squad, actually.

Somebody asked me to explain exactly how you go about adding on to an order that has been sent down to shipping, boxed up & put into the UPS computer without having the shipping department hunt you down and pummel you in a dark alley. And, I said, "You know, you really don't want me to explain that to you. I'm terrible at explaining. Defective even. (Well, maybe not defective.) I probably couldn't explain it to you even if my life depended on it." Which it didn't of course, not at that point.

But the truth is that the avoidance of explaining something is actually considered a crime in the small homey city where I work, and, to my chagrin, the person that I refused to explain the, er, above situation to, happened to be an undercover cop working to root out the explainingophobes among us, of which I, apparently, am one. *Reels from the dizziness of that last sentence*

So, here I stand, cigarette clenched firmly in my teeth. (I didn't ask for it. They just kind of stuck it there.)

Of course, I tried to explain to the police, and the jury, and the judge, that the reason why I didn't want to explain the tricky late add-on procedure was that I was really, really bad at explaining stuff, but of course, I couldn't really get them to see my point of view. As a matter of fact, by the time I was done with my explanation, I had so wrapped myself up in verbal mishmash that I had a hard time seeing my point of view myself.

I've decided I don't like the taste of cigarettes. Fortunately, the unnecessarily tight binding of my wrists together does not preclude me from spitting this cigarette as far from me as possible. Ah. If only I could spit myself away from those steely-eyed young men who face me & stare me down as though they had the power of life & death over me. Er, well... I suppose they do.

So, Why, you may ask, and ask it rightly. Why does she have to suffer capital punishment, by firing squad, no less, for the simple crime of refusing to explain something to somebody else? And who came up with that law, anyway?!? It's a stupid law. I've never heard of a law like that before in all my days. I just don't know what this world is coming to...

Well, the truth is, I would try to outline the reasons for you, but as I've mentioned before, I'm


(Pam, I'll get to calendars next post. That is, er, if I can staunch the bleeding...)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Some of you may be wondering...

I already know I'm going to hate myself in the morning for doing this. I'm supposed to be up at my sister's house in West Jordan by 9:00am tomorrow morning, so with prep time & drive time, I'll need to be up by about 6:30. On a Saturday. (I believe this may be a crime in some countries.)

But, I wanted to take a moment to explain to you, my faithful readers, why exactly I keep posting pictures of flowers in my blog. You probably already noticed, but I threw another one in, by the way. This one I played with a little. Using The Gimp. (Hurrah for free software!)

Okay. So, you really shouldn't be wondering too hard about this one. I mean, there's no deep philosophical reason why I keep uploading pictures of flowers. The truth is, I just have a lot of flower pictures that I like. And, I think that a blog that consists entirely of text is really boring. And also, I feel that it would be dangerous to post too many pics of people. Particularly if I also list their names. And birthdates. And social security numbers.

These are bad ideas in a blog.

So, back to pictures.

Last summer, was late summer, I finally decided to take my (then) new digital camera on a whirlwind morning excursion that consisted of Beth-figuring-out-how-to-take-reasonably-okay-pictures type of activites. Which excursion was relatively successful. Successful because I got some seriously not-so-bad pictures of flowers, (I found out that my camera has a really, really nice very-close-up type of shooting mode), and relatively because all of the landscape shots I tried to take invariably turned out awful.

I may post some later to prove it.

But, I do have some nice flower pics to show for the day, and I like them well enough to post them here, to liven up my blog a little. Because, if you didn't have the flowers to distract your attention while reading my ramblings, you would invariable notice all the horrible writing that comes out of my keyboard. Which, once you're duly hypnotized by said flowers, suddenly looks remarkably like good writing.

Kind of like a druk person not noticing that the guy he's trying to pick a fight with is 6'10" and weighs 300+ pounds.

Well. At least I'm doing it in self defense. So there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Personal History of Valentine's Day

It used to be that when a day like Valentine's Day rolled around (i.e. a day that wallowed in its own gooey ickiness) I used to wallow myself. Usually in a dark room, listening to some sort of depressing music.

Usually I'd spend nights like that remembering, or not remembering, as the mood struck me. But, more often than not, if I remembered, I would remember in a litany--a rosary prayer running through all the lost loves of my life.

I'd start in kindergarten, with that blond-haired firstgrader that I wrote an "I love you" note to, move rapidly through junior high & into the high school years...Travis from seminary, Matt, Dan (Dan I would spend some time on), Jason... It was a litany of loss, it was me focusing on pain, on what I didn't have.

It's strange, but I don't seem to do that anymore. It's not that I've suddenly gained the things that I longed for then--I haven't. I'm still single, and rather overwhelmingly likely to remain so for some time. I don't even think I'm necessarily happier than I was then. I really spend no time at all wandering around in a rosey cloud of joy.

I wonder if I'm just better at distracting myself now. I have easy access to the tv, a laptop with high-speed internet, and my own little mini library to lose myself in. Whenever I feel a spout of pain coming on, do I switch on my computer? Watch an amusing but rather soulless flash cartoon? Grab the latest escapist novel I've purchased from Amazon?

Or maybe, I just don't allow myself to grieve anymore. I'm embarrassed when I'm miserable, as if I don't have any right to be unhappy--as if I know better. And maybe I do. Maybe I realize that, as lonely and unfulfilled as life can be, I'm still okay. I'm way better off than the child in India who works all day in a sweat-shop and comes home at night to a mat in the street. I'm better off than the girl who lives her life at the end of a needle, or under the bottom of a shot glass.

I guess the answer is, I don't know. I think it's a mixture of all of the above. Fill in the bubble for answer "D." Or maybe "E" for 'unknown.' (Man, I've taken too many standardized tests.) I suppose I'm only writing about this because I'm kind of amazed to find myself here, on Valentine's Day, still sitting upright in a relatively well-lit room, eyes & cheeks completely dry, and the only music playing in the background the soundtrack to some tv show my sister's watching in the kitchen. I don't even think I've eaten chocolate today...

And that, more than anything else, really shows me how much I've changed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No, I'm not, actually.

Um, just so you guys know, (yes, all of you who are currently crouching in the corners of your room, shivering with fear, wondering what horrible self-truths I will reveal in this blog), I'm not depressed.

I don't know if you thought that I was, but I suspect that it may have crossed some of your minds, but I want you to know that you're wrong.

I'm not depressed.

I'm actually quite content. Well, content is perhaps too strong a word. But I am reasonably accustomed to my life, and to its challenges, and really, in mortality, isn't that the most we can ask for? So, I'm not depressed.

Let's all say it together: "I'm not depressed." Er, except, you should say, "She's not depressed," and I'll say, "I'm not depressed," except that we'll all say it at the same time so that it sounds like a jumble of "I'masetshesstnotttdepressedsteChristopherColumbus."

Good. Now you don't have to be afraid to post a comment anymore.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

So What's Real Anyway?

The funny thing with being depressed is that you feel like, finally, you're facing things as they really are. (Or not facing them, as the case may be.) You've come to the realization that life really does stink--tremendously--and that the reality of existence is pain.

While depression doesn't usually last that long, when you're on the opposite end of things, (i.e. you're happy), you still have this niggling feeling underneath the surface that you're not really looking life full in the face, that you're brushing over the negative aspects of life just so you can get through the day. Maybe there's even some truth to that. Maybe being happy isn't so much seeing the positive things in life as it is ignoring the negative things in life... At least, maybe that's the happiness that most people have.

However, I don't think that this is the way that God is happy. (And Pam, I know we kind of did this conversation in email a few weeks back--I'm just rehashing it here. Hope you don't mind.)

God is happy in the face of all misery and all joy. Sometimes I wonder how that's possible. Maybe it's because that, while he sees all the sorrow & suffering & sin that exist on the earth, he also recognizes & revels with us in our joy, and in our goodness. Or maybe it's something more than that. I know He feels sorrow too, but I wonder if it's that eternal perspective He has, that He can really see that good does outweigh evil, that it really is triumphant in the end.

Bother. I really shouldn't be trying to philosophize at 10:30 at night, especially when I have a headache, and I don't even know why I'm writing about this, except that I was thinking about this today, and I wanted to put my thoughts out there, where you guys read it. Thanks, as always, for taking a moment to read my meanderings.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An early "Happy Groundhog Day" to you too!

Okay--this post is just for fun. As my family sat together this past Monday during FHE, my mom mentioned that my brother Peter's "Hump Day" (or half-way mark to you uninitiated) for his mission was February 2nd (tomorrow). So, as part of our family discussion, we decided to send him a little something to commemorate.

Attached is what we did. (Well, I did the drawing, and my mom wrote the words. Yep.)

So, it's not deep, and it's not profound, and it certainly won't change your life for the better, but I hope you enjoy the pic at least a little.

(By the way, I think if you click on the image, it'll make it larger, so you'll be able to see the fine details of this near-masterpiece.)

Er. Yah. Hope you likes it.