Thursday, August 31, 2006
My nephew has fingernails. They're lovely. And so is he.
My little sister's little baby was born this morning, probably while I was on the phone with that one customer with the broken ribbon container, weighing in at a hefty 8lbs, 11 oz. He's 21 inches long and apparently has a conical head at the moment which, considering his last 12 hours or so, is hardly surprising.
We're just about to go meet him, so I have to be brief...
But I'm happy. Really, really happy.
Today, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, my windshield-wiper problem was fixed. For those of you familiar with my 'sweet ride' (a '96 Geo Prism I affectionately call "The Jade Bullet" or Jade for short) you know I've been dealing with this unfortunate issue for...well for years, actually. The wipers turned on just fine. They sprung into action with remarkable alacrity, beating back & forth in regular tempo, attuned to the very beating of my heart.
Alas, despite their evident usefulness and eagerness the wipers refused to turn off. It was like having a guest in the house whom you love dearly but who has stayed for weeks & weeks and has eaten all of your peanut butter. Yes. Indeed, it was like that. For behold, the wipers would wipe all of those pesky raindrops from the windshield (i.e. do their job) but then continued to wipe and wipe and wipe and wipe long after the last drop had disappeared from the glass, and the sound of rubber grating on dry windshield is not a pleasant noise, especially when extended for miles & miles & miles.
I'd have to turn the dang car OFF in order to get the stupid things to stop swiping, and even then if I turned the car off when the wipers were in any position but the just-barely-hit-the-bottom-of-their-sweep-and-were-immediately-about-to-start-upward-again position, the wipers would continue their inevitable course over the surface of my windshield when I turned the car on again.
It was fun.
Oh, wait. No it wasn't.
But it gave my car character. Oh, how it gave the car character. I could tell fond stories of having to pull off the freeway into an empty parking lot, turn off the car, restart it & pull back onto the freeway, only to have intermittent rain hit AGAIN less than 5 minutes later. And stop again after about a minute.
So today, when I climbed back into my car after (fiiiiinally) getting the wiper switch in the steering wheel replaced, I was glad. And thankful. And many other positive adjectives. I did feel a kind of wistfulness though, reflecting that the days of wiper woes were over, and gone forever were all of the stories I could have garnered if only I'd left the problem unresolved.
Fortunately, on the drive home, while the wipers worked spectacularly, I noticed that my car had suddenly developed another piece of character. The steering wheel is now 90 degrees to the right of where it's supposed to be. So, when I'm driving straight, instead of the wheel being at the 12 o'clock position, it serenely stays at the 3 o'clock position, obscuring my view of the spedometer ("What, officer? Was I really going 75 through that residential zone? I couldn't see my spedometer, you see...") and positioning the airbag so that if I get in a head-on car accident, I can reasonably be assured that my left arm will fare pretty well, and the rest of me will end up halfway inside my radio.
So, I'll go back to the shop tomorrow, laugh a little at the antics of those silly mechanics, cry a little at the cruelty of the world, and strip yet another piece of character from my beloved Jade.
Poor Jade. I hope she knows I'll still love her all the same.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I also did some visiting teaching.
Phew! Not a total waste, then.
Monday, August 28, 2006
My (very coolio) sister found the following image on the web, and promptly made it her msn messenger image type thing. (I don't really use msn messenger, so I'm not all that familiar with what that image type thing really is.)
(Thanks to Worth1000.com for this totally unauthorized use of this picture! By the way, scroll through the page to see other fabulous froggy pics.)
So, the really utterly coolio thing is that, along with the above image, my sister has included as her msn messenger tagline: "Some frogs just shouldn't be kissed."
Did I already say 'coolio?'
Oh. I did?
Well, it still is.
Sorry, guys. I didn't realize it would generate such a vehement reaction. I thought it was kind of funny--sad & bitter but funny still, and I only really felt HALF serious about it--but...it really should be forgotten as quickly as possible, I believe.
As I was driving home this evening, I kept glancing over at the thin crescent moon hovering near the western horizon. It's position this evening was such that it was pretty darn close to the ground before it finally disappeared behind some low promontory or other. I kept staring at it and wanting to write poetry, and I kept thinking of the phrase: "And lo, how the yellow moon..." But "how the yellow moon WHAT???" kept popping in right afterwards, rendering the phrase cheesy & ridiculous.
I don't actually write poetry that contains phrases like "And lo, how the yellow moon..." I just want to make that clear.
I do write poetry that strives to be more grandiose than it actually is, but I think for the most part I manage to rein it in. A little.
But still, the poetry-writing organ in me (is that the brain? or the heart? or (heaven forbid) the missing gallbladder?) longs to come up with flowery phrases and iambic metric schemes and non-cheesy rhymes (which I am absolutely NOT capable of producing) and thus generates phrases for me like "And lo, how the yellow moon..."
So, whether I'm talking about "And lo, how the yellow moon doth drift like a mostly-nibbled-away cheese wheel down to the brooding horizon," or "And lo, how the yellow moon lunges like a Tie Fighter ready to blast apart the numerous earth-dwellings of those feeble humans," or "And lo, how the yellow moon doth become more yellow and more moony as it creeps closer to the engulfing horizon which looms like a big...ocean...or something," still, I take great comfort in the fact that while I may write really awful poetry, there's NO WAY people are going to rip it out of that wall-safe I had installed and publish it and thus really humiliate me.
Yeah. That didn't even make any sense.
'K. Time to go.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I've realized that I'll never be one of those "Lady in Red" type of girls. I'll never dance to a slow Frank Sinatra song and bedazzle my partner with my womanly wiles and charm. I'll never stun a man with my beauty as I stand in a meadow with my face turned slightly away from him, watching the sun go down.
No, no. I never will.
No man will ever write a song about me, explaining how he pined for years, and had his poor little heart torn in two when he watched me walk away beside another guy. I'll never have two men fight it out to the death over my honor. And, if I ever have the chance to try to slip my foot into a glass slipper, the only way I'm going to stick the sucker in there is by chopping off something. (Thank you, grisly Grimm brothers.)
You know, it's funny. Girls are funny, specifically. We watch romantic movies and read romantic novels and chat with each other exuberantly about how romantic our lives really should be...but aren't.
Even so, I have the vague suspicion that some girls out there really do play the romantic leads in their very own chick flicks. Luckies. They're the mustangs of the girl-world, the corvettes, the one thing a man desires above anything else in the world--the one thing he would give his whole heart to.
And me? I'm a dump truck. Useful in my own way, but hardly the thing to get someone's heart-rate up.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
We don't fall in love with Mr. Darcy because he has fine manners or dresses well. It's not even really because he does really nice things for Elizabeth, (like save her sister from moral & social ruin), although that's certainly a symptom of the reason why we fall in love with him.
We fall in love with Darcy because he is completely in love himself with Elizabeth--helplessly so. And when, at the end, he declares that his feelings for her are unchanged, and can hardly draw breath for the intensity of his emotion, we melt.
Maybe that's all we want. The dancing and the elegant letter-writing and the clean handkerchiefs are all well and good, but what we really want, what we really need, is for someone to love us as thoroughly and helplessly as Mr. Darcy loved Elizabeth Bennett, for someone to look at us as he looked at her.
Oh, DARN it.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Without going into too much detail, let's just say that I got a good haircut (my opinion of which is, of course, subject to my attempts to style it tomorrow morning...) and I got to buy books (two novels by Ursula LeGuin, plus Bleak House and Middlemarch) and eat LOTS of Italian-style food (mmm...delicious Italian-style food...) in which marinara sauce figured a prominent role.
However, there is one thing that would have made my birthday perfect: if my nephew had been born today. Now, he's got only a little over two hours to make the date, and I have a feeling he...well...he just won't make it. My poor younger sister has been longing for this baby to pop out for many days now and my nephew is just being stubborn. (Methinks he likes the womb.)
So, while it would have been cool to share a birthday with my sister's kid, still it'll be fun to just share August as a birthday month with him. You know, it's kind of funny--I arrived rather early into the world (I was actually born 19 days early, which means I was due on September...lemme think here...*counts days on her calendar*...September 12th) and this baby seems determined to stick it out in his mother's abdomen for as long as possible.
Okay--I'm exaggerating. The kid's actually not due until August 31st, but we're all still anxious to see him anyway, and find out whether he resembles my sister or her husband more and whether or not he'll be bald for the first year or so of his life, and whether he'll be a towhead like his parents. (Genetically speaking, it's pretty likely.)
Anyway--huh. Kind of diverged on my topic here. So, long & short of it: Good Birthday. Good Haircut. Gooooooood cake. Good night.
(Oh--and about Boston...I want to get out there more than ever, but I'm still uncertain about how I'd do it all, and I'm uncertain about the timing, and I'm REALLY uncertain about my own ability to handle a move like that. So. We'll see. Oh, and I just found out that some MSN study has found Boston to be one of the top 5 drunkest cities in the US. Go figure. But then, maybe I'd help even it out a little. You know--with my absolute non-drunkenness?)
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I mean, that's what it feels like. It feels like a 'yes.' I've asked, and re-asked and then asked again just to be sure, and, while I'm not 100% positive a move to MA is imminent, still, the percentage is hovering in the high 90s.
I haven't told my parents yet, and I'm actually really nervous to talk to them about this. I'm not sure how they'll react and whether they'll trust my judgement or intuition or ability to interpret direction from the Spirit. I hope they will, but they may focus more on practical things like "How?" and "Why?" and "What the heck?!?"
I think I'm going to do some more research on this, and make a really viable plan. I will: plan out the trip that would take me & my stuff out there, find out how much this is likely to cost, and see if I can cover it using my savings (yeah--I'm pretty sure I'll be okay); find out what job options might be available in MA and how much they might pay and whether I'd be able to support myself out there using my, well, useless English degree; and I will look up apartment listings out there to, again, see if I can live somewhere under my own power or whether I should seek roomies.
I'm feeling kind of urgent about this. I tried to go to sleep last night after wrestling with the question and feeling a pretty strong (and fairly urgent) 'yes,' and I couldn't seem to drift off. I kept thinking about what I would do & when this was going to happen and just how gosh darned scared I'm feeling about the whole thing, and how in spite of that I really feel like I need to get out there soon.
It's weird. I don't know why I need to be there. Maybe it's just that kick out of the nest that I've needed for approximately the last two years. Maybe I'm supposed to help people out in MA. Maybe other people are supposed to help me. Maybe that's where I'll live for the rest of my life. Maybe I'll live out there for 6 months and come weeping home, trailing a cloud of debt and despair behind me (although I hope not). Or maybe it's just a multitude of reasons. Heck--it's LIFE for crying out loud! It's complicated!
But whatever the reasons, I'm beginning to realize that the answer is pretty clear.
And it's 'Yes.'
Monday, August 14, 2006
BUT, I realized today that I have been totally wrong about Primary. (Huh. Do you capitalize 'Primary?') I actually get nourished a LOT while trying to nourish these young kids. I think my experience two weeks ago really proved it to me. It was my turn to do sharing time (I do 5th Sundays if we have 'em) and I had prepared a series of examples to teach the kids about how Heavenly Father hears & answers our prayers. I talked about Enos praying for his own forgiveness, then for his people, then for his enemies, and how each of his prayers were answered. Then I talked about Jonah, and his prayers from inside the belly of the whale (fish?) and how those prayers were answered.
It was really the third example that struck me as the most important though. I talked about Christ, and His prayer in the garden. He prayed that, if possible, the terrible burden of the atonement would be removed from Him, and I talked about a loving Heavenly Father who would have longed to answer that prayer affirmatively and say, "Okay. I won't make you go through this." Then I talked about how the next part of the Savior's prayer was vital--He said, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done."
I told the children that sometimes, we pray for things that we really, really want. Sometimes the prayers are answered in the way that we want them to be. In fact, I think that if it's at all possible (and right) for the Lord to arrange it for us, He will. But sometimes our prayers don't get answered the way we think they should be. People we love & pray for continue to be sick, or die, or aren't protected like we think they should have been. Maybe we don't get a really good grade on our math test. Maybe we spend years & years alone when we long & pray for marriage. (I know some of you are familiar with that one. Me too.)
I taught the kids that when our prayers don't seem to be answered, or when the answer is 'No,' it's because the Lord knows exactly what we need in our lives--he knows exactly what experiences we need to go through. And, as long as we trust in Him and accept His will rather than our own, we can be happy, and experience the things He wants us to experience. And eventually become the people He wants us to be.
Okay--so all of the above is really pretty simplistic (and maybe a little pedantic) but it was actually a good reminder for me. I was trying to teach the children the principles of faith & trust in the Lord, and in His will, but in the process, I was reminded to put my own faith & trust in Him, and to stop dwelling on the prayers I thought He wasn't answering.
Not that I've remembered since--I've done all sorts of things to mess up my perspective again, but doing things like talking to friends and heck--posting on this blog--have reminded me of the things I learned that day in Primary, and how I was able to come away spiritually strengthened.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I thought to myself, "Why don't I just move to Boston and work there, and maybe I'll get into that one school and maybe I won't, but at least I'll BE there."
So then I started thinking about this little proposition from my brain and I thought..."Wow! Maybe that could work!" And then I thought, "Nah--it's too crazy." And then I thought, "Yeah--crazy enough to work!" And then I thought, "Whoa! What a cliche!"
But actually, I kind of felt good about it then. Strangely. I don't know though--I'm not sure I've felt good about it since. So, I guess I'll be thinking about this some more. But who knows--maybe a change of location is closer than I thought! Or maybe not...
I guess I just want to get going, and I kind of feel like waiting another year (if I get accepted to the school I like it'll be next summer before I start) would just be too long, and that I need to get out there SOON. Like, this fall.
Very VERY odd feeling. And disturbing. For it would mean packing (which I hate) and driving (which I actually like) in my car (which is a little oldish) a long, long ways. And before that, I'd need to ask my aunt & uncle if I could (pleasepleaseplease) crash at their place for a few weeks while I sort myself out & find a job and then find an apartment with (pleasepleaseplease) other really nice girls who won't make fun of my new tshirts.
There would be other downsides as well: I would miss my brother's homecoming, which would mean I wouldn't see him until probably a good MANY moons after he returns to the states. I would also miss the ever ongoing growing-up years of my admittedly adorable nieces & nephews.
Good: I would be closer to all of you in the east.
Bad: I would be farther from all of you in the west.
Good: I would be in Massachusetts! (I mean, that in itself is just wicked cool.)
Bad: I would have to pay rent! (And THAT is wicked awful.)
Long and short (but mostly long) I just have no idea. It may just be one of those odd thoughts that pop in the head and then fizzle slowly out the ears without making any real indentation inside, or...I could be moving.
Arg! But WHO KNOWS?!?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I seem to get this morose feeling rather more often than I should. I just spent some time reading my past blog entries and frankly I dwell too much on these peculiar moods that seem to strike me too often. I don't really consider myself to be a morose personality; I'm just a cheerful personality that feels morose frequently. Right?
So with the moon shining and my laptop glowing and my hair all in a frantic, tattered mess, and my pillows inviting me to thoroughly explore their topography, I find that I just don't have much to say this evening. Except that I need sleep. And that I also need to spend less time lounging in the moonlight dwelling on things that have gone wrong in my life, and more time doing things to make it right.
Which means putting down the blog.
Put it down and just step away.
There's a girl.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I mean it.
My blog is really ineffably dull.
I realized this while I was reading someone else's blog, and hers was witty and intelligent & keen and many other synonomous adjectives that I am currently too dumb to think of. And also I end sentences with prepositions.
Aw, HECK. And shucks, and GOSH DARN IT! I'm tired of being dull and witless and lackluster and all that jazz (or rather lack of jazz). I want to be intelligent and read great literature and carry on pithy and startlingly observant conversations with other people who are just as fabulously brilliant as I am.
Unfortunately, I believe I lack the nack.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Sometimes my life seems so stagnant. (Well, more often than not, actually.) I drive on the same road the same distance at the same speed the same times every day, and some days I just want to turn my wheels an unexpected direction and break, if only for a short time, into completely unknown territory.
I want to drive to the end of the road I discovered the other day on my lunch break. It went past a newish sort of church, and then just kept on going past fields & stables, silos & horses. I wondered if, when I reached the final foot of asphalt, I’d end up in a place I knew, or if I’d be faced with one of those yellow arrow signs giving me a sharp choice: left or right, neither way known, making the direction hard to choose. I would want to take both roads.
Maybe someday I’ll have the time (and the gas) I need to keep going. I could end up in Payson, or I could go all the way out to West Mountain (or beyond) without passing a single landmark I knew. I could keep going to the coast, and then head north into Canada, and then east through it, back down south into the US, tracing and backtracking and networking all the roads together until they sat like an enormous web of interlinked places in my head.
I wonder if I’d come away different, if part of myself would wear off along the pavement, or if the dust of the road would become an indelible part of my skin.
I think—I’m almost positive—that I’d discover that there are no real ends to the roads, only continual change and beginnings, and that in the end, the main thing I’d find would be me.
(Sorry—I know this undercuts everything, but doesn’t that last sentence sound like something out of a Disney movie? Hahaha! Oh, I can be dull. :^))
They just are, and the more I think about them, the weirder they get.
I've been thinking today about how maybe some people don't deserve the people that they're dating (or married to for that matter). (Don't worry—it’s no one you know.) And then I thought about what a ridiculous assumption that was.
You see, I don’t think anybody really deserves anybody else. I mean, we’re all such middling people anyway. Every person has really awful flaws that make him (or her) nearly impossible to live with and almost completely undeserving of marital bliss. And yet, nearly everyone also seems to have this amazing spark of brilliance that maybe starts to even render their flaws obsolete. And I'm not just talking about marriage here, people.
It’s about friendships too—any human relationship, really. It’s like what C. S. Lewis said. We are none of us insignificant beings. We’re all moving towards something unspeakably horrible or (more likely with you folks) something unspeakably glorious.
Maybe it’s the sum of two people together that begins the creation of something wondrous. Maybe in that relationship all those flaws are pulled out and exposed and anguished over, and eventually, eventually begin to erode. Maybe those sparks of brilliance get pulled out and exposed and eventually, eventually, grow brighter & brighter.
(And please do forgive all this cheesy language.)
And when we say that some girl just doesn’t deserve this really great guy, or that this guy just doesn’t deserve this really great girl, we may be saying something true. But in a way, it’s true every single time from both sides of every single relationship. We none of us deserve each other—we’re all stupid and blind and compassionate and dazzling—but we get each other anyway. And I, for one, am very grateful.