Friday, December 28, 2007

Sometimes I just wish I were a boy.

The other morning, my brother woke me up and showed off the beard he's been growing over Christmas break. And I became pretty jealous.

I mean, women can't grow beards. (Well, some can, but...not me. Seriously. NOT ME.)

And I just laid there in bed half-awake and thought about how nice it would have been to be a boy. I would have been able to grow beards, sport hairy legs without shame and pee in the woods with ease. (That last one has made me envious so, SO many times.)

Other advantages?

Well, let's talk about dating. Ratios? TOTALLY in guys' favor. Also, there's something about the female role in dating that's just so darn passive. Makes me crazy, really.


No. Periods.

Reason enough, eh?

Yeah. I thought so.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Which shows just how crude we really are:

Our family got the electronic pocket 20Q (twenty questions) game for Christmas. Last night, as we played the card game Phase 10 together, (also a Christmas gift to the family), my mom got the 20Q game out and started playing with it while waiting for her turn in the card game.

She tried several things (some of which it got, some it didn't) and then my brother suggested that we try to see if it would guess 'poop.'

That's right: poop.

Within a few questions we were all giggling like a bunch of third graders as the 20Q game asked seemingly innocuous questions such as:

Is it warm?
Do you hold it when you use it?
Is it colorful?
Does it get wet?

Seriously. We had trouble breathing. (In fact, I have rarely seen my mom & dad laugh so hard.) And when it finally got to the last question, the table nearly exploded in the uproar:

"Is it a poop (feces)?"

So, yeah. We freely embraced potty humor last night. Which, now that I come to think about it, is actually pretty cool.

(It's good to be with the family again.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Happy Christmas Morning!

This morning the four unmarried children in my family sat around the Christmas tree with our parents and opened gifts. It was lovely. Small, and intimate and lovely.

But for all of you who weren't here with us, I just wanted to send out a general: Merry Christmas!

Because I'm thinking of you too.

Have a wonderful Christmas day.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

And I inspire people so rarely

Remember that 'yon candied maid' phrase? The one that popped randomly into my head a week or so ago?

Well, my friend Pat has done some awesome things with it. Well done, Pat. Well done.

And also, I'm still thinking of a way to make up for those two nights of no sleep, Pat.


(Oh, and also--I made it to Utah safe and sound, despite the fear of sudden death by turbulence on the way into the SLC airport. Pretty fun stuff, lemme tell ya.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh. Well, goodbye, again.

I'm flying out tomorrow, you know. Probably leaving tonight on the T with my luggage, coat slung over one arm and an umbrella held over it all.

I'll be at the airport for a long time. Without internet access, is what I'm trying to say.

So I won't be able to blog or email you.

I'll just be...

Cut off.

But you'll be alright. Separation is most painful right at the beginning. And by the time you start to feel the pain of my being gone, I'll be right back in the seat of my computer chair, ready to tell you about my trip.

And about how good it is to be home.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Now, don't be sad; this is really pretty good!

I dreamed last night that I got married. I went through the whole process: putting on a white dress, dealing with an evil relative who was secretly plotting to break up the wedding (I think she was a wicked step-aunt; I don't think she was more closely related than that), repeatedly falling into the embrace of my intended...

You know. All the stuff you deal with as you go about your wedding day.

And let me tell you: it was really, really, really nice. Even dealing with the wicked step-aunt (or whatever she was) and her carefully coordinated bathroom fixtures that somehow tied into her evil plot.

And when I woke up, I felt like I'd been given a little gift of night-time happiness. And instead of making me feel sad, it made me realize in what small ways the Lord can extend His tender mercies: in the falling of a leaf, in an email from a friend, in dreams of wicked step-aunts and glorious and beautiful and joyful marriages.

And here's what I woke up with: I had switched to 'third-person viewing' of my dream, and my intended (now husband?) was really enjoying some food. Here is, word for word, what my dream produced:

"To his surprise, he found himself thinking of something other than his love for her for the first time in days. And then, suddenly, was swept up into such a wave of love that he could see how his enjoyment of food, how all the other pleasures of life, were just a small part of the great love he had for her."

Nice, huh? Although, considering it came to me when I was half-dreaming, it could just be a garbled mess. I'll have to come back to it when I'm more awake to be able to tell.

In the meantime, have a happy Monday!

(I know I will, remembering my intended's lovely, lovely embrace.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Day There Was No Church

It was because of the blizzard. A Nor'easter, some called it. And calls went out to all the little church members in their homes to let them know that church just wasn't happening.

And the church members felt sad and/or secretly relieved as they gazed out on the poor visibility, the snow-packed roads and the occasionally body-knocking-over wind gusts and wondered how they would now spend their days.

Perhaps they would read spiritual messages to each other. Perhaps they would catch up on their scripture study. Some might even brave the storm to visit nearby members and console one another about their churchlessness.

And others... Others would blog.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Done! DoneDoneDoneDoneDone!


With writing that last paper, that is. I still have to get up in...approximately two hours to get to campus, print it out, then attend class. And then work.

And then a movie!


Friday, December 14, 2007


Sometimes these odd phrases just kind of pop into my head while I'm doing something else, like plucking my eyebrows or something.

Like today: I was thinking about something else, and in came the phrase, "yon candied maid."

"Yon candied maid?" What the heck is that, anyway?

I'm thinking a mix of gingerbread houses and shepherdesses.

Or something.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A brief breather:

Uh. I realize I haven't posted much this past week.

And it is because, you see, this is the last week of classes. And, due to my illness and subsequent obsessive watching of The Office,

I'm totally behind.

But I'm still in there. I'm still getting stuff done (by the skin of my little librarian teeth) and I'm still alive.

Just to let you know.

And yeah.

I really, really gotta go. (Work on homework, that is. Not. The other thing. You know.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Something new to love

A few weeks ago, I saw the Sony Bravia ball commercial for the first time. And I realized just today that I really, really love the music they use. It makes the tone of the commercial something beautiful and wondrous, turning bouncy balls into a glorious, almost gentle colorful snow. And also, it's shot amazingly, amazingly well.

But back to the music--I kind of love it. And I listened to it tonight. And for some reason, it made me get this sad, wistful feeling that I sometimes get when I listen to sad, wistful music.

Lovely, lovely stuff, anyway.



I'm not really sad, per se, just...the music sometimes makes me that way. And that's fine, I think.

See it here, if you like:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If you don't like gross things then DON'T READ THIS POST!

Okay. Consider yourself warned.

I want to talk about how blasted amazing and rather awe-inspiring our bodies are, specifically the ability our bodies have to produce mucus.

Yes, mucus.

They sure can crank the stuff out!

I mean, you can blow your nose (emptying it, or so you would suppose) and within (I am not making this up) 60 seconds you can have a good ol' schnoz-full to blow into your already sodden and leaking tissue. (I TOLD you not to read this if you don't like gross things. You only have yourself to blame, you know.)

But I didn't really appreciate until this evening how blasted cool mucus can be. Did you know that mucus lubricates your digestive tract? And that it is antiseptic? And contains immunogoblins? (You can learn all this and more by reading Wikipedia's mucus entry.)

Makes you feel all respectful and stuff, doesn't it?

Yep. Mucus works hard. And our bodies work hard making it.

So really, the fact that I took a good chunk of yet another day off to finish up the second season of The Office doesn't mean I was being lazy, right? I was just giving my body a chance to rest up and keep churning out copious amounts of lovely, viscous, germ-trapping goo.

Go me.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So, while we're on the subject of controversial topics...

Today in library school we talked a lot about intellectual freedom.

Which, basically says that censorship is never a good thing. And also that, as librarians, we should not restrict anyone's access to any information, whatever we happen to feel about that information personally.

I find this topic very interesting, and the discussion in class was wonderfully enlightening and very stimulating.


That is not the topic I'm going to address in this blog post. (Although, I suppose you could argue I've already addressed it.)

The topic I'd like to discuss is much more controversial and much deeper and much more important and stuff. It is this:

Why do I feel I am a woman who can not pull off pink? Or even that I am a woman who does not want to be able to pull off pink? Who would, if she could, pull off pretty much any other color including dark browns and olive greens and rusty reds along with pale blues and teals and bright dandelion yellows, but who is unfortunately unable to do so due to her being an 'autumn' and thus not really looking all that hot in blue-toned stuff. Apparently. (As if she looks hot in 'autumnal' colors, but whatever.)

But seriously--what do I have against pink? I mean, pink is fine.

I sometimes think of it as a bit frou-frou, a little too much a blond feminine cutesy sort of girly girly thing, but then, I'm a female. I'm a girl. Why should I object to girls being, well, especially girlish?

I guess I've never really been into the whole girly thing, even when I was a kid. You see, as children, my siblings and I loved play-acting, and because we had no brothers (then) the four oldest siblings (all girls) would play together and I would usually play the boys. Because they got to do the cool things like rescue people and swing swords and go dashing over hillocks and stuff. (Lucky boys. With their lucky hillocks.)

I rather scorned the girl toys. While I still played with dolls, I preferred the toy monsters our next-door neighbor (a boy) got to play with, or the He-Man action figure said neighbor also posessed, or the cool transformer toys and...the toy my cousin had: some big machine type thing made up of little cat machine type things that all fit together...something. Anyway--that was cool too.

And not pink.

Or. Well, I think maybe one of the cat machine things was pink because it was operated by a female character, but STILL. That's my POINT. Right?

Or maybe it's not. Because if this female character was hooking up in her little pink machine with all the other machines to form one big machine (part of which, necessarily, was pink) then that shows that pink, and thus a pink-loving female, has power, even if it's a power that's part of a larger male-dominated entity.


So, the reason why I'm even writing about this is that I have a pink coat. It was left by the gal who lived in my room before I moved in. And it's a very nice coat. It's warm, and it fits pretty much perfectly (which--hey--a FREE coat that fits PERFECTLY is not anything to shake a stick-sword at) and it's pretty much winter here in Boston now, with its icy sidewalks and its skin-slicing winds. Aaaaand...

The coat is pink. It is pink. It is pink it is pink and...wearing it...I just feel like a pink girl. And I've never really been a pink girl. So...

I just need to wrap my mind around it. And appreciate the pinkness. And find joy and power in being pink-coat-wearing-girl.

That's nothing to be ashamed of.


P.S. I also read banned books. And they rock.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Oh. Hello," she croaked.

So, I've been sick all day.

In fact, I've been sick for the past several days, two of which I have kind of semi-officially 'taken off,' as in I haven't done much of anything much on these two days, which two days included yesterday and today.

So, I feel kind of ugh, and a little egh, not to mention a titch of blaaaargh.

And also, I can sing really, really low right now.

However, maybe it's just kind of good to sit all day on the couch wrapped up in your favorite throw blanket and catch up on classics like The Philadelphia Story and the first twelve episodes of The Office, which, Hi, how did I go so long without ever watching ever? And also, it is so, so painful to watch that show. And it is so, so hilarious a pain.


Other than that, I feel heartily ashamed of myself and vow to do better tomorrow.

Uuuuuhhhnnnless I feel sick again. Still. Er. You know.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Okay. I'm fine.

Sorry, all.

I just sometimes have these times when I just get really fed up with me. And then I kind of have to get it out and kind of kick myself in the shins so I will maybe get the picture next time and not be dumb.

Of course, it doesn't ever work that way, but eh.


So, sorry for being down.

I'm not really a failure.

And also, I'm training to be a librarian! And that's hecka cool! And also I'm reading crazy interesting novels, like The Left Hand of Darkness. And...



Sugar-free ice cream is tasty?

And nice and soothing on a sore-ish throat. (Although I've moved to cough drops instead; less fat, that.)

We're cool. We're cool.

Now if I can just keep from making any more mistakes...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Fail.

At life, at human relationships, at whathaveyou.

Yep. Yep, I do.

And I'm all frustrated with myself because I Fail.

So, okay. Let me list some of my more recent foibles for you.

Yeah. So, opinions? I should just not have them. And, I think perhaps, one reason why I am so wishy washy with said opinions is that when I finally do have an opinion on something, a good and solid and glorious opinion, which I am so happy to have because normally I am an opinionless blob of nothingness and slobber, I get so excited about this opinion that I go blazing off about it and just kind of blare said opinion to anyone willing to stand still and not hit me over the head with a stick to put me out of my misery long enough to let me get it out.

However. Problematically. Other people have different opinions. In fact, they may have opinions that they cherish muchly and deeply and fully and when I go blaring out my own spectacularly loud opinions I think I sometimes and maybe frequently cause pain.

And that is probably the thing I hate doing most of all.

I think sometimes that if I could agree with everyone I would because then everyone would be happy and no one would be uncomfortable or hurt and there would be flowers and sunshine and chocolate pudding for all.

So, for example, if I read a book recently that I happened to find...not quite my cup of tea...but it came highly recommended from someone and I happened to tell someone else loudly that I had a low opinion of the book, completely forgetting or not even thinking about the presence of the recommender-person nearby, I would feel pretty darn crappy.

Sort of, in fact, like I Fail. Miserably and fully and.


I hate hurting people.

Stupid. Bad.

BADbadbad. Dumb.

Also, I stink at writing papers.

The End.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I've been thinking.

I've been thinking a lot.


About a whole lot of things.

Things like what it means to be open-minded and whether that's a good thing and trying to discover what other people around me value and what they see as right and wrong and whether their rights and wrongs are things that I should incorporate into my own moral code and I've been shifting and stretching and wondering and trying to find out what's really, really real and True.


That kind of thing.

And I've been wanting to take all of these things that I've been learning and add them to all of the things that I've always believed and thought so that I have some kind of master list of Truth, something that somehow incorporates both the restored gospel and temple ordinances and also things like seeing each person I encounter as a whole individual and not see them as 'other' if they happen to believe different things than I believe, or do things that I would consider wrong. I guess, I don't even want to see people as 'wrongdoers' or 'non-Mormons.' I don't want to walk around seeing the rest of the world's population as befuddled and ignorant and sinful. I just want to see people, you know? People like me. People who are trying to do things as well as they can and get through this life with as few mistakes as possible and who are working out their own rights and wrongs and making choices and really trying to be good people.

And I also want to see things in a clearly moral sense, to see that things like abortion and sexual immorality are absolutely not good. And yet still be able to look at a person who has had an abortion or who is living with a boyfriend and not just see them as 'the person who has had an abortion and is living with a boyfriend.'

And I'm having a hard time, you know? I'm having a hard time making it all balance and all fit and all come out so that I can see things really clearly.

I guess maybe I just want the best of both worlds: both the comfort (and, dare I say it, the half-suppressed sense of moral superiority) of having a clearly black & white morality, and also the comradeship and acceptance of a shades-of-grey morality.

How do you try to reconcile these things? I'm really curious, because I'm really trying to work this out right now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I would write more, but I don't have time.

"If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate." - Elbert Hubbard

Ponder. Discuss.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Generating somethingorothers

So, I'm sitting here in my room and I want to write something for my blog because I haven't been exactly garrulous lately and it's been mainly due to vague feelings of almost-apathy hanging around like some sort of malignant-ish miasma and also not really having much to report, seeing as how I've been spending the majority of my days not working on the major projects that are due at the end of the semester and seriously catching up on my reading and



Also, I buy this whole wheat bread that's really delicious and also it's interesting because it has these kind of broken up grains sprinkled all over the tops of the slices and so after I get finished eating my sandwiches or toast or whatever-something-that-involves-bread the plate has all these white bits of grain all over and if I moisten my finger (by plopping it in my mouth) and then use it to pick up all those bits of grain and them eat them they have a (not surprisingly) grain-type flavor but the texture's kind of interesting and also I think I'm weird.

Also, I like learning about libraries?

And also, I think I'm even stranger after midnight than usual.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Pearls are more abundant than we know.

I just found one buried in Deuteronomy, of all places:
For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
-Deuteronomy 2:7

I always find it extraordinary the way something will suddenly strike you in an "I really needed to hear that"-edness.

And that somehow, although the children of Israel lacked permanent homes and a relatively dust-free life, yet still, they lacked nothing.

And I think that although I lack things, that really, I lack nothing too.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I've started using a new expletive.

And it's not what you're thinking.

Um. At least.

I don't really know what you're thinking I'm using, but it's probably not what you are thinking, because what I have been using is kind of unusual.

Unless you're Charlie Brown maybe?

But even good ol' Chuck didn't quite use it the way I do.

I mean, I'll say, "Good Grief!" as part of my lexicon, but I've also (for no good reason that I'm aware of) started saying things like, "Oh, my Grief!" and just plain ol' "Grief!" when I desire to throw something into a sentence that really gets that old expletive feeling out there, or when I desire to express my frustration with, say, the recalcitrance of certain objects like, say, wireless cards in computers that, while you yell at them, just kind of sit there with bland expressions on their anthropomorphic faces, then glance briefly down at the floor, then look up at your face and say, "So sorry; I was listening to something on my iPod. Were you saying something?"

Great Screaming Grief!

But, then, it's really just a tag-word of sorts, the kind I've used before. And I'm sure it'll drop out of fashion eventually. But, in the meantime, I may manage to eke out a couple of odd glances from coworkers, and glean a bit of weirded-out irritation from my roommates.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More because I can't help myself than anything else


So, I just finished Dragonhaven, which is Robin McKinley's most recently published book. (And yes, it was really good. And also, just different than stuff I've read by her before. And also (again) really good.)

And so in a fit of slavering fandom, I went to her official website where I found a link to her blog. Her BLOG. That she had written in TODAY. And suddenly it was like I realized that I had a roomful of chocolate that A: Would not make me sick to my stomach, B: Would not make me fat and C: Would also possibly improve my mind.

And I just kind of don't want to do anything else for a few hours than sit and read up on her life in rural England and think about how much I admire her work and also that I am Unworthy.

This is what slavering fandom will do to you.

And it will also make you wish you really could sit down for hours perusing your favorite author's blog and just leave those dishes and that institute class and that working till 1am to rot in some little garbage heap in the back of something. Or maybe not to rot, but at least to sit quietly and patiently for you until you're really quite ready for them.

Alas that they do not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

From the trenches

I am in class right now. And I am surreptitiously blogging.

This is not perhaps as daring as it might sound; the professor is currently not in the room, and there are multiple conversations going on around me, so the level of guilt I feel at the moment is nice & low.

Of course, the prof could walk in at any time, which makes the anxiety level highish...

AND, here she is. So, I must be off to learn stuff and otherwise do all this wonderful library science stuff and goo.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Because I am lazy...

And because I don't have anything to write about at the moment, (and am also avoiding reading an article about how to map the use of space in public libraries), I think you should read (if you're interested in reading anything I've written in the last 24 hours) about a dream I had last night which I described in (sort of) detail on my dream blog.

It was kind of freaky. And weird. But cool?

If dreams about dying are cool!

Got your attention? Now go read it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

And suddenly I feel smarter.

And also, I just took a test of my blog's reading level:

cash advance

Yeah. I'm just that super-cool/intelligewonderful.

Here's what you're not seeing right now:


I have pictures.

I actually have several.

I have pictures of the fall and pictures of me and pictures of the star fruit I bought at the grocery store because, by gum, I'd always been curious about them and it was just about TIME I did something random and outside of routine and the fruit itself tasted kind of citrusy and not quite what I was expecting but it was pretty good anyway.

I have pictures of all of that.

But, alas, my camera is at home and my self (and my self's computer) are at school and therefore I cannot, just simply cannot post aforementioned pictures for your viewing pleasure.

But really, really, isn't that what your imagination's for?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Starting to get the message...


So, I get these random quotes from that come directly to my email inbox. That is the background for this.

This is the quote I got yesterday evening:
You must realize that it is the ordinary way of God's dealings with us that our ideas do not work out speedily and efficiently as we would like them to. The reason for this is not only the loving wisdom of God, but also the fact that our acts have to fit into a great complex pattern that we cannot possibly understand. I have learned over the years that Providence is always a whole lot wiser than any of us, and that there are always not only good reasons, but the very best reasons for the delays and blocks that often seem to us so frustrating and absurd.

--Thomas Merton, "The Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns"

Um. I think there's some sort of message I'm supposed to get here. And I'm so glad.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Um, I'm kind of not doing okay.

Except, I am. I mean, I'm fine; I'm not rushing to jump off one of the bridges over the Charles River and I'm not spending all my time in my darkened bedroom listening to crooners on CD. I'm busy; I'm spending lots of time reading articles and writing papers and putting off writing papers while I read novels. I talk to my roommates and smile and do dishes and avoid doing laundry.

In short, I am leading a pretty normal life. But



Underneath it all, my heart hurts.

And it has been hurting for a long, long, long time. And I don't know how to heal it.

And I keep patching things over, and it keeps being okay, and then with startling rapidity it's not again, and then with startling rapidity it is.

But I'm getting the impression that what I'm doing are just quick fixes, that there's this underlying wound that just isn't getting taken care of. It's not festering; it's not infected. But it's tender when I push on it, and it hasn't ever really stopped bleeding.

And really, honestly, I can't think of any solution for it. It's insoluble. It just is. It just.

It's just there. And it's just permanent. And I sometimes feel so bleak and so wounded and so un-okay. And it breaks my equilibrium.

But don't be afraid for me; I also realize that, like many other people, I just have this small (and sometimes not small) nagging hurt that maybe won't ever go away. And it's possible to be happy in spite of that.

I'm so sorry to write all this to you, especially if it makes you unhappy. It's nothing to do with any of you, so never fear. It's just something that I wanted to work out through writing. And somehow, the need to share the insides of me, to say, "Understand me!" to someone helps ease the hurt just a little.

You're my asprin.

So thanks.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What I write when I don't feel like writing anything:

Over the past however-long-it's-been-since-I-posted-last, I've had numerous little blog topics swim up into my consciousness, bask in the light for a bit, and then plunge back down into the deep waters of Stuff I Have Forgotten.

So while I've had oodles of spare time (mostly spent reading books and eating and watching Simon Schama's A History of Britain) I haven't really written anything, mainly because those swimming and diving ideas tend to dissipate in my enthusiasm level even more quickly than they dissipate in my memory.

Maybe I'm just in the doldrums: the semester midpoint, when the fresh ardor for classes has worn off, and the manic frenzy of finals has not yet set in, when the sky is gray and the sidewalks are wet and the only thing you really feel like doing is curling up with a long succession of mugs of steaming hot chocolate and books as thick as your rapidly expanding midriff.

And so, in a brief bow to mediocrity, let me present to you a poem I wrote the other day. Or perhaps the other week:

He holds the book one-handed,
other hand fingering a cigarette
he brings to his lips
as he turns a page,
back curved in a graceful arch
under which the book rests
like a door.

(And also, just so you know, I have not drowned from (the storm formerly known as) Hurricane Noel's potent fury.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Something to hold you until I write for real:

These are fabulous every year.

And I have to admit: the science fiction one is my favorite. Hahaha! Pickles...

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'll take the hairy one, thank you.

So, I just watched a 1983 version of The Pirates of Penzance and I realized something about myself: I've been in love with The Pirate King for years.

You know how some kids love certain movies to death? As in they love them so much that they watch them approximately 257 times per day (the rules of time and space do NOT apply when a kid is on a movie-watching kick), resulting in the death of any parents or guardians who are subjected to the noise of Barney singing that one song for the NOT KIDDING YOU TWENTY MILLIONTH TIME??!??!?!???

I have been that kid.

But instead of watching Barney (which was not around when I was a youngster) or Disney videos (well...maybe Sleeping Beauty), the videos I remember watching over and over (and also: over) were, I kid you not, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and The Pirates of Penzance.

I realize now that somewhere in my pre-preadolescent self, there were the seeds of something that would germinate into what I now reluctantly acknowledge as my adult...erm...inclinations, otherwise known as the fact that I kind of think hairy men are sexy.

There. I said it.

Which is why, watching The Pirates of Penzance at 3 o'clock in the morning, I felt all wrapped up in comfortable nostalgia and uncomfortable realizations that the reason I loved Pirates so much as a little girl was both that it has catchy music and a crazy zany plot, and also because it has some seriously beautiful men, one of whom has a seriously hairy chest and is the ONE example of a man with a mustache whom I have ever, ever found attractive.

Which makes me feel all weird about myself.

But there you go.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I just had a momentary longing for you, you 'you's that are rather far awayish, I suppose.

And each of you is my favorite.

Just so you know.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Talk a lot, pick a little more

Okay. So, this time, not in keeping with my usual method of preparing talks, I pretty much wrote out everything I was going to say beforehand. While the actual talk I gave was different in some ways from what you'll read below, (mainly due to time constraints), this is pretty much the original talk I came up with. If you'd like, go ahead and read it. For me, I think it was an appropriate exercise in reminding myself of things I personally need to hear again & again.

Which perhaps is the real point of talks after all.

I’m going to talk a little bit today about some of the things I feel deeply, not in a desire to expose my soul to you to some uncomfortable degree, but in the hope that some of the things I relate will speak to the deep inner part of your own souls. Because I think we all tend to feel the same sorts of things.

Personally, I tend to feel discouraged rather a lot. This discouragement doesn’t always come on Sunday, but sometimes it does. I don’t feel it continuously, but I feel it often, usually when I’ve failed to live up to my expectations in some way, or the expectations of other people. It’s when I’ve ignored someone who needed help, or withheld the truth about something, or felt angry at someone, or have done one of the myriad of things which causes us to feel guilty and cut off from God. And so I distance myself from Him.

I think that’s how it starts.

And then I get a wedding invitation in the mail, or hear from an ex-boyfriend, or see that my sister has blogged about her wonderfully adorable children, and I begin to feel that I’m going to be alone and unloved forever and ever. And I try not to wonder, but I really do in my heart of hearts, how God can possibly love me if He hasn’t gotten a spouse for me yet. (Don’t deny it; you do it too.)

And that’s how it escalates. (And that’s also how chocolate binges begin.)

And then, naturally, I feel guilty about having such thoughts, and I distance myself from God a little bit more, because I don’t think He’d want to hear from such a disobedient, faithless daughter.

And I feel alone and sad, cut off and distant, my soul grated down and raw, sensitive and stinging.

Some of you may be feeling this way right now. I know I have, often, sitting where you’re sitting now, trying for all the world to appear normal and happy, but feeling this internal, unshakable darkness inside.

I wish I could reach in and pluck out of my insides this knowledge and feeling of the love God has for you, for each of us, and give it to you, whole and untranslated. I wish I could give it to myself a week from now, or in a month or 100 days, when I’ll need it again. And then again. And then again.

We so often forget the love God has for us, the infinite value He places on us. But God is merciful and will remind us again and again, each time we need it, if we can just get ourselves to the point where we can feel it, just hear the message that He’s trying to give us.

My mother loves to find pennies on the sidewalk. It’s not that she has a thing for copper; it’s not even that she loves to add to her change jar. She loves finding pennies because, to her, finding a penny on the ground is a little indicator that God loves her and wants to remind her of that. I love that. I know another woman from my home ward who loves finding feathers for the same reason. She says that she always seems to find a feather on the ground when she’s feeling particularly lonely or discouraged.

Pennies and feathers are certainly not the only way we can feel God’s love for us, but they show that Heavenly Father seeks to bless our lives often in small ways that we simply don’t see. Like the fact that you just barely caught the T that one time you were running late, or when the shape of that cloud caught your eye and you wondered at the great gift of being able to see beauty in the natural world, or you found that perfect red leaf on the ground, or your best friend emailed you to tell you how much she loves you, or when Elder Holland addressed in his talk something you’d been worrying about for some time.

Sometimes the reassurance of God’s love for us comes through the scriptures. The scriptures are littered with references of His love for all mankind.
-3 Nephi 17. Read it. And then reread it. And read it again.
-1 John 4. Let’s look specifically at verse 16: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
And sometimes His love is manifest to us in quiet, intensely personal moments of prayer, when we kneel before him with our broken souls open and vulnerable and aching and raw, and He pours into our wounded souls the conviction that He cares for us, that we are infinitely valuable to Him.

Why is it so important for us to feel God’s love for us? Why does it heal us when we finally feel it? I think, for myself, I tend to place too much value on the way other people see me. I worry that I’m too awkward or too ugly for anyone to love. And so, when my sense of awkwardness or unattractiveness feels confirmed by interactions I have with others, I then feel I don’t have value at all.

But when I feel, really feel Heavenly Father’s love for me, carried with it is also the conviction that if in all the world only God valued me, what value that would be! And is!

But does Heavenly Father want us to feel His love simply to make us feel better? In part, yes! He is our Father, which means that He. Is. Your. Father. You are His immediate descendant; He is not your grandfather, or your great-grandfather, or your uncle. He is your Father. And He loves you and wants you to be happy because you. Are. His. Child.

But I think the Love of God does serve another purpose: it motivates us, both to be better people and also to love others and seek to serve them.
-1 John 4:11 – “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
-Mosiah 4:21 – “And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.”

And I would even go on to say, “And if that God, who has shown you his great mercy, doth fill your soul with his love, to such an extent that you cannot feel the greatness and power of it, O then, how ye ought to love one another.”

Brothers and sisters, I guarantee that the same method that can fill our hearts with the love God has for us can also fill us with the love He has for others, that earnest prayer and longing will enable the Spirit to flow charity and compassion into your souls, as great and overwhelming as the flow of Heavenly Father’s love for you.

We are all equal in the sight of God.
-2 Nephi 26:33 – “For none of these iniquities [murder, stealing, whoredoms, etc.] come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”

It is my belief that as we come to feel the great love our Father in Heaven has for us, we will begin to see both ourselves and others as He sees us: as precious beings, each individual of infinite and eternal value.

I know I have only felt a small part of the infinite value and love God holds for me. And yet that small part overwhelms me.

I pray that I, that each of us, will feel His love more fully, both for ourselves and for all those around us; as we do, we will find ourselves becoming more and more as our Father would have us be: like Himself.

Deary Dirigible

I highly recommend doing a Google search on dirigibles.

If you'd like, you can try out my own image search.

And why, you may ask, am I writing about dirigibles?

Why, simply because they are perhaps one of the mostest awesomest things ever.

So, what odd things do you like to search on Google?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Aha! Poetry!

It's been awhile since I've written any, but I just wrote two today. The first one's no good, but I kind of like this one:

Post-it notes from the desk of God
Yellow brown leaves drop
all zigzag in the
yellow green light,
falling like Post-it
notes from the desk
of God.

If you read the lines
right you’ll find His
scrawled handwriting
(like a doctor’s,
barely decipherable).

On this, “Dinner with the
Matsons on Thursday,”
or another: “Prompt Pope
about reforms,” and half-
hidden between the
roots of a tree:

But that one that
“Remind her that I’m
thinking of her
and sending

(My apologies to those who've already read my post on that one writing blog.)

Anyway, I hope your autumnal days were all glorious!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Singing for the Queen, Reading Letters, and Other Forms of Polished Society

Today was good for several reasons.

Firstly, I did not sing for the Queen of England, but I got to listen to the group that does. Sing for the Queen, I mean. (And is that "The Queen" or "the queen" or "the Queen?") The Choir of St. George's Chapel (at Windsor Castle) performed in Boston's Trinity Church at Copley Square this afternoon.

And also, yesterday, I stood right next to a group of boys from the choir while riding the T into the Fenway. (I had noticed their fabulous British accents, up to and including one chaperone's frequent use of the term 'pencil case,' which unfortunately just doesn't get used too much in the U.S., and had wondered if they were from the choir. It was confirmed when I saw a particular red-headed boy I had noticed singing with the choir this afternoon. Awesome, non?)

The music was sublime. If you like religious music performed by all-male choirs (in surprisingly appealing ankle-length scarlet robes) accompanied by a magnificent organ, you are probably sitting at the computer envying me right now. (Unless, of course, you're my fabulous roommate who happened to invite me to come to this particular concert with her. Er, 'you,' I mean. Or...somethingorother. In which case you don't envy me, because you were there yourself. Yep.)

The other thing that made today particularly enjoyable was that I got a letter from my little sister after getting home from this fabulous concert. She had--get this--written it on parchment paper with a quill and sealed it with sealing wax. How. Blasted. Cool. Is. That.

And I realized what a surprisingly civilized and elegant thing it is to read a letter that has been sealed with sealing wax that was sent through the mail to you from your sister. I felt as if I'd stepped into an Austen novel and was Lizzie, reading about the tribulations of my poor mama. (Except that the letter was about my sister's experiences at college, not my mama's tribulations. But anyway.)

So. Life is good.

And I'll try to take some pictures of the leaves soon; things are surprisingly still quite green here, which is why I haven't snapped any photos yet. But as the weather stays cold, more trees are starting to go up in flame-like displays, so I'll get those images to you yet.

-Lizardbreath McGee

Thursday, October 18, 2007

When librarians get embarrassed:

When we find ourselves mouthing the 'ABCs' song under our breath, trying to remember whether K comes before or after L.

For some reason, I can never remember that one.

At least I've got the numbers straight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Um. Erm.

I found out last night that I'll be giving a talk on Sunday.


Am I the only person who gets a talk assignment, all excited about the topic, and then I start to write it and I realize I'm not sure at all which direction I want to go with it?

And also I'm not sure

GROSS! A huge fly just went by my head!

How on EARTH did a huge fly get in here?


And also I'm easily distracted?

Um. So, seriously--any thoughts on how you normally approach talk creation?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grad school equations

3 Hours of Sleep + Paper Due at 2:30 + No Groceries = Peanut Butter Sandwiches for Breakfast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

As balm to the raw soul

This morning, as part of the conclusion of a weekend-long regional LDS single adult conference, Elder Holland came and spoke to a large gathering of people (mainly those afore-mentioned single adults) on MIT campus.

Because this basically replaced our church services for this morning, and also because--gracious--it's Elder Holland, I went this morning and listened to speakers from all three young single adult wards in the Boston area, along with our area seventy and another speaker & his wife whose connection to the conference I unfortunately missed. Maybe he was from CES?

The last two speakers were Sister and then Elder Holland. I must confess: during the majority of the morning I sat, mostly doodling a little bit, writing an occasional sentence in my notebook as thoughts (rarely) struck me.

The truth was, I was hurting this morning. I felt sad and raw, almost on the verge of tears. I wasn't sure why, which was perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of the feeling, although I suspect it had something to do with this, although not specifically; it was more a sensation of general aloneness, of being cut off from people, of feeling strongly dissatisfied with myself.

In short, I was unhappy, unsettled, raw.

Elder Holland's words were balm to my soul.

He spoke about what 13 Nephi 7 tells us of the way mercy operates, that it stands between us and justice the way Christ's compassion stood between his blessing of the Nephite saints and the duties He had to fulfill elsewhere. Elder Holland taught that mercy and compassion (particularly as personified by deity) respond to tears, respond to longing, even when there are other important things to do.

There's something about feeling this great Godly yearning of love for us that always moves me to tears, at least when I really feel it. And I really felt it this morning. I felt what Christ meant when He said, "Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you." And I felt it for me.

At the end of my notes, I reflected a little on this morning's experience: "You come wounded, hurting and aching, raw, and find cool balm, soothing, sweet peaceful, restful. That is the great message here, that where there is pain, God provides relief and easing and comfort."

I'm continually frustrated with myself because of my inability to remember this truth. But the thing is, we will always experience pain in this life, for multitudinous reasons. And each time we do, each time, particularly as we turn to Him, God reaches out in yearning towards us, His bowels filled with mercy, to apply the soothing balm of his love to our raw and wounded souls.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Because I'm all about appearances.

So. You maybe just got to this page and noticed that--hey--your (it's true!) favorite blog has up and got a makeover! And actually you just barely noticed while you were reading that last sentence that--hey--your (don't even deny it) favorite blog now looks even more fantastically schnazzy than ever. And wait; what's that? While pondering on the ephemerality of electronic forms of communication and how the changing of one's blog template reflects and relates to the internal changes that take place daily in our own lives you realized that--hey--your (not even kidding) favorite blog has become this wonderful place where you just want to comment and comment and also never leave.

Because it just looks so good.

And is also your favorite.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I embrace my identity

Today, I purchased a Simmons hoodie.

This is me wearing that hoodie:

Nice, eh?

And this is me wearing the hoodie while reflecting on my own image (mirrorly):

And also, I PhotoShopped this image so that 'Simmons' would read left to right.

And also, I did not do my hair today. Nor really have I done it for the past couple of weeks. Nor am I likely to do it anytime in the near future.

But I likes my new sweatshirt.

Which is really great, 'cause it's gettin' COOOOLD in Boston!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Slightly dampened spirits

You know those oldish cartoons (Disney? Had Goofy?) where drivers would run through puddles on the side of the road, drenching harmless pedestrians nearby?

Well, tonight, walking back to the T stop after my triumphant finishing of the technology requirement and celebratory YouTube watching, I was that pedestrian, and a bus was that Goofy. Or. You know. Whoever.

In short, I got soaked, and soaked darn good.

And then my umbrella turned inside out.

I think the universe was just trying to balance things a little.

Yay! I don't stink as a graduate student!

Remember last week? The week I thought was terrible and awful and really high-stress, and that the products thereof were mostly mangled masses of text-flesh that I managed to cobble together between midnight and 4am?

Well, I got them all back, and got As (or an A equivalent) for each of them.

Hah! Triumph, I tell you! Sagacity! Pamplemousse! (And other words generally expressive (not really) of joy!)

And now I just have to get cracking on making a (really simple) website for the GSLIS technology requirement due tomorrow, writing another paper due Tuesday and starting to think about & working on a presentation I'll be giving in two weeks and another paper due in about two weeks as well.

There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the grad student. Or something.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Why love is like chocolate cake:

Cake is spongy. And is also covered in buttercream frosting.

So is love.

Cake is great for special occasions, like birthdays or retirements.

So is love.

Cake is a delicious combination of eggs, flour, sugar, shortening, baking powder and sometimes vanilla.

So is love.

Also, I want some.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Blinking at the surprising sunlight

This past week has been, to put it mildly, a little intense. Basically, I had a paper due in every class, and my thinking that I had been managing my time pretty well was pretty much confirmed as the worst of self-delusions.

In short, I have spent the past week working desperately to finish one assignment (usually tinkering with it up to 10 minutes before class), turning it in, then working like mad to finish the next paper, which was generally due within the next two days.

So now, suddenly left with nothing looming over me (at least nothing looming closely in a breathing-down-my-neck, whispering-menacing-things-in-my-ear type of way; I still have plenty of things skulking across the street Giving Me The Eye), I'm amazed at the half-unbelieving sense of newfound freedom I seem to feel.

I think I may celebrate my return to the land of the living by finishing my delicious spaghetti. And then becoming unconscious. For a very long time. Cheers!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

And also, this is awesome:

Hahaha! Ah, that crazy folk-parody duo, Flight of the Conchords.

I shoulda believed Murphy all along.

It would have been a firm belief in Murphy's Law that could have warned me that a few minutes after we were supposed to have closed the library (at 1:00am) the computer lab printer would have a major meltdown and would therefore make me late enough (as I scurried to print the student's document elsewhere and leave a note for the supervisor to look into the problem in the morning) to just barely miss my cab, which pulled away from the curb and left about 20 seconds before I was able to get outside, leaving me stranded, waiting for another cab for a good 15 minutes more, standing alone on a well-lit but emptyish street, fearing for my life every time a jogger came by.

If only I had listened to Murphy; I could have planned for such an event. Alas that I did not. For it is late. And I am more awearied than I would otherwise have been.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

In Other News:

For those of you who know Becca, you may want to go see her announcement. (Hope it's okay that I posted the link, Becca! And congrats again!)

On Giving Up (Or: My Own Take on Mini-epiphany #2)

My thoughts on this keep changing so rapidly that writing this down will serve rather to bookmark where I am right now than provide a glimpse into some unalterable state of mind I may posess.

As of this moment, I have moved (again) beyond the giving-up state. I spent this entire last week (and perhaps some few days before it) 'knowing' in my core that I would never marry and that it was just time to accept it. I even convinced myself that I was content, even happy, because I didn't have to worry about all these troublesome feelings of attraction to men anymore; I could just set them aside because they were things I would never be able to act on. I could interact with men on a completely platonic level, not bothering them with my feelings of attraction, not being bothered by their lack thereof.

Then, sitting next to a young man at church, (no, not this one; someone else), I kept having these niggling sensations of just this...awareness of his maleness...and I realized that I couldn't maintain this self-imposed indifference. I could keep it up for maybe a week (and had) but eventually my cycling hormones would come round again and break down all the barriers I'd built with my determination never to have these feelings ever ever again.

Sitting here in my room tonight, reading over a thought-provoking post (and accompanying comments) on Blog Segullah wherein the author describes living a celibate life as a faithful, fully acknowledged homosexual LDS man, I (after reading one particular comment) came rather face-to-face again with my own set of what attracts me.

And far from making me despair again, this acknowledgement of my own sexual desires freed me to admit to myself just how much I really did want to have a marriage relationship. If I may be frank, (and please forgive me if I cause offense, but I really hope that I can speak as an adult, here), I admitted to myself just how much I want to have the joys of a physical, conjugal relationship with a man. I want to experience the joys and frustrations of tying myself emotionally to one single human being, of trying to make our two lives fit together, of raising a family together. And as part of that, (a big part of it), I want the supernal joy of a sexual relationship with a husband.

Please understand; I know that this is not all there is to marriage. (Good grief--if it were, we wouldn't have time for doing anything else!) I know that marriages are more complicated and difficult than this, that the uniting of two different individuals in every possible way takes time, effort, and continual sacrifice as well as continuous patience.

But I also know (or rather, strongly suspect, since my actual experience is necessarily limited) that marriage can be fulfilling and almost indescribably joyous. That's why I (and almost every other single adult I know) longs for it, prays for it, gives up hope of it and picks up that same dropped and tattered hope almost hopelessly because one can't simply seem to toss it away after all.

I don't know if sheer wanting-him-ness will eventually help me to find the marriage partner who has, thus far, proven remarkably (almost intractably) elusive, but I do know that I can no longer (at least right now) deny that I do want him, and that I must thus (because I believe in a God who knows our deepest wants and needs and tries to grant them, if possible) still hope for him.

Because a life by myself, while satisfying in some ways, ultimately feels as if it would be really quite grey and sloggish.

And my bed here is beginning to seem rather large and cold, with just me alone.

Friday, September 28, 2007


There have been a few times in my life when I feel that some great or significant human experience has happened without me, or that my comprehension of these events came delayed, at some significant interval after the events themselves.

This happened with September 11th, 2001, when I was on my mission. I was tracting that morning, and I still remember knocking on people's doors, hearing varied reports from them and wondering what exactly was going on. I didn't have access to television or the radio; I just had scattered conversations with people about it, or saw photographs of buildings with smoke pouring out of them. But I didn't catch the full scope of the thing until long after I came home, when I watched the footage from the collapsing towers on the one-year anniversary in 2002. I finally understood why it had shocked and stirred the nation, what it felt like to watch as the towers collapsed, realizing just how many people were still inside, and to share a strange empathy with those who had chosen to jump from the towers before they fell, certain of their own inevitable deaths.

I know I didn't really have time to do it, but tonight I went and saw In the Shadow of the Moon anyway. And I suddenly understood what it would have been like to be alive in 1969, when the world focused on a group of three men who made the journey to the moon--the moon--and came back. I am awed. And there's something wonderfully transcendent in this realization that we as human beings have lifted ourselves off of this planet, our home, and have traversed, for just a few days, on the finely powdered surface of another world.

I wept; I couldn't help it. This thing was bigger than something I could hold in myself. And I feel a sense of wonder at this thing that we, as human beings, accomplished.

I hope that there are things as great that we still have yet to do.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I know you don't need another thing to suck time away, BUT:

You seriously have got to see this:

If you read up on your Blogger Buzz, you fellow bloggers you, you may have already found out about this. But for those of you who haven't, or who aren't really bloggers, or who are bloggers but just aren't Blogger bloggers, I have provided the above link.

What I find really intriguing about this concept is that it provides a snapshot (literally) into the lives of numerous people. There's something appealing about the anonymity of it all, and although you could turn on the "show info" feature, (which gives you the user profile of the person who uploaded the pic as well as a snippet of the accompanying blog post), I almost prefer to watch the faces and scenes go by and wonder, who is that bald man with a goatee and why is he standing in a kitchen with a tub of salad? Who is that couple in their 50s wearing straw hats and sunscreen and smiling at the camera as though they're having the time of their lives? Why did someone take a picture of that shoe?

It just serves as a reminder that every day we connect tangentally with hundreds and potentially even thousands of individuals, each of whose lives are so absorbing and so intricate that it takes an entire person to live them. Seeing just tiny glimpses of these people (and the things they consider important enough to blog about) is suddenly making me fall in love with humanity all over again.

(And I really, really hope that you don't find any pictures of nekked people on there because I would just feel terribly guilty about it.)

Edit: I just saw the photo from this post being uploaded and--ohmygoodness. If I had had milk in my mouth it surely would have spewed out of my nose.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Well, this would have been mini-epiphany #2...

One thing I love about blogging is how people can sometimes totally scoop you.

Because this is me too!

Yes. I, too, have recently just given up. Period.

And while being scooped makes me feel angsty in some ways, it also makes me feel befriended in a friendless world.

Or at least not the only single who's given up in a married world.

Something like that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I keep not talking like I think as is.

When I talking at yous sometimes I have not explaining what I thinkings pretty good.

So then when readings you're doing becomes a thinks that I'm thinkings things that thinkings not really, try is remembering my ownings of stupidity.

Because explainings and talkings doing well are something I know not of.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

I have this sneaking suspicion...

I knew it.

I knew it.

Because you wouldn't all be misleading me all this time, hinting at it and then having it not be the case, would you?

No, not you.

Because you're great; that's why I like you.

And you like me.

In fact, I'm totally your favorite.

I know you've tried to hide it, just so other people around wouldn't feel too bad. I see you being nice to them and all, laughing at their jokes, telling them a story, patting them on the arm.

But we know, you and I; we know that it's me you like the most. I can tell by the way you turn and crinkle your eyes at me in just that way. Ha! That's our own little secret look, like a handshake, but much easier to do across a roomful of people. Much better for you to nod your head and wink, then turn back to the person talking to you, all the time knowing that I'm your favorite person of all.

The rest of the world doesn't have to be in on it; let that tall guy think he's your favorite; we won't disillusion him just yet--let him be happy for a little while first; maybe he'll even buy you chocolates. And the girl in the plaid skirt? Yeah. I know she was your confidante before we met, but she's only getting side details now; I'm getting the real stuff--the dish on your life.

It's true; I'm pretty much everybody's favorite. Yep, that's me. I look around and everybody's smiling just at me because I'm so pretty and so fun to be around. Guys may go off and talk to those perky blond girls, but really they're just looking for advice on how to approach me, practicing their man-skills on lesser objects. And those same perky blond girls? Yeah. I'm totally their favorite too. Because I'm clever and funny and so, so nice.

They all love me.

And you know you do too. Really. Go ahead and deny it, but we both know it's true.

'Cause I'm your favorite too.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A conversation with myself

(From last night, after feeling frustrated by my thinking abilities (or lack thereof) during class:)

I feel like kicking a puppy.

No, no. I feel like leaning down and petting a puppy. (Aw. Puppies!)

I really feel like kicking a rock. Yeah. Preferably while wearing thick boots so I don't hurt my toes.

Inexplicable? Or is it?

I slept for around four hours yesterday afternoon. Also, I slept for about seven hours last night.

So tell me: why am I getting all drowsy while reading an assigned article for my class?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two Realizations

First, I have realized today more than ever that by choosing the library profession I have chosen a profession that is (for the most part) very liberal indeed. Very. And I have yet to decide how I feel about that, although I actually do like the feeling of stretching my previous conceptions about what the world is like and how it operates. I just am not quite sure how to strike the balance between previously held systems of thought and new perceptions or thoughts that I'm being introduced to. (And no, I'm not about to go off and join a gay and lesbian student coalition, but I'm learning to recognize more the right that others have to belong to such organizations. (And that totally just made me sound like a stuck-up prick.))

Second, my class today caused me to realize (or rather re-realize, because I've realized this before; I'd just forgotten about it) that higher education (at least the bits I've been exposed to) does not consist of attending lectures and gathering information about a particular subject, or at least that's not it's real purpose. You go to college or grad school to learn how to think.

I have to say: I love that. What I hate is that I personally haven't quite learned how to think, as evidenced by my class this evening. (Won't go into details. They're pretty nebulous anyway.) But I'm hopeful that I'll improve. Which is, I guess, what this is all about anyway.

I love untold stories

Except, now that I think about it, I love it when untold stories are told, which is a bit of a paradox.


My love for untold stories is perhaps one reason why I love the Regina Spektor song, "Samson." Or perhaps it's simply because her voice soars effortlessly while singing it.

Whatever it is, I have to share it with you. And, be forewarned, I know there's a part that talks about Things a Maiden's Ears Should Not Hear, (albeit non-explicitly) so if you're squeamish about that sort of thing, then don't partake. Or at least, don't listen past the first verse or so.

But if you're so inclined, here it is:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mini-Epiphany #1

To make this all easier on everybody (including myself) I've decided to numerate my mini-epiphanies and concentrate on each individually so I can fully explore the topic at hand.

Also, in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I may interject the occasional "Arrr" or "Avast" into my discussions, ye landlubbers.

The first mini-epiphany I'd like to mention is my recent realization that I actually want to pursue a career. (Arrr.)

I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure out; I mean, there I was, gearing up to attend a highly specific professional program (i.e. library school, ye scurvy dogs!), getting all ready to go into debt for thousands of dollars to attend said school, and I was still thinking only in terms of, "This is my plan B. If plan A (i.e. marriage and little babies (i.e. bein' a wench and poppin' out mite tykes)) comes along, I'll drop it like the bung from me barrel o' grog."

Except that I realized recently that I don't just want to go to school to become a librarian, suddenly get married and then settle down to raise children and never make use of the schooling I've gotten while waiting around for Plan A to take place. Arr.

I actually want to be a librarian; I want to work with children and help them find not only books that can meet their needs for school, but books that will help them to love reading and develop an enthusiasm for learning about the world around them. I want to work in a library, be surrounded by books, interact with others of my profession who are as enthusiastic about both books and the importance of encouraging others to read them as I am.

And also, I want to make a nice, tidy salary (i.e. garner a lot o' booty, arr).

Fortunately, I am not yet married. I am not yet even dating anyone. So I haven't yet had to work out for myself (or work out with me spouse, arrr) what exactly I'm going to do if Plan A ever wanders in and says, "Oh, sorry. Were you expecting me earlier? Just had to pop out for a spot of something, you know. Whot, whot?" (Because, of course, Plan A would be a Brit (aka Crumpet-eating Poodle Dog if you're a Pirate Queen, arr!).) And Plan B is currently going, well, according to plan.

But the conundrum exists. And currently, I don't know how to solve it. So, if you have any thoughts, feel free to pipe in. (And feel free to flex your piratical lexicon as well, if ye be so inclined.)


Monday, September 17, 2007

So, my lack of posting does not necessarily indicate a desire not to blog.

In fact, I would like to post to my blog LOTS.

Because I, in fact, have had plentiful mini-epiphanies (and one very big epiphany) over the past few days.

But I find that I have suddenly become a genuinely very busy girl, and so find myself unable to take the time to explore topics here the way I'd really like to.

So. Erm. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves. And, you know, get yourself a donut or something.

Because it may be awhile.

(But, I promise, I'll post something thought-provoking as soon as I can.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I. Need. To. Go. To. Bed.

But first I thought I'd tell you all I was alive. Because I am. Alive, I mean.

And also really tired.

And also amazed at how my day just kind of got started nice and early(ish) at 7:45am and then kept on a rollin' until 3am on Sunday morning.

And I have to get up early again for church. And I.

I kind of don't know how I'm going to do it, but somehow...somehow I will manage.


I'll try to post again tomorrow.

Give kisses to Aunt Hilde for me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When in dreamland...

The first thing you should do when you realize you're dreaming is smile (subconsciously, of course). Because things are about to get really interesting.

It's what happened to me a couple of nights ago when I went to bed around 3am after having taken a 3-hour nap in the late afternoon. (Really, not a good idea for sleeping patterns. Although I don't regret what it did to my dreaming patterns.)

One of my favorite things to do in dreamland is flying. So, given the opportunity (and the right dream setting) I fly as much as I possibly can. But this time, it was actually flying, or rather a sense of floating or weightlessness, that actually tipped me off to the fact that I was, in fact, not awake. Because you can't actually fly (or float) in real life. Duh.

Okay, I thought to myself, let's have some fun with this. So, I proceeded to do my darndest to try to influence the reality of my dream. Oddly enough, I was only partially successful. I wanted to fly (or float) and so I did, but I was only able to fly (or float) around some really dull stairwell type things (although being able to fly around in them was much better than, say, walking around on them).

Second, I really, really wanted to dream that I was being kissed. Really, really well. By someone really, really hot. Unfortunately, I just couldn't seem to conjure anyone up. I just kind of floated around these stairwells and accidentally set fire to the stove of a boss I had a few years ago. (Sorry, Marsha! That part, I assure you, was not intentional.)

So, I learned a valuable lesson during this dream session: even when you should be able to manipulate your reality into anything you can dream up (ha! 'dream up?' get it? aha...oh, nevermind) that doesn't necessarily mean that you actually can. Because I couldn't. I mean, I could a little, but not entirely.

So what does this mean for waking life? Maybe that dreaming, while beguiling, isn't really the place to find full satisfaction (i.e. kisses from hot boys)? Or perhaps that manipulating reality is something best left to non-mortal and not-unconscious folks? Or that flying/floating is really the best way to travel around boring stairwells?

Whatever it is, it was an entertaining night. And it makes me wish, oh so fervently, that I could know I was dreaming every night.

Because maybe my kissingly-hot boy conjuring would improve with practice.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two things:

First, a conversation I had with myself this morning:

Setting: I was washing dishes at our kitchen sink, my hair still wet from showering, and the hot water I was using was starting to steam things up a little.

First part of brain: What the--I'm sweating!
Second part of brain: Yep.
First part: Gross!
Second part: Yep.
First part: Oh. Well...yeah. I guess that's all I have to say about that.
Second part: *smiles*

Frankly, it's always a little disturbing when one has a conversation with oneself. Also, it's really great when one part of your brain says something, and another part responds with, "Oh, I totally agree!" And then you realize that you've just agreed with yourself.

(I'll tell ya--it makes you feel a leeeetle bit crazy.)

Second thing:

My hand kept going numb while I was washing said dishes. I'm not sure if it was reacting to the heat of the water (what? weird.) or to the presence of fish scales in the stuff I was washing (ew! fish scales!) or if just decided that being numb was a good state? Because...because...... Er...

Because, apparently, it has a mind of its own? ('Cause there seem to be plenty of minds to be had within this one frame of mine. And I guess I'll be lucky if they all agree all the time.)

And now you will make comments saying that you can no longer be friends with me because I have numb hands and a tendency to agree with myself. Well. Fine. But before you go, just ask yourself if you've ever done the same thing; you may be surprised by what you'll tell yourself.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Oh. Sad.

I just found out that Madeleine L'Engle, one of my favorite authors, died on Thursday.

I'm so sad.

It makes me wonder which of the authors producing books right now (or who are just getting started with vainly submitting their first novels to publishing houses or agents) will come along to move into the shoes of the greats like the also recently departed Lloyd Alexander.

But whoever they are, they won't quite fill those shoes the same way.

At least we've still got the books to comfort us.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My senses are overwhelmed.

My friend Christian just sent me a link to a site that may make you sit down on the floor and weep from The Sheer Beauty of it All.

I've already been to two of the libraries they show: the Boston Public Library (the one with all the cool green desk lamps and that amazing arched roof) and the Library of Congress Main Reading Room (a circular room a little over midway down the page).

I think the best thing ever would be to take a trip just to visit all the beautiful libraries in the world, particularly those located in Great Britain, particularly those in Ancient and Awesome University Cities.

Maybe once I've finished my Master's program and have started working a Real Job I'll be able to save enough (even with the ginormous monthly payment on my student loans) to afford such a trip.

However, in the meantime, I've got a lot of gorgeous libraries around to visit. And swoon in.

Speaking of, I've now taken a tour of the library at Simmons, where they have oodles of comfy chairs and, get this, an ENTIRE section of books in the 'Biblio Mystery' category, in which libraries (or librarians) are involved somehow with the crime or the solving thereof. So. So. So. Cool. I cannot even tell you how cool that is. (I want to read a book where the librarian done it. (Er. Because I think that would be empowering?))

And also, I've now attended my first class, which, oddly enough, seemed a lot like an undergraduate class, except that the people were a little older. And much smarter than I am. And also they used a lot of acronyms I don't know. YET.

I have to confess: I've always rather admired people who've gone on to do graduate studies, as if pursuing a course of education after they've gotten their four-year degree made them smarter than average, or at least more determined. I never thought that being a graduate student would feel so much like being me; so much like not knowing much at all; so much like wondering if there's been some mistake, that surely they couldn't have meant to admit me.

I wonder if I'll feel like this all my life; if there will ever be a point in my accumulation of experience when I'll look inside myself and say, "Ah. Now I am wise; now I can see why I looked up to people in my position before," or if I'll always feel a little like a beggar who's somehow been mistaken for a lady, hustled into the castle, washed up, dressed in silks and thrust into the court without any idea of what to say or how to behave. Always a little like an interloper. I rather suspect that it's the latter, that the real reason why we look up to people who are older than we are is that we see that they have more experience than we do, but we can't see the large amount of anxiety and self-doubt they've still got stored up from their younger years.

I never thought that being a graduate student would feel so unlearned. I never thought that being twenty-nine would feel so young.

And I suspect it will be the same when I'm thirty as well as when I'm seventy-one. But that's okay. From what I can tell, all other thirty and seventy-one-year-olds have already felt the same way before me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I hope you all know that the reason I haven't posted on my blog lately is that I'm deliberately attempting to increase the hits to my site by raising suspense.

(And this is what you are saying to yourself: "Will she have posted yet? Surely by now there should be something! What, what? Not yet?! I must check back in one hour!")

Oooooh, I'm wicked!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Huh. Wait. Maybe I'm actually sick.

For the past week or so, the number of sneezes I have made (performed? done?) during any given hour has increased by some 500%. (And also, 90% of statistics are made up on the spot.)

I have believed all this time that said sneezes (and itchy eyes, and stuffed nose that is somehow also runny) are simply due to seasonal allergies.

However, today I wonder.

I also have developed a sore throat and the allergy pills I've been consuming in great quantities don't seem to be making much of a dent in my general minor suffering.

So maybe I have a cold?

Or maybe I have a cold on top of seasonal allergies, which will be, methinks, an interesting combo, since I can't really tell the difference where one ends and the other begins (assuming, of course, that they're both there (i.e. in my body) at the same time).

Where was I? I feel foggy.


I'm sick? Maybe? Which isn't good, because it means that I'll be feeling less than perky and sociable for Advising Day tomorrow, during which I get to meet all other incoming students to my school of choice as well as my faculty advisor and perhaps other important library persons whom I currently do not know about simply because I have not yet met them. Or heard of them.

But I'm sure they're important anyway.

In any case, I'm really hoping that this sore throat and ookie nose (and possibly swollen lymph node?) are merely the results of my body bravely defending itself against that maurauder: pollen.

'Cause otherwise, I'll make not only myself miserable tomorrow (small miseries, of course, but miseries nonetheless) but I risk making other people miserable as well. You know. After I sneeze uncontrollably for five minutes straight in their general direction.

Nobody likes that.

Even from librarians-in-training.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

My apologies:

Guys, I'm sorry.

I know you're coming here, rightfully expectant of finding little jewels of wisdom and/or insight imbedded within the nonsense that pours forth from my keyboard...

But I just don't have anything to write about.

I'm kind of excited about school starting up next week. And I'm nervous too. And also the regular schedule for my job picks up next week as well, so I'll be moving from The Lazy Life to The Crazy Busy Life very soon. Thank goodness.

And also I got an idea for a story this morning.

And also it's kind of cool to have all four roommates at home in the mornings because we're all in our pajamas and are a little punch drunk from sleep that time of day.


Nope. Nothing coherent or noteworthy, really. Just a bundle of semi-somethings.

But know at least that I'm thinking of you. And that I have a sizeable guilt trip from not posting.

Just so's you know.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

So...what to do with the rest of my life?

Sometimes, I wish we could just pick a single spot we love and then stick with it.

Heck--I'd even take the ability to pick a particular kind of spot, say suburbia or The Big City or the plains states or coastal dwellings.

But instead, we have to move around a lot, liking bits and pieces of the places we live, longing for bits and pieces of the places where we used to live, never quite entirely content.

At times, I find myself feeling that there could be nothing better in the world than to live by myself in Boston for the rest of my days, perched in some apartment or other, dashing in to collect the mail from the boxes in the entrance, hastening up the stairs and collapsing in front of the TV with a microwave meal heating up while I indolently flip channels.

At other times, I think there could be nothing better than to buy a small house in Utah County somewhere near where my parents live and use my time off during weekends and holidays to drive so far up into the canyons that the sound of coin-leafed aspens murmuring to themselves almost makes me forget civilization even exists.

I find myself thoroughly enjoying myself here and wondering what life would (or will) be like once my program's finished and I'm left to my own devices as a young professional. I can feel the appeal of this place: the sometimes frenetic vitality that surges through the city, imbuing all its inhabitants with a sense of friendly urgency.

But I miss the quiet nights looking up at the milky way as it swings over mountain peaks and valleys; I long for the sight of the horizon, the rising and falling of the land.

Why is there always something in us that keeps itself aloof from full happiness, as though our full measure of contentedness is something we simply can't attain here? I wonder if it's simply that there are so many places on Earth to love, but they're always off; they never quite mirror the home we knew before; they're always just imperfect copies of a perfect standard.

And we, after all, are imperfect folks who try to love these imperfect copies.

All in all, I think it's a pretty fair accomplishment to love any corner of this world as it is. And I have to confess: I'm learning to love it here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I feel both flattered and strangely debased.

Read here.

I hope all of you are taking full advantage of the best of the 'Beth' puns you can imagine. (Haha! Or, "The Beth of the Beth puns!" Wait. No. That doesn't even make sense.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Badgering the witness

Isn't it true that I'm only really interested in myself?

Isn't it true that my head is currently presiding over a body whose stomach is roiling with anxiety about things which are too numerous and nebulous to list?

Isn't it true that I hate to socialize in the same way that a brilliant chess player hates football? Or a really burly football player hates playing chess? Or...a really inept analogy-maker hates making analogies?

Isn't it true that I just watched Mystery on PBS and thus am trying to ask a bunch of questions to which I already know the answer sort of kind of maybe?

YOU decide.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Space is cool.

In other news, I like my current desktop wallpaper. It's an artist's rendition of a very-asphyxiated-bird's-eye-view of the tallest mountain in the Solar System:

Cool, eh? Nothing like having a little Mars on your desktop. (If you like this, you should check out more at It's pretty cool. Yeppers.)

And what a difference a year makes.

I've thought a bit about what I wanted to write about in commemoration of my 29th birthday.

But, I don't know... How do you summarize the experience of 29 years into a succinct, relatively readable online mashing of thoughts?

I guess the truth is that I don't remember much about what I've learned over the past 29 years. I don't remember much about what I've learned during the last 5.

I think that what you learn in life begins to diffuse down into your soul, so that the lessons there aren't something you can easily separate out into their own separate entities; they've meshed and mingled together, forming new insights, new layers of meaning, making up who we've become.

I'm an accumulation of experiences from the time I was a slightly annoyed, reddish-haired, 5lb 12oz baby (many thanks to Mom for particulars) to now, where I sit with toes tucked into the creases at the back of my knees, hair unbrushed, glasses slightly smudged, eyes dark with too much reading in too little light, fingers poised over my keyboard, wondering what to type next.

And what does that make me?

What person am I now because of what I've experienced, what I've done?

I'm not sure. I'm asking myself those things even as I type them here.

I wonder, often, if I'm the kind of person God wants me to be right now, if His forming of me has taken hold, if His moulding hasn't melted by my indignant straining against Him. I can feel that in some ways, I'm very much the person I need to be right now. And in other ways I fall far short of the mark. If sculptures could shift their shoulders to throw off the Master's blow, would they? Just to prove they were the ones forming themselves?

I don't even know what I'm saying.

I sat down to type a bit about the changes that I've had in my life this past year, changes which have not been insignificant, mind you. I've moved to Boston from Utah (a loooong ways, lemme tell you), I've lost oh-so-close-and-yet-not-close-enough to 100lbs, I've had crushes and new friendships and I've stared at the ceiling and the mountains and the stars, wondering how I can possibly fit, how I can possibly matter, and then realized half-wonderingly that I do after all.

I don't know.

That this year has been eventful, I am sure. That I've learned things, I'm certain. That I'm still as much of a pretentious fool as ever, I am convinced. But what it all means? Ah. Now that is the thing that leaves me flummoxed.

I think that, in the end, when our separate experiences distill themselves before God when we account for our life, that we'll see how each bit of our life here shaped us into the being we have become. As a being-in-process, I don't know how I'll end up. But I have faith in the hand that holds the chisel. And I'll try not to wiggle too much while He's working.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The For Real Deal

Okay, folks.

I just want to get this right out of the way:

It's my birthday today! For real this time!

So, for all of you who have already wished me a happy birthday on my pre-birthday-celebration post, thank you.

For all of those who have not done so, you have until the end of today.

That is all.

(Ohyeah. And extra points if you know what the title of this post is from.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oh, don't stop talking on my account.

So...this confession may make me seem a little bit more like a scary-stalker-like person than I actually am, but...

I really like eavesdropping.

I've realized this before (and usually blushed after said realization, most becomingly) but I was reminded of this little taste of mine today while riding the shuttle bus up to work.

During the ride, I noticed two twenty-something women talking to each other on the bench opposite the aisle to where I sat, purse in lap, hands clasped securely over said purse, eyes staring politely (i.e. vacantly) ahead, ears (obviously) wandering freely. As we passed one of the many schools in the area, one of the women commented to the other that she was thinking about a grad program there, but it was kind of expensive. They talked about other programs and I discovered that they were interested in pursuing vocations as early childhood educators, that they were both either married or in semi-permanent relationships with men, that they were both pretty well informed about the costs of private schools and that one at least was pro-private school and decidedly against living in the city.

(I know I gleaned other bits of information from the conversation, but that's all I can remember at the moment.)

I realized a couple of things from this encounter: firstly, that it's easy to pass along information to those around you even when you're not engaged in direct conversation with them. And that it's definitely best to be cautious. (You never know when a stalker-like blogger like me is sitting supposedly innocuously in a seat next to yours, mentally taking note of your semi-private conversation.)

Secondly, that it is (as I mentioned before) fun to eavesdrop. And a little wistful. I will (most likely) never see these two young women again. And yet, during a span of about 25 minutes I was able to learn things about them enough to tell that I'd probably enjoy getting to know them, that I'd probably have things in common with them, that we could (in short) become friends if the circumstances were right.

And that's probably the oddest thing of all. Most of the encounters we have with people during the course of a day are brief one-time deals: you see someone, you may say a word or two (or not) and then the moment is over. For good. And yet the possibility always exists that with each person you encounter you could build a potentially lifelong relationship. That man in a business suit jogging past you could have been your best friend; the elderly woman with a poodle might have given you art lessons; the smoking man in a ballcap sitting on the curb could have been the first man ever to tell you you're beautiful. And yet they're not.

I feel amazed at all the relationships we do develop with people, and sometimes at how chancy and random the circumstances that create those relationships seem to be. And yet, for my part, the people I've had in my life seem to have been just the people I needed at just the time I needed them. And that, more than anything, seems to indicate to me that the people we know when we know them are not accidental. Not in the least.

And that when eavesdropping on conversations really does (as unlikely as it may seem) lead to friendship, there's a reason for that too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And libraries just got a whole lot steamier:

Ohoho! (LAST post today, folks, I promise.)

I just stumbled upon this poster while browsing the Library of Congress online gift shop for things I would like to buy if only I had the money.

And, oh my, how I wish this were hanging on my wall at this very moment.

Can't quite seem to stop talking today...

Just finished Nicholas Nickleby at last. It took me so long to get through it, but believe me: I love those books which, when you finally finish the last setence, leave you with a sense of having encountered something moving and wonderful, something that alters you permanently.

I loved this novel. Hurrah for the classics!

Move along, lil' Bostonian

While walking back from the grocery store this afternoon, I saw a feller (yes, you read correctly: feller) on the other side of the street wearing a large (and I mean large) cowboy hat, tight jeans and those little zip-up fleeced jackets cowpokes wear when they're out for days on the range.

It took me a second (after smiling at the familiarity of the scene) to realize that I'm not in Utah anymore. I'm in Boston. Huh.

And seeing a cowboy out here is a rare sight indeed.

Made me wonder how long he'll be wearing that outfit of his before he gives it up for polos from Abercrombie & Fitch. (Which. Oh, my. Erm. Don't bring up their main page unless you like seeing exquisitely sculpted male torsos.)

That feeling that you feel when you feel that... Wait, what?

I'm in one of those indefinable moods again, those moods that seem to be made up mostly of sitting by myself all day in my room, reading or checking the internet, listening to the sounds of traffic and the occasional siren outside my window, glad of the cool breeze, sad that there's a heat wave coming, full of the remnants of my breakfast and lunch, tired from having done mainly nothing all day.

It's in such moods as this that I especially begin to feel a need to be connected to people, and I find that I turn to this source as the means for such connection. Because it's here that I can say things that I feel, things I know you'll read and feel yourselves, so that somehow, for a moment or two, I'll be on your minds, and you on mine, and none of us will be quite alone.

And that, my dears, is more than comforting. Thanks for being there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In which my concept of self is put sorely to the test

I've realized something about myself, and it's a something I don't like very much.

I don't really write much.

And that stinks.

I mean, I write on my blog, I guess, and I sometimes write in my journal. I write emails, I write little notes in little little notebooks, I write grad school application essays...

But I don't write stories. I don't. And that's...

That's just not acceptable, people. And it doesn't jive with what I imagine myself to be.

I once told a good friend of mine that I felt that writing was my real calling in life, that I had stories I wanted to tell.

But since then, I've spent much more time reading than writing, or watching movies or checking blogs or filing my fingernails or eating sandwiches or doing pretty much anything but writing.

So my question to myself is this: "Self, are you ever going to get down to it? Are you ever going to seriously sit down and make yourself write every blasted day so that you will eventually become an Author? (With a capital 'A?') Will you finish those novels you have lurking in the dusty corners of your computer's hard drive? Will you?"

And my answer to myself is still pending. I just don't know if I have the perseverance.

(But I hope I do.)