Monday, April 30, 2007
I decided today that it's about time for a new profile picture, so I came up with the above highly accurate drawing of myself. For those of you who have never seen me, let me tell you, it is indeed higly accurate. Very. Especially the fact that I have glasses. And also those lips are exactly like mine. Ahem.
For instance, I'm not very good about tilting my head like that. Even when a photographer cajoles me to do so, I'm reluctant or simply unable. No head-tilting for me. Also, the highlights/shadowing are all weird and off. My hair looks funky and my eyes are decidedly too peaceful looking. And that mouth? Mine is never that serene.
But it's an approximation.
Several weeks ago, I was in a museum with a dear friend who, as we studied great works of art, had numerous insights into the paintings and sculptures we saw. I could only make an occasional (vaguely) humorous quip, hoping to cover my ignorance with witty remarks that really weren't all that witty.
I felt myself lacking, in short. I felt that this friend possessed an intelligence I did not have and I felt humbled by it.
It was only today though that I was able to put my finger on what was missing.
You see, I draw, but I'm not an artist. I don't have an artist's insight into paintings; I don't have a feel for composition and symbolism and sheer artistic power. I can (sometimes) recreate (inaccurately) things I see, but I'm not capable (at least as I am now) of creating a Work of Art.
I realized there are other things in my life that are the same: I sing, but I'm not a musician; I write, but I'm not an author.
I could see suddenly that most of the things in my life that I'm proud of are mere approximations of what they could be, of what I want them to be, or even what I thought they were.
And yet, while feeling suddenly inadequate (this friend, for instance, is pretty much all of the things I wish I were) I've come to realize (just since beginning to write this post) that approximations are what we really are in this life. We are approximations of the beings we will one day be, all approximations of our Father. We live in a state of potentiality, ever striving to become, but never quite moving past our mortal limitiations.
But that's the way we're designed; we aren't meant to reach our full potential here. And maybe, as I move past my mortal boundaries, I'll meld my approximations with reality and finally become what it is I want to be.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Why, I'm so glad you asked! (Or rather, you didn't ask, but I could tell from the way you all are hovering that you're just longing to do so.)
I'm feeling nervous. And uncertain. Anxious, as it were.
I've had anxiety dreams about grad school and I keep feeling all fluttery-like when I wonder where on earth I'm going to live in a month or two.
Not to say that I'm not still also feeling glad and extremely excited and happy about all of this. It's just that everything's all mixed together, the uncertainty tainting the excitement with, if not bitterness, then certainly an unexpected tang.
I've also got to prepare a sharing time for tomorrow, so I'm a bit worried about that, seeing as how I haven't really gotten started yet. Um. I'm not terribly good at this calling, I think.
Let's see...what else? Well, there is something else and it kind of creeps into everything I do or think about, (especially today), but I won't discuss it here. Too personal, even for this rather too personal blog.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Why, I could've put together a collection of victorian engravings and made curious and amusing captions for them.
I could've listed 200 things I should be doing instead of blogging. Or maybe 200 of my favoritest things in the whole wide world. Like ponies and rainbows. (Although you're probably glad I didn't.)
I could've talked in depth about the feelings I'm going through with all these changes that are taking place in my life.
I could've taken a moment to tell each of you why and how much I appreciate you, just for being who you are. (And also the fact that you raise the stats on my blog. That's pretty nice.)
I could have come up with an awesome image, kind of like the one for my 100th post celebration. Except that maybe I could've done a much better job on this one.
I might have talked about worms and the spiritual nature thereof, or how exactly green became my favorite color, or why I go all weak at the knees whenever I pass an office or art supply aisle.
But I didn't.
I asked for advice and you responded most helpfully.
So my 200th post was much like any other, which I guess is what a blog is mainly about. It's simply my way to communicate with you, to relate (some of) the random thoughts I get throughout the day, to let you know what's going on in my life and to explain (to my shame) that SPAM looked appealing to me the other night.
So thanks. Thanks for reading. Without you guys, I never would have gotten this far. Here's to another 201 posts.
Monday, April 23, 2007
It'll be me out on those street corners, making everyone feel uncomfortable with that markered cardboard sign and crouching forlornly in all sorts of weather. (Actually, about that cardboard sign--I've always wondered--why do they always have to be on cardboard? I mean, couldn't someone find a discarded bit of posterboard or something? Ooh. Erm. I think I'm being callous.)
But losing my job is actually doing something strange to my brain. I'm suddenly thinking of options, and to my surprise, there are many of them.
I could stay here and get a temp job for three months before moving out to Boston. This is what the logical part of my brain is urging me to do.
However, the happy-go-lucky carefree part of my brain is saying, "Why not use this opportunity to get out to Boston even earlier? You could move out there and get a temp job, for instance. Or no job at all! Just live off of your savings and have a great grand ol' time! Or you could go somewhere completely different! You could move to Arkansas for a few months! (You know how much you've always wanted to move to Arkansas.)"
The happy-go-lucky carefree part of my brain is kind of stupid.
But its ideas are rather appealing. (Except for the Arkansas thing.)
So what do you all think? Should I stay here & temp or should I venture out into the wide world for a few months? Good heavens. The possibilities are numerous!
Seriously. If you have any thoughts, say so. Or any ideas. Should I write a novel, for instance? Try to make a sale that would earn me enough money to pay for my education? (Haha! Not likely.) Er...or...should I travel? To England? Even though I can't afford it?
OH, the options. Yes. Please tell me what you all think. Because I am in a quandary, and picking your brains is better than relying on mine alone.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I'm feeling...really rather tired. Tired everything. And I don't have anything to write about.
Aw, wah, wah. I'm such a whiner.
Okay. Here you go:
Today we (i.e. my mom, dad, two brothers and myself--my younger sister is currently in California) went to go see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir record Music and the Spoken Word. My sister has been in the choir for a few years now, and this is (if I remember correctly) the first time I've attended one of these Sunday morning recordings.
It was lovely, of course. The Tabernacle has just been refurbished, so the choir is back in their home building, which is perhaps one of the most astonishingly acoustic structures I've ever been in. The sound was amazing; experiencing it live was definitely several scores of notches above merely watching the broadcast on TV.
Afterwards, our family meandered around Temple Square for awhile, had some sister missionaries stop and ask us for referrals (during which time we shamefacedly admitted we didn't have any to give them), then we drove to my uncle's ward, where my 19-year-old cousin was giving a talk prior to his departure to Taiwan as a full-time missionary.
Then it was off to said uncle's house where there was lots of food and lots of people and where my (freaking adorable) baby nephew urped all over my neck. Good fun. Fortunately, the kid frequently smiles when he sees me, (earning me the title of 'favorite auntie'), so I don't think the urp is an indication of disdain or anything.
And then I went singing to that one retirement home, where I managed to deflect questions about where my brother was (he's come less than five times in total, but they still ask about him every week) and play the piano softly enough that the audience could hear me singing.
And now I'm home. Home at last. In PJs. Because folks, when I said I was tired, I wasn't kidding around.
Nossir. Not one bit.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Why do I get these sudden feelings of desolation?
I mean, I'll be just sitting there, cross stitching and watching a Miyazaki film, and suddenly it'll hit me, like a too-friendly dog, and I'll be overcome with this sense of being alone, or disconnected.
And then I'll sigh, Mom will ask me if I'm okay, I'll respond with forced cheeriness that I'm fine, and life will go on as usual.
These are just such strange, tattered threads in my tapestry.
But most of the other threads are colorful and cheery, so all is well, n'est-ce pas?
Friday, April 20, 2007
Four-leaf clovers don't do much, if anything. What they do do (haha! doodoo!) is sit around looking green and sort of pretty. Which is not insignificant, I might add.
But they're not lucky.
No, not one bit.
I found a four-leaf clover once and I was ecstatic. I carefully put it in a plastic bag and carried it around with me for luck. I even took it to our high school football game, in the hopes that the extra boost from that bit of green sitting in my pocket would do some small good.
I was confused; I had always been led to believe that four-leaf clovers grant luck to the holder. I, as a student at my high school, had some interest in the outcome of that football game. And yet the other team still creamed us. Violently.
Also, the entire time I had the four-leaf clover with me, I did not get any kisses from boys.
NOT EVEN ONE.
As I thought about the four-leaf clover's pitiful performance, I began to realize that all I had been taught about them just wasn't true. There was no luck in four-leaf clovers. None whatsoever.
So I took the tattered green little remnants from my pocket and tossed them in the nearest garbage can.
Now when I find a four-leaf clover occupying its little space on the ground, I just let it be. It's happier; it feels connected to its mother plant and continues to get all the water and...nutrients and such...it needs (until it inevitably withers in the dry Utah climate).
And I'm not laboring under a mistaken idea that luck is following me everywhere (rather like that black labrador that followed me around while I was walking this morning).
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I have a DISEASE.
A DISEASE, PEOPLE.
And also, reading course descriptions and misc new student info at that one school (the one where I'll be come fall) is very, very much fun.
Except it makes me want to be there NOW, as opposed to four months from now, which is the reality of it. Darn.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
So my morning is completely and utterly free, which brings up the question: what on earth am I going to do with myself for the next few hours?
I could continue the monumental task of trying to organize my room, throwing bags and bags of old stuff away, or I could run out to a salon and get a spontaneous haircut, or I could go out and try to find a copy of a book I need to have read in two weeks, or...
Or I could sit on my bed and blog.
I think you're now aware of all the poor time choices I make.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Reasons to be unhappy:
- In 16 months I will be a 30-year-old spinster.
- I work in customer service.
- My hair is wacky.
- I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. Again.
- I have to do laundry today. And I'm coming down with a cold. Again.
- I'm a chicken.
- I do stuff wrong.
However, as I tallied my list, I realized that there were reasons to be happy that were in direct opposition to the list above.
Reasons to be happy:
- I woke up this morning to the sound of rain, which made me feel languid and peaceful.
- I exercised this morning. (Even though I'm coming down with a cold. Again.)
- Sunlight glowing through young green things is a lovely, lovely sight.
- I'm going to be in Boston this fall.
- I had marinara sauce tonight.
- I indexed two batches tonight.
- My mom likes me.
- I manage to do some stuff right.
- (Most important) God is there. And despite my stupidity and chickenness and despite the fact that I'm probably coming down with a cold, (again), He still loves me. Amazingly.
So. Does that make me an unhappy or happy person?
I think overall I'm happy. I allow myself to be unhappy too often, but I think that when it comes down to it, when I shuck all the outside garbage off, I'm happy.
That's kind of a cool thing.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Unfortunately, one thing I've discovered during all this sorting and throwing away is that I have too, too many books. I've now got at least a full shelf-worth that there just isn't room for, and which I have now stacked unbecomingly on the floor in front of my already bursting bookshelves.
My problem is that I keep buying books. It's suddenly not enough for me just to be able to read them; I need to own them so that I can read them once and then years later pick them up again, brush off the inevitable accumulation of dust, and cozy on into the old familiar pages.
I want to read all the books I've bought that I haven't gotten to yet. And I want to read the books that I've read twenty times already but still just crave sometimes.
I need to go through my collection and weed, but I know that as soon as I get rid of my old French textbooks, I'll meet a French person who refuses to speak English to me, and then where will I be? Stuck without a reference. (Except for maybe Babel Fish.) And if I donate that novel I read once and (shockingly) hated, I'll realize ten years from now that it was full of pertinent little gems for my present life and if only I had kept it I would realize how humans look to arthropod-like aliens, (although I didn't actually dislike that one; I just never thought I'd read it again), or what to do when the Mafia controls pizza delivery.
So. I need to declutter. But before I declutter, I need to read. A great deal. But before I can read a great deal I need time. And time is something I just don't have.
So books will remain in stacks on my floor indefinitely.
Unless I invest in a new set of bookshelves...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Well, poop really isn't all that bad. After all, everyone poops. It's just kind of stinky and kind of squishy and unpleasant, and it gets on your hands when you try to wipe it off of your nephew's bum and/or legs (how it got on his legs I will never know, nor do I wish to), but it's natural stuff. It's not radioactive (usually) and the germs contained therein are usually easily washable with the proper application of soap and hot water.
And if you wipe up poop, it usually means that your mother, who is tired after having watched her grandchildren all day, does not have to do it.
Which means you will garner favorite child status very quickly indeed.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I've often wondered what exactly it would be like to come upon one of these lovely lumbering beasts in some prehistoric forest, and, glancing at the claws it used to snag itself those tender little branches, I think I would have run rapidly in the opposite direction. Or maybe I would have played dead. And tried very hard not to look threatening. Or like a leaf.
But I still really, really like Chalicotheres. I'm not sure why; I think it has something to do with the fact that they walk on their knuckles. Or at least some do. Not all species. Um.
And also, I think it's pretty cool that their closest relative in the modern mammal world is the horse. Wow. Horses. They're like Chalicotheres without the claws. And also they eat grass, whereas Chalicotheres ate tender leaves. Leaves...yeah.
Okay. So sometimes when we love something, we can't explain exactly why; we just do, and so it is thusly forever and ever. And I think Chalicotheres are awesome and I really really wish they were still around and I think it is beyond awesome that I got to see the skeleton of one in the Field Museum in Chicago. (Please see the helpfully arrowed skeleton below.)
And here you can see the Chalicothere all afleshed. (In ink, I guess.) And again, I apologize for my unsteady blur-inducing hand.
But alas, after seeing the Chalicothere in the...not flesh, in the bone, I guess, I know even more fully that extinction has rid us of one of the planet's most brightly shining jewels. And that makes me feel really rather sad.
Monday, April 09, 2007
I can sure say dumb stuff sometimes.
In fact, I frequently do.
In fact, I even said some dumb stuff today, and did some dumb things.
In fact, the dumb stuff I said and/or did was potentially hurtful, which is the worst kind of dumb stuff to say/do.
If you are a person to which I have said/done something stupid (either recent or not so) please know that I regret saying/doing it possibly as much as or more than you regret hearing/observing it.
So, sorry. Essentially.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I now believe that every library (or building that was once a library) should look like this:
And like this:
Not to mention this:
And also it should be full of excellent quotes laid out in mosaic tile like this one from Milton:
(Sorry that the above pic is both fuzzy and orangeish. Darn camera/darn shaky hands.)
In short, this building is absolutely perfect as a library. Except for the whole lack of books part. That was kind of disappointing.
Friday, April 06, 2007
It all started when I got sick. Then, I got a cough that followed said sickness which produced a state of affairs in my throat and lungs that prevented me from talking or singing or breathing longer than roughly 30 seconds without breaking into chest-cracking convulsory coughing fits.
Not fun stuff.
So, to prevent said coughing fits I began sucking upon large quantities of cough drops (sugar-free, of course). Within only a few days, I was a cough drop junkie. It was all I could do not to raid my parents' cash drawer in search of the funds to feed my habit.
I went one day last week without cough drops at all and managed to startle numerous people who would have spent an otherwise pleasantly sedate day staring at paintings and discussing brushstrokes with their erudite companions.
However, my lungs appear to be pretty much back to normal, and while my throat still feels rather dry, I think this is mainly due to my transition from Illinois humidity back to Utah lack-thereof.
So cough drops are dropped. Not quite cold turkey, but it's pretty close.
(There are times though when I still dream of that eucalyptus-laced goodness. Mmmm.)
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Perhaps I had better explain something. I've talked enough about Jane Eyre (both the novel and the recent Masterpiece Theatre Production) to make anyone believe (with good reason) that I am obsessed.
Which, actually, I probably am. A little.
So, lest you all suffer under the misapprehension that I love the story because Toby Stephens plays Rochester in the film (although, admittedly, he does a delightful job) please know that I loved Jane Eyre long before I saw the most recent film adaptation of it.
I love Jane Eyre for the same reason I love (and have also obsessed over) the story of "Beauty and the Beast." (I'm talking about the original story here, not the well-known animated version.)
I love these stories because, in some ways, they are stories about me.
For most of my adult life, I have felt wretchedly ugly like the Beast, or at least unremarkable and plain like Jane. (And I know some of you will spring up and say, "But you're not ugly!" Thank you for that. But please realize that never prevented anyone from feeling ugly.) Being able to read about these two characters and seeing them gain first admiration then love from those they loved has always made me feel (rather foolishly) hopeful that someone will one day see something inside me worth loving.
Because, you know, my inner self is really very good-looking. She has dimples and awesome non-frizzy hair and wears contact lenses. She is also blessed with dainty ankles. (I've always longed for dainty ankles.) Oh, yes, and she has, like, NO high forehead. Her forehead is completely and wonderfully normal.
So. Yes. Someday someone will walk up to me and say, "Lizardbreath, I see the inner be-dimpled, be-normal-foreheaded you, and I just love that about you."
And then I will be as content as Jane with her Rochester (sans mad wife) or the Beast with his Beauty (apres transformation, unless of course you're a Rose Daughter fan).
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Airplanes are cool.
I wonder why we don't all go around talking about airplanes all the time.
I mean think about it--they're awesome!
You take this enormous tube of metal, add a couple of wings and some engines and suddenly the thing is airborne!
In all seriousness though, I love it all: the thrilling rush of takeoff, the moving up through and above clouds into the blue-black sky, the sea of white beneath you through which, sporadically, you see glimpses of the mysterious shape of the land beneath, then the stomach-dropping descent below cloudbanks and back onto the ground where, for a moment or a day or for the rest of your life, you see things just a little differently.
It makes me want to wax poetic, if only I could.
Greater minds than mine should write poetry about flying.
And very very tiring.
And also very very wonderful.
And seriously tiring. (I'm talking tiring here, people.)
It is both good to have gone and good to be home, mainly because being home means I am once more free to blog. So, sorry for my week-long leave of absence, folks. I've got writings that I noted down in my notebook while I was gone, but that'll have to wait for another day.
Because as I mentioned, vacations are tiring.