Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alexander's day had nothing on this.

So you've probably all read the story. And you know of course I'm exaggerating.

But I must say that very few things are as horrifyingly, stomach-churningly, teeth-grinding-down-into-tiny-nubsingly awful as realizing that you're not going to make your flight. Or rather, the feeling that maybe, if that train would just come now and if the hordes of people in between you and the door would just somehow vanish, and if you maybe could manage NOT to get on the wrong shuttle bus to the terminal, that you might just maybe make your flight, if you run very fast. Possibly faster than a photon. Which, you suddenly realize (because you've been reading The Elegant Universe, of course, and are thus familiar with Einstein's Theory of Relativity) is wholly and completly impossible.

And also, the train doesn't come, and the hordes of people are horribly present, and you do in fact manage to get on the wrong shuttle bus, and you finally realize (as you make your way from the wrong terminal to the right one) that it's just time to give up. To give in. To get a different flight (paying lots of money for the privilege, of course).

Lots of people miss flights every day. Airlines deal with it. People deal with it. And in just a couple of hours, the feeling of angry, gut-clenching, bone-warping impotence begin to fade.

But when you're in the moment, checking your watch every two minutes, trying to figure out if you'll maybe, maybe make it, and feeling your toes start to curl into your ankles from the stress, it's kind of hard to think that Alexander could have had it any worse.

P.S. I feel I should add, just for clarity's sake, that it was not my flight that we were missing this afternoon--it was my parents' flight. I was just along to help with the luggage. And generally impede our progress. (My fault on the wrong bus to the terminal.)

P.P.S. They're even now en route. They're fine. Just so you know.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Man. I just wrote most of a lengthy post that was meant to be all introspective and thought provoking... And I found that my heart just wasn't in it. So. No pontification today, people.

So sorry.

But here's the good bits that I rescued from said post (the good bits being the parts that weren't all full of philosophizing junk):

Guys, I had such a good day today.

I spent a great deal of it (probably too much) puzzling over the concepts in Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, and some of it (probably not enough) puzzling over how I'm going to teach Elder D. Todd Christofferson's article: "Justification and Sanctification" (which, just so you know, is amazing and wonderful, even though it took me two read-throughs (the second time with heavy use of colored pencil) to even start to feel like I understood it) tomorrow in Relief Society.

Also, I went up to the church this afternoon to help out with the Relief Society booth at the open house we (the singles wards) hosted. There weren't a ton of people who showed up, but I did get to have some interesting conversations with folks. So, hurrah for that.

And...that's about it!

Also, I now have a picture of my sister and niece up on my computer as my desktop background. It's so gosh-darned adorable that I just kind of have to share:

Yeah. Her expression in this picture is possibly the best thing EVER. Love that googly-eyed look. (P.S. The sister holding the baby is NOT the mother of said baby. No, indeed. Although she (the sister, that is) does have two lovely children of her own. This baby belongs to another sister. A sister not in the picture. Yes. That sister. All clear? Good.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Unless I suddenly learn to speed-read...

A year ago I started keeping track of all the books I was reading. It was more an exercise in memory assistance than anything else; it seems impossible for me to remember exactly what I've read, particularly when people come up and ask me, "I'm looking for something to read. So, what have you read lately?" I find this lack of memory on my part highly reprehensible, mostly because I aim to be a librarian, and librarians are always supposed to have lists of books handy at a moment's notice. Aren't they?


So, I came up with this list so I could read back through it, say, "Oh, yes. I remember that book. The characters weren't fully developed, but the plot was intriguing." Or, "Dude--that one was full of lame dialogue," or "I have never encountered an author so playful in her use of language. That one was an absolute delight."

(These are, of course, phrases I keep handy in a little drawer in my room. Just in case anyone asks me to be a reviewer of books. You know. Someday. In the future.)

So, in case you all are curious about what I've been reading, and you haven't been keeping track on that handy little list off in my blog's sidebar, here's all the books I've read (or nearly read) since last July.

(I was really hoping to get to 100 in a year, but so far I've only got 90, and I think it unlikely that I'll read 10 more books in the next week.)

By the way, if you want my opinion on any of them, feel free to ask. Otherwise, just browse for yourself and enjoy the process of discovery.


  1. The Gift, Peter Dickinson
  2. Tears of the Salamander, Peter Dickinson
  3. Time of the Ghost, Diana Wynne Jones
  4. Aunt Maria, Diana Wynne Jones
  5. Hero’s Song, Edith Pattou
  6. The Lion Tamer’s Daughter and Other Stories, Peter Dickinson
  7. Waifs and Strays, Charles de Lint
  8. Fire Arrow, Edith Pattou
  9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling
  11. Austenland, Shannon Hale
  12. The Blue Hawk, Peter Dickinson
  13. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
  14. The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman
  15. The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
  16. Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens
  17. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
  18. Magic or Not?, Edward Eager
  19. Reave the Just and Other Tales, Stephen R. Donaldson
  20. Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold!, Terry Brooks
  21. Fire Watch, Connie Willis
  22. Impossible Things, Connie Willis
  23. Inside Job, Connie Willis
  24. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë
  25. Some Deaths Before Dying, Peter Dickinson
  26. A Morbid Taste for Bones, Ellis Peters
  27. The Birthday Room, Kevin Henkes
  28. Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman
  29. Green Boy, Susan Cooper (only read part)
  30. Wizards, edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois
  31. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  32. Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
  33. Stardust, Neil Gaiman
  34. Queen’s Own Fool, Jane Yolen & Robert J. Harris
  35. Dragon Slippers, Jessica Day George
  36. Dragonhaven, Robin McKinley
  37. The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin
  38. Angels & Demons, Dan Brown
  39. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  40. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  41. Rocannon’s World, Ursula K. Le Guin
  42. Planet of Exile, Ursula K. Le Guin
  43. City of Illusions, Ursula K. Le Guin
  44. The Word for World is Forest, Ursula K. Le Guin
  45. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party, M. T. Anderson
  46. The Eye of the Heron, Ursula K. Le Guin
  47. A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, Ursula K. Le Guin
  48. Four Ways to Forgiveness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  49. The Telling, Ursula K. Le Guin
  50. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  51. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  52. Lady Susan, Jane Austen
  53. Phoenix and Ashes, Mercedes Lackey
  54. Wizard of London, Mercedes Lackey
  55. The Serpent’s Shadow, Mercedes Lackey
  56. Seventeenth Summer, Maureen Daly
  57. Forever, Judy Blume
  58. Gates of Sleep, Mercedes Lackey
  59. Fever 1793, Laurie Halse Anderson
  60. A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray
  61. The Arrival, Shaun Tan
  62. Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes
  63. Just Listen, Sarah Dessen
  64. Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories, Diana Wynne Jones
  65. Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang, Paul J. Steinhardt & Neil Turok
  66. Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale
  67. Rebel Angels, Libba Bray
  68. The Sweet Far Thing, Libba Bray
  69. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  70. Born Confused, Tanuja Desai Hidier
  71. Weetzie Bat, Francesca Lia Block
  72. Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan
  73. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
  74. A Hero Ain’t Nothin But a Sandwich, Alice Childress
  75. The Ghosts of Now, Joan Lowery Nixon
  76. King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography, Chris Crutcher
  77. Monster, Walter Dean Myers
  78. How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff
  79. Gossip Girl, Cecily von Ziegesar
  80. A School for Sorcery, E. Rose Sabin
  81. When Jeff Comes Home, Catherine Atkins
  82. Magicians of Quality, Caroline Stevermer & Patricia C. Wrede
  83. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
  84. Uglies, Scott Westerfield
  85. The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years Later, Caroline Stevermer & Patricia C. Wrede
  86. Rules, Cynthia Lord
  87. The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
  88. The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama
  89. Scholarly Magics, Caroline Stevermer
  90. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I was very foolish yesterday.

While reading the first few chapters of The Eyre Affair, (which, thus far, has been quite delightful), I decided to just shut my eyes for a few moments and 'rest.'

Many hours later (after dreaming of trying to get impossibly huge trucks out of a garage and driving around in neighborhoods that were completely flooded) I woke up. In the dark. And realized that I didn't think I'd be able to sleep at all that night.

Well, I was mostly right. I finally fell asleep at approximately 4:30am, just as the sky was turning from very dark blue to a medium dark (and vaguely luminescent) blue. Of course, I nearly didn't wake up in time for work (I just barely had time for a shower, thank goodness--the people on the T would have lynched me otherwise, I think) and now I feel mostly normal, oddly enough.

Mostly I'm just irritated with myself for taking a nap; I should know better. I do know better. I know that if I fall asleep and have no mechanism in place to wake myself, I will continue to sleep indefinitely until A) someone else wakes me, B) the shouting of my bladder overcomes my desire to find out where the aliens have hid the baby's shoe in my dream, or C) the apocalypse.

So, I'm a little dissatisfied with myself. But heck--oh, well. I'm sure I'll get over it.

Now, if I can just stay awake until 10 or so...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Random Remembering?

Okay, so this is totally 100% optional, and if you choose NOT to participate, I will not mind in the least, nor will I consider you any less of a friend/family member if you decline to post something.

But this is kind of a fun idea, and I've seen it a couple of different places now, so I thought I'd try it as well. So IF you feel like participating, please do. Otherwise, I'll just keep posting as usual.

Here you go:

"1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Confessions of an FHE less-active

I feel terrible.

I was all set to go to FHE today, despite the fact that the activity was undisclosed and the location was way up at the church, which would have meant an entire hour of travel time both to FHE and back home.

FHE started at 7:30.

I remembered about it at 7:20. And groaned.

Also, I just found out that I have not one, but two more weeks of working much more than I thought I was going to this summer. Which is really, really, really ultra great for my ability to pay rent and go see the occasional movie and, like, pay for groceries and stuff, but not so great for my ability to run off and do crazy random things like visit Western Massachusetts and read lots of books and get that cross-stitch project finished and work on submitting short stories to magazines and sundry other projects and...

Good grief!

What has happened to my summer?!?

In other news, I have decided to join a nunnery. I saw a monk while wandering around in Boston the other day, and I just thought, "That's it. That's what my life should be." Hm. Except that instead of a cowl I'd wear a habit. Which is less cool.

Sigh. Maybe I'll stick with being just a regular ol' LDS single for now.


I guess that's it.

The End.

Now, er, Go To and stuff.

Seriously, folks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beautifully Breakable

Um, so I kind of can't stop watching this. So, if I can't get over the addiction, I might as well spread it around some, right?


Monday, July 07, 2008

Hello, ma'am. Would you care for an atlas, perchance?

Two things:

First, I have officially moved into ma'am territory. I can't remember the first time I was called ma'am; it has slipped into the annals of history. However, I've begun to notice that whenever I forget to get my receipt from the clerk at the grocery store, or whenever I look lost while wandering among the towels, I am greeted not by "Hello, young and fresh-cheeked miss; would you care for any assistance?" but "You forgot your receipt, ma'am," or, "Ma'am, can I help you pick up that rack of towels you just knocked over?"

I guess it's appropriate. I'll be 30 in less than two months. And if you're not grown up at 30, then I don't know when you are.

But the truth is, I secretly don't feel like a grown-up. I never really have. I've always felt that there's something missing that I'm supposed to experience, some sort of test I need to take, or some sort of ID I'll get to carry around with me that says, "Lizardbreath McGee: Certifiable Adult."

I don't know. I wonder if I'll always feel this way, never quite feeling like I've reached adulthood because adulthood will never quite feel like I've anticipated. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, anyway.

Second thing: I really, really like atlases. When I took that trip to New York City, I jotted down the route we took (taking note of the major bridges we crossed and the interstates we went on) so I could look it up in my road atlas when I got home. Which I finally did today.

Sometimes I just love getting it out and tracing routes from place to place, following the massive road system that stretches out from city to city like so much webbing. I wish I could drive to all those places, just keep going and going until I've hit the opposite coast, then go further until I've gone to our southern border, then north, until I've seen every state, talked to the people there, tasted their food.

I don't know why I want to do this... Maybe it's the mystique that I still attach to the road trips my family took when I was a child, when we'd all pile into the car with our coloring books and listen to sing-along tapes and squabble with each other and marvel at the thunderstorms that swept over the desert in between California and Utah. I loved those times.

But for now, since I am 100% car-less, and since humankind has not yet invented a "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor" (but apparently will in the future) and gas prices are frankly horrifying, I doubt I'll be able to take a lengthy road trip anytime in the near future.

So I'll just content myself with the atlas for now. And I'll try to get used to all that ma'am-ing.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


I saw a couple of wild turkeys while I was out walking this morning.

Just thought you should know.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Tying up loose ends

This is the post in which I am SO going to catch up.

Yes, that's right--I am going to fill you in on all the happenings of the last severalish weeks, those happenings which I failed to relate because I am just a lazy blob of goo.


(Uh. That's the noise that goo makes?)

In any case, lemme talk about New York City.

Okay--first of all, I had no idea that Boston was just a small town until I went to NYC. It's true! I got there and the buildings just went on and on and on forever. Seriously. There's no way that many buildings can be crammed onto Manhattan island. It defies the laws of space and time. And it's not just that buildings go on forever--the skyscrapers go on forever! It's like you're in this man-made system of canyons and mesas and...really tall steel hills and stuff. It's crazy! And BIG. And BUSY. And there are holy-hecka lots of people.

And I had a hard time with the humidity, but I think that was more just an adjustment from Utah weather (roughly 20% humidity on the wet days) to eastern weather (about 80% humidity on the dry and 'refreshing' days).

So, my roommate and I went down on the bus, which was actually fairly cheap. On the way down, I brought a couple of books to read and ended up spending most of my time just looking out the window. I do that on trips, whether it's by plane or car or train or stagecoach, and I'm not quite sure why. Maybe I just want to catch a glimpse of all those intervening places I've never been (and likely never will be). Also, I love seeing things I've never seen before. Like this morning, while my whites and darks were dutifully getting washed, I meandered up into the neighborhoods near my apartment. And even though I got rather wet when the rain decided to say, "To heck with all you Fourth of July Celebrateurs! I will be dastardly weather and foil all your plans! Haha!" I loved seeing the green of trees I'd never looked at before, loved the slightly misty unfamiliar landscape, spotted by blue and maroon and dark brown and bright yellow houses that were all tucked back behind bushes and stone fences.

But hey--I was talking about NYC, right?

Anyway--so we got to the bus stop and towed our luggage over to where you can get day-of discount Broadway tickets. Where we waited in line for awhile. And then we got tickets! To Gypsy! (And it was pretty fantastic, I tell ya what.)

We dumped our stuff of at our hotel, which was located about a block over from Rockefeller Center. And here's a view from our window (on the very topmost floor, thankyouverymuch):

Yah. It's like that. Everywhere.

Okay, and here's the huge gold dude that's in the middle of Rockefeller Center:

Yep. Don't know what else to say about him. Except that he really IS that gold-looking in real life! Pretty fancy stuff.

Okay, so that evening, we stopped off at the M&Ms World Store and indulged ourselves in purchasing bags of M&Ms in unusual colors. The mix in the picture below is called 'Whatever Colors Lizardbreath Happened to Find Interesting.' Also, I was reading my scriptures at the time? Tail end of Omni, looks like.

The next morning, my roommate and I tried to go see the Statue of Liberty all up close and personal. Unfortunately, I slept well into the morning, and so we didn't get to the ferry until rather later in the day, at which time the line to board was roughly the length of Manhattan Island. So, we opted to take pictures from the shore:

Aaand, I decided that this old couple was pretty fantastic. So, I snapped their picture in front of the Statue of Liberty. (I know--I'm just so generous.)

Because we were in that part of Manhattan, we decided to go see the World Trade Center site, and on the way we saw this fantastic old building that used to be the Old Customs House:

(I'm just so into juxtapositioning! Aren't you?)

Also en route, we saw Trinity Church (yes, of National Treasure fame):

And Wall Street (here's the sign for your viewing pleasure):

The World Trade Center Site is currently a very large pit under construction in the heart of the city.

I've always felt a little disconnected from the events of September 11th, mainly because I was on my mission at the time (basically a month before I came home), so everything I knew about it was second-hand, people we visited giving accounts of things they'd seen on TV in hushed voices with widened eyes. I saw a few still photos, but no TV coverage until a year after I'd been home. So, I don't know--seeing where all this happened made everything more tangible to me, and I feel like I moved a little closer to being, like all the other Americans, someone who was part of the events of that day.


So, on with the journey?

That night, my roommate and I went to see Curtains, starring David Hyde Pierce. And it was. Holy. Fantastic. Also fantastic was that the cast of the musical signed programs and whatnot on their way out of the theatre after the performance. So, we got to meet them all. Including DHP himself. Did I already say fantastic? Well. Double it.

And here I am (darkly) in Times Square, which we passed through numerous times during the weekend on our way to and from stuff. Yeah. About NYC being crowded? Pictoral proof, folks.

And here I am, attempting to be clever with the mirrors in the hotel room. Yeah. Good times.

On Sunday, we decided to expand our cultural horizons by attending Mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Also, it was about a 2 minute walk from our hotel room. Then, later, we changed and went up to Central Park, where we relished numerous delicious skyscraper-and-parkland juxtapositions like this:

Gorgeous. And way fun.

And then we came home!

And now I am completely tuckered out from recounting all (er, well, 'most of') my NYC adventures, so I will cease and desist. At which you give great cries of thanks.

Oh, also, Happy Independence Day! I am even now deciding to stay home and watch the fireworks on TV. Mostly because I don't feel like braving the combination of heavy crowds and possible rainshowers. And I'm just so comfortable here with my computer. And.

And I'm a lazy bum. Bother.