Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 30: A Picture of Myself on This Day and Five Good Things That Have Happened Since I Started the Challenge

Here I am, today, two or three hours ago, pleasantly sandwiched between Celery and Bonster. We were practicing a musical number for church to hilarious results.

These 30-odd days have flashed by like sunlit ripples on a pond, though this quaint little metaphor wasn't entirely without its mossy, muddy rocks splooshing in. That's life, I suppose.

School kind of has the bleary effect of making the days and weeks run together until most days I can't remember what I had for lunch (or whether I even ate lunch), let alone what went on back at the end of February. It's all impressions and broad, overarching statements.

Prone to nostalgia as I am, I'm sort of sad to see this challenge end. If you've missed any posts and want to go back for them, they are all conveniently linked here.

And so, five good things that have happened since February 23rd:

1. I fell into violent like with a guy, then climbed right back out again with the help of several sympathetic friends, a marathon of What Not To Wear, and more Swedish Fish than I care to count (or weigh, for that matter). There are few things more pleasant in this life than feeling at peace with the universe. Sometimes I think it's necessary to lose that Zen for a while, so that you can remember why it's so wonderful.

2. I finished rereading the entire Harry Potter series, something I had started back in December. It had been many years since I had read the first few, and I'd only read six and seven once apiece before I undertook this particular feat. It was fun to prance through them all in succession, especially since the final movie will be coming out in a matter of months.

3. I made a new friend named Laura. As with all of the best friendships, we hit it off, as they say, instantly. I met a lot of other cool people this past month, and I daresay I socialized more than I ever have before, but she truly sparkles.

4. A cool guy asked me on a date, and the date was fun! Anyone familiar with my dating history will know that there were previously two classifications of males in my life: guys who asked me out and guys asked out by me. The previous scenario always ended in me having to crush the poor chap's heart, the latter in the chummer sprinting the other direction like I was poisonous, venomous, toxic, and radioactive. I'm confident that this fun trip to GameStop and to see Rango has effectively broken the cycle.

5. My brother came home from Iraq and visited Dad and me during his leave. That boy says the darnedest things.

Sometimes I joke that "my life is so hard." It's time for me to stop that. It's not funny. How can I feign melodrama when I am so content with my life? I think...oh, yes, I think it's true. I can't believe I get to say this! As one of my favorite people would say: I'm mellow. Yes, I'm mellow...

Listening to: "Hot Pockets" by Jim Gaffigan
Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 29: Three Wishes

It just dawned on me how close I am to the end of this challenge. Where did the time go?

Well, it seems that the end of the challenge comes with a magic lamp, so what are my three wishes?

The first was going to be a letter from Sweden, but I got one in the mail today (which elicited a reaction akin to seeing a ferret), so I suppose I'll have to amend that desire.

Anyway, without further ado:

1. A letter from Sweden once a month for the next year and a half.

2. For it to be a summer evening in Missouri with my mom.

3. To see the world.

I thought about being a little more playful with this post, but the topic got me to thinking. What do I wish? When I close my eyes and still my mind, what do I long for? The answer seems to be things I miss: friends, family, and places. My heart just kind of aches with longing for them. They are my richest treasures.

Listening to: "Buddy Holly" by Wheezer
Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 28: Something That Stresses Me Out

I'm easily overwhelmed. I have to be careful not to take on too large of a workload, or I will inevitable reach such a high level of stress that I fall into depression.

Right now I kind of feel like this is making me look like I'm an underachiever. I'm not in the honors college. I don't have a job. I'm not double majoring (anymore) or doing a minor.

I know that I'm mentally capable of doing this stuff, but I also know that I don't have the emotional fortitude for it.

I see some of my friends somehow managing to balance heavy classloads, part- to full-time jobs, and busy social lives. Color me flabbergasted. I don't know how they do it. Just thinking about it makes me want to go do something mindless.

Perhaps I'm just bad at time and stress management, but what do I do? The more activity life demands of me, the more I counter it with relaxation. For example, for the past three semesters I have spent finals week watching marathons of various TV shows. And I mean marathons. Fall 2009 may or may not have been the webshow Dorm Life. Spring 2010 was most of the first season of Lost. Fall 2010 was four seasons of Psych.

The past few weeks have been testing my limits in a new way. I don't think I've ever socialized as much. I'm used to having my weekends to just chill. This past Saturday I just had to sleep in and recover after being invited to activity after activity, meaning that I had to skip the Renaissance Festival yet again. This makes it more than two years since I've been to one. What a dismal thought. Don't misunderstand me. I love that I have friends and that they want to do things with me, but recent events have just confirmed to me what I have always thought: I'm a homebody. This out-and-aboutness tires me out fast. I can't sustain it over a long period of time. I marvel at people who can. I don't think that it will ever be for me, not really. I am a creature meant for quieter pursuits.

Listening to: "Burgess Kills/Captain & Ship" from Firefly (Original Television Soundtrack)
Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 27: An Original Photo of the City I Live In

This post has certainly been long enough coming. Criminitly! It turns out that I'm rather picky about my cityscape conditions. These are actually pictures of campus, taken from the top level of the LDS Institute's parking structure.

Last year, during that mandatory all-freshmen-must-live-on-campus year, I actually lived in that building in the second picture with all of the triangles on it. That was a fun year. I will always have a soft-spot for that edifice.

I still find the climate here totally surreal. There's jacket weather and pool weather, and that's about it. I miss clear seasons, but I can't deny that it's really beautiful here sometimes. Citrus season is especially gorgeous and smells great to boot.

I seem to be all about smells recently. There's some plant here I can't identify that just smells divine.

The great vague They say that scent is the most powerful memory. I'll believe it.

Listening to: Castle
Reading: Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Sunday, March 27, 2011

You are not alone.

Day 27 of the not-so 30-Day Blog Challenge will be delayed another day until I can take a picture of campus.

In the meantime, I'm going to deviate from the regularly scheduled program to make a few observations.

First, the people in my ward are sensational. I saw a friend pulled over on the side of the road on my way to church this morning, so I stopped to make sure she was okay. Some people on their way to church saw me and called or stopped to make sure I was okay. I hear that they even made an announcement in church to see if anyone had a spare tire that would work for my truck. (They didn't realize that I wasn't the one with a flat.)

My second observation is about the people who stopped or called me. I knew them all by sight and reputation, though I have certainly never spoken with all of them before, and they knew me.

This is what I want you to learn from this, dear reader: People notice you. Etch it onto your heart.

Several times in my life, I have felt alone, abandoned, unwanted, unwelcome, even invisible. Each time I was pulled out of that ocean of despair by someone I didn't expect knowing my name and calling it out as though it were the most natural thing to say in the world, as though they'd been addressing me for years.

While I haven't felt that utter loneliness in a long time, I was still surprised today by the people who came to my rescue and checked on me like we were friends who frequently hung out. It turns out that these people are as aware of me as I am of them.

Many people may feel it's trite to say that people notice what you do. In the past, I myself have blown it off as an exaggerated maxim. Please believe me when I say that it is not. Something I've been learning recently is that no sensation we experience is unique to us. This is not trite, either. To prove it, let me tell you about my friend Laura. We've only known each other for two weeks, but I've already lost track of how many times we've spoken out in sync or discovered that we were trying to describe the exact same feeling in the exact same words. Joy, anger, fear, frustration, sorrow, homesickness, infatuation, contentment: To whatever extent and in whatever shade you have felt them, felt anything, I promise you that someone else has felt them in exactly the same way.

This universal principle of emotion is how I know that someone else has felt that crushing solitude, like they could just blow away on the wind and no one would notice. To you who feel that: Do not believe it.

Someone sees you. Someone knows your name. Someone cares that you are there.

As a Christian who frequently spends time with other Christians, I have often heard people try to comfort one another with the words "Jesus knows what you're going through." While I believe this to be true, I know how feeble that saying can be when you're floundering in crippling emotion. I also know that not everyone believes in Christ. I know that some people do not believe in the existence of any deity at all.

You don't always have to try to find comfort in a higher power. There is someone in your life, even if you aren't aware of them yet, who is aware of you. There is someone who concretely knows what you're going through.

You are not alone.

I promise.

Listening to: "Abide With Me; 'Tis Eventide" by Catherine Papworth
Reading: Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 26: My Dream Wedding

Funnily enough, I actually once had a dream that I was getting married. I have no idea who the groom was, but I remember the dress in vivid detail. The dress itself was a scoop-neck princess cut with bell sleeves and a little bit of a train. Once outside the St. Louis temple, where I think this dream wedding took place, I added a crocheted cream piece I suppose I'll call an overcoat. The bottom hem was just an inch or two shorter than the actual dress in all directions, including the train. I think the sleeves were just a tiny bit longer than those of the dress. It buttoned with three unglazed ceramic roses. I think that I was barefoot for those straight-outta-the-temple pictures, and I was wearing real white flowers in my loose hair.

The only other detail I can recall from this dream is that either Britney Spears came to my reception and Harrison  Ford sent his apologies because he couldn't make it, or Harrison Ford came to my reception and Britney Spears sent her apologies. I'm leaning toward the second one.

Of course, that was just a dream about my wedding. My real dreams for my wedding are a little different. For starters, I would like to get married in Winter Quarters, not St. Louis.

This pretty little temple features some exquisite stained glass and beautiful grounds.

I want to wear my mom's wedding dress from her last marriage. It's a Georgian cut (think Jane Austen) made of raw white silk. I do love an empire waist. Of course, I'm a few inches taller than her, so we would have to come up with some way to make up that inch or so below the hem.

My ideas about my reception change a lot. Right now I'm thinking that I want to hold it out in a field or something. There would definitely have to be large quantities of bubbles. If I held it in the evening in the right part of the country during the right season, maybe there would even be fireflies! And stargazing!

Who needs artificial decorations, no matter how elegant, when they can have nature?

Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 25: The First 10 Songs That Come Up With My iPod on Shuffle

1. "Dearest Forsaken" by Iron & Wine

2. "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" by Glee Cast

3. "School" by Supertramp

4. "River Understands Simon" from Firefly (Original Television Soundtrack)

5. "Arms of a Thief" by Iron & Wine

6. "Straight On" by Heart

7. "That's The Way Boys Are" by Leslie Gore

8. "Go On Cry" by Heart

9. "Lacrymosa" by Evanescence

10. "Weight Of The World" by Evanescence

Gidget, my iPod, knows me so well.

Listening to: School of Rock
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 24: Something I've Learned

The word 'silly' has had an interesting life.

It comes from the Middle English word 'seely', meaning 'blessed'. Over time it came to mean "deserving of pity, compassion, or sympathy", then "helpless, defenseless", "weak, feeble, frail", "insignificant, trifling", "scanty, sorry, meager, poor", "unlearned, unsophisticated, simple, rustic, ignorant", "feeble-minded", and "foolish, senseless, empty-headed".

That's quite the resume for a poor little word.

Of course, all of that just makes me love it more.

Listening to: Standing Up
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 23: My Favorite Books

For me, one of the surest markers that a book has wormed its way into my heart is something I'm going to call rereadability. With so many splendid books out there, it's difficult to weigh them against each other, especially when I am so easily pleased by anything with the semblance of a plot. However, certain titles have burrowed into my soul. I crave them. I miss them. I turn to them again and again. They are among my dearest friends.

For this post I have set certain parameters for myself. The first is that I will not include any series. It doesn't seem fair to compare a stand-alone book with a set that had many volumes to improve upon its style and perfect its tale. Thus I will not rank Harry Potter, which is less like a book to me anyway and more like a favorite cousin. Another series I would like to mention is called The Half-Blood Chronicles. It is a marvelous tale of elves and dragons, but it is woefully incomplete. Andre Norton, who was co-authoring it, died. Mercedes Lackey has implied that she intends to finish it, but that woman is busier with more projects than Jerry Bruckheimer. While I'm at it, I'd like to give a nod to Elfquest, which is especially hard to classify in terms of favorite books because it is a comic.

My second restriction is that I have decided not to rate books that I have only read once. I don't feel like I know them well enough to pass any sort of judgement on them. The two that I considered listing which were set aside for this reason are The Once and Future King by T. H. White and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Both are hulking behemoths that take true commitment to power through on the first run. I really want to revisit them, but so far I haven't had the time.

With that said, on to my favorite books.

6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
What can I say? That last line gets me every time.

5. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Sweet, innocent, teenage love stories will tickle me forever. Especially if they include characters like Grandison Parr.

4. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast by Robin McKinley
I can't help but love a book that combines one of my favorite fairy tales with characters who are so dimensional and flawed and...human.

3. Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
While perhaps not as well written as Beauty or Enthusiasm, my sensibilities are no match for Danica and Zane. Especially Zane.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
So much is said in praise and censure of this beautiful piece that I scarcely desire to add to the heap of testimonials. Most important for me, I suppose, is the fact that this is the book that sparked so much of who I am. Here began my love of Jane Austen. Here began the schism in brain and personality which left me living half now and half in Regency England.

1. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Perhaps it isn't fair that two books by the same author make my list, but that's the way it is sometimes. Whichever other books jostle each other to be in my favor, whichever fluctuating order they fall into, this one will always sit here. I know it like I know myself. When I am happy, I snuggle with it and bask in its glow. When I am sad, I turn to it desperately as a dying man turns to water in the desert. When I am lonely, when I am angry, when I am apathetic, I turn to it. It doesn't matter. It's my comfort book. When I see my mom reading it, I'll ask her which part she's at. It doesn't matter what she says, my first response is always, "Oh! That's my favorite part." And it's true. I know it so well that I just pick it up wherever a bookmark has been left in it and carry on like I just left off reading a moment ago. It is a part of me.

Listening to: "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 22: The Contents of My Purse

This challenge was obviously created with the average female in mind. Unfortunately for these faceless meme generators, I am not your average female. In fact, I detest purses. They make me feel imprisoned. I mean, when you're carrying one around you have to keep track of it all the time. You have to watch it and hold on to it and make sure no one steals it or riffles through it. It's just so inconvenient! It's really inhibiting having a small pouch constantly tucked under your arm. I never carry one if I can get away with it. Pockets are beautiful things.

I suppose the real miracle of this post is that I own a purse and that I know where it is. What's more, it's kind of cool looking:

I know, right? If I have to own a purse, at least I made a good choice. I used to store jewelry in it, probably mostly because it was a convenient way to transport and keep track of all of it while I was moving, but now the innards mostly look like this:

You could lose your sanity in a black abyss like that.

Listening to: "Bella Notte"
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 21: All-Time Favorite Picture of Myself and Why

My first choice is either of my permit pictures. Yes, really. The first one expired, okay? I had to renew it. Or possibly the picture from my first driver's license. Of course, I don't have access to any of those because the nice people at the DMV took them away each time they issued me a new one.

Instead all I have to show you is my current license picture. It's definitely not the best of the lot, but it'll do.

I don't know what it is. Maybe I just like what that DMV blue does to my skin tone, but I always love pictures of myself that are taken there.

It also seems to be the one time I don't mind posing for a picture. I wouldn't be bothered if people snapped my picture like a tabloid was paying them to do it. I just despise having to stop whatever I'm doing and hold a cheesy grin until someone's done figuring out how to work their camera. Candid shots all the way.

Except, of course, apparently, if it's for an official, state-issued identification card. I think the fact that all four of them have turned out relatively awesome has made me a little more willing to hold still for a few seconds. But only at the DMV. My passport picture is terrible.

Listening to: "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 20: My Nicknames

Here we go:

Ice Cap

*Sometimes my mom confuses me with the dog. That's okay. I have a lot of fond memories of that dog.

I feel like I may be missing a few. Any additions?

Listening to: "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 19: Something I Miss

The trouble with loving too many places is that I'm always missing something.

I miss the smell of pine trees and the way the stars look from the top of the world. I miss the sound of a clear mountain river leaping over rocks. I miss sagebrush and those three days in July when the temperature leaps 30 degrees.

I miss the smell of soil after three days of heavy rain and the way the fireflies dance over a freshly-mown lawn. I miss the sound of cicadas. I miss the world being a division of emerald green flora and black-brown dirt.

I miss the vibe of London, the feel of Paris, and the atmosphere in Barcelona.

I miss my friends. Lately, I've especially been missing a certain friend who never failed to cheer me up just by being the mellowest Pink Floyd fan I've ever met.

I miss being around people who know what I'm thinking without asking me.

I miss extended Lord of the Rings marathons and reminiscing. I miss s'mores followed by zany attempts at homemade movies. I miss spilling my guts at 1 o'clock in the morning between watching The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and that crappy Keira Knightley Pride & Prejudice. I miss exchanging knowing glances with A and giving BK crap for renting the most random movies and forcing me to watch them.

I miss the comforting smells of my very best friends in the world. I miss melting into them like we're a litter of puppies.

I miss my mom's horrible puns. I miss quoting movies with her that no one else has even heard of.

Listening to: Baby Mama
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 18: My Favorite Place to Eat

I struggle to decide where to eat here in central Arizona, but back in Missouri there is one clear answer: Winstead's.

It's true that there are good '50s-themed diners wherever you go, but Winstead's is special. It's mine. The fries are amazing, the burgers are spectacular, but most importantly, it is the home of the skyscraper sodas and shakes.

Imagine, if you will, ordering a banana shake to rival in taste Coldstone's banana ice cream. It's that good. Now, they bring that delicious shake out to you in a vase most floral arrangements are too chicken to try to fill. It's so tall that they have to splice two straws together to reach the bottom. Slurping one of those down with a couple of friends until there's nothing left but frothy, whipped cream and a few stray cherries is one of the true pleasures of life.

Now I'm hungry. Road trip?

Listening to: What Not to Wear
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 17: Something I'm Looking Forward To

Living in an environment that encourages dating and mating (for eternity, of course), I've been thinking a lot about love lately. I've been thinking about romance and friendship, about uncertainty and trust, about flirtation and companionable silences. All of this thinking has led me to one inevitable conclusion: I'm ready for all of this to be over, durn it! I'm looking forward to meeting someone who will understand me well enough to come at me sideways so he won't scare me off, and who will see something so infinitely desirable in the conglomerate of traits that make up...this, he won't be scared off.

Pffffft! Like that's going to happen. I crack myself up.

More than that, though, I'm looking forward to watching all five movies I borrowed from my dad's girlfriend tomorrow and doing the amazingly teensy jigsaw puzzle I bought last time I was at the zoo.

Listening to: "Who Says" by Selena Gomez & The Scene
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 16: My Dream House

When it comes to residential architecture, there are many kinds I would be happy with, most of them old-fashioned. I'm not picky about brick or frame or log cabin or stonework or what have you.

However, there are a few optional feature I'd rather like to have. I'm rather enamored of window seats, and I wouldn't say no to it being in a bay window. I wouldn't say no to a porch swing, either. I'd definitely like a dedicated library, preferably with one of those sliding ladders. A real stone fireplace is a must. None of this electric fire nonsense. Who thought that was a good idea?

Really, I'm more concerned about the attached property. Give me trees, and lots of them. Make my yards sweep out ridiculously far in both directions. You know what would be positively spiffing? A long front drive that meanders through a tunnel of trees. I don't even want to hear the road from my front porch.

Mom, once again your influence is coming through loud and clear.

Listening to: "Chemical Love" by Charlie McDonnell
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 15: A Bible Verse

My mother is fond of telling me that when she was in seminary, her favorite verse to share when it was her turn to give the devotional was 1 Corinthians 16:20:

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

From what I hear, my mother was quite the flirt and a serial kisser to boot. Looking back at 5-year-old Rebekah, I think I was heading down that path, too. It's strange how events can change even our basic personalities. No one who knows me now would guess how boy-crazy and brazen I was in yesteryear. Life's funny that way, isn't it?

Listening to: Bones
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 14: A Picture of Myself Last Year and How I Have Changed

This was an odd day in April of 2010. I mean, what am I wearing? Are those clothes that make me look like a girl? Egad! What next?

Good gravy! Have I started doing my hair? Am I seeing the effect of bobby pins? that a fitted tee shirt?

Not much has changed in the past year. My hair's a little longer. I'm a little tanner. My posture's a little better.

Pictures will never be able to capture the real changes. I know a little more. I'm a little more outgoing. I'm learning to let loose. Sometimes I even sing where people can hear me or dance in public to the music in my head. I'm a little more independent. I don't feel lost in a crowd without a friend by my side. When I feel like doing something crazy, I might even talk to someone I've never met before. I no longer just occasionally think that the girl in the mirror is pretty. I walk like I believe I'm gorgeous, because I know I am.

I don't feel like I've really changed much. I'm just more willing to share who I am.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 13: My Goals

When I was six, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Twenty minutes of Animal Planet cured me of that.

When I was ten, I wanted to write a book. Chalk one up to lack of follow-through.

When I was 14, I wanted to be as great of an artist as Michelle Hoefener (minus the immodesty). Rebekah: 0  Lack of Follow-Through: 2

When I was 19, I wanted to be a famous YouTuber. Man, this follow-through thing is killer.

So what goals do I have? I want to knock that Roman religion test tomorrow out of the park. I want to reestablish that social Zen I had going for me that pulled a Hindenburg at the beginning of February. I want to know what it's like to hold hands with a boy. I want to find a happy medium between completely embarrassing myself in front of others and being a hermit. I want to loosen up and speak up. I want to transcend the scars on my soul.

I want to find someone who'll still want to hear what I have to say when we're a billion and seven.

Listening to: "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 12: Something I Don't Leave the House Without

I was going to say 'pants,' but as I sometimes wear skirts, that answer is invalid. The two items, then, that I always make sure to have with me are chapstick and my cell phone. It has happened a few times that I chanced to be without my chapstick, and boy, did I really regret it. Never again. As for my cell phone, I seem to have an irrational dependence on it. I harbor this secret hope that someone unexpected and wonderful will send some wireless signals my way. Despite more than two solid years' evidence to the contrary, enlivened by the welcome communique of my friends, this has yet to happen. The number of exchanges I begin compared to the number of exchanges which are begun by others is an incredibly uneven ratio. I think that this eternal, baseless hope is closely related to the hope that someone unexpected and wonderful will make a red notification bubble pop up at the top of my Facebook. I frequently hear from my family and a handful of good friends, but due to what is one of my pettier feelings, they are almost never who I want to hear from. It's not that I'm dying for someone specific to shower me with attention. I'm just hoping for...someone else.

But that doesn't have anything to do with my out-and-about essentials at all.

Listening to: Gilmore Girls
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 11: My Favorite TV Shows

This is a topic that can get out of hand rather quickly. Instead of typing out the full roster of Shows Rebekah Loves (a full, alphabetized list is available upon request), I have decided to share the few programs that tie for first.

It's incredibly enjoyable to watch the crazy murder investigations unfold, but my favorite part of this show would have to be the subtle references to Firefly.

You just know a show's good when the characters feel like your family.

You can't beat a classic '90s cartoon, especially when Lexington's involved. He's my favorite. It doesn't hurt that half of the voice cast seems to be from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Gilmore Girls
It's refreshing to see that fast-paced, witty banter didn't die with screwball comedy. On a side note, I kind of want to be Rory when I grow up.

Listening to: "Margaritaville"
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 10: Something I'm Afraid Of

I'm scared that some guy will propose to me in a public place, and I won't know what to say. Even if I think he's the one, what if I haven't prayed about it yet? I wouldn't want to give him a tentative, public yes and then have to renege later. And what if I don't think he's the one, or I'm not sure yet? I'd have to turn him down with a bunch of people staring at us, and that would just be awful all around.

Listening to: "Toes" by Zac Brown Band
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 9: A Favorite Picture of My Best Friend

E, A, and S at Coldstone Creamery in June of 2010. I love these girls more than words can express.

Listening to: The Wedding Planner
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 8: A Place I've Traveled To

The biggest trip in my life was the Spanish club trip to Europe in high school, but I tell that story all the time. I think it was that same summer that my family drove to South Dakota.

One of my uncles is a Lakotah medicine man, and he invited us to the Sun Dance. He's actually a buffalo dancer. The Sun Dance lasts four or five days. We didn't stay for the whole thing, so we didn't get to see the buffalo dance at the end, but it involves medicine men dragging buffalo skulls tied to piercings in their backs. The buffalo is incredibly sacred to the Lakotah.

South Dakota amused me. I swear, I could see for three days in every direction. I used to think Missouri was flat, but I didn't know what I was talking about. South Dakota makes flat look wavy.

We saw a huge bison farm. Have I ever mentioned how much I love bison? They're gorgeous. I just want to snuggle into their fur. It's too bad they're aggressive. A saddle-broken bison might even be cooler than a saddle-broken giraffe. I can just see a herd of nomads chugging around on those big, beautiful beasts.

The location of the Sun Dance was on a black-footed ferret reserve. We've already discussed my irrational love of mustelidae. The place was riddled with prairie dog holes as the funny, wee critters are a dietary staple for black-footed ferrets.

We also stopped by to see Mt. Rushmore. At the time, I hadn't seen the Rockies for years. Those craggy, coniferous Black Hills made my heart ache. The monument was cool, but I think I enjoyed the nature more.

I love the rugged, wild beauty found out there in those mountains. A part of me will always belong there.

Listening to: The Blind Side
Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 7: My Favorite Movies

This movie makes the list for a very special reason: It's my nap movie. A skill I inherited from my mother, I can sit down to a certain old-time Disney movie, and without fail, I will sleep between two very specific parts of the plot. I'm out like a light starting right before they wind up in jail, and I groggily come to during the fight at the casino. My mother's nap movie is That Darn Cat!. I also love Blackbeard's Ghost because Peter Ustinov is a riot. I'm rather fond of Dean Jones, too, now that you mention it.

This is the movie I turn to when I want to watch a movie, but I'm not in the mood for any movies. I'm always in the mood for School of Rock.

Shakespeare plus an all-star cast, including the incomparable Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson dynamic? Make mine a double.

There's just something endearing about a movie wherein Marlon Brando winds up with a girl who is more than a little like me. And he sings while he's doing it. And Frank Sinatra croons in.

For about ten years, The Princess Bride reigned as my favorite movie of all time. Like so many other lovers of this cult classic, I can quote most of it, though I pride myself on paying particular attention to accents and inflection. The only part I've never been able to get down is Buttercup's dream.

I can name all seven brothers in order with their brides. Try to find someone else who took the time to figure out the girls' names and which guys they went with. I dare you. I can also name all of the musical numbers. In order.

It was a close race, but I think The Philadelphia Story has finally edged out Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for the top spot. You know how sometimes you wake up with a song stuck in your head? Sometimes I wake up with dialogue from this film stuck in my head. They don't write scripts like they used to. Cary Grant + Katherine Hepburn + Jimmy Stewart = <3

Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 6: A Picture of Something That Makes Me Happy

It's usually easy to tell when something makes me happy. Either I get a contented, sorry-my-insides-just-melted look on my face, or I start bouncing up and down and making a joyful ruckus. Mustelidae, or members of the weasel family, generally illicit the latter response. I love all of these little buggers. They're like liquid encased in fur. Weasels, otters, martens, stoats, mink, badgers, wolverines, ferrets, you name it. Box that up. I'll take it to go! I can't speak for the rest of them, but ferrets have two modes: on or off. You haven't lived until you've seen a ferret do the war dance. The whole family is almost as effective at derailing my train of thought as one of these:

Corvettes get their own special reaction, though. It's something akin to melty insides, but it's more like my brain gets wiped for a few minutes while my head turns owlishly, mouth agape, after those double taillights until they're out of sight.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling