Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It is with feelings of both accomplishment and melancholy that I announce the departure of my friend, the Cricket. Tonight, I captured him (with a cup) and released him into the wild (through my window). It's for the best. Call me soft-hearted, but I was beginning to worry about him starving to death inside my room. Of course, I have no idea how he got in here, but now that he's gone, I'm going to miss watching his mute little voyages across my floor.

Good luck, little guy.

Listening to: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Monday, May 30, 2011


I slid out of bed this morning and into a sitting position on the floor like a gelatinous mass. During my unrestrained laughter at this unexpected cartoon moment, my dad told me to get ready because everyone was either already here or on their way. I pulled on my socks, laced up my boots, and got ready to rock and roll.

Before I clear up this fuzzy introduction, let's discuss these socks for a moment. These socks are amazing. They come up over the knee in glorious blue and grey stripes and invoke a feeling that goes something like, "You can't see it, but my socks put your socks to shame." I can't help feeling like a witch when I put them on, especially when they're combined with my calf-high leather boots. This is a good thing.

To shed some light on the previous paragraphs, I was rousted from my bed this morning for a motorcycle ride to and breakfast in Florence (the one in Arizona, not Italy). I didn't actually ride on a motorcycle today. I was on the back of the trike. Boy howdee, that thing almost makes my uncle's La-Z-Boy/Electra Glide look like a wooden stool. It is spacious! Of course, the back end is part of a Volkswagon Bug, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's a mite roomier than a motorcycle.

Brunch was awesome. To sum up: outdoor patio, sparrows, fundidos.

A parting word of advice: If you ever find yourself following a motorcycle down the road, watch what they do when they pass a bike going the other way.

This post is affectionately dedicated to the cricket silently wandering around my room. May it find what it's looking for.

Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Giggle water.

While the rest of America has been enjoying Memorial Day Weekend, it's been Bonster Weekend here at my house. You have no idea how thrilling I find this. Bon is a stupendous human being.

We whiled away Friday afternoon with discussion and Paul Bettany. It took an extensive quest, but we finally found my copy of A Knight's Tale. I would estimate that I didn't remember a good third of that movie, which is both frightening and entertaining.

On Saturday evening, I went modern to a Great Gatsby party with Bon and Celery. They went as newsies. Granted, the ones in the musical were from the late 19th century, but men's fashion changes slowly enough that it didn't make a difference. A few highlights of the party:

1. Mocktails.
2. Eleven-layer bean dip.
3. Miniature cupcake-y goodness.
4. Throwing down in Egyptian Rat Screw.
5. Meeting someone else who has read Lackadaisy.
6. Meeting someone elses in general.

My favorite moment was when a group of boys arrived in an assortment of shirtsleeves, suspenders, vests, and fedoras. They had somehow managed to evenly space themselves as they entered one by one, and I was fully expecting a fourth man to walk out and for them to burst into song. But alas, no barbershop quartet were they. Indeed, they numbered only three. Their awesomeness as individuals minimized my disappointment.

Today, Bon and I kept each other awake in church through a series of asides and knowing glances. That girl is a marvel. I feel so lucky that she chose me as a friend.

Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Friday, May 27, 2011


At my cousin's graduation this evening, I was struck once again by how boring graduations are for those not participating in them and how even for the graduates the hype is greater than the true excitement. It's a strange phenomenon, this. The grand events of our lives are never as exciting as we're taught to expect them to be. Proms, graduations, weddings. Perhaps they would be more special if we didn't obsess over them so much. They lose their magic by being pushed over the edge into triteness and the land of unrealistic expectations.

Maybe that's why the tiny moments of pure bliss are so blissful: They're not cheapened by overemphasis. They spring up at us, and we are able to take true delight in them because by having no expectations, they exceed all expectations.

I am by no means promoting cynicism. I am simply lamenting a few sad facts surrounding what are meant to be the greatest moments of our lives. We build them up so much beforehand, we put so much pressure on them to be extraordinary, that there is no way they can even reach the bar. They appear to fall flat, so their true greatness passes by unnoticed. We're so busy watching the precise zenith of the sky that we fail to notice the shooting star just above the horizon.

You can't manufacture enchantment. Don't try to force excitement or enjoyment. Subtly craft a favorable environment, then step back and watch the magic happen.

Um...somewhere in there I think I stopped talking about graduations and starting thinking about how much anxiety there is around weddings. Then my mind wandered off completely into some mystical realm with stars and moonlight and glowing fairies and tall grasses and trees with scratchy bark and heady aromas and garlands of flowers and...

Listening to: "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison
Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funk

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When you wish upon a star.

Laura spent the night last night. There's something rather marvelous about chatting into the wee hours of the morning, about gabbing until every third word is a yawn and the rest are slurred with sleep. I've missed that. With everyone always being so busy and this valley being so big, circumstances aren't usually conducive to spontaneous slumber parties. It's nice when an opportunity crops up.

Unlike my previous experience with similar chances to unload, there were no lamentations or raving. Rather, our conversation was a celebration of things that make us smile like fools.

My! how I've missed that girl in the few short weeks since school ended.

As a side note, I'm bringing old-fashioned interjections back. Spread the word.

Listening to: Pushing Daisies
Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funk

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Itchy fingers.

I love the abject laziness of summer. The downside, of course, is that there is but scant material for blogging.

Today's theme seemed to be art.

An animation major just moved into my ward. I got to chat with her a little after church and discovered that she and I have the same problem: We can't pay attention unless our hands are moving. She showed me her pretty doodles from Sunday School.

In the evening, while I was clearing out my deviantART inbox, I felt the need to jot down an idea for an image. Rather than walk all the way across my room for my sketchbook, I plugged in my tablet, Twen, and wound up in Photoshop. An hour later I was chipping away at my portrait of Rinoa Heartilly again.

There's something relaxing about gradually shading and reshading and erasing and trying again. Outside worries get swallowed up in the minutiae.

This portrait is my first real project with a tablet, so it's an interesting learning experience. For a screen cap of the current state of events, click here.

Listening to: "I Like It" by Enrique Iglesias
Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funk

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I just got back from a friend's birthday party. I definitely have attended more birthday parties in my adult years than I ever did growing up.

Tonight (or last night, depending on how you like to figure things like that) was a shining example of why I don't do crowds. Okay, it wasn't as stellar of an example as the last birthday party I went to, where I had to take refuge in the backyard because there were so many people there that agoraphobia was kicking in, but it was still a pretty good example. I get lost in big groups. There are too many voices vying for attention, too many people I don't know, too many inside jokes I'm not a part of. A strange mixture of pride and deference kicks in. Something inside me goes, "Okay. If you want to talk that badly, go ahead."

I like my conversations to be one-on-one or three-way. That's the ideal I've found where everyone has an equal chance to talk if they want to. Of course, there are always exceptions. There are some people I can only stand one-on-one because they become inconsiderate when a third person is thrown in. There are even some people with whom I wonder why I even bother being part of the conversation; they seem to be carrying on just dandy by themselves. I met with exhibitions of all of these tonight.

Most of my time, however, was not spent engaged in conversation at all. I was people watching. The entertainment this afforded me was decidedly worth going for. People say some of the most interesting things. Okay, fine, I may have laughed louder than was strictly necessary sometimes, but come on, I've been home all week talking to myself. I'd rather laugh too much than not at all.

This post doesn't really seem to be going anywhere in my head. Hm...

Listening to: "Dirty Little Secret" by The All-American Rejects
Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funk

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The weather could not have been more comfortable today. It was perfect zoo weather (though I didn't go): overcast all day and the temperature barely crawled above 70.

My friend K and I went to the dog park in the afternoon with her canine friends Haley and Jersey. There were all sorts of super awesome dogs there. A boxer named Bo demonstrated the correct way to galumph. An adorable little corgi mix spent a good hour multiplying her own adorableness by doing things like standing in the cooler full of water K brought and propelling herself across the ground like a torpedo with her front legs tucked under and her chin dragging across the ground. Haley busied herself sprinted across the park after balls, her fluffy tail streaming behind her, while Jersey introduced herself to every dog in the place.

It started raining right before we left. Arizona rain always astounds me. It's so gentle and refreshing, and the smell of wet sand is almost exotic.

It was most assuredly barefoot weather.

K also made me one of her scrumptious fruit smooties.
K : smoothies :: Willy Wonka : candy

Listening to: Smoky and the Bandit
Reading: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gamer girl.

Some good soul lent me a couple of classic PS1 games for the summer. I'm going to be kicking it with Spyro the Dragon and Squall Leonhart.

Got up at 7:15 AM today.

Life is good.

Listening to: "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World
Reading: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rise and shine.

It looks like 7:30 AM is nest-building time for the local avians. It's also a great time to sit on a bench swing eating a bagel. Sure, the sun is shining right in my face in our East-facing backyard, but the weather is a delightful 67 degrees with a light breeze. Once again, I have been duly rewarded for getting up the first time I woke up.

Listening to: birdsong
Reading: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ice cream Sunday.

Happiness is eating a bowl of maraschino cherries while your friends chat amicably around you.

Listening to: The Vlogbrothers
Reading: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Friday, May 13, 2011


My poor blog. It was hit by the lethal combination of the sudden nothingness of summer and a few days without internet. The internet was my bad. Something weird was going on with the connection, and I didn't know that I was supposed to unplug the router for a few seconds. I hit the reset button instead. A few days and a grandpa later and we were right as rain again.

My brother was here for the week, talking cars with my dad and pushing people's buttons. He's always interesting company, even if he does talk way louder than he needs to.

Perhaps the highlight of my season of freedom thus far was going to see Thor on Wednesday with my friends and family. It was a fantastic film. I especially loved the design of Asgard. If you hear of any housing opportunities, I'd like to move there. Some of the liberties they took with the mythos amused me, but they were understandable. You have to bend a few facts if you want to stick an old Norse deity into a comic universe. The one thing I didn't understand was why they had Odin missing his right eye. I can understand fudging why he lost an eye, but why switch which eye it was? That's just unnecessary. Which is a great lead-in for my Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief rant, but I'll save that for another time.

Even better than the movie was the aftermath. Bonster, my friend Sidney, and I started calling dibs on attractive male celebrities. After three solids hours of claiming actors, we were starting to have a little trouble thinking of more. It was glorious. My conversations with Sidney are always so productive.

Listening to: Charlie St. Cloud
Reading: Wolfcry by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


If I had been living on campus this semester, I'm sure I could've heard that familiar refrain building in intensity all week. It's the same at the end of every semester.

It's just a ghost of a sound on Reading Day, not even a whisper. It starts out as one of those sounds that rustles through your memory, but when you turn your head to catch it, you realize you were just imagining it.

As the days go by and more and more people finish their last final, the echo solidifies into a real sound that slowly grows louder and louder until at last it reverberates from A Mountain to Barrett in the mighty voice of a Southern Baptist preacher.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Listening to: "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reading: Wolfcry by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oh, C. K. Dexter Haaaaven!

I think we all have a lot of best friends over the years. There's the childhood best friend, the one you remember fondly as life gets more complicated and you yearn for easier days. There's the high school best friend, the one with whom you make all sorts of promises about living next door to each other and winding up in the same nursing home. There's your college best friend, your home away from home. There's your other half, your significant other, who I hear should become your best friend. That's what I'm looking for, anyway.

Then, of course, there's your built-in best friend, your companion before you knew you needed one, the one person who knows you better than anyone because she saw everything that went into making you you. She's so special she gets her own title: Mom.

I find it interesting that most languages have a similar word for our female parents. Most of them are some combination of the [m] and [ɑ] sounds. Mother, mama, madre, mater, mère, mutter. I don't care what you write down as your kid's first word, those two sounds, a bilabial nasal and a low back unrounded vowel, are the easiest speech sounds for a human to create. Those sounds are the first attempts at speech that a child is going to make. That's just linguistic fact. It seems right to me that they should go into the title for the first person to be important to us in this life.

I love my mother. She really does know me better than anyone else in the world (despite claims you may hear to the contrary). She knows how to deal with me when I'm in a mood. She knows how to make me smile. She can read all of the double entendres I hide in my Facebook stati. She gets the sly references I make to classic films and old British TV shows (probably because she raised me on them).

She's absolutely magnificent.

Listening to: "Lucky" by Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat
Reading: Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Friday, May 6, 2011

Roll for initiative.

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately from the likes of Wil Wheaton and Penny Arcade, and it's really got me in the mood to play a little Dungeons & Dragons. My fingers are just itching to warm up some polyhedral dice and see what happens.

There are a few problems, though.

Let's start with the most blaringly obvious one: I don't have anyone to play with right now.

"Well, Rebekah," you say, "why don't you go ask some of your friends to play with you? I'm sure you can think of several offhand who would be thrilled." Um, yes, I can. But I'd rather not ask those particular friends. It's nothing against them, you see. I just know from past experience that I'm a thoroughly neurotic roleplayer and a thrown-together group of your run-of-the-mill nerds is the one thing precisely calculated to turn me into a psychotic, twitchy-eyed banshee. I have witnesses.

The trouble comes from having a different idea about what I want to get out of a tabletop RPG. Most of the people I know who would be interested in this sort of thing are of the hack'n'slash variety, the kind who like to spend half an hour scouring rooms for treasure and to waste half the night buying supplies. No offense to those people, but what the duck? I thought we were playing a roleplaying game. You know, wherein you play a role. I've always been more interested in developing the characters and the story than in racking up XP. I want the players to talk to each other as their characters, build up these fictional lives, not just stare raptly at the DM waiting for stimuli to respond to.

But where do I find people who are interested in that sort of thing? If I put out a call for players, I'm bound to flush out every hack'n'slash on my Facebook friend list. The only method I can think of is to quietly send out feelers to people like I'm some kind of shady black market vendor, but where do I start? How do I find someone with the brand of humor and creativity that I'm looking for?

Maybe I should just clone myself with Calvin's Duplicator.

Of course, even if I did, I don't have any manuals. I've done that whole I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-manual thing before, but after listening to these podcasts, I kind of want to try the 4th Edition system. I could go for a little structure.

But even then, I would inevitably end up as the DM of any group I managed to scrape together, and bog nab it, I wanna play! It's like skipping your childhood. I'm not ready to be the parent.

I suppose if this is the extent of my life's problems right now, then I really shouldn't be complaining.

Listening to: 17 Again
Reading: Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Thursday, May 5, 2011


It's simply grand how often lately I've been able to say, "I understand where you're coming from." I'm finally able to take all of these quirks I've built up over the past 20 years and channel them for the benefit of others. I get to step back from a situation and say, "Time out, guys. Don't judge. I've done that, too, and this is why." I can connect with people in ways I never expected.

It's magnificent.

Listening to: "Never Say Never" by Justin Bieber ft. Jaden Smith
Reading: Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I meant to blog about walking beside the sprinklers on campus yesterday and getting my pants soaked, but I went to hang out with a couple of friends, and after the chocolate, the strawberries, and the cookie dough, I decided that I was just going to spend the night.

Unfortunately, while my dad knew that I had been hanging out with some friends that evening, my phone died before I decided to crash there.

When I finally got home this morning and plugged my phone in, I found a bunch of worried voicemails and texts from people wondering where I was and whether I was okay. It turns out my dad had called the Institute looking for me, and the people at the Institute had called just about everyone they knew. People I've barely spoken to were called during this massive manhunt (which only lasted about three hours).

I felt so bad when I found out about all of the worry I had caused. At least it makes a funny story. And hey, now we know where to check first if someone really does go missing.

Listening to: "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright
Reading: Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Monday, May 2, 2011


"I always keep it in my truck in case of emergencies," I said as I hefted the gallon of strawberry-scented bubble solution out from behind my seat.

With only a little further ado, Bonster and I took the lift up to the top floor of the Institute parking structure, where we proceeded to blow bubbles out over the sidewalk. Actually, there was a bit of a headwind, so we found that waving the wand majestically resulted in higher quality bubbles than blowing. Cassie joined us until she had to go to class and dropped her ninja-on-a-parachute a few times just for kicks.

The entertainment doubled when we started attracting a crowd. One of the Institute teachers was constructing spiritual messages to accompany how the bubbles descended and pointing us out to people walking by. I felt like all of the people craning their necks up at us were waiting for us to jump or whatever the cheerful alternative is.

It was like a movie, an awesome, awesome movie.

Listening to: "BEST Cartoon Theme Songs EVER!!!"
Reading: Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An abundance of metaphors.

Time is strange. It plods on, keeping a perfect tempo, yet we never perceive its even measures as they really are. Yesterday, it seems, was January, and these past few months have whipped by before I had a chance to notice they were here. And yet, the events of January and February and even March seem so hazy and dim, as though they happened millennia ago, that they may as well have happened to someone else. If the happenings of a mere month ago already seem like distant memories, how much more unreal are those which happened a year ago?

The events of a year ago really did happen to someone else. They happened to someone who was drowning in despair and loneliness, who was desperately counting down the days until she could escape this place and these people for somewhere else with someone else, who couldn't see far enough past her own dark wasteland to spare a thought for others or even remember who she was really supposed to be.

She was a bit like the protagonist from basically every RPG ever. You know, the one who wakes up with amnesia, no idea who she is or what she's supposed to be doing, only to be sent out on some grand, epic quest to save the world by an old bearded man. She had tunnel vision for the main storyline, chugging through tasks as fast as she could to get to the end goal, only wasting enough time leveling up as she had to, to survive.

I still remember the moment when she remembered who she was. It was like her hand suddenly grasped a life preserver, and she was able to raise her head about the churning sea and gasp for air.

This past year has seen the sun breaking out in streamers from between the dissipating clouds, the light bouncing like crystals off of the gentling waves. Speaking of, I think it's beautiful when light reflects off of water onto an overhanging surface and creates those dancing waves of light, but I digress.

The gameplay has completely changed. This person I am now is the kind of person who stops and talks to all of the NPCs repeatedly until she's sure she's heard everything they have to say. She takes every little side quest she can find and executes them with vigor. Okay, maybe not every side quest, but quite a few of them.

There's an incredible difference between me and that girl who was living in my skin a year ago. I hope it shows in my actions. I'm happier. The world is full of light and music and goodness. I'm not perfect at it yet, but I'm trying to think of myself less and others more. Most of my worry right now is for a few of my friends, who shall remain nameless because the crap they're going through is just that tough. I'm approaching the end of the semester and the beginning of summer at peace with all of creation. While I'm supremely looking forward to seeing my Missouri mates again, I'm leaving behind the promise to Arizona that I'll see it again in a few weeks.

This is me being abstract.

Listening to: Easy A
Reading: Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes