Saturday, November 10, 2012


I am beautiful.

For a long time, I didn't believe this. I didn't think I was ugly, but I didn't think I was particularly pretty, either. I liked my face (or thought I did), but I didn't think anyone else had any reason to. Sometimes, there would be moments when I could see my own beauty, but they were rare and fleeting.

But lately...I can see it. I look in the mirror, and for a second, I don't recognize myself. But then I do, and I smile, and I feel it. I feel my beauty.

What's more, I've started to believe people when they say they can see it, too.

It's like I'm halfway through my movie now, and I've finally undergone the transformation from gawky misfit (played by a stunning A-lister whom the production's makeup team struggled to make look average) into head-turning homecoming queen, only it's a transformation that has taken place deep inside my heart.

Listening to: "Hanging by a Moment" by Lifehouse
Reading: ...I'm sorry, what? I can't form coherent thoughts while Lifehouse is playing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Which I Enjoy Food, Dancing, and the Company of Friends

What a full two days!

Friday morning was luxuriously slow and was entirely wasted in getting ready for the day: showering, eating breakfast, shaving my legs. That sort of thing.

My day really began at noon with a devotional commemorating the fifth anniversary of the dedication of the Tempe Institute. I sat with Shantel, Kira, and the inimitable Amanda, who seems to have a special talent for making me laugh.

After the free tostadas provided for those who attended the devotional, I went to Walmart, still all dressed up in church clothes, where I overheard two little girls admiring my silver heels.

I spent most of the afternoon baking homemade macaroni and cheese for a house of boys who frequently let me hang out with them until 2 in the morning and are constantly feeding me PopTarts and reverse-engineered Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. I though it was time to give a little something back, especially to Drew, who has become like a brother to me. Seriously, it's Facebook official. I suspect the boys are going to spend the next week hiding the leftovers from each other. *ahem* Matt.

Around 9, Drew, Matt, and I met up with a group of friends at Paragon, which is this amazing dance place. It's hours upon hours of nothing but Latin, ballroom, and swing. I got to practice some of the dances I've been learning in my dance class this semester (that's a thing that I'm doing) and learn the basics of some new ones. I'm pretty sure I rocked the cha-cha. My teacher's certainly spent enough time on it in class. I mean, would the world end if he taught us a little more waltz? It's not fair that, in all the weeks school's been in session, he's only spent half an hour on the dance that has more than lived up to all my wildest expectations. Not that the cha-cha's not awesome. I love you, cha-cha. We stayed until midnight.

This morning, I was woken up around 10:30 by someone small and furry scratching on my door and whining. When I finally let the princess in, she lay on my floor and panted for three hours. That dog is such a prima donna. Someone mowing the lawn is no reason to spaz out.

Productivity today comprised of renewing my library card and getting in touch with my bank.

Around five, I headed over to the Institute once again for Laura's baptism. I was incredibly honored that she asked me to come early and to be with her and help her every step of the way. I love you, meimei. I'm so, so happy for you, and this paragraph inadequately conveys that.

After the baptism, a group of us went over to Laura's apartment. We played a game of Swedish twister (it's difficulty to explain without demonstrating) and watched Megamind and Secondhand Lions. Goodness, I love that last one! I'm kind of unreasonably proud that I was able to quote the last scene for those who hadn't seen it before after the disc messed up. I think I rushed my delivery, though. Oh, well.

It's been a good weekend.

Listening to: Secondhand Lions
Reading: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sometimes It's Lovely to Talk About the Weather

Things I love:

1. That feeling in the air before a storm comes in. Like the way it felt last night. I just wanted to sit on the edge of the pool with my feet in the water for hours, eyes closed, letting the sweet air permeate my skin.

2. Thunder crackling through a slate grey sky and vibrating the most primal little pieces of your soul.

3. The first raindrops unexpectedly popping on the roof and sending shivers all along your spine.

4. Playing in puddles.

5. Petrichor, i.e. the way the earth smells after the rain. It comes from Latin petra, meaning rock, and ichor, the golden blood of the gods of Olympus. "Blood of the rock." I imagine Amortentia would smell a lot like petrichor to me.


Listening to: "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes
Reading: Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Family Businesses Are the Best Businesses

Today, my mom and I went to the Shatto Milk Company, a sort of ritual with us, like eating at Winstead's. There, we discovered to my delight that they'd moved their shop to a larger part of the building. It's good to know my favorite dairy is doing well enough to expand. After browsing the new premises, we supplied ourselves with milk (I got rootbeer. Yum!) and honey butter.

While we were browsing, a resident collie, who had full-run of the store, came up and greeted us. Collies are such pretty dogs. A while later, she went and got one of her toys and came up and dropped it at my feet. We played tug-o-war for a good five or ten minutes.

There's something immensely validating about a strange dog deciding, without encouragement or coaxing, that it wants you to be best friends.

Listening to: McLintock!
Reading: A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why My Blog Isn't What It Used to Be

Many of you are going to like the fact that this is a post. Many of you probably aren't going to like what it says.

Blogging hasn't been the same for the past few months. The joy is gone. I have to squeeze the words out. Where once I couldn't wait to get home and blog about whatever, now blogging fills me with a frustrating and painful dread. Where once every post sounded to me like music, now each is stilted, halting, and choppy.

I've barely even been keeping up on reading the blogs I follow because going to my dashboard, knowing I haven't posted in a while, makes me feel guilty and uneasy.

I want you, my reader and my friend, to have something worth reading. I don't want to keep giving you the meager fare I have offered as of late. You deserve a little more this and a little less this.

That's why I'm letting myself off the hook. I don't want to feel obligated to blog anymore. I'm taking a break before I begin to resent it. This is not a hiatus. This is a mental and emotional step back from something that shouldn't be contributing to the current stress and worry in my life but, unfortunately, is. If I feel like blogging, I will, but I'm not going to force it.

In doing this, I'm hoping not only to eventually restore my love of the art but also to save my blovel (blog-novel, portmanteau coined by Drew). I was inspired to start working on a book by something my friend Ashley said in praise of my blog. It's still in the pre-writing stages (characterization, plot outlines, that sort of thing), but when I do finally start writing, I want it to resemble the blog of last fall, the blog Ashley loved, not the blog of this spring.

I want to rediscover something I've lost.

Listening to: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Reading: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Monday, May 21, 2012

Suppertime With Some Select Attendees

"My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."

"You are mistaken," said he gently, "that is not good company, that is the best."

The invitations have been sent. The place cards have been set. It's time for my dream dinner party!

For this hypothetical banquet, I was limited to ten guests, hence the delay in posting. After much agonizing and a little help from Amanda, Drew, and Matt, the company has finally been decided. All invited were chosen with the goal of quality conversation in mind.

1. Jane Austen

2. Winston Churchill

3. The Doctor

4. John Green

5. Ashton Kutcher

6. Kylie

7. Marilyn Monroe

8. Thomas S. Monson

9. Sarahbeth

10. Patrick Stewart

Dinner will be a traditional twelve-course meal. I may never have another opportunity to actually utilize the knowledge that you start with the outermost fork, so this seems like as good a time as any to go all out.

Listening to: Invincible
Reading: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


33. Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good, ye shall also reap good for your reward.

34. Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.

35. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.

36. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

37. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen

Doctrine and Covenants 6:33-37

Listening to: "Teenage Dream" by Boyce Avenue
Reading: Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Friday, April 27, 2012


"I'm allergic to fabric softener. I majored in comparative literature at Brown. I hate anchovies. And, I think I'd miss you even if we never met."

Guess which movie I'm in the mood for?

Listening to: "She's So High" by Tal Bachman
Reading: Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Perfect Picture = Picture Perfect

Back to the challenge at last!

The prompt is "a picture of something that makes you happy," but instead, I'm going to talk about a picture that makes me happy. But first, some ambiance.

Yesterday was an interesting day. Celery and I ran into Shantel and Sarah H. at the temple, which was fun, and then I caught a fly with my bare hands while we were waiting in the chapel. I'm told that my face in that moment was something to behold. For the record, little fly feet crawling on one's fingers tickles, but at least it's better than the sensation of one trying to fly up your nose. (Laura just shuddered reading this. Called it.)

At school, there was a palpable feeling that the semester is winding down. We finished translating Pliny's letter about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in my Latin class, and in German we had a potluck.

And now to the point, with some amusing anecdotes thrown in (okay, maybe just one).

The rest of my day was devoted entirely to my final project for my British literature class, which was naturally due at midnight. From 1 p.m. on, I just bit the bullet and tried not to think too much about the fact that I should've started it earlier, "it" being a drawing of Susan Pevensie post-Last Battle.

As I worked, there was a little piece of my brain constantly analyzing whether I was on schedule or not.

Admittedly, I got off to a bit of a rocky start. I spent five minutes cross-multiplying and dividing fractions only to come to the hilariously obvious conclusion that four divided by eight is one-half. And then Matt and Tim cracked up laughing at me. Or with me. One of those. I was laughing too hard myself to tell.

For the next nine hours, everything came together like a happy dream. There were times when I felt like I was just along for the ride. I had forgotten that drawing could be like that. I had forgotten what it was like to sketch and ink and color and not feel like I was senselessly bashing my head against a very solid wall.

I'm still riding waves of amazement at how everything went the way it was supposed to when it was supposed to. The entire experience was exactly the opposite of the Great Heroes Final Stick Figure Fiasco of 2012.

After I finished, my dad and I stood there for a good ten minutes just looking at it.

Sometimes, I blow my own mind. And, that makes me happy.

I feel weird about uploading the whole thing for general viewing before it's been graded, but I will leave you with a little piece to tantalize your mental taste buds.

Listening to: "Kiss Me Slowly" by Parachute
Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seriously Funny Phone Calls

I rarely get phone calls, but I've gotten a couple of gems over the past two days.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was talking with a couple of my friends, I casually looked at my phone because it's a compulsive habit (I'm getting better), and much to my surprise, I saw that I had missed a call from Sarahbeth. This was so unusual that I listened to her voicemail immediately instead of waiting until it wasn't rude to do so (i.e. my friends were still talking when I listened to it). All the message said was something like, "Hey, Rebekah, this is Sarahbeth. Please call me back as soon as you can." *click*

Somebody's dead, I thought. There's been a car accident. One of her brothers is in a coma. Something happened to her parents. Stay calm.

I felt my face become grave. I excused myself and walked off to make the call, hoping that it wouldn't be as bad as I feared. She picked up after only a few rings.


"Hi. Sarahbeth?"

"Yeah, hi."

"You told me to call you?"

"Oh, yeah. I wanted to know if you'll be in Missouri in early August."

...Um, what? My burgeoning alarm immediately dissipated, but I'm a little embarrassed that my first thought was, Maybe she's trying to set me up with someone who'll only be in Missouri for a short amount of time. Dear Brain, Why?

"I should be. What's up?"

"Will you be one of my bridesmaids?"

"Ohmygoodness, yes!"

The moral of the story is that sometimes a serious-sounding voicemail is misleading. I went from being a little worried to so excited I couldn't stand still. Ask Shantel or Matt. I was bouncing.

I got another incongruous phone call this morning from my dad around seven.

"I know it's Saturday," he said, sounding apologetic and worried, "and you can sleep in, but I wanted to ask you something..."

Uh-oh, I thought, not yet fully awake. He sounds really serious. There must be something going on.

"...Would you like a breakfast burrito?"

Bahaha! Yes, Dad. I would love one.

Listening to: "When We First Met" by hellogoodbye
Reading: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Happens When One Tries to Ship Things to Sweden

I'll get back to the challenge soon, but I just wanted to quickly share what happened today when I went to the post office.

After my friend gets home from his mission, I'm really going to miss walking up to postal workers, plunking a seemingly random assortment of dried goods and small children's toys down on the counter, and announcing, "I need to ship this to Sweden." I always get the best reactions.

Today, when I told the man behind the counter that I needed to ship a package to Sweden, he said, "On purpose?" And then he spent five minutes examining the Swedish stamps on the envelope I'd brought with the address. When I laid out everything that needed to go in the package, he went through all the Hot Wheels and tried to remember which ones he had (or at least pretended to).

He was the coolest postal worker I've ever met. He even drew a birthday cake on the front of the package for me in Sharpie and highlighter. He said he was "sprucing it up."

The entire situation was delightfully amusing. Who accidentally ships Tabasco sauce to Sweden?

Listening to: Bones
Reading: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, April 9, 2012

OCD: Who Punctuated This?

Once, someone asked my friend Josh if he knew what an Oxford comma was. He said, "Of course! I'm friends with Duckie." (That's me. Just roll with it.)

As my friends know, I get a little zealous when it comes to punctuation.

Especially apostrophes.

I was only half joking when I said I wanted to found People for the Ethical Treatment of Apostrophes. The sole  purpose of the apostrophe is to clarify and facilitate written communication, and this is how people use it? Abuse is more like it.

All any punctuation wants to do is help, but people toss marks around willy-nilly like they're confetti or tribbles or something.

I weep for America.

Happy Easter.

Listening to: Smash
Reading: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Apologies

I have apparently forgotten how the alphabet goes. L-N-M-O-P doesn't sound too off, though, does it? At least I only swapped the nasals. They sound similar enough. Not that I actually mixed them up. I just sort of forgot about the existence of M for a day or two (long enough to write the last post).

I must apologize for not only the mix-up but also the delay. As previously mentioned, life has been a

One of the challenge prompts is to talk about my goals for this month. I'm not much of a goal-setter (e.g. my only "career" goal is to be happy), but I'll give it a go.

First, in regards to blogging, I'm going to try to post at least once a week. Weekdays have been pretty frantic lately, but I should be able to find time each weekend to write at least one post. In regards to the challenge and its time limit, we're playing by Calvinball rules now.

Second, I want one of those posts to be humorous because I promised Drewbadour I'd write something funny soon.

Finally, I just want to get through the end of this semester. I'm taking it one day at a time.

...So they're mostly blogging goals. Whatevs.

Listening to: THIS
Reading: Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Never Fails

Instant happy.

Listening to: "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls
Reading: Paradise Lost by John Milton

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last Purchase

Sorry about the unexpected hiatus. Life and I have been somewhat at odds as of late.

I left you hanging on the letter L.

The last thing I bought was a wooden hair comb.

After two and a half years of drought, I finally got to go to a renaissance festival again. Sure, it wasn't my beloved Kansas City affair with its plot lines and its leafy trees, but I could tell as soon as I stepped out of the car in the parking lot that it would do nicely.

I was so relieved that it smelled right, sounded right, felt right. I spent the first 15 minutes just basking in the atmosphere.

I was delighted to find that Morgan's Mane had set up shop here, too. A comb was the one thing I had hoped to buy at the Festival, so to find the very shop I had grown accustomed to in my youth was a real treat. (Tartanic was another unexpected bit of home.) 

The clear stone and red feather were gifts. Annie, Shantel, and I were each given a stone by a benign sculptor because none of us had dowries. (True story.) We got the feathers from a wandmaker for being pretty. (Matt got a feather, too, for being handsome.)

I was extremely proud of myself for not making any insane impulse buys.

Listening to: Once Upon a Time
Reading: Paradise Lost by John Milton

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kill the Beast: A Habit I Wish I Didn't Have

Have you ever noticed the scarring on my face and chest?

That started when I was about five or six, only it wasn't my face then. I didn't know this until years later, but I was exempt from the rule against wearing hats in elementary school. I was exempt because I would scratch at my head until it scabbed, and then I would pick at the scabs. There's actually a tiny bald spot on the crown of my head. I was allowed to wear a hat in an effort to prevent me from scratching.

In fourth grade, I picked at my chicken pox. (Those are the scars that dip in.)

In fifth grade, I picked at my forehead.

In seventh grade, I started getting acne, and it all just kind of went downhill from there.

Back when it first started, my parents took me to a dermatologist, which is also information I found out later. I remember wearing hats, and I remember taking long car rides to Salt Lake or somewhere and listening to Radio Disney on the way, but 5-year-old me did not store the information of why, if she ever knew it. The dermatologist said that it was probably neurosis. I don't know how far you can trust a psychological diagnosis made by a skin doctor, but it's true that the picking is worse when I'm stressed.

And now you know that I don't have a skin condition.

Listening to: "Mr. Sandman" by The Chordettes
Reading: Paradise Lost by John Milton

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Job (Not Job)

When I think about my future, I see myself pulling lasagna out of the oven as my husband gets home from work. He puts down his briefcase and his fedora as the kids shout and run up to hug him...

Apparently, I fantasize about being June Cleaver.

But, I'm also realistic enough to realize that I may not get to play the traditional female role, which, by the way, is a respectable, full-time job in its own right, despite social stigmata. In the event that this is not to be, I want to be an old-fashioned librarian.

It would be pure bliss to spend my days stamping books, alphabetizing things, and memorizing the Dewey decimal system (because, let's face it, no one else is going to).

Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy alphabetizing? It is one of the most delightful pastimes in the world! Part of me doesn't mind that I haven't organized my new bookshelf yet because I get to keep savoring the anticipation.

Unfortunately for me, that's not what it means to be a librarian, anymore. Now, librarians are required to have degrees in computer science. They have to know how to build databases and troubleshoot internet problems for patrons. Thank you, but no. I'll pass.

I guess my soul was meant for a different age, even if my purpose lies in this one.

Listening to: That's Why Carbon Is a Tramp by Crash Course
Reading: The Song of Roland

Inspirational iPod Item

There is a lot of inspiring music in the world, but one of my very favorite songs is "Somebody" by Bonnie McKee. Yahoo! featured it in 2004, and it's been quietly humming away at the back of my heart ever since. When I really need it, it whistles a little louder and reminds me it's still there, right where it will always be.

Listen here: Somebody (Album Version

Listening to: "Somebody" by Bonnie McKee
Reading: The Song of Roland

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hearing the Happy

Or, "H Is for How Late This Is." Laura's been totally awesome at not missing days, but this is already my second time playing catch up, and we aren't even to the part of the alphabet you say really fast when you sing it.

Today's (first) post is about songs I listen to when I'm happy. When I'm really happy, that means dance music. Especially Latino dance music.

Shakira, Shakiraaaa!

My top five are:

1. "Suerte"/"Whenever, Wherever" by Shakira

2. "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga

3. "I Like It" by Enrique Iglesias

4. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" by Usher ft. Pitbull

5. "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen

*dance break*

Listening to: "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen
Reading: The Song of Roland

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good Grazing to Get Glad

When it comes to comfort food, Swedish Fish are, of course, my cure-all. The power of Swedish Fish lies in believing in the Swedish Fish.

However, I also have an interesting relationship with Pop-Tarts. I go through these phases where they're all I want to eat. When I went on the Spanish club trip to Europe in high school, I took three large boxes with me. That's 32 Pop-Tarts. I grossly overestimated how many toaster pastries it would take to sustain me in a foreign country for 10 days. I had been back home for a month before I polished them all off.

Listening to: This Means War
Reading: The Song of Roland

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Five and Fifteen Favorites

Instead of a list of my 20 favorite things (because there is an awful lot to love in this life, and it's hard to choose), I have listed here my favorite things in 20 categories. Mostly I have tried to pick topics people don't hear me talk about very often, but there are certainly a few exceptions I just couldn't resist including.

1. Actor: Paul Bettany
2. Comedian: Brian Regan
3. Digital artist: Charlie Bowater
4. Disney princess: Belle
5. Food to make: deviled eggs
6. Fruit: mulberries
7. Grocery store: Safeway
8. Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
9. Inclement weather: thunderstorm
10. Insect: firefly
11. Jelly Belly flavor: Tutti-Fruitti
12. Movie theater candy: Dots
13. Pixar movie: Ratatouille
14. Pizza: Domino's hand tossed crust with barbecue sauce, pineapple, and bacon
15. Scene from Fantasia: "The Pastoral Symphony"
16. Sea creature: stingray
17. Semi manufacturer: Kenworth
18. Shel Silverstein poem: "Invitation"
19. Superhero: Stupendous Man
20. Webcomic: Lackadaisy

Listening to: "Somebody" by Bonnie McKee
Reading: The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Earliest Effigy

My first memory is of sitting in the middle in the back of my family's orange Jeep as my dad backed into the driveway of our house in Clearfield, Utah. I was probably three.

That was the house with the willow tree that didn't get big until after we'd moved away. That was the house with the garden where Mom grew red currants for making into red currant syrup. currant syrup...

Listening to:
Reading: The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dreaming of Dates But Dead in the Doldrums

At this point, I may even go so far as to say I'm in the Bermuda Triangle, romantically.

If a ship were to rescue me, even just a friendly, disinterested one, I would want it to take me to the zoo. One cannot go to the zoo too much. It is an impossibility. There is no zoo quota.

You wanna know the best part about the zoo? They have animals. How can any two people be bored or uncomfortable when there are giraffes running about? They can't. That's how. There can be no end to conversation when there are goats to pet, statues to pose on, meerkats to ogle, and squirrels to feed.

Would you like to know a secret? The Phoenix Zoo has an area they call the Forest of Uco, and I think it is one of the most romantic places in the world. I know it's just false fronts and canned music, but I fantasize about walking hand in hand with some handsome, clever young man through that pretty little street. He'll stop me by the fountain and pull me into the cha-cha. We'll laugh as he guides me through the steps because my feet have never been good at remembering what they're supposed to be doing, and he knows it. And then we'll go see the Andean bears.

Because nothing says precious like this little guy:

Listening to: "Defying Gravity" by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Crying and Canciones

Here's an interesting tidbit: I tend to tear up when I sing.

Maybe it's because I generally belt things like Disney love songs and Adele when I'm alone, or maybe my tear ducts are just utter lightweights. Whatever the reason, no matter how dry my eyes are while listening to the original, once I throw my full voice behind a song, there's a 95% chance that my eyes will start watering.

Hymns are an exception. My theory is that because I sing them so often, my tear ducts have a higher tolerance for hymns than for other songs. There is, however, a giant gaping hole in this logic: I'm more likely to cry while listening to a hymn.

The moral of the story is that I am easily moved to tears. In fact, I sometimes measure the quality of books and movies by their ability to make me cry. Exhibit A: Great Expectations. I bawled straight through the last five chapters. Fact.

As a parting side note, I may have almost hit that high C in "The Phantom of the Opera" today. Although, since I'm fairly positive I don't have perfect pitch, there's no way to really tell what that almost-note almost was.

Listening to: "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Friday, March 2, 2012

Before Besándome, Be Aware

I promise this challenge won't be entirely about dating. I make no such concessions for the Spanglish.

One of the possible prompts was to talk about my last kiss. How could I resist such an opportunity?

I remember it so well. Not a detail has been lost with time.

Of course, that could be because there are no details since I've never been kissed (or done the kissing), so there's absolutely nothing to forget.

When I was ten years old, I wrote and signed a pledge stating that I wouldn't kiss anyone until I was married to him, and I made my parents sign it as witnesses. Naturally, that's absolutely silly, and I'm not holding myself to that, but I am going to wait until there is someone very special in my life. Maybe not quite fiance status, but getting there.

I know myself. A kiss would hold too significance for me now. Besides, that's not really a behavior I want to get addicted to in my singleness, and something tells me that's entirely too easy to do.

Someday a little girl with my eyes will ask me about my first kiss. When that day comes, I hope I can point to the man across the room and say, "Well..."

Listening to: The Finder
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Attraction: All the Attributes I Ache for in Another Alma

And by "alma," I mean the Spanish word for "soul," not the Book of.

The appellation is appropriate, I think.

What attracts me to someone? I think that most people tend to answer this question with a list of physical attributes. I'm not going to deny that my knees get a little weak over a pair of beautiful eyes or handsome shoulders or well-toned elbows (Shantel informs me that this last one is weird), but what really draws me to someone isn't physical at all.

To me, the most attractive thing in the world is a gentle spirit. I wish I could define it better. It's something you sense about a person. Maybe it's something about the way he carries himself or something in the way he speaks. Maybe it's not that simple. All I know is that it's palpable. I may not know how I recognize it, but recognize it I do. It's a quality that makes me feel safe, that inspires me. Around someone like that, I want to be good and gentle and happy, too.

I'm also attracted to intelligence. Someday the man I marry and I are going to be that precious old couple still holding hands, and our conversation will be as engaging then as it will be in our youth. I cannot settle for less.

If such a man also happens to like Charles Dickens and guns and the Legend of Zelda, who am I to say nay?

Listening to: "Maybe" by Ingrid Michaelson
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Pretend that this is dated February 29th.

Before I get to the business at hand, I would just like to say that my favorite part of Mesa High's production of Beauty and the Beast was the guy dressed as a whisk.

Moving on.

Laura and I decided that it was time for another blog challenge. This time, we made our own rules. We will be posting daily for 26 days. Every day, we will each pull our own prompt from a pool we have. The catch is that each day's prompt has to correspond to a succeeding letter of the alphabet, which will require some creative rewriting on our part.

We will not be repeating anything covered in the last challenge we did, so if you're interested in seeing what sort of zany things I revealed about myself last year, right this way.

Let the games begin.

Listening to: "How To Tame Lions" by Washington
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lydian mode.

Going to my bishop's house is always a treat. It never quite seems like a real place until I'm standing on the terrace again, and my eyes are showing my brain that I didn't misremember or exaggerate a single detail. In fact, they assess critically, in remembering, I may have toned it down.

Saturday night, the bishop and his wife hosted a steak dinner for the choir members. You know, because they own miniature hilltop palaces and Bentleys, and they can afford to do that sort of thing. The steak wasn't even the best part of the meal, though it was undeniably delicious. No, the best part was the rolls. The rolls and the raspberry butter.

It was a pleasant evening of floating back and forth between rooms, talking to people I always talk to and to people I rarely see or to people I've barely met.

Because it was a choir gathering, and because the bishop just happens to have a room in his house with perfect acoustics, the evening ended quite naturally around the piano. As each person finished their performance, the bishop's wife would stare down her next victim until they became uncomfortable enough to walk willingly to the altar and play or sing. I'm thoroughly convinced that that woman could talk me into just about anything.

As the party broke up, she coerced every person polite enough to find her and say goodbye to take a plate of desserts with them.

I carpooled with Matt, so when we got back to his house and my truck, I decided to pop in and say hello to Drew and pawn my obligatory plate of desserts off on him. Three enjoyable hours later, I left knowing way more musical theory than I'll ever conceivably need and feeling like I wouldn't mind spending many more such evenings there with those gentlemen and scholars.

Sunday was stake conference, which means sitting really close to people if you want to sit on a padded pew instead of a hard plastic chair. Matt likened it to the improv game Sit, Stand, Kneel. One person would lean forward; someone else would sit back. One person would sit back; someone else would put their arm across the backrest. It was even funnier during the adult session because we'd all talked about it at that point, so every shift was an occasion for smiling at each other and trying not to laugh.

In between the general and adult sessions, Shantel and I hung out with Matt while he made brownies. Then, we all went over to Nate and Ryan's for pasta and Bang!. The outlaws won. I...came in second? I was the renegade, but after the deputy blew herself up with dynamite, I decided I couldn't win it hands down, so I just threw my lot in with the outlaws. Better to live not a winner than die a loser, or something like that.

My free time yesterday was devoted to stuffing wedding invitations into envelopes at Kylie's, running snacks to Drew out of sheer boredom (and the desire to avoid doing homework), and discussing things like quantum physics and Channing Tatum at the Friendship Dinner.

Today can kind of be summed up by the fact that I lugged my laptop to school only to realize that I left my charger at home on my bed. But, I get by with a little help from my friends.

Listening to: "I Eat People"
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This is Sparta.

Three and a half movies, several hours of Deadliest Warrior, and a large Dr. Pepper later, and I had actually pulled of my first all-nighter. Not that that was what I was really going for.

But that monstrosity of an editing assignment has been tamed at last! Of course, when I say tamed, I mean it in the sense of, "Good gravy, child! What on earth have you done to your hair? I'll never be able to get a comb through these knots. We'll have to cut them out."

And that is why I spent the entire day zoning in and out.

Listening to: "As The World Falls Down" by Geekella
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy my birthday! (And other recent events.)

My 21st birthday was celebrated on the Saturday preceding in a grand and childish fashion, with the shenanigans including several hours spent at a local playground swinging, sliding, and fleeing lava monsters. Back at the house, we were surprised by Disney Princess decorations, Silly Bandz, and card games. Playing that memory game with a deck wherein each princess is featured four times in slightly different poses does something to your brain. The rest of the party consisted of food, s'mores, every line dance known to man (or pretty close), and The Philadelphia Story (complete with massage train). Golly, but I love that movie!

For the actual day of my birthday, I spiffed myself up a very little and went out for barbecue at Lucille's con mi familia. And then we found a candy store that specializes in giant candy. If you ever find yourself in need of 7 lbs. of Hershey's syrup in one convenient container, I know where you need to go.

Valentine's Day is a birthday in my family, so we went to Rustler's Rooste as per the birthday boy's request. I'd never been there before, but I'd definitely love to go back on a not holiday. Its many charms include a scenic view, a live bull, country dancing, and a slide. What's not to love?

Yesterday, my dad and I went to IKEA to pick out my birthday present: bookshelves. When it comes to bookshelves, IKEA's strategy seems to be to hide their lack of variety by having the same two styles pop up in different colors in every section of the showroom.

The shelves are desperately needed. Books have taken over my room, which until the weekend of my birthday, I hadn't cleaned since at least October. I didn't realize how much of the outward-creeping debris was books until I moved them all to my bed and saw that the rest was just a top layer of clothes and empty shopping bags. I haven't slept in my bed for the past week and a half because my shelves are full to bursting, and I don't have the heart to put all of those books back on the floor. I'm such a softie.

Sorry for the radio silence. I think what I need to break through my writer's block is to just sit down and plough through one solid, full-length post, but I never feel like I have the time. Of course, I don't have the time to be watching back-to-back episodes of Gossip Girl, either, but that hasn't stopped me.

You know you love me.


Listening to: Gossip Girl
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cop out.

New phone. Activation woes. Three phone calls to Verizon. Dad hooked up the old Snoopy phone.

Saturday night. Les Misérables. Lots of singing. No dialogue. Stunt fall gone awry. Broken glass. How did anyone ever get far enough into the book to find a plot for a musical? A BLT. Dollar bill air force.



Friendship Dinner.

Visiting Teaching.

It's not that I don't want to blog. It's that in between all the internet TV and homework, I can't seem to find the time to write and write well, which means you end up getting weird stuff like this, which I could probably pass off for poetry if this were 1923, instead of the cleverly worded anecdotes I feel you've come to expect.

The truth is, blogging is approximately 20% for you and 80% for me, to pick two arbitrary numbers that nevertheless reflect a realistic kind of distribution. I blog because I enjoy it, because piecing words together is fun, because spinning yarns is in my blood. Blogging is about playing.

I just don't have time lately.

But soon.


Listening to: Being Human
Reading: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Friday, January 27, 2012

Existentially fraught free throws.

My throat is kind of hoarse from screaming at the book signing I went to last night. Before you get all flustered about that not making any sense, let me explain just what kind of book signing this was.

There was a puppet show. There was nerdy, acoustic rock music about particle physics, anglerfish, and Harry Potter. There was mild electrocution. There were a lot of screaming preteens. Okay, that last part was what I found to be weird.

Dear Twelve-year-olds,
Why are you reading these books? Hit puberty, and then we'll revisit the topic of your YA lit privileges.

Oh, but it was grand! John Green is touring the country, promoting his new book The Fault in Our Stars, which is quite lovely. I would say it's on par with Paper Towns. John Green, by the way, is the author of several young adult novels, including Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. He and his brother, Hank, are the Vlogbrothers. I know I totally sound like an ad right now, but how else does one explain these guys to someone who doesn't already know? As a side note, Hank's the one who writes all the nerdy songs.

Speaking of Hank's musicianship, it would appear that he is really slow at tuning a guitar. One of my favorite parts of the show last night was when he asked someone (who shouted out that one of the strings was flat while Hank was trying to figure out why it sounded funny) to come up on stage and tune it for him. Since Hank's guitar is kind of legendary in certain circles, that was a real treat to see.

I was also rather a fan of the totally unrelated balloons on the ceiling.

This is all out of order. Oh, well.

The Fault in Our Stars is about a 16-year-old girl with terminal cancer. As John explained it last night, we always talk about how the deceased had lived long, full lives. But what if a life doesn't get to be long? He talked about ordinary heroes. He talked about how we get to choose what we think about, every second of every day. He talked about how the time we spend is spent in the literal sense of the word. It's gone. There will be no refunds. (That last bit is my wording.) We have to make a decision. Are we going to squander our time, or are we going to get the best use out of it that we can? Perhaps one of the most poignant points he made was that we were choosing what we were thinking about at that very second, as he was talking.

It's true. All of it. I know I'm frequently guilty of wasting my time, of blowing it on trivialities and mindless pursuits. But I'm supremely happy that, in that moment, I was thinking about something worthwhile.

John actually spoke at the beginning of the presentation, right after Hank's introductory puppet show. The profoundness he shared kind of got swallowed up in all the nerdy silliness that came after, but they brought it back around in the end. People often say that John and Hank look like The Proclaimers (kind of...), so as a finale they performed a slow, acoustic cover of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." I've really loved that song ever since the first time I saw Benny & Joon at age 9. They didn't slow it down terribly much, but something about the way the brothers Green sang it made it somehow sweeter, more TFiOS. Maybe this is weird, but I've always felt like there was something inherently nerdy about that song, so ending with it just drew the entire night together for me. 

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

Reading: The Iliad

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Contingency plans.

Today was a lesson in the sometimes inconvenient results of procrastination.

My first class on Tuesdays doesn't start until noon, so I figured I had time to watch an episode of Castle before I did my homework before I left for school.

By the time I got to the parking structure around 10:45, it was already full. A slight thing that almost wanted to be panic began to settle in. It wasn't until my third public parking lot that I finally found a space, so I decided to treat myself to Subway.

Finally at the Institute after much driving in circles and a little walking, I scouted around for a place to eat my Subway in peace. Alas, my favorite little nook was occupied by someone taking a nap, so back I went to the West Chapel, where I was finally rewarded for the morning's meandering by a very Drew-ish Drew and 15 minutes in which to feed my face with some of the mildest buffalo chicken I've ever encountered.

While the events of the morning may have taken me a bit out of my way, I think all of it was actually rather fun. I'm not saying I want to do it again, but I certainly won't say no to the unexpected adventure here and there.

Listening to: "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
Reading: The Iliad

Monday, January 23, 2012

Good, old-fashioned friendliness.

I love College Ave. It's always so bright and wonderful and full of pleasant people. Take today, for instance.

I didn't pack a lunch this morning, so I stopped by Cupz after Latin to see what I could find. What I found was a rather tasty bagel sandwich (though I should've gone with the plain instead of the wheat) and some good-humored teasing about the frayed state of the hems on my jeans.

Then, I met two very friendly women when I went into that little boutique on the corner to buy new Toms. They kindly waded through their new shipment, which was slowly eating the store, to find me the right size and color (7 and a half, chocolate).

On my way back to sit and wait for my German class, two of those scruffy guitar players who like to frequent College asked me if I had any change. Strangers on the street asking for change is always awkward, but I generally try to be as polite as possible, so instead of ignoring them, I told them I didn't have any change (truth) and that I was sorry. Then, the one of the left said, "Don't be sorry. Be silly. Life's much more fun that way." And then the one on the right asked me if I had a cigarette. That may be the first time in my life that someone has asked me that. I, of course, had to apologize again because, as a non-smoker, I didn't have any. "I'm sorry," I said, "I'm useless to you," referring to my utter lack of both spare change and cigarettes. "No, you're not," the one on the right replied. "You bring beauty into the world."

Listening to: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Reading: The Iliad

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spaghetti-less western.

Yesterday, I woke up around 9 to one of the most wonderful things in the world: a text from Kylie the Magnificent. She's very in-demand, so when I get a chance to hang out with her, I take it.

We spent the morning simply enjoying each other's company while she browsed Craigslist and I did German homework. We may or may not have also blasted Breaking Benjamin while she straightened my hair. I can neither confirm nor deny any such allegations.

We had lunch at Tempe Marketplace (cheesesteak for her, Chinese for me), then met Laura and Matt for a matinee of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Ever since it came out, I've been blasted from every side with the raving review that it's so much better than the first one. I can understand that, but there's also a stubborn little part of me that feels oddly protective of its predecessor. My feelings about each film start chasing each other around my head, and the end result is the only satisfying conclusion I can come to is that each would be lacking without the other. Personally, I'm just grateful to the film industry for presenting me with five solid hours of Jude Law.

Also, I'm very impressed by how easy it was for Kylie to just waltz into the theater with a bag of outside-food French fries. No one said a word.

After the movie, we frolicked. Eventually, we ended up at Cold Stone Creamery, where we were joined by Kylie's fiance, Jon.

Then, there was a parting of the ways as Kylie and Jon went off to go do responsible things like meet with student advisers while Laura, Matt, and I made our various ways over to Shantel's for an evening of tortellini, Bang!, and Silverado. The latter was because that was the first western we could find in her family's delightfully disorganized movie collection. I haven't seen so many VHS tapes in one place since Clinton was president.

The tortellini was delicious; the bread was even more so. Shantel and I, yet again, somehow wound up on the same side in Bang!. Good valiantly triumphed over evil at the end of both games we played.

The movie didn't get over until 12:30, and I stayed behind talking with Shantel until 2. I don't seem to be doing my circadian rhythm any favors. Fortunately for me, today is the day my classes don't start until noon, so I got to sleep in for a bit. Shantel, however, had to get up at 7 because her father misunderstood which time zone their insurance agent is in. Ouch.

Listening to: Pan Am
Reading: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ever on and on.

I am so sorry. I was going to write a beautiful post for you about midnight hikes and nieces and the zoo (twice) and school and playgrounds and German and froyo and Jester'z, but I kept having no time to write a post the way all posts deserve to be written, and the longer I went without time for writing, the more there was to write about, so the more time I needed for writing, and pretty soon it all started resembling that Infiniti commercial with the giant snowball that rolls down the mountain, and now my metaphorical car is totaled. Dang it.

Although, other than some slight agitation and the lingering feeling that I've been a rather fail-tacular bloggess the past few weeks, I can't really feel that bad about it all. I didn't have time to blog about my life because I was busy living it. There's a beautiful quandary.

Generally, I don't feel like I really do much living. I'm alive and all, but in a quiet, homebody sort of way. It's genetic. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love cuddling up with my books and doodling and marathoning cult TV shows on Netflix, but every once in a while I start to wonder if maybe I'm doing it wrong. I'll never be a full-time Liver, one of those people always going, going, going, but sometimes it's nice to--Ahaha!

I just noticed my unintentional funny. "Liver." As in the internal organ that deals with toxins and produces bile and stuff. I'm sure there's some deep metaphor there. I'm only pointing it out because it completely derailed my already rickety train of thought.

I suppose the destination I was headed towards was some grandiose thought about being out of the world for a spell and liking to walk it awhile.

I've never had so many high-energy friends; it boggles my mind, but I'm perfectly happy to ride along in their wake.

This living business is wild. Why, I'd say it's almost like an adventure!

Listening to: "Alles Neu" by Peter Fox
Reading: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Friday, January 6, 2012

No time.

Busy having a life. Be back soon.

Listening to: Dollhouse
Reading: Existence by Abbi Glines

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Lately, it seems like my life is an alternation between bouts of nothing and bouts of too much. There has been something or other going on almost constantly since Friday when Yoda guided me through a rather ghetto part of Tucson to a rather nice hotel where I got to see one of my oldest and dearest friends.

I spent the afternoon sitting on the couch in her room watching her and the other girls get ready for a dance. Two hours may seem like too long of a drive to sit around watching girls do their hair, but I loved it. It reminded me of Young Women's activities. I love the smell of hairspray and the conversation and the way girls borrow from each other and tuck in each other's tags. Besides, hanging out with Gabby always feels right, like taking up a book I just put down and picking up where I left off.

On Saturday, Shantel graciously hosted the Knights' New Year's Eve party. After some very salty pumpkin seeds and the light, pleasant socializing that happens while a party is waiting for the rest of its guests to arrive, Matt grilled chicken and hamburgers, and we all played a round of Bang!.

Bang! is an Old West-themed card game made in Italy (so all the cards are in Italian) wherein the sheriff tries to kill the outlaws and the outlaws try to kill the sheriff and nobody knows who anybody is. It's a bit like Mafia in that way. The game that night went very quickly. Several people were more than a little trigger happy. The outlaws won.

After the game, we carpooled over to a YSA event featuring free ice skating. I didn't do any skating, but I didn't really care where I was so long as I was among friends. We meant to head back to Shantel's before midnight, but that didn't happen, so we ended up counting down at the skating rink.

Back at Shantel's, the boys took turns trying to get down the timing of throwing a blooming ground flower into the air so it starts spinning before it hits the ground. Fireworks were followed by hot chocolate was followed by The Bourne Ultimatum and a massage train. I'm running with the assumption that that movie is even better if you've seen the first two.

Sunday was actually pretty quiet. I slept most of the day and spent the evening at family dinner.

Yesterday, I got to spend the day with my brother and his wife and their two adorable little girls. Is it terrible that I love making jokes about my nieces being poster children for Hitler's master race? They're going to be heart breakers when they grow up, them and their giant blue eyes.

They may look like clones, but I love how different they are. The elder is cautious and proper, and the younger is audacious and has attitude. They're expecting a little brother in March. I'm so excited!

Because I'm insane, after a long day of watching the girls fight over who got the bumblebee Pillow Pet and who got stuck with the ladybug, I didn't hesitate in answering an impromptu call at 10 PM to head over to Shantel's for another night with the Knights. There was more Bang! and Marc brought his telescope. After the boys got kicked out for making too much noise while they attacked Shantel, she and I stayed up chatting until five. I love one-on-one time with friends. You get to know people so much better that way.

I also love how the last few hang outs/parties/shindigs I've been to have been mostly guys. That's different for me, but interesting and fun. Boys are very entertaining, and they can be quite charming. Sometimes too charming, the devils.

Listening to: "The Call" by Regina Spektor
Reading: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo