Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas



Today is Christmas.

Merry Christmas, no matter your personal views on the matter, because, well, it's Christmas!

This time of year is often characterized by a massive push of consumer greed. The uber cheerful music, showy gift wrapping, and crazed shoppers are enough to make me gag. If I have to hear one more rendition of "Santa Baby" I just might tear off my own ears.

Except, I truly do like Christmas. I like the glittery lights, good feelings, good food, and massive push for family togetherness.

I like gifts!
Receiving is great, but I really love giving gifts. Particularly when I have something especially good in mind for the recipient. The joy of watching them carefully peel off brightly colored wrapping paper is only topped by the singular moment when they realize exactly what is in their grasp. It's priceless! It is beautiful.

Today I received a bit of an unexpected gift.

A touch of the "true meaning of Christmas" in wondrous solidity.

We only had one hour of church, as opposed to the regular three hour set. I arrived late due a miscommunication and arrived just as the children were singing about the birth of Christ. As I sat in the family pew I was a bit surprised to see a dear Brother on the stand in front of the ward choir. Earlier this year we were shocked to learn that this man had a vigorous form of cancer with few treatment options. He's known for some time but waited to share with the community until recently when his health has impacted his ability to participate in normal activities. This man holds my utmost respect and I'm sure he will never know quite how large an impact he has had on the lives of many thousands. He is good and kind and has done much to help my personal understanding of gospel of Jesus Christ without ever knowing.

He had been invited to speak on Christmas to share his feelings about the Savior of the world. His testimony was sweet and simple but powerful.

He opened by stating, "I don't know how many days, weeks or months I have left, but nobody really does."

That alone reduced me to tears. I cried openly as the realization touched my heart that this may be the last time I hear him speak at all. However, I am consoled by the knowledge that he knows where he is going and who he will meet and all will be well for eternity. Death is scary, but not so terrifying when the outcome is understood before.

No one knows when we will be called back to our Heavenly Home. No one knows how much longer we have to set things right. No one knows when our last day will be. That is why it is so important to find joy in every moment. Joy in the journey, no matter where it takes us. That is why we must use today to show others that we love them. That is why we must live today as if it is our last. Because it just might be. But even if it's not, even if we have dozens of years left ahead, wouldn't it feel like a waste if it was used in the pursuit of unworthy goals?

It is no mistake that Christmas is celebrated at the close of the year. We have exactly one week before the new year dawns, bringing new opportunities for change and growth. Let's use this week to prepare not only for the coming year but also for that great unknown adventure that has no knowable time or date. Let us prepare by using every day to become better, more worthy children of a loving God.

The real beauty of Christmas is in its name: Christ. Jesus Christ was born to help us undo all of our mistakes. He helps us to set things right, to atone for the things that have and will go wrong. He shows us that we are worth second chances. He helps us not only to learn but to reach our potential to be more than what we are naturally capable of becoming. It is only through Jesus that we can ever hope to be found worth before our Heavenly Father. He shoulders the weight of sins that would crush us. He sets right the injustices of the world. He does more than you or I can comprehend while in the mortal sphere.

In the New Testament, Luke 2 tells the story of Christ's birth. A group of shepherds were visited that night by glorious angels. The angles brought these common men "good tidings of great joy" and communicated how they ought to recognize the babe. When they found Him, these good men told Mary all that the angels had told them. Mary not only heard and wondered at these words but "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."

Don't forget how you feel today. Store up every amazing thing you hear, see, and feel. Ponder them in your heart as Mary did and know that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of the world.

Christ is worth celebrating.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

People Watching

This weekend I went Christmas shopping with my mother. First of all, I adore my mom. She has never-ending pockets of energy even when she claims to be exhausted. Maybe it's just a mom thing, practiced when there are a thousand baby needs and only one Mommy to meet them all. I don't know. All I know is that she is amazing. Some day I want to be as cool as my mom.

As we navigated busy parking lots, stores and mall corridors, we kept things light and purposeful. We'd made a list of those we were shopping for and what we wanted to get them. We'd discussed what the ideal gift would be for each person. We planned where to go for which items and where we could look if the first place didn't pan out. We were organized!

To keep up with our busy schedule and maintain spirits we did a little bit of people watching -- like you can only do during the Holiday season. Here are a few of our observations:

- A woman dropped her cell phone into a freshly changed trash bin at the food court. While she dithered and looked around for an employee to rescue her, a stranger just reached in and pulled up the bag to retrieve the phone. He then proceeded to blow it off as though his breath and spit flecks would clean the device. Handing the phone back to the woman, this knight in shining armor couldn't help but do one more kind deed: he took the trash from a waiting child and disposed of it for her.

- We pulled out of a parking stall near the business fronts as a line of cars formed behind us. A man who had waited for us in the other lane of traffic swooped in and beamed from ear to ear at his good fortune. He waved cheerily to us and was obviously satisfied with his lot.

- A family with three children were waiting to meet Santa. The father grouped his offspring in a corner of the North Pole display and was taking snap shots like he was a professional. He kept barking orders and making the kids stay for more photos. These children where about 10-13. Pretty sure they knew about Santa already...

- After making a purchase at a lonely mall kiosk, my mom and I walked away as two more patrons swooped in declaring their need for the item! People are easily swayed, when they see that someone else wanted something it is quickly placed on their list as well.

- We went to about five shops looking for French cuff dress shirts. When we asked the sales associates, they looked at us as though we had asked if they carried diamond tiaras. Do people in America seriously not know what a French cuff shirt is? We found more cuff links than we did shirts. How many people purchase the cuff links but not the shirts? "Oh, look, cuff links! This is a great gift for the man who has everything and won't ever use my gift!" In any case. if you are interested in purchasing a French cuff dress shirt for a snazzy man in your life please try Dillard's first. They actually have a selection with more than just white shirts.

- We ended our adventure in Wal Mart for a few house hold purchases. While waiting in line we observed an old man in a wheel chair pushing his items in a plastic tote in front of him. *scooch, wheel, scooch, wheel* It just about made me cry.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Never Been Kissed: a film and a rant

I just finished watching Drew Barrymore's Never Been Kissed for the first time since I was, like, 13 when we watched it at a Young Women's activity. I thought it was extremely inappropriate at the time because we were too young to be dating at all and was mortified by and then grateful when my leader fast forwarded (remember VHS?) through the banana scene. Oh the banana scene!
Now that scene just made me laugh.

Actually, the whole movie made me laugh. You wanna know why?  I related to the plot.

While I think it was unrealistic, asinine, and a little perverted with the main romantic leads being a teacher/student pair I did relate to the heroine.

In the most unflattering way.

She was Josie Grossie in high school, the geek who just wanted to be popular. I was an nerdy little mouse who truly believed she had attained invisibility but just wanted to have a few good friends.

Josie was invited to prom by the guy of her dreams only to be egged instead. I didn't even get invited to prom even though I secretly wanted to really badly and didn't even have a guy of my dreams to egg me.

The adult Josie grew up to be successful doing something she was good at but desperately wanted something deeper. Same boat.

Josie had pet turtles. I've always wanted pet turtles.

She was 25. I'll be 25 in a month and six days.

She'd never really been kissed. I've never been kissed. At all. Unless you count when I was three and he was four and we were going to get married when we grew up. (Ha ha! That sure didn't happen!)

Basically, Josie and I are the same person, right?

It's kind of horrible, but I even do my hair the way Josie does hers in the beginning of the movie. Now that's just creepy!

The thing is: we are the same person. While I would never be quite as horrific as she, I have done and said some pretty cringe-worthy things in my day. *shudder*

There's this scene in the movie where Josie is telling her office friends about how she had never really, really been kissed (let's give a plug for the title!) and she describes a real kiss in this way:
"That thing. That moment. You kiss someone, and it's like the world around you gets all hazy and the only thing in focus is you and this other person, and you know that one person is the person you're meant to be kissing the rest of your life. And for that one moment you've been given this amazing gift and you want to laugh and cry at the same time because you're so lucky you found it and so scared that it will go away."

Forget the ridiculous high school shenanigans that makes this film so difficult to watch all the way through. This quote is the only thing that should have survived the editing process.

It puts words to the ideas that have been floating in my head all my life.

And maybe I get those ideas from when I was, like, 13 and we watched Never Been Kissed for YW's. Who knows.

I had a long conversation with my favorite older sister yesterday. I expressed my frustrations and difficulties with dating in general and how every time I think things are going well it all just comes to a screeching halt for one good reason or another. She listened to my rant about how easy it looks for other people and how I have proof that I don't intimidate all guys and I really do have something to offer in a relationship.

Blah, blah, blah.

Same tired conversation I've had a million times with a dozen people.

You know it's bad when you're sick of your own broken record.

But my lovely, wonderful, beautiful sister had a contribution that stopped my turntable pretty quickly.

"You know," she said, "some people are just casual about those types of things. They find someone who doesn't look entirely like a swamp monster and decide to try it out for a while. But they usually end up unhappy and move on. I'm not like that and neither are you."

It's true. I'm not casual.

Not with the important things.

And what's more important than giving up a part of yourself and hoping that it will be accepted and returned in kind?

So, I'm just going to keep all of these kisses right here on my lips until someone inspiring comes to receive them. And I'm not going to feel bad about it at all.

*shakes fist at society*

The best part about that movie: when I first watched it I thought I'd rather die than be 25 and never have kissed a boy.

Ha ha, ho ho, hmmm.

Yep, call me Josie and send me back to high school.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Life Uh-huh!

I sniffed a baby scalp today.

It smelled like perfection.

It belongs to my little sisters little boy. I'm so proud of her and of my big sister for birthing two wonderful little guys this fall. They're just three weeks apart and look pretty similar. I figure that they will either be best friends or biggest competitors.

Growing a family is so hard but seems to pay pretty good dividends. Maybe I'll invest in that in the future.

So that storm I mentioned a few posts ago...yeah, I think it's set in. It's funny how you get super busy with all aspects of life at exactly the same moment.

Here's my list for the next week:
Church calling
visiting teaching
find a new roommate
write a letter of recommendation
request letters of recommendation
sign up for classes to retake
figure out how to pay for said classes
work on applications for my Masters
cuddle a baby
pay bills
work . . . a lot
figure out Christmas gifts for my British family so my parents can take it overseas and I won't have to pay shipping
breath
use up my Netflix free trial offer so I won't be too sad when I have to discontinue instead of paying for it
sleep so I don't get sick
read a book so Dad can stop asking me if I've read it yet
eat a lot of ramen
go to the temple
pray
figure out which schools I'm applying to for sure
pray some more
finish a story I began to write
clean my room
scrub my bathtub
breath
figure out my schedule for the next six months so I can work in volunteer hours
pray even more

I know my list isn't really that bad. It just feels like a lot. Especially since I've sort of checked out on responsibilities for a while because it just feels so good to not worry.

It's funny but I wasn't excited for Halloween this year. It's my very favorite holiday and I just couldn't muster a spark of enthusiasm. I dressed up, went to parties, carved my pumpkins, made pumpkin seeds, baked a lot of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and went to the pumpkin patch. But it just felt empty.

No, this year I'm much more excited for Christmas! I'm excited to put up the enormous tree in my parent's front room. Hot chocolate and peppermint sticks are calling my name. The lights at Temple Square seem to be my very favorite place. Snow! Lot's of snow and skiing! I want to wake up Christmas morning and make Swedish pancakes in my pajamas. I want to fulfill every Christmas tradition out there. And then make some up!

That's all. I'm going to go watch a Christmas movie or two.

Tootles!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Everyday



Everyday it's a-gettin' closer
Goin' faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey-hey
Everyday it's a-gettin' faster
Everyone said, go ahead and her
A-hey, a-hey-hey
Everyday seems a little longer
Every way love's a little stronger
Come what may
Do you ever long for, true love from me
Everyday it's a-gettin' closer
Goin' faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey-hey

Everyday seems a little longer
Every way love's a little stronger
Come what may
Do you ever long for, true love from me
Everyday it's a-gettin' closer
Goin' faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey-hey
Love like yours will surely come my way


Santa Monica Pier, May 2011

I've been thinking a lot about falling in love lately. Maybe it's just the season. You know. Fall is for falling in love, right? And I adore everything about Fall, so why not love too?

The problem is: I can't seem to visualize myself in the type of situation where such a fall is probable or possible.

I'm totally content with my life as it is. I have a great job, amazing luck in my housing situation, an incredible, growing family, and dreams the size of the Pacific Ocean -- what more can a girl ask of the world? Why should anyone want more than a situation that is already so unbelievably wonderful?

It honestly feels selfish to wish for anything else.

But as soon as I begin to relax, complacently is knocked over when someone reminds me of my lack. (Which starts a small cycle of guilt for being displeased at all with my life.)

Recently a regular lunch conversation turned to the topic of dating -- as things usually do between young single people. The question of choosing someone to date was brought up and has led to more questions in my churning brain: How can you know in a short period of time whether someone will be a good match? Does it matter where you meet, what they wear, or initial conversation topics? Do high heels denote a lack of depth in character? What is a "spark" and how does one delineate between coarse friction and the perfect recipe for such an intense, desirable flash of light? What are good limits to campaign for and which are ones to keep more on the fence about?

I am very Mormon. I attend church regularly, give a steady tithe of 10% of my income, I don't drink or do drugs, and I live in a conservative manner. I go to the temple as often as I am inclined -- which has been with some frequency since I moved about eight blocks from the Salt Lake temple.

Recently the question has arisen of whether or not I ought to date someone who is not a member of the LDS church. It's not as easy a question as I thought. My sisters both dated outside the church. They both married the men they dated. One brother-in-law joined the church as a result of the relationship and one did not. The one who did join the church did so simply because he believed in it -- not because of the relationship. Our family introduced him to the church and the missionaries simply as a effort to educate him in our culture and show him a little of what my sister had grown up with.

So, what about me?

I thought about it really hard this year. And realized something quite important about myself: my religious beliefs are more than just Sunday observances; they explain the deepest parts of my character, expectations, and influence all of my decisions. Including the decision of whom to date. I realized that if I were to date someone who did not share my beliefs it would be inevitable heart break. Unless he was the kind of person who would is naturally inclined to accept the principles of the LDS church anyway -- in which case he would want to join the church, right?

I don't know. It's not as cut and dry as I always thought. The one thing I do know and hold to with all I have: I will marry inside a temple and promise for this life as well as for eternity. That is my sincere desire and and is very firmly pressed into my heart.

Manti Temple

As far as dating is concerned, I've sort of adopted the principle illustrated by the saying, "A watched pot never boils." Meaning, if I think too much about it or look too hard things will never get steamy. This often leads to being oblivious of opportunities to act and expedite the process (turn up the heat -- hubbah, hubbah!).  But along the same line of thought, it's always been my belief that romances ought to proceed gradually -- becoming warmer incrementally until suddenly at a rolling boil.

Ok. Enough of the water analogies. This is going to make me pee. Plus, it's just getting bad.

I guess the main point of this post goes back to something a plasma donor told me. He said that I deserve to be with a nice man. While my initial reaction to that statement is to deny and assert my independent ability to take care of my own happiness completely, I think the wisdom of his words have sort of sunk in. When applied to others I can certainly, and very generously, wish all the happiness in the world to dear friends -- which includes finding the perfect match and helpmate.

Maybe it's the right time for me. Maybe it's not. I don't know. All I know is that I've been thinking a lot about falling in love. And every day it seems to be getting closer.

After all, I did get this fortune in my fortune cookie earlier this week:


Picture and directions found here.

Passionate new romance appears in your life when you least expect it.

Hubbah, hubbah!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm



Have you ever wondered at how amazing life can be? Have you ever felt as though your "cup runneth over" and there's no end in sight to just how many blessings will be showered down? Have you ever felt perfectly content and blissfully happy with life?

I have.

I do.

But I know from experience that this calm and peaceful state is temporary. The storm is on it's way -- the butterfly's wing has fluttered on some remote island and air molecules are becoming super charged, bumping into one another on an inevitable path of destruction.

I know it's coming.

It always does.

But I chose to put that out of mind and just enjoy the warmth and amazing state of comfort in which I am currently basking.

I love my family.

I love my God.

I love my job, friends, house, roommates, and life.

Things are so good and I can't ask for more.

Now is not the time for worry but time for enjoyment. These are the moments we live for -- the moments when you don't have to wait to be happy but can simply "be" in the moment and that is enough.

Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Whole New World

I've completely rearranged my life and it feels pretty good! In fact, I'm head over heels in love with my new life!


Step 1) Got a new job. I said goodbye to the plasma donors and hello to pediatrics. I'm still jabbing people with needles but now they cry more. However, I get to choose my own bathroom breaks! Oh the luxury! Plus, it's far more rewarding to help sick kids get better and I love pulling up to the huge hospital every day instead of a little brick building surrounded by taco carts. (Let it be noted that tacos from a cart cooked by someone who cannot speak English are some of the best food on the planet -- as long as they don't give you food poisoning).


Step 2) Moved away from home. That's right, after a two year stint of on again off again home dwelling I have finally moved away from the family bosom! While I don't love paying rent, insurance, and grocery bills on principle, it does feel nice to be providing for myself. I now reside in a quaint 100 year old house in the Avenues of SLC! My room used to be a back porch that was redone in the 70's or so with real wood panelling on two of the walls and half of the ceiling. There's no closet, but I do have a sink! In the main part of the house we have an enormous front room with a study off to the side and a dining room. We also have a gas burning stove and a Modern Maid oven straight from the 1960's!

Step 3) Began attending a YSA ward again. Those of you who know me well will know that I do not like the meat market mentality of most single's wards. I have skillfully avoided them for the last two years but must now resign myself to regularly mixing with other Young Single Adults during my time of worship. *sigh* It's a good change, but it does make me nervous. After having attended for two weeks now I can state that there are no ogres in the congregation. In fact, it is comprised of delightful and attractive human beings -- children of our Heavenly Father who just want to be loved. And luckily they just reorganized all of the leadership so there is only a small possibility for any kind of leadership role to squiggle into my hands. *sigh* It's a good change, and there is room for growth. 

There are blessed few opportunities in a person's life to start over again. As it happens, I've just been given one. I'll do my best to make it worth something. 

A pleasant surprise as I've been unpacking all of the things that have surrounded me for years: everything fits and looks marvelous together in my new station in life. Tender mercies.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering



"Never go through life saying 'I should have.' If you want to do something, you do it."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow: Job Interviews



A little different from the original Shirelle's version I love, Amy Winehouse's verision is certianly notable as well!

I officially started my new job at Primary Children's Medical Center this morning! After a day sitting in the same place, I'm itching to get out and see what there is to see and do what there is to be done!

The last two weeks at Biomat were very difficult. While I've been absolutely ecstatic about the new job, it's hard to leave friends and a company that has treated me pretty well. They gave me a job when it seemed that no one else would. My experiences there were certainly beneficial and I feel a better person because of my work with plasmapheresis and plasma donors. I've never had to leave a job before. My contract has always expired, the season has ended, or there was an understanding that I'd be leaving for school again in the fall. Putting in two weeks notice and writing a letter of resignation was odd to say the least. s

While I have little experience leaving a job, I must admit that I have plenty of experience being rejected from job opportunities. My very favorite job to date was working as a Lab TA for the Anatomy department at BYU. The material was mastered and class aced, but my confidence was very low and I wound up applying four separate times (that's four separate semesters) before they accepted me. And you know what? I was good! I really was! I was good because I loved it. I was good because I had to fight to get there. I was good because no matter what I kept up the pep and passion for learning and did my darnedest to convey those things to my students. That's what made the job so awesome!

So, for every job interview I'm lucky enough to be invited into I arrive with the same determination and drive I carried into my anatomy teaching.

"I am the best! Just Let me show you! And if I'm not, I'll do everything in my power to become such!"

While managers tend to like my resume just fine, they are usually impressed most by my interview skills. Here are a few tips:

- Pray
- Scope out the interview place ahead of time so that you can arrive a few minutes early and keep your nerves in check.
- Pray
- Smile. A lot. A lot, a lot. It shows that you are friendly and comfortable. Remember, they are hiring someone they want to see every day. In a death match between Smiling Suzy and Debbie Downer, the smile will win every time because of popularity and crowd support. The poor downer dies alone and destitute in the street because she couldn't get a job since no one wanted to be around her. It's a sad tale. :(
- Pray
- Anticipate questions that may be asked and have a rough answer ready to be tweaked on spot for specific working.
- Pray
- Be concise. Keep responses short and sweet. I have a tendency to ramble (as if you can't tell) so I try really hard during an interview to say as few words as possible. It's ok to have empty air between questions. That's part of how they can determine your response to stress.
- Pray
- Always end on a high note. If they ask about your weaknesses, tell them truthfully but then mention a related strength. I'll say it again -- Always end on a high note.
- Pray

The most important thing for me, as an LDS girl trying to live in accordance with what the Lord wants for me, is to invite the Spirit in that interview too. It helps me to feel calm, comfortable and collected. That's why I "interview very well."

So, I'm off to bed at 8pm so I can get up at 3am and make it to work by 4:30am. Hopefully I'll still love my job tomorrow.

Wish me luck as I go off to steal blood from infants!

Ta-ta!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Let's Talk About "It"

Albrecht Durer, 1504

My youngest brother and sister recently attended a ward Youth Conference full of fun, sun, and warnings against intimacy. Not too long ago this same group was subjected to a fireside wherein hand holding was likened to a gateway drug to fornication. We've been hearing stories about increasingly more frequent admonitions to youth about avoiding intimacy entirely before marriage. Most of these stories include cringe-worthy analogies about chewed bubble gum or smelly sneakers.

This needs to stop.

It doesn't work.

It simply makes some afraid of all things tender and excites others to taste of the "forbidden fruits."

In college I was introduced to talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland given in a BYU devotional in 1988. It literally changed the way I thought about sex. It is my opinion that this talk should be pasted into every Young Men's and Young Women's manual around the world. It's tender, thoughtful, and just "right."


After a rash of weddings for close friends and the associated bridal showers and bachelorettes, it feels ever so much more important to talk about these things before the anticipated hour. Let us be educated, reach out, and tenderly educate those around us. Sex is more than just the gratification of a physical need. It is very special and should be approached with respect.

Not that I know anything. I'm just a Molly Mormon virginal old maid.

Here
This site is very interesting and provides a necessary sounding board for the discussion of sex amongst LDS men and women -- but mostly women.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's about...time.

Patience.

A virtue that I am severely lacking naturally but have been trained to cultivate over the last few years.

With so many goals that are time sensitive -- meaning that they may be accomplished only at certain times of year in a specific sequence -- patience is of the utmost importance. Not only is it the practice of waiting for the right opportunity, but doing so in the right spirit. Waiting in agitation is a waste of energy. It also distracts from the main goal.

Right now I am in a situation where patience is quite important. As my MCAT test date looms ever closer, it is imperative that I give my brain, body, and nerves appropriate care and preparation. Becoming agitated because I can't seem to memorize the formula for that one physics principle is not going to help. Slowly working through the formula and then applying it to several different practice problems is a much better approach.

I feel the time crunch and want to find short cuts. There aren't any. Just patience. And time. And dedication.

Just breath.

This will pass.

Survival is a given.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Changes in the Wind

With so much going on you'd think I'd have quite a lot to say...

Alas, not yet. I'm going to keep this all close to the vest until there is a little more certainty in my world.

Coming soon: Erda Days!

Monday, June 20, 2011

What I Want to Say is Not What I Shall Say

Oh wow, it's been a while since I've last posted. That's probably because I've got too much to say and when I've got too much to say I usually just keep quiet and hoard all of the words for myself until they expire at which time they are brushed out the back door and forgotten as they scatter in the wind. 

Really though, I've been busy.

Between work, studying, church, and family life my grandmother passed away this month. We took a weekend to spend time with family up in Oregon and it was actually quite a positive experience. I found out some things about my grandma that have colored my memory of her in a more positive light. I'm very glad that I was able to attend the funeral and give her a decent farewell.

My left eye has been weeping for about two months now. It just brims over with excess tears and I find droplets of water coursing down my cheeks to rest on the corner of my lip or on my chin. There is no infection and after multiple episodes of using hot compresses and flushing out the eye I finally caved and went to see my doctor. I'm going in later this week to have an eyeball roto-rooter poked into my clogged tear duct. I'm kind of excited for this. I bet it will send water through to my nose! I'll be crying through my nose like a normal person again! Today at work, a donor noticed my constant eye blotting and very sincerely asked me how I was doing. She feared that I was sad or going through a hard time. It was just so nice to have someone care about me enough to make the comment, even though we don't know each other well at all. Way to be, plasma donor. You made me feel loved today. :)

I learned a new word.
pusillanimous
[pyoo-suh-lan-uh-muhs]
adjective
1. lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.
2. proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.

Pusillanimity is a serious problem. It leads to lower rates of dreams being achieved, destroys prospective dating ventures, and demoralizes to the point of diminished potential. Man up, ladies and gentlemen and help me in my fight against pusillanimous behavior! Together we can eradicate pusillanimous attitudes and replace them with the undaunted action of heroism.

Huzzah!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Student

Open books and highlighters
Scattered around the scholar
Tell the sad tale far better
Of what was about to befall her

Awake before the sun
No sleep underneath the moon
She bravely stuffed her head
To take her test by noon

But long before exam time
And after countless study hours
She had to drop the pen
And give in to physical powers

Somewhere deep inside her brian
Knowledge began to seep
A dam had burst, all was lost
The student began to weep

"My head is about to explode!"
The valient student cried,
She crammed and fought to learn
But eventually, she died

Let this be a lesson,
Young students, gather 'round
There is so much more to life
Than to be too tightly wound

So when a test date looms,
And you begin to feel the need
To study all night and day,
Please, don't over-do the deed.


Wish me luck, I've officially begun to study again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

This week I have...

This week I have...

...been offered candy from a stranger.
...been the one to offer purse candy to a child and then noticed that it had purse fuzz all over it where the wrapper was worn away by worrying against things in my purse. (Ok, so the child was my adult, preggers sister. She technically has a child inside of her. And the candy was bad. When she turned it down, I tried to eat it and failed because the stuff I had to pull off my tongue was not worth the taste of the candy.)
...accrued over-time. Boo-ya for time and a half!
...been squirted with the blood of a stranger. Twice.
...had a proposal of marriage. I turned it down. He just wants me for my money.
...finished a good book.
...started a good book.
...listened to Newsies about a billion times.
...had my spirits lifted by others.
...had my spirits dashed by others.
...had to cover for someone who quit.
...almost said something mean to someone because I was hungry and almost couldn't control my inner monkey man.
...cried.
...laughed.
...raged.
...done the wrong thing.
...done the right thing.
...wasted time.
...made head-way on a project.
...felt like a loser.
...felt like a sexy beast.
...given relationship advice to a stranger.
...given relationship advice to a close friend.
...had no relationship advice for myself.
...treated myself to a one person date. Thank you self, it was lovely. ;-)
...gone to bed at an unreasonable hour.
...chatted with someone I love.
... invested time into an important relationship.
...wasted time that could have been spent on something of more worth but can't regret it because I had fun.
...been sick. Still. :(
...been complimented.
...been given delicious food.
...blogged.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pinkenism

In high school I had a teacher who thought it was hilarious to randomly yell in the middle of class, "Everybody, look at Zarah!"

When 30 some-odd pairs of eyes were fixed on me, the temperature in the room would explode to a million degrees and something would just . . . happen. I would turn pink. Not just pink, but full on fuchsia with red highlights. And not just my cheeks, but my full face -- apart from a white line around my mouth and eyes . . . and I guess my forehead never really changes from stark white. . .

In any case, this little "joke" was not my favorite. I blush easily and hold color well.

People notice.

A few days ago during a lull at work I entertained two men who kept making me blush just by talking about how easily I blush. The fellow who led the conversation is quite creative. He spent some time telling me that he was a friendly mutant from a planet where everything is perfect and people live the law of "Do What You Do," which involves having resources at the ready to do anything you need/want to do when you need/want it (sounds like the law of consecration to me). He was willing to take me there if I wanted to go, but I couldn't change my mind. After much debate I decided against it and chose to stay in this less-than-perfect world. Sad day.

I'm not sure if he forgot the word "blush," or what, but he made up a word for what my face does when people stare intently at it for no particular reason: pinkenism. As in, "Girl, you got some pinkenism going on in your cheeks! Hoo-whee! Not just the round part but all up in your face and ever'thang!"

So, there you have it, folks. I've got a bad case of pinkenism and I am not ashamed!

This gentleman also thought that I couldn't be a day older than 19. And he told me that he'd met my husband. Thinking that he was going to offer up himself for the duty, I allowed my voice to drip with skepticism as I inquired after how he could have met my husband before I had.

His response was sweet.

"You wanna know how I know your husband? I know that you're a good person, so you're going to get good guy to be your husband. That's how I know. You're a good person and good people find good people."

My feelings about dating, love, marriage, and relationships in general seem to change wildly from one day to the next. Just today I was talking to a man at work who did offer himself as my groom in 10 years when I've finished med school so I can be his sugar mama. I declined the generous offer. I went on to declare that I wasn't on the market and wouldn't be for some time because my goals are too important to me. Citing  statistics that a significant percentage of med school students who enter their studies with a spouse end up divorced I denounced relationships as a non-priority for me.

I use this excuse a lot.

It's handy to have a well-accepted screen to hide behind when people begin throwing around uncomfortable topics. If I can tell people that I don't date because I have big plans and man would throw off my groove, they generally leave with visions of feminist bra burners dancing in their minds -- which happens to be in vogue in some circles. If I tell people that I don't date because I don't go out and meet guys they ask why I don't just date the guys in my area. When I tell them that I grew up with the guys in my area and have no interest in them because they lack ambition they walk away with the impression that I am too choosy and have made up my mind to be unimpressed.  If I tell people that I'd like to date but happen to be scared of actually finding someone I like because I've only had intensely negative experiences with that sort of thing they walk away feeling sorry for me -- this is not something I'm fond of cultivating.

It leaves me in a bind, actually.

I can't say what I really think about the matter because I don't really know what to think on the matter.

The following is an excerpt from my journal. Savor it, I doubt that I'll be posting anything like it ever again.

12 May 2011

For the past several months I have been questioning myself daily. "What do you want? What do you really want?"
The response that inevitably came to mind was, "I want what everyone wants -- to be loved."
But it has always sounded off to me -- as though it's only partially correct. Like the class of notes in a dissonant chord, my very being collided with this one idea to make something lovely but...wrong.
Why do I need to be loved?
I am already loved dearly by so many.
I am quite happy with those I call dear.
Tonight, in a moment of quiet meditation over the events of the day I repeated my well-worn self query.
"What do you really want?"
And tonight my soul answered, "I want to be understood."
This thought sang with Truth -- with a capitol T!
This is what I want! Love with come with understanding, but sharing one's self requires more than love alone.
I thought about boys I had dismissed as possible companions. The biggest fault I found in each was perceived inability to understand me -- to appreciate the crazy complexity of emotion and logic that makes me tick. If I can find someone to really understand me, I will never let him go. And he won't want to leave because he will know how earnest and faithful I am.

Maybe it's just my crazy talking, but this has become something of a priority for me: to find and understanding soul with whom I can share my whole self. Is that too much to ask for?

I have no idea where to start looking for such a person -- if indeed someone like that can actually exist -- so I just wait. Hopefully I haven't burned too many bridges  to explore past options. And hopefully I will be given new opportunities.

In the mean time, I really do have things to occupy my mind. .  . and hands. . . and heart. But I'll keep the light on.

One thing I do know: if he happens to like pinkenism, he'll just be one lucky guy because I've got a whole lot of that going on!

Oh, look, my mouth has some pinkenism too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Someone To Watch Over Me

Tonight I came home to the strains of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue pouring out from the television in my parent's room. I joined them for an evening watching the 1946 film about the composer's life, exclaiming a few times, "This is a fun piece to play -- I should know!"

I played Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris with the Murray Symphony last year.

We have a concert coming up May 21 at 7pm in the Murray High School auditorium. We will be playing several challenging pieces and a few just for fun. This is the symphony's 35th concert season and we are all so thrilled to be performing. Only one member remains from that first season but many more have been playing together for several years. And then there are newbies like me who have just discovered the joy of community orchestra. What a wonderful thing it is to be included!

The following song is a composition of George Gershwin with lyrics by his brother, Ira Gershwin. A particular favorite; it speaks to me tonight.



There's a saying old
Says that love is blind -
Still we're often told,
"Seek and ye shall find."
So I'm going to seek
A certain lad I've had in mind.
Looking everywhere,
Haven't found him yet;
He's the big affair
I cannot forget.
Only man I ever
Think of with regret.
I'd like to add his initials to my monogram.
Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost
lamb.
There's a somebody I'm longing to see
I hope that he
Turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me.
I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood.
I know I could
Always be good
To one who'll watch over me.
Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key.
Won't you tell him please to put on some
speed -
Follow my lead -
Oh! How I need
Someone to watch over me.
Someone to watch over me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lusty Month of May



Hee hee!!

This song has been stuck in my head for the last nine days and I'm sure it will stay put for the next 22.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

California Dreamin'

With the crazy Utah weather we've been having (bipolar in the extreme) I'm very, very excited to be heading out for sunny California tomorrow morning!

I'm even more excited to be sharing in the union of two remarkable people. There's something amazing about attending a wedding when both bride and groom are good friends -- it's like double the excitement, fun, and bliss!

Here's to road trips, weddings, and camping on the beach!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

R.I.P.


Baby and me, circa 2007


A week ago today we had to put our cat down.

His name was Baby and he was nearly 12 years old. As an out-door cat, he was pretty much ancient. He was a great mouser and we found him nibbling on things he'd killed all last summer, and until about three weeks ago he was in great shape. The vet was pretty sure that he had a stroke and it was just down hill from there. Poor thing.

One summer several years ago our neighbors warned us that hawks had gotten to all of their kittens and if we wanted to save ours we needed to protect them somehow. Since cats are useful in Erda to catch mice and other rodents, we wanted to save the kittens. Plus, these were some especially cute kittens! The decision was made to keep the three momma cats and their squirming litters of tiny kittens in my closet. I was in a basement room with sliding windows that the cats could easy open by shoving a paw in between the frame and glass and then working their noses in to widen the gap, making it easy for them to visit the out doors for a restroom break or snack.

I let the mothers come and go as they pleased and the only upset was when a cat pounced on me in the middle the night as they jumped to or from the window since my bed was immediately below.

Baby was a tom cat in every sense. We used to joke that he was like the James Bond of cats with a lady friend everywhere he went. He was also very social. He would saunter over to greet anyone who pulled into our driveway with a loud purr and then beg to be petted. If you put your hand out, he would stand on his back legs to pet himself on your fingertips. He also accepted belly rubs with a booted foot and acted as though it was a great luxury. Easy going and patient, he was a great cat for small children. I've stepped on his tail before and all he did was yelp and then come back to be petted properly.

When the mommas and the kittens were in my closet, Baby seemed to feel a little left out. At first I didn't object to him spending time in there with all of the other cats, but I soon realized that he didn't care about the kittens and just wanted to be surrounded by his harem. He would go right up to the mommas, sit on the kittens and refuse to move as muffled squeals of panicked kitten pancakes arose from beneath his massive backside.

I objected to this.

Fed up, one night I kicked him out the window and told him not to come back in angry voice.

Literally three minutes later Baby was back, looking very smug. He came with a peace offering dangling lifelessly from his mouth, fresh blood beading at its neck. A vole that had probably been alive and well not 90 seconds earlier.

Surprized by this scene in my window, I screamed.

This startled Baby.

He dropped the vole.

Directly onto my pillow.

Before the vole could bounce twice, I had shot up the stairs, screaming bloody murder the whole way.

Needless to say, I had to wash all of my bedding that night. I also tried to reassure Baby and let him know that he was indeed a good cat, but I never wanted any "presents" like that again.

While he would occasionally insist on eating his prey outside the front door (and always received ample praise for his hunting prowess), he never left dead things for us to find later.

I'm very glad for that.

We miss Baby, but take a great deal in comfort knowing that he was a generally happy and healthy cat. I'm glad that we got to enjoy him for so long.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ten Top Dates of 1971

While reading articles on lds.org about marriage and dating (a compilation project for a friend which I'm sure I will share here soon), I came across this jewel!

To be completely honest, most of this looks like fun. Some of it is pretty weird...but it was 40 years ago. I particularly enjoy the use of the word "fellow" instead of "guy." In fact, I've decided to start using it in my common vernacular.

I wonder what the Ten Top Dates of 2011 would be?

Enjoy!

. . .

Ten Top Dates of 1971
by Jaynann M. Payne

Everyone, it seems, is constantly looking for enjoyable social experiences, no matter how old or young he may be.

But as anyone who has ever been on a date knows, it can be either an enjoyable or a miserable experience, and generally those that are lackluster experiences are that way simply because no one took the time to make them really enjoyable.

So with an eye to improving the memories and experiences of all who date, in both group and twosome dating, the following ideas are presented.

They are (drum roll and bugles, please!) the Ten Top Dates of 1971:

1. Star in Your Own Spectacular. Arrange with four to six couples to each bring a box lunch and several funny, weird costumes or some old clothes. Take a movie camera and several rolls of film and head for the nearest interesting site—perhaps a ghost town, a seaport shanty, a Japanese pagoda, a historical site, or a beautiful scenic mountain or seacoast locale. When you arrive, assign everyone a part and let the cast put on their costumes. Let them suggest plot and actions and then begin filming your own do-it-yourself superspectacular, with all cast members competing for Oscars. After finishing the movie, everyone relaxes with box lunches. This date almost guarantees a second fun experience, because a few weeks later a follow-up party brings everyone together again to view the completed film, with Oscars going to the best, worst, and funniest performances. This is a superb way to fill a memory bank.

2. A View and You—by Candlelight. In the late afternoon two couples are picked up in a chauffeur-driven car (the chauffeur being a friend or member of the family of one of the boys) and taken to a designated place where tandem bicycles await, guarded by a younger brother dressed in some sort of uniform. After leisurely riding and chatting for an hour, the two couples arrive at some scenic view—a mountainside, a seaside, a lake, a river, or a hill. At a prearranged time, the “chauffeur” returns, whisks from the car a card table, four chairs, a lace tablecloth, a candelabrum with lighted candles, pizza, soft drinks, salad, sweets, and voila! A candlelight supper with a view—and you! Again your chauffeur returns at a prearranged time, after you have eaten and watched a beautiful sunset. He clears the table, returns everything to the car, and departs, leaving the two couples to take a leisurely return ride home by bike.

3. Wash-the-Wagon Date. Each couple brings a car that needs washing and plenty of buckets and soap. It is advisable to wear bathing suits or grubbies, because most of the fun will happen after the cars are washed and a water fight ensues, using balloon-and-bucket props. Rules should be drawn up and the fun confined to those at the party—no attacking of passing cars or pedestrians! Conclude with plenty of towels and hot stew, homemade bread, jam, and salad. A camera is always a good way to record the hits and provide future enjoyment. This date is lots of fun for neighborhood parties, where group dating is just the thing.

4. Create Your Own Masterpiece. A most memorable date can be a creative experience in which you and your date make something together. How about writing a children’s storybook and illustrating it with pictures cut out of magazines? This is an activity made to order for one, two, or three couples, and it guarantees an evening’s time spent in fun and thoughtful endeavor. The finished book could be given to a member of the family for a birthday or to a child in the hospital. This idea is great for a wet or wintery evening. Chili or stew served with fruit, cheese, and sweet rolls will nourish the hungry authors. If you really want to get to know a person better, if you want to know what he likes and thinks and feels, creative dates like this are the finest!

5. Paint-the-Town Date, or A Tom Sawyer Special. To two couples, add four paintbrushes and several gallons of paint. Find a widow or a family with a fence, garage, home, or barn that needs painting or find something around your own home that needs to be brightened up. Make all arrangements previously with the owner as to color, kind of paint, and so forth. One young couple painted the girl’s father’s cement mixer with a wild assortment of colored flowers. A backyard barbecue may complete the afternoon, or aluminum foil dinners of meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots cooked in coals will carry out the Tom Sawyer theme. If you wish, you can ask the couples to dress like Tom or Huck Finn. The best results from this date are the warm and productive feelings you gain from having made one spot on earth more beautiful.

6. A Sew-Sew Date. Clothing is so individual and cosmopolitan, why not get together with another couple and spend an evening creating a specialty, such as a leather vest, a belt, a wallet, or a purse? One fellow bought an inexpensive blue denim jacket and then faced the front with leather. Macramé is also fun. Another couple made for a younger brother a cute sleeping bag in the shape of an alligator. Finish the evening with pancakes, bacon, and eggs.

7. A Kindergarten Date. Call four to six couples, tell them to come dressed in playclothes, and meet at the local school playground. Play all the silly little games you played in grade school, such as drop the handkerchief; run, sheepie, run; London Bridge is falling down; kick the can. Be sure to bone up on all the rules of the games beforehand. Use the playground equipment. Also have everyone bring or tell about his favorite childhood comic magazine or the story that was his favorite when he was six. Afterward, go to the home of one of the girls and fingerpaint and make ice cream. Top off the party with hamburgers and ice cream. If you want to turn this into a special party or a birthday party for one of the fellows or girls, secretly collect baby pictures and a funny story about each person from parents or family members. Then type up each story, without using names, and attach the baby pictures. After eating, everyone tries to guess which baby picture and story belongs to which person. The results can be hilarious.

8. The Play Is the Thing, or “To Be or Not to Be.” Choose a short play, preferably a comedy. Have as many copies made as there are characters in the play; then invite a corresponding number of people. Don’t worry about the number of girls or boys in the play, because sometimes it is more fun for a girl to take a man’s part and vice versa. Upon arrival, each person is given a script and is asked to choose his or her part. Each couple is allowed a few moments to look over the script. Then, with appropriate sound effects and music, the play begins. Each person reads his part and acts out his character, making his own sound effects or being helped by others. The evening may conclude with fondue or fix-it-yourself sandwiches and sundaes.

9. An International Holiday. Plan with three or four other couples to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Jewish Rosh Hashanah or Hanukkah, Hawaiian Kuhio Day, Irish St. Patrick’s Day, Mexican Cinco de Mayo, or any one of the many holidays from the nations of the world. Find out what the people do on their special holiday, what they traditionally eat, how they celebrate, and why. This may take a bit of study and planning, but it can be very rewarding and interesting. With so many returned missionaries to aid you, this shouldn’t be difficult. One young couple celebrated the Chinese New Year with firecrackers and a Chinese dinner served on a low table. Everyone ate while seated on cushions on the floor. After dinner each person was given a piece of paper and asked to think up an original Chinese proverb. The host couple gave a brief account of how the Chinese celebrate their new year. Background music and artwork from the country had been checked out of the local library, and for a few special hours, everyone enjoyed being part of a distant land.

10. Happiness is … This is a date where you do something for someone else, such as—

—Planning and preparing a special family night for her (his) family, complete with lesson, games, and treats. If agreeable, the couple’s families could join together.

—Gathering up your little brothers and sisters and some of the neighborhood kids and flying kites or playing ball with them or taking them on a hike or a picnic.

—Making some goodies and taking them to someone you know who is ill or housebound.

—Ultimately being worthy to accept the greatest date of all, going to the temple of the Lord.

After checking the above ten suggestions, it is easy to see that for the most successful and memorable dates you need to—

1. Plan ahead, even for informal dates. Most girls cringe when a boy arrives for a date and asks, “What do you want to do?”

2. Realize that movies and spectator entertainment won’t help you to get to know a person very well; making and creating things together will—and it will also be the most fun.

3. Double date or plan dates with four to six couples, depending upon the activity.

4. Keep your dates fairly simple and inexpensive.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cold Air and Solitude

Today was Earth Day, Spanish Valentine's Day, and Good Friday.

I admired the world and the beautiful things it has to offer.

I received a rose from a secret admirer for Spanish Valentine's Day. Actually, it wasn't a secret and all of the other girls at work got one too. The company that owns the company I work for is from Spain. I guess we celebrate Spanish holidays.

I decided to make today a good Friday.

Today I received many compliments on my new hair cut. Don't worry, I'll post pictures as soon as I can take some. I will take pictures as soon as my face isn't hideous. My face will be less hideous as soon as this horrible zit decides to vacate the painful swelling I once called my nose.

Today I decided to make some decisions. So, I'm going to look into that.

Today I wanted to crawl into a corner for a nap but realized that the only place I could do that would be on the dirty floor and chose to remain upright instead. I just traded out bio waste containers instead and took in the cold air and solitude of the bio waste container closet. There's something about being alone that I crave and need on a daily basis. When life gets hectic, the first thing I want to do is remove myself from life and find someplace to be alone. Not that things were hectic today. I don't know. My mind has been hectic all week. Maybe I just need to sleep more and shut off my mind.

But then, I know that my dreams will be all over the place.

Can't win for losing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cubby In My Heart

Circa 2007

As I awoke this morning, sharp blast of the alarm clock wailing, I thought I saw you in the corner of my mind. The crook of your smile, the star-light in your eyes, a memory of your touch – I thought I remembered it this morning. A memory from beyond the time of remembering, as much a part of me as my parent’s DNA tied up in neat little packages within each of my cells. My heart has always had a cubby with your name on it. You carved it out in a place beyond all places. It used to ache, this hole that belongs to you, but now it is filled with hope because I feel you are near although I have no way of knowing you. So unique, it can only belong to you. You keep me waiting, but I wait patiently because your cubby has your name on it and no one else can belong there – that would be against the rules. My friends don’t have cubbies within their hearts. I used to envy them their pain-free existences. But then I realized that with hope living all cozy and safe within this hole in my heart, I still have a heart while they take theirs out of their bodies to offer passers-by who like to admire for a time but then leave them in the dust to become shriveled and dried out. My heart is not overly soiled. It is merely lonely.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Smokin' Spider

Oh, what a night!

After a crazy cleaning spree last night that postponed bed time until 1am, I'm woken up by a shrill alarm. Having woken up an hour before with the cords of my alarm clock and bed-side lamp in my hand, I didn't think much of it and began pushing every button on my "broken" alarm clock in attempts to silence it. I was worried that it would wake the entire house. It was 4:00 AM, after all.

Sounds from down the hall confirm that my little brother and sister were both up.

"I'm trying to fix it!" I thought as I continued to pound on all of the buttons fixed on top of my alarm clock.

That's when my youngest sister opened my door and shouted, "Fire! It's saying Fire!"

Everything clicked in a moment.

It was not my alarm clock, but the fire alarms that blared.

That's when the questions began pouring from my groggy brain.

Why are the fire alarms going off?

How do we turn them off?

Is there actually a fire?

Everyone grabbed shoes and a jacket and met up in the middle of the house, instinctively grouping. We decided to confirm an actual problem before calling the fire department. After several sweeps of the house for visual or olfactory signs of fire or electrical problems, we concluded that we didn't have a fire on our hands but a malfunctioning alarm system.

Nerves jarred and adrenaline still coursing through my system, I attempted to lay back down for a few more winks at the night. I tossed and turned twice before the alarms went off again. The shrill beeps notified us that something was still amiss and needed attention.

My little brother was on the phone with dispatch in a moment and we had the Sheriff and a slew of volunteer fire fighters in two fire trucks in front of our house in no time.

They used a heat gun on all of the walls to detect fire in the electrical system, and carbon monoxide detectors for, well, carbon monoxide. The only thing they found was an orange blinking light where it should have been green. This let us know that the alarm in my parent's master bedroom was  the culprit.

Of course Mom and Dad would be out of the country when something like this happened.

*tsk, tsk*

We chatted with the firemen for a while and learned that small insects or dust will sometimes get into the fire alarms and set them off at random times. We committed to cleaning the alarms, putting moth balls behind them, and changing the battery in the alarm that went off.

I was just really glad that my cleaning spree had set many things right that would otherwise have been deeply embarrassing. There is no excuse for a messy house.

My little brother climbed a ladder to the vaulted ceiling where the evil fire alarm was placed. Upon examination he discovered a tiny spider.

It might still be in there.

We were Skyping with my parents at the time and everyone agreed that the spider must have been smoking something up there and that's what really set off the alarm; not mere spider legs tickling the sensors.

In any case, bed time was stretched back to 5:00AM and the disruptive sleep has left me feeling a bit queasy. Good thing that today is my day off. Tender mercies come wrapped in strange packages.

What You Call Love

This song has been stuck in my head all day.

I love it.

I hope you can see why.



Guster -- What You Call Love

I caught a piece of the sunshine, put a little hope in me
But after the flood raged, there's nothing really left to see
But I was not done, or beat, the violence was a source of strength
Not everything is always just as it seems

What you call love, is just urgency
What you call love, is a place you turn in an emergency
Would you give up, when it's not what you want it to be?
But that's not love, what you call love

I caught a piece of the sunshine, burned a little hole in me
But after the flood raged, there's nothing really left to see
But i was not done or beat, the violence was a source of strength
Not everything is always just as it seems

What you call love, is just urgency
What you call love, is a place you turn in an emergency
Would you give up, when its not what you want it to be?
But thats not love, what you call love

What you call love, is just urgency
What you call love is a place to turn in an emergency
Would you give up when its not what you want it to be?
But thats not love, what you call love
No thats not love, what you call love
Thats not love, what you call love


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rakish

Work was intense today. The job itself is pretty easy but when 30 people all show up at the same time, it can get pretty hairy, especially since we can only seat 40 people at a time when we have enough phlebotomists to meet ratio -- which almost never happens.

We had to call in reinforcements from the lab. That's why our Lab Dude was out on the floor in the first place.

The personality types that are attracted to making a quick buck via plasma donation can sometimes be a little . . . strange.

Case in point: Donor Dude.

Donor Dude always has something strange to say. He has no filter and is not shy about loudly broadcasting this fact. It is very difficult to remain poised when Donor Dude begins speaking. He is, however, very intelligent.

So, Donor Dude finished his donation after an hour straight of bizarre comments featuring some of the following doozies (paraphrased and changed based on my faulty memory, but you'll get the gist):

"Have you ever tried to woo a woman by singing Neil Diamond songs to her? I've been listening to a lot of Neil Diamond lately and I wonder if it would work. His lyrics are ridiculous!"
"...So, I just need to find a beautiful woman in the jungle of Southeast Asia...Yeah, like that would work."
"...I have a friend who knows Slovakian dances, he could teach people. Wouldn't that be crazy?"

As Lab Dude disconnected Donor Dude from the machine, getting his bottle ready to process, Donor Dude begins with a rather benign observation:

DD: You look like that singer from Reliant K!
LD: Who?
DD: I don't know his name, but you both have a rather rakish appearance.
LD: What is "rakish"? Is that even a word?
DD: I can't really define it without seeming like I'm hitting on you and that would be weird.
LD: . . .
DD: Hey! (directed toward me) You've heard of the word "rakish," right?
Z: It is a word, but I couldn't use it in a sentence. What's the definition? Use it in context.
DD: Rakish: it's like the guys on the cover of those romance novels -- wind-swept, rugged sailors. You know, those romance novels.
(Everyone within ear shot is laughing.)
Z: Like, heaving bosoms and Fabio hair?
DD: Yeah, my mom used to read those books all the time. You know, right?
Z: Are you sure your mom would be fine with you telling us these things about her? I've never read those books.
DD: (Still trying to defend the definition of "rakish") It's like dashing sailors from those books. My mom used to keep some by the toilet the whole time I was growing up.
Z: Whoa, you should really be more careful of what you admit about your mom when she isn't around!
LD: *not excited about the conversation*
DD: It really is a word.
Z: I know it is, but it's the way you're defining it that makes it funny. Sorry to laugh at you, but it's just the whole situation.

Donor Dude walks away to be paid and we all bust up laughing so hard, it hurts. A few minutes later, I was taking a bottle back to the lab for processing and Donor Dude was still trying to receive validation for his use of the word "rakish."

DD: It is a word.
Z: I know it is, and I'm going to look it up tonight. Remind me next time you come in!

. . .

So, I came home and looked up the definition of the word "rakish."

rak·ish 1 (rksh)
adj.
1. Nautical Having a trim, streamlined appearance: "We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull" (John Masefield).
2. Dashingly or sportingly stylish; jaunty.


Donor Dude was totally right!! Just in a weird, abstract sort of way. He kind of morphed several attributes of a romance novel hunk into being a rackish sailor. But, I can see how he got there.

What's more...


. . . Lab Dude totally looks like the main singer for Relient K, Matt Theissen!!

Up until this week, Lab Dude's hair even looked like Matt Theissen's!

Very rakish, indeed.

Way to be, donor dude. Way to be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today: A Wednesday

1.) Wednesdays make me think of my 8th grade homeroom teacher who was also my geometry teacher. He had a monotone to rival Ben Stein and always said the most awkward things. He called "Colon" all year instead of "Colin" just to be ornery. He also called Wednesday "hump day." His explanation was that once Wednesday is over, you are over the "hump" in the middle of the week and you can coast down to the weekend without difficulty. I just think it sounds dirty. But, then again, I'm known to have a dirty mind at times...No, I've evaluated my memory and I think he actually meant to sound dirty but then tried to hide it.





As a random side note: I sometimes worry when telling plasma donors to "Go ahead and pump now," that they hear "Go ahead and hump now." I get funny looks sometimes.

2.) I love Wednesdays because I get off work early for orchestra rehearsal. I love working earlier in the day and having more time in the afternoon and evening to do what a want.

Definitely got myself some caramels from Sees Candy today while I waited for rehearsal. Mmmmm, sweet, salty caramel dipped in rich, creamy milk chocolate. Nom, nom, nom.

3.) We'll be playing a compilation of Star Wars themes by John Williams in our upcoming May concert! I'm so excited!!



4.) Driving in a rain/sleet/snow storm is so much better when accompanied by a personal sound track including Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries! Just try it sometime and try to tell me I'm wrong. You won't be able to; it's too awesome!



5.) After six years of only using math for physics and chemistry, it takes a little bit to get the cogs running smoothly enough to help a high school student study for a math test. Yeah, I forgot the vocabulary term "parabola." The important thing is that I remembered how to graph one!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Music

Last fall a friend posted a song on Facebook. It was written and performed by her friend and roommate, Emily Brown.

Emily's vocal timbre is lovely and unique but similar to other artists I enjoy.  It's like listening to a little bird warbling about unrequited love. If her music had a scent, I imagine it to be fresh rain over newly sprouted grass. Organic, untainted, pure.

She has recently launched an album! I intend to buy it soon but have left my purse downstairs and my laziness inhibits me from crawling down and then climbing back up to do so. You can find it here and listen to each of the eight songs in their entirety before, perhaps, purchasing it for yourself.

While the following recordings are not the best quality, these are my favorite songs from those I've heard Miss Brown sing and neither happen to be on the album.

Enjoy!



Monday, April 11, 2011

Blood of Healing

As it turns out, sleep is actually necessary for an appropriate level of functionality.

Who knew.

I was only zonked out for maybe 4 hours last night. But that was interrupted sleep with a very long period of non-sleep in the middle. I struggled today.


Last night I went to sleep before midnight and dreamed crazy dreams. I briefly woke up to turn over after a particularly strange dream. Turning my head, I could feel something...strange. Warm stuff was coming out of my nose! Jumping up, I ran into the bathroom next door and discovered that blood was gushing from my face. It was almost surreal. Standing there, all I could think was, "This never happens to me!"

I've helped plenty of people staunch the flow of a bloody nose, but I've never really thought about it for myself. In fact, the last time I can remember such a river of precious bodily fluids draining from my own face was when I was four years old. 

My little sister and I were twirling around in the living room pretending to be ballerinas. Arms out-stretched, we spun in circles to make our skirts catch the air and become full. Dizzy and happy we continued to dance faster and faster until one ill-fated turn sent my sister's hand colliding with full force into my nose. My face immediately irrupted into volcano of blood.

Shocked by the unexpected pain, I contorted my little body into a position meant to avoid bleeding all over my clothes. Bent at the waist, my face was turned ground-ward with one hand clamped to my nose and the other stretched out for balance. In this manner I blindly hobbled around the house like a child zombie, yelling for my mom to come help me as large drops of blood dripped in my wake.

But I couldn't find her.

I anxiously searched for Mom, screaming her name with increased urgency as I roved each room of the house and then somehow made it outside. She finally found me on the driveway. I had removed the hand from my face and discovered a trailing blob of bloody slime coming from my nostril. This freaked me out worse than just bleeding and my cries become quite panicked as I stumbled around screaming about a "bloody booger" attacking my face.

Mom took care of me, though, and soon the mighty river of blood was staunched.

Last night I didn't have a Mom to take care of me. It was 2:30 in the morning and I didn't want to wake anyone to apply a cold compress to the back of my neck or pet my hair as I tried to control my adrenaline-junkie of a heart. I merely waited for the blood to stop. I waited for my body to do what I know it is meant to do -- to clot and heal the busted blood vessel.

The human body is amazing. The healing process never ceases to cause wonder and adoration in my heart. We are made to be healed.

I've been thinking about this all day.

On our bodies is written a personal Book of Life. Everything that happens to us also happens to our bodies, and it keeps a record. I have several scars on my body from accidents, surgeries, and sheer stupidity. But no matter the cause, they have all healed over and most can barely be seen.

What a beautiful gift we all have to heal the natural consequences associated with residing in a mortal tabernacle of flesh.

What a beautiful reminder that through the blood of Jesus Christ we can be healed from wounds to our immortal souls.

While repentance can hurt a lot at first, the scars heal and are usually forgotten over time as though the wound never existed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend "Ah-ha" Moments

1.) A couple in love radiates adoration.

2.) There is nothing sweeter in this world than being cuddled by a baby. Nothing.

3.) When the earth is warm and the air is cold, snow falls in large, white clumps but does not stick. This is when magic happens.

4.) Time must be the true test for friendship. How we spend our time when we're together and how we feel as though no time has elapsed when we reunite after an extended absence helps me to know that we are the best kind of friends: the real kind.

5.) The Lord has a sense of humor. We must be objective observers of our own lives to be privy to the joke, and then we see that He laughs with us -- never at us.


This time last year, I was tromping around England with my sister, nephew and brother in law. This is one of my favorite photos from that adventure. Mr. Rossy in the sunset at Cape Cornwall.


This weekend has been full of beautiful moments. I've been lucky enough to share in the wedding celebration of a close friend, spend time with soul sisters, learn new things, meet new people, give away candy, give and receive thanks, be happy for instead of jealous of, see something from a new angle, sing gorgeous songs, and continue on a path that has already given me so much to be happy for.

My blogging has been less than consistent over the last few weeks. This is probably because my life has been less than consistent but really awesome over the last few weeks. I'll attempt to regain my regular posting schedule for those of you who check in every morning before getting ready for work. You know who you are.  Even if I don't answer your emails immediately, I will still try to give you a peek into my zammity existence. Mmm-kay?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A List of the Recently Learned



1.) While driving during a dark and stormy night, turning up Wagner's Flight of the Valkyries is pretty much the only way to go from here on out.

2.) Filing taxes feels amazing! No longer needing to worry about filing taxes feels even better. Waiting for a sizable refund feels pretty great, too.

3.) My new nickname is "Angle Eyes." Thank you, plasma donor.

4.) Dreaming about oversleeping, while horrible, is a lot better than actually oversleeping.

5.) Homemade french pizza is way better than frozen french pizza. Plus, it makes coworkers jealous. Mmmmm.

6.) Always initial and date food stuffs put into the work refrigerate. If you don't, it will be thrown out.

7.) Murphy was right.

8.) Sometimes having a great day is all about deciding to having a great day.

9.) Happiness is unexpected good news.

10.) Mindfully doing things to make you happy can actually make you happy.