Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All the Words!

I know I was really naughty and didn't write a single word on this blog the entire month of November and half of December. But I was writing 50,000 words somewhere else--on a Google document that held my novel. And after that was over, I just had to have a break from social media and crap.

Every year, thousands of writers all over the world participate in National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. That equates to about 1667 words a day, and the end result is novel that's about 100 pages.

I have tried the past two years, but I decided not to finish both years because I was in college and was working 30 hours a week.

This year I have a full time job, but I don't have homework. So I decided that this was going to be the year that I finished.

I wrote every day except one, and it was one of the longest months of my entire life. It was a blast, but it was harder than I ever expected it would be.

I had to give up a lot of things. This blog was one of them. I also didn't write in my journal, or read the book of the month for book group. I barely did house work or laundry and cooked really simple meals. I still found myself staying up late to get my word count in for the day, but I got it done.

I did tweet a lot. Sorry if you follow me and I spammed your feed. It was one way to really get the crazies out when I was really frustrated.

I reached 50,000 words on the last day, at about 9 p.m. The event was pretty anticlimactic  All I wanted to do was just go to bed. And although I got the word count, my novel is not finished. It's close though.

Here are some of the songs that I listened to:

(And like every other Lana del Rey song out there.)

(And like every other Ellie Goulding song out there.)

Anyway, I'm going to write more on here. I'm ready to be back.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wandering through Streets

I have a great sense of direction. Unfortunately, that does not translate to giving good driving directions, or at keeping myself from getting lost.

Sam has figured out by now that he can't trust me when I say I can get us somewhere. When we drive somewhere I've been but haven't been recently, I really can't be trusted. We usually end up kind of lost and then kind of getting where we need to go. Eventually.

Sam is not your ordinary man, which is why I married him. He has no problem asking for directions. He'll take the GPS, call our parents, or go into a gas station. No hesitation.

I'm all "no, I swear this will start looking familiar in a second" and "just follow the signs and we'll get there."

Living in Salt Lake City spoils you. It's so easy to get around here. Most of the roads have boring names, but at least they follow the grid system religiously. (That's what happens when a city is founded by religious people.)

Syracuse at large is even easier to navigate. The major streets are straight and they are numbered logically. Better yet, there are no east streets. Everything is west, because Syracuse is so western.

The subdivisions are another story. Most have catchy theme-named avenues and streets and cul-de-sacs. I don't think the developers wanted them to be easy to just wander into. They are private residences, after all. Neighborhoods aren't for finding things easily.

I also appreciate Syracuse because it's flat. Although this makes sledding hard, it makes driving a stick shift significantly easier. The first time I drove a manual for a significant distance by myself was in Syracuse. Sam's car is a stick shift, so I've been learning and I'm alright. The steep hill of Salt Lake still terrify me.

So this time when I drove stick all by myself... it was to Brittni's bridal shower. Do you know why this is significant? Because the first time I drove a car alone was going to Brittni's house for a party. True story.

I'll probably spend the rest of my life going places without knowing the way exactly, but just kind of figuring out. Looking at the signs, making U-turns.


Friday, October 19, 2012

That time we went to Disneyland! (Honeymoon)

I guess I should tell you about our honeymoon! We'll work backward. I promise, wedding pictures are forthcoming.

We stayed the night at the Little America (thanks to some great aunts and uncles who gave us a great room!) and in the morning, we began our drive to California.

We were met with a storm, which washed away a lot of the window paint and decorations which our friends had so lovingly put on our car. We listened to "Matched" on audio book, and just talked a lot. It was great, but long, since we did the whole drive in one day.

But at long last, we reached Disneyland!

 Yes, we are wearing "Just Married" pins. It was so much fun. Wearing them started a lot of conversations, and almost every worker congratulated us. (Even though sometimes it was an obligatory, bored "congratulations.")
 It was so blasted hot. We carried around a water bottle all day long and kept filling it up even though the drinking fountain water is not cold. It's water. Whatever.

 We ate a fancy dinner at The Blue Bayou. Sam and I both love Cajun/Creole/Southern food. It was so yummy. And it was so fun watching all the people go into the scary depths of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Roller coasters are so much fun, and I'm so glad Sam and I both will go on pretty much anything. We did have some firsts, though. (Please note the random bystanders in the photo. It's part of the DLand experience.)

 It was my first time on Storybook Land. Yes, it took me 21 years to go on this ride. I guess I was always too busy going on hard core rides to go on this simple, adorable Disneyland classic.
Sam went on the teacups for the first time! Usually spinning makes him dizzy...

He's OK. Don't worry.

 We waited an hour and forty-five minutes for the new Cars ride, Radiator Springs Racers. It was worth the wait. It was broken down for an hour, and took fourty-five minutes to fix it. But we met some new friends in line, so it was worth it.
It was a great way to begin our journey of marriage.

Our favorite rides (and why):

Meg--Space Mountain (We went on this about four times), Indiana Jones (just because), Thundermountain Railroad (we rode it right underneath a sky full of fireworks), and Matterhorn (Yeti, even though they don't have the snuggle seats anymore)

Sam--Space Mountain (music makes the ride super fun), Indiana Jones (Such a classic, and just so fun), and Midway Mania (reminds him of me, because I raved about it forever and it's way better than Astro Blasters)


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

83 Muffins

I haven't blog recently because Sam's computer has been broken, so he has to use mine to do homework. And homework is more important than blogging. Sorry.

And then I had the infection from Mordor. It was so terrible and lasted a week. I am so sick of cranberry juice now. I'll leave it at that.


I have to tell you all about the time I made 83 muffins. This really happened, a few weeks ago. I know you're asking why. Sometimes unexplained things occur, and you just have to accept them.

There are some hypotheses concerning this incident.

There were like five parties in one weekend that I had to bring things to.

It's fall.

These muffins are delicious. This recipe is fantastic.

Making muffins is relaxing and fun. Why stop.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Climb

On Labor Day Monday, Sam and I went hiking.

It was a difficult hike. We started far too late and erroneously thought that the path that was shortest would be the quickest.

It's unwise to go straight up mountain when there isn't a cloud in the sky and you only have one bottle of water between the two of you, and one of you (who's physically weaker by default because she's a woman) works at a desk job 40 hours a week and is seriously out of shape.

At the end (which I thought would never come) I had feelings that were similar to those I experienced after my half marathon, about a year ago. I'm about as sore, too. I felt proud that I had accomplished such a feat, and I was trembling because I was hungry and thirsty.

I don't know how I would have done it without my Sam. We had to pause about every 10 steps to take a breathers, and I even had to sit down at times because I was worried I was going to vomit or pass out. (Yes, I felt very lame and out of shape.) Sam was patient.

As we were taking one of our rests, where I couldn't hardly talk because my throat burned so badly, we saw a man running up the mountain. The very same trail we had been scraping our knees on as we marched slowly up toward the cloudless sky. And this man is running as if he's actually going down hill. As he passed Sam and I, huddled under the pathetic shade of a lousy bush, he said, "Great day, huh?" and he was not out of breath. I don't know how he did it.

(The group from last year's hike.)

Last year on Labor Day, a group of us did this same hike, except we took a different route that was still very challenging, but nothing compared to this. That hike a year ago was when Sam and I really started talking and getting to know each other. I still remember the spot on the trail where he told me he had five siblings, and he was the youngest.

(The group from last year's hike, again.)

This year's hike was fun because it was an adventure. It wasn't walking through shady forested canyons, but up steep grades, on ridges of dry grass and dust. There were no switchbacks and hardly any shade. The view at the top was great, though.

It was so great being with my honey. (Yes, I'm calling him "honey." This is what happens after bonding experiences.)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

So awesome

It would be so awesome if I could do eyeliner equally awesomely on both my eyes. Usually one gets it pretty good, and then the other one turns out to be lackluster.

It would be awesome if my hair really were that color. But thanks to Instagram filters, it looks a lovely auburn.

I had another cousin born yesterday! That makes two this year! (Also had a niece born this year. So many lovely babies!)

Utes won their game tonight! Yay!

Now go back to your lives. And I hope my eye photo doesn't creep you out to much and haunt your nightmares.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good at picking toilet paper, not at being a good sport

The other day, Sam complemented me on the toilet paper I had purchased. This seriously meant a lot. I know it sounds stupid, but I felt so good that he had recognized my amazing gift at toilet paper discernment. I had stood in that bathroom aisle for a good three minutes trying to decide which toilet paper was the best deal without being sand paper.

Because seriously, some really cheap toilet paper can give you paper cuts. This happened to someone I knew.

This toilet paper had puppies on the package, so I knew it had to be good.

In other news:

Settlers of Catan is a great board game. It's complicated and takes about as long to set up as it does to actually play. But it's fun, usually. If you've never played it...basically you try to build this little civilization by collecting resources to build stuff. The other night we were playing and I was losing. I was losing bad. It was like Sam was the United States and I was a little African third world country. It was terrible because I had no chance to win. I had made some stupid mistakes in the beginning of the game, and especially when you're playing with two people, it's hard to recover from that.

And I started crying. Seriously. I was in tears over a board game. Sam was pretty calm, even though he was thinking: "This is a ridiculous reason to cry." Because it totally is. But he didn't say anything rude, he just suggested we go to sleep. That was a good idea. I don't know how he was so patient, but he was. Seriously, it's super stupid to cry over a board game.

In my defense: I was tired, and I always lose at Settlers. And my birth control makes me super moody (I blame about everything on my birth control. It's great.)

But it was stupid.

Anyway, Sam still loves me and so does Jesus.


p.s. I did win Settlers yesterday! First time EVER! 

p.p.s. Did you know that Sam and I met playing Settlers? Yes. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grandma Dalebout

My great grandma Dalebout was 102. She died today, and we are going to miss her.

But she did live a very long, full life. She was kind and sweet, and a very good cook. I think we'll be making cheese spaghetti in her honor.

Even though this wasn't sudden, it's still sad. I will miss her. She was my last living great grandparent! I know I'm very lucky to know all of my grandmothers and one great grandpa.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mundane, but Merry

I want to blog more but I don’t know what to write about, really. Our life is great, but not super exciting. We go to work, we eat food, we try to be social and not become social recluses...

We don’t have a TV yet, so we play games, read books, or clean the apartment in what little spare time we have. It’s kind of nice not to have a TV. There isn’t anything quality on hardly except the news. Which is depressing, but interesting. Movies are great, even though we don’t have a ton. I like movies there’s less chance we’ll be watching sleaze, since you can research what’s in it and there aren’t stupid commercials to worry about.

Now Sam’s in school, so he’ll have homework and studying to do. We’re still planning on getting a TV, but I’m in no rush. We’re doing our research about it, and trying to find a good deal. Because we can survive without it!

We’re busy, but it’s not as crazy as when college was going on in my life. I’m glad we have things to do, a direction to go in, and stuff to work on.

I like cleaning the apartment. I don't know how long this will last. But for now, it's still fun. 


Friday, August 10, 2012

What's in a Name?: A Ramble from MEMT

I'm kind of having an identity crisis. When I was little, I thought that when a girl got married, her name magically changed. I remember once seeing a book with my mom's maiden name in the front cover. It looked so weird, to think that my mom wasn't always a McFarland. McFarland was her last name on everything, and it seemed like it always had been. I knew of course that wasn't the case, but that's why I thought that one day you had your maiden name, and after the nuptials--tada! You have a new last name and everything is changed for you!

Not so.

I'm still a McFarland on pretty much everything. My library card, my driver's license, my bank account, email...

The long process of changing is annoying, but at least there's no deadline. But that's not the most annoying part! The worst is when people ask what my name is!

I stutter and look stupid as I pause and go through a million things in my head. If I'm buying something, I feel weird not using my maiden name because it's whats on my card, and I don't want them to think I'm stealing someone's card. If it's someone I'm meeting in our new neighborhood, I give Thornton as my last name, because eventually that's what my name will be and they'll know me as that longer. But I still have a hard time with that because my name isn't officially changed yet. Legally, I'm still Megan McFarland. Sometimes I know it's pertinent to give my new one, but they might not recognize who I am because they've heard of me with my old name. Then I'm always mumbling about how I just got married, and how I haven't changed my name yet legally, and it's weird.

If that paragraph was confusing, don't worry. I don't get it either. The point is that I'm confused. So I just choose to ramble on and try to make sense of this second last name nonsense. BTW, I'm adding his last name to mine. I'm not hyphenating, I'm just going to have four names. So my name will be really long. Maybe this is stupid. I don't know.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Words I am Currently Loving

adventure-it's fun to have one

burst-so fun to say, as long as you don't make it awkward


compact-if you've read "Matched" by Alli Condie then you understand

fabulous-comes from "fable." So something that's so crazy/wonderful/awesome that it could only come from a fable? It's fabulous!

fancy-such a tacky, adorable word

fastpass-Disneyland made a great invention

feisty-note how it breaks the i-before-e "rule." Such a rebel.

hope-it's a beautiful thing

keratin-because I write about hair all day, I've grown fond of this word

lemonade-it's delicious, people!

lilliputian-means "small." Comes from Gulliver's Travels. You know the little people who bind him up? They were from the island of Lilliput. Cool, huh?

lista/o-OK, so this isn't English. It means "ready," but seems to embody the meaning better than "ready."

mallow-when you say this word, you kind of make the same motions with your mouth as you do when you eat a marshmallow. You just mouthed "mallow" didn't you...

olive-this is one of my favorite colors right now, and it's one of my favorite foods
passion-because that's what makes the world go 'round

struck-again, it sounds like what it means, so it rocks.

ubiquitous-means "everywhere" but isn't everywhere

vibrant-because vibrant colors are the best colors sometimes

vicious-because it sounds like what it means

violet-another color word, that is also a lovely object (see "olive")

On an unrelated note, Sam and I played Jenga the other night. We are super competitive at this game. I still can't believe I lost. But whatever.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Married Life Begins

Someone gave us a book of Crockpot recipes, and I was elated, because they all looked so delicious, and easy to make! I tried this taco soup one.

But we slept in so we didn’t have time to put it together in the morning. So I came home from work and put it together, even though we’d have to wait for 4 hours. We gave in and snacked just a bit. Then when the soup was done, we weren’t hungry. No problem. We decided we’d eat it the next day instead.

The next day was Pioneer Day, and Sam’s parents through a last-minute little get-together. So we ate with them, and saved the soup for another day.

Finally, on Wednesday, we at the soup. It was good, except we hadn’t let it warm up enough in the crockpot, so it was kind of cold. We put it back on, so by our second helpings, it would be warm. But Sam and I are skinny people, and we got full and decided we didn’t want a second helping. We would just save the soup and eat it for leftovers the next few days.

But although we unplugged the crockpot, we neglected to put it in the fridge. Facepalm. So a day later, we realize my crockpot is just sitting there, full of soup. Fail.

And our fridge really doesn’t have that much in it. There’s plenty of room for a crockpot. We’re just forgetful and inexperienced at feeding ourselves. As if I haven’t lived on my own for the past three years. I feel foolish.

One good thing is only being having to share my brownies with only one other person. Yumm...

This is our first meal at home as a married couple! Mac n' cheese. It was homemade, and let me tell you Sam makes a mean mac n' cheese. And see that bouquet at the table? It's mine. Proof that we did get married, honeymoon, and return home. Eventually I'll post more pictures and tell the story. All in due time, folks.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We're finally getting married!

It's like Christmas Eve on steroids.

Tomorrow I am sealed to the man I love so dearly!

Just start watching at 1:15. That's what I've been singing in my head recently.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

words I'm hating right now

ethnic hair--people use this, thinking it's a PC way to say "non-Caucasian hair." They don't understand the definition of ethnicity, obviously, because since everyone has an ethnicity, we must all have ethnic hair.

exciting--everything is exciting. I hate how much I use this word. My toast and my wedding are exciting. This is not OK.They should not be on the same level.

gnat--the silent G is annoying. How fitting.

hopefully--because it should mean "full of hope" but instead means "I hope."

just--a terrible, useless filler. I still just don't know exactly what it is supposed to mean.

loading--computers' favorite word, unfortunately.

maybe--answers everything and solves nothing. I use it all the time because I don't plan my life like I ought.

mega--it's like my name, but not.

overwhelming--it's creepy how is sounds so much like what it means. It's long, it's hard to spell, and there's a sigh built in for your convenience.

pissed--just think about the two meanings, and how they're connected and it's terrible.

product--ubiquitous and vague, and I feel obligated to use it all the time.

screw--crude, weird, and twisted

snarky--sounds like one is saying "sparky" whilst gnawing

slip up--too figurative, too silly for something that's not silly.

soothe--sounds eerie, and like so many others on this list, it's everywhere

tits--sounds like it should be a type of bug. And of course, it's vulgar and immature. I hate hearing this everywhere.

vender/vendor--frustrating to spell

very--it means about as much as a politician's promises

zit--for nasty. Why do nasty things have to have nasty names, too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In which the bridal/groomal photoshoot goes swimmingly

Yesterday I had my bridals done.

It was fun, but the whole day leading up to it was so stressful. I spent the whole day getting ready, and I think that wasn't healthy. I was stressed out because I was building up to the climatic moment for hours and hours and nit-picking myself.

Sam met me at This is The Place park that evening. We decided to do our bridals and groomals together so we wouldn't be as stressed on the actual wedding day (which is in one month!). We'll still be taking plenty of pictures on July 12, but it feels good to know we have plenty of pictures of us together already. Our photographer suggested we do a "reveal" AKA a first look. I was a little worried it would be cheesy, but it actually was pretty fun!

The moment I was with Sam, everything felt better. I felt more relaxed and just excited to be with him. Taking pictures was so fun, especially since we were all dressed up in our wedding garb. 

I don't have the actual pictures yet, but here's a little teaser. My mom took this when I had to hike up my dress to go through some touch terrain.


Saturday, June 2, 2012


On Monday, I was discouraged, frustrated and overwhelmed about life. I was still jobless, the wedding was approaching, which meant items on the to-do list were piling on faster than we were checking them off. 

Tuesday, I sent in an application to a job, and I heard back from the company later that day! The speed of the response was amazing.

First of all, I've applied at a lot of places, and most companies have an electronic application system. Many times, it takes a lot of time to fill it all out, and they ask for detailed information. I wouldn't have a problem with devoting so much time to a application if I knew it would materialize to something. But usually, the application just disappears into cyberspace and one never hears from the company again. I was lucky if I got an email saying they'd received my application. Usually there is no one listed to call to follow up, and sometimes they request not to call at all! There were so many frustrations.

But this application was different because it was simple, and a real person emailed me back the same day! I did some writing exercises and got feedback almost immediately. I went in for an interview on Thursday and Friday they called me and offered me the position. It all happened so fast.

I'm thrilled because I get to write every single day. There are a lot of other tasks associated with the job, but it's mostly copy writing. It's close to where Sam and I are going to be living, too. The people at the company were so nice; I was impressed with the whole office when I went in for the interview.

This is something I've been praying for. I just wanted an opportunity to do something--anything! When I thought about jobs I really wanted, I knew I liked editing, writing and teaching. But I also knew that there were probably a lot of other jobs that I didn't even know existed that I would be qualified for. Like this job. When I read the job description, I knew it was something I could do. I just didn't realize that it was an actual thing. I'll be writing the product descriptions for beauty products and doing other marketing duties.

For the record, I found the job on KSL classifieds online. I spent a lot of time on that website, and it's easy to use. I had plenty of duds there too, but if you're looking for a job, I'd say it's a good place to start.

I'm so thankful for all the people who helped me with job leads, and gave me career and resume advice. I know I was probably cranky and stressed a lot because of my joblessness, but everyone put up with me and loved me anyway.

I'm still working on figuring out some freelancing options to help supplement this job, but even if they don't work out, we'll be fine. I feel so blessed. God is so merciful.


Thursday, May 31, 2012


You think flat-faced cats aren't cute? Well then.

BTW, if anyone know the name for the breed of this cat, or if it's even real, please let me know. That would be appreciated. Not that Sam would ever let me get a cat anyway.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Sam and I are different. Crazy, I know. I love it, though.

I noticed our glorious differences a lot this weekend, especially Sunday. Friday night we were asked to speak just that Sunday! Some good friends of mine needed us to fill in to speak. In LDS wards, members from the congregation are called to speak and are usually give about a few weeks notice, but the scheduled speakers fell through. Sam and I were happy to jump in and speak, even though we didn't have much time to prepare.

When I speak, I'm kind of bold and direct. I sometimes tell personal stories, but I like to talk really loud and gesticulate. My talks are usually declaratory things, almost like a statement or creed. Usually I just write an outline, but this time I wrote out my talk word for word. I enjoyed the time to think out my word choice and more easily integrate my quotes and scriptures with my own words. 

Sam, on the other hand, approaches speaking differently. He is more soft-spoken, and he is gentle about his message. He is humble and isn't afraid to talk about his own life and experiences. He is honest and speaks slowly and clearly. He went from an outline this time, and let himself go with the flow of the spirit.

I'm glad we're so different. As I was watching him speak, I was filled with so much love. I'm so proud of him. I'm happy he's a blue personality and I'm a red. I'm glad that our differences don't cause contention. And on the things that count, we're similar. For instance, we both like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and OJ with lots of pulp. You know, the important things.


In other news, Memorial Day weekend was delightful. We went to the airshow, got some wedding stuff done, spoke in church, and went to the cabin. It was Sam's first time at our cabin, and it was so fun to show him around.

We dropped Lindsey off at camp. She's a counselor at a camp for girls. She'll be spending the whole summer there, but gets to come home on weekends. I miss her already.

Now it's back to looking for jobs and planning a wedding. It is a stressful time, but I have my family and Sam to help me through.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grey Goops

"Grey goop" means a lot of text without anything to break it up. This is a bad thing in the design world. Pictures are wonderful because they are a visual element among all the words. Words are boring things. Pictures are not. Pictures are exciting, and one can digest them quickly.

I like pictures. I'm glad people take pictures. As a designer, I'm so happy pictures exist. I love designing with huge pictures.

But as a writer, and a woman, I sort of hate them.

Sometimes I'll write these long, lovely things, (at least I think they're lovely) and I think about them a lot. I think they're funny. I try to get all the grammar right. I try to be witty and funny and profound.

But when I show the finished product to someone -- whether it's a blog post or a book or a scrapbook page -- I get complemented on the picture or graphic. It's nice to be complemented on anything. But the picture was just there to draw the reader in. I know from a fact my blog posts with pictures get way more views than ones without. I'd just hope that the picture helped the reader actually find interesting content to read.

As a woman, I get fed up with the visual taking over everything. I like getting complemented on the way I look. It's nice to feel beautiful. And often people saying those nice things don't really know me, so the only thing they have to say is about how I look. But how I look isn't what is important about me. Fashion is fun, but it's not my substance. I just feel despair sometimes because I feel that's all anyone cares about. It is all anyone has to say, and I know it's because they have nothing else to say about me so they have to say something about my hair, or my outfit or my shoes. One day soon I'll be really ugly, and I might wear really ugly clothes, and then what? What will people say to me when they have nothing to say? Will they lie? I don't know.

I'd rather be complemented on my writing, or my college degree, or how I'm really hilarious or good at Scrabble or something. Or maybe not complemented at all! I love it when people just listen to me and talk to me about interesting stuff. I like when people read my "grey goop." That is the greatest complement of all.

Because it is hard to feel confident. I'm looking for a job and it is stressful. I'm trying to remain positive and hopeful, but it doesn't help when all everyone seems to talk about to me is just how I look. Because how I look doesn't help me get a job or help me feel important or useful. It's just a nice thing, like dessert. It isn't essential.

I don't even consider myself that pretty. I'm alright with that. I'm glad I have a working body and I'm content with the way I am. Most of the time I'd like to think beauty is irrelevant, but I know deep down that to the world, it's one of the most important things. I don't want to give into that shallowness, but at the same time, I have acknowledged that it's a good thing to dress up and look cute so people notice you. So that maybe, someone will be drawn in and read the grey goop: the interesting stuff that just looks boring.

So this is a test. How many people will read this post despite having no picture? (In the bloggersphere, pictureless posts are almost unheard of.) How many people care about what I think? I know not many, but I find comfort knowing that there are a few people out there, like my family and Sam, who do listen to my opinions, my thoughts, my worries, and my dreams. I think it's alright to talk about things besides muffins, parties, and cute hairdos on blogs. I want to talk about deep things, even if it's not as flashy or fun.

Thanks for reading my grey goop.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Hobo day

Do you remember hobo day at school? What? What do you mean your elementary school wasn't cool enough to have hobo day? (or as my mom would say, your school wasn't insensitive enough to society's ills to have a hobo day?)

My mom would not let me dress as a bum and take my lunch to school in a scarf tied around a stick, let alone dress in rags. I know, my mom was so cruel. She told me it was rude to make fun of other's misfortune.

But mom, there were schools in the south still having  race-segregated proms and you're throwing a stink about hobo day? The homeless had no idea we were dressing like them for a day during spirit week. They wouldn't care anyway, right?

It was raising awareness, after all. Until spirit week, I hadn't even thought about homeless people for probably a month! Now I was going to experience that life for myself.

All my friends were dressing up as hobos. Their parents didn't care. But I don't think I even tried that one on my mom.

So that day at school, we all sat on the floor to eat lunch. This is true. Everyone else was cool and dressed like bums. Kids were wearing fake beards and dirt and stuff. They went all out. And I was uncool because I was wearing leggings or some other trendy nineties wear, eating my lunch from the cafeteria kitchen on a styrophome tray.

Looking back, I guess it was a bit strange that my school had a hobo day. Actually, a lot of the themed days were odd. They all have to do with wearing things, usually. 

Wear school colors day -- seems innocent enough, but I there are the undertones of a fascist regime.

Wear your favorite sports team jersey -- I think this is just asking for teachers to pick favorites. I mean , I'll be honest, I'd just never look at a student the same if he came to my class wearing a BYU jersey. Better to just keep these alliances private, for the safety of everyone.

Twin day -- Way to feel isolated. What if you don't have a best friend to wear the same thing as you? Or worse, what if you do have a friend but she doesn't have any matching as you? Even if you do have a friend, it's difficult to call and plan or whatever to be twins with each other. It just takes a lot of coordination and communication skills that elementary schoolers don't have. Maybe that's what the administration as trying to foster? We may never know.

Crazy hair day -- AKA parent's nightmare. When my future kids tell me it's crazy hair day, I'm going to make them wear wigs or something. I'm not putting gallons of gel into my kids' hair to mold it around intricately shaped wire. I know from experience. My own locks have never quite recovered from the horrors of this day in high school. (And I'm pretty sure it was Paul's doing.)

Pajama day -- is everyday at Wal-mart, so there's no reason why this needs to be a day in school.

Super hero day -- it's cool if you're into super heroes, I guess. I think until I saw "The Avengers," the only super hero movie I ever made it through was "Spider Man." I just don't get them or enjoy them. But it's fun for some people, although I think the costumes might be cumbersome in a learning environment.

Injury day -- This is marginalizing injured people, but I suppose this day could serve a wise and glorious purpose. It's a great way to test if the school building is really ADA compliant when you have six kids in "wheelchairs." But then you have kids whose writing hand is "broken." And what if you have a kid who shows up claiming to have "mental trauma?" 

May  I propose some new themed spirit days?

Speak your own language day -- to encourage linguistic expression

School uniform day -- "be grateful this isn't permanent, kids."

Everything's a musical day -- it works on "Arthur" so there's no reason it shouldn't work in real life.

Pretend there was a huge earthquake day -- I know Utah had that big drill a few weeks ago, but we were terrible at pretending there was a disaster. No hiding under tables, no blood, no screaming and running from "crumbling" buildings. Come on, people. Elementary school kids could do way better than this.

Pop day -- oh wait, this was real. When I moved to my new elementary school , this was a weekly event. It was 75 cents in the teachers lounge.  Before you judge harshly, realize it was a different time back then.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's Getting Awkward in Here

It's no secret that I'm an awkward person.

One of my fingers always has a nail that's awkwardly longer than the rest. I go days without showering and openly admit it to people, forgetting that for some, anything short of daily showering is considered offensive. Sometimes I find myself talking at people instead of with people. When I'm skyping, it's really hard not to look at the little screen that shows what I look like. I'm so vain. I'm far too obsessed with my Klout score. I crack my knuckles all the time. I crack my toes and my fingers... bad habit that probably grosses people out. I know. I'm sorry. I'm awkward. I play Pocket Frogs and other really stupid, not-even-nerd-worthy games on my iPod. Sometimes I wish I was a gamer. I also think about grammar a lot. Relative pronouns are haunting me right now. ("Somebody That I Used to Know" or "Somebody Who I Used to Know"?)

I just wanted to get those awkward things out there. I hope that wasn't awkward for you.

Not that this means anything to you, but please notice how I have about seven White Bruna Obaro frogs at once. It was really frustrating. It's not even a for a set. Lindsey is probably the only person who appreciates this. (Or is it -- the only person that appreciates this?)

I need to go to bed. This is getting awkward.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Books I'm reading

Do you know what's funny? As long as Sam has known me, I have liked baking. As you know, I used to hate it. I still dislike cooking, but baking is fun mostly because I a chocolate addiction and baking is a great way to enable that.

I moved back home, and I'm hoping I'll have more time to bake. I have two months left before I get married, and it's nice to spend it with my family.

I've also been enjoying reading. I'm reading about five books right now. I am famous for reading several books at once. It's simply best way. They are:

Righting the Mother Tongue by David Wolman. It's about English spelling, and why it's so crazy. I'll give you hint, there are a billion and a half reasons English words are hard to spell.

To Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth and Marriage, Sex and Snobbery by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace. (I'm really curious about what the McD. abbreviation means, but whatever.) So I love Downton Abbey, right? Well this book touts that it is the inspiration for that wonderful television show. That's why I checked it out from the library. It's completely nonfiction. It's like reading a really long essay about the Victorian and Edwardian societies. I like nonfiction, but it's fun to read.

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. I found this at a library book sale. It's a bunch of essays about reading, words and books. It is beautifully written but it makes me feel kind of dumb. The author is not a common reader. She's super smart and makes me feel really dumb. She also makes me want to read a lot more.

The Undaunted: The Miracle of the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers by Gerald N. Lund. Yes, this is the same guy who wrote The Work and the Glory. It's a huge book -- 802 pages to be exact. It can be super cheesy, but I like reading it. I really do. His writing style isn't my favorite, but the plot is interesting.

One book I finished recently is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?: And Other Concerns by Mind Kaling. She's the gal from The Office. It's super funny. I've never read a book that made me laugh so hard, and out loud, too mind you. Sam and I were reading together and I had to keep interrupting him to read him passages. It's just so hilarious.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Linguistics, BA. Class of 2012

I have graduated from the University of Utah. 'Tis true. Well, I don't have my diploma yet, but they did let me dress up in academia regalia and march across the stage. I'll be getting it in the mail soon.

It was a long, hard road, although a rather short one. I swear I only just came to the U. It's been a great three years.

I would never had graduated without the help of so many people. My parents and grandparents, of course. I've also had amazing friends -- Paul was an amazing help to me my freshman year and so was my roommate Ana. Brian, Katie, Hailey, Karena, Ashley, Marsha, Sara, Jessica, Abby... just to name a few more of the friends, Chrony peeps, and roommates who helped me through. And of course, my fiance Sam, without whom I probably would not have survived my roughest semester

I had some great professors and some not-so-great ones, some interesting classes and some not-so-interesting classes. Working at the Chronicle was an amazing experience, and I'm so happy that I was able to get some amazing experience there.

It was all worth it. I love college, even though I times I thought I hated school. I look back and it was worthwhile. I love learning and I'm going to miss school. The time ahead is going to be exciting and fun. Getting married is going to be a blast, and finding a job is going to be stressful, but I am not losing hope.

All photos are by my dear Samuel.