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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Three Awkward Sneezes

So, I wrote a book. It is not a novel, it's a collection of my weird creative writing.

I took a creative writing class this semester, and I'm so glad that I did. Creative writing can be as exhausting as it is fun. I'd been wanting to take one for some time, but I just never had room in my schedule. Finally, my last semester, I did.

Part of the creative writing class is making a portfolio or a chapbook. It's a collection of the stuff I wrote for this class and a few other things I decided deserved a few pages.

I printed it using the Marriott Library's Espresso Book Machine, right here on campus. It is extraordinary. You give them your PDF files and in about an hour, you have a book right in your hands, and I can print as many as I want. It was a great senior gift to myself.