Thursday, April 10, 2014

Unity Crying and Another U Word

So a few weeks ago I had this terrible day. I don't remember everything that made it terrible, but I do remember it culminating in a meeting with one of my professors to try and figure out what was going on in class. It's a very confusing class and, for whatever reason, this professor and I have a very difficult time communicating. Every conversation I have with him goes a bit like,

"No. Wait. No. What?"

Anyway. I walked out of the meeting feeling really unhappy and I thought, in what seemed like a very rational manner at the time, You know what? I just need to cry. If I cry I will feel better and I will be happy.

I should clarify here that I cry a lot and I'm just going to blame it on chemistry. I just have to cry once a week about anything--commercials, stubbed toes, burned eggs, really bad chick flicks. If I can cry about something small then I don't get emotionally out of whack. So I cry and then I feel better. This is a thing, and it's fine.

Anyway, I was on the fourth floor which is where the English department is located and I know a lot of people in the English department, so I walked really quickly to the bathroom so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone I knew while in the almost-crying state.

Which, by the way, like the almost-throwing-up state, is the worst part of the whole process.

Mercifully, I made it to the bathroom and sat down in the stall and started crying. And after a while I was pretty sure that the person in the stall next to me was also crying. Because we were both just sitting there and all I heard was an occasional sniff.

And I sat there thinking about how nice this was, what good cohesion and unity it had. Because I was crying and they were crying and we got to cry by ourselves but also together, which has to be the perfect way to cry, right? Everyone should get to cry with someone else without having to actually see that person/feel obligated to offer any sort of comfort.

After a few minutes I've cried and I'm good and I'm done. And I get up to go and splash some water on my face and that's when I notice--there is a urinal in the bathroom.

Repeat: There is a urinal in this bathroom.

So I sprint out the door and down the hall and only then do I stop and make sure that no one is behind me, no one saw that. My boss isn't standing at the drinking fountain next to the door. My professor I can't communicate with is not standing there wondering why I'm running.

And then I start laughing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ode to Melody.

I have an ode to write.

We'll call it Ode to Melody.

Melody is my cousin, friend and ex-roommate. She also holds more obscure interpersonal titles, such as person I regularly get lost with, roommate who gets coerced into watching BBC/Korean TV and 80's movies with me, and geek who actually gets excited about grammar with me.

I'm sort of fond of her.

Melody is also one of the only people I regularly text. I'm not a huge phone person at all. I got chastised yesterday by someone who had been trying to get a hold of me for three weeks, during which period it had been lost and out of battery... and I just hadn't really cared.

So the fact that I text Melody is huge. It means she is hilarious, comforting, and uses punctuation. What more could you really ask from someone?

I've typed up some of our texts because I didn't want my phone to erase them from existence and I'm putting them here because I think they say really good things about both of us. Or possibly just really weird things.


Mel: (on break at job) I've had the misfortune to run into someone I briefly worked with at Pizza Hut. He keeps giving me communicative looks and expects me to, like, talk to him or something. Yuck. Talking.
Me: Options: 1) Change your name so you can plausibly deny knowledge of his existence. 2) Improbably deny knowledge of his existence. 3) Quit. 4) Work under your desk until you quit. 5) Say hi.

Mel: I'm in a state of hyper activism. My parent took me into public. This does not bode well for the general consumers of Winco. I ALSO have the hiccups.
Me: Ah, poor general consumers of Winco. I do worry about them. Are you coming home at some point?
Mel: Yes! Because I have pineapple! We can practice communism! I get some pineapple, you get some pineapple, and the world is a little happier.
Mel: Well, that's a lie. We're a little happier, not sure about the rest of the world.

Me: (when I forgot we were going to the International Cinema) Sorry, Love, my phone was in my shoe again. We could go Friday or Saturday.
Mel: Why was your...? Never mind. Right. Friday or Saturday should work. Comunist pineapple and unnderrated movies.
Mel: I'm sorry, I'm still trying to understand.
Mel: WHY?
Mel: I do adore you.

Mel: Beans are like the kid in the class who eats whole wads of paper and makes spit bubbles and the teacher finally just puts him in a corner because they can't kick him out.

Me: Ohmgosh. STRIPPED OF AN ORGAN? Who does that?

Me: I will be going tomorrow. You may have to lock me in the closet for significant periods of time at some point this weekend.
Mel: I'm pretty strong and I grew up with 6 brothers. I can wrestle you into a closet and lock you in no problem. What are friends for?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

To Hike or Not to Hike

I've been out of school for a few weeks now and have had a glorious time doing almost nothing. I primarily read cook books and regular books, watch Korean and British TV, study Chinese and algebra, and put together plans for the future which will most likely never come into fruition.

I'm having the same miny crisis of last summer, wherein I realize that I've never though realistically about what I actually want to do with my life. I don't even know how to think realistically about my future.

So mostly I've thought a lot about my future unrealistically.

For example, I've thought about opening a business in which I'll write the English part of the scripts for Korean TV (because half the time their English scripts don't make sense) and started a foreign exchange program that employs people who actually speak English to play English-speaking parts (because usually those people are Swedish, or Yugoslavian, or something). Because, dude, they have an international audience now, and their English is painful.

Or I've thought about becoming John Green. I'm not entirely sure what that would entail, but I'm positive it would be awesome. Because, A) best-selling author, and B) this:

(title2come on tumblr)

So, that's one plan. Another includes becoming a nun and writing mystery novels. Going on the Ellen show. Becoming a pilot and a spelunker.

I've thought of doing all of these things. Also going to culinary school and being a food writer for a fantastically snobby publication, working for an NGO in China, and being an anthropologist/homeless person.

But let's be honest. I'm probably going to live a very small, very quiet life. And I'm vain enough to tell myself it isn't because I couldn't live big and broad.

But whether I could or not, what I love best is being home. I love spending time with my family, and reading books, and cooking and cleaning, and watching foreign TV.

I don't really want to go change the world, to be honest with  you. I want to want to. I want to be like my dad and see mountains and think, "Man, I want to climb that." But I see mountains and I think, "Man, that's beautiful. Let's have a picnic! I brought apples."

And I'm wondering, is this a better-worse thing? Like, would I be a better person if I were more of a hiker and less of picnic-er?

You don't have to answer that. In fact, I'm not sure I want you to. I like picnics too much.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A while back I was in a car for two hours with my physics major cousin. I asked him about his work, and we started with the period of a pendulum and ended with why atoms behave differently when you look at them than when you don't. Which still makes no sense.

So, when I was commanded to write a prose poem (which also makes no sense) and my teacher suggested we write about something that had been obsessing us.

So, Thayne. I wrote you a poem. Because apparently I do that. 

When Einstein heard that atoms spun differently when unobserved he said, “That’s not right, and here’s why.” But non-Einsteins with better technology discovered that Einstein was wrong about why. And so, maybe, atoms are like Woody and Buzz, and they live lives that revolve around our looking or not looking, and they dance when we don’t see. Maybe—some of the non-Einsteins say—atoms are a cat in a box that is alive or dead, but you don’t know until you look, and maybe the cat was not either until you looked. But for most non-Einsteins, who live in worlds unlit by Disney or quantum mechanics, action figures don’t dance, and the cat is either dead or alive, and was always dead or alive, and if a tree fell in an abandoned wood it would make a sound. And that’s not because the cat and the tree and the general universe are indifferent to us (though they might be), but because the cat has a life to live, and the tree has a ways to fall, and the universe just has other things to think about.

I'll be out of school soon, I promise to move back into prose.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On Giving You Grandchildren

I know I sort of missed the Mother's Day boat, but my mom has complained in the past that I always right about my dad instead of her. So I wrote her a poem. Look, Mom, I wrote you a poem!

On Giving You Grandchildren

You say you want to be a grandma.

Not in the guilt-inducing your reproduction of our race
 Is ultimately about me way,
Just a factual I want to be a grandma way.

And I think, Heck, Mom.

I want to be a grandma. All that unconditional
Love and wisdom. Wrinkles notwithstanding,
Maybe we should be grandmas before we're moms.

But I want you to be a grandma too.

Not just because it would make you happy,
Not just because it would make me happy--
In a hypothetical future in which I understand
How you could possibly stand in front of a holy man and commit to someone
That (here in the Mormon world) you may have known less than a year--
Not jut because of that.
But because I want to understand how you love me as much as you do.

One of the reasons I like growing up

Aside from the eating peanut butter for dinner if I want to
(I don't actually do that, Mom I promise)
Is that moving a sea and several states away
Has forced me to be responsible from making grocery lists and judging when,
Exactly, it is absolutely necessary to laundry
And this has given me a different way to talk to you.
And I love talking to you--
I have always loved talking to you--
But I love talking to you as an adult
As well as your daughter.

I will love talking to you as a mother

When I finally understand how you love me as wisely as you do.
I will love loving you even more when you are a grandma
And I understand how you love me.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Like A Disease, or Way of Kissing People

I have yet to really get back into the habit of quoting, but this is what I have for you, in honor of the end of the semester. I don't know what these quotes say to you, but I think it's fairly clear from them that 1) I go to a church school, 2) I am an English major, and 3) I have really weird friends.

"If he ever came to date my daughter, I would remove him. From the earth."

"Your bodily functions are stupid."
"Your face--"
"Your mom--"
"Your mom's face--"
"--The maturity points in this room just went down."

"I wonder what it would feel like to wake up looking like Brad Pitt?"

"Who knew Death would be so stinkin' adorable?"

"Were you like this with your boys?"
"No. The problem with girls is, they date guys. Dad's know about guys."

"A good way to receive answers to prayer is through farm animals."

"I stole a staple the other day."
"Judgement gonna be hard on you."

"Why are we sitting on potatoes?"

"I want to have a marriage like that, except for all the bad grammar and infidelity."

"It's like pregnancy, but with your mouth."

"I'm not trying to be suspicious, I'm trying to save turtles."

"It sounds like a disease or a way of kissing people."

"Faith is never ABC, it's A 7 green, with a little bit of ice cream."

"I don't feel comfortable having a crush on someone who actually exists."

"If they're going to be stupid they might as well be smart about it."

"I'm not going to have kids for a while. I like my car. I might get a dog."

"Who invited Darth Vadar to yoga? Whaat?"

"I do have great cheek bones. I'm practically Voldemort."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why am I Windowing Shopping for an Identity?

Two things happened in the last seventy-two hours or so.

1.) I got a not fantastic grade on a paper and started rethink my entire future plan and my identity. As my dad would say, I am pathetic. But seriously, I am rethinking my future and my identity right now. This person right here? Is open to suggestions.

2.) I talked to somebody awesome I know who is slogging through one of those obnoxious periods of indefiniteness that engenders crises of identity.

I have to go write four essays (and hopefully ace these ones--crossed fingers appreciated), so this will be short, but I've been thinking--

Why do we even have identities?

What, on earth, is the point?

Why do we have to have ways of thinking of ourselves? Why can't we just go through life without thinking about who it is that we are? What practical use has your identity ever been to you? I really am asking, guys.

Because right now I'm thinking of scrapping everything. You know, once I figure out what everything even is. Mostly my identity makes me upset (when I don't do well at things I'm supposedly good at) and restricts me from doing things I might enjoy (like water skiing).

What's the point of identities? The only thing I've been able to come up with is that identities are mental short hand. We perceive ourselves as a certain kind of person so that we don't have to re-make decisions every time someone asks us a question.

Do you want ice cream?

I don't have to think about whether or not I'm really hungry, or anything else. I am the kind of person who like ice cream. I will take the ice cream (unless I'm really full, or it's strawberry) because I am the kind of person who likes ice cream.

My identity tells me that I am likely to like that person over there, tells me that I don't enjoy math, that I am much more likely to have fun reading a book than going to a party, and I probably won't ever change the world, or go to Scotland, but I will revert to dreams of both things when I feel small.

I don't really have to think through these things--do I want ice cream? do I like that person? do I want to do math for fun? should I go to the party? shall I change the world/go to Scotland?--because they are part of my preconceived perception of myself.

Is that good?

Are identities just cognitive laziness? And, if they are, is that bad? What if my preconceived perception of myself is totally bogus?

That wasn't a rhetorical question. I actually want to know. Is this good? Or bad? Is there an alternative?

Thanks for your thoughts, and your crossed fingers, and, you know, sticking with me through my professor's-kid breakdowns.