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.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For the Love of Libraries

I discovered the library this semester.

I mean, it's not like it was hidden. It's a fairly large building. It sort of takes up a lot of room. And I've spent a lot of anxiety-filled, breathless moments in there, trying to print something out a few minutes before it was due.

But this semester I discovered the library. (Kind of like how I discovered YouTube when I was thirteen. Speaking of YouTube, do you know about the Vlog Brothers? I'm going to be John Green if I grow up.)

I didn't use libraries growing up. My family doesn't excel at due dates, and my mom's running theory was that it was less expensive to buy books than to pay the late fees--and I actually think it was most of the time. Which meant I grew up in a house full of books, which was fantastic, especially because the libraries around my house are not impressive.

I don't know that the library here is impressive--I don't have a good point of comparison. But I love my library. (I actually have a shirt that says that. And, just after I typed that sentence, I looked down and found I was wearing the shirt that I have that actually says that.) On the fifth floor in the back corner there are rows and rows of literature.

I'm pretty sure that's what heaven looks like.

Anyway, I've been reading a lot of books this semester--a lot considering that I'm going to school full time and attempting to have a life. I mostly don't read great books. I read a lot of those for class, and as much as I love it does sort of numb my brain.

(Although? I fell in love with Ralph Waldo Emerson after I read: "In your metaphysics you have denied personality to the Deity: yet when the devout motions of the soul come, yield to them heart and life, though they should clothe God with shape and color. Leave your theory, as Joseph his coat in the hand of the harlot, and flee.")

I don't seek out great literature on my library trips; I'm just looking for a good read. I thought I'd give you three I've enjoyed.

The Rook: I don't know how to tell you about this book without making it sound extremely weird. Truth being, it's an extremely weird book.

So I'm going to skip the plot summary (google it, if you'd like) and skip to the stuff I like.

I like the plot. It's a bit bizarre, which makes it a bit unpredictable, which is awesome. I also really, really like the humor here. It's dry, understated, and sarcastic. If I knew boys who had this books sense of humor, I would be a lot more upset about not having a boyfriend. It's also a fairly quick and easy read, though by quick I don't mean short so much as I mean fast-paced.

Stuff I don't like? Some plot holes, some swearing. Not pervasive swearing, but when it's there the words are colorful.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: This is such a girl book. I don't mean that in the usual way--it's not boy-meets-girl-fall-in-love-break-up and there is absolutely no bodice ripping. That's a thing, right? Bodice ripping?

It's a girl book because it's about a girl trying to figure some things out and because there's a fair amount of girl-power in it.

Things I loved? The girl power, the somewhat random (but totally awesome) factual side stories, and, again the humor. I read this out loud with my roommate and didn't do my homework very much that week.

Things I didn't love? The ending. By the middle of the book it was the only ending that made sense, but I didn't love it.

The Fault in Our Stars: Apparently everyone knew about this book and didn't tell me. I'm actually sort of annoyed about it. Why have you all been holding back?

This book was written by John Green, who is the newest addition to my hero list (others being Emma Thompson, Kim Yu Na, and my mother). I'm afraid if I tell you about this book you won't read it.

Please read it.

This is not the best book I've ever read, but dang it, I am so attached to it. It's funny, smart, sad at parts, but hopeful too. I love the characters in it. I love that the main character adores her parents, that she watches really bad television, and that she can complain without being in a perpetual state of sorry-for-myself. Also? If Augustus Waters was a real boy I would marry him, misused big words and all.

Basically, this book provided me with a new life plan: become John Green, marry Augustus Waters, and learn to talk awesomely.

It's a work in progress plan.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Post About Photos With A Surprising Lack of Photos

I'm sitting on the floor in my bedroom. (I read, recently, that doing things other than actually sleeping in bed makes it hard to actually sleep in bed. Thus the floor.) My hair is wet and I'm listening to Mumford & Sons, which is my favorite band tonight. My window is open. Praises be for open windows.

I believe it's spring here, but, not being very practiced in seasons, it's difficult for me to be sure. In any case, I have plans on riding my bike to school some day soon and possibly playing soccer. Except probably not the soccer thing.

Today I went and got pictures developed off a disposable camera that I bought on impulse a month and a half ago. Also on impulse, and possibly in consequence of the first impulse, my friends and I started a photoblog.

I've never been a photographer, friends. As in, never. I am a reader, writer, biker, cooker, sister, and many other kinds of -ers, but I've never been a photographer. In spite of this I now have a photoblog.

Here's why: Most of my friends are leaving. And when I say most, I mean mostly all. They're all leaving on missions--to Spain, Germany, Japan, New Jersey, and many other awesome places.

I'm staying in Utah, and I'm preemptively lonely. Not so much this week. Last week was pretty bad, but this week my loneliness has been relocated and is regulated to an obscure part of my heart. In any case, my impulse when battling negative emotions is to curl up on my bed (which I'm not even allowed to do anymore, otherwise insomnia), which is actually a really bad idea. So instead I made a photoblog.

In my head, this makes sense.

You see, I have friends that are going to cities all over the world. The thought is, maybe they can take pictures of it and send it back to me and I can put it on the blog. The advantage here is threefold: (1) I stay in contact with my friends. (2) When they get back they'll have a record of their missions. (3) I don't spend a lot of time curled up on my bed and not sleeping. At least in theory.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Beat Up a Ninja

You believe me, right? You believe I beat up a ninja?

No? Fine, then.

So last Monday I went in to donate blood.

I'd never done it before. I tried last semester, but they said I sounded like I had a cold and was too short. I was a little scared because the night before my roommate entertained me with horror stories about passing out, and somehow reading Romantic (capital "R," folks) Literature has not instilled me with a desire to faint.

Anyway, I got there and it was fine. I answered the questions, they took my blood. As a side note, I suspect that donating blood is as close as I'll ever come to alien abduction. Check it out next time you go in. If you close your eyes the whole time, you could totally be in a sci-fi movie.

About ten minutes after they were done and I'd consumed a bag of pretzels I looked down and noticed my arm was strangely swollen. Significantly so. I knew because it looked like I'm toned, and I'm not. The nice blood-bank people gave me an ice pack and handed me a sticker that said "I MAKE A DIFFERENCE."

(Does anyone else find the sticker's caps excessive? Like that Chinese restaurant that feel the need to declare that they serve "delicious" Chinese food. You know, in case you weren't sure. It's delicious and I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.)

Now, it's officially been a week and a day. The excessive sticker is pinned to my dresser drawer and guess what, guys? My arm is still swollen. And really sore. On the bright side, it came with some really impressive bruises that make it look like I won a fight with a ninja. On the dark side, these bruises encourage people to ask me if my boyfriend has a temper.

I've been unable to convince anyone I beat up a ninja.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quotes for You

I have been negligent on quotes this year. My apologies, friends. Here are some quotes. For you.  Because I love you.

"Uneducated, uncivilized, uncultured swine! I'm sure they're nice people, though."

"This character is the scariest guy I've ever met."

"If this soy milk were a man he would cook and speak Italian."

"He doesn't wake up. Because he has no head."

"You stole a pumpkin for me! That is true friendship."

"I'm very attached to my decapitated people."

"Get your vulnerability off of me!"

"Say no to cannibalism!"

"Listen to my explanation as a poke your butt."

"Men don't have feelings, you know?"

"Ouch! Right in the feelings!"

"He doesn't wake up. Because he has no head."

"Today! I bought a head!"

"We'll have sexy face practice."

"I'm not sure it's ethical, but I have to do it.  It's like testing rats."

"I want to be a concubine!"

"I accidentally murdered Kaia in the hallway. Twice."

"It's like a double wedding, but of the funeral variety."

"My bones were being fat!"

"I don't like you."
"I don't like you eiher."
"I didn't like you first!"
"You sing good!"

"I think I picked the wrong concubine..."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines. I Wrote You a Poem.

I had to write a Spencerian sonnet last night. I don't know how much you know about sonnets, much less Spencerian ones, but let this suffice: They're really, really, really hard to write. They're supposed to use iambic pentameter (and hexameter) and rhyme all over the place.

I can't rhyme. Can't. So, like the sport I am, I whined about it for a few hours. Then I sat my roommate down and informed her we were writing a poem.

This is what we came up with:

I once fell down the stairs and hit my head
            And then my dog became a giant rat.
            My heart grew cold in one moment of dread
            Behind, I heard my cat yell out “Oh drat!”
And from my bag I pulled a wooden bat,
            With which I knew I could defend my Sam
            (And Sam, of course, he was my noble cat).
            I stood and faced the beast and shouted, “Scram!”
The rat, he swelled, he grew big as a tram.
As I thought of my ancestors of lore,
 I knew this was a test, or an exam,
            A quest to test the greatness of my core.
And as I stood and thought I knew that I was doomed,
            So quickly I ditched Sam, and off away I zoomed.

We wrote it at eleven last night, at which point the entire thing was hysterical.

I felt even better about when I wrote my short analysis that ended thusly:

The theme of the poem is the discovery of one's flaws, in this case, cowardice. Even in his dream, the narrator is unable to face his fears or defend the things he cares about. 

Here's hoping my professor has a sense of humor. And no particular commitment to poetic aesthetic.

Happy Valentines.