Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Case of the Blisters

I went up to campus today, to be all productive-like. I woke up, as I usually do, got dressed, which I sometimes do*, and packed up my school stuff--on a Saturday. Psch. But before going out into the cold--where a light coating of snow had turned to ice on everything--I did what I thought was the smart thing and put on a pair of shoes. Now, this pair of shoes was a slightly random choice. And, considering how this story ends, I think it was the devil tempting me, determined to keep me single and celibate. But we'll get to that later.

The point is, I grabbed a pair of shoes. A pair of shoes that, one, I never wear and, two, are kind of uncomfortable. But I wore them because, one, they were the closest in my reach and, two, I never wear them. Share the love, you know? Cuz shoes have feelings too.

Anyway. I put them on, march out, and I'm so focused on not slipping and falling on my face that I hardly notice the pinching at my heels and toes. Once I sat down in the computer lab, once I pulled out all my school stuff, and once I turned on some great music and tried to focus on writing a ten-page paper on femininity in American literature--that, that is when I started to feel the pinching. So i kicked my shoes in. Made myself at home like that.

Everything was fine. I worked for an hour or so, then got up to print something. Now, knowing that bare feet are gross to see in public paces, I put my shoes on. And then I really felt the fury that my feet had for me. I literally couldn't walk in them. These shoes I'd had on for the maybe-ten-minute walk up to campus, they had completely ravaged my feet. I have a blister on either heel, long and narrow and bubbly. On my big toes, little toes, and all across other areas of my feet, little blisters were forming. And once I forced those victimized feet back into the shoes that did that to them, they turned on me. They wouldn't work. I staggered, limped, hopped to the printer, all while trying to play it cool in front of the half-dozen people present. Seriously, though, when it came time to go back to my computer, I considered crawling. Weeping. Wailing. All of the above. Instead, I did this sort of tip-toe hop, like a game where the entire purpose was not to put any weight on either foot.

I lost.

And the smile I tried to throw at the cute boy nearby turned into what I'm sure can only be described as a terrified/terrifying grimace.

He didn't look at me every again.

So I took my shoes off, buied them deep behind the desk. I folded my feet under me, as if to comfort them and protect them, win them back--prove my deep-seated affection for them. I don't think they bought it, though; they were still resentful by the time four o'clock rolled around and I was done with all my school work.

I almost considered staying till closing, just so I wouldn't have to face my shoes or the trek back home. But...there was nothing for me there. I was a mere lost soul without working feet.

But I couldn't face those shoes again. So, ever-so-slyly, I packed them up with my other books and binders, hiding them in my backpack. I glanced around and, once it was clear I was not being watched, I put on my tiny, cutesy little can't-really-be-called-socks socks. And then I stood up. With another anxious glance, I quickly glided out of the room, around the backside of the building (to avoid being seen), and out the doors. There was suddenly this influx of people, I swear, all staring at my feet--pointing and laughing and jeering in not nice ways.

Just kidding. But I almost ran. I almost ran. It was that bad. whenever I passed people, I would just smile at them so they would look at me and not my bare feet. And everything was fine; I'd practically gotten away with it. Then I came to the crosswalk.

I was coming round to it just as this guy--this really cute guy--came from the other side. He pressed the button, I pulled to a stop and just tried desperately not to be noticed. I stepped on my toes, tried to look inconspicuous, but when I looked up...he was looking down.

"What happened to your shoes?"

And all I could do was laugh. I stuttered and paused, blushed and shook my head. I tried to explain, breathlessly, that I had gotten really bad blisters so I just decided to walk home barefoot. He raised an eyebrow and, almost pointedly, glanced down at the snow covered grass. Then back at me. So I laughed again, wishing I could be witty, wishing this would be a great "when they met" story. But I just buried my head and said, "It's kind of embarrassing."

Not as embarrassing as your own ineptitude, Shelby. I mean, come on, he couldn't even hear what you'd said since you SAID IT INTO YOUR SCARF.


But then the light change. He sort of forced a smile, nodded, and said, "Alright, then. Well...good luck."

And that was that. I rushed home, laughing and shaking my head (so much so that I probably just looked even more psycho for being barefoot and suffering from tourette's). But, let's face it, even if I had shoes that probably wasn't even my soulmate. And I probably would have been just as awkward. And if he can't take a girl trudging barefoot in the snow, then...yeah.

Besides, I mean, in my defense, he was the one wearing shorts. Who does that?

*Just Kidding. I always do this. Nudity is not nice. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Remember Me?

Hey. It's been awhile, I know. And for that I apologize. Life often gets in the way. But maybe that's a good thing: I've been so busy LIVING, I just didn't have time to ever sit down and write about it.

Yeah, we'll go with that.

But, seriously, it's been over a month. What's happened? I'M ENGAGED!!!

Just kidding.


But, there's a few things that surprised me: One, the year's almost over. How did that happen? Remember all my illustrious plans, hopes, and dreams? Yeah....well, it seems time's a tricky thing to hold onto. Two, the year's almost over. And this is great; I am so ready for it to be done. Lots of ugly ups and downs and emotional carnage and dull, dull days. AND I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Seriously, though, this year I'm obsessed. I'm practically counting down to when ABC Family begins to air their cheesily-dreamy Christmas movies. And Lifetime has all theirs up on Hulu. And I found a website that lists all the holiday movies available on Netflix. So...I've been watching Christmas moves, listening to Christmas music, planning Christmas presents. My roommates and I had an excruciating cold arm contest (that led to ill health for a week) made bearable by singing "12 Days of Christmas" over and over. We just mumbled when it got past the 8 geese a'laying because, come on, who really knows what comes after that?

So, any soul-sucking naysayers out there who think Christmas only begins after Thanksgiving, to you I say this: what more do we have to be grateful for than the birth of the savior? Christmas music evokes the spirit of Thanksgiving. that.

haha it's almost a pun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Admittance

This story is embarrassing. I feel compelled to share it only to beat my roommate to the punch, who takes great pleasure in telling it to everyone and anyone she meets. So I need to act fast, keep this joke in my hands. Laugh with them before they all just laugh at me, point at me, snicker at me, and I inevitably burst into tears and write scathing death poems about them all. So, for their safety and my sanity, I shall persist.

You know that place, somewhere caught between dreams and wakefulness? Everything's hazy and only half-present, but you feel almost conscious? It's like an in-between land. And that's where I was late last night/early this morning.

I was snuggled in bed, mostly asleep, but everything felt real and...present. I was dreaming, but I was in my room. My roommate was there. I remember it feeling really real. And I don't remember what exactly I was dreaming, but I remember feeling like I was awake--even recognizing on some level that I was awake. And--here it comes--I...I....

Oh, give me strength.

I smacked my lips lightly, leaned forward eagerly, hugged my pillow tightly and whispered dreamily, "Look at all the cute puppies."

My roommate giggled. My heart stopped. I became suddenly aware that this was the place of wakefulness; I was no longer dreaming. And I mumbled an explanation, still half-asleep, but my roommate laughed harder. So I closed my eyes tightly and willed myself back to that place of rest. And I didn't wake up again until my roommate was up in the morning, out at the bathroom, and she laughed and said, "Guess what Shelby said last night?"

All morning, I was serenaded by a chorus of LOLs. One roommate, two roommates, the roommate. They couldn't get enough of it. My direct roommate--the one doing all the giggly reporting--couldn't get through the phrase without collapsing into a ROFL.

At least that's what it sounded like. I couldn't be sure; I stayed hidden in bed for the next half hour, waiting for them to leave because I didn't want to face them. But I will no longer bow my head in shame, nor cower before the jeers. I stand with pride and with dignity and announce without shame, "Look at all the cute puppies!"

So, yeah, I dream about puppies. In this corrupted world, is that something to be humiliated by? Nay, I say. Nay. It could have been worse. ...Maybe not funnier, but most definitely worse. All this means is I dream of cute puppies. My roommates must be jealous, but I will not be ashamed.

I mean, it could be like a metaphor for life. The new glass-half-full mantra: do, please, look at all the cute puppies.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Satan Hath Possessed Me

Last, last week my contacts were bugging me. My eyes were getting all pukey and pink and totally nast. So I threw them out and wore glasses for a week. I was going for a sort of clense, you know. And it worked. So I thought on Sunday I'd put in some new contacts. And I did.

Looked super sexy, too. 
I have witnesses if you don't believe it.

So I was happy to be all wide-eyed again. Only, today I woke up with bloodshot eyes. But I thought, whatever, and I put in my contacts.

Looked super sexy, too. 
I was wearing cerulean blue, which always works for me.

I went to class, I went to class, I had a break, I went to class. And then I went to work. But I stopped in the restroom, did my thing, washed my hands, looked up in the mirror. BOOM. A freak of nature looked right back at me. Everything was fine except for the fact that my eyes were red. The whites were were blood red, angry veins sprouting and spilling across the vastness, tainting what was once so pure. To make things worse, I have green eyes. And in my cerulean blue, they tend to stand out; and against bright red, they just really shine.

It was like Christmas all up in there. 

I had a mini panic attack I made faces in the mirror, poked myself in the eyes, folded my arms in defiance. People glanced at me awkwardly, but I just scowled at myself, just me and my Satan eyes.

I thought, maybe they aren't noticeable from a distance; maybe they just need some water and, like a reverse plague of Egypt, they would clear again. But that didn't work. And they were noticeable. So I avoided eye contact. I shook my bangs in front of my face. I stared at my feet. I thought maybe it was an allusion. But then I decided I had to be the one to joke about it before someone else did. So I walked into work and laughed, saying, "Holy crap, guys, I have satan eyes."

They laughed, I laughed; I whined, they still laughed. I tried to go about the day, but my one coworker was like, "No, those are really bad. You look evil. I can't even trust you. How sick is that? I can't believe you're going to sit up front looking like that. I literally can't stop staring at you. You repulse me."


So I finally clocked out, ran (read: walked quickly-ish) home, boiled my contact case, rubbed my contacts in solution, put them away, put on my glasses....and grabbed a quick lunch.

It didn't help. My eyes are still red and now they hurt more. As if my contacts were shields, protecting the majority of my eyes from the creeping nature of the pulsing red. So now my entire eye is probably just this orb of red.

Plus they itch. And I wish that they weren't so freaky. And I feel like I have to buy all new eye makeup now if it is...that one thing that makes your eyes go red and people avoid it. So it's just all around not good.

I blame Satan. 
He's always had it out for me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Here There Be Monsters

Last night, I put off writing my paper to have a sword fight.

My roommate has these two foam swords. Not like child-friendly, pool floating foam. No, these are like legit. Stiff and sturdy and really, really painful. I picked one up just to be funny; next thing you know, she's describing the art of fencing/fighting and we're in the living room duking it out. Except I was terrified by the fire in her eyes, so I shut mine and swung with both arms, whimpering faintly as she roared.

Actually, I was pretty good. I mean, it being my first time and all. I wasn't giving up easy. Halfway through, though, when I was giggle-crying, she told me, "You're like Luke Skywalker."

Whatever that means.

She hit me in the leg--after I chopped off her arm, mind you, though she kept on swinging. And now I have this major welt on my thigh, breaking blue against my skin. A war scar, if you will. It's pretty nast.And now, now I'm ready. I'll take her down in an instant. One fatal swoop, I'll have both her arms, I'll dice her legs to pieces and, as I stand over her bleeding-self I'll scream "Look who's Skywalker now!" I'll throw in a manly grunt, maybe kick her while she's down. I'll pound my chest, foam at the mouth and roar. So...yeah, you just wait for that. Because this, this is war.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This is Not a Date.

I went to a movie with a friend last night. We wanted to see Contagion, which is basically like a documentary. But horrifying. Also, I will never touch my face again. And if you cough on me, I might just kill you.

Anyways. The movie. We were hyper and laughing and harassing the concession cashier before tripping into the theater. It was empty, aside from three senior citizens sitting ridiculously close to the screen. I naturally wondered if maybe we were in the wrong theater (because I really doubt Contagion's target audience was anyone beyond 65).

"No, no," she said, "It's just a Thursday night. Nobody's here." So we sat down and ate popcorn and watched the trailers. For Puss in Boots. I thought, hey, maybe it's just a weird theater that shows any trailers it wants, regardless of subject matter. So I sat quietly--well, no, we were definitely not quiet; we may have been drunk (just kidding)--and watched a variety of cheesy, sentimental trailers until the screen went black and my friend leaned over to say "Now we'll know."

We both leaned forward with anticipation, I doubting her ability to lead me into the correct theater; her ready to gloat at her prowess. And then....

"Joseph Smith" scrolled across the screen.

We choked up laughing and tripped out the theater the same way we came in, almost running over yet another senior couple who came squabbling in.

But it was pretty hilarious.

This time, I led us to the right theater--filled with a variety of appropriately-aged audience-members--where we caught the trailers for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the horror film, The Thing. Which made much more sense, considering we were there to watch famous people die by a mysterious, seizure-causing epidemic set to the most unnerving soundtrack ever written.

And it was creepy. Creepy awesome. Holy creepy awesome.

It was awesome.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Insert T-Rex Noise Here

I love Jurassic Park. I love it. Literally, and in every sense of the word. I worship it. I gain life lessons from it.

I am obsessed.

My roommate had never seen it, and I got her to watch it last night. She enjoyed it (of course), but mostly I was surprised at how into it I still get. I've seen it dozens upon dozens of times and it never fails to impress. I was hugging myself excitedly, leaning forward anxiously, smiling giddily. I mouthed along my favorite parts. I had to fight to keep from squealing during the best moments. I giggled at the cheesy parts. I cringed when the raptors popped up. And I was practically jumping out of my seat with possibly my all-time favorite line: "The door locks. Get the door locks."


I'm still smiling about it.

But, funny story? Well, said roommate who had never seen it--I was prepping her, talking excitedly and obsessively about its epic-ness. I told her how scary raptors are and she nodded and smile, I'm sure shocked by my enthusiasm. But we were watching and we got to the part where the raptors get out and she goes, "I thought raptors could fly."

Ho.Ly.Crap. That would be the most terrifying thing EVER. Can you even imagine. I kind of forgot about the movie for a second, I was so caught up in the idea of raptor with wings.

See? There is a god. Because if raptors had been given wings, we wouldn't have stood a chance. Forget about monkeys taking over the planet; flying raptors would definitely rule. And it would be horrifying.

Possibly awesome. But mostly horrifying.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

That Just Happened

I punched myself in the face. And it wasn't on purpose. I just have no real depth perception.

See, I was cleaning up the apartment with my other roommates. Just de-boxing boxes, packing away the last of the dishes, vacuuming the carpet. And I thought I'd get the broom. Be real thorough about it.

I skipped down the hall, humming a little Guys and Dolls under my breath. But I paused when I reached the back storage room, looking around for a broom. The light was on and I fumbled with the stuff, shuffling around some boxes to reveal a stack of broom-like items. Long sticks, you know. I reached through the tangled handles, grasping what I was sure was the correct tool. I pulled at it, starting to sing again. And then something hit me in the face.

Before I even realized what had happened, I was blinking and balking and sputtering. And then I started tearing up inexplicably in one eye. I reared back to figure out what was happening, and then I got it.

In one hand, I was grasping the handle of the broom halfway down. And in my enthusiastic excitement, I had yanked it forward only to forget that, yes, that top part had to swing up with it. Right into my eye.

Like deep in, too. I mean, the little demon inside me literally thrust the handle into my right eye socket and spun it around a little, just for a few laughs.

No, it was really my fault. I really, honestly, literally did not see that coming. I don't know how, but it was invisible to me. That is, until it was suddenly pushing in my eyeball stretching towards the back of my head.

It hurt. A lot. And I don't know how my eye survived, because it felt like it squeezed my eye all the way back to my brain. But I assure you it's still intact. Even my contact went unscathed.
Honestly, I was a little more than scared 
that it would have somehow seared to my eye 
and that when I tried to take it out at night,
I would peel my iris out with it. 
But then I couldn't stop laughing at myself. And shaking my head and mumbling to myself. And wiping at the tears and the runny mascara. And worrying/hoping that I would get a black eye, already preparing an entirely different war story to share if that were the case. And then I wondered if maybe I could laugh over it with my roommates, bond over my klutzy, self-mutilating behavior.  But I didn't want to embarrass myself.

No; instead, I post it here for all the world to read how I, Shelby Anne Boyer, punched myself in the face. Because, yeah, that really happened.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Love Life

This is my try at a positive spin on life. I figure it's a new school year, I'm in a new apartment, it's time to be a new me. Or isn't that the cliche anyway?
But, seriously. I'm going to be happy.

No matter how much I already hate my major (as griped about here previously).
No matter how much I hate myself for signing up for a poetry class--a full four months worth of poetry? Seriously? And I already know I'll be expected to attend poetry readings (can I get a snap*snap*bongo drum).
No mattter how awful it is watching my savings drain into book-buying. My running total is at $511. Yeah, and that's used, Amazon--the whole save-some-money shebang.
No matter how much I hate that this is the first week I've actually gotten to sleep in since having a full-time job and it's over in three days. 
No matter how little food I have currently, or how unprepared I am school-supplies-wise or how unenthusiastic I am about strapping a backpack to myself and skipping off to school with 31,000+ others.

No matter all that, I am trying to be happy.

Ha. Even this blog post is dripping with cynicism.

But I should be serious. I do have a good, happy life and I'm well aware of it. I'm just embracing that sarcastic side of me, because I'll always be a glass-half-empty kind of girl. Not in a I-hate-my-life-and-I-want-to-die kind of way, but more See the difference? One is just depressing and helpless, the other is dark and funny and content with the combo. And that is definitely moi.

Really, I can blame my mom for seeing that: she opened my eyes to my own reality this last week, really introduced me to myself and my personality as a *ahem* Type 4. In a nutshell, a Type 4 is one whose favorite word is "stupid."

Mind. Blown.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shameless Self-Promoting

I critique books. And by critique I mean criticize.
It's been a while since I've read anything good, okay?

But, in any case, I have a book blog. I'm still figuring it out, ironing out the kinks, figuring out ways to make it rock. But it's started and it's lovely. one's following it.

Actually, before yesterday, I had one friend following it. So that's cool. A little pathetic, sure (not her--my one, true friend--but the number). And even when I posted a link on facebook. Nothing. I must say, I am ashamed.

I thought, well, maybe they don't like books. Maybe they're already sick of me with this blog--maybe one is enough?! I may have been hurt, but I wasn't going to say anything.

And then I got on today. And guess what? Um, I have another follower. A certain Carol Oates. Don't know her? Well, neither do I. She's one of those people you tend to know of.
As in she has her own claim to fame. 
As in she is a writer of YA fiction. 
As in she's been published. 
Multiple times.

And she follows my blog. I don't know how or why or if it even means anything. But she's a follower. I guess that makes her cooler than you.

Just kidding. No hard feelings.

Only...a famous person follows my blog. Ergo, you should too. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here's to Growing Up.

I am so humiliated right now, I can barely function. I just spent a couple hours clicking through my emails, reading conversations from '06 to '09. Holy crap.


I found all these "flirt sessions" with various boys I can barely remember. I can't believe the things I did and said and sent. I can't believe I used the WORLD WIDE WEB to transmit them. Now they're just floating around somewhere, completely out of my control. Those guys will probably find them years from now and send copies to their daughters, just to say "Never be like this."

Ah, I was so crazy. Most of it, I don't even remember. Those high school years are all just...hazy. All the boys and texts and conversations--they're just blurs. I think I blocked them from my memory.

You think looking back at old crushes would be funny. No, I'm just in utter shock over how psycho and vapid I was. I've always thought I finally got my confidence around then. Yeah, I got confidence, sure, but I also got crazy. I would share them but--no, no, I will never share them.

I seriously can't believe it. I'm in shock right now; my hands are starting to shake. Who was I? What was I thinking? And the sad thing is, for all these immensely embarrassing flirt sessions with all these must-have-been-terrified guys, I got over them in DAYS. And I remember that--I remember the drama I put into getting rid of them. So to look at the starry-eyed moments between us, remembering the humiliating lengths I went to to wrap them around my finger, and then to suddenly stop all contact.... It's just awful. Man, I was crazy.

There was the poor German foreign exchange student who didn't understand my use of emoticons and obsessions with exclamation points.

There was the guy I texted a picture of my lips to--a well-used gag from my sophomore year. Seriously.

There was the guy I spent weeks flirting with, discussing what it'd be like to be in a relationship together. We even talked about meeting each other's parents--before we'd even officially met.Yeah.

There were a bunch of boys I'd practically force to ask me out, then I'd just chicken out on them. Because, oh yeah, I was a completely different person via text.I may suffer from a split-personality disorder. 

There were all the times I'd prod them to tease me, to say they liked me, to make them compliment me. I lapped it up like a kitten with warm milk. It was that nasty.

Man, I really was such a minx. A flirt. A vixen. Maybe even a little bit heartless. Because each of those boys, I just dropped like it was hot. Man, when I was over something, I was over it. I got bored/scared/underwhelmed and I'd just go stone cold on them.

I am such a freak. I just had no inhibitions, I guess. I think I even enjoyed the terror involved. IT'S EMBARRASSING!!!

My history is littered with dark secrets I don't even tell myself. I just bury them. I forget them. I ignore them until my memories are all rosy. I think I lie to myself. And then days like this happen, where I go back and realize just how much I'd blocked from my memory. Then I'm red from head to toe, blushing and gawking and doubting that that really was me.

Also, I was quite the drama queen. I could be nasty. I had no qualms about letting people know just what I thought about them. I think I thought that was big of me. But, man, I could be mean. So I'd like to take this moment to apologize to anyone who felt like I was some crazy [BADWORD] who said some crazy [BADWORD] things without any real reason.
*Since I don't know what exactly I did to you, 
you're welcome to fill in the blanks as you see fit.

Of course, most of the people I should be apologizing to don't read this blog. Because I probably sent them to therapy with the things I said. There must an underground market that caters entirely to the Shelby-ruined-my-life crowd. They probably have an annual "I Hate Shelby" festival where they sell voodoo dolls and Shelby-shaped pinatas. They must print off my emails and burn them, laughing maniacally as they plot my murder.

I should see if I can join. Because, at this moment, I really do hate my old self. That crazy, psycho [BADWORD].

Thank You for Being Here Today!

Last night, my roommates and I went to get some fro-yo.
Side story: they have the best pomegranate flavor at this place. 
That and coconut together....Ah! To die for.

As we were walking along, my one roommate, Melinda, in her freshly-graduated maturity, decided we should try to balance our wallets on our heads. Turns out, she'd just been watching Disney Channel's Princess Protection Program (no shame) and wanted to try being a princess with perfect posture. Well, I rocked. It was easy, breezy, beautiful and I kept it up all the way to the shop. Then we laughed and ate fro-yo topped with candies and chocolates and fruit.

Oh my.

We spent our time talking about attractive men in movies. And monkeys taking over the world this weekend. We laughed, zoning in and out of full consciousness. I accidentally dropped my spoon.

And by dropped I mean flung. And by accident I mean I ripped it out of my mouth too quickly and I lost control of my hand.

We'd forget what we were talking about; we'd change conversations before the last was finished. I don't know what was wrong with us, but we were loopy. And deciding to intake such copious amounts of sugar might not have been our brightest moment.

Once we reached a slightly comatose state where normal, acceptable behavior was forgotten, we decided it was time to go home. Sugared drool dripped down our shaking lips. We were laughing maniacally, stumbling through the shop, tripping over chairs and tables that decided to get in our way. Our ears were buzzing and the sun was blinding and I was using this screaming giggle to announce that I hadn't had dinner yet! That that was the first food of the day! That yogurt should be its own food group, it's so good!

That was the state of things once we got out: hyper and hilarious. So, of course, the wallets go back on our heads. Only this time, with our new found, sugar-induced courage, we tried curtsying and spinning and leaping.

Down the sidewalk. In broad daylight. In public.

We spoke in (awful) British accents, using words like "darling" and "charmed," I'm sure. We walked slowly and did pageant waves at the people driving by. And we navigated the stairs with perfect poise. We were graceful, we were gorgeous, we were glorious with our soft steps and arched necks, walking as though on ice, a gentle smile pinned to our cheeks. Quite frankly, we were the epitome of class.

Duchess Kate has nothing on us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

That's Bombastic!

I am disillusioned by college. Maybe it’s all the apocalyptic fiction I’ve been reading, but it all seems so obsolete. The courses, the tests; the stuff we’re required to remember, the stuff we’re supposed to write. Especially within the English major. Remember when I was all doe-eyed and excited, sure I’d spend the next four years reading and discovering and discussing all the beautiful fiction in the world? And now…now I’m just so terribly bored.

I’m not usually one to insult my favorite subject. But this major is becoming tiresome. I’m stuck, treading through the same sludge year after year. And I’ve discovered something: my entire major is pretty much covered in just three courses. We have British Lit, American Lit, and then Writing about Lit. That’s 9 credit hours. It’s not even one full semester. And yet that’s everything. The rest of the 80+ hour program is mere regurgitation.

Let me illustrate: In your first semester, you take a course called “Introduction to British Literature.” There you talk about everything from Beowulf to the WWII poetry of the 1900s. Then you just start churning through your other requirements to which that class was a prereq. That’s right: every upper-level class you take in the English major uses at least one of the aforementioned three as a prerequisite. Everything, and I mean everything, uses that as a foundation. Which would be fine if it was just some basis to draw upon while discussing OTHER literature. But, no, that’s not how it works. For every one of those basic courses you have to take at least two more just like it. For writing about lit, you have the basic introduction in 251 (or 252—I’ve never really understood the difference), then you take 295 which is the same thing, only they change the title to “Analytical Writing." It’s still the same concept: you write about lit. I signed up to take this from the same professor who taught my 251 course…. She used the same syllabus. Literally. I compared them.

But that’s not all. No, then you have a 300-level class; another something about analytical writing while considering fiction. And for both British and American Lit, you are required to take two more dedicated to more specific time frames, like “Modernism,” or “Victorian Fiction”—all stuff you went over in your introductory class. Plus, you’re required to take a Shakespeare course. And maybe that would be fine too, except you also have to take 12-credits-worth of electives, all of the topics revolving around more historic readings. Sometimes you hit the jackpot with a Lord of the Rings course or some feminist class taught by a refreshingly crazy liberal. But, still, it’s all just the same stuff, the same ideas, the same conversations over and over again. Each class is just another trip through Groundhog Day. And it’s a doozy.

 The entire department is caught in this surreal neverland where nothing ever changes. It’s all so…lackluster. They’re so entrenched in the classics, in the “cannon” of literature: nothing new comes in, nothing is ever take out. They stick up their noses at new literature, they roll their eyes when someone disagrees with the popularity of Joyce or Whitman. It’s like they tell you to think for yourself, but only if those thoughts align with theirs. Aren’t I supposed to be blazing a new trail, taking the road less traveled, scoping out a new horizon? Are new ideas so terrifying? To the English department, yes. Forgive me, but most of them are pretentious pricks who look at the current world as some vile tainting of their precious past. I feel like screaming at them, ranting about how their precious “cannon” was created by elitists who felt like they had to further divide the poor from the rich. It’s the same people who decided to base English grammar off of Latin (two completely different, entirely unrelated languages) and look what that got us: a bunch of illiterate’s with no one really knowing quite how to explain it. But they’re so entrenched in the classics—in what someone else decided the classics should be—that they don’t see anything beyond it. We’re asked to spend four years with them, putting on airs, discussing why our definition of good literature is so much better than the rest of the world. Then we graduate and—what? No one cares. It’s not applicable unless you plan to be a professor or a historian, and even then graduate studies will mean so much more. Here, it’s just the same thing over and over. Like a skipping tape lending itself to a headache that won’t die.

The sad thing is there’s so many interesting things going on with literature. Maybe new lit isn’t equal to the past, but it’s something new. It’s something that matters now. We spend all this time looking at the rise and fall of different eras, and yet we ignore our own changing culture. There’s a whole future happening right now. Can’t we spend some time looking at that? Knowing where Oscar Wilde is buried doesn’t matter to me. That I’m expected to care more about Shakespeare’s love life than his effect on literature today doesn’t make any sense. You know what would be interesting? Even possibly useful? A class dissecting Twilight and wondering at its popularity. A course looking at the influence of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Or even something like Harry Potter versus Lord of the Rings. I want to discuss female writers today; how Austen and the BrontĂ« sisters have been replaced by beach-reads and chick-lit. There should be a class about how the process of writing has changed—how Woolf gave herself panic attacks worrying over a new story to how, now, people churn out entire series in only a couple of years. There should be a class on literary bullying, how fiction has become an instrument for defaming cultures, positions, even people. I want to take a course on the digital culture and the way fiction styles and formatting are evolving for the shortening attention span.

Even if we have to look at the past, can’t we at least see it through the lens of current fiction? But we’re trained to look down on new literature. We’re taught that Shakespeare was the epitome of great writing and we can’t top that. We’re expected to consider the cannon closed. But why? Why can’t we have an ever-changing cannon constantly under scrutiny, with new ideas, new pieces, new anything. One where there is no right or wrong—because who can really say?—but just opinion. In fact, that should be a course: creating a new cannon where you decide what comes, what stays, what goes. There should be a best seller’s course, a class where you only read the just-published. Or look at the classics through modern fiction. Compare the two. Make things interesting. Already, I’ve read Frankenstein FOUR times. No one should have to do that. There are so many great books in the world, long gone unnoticed or just coming out. Literature is still alive.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the classics, I do. But I want to take my love of classic literature and see it expand through the present, preparing me for a future where words—new words—still matter. Everything in this major is…stagnant. I’m treading water right now, swimming indifferently through the same stuff. I feel myself lashing out, fighting it. Like a teen rebelling just because she’s bored. I’m sick of hearing about the same things, and so I pull away. I let myself hate them. I escape into modern fiction. I defame the purists. I write cynical papers. I rarely do my reading (because I’ve read it all before). Every comment and every paper is recycled—like the materials, the conversations, the professors. I’m becoming more and more lazy; the original fire and passion is fading. There is nothing new to sustain me. The English major needs rejuvenation.

Science, math, history; dance, photography, art; women’s studies, human development, sociology—everything else keeps changing, discovering, adding. Why is it that the English major, the one so hazy, so hard to define, is the only one stuck?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Crockpot Escapades

I have a 4 quart crockpot. I also have a bad habit of HAVING to fill it when I use it. And this weekend...I used it. Twice.

See, I (finally) went to the grocery store this past week. And I got real food (read: no more pasta) I had high plans to make jambalaya in the crockpot on Sunday because 1) Sunday is always the perfect day for crockpot and 2) I don't have church till one so I wouldn't even have to wake up early to get it ready. But, come Saturday, I was home alone and super bored. So I decided, hey, I'll make dinner in the crock pot. Just for something to do. I chopped up some strange medley of vegetables--whatever was in the fridge--and put it on high for four hours and ate it. Was it good? Not exceptionally. But I ate it. I ate loads of it. Because I was bored.

So. There I was with four quarts of food (minus a bowl) and plans to make another four come morning. And I did.

To be fair, the first concoction probably wasn't a full four quarts. But Sunday's...I actually didn't think it would all fit. It was a delicious recipe of 1 lb. chicken, 1 lb. sausage, 1 pack of shrimp, 1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 cup of celery, 2 cans of tomatoes, and a whole lot of spices. It was literally to the rim. And that...that was super good. I probably ate like a quart of it just--BOOM--right then and there.
As in after it was cooked for 6 hours. 
Not right when I chopped it all up/made it. 
Cuz that would have been totally nas (read: nasty). 

And all the stuff used for my meals--it pretty much exhausted my supplies. Now I just have one piece of bread, barely enough PB for one sandwich, a couple potatoes, a box of cereal. And no milk. So I have no food, really, and no money till Friday. It's good, then, that I have something close to SEVEN QUARTS of leftovers. Because that's what I'll be living off of.

All. Week. Long.

Also, I literally ran out of tupperware. I had a huge one (which I think is something like two quarts), a smaller one (probably half) and then a trio of small ziploc ones that held like one heaping cupful.

I mean, I even ended up having to eat another helping after two bowls just because there was no way to store it.

At least that's what I prepared to tell my roommates should anyone dare question my voracious appetite. Truth be told, it was just dang good. Dang dang good.
(dang dang. That's fun to say)

So now I have five things of leftovers stuffed into the fridge. My roommate even opened it and sort of gasped. Ah well. She's just jealous. Cuz I've gots me some goods!

I just have a feeling I'm gonna get really sick of it by the end. I'll probably be shoveling it in while simultaneously crying. Weeping, even. Groaning and moaning and begging for mercy, the food falling out of my mouth mouth as I numbly try to remember how to chew.

Like in Matilda with that last piece of chocolate cake. That'll be me come Friday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Dirty Mind

Do boys in suits make me swoon? Does a well-cut tux make me sigh? Is there something about a chiseled man in a speedo? Or a polo with a popped collar? Maybe. But, see, I have a thing for bad boys. At least dirty ones.

Too far? Let me explain.

I was walking to work today, running late as usual (stupid mornings), and there was construction on campus that hindered my usual shortcut. So I was going around this truck and all their tools, men and machine alike, when, suddenly, I saw him. The clouds parted, the sun shined, the birds sang, but all I saw was his face. Love at first sight? Hardly.

He was a pretty pretty boy, but he was oh-so-dirty.

As in physically, not mentally. I mean, he might have been mental, but I don’t know. And that doesn’t really matter. Because I’m talking about the Law of Physical Attraction here, not anyone’s mental state.

Except mine, maybe.

Anyways, this boy was dirty. Like roll-in-the-mud-hang-to-dry-and-repeat dirty. His hair was dusty, his face was smudged, his pants were caked and his shirt was sweaty. And he had a huge chain draped around his neck. Why? I haven’t the slightest. Actually, I do. See, he was on a chain gang paying his dues to the community.

Just kidding.

He was one of the students working on campus construction. And he was walking down this sidewalk framed by a series of planter boxes. Like a runway. He even had the pouty model look. And it looked good. Especially as he dragged this chain around, gripping it with one hand where it dragged while simultaneously using his other hand to rub the kinks out of his neck.

So there. He was kinky, not dirty.

I stopped dead when I saw him. My jaw dropped and I watched as a gust of wind forced his eyes closed and he seemed to drink it in, pausing for a moment to catch his breath. And then he caught me staring. He looked me over; I did the same.

Well, I mean I looked him up and down;
I didn’t check myself out, because that would be awkward.
And none of this is awkward.

In my sexiest, most sultry voice, I whispered, “Hey, I like your chain.”

They should put that on a bumper sticker.

Of course, I'm just kidding. Most of this is a lie—or, rather, dramatized. But there was a boy, a very pretty boy, and he had a chain draped around his face and, somehow, that made him even more attractive. Because I have problems. Problems enough to drive me to dedicate an entire post to a very dirty man.

If my fantasy had played out, he probably would have stopped and stared with his searing eyes—never smiling—and said something like, “I like your face,” before sweeping me into a passionate, breathtaking, hair-raising, rhett-butler-esque kiss where we would both forget the entire world and just eat each other's faces off. And then, right there, he would take me.

To get ice cream.

Too bad, right? That’s a story I could tell my grandkids.

Monday, July 18, 2011

This is Why I'm Hot

So I was reading this new blog, and she posted this series on women who read and how freakin' awesome they are. It really stuck with me; I think we could be friends. But I loved it so much, I couldn't help but share. So it's not at all funny or anything, but it entertained me. And made me feel important. Boom.

First, the pros. 

"Date a Girl Who Reads" by Rosemarie Urquico 
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. 

Find a girl who reads. You'll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She's the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That's the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow. 

She's the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she's kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author's making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. 

Buy her another cup of coffee. 

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce's Ulysses she's just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. 

It's easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. 

She has to give it a shot somehow. 

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. 

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. 

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she's sick. Over Skype. 

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn't burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. 

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you're better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. 

Or better yet, date a girl who writes. 

and then the rebuttal…by a man being (hopefully) ironic. 

"You Should Date an Illiterate Girl" by Charles Warnke
Date a girl who doesn't read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you've seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Let the years pass unnoticed. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. 

Do those things because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn't read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don't date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Take That, Coco Chanel

Walking to church in Provo is sort of like joining a trek. We march en masse towards our places of worship (i.e. The Wilk Center, basically a cafeteria). We swarm across streets and parking lots, regardless of rules or lights. We talk loudly. Like we're EFY students. Sometimes we even hold hands and sing songs.

Just kidding.

But my roommates and I were laughing, caught at the tail end of a light. So we paused, chatting effortlessly.
I bet you can guess about what.
It involved me clicking my heels
and clapping my hands in excitement....
It starts with H and ends with -arry...
But we were there, just minding our own business, when, suddenly, this guy behind us sort of groans--you know, one of the deep-throated moans that turns into a sigh? He makes that (uncomfortable) noise and then says, "Oh, man, you girls smell so good."

Emphasis on the "so."  

We stop talking and turn back to look at him, our eyebrows stretched incredulously. There was this split-second of silence and then he sort of blushed and ducked his head and we laughed--kindly, of course. We struggled to say thank you and he struggled to say that he hadn't meant to be creepy or anything, but he just thought we should know. So we laugh back something about how we try and it's good of him to notice. And then we laugh to ourselves and struggle to go back to our past conversation. And I find myself suddenly very self-conscious about the way I smell. Like what if I was the sole one who didn't smell good?! How mortifying.

Meanwhile, this guy is still behind us. The whole way. we even took this secret door. And he, with his buddy, followed. But they weren't talking to us. They were just following. And even when we went for the elevator, he followed. Only his buddy yanked him back, nodding towards the stairs. And that was that.

At the elevator, we kind of laughed uncomfortably again. "Remember that stranger who just said we smelled sooo good?" Yeah. Yeah, I do.

But I should be grateful. I mean, we don't lather on lotions andwalk through clouds of perfume for nothing, right? So it was nice of him to notice. To let us know our hard work paid off. I think it was just awkward with the groan and the "sooo" part. And the fact that he was a stranger. And he didn't speak to us ever again. About anything normal. And we're just a bunch of giggly girls who laugh cruelly and give incredulous stares.

Luckily, though, we're a bunch of giggly girls who just smell sooo good.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Harry Potter Breakdown Update

Everything around me is revolving around HP. It's INSANE. I just like...catch myself thinking about it and I want to cry, and then I want to laugh at myself for being so crazy, and then I angrily tell myself that I have every right to be sad.

So. It's driving me nuts. Literally.

I thought I had it under control, though. I mean, sure, I turn on ABC Family any time I go in the kitchen, just to catch a couple minutes of the movie marathons. And I think about it all the time. I've watched the trailer at least once a day for a week. Sometimes I finger through the books and think about reading them all over again in the next three days. And every conversation somehow turns back to it. I mean, I hate the movies, right? So why should I care so much now? I'm falling inexplicably in love with them, suddenly caring about the actors and all of it. But it's like I told my sister: It was easy to hate the movies when I had them and the books, but now it's over and I'm just latching on to the most tangible part. Good or bad, they represent the books. And's all just ending. A PART OF ME IS DYING, PEOPLE!

But. I really was keeping my emotions in check, just trying to roll my eyes at myself whenever I found myself getting too emotional (I'm like a schizophrenic now). And then my little sister had to go and blow that little bit of self-control out the window when she told me to watch this video. And I have to share it. Like I can't fight it. Two Potter posts in a row? It's pathetic, but my body won't let me not share this. Because I know SOME readers out there are avid Potter fans. And they deserve to know of this clip's existence. Because...well, because it literally drove me to tears.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Harry, Harry Potter; Harry, Harry Potter

I've become a bit nostalgic. I keep reading these articles about the actors and the final installment and all that and it's making me all depressed. I mean, I've never been a big fan of the movies (The second is by far the worst, with the rest of them tied for a close second). I think Radcliffe/Potter is awkward. And tiny. And that Bonnie/Ginny girl with him is just even more awkward. Really, most of the trio is awkward. But I love my man, Snape, and my lover, Draco. And the first Dumbledore was awesome. And the twins were pretty cool (shed a tear*). And…well, that’s about it. Yet I still get so excited with every new movie trailer. I can't help it. It's like...magic. Yes!

But I also think it's this whole....phenomenon. I can hardly remember a world without Harry Potter. I started the series when I was seven or eight; the last book came out when I was sixteen or seventeen; the first movie was released in 2001 (I was 10...I think), and now the last one will open in exactly nine days (and now I'm 20). So it's been practically forever. My life has, often helplessly, revolved around it.  

"The Mysterious Ticking Noise" entertained me throughout high school. The only reason I survived my last college meltdown was reading the entire series over again in one week. "A Very Potter Musical" got me through the sophomore slumps. I always smile at the SNL skits and any references ever made on camera. MLIA was hilarious because it served as a HP fan base. The HP vs. Twilight jokes never get old because, oh yeah, Potter always wins. People fight over which house they'd belong to, like it defines them in real life. They even use spells and quotes from the books in casual conversation (actually, multiple people have told me the latin helped them learn GRE vocab). And every time I see an owl, hear a train, or notice a splash of red and gold I can't help but think of it. Harry Potter World is on my top five places to see. And I've had many a wizarding dream. Plus, just two words: Draco. Malfoy.

I mean, life would have been so boring without it. 

It's not just a book or a movie or a character. It's an AGE, and those outside of it couldn't possibly understand. It's this conglomerate of awesomeness and it's sad to see it ending. And "Luna Lovegood" (Evanna Lynch) said it just right: 

"I'm distraught that this is over. I've been obsessed with the books since I was eight, so I don't really know what I was before that or what will come next.”


For a Long, Long Time, in a Galaxy All Our Own

Laura came down to spend the weekend with me. Oh what fun! We were laughing a lot, she was sleeping a lot, and then suddenly we were watching movies. A lot.

See, I had flipping through the channels one night and the original Star Wars was showing (Number IV or however it works). And I was like, Hmm, I haven't seen those in awhile. And then Laura came and I mentioned it and she totally failed my impromptu Star Wars trivia quiz, so that was embarrassing. On her part. And then Melissa was hanging out with us on Sunday night and she is quite the little Star Wars fan (I don't get it). But, on her way out, we shouted for her to bring us all the Star Wars movies. Just on a whim. She sent her lover back with them--all six of them--and we plopped down with the first, breathlessly and giggling-ly deciding we should have a marathon.

Boom. It happened.

We watched the first (I), which wasn't bad. Even though Natalie Portman is TINY. But Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson are freakin' awesome.

And then we went to bed...we woke up...and we watched II. On fast forward, because it's probably the lamest movie ever made. Hayden Christensen should choke on his own sobs and die.

Then we went to the mall (Laura got Harry Potter glasses and they are freakin' amazing). Also, we made fools of ourselves at the little parking lot intersection at the mall, cuz Laura was pulling out but then "Low" by Flo Rider (which we'd been singing all weekend) came on and we sort of spazzed out. And there was this car of boys across from us and they were laughing and we were dancing and singing/screaming and then they went, still laughing at us. Laura was like "Why didn't they go? Fools?" And then she realized that, oh yeah, she had the right of way and instead had put on a little song and dance number for their enjoyment. It was awesome.

Anyways. We got home totally enthused and ready for our final marathon dash. We watched the III (poor Yoda has a heart attack and Anakin gets vampire eyes and Ewan uses his crying voice which is somehow so attractive). And then the IV where Laura drooled over Han Solo (which, did you know, they pronounce as hAn--as in "ham" with an N? Yeah, totally ruined my world. Han. Psch). We worked on our chewbacca noises and put in V. We ate pizza and started VI. Some things we noticed?

The graphics are more realistic in the old ones because most of it isn't actually graphics.
Movies used to be much shorter and less...immense. The new ones had so much going on while the old ones felt very fast. And simple. 
The script was better when Spielburg was involved. 
The old ones say "I've got a bad feeling about this" about seven BILLION times.
And a bonus fact? This youtube video pretty much nails the entire saga. Especially the Jaws portion (minute 2:40). It's amazing. And we kept singing it throughout the movies.

Which brings us to a sad conclusion. Seeing as I had work in the morning and Laura was still suffering from Trek hangover, we never finished VI. We got about 40 minutes into it, I think. So...marathon fail.

But it is still impressive. And my brain's still a little fuzzy from all that screen time. And I've been thinking Star Wars ever since. a was a success...right? In any case, it was EPIC.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Rant

I like old people.

The elderly, the wise, the aged--whatever is considered politically correct. I like them.

They're usually grand and friendly and have interesting life stories they're always so inexplicably willing to share in great detail. I mean, this one time, I spent two hours in an interview with a member of the bishopric where conversation about my calling morphed into him telling me about being a fighter pilot in Vietnam. And it was totally interesting. So I do like them, I do. It's just...sometimes....

I don't know what it is, but something seems to make them think that they can pass judgment on ANYTHING. I don't have to know them, I'm usually not related to them, but they're always so willing--eager, even--to criticize anything about me.

Once, some old man told me Shelby was a boy's name and it was stupid to name a girl that.
Thanks a whole lot for that piece of news.

Another time, someone else's grandma said she found my voice annoying.
Well, I don't much like hearing your wheezing either.

I'm being mean, I know. I'm taking it personally and maybe I shouldn't. But come on. Was it just something people did fifty years ago? Just say whatever they want, whatever they're thinking? Or do the elderly see blatant, impolite "honesty" as a way to gratify their painstakingly collected years?

It's annoying.

Today at work, I'm chatting happily with an old(er) guy and his wife. He's talking about the weather. He's talking about the library. He's telling me about how much better BYU is than the U. He's even telling me he didn't like the major his granddaughter picked because he sees it as useless and silly. I don't much care for what he's saying, but I'm smiling and listening and responding. And then he looks me over and says he doesn't understand my top.

I blink and look down, wondering if there's actually a secret message written across it. What is there to understand? I don't know. It's just a couple of layered tees, one maybe two inches longer than the other. It's not the Da Vinci code, people. It's nothing to get a new wrinkle over.

"You know," he says, "I thought that was a bandanna."

I don't really know what to say, so I shrug and I smile, laughing ever-so gently. I'm willing to let it slide. But then the wife steps in.

Who knows, maybe she just didn't like me. Maybe she was jealous.

But she looks me up and down. I imagine her smile fading into a sort of sneer. Her eyes narrow as she leans in.

"I don't like it," she says. My mouth drops. But she's already turning, her nose pointed up disdainfully. "It's a weird style."

Now, listen. I can take about anything. But you call my clothes into question and I turn into an insecure thirteen-year-old girl with pigtails (they matter).

Just sitting there, watching them walk away, I could feel the screams of fury rising in my throat. I saw myself shouting at them to stop:
"YOU THINK I'M WEIRD?!?" (It gets personal) 
"WELL, I THINK YOU'RE WEIRD" (That'll really show her)
And then the kicker.

Yeah, if my thirteen-year-old alter ego got all the way out, I probably would have attacked them. Physically. I would have been foaming at the mouth by the end, clawing at the air, my eyes rolling wildly. All over some stupid choice of words. 

Weird. Bleh. Well, I think your sweater set is weird. I think people willing to wear cat patterns in public are weird. I think the fact that you'd criticize a perfectly cordial stranger is weird. And I don't care. 

Really, okay. 

I don't. 

I just don't.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Waking Up is the Hardest Part

I set my alarm for 7:00 a.m. to get all ready for work at 8:00 a.m. I had high plans to actually do my hair. And eat breakfast. It was Friday and I was going to bask in its glory every possible minute.

Well, I woke up to my roommates talking. And that never happens because, oh yeah, I'm always up first. So I blinked. I wrinkled my forehead, a little annoyed that they were stealing my last few minutes of sleep. And then I looked over at my alarm clock.

Boom. 7:44.

say WHA? Yeah. It was flashing red like it was going off, but there was NO SOUND. What kind of alarm even has that as an option??

I untangled myself from my sheets, a fast chant rising in my throat: "crud, crud, Crud, Crud, CRUD, CRUD." I got progressively louder, leaping out of bed and considering my options. I habitually said a prayer, though I think it was something like "Oh crud, help me, bless me, please. crud." Real poetic-like. Then I flew to the bathroom, tripped into the shower, still singing my little crud song.

I somehow washed my hair and face at the same time, I shaved blind, a doused myself in soap and called it good. Two minutes flat. Still in my towel, I did my makeup, blow-dried my bangs (otherwise, things get ugly), and brushed my teeth. Then I finally got dressed, stumbling into my pants while (stupidly) trying to put on my shoes at the same time. I threw everything I needed for the day into a bag and then just fled the premises.

Ten minutes. Ten minutes, people. I got relatively attractive in ten minutes. In the time my roommates were still groaning their way out of bed, I was showered, dressed, and out that door like magic. It probably scared them. But it was all just a miracle. I mean, I impressed even Me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Smoked Out

I like jalapenos. I like them a lot.

aaand I feel like I'm about to slip into a Dr. Seuss style narrative. 
We'll just stop that right now. 

Back to what's important: jalapenos.

They're delicious, right? Spicy and wonderful and good in anything? Well, my roommates don't agree.

It was Sunday and we came home from afternoon church starving, so four of us wound up cooking at the same time. Everyone was feeling rushed, fighting over stove tops and pans. I was making pasta sauce, chopping up veggies, boiling noodles, throwing in some sauce and adding in half a jalapeno for good measure. I practically lit them on fire, burning everything to get it done faster--because I was being nice. Because I wanted to get out of the way so everyone could enjoy a lovely meal on a lovely day. But roommates started to sweat.

First, it was the little things: someone wiped a tear out of their eyes, another commented breathlessly on the smell or the sudden heat. They averted their eyes, looking down as if they were willing themselves to get past it. I went on, blissfully unaware, completely immune to the burn they were all struggling to fight off. Actually, I stood at the stove and breezily reminded them of how last time I used a jalapeno they all had a meltdown. I said I was sorry and weren't they all glad this time was better? But then someone gasped, someone choked, and everyone freaked out. All at once.

One roommate walked into the kitchen, stopped dead in her tracks and ran back out, laughing and choking and coughing all at once. Another roommate came from around the living room corner just to assure me it wasn't so bad; instead, she gasped and wailed, "Holy crap, there's like a WALL." Someone ran to open a door, tripping over her feet as she kept her eyes closed tight against the tears. Someone else bent over, laughing and wheezing, begging me to stop the torture. I burnt everything faster, waving my hands wildly in an attempt to move the air, laughing probably sardonically, and screaming for everyone to JUST CALM DOWN!!!

And then it was suddenly over. Mere minutes later. I mean, they were sniffling forever after, wiping at noses and eyes, still sputtering on the air, unable to help but laugh warily whenever they looked at me eating.

Really, it was kind of embarrassing. But mostly funny. I mean, I almost killed my roommates. Hysterical, right? Why, yes, yes indeed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I am a Grown Up

Relatively speaking, anyway.

That's right, I turned TWENTY years old the other day. It doesn't feel any different, but it's a lovely thing to not be a teenager anymore. Still, I have felt the pressure to be all "mature" and "grown up" and it's been really boring. The heavens have been weeping for me.

I have an internship that's all good for me or whatever but super exhausting and kind of useless at the same time.

I have a job which I love, but it's still a job.

I have no money. Well, not for things I'd usually spend it on (e.g. clothes, shoes, clothes, clothes, clothes).

I wish I could take a trip somewhere. Somewhere sunny. Like Austin. To watch a movie. In July. With my sister(s).

But I have no money.

Figuring out financial aid is a pain. Figuring out expenses is an even bigger pain.

I kind of want a car, I kind of need a car, but I kind of hate drivers in Provo so I kind of don't want a car.

I have no housing for Fall/Winter and this could be a big problem.

Unless I have a car which I can then live in.

And I was supposed to be enjoying a sort of vacation from school and thinking and staying busy. Instead, I have all that to worry about and stress me out. Plus my internship is literally a class--with assignments and everything--so I didn't really think that one through. I wish I could undo my plans to go to summer classes, but that would mess up my perfect fall schedule (seriously. it's perfect), so that's not going to happen. Instead I have a 8-5 work schedule. And that is my life forever after.

Welcome to adulthood, right?