Wednesday, December 12, 2012

" That messipe might be screwed up!"

or, What Happens when Erin and I spontaneously Bake.*
or, "It was worth it to move to North Carolina just for this!"*
Sometimes, Erin tickles me and I try to stab her with my pen.

Erin: "Ben, this is where you give me a high five....with your lips."
Later, Milla repeats the phrase whilst writing it down, and Ben's delayed reaction is a horrified:
Erin: "Liars go to Hell!"
Ben: "Where do swearers go?"
Inside joke tacked on as an afterthought: "And tea drinkers go to the telestial kingdom."
Erin: "That is dangerous doctrine right there! You know you will teach that in family home evening and then your kid will say it in church."
Ben: "That's why I only teach it in Sunday School."
Milla: " Sea Turtle! No dangerous half doctrines over here."
Ben: "So where do the sea turtles go?"
Erin: "The celestial kingdom, of course. Where all animals go."
Ben: "How do you know?"
Erin" All dogs go to heaven! Ben, Don Bluth is Mormon."

Milla: "Where's the bloody timer?!"
Erin: "It's there, but if you choose to use the one without blood..."

Erin: "She's going upstairs, Ben! Now she's gonna burn the cookies!"
Milla: "I set the bloody timer!"

Erin to Ben, who is explaining to her the ramifications of the recipe she just half tripled and half one and a halfed: "Yes, I know. Thank you, Chemist of the Family."
Milla: "Well, did either of us earn the title?"
Erin: "SHHH! I'm going to think."

Erin laying on the floor, blowing a raspberry at Milla above her, maybe laughing hysterically: "All that came back in my face! Note to self: If you're gonna spit into the air, make sure you aren't lying down!"

Erin: "I'm going to pee! Not because I need to that bad, it is just going to happen."

Erin: "She put her hand to her brow with a spatula in it and make this hacking noise! And now I think she has to pee!"
Milla: "No I don't! Look I'll stand erect!"
Erin: "Then why were your legs crossed like that?"
Milla: "My legs weren't crossed, I was standing on one hip. You don't even know what that means!"

Erin: "I'm too tired to psychoanalyze you tonight. Some other time, okay?"

Erin/ Yenta the matchmaker: "Right? Of course right!"
Erin/ Bill Cosby at the dentist: "I hope that you are satisfied. I hope that you are satisfied!"

Erin: "BLAST! I miscounted. Oh I forgot to add the other butter!"
Milla: "Well these aren't done. Well they are in spots, but they won't come off the pan, soo..."
Erin: That is your problem. I don't wanna hear about it."
Milla: "Well don't whine about miscounting to me."

Erin: "That awkward moment when you can't tell if it's flour coming off your mixer....or smoke from the motor."

Erin, whining at the table about her side which is aching, doesn't notice Milla resolutely clap her hands together and stick it on the spot....
Milla: " I just did the Miyagi move on you. Is it helping?"
Erin: "No, but you saying Miyagi helped. Do it again!"
Milla: "Miyagi do karate! Miyago voice."

Erin: " That is your hip bone! What do you think it was, a rib?!"
Milla: "Well, how can you tell, really, when it doesn't protrude at all?!"

Also, we had this thing in choir back in high school where we would laugh really stupidly, aka "Hoo Hoo Hoo!" the whole time and it is this weird thing where it sounds so stupid that you cannot stop. So this one time Erin and I were tangled in a heap on the kitchen floor laughing and I started doing it and Erin couldn't breathe cause it made her laugh so hard. Basically, she is powerless against Hoo Hoo Hoo. And she was begging for me to stop, so naturally, I kept at it. But she thought I was making fun of her, apparently....

Erin, indignantly: "I'll have you know that I'll never do it again, but if you keep doing it to make fun of me, you'll be the only one who sounds like a jackass!"
Milla, fighting for air: " You never did that! I wasn't making fun of you. I was only doing it to make you laugh... I was always the only one who sounded like a jackass."

                                             And apparently, I look like one too.

*Erin convincing herself: "That Messipe might be screwed up."
Milla having an epiphany: "And that is the title for the blog that's coming out of this!"
Erin: "Wait! I want credit for it!"
Milla: "Well, obviously I'm gonna put it in quotation marks..."

* We say that on really good days, and after we talk to Sister Yerkes, and after going to Ayr Mount, and when Emma yells, "Pillow Pillow!" and hugs your knees. Totally worth it. 

Coming soon, the Lucy to my Ethel.

Nate is coming home on Saturday. Today is Wednesday. Two whole years ago, on a Wednesday morning, I called Nate's/soon to be Zach's phone for the last time,and two whole years of please blessing the mailbox later, he is coming home.  That's a really big deal, in case you were wondering.

Best. Day. Ever.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Thankfullness game

Hey internets, I'm a scrooge face. Christmas songs make me grouchy, and I have been feeling kind of slumped lately without the added stress that is post-thanksgiving radio. So today I was feeling grouchy, and I thought of Pine view and my old apartment family and how the girls upstairs put up a turkey in the hallway and we all put up thankfulness feathers like the kindergarteners we are at heart. We were pretty silly college students all having one continuous mass sleepover, but sometimes, I was impressed with us, and this was one of those times.

This turkey is a shining memory in my life. I was having a really hard time feeling not like a big fat failure on a daily basis, and positive thinking and gratitude were things I had to concentrate on, hard. Kind of like now. But the turkey taught me a lesson. Well, the turkey and Katie.

See, I had this roommate who changed my whole life. She taught me to be happy even when you are depressed. That day with the turkey especially changed things for me. It had been a crap day for both of us. I think I had failed a math test and she had this horrid day at work and we were really in the mood to wallow. But we chose instead to do our daily affirmations in front of the mirror, and I was trying really hard to make her feel better; we were in the habit of making each other feel better. Katie ran upstairs to talk to Spencer or something and five seconds later came back and dragged me up to see the Turkey, where she had put up a feather that said she was thankful for me. I suddenly felt a whole lot less like a big fat failure, and we spent the next twenty minutes upstairs playing the Thankfullness game, aka Katie decided we still weren't happy enough and we each had to come up with ten good things that happened to us that day and write thankfulness feathers.

Twenty minutes and ten miracles later, I was a much happier person. And in honor of Kate and her positivism, I'd like to be that way again. I've slacked off, and that is no way to be happy. Thus:

Ten Good Things about today:

- I got set apart to be a ward missionary. It was awesome. I love my priesthood leaders, by the way. I am kind of excited for this.
- My dad answered the phone today. That is a rare and fabulous occurrence. Made my day.
- I had half shaved legs and no time to fix that, which is fine cause I have boots which are a blessing for just such occasions.
- Sunday Skype night, which is one of the best traditions ever.
- Sunday afternoon naps. also an excellent tradition.
- My beloved Bishop back at home who isn't the bishop anymore was just called to be our new Stake President. I don't even live there and I'm stoked.
- I get to babysit for our adorable across the street neighbor tomorrow. I am taking a trip back to junior high. so nostalgic.
- making bread dough into awesome shapes with Libby. That girl is an expert braider.
- bathtime with emma, which was happy and not fraught with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth like last time. such progress!
- Nutella. nuff said.

Crowning Glory of a cherry on top! Are you ready? Today it is less than two weeks til Nate Hansen will be at home in Utah. And so will I. That's right, for two blessed weeks, almost everyone I love will be in a common location. BUCKETS OF BLISS, WORLD!

I think I have started to treat Holidays like homework, aka 'Avoid the most foreboding holiday stuff with the least objectionable holiday stuff'. Seems to be working. I feel better.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have been fairly lucky in my places of employment thus far in life, with one or two lemons thrown in. My current job (which fell in my lap by the grace of God just as I really needed to quit my sandwich making, tea mopping, Sunday working, sexual harassment juggling, life sucking old job in a loud public way) is no different. There are some uncomfortable things about it, as is the case in any workplace, but overall, its pretty stellar. Aka, I was running around Hyde Hall tonight catering a couple dinners, and I thought to myself, and then said aloud, "This is way too much fun."

Guys, I lucked out. I didn't so much make it out of the food service industry as was my goal, but this adventure time, I'll take it. Especially cause they pay me lots better to be happy than the old guys were paying me to be miserable. Things are going well, and there are more hours and more catering and better opportunities coming soon to an Amy near you. And I am excited about that, cause tonight was one of those kinda hectic, really hilarious, straight living in the moment kind of shifts. The kind where Garret starts quoting youtube videos and we sing Bed Intruder while doing dishes. The kind where I say with fervor, "We have to start a quote book!" and then promptly forget whatever funny thing Garret just said. The kind where the catering clients actually talk to you like you're a person which is not exactly the norm, the kind where Adam is really happy which is good cause last time I had to "talk him down" from the intense anger involved with a seriously overcompensating short rude client, and that wasn't as much fun as I've ever had in my life.

This night started out feeling like whiplash and then turned into one of the smoothest, most pleasant catering events I have experienced thus far. Things kept going so well, in fact, that Garret exclaimed many times in tones of excitement, "SWAG! That's Swag!"

This word quickly turned in to the theme of the night, like roadtrips that you name. We just kept saying it, cause things just kept going so well. That one word pretty accurately describes how I feel tonight. Things are working out, I think. Life is pretty swag. 

I just like this job a lot on days like this. I am figuring out what I am doing, and really enjoying running around with Adam and Garret, who are some of the funniest people I've ever met, especially when you put them together.We had a lot of fun comparing drivers license pictures and finals week stories and squooshing ourselves into that tiny elevator with a cart and a lot of free flowing, hot liquid, and you know what? Half those inside jokes that got mentioned today? I was in on them. This is the first time I was more often in on the joke than not. Swag.

Also, I found out today that Pat has this plan where I will soon be a lot more involved with Catering and doing that with Adam and spending not as much time dishing soup in the Cafe. I am all for it. Catering is fun. Catering is diverse and adventurous and sometimes filled with stress and adrenaline. Also, that means I get to run around with Adam who I am good friends and not spend quite so much time trying to tread my white, English speaking self in the sea of Espanol whose waves are sometimes pleasant and curiosity inducing and other times pound on you in extreme discomfort. I get more responsibility. It's the kind of niche where people ask you questions and you are a necessary part of a team. I really miss that kind of work. I think this is gonna be good.

Also, I got to bring home Lemon Tarts. SWAG.

I Can't Handle The Camel!

My brother recently went to visit Headquarters for Christmas. (drawbacks of moving. He only visits Utah) Seeing as how I wasn't there, the majority of our interaction took place a few weeks ago on Skyping Sunday with a whole bunch of my family taking turns all mooshing themselves in the teensy yellow room in front of the webcam.

This particular sunday when Alex, James, and Mark and Amy were the core skypers*, I had a rare opportunity to skype with them completely alone for the duration of the kids meltdown and bedtime, but not before Libby and Emma availed themselves of the opportunity to display for Uncle Alex the toy we call The Camel. (He gets capitalization because he is an enemy force to be reckoned with.) The Camel is a stuffed animal from Jerusalem which plays music when you squeeze it. Incessant noise you can do nothing about except wait it out. The kind of noise that makes your blood pressure rise so quickly you can feel it. I had experienced this phenomenon several times already that day, seeing as how the girls both wanted to play with him. Camels get squeezed when you are ripping them out of your sister's hands, you know? I had actually spent sacrament meeting with the thing in my purse, strategically not applying pressure, in constant terror of what would happen if the thing went off. The Camel was a source of stress, kind of like a ticking time bomb.

So when they found the thing again and played it in all their glory several times accompanied by crying and concentrated exclamations of "That's MINE!" I confiscated it promptly and placed it high on a shelf above eye level. Feeling justified in doing so because Hello! It was bedtime and I am totally allowed to take away toys for selfish purposes as long as they are secondary to bedtime purposes! (right?) I went back to skyping and said to Alex without thinking and with a mix of pure vulnerable honesty and exasperation, "I can't handle The Camel."

Picture Jack Nicholson, veins bulging out of his face: "You can't handle the Truth!"

While I didn't mean to speak with such fervent emotion, this is the level of pathos and pure upset I feel about these stupid things about myself on a daily basis, and I guess some of that intense emotion eeked out unintentionally.

It must have sounded something like that, because this is the part where Alex laughed. You know my brother. Picture it. Hear the soul fixing burst of pure comedy that is my brother's laugh. It surprised me, pleasantly. I didn't particularly think my comment had been even slightly amusing, and there I was, the source of some of my favorite laughter on the planet, on accident. Not even just Alex, but Mark and Amy and James oh James. Guys, my family is funny when they laugh. And I caused that. If that isn't a self esteem boost, I don't know what is. Maybe the Nobel would equal that, but I don't know, Obama won it. (Kay that was really mean spirited and ucky of me. My shriveled Scrooged soul will probably repent quickly and delete this part, so if you read it, you're probably the only one. Guilt tangent, Fin.)

Kay my point is, I take heart in the fact that my absolute unhealthful neuroticism and blood pressure driven actions are not always as bad as they seem, because:
One, they make my brother laugh, and we all know I have spent a significant portion of my life imitating, seeking alliance and especially approval, and basically wanting to be my brother. Cause he's a boss. Making him laugh at me, even if it's a little bit cause I'm a dork, releases more endorphins than diet coke. That is serious.
Two: Such interactions could theoretically spawn the formation of "The Camel Club." This club could hypothetically pick a motto of "Blame it on the camel." And that would be priceless, hypothetically.
Three: Sometimes people react in a totally different way than I do to my weirdest weakest admissions, like the fact that I am soul-deep unhinged by the incessant noise of a souvenir camel. ( a small example of a thing that is a problem) I am not usually very kind to myself about those weakest parts of myself, and its nice to be reminded once in a while that maybe they aren't (maybe I'm not) so terrible. They could just be funny. We could just laugh and keep living and not have to fix everything. Maybe if we are laughing, I'm not so broken as I feel when its just me hanging out with myself. Maybe it is just fine if I can't handle the camel quite yet, or if I can't even get on it by myself. Someday I'll be a big kid who can handle it. Maybe I'll win a race. Maybe I'll win laughing.

That is the power of Skype, and siblings. I can sit in a room two thousand miles away and have one of the most hilarious conversations of my life with my beloved sibling people who heal my own perceptions of myself a little bit every time we talk even if they are laughing at me.

And in honor of one of the most hilarious conversations of my life, a round of quotebookage: ( Which I wrote on a grocery pad from the fridge and a half working pencil while we were talking, cause I knew I would forget and I had to blog about it! Geekin out, no big deal.)

"We can use it all the time and feel all elitist and stuff!"

Me:"My pencil lead is running out."
Alex: "Figuratively, Literally..."
James: "So that's your problem. Long on pencil short on lead!"

James: "So if they do it with a plot that'll be okay, but if they're like 'We'll just pull it out of our butts,' its gonna come out looking like a bunch of dirty underwear."

Amy: "I use the halo to hide my horns."

"Look! They're using separate plates"
"The newlyweddness is wearing off."
"Thanks to your teasing, we more often use separate plates and utensils in public."

And the inevitable sojourn into Firefly territory:
 "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket."
Also:  "Well, it looks like my days of not taking you seriously are coming to a middle."

I love my siblings. Long live the Camel Club, amen.

*These skyping sessions with my family are quite interesting. No two are made up of the same people. Sunday is the night when the whole clan shows up to swing the pendulum of Headquarters from empty nest back to mad house, just cause we operate in extremes over there in Robinsonland. This usually means that we get a varied and diverse rotation of who actually skypes with us, and there usually ends up being a core of three or four people who stick out the smooshing and the noise until everyone else gives up and then whoever's left actually talks for more than sixty seconds. (Conversation of the fittest? Darwinian theories in a social application?)

Friday, November 16, 2012

One of those epiphanies that should spawn some personal improvement goals.

We've all had those moments when you look around and suddenly realize where you are and what you are doing as if you had no control over how you got there, right?  This has been happening a lot lately. And I blog when I have these epiphanies as a general rule, so let's play a game of
 "You know you're a hopeless media junkie when:"

 Your phone conversations include comments like: "Cause really, The Office is the whole point of Netflix." Also, I have seen all of those and it's time to stop.

You've been laying in your car singing Love on the Rocks on repeat. Cause Neil Diamond just isn't getting old, right?

You find yourself on Amazon seriously contemplating a purchase of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Box Set.

You discover a website called Garfield minus Garfield, which is "dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a young Mr. Arbuckle....and a journey deep into the mind of an isolated everyman battling loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb." And we all know how much I love existentialism. (Even, maybe especially, when it's angsty.)

Also, you dream about Firefly and Star Wars in the same dream. 

This could be a problem. 

On the bright side, I've made a resolution to replace unproductive media time with less unproductive media time, aka pandora, which allows for double and triple tasking and also plays Michael Franti and Matisyahu and Sean Kingston. Which is probably healthy, cause I am a pretty tense person these days and nobody fixes that quite like the sound of sunshine, or The Coolest Song in the World according to Gabe, and definitely rap music.

 (On that note, Take that, everyone who thinks I only listen to Beethoven! Aka Collin, who once didn't believe me when I told him I listened to rap music, who said in disbelief "Yeah? Name one. Who's your favorite?" His mouth dropped open a little bit when I promptly listed Sean Kingston and Akon. Seriously, how do I exhude such a goody two shoes Beethoven listening close-minded aura? feedback?)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

For the Boys...

Specifically Mark, but boys in general. This is leaning. I'd bet money you've all done it, and that most of you didn't even know you were doing it.  So here. There's a label for that thing you all do. 

P.S. Analyze, Mark, quick!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Awkward or not Awkward?

This is the name of a game once played by Katie the roommate of the century, in a walmart with her boyfriend. And then she taught it to me. It is part of the awkward hands theory, and is also generally a rhetorical question. But I really wanna know what y'all think, because I thrive on awkwardness so much now that when it is accidental I sometimes feel that my awkwardness radar is skewed in comparison with the average human. And I am just not sure and you have to tell me, so I can reset my awkwardness radar, if you will.  Thus, some recent (potential) awkwardness.

Once upon a time I went to Mission Prep class. Here away from the Utah bubble where the majority of people in my age group are not preparing for a mission, I am generally the only person in the class. There is also a boy named Donovan who comes roughly half the time. So we don't generally have actual teaching practice scenarios cause it is just me. But tonight Donovan showed up. So Brother Nicholas told us we would be teaching an impromptu lesson and to pretend we were companions. At this point Donovan looks at me and says, " We're senior missionaries, I guess." Which was fine, and not awkward. And then we were teaching and Brother Nichols told us at the end that we would be doing this all the time, and was talking about how a lot of successful teaching is learning to trust your companion, and invited us to take planning time outside of class and exchange phone numbers, and apparently we are "permanently companionshipped". If I didn't know better, I would think the twinkle in our teacher's eye meant he was planning something, but I do know better, and am thus even more weirded out. What is with all of this man's marriage metaphors in a mission prep class? I think he isn't terribly excited about Donovan's dating status, or mine. But this isn't exactly the way to fix it.

Once upon a time I went to work, and I was in the back corner digging my hat out of my purse talking to Garret when Adam comes over. He high fives Garret, and turns to me. At this point, I had both my hands behind my head fixing the strap on the hat, and coworker Adam comes and hugs me instead, but it was weird, cause my arms were up at my head and I was not hugging back so much as being squeezed. And this is not a non committal side hug, you know? Like, there were sides of faces touching and stuff. Picture me tentatively patting his shoulder, cause that is all I managed to do before I was released. We have friendly work relationships and real small bubbles. You learn something new every day.

Again at work, I was in the back during my break and the Sysco guy was there. His name is Mike. I have met him before, but when Danielle asked if we had met, I said "Yeah, we met before" and he said "No, we haven't. Hello, Amy!" Friendly, right? Enthusiastic, that's good? Now picture that with a handshake offered really inside your bubble, and a tall man leaning over you with his face also really inside your bubble. ( Yep. Leaning. Like, " Leaning involves wanting, and accepting. Leaning")* Now picture a handshake where Mike takes my hand, pulls me over next to him and swings his other arm around me. I couldn't decide whether to comment on the fact that he didn't remember meeting me before (even though I remembered cause he was enthused that time as well, as he is in general) or the fact that some real awkwardness just went down. But he let go pretty quick, and it seemed like too much effort anyway, so I sat down and decided not to care. But really, is that not a little odd? Nobody seemed to think so. Southerners.

So. I am pretty sure that we are all just friendly people here and none of this is concerning. (I really hope so, cause I am not so much concerned. Pretty sure I left the sexual harrasment behind at the sandwich place.)  But please, dear people with accurate awkward radar, on a scale of first date to "let's go for a walk"**, what are these? How many awkward hands are we holding up here?

Need Input. (Number five alive)

* Five Hundred points if you know the movie.  Two thousand extra points if you are saying "I know karate!" in a Joe Junior voice.

** This phrase is a cleverly disguised " I'm breaking up with you/ This unofficial dating venture is ending, thanks". Ninety three percent of the time, based on my experience.  And that folks, is a bigger percentage than the return rate on the bend and snap, so really, who can argue?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This will make your life better. Just sayin'.

When I was teensy I wanted to be exactly like my ( Jedi Master) brother Alex. I don't think I've ever really grown out of it. Hence, this song everyone should know. Also, Mike Masse at The Pie. Just. YouTube it.

That's all. Unless I later decide to keep playing the youtube game. Flight of the Conchords  could show up on here. No one knows.

Monday, November 5, 2012

You know y'all live in the South when...

1. You avoid a near accident caused by a deer, but it is three miles from my house instead of somewhere deep in a canyon. You also see deer in parking lots, ndb.

2. You are called sweetheart on a daily basis by people you don't know. ( I really like this part of living in the south. Honey and darlin' aren't too bad either.)

3. Insults and rudeness are coupled regularly with the aforementioned terms of endearment. Like the really rude parking guy on campus last week who called me honey. I think the "honey" made it worse. Normally I can shrug off rude parking guys; they are common enough. But the mixture of the snotty tone of voice and the pure condescension of "honey" made me wanna smack him.

4. You learn what kale is, and acutally eat the stuff.  It's kind of gross, not gonna lie.

5. Thunder looks like strobe lights.

6. You fill out forms and in the address space, there is room to draw a mini map and description of the location of your house, in case you don't actually have an address.

7. You have a really hard time not imitating accents automatically. (Story there, Coming soon to a blog near you!)

Also, my Utah Mormon bubble has been broken, y'all. I work in a catering business. I have recently learned what are apparently really basic things like how red wine is not supposed to get cold, only white wine. Also, the difference between wine glasses and water glasses, and how it's almost a criminal offense to mix up the sweet and unsweet tea. ( A thing I am careful never to do, cause if there is confusion, they just tell you to "run a taste test", something else which spawns awkward situations.)

I don't know if anybody noticed, but I am beginning to be a big fan of "y'all". I'll just have to have parties with Mark more often when I come home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Conspiracy Theory

Normally I don't give much credence to crazy conspiracy theories, but today I have one. This week's occurrence is entirely too coincidental to be coincidental, if you know what I mean.

So there's this boy. His name is Daxx. We communicate on a frequent basis, thanks to blessed technology. And we like it that way. This week, however, my momma left me a (slightly upset) voicemail telling me that I had used ninety percent of my text messaging until the sixth. I accordingly called Daxx and Bekah to let them know as the only two people in the world who text me regularly, that this should not happen until next week. And then I proceeded to play phone tag with Daxx cause we have really conflicting schedules, I guess. Somewhere around the third voicemail later, when I was thinking that this whole communication thing was getting really difficult, we finally managed a phone call.

Hurray! I thought. And then he told me that he was running out of minutes, enough so that we had to get off the phone quick. So we hurried and picked a time for Sunday Skype night and then he realized...."Shoot! You remember how my laptop just broke? Yeah, no cameras, no mic."

Crap! I thought. But it's okay, cause then he thought of the Ipod and how we can still skype thanks to one last avenue of blessed technology. So here I am, awaiting nine tonight for a skype date. But this whole universe plotting to never let us talk ever again thing has been pretty effective so far, so I am trying not to get my hopes up too high. Skype has been known to sporadically hate me, and so have Ipods.

Long story short, please blessed technology, in the midst of this week of eery inconveniences, work!

kay, bye. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things about my life.

Cause I am exploding with details ( also, narcissism?) Whatever. Go!

1. My deodorant has been sitting on my desk for three days straight cause I have lost the clear plastic cap. I cleaned today and looked under all the furniture. Alas, it is one elusive piece o' plastic. Thus, the deodorant remains on the desk  for the forseeable future. (This is what Jessie would call "Whitrash!")

2. I work with three women and one poor guy named Garret on a daily basis. Today Garret complained a lot that everyone was being mean to him except me, I was nice. It occurred to me that I haven't been there long enough for our cycles to sync up and that is why I am an anomaly of niceness. I almost warned him. Give it a few months Garret, and then you're in real trouble with all us females.

3. Libby is a tricksy little hobbit. She bested me today, and won the ongoing war of wet willies. Meaning she finally tricked me into falling for it, after months of succesful evasions and exclamations of "How dumb do you think I am?" It happened, folks. I am that dumb.

4. No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep Jedediah clean. It always needs to be vacuumed, and the inside of the windshield always needs to be washed. It is this neurotic thing now, and every time I clean it it gets cleaner. (Surprise, world! Neurosis!) Last time I vacuumed up glass from underneath the lining underneath the back seat, which tells you something cause that car was a salvage title when Ben bought it eight years ago and I was the one the find the glass from that crash sometime pre-Ben-ownership. And then I felt like it wasn't even clean enough.

5. I cannot spell the word vacuum. Spell check, right there!

6. I take I-85 to work and then use 47 to connect to 15-501. I know how to get there. But I cannot for the life of me retrace those directions backwards. I have twice gotten lost trying to do it. I gave up and I take 15-501 and 40 home even though it takes longer. And this is almost confession time cause I tease Justin so much about being directionally challenged and not qualified for freeway navigation. I guess I needed humble pie or something, so there's some serious imperfection here on the internets. Enjoy.

7. I have an almost nonexistent productivity level while I read anything by Orson Scott Card.

8. I work on Duke campus in the Refectory of the Divinity School. Sometimes, when I get done with work I go sit in the Chapel for a while. I have lately begun reading the Book of Mormon in the Duke Chapel. Ben thought this was really funny, and it somehow makes me feel really outside the box. I think this will be a habitual occurence.

9. I am annoyed with instant messaging in all its forms. You know why? Cause it is too dang hard to fight when there are no vocal intonations and you are talking to a boy who is really dense.

10. I really like taking 86 home instead of the freeway, and I do it on special occasions purely for the sake of the railroad tracks wishing opportunity and that one pond just visible through the trees which heals my soul a little every time I drive past.

11. I am currently obsessed with The Civil Wars, specifically Barton Hollow. Apparently I hum it unconsciously and have been doing so since Saturday. Ben thinks this is really funny. Also, he asked what song that was cause I've been "humming a song that is really dissonant" Good thing that song is not really dissonant, and that means that I might be tone deaf when I am habit-humming.

12. My sisters say I hum when I am angry. I say I hum a lot of other times too. For example: since saturday, same song all the time. Sisters. I promise I hum not just when I am angry.

13. Today while I was wiping tables I found a face-up penny. Somebody is making luck for everybody else and I like it!

14. Sometimes I really miss Nate and I want him to be in the same country again. Sometimes I really miss everyone in Utah and I want to just be at home for the day.

15. I really like North Carolina. Life is interesting, and good, and very very different than what I was doing before. I really like being part of a family that is my real family. It's like this alternative family dynamic and I am learning a lot. I didn't realize when I moved here how much I would learn about my family, not just as an aunt living with my siblings and beloved children, but how much Erin and I are learning about our family and the way we grew up. It's amazing what we never knew about each other and our siblings and our parents and even our grandparents. It is fascinating living with a sibling who you didn't really grow up with. Erin and I were never kids together and I didn't realize how much there is to learn now that we can compare perspectives about past events. Fascinating!

Yep. Narcissism. But blogs are inherently a little narcissistic, so it's fine, right? Don't answer that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Steinbeck and I have always been friends. We had a brief frosty period brought on by Grapes of Wrath, but overall, we are chums. This friendship has been reinforced this day.I just finished the biggest longest thing on my reading list. East of Eden by John Steinbeck ( who is a prime participator in my author schizophrenia, by the way) has officially been crossed off the list, four long years after its placement there. And this is a big ginormous deal, everybody.

When I came to North Carolina I made a specific bucket list for North Carolina. This is an ever-evolving animal, this list, because I keep readjusting my ideas about what I want to actually do with my life in general and my time here specifically, but the single thing that has not been questioned and reconsidered at three in the morning is that I want to finish my reading list while I am here. And this, my friends, was the first big effort to check stuff off that list.

As a result of this triumph against my own procrastination and the time sucker that is netflix, I feel alive. I feel like I just played sudoku with a pen. I feel like I just had the most productive day of my life. I feel really really good. My brain is awake and kicking and spitting out essay ideas from this fabulous and beautiful piece of literature. And I have to write about it right now or I will forget everything and going back over it will bring only halfhearted impressions that will never be able to adequately replace the fresh emotion of book discovery. So I thought I would type really fast instead of scribbling in my Jimmy book and invite you all to the party of lit analysis. Interested? If you aren't, stop reading and don't tell me. Here we go...

This book was first described and summarized as a retelling of the book of Genesis, replayed out by the generations of the Trask and Hamilton families in the Salinas Valley of California (where else, Steinbeck?) right before the first world war. I suppose that is the only way you could describe it in a book cover  without giving the whole thing away. But it really is a whole lot more than that.

- In a book where the generations "helplessly replay the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel" I find a lot of beautiful evidence that this book is, in fact, a sort of paradox where the characters do indeed play out the same fall and tragedy all over again but are at the same time a uniquely powerful testimony of the power of agency.

- I know a few feminist writers who would have a field day with all the unexpectable female characters here. The eve character? She's a murdering psychopath, y'all. All the other female characters barely even exist. There is only one female character who is a decent human being and is actually a person. She grows out of her natural manipulative nature into a wise and controlled woman of unbelievably deep perception. I like here so much I might name a child after her. "...For though I called another, Abra came." The rest of them though. Wowza. I want to write essays about it, and when I die I want to meet Steinbeck and ask him specifically to explain to me what was going on in his brain when he chose to present this view of women. Either that or go talk to McCuskey about it. Probably both.

- This is a fascinating view of the story of Cain and Abel. I have always thought of them as such black and white characters, as I suppose is common. Cain was  plain wicked, a murderer. Abel was straight up righteous, right? What if that isn't true? What if Cain was the realist and Abel was severely hindered in his abilities to  deal with the truth when it shatters the pretty pictures he has invented about all the world around him? What if Cain was wrong, but he didn't mean to kill his brother? What if he actually loved him? This is a picture of Cain and Abel which fascinates and frightens me, because I identify so much more with the Cain character even in all his badness and vindictive instincts and I don't really like the Abel character in spite of his lofty gonna-be-a-minister ideals. This alerts me to the danger that is in my own character of judging based on blacks and whites. It is easy to condemn Cain and vindicate Abel. But tell another story. Can I so easily do the same with Cal and Aron? I feel that I must not.

- Translations are vital and dangerous. One Hebrew verb, translated three different ways, can change a whole life.Thou shalt. Do Thou. Timshel. Thou mayest.

One of the best passages in the book which will demonstrate how beautiful this thing is, whilst not giving away too much of the plot: (Because the optimist in me hopes and believes that someone will decide to read this someday)

"Don't you see?" he cried. "The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in 'Thou shalt,' meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel- 'Thou mayest'- that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if 'Thou mayest'- it is also true that 'Thou mayest not.' Don't you see?"
      "Yes I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?"
"Ah!" said Lee. "I've wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and lives of innumerable people is important.....These old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. They are critics of truth. The know that these sixteen verses  are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and succesful lives. But this- this is a ladder to climb to the stars."
   Adam said, "I don't know how you could cook and raise the boys and take care of me and still do all this."
   "Neither do I," said Lee. "But I take my two pipes in the afternoon, no more and no less, like the elders. And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing- maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed- because 'Thou mayest.'"

See? Do you see? The glory of the choice, as Lee says, is what makes a man a man, gives him stature with the gods. I read this part while I was sitting in the rain on my favorite rock in the middle of the stream at Ayr Mount. It was stormy and damp and there was no one around. I sat in solitude, nursing a bad mood, and suddenly stumbled upon one of those concepts that seems old, that you have always known, when really, you know that you have suddenly just felt the sacredness in it in a very new way. I left my rock in the middle of the river and got ready to go home. And while my body climbed up the bank to the path, my soul was coming down from some high mountain, clinging still to the unexpected shrine I had found there.

That, my friends, is why I read. It is also why I want to write. Words give me gifts. Or rather, they help me accept them. Those moments of holiness which are often inspired by books that change my life, sometimes come through my own self. And someday I will learn more fully how to transcribe such a thing and send it out to do what good it can. In the meantime, my Jimmy book is full of such things in raw form, and I am practicing, and learning to practice harder, because "Thou mayest".

Monday, October 15, 2012


Here in this adventure of self discovery which I embarked upon when I moved to the South, I am learning whole heaps. (aaaaaaaaaaaannd, sometimes I am absorbed in my mind processing the sheer amount of new stuff going on there that I get distractified and forget to blog about it. I suck. Sorry, siblings. Sorry parents. Sorry the two other people in the world who read this....)

One especially unexpected thing I have learned from this Carolina venture is that trips to Walmart often spark surprisingly strong emotional responses from me. I find that a whole lot of memories are wrapped up in this place. That's right. The superstore that is slowly taking over the world with minimum wage jobs and shameful amounts of planned obsolesence is now strewn about with sentimental value. Who have I become? 

You know what really bothers me about this? I came here expecting everything in my life to be completely different, and I planned and hoped that the one exception to this total new slate would be the Church. It's the same gospel everywhere, right? Wherever you are, there is a ward or a branch. You move. You find your ward. You belong there. This is a unique and wonderful thing about the organization of the gospel! It will be an underlying coloration transferred from my old life to an otherwise new canvas! This is the only possible thing that could posess such magical qualities of over-arching life sameness, I told myself!

I was wrong. And I feel slightly.... what's the word?  Yucked. There is exactly one other thing here in this totally new place which is exactly the same but with a new building. And that one thing is Walmart.

It was hard to feel hope for myself and humanity when I realized this. I feel torn when I go there, not only the regular feelings of tearing that come from the conflict between the fact that they are destroying the world and the fact that shampoo is super cheaper. This was the conflict that comes from my deep rooted distasteful feelings about Walmart as an institution and my feelings of sudden comfort when I find another place I can walk into and find anything, often encountering sudden memories on the way.

Did you all know that I spent a lot of time at Walmart when I lived in Logan? These days, I shop with my sister in the middle of the night, frequently. And it's this thing now. We shop, I tell stories about walking around my with my roommates playing the "Do you really need that?" game, and the time Katie and I both held one of Shane's hands around Walmart cause we had to outdo ourselves at the awkward game, or the time(s) I laid in my car in the parking lot with my music turned up way too loud as a coping mechanism for stress. I cannot suppress the nostalgia which washes over me when I walk down the juice aisle and think of Stephanie and I taking turns at choosing flavors, and I love love love the amount of endorphins that are realeased to this day when I walk past the berry colossal crunch and banana split ice cream that kept all of us in Apartment 27 alive and well. The peanut butter ice cream makes me think of Stephanie and Lance and the time we ate a lot of that stuff sitting on the floor of our living room passing the carton around with a single spoon. I love that they still have displays of ninety nine cent french bread and how it was a commandment of the gospel according to amy that you can't not buy ninety nine cent french bread. There are even reminders of stress so awful I thought I would crack and fail at school and work and life, none of which happened. And the reminder is actually uplifting. Like when I walk past the tea and think of that time I was really sick in week twelve of the semester with the nastiest part of the work week looming ahead, but instead of sleeping I was at walmart in the middle of the night on the phone with my mom asking which teas are allowed cause I wasn't coherent enough to remember. Seeing as how I survived, this has become a good memory.

Walking around Walmart is now a concentrated memory injector. So much so that last week when Daxx was here visiting and we went to Walmart to buy Mountain Dew we spent an hour and a half strolling around telling stories, and he commented on how Walmart is an oddly good place to learn about someone. 

I don't know if this is good or bad. All I know is I feel like holding up some permanent awkward hands when I realize that I just made a comparison between the Church and Walmart on the internet in any small way. ("I feel like I just found out my favorite love song was written about a sandwich!")

Monday, September 24, 2012

This piece of writing will never go on an application, that much is certain.

My diet coke intake has been erratic of late. I think this confuses my body chemistry, cause my brain is all wonky.  But I do have a lot of things running around in there, so this is what you get, world.

Preoccupation Numero Uno:
Steinbeck. John Steinbeck. As in, I have been reveling in the pages of American Literature, specifically East of Eden. But I am not taking five lit classes this semester and this is the only big thing I am reading, so.... new brain phenomenon. My author schizophrenia has lessened and somehow transformed into a bad case of Professor Schizophrenia. Like, I wanna go write a paper about the many diverse female characters presented in the Trask family as foils of each other and most notably, of Eve. And then I want to go speak rapidly about it with Crawford and Dr. Smitten and really really Dr. McCuskey. Because they are all shouting at me in my brain. I can see Crawford spilling his coffee and pacing the floor yelling about the comparison of these women to Faulkner's  slightly twisted presentation of female gender roles. I can hear Dr. Smitten asking me to dig deeper, to analyze why exactly the point of view keeps randomly switching from limited omniscient to third person and how that helps us better understand Cathy Ames as a freaking psychopath. Most of all, I can hear McCuskey ranting about the meaning of Adam's feelings and how we should compare this to that one creepy poem where the guy murders his lover because the reversal of gender roles is fascinating. He would then invite us to bring our Bibles to class next time so we can pick apart genesis line by line and then  wonder, "Is that allowed? No one tell Dr. Jensen!"

I miss my crazy professors. (Also. Throwback to last week. Notice how they are all men. Did I ever bond with my female professors? Heck no. I barely survived Dr. Jensen, and Parkinson makes me want to jam a spoon in my eye. Someone tell me why this is!)

Let me see, where was I? Oh, yes, the pretty sky!*
Aka, the leaves are starting to turn colors. Which is a big deal here in the Carolinas, folks! Seeing as how everywhere you drive, you are walled in by forty foot trees, it is kind of awesome. It makes me feel like praying and singing all at once.

More Brain emissions:

Seventeen days til Daxx comes! I'm counting, I'm counting.....

 We are going to the fair. It's gonna be the bomb.  I love that boy, and I love frequent flyer miles and fall breaks, and I love airport reunions, and I love that we won't have to have a piece of electronics between us for four whole days. Heaven. Basically.

And speaking of airport reunions, even though I won't be there for this one...

Less than three months until Elder Nathan Hansen comes home! Oh, Snap!Remember two years ago when we talked on the phone for the last time and I cried my way home from campus, and he wrote me a letter three days later in Spanish like a champion and I thought I would not last for two years because "We are nothing without each other!"?* I am super excited for him to come home. I am excited to see who we turned out to be without each other.

Also. It is three thirty three. Make a wish, world.

I feel less hectic in my brain. The diet coke must be kicking in.

Love you. Kay bye. 

* Name that song for 376542 points and a prize. For reals.

Monday, September 17, 2012

In which I have a Revelation

There are some basic facts about me which will never change. My inability to expose my neck, a near-constant desire for diet coke, how I get excited to eat pizza I didn't make myself, you know. One of the strongest of these inexplicably odd personality traits is my overall preference for the company of males over females. Don't get me wrong, I have four sisters who I love and many dear female friends and it isn't that individual relationships with women are difficult. But throw me in a room full of women and I won't know what to do with all the estrogen floating around. Throw me in a room with boys and that I can handle. You all remember that time I was the only girl in the boys dressing room and Caleb Jones told me I was "one of the guys"? For better or worse, he was kinda right. The vast majority of all my best friends have been boys. Whether this tendency was the result or the catalyst, my time spent in these friendships have resulted in lots of bug smashing, furniture building, set lifting, and power tool using, among other activities which are generally acknowledged to be testosterone driven.*I was even given a "man card" over the summer. Which I kept consistently by eating a really huge hamburger, roofing a house, and "rubbing some dirt in it," among other things. I've even been known to chronically overtake the male role in potential dating relationships when the boy decides to be whiny and needy and use manipulative communication styles.  (Another epiphany in the middle of the night, this time with my siblings during a laughing fit. We're cool. Anyways....)

But when I came to North Carolina, something weird happened. Maybe it is living in a house that is overwhelmingly female, or maybe it's that I somehow project this innocent little white girl image at work and it is sticking, or a thousand other things. Maybe I'm just not as cool as I thought. But I have lately been reacting in uncharacteristically female ways.

For example:
 Yesterday, Libby was brushing her teeth and discovered a roach in the bathroom. (Good old south!) I was immediately called upon to "smush it!", which thing I fully intended to do. That was the ugliest bug I've ever seen, and I fished up the first shoe I could find and went after the thing. Once there, however, I realized that I wasn't sure which kind of roach this was and Erin would inevitably want to know. Accordingly, I cornered the thing and told Libby to go get Dad, who was closer than Mom. That's right. I was confronted with a bug, and I sent for a boy. ( Sound of a thousand heart breaking, right Brogan?) I did this with no intention of pawning off my bug smushing duties, and yet, we see here a fine example of giving an inch and taking a mile. Ben came, saw, and declared it a wood roach. He then seized my shoe and went after it, stealing my job like the chivalrous man he is. And that's not even the worst part! The big ugly sucker came running  away from the shoe-wielding man and straight at my bare feet, and I instinctively jumped on a nearby footstool and let my brother do the dirty work. The shame I feel whilst typing this is of great magnitude, I assure you.

It gets better, or worse, or whatever. More extreme. Ongoing.
Today, I was mowing the lawn. ( Redeeming factor? euhhh...) I have yet to get used to the fact that spiders wind thick webs, strung with a surprising strength between adjoining trees and fences. This happens in my backyard. I also tend to mow straight between them, an action which consistently brings huge spiderwebs into direct contact with my body. So there I was, mowing along minding my own dang business when I suddenly thwapped a spider web with my EYE. BALL.

Thus commenced a dance of desperation, an odd mixture of repeatedly slapping myself in the face  and trying really hard to keep a hold of the lawnmower. I eventually calmed myself, at which point I glanced ashamedly at the living room window I happened to be standing beside, hoping really hard that no one saw that.

And then it happened again. Only this time, the spider web was wispily and yet somehow fixed firmly around MY. NECK. That's right. The thing in life I am most unreasonable about. Somebody's face in direct contact with my neck is intolerable, but I didn't know until today that foreign substances, especially the sticky and determined substances kind such as spiderwebs, are even more so. The dance of desperation commenced once more. You know in the Hunger Games when the one girl dies whilst flapping desperately around trying to ward off the tracker jackers? That image. I think, I think I looked like that.

Guys. I'm being a girl.

Something must be done. 

Solutions? Causes? Too much relief society, not enough apartments full of boys across the way to buffer all the estrogen? Should I start a subscription to Car and Driver? I just don't know.

*Once, we were redoing my Grandpa's bathroom, and dad handed me a sledgehammer and told me to knock out a wall. That hour of my life definitely makes the top five list. So maybe there's hope?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Smiling Indulgently

My Father and I recently drove across the country. Adventures ensued. In this, the epic roadtripping extravaganza, I have been getting to know myself and my dad on a whole new level.
For example: Who the heck knew I would have such an extreme and irrepressible desire to put my feet in all large famous bodies of water? Not me. But there we were, in Nebraska, driving past and over and beside the Missouri River a whole bunch of times and I suddenly knew that I would never be satisfied with life again if I drove past that river and left the state without putting my feet in it!

And so my long suffering father walked with me over a seriously charming suspension bridge that started in Nebraska and ended in Iowa. He took pictures while I stood over the state line and shouted with glee, and he hiked down a dirty and dusty unfinished, concrete half-poured type of  parking lot area down to the banks of the Missouri. He smiled indulgently while I burned my feet and danced in the smelly wonderful waters of the river. He even held my shoes while I washed my sanded, dirtied feet in a fountain over on the Nebraska side.

Before we continue, a word about said fountain. This is the kind of fountain that is actually a bunch of jets shooting up from the ground in only semi-predictable ways. This floor of shooting water  (also known as pure joy, hello!) was occupied by a whole heap of little people, surrounded by a whole heap of big people yelling things like "Jimmy! Don't hold your sister in that water!" Or, " It's time to go home and have a nap now!" Guess which sphere I chose. Absolutely I played with the little people. Only I was really a big person, and the other parents surely thought us an odd duo. Dad was my big person, standing on the outside of the circle, but instead of telling me to come in for a nap or to stop drowning my sister, he informed me that I am the sort of person who will inevitably find trouble, always. This observation might have had something to do with the fact that I was standing over one of those spraying holes trying to aim the spray at a small child with my foot but only really succeeding in getting wet while dad dodged my circle of potential wetting.  It is perhaps one of my more cherished memories involving my father. Ahem. Tangent over.
The adventure continued on a freeway somewhere in Iowa when I decided once again that I would never be satisfied with life if I drove past the Mississippi river without putting my feet in it. So when I yelled, "Dad! Do I take the Davenport exit?" he said dryly "I don't know." But then dug out a map and confirmed that I should take the Davenport exit, like a champion. And then he smiled indulgently once more while I climbed up and over the levee to put my feet in the river, saying as I sort of bouldered my way down in flip flops, "Just don't kill yourself, okay?"

And I said, "Please! I'll be fine. Mmm. Except the rocks move."
And then I put my feet in the river and slipped on a scummy rock, like a champion, and thought to myself, "That really hurt. But shut up about it cause dad just told you not to kill yourself."
And then we were driving across Illinois some more and I realized that my foot was sticking to my flip flop with some sort of wetness that felt a lot like blood. And there was this long stretch where we were holding still cause a Semi had a couple tires explode, and I lifted my foot up and saw the gash. Yep. It was blood.

"Oh Good! So you know how you told me not to get hurt? well..."
"Outstanding." said Dad.

(The important thing to remember is that Dad never ever uses this word with real intent. There is a scale for dad's verbs when he uses this word. It starts at "tease" and ends at "wither" or "destroy". But this was the mildest use of "Outstanding" I've ever heard from his mouth. What a pleasantly small and concern-filled reprimand!)

The next body of water I had to put my feet in was Lake Michigan, of course. Of all the things to do in Chicago, we skipped the bean and the L train, instead paying twelve dollars to park by the pier and go play in the water with a sliced open foot, while dad stood on the beach in his dress shoes and smiled from behind the camera some more, and found yet another fountain to wash all the sand off, which was a blessed thing, cause then sand was all in the gash and that felt less than stellar.

(When I told my sister Erin about the plan to continue wading in various iconic bodies of water regardless of an open wound, her immediate response was, of course, "Hhhhaaaaa! Parasites!" Raise your hand if you are surprised. It doesn't even matter that there's an internet between us, I still know with a perfect knowledge that nobody even twitched.)

By this time it was pretty settled that I was gonna put my feet in all the big waters. So we went to Cleveland and got lost for a while finding Lake Eerie. This is when we were sure that we have a gift for ending up in the bad spots of town. Like, dad made me lock my door and we weren't even parked. So that was fun, but then we got un-lost and I climbed down the boulders again.
And this was the point where dad said, "If you go down there, you're gonna get wet."
"Of course I am. I'm gonna stand in it."
" No, I mean wet. Wet, wet."
And I said, "Psh! No I'm not!"

So I got down and was sitting there basking in the absolute perfection of that sunset over that ginormous lake, and I got distractified. Who could blame me, right? Apparently, the huge wave that splashed me all over. Dad told me so. But he was nice about it and got in a car with me, which sounds easy enough but was actually a significant sign of love and patience.  Have y'all smelled Eerie water? I didn't exactly smell like a botanical garden is all I'm saying. Dad simply smiled indulgently and drove on.

And then we went to Niagara Falls. And I didn't so much put my feet in that one. But I did get the best picture of Dad in my whole life. And I saw Canada and took pictures of it for Daxx. And Dad, seemingly disturbed by the unusually high level of coupleness going on there, had this gem of an outburst:
"Is this supposed to be romantic? Niagara Falls is some honeymoon destination, right?"
"Yeah! This is where-"
"Mark and Amy came on their honeymoon here! I just don't get it. Why is it romantic? Why? Why?"
Priceless, right?

Continuing on, I put my feet in Lake Ontario where Dad also smiled indulgently and let me play in the sand and take pictures. That was pretty heavenly. We walked around the docks and I made a sand ball while I was squshing it in my fingers (cause I am very texture oriented. I wonder where I got that, Erin.) which I then did not throw at my father in spite of ridiculous temptation. Mostly cause I made dad pinkie swear me before we left that we would still be friends by the time we ended this trip, and it would have been bad form to sabotage such an arrangement when I made it in the first place. That being said, I mourn the loss of that sand ball joy which was never experienced.

Thus ended the escapades in major bodies of water. I can rest easy knowing that I have bacteria spanning seven states safely tucked inside the now- healed Mississippi gash on the bottom of my foot. The tales of adventuring are not completed, and I realize now that I may have to write a whole lot of individual posts for a long time coming if I want to tell the whole story. But this part of the story is my favorite. The part where Dad smiled indulgently, where I learned that my dad thinks I am distinctly unique, the kind of person that was inevitably get splashed. I learned that he is okay with that, and may even offer to hold my shoes. He will tell me not to get hurt, but he'll let me climb down the levee. And if I get hurt anyway, he'll find bandaids and wait for me to put real shoes on before trekking down to Niagara falls so I don't have to keep limping around New York looking for a bathroom. He'll absolutely let me figure stuff out and take perfect care of me at the same time. He will ask me if I want to stay, and hug me goodbye before he leaves. He may even install a GPS in my car so he can still take care of me via technology while I am figuring some stuff out some more.

Dad is a good sport. I love the indulgent smile even more now than I ever did. I think of it every time I see that empty picture frame, and smile myself knowing that it will soon be filled with a picture of my dad, smiling indulgently in the pouring rain next to a Schenectady sign.

Friday, August 24, 2012

George Banks and the Non-Hallucination

Libby and Emma were playing in my closet today. While Emma was staring through the crack in the door waving to me while we both yelled "Hi! Hi!" Libby was having "a shoe fashion show!" She really likes my high heels, several pairs of which are what Justin refers to as my "streetwalker shoes." I always laughed at this, almost taking it as a compliment, because he says that about any really fabulous specimen of shoe.

But today, as Libby modeled my metallic silver heels, the black pointy stilettos which my family refers to as "Witchy shoes", and the black boots which reached mid thigh on her, I wondered if my immediate facial expression was similar to the one my parents gave me the first time I came home in those awesome pointy heels.

Of course I was seventeen instead of Libby aged. But I gained some empathy for my parents preference of conservative shoe choices.  Cause Libby, Libby looked (how do you say?) ummmmmm WOWZA! in those shoes. it was a shock to my system. She really like my streetwalker shoes. A lot.

I had this vision of George Banks sitting wide eyed at the dinner table, only it was my own face.
Next she'll be saying, "I met a man and he's wonderful and he's brilliant and we're getting married!"Except that our Liberator isn't twenty two. She's six.  And that was for real.

Perhaps in my current residence, I should advocate more conservative shoe choices. If Libby is this way with my shoes, there's no telling what will happen to Little Lemonade.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's been One Week!

( since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said I'm angry! Five days since you tackled me, said get that together, come back and see me. Three days in the living room, I realized it's all my fault but couldn't tell you, and yesterday you just smiled at me, but it'll still be two days til we say we're sorry!)

What? You mean you don't want the lyrics of the best Barenaked Ladies song ever? Weird.

This first week of North Carolina has been quite interesting. And I have a lot of semi-related thoughts that just aren't gonna be such a cohesive thread at 1:25 a.m. So get ready for the whirlwindish, late night, slightly inarticulate version of me. Speaking of which, here is story number one!

Ahem. Story Number One.

I need a desk. And I have been faithfully looking at thrift stores all week, a search which has yielded nothing of any desk value, although I did find an extremely fabulous pair of Shiny Silver Heels at the goodwill, the kind Justin would call streetwalker shoes.I bought them for three fifty and felt extremely pleased with life. Now if only I could find my dang dress which would go perfectly with them. You know, the dress, the one single item I couldn't find and left behind in Utah. See? Tangent. The point of that was that I was out desk hunting with Erin this morning at garage sales and thrift stores, and when I tried to tell her something about this one desk, I found my brain suddenly blank and uncooperative. At this point, my tired, cranky, headachish self said, "Erin! I am so inarticulate!"
She told me that inarticulate people wouldn't probably call themselves inarticulate. Whatever. I still don't know what word I was searching for.

Story Number Two

I got a job today! Tashma! I didn't quite make it out of the food service industry as was my goal, but I did get hired within the first week of moving, which was my goal. And they are gonna let me work full time and train me as a supervisor right from the off, so I'll take it and be giddy. So I am starting work at McAllister's Deli on Monday. Snap!

Seriously, world. Can't tell you the amount of panic versus the amount of relief swirling around in the pool of my emotions. It was getting ready to be Hurricane season. Now it is pleasant and warm, sort of like Lake Michigan.

Story Number Three!

Libby was watching me fill out an application this morning and said, "You're a Robinson?" Yep, I said. "No you're not! You live here now, you're a Newton!"

Whilst I shall not so casually give up my Robinson status, I do like my Fig Newtons an awful lot, and I'll be one of them gladly. I miss my Utah people a huge amount. But there are worse things than to have Emma yell "Hi!" and run to you with outstretched arms in the morning, or catching  "Flierfies" with Liberator, or playing email tag with Ben, or going to Walmart in the middle of the night with Erin. Kay, family. This is a good story. Can't you just picture this happening to Erin and I in the middle of the night?

So we are grocery shopping, right? And it is late. But we both have a craving for, shall we say, recreational calories. So we tromp around for a while discussing all manner of foods and finally settle on Blueberry toaster streudel. And after a few mishaps with a spilled carton of kiwis and actual crawling around on the floor of a Walmart, we got outta that place and drove home. So there we were, in the driveway unloading groceries from the trunk in the darkness, when my foot is smacked by a flying glass jar of pickles! And it surprised me, and it hurt a lot, and I was just processing this when there is another crash! And down on the driveway shatters our jar of salsa verde! The one we stared at last time we went, the one we got this time and talked about and got excited for! SMASHED! All over the driveway, and on us.


So there we were, cleaning up a mixture of salsa verde and glass with paper towel and a flashlight when Erin slices her finger open. And then it was a Christmas colored mess. And we decided it was lucky that my foot broke the pickle's fall, even if it was a painful surprise. I am pretty sure the smell of salsa verde and dill pickles would not be appetizing.  We finally got it all cleaned up and went inside to eat our toaster streudel in the wee hours. And that is how it's done!*

Also. I never finished the whole blogging about the epic roadtrip of my life endeavor. Sooooo!
Coming soon to a blog near you:

Roadtripping with Daddy, including but not limited to,
  • Panera Bread excursions, aka the best carbohydrates I ever put in my mouth
  • That one time I knocked the car into neutral with my knee and we thought Jed's transmission fell out on the freeway
  • Church sites galore. It was awesome.
  • How I randomly run into Brighton Staffers spanning the country.
  • Dad and his Stamina/ Amy tanks and falls asleep and
  • Quotebookage
  • How dad is the nicest man on the planet when you are sick 
  • Radio Koolaid and Muppet Manners
Mazeltov. Also, look at the time stamp and don't judge.
(And here is my addendum. That time stamp runs three hours slow. Heads up. 12:43? Not so much an acceptable time for such rambling. 3:43? That's more like it!)

*As long as you don't want song lyrics, do you want Hot Rod quotes? (Ancestors protect me!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012


you dive off the deep end and move across the country without a job, and the job search is making you stressed, and then your two year old niece come and puts her little arms around your neck and presses her slightly sticky nose to your cheek until you stop typing and kiss her.

And you stop panicking for a second. Bliss.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Boom! Winning!

 It's an Epoch in my Life. Schenectady has been accomplished. Proof!
I felt like death warmed over in this picture. I am faking healthy, but I was really happy.

"What's so funny over there?" "You are." "What's funny about me?" "Your face."

I tried to lay on the ground for this one but Daddy said no. Go figure.

"Dad, we went to Schenectady cause we are big kids and we can!"
"Really? Is that why we went?"
" Yep. That's why."

While we're at it, let's share some other highlights from the Quote Book of the Roadtrip of Epicness.
These gems all came out of Dad's mouth.  ("I am not even joking! I'm really not kidding!" Name that redheaded nephew.)

" You know you're in trouble when you search for salad bars and all you come up with is Dairy Queen."
"You're a brat. Most of the time you're a cute brat, but you're always a brat."
and the crown jewel:
"Sewer rats do not drive Porsches!"

It's been a good week. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Better or Worse

Hey everybody, I am moving across the country tomorrow. Wait a tic! It is two in the morning and I am moving across the country today! (Hullo! Breathe deep!)

I am a creature of mixed emotions.

Erin asked me the other day, "So are you ripping your heart out a little bit every night?"
Absolutely that is a dead on accurate description. Ripping, for sure.I said the first goodbye today when the Banks family left for a camping trip. I think that one I did okay with. Justin and I are veterans at this separation thing. But then Matthew cried and it made the hole in my heart tear a little deeper, and I wonder how I will handle it when I have to leave for real. It will physically hurt to leave behind all these people I love and adore and need. I know this, because it already does. There's this weird feeling in my chest that won't go away, and it is uncomfortable, and unceasing.

At the same time, the feeling is precious. It means I have something to leave behind. It means I have something to come back to. And I think it means I am willing to go off and find something just as good because my Father told me to, and that makes the pain in my chest seem like a promise instead of just an ache. It will get worse, I think, and stronger, both the difficulty and the hope. I have this feeling that if I can just make myself get in the car and drive away, there will be things waiting for me at the end of this three thousand miles, and it is exactly where I'll need to be.

It's kind of a miracle, really. Someday where I am going is the place it will hurt to leave, and I'll know just the same that I need to go find something new, for better or worse, and maybe just both. Because happiness comes from better and worse, and it's only exciting to live because we get to ride the swells between the better and the worse.

So tomorrow, I am getting in my car and driving away. And it will hurt, and I may find myself in the middle of a state where I know four people filled with terror pretty soon, but it will be okay. It will even be really good. Cause terror is good for us sometimes, and the more uncomfortable things are in the moment, the better the story sounds later. As much as I love comfort, I'd like to have some good stories when I die.

A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ship are made for. Here we go.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Concentric Thinking, Girl Style

I think that most of the writing I post nowadays is more storytelling and less how I feel and what I think. I used to do that a lot more. I miss that. I wonder what happened to make the pendulum swing this way. Did I have more stories than usual? Maybe. Did I stop thinking and feeling? No, that didn't happen. In fact, I think and feel so much about what happens in my life and during those epic storytelling moments that I can't even talk about it, let alone mold it into some internet share-worthy form.

Is that bad? I think and feel so intensely that I have trouble explaining these things to myself and getting responses back. I have a hard time saying what I think. I never really had trouble doing that before. Ever. I was pretty good at forming opinions and stating them clearly up until this point in my life. Ask my mother. Ask the siblings who got stuck with me. Ask the teachers I had conversations and occasional shouting matches with. Read my lit analysis papers. I've got opinions.

But lately I have trouble saying them. I can see the other side and say, I think you could be right. Maybe this isn't an issue of absolutes like I thought it was. Maybe there is good in this other side too. My feelings are twisted and complicated like they haven't been in years. There are certain things in my life I feel absolutely certain about. My feelings are unshakeable and solid. And those are the things that really matter, so I am probably doing alright. But so many other things leave me floundering. I am left unsure of my opinion, afraid of saying something that will be wrong, afraid of supporting something that isn't completely good.

Probably I just need to practice more, right? Do you all know about the beauty that is Emily Series and the resulting tradition of the Jimmy Book? My sister Erin is my very own cousin Jimmy and buys me blank books, which ends up being less a list of here's all what I did today and more a  mural of blurred emotion in word form. It's cheap therapy. The problem is that sometimes it helps me think clearly and other times makes everything two hundred times more complicated inside my brain.

My therapist of old might have something to say about all this. I probably wouldn't want to hear it.
I give up thinking clearly today. Maybe I should post some Jimmy book excerpts and call that an internet-share-worthy form of writing. Chalk it up to double tasking and wait for a more structured time of life when I don't feel hopelessly jumbled.

hmmm. Jimmy book prose, coming soon. I think.

Guys, guess what!

Remember last summer when I wrote a post about how my life was visiting the Oprah Show and getting a flash makeover? One year later, we've upgraded to Extreme Makeover. Pull out the big guns. Sorry, Oprah, but it's a bigger deal than even you.

Some things have changed since that last time when everybody was stressed and running around like a herd of chickens without heads. This year, I am worrying less about packing up the Newton Family's life and dropping it into another state and worrying more about packing my teensy little car and dropping my own life three thousand miles away. Dropping it, plopping it, like a house on Munchkin Land. The trick, I am finding, is not getting squished like the wicked witch I sometimes feel like. ( Seriously. I get shrewish and shrill and I even wear stripey socks. It's a problem.)

Ahem. So there's my update. I am moving in two and a half weeks and basically flipping out. I am figuring out school and insurance and rotating my tires and breathing deep under the burden of extreme neurosis.*

The most difficult part is that I can't visualize what my day to day life will look like when I move. I haven't found a job or made a class schedule and I haven't actually been there, so basically everything past August third is a blank in my brain. I will know four whole people, and everyone else I love and adore will have to be a skype effort. My list of long-distance relationships is already a lot longer than I would like, and it is about to get tripled! It's a daring, terrifying, adventure!

So the plan is to continue being a chicken with no head and concentrate on organizing my life, packing all my crap in boxes or my car, saying goodbye, and getting there.

This is gonna be really hard, and really good. The goodbyes hurt to think about. And the adventures sound like jumping off a cliff. And I think it will be good for me. Right? Of course right!

(This is the part where I wake up at three in the morning with a musical playing in my head. "I promise you'll be happy, and even if you're not, there's more to life than that! Don't ask me what.)

*Everybody knows I get real crazy when I am stressed and feel out of control, right? I have recently discovered that I cannot, cannot sleep if either of my contacts is upside down with an air bubble, there in the case where I can't see it. They must both be totally submerged in the same direction. I think I need help.  Can I get an amen?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Life described through the lens of the Youtube game

My emotions are currently all over the place and somehow settled firmly in the happy corner all at once. It's an odd mixture of Hall and Oates, Joshua Radin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein.* Overall, it just feels like a smile.

* (" I finally feel like I know what Lionel Richie's been singing about all this time!" Name that Friends episode. Also, go Janice!)

It was getting pretty serious there for a minute. Had to throw in some Maggie Wheeler as comic relief!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mad Hot Words

Once upon a time this week I was driving with my dad and he said to me, " Where the Hell do you think you're going?!" (I was taking Bangerter, obviously..) And I said to my dear brother, sitting in the front seat beside me, "I love the fact that we are becoming a swearing family!"

Sounds sarcastic, right? Not so much. Deadly serious, actually.

Alex replied, with a characteristic raise of the eyebrows and wide eyed stare," Becoming?"

I was thinking about that today. We are not a perfect family. We have our own small rebellions and imperfections, including but not limited to, messy basements, dramatic twenty person conversations, and a tendency to drink more caffeinated liquid than our family health history recommends. My favorite of these is the occasional casual cussing.

Let's be perfectly clear. I consider this a family matter. I was taught to swear by the fine example of my older siblings, specifically Erin. Further, (perhaps damning) evidence is contained in the following justification for swearing, offered by Erin to me at a young age. " Those ones don't really count. Grandma said those. She said to me, "Those aren't swear words! Those are mad hot words!"

According to Grandma, "Mad Hot Words" are all damns and hells. Not swearing. Grandma said so, so I guess it is allowed. Free pass! Snap!

I got home from work tonight and was nursing one of those headaches that is less a headache and more a stabbing, blinding, incessant pain behind one eyeball. Still worked up from the epic argument with a shrewish customer, I said tiredly while hugging my mother, "Oh, Hell."

Instead of giving me a dirty look and telling me some mommish thing about how that language was not allowed, mom half smiled and said, "How did I end up with daughters who swear?" And, gesturing to Alex upstairs, "And a son!"

Simultaneously shouted Responses to her query were as follows:
" Don't worry, Aunt Debbie. I could probably cuss way worse than any of them."
" Whoa! Remember all the times you swore at us? Yes, you did!"
"Mom, sometimes swearing just makes life better."
" Damns and Hells don't count!"

We are wonderful, refined people. Yes, we are.

Announcements! What a terrible way to die!

Hey everybody! I have been sort of absent from the blogosphere lately, due to an exorbitant amount of participation in actual life. I had all these half formed thoughts in the form of half typed posts that I never published, and I didn't really think a whole lot about it. And then Erin the Carolina sister said to me the other day, "Milla, what is going on with your life? You haven't been blogging and I feel like I don't really know what's up with you."

I am used to my siblings telling me to blog, but I didn't know it was such a vital form of communication. I didn't realize it was such a catalyst for insights into my soul. I never really posted all those old posts I had half finished because it was all stuff that happened forever and a half ago. But I guess it is necessary. So get ready for some past tense posts as well as an increase of presently happening posts, posted in no particular order.  There is some adventure telling, coming shortly.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remember Dopamine? Me too.

My brain has been releasing happy chemicals at breakneck speed, basically all day. Setting aside that three hours at work where I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go all shrewish up in there or have an emotional breakdown, I realize that the rest of the day was filled with emotions on the extreme opposite of the spectrum.

I hugged Libby today. I played peek a boo with my Little Lemonade. I had my hair stroked by my lovely sister Erine the Deevine. I drove home with Ben in our little car. Remember the Fig Newtons I haven't seen since Christmas? yep, that'd be them. Maybe tomorrow I'll see them for more than twenty minutes and then who knows what I'll do with myself!

There was also some cheesecake and a belated birthday gift. It was pretty great too.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


My life has consisted of some straight up awesomness of late, and it is gonna get a whole lot better.

For example:
James throwing boomerangs while I duck with Matthew. We proved that a boomerang can be smacked with a flip flop in midflight.  "That law of physics has been tested!"

Stealing Matthew's nose, a game that was followed with shrieking as we stormed around the house like five year olds. I love that boy.

Roadtripping with my siblings! We saw the GRAND FREAKING CANYON and a solar eclipse turn red on top of a forest fire, and we fed a tiger and got really really sunburned and watched a whole heap of Marvel movies and ate copious amounts of cheesecake. It was probably one of the best weeks of my life.

Working full time. I probably made a thousand plus pizzas single-handedly this week. Love it.

Hiking up to the Timpanogos caves with Daxx Orion Stryker, who talked our way into the cave tour even though it was sold out and we didn't have tickets. Like a boss.

Sleepovers with Amy and Mark, who made me oven smores and soothed my ruffled spirit and gave me lots of dating advice. Mark is a champion at dating advice. Works like a charm, every time.

Crowning Glory:
MY FIG NEWTONS ARE COMING HOME TOMORROW! Which means that it is exactly twelve hours and twenty six minutes until their plane is scheduled to land and then I can hug them all to my heart's content.  Quote bookage from some very excited aunties: "You know what would make it all better?" "What?" "Snuggling with Lemma." " Mmmhmm."
 And that is just the morning! The evening hours are scheduled to indoctrinate previously mentioned Daxx Orion Stryker with the wonderfullness that is the Phantom in Purple Spandex. Basically, it's gonna be a good day.

Your day might be good, but mine will probably still trump it. Life is "Fantastic!" Boom Roasted. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

One Week!

One of my favorite songs by Barenaked Ladies, One Week is also the amount of time left until Erin and the Girlheads will once more reside in this time zone. Oh hey, internet, did you know all the Newtons are coming to live with me this summer and I get to share a room with my nieces?  I'm a little excited. (Read: Yelling about it while I'm awake and dreaming about Emma and Libby while I'm asleep.)

However, the panic is also setting in. I have to clean my room.That tornado of stuff is not currently a suitable child habitat. I have to get everything ready! I have to finish the dresser and I have to make posters or something and I have to find the play pen which suddenly vanished and I have to find a place where the crayons will be accessible! I've got to find that fan so Erin and Ben don't suffocate in that furnace we call the yellow bedroom. Basically, there's a lot to do and I am running on a totally unstructured schedule and I have to get going and get it done so the whirlwind of my brain can settle and let me think again.

On that note, everybody listen to Barenaked Ladies, which is what I will be doing whilst I whirlwind around cleaning everything! Happy June!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I just got done trying really hard to write something brilliant and failing, and then it struck me. Of course I can't write anything worth an editing exercise. It is 1:23 a.m. Why the hell am I still awake?

Maybe I'll be more talented if I start sleeping. I hope.

My apologies, siblings dear. That's all I've got for now. I have to be unconscious now.

(side note: I had to use my computer spell check to realize there is an s in unconscious. What is happening to me?)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Per your Request

Day One, Fall Semester. See Shakespeare over there? Mom told me it was a hazard to sleep in public places. Thankfully, this is a rather more amusing result than the one she was thinking of.

This was actually a creepy story. There I am, asleep between Shakespeare and Lit Analysis, when I am suddenly jolted awake. I look up at the strange man who has just woken me, and listen to the first statement out of his mouth: "Hi, I just took a picture of you." do you say? You are a creeper.

But it was okay. It was just for the newspaper. So I groggily signed the thing he thrust at me and went to class. I came home the next day to my roommates looking at my picture and telling me I am a pretty sleeper. And then I went to church and my Bishop came up to me and asked if I had been getting enough sleep cause he saw me in the newspaper asleep. Also cause I nodded a bit during sacrament meeting.

So what do you think, world? Do I have narcolepsy or am I just a college student? I don't really know. I'm too distracted by my awkward sleeping leg to really form an opinion.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Everything I need to know I learned at USU

Well, folks, life in Logan as we know it has come to an end, at least for a little while. I am moving out and moving on and moving east. I have one sole regret from my time in Logan. After two whole years and several awkward dating stories, I have yet to become a True Aggie. But that's alright, because I never made out with someone I didn't know, and I feel prouder of that than I feel sad I never got up on the A. All the peer pressure in the world failed to sway me. So there, every roommate I ever had.

In celebration of the last two years, shall we proceed to the Logan guide to Life? Compiled through my own experiences, here is a guidebook filled with wisdom. Feast....

 - The date stamped on the jug is only loosely correlated to the day the milk goes bad.
-Questionable milk never hurt anybody I know.
-Trespassing is often not as big a deal as everybody thinks.
- It's hard to stay mad at the roommate you serve.
-Cleaning your room the night before is a sanity preserver.
- If you take your wallet to Walmart, you will spend money.
- Don't be decieved by the corner of the grass by the FAC atrium that is always cleverly disguised as snow. It is really freezing liquid.
- The booter guys are the meanest humans in a hundred mile radius.
- Singles ward bishops are superhuman.
-When you are walking across seventh, the drivers are inconsiderate. When you are driving down seventh, the walkers are inconsiderate.
- Best friends are sometimes made in really odd places. Sometimes the boys shower will leak through your ceiling and it will be gross, but you will make friends with them so its worth it. 
-Seven degrees below zero isn't even a big deal.
- If it can't be fixed with a magic eraser, duct tape, or a phone call to mom, it can't be fixed.
- Doorbell ditching cookies is a favorable alternative to eggs and toilet paper.
- Snow Angels are better without shoes and coats.
- Don't look in the tupperware in the back of the fridge. Just don't. 
- Beto's has really large, cheap burritos.
-  The Ray B. West Poltergeist is a lot easier to handle when you learn to love him.
- The stairs outside the Family Life building are a deathtrap awaiting unsuspecting victims.
- If you are gonna lose something on campus, don't lose it in Old Main. There are twenty seven offices with lost and founds.
- If your phone goes off in Leiker's class, he will  bust a move.
- The fine line between sleep and studying is diet coke.
- Pancakes are better at three in the morning. So are old spice commercials.
-"Let's go for a walk" is code for "I'm breaking up with you."
- Stairs are dangerous. Proceed with caution.
- If they get you anyway, remember that the Doctors at the Health and Wellness Center don't know how much x-rays cost. Beware. 
- The cops hang out at the nunnery too. The blood spatters in the buildings are just paint.
-It cannot be a bad day if Eli is out yelling at Mormons.
- Date the boy who lives on the other side of the wall with extreme caution. That is a pretty high-risk/high- return situation.
- Cafe Rio has vanilla coke. Score.
- If you fall asleep in the library enough, people will start taking your picture. It might even make it into the Herald.
- Cafe Ibis in the hub has life preservers in the form of dollar bagels and cream cheese.
- Everyone has to take Biology from Vicki Rosen. Grit your teeth and ignore the animal pictures on reproduction day.
- The fraternity houses don't shovel their sidewalks, so wear boots.
-Work hard, play hard, and don't be afraid to have pizza delivered to the fourth floor of the Library.
- The white car parked on the road into the canyon is not a cop car. Keep speeding.
- Sometimes roommates suck. But mostly they will save your life. 
- Quote walls make life nine times more joyful.
-Four square isn't just for third graders anymore.
-Speaking of four square, Dial soap stays on black top for months at a time and as such, should never be used on your body. 
-Slack lining is way more fun over a pool.
-English majors don't have a dead week and a finals week. We have Finals week number one, wherein all final papers are due and sleep is not on the to do list, and Finals week number two, wherein  your hand will ache constantly from all that furious timed essay writing. Heads up. 
- Unhealthy as it may be, sometimes the only thing that will get you through Finals weeks 1 and 2 is an overabundance of diet coke. Just accept it and buy the twenty four pack.

I loved my life in Logan. It was a really difficult, exhausting, discouraging, confusing, wonderful, spontaneous, happy two years and I will miss it. But, as Anne Bogart would say, I "finished the sentence" and I am satisfied to say goodbye for a while.

So farewell, dear Logan, and try not to freeze over before I come back. mazeltov.