Monday, June 30, 2008


There's something about summer nights. Days I'm awful at. Days kill me and suck my lifeforce unabashedly and I am a lounger by the swampcooler and a drinker of icy drinks (ideally. Actually I've been caught playing football outside more often than not these days, but I'm dealing). But summer nights, not to get Grease lyrics in your head I'm sorry in advance, are something else entirely.
I think I might hate them. Partially at least. There's something restless about them, some unresolved longing. Walks at night, which I love, are always disappointing because I want there to be some climax to them, some end. I want to run into someone and find or forge a lasting connection--summer nights seem magic and when they're not I'm unfulfilled. And they're harbingers of unfulfillment. That is, I have a really bad record and am usually just getting over some heartbreak come July. Or I'm in the middle of some very tumultuous relationship (it was a night like this when I agreed to marry a kid. Or several of those nights) and I walk to think through stuff and calm myself down, which never works because nights are for working yourself up--the temperature so near your body's (not internal) that there seems not to be a barrier between you and the rest of the universe. Thoughts and impulses seem to move in and out without restriction.
But how can I hate them? I love the floral smell of the night. I love the perfect temperature of the air. I love abandoned Provo. I love watching out of the corner of my eye for shifty looking neighbors.
And impetuous too. Like tonight. Like I was supposed to be in bed asleep two hours ago, but why would I sleep when I have this night? (Answer: I inevitably fall asleep, no matter where I am, sometime between 9:30 and 11 am. Also, I hit a wicked wall at 4 or so and always wish I'd slept more.)
They've been written about before, but I've been reminded this week. Hm.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

nap nap napnapnap

I just had a fantastic dream. I was in China trying to retrieve something of great value. Something of enough worth that the flight to China made sense. So I got there, found my little sister who happened to be working as a rickshaw driver in this city, and off we set, to the airport, where my thing was.
We were rickshawing, then, down this dusty country road. For some reason both of us were pulling the thing, which now that I'm awake makes less sense, but we were running along, very hot and happy, and I told her that I was surprised at how easy it was. She smiled back and agreed, "yeah, it really helps when there are two peole" at which point we hit a hill and the wind was in our faces and we were going really fast and I was sooo happy and thought, "this might be the turning point."
About this point, as I'm watching signs to the airport, I realize that I have no idea where we're going. The directions were in the email, but I only vaguely remembered how far it was or where. So we take a turn that directs us to the airport's cash office (there roadsigns for this kind of thing...and a lot of them). We go into a big open building where people are drinking Jarritos, which look fantastic, so Lissa stops to get one.
I start walking toward the office. A women in scrubs tells me something again and again, which I figure means "it's closed," and I look at the clock and it's like 5:50. My dream self panics just a touch at this point because I'm pretty sure I have to leave the next morning, so I walk closer to read the sign which I can't make out, not because it's in Chinese (I was looking for times anyway) but because I was suddenly far-sighted and had no glasses.
In defeat I walk back to the bar and take a seat next to a guy who is reclining while simultaneously giving a woman a back massage with a billy club-looking implement and giving her advice on writing creative nonfiction. She says how she's very open and loves to share her feelings. He says, very respectfully, "You should remember, ma'am, that I'm not your friend, that I'm a reader. I'm just here to visit and you have to keep me entertained."
At which point I wake up.

Mostly I wanted to record this because I spent the morning mentally railing on Provo Craft and cleaning up a pie fight that they had in the park. I had to leave an hour late on my last day because of them and I was super mad. And it was such a happy dream.

Notes: I'm just in the part of The Good Earth where Wang Lung gets a job rickshawing, so. Also, I was asleep on the couch of my almost unbearably warm living room. Also, just had talked to Amanda about creative non and her efforts there. Mostly it's weird that my subconscious felt the need to reprocesses all of that I think. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008


So the other day my mom mentions almost in passing this girl she met in Michigan--working toward her PhD in flautism or something, and that she's in Brazil this summer studying some type of music and wouldn't that be a cool thing for me to do and I break down.
I think it was a good breakdown because afterward I went and bought $95 worth of poetry, etc. (after my gift card) and read for hours and hours and changed my job and started planning.

And it comes to this: I'm certain that teaching will bring me satisfaction this year. I'm certain of that even though right now the odds I'm up against seem not only insurmountable but senseless (yes, please overstuff the most time-intensive core class you offer, the one with the least experienced teacher who didn't study Sophocles in college, actually; that sounds like the perfect way to boost your much-flaunted academic prowess) I will work my tail off and at some point will lose myself in the teaching and will love it.

But. I don't think I'm ready to settle. Not yet. And settle is such a sticky word. Because I think that a little settling might do me good: settling into me, settling my poor self down. I think that domesticity and contentment and good friendships and all of that are wrapped up in settling. But not settling for less, or stopping the reaching, or expecting less.

One of my friends posited that if I ceased to be flighty I might cease to exist altogether and while this makes me a little sad, I wonder if there's a way I can embrace this part of me, make the most of it, stop running from my flightiness and put it to good use?

As Lina put it (in a moment of her seeing in her what I see every day) "this might all work out." Damn right.

Monday, June 16, 2008

There's a quote that goes...

Richard G. Scott's talk last conference was, kind of inexplicably, one of my favorites. He talked about overcoming the effects of abuse, and though the subject matter didn't relate directly to me, it did. A main tenet of his argument is that we can, through the atonement, overcome the effects of other people's bad choices, which applies to all of us.

A promise that he made that touched me particularly was regarding trust. He says that abuse often undermines trust in authority and that the lack of trust tends to isolate us from the people who love us most, "Recognize that if you have feelings that you are not loved by your Father in Heaven, you are being manipulated by Satan. Even when it may seem very difficult to pray, kneel and ask Father in Heaven to give you the capacity to trust Him and to feel His love for you. Ask to come to know that His Son can heal you through His merciful Atonement."

What struck me most was this idea of praying for the capacity to trust. I'm crap at this. As I've been working on building all kinds of relationships lately, this weakness has come up again and again, and I've been wondering lately about the trust-love connection. Or rather, I've come to see that there really can't be love without trust.

I don't know. This is all I have to say about this so far...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So one of the things I take secret (unless you know me) pride in is my ability to play two teams at once. In high school, just after my Ayn Rand kick and before the English Department got at me, I was this raging capitalist, for instance, but it was kind of a lovely surprise because I've was pretty liberal in (Provo) high school, and sort of a kind of hipster sort of. I like the tension of it, but really just like that sometimes it seems like my interests are varied enough to raise some eyebrows.
Like last week. I was just getting off work and was more gross-looking than usual: old muddy torn pants, a too-large Orem city t-shirt and oversized hoodie, my beat down nike sneakers, and we'd painted that day so my hands were all brown. Oh, and I wasn't wearing a bra. I went to go get a wedding card for some friends and a gift card from Borders so spent like 20 minutes traipsing around the boutiques at the Riverwoods--places where even ordinarily I would feel a little sheepish trying to inconspicuously pricecheck the letter-pressed congrats cards ($14 a piece) but that afternoon I felt positively savage.
Last night I watched Brick (which is brilliant and I'm kind of bummed I waited so long to see it) and ironed. Like my mom used to watch conference.
What is this? Obviously pride factors into this--knowing that people are watching and you throwing public opinion to the wind, bahhaah. And maybe I enjoy feeling like I'm more well-rounded than your average kid...though this is irrational. It almost seems gnostic--that I know that I'm actually fairly hip but no one else knows it because I look like I might have, like, Styx playing on the tape deck of my truck...thoughts? Do you do this too? Why?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Summer Job is Better than Your Summer Job, Part 3

Some recent highlights:
a) Jesus. A film crew came up Thursday morning asking if they could use our mountain. I told them to call someone, and made a mental note to close the gate to the park the next morning (it's not a public road and they totally drove in. Jerks.) So Friday morning I see six or seven people walking through the park with cameras etc. as I'm mowing the lawn. I don't pay much attention until I start mowing closer to them and realize that one of the guys, the one with long hair and a beard, is dressed like Jesus. With white Reeboks, which he changes out of at some point.
b) White trash wedding: the father of the bride was wearing black leather pants.
c) Nature: snails mating (How can you tell?) and then sliming about. I watched them go from one rock to another--real slow and smooth (snail-like). It was just cool and kind of amazing.
d) I found a dead baby bird in the grass. He was almost featherless, with huge eyes and a huge beak. The ants had got to his stomach and eyes, but otherwise he was almost complete. When's the last time you got to see a baby bird close up?
Good job.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I forgot to tell my friend Emily that I've never been on a hike I hadn't gotten lost on (that's not true, once I followed friends up to Frary's Peak and back with nary a hitch. But one of these friends was an Antelope Island enthusiast and another had a portable GPS and extra layers in case of inclement weather.) and our expedition Tuesday was not exception. We ended up hitchhiking through Pleasant Grove (not in Provo Canyon as was the plan) to meet a very charitable hometeacher. Thanks Alex! Sorry Emily.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In Rainbows

Radiohead is a band not to be taken lightly. That is, you can't just pop an album in and go, or as my friend put it, "they are best taken in moderation." Too true. I've just now found myself in a state to appreciate In Rainbows, and oh how I do. I don't know what kind of a person Thom Yorke is, or what he's thinking about when he's writing, or how everyone else in the band contributes, but I have been completely consumed by the beauty of their composition and, really strikingly, their lyrics. I think I love "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" the most so far: "I'd be crazy not to follow, follow where you lead. Your eyes, they turn me." And "All I Need:" "I am a moth who just want to share your light?" Just rapturous and beautiful.