Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Love you, see you in September!

So You Want to be an Ancient Egyptian Princess

is the name of a book I bought for my classroom. Upon further inspection, I've found more nudity than I like. Who do these people imagine their audience is? Bad illustration, probably questionable history (admittedly, their credibility was shot from the get-go), pandering to the supposed interests of 14 year old girls. Maybe brilliance.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Another highlight of this weekend: Lars and the Real Girl. I was kind of nervous, mostly because my patience wears thin a little with the kooky-family indie film that's been made so often this last little while, but I was wrong to worry. Aside from being funny and awkward and life-affirming and visually satisfying (think comfort food involving canned soup and onion straws), I feel like I learned some stuff/have things to think about.
And maybe the only one I'll blog about tonight is this: Lars and his brother Gus are talking about the lack of rites of passage (I have a friend who wants to contrive some, btw, and subject his kids to them, which could work?) and Lars asks Gus how he knew he was a man. Gus says something to the effect of doing the right things even if they're hard. Working hard, not cheating on your woman, etc. The reason this was interesting to me is because I'm doing the student-adult transition thing and it's kicking my trash. Hardcore. Like, I keep feeling compelled to stay up really late to assert my independence or spontaneity when really I usually regret it later. And I keep being super indulgent (remember how I stopped drinking Diet Coke? Yeah, it's hard for me to keep track too) because it feels like in my indulgence I'm rebelling against something or proving some point and that it's important. But it's not getting anything done and it's not making me happy particularly. I don't really deserve a summer vacation, though I took one and have played really hard. I'm a professional now and need to get stuff done and that's that. ?

It feels like now is when I have to start (continue/remember how) to take satisfaction in fulfilling my responsibilities. I'm not a complete flake, I know how to do this, but haven't lately and have found myself enveloped in an almost superstitious funk (I'm finding that my superstition grows out of disempowerment--imagined, real, or self-imposed) and I think there's a connection here.

Maybe a downer post. See the movie, though, it's fantastic. ke

Eye sore

Today's highlight was gym.
a) Jesse taught us all how to play lacrosse. We got the sticks (crosses) out of the closet and used baseballs and the six of us split into pairs and practiced playing catch for a little while. It took a minute to get the stick-eye coordination down and then I started aiming for my partner instead of 3-feet above her head. And then the satisfaction of a pass received and returned. Then the face-off. This is a deliciously elaborate take on a game-starting classic. You and your opponent face each other with your sticks held parallel before you (the basket of his on the opposite side of yours so the sticks are only a couple of inches apart along their length). The ref balances the ball on your sticks, counts to 3, and you pull the sticks apart and scramble for the ball. So 15 minutes of tossing, running, shooting later and we were toast (the gym is h-o-t). The unity of interest and purpose is what got me I think. Everyone intent on bettering their game and no sniping and Jesse shining with all he knew.

b) Catch with Cole. A really fantastic kid: mellow and funny and generally very kind. This part of the day didn't take any words at all, after he'd given me some tips on how he threw his gorgeously stable spiral. What is it about a spinning football? Something about it being subject to and flaunting its understanding of the law of physics? Gorgeous. And then, too, concentrating on how I move my hands and arm affect the spin and arc of it...Kids came and joined, then left, and the constant was the pebbly rubber of the football, the grip of the laces, the perfect spinning and the catch and cradle, catch and cradle. I know this wasn't a big deal to anyone but me, but it was a very clear and physical end to a very cloudily emotional morning.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Also this...

Wow. Three in one night. You're soooo pleased, I just know it.
Girls make me really nervous. Like, at the BGC I have the hardest time relating to/having patience with the girls. Particularly when they're in groups and they almost always are. Particularly when it's late-ish and they're getting shrieky/goofy/singy. LIke when I took over a game of Mafia that somehow devolved into a table/booty dance. I made some snarky comment and they went running in to a more popluar staff-member...weird and mean and inexplicable.
Also, I was playing with my nephews and my cousins kids at a wedding function a couple of years ago and I had way more fun tossing boys around than trying to engage girls who wanted to play with their moms. I don't know how to do it. Girls make me nervous.
What makes me more nervous, though, is that every time I bring this up, everyone agrees. (Not everyone. Matt, I'm looking at you.) That is, no one likes girls. Generally it seems like people agree with my assessment: whiny, shrieky, clingy, inexplicable; and this seems tragic if not downright misogynistic. What am I missing? Where can I find common ground here?
The ironic part is of course that I suppose I spent several years as a girl. I remember silliness and drama and weird emotions. I remember, too, being shot down for that sort of thing--feeling always off-ish and wrong. I remember my dad snapping at me for talking in baby talk to my friends and I'm not certain I've grown out of that awkward stage in his mind. [I just barely realized that Young Women's would be a hard calling. I always took it for granted that everyon loved it. Lucky me to have great leaders.] On the other hand I remember the way Becky Thomas (a friend and incredible person/example) treated me when I was barefoot and 11 and out of my mind with transition and minimal adult interaction. She valued me for who I was and let me know. She noticed the good in me (my hand-me-down overalls and taste for exotic food) and let me know it. This made a huge difference.
Anyway, I guess I wonder if any of you have any thoughts on girls: on how to see them and how to love them? What your favorite thing is about teenaged girls? What do you think?


I was cut from the blogrole of a friend. I'm trying not to take it personally, it was obviously an oversight? I didn't want their traffic anyway? I guess this is goodbye? (Really I just want to up the quality/quantity till Winterberry becomes entirely irresistible and this friend comes crawling back...jerk.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pioneer weekend thank you

This weekend I'm in Idaho visiting my brother's family. I meant also to get some work done but so far have finished the last five pages of Gilgamesh and decided to play TMBG Mesopotamians for my class (I believe very deeply that Ashurbanipal doesn't get enough face time period. Part of his title was "emperor of the universe" for pete's sake and he built the most remarkable library in the history of the world-to-date). That's about all. But, the weekend has more than made up for it:
1. I've bonded with nephews. Since they're in Idaho we don't get to hang out a lot (I got in late Wednesday night and was met by unpleasant surprise), but we're pals. Pals=they use me as a climbing wall/oak tree/surf board and I love it.
2. I got to go shopping (World Market!) with Molly. We bought white wine which made an incredible white-saucy dish and we did Caprese salad. Very very lovely.
3. Molly, Jeremy, and I just played Wii Fit for a couple of hours. I think the ski jump was my forte. We worked up a Mii though (cartoony avatar thing) that is creepily accurate. It has the side smirk and everything. If it were materially created and in my bedroom I would be afraid of it coming to life nights.
4. I bought adult things: a kick-a 16-piece stainless steel cookware set. It's very beautiful. And a pannini grill. Did I post about my sandwich bar dinner? Deli meats and cheeses plus luxe condiments (hummus, avocado, mustard) plus grill=fabulous. Pretty sure my life isn't ever going to be the same. (Pretty sure I've used the = twice so far this post.)

The last couple of months I've been pretty seriously reevaluating my motivations for wanting to get married (why is it a good idea again), and for family's role as an eternal construct, for the point of all of these relationships. I was feeling very much like the effort and drama might not be worth it, but in response I've been given these fabulous opportunities to hang out with family. I love these guys. I feel myself here--at home. I've rarely been so conscious of the value of and satisfaction that comes with and through family.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Snacking at Connie's

Another first this summer: I drove in a parade. AF Iron Days. I drove the car you can win if your duck wins the Lucky Duck Derby. Thanks the Boys and Girls Club!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

thinking about

Nothing is coming together coherently, but this is what I'm chewing on:
summer drought
the apostles post-death/pre-writing the gospels
linearity of thought/not
concerts I'm not going to and why
pencil skirt and sweater
apartments (this 45 year old man is trying to rent his place out to 7 girls. He lives in the master suite and can't understand why girls [how he referred to his future roommates] would not dig that. Big draw: media room with surround sound and a red suede sectional.)
adaptability and essentialness
Gilgamesh=spicy/homoerotic=9th graders?


Saturday, July 12, 2008


The other day I saw a boy walking a tandem bike by himself on a bike trail in Provo. How could this have happened?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Where Everybody Knows your Name

My friend Skoticus who does Recreation Management and has many insightful things to say about leisure talked to me once about thirdspace. It's this idea that everyone needs a spot that is not work and is not home (and which sounds a little like fourthmeal to me suddenly) where you can go and decompress and get your head in order in a non-committal sort of way. Sometimes coffee shops fill the function, or bars, or I think the Writing Center was mine even though I was getting paid to be there.

There was a great spot in Provo: Amanda and Daine's. First at The Burrow and then at The Hotel. Amanda and Daine were fantastic hosts: there was always good music and great food and good conversation. Their houses were the kind of place you went into without knocking and they were always glad to have you, and you were free to chat or mooch their wireless or read and somehow all of us ended up there by the end of most nights. And the nights were long/late.

But we finished packing/cleaning/painting the linoleum last night and sent the two of them off to a future in Chicago via European grand tour in over-stuffed vehicles, and so sent off chefs, movie mongers, revolutionaries, intellectuals, and really fast and great friends. This post should be longer, but we'll see you soon.

Google is for Creeps

So when I was new to Gmail, I thought it was pretty disconcerting how the ads in the sidebar matched my emails--and they were pretty good. They've gotten less accurate and I've gotten a little less paranoid, but I think my antlers are up again: I was checking out Google Maps and they have a picture of my house. I'm at the end of a cul de sac too, so it's just my house and not only that, my dad's truck is out there. When did they take this picture and who took this picture? I was sitting inside my house with my roommate Liann when they did it and that's creepy. And don't get me started on Google Earth. Eeeech.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

my summer job is better than your summer job: revisited

I'm not going to lie, the switch from Orem City to the Boys and Girls Club was pretty rough. Everything that I loved about the park--the quiet, the relaxed pace, the hands-on problem-solving concreteness--is not true about BGC. There's screaming and sass and drama and I kind of feel out of my depth in trying to think up ways to engage the kids. Mostly I feel a lot like I don't have a lot to offer that they'd be interested in ("Hey kids, I brought this awesome poem I read today. Anyone heard of poetic conceit before?"). But I have had a couple successes: 1) We were playing cards and Tegan who is a little whiny and didn't acknowledge my existence for a week sat by me and was leaning on my leg with casual familiarity. It was tiny but reassuring. 2) Jazzmin. Troubled home life, etc., but really friendly with me. I like her, feel like we've bonded a little at least. 3) We started this relaxation/stress management class (they all get screechy at 5:30 or so and I think if everyone took a nap the last 2 hours would be much less dramatic) and only a couple of kids came. But I think they liked it. At any rate I think it means that I get to nap once a week. :)
Also, I think the experience is invaluable: I'm getting to know kids and how they work and how to work with them. I think that I ran from teenager-hood like it was a burning building and have tried hard to forget how it worked, and so I'm relearning a little. Also I'm learning a bunch of games which will be useful for winning kids to my side in the future.

Also: I've been thinking about family lately. Specifically, how the ideal situation is that you have parents that like to hang out with you. That think you have good things to say and who like to play a little. Who enjoy your company. I'd like to set that kind of family up when I get the chance and I think I'm getting a taste of what that could be like, or how to do it.