Monday, November 23, 2009

Advice please

So lately, I'm kind of having a hard time taking myself seriously. Not in the way you're thinking--I'm very serious about how the decisions I make right now are going to affect the rest of my life and how the things I say are very wise. Sort of. I'm not having too good a time (though the Thanksgiving pre-game meal and Sunday brunch and etc etc are so fun) or kissing too many boys or whatever. I just can't seem to believe myself when I have those talks that start "Now Kjerstin, you have a lot to do today (this week, this year)..." and end "then at 10 you'll read in bed, then at 10:30 you'll go to sleep."
I make plans, that is to say, and then I blow them off.
Right now, as you might suspect, I'm avoiding: I have a page and a half left to write for this midterm I'm doing. "Now Kjerstin [ke; am I giving up the game? surprise!], if you'd just write your midterm, you could get to bed, then get up early to go running." Right. Or: "Kjerstin, if you don't do this midterm now, you may never succeed." Smooth. Or: "Kj, do you really need to play with wordle [, check it out--so pretty] again, right now?" Yes. I do. Because nothing is ever due and I can probably pull it off if it is and if I keep telling everyone how busy I am than no one will expect anything from me. (Thanks for the backrub, btw, mom.)
It kind of feels like I'm 18 and away from home for the first time and eating donuts and rootbeer for breakfast every day: nauseous, guilty, and delicious.

I suspect that the key ingredient here is a biggy--like Grow Up or Take Responsibility For Yourself or Stop Being So Damn Selfish For A Sec--and if that's your advice, it's noted, thanks. If you have anything practical to add (I don't know, shock therapy?) suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
Love, ke.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a note on faith

(Connie and Dave--you're only allowed to read this post if you promise not to panic. I'm doing just fine. ke)

So I'm in this theory class this semester and I love it a lot. If we talk in real life we have probably talked about Derrida or postmodernism or Marxism lately--ideas are so fun, and these guys are grreat at them, making them sing and dance. But of course theory is there to shake things up, to put names to the tricks we play on each other and that are played on us, to point out patterns in behavior--to make opaque the generally transparent underpinnings of social functioning. And while I'm good enough at compartmentalizing my Mormon brain and my scholar brain that I'm not crushed and offended by these theories about the way people are manipulated by those in power, it has started me thinking about all this stuff I believe, again.
We talked about how ideologies are reinforced: we believe a things we're taught to, because we're taught to; we somehow don't fit into that thing we believe so we feel guilty; we're taught, when we feel guilty, that we need to believe better, to participate more fully in the thing we believe (ideology), which starts the cycle over again. It's easy to see how, like, capitalist systems do this and how cults do this and how despotic regimes do this, but a little more tender to understand how the church does this (perfectly). I recently reread, um, John? Where it says if you keep the commandment you'll abide in His love? A favorite scripture denaturalized and made sour a little by the things I've been learning.
Plus. Plus. I've been trying to avoid should this past month or so. I've been trying to reframe my relationship with God so it feels a little less like Him bossing me around and making me do ridiculous things and criticizing me for not doing enough, and a little more like he's a loving father who wants the best for me (which, in my heart, I know he does). What this has looked like, practically, is a little distance from church stuff. Not bad distance, I don't think, not angry distance, just a step back to gain some perspective.
What I've found is that not much has changed. There have been friendly ward members and friends who have asked up on where I've been, and I know that God is around because there are nudges here and there toward ideas or people or practices, but no burning bushes, as usual. And today at church I realized this: God is serious about this faith thing. It wouldn't be faith if we had him there guiding us home step by step. On one hand, of course, this sounds like I'm falling back into the ideological system; but on the other hand I am. I don't know why circumstances are the way they are--why I find myself in this state, in this family, having learned the things I did about God--and I'm not sure that it's possible for me to make any decision other than continuing in the church, but I think I'm going to choose to stay. This distance has been good to remind me that I'm choosing this system of belief, I'm choosing to let it tell me how to interpret the feelings I have and the things I read. I'm sad that Heavenly Father didn't send an angel or even spiritual fire to come down and comfort me and set me straight (he did "send" great friends and an opportunity to speak in church and this class to help me reevaluate), but I'm glad he's consistent at least. And that he seems to trust me enough to, in a very real-feeling way, take a glimpse at the alternative and to choose.

Anyway. Great day. ke

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dear Mr. Elwes

I was channel surfing this weekend, stopped for a minute on Georgia Rules. In the duration I noticed you, playing Lindsey Lohan's smarmy, unlikeable, step-father. Who does that casting director think he is, casting you as smarmy (fat) and unlikeable? Wait, that's the same role you played in Liar Liar, and that Christmas movie...and like every time I've ever seen you. What gives?

Need I remind you of how adorable and likeable you were in The Princess Bride? In case the answer is yes:
Totally adorable. And it was kind of a silly role (=cult classic), but I don't know that it damned you to a lifetime of simpering bit parts.

Luckily for you, I'm kind of great at rejuvenating celebrity careers, and I have a plan.

First: leave Hollywood behind. Just for a minute. Lose a little weight (you don't carry it well, hon), and head back to England.

Second: reestablish some credibility by joining a Shakespeare troupe. Do a little Richard III for depth (put your smarminess to good use, eh?), do a little Hamlet (because that goatee isn't hiding your baby face). Brush up on your acting.

Third: once you've fully purged Hollywood's cheap cologne smell from your lovely long hair, see what you can do about making your way into independent film, on both sides of the pond.

Fourth: you're ready, if you want, to come back to Hollywood--not as a demeaningly cast character actor, but as a force for cinematic good. You'll play historical figures--kings and leaders of rebellions and such. Hollywood loves a baby face with a dark edge, loves an accent. You'll could the next Ian McKellen, if you play your cards right. (Sorry, the next Sir Ian McKellen.)

Just some thoughts. If you're interested in further consultation, feel free to get in touch. (Also, TinTin? Good plan.)

Loves, ke.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I Wake Early

by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety--

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light--
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.