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December 21, 2012

They said the world would end this week,
So I went sledding, and hugged my family, and sang a lot
Spoke my love to the ones who have my heart
And stopped worrying about the future, because why worry about something that doesn't exist?

However, just in case the world didn't end
I learned and felt and lived, saving up knowledge and ideas and memories for later
I continued to create, as if someone would be left to see the results.
I made plans, no...I spun dreams.

They said the world would end this week
It didn't.
But who knows about next week?

In which I'm probably not going to die. Probably.

This morning, I woke up unable to move my head to one side. I called my mom, because she knows lots o'stuff about stuff, especially as it relates to muscles and spines and such.
She told me not to worry, because if I don't have a fever, it probably isn't meningitis.
That....was not the response I was expecting.
But it is comforting to know that I probably don't have a life-threatening illness? I guess?
In other news....never ever ever ever ever google meningitis. Especially when you have a stiff neck. It is the worst idea ever.

In which I pen a tribute to my ex-boyfriends

So, I promised a friend I would have something substantial up here by tonight. Another friend told me that I needed to post soon, because...MY READERSHIP! I didn't know I had a "readership" but if I do, I'd hate to disappoint them! So here goes.

Lately, I've been getting a lot of questions about whether or not I'm dating anyone, or if I'm still dating "that one guy" (which has been used in reference to both the man I stopped dating about a month ago, and the other fellow I stopped dating over a year ago), or simply condolences that things didn't work out with some relationship or another. These questions and condolences are often coupled with the idea that I'll "find the right guy soon," or "I met my husband right after a break-up," or that "if it isn't right, it isn't right." And while I don't disagree with any of those statements, I also feel that these relationships and subsequent breakups, as…

In which I'm grinding my teeth a little

I am trying so hard to be nonpartisan and to see the good in both parties. But it is so hard when I see things like this all over my facebook:

"Congratulations America, you've just reelected a terrorist."

"Santa Claus sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, and wears way too much red to be a liberal. Vote wisely."

"Mortality rates are only high for people who bring it upon themselves in this country." (when confronted with the fact that many of Europe's "socialist" countries have much lower infant mortality rates than the U.S.)

"I can't believe America likes a socialist, evil, thief who doesn't care about them."

I mean....I don't agree with everything the Democratic party espouses. And I definitely don't think that Obama is the greatest president we've ever had.

A lot of my dearest friends and family are Republicans. And I love them for the firmness of their beliefs, even when I don&#…

In which good things are coming.

Sometimes the warmth of summer vanishes so that there can be golden and vermillion and orange leaves, a maple-y autumn smell in the air and eventually, giant, drifting flakes of snow.

Sometimes the days start to get shorter so that eventually it will be dark enough to see the Christmas lights.

Sometimes the delicious crepe shop that used to be by my apartment moves far away so that the best burrito joint in Provo can take its place.

Sometimes good things leave so better things can come.

Here's hoping.

In which the education nerd in me is freaking out right now.

To any of my readers who are teachers, or parents, or voters, or planning to be one of those sometime in the future, watch this video.

In my Educational Foundations class the other day, we were talking about technology in education. A few people made comments to the effect that they were terrified that new media and internet learning would dehumanize the classroom, essentially turning students into robots. According to this video, though, technology can have the exact opposite approach. In a "flipped" classroom, when students can learn at their own pace and in their own way, as facilitated by technology, teachers actually get more time to spend one-on-one with students, and students get customized instruction to fit their needs.
This makes me so excited to be a teacher. The present is an exciting time to live in, and it just gets more thrilling every second.

In which I probably could have been done with my homework by now...

Confession:

Some nights I stay up until 3:15 reading blogs and Wikipedia, and I don't let myself go to bed because there is homework to be done, and I can't not do my homework because then I won't get a good grade and I'll be a failure, and if there's one thing that defines my life it's that I don't fail at stuff, especially not school.

But I'm too tired to focus on my homework, because it's 3 am and I haven't really gotten much sleep this week anyways and today was kind of draining.

So I keep taking break after break after break, in an effort to clear my mind so that I can do homework after the next break.


Yup.

In which I can't find my backpack

Today when my yoga class was finished, I went to grab my backpack. I had set it along the wall next to my Chacos, and figured that a Study Abroad backpack covered in buttons with various inspirational sayings would be fairly easy to find. I was wrong. It took me a good 30 seconds to find my stuff because, I kid you not, every backpack in that room was a Study Abroad backpack covered in inspirational buttons and every one of those backpacks had a pair of Chacos next to them.

Okay...I might be exaggerating the littlest bit. But...still.

For a minute there, I felt this strange surge of pride. I'm finally one of those people. One of those people who studies abroad and rock climbs and listens to weird indie music and hikes and takes yoga classes. One of those people I used to dream about becoming back when I was a wide-eyed freshman.

And then I felt a little bit self-conscious. If my yoga class is any indication, pseudo-granolas are a dime a dozen here at BYU. Why on earth did I idoliz…

In which I think I've found my teaching philosophy

"But the humanist, revolutionary educator cannot wait for this possibility to materialize. From the outset, her efforts must coincide with those of the students to engage in critical thinking and the quest for mutual humanization. His efforts must be imbued with a profound trust in people and their creative power. To achieve this, they must be partners of the students in their relations with them."

-Paulo Freire.


Yes. Yes, yes, a thousand, a million times yes. I wish I could somehow drive home to each of you how much this resonates with me, how..crucial it is to the way I view education. This is why I want to be a teacher. Because I want to be this kind of teacher. Because I think that's the way I can make a difference. Because it's important.

In which we keep on rockin' till the early morning

"Be who you are, nothing more, nothing less
And let the beauty that you love be the very best.
Sing praises to the Highest with your feet on the ground
And reach your brother with the words that you sound.

And don't let mistakes be so monumental
And don't let your love be so confidential
And don't let your mind be so darn judgmental
And please let your heart be more influential."

-Michael Franti


In which Hamlet would be wayyy cooler with laser eyes.

You know, sometimes I think to myself, "Self, you know what this world needs more of? Shakespearean fanfiction!"

Actually, I don't think that's a thought I've ever had in my life. But if it was, this little beauty would probably be the product of it. I present to you:

Hamlet the Awesome and Kinda Scary Robot by the venerable Riss
Hamlet was walking along being angsty. And then all of a sudden he was a robot. A robot whose father was dead. Also, he could shoot lasers out of his eyes.
He had a hot girlfriend named Ophelia. Ophelia was an alien. With 5 arms. They had sexy times.
And then she killed herself
And then everyone else died.
THE END.
Yeah...I wrote that. In a fit of madness a few days ago. And I couldn't be prouder.


In which I find comfort in gossamer soap

Those days happen...those days where a cement boot is slowly but steadily...very, very steadily..pressing on your chest.

Those days where you see yourself turning into your nastiest self, attacking those who aren't present to defend themselves, and just being all around snarky.

The days where getting off of the couch sounds too hard...and doing your homework sounds too hard...and staying awake sounds too hard...

And talking doesn't help.

And sleeping barely helps.

And ultimate frisbee only helps a little.

So those are the days when you sit on the floor with a bottle of Miracle Bubbles and watch the fragile orbs float, burst, and vanish.

And that helps.

In which I find I think best on my feet

Often when I go running, not much running actually gets done.

It all started when I lived in Vienna. I discovered quickly that if I went on my run through the city, I ended up stopping every few minutes to look at a beautiful piece of molding on a facade, or a group of workers setting up a giant tent for a traveling theatre company, or sign saying that Mozart once spent the night in this or that building (between Mozart and Beethoven, I think just about every building in town has been historicized in that manner). So, I decided that if I ever wanted to get any actual running done, I would need to stick to the canal road by my apartment. No fancy buildings to look at, no distractions. Right?

Wrong.

Because, as it turns out, the Danube Canal is a hub for graffiti artists. Not just punks with spray paint cans, but actual artists. In fact, the canal wall is one of the only places in Vienna where graffiti is actually legal. So I got to run by stuff like this every day.



Needless to say, I s…

In which I live like a warrior

You know, I'm not usually one of those people who posts songs on their blogs.

But maybe I should become one of those people, especially when there are songs like this wonder floatin' round the Internet.

Live like you wanna, friends. Live like a warrior.

In which it's summertime, and the livin' is easy.

It's been two months since I last went to class.  The summer solstice was nearly two and a half weeks ago. In recent months I've wandered Europe, lounged on a beach in the Caribbean, and logged enough hours at my job at the pool to give me a permanent odor of sunscreen and chlorine.  And yet somehow, it's only been in the past couple days that it's hit me: summer is here.

 Maybe it was the nights this week that were spent sitting in the patch of cement in front of my apartment, the patch of grass in front of Panda Express, and the grassy knoll behind my complex's pool. Have you noticed how real summer nights have a different quality than any other kind of night? Not only is the air warm, the light is different somehow...dark without really being dark. And something about it feels not quite like night. Which might be why I've been doing my share of staying up "wayyy past midnight."
Maybe it was wakeboarding for the first time this summer. Or laying on …

In which an all-star cast is assembled.

Sometimes my roommates and I like to create casts for movies we wish existed (call it a movie geek's version of assembling a Fantasy Football team). For example, we once created a concept for a film version of Candyland, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Lord Licorice, Danny Devito as Plumpy and many others. I feel like it would be absolutely terrifying and 100 percent awesome. Our latest (and perhaps most successful) casting session happened last night as the roommates, practically-roommates and I watched my favorite movie of all time. And so, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you: N311's cast for a live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Beast: Ewan Mcgregor


Belle: Anna Friel (Chuck from Pushing Daisies)

"Saying nothing sometimes says the most"

Can you tell I've been on a poetry kick this summer? Here's some more favorites:
A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.
Emily Dickinson

Beauty is not caused. It is.
Emily Dickinson
Forever is composed of nows.
Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.
Emily Dickinson
“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?” 
― Emily DickinsonSelected Letters

“I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake.”

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large -- I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.” 
― Walt Whitman
“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.” 
― Walt Whitman
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. 
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” 
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough” 
― Walt Whitman
“I exist as I am, that is enough, 
If no other in the world be aware I sit content, 
And if each and all be aware I sit content. 
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself, 
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, 
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.” 
― Walt Whi…

In which I'm a little bit giddy

Um....hi. So, I'm going to the other side of the world again tomorrow...I'm beyond excited. And also I feel a little guilty...what kind of spoiled brat gets to visit Europe twice within a one-year span? This one, apparently. I've been very very blessed with these opportunities to travel, and it wouldn't have been possible without the help of many other people. Parents and grandparents who have offered me financial and emotional support, professors who have helped me prepare academically, Uncle Sam for giving me a fatty tax return, ORCA for giving me a grant...I am one lucky girl.





In which I do some much-needed debunking.

Some things I should probably stop saying when I describe myself because they're not really true anymore:
I'm kind of shy: This was definitely true when I was about 7. It was probably still true when I was about 13. And it was true in some situations up until I was about 20. But to be honest, people don't scare me anymore. I thrive on conversation, love meeting new people, and am not afraid to boldly state my opinion, even when talking to strangers. Sometimes people intimidate me, sometimes I don't feel like talking, but I think my former labels of "quiet," "shy," or "introverted" can be permanently left by the wayside.
I'm a picky eater: Yes, as a child I refused to eat stroganoff, fruit salad, zucchini, canteloupe, or fresh green beans. Yes, I used to hide food under the margin of my plate or pretend to throw up to get out of eating stuff I didn't like. However, I'll eat pretty much anything at this point in my life. Especially…

In response:

Looks like I have all the time in the world now...

In which I'm surprised I'm not on some ridiculous sugar high.

For the past 36 hours, my diet has been absymal. Or....awesome? You decide.

Friday
Breakfast: Applesauce
Brunch: Arroz con leche
Lunch: 3 brownies and arroz con leche
Snack: A bazillion Hershey's nuggets
Dinner: Grilled cheese sandwich, Oreo mint milkshake, and a few fries I filched from Tyler
Midnight snack: More arroz con leche

Saturday
Breakfast: Dum-dum pop, Welch's fruit snacks
Lunch: A mountain of arroz con leche and some Smarties (the Canadian kind).
Dinner: Haven't decided yet, but it will probably end up being either wedding reception food or graduation party food.

Clearly, I live a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

In which a Time-Turner would come in handy

You know those times when you forget some key aspects of the laws of physics and schedule yourself to be in several places at once? When reality sinks in and you realize that you can't possibly be in both Heber and Salt Lake City while also being at work in Provo, your stomach sinks. Anxiety creeps in. No matter what, you will have to bail on somebody. No matter what, somebody will think you're a flake. No matter what, you lose.

And you know those times when you go on a first date with someone, and you really want to go on a second date, but every time they invite you to do something, you're busy? Not "busy" like you're actually just making an excuse so you don't have go out with them, but legitimately, terrifyingly, staying-up-until-6-am-just-to-finish-this -ridiculous-paper busy. How do you convince them that yes, since that first date they have invited you to slackline with their friends twice, invited you to come watch three different movies, and yes,…

In which I am aware that "un-choose" isn't actually a real word, but I use it a lot anyway."

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about missed opportunities, particularly in relationships. She made the comment that "by choosing one person, you're automatically un-choosing someone else." That comment has been circling around my brain in various forms ever since.

As anyone who's ever talked to me when I first start dating someone can attest, I have commitment issues. Hardcore commitment issues. As in, sometimes, if a boy I like asks me on a date and shows signs of wanting a second date, I have a panic attack when I get home. (That's...normal...right?) As in, I usually spend the first month or so of every relationship I'm in freaking out over whether or not I actually want to be dating this guy. And it all comes back to my friend's statement: "By choosing one person, you're automatically un-choosing someone else." By choosing to exclusively date someone, or even to spend a lot of time casually dating them, you unavoidably c…

In which I have an urge to blog, but not much to say.

I've been wanting to blog a lot lately, but I'm starting to get worried that I'll overwhelm you all, dear readers, with the onslaught of posts, and you'll get freaked out and start running around in circles screaming "Too many woooorrrrddddsssss!!!" and then you'll run away and never read my blog again. And that would be sad, I guess. Oh well.

I should have gone to bed about two hours ago, but then I missed the appropriate time window. I stayed up so late that I guaranteed that I'll be tired tomorrow. So now I'm thinking, "What's the point of going to bed if I'm going to be exhausted either way? Might as well stay up." Except that I told a friend I couldn't go on a Denny's run because I needed to sleep, so I guess I ought to go to bed on principle...

Until yesterday, I'd forgotten how much I love back massages. And head scratches. In case you were wondering, it's a whole lot. As a good friend discovered last night…

Important life knowledge for you all!

Today, my voice teacher gave me the secret to giving someone a fantastic birthday, and I thought it was so brilliant that I would share it with my blog friends. Also, if I write it down, I'll be less likely to forget it next time someone I love has a birthday.

1) They need to know it's their birthday the second they open their eyes. Whether that's being woken up by the smell of bacon, being jumped on and sung to, or having their apartment decorated with streamers, the first thought in their brain when they awake should be, "Oh yeah, it's my birthday! Awesome!"
2) All three of their meals should be special in some way.
3) They must receive at least one gift.
4) The evening must include a dessert of some kind.

And that is it. All of the steps for a wonderful birthday. I must say that I agree. Birthdays don't need to be extravagant, it's just nice to consistently remember throughout the day that you are special. And now that I think about it, my family h…

In which I doze off on a Love Sac

I think one of the most important developments of early adulthood is coming to know yourself well enough to know exactly what it is you want at a given moment, no matter how simple the desire is. There is something empowering and satisfying in saying, "I am an individual, with unique desires, and what I desire at this moment is to sit on a couch surrounded by friends who I love and watching a movie that I have already seen before (so that I can fall asleep in the middle of the movie without worrying that I'll miss the end). Also, it would be nice if this movie-watching/naptime could also involve me cuddling with a cute boy who I care a lot about." There is a freedom and a power in knowing your own desires, whether big or small, because once you know what you want, you are in a position to seek it out, to make it reality.

However, another important development that comes at this time of life is the understanding that you can't always get what you want. Even the most s…

In which they say I'm goin' crazy, got a lot of water on the brain...

To the freshman I frightened at work today:

You'll understand when you're older. Sometimes, there are days when the pressures from school, work, church, dating, and trying to plan your summer (oh, and your entire future) become so intense that the only possible way to keep from going crazy is to rock out to Queen's "Somebody to Love," with all the volume you can muster. And if you  happen to have a large mop that can double as a microphone for you to dance with as you channel the frenzied genius of Freddy Mercury, well, so much the better. The startled look on your face when you came upon me swaying, dipping, and belting indicates that you have not yet reached such a desperate emotional state, and I am glad that you have been spared thus far. But just know that one day, little freshman, you too will join the ranks of the crazed upperclassmen. And that is the day when you will have to explain to a terrified, timid first-year why you were dancing with a vacuum clea…

In which the future seems realer

So, turns out one of the coolest/scariest things about college is that you can be going along, doing your reading assignment for class, when you suddenly realize that you're going to need this information later. And not just for the test. Like...for your actual life, and career, and stuff. That never happened back in high school English.

In which a letter to a hypothetical individual is composed

Dear whoever I end up marrying, assuming I get married someday, because I fully understand that that may never actually happen,

There are a few things you should probably know about me from the get-go, so there aren't any nasty surprises after our nuptials:

I don't want a diamond on my ring. Or really, any kind of rock. Just a really awesome looking band, with maybe some cool swirlies and just a few tiny colored stones inlaid in it. Also, please don't spend ridiculous amounts of money on it. I think a couple hundred dollars is a good upper limit, though I bet you could find an awesome one for much cheaper.I thrash a lot in my sleep. And kick. And sometimes tear all of the blankets off of my bed. Sometimes I wake up with my head where my feet should be. I've been known to walk, talk, sing and laugh in my sleep. I hope you're ready to never get a good night's sleep for the rest of forever.Unlike the majority of my Mormon peers, I really appreciate facial hair on a…

Cry, "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war.

Man, every single year I tell myself I'm going to have an Ides of March party...and every year I forget. Though I'm not really sure what one would do at an Ides of March party...eat...Roman..food? Pretend to stab each other? Imitate creepy soothsayers? But, in honor of this most fateful day, I thought I'd share some moments from Julius Caesar, possibly my favorite of Shakespeare's plays.

Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have seen,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come. (2.2.34)

Poor Brutus, with himself at war
Forgets the shows of love to other men. (1.2.46)

The ides of March are come.
Ay, Caesar, but not gone. (3.1.1)

And of course...

Et tu, Brute?
Then fall, Caesar! (3.1.77)

In which I smatter a disjointed smattering of thoughts.

I think I'm a morning person at heart. I love feeling like I'm the only one awake, like I have a head start on the rest of the world. I love the pink-grey-gold of morning air, the streaks of sunrise peeking from behind the mountains. I love the prattle of birds welcoming the day, the quietness of a still-sleeping world. Unfortunately, my circadian rhythm doesn't share this love of the early hours, making me wired with energy late at night and sluggish in the early hours. So...mind over matter, I guess?

My dear friend Bekah is back from her mission and I'm remembering how much I adore her and her blog. This morning I was 25 minutes late to a choir rehearsal because I was rediscovering her writing. And it was probably worth it.
So this one time a few weeks ago, I was in a band. We played at the ward talent show, had big plans to try out for Acoustic Explosion, and then kind of fell apart.. But it was a good run. There's something magic about the artistic collaboratio…

In which I become an elephant hunter

I have a tendency to get embarrassed easily. I care a little too much about what other people think about me, about looking smart, or fun, or sophisticated, or at least normal. So when the other members of my choreography group in dance class wanted to make our dance a story...I was skeptical, to say the least. I wanted to be taken seriously, to create beautiful, flowing shapes and get comments from the class on our wonderful use of energy and rhythm. My group members wanted to act out two hunters stalking an elephant in India, complete with Bollywood moves. I thought that sounded childish and stupid, but I was outnumbered, so I decided to swallow my pride and roll with it. And here's what I discovered: We didn't have the smoothest choreography. We didn't have the best technique. But dang it all, we had fun. And we made our audience laugh. And I got to creep through imaginary trees and bushes (creeping is once of my favorite activities) and do a victory dance over our &quo…

If wishes were fishes, my room would smell like Pike Place

I wish
         that I had somewhere to be alone                  that I was a poet                           that all my boxes of mac and cheese would turn into real food         that my voice was as pretty as hers     that I had someone to hold me.
I wish         that I could remember what feelings felt like.                 that I had choices besides "neutral" and "apathetic" and "meltdown"                        that I was better at being punctual                        that I had gone snowboarding this winter                 that it was spring.
I wish           that I had succeeded in giving up Facebook for Lent                  that I could play the guitar                        that I could still eat ice cream without getting sick.                 that I was brave enough to ask for a hug.         that I could see past what I wish for to what I have...

Like  purple Asics
               and legs that can dance
                       and  no-bake cook…

FRIG. YES.

You have no idea how excited I am about this. Han Solo as Colonel Graff? The adorable Abigail Breslin as Valentine?
http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/12/21/harrison-ford-abigail-breslin-enders-game/?fb_ref=ewcontent&fb_source=home_multiline
Yes, the only thing that could make me happier  would be Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Helena Bonham  Carter starring in a movie version of Les Miserables. Oh wait...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707386/
Life is so awesome.

In which I link

Hey friends, read this:  http://notreligious.typepad.com/notreligious/stage-4-faith.html  I don't think I agree with all of it; for example, I don't think you can delineate stages of spirituality that cleanly. It seems to me to be a much more fluid progression, going from one stage to another depending on the day, moment or situation, and possibly residing in more than one of Peck's stages at once. But I think this is a useful way to look at faith both for those for who are blessed with that certainty that Peck characterizes as Stage 2 faith and for those floundering in Stage 3 who may be comforted by the possibility of a Stage 4. I'd be interested in hearing anybody else's thoughts on this.

In which I feel irresponsible

I keep thinking that one of these days I'm going to grow up and magically be responsible. That I won't be late to every single one of my classes every day...and sleep right through them sometimes. That I won't forget to go to important research meetings, or double-book myself or play board games when I should be doing my homework. That someday staying up until 2 surfing facebook and reading blogs will sound unappealing.

But maybe it's a trade-off. Because maybe if I magically grew up in every way possible I wouldn't like to climb trees anymore. Maybe I wouldn't be able to appreciate picture books. And I'd definitely have to stop making forts out of couch cushions.

But still...it would be nice to make it to class on time more often...maybe I should start setting my alarm for earlier...

In which Nair has become a tempting option.

I've been shaving my legs for nine years, ever since that mortifying day in seventh grade when I said to my friends, "Look how clear and invisible my leg hairs are! You can't even tell I have them!" and everybody shifted their eyes and shuffled their feet and said, "Actually, Karissa...your legs are really hairy. It's pretty bad, honestly."

So you'd think, given the amount of time I've been doing it, I'd have gotten the hang of it by now. No such luck. I just now emerged from the shower with five cuts on my legs. I wish I could say this was unusual for me...but it's not. Which is why I'm kind of a once-a-week shaver...every other week if I wear a really long skirt one of the Sundays...

Here's the thing. I really, really hate shaving my legs. A lot. So I have a question for the ladies and a question for the gentlemen:

Chicas: how expensive and/or painful is waxing?

Fellas: would you be cool with your wife or girlfriend never shavi…

In which the floor is inviting

I miss having my own room, because I miss laying on the floor.

It may sound strange, but when life takes a toll on my emotions, laying on the floor soothes me faster than anything else. Feeling that solidness along the entire length of my body, knowing it isn't going anywhere. You can't fall any lower if you're laying on the floor.

Even better if it's a tiled floor, with its hard coolness saying, "I am here. I am real. You're safe." Back home, I've  been known to take many stress-induced naps on the bathroom floor.

But here...well, with 6 busy college students sharing a bathroom, it doesn't get cleaned much. No way am I laying on that.

And as nice as my roommates are, I don't know what they would think were they to find me stretched out on the bedroom floor, staring at the ceiling, or pressing my face to the carpet, or hyperventilating.

Which means the best I can do is lay on my bed and pretend to read, longing for the trustworthy reality of t…

On complicated friendships

When I was in ninth grade, I spent biology class goofing off in the back of the room with a table of all guys. These kids were some of my great friends and biology was full of excellent times dissecting pigs, telling jokes, and listening to the guys talk about the beautiful girls that made their lives miserable (ah, junior high...). One day they made an anti-girl club called "Chica de las Muertas" and they let me be an honorary member since, in Aaron's words, "You're practically a guy when you hang out with us."

I'm not going to make this an analysis of my relative girliness or manliness, I'm quite comfortable with being a girl. However, I have a lot of experience being "one of the guys," and I love it. Historically, I've found it easier to establish and maintain friendships with guys than with girls. I tend to be less intimidated by guys. Since coming to college and living with roommates I've gotten much better at building wonderf…

In which that string quartet is stuck in my head.

It's like a romantic comedy: girl meets boy, girl hates boy, girl gets to know boy better and falls deeply in love.

Take out "boy" and add "numerous long-dead classical composers" and you've got my college music career in a nutshell. That's right folks. I never thought I'd say it, but over the last couple of semesters, I've fallen deeply in love with three dead dudes: J.S. Bach, Joseph Haydn, and W.A. Mozart.

 For years, I maintained that Bach was too complicated and calculated for me to enjoy. To all you classical music aficionados, I can only say, "I was young! I was ignorant! I had only ever played Bach Inventions, and a little bit from the Well-Tempered Klavier!" However, last year, I was introduced to (aka forced to learn) an incredible keyboard Toccata and...wow...just...wow. Shortly thereafter I discovered Bach's more awesome organ works, and just last month became enamored of his Mass in B Minor. Powerful stuff. And studyin…

In which I am easily distracted

Sometimes I desperately need to create a lesson plan, write in my work blog, and study for my music history test...
And instead I spend an hour and half reading online essays about comic strips....

And yet somehow, I don't really regret it.

In which I don't act my age

You know you're secretly only seven years old when you go to a career fair and cruise right on past the booths for Goldman Sachs, Apple, and various other fancy, prestigious companies without giving them a second look, pick up applications for a summer camp and Disneyland, and then leave. Grown-up jobs just sound so boring to me. So it's probably a good thing I'm planning to work in elementary schools for the rest of my life.

And yet, despite my aversion to grown-up jobs...I finally have one. A job where I go to an office and send emails and make copies (any job that uses a copy machine is a grown-up job by default). And...it's not really that bad. It kind of makes me feel like I'm a real adult now...and then I go to my other job, where I draw pictures with fourth graders. And I finally feel at home.

In which intrinsic motivation never felt better.

World, today I practiced piano for an hour.

I mean, really practiced. Metronome, exercise book, scales, the real deal. And I made some serious progress on the Schubert piece that I've been wanting to perfect. Serious enough that I might might have it ready in time for Grand Pianos Live. (So ya know, if you want to come see me or anything...)

It felt...so good. Seriously. Not just to be at the piano again, not just to feel like I was making quality music, but to know that I was making music on my own terms. That I wasn't doing it for a grade, that I wasn't preparing for juries or a recital or a nervewracking lesson the next day. I was just playing because I wanted to play. Because I missed Schubert. Because I love the feeling of drilling a phrase over and over again, until you've got the dynamics and the phrasing and the balance and the expression absolutely perfect, and then you can move on to the next phrase and make it just as perfect. Knowing I could stop any time I…

In which I dream of riches.

Someday, when I am rich (or at least...out of paycheck-to-paycheck range), I will:

Eat things besides pasta and granola bars.
Have my own room again.
Go snowboarding every weekend (and even some weekdays, since I could afford to miss work)
Go rock climbing on days besides "Bring a Friend Friday" (where I can get in for free, because I have friends with season passes).
Buy all of the music I ever loved. And all of the books ever written, even ones I don't love.
Have a car.
Own my own camping gear.
Travel. A lot.

Things that I do now, instead of being rich:

Get really creative with my food sources, so I can eat things besides pasta and granola bars. These include: attending social/church functions just because there will be free food, try to date as much as possible, and go to my grandparents' house for every Sunday dinner possible.
Bond with the two other girls who share my room, and pretend I'm a pirate when I climb up the ladder to my little bunk. (I'm not s…

In which things are good

I've realized something; I blog less when things are good. Not necessarily because most of my blogging is complaining; I think I've written some surprisingly upbeat posts when depressed. However, I think for me, writing serves two main purposes: channeling emotions and escaping them, with the occasional celebratory moment. So I'm gonna switch things up a little and blog on a happy day:

I'm in a new apartment, in my old ward. I miss living with my family, having my dad's office in the next room over, playing with my sisters, wrestling with my brother, and following my mom around the house. I miss my amazingly soft bed with its scads of pillows, which I've now traded for a top bunk that feels like a pile of bricks. But I love being back in my second home, right by campus. I feel like my old friends and neighbors have given me such a warm welcome back. I love that I'm right by JDawgs, Spoon it Up, Awful Waffle, and Slab.

I'm a huge fan of my classes this s…