Thursday, May 30, 2013

In which the ol' wanderlust is acting up

Hey, guess where I want to go?


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In which these topics seemed more related in my head

I know a hobby is going to stick when I start finding metaphors for life in it. It's obviously woven itself firmly enough into the way I process existence that I can use it as a mental filter to help me understand other experiences.

This past weekend was about as beautiful as a weekend could be, with the perfect balance of activity and lazing, new adventures and bursts of nostalgia, old bosom buddies and new friends. Also, there was plenty of cheesecake, and a new baby joined my extended family (can't wait to meet him!)

Today was my little brother's birthday. This kid is amazing, you guys. He speaks Spanish like a native, plays basketball like a pro, and cuddles like the best teddy bear you've ever known. Now that he's old enough to date, I think the ladies will be flocking to him right and left. And how could they not, eh Gus?

One of my best friends is getting married this weekend. And I really thought I was going to go when all of the sudden my plans dropped out from under me. I'm amazed at how not upset I am about this. I mean, I wish I was going, don't get me wrong. But I've done everything I can do to make it there (short of throwing down $100 to take the Greyhound), and it still hasn't been enough. If the wedding reception is where I'm supposed to be this weekend, God will find a way to make it happen. And if it isn't, then it will be for the best.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In which I'm feelin' great

Got to class practically on time.

Played the organ for a couple of hours.

Was all of the productive at work.

Played a wicked game of ultimate Frisbee.

Sat on the grass with my friends while talking about zoo animals.

Ate frozen yogurt.

Took a refreshing shower.

This was indeed a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In which I go for a run, think some thoughts, and then type them up as soon as I get back.

I don't know why people say rainy days are gray. Have they ever been outside on a rainy day? The grass looks like it's about to start leaking green all over and even the houses are brighter. If nothing else, rainy days are brighter-colored than pale sunshiney days.

On my run today, I saw a boy just standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Maybe he was thinking or maybe he was waiting for someone, but I like to think that he was looking at how green Y mountain looked today, feeling the rain on his face, and listening to the birds. Anyway, once I was a little further away, I stood and looked too.

When I have a house I want it to be small but beautiful, with a lot of flowers and trees. I also want  a porch with some latticework and a swing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

In which I am itching for an adventure

Things I would like to do this spring/summer, in no particular order:

Tube the Provo River
Climb Y Mountain
Climb Mount Nebo
Get a library card

Visit the Springville Arts Museum
Go to Llama Fest at the Krishna Temple (update: I'll be in California. Maybe next year).
Visit the Living Planet Aquarium in SLC
Go to a fair, where I will ride the most vomit-inducing ride I can find, eat a funnel cake, and get a henna tattoo. 
Go to the Sheepdog Festival (It sounds silly, guys, but this is one of the cooler events I've been to in Utah)
Rooftop Concert Series! (update: done! Thrice over!)
Go to Boise for Jenni's wedding! Hooray! (update: couldn't get a ride. But a visit is in the works)
Meet Gail Carson Levine (update: done! She's really short!)
Go to the rope swing in Mona (update: done! And I went off the highest platform)
Go to the natural waterslides in Alpine (update: done! Highly recommend)
Actually make use of my Pass of all Passes at Seven Peaks
Sidewalk chalk!
Go hiking. A lot.
Rock climb. A lot. (update: started!)
Go camping and/or backpacking
Party at Disneyland (update: done! Huzzah!)
Swim in the ocean (update: done! Woo!)
Play with my brother (T minus 37 days!) (update: he's home!)
Buy produce at the Provo farmer's market
Go fishing on Free Fishing Day (update: went hiking this day instead)
Run through sprinklers (update: done!)
Eat a snow cone
Go to Canyonlands on August 25 for Fee Free Day

Run the Beat Beethoven 5k in Pleasant Grove (update: did something else instead)
Get a Slurpee on 7/11 (update: this is the day after I go to camp. Bummer.)
Go to the Utah Lake festival (update: missed it. Don't remember what I was doing that day)
Attend the Springville World Folkfest (update: happens while I'm at camp).
Go see the Spiral Jetty

And of course....climb a lot of trees

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In which I fail to overcome my gag reflex

When I was little, I was a picky eater. I wouldn't touch zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes, spicy food, or any kind of fruit. I would throw tantrums at the dinner table, pretend to throw up, hide food under the edge of my plate, anything I could do to get out of eating the foods I hated.

Fast forward to now.

I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater. I've eaten goat, octopus, squid, and eel (warning to everyone: dried squid is nasty). I love spicy foods of all varieties and have learned to love squash, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. If I forget to ask for no tomato on my burger, I leave it on, and enjoy the juiciness. But there is one area where my tastes have apparently not matured.

I still hate fruit.

Usually when I tell people this, they look at me in horror, as if I'd just said that I drown kittens for fun on the weekend or I think Saddam Hussein was a pretty cool dude. They tell me fruit is the nectar of the gods, that I'm missing out on something amazing. And I believe them. I love fruit juices and I love the smell of fruit. I just can't handle actually eating it.

This makes for some interesting experiences. I'm all for being polite and eating things when offered, but sometimes I think it would be more polite to pass on an offer of fruit and spare my host the experience of watching me desperately fight my gag reflex. This was demonstrated on my study abroad in Austria, when my host mom served us apricots coated in brown sugar for dessert one night. I didn't have the German expertise to politely decline, so I choked a few down. Eventually, she was alarmed by the faces I was making, and in explanation, I could only say, "Ich fuhle mich krank heute (I'm feeling sick today)". Which got me out of eating the apricots, but also gave Frau Feest an excuse to insist that I drink chamomile tea and eat fruit compote (her cure for every illness).

Another time, I was meeting a boyfriend's parents for the first time, and at dinner, was given a dish full of watermelon, raspberries, and strawberries. I don't mind watermelon, and I was able to muscle down two of the raspberries, but strawberries were out of the questions. So every time his mom looked away, I would spoon some of my fruit onto my boyfriend's plate.

I'm not actually sure why I have such a hard time with fruit. Usually I tell people that it's a texture thing, which is true. But I'm still not sure why I can handle raw fish textures and tomato textures and octopus tentacle textures, and not bananas. It might be the intense sweetness combined with the bizarre textures. And fruit textures are bizarre. Bananas and raspberries are furry, oranges are stringy, melons are squishy...I don't know how people handle it.

And that is why I can eat raw fish twice in one week (ceviche at Se Llama Peru on Thursday and nigiri at Wild Ginger yesterday) but I almost threw up when I discovered a grape in a chicken salad sandwich last weekend.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In which we mean intensely and we mean for good

Today was my last day of one of my favorite jobs. For the past year and a half, I've worked as a writing tutor for BYU's Writing Fellows program. While it has been wonderful being able to combine my love for writing with my passion for teaching, and increase my skills in both areas, I think the best part of this job was in the bizarre and wonderful Writing Fellows culture. I mean, how many people can say that their job has a theme song (with an official band to boot)? Or a never-empty cookie jar in the office?

Because of Writing Fellows, I've gotten paid to talk to new people, and to share my knowledge and experience. I've had many chances to improve my own writing and help others improve theirs. I've learned to treasure the moment when someone who has never considered herself a writer realizes how to express her thoughts in a clear, effective, and even beautiful way. There's just something kind of magical about seeing someone discover that beautiful writing isn't an ability reserved for an elite group; it's with their reach. And being able to clock in for that? I'll admit, that makes it even sweeter.

Yep, I'm going to miss this job. From hanging out at the Writing Fellows tables talking about tiger sharks to racing to the office after each test to see if the cookie jar's been refilled, it's been a great ride. To all my Writing Fellows friends, remember: Genius breathes in atmospheres of FREEDOM!!