Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Curiouser and curiouser." - Alice in Wonderland

Just wanted to give a shout-out to Roger for discovering this website. I don't know how he stumbles upon these things, but I'm glad he does and that he shares them.

This website is just a collection of the most bizarre things for sale on the internet. Here were a few gems, just to give you a taste of the awesome-ness...





Go check it out.

Its also now a permanent link on this blog.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail." --William Faulkner


First of all, I have made an important discovery within the world of literature. I love William Faulkner. We read "That Evening Sun" (a short story) in my American Lit class last week, along with "As I Lay Dying." It was challenging, certainly, but never in a way that frustrated me. I derived both escapist and intellectual pleasure from it...the challenging part of it was always enjoyable. Call me crazy. Maybe I'll change my mind as I read more of Faulkner later.

But "As I Lay Dying" has been the catalyst for a whole handful of intellectual realizations and internal discussions. One of which is about words...Addie Bundren is the character who has died, but she has one chapter in which she is allowed to speak, and some of the things she says are pretty profound. Check this out:

“Words are no good…words don’t ever fit even what they are trying to say at.”

“I would think how words go straight up in a thin line, quick and harmless, and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after awhile the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other; and that sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words.”

“He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn’t need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear.”

I can't believe that these arguments are true of ALL words. I can't believe Faulkner believed that either, considering he made his living with them. And I'm also writing a blog entry about it, in which words are some of my only tools.

But in class, we had this discussion about when we "talk for the sake of talking." There are times when words don't carry meaning, when they are only "a shape to fill a lack." Throughout Addie's argument she also talks about her husband, who she says has "died." (Which is ironic...) But to Addie, being alive means not just talking. It means doing...having some actions behind the words. Her husband uses a lot of words. But he doesn't do anything to add meaning to them.

I believe that words aren't harmless. Doctrine and history and practice simply disprove that. But I do believe that words can be meaningless. I believe that there is value in silence and in actions. I believe that we should say what we mean and mean what we say. But at the same time, I'm someone who writes and talks as part of the process of figuring things out. So my thoughts aren't always fully articulate until after I say them. I don't know, studying Faulkner has added this new dimension to these thoughts.

To be completely honest, I'm not sure what conclusions I've come to. These are just the Faulkner thoughts that have been churning around in my head this last week or so. But these Faulkner thoughts aren't only related to this words idea. Before we read "As I Lay Dying," Brother Allen had us read Faulkner's acceptance speech for the Nobel Price, and in it he said that "Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it." Which is an interesting idea...shouldn't we learn to deal with adversity? To bear and endure things? As we were discussing the book, we were talking about which of the characters are actually dealing with grief and which are attempting to escape it. Brother Allen stopped and talked for a moment about the birth of his first son. When he was born, he wasn't breathing and there were a lot of complications, and they weren't sure for a few days if he was going to make it. His son is now seven years old and healthy. But seven years later, the memory of his son's struggle coming into the world still hurts him. But he said shouldn't it hurt? Aren't there things that we cannot ever bear? Then he said something that just hit me to the core...he said "The things we cannot bear should make us more alive."

What a profound thought. I've been thinking about it ever since class on Friday. I'm going to come off as slightly angsty here for a minute or two, but things have been hard to bear lately. Classes are kicking my butt, everyone's getting ready to go up to the Playmill, and I won't even talk about the whole romance thing. But I've always known that I cannot learn to bear them without feeling them. I don't think I should get to a point where those things don't ever hurt me at any point. I should heal with time...but I think what I'm trying to say is that there is a tendency to allow the things that we cannot bear to knock us down. I want the things that hurt me to make me more spur me to action, to force me to make changes. There is a time and a place for grief, which cannot nor should not be ignored. I don't plan on ridding my life of that. But in the past, I've sat/walked/driven and hurt, and then tried to go on as before. Maybe I shouldn't be going on as before. Maybe I should be changing something...learning something...more consciously than I have been before.

I'm sure that there's also a lot more to this realization I'm having, but I'm not able to articulate it at the moment. Three cheers for American Literature classes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If you don't read this blog entry, I'll kick you till you're dead.

Top Ten Things I'm Discontinuing:

1. A Top Ten list in every blog entry.

They will still make appearances, but I've decided that there are times when it just doesn't fit. So I'm nixing the tradition I created for myself.

In the mean-time, I invite you to enjoy a little Walken Wonder. Also go check out "Crazy About Fa Fa" if you haven't already. (See bloggy links to your right there yonder.) There are many fun things there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Frosty Sort of Entry, on a Wintry, Blue-ish Day


Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it--it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less--
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars--on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

--Robert Frost, "Desert Places"

The picture is from a walk I took the other day...I followed the railroad tracks and climbed onto an old railcar and watched the sunset. One thing you can give Rexburg credit for--it sure does make walking at sunset pleasant.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rexburg is like a snowglobe. A blizzard in a bubble.

Letter addressed to the city of Rexburg, Weather Dept.

To whom it may concern:

This letter is in response to the unusual amount of precipitation and cold the city has been receiving this winter. As a citizen of Southeastern Idaho, I realize the value of moisture for agricultural purposes. However, many of Rexburg's citizens, myself included, have found that your efforts to avoid drought have been overzealous.

The dangers and negative consequences of your actions are becoming increasingly noticable with the approaching spring. Your raising of daily temperatures is much appreciated. However, because you have refused to do the same in the evenings, all of the snow that melts during the day simply freezes again at night, creating icy patches that present hazards that are both dangerous and occasionally embarrassing to negotiate.

The people of Rexburg also question your plans for snow removal as spring continues to approach. During the winter months, your enthusiasm for snow was clear and generally received without too much negativity. But now that the seasons are changing, members of the community are demanding plans regarding the removal of the gratuitously enormous mountains of snow you have deposited. Please consider that it is mid-March, and there are still piles of snow anywhere from 2 to 15 feet high.

While there have been less qualified candidates filling your position in past years, it would be in your best interest to repair the damage you have brought to the land and citizens of Rexburg if you are seeking re-election next term. It may even be profitable to seriously consider resigning early.

Liz, Rexburg Citizen


Things I Dream Of Lately:
10. Honduras
9. Swimming pools
8. Snow-cones
7. Sleeping outside
6. Running in the sprinklers
5. Otter-pops
4. Walking barefoot comfortably at 10 at night
3. Dresses, skirts, and shorts
2. Motorcycle rides
1. The green beneath the several feet of snow on the ground.

For the record, the city of Rexburg has actually declared a state of emergency this winter and spring. There's just too much snow. No one knows what to do with it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

You're in the right place, Mac

I'm not sure if I'm done vamping up me blog yet. I'm still playing, I think. So if you are wondering what happened to Liz's blog, its still this right here. It just may look a little different every time you visit it for a while.

Just for the sake of posting something besides the "under construction" notice, here's a little youtube mania for you.

In Scotland, they have a word for baby-hungry that we don't have in America--they say you're broody. Annie and I made up our own term as well, before we learned that one, so we say you're suffering from lustis maternis.

Either way, its what I've got.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Been a while, homeslices


Salutations, blog-goers!

I'm sure you're all expecting a nice long detailed chronicle of the cruise, but I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that I had a wonderful time. The bad news is that I simply cannot find the time nor the energy to report all of it to the world wide web on this blog. Sorry all. If you wanna hear stories, talk to me. They're good ones.


I'm going to be here in Rexburg during the summer, working full-time, possibly at Walmart. I'm going to miss the 'Mill, but I'm excited for other people to have the life-changing experiences the Playmill will bring them. I'll also have the opportunity to grow closer to some dear friends during the summer, and who knows what else the summer has in store?

I've re-vamped the ole blogger, as I'm sure you've noticed. Also added some links to blogs of friends and others. Check em out. They're pretty hip.

The semester's more than half over. How did that happen?

That's just about it for today, but I close with a Top Ten.

Top Ten Greatest Things about Winter Semester 2008
1. Apartment 212
2. Seventh roomate
3. The USS Dorcas and her door issues
4. Theatre Awards
5. Comic Frenzy
6. Washington DC
7. Being in a class of Brother Allen's again
8. Obama campaign-rock on, Barack.
9. Cast of "Rashomon"
10. Intellectual conversations

Wow, that was vague. I seem to have lost my blogger's touch. Hopefully only temporarily.

Anyway, here's a bit of a funny thing. We watched "The Graduate" this last week, and for those of you who have seen that lovely Hoffman flick, you will dig this car commercial.