Thursday, December 30, 2010

One of the highlights of the holidays... finding about awesome in-laws that you haven't met yet. Like Uncle Mike. My mother-in-law's brother, who has a degree in English from Oxford University, but who also does the odd gig as a magician. He also does a daily work-out with nunchucks. And he could read his mom's mind at a young age, apparently.

I married into a really awesome family.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Three Poems for Christmas

Here are a few poems for the Christmas season. I don't wax spiritual very often on this blog, but I do have a testimony of the Savior. I am so grateful for His birth, His life, His sacrifice, and His resurrection. Wherever you are, know that God knows and loves you as an individual.

"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth." (Mosiah 4:9)

"The Holy Innocents"
by Robert Lowell

Listen, the hay-bells tinkle as the cart
Wavers on rubber tires along the tar
And cindered ice below the burlap mill
And ale-wife run. The oxen drool and start
In wonder at the fenders of a car,
And blunder hugely up St. Peter’s hill.
These are the undefiled by woman—their
Sorrow is not the sorrow of this world:
King Herod shrieking vengeance at the curled
Up knees of Jesus choking in the air,
A king of speechless clods and infants. Still
The world out-Herods Herod; and the year,
The nineteen-hundred forty-fifth of grace,
Lumbers with losses up the clinkered hill
Of our purgation; and the oxen near
The worn foundations of their resting-place,
The holy manger where their bed is corn
And holly torn for Christmas. If they die,
As Jesus, in the harness, who will mourn?
Lamb of the shepherds, Child how still you lie.

"The Journey of the Magi"
by T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

"Christmas Oratorio" (from "For the Time Being")
by W.H. Auden

Well, so that is that.
Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes -
Some have got broken – and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week -
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted – quite unsuccessfully -
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid’s geometry
And Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
“Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake.”
They will come, all right, don’t worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God’s Will will be done,
That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mexico so far

Three things I've seen:
- a lunar eclipse (even though that was in space, not just in Mexico)
- the COOLEST house my family has EVER lived in
- a two-story Walmart

Three things I've been paranoid about (even though I try hard not to be high maintenance, I'm also a little neurotic):
- scorpions
- food poisoning
- running out of hot water

Three things I've done:
- decorated like, five dozen sugar cookies
- ordered a meal at a restaurant in Spanish (kind of...Mel had to help)
- listened to my husband play the guitar (even though I do that a lot anyway)

Three things I've loved:
- the big porch(es) to view the majestic Mexican scenery from
- seeing family pictures up all over the house
- the fact that my family's current car starts by pressing a button, instead of turning a key

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Relative identity

Sometimes, I get online, and I read through really popular blogs, just to remind myself of who I'm NOT.

And then I realize how judgmental I'm being, and I go do something else to remind myself of what I actually care about...what's actually important. Like my husband. Like warm food. Like helping friends pack and move. Like the frickin' rainforest, or something.

As a blogger myself, the irony of this is not lost on me. But for me and my house, sometimes we have to remind ourselves (I'm using the "royal we" now, just so we're all on the same page) that we have better things to do than read blogs we don't care about to give ourselves a false sense of superiority.

(And just to clarify...that last little dig isn't directed at anyone in particular except for myself. Readers, if you care about what you're reading, please keep reading. I just find myself wasting a lot of time reading things I don't care about online. I needed a good talking to.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I have.

(This post is a little more emotional than usual. But it's my blog. I'll cry if I want to.)

Have you ever become a part of something just as it's ending? (I'm not talking about JB's restaurant.) Something wonderful? Something that might have intimidated or scared you, and just when you finally get the guts to ask to be a part of it, it's over?

Friends don't come easily to me. For the majority of the time, I'm awkward for about two years before I'm actually friends with someone. Girls terrify me, and now that I'm married, I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to be friends with boys. My closest friends now (with the exception of my husband) are people I've known and been close to for a minimum of three years.

So when friends leave, it's pretty damn lame. I'm grateful Jacob is one of my bff's. Because he HAS to stick around.

The thing is, all week I've been telling people "Oh, yeah, this is the easiest finals week of my life! I love it! No final tests or projects, no white glove clean checks, I don't have to pack or's fantastic!" But then, last night I got to spend an evening hanging out with Carrie and Darcy and Brandilyn, and I realized, I mean REALLY realized, that Darc and Carrie are leaving. This weekend. ForEVER. Carrie, who has been my friend since Acting I in Fall of 2004, and Darcy, who I've longed to get to know for YEARS, and just been too shy.

I'm not always good at showing it, but I really love and care about you girls. Thank you for your friendship. Darcy, enjoy being home and on a new adventure. Carrie, you will find your place. You always do. Brandilyn, you and I have got to stick together. We gotta get through this.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Remember this?


Oh hi.

Remember when I used to post poems on here all the days? I wanna do that more. So here are two poems. I'm took a poetry class this semester and my writing has taken a step up, I hope. Here are two compositions based on exercises we did in class.

A Father and Ballerina in a Grocery Store

“She’s beautiful,” she says.
Her arms are long and slender,
and in the tilt of her head,
there is something of the swan.
He cannot take his eyes
away from her neck.
He addresses it shyly.
“She’s new.”
Foolish words, he thinks.
All babies are new.
It’s what defines a baby.
But the woman laughs,
and reaches past him
for a tomato,
and the hairs on his arms do
His daughter’s eyelashes
brush her own cheeks
four times briefly
before she sighs
and turns her head to the side.
They both watch her.

The woman takes
the tiny hand.
“She has a dancer’s fingers.”

“So do you,” he replies.
Foolish, he thinks.
But she smiles at him
and then at the baby.

And for a moment,
he is the prince
and she is the swan
and they are smiling
at their own perfect daughter.

Emilia whimpers
and he remembers his wife.
At home, un-showered,
waiting in sweat pants
for him to return with tomatoes.

I Would Have Married Him Twice

His face seemed four feet tall.
Squinting one eye
(to indicate his emotion),
he curled his lip and growled
“Sus ojos!”

His compadre squinted one eye and drawled
“The Grasshopper, amigo? Is that all we have?”

“Si. That character stuff
was just kind of
my inference on it.”

There was a sign
on the truck out back.
“Do not crawl
under raised body.
It may drop and
kill you.”

“You are the chemical suppression, tio.
YOU are The Grasshopper, amigo.”

“Si. I am the echoes
in the empty lecture hall, compadre.”

One wife turned to the other
and sighed.
“Mi esposo is an absurdist.
Had I known before the wedding…”

* I've never actually slammed. In the poetry sense of the word. I'm intimidated by it, but I wanna try sometime.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Poets, artists, and geniuses

Look at this awesome picture of Jacob's grandpa! He's a sculptor by trade, and a very talented one he is, too. Look at that beautiful sculpture. I'm such a fan of beautiful art.

Check out Ed Fraughton's other work here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let's run away and find the treasure, just the two of us...

Travel Zoo = bad news for a poor college student who gets itchy feet about once a month.

I'm not even that stressed out anymore. The semester's almost over, I don't have any finals, most of my homework's done, and we'll be on our way to visit family in Arizona/Mexico in two weeks. But still. London in 6 days for $599 per person? That's extremely distracting.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Once upon a deviated septum...

I got sick on Sunday. Then I got better on Thursday. Then I got sick again on Friday. But with the same cold/flu that I had on Sunday.

Dear semester, please end so that I can stay in bed and just GET BETTER.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why I write/blog/compose poetry/journal

"You better do it now because you know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life, and during this one life, you should put your words down, and make your voice heard, and then let others hear your voice. And the only way any of that's going to happen is if you actually do it. People can't read the thoughts in your head. They can only read the thoughts you put down, carefully and with great love, on the page. So you have to do it, dammit. You have to do it, and you can step back and be happy."  

--Dave Eggers, pep talk e-mail for NaNoWriMo