Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Don't Care if I Never Get Back

On Monday night I sat watching my local minor league baseball team play in the rain with the fine folks of my singles' ward and I couldn't help but enjoy a snow cone. Or succumb to people watching. I sat in a seat above the rows of solitary, mismatched adults before me and felt more entertained by the folks in the stadium than the boys on the field. (But then I'm rubbish at sports--it took me two solid innings before realizing that it was okay when the grey team struck out because my team was in white.) (I'm also reading too much brit-lit, apparently. Rubbish?)

I love my ward. I really do. I love it because it is easy. I am comfortable if not somewhat aloof on this particular "island of misfit toys". A little too comfortable and aloof, perhaps. But there I sat next to the roommate, reminded, once again, of how very odd we singles' ward folk can be. People, in general, are quirky and peculiar. But, much like the mate-less socks, the remnants and leftovers of Mormon matchmaking are unique to the extreme.

You see, just as one of the endearing members of our elders quorum broke into his clumsy but ever-so energetic jive of celebration--wildly swinging his arms over the heads of neighboring spectators--and a couple of others bellowed unintelligibly and at odd intervals toward the diamond, and another kept trying to start "The Wave" and one of the sweet sisters started snorting elsewhere with raucous laughter heard within a 50 foot radius at something a boy had said, the stranger behind me spat beer from his shocked mouth (soon to be overcome with hysterical, though much quieter, laughter), I took to heart the full weight of the term "ward family."

I kind of wanted to tell the guy to watch it. I had visions of puffing up my chest and telling him nobody calls my sister that but me.

But I refrained. He'd been drinking. And my bishop was present. And I'm the girl who laughs when men puff out their chests at one another.

Family understands the quirks and odd behavior exhibited by other family members. That which society might consider outside its acceptable spectrum of customs and mores becomes quaint and charming, at the very least unsurprising and almost expected by family members. But family, with its many cogs and components, is one thing within the confines of one's home (or ward house). It is another thing entirely in public. The Public forces one to see with eyes anew: the same eyes that might have been slightly shocked during their earlier days in the ward family. "No," these eyes remind you, "this particular behavior really is just a tad left of normal."

While waiting for my copies in the library at church on Sunday, one of the bishopric counselors' wives asked me why more of us didn't date one another. I stammered out some unintelligible answer like, "You're preaching to the choir, sister." (Because, really, what was I supposed to say to that?) Not long after my mother glowed and chided me as I held a friend's infant son, "Look how he just fits there in your arms! You need to get you one of those." I immaturely rolled my eyes and mumbled something about needing a husband first. (As an aside, my mother never seemed to mind my singleness all that much. Until she realized I was nearly 30. Now it appears--in her eyes--that I've chosen this life.)

I wish there was a way to put into words the panoramic circus from my bird's eye view at the baseball game when these "why-are-you-still-single?" moments strike. I could simply display the scene in detail and point and say: "See for yourself. THIS is why I'm still single. THIS is why we're not dating each other. THIS is why I've yet to provide you with more grandchildren."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

So Much of So Little to Say

1. I like church. Usually. Especially that moment when I finish the Sunday School lesson and don't have to teach for another two weeks.

2. Star gazing up in the canyon is mercilessly hindered with an almost full moon.

3. I don't want to think about the fact that I technically have a mere two weeks of summer vacation left. It creates a colossal pit of dread in my stomach.

4. The annual "Welcome Back Teachers!" letter arrived in the mail only to turn the knife of my summer despair. And don't even get me started on my suck-schedule. The final period of the day is no time for 10 Basic Language Arts. That's all I'm saying.

5. My DVD player has officially left the building. Last night's flick suddenly split-screened and the people turned an eery shade of blue. And my newest Netflix period piece will be here tomorrow. Blast!

6. Remember how
once upon a time I lived life sans air conditioning. This is no longer true, my friends. And I revel in the invention of man-made cold air.

7. Except when the bill comes. Then I might have to turn the thermostat up a degree or five.

8. S'mores from the microwave will never be the same as the real thing. But all that hassle for a fire hardly seems worth it.

9. This is why I need a man in my life: building fires, grilling, and the like. And for fixing things I don't want to figure out how to fix.

10. I am 95% of the way through a book that has annoyed me more than anything else. The problem is that I made it through 50% of the thing and thought I shouldn't give up at that point. I think this is a downside of the Kindle. I feel some sort of strange guilt about simply reading another book (though I've never struggled with this in the past). Perhaps it is that whenever I turn it on, it returns to the page at which I left off leaving me with a sense of obligation. I need help.

11. This has put a cramp in my summer reading list goals. Further evidence that I need help.

12. I attempted self-tanner on my legs recently. I'm still not certain how I feel about this. I think I need to admit to myself that I'm a pale white woman--there is no hope for incandescent-free gams.

13. I won't let this thoroughly destroy my self-image. Because

14. At least I paid off the SOBs of Lane Bryant this month. Once and for all. And if they try and send me another tempting coupon in the mail to lure me in to their den of sinfully overpriced clothing, I'm just going to remember that $50 t-shirts, even with a coupon, are a rip off. See: SOBs wasn't too harsh an invective.

15. Besides, most of the store looks like someone went a little crazy with
The Bedazzler.

16. Furthermore, my alabaster stems don't matter because I'm a kick-A teacher. 90% of my AP students passed their
exam. Over 50% of them had 4's and 5's. I will continue to brag about this all year. Even if they're the ones who accomplished such a feat.

Peace out,
The Rookie
(who happens to be enjoying her summer too much for it to be over already)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Few Thoughts for Sunday

"The sharp, side-by-side contrast of the sweet and the bitter
is essential

until the very end of this brief, mortal experience.

Meanwhile, even routine, daily life provides sufficient sandpaper to

smooth our crustiness and polish our rough edges, if we are meek."

"Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough,
amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences.
Rather than simply passing through these things,
they must pass through us and
do so in ways which sanctify these experiences for our good."

~ Neal A. Maxwell

Source found here. (Do yourself a favor, read it!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bloody Brilliant Cover

Record Club: INXS "Never Tear Us Apart" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

And I will wear it as a badge of honor

I write like
Jane Austen

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Go here. Copy and paste something you've written (I used my "Conversations with My Mother" post.) Wait a few seconds and see which famous writer you write like. It is all in good fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Comes After (or "I Clean Off My Point & Shoot")

This weekend, there may have been hiking:

I might have wasted my time stalking a few of these fellas with the point and shoot
(resulting in what is, perhaps, the world's worst wildlife photography):
(I might've laughed at myself later for it.)


I could've attended a bridal shower that I chose not to record with any images.
(But I might tell you all about it later.)


I probably taught Sunday School.
And maybe I flirted with someone at church.
(I'll likely never fess up.)


The bestie and I possibly made a last minute decision after church
to make the commute north for the fireworks at my/our alma mater.

There was probably some game-playing:
(We are, in truth, far over 21)

And maybe we goofed off with the camera waiting for the show to begin:

(Until I realized the camera was zoomed...)

(ahhh, that's much better!)

I probably cropped the above photo so that you can't see
the spectacle of the painfully hormonal adolescent pair behind and to the left of me.
(And let it be known that my future children are never attending the fireworks unchaperoned.) (Period.)

I certainly appreciated this spectacle while waiting for the fireworks:

And maybe I took the following picture last night, or maybe on the 4th of July...2007.
You'll never know.


Perhaps one day I'll get around to posting
about my excursions in the red rock a couple of weeks ago:

And how it was miserably hot in Grand Wash (that smile is only because I'm in the shade)

Or how I probably snap too many photos of sunsets:

Or how I made roasted tomato & eggplant pizza on a whole wheat crust from scratch.
I'll let you read that again: from scratch. And it worked!

But if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Every Girl Needs an Older Brother

Note two things typical of my brother:
1. the peregrine falcon on his hat
2. smiling for the camera is not allowed (all that money to the orthodontist and who'd know it?)

I've been thinking about my somewhat stinky, irreverent, big brother lately. (Yes, I technically have two older half brothers, but when you grew up in the same house as Mom's kids, there's something about shouting "I'm going to kill you!" whilst chasing an individual with a blunt object in hand that tends to bond you for the long term.)

Richard, Rich, Rico, Ricardo the Retardo: call him what you may, I kind of like the guy. In spite of the "covered wagons"--or that entire summer he worked the rides at a local amusement park, then chased me, hand extended with a freshly removed sweaty, smelly sock at the end of each dry-heat-of-July-please-keep-your-arms-and-legs-inside-the-ride-at-all-times day. I will never forget the odor of 16-year-old boy feet. Sometimes it walks into my classroom and gives me the dry heaves.

But, merciless teasing and obnoxiousness aside, I'm glad I had an older brother. Why, you may ask? Because I'm convinced he made me exponentially cooler. Take for instance music: the day my big brother walked into my Donny, Jordan, Danny, Jon, and Joey (NKOTB, anybody?) plastered bedroom and shook his head in disgust, I felt entirely ashamed. While he made out with his girlfriend in the other room while "watching" Pink Floyd's The Wall, I was removing posters from my wall. Richard introduced me to R.E.M., The Smiths, Depeche Mode, and artists far cooler than my tweenish Bop! musical preferences allowed. And while I've yet to "get" jazz or his leaning toward the heavy metal genre, I never feel so music-taste-inclined as when my brother asks for the name of "that band".

An older brother also introduces a girl such as myself to The Man Classics: Movies Every Red-Blooded American Male should Watch Before Dying. Had I not obediently viewed every episode of Star Wars, I'd probably be disowned. I also seem to recall spending hours watching James Bond marathons on TBS because he insisted it was an "important part of [my] education". Yep, I'm the girl who catches allusions to "Jaws" as a film character, not only as the classic 70's thriller. A few years ago I spent a week recovering from a back injury. Richard sat me down to watch the entirety of his extended bonus edition The Lord of the Rings Trilogy including all bonus features, interviews, makings of, and so forth. A week of Middle Earth and muscle relaxants with my brother. He repaid the favor by watching all of the 6-hour BBC Pride and Prejudice. (Don't let his love of comic book film adaptations fool you, he's a softy-romantic at heart.)

The coolness my brother instilled in me lies not only in my thorough education of man-oriented pop culture, but in so much more. He made snow forts with me in the winter. He'd sometimes agree to play Barbies with my sisters and me (always taking the roll of the one-armed, one-legged bald Barbie who'd overcome her disabilities to become an architect--designing our Encyclopaedia Britannica house). He allowed me to play "swords" (read: my mother's carved down broom handles) with him, attacking dragons (bushes) and like tomfoolery. I have scars because of him. He let me tag along on dates with him and his many high school era girlfriends. (Granted, his kindness to his baby sister probably helped him sell his softer side to the ladies.) As brothers go, he wasn't that bad.

So, Richard, if you're reading: even though you enjoy bird watching and online gaming and tell dirty jokes in mixed company and unwisely disagree with me politically and stink more than most and didn't do the dishes when you were supposed to growing up, I'm glad you're my brother. There is so much good in you, and I hope you remember that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

In Which I Reveal My Petty Side

* Even the lovely Bette Davis had her turn as an Old Maid.

Old Maid-dom occurs when one's niece weds before she does. Yep. July 30th is the official date of the crap-tastrophic wedding (and I can say this because NONE of her family bothers reading my blog--that would require actually bothering to know me, I suppose).

The dear tried to tell me and bestie at a family get together last night that I "have no idea all that goes into planning a wedding!" Oh honey, have you never heard that little saying always a bridesmaid, never a bride?

I know. Believe me, I know. (Unlike your mother who wedded in 1989. You know: that wedding you're using as a model for your own reception.)

I'm just saying that in 29 years of single-dom I've attended or been a part of my fair share of weddings. Surely I could've been utilized for more than gift table duty.**

**Proof that outdated, unnecessary 80's Mormon wedding traditions will be leaking into this affair.

Thursday, July 1, 2010