Saturday, November 20, 2010
Unlike many of my other characteristics, I think this one is something everyone should have a share of in their lives. I mean, I can barely turn my head before I find something new to dazzle me.
That lumpy mass of tissue in your skull is sending electrical signals across synapses to different lumps of tissue and causing you to comprehend what you're reading, and have conscious thoughts about it. Consciousness is being regulated by chemicals and electrical signals.
Men can sprout hair from their faces.
There is a common domesticated animal that you probably refer to as a cat, or a kitty. However, it is also known as a gato, a katze, a kotka, a kočka, a kat (in two languages), a pusa, a kissa, a γάτα, a macksa, a köttur...
...and the list goes on. (Bless you, Google Translate).
Humanity has changed so little that there are books written up to 2,000 years ago and more that still touch our hearts.
I've been given ways to interact with my world. I can touch it and smell it. I can hear the sounds it makes.
To express that something is amusing, people open their mouths and say "Ha" in consecutive sequences until they are not amused any more.
There are people that understand math so well, they can teach it to other people.
Adults with masters' degrees can be dense and foolish and out of touch with the world, but a child can bear the wisdom of God in their mouths without even realizing what they've done.
Children are entertained by colorful drawings moving across a television screen (especially if they have high-pitched voices).
Women are entertained by hanging shiny pieces of metal from their earlobes.
People take wild shrubbery from their yards or local hardware stores, put them inside containers, and place them inside their houses so that they can be observed by the people living there. No wonder the houseplants are plotting against us.
Anyway...the world is awesome!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This story begins in a dimly lighted church sanctuary, where a bedraggled team of musicians rallied their last ounces of strength to carry on into the night. They had been practicing for a concert every week without wavering, and this final practice, the culmination of all their hope, had endured for nearly four hours and driven most of the team unto exhaustion. Happiness, that capricious and feeble partner, had deserted them long ago. Some had resigned that their death would take place that exceptional twilight. However, the fate of the concert—and perhaps the world—lay in their aching hands.
They were a motley band, led by a young man of unmatched stature no older than eighteen. He bore himself with all the calculating nobility of manhood and the unfettered, wild ambition of youth. The band had grown closer in skill and purpose under his thoughtful tutelage. While he was a deeply respected leader, he sacrificed whatever was required to pursue his cause with every piece of his heart—even the affection of his followers. They had learned to not stop at what they were able to do; but to do whatever was necessary.
As vigor and optimism faded with the night, one man— a trumpeter and a beloved father of three dignified sons—turned his thoughts to his youngest child, who was scarcely more than an infant. He approached their leader.
“I have to go change a dirty diaper,” the father stated.
The leader glanced at him with concern and replied, “I didn’t know you wore a diaper.”
Friday, September 3, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
This should be preceded by saying that Luke, the sixteen-year-old, is completely kind and chivalrous. I appreciate Luke; what makes this story so ironic and funny is that the one time he slipped up, Fate was there to give him a vigorous noogie.
Once upon a time, Luke decided to spend 72 hours awake for the fun of it and the elite glory of being able to claim he had done so. At the time this story occurred, he had been awake for 32 of his allotted hours. In brief, he was exhausted. He, his brother (my Levi!), myself, and another young gentleman that was to join him on his somnolent journey congregated at McDonald's for a short quiescence. There was general fun at McDonald's. Then we decided to go to the library. (Fun fun fun!)
This is where the tense complications take place: We're headed out the door. If I remember all this correctly, I walk out, Luke and his friend come out next, followed by an elderly German lady wearing a track suit, while Levi holds the door open for us all (win!)
The woman stops Luke and the other young man in their tracks and gives them a pretty epic speech that goes something like this, just to cover the high parts:
"To be a gentleman means to be gentle to all men, women, and respect the elderly. When there is a woman coming through the door, you do not walk in front of her. You hold open the door for her and let her go first as he did"--(gestures to Levi. Double win, dude.)
The speech went a little longer and Luke stared at German track suit lady numbly with bloodshot eyes. He listened very attentively, respectfully and also looked a little frightened, and, needless to say, I was about to lose it. Levi and I made an escape towards the car as the German accent faded out of earshot.
So, to review the scores:
Monday, August 9, 2010
For instance, the time about three years ago when all the people on our dirt road decided to get together for a "block party." What this meant was that, since our house was located on this road, we were qualified to attend a gathering of lonely, socially deprived people, sitting in lawn chairs, holding styrofoam plates of food, staring at each other with hungry eyes. I'm what you would call an introverted person. I was dragged to aforementioned party whimpering just moments after my teddy bear was ripped from my fingers. A flogging or a bath in warm acid would have been preferable for me. We drove a few miles down the road to the destination of our party. I watched the billows of dust rise into the air behind our car and hoped that my dread was unfounded.
All I'm gonna say is that I hate it when I'm right.
A few minutes into our visit, I met a very sweet and ambitious elderly lady who determined after our brief exchange that I was her grandson's soul mate. We spoke for several minutes about how ravenously wonderful and attractive her grandson was, as well as how compatible I would be with said Prince Charming (the fact that I owned an ATV sealed his heart).
P. Charming showed up about an hour later. How can I describe him?
About 5'8. Oily. Relatively overweight. Oozing with bad attitude.
We were introduced and Mr. Charming looked at me as though he would enjoy seeing lightning bolts strike me in the face. Apparently this was not the first time Grandma had played matchmaker for him and he didn't like the look of me or my face. He took one look at me and found something else to do. I praised God as he escaped me, to the chagrin of his grandmother.
The funniest part of this story is when Grandma tracked him down and spoke to him very forcefully and aggressively. It was undoubtedly about me because immediately afterwards he gave me a withering death glare and returned to his friends.
My evening culminated in a vigorous game of "Gotcha" with the golden retriever chained up in the backyard.
Of course, there are other memorable days in a young girl's life. Like the time when I learned that my brother and I had been using the same toothbrush for some weeks without either of us realizing it.
When your routines never cross, bad things can happen.
Bring it on, life.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I enjoyed my visit with you today tremendously. And to see all of you again at the bookstore--so many in one place! I had forgotten how much I feel myself when I am in your refreshing and comforting presence. Forgive me for neglecting our friendship for so long. I have missed to smell your pages, touch your illustrations, giggle and sigh with your turning moods. It is amazing and touching to me to see your authors' gem of creativity--the different ideas, as different as their personalities!--finally crowned on the shelf for me, and all other readers, to enjoy.
Nothing shall replace you!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
LEVI: Hey! Instead of getting two sandwiches, do you want to just get one big one?
ME: Oh! Sure.
LEVI: Ooh! (pointing to photograph of large, delectable sandwich) That looks really good.
ME: (noticing how wide and long aforementioned sandwich is as it scales boldly out of its wrapper, dreaming of pleasant toasty fullness) Yeah. Ok, let's get that one.
LEVI: (to Quizno's employee) Ok, we're gonna get a Torpedo.
QUIZNO'S EMPLOYEE: Which one?
LEVI: Uhh, an Italian, please.
(Quizno's employee gently and unassumingly extracts a piece of bread that would be frightened of a hot dog bun and begins to put the ingredients of an Italian sandwich on it).
ME'S THOUGHTS: Oh my gosh! That cute little thing wants to be a sandwich when it grows up! We have been deceived!!
(Levi and Emily share a stricken glance)
LEVI: Um, do you want to get two?
ME: Um...yeah. Oh yeah.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Our pool contains a removable set of plastic steps; hollow so that they can hold two sand bags about as heavy as sin. I imagine that sin is also covered with an inch of algae, so that's something else they have in common. Every autumn, these steps and the sand bags attract leaves and algae, according to the laws of the universe that state that nothing enjoyable will ever come easy, and accumulate about an even inch of scum on every square millimeter of its surface. Even when the pool is covered I can guarantee that the steps will be unrecognizable by the time April comes around.
It is therefore the task of we, the pool owners, to extract the steps from the pool. This may strike you as relatively simple, and it probably should be, but certain authority figures over me determined that it would be better to keep the 70-pound sand bags in their place (to keep them from feeling any nervousness or discomfort, of course.)
Yesterday afternoon I set my determination upon cleaning these steps, since I am the right size to climb inside the steps and have acquired the proper agility and disregard for my health to do so. I was armed with nothing more than a scrub brush and a real bad attitude, which science has proven scares the pants off most microscopic animals. In an effort to dress appropriate to my task, I was wearing a fashionable pink sundress.
I worked on the outside of the steps for about an hour and found that a maniacal sawing motion yielded the greatest results. As I set about scrubbing the inner portions of the plastic, I avoided thinking about many things, such as how accurately I was beginning to resemble a child's rendering of a dinosaur (that is, pink with green polka dots. Lots of green polka dots.)
I also avoided thinking about the illustrations of bacteria I had seen in Biology 207, which at that moment were most likely having a nice tea and chat underneath my fingernails.
Similarly, it never crossed my mind that the thing alternatively smelled like a river and an outhouse.
I was rewarded in the end by seeing the textured white underneath begin to shine through. And I don't think I've ever been more grateful for a shower.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
So, my logical reflection culminated something like this--"I am a mommy to my stuffies" (translation: stuffed animals) "therefore I am a mother."
With poignant sentiment and nobility, I stood up beside my mom hoping no authority figures would particularly notice. Everything was going just splendidly when I felt my dad's hand on my shoulder and heard the gentle rebuke: "Emily, sit down."
I sank back down into the pew as appreciation, recognition and small gifts descended on the mothers around me, feeling, to my surprise, justly disciplined. I fended off a feeling of embarrassment with the sudden overwhelming assurance that what was taking place was good and acceptable.
The point? There are many imitators and some alternatives, but nothing can compare to the fierce love and friendship of a mom.
I love you, Mom!
Friday, April 30, 2010
For those of you who felt a swell of indignation towards these inattentive little devils, here's my question: can you blame them?
Church is flipping boring!
God is incredibly exciting.
We have given our kids two options...be bored with religion or give yourself to the shifting, vaporous, but brightly colored(!) secular world.
Here's my second question: did Jesse McCartney die or is he just not Justin Bieber? Did Rick Springfield fall into a wood chipper or is he just not Jesse McCartney? (Come to think of it, he was into Jessie's Girl. That will be very funny for a few elite.)
The more I think about it, the more I want dip my head in a vat of boiling acid. Listen to me, you people on the earth: you want--you need--to feel something. The Church has betrayed you so deeply for not offering you what would truly unlock your heart.
So what's going to set off the spark in your soul? God. The real God who doesn't care much about what chair, church, body, or country you're in, but cares alot about what you give your attention to.
Friday, April 16, 2010
What's even better is when my jaw is dislocating from opening my mouth so wide, and the hygienist asks me a question about my family or tells me a funny joke. I then request for them to remove my lower jaw and set it aside for later.
Considering braces? Here's what you need to know:
1. Can't fit your teeth together? Have to fend off starvation with mashed potatoes and tomato soup? That's perfectly normal! And...you'll lose weight!
2. Those little white sores in your mouth that burn like a kiss from the dark side? They're called canker sores. Use your provided wax.
3. You will want to refrain from engaging in sports that engage your face, including horseplay. Someone could unwittingly get the inside of your cheeks caught on the precarious wires sticking out of your brackets, etc. This is also perfectly normal and again calls for wax.
As you can obviously tell, I am perfectly enchanted with my braces.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
As far as the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world in the year 2012, all I will say is this: for the Mayans, the world did end. Just...way before they thought.
I did something funny with one of my friends last week. His name is Luke (he's Levi's brother), and in my opinion, we foster a healthy amount of competition between us. (All in good fun. That little dweeb). I was at his house and he had a class he and his brother had to drive to and were scrambling to get ready for, all the while trying to finish homework for aforementioned class.
I was amused because they were still sitting in their computer room 5 minutes til.
The college is about a mile from their house, barricaded by two streetlights that stay red longer than the guitar solo in "Free Bird." So...the tiny mice in my head began to run more rapidly on their tiny treadmills. Here's the thing--their mom makes a macaroni and cheese recipe that makes the heavens open and angels come down and do the cha-cha on my tongue.
I bet Luke a Tupperware basin of macaroni and cheese that he would be late for his class. However, if he won the bet and made it to class before the lecture began, he would get all the pennies in my room.
Luke has second-child syndrome. When challenged in any degree, whether it be chugging, math, poetry, music, spitting, or freestyle nunchaku, there is a latent beast that roars inside him to win. I should have realized that I was challenging the speed of a young man who can run 13 miles and carries buckets of rocks on his head for fun.
He won the bet. A whole $1.12.
Excuse me while I stifle a giggle.
Friday, March 19, 2010
www.i-cynic.com or, The Cynic's Sanctuary. It's headed up by a guy named Rick Bayan who wrote a book, and you may well spend part of your time on the site avoiding promotions for it (funny, tasteful promotions, mind you). It's good for occasional visits, featuring gems like Monthly Tirades, 714 Things to Be Cynical About, and the Misery Scale. Those who see value and entertainment in pessimists, the British, brutal honesty, and A Series of Unfortunate Events have found their home. Be prepared for the occasional lewd remark.
www.despair.com is the home of Demotivational Posters. You know those posters they hang in offices that feature a pretty picture and some kind of "motivational" saying at the bottom? Well, the friendly people at Despair, Inc. have turned the tradition on its head, and it rocks. Check it out--even optimists find them hilarious.
Speaking of optimists, I did promise that I would tell you more about my nifty guy, who happens to epitomize the bright side. His name is Levi, and he is......well, I happen to think he is somewhat magnificent. I met him when I was about a week away from my 15th birthday at the first practice of a play we were both in. The play is not important,* nor the roles we had,** but what is important is that we basically became friends right away. The rest, as some ethereal collective "them" says, is history.
He likes WWII, movies with complex stories, and Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its. He also likes connecting with people (especially funny ones) and humans who are completely genuine. He is full of compassion and integrity, insight and imagination, zeal and curiosity. He is friendly, adventurous, creative, loyal, and sensitive. He is taken, taken, and taken.
Another person in the inner circle of your life really, really matures you. God certainly did it that way on purpose and I like it.
*Taming of the Shrew, one of Shakespeare's more popular comedies
**He was Lucentio and I was Hortensio
Sunday, March 14, 2010
You know what i mean when i say 'my show!' it's the one that makes you squeal when someone you just met mentions it offhand, and also compels you to cling like a crazed, starved hyena to the ones in your acquaintance who can quote it.
i've been searching my whole adolescence for 'my show.' then squish! (using boom is so overrated) there it is, tossed right out in front of me as though to say, "what took you so long?"
My show is THE OFFICE. oh! have you ever seen a more splendid smorgasbord of delicious antics? it's like dilbert, only more attractive and it moves across your television screen. the media wields such power: now, when someone says something unequivocally stupid, i stare off into space with wide, incredulous eyes, consequently prepared at any moment for a television camera to capture my moment of jim. What's that? who's jim, you say? you don't know who jim is? say it just a little louder? i want the whole internet to smell the reek of your ignorant breath!
however, here's my recommendation: don't overdose. i found myself binging on the dvd of season 3, and as a result, i watched four consecutive episodes uninterrupted and most of the bonus features. to give you an idea of the effects of many hours of the office, consider this: i googled the symptoms of hangover--fatigue, headache, dizziness, thirst, decreased attention and concentration. to put it simply...i think i got a hangover from too much tv.
reflecting on the power of the media, i was just remembering today when i was 7 years old and i made speed racer my imaginary friend. Important to note here is that i'm not talking about the flick from 2008, which i attempted to watch part of and would have thrown up if i had cared (as it was i gagged a little). i am talking about the animated vessel of awesome that used to come on cartoon network. does anyone else remember that? anyway, speed and i had a great relationship. he always agreed with me, as well as taking me around in his car.
what was i saying about hangover? aw, never mind.
Who else besides a writer can claim that their eyes see into the dark labyrinth of the human soul with such aching clarity, and simultaneously perceive man's ability to aspire to almost angelic heights? Just meditate for a moment on Jane Austen--she is a masterful storyteller; powerful and memorable due to her insight into the human creature and its frequent silliness.
Argue as you like, but reality sells.
Take a moment to review the culmination of Austen's life: here we have Jane and all her unique and lovely intuition, writing a ray of light onto the heart of the woman and creating love stories that many would sell their grandmother on the black market to participate in. The irony? Austen dies having never married.
The power and the curse of the writer--and any other cynics out there--is their perspective on the world. The true writers I've met are disenchanted with the shallow water that others spend their time wading in, and as a result live deeply fascinating inner lives. I like that.
Although embarrassingly far away from Austen's eloquence, I identify with her mindset. Seeing the world with clarity will leave you profoundly satisfied or just plain disgusted. I am convinced to the inky depths of the pieces of my heart that the deeper facets of the soul has great power that must be embraced.
Speaking of which: doesn't it seem like this generation of teenagers worships one being able to distinguish themselves? How contradictory is it to strive to be totally unique, and concurrently hope to find a mate and a group of "their people" that shares their values? The rebels should tip their hat to the establishments they despise, because without them, there would be no contrast and therefore no distinctiveness. I knew this girl who would accidentally trip as often as she could and lay on the ground, encouraging others by her wide, searching eyes and giggle, to tease her over her clumsiness. I knew another boy who would make a point of wandering off mysteriously into dark hallways when he knew people were watching him.
Is there a better way to distinguish yourself? I hope so.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I'm a secretary at my church. My duties are many and vary from day to day, all at the fingertips of a boss whose pace of life would render any weaker vessel helpless, moaning, and eternally scarred sucking one's thumb in the corner of a dark room.
I have a desk and an office that I actually need and use--for the first time in my life. I have a phone that people call me on and ask questions. I have a comfy office chair that rolls around, and I can put my feet up against my desk and launch myself in aforementioned chair across the room.
So let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a little child named Emily. She was ravishingly attractive and talented and wise. But there was a deep and dark evil swelling over the verdant fields of EmilyLand. Without warning, little Emily would be overtaken by this evil and have the urge to throw all her books, dirty clothes, money, remnants of meals, electronic gadgets, and other essential items on the floor of her bedroom, and really any other horizontal surface she encountered. The bathroom was left ravaged. The kitchen groaned under the weight of spills and dirty dishes. The living room gasped for air between the piles of schoolbooks. Despite the suffering of these rooms and other horizontal surfaces, Emily's reign of terror beat on without restraint. Noble citizens of the land contended for cleanliness, but as the child grew toward adulthood, her neurosis prevailed and merely became more crafty. Little Emily assumed all would be well....until she got a job! BAH BUM BAH!!!!
The bold pile of everything I need to do that day on my desk looks like a deeply disturbed kleptomaniac lives under the copy machine.
So what does this have to do with the American psyche?
Yesterday afternoon, I was beginning to have a pretty stressful day. I didn't have much time left before I had to take off and go to a four and a half hour long class, and I still had alot to do. So I'm attempting to tackle one of these tasks when I notice the desk. It was the final blow to my state of mind.
I reflected miserably for a few moments on how unfit I was for the job, simply because I was so disorganized. I talked to my mom/the clerk, and she shared how insecure she was in the fact that she hadn't worked for years and she felt like the billows were close to crashing over her.
So many people live in fear--the fear of rejection, the fear of failure, the fear of missing their destiny. How often have you wondered whether the course you were taking was really the one that would lead you to happiness? Whether the people you love have ulterior motives? I remember wondering if I was going to end up a discontent middle-aged housewife trying to figure out if what she has is the American dream and suspecting that it surely is (and isn't all it's cracked up to be).
Would you be the person you are today if you didn't base your motives on fear? What would happen if you never made another decision out of insecurity?
Thus are my reflections.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I want to, and must believe, that my thoughts are somehow significant and relatively humorous. For instance...
I had a stack of Ritz crackers and a Starbucks frappuccino for lunch (not because of any particular weight gain concerns, mind you) and I noticed on the side of my bottle of coffee that you could visit a website--www.starbuckscoffeeonthego.com. Popular culture had failed to tell me that there was some other way you could enjoy Starbucks coffee besides "on the go."
Oh, and if you're interested in the website, don't bother. I'll share the important part with you here:
Whatever it is, wherever it is, share your uniquely delicious experience with us and receive $1 off your next bottled Frappuccino® Coffee Drink.
Perhaps heartless capitalism is the meaning of life.