Thursday, March 31, 2011

soldiers, cowboys, and such

last week, i had the opportunity to talk to my grandpa johansen for awhile. well, i was mostly listening! i got to hear lots of wonderful true stories about his life. my grandpa served in the army during the korean war, and he told me a lot about his experience in the army. here are a couple of things i learned:

1. at basic training (boot camp), they had all sorts of crazy rules: they had to lace their boots criss-cross on even days, and straight across on odd days, they had to wear certain ties wtih certain shirts on certain days, have their closets and foot lockers lined up in perfect order, and their shirts that were hung up had to be buttoned up all the way. i also remember him saying on another occasion that they had to make their beds with the sheets pulled so tightly that a quarter could bounce on their beds! he said that although some of the rules seemed unimportant, they all served the purpose of training the guys to take orders from their superiors, so when they ended up in combat, they would respond quickly to orders that would save their lives.

2. the guys who rebelled and didn't want to follow all the rules ended up with "kp" duty (kitchen patrol), or had to clean the barracks, instead of having weekends free to go to town or go home. from listening to the stories, i can tell that my grandpa was the type of person who obeyed orders--he said that if you obeyed orders, they pretty much left you alone, so he apparently never rocked the boat.

3. he told me about learning hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting from an indian who had served in the vietnam war, and that they had to learn how to operate all the different types of guns, as well as take apart and put back together their m16s blindfolded, so if their guns jammed at night in combat, they would be able to fix it.

4. when he was in korea, he tripped two land mines, and neither one of them exploded! he was definitely watched over. it blows my mind to think about what would have happened had he not come back from korea--my dad would never have been born, or any of his siblings, or their children, or ME and my sisters. well, i've always thought about what would have happened had my mom married someone else--would i still have been sent to her? how would i have been different with a different dad? food for thought.

after talking for awhile, my grandpa was trying unsuccessfully to find a western on tv to watch, so i turned on "rio lobo" for him, and sat down to watch it with him. my dad also came in to watch it with us. watching the movie with them, i remembered something about growing up: i would always watch westerns with my dad, which is why i have a fondness for john wayne and "lonesome dove" (the greatest western ever made, according to my dad). i think my always watching westerns explains one difference between my sister jessi and i: she has an almost zero tolerance of violence in movies, so when we watch movies together she will think something is really shocking and it won't phase me as much. i'm not saying that really gross stuff doesn't bother me, or that i'm proud of being more desensitized to violence, it is merely an observation. i can pretty much peg it back to john wayne. i might not have played cowboys and indians as a child, but i certainly watched them!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

there's no place like home

it's so nice to jump out of the car after 3.5 hours, stretch, smell the earthy ivins smell, notice how much warmer it is than provo, hold my kitties, and look forward to sleeping in my bed.

this past week in provo was both productive and relaxing. i signed a housing contract for this fall (i'm going to be in a house! i'm so excited; i was so tired of apartments, and i'm looking forward to living with my good friend holly clark!), had an interview for a grad student instructor position, presented a paper at byu's english symposium (which was so much more enjoyable than i expected it to be. not that i expected it to be unenjoyable, but i was pleasantly surprised. and i loved hearing other students present their papers. my favorite part was the creative nonfiction panel--it got me so excited to start grad school this fall and learn from not only the professors but my peers. it's hard not to be intimidated but i'm just looking forward to all that i have to learn.), ate at the cocoa bean twice (i ate entirely too much sugar this week, especially after going for about three months with virtually no sugar on a daily basis. i plan to buckle down this week and go back to my no-processed-or-refined-sugars norm.), loved spending time with jessi (although i'm sure she's relieved to some measure that i'm gone; i kept her up way too late and i'm sure she will be much more productive without my distractions!)

all in all, it was a wonderful week. but i'm glad to be home in the shadow of the red mountain. there's no place like ivins!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the waiting game

life is made up of different types of waiting. right now, i am waiting for:

  • the byu/florida game tonight (in an hour and a half). i've never followed basketball much, but i was intrigued early in the season by the jimmer hype. then i started watching the games, and i am obsessed. i don't even feel bad one bit about how much i am obsessed with byu basketball.
  • the next pirates of the caribbean movie to come out. i'm completely okay with the fact that this pirates movie is sans elizabeth and will; in fact, i think their story is over. jack sparrow's story, though, is never over.
  • the results of my interview with the university writing center. if my interview was a success, i will be teaching english 150: writing and composition to freshman younglings starting this fall when i begin my grad school career. i'm not sure if the interview was successful or not; i walked in and was suddenly very nervous, and had to stop myself from wringing my hands, feeling awkward and overdressed, and stuttering. i did, in fact, ramble, but i hope for the best. i should find out by the first of may.
  • the time when i have enough money to buy a macbook laptop. my sister's laptop crashed recently, and she lost literally everything. i got my laptop at the same time as she did, so i feel like mine is a ticking bomb. a very uncomfortable feeling.
  • SUMMER! if you read this blog with any sort of frequency, you will notice that i'm as obsessed with the coming warm weather as i currently am with jimmer. i have more than one reason to be excited for summer: my sister is doing an internship this summer in seattle, and i am going to visit her!! i've never been to seattle before, so i'm looking forward to it.
  • the next time i will eat a cupcake at the cocoa bean. and the next movie with matt damon in it (i've already seen adjustment bureau twice).
  • the opening of the st george farmer's market in may! fresh produce! and raw cheese from the polygamist farmers! SO GOOD.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

seed sowing

yesterday was a very important day. my mom and i started planting in the garden! we planted carrots, parsnips, turnips, swiss chard, and an assortment of herbs (thyme, oregano, lavender, chives, dill, cilantro, peppermint, lime mint, etc... yum). before too long, we will plant beets, onions, greens, radishes, green beans, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cantaloupe. i'm so excited! oh, and we planted little strawberry plants too.

i've been wanting to learn more about gardening for years, so being at home for a few months lends me the opportunity to become a garden apprentice and follow my mum around in the backyard.

by the way, the forsythia plants are in bloom, which officially ushers in spring. welcome back, warmness! it has truly been too long.

i am currently inspired by all things growing and blooming, by the bright green and yellow and pink of the new season, by the size and shape the different seeds i planted, and by the prospect of fresh organic veggies from our backyard garden. delightful!

the backyard forsythia blooms

Thursday, March 17, 2011

sorry, i've been busy

i had been wanting (craving, even) to read the fablehaven series again for awhile. so, last monday, i started the first book, then a couple days later i finished it, then the second, third, fourth, fifth, and before i knew it, i had finished the entire series in a week and a half.

better than harry potter (i tell no lies!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

patchwork post from a long absence

*first of all, i just wanted to say that i'm a little sad that oranges are on their way out of season (actually, they're probably already out). out-of-season oranges just aren't the same. sad day.

*news: i'm 26 now. that happened on february 20th. i don't know that there's anything exciting about being 26, except that i'm closer in age to a fifty-year-old person than i am to a newborn infant. oh, and 26 is the age of being kicked off my parents' health insurance, yippee!

*a couple of weeks ago, i found out that i got into the creative writing master's program at byu. i am THRILLED about this, though slightly overwhelmed and a little stressed. i was so grateful to get in, especially because this was the only school i applied to. (talk about putting all my eggs in one basket!) i probably should have applied to more than one, but it worked out okay, right? right. along with getting into grad school, i am applying to teach a freshman-level writing class at byu, which is something i was told that most grad students in the english program do. that would be quite the adventure! i think it's something i would enjoy, once i got over the nerves. i was going to blog about the good news right away, buuuuuuut....

*i got sick, so i was miserably attached to a kleenex box for a few days, and i didn't feel like updating my blog. after a few days of being miserable, i started to send positive affirmations to my immune system cells, and i even visualized my immune cells kicking the virus' butt. it must have worked, because i'm just fine and dandy now.

*yeah, i think that's it.