Wednesday, November 16, 2011

just thought i'd mention

i'm going to try and stay as composed as possible while i tell you that i'm going back to ENGLAND! :D

next summer, for 3 months, doing a field study (basically independent study. i'll be creating my own syllabus and such--so reading and writing mucho)

oh, and i almost forgot to mention. i'll be there for the OLYMPICS! i'm such an olympic nut. i love the olympics almost as much as i love england. i love my life.

bless me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

on companionship

Today, I'm grateful for good friends and food--rather, eating good food with friends. Good food and good friends. Let me 'splain.

Last night I realized at about midnight that I still had a redbox movie I needed to return, so my roommate Paige was kind enough to accompany me to the nearest redbox to return Captain America, and when we got back I had the sudden urge to make guacamole. It didn't come out of nowhere, because I had three ripe avocados waiting to be eaten, but making guacamole at midnight isn't something I usually do. Well, since I've been in grad school I'm up at all sorts of odd and unearthly hours, eating irregular meals and such. So I guess it wasn't that unusual. Just not a typical midnight food. Anyway, I didn't have any onions so I improvised with garlic (not as good as onions, but it worked), threw in some lime juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil (I didn't have oregano, which I usually use) and yum. Paige and I ate it with blue corn chips while talking about centipedes and other things, and it was quite a marvelous time.

And today, after my first two classes, my friend Laura and I decided to go get food while working on an assignment for the Intro to Grad Studies class. We got banana chocolate chip bread, which was good (but not as good as Laura's), and sat next to each other and worked on our assignments. It doesn't sound like anything monumental, and it wasn't, but there's something peaceful about being right next to a friend and, even though we're working on our laptops, sharing food and talking. We talked about her gratitude for a patient husband, and my hope for a husband someday who is also patient. We talked about marriage, and that it's such a miracle when it happens, that it makes sense that it happens for some sooner than for others.  And so on.

Maybe what I'm getting at is the gift of companionship. Being single and twenty-six could mean being bitter or hopeless that I'm not married. I've tried on that idea and it doesn't fit very well, because I can't ignore the fact that I have so many things to be grateful for, like the companionship of wonderful friends to eat good food with, or the hope that someday I will get married, because I definitely want to get married. I'm just happy with where I am in life and what I am doing, so there's no need to pine. But there is always a need to hope.

Meanwhile, I am also grateful for slippers and essays by GK Chesterton.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

i wonder about humanity, sometimes

like this week, for instance. I feel like I've spent a lot of time examining other people's faults, and I know exactly what this isn't advisable: because when you look for the faults of some, that becomes all you look for. I'm not exactly proud of this, but when someone hurts one of my sisters, I'm usually the first one in line to throw a punch. And when two of my sisters gets hurt in one week, I have a hard time forgetting it. I find that it's much easier to forgive someone who wrongs me than it is to forgive someone who wrongs someone I'm close to. And when it's one of my sisters, forget it. Let me use the words of Mr. Darcy: "I find it hard to forgive the follies and vices of others, and their offenses towards me [insert--my sisters]. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever." Sounds harsh, yes, but I'm trying to be honest here. Like I mentioned, if someone causes me pain, I do my best to give them the benefit of a doubt. I'm not so charitable in other circumstances.

This week was typical for me (full of stress, but still happy), but it was a bad week for my baby sister. Well, she's not a baby, she's sixteen. But she is the baby of the family, which means when she gets hurt then she has five older sisters to beat up anyone who tries to cross her. I only wish it were that easy, though. I don't really need to get into the meat of it, but imagine being betrayed by almost every single friend you have in one week, and you would get somewhere close to what my sis went through this week. One particular friend, who has in the past been my sister's really good friend, I shall simply call Regina George in this post. She has been especially vicious, talking about my sister behind her back, hosting parties several times without bothering to invite my sister. For these and other reasons Regina is, to put it mildly, a wench.

Anyway, I don't understand why my sister has been thus treated by her "friends." It is, of course, in the nature of older siblings to protect and defend their younger siblings to the death, but listen to this anyway: how many sixteen year olds can carry on an intelligent conversation about subjects like politics, music, history, and literature? how many have memorized the entire Declaration of Independence when they are twelve years old? and read most of Shakespeare's plays? and remember off the top of their heads that the 10th Amendment is about the states' rights? and play the piano like nobody's business?

Not too many teenagers are quite that bright. And it's not just that! She has so much integrity! and faith! and determination! and I don't usually put this many exclamation points in one post!

I'm not trying to rant. Then again, maybe I am, because another one of my sisters was very hurt and disappointed by a good friend this past week too. And I don't think there are many more things on earth that make me angrier than that. I guess it's just hard because I've been through similar experiences, and I know how much it, well, sucks. But I know that it was in such times that I grew closer to my family, and realized how grateful I was for parents and sisters and dogs and cats and books and mountains and chocolate. And new friends. The "tender mercies" of the Lord, in other words. It was in times like those that I found scriptures like this one:

"...have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." (Alma 34:41)

and this one:

"They friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." (D&C 121:9)

So maybe instead of spending my time railing on my sisters' terrible friends, I could spend time encouraging, and uplifting, and giving hope. Because I turned out okay, right? If I could do it, then they certainly can, who are smarter and nicer (and better looking) than I am.

Regina George is still a wench. Arg, changing for the better is not always easy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

you choose: palm reading or cleaning the house

So, I may or may not have spent this evening reading my roommates' palms. I'm not a professional by all means, but a little creativity and internet access can go a long way. We spent way too much time (ha! what am I talking about? roommate bonding time is an important activity to engage in) reading palms when we could have been cleaning the house--because we have cleaning checks tomorrow.

Cleaning checks. Let me tell you what I think about them:

Ahem. Cleaning checks are absolutely ridiculous. That's all.

Well, not really all. My roommates and I are pretty clean already, so it's not like cleaning checks are a huge ordeal, but I would rather clean when I want to clean. Plus, mid-week cleaning checks? really? por favor!

Anyway, so back to palm reading. I got my palm read last year when I was in London--I simply couldn't pass up the quintessential gnarled gypsy woman reading palms--but I felt a little ripped off because she spent the first five minutes of my palm reading chasing down a guy who had taken pictures of her booth and forcing him to delete them. And then fetching security to make the guy delete the pictures. By the time she got back to me, she was so grouchy I'm pretty sure I didn't get my money's worth.

Granted, I don't buy that palm reading is accurate, but I'm curious enough about it that I want to go again. In short, I'm still a little bit obsessed with it. Anyone want to join me in my next palm-reading adventure?