Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How I'll Spend My Thanksgiving Break

Guys, I have three days off this week. Normally I don't like downtime, but it's due, so I'll take it gladly. Lots of people have asked me how I'll spend my Thanksgiving time. The short answer is "alone, and I'm happy that way." People often don't accept that and ask, "what could you possibly be doing to make that so enjoyable?" so here are my plans, in no particular order:

1) Paint my ugly stairwell. Whoever lived in our apartment before we did decided that nothing makes white walls more attractive than brown and grey sponge texturing detail. This makes me think that the previous tenants were cave creatures or Fraggles or something who think that water damage and mold are tres chic. After living with the ugly for over two years, I'm going to repaint the whole thing bright white. I've already spackled in preparation for this. I'm a spackling machine.

2) Eat cinnamon rolls and grapefruit for breakfast while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This was a tradition I started at BYU when I'd often spend Thanksgivings alone. I'd get the amazing Rhodes rolls that I think they only sell in Utah and other Mormon-heavy places, pop them in the oven, and eat way too many of them while watching the parade. The grapefruit stems from when I was in college and my mom sent me giant grapefruit care packages for the holidays that I didn't go home, and also, I love grapefruit.

3) Watch "Legally Blonde: the Musical." I saw this on MTV for the first time on Thanksgiving of 2007, and since then, the musical and the holiday are linked in my mind. And plus Christian Borle is sooo dreamy!

4) Make (and eat) only the Thanksgiving foods that I like. I actually don't like Turkey all that much. I was a vegetarian for a while when I was a teenager and didn't really miss it then either, so really, I can do without it. I'm going to make stuffing from scratch (that's right), gravy, cranberry sauce (I'm just going to be lazy and use the canned stuff here, but I do make a mean from-scratch version for public consumption), sweet potatoes (sans marshmallows), and in lieu of pie, pumpkin ice cream. I've really got to go to the store sometime before Thursday.

5) Clean my house somewhat more thoroughly than I've been cleaning it in the recent past.

6) Watch some stupid movies. Not sure which ones yet, but maybe I'll Redbox something.

7) Sleep in longer than anyone else on Black Friday.

Enjoy your Thanksgivings, everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doomy Eyes

I'd call Victor von Doom an expert in this sort of thing.

I must start out by saying that I love my home teacher. He's great for all kinds of advice, but quite enjoys doling out advice on the whole men/women thing. For instance, this sage and novel piece of wisdom:

"Never underestimate what some intense eye contact can do."

Whoa, you mean you're supposed to look into a guy's eyes if you like him? Who knew?

He went on to explain how he was recently on the receiving end of some girl's (and I swear, this is what I heard here:) "doomy eyes."

I remarked that I'd never heard that before; I had heard of "bedroom eyes," though. He gave me a sort of strange look and told me that they were the same thing. We finished the home teaching lesson and afterwards I wrote the following as a Facebook status:

"Got a home teaching lesson about 'doomy eyes' tonight. Buckle up, men!"

My roommate Chris reads this and says, "It's not 'doomy eyes!'"

"What is it then?" I asked, assuming I'd heard incorrectly.

"Do me eyes!"

Much laughter and mocking followed. I had to admit that "do me" made much more sense than "doomy." I just thought that maybe the look in the eyes was like a brooding and foreboding storm of sexiness. The laughing and mocking continued.

I was granted a small* favor when Doree, meaning to say "wanton eyes," made a reference to "wonton eyes" (I tried to find a cartoon of a little Chinese dumpling with googly eyes, but my Google Image searching turned up nothing).

With this (as well as the fact that "doomy eyes" makes me immediately think of the villain from a not-great comic book franchise), I think I may be starting to pinpoint the source of my romantic problems.

*This was about as consoling as the time when Joey Tribbiani was getting mocked for getting his head stuck in a turkey and tried to mock Ross Gellar for saying "Squatternut Bosh" instead of "Butternut Squash" (Friends "The One With All The Thanksgivings").

Friday, November 11, 2011

"It Might As Well Be Spring..."

...and I don't just say this because of the wonderfully, unseasonably warm weather that we've had the past few days (which seems, sadly, to have come to an end).

This song, written in 1945 for the musical State Fair (I never know whether to italicize or use quotes with musicals) contains some beautiful lines, like...

"I am starry-eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing"


"But I feel so gay in a melancholy way.*"

These, and a dozen other lines from a dozen other songs can only begin to describe what's going on in my brain lately. I'm not one of those who likes to scrawl every single thought or emotion all over the internet. Usually I like to have something with a plot to put on this blog. I don't even have a story to describe why my brain might be doing the things that it's doing. It's all very strange.

I have this odd sense of paradox within me, as if I'm feeling compelled by this overwhelming sense of urgency but at the same time, quite uncharacteristically calm and relaxed. I'm torn between doing what I think is expected/proper/safe/sensible and giving in to the green glowworms† crawling under my skin that make me want to run and jump and twirl, both literally and metaphorically (for whatever twirling could be a metaphor).

I want to move‡. I want to stop looking out the window and jump through it instead. I want to fast-forward through pretense and formalities and skip ahead to the good parts. I want to go ice skating. I want to kick my feet through a pile of crunchy autumn leaves.

At the same time, I just want to sit on my sofa at home and watch them fall.

It might as well be spring.

* I love internal rhyme.
† Do you remember the movie "James and the Giant Peach"? I'm talking about those little glowing green things that were in the bag that enchanted the peach and all of the bugs. I couldn't find a picture on the internet, but they're jumpy and jittery, and I imagine they have some sort of electromagnetic and tingly properties.
‡ This is absolutely metaphorical. I hate moving with boxes and stuff.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Musings at the Office: Zweiter Streich

Dear telemarketers, I've got your number. That "there's no message, is there a more convenient time I can reach him/her" of yours isn't fooling anyone.

I took a call from someone whose last name was "Mormon." I wanted to ask if his name was Jack or if he had a wife named Molly. If I took a message, would I be writing down the Words of Mormon?

I am the queen of the Konica Minolta Bizhub copy machine. I know where all of the paper jams live.

All the downtime at the office gives me time to do all of my scripture study and General Conference talk reading. This made me slip up in my phone answering today when, instead of saying "Attorney Such-and-Such's office" I said "Eternal Such-and-Such's office."

Being around people who do divorce law makes me never ever want to get divorced, and therefore kind of grateful for this whole Gospel thing that teaches us how to get married correctly.

Someone keeps turning the air conditioner on. It's not warm in here. Oh well, I guess it's not my utility bill.

I actually took the correct length of a lunch break today. Leaving the office helped. It's hard to entertain oneself in the break room for a full thirty minutes.

It's been really rainy today. I'm not wearing particularly hazardous shoes, but I almost fell on my bottom twice today--once in the lobby and once at the sandwich shop. My sincere thanks to the man standing on the stairs in the lobby for pretending that he didn't see my lack of gracefulness.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On Language

Today, on my bus ride to work, I sat in front of a group of high school students. This is a message to them:

I was appalled and saddened by your loud conversation on the bus this morning. Must you all use such offensive, crude language? There are thousands of beautiful, interesting words in the English language, and you seem to have replaced half of them with vulgar obscenities and slurs.

At one point, one of you asked another, "know what I'm saying?" and I wanted to scream, "How? How could he possibly know what you're saying? You haven't said anything!" If the FCC had censored your conversation, it would have been impossible to glean any meaning from your poorly-composed sentences. All we would hear is one steady high-pitched tone with a few conjunctions and articles thrown in here and there.

I was taught, and continue to believe, that the "n-word" is an ugly and hateful term, regardless of the skin color of the person using it. I'm not black, but hearing the word makes me cringe. I find your casual use of this word baffling: it seems to be interspersed in your dialogue with unnecessarily high frequency, almost as if you're competing over who can use it the most in one sentence. I don't know why this is acceptable. I have friends who are Jewish, Hispanic, and gay, and I have never heard them throw around their associated slurs so carelessly...or at all.

Finally, we're called "women," NOT "bitches." Think of your mothers and sisters the next time you want to call the girls in your life something so horrible. I think this was the aspect of your language that incensed me the most.

So I beg of you, open a book. Expand your vocabulary. Learn some respect for the ears of those around you. Prepare yourself to be something other than a loud, vulgar voice at the back of a bus.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Music: Part III

Because it's been a little over three months since my last post like this (and because I want to cover up the fact that my last blog post was about the contents of my sinuses), I present the latest version of my "Top 25 Most Played" songs on iTunes:
  1. "Gravity" - Sara Bareilles
  2. "Sway" - Bic Runga
  3. "It Won't Be Long Now" - Original Broadway Cast of "In The Heights"
  4. "Grace Kelly" - Mika
  5. "Come Home" - OneRepublic
  6. "Prayer of St. Francis" - Sarah McLachlan
  7. "This Year's Love" - David Gray
  8. "Fields of Gold" - Eva Cassidy
  9. "Crazier Than You" - Original Broadway Cast of "The Addams Family"
  10. "Breathe" - Original Broadway Cast of "In The Heights"
  11. "Bring On the Wonder" - Sarah McLachlan
  12. "21 Guns" - Original Broadway Cast of "American Idiot"
  13. "The Story" (Grey's Anatomy Cast Version) - Sara Ramirez
  14. "You Give Me Something" - James Morrison
  15. "Tomorrow" - Jeremy Messersmith
  16. "Skeleton Song" - Kate Nash
  17. "Thinking of You" - Katy Perry
  18. "Happy Ending" - Mika
  19. "Running Up That Hill" - Placebo
  20. "Breathless" - Corinne Bailey Rae
  21. "Maybe I'm Amazed" - Jem
  22. "Organ Donor" - Jeremy Messersmith
  23. "You Don't Know Me" - Michael Buble
  24. "Blackout" - Original Broadway Cast of "In The Heights"
  25. "Promise Me This" - Pancho's Lament
I'd say this is a pretty respectable list, despite the fact that three of these songs are featured in the first two episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (points to anybody who knows which three!). I expect that some of my favorite winter (not necessarily Christmas) songs will be moving up in the running pretty soon.


I wish it were more socially acceptable to talk about the sheer volume of stuff that comes out of my nose when I'm at the end of a cold.

It's marvelous, really. I've seen enough cross sections of the human skull to know roughly how much space is in the sinuses, and something isn't adding up.

Unfortunately, we can't talk about these things. I do try to be fairly discreet about my bodily functions, and I don't have to show anyone anything or talk about what color things are, but after expelling everything that ever happened from my nostrils, there's just this tremendous sense of accomplishment and I just want to tell someone.

Maybe my family is just cursed with lots of phlegm. When my mom was in high school, she was sitting behind this really cute guy who turned around to talk to her just as she was in the midst of one of those volcanic sneezes. I feel like this is going to happen to me. I'll be in my third consecutive minute of nose-blowing that rivals the sound of seventy-six trombones and the man of my dreams will walk in.

He would most likely be disgusted and appalled, or, you never know, he might be like, "You have a sinus infection? Tell me all about it!" And then I'll know that it's really true love. I think in this scenario, the man of my dreams is a Jewish otolaryngologist.

We would have the most beautiful, nearsighted, valetudinarian children.