Monday, April 30, 2007

new things

I am living in an unnamed big city for the next little while, doing an internship. It's pretty cool. This city will hereafter be known as Ogacihc.

This will be, as my blog title/subtitle indicate, a blog of snapshots - not a comprehensive experience-listing. I "promise" at least one per day.

Today I saw a really great sign, made by a man on the street. Talk about honest. He wasn't asking for money, food, a ride or a job. Way to tell it like it is, little man.

(I didn't give him one.)

Monday, April 23, 2007


I have all these rules for myself concerning spitting. I only allow myself to spit in two environments besides the sink and the shower: the ocean, and while exercising outside in a fair amount of solitude. I have an unusual need to spit, I think - one of my current best friends didn't like me at first because I cleared my throat too much, and people can tell where both my dad and I are in a room just by listening for that throat-clearing. In any case, I have rules. One rule in particular.

I don't do it anywhere in proximity to BYU campus, because even if I weren't a BYU student, people would assume I was, and we're technically supposed to be an ambassadors of this religion and all that. Spitting probably isn't a great way to do that, so I don't. Even if there's no one around - how many times have you seen something against social norms because someone thought no one was watching? These apartment complexes have windows, you know.

Really, I usually don't do it in public at all, although I'm a little less stringent outside of Provo or in an environment where I'm conspicuously LDS. My grandpa always used to spit out the window in the car, and we never thought any less of him. Still, I guess I'm a girl. An unmarried one at that (no comments). Also, I'm cool when I'm in the ocean, because everybody spits in the ocean. I'm also cool when I'm exercising in a somewhat remote area, because a) sometimes it's too uncomfortable not to, and b) way less weird, I've seen that lots of times.

So why on earth did I just spit into the grass next to a three-way stop right next to campus, with at least two sets of headlights staring me down?? Dang me and my rules. Sheesh. It was going so well.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dear Grandpa ...

Dear Gpa,

Today I had a chance to talk for a long time with your younger brother. He took me to dinner and it was great to just toss him question after question.

We talked about Dutch, and he explained to me some of the pronunciation rules and how with a few little tricks you could pronounce most names easily. He said Dutch just uses a lot of extra letters, but they're fairly standard and once you know where they go, it's not much harder than English. (For instance, Peter is spelled Pieter and pronounced the same way - not "pee-AY-ter" like it could look.) I told him the Dutch tonguetwister you taught us (Acht und acht kleine cocklechies ... sp?! ... "eighty-eight little stoves") - he laughed as soon as I started to say it and said that it was the phrase to say if you wanted a sore throat(because of all the gutterals). :) Since we were eating pie at that point, I told him about the other phrase you taught us, too, from your mission (in a Native American language) - "tadakuase" (tuh-DAHK-wah-say) - which means "more pie." (This is one of the most useful phrases I could ever think of, personally. Good choice of which to teach us.)

I love to listen to the Dutch names with someone who knows how to pronounce them. I've been thinking of naming one of my daughters Maaikje (pronounced "micah"). I feel like I can get away with that because there's a lady in the home ward named Maaike (no 'j'). Everyone pronounces it "mickey," for some reason, but she told me once how it's actually said and I fell in love with it. Maybe I'll leave the 'j' out, just to go easy on her grade school teachers, but I really love it in. It's more authentic that way, and it's not like she wouldn't really be Dutch. Hmm. I guess my husband will balance me out on whether this is cruel to do to an American child (even a Dutch-American one). I don't have to decide until then, anyway. Who knows. Maybe I'll have all boys and have to give that name to a pet or a plant.

He told me lots of stories, and some were about you. (He said I was making him think about things he hadn't thought about in years:D that was kinda fun. I really did ask lots of questions.) Speaking of your mission, he told me about you and your three best friends, and how you all wanted to go to Holland so you could serve together, and you all requested it. Hence, the first guy to get his call did go to Holland - and you went to the Eastern States, one went to Argentina, and one went to Australia. You couldn't have gotten farther away from each other:)

He told me about the Harley you used to drive, and how you'd take all the kids around the neighborhood on it. (I felt this the proper time to show him the exhaust pipe burn I got last week.) He said one day you really gunned it, so you could pop a wheelie, and it scared you so much you sold it the next day and bought a rumble seat car, instead. Awesome:) I wanted to show you my burn, too, but this is the best I can do - maybe you saw it, anyway. It's healing nicely, but there will probably be a scar. Even though I did the best I could think of to do for it - I ran it under cold water for twenty minutes, less than two minutes after I got the burn. I didn't have any burn cream, though, and I didn't think to use aloe vera until later. Oh, well.

He told me about how all four of you boys ended up not having to go to dangerous military places you should have gone. You were a helicopter mechanic, which I knew, but what I either didn't know or had forgotten was that the reason they didn't ship you out to Korea was that you were so good at what you did they made you a helicopter mechanic teacher instead, in the States, for all of your active service time. He was a clerk for a colonel and should have come home from his mission and gone into the service right then - they would have shipped him to Vietnam. Instead, he'd ended up finishing most of his two years of active service before his mission, which put him safely in clerk service in Korea as opposed to combat in Vietnam. I wonder if he was ever disappointed that he didn't fight. I know everyone around soldiers like that is happy that they stay out of harm's way, but I know sometimes the soldier himself has mixed feelings. I wonder what he thought of it all.

He was an elementary school teacher. He has, like, five minors - it took him eleven years to do his bachelor's for two reasons - he changed his major a million times, and he kept taking time off to work. (Although, during his last semester of coursework, he also worked 40 hours/week for the post office in Salt Lake - he said it about killed him!) I asked him what were his favorite type of students - the quiet ones, the ones who understood things easily, the ones who had to work hard to understand, etc. He said all of the above. His eyes were just happy when he talked about it - that was special to see. He still keeps in touch with some of his former students. That was fun:) I asked him to tell me about some of them and he mostly told me about the ones he still sees - he seemed to not be able to choose one or two to tell me about. But then, you probably know most of this! I didn't, though, so you get to hear it, too.

He talked about you so well. He said you were always there for people, and that you always went out of your way to be there, too. He said that besides his parents, you were the only one of his family who attended his BYU graduation. This might not have seemed so big had he not mentioned the fact that you (and Grandma? I can't remember) flew out from Virginia to be there! He said you were really a great man. I did already know that.

Anyway, Grandpa, thanks for hanging out with us tonight. It was much-needed and I learned lots of good things. We have a cool family. I miss you, I love you and I hope I'm still making you proud.

Love, Olympus


There's a lot of that today.

Today's the 12-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and 14 years since Waco (which Timothy McVeigh claimed to be some of the inspiration for the OKC Bombing). Also, tomorrow it will have been eight years since Columbine. (A nod toward Steve.)

Not to mention the VA Tech shooting a couple days ago. Everyone is supposed to wear red for that today, and some students are trying to get a candlelight vigil organized for tomorrow (Friday) night at 8 p.m., by the flagpole outside the ASB.

In happier news (from Slate):

The Court's First Time
By Daniel Politi
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007, at 5:59 AM ET

Everybody leads with yesterday's Supreme Court decision that upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by Congress in 2003. The 5-4 vote marked the first time the court has upheld a ban on a specific abortion procedure. It was also the first time an abortion law was upheld that did not include an exception for a pregnant woman's health, although it does allow the procedure to save her life. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion for the majority and said Congress has the right "to show its profound respect for the life within the woman." Seven years ago, the court struck down a similar Nebraska law with a 5-4 vote, in which Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sided with the majority. This time around, her replacement, Justice Samuel Alito, voted to uphold the ban.

The New York Times notes up high that the decision means doctors who perform the banned procedure could face "criminal prosecution, fines, and up to two years in prison." USA Today makes clear "the decision is unlikely to reduce abortions." That's because the abortion method that was banned, which involves partly delivering the fetus, is not the only way to perform a late-term abortion. But, as the Los Angeles Times notes in the second sentence, the real significance is that the "decision clears the way for states to pass new laws designed to discourage women from having abortions." The Washington Post quotes the president of the Christian Coalition of America predicting, "It is just a matter of time before the infamous Roe v. Wade ... will also be struck down by the court." The Wall Street Journal notes that some see the decision as the first step "in chipping away at the landmark 1973 decision rather than attacking it head on," a strategy Alito proposed while he was an aide to Ronald Reagan.


We have a lot to remember and a lot to be thankful for today, I think.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Windows ... blech

I can't believe how long it takes Windows to start up, as opposed to my Linux at home. The Linux is ready to go from the first second you can see the wallpaper art, whereas it's been like ten minutes since I logged on here at work, I'm just barely getting started, and it's moving slow, at that.

Also, Krebscout, it's okay that you didn't have a drum this morning. I'm not sure I was clear about that. I hold no negative feelings. I'll bet your canvas and frame were almost as visually stimulating. ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I don't really have anything profound to say, but a guy in the library by me is wearing a Virginia Tech hat. I like that.

Also, I am sore. Partly from dancing last night; partly from sitting in this library chair for a really long time. Partly because I'm hungry. (????) I'm not even hungry. I'd just like to taste something now. Maybe I have some gum.

Also, I don't want to write this paper. Even though it will be beneficial to my life, my future and my grades. I want to do the research, but only if no one cares that I did. Does it seem to anyone else that learning is much more fun if no one is checking to make sure you did it?

Guess this adheres to what my mom says is the theme of my life: "I'll do what I want, when I want."

I can be a stubborn little kid.

Also, this guy at the computer across from me keeps craning his neck in a weird way that tells me he has a sore neck. It looks a lot like he's trying to look at people past his computer without being noticed, though. Come on, guy. Just look at the people. Stop looking at all the corners of your screen. It's unnerving.

Friday, April 6, 2007

coke ad

make it the latest trend, then abandon it, and start a new one. make it something that turns heads. make it real. make it you. make it an overheated sewing machine at 3 a.m. make it transform a pile of scrap fabric into a next level handbag. make it new. make it sparkle. make it do the talking for you. make it something that everyone will call a statement, but you'll just call a random tuesday.

(taken from the back of a receipt, taken from my purse. taken from a framed page on the wall of the girls' restroom at the Malt Shoppe. my roommates thought I fell in.)

my version:

coming soon.

a word of advice

Don't do other stuff while you're cooking.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

being alive

"It does not interest me what a girl does for a living. I want to know what she aches for and if she would dare to dream to her heart's longing.

It does not interest me how old she is. I want to know if she will risk looking like a fool for love, for dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It does not interest me what planet is squaring her moon. I want to know if she has touched the center of her own sorrow, if she has been opened by life's betrayals or become shriveled and closed from fear and further pain. I want to know if she can sit with pain, mine or her own, without moving to hide it, fade it or fix it. I want to know if she can be with JOY, mine or her own, if she can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill her to the tips of her fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

I want to know if she can disappoint another to be true to herself; if she can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray her own soul. I want to know if she can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if she can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if she can source her life from God's presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, hers or mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "YES."

It does not interest me to know where she lives or how much money she has. I want to know if she can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It does not interest me who she is, how she came to be here. I want to know if she will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It does not interest me where or what or with whom she has studied. I want to know what sustains her from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if she can be alone with herself and if she truly likes the company she keeps in quiet moments."



I lifted this from somewhere online sometime within the last ten years. Haha. I think it was a blogger or something ... a long comment on something? In any case, I get something of a thrill every time I read it, and it kind of reminds me of an experience I had this week, so I decided to couple them up.

One night, I was sitting up pretty late, but I wasn't tired and I was feeling quite irresponsible. I realized I don't have forever to stick around this town, and having been ridiculously responsible fairly consistently over the previous few weeks, I decided to splurge on spontaneity for once.

I was talking to a friend of mine online, and I said, "Friend, we should go on a date. Right now." He replied, "You and me?" "Yep." "What did you have in mind?" Amazing. I want more friends who will take me seriously when I say that. Anyway, so here at 2 a.m., we dropped everything and ran up the canyon to make stupid/profound comments about the moon (which, incidentally, wasn't out because of cloud cover) and then come home.

I was brimming with happiness for three days and will have more comments about different aspects of this fabulous "future spouse list" at a later date.

"I want to know if she can be with JOY, mine or her own, if she can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill her to the tips of her fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human."

Sunday, April 1, 2007

most amazing protester ever

OK, so we aren't supposed to pay attention to the anti-LDS protesters outside the Conference Center at General Conference, and we certainly aren't supposed to protest to their protesting. However, one of them totally cracked me up today. (I might even be wrong. He might have been an actual protester. I was too busy trying not to pay attention to any of them to notice for sure. but we'll go with my current story.) It was bad. It was wrong. but it was OH so funny.

There were a couple of particularly loud protesters on one one corner, telling everyone we were going to hell (my ears actually hurt a little as we walked by), and as we passed, something must have caught my attention. I looked this other guy full in the face. As a result, he talked to me.

The man was dressed like the devil, complete with a red-tipped pitchfork. He smiled and introduced himself.

"Hello. I'm Satan, and [gesturing to the particularly obnoxious protesters] these are my missionaries."

I lost it. I laughed for half a block.

Bad. Wrong. Leave the poor protesters alone, fake Satan. They don't mean to be mean.

But half a block.