31 August 2007

So apparently...

I blog like a boy. I found the Gender Genie and decided to check a few of my blog posts out, and they all (with only one exception) came back as male. Hmm. Interesting. Maybe I'll check out some of my fiction later and see what happens then. It's pretty funny though-this thing is supposed to be accurate. But then- My Heritage (that website that tells you your celebrity look-alike) is supposed to be accurate too but they give such random assortments as Anna Popplewell and Rachel Weiz to Gabriel Batistuda and Edward Teller. Yeah. I don't think that's exactly accurate...

The internet is a funny little place.

28 August 2007

What I did during Education Week...

The following are two little spats of England-style writing I did during Education Week-prepare yourself for nonsense. These are unedited stream-of-thought writing experiments.

22 August:

I'm ditching out on a class which is probably not a good sign since school hasn't started yet. I took one look at the crowded classroom and had a few thoughts consisting of "no way", "too many people" and "fire hazard". That would have been an interesting theory to test. Run into the room and yell fire. Instead I decided to do something else and now I'm writing nonsense on a piece of paper that was supposed to be filled with the key to getting my spiritual life back in order and my hand is cramped and I'm frustrated because I can't hand-write nearly as fast as I can type and this was so much easier (if more romantic?) than when I wrote on my computer, but for all that my cramped and awful writing is hardly romantic either. So there it is. I am solution-less. (What was the problem?)

Campus is a surreal kind of place this time of year. Normally this spot is crowded with people studying or making out or talking with friends only now it's just me and a mother with her two girls and none of us is studying or making out.

I just stopped. I killed my groove. I started staring off and thinking about unpacking and buying groceries since I have no food and how the JFSB courtyard is supposed to resemble the cloisters of places like Christ Church or Westminster and it kind of does only not enough to be a sanctuary and just enough to make me homesick (even though England is only my imaginary home now). If I ever go back it will probably only be for a few days or maybe two weeks but never for much longer and certainly not forever which makes me sad because I will never hike those moors again and all I want to do right now is pull my hair back, grab and apple when the hostel cafeteria staff lady isn't looking and hike 18 miles or so on the Pennine Way with 30 of the best people on this earth. England is all I can think about and dream about and it makes my writing redundant and my life unsatisfactory and I miss England. This cloister-knock off isn't English. It needs grass instead of stone, for one thing. And the table I'm sitting at shaded by an umbrella will have to go. Only stone benches. The fountain can stay but it will need to be less modern-arty and more Baroque. All the offices and classes need medieval-izing as well. All these trees in stone planters are way out (it's a little horrifying to think about). No. No-this place is nice but the vending machines don't have Cadbury and my purse has quarters and dimes in it and I have make-up on and I'm not in England any more and the trip I worked for and dreamed about and anticipated is gone in the blink of an eye. Two months ago today, actually, I was on an airplane. Absurd. I relate all the days now to what I was doing in England at the time. Life is supposed to be greener on the other side, but in this case it actually is.

August 23rd

I heard two girls in the Wilk today using very fake British accents and it made me mad. Considering that I could hardly claim to be an authority on all things British (though heaven knows I've tried), particularly with accents, I probably shouldn't talk but they were fake and I was offended and my thought was "I could do better". Pride. And there really is a difference between the movement and action and gesture habits between Brits and Americans. Something less of a strut and more poise...or maybe a different kind of strut (because there is definitely still a strut).

See. It's all I write about. I swear it's not all I think about-I think about many things. But turning on my writing brain seems to generate my England brain on auto pilot and once I start it's the death of me. I wish I could rewind and do it again. But it won't do to dwell on it. From where I sit now I won't ever get my fill of England. Unless I moved there and got a job and had to pay taxes and things-but I won't go back in the way I did and that hurts almost more than the thought of going back. Two weeks isn't enough! And the odds of really living there aren't really great. Maybe I'll go to grad school there.

I found out today that after two years my parents are dismantling my room and painting it and giving it to my younger brother. I think I'd have been alright with it if it had been my sister. She belongs to a room of girlish little dreams and goals and ambitions but now those dreams are being painted over and Wendy has officially been kicked out of the nursery. That part of my life is being packed away into boxes. I don't know if I even want to go home for Christmas because my room-my beloved room with the beautiful window and canopied bed-won't ever be mine again. It will have dirty moldy towels on the floors and footballs in the corners.

26 August 2007

I knew it!

You Belong in the UK

A little proper, a little saucy.
You're so witty and charming...
No one notices your curry breath

15 August 2007

It's a Marshmallow World...

In August?

Alright. Story time. I have a very boring job (that officially ends TOMORROW!) that involves me entering information into a computer all day. I talk to no one. I sit in my box and look at a screen all day. You kind of start getting the feeling that eventually you'll hit the right combination of keys on the keyboard and someone will run by and give you some cheese or a Scooby Snack. So I do any number of things to keep myself occupied throughout the day to forget how boring everything is. I munch on almonds and have a kind of routine that I keep-I listen to a movie in the morning on a portable DVD player with the screen down so I don't look like I'm watching instead of working-a movie I know really well helps pass the time rather quickly. I listen to music on my iPod on shuffle so I get a good mix of musicals and classical and more up-beat type stuff, and I listen to books on tape that I know really well (Harry Potter, Ender's Game), so that when I zone out and stop listening I don't get confused when I come back in. I change my music in and out fairly frequently so I don't start listening to the same stuff over and over and over again. So I was getting near the end of listening to Ender's Game and I decided to put Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on just in case I finished. I have all my books on their own playlist in itunes so that I don't have to have it on my iPod all the time-so I suppose you could imagine my surprise when about two hundred Christmas songs from my collection made their way on to my iPod. I was listening to songs on shuffle when all of the sudden I heard "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. I was completely confused. What in the-I hadn't added Christmas music! I love Christmas and all, but I don't listen to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving when I start putting up decorations and looking for trees. Shame on me though-I broke my rule and listened to nearly every Christmas song that came through in the shuffle because it was exactly the change I needed and put me in such a good mood that it didn't matter how ridiculous it was. Christmas music makes me so happy. It has a kind of smell to it-a sound and feel associated with every Christmas memory I've ever had. Like picking out the tree with my mom and driving around to look at lights-caroling in full Dickens-dress with the cast of the Hale's version of A Christmas Carol...walking home in the snow from work when it's just me and the street lights and feeling all romantic about it until I get home and realize my mascara's run and I look like a raccoon instead of the snow-queen I've imagined for myself. All the Californians who come to Provo in the winter can back off as far as I'm concerned. I love winter and I can't wait for snow.

09 August 2007

Because it is Discernible

I saw the latest attempt at Austen tonight (Becoming Jane) with my mom and my aunt. I was hoping that the movie would be great-mostly because I enjoy (almost) every Austen like movie. There was something lacking in this film though. I think I was hoping for some kind of cross between Finding Neverland and Sense and Sensibility or the latest Pride and Prejudice films-a film that is beautiful and trusts its audience to follow the trail. A film so breath taking that you feel literally sucked in by the scenery and forget you're watching a movie at all. A movie that, in a sense-breaks that fourth wall between screen and movie-goer. Becoming Jane made a very valiant effort at this-there was superb casting of the supporting cast and nice costumes-enough farm animals and woods to make it an official costume drama-but it was lacking. I didn't care. I know how the romance ended. The suspense of the romance wasn't enough for me. Granted, most people who see the film will know little of Austen's life and eat up the fictional with the reality-but as someone who does know a thing or two about Austen and has read the letters that this half true biography-made movie is based on...it was a little disappointing. For one thing it was hard to follow. The film was choppy-it suffered from horrible editing. I'd like to see the movie again just so I can pick up on what was going on for the first half of the movie when I didn't know which character was which. It felt like it was trying too hard at times-like when they had a montage of Jane walking through the ball looking for ...something or someone. You assume it's the love interest but we don't know the character the movie has created well enough to go beyond the assumption. There was very little character development.

This wasn't supposed to be a movie review. I'll cut to the chase.

The biggest thing that was lacking to me was the light I imagine in Austen's eye. She strikes me as the kind of person (at least from reading her books and her letters to her sister etc.) who has the idea that all of the people around her are there for her own amusement. She did not always have a happy life, but I feel like she would have been a lot more self assured and amused with life in general than she was portrayed as in the movie. Maybe it was just me being unable to get past the typically American performance from Hathaway-but I really think that there was a kind of light completely missing from Hathaway's eyes.

I've been thinking pretty seriously about the last semester or so of my sophomore year at school and a good portion of this summer about how depressed I've been. I haven't been able to force myself out of it. For whatever reason I have been miserable almost all the time. When I haven't been depressed I've been faking happiness. There aren't all that many times I can think that I have been truly happy in the last year. Most of it I think is due in part to me not being comfortable with myself. I lived with roommates last semester who always seemed to be doing better academically/socially/emotionally than me and I didn't know who to turn to. My two best friends had boyfriends and (this is my fault) because I didn't really take the time to go out and find people to get to know, my social life was almost nonexistent. As I said-this was mostly my fault. It was easier to stay in my room doing homework or reading a book or watching a movie on my own because they are all things that I enjoy doing. But I wasn't happy. I would have moments of real enjoyment but, thinking back, I think a lot of the light kind of dimmed in me on a more regular basis than normal.

So I've been researching light. Not so much in the scientific sense as the spiritual sense, especially in the scripture that talks about light being good because it makes things discernible. I suppose this relates to truth, in a way-in that all truth (however gruesome it might be) has an element of light in it. For the studying I've been doing, I've been focusing mainly on the topical guide in the scriptures and old talks logged away on lds.org-I've been surprised in this hodge-podge research on how many different ways the scriptures/leaders of the church have referred to light. They refer to it in reference to talents and truth and example and warmth and intelligence and the Savior and ourselves...so many different ways and they are all kind of related and not related at the same time.

This is too long, and you don't need to know all the details to my struggles or current mindset-it's all pretty personal and something I'm working out with the Lord-but if you get the chance read "The Light in Their Eyes" by James E. Faust from the October 2005 General Conference. It was an excellent talk and I've started to feel a little better about my situation and have some more hope for what the next year will bring for me. It's a great talk-read it.

01 August 2007

Everything I hate ....

About Mormon literature in one description.

We got our Deseret Book catalogue today (or rather, my parents did) and I happened to read this description:

The Bishop's Bride By Elizabeth W Watkins

"Andrew McCammon's stake president just gave him the two biggest shocks of his life. First, he is to be the new bishop of his ward. Second, he has three weeks to meet a woman, fall in love, and get engaged. What follows is the hilarious story of delightfully bizarre events that guide the right woman to him".


Ok, seriously?!! How does stuff like this get published?! I'm sure the author is a very nice woman and I wish her every happiness but-well, the word delusional comes to mind. My bet is that he'll find a girl that doesn't fit the mold, but then they'll fall in love and he'll see her differently and learn some very valuable lessons just in time. They'll enter wedded bliss just before the last petal falls and Mrs. Potts will sing their kids a lullaby while they dance.

Not to mention that I don't know of any Stake President putting a time slot on a person to get married. What's the Stake President going to do if he doesn't find the girl in three weeks? Excommunicate him? Not let him be Bishop? Good grief. Or, to quote Fred (I think it was Fred-) "Blimey, what a waste of parchment".