27 December 2008

This, My Friends, is an Ice Storm

I went to bed last night with the pitter patter of rain on the roof above my room at home.  Come morning my little town had been turned into a sheet of ice.  Now housebound, my dad and I put on our coats and hats and sneakers and skated our way to the park down the street to take some pictures.  This was the result: 

17 December 2008

Things that Make me go *headdesk*

  1. Parents who give their children names like Adolf Hitler for the sake of being unique (and then get confused when it makes people wonder)
  2. The media being so utterly predictable when they pick President Elect Obama as the Person of the Year.  I don't doubt that he deserves it - it was certainly an historic election.  But. . . really?  He hasn't even really done anything yet . . . 
  3. 7:00 A.M. shifts at work.  Ever.  But especially during finals week. 
  4. The media figuring out that communication in relationships makes a difference.
  5. Some of the ways that people manage to make money for charity.
  6. Students at BYU who are so sheltered they call the police when they see men with moustaches. . . and then find out that they are construction workers who are supposed to be where they are.  Or really. . . anything in BYU's Police Beat (the sheltered lives some people lead!)
  7. The best show on television being cancelled - though the commentary on the cancellation is pretty fantastic.
  8. Some of the things that made it through production.
  9. Other things that made it through production. 
  10. And just. . . what?!

05 December 2008

They're all a bunch of phonies

A few weeks ago I went on a date. Yup. I did it. I met a guy and flirted my way into giving a phone number out. And we went on a date. And he was nice. And I laughed and smiled and did what I was supposed to and generally had a decent time. He was (is?) a nice guy. But after it was all over I was a little ticked off at myself. Mainly because I wasn't being "me" at all. I was laughing at things that weren't funny. I was (shudder) giggling. I was dumbing myself down.

Another anecdote: At work today we had a discussion about an editorial in the paper about how girls shouldn't expect guys to be like men in the movies. I said that I think it's fair for girls to expect guys to be courteous and more sensitive every once in a while and that, on the reverse, it's fair for guys to expect girls to toughen up every now and then and be more adventurous (if they lean towards the sensitive side, I suppose). A bit of give and take on both sides. One of the guys in the office then went on about how that isn't entirely true, because most girls actually like a good action film but NO guy actually likes "chick" movies. He said that guys who watch those movies are only doing it because they want the girl to think they like it and (in the case of extra long BBC movies) doing it because it's an extended time in which they can sit next to a girl.

Now on to the point: I just finished reading Catcher in the Rye for my American Lit class. For those who aren't familiar (or need a bit of a reminder), narrator Holden Caulfield hates people who are putting on a show for an audience, essentially. He doesn't like people who "perform". They are "phonies". He seems to prefer people who are candid and as honest as they can be (though there are debates on this since he also puts on shows but. . . that's another essay for another day.)

I understand that dating requires a bit of give and take in personality. I understand that the majority of guys would rather not watch Pride and Prejudice with me - but is it going too far to say that there are NO guys out there who will appreciate a movie (no matter what genre) for the sake of the quality of the film? Does ALL of dating have to be a show? Sure, there is an element of performing - but does it have to be the main dish or can we pull it back to appetizer status? Do people know when the "performing" should start and the "genuine" relationship should begin?

I think this may be why I don't do it very often. Maybe I'm a bit like Holden in that sense - I value people who are confident enough in themselves to try new things but to also stand up for themselves. I don't exactly know where I'm going with this - but I will say that I'm tired of playing the dating "game". I don't want to go out with guys who are performing for me and misleading me as to who they are - and I don't want to do it for them in return. I want to get to know people - men and women - and see them for who they are. I want a deeper level of trust and honesty than that.

And this, I think, gets to the root of the problem with dating in Provo. There are too many options. Men and Women can shop around as much as they want to because there will always be someone better. They don't have to work hard for real relationships because there's always another ward, another apartment, another class, another social - and dozens of single people to meet there. They don't have to try hard at all. Everyone is so comfortable on a surface level, but I don't think many people around here are really all that comfortable with themselves. Which is why I'm packing up and heading out. That's right. After my first year of teaching (in which I am trapped in Provo) I'm going to move. I'm going to start my own adventure in the great wide world and see what happens. Not just in the relationship part of my life, but in the part of my life that is excited for change.

Long story short?

Look out world!

(Oh and, P.S. - to that boy I work with who thinks that no guy likes "chick" movies - I'm pretty sure you're wrong. Or in denial. Or both. Not that all "chick" movies are good - but by my definition of movies that are slightly more "girly" - there are plenty that have substance and quality that are good no matter how you look at them. Action movies that are just about action are no better than romances that are just about getting the couple together.)

((tirade over))

03 December 2008

Looking for a window

I have had a rather frustrating writing semester. I've written more than I have in a long time but I haven't really gone anywhere with it. And after a very frustrating interview yesterday with a well-meaning professor who kind of haphazardly told me that my writing isn't good and that I should stop writing about things I've done and write instead about who I am. . . which for me is rather difficult to separate. I don't know that I know what that means. How is it even possible to write about yourself without writing about what you do? Where you've been? It's a concept that I don't really understand.

I think he wants me to go into that "dark place" of myself or . . . something. I'm not really sure. The long and short of it is - I need a new audience for my writing in the very near future. I feel like I've reverted rather than pushed forward into a better place. And naturally this interview concluded with me having a minor breakdown since this was added to everything else I need to get done this week. Not really what I wanted to hear when I was already emotionally broken. So in an attempt to remedy all of this, I'm going to do something self indulgent and write about things that make me happy.

1. The Christmas tree in my living room: There's something so comforting and wonderful about a dark room with the light of Christmas in it. I have never been in a room lit by a Christmas tree that didn't make me the tiniest bit happier, even this time of year when things are stressful.

2. Waking up to a clean kitchen: Ok. So this doesn't happen very often. I have a roommate who likes to cook but not clean and I spend lots of time cleaning up as a result BUT, that said, even though I hate cleaning up after other people, there is something satisfying about doing dishes because of the visible improvement when you are done. I like a clean house. I do.

3. My DVD collection/Book collection: I get a great amount of ridiculous pleasure out of the fact that my DVDs and books are in exact alphabetical order. Yes. I'm actually really OCD about that, probably from several years of working at a bookstore.

4. Not waking up to an alarm. Again - this doesn't happen very often. But it's going to happen tomorrow. I'm skipping my two classes tomorrow because I might explode from stress if I don't and because I need sleep. Desperately.

5. The "Snow" theme of The Nutcracker: I don't know why but this song gives me utter and incomprehensible delight. The first time I saw it performed by Ballet West I was spellbound.

6. Live music: While we're on that theme - I love hearing music played by a live (good) orchestra with feeling. Orchestras that have put some emotion into what they are playing. They don't just sound good - they fill the room with positive vibes and spiritual uplift.

7. Walking outside in the snow: Haven't had the chance yet this year - it's been too warm. But at some point in the not too distant future I'm sure, it will snow here and then I will get the delight of looking out my window and putting a scarf on and indulging in the moods of the season.

8. Oranges: This Thanksgiving we were all talking about how great everything tasted when my grandma said something about how all she wants to do after she dies is to taste an orange. Due to an accident several years ago my grandma lost her sense of taste and smell - which is great for stinky diapers that you want changed but not so great when you want to enjoy your own cooking. I thought about it for about a half a second and realized that of all the tastes in the world I would miss, oranges would be near the top of that list. So would lots of other fruits. Raspberries. Strawberries. Grapefruit. It's such a little thing, really - we take it for granted but when I think about my grandma I am grateful for my sense of taste.

9. Photography: I haven't had many big adventures in my life, but I've had a few - and I love looking at the pictures I've taken to remind me of what it was like. I'm not a scrapbooker by any means. I'd rather spend money on pictures than eight hundred stickers to fill ten pages with one picture on them each. If I had to make a list of things that I would grab first in an emergency given time to pack, photos would be near the top of that list. The trouble would come afterwards in deciding which books and movies I couldn't live without! I'm so materialistic. . .

10. The sound of laptop keys: I know it's kind of strange, but ever since I was young I've had a few sounds that I really like. Fingers tapping to a rhythm of keys on a laptop keyboard or the sound that shoes make on pavement. I used to watch the beginning of The Sound of Music when the Von Trapp children are introduced for the singular pleasure of listening to their shoes on the floor.