21 December, 2009

Such Words

It is interesting to be named for a woman so associated with motherhood. I have always felt such a kinship with her. A woman of pure virtue, a woman of beauty, I always dreamed of playing her on stage, singing songs about her, or being discovered by an artist, certain that I am the very vision of her, and must be the model for his painting.

I also dreamed of and gloried in coming motherhood, from childhood even. I have always been, profoundly, a future mother.

As I grew older, I knew this to be my chosen path, more important than any career. College was for growth, and development of talents and interests, and to a lesser degree preparation for a possible income.

Surely I would have many children. Why bother waiting? All I needed was the right man, someone I could share every bit of myself with and one who desired children in the way I did. What a glorious future!


(This pause is for laughing/eye-rolling etc.)


Now, my hopes are so solid in comparison to my girlish dreams. They are more specific, more based in reality. I watch friends planning on having a few children giving birth right and left.

We, the little family with grand plans, wait, wait, wait.

Somehow Barren Tree is more a companion, than tiny seedling.

And Mary…Mary!

My hero, my guide.

For the first time in my life, her story gives me pain.

The beautiful, transforming words, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb…,” prick my heart.

Please, Lord, let such words be for me.

10 December, 2009

Byronic: Jane Eyre as told by Alanis Morissette

If you're not familiar with Alanis Morissette, you can listen to the original here.

And in case you wanna sing along, here's the karaoke version:




(Spoilers ahead)

"Byronic"

A young man brooded alone
Waiting for someone to speak to his soul
Until here you come a quiet fool
And before you know it into his arms you’ve flown
And isn't it Byronic... don't you think

Then a man shows up on your wedding day
Your dreams are shattered cause your fiancé
Has a wife in the attic that he’s hidden away
Who would've thought... it figures

No matter what you do what is right
You pack your suitcase and tell him goodbye
He’s so confident that you’ll do what he says
But you sneak out in the middle of the night
And isn't it Byronic... don't you think

Cause the man showed up on your wedding day
Your dreams were shattered cause your fiancé
Had a wife in the attic that he’d hidden away
Who would've thought... it figures

Tall, Dark, and Handsome face, doesn’t mean that it’s alright
When he won’t give you space, and has arrogance to match his charm
But ”Mad, Bad, and Dangerous” doesn’t mean he can’t love
You till the end of time and through all obstacles
In your way

A secret cousin who takes you in
A random inheritance gives you freedom from him
Then you’re hearing voices that change your life
Your love’s been blinded by a fire
Set by his crazy wife
And isn't it Byronic...don't you think?
A little too Byronic...and, yeah, I really do think...

When that man showed up on your wedding day
And dreams were shattered cause your fiancé
Had a wife in the attic that he’d hidden away
You should've thought... it figures

Tall, Dark, and Handsome face haunting your dreams at night
”Mad, Bad, and Dangerous” ways telling you he’s no white knight
He’s no white knight

21 October, 2009

Still nothing.

Woke up this morning. Stretched. I've made a goal that I will put a few things away in my room every time I'm in there, even before visiting the restroom.

On the way to my dresser, I began to sneeze. Suddenly, it was imperative that I get to the bathroom.

I made it through the sneeze, and the second one.


WAIT! What's this? A third sneeze? But! I....


I peed.


Just a little.


I don't even feel humiliated.

It just seems unfair.


I'm not even pregnant.




Then this would be a lot cooler.

You know....as far as peeing your pants goes.

10 October, 2009

Spread the Word

Watch THIS:








Does it bother anyone else that world hunger is on the Rise?

Let's get the dialog going.


How will we spread the word?


This T-shirt site has a weekly themed design contest. This week's theme is: "Erase Hunger, Create Hope"

A few of the artists have even pledged half the prize if they win.

Here are some of the most inspiring designs:

1

2

3


These designers have used their talents to share the message.


What talents do you have?

How will you spread the word?


How will I?

03 September, 2009

If this guy can get published, so can you!

Interested in reading something truly awful? Awful, as in, horribly, grotesquely funny, but somehow still a published work of fiction??

Click HERE. And don't forget to read the introduction.

(By way of warning, some of you may find this a tad indecent. I find it too ridiculous to be titillating, but if you're worried, I would recommend you stay away from the second link that leads to pages 98-99)


And please tell me: Which is your favorite metaphor?

21 August, 2009

Usually, I let these sort of thoughts pass me by

As a child I didn't think I was very pretty, not ugly either, just not pretty. Either way, it didn't really concern me. As I got older, I was told my coloring was very unique, or that my big, blue eyes were beautiful, and that comforted me. I decided I was unusual. Not pretty in the classic sense, but pretty in a different sense, which, in a way, was almost better. I certainly thought my eyes were prettier than all others I'd seen.



Then I met her.

I have this friend. She kind of looks like me. Sometimes people wonder if we're related.

We're both tall and slender, but she's taller, with thinner legs.

We both have fair skin, but hers is acne, scar, and even freckle free.

We have the same dark hair, hers more expertly coiffed.

Our eyes are the same color, but hers are larger, her lashes longer and thicker.

Her lips are more full, her eyebrows more symmetrical.

While my face is round, hers is longer and thinner, and her cheekbones! Did you know I have a thing about cheekbones? Hers are positively regal, elven even.

We even have the same name.



And yet.


I could never envision a trade. There was no trait so seductive I'd give up a part of myself for it. There has never been anything about her situation that I'd trade for my own.


Until now.




Congratulations my friend.

20 August, 2009

25 Random Things I've DONE: Indiscretions of my Past and Present

Scroll down to read the NEWLY ADDED 11 and 12!


1. For years, whenever I used the bathroom in someone else's house, I'd check to make sure there was no one behind the shower curtain....I've gotten over that particular fear though, ahuhu

2. When I was 15, my friends and I would get really annoyed with the interruptions from this group of boys in our early morning seminary class. One night, when we were babysitting at the church for some Relief Society function, we brought red and pink paper and markers with us and "Heart Attacked" our classroom with Valentines to and from the two worst (we thought) boys, declaring their love for each other (I'm not saying their names cause they turned out really well, and are nice guys). We put hearts all over the walls and chairs, and we decorated the chalkboards. In the morning, we arrived to find that the teacher had left EVERYTHING up! Apparently she too was annoyed by their jokes and comments in class. All she did was erase the chalkboard that she needed for her lesson. Those poor guys....we made them look foolish and accused them of being gay....and I'm sure they never suspected the home-schoolers!!! I never really felt bad about this....cause it was just a joke, but there were a few other times where I was just plain rude to them (Me? Yes. ME.) and I do regret that.

3. One night after mutual (church meeting for youth), my friend discovered a pair of lacy, RED panties in the bushes by the church. Being the creative girls we were (and apparently very innocent and unconcerned with STDs), we hatched a plan to take them and place them on the antenna of this guy the next morning at seminary. (I think we chose him because he was usually out after us, and he parked his car around the corner....at least....I hope that's why we picked him). Anyway, my friend (ah heck, who cares. It was Chrissy) took the undies home, and brought them the next day in a plastic bag. The deed was done, and we had the thrill, but no pay-off....until a week later. Fortunately, this guy happened to have a little sister who was also a dear friend. She told us the strange, and scintillating, tale of the mysterious red underwear on her brother's car (he was a good boy and went straight home to tell his mother). Poor kid, he'd probably never seen "Satan's Panties" before. Home-schoolers strike again!


4. A friend and I once got into a fake fight on Myspace. We had discussed it, and then my friend acted on it, so I retaliated. Basically the idea was to see who were the type of people that would be curious enough to ask, and who would ignore the drama....it was kind of silly, sorry if I offended you.


5. Ooh! Another fake fight. I call this one, "YOU BETRAYED MY TRUST!" On April Fool's Day '04 my friend (later roommate) Becky and I had a shouting match in my dorm room. She promptly slammed the door and went to her room. I then opened the door, shouted, "And don't slam my door!" and then slammed my own door. Then we laughed hysterically while IMing each other. It turned out that only one person heard it, but I told Isabelle (Becky's roommate) about it later, and she totally believed me. Then I had to tell her I lied, cause I'm like that.


6. More Myspace. Apparently, I am spontaneous sometimes. I decided, for some reason, that it would be funny to change my Myspace profile picture to a sonogram. I guess I just wanted to confuse people, but no one ever said anything. Maybe they assumed it was a niece or nephew....or maybe they thought I'd gotten married without telling anyone....oh well.


7. For a while, my friends and I had the habit of inserting the words in the phrase someone had just said into this form: I'll _____ YOUR ______.

For example: "Watch out for that stop sign!" became "I'll stop YOUR sign."

It was dumb, and usually dirty. One day a friend tried to come up with something that COULDN'T be made dirty, I think it was "Happy Unicorns." And I immediately replied, "I could make that dirty."

Well, everyone thought that was the FUNNIEST thing. I mean, Mary SANDERS, making things dirty? Are pigs flying? (Yes I had the whole "clean mind" reputation) Truth is, I think in metaphors, so of course I can make anything dirty, just like I can make anything about life, or creativity, or education.

Alas, I have since been known as, Mary Makes-it-Dirty.

(Incidentally, "I'll happy YOUR unicorn" sounds VERY dirty, and I didn't even have to TRY)



8. I never had a crush until the week before my seventeenth birthday, when I "fell" for my friends older brother (along with a bunch of other girls too young for him). Anyway, he arranged this singing group for church, and I totally messed up my part (okay, actually just the beginning, but still). And that's how I learned that embarrassment is a great cure for unrequited....
....infatuation.

9. Ooh, ooh! More stupid things I've where guys are concerned! In college, I had a crush on a guy named Isaac. We ended up walking to school together by chance one morning, and I commiserated with him over a bad cold he had. He mentioned that he'd heard garlic was good for the immune system, and I concurred. We parted, and, being the stupid that I am, that evening I borrowed some of my roommates garlic pills (yes, she knew) and taped them to Isaac's door in a zip-loc bag.

Wait....here's the lame part. I left an anonymous note that said something like, "I heard you were sick, and thought you could use these." He, being the Completely Unsuspicious guy he was (at BYU, no less!), found me on Sunday to ask if they were from me, and thank me for my thoughtfulness.

And....that's all. Nothing came of it. I wonder what happened to him? He was really fun/smart/nice, but didn't date any of the girls that liked him (and there were quite a few). Oh well. Wherever you are, I hope you are happy!

10. What's that? You say you want more embarrassing stories about my former love life [lack thereof]? Hmm.... Well, there was Weston. He was quirky-fun and probably a genius (I've got a weakness for genius). Anyway, I liked him, and thought he might just like me (we went on a hilariously fun date, but I asked....although he did play with my hair once, and let our elbows touch during the movie....). Needless to say, I was confused. It all came to a head the last week of school (deadlines make me brave, aka stupid). Again, I went with the note (this time letter) taped to the door. My version of brave doesn't seem very brave, does it.

Anyway, I told him, if he was interested, he should come see me but, if not, I'd probably see him on Sunday and I hope he had a nice life. I suffered some heartache because, of course, he didn't come....that night. The following night, he called and asked me if we could talk. Let me tell you, this guy is quality. He didn't have feelings for me, but explained that he had spent some time trying to make sure. Basically, he actually thought about it. Then, instead of taking the easy out I had offered him, he came to my apartment to explain in person, and try to comfort me. I cannot tell you the depth of my respect for this guy acting like a man. I was almost glad he broke my heart, cause the way he did it was so....nice.
We emailed a few times. Making sure to wait a week or two in between each one so neither of us would appear overeager (for completely different reasons, of course). Gradually, my feelings faded. And then, of course, I started hanging out with Chris. I actually grew a lot from the experience emotionally. It was a stepping stone to real love, by expanding my ability to feel heartache. I tend to shy away from big feelings, trying to suppress them until I feel safe.

11. College pranks! One year I threw a St. Patrick's Day party for my roommates and some people in my ward (Ah, good old Sparks II). We watched Waking Ned Devine (One of the FUNNIEST movies EVER), and I made Irish Soda Bread (yum!). I also bought some gold wrapped bonbons from Wal-Mart (still need to repent for that....) as a sort of stand-in for leprechaun gold. I told everyone they were "Irish Bonbons" (there's no such thing that I am aware of). Little did they know that I had replaced about half of them with chocolate dipped mushroom caps! I kept waiting and waiting for someone to freak out, and, halfway through the movie, Weston (See #10) went, "Ugh! That's disgusting," and, with a look of analytical concentration, promptly took another bite. Meanwhile, I was dieing of laughter in the kitchen. Everyone thought I'd gone mad, but I explained and they laughed. Then my roommate Isabelle pulled out her half-eaten "bonbon" from where she had hidden it under a cusion, not wanting to hurt my feelings!

12. Once I left my purse upstairs after Sunday School, one of the guys offered to go get it for me, so later, during Relief Society (Women's Meeting) I wrote him a "Sunshine Note" (it was a silly/cutesy college tradition, they had someone in charge of distributing the notes), thanking him for being so nice. Then my roommate Becky asked if I had anything to eat with me (she'd get shaky sometimes from what I think was hypoglycemia). I opened up my purse to grab my half eaten granola bar, but I couldn't find it. I didn't think much of it because I lose things all the time (especially in my purse), but, after church when the notes had been delivered, Josh (just remembered his name) came over to apologize for stealing my granola bar. He felt really bad when he got my thank you note. I gave him a hard time (stealing on Sunday, roommate with hypoglycemia, etc.), but we laughed it off. Apparently he had put it in his pocket upside-down, so it crumbled all over. He left feeling properly punished, I'm sure. Of course, late that night, we removed all the wrappers from one and a half Costco boxes of granola bars and taped them to his door.
We just wanted to make sure he nipped that stealing thing in the bud.

12 August, 2009

Super! Harry

Sorry, I saw that hair and just couldn't resist:




The internet often provides me a modern outlet for my love of paper dolls.

For example.

10 August, 2009

Superheroized!

So here's a fun site I discovered through a couple of awesome blogs. Make your own superhero, and then post the link so I can see!



This is me if I were a Superhero:






This is me if I were a hot Superhero:






This is a random one I made up:








And this is my awesome husband:

06 August, 2009

Happiness

"I can never forget the night I thought you were dying, Gilbert. Oh, I knew--I knew then--and I thought it was too late."

"But it wasn't, sweetheart. Oh, Anne, this makes up for everything, doesn't it? Let's resolve to keep this day sacred to perfect beauty all our lives for the gift it has given us."

"It's the birthday of our happiness," said Anne softly.



You're up too late. Husband gone to bed, and you finishing a children's book just after midnight. It was cute, funny even, but left you wishing for something more. You rise, head to the bookshelf for a midnight snack. What will it be? Frederick Wentworth's life-altering letter to Anne? Mara and Sheftu's dance of misdirection turned devotion?

You sit, eyeing your old friends, waiting for one to speak, and come to a boxed set, untouched, unread, a Christmas gift from your mother. Unconciously, you have been saving them. You know why she wanted you to have them. You'd grown up hearing stories of her, reading Laura Ingills Wilder to get through nausea, and knew, when she presented you with a different (but equally beloved) series for your own, what they were for. There was a laugh in her eye, and you smiled. Each of you knew the other knew.

So they sat, untouched, on the shelf, waiting for the terrible, wonderful days of change. You would read them straight through, in order, something you've never done. Yet, your hand hovers over the third volume, the one you read most as a younger adult, in those eyes, the most romantic.

Pulling it from the box, you open the book around page two hundred. You skim through the Heroine's denial, graduation, realization, homecoming, family, friends, and then revelation.

"There is a book of revelation in everyone's life, just as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept her agonized vigil through the hours of storm and darkness."

Unconsciously, you have been trying not to break the spine, but, telling yourself not be silly, you open the book, your book, wider, relinquishing a portion of your dream. This may not count for a first read, but broken spines do not equal broken traditions. Or so you tell yourself.

There are two statements on the final page that you have heard others quote, but your eyes find something new, something you've never noticed before, and well with emotion at the words, "the birthday of our happiness."

You remember such a day of your own, a day of decision, a day upon which you were finally ready to step from fifteen months of darkness into the light of the rest of your life. Happiness is a gift, but it is also a choice. That day you were afraid, but you finally knew what you wanted, and had the courage to take it anyway.

And as you bask in the sudden peace of gratitude and love, you remember the man in the room next to you, the one who shares that birthday. The light is still on, so you are not surprised to find him as he is, asleep on his knees, head on the bed, arms still in the attitude of prayer.

You wake him, turn out the lights, get him under the covers, and hold him close to you.

Often, when you see the two of you reflected in a mirror, your mind seems to disown your body and, for a moment, you wonder who you are, who he is, how you came to be together. But tonight, as he pulls you close, you fall asleep remembering how it all happened, warm in your surety, safe in familiarity, spirit settled in the present.

You've had many special days since then, a day of promise, a day of covenants, but your heart turns fondly to that day, the dawning day, of the birthday of your happiness.

28 July, 2009

Great Gams Afire

Hey you up there!

I know we may be embarrassingly white (and occasionally hairy) but we really aren't that bad to look at! (Are we?) We enjoy sunshine and a breeze as much as your other limbs, and really appreciate the effort you've made in the past months to wear skirts and shorts. You finally got used to us, and realized we aren't that bad! (In addition, between ballet and walking, we've never looked better!) We've seen you checking our definition and shaving more often, so admit it, you're more than tolerant, you're proud of us! We like our new look very much, so we're here to say, "Keep it up!" We understand about Monday, you just got back, hadn't been feeling well, blah, blah, blah....but what about today, huh? Get off your lazy butt (trust us, she really is lazy) and get back at it! Remember the burn? Remember the energy, the sense of accomplishment?

Get going before we try to kick some sense into you!

In frustration and affection,
Your Legs
Tuesday (July 9)
My Dear Aunt,

What pleasure it gave me to return from my morning walk and find your letter waiting for me! Yes, I assure you we are quite well and am glad you are all the same. I can hardly believe it is an entire year since quitting my parents home and coming to D------ with my Dear Husband!

As to your inquiries about our neighbourhood, I can assure you our set is extremely pleasant. Only this morning Mrs. L---- and I went on our daily stroll. We are determined (like many a modern woman) to "avoid all sedentary amusements." Though I shall miss our strolls when she enters her confinement, I shall still keep company with our dear friend Mrs. S--------. (Mrs. S is a charming lady also much interested in health and sport.)

Things are a bit slow just now, as it is summer. We have been to a few dinner parties, but I am no longer working in the church-school. Still, I visit Grandmama each Wednesday and have read so many books that, were I not married, I'd likely become a qualified bluestocking!

Of course you are aware that my dear brother was visiting from the East. What a dear their little Eva is. Nearly a year old and we had never laid eyes on her! Mama and I wish they had not settled so far away, but I suppose one must go where there is a living to be had.
Speaking of Mama, she and Papa leave tomorrow for their tour of the Northern Coasts. They are traveling in rather a grand fashion and have had to get new clothes for all the parties and dinners they will attend.

I do hope you will call on Grandmama while they are away, she gets quite lonely. My DH and I will be up in town for a few days, but we have several parties to attend and won't be very good company I'm afraid.

Please give our best to all the family.

Your affec. neice,
M. E. P----


Mrs. B----, Sunnyvale Park
Inland Rivers, Kent


01 July, 2009

I can tell you what it isn't....

People always talk about their favorite smells, and I realize I've never even thought about it. Seriously, how could one choose anyway?

Still, as of today, I've decided that this one is definitely in the running:




Mmmmm.....thanks to our new Costco card, we are the proud owners of one dozen, succulent, heavenly smelling peaches.

I recently saw a magazine that had a great quick peach recipe. Wrap store bought pie crust around fresh peaches and mini marshmallows (leaving one end open) and bake! Yum!

I think Peaches could probably win for my favorite Summer smell. I don't know what it is about today, but I finally feel like summer is here!

Sunshine, swimming, and barbecues here we come!!!! Happy Canada Day, and Happy 4th of July!

22 June, 2009

Waiting

I have a warm place.

Dark


Quiet



Safe




and Empty.



Waiting just for you.




___________________________________________________

Warning: The following discusses two medical conditions (though neither very graphically).




I had that thought during Sacrament meeting yesterday, "I have a warm place." It was a bittersweet feeling. This week I had what is termed a 'Chemical Pregnancy.' That's when you have a miscarriage at less than five weeks along. I took my test on Monday, when I was maybe six. The positive reading was a surprise (because of the bleeding) but I didn't really get the chance to be excited. By the end of work, I guessed I would miscarry. The cramps were so strong.

I would feel fine in the mornings, and then horrible in the evenings. Finally, on Wednesday, I started having large clots (the shedding lining). Once they were passed, I felt normal again. I'm okay now, but I still have to take it easy. On Thursday I was bending over (picking stuff up) and it caused me some pain. I think that's probably passed now, but I'm still feeling a bit sick. However, I think that's my digestion issues. Something's going on there, but I'm not sure what. It's like my entire tract (from the stomach down) is sensitive. I feel fine till I eat, and then it hurts all the way down. It's worse if it's sugary, greasy food, but it hurts no matter what.

Emotionally, I'm okay. That first night (last Monday) I was calm till I talked to my mom. I could hear the sincere pity in her voice. It made me feel a little doomed. Then I asked Chris to give me a blessing. In the prayer beforehand, I asked the Lord for guidance, and for truth. After the blessing, I told Chris I should have been more specific about the kind of truth I wanted! I wanted to know if I needed to go to the hospital, He told me I needed to have faith and be joyful. I wanted to know the future of this baby, He told me that my children love me, and will come to me at the appointed time. By the end, I realized that things could go either way, and, somehow, that was less comforting than before.

I couldn't deal with it, so we watched Wives and Daughters. I was better after that, struggling to have faith, to not feel sorry for myself. It was an up and down day.

Still, yesterday, Father's Day, I had that moment, I wrote my Haiku, and it must have given me a little eternal perspective, because during the closing Hymn, O My Father, I felt kind of homesick. I love music because it teaches you emotions. I really felt along with Eliza R. Snow this time. I missed Him too.


O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
...
For a wise and glorious purpose (!!)
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
...
I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

It's like I told Chris later that day. That's it! That's the reason. We come to this earth to be parents, to create life!

This time is a time of creation. Whatever we make of ourselves, what relationships we make, pieces of art, what children we make, what spaces, what times, what happiness. That's what it's about.


And that's what I want to do.


Father, help me not to be idle while I wait.

17 May, 2009

Anniversary Weekend

Today (May 17th) is my first wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Chris and I decided to take a couple days off, and do lots of fun stuff. We thought about traveling somewhere, but living here in California, there's plenty of stuff we want to do that's right here at home, so we've been taking day trips.

On Thursday, after work, we drove up to Thousand Oaks where I had found a little community company (The Conejo Players Theatre). There we saw The Teahouse of the August Moon. I figured it'd be good since it won both a Tony and a Pulitzer. It's the story of the U.S. occupation of Okinawa following World War II and the American effort to "teach" Democracy. It was well done and funny. Though by today's standards it was on the cheesy side, when it was first performed in the 1950s, I'm sure it was groundbreaking. It just goes to show, if you want to challenge long-held assumptions, it's easier to get through with light-hearted comedy, than heavy lectures.

(P.S. If you want to see Marlon Brando in a comedic role, check out the Movie version)


On Friday we got to sleep in (hooray!) and then we drove out to the Discovery Science Center. The "Cube" is SO fun. Every exhibit is hands-on. Basically, you wander around and play with really cool toys. You try to figure out how things work, experiment to see what would happen if you do this or that, or invent games from the exhibits. (It's kind of like going to Wal-mart with my friend Todd)

One exhibit they have now is called "The Science of Hockey," so Chris got to show off his skills for me (even though I beat him as Goalie!). They also have an earthquake room, virtual volleyball, and we even treated ourselves to some dippen' dots!

Afterward, we went to the mall down the street and ate at CPK. Chris had the Pesto Chicken pizza (with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts),



and I had the Thai Peanut Crunch Salad.





On Saturday we went to the Renaissance Faire. After scouring some thrift stores earlier that week, I thought we turned out pretty well. I think we were a little too medieval in style (with low waists instead of high ones), but for first timers I thought we were okay.




I've had that corset for a long time, one of my favorite finds. (and the yellow pin says: "Das CRAY-see!!" It's from the Van Kleaver Brothers' show)





Here's Chris trying out a sword made for men with inferiority complexes: (You can't tell, but it's almost as tall as he is)




And here are some of the details of our costumes:



Thank goodness for Swap Meets, that's where we found the "leather" for Chris' "boots" (which were a pain to make, and yes, those are stapled together)




and also my Snood. The lady gave it to me for a dollar because the elastic was shot....which was cool since I probably would have cut it out anyway!


Chris already had this awesome Swedish belt buckle:




Let me tell you about the Renaissance Faire. If you've never been, I highly recommend it. Be prepared for bosoms and a little drunkenness, but also be prepared for people who trade their inhibitions in for their costumes. It's a very freeing place. You can laugh and sing, insult people, strike up conversations with strangers. Anything goes. The relaxed atmosphere lets people play and have fun. It's a wonderful thing to witness grown adults playing dress-up like children. Did I see fifty-year-old belly-dancers hitting on a pirate? Yes. Did I get talked into buying a raffle ticket ("For a very good cause") by a ten-year old salesman (who is ready to head to the Yukon and make a killing selling ice). Absolutely. Did I cheer my heart out for the arrogant and impudent Sir James? Of course! (Even though we knew he was going to lose as soon as we learned he'd promised each of us a Guinness each for cheering him to victory).

Chris and I are already planning for next year....who wants to come?


On Sunday, the day of rest, we visited family in our home town (not very far away, but not something we usually get to do on the Sabbath because of our church responsibilities).


Then, on Monday we headed out to Knott's (compliments of Mom [Carol] and Dad). We had a great time, but felt our age! There were a ton of middle-schoolers there (standing too close to their boyfriends), and we also discovered that our bodies aren't as resilient when it comes to roller coasters. We were able to go on everything we wanted to, but we had to take breaks between the big ones. My head was killing me, and Chris' back hurt. Still, it was fun and totally worth it! Afterwards we went to PoFolks for dinner. I'd never been there, but it was great! They had typical homestyle diner fare, with an emphisas on southern flavors. The dinners came with three "Veggies." I chose Cole Slaw, Macaroni n' Cheese, and Baked Beans!


We don't plan on doing such extravigant things for every anniversary, but it was nice to treat ourselves. Besides, we all need to do our part to help our failing economy!

30 April, 2009

Whatever happened to the "Dream Sequence?"

So, while reading Ken Jennings' Blog (he had some pics of Gene Kelly's famous dance scene with Jerry, from Tom and Jerry) I was remembering my childhood of loving musicals, but generally fast-forwarding through those awkward/long/confusing Dream Sequences.

I understand (now) that those scenes were generally made to show off the dancing talent of the cast. It was also common to have lookalikes take the place of the principles (which always confused me SO much in Oklahoma!).



Then again, maybe they accidentally wrote a song/scene that didn't fit anywhere in the story, so they just made someone sniff a love potion!


I know (now) that those crazy sequences had metaphorical significance that I wasn't picking up, so perhaps I should go back and watch, what do you think?


Let's see what I can remember:

"Dream Ballet" from Oklahoma!
"Broadway Melody" from Singing in the Rain
Gene Kelly and Jerry the Mouse from Anchor's Away
The Dream Scene from Fiddler on the Roof

EDIT: Ha! I knew there was one in The Pirate (start at 4:00)


What do you consider the best/worst musical Dream Sequences?

17 April, 2009

Archetypes: What is the Definition of a "Strong" Female Character?

(Once again I find myself inspired by something discovered on accident while looking for something else.

Apparently, Tami Cowden, a romance author, and her partners (I'm not sure in what) got together and wrote a book that catalogues and discusses sixteen character archetypes (eight female, eight male) in fictional works. Here I'm going to present you with a survey of the archetypes along with a few of my thoughts.)


EDIT: After some interesting comments, and a note from Ms. Cowden, I've made a few changes below. If you want those changes to reflect on the facebook quiz, you'll have to take it again.


What is
Strength? When you read a book, do you require "Strong Characters" of the author? Do you shut a movie off halfway through, simply because the heroine seems dull, or spineless? What is your definition of dull? Is it the same as mine?




As I've begun writing, I've found myself justifying these characters both to you and to myself. It is my hypothesis that any of these types can be considered "Strong" characters, but they must be mature ones, written by mature authors.

Too often nowadays, we find ourselves faced with ONE right answer. ONE party, ONE lifestyle, ONE ideal.


Good authors can challenge those assumptions, but poor ones seem to ratify them.



Let's begin:

Ladies First:


The Boss

The Boss is a bold, authoritative, and goal-oriented woman. In difficult situations, she jumps in and takes charge, ordering surrounding characters into action, demanding respect, and bowing to no one.



Not surprisingly, Cowden sites Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth, and Katherine Hepburn's Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter as Bosses. Think of, "I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled." And, " I could peel you like a pear, and God, himself, would call it justice. "

I love these women to the point of heroine-worship, but (maybe it's just me) there seems to be a bit of pressure on all women to be like this. After all, doesn't The Boss sound like the ultimate Feminist dream? Here's what I wonder: Are we told to be tough, strong-willed fighters, or does the suggestion come from our own sense of inadequacy?

Though "Strong" is probably the first word that comes to mind when defining these ladies, I tend to enjoy them in their vulnerable moments. They become relatable, yes, but most of the attraction lies in the fact that they are growing, stepping outside themselves.


The Seductress (formerly "Survivor")

This lady is referred to as "mysterious and manipulative." Often dealing with trust issues, she is constantly on the defense, looking for ways to stay ahead. She's intelligent, but hides behind femininity and charm. She's always got a back-up plan.

According to Cowden, the iconic Survivor is Scarlett O'Hara (Gone with the Wind). My bias here is that I just really don't like Scarlett, with her selfishness and schemes. Still, one could argue that she's a product of her situations: "As God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill, as God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."

Still, I have enjoyed reading about Survivors. One of my all time favorites is the title character in Mara, Daughter of the Nile. Mara is redeemable (in my point of view) because she is heroic. She begins by playing both sides in her little spy game, but eventually realizes that she believes one side is "Right" and risks her life for that belief.

Scarlett just ends up making herself (and everyone else) miserable, but Mara matures and becomes more.



The Spunky Kid

Instead of the Boss, this girl's the team player. She holds her own, but is often in a supporting role. She's got lots of friends, is probably a bit of a "tomboy," and has a great sense of humor.

Cowden's examples include the heroines of Sleepless in Seattle and The Mary Tyler More Show.

My immediate thought is J.K. Rowling's Ginny Weasley. She's lively and witty, but got the cute little sister rap for five books. ""Ginny, don't call Ron a prat, you're not the captain of this team—" "Well, you seemed too busy to call him a prat and I thought someone should.""

Ginny's spunk makes her a fun (and even enviable) character. People like me wish we could speak our thoughts with such ease. Again, I find her most interesting when she is doing something differentSerious, instead of funny. In these moments she proves that spunk can be steel if need be.



The Free Spirit

The Free Spirit is characterized by her whimsical nature. She doesn't feel dictated to or confined by society because she does her own thing. Think inside the box? What box! She's all about the journey, self-expression, and tends to have a rosy world-view. Still, this can get her into trouble when she tries to "help" others, becoming a bit too meddlesome. She doesn't really think ahead, but why worry?

Try Goldie Hawn in HouseSitter: "I just wanted to see what it would be like to live in that picture. " or Amy Adams in Enchanted: "Giselle: Now if only I can find a place to rest my head for the night. Robert: What kind of place? Giselle: I don't know. Maybe a nearby meadow or a hollow tree. " Some also cite Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse, "Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way. "

These women can be annoying, but what about Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl: “I’m not my name. My name is something I wear, like a shirt. It gets worn. I outgrow it, I change it.” or "I root for everybody!

With the whimsy comes a sincere kindness that can be viewed as strength. These women dare to be different.



The Waif

Here's a character that makes Feminists grind their teeth! The classic pure innocent, she always needs to be rescued. Often insecure, instead of taking action, her strength is found in endurance. Still, while wielding a sword would be her last option, that doesn't mean she wouldn't be good at it.

Waifs are probably the most difficult to write for a modern audience. Immature Waifs (like Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries, and Bella Swan from Twilight) have been found annoying (though Mia tends to get off the hook by constantly whining about how she should be like Hilary Clinton, Beyoncé, and other good role models).

Sucessful Waif characters seem to need an excuse for their status of inactivity, such as a cultural concern.

Two of Cowden's examples, the title characters of Sabrina and Jane Eyre, are at a distinct social and financial disadvantage. In addition, Jane fell for her employer in a time where women had little to now power, so that complicates things further.

Yet I find Jane Eyre to be quite heroic. Maybe you wanted her to tell Mr. Rochester to go to Hell, but Jane did what I would have done in her situation. She waited for him to say his piece and then calmly told him she could not, would not, stay and stole away in the night. She endures hunger and homlessness, on her own terms, in favor of comfort and love on terms she could never consider without degredation.

"Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt...May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips; for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love."


If that's not strength, I don't know what is.

(Still, do you think a modern audience would stand for a modern woman acting in such a way without an "excuse" like Jane's?)


(EDIT: Apparently the article I read was from an early draft. Cowden now sites Jane Eyre as a LIBRARIAN. Need another example of a Waif? Try Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz)


The Librarian

She's orderly, controlled, and knows she's intelligent (even if no one else does). She's stubborn and self-reliant, taking care of herself with her brains, not her looks. Often practical to the point of impatience, The Librarian knows what is proper, and will generally make sure everyone else does too.

Yes, you guessed it, Cowden named this Archetype after Marion the Librarian from The Music Man.

"As long as the Madison Public Library was entrusted

To me for the purpose of improving River City's cultural level,

I can't help my concern that the Ladies of River City

Keep ignoring all my council and advice. "


One of my favorite Librarians, of course, is Hermione Granger. "You're saying it wrong," Harry heard Hermione snap. "It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, and make the 'gar' nice and long."

A know-it-all can be annoying, but don't we love watching them grow out of their frosty exterior?



The Crusader

The Crusader lives for her Mission (whatever that may be) so if you stand in her way, be prepared to face the consequences. Not afraid to get her hands dirty, you will find her in the thick of things. She's stubborn and feisty, and never takes a vacation.

Most Comicbook heroines are Crusaders, along with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and (probably the most famous Crusader) Princess Leia, "I don't know who you are or where you've come from, but from now on you'll do as I say. "


Crusaders, like Bosses, are wonderfully intimidating. One needs them for their passion and direction, but no one is ever as committed as they are.



The Nurturer


The Nurturer isn't necessarily a homemaker. She cheerfully takes care of EVERYONE. A happy ending isn't good enough unless it applies to her family and friends as well. With her composure and patient ear she will listen to, and generally solve, everyone's problems. With loyalty to the point of stubbornness, she'll protect those she cares about. When others are with her, they're in good hands, and they might just get cookies!

Examples of Nurturers include the helping, healing Vianne Rocher in the book Chocolat and Mary Poppins: "Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking."


While often losing themselves by becoming too entrenched in the problems of others, no one can deny that Nurturers are strong. Imagine a mama bear, fiercely protecting her cubs. Perhaps it was a Nurturer screaming, "Not my daughter, you b****!" as she jumped into the fray, weapon drawn. These are the moments we look forward to, when the Nurturer's calmness gives way to her need to protect.



In conclusion, I find that what makes a character interesting and inspiring (to me) is not necessarily strength, but maturity. Maturity, in my opinion, being the ability to step outside ones comfort zone, and do something necessary, but hard. If a character is always mouthing off, perhaps she will learn to stop and think, if she is quiet and unassuming, perhaps she will learn to stick up for herself. We look for these changes, and we rejoice in them, because than we now have something for which to admire the heroines.


Well, that turned out completely different from how I had anticipated, but I have some questions for you followers (and hopefully blogstalkers :)

Can you guess which Archetypes I identify with the most? (Hint: They're the ones I spent the most time justifying, lol)
Can you guess which Archetypes I identify with the least?
What Archetype are you? (If you're having trouble deciding, try the Facebook Quiz I made)

14 April, 2009

Thank Goodness for Redbox

Dear Summit Entertainment,

I understand that you wanted to make the Twilight movie as close to the book as possible.

Still, you didn’t need to leave those spaces during dialogue for Bella’s thoughts. We can’t hear them, so...thanks....but that really wasn’t necessary. Maybe you were trying to build tension... (?)...but it seriously made me want go all George Lucas on you.

“FASTER with MORE INTENSITY!”



(Surely such a plotless book could have been made into a movie UNDER two hours?!?)

24 March, 2009

Resolution Pt. Two

Naw, you guys don't wanna hear about my health problems and how I'm doing a little bit better, do you?

How about instead I give you a sneak peek into the Broadway Musical I'm writing? It's about an Enchanted, but Cursed Castle.


Cue Intro Music (This video has the perfect mood music, it's just how I imagined!) Read the opening narration, while it plays.






NARRATOR: Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he enjoyed good health and everything else his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old, sickly woman came to the castle and offered him a single roll of toilet paper in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her ugliness and flatulence, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by smells, for beauty is found within. And when he dismissed her again, the old woman's ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress that smelled of roses. The prince tried to apologize, but it was too late, for she had seen that there was no catharsis in his heart. And as punishment, she transformed his bowels into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. Ashamed of his monstrous stomach, and putrid smell, the beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. The roll she had offered was truly an enchanted roll, which would last until his 21st year. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last sheet was used, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a constipated beast for all time. As the years passed, his proctitis turned to colitis, and his colitis to crohn's, and he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?




Here's the lyrics to one of the completed songs:

Pooping Again, Written by Mary Sanders

Dedicated to Any and Every One who suffers from Crohn’s, Colitis, Proctitis, or IBS




LUMIERE

Ha ha, yes, my friends.
The day we have waited for may be at hand!

MRS. POTTS

Oh, only if that were true, Lumiere!

LUMIERE

Aaah...pooping again

MRS. POTTS

Pooping again

LUMIERE

Yes, think of what that means!

LUMIERE

I'll be cooking again
Be good-looking again
With a mademoiselle on each arm
When I'm pooping again
Only pooping again
Free of gas and gleaming with charm...
I'll be courting again
Chic and sporting again

MRS. POTTS

Without causing the ladies alarm!

CHIP

I'll hop into the loo

LUMIERE

And toute suite take a poo

CHIP

I can't wait to be pooping again

MME. DE LA GRANDE BOUCHE, MRS. POTTS ,BABETTE

When we're pooping again
Only pooping again
When our bodies start working once more

CHIP

Little push to begin
It could, whoosh, fall right in!

MME. DE LA GRANDE BOUCHE

Ah, cherie, won't it all be top-drawer
I'll wear lipstick and rouge
And I won't feel so huge
Why, I'll comf'ly fit in tight clothes!
I won’t keep getting caught
Everyday
On the pot
It's my thought to be pooping again

COGSWORTH

When I'm pooping again
Only pooping again
When the world once more starts making sense
I'll unwind for a change

LUMIERE

Really? That'd be strange!

COGSWORTH

Can I help it if I'm t-t-tense?
In a shack by the seas
I'll sit back eating cheese
Let my early retirement commence
I'll forget my exlax
Have no stains on my slacks, and relax!

ALL

When I'm pooping again
So grab some pills from the drawer!
Avoid eating fried rice!
I can feel, I can tell
Something might break the spell
Any day now!


MRS. POTTS, EGG TIMER, WHISK

Open the cupboards and get out some Tums

MRS. POTTS

Pop these down so you don’t get the runs

ALL

Scoop up the years
Of bloating and tears
And flush them away!

ALL

When… We're… pooping again
Only pooping again
We'll be walking around with such ease
When we're pooping again
Only pooping again
And it just takes a quick one-two-three (One, two, three!)
No more groaning again!
No more Chrohning again!
We’ll be feeling as fine as you please
Like a cured human does
I'll be all that I was
On that glorious morn
When we're fin'lly reborn
And we're all of us pooping again!




You know me, I like to have lofty goals. One can dream, right?

23 March, 2009

John Lennon and Girl Scout Cookies

So I got one of those Singing Cards in the mail today (a modern Singing Telegram) from JOHN LENNON. He just wanted to let me know that he thinks I'm doing really well as Primary President, which I thought was awfully nice of him. I actually had been feeling guilty for slacking off in some areas of that responsibility, so it was nice to be reminded that I HAVE done a lot of good. I wish him Hope, Peace, and Happiness too....wherever he is.



Of course, on the way out of the Post Office, we got waylaid by the Girl Scouts of America. I knew Chris wanted to get some Girl Scout Cookies, but he was on the phone, so I told the girl I wanted a box of Thin Mints (my favorite) and one of Samoas (His).

Of course, what I actually asked for was "Samoans," but she fortunately knew what I meant. Not that I would have minded a few Pacific Islanders, I've loved all the Samoans I've met in the past!



"You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"


Thanks to my Kindred Spirit ;)

20 March, 2009

New Year's Resolution--Even Though it's March

WARNING: This will probably be the most boring post I've ever written.

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Never mind, this is a lame idea for a post. I was gonna write about my decision to chew my food more, and it's probable effect on my health, but do you really wanna hear about that?



I didn't think so.


So comment and tell me what you'd rather read:

- A fairy-tale I wrote in College (Completed, needs editing)

- Another story I made up as a child (though very different from the "Cat One") (Outlined, needs writing)

- A commentary (inspired by This Site) on the romantic archetypes of fictional heros and heroines, and whether authors writing romance are observing true human nature, copying other authors who do, or if their audience is merely subconsciously acting out the stereotypes they read/watch. (Just a stew of thoughts at the moment)

- A mash of thoughts on BYU, Multiculturalism, and Politics. (Half written, but no outline)

- My guesses on the application of the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator to NBC's The Office. (Half done, but needs an entire re-write)

20 February, 2009

Scrapblog.com, My New Favorite Thing

Thanks to Kellie, I was able to figure out how to beautify my blog! The Background is from thecutestblogontheblock.com and my banner is a template from scrapblog.com.

Scrapblog is so fun! I have unleashed my inner collage artist, and after taking my header almost completely as is (I only changed the text and pictures) I was ready to do one from scratch.


Here is the result. I am rather proud of it. It took FOREVER, but I am really happy with the way it looks (all the images are from their site, but I placed them, layered them, and chose the opacity, size, etc.). If you can't see it very well, the larger version is here.



19 February, 2009

Perspective

People I Know who are Pregnant:

My Visiting Teacher
My Cousin Victoria
My Cousin Ellen
My Other Mary
Her Sister-in-Law
My Best Friend
Her Cousin
A Friend that I don't know if I'm allow to tell people about yet....
A Friend from High School that I haven't Seen for a While
A Girl My Husband Used to Like
(Some I forgot/didn't know about) Tonya, Chiemi, Kim....I'll think of more later, I'm sure. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.


People I Know who Desperately Want to Have a Baby, but Can't, so are Trying to Adopt:

My Friend from College and his Wife




People I Know who are Silly, Impatient, and Getting Ahead of Themselves:

me



*Please take a moment to review my friend's adoption profile, maybe even post it on your blog. The sooner the word is out, the sooner their dreams will come true.

What Twilight Should Have Been

I've been thinking about Twilight lately.

Yeah, I know, I need a new topic. But after being secretly obsessed with those books, I've been trying to both justify my reaction, and figure out how I feel about the books now.

I have already dealt with the some of the Questionable Content in Twilight. As well as the Reason Why People Read it. Today, I'm going to quickly examine the literary merits of the book, and then explain what form it could, and perhaps should, have taken.

One thing that helped me understand my own veiw, was going to amazon.com and reading the reviews of others. Not the paltry ones from "Twi-hards" or haters (which generally focus entirely on story content and whether they loved or hated it), but the meaty ones that are written with thought (and allude to the author's skill). I especially like the 3/5 stars entries, because there I generally find reviews I agree with. These often point out the same flaws/strengths. Elizabeth Spires, reviewing for the New York Times, got it right.

"The premise of "Twilight" is attractive and compelling — who hasn't fantasized about unearthly love with a beautiful stranger? — but the book suffers at times from overearnest, amateurish writing. A little more "showing" and a lot less "telling" might have been a good thing, especially some pruning to eliminate the constant references to Edward's shattering beauty and Bella's undying love."

The way I see it, Twilight suffers from two main things.

It Lacks Plot.
If you can be satisfied to follow every minute detail of a heroine's mental agony over new love (as apparently I can), then you'll enjoy Twilight. The book does not offer as much in the way of life events, as it does in mental/emotional events. Also, it is a very linear book. Bella has one problem and, as soon as it is resolved, another problem enters to take it's place.

The Main Characters Aren't Sympethetic.
Those who view books critically tend to find Bella annoying and weak, and Edward abusive. Those who, like me, take characters at face value on a first read, found them to be exactly what Stephenie Meyer intended. Bella is supposed to have a quiet strength. She rarely stands up for herself or speaks her mind but, in the end, she always does what she thinks is right. Edward is supposed to be the strong intellectual that burns with such passion he will stand in the way of anything that threaten's Bella's safety (including Bella herself). The problem lies, as Elizabeth Spires said, in too much telling, and not enough showing. People like me tend to believe everything they are told (unless there is obvious evidence to the contrary), but to about half the population, seeing is believing. So while I find that Bella and Edward's relationship is reminicent of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester's (INFJ + ENTJ), many people find the whole thing to be a disgusting, anti-feminist travesty. In the end, perhaps they are right.

Obviously, the fatal flaw in my Jane Eyre argument is that, in that story, Jane was the one strong enough to leave a bad situation, while in Twilight's sequal, it is Edward that leaves.



Now, on to the THE POINT of my post (yes, I know I always take too long to arrive, but in case you haven't noticed, it's the journey, the "rising action" that I enjoy).


What should Twilight have been? No plot? Flat characters? I'd have thought it was obvious.




Twilight Should have been an Opera

Remember those famous lines from Phantom (Which, incidentally, is not an opera)?

You'd never get away
with all this in a play,
but if it's loudly sung
and in a foreign tongue
it's just the sort o
f story
audiences adore,
in fact a perfect opera!


Traditional opera is a combination of two kinds of singing: Recititive and Aria. Recititive is singing where the melody mimics human speech patterns. It is the conversations, the dialogue, and what moves the action in an opera. Arias are moments in time. Traditionally, they are supposed to explore a single emotion. They do not move the plot forward, but instead are a probe of some aspect of the human experience. (Which is why people take so long to die in operas, they're exploring their final emotion.)

Twilight is full of emotional probes.

Imagine the selections on the soundtrack?
An Aria for Bella, "L'amour est un brillant poitrine".
And one for Edward, "Qu'est-ce qu'elle pense en ce moment?"
And while we're at it, how about Charlie? "S'il vous plaît, rester loin de ma fille!"

No? No opera?

Fine.




Twilight Should have been a Poem

Imagine if Stephenie Meyer had chosen a more abstract method to catalogue her famous dream? Instead of creating characters that made her curious to explore their lives, she could have focused on the strong emotions involved, written a page a verse, and been done.

I'm no poet, but here's what I came up with in a few minutes:

Green leaves cover death
secret song thrums through veins to capture heart
darkness never looked so bright

breath steals it's last moment
Life lives it's fullest
thinking
perhaps
it has come to an end

Heart stopped by absence....
or presence


What would you decide?


Not very good, but I could keep at it and make it better.
My friend, though he hated the movie, was somehow inspired by the concept. He came home and wrote a creeptastically chilling love song. Someday, when it's online, I'll link it here, but for now, you'll have to make do with my attempt.


Alright, now, I know you might not like poetry, so here's my favorite thought:



Twilight Should have been a BALLET

Imagine! No dialogue! No characters agonizing over their faults while the audience completely agrees. No constant discriptions of Edward's beauty! Physical beauty could be successfully portrayed by the (statistically) gay man in the part. It wouldn't be weird that he takes his shirt off, because it'll actually help us see the lines of his movement! And Bella would never have to remind us how clumsy she is.

Ballets have a tradition of romance and the supernatural, and can also do well in industrialized settings (wish I could have seen Matthew Bourne's Cinderella, set in WWII Britain, when it was here in LA).

Bella and Edward's danger laden passion could have been exemplified in beautiful, tension filled pas de deux ("step of two," a dancer's duet, if you will). And imagine the high school scenes! I can picture the intricate chaos between classes, the shy and clumsy Bella, unaware of her effect on those around her. And don't forget pas d'action! The romance would probably not take as long, so we could skip ahead to an Allegro fight scene with James.

How else can we ladies talk our men into going to the ballet?



I'll make a poll. Let me know which you think Twilight should have been.



P.S. I've never tried to get my husband to go to a ballet, but he took ballet in college and I go to Clippers' games with him, so maybe I should try it....

09 February, 2009

KB Award

So I won this award:


Another blogger tagged me with the following award:

(Rich at GET OFFLINE AND GO OUTSIDE)

The purpose of this award is to let you know that you must post a short list of things you "love" to help your readers get to know you better. Rejecting the award is not an option, besides who'd want to reject attention and glamour anyway?

Here is my list:

1. I love NPR. My brother got me hooked on it last year. I know people complain about it (it's too liberal, it's too boring) but I love the intelligent hosts, interesting stories, and impressive guests. And hey, at least they try to be neutral. They have a very non-confrontational, calm style that took getting used to, but I really like. My favorite shows are probably All Things Considered and The Story. My local station is KPCC. Gotta love Airtalk and The Patt Morrison Blog! Seriously, where can you find such a comprehensive look at local, national, and internationsl news, along with science, the arts, and a bunch of random stuff you never knew you were interested it!

2. I love Explaining. I don't love discipline, grading, record keeping, planning, or anything else that teachers do, that's why I decided not to be a teacher. But I LOVE to explain, to tell stories, make analogies, help others understand. Yesterday I taught some little kids a bible story, it was awesome. I love translating thoughts into words my audience can understand. Because of this, I also love acting, singing, puppetry, and story-telling. I even like reading the instructions for a new board game, so I can be the one to sum it up for eveyone else.

3. I love shirt.woot.com. From the weird designs, to the crazy filters and lame controversies (okay, so maybe I'm not that fond of those). Seriously, I waste so much time on that site. Everyday a new shirt comes on sale. That shirt costs ten dollars for 24 hours only, and after that it's fifteen, but only until it falls below the top twenty best sellers on the site. Then it is axed. Forever. Monday-Thursday are suprises. The site chooses designs that have been submitted to them by artists. Friday-Sunday the shirts printed are the winners of The Derby. Anyone can enter the derby. They post a theme every Thursday at noon, and then you can start submitting designs on Friday at noon. You can keep submitting till the following Thursday, but you have to get votes, so it's best to submit on Friday (or Saturday). I just love to see what the artist's come up with. My favorite Artist on the site goes by BootsBoots. But her real name is Jamie Melani Marshall. She's hilarious and amazingly talented, and we seem to have a lot in common so I joked that I we should be best friends, and she agreed, ahuhu.

4. I love Reading. Well, duh. But seriously, it's AMAZING. I get so into a story, and then I just can't stop reading (that's why I don't read as much as I did). Blogging is easier on my lifestyle because blogs come in single servings. It's amazing to make friends with fictional characters. I've found heroes, kindred spirits, and siblings: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, Jane Eyre, Anne Shirley, Stargirl, Anne Eliott, Taran of Caer Dalben, Margaruite Blakeney, and countless others!

There is something about books that makes you feel powerful. You get to be someone else, see the world in a new light, have new talents and strengths. You also get the high of rising action and mystery. In the end, it's an escapist thing. I get to step away from any problems or stress I have, and go somewhere else: mentally and emotionally. Cause that's where I really live. Not in California, but in my head.

5. I love taking and discussing Personality Tests. I know, I know, they're not always accurate, they can cause you to self-fufill, mis-judge people etc. etc. etc. But I still love them. Probably because I love talking about myself, and also because I like to find out what makes people tick. My favorites are the Myers-Briggs Temperment Indicator, Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and (yes, groan) The Color Code. Occasionally, I even like those silly quizzes on quizilla etc. So what am I? I am an Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver (INFP) the Jungian Shadow of the western world, I have strengths in Music, then Language, and weaknesses as a Naturalist, and then Kinesthetic (Full results here), I am a White with Blue. I've scored in some silly tests as: Marge, Yoda, Remus Lupin, and Gamma.

6. I love Costumes. I am forever wasting money at thrift stores on crazy dresses I may never get the chance to wear....but I still collect them. When we finally have a house of our own, Chris and I will proabably dedicate the garage to our crazy finds. Whether it be a three peice austrian suit (him), or a yellow '60s prom dress (me). Some of my favorite finds include: A girtle from the 1950s in the original packaging, A black, floor-length dress with a wide empire waist that looks like it's from the '40s but is acutally from the '80s, and an intricately sequined butterfly shawl.



Okay, well, surpisingly enough, I could go on! #7 would have been about Ireland, but I need to go.

I bestow this auspicious award upon CuteCultureChick, Ms. Liz, and Tyro Erudition. Consider yourself tagged ladies!

25 January, 2009

My Favorite Redheads

It's a fact. I have always wanted to be a redhead. It is simply unfair! What is the purpose of this complexion, if not to be rewarded with red hair! Still, I do love my dark locks, it's just difficult when all the greats are redheads!

Some of these were my childhood heroes or friends, some are new acquaintances.


Redheads in Fact:

*Elizabeth I (A Fabulous Female! Talk about power and not letting anyone control your destiny)
*Katherine Hepburn (I love a gutsy lady! My favorite actress of all time, she could do drama or comedy)
*Vincent Van Gogh (one of, if not the, greatest painters of all time. I know Starry Night is over-used but, seriously, have you seen it? Also, just had to share, my husband recently purchased this lovely alternate Van Gogh shirt: a "what if" affair.)


Redheads in Fiction:

*All the Weasleys, especially Ron and Ginny ....and the twins...and well....all of them.
*Dr. Crusher (These commercials brought to you by the airforce. That's right kids, stay in school and you might get to meet aliens one day! ahuhu)
*Anne of Green Gables (best moment at 1:45) (Is it weird that I've felt spiritually uplifted from reading these books? And also from the first two movies? Anne is my hero!)
*Mara Jade (Proof that I am an uber dork! Another redhead that kicks serious butt! There's something awesome about a badguy that doesn't know they're really a goodguy. If you like Star Wars, don't read any SW book that isn't written by Timothy Zahn.) (if you click the above link, you will see that I am not as big a fan as I thought!)
*Freckles, the sweet Irish orphan with an angel's voice, he triumphed over his disability and background to gain his heart's dearest wishes while teaching me the beauty, power, and sacredness of nature.


Fact/Fiction:

*Mr. Bingley, as portrayed by Simon Woods, did not fit into the fact OR fiction category, so I've placed him here. (I'll never forget when Grannie turned to me in the theatre and said, "Who is that actor?" "I don't know," I replied. She paused, "He's very lovely, isn't he?" Yes Grannie. He certainly is.