Saturday, June 23, 2007


If you have ever written me any note on any piece of paper or sent me a birthday card through the mail . . . if you ever sneaked notes into my folder when you worked at the Writing Center with me or placed notes under my pillow when we roomed together, you will be glad to know: I kept them. I kept them all. And I can't bear to part with any of them. The shoebox full of notes that I've received over the years is one of the few things I can't bear to throw away. Ever, I think. Probably because I remember the stories behind every single birthday card and every single note.

For instance, I found a gem someone gave me on my 21st birthday. It requires some context: my friend, at this point, had undergone foot surgery on her right foot, causing her to gimp along and me to dub her "Hopalong." In due retribution (and because it's just too easy because my right eye is completely blind and is actually, in part, a prosthetic--by the by, one of these days I'll treat you all to the fabulously hilarious story about how my eye fell out in the middle of my women's lit class when I was at good old WSU), she dubbed me Lefty. The card she gave me for my birthday that year reads like this (except that I've corrected the purposefully included typos, a strategy that all of my friends have been using for years to drive me slightly crazy on my birthday--but again, that is neither here nor there):

"Lefty, Remember: just because you are now legally an adult [doesn't mean] that you still can't act like a kid. Happy Birthday! I hope your birthday went well. I look forward to the ones to come. I promise you that when we become the crazy ladies up the street that if you remember to tell me to watch my step, I will remember to tell you if your eye is in straight. Or in at all. Hopalong"

(It still makes me giggle! Now you will all understand why it takes me so darn long to pack!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I have one.

Way back in the day, I went to BYU and took this honors writing class . . and there was this super sweet girl in it who wanted to go into counseling someday.

I think I have discovered her blog . . . but how do you establish identities in this fickle, fickle online world???

Read the Signs

Something at work has been bothering me since I started at the end of January. It's a sign on the inside door of a stall that reads:


It irks because a) the universally capitalized command makes me feel rather like a child who is being yelled at and b) because their spelling of the word "completely" seems . . . er, less than complete.

Lynne Truss would be proud.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Worker Incognita

Ha! That's what I'm not. Here is a list of the various perceptions people I've worked with in the past have had of yours truly:

1. The very old, very cool, very silly babysitter who could cook a killer hot dog. When you're three, that's about all you think of the girl who is watching you. If you're the parents of that little boy, you're thankful any time your kid messes up and says "oh my heavens" instead of more colorful alternatives.
2. The very cranky college freshman. When you wake up at quarter to five to go into work and you were never a morning person to begin with, your co-workers think it's impossible there is a less than surly bone in your body. It probably didn't help that I (I'm incidentally quite gregarious and articulate at decent hours of the day . . . and unholy hours of the night, but never in the morning) communicated mostly in grunts.
3. The tremendously efficient girl who could type 100 wpm, carry on a conversation in which she dissected Harry Potter with co-workers, and instant message someone else--simultaneously. True talent, I tell you.
4. The girl who was never content with a simple lead for a newspaper article. Instead, I had to compare the destruction of trees on campus to Dr. Seuss and "The Lorax," insisted on an elaborate cooking conceit when covering foreign language classes offered in restaurants, and compared George W. Bush's answer to the question of the war on terrorism to Michelangelo's answer to the Pope in The Agony and the Ecstasy. ("When will it be done?" "When I am finished.")
4. The girl who read a book a day for two semesters, except during finals week when she was actually required to proctor the computer testing center.
5. The resident Writing Center femi-Nazi. All right, femi-Nazi might be a little harsh, but I gained quite the rep as an advocate of the intelligence of women, the capability of women in the business workforce, and the voice of the persistent opinion that women can learn anything men can. (These ideas didn't seem that extreme to me, but my boss labeled me as quite the feminist and the label stuck. Possibly because I'm quite ready to offer my opinions about pretty much anything at any given time, invited or not.) The WC folks also noted my bluntness (I believe my fellow tutor's exact words were: "Wow. You just say it like it is." Thus my evolution into the self-proclaimed Tactless Tutor . . . although the fellow recanted backward a little to say blunt and honest might fit better than tactless)
6. And now, the resident (office) politician. After working for the State, I've got a pretty good idea of how bureaucracy works and how to play the system to my advantage . . . this might be my best work role yet. As HR, I am part of the system I'm manipulating . . . and oh, but the manipulation is fun! Someday, I think I will write a whole novel about office politics.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I Measure My Life In . . .

So I've been thinking recently. The thinking part, incidentally, is nothing new--but this is the first time I've pondered this topic to such an extent. The topic is how I measure my life. Prufrock first led me to ponder this my freshman year of high school, and any time I revisited his pathetic existence: he admits he has "measured his life in coffee spoons." And not too long ago, I was watching Rent and listening to the variety of things they sing about measuring a year with in "Seasons of Love": daylights, sunsets, midnights, cups of coffee, inches, miles, laughter, strife . . . the first conclusion I reached was quite simple: obviously, I could measure my life in many different ways.

At first, I thought that logical and chronological ways of measuring time were limited, but I've expanded my thinking to include a vast number: years, days, months, minutes, seconds . . . this line of thought can break down to all sorts of things, including ticks of the clock and measurement by milestones. None of which, incidentally, I decided would be the best way of measuring my life.

Measuring my life by measuring emotions proved quite the headache to think about. How, indeed, do you measure by using heartache or happiness, excitement or apathy? And do certain negative emotions cancel out the positive? How do I reach a sum of emotions, all of them distinct--some of them stark opposite, but some subtler shades of others?

In the end, I have decided that one thing has served as a constant in my life (aside from my religion). In fact, I have owned some of these for as long as I can remember. In short, I would measure my life in post-it notes. As long as I could interchange them with index cards, because these two things have been constants. If there existed a way to resurrect all of the post-it notes that I have ever written, I think they would describe my life astonishingly well. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am of my conclusion . . . and it worries me a little.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A Book

Everyone in the world who has ever loved any sort of novel should read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. If they don't like it, then something is seriously wrong with them.