Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Observations (as we play Balderdash)

My older brother can be suckered in if you write any sort of answer about the South. Or mention black people. Doubly suckered in if you mention both. Extra points, sometimes, if you make him laugh hard enough.

My younger sister has the family perfectionist gene, which doesn't often shows itself . . . although I still remember the first time she got lower than an A in college. Somewhat distraught, but she knew nobody else in her class had gotten such high grades. (O-Chem, if you're interested--a class I've heard is just plain evil)

My dad's answers grew increasingly more easy to pick out. The man has a highly logical brain that doesn't allow for very many silly anomalies. Not that he can't be silly. He can't just do it off the cuff.

My mom voted for anything that sounded a) random, or b) just too dang funny. And I pride myself for getting one of my best reactions-ever-from my dad. We were supposed to write about "Larry Kahn"--so my Larry was a far-distant relative of Genghis Khan, who sells world-famous hot dogs. In Brooklyn. My dad couldn't breathe for five minutes.

And my brother-in-law, unsurprisingly, always went for the laugh. "Bumclock: a pocket watch kept only in your back pocket." And now I realize where I inherited any and all BS skills I may have. Also where my lack of a poker face comes from.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Feet are Fickle Things

I'm sure all of you would be glad to hear that my foot is no longer the size of a watermelon. It's regaining it's usual shape and size, even if it still has a distinctive hue (a sick shade of lilac, aside from the dark bruise on the bottom of my foot, which can't decide exactly what shade of purple it should like to be).

Now, I'm experience some rather curious sensations: I have the sensation you get when your foot is falling asleep, except somewhat painful. I can't turn my foot at a ninety degree ankle. And three of my toes (the three outer toes, in case you were curious) don't move. I can't curl them. I can make the third toe move a little if I strain, but then I get a bit of extra pain.

And out of curiosity, are there no teasing insults for someone who has difficulty walking aside from "gimp", "hopalong", and "lame"?

Books and Me

A good friend from college once told me the following: "If books were fashion, dear, you would be super chic." I seem to cotton on to bestsellers and excellent literature before it hits the mainstream: the most notable example being Harry Potter--I read the first book roughly six months after it had been released in the United States, read the third almost immediately upon its release. The public didn't cotton on to these novels, not really, until the time for the fourth approached.

And by then they were huge. I credit the Harry Potter series for many connections I've seen forged over the past several years, for an increase in the number of people I see reading--and a corresponding increase in the willingness of people to talk about what they're reading. It's made my life a bit easier, because, you see, books are my language.

But as of 5:40 this evening, they are a language I wish I had taught myself a little bit different. 5:40 was when I finished the 7th and final installment of the Harry Potter series. And I had a twinge of sadness as I closed the book and set it down: what, if anything, will fill the void left in me now that I'm done? I wish I knew how to get absorbed in a book in a slow way--how to savor it and draw out the experience--but I don't. When it comes to books, once I'm in, I'm all in. No turning back.

The anticipation builds up to such a point it almost (almost, mind you, but not quite) becomes anticlimactic. And, for me, the anticipation means channeling awesome amounts of energy into other things. Nothing else I've found gives me that type of energy. Nothing. Nowhere.

And this is the other thing about reading Harry Potter: I can't write anything for a week or two afterward without crumpling it up, throwing it away, and wondering, "What's the use? It's not like I'll end up writing the next 'book blockbuster' like Harry Potter . . ."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Story--for Kassie's Benefit

Once upon there was this girl named Confuzzled. She was practically perfect in every way (hee hee-rather like Mary Poppins except many people found Mary Poppins much, MUCH more creepy). Anyway, one morning this absolutely fabulous girl left the apartment she shared with another girl who was also practically perfect in every way and embarked upon a great journey - to the Trax stop that was a block away.

Confuzzled managed to get ON to the train with absolutely no incidents, except for that unfortunate zealous Christian guy who tried to tell her she didn't REALLY believe in Christ because she was Mormon, and everyone knows that Mormons aren't Christian. But after that, the ride was peaceful.Until she attempted to disembark from the train, when DISASTER occurred.

Her cute little strappy sandals with the kitten heels snagged on the top step of Trax. And since she was going home to visit her family and attend a trek meeting, her bag weighed much more than usual. She was, to be short, done for. She crashed onto the eagerly waiting cement (rather like a shark, this cement could smell blood and feasted on it), wrenching her ankle in the process. Then she walked a block to catch the bus. Then she walked three blocks to work after disembarking from the bus.

Finally, at 9:20-when she was suffering more pain than she'd like to admit-she kindly requested her co-worker to run her to the urgent care facility (her co-worker, coincidentally, was also practically perfect in every way). The doctor there told her she had sprained her ankle rather nastily, but hadn't broken anything and was, in fact, lucky that she had not fallen on her head instead of her ankle. (Confuzzled silently scoffed at this, because she already coped with a great deal of head pain) The doctor indicated the ankle SHOULD heal within a couple of weeks, but instructed her to return if anything else untoward happened or if the ankle had NOT healed within a couple of weeks.

Long story short (not), this dear girl is no longer practically perfect. Indeed ,she has been called a gimp more than once. If she had a camera, she would have taken pictures of her atrociously swollen ankle and ferociously bruised legs, but alas . . . you shall have to imagine.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Livin' in the City

Moving is an arduous business--especially for a girl who seems to have acquired a significant library of her own. I moved to Salt Lake a week ago Saturday--fourteen boxes total, and anyone who knows me can guess the exact number of boxes that had books in them.

Living in Salt Lake has proved interesting so far. My older brother insists that my roommate and I have moved into a third-world country because there seem to be a plethora of Hispanic people in the small apartment complex we have moved to, but my roommate has actually lived in a third-world country and insists that we live in a second-world country. (Meanwhile, I'm having serious difficulties reheating food without a microwave . . . )

The move has brought me closer to a huge library, so if I said I was sad--obviously, I'd be lying. I'm greatly looking forward to the day the postal service delivers our first utility bill, because that will mean that I have enough proof of residency to get a library card from said huge library. My parents seem to think it dangerous--me living so close to a library--but they ceded their position today at dinner when I pointed out that loaning books from the library is free and that it would be much more dangerous if I lived that close to a Barnes and Noble or Borders, where I would be tempted to spend massive amounts of money on the written word.

Also, the move has caused massive amounts of prayer on the behalf of our parents--who, I hope, feel gratified by the fact that we stumbled into the correct student ward for us this morning--quite unconsciously. Of course, my parents weren't feeling quite so entertained when I recounted my adventures of Friday in getting to work on public transportation (Jehovah's witnesses attempted to convert me on my way to Trax, I almost plowed over a rabbi getting onto Trax, and then I endured catcalls from two half-drunks Mexicans, followed by some Spanish laments "Ella no tiene corazon" and some others that I wouldn't repeat, on the off chance anybody reading this had a grasp of Spanish).

I told my dad about my adventures yesterday when he took me out to lunch, and he found them entertaining. But my boss insists she will feel much better about my travels to and from work if I had some pepper spray or something, and my mom is inclined to agree with my boss. So . . . in the interest of humoring people who care about me and who I also care about--does anybody know where a girl can get some pepper spray??