Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The count is in.....one A, two A-'s, one B+, one B-, and one C+.
Let's be honest...i expected much worse. I had some days/weeks where my highest hopes were to simply pass all my classes.
I feel entirely unashamed of myself, and since this is my blog, i reserve space for bragging rights now and again. And this is a now. Stay tuned for an again.
I figure it would be UNhealthy if i graduated college without at least one C on my record. I feel a little more human now. No more undue pressure to combat the evil curve...aka, compete against my fellow BYU students. If they want the 4.0's, they can take 'em....me? i choose life.
One more semester to go....just one :)
The forecast: Something like 19 credits....including an internship....a part-time job....Make a Wish....and all that snow to walk through.
Gonna be a doozy, kids.
Good thing i look awesome in a cap and gown.
Kuzko: "Sharp rocks at the bottom?"
Pacha: "Most Likely."
Kuzko: "...Bring it on."
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A semester in the life...
The one type of facial hair that isn't against the honor code....mustaches. Sick.
Guitar time outside our apartment! Notice the porch swing....we love that porch swing. We're moving it inside for the winter.
We know we look good. My teeth are glowing.
We all happened to wear matching-ish outfits to church one week. Three in blank, the other three in light pink and white. Kind of creepy, but why pass up a photo op....
IN OTHER NEWS....
So, it's pretty much given that, if you're in a YSA student ward, about once a year you'll have a talent show.
And, it's pretty much given that, if you live with me, you have to be in that talent show performing some kind of skit that is basically devoid of the aforementioned "talent."
Sophomore year: Dancing to the Men n' Black theme song. In banana suits. The actual choreography from the music video. Won both the ward and stake levels.
Junior year: Interpretive poetry/dance to Colors of the Wind. Won the ward level. Performed at the stake level, but they didn't give out prizes this year....I think they didn't want to make our competitors feel bad.
Senior year: Well....see you for yourself...
From left to right, it's Kirtley, Jane, me (in red), and Nicole. My other two roommates are working the curtains (Lauralee) or filming (Kels).
Yes, we made this up like 30 min before we went on stage.
No, don't ask how we got our bodies into those sweatshirts.
This is a perfect example of why it's important not to bury your "talents."
There weren't any prizes awarded this year, and no stake show to get promoted to....which is funny, considering that everything else at BYU is about competition...but in our hearts, we know we would have won.
Oh, how I love us.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Considering that I'm going to graduate from college in a few short months, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do with my life. And tonight I started thinking about some things I have always secretly wanted to do. And lucky you, you get to hear about them!
So, in no particular order....
Hairstyling. Although it will be nice to get a bachelor's degree, I sometimes wonder why I didn't just go to hair school and have a career by now. Maybe someday I will just go!
Music video making. The truth is, I know very little about video editing and even less about dance choreography...BUT....i've always wanted to direct a music video. Sometimes I listen to songs and I have genius ideas. (Admit it....you've all done it.)
Wildebeest hunting. Okay, this one is a lie. Moving on.
Traveling the world. I never wanted to travel the world until recently. I got all excited about the idea and then remembered that you have to have money and speak other languages and not be afraid of big cities to accomplish this dream. Perhaps someday...
Write a book. Or an article that goes in a magazine. Something besides writing inane articles for the education website at BYU....which I do....every day....
Culinary arts. Let's be honest, I get pretty creative when I cook. As in, i make up measurements and substitute things here and there. Hey, no one's died yet....
The East Coast. I guess this is kind of like traveling....but wouldn't it be awesome to be brave enough to wear a trench coat and live in the big city where the leaves change colors?? Mmm.
A small town. I want this more than the East Coast. A big porch, a clothesline, and a treehouse. And a diner down the road where I can drink hot chocolate with the local nosy old people who wear flannel shirts and talk about the high school football team. Beautiful. (Okay, i might get sick of it....but i want to try for a little while...)
California. As long as I was listing desired residencies, this had to be on the list. The beach. The sun. Need I say more?? Too bad my mom thinks the whole state's gonna fall off into the ocean one of these days.
Professional skater. (Ice or street.) I rollerbladed like crazy when I was little. Besides being accident prone, I can see great things happening with me...sort of....with the right training....and protective gear....
Own a cardigan in every color. Let's face it, it's my favorite piece of clothing. I wish I had a whole closetful. I'm not even sure why this is on this list. I was just thinking about it, that's all...
Artist. Basically, I suck at drawing. I wish I knew how to draw. And paint. And watercolor. And sculpt.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Besides the fact that it took me 50 tries to spell millionaire, wouldn't it be great to go on this show? Just to see if I lucked out with questions I happen to know the answers to??
Price is Right. I included this on the list, but this dream died when Bob Barker retired. May my ghetto gameshow aspirations rest in peace.
Learn ASL (sign language). Isn't it a beautiful language? I would feel so mysterious if I could succesfully communicate with people across the room.
Be really awesome at the guitar. I've always thought I had potential....like this talent is just waiting to burst onto the scene.....i'm still waiting, talent....still waiting....
Own a whole room of amazing children's books. No worldly possession would thrill me more!
Rent an amazing sports car for one day and drive it around. Hello, Mustang...
Healthy food. I simply LOVE it...in my own way. I can't say I chow down on tofu or the like. BUT....whole wheat, 100% juice, anything not fried....hello favorites. Someday I want to be really really good at always eating these things instead of random stuff from my freezer (except corn dogs...I will never give up on the corn dogs.) Along with this, I want to someday be a successful gardener. Then I can grow my own healthy food. And some flowers.
Save all the orphans and poor childrens in the world. I'm still working on the logistics...
Be computer/tech savvy. Wouldn't it be convenient to know these things?? I'm almost capable of working a DVD player, but Tivo/DVR is still a mystery...
Oh there are so many things! And i'll probably remember a few more as soon as I post this. But I will spare you all from continuing to read....
Me and my Saturday night thank you for your time :)
but it turns out that everyone else in good ol' p-town is STILL STUDYING on saturday night, so i quickly ran out of things to keep me entertained. hence, i started perusing people's blogs. hence, i found this neat thing to do.
is blogging on a saturday night almost cooler than doing hmwk?? amuse me.
A is for age: 21 and 10 months. The big 22 is just around the corner, friends!
B is for Breakfast: i think i ate raisin bran crunch. but, i also ate waffles for dinner.
C is for Career: i'm going to make houses out of playdough. with my bare hands. college degrees will take you far these days.
D is for Dog’s name: i don't have a dog, dangit. BUT...my family did get a cat today.
E is for Essential Item I use Everyday: um...cell phone? laptop? snowboots?
F is for Favorite T.V. Show: boy meets world. how i love thee....
G is for Favorite Game: like board game? how about chutes and ladders.
H is for Hometown: gilbert, areezona. home of....a water tower....and...uh...joe's BBQ...
I is for Instruments I play: piano...guitar...ukulele...harmonica...violin....vocal cords....
J is for Favorite Juice: anything 100% juice. corn syrup in "juice" ticks me off.
K is for Kissed: i'm not sure what the question is here. but guess what? i bought lipsmackers strawberry kiwi lip gloss the other day. takes me back to the good ol' days...
L is Last Place I Ate out: Zupas! best place in the provo/orem area.
M is for Marriage: i can't even play this one off and talk about lip gloss. i got nothin.
N is for Nickname: my roommate calls me bahook-sauce and my bro calls me bonelli.
O is for Overnight Hospital Stays: nope, never
P is People I was with Today: my roommates....people at the library...
Q is for Quote: my mind suddenly goes blank....there are so many i like.
R is for Biggest Regret: not becoming an accomplished ice skater.
S is for Sport: i live to play ultimate frisbee. unfortunately, nobody plays with me anymore, which therefore implies that i am dead. i like to watch baseball. and basketball. and others.
T is for time I Woke up today: late! 10am. it was beautiful. yay saturday.
U is for Favorite Unbelievable random fact: i drank my roommate's milk today. shhhh.
V is for Last Vacation you took: i drove to walmart like a week ago....
W is for Worst Habit: reading text messages while driving. gah. not sending them...but still...i know...
X is for X-rays I have had: teeth...tummy....ankle....head....random other broken parts, i'm sure.
Y is for Yummy Food You Ate Today: a slice of a chocolate orange. delectable. okay i ate 2 slices.
Z is for Zodiac: "this is the dawning of the age of aquarius...da da da....AQUARIUS!"
now everyone who read this can tell me i'm pathetic and need to find something productive to do.
i'm going to write another blog. just watch me.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Well, since i came to BYU i've been reading the Daily Universe (the on-campus newspaper here) and silently critiquing it in my head (shame on me...i refuse to be a grammar snob).
But even though i do NOT miss the late/early hours, the perpetual smudges of black ink of my fingers/clothes, working every single saturday, invading people's lives to get quotes for a story, or the cynical/conflict-hungry environment...
i DO miss having my words in print. i miss it very much.
So, this week when i got bothered about something....i wrote about it. And sent it in. And they printed it. And i feel good :)
(Premise for the letter: the Daily Universe is sponsoring this competition all week where students solve puzzles in the newspaper and then stand in lines all over campus to get entered in drawings to win fancy prizes. Turns out i have an opinion about this...)
Here it is:
Tis the season for giving, and the Daily Universe got the idea right…sort of. If I may alter the slogan a bit, tis the season for giving to those less fortunate. Forgive me, but handing out ritzy
televisions and flashy video game systems to the quickest puzzle-solvers on campus doesn't quite seem to fit the bill. Remember just a few short weeks ago when the student body of BYU was petitioned to donate canned goods to benefit families who go without during the holiday season? Let's do the math: An 88-cent can of whatever-looks-least-appetizing-in-the-back-of-the-cupboard, versus an HD TV or a $500 Visa gift card. I'm sure those cans of food added up, and I commend the student body for giving to the cause…but why do we turn around so suddenly and start giving to ourselves? Couldn't these same families who ate our canned cranberry sauce benefit from a new TV, or a $500 gift card to buy Christmas presents to fill the empty space under the tree? Honestly people, let's think a little harder about this, and try putting our money in the right place. Maybe I'll just petition all you tender hearts out there to vie for the prizes and do something charitable with the cash you win. Please, let's not forget the reason for the season. (Hint: it's not a Nintendo Wii).
Yep that's about it. Good times.
People have been telling me all day that they liked my letter and that they didn't know I'm a writer. And I laugh....because it's kind of nice not be be "newspaper girl." Maybe i'll just surprise people every now and then.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
So my little sister Monica emailed this to me. And it looked interesting. Hence....
1. Put your MP3 Player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
(Side note...seeing as how my dad gave me about 900 of his hippie songs and they are all on my ipod, this could prove to be interesting...but here goes....)
"Overboard" by Ingrid Michaelson
"Leaving on a Jet Plane" - Peter, Paul & Mary
"Liner Notes" by Jonathan Clay
"The Music Box" by Michael McLean
"Lean On Me" by Bill Withers
"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith
Dang straight. The ipod finally speaks truth.
"In love with me" by Five for Fighting
Well this song is beautiful. And it's from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants soundtrack, when she's falling in love with the beautiful Greek boy. I think this predicts good things for me...
"Coming in and out of your life" by Barbra Streisand
Well, I blame papa's songs for this one. I'm not sure what this question is getting at anyways.
"Coyotes" by Jason Mraz
Bahaha. Who knows.
"Must Get Out" by Maroon 5
Well that's depressing. But interesting fact, my boss's son is the lead bassist for Maroon 5.
Ah, EFY music. Ah, good memory from Tooele, Utah. Ah....an Osmond?!
"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John
Well, I don't really love the Wizard of Oz and I don't want to lead the same *ahem* lifestyle as Elton John....but he DID have a red piano. And I am supposed to change the world with a music box. But still, don't like the Wizard of Oz....
"Someone Else's Arms" by Mae
I hate you, ipod.
"Goodbye Girl" by David Gates
Well this guy is from Bread, and my parents LOVE Bread....
"Heart full of soul" by the Yardbirds
"Almost Lover" by Fine Frenzy
"Strange & Beautiful" by Aqualung
"Rumors" by Waking Ashland
So either i make up rumors about them or hear rumors about them....bah
"Will i ever make it home?" by Ingram Hill
Yes i suppose being stuck on the other side of the planet with no way home WOULD put a damper on my day...
"Up on the roof" by James Taylor
Bahahaha...i hope i'm trying to fly off of it with a paper bag as a parachute.
"the sun and the moon" by Mae
"Against all odds" by Phil Collins
NOT true! i love Phil Collins!
"Dawson's Creek theme song" by Paula Cole
".Mind Games" by John Lennon
"Better in Time" by Leona Lewis
"Photograph" by Ringo Starr
Well yes yes i have a couple elementary/jr high/high school photos that could use some revamping....also since Ringo Starr is involved, i think i could prevent the Beatles from breaking up. All worthy causes.
well....good times. carry on. put it on your blog too, for funzies.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This angel statue. It is called "Courage."
This painting. Forget where I found it or who painted it, silly me. But it's beautiful.
The song "Reverie" by Debussy. It's playing on my blog....so turn it up and let it speak to you :)
And that is all. Tomorrow i will go back to liking playdough and crayons. Today i took an interest in being a grown-up.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Relient K's christmas CD
buying a couple children's books for myself....for a treat
thanksgiving, family, and arizona being so close
finishing assignments early
contributing to class discussion
talking to katie lewis on the phone
seeing friends on campus
copying caraline's blogging style
make a wish....
i got my first wish kid assignment. Her name is Brynlee...she's 2.5 years old and she has Lymphoma Disease. So far all i know is that she likes the color pink, watching Disney movies, eating hot dogs, and playing in the dirt....a match made in heaven.
soon they will tell me who my wish partner is for the project and then i will get started on changing a life.
although it might be a tad early...
have yourself a merry little christmas
let your heart be light
from now on our troubles will be out of sight.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
And now....i get a grip.
Maybe due to the fact that my older sister came to visit me for two whole days earlier this week and brought me tidings of Arizona joy...
Whatever the cause, i'm climbing up, up and out of the Provo hole i dug myself into. BYU is tough....real tough. But guess what? So am i. I'm sick of feeling like I'm in a constant academic competition...like my best isn't good enough.
Well guess what BYU? You don't know nothin' bout me.
Today I got an A on a midterm.
I worked, worked, worked for it.
I'm busy as a little bee.
I study, I eat, I work, I study, I sleep...and probably more eating in there.
Even if I have to come crawling out of this place with my diploma in hand....I still win. Even if I have straight C's....I still win.
Because they can grade my tests any ol' way they want to.
BYU challenges me...I challenge back.
It is winter outside.
Me and winter don't always get along....cold weather makes me a tad cranky.
But...every summer, it goes away. And every summer, I keep going.
I think that makes me a winner.
Somebody get me a trophy :)
I got pink shoes. And green ones. I love being me.
I find my social calendar suddenly very open, and I'm reconnecting with friends.
The Temple is SO close to where I live. Happy day.
Praying works. Indeed.
I love my roommates. So much.
I like avocado.
This Saturday I start training to volunteer for the Make a Wish Foundation. When I went to Murray for my interview the castle-like building (The "Wishing Place") was so beautiful I got all teary-eyed. Pictures everywhere of sick children who got their wishes granted. And I get to do that! Me. I get to give that kind of happy.
Go to www.wish.org to read stories about these kids. You will cry.
This is Taylor, age 5. She has cancer. She wanted a playhouse.
This is Travis, age 4. He has leukemia. He wanted to meet Elvis in Hawaii.This is Darien, age 7. He has neurofibramitosis. He wanted to be a police officer.
When I graduate I hope to work for them. They have branches all over the place; the headquarters is in Phoenix. It's interesting how knowing WHY i want a degree makes school more bearable....no wonder all those med students out there are so motivated.
I graduate next August. My last couple classes will be online ones, so I can do WHATEVER I want next summer. I'm not doing EFY anymore.
Hence...I can stay in Provo, go home to Arizona, or whatever. Live in Europe or California or something.
My life is an open book.
Ready, set, go.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
today i was thinking about TIME. First of all, that I'm glad Arizona never jumped on the daylight-savings bandwagon. Down in A-town, we let nature do its thing. The rest of the world's just on a power trip i suppose :) This clock-changing business is a bunch of confusing mumbo-jumbo, in my mind...been in Utah for more than 3 years now but I'm doubting I'll ever conform to the nonsense.
Other thoughts on time. Lately there's just never enough of it. Maybe it's the transition to BYU-land and the curse of competitive academics....maybe it's the senioritis which is taking over my life after 16 straight years of semester after semester after semester....or maybe i'm just entering a general state of entropy and apathy due to my aging years. Whatever it is, lately it feels like I've been dropping the ball. Big time. Forgotten homework assignments....skipping class to go to work instead because it just makes everything fit better in the day....midterms that I studied for but still didn't quite master (i blame the grading system. But i guess i take some personal responsibility too....but mostly the grading system. this is thoughts for another day.)
So what's the dealio, right? Little ol' Katie....little ol' straight-A Honors student "I ate the ACT for breakfast" Katie has found herself in a terrible rut. The worst part is, I'm not even sure I care. I'm not failing my classes by any means...but I'm definitely not coasting my way through them like I seemed to do in the past.
Analogy time. Anyone who knows me well, knows the most common state of my bedroom....clutter. Clothes askew. Papers aflutter. Missing socks never to be found. Every now and then I'll go crazy and clean everything up perfectly....but forgive me for not wanting to fold my pajamas first thing every morning, so it always gradually gets messy again. The problem is, once it STARTS getting messy, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself to clean it. Hence, the problem just grows. And this is exactly what I unfortunately see happening in my schoolwork....the more I slip up and forget an assignment or botch a test or whatever, the more I lose desire to dig myself out of the hole and make it better. Just reaching the end of the semester becomes the general idea. Blah.
I feel guilty. I feel like I'm messing everything up. But I lack the motivation to want to fix it. Terrible, I know.
But a nice thought....today I found a scripture. Actually, a couple of them.
1. D&C 101:16 - "Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God."
2. Alma 40:8 - "Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men."
I think the first one speaks for itself. The second one....is a beautiful reminder. "Time" is only a pressure we put on ourselves. Well, for sure we can't lollygag around and delay progression forever because "time doesn't matter," that's not what I'm getting at. But all the undue pressure we put ourselves....to graduate one semester sooner or not. To get every assignment done perfectly and turned in right on the dot. To have my room clean by the end of the week. To finish every household project I wish I could. To learn every skill I wish I could before I get married and have a family. To this and that and blah blah blah. Guess what? Sometimes, "it mattereth not." God wants us to try....but He doesn't want us to beat ourselves up in the continual pursuit of deadlines and perfection.
The key is.....to be still. But not sedentary. The key is....balance. I'll let you know when I figure it out :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
According to Mr. Mason Jennings....whose song you are hearing at this moment (unless your speakers aren't turned on, and/or you think music is a "blog killer.")
I heard the song this weekend. And fell in love with it. My favorite line is the one about the bus.
Tonite I volunteered at the House of Hope for the second week in a row. It's a shelter for women who are recovering from drug abuse, and their little kids. Every Tuesday night a group of us go and play guitar/piano/play with the children. It's part of a program called Utah Healing Arts....my dear red-headed roommate Kirtley (kirt-face) got me involved with it, and now I'm the group leader for the House of Hope group.
I sincerely love it. Besides giving me a chance to perform, it's a wonderful reminder (aka slap in the face) to keep my head on straight and remind me how blessed I am. These women are struggling, but they are trying...my biggest problems include sketchy Internet service and a fruit-fly infestation in the kitchen (which, is still gross, actually...)
But really. Life is good. I am so blessed, and I love opportunities to bring at least a small measure of happiness to other people's lives.
There is no rust on my happiness bus.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The point is...replace the three animals in this scenario with my little red ipod...and replace "journey across the mountainsides" with "was hiding in my box of shoes for the last week until my psychic roommate told me to check there."
Welcome home little ipod friend :) It's been a joyous reunion.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
First things first. My ipod ran away from home. We had a blessed relationship that lasted app. 10, beautiful months. My little friend is possibly hiding in a crevice of my room (i can hope...) or it got dropped between my car and my apartment that ONE TIME i parked a block away. Figures. The trouble is, what does katie usually do when she's frustrated/sad/moody in any way? That's right, download new songs from itunes. Oh, the bitter irony.
In better news! I added books to my blog. Check it out on the right side -->
Just in case you care about my literary opinion. I mean, i have been checking books out by the forklift-full since I developed the fine motor skills to turn the pages, so I'd say I have some experience. Just kidding....but seriously. My new trouble is finding books to read that don't have scummy scenes or words in them...you'd be surprised. Satan hides in the library sometimes....even the big, beautiful castle-looking Provo City Library. But i've been managing to weed out some good ones :) The first time I went to visit I stumbled across an entire wing of the building devoted to Children's books...AND it was all decked out for Autumn, with colored leaves and Halloween-y things. I think I died and went to heaven. (Seriously though, i felt a little emotional and teary-eyed so I just stood in the doorway and determined to come back sometime and spend a whole afternoon. Someday when they don't require flippin' masters degrees to be a librarian then I will fulfill my dream and have weekly reading groups with the childrens.)
And in other news...I think I'm graduating in August :) I know, right? When did I get so old? One minute I'm making sculptures out of mud in the backyard and the next I'm getting a bachelor's degree. Insane. (Actually, let's be honest, the mud sculptures thing could still happen. I struggled to think of something I only did when I was little that I don't do anymore. The list is practically nonexistent.) The key for now is to immerse myself in an online Stats class and get it done before next semester. Hand me a barf bucket now.
It is interesting, however, to think about digging up the part of my brain that does mathematical things. I used to eat that kind of stuff for breakfast in high school....I've been getting nervous that I'm not as smart as I used to think I was. So I guess this is my new testing ground to see if my brain has degenerated or not in the last 4 years. Hopefully I don't fail miserably.
But if I do...there's always downloading songs on iTunes, right? Right.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Word 2007. Bane of my existence. (or is it 2008? Whatever the newest version is...)
The point is....what is the point of this upgrade? It makes me want to pull my hair out. Upgrades are well and good, but when it reaches the point where Microsoft is trying to force us all to jump on the "upgrade bandwagon," i inevitably want to throw up in my mouth a little bit.
The problems...among many...
First and foremost, is the fact that if you save a file as the "new and improved" .docx, you can't open it in the older Words. Yes, if you go to the trouble of saving it as an older file, then you can open it in the older Words....but besides sheer inconvenience on my part, what about when a professor sends out a document that i REALLY need to read, but unfortunately they default-saved it as a .docx file, and i have yet to "upgrade" my Microsoft Office. The new program is like a leech...it's going to suck us all in, because even if we would rather not live with it, we will all unavoidably be unable to live without it, for the sake of surviving in tech-world.
Secondly and secondmost....the spacing. For crying out loud, when does default spacing EVER call for double spaced with an automatic extra gap between paragraphs. No teacher wants that...nobody uses that....the "logic" here escapes me.
Just had to get that out there. No more angry blogs, I promise :)
Friday, September 19, 2008
So, besides the delightful fact that my roommate is currently singing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" in the shower...
Today I left work, ready for my daily 5pm brain-unwinding walk down the hill to my apartment Lost in my thoughts, I was crossing South Campus Drive (i made up that name. i think it might be right.) when a gust of wind sent a shower of leaves off a tree and into my hair and swirling about my mango-colored toenails. Wait, leaves? Yes...leaves. YELLOW leaves. And although I have had carved pumpkins on my front porch for a good week now in anticipation of the change of seasons, this pre-Autumn descent of pigmented foliage still caught me by surprise.
I turned and looked up at Y mountain and confirmed my hopes...the very tops of the mountains are already painted with a smattering of fiery red shrubberies, creeping slowly down the mountainside in volcanic-esque trails of joy.
Good things are around the corner :)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
One element of Lehi’s dream is the great and spacious building filled with multitudes of people. In his dream, these people are mocking and laughing at the people who are partaking of the fruit. Consequently, some of the people who stayed on the path originally and tasted the fruit begin to doubt and wander toward the building into the mists of darkness. Although the people in the building are often described as representing the wicked and apostate people of the world, I think the metaphor is one that can relate to a condition within the LDS church itself. There sometimes exists an attitude within the church of “being good but not too good.” Among the teenagers in the home ward I grew up in, the “cool” kids were always the ones who edged the lines and pushed the standards, and in order to fit in there was pressure to bend the rules. I spent the last three summers working as an EFY counselor, and one of the most common problems among the youth is that the “popular” kids are the ones who adopt a more callous attitude toward living high standards. Unfortunately, the mindset among many of these youth is that it’s considered cool to use profanity occasionally, disobey your parents, or watch inappropriate movies and TV shows. And, beyond just the youth of the LDS church, I have seen this same scenario played out in many college settings, even among BYU students. Sometimes it makes me sad – and sometimes it downright drives me crazy – that such a trend has caught hold among otherwise faithful members of the Church. Since when did it become a bad thing to be a “Molly Mormon” or “Peter Priesthood”?
However, the purpose of this journal article is not for me to jump on my soapbox (although I’ve certainly done just that…). I think what I need to learn from this scripture is to be less bothered by the people in the building and focus instead on inviting people to the tree. It’s easy to get distracted by the desire to fit in, even if that means toeing the line or changing a standard. However, if all I do is sit there with a piece of fruit in my hand and fight the desire to throw it at the people in the building, I’m no better off than they are. And besides, I’m not perfect; I know I have my moments and situations where I’m probably more of a building-goer than a tree hugger. So, although it could prove difficult to not get frustrated, my goal is to stop letting the building bother me, and start inviting more people to partake of the fruit.
So there it is...my thoughts on fruit and trees. I've decided to include a picture of a tree for good measure...even if the Tree of Life probably wasn't a beautiful Autumnal tree...if it had been MY dream, it would have been....oh how I love it with all my little season-deprived Arizona heart :)
Friday, August 29, 2008
FIRSTLY, I'm reading a REALLY excellent book, it's called "The Hiding Place" and it's by a woman who hid Jewish people in her house during WWII, and eventually got arrested because of it. I can't tell you how it ends because a) that would be lame of me, and b) i'm only halfway through the book so far :) But holy heck it's amazing, and it's been really nice to sit around and READ, because there never seems to be enough time for that. The best part is that it's a true story, and the people in it are the most devoted Christians I can ever remember reading about, or I guess meeting in real life, either. Their story continually inspires me with their absolute, trusting faith. Beautiful.
Things are getting better a little at a time. I was pretty scared when i first got here, but they've only been improving and my courage level is on the upswing, so i figure it can only get bigger and better from here, right? The truth is, even though lots of scary/frustrating/overwhelming things have happened, SO many good things keep happening to balance things out. Tender mercies from heaven. For example...
1. I went to buy my books all by myself on Tuesday, and even though it went well I found myself getting frightened by the sheer number of people and places on campus. However, on my walk back to my apartment, I ran in to no less than 3 people that I know. What are the odds? It really made me feel better, and a lot less alone.
2. When i got back from the bookstore i found myself locked out of my apartment...luckily, right when i sat down on my porch swing in despair, a girl randomly wandered by who used to live here, and she taught me the secret to breaking in through the window. Problem solved!
3. Wednesdasy night i decided to be brave and go check out the local frisbee scene. GAH! (that sums up my response...) Everyone was really nice but they were SUPER competitive. It might seem like frisbee is something silly, but considering that my entire social life revolved around my
frisbee team last year, i was realllllly counting on having that in my life again, just for something familiar and stable i guess! So, even though it wasn't awful, i wasn't feeling too optimistic about playing on this team.....but THEN, yesterday, a friend-of-a-friend randomly called me and told me they had heard that i play frisbee, and they invited me to play with them last night. So i went, and it was perfect! Definitely more my flavor of frisbee-playing. Plus, these boys all went to high school with two of my best friends from my freshman year at SUU (Justin & Mike), so being around them felt really familiar. (And let's be honest, the number of "familiar" things in this place are minimal, so I was grateful.)
4. Yesterday i auditioned for concert choir. I had heard it was pretty competitive, but i wanted to be in it SO bad that i knew i had to try anyways. And, well, like most other things seem to be in Provo, it was definitely COMPETITIVE. I did my very best at the audition, but they won't post the list until next Wednesday, and i think they were trying to let me down easy....so....i'm not really expecting to make it, honestly. But, somehow it didn't make me feel too sad, and when i came home i decided to see about adding another class to my schedule in place of where choir would have been. Turns out i am NOW taking guitar lessons from one of the professors, AND i added another religion class. It's a family genealogy class, and the truth is, my patriarchal blessing says i'm supposed to do stuff with that but i've never really known how. But hopefully this class will get me rolling in that area of life! Hooray!
5. I've been hunting online for a job for about 2.5 months now, and nothing was coming through, so i was getting discouraged. WELL, about a month ago i had interviewed for a job i REALLY wanted...it's for a public relations office (basically like newspaper writing but ten times less stress, plus ALL the stories are happy and positive, so no more feeding off conflict and yuckiness!) Anyways, the people were super nice and it seemed to be a perfect fit for my schedule, but it turned out they didn't have a position open for me in the
end....HOWEVER, yesterday right after my discouraging choir audition, i got an email from them saying that a girl quit and they wanted to hire me! I start this afternoon :) I'm just so happy.
Well that's a small taste of all the crazyness and wonderfulness and Tender Mercy-ness that's been going on in my life these last few days! I just feel so blessed. Part of me is still scared for all the unknown that is still sure to come this semester, but this week has done so much to remind me that Heavenly Father is SO aware of me. He truly REALLY wants me to succeed, because (as you can see) everytime something happens that makes me want to sit down and cry, something
wonderful is not far behind it. And with Heavenly Father backing me up like that, how could I possibly fail?
Life is an awfully big adventure. I never planned on being in this exact place at this exact time in my life (honestly, who would PLAN on picking up and starting completely over as a senior in
college??) but planned on or not, it is already proving to be EXACTLY what needs to be happening to me. I'm just so excited about all the opportunity and new possibilities i have ahead of me. I'm sure I will have a plentiful plethora of stories to share...
So stay tuned :)
Friday, August 8, 2008
Working at EFY always seems to help the cause....I mean, you have to wear the same ill-fitting polo as everyone else, so when you're constantly getting side-hugs and sincere compliments from teenagers saying they want to grow up to be like you, you KNOW it has little to do with your physical appearance. I like to think that in heaven we will all wear versions of The Great Unifying Polo...probably in white.
This summer has been a summer of firsts for me. For a long time I've had a lot of ideas about myself, but I'm gaining a new perspective on a lot of things. For instance, I've never worn heels before...NEVER. Always flats...cheap flipflops or threadbare moccasins were always my go-to kicks of choice. My reasoning? Well, besides the comfort factor, I've always been self-conscious about being too tall. Wait, I'm only 5'6, right? Well add in the whole awkwardly-skinny factor and I felt like adding any inches to my height only resulted in me looking like a spaghetti noodle. In fact, I used to try on my roommate's heels and laugh at myself in the mirror and call myself "Lurpzilla." For the same reasons, I always tended to gravitate toward wearing jeans that were slightly too big for me....I hated feeling like a twig. I know, I know, every perfectly plump girl who reads this is ready to jump on my case and tell me I have no reason to complain...but, it's all in the eye of the beholder, right? (And trust me, those same media images telling all the heftier girls they need to starve themselves are the same ones throwing curvacious, womanly figures in my face. It's a double standard, my friends.)
So this is the realization I've come to this summer....my look is about ME. And my self-image is just that...a SELF image. My reasonings behind my former viewpoints were lukewarm, at best. They all boiled down to how other people would perceive me, and who wants to live life trying to impress everyone else? Hello, not me. I finally caved and (with the help of Miss Katie Lee, the self-image master) bought a pair of heels. And a pair of jeans that actually fit me. It has definitely taken some getting used to...but it's a transition that I'm thoroughly enjoying. I feel like a lady...not a lurpzilla.
And by no means do I think I'm conforming or losing myself to the latest trends....because trust me, the parts of me that want to wear sweatpants and baseball hats are still holding sway in my daily apparel decisions. And that's what i LOVE about me...it's just ME. It's not what other people tell me to wear....it's not how other people say I should cut or dye my hair...it's not how I'm too tall or too skinny or wear too many bright colors or shop at DI (thrift stores forever!!)....it's about ME and what I want for me. If I let my self-image revolve around other people's opinions then I'm probably on a quick spiral staircase to No-happiness Land.
And besides, I'm feeling ever-more strongly that self-confidence has little to do with physical appearance, because I think courage and self-esteem are built as we become comfortable with ourselves....and comfort with ourselves only comes when we know we are living our lives correctly....and considering the divinity in each of us, I've concluded that our best selves and best chance at self-esteem are only available if we are cultivating those godly characteristics within us. Hence....a person's best bet at confidence is absolute purity and unselective obedience to Gospel standards, not what shoes you choose to wear in the morning :)
In the words of a wise, prophetic man...."You can't spend your life worrying that the world is staring at you."
And in the words of a best friend's dog...."I do what I want."
Turns out little Murphy knew it all along.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It all began with me having zero to none knowledge about geography and thinking Ohio was located somewhere near Oklahoma. Turns out it's in the Eastern time zone! Kind of threw my sleeping habits (and my Spidey-man watch) for a loop. Here are some highlights from my week:
So, true to the tradition of my life, the airline decided to lose my luggage on the way to Ohio. When I arrived at a very late hour of Saturday (hence bordering on Sunday and no-more-shopping-til-Monday zone) I found myself on the other side of the country with the reassurance from the employees that my pajamas and toothbrush and church clothes "might be in Seattle." A is for awesome.
24 hours later my stuff did indeed get returned into my loving arms, but the best of the luggage adventures was still to come....Fast forward one week to the flight home. Imagine my joy and surprise when my suitcase rolled onto the luggage carousel in one beautiful, punctual picturesque moment. Unfortunately my bad luck was contagious though, because my poor travel buddy's luggage was nowhere to be found. But about 15 minutes later....an employee wheels his suitcase out on a cart. And oh what a moment it was...You see, although his suitcase was indeed there, the top half was ripped off, with clothing bursting from all sides, and the entire ensemble was wrapped in shrinkwrap...with one purple Hannah Montana pen taped firmly to the top. At this point all I could do was sit on the luggage carousel and laugh....loudly....until all the people around us and some of the employees were laughing as well.
The Sunday before the session I attended a small, local family ward (while wearing shoes and a dress that were slightly too large for me because, hey, my luggage was still in transit...) In Relief Society we learned about food storage. Pretty normal, right? Um, mostly...until the part where we were taught how to (no joke) build furniture out of food storage. And until the part where we learned that eating too many chocolate chips will "give you a grandma booty." Oh how I wish this was Church Doctrine and could be included in the lesson manuals EVERY year.
So one night after all the childrens were fast asleep (or at least locked inside their humid dorm rooms), myself and two other counselors ventured to McDonalds for a much-needed late-night food run. We had to drive to the next town, which involved travelling through the middle of some dark woods on a winding road. Having grown up with a McDonalds a 1/2 mile from my house, this was a bit disconcerting. I half expected to arrive at the "McDonalds" and discover it to be nothing but a run-down shack and some crooked two-by-fours in place of the golden arches and large sign reading "McPossum's." Although it turned out to be a normal-looking fast food joint, I was still delighted when the sleepy employee responded to our inquiry about a good McFlurry flavor by saying "Oatmeal." Mmm....Oatmeal McFlurrys. Available only at your neighborhood McPossum's :)
On a less silly note...
My name is Katie and I've always hated history. I tried taking an LDS history class and i thoroughly enjoyed the principles we learned, but the stories and names went in one ear and out the other. So, honestly, I thought that going to Church History sites would be somewhat boring...staring at historic buildings and whatnot. Boy was I wrong! I have gained such an immense appreciation for those stories and people who I couldn't have even remembered before. Just being there was enough to make it stick. I mean, to think that in the last week I was in four different places where the Savior Himself appeared. What could be better?? I even had two different opportunities to have discussions about the Gospel with complete strangers, and to give them both pass-along cards and commit them to visiting mormon.org. I don't think I've ever been so happy in my entire life! Really truly.
Oh my, I could go on and on....
So many things to love about Ohio. I've never seen so much green! Minus the humidity, I simply fell in love with the entire location. The houses were amazing...so many different kinds...not just cookie-cutter stucco :) I mostly fell in love with the firebugs (although I think I'm supposed to call them fireflies or lightning bugs....but I do what i want) Every night I'd look outside and the grass lawns would be sparkling with little flashes of light. Simply incredible!
And the rainstorms....oh, blessed Ohio rainstorms! It was like being under a waterfall from the sky. I thought I was already in love with the rain but THIS was a new experience. I ran around outside and became absolutely drenched one night...my little heart was just bursting with happy!
I never thought I'd enjoy anywhere besides the West (basically because I'd never been anywhere besides Arizona and the 3 or 4 surrounding states) but I have definitely gained an appreciation for the land of Ohio. It makes me want to go EVERWHERE...i mean, what else have I been missing??
I had the chance to do the slide show for the session, so I was able to take a ton of pictures. Here are a few for you to peruse :) Enjoy!
Okay none of you know these girls, but they are standing on the front porch of the John Johnson home. This is where Joseph and Emma were sleeping with their twin babies when the mob took Joseph from the home and tarred and feathered him. The porch these ladies are standing on is the very same place where he stood the next morning and preached his sermon to a congregation that included members of that mob. SO awesome to actually be there!
Here's an example of an Ohio house, I kid you not. In love? I know I am. I want to live in a house like this one....with Amish neighbors.
I'm in the lower right corner of this one....kind of hard to see me even though I'm wearing a yellow dress (a dress which I bought earlier that day from a Nepali clothing stand....besides the fact that it's an awesome dress, when could I ever turn down giving my money to poor people in foreign countries??) But this is me by the Kirtland Temple on my last night in Ohio. It makes me feel nostalgic inside when I look at it. And kind of sweaty when I remember how blasted humid it was....
Well that's the end! I love you all, and props to any of you who actually read the entire thing :) Thanks for being dedicated! I owe you a gold star.
Friday, July 4, 2008
let's talk about....coloring books. Somewhere between my crayoning-conneiussuer (wow, butchered that one...) days and the re-enlightenment age (of my life, not world art history...) some genius in the coloring book industry got a very BIG and very BAD idea....and started the horror we know as the "coloring AND ACTIVITY book" genre. Um, barf. When i want to color, i want to COLOR...not add numbers, not connect any dots, not unscramble words, not find Dottie's lost needle in the haystack....i want to wrap my little fist around the hue of my choice and shade with carefully constrained - yet appropriately reckless - abandon. I want large shapes. I want pictures. If i wanted to be educated, i would read a book that's meant to have words in it. Activities shmactiviminies....keep yo' educatin' to yo'self, Crayola Man.
However...some things should change. And have.
let's talk about...swimsuits. Particuarly, the article in the April 1983 New Era entitled "Choose the Right in Swim Wear." (Yes, the swimsuit edition of the New Era. Gasp!)
Cue the jaws theme music, overly-cheerful models donning Ferra-Fawcett-esque do's and frightening, striped, frilled onesies...oh how i wish you could see the pictures.
"If the suit is white, it's a must to be lined. It can come as a shock when you come from a swim and discover that your unlined white suit has become totally transparent when wet."
"Whether you sink or swim, it's well worth your time to shop around until you find a suit that covers you modestly."
"Bikinis for boys are always a poor choice."
"Super-sized, sarong-tied scarves offer protection with pizzazz."
"Don't leave the fellows out of the fashion scene, for they can look and feel terrific in a handcrafted caftan just as easily as the girls." (Dictionary.com says, Caftan = a long garment having long sleeves and tied at the waist by a girdle, worn under a coat in the Middle East.)
I think i will stick with swimming trunks and old-school coloring books. And how.
Monday, May 19, 2008
And although i love a good mystery (and Matlock's got nothin' on me at solving them!), i figured i could fill you all in on what exactly i do when i'm not at home reading my EFY manual or my conference Ensign...or line-dancing in my room.
So before i run away to EFY...from which many more pictures and stories are sure to come...here is a taste of my summertime thus far...
Okay so this first one isn't a summertime picture, but i finally found a pic of my whole frisbee team. Look at us go :) i'm not sure what face we were supposed to be making in this.
The 3 Katies...the triple threat....the KKK? oh dear. This picture was on bowling night...the lovely weekly wednesday night tradition that has lived on for about the last 5 or 6 years. The Katie in the middle is from Cedar City...she has been living down in Gilbert and going to Pioneer Ward and hanging out with all my best friends, while i've been up in Cedar City with all HER friends. We only discovered recently that eachother existed and that we have been switching lives...and now we're great friends! What a lovely story.
Pioneer Ward camping trip! We crammed 4 of us in a 2-person tent. Pretty sure caraline slept ON me for most of the night....which is why i look so steamrolled, maybe!
Girls lunch! Here we are...the girls. At streamers. A couple friends are missing, but it's really a miracle that this many of us ended up in the same state in the same place at the same time. From left to right....Alissa, Brooke, Katie Lee, me, Mindi, Caraline, Ashley, and Dawnee!
This was one of my first days back in Arizona, and true to Gilbert tradition we hopped in a car and headed to downtown G-town for Free Lunch Day at Joe's Barbie-Q!
One day, on a whim, myself and the other two Katie's headed to the mall for what we called the "Grand Sombrero Expedition." Our goal was to try on hats in stores and take pictures. We succeeded.
Speaking of success....LOOK at this hat! Yes, it is a beanie and scarf in one. And yes, i'm proudly wearing it in the food court. I've been waiting my whole adult life for such a creation to appear, and lucky for me it was only 5 dollars. Cha-ching! Pretty sure everyone at BYU will want to be my friend when they see me sporting this bad boy. It almost makes me excited for winter...but not quite :)
One night we had a sleepover...and me and caraline stole Katie Lee's camera and took about 20 or so ridiculous pictures of ourselves. It's kind of a hobby...there's probably about 300 or so pictures of this type in existence. Our plan is to fill our wedding videos with these pictures.
This needs no words. I just wanted it to be the grand finale picture.
And now....i'm off to EFY adventures! Pictures to follow at a date TBA :)
Friday, May 9, 2008
Here's my last 2 semesters in a nutshell:
This is a recent one of me and my roomies. Notice that they are all tall, blonde, and blue-eyed. I look like the adopted child. Nice tree in the background though...turns out spring DOES eventually beat out winter in that place.
This is the statue on campus. THE statue. Her name is Sharwan Smith, and she's about as famous as Chuck Norris up there. Turns out this sweet vest i bought at DI (and altered by hand to fit myself...applause, applause) matched the one she always wore. So i took this picture. One time i found 2-dollar rollerblades at DI and rode through this very building on my way to work. Maybe activities like that is what earns me fancy trophies...
These are some of my best friends. We went hiking. We got all wet about 30 min after this picture was taken. Notice that half of them own sandals like mine...And the majority of my Chaco-owning friends weren't even there for this. Then i came back to Gilbert and nobody knew what my sandals were.....but i was cool and stylish, once upon a time. That shirt is also 16 years old...that is not an exaggeration. Thank you androo.
And last but certainly not least, this is my Frisbee team. I wish i had a picture of our whole team....there's like 20 of us or so. You can see all three girls right here in this picture...we like to think we are awesome for playing on a team full of boys. This picture is at a tournament in Salt Lake...notice the large object in the background. (Family, that is called a "mountain." Try it..."mown-tun". On top of that mountain is what we call "snow." And in the sky is what we call "clouds" and "lack of sun.") Outside of work and school and more work, Ultimate Frisbee is what could define this last year for me. I played like 3 times a week, in rain or sleet or 4 feet of snow. All my best friends i made this year were on the team, so that motivated me to keep playing through such frozen conditions. Plus it made me feel hardcore to wear that shirt around campus. Someday i will play again...someday when the heat won't threaten my life if i run around too much.
My roommates again. This is us winning the ward talent show. It involved an instrumental version of Colors of the Wind and interpretive dancing and poetry recitations. And, of course, me laughing through the entire thing and forgetting my lines.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
tonite i swang on the porch swing (well technically it's by our pool, so i guess it's a pool swing) with my niece and nephew. While my nephew babbled about something or other (he's not quite two...and the words aren't quite coherent), i had the following conversation with my niece (she just turned three):
Bethany: A bird!
me: Where? Did you see it flying?
Bethany: Yes. Birds can fly cuz they have wings.
me: Well where was the bird going?
Bethany: To get the food.
me: What kind of food do birds eat?
(silence from the little one)
me: Oh that's good.
Bethany: I like pizza.
me: What do you like on your pizza?
(A moment of silence, followed by....)
Bethany: ...chickens eat eggs!
me: Oh chickens don't eat eggs, chickens lay eggs. Baby chickens come from eggs.
Bethany: Yeah chickens come from eggs. But sometimes they don't hatch.
me: Well what happens then?
Bethany: Well you have to be patient...
(she said that last part to me like, duh, anyone knows that.)
And this is why life is good.
I wish all of my conversations consisted of this.
And a pool swing.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what pathway my thought process took to arrive at this subject, but a few days ago I found myself pondering what life would be like if children were in charge of grown-up things.
Really, what would elementary school be like if it was infused with adult-ish elements? Let's consider the possibilities if, say, different groups from SUU found themselves in the realms of childhood …
Student Government: Considering that it's election season at SUU, my thoughts turn to what campaigning would be like among elementary students. Would handing out free stickers successfully secure a slew of devoted voters?
And what about campaign slogans? I can picture the signs now: "I rule and you drool," "David dominates at double-dutch," or "Bobby smells so vote for me." (Heck, if any of SUU's current political parties put up signs of this nature, I'm pretty sure it would secure my vote, at least.)
The University Journal: Just imagine if 4th graders were recruited to write for The Tetherball Times or the He-Took-My-Lunch-Money Gazette. It is difficult for me to imagine a pigtailed, overalls-wearing youngster being the editor-in-chief-of such a thing. And besides, what would the ambitious little reporters write about?
You can only cover a game of four-square so many times without your sports section growing stale, and you run the risk of becoming a tabloid if you keep pandering to the umpteenth news tip from a "reliable source" claiming to have laid eyes on the ever-elusive sand monster.
Athletics: Oh my, just picture the possibilities if the athletics program at SUU was akin to that of a schoolyard playground! The biggest factors in qualifying for a team would be, a) if you can run fast enough to claim the kickball field before the other classes get there, and b) if you invited the right people to your birthday party.
Actually, I think it could do a lot for collegiate sports if football teams reverted to two-hand touch instead of tackling, and if all disputes were solved by games of rock, paper, scissors. Sheer brilliance, I tell you.
The Tipsy Team: I figured if there's going to be an SUU-style athletics program at the elementary school, then there had better be a group of high-spirited fans to accompany it. I mean, what little boy doesn't want a crowd of rambunctious friends chanting "all day, every day" whenever he breaks his personal record in long-jumping off the swing set?
On the other hand, I think it might terrify the little tykes if they accidentally cut in the drinking fountain line and are barraged with a chorus of "PUSH IT" from the sidelines.
Academics: One good aspect of having college-level classes for elementary school children is that they would probably draw the most creative pictures on their scantrons on exam days. The downside is that recess would be out the window, and forget snack breaks or naptime.
And a little kid shouldn't expect any sympathy from his teacher if he doesn't quite make it to the restroom because he was too excited about the Bill Nye video. You're cleaning up your own mess, buddy.
I guess the drawbacks might outweigh the benefits in this situation, so maybe I should hold off on writing President Michael T. Benson or petitioning senate to create another branch of government named the Elementary Assembly. (But if I did, I would demand that a minimum of three representatives from every grade level be appointed.)
But still, even if a full-on SUU-elementary-school integration program wouldn't work out, I can't say I wouldn't enjoy a little more Oregon Trail and a little less WebCT every now and then.
Monday, March 3, 2008
This article was printed today, but I wrote it about an adventure I had last summer...enjoy!
There comes a time of year when one’s thoughts turn to things of summer and sunshine. For me, that time is every day between the hours of awake and asleep.
Whilst enduring the never-ending winter winds, I was recently reminiscing on an experience I had last July. And I thought to myself, maybe it’s time to share my adventure with the world … or at least with the student body at SUU.
Before I begin my story, it’s important to note one thing: I have been and always will be terrified of sea creatures and deep water. Aquariums, Sea World, the deep end of the pool … any of the above are enough to make me more than a little squeamish.
So with that in mind, my adventure began one July afternoon in Oceanside, Calif., on the beach with three of my best friends. Despite my aforementioned phobias, I relish the opportunity to spend time on the beach, seeing as how my family went there all of once when I was growing up, and that was in the dead of winter.
So after a morning of beach Frisbee and people- (and lifeguard-) watching, my friends decided it was time to swim in the ocean. Balancing my fears of the formidably vast body of water in front of me against my insatiable need to try most things at least once, I grabbed my Wal-Mart flotation device (probably meant for those under the age of 5) and decided to brave the waves.
I rationalized my decision, seeing as how the ocean couldn’t possibly be too deep if I stayed close to the sand, and in my people-watching I had yet to see anyone get attacked by any unearthly sea monsters.
So, feeling pretty calm about the situation, I plunged into the water. I quickly discovered two things: 1) My Wal-Mart flotation device lacked most things involving “flotation,” and 2) the enticing ocean waves were hiding a carpeting of sharp rocks.
I determined that the use of a Boogie Board would provide the needed floatation to swim over the rocks, so I switched vehicles and advanced out into the ocean to continue my escapade.
My best friend was with me this entire time, and she instructed me that the proper use of the Boogie Board was to swim out into the waves and then, when a big enough wave came, to turn and ride the board back to the safety of the beach.
By this point I had been sufficiently battered by the waves and had drank enough saltwater to fill Shamu’s tank, so I welcomed the idea of going back to the beach. I had a slight fear of losing my death-grip on my Boogie Board in the process, so I decided to attach myself to it with the provided wrist-strap.
Soon enough, along came a rather large wave, so I followed my friend’s instructions and prepared to cruise safely to the shore. Unfortunately, the ocean had other plans for me.
The wave hit me like a wall and flipped me under the water, at which point I think the ocean tried to pull each of my limbs independently in different directions. True to my previous worries, I did indeed lose my hold on the Boogie Board, but all the wrist-strap accomplished was to keep the board in close enough proximity to beat me over the head a few times as I flailed helplessly through the water.
Fortunately for me, God apparently still has some things for me to accomplish on this earth, so He didn’t let the ocean kill me entirely. I think the ocean was upset about the missed opportunity, though, so before releasing me from its grip it decided to drag me face-first through the previously discussed flooring of sharp rocks before spitting me out on the beach.
Sprawled out on the sand like a beached whale, with my nose and eyes burning from the intake of saltwater, I cursed the “rational” parts of my brain that had convinced me to enter the water in the first place.
Meanwhile, my friends laughed their heads off at me and proceeded to take pictures of my sorry state. I literally crawled up the beach to my towel where I laid the rest of the day, insisting my recovery would take days of sunbathing and lifeguard-watching before I returned to normal.
All in all, my experience can simply be chalked up to another thing I have to be afraid of — aquariums, Sea World, and now the ocean. Congratulations, Boogie Board.