Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If I Had Enough Pennies, I'd Ask for the Thoughts of the World

...But since I am currently without sufficent moolah to hand out Abraham Lincoln's face to 6.5 billion people, I will simply have to ask you out of the love of your hearts. I have 8 to 18 pages of writing due for my Creative Writing class on Tuesday, and so far I have a couple of poems....and part of a short story. For those of us who aren't math whizzes (like me), that sure ain't enough to grant me an A I know I deserve, by golly! All I need from whoever reads this is nouns, verbs, places, colors, rhyme schemes, etc., and my writer's block will be cured. This would also help with my "Poem-A-Day" scheme, which I'm a bit behind on. The idea is to have written 365 poems by the end of the year; maybe a third of those being genuinely good poems. Anywho, the point is to let your mind wander--none of your suggestions have to be related. For example, some things I jotted down for a writing exercise last week (which eventually turned into a poem) were: seafoam (a favorite color), pitbull (a noun), fire hydrant (another noun), quixotic (adjective), hibernate (verb which a bear, a train, or a politician can do), awaken (opposite of the last verb), etc. I hope you're understanding this, because once you read it, it is your mission. If you don't accept, you might be thinking about it as much as me, which is definitley not a good thing. I'm the student, remember? You are now acting as my muse.... ready, set, IMAGINE!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stranger At the Door

I was up in a tree not long ago, from here it was almost cloudy
Perfectly, perfectly, whispering against the windows
But nothing's ever as important as a phone call,
A voice along the gutter lines, pressing too hard leaves marks
This ink might fall away without the words inside
Just like your older mailbox, it never held the truth
Until autumn, sprung its golden threads on our knobs
To trick and turn in the mornings
A Tuesday left me in almost-tears, I couldn't wash
Not enough coins to shatter this windshield
From somewhere beneath a struggling
Came, and that's when
The sidewalk broke apart and gave me
My first real cry in years
She's really letting it go now, as the turn signal repeats
On, off, inhale, exhale
Crossing the paths we never thought we would
In the 5am woods, closer than ever
To the sea, will it ever weep for me?

For Daddy, Happy Birthday
You've always supported me in my writing....this one's for you

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stadium Singing and All That Follows

Every Sunday night here BYU-I, singers and tone-deaf alike gather beneath the stadium across the street from my apartment and sing hymns for half an hour. I'm lucky enough to have friends who can do all of the complicated alto, descant, and soprano parts. Tonight we sang "A Child's Prayer" right when all of the lights went out. At first I thought they had done it on purpose for effect, but later I realized it was just one of those "coincidences" that make life beautiful. Of course I thought of Elder Livingston, who is now asleep in some room in Ohio with his companion, while the Spirit works on him so he can preach the truth. Once again at a fireside tonight I heard the phrase "It is not by accident that you are here on this campus right now." That's probably the fifth or sixth time I've heard those words uttered since I stepped foot on the campus. But lately it's been ringing in my ears... After we finished "A Child's Prayer" we went back to the Hymns, which tonight all had a melancholy tone to them, even the joyful ones like "Redeemer of Israel" and "Dearest Children God is Near You." The lights were still out until we sang the EFY Medley, which is a pairing of "As Sisters in Zion" and "We'll Bring the World His Truth." I have never heard or sang the song quite like I did tonight, with all of the different voices surrounding me and echoing up and out, hopefully loud enough for all of Rexburg to hear. As we got louder and louder, and the Spirit began to fill the atmosphere even more, slowly the lights began to turn back on. Coincidence? I think not.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

...And There Goes that Mistake

Last night my roommates and I decided to go to a "non-school-sponsored" bonfire at the dunes, which by the way are incredibly far out of the realm of civilization (yes, that includes Rexburg, the city with two main streets: the one with Wal-Mart on it and the one to get out of here!). The signal on my cell phone kept drifting in and out, and finally it was lost completely. I felt totally cut off from the world, which is oftentimes not such a bad thing. I decided to take in the simplicity and look out my window at the fields glowing in the light of the moon; they seemed to ask some kind of question which I didn't know the answer to. All they did was dance silently in the autumn breeze, which gets colder every day. Perhaps they were pointing my eyes in the direction of the sky, and that's when it hit me: I haven't truly looked at the stars since we went to Union this past summer for Grandma Great's funeral. Why do the simplest and most beautiful things always slip thru my fingers? We always focus all of our desires and hopes into the biggest and temporal things, not thinking about life in an eternal perspective. Right then I got this whispery, happy feeling and I knew I could move here permanently, even though it'll be snowing buckets eventually. I knew that our Heavenly Father is always leading us along where we're supposed to be, and He's led me, a stubborn redheaded girl who always wants to stay in her comfortable bubble of a life, four hours away from my family and riding in the backseat of a green Honda on a road thru a starry-lit field. Whew, typing that sentence was a workout for my phalanges!! I get to use words like "phalanges" now, and I get to make shrimp fettucine for dinner on weekdays, and I even go to class early just to think about life, just because I'm in college. In other words, I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I decided that the Snow Building is going to be my resident "home away from home" this semester. It's the Fine Arts and Humanities building, and all the hallways are dimly lit like you're walking around in a concert hall. There's a statue of Christ right as you walk in that looks similar to the one at Temple Square (yay, a piece of home!). My first class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is in this building, and it's called Music 101, or Music Appreciation. Today in class our teacher cranked up the speakers built into the walls and played something which I hope we will be able to listen to after we become resurrected. It was from "The Mission." If you've never heard the music, you'll need to look it up before you die. The piece we listened to was Yo-Yo Ma on the cello, playing Ennio Morricone (dad, if you're reading this, please confirm that we do indeed own that CD!). I was letting myself drift into oblivious peace when I realized that most music we get pumped into our brains these days usually has catchy lyrics, a fast beat, or is made to be played at a high volume. Our teacher, Sister Mecham, gave us a little lecture (however, when it's coming from her I think of it as "motherly advice") about staying connected with people and not to technology all the time. I felt pretty guilty about this because, it's true, I'm often hooked up to my iPod. She reminded us that our cell phones, computers, etc., shouldn't control our lives. "You control them," she said. I felt like saying "Amen!" Then again, I say it every day after someone gives the opening prayer. Next time: Digressions on La Clase de Espanol

The Mantis that Preys...

Last night my roommate Courtney and I returned from Wal-Mart at a really late hour (okay not so late, were were just tired....) and were walking half-awake up the stairs to our apartment. We...or should I say I, observed a rather large praying mantis resting its gangly legs on the wall outside. Once I pointed out my little "observation," it became a threat to Courtney's life. She flipped out and understandingly ran for the door, looking behind her to make sure that the praying mantis wasn't waddling after her with its arms reached out for a hug. Okay, so maybe it wasn't that dramatic. But the reaction was a bit wilder than anticipated. I did somersaults all the way to the door in order to protect myself (it works for all the secret agents--somehow they never get hit by the showering of bullets around them), then slammed the door shut...at least, I thought I did. Before I knew it, a friend of ours named Tanna came in for a visit. She must've let in our other friend we had tried to avoid moments earlier. All Courtney got out once she saw it was "Mantis. On. Wall." Then we all went berserk... I covered myself efficiently with the rolled up mattress pad I had just purchased (that was dumb of me--what bug wouldn't like a soft place to rest?!) Tanna attempted to get the mantis off the wall and back into the currents leading out the door...with a pillow. He didn't like that. In response to the bludgeoning of our pillows, he jetted into the air towards our faces, arms still facing out. Needless to say, none of us was in a hugging mood. Christina, our other brave (with a capital B!) roommate, tried to catch him with a paper bowl...but when I told her she had to slip a paper underneath the bowl to get him outside, she looked at me like I had asked her to eat the thing! By this time we were going to go for the "damsels in distress" approach, which happens to work especially well when you have a balcony. Tanna discreetly shouted out into the void, "We need a maaaannnn! We've got a mantis in here!!!" So was that "we need a mantis, we've got a man in here," or the other way around? We may never know who heard the call, because no one ever answered. Finally our fierce pillows seemed to scare the once-loving insect out the door and into the night. I shall never leave the house without a matress-pad-shield again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Starving Student on the Loose!

Make a note of this for future reference: my first blog is all about food. Perhaps in the future I'll deviate from this course, but for now I am typing to the rhythm of my growling stomach. These past few days have become a giant blur which I have crumpled up into a ball and stuffed into my pockets for later. At every orientation activity up here in Rexburg, we have been given lunch. The first day we had hot dogs...or should I say, my dad and two younger siblings had hot dogs. I ate a few Fritos and suddenly craved an Italian Ice (remember those?!). The next feast (I measure time now by meals) was a Parent/Student luau at the MC, and it was actually pretty scrumptious. The only problem was that my body wanted bread, pasta, Ritz crackers, raw ramen, and ridiculous amounts of granola. Too bad Hawaiians don't eat bread without pineapple bits in it! So once again I had to pass up on the carbs (whoever the Atkins guy is, I hope you're reading this!!!!). The next day I had a bran muffin for breakfast, and after I ate mine my mom made a face as she finished hers. "What?!" I asked. "Is something wrong with it?" Had I become immune to the possible bits of pineapple, raisin, or other mystery hunks in my bread?! Day two of college and it had already come to that.... For lunch we had burgers on buns which had been frozen and then defrosted in the Idaho sun. In other words, they were as soggy as snowmen on the first day of summer. By now I was starting to think that bread was something "discouraged against" like girls wearing flip-flops or guys wearing "non-masculine pants" (you've seen 'em, you've feared 'em, you should never attempt to wear them). Dinner that night was something I scared up myself, called a Ta-qui-to. It's a Mexican Specialty....commonly found in the freezer aisle. Let's just say it made my day and give my parents a big round of applause for getting those (AND shrimp! yaya!). I woke up a bit late this morning and only had a few bites of Golden Grahams before jetting off (haha I can use the word "jetting" now because I is a college stooodent!), so the rest went down the disposal. Lunch was a mix of granola bars, frozen yogurt, and Ritz crackers. Let's just say tomorrow when I go over to Audrey's apartment for a "break the fast" I'll be loading up on the rolls. For now the Chronicles of Wonder Bread are closing another chapter....