Thursday, August 27, 2009

confessions less severe than usher's. still shameful.

I don't read the newspaper.

But I get it.


But I don't read it.

I paid some little boy eight precious dollars to receive a newspaper I don't even open.
I don't even read online news.
And I certainly, absolutely do not WATCH the news, like on TV. I feel that this makes me a bad citizen and that I need to repent and do better. I know this is shameful and terrible, but it is true. The closest I get to news: Freakonomics blog. I repeat: I am an ignorant nobody like all the politics experts feel so sorry for and are so angry at. I do not read news ever. It sits right under my nose and I do not, for all my love and adoration of reading, pick the thing up and read it.

And I am a typical human, making all breeds of excuses like I cannot read the newspaper because I don't drink coffee, and people who read the newspaper always read it while they drink coffee; or, I can't read the newspaper because the report is slanted and I want to get all sides of the story, so I should have to fly to Iraq and check it out for my own eyes; or, I can't watch the news because it is depressing and also far too loud and permeating every day of my life anyway and I don't believe in it. I think I have some issues to work out in the media department.

blah, blah, blah.
I feel like I'm rapping my fist on the computer screen shouting "HELLO? ANYBODY?"
I'm still deciding how I feel about this whole anyone-can-know-my-deepest-dreams-and-thoughts deal. Anyone. Even people I despise, or people I adore from afar, or people who don't know me at all or (WORSE!) people that know me vaguely SLASH very well.

So until I decide, you can read about how I don't read the newspaper.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

obsessed, a little.

This is how all of my children will learn the alphabet.

Perfect Lawn Man

Perfect Lawn Man lived a block around the corner from 5313 Marshall Avenue. He would sit on his porch to glare at all the kids on their way home from the bus stop, threatening us with those black eyes to do the unthinkable and step on his grass. We used to dare each other, double and triple dog—but we'd only ever venture a toe, at most, because he would yell if he saw or call your parents if he didn't and noticed in his post-after-school-crowd yard examination. This was the legend.


We attempted to work through our fears—elementary cognitive therapy, you know—by speculating as to why he cared so much. If he was just a grumpy oldish man who needed cookies, we guessed we could do some good for humankind, whip some up, and be romping free on his property the next day. But maybe, maybe he had a disease, and the weed whacker eased the symptoms. Or maybe his child got lost in a field of unkempt greenery and he vowed to balance the universe with an overly KEMPT patch of grass. Maybe he just didn't actually know what fun was, maybe he grew up with wild beasts and didn't know how to speak, so lawn mowing eased that frustration. or he was maybe brought up in an orphanage and never held, and never had any toys so he didn’t know about playing. It never occurred to us that he was probably OCD, and/or had a nasty set of ownership issues, or just plain hated kids and joy.


But we had a secret love for him, the way all kids love trouble and challenges. It was no fun if he was downright mean for no good reason, with no mental illness or beast-parents to speak of. We loved the legend, the invented stories, the mystery. We loved the fear, too—because we could control it. And then, simultaneously, we wanted to give away our control. Maybe if we were ready to do that, we were ready to give away our fear, too. We wanted him to catch us tip-toeing on his manicured lawn. We—I mean all of us crazy humans—all want to be caught, really. That’s how we express our secret desires and stifled needs, how we tell each other the things we can’t form with our own mouths and tongues and lips.


We knew it was ridiculous that he cared about this green weed so much—we tried to prove it to him. If enough kids trampled his treasure, maybe he would realize how foolish he was being. But we humans and our treasure, we don’t readily let it go, no matter what useless junk it can be labeled by popular consent. There’s something noble about holding on to your treasure when people are telling you it’s the stupidest thing in the world, to give it up, get a life. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes they are jealous.


Perfect Lawn Man slowly gave away his dream, blade by blade. He let chunks of the middle go bad first, watching from his window as they faded to a parched yellow-white and the grass gradually gave away its dewy, flat green. The shape went next. The stuff seemed to have been tugged out like tufts of hair, and placed on top of other patches to prove that it still had a place; nobody believed. His lawn was still one of the best, even after he buried his love for it below the sinking, yellowing clumps. And then, somehow imperceptibly, (no one could tell me exactly it happened) Perfect Lawn Man moved away; it seemed his last act of shame, for selling his precious treasure away by popular consent to Neglect.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nutso-Emotional, or just passionate. Either way, HERE I COME.

My freshly painted enthusiasm seems to have gotten a little sticky with too-quick overuse, and I wanted to run away, again. There’s something about that ‘again’ that just makes it so prickly and defeating. Again. I have these fears often, Again admits. Like every-day often.

How do i sift through the compost of my ridiculously large fears of inadequacy when the precise problem is that i cannot do anything? i don’t have enough money to eat, let alone to sing. singing costs money, i bet you didn’t know. and then i have to, like, pay for an apartment on top of that. but i have to keep flowing into something better and greater and bigger than my own little voice…i tire of my own crutches.

i want to be the blind leading the seeing, the knowledgeable, teaching them about the sky the way blind people only seem to know—awareness, appreciation.

and it has to be instinctive, like typing without looking….all this without looking. blind. it is inside me, the instinct. i want spark it inside others, without pretense and with a whole truckload of emotion. i read that passion is defined as being highly emotional. Gosh, passion just sounds so much more sophisticated than blown out of proportion emotional.

it is these emotions, i’ve described, that lead me to do what i do. steve jobs says you gotta find what you love; he dropped out of college and was just as broke as i’m about to be, and then he became a bajillionare and then he got fired and started all over again, and he liked it. he says it’s all because he loves what he does. and he re-evaluates every day and decides how he wants to live his life, because he almost died one time from cancer. this dude has got to become a mormon, gosh, just read it.

and so i want to do what i love, with no delays. the enthusiasm is still sticky. I warn you, I’m still going to be afraid. I already know. But every day, I feel it stronger. i’m going to give up the padding of education and a bunch of study study reading reading practicing times seventy nine for years before i start. well, i mean, i still want that, that’s the goal. so the point is, i’m not going to wait.

this fall, i am starting a community gospel choir.

in provo. and i’m going to be the director. (eek.squeal!)

we’re going to sing gospel and soul music. (just fyi, soul is just the secular version of gospel.)

and you’re going to be in my choir.

yes, you. i do not care if you have never sung a note; singing is instinctive in all human beings. i can give you the love. remember those fears and the inadequacies? we must do the things we think we cannot.

i also do not care if you’ve never heard a lick of gospel. you’ll be converted. and we’ll shout amens together and clap our hands and smile and get uplifted and just you wait!! you’re gonna love it.

I’m probably going to knock on your door and harass you.

so, what i mean is, see you there.

Friday, August 7, 2009

900 pounds

SOOO here I am again, blogger, because I’m dripping with freakout-age today because my best friend is having probably the biggest day of her life thus far, as we speak. bigger, somehow, than the day she got into byu (we knew she would) or the day she moved out of our apartment (probably a lot bigger for me than for her) or even the day that HE left.

because now, today, HE is coming home. and they are in love and stuff. and i just keep talking about marriage and babies and things of that nature. but uh, she still hasn’t seen him quite yet so uh, we’ll keep the baby makin on the down low, of the entire internet. so secret.

she had this terribly horrid fear that she was going to wake up this morning weighing 900 pounds and not be able to move from her (obviously crushed) bed, much less fit through her doorway, butterball up the stairs, into her car, and onto a PLANE to deliver her to the arms of the love of her life (who would end up with the same fate as the bed if she weighed 900 pounds.)

she calls me, frantic. a disaster of hilarious proportions has arisen. so then she’s going to the gym, she can’t take this no mo. she’s ripped all the clothing from her closet to try to figure out what to wear. we are driving to her aid. this is HUGE.

she jumps around so giddy and dumps an armful of boxes and glass vials, her lifetime collection of perfume, in our laps. She needs to know which one to wear. OHHHH, we say—we feel the weight.

Brooke: “Do you have any more Kaylie Smell?….Wait, didn’t he say that he just likes the smell of your deodorant?”

She laughs, and her eyes crinkle and glitter as she recounts the story of the one time she DIDN’T wear perfume and he went nuts for her Dove fresh.

“HE’S ON THE PLANE!!!!” She flops her limbs a little bit, then launches into a hip jive that includes shouts of “WELCOME TO AMERRRRICUHHHH!” We are giggling, hugging in a circle, jumping on the grass and SHOUTING, SHOUTING.

sdfakjfdalfjkasklfjasdfWell wanna know what ,she didn’t wake up weighing 900 pounds, she’s on a plane, and he IS the love of her life.

And uh, BABIES.


She thinks jazz is crunchy



(don’t experience it without the audio.)

So get this, he plays in subways AND Carnegie Hall. And he has the coolest mustache, and the prettiest, most deliciously accessible yet elegant way of talking about why he does what he does. And he brings people together, makes them forget themselves for a minute and listen. Gosh, he talks about music so beautifully. “You don’t make music—it comes through you.” 

I want that! To blink notes, breathe in blues, steep chords into my esophagus and sweat symphonies…(Well, that might be a little gross?)

Rique, I love you a little bit.


my title is in reference to a jazz concert that Boyfriend and I went to last night, at which the pianist remarked that jazz is “crunchy.” I guess we all just want music to be edible, to get it inside us somehow…she wants to crunch and munch on her jazz chords, and I want to sweat symphonies. delish.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We all scream for…KENDRA.

This is what I do to Kendra while she is trying to eat ice cream. She plays along.









She tried to escape to the living room, but I sneakily followed her. There is no escape, Kendra darling. You should know this by now.


DSC_1928b DSC_1929b




mmmmmmmmmm. forget ice cream. i scream for kendra.

A coffee shop on every corner

The sky swam with grayish clouds this morning and I missed the smell of coffee, walking along streets full of not 99% white people. There is a coffee shop on every corner, and the Mormon kids would go to Starbucks and get hot chocolate. But I loved that smell, and wished desperately that my name was Tully.

The hustle crowd, bustling to work—watching them, I longed to stop in the middle and let them swarm around me. I missed that salty, fishy smell from the Puget Sound and remembered how the view from Alki beach looked like the movies, how the sky looks so wide open and from the ferry you can see in panoramic and forwards and downwards and all directions, stretch of city and sea and it is beautiful.


I am taken back to Elephant Ears at the Puyallup Fair, samples of grilled corn and almonds at Bite of Seattle. I can only dip my leg in the fountain, cautiously, because my elbow is still busted from being a wannabe gymnast, jumping on the tramp.

I have just been CPR certified to make myself more marketable as a babysitter. Tara Low is coming with me to church and Girl’s Camp. I think all my brother’s friends are marriage material and spend most of my time contriving ways to see them and get them to like me. I even google it, before everyone googled absolutely everything. I am trying to force myself to cry outside the hypnotist show at the fair, because Ben is holding Kelli Harris who ruined everything and I am trying to be so sad that he will notice and take pity and break up with her and marry me…or at least take me on the Extreme Scream with him. I am so young, and my journal and my head are filled with nothing but boys.


I am boating at Lake Tapps, tagging along with my brother and the cool kids again. I am sleeping over at Courtny Jarman's, looking up at her ceiling that has clouds painted on it and coveting her hard wood floor. She’s a dancer. I love her and am surprised that she loves me, because I'm not as cool as she is. I am showing her my toe-touch, I am going to try out for cheerleading. I am wandering the halls of Riverside High, excited to be in Vocal Jazz sophomore year and not having a clue that I want to be a music teacher.


The summer is sweltering, I am draping my limbs on fans and eating healthy choice fudge bars with Natalie. I love her, and we talk about fashion and kids at school and beg our parents to drive us to Bellevue so we can go to Sephora and coat our arms in eye shadow and perfume—when I get in the car her dad is telling me that I smell very, uh, strongly, and we just giggle and giggle, back home to spend the night with crunch n munch and girl talk and Grease.

Then I am moving away. I am not wanting to leave. We have a going away party and I’m still killing myself to impress Isaac Lomeli and trying to start the boy shorts trend. I need more time for all of these things.

Natalie is there when we are about to drive away. We’ve had a rough few days, bursting into wet tears in between bites of peach yogurt after she gave me that immaculate scrapbook of the reasons she loves me, our memories together, the billions of photoshoots and movies we’ve made.

But we’re somber now, and we don’t cry. “It doesn’t feel real,” she says. I look down at my Old Navy flip flops and try to keep my hair from curling in the humidity. The sky is shining, blaring, no clouds. I need you, I tell her, hugging her long and tight. She looks at me a few times as we mumble our last goodbyes. Neither knows anything epic or movie-worthy to say. Then she turns slowly and walks down Nathan Avenue. My face is prickling in the heat as I walk toward the van, looking back again and again for her red curly hair or her freckles, but I can’t see her.

The sky looks wide open, simmering with mixing clouds and splotches of blue. I scan the contents of this view that I have grown to love so closely, with mountains instead of trees and bikes and backpacks and shade shirts under tank tops. I love you both, I whisper. I look up to the sphere of melting gray and I let myself smile wide with the memory so pungent, the smell of youth and city life, Lakeland Hills and rain, and a coffee shop on every corner.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

hey there veronica

Although I highly doubt that wearing, meditating (??) or surrounding myself with “Veronica” will help me balance my life, this thing is pretty freakishly accurate.

Try it here, if you wanna.


Monday, August 3, 2009

universe needs some educashun

Enclave Parties Summer 09 074-pola01b   as luck would have it,
   as fate would dictate it,
   one week.
   as destiny that-i-can't-decide-if-i-believe-in would want it,
   probably forever.

     all these reunions and happy feel-good times are no longer  mine, because what the heck august came anyway, against my will. i want june chan back.

                               this sucks.

thx u r so kewl eye lurve u qt,
now if u could jus be n mi life id be so ha-p bc eye need u more than eye admit n eye am sa-p so sry but plz cant u jus rearrange the universe?

sometimes it doesn’t know what it’s doing so we hafta educate it.

it should go to college. the universe, i mean. it should go to the right college, with me, not in stupid cold small cave apartment place idaho, and do things how they’re supposed to be.

it ain’t posed ta be this way—tell stupidhead universe i said so.