Sunday, November 29, 2009

if I were that kind of grateful [fourth edition]

Two extra days today, since I'm not sure I'll feel like posting tomorrow.

22: I am grateful for kind ladies.
23: I am grateful for contemplating.
24: I am grateful for being cool enough to talk in code.
25: I am grateful for the magically unburned pies (on my watch).
26: I am grateful for nice relatives.
27: I am grateful for my ability to enjoy games that I never win.
28: I am grateful for being packed in next to cousins on a cold day.
29: I am grateful for musical talent.
30: I am grateful for medical technology.*

*I almost said that I was grateful for still being cancer-free, but there's a chance that I won't be, but at any rate I'm grateful for the technology that can determine whether or not I am still in remission, and that cured me before. Going down to Primary Children's tomorrow.

My life overflows with blessings.

"The Last Snowfall" ~ Vienna Teng

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I map the words out, maybe you will say them

Three weeks ago I had a couple dates, with different guys. Prior to the date(s), I found myself imagining that he would bring me flower(s) at the start of the date, so I started thinking about how I would react to that.

Now, the chances of either of these young men giving me a flower on a date (they were both probably technically first dates) were very, very slim, but that didn't stop me from playing it out in my mind.

After the dates were over, my imagination was even worse. Over and over I thought about what I should've done differently: shoulda made that joke, shoulda gone for the handshake, shoulda said that compliment, why didn't I think of any of this at the time?

And this is so very typical of me. I'll spend weeks reconstructing social scenes in my head.

One thing I've learned, though, is that whenever I imagine ('daydream' is another acceptable word, I suppose, but it makes me sound so girlish) then that thing will not occur. I knew the moment I thought, "Oh, maybe he'll bring me flowers" that no way would he/they bring me flowers (which, might I add, was totally okay). Every scenario I imagined for one of my missionaries' homecomings turned out totally different from what actually happened. Without fail, that's what happens.

I just found this in my LJ, from last fall when I was vacillating in my affections for someone (clearly, this was one of the higher times). One of my imaginings that, surprise of surprises, didn't happen. Never even came close. Except for the weather really making me think dangerous thoughts like that (it was halfway through November and people were wearing shorts).

"This weather," she said, "makes me think dangerous thoughts."

"Dangerous thoughts?" he repeated, his eyebrows going up. "Like what?"

"Dangerous thoughts about doing dangerous things," she clarified, smirking up at him. They stood where they always did, postponing their inevitable journeys in separate directions. Students scurried around them unheeding.

"Your powers of description never cease to amaze me," he said, grinning, but a little blinded by the morning sun to look at her full on. "Care to expound a little more?"

"Things that I would never do, but that this weather makes me want to do."

"Like ...?" He gestured her on.

She kept silent, looking down and blushing a little. She wasn't going to say the sort of things her mind came up with while walking down the sunny path between classes.

"Oh, come on. It can't be anything too bad."

"No, it's really not," she admitted. "Okay. Why don't I show you? See if this weather can actually make me do something."

She took off her backpack and left it beside him, then ventured out a little bit into the crowd of students. He could see her brow furrowed as she scanned those that passed, but whatever it was she wanted to do wasn't clear to him. Finally, she ran back to him.

"Chickened out?" he started to say, but didn't quite make it. Her lips had covered his, firmly but briefly. She pulled away, blushing brightly and giggling nervously. Too quickly for him to recover, she grabbed her backpack and ran away.

Oh, so cute. Picture this on the sidewalk that runs past the SWKT and the Clark building, where it branches off toward the MARB, and you'll have it just the way it occurred in my head. Multiple times. Like the way I've practiced offering my hand to shake, oh, probably 10 times in the last few weeks.

Someday I'll learn that perfecting a scene after the fact doesn't improve the way it really happened, and that daydreaming is not worthwhile, and, if I'm really lucky, that real life is better than I could imagine anyway.

"Momentum" ~ Vienna Teng
[This is one of my favorite lyrics, and I was so pleased when I realized I had a post to go with it.]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

if I were that kind of grateful [third edition]

Here we go! Another good week.

15: I am grateful for a surprisingly comfortable hard seat.
16: I am grateful for the love that spurred me to make the most epic missionary letter I've ever crafted.*
17: I am grateful for being trusted to keep a secret that I couldn't keep for more than a couple hours.
18: I am grateful for a new job, if only because anyone else would be grateful for one.
19: I am grateful for finally looking like a missionary, in hopes it will improve my behavior.
20: I am grateful for a testimony of temple marriage.
21: I am grateful for the best wedding breakfast I've ever been to in my life. Maybe the first. Still the best.

"The Last Snowfall" ~ Vienna Teng

*In the spirit of keeping these to one sentence (mostly), but still proud of my accomplishments in this arena, I would like to make a footnote describing what this letter entailed. It was 5 pages long, and around the edges of each page I created a different style of stationery. The first page was in amino acid code in apt fall colors, and the other pages had one word in amino acid code describing the stationery I drew and colored. (As in, "circle" for the circles I drew -- that page took the longest by far.) I also included a bonus page for a Christmas present (as the years have gone on I've gotten progressively lazier in my packages for missionaries). I printed off pictures of my siblings (with the appropriate significant others) and also drew a couple other pictures because photos of my escapades are often nonexistent. I didn't draw Brother W at all fat enough, but my art skills are ... less than great. And I even colored the pictures this time! It was an upgrade.

It took me all week, but I'm pleased with it. I just feel bad that she won't have time to spend forever perusing it -- missionaries are busy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

what a fool you have made me

Wednesday night my family went to the high school's production of "Bye Bye Birdie." They did the same musical my junior year, but I can understand why they did it again: it just fit with the leads they had in mind.

Kim MacAfee and Albert Peterson happen to be siblings in our ward, friends of the family. They both did amazing jobs. Albert (his real name is Cole) sounded remarkably like Jimmy Stewart, which certainly isn't a bad thing.

The bad thing, however, is the crush I now have on him.

Hopefully it'll pass. I only seem to get crushes on 17-year-olds these days and they've all passed fairly rapidly. It's just another hallmark of my sad, pathetic life.

(Oh, phew. The attraction [if I wanted to call it such] has passed. Hopefully I don't go to another night of the musical...)

Well, that was fun. I don't know why I don't get crushes on boys my age. My family might stop making fun of me. (Actually, yesterday, with the memory of their teasing about Albert fresh in my mind, I made eye contact with a young man at Institute that might have been worth talking to if only because he looked like a mix between Yellow and CPM, but I was on my way to work and he was on his way out of class and my missionary tag wasn't visible and he was probably married anyway.)

That's all I wanted to say. I just needed to air my laundry. Good thing it's mostly clean, huh? I'm only at risk for being ridiculed for the rest of my life for liking boys four years younger than me.

I do have another post I've been sitting on for two weeks now, but I'm limiting myself to two posts a week while it's November so I don't end on an unfortunate number (read: odd) for a week. So look for it in another 6 days or so. Or I may decide to do it sooner. The problem is I'm coming up on 47, which ... I didn't watch enough Alias to start liking the number, so I want it as shortly as possible. Ooh. Rambling. Bye!

"Stray Italian Greyhound" ~ Vienna Teng

Sunday, November 15, 2009

if I were that kind of grateful [second edition]

Here we are at the end of the second week of November! Hurrah! Here are the things I was grateful for this week.

8: I'm grateful for being a backup singer on the stand.
9: I'm grateful for honey roasted peanuts and cranapple juice.
10: I'm grateful for meeting someone I email all the time. On accident. (Met him on accident, I don't email him on accident.)
11: I'm grateful for an awesome WWII memorial.
12: I'm grateful for dinner at an old favorite restaurant.
13: I'm grateful for high school choir.
14: I'm grateful for getting some things accomplished.

I was grateful for more things (in general, it was a pretty good week) but like last week, I'm picking and choosing my "faves" for this.

"The Last Snowfall" ~ Vienna Teng

Saturday, November 14, 2009

flat on the table like Kansas

I spent most of this week visiting my grandma in Kansas. This promises to be the easiest subject line ever found.

It was a nice visit, though I was lazy because I have to be told to do things otherwise I lie on the couch and think about ... whatever it is I spend most of my time thinking about. Played a lot of Bejeweled on the nice fast new computer, but got some work done too. Not enough, considering the mess I came back to yesterday.

I went to FHE with my aunt Janae, which was fun. I don't spend enough time around young (probably loosely used, though I wasn't the youngest by any means) single adults anymore, and we had a great time thinking of Gospel Principles to be found within the movie Pinocchio.[1]

We also went to half an hour of Institute, which was interesting because it was taught by Brother M, CES Coordinator for the area. (More on that in my grateful post tomorrow.) Also, we went to the Lawrence High School Winter Gala, where they did excerpts from The Messiah, an orchestra piece complete with glowsticks tied to the bows, and a marching band routine. I'm a sucker for marching band, and the drum major was good.[2] The dance team, though, didn't do anything that I couldn't do (well, with two fully functional legs) so I wasn't impressed by them.

Wednesday was my aunt Janae's birthday, so we had a little party. I learned some Russian words that I can't remember from Andrey, their Kazakhstani friend (he was an exchange student when I was younger, and now goes to KU) and played with the cousins that also live at the house. All boys, so we don't have an awful lot in common. Oh well. Mom and I also had a tour of the campanile, which was a-maz-ing. I totally should've taken the carillon class at BYU.

On our way to the airport on Thursday we stopped by the Liberty Missouri Temple site. They're clearing the ground in preparation for the groundbreaking. How exciting!

That's kind of what we did. Not the most super exciting trip, but still fun.

Then Thursday night I had to rush off to the Imogen Heap concert, which was a personal tragedy (we left when she was less than halfway through, but I was tired of standing and breathing the cigarette smoke). I just hate fun, I guess.

Yesterday was good, though! For a Friday the 13th. (Luckier than some, at least.) No major problems with the concert for which I had a good amount of responsibility (accompanists are so self-centered!) and it was okay all in all. So glad to be home!

(I try not to make boring travelogue posts, but sometimes it can't be helped. Like when I can't resist the temptation to talk about Kansas so I can use one of my favorite songs as a subject line.)

"Kansas" ~ Vienna Teng[3]

[1] Obviously the entire story is pretty much allegorical, so that wasn't any fun. If the movie itself states the conscience is a "still, small voice" it doesn't leave much to the imagination. We thought of things more like, "Flirt to convert." "Sometimes when you change for the better, people want to you to stay the same you were and don't believe that you've changed." "Polygamy always has strings attached." "Puppets can't drown." "Satan will tempt you away then leave you alone to be locked in a cage with no hope for escape." That sort of thing.

[2] If I were a high schooler, I might have a crush on him. Something about arrogance and power is so attractive. Not to mention the way he says "dot dot dot dot." Oh, baby.

[3] Actually, eastern Kansas isn't very flat, and the weather was amazing. So my use of that line for the subject is just artistic license. I enjoyed all the hills and not being lost to the winter. Lovely!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

if I were that kind of grateful [first edition]

Last Sunday, the bishop stood up and bore his testimony about how November is the month when the country officially recognizes that gratitude is a good idea.

My friend, Joyws, always recognizes the importance of gratitude. When we lived in the same apartment complex, her living room wall was covered with pictures of things she was grateful for. Now that she lives in Kansas where none of us can appreciate her artwork, every Facebook status is something she's grateful for.

I thought that, since it's officially Be Grateful month, and in recognition of how just even awesome Joyws is, I would find something to be grateful for every day and post it once a week. Here's what I'm grateful for this week:

1: I'm grateful for being an accompanist.
2: I'm grateful for infrared light.
3: I'm grateful for a friend who validates my behavior.
4: I'm grateful for an unclaimed ticket.
5: I'm grateful for 85 mph.
6: I'm grateful for exceptional CD mixes.
7: I'm grateful for only ruining the car a little.

"The Last Snowfall" ~ Vienna Teng

Thursday, November 5, 2009

we feel it like the shiver of a passing train

Well, here it is, November 5th. It's been five months since my surgery, and I still have a hole in my leg.

(It feels like something else is today too. Is it Guy Fawkes Day?[1] Maybe?)

Anyway, I'm celebrating whatever milestone it is by driving down to BYU for the day. Hooray!

"In Another Life" ~ Vienna Teng

[1] BOOM! And with that, just one stripe from the rainbow was blown free, and that's our world. Poor Guy Fawkes, failed in every universe.