Thursday, October 29, 2009

a flower trying to bloom in snow

I use exclusively my cell phone to take pictures, so they're not the best quality, but I think my general sentiments are captured.

"The Tower" ~ Vienna Teng

Monday, October 26, 2009

still trying to sing your songs

BYU got me into the habit of singing the hymns loudly. Not that I didn't sing out before -- in fact, our family and the one that sat behind us were kind of bastions of songs of praise -- but confidence is higher when the entire room is singing their hearts out. My wards at BYU were invariably like this. It was amazing.

Then I go to Stake Conference and we sing songs people don't know and I am the only one I can hear in the entire gym. Yeah, that was fun.

That was an exception, of course. There's not more than 4 stake conferences this year, and most of the time I do what everyone else does and sit with my family in the ward. Then I only have to worry about my 13-year-old sister's glares when I sing too exuberantly, and especially when I sing the tenor line. She doesn't care that I've moved between all the parts since she was born (give or take a year or two), it bugs her now.

There are other ways BYU has spoiled me, but one in particular I noticed this Sunday was in the choir. As I mentioned we had Conference -- it was Regional, which meant all the stakes in Cache Valley were in attendance and there was an enormous choir composed of USU students: 876 singers.[1] The cameras were on them as they sang, but it seemed weird. Maybe it was the fact that camerapeople are different here than at my alma mater, but I didn't enjoy watching them much at all. I didn't see anyone I knew[2] and all the boys were ugly.

That was my opinion for the first song, then I realized that it simply couldn't be true, so I paid better attention during the second song. There were a few attractive young men, and many of them I would have found pleasing to the eye were they sporting blue-and-gold-striped ties and blazers[3], but I was still overall unimpressed.

Why is BYU different? I'm not sure; last I heard the ecclesiastical endorsement doesn't involve a tap with a magic wand to become more appealing. It was quite strange. However, I am now resigned to the fact that the faces I saw on Sunday are my dating pool now (only 400 men boohoo ... plus the thousands that didn't make it to choir) and I'm sure I'll get over my feelings of being an underage freshman as I walk through the Institute building where I work. I'm older than some RMs now, after all.

Anyway, those were my thoughts this weekend. Regional Conference was very good. I'd been moody for a few days and starting to clash with my siblings (they're the only people I see! And they're young and annoying! And I'm bossy!) and the talks Saturday night really told me off about that. And since Sunday morning was all General Authorities (Elder Rasband, Sister Lant, Elder Ballard, President Eyring) it was of course uplifting and inspiring. I'm going to take the shrink-wrap off my brand-new mission journal and jot down my thoughts.

"Grandmother Song" ~ Vienna Teng

[1] I had planned initially to be one of these singers, but the one rehearsal I went to reminded me why choir is so frustrating, especially sitting by diva altos. And also it was too difficult to sit on a hard chair for two hours (on the "padded" bench in the stake center I almost died). So I was merely a spectator.
[2] apart from the [stereotypes abound] short fat balding guy that was the only person to introduce himself to me at the rehearsal -- he was on the front row directly behind the podium
[3] I'll spell it out if I must: Men's Chorus.

Friday, October 23, 2009

to come out from under the covers

Please select one of the following options concerning a new blog post so soon after my last one:

a) I am still bitten by the blogging bug.
b) I had 37 posts, and that is one of the worst possible numbers -- prime, two odd numbers, and ending in 7. So I need a new one quick.
c) I have something important to say.
d) Two of the above.
e) All of the above.

So, it's going to snow this weekend. That is not something I was planning to say, but I looked outside (it doesn't look anything besides slightly dreary) and that's what came to mind.

The fall colors have been really pretty this year. They always are. But I was so blessed to be able to drive through Sardine Canyon in the morning twice! Nothing quite like the early sunshine on the leaves.

As it has gotten a little chilly of late, I've started using the electric blanket I got this spring. (On a side note, I have received so many blankets it's ridiculous. There's probably one for every room in the house.) It's nice when I'm first settling into my cold bed in my cold room, but usually before I fall asleep I have to either unplug it or take it off, because apparently hot flashes are just a part of life now. I have been slightly nervous about electric blankets ever since reading that Andrew Clements book about a kid who used one and woke up invisible the next morning. So far that hasn't happened.

Here is where I was going to put the other thing I wanted to blog about, but I can't remember what it was. I got distracted thinking of one of my November blogs last night and it slipped out of my memory. If I remember it, I'll come back and put it in.

"Daughter" ~ Vienna Teng

Thursday, October 22, 2009

hair falling forward, mouth all askew

I got bit by the blogging bug on Monday, but didn't post anything (obviously), nor did I put it in my stupidbrilliantthoughts document, so I'm not sure all the stuff I wanted to blog about was any good or not.

How about a random update?

It's the time of year to break out the sweaters and long-sleeved shirts. Also, since I spent the summer exclusively in t-shirts and shorts, I'm now wearing some of my fancier warm-weather tops again as well. (I can do that because I'm not walking to school every day.) It's weird because all my sweaters -- especially the one I loved so wore all the way through April -- have hair all over them. The ones I didn't love so much have super long hair, but that red sweater I loved is just COVERED in haircut-era hair. Because the day my hair started to fall out in earnest I got a haircut. So most of the hair that fell out was short. Anyway. I know that's fascinating.

I'm going to keep talking about my hair. The expressions of interest after my last statement were just too overwhelming.

I love how soft my hair is. It's getting longer, too (shocker) but at the RS retreat on Saturday, after I took off my hat (I was too lazy for the wig, and also it looks a lot stranger for a girl to take off her hair than it is for her to take off a hat) I felt self-conscious again. I was proud of how it's coming in, but it's still shorter than it's safe to show in public. Unless I'm Mia Michaels. (Pretend there's a picture here of Ms. Michaels from So You Think You Can Dance, which I turned on last night for a minute and noted our similar hairstyles, but all the sites that might have a picture are suspicious for this Church computer, so never mind.)

Also, I am grateful for eyebrows and eyelashes. They make having too-short hair bearable.

Now if only my mouth would stop hurting. I have a pretty good tolerance for pain, I've found (case in point: not sure I'm supposed to have been walking without assistance for the last month but it doesn't bug me), but not mouth pain. It completely distracts me from my work.

What kind of girl have I turned into? Belaboring my aches and pains? Yeesh, I remember when I used to be interesting.

In one final attempt to be interesting, and also just in case you missed my Facebook status, here's the latest disappointment of the day (grah, I sound so pessimistic): I saw the UPS truck come up our street, so I went to the front to pick up the package, but there was no one there. I saw it come up further the street then back down, so I went out front to pick up the package (again), and I was so excited! I have been waiting for these books to arrive for months! I didn't have time to open the package (I was in a meeting) so I just left it by the front door. My mom came home and looked at the package...and it was flax.

Flax from Oh, the cruelty of fate.

somewhat less interesting than rambly, but I say we take what we can get because I'm braindead. Happens.

"Recessional" ~ Vienna Teng

Monday, October 19, 2009

love is a word so small

Well, it's official. I'm a missionary now.

I didn't like telling people about my service mission because I hadn't been called or set apart yet, and I've kind of learned not to count on anything I plan because the Lord can have different ideas. But I guess He's as pleased with my decision to be here and do this as I am. So, I'm a missionary.

It's pretty great. I'm decorating my office today (again, didn't want to do anything I might have to reverse if my mission didn't work out) and probably calling the people who will get me my tag.

(I wouldn't say it's an ulterior motive of serving a mission [um, pretty sure I'm doing that for the right reason], but I hope that the mantle that is now upon me is as attractive as everyone says it is. What's better than a missionary that you can date? I would think that everyone would be so on top of that opportunity. We shall see.)

(I hope I don't get in trouble for that last paragraph. It's maybe half a step further than my dad [and even my supervisors] have been going.)

It's a good feeling. :)

Edit: Word from the Stake President is I can even go to the temple! I'm grateful for the opportunity to make this more like a regular mission and to make these covenants. And, despite what my Dad said to make the Bishop hesitant about letting me, being able to go to my sister's sealing in the spring is just a bonus.

"Now Three" ~ Vienna Teng

Saturday, October 17, 2009

while you retreat to your comforts

I have this self-worth issue. It's something I've done for years but only just realized. It's easily fixed, too, but I will have to work.

Here it is: I can't go over to someone's place without a gift of some sort. Usually food, or returning an item.

Most recently, I went to visit my buddy DZ[1] at his apartment. It was totally just to say hi and maybe chat for a while, but I didn't feel comfortable showing up at his door without an offering. So I gathered up some peaches and apples to give him. Then I felt like it was "worth it" to come over.

Another notable instance happened nearly 3 years ago. I wanted to talk to my friend Robert, but I not only couldn't drop in (I had to make an appointment) I had to make a batch of cookies to take over as well.[2]

Pretty much, I don't think my mere presence is sufficient for a social visit.

See? Easily fixed, but a clear self-worth issue and something that I will need to work on. If ever I have a social life again. :/

[1] He's really my friend dzhonatan, but at my house we call him DZ and that name just screams for a buddy rather than a friend, hence my buddy DZ. Who probably didn't know his exalted nickname.
[2] I don't know WHAT he thought of that -- though I have some ideas: bribe (failure, he didn't tell me what I wanted to know); flirting (awkward, as he's now married and, well, I wasn't flirting); trying to get rid of food (I hope so, even though the cookies were fresh-baked).

"Watershed" ~ Vienna Teng

Saturday, October 10, 2009

just stopped believing in happy endings

In this post, there be spoilers. But chances are, they're for books you're not familiar with, so fear not.

I, like many other girls, like to fantasize about meeting my own personal Dawsey Adams. What, you've never heard of him? How about Casey Acosta? Hmm. Very well; Gilbert Blythe.

(Or, you know, Fitzwilliam Darcy, since he has an undue hold on the hearts of women and girls.)


I would like to meet him. But I worry that I won't be his Juliet, or Sammy, or Anne. What then? What do you do when you meet someone that personifies your favorite fictional crush, and you aren't the right character for them?

Pretty much these are the things I wonder about.

(No, really. Should I pick my all-time favorite fictional character and start emulating the characteristics of his soulmate? Would that make things work out for me? But what if I try to emulate Sammy for my possible Casey and a Dawsey walks into my life? What if I never meet anyone who meets fictional standards at all?)

"Stray Italian Greyhound" ~ Vienna Teng

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

in the fall, we circle through the leaves

There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.

--Anne of Green Gables

I was thinking just that same thing -- how talking to different people I create different personas. I'm pretty sure that most of them are at least aspects of the real me, but I guess sometimes I wonder who the realest me is.

In the meantime, I will enjoy being twice as interesting as I would be if I were only one person.

And in other news, I have greatly enjoyed the fall colors. I don't like reusing blog titles so my quintessential autumn song can remain in last year. But it sure was nice, until it got so cold...but I hope that it will be at least a little warm at least a bit longer. Otherwise I will be saddened by the October we have.

"Antebellum" ~ Vienna Teng