A Few Updates

Remember when I used to treat this blog like a journal? Remember how particular I used to be about calling it an online journal and NOT a blog? Remember how nearly effortless it was for friends to keep up with my life just by visiting this site? Remember how I sometimes practiced writing on here, or at least thinking by laying out a few ideas?

Times change, and in some ways, so do I. I would like to return to practicing writing, because goodness knows this semester suffers from something wrong with it.

So lately I haven’t shared a lot of details about what’s going on here at the BYU. Part of that is deliberate, part of it is my packed schedule, and all I have time for sometimes is a cute, French video or a photo or general whining. Part of it is letting my inner hermit win, and at times for me, that’s okay.

In case I haven’t told you:

I have a job. I really like it, and the folks there like me, too. It’s taken me two months to figure out how to balance my schedule and moderate my stress level whenever midterms come around and papers are due. I still don’t have it down pat.

French class is kicking my trash. I’m getting used to the format and all the time it demands, from homework to writing labs to speaking labs, to cultural activities to going every single day. But, all that is why I understand and appreciate that BYU probably has the best foreign language program in the Milky Way. And probably even the Andromeda.

Speaking of, has anyone seen the inadvertent meteor shower that Halley’s Comet caused?

Today was a fine day for me commenting in one of my classes. The professor asked for other thoughts about a short story we were discussing. I had been sitting on an idea for a few minutes already, and I was feeling bold, because instinct told me this insight was worthwhile, and so I raised my hand.¬† I made an initial statement, after which the professor said it was very smart and wanted me to expound upon it. When I did, he followed along when I cited a passage from the text, and then he said, “That’s very smart. I have nothing to add to that.” I smiled, but I wanted to laugh, which is an occasional reaction to compliments. But still, I felt … smart.

And yet, I still have to decide on a favorite class. I like all my classes for different reasons.

The leaves are turning quite nicely. Autumn in Utah has delighted me so far.

There’s family stuff. But there’s always family stuff.

Was it this time last year I was dealing with a Craigslist scam paralyzing my bank account for two weeks?

All things considered, I’m in a much better place.

Australia Trip, Day 4: Sleep and Church on Opposite Sides of the Venn Diagram

(It’s been over two months: Documenting the rest of this trip will be a major test of my memory.)

I wake up in a strange bed, in a strange place. I walk out of the bedroom and check a clock: 3:30am. It’s Sunday, August 15, 2010.

I wake up the computer then go to the kitchen where I started opening and closing cupboard doors. The fridge holds new contents from last night’s grocery shopping.

For some reason I remember where the chips are, which is a different cupboard than the biscuits.

Biscuits are cookies.

I blog for a little bit, then it’s back to the kitchen to my new favorite activity of opening and closing every single panel with hinges.

In and out of sleep until 10:00 am or so, when I decide it’s time for pancakes, because they’re delicious.

Becky and Karl are about to head off to a meeting. But we chat for a little bit while pancakes jump into my mouth.

I read for a little bit before  getting ready for church.

Becky and Karl return from their meetings.

It begins to rain, and Karl tries to use that as an excuse to not to go church.

For lunch, we make sandwiches from the chicken from Red Rooster. We watch the rain turn to hail. Honestly, I’m curious about church here, though I’ve spent most of the summer not really caring about church in general.

The weather has cleared.

Church. Is the same. Except for the accents. And the organist who looks like Ronald Reagan.

We get back to the apartment and change, then we head over to Karl’s parents’ house. They’re rich.

We have a lovely dinner of pork roast, potatoes, green beans, and carrots, and homemade cracklings. And lemon fizzy drink.

The family tells stories around the table. I ask a question every now and then.

After everyone helps with clearing the table, we sit on couches and talk.

Karl’s mum makes fun of his very white legs.

And then, Analiese pulls out of the oven an amazing chocolate pudding for dessert.

She cuts a piece way too big and dollops some cream on top of it. I eat the whole thing, then all of a sudden, being alive is uncomfortable. Maybe it’s sort of like a mild version of hell, where you have too much of a good thing, and the overindulgence is its own punishment.

When we return to the apartment, we rush to get into our pajamas. Then we decide it’s a good idea for Tim Tam Slams, because hedonism and hell both begin with h.

Observe:

Now watch a famous Australian do it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

tim tam slam, posted with vodpod

Natalie’s using tea. Other people use coffee, but we use Milo, which is like hot chocolate. After a couple of rounds, we leave the biscuits on the coffee table and settle in to the mammoth leather couch to watch some “Banzai!” then I more or less pass out for a little while before Karl and Becky go to bed.

So maybe overeating and jetlag can be like roofies for Mormons.