Now that Summer Is Over

Here are some photos of Zinger’s activities after her birthday and throughout the summer.

sum1501
Watching shadows at Rock Canyon Park
sum1502
Beginnings of climbing adventures
sum1503
Leisurely baths (pronounced “bahths”)
sum1504
Disagreeing with Mama and Dadda
sum1505
Getting sick occasionally
sum1506
Dancing at the Provo Pioneer Park splash pad
sum1507
Practicing looking cute for money for when Dadda plays guitar on the street
sum1508
Reuniting with some of Mama’s very smart high school friends
sum1509
Going to a Jazz summer league game and Z trying to ignore the man with the gold-colored drink while she drinks water
sum1510
Growing out curly hair
sum1511
Being fierce at the Scera Pools splash pad
sum1512
More recreation at Bartholomew Pond in Springville
sum1513
Humoring the carousel for Mama and Dadda at the nickelcade
sum1514
Practicing brushing teeth at the front entryway
sum1515
Supporting Dadda at his graduation
sum1516
Promoting change at the mall
sum1517
Fitting in necessary naps
sum1518
Classifying rocks in the courtyard at the Orem Library
Enjoying the Payson Onion Days Parade on Labor Day
Enjoying the Payson Onion Days Parade on Labor Day

We hope you enjoyed your summer. Happy anticipation of autumn!

Because I Like Movies That Make Me Cry

yay this movie!

I asked Reilly when we saw this movie at the Broadway Theater in Salt Lake City, and he said it was sometime in July. I believe him because he has an unbelievable memory. Because not only did he say we saw this movie in July, he described all the circumstances of our seeing it. Something about how the Saturday before we went to a cousin’s wedding and laughed a lot at the reception but not because people were being deliberately funny. Except for one cousin who’s good at being funny and telling stories. And we ate such-and-such, and I wore an outfit with these sleeves and shoes, and we also saw the Dark Knight Rises the Friday before at a matinee and other details of which I have absolutely no recollection.

We saw the preview for Beasts of the Southern Wild before we saw Polisse and Intouchables. (By the way, those two movies are very different French films, and I highly recommend both of them.) If a preview makes me cry, I pretty much want to see the movie. I was excited for it, because I knew it would be sad and tragic and beautiful. I knew that I would believe the little girl in it. I knew that I would be holding my breath and wanting to scream at the screen. I knew that it would make me feel sticky and gross. I knew that I cheer for the strained relationships and the massively fallen characters. I mean, what else would you do if you were watching actual news footage of a hurricane’s destruction and seeing people removed and/or displaced from their homes? And seeing the apparently well-meaning government swoop in and insist on improving the lives of people who don’t want to leave their territory because they’ve only known one home, one community, one happiness?

While we watched the movie, I did all those things that I knew I would do. I’ll probably still do those things every time I watch it from now on.
May’s rating scale:

MAY!

May?

meh…

meh?

MESS.

On Homework

Another semester is well under way. School campuses everywhere teem with eager and already-weary students. Disciples. Learners arrive early in the morning, sit through morning classes with their droning instructors, grab a bag of Corn Nuts or stop by the eatery for a refreshing caffeinated soda, then sit through a round of afternoon classes. Instructors stand in front of their classes appearing to teach. Lectures, they call them. Professors’ voices may penetrate 30-60% of student skulls, depending on attentiveness and head placement relative to the desk. If my head was down during a class, I had every intent of going to sleep. But of course, if I sat upright, that did not guarantee alertness or even consciousness in any way.

After a whole day of classes, students flock to the library or return to their eclectically decorated or otherwise messy apartments to do at least 17 trillion hours of homework. An estimated 2 hours for every credit hour. I came home to read about 100  pages every night from sundry novels that my various English classes assigned. Then I would have to write stuff or think about term papers or work on a group project. Then I’d do my assignments for French, which involved stumble-reading 20-40 pages, writing in a journal, and doing grammar exercises. Three sets of 20, with a 30-second rest between sets. I was up until 1:00 or 2:00 every night, only to wake up four to five hours later for another day.

I understood the importance of homework; I tried to make my brain achieve balance in learning between lectures and homework. On any particular day I had no more than four classes – four hours. But then came the eight hours of homework. Sometimes it felt that all I ever did was homework. But I also tried to make room for a social life and reassured my friends that I still loved them. When I started dating Reilly, I still did homework, which involved a different type of juggling that I wasn’t used to, but I still did the reading and writing and tortuous French grammar études. When I started dating Reilly more seriously, of course I spent more time with him, which meant there was less time to accomplish everything else. I got the same four to five hours of sleep, so it seems homework was compromised.

We got engaged before my last semester, and I knew that I had to restore my discipline if I were to finish well, or at least with my GPA intact. Our relationship had progressed enough, or maybe we were mature enough for him to work on his lesson plans and for me to do homework while we were in the same room. Sure, we would take a break and make out every once in a while, but most of the time we acted like adults with academic focus.

Is it possible to have an academic focus for making out? Admittedly, there were days after school that I had to tell Reilly that I just had to go home and do homework by myself, else all I would do is gaze into his eyes and admire his handsome visage and distract him from lesson plans with little, teasing kisses.

With Reilly’s help and encouragement, I made it through that last semester, and BYU let me graduate, most likely because I had something like 652 credits, 550 of which came from a science major from my early days at BYU before I wised up and changed my major to English. BYU was happy to be rid of me and all my credit-hoarding.

Don’t even get me started on the science homework.

So, I graduated and got married. Then there was no homework. Just like that. No term papers, no French grammar. I read for fun, though. The whole summer. I decided that I would look for a real-life job before summer’s end, and I started working the same week Reilly headed back to teaching. And the nature of my job doesn’t require homework. Sometimes I stay at the office a few extra hours each week, but I never bring work home. Every day, I study, read, write, edit, and revise. I get to work in groups to prepare presentations. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that my job is just like homework, eight hours a day, . . . wait a second.

Academic focus. The differences are that I really like work, and – again – I get to leave it at the office, and I can come home to the best campus ever and do whatever I want, which is usually reading or watching television or fun house projects or surfing the internet or distracting Reilly while he’s creating lesson plans. He’s even entering grades into the computer right now.

I should go kiss him.

At the New York Public Library

Patience and Fortitude wait outside. Still.
Who takes a tour of a library? Tourists? Bibliophiles?
Newlyweds?
Polished marble, dark wood, vaulted ceilings.
Shelves lining walls. Tomes packing shelves
For miles.
We walk through noncirculating corridors.
The man leading us with his Ben Stein voice
Brings us to the periodicals room, where
One can read newspapers or other journals from
Time to time. Periodically.
I take a picture of Reilly underneath
A painting of the Hearst Building
Citizen Kane-ing
Me
About freedom of speech.
Somewhere near the history hall or the Great Reading Room
A woman from France talks about how the Google Maps team
Can’t take pictures of her street.
I want to parler but
The tour runs long and
Unlike the books here I am
Checked out. But the tour ends eventually and we go down
Into the Children’s Library and take pictures by original
Winnie the Pooh dolls that came from the 53rd Street branch.
The now-closed Donnell Library Center.
Basement smells like kids and mildew
Waft us back onto the main floor.
We come out of revolving doors
Onto descending stairs and in front
Of those steady lions waiting
To devour us
Other triumphant victims,
Library lovers.

Bruce Dickinson Makes Fun of Utah’s Diluted Beer

This is a summer of firsts. Listening to heavy metal on the radio or the computer or CDs never really appealed to me. Loud, screamy, cacophonous: not my idea of great music. I’ve always respected people’s preferences, but I’ve never made an effort to understand why some people love Iron Maiden so much.

Usana Arena, Wednesday August 1, 2012. This concert supported my love for live music, but it also speaks to production quality and the expert performers who are Iron Maiden. Their songs are actually quite catchy. The band is rather old (the living ones who haven’t overdosed [j/k]), and they still riff (mostly) flawless solos and jump around the stage. Their mascot, Eddie, accompanies them on tour in his many versions and still awes and scares the hell out of fans. Well, at least I was scared.

Bruce Dickinson kept saying in his British accent, “SCREAM for me, Salt Lake City!” and the audience would go wild. He mused on Utah’s weak alcoholic beverages, and he expressed that if he had a choice of being stoned from pot or a little bit lit from a few beers, he’d definitely want to be drunk. Which was his way of questioning the audience’s choice to drink weak beer and smoke doobies.

I get what he means though. At this kind of concert, I’d rather have the audience jumping up and down and singing along and not quiet, contemplative, and mellow. The audience was perfect, though. They pumped their fists to the beat, they screamed along. They were even impatient and yelled for music during the only time Bruce Dickinson told a story, which actually annoyed me because I wanted to hear the story. Who doesn’t love stories? Marginally buzzed Iron Maiden fans, that’s who.

At the introduction of the band, Bruce Dickinson told us that Nicko McBrain, their drummer, predates the Book of Mormon. I believe in and have firm testimony of that fact.

Having actual seats for the concert made the experience better for me, because I could sit down whenever my feet got tired, because, although the show was great, I didn’t have the same chemical distractions and enhancers as my fellow audience members. However, I couldn’t put my seat down all the way because the guy sitting next to me did not have small bones, but big arms and big tattoos coming out of his big muscle shirt, and he was SLEEPING during part of the show. Dark, flowing mullet and deep breathing; peaceful, friendly face, like Jabba the Hut’s in a good mood. I didn’t want to disturb him.

I understood him, though, even as much as I understand much better now (but not completely) the life and soul of Iron Maiden fans. What a seriously fun show.

More pictures here.

Doing It

They say it takes three weeks to develop a habit, which married life seems to have become, considering a month has already passed since our wedding. Other habits have developed throughout the course of my life. I fell into a groove of doing my homework after school every day for about 15 years. Same goes for practicing the clarinet four an hour, four to five days a week. A daily blogging habit manifested for over two years before I returned to BYU.

The past month has consisted of

waking up late – nearly every day, which means we eat breakfast any time between 6:30 and 8:30 every morning
snuggling – because we can, all the time
hanging out with friends – I like this, and I look forward to making new friends at church
talking wike widdle kids – occasionally I’ll sing hymns like a little girl; not the good hymns, just the mostly ridiculous ones. It makes me feel better about singing “In Our Lovely Deseret”
reading books – every day; as of this posting, Reilly’s in the middle of Gone with the Wind, and I’ve restarted A Visit from the Goon Squad
working out – about three times a week; I’m finally starting to feel in shape again
cooking meals – two to three times a day; really big money saver, and it’s fun being able to use our wedding gifts; also, Reilly brings breakfast to me in bed quite a bit
eating out – one to two times a week
going to Target, Wal-Mart, or Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. to redeem gift cards
hiking – once a week; so far we’ve done Rock Canyon, Y Mountain, and Squaw Peak; we’ll be hiking Escalante this weekend
napping – every few days; because we can

This past month has been glorious, and I can’t believe it’s already July 1. We made the decision months ago to get married, and everything leading up to this point has come naturally. We met up with a family I know from NYC a couple weeks ago, and they remarked that we look pretty settled with each other, and the day before our wedding, as we were loading the rental car at my parents’ house, my mother remarked that we already act like we’re married. I like to tell Reilly every day that we’re married and that we’re friends.

We have another six weeks until Reilly returns to work, and I’ve been pushing thoughts aside of updating my résumé. But I know I have to do it. I know there’s work and striving for goals. Meanwhile, we have a trip to NYC and Oklahoma to look forward to;  we’re eager and nearly nauseatingly brimmingly excited to spend every day together for the rest of our lives, eternally.

Mindblowing. Incredible. Fantastic. Amazing. This. We got married a whole month ago.

We did it.

Did you think this post was going to be about sex?

Full Day

-called mom to wish her a happy birthday

-found supreme delight in how much we compartmentalize things in our lives

-watched the first hour of Ran,  a Japanese version of King Lear

-did a load of laundry

-inner-tubed down the Provo River with Amanda

-shopped at the Roxy/Quicksilver outlet store with Amanda

-put gas in Amanda’s car with Amanda

watched L’arnacoeur (The Heartbreaker), an adorable and funny French film on Netflix and ate Bajio’s with Amanda

-watched Super 8 at the dollar theater with Amanda

-had A LOT of fun with Amanda

It was great seeing Amanda. It had been a year since the last time.

Dangit, summer. Please stay.

Please.