Somewhat Confused

Yesterday, I left voicemail messages with family members about the news I received. One would think this type of news would motivate a quick callback. But no one has responded.

Class starts Monday. I’ve looked over my schedule and visualized where my classes are.

I wonder what my family members’ schedules are.

I will be way too busy to stay frustrated. But if they don’t call soon, I don’t know, y’all.

We all communicate so differently, and we all have different feelings connected to yesterday’s news. I just want us all to be able to support each other.

It’s a beautiful evening. The clouds are heavy, eager to burst. I walked around earlier after getting a haircut, and a slight breeze began to lift the heat of the day from the ground. It was nice.

While crossing State Street to go to University Mall (after my haircut), I heard someone shout my name from one of the cars waiting for a green light. I turned around, and I saw Senegal Grace sticking her head out of a black SUV, and we chatted for about 5 seconds in the middle of traffic, with me standing on the corner, and her in the middle lane of State Street heading north. Then the light changed, and Senegal Grace said that we’ll catch up sometime. I waved. It was fun.

Now, I’m watching Battlestar Galactica (and for some reason really appreciating the special effects and attention to detail regarding muted or no sound in space) and eating ice cream and wishing at the very beginning of this weekend that it doesn’t have to end.

At least there’s floating down the Provo River tomorrow.

In your face, end of the summer.

I Am Wearing A Snuggie

I am also about to watch another episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Sometimes I’m weird.

On Wednesday, I had a work bowling party. Nine of us came to the BYU Games Center, and I only knew one other person. We divided ourselves into two lanes, and I ended up going third out of the five people on the right lane.

So, at first, whenever it wasn’t my turn, I talked to the one person I knew, but as the game progressed, I loosened up a little and started at least commenting on other people’s games.

Also, I’m really good at being excited for people. I will cheer for you and cheer for you, and I will feel bad for you if I know that you really wanted that strike, or if the gutter was particularly merciless.

Anyway, all that outwardness didn’t stop me from winning. By 50 points over the 2nd-place person. Of course I wasn’t boasty (of course?), and I especially don’t like attention from people I don’t know, so I made sure to deflect attention and accept compliments and the quickly shoot compliments back. The outwardness didn’t help the awkwardness.

It’s sometimes really hard for me to accept compliments, but I do practice at saying “thank you” and actually feeling grateful.

Then later on in the week I admitted to someone that I can be anal retentive.

I spent most of this morning packing up my room before going on a bike ride with some friends. When we got back, I popped some popcorn and we relaxed a bit before moving my stuff to my new place. We laughed a lot about some things, and I laughed until I cried about a thing that I can’t talk about here just in case somebody’s somebody happens to come upon this blog. It’s just hilarious to me.

So, we packed up my friends’ van and moved a lot of things over to the new place.

Then we returned to the old place and saw that I left my NYC subway map on the wall. I removed the pushpins and took down the map and began folding it while my friends were telling a story or texting their family or something. When they finished, I asked them, “Do you know what makes me so happy?” And, they let me answer: “When I can fold a map, and it isn’t wonky and it can lie perfectly smooth when it’s nicely folded.” And they were like, “Uh, sure.”

Then we went out for sushi, because my friends are the best for helping me move, plus one of my friends received a text coupon for a buy-one-roll-get-one-free deal, so we had to take advantage of it. The food was great, and I might have eaten too much, because the rice in my stomach is staging a coup. Too crowded. Overpopulated. Not equal benefits for everyone.

After dinner, we stopped by the new place again to drop off a few other things. We looked at my bed, which was on cinder blocks so that I could store things beneath it. The bed isn’t pushed up against the wall, but a few inches from it, and I expressed a small fear that the bed might not be stable enough. I shook the bed, and the cinder blocks rocked a little. A friend asked if I was going to rock the bed like that, and I said that I wasn’t going to tell her. Personal stuff, you know?

Anyway, I ended up saying that I didn’t want to push the bed against the wall yet because I needed to make the bed, that I really like making beds, that once I make the bed and get all the hospital corners right then I’ll push the bed against the wall and it will be safer. I said that I make my bed every day, that sometimes I’ll completely strip my bed just so that I can make the whole thing over. I said that it is soothing and that it helps me clear my mind.

The same thing goes for most housework.

I can’t believe I’ve dedicated 700 words to how weird I am. Maybe I should scratch that and include the last eight years of blogging. Which is even harder to believe. Maybe not as hard if you’re not me, but maybe you should be grateful that isn’t the case.

Whatever. It’s time for Buffy.

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.

I Will Always, Always Love Sesame Street

You have no idea how much I love this show. Since I was three years old. It’s probably responsible for teaching me to read. And my love of monsters. I love the details of the sound of the clam splashing into the water, and the little Sesame Street tune whistling at the end. Plus, Grover wearing a towel? and pants? Hilarious.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Australia Trip, Day 3: Touchdown

It’s nearing 6pm on Saturday, August 14. I’m on the other side of the world. The wheels lower and in a few seconds, skip along the runway, and the wings tilt up, dragging us to a stop. It’s dark outside.

Some people are in a hurry to catch a connecting flight to Christchurch, New Zealand. The captain tells us to let those passengers off first. We deplane, and I head toward immigration, where BAM! the first stamp marks my passport. Then I wait for maybe 30 minutes at baggage claim.

Passing through customs isn’t too bad, except one of the personnel asks what’s in my suitcase, and I say chocolates, but I don’t know what kind, and I say that, too. She asks me to open my bag, and I point to the box of chocolates, and I say they’re kind of like bonbons, and then she lets me through.

I know Becky and Karl are waiting for me. Karl and I see each other, and I wave, and Becky walks around a few people to a small clearing, where she and I meet, and I let go of my suitcase, and we hug, and it’s the hug that bridges countries and grants all those favors from friends in the United States.

The moving ramps are called travelators, or something like that. The myth of my doppelgänger is confirmed, and apparently she was connecting to a domestic flight, and Becky almost chased after her. We find the car in covered parking, and after we exit the airport grounds we drive through some tunnels and take motorways and since it’s dark, I don’t really know where we are. Becky points out the Opera house behind us. She asks if I’m hungry, and I say I could eat. I start asking a few questions, because Australia is a foreign country, and there’s a lot to learn.

We stop at a restaurant called Red Rooster. They say it’s a Boston Market-KFC hybrid, but it’s strictly rotisserie chicken. I order a combo meal called the Tropicana, and I take a Solo – or maybe it’s a Lift – to drink. Some sort of lemon soda. The chicken is good. The soda is good. The deep-fried pineapple rings are good. Don’t ask: I don’t know.

We go to a grocery store called Woolworth’s. “Wooly’s.” Becky and Karl do their weekly shopping. This is where I begin my collection of candy bars:

Everywhere I go seems like a museum. Like a cultural museum meets the MOMA in New York City. Sensory overload.

Sensory overlord. He’s the one in charge of what people hear, touch, see, smell, and taste. It’s best to be on his good side.

We get back to their apartment. It’s in the suburbs, but it doesn’t feel like the suburbs. They give me the grand tour, and I’m excited to be staying with them for almost two weeks! My room, and their bedroom, and the living room connect to the balcony, and the view is incredible.

Other people will be visiting Becky in the next few months, and I don’t want to spoil everything for them. I’ll just say it’s a great apartment.

We all change into our pajamas and settle on the couch (that could fit three of me lengthwise) in front of the television. I get my first experience with Australian television.

What an experience it is.

I can’t decide if I’m tired or what time it is. The clock says 11pm or thereabouts when I head to my room and slide under the covers and pick up the book Becky left on the nightstand.

The Thorn Birds.

Oh, great.

Problems with Last Night’s “Glee”

I might give Glee another chance. Maybe.

Well, let’s see. This show is relatively entertaining. The music is fun – at least from the pilot, and the characters are round-enough caricatures.  Coach Sylvester is certainly quotable. Mr. Schuester is plenty attractive, the students are easily peggable. I can see the story arcs a mile away, and they’re shamelessly and sufficiently inflated so that I don’t have to suspend my disbelief, but instead set it in a box and wear my rose-colored glasses, slightly skewed, which I’m perfectly fine with. I like a little reality in my escapism.

Mostly, I watch for the musical productions, but even last night, I took issue with that.

People, second episode. The dialogue was dirty. Dirty. Durrrrrty. Granted, I overheard a lot of conversations in high school that rivaled last night’s script. I walked away from those. Between classes, I walked the halls and when I heard someone swear, I’d say, “Ouch, my ears!” No lie. I was kind of a dork. Krod. Last night’s episode made me grimace and cringe and turn my head and say “Seriously? Really? Oh, come on.” All I wanted was for those kids on television to channel all the tension into something songy and dancy.

Songy and dancy.

Second episode, second issue: agenda much? Abstinence versus contraception. Not that high school students don’t soapbox, because they do. They do. Not that a girl like Rachel wouldn’t speak out and say girls are just as hormonal as guys and want “it” just as much as guys. And never would I have participated in a celibacy club in high school, because, yeah, Middleburg High School. That never would have flown, though I really wish I could have walked out of one of the band practice room one day, when, say, a certain trumpet player and a certain flute player came in and closed the door while I was practicing my clarinet and started … going at it. They were leaning against the door. I was trapped. I couldn’t watch, so I just kept playing. My own songy and dancy. My fellow band members – the ones smooching right in front of me – now had a soundtrack: the clarinet part to that year’s marching repertoire. So romantic.

Oh, and when the songy and dancy finally happened in last night’s episode? At the school assembly? “Push It” by Salt ‘n’ Pepa? Seriously? Really? Come on! The students’ argument against performing “Freak Out!” was that it was old, outdated, disco. Mr. Schuester explained that the song worked for them back in 1991 because disco resurged temporarily. Thing is, “Push It” dates back at least to my 6th grade year. That means 1987. 19-freaking-87. I was the only one among my viewing party mouthing the words during the production number, but then I stopped because 1) I realized how old I am and 2) the words are dirty, and it occurred to me how easily this song diffused into my head when I was FREAKING 11 years old. The high school students in this show, if it’s set in the present, WEREN’T EVEN BORN when this song came out, so its time argument against disco deconvinces. Just saying, it’s fine that the glee club wants to recruit more members with a sexy song, but at least make the song more current. There are a lot of awesome, skanky-ho songs out there to choose from. Use one of those fine, catchy tunes, dance to it, make me snap my fingers and sing along, like last week with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Remind me why I started watching the show.

I shouldn’t have forgotten only two episodes in.