Saturday, January 30, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about expectations, the expectations I have for other people or for myself and what everyone else expects from me. A lot of times these expectations aren't communicated well and everyone is left guessing. I feel like I'm at a constant struggle to meet expectations that don't actually exist, not in the way that I perceive them anyway. I feel like I'm always trying to be what everyone wants me to be. I'm even trying to be what the Internet wants me to be when I blog or post something on facebook. It's kind of weird to think that the Internet has expectations from me, and that I have to shape myself to fit its mold. But isn't it true? Rather than just being myself, I'm always trying to be what I want all of the anonymous voyeurs of my life want me to be. I don't know exactly who you are, but I know you are watching me through the Internet. This is slightly unnerving. Hopefully I like you and wouldn't mind you looking in to my life, but you're essentially faceless to me. I think it would be slightly different to be a real writer with a real following, to not know the people who look in to my life, but I know most of you. Granted it does make things easier to say once what I'm doing and how I'm doing instead of calling each individual I know on facebook, but I'd almost rather do that. Why don't you call me sometime? I'd love to hear from you.

It's just so odd to me that I know so many people that flow in and out of my life, that communication has become so much more easy, and as a result I have become more and more reclusive. I have a total of 4 friends right now who I spend time with on a regular basis, who I don't feel weird about calling. I'm pretty sure before facebook that I had at least 6. But when I blog, when I twitter, when I say something on facebook, I'm only talking to myself. No one is around to receive immediately what I am saying. I'm talking in to space and hoping someone will comment on what I say, will acknowledge my existence. I want a dialogue. I don't want to participate in this one-sided conversation. I can be very shy by nature; if I'm not in just the right mood I don't want to talk to anyone, and so I usually had to force myself to be around people. Now I don't, and so I slip into a quiet introverted existence, but really I just want to talk to you.

I went to a dance concert last night, and I loved it. I used to really hate what seemed to be as arbitrary and ridiculous body movements found in modern dance, but now I really get into the expressive power of the human body. My friend who came with me told me that she was jealous that these people spend all day moving their bodies at school when she is forced to sit at a computer all day. I feel the same way. I want to be more aware of and in control of my body and I want to use it more than as a house for my brain and a set of hands to do the typing. But I don't have to, so I don't. Exercise is a chore, a boring tedious chore, and I always do better when I'm actually using my body. When I'm busy and have to walk and stand and work for hours on end. That's when I feel healthy. I think my body was made for another time and place. I have tremendously muscled legs, and I'm built big and strong and hardy. Perfect for a farm or something. But here in this world I don't meet up to the expectations of the society I live in to be small and lean. I'm just not either of those things, and so I have to redefine the expecations I have for myself and forget about the world I live in and what they want me to be. That's hard to do, but I can't see myself happy and satisfied any other way.

Anyway, I feel like I'm always trying to fool the world and the people in it. I can't let them know of my faults or they won't like me. I can't let the internet see me write something stupid, I can't let the boy I like more than other boy know that I like him, I can't let people see that I never wear matched socks, that I don't care about the clothes I wear as much as I'd like to because I'm lazy, or that I secretly long for someone to just hold my hand I'm twenty five for heaven's sake.
Of course there's a solution to this, but I'm tired of trying to come up with solutions to everything, to say that I'm too good to care about what the world thinks and that what I think is the only thing that matters and all that other bullshit. We all define ourselves by expectations, we measure ourselves against what we want and what we have or don't have, and I'll probably keep doing it. Maybe someday I'll be who you want me to be, and maybe I'll be who I want me to be. Either way I don't know if that someday is in my lifetime.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

busy busy

I'm trying really hard to keep my life as busy as possible. The busier I am, the better I can maintain a decent sleeping schedule, the more I can get done and the less time I have to sit around and be dramatic. So, when my department secretary called me this week and asked if I could take on another teaching assistantship I didn't hesitate for a second. I'll be TAing Humanities 202, getting an extra 1o hours a week. That's double what I was making last week, so I'm very pleased. I can't wait to see my next paycheck.

Taking on another class, 50 more students, and two more teaching hours on Friday will be kind of crazy, especially since I am defending my thesis this semester and applying to PhD programs, and taking a Comparative Literature class that has a heavy load of reading. Fridays will be the most interesting days. I have class at 8:00, then I teach 202 at 10:00, 101 at 11:00 and 12:00 and another 202 at 1:00. That's 4 hours of teaching in row. I'm going to be exhausted. At least I'll be done with the day by 2:00 and feel accomplished.

Tomorrow will be class prep day, but I also need to figure out what the heck is going on with my thesis. If I have to defend in early March that means I need to get a copy of my draft to my readers as soon as possible.

Oh, I've also finally opened up an etsy shop. It's still coming together, but today I took photos of items and posted two of them. I've been anxious about this, and getting it going was a big accomplishment for me. I have lots of stuff I'd like to sell and I'm tired of just talking about it. I also just organized most of my yarn and found a lot of great stuff I can use to make more items, and I have some good ideas. Before I get a new project started I need to finish off a few more things and get all the finished items up on etsy. That should be a good weekend project.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Austen-loving werewolves, vampires and wedding receptions

I had a tremendous day today. I just got home at 11:00 pm and I've been out of my house since 7:30. But these are my favorite kind of days and I feel great. I had class at 8:00 today and I didn't fall asleep, and then I did student interviews and ran some errands until I taught at 11:00. This is the first lab day of the semester and I loved my first section. They were happy, enthusiastic, talkative and got really into the movie clips I showed. The best part was a lovely young man, tall, dark and totally beautiful, who got so excited about Pride and Prejudice and told me that his favorite version of it was the BBC one. I couldn't help but laugh to myself at this Jacob from Twilight lookalike who loved Pride and Prejudice. I wonder how many 19 year olds girls in my class are in love with him already. The second section was meh. They didn't talk, they didn't laugh at my jokes, which made me go a little too far in trying to get a reaction and probably caused me to freaked them out a little. Plus I was tired from already talking non stop for the previous two hours, and I didn't want to do it all over again. And in this class instead of a beautiful earnest young man who loves Pride and Prejudice I have a snarky smartass to contend with. Joy.

After class a friend came and got me and we went to a matinee of Daybreakers. I loved it. It was dark (like film noir dark) and scary and beautiful and bloody. The blood was gorgeous and there was just enough of it. I'm so excited that there is finally a movie that really explores the logical end of the vampire myth: what would happen if the Cullens turned everyone into a vampire? How could a world run by vampires sustain itself without a steady supply of blood? What happens when vampires stop becoming hunters and start mass producing blood? Buffy of course explored this a little in the episode when Cordelia wished Buffy had never come to Sunnydale and the whole town was run by vampires. The movie actually reminded me a lot of this episode. Anyway, it also fully explores the conventions of the genre and adds logical embellishments. When the vampires are stabbed in the heart they explode! And when they are in the sun, they don't effing sparkle, they die a horrible fiery death. I felt like this sunshine thing was really emphatic actually, and it's even there in the title. I also loved how Ethan Hawke's character's name was Edward. HA. He was way hotter than that other Edward, partly because he genuinely loved humans, but mostly because he wasnt an asshole. I adored this movie. It had everything I could want: proper character development, beautiful cinematography, the right amount of blood and gore, exploding vampires and pure, simple awesomeness.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was a really terrible review of the film, but I'm just so excited about it now. I definitely plan on writing a proper paper about it sometime in the near future.

After the movie I came back home, changed, my mom came and picked me up and we went to my cousin's wedding reception. It was lovely, and the family was wonderful, truly the opposite of what I expected. I got to see cousins, aunts and uncles and my grandparents, and they were all just lovely. (Honestly I'm glad there was no booze at the reception, otherwise it might have been a whole different story). It gave me hope for my own possible wedding someday. They rented this greenhouse park thing with plants everywhere, little stone paths and tables tucked away in corners. Very simple, little decorating required, and interesting enough to keep guests from leaving early. That was a good idea. I'm so happy my little cousin got married, and I loved seeing her family. They really all love each other and they are really wonderful people, and it makes me appreciate my own family as well as my extended family. I'm proud of them, who they are and what they've accomplished.

I took the bus back home from Sandy, which took an excrutiating hour to get to Provo, but it was a good time to think about stuff, about family and love and who I am, where I came came from and where I want to be. Now I'm exhausted and excited for bed and for the long weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Every year I get into a holiday slump where I stop caring about anything but getting my presents ready. This last year was particularly bad because I was staying up way too late, sleeping in way too late just to get enough hours to make me get up and mope around the house for a little bit before I started watching movies until the wee hours of the morning. I stopped doing anything good for my health. I didn't exercise or eat properly. In fact, I ate very poorly and quite a lot.

Well, I like the New Year, mostly because that means the holidays are over and I'm forced to get
back to my real life. Everything changes, and my body is really feeling the effects of overindulging for the last two months. I've gained weight and am now back to where I was in high school before I came to college and lost it all by just walking around and eating better. That's a low for me because I hoped I would never be at that weight again. I have a bad knee that has just gotten worse, so exercising is hard for me, but I'm sure it will get better if I lose some weight. And I'm just not feeling good.

So, things are new now in this new year. I'm going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up early, and I love it. I feel so good when I get up around 7, after I rub the sleepiness out of my eyes I feel clear headed and wide awake. So, this has changed. As far as everything else I know what I need to do be healthier. I just have to exercise every day and eat more moderately. I have to push myself a little bit since it has got this bad, but I can do it. It's important to me to feel better, to feel healthy again.

Today I have to finish revising my writing samples for my PhD program applications that are due on Friday, then I have a meeting at 3:00. So, at 4:00 when I'm done with everything I'm going to go to the gym. That's a good start, and I'm excited.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


My life got busy this last week, which was a welcome change, but I'm already starting to get a little tired from the new schedule, and I'm already behind in my school work. I'm not sure how I managed it, but on top of starting a new class and a new TAing job, and working on my grad school applications, I also watched a season and a half of a new show. I can't feel too guilty for it, because it really helped me get through a huge project that I've been working on and need to finish by this week. The downside is that I kind of became slightly obsessed with this show. I watched 5 hours of it on Thursday, 4 hours on Friday and 3 on Saturday. Then throughout the week I went over to a friend's and watched hours of old Buffy episodes and a few movies. I also managed to watch some old Doctor Who episodes in addition to the new one that aired last weekend.

So, my life pretty much revolves around television. Last night at a friend's house we were thinking of something to do after we watched a movie and my suggestions were to watch more movies or go get some food, and then realized that all I ever do is consume. I consume media and food. However, right now I'm not yet at the point to put a stop to it all. I love my shows and movies, and I'm sure that if I were in a world with fewer visual narratives I'd be addicted to novels, to the characters and their lives and their stories. And seriously, how different is a Jane Austen novel from a British teen drama? I watched Persuasion last night and I can tell you, not much.

I will hold back a little. Life isn't just about stories, although since my intended career is to research and write about stories, I guess my life kind of is. Nevertheless, I can't neglect doing my reading for class just because I want to watch my stories. ha. I have to learn to buckle down and do the work if I want to be able to talk about this stuff intelligently.

My little sister sent me an email today, and I loved it. I'm going to share its contents here :
You're not online, and I have things to say at you. I'm watching the first episode of Kingdom at the moment and it's like a lovely warm blanket of Stephen Fry and the English countryside.

Also, last night I watched Dead Alive. That was too awesome. I loved the end with the lawnmower!

I also just watched The Meaning of Life with the commentary with both of the Terrys and it seems like they also think The Crimson Permanent Assurance is boring. Apparently Gilliam just wanted to make a short film and he was off in another studio while Terry Jones was shooting the funny parts of the movie. I don't think any of the Pythons do commentaries in the same room. It's weird to hear their separate commentaries spliced together. I like it when people have conversations in commentaries, you know?

I miss you! Have a lovely Sunday.

Maybe to everyone else it's not so great, but to me it's wonderful. She emailed me specifically to talk about teevee and movies. I love her so much.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the past.

So last year I started this blogger blog at the end of January, but I continued to use my livejournal blog for a few months in addition to this. I was reading through those January livejournal posts and really enjoyed how detailed I would write about things that were happening in my life. In this blog I feel like it's more public so I've been holding back and only posting the things that I find to be the most relevant, and since I stopped using livejournal, which I used to write in almost every day, I don't really have a very good account of my life. So, I'm going to say screw it and just write what I feel like writing in this blog. No one has to read it, and at least I'll find it interesting in a few years from now.

I think it would be interesting to repost some things I wrote a year ago, to help see where I'm at now.

January 1, 2009
I'm having a harder time being as enthusiastic about this year as I was about last year, but at the same time I feel like there is more potential for this year to be pretty big.

I see myself as being largely self destructive and it makes me sad. There's so much I can do, but I don't do it. I don't know why I just don't do things. I sit and watch my opportunities pass. I really do thik the accident has affected me and made me a little meloncholic. I shut down a little bit when I was convelescing. I just watched videos on the internet all day long. I stopped thinking about improving myself. I stopped caring about
what I look like (meaning taking care of myself) because it became so much effort just to take care of my wounds, which I still have to deal with two and a half months later.
I need to stay positive. I need to focus on tasks. I feel like I worry so much about using my time wisely that I don't actually use it because i'm thinking about all the other things I need to do. But if i take the time and set it aside and use it for that one thing then I can make sure I'm focusing and accomplishing something.

I think I'll eat some lunch now and clear out all the trash in my room. The next post I make will be about all my accomplishments.

Januray 2, 2009
I woke up today feeling much better than when i went to sleep. I cleaned my room last night and it felt good to wake up to a cleared, vacuumed floor. I read a couple of Conference talks and said my morning prayers and got ready for my day. I was going to take my car into the shop today and then run some errands on campus, but the mechanic never answered the phone so I'm going to assume he took a four day weekend and closed today. Since I have to go up to campus anyway on Monday I figured I would just go to work today and get some good hours in. My plans ended up changing dramatically in short period of time, which usually bothers me quite a lot, but I won't let it today. I can get all these things done on Monday. I need to go to my department office and fill out a change of grade form, add my thesis hours and find out if i have to have my philosophy class approved. Then I need to buy books, get my bus pass and fax some important forms to my insurance so they will pay off all my medical bills from the accident.

I've realized that I need to take things one at a time. I get overwhelmed really easily and shut down. I also feel like i get so caught up in doing and not doing the things that i have to do that I don't regularly enjoy myself. Empty entertainment. I used to get little thrills throughout the day. things I found to be terribly amusing and hilarious and wonderful, but that hasn't happened in a while. It can happen. I can choose for it to happen. I can be happy and joyous.
January 4, 2009
I am ending my three week break and I am so excited for school and something to do. A lot will be happening this next semester. I have to work 20 hours, I'm TAing 10 hours a week, I am taking two classes and I have to do some significant work on my thesis. I'm presenting a paper in April at the Popular Culture Association Conference, which is fortunately already written, but I'll have to revise it. I need to plan. However, not only do I have a difficult time keeping to a plan, I actually tend to go completely against it. I don't know what's wrong with me. Why can I not stick to a plan?? It makes me not want to plan anything because I know the opposite will end up happening.
January 5, 2009
I had a pretty simple plan for today. Go to school, run some errands on campus, catch the bus and work for 6 hours or so. But as all my plans do, this one fell apart. It turns out that the best time for my professor to meet with me and the other TA is at 2:00 on Mondays. So I decided to stay on campus until then. I can still work this evening, but because I have to take the bus I won't get there until 4ish. Should I bother? I'll have to walk a mile after I get off the bus, and then a mile back, in the dark, when I go home. I can't work on Wednesday because I'm going to the doctor and takes up my whole day. Ok, it looks like I really just need to get the car fixed because the whole bus thing is not going to work when the only time I have to go to my job is in the evenings. The question I need to ask myself is this: Is it worth it to take the bus when it will take me 45 minutes to get to work if I am only working 4 or 5 hours? Let's say I get on the bus at 3:08. I will get to the mall at 3:20 and work at 3:35 at the earliest. Then I'll have to catch the bus at the mall at 8:35 so I leave work at 8. That's not even 4 and a half hours. gah. i cant decide if i'm ambitious enough to do it.
I remember how down I was at the end of 2008 and how I decided that I would work really hard in 2009 to make my life better. I really did it, too. I put in so much effort and by the time February came around I felt healthy and happy. Things slid a little bit after that, and now I feel like it's time to try again. I liked my life in February. I liked how busy I stayed, how hard I worked in school, how happy I felt, and I'm glad that I came to my senses in January and decided to change my life.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Does the sun make noise?

I just got back from my Christmas vacation and I am exhausted. I had loads of fun with family and friends in the last two weeks, but it's kind of nice now to just sit at my computer in the quiet house, catch up on blogs and emails and reflect on the last couple of weeks, and also on the last year.

The holiday was great. It was a little different from the last few years because we didn't go to my mom's house like we usually do. Instead we went to my sisters' apartment and had our Christmas there. This was nice because we were able to stay in the city, which meant Christmas Eve shopping and a nice Christmas dinner at a fancy restaurant. One of my favorite parts of the week was an impromptu Christmas party at my house. A few friends were still in town and wouldn't have their traditional Christmas days with their family, so we decided to have a dinner and watch a movie before I headed up to my sister's. It turned into a feast and lasted most of the night. It also took me most of the day to prepare, but it was worth it. I got to see friends I hadn't spent much time with this last semester, and we all had a really great time. The next day two of my closest friends took me to Salt Lake, we met up with my little sister and went shopping. I think they fell in love with her. Because she's awesome.

So I stayed in Salt Lake until a couple days after Christmas and then took off for Denver. I flew in to Denver on Tuesday. The flight was supposed to be a relatively low stress level one, since it's only an hour long and I was already in Salt Lake so I didn't have to find a ride to the airport from Provo. But, as these things tend to go, it ended up being extremely stressful. I set the alarm to go off at 6:45 so I would have plenty of time to shower, get ready, make sure I have all my things, and get to the airport with time to spare before the 9:45 departure. Instead I woke up at 8:15, did a double take at the clock, realized that my phone was dead (probably because the alarm had been going off for an hour), and staggered out of bed. I went in to my sister's room, who was getting dressed to take me to the airport, and asked "Is it really 8:15?" She told me to go get my stuff and get ready as quickly as possible, which was hard because I was so distressed from waking up late and totally groggy from just waking up. I did what I could, got all my stuff together, put on some pants and grabbed my things. I didn't get to shower and so felt like crap the rest of the morning, and I realized when I got to Denver that I grabbed the wrong toothbrush. The flight ended up being delayed because of the huge snow storm in Salt Lake, and we were on the runway for nearly two hours. It was hell.

I sat next to a woman on the plane who seemed to me a little tipsy, and I assumed she had been drinking. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve sat next to a drunk person on a plane. Her speach was slurred and she had the hardest time buckling her seatbelt. I eventually had to showe her how to do it. She was a little freaked out because it was only her second time flying, and during the flight she started eating all these little various colored pills. She told me how she had taken a bus from North Carolina to Washington state to visit her mother for Christmas and just out of Denver the bus got into an accident. She was midling injured and had a concussion. I wondered if this had anything to do with the pills she was eating, but didn't ask. Wishing to avoid another four day bus trip across the United States she decided to fly, and I guess she decided this last minute because in order for her to get to North Caroline she went from Washington to Salt Lake, Salt Lake to Denver, Denver to Atlanta and Atlanta to North Carolina. Not a fun trip for anyone. By the time we landed in Denver this poor woman was wasted. Every movement she made was extremely slow, and she pulled out her plane ticket and asked me if the flight number was where she was supposed to go. I told her no, and pointed to the gate number. Fortunately it was the gate right next to the one we landed at. When we got off the plane she was having a hard time standing up. She almost lost her balance a few times and I helped her get to her gate. I hope she made it back to North Carolina ok. She's really lucky her next gate was right there because I don't know if she would have made it across the Denver airport. I even had a hard time getting out. Fortunately I did and my friend was there to pick me up.

Brittany, bless her heart, had a sandwhich bag full of ham waiting for me. This is how I know she loves me. I hadn't eaten at all that day, hadn't showered, was wearing the same clothes I wore the day before and felt like crap. But the ham and the little clementines she gave me made me feel so much better. We went back to her house, cleaned up and then went to the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder to go on their factory tour. I got to sample all kinds of delicious tea, the tour was fun and I bought some tea to bring back with me. Afterwards we came back, chilled out and watched some movies.

On Wednesday we went to the Denver Art Museum which I absolutely loved. Their current contemporary art exhibit is a collection of installations on three floors of the museum. After teaching Humanities 101 twice and doing my best to stay up to date with contemporary art, I found myself enjoying the museum far more than I did the last time I went a few years ago. After the museum we came back to the house and watched six episodes of Bones all snuggled up on the couch.

Thursday was New Year's Eve and so we decided to stay out of the city and drive up into the mountains to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. This is the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining, and it is supposed to be haunted. After tagging along a tour group at the hotel for a few minutes we decided it would be worth it to actually pay and go on the hotel tour.

Now, I just have to say that one of my favorite things to do when I travel anywhere is to take some kind of tour of a local historical landmark. I'm nerdy that way, and I think that it makes the experience there far more meaningful than to just look and imagine what the history could be. In the last year or so I took a tour of the underground city in Seattle, a tenement in New York City, a villa in Florence and the French Quarter in New Orleans, and now I can add to my list the Stanley Hotel. This tour was especially fun because she talked about the history of the hotel as well as Stephen King's experience with it and the apparent hauntings that exist there. I don't think I'd ever be one to see an actual ghost, but I like the thought of little children ghosts playing in the halls of the hotel, and I liked the story of Stephen King hearing music playing in the dining hall and having nightmares of the fire hoses killing people. There is supposed to be a "vortex" on the west staircase, and I'd like to say that yes it was a little difficult to breathe when we stepped into it, and there was an eery energy on the top floor where the children of guests played with their nannies. At any rate, I loved to hear the stories and this history of the place, which was more of a pleasure palace than a hotel in its heyday.

We ate at a local diner and had a delicious meal before heading back to Brit's house to get ready for the big New Year's Eve party. The family invited about 35 people to participate in a competition of various games, eat lots of yummy food and count down to the new year. I was surprised at how well I did, but most of the games I won were against little kids or old men. I didn't win any prizes, but it was still a fun night. The next day we just relaxed. I knitted and watched the Twilight Zone marathon which was rather entertaining, and we played Beatles Trivial Pursuit. Today we got up early, headed out and got back into Provo by four.

And thus concludes my boring account of my holiday break. I'm happy for it, as boring as it may sound. It was a good way to start a new year: I got in some flying, some sight seeing and some road tripping. I got out of Provo and I got to see some new things and interact with some new people. I feel better. I feel better about myself and my life and this next year. A lot should happen in 2010, and I'm unsure about where I'll be at the end of it. I'm defending my thesis, graduating and hopefully will be starting a new graduate program in a different state. I have some goals and resolutions, mostly really basic things. I'd like to start going to bed at a reasonable hour, I don't want to drink caffeine anymore, and I intend to got to all three hours of church instead of skipping out after first like I have been doing. I basically just want my life to be in a little more order and to do things that make me feel good.