Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And farmers

I bought paper plates from the bookstore. The total was $3.99. The following is the conversation between the cashier and I.
"That's $3.99"
"Great" (hand her my credit card)
"Can I see some ID?"
"Didn't I sign the back of the card?"
"Yes, but sometimes I just like to check."
Yeah. Check my id. Because I'm trying to steal paper plates. I'm waiting in line to buy paper plates with a stolen credit card. Do you even know who I am? I am BYU Bookstore's February 2007 Employee of the Month. The audacity. Get me your supervisor.

I didn't say that. I bought a mint truffle instead.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

you and i know

Even though we're about to graduate and planning a wedding, and full to the brim with things that need to get done in a rather timely manner, Stephen and I are still making time for the most important thing. Monopoly. And I'm winning, 4 games to his 3.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dievs Sveti Latviju

I'm not one for sports. Watching or playing. I once spent an entire football game counting my dad's fillings. Really. I made him open his mouth wide so I could see all the silver and gold in his teeth. I think he complied to keep me quiet and occupied. And golf. Seriously. Who watches that? And how is it possible to remember to keep your legs bent, eye on the ball, swing back straight then focus on where you want the ball to land? I run because that's all I have to do. Just run.
But oh em gee March Madness is rad. We went to the Syracuse v. Butler game and then the Kansas State v. Xavier. So many emotions. So much yelling. Double overtime. I think exhilarating might be the most appropriate adjective.

In other news, for some reason art history is always nap time. But even though I'm asleep, what the professor says still registers, and manifests itself in my dreams. This wasn't too bad in the Renaissance unit. But now we're in Dada and surrealism. Whacked. Today I dreamt of a little boy with measles making ice cream from an upside down bicycle. I use to do that. I've always been obsessed with food, and for some reason I thought that my upside down tricycle was just right for making the perfect pretend ice-cream blend. I later started Cafe Flambe out of Grandma Morley's backyard, serving sand out of the sand box to my relatives. Yeah.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

shred the cello

Sometimes planning a wedding feels like splitting an atom in the dark.


Silly, Silly, Tuesday. You should have been Friday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cave Jump

The fire alarm should be alarming. But it's not. It's exciting. I've been programmed since kindergarten to rejoice in the ear-splitting siren signaling that all those in the building might dies a flamey death within minutes because it means we don't have to do five more minutes of subtraction problems. The alarm sounded during class today and my knee-jerk reaction (after waking abruptly from a rather heavy nap) was yes! no more class! I'm 24.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Again, it's fiction

Meg Morley
Professor Stephen Tuttle
English 318
17 March 2010
I slide the potato wedge to the other side of the plate in an exaggerated gesture of dismay. It’s not so much that my appetite has diminished as I think that my appetite should probably diminish. In times of uncertainty people usually can’t eat, right? But Sam’s fervent love for food seems undeterred, and he fails to be too consumed with worry to be hungry. Or maybe he’s the politer sibling, dutifully eating the grilled cheese and fries that grandma and grandpa have generously bought at our favorite cafe. It’s just that Annie’s pre-op doesn’t feel like a time for favorites. We should be eating cold, pickled beats or dry bran or at the very least the hospital green beans and jello Annie has to stomach while we sit luxuriously in a booth for four chatting about college football, the only thing left to talk about after malignant versus benign, recovery time, anesthesia what-if’s and Doctor Lee’s qualifications.
Annie’s room on the third floor is private. It belongs to her the hours before and the days after the operation. Already wearing the pale blue gown, her body lies still on the inclined bed as her head rests against the stiff pillow. The teddy bears on the wallpaper are pastel and faceless, like teddy bear ghosts. Mom and Dad have gone to chat with Dr. Lee, and I wish they hadn’t.
“How are you?” Grandpa asks Annie as the four of us enter the room.
“What’s a catheter?” Annie asks in response.
“Annie, you look good” says Grandma. Weird and not an answer to her question, but better than “Annie we love you” or “Annie don’t die”,” or “It pees for you,” the only things I can think to say.
“Anne I had a grilled cheese,” says Sam.
“I bet it wasn’t as good as my jello.” Good. She still has a sense of humor. Dying people don’t make jokes.
Mom and Dad and Dr. Lee finally return.
“You ready Annie?”
“Ready Freddy.”
Dr. Lee smiles. Obligatory.
Blue’s Clues is playing on the TV. Anywhere but here Blue’s Clues is fun and charming and perfect for occupying a young, healthy mind while babysitting. But in the rec-room of a children’s hospital the innocence of Blue’s Clues becomes tragic. The hairless little girl in the pink pajamas sits on the floor and stares up at the screen. She will probably only ever watch Blues Clues and Barney and Mr. Roger’s. She’ll probably never watch the shows her parents tell her not to watch or buy a restricted movie ticket. I wish we were watching Friends or Pulp Fiction. I solve Blue’s clues. It’s under the chair, Blue. Steve’s missing sweater is under the chair. Mom reads Newsweek on a couch across the room and Dad stands by the window, fiddling with his watch and periodically staring out at the freeway traffic. Grandma and Grandpa promised to be back in an hour an hour ago, and I secretly hope with snacks. Sam returns from the downstairs cafeteria holding a can of Dr. Pepper. He sits next to me on the vinyl loveseat.
“Remember when Annie threw a rock at my head?”
“Why would you bring that up?”
“Only the good die young.”
“Only the good die young.”
“The Eagles?
“Billy Joel.”
“Right. Billy Joel.”
It’s been two hours. The specialists call the operation exploratory, and it would seem that every possible nook and cranny in Annie’s tiny abdomen would be well explored by now. Any new territory would have an American flag planted in it and the its currency already switched to the dollar. But it’s not appropriate to think of funny imagery with a sister in surgery. Maybe they’d found what they hoped they wouldn’t find.
I turn to Sam.
“Remember when she called Dad a jackass?”
“Or when she said Mom’s chicken casserole tasted like poop?”
Grandma and Grandpa return with donuts. I’ve forgotten to feign “not hungry”.
“Still in there?” Asks Grandpa and mom nods.
With mouths full of chocolate sprinkles and maple glaze Sam and I continue to reassure ourselves of Devil’s sure grasp on Annie’s soul evidenced in her wicked deeds.
“Remember when she asked Aunt Lil why she was fat?”
With every recalled memory we know that she’s not near pure enough to die at age 11. The girl in the pink pajamas sitting on the floor staring at the screen practically has a halo. I can tell that she only says the nicest things to people and loves her family and quotes inspirational stories from a book of inspirational stories when the going gets tough. Annie throws rocks at heads. Or she did in her younger years. But then on my birthday this year she wrote this great note about how special it is to have a sister. And she drew a picture. Of me. Here I am remembering only the worst in her. Me, the child who purposely starved Freckles the pet bunny because I was tired of filling his tin with pellets once a day. And Sam, who dismembered every doll in the house and set the Barbie Corvette on fire within the thirty minutes Mom was at the grocery store.
“But Annie’s pretty great” I say because I should.
“Only the good die young.”
Sam walks away.
Aunt Lil buys us a chocolate Haagen Daz bar. Annie lies in bed, serene, recovering. Six hours and they successfully removed the benign growth the size of a grapefruit. Only after they taught the natives English and the Star-Spangled Banner. That’s okay now, right? And it’s ok to eat favorites, too I think. And Aunt Lil offered. So Sam and I chip the outer layer of chocolate off with our teeth, and smile. But it’s not enough really. It feels more like we should burn a sacrifice in gratitude or donate three million dollars to the oncology ward. Mom and Dad probably don’t have three million dollars. Sam and I definitely don’t. Maybe the charred Barbie corvette is sacrifice enough.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

With big red

I know that I should mind my own business. But then I'd be bored.
The girl next to me pulled four international envelopes from her back pack. She showed them to the girls sitting to her right and they all giggled. She then examined a five page letter written in rather small handwriting. So there are a couple scenario options here right? Either she's writing four different elders in four different places, all responding with lengthy details of the hard work they're doing, or she has four letters from the same elder, to whom she is totally dedicated and will remain so for about 3 months until the muscular home teacher who happens to not be on a mission asks her out and then poor 5page letter writing elder gets her announcement in the mail. But at least he'll have more time on Pday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

This is not all that dog's dream

I keep almost sneezing. Which is good for my coworkers, but kind of disappointing. Over and over my expectations are left unmet as my face crinkles, my nose twitches and my mouth opens slightly, only to experience a passing tickle. But when I do sneeze it's epic. It thunders. It actually sounds like "achoo." And afterward I feel like I've lost five pounds in my head.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You've had too much to think

Nature is pretty rad.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

if i wasn't so happy i wouldn't be afraid to die

Someday I might write a book.
Possible titles:
Nutrasweet Only Makes You Stronger
30 Sourpatch Watermelons In Five Minutes And Other Amazing Feats
My Existence Peaked When the Vending Machine Returned My Change With 3 Saqajuia Coins. No, Really
Glad I Brought The Galoshes
Sometimes Amazing Things Happen to Other People
But I Pretend They Happened To Me
Because That Makes For A Much Better Autobiography
Dancing? I Thought That Was A Seizure
Legos And The Thirst For Power
Kickin' It New School: The Tale Of A Young Rockette

What do you think?

Friday, March 5, 2010


On the way to school today I asked Stephen if I smelled bad. So I guess we're in that phase of our relationship.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Debbie, the men are talking

I'm ill. And when I'm ill everything is just a little off. Like the unopened can of diet coke sitting next to me. Unopened. Diet Coke. I know right? Also, a sitcom just made me cry. Also, I watched a sitcom at 10:30 am. There's the constant "Is it really worth it?" game. "Is it really worth it to get out of bed just to use the restroom? i can definitely hold it." "Is it really worth it to go get some water? I'll just have to use the restroom again." "Is it really worth it to shower? No. It's not."
It's too bad that the only time you get a day's break is when you're too sick to enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

welcome to the show

My class hated this piece. My professor hated this piece.

This is not autobiographical. It is written from a man's perspective. My coming marriage is not in peril.

Disclaimer end.

I sat in the car parked in the driveway. I mean shoot, I couldn’t turn the ignition off or get out until I heard the end of the story. It was one of those soft stories on the program sandwiched between market reports and world news. Human interest or what have you. So there’s this dog right? It’s a Japanese dog, a bigger breed, the gentle type. And this dog’s owner is a businessman. A Japanese businessman, obviously. No family or anything, just this dog. This really great dog named Hachiko. Every morning Hachiko sees Mr. Ueno, the owner, off at the train station. And every evening he greets Mr. Ueno as he steps off his train home. Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Ueno has a stroke and drops dead at the office. Can you imagine? It’s all over, just like that. But of course Hachiko doesn’t know. All Hachiko knows is that Mr. Ueno leaves the house in the morning, and comes home on a train. So these good people, close family, bless their hearts, try to give a Hachiko a good home, but Hachiko runs away. He heads back to his old house so he can see Mr. Ueno off in the morning, he’s not there, but Hachiko doesn’t know why. And he waits for Mr. Ueno to get off the train in the evening. He waits until all the passengers unload and he searches the crowd, doesn’t find Mr. Ueno, and walks home alone. And then he does the same thing the next day. And every day for ten years. Neighbors left food and water for Hochiko cause it was all they could do to help you know? You can’t sit a dog down and explain death and loss and mourning and all that. So ten years Hochiko waits for Mr. Ueno to get off the train at the end of the day. And then eventually Hochiko dies at the train station, waiting. Shoot. I’m a grown man and I sat in my running car crying.
This one night my wife rented Romeo and Juliet. It was alright I guess. But then all I heard about for days was how romantic it was and how passionate they were and how it was such a beautiful story. Such a sacrifice, she said, that they would kill each other for love. I don’t know about that. Sometimes I feel like it’s more of a sacrifice to live for someone than to die for them, you know? Anyway, we see lots of things differently. And I guess that’s why she couldn’t take it anymore. Three years and then it was over. No more spark, she wrote. Looking for something more exciting, or something not me.
I knew it was too good to be true from the start. She was way out of my league, just like my friends told me. I’m not bad, you know. My looks aren’t bad, and sometimes even handsome. And I mean I work hard and am fairly smart. But nothing compared to her. She’s tall and thin and has this long dark hair that curls at the bottom. And these eyes. Green and piercing. They take your breath away. We had college calculus together. She walked in late one day and sat next to me in the back. She just got it. I watched her take notes and solve problems and then smile cause it matched what the professor had written on the board. It would take me two hours in the library after class to solve what she did in five minutes. Class ended and she gathered her things. To say something to her would have been creepy, so I sat and slowly close my notebook, capped my pen and reached for my backpack, until surprisingly she leaned over to me and said “Hey, I’m Rachel.” “Tom,” I said and reached out my hand to meet hers in a shake. She’d seen me around she said, asked how I liked the class, then said goodbye and she’d see me next class period. Sure, I thought, not likely. But then by what must have been divine grace, next class she wasn‘t even late and she chose to sit right next to me. After she asked if I liked Humphry Bogart movies. I don’t really, but I said I did. We saw African Queen and we held hands and then we kissed. And I felt like the most fortunate fool the world has ever known.
She made a beautiful bride. Hell, she made a beautiful wife. And we were happy. We did all those happy couple things. The walks at sunset, the meals made together in our tiny kitchen, and laughed just because we were alive and young and in love.
We were excited for a baby. A little us, we thought it would be. But then it just didn’t work out. Well she was pregnant once, but then her body just couldn’t take it. We lost the baby. And things were different after that. I told her I still loved her and that it didn’t matter. She never really said the same thing to me. She sort of stopped smiling. Her green eyes that had once just lit up looked haunting and hallow. We tried more walks at sunset and more meals in our tiny kitchen, but things felt sad.
I picked up more hours at the office, and she started taking pictures. She said she wanted to travel to Egypt and New Zealand and Japan. I promised her we would someday when we could afford it. That didn’t seem to be enough for her. It was gradual I guess, our deterioration. We said less to each other every day, she was away with friends until late, and I was at work until I fell asleep at my desk. So I wasn’t terribly surprised to come home and find her things missing and a note left on my pillow. She’d gone to Egypt, I guess. And I couldn’t hold on to too much hope that she’d come back. Not too much hope but a little. I closed my eyes at night in my big, lonely bed, and I saw her walking through the front door smiling.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

what it's like to work in the newsroom

I like most people. Not Vienna.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I don't do too much talking

I was running when an older man started talking to me. I took out my ear buds and asked him to repeat whatever it was he had said. "Why is it that the thin ones run past, and the fat ones walk past eating cream puffs?" he asked, and then I laughed, which encouraged him, and he continued, "Ok I got one for you. A girl brings her boyfriend home to meet her mother. The boyfriend leaves and the girl asks, 'Mother, what do you think of my boyfriend?', to which her mother responds, 'Well, dear, I don't like his hair, I don't like his piercings, and I don't like his tattoos. I don't think he's a very good person.' And then her daughter responded, 'No, Mom, he's a great person. He jest finished three hundred hours of community service.'"

So great.