Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Dear Oxford Comma,

You've been woefully neglected this year. I know it and I'm sorry. I could blame it on Netflix Instant Watch or giving my homework preferential treatment, but I'm not going to insult you like that. I mean where was I when the great Oxford comma scare broke out a few weeks ago and everyone thought that Oxford had announced to the internets that they were forsaking their namesake punctuation mark? (It turned out to be a false alarm. Only one of their style journals was dropping the comma, but still. It was hard times for us purists.) Where was I when I had that insightful/funny/witty thought that would have made the best blog post ever and gotten your millions of comments and thousand new readers? I'd like to say I was taken prisoner and told I couldn't use the internet, that Comcast had cut us off and left us stranded on a deserted island of no bars, that I was stuck in an elevator with Tom Hanks when the power went out, or even that I was slaving away at my novel, but I wasn't. I was probably watching "The Glee Project" on Hulu (which, if you haven't seen it is kind of hilarious. 12 high-drama, literally, MDT kids in a house together while they compete for a guest role on Glee. Awesome.).

But here's the worst part of it, Comma. Things are only going to get worse. That's right. I'm just going to come clean here and now. I started, gulp, a new blog. Listen, Comma, it's not you. It's me. The time finally came when I had to make some tough decisions. I only have one year of graduate school left and after that, I don't know what's coming. But if I'm going to make this writing thing work, in this day and age I need an internet presence and, while I like you just the way you are*, you weren't it.

I'm not saying we're breaking up. I'm not saying this the end of the road for you. I'm just saying, I need some space.

You'll always be the place I post random poems about my homeless admirers (of which there was another last Friday except this time he was only drunk or possibly mentally ill, so that's a step up, right?) or pictures of my crazy New England adventures. But my other blog, it's going to take a lot of time and attention right now. It's kind of like a puppy. It's not housebroken yet. It doesn't have a built in readership.

I hope we can still be friends.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Atlantic Is Lovely this time of Year

Despite her trepidation about sharks*, MRM Alex and I spent a great day at Hampton Beach. Yep, that's in New Hampshire. Even almost two years after moving here I'm amazed by all the New England state hopping. Maybe I'll get over that soon. Anyhow, I strongly recommend Hampton Beach, yes it's an hour's drive from Boston, but the water was lovely, the sand was relatively clean and soft, and there was no undertow to speak of--though the lifeguard didn't seem to like people swimming out very far at all and a little girl drowned there a little over a month ago.

Anyhow of the three proper beaches I can really remember going to (in the America's and for non-historical reasons)**, Hampton is my favorite so far.

Flat Stanley concurs. You should always concur.***

* MRM Alex's concerns were so far advanced, I had to make a wager with her for her to even consider swimming in the ocean. If she saw a shark with her own eyes, I'd kiss our home teacher. Luckily, no sharks were seen.

** The first proper beach I went to was one in North Carolina when I was four or five, but I don't really remember it and the second was Utah Beach in Normandy France, which wasn't really a pleasure cruise.

*** "I should have concurred." Now a Broadway Musical.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Word Nerd

Every once in a while I'll get a word stuck in my head.

It's not quite as annoyingly persistent as when I get a song stuck in my head, but given my chosen field of hobby/study/work it can be significantly more problematic. There I'll be, tip, tap, typing away, writing in full flow when I pause for the briefest moment to search for just the right word. Then, out of nowhere, that stuck-in-my-head-word pops into the forefront of my thoughts and starts hopping up and down. "Pick me! Pick me! I'm askin' ya' with my mind!" it says.

I would try to work it in just to get it over and done with, but, unfortunately, no matter how late I stay up writing tonight I don't think troglodyte is going to slip nicely into my 19th century young adult novel.

Pity. It's kind of cute. Maybe in snerk . . . .

Speaking of names that have been growing on me/19th century folk, I ran into an appellation I'd never seen before when I was working at the temple last week: Mebitable. All those hard consonants give it a nice little ring, don't you think?

Can you tell I'm putting off writing? I've just got one line of dialogue that will not come. Maybe troglodyte will come in use after all . . .

Monday, June 20, 2011

I think I'm in love

I found this Etsy artist through a facebook link from one of my classmates the other day and I just love all her prints. They're, dare I say it, simply oh-so-cute. If it weren't for the fact that I still haven't hung up the pictures I had framed in December, I might not be able to resist buying some. (In self defense, I had one on the wall that had to be taken down during the great exploding water heater episode of February '11. I guess I never recovered . . . )

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Maine Event

It took some thinking to figure out how to top Memorial Day 2010 and its memorable Plymouth landing re-enactments, but I finally settled on Maine. Though I guess going out of state this year means I'll have to go out of country, next . . . Good thing Canada's close.

Anyhow, Maine.

My friend Ali and I drove up to Portland on Saturday and took some time wandering around its charming little waterfront/tourist area, checked out the Maine Mall (because yes, there's only one mall in the state of Maine), and enjoyed the temperate Maine-y weather (which is to say overcast and windy). That night we also discovered that every ward in Maine starts at 9:00 a.m. I guess when you all have your own buildings you can have church whenever you want to . . . (though I'd have gone for 10:00, personally). After church we ventured to the Portland Head Light (actually in Cape Elizabeth), which is actually a lighthouse. The weather proved agreeable, the scenery proved quite picturesque, and the whole excursion proved a success.

Monday we headed back South, stopping at the beach in Hampton, New Hampshire for a few hours of sun and mingling with the singles. Then it was back to the big cities and responsibilities.

Maine's Rocky shores

Maine + sea + birds. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Gary D. Schmidt, am I right?

Okay, okay. What about this one?
Sarah Plain and Tall, yes? Remember, 'cause she's from Maine . . .

(awkward pause)

Uhm, well, third time's the charm?
There's a Pete, there's a dragon . . .

Ah-ha. There we go.

Rest assured, no choruses of "Candle on the Water" were sung.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

One Olivia, Two Olivia . . . .

Evidently, I have an inordinate love of and for the Cosby show. Recent conversations with my roommates--in addition to a half remembered comment from one of my sisters--have revealed as much to me. I am not ashamed of this. I freely, and publicly, admit that I watched every episode of all eight seasons almost as soon as the series became available on Netflix instant watch. Call it a backlash against the onslaught of trauma novels inflicted upon me by my Contemporary Realism class, or the innate inclination toward all things jello-related inherent in my religious culture, but I have, do, and will love this show.

I mean what's not to love? The heartwarming Huxtable family? Real life problems dealt with with considerable aplomb? Clean entertainment? The mind-boggling popular attire of the late eighties and early nineties? Bill Cosby at his best, interacting with a host of adorable five-year-olds? The use of the phrase "boom boom"? Drama, comedy, and romance wrapped into a tight 22 minute package?

And while certain parties have asserted my fondness for the show stems from my secret love for Bill Cosby himself, I don't think it is old Combustible who's won me over. It's the whole dynamic. I love seeing a "real" family. But I especially love seeing the relationship between Claire and Heathcliff, that they get on each others nerves at times and that raising their family is hard work, but they do work at it. They come up with creative solutions and they stand together. I think that's nice and refreshing in the face of contemporary offerings like Parenthood (admittedly, I've never watched the show).

On a related note, I think I finally know what I want to be when I grow up: Claire Huxtable.

Minus the law degree. I have enough student loans as it is.

Speaking of which, one more year to go "dear readers." That's right I survived another semester. Let the blog posts re-commence!

So long Nebuchadnezzer!

After years of studying the scriptures and attending Sunday school, I admit, I felt some trepidation upon boarding a train to Babylon this evening.

As I discovered between stations, this was warranted because I was headed in the wrong direction.

Moral of the story: read your scriptures and you won't get turned around in NYC?