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?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A day to eat jello

Dear readers,

Happy Mormon Day! In case you were wondering, I am still alive. I know, I know, my blog would not indicate as much and I'm sorry about that. It turns out that a combination of being quite sick (yes, again), consuming a daily supply of depressing teen angst/trauma (aka contemporary realism) novels, taking two 2 credit classes that think they're 4 credit classes, trying to fulfill one's church callings, and actually doing office work is not favorable for keeping up-to-date on one's blog. Who'd have thought?

Alas, this is all I have time to write about between my Editing class and heading over to the Stake Center for my song practice (because somehow my singing alto in ward choir and playing Lisa Turtle in the ward campout's variety show has lead to my being enlisted to sing in an 8 part acapella arrangement of Mariah Carey at the ward talent show in a couple of weeks). What can I say? Flattery works.

Stay tuned for a post on . . . . contemporary realism.

In the near future.

After I've read Flash Burnout for Realism, 6 books for my reviewing class (5 of which haven't been published yet), a handful of graphic novels, and at least part of a book for my final editing project.

You know, business as usual.


Note to self: learn to speed read.

Friday, February 25, 2011

You meddling kids

Part of my homework assignment for this coming Monday was to watch the first episode of Veronica Mars. So, naturally, I have now watched the first season of Veronica Mars. And, you know, maybe part of the second.

I mean how could I stop watching before I found out who had killed the girl from Mama Mia? Honestly.

In other news, I place the full responsibility for my being so behind on my paper for Monday on Netflix and the teacher who decided to make watching television homework. Clearly it's all their fault.

Suppose I were to be seized in some dreadful way and unable to ring the bell?

To use the parlance of the locals in the Town, I've been wicked sick. Or at least my roommates think so. In fact one of them thinks I'm on death's door; and, I'll admit, I did on the first day of my illness tell someone I felt like death. But that was nearly two weeks ago. In the meantime, I've been heading out to work and school and riding the bus and T and coughing merrily all the way. I'm not trying to get anyone else sick, I'm just trying to do all the things I have to do.

I have to say, this has been a pretty interesting convalescence because it took me a long time to figure out what I was suffering from. There was some speculation it might be the flu because at first I was headachy and feverish with chills, slept nearly 12 hours every night, and, as mentioned earlier, felt more or less like death. But that subsided after the first couple of days and settled into more distinctly cold-like symptoms with a nice little wracking cough that sounds more or less like consumption. But as it's persisted longer than the usual one-week-run it's developed some peculiarities.

My lungs have been particularly touchy throughout this bout of illness; there's been a good deal of wheezing and difficulty of breathing and what not. I know because I've been paying close attention to them after being informed my teacher was in the grips of walking pneumonia. But I honestly didn't take too much worry over my lung's persnicketyness until the end of last week. As I hiked up the hill. I quickly discovered that I could scarcely breathe I'd been seized by such a terrible coughing fit. That, given the state of my cold, wasn't too unexpected. But the next morning I noticed that even as I trundled off to the T with a nice 10 minute walk in the crispy cold my lungs were perfectly happy. "Well," I thought to myself, "it's just a sign that I'm getting better." All was well. But that night it happened again, and I wasn't going up hill I was coming down. I soon noticed, that no matter how dry and cold the air was during the day my lungs were perfectly happy; they were similarly content at night when I was tucked away in my office or school or house. But no sooner had I stepped out into the nighttime air, then my lungs became agitated and upset. It was the perils of the night air.

That should have been my first sign.

But the confirmation came yesterday. I had a bit of a relapse and after a night with NyQuil, some morning Mucinex, and two extra-strength fast acting Tylenol (my drug of choice)taken a half-hour apart around 4:30 to mitigate a rip roaring headache, I was sitting semi-comatose in my office with a still-splitting head. And this was after I'd gone to the Conference Room and taken a much needed nap. Finally I mustered the resolve to brave the cold and wind and shambled off to the bus stop around 7:00. As soon as I stumbled into the house I called my trusty pharmacist/nurse/mother and asked if I could take some more of my favorite painkiller because I had some school work that still needed doing. The verdict: no dice, but if I could lay my hand on an alternate painkiller that might be okay. I tore apart my pantry shelf, looked in my medicine stash, and, after calling my roommate, looked in my roommates' medicine stash, but lo and behold no ibuprofen was to be found. But my head was still throbbing so, I dropped Punkzilla into my DVD player, turned off the lights, and lay back on the couch with a cold compress over my eyes. Much to my surprise, it did what two different kinds of medicine hadn't been able to. After a half hour or so the swelling in my sinuses had gone down and the headache had abated.

And that was when I knew.

I don't have the flu or pneumonia or what have you because I'm not just sick, I'm sick in 1815. I clearly have a Regency Cold. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check if my eyes are overbright. I have a sneaking suspicion they might be. But I'm putting it in print here and now that I'm refusing leeches and there is to be no bleeding.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I feel you, friend

Four big snows in four weeks. A few more and I just might feel as strongly as she does.

I know it starts slow, but stick with her. My favorite is right before 3:45 and 4:07, although she closes strong.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Technicolored Tribute

After spending forty minutes on the blustery-cold sidewalks of Boston reading Toni Morrison and waiting for the police to clear our office building after a bomb threat (you know, same old, same old), I decided I deserved a break from realism. So as I finished calculating December's dividends, I watched Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer. I was left utterly speechless. The flat bold colors, the poor animation, the rocking eighties soundtrack, the "special" outfits, the seemingly drug-induced premise . . .

As soon as I could form complete sentences again, however, I was flooded by a strange sense of relief. No wonder I'm weird. I grew up watching the likes of Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, My Little Pony, Gummi Bears, The Great Chipmunk Adventure, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fluppy Dogs, and so on. It's remarkable I'm as normal, and halfway intelligent, as I am. You mean you can't make your bed fly and travel inter-dimensionally by scratching a dog's head? The city streets aren't being protected by martial arts trained vigilante mutants? And it's not okay to ditch your baby sitter and embark on a song-filled circumnavigation of the globe via hot air balloon to compete with other children? That's it. From here on out I intend to blame all my perceived abnormalities on eighties cartoons. So stop worrying about how strange (although some might say it's really just my fantastic imagination) I am. I mean how could I be anything else?

But really, let's get back to the topic at hand. Which, if you're wondering, is: what's not to love about this movie? There are star sprinkles, a magical rainbow land, minor villains called Murky and Lurky, and so much more. For instance, the dialogue. The movie was chock full of gems.
  • "This is what you call help? A girl? . . . the glitterbots have everybody on Spectra hypnotized . . . and you bring me a girl!" Silly Krys, this isn't just any girl, it's Rainbow Brite! She has rainbows.
  • "Why, at a moment like this, is the most magnificent horse in the universe standing here doing nothing at all?" Yeah, why Starlite? Why?
  • "I don't know why they don't keep horses in mind when they design a castle." That's a good question, Starlite.
But it got even deeper than the dialogue. The movie raised thought-provoking, philosophical quandaries:
  • Which is better, a horse that can fly or a horse that can think?
  • Should one person be allowed to own the light of the universe?
  • Flee or Fight? (Krys: "You even need someone to tell you which way to run!", Rainbow Brite: "Some of us aren't used to running away!") It's a good thing you two are working together!
But the treasure trove didn't even stop there. This movie was littered with pearls of wisdom for your everyday life:
  • "I will not wear booties!" Good fashion sense, Starlite.
  • "No horses in myroom!" I fullheartedly agree.
  • "I could never let anything happen to the only person on earth who can see me!" Yeah, because if no one can see you, do you even exist Rainbow Brite?
All in all, I'd have to say it was 84 minutes well spent, well spent indeed. Although that might not be saying much. Today I'd be willing to say any 84 minutes not spent reading Toni Morrison is 84 minutes well spent (and consequently I'm only on page 48 of The Bluest Eye, my third YA realism book this week).