Sunday, February 26, 2012


The sunset is classic today.
Clouds scratch across the sky from the north east and point in the direction of home; southward, westward. Arching high above the prairie, they too seem to think that this is "fly-over country". I wanted to come here so that I could know the un-ness of that idea. To touch the ground, touch the country. They are white and high and straight as arrows that made this land work. They end together in the corner of my left eye, a soft peach patch next to the sun. And above those clouds and their lightness and whiteness and highness and straightness and pointingness, the sky is the softest, babiest blue that can't help itself but to remind me of my brother as a baby. Maybe that color is given to all baby boys; he was the one I knew the most, the one I held first.
The clouds look like they were stretched, or maybe that they are running. They are like a masthead that is leading a ship to the west, to the south, to "America".


I was thinking today about how I am an un-pioneer these days: pushing myself backwards from the history of my faith, from the narrative that had been my cultural harbor in so many ways, but that has also repelled and rejected me, and left me alone, here, in the middle.

Ogden, my birthplace, with its train memorabilia: Jack Kerouac talked about it once and made me feel valid and liberally liberated. My people settled this place and they dot the land there. Children of the "last living son of a Utah pioneer", they learned to love the land, and it pumps in my veins in very real ways. That baby boy. That summer dust in my nose.

And then westward, ever westward, the American Dream; Manifest Destiny. Progress.

San Diego, flourishing under early Mormon community, and the land of my adolescence. My people are there still, at least physically. Go west; paradise is there.

But I always push back. I always rupture the narrative.

Provo, with that university and my heart's home. This is where I found myself and came to know myself as the best that I could be. This is where I was first the happiest. There will be more, I know, but this was my first.

Lincoln now, where trains do not exist in memoriam, but in shining and cutting reality, declaring themselves consistently set to a schedule I cannot untangle. Where is the Mormon trail here? The trail my people plodded? There is a cemetery a little less than an hour away that I haven't yet been to, that might tell me more. I wonder if they were here. I wonder if they would care about me. That I am reversing their trail.

Un-cross the continent.

Those clouds are a deep purple now, yet they push all the same. They are reminding about how the west was won. Won from what? I am not homesick for a real home, but for a place that may have never existed; for vapor, high, white clouds that point ever west. Eventually, the land runs out.

The birds and the squirrels all assembled themselves in the trees outside of my window to watch the sunset. I have never seen such a thing. It might be because I have never lived at the height of treetops before. The birds fluttered and flitted around a good deal before they claimed their positions, sort of a clumsy dance. The looked more like they were falling, flapping their wings only to lift themselves high enough to avoid crashing. It seemed like they were contending, because once they settled, they stayed until dark.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

As Much

as I really enjoy forgetting, there are some things that I want to remember for a long time and never forget ever, because I'm pretty sure that they are sort of miracles (side note: I'm not actually sure if I believe in miracles yet, but I do think that there are lots and lots of things that are worth finding wonderful and being amazed by. I am overwhelmed by them sometimes.).

I don't want to forget how you can hang out with a person so much, and it's fine, but that's it. Nothing spectacular or special at all. And then one day, you are doing that fine thing, but it suddenly feels completely natural, and you don't suck. And you laugh, and it's real, and you feel it, and it feels right.

And you mindlessly find yourself laughing hard because you aren't worried about what they think so much anymore.

I don't want to forget how the birds sound in the morning before the sun is up, and when everyone is still so deeply asleep, clutching so desperately to their peace and their sheets. The birds seem, consistently, to be the first ones who celebrate spring coming. They are good omens. I hope my bed can always be near a tree for their sake.

I don't want to forget celebrating alone because of wonderful things that happen. Maybe someday I will want to forget that those celebrations were alone, but for now, I really like the capacity to celebrate even during alone-ness.

I don't want to forget plants that I have loved and how delicately they begin.

I don't want to forget how the sun glints in peoples' eyeballs.  I don't want to forget that it is beautiful to see into those eyes. So beautiful. I will probably fall in love with eyes first and brains second. Then the rest, probably.

I don't want to forget how I watched a movie and as a scene unfurled, I had the exact word to describe the moment: Kismet. How did that word get in my mind? That was a good moment for the characters, but a better moment for me, a live human, with a head filled with words that frequently find no use outside of my head.

I don't want to forget the chemicals that I can feel pushing me around and making me want to do things that are scary, but probably worthwhile; the buzz, like electric shock in my head that keeps drawing me back to wanting more, and that I am still learning how to behave.

I am still learning to show you how I am.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

today i hung

about 40 works in my museum. I am co-curating a show about the wars fought by Native Americans from the 1850's-1890's. You know: Custer and Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and all of those guys. It's a really hard show to do, and the content weighs heavy on me most of the time. It felt good to see my work being actualized and my ideas hung on walls. I am getting better at maths because of the practice of hanging stuff up. Eye level is 59 inches.

Sometimes my boss and I get into conversations that are pretty intense and she cries. Other times we talk about Wonder Woman and her kids. I like both of these types of conversations for different reasons. Sometimes I want to cry with her (only once, I did). I told her about that time that my mom made a Wonder Woman Halloween costume for me as an adult (I think I was 23...), and she looked like she was going to pass out with joy at the prospect of an adult person (me) seriously wearing such a getup, not to mention the fact that it was made by my mom. I felt sheepish, but also awesome. I like that she indulges and maybe even exacerbates my utter nerdiness. She is a good and curious person to me.

My head feels like it was dipped in a vat of suck and that then coagulated into more suck that is now stuck inside my sinuses. I never get sick. I need someone to take care of me.

I need to read a book for tomorrow, but on the other hand, I would rather just go to bed (blogging as a happy medium?). I cannot seem to be interested in a book about colonial African birthing practices; there is a lot that I don't know, and a lot that I don't really have entrance points to. I hope seminar tomorrow will be okay and not-overwhelming. That class makes me so vomit-y-nervous.

 I really enjoyed listening  to this today. It fit into a lot of the things I have been thinking about lately. Someone submitted an artwork to me (for this, my baby), that was called something like "Indian on a Bike". I really liked it, more than almost any other work I have yet seen for that contest. I mostly liked the artist's statement, which was simple: "Indians ride bikes too".


(This was NOT the image, simply an amusing/amazing image that shows up when one searches "Indian on a Bicycle" via Google Image. I like it.)

Don't forget that. Indians ride bikes too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Little Bit About

work and life and stuff: (assorted notes). These are things that I want to write so that I will remember them someday when I am old and too tired/busy/scared/forgetful/ashamed/hopeful to remember without aide (possibly very soon).

My job is really cool. Today I spent the morning from 10-2 divided between placing images (paintings and photographs, mostly) and artifacts (old stuff, you know) around in the museum I work at. I took a break at one-ish to get a smoothie. I think my boss likes me. She spends a lot of time every day giving me compliments, which are mostly about my dresses, but almost as often they are about my work and ideas. I feel successful in business. (Mostly I think in terms of True Stories).

I share an office at school (I have one at work as well) with seven other people. They are nice, and I think I am starting to feel comfortable enough to let them know me. We talk about poop and real life things that require trust to discuss. I have a real hard time doing that sometimes... I protect myself too much. Trying to work on that.

I have spontaneously hung out with three new people this week, and have made plans to go out with four other new people in the course of next week. It is not easy for me to be sociable in large groups, so I feel good about these small, one-to-one activities. I get scared when there are a lot of people.

Thursday nights are my favorites. Class and work and social obligations are minimal; potential for relaxation is maximal. These are the nights when I bake bread (every other week), think about babies, and let myself be calm. I think about bread and babies so much probably because I have spent the balance of the week engrossed in discussions and debating marxist- feminist- post-colonial theory. It seems in some way, that I am making them real and giving practical application to theoretical models on Thursday nights. I used to think these thinks were dangerous thinks to think, but anymore, I take comfort in them like old friends. I think we are finally getting comfortable with one another in real ways.

I listen a lot throughout the week. I don't talk as much as I used to.

Tap water here is NOT delicious, unless it is refrigerated for several hours. I try to be sure to have at least one bottle in the fridge every night before I go to sleep, as a gift to myself when I wake up in the morning. I miss mountains and their reserves of things (including, but not limited to water). 

I am learning that I need a lot of validation every day, and am trying to listen to what my body wants more. Today, it wanted water and steel cut outs and hugs. It got all of those things, and so maybe it will tell me more soon. Learning to trust better/more.

I almost always run out of money before the month is out, but this month is different.

I feel very selfish and self-absorbed much of the time. Trying to learn to be more than that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The internet is an enigma, wherein sometimes

i find pictures of myself on the internet that are not of me, but kinda are.

Here's one example:

(I doctored this image to make my point in Microsoft paint, which I am happy to report, was born the same month and years as me, and has changed remarkably little in those 26 years. I like when technology moves MUCH slower than I, a real human being, do.)

Which is not actually me at all, in any way, except that I have been in that location and have at one (or two) time(s) had that same hair. Oh, internet- always up to so many fun hijinks.

In other news, I went to this show last night (spoiler alert: swears for realz), which was delicious in every weird, slightly insane way you could ever desire. I believe that a spell was cast over us, and everyone is now drugged to oblivion and is a part of a cult that worships aliens/are satanists.

Oh, and in other other news, I think I may have an actual topic for my thesis. This news is serendipitous and VERY exciting/calming/unnerving news for me.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

I bake my own bread

I haven't bought a loaf of bread in years. The last loaf I bought was in ca 2009, I believe. I stopped buying it because that loaf lasted for over a month and never got moldy or stale.  How do people eat non-food?

So my cute cousin gave me a really good bread recipe once when I went to visit her as a respite from Provolandia. It is my go-to recipe, because I can bake it from start (flour and yeast in respective receptacles) to finish (two golden loaves) in under two hours.

I baked some recently.

It tastes like play-doh.

I cannot get enough of it. Am I disgusting?

(This is NOT the recent culprit, but rather an early example from last year, using the same recipe, which inexplicably got HUGE while baking. Bread is an interesting experiment, as the conditions of the day effect the mood and therefore overall personality of the end product.)

(also, I may have a new crush.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I feel like errybuddy is writing, or at least THINKING about crushes these days, and, since my No.1 favorite pastime is jumping on bandwagons, I'm going to as well!  Crushes totally suck/are amazing and give reason and meaning to life. They are honest, at least, in that they crush your soul and evaporate you will to live when they don't work out... which is usually.

I have had a lot of crushes in my life; too many to recount here. I have carefully curated a collection of three, which three are basically the epitome of crush-life for me. They each, in their own way have been my major pattern-establishing relationships with men.

On with the tales of the lovelorn!

First crush/boyfriend: Mitch
Age: 3-4
What I liked about him: He had spikey blonde hair and maybe a bit of a baby mullet. This is the stuff of dreams, people.
Highlights of our relationship: This is the only one of the crushes recounted here who I actually dated.We took naps next to each other at nap time in preschool at Weber State University in Ogden Utah in the Late 80's. I distinctly remember three events with Mitch. First, I remember that we stayed up through nap time talking to each other (I think this is just what I do with boys: Stay up late talking with them), so our teacher came in and told us we could come and play with Play Doh instead, which felt like we were being rewarded with extra play time. It was a great date. Second, I remember Mitch was the coolest boy because he was fast. He was always the first boy out the door to outside playtime. As his girlfriend, I reaped the rewards of his animal skill in that he always had his pick of tricycles (which is saying a lot from a publicly funded institution in the wake of Reaganomics). I remember a very early feeling of entitlement to the best tricycle on the squishy blacktop stuff, because he always chose the best one and then gave it to me. What a charmer, that guy. Third, Mitch loved to sing. He wasn't any good (I mean, he was 4...), and he didn't have much of a repertoire: He knew precisely one song, and he sang it to me. It was our ritual that he would sing it to me every morning as we colored. I think my interactions with Mitch were pretty formative in the way I have interacted with men my entire life. Yikes.

 Second Crush: Cody
Age: 9-12
What I liked about him: He was dumb and he had big muscles.
Highlights of our relationship: Cody was the first boy I like-liked. It was that age where you start noticing the opposite sex, and the things I noticed about him were... immature (but oh-so-fun). The first time I remember having feelings for him were after we had won a kickball tournament, third graders (us) against the fourth graders in the upset-game of the century. Our team was relaxing under a tree in the field behind the school, all lounging in the shade, and Cody sat next to me. He was so sweaty, and I was suuuuper into it (yum). From there, I was gone. I got nervous around him, because I was a pretty smart kid, and I was afraid of scaring him away by the intimidation factor. I kept pretty clammed up, until one day he asked me for some help with a few math problems (I hadn't been paying attention to math- I was paying attention to his arms while he wrote numbers on his worksheet). I obliged, and somehow, miraculously, he understood. He got really good at math (and ONLY math) after that, so I was convinced that we were meant to be in love. We were on a team that went to a regional math and science competition and took second place. My fascination with Cody ended when his BFF Brody (aaaaah, naming patterns of late eighties Northern-Utah) asked me to be his girlfriend and "go out". I decided things would be way to complicated if I was still burning a flame for Cody, so I put an end to it with him. I've never been one for drama. Sometimes I still think about his arms. His big, stupid arms.

Third Crush: Brett
Age: 15-18
What I liked about him: He was smart (probably too smart) and absolutely FULL of angst and rage.
Highlights of our relationship: I liked Brett from the first time I saw him in sophomore year during AP European History class (you will note that I have moved on to intelligent men since Cody...) He was decked out in a straightedge shirt, complete with cuffed jeans and an angry scowl on his face. Brett was mad about things. He wanted to rail against the system, and he had a plan. He knew what he wanted, he knew what stood in his way. His forte was political commentary based on cutting analysis and a serious ego (I always fall for boys with huge egos... WHEN WILL I LEARN!?!?). He smelled like baby powder, menthol cigarettes (straightedgers don't smoke...) and grape juice, and he taught me how to be an intellectual snob like none other before or since. I have been fighting his influence for a decade, and trying to figure out how to stop fighting the world. We often ditched fifth and sixth period and went to the beach after buying cheap Chinese food, and would talk for hours about history and meaning. Brett was in my brain as often and probably more than I was in his grey Ford Ranger, which I still sometimes find myself double-take glancing for. In Senior year, Brett joined a hardcore band as the lead singer. He gave me one of their t-shirts (which I may/may not still own), and his wardrobe consisted entirely of skinny jeans (always cuffed), black t-shirts with various bands' names splattered across them, black vans, dark nerd-glasses, and a black hoodie with political buttons strewn about.  His love of and knowledge about music would melt my heart to this day, even though I'm not, nor was I ever, really, into his particular musical taste. He made me a mix CD before I went away to college (also which I may/may not still own and love/listen to occasionally), that I was pretty sure at the time, was as good as a promise.

There have been a LOT more scattered throughout the years, but I'm not sure I am ready just yet to air that dirty laundry. Many are to recent to fully contextualize or feel completely over just yet. Maybe next February...