Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Allow me a moment of literary despair...

I'm having one of those phases of longing to write poetry, and producing nothing but crap. Well, not crap exactly, compared to the entire world of amateur poetry, but crap compared to what I feel I should be capable of by now.

Maybe I should use more similes.

I don't often despair if I feel a lack of talent--for the most part, that feeling drives me to be better. But my muse is not a switch-on-and-off muse, and sometimes I have the awful suspicion that no matter how much I learn, I will always depend on a muse that I have no control over. Which means I could be hopeless.

In actuality, I'm fairly certain that I'll get out of this rut. I always do. But everything looks bleaker in an afternoon math class.

One day I'll write like James. My greatest fear is that I've already written my "Birches" and don't know it...that I've already written the best thing I ever will.

But I guess I'll never know unless I keep writing, will I?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Filled with Being Full



THINGS I LIKE:

1. The Thorsons coming to surprise us this weekend.
2. Seeing friends all over campus. Like Jenny Mae. And classmates.
3. Organic foods.
4. Spring being in the air.
5. Jeff getting accepted to the Actor's Studio. Without a call-back. With a scene I helped him find and cut and rehearse. One day, he'll be on screen at the kind of events where he'll have to answer the question "Who are you wearing?" And I'll point him out to my children and say "I knew him. I've still got his phone number on speed-dial."
6. My sister.
7. Girl's Camp
8. Working vacuums.
9. The fact that I can do things on the computer besides math during math class. Like work on scenes or talks for sacrament meeting.
10. Talks for sacrament meeting.
11. Water.
12. Cruises.
13. Making lists.
14. Curly hair.
15. The Gospel.

Safety First

Hello all! Stumbled upon this comedic world wide web gem via the appropriately named "stumbleupon.com" and had to share. Someone took actual safety warning signs that seem so ambiguous that they could mean anything, and added their own interpretations. (I wish I could take credit for these brilliant captions, but unfortunately I can't.) Hope it gives you all a hearty chuckle! Enjoy!




Try to absorb as much of the radiation as possible with your groin region. The current world record is 5 minutes, 12 seconds.









If you've become a radiation mutant with a deformed hand, remember to close the window. No one wants to see that.







A one-inch thick piece of plywood should be sufficient protection against radiation.







Radioactive materials come in 4 convenient sizes:
- individual dose
- family value size
- neighborhood spray pump size
- supersize!








If you hear the Backstreet Boys, Michael Bolton or Yanni on the radio, cower in the corner or run like hell.







To eliminate smallpox, wash with soap, water and at least one(1) armless hand under a faucet with no sink.








Watch out for people who come out of white tents and try to steal the shirt off your back.







If you see colors in the sky, grasp your throat and pretend to choke yourself. Girls go for that.








People, animal corpses and the biohazard symbol are all at risk of being sucked into the time-tunnel vortex.










Be on the lookout for terrorists with pinkeye and leprosy. Also, they tend to rub their hands together manically.







In time of war, real Americans eat red meat only! No wimpy fish or poultry, please.








If you spot a terrorist arrow, pin it against the wall with your shoulder.








Do not drive a station wagon if a utility pole is protruding from the hood.









If your intended destination is suddenly vaporized, consider pulling over and watching the cool light show.







After exposure to radiation it is important to consider that you may have mutated to gigantic dimensions: watch your head.









If your building collapses, climb under your table and practice yoga postures.








If the weather is overcast with dark skies, look for worms in the grass.








If you spot terrorism, blow your anti-terrorism whistle. If you are Vin Diesel, yell really loud.








That closet door in your bedroom leads to the gates of Hell. Don't go there.









Use your flashlight to lift the walls right off of you!










If you are trapped under falling debris, conserve oxygen by not farting.








Survive a biohazard attack by first standing, then begging on your knees, then rolling over and playing dead.









If you have set yourself on fire, do not run.








Michael Jackson is a terrorist. If you spot this smooth criminal with scary eyes, run away now.








Your telephone may be a practicing physician. Look for a phone with no numbers on it.








If you are sprayed with an unknown substance, stand and think about it instead of seeing a doctor.










If a door is closed, karate chop it open.









Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Certainty in times of Uncertainty


This picture really doesn't have anything to do with this entry, but I really like it and I've been wanting to post it for a while. Anyway...

THINGS I KNOW FOR SURE:

1. This is a long week.
2. I've got to make some big decisions.
3. Little Britain is a good emotional detox.
4. The scriptures are true.
5. I miss the beach.
6. I want a motorcycle ride.
7. My peers scare me sometimes, and other times I'm a snob.
8. I love my roommates.
9. I'm excited for my sister and friends to visit this weekend/next week.
10. I'm sitting at a table in the MC, surrounded by complete strangers.
11. I want to be at the Playmill this summer more than anything else in the world right now.
12. I wish I could make several thousand dollars at a paid internship at a film or television studio in Los Angeles this summer second most in the world right now.
13. I bought underwear a few weeks ago because it advertised a "wedgie-free guarantee!" Which I thought was hilarious and didn't believe. But really, though. It's true. I'm sold.
14. I don't want to go to math class. Just about every time I have to. I never want to go.
15. I kind of want to teach someday. But I want to act on screen even more.
16. I don't know which of the above two things I want to pursue more.
17. I probably won't know which of the above two things to pursue until I have a husband (and possibly a family) who is also affected by that decision.
18. I'm an old maid by BYU-Idaho standards.
19. I got the blues something awful this week/today. Damn hormones. Being a girl sucks.
20. I think the guy sitting across from me is dumb for eating his french fries with a fork.
21. See, I told you I was a snob.
22. Although I often share Annie's weird, illogical, snobby initial attitude of "I don't need any more friends," I'm glad to be making some in my classes. Like my Book of Mormon class.
23. I'm barely going to pass math class. But I'm determined to pass it.
24. There's a kid in one or two of my classes who reminds me of Arthur Dent. Both the literary character and the most recent film adaptation character.
25. I'm probably going to write or something during math class, instead of actually doing math. I always just teach myself, anyway.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Anyone here speak GSL?

WARNING: Probably not a good idea to read late at night, if you're like Liz and get easily freaked out when you're tired.

I just finished watching an hour-long documentary on Koko, that famous, signing, cat-loving gorilla (ps Netflix Instant Viewing has changed my life, and also perpetuated my insomnia). I was fairly familiar with the story already, but I learned a few things more, and now my mind is in such a state of surreal amazement that I'm almost frightened, and decided to write about it in an effort to ease my mind, share my thoughts, etc.

Most of us have heard that thing about gorillas sharing somewhere in the vicinity of 98% of their DNA with humans. However, I've also heard that humans share about 16% of their DNA with LETTUCE. So the whole DNA sharing thing doesn't particularly impress me. And even if only 2% of our DNA is different, that 2% makes for an entirely different (and very distant) species. I've always been facinated by gorillas and chimpanzees (and elephants, but that's unrelated), because of their intelligence and complex social lives, etc. etc. But until they showed me a gorilla that could compose "Hamlet," I would continue to argue that they are not so close to humans as everyone makes them out to be. Now after watching this program, I find that perhaps I have to redefine things.

Some quick doctrinal background: I will always believe and understand man to be God's crowning creation. I believe that all living and natural things are God's creations, but that humans are His actual spirit CHILDREN. That knowledge hasn't changed.

Some quick animal intelligence background: Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that many animals are sentient, emotional beings, capable of understanding, love, and even occasionally reasoning. But the line between man and animal in regards to their abilities of communication, emotional memory, and was always a wide, solid, and black one. THAT knowledge is slightly shattered, or at least dented enough to severely shake me up.

I'd forgotten how astounding it is to see Koko and the other gorillas' knowledge of sign language and their ability to communicate. For example, when the care-takers at the gorilla foundation were looking for a prospective mate for Koko, they literally held "video auditions." They showed Koko a video tape with footage of several "bachelor gorillas" around the country, and asked her what she thought of each. For some she signed things like "nice Koko-love visit" and for others, things like "bad gorilla animal no away." But when it got to the footage of a gorilla named "Endume," she signed "good heart throb Koko-love visit hurry that." I don't know about you, but I don't really see how something like that can be automatic training.

I guess there's that possibility. But it's so ridiculous to me that it seems a conspiracy theory...that the videos of Koko and Michael (another gorilla who was taught sign language at the Foundation) were faked...that they were simply trained for attention. But that really doesn't seem likely.

The most powerful story I learned of was this. Michael, a male gorilla, was brought to the foundation as a baby. He was orphaned as an infant, and he was brought to a shelter by strangers, so nothing was known about his family or how he came to be an orphan. One day, one of the trainers signed to Michael "Your mother?" And Michael signed the following:

"squash meat gorilla mouth tooth cry sharp-noise loud bad think-trouble look-face cut neck girl hole."

The trainers were disturbed to realize the possibility that Michael's mother was killed by poachers, and that he witnessed her death. The trainers know Michael to be introverted and sensitive, and "a man of few words." They said that when he does talk, it's simple, and to the point. That's pretty incredible.

While the gorillas' sign language is far from the complexity of human speech, it should be noted that American Sign Language isn't grammatical either. It's conceptual. The documentary also talked about how Koko especially will occasionally make up signs if she finds the real one too complex, or if they don't know what she's asking about. They cited the examples of "eye-hat" for "mask," "finger-bracelet" for "ring," and "scratch-comb" for "brush."

I simply cannot bring myself to believe that any of that was faked, but I find it even more difficult to wrap my mind around this idea that these animals can be so staggeringly intelligent. It's so surreal to me...I kind of feel like the rug was yanked a little under me. Not completely removed from under me, but adjusted enough to give me this jarring feeling of realizing that perhaps the way I'd thought of something my entire life was false.

I have the horrible feeling that I'm not articulating what's on my mind at ALL, and that this entry is just...me recounting the most astounding things about this documentary I watched, without making any particularly interesting observations about it.

I guess what's on my mind is this. There are certain things I KNOW. The Church is true. God exists. We are His children. Lightbulbs have to be replaced eventually. Buying organic is more expensive. English verbs are gender-neutral. The list goes on. But this interesting, though perhaps trivial, documentary I watched tonight has served as the catalyst of my realization that maybe some of the things I thought I knew are actually completely different. Which of course, makes it tempting to follow the logic of "If I was wrong about THAT, what else am I wrong about?!" I think that's the thing that's jarring me. I feel solid in my religious faith, but...what if other things are totally different? What if...I don't know...what if the tide is caused by something other than the moon? What if volcanoes go all the way to the center of the earth? What if everyone sees colors completely differently, and what I call "blue" you see as what I call "yellow"? I feel so...un-anchored thinking about these kinds of things...

GAH. This kind of thinking at 2 a.m. will just make you slightly paranoid. I'd better read scriptures or something--grab ahold of something solid and sure--and try to get my brain to slow down enough to sleep.

That's actually probably the root of my problem. The fact that it's 2 a.m.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

God grant me the serenity...



Playmill auditions were yesterday. They were a blast...if I make it to call-backs for anything, usually I'm able to just forget that I'm auditioning, and I just have fun performing and working with other people. But the cast list could go up anywhere from today to two weeks from now. And there's nothing I can do about my nerves. I'm trying not to think about it and how much I want it, but once it enters my mind, I'm terrified that the list will go up and my name won't be on it. That I won't get a call.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. And the courage to accept His will. Especially regarding my summer.

Well. I'll keep you posted. If I live.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thought Vomit




Just some thoughts, in no particular order, and of no particular theme from the last few days.

MONDAY:

Saw a guy today, sitting at the Red Cross Blood Drive table, reading his scriptures. What an awesome guy. =) I feel like that image is the quintessential image of BYU-Idaho righteousness. Made my day. Along with the fact that “Handsome Book of Mormon class guy” talked to me before class. Of his own accord. And of course I kind of made a fool of myself, and what he said made him all the more appealing, but I still can’t figure out if he’s engaged anyway. So oh well. Just made me happy. In that 13-year-old girl kind of way. [We had an actual two-way conversation on Wednesday. A short, but complimentary and great little conversation. That made my day, too.]

I could NOT sleep last night. I’m not entirely sure why. Well, I partly know why, but I don’t feel like revealing some of the half-awake dreams that I kept (sadly/frustratingly) waking up from.

That, and I kept almost having the classic alien abduction nightmare. Not nearly as scary as Beckah's Joker nightmare, but scary. We watched a program on aliens on the history channel over the weekend (on Netflix instant viewing, by the way, which I have recently discovered, and which has changed my LIFE), and ever since then, I keep thinking about it as I drift off to sleep and it gets scary. Things that you laugh at while doing a puzzle and watching a TV program in the light of the living room sure get frightening in the dark of a bedroom when everyone else is asleep.

Me and Annie were discussing the fact that the hundreds, maybe even thousands of alien abduction stories that people tell are so similar. We were wondering about why this was true, and came up with two possibilities. Well, three, I guess. One, these things are really happening, and that’s why everyone’s stories have common similar elements. But I somehow don’t think that’s likely. I think the more likely explanation is a combination of the other two possibilities. Possibility One: People want attention, so they make up a story similar to the ones they’ve already heard. Possibility Two: Alien abduction stories/UFO’s/etc have been a huge part of our culture for the last 50 years. It came into popular culture starting in about 1947, which was also near the beginning of the Cold War. One historian said that part of the reason so many people connected to this UFO threat is because it gave an embodiment to the otherwise abstract threat of communism…that there’s this very possible threat out there that we don’t understand. I thought that was interesting. I also started thinking about archetypes and the social norms that define us…the things that are a deep part of our subconscious, just because they’re so deeply embedded in our culture. I wonder if the alien abduction story is so much a part of our subconscious that it becomes a common hallucination, when someone is put through a certain trauma, or has a certain mental illness.

One of the stories that the program talked about was of a couple in the 50’s, whose story was one of the first recorded alien abduction stories. The program played some of the audio tapes of sessions with a psychologist, telling their story under hypnosis. It was pretty scary. At least when I look back on it in the wee small hours of the morning. The interesting thing about this couple is that she was white and he was black. Which is cool. But which is also rare. And THIS WAS IN THE 1950’S. Not so common, or even okay back then. I’ve been trying to figure out if this is related to the whole alien abduction story, and if so, how. I can’t come up with anything at this point, but I’ll keep you posted.

TUESDAY:

I miss the Playmill so much right now. I literally crave the Playmill life. Auditions are this Saturday. I feel mostly ready...songs are good. I should try to decide on a monologue. At this point, my monologue selection changes multiple times per day. If I were more confident, I would just stand up and make something up. Maybe I'll take the gist of some monologue or stand up routine and do that with it. Make most of it up. At this point, I don't know if I could memorize something well enough.

I just wish auditions were OVER with, and that the cast list was up, so that I could just KNOW whether or not I was going to be there, and what I would be doing. The not knowing is driving me bananas. Two to three more weeks of not knowing might kill me. But I've made it before, and the reasonable side of me knows that I'll make it again. But the hungry, tired, stressed, emotional side of me won't listen to a word of that.

Hey, by the way, everyone, it’s GROSS outside today. It’s snowy and windy and miserable. For the most part, it’s been this incredibly mild winter. Really, though. I have to avoid puddles more often that I have to avoid ice patches. I figure it’s the second week in February…I keep thinking that if we’ve made it this far, maybe we’ve escaped a Rexburg winter altogether. And then I remember that it’s snowed in June around here. But still! I refuse to believe that winter will happen this year! I will believe firmly in the possibility of a mild winter and an early spring. It will stop being gross. Probably tomorrow.

Also, I love Annie. We had a great conversation last night about Freud, human sexuality, literature, Shakespeare, genius, the Priesthood, and the temple. All of which was interspersed with homework, which was interesting, but most of the time our thoughts had to DO with homework, so we weren't slacking. I love Annie's brain, and that it's so similar to mine in so many ways, but that I still learn so much from her.

I've just had a lot of great conversations during the last few days. I've got such great friends. I'm surrounded by such ridiculously amazing people. I don't know what I did to deserve it.
Speaking of being undeserving, I'm in Acoustic Cafe this Thursday. Maybe I should practice. My cousin Candace and her husband are also performing, which is awesome. I feel like I don't deserve to be playing in the same venue as Nik Day and everyone else who's on the bill, but I'm honored and proud for at least going for it, and meeting my goal.
I just realized that I missed Music Outlet last night. That's another goal, maybe...play there...? I want to perform with a group of musicians more often. I haven't done that much, and it's much more fulfilling. Also I'm rambling. Much like I felt I did to handsome Book of Mormon class guy yesterday.

Better go do homework.

THURSDAY:

I came home tonight to find one outgoing, pretty roommate giving “Hair Care 101” to another shy, introverted roommate. It was so classic. Glinda and Elphaba. Part of me is worried about Outgoing Pretty Roommate’s sincerity. The other part of me wishes I had the courage to spend time with and try to get to know Shy Introverted Roommate.

Acoustic CafĂ© was fun. I was terrified for a while…I broke a string tuning before my sound-check, but some friendly guy with a blazer and a David Bowie t-shirt lent me his guitar for both sound-checks and the performance. I had a few moments of dread before I performed, during which I thought ridiculous things like “I HATE my peers! I don’t want to perform for them!” But with the help of my fellow performers, most of whom I had never met, I chilled out, and had a blast singing, and didn’t forget my lyrics, and got a cookie afterward.

Whew, the long week is almost over. I’m going to try and find a cheap stick vacuum tomorrow. Our carpet is gross.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bloggy Memories




Hello everyone!

Note, to preface: I feel real uneloquent tonight. Words just aren't coming so naturally to me. Sorry.

Well, 'tis 1:30 a.m. and I am awake and blogging! As per usual. My late night activities of late have included the world wide blogosphere in a lot of ways, and here's the result. The last few nights, I've had fun looking through the FOUR YEARS worth of entries on this blog. I found a lot of stories I'd forgotten about, and re-learned a lot of things just from reading about them again. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of thinking on my part, and so I thought I'd share some of the highlights here! Forgive the lengthyness of this entry...in my defense, there were 234 entries that I was skimming through. So there are quite a few gaps in between each of these, but here they are anyway. Enjoy! May these inspire a bit of a smile and/or a bit of a think!

PS: Apparently a lot of my best blogging happens on Thursdays.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2004
All right, folks. The most bizarre thing just transpired in our dorm. It was seriously one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to us, and I would give anything to re-live it. Wow. Here's the story.
So, Jen, Jenny and I were sitting in our living room, surfing the web and discussing the fundamental differences between Canada and the United States, when we noticed a strange male face looking into our window. We all looked at eachother like "Do you know this guy? No, do you?" None of us had any idea who he was, but he was standing in front of our dorm, looking in the window just the same. So we gestured for him to come in. He opened the door and stood there looking at us. We all looked back. After a lengthy pause, Jen said "Who are you?" The guy stepped into the room, closed the door behind him and looked into the mirror on our wall. In complete silence, he proceeded to remove his hat and spent a minute fixing his hair. Then he turned around and sat in one of our armchairs. Us girls were all kind of laughing a little. Finally, I looked at him and said "You never answered our question." He just looked at us. "Who are you?" I added.
"Addison."
Long pause.
"Oh," I said. "I'm Liz." Jen and Jenny introduced themselves, and Alexis was summoned from the back room and introduced. So, after introductions were complete, we all just sat there. Silently.
After another moment, Addison stood up and said "Well, it was nice meeting you guys." Then he stood up and left.
We all sat there and looked at eachother for a minute, then burst out laughing. I don't think I can accurately describe the event to do justice to it's weirdness. But it was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. I'm still not completely sure what happened, exactly, but it was still the highlight of my night.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2004
So, last night, I was in the Snow building, preparing to go caroling when I ran into my good friend Ben. We spent a pleasant 1/2 hour or so discussing many a thing, one of which was the musical "Oklahoma!" Since we have both been in the show, we were swapping analizations and stories of our experiences. I decided to tell him about one night when the actor playing Jud did something really scary. The whole problem was that I was standing in a doorway.
For those of you who know me you know that for me, telling a story is actually, like, story-telling. It involves voices and demonstrations and my whole body. So, Ben was standing in the room, and from the doorway, I was telling him how one night, in the scene where Jud and Curly have the knife fight, Andrew (who played Jud) decided to freak me and my friend out. Right before going to stab Curly, he did this creepy look right at us, with his hair all falling into his eyes and this demonic grin, and the knife glinting in the lights, and then he turned and went to STAB Curly! So, while I'm telling this, I turned away from Ben to demonstrate, but what I did not predict was that a very dignified, well-dressed member of the Bishopric would be walking into the doorway right at the moment when I turned to demonstrate the stab. So what happened is that I hit him square in the chest. This poor man just had a completely strange girl who he's never met before turn and pretend to stab him! With all the drama she could muster. There's not a whole lot you can do when you hit a strange man in the chest in a fake-stab.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2004
It was great to spend some time with my Oma and Opa...after the visit, I asked Dad whether I'm just getting older and noticing it or whether Oma and Opa are getting funnier. He said he thinks they're getting funnier. They just have so much personality, and they're so funny, and the best part is they don't even know it! Observe the following conversation I was privy to during a visit. All this is said with endearing heavy German accents.
Opa: Is the heater off again?
Oma: Ja, I turned it off.
Opa: Why?
Oma: Because it's been on all morning and we don't need it.
Opa: It's 64 degrees in here!
Oma: Hans, I know. That's why you go outside and sit in the sun.
Opa: But it's cold!
Oma: I know. Hans, go sit in the chair outside and read your paper.
Opa: (as he goes outside to read his paper in the chair in the sun) So cold...why don't we use the heat?
They are just the funnest, most wonderful people. They pretend to argue like that at least 15 times a day, but they're still so much in love with eachother, after almost 50 years! There's just something about that that makes you feel kinda warm and tingly inside, you know?

THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2005
I have this memory from "Our Town" rehearsals...it's one of those memories that doesn't seem very significant but sticks with you for a long time. It was a Saturday morning, and we were getting near opening. Everyone was running around doing tech stuff...trying on costumes, moving set peices, running lines. Our sound guy, Jeff, was trying to adjust levels on the system, and so he had me stand in the center of the stage and talk. After a little while, JD jumped onstage with me, a half-eaten sandwich in hand, and the two of us started singing and rapping and talking for Jeff. It was all of it complete nonsense and I don't remember much of it now, but it was genius. A lot of it was an ode to Jeff in song form. [JD]'s such a whacky guy, and follows whatever instincts hit him, which means he's totally spontaneous, and that he climbs things a lot. The guy's an amazing performer, but if you tell him so, he'll thank you graciously but deny that he's anywhere near as talented as you claim. I love hanging out with him, and working with him onstage is a ton of fun and really fulfilling. What an amazing person. He's definitely in the top ten percent of humanity in my book. JD, wherever you are and whatever you're doing (which I'm 99% sure is in West Yellowstone doing a show for Playmill), I miss you and think you're the cream of the crop. I have one thing to say to you: "I wanta hear da proposition from the duck-pant boy!" ("Tiki tiki!")

ALSO FROM THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2005
So, I had a virgin strawberry daquiri spewed in my face this evening. It was probably one of the more fabulous experiences of my short life. I haven't laughed that hard in many a moon. And it was one of those times when you laugh hysterically, and then right when you start to get control of yourself, you notice that the girl who just spewed virgin strawberry daquiri all over your face is still laughing, but with a somewhat panicked look because she's got daquiri coming out of her nose. Who needs alcohol. I've got Patrice Strate.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2005
There's a guy on the 4-to-1 crew at work named Buck, who's got some mental problems. I think he's slightly autistic...he can function perfectly well and make decisions and can handle stress pretty well, but he doesn't always get jokes, etc. We make fun of him a lot, because he can be so funny, but in truth, we all really care about him. When he got to work today, he pulled Tim aside for a few minutes, then went back to work. I didn't think much of it...he was quieter than usual, and just seemed sort of out of it. What I saw later, though, was the kind of thing that just sort of knocks the emotional wind out of you for a second and then you realize a few things, or remember a few things you'd forgotten.
As we were unloading the truck, I grabbed a box off the chain just as Zach and Buch were also doing so. Zach and I were sort of chatting, but as I turned away, I heard Zach say "Are you cool, Buck?" Buck said "What?" and Zach repeated "Are you cool? You doing all right?" I was intrigued, so I listened as I continued to work, as Buck told Zach he's just sort of out of it right now, just a lot of stuff going on. Zach said quietly "You wanna talk about it?" Buck said no, not right now. It was probably because we girls were back there too, and Buck's a little stand-offish with us. But later when it was just them in the back, I caught a glimpse of Zack leaning on a pallet jack and listening intently as Buck talked in a low voice, his face full of emotion.
Somehow, Zach's example just caught me off guard, and I've been thinking about it all day. My reaction might make more sense if you knew Zach. He can be sort of quiet and only selectively talkative, which often comes across as conceit. But the more I get to know him, the better of a person he is. Today especially, he showed a side of himself that he doesn't show often, and I'm sure he had no idea what an influence his example was on me. I was reminded of what a tool you can be for the Lord in lifting other's burdens and bettering people's lives.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2005
Everything seems so normal around here. It shouldn't. Here, the only water around is the campus pool, when on only the other side of our own country, people's lungs are filling with it. Rexburg's population keeps moving around in its normal patterns, maybe glancing at the news and thanking their lucky stars it isn't them, and then continuing their errands to the grocery store and the post office. A part of me realizes that you can't put your life on hold to mourn every time there's a sadness in the world. If that were the case, no one would ever get anything done. But nothing seems to feel any different. I feel different, and I can't see that feeling reflected anywhere around me. Shouldn't the whole world stop for a moment? Shouldn't the banks be crammed with people sending money? Shouldn't community center programs be halted to make room for those volunteer crews setting up donation centers? Shouldn't there be jars in every business with signs that say 'For victims of Hurricane Katrina'?"
I felt so full of this sense of injustice, although the logical side of me knew that Hurricane Katrina is certainly not the only catastrophe in our world right now.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2005
The other realization happened a few weeks ago, but I still think about it all the time. I discovered that I’ve been using paper toilet-seat covers BACKWARDS my entire life! You know the little flappy part of it? The part that you punch out so you can actually use the toilet? Apparently, the part that’s still connected after you punch out the middle is supposed to go in FRONT. I read the instructions. I’ve been putting it in the back for the last 20 years! What does that mean? What does that say about me as a person? What does that say about society? What a riveting demand for redefinition this brings on!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2005
All girls who fit the following criteria should officially be outlawed from attending BYU-Idaho:
18 years old or younger
blonde
big blue eyes
expensive magazine-y clothes
large breasts or curvy figure in general
Here's why. As long as THEY are all here, the rest of us don't stand a chance. How are we supposed to compete with that?! Here we are, spiritual, intelligent, individual, funny, beautiful...we are girls who KNOW who we are and are trying to be what the Lord wants us to be. But are we the girls who get dates? NO! It's the ditzy blondes who all look, act, and think (if they do at all) in the exact same way. IT BLOWS MY MIND! It seems like by their early twenties, boys would have stopped thinking with their hormones alone and started also employing their hearts, minds, and spirits in being attracted to someone.
Tonight, some guy friends were talking about how difficult the dating scene in Rexburg is, and how it's so much harder for guys and how girls don't take dating seriously. Like my friend Sarah said, B.S. Rexburg is one of the few places in the world where there are THOUSANDS of single LDS young men and women in one place. And check it out: around here, GUYS are the askers. So which is harder: to ask? Or to sit around and wait to be asked and to feel like there's NOTHING you can do about it when no one asks you? Hm. And as for girls not taking dating seriously, I don't even know what they mean by that.

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2006
Since coming up to West Yellowstone, Montana
1 Trips to the E.R. since rehearsals began
79 Approximate hours spent in rehearsal
2 Times I've watched Old Faithful go off
9 Times I've cried (happy, sad, in character, and out of character)
8,462 Times I've laughed
1 Compliment I've received that I will treasure forever
2 Parental lectures received since moving to Montana
6 Times I've listened to the song "Come On, Eileen"
4 Cast members that are currently ill
9 Moments I've wondered about a cast member's sexuality
14 Number of times I've fallen while attempting a partnered cartwheel flip
1 Number of times Ben has dropped me on my head while we were attempting said cartwheel flip
0 Times Curtis and I have done our jive choreography correctly
8 Times I've done the "Go Go Joe" choreography correctly
0 Times I've done the "Go Go Joe" choreography correctly while being able to breathe and/or sing
3.1 Harry Potter books I've re-read
7 Number of ferral cats caught in the theatre and have now been sent home to Jesus
8 Times I have been down-right astounded by things that the Merrill children have said
6 Average number of times per day that I sing a high G above the octave
9,742 Number of times I have thought of the wonderful people that surround me and how much I miss those that I'm not with every day right now

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2006
The other night, after we successfully opened "Plaid," the Merrills got us pizza (according to opening night tradition) and as we were sitting there, eating and talking and laughing, I looked around and thought "I am so happy and blessed to be here. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now than right here, doing what I'm doing, with the people I'm with." Of course, I miss the other wonderful people who are a part of my life, and I miss the fun of school and the green of Oregon and the laughter of my family, but there is so much joy to be had in being in the right place at the right time. And I really feel that for me right now, that's here at the Playmill. I learn so much every day that I can't even keep track of it all; my journal is this random assortment of half-written entries and revelations. I'm making new friends, and growing closer to old ones. I love discovering who a person is, and to find myself caring about them and learning from them and finding ways to serve them.
I love looking into the faces of audience members every night and watching their expressions. I can't believe how many opportunities I have to touch people's lives EVERY SINGLE DAY. Everyone has that opportunity, but to do it in a theatre setting is such a different experience, and so thrilling.
And in some ways terrifying. I sort of talked about the whole "pretty" thing in the last entry, and it's a continual process of gaining confidence in myself, but its certainly coming a lot further than it was before. I had another growing experience recently...as some of you may know, I love to play the guitar. But I'm self-taught and don't have much theory knowledge, so I only play in front of friends. Well, J.D. is in charge of pre-show for this summer, and I told him I was scared to sing a pre-show song, and he told me to go for it. I told him that I really didn't want to sing, but if he asked me to, it would be good for me and help me overcome my fears. So for the first time in my entire life, last week I played the guitar in front of an audience. I sang "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and accompanied myself on the guitar and it was terrifying, but wonderful in this surreal sort of way.
Tonight J.D. asked me if I would play/sing a pre-show number for "Plaid" for the rest of the summer. I accepted, and I'm excited for the challenge! I still get really nervous, but as is typical of me, I get more nervous after performing. Tonight when I got offstage and was putting the guitar away, J.D. came by and said "Liz, thank you. You have a great pre-show voice. It's just this really unusual, old-time radio-type voice that is PERFECT for pre-show. It's just really good, and it's a voice that people want to hear, and that audiences want to listen to. It's great." It meant so much to me, and I thanked him and told him as much, and Davie Walker added that he loved my preshow and thought it was so cute and didn't know why I was so scared. Anymore of this and I'll be a diva before the summer's over! No, I'm not nearly there yet.
In all honesty, I don't share these compliments I receive because I want to brag or justify my behavior or decisions. I'm just so thrilled and honored by them, and they mean so much to me that I want to record them as a way to better preserve the memory, and to remind myself of them, because more often than not, I forget or don't believe them.

AUGUST 24, 2006
Tonight we only had one show of "Plaid," so afterwards a group of us went out to dinner at a nice restaurant, just because we could. Former Playmill player and friend of many a cast member Jon-Peter Lewis also joined us, and I'm pleased to say he's not nearly as insufferable as I remember him being shortly after the whole American Idol craze. (See I even provided a link to his site...) We had a nice little chat about Paul McCartney and shared a dinner roll. Although I think we could probably be friends, I can't get past the difference in our pocketbooks.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2006
THE SETTING:
131 College Avenue. Turkish prayer flags hang above the porch. On the front door is taped a sign, with a picture of a camel and the words "Welcome to the Hawmps" and as a post-script "It's very small. And nicely cramped...so that there's hardly any room between one adventure and the next." Enter an old house with walls too thin, containing an impressive library, a dozen or so Jones soda bottle, and a Pez collection on the wall opposite the front door. A guitar sits in the corner, rescued from the flooded Playmill men's dressing room, bearing the autographs of everyone who's played it since its entered the house. The white-board outside the kitchen has various items of business, including the Question of the Day ("Are there pineapples/beaches in Spirit Prison?") and the Word of the Day, normally taken from the Balderdash cards ("Snurp: verb. To shrivel up."). Next to the white-board is the chores chart and the Official Constitution, and on a shelf above it, The Shrine. The Shrine consists of numerous objects that have stories behind them or are in some way connected to one or more of the members of the household. On the shelf sit a newspaper rose in a vase, a green stuffed bunny named Dave, a Mr. Potato figure, the shards of Sting, 3 railroad pikes (one of them bearing a magnet saying "Vaughn"), a Catholic "Santa Barbara" candle, a collection of Volkswagon Bug model cars, and 2 Balderdash cards, one describing the movie "Hawmps" and one bearing the word "Dunkle" (to dint or crumple). In the kitchen is a pile of dishes that Vaughn will eventually do if they're Liz's responsibility, otherwise they'll pile up for a few more days until we run out of clean ones. Covering the walls are the paper hearts that were put up for Eileen weeks ago when she was having a bad day, but which now serve as a good reminder of appreciation.

MAY 19, 2007
I had a fun talk tonight about all the old-school computer games we all used to play back in the day. Which inspired me to write this blog. And I totally stole this idea for a blog entry from Willie. Woot for syntax text-only adventure games.
You find yourself sitting awake in bed.
>Check clock
It is 2:01 in the morning
>inventory
You have your roomate's computer, your phone, and a stuffy nose.
>Blow nose
You need a tissue to do that.
>Get tissue
You can't get a tissue from here.
>Screw blowing nose
Okay.
>I'm bored.
I don't understand that command.
>Entertain me.
I don't understand that command.
>Make observations about current situation.
You are single. You are thirsty. You are an insomniac.
>Change relationship status.
You need to choose a person to do that.
>Select Guybrush Threepwood as companion.
Guybrush Threepwood is an imaginary character.
>Select Al Pacino as companion.
Don't be stupid.
>Get a drink.
You get up and pour yourself a glass of water. You get out powdered energy drink and add 4 scoops. You drink the glass in one gulp.
>Go to sleep.
You have gone to sleep.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

"It is very difficult to live among people you love and hold back from offering them advice." --Anne Tyler

Not a terribly good poem...it's really pretty crap actually, but I was giving that whole "form" thing a go again, and the result was this light-hearted tone, which I felt served the whole irony of the poem fairly well. Ah, well. Onwards and upwards.

Tools


You say there’s crime there in Tibet?
‘Gainst monks on prayer mats?
Let me grab my army knife
I’ve got a tool for that.

It’s twelve steps to recovery
And he’s still full of pride?
I think I’ve got a tool for that
Yep, next year he’ll have a bride.

And what’s this about genocide?
The Congo’s filled with fear?
Well, good thing I’ve got a tool for that.
This will dry all of your tears.

Say, she keeps on calling him
Even after returning the ring?
The tool’s called “Don’t misinterpret this.”
That one carries a little sting.

And what about the ozone?
You say that layer’s fried?
Well, I’ve got my good army knife
Hey look, a brand new sky.

He’s got commitment issues?
I’ve heard that one before!
This tool’s been used quite often
But there, your love’s restored.

Come to me with problems
I’ve got a tool for each
It’s the greatest army knife
You wouldn’t believe it’s reach.

Yes any problem big or small
and I’ve got tools to spare.
But the damage done by my fixing lives
That I cannot repair.

Monday, February 02, 2009

More youtube = Lustis Maternis.

This video was entitled "Birth Control."

But is this really supposed to discourage me from having children? Because it had the exact opposite effect on me.