...can come in many forms and disguises. It can come to help, to assist, to magnify, to warn and alert. It can cause us to work or it can finish our work for us. But it makes us whole.

My math professor has agreed to change my D+ to a C-. She'll take care of the paperwork when the school gets back from break, but essentially I'm in the clear, I'm a graduated woman. You have NO idea what relief I'm experiencing, the joy that I can at last share with my friends. Thank you, everybody involved and responsible for this little happening.

I had a job interview today. I essentially have the job, if I want it. But it conflicts with URTA. I wrote the schools to see if they are willing to move my interviews, but regardless, I'm wavering about the position. It just doesn't feel right. My friends--theatre or no, religious or no--you have to trust your gut. Furthermore, you can't take the first offer that comes along just for fear of not getting another. There are other jobs. This one is good, it sounds like fun, but it just doesn't feel right. Besides, grad school comes first.

I've been sick today. The flu, we think. A 24-hour bug, I think, because I'm starting to feel better. But it's left me some time to think. I was reading in Genesis today, kind of for the heck of it, really (as ironic as that is.) You know, Jacob got pretty shafted by Laban. He works seven years, hard labor for Rachel, then last second Laban swaps out for Leah. Although, me and my naughty little mind had to wonder what kind of customs they had that would mean a whole night with Leah before Jake figured out it wasn't his little sweetie. But you know, Leah has over half of Jacob's kids--six sons and one daughter, that we know of--and still Jacob doesn't love her. She dedicates her whole life to serving him and trying to win his love, but never gets it. God made Rachel barren for a long time, to compensate Leah. She was able to bear sons and Rachel wasn't, because God had mercy on Leah. Because Jacob didn't love her. He always just loves Rachel, even after she dies in childbirth on the way back to Isaac. Her whole life. She must have felt very lonely.


Momentary Triumph

I enjoy The GAME. Melissa, you may laugh.
The chase. The banter. The GAME.
Being coy and flirtatious, and yet persistent.
Pursue and be pursued.
Perhaps just for today. The next hour.
Next week I'll be jaded again.


A point of clarification

I guess I need to clarify: I have nothing against marriage. In fact, I would be quite up for some dating and maybe even a serious relationship, if the right guy came along, It's the expectation that drives me up the way. My mom telling me about nice RMs she meets. My aunts asking if I'm seeing anyone. My grandma telling me she wants to see some grandbabies before she goes. My grandfather telling me to get a move on. My friends commiserating and telling me that "he's bound to come along one of these days."

There is an expectation in my culture; sometimes I resent it. Other times I find it amusing, sometimes I despair. As I established at the reception last night, I am quite happy as a person, but I coat it with a healthy layer of cynicism. And I tell you what--there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Tonight was the wedding reception for my friends Jason and Tierra. It was seriously like a high school reunion, except without all the stupid people and the awkwardness--so many of my friends from high school were just there, talking and catching up and hanging out. It was fantastic.

I felt like a butterfly. I have felt socially castrated for months--months!--like I had forgotten how to flirt and make fun and be teased and flirted with. I had an absolutely great time at the reception.

Afterward, a few of us went to the Sacketts. We watched "Waiting for Guffman" (hysterically funny--all theatre friends MUST watch), but afterward I stayed with Scott and Josh, just chatting. What a release. Seriously. Just talking, talking about everything under the sun. It's been so long since I had guys to talk with. Gregory, you know I love you, but I can't flirt with you in quite the same way. ;)

I feel so old. All my friends are getting married.

I'm at a crossroads again. There are so many choices to make. I hate making choices, I really do. I like having a plan.

But most of all? I love my friends. I have so many great friends. I'm the luckiest girl in the world. Thanks guys.


Lack of Motivation

The other side of Christmas is a lot less exciting than the road up to it. It's always been that way, it always will be, but this year there's a few more things adding onto the sensation.

I need a job. Fact. I want a theatre job, stage managing anywhere that is not Utah. Those are a lot harder to come by than I'm prepared to admit, especially considering my resume. But how on earth are people supposed to add to their resume if approximately no one will hire them? I hate the world.

Money, blah. I just don't want to live at my parents' house any longer than I have to. I love my parents. I love them dearly. I enjoy spending time with them, I enjoy staying at their home. On vacation. It's not the same when you're living there. And in another week or so, it won't be vacation anymore, it'll be living here, and that's not good.

Christmas was good. I spent Christmas Eve with my birthfather and our extended family. Christmas morning was a quiet affair with my family. I got books and movies, mostly, which is what I wanted. I read "Ender's Game" in the space of 24 hours. We spent most of Christmas day with my Uncle Frank's family, and we all went to see "I Am Legend" with Will Smith. It was an interesting story, but I don't think I'd watch it again. We saw it in IMAX, and it was huge and loud.

I just feel unmotivated. I keep putting off things I know I need to do--figure out what to do about math, some grad school stuff, bills. I want to write, but the muse seems to have abandoned me. I must get her back.


A Sense of Accomplishment

You have to watch the whole thing, because I'm last. But these are good thoughts, so listen!

Also check out www.ted.com Our inspiration for the class and PAM Conference.


Christmas Flicks

My family doesn't have a whole lot of traditions. We just kinda go with the flow. But one of the few is going to movies during holidays. We always go to a movie on the evening of Thanksgiving. And during the weeks surrounding Christmas, the Mechling/Hilton/Graf clan can often been seen frequenting the megaplex in American Fork.

Today I saw National Treasure 2. It was okay, nothing really exciting. I mean, you know they're going to find the treasure. You know they're going to be chased and half the time outwitted by the other guys, and chased by the 'feds most of the time too. Really, the President was the only really enjoyable part of the movie, but that's because I have this weird obsession with any fictional POTUS--just please don't give me the real thing.

However, on the other end of the spectrum was my movie delight of two days ago. On Wednesday, I went with my very Mormon mom to see Across the Universe. Brilliant, brilliant film. It's a psychadelic musical about life in the sixties, scored by beautiful arrangements of Beatles' songs. I must admit, I was shocked that my mother enjoyed it (if not quite as much as I did.) We went out tonight and bought the soundtrack, and she's been singing "I am the Walrus" around the house for two days. I think it's because she lived through the sixties, so it was nothing new to her. However, dear reader--if you are a conservative Mormon, this might not be the flick for you. But with that, I heartily recommend it to anyone.

Tomorrow's joyous event is on a date with Gregorio--we're going to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I am absolutely stoked, and hope not to be disappointed. To be honest, I have never actually been to a rated R movie in the theater before. How conservative of me, right? I'm not going on a strike or anything, don't worry. It's just that it's Sweeney Todd. I can't resist.

Back in the family=movie field, I have the feeling I'm going to get dragged to Water Horse, the one about the Loch Ness monster. They throw the "from the creators of The Chronicles of Narnia" around like it's a good luck charm, but the movie looks like crap for kiddies. Blah.
But speaking of the magical word, Prince Caspian looks pretty good. It's been a long time since I've read the books, but I remember always liking Prince Caspian. We'll have to see.

Netflix delivered The Namesake today. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I'm very interested to see how they turned the book into a movie. If you have the opportunity (or can make it), you really ought to read the book, by Jhumpa Lahiri. It's quite the thing, and I have pages and pages of critical analysis about it somewhere in my schoolwork files.

And now, dear friends, I'm off to watch a good superhero flick with my little brother. Farewell, dear friends.


Defying expectations

I'd kind of forgotten about Happy Valley.

"Now, listen," I want to say to them--people in my ward, my family, even some of my friends--"I'm not married because I don't want to be." It must be a foreign concept to them, so I try to be patient--a young woman not desperately anxious to be married as soon as humanly possible? My goodness!

My mother is the worst of all, because she puts her concern under this guise of playfulness. She tells me about cute single RMs she meets, or puts in little comments here and there about where I could meet guys. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, but the not-so-subtle hints? Not-so-much.

What is it about this place? I'm almost afraid to drink the water or breathe the air too deeply. I'm attending five wedding receptions over Christmas break--FIVE. And all of them relatively or very close friends! Five! And you know, with the exception of Michael and Whitnee, they've all been dating less than six months. rolls eyes

I. Don't. Want. To. Get. Married. Right. Now. What is so hard to believe about that? I honestly don't. I'm focused on my career, my schooling. I want to go to grad school. If I get tied up in a relationship in Happy Valley, Utah, I can tell you how big my chances are of making it to grad school somewhere else.

If I wanted to get married, I would. If I had seriously wanted to get married any time in the last two years, I would have. In the lovely state of Utah, marriage is not that hard to attain. I could have hunted down a fine RM--or not--started dating, dropped hints, and voila, a few months (or weeks!) later I would have had a nice pretty ring and an apartment and his school loans to pay.

What Utah Mormons don't seem to get is the value in longevity. I am 21 years old. If I get married in this coming year, that means I'll be spending more or less 60 years with one person. In light of that time commitment, I feel well justified in taking my time being picky.

I have nothing against the institution. I do want to get married--just not right now. Right now is about my life, and when the time is right, then I'll settle down. Thus all the not-so-subtle hints? Not-so-appreciated.



I HATE MATH. I hate it. I hate it so much, it makes me cry, it makes me want to tear out my hair and claw out my eyes! I HATE math!

I am crying. Seriously considering how much I really need my hair.

I'm supposed to be done! It's supposed to be over! My friends are celebrating "our" graduation, but now I've got this terrible thing hanging over my head. I mean, the fear and anticipation of this fate were looming before, but now it's real. Tangible. I feel dirty.

I've never failed before. I've never failed a class before. I got a C+ in...wait, can you guess? Algebra 2 in tenth grade. It was the last math class I ever took, before this one.

I'm so FRUSTRATED. I despise myself. I hate the pity...my mother, cooing over me about how unfair it is. Well, no, it's perfectly fair. It's MATH, after all--the numbers crunched, and all my points added up together just didn't make C-, it made D+. Such a great heaving difference between those two, I can tell you.

Oh, and to top it all off? I finally heard back from DC--no go. So it's back to applying, applying applying.

Life sucks.

Home for the Holidays

It took me three and a half days to get bored.

I spent the first day shopping with my parents, then at Ellen's wedding reception. I spent the second day sleeping, at church, and watching movies with my family. The third day was in the car, packing up my stuff in Cedar, in the car, and unpacking it all in Orem. And most of today was spend organizing all my crap. Once that was done, I was bored.

I'm a busy person. I like being busy out of my mind. I enjoy the panicked state of affairs that my life typically exists in. I like having no time. I like having too much to do. Not having anything to do? That sucks. At least past Christmas I'll have new books and movies to keep myself occupied.

Welcome to my new blog. This is me.