I love to drive. I really love to drive my car, in particular. Other cars are cool too, but my car and I have a special bond.

My parents and I just finished driving to San Diego from Cedar City--it took us about eight hours, give or take, and part of it was getting stuck behind an accident just south of Las Vegas. All in all, it wasn't too bad. I think I drove about half of the way--I would have driven more, but we didn't stop in Vegas like I thought we were going to, so I didn't take over until a bit later.

It's funny, because I know a lot of people--my mother included--who really don't like driving. Neither of my parents particularly enjoy driving, but my dad doesn't mind it as much as my mom. I have a friend whose parents would rather pay the extra money to fly whenever possible--even if its just a hundred miles. No joke.

Driving for me equates freedom. To this day I remember the first time I drove by myself--it was about three in the morning, I was driving myself home from school after my team got back from HS Shakespeare comp. It was so exhilarating. I drove down State Street in Orem, alone on the road, with nothing between me and the moon to slow me down. Freedom.

I used to equate the sensation with driving fast...which ended up in me getting a lot of speeding tickets and my license on probation. I've learned--it's been three years since I last got a ticket, with no intention to add more to my record. Now my freedom is in the drive itself--the potential to just go on forever. Driving takes me to new places, new opportunities, and it's all under my own control. That's why I prefer driving over flying anyday--I'm in control. I decide how fast to go, what music to play and how loud, whether to roll down the window and let the wind play with my hair, whether to call someone I haven't talked to in awhile and catch up, because I have all the time in the world.

Driving is my infinite possibility. Driving is my magic carpet ride.

Oh, and by the way--California is beautiful. Pictures to come. :)


Murphy's Law

I'm supposed to move out--and it rains.

Actually, it was hailing a little while ago. Gotta love Utah weather!


I'm not having a very good day today.

I feel that I am an independent person. Slowly over the last four years, I've been taking on my own finances. My parents help a great deal, but I've felt that I was on the road to becoming independent. Today is a huge blow to that. I'm moving home today, for no other reason than I simply cannot afford to pay rent. Or utilities, or to buy my own groceries. I'm flat out broke. I've never hit rock bottom in quite this fashion before--always there has been hope, a paycheck soon to come, another job to start. Now, I'm directionless.

Last night I got a text message from my landlady, telling me that my room has been rented--started May 10. That means I'm still responsible for nearly a hundred dollars worth of rent--which I don't have. I asked her if there was anything I could do, and I told her that I just don't have any money whatsoever. She was rather cold in her rebuff, telling me she couldn't let me out of my lease. I see her side, but what does she think I can do? Pull money out of thin air? I suppose she thinks my parents will pay it. The thought makes me sick. I'm honestly in tears at the thought of how financially strapped I am right now, and it makes me sick to think of asking my parents to bail me out. After everything they've done for me, everything they're doing for me, to think that I cannot even pay my own expenses just makes me feel like a failure. Especially because there's no end in sight! I haven't got a job lined up, I can't manage to get one--believe me, I've been trying for two months solid, with no luck.

Life is hard. I guess that's what this all narrows down to. It's even harder, I guess, watching some of my friends have success, when I can't seem to get close. I'm a pretty bright girl--I've got a college degree, I'm educated, I'm passionate, I care about people, and I like to serve. It shouldn't be this hard. It really shouldn't.


Springtime Intoxication

Maybe we just have days when chaos touches us, like little eddies in the river of worldly sanity.

There is something about this time of year that does something to me. It's moving time. Every year for the last four years, in the last weeks of April and beginning of May, I have prepared to move--sometimes it was home to my parents, sometimes it was just to a different apartment across town. But its definitely getting to be a habit. I think my body can sense the move coming, and it triggers a real, emotional response.

Last year at this time, I was half-packed, the windows were flung open in my upstairs bedroom, and together with my roommate Emily, I was rapidly devouring the Twilight series for the first time. There was--absolute freedom. Of course I had finals, but that semester I didn't have any that I was particularly worried about. I was free to enjoy the springtime air, which is intoxicating in and of itself.

This year the freedom isn't so heady. I'm moving back to my parents house, with no job prospects in the offing, and no real idea of how I will occupy myself (and my checkbook) for the next two months. But that springtime air still does something to me. It makes me want to sleep with all the windows open, if not outside entirely. It stirs my creative juices, and makes me want to delve into a delicious new book. Though, I don't think anything will stir me the way Twilight did. I think I read it at the absolutely perfect time.

It makes me want to go to Red Cliffs with the gang, or down to St. George to enjoy the roses at the temple, with a trip to Larsens after. And most of all, it makes me want to hop in my car and drive forever--just keep on driving with the sun behind me and the wind in my hair. This is the power the season holds on me--and I don't mind one bit.


Descent into Madness

As I have discussed other places, I have (or used to have) what I call my "Hours of Brilliance"--the point in the day when I am my most creative, my most productive. At the point when I identified them, these hours were usually around 1 or 2 AM--past the point of no return, as far as sleep and exhaustion goes. I found that in these wee hours of the morning, I could truly release into my creative flow.

I think things have changed.

Today I nearly drove Dixy crazy with my own madness. I was edgy and antsy all day long, never spending more than twenty minutes doing one thing. I would jump from reading to writing to a movie to talking to playing the piano back to reading to talking to writing...always back to writing--but never getting anywhere.

I'm working on the plot for a novel right now, a novel that I can't seem to work myself around. The main characters are well fleshed out in my mind, as is the eventual destination--I just can't seem to develop the intervening storyline. It's driving me mad.

Usually when I write, I just sit down and write. I've only rarely plotted a story or novel in advance, and even then I've only sketched things out, never going into great detail. This book is different, however, and I've determined that it must be. I'm trying to create something much more complex than I've ever written before, and its proving much more challenging than I anticipated. I just have to wonder whether I'm helping or hurting my creative processes, because pacing my house for hours on end seems a little unsettled to me.

The Muse is trying, I'm sure, to communicate with me. I just wish I could hear her properly!

"I spent a summer with Superman"

On my bulletin board, I have a small hot pink sticky note that reads "CNF piece: 'I spent the summer with Superman'". I think it's from the summer before last, but I can't really remember. It was the summer when my Superman obsession reached its peak--but more than that, it was the summer I felt the intoxicating power of my own independence for the first time.

At this very moment, my roommate Nat is in the front room watching "Superman Returns", which I so subtly left in the DVD player for her after she expressed interest in it last night. She'd never seen it before, and I was happy to oblige. I wish I wasn't moving so soon, so I could also spread the love of "Smallville" which Gregory and I shared so ardently last fall.

I make no small mention of the fact that I am addicted to Superman. I don't know why, I've never really been able to explain it. There are other comic book heroes who appeal more to my usual taste in fictional characters--Batman comes immediately to mind, with other lesser-known superheroes cropping up behind. I usually go for the torn, anti-hero type.

But there's just something about Superman. Maybe in this case it is his seeming innocence that appeals to me. That and I love watching powerful characters fail. Sadistic, eh? My favorite part of "Superman Returns" is his fight with Lex, and then when he returns to fight again. He fails, but he doesn't relent--as masochistic as it is, he goes back for more until the job is done. Only a superhero.

Have you ever noticed just how many 'powers' Superman actually has? We associate him with the power of flight, but that's only the beginning. To this day, I remember discussing Flight versus Invisibility in Dr. Peterson's English 2010 class my very first semester of college. Which would you rather have? This association with Superman is lacking, because that's all you get--just flight. No superstrength, etc. Have you ever noticed how much Spiderman bleeds in his movies? Even Bruce Wayne gets those nasty bruises. But Superman's only flaw is kryptonite (granted, it crops up a lot more than you might expect, especially in "Smallville"). He's got flight, strength, speed, super hearing and sight, he can knock down buildings with the power of his breath, and there's that heat vision, too. Not to mention to force of his good looks! Superman is the ultimate package deal. Is it any wonder I'm addicted?


The Meaning of "Family"

As you may or may not know, I'm adopted. I was placed with my parents at the tender age of four days old, and I went nineteen years having no more information about my birthparents than a medical history card. The summer right before I turned nineteen, I decided to look for them. Legally I wasn't allowed to confirm their identity until I was 21, but there were plenty of adoption-reunion websites to circumvent that restriction. So, I found an entry that matched mine, and a few emails later we had confirmed our relationship--my birthfather had been searching for me. He introduced me (via email) to my birthmother. We spent the summer emailing, then in August, my (adoptive) parents held a barbeque, and I met my birthparents, and my birthfather's three daughters and his wife.

To make a long story short, I have continued to develop a relationship with my birthfather's family since that time. I've had about three emails from my birthmother.

I got thinking last night after I left my birthfather's house. I have a relationship with him and his girls that I wouldn't give up for the world. They are my family. I may not have grown up with his girls, but I can now tease them and talk to them--if not like a sister, then at least a good friend. I love talking to Jason and his wife Jenny. And they love spoiling me, giving me things. I never leave their house without SOMEthing in hand.

It was my birthmother's birthday last week. He alerted me, and we both emailed--mine was more in the line of birthday wishes, but last night he told me he wrote and chewed her out. He's mad that she's missing a relationship with me--he thinks she's on a high horse. Long story. In the end, I just told him that I don't feel like I'm missing anything, because I have him.

I don't really know what most people think about adoption. I've always been too close to understand the general opinion. I see reunion shows on the daytime talk shows, and I just laugh--I can't imagine going through that in front of a television audience. Now it's even more complicated because I placed my own son for adoption two years ago. But I'll tell you this much--for me, adoption has just turned into a bigger family. Sometimes I even feel sorry for people who only have a normal family! I've got multiple parents, extra sets of grandparents, and more aunts and uncles and cousins than I care to think about, and I can say the same thing for my son--people he's never, and probably will never meet, love and care about him. That's the meaning of family--people who love and care without ever needing a reason to do so.


The Power of YouTube

As I'm sure many of you can commiserate, I often find myself lost in the realms of Wikipedia and IMDB, the most fruitful wealths of useless information. Tonight, I ended up researching comic book villains, which led me inevitably to "The Dark Knight" (the "Batman Begins" sequel due out this summer.) I am a rather dedicated fan of Heath Ledger, so I'm particularly excited to see his last full film.

At any rate, after watching the trailer, I was trying to put my finger on something--another trailer I knew I had seen somewhere. It was essentially the opening sequence of the film, where the Joker pulls off an elaborate bank robbery. After a little more Wiki research, I learned this trailer had been shown only at IMAX showings of "I Am Legend" -- which I happened to have attended. Immediately, I set out to track this trailer down.

Oh, the power of YouTube. This trailer is not *technically* available, but on YouTube, I found a recording--it looked like someone pulled out a cellphone during the "I Am Legend" previews and recorded the whole thing. Really terrible quality, but I got to see my preview.

You can view it here, if any of you are crazy-obsessed enough to have the desire. :)

Counting down the days...


Infinite Possibility

Today, I wore my Scrubs of Infinite Possibility, and what a day for them it was!

This evening, I went to see The Forbidden Kingdom with the Walles (my birthfather and co). So good. Of course it was a kung fu movie, but it had a decent plot, and Michael Angarano didn't make too big a fool of himself. There's nothing like seeing Jackie Chan and Jet Li together--fighting with AND against each other, alternately. :)

Leaving the theater, it was absolutely beautiful out. Warm, slightly foggy, with a bright, almost-full moon. I love the feel of the wind in my hair, as cliche as that may sound. It awakens a sense of adventure.

Driving home, I looked out over the valley, glowing in the moonlight, and I just wanted to keep driving, forever. It was a night of infinite possibility, and I felt like I could go anywhere, do anything, and it would be wonderful.

I came home and sat out on the swingset for awhile talking to Dixy. It's too fine a night just to go straight inside and to bed. The wind carries the promise of summer in it--warmth and adventure mixed to perfection. Of course there is more bad weather to come first, but summer is coming, just like the good times that will win out when hope prevails.



The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.


Ammendment to "Waiting"

I spend almost two hours at the eye doctor's today, and I'm so irritated! I seriously waited an hour and a half before even being called back. Then I got some nasty eyedrops and sat waiting another fifteen minutes before the doctor finally deigned to see me. He looked at my eyes for about two minutes, then spent another five lecturing me about how this was a normal situation, a normal bodily process that they didn't fully understand, blahdeblah. I sat there thinking, "Okay, would you shut up now and let me leave?" Then, finally, he did, and I did.

It was so irritating! To wait so long just for that, I was infuriated. Of course I didn't want anything to be wrong, but it makes me mad that they were so overbooked that it took two hours to get five minutes' worth of his precious attention. They really should do a better job of scheduling their appointments. Note to all: learn how to manage your time! Whether personally, or for your business, or whatever.

Freaking doctors. Grr.

The Nature of my Passion for Theatre

This spawns from a conversation I had with my mother Monday night. We were talking about why it wasn't entirely a bad thing that I didn't get into grad school--but that is not the point here. Let me explain.

My passion for theatre is not just about doing shows. If that were the case, I would have attached myself to a community theatre four months ago, and would be perfectly happy wiling away the hours for no money, but plenty of enjoyment. But that's not it. My passion for theatre (and I'm sure many of my theatre friends would agree with me) stems from the challenge.

Sure, we could do Seussical and The Importance of Being Earnest until our hair falls out, but there's very little challenge in many shows. I felt that in high school--once a year, my drama teacher would do a big musical with every student she could cast, and very little effort on anybody's part. Sure, it was a lot of work, a lot of time, but it didn't take soul. That's what I'm talking about.

These little community theaters don't often have it. They are trying to make a profit, trying to stay on their feet, so they do fun family shows that bring in the audiences. Around here, anyway--but that's Utah for you. They're not pushing artistic boundaries in any way, they're just trying to do a show with what little money and talent they have available to them. Now, this is no offense meant to community theatre--I practically grew up in one, and I would not love theatre the way I do without that experience. But I'm an adult now, and I've learned what I want.

Theatre is meant to push boundaries. It is meant to make people think. That's why it's there. If you just want entertainment, you might as well go to the movies. Live theatre, in its nature pushes boundaries simply by nature of having real people right in front of you. Theatre is supposed to cause the audience to reflect, to take what they see and apply it in some small way to their own lives. And as is very frequently the case, they often do so by affecting your sensibilities.

I'm a good Mormon girl. I try not to swear, I try not to be vulgar, I try to leave certain things, certain topics alone. But some of the most profound theatrical experiences I have had, have come from watching or working on shows that offend my sensibilities--Sticks and Bones or The Pillowman. Sometimes it's not even a matter of sensibilities, but rather shows that challenge artistically, like Henry V or Shooting Stars. Anybody in those shows will attest that they were an entirely different experience from How to Succeed or Lend Me a Tenor. All shows have the capacity to be good. Most shows have the capacity to be challenging. But only some shows have soul.

Okay, now that I've insulted half of you by dissing your favorite shows, hear me out. I liked those shows too. But there is something different that I am trying to achieve. It's not enough for me just to do shows. I--like many of you--give every show I work on everything I have to offer, heart and soul and blood. It is only rewarding when I get something back, when I feel like I have truly achieved something at the end. Otherwise, you just end up feeling drained and resentful. Haven't you ever felt that way at the end of a show? If not, I think you must be on something. It happens that way all the time, because not every show can be so rewarding, or the world would explode.

Nevertheless, this is what I seek. The challenge.

Just doing theatre isn't it. Just getting a job at some theatre somewhere isn't it. Sure, I could do that. I could live out of my suitcase for five years, jumping from theatre to theatre, and at the end of it, feeling pretty much the same as I do now. That's not the life for me. I applaud those of you for whom nothing appeals more. I thought it would, too, but I've gotten a few months under my belt and I have a better picture of 'real life' than I ever did before I graduated. I have a better picture of what I want out of my life.

I've talked to a few people about possibly going back to school to get my teaching license, and teaching high school drama. Generally, my theatre friends don't seem to like this idea--they seem to think I'm settling, that I'm not reaching for my dreams the way they want me to. But I can see the potential in teaching--the potential challenge.

It's not going to be for me, personally. I would never reach my artistic potential. That's not the point. But do you realize, that rather than just direct The Music Man every year, I could help those kids find their challenge, find the soul in those shows--every year! Every year its a new journey, a new challenge, and new experiment to find what means soul to those kids. That's what my drama teacher did for me. God bless Syd Riggs, who showed hundreds of kids at Orem High what it meant to produce art, rather than just having a good time! So many people tell me, "Oh yeah, I did drama in high school," but in the end it didn't mean anything more than being a part of something, having friends. That's good too, but there is something more that can be achieved, if the teacher will only try.

I'm not sure I'll go back to school for that, I'm not sure I'm up to being a teacher. I haven't made that decision yet. But that's why it appeals to me. I'm not settling--I'm striving to find potential in a life that will give me what I want out of my life. But that's another story.


Renting Blues

So, I'm moving home. This is a rather unfortunate circumstance which I do not entirely regret. I need to save money, and all the reasons I moved to Salt Lake in the first place are mostly null and void, the only exceptions being 1) my independence and 2) living with Dixy, one of my best friends from college. Right now I need to save money (particularly considering that I have none) and hopefully I can get a job down here just as easily as one in Salt Lake.

With these things in mind, I spent half of last week trying to get in touch with my landlords, who were apparently away from their phones the whole time. At last reaching my landlady on Saturday, I informed her that I had lost my job, and that I needed to move out at the end of the month. As we had discussed when I signed my lease, she said she would list my room, and if she could find a renter she would let me out of my lease. I agreed this was fair, and went my way.

Today, I searched online listings to find my room. No luck. I checked all the regular haunts where Dixy found the house in the first place, to no avail. It's not there.

All I want to say is WTF? Did she forget? Am I being screwed? I don't know, I don't really care. I listed the room myself, and hopefully I can get things taken care of so I can get out of the lease. These landlords have been pretty good all around, so I don't want to jump the gun. I just want a peaceful resolution.

So, if anybody is looking for an apartment in Taylorsville, let me know. I've got a pretty sweet place for you.


Waiting in line

You do it at the grocery store.

You do it at the dentists office.

You do it at the bank.

So why do people think it's going to be any different when they come to get their blood drawn?

I mean, seriously folks, if you're going to the hospital--for any reason--you should expect to wait. You'll wait in line to get registered, you'll wait to get shown where you need to be, then you'll wait to have your paperwork processed, then you'll wait to see the nurse/doctor/phlebotomist extraordinaire. If you're on a tight schedule, you should just come another time, because you'll just stress yourself out doing all that waiting, and it's not worth ANYbody's time to have you yelling. So just breathe, sit back in that waiting room chair, and relax. It'll be over before you know it.


Day 2 Adventures

My Facebook status currently reads: Valerie decided that babies and old people are scary.

Today I drew from an old lady (we're talking at least 90), with the teeniest veins I've ever seen. You can SEE them all, of course, because they're right there on the surface, but they were sooooo small. Anyway, so I get my butterfly and syringe, and I'm about to poke her, when she jerks her arm away--so I totally miss her vein with the needle, and then as I stick her, she yelps in my face. It scared me so bad, I thought I would have a heart attack!

I let my supervisor stick her the second time.

Note to all--don't jerk or thrash when someone is about to stick you with a needle. This just makes it more painful, and inevitably they'll just have to stick you again, and probably hold you down this time. Oh, and don't scream. It scares the person holding the sharp pointy thing.

Yay for phlebotomy adventures! Wonder what Day 3 has in store?!

Got Passion?

Just totally had a nostalgic moment for the SUU Honors Program.

There's something about those people, that place that absolutely inspires me. The Honors Program taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to, and that anything I chose to do was totally cool. What else really can do that?

Find your passions. Note the plural.


...both a drug, and not a drug...

Everyone should have a group of friends with whom they can do absolutely anything, or be absolutely anybody. Everyone should have this intimate circle where everything is okay, and yet you still strive to make the most out of yourself to please these other selves that have somehow actually come into being.

I don't think any of the ACIDS read this blog, or they might be embarrassed by the depths of my feelings. I often say how much I love (and often miss) the ACIDS--my core group of friends from high school, who--despite them all marrying and now starting to have children--have remained some of my very best friends in adulthood. Just this last Christmas we inducted Sam's wife Ashley, which made us five. And I hardly ever feel like a third wheel. We're just family--and I have no idea how I will ever get a sixth element to mix into it, but that's neither here nor there.

Today was my 'brother' Michael's 22nd birthday--"Over the Hill" said the card I gave him with a laugh. That makes it about eight and a half years since our friendship began. Boy, just saying that makes me feel old.

These are my true sibs, my blood-brothers and sisters, though different genes flow in each of our veins. With these, I know I will always be able to come back, and find things the same. Different, and yet infinitely the same. Sam and Michael will still do the scary clown, and Whitnee and I will always roll our eyes. Ashley will always be there, sardonic and yet so lovable. And I fear that Sam and I will always quote movies (if not Pirates 3) at each other, and he will always, always inspire my creativity like nothing else in the world.

I value all of my friends dearly, but also very differently. There are things you can tell your best friend that you can't tell your brother, just like there are stories you shared with your brother that are never quite as funny to anybody else. The ACIDS are these sibs, who will always have my adolescence in their hearts when they look at me, just as I do theirs.

A short piece about today's experience at the internship

Drawing blood is interesting and engaging. On adults. Children, however, are intimidating, not merely because their veins are tiny and buried under layers of baby fat, but also because their parentals are hovering protectively, nearly as terrified as their child that you are going to hurt those little arms, etc. Moreover, I do not enjoy being coughed on by nine-month-old children.

That said, on to Day 2.



I've been tagged by my friend Laura on her blog. Rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog
5. Tag 5 people

The nearest book was "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" which I just finished reading (again). On page 123, the fifth sentence reads:

'I like this song,' said Luna, swaying in time to the waltz-like tune, and a few seconds later she stood up and glided on to the dance floor, where she revolved on the the spot, quite alone, eyes closed and waving her arms.

Not nearly as profound as Laura's, but what can you do? Although, it reminds me strongly of the ten-minute play Mara Lefler wrote last fall--it was about two women discovering their identities by dancing alone. I wish I could remember what it was called.

And in case you're confused (not that I expect anyone to double-check me on this) that would be page 123 of the European adult edition, which I borrowed from my roommate Nat.

Let's see...I tag Gregory, Sarah LaRue, DixyAnn (you can use your Myspace blog), Christopher, and Jen. If any of you even read this. :)


Conference weekend

This weekend is the 178th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This morning we had a Solemn Assembly to sustain our new Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. It's been a great conference so far, some very exciting and thought-provoking talks, in addition to the new authorities and general information.

Between sessions, several of my friends and I went over to T-ville High to play games--first we played flag football, then we played softball. Later that afternoon we tried Ultimate Frisbee for awhile, but at that point we just didn't have enough people and the wind was a little strong. But I'll tell you what--it felt so good to get out and play games outside. I'm not the sportiest person in the world, but I like to get out and run around, and today was the perfect day for it.

Also, this afternoon for several hours, my friends and I played and sang the Hymns. I love playing the piano, and I love singing with my friends, so this was just the perfect way to end such a wonderful day. I highly recommend it.



Yes, I am what might be called a Harry Potter fanatic. I'm not absolutely crazy, like some others holding this title, but I have read the books many times, and to this day I still look up JKR interviews and other tidbits. I have also been a member of the Facebook group "Finishing Harry Potter 7 was like Destroying the 7th Horcrux of my Childhood" since finishing the book last summer.

Today I was reading updates on the HP films. I'm not really a big fan of the films (I'm hardly ever a fan of books-made-movies), but I liked the fifth movie, so I'm keeping up-to-date with the future films. I'm interested to see how HBP turns out this Thanksgiving. I also found out today that the seventh book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be split into two films, a Part I and Part II. Though they've been accused of just trying to make more money, the producers claim the split is for entirely creative reasons--it being impossible to squeeze this huge finale into two hours. Like other readers, I wanted to know where in the text the split will take place, but as far as I could discern, Warner Brothers is still mum on this point. So, this reader shrugs and says "Well, we'll wait and see."

However, I was reminded of another unpleasant fact during my readings this afternoon. During her US Tour last fall, JKR announced that "Dumbledore is gay, actually." According to this Newsweek article she explained that Dumbledore loved Gellert Grindlewald, who appears in the seventh book. Now, I had heard this rumor before, but I had fortunately forgotten it. Okay, so this is a touchy subject, because I have several close friends with homosexual tendencies or declarations, but I wish she could have left poor Dumbledore's memory alone. I find this kind of explication from authors somewhat annoying--if you don't include it in your book, just let readers think what they want. All these facts she keeps coming out with--what the characters are 'doing now', who everybody married, what jobs they got, what their children are named, etc etc etc--I find it a sign of fanatic fandom (if such a term was not repetitive enough) but also a poor conclusion. Don't get me wrong--I love JKR, and I love the Harry Potter series, but I felt that the last epilogue left much to be desired. But what can one poor fan do, really, other than complain?

I'm excited that David Yates is directing the last few HP films--I felt he did an excellent job with OotP, and I hope to see similar work for the next--three!



I think I've mentioned before how much I want a dog. I just really love dogs. The last couple of days, I've really wanted to go walking, but I've always disliked walking alone. It makes me feel ridiculous. I don't really like walking with other people, either. I like walking with a dog.

In answer to this conundrum (word courtesy of Melissa), it occurred to me: Maybe I could go down to the Humane Society and see if they'd let me walk a dog! Or maybe three! (not all at once, mind you, that would be a little much.) At any rate, I hopped on their website to get their address and ended up poking around. Would you believe that you have to be a registered volunteer to walk the dogs? And in order to become one, you have to go through an orientation process--the next one being at the end of April!! I would have to wait a whole month to walk a dog!

I'm not a crazy person. I'm not going to steal the dogs. If I could adopt a dog, I would. I would make the investment and take one home. But my landlord doesn't allow pets, and besides, my roommate is afraid of dogs of all sizes. I just want to walk a dog. But I'm not allowed, because I haven't sat through a three-hour session on how to walk dogs. This is far too complicated!

Meeting Expectations

I've discovered over the years that there are certain people whom I will always want to please or impress--some to a greater degree than others. I can pinpoint these people, and I have a good relationship with each of them, albeit a very different relationship in each and every case.

For instance, there is my best friend. I always crave her good opinion of me, and I simultaneously always crave her own happiness. At the core of our relationship, however, is our religion--I feel that the closer I am to my religion, the more peaceful our relationship is. HOWEVER, this is the one person who I can completely be myself with. There is no one else whom I so completely trust, with every aspect of my life. I think everyone should have such a person.

I have another friend, a very close friend. We've gone through four years of college together, pursuing the same career--sometimes a cause for contention or competition, but most often a source of mutual aspirations. Despite everything, I always want to impress this dear friend with my prospects--where I'm working for the summer, where I'm going in six months, my dreams and goals. We've shared them for a long time. But recently we've kind of met a fork in the road--he got into grad school and I didn't. But in addition to that, I've realized that this road we've been traveling together isn't one I want to be on anymore. But, because of the nature of our friendship, I don't know how to explain to him that I don't share these mutual goals and aspirations anymore. The path that I want to take may not be as impressive to him, and I fear losing his respect.

There is my family, particularly my parents. For their sakes, I want to make something of myself. Pursuing our religion helps, but mostly I just want to be able to do things that make them proud of me. Oh, and my mother really wants grandchildren. I'll be perfectly happy to oblige her, as soon as I find their father.

I also have a favorite cousin, and I think for her it's good enough just to be myself. We've made similar mistakes, we share a lot of opinions, we share in the immediacy of our family, and she's honestly the one person whom I can talk childbirth with, without it getting awkward because I don't have my son anymore.

There are my high school friends--God bless them--who are dearer to me than nearly anything else in the world. For them, it's frequently a religion thing: am I dating, what's my calling, etc. They could often care less about my career, as long as its something that makes me happy. And as long as I'm doing SOMEthing. Hopefully soon I'll be able to remedy that. The only problem is that they don't want me to move away. My career would cause that, but my chosen career is becoming less appealing every day.

My professors, for the most part, want me to be successful at this chosen career--and NOT succumb to this religious inclination toward home and babies. Certainly, I want them to be proud of me also, but I think they are going to be the first ones I disappoint.

So what of myself? This is what puzzles me on a daily basis. What expectations do I hold for myself? They are often conflicting. I want to be successful, but as the days roll by, I more and more often question what exactly I want to succeed at. Certainly, there is much temporal glory to be had by being a woman pursuing a career. I have wanted that. But do I anymore? The older I get, the less that seems to matter. I used to mock women of my age (and younger) who settled down and started their families, without ever pursuing anything outside the home. I thought "They're not making anything of themselves, they're wasting their brains." But I don't really think that anymore. There are plenty of important things to do, at every stage of life. Pursuing a career is very grand, and I would love to do it. I love the theatre, I love the arts. But I don't think I could be content living that life. There is so much more to it.

I guess the greatest expectations I have to meet are the ones that HF and I work out between us--what satisfies His expectations while still generating my own happiness. I just have to figure them out, that's all.


My Biggest Inspiration

For more information, visit: www.mormon.org

A little lack of laughter

I was thinking about posting an April Fools' blog--"I'm Getting Married!" or "I'm Moving to Mexico" or something equally ridiculous. But when I tried to write it, I wasn't laughing, so I decided not to.

What is it about real life that takes all the childish humor out of things?

PS: My brother is leaving for the mission field today!