God must've had a real laugh when he designed the menstrual cycle. Either that, or feeling particularly sadistic.
I've been craving chocolate for two days. Starting on the rag didn't make that go away. I think I ate five chocolate chip cookies this evening. Enough to make me feel slightly sick to my stomach, but not nearly enough to make the craving go away.
I think I was a little short with my nephew tonight. He's five, and his baby sister is in the hospital, which means their mom has been at the hospital with her as much as possible--which means little Ben misses his mom a lot. Which, in his case, means he acts out. He's constantly attention-seeking, which unfortunately means he's almost constantly causing trouble. I love the little bugger, but he frequently drives me crazy, and tonight I was probably a little harsher than I needed to be.
Cramps make it hard for me to concentrate. I wrote about 4000 words today, but I'll need to remember to read it over carefully in a few days--I kept catching my fingers typing things my brain didn't mean--words were missing, or misspelled, or misplaced, or a totally new one took its place without my brain ever thinking it. In fact, if this blog is a little topsy-turvy, you know where to place the blame.
Mood-swings are the worst. Tonight was especially bad. I had a great day--I sat outside all afternoon and wrote wrote wrote, listening to my music, watching my dad work in the yard, and the dog chase birds. She can do that for hours--and did. Great afternoon. Then my mom made cookies, which I proceeded to consume. Then we got to talk to my brother for a few minutes--he's on an LDS mission in Virginia, which means we don't normally get to talk to him on the phone. But he was in a bicycle accident, he got a concussion and possible a fracture in his cheekbone, so he was at the hospital, and his mission president let us talk to him for a few minutes. Ben told him he needed training wheels! lol. After finally getting Ben to bed, my parents and I sat down and watched "Pursuit of Happyness", which is a swell movie. And now, despite this wonderful day, I'm in a bad mood. I couldn't even begin to tell you why, except for one thing:
They are the bane of human existence. For women, because we have to endure them, and for men because they have to live with them. Force of nature, my friend.
God must've had a real laugh when he designed the menstrual cycle. Either that, or feeling particularly sadistic.
One of the best superhero movies I've ever seen--and if you know me, you know I am a connoisseur of superhero movies. Good plot, good characters, good actors IN the good characters, and of course, supernatural special effects. Prolly going to be one of my favorite flicks of the summer. Go see it.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I went camping up past Strawberry Reservoir. I went with my birthfather, Jason, his wife Jenny, and my three sisters. Jenny's extended family own about half a mountain, and anybody we saw up there was related somehow. We slept in camper-trailers, we rode ATVs, and we went fishing. I will note here that I have been fishing once before, that I can remember, and it was at Paradise Pond when I was about 7. So this was a new experience for me. I didn't catch anything, but I had fun nonetheless.
Now, I'll admit that there were some awkward moments. Probably most of these people (since they were from my birthfather's wife's side) had no idea who I was. Jenny was a trooper at introductions, and most of them were polite enough to smile, nod, and pretend they understood, at least while I was present. They'd dig out the old skeletons when they weren't around. There was one woman--great aunt somebody from across the way--who was very confused, and said "Oh! I didn't know he had one of those" with an awkward pause afterward. Thankfully, that was as bad as it got.
On the whole, I really enjoyed being adopted. Growing up, it didn't mean a whole lot to me, because it was a closed adoption and I had very little information about my birthparents. No names, no pictures, only a short medical history and some basic stats. I thought about them sometimes, wondered what they were like, whether I had siblings out there. I always wanted sisters. And actually, I always wanted an older brother, though I knew that was impossible. (Michael filled in rather nicely.) But generally, the nice part about adoption came after I found out who they were.
It's like having two families. And in a good way. I have two sets of parents, I have three little sisters to tease (and hopefully be a good example for), I even have four sets of extended families. I'll tell you who's been the best about all of it, and it's Jenny, my birthfather's wife. She has no blood connection to me, she has no real reason to treat me as well as she does. But she does. She treats me like one of her own daughters--sometimes better! It's never awkward. And Jason loves me probably more than I deserve. He's exactly the kind of dad I always wished I had--big, boisterous, teasing, outgoing. Don't get me wrong, I love my father--he's a skinny, quiet guy who can do anything, and he's always there for me. But there's just something that I love about big, boisterous father figures. Now I've got two of the best dads in the whole world. No one could be luckier.
This is how I view adoption: it's gaining more family. It's just more people to love.
There are thirty pages missing from my new book.
I bought The Well of Ascension on Friday. It's the sequel to Mistborn: The Final Empire, both by Brandon Sanderson. Fantastic series, by the way. I spent twenty dollars of my hard-earned graduation money on a pristine hardcover edition. I've been reading it avidly. So I'm in bed, it's 11:00 at night, I'm nearing the end of this huge battle where many of my favorite characters are being hewn down and suddenly, the words aren't making sense--how did that character make a six-day journey to suddenly be in the middle of a nonsensical conversation that has nothing to do with what was just happening? And then, I look down at the page numbers. (By the way, I'm not a huge fan of numbering at the bottom of the page.) I'm missing thirty pages in the middle of the climax! I'm aghast--I flipped back and forth, trying to discover if they had been misplaced, but no! The signature was repeated twice, meaning the thirty pages were replaced by the following signature, then repeated in its proper position. There couldn't have been a worse thirty pages to miss. Of course I read on, but the climax of the book was absolutely ruined. All the leading action, the tension, lost, and now I can't even recreate it, because I already know how it ends. Sort of. I'm so angry.
I'll probably go to B&N at some point, see if they have an unadulterated copy, see if I can make an exchange for my defective book. I don't know what their policy is. At any rate, if I can find a clean copy, at least I can read what I missed. So. Incredibly. Frustrating.
Today is a glorious day.
It's been overcast all day, the smell of rain in the air. If there's anything I like better than rain, its that time on the verge of rain, when the air is cool and full of that glorious smell. There is nothing else quite like it.
I'm heading off to go camping with my birthfather and family this weekend, and the flood warnings should give us a hint toward the weather. However, camping in the rain is nothing new to me of recent days--try cooking in it! (Alas, this story is part of my still-unwritten Arches blog!) But if all weekend could be like today, I would be in heaven.
It's creative weather, my friends. Days like today stir my creative juices. And so the muse descends...
Today, I wrote. I'm working on a piece of what I like to call "contemporary fantasy". A novel, perhaps even a children's novel, but we'll see.
I started writing my second chapter today--my kids' first day at school. Its rather a special school, so I wanted to serve up the details, but I'm not sold yet on what I accomplished. The chapter is very long, and it covers all their classes, but not in any kind of depth. I skim through each class, introducing the topic, the teacher, and in most cases a bit of dialogue. But I'm wondering whether it wouldn't be better to skim a bit more in some places and a bit less in others. But I guess that's what revision is for, eh?
Today I also created 41 new characters--other children at my school. There are about 100 all told, but these I created to reference at need. You would not believe how difficult it is to create, at whim, 40-odd people from nothing, and have them all be different and in some way unique, especially when applying rules of a not-quite-normal world. But there they are, and hopefully they get a bit more fleshed-out over the years.
Tomorrow I begin the third chapter, where we meet the fourth (of four) protagonists. I'm very excited. Today I established what might be my favorite character, but that remains to be seen. I love writing! These are my babies, my children of the present. I watch them grow day by day with great excitement.
Oh, and today I decided that even though I really don't like Temple of Doom, I still really like Harrison Ford, and that I'm really excited for #4. Oh, and I decided that I like David Cook after all. I didn't like him at first, but tonight I decided I like him. I still think Archuleta will win (simply because he has thousands of teeny-boppers AND the producers behind him), but I can also support the rock-star career of David Cook. We hope, anyway.
I promise that the Arches blog IS coming, there is much to write about, many fun stories to pass on to posterity. I just haven't had it in me the last few days, but believe me, it will come.
Tonight I finished a really good book. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, a professor at BYU, actually. It's the first really good new fantasy book I've read in awhile--I've continually turned back to my old favorites, disappointed or bored by newer stuff. But this one was a pleasant surprise, a recommendation from my Sam. Interestingly, Sanderson is the one asked by Robert Jordan's widow to finish The Wheel of Time series--ergo, I had heard his name before reading his book, but only made the connection afterward. After reading Mistborn, I have some hope for the conclusion of Jordan's epic--don't get me wrong, I fanatically read Wheel of Time at one point in my life, but as it got stringed out and the books got more and more involved and covered less and less time, I lost some of my fervor for the books. But hopefully we will see a good--and conclusive--end to it. At any rate and either way, I really enjoyed Mistborn, can't wait to get my hands on the second book.
Getting onto Sanderson's website somehow led me to BYU's--I'm not sure what the connection is there, except that I've been meaning to check out BYU's undergraduate catalog for awhile. Do not mistake me--I have very little intention of ever attending BYU. However, I did hope to find some inspiration there, as far as my future goes.
I'm very seriously--almost certainly--considering going back to school for a second undergraduate degree. Hear me out.
I went to college the first time, absolutely certain of what I wanted to study. Theatre and English sometimes struggled for control over my soul--theatre eventually winning out--but it was always those two things. Sometimes I was one major, sometimes the other, for a long time both, but it was always those two. I never strayed, I never considered other options. I knew what I wanted to do, and I did it.
I've come--long before I graduated--to regret that singlemindedness. I certainly regret my decision to graduate early, missing the chance to take a few extra classes, to spend a little more time preparing for real life. But that is neither here nor there.
I want to take more classes. I hope always to be furthering my education, if not formally, but while I have the opportunities to do so, I would like to stay in school. I want to study things I have never studied before. I want to find and develop new passions--maybe even ones I would never find otherwise.
Thus, my search of the BYU (and UVU) catalog, hunting for ideas. Classes I could take. It appeals to me greatly to simply enroll--without declaring a major, with no set plans, just to explore, to learn. I want to take classes for the sake of increasing my knowledge, without worrying about graduation, without worrying about GPA, without any other pressures. I've come to learn how little those things actually matter, and I want the chance to do it over again.
I want the chance to be involved in things. I loved being a theatre major, I loved doing the shows--but that's all I did. I was involved in Honors, but I could only participate up to a point, because the theatre always came first. I didn't join other clubs, I forfeited my involvement in those I did join, because the shows consumed so much of my time and energy. Without the shows, I can only imagine the possibilities.
Melissa and I had a long discussion in the car on the way to Moab, about the current generation, and about why people in this day and age jump from job to job, from career to passion to addiction, without truly dedicating their lives to anything. I don't really want to become that, I don't want to be dissatisfied with my life. I have experienced passion, I know the hold it can have. I wouldn't say that I have lost my passion, it's still there, but I believe--I must believe--that I have a capacity for other passions. I want to find those. They may not be as glorious or as invigorating as the theatre, but I hope to find new passions that are a little more stable, in more ways than one.
I have a great deal of blogging to catch up on--I took notes while in Moab this weekend. Oh yes, many fun and funny stories to re-experience about the camping trip. But those will save for another day, hopefully when I am more awake.
In the meantime, however, I want to laud the virtues of the movie "Juno"
First of all, its a successful Sundance film. I'm trying to determine what it is exactly about them that I can sense. There's definitely something. After the movie, my mom said, "It's a Sundance film" and I said "I know", though I hadn't really thought about it until that moment. Food for further thought.
Secondly, it has a strange, quirky, and totally lovable protagonist, who does nothing you expect her to and everything you want her to. I'm in script love.
Thirdly (and almost most importantly) it has Allison Janney in it. And, as a bonus, you also get the lovely Jennifer Garner in an odd but nevertheless lovely role.
And Fourthly, its just plain heartwarming. Sometimes my mother surprises me with what her Netflix sends home, but this one was actually one we all--my father included--rather enjoyed. It made me cry on several separate occasions. I'm about to go watch it a second time (before it gets sent back to Netflix) and see if it can do it again even though I know what happens.
See you tomorrow (I hope) with the Road Trip blog (and pictures!)
At Sea World last Monday, I got sunburnt.
This photo should help demonstrate--please observe the lines, the redness. Oh yes, very burnt.
Here we are, over a week later, and it still hurts. My arms are a lot better (although still peeling) but the burn on my chest is still excruciatingly painful.
Now, it's my own fault. I take full responsibility. I didn't put on sunscreen, and I wanted to get burnt--just not this bad. Besides the fact that I thought we had aloe vera with us at the time. Nope. And there was none to be found at the grocery store or the little hotel store. You'd think, in sunny California of all places, that they would have loads of the stuff. Nope. None.
But I would also think, a week later, that it would have gone away by now. That upon coming home, I would be able to relax and put some goo on it that would help. But alas, poor unfortunate soul that I am, the curse of Sea World is still upon me, and it makes me angry.
Word to the wise: wear sunscreen. Your potential tan just isn't worth it.
Today I would like to write about a specific element of popular culture:
I have decided that Star Wars is a phenomenon. It transcends generations, along with the normal social and societal boundaries associated with cult fiction. Star Wars affects everybody--the old, the young, the popular and the nerdy, the intellectual and the oblivious. I can think of nothing else that does this--not Harry Potter (not yet, anyway), not Pirates, not even Lord of the Rings. In all those cases, somebody looks down on it, somebody criticizes, somebody snubs, and somebody takes it wildly out of control. Star Wars is different.
For example: My parents and I recently visited Disneyland. While there, we stopped to watch the "Jedi Academy" in Tomorrowland. It's a show, where "Jedi Masters" invite children of the audience to enter the Academy and learn the art of a lightsaber. It's a Kodak moment for the parents, of course, particularly when Darth Vader and Darth Maul enter the amphitheater with stormtroopers and duel with their kids. Perfectly charming.
However, my attention was drawn several times away from the stage and into the audience. The adults were enjoying this nearly as much as the kids--they certainly cheered for the Jedi, and booed and hissed the Sith, and were overjoyed when Yoda's overamplified voice echoed from the speakers overhead. One woman in particular was totally in the moment--in her sixties at least, she bowed to the Jedi as they came in, and theatrically cringed away from the Stormtroopers at their entrance. This proud grandmother did not seem the least bit abashed at her cultish behavior.
Furthermore, when my father and I sat down for a (nauseating) ride on Star Tours, the ride attendant (wearing a rather unfortunate bright-orange jumpsuit like Luke's X-wing flightsuit) wished us a good ride and said, of course, "And may the Force be with you." A woman behind me said then--and I quote--"I would give anything to wear an orange suit and say "May the Force be with you" to people and get paid for it!"
All I could think was, Yeah you'd enjoy it--the first five times. After that, I'm pretty sure the thrill would wear off.
My nephew Ben is just discovering Star Wars. He's five. You would not believe how many similar five-year-olds I saw running around California with toy lightsabers and padowan robes. Do you know how much they charge for those things? The robes--a cut-out piece of brown fabric that would rip if you looked at it funny--cost over fifty dollars. I don't know how much the toy lightsabers cost, but I imagine they are similarly astronomical. Star Wars is a money-making machine that will never die--no matter how terrible the new movies are.
What I'm forced to wonder is whether George Lucas had any idea what he was creating. I'm sure he claims some awe-inspiring vision of the future, but I imagine it was more an accident of fate. Our society needed inspiration, and the ham-handed filmmaker handed it to us with some cheap new tricks and some lucky finds on the acting side.
Speaking of which--Indy comes out in two weeks. I hope that it's good--it would be terrible to ruin the first three fifteen years after the fact!