Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

I love Christmas. It was an Apache Christmas for me this year, meaning that it snuck up on me from behind. I guess I was just too caught up in the move, but I hardly knew it was upon me before I was boarding a bus to take a plane home.

There have been beautiful shining moments of Christmas cheer that have shone through in the last couple of weeks - like the Christmas cards I wasn't expecting to receive, the hayride, the program at the assisted living center, the Christmas tree so thoughtfully brought to me, and small moments of selflessness that have enriched my life in the past two weeks.

It's been a busy month. I tell you what, it's been quite the adjustment for me to not have internet access on a daily basis. I feel cut off, for sure, but other than that, I have no complaints about my new situation in Bakersfield.

As for an update on Bakersfield living, I'm adjusting to my job. I thought I had a handle on things and that I was ready to just step into my therapistly duties. It has been a trial by fire - I hadn't realized how much support I was receiving from my supervisor until she was out sick. No one's dead on my watch yet, though, so I guess things went okay without her.

The biggest change in my life these past couple of weeks has been one that I was never expecting. Sure, I hoped for it, but having never experienced it for myself, I had no idea it could happen to me. I have a boyfriend! The news still blind-sides me.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures yet as I was camera-less until about 12 hours ago. But, let me tell you, he's wonderful! He's really been a blessing to me these past few weeks, and I just hope he can say the same of me. In the meantime, let's just say that I'm gigglier than ever (yes, I am slightly ashamed to admit it), I blush more easily these days, and I frequently find myself grinning for no reason whatsoever. My recent relocation is quickly becoming one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Who knew?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

They said I had to go to rehab, but I said . . .

So many changes have occured in the last week. It's quite remarkable to consider how altered my life situation is at present.
  • I have a job. No more unmitigated time for me.
  • I have a job that I have been trained for and am qualified to do. And I really like it (at least, I really like what I've seen). Working in a rehabilitation hospital is heart-wrenching on a good day. No one asks to be admitted to such a facility. But, it's largely rewarding as well. Even small gains are large triumphs to my patients.
  • I have an address! A person can now send me mail and it will come right to me. This is fabulous! I had forgotten what a joy it was. Yes, it's a sparse little home, but it's my home. I really like that.
  • My life has become more quiet. I come home at the end of the work day to my little stuffed Rottweiler named Carl. Carl is always glad to see me, but he never has much to say. I guess that could explain why I've been a little phone dependent these last few days. I'm just not used to all the peace and quiet.
  • I attend a branch now. We're bigger than the single's ward here in B-town, but we're still a branch. It's a new scene for me - full of interesting characters. I'm sure things will pick up once I actually know people.
It's an adjustment, but it's been good so far.

On a tangent, about a year ago, I experienced a similar transformation to this. I stopped wearing a watch mostly because I can't stand the way it gets in the way when I'm playing the piano or typing - something about the way it impedes the movement of my left hand and gets all sweaty while I'm working . . . let's just say that I've lost more than one good watch because I have taken it off and left it on a piano or in a computer lab. Thoughtless really, but it's what I do. Now that I work in therapy services, I have to keep track of time in an unobtrusive way - a way that doesn't look like I'm checking for missed calls from important people. So, I'm back to wearing a watch. I'm not sure how I feel about the change yet. Let's just say that the watch comes off before the shoes at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And so it begins

Okay, so this may not be the wittiest of entries, but it's at least going to catch you up with my life. Friends, I can hardly believe the day has finally come, but tomorrow I will be relocating officially to start my new job. (That's right, the letter of licensure finally came and it's off into the wide world with me.) Let me tell you, it's weird to have all of your life packed into a 4' x 8' trailer - it's a surreal feeling. It seems I've been waiting so long that I could easily wake up tomorrow and have it be another day at home; I wouldn't be driving off to the next great adventure.

It's been a fun month - full of friends and family. I'm glad I got to soak it up. I mean who wouldn't love this?

Or this?

I also got to be home for this:

And this:

And I even got to hear this in person:

In all there was much laughter and dancing, and intermittent coughing and sneezing ('tis the season, after all). And now it's time to grow some more. So if you care to find me, look to the western sky, and please keep in touch!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For anyone who was remotely interested . . .

I went with some wonderful friends to see August Rush last night. It was fabulous - yes, a little formulaic and fantastic, but I loved it. And now I want the soundtrack. And to play the guitar.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

Sorry to disappoint; this post has nothing to do with imbibing inebriants. I just wanted to share few lines from one of my favorite poets. I love his sententiousness. It's not a birthday or any other day set apart to recognize his witticism; I just feel that laughing should happen every day, and I hope these contribute to your daily quota of laughter. (I mean, doesn't that face just make you want to laugh before you've even heard anything he's got to say?)

“What's the Use”
by Ogden Nash

Sure, deck your limbs in pants,
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance . . .
Have you seen yourself retreating?

"Song of the Open Road"
by Ogden Nash

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Off on the right . . .

I love shoes. I know it's irrational. Especially since, paradoxically, on any given day, my preferred pedestrian apparel is barefoot. I also know that this very post makes me fit the "girl" stereotype to a t. I hate stereotypes, or rather, fitting them, but my fetish for footwear cannot be denied. I love that there are shoes for all occasions and seasons. I love shoe shopping. I will be the first to admit that some days I choose my clothes solely based (no pun intended) on which shoes I want to wear that day. I love what shoes can do for a foot, for a person. For me, shoes can really set the mood for the day.

In my defense, may I say that I currently own only 15 pairs of shoes. I know that to some that may sound like many, but in reality it is hardly enough to be considered an adequate entourage of ambling accoutrement. The following is a likeness of my latest addition to the collection. I am a happy woman.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bring on the bermuda shorts!

I thought it was autumn. You know, the season when the sun starts to set earlier, when the leaves turn flame-colored and fall from the trees leaving skeletal trunks to stand naked for the next three months, when there gets to be a bite in the air and you see boots and sweaters on your neighbors, the magical season when you can finally see your breath in the morning. Apparently, I was mistaken.

Oh, the sun still sets earlier, but that's about the only similarity I've noticed as I've settled in once again at home (in this sense, the place where my family dwells). Today was the fifth consecutive day of record temperatures for this time of year (as in, exceeding 90 degress). November hasn't been this warm in Phoenix since the early 30s.

This is wonderful news for the snowbirds (I guess the politically correct term is "winter visitor"). To those of you unfamiliar with this moniker, a snowbird is a person from Canada or the Northern or Midwestern United States who spends a large portion of the winter in the Sunbelt region. Translation: retirees who can feel a cold front moving in from two states away and decide to take up residence near the golf courses.
Now, I've never been the victim of rheumatism, and as such, I can't really tell you what a cold front feels like. but I do know that I do not share the need for 90 degree weather at this time of year. While I am appreciative for the chance to wear flip-flops again, I hope you never hear me sing the song popularized by Anne Murray:

"Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day ...

So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go
To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow..."

Monday, November 5, 2007

I'm not lost, just undiscovered

You know, part of going to a wonderful school full of wonderful people who all do wonderful things means that your view on life becomes skewed. The skewing could affect any number of issues. I will be the first to admit that my take on life, and in part on myself, has been colored largely by my college experiences.

I'm not sharing this experience because I'm looking for sympathy or reassurance. I share it merely as a way of showing my perspective shift. With that preface, let me say that I have many fabulous friends who are male. I'm quite grateful for their friendship. Despite this fact and for whatever reason (I don't really want to conjecture . . . that just gets messy), I have never really been much of a dater. This is just one of those facts that I have come to terms with over the years. It's not that I felt unnoticed, rather, I felt like I was overlooked.

I went dancing this weekend in California with a group of new friends. Maybe it's because I was "the new girl" that I felt self-conscious and on-the-spot, like my every move, comment, and laugh was being weighed on some unseen balance. Once we got to the dance, I was asked to dance right away (amazing what those three little words "do you waltz?" can do for a girl), and I didn't lack for partners throughout the night. For the first time in my life, I felt sought after. This was a new thing to me, and to be completely honest, I liked it. Maybe the change of scene (or "seen" if you stick with the vision theme here) will not be so bad. Regardless, I think I'll be going dancing again soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Call me irresponsible . . .

Anyone else think it's funny that I have two degrees (practically), but it still costs me an extra $20 a day to rent a car because I am not yet 25 years old? What do they expect anyway?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In my defense . . .

Well, friends, I defended my thesis. As if that weren't good enough, I also passed. Let me tell you, it feels so good to be done! I have a few minor changes and corrections to make, but on the whole, I have a finished thesis. It's times like this when I want to say "Yes, I'm awesome!"

Monday, October 29, 2007

And they all lived happily ever after

It's D-day tomorrow (as in defense day), and I must admit, it's a miracle that I have gotten to this point (especially considering my ever-dwindling motivation to work on the thesis anymore - meaning that I'm posting here instead of putting the finishing touches on the presentation . . . yeah). Special thanks are in order to all who have housed me or fed me or gave me work or listened to my frustrations or made me laugh or held me while I cried or just gave your love and support to me in this process. Despite my protestations otherwise, I have really enjoyed my last month in Provo.

I am amazed at how much a person can learn in a month's time. I learned that I am just a couple of inches too long to really sleep well on a couch for more than 2 nights in a row. I learned that onions and tuna are quite tasty in pasta. I learned that even my heavy winter coat (with all the subsequent layers underneath) will not keep me from freezing if I am insistent enough to sit through a snow-laden football game. I learned that LaVell Edward's Stadium looks like a snow globe when the snow is falling and the big lights are on. I was reminded of the schizophrenia of Utah's weather patterns. I learned that I will never tire of the joy I experience when seeing an old friend on campus. I learned that there is always work to be done. I learned that riding a horse will give you a better full-body workout than any gym membership. I learned that I really like to ride horses - fast horses. I learned that I can sleep on a bus. I learned that there's always time for one more laugh. I learned that while I like cats, I really am more of a dog person. I was reminded that it is worth it to make new friends, even if you aren't necessarily putting down roots in a place. I learned that Eva Cassidy has a voice that can soothe my soul. I was reminded of how much I love to teach. I learned that some people think I'm smarter than I am. I learned that it's okay to do hard things (my mom has been telling me this one for years). I learned that the longer you take to do something hard, the harder it becomes. I learned what it feels like to be at a loss for words (and to have your words not come out like you expect - a new experience for me, I assure you. I can now identify with Shakespeare's character Dogberry better than ever before). I learned that while my boots may be made for walking, my feet are not made for walking in boots for extended distances. I learned that California Pizza Kitchen is not so good two nights in a row. I learned that after having lived in Provo for about a quarter of my life, I can't really expect to go to a new ward and not see someone I know. I learned that I always overpack - even when I try underpacking, I still overpack. I learned that Angela's singing resonates directly with my tear ducts. I learned that changing in the back of a moving car with darkly tinted windows, while not the most comfortable or convenient experience, is possible. I learned that I have the best friends in the world. Okay, yeah, the last one sounds cheesy, but it's true. I know some truly incredible people (you know who you are!), and my life has been greatly enriched by the relationships I've made here. If it doesn't hurt to say good-bye, then I guess the experience wasn't worth it. But, the nice thing is, you don't really have to say good-bye . . . it's more of a see you later, and you never know when that later might be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anyone for a game of Risk?

It has finally dawned on me. I can't believe I didn't see it sooner. I don't belong in Provo anymore. This shouldn't surprise me, but it does. I guess you could say that I've become disenchanted. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely place. Peculiar, yes, but then again, what city doesn't have it's own quirks?

I still love the mountains and the seasons. I love interacting daily with so many different people. I love watching people interact on campus ("Who Likes Who at BYU" is still a favorite pasttime). Few things fill my heart with more joy than running into a friend from a previous class or ward that I haven't seen in a while and taking the time to say hello and re-connect (regardless of whether or not you're late for class). But, as I watched the bloodshot, sleep-deprived eyes of students with the haunted look of midterms in their incurious eyes, I realized that I had paid my dues (in the form of tuition, mostly), and it is time for me to leave. I feel almost as if I'm watching a dialogue that I have no part in. Like everyone is on stage for Macbeth and here I am waiting to go on as Linda Loman - a little part in a completely different show, yet I stand in anxiously the wings anyway.

One thing I will miss is the "unexpected overheard conversation" that seasoned many a walk across campus. Mind you, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm kind-of a serial eavesdropper. My mom always said that my big ears got me in trouble because I knew all kinds of things I shouldn't. However, they provided for countless laughs between classes. Like the day the two freshmen behind me argued over which language was truly the language of world domination (I think German finally won out), or the best way to eat an artichoke (including, but not limited to, casting out the evil spirit by incantation prior to cooking). Today's entry was not necessarily original, but having been away for a time, I had forgotten how funny such a snippet could be.
Girl talking too loud and rather whiningly on her cell phone: " Well, we've known each other since July, and we're not even engaged yet . . . "

Ah, the joys of romance in Provo. Yes, I don't think I'll give up my habit just yet. There are far too many delicious morsels yet to be overheard.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something to make you go "hmmmm"

Have you ever noticed how when people wear high-top sneakers, it looks like they have cankles*?

*Cankle (n.) - the place where calf meets ankle but there is no clear distinction where one ends and the other begins.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


October 30. 9:30 AM. 125 Taylor Building.

I'm so relieved.

Life in the Wizarding World

Hogwart's Newest Unforgivable Curse: "Thesify!"

Monday, October 15, 2007

Things always take longer than you think

You know, flexibility was never one of my strong points. Even when I was younger and in dance classes, I could never do the splits or anything like that. I'm usually the type of person that plans, and then sticks to that plan at all costs.

Fortunately for me, some things don't go how I've planned. Like the time I thought I wanted one of those sit-behind-a-desk-and-study-while-you're-pretending-to-work jobs on campus. Things definitely didn't work how I'd planned them, and I ended up having the best job of my life working as a research assistant for a professor I'd never met before. So many blessings came from following the course I never would have seen on my own.

Well, it's turned out that this whole graduating-and-starting-life thing that I had planned on doing in August has taken much longer than anticipated. I went home for a couple days expecting to start my new job right away. A couple of days turned into a couple of weeks - for reasons out of my control - and at first it really bothered me to reply with "I don't know" when people would ask how long I'm in town for. Now, I have returned to my Alma Mater in an attempt to actually cross all my t's and dot all my i's and have a defended thesis. But, after a month of living out of a suitcase at home, the adventure of it all has set in.

I don't know how long I'll be in Utah. Or even what stage of thesis-dom will be attained during this visit. The amazing thing is this: I don't care. I don't care that it's not done yet. I don't care that I have no idea when I'll be defending, when I'll be moving, or when my job will actually start. It's a liberating feeling. Of course, now that I'm free I'll get to grow in some other area. In the meantime, we're on month two out of the suitcase. We'll see if I can make it to three.