Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Faking It

Whenever a door closes, another one (or a window) opens. Variations of such. It just wasn't meant to be. Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. You're so much better off without him, her, them. Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.
Fake it till you make it.

A lot of people say a lot of things about love. Some say it is an illusion, or that there are different levels unseen to the human eye, and each has its own different set of rules. Some also say that it is foolish to give love without receiving it in return, instead going about it in increments, until the person to whom you are giving your heart matches your bet and then raises to the next level. That is the logical economical way of going about loving people, like it's a casino game.

But in my life, I've come to realize a curse I seem to have that's maybe not a curse at all. I seem to always be giving my heart to people who either don't really want all of it, want it only some of the time, or change their minds and try to return it later. Or, I'll want to give it but when I go to look for it, it's gone and I can't seem to remeber who I loaned it to that hasn't yet given it back. Life is funny that way. Great minds are always quoting about how you can choose everything. But there are a lot of things that I find myself doing that I didn't choose. Holding onto things that my mind doesn't want anymore, or fighting against feelings that I can't explain, I don't know where they come from.

I like to think of myself as an independant force, completely in control of my own actions. But sometimes I have to wonder who is really pulling the strings. Because I know it's not me. Or is it just a different version? In times like these, I find that I enter a semi-liquid state. No longer a rock, my feelings change drastically and daily, and I often don't know which way is up. But I pretend I do, because showing my fear and asking for help would be totally unacceptable. So I freeze or I boil, depending on the day. But on the outside, I'm jello. I bounce back from everything that happens to me (or it looks like I do) and wiggle in a cheery way so that no one gets down by being around me. (I actually really do this, in case you've never seen it.) I smile and laugh and sometimes I think am actually a more likeable person when I'm secretly miserable.

Sometimes, I'm proud of my ability to so convincingly fake it until I make it. But I have to wonder, what happens when I do make it, but can't stop faking?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Insurrection in Matrimonia

I love creme brulee. It's a delicious french dessert, and it never fills you up, and yet somehow you end up regretting it, but in a good way. But my favorite part is the crispy sugary crust that coats the top of the underlying gooiness... and this is where that tangent ends. However, the tangent did have a point, and it was that sometimes, there is a gooey exterior hidden underneath a sometimes brittle or sugary topping.

In the first case, I would like to point out exibit A. The roomate, I think we're calling her Ohara, who is actually a lot like me. You see, at first, I had her pegged as one of those girls who is, ah... shall we say, kind of a brat. Daddy's girl, different boy every week, yada yada yada... but in short, I was way off. She's actually a super nice, way cool person who is secretly hilarious. And then there's Helga. Exhibit B. I somehow managed to leave this out last time, but ironically enough my second (obviously not the first, which was the "I hate animals" convo) impression of her was pretty good. She seemed nice, actually. And this is where we draw the line between the creamy broads and the rotten fruits.

See, we had a conversation in my house tonight that didn't just scare me, it kinda terrified me. Because somehow, it started out as a free-for-all making fun of engagement pictures time, and before we knew it, most of the cynics present had brought out their prototype wedding rings and were comparing band sizes and carat preferences. Can I just say AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I appear to be living with a house full of closet matrimoniphiles. Are you SERIOUS!? Here, I thought that moving into an older ward of house dwellers was like anti-engagement insurance. And now I see I've unwittingly joined the secret chapter of Marriage Hopefuls Anonymous.

I mean, don't get me wrong, marriage to the "right one" is great and everything, but I tend to look at is more as a life-changing pact between two people who are really, really into each other. Not so much as an institution that must be adhered to, or a final clause in a contract that one has to complete before graduation, or else.

But although I am a confirmed and dedicated member of the Insurrectionists of Matrimonia guerilla party, I have to stop and wonder when moments of honest insanity like this happen: are we all (and by we, I mean single women in Provo) really just kidding ourselves? Is everyone really just trying to display themselves to their best husband-catching advantages, like in a Jane Austen novel? Meanwhile man-hating facades decorate every other doorway and spiteful literations abound, but all we really seek is an end to our false desire for independance? We advertise ourselves as big game, more impressive and worth a considerable challenge, but we seem to put up a surprisingly pathetic struggle when the hunters actually do come calling.

It's a little like a theme park, actually. (And when I run out of analogies, I'll let you know.) All signs advertise a big scare and lots of adrenaline fueling escapades, but gosh darn if there isn't lots of cotton candy and seatbelts to destroy the illusion of a real adventure. Kid stuff, really. And I'm partially joking about the cotton candy. It's delicious, even if it really is just spun sugar with a little high-fructose corn syrup (which is essentially, sugar) and a little flavoring thrown in.

All I'm really saying is... Girls, honestly. If we really expect people to believe our declarations of stand-alone awesomeness, shouldn't the coating go all the way to the inside? And not just a fake diploma or two (Ahem, MFHD...) to throw off the scent of desperation? Let's just be WHO WE REALLY ARE. (Whether that be sassy know-it-alls, wish-we-could-be-bad girls, or scary German perfectionists...seriously scary ones) Because, we AREN'T catalogue entries or items on a dessert menu.

And inevitably, I think the men we're truly after (but say we aren't) won't be looking just at the surface, anyway.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who Am I, in 800 Words or less...

This is a paper that I wrote for a class the other day. I was supposed to introduce myself and explain why I am passionate about my major in around 750 words. This is what I came up with at 2 in the morning.

The Talk I Walk
As I sit here writing this cleverly worded, seven hundred and sixty word ode to my existence, I have to wonder if this is a feat outside of my abilities. To explain myself in under eight-hundred words would indeed be impossible, if I was trying for any level of comprehensiveness. But, since I am not, I will simply go where the meandering stream of my consciousness takes me, and hopefully it will afford insight with at least some clarity attached to it.

I will begin by sharing that I once fell in love with a movie called Stranger than Fiction, a story about a man who has the unfortunate fate of being the main character in a story that ends in his death. Throughout his daily routine, he is followed by the voice of the story’s writer as she cunningly narrates his actions and thoughts. What I wouldn’t give for that to happen to me!
...Only instead of a rather funny but also sad story where the hero ends up barely escaping death, I would prefer mine to be a hilarious comedy of disastrous proportions in which the heroine narrowly avoids her fated demise.

You see, my main talent lies in looking at the world through a different sort of scope, and then describing what I see in my own words. If I were allowed to narrate the events around me, I feel we would all find things much more fascinating, really. This is because, in the World According to Veronica, no one would ever walk. Why walk, when you can schlep, jaunt, stroll, saunter, strut, lollygag, or stride with purpose? Why speak, when you can articulate, declare, exclaim, sputter, cry, pronounce, utter, and whine? If you could choose, would you prefer to sit, or park yourself? Would you rather rest, or laze about?

I can’t speak for you, but I can articulate in your favor, if I so deign. Likewise, you can disagree, or else you can flagrantly oppose my point of view.

Some might say that the language I use to explain the things I see, think and feel is unnecessary, or that I overcomplicate things by thesaurus-sizing the naturally small and simple. I, however, believe that the way I have of looking around me is not only surprisingly entertaining, but also educational. There is merit in discovering the most colorful way to paint a sentence, just as there is pleasure in poetry. Aristotle said that our urge to write and perform comes from our natural desire to imitate, and the pleasure it brings us to do so. How we present our views to the world through speech and letter is, to me, a most glorious science.

What you can tell about a person from the way they communicate is not only a fascinating study, but also is essential to finding out who they truly are. If each person is a mystery to be solved, then each word must be a clue. Where are they from? Are they serious, intelligent, daft, silly, profound, or deranged? What propels them? And what do they think of you, or of themselves? I like to think of myself as a successor of Sherlock Holmes in this particular area. I take ridiculous amounts of delight in watching and listening to the exchanges of others, just to see what I can see and hear about them that they don’t even know they’re giving up. Does that person know what their body language suggests, as they incline towards the other in an engrossed manner? Am I the only one who notes the rancorous tone of an instructor who has gone too long without luncheon?

The pursuit of these truths is secondary in my heart only to my desire to share them. The goal of my studies is to increase my ability to understand, so that I can then find a way to benefit others with what I have learned. I want to tell stories that change the lives of those who experience them through my telling. I hope to hone my skills to a point where I can literally evoke specific emotions, just by finding the proper choice of words. The power to move and impress through expression has long been one of the most valued gifts a human can possess, and I would love nothing more than to go down as one of the gifted. A chronicler of epic proportions.

***Also, Robbie, I would like you to know that if you died and I got all of your money, I would use it to write a NYT Bestselling book and I would name one of the characters after you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Involuntary Voyeur

I'm stealing the idea for this post from something Janell once said to me about a friend she had. This friend used to complain about those who held personal phone conversations quite loudly and in very populated areas, thus somewhat forcing the innocent bystanders to go from minding their own business to taking a quasi-intimate part in the unfolding drama. Thus becoming rather unwilling eavesdroppers on something they just can't tune out.

Now, I'm not going to say that this point of view doesn't have merit, I'm simply suggesting that perhaps there is a line by which we can distinguish what is involuntary, and what is, in fact barely veiled fascination coupled with righteous indignation that someone "made" you listen, and now you just can't stop. Yes, that person was being incredibly inappropriate by talking about their salicious love affair in your earshot.

But, let's be honest. Don't you just feel a kind of human obligation to find out more, just to make sure you don't judge them preemptively for their weakness? I mean, what if their wife was a cruel, haranguing sort of mistress? Or what if the pool boy was the one who initiated? These are questions that can't be cleared up by a general sort of listening in, and might call for a more dedicated investigation. So do you then follow the indiscreet conversation-haver down the aisles of the store until they unwittingly divulge more? And why stop there, when you can make a note of their license plate and follow them home to further continue your study? I ask you, since they are obviously FORCING you to personally stalk them for more information, what choice did you have in the matter? None!

I submit that THEY are the real reason you are now sitting outside their house with a walkie-talkie, tuning into the frequency of their handheld portable as they check their voicemail. After all, there's no way you could've just tuned out to the intricacies of their personal drama. It was almost as if they were holding you down and shouting it in your ear, right? And heaven forbid they discuss such things within a mile radius of you, because that is youre personal airspace. If they'd honestly wanted you NOT to listen, they would have holed up in a closet somewhere with the door tightly shut, and whispered their secrets. Then again, you still probably would've found a way, and therefore have every right to monitor and judge their every syllable. Am I right?

Yes, talking on a cell phone in a public place is just like taking hostages. Creepy, stalkery hostages. Yesssss.

Musical Dysfunctionality, In the Key of V Sharp

The music I listen to is as eclectic as I am.

The soundtrack that accompanies my life, as set on shuffle, begins with a few classics from Andrea Bocelli, the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, and then jumps to a lively number by a band called the Plain White T’s. Michael Buble is accompanied by some jams from the eighties, David Bowie and then New Order. Black Eyed Peas make an appearance, also some salsa dance music by a Portuguese artist, I’m not sure what he’s called.

Recently, I've been giving some thought to how this reflects on me as a person. If I could have one wish granted me (under the stipulation that it had to be completely frivolous), I think I would choose to have a motion picture style soundtrack follow me wherever I go. That way, whenever I walked into a room, (depending on the room) everyone would stop and stare in awe as I strutted through the doors to Better Than Ezra’s Juicy, or ACDC Back in Black.
If it was a date, it would be No Sleep Tonight by the Faders. A chance meeting with a hot stranger would be Fever, probably the Beyonce version. Cutting loose and going with your inner urges would call for Ashlee Simpson’s LaLa. And, of course, everyone has to have a seductive “You’re mine, you just don’t know it yet” song. Mine would be Invincible by Ok Go.
Walking away would always be Madly by Cake. And whenever I get really pissed off, someone should blast I’m So Sick by Flyleaf. People would be so terrified of me they would probably cower. I’d love that.
No one can ever tell when I’m so worried I want to scream, but if I had a soundtrack for that mood it would be Restless by Evanescence. Most of my problems in romance are caused when the soundtrack fits You Don’t See Me, from the Josie soundtrack. No girl’s life would be complete without a little Kelly Clarkson, and mine in particular reminds me a lot of Hear Me at the moment. Or Hold On by KT Tunstall. Yeah. If I had a groove, it would be just as confusing and unrelated as each moment of my life seems to be.

But unlike my life at the moment, it would ALWAYS freaking ROCK.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Comical Tragedy that is My Life

I've decided that my life is becoming a series of inescapable patterns. I sleep in every morning because I stayed up too late the night before. I enroll in school anew each Fall, only to be completely disassociated with the concept come Winter. I work all summer, and yet somehow, I have no money to show for it, just a summer romance that started who knows how. I date the same three people over and over. They all have different names, but wait, oh scratch that sometimes the names repeat. It becomes necessary to explain the difference when I talk about the past, because all the events seem so similar. Recurring.

I am caught in a time warp. Every new thing I try settles into the same old rythm, and I hate it. People with names that rhyme with showy or dreg should be avoided at ALL costs. A brief moment of complete newness becomes special and treasured. Where is the novelty? For someone who thrives on creativity, I am surprisingly unoriginal. I make the same mistakes that everyone else does, only they know better and so do I. I observe, and yet I learn little about what causes bliss. I search for comfort, and when I find it I abhorr it. Safety, protection, routine... all these are things I can't live with or without. When will I reconcile the thirst for adventure with the practicality that is in my nature? How can I stop the harmful patterns from repeating, when they seem to come unnanounced and uninvited, but most often?

And why doesn't perfection repeat itself? Why is it only the faults that keep fissuring over and over, into chasms that we can't escape? Is it our nature to need painful lessons over and over, when the good ones stick after only one try? In Shakespeare, the comedies are defined by an embellishment of characters as worse than they are. More flawed. More prone to making mistakes. And in the beginning, everyone is either broke, in jail, a confirmed bachelor or spinster, terminally ill, insane, scheduled to die, or on the run. Sometimes all of the above. In the end, though, everyone whose lives sucked at the start turns around completely. Their ships come in, aquittal sweeps in from the wings and saves them from follies, and they get married. But only after about two and a half hours of shennanagins, mix-ups, and hamartias.

Tragically, the cycle is the same, only the hero(es), who are painted as idealistic representations of human life (demi-gods), start out on top of the world, and then usually die at the end. This is as a result of something they did that could've been avoided. Hubris (unforgivable pride), hamartia (a tragic mistake), or just a blatant disregard for fate.

So which type of hero am I? On days like today, I'm willing to believe myself the tragic heroine. A slave to fate, and no matter what I try to do to stop it or turn things around, everything still works out exactly as the blind man predicted. Chaos. Loss, horribly short sighted mistakes. And a lack of creativity that leaves them stuck going through the plot without a clue.

I suppose things could be worse. I could, afterall, be the one who dies at the beginning of the play.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't Follow My Footsteps, They Go in Circles

Tell me who you walk with,
And I'll tell you who you are.
But don't walk this way with me
My friend, you won't get very far.

Because the steps I take are rather strange
The path unsure and bent.
The words I've carved along the way
Are not the ones I meant.

I never said I knew the way
To where it is we're going.
So don't look to me for assurance
I'm tired of pretended knowing.

Don't look at me to exemplify
The traits you want to learn.
I'm years away from translating
These things through pain I've earned.

Don't walk with me if you are lost
And need someone beside you.
I'm just as lost as you, or more
And will hinder more than guide you.

This is a Hagtatorship.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I've just come to a very stunning realization. First impressions are ALWAYS right. I think back to the first time I met my new roomate, (let's just call her "Helga", a nickname of her own making, might I add) and how I joked with my friends that I thought she was heartless and evil because literally the 12th - 14th words she said to me upon our first meeting were 'I hate animals'--a very brisk sentiment that I completely CANNOT relate to, because first of all I was raised on a farm and pretty much feel comfortable with anything four legged and furry, and secondly because I ah, have a soul?
I mean HONESTLY. WHO hates ALL animals? I was tempted to assault her with a 20 questions style interrogation, something along the lines of a three year old's first conversation having to do with pet mortality, when they find out fluffy, just like all living things, must too die.
"Even kittens? Kittens too?" I would ask. Followed by, "But what about puppies? Not the puppies! ...Or...flying squirrels? With their cute little noses? ...Koala bears? Baby monkeys?..."

Somehow, I was willing to overlook that, though. And I tried to forge a tentative, 'we live in the same house and sometimes chat together' kind of a bond, I really did. But THEN, as the Fates would have it, the owners (who must have a truly sick sense of humor, and I love them) put another girl into the same room with Helga, (we'll call her 'Ohara', for reasons known only to me) and she---wait for it---has her very own dog. After we realized that this was for real, I felt like laughing. Helga, on the other hand, went from a personality like a chocolate covered lemon (extreme bitterness, thinly veiled with sugar and fat) to a pretty much constant state of royally pissed off. And I'm emphasizing the p- in pissed and the ff- in off. (She enunciates a lot, it's actually kindof more terrifying than a German accent would be.) Couple that with a severe case of disdain for all peoples other than herself, and you've pretty much got the gist of Frau Helga von Ballbreaker, the new blight to my existence.

Anyway, after about a week of hatred in Casablancaland, (and us letting the dog in literally whenever she leaves the house) it appears she has finally decided to let the lid off, and stop pretending. Aw hell. This subtle erosion culminated this evening with a very candid display of evil right in front of one of my closest friends, as we were talking about a girl who had recently been missing and was presumed found and deceased. She listened for about five seconds to the conversation, scoffed, and then said "Well, I'm sorry but that's what she gets for going hiking on her own. I mean that's just stupid." Said like /stoo-pihd/. My mouth literally hung open wide enough to land planes in. Then, in another telling moment, she ragged on the obvious stupidity of a perfect stranger who she had called on the phone at approx 1am, questioned about something she may or may not have had ANY knowledge of, and then hung up and proceeded to tell everyone in the room (including my 2 guyfriends who she had just met) what an idiot this girl obviously was. I mean, yikes. That was after a 20 second conversation. I've been living with her for 12 days now, just imagine the conclusions she has drawn on me.

I'm scared. Just when you thought you had every seriously deranged architype of cliche roomate, nope. You were wrong. There's still yet one more opportunity to fear your own home, and it's only a bargain $265 a month! Asprin and cost of evasive dining not included.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Things I Steal...

I'm sorry, but my British friends are SO funny I can't help myself!


This is a serious undertaking.
A pudding like that, you pay mainly for the mining rights.
See you on the other side.
I think I’m in orbit.
Woohah! Struck fruit!
Dude seriously, that’s fruit now but when it started it was a patosaurus.
Eat quickly. Tectonic drift. Just sayin’.
That was first crossed in 1868. Many died in the attempt.
Pudding like that, you don’t get sugar overload so much as impure sugar AND DIABETES.
Pace yourself. One timezone at a time.
There can be only one. On cosmological grounds.
That’s not so much crumble as decline and fall.
That’s not so much custard as - I stand corrected, that is so much custard.
I think I see plums, and Lesotho.
Nice how they supply it in a bath. For when you feel dirty afterwards, inside.
Self-justifying pudding. If you can carry it to the table, you’ve earned it.
Hey did you like the Bourne Ultimatum last night
Yeah it was OK.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Uncensored Tribute to Cali

For update blog on trip to Californica, please see other blog: killercheesepuff.blogspot.com