Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bobbing Along

So today I was walking with my dear friend C down by the river (spring has finally returned to Manhatta!)

Along came one of those big ships that are red and look like they are sailing in from 100 years ago. I love these ships and I was transfixed. C, however, was more taken by a smaller glinting object that was coming down the river between the ship and us. What could it be? I stepped over the knee-high railing (the purpose of this railing being what?) and got as close to the riverbank as I could without falling into the surely freezing and hepatitis-filled river. I still couldn't make out what the object was. C stepped over and with her more discerning eyes saw that it was sort of boxy, sort of like a bird house, sort of like...Oh! It was a television set!

A big television set just bobbing jauntily down the Hudson.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

From the Un-Electronic Archives

A prize to the person who can tell me what the correct antonym is for electronic. Analogue? Stone-age?

At any rate, here is a journal entry from this date in 1998, when I was a sophomore at BYU (names changed except if the person is famous/famousish):

Afton [I used to address my journals to imaginary people],

Well, I saw another really good Mormon play tonight. It was by the same guy who wrote Gadianton, Eric Samuelson (I think I wrote about it back in Naomi or something). It's so encouraging to see good Mormon art! Like the other day, I went to the museum and saw the Minerva Teicherts. She was fabulous. So beautiful. So artistic.

I feel like something is about to happen. But it's probably just spring fever. But this guy in the play tonight--Bob Smith--everytime I see him in anything, I go slightly mad. He was in Gadianton, as well as "Just One of the Bunch" (a Mask Club from last year). And I'm wildly attracted to him. Well, not wildly--but--I dunno.

Then there's Lenny. I would kiss him in a heartbeat--I think. But I know he'd never go for me. He told me to contact Heath Rodney (this guy a year young than us in school), because we both like Gerard Manley Hopkins and Hilda Doolittle. And I think, initially, NO WAY! He doesn't even know who I am. How embarrassing would that be? But I also think--Why not? I could just write him a letter, and if he thought I was a weirdo, he could just ignore it and we'll never see each other anyway. But I keep thinking he might be MY NEXT HOPE. I mean, he doesn't have any preconceived notions of me. So who knows? WAIT! I KNOW! Nothing will happen! Nothing's ever happened! Why would it now?!

What a depressing thought. Gee whiz. But it's high time. I'm 19 years old! Man!


P.S. Did I ever tell you that Jared (from Deutsch) is engaged! HA HA!

Genealogy, I Am Doing It

Mainly because it is more productive than Solitaire but not much less mindless.

When I was a Laurel (for you who are not Mormon, this is the oldest grouping of girls in the Young Women program of the Church), I did as my big capstone project one of those huge 15-generation pedigree charts. I did it in pencil so I could make changes to it but it is falling apart and getting close to illegible. Plus it's very outmoded here in the 90s (this is a joke about how I said once "This is the 90s" when it was really 2000 or 2001).

So I'm transferring it all to Personal Ancestral File (PAF), which is splendid and which you can download for free at, and updating the info I have with info from Ancestral File (AF), also found at FamilySearch.

I know a lot of the info is not accurate (AF is a seriously messy, unregulated database of family information that anyone can submit), but I'm going to get it in the computer and then start going through and trying to correct it with real sources. This will take me years, but that is the nature of genealogy.

The main thing I want to work on is this family line that terminates here in New York City. I don't know if I will ever be able to find anything, but while I'm living here I may as well give it a go. Sarah Rogers! I am looking for you!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

For Reals?

So I just got off the subway.

All the way uptown there was this old man sitting next to me, just a little too close. Just like three inches too close. By the time you get to my neighborhood, there are usually few enough people on the train that you can spread out a little, but there are always some people who retain the positions they held from when the train was crowded. A serious annoyance in this city of very limited personal space. So this old man was a Retainer.

And then. AND THEN.

We're pulling into the last stop and he shifts over onto his left hip and let's one. Just right over towards me. Just 8 inches away from me. For reals? For reals.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Foolish Thoughts

One foolish thought I had when I was younger was "I think I would like to have 3 serious relationships before I get married." Okay, so it's not so foolish. It's a good idea to have experience, play the field a little, etc., I guess. The foolish part is that I did not recognize that if you have 3 serious relationships before The Relationship, you also have 3 serious breakups.

I remember my older sisters going through breakups when I was younger. Since I was so much younger, I wasn't any kind of confidante through these breakups. I was just a very detached observer. There always seemed to be lots of crying and despondence involved, but since that happened in the movies too it seemed like it wasn't quite real.

At any rate, if my younger thought is in any way prophetic, I have only 1 serious relationship and breakup to go. That's right. Me and the beau broke up.

I'm not going to go on and on about why and I'm not going to spout stuff like "breakups suck" blah blah blah.

But I will say that though I am exceedingly sad and wonder when I will ever find anyone so smart again, there is a twinge of...what? Joy? Joy in the thought that I am free again.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bismarck and Yoga and the KOA

Last night I was lying there in bed and remembered a trip I took to North Dakota 2 1/2 years ago. Specifically I recalled doing yoga outside my tent at the KOA in Bismarck. And suddenly I thought "Now THAT is funny!"

I love the KOA. I love the yellow. I love the email updates I get about specials at the KOA. I love thinking about the homely, tubby little girl I met at the Bismarck KOA who was RVing back to Spokane with her grandparents.

When I went to North Dakota, I was having some back problems. So whereas I usually go on exercise hiatus when I'm on vacation (I have some issues about other people knowing that I exercise), I had to do the yoga. I think my travel companion thought I was a bit of a weirdo and I can only imagine what my fellow denizens of the KOA thought.

Also, the day before I left for the Dakotas, I twisted my ankle in the kiddy-pool portion of my family's annual July 4th obstacle course. Usually when I twist my ankle, I ignore it. This is not the best of strategies, I suppose, but it has resulted in some neat crackling sounds when I move my foot in circles.

So anyway I left for the Dakotas with a bum ankle but this did not stop me from running the entire length of the very large front lawn of the Bismarck capitol building. Who knows what long term effects this will have on the ankle, but I don't care.

Another thing that I did on the lawn there was recline on the grass and have my friend take a picture of me in the same pose of my favorite picture of myself (taken somewhere in Montreal). Of the original, one's main impression would be "My, that girl has a nice rack." But in Bismarck I just looked frumpy.

Anyway, I liked Bismarck. Though there were some very grumpy people there and others who thought my friend and I were nuts for coming to North Dakota on purpose.

Not only did I go to North Dakota on purpose, it was a life-long dream. When I was 11 I was looking at a map of ND and my eyes fell on a town by the name of Rocklake. I got a shiver up my spine (I was sort of prone to these at that age, I think) and thought "I have to go there!" Who knows how many other towns I had similar reactions to? But Rocklake stuck in my mind through the years, so maybe there weren't any or many others. At any rate, when I was 24 I finally went.

Rocklake is very sparsely populated and if you drive around there during the day, you will see only females. And you wonder why and maybe even get the creeps. And then you will look around for miles and miles and see nothing but flaxen fields (flaxen fields bloom a deep blue for a couple of weeks in July, only in the morning and evening, and if you are driving through that area during that time, it is possible to get confused and think a flaxen field is a lake or a lake a flaxen field) and some kind of field with yellow flowers. And you will realize. Oh. Boys farm. Girls stay in town and run the community-owned cafe. Beautiful teenaged girls of Scandinavian descent who have no illusions about farming life--it is difficult and unlikely in this age of large corporate farms--and who know by the time they are 15 that they will some day have to leave where they grew up if they ever want to make a living.

Rocklake is beautiful. When you've wanted to see it for 13 years, you might be disappointed at first that it is a normal-looking midwestern town. You might wish it didn't have a water tower like every other town or that on the way into town there weren't a sign touting the winning girls basketball team from 1973. You might wish it were a bit more magical. But then of course you realize that it is. Because it is quiet and because you can see forever and because you can lie down in the middle of the road and not be disturbed and because it is thrilling to think of how cold it gets in the winter. And it makes you turn the car stereo up loud and dance in the rain in the parking lot of your bed and breakfast.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Audience Profile: Mrs. G.

One thing you may not know about me is I have a sort of internal audience. I am sure we all have something like this...don't we? You know, people from your past or present (maybe even in the preexistence!) who can see what you are doing Right Now and have opinions about it.

One person that pops up in my audience sometimes is my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. G.

I was in one of those gifted classrooms. I thought it was because I was smart, but now I'm suspecting it was because my mom was PTA president. And I think Mrs. G. knew that and thus had low expectations for me. I remember once she was really surprised when my Future Problem Solving team did well; I think that's when I realized she thought I was subpar.

So in the SLC School District you can spend junior high at West High School if'n you're really smart. The top 60 students in the district are chosen for this accelerated track of study.

I applied for one of the spots, and Mrs. G. removed my application.

I mean, I didn't get very good grades then; I hadn't learned any discipline. So I get why she took the application out, but it rather smarted anyway.

So why am I thinking about this now? Because Mrs. G. can see me now and knows she was justified in having low expectations for me.

I am a very bad graduate student in a program I really don't understand how I ended up in, I don't have a job, I very rarely leave my apartment (I really should switch from an unlimited monthly Metrocard to a pay-per-ride), I have two black cats and wear a black sweat suit sometimes and think it's kind of fun to match my cats.

I really don't want this blog to be a Chronicle of Depression, but gee whiz.

Be a mensch, Lollygagger, be a mensch!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Forms of Postage

I just got a card and gift in the mail from my oldest friend who lives out in California.

She and I lived next door to each other for years and years and years in Salt Lake City and one summer we hooked up a string pulley between my kitchen and her bedroom so we could send each other messages held to the string by clothespins.

I just wanted to pay tribute to the pulley string that stretches all the way from California to New York that brought me greetings from my old friend: that's right folks, the U.S. Postal Service.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I am a Mormon girl, so I don't know why I feel beholden to give things up for Lent. You'd think there's already plenty I've given up!

But I usually give at least some thought to what I will give up for Lent. One year it was BYU Creamery chocolate milk and Twix bars. This actually lasted pretty long, but I surrendered a couple weeks into it when ma cousine and my best friend came down from Salt Lake to see something at the International Cinema. I had to share with them the delectability that is Creamery chocolate milk and there in the lounge next to the IC, I succumbed. I remember there was another person besides the three of us in the lounge, and I was talking loudly about how bad I was that I was breaking Lent and I wondered if this girl thought I was Catholic. I kind of liked the idea that someone would think I was one of the very very very few non-Mo's at the BY. Must be my Salt Lake City upbringing.

So anyway. This year I am giving up game shows. This seems kind of wimpy of me, because I am not nearly as addicted to game shows as I am to Days of Our Lives. But game shows take up more of my time. If I watch the Price is Right, both episodes of Family Feud, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune, I'm out 3 hours! This sort of thing is ridiculous and must be nipped in the bud.

At any rate, I think I'll try to cut down on the DOOL as well, because a) it's dumb, b) it gives me unrealistic ideas and fears about Love, even as I realize that c) it's dumb.

A Day Last Week

Well, I woke up around 8:30 and there was blessedly right outside my apartment door a most unexpected sight: my newspaper. Normally it is left down in the lobby and somebody steals it before I can get it. This was indeed a tender mercy today.
So I read the front section and the arts section, and then I did the crossword puzzle. 29 minutes, not bad for a Wednesday. I'm getting a little rusty since I had a month off at home and since my paper is nabbed so regularly.
I have an achy knee. I guess it's from doing the Firm workout with Sendhal Bergman. And it is exacerbated by the elevator in my building being out of order.
So whilst I read the paper, I ate an orange, cut the way my mother cut them and the way her mother cut them. I also drank some water. I did not eat a big breakfast because my beau was taking me out for brunch.
And I of course did not take my Zoloft because there was none left and I'm sick of it because it makes me sleep at least 1 1/2 hours during the day and I hate to sleep during the day. I must talk to Dr. W. and see what else can be done.
So then it was pretty late. I watched a woman win the Showcase Showdown. Or was that the day before. It's hard to tell.
I showered and shaved my legs, which I hadn't done in a while (and I do mean both, but it had been longer since I shaved than since I showered).
I made myself look rather nice for my beau.
I wrote 3/4 page of my morning pages and then the beau buzzed me and I went downstairs to meet him. I was overjoyed to see him (yesterday was the first day we didn't see each other after about three weeks of seeing each other everyday) and he was wearing my favorite hat. He is really a delectable man. I think he was a bit amused by how overjoyed I was to see him. He is not nearly so ebullient as I am and I feel that on some level he just tolerates me.
I did not know where we were going because he was surprising me. There was a How to Date night at our singles ward on Sunday, and I think he realized he needed to do some more formal and romantic things. I have also hinted that it might not be a bad idea. Not that I don't enjoy what we normally do. But I do want to be pursued just a little bit since I really have been throwing myself at him most of the time.
So we got onto the train and ended up in midtown. We went to Le Pain Quotidien and ate a basket of bread and had very good hot chocolate. We talked about our childhood reading habits. I could see the Petrossian from where we sat, and it reminded me of the old days of my bookclub. The leader of the club once asked me to get her a copy of The Last Days of Disco, With Cocktails at Petrossian Afterwards, which we represented at the literary agency I used to work at. And when we read Alain De Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, our leader got some madeleines at the Petrossian. I began to crave them and there was one of those days when I rode a bus line for a long long time when I stopped and got some.
I tried to make sure to ask the beau questions about himself because too often our conversation devolves into airing my insecurities.
After we ate, we started tromping across midtown to a Mysterious Location. When we got onto the very street of where we were going, I guessed that we were going to the Museum of Television and Radio, and I was right! We went and watched some Muppet specials and looked at Muppet pictures and then parted ways. I hate parting ways with my beau, and I always feel that he is so fine with it. Right maddening.
So then I came home, having very good subway luck, and thought I was going to be productive. I finished my morning pages, but then I tried to watch Dr. Phil (this was interrupted by the breaking news about anthrax). Then I watched the Feud, which I have aspirations to be on someday. Then I went and got my mail and saw that true to their promise, Netflix had delivered Finding Neverland. So I came upstairs and watched it. Then I watched Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and then called my dearest friend. We met up at a birthday party later in the night and got partially caught up.

The upthrust of this day is that I watch too much TV and that I think too much about the beau. He is so lovely and creative and smart. What I really needed to be doing with my time that day last week was reading Civil Society by Michael Edwards. And millions of other exciting things. I am a student, am I not? I am a woman of brains, am I not? Oh dear.