Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Playing Tennis

let me just preface this entry with this disclaimer: I cannot play tennis. I don't consider myself good at any one sport. My hand-eye coordination is not terrible, and as a dancer, neither is the rest of my coordination, but i will just say that of all the sports in existence, tennis is the one that kicks my butt the most and makes me feel the least coordinated. (Maybe we could throw sumo wrestling in there as well.) So, why do i ever pick up a racket? Why do I ever submit myself voluntarily to the humiliation of total lack of control? And why on earth do I find it, well, kind of fun? I'll tell you why. One word: boys. Not my boys. My sisters' boys. Ten years ago, I was talked into playing tennis with Amanda under the pretense of actually playing tennis with my sister. "Wanna come play tennis with me?" she would ask in her most winning way. Yeah! I did. Why not? So we went. We started trying to hit a few volleys. I don't really remember if we were successful or not, but I do remember having fun, until... "Wait!" she says in hushed tones. "Curtis is coming home!" she stage whispers as she peers breathlessly through the chain-link fence toward the Ashton home. Indeed, Curtis was coming home, and the match ended then and there. If my memory doesn't fail, i went on several of these expeditions with Amanda to innocently "stalk" Curtis under the, shall we way, weak pretense of playing tennis, but I doubt if Curt was ever aware of who was playing tennis at the park across the street. Incidentally, i never got any better at tennis. And I never played again.

Fast forward ten years. Susannah. Different sister. She's got a date with a guy she's actually interested in and he's interested back. The date? A tennis match. Sue knows how to play tennis maybe a fraction of a percentage better than I do. No...I'll give her more credit than that. She took lessons one summer, and learned a few basics. But she is basically as out-of-practice as I am. "Pear!" she says breathlessly, "I have to practice. Here's a racket. Get in the car. Let's go before it gets totally dark." Okay? I go. The park is like thirty seconds away, but it is already probably too dark by the time we arrive. We start out anyway. I congratulate myself that I can even hit the ball some of the time--even though they fly pell mell in every direction. And I'm not necessarily blaming the dark for this, though it certainly didn't help. In the process of this game, i make two disturbing discoveries a)I play tennis a little worse than I did at thirteen, in spite of my prowess at Wii tennis, and b)I still like it in spite of my buffoonery on the court. In other words, I still can't play, and i still don't care. It is something that I am so bad at, I don't even feel self-conscious, because I expect nothing of myself. I suck. So what? Let the game begin!

And I will just add a small epilogue here. in spite of my so-called "skill" on the court, my first venture with tennis and sisters and boys proved to be a flying success. Amanda married Curtis, and now has two kids. A match made in heaven, or at least...Cherry Hill Park! (pun intended. he he.) Now, Sue? Don't let me down. I do it all for you!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Untitled, Unmotivated.

I have lost my motivation to keep this blogging up. Why? I ask myself. I love to write. But that's just it: I am expending all my writing energy on other things. This last week, I spent time writing very long, boring, introspective journal entries on my computer. Sometimes I wish I could share these things, but I really can't. No, that's silly. I could if I wanted to, but I think it would make me feel sort of vulnerable and exposed. Plus, I always want to tell a good story, but a good story requires there to be some sort of conflict and resolution, and I just don't feel like life has very much conflict right now--or resolution for that matter. I feel like I just got off a train I'd been riding for a long time, and am waiting at the station for the next train to jump on. But in the meantime, it seems like everyone else I know is already on a train. What a dumb metaphor. But my point is, my life is so inbetween right now, I don't feel the urge to record it. I want to tell a good story...but maybe I should stop trying so hard. Maybe, like in many other aspects of my life, I should just stop trying so hard.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

a wonderful parody

Today at church, as christina and I walked out of relief society and headed towards the door, we passed two kids, brother and sister. One was holding a giant zucchini. "So...faith is like a squash?" the sister says, dubiously. They were well past us by the time the boy answered, and we didn't hear. But Christina and I busted a gut. And in the five minutes it took to walk home, we forged this amazing parody out of this experience and a well-loved primary hymn:
I am like a squash growing quickly
Growing for the whole world to eat
Slap me on the grill
add me to your meal
And you will like me better than meat!


A sure hit! Needless to say, we sang it first to my sister-in-law Karin, who is vegetarian and who got us all hooked on grilled zucchini.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

my new favorite scene

my new favorite scene in any movie comes from Lars and the Real Girl. Lars performing cpr on Margo's teddy bear. I laughed so hard, I cried. Pure genius.

The solution to my protein/calcium problem

cheese and yogurt.



And i'm not sure why this Yoplait is scooping money out of itself unless it's decided that it's a philanthropist.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

souvenirs

today, I got an email from a ward member in Santos and it was like getting a letter from across time. I can't imagine myself in a more different place than Brazil than where I am right now. (Well, okay. It's not that different.) But anyway, I was doing very different things than what i'm doing now. it's amazing--mind-boggling, actually--to think that I belong to two such different sets of people. And I realized something else after having received that short little email: we never totally lose things like places or people. We leave them, or they leave us, but we always take something of them with us, like a souvenir. I used to get so freaked out over loss. But I think--I just think--I may be mastering the art of losing. As Elizabeth Bishop says:
The art of losing isn't hard to master
though it may look like (write it!) like disaster

Thursday, July 10, 2008

poor hands

One would think that after all I've been through to finally be able to just ride my little scooter to BYU that the saga would be over. But no. After the tune-up, inspection, registration, written exam, and the normal growing pains of learning to drive a new kind of vehicle, i'm getting some lovely little blisters on my hands (callouses maybe? hopefully?) from constant gear-shifting and general rattling of the bike. It may have something to do with the fact that every time i want to brake or put on my signal, or change gears, I have to stretch my fingers to the max just to be able to pull off these oh-so-important maneuvers. And, I find today that my wrists are shaking (not while i'm driving.) today, at work while I contemplated this disturbing development, I wondered if I was showing signs of Parkinson's or if the muscles in my forearms were just overtaxed by both a) scooter driving and b) "Badmimbledon": Christina's and my weeklong badminton tournament. sigh Next, they will tell me I already have osteoporosis.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Let Freedom Ring!

.

"Wait! No. We must ignite them one at a time!"


"That's more like it. Now, we musn't light our father on fire."


"Careful--"


"Great. They've gone and blown themselves up again."



Fireworks are a little expensive this year, so we tried to maximize the experience by not only igniting the fireworks themselves, but their packaging as well.

video

Oddly reminiscent of Depression-era fireworks (i.e. box burning)

midnight watch


A few nights ago, around one o' clock, I wandered out into the backyard in my pink, fluffy bathrobe. All was dark and soft. The weather was restless. I was barefoot. I walked out to the middle of the lawn and sunk down into the grass. It was a little damp, but I didn't mind. I directed my thoughts to God. i told Him that I missed the past and was confused by the present. I looked up, and through breaks in the clouds I could see stars--Cygnus fixed in space in its giant cross formation. Then I had a good cry, and was glad that nobody could see me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

cute loaf


I just found this picture of me and the loaf and i think it's too cute.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Riding Hobbes

Today, i went for a ride on Hobbes. It was just one more illegal jaunt on my scooter, i guess. But I felt justified because I only went down 2000 S., down the winding part, and back up our street again. i need to practice anyway if he is to be my main mode of transportation for the next two or three months. Before it gets cold, anyhow. It's hard to describe how fun it is to drive. It is one thing to ride as a passenger, to feel the security of someone else in control, the luxury of looking at the scenery, the careless abandon of turns. But it is an entirely different matter to actually drive. To feel the full force of the wind in your own face, to have absolute control--and responsibility. To feel completely secure on your own merit. Yes, Hobbes and I have bonded. I need him because I have no one else, and he needs me because the last time people stopped riding him, his battery died and his scrapes rusted over again. Look how sad this is: it is nearly one in the morning and I am anthropomorphizing a small, orange vehicle. But I just smiled and thought, "Why not?"

hoop-de-do