Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cabin Remembered

There are few places built by men that can ever affect us as deeply as those untouched beauties of nature created by God. The Taj Mahal, for instance, which the Sunday Times in London calls “Thrilling, exciting, ravishing!” could never approach, in magnificence, a structure like Mount Everest—touching the heavens, gilded with the white marble of snow, commissioned by the supreme ruler—a crowning glory for the kingdom of Earth. In most instances, God remains the supreme architect, the supreme landscaper, the supreme builder. In a few creations only, we clumsy mortals, dabbling in His arts like a child with colored Crayola wax, approach the skill of the master.

And as a child, no creation of God held, for me, the majesty one solitary cabin did, built by the calloused, work-chaffed hands of a mortal, nestled in a forest of pines in the mountains of northern Arizona.

That cabin, Uncle Jim’s cabin, as we called it, was built by my uncle before I had learned to speak, and to me, was the embodiment of the flavor of summer. It tasted like polished pine drizzled with tree needles, covered in quilts stuffed with the smell of August rain. I lived for the weeks that would be spent there, every summer since before I could tie my shoes, since before I knew that most people’s summer vacations were spent at theme parks and beaches and foreign countries. And even after I realized this, I felt lucky somehow. They had thrilling rides and salty waves and beautiful vistas, but I had gooey fire-eaten marshmallows and romps through the forest and an old rope swing.

* * *

The swing was my magic carpet, my fairy wings, my happy thought. I spent a great deal of my childhood wishing I could fly, sprinkling sand on my hair to take the place of pixie dust and jumping off of garbage barrels and cars and trees and frightening my mother with my resistance to the chains of gravity and a life consigned to solid ground. But physics always won and I inevitably returned to the earth. Solidly, firmly, with various amounts of spilt blood. But the rope swing was different. Science didn’t apply. The old rope hung from a monster of a tree on the edge of a slight gully off to the side of the cabin, dangling down to hover three feet above the ground. I would grab the rope and pull it as far backwards up the hill as I could, so as to build up the greatest possible momentum. Reaching up the rope as high as my skinny fingers could grasp, I would latch on and lift my feet from the ground, sometimes only getting my foot into the loop at the bottom after I was already sailing through the air. High over the gully and back. And back. And back.

My little brother, Scotty, was still small at my earliest swing memory—too small to reach the loop that was as high off the ground as his head. I remember him watching us once as we squealed with delight, whooping at being able to lift off the ground and not have to come down again. His somber eyes were calculating, his head tilted, as if the picture didn’t make sense. I remember my older brother picking him up, holding him in one arm, close, tight against his side, grabbing the rope with the other hand, letting go of the ground. I can’t do anything but remember the pure joy that took over my brother’s baby features—the smile that split his face, the ringing song of glee that exploded from him, carrying through the pines as if it had been waiting his whole life to get out.

* * *

There were other things I loved about Uncle Jim’s cabin: the banisters carved and polished and curving down in perfect slides from the upper story down to the main floor, the forest green carpet so soft and thick it hid my feet completely up to my ankles, the way the crickets talked to each other, argued with each other, sang lullabies to each other so loudly that my mother’s own lullabies were lost in the symphony, the deer and other animals that had never learned to be afraid of human beings.

* * *

I remember being awakened in the darkness of an early morning when I was no more than four or five years old, before the sun had risen, before the darkness had shrunk only to shadows. My mother’s excited whisper pulled me from the warmth of the colored quilt.

“Christina! Come see!”

My legs were bare and tingled in the ghost of a chill that trickled through the room as I sleepily followed her out of the bedroom and into the living room. The wide, glass French doors bordering the fireplace sparkled with moonlight and tiny specks of dust that flickered and reflected the light like glitter. The porch light was on. My mom held onto my hand and pointed out the window. There, separated from me only by a nearly invisible piece of glass and a few inches, was an enormous black bear, pawing through the garbage can, his black eyes glinting in the light from the porch, his shaggy fur quivering over muscles that could tear me apart in less time than I could make mine carry me far away. My whole head could’ve fit inside his paw.

“Ohhhh…” The sound came out as a mixture between a gasp and a whisper of awe. At that moment, the creature paused, pivoted his body with a liquid grace that a dancer would be jealous of, and looked at me, his eyes penetrating and unblinking, the breath from his nostrils a dancing wave in the cold night air. My fingers reached out and touched the glass.

I never stopped following that bear. Caressing the idea of him with the awe of someone who for a moment connects to something so vastly different from herself. When I was in high school, black bears went on the endangered species list. They were being hunted. Their lands were being cleared for homes. Their forests, and their own bodies, were being consumed by fires. When I was in college, I did a research paper on them and they came off the endangered species list. Every time I drive into the mountains, I look for them. Sometimes I see them. I am sure that sometimes they see me. But never once since that first night have we seen each other—locked together in the same moment, splitting a single gaze.

* * *

One summer, when I was about fourteen, my mom got sick. It came fast, or at least it seemed so to me. Kidney infection, my parents decided. We were at the cabin that week, and the remoteness that had always seemed so thrilling was suddenly frightening, menacing, cold. It was miles to the nearest town. We had no medicine, and there were no doctors. My mom lay on the couch, moving little, pain filling her lungs instead of oxygen, moving through her back, her chest, aching her arms. I remembered the time my little brother had gotten frighteningly ill, the way he didn’t want to play, didn’t want to move, didn’t eat for three days. I remembered the rasp that shook him as he breathed, as if he was exerting all his energy to fight a foe I couldn’t even see. But we had had a doctor then. The day my mom’s illness was the worst, I remember sitting in my room in the darkness of the cabin, seeing the sun streaming through the window, and realizing that the darkness was only in me. I prayed then—prayed the way people pray when their choices are death or miracle, when their faith is forced by desperation. I prayed a prayer of love, as all real prayers are.

My mom got better—slowly, peacefully. My dad had found, outside the cabin door, a juniper bush growing merrily and gaily as if it were a weed. He boiled the green berries from it into a tea and fed it to my mother. And slowly she recovered. I wondered if my uncle had planted the bush or if God did.

* * *

Once, the cabin became the battlegrounds of a civil war—a frantic, screaming, thundering, desperate war with brother against brother, mother against daughter, peppered with shaky alliances that switched sides in instantaneous moments of treason. Rubber bands secured to curved sticks with clothespins were released and went flying—into sofas, enemy backs, and occasionally rung the antlers of the stoic, stuffed spies on the walls. When ammunition ran low, the littlest member of each battalion was sacrificed and sent forth to gather up those rubber bands that had hit their marks—or not—and were left in pockmarked patches all over the floor, staircase, and dark corners of each room. Sometimes, ammo stashes were stolen in their entirety, forcing an entire side to take risky dashes into another’s territory, looking for hidden piles with which to arm their weapons. I don’t remember now who won the war. I don’t know that the war even could have been won, considering no one ever died from a rubber band wound, and a smart snap on the skin rarely slowed down a running soldier. The real war we fought was one we didn’t even know we were losing—time.

Last Christmas, after all the gifts were opened, and the living room was strewn with various paper and wreckage of the morning’s raid, my dad brought out one last gift. It was a gift to the family, from him, and we let my youngest brother, Nathan, open it. Inside was what might at first appear to be a very odd assortment of paraphernalia. My little brother’s thirteen-year-old face was screwed up in a slight look of confusion, though it was only seconds before his eyes grew wide with a ghosted remembrance. He picked up one of the six smooth pieces of pine that had been cut into the rugged outline of a pistol and I watched his eyes trail from it to the bag of Ace Hardware rubber bands shoved in the corner of the box with an equally large bag of clothespins. I wondered how much of that long-ago battle he remembered. He had been so young—and before the war came around again, the battleground that was our cabin had vanished.

I don’t want to end the memories, as I sit here and think about them, knowing that the next paragraph must shove nostalgia into reality. I want only to remember the bat we found in the bathtub, soft brown leather wings, blinded by the light, curled in crashed flight. I want to remember the campfires we built outside, preferring them over the luxury fireplace indoors—the camp songs that we added nonsense verses to until they were tangled and unrecognizable and our laughter was squeezing salt water from our eyes. I want to remember the lazy afternoons in the hammock, squished together like string beans, sometimes swinging so high we flipped, rolling onto the sharp pine needles below, the smell of sap and pinecones marinating the dirt beneath us. I want to remember the way the trees cleared and the stars rolled in at night like concourses of everlasting armies come together in scattered array, more pinpoints of brilliant light in the heavens than there ever could be men on earth—the immortality of them forcing me to taste my own predestination for death. Years later, the stars are still there, but the ashes of the fire have gone cold, and the hammock and beams and winding stairs have become part of those ashes. It was not many years before God took back the land that man had built on, and made it His again.

I’ve never really tasted summer since my last visit to the cabin. I was sixteen the year it burned—turned again to the dust that had once fed the seeds that became the pines that built its walls. I know why hell is called an inferno, why fire lives in the breasts of the damned rather than the saved. I knew some portion of hell the day that fire consumed the first place I had ever loved. Hell and fire. They went hand in hand, belonging to each other like I had once belonged to that cabin—like I wanted it always to belong to me.

But the black ashes that kicked up at my feet as I looked on the acres of scarred ground in the silence the settled as my family got out of the car and paused, looking at a ghost, were part of the land now. Flat land, bare land. Not a trace of the chimney, the beautiful oak door, the curving balcony that had once moved gracefully around the upper story like a necklace curving around a woman’s neck. And then my eye caught a flutter of white. There, miraculously, bafflingly untouched by the ravages of the raging fire, was the old rope swing, still dangling over a blackened gully. I ran for it, hooked my foot in, and let go, feeling the wind in my hair as I flew for the last time—flew and wished I didn’t ever have to come down—flew and wished—flew. Quietly, then more loudly, then growing to a wild chorus, the bubbling chortle of pure joy of a little boy years ago echoed in my mind, rang through my ears, swam over the empty land. And of all the creations, the buildings, the structures of God and man, left with the fingerprints of their makers, I knew in that moment that the cabin was different. It didn’t matter who had built the place—what mattered was that the place built me.

Monday, November 3, 2008


So, I like Halloween. A lot. It makes me all tingly and excited inside. Unfortunately, for the last two years, I have had midterms on Halloween. The most sadistic, horrible Halloween trick ever. And no treats.

So, this year, I decided not to have a midterm. And instead, I went to the ward party, which was one of the best Halloween parties I have actually ever attended. The ward had rented this huge "barn" (actually a lodge) up in American Fork. My roommate, Elise, dressed as a witch, and allowed me to give her a nasty huge putty nose and warts, Rachel went as Paris Hilton, and Julie as a China doll. I had forgotten entirely to go to Savers and pick up some stuff for a costume, and having recently downsized my closet, I was hardpressed for anything at all that I could put together in 20 min. I reverted to the "old lady" costume I had done once in high school. Some wrinkles, a blacked-out tooth, and old lady clothes were a quick and easy solution.

After we were all ready, we drove up to American Fork. The barn/lodge was enormous, with two stories, the top balcony overlooking the lower floor. On the bottom floor were long tables filled with food--soup from the "soup contest," cake (because it was my bishop's birthday), vegetables, chili, and punch. We got our picture taken in Cinderella's carriage, and then heard that the hayride was departing, so we hopped on. The hayride went to a spook alley that had been set up by a family in a nearby neighborhood. This was, by far, the COOLEST spook alley/haunted house I have ever been in. My roommate, Rachel, clutched my hand all the way through, walking in front of me, and therefore doing all the screaming for me. By the time we got to the end, we were both quite shook up, but the candy bar given to us by the zombie at the end made it all worth it.

We headed back to the barn on the returning hayride, where we ate and chatted, went upstairs where a dance was going on, and then wandered outside where they had a big bonfire with marshmallow roasting and bobbing for apples. It was so much fun to see people in costume, completely unrecognizable, and wonder if I actually knew them in real life, since our ward is quite large and I am rarely able to attend activities. I made friends with a few people, whom I am sure I would not recognize today. I can just imagine it: "Hey, Kool Aid man! How's school going for you?" Assuming of course, that I recognized Kool Aid man at all in his jeans and Nike jacket.

The evening ended with a costume contest, the winners being Kool Aid man (of course), Jason Bourne, who came as himself (seriously, he looks exactly like him and his name is Jason), and Poison Ivy (from Batman). At about 11pm, we headed back home, a slight rain falling from the grey clouds that were now crawling creepily across the sky.

All in all, it was a great night, and a fa-"boo"-lous Halloween!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All the Pretty Leaves

Today, under the pretense of heading to campus to finish up some much needed editing on the final sounds for the show I'm designing, I took my camera for a walk. Provo is so beautiful this time of year. It is interesting to me that the two seasons when the world is most alive with color are springtime and fall--the birth and the death of nature.

Leaves, I think, die with more grace than any other living thing. There is nothing so graceful and perfectly beautiful as an expiring leaf, glowing with a short fire of color, floating down with th
e chilled breeze, the edges slowly drying, browning, dying. Most plants die suddenly at the turn of the seasons, conquered in a moment by a frozen breath of coming winter . Leaves die slowly, letting us watch their lifeblood seep out until only the crunchy brown shell remains. I don't know about everyone else, but I never really notice leaves until they begin to change color. It's as if they're reminding the world,
"Look! I was here. Don't forget me--the weather will change and I'll be coming back."

Autumn seems to me to relate an awful lot to people. There are times when, after having a view from the top for a while, suddenly the weather changes and we feel gusts that we can't control pick us up for a moment before, twirling, spinning, tumbling dizzily, we fall. And then, sitting there amongst the heap of others who have fallen, we begin to realize that we all must fall. The seasons change for all of us. And there is a way to fall with grace, with color and beauty, lifting those around us, even as we plummet ourselves.

There is not, after all, a season so full of hope as fall. From the bottom, already curling and feeling some of the color of success or ease or happiness begin to fade, we look around and remind the world, "Look! I'm still here. Don't forget me--The weather will change and I'll be coming back up."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Contents of a Woman's Purse...

They say (someone, I'm not sure who) that you can tell a lot about a girl from the contents of her purse. Perhaps this is true. I also think the purse itself says something about the girl. Some girls like purses that are about the size of duffel bags and covered in "cuteness" of various colors and degrees of glitz. I am not one of those girls...I fear that I would develop severe back pain carrying my entire desk, bathroom, and refrigerator contents around with me wherever I went. No, my purse is small and brown. Why brown? I only have one purse (shocking, I know), and brown matches everything. My purse before that was black. I don't know if the contents of my purse say much about me, but I was cleaning it out today, a tri-monthly ritual, and figured I would list for you all what I found. You can make your own judgment.

A half-empty package of Kleenex. I have been sick for almost two weeks, and have produced more snot than six two-year-olds combined.

A voucher for free car repairs from a Japanese car shop in Provo. I paid thirty dollars for it, mostly because the salesman looked really tired and discouraged. I've never used it, because I don't know anything about the integrity or quality of the work there.

4 Packages of Emergen-C Super Energy Booster. Which is basically 1,000mg of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Calcium, Zinc, and various other minerals that they have flavored to taste like a tropical island. The health-nut's caffeine.

One box of melted together, chocolate-dipped Altoids. They once were very tasty. They now resemble the kind of present your dog would leave you in the backyard.

A 3''x5'' copy of the Book of Mormon, in a handmade little case, courtesy of my mom. Keeps me company when I'm working a show I've already seen 17 times.

A checkbook with six checks left. The last entry in the register was for fast offerings in October of '05. That does not mean I haven't written checks since then.

A bottle of Ibuprofen. I used to get a lot of headaches when I was out and never had any pain relievers. I bought some and now I don't get headaches. Best insurance investment I've ever made.

A black 2 gig flash drive that contains pictures of my elementary school kids from two summers ago, and sound effects and music files from the last four shows I've designed. Also, there is a talk that I wrote for church last summer about the value of education.

A fold-up circular brush that resembles the radios disguised as powder puff cases that girls use in action movies to rendezvous with their secret cohorts.

A spare key to my car, which I want to never have to use (again). This is mainly because my car alarm is locked on, and if I open the car manually, before unlocking it with my key fob, the alarm goes off and continues to go off for hours.

Three pens. A tiny purple one, a medium sized silver one, and large black one. And I still dig through my purse on a regular basis, unable to find something to write with.

A laser power pointer. Lots of fun to play with in large lecture classes.

Dental floss. The most useful thing I own. I don't floss, but it works WAY better than toothpicks to remove stubborn pieces of apple or beef from crevices where they've taken up residence.

Four buttons from three different sweaters.

Half a package of cough drops. I've been devouring them like candy lately. Also, the more I eat, the happier and loopier I seem to get.

A tiny crochet hook from a hair highlighting kit. I have no idea why or how it made it into my purse.

A key chain made out of a rock found and polished by my Aunt Dianne in Oregon.

A pair of fingernail clippers with a mini savings card for the local grocery store attached through a key ring.

Two more buttons from another sweater and a pair of pants. Yes, I still own and wear all the sweaters, buttonless as they are. The pants went to DI.

About here, I would normally run into the large crescent wrench I used to keep in the bottom of my purse. Unfortunately that once earned me three armed escorts, an accusation of terrorism, and an extremely long delay at an airport. The wrench has been removed.

A driver's license and a debit card. The driver's license picture has me ate age sixteen wearing the required school uniform from high school. The debit card is on the "found" part of its cycle, as I continually lose it and find it again. And right now it actually has some money on it.

A temple recommend, set to expire in December, listing the name of a bishopric member whose name I didn't even know when I got it.

A voter identification card (I'm voting for McCain), a laminated card with the phone numbers of every coworker and theatre department faculty, staff, and custodian, as well as radio numbers for each of the four theatres I work in, a movie rental card from the BYU bookstore, a Wells Fargo telephone card, punch cards from Pioneer book and Cafe Rio, another laminated card with numbers for each of the stage managers at BYU, a Verizon Wireless card that gives the number of a representative named Eric Palmatier (I think he sold me my last phone, speaking of which, I have a great story--ask me sometime), a health insurance card which once saved me over a thousand dollars in the emergency room, a social security card (the contents of which I shall not say so openly), an expired Harkins movie card, a useless driver's permit (also a good story), two library cards--a boring yellow one for my home library, and a cool silver one with a reading dragon on it for the Provo library, a credit card with a $6500 credit line and a 0 balance (proud of that), a card with a picture of Jesus, a Staples reward card with the name of Kevin Farnsworth on it from when I was in Student Council in high school, a Red Cross blood donor card that says I'm A+ and have donated three times (hasn't been updated in a while), and a Target gift card with 37cents on it.

Oh, and in a completely different pocket from the above, my BYU ID. You can tell I don't suffer from OCD in any way.

And in that same pocket, 16 free ice cream vouchers, only three of which are expired, as well as a movie theatre gift certificate, and two free bowling passes for Fat Cats Bowling.

Oh, and two more movie passes. I should go.

Ticket stubs from the Homecoming Spectacular, the play James and the Giant Peach (in sign language), Transformers (which I saw with my roommate and we snuck warm, homemade brownies into the theatre and had everyone drooling fifteen minutes in), a Passover Seder Service (authentic and very cool) that I went to last Passover, and National Treasure 2--the first date I had with my first boyfriend last January.

Two one-dollar bills jammed in amongst hundreds of receipts for everything from car repairs to grocery stores to bookstores.

A piece of blank paper.

A love note from a roommate.

A reminder of a breakup.

And a handful of change.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Those really long, daunting posts are always going to be essayistic type things. The shorter ones will concern my current life. So feel free to skip the long mental musings. I promise to post exciting stuff too. :)

Re-evaluating the "Facts"

When I was in the eighth grade, my science class went to visit the Coco-Cola factory in Arizona. Looking back, I cannot figure out what we must have been studying that would have warranted such a trip, and to this day, I only remember two things from it. One was that the actual reason they put caffeine in soda pop was so that people would get addicted and buy more. I remember thinking it strange that they would admit such a thing, and it felt almost criminal that the manager stated it so matter-of-factly, with no hint of remorse. The other thing I remember from the trip was the tour guide telling us that Coco-Cola used to be green.

Nearly eight years later, neither of these facts has impacted my life in any way. I do not drink caffeine, due to the headaches it causes, and while mildly revolting, the fact that Coco-Cola used to be green has never affected my view of soda pop, tour guides, or the color in general. And yet, the fact remains, a seemingly permanent resident in a brain that is completely unaffected by its presence. And it is not alone. Over the years, I have amassed a large fortune of completely useless information. I do not wish to get into the controversy of the age-old whine, “When will I ever use this?” that becomes the soundtrack of high school. I will therefore avoid organized education and stick to the facts that I have collected from remembered and unremembered wanderings through the texts and conversations of everyday life.

There is, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a tremendous concourse of statues, a few of which depict men on horseback, frozen forever in the moment of battle. The statues have plaques down near the earth, most of them rendering a single name. I recognized a couple as I wandered through the battlegrounds several years ago, but most were unknown and as common as the men who once answered to them. There, wandering through the statues, I was introduced to a fact about the construction of the statues. Apparently, they were not frozen in the moment of battle, but in the manner of death. The horses with two front legs rearing in the air carried a soldier who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. The horses with one leg in the air held men who were wounded in battle, and later died from those wounds. If all four legs were on the ground, the rider had made it through the fight unharmed.

I thought this fact intriguing, and at the time, filed it away for some unknown future use. Writing this essay, four years later, is the first time I have ever recalled or used it. For some pieces of information, this is the way it is. I am sure I have things stored in my head that I don’t even realize are there until they are recalled by a sudden connection or a card drawn in a game of “Outburst.” Other thoughts swim through my consciousness, making laps that bring them again and again to my thoughts.

One of these is the “Death of the Leftie fact,” as I call it. I remember my astonishment and delight when I first heard that right-handed people lived an average of nine years longer than left-handed people. (And the delight had nothing to do with me being right-handed because, in fact, I am not. My own hand orientation is ambiguous, and often referred to as “ambidextrous.”) This is one of those facts that does not hide in hibernation, but surfaces quite frequently, usually when I meet a left-handed individual and proceed to evaluate their seemingly normal physical health. I long wondered why these people were fated for an early death. Was it some brain defect that caused the left-handedness in the first place? Was the trait a result of a long-buried genetic flaw? The only explanation that really made sense to me was that the world was made for right-handed people, including equipment, appliances, and services, and perhaps there were a large number of accident-related deaths from lefties trying to use technologies that were simply not made for them.

Eventually, I needed to set the question to rest, and so I did what any 21st century college student would do—I Googled it. There, bold and strong and affirming my brilliance at coming to the correct conclusion were the words, “2,500 left-handers die each year using products designed for right-handers.” Another website reported that a large majority of left-handers try to switch hand preference at some point in their lives. I can only imagine the awkwardness of this, which might make something as seemingly harmless as a pair of scissors into a sudden tool of bodily harm.

Unfortunately, not all of my bits of trivia are so easily proven, and, indeed, sometimes I find that science presumptuously insists on un-proving them. One of my long-time favorite facts is: “The average person swallows seven spiders in their sleep over their lifetime.”

At least, that is what I learned, years ago. However, today, as I was browsing collections of pointless information online, I ran across it again. Only this time, it said that the average person swallows eight spiders. Was the change in statistics due to an increase in the spider population? Do more people today have allergies, and thus are forced to sleep with their mouths open? I suppose there are countless possibilities for why the fact reads differently today, and yet, something tells me that it is simply due to the unreliability of statistics, and that if I wasted a few more moments of my life surfing the Web, I could find the same statistic claiming that the number was 19, 4, or 57. In addition, (being fair to science), I am also aware that anthropoids flee from breath, recognizing it as a threat, therefore making it awfully unlikely that such a large number of them actually meet their demise in this fashion. Why, then, is it so easy to believe those delicious bits of information we are fed from unreliable sources, sifted through eighty-nine different mouths and ears before being passed on to ours?

I would guess that it has something to do with humans’ delight at the uncanny and unexpected. The thought of swallowing spiders in one’s sleep is almost as delectable as reading in a science journal that people’s hair continues to grow for a couple of months after death. And something as obviously fiction as Monster from the Black Lagoon would never be able to compare with a movie about people’s stomachs digesting themselves in mass numbers when biological warfare creates a drug that prevents the stomach from producing that needed layer of mucus every two weeks. (In the unlikely event that such a movie were ever created.) Thus, the saying: “Fact is stranger than fiction.”

And yet, as with the spider statistic, sometimes fact and fiction have an ambiguous relationship. I remember hearing in some motivational talk once, that children laugh approximately 400 times a day, while adults only laugh about 15. I think the point of the talk was to encourage us all to look at the positive in life and laugh a little more. But if I laughed 400 times a day, I would be laughing every 3.6 minutes. After a few days of being purely obnoxious, I fear that, rather than appreciating my happy outlook on life, people would begin to doubt my sanity, and my happy, positive life might be lived from inside four padded walls. And while it seems that children are indeed generally happier than adults, most kids I know give equal, if not greater, attention to various explosions of crying, yelling, and whining, as they do to laughing.

And yet, despite the inconsistencies, the exaggerations, and the straight-out falsehoods that mingle with the random facts in my brain, I find that since most of them serve the purpose only of my own enjoyment, sometimes in the moment of learning, sometimes later as they pop up unexpectedly, I do not usually mind a little fiction mixed with the fact. After all, fiction can only be drawn from fact in the first place, since it is all that we know, and the best and most interesting “facts” of all, those that make me smile at the quirks and complexities of life, often walk the fuzzy line between two kinds of truth—fact and imagination.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Rambling Introduction

Well, this is it. The long awaited, possibly prayed-for blog now exists. People have been asking me, telling me, and threatening me to set this thing up for three years now. I felt it necessary to wait until I actually knew I would make use of it. Due to my recent fascination, nay, obsession, with writing down long passages of quotidian quixoticisms and mental meanderings on the infamous phenomenon, "Facebook," I decided that the time for blogging has come. (Although, I may have to shut it down again if I continue to invent sentences like that one.) Anyway, I guess the purpose of it all is to give, for what it's worth, the joys of "Friday" that I continue to find in even the "Mondays" of life.