Dream team

VMD and the Dream Girls
VMD and the Dream Girls

So I’m staying with my friend LATD and her husband VMD, who this evening accused me of trying to make him a polygamist (although really I wasn’t trying to make anyone anything but dinner). LATD and I talked about it and realized that the synergistic combination of the two of us constitutes a polygamist’s dream come true – she would go out and earn a living (she’s a doctor), while I would stay home and read and more or less mind the house. Since we have opposite sleep schedules one of us would be available to meet our dearly beloved husband’s every need at all hours of the day or night.

And then, during the photo shoot that produced this picture, with both of us whining about various takes (My face looks fat! My teeth are too big! Look at this Relief Society arm!), we realized that no man should ever have to put up with two wives, especially at all hours of the day and night, especially if they’re both in whiny moods.

Swing shift

So here it’s almost midnight and I’m actually about to turn off my computer – something nearly unprecedented in Sylvian history. I’ve been nocturnal for pretty much as long as I can remember. The first time I stayed up all night was the last day of school in third grade, and I hardly ever went to bed at a reasonable hour all through high school or especially college – even when I had 8:00 AM jobs or classes. I learned to get completely ready for school or work in exactly 21 minutes so that I could sleep as long as possible after inevitably staying up past 2:00 AM.

The job thing worked itself out, fortunately. For the past six and a half years I’ve had the good fortune to live on the east coast while I work with people in the Pacific time zone. Despite this freedom, though, I’ve had a constant nagging feeling that I should try to make myself into a more diurnal and hence respectable person, thinking that if I just got this body of mine trained good and proper I could reap the benefits promised to those who are early to bed, early to rise. So I would wage campaigns, sometimes several months long, trying to show my body who was boss.

It never worked. Even after months of trying, I would always revert back to the same schedule. A few months ago I decided to become OK with it and be grateful that my job doesn’t require me to be up early. Most of the time this works out well; Sundays are always a little rough but I’ve become very fond of afternoon naps. I just live in mortal fear of the day I become a mom or have to get a real job, because then the party will be OVER.

If this editing thing doesn’t work out

My roommates and I had a BYU-themed farewell party last night for my belovéd roommate J_H, who is taking her mad shopping skillz and her Love Sack and setting off for Provo in less than 48 hours (ah, tragedy!). As it was a BYU-themed party, we had caffeine-free beverages, lots of BYU style, and, of course, beard cards for the facially hirsute. The text on the beard cards was as follows:

Wherefore let it be known to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that whereas the possessor of this card has proved real and abiding need, said possessor is granted by Brigham Young University – Massachusetts (hereafter the Establishment) permission to wear one (1) beard, mustache, goatee, pair of sideburns of varying length, assortment of stubble, or other configuration of facial hair, provided aforementioned facial hair is worn in good taste and in good faith, as determined by designated officers of the Establishment, and provided that aforementioned facial hair is not worn for the purpose of compensation for lack of head-top hair, and this card shall forthwith serve as evidence of possessor’s compliance with the Establishment’s existing policies, pursuant to the agreement entered into by the possessor and the Establishment.

Playing with words is such fun. Especially when I get to be thoroughly pretentious with my syntactical gymnastics.

Middle-of-the-night randomness

Some thoughts/questions for the day:

Whence cometh the word “connectivity”?* These days everyone talks about “connectivity issues” and “establishing connectivity”. What about good ol’ “connection issues” and just plain “connecting”?

Where have all the stick shifts gone? A friend of mine who recently bought a car bought – oh, I hate to say it – an AUTOMATIC, because that was what was available. Given that that’s a dealbreaker for me – I won’t buy a car with an automatic transmission (one of the reasons I don’t have a hybrid) – I don’t understand why automatics seem to be the vehicle(s) of choice these days.

Today has been great. Busy but not too busy, good and productive, and culminating with a post-midnight swim in a gloriously warm Walden Pond. Methinks I need more days like this.

*Following the British rule of putting punctuation marks outside the quotation marks, which makes a whole lot more sense than the American rule of keeping them inside.

Checking in

So at shortly after midnight I finally have a little breathing room and my head feels like it’s mostly above water – it’s been an unbelievably busy July. In addition to traveling across the country three times for weddings and family reunions, I’ve been looking for (and fortunately finding) a new apartment, shuffling rooms in my current apartment, sewing a bridesmaid dress that cost well over $1000 in production hours (hey, my time is valuable), and working on Harvard Business School application essays for a new client. I’ve also been working at my real job (which has suddenly become way busy), planning for two major going-away parties this weekend (J_H, how am I ever going to dress and accessorize myself with you gone?), and running a weekly LDS Addiction Recovery Program meeting. I’ve thus had my shoulder to several different wheels and have been pushing all of them along to the best of my ability. I was talking to a friend today and both of us expressed surprise that I don’t seem to be completely stressed out – yet. But then, she didn’t see me last Saturday, and the month is not yet over.

Speaking of last Saturday, here’s a picture of me and my little – ahem, younger – sister. (She’s the one in white. I’m the other one.) People stopped telling us we look alike some time ago – I think around the time she officially became taller than me (when she was 13 and I was 20)…

The sister and the bride

The world according to Sowell

So I’m currently reading the book Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell. I’m thinking that a more accurate subtitle would be “Free Market Über Alles,” since Sowell’s main point seems to be that allowing market forces to rule the economy (and the utter elimination of socialism and anything like unto it) would lead to liberty, justice, and prosperity unlimited by space, time, or laws of physics. I’m retaining a healthy skepticism just because Sowell’s rhetoric is so heavy-handed; I don’t like being told that if I don’t agree with someone I’m ignorant at best. However, he has given me a lot to think about, and his ideas seem to make sense (though that may just be because he’s too busy hammering away with his free market message to allow anything else any airtime) (hooray for mixed metaphors!). I really want to finish this book and then read one with a contrasting viewpoint.

But that will have to wait a few days, at least, since I’m currently in Dallas for my sister’s wedding (tomorrow) (congratulations KL[P/H]!!). I’ll try to post pictures of my sister and me and my trailer trash bridesmaid dress…

Colleen McCullough on forgiveness

I just finished The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – an interesting and mostly enjoyable book, though I wouldn’t rave about it as much as many of the critics did. I felt there was a lot of emotional hyperdrama filtered through third-person omniscient impartiality, though after some reflection I think that says a lot more about me than it does about the book. But one idea that struck me was this one:

Only God can forgive… And He will forgive if the sincere repentance is there. He has forgiven far greater sins from far greater saints… as well as from far greater villains. Do you think Prince Lucifer is not forgiven? He was forgiven in the very moment of his rebellion. His fate as a ruler of Hell is his own, not God’s doing.

What a fascinating idea. It’s one to keep in mind when I’m being hard on myself, as is my wont. When I remain in sadness it’s because I’m thinking God hasn’t yet forgiven me or won’t forgive me for whatever shortcoming I’m lamenting – but according to this idea, He already has. I don’t need to wait for some kind of manifestation of absolution; rather, I can realize that forgiveness is not only offered when I’ve shown sufficient remorse, but may be offered well before I even realize I’m making a mistake.

Half and half

An Atlanta family is selling their mansion, moving into a house half the size of the old one, and donating half of the proceeds of the sale of their home to the Hunger Project:

Sale of one house will help 30 villages

I love this idea. The family is thinking in terms of half; I’m thinking of ways I could get by with half of what I now have…

But, of course, I immediately come up with self-righteous reasons why it’s much easier for rich people to make do with half of what they had before, and I just assume that if it was hard for the family to give something up, that means the family was too materialistic. I arrogantly think it would be easy for me to get rid of half my worldly possessions since I’m always trying to remain portable anyway. I sanctimoniously think that I would be fine with half as many clothes, half as many books, and half as much of my other possessions, meager though they are.

But then I think about giving up my car.

Thus falls the prideful pseudo-philanthropy*. Even if someone offered to give me a new car and paid all gas and maintenance costs, I would refuse (politely), just because I love Simon Bennett. I feel like it’s my social duty to buy a hybrid but, again, I like my cute little car too much. I’m shallow like that.

*Kind of cool that three successive words start with “p,” but they each have a different initial sound…

I’m (mostly) ba-ack…

Mostly but not completely. That is, I’m currently in Little Rock, Arkansas, after a truly miraculous trip from Salt Lake City (have you ever heard of a plane returning for wayward passengers after the plane has pushed back from the gate?!) (yes, it was stressful. no, i still don’t handle stress well. but everything worked out ok and all expletives remained internal). Tomorrow I return to Boston and (hopefully) normality, or as close as I ever come thereto. Meanwhile, I’m going to think about Mother Teresa (I just finished Come Be My Light, the book that has a lot of her personal writings) and try not to compare her remarkable life to my more quotidian existence even though she and I have the same personality type.

That is, if other thoughts don’t inadvertently take precedence even though they’re inherently less important. I wish I knew better how to have thoughts sink in and stick; sometimes I’m delighted to have an epiphany, only to realize after reading through an old journal that I had the same epiphany months or even years before. I wish epiphanies and life lessons were more like mononucleosis – things that, once obtained (or contracted, as the case may be), are irrevocably seared into one’s being.