Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Six Months!

Time flies, huh? (And how cute are we?)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sleep it off

What a difference a couple of loungey, sleeping-in days make. Today, despite the fog/rain and having to dig my car out, I feel much better.

Other contributions: On vacation, you get to spend a lot of time with boys you like. Watching Avatar (the Last Airbender, not the other) and 30 Rock and snacking on delicious birthday treats (Harry and David chocolate-covered cherries? Yes please) and, you know, scandalizing roommates a little. Heart.

Last night a group got together for Eva's and the Cathedral of the Madeline Christmas Concert. Such a great night. We saw Temple Square, and Eva's is incredible, and they let me be in charge of ordering (this is 2-fold fantastic: 1, I get to be in charge. 2, I get to watch people delight over, like, the baked mac and cheese for the first time. Love love love), and the cathedral was beautiful, and the music was beautiful and we ran into James' sister and kids which was delightful too. The Catholics have this Christmas thing down, en serio.

And then I got Taylor Swift albums and enameled cast iron (Cuisinart!) that was ridiculously cheap. The gay best friend thing doesn't always play out like Teen Vogue tells me it should, but sometimes it's plays out exactly like it should.

Friday, December 17, 2010


(Pic from the Washington Post.)

A lot of great stuff has happened in 2010, don't get me wrong. See my archives for example. But. I walked over to the tabernacle tonight and watched it still burning 18 hours later (in the dark and the snow--really striking) and was very ready, suddenly, for 2010 to be over.

I had a quick pleasant chat with a professor/friend the other afternoon (the one who told me "this should be fun," and "there are some things that once you think them you can't unthink them," actually, both of which have spurred posts,) and he offered another nugget: "this is the only life you have" which has got me thinking all over again.

There's plenty to celebrate, plenty to do, etc. etc. And I keep waiting for things to get better or calm down--and they're not going to, right? Isn't that the moral of the story?

I cried at the tabernacle burning--not a lot, but I snuffled some. I don't know, something about things never being the same again, even in this small thing.

Ramble ramble tonight I'm drinking cocoa and reading Victorian adventure novels (complete with 6 pages of a 'fac-simile' of ancient Greek/Latin texts with their expanded translations *and* a witty translator's note) by my Christmas tree. So I'm not complaining. Just contemplative.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Best of the Week: the joy of sisters

Another great week. Another highlight:

Anne called me over (our water heater was out for 3 days this week and she offered her facilities. Luckily for me I only showered once all three days and wore the exact same outfit for two of them. Heart finals week), cajoled with a "I have something for you." What you should know about Anne is that she is great at presents. Even tiny pre-Christmas things she picks up because they were cheap end up being perfect. I think the result of being super empathetic and a great shopper? And I needed some Scout+Church time and hadn't seen Anne for weeks.

Christmas is up at her house and her tree is beautiful and Scout was showing off and Church was being giggling and charming (he's not quite crawling yet, but dragging himself along the carpet like a champ). I commented on a very lovely ornament (we have a thing with peace doves) on the tree. And Anne laughed and we kept talking and later, when Anne pulled out of a bag somewhere "the little something" she'd picked up for me it was an exact replica of the ornament that had caught my eye.

Dear my family: I love (knowing) you (so well).

fa la la la la

Get two meticulous people (James is great with a butter knife) together with a common goal and a room full of candy and there's no saying what can happen.

(Also: Happy Birthday, handsome.)

(Also: Happy Birthday Grace!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I've been thinking some about confidence lately.

When I was in Armenia we'd hold our weekly planning sessions: we'd figure out who we were going to see and what we were going to teach them and I drove my companions crazy. Because we'd be talking about Wednesday afternoon's appointment with Anush and we'd go to call and coordinate, but while she was on the phone I'd suggest making a couple other calls and I'd run to the kitchen for just a sec to check on the soup and remember that we needed dill so I'd start putting together a shopping list and looking dill up in the dictionary which would remind me that Karine need a lesson on the Word of Wisdom which I would start planning and suddenly an hour would've (productively, of course) passed when we would get back to Anush's lesson. There was an enumerated list we were supposed to follow. Which I only did under extreme duress. So we got the job done but more than one companion marveled that we managed to get everything done under such chaotic conditions. (I filed this trait under "weird" and "to work on" and try to be better at seeing things through.)

Today I spent all day researching. I started in the MLA International Bibliography, went from an article there to some definitional terms in Wikipedia (dear Deep Ecology: are you for real? Also, check out the post for Arne Naess for some pure Wikipedia gold) then was distracted by the muppets (see previous post) then got back to work finding books on ecofeminism, moved toward the Jane Eyre end of things for a couple of hours, ended up in the library choosing unplanned books from the stacks and almost not being able to bring them home because I've reached my limit (of 50).

So writing this thing is still daunting, but I think this personality quirk treats me well occasionally. And that happens a lot, you know? What potential weaknesses of yours rear into awesome?


Have we talked about how much I love finals week? Particularly in the winter. It feels so festive and indulgent and yes I'm writing this post, even now, instead of researching, and I'm not looking forward to my late night tonight and the thudding realization that I'm going to have to rewrite (I expect that to hit just about the time I meet with my professor Thursday morning. But then I'll have a free day Friday! To write and dink around online and eat another breakfast sandwich from the Twilight Zone--Asiago cheese bagel, toasted, plus 2 eggs, sausage patty, American cheese--utterly disglicious) but. For now I'm going to keep working on the 3 candy canes I bought this morning, maybe I'll get myself some lunch in a minute, and look forward to hanging out next to my Christmas tree tonight. With clementines? Hot cocoa? Love.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Why Kjerstin, that wouldn't be a 7 foot Noble Pine immaculately lit and lovingly decorated behind you, would it?"
"Yes, that's precisely what it is."

What can I say? When it comes to Christmas trees, I don't mess around.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another way to think about mirror-to-mirror eternities

When I wrote about Jane Eyre a couple of months back, I was critical of the engagement scene: Rochester telling Jane about herself. There's something in it that feels domineering and erasing--that Jane isn't a real person, that she's not filled in somehow, until Rochester describes her to herself. But I've been thinking about it and I don't think that I reacted so strongly to the incident because I was upset by it but because it felt so familiar.

That is, I've been thinking a lot about what I value in relationships lately and something that all of my most meaningful relationships have in common is this feeling of definition. There's the potentially alarming implication here: I have been known to change dramatically in some relationships, I've been (too) eager to please or be defined or whatever, but for the most part this is a really positive and vital part of my friendships. I go to a friend with a problem and they're able to help me see how deeply seated fears or personality quirks or what have you are coloring my opinion of the situation. My really great friends are the ones that seem to understand these fears (or whatever, they're not always negative or that deeply seated) and who are able to tell me about them. The version of myself that they see is the one closest to the version I myself imagine. And I think that in the very strongest of these relationships, this is mutual. I'm able to help my friends (family, whatever) get to know themselves better.

There might be something a little unhealthy here. There's more-than-is-maybe-useful self examination (slash centeredness). And shouldn't I be able to see these things myself? And sometimes there's some game playing--there's something coy about me refusing to see the way that my daddy issues inform my perfectionism, asking, indirectly, for some sort of validation or other. But there's also something deeply confirming and intimate about these exchanges: I know you well enough to know that.... or I trust you enough to let you help build my self-image or, mostly, really, I get it/you, you aren't that broken/freakish/alone.

And through these exchanges, relationships become essentially generative: both parties are invested in the building/defining of the other, and so the relationship.

What do you think? And do you do this? Or not and why?

The Weepies

are all I want to listen to lately.