Monday, December 26, 2011


We were in Tx with James' family. Soo warm and very lovely and also very TX-y.

(I didn't get a photo because I was filming, but this pic of James was post bull-riding. ! )

An iPhone Christmas.

This is our Christmas tree: fat and sparkling. Love.

Ooh (sorry, figuring this out as I go:) picture #2 is of our dinner tonight. Leftover Christmas ham and pineapple pizza and Harry and David pear and sharp cheddar + dill and white onion. Win.

Lunch on Christmas eve was shrimp. Huge and beautiful and perfect.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick Update on my life:

So the vertigo is a viral thing which means for all intents and purposes that it's inucrable and also tricking my body into making me sick (do you remember learning about viruses? Using your own cells against you? Nasty, ingenius things). As a result I've spent major portions of the last week in bed. Today I started working from home, which is surprisingly effective--it's not that I'm incapaciated, I just can't move around. And I need more naps I think. I don't like being sick. I don't like not being in control, I don't like the part where I need to gauge how much time, really, I can and ought to take off.
I do like laying in bed, visitng with James, being able to eat again (and wanting to occasionally!). I like that the sun's come out today (high of 28). I like that I got my Thank You cards addressed and my Christmas presents started. And I did all that while watching Netflix which I also like.

And that's the end. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nov. 20

I'm thankful for delicious food. Is the end of the Thanksgiving portion of this post.

The other (still food-related) portions:

Something magic I just found: (white) balsamic+olive oil+garlic+cabbage might be the most delicious thing I've eaten this week. I'm roasting it which I'm sure will also be delicious, but I can't imagine it significantly improving the flavor. Also one of the most stinky foods I can imagine.

Speaking of which, I'm reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon who I love. The premise is fantastic: apparently (in real life) after WWII there was a short-lived proposal to allow misplaced Jews to relocated to the Alaska territory. The novel is set in a world where this happened. Anyway, there's this scene in a shady bar in the morning (outside of operating hours) where the two main guys are talking over a  table of "pickled tomatoes and cucumbers, a basket of poppy-seed rolls, and a bowl of sour cream." Why do I love this so much? There's this line: "Berko reaches for one of the pickled cucumbers, shaking off the peppercorns and cloves that stud its freckled green skin. He crunches it between his teeth and frowns happily.
'It takes a sour woman to make a good pickle.'"
Moral of the story? #1 Michael Chabon, I love you. #2 I need to find my way back to the motherland. My mouth is watering.

And food thing #2. Food blogs. I generally don't love as much as I'd like. Because they're either too simple and I'm insulted or they're too complicated and I'm incredulous--"Yes, of course you had leftover exotic grain that you roasted with organic farmer's market vegetable into something impossibly beautiful and lowfat in your gorgeous seaside kitchen." Blah blah I'm jealous of your life. But I've found one that is just perfect: complicated enough to be interesting, with an engaging voice, good but not ostentatious photography. And the writer lives in Chicago which means we're practically neighbors.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nov. 18

Sort of a spotty thing. But.

I am thankful that it is not last year any more. The further I get from it, the wilder it seems that I survived. This time last year I was still wearing black every day as tribute to my dad. I was getting ready for a trip to Texas to spend the holidays w/James' family. And they were delightful, and everything turned out wonderfully, but it was a pretty high pressure weekend. And graduate school was awful. I'm getting all tense just thinking about it.

This Thanksgiving, also prepping for the drive to Texas (luckily for all Ballards involved, we shaved 5 hours off the drive moving across the country, woot!), but I'm going as the wife (and not girlfriend who can't get her act together) of a really wonderful fellow and we have our cozy little place (and not the snowpocalypse--do you guys remember that?) to come home to.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nov. 13

I am thankful for United Lutheran Women's annual pasty sale. Yummers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nov. 6

I am thankful for my bed. Did I post this story? James and I were trying to be wise, so we didn't buy a bed for the first two or three weeks we were in our place. We piled some blankets and camping pads on the floor and it was fine.
Then I got sick and we got a very very generous belated wedding present (thank you notes are in process, btw) and we found a great deal on a memory foam-topped number. Which I have spent more time in than out of this last day and a half.
Grateful. For my bed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Month

Nov. 1st
I am grateful for my husband. James drove me to the airport Monday. He made me breakfast and let me sort of zone out snoozily (sleepiness+anxiety) while he concentrated on driving and I had clean laundry to pack and when he left the car at the airport parking lot Wednesday (he's in Texas shooting javelina this week w/his brothers) he emailed me a detailed map w/pictures. He is very thoughtful and very hilarious and very nice. And not back till Monday which is the only reason coming home this afternoon was awesome but not perfect.

Nov. 2nd
I am grateful for a good job. I traveled this week to Pasco (the tri-cities) Washington to help the hospital w/their transition to the new system. The area is known, I learned, for great moderate weather and amazing sunrises and sunsets.
I got to know a lot of cool people from Madison and also a lot of really great people from the organization. This week was awesome/blessed because it helped me see both that I'm going to be good at this job--both from the software side and the interpersonal side--and that I'm going to like it. There are elements both of teaching and managing that really appeal to me, I'm exited to earn expertise that is specific and concrete (after the flip-floppiness of English) and really useful, and the system is big enough and complex enough and variable enough that I don't anticipate getting complacent. It wasn't maybe a remarkable week, but it was challenging in good ways and affirming.

Nov. 3rd
I'm grateful for Mormons. I was driving aimlessly around the other night looking for dinner (I found a Greek place I went to two nights in a row. Most things I want from life can be found in a styrofoam box with a decent gyro and a good greek salad.) when I saw a golden angel Moroni in the distance. I had no idea there was a temple in central Washington, much less 5 minutes from my hotel. I got to visit last night and it felt in so many ways like coming home. Which I pretend a little to myself like I don't need, which is a crock--smiling faces and mormon haircuts and hand-holding couples and all of those cultural nuances I've become so attuned too, good at reading, and which I feel so impotent without.
And the session/aftermath was really really great too. Something I needed w/out even knowing it.

Nov. 4th
I'm grateful for my house. I didn't know how homesick I would be, but it was *marvelous* coming home. We live in a cozy little attic apartment. It was good to see our downstairs neighbors, good to see James' car, good to see my name on the mail waiting for me, good to see our piles of shoes and our unhung pictures and our funny temporary couch and the office that (see entry for Nov. 1st) James put hours into organizing while I was gone--it's a room again! I do love my house.

Nov. 5th
I'm grateful for my family. I got to talk to Anne this week and Connie and I really love and miss my family. It's like the Mormon homesickness, but moreso: belonging and understanding and shared heritage. I had this vision (and I'm trying to remember what sparked this...) of Rachel with short grey hair (I think I was wondering what shade of grey I'd go and if at some point I'd stop dyeing it and just let it be grey)--Rachel older but still herself which reminded me of a post she wrote once about spending waning years in close proximity to theoretically widowed sisters which filled me with a sense of belonging and continuity and comfort about the way our/my life(lives) are changing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All Hallow's

This morning I went for a run, the mile or so to our town's little park+lake. It was 37 degrees when I left? Frosty and I was bundled. The lake is surrounded by woods--tall tall trees and legit wild life. I got to the park and there were a group of people in running clothes hula hooping (what? and *love*), I didn't join in (though there were offers and extra hula hoops) but ran instead along the trail that is, apparently, a cross country skiing trail in the winter. I was running into the sun, but the weeds were still covered in frost. I scared a couple of deer that were 20 feet ahead of me on the trail another 15 feet off the trail where they watched me run by. Then the trail narrowed so I started walking. I paused at a spot on the lake shore where the water was so glassy it looked like if I jumped in (which I considered momentarily--it would be ok if I had dry clothes waiting, right?) I would fall into the sky. I watched two dozen geese floating on the water, then swimming, then calling to each other.

And it was so lovely and so perfect.

Tonight it's chilly (which for the moment feels bracing and wonderful) and smells like woodsmoke and the moon is slivered and smokey and...I guess the moral of the story is that I love the fall. And I live in an absolutely perfect place. And EB White: eat your heart out. :) And, when I get my iPhone, won't you all feel lucky?

Love love love,

Monday, October 24, 2011


I feel like I post a lot about my dad here. Which I feel ok about because I don't journal so faithfully as I used to. Which I feel sort of sheepish about because I like to think I'm sort of a private person (sort of) and I'm worried I lean toward, like, LiveJournal-esque emo blogging. So the disclaimer: this isn't cheery or entertaining. And also, I'm not looking for sympathy.

My dad died a year ago tomorrow. I came back from teaching the evening class (which was ended exactly this time that Monday evening) to an urgent sounding message from Alex who worked with Dennis that I should give them a call. I did: Dennis was in the hospital. He had collapsed at work and he was taken in an ambulance to the hospital downtown. I was flustered at this point, but not sure how to feel: I knew he'd spent some time admitted a couple of months before (we found out after the fact, incidentally, and I was hurt and furious about that. Selfish bastard), so figured that either it was nothing at all and they'd called because they were more worried than he was, or it was a real-life emergency, which I wasn't really ready to think about and decided to try not to panic in case it turned out to be nothing.

I called Rachel who lives in Sandy to go check it out: she's  my oldest sister and the one who lives closest to Salt Lake. She said she'd take Randy (husband) and go and let us know. (This is such a perfect scenario, can I say? Rachel coming to save the day? Rachel doing the hard thing. It was 95% convenience, but, really, what would *I* have done?)

So. James came to pick me up from the office. We ate Subway (distractedly) in the Cougareat. Jeremy called me--apparently he'd heard not from Rachel but from his friend whose other distant friend (who we'd never met) was Dennis's emergency contact (again, I was so mad).

I was waiting for an FHE in the library to start when Randy called to tell me Dennis was gone. Because he's a great brother-in-law and a great husband. I didn't cry, but told Christina who was hosting FHE who hugged me, and gathered my things and told James we had to go to Salt Lake and we went.

Have I written this? He was dead when he got to the hospital. Apparently his coworkers left him in his office to have a meeting and when they got back (half an hour later? More?) his heart wasn't beating. There was a doctor passing by who administered CPR till the ambulance came, but there wasn't any sign of anything. This seems like the most tragic part, right? And one I hesitate to think about not because it's miserable, but because part of me wants to turn it into a poem or an essay, some morbid imagining of my dad's last moments, my dad dying alone.

I was the first one, after R&R, at the hospital. There were hugs, and Rachel told me they gave her Dennis's wallet which made her cry. And I went to go see the body, which was mostly weird and purple and foreign. I don't think I touched him, or not much. Rachel was very sweet and contemplative, rubbing his forehead in a way I could never imagine happening in real life.

James was there the whole time, the whole week in fact, taking time off work to hang out with the family, or to sit close, or to let me cry as we sat alone in Dennis's empty apartment. What a good man I got.

Anne got there half an hour later or so, with another round of Diet Cokes and bustling with competent energy. We spent a lot of time laughing that night, a lot of time planning and talking through details. We waited for Melissa to get down from Rexburg and Jeremy from Boise and fended off the ED nurse who needed the room (now that I have a better sense of how highly in demand ED beds are I feel a little bad). And it was really delightful and tender and difficult.

PostScript: I only cried once the week of Dennis's funeral. And it was kind of intense, but didn't feel real still? I have pangs of emotion--I wrote about preparing for the wedding. When we discuss emergency contacts at work or Epic's neat functionality triggered by marking a patient as 'deceased' or when a dummy patient's last name is Borzoi I get twinges of sadness or anger or regret.
And right now I'm feeling sort of low--or part of it at least is that I can look back from this distance and recognized how hard that was to get through. How Dennis' death marked the beginning of one of the most challenging (in a thousand ways. and wonderful) years of my life. And my family's life. I feel ok that only now am I beginning to let myself know what his death means and meant and how his life shaped mine. I guess moving toward accepting the fact that I'm a slow reactor when it comes to emotional things. It takes some thought and some time to figure out how I feel.

And. I guess I want to say, too, how wonderful everyone was. Rachel and Randy organizing with the mortuary and other hard adult-y things, Jeremy taking care of all of Dennis' accounts and documents--breaking into Dennis' email (finally--I've told this story? His security question was "who's your favorite author" and we only had 5 guesses every 12 hours and that puzzle punctuated the funeral week), Anne doing the details--getting the burial outfit together, etc times 1000, Melissa finding a spot for Dennis' skittish spoiled wolf hound. And the extended family. And my grandmother. And Connie. And my great friends who came to the funeral and washed my dishes and brought dinner and put up with me moping.

So. Tomorrow I think James and I will honor Dennis by buying some flowers and eating something delicious. I hear the Utah crew are planning honors graveside (I miss them/wish I were there). And that is the end.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

High strung a touch?

James suggested we start watching The Walking Dead--apparently we'd never had the "I'm not great with scary movies" discussion. Even though I couldn't make it through the first episode (we finished it and the second the next day. In the early evening. When it was still light outside) I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's haunting, and not in a Halloween-y way, in a really human, gripping, emotionally rich way. And while the bits of other episodes I've seen since we started haven't wowed me as much as the first (there are just excruciatingly beautiful moments there), I will probably keep watching or at the very least making James relate detailed synopses. Also, it's gotten me thinking, mostly about apocalyptic crises. And about zombies:

For instance. I'm not sure I buy the wide-spread zombie apocalypse scenario. For a couple of reasons. First, zombies are voracious. There's a very graphic/beautiful image of a zombie feeding frenzy that includes frantic grabbing for entrails which makes me wonder how often it could happen that you get bitten and not eaten. And the virus or whatever isn't airborne, it's bite-borne, which means there isn't really an uncontrollable epidemic to worry about. And all the chaos was supposed to go down in a couple of weeks, which seems unlikely--I can see it spreading, but not quite so quickly? Maybe I'm just trying to intellectualize the thing because, man, that show's real creepy. So good at suspense.

In other apocalyptic news: I feel really lucky to have a good job. There is no reason I should and it's awesome.

Fall in Mt. Horeb is gorgeous--lots of chilly sunny days and leaf burning. And I have big plans for dinner tomorrow (homemade graham cracker ice cream s'mores anyone? And parsnips a la Mark Bittman? I love Sunday).


Sunday, September 25, 2011


Sunshiney fall is out--the weather here is drippy and chilly and I wouldn't mind, but the cold is already seeping into my bones (we had 91% humidity yesterday) and I'm trying to pretend I'll survive the winter (right now I'm wearing thermals, a tshirt and a fleece and snuggling under our down comforter. In defense, we haven't figured out how to turn our heat on? I love Wisconsin I love it I love it.)

In work news, this week was the User's Group Meeting, which is when Epic's clients come to Madison and talk about how they've made Epic work for them. It's a huge deal (6,500 people) and was really cool--most things went straight over my head, but it gave me a sense of what challenges I'll face (people are throwing around the phrase 'change management' which is sounds like something I want to read more about) and how Epic can help. A C(E?)O of a huge hospital organization gave a talk about the financial and efficiency benefits of installing an EMR like Epic, talked about what it takes to really utilize the thing (way more (or different) planning, time, and money than most people anticipate), but that if done properly, it can really really help. A small, ignored part of me just shivered in delight at the *graphs* and *facts* and *figures*. Epic is a company, with foibles any company has, but we can do stuff, we can make a noticeable difference. Business=sexy. Is the moral of that story.
I also met w/my supervisor as it were and mapped out the next several months. Intense and just getting more intense is the sense I'm getting. So. Girding my loins for that.

In James news: he's handsome. Trying to decided whether to cut his hair or shave his beard. Working working working. Also building us a bed, which is super manly and delightful. And doing laundry and washing dishes and generally being an awesome house husband. He might not like me to call him that, but he does make me breakfast while I'm in the shower and tonight made a piecrust that I'm almost certain is going to be magical.

Our Friday night date was grocery shopping to Trader Joe's! We got mochi and stroop waffles and this *amazing* roasted salsa that we eat with *amazing* sweet potato tortilla chips, and all other sorts of delightful treats. We also stopped by a grocery store called Woodman's which is quite possibly the largest grocery store I've been in ever in my life. Like a butter *aisle* big. Like *what brand* of 106 oz stewed skinned tomatoes do you want, exactly, or rice noodles or fish sauce, big. Also a wonderful magical place. We've been shopping at a charming little store in Mt. Horeb, and weren't quite prepared for the profusion.

Also, we're loving Wisconsin. We keep running into towns that are yet tinier and yet more adorable than Mt. Horeb (New Glarus, this week--Little Switzerland and I sort of want to eat it with a toothpick it was so cute. We bought a cabinet from a middle school science teacher's wife whose boys were wrestling on the grass.) And, on our way to church:
Just delightful. :) And. We'll take pictures of things eventually.

Loves, ke(b).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another great week: I finished up orientation at work, we found (and James picked up) a sweet little dining set, James got our office piles organized, we hung out with friends at the Grumpy Troll, and we tried the ride into work yesterday. A beautiful day and ride.
Today is dreary and cold (we think our heat is controlled by our downstairs neighbors, but aren't sure yet) so I'm making some smashed veggies which we will probably eat in bed. And: see wedding photos on Facebook (hurrah!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

(Mid) Western Girl

Some things about Wisconsin:

1. I thought I knew some things about spiders. We have them in Utah! And they get me all squirmy! But I can kill them if necessary. Then I went into the basement of our house (we signed a lease for a 2 bedroom attic apartment with a little storage, yellow walls, and new carpet. It's downtown Mt. Horeb and *adorable*)--there were several examples of several *species* of spiders. All with webs with bugs in them. These spiders are not messing around.
Also: House Centipedes. Are a real thing. And they look like this:
And James found one *in our house* under our bed! (Which is a pile of blankets and foam rubber!) Eeew eeew eew.

2. I also thought I knew a thing or two about big powerful thunderstorms, but last week (the first night in our house, actually) we had a storm that looked like one giant lightening bolt--like a wonky strobe light (I wrote "slightly wonky" first, then deleted the qualifier because we're listening to the Hunger Games and if Suzanne Collins uses another adverb I'm going to poke myself in the eye). And the alley behind our house turned into a river and the next day was gorgeous, if a little muggy.

3. There are lakes here, and forests. A lot of magical--we went camping with some folks from our ward this weekend and it was lovely. And we forgot our camera.

And. I started my job and it's going well. A lot of training. A really great and cheap cafeteria.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Promises I fully intend to keep:

1. Indepth photo-heavy posts re: the wedding and the honeymoon.
2. Regular updates on our lives.
3. A photo tour of the new place.
4. Lots of sappy comments about how fantastic James is. :)

But, the internet in the hotel is real slow (and our photographer is starting school next week). And we're scheduled to sign a lease tomorrow afternoon, but we're going to see a house built in 1912, newly renovated, prairie style (30 minutes away from work and 45 from Madison) tomorrow morning that may ruin everything.

James, however, is fantastic. And bearded. And charming. And fun to hold hands with at church.

This week:
Apartment searching. A lot of dingy cream-colored townhomes. Some smokey, some pet-smelling, some fine but sort of soulless? I found out after 3 or 4 Craiglist postings that "charming" gets me every time. It's been fine--we've had some success just out and driving around. We've spent most of our time in Verona (Hometown USA), where my job is, which is a little town (10,000), very charming, renaissancing. Lots of trees and delicious eats (more later). But we're also looking at the surrounding areas. Mt. Horeb ("the troll capital of the world") is smaller, 15 minutes down the road and delightful. Mt. Horeb is probably where we'll end up.

Eating. Culvers (home of the Butter Burger if you can imagine) was the big Verona success--a small chain (3-4 locations), killer custard and a pot roast sandwich that I could eat every day of the week. James started throwing around the word "obesity", but I'm not certain what he's referring to. We also tried the Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb. I got the brat burger (served w/sauerkraut and a side of spicy mustard) and wondered why it's taken me 28 years to come to Wisconsin.

Driving. It's crazy beautiful here. So wooded it looks a little jungly, lakes around every corner, rolling corn-y hills. Love love love. We took a drive out to Tyrol Basin, the local ski area (also charming :) ) and stopped by Little Norway--we didn't take the 1 hr tour (full of local history and family anecdotes) to see the 5,000 Norwegian artifacts, but I did decide where I was going to prep for Christmas. (Unfortunately the Scandinavian influence has not helped anyone pronounce my name correctly, but.)

If all goes well we'll be in our new place next Sunday. Until then: much love and we're safe and happy and etc. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wisconsin: also a thing.

So we started out 3 days later than we anticipated (but well rested and brilliantly packed). And when in the middle of Nebraska the flat, open, west began being filled up with trees and was suddenly and certainly midwestern I felt a twinge of panic. And when we crossed the Mississippi into Wisconsin, even though it was entirely gorgeous, the "west of the Mississippi" in me felt a lot like throwing up. We may just have moved across the country. Out of Utah for the first time, really. (Hurrah/wtf!)

But. We're here! And safe! And a lot excited.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anniversary for realz.

So. James and I have been dating for an entire year (this actually happened early yesterday morning: we started dating like we start other important things, with a late-night conversation). I, for one, can not believe that this is a real thing, but am very happy that it is.

He is so good to me.
 Plus hilarious.
Plus nice.
 Also adorable.
Happy one year! (And to many many more!)

(Thanks to my old and great friend Meikel. The shoot was a dream and these pictures are a genius.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Super 8

#1: Why have Spielberg and JJ Abrams never yet worked together? Match made in heaven. Particularly for a friendly summertimey alien flick.

#2: I didn't realized that Spielbergian was a thing. But it totally is. Low, wide shots of kids on bikes at dusk. Dads alienated from their sons. Entirely. And it's not bad--like some parts of this movie feel really familiar, and in another teams' hands I would call it predictable, but here it just feels stylized and comfortable.

#3: I loved it as an ode to filmmaking.

I dunno. I say yes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Father's Day

In wedding planning I've had this feeling of being vaguely thwarted. I have these great visions in my head--all of the things I want to do and how I want things to look and feel, but I keep being surprised at how little time, energy, and resources I have. I mean, part of it is that my sisters and close friends are all pregnant and/or moving, that we only have a couple of months (6 weeks!) etc., but I also felt vaguely aware of a lack, some support I kept reaching for but wasn't where I expected it to be. And I realized today that this is what missing my dad feels like.

Because if you need a really funky cool venue in Salt Lake, you would call Dennis. Or if you need someone who can spend an inordinate amount of time or money, like, building a fountain or renting folding chairs without worrying you about it you could call Dennis. Or if you need someone to put together a luncheon with thought mostly to tastefulness with an appropriate spritz of heart-felt emotion, or you need 200 extra man hours, or you're wondering what flowers match, or you need some good samba, or someone to bounce ideas off of to make sure you're living up to the Evans family standard of good taste and good parties, or just to be pleasantly surprised by an extra dozen paperwhites, you could call Dennis.

I don't know if this paean will translate to other families. Because I'm sure everyone loves and misses their dads in their own ways, and maybe this sounds trite or utilitarian...but. This is what Dennis does and did. This is me beginning to realize and appreciate how a gruff old curmudgeon showed me he loved me. And how much who I am depended on him.

Happy Father's Day. I miss you. ke

[I want to say, too, that I'm super grateful for all the help that everyone has offered and provided. And also that I keep referring to taste--this is subjective, of course, but the things is, Dennis defined my tastes almost exclusively so any stylistic thing he did was in perfectly good taste? If that makes sense? A subject for another post.]

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Round up:

Hello my lovely readers:

If you are interested in getting an invitation and have not sent me your address yet, please do (it's going to be pretty adorable). Email me at kjerstinm at gmail.

Love you guys. (I might post again some time....)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Even if I'm not talking about wedding things, I'm thinking about them.

So. This couple of weeks might be the best and most formative of my entire life. Details as they solidify, but I've been only just overcoming the urge to pinch myself often and hard.

And wedding plans are in motion. I have a place, a dress, a date; invites, flowers, and food are in the works; I printed out a couple of calendars for to keep track of the appointments, showers, parties that are planned more and less tentatively. I feel like it's been a great productive week. And James and I are surviving the constant rumble of wedding noise--we're heading out to California this weekend to celebrate one of his best friends' weddings (Armenian style. Vai I'm so excited.)

And I keep having these great conversations with friends. A great week.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Best of the Week(s in the last several years)

(Yes, that is my left hand. Yes to this and also this adorable fellow. July 30!)

(Radio silence resumed because weddings, turns out, are kind of a big deal.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Best of the Week

This was another mellow, good week. The best, though, I think, was a bike ride James and I took down to Utah Lake. I told him I wanted to go somewhere beautiful, and the blue skies and greening fields and the sun on the lake, oh and the spring-smelling air (Provo smells *so* delicious in the spring) was just hard enough and just great.

Soo ready for summer.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

the grumble of my heart

So my sister has turned me onto this show:

And of course it's addictive and *perfect* and also of course it's drama-ed up for TV appeal, but it's also been a great reminder of something I need to keep in mind in this whole finding myself/a job situation: things that you love you also, often, hate. That is, if you're willing to let yourself really love something and get invested in it, it is automatically demanding and also hard work: you're attached to your ideas and your method, you've spent time and energy putting things together, it's frustrating (which feels, from the outside, a lot like hard).

I forget. And. I invest in stuff. I am not an easygoing person. I have opinions and I think hard about things and I get riled up real fast...

I guess this is a reminder that I'm not going to find something easy to dedicate my life to, or that I don't get to be passionate about something I'm not also willing to be really pissed over. It's double-edged, this love thing (which, p.s., sounds all kinds of exhausting).

And a reminder that it's worth it, probably? (What I wouldn't give for a crow bar and a budget, gah!)


Monday, May 2, 2011

Thinking of you (letters to people who will never read them):

Dear Janice--
The Fleet Foxes are playing Red Butte Garden this summer. If you were still in Utah, and you know, circumstances were different, we could go. I can imagine you going for sure. Picnic basket, stuffed olives, boys, the works. It's going to be *awesome*.

Dear Tina--
I bought some spandex-y workout capris a couple of weeks ago. I don't look half as good in them as you did (your 5 kids notwithstanding), but I think of you every time I slide them on.

that's it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Best of the Week

This summer's a toughy: anxiety about my life and monsters of one form or another nibbling at my ears. Toward the end of the week I was so exhausted thinking about and avoiding it all that I could hardly get out of bed.

But I did. And headed down to central Utah for my first canyoneering trip. This stuff is James' bread and butter and it was a lot of fun to scurry up and down and around the slot canyons. The icey, dark dip we took toward the end (we were all of us making inhuman noises and sprinting for the sun) was less fun, but still awesome.

Awesome was what I needed too: huge blue sky, ridiculously gorgeous landscape, some good challenging adventure. It's weird/great how feeling tiny and tired can help your feet back on the ground.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How I really feel about food blogs

is that they should have beautiful pictures.

I don't have a camera, so that might not happen for a minute here, but I'm cooking a lot lately and starting to record the fruits here.

Come and read, it will be fun!

(Also. How do you really feel about food blogs? Any advice on making this one better?)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: Mountain West Burrito

So Mountain West Burrito is the place that went into the old gas station halfway up the State Street Provo-Orem hill and it is tasty. Everything is fresh and free range and the guy who owns/runs the place is very friendly and handsome. A solid burrito will run you like 5 bones, the giants (more like 7 or 8) are great to split.

Independent business! Delicious food! The steak is the best thought the carnitas is really good too and I think steak+veggies might be fantastic though I haven't tried yet (spring for the sour cream and guac for a buck more)!

They do salads too, and tacos, and chimichangas (I never should have opened this Pandora's Box of deep-fried deliciousness, I'm not sure I can go back to a standard burrito), and nachos and everything else you can do with toppings and grain-based outers.

I think the word is getting round, it's been busy every time I've been, but also super quick.

Anyway. Two thumbs up. Go and go.

Easter easter easter

I really love Easter. I seem to wake up to sunshine every year and also to Sunshine, if you know what I mean. That is, God always takes it upon himself to remind me that he's around and that he likes me on Easter Sunday, and today was no exception.

I like thinking about Jesus today.
I like singing Easter songs.
I like eating ham because I also get to eat mustard.
I like hanging out with my family.

I don't know. It seems like kind of a triumphal day, and I don't look for enough of those.



Thursday, April 21, 2011


So. It's nine o'clock on what should (oh please dear heavens) be the last all-nighter of my academic career ever. I have 8 pages of collected quotes and outline toward the 8-10 pager due tomorrow before James and I can head off somewhere warm and sporty, a nearly emptied 44 and a back-up liter (the empty liter got me through last night and this morning), an interesting if not-quite-articulated argument, and David's new Chili-lime sunflower seeds (so much better than the off-brand. I am in love). I am feeling good.

And. In case you missed it. Last ever. Academic all-nighter. Potentially (future Kjerstin: write your thesis in the day time? You're a peach). 

Let the games begin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Working through

Last week I was over visiting with Annie as she and Simon were housesitting. Maren pulled me into her cousin's (sort of?) room where we were playing with horses, then Annie joined us and Maren started handing me Polly Pocket dolls to dress for her (Polly Pockets are, like, 3 inches high and their close are silicon-y--stretchy and plastic and kind of a lot of fun to touch and play with). So I dressed dolls for Maren and then when Maren got bored I started looking through the pile of doll clothes and putting together my own outfits and then I as Annie and I discussed never really playing with Barbies, just dressing and redressing them, I asked her for help to find matching tops and bottoms and so we sat, me instead of writing a final paper for my master's program and Annie 6 months pregnant, playing with these dolls. For like a half hour. And it felt really good. Is the thing. Really good.

And it got me thinking. I've thought/written before how weird it is that as I get older I change only in that I understand how little anything changes. As a kid I was under the impression that adults were privy to some secret knowledge or power or something. That they were materially different than I was. I'm shocked everyday, now that I'm technically a grown-up, at the childishness of other grown-ups: the selfishness and pettiness and the power plays that we pull off because we can. Because who's going to tell us otherwise?

And it got me thinking, too, more specifically: that not only do *people* not change that much, *I* haven't changed that much. There is in my the little girl who loved performing, who loved frills and sparkles, who got sort of sensitive when Mrs. Whitaker talked about "Bossy Betty." I feel like I/we focus so much on change--on the way we're changing/growing/regressing/whatever, that I forget the parts (the most of me) that are just the same now as they were 25 years ago.

And this is important. Because. I look back at me at 10 and 14 and 20 and sort of shudder a little sometimes? Like, remembering me being too loud or cruel or poorly dressed or whatever is kind of hard. My impulse is to distance myself from little Kjerstin, to argue that I'm different from her, grown up or whatever. But I feel like that's not the answer at all. I feel like what I need to do is embrace tiny me. Take the bad with the good (and I was very adorable and precocious and charming). Come to terms with the fact that I haven't changed that much and that I probably won't change that much. And that that's really great, actually.

Anyway. I feel like this is probably one of the revelations I need to have every couple of years. So.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


So, Rooster has closed (I know there were a lot of fans. I am not that sad about it because I feel like I could defrost dumplings just as effectively and more economically, though I never tried the bulgogi [is this the thing they had? Or sandwiches or something?] there and I'm pretty disappointed about that) and in it's place there's a new Indian place: Noodles, burgers, etc. I should wait to write this review until I know the name. But. Am. Not. Doing that.

I'm excited about it: it's nice without feeling precious or boutique-y, it's ethnic without stepping on downtown Provo's already diverse downtown lineup, it's really tastey and this is the thing, it feels like a real place. Not another cupcake bakery or artsy (=unhardy/pretend/wilted) cafe, I feel like this place has staying power because its food is real and interesting; it seems like food that an actual Indian person might actually eat (I could be wrong. I have a conflicting idea that actual Indians have access to every day culinary perfection that we can only sort of imagine. But.). And they spent more time thinking about what to put in their food than in designing their concept and menus. Poorly designed menus seem like a very good sign.

The food: quick and Indian. The noodles I got (I was very excited for a noodle bar, I've been craving good noodles for at least two years, ever since my own noodle experiment ended up with me curled up on a cold bathroom floor swearing off fish sauce forever. eef) were disappointing: a little too La Choy-y tasting for me. But James's potato-garbanzo bean dish (#5. Their most popular. Again, if I knew I was going to write a review I would've paid more attention) was delish. Fast and spicy and warm and perfect.

The food seems heavy-ish and rewarmed and in that sense not everyday fare, but I'd like to explore this menu more. You should too. Let me know how it goes, yes?

Monday, April 11, 2011



Nothing is so beautiful as Spring —
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. — Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Monday, March 28, 2011


Sometimes, switching my iTunes on shuffle is the right answer: when I'm feeling a little down or disconnected or I've spent too much time roughing myself up, it's nice to take a tour through my subconscious. Dear Kjerstin, the moral usually ends up being, you have pretty good taste in this stuff. Slash, remember when you loved U2 and the Chili Peppers? :) Slash, your friends are so cool.


Last night I was driving up Hwy 6 when a ferocious winter/spring storm hit. At the same time night did. What was keeping my mind busy as I was trying to decipher yellow and white-striped lines and keep a safe following distance was Natalie Doxey's discomfort, when we were small, in talking about hail. Mormon girls with Utah accents toeing around swearing and ambiguous vowel pronunciation. When you were little did you use to say "quote" before swear words when relating stories--"She called me quote an ass unquote"? We did it all the time. If I remember right, I used to repeat quote to distance myself from the swear, if it was really bad ("quote quote quote quote the f-word" or whatever). Kids win.


Utah is sort of incredible. Arches? Does that really exist? I drove down for a quick hike/mental health break yesterday and was reminded how incredible this state/world/universe is.


I am considering, again, dropping out of my life. Yes I only have 2 papers and my thesis to go. But. That feels like a lot to ask right now. Shouldn't I just leave it behind in order to follow my life goal? Of...baking cookies or saving orphans or something? Isn't that a viable narrative to follow? (You don't really have to answer this question. I'll whine about it for a second before I buckle down and get it done.)


My sister Rachel is having a baby! Her youngest is almost 6 and last word on the topic was There is no Way in Hell (hail). Delightful. They're good folks and they make handsome, well-adjusted boys with loads of personality. I'm looking forward to our family expanding.


Best of the Week: I am very glad it's over. I invested some good time in organizing a conference the English GSA put on with the English Department which happened on Friday: well attended, apparently, and relatively hitchless. And then it was over!


Tattoine. Jeremy Messersmith.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Names in Books

I write my last name in my books lately. Because a lot of them are repeated around the grad office and because I lend and forget books all the time (Cherise: I need Plainsong back if you remember!).

It reminds me of reading my mom's old books, left from before she was married. It freaked me out when I was little, finding and reading these books, thinking about Connie with a different last name--penciled in a slightly rounder hand than I recognized. Who was this person? This pre-mom mom? (The image I have of Connie in college--forgive me, if this is private info--is her curled beneath a blanket in a dorm room listening to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" turned all the way up again and again. She told me this story once when I was having a hard time adjusting. Or when we were listening to Simon and Garfunkel. And it stuck.)

(It's paper-writing season again. So you all have that too look forward to. :) )

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I have been teaching writing for too long mayhap

I had an epiphany today.

Let me back up: I'm trying to put my life together is the context of this post. Jobs? Relationships? Life after Provo?

I was starting to think about how to make decisions today and the advice that Booth gives to researchers about starting research with a question--for to better sort through all the sources and decide what to read and what not to read and what to include and what not to include came to mind. The quote:

The point: if you don't have focus, everything seems applicable and nothing actually is.

It's the Cheshire Cat situation in other words, right? If you don't know where you're going it doesn't matter the path you take.

In other words: what is the research question (or, dare I hope, the thesis statement) of my life? There's no way to tell if a decision is good/useful or a bad unless I have some sort of criteria or end goal to measure it by.

Why is this an epiphany, now, at 28? Because, I'll be honest here, I was going to have babies by now. And it seemed sort of profligate to make grand assertions about the path my life would take when at any moment my life could be commandeered by some fellow with other plans and tiny dependent humans. And other people seem to do just fine managing the flexibility necessary to this kind of plan, I'll take responsibility for me kind of just being noncommittal and also anxious.

Ok. But now I know. So what's it going to be, this thesis of my life? This path I want to follow? [terrified and exultant screech here]

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pat on the Back

This week I have:

Been up before 7 every day.
Gone running 4/5 days (maybe I'll go this afternoon just to round the numbers out).
Spent *hours* working on my thesis.
Replaced my extra-breakfast cocktail of diet coke+tums chaser with water and B vitamins.
Read lots of good things God had to say to people just like me.
Mostly really worked for 8 to 10 hours a day.
Tried again.

I'm feeling powerful (my looking smoking in my white oxford helps with this) and hopeful and not entirely in control of my life but coming to terms with that. Maybe.

I guess: yay for me! And: everything feels possible when the morning air smells like a little like the ocean and you can eat picnics on the grass. And: bring it on.

And: happy friday!


Saturday, March 5, 2011


Help me understand.

Art and religion, I think, are the same thing. In this: they're systems of symbols and made up of symbols and their intent is to make us think and understand things that we can't quite express in language. (And you could probably define language this way too.)

Is there antagonism here--does it have something to do with creation? The creation of worlds or points of view (which are the same. Which symbols and our contemplation of symbols create.) Who should/can be creator?

Whatever. This is beautiful.

Makoto Fujimura - The Art of "The Four Holy Gospels" from Crossway on Vimeo.

"Art is always transgressive, you know, and what I always say is, we need to transgress in love. We, today, have a language to celebrate waywardness, but we do not have a language--a cultural language--to bring people back home."
Thanks Amanda.

New Music?

Who are you guys listening to? Any suggestions?


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lone Wolf

So my friend was learning how to read tarot and I had him (how does one phrase this?) read me? do a reading? Whatever? (I have thoughts on tarot--informed by His Dark Materials and also my mom's unexpected interest in astrology--about the symbols and predictions being vague enough that you can bring your own meaning to it, that it's a way to organize your thoughts and feelings...anyway.) Among other things, he told me that people think of me as a lone wolf. I'd never put it that way, but it makes sense--I'm hesitant to join the crowd, particularly when I'm not comfortable, and my social anxiety comes out sometimes as standoffish-ness. And there's that wolf t-shirt I wear occasionally...

So this last week (James and I broke up, which is what the 30 Rock quote eluded to as obliquely as possible: I'm ok, or will be or whatever, but still sort of shell-shocked and weepy) my impulse has been to retreat even further into myself, but I've been constantly surprised and humbled and [made grateful] by the kids around me reaching out--I've gotten sweet emails and invites to get pedicures and to watch Glee (love) and even just to chat and hang out and whatever. Like people have been really above-and-beyond good and thoughtful.

And I feel alone sometimes, just in my life. This week, as really knee-deep crappy as it's been, has also been a great reminder that I'm not. Alone. Invisible. Whatever.

So thanks to all of you.

(And you don't have to send condolencey comments. Though I'd love to hear from you in other capacities. :) )

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Because. Is the thing. I'm ready for a house lately. I find myself spending weekends I don't have to spend cleaning and running errands and shopping and baking bread. I wrote, and it's true, that I'm not baby hungry, but I am hungry for domesticity. I'd like to my days organizing and cleaning and crafting even, cooking. I'd like a dining room with a nice tablecloth and good dishes and matching flatware to throw dinner parties in.
This is partially a longing to abandon responsibility, yes, but there's something deeper here, too. Something nesty.


I've spent the last month or two gathering the things my father left, those things I chose from his pile, with surprisingly little disagreement, alongside my siblings, and arranging them in my own small house. Dennis left no will, he left no money to speak of, but he left his little, historical apartment (such great light! look at the fireplace!) full of the things he'd spent years collecting and holding on to. We split up the furniture, the rugs, the art, the books. I picked up some odds-and-ends--an iron, a towel, a tube of German mustard. There is something very strange about shuffling his possessions into my own life--because they are his.

We discussed this as the five of us sat around that apartment in the days after his death and before his funeral. None of knew much about Dennis. He held himself close, guarded information tenaciously; I don't think very many people knew very much at all about him. But we had his things: they had grown familiar to us. And they seemed, in the absence of actual detail, to fill us in a little about him and his life. The Arthur Miller paintings rang with something I remember Connie saying about reading or not reading The Tropic of Cancer, a book I never saw Dennis's apartment without. The rugs (these are the things I collected most aggressively) with their air of foreignness, the way they manage to communicate old fashioned opulence said something too. Or the Picasso sketch or the great Williams-Sonoma china.

And Dennis gathered these things carefully, curated his collection. I remember one point where he'd read all the books he bought/borrowed from Weller's so took the lot of them back and started to slowly rebuild his library. He took the things he valued most from our house when he left and, I imagine, did the same thing when he left his second wife. I wasn't old enough to remember but get the sense that in the first case he wasn't particularly forthcoming about the things he took, and I wonder if he snuck around in the second as well: waited till everyone had left, packed his stuff into his little Ranger and taken off. (Am I a terrible daughter for wondering this?)

There's a sting here. Because, as strange as it feels to slide a half-a-dozen of his books into their places on my color-coded shelf, these things are also mine. The rosewood table that I wrapped in Mexican blankets and drove from his house is the same one I remember threading my fingers through as a little girl, dusting the tentacley swirls with tiny fingers tentatively, worried about getting caught touching living room furniture is as much a part of my growing up as it was his bachelorhood. And the grey rug I inherited--it was the softest one, the best for lounging on Sunday afternoons.

I dreamt about Dennis the other night. He came into the room smiling but after one second I knew he was fake, shouted at whoever my host was that he was a fake and how dare he (the host) try to trick me like that.

There's something tricky about having the things that so defined him in my house. I suddenly feel much older. I'm suddenly much more proud of the place I live (an old house, incidentally, with great light and an antique tiled fireplace) and of my collection of books and of my beautiful room. Suddenly I find myself weighed down, too, with these things I love, things I can't sell or fit in my trunk when I drive across the country. I felt Dennis's voice speaking in me when I wondered if a blue-striped oxford I bought the other day was too flamboyant. Do I like this ghost his things bring?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I am considering

adopting a cat. And naming her Emily Dickinson.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Avoidance tactics

(I missed my 100th post. I was going to do something. Gah.)

So lately I've been making lots of time for experimenting with food. And it's been kind of fantastic. (this would be better with pictures, but my camera is soo bad. Le sigh.)

Experiment #1: I've started working through The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Yesterday I did bagels. Based on my roommates reaction it was a success. I'd like to figure out how to do them whole wheatier and also prettier. I had one that was kind of lovely (I ate it on my way to school this morning), but the rest looked a little like zombies. But. Fresh homemade bagels. I can do that.

Experiment #2: Caramel. (I'm trying to change the way I say this word. I've always been a carml kind of girl, but caramel sounds much prettier.) We used a sweetened condensed milk-based recipe and sort of eyed it instead of using a candy thermometer, and used corn syrup that expired in 2008 and was *definitely* fermented (don't tell my roommates?) but/and it turned out great. Caramel is sort of my favorite candy--chewy and creamy and perfect, and I got to share it with gluten-intolerant roommate #2. Next time I think I'll add more salt? And maybe play with pecans or other flavors? I also really want to try honey-flavored candy because it's delicious.

My friend Skoticus once posted about how the things you use to avoid really important and interesting things are also usually interesting and important. (Maybe not important. But interesting.) :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Post (the soft stuff) (kind of a downer)

Today, I'm going to be honest, I spent a lot of time lounging in my bathrobe and thinking about all the cool people that I am not. This is a favorite pasttime and has the added benefit of being self-sustaining. That is, once I start thinking about all the cool people I'm not I find myself unable to move or think about anything else.

Gross, of course, and what got me out of the rut was the homemade bagels I'm experimenting with and a trip to Smith's for razors and chocolate covered pretzels.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this time of the year is the pits. And my thesis is looming. But more what I'm trying to say is that it seems evident that something is off and I suspect it's something Happiness-Comes-From-Inside-of-You-Flavored. Something, doubtless, related to this idea of change that keeps (forever) poking at me. My friend posted the caption from an inspirational poster at her school: um, Don't let the person you are interfere with the person you'd like to become, or something and as much as I hate admitting it, this caption strikes a nerve. I'm terrified of becoming a new person. I'm terrified of change (I simultaneously sort of believe it's not possible).

My impulse is to reexamine my past in order to explain this. But I'll restrain myself.

James, early on when we were dating (is it ok that I'm publishing this, friend?) let me know that my 1-piece training suit was sort of frumpy. He did it in the nicest way possible. And, to his defense, other friends have told me the same thing (I wore it in Costa Rica with board shorts and was definitely wearing 5 times as much fabric as any other person). And don't get the wrong idea. But I got very defensive. Secretly defensive, of course, because that's the way I roll(ed). I bought a new (much cuter) suit and wore it and swallowed the defensiveness until it exploded some other day.
But I looked and felt better in the new suit. Just like I feel better when I'm dressed up a little and exploring the fundamentals of eye shadow (if any of you have eye shadow expertise btw, I'd love to hear it) and not being a pokey sarcastic elitist snob.

But these changes are hard to make. It's hard to believe that I can both be loveable and have anything to improve on.

Enter this staring contest I've been having with God for the last 2 years. I know he wants me to be happy, fundamentally, but I also know he wants me to be the best me, and that means changing. I feel like instead of embracing change (or even basic maintenance of, like, my work ethic and love for other people) I've been doing really dumb crap and insisting he prove he loves me anyway. Like a toddler smearing poop on the wall: do you love me now? How about now?

Which is all a way of saying: I don't like changing. I don't want to.

Which is all a way of saying: I feel really stuck/trapped/frustrated and am not really sure what to do next.

Friday, February 11, 2011

5 fingers of destiny

The first time I saw these shoes I knew two things simultaneously:

1. Those are so weird.

2. They will be mine one day.

So there was some resistance on my part, some soul-searching, etc, But I really didn't have a choice in the matter. After a short run my calves are, as warned, sort of sore. *Inexplicably thrilled.*

I love this town.

Provo hosts a lovely early/pseudo spring. Warm enough in the afternoons that you regret wearing the puffy coat that saved your from frostbite driving to school in the a.m. Warm enough to start you considering athletic footwear...I love today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Running Music?

James is in the process of convincing me to run another half in April (23rd. Gunnison. Join us.) But. I'm in dire need of some new running music.

Any ideas?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Babies are everywhere.

I've been waiting for the last couple of years, watching for my biological clock to speak up. I hear stories, you know, of baby-hungriness in women my age, and I like babies plenty, but I've never felt like I must have babies or I'll surely die. This is a thing, too: I've wondered if that means I'm wrong or broken (I'm sort of taking the Broken Says Who tack lately, if you hadn't noticed), but I figure that my hormones will start speaking up when they feel like the time is right.

That being said: spring is in the air. Testimony meeting was def baby-flavored and also an old friend is posting pics of her new b.o.j.

I'm all for adorable. Is a thing.


When James asked me the other day if I thought I was materialistic, my first response was: not really. (My very first response was a primitive fear that yes yes yes and my need for things is going to ruin my life, but I swallowed it.) I don't get my nails done or highlight my hair (yet. I think the summer would like me a little blonder). I own 3 pairs of jeans, one of which has holes in inobvious places. My house is small-ish. I don't know. Not more materialistic than most middle class Americans.

I've been thinking about it this week, though. I *love* the rug in my bedroom. One of the things I inherited from my dad. In addition to really tying the room together, it makes it feel warm and sort of grown up and very fancy. I seriously covet my roommate's kitchenaid (have you seen this thing food process? Heaven. And I made my first batch of cookie dough in it last night and was so pleased) and am pretty sure I'm not going to be able to live a full life without one of my own. And I was looking around at some of the things I have hanging on my wall and they bring me so much contentment.

And this isn't an apology, so much as just kind of a confessional. I really love pretty things. I really love my pretty things.

Happy Monday.

Monday, January 31, 2011

bullet blog

Lately I'm feeling a little, mmm, scattered. In order to keep from wasting much narrative energy on this post I think I'll write about some things I've been spending time/energy on lately. Slash been obsessed with.

1. Grits. I didn't anticipate this but a) the grits at Joe's Cafe (go and get them. Tomorrow for breakfast. They are very delicious/unlike any grits I've ever tasted) and b) a surprisingly delicious Bahamian dish, tuna fish and grits, which James has been experimenting with lately (it's supposed to be made with tuna+hot sauce, but is really good with soy sauce instead or barbecue sauce or canned turkey instead of tuna. It sounds weird, but butter+grits+plus anything is bound to be good) has sort of got me hooked. I sat in my breakfast nook this afternoon ruminating over a bowl of grits with butter and honey and feeling pretty good about my life.

2. Baby animals. This isn't a lately so much, but look. (eek!)

3. Bread. I bought The Bread Baker's Apprentice (did I mention this? And stayed up till the tiny hours reading?) and threw a pizza party and have been thinking a lot about/spending a lot of time making bread. I have pizza dough hanging out in my fridge right now--and when does that ever happen? I sort of love it.

4. Parties. Are sort of a feast and famine scenario for me. I did one last semester (which, actually, turned out fantastically) but am working on my third big production for this weekend. And am considering a Valentine's Day party with some friends. I *love* food/parties, don't get me wrong, but. My poor roommates and poor messy kitchen (I'm doing a soul-food based meal for my ward this weekend: sweet potato waffles, pomegranate bbq pulled pork, red cabbage slaw, double-decker red velvet cakelets. I effing love this stuff) and also poor James. He's made me promise to get help cleaning up. And to do something fun afterward. I am bad, still, at being simultaneously nice and in productive party mode.

5. James. Has been around for 7 months. Is adorable and makes me want to do nothing but stare at him.

6. Avoiding my thesis. If I spent half the time I spend avoiding writing on actually writing I'd have the fellow done. Or nearly. Grrrrm.

7. February? wtf?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"We women have lived too much with closure: 'If he notices me, if I marry him, if I get into college, if I get this work accepted, if I get that job'--there always seems to loom the possibility of something being over, settled, sweeping clear the way for contentment. This is the delusion of a passive life."
--Carolyn Heilbrun (love Amanda)

Um. I might be identity-crisising a touch: what do I do now?

Luckily for me my prayers for hope have been answered and answered and answered. I don't have answers, but I'm remembering that they're there for me to find.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Financial Savvy

This semester I'm taking a class called Family Finance. Because I'm a grown up.

This is the calculator I bought.

Because it was the cutest one. Very 70s-accountant-chic, right?

(This is the sort of thing that gives economist stepdad Dave ulcers. :) )

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

I turned 28!

It was a good day: I ate chocolate-covered cinnamon bears and tasty pizza and hung out with good people.

This year is going to be fantastic, I can just tell.