Month: September 2012

Hello and stuff!

I have a minute, so I just wanted to stop over here in my very own blog to tell you that I have a guest post up today at my Dear Friend Stephanie’s blog. She’s hosting a several-week-long celebration for the Family Proclamation (which is something I love), and my post is about scorching morning breath and ticking clocks. And food. (More things I love. Obvs.)

Also I took Kid 1 on her first college visit today. We took a golf-cart tour of BYU, and it was tender and fun and precious and HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT MY KID IS GETTING READY TO CHOOSE A UNIVERSITY? Like that.

ALSO: BYU’s Museum of Art has Andy Warhol right now. We went to see some of that, after the tour and an interview and some yummy lunch. I geeked out. She nodded and smiled, because my Kid 1 is many things, but not a geek. And she asked if a person has to be an artist to get a curating-type job, because isn’t art cool? I geeked some more, because YAY! So we looked at alabaster saints and Islamic rugs and window frames and bowls, and then I stared at multiple Marilyns (10 of them, so dang cool) and one awesome James Dean, because yes please. And many more iconic Warholisms [1]. Also creepy Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (his prints are creepy [2]; I assume he’s lovely). Guys, go. It’s free. And there’s a Warhol installation with silver foil bags filled with helium or some such airy substance, and you can play with them like giant silver balloony pillows. What could be more awesome than that? Not much, I tell you.

[1] that sounds like an illness, but it’s more like cans of soup and awesome prints of elephants and tigers

[2] creepy to me. And to Kid 1. Maybe you would find them adorable. But if I put that in my room, I could guarantee never to have a peaceful sleep again. I’d dream that pink flowers were planning my demise. GO SEE IT.

Things I forget

To defrost frozen chicken for dinner

that I don’t actually love chicken

to wipe bathroom baseboards

what happened in the book I read last night

to get clothes out of the dryer

to draft without editing

how much I like putting up the Christmas tree (but I remember how much I like taking it back down)

to avoid sugar

how good really good ice cream feels in my mouth

to avoid drinking water right before teaching an hour-and-a-half-long class

appointments that aren’t in my phone

to mark down library books’ due-dates

to remove keys from the ignition (only at home)

to check the mailbox

my university GPA — seriously, no idea

to phone my siblings and parents on any kind of regular basis

to buy what I didn’t write on a list

to mow the lawn, until it rains (hooray for rain!)

birthdays (oh, FB, what would I do without you?)

to plant tulips

to add batteries to the clock in the Kids’ bathroom

to replace buttons on shirts hanging in the closet

how much school registration actually costs (kind of like labor)

to paint my toenails (except for once in a while, when they turn out BLACK)

that it (whatever it is) is, actually, going to be okay

where I parked (I take pics of numbered concrete posts with my phone)

how much butter is in a batch of pecan bars

how to spell privilege, receive, and plumber

 

Goth Mom?

So here’s a question I don’t often have occasion to ask myself: Am I the kind of person who can wear black nail polish on my toes?

See, I bought this bottle of really pretty, really dark purple nail polish a couple of months ago. (Sometimes it takes me a couple of months to get around to things like painting nails.) And this morning while I was baking bread (I know, I know) I had some time to sit around. So I painted the toes. And the whole pedicure arrangement came out kind of … blackish.

I also know that black nail polish has been trendy for years. But here’s this other thing about me: sometimes it takes me a few years to jump on a trend. And usually, I just don’t. Especially when it comes to things like black nails. But I was in for a penny and I went ahead and did the second coat, which we call in for the pound [1].

And it looks cool, as far as I know. But Kid 3, who is 11 and knows these things, said, “Mom, you look kind of Goth.” Which, naturally, is something we hear all the time around here.

For the record, I’ve never even had a Goth phase. And I always kind of laughed at those kids who tried SO HARD to be unlike anyone else that they looked EXACTLY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE who was trying the same thing. But maybe now that it’s not 1989 and Goth-ism isn’t such a THING, I should just embrace it.

Maybe Black Toes are just the beginning.

[1] I very well could be using this cliche wrong, but it’s sort of my thing to misuse cliches, don’t you know.

Lamps and Haircuts and Coupon Books

It was my birthday yesterday, and so we’re inside Birthday Week. (What? You don’t do Birthday Week? Well, I think you should.)

Husband got me lamps for our room. They’re lovely and perfect. He also gave me the necklace I bought for myself last month. I’m very excited to wear it in the near future.

I went and got a haircut. Kind of a drastic one. I decided it’s time to have a style again. It’s only been years, you know. So, style it is. Sort of this-ish, Sort of that-ish, sort of the other-ish.

I think it’s great. And lovely to have someone else cut my hair. Why don’t I always do that? I can’t tell you. Sorry. It’s just a thing, apparently. But you know, with an actual style, I sort of need to go in for actual haircuts every actual 6 weeks. Bonus.

 

So on another birthday note, I should tell you this: I love my little boy. He’s 8, and he’s cool (to other 8-year-olds) and hilarious (likewise) and adorable (to pretty much everyone). But this thing recently happened: He started growing out of holding my hand in public. I pretend not to care, and I tease him about it just enough to let him know that I notice (he’ll snuggle at home, and share my chair, and hug me all day long as long as nobody else is around). So for my birthday, he gave me a coupon book that he made (best gift ever, I love when my kids do this). And my very favorite coupon, among a whole lot of wonderfulness to choose from, is a coupon for “50 Free Hand-holds in Public.” I know. Totally lucky.

A Legend for September Days

He spent years writing and performing amusing tales and poems and songs, bringing laughter to the lives of people near and far. He kept the tales and poems and songs written in a large leather-covered book, fastened with a strap.

But the tales and poems and songs that lived in his heart were less amusing. There he held the tales of heartbreak, redemption, loss and pain. Sometimes, of an evening, he could sing one of those hidden songs, and the audience who remained to hear would cry hot tears. They would reach out and touch his hands, silently thanking him for understanding the hidden parts of their own hearts.

But when he opened his leather-covered book and attempted to ink the words of those songs inside, his pen’s ink ran dry, leaving no mark but an invisible path in the parchment.

The poet continued to open his mouth and amuse audiences near and far with his tales, and he rejoiced in the laughter that surrounded his performances. But through the joy, an ember of pain burned. The poet wanted, desired, needed to share his other tales, his other poems and songs. And in the crowds of eager, happy listeners, he could see the pain-filled eyes of those who needed to hear the other kind, to read them, to keep them. To reference the true tales and to feel they were not alone.

When the happy crowds wandered away to grin and laugh their way to their beds, the others stepped in from the edges of the circle, closer to the poet. Closer to his laugh-crinkled eyes that now relaxed and shone with another emotion. And now, the poet opened his heart. He poured out tales and poems and songs of the other kind. And his remaining audience nodded their heads, reached out to comfort the strangers among them, grasped hands in solidarity. And after, the poet walked away relieved, the ember of pain still glowing, but surrounded now by peace. And the people, the people nodded and smiled and bowed him on his way, through their tears.

Again and again, he tried to write the deeper tales of his heart. Again and again his pen’s ink ran dry. He scratched the poems into the pages of his book, but no ink flowed from his pen and no marks would rest on the page. He beat his fists against the traitorous pages of his leather-covered book. He snapped his pens into pieces. He flung inkwells until they bled black puddles on the floor.

And then he sat. He sat and gripped his hair in his fingers, pressing the heels of his hands into his aching eyes. He moaned out the words of a heartbreak tale. He sung a song of darkness and redemption. He spoke a poem of loss and pain. With every word, he felt the thump of his heart echo the truth. His heart that held such vast wells of laughter and sadness.

For a time, he sat that way, clutching his hair and feeling his heart send his lifeblood through his body.

The poet picked up an unbroken pen. He opened his leather-covered book to a fresh page. And he scratched out the words that lived in his beating heart. He saw no marks on the page, but he continued to write, the words pouring from his mind and heart through the fragile pen until he saw it. The stain began to flow, a pigment not black but red and rich and alive, beating onto the pages of his book, inking his precious and needful words into the parchment forever. Words that he knew for him must be shared, and for others, must be read.

 

WINNER! WINNER!

Tara Wall, you are the winner of the DVD of “The Book of Jer3miah” — so let’s hear some celebrating. Congratulations to you. I’ll get that right out to you so your family can enjoy the mystery and the adventure.

Got the image from Amazon, so you could buy it there, too. Options, people. That's what we're all about.

All the rest of y’all can watch it online or buy yourselves a copy, if you like.

And thanks again to the generous folks at Deseret Book for donating the DVD.

Win Free Stuff! No, Really.

Guys! I have a thing for you to win! I know! Exclamation points!

I have some very clever friends. And some very clever acquaintances. And some of those people are married to each other. (Sheesh. I know.) So I may be pushing it when I say this, but for purposes of right now, let’s say My Friend Jeff Parkin [1] (what? We’ve had dinner together…) made a really fun web series with some of his film students. It’s called “The Book of Jer3miah” – and it’s a conspiracy thriller (totally appropriate for audiences of many ages). And the series is available online. And also, now, the series is available to buy on a disc. And more also, now the series disc is available RIGHT HERE. It’s here, beside me, in this room.

Here is some information:

(Because we love information.)

The New York Times reviewed it and called it “a tight, suspenseful little series” with “quick dialogue and funny supporting characters,” and concluded, “when celestial smackdowns are a plot possibility, things can get pretty hardcore. And that makes for good web drama.”
Here’s a link to the trailer: http://jer3miah.com/ (Click on the red bar that says “Watch Exclusive Trailer.”)
Did you click it? Did you watch it? Do you want it? Okay. Here’s all  you have to do. Comment on this post, and I’ll pick a winner and mail that winner the disc. Life doesn’t offer you winnings THAT EASY very often. Hey, winner? You have to live in the US or Canada, because shipping is pricey, don’t you know.
*  *  *
Conspiracy! Thriller! Filmed at a place that looks a lot like the university I attended, lo these many years ago! Check out the trailer, and watch the TED talk, and comment to be in the running. I’ll choose a random winner on Saturday, how ’bout that?
[1] this links to his TED talk, which is awesome — about the power of Story.