Thursday, November 25, 2010


sooo, eventful week!

1) i participated in a project at the coroner's office on sunday, the details of which need not be discussed here for fear my three readers will be horrified and i'll lose my fan base.

2) i've spent the last week working as an excavator at a mortuary excavation, which has been fascinating, exhausting and ultimately, excellent forensic/osteological experience. i've put in at least 7 hours there each day and then had class at night, so this week has been a little bit of a physical assault. however, i'd keep this schedule for months if it meant i was able to continue doing this work. it's amazing.

3) we just got home from thanksgiving at the aunts' house and i have recovered from my primary vomitus gorge stage and am now pleasantly full. i'm also near-sick with exhaustion, so i am going to sleep.

end recap. more tomorrow night after i excavate.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

i'm her mom! no...she's not.

when my brother sam and i were kids, we went on countless road trips with our grandparents, and listened to hours upon hours of stephen king books on tape and old radio broadcasts of "the shadow" (who knows, by the way). this early exposure to recorded audio inspired us to tape our own shows, stories and ridiculous news programs. we came up with my absolute favorite in the months before our younger brother clay was born: having just watched an episode of "the magic school bus" in which the bus and everyone in it shrinks to the size of a red blood cell so that they can learn about the human body, we developed a story about how we traveled deep into our pregnant, ravenous mother to find all the things she'd eaten recently (which included, as we discovered in our journey, the hind legs of our family dog). we were insane as children and i love that we have it preserved for eternity on tape.

as technology progressed, and our little brother, now born, started to grow up, we began using our parents' video camera to film our characters, the best of which was the one we created for clay. her name was mrs. marmalade, and she was an elderly british woman who walked with a cane and wore the old, handmade cardigans we inherited from our great-grandparents. after outfitting him with the cardigans and big, floppy hats, we forced our three year old brother to act out story lines like "mrs. marmalade goes to the market," in which she putz'd around for fifteen minutes to find enough coins to buy her butter, mumbling to herself (side note: there is nothing like a tiny boy trying to do an old lady english accent). again, we were insane as children.

all of this would have been perfect fodder for a youtube channel. if i may say so myself, we were hysterical, crazy little performers. we could have been contenders!

but, because we came of age a decade too soon, none of our creative genius exists for the universe to access. that's why i think i love this so much: kittens. i know i just railed against exploiting children on national stages, but i don't think this is exploitative. i would have absolutely loved posting something like this as a kid. so much attention!

Friday, November 19, 2010

that's macerating.

i have officially been a vegetarian since i was 8 years old. i say officially because i'd always hated eating meat, i just wasn't autonomous enough to stop having silent standoffs with my dad over in 'n out burgers until i was in third grade. i also stopped consuming milk, eggs and cheese around the same time, and cultivated a really impressive, robust lie about my lactose-intolerance, which explained why i pulled the cheese off of pizza slices in bowling alleys at birthday parties.

as a kid, i didn't like the taste or texture of most animal products and that's why i hated eating them. i have never claimed to have been so worldly at 7 that it was the eating of animals themselves that skeeved me out (however, as an adult i can say that it was the "muscle-y" texture of meat that was gross, so maybe the animals-as-food issue was subconscious but there nevertheless). that being said, having read many, many books about vegetarianism and the factory farms of today, i can say that i'm very proud of my decision to stop eating meat, regardless of how i came to make it.

so, having been a life-long animal lover and hider of fish sticks (almost always halfway in the kitchen trash, so that no one would be the wiser), i have recently had to make a few sad choices. i'm currently a first-year in a forensic anthropology program, because in college and at the tar pits, i fell in love with the idea of building up the stories of people long dead from what they leave behind (namely, their bones). it's like my own personal religion. it's comforting to know that even if you've been dead for thousands of years, if someone so chooses, they can figure out really detailed facts about your life, such as if you were right or left handed or what foods you ate as you were growing up. afterlife or not, your story never really disappears on earth, and i like that very much.

the sad choices: macerating animals. meaning: helping remove the flesh so that the bones can be cleaned and catalogued and used for comparison, etc. yesterday, i helped* macerate a rabbit, which was both absolutely horrifying and legitimately not as disgusting as one might think it would be, which i realize is a complete contradiction. explanation: it probably wasn't more foul than anything someone might make for dinner - tonight, even. however, for me, as someone who get teary eyed walking by all the animal parts in the meat section of the grocery store, it carried with it a lot of intensity.

i'm not planning on making the deconstruction of animal bodies a hobby. however, i'm glad i did it, simply because i'm gonna see a lot of really upsetting things in the next three years and i'm celebrating any little step to getting over my shock and awe.

*by "helped" i mean that i used a scalpel for approximately six minutes, after which i figured i'd had enough of the "experience" and was done.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"heaven is for realz"*

ok, so i'm no theologist, nor am i particularly political anymore (one election night crying tears of doom in my dorm room because bush won + another crying tears of joy because obama won, which both resulted in approximately the exact same crap politically = a touch of apathy for me), but this story is so blatantly out of control, i must discuss it.

fox news recently interviewed a now seven-year-old boy who claims to have visited heaven when he was four and in the hospital with a five-day-old burst appendix. now, i know full grown adults who have been rendered insane by the pain/medication associated with an un-burst appendix, so forgive me if i don't fully trust the validity of this story. also, i've known lots of kids, and their wily, intuitive natures are often completely underestimated. they are crazy little sponges, topped with an insatiable need to please their grown ups. so, it's this next part that really gets me: when asked what jesus looks like by the fox news correspondent, who is left breathless after the boy says god is so big he can hold the world in his hands (revelation!), this child says jesus had "a rough but kind face and sea-blue eyes and a smile that lit up the heavens." and, i repeat, this kid is seven, relating an event that happened to him when he was four.

i've heard kids say a lot of really precocious, adult things, like "i wanted to play, not have a conversation" and "man, that never gets old." where do these bursts of articulation come from? not out of body experiences or visits to other worlds, but instead from someplace decidedly less extraordinary - their parents. and unless this kid's been reading nicholas sparks, i think i know where he got this idea.

*for the record, i don't know if heaven is for realz. i don't. and i have zero issue with people who feel that they do. however, i have millions of issues with people exploiting little kids on national tv.

also, this:

i know i'm way behind on this one, but i'm in love: those who can't sing, sing talk.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

lately, i've become fixated on all the lines on my face, primarily because this house actually gets natural light and in the bathroom mirror i can see my face clearly for the first time since i was 21. i'm obsessed with the lines. the squint line, the laugh line, the forehead "what?" lines. i used to hate people who talked about this like it was an actual travesty and so i realize this is obnoxious and i apologize, but it's still true. cut to:

on sunday, i went with my mom to a "ladies' tea" in my hometown, thrown for and by a women's charity group that my mom isn't linked to at all, save for the fact that one of her friends had invited her to go. her friend was suddenly unable to go and my mother volunteered to set up our table's decorations and tea set (it truly was as weird as it sounds). my grandma, aunt and i all rallied and went to this tea, to help my mom fill up the three empty seats at the tea table that was now her responsibility. when we finally rolled in, we discovered there was a silent auction, a raffle and a guest speaker. the guest speaker was a woman named kathryn joosten, who plays karen mcclusky on desperate housewives. i know who she is because i have, on occasion, watched that show. i've thought she was just fine and having heard her speak at the tea, i think she's funny and interesting. however, i probably could have done without having my mom corner her, tell her i'm her biggest fan and force me to take a picture with her. (if you ever have the time, read all my blog posts and count the number of times my very own mother has thrown me under the bus and into an extremely uncomfortable encounter with a stranger at crazy events i've attended just because she asked me to.)

annnyway, to the point: kathryn joosten gave me advice about something, prefaced by "when you get to college, you'll..." and of course, i didn't even hear the end of it because i was SO PLEASED that she thought i was young enough that i hadn't even been to college. despite how awkward the entire thing was, and how desperately i wanted to attack my mother, this woman thought i was still 17. this is good news on the wrinkle front. totally awesome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

in other news...

i initially began this post on campus, where suddenly my computer decided not to connect to the campus wireless. this was a total non-issue, as i had no work to do online and i just really wanted to pass the two hours until class answering emails and checking facebook, but for some reason, this really enraged me. this kind of rage appears only occasionally, only when technology that has always been reliable suddenly fails. for example: suddenly my cable box doesn't communicate with my tv? suddenly my computer doesn't recognize the campus internet i've been accessing with no problem for two months? gah. most of the frustration comes from not understanding how to fix it, i suppose. whatever, i still technically blogged, though, so screw you, internet connection.

let's see, so much to discuss. as they say, perhaps i should begin at the beginning. unfortunately, the preschool situation wasn't nearly as sweet and adorable as it promised to be. i don't want to get into the particulars on the interwebs, but suffice to say that it was a terrible environment, both personally and professionally, and it consumed my life and made me sick. this past winter, i decided not to apply to education master's programs, and to instead focus my attention back on the forensic anthropology program i didn't get into last year. i had a much clearer idea of why i wanted to be part of the program and i had a hell of a lot more motivation (i.e. i needed an escape hatch out of the preschool nosedive). anyway, at the end of it all, i'm right where i always should have been: back in school, pursuing something i absolutely love, (mostly) drama free. it feels good. i feel like a grown-up (almost).

a few days after i posted that ridiculous bitchy rant about the wedding and the 60th anniversary party perhaps being on the same day, we found out my grandpa has lung cancer. this, of course, made any sort of issue i had about the party seem completely disgusting. i'm keeping the post up, even though it's a little bit shameful and humiliating, because i think it's important for me to remember what is actually important; namely, that i HAVE grandparents who made it to their 60th wedding anniversary and who i love dearly.

i'm working on trying to be content where i am, which i believe is a resolution i have made approximately 10,000 times since i was old enough to have such deep, intelligent ponderings of the universe. as old as it is, though, it's still important and definitely worth attempting. at some point, while desperately clawing up the rungs of the success ladder, you come to realize that there is no ultimate, no point at which you'll decide, hey this is the best and i'll never want for more. everyone has goals, EVEN after they've reached previous goals. therefore, constantly pining over what you haven't achieved yet is just destining yourself to a life of never being happy or grateful or fulfilled by your current situation. that sucks. i've been living in that dark place of jealousy and crazy for a few years now, as i've watched some people get married or into school (before i did those things) or buy houses or have babies or just generally "have lives." suddenly, i realized that i myself having been "having a life" all this time too. that's not at all to say that i won't keep striving for more, because there are definitely things i want to accomplish and attain that i don't have at the moment (like, say, enough money to pay off my credit cards or buy my own car). however, i'm just gonna stop bitching so much and just BE HAPPY. i can't even believe that has to be a life philosophy - why can't that just happen?

also, i've started walking dogs. for moderate profit. it's a super bizarre thing to say that you do and an even weirder thing to actually do, considering it requires that you access strangers' keys, enter strangers' houses and hang out with their animals. someone in my grad program referred me to the company and i got hired in about three seconds. my first assignment was to take a rottweiler up in the mountains and hike with her for an hour and a half, which of course made me want to pass out and throw up at the same time. it was more exercise than i'd gotten in about a year. so sad and yet so very true.

i think perhaps this is due to my brand new outlook on life, but i'm really truly happy right now. i was never outright miserable, but i wasn't enjoying my life and the people in it like i should have been. now, i'm genuinely loving every thing i do: every family get together i attend, every movie i watch with luke, and i'm even loving hiking up giant mountains with fierce canines. i could seriously get used to this.

oh, hellllllo!

so, apparently, this bloggy brainchild of mine, designed to help me work out all the insanity of my life, is the first thing to get completely ignored when times get tough. that's a little sad. i'm a fairweather blogger, i guess.

the updates that are necessary are a little bit staggering, but i'll try (however, people are only routed here through facebook, if at all, so all you peeps have seen this already and therefore cannot be upset with me for lagging on the blog):

a) we got married! the wedding was absolutely amazing, and that's coming from a girl who spent her childhood tying firecrackers to g.i. joes, not fantasizing about the perfect ball gown and wedding cake. it was so perfect for us: small ranch house, santa monica mountains, friends, family, good food, awesome music, fab photographer, etc. it was an incredible day and i'm so lucky to have had that.

b) i got into grad school! i rode high on my acceptance all through the summer, bought all my books, and then...actually started school, which kicked my ass. i'm still incredibly grateful to have gotten in (just two other people were accepted into my year) and am really loving what i'm studying. i'm just crazy overwhelmed with finding a feasible job, figuring out what is expected of me in this program (undergrad it ain't) and trying to get settled into....

c) the house we're renting. we found a tiny little two bedroom in the valley and i'm loving it. hardwood floors, dishwasher and washing machine FINALLY, giant backyard for cats to chase birds around - it's great. the only issue is that luke and i are almost never here and when we are, we're too lazy/exhausted to try to put it together. thankfully, we are no longer living out of boxes. thank god for small miracles.

d) luke's starting his own business! i'm so excited for him. i'm not allowed to advertise at all until he gets everything exactly as he wants it, but you can believe that once it's together, i'm gonna be screaming it from the mountain tops.

it's been months and i have much more to say, but i must run (literally: i've started walking dogs because nothing else fits my school schedule as well and i've got to do something about how disgusting and sedentary i've become). more and detailed and hilarious updates shortly. i pinky promise.