12.31.11

In the past 48 hours, I have had eight Diet Cokes, two tacos, watched 10 episodes of "Psych," bought new Vans, wrote seven thank you notes, went rock climbing, fell asleep reading scriptures, and talked to myself far too often. — On par with a someone in a padded room, weaving a basket, actually. (Seriously? Talk about the life. I've always wanted a padded room. Oh the possibilities.)

That's what happens when you're in Provo during Christmas break. This town is dead. Indeed, maybe the reason I've been holed up in my apartment for the past two days is because every time I poke my head out the door, I imagine zombies hobbling across the parking lot and the smell of rotting flesh wafting up the three flights of stairs that I have yet to knock out to prevent unwelcome visitors.

I'm going out tonight though, the threat of demon spawn or not. (I really wanted to work in something about "damned if I do" right here, but it just didn't flow. You know, because zombies are damned souls. ... Nevermind.)

I'm going out because it's New Year's Eve and this is the first year in my 24 that I'm not working, sick, or spending it with family. I get the impression that people dress up for this holiday? Glitter, am I right? Yeah. No. I'm wearing my Vans.

New Year. New Year. I also get the impression that people make goals for this holiday? (Wow, that is so accurate: They make them for the holiday and by the time they come out of their alcohol-induced coma, the goals have gone the way of 8-Track players and the guillotine. Although, I'm brainstorming ways to bring the guillotine back. I think crime rates would drop with the that hanging over their heads. Literally.)

Goals. That was the point of this post. (Really, it was.)

I don't have any.

I have plans though. And the goals? Well, if they come, I'll start them then. I have several others in the works, because who says you need a date to improve your life? (As in, a calendar date. Let's not get into relationships right now.)

Plans for 2012:

January - 
Climb a 10c
Buy Cath a sweet birthday present

February - 
Disneyland

March - 
Run the Rex Lee 5K or 10K

April - 
Go somewhere. Canada?

May - July
Undecided.

August - 
Europe.

Let's be honest, I mainly wanted to write my plans so I could type "Disneyland" and "Europe."

Anyway, I should probably go down another Diet Coke and head off to the party that will either be mad-fun or an awkward, wall-hugging experience. It's up to me, yes?

See ya 2011.

... Prime number. Don't like them prime numbers.

12.30.11

"You're ... endearing."

"Endearing?" His head protruded out of his neck like that of a senile pigeon. "What does that mean?"

Her head snapped back, chin into neck, mouth pulled downward in a combination of confusion and embarrassment. "It, well, it was intended as a complement. But, well ... "

Swarmed with self-doubt and lost in the ever-impossible arena of the spoken word, she stopped. Seeking relief, she looked at her hands, her feet, back to her hands, then to the man across the road awkwardly getting balloons out of a blue hatchback.

He stared at the side of her head, his mouth gaping slightly. He resembled a freshly killed deer: Silent. Ugly.

"Endearing makes me sound like a child." The dead deer spoke.

Finding her words again, her eyes shot up and over, taking her head with her to face him square-on.

"A child? Yes, I suppose that would be a better description of you after all." Her face began to warm. "Endearing implies adoration, desire — love, even." Her voice began to rise. "Endearing implies kindness. Child-like, well, that can imply an array of things, from the best to the most base. And you —you — you are ..."

She could not say it. She wanted to hate him, to be rid of him, at this moment more than any other, but something was lodged in her chest. It tugged as he walked with her. Tore when he walked away. And kept her, always, from escaping that inexplicable aura that seeped out of his skin and encapsulated the surrounding space.

With her silence came his victory. He shut his mouth, retracted his frame and with a smug chuckle slid his hands into his pockets. "You get so defensive over the silliest things. So I'm a child. I've been called worse."

They began to walk again, he invisibly tugging her along. A rebuttal grew, filling the area behind her eyes and nose. The words pounded inside her face, punching and scratching to be let out. She could not allow it, for if she did, the words would tumble out, jumbled and pathetic.

When she said the original word, he heard a set of nine letters meaning naivety. What she meant was something quite different.

Ah, because it was not just a word.

It was a being. One she sought. Not unlike a soulmate, but not the same. It was what she had hoped he would be. But labeling him as such did not make it so.

It was not just a word, and he was neither the word nor the embodiment of it. He was just a man. A man strapped with self-made blinders to what his world could be. He had once been endearing because of a mysterious intrigue that piqued her interest. He was now a repulsive, maggot-ridden carcass of arrogance and self-righteous delusions.

Turning abruptly, she dislodged the metaphor from her chest. A gasp wisped past her lips as she walked away. He didn't stop, he didn't notice. And although she pretended not to care, she did.

But it was better this way.

12.18.11

There's a song by The Weepies that goes, "They're in love. Where am I?" When I first heard it, I thought, "Yes! Exactly. That's precisely how I feel." But truth be told, my thoughts most days are more along the lines of, "I'm bored with my life. Who wants to join forces and make things more exciting?"

I think I have a skewed perception of dating and marriage.

Also, I found a piece of writing from a while ago where I started about finances and after a paragraph, ended it with, "Screw you, marriage." It must've been a rough day.

And here's a poem I found near that piece:

13D 
by e. gosney

Climb out of bed.
Climb into clothes.
Climb onto my chair.
For eight hours.

Climb around conversations.
And hide.

Climb through another mediocre meal. 
And then up a wall.
Literally, if you must know.
Metaphorically if you must not.

On life.
Live on. 

12.17.11

December is the month of family newsletters, of seeing old friends, of awkward family Christmas parties. It's the time when people catch up on each others lives and pretend to care as they talk about their son-the-soccer-player, and their daughter-the-math-genius. It is a time for bragging, but in such a way that no one is called out for being obnoxious, but that's exactly what everyone is secretly thinking about everyone else.

So what do I brag about? No husband. No kids. No blockbuster career. Nothing to invoke those feelings of, "Gosh she's obnoxious," from anyone. More likely I get pity, which just won't do.

So I'm a church calling-dropper.

You know, like name-dropping. "I met Elder Nelson in the airport." "Oh yeah? Pres. Eyring came to my FHE." "No way. Well Pres. Monson AND Pres. Uchtdorf came to my house for dinner last week and complimented my crescent rolls."

(Not to brag, but I DID shake Elder Scott's hand when I was 14. Just saying.)

So, I decided to mention my calling when put in situations where I feel the need to compete for the "Who's Life is of More Worth" award. This mostly happens with semi-friends and old acquaintances that I run into at the grocery store, bridal showers, donating blood — you know, the regular hangouts. "Oh, fun, you're celebrating your two-and-three-quarter month wedding anniversary? That's nice. I would've come to your party, but I was in a meeting with the Stake Presidency because I'm the Relief Society president. Yeah, being the Relief Society president can make things busy, but I love being the Relief Society president. It's the best. You know, being the Relief Society president."

That's right, I've got something to brag about too, Miss My-Life-Is-Seemingly-So-Perfect-With-My-Perfectly-Curled-Hair-and-Perfect-Engineer-Husband-with-a-Perfect-1988-Toyota-Camry-and-No-Student-Loan-Debt.

Shutchyomouth.

I've only done it a couple times so far, but it seems effective. I mean, everyone gets married, but how many people are Relief Society president? ... Yeah, that's what I thought.

I'll have to try it out when I get released and called as Ward Greeter. "It's a tough job," I'll say, "But someone's got to do it." And then they'll be all like, "... Wow, my life is crap."

That's the goal: Boost yourself up by devaluing others.

-eg

12.12.11

There is no cure like laughter. Hard, loud, gasping-for-air kind of laughter. Tears clouding your vision, jaw hurting, body shaking.

It kind of sounds like hysterically crying, doesn't it?

But laughter is, well, better. To state the obvious.

Crying has it's place. But laughter? Laughter is always acceptable.

(Well, not always, but you get the idea.)

I always seem to laugh harder after crying. I laugh truer. My body, purged of sadness, has nothing to expel except joy.

And there's so much to be joyful about.

12.11.11

Sometimes you put hand sanitizer on your weather-cracked hands.

Sometimes flights are canceled. Twice.

Sometimes Diet Coke doesn't cure the headache.

Sometimes relationships end before they begin.

And, well, that's just how life is.

But hand sanitizer still disinfects.

You still get to where you're going. Eventually.

Diet Coke still tastes good. Headache or not.

And there is always that hope for the future.

To try again. To find someone new. To carry on.

And to laugh.

It doesn't take away the blow to the chest. The gasping as self-deprecating thoughts run rampant in my head. That frustration that no matter how hard I try, it's just not enough.

No, those things are still there. But that hope, it allows breath between the blows.

The gasps turn to laughter, bringing rational thought.

And amidst the beating-my-head-against-a-brick-wall frustration, I know someday it will be enough.

12.7.11

It's my birthday tomorrow. The big 24. I'm glad. 23 is a prime number, and prime numbers have always scared me.

I listened to a song recently, and I could've sworn it was by Jamie Cullum, and he talks about being 23. I wanted to post the lyrics, because as I listened they were so comically true. But now I can't find the song, and although I'd be tempted to write what is so comically true at age 23 in my own words, it's late. And it'll still be true at 24.

Life is good, you know?

(It seems I haven't always been scared of prime numbers, judging from last year's post about turning 23.)

11.26.11

Grateful for:
General Conference issue of the Ensign
Sunshine and crunchy leaves
Playing the piano
Telling stories
One more day of vacation
Birthday card from Grandma
The future

***

This week, for the first time, I didn't see anyone from my immediate family on Thanksgiving.

This week, for the first time, I made myself throw up. It's harder than it seems, but it was necessary. Believe me. It was.

This week, for the first time, I watched a football game by myself between two teams I didn't care about. (Ohio and Michigan. Michigan won, by the way.)

This week, for the first time, I didn't honk at anyone while driving. No one. Not even the moron who cut me off on the freeway and made me slam on the brakes.

This week, for the first time, I cried during a car commercial.

This week, for the who-knows-how-many-times-it's-been, I decided to be happy regardless. Regardless of what others do, or don't do. Regardless of what my life is, or isn't. It's harder than it seems, but it's necessary. It's worth it.

It is.

11.22.11

Have you ever wanted so badly to be sick that you made yourself so?

Odd, I guess, to want to be sick.

But Sunday night that's all I wanted. To be sick so I could stay home in bed, sleeping away the hours and shutting out the responsibilities of grown-up-hood.

It took a little longer than I had anticipated, but by Monday afternoon, I was sick.

Headache, sore throat, running nose. The whole bit.

So I came home and did nothing. Just looked pathetic and relished the occasional, "You OK?" from my roommates.

Because I wasn't not OK, but I wasn't good, either. And the attention, well, the attention felt good.

This morning I tried to wake up but knew it was a lost cause. So I texted my boss (yes, that's how cool my boss is) and told him I'm be late. I needed the medicine to kick in. He texted back, "Hope you feel better." (Like I said, really cool boss.)

So I got what I wanted — 1/4 of a sick day, extra sleep, a little bit of attention, an excuse not to do my makeup and hair to the full extent of acceptability in the work place — and now I feel better. Top notch, actually. (Rock climbing followed by a hot shower is one heck of a cure, let me tell you.)

I guess I wanted to write about this whole making-myself-sick thing because I am amazed at the power of thought. The power of our minds to control our bodies. The power of our desires almost always turning into real life.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

The mind is greater than the body.

Spirituality is greater than carnality.

Is this insight new? No. Is it comforting, liberating, uninteresting, exciting, life-changing? I don't know. For now, I guess, it's just there.

(And, yes, I made up the word "carnality.")

-eg

11.21.11

I think the best part of keeping a journal and writing a blog is being able to go back and see where you were. Today I went back to November 2009, and I found a little gem that I wrote that I think is worth posting again. Coincidentally, it was exactly two years ago, to the day. Not so coincidentally, I still feel the same.

11.21.09


"Everything makes sense when you're with me."
—Relient K, "Savannah" 


I've never been to Europe, but when I think about my future, I have this romanticized vision of living in  Europe. Or at least somewhere with a very European feel -- I guess just about anywhere but the cinder block apartment complex I live now. I don't know where this feeling has come from. Maybe too many Jane Austen movies, too many Michael Buble and Jamie Cullum albums, maybe too many years of dreaming and planning and so little doing. In my head there is a daydream playing on repeat, of white-washed walls and yellow dishes. Of corner markets and mom & pop shops. Of a journal full of more answers than of questions. Of not flying solo, but of having someone to share my laughter with, my dessert, my laundry detergent. This doesn't sound very European, does it? But maybe because both things are foreign to me, Europe and my future life, my mind has combined both together. And both are things I'd sure like to have.

So, Europe, I'll get there someday. And you, whoever you are, we're gonna share a really good life. Laundry detergent and all.


-eg

11.20.11

It's an interesting concept, loneliness. I am never really alone — surrounded by friends, co-workers, strangers at the grocery store, the occasional family member — yet I classify myself as such more often than not. Sometimes out of sorrow, sometimes out of delight (have you ever gone to a movie by yourself? Awesome.)

And what's more, every person that classifies them self as alone, as lonely, feels as if they're the only one. And yet, I know better. Everyone does. I am one of billions of people that feels that isolation, the seclusion, the abyss that is loneliness.

That realization does nothing to soothe the sting.

Each has their own brand of loneliness, specially formulated to prick, to crush, to suffocate, to slash, to tear and burn and strangle the life from their frame. No one is alone is feeling lonely (irony, is it not?) but each is alone in their uniquely cruel solitude.

I'm not especially lonely right now, more just pensive. I found several scraps of poems I started more than a year ago on the subject of being alone, each one with strong imagery and no ending. That, in itself is an allusion to loneliness — potent, and seemingly without end.

I want to post some of what I wrote, for no other reason than to share the imagery of loneliness. My own brand of loneliness, from July 2010.

#1
I've heard someone say they were suffocating in loneliness.
But I find it hard to suffocate in nothingness.

#2
The loneliness is maddening
It is relentless
It is without end.
Comparing it to suffocation is not
enough, for it does not kill,
It only ages.
It ages me. I feel my face clenching back like a vacuum pack sealer.
It will not release me.
I am aging alone.
It isn't painful. It is —
What do the doctors say?
— Uncomfortable.
It presses on my chest without,
while the [end]

#3
I am bloated with loneliness.
The pressure builds, pushing my stomach out,
My pants cut into my flesh.

#4
Loneliness is a Texas summer.
Humid.
Hotter than description.
Barren in brown.

Loneliness is being bloated.
Gas pushing the pants into my flesh.

Loneliness is an imbedded tic.
There, but good for nothing.
There. Sucking life.

Loneliness is who I've become.

I wanted to find myself.
I never wanted to find myself alone.

Words of Wisdom from Elizabeth: Part I

Always have clean ears. You never know when you'll be offered to share ear buds with a cute boy. (Thanks for teaching me good hygiene, Mom.)

I enjoy whistling as much as the next guy, but there's a time and place for it. And in a shared office in the work place is not one of them.

Don't lick foil containers. It doesn't matter how good the Laughing Cow cheese is. Or the yogurt. Don't do it. You're tongue will thank you.

Don't add celebrities — local ones or world-famous — as friends on Facebook unless you actually know them. It's just sad.

"Thank you" is always a good comeback. You will always sounds polite, even if you're also sounding condescending  For example, if someone was to sarcastically say, "Wow, thanks for screwing that whole project up." You can say in return, "No, thank YOOUU."

-eg

11.8.11

"This lint ball and this lint ball, they are like racial diversity," she said aloud to herself, raising one hand and then the other, each containing a freshly scooped wad of lint from two dryers. "One is light, one is dark, but they're both made of fabric particles. It's like I'm holding the whole world in my hands."

"That was messed up, dude." She started as a long-legged man across the room replied to her analysis.

"Yeah. Yeah I guess it was. But I'm kind of right, right?"

"No."

And with that, he placed two quarters on the nearest washing machine and walked out the door.

-eg

11.2.11

Here's a snippet of what I've been up to the past couple weeks. Or, at least what I have photos of.


Last day of work at the Daily Herald. That's Joseph, Sara and me. I miss them.


Here's what I looked like as Ferb during the tri-ward Halloween activity. Seriously, people thought I was the Joker? Really? So sad. I guess no one my age watches Disney Channel. No one single, and my age, that is. 


We attempted the corn maze at HeeHaw Farms. It was stinkin' cold, dark, and we didn't really understand how the whole thing was structured (the start and finish were at the same spot?) so we kinda didn't complete it. But hey, it was fun, and that's what matters. [Jessica, Telisha, me and Ethan.]


Jessica and Telisha at J's cousin's house. We ate doughnuts and explored his sweet house, full of thrift-store/antique shop items from all over the world and from every era. It was so cool.


I opted to dress as Deb from "Napoleon Dynamite" so as to not be confused for the Joker again. (I had Jessica add a Napoleon-heart "tattoo" on my arm to complete the look.) Oh, and I know Deb doesn't wear glasses, but I didn't have my contacts and I didn't want to be blind the whole night. Sorry.


And finally, we had a Halloween-themed dinner on Sunday night. Monster apples, skull-ice punch, mummy pigs in a blanket, dirt cups for dessert. So good. [Josh, Nicole, Justin and Stefany.]

So there you go. This doesn't include the rock climbing I've been doing twice a week with Jessica. So. Fun. My arms are sore, but they are getting buff, and my hands are slowly but surely building calluses. Ah man, there's something so awesome about using your own strength to conquer a precipice. It brings a feeling of accomplishment like no other. It adds another thrill to the concept of progression. Spiritual, intellectual, physical progression. Forever. Shoot dang, it's exciting to know we have unlimited potential. 

P.S. I'm falling in love with scrapbooking supplies and I don't even scrapbook. Yikes. Thanks, new job!

10.30.11

I am two weeks behind in my journaling, I failed to plan a real Halloween costume more than 2 hours in advance of the parties I went to, I haven't folded my laundry in a week, and my bed doesn't remember ever being made, among other things.

And, most bothersome of all, I cannot recall when I last pondered. Yes, in the spiritual sense about the Good Word, but I'm talking about pondering my life. Me. My brain, my personality, my reactions and lack of reactions. I haven't had a chance in some time to just breathe. To not feel rushed. To not feel stressed about getting to bed. To just be still.

Not that I'm dissatisfied with life right now. On the contrary, it is bursting at the seams with wonderful things. But that's also the reason I can't catch my breath. There's always something to knock it out of me again.

No, let me rephrase that.

There always the next thing that takes my breath away.

(Holy, cliche.)

But it's true. I'm suffocating in wonder. Just imagine it the contradicting image: Me gasping for air as I fly through life in awe of the opportunities given to me.

I'm choking on blessings.

Tonight, I recognized the blessings, but I then caught a glimpse of myself. Of losing myself. My face was turning blue and I was disappearing into the abyss of activities, hobbies and social events. Where was Elizabeth in all this? Not just her body, not just her laughter, but HER. Her mind, her thoughts, her opinions, her, yes, wisdom. I saw her shell, what the world perceives at first glance, but there is so much more and I was losing sight of it, of how to cultivate it, of how amazing it is to know myself beyond the party, the sporting event, the game night.

So this is me stopping. Breathing. Deep, full, loud, the-doctor-has-a-stethoscope-to-my-chest kind of breathing.

I don't have anything profound to say in my pondering, but that's not the point, is it?

No, no it is not.

10.20.11

Oh hey. I posted some pictures on my photography blog. That'll tie (tide?) you over until I can post about ... stuff. I hesitated because there's really nothing to say. (Ah, but Elizabeth always has something to say! ... No, wait, no I don't.)

Peace.


© 2011 e.gosney

10.9.11

Some thoughts:

~ Sometimes I want a guy that looks like Clark Kent, gelled hair, thick glasses, big muscles and all. But I'd take (an older) Squints Palledorous any day, as long as he makes me laugh and holds me close. That's my Super Man.

~ Have you ever been asked, "If you had $X extra a month, what would you do with it?" Well, I finally have the opportunity to try that out. This new job is a blessing in so many ways — better hours, better environment, new experiences and challenges, opportunities to use more skills — but the weirdest one is the better pay. I'm used to living on a certain amount, and it's been just fine. Now I have more to live on, and I have to decide how to use it, or, more wisely, how to save it. What will I do with the extra $X a month? Save up for a trip to Europe. Pay off my loans. Buy an iPhone. Contribute to my 401k and open a Roth IRA account (Devon: Help?), buy Christmas presents for my family (I love buying presents for people), and save more in general. Because someday I'll get married. And someday I'll have kids. And someday I'll buy a house. And that someday will be so much better when I know we have money in the bank. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it brings a certain peace of mind. At least for me.

~ What's it like to have a guy as your best friend growing up? What's it like to go to senior prom? What's it like to graduate with your class and throw your cap in the air? What's it like to go home on Christmas break and see old friends as well as your family? What's it like to study abroad? I don't know. And usually it doesn't bug me. Usually I don't think about it at all. But sometimes I wish I knew, because it seems everyone else does, and I'm missing out. Or missed out. I'm just curious. Not regretful, just curious.

~ I'm really good at Guitar Hero on my iPod Touch. Just saying. I love playing Vampire Weekend songs.

(Cath, you'll like this one. Ha ha ha.)





10.8.11

It turns out, I got just about as much sleep at Deon's in New Mexico as I did last week and this, working 15-hour days. But New Mexico was WAY more fun. Seriously, I loved being there with Deon and her boys. Here's what we did:

Jumped off the fireplace, the couch, the mini-trampoline onto a mountain of pillows. 




Went to the Balloon Fiesta. So cool! (And so early. Ha ha.)








 "The line for the Storm Trooper is kinda long. ... HEY! No one's getting a picture with the freaky guy. Let's get a picture with him!"



Then we went to Conner's soccer game. They played hard, or at least Conner did. But sometimes hard work just doesn't pay off. Sorry kids. Ha ha, Conner's team lost. Badly. 



Max, searching Deon's hair for bugs.


Scotty got bored, obviously.



I took some family photos for Deon and Dillan, much to Dillan's displeasure. He survived though. ;o)



Word.




Conner and Scotty know Kid History, so this is Conner acting out the last part of the 6th episode when Richard (I can't remember his character's name in that episode) drinks the juice and spits it out, screaming. It was hilarious to hear Scotty and Conner, without any prompting, say, "I like yeyo gwapes. And puyple gwapes. And wed gwapes."


Don't you love Scotty's hat and vest? I do. 


Playing on Monday...




Deon and me had a movie marathon on Monday night (that's what happens when you don't know what you're doing when reserving Redbox movies online and end up with 3 instead of 1 or 2). Then Tuesday morning, before I flew back to Salt Lake, we went to breakfast/lunch (I believe they call it "brunch") at Flying Star. Suuuuuuuper good. Super. 


And there you have it. Other than this stellar trip, I have been, like I said, working really long days and squeezing in some sleep here and there. Oh, and food. Gotta have da foods. 

Wanna know how little time I have? Yesterday I bought more underwear because I was out and didn't have time to do laundry, nor would I, I knew, for a few more days. Yikes. Is this what they call "TMI"? ...  Nah.

9.29.11

I just got done working four, 15-hour days straight. I'm pretty haggard. But tomorrow I fly to New Mexico! So it was all worth it. (And the fatty paycheck will make it worth it, too.)

There are lots of things I could say about my new job (about how awesome it is and how blessed I am to have landed it) but here's what'll interest you the most: Giveaways!

So, here's the links to the three giveaways my new company (as in, the new company I work for) is sponsoring. All you have to do is comment and you're entered. The stuff they're giving away is pretty shweet, believe me, so I think it's worth the 3 seconds to comment. And if you win and don't want it, I'll take it! :o)


Way cute, right? This is some of the Chap paper.
p.s. The corners of each page show what the back looks like, and that little strip is on the back as well, on the edge.
(Image via AmericanCrafts.typepad.com)

9.23.11

New job? Don't mind if I do.

Last week, it was Tuesday, I was searching on the BYU alumni career placement website, more out of curiosity than anything, and found a posting for a Marketing Assistant at American Crafts. I figured I was pretty much exactly what they were looking for, so I applied. The next day I got a phone call, then an interview, and after a week of waiting (after the thank-you-email and follow-up-phone-call were done) and finally resigning myself to the fact that I didn't get the job, I got a call yesterday morning.

Yes, that's right, I got a new job.

(If you didn't gather as much from my opening sentence, then, well, you have other problems that we can talk about later.)

I started today, actually. Which means I'll be working two jobs for the next two weeks. 15+ hour days. I think I might die, but if I don't, it'll be worth it.

Here's the company's blog — they are a scrapbooking supply company. http://americancrafts.typepad.com/

Don't get your hopes up on getting free paper, pens and ribbons (Kelsey) but you never know. Ha ha.

Oh, by the way, I'm SUPER-DUPER excited. Super-duper. :o)

9.16.11

She wasn't used to flirting. It was a foreign language that she could not grasp. Yet all around her they spoke it, fluently, using any and every part of their body to convey the message, while she sat dumbly on the side, watching in awe and disgust their ability to ensnare.

He didn't know the language either, that man amidst the boys. He spoke little, but when he did it was something from a story book: neither mundane, nor profound. Familiar, and magical in a sense. It was comfortable, too. And laced with a mysteriousness and a childlike innocence.

He exuded relaxation in everything he did, just as the flirters exuded a putrid shallowness in all they did. His mere presence calmed her raw nerves, allowed her to focus in a room full of fool's gold and parlor tricks.

From her station at the side of the group, she searched his face — how he smiled often, with all his teeth, but laughed only when something truly merited it. How he craned his neck forward as something of use was said, and how his eyes wandered as the conversation dipped into worthlessness.

He was intriguing to her; a quiet, almost invisible gem amidst a sea of volcanic pumice. He was odd, she thought, but oddity was a welcome change. A wanted change. For she, too, was odd.

Once or twice his eyes locked to hers. Embarrassed to be caught in her silent study and ignorant of how to act, her eyes flicked down to her feet, her head turning to the side. It was a defense, that head turn, as if by baring the right side of her face she hid the true emotion spread across the left.

She hoped he'd realize she was different like him, that she was channeling all her thoughts toward penetrating the fog of insincerity that choked their surroundings. If only he'd look around and see her realism that contrasted all the impressionists.

Time will tell, she thought. And he, well, he seemed worth some time.


© e.gosney 2011


9.15.11 #2

These lyrics aren't very happy, yet they make me smile. Probably because they're true. And probably because I know they won't always be.


"But now I look at love
Like being stabbed in the heart 
You torture each other from day to day 
And then one day you part 
Most of the time it's misery 
But there's some joy at the start 
And for that, I'd say it's worth it 
Just as you play the shortest sharp on me 


And if love is just a game 
Then how come it's no fun?
If love is just a game 
How come I've never won? 
I guess maybe it's possible I might be playing it wrong
And that's why every time I roll the dice I always come undone"


—Noah and the Whale, "2 Atoms in a Molecule"

9.15.11

I had a dream that my friend's boyfriend left her for me. I should've been stricken with remorse, set on denying the scum my love. But no, in my dream I just went with it, enjoying the attention, the conquest, of sorts. It was only AFTER I realized he couldn't marry me in the temple that I went to my friend, apologizing for any hurt feelings, swearing I never meant to betray her trust. I still woke up feeling both confident in my allure, and guilty for being such a crappy friend.

It's funny how dreams reveal truths about yourself. Not that I've ever stolen anyone's boyfriend, but I have done things I'm not proud of purely out of self-interest. Selfishness. Machiavelli was right in many ways: We are selfish beings bent on getting ahead by stepping on those around us. Sad but true. (The truth often is sad, isn't it?)

 Man is that way. The "natural man" anyway. A survivalist. A capitalist? But the natural man is not the ultimate. Not hardly. Oh if only Mr. Machiavelli had the gospel.

But then again, he might not be famous then, and his name is so fun to say. Eh, we win some, we lose some.

9.12.11

Don't ask to be taught patience. It doesn't end well.

Well, not for me anyway.

At least three times in the last three days I've be encountered with a trying situation and in response, reacted poorly. But it's only after the fact, after I've shot my mouth off or been rude or something, that I realize, "Oooooh, that was a test of my patience, wasn't it?"

Heavenly Father is a tricky one, he is.

And currently my grade is an F.

9.8.11


More photographs in good ol' black and white at ahjunkphotography.blogspot.com. Lucky you, right? Right.

They say that when one door closes another opens. But I've found that's often not the case at all. Sometimes all the doors are closed and you are left staring at walls. Panic arises as the claustrophobia sets in. 
Then there are the times when several doors open at the same time and it's up to you to choose which one to go through. 
And then it seems, there's those times when we are asked to close a door, and we are asked to open another, because life is tired of doing all the work for us and we are capable of making opportunities for ourselves, of venturing forth without seeking permission or waiting for anyone to do any opening or closing. 
Those times are scary, maybe the scariest I've encountered, but they are also the most rewarding. The most liberating. They force me to grow up, branch out, dig deep and reflect long on this thing we have all been given. 

This life.  

-eg

9.5.11

You know those people who eat what's in front of them just because it's there? If you know me, then your answer would be yes. Like today, there was a box of Junior Mints on my desk, left over from a movie I went to (with Kathy and Anna — "The Help," which was very good, by the way). I didn't particularly want them, but I ate a couple because they were there. They were convenient. And it was a subconscious action, really. "What's this? Another is going in my mouth? Well, OK, why not." Twenty Junior Mints later — or maybe 30, who knows — I sit, sick and regretful.

So can this be applied to people and relationships? I submit that it can. I have seen people date another just because they are there. It's convenient. It's not really thought out, it's just a subconscious action of beginning a relationship out of, well, ease. Not that relationships are easy, but the act of getting into one can be. If one isn't careful. If one is not paying attention. And then, twenty or thirty Junior Mints later, you realize what you've got yourself into and there is regret. A little bit of panic. A lot of wishing you could rewind.

Me, well, I may eat Junior Mints like they're going out of style (in the literal sense), but I'm not one to get into convenient relationships. (Or any, for that matter, but let's not talk about that.) I'd rather not have the regret. I like to think things out. Think things to death, really. Think about things so much that I'm not sure what to do with all the thoughts.

Not this time, though. I know what to do with the thoughts. And I'm stopping the Junior Mint eating now, before it has even begun, come to think of it. The thing is, though, thoughts are easy to come by. It's the actions that follow that can be so excruciatingly hard. (Is that a word, excruciatingly?)

So there you have it. I don't want to just go for it, because I know better. I know the Junior Mints won't be worth it in the end. I know I can't act out of convenience or ease. I'm not going to eat the Junior Mints just because they're there. You know why? Because I know what I want. And it's not the Junior Mints. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

So now the question is, how do I tell the Junior Mints I don't see a future with them?

8.28.11

So, you know that dream post and the other post saying I couldn't explain the dream post? (You should know, cuz, uh, they're right below this one). Here's the explanation:

Relief Society president


Any advice would be appreciated. 

I've never felt so excited, overwhelmed, intimidated, responsible and confident in my whole life. How can I be so many things at the same time? Ha ha, oh yeah, I'm a girl. 

I know I won't be alone in this calling. Already I have felt the support of my family, friends and the bishopric. Most importantly, I've felt a calming assurance amid the chaos of my mind that everything'll be great. Not just OK, but great. And it comes not from myself or any earthly source, but from my Heavenly Father. Already He is making it clear that whom He calls, He qualifies. 

I'm not alone in this. What an amazing thing. 

And may I point out, you are not alone. In any struggle, trial, heartache or chaos you're going through, you're not alone. If only more people knew this and understood it. Life would be that much less hard. 

So, here's goes ... something. 

8.26.11

So, I realized it probably wouldn't be appropriate to post the explanation for my dream-post tonight. It'll have to wait until Sunday, when it's all official. (So, take this as a hint: I'm not speaking of relationships, but rather a church calling. Sorry, Kels.) But it's a good one. I'm sure I'll be asking for advice as well.

In other news, I decided to be a big kid and buy a housing contract sans roommate — as in, room-roommate. As in, I have my own room. I quite like it, especially because I went a step further and decided to ditch the poster and vinyl (records) decorations and go for a big-kid decor choice. Yes, that even includes curtains. Wowzah. Here's what I came up with:


Bookshelf, framed photographs, home-made curtains (without the help of a sewing machine. Let me tell you, a sewing machine would've been much better), pillow shams (psh, I totally sleep on them. Take that, Martha Stewart!), and a "down alternative" comforter with a white duvet cover because, let's face it, this will be the only time I can justify having something white in my house until my kids are grown and I'm 65. Oh and see that quilt? Catherine made it and it was actually the inspiration for my color choices for the rest of the room. What can I say, she's pretty awesome.

See the second book shelf from the bottom? I left most of my books in Texas, so to fill the space I put these babies on it. Let's just hope no one breaks into my apartment because I will have made their job easier.


And this doesn't include my Pentax Superprogram 35mm (I put it on the top shelf, in case you were wondering), or the Samsung TL500 I'm using to take this photo. I know what you're thinking: obsessed. And, yeah, I guess you're right.

Last night we went 80's dancing in Salt Lake. Other than the nasty smoke and all the crazies bumping and grinding, it was awesome! Plus, no slow songs, which meant we danced our hardest without the constant fear that the next song would require touching someone's hand, waste, shoulder, etc. For reals, if girls were like boys at stake dances and didn't care about sweating: one, we'd all have a much better time, and two, boys probably wouldn't be so self-conscious about perspiring. Am I right?

Here we are after leaving at 2 a.m. — the last song of the night was "Mr. Roboto," which was perfect.


Dustin, Justin, Rachel, Kelsey, Beatrice, Simon, Jessica, Josh, me. (And let me point out my dance pants. That makes the FOURTH time I've been able to legitimately wear them in the past 3 months, plus I let someone borrow them once. Ha! See, it was a good investment Cath. And you doubted me.)


Kelsey, Jessica and me, with Simon and Josh being dorks in the background.


Dustin, Justin and Josh.

Ah, and one more thing I forgot to post earlier — IHOP at 1 a.m. last week. It was a blast, although I have to be careful at 24/365 breakfast places: That sausage will be the death of me.


"Yente," "The Killer," and "The Seducer" 
(I have another nickname, but it always gets odd, slightly angry, looks when said. So we're gonna stick with the slightly less odd one here.)


Ba ha ha ha ha. Jessica cracks me up. She really is an attractive girl. 

So there you have it. My life for the past week. Pretty awesome, I know. 

P.S. I'm not in favor of all my family moving away from Provo. First Devon, then Deon, next Kelsey, and now Thomas, AND Heather? What the heck. Luckily I have some good friends now, or else I'd be pretty miserable. (Not that I'm NOT miserable without all of you. Cuz I am. Positively wretched.)


"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." 
—J.M. Barrie

Thanks for the sunshine, muchachos.

8.21.11

I had a dream last night that I was standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to jump into the deep blue water below. Not too strange, I suppose, but suddenly the cliff became a mountain, and I was in a plane flying above the mountain and I was supposed to jump into not crystal blue water, but the ocean, which was gray and choppy. The best way to describe my reaction was simply that I freaked out, jumping back from the edge of the plane and grabbing onto a hand rail (do they have hand rails in planes?) Another person jumped out in front of me, not even acknowledging my presence, which I was thankful for.

Then suddenly, because it seems everything in dreams is sudden, I was on the ground, watching the person plunge into the water, curving their body gracefully into a perfect dive. But it was no longer the ocean, and there was no mountain or cliff. It was just a diving board at a public pool, maybe 15 feet up, and the water was a clear light blue. I was shocked — both by the sudden change in scenery as well as the very apparent lack of chlorine smell — and at the same time, I understood. It all made sense to my dream-self. Of course it was just a pool. I didn't have anything to be afraid of. Even if I didn't know exactly how to dive, it wasn't that high up and I had people in front to follow and people behind to encourage me. It was so obvious, so natural, so un-frightening. My chest relaxed, I let out all the air I'd been holding in, my jaw loosened and I was at peace.

I didn't realize how metaphoric this dream would become to me — how applicable to my non-dream self — less than 12 hours later.

I'll let you know more come Thursday night.


© 2011 e.gosney

Crater Lake, Oregon


8.19.11

Yesterday me and Kyle and Jessica went to the Provo library to see Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. They're authors. Good ones. Diverse ones — as in, their writing, not they themselves, seeing as they're both white, middle-aged, American men. Barry was a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Pearson a murder-mystery novelist. Together they wrote the "Peter and the Starcatchers" series, a collection of five books that explore Peter Pan, Wendy, Capt. Hook and Never Land.

That's why they came to Provo, to speak about the fifth book in the series. I confess, I've only read the first one, but I've admired Dave Barry from a young age — I even give him partial credit for my becoming a journalist — and didn't want to miss the chance to see him in person.

So, there's the introduction to the point of this post: #8 on my List of Things to Do Before I Die is complete. I met Dave Barry. And he is, in my book, "worldly" famous.

Can I tell you the story of what happened when I met him? OK, thanks.

After they spoke, Pearson and Barry went downstairs and 20 people at a time followed to have their books signed. I was in the fourth group, so I waited a few minutes, during which time I said goodbye to Jessica and Kyle since they had no books to have signed, nor a strong desire to shake the authors' hands.

So there I was, all by my lonesome, three novels under my arm and a camera in my hand. I got in line, where I contemplated what I would have them write in the books.

"To Elizabeth." Nuh-uh, too boring.

"To Elizabeth, our #1 fan." Nope. Both false and arrogant.

"Keep it real." Uh, no.

By this time I was half way through the line and I could hear other fans saying things to the authors like, "I just loved your books," and "My son used to hate reading but now he reads all the time because of you," and more incredibly touching, sincere garbage. I tried to take some pictures through the line, but people were not willing to get out of my way. Rude.

Finally it was my turn. I handed my books to Dave Barry. Yes, the Dave Barry and smiled.

"Hi. Nice to meet you," he said.

"Hi," I said in return, shaking his hand. (He has a weak handshake, by the way. But, then again, he's left handed, so his right hand doesn't get as much exercise, right?)

Closing the covers of the books, he passed them on to Pearson and said, "Thanks for coming."

I smiled, no doubt awkwardly, and mumbled something like, "Oh. Yeah. Uh, no problem."

Awesome.

Ridley Pearson shook my hand next and said about the same thing as his co-author.

"Hi," I said, staring at his curly gray hair and top-rimmed glasses like he was, well, a famous person that I had nothing to say to.

He smiled hesitantly back, as if he was saying, "Wow, I've seen some weird fans before, but seriously, hun, you're creeping me out."

I'm not sure if it was your stereotypical star-struck moment, or actually my concerted effort not to be star-struck, that resulted in my horrifically stupid encounter with two famous authors. I so wanted to tell Dave Barry that he was a childhood hero of mine. But it sounded pretty ridiculous in my head.

"Stho, uh, Dave, I am, like, a sthuper big fan of yoursth. Sthuper."

So I opted for the freaky stare.

Oh, and to top it all off, Ridley Pearson says to me, as he hands me my books, "Would you like to take a picture?" Undoubtedly thinking to himself, "Please say no, you weirdo. You're really creeping me out."

I'd forgotten about the camera in my hand, but was glad he reminded me. I mechanically handed it to the girl next to me in line, hoping she was capable of such a big responsibility and forgetting I didn't know her, and stepped behind the desk to pose between Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Two famous authors.

So, in the end, I did it. I met two famous people and even got a picture to prove it. So all the shameful tongue-tied idiocy was worth it.


Ridley Pearson, me, Dave Barry


P.S. Ridley Pearson has also written a series of books called "The Kingdom Keepers" about five teenagers that have adventures in Walt Disney World after it's closed at night. It's for young readers, but I bought the first one anyway, and it's pretty fun. Especially if you love the Disneyland parks.

P.P.S. I didn't have them write anything in the books in the end. I just had them sign them. I figure I can now sell them or give them away as gifts if I wanted. :o)

8.17.11

I went REAL rock climbing today. #25 on my list of Things to Do Before I Die is complete, thank you very much. I also discovered I have the same shoe size as Kyle and bigger thighs. Or as I like to call them, "Childbearing hips." Kinda makes it sound better, right? I thought so.

P.S. I'm bad at rock climbing, regardless of the venue.

We went in Rock Canyon. One of the last times I was there was with Krystin Anderson. We bouldered, which, looking back, was really stupid and I'm surprised I didn't die.



Like I said, stuuuupid. But it was fun, and it made fore some good pictures. And since I didn't bring my camera today — you know, when we had ropes and harnesses and common sense — these will have to do.

8.15.11

I'm learning.

To give it a try.

How can I know if it will work or not if I don't give it a try?

I think that's acceptable.

8.14.11


I just got back from a family reunion in Oregon. It was quite fun. Obviously. 

8.4.11

I was trying to come up with an analogy for love the other day, because you know, that's what all the cool kids are doing.

For me it's like ice blocking.

Have you ever gone ice blocking? You buy a huge blog of ice from the grocery store for a dollar, take it to a hill, put a towel between your backside and the frozen water, put your feet up and slide down the hill.

Sounds fun, right?

The only problem is, sometimes the hill is really steep, or you forget how fast gravity works, and instead of being a fun trip, you start to panic. "This is crazy. This is scary. This is way too fast!" And instead of enjoying the ride, you put your heals down to slow it down. Sometimes that works, but usually I just bail out.

Why do I bail? Well, that's easy, really: I'm scared of where I'm headed. I feel out of control — And I'm not one to freely give up control. And just like sliding down a hill on an ice block, I lose my balance. My life becomes out of balance. So I bail, rolling a little bit, but eventually stopping, gaining balance again, going back to how I was. My comfort zone. And it's not exactly what I want, but it's what I know, it's where I have control, and it's at my own pace. And even though it's not graceful, it doesn't hurt nearly so bad as crashing at the bottom.

So love for me — or more appropriately put, romantic relationships — is like ice blocking. Full of anticipation and fun, at first exhilarating and then terrifying. The hill is so steep, gravity is so strong, and I'm just not sure if I'm going to glide into a beautiful landing, or crash and end up in a bloody mess at the bottom. I like control, I like planning, and ice blocking is all about going with it and trusting you can keep your balance and following through to the end, if you dare.

So, there it is, my analogy on love.

Except, where's the other person in all this? Or is the other person gravity? He's not the ice block. Well, maybe.

OK, so my analogy needs some work. But I stand by it. Love is like ice blocking.

And I'm bad at ice blocking.


Stevie's got some style with her bail. :o) June 2006 in Washington.