Monday, April 30, 2007

young vs old


young vs old
Originally uploaded by tattoornottattoo.

I searched flickr for young vs. old and this is what came up. It seemed fitting somehow.

I felt kind of old today. It was okay. But it was weird. It was weird to be back on that campus and have it feel so different to be there. I am such a different person in so many ways...but exactly the same in so many others.

I didn't really see anyone like me there - which was kind of unexpected.

They all seemed like either freshman - or fairly experienced but still only just sophmores or juniors trying to fit in a few extra credits. There were grad students - well, maybe not even grad students but MARRIED students - and I used to be one of those.

I remember when I was a single young student I used to look at students pushing their babies around campus in strollers and actually feel this kind of sick feeling in my stomache. Like - I don't know, this will sound really bad, but like their life was sort of over. I don't know, it just depressed me on some level. And I think often because it seemed as if the girl had quit school and the husband was the one who was still going.

Then of course I did the exact same thing - I did it much later in my college career than some girls. I at least waited until it was into my 4th year of college (which is EXTRA stupid not to have finished when I got married). But once I got married I started thinking about having a baby and it was just a big snowball effect from there that puts me where I am today, going back at 39.

And I have to admit that even today - most of those married students depressed me in a kind of way. And it sort of depressed me to hear overhear so many students talking about dating - or being set up on a date - or finding the right person. I overheard more conversations about that than anything else. And that kinda bugged me. It shouldn't, I know, but somehow it did.

I don't want to be misunderstood. I ADORE my kids and I made a very conscious choice to be a mother - and really, a choice to be a young mother and a choice to be a mother while my husband finished school and had the greater earning potential and frankly the greater aptitude at school. But I do regret that I sold myself short in the process somehow. That I didn't really quite understand completely where my choices were taking me. I only had it thought out so far - it wasn't until Holden started school that it really started to dawn on me that these kids were not going to be home forever and I am not really the becky homecky type. And then what?

I can do lunch with my friends and I have a lot of interests and there's plenty of interesting volunteer work and other opportunities out there - so don't get me wrong. But I just think I sold myself short a really long time ago and I think, maybe, at the time, I thought I was taking the easy way out, and really, I was choosing the hardest way instead.

Sigh.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

First Impressions...back in Salt Lake & Utah


Freak out Salt Lake City
Originally uploaded by GafferBee.

First impressions:

There are a lot of mormons here. They are kind of everywhere, which once you've got not used to is weird to get used to again.

They have the best radio stations in the world in SLC. How is it that they are smaller than Phoenix and supposedly (based on what I just said in the previous paragraph...which I realize is going to sound badly biased) less sophisticated/worldly/hip whatever you want to call it. How is it that they have always been on the cutting edge music wise. You can listen to ANY kind of music on the radio here - and you can listen to really good underground indy type music that you just can't find anywhere on the dial in Phoenix. I don't get it. I always miss this about Utah when I come back to Phoenix.

They have CHEESE CURDS!!!! Cheese curds, just sitting next to all the fancy cheeses in the grocery store. I mean, I think I might have found them in Phoenix like once but they are plentiful here and I love, love, love them.

People drive older more beat up cars here and the neighborhoods are often sketchy looking but people still think of them as "safe". Which is a mistake I think. I mean ... I don't know, it just occurs to me that maybe mormons are a tad too trusting at times. They still don't ever lock there doors here - nobody I know does anyway.

My sister in laws house is across from the light rail and that dang train goes past literally every 5 minutes I think. And the train itself is very quiet but the darn little ding, ding, ding, warning thing at the cross road is annoying as all get out.

It's not hot. Which is weird too - because I was sort of starting to get used to that. But it's hot enough for a/c and they never use it so ironically, being spoiled by the a/c in Phoenix...it's HOT inside the house. (probably like about 82 or something)

That is all for now. I will go to church tomorrow and tell you what that seems like.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Exhaustion


Exhaustion
Originally uploaded by out_of_rhythm.

The summer I turned twelve years old and could go to girls camp for the first time I got really, really ill. So ill I was in bed -or more acurately on the couch for days and I was so ill my mom finally took me to the doctor. Now some background on the doctor in question might be in order. We always went to Dr. Withers and Dr. Withers was always really nice and always gave lolipops and he wasn't a pediatrician (did they even have pediatricians in small towns back then?) but he was our whole family's doctor. Anyway, he would do things like give you a shot of kenalog (sp?) when you had allergies - which is kind of like giving someone a shot of morphine when they have a head ache and really only need an aspirin. But we liked that about Dr. Withers I think. Anyway, he diagnosed me with "exhaustion" and said I just needed to stay in bed for days. (maybe there was some paragoric invovled, I don't remember...but paragoric was usually involved in any illness situation in my house - my parents did not have any idea they were just giving us massive doses of pain killers and not curing anything - they thought it was some sort of miracle cure all drug and they gave it to us for everything - now it's a highly controlled narcotic - my mom always made me drink it and told me it was like"black licorice" which is why I can't stand black licorice to this day...but I digress)

Anyway, what they heck is exhaustion for real? I did not get to go to girls camp. And I really did feel horribly ill. But more in a "there's no way I coudl get up out of this bed if I wanted to" kind of way. And now...it seems odd.

Because what on earth could have been so EXHAUSTING when I was 12. I mean, I almost wish I could get it now - but not really, because I don't have time to be ill for heaven's sake, I'm a mom.

Does this condition really exist or was this some weird psychosomatic reaction I had to the idea of going to girl's camp? I really don't know.

But I sure have a lot more reasons to be exhausted now than I did then.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My inverted world


Green Orb
Originally uploaded by bandanamomaz.

This is a photo I took a while back. It's pretty simple, it was just a marble while I was standing in my front room aimed towards the window, reflecting what is basically the world out my front door. That's my tree updside down and the neighbors house and my yard.

Right now my world feels a little like this - like everything is inverted somehow. I leave this Saturday for school and I was actually on the BYU website this morning trying to figure out parking - since I'm renting a car they won't let me buy a parking pass that has like a hang tag - you HAVE to attach it - and they are very rigid about this. And I definitely get the feeling that they are not very sympathetic to my situation and the fact that I will have a rental car - and a different rental car, every week.

I was getting frustrated but then I remembered - hey, I never had a parking pass the entire time I went to school before anyway! I really didn't. My parents probably would have given me the money for one but as it was they were already paying for everything and they were putting a certain amount of money in bank account every week (I don't really remember how much it was but I remember at the time the ATM machines would let you get out money in $5 increments and that's usually how much I got out - I think I would use $2 to get gas in the car - cause it was always running almost on empty and then the other $3 would keep me in food for a while. Mostly because the main thing I ate was 44 oz. diet cokes from the gas station next door to my apartment and pink cookies. Pink cookies were this odd thing that started in Provo. In fact, I knew a girl who worked there and frosted them. They were called Grandma's cookies and they were delicious and to die for. My friend Sam turned me on to them first because this girl...I can't remember her name, used to work there frosting them all night and she could bring home the screw ups, the ones that didn't come out quite right. Anyway, they were super, seriously delicious. Then they started to mass market them and now every super market in the country tries to mass produce them - well, something that looks like them. And they are ALWAYS very disappointing. Anyway, I diverge from my original point....

Which was what? Oh yeah. That I learned how to dodge the campus police back then and even though I'm WAY older and not as quick now - I think I'm smarter. So I can probably do it again.

But yeah, even thinking about going back - being there, parking, going to class. Is making me feel like I'm living in some kind of weird inverted world.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Adopted!


Adopted! Bizzy Lizzy
Originally uploaded by Purrs & Paws of A.R.A.S..

If you go on flickr and you type in a search for the word "adopted" about a thousand pictures of cats and dogs come up first, then later there are some other assorted odd animals, a goat, a couple of ducks and much later you get people adopting roads. One was a little girl "adopting" a doll.

No children.

Because really, we don't want to so much talk about this.

Adopting children.

But it's an awful lot like adopting cats and dogs. There are extra cats and dogs in the world - too many of them for people to take care of. And we spend a significant amount of energy and money taking these creatures into our homes and providing them with food and care and shelter and hopefully love. Because all creatures really need love.

And adopting babies is the same. There are often extras. Ones who will not be taken care of if not taken in. And kind souls take these extras in and provide them with food and clothes and shelter and hopefully love. They are a longer time committment, but it's similar.

And really, when you go off to adopt a cat or a dog - I mean you might have a preference - well we want a quiet dog - we don't want a yappy dog that barks all the time. Maybe you want a small energetic dog. Or just a really pretty and very friendly cat. I mean, you have some idea of what you are looking for. And if you go through most normal channels for adoption you are given a chance to interact with the animal - get an idea if this is what you are looking for. You see it, you get a chance to decide. But mostly this is all speculation because if you are adopting a puppy or a kitten, you can only guess what this animal is really going to turn out like - it might not even stay the same colors. You can't really tell if it's smart or not - not REALLY. You just try to get a general idea and you take a chance.

And babies are exactly the same. In fact the way the process usually works is that the birth mother decides who is going to adopt her baby. But this involves a lot of guess work on her part too. And back in the 1950-1970s this didn't really even enter into the equation. Some random go between person made these decisions. These look like nice people - they want a baby - this girl is probably going to have a pretty baby. Let's hook this situation up. Win, win.

But it's the same. It's unpredictable. You don't know what you're getting. You just know you want a baby. And that baby is just going to turn out however it is going to turn out. I mean you can put all the nurture into the situation that you want. But there's still this 50% nature part of the equation that you really can't control.

And the baby? What about the baby? Well, no one really thinks about that. But they THINK it's all about the baby. It's all about making sure the baby is okay.

But it's not really okay. It's not ever really okay. It never really will be. But just like adopted animals - they adjust, they adapt, they learn to do whatever it is they have to do to get the love that the need. The food and shelter are important and everything...but the LOVE? That's the thing that they wlll learn to do tricks for.

We adjust.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

little wounded sparrow, i


little wounded sparrow, i
Originally uploaded by McBeth.

So last night we had the bbq (I NEVER know the proper spelling for that odd word) for all of the people from Art One Gallery. It ended up being Kraig, Jeffrey, Andy and his girlfriend and then Holden invited Noelle. It was nice. I think they had an okay time despite the fact that most bbq's they attend probably involve alcohol. We tried to make up for that by buying a bunch of pop from pops soda shop in Scottsdale. But I'm not sure it did the trick.

At any rate, I did enjoy myself and I found myself spending quite a lot of time talking with Andy. I don't know how old Andy is exactly - he is college age but just barely. I think he either graduated last year or the year before - I think the year before, which means he's probably about 20. The more I find out about these boys that Kraig seems to take in as employees the more they seem like wounded little birds to me. So fragile and so difficult at th same time. Wounded birds really don't want to be held most of the time - particularly if they are wild, and yet that is what is required to help them.

I realized at some point I was giving Andy advice that I really believed in for Andy but I also realized Holden could over-hear what I was saying and I had to stop myself mid-sentence and say "this doesn't apply to you- this only applies to Andy!" And by that I just meant that I expect more from Holden. And then I started to wonder about how fair that is. I mean, Andy has tried college two different semesters and dropped out both times and he really has no clue what he wants to do with his life. His work ethic is good but he would rather stumble on a get rich quick scheme than really figure out a plan. And he has this absolutely stunningly gorgeous girlfriend who is going to be a pre-med major next year at UofA and I just don't have the heart to tell him - Andy this isn't going to work. She might really love it - and I have that romantic bit in me that wants things to be like John Cusack and Ione Skye in "Say Anything" where in the end he ends up going to England w/ Ione (Diane) and she turns to him at one point and she says "people don't think we are going to work...people don't think we are going to last do they?" and here she is going off to Oxford on some great oppportunity and here Cusack is just being...well, mostly he's interesting in kickboxing and just being Diane's boyfriend. And he turns to her and he says one of the most romantic things ever - he says "you've just described every great success story". And I have always LOVED that. Loved that about that movie and thought I really sorta believed in that. Because I know what that's like to have someone not believe in your life - in your ideas, in your love story even.

But there was this part of me yesterday looking at Andy's girlfriend Julia and she's just pretty in this classically great sense - like there's no way she's ever going to loose her looks because it's just not possible. And there's Andy. And he's skinny and sorta indy looking and she probably thinks he's a really cool boyfriend to have right now and maybe there's even a bit of a rebellion to it - I have no idea, she doesn't seem like the rebellious type but who knows. But I just thought "Oh Andy...." this can't work. If you don't get some kind of plan together you are not going to be able to stay together.

And I think that's made me sorta sad today. Like I really want that ending of "Say Anything" to really be true. I really want Lloyd Dobbler to be a real guy out there and I want to see that story really come to life - and this is the closest thing I've ever seen. But I guess somewhere inside me...I just don't know if it will happen.

So yeah....wounded sparrows. Kraig seems to find them everywhere. And he's prettty good at fixing them back up and sending them off into the world again. I'm not sure how good he is at taking care of himself - but taking care of other people, that seems to be his forte. And I don't think he has any real idea how much better he has made our lives and how much richer we are for knowing him.

And then I realize - I am so much like him in a sense. Not exactly - I mean, he tends to find little wounded birds that are almost exact replica's of the type of wounded bird he was at their same age - (and I suspect deep down...still just as wounded, but more functional and directed). And I guess I do that too - I guess I much more interested in people with a story. People with an issue. People who have that little missing peice. And I guess that is just part of the legacy of being a kind of a wounded sparrow myself.

You can fix a wounded bird. But I'm not sure if they're ever really the same. I think somehow, their wings never quite work right, or their skittish, or they don't survive in the wild. There's always some kind of permanent damage done.

And it sure is easy to find all the other wounded birds too - and oh so many of us there are.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BYU = are you serious?


BYU
Originally uploaded by newfoundbeauty05.
I can't believe I'm going back here. I can't believe I'm 39 and I'm freaking going back to school.

The last time I was there I was in my early 20s, Oingo Boingo was really cool, there was an awesome dance club called "Plastique", my friends were all skaters and played in a band called "Second Thoughts". I took school semi-seriously and stalking my really cute French Grad Student/Prof. quite seriously. I learned how much I loved Morrissey. I learned to love Kurt Vonnegut and JD Salinger. I made my own t shirts out of sharpies and boys undershirts. I loved wearing ripped jeans to class and getting away with it (we weren't suppose to...dress code nonesense) I loved reading the underground student paper which the adminstration hated. I loved going to the French and Italian Cinema and Foreign films showed on campus every Friday. Loved my philosophy class taught by an ex-hippie professor, who somehow recognized a fellow rebel in me and gave me all A's on my papers in spite of the fact that I looked like pretty much everyone else in that class. I loved going into SLC for Rocky Horror Picture Show - and sometimes Nannette and I would chicken out and not go to the RHPS - because the crowd looked "wrong" somehow. Loved going to SLC to the bookstore "cosmic aerplane", loved how it smelled and I loved picking out used books. There was a head shop downstairs but we never really went in there, just the rest of the store was seriously awesome (and sadly, it is gone now). I had an absolutely marvelous time there in so many ways.

And now?

To go back?

Crazy. I am a surburban housewife with 3 children and TONS of grown up responsibilities and it will be completely nuts to fly there back and forth every week like I am some kind of corporate commuter. Crazy.

I don't even know if I'm doing the right thing or not but I feel like I'm on some trajectory I can't quite stop.

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