The world is your oyster!: October 2010        

These are a few of my favorite things:

pina-colada flavored italian ice
dance parties
dressing up
love :)


My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shut up, Jason.

I met a new boy this week. His name is Jason. He is crazy, and he kills people. He just kills random people who are camping in the woods, or living in a trailer park, or canoeing on a lake, or sitting in a port-a-potty. And he never dies. People try again and again to kill him. They shoot him and drown him, and then they cremate him and bury him, and somehow, he continues to run around the woods, wearing a weird white mask and killing innocent people.

I am not too fond of him.

This week, and probably next week too, AMC is doing this thing called Fear Fest, where they play scary movies all the time. Instead of their normal catchphrase, "Story matters here," they've started saying "Gory matters here," which I really don't like. I definitely prefer "story" to "gory." Sorry if that makes me a Halloween Scrooge.

For some reason, someone thought that the first Jason movie was so good that they had to make it again. So they made it again, and called it Friday the 13th Part II. Then they made it again, and called it Friday the 13th Part III. Then they kept making more and more until there were 9 of these terrible movies.

Why did this happen??? I just don't understand the appeal. How was there such a call for cinematic unpleasantness and 90 minutes of plot-less misery that people were able to make millions of dollars off of producing the same thing nine times in a row? People actually enjoyed this?

And what's worse is, I can't even talk about the poor taste of everyone else without at least acknowledging my own hypocrisy. I have watched about 4 of these stupid Jason movie in the past week - edited on TV, but still awful - and hated every one of them. And yet chances are still depressingly high that I will find myself sitting on the couch at one in the morning, covering my eyes, half-watching another one tonight with my roommates. I won't even be cuddling with a boy, delusional with the idea that he is protecting me from whatever is on the screen. So it is a lose-lose situation that I have found myself in almost every night this week.

I am putting my foot down. Tonight, I am going to sleep instead of staying up and watching another Jason movie. No one is forcing me to watch it. I'm not going to. I refuse to listen to Jason being mean tonight.

Jason never even talks, but I still feel the urge to tell him to just shut up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gaga for Van Gogh

Every Tuesday, I walk across Brigham Square and into the JKB, straight up to room 3115 for my elementary school art class. We do all kinds of things in this room, everything from shading practices and still-lifes to watercolors. It is a three-hour art class and, usually, we spend about an hour working on our project for that week. The rest of the time is spent trying to understand the assignment.

My teacher, Sister Bradford, is a lovely lady with straight blonde hair that she wears tied up in a sparkly black scrunchie. Every week, she walks around the class on 3-inch platform shoes and hands out a packet, that describes in all caps how we are to complete that week's assignment. It stresses me out a little. I know it is not the tone that she wants to take, because in real life, Sister Bradford is very sweet and soft-spoken. I just wish I had an explanation for her packets.

This week, a man opened the door for me as I walked in the JKB. I thanked him and then went upstairs. He went upstairs. I walked down the hall, and so did he. Finally, I walked into my classroom, and he walked in right behind me, his black boots clicking with each step.

As it turns out, Sister Bradford couldn't make it to class this week and had a guest artist come in in her place. He followed me to our classroom, waltzed in with his paint brushes and his gouache, and in a matter of minutes, he had the entire class in the palm of his hand.

I don't know exactly how he did it. I put down my bags, left for a few minutes to get a snack from the vending machine, and when I came back, the class was all huddled around a table where the substitute was. He had a palette with three different purples in it, and he had just started demonstrating how to use watercolors. The class was captivated! Not a sound was made as he lightly stroked the paper with his brush. Magically, the watercolors did exactly what he wanted.

We watched as our substitute leaned back, adjusted his beret, and looked over his work with thoughtful eyes. "You see," he said, "It's not so hard. I just kind of lightly tickled the page."

"You tickled it good!" said one of the girls. Our substitute smiled and started swirling his brush in the water, ducking his head. "You can do it, too," he said.

His brush swept over the paper and everyone shuffled forward to try and see better. As we watched, a collection of sighs, oohs, and whispered compliments bubbled up from everywhere in the crowd. "Can you come back when we have to learn ceramics?" several people asked. "That looks amazing!" "I wish I was this good of an artist."

It was as if Van Gogh himself had entered our classroom and taken over. The girls were ecstatic to have such a competent teacher. They unabashedly lavished compliments on him, and I don't think he was really sure what to do with all of them.

Van Gogh took some questions, did a little more by way of a demonstration, and then sent us back to our seats to work on our watercolors there. He walked around, offering advice and encouragement and answering whatever questions people still had.

His presence had a soothing effect on our usually tense class. We chatted about our weekend plans. We complimented one another's artwork. We freely asked whatever questions came to mind.

Van Gogh came over to my table and looked down at my nearly-finished rose. "Wow," he said. "Did you do all this in one class period?" I had. "Do you think I need to do anything else on it?" I asked. "Let's take the tape off," he suggested. I beamed. I pulled the tape off and showed him.

"That turned out really nice!" he said. "I like how you did that. Doesn't that look cool, with the complementary colors? Good work!"

Never have I felt like such a competent artist as I did then. I took my watercolor home and hung it on the fridge :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hullabaloo about a Haiku

I went to a poetry reading on Thursday. Some guys in my ward here like writing poems, and they organized an open-mic night at a place called the Coffee Pod. One of the guys who organized it is really good friends with Caitlin, my roommate, so I went with her.

I was excited because it was going to be my first poetry reading. I couldn't wait to snap after each poem while drinking hot chocolate and contemplating the complexities of life to a sort of jazzy cadence. I would probably meet lots of interesting people, creative people who wore scarves and mocassins and ate organic foods for every meal. I could practically hear the uneven pulse of the bongo drums as I carefully tied a scarf around my own neck, hoping I would fit in with the other poets. My perception wasn't totally off, but there were some things that I got wrong.

There was actually a pretty good turnout, considering how lonely and misunderstood poets are often depicted to be. I saw several scarves, and a few mocassins, but some of the people were dressed in more mainstream clothes. There were no bongo drums, and only about half of the people snapped (the other half clapped, like uncultured laymen). Don't worry, I was definitely a snapper.

There was a variety of poems presented. Some of them I liked, and some of them I really did not like. My personal favorite was an original piece about a food fight in a grocery store with an old lady who tried to cut the speaker in the checkout line. It was cleverly worded, rolled smoothly off the reader's tongue, and entertained me a good deal.

My other favorite was written by one of the girls about a phone conversation she had with an old crush. It was so cute and described, very accurately, how we feel when we don't want to like someone, but somehow fall for them every time we talk.

The majority of the crowd was college students, but there was one man who taught at UVU and was ecstatic to see so many people from the younger generation getting into poetry. He did something called "performance poetry" and performed a few poems he got from some event called "The Howl." It did not sound pleasant at all. He yelled into the microphone and glared at us and made me quite afraid.

I thought that many of the poems were thought-provoking and interesting, but some of them made me feel like I was getting in trouble because I disagreed with the message they were promoting.

For example, one of the poems was about how the people who steal are those who say "don't steal," and the people who tell you not to be mean are the meanest people of all. I think that is completely untrue. There are some people that are hypocritical, but to say that everyone is seems like a sweeping over-generalization that I have observed being disproven more often than not.

The problem with poets (not all of them, but many of them), is that they seem to feel superior to others. I realized, as I was leaving the poetry reading, that I probably appear very shallow to my more poetic peers. I don't sit around philosophizing, but I don't think that makes me inferior to them. Their poems sometimes came across as condescending, and gave the impression that they felt frustrated with our generation's lack of interest in those things that they hold in a place of utmost importance.

I am more of a Dr. Suess poet than a Sophocles, I think. I have a mild interest in life's "big questions," but I feel like they have already been answered to my satisfaction in my religion. I don't worry about them. I like writing poems to entertain people. Here's one I wrote for Dahl, Kelly's fiance:

Dahl, Dahl Dahl.
He's my pal.
He's my chum, my FRIEND!
Friends until the END!
Dahl-licious and Dahl-lightful
Will you be my Dahl-entine?

You see what I mean when I say I'm not all that deep. I kind of want to share one of my poems at the next event, but I worry that if I did, the other poets would think I was mocking them.

Do you think I should??

At one point, Caitlin and I went and got some hot chocolate. I got a hazelnut steamer and she got a Mexican Mocha (sans the coffee). They were nice to have on our walk home, which was almost as fun as the reading itself. We made up poems about everything the whole way back. As long as it rhymed, we were happy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jeepers Creepers.

I've been known to make sweeping generalizations on this blog - for example, that every boy that owns a LoveSac is a not-very-nice boy, that all the boys attending BYU are amazingly beautiful, etc. Is anyone offended or maybe annoyed when I make these generalizations? If so, I have bad news for you: I'm about to make another one. You have been warned. Okay, here it is:

Boys who drive jeeps are rude boys, and I don't like them. If you are a girl, and you find yourself being attracted towards a boy, I sincerely hope that you will not discover that he has a jeep. Because your life will be ruined.

Boys can be very nice. I mean, really nice. They're some of my favorite people. But put one in a jeep and apparently it just transforms them into someone completely different. I've picked out a few characteristics about jeeps that might help explain this sudden change of character.

1. Jeeps run over things. That's what they are built to do. Nothing stands in their way! Rocks become pebbles, bushes are seen at 10% of their true size, and curbs are mere pimples in the road. Any hill, any mountain, that formerly appeared insurmountable is suddenly an extension of the highway and is accessible to a man and his jeep.

Following in the example set by their beloved off-roader, the boy will pull out his destructive instincts as well. He will act careless about things like your feelings. If he goes out of his way to climb on things like curbs, boulders, or pedestrians, you can be sure that he will not go out of his way to compliment you or carry on a pleasant conversation. His destructive tendencies will coax your destructive tendencies out of hiding long enough for you to destroy the relationship. That will probably be a good thing.

2. Jeeps are very high off the ground, engendering a sense of superiority in their drivers. I read in Cosmo that if a coworker is acting condescending towards you, you can put a stop to it by looking at them head-on, lowering your chin a little, and then saying whatever you need to say. The important part is that you look straight at them, but it seems like you are looking down on them. It gives them the feeling that they have to look up to you, and reinforces your authority. So whether we recognize what we are doing or we do it subconsciously, added height imbues us with this idea that we are better than those lower than us.

People spend thousands of dollars to get their jeeps lifted a few inches, and they don't do it begrudgingly. Because with jeeps, there seems to be a rule that the higher you are off the ground, the better you are. This extends to everything about you - your intelligence, your humor, your looks. In other words, the higher your jeep, the smarter, funnier, and more attractive you will perceive yourself to be.

Whether you observe this change as a concentrated animosity toward other drivers, or you hear a certain gruffness in the way the driver addresses you, you will undoubtedly witness the change in some form or another. He will say something condescending to you, flip off the light when it turns red before he might have preferred, or forget to apologize like he usually would for something rude that he said in joking. This might hurt your feelings. I'm sorry. I am trying to warn you.

3. When riding in a jeep, one should probably not expect to be treated to a particularly smooth ride, and this in a sweet and gentle manner by the driver, either. Because jeeps do not typically have the most modern interiors, boys driving them feel like they, too, should revert back to caveman tendencies.

A jeep does not claim to offer a comfortable ride. When he gets in the jeep, the boy driving does not expect to have his every need for comfort met. This makes them feel very masculine, and it is something that, in fact, they enjoy. Why would they need little conveniences, like air conditioning that doesn't rattle when turned on, when their car can climb over rocks?? They feel excited to be so adventurous, and assume that whoever is sitting in the passenger seat also enjoys roughing it.

Suddenly, acting like a gentleman doesn't make much sense. They are happy when their car doesn't dote over them, attending to their every whim. Obviously, the girl they are with will be happy when they treat her in the same manner.

4. Little boys have toys. As boys get older, they still have toys; they just get bigger and more expensive. Sometimes, boys get jeeps to fill this need. If, in their childhood, these boys never learned how to share their toys properly, then they probably learned how to be selfish instead. As they get older, this selfishness is manifested in the way they treat others and not so much in how good they are at sharing. Since this was learned when they were playing with toys, it will resurface the most obviously when they are playing with toys again. And if their toy of choice is a jeep, you will notice a distinct lack of concern for your wellbeing and your comfort.

The first sense you might get of this may come even before you get in, when you are staring helplessly at the bottom of the seat, wondering how on earth your foot is supposed to reach the shoulder-high floor so that you can get in the jeep at all. You might look expectantly at the boy in the driver's seat, but chances are, he will not offer to help you, but will just look expectantly back. At this point it will become clear that your expectations for him and his expectations for you will not be met on either end. You and he can then both expect that this will probably be the last time that you will be sitting in the passenger seat.

I'm sure, somewhere in the world, there is a nice boy who also owns a jeep. And when he gets in his jeep, all his good and kind qualities somehow remain intact. So don't let this blog post offend you if you happen to know this boy, because I really think that he is the exception, and not the rule. Jeeps just make boys mean. Even boys who write poetry and wear bright pink shoes can act very rude and insensitive when they drive in their jeep.

And if the boy is rude to begin with, and all your friends hate him from the start, you should probably just trust them before you get in his jeep with him. Because things will not get better from that point on; in fact, they will get worse. You will feel annoyed. (Not really sad, necessarily, because there are tons of other boys, and you recognize this. But still annoyed.) You will be grateful to have such good friends. You will swear up and down that you will never go out with a boy in his jeep again.

And hopefully, you will stick to that resolve. I encourage it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best. Birthday. Ever.

I was not looking forward to my birthday this year. I realized about a month ago that I was going to be turning 20 when October 9th rolled around and I was not thrilled about that. I mean, my mom got married when she was 20 years old! I think turning 20 is like, basically, the final step you take before becoming an adult. And that is a little scary.

So I decided I was going to turn 19 again this year. I mean, who needs all the stress of being 20, when you just want to stay 19? I certainly don't. It looked like I would be turning 19 once again. I would be able to have a birthday without adding another year onto my age -- what a perfect solution!

The week leading up to my birthday was fantastic. It was Winnie's birthday on October 6th, just like every year, except this year, she was turning 21, and that has never happened before! Christine lined up 21 guys to kiss her and give her roses, and we had a surprise birthday party for her at Lauren's house. It was so fun! We danced, ate yummy food, and laughed at all the guys as they kissed her. (There were actually 23, because Winnie is just that pretty and that awesome.)

On Friday, Caitlin and I went to the BYU men's soccer game. It was my first real soccer game, besides a women's game that I went to 5 minutes of at the start of my freshman year that was a disaster (not because of how they played). It was super fun! Caitlin has played soccer for forever so she explained everything to me as it happened. The refs were terrible.....they weren't calling anything but practically every time they did decide to make a call, they also issued a card. Since nothing was getting called, the boys started to get pretty aggressive, but it was fun to watch. We decided we are going to go to way more soccer games now.

After the soccer game, Christine, Caitlin and I went to a bonfire with C.L. Afterwards, I went back to Winnie's apartment to sleep over and Caitlin went home, since she had work in the morning. Saturday morning came, and as I woke up, I had no idea that one of the best days of my entire life had just begun. It was the perfect day.

Every year on my birthday, Tucano's gives me a free meal, so of course that is where I have gone every October since I got to Utah. Tucano's is a Brazilian grill where the waiters bring different meats around and give you one piece at a time until you decide you're full. There is also a delicious salad bar, grilled pineapple, and like 6 different kinds of Brazilian lemonade. Going there is almost like going to heaven.

This year, I even learned a cool new trick that lets you eat more! I guess Polynesians do this thing where they kind of wiggle their stomachs and the food gets all stirred around and settles down so they have more space to put more food! I was too nervous to use it, because a birthday is a day where you want to celebrate your birth, not the birth of a food baby, but it still sounds like a good idea for future reference.

Some of my favorite people in the world were able to come. There was Kelly, Christine, Winnie, Danielle, Lizzie (Christine's roommate from over the summer), C.L., Ryan Berlin (my home teacher slash friends with C.L. slash gave me a ride to school last week when I was having a real emergency), and Danny, Ty, and Jake (all really good friends with C.L. originally). Some of my other favorites were not able to come this year :( aka Caitlin, Kelsey, Larissa, Chelsea, Aimee, and Dahl. So that was a little sad, but a fun lunch nonetheless.

Every year, we have to take a picture by the fountain. Above is this year's picture. Below, C.L. and Ty decided to play "Put Heather on Top of Stuff" and put me on top of the fountain. It was a very wobbly rock and I really thought I was going to break it or die, so I was a little bit paralyzed with fright.

Luckily they got me down and I was able to go home all in one piece. When I got home, there was a plate of delicious snackarolls sitting on the island with a bowl of peach sauce next to them! If you have never had a snackaroll, you are not alone. My home teacher, Tanner, invented them, so I was the first to try one, ever. It is basically a cinnamon roll with a peachy kind of topping and it is amazing. Thanks Tanner!!

I didn't get an all-sports pass this year, but Winnie had to work, so she gave me her ticket for the game. I think God knew it was my birthday, because the weather was absolutely perfect, and on top of that, the Cougars pulled out a win. Their defense looked so much better this game than it has been, so that was good. I wasn't able to stay the whole time, because I had to go to work, but I did see a good two hours of the game.

As I walked back to my apartment to get ready for work, I called my mom to talk about the day I was born. This is one of my favorite traditions every year! When I was younger, my mom would pull out her journal and read to me what she had written about the day I was born. I know the story pretty well by now, but hearing my mom tell it is something I like the very best about my birthday.

She tells me everything from when she first started getting contractions to when the receptionist condescendingly told her she wasn't in labor, to how beautiful the weather was, to Dr. Gheary coming in, not quite believing that my mom was in labor either (because she was still smiling) and then saying, "Lord love a duck, this baby is coming soon!"

I was 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and about 4 weeks early, but apparently I was really a nice baby, and when I cried you could hardly even hear it. My parents knew they liked the name Christine, but weren't sure what to pair it with, so the nurse came up with the idea of Heather when she picked me up and said, "Oh, she's light as a feather! How about Heather?"

I think it's a little narcissistic but I really love hearing this story every year.

Most people prefer not to work on their birthday, but I didn't mind too much. Besides, I had gotten the past two Saturdays off, so I felt like three in a row would be a little excessive. A bunch of people came to visit me and at one point, Kylie started singing Happy Birthday and everyone else in the store joined in and then cheered for me. I thought that was so nice!

Jackie came in at about ten and said that she had some uniforms at her house that she had to drop off here, but there was a lot of boxes, so she needed to steal one of the employees. Then she said, "Oh, hey! I'm really glad you're working, because I can just take you. Do you want to come?" Of course I did, so I told my friends that I would be right back. Then I left the store with Jackie.

When we walked in Jackie's house, all the lights were off. "Ok, the uniforms are just up in my room -- why is it so dark in here?" she said, and reached for the light switch. Suddenly the room exploded in a collective cheer of "Surprise!" and I felt all panicked and screamed and backed into the wall, and then I realized that there was no emergency and I laughed and hyperventilated and sat on the ground. I had not even had an inkling of suspecting and I was so thrilled and felt so happy to have such the best friends ever that I kind of wanted to cry, but I was too happy to, so I just laughed a lot instead.

The surprise wasn't a party, per say, but an adventure at the Haunted Forest. Interestingly enough, I went last year on my birthday as well. It was fun, but I hadn't expected to make it a tradition.

This year was even funner than last year! There were more boys than girls and I needed lots of protection, so I had at least two boys to throw in front of me at all times, should trouble arise. C.L. loves haunted houses slash forests and he was like a little kid in there. One of his favorite things to do was to walk ahead of me telling the scary people my name and that it was my birthday. I did not really appreciate it because they kept coming back and asking, "Are you Heather?" all up in my face, but in retrospect, it was pretty funny.

After going through Psycho Manor and the Haunted Forest, we went back to Jackie's apartment for cake and calming down. By this point everyone was pretty tired, so Caitlin and I went back home pretty soon.

All throughout the day, I just kept thinking how perfect of a day it was. Everything about it was so wonderful that I couldn't believe that it could get better. And then, something else would happen that woulddd make it even better! I felt like the luckiest girl in the whole world. I still feel so happy from such a great day.

I guess I'd better admit it. I am 20 years old.

At least I started off my third decade of life with a perfect day :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This is out of control.

There are way too many cute boys on campus. I don't even know what to do with myself. I just walk from one class to the next in utter amazement. Today, while walking from the JKB to the LRC, I saw more than twenty really really ridiculously goodlooking young men. I could feel my eyes getting bigger and my mouth opening a little bit, but I couldn't even stop it. I would see an attractive boy and turn my head, because I didn't want to stare, and right on cue, another beautiful man would step into my line of vision. At one point, I was walking through a set of double doors and an absolutely perfect boy opened the first door for me.

"Thank you!" I said, stepping through. Just as I reached the second door, a male model reached the same door, coming from the other side. He pulled it open and stepped aside to let me through. "Thank you!" I said, feeling like a princess. He smiled. "My pleasure," he said, and walked inside the JKB. Before I could even make it down the three steps in front of JKB, I had spotted two more cute boys just walking around like they were normal people.

Where did they all come from? That is my question. I just don't understand how one population of college students can be so heavily saturated with aesthetically appealing people! Not that I'm complaining....I actually quite enjoy it.

I remember being a freshman and my friend Steve tried to explain this to me by pointing out that no one going to BYU has a big beer gut, and the large majority of the boys don't have scraggly facial hair. These are two factors that are definitely present at other universities.

Whatever the cause, I would like to contribute something to it. I am so impressed with whatever force has put itself in charge of making so many attractive men come to school here. It is really exceeding expectations this year.

I seriously do not know what to do with myself. I'm flabbergasted. I think I am overwhelmed.

Last night was Winnie's birthday party, and for her present, Christine organized 21 guys to come and hand her a rose and kiss her. There was a DJ and cake and lots and lots of fun. If all the boys I saw in between the JKB and the library today were to come to my 21st birthday party, I would not even mind getting such a birthday present.