Tuesday, February 22, 2011

thin mints

Have you seen the office episode where every time Jim restarts his computer he gives Dwight an altoid? It is one of my favorite pranks that he pulls but I also love it because I am a victim of taste association. 
As a child I was home-schooled which may have provided far more opportunities for this than normal, plus I am a creature of habits, - although I perceive them as splendid traditions I have with myself -  they are really just solid habits. Some examples, at lunch time my mom would make me a grilled cheese sandwich and we would listen to Dr. Laura's radio show. While she isn't on that station any longer and I don't eat nearly as much grilled cheese as I ought to now, I still think of her anytime I am enjoying one.  I also used to watch cartoons in the mornings with my brother and would chow down Captain Crunch during episodes of Transformers - they went together somehow in my head, beyond the food association thing, I don't see a theme really but it's there, trust me cause I feel it. yes. Now my favorite association that does have a theme although I am realizing it is ridiculous, and is also the reason for this post: the annual re-awakening of my taste buds that happens when a fresh CASE of thin min girl scout cookies arrives at my home.  
Thin mints are my favorite,  I actually do refuse to eat any other kind as I see no point in indulging in lesser things. Well, here's what I did while I would eat thin mints, I would watch (usually with my dad) Anne of Green Gables or Anne of Avonlea. I dearly love those movies, they hold truth, joy, humor, the frustrations and wonders of youth and the hassle of growing up. Anne always had a spirit of strength and a sort of independence that didn't repulse me, she still needed, loved and desired other people while being a solid person on her own two feet. I love that about her. I would devour thin mints as my eyes poured over the beauties of Prince Edward Island and Anne began the story reading Tennyson by a stream.
The swift transportation into the past memories of a happy child-life via a small cookie is what I am cherishing tonight before I head off to class. I am so grateful that my mom allowed me the indulgence of treats, that she and my father surrounded and filled my life with films, radio, books and conversation that stimulated and impressed me in tender ways I am only now realizing. What a sweet thing life is.

Go buy yourself your favorite cookie and consider beginning a tradition for yourself, create that connection to something you will love to remember and enjoy it. Also, feel free to send a box of thin mints my way next time you see me, I'm sure I will have room in my freezer, I plan on getting together with Anne very soon.


oh! and that odd theme that I found between Anne of Green Gables and thin minds is just that the thin mints are in a green box just like the eaves of Green Gables. Oh man, that will blow my professor away tonight : )

Saturday, February 12, 2011

the story

 "To captivate our varied and worldwide audience of all ages, the nature and treatment of the fairy tale, the legend, the myth have to be elementary, simple. Good and evil, the antagonists of all great drama in some guise, must be believably personalized. The moral ideals common to all humanity must be upheld. The victories must not be too easy. Strife to test valor is still and will always be the basic ingredient of the animated tale, as of all screen entertainments." 
~ Walt Disney   

A glimpse into the mind of a great man. Don't you love those? I find the struggle between Good and Evil fascinating as meaning could not exist if the struggle was not there. There would be no books as there would be no plot lines for them, no need for friends, for prayers, for churches, for sad movies or for places like Disneyland. While It's not that I believe that Eden wasn't actually a paradise, I know that it was and that it could have been enough, but God sees/saw/knows/has always known the power of story. He saw the need for the struggle, for  loss and victory and knew that paradise had to be lost. The singular elements of good and evil are present in every single piece and moment of your life. All of our motivations, choices, desires and dreams are determined by those two things and we fail to remember so often the fight we are in despite and because of the fact that we are in it every day.   

Today will be a good  day for me. I am going to Disneyland with my mom, meeting some dear friends to pick-up a Bridesmaid dress, having coffee and enjoying the sunshine. I am going to partake of so much good today. But as C.S. Lewis reminds us the joy I will feel today is part of The Problem of Pain - I could not feel all that I will today in it's magnitude if I couldn't compare it to times of less good, not necessarily evil times in my life though I could point to a couple events,  but times when I chose poorly (Indiana Jones) and failed to enjoy, seek, and run into the joy of good that God has created. I was told a long time ago that the most important thing in life is . . . what would you guess? I had no idea, I thought, "um, God?" - and sure that is right but only sort of. God wouldn't be important to me or the most important were it not for my Relationship with Him. The most important thing in life are relationships and I am blessed with so many.

So today I am on a quest and an easy one I think to go and enjoy some very sweet women in my life.    I am excited because today I am going to experience so much good, I am going to shower myself in the most important things in life, my friends. I think Walt really knew all of this, why else would he have created a place that is specifically designed and in fact requires relationships to enjoy? He saw the beauty in family and love and couldn't stop from just telling the stories in his films, he had to create a place that provides all of us with our own stories. That is so good.  

So thanks Walt, I don't think I could ever tell you how much the park and everything you filled it with means to me.  

"Here we go!"   


**and in case you were wondering, Disney references are in pink in part to honor the castle but also because pink is probably the most prominent color on Main Street, USA. You should go soon to see for yourself - there I just found your next excuse to go. You are so welcome!   
{pictures to follow!}

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

keep calm

I turned in my prospectus this week. It's an almost five page paper complete with introduction, chapter titles and outlines that summarize what I will be writing in my thesis. It felt absolutely wonderful e-mailing it off to a professor that I know will be honest and helpful. I am encouraged and feel like I just might be able to do this thing. Here's the last sentence from my paper, I'm really proud of it: 
"Shakespeare makes no attempt to promise heaven, grants no hope and offers no peace, but leaves the audience with and in the simple “silence” of death." 
- I mean you are totally missing context and everything but it's good right? Especially if I were to remind you that Hamlet's last words are "the rest is silence"? Huh huh?

Anyway, of course I am ill now, I have lost my voice and am living on orange juice and robitussin {yummy sound}. While being sick is somewhat miserable I have usually enjoyed it and this time is no different. I can't work as much, I got to go home two hours early yesterday and I enjoyed those hours by taking a nap and watching an old office episode - Grief Counseling, one of my favorites. Bryce made a super tasty hot dinner that felt wonderful to my cracked throat and then we treated ourselves to several x-files. Today I was planning on working but my body has fallen victim to a coma of sorts where it is unhappy moving and requires comfy clothes. I am happy to acquiesce. While I look and sound terrible, my heart is home. I understand all the frustration that gets blasted on facebook about being sick, but to me these winter colds and flus are a little like the weather; I can't really control it so I'll settle down, wrap myself up and enjoy what comes along. 

Browsing Etsy this morning I found my views on handling stress, illness, homework, thesis - all that perfectly reflected in a piece of art. I have been practicing this for years and it has not failed me yet. If you are sick or stressed out give it a try. 

Keep Calm. Enjoy it all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yes, x-files.  This show has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. My parents (for reasons they have still left unexplained - much like many x-files themselves) allowed us to watch the show from it's very beginning, in 1993. I was 7. I'll allow you time to recover your shock, I am floored actually, I was pretty sure I was 10. Wow mom & dad, wow.  
Yes, the show completely terrified me; I hated the dark, I was convinced someone was going to steal me through my bedroom window, and I was sure there was something living in my closet. The show led me to be perhaps one of the most paranoid children ever, even to this day I find myself freaked out by mirrors, windows and bath curtains. However, I loved and continue to love the show. The intrigue, unexpectedness, and the desire "to believe" in the unthinkable. The idea that "The Truth is Out There" - is so awesome.   
Why this is relevant: when I first met Bryce he had never seen an episode of x-files, not surprising now since he also would have been only 7. I guess I either finally piqued his interest or he couldn't take my ravings anymore, but about 2 months ago we settled down to watch the pilot episode via netflix. It had been years, maybe even a decade since I had watched that episode but I found myself mouthing phrases and remembering exact images from the show. While it was still creepy, I was filled with nostalgia and joy over memories, my connection & familiarity with the show. I realized that I could handle the x-files now, appreciate them truly and enjoy every one of Scully & Mulder's adventures, even their worst: those long treks through dark woods with flashlights in hand just ready to illuminate the face of an alien or night-monster - they are always doing that and it is always creepy.  
Since that night we have made our way through season one all the way up to "The Host," better known as the "Fluke Man" episode - a total classic and one that made me remember why I was so scared of toilets as a kid. Watching the x-files now is a leap back to some of my favorite characters, the Lone Gun Men, the mysterious cigarette smoking man, and of course Dana and Fox.  
I have at last found the perfect two-step method that I believe will help anyone to watch the x-files without getting too freaked out:   
1. watch them previously so that when you watch the whole series a second time you can relax and say to yourself, "hah! I've already seen this one!"  
2. make sure you are married or have a sweet roommate so that you don't have to go to sleep all alone. This is the MOST important step. If not followed properly, extreme cases of creeps and lack of sleep may (will) occur.   
I'm not sure if this is an endorsement to go watch it or not but here is a blast from a long-ago halloween past, my dear little brother and I as Scully and Mulder complete with FBI badges: 

*Note: this photo is also included to provide evidence of the fact that these young children were most likely far too young to be THIS familiar with such a creepy show. Parents ought to be examined (only sort of kidding here).