Monday, March 30, 2009

Creative Cat

When I was in elementary school I put a lot of worth into the idea "creativity."

I think that was the buzz word back then. If you were creative, you were going somewhere, you were doing something, and you were somebody.

Funny how all of those things sound like somebody somewhere doing something else.

I often wracked my brain trying to find ways to be creative because I worried that I was not. I worried that the fact that I was wracking my brain meant that I was not creative, because creative was a gift that people had and it exploded out of them like a woman in labor. Sometimes you wanted to avert your eyes from creativity, but you didn't deny it either.

I think now that I am married to creativity, I know even better how creativity is like labor.
Difficult, inevitable, draining. And amazing.

Jake is on fire about 95% of every day. If he's lucky the other 5% is extinguished sleeping. His brain is on constant overdrive output. Creating is very different than explaining, assembling, or producing. It's that intangible idea that becomes tangible, abstract to concrete (and even abstract concrete). It's more than a plan and involves difficult manipulation to bring about, and I think the key here is that it IS created. Plenty of people have good ideas. Jake actually makes them happen.

We've watched more than a few movies about musician, writer, or artist geniuses. They're often on the haunting side, but they leave me with the strong feeling that Jake is in that category. He has the same need to create and work and love/hate his talent. Luckily for me he has worked very hard to put his fires under control, the ones that lean those geniuses to destruction.

Even luckier for me that I get to witness creativity in action. Jake is doing art, now, here. That kind of makes him a big deal.
Happy Birthday Jake.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lent-Ish, Part II

Yep, it's that time of year again, that time you pump your fists in excitement for that grand ol' holiday....

This year I chose to be vegan, for many reasons, the number one of which being that it's way better for you and for the environment, and since I believe that, I should definitely be doing something about it, instead of blatantly pretending ignorance.

Since I believe that, I should probably be doing it forever.


The jury's still out on that one. I kind of like Pollin's theory, the "eat vegan until dinner" thing, but I am aware of its hypocriticisms (did I make that up? Do I care? And do I really think 'hypocrisies' could do the job here? No...?).

I've learned all sorts of interesting things about being vegan. Care to hear?

1. You can still be totally fat on a vegan diet. Even when you have been doing the P90X workout plan for 3 weeks now, you can not even lose 1 pound. OH, yes, you all thought I'd start looking like Scott, but actually there are all sorts of fun things you can make and eat and still be vegan, the not least of which are OREOS. That's right. You heard me.

1.a. Oreos don't taste as good if you don't have regular milk to dip them into.

1.b. Newman O's are waaaaaaay better. I recommend peanut butter flavor.

1.c. You can even make vegan poundcake. I think I've been baking more than ever.

2. Soy yogurt? DEESGUSTING. Except for baking with. That probably should have been 1.d.

3. You are more likely to randomly stick a piece of spam in your mouth if you are trying to be vegan that if you are not. Just ask the billions of omnivores that don't live in Hawaii how often they eat spam. This is especially true if you are making musubi for your non-vegan family.

4. That being said, I haven't really missed meat.

4.a. Much.

4.b. Gourmet Magazine is so not vegan friendly. And they are so mean to rub your face in it.

5. When you eat vegan, you almost never eat until you are disgustingly full. Satisfied is a term I am now familiar with.

6. If I had been Jesus in the desert for 40 days, I would most certainly have given in. Good thing for you I wasn't Jesus. Lent might have been a tad different.

6.a. Today I not accidentally ate 2 twirls from Amy's boxed macaroni and cheese.

6.b. Yesterday I not accidentally ate some sort of dip that had either mayonnaise or cream. (you can't eat fried green tomatoes DRY people!)

6.c. I have accidentally and not accidentally had animal products at least a handful (or several handfuls) of times over the last 30 days. And I am scheduled to eat normally for Jake's birthday (his request) as well. I maintain that I have pretty much been entirely vegan. I did not blatantly drink milk or eat cake or anything like that. Well, I did have a bite of one cake. Okay, so I did not eat any meat. Except that one time at Robin's. But only that ONCE! I don't think I had cheese.

7. You can eat a LOT of vegetables and not feel full.

8. There are almost no vegan convenience foods. Which is good and bad.

9. Agar agar powder is ridiculously expensive.

9.b. There are a lot of strange products for vegan cooking (mostly baking) that I now have a lot of.

9.c. Granulated cane sugar (regular sugar) is not vegan. Neither are nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. I guess you can chalk those up to the not-accidental eating I've been doing. I've learned more about sugars than I ever thought necessary.

10. I'm cringing a little bit at the idea of going back to normal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mean Mommy

Things that are making me into one mean mommy, today:

1. 2 peed underwear.

2. 3 half-hour sessions of sitting in the bathroom because she said she needed to poop. Instead she just spends her entire time distracting herself and poking anything within reach and singing.

3. 4th session, I decided to let her sit there by herself, after putting her on the toilet because she starts her "secret pooping" hiding under the table and I think it must be time. I come in 2 minutes later to check on her to find her sticking her finger into the toilet water and licking her finger.

4. 5th session, after a firm talking to and a spank for licking her fingers, I come in to find her LICKING THE TOILET SEAT.

5. 6th session she initiates on her own. Totally exasperated and annoyed about the whole thing, I've given up even paying attention to her needing to go to the bathroom.

6. 7 seconds later, seriously, she comes out and plops herself on the carpet, bare butted. Then she moves to the couch. I am busy cleaning the floor from her widely dispersed musubi from breakfast. This is when she notifies me: "I pooped!" I look up. Look at her sitting on the couch, and run to the toilet to check.

Yes. She has pooped. And YES. Rice dispersal seems hardly noticeable in comparison.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My One and Only

Brother. Ohhhhhhh, brother.
On March 22, 1986, a child was born to ruin my single child family.
In case you don't know Kegan, I should tell you a few things. Once you know these things, you may know him better than at least 100 of his friends on Facebook. In fact, after you read this, you should definitely add him on Facebook, since you will feel such an intimate kinship with him. And being friends on Facebook requires that, you know.
1. Kegan prefers the "wide eyed" pose in all pictures. You basically can't get a picture of him with normal eyes, except when he was an emo for Halloween. Oddly enough, he developed regular eye for that costume. That being said, he does often walk around with normal eyes. Well... Normal eyes for him.
2. Kegan has WIDE EYES. Huge eyes. HuMANGous eyes. People constantly remarked on them when he was a child. Japanese relatives or friends would draw little caricatures of him and they would always be half the size of his face. The fact that Japanese people always wanted to draw him should tell you how big his eyes are. I was often jealous of how cute everyone thought he was. I was the ugly child after Kegan was born.
3. Kegan is extremely social. If being social could be a job, he would have it. He is friends with everyone and is constantly talking, texting, chatting on-line, or doing all three at once (much to my chagrin). He was a prince for one of those high school dance royal court things and seemed to always have a girlfriend and maybe one or two in the wings waiting for their chance. He's not a player or anything, just genuinely interested in people and having relationships with them.
4. On that same note, if you knew what he did when he hung out with his friends, you would be surprised that he was one of the popular kids. When he was really young, I was sure he was going to be SUPER nerdy, and even worried about it. This is because he played huge computer game network parties with his friends all the time. I would roll my eyes when friends would show up at the door with computers in hand and they'd spend all day and night in the computer room playing warcraft or similar games. Around 2 am when I would get home I'd go in there and tell them to shut up and go to bed.
Kegan also was a teacher's pet and even went to go help out his elementary school teachers during Christmas Break in their classrooms. He watched star trek (so I did too, so what?) and read the Red Wall series. I guess I turned out to be the nerdy one.
5. My parents adore Kegan and I was always jealous of how he had so many more privileges than I did as a kid. I remember once when I was 13 I was grounded for the entire summer because I went to a PG-13 movie (accompanied by friend's parents--- the movie was "Last Action Hero"). When Kegan was 13, he was given permission to go to rated R movies when it was a friend's dad who took them to the movie.
When I started getting into cooking in college I came home and tried to cook and was nixed pretty often. But my mom was always trying to get Kegan to cook and would brag about his banana pancakes (made from a recipe she had printed out). And guys. I make a mean banana pancake.
Oh, and I'm not even going to get into him having a nicer car than me.
6. Kegan can eat, eat, eat fattening food and is really wiry. He also never finishes his plate. Kegan is a good model for how your eating habits as a child follow you into adulthood. He's gotten less picky, but he is the only person I know who buys fast food and then walks away from it before it's done. Sometimes it's not even HALF done. He'll buy a dozen krispy kremes and only eat 6 of them.
7. He is very interested politics and actually reads political books and articles. Since he's one of the few moderate liberals at Provo he gets a lot of flack for it. But he stays strong. We were a little worried for a while when he was younger, but he mended his previous like of GWB. He even writes about politics sometimes on his blog.
8. Kegan is engaged (her picture is above). Many times after I got married he asked me about being married and seemed jealous of that connection I had. I'd say he's a very loving person. Even when he was little he would come home and give my mom a kiss and say he loved her. No, I do not think this has anything to do with him being the favorite child. I mean, I came home and went straight up to my room. Nothing more loving than that. But back to the engaged part. Kegan is getting married to Amanda Aagard (who actually is from Wilsonville) and because she is a great writer and an English major, I approve.
9. Kegan has a lot of talent and interests. He plays the guitar and sax (never practiced but was still a star player in high school band), ran cross country (following in my footsteps, of course), cooks, reads, speaks Japanese very well, takes 25 minute long showers, and is always well dressed (see above).
10. When I was younger I would go crazy with how often Kegan would imitate me. If I got a bowl of cereal, he would get a bowl of cereal. If I was going to a friend's house, he would come with me.
11. Kegan loves to sleep. He can sleep in until 1 pm. Since my dad used to come in and wake me around 8 am on Saturday mornings, I was appalled at how late Kegan would sleep in when I would come home from college in the summer. I will say he was a wimp about sleeping anywhere other than bed. When we slept out on the trampoline he would always end up going into the house eventually, especially if it started raining. If we were sleeping in our fort of blankets and the piggy bank holding one of the corners to the dresser fell down on his head, he would immediately retreat to his bedroom. What a wimp.
Happy Birthday Bro. Love you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Singing in the Fame

NOTE: I do have better music taste than you might think after reading this post.

It is a too common daydream of mine to consider what I could sing in public.
Karaoke, high school assembly, random serenade... These are all completely probable situations in daydream world.

Top choices for karaoke night:

1. For the Longest Time (Billy Joel)

2. Extraordinary Machine (Fiona Apple)

3. In My Life (Beatles)

4. El Scorcho (Weezer)

5. Stand by Me (Ben E. King)

Now, we all know that these are not the most amazing or "I'm cool because I know this song" songs (except Fiona Apple. Because she's amazing). But there's one thing all these songs have in common.
They are all basically in the same octave range that I sing in. I have limited range, and like to stay on the low end. Which usually means I have to sing songs that guys sing, so I sound like I'm singing love songs to girls. Fiona Apple has a low voice which works out. PLUS, amazingly enough, I actually know all the words. Jake will testify that I do not know the words to most songs, even though I sing to them regularly. When I get to a section I haven't really paid attention to enough to figure out the words, I just say, "na na la la da da.." to the tune. I often joke that I have retarded ears and just can't pick up the words. Jake laughs at me about this all the time.
I do know all the words to a few more songs. Some of which I will not admit to, if only to keep my fractured dignity intact (yes, I do know the words to "I'm Just a Girl" by No Doubt as well as "You Oughta Know"-- c'mon, give me a break-- I was in high school).
Here's one that will probably shame me, but is still dang funny, and that I would probably put on that list if anyone had access to it: "If I Ever Fall in Love Again" by Shai.

More shameful memories: In 6th grade I was in "Company B", a small vocal group of girls that sang for school assemblies. I was quite good at singing solos in "The Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson, and "Lean on Me". I still remember the words.

Okay, one more. I can sing any Weird Al Yankovic song from before 1998.
Thanks, Dad.

Now do you see why I picked the ones I did for actual possibilities for singing in public?
I'm telling you, I would be killer at singing any of these songs. And the fact that I would know all the words would just cement my awesomeness for you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Do you think that men who are intelligent, strong in personality and outgoing, and a little sarcastic, a little funny, appear to people as more charming and praiseworthy than a woman who has those same characterstics?
In my own experience people are more likely to dislike a woman who is that way, calling her obnoxious or controlling or just unlikable. Even annoying. For some reason the woman seems more threatening. I just can't figure out why. Not to say that no one likes that kind of person, it just seems like more people actually go out of their way to dislike a woman like that.
I'm not saying this only applies to famous people. It seems to apply even more to just normal people, because famous people usually at least have looks to contribute to the "like" factor.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Girls' Day Out

Here we go. TWO (too) unfunny posts in a row. Sorry.
Daddy was gone at a conference so we went to the North Shore.

Acai bowls, farmer's market, Turtle Bay beach (where I never go, but the waves were too big everywhere), and home.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guilt spelled backwards is still guilt

I've been thinking about guilt a lot lately.
If you haven't figured it out yet, this is not a funny post. Beware ye, all who enter here.
When you feel guilt, you twist it around and shake it, drop it on it's hind end,
and it's still there.

You say, "It's not bad," or "It's their fault," or "It doesn't matter I should just forget it" ("IT" is involved a lot with guilt). But, it hangs around anyway.

This didn't start with my own guilt, actually, but thinking about other people's guilt.

On Saturday I took Amaya around and tried to make a whole girls hanging together (GHT) morning, and on the way to the North Shore to get acai bowls, we hit some traffic. In Hawaii stand still traffic means wave scoping, or accident, big accident. Traffic was moving through one lane only and took a while. When we got through I saw a car, a bike, and a bike kid trailer. Guess which ones were smashed up really badly.

Police were everywhere and areas roped off, and the woman in the car was sitting there, in her car.

My thoughts kind of bounced through hoping kids were not in the trailer (there were) and feeling terrible for all parties involved. Over the next couple of days I looked through the news articles about it on-line and found one article where people could comment on the story.
Really, why I was so focused on this one accident is the mysterious working of humanity. Tragedies can only be let in to weigh on the mind so much. There are so many things I think of that press my heart or sicken me and make me feel very helpless in regards to the wrongs in the world.

Before I read through the comments on the story I had been thinking about the woman who hit that mother and her two children and how completely awful (really, a word worse than awful, but what that word is, I don't know) she must be feeling about what she had done. And she will have to live with that for the rest of her life, even if all three of those people live.
The comments on the story were surprisingly hateful to the driver. Maybe I should have found it unsurprising. Everyone seemed to think this woman was a total idiot in expletives (maybe she was) and should be locked away forever.

I don't know. I had a hard time feeling that way. I don't think I can even imagine the guilt this woman must be feeling. She was probably putting on makeup, talking on her cell phone, eating, changing the radio dial or any number of things that complacent drivers tend to do. I myself have done all of those things while driving (except put on makeup since I don't wear it).
Certainly what is happening to that poor family is terrible. No one questions that. Still, it's hard for me to put an accident in the same category as someone who willfully harms another person.
The miscreant, sociopath, and/or criminal is less prone to guilt. Less likely to admit it. Less likely to even be caught, than the person who mistakenly harms another person and who must immediately deal with the consequences of their actions.

This whole train of thought made me consider the guilt I feel and have felt. It's a hard thing to shake. I don't really buy into the idea that guilt is only associated with sin or even when it is because of sin that it leaves completely when you are forgiven. He probably tells us to forgive one another because He knows that we have to deal with each other and ourselves in the more immediate sense. The idea of forgiveness is even more important for us with this world.

I think God is more forgiving than mortals.