Miss Erica Regrets....

Saturday, May 31, 2008 |

I had a surreal moment that really got me thinking this week. (Note to self- if you have to think- should I go look at this person’s blog? The answer is probably NO)
I had one of those awful flashbacks to the past that you have put wayyyy behind you. The past you would rather remember fondly and distantly and not very often.

I’m talking about the relationships that ended badly or awkwardly and that you should have moved on from. I had a great guy friend a looooong time ago and I hadn’t heard from him other than knowing he got married while I was on my mission. I remember thinking to myself when I was young and dumb that we would eventually work our problems out and start dating and get married, but probably after we both served missions. I figured the Lord was keeping us as “just friends” cause we had stuff to accomplish. It was one of those awkward liking each other at different times type things. Well, the timing obviously didn’t ever work out and I hadn’t given him a thought in forever. FOREVER. Pretty much since I got the letter on my mission that he was getting married.

So- having had much agony, heartache and woe since then in actual dating life so that this became a childhood crush type thing, I was confident in myself and thought…..ooooh he has a blog! I’ll take a look down memory lane! Big mistake. I realized a) I really don’t know him at all anymore and he was probably the closest male friend I’ve ever had so that was tragically sad and b) As much as I ever think I’ve moved on from relationships, you may get over anger, jealousy and bad type emotions, but you don’t get over just caring about and missing someone.

So then I of course started reminiscing and it made me sad to have lost that close friendship. And I hadn’t given a thought to that at all recently so it’s like it brought a little dark cloud into my life where there was none.

I thought about the dumb arguments we had and how immature some of it was since we were so young. Then I realized…..hmm….actually….I think most of the immature points of view were on my part. It was a painful week of realizing that currently I say a lot of dumb things that I wish I could take back…..and apparently I have a loooong history of it. It is frustrating to wonder how you can make the same mistakes over and over again. But reassuring to know that the Lord loves me and even if I keep falling I am determined to pick myself up, brush myself off, and start all over again.

It really reminded me of the scriptures where it says “…notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.”

I feel much more sure of myself now than back then and I think it’s because my testimony has grown stronger since then. I can make these mistakes and feel like I am still OK and the world’s not going to end.

It’s interesting to think about the people who seem so sure of themselves. My friend was one of the strongest people I have ever known. Ridiculously mature. Seemingly perfect in most aspects of the gospel. But was it all only on the outside? I know he had insecurities- he just wasn’t very vocal about them. Some people seem to really never change greatly in their personalities or habits. And thinking about myself…….wow…..I have had quite a few “maturity growth spurts”. I wonder if everyone has them but some people are just not as open about it. I hope so. I mean, I am sure he has had life altering growing experiences, but off the top of my head…. from the outside looking in, they have been through changes and not through mistakes he has made. Whereas in my life…..I makey the mistakeys. And lots of them.

From the outside looking in…….it’s pretty depressing to say that and fitting to how I feel in general right now. I used to have the inside scoop on his life, but now I can read his blog. I think most of the time when we beat ourselves up over comparisons we make to other people(why must we do that?) we have about that same level of closeness to the reality of their life as reading a blog. We don’t really know what’s going on inside their mind and heart as much as we may think we are getting the full story.

So, anyways, I am kind of glad my catlike curiosity made me open that page. Over the course of the week and through alot of thought, the little dark cloud has lightened and I do feel better about myself. I may have initally had some shellshock at the memories of my stupidity, but I think it has helped me take a moment to sort through who I am and who I want to be right now, and steps I should take to get there.

So to sum it all up - one of my favorite songs of all time. One I had in my mind all week. Even though obviously this is not some huge lost love or something, the truth of the chorus to this song has spoken to me since I was a child about all relationships. And when one of my favorite artists released her version it became a staple to my playlists. I give you ....

“The Heart of the Matter” by India Arie [originally performed by Don Henley]

I got the call today, I didn't wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone
She said you found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And all the struggles we went through
How I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love's open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?

I've been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew,
I'm learning them again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
And the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work they put between us,
You know it doesn't keep us warm

I've been trying to live without you now
But I miss you, baby
The more I know, the less I understand
And all the things I thought I figured out, I have to learn again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my heart is so shattered
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

All the people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; cause life goes on
You keep carrin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside

I wanna be happily ever after
And my heart is so shattered
But I know it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me

I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh gets weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin' about forgiveness
Even if you don't love me anymore
Even if you don't love me anymore

For the Kids

Thursday, May 29, 2008 |

I was listening to the radio while I was coming home today and I heard the lady on the radio(not a station I normally listen to so I don't know her name) start a conversation about famous people being from Texas. She mentioned American Idol's Jason Castro because apparently today they are having an event in Rockwall for him.

Now here's the awesome part. She suggested that he should come into her studios so she could cut his hair. She was polling women on the phone and they all said his hair was heinously awful. And here's where it gets really good. The radio host started suggesting (with all seriousness) that Jason should come in so she could cut his hair on the air and donate it to Locks of Love. Let's think about that for a moment shall we.

Can you imagine that those sick dreds are actually useful to an organization that makes wigs? Off the top of my head I knew this, but for your info the rules are

- 10 inch minimum length of hair cut

-Not bleached or highlighted

-Clean and dry and in a ponytail

Then I checked the actual site and here is a quote for your reading pleasure :

"We cannot accept dreadlocks. Our manufacturer is not able to use them in our children’s hairpieces. "

And can you imagine the poor kids if they did?! Although his wig might be fun for the Make-A-Wish foundation for kids who want to be rasta for a day.

My Hero

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 |

Friends I have two mental images for you.

1) A superhero with a monocle.

2) A lady love who navigates by sonar and makes dolphin noises to locate her man as he rescues her.

These are the elements that we included in our conversation tonight as we watched the original Bruceman. I mean Beetlejuiceman, I mean Batman.

I wonder if the reason Lois Lane could never tell Clark was Superman was because she was too proud to wear the Vicki Vale half-face covering glasses. Astigmatism and vanity has kept many a man's identity secret.

I heart the wilfull suspension of disbelief.

The Disturbing Possibilities......

Friday, May 23, 2008 |

I finally finished the book that had been creeping me out. For anyone who is interested it was called The Historian and is about a girl researching the real history of Dracula and her family's past. It is not what I would call an easy read- when they say she is a historian we are talking medieval source docs and stuff and hours spent slaving over archives in musty libraries. This is no action packed Underworld type book. At most points at least.

So anyways, I finished it. I learned all kinds of information which I am not sure if it is all true(the research- not the are vampires real part) as some was obviously embellished for the story's sake, but the author really is a historian so.... my point is I'm not scared of vampires. I'm scared more of the other creepy stuff taking place in the book. For instance:

1) People getting drowsy while studying in their carrel in an almost empty library and waking to find that someone has been watching them and left them a present.

2) People finding out when you research subjects that are taboo to them (ie- what if the library had hackers who could see when you looked up research on ....carrots... and the wrath of the National carrot council came down upon you at your home one day). This most likely is reality. I wouldn't doubt that the NSA or CIA keeps track of what books get checked out or tracks IP addresses to see what websites get looked at. It's just creepy if it got into the hands of people who work for foreign governments or other special interest groups. In the book, it was Dracula psychically knowing you researched him. YIKES!!

3) The scary Eastern European countries in the 70's. You weren't really allowed to go there. And if you got in you ran ALOT of risk of not coming back due to being accused of spying etc. This would also still apply today to any number of countries.

In most of my favorite scary movies and books the key element of the plot is the disturbing possibility that parts of the story COULD be real. AHHHH!!! This is why I am a lover of the psychological thriller and not gore.

Here are some of my favorite movies:

1. Vertigo- Holy Crap- what an amazing movie and concept. If you didn't already know I worshipped Alfred Hitchcock here is your notice. Rear Window is also sheer genius, but I like the way Vertigo messes with your mind even more and makes the supernatural believable.

2. The Others- I like the use of Catholic Ritual which is creepy in and of itself, the children's allergy to light, the locking and shutting of doors, and how the fog almost becomes a character. I can't even tell you how much the pictures scare me. Why? Because they do exist in reality.

3. Dead Again- this is a classic for me. Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson are amazing. The first movie that introduced me to the concept of a movie with disturbing elements of truth mixed with more improbable stuff. Would I accept past lives on their own as a possibility? No. But can I dismiss having dreams that seem too real with info that you aren't sure how you know....uhhh....not completely. Awesome! Although the end is gory and cheesy. I love the buildup.

I know there are more but my brain is still focusing on the injustice that I cannot immediately visit Istanbul and Romania and Bulgaria and France to see the main sites in The Historian. ARG! I need to travel hard core.

Peeping through my fingers doesn't work so well for reading

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 |

Ever been so creeped out that you needed to be with another alive and friendly human being in order to read a book or watch a scary movie? It's a necessity sometimes.

Back in college I was in a late night showing of "What Lies Beneath", maybe it wouldn't be super creepy by daylight, but our filmstrip got messed up after like 5 minutes of movie. Just where it got a little creepy. Then an hour later they restarted the movie and we didn't get out til like 2 am. I am telling you......driving through a completely empty small town in the middle of a weeknight after a creepy movie......my roommate and I were so glad we had each other. We screamed out loud multiple times. So embarrassing, but alone- I can't even imagine how awful.

When I watched "The Grudge" my friend Rindi and I had to take breathing breaks because the movie was so intense. I also lost some skin on my leg to her nails. I think we needed an actual male presence to handle that one. It would have been much better. She is also the person who let out a blood-curdling scream in The Village before anything happened that made everyone in the theater start laughing at her. She also bruised my thighs with the nails (that time I had jeans on).

I bring this up because I have a most-likely very lame show DVR'd. I have had it there for like 2 months now. My sister and I are determined to watch it together for moral support. I think it is too lame for my dad though. There is always the fear though- what if it's not lame but really scary!?!?! My sister and I are about as effective at relieving each others fear as Shaggy and Scooby.

And the most pathetic of all is the need for moral support while reading a book. Unfortunately I usually don't realize I am thoroughly freaked out until it is like 2 am and I am alone in the dark house listening to the AC and some mysterious rustling outside my window just as the AC turns off. Then I sit in bed sure that there is a mass murderer peeping at me. And my heart races and it takes me an hour to go to bed. ARG!

This happened last night. Reading about an undead librarian chasing young academic researchers through the library stacks and stalking them all over Europe apparently seemed more of a reality at 2 am last night. Now I feel stupid. But I will most likely get freaked again tonight. I may have to just stay up suuuuper late and finish the book so that there is closure and I know good triumphs etc. I have a bad feeling that may not be in the cards though. YIKES!


Friday, May 16, 2008 |

This is my precious doggie Holly who is now chasing squirrels in heaven. She was pretty much the bestest dog ever. Smart. Licky. High Maintenance. She knew what you wanted but she wouldn't do it. Just give you a dirty look and then demand you pet her more. She was a HUGE Diva. I miss her tons and am anticipating the day when I can get a dog again when I move. My point is- I looooove dogs. I love pretty much all animals except those with scales. I am apathetic to the scaly ones. The only reason I am not a vet is I figured being allergic to cats was not a plus and also I CAN'T STAND animals in pain. It makes me insane.

So here is the main reason for this blog. Those unfeeling wretches who are behind the programming at what they slyly call Animal Planet, but is actually viewing for future serial killers(fyi for the uninformed- huge link between killing/hurting animals as a child and serial killing as adult). Supposedly the concept of Animal Planet is that people can't get enough nature shows about the lair of the mighty eagle, or the migration of the wildebeest in winter, or the slightly violent shows for the little boys who love fighting- When Guinea Pigs Attack! They need more animals. They need them so bad they need their own channel and they should call it a planet. So they got Meercat Manor and other shows where you test out different types of pets. And animals training shows. And straight up animals competitions.

Then suddenly the sick reality TV craze hit. And I want to know WHO thought that people who love animals needed more shows where they are abused or tortured or in visible pain and agony? Thank you sooooo much for endless episodes of Animal Precinct where they find all of the hovels full of sick, maimed, neglected, and half-dead animals or the pit bulls after they are abandoned for dead post-fight. Or-joy- they confront the people who are abusing the animals and fine them or speak harsh words to them before returning their animal two weeks later. Or you can watch the lovely Emergency Vets- slightly more watchable because sometimes there is a joyous reunion between owner and pet after the pet is better. But half the time it's an owner bringing in roadkill and getting the bad news. Or seeing an animal just suffering and crying while the doctors work on it. AAAAAHHHHH! I can't STAND this stuff. What's next? CSI Petco? How on earth is seeing hurt pets part of any sane programming plan to cater to animal lovers??? It makes NO sense to me. And do I watch Animal Planet- almost never. Except the Puppybowl during the Superbowl halftime. If I'm flipping channels I can't flip fast enough to get past the whimpering.

Someone needs to rethink that channel. It is catering to two totally different audiences. They need a cute fluffy informational planet and a violent gore planet. And the two should not cross over. The orbits are separate and support different life forms.

The Little Old Lady Generation Gap

Thursday, May 15, 2008 |

I was sitting at the temple last night laughing with my favorite mothers and grandmas and thinking to myself....wow.....sometimes when we are younger we think everyone else is SOOO old and we can't possible have anything in common. When you get to know people better and with maturity you realize you can be great friends with anyone. Some of the people with the spiciest and craziest comments on life are the most unexpected. There are still some people who you just never relate to and it's more a personality thing or they just don't want to relate to you.

So anyways I was on my grandma-hugs high last night and then went to my Zumba class this morning. Once again. Everyone's older than me but they are all lovely people.

Then I went to the Post Office. Where I encountered the actual generation gap. A poor little old lady was there and stood in line with a form in her hand to hold her mail. Of course it was not filled out. I appear to be the only person on the planet who gets harassed for not filling out forms before I get to the front. Everyone else gets kind understanding but whatever. So the lady gets to the front and tells the man "I refuse to fill out this form until someone explains it to me" I can already tell this is going to be greatness. So he says "Put on your address and then the dates you will not be home for us to hold your mail." So she says "It says it's a minimum of three days and I wanted to know if Sundays count since you don't deliver" So he says "Every day counts- just fill it out." So she says " Now I'm leaving Friday and will be back by Monday so you better get my mail to me Monday" And he's all "....ummm....I'm not personally going to be delivering your mail....sooo....we will follow whatever you say on the form" So then she walks off to fill it out and then leaves. So these are my thoughts on this exchange:

1) Old people who refuse to learn new technology seem to have a much worse generational gap.

2) I love it when old people talk to employees at large stores as if they were personally affiliated with the company or the owner or something. There's nothing better than an old person who has NO perspective on the corporate world we now live in. Please go to Walmart and tell the boy who is changing your oil in the Autocenter that the Bakery at the other Walmart doesn't make their blueberry donuts the same way anymore and you'd like to register a complaint.

3) Who on EARTH holds their mail for a weekend out of town when Saturday is the only mail she actually won't be there to receive? Old people apparently.

4) I love it when old people wear crazy clothes from catalogues(you know they don't sell magenta polyester slacks in stores anymore)with really bold makeup. (This is part of why I love my own grandma so much)

5) I love that they all go get their fluffy white hair permed (so it will curl) and then still hang out in rollers all day to control the curl. Greatness.

Ok. I gots ta go get lunch now. Much Love to the Grammies out there!! Peace out.

Summer Wardrobe Rules

Sunday, May 11, 2008 |

As I witnessed some atrocious crimes of fashion today, I feel it necessary to post......drum roll.....

Erica's Fashion Rules for Summer Church Attendance

1) Shirt must meet skirt. I understand the creeping up of the shirt in the back when you are sitting, but please plan ahead accordingly by not wearing a thong that creeps above the level of the skirt.

2) No junky flip flops with stains that show the places where your feet have made permanent marks. It's hard to draw the line sometimes between a sandal and a really nice flip flop but foot stains and ripped foam are key elements that get the everyone in trouble for one person's crimes.

3) No white or light colored skirts without slips. Just because they sell it in a store without a built in lining doesn't mean we all need to see your panties or peachy keen butt cheeks through the skirt. It's called a slip. It was created for this very purpose! LET IT FULFILL THE MEASURE OF ITS CREATION! Do slips and your fellow church attendees a favor!

4) If your skirt is made in a clingy soft fabric- in a flowy design......once again- the SLIP. You will be getting a wedgie otherwise and I don't want to see your skirt bunched between the aforementioned peachy cheeks. Or see you grabbing your butt to pull and reposition every 2 minutes.

5) Shave your armpits. We are not European. This is all.

6) If your feet look like those of a person left in the desert for weeks and then gnawed on by coyotes....please wear closed toes shoes. No one wants to see cracked heels as wide as the grand canyon or nails half-ripped off. Also- every once in a while do everyone a favor and repaint your toenails.

7) Continuing with the foot theme. We all know not all feet are made the same. My toesies are not the same as even my sister's. But this should apply universally. Do NOT wear strappy sandals with the pinky toe coming up OVER the last strap while the rest fit under. If your pinky toe doesn't fit under the straps- the shoes don't fit you right and you MOVE ALONG. Do not under any circumstances buy the shoes and wear them.

8) Yes. You have to wear a bra to church. No arguing. No exceptions. It is the LAW. And no, your bikini top does NOT count.

Ok- that is all for now. Please feel free to add and amend and give to those who are ignorant and committing these crimes as we speak.

So Let's Dance the Last Dance

Friday, May 9, 2008 |

Why must dances be so lame sometimes? It's not that dancing in and of itself is not cool. Or that white people are doing the dancing. Sometimes it's greatness.

Tonight was brought home for many of us that the music is crucial to a dance's success. Miss Karen and I tried our best to dance hard despite how lame/ undanceable some of the music was.
Apparently (another ward hosted) the music was dropped off by leadership and only song numbers showed up- ie- they had no clue what the approved songs actually were. If no one danced they bumped it ahead but couldn't guarantee what it would be.

And I had a conversation with a leader tonight complaining about the lyrics of the music in the Guitar Hero/ Rock Band rooms. Seriously. We might as well resign to the fact that we can't listen to anything but ballroom music and just all learn it. Then we wouldn't have to worry or hear swear words in the Lord's house at all. Except from boys playing sports. And the special people I referred to in another blog.

There seems to be a strong correlation between censoring and lameness of dances. I am not sure why this is. But it is true. I have been to really squeaky clean dances that were way fun- but not censored. And I have been to supposedly censored dances that were dirty awful- but LAME.

How can our dilemma be solved? I also think many people who do not dance(and have not ever danced) are having input into the music being approved. They are approving music that you bop your head to in a car but that you cannot actually dance to. It DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! Seriously. One time I went to a dance in Denton with Erin C and I was like.....OK the DJ has on a white jean jacket with an upturned collar and you can tell he is trying to recreate the soundtrack to an episode of the OC. It was all Emo-esque beach tunes. AWFUL. Great for a car, but to DANCE? They had a packed dance with no one dancing all night. It was heinously awful. Such a waste.

Apparently I need to find another form of social interaction and getting my groove on. Sigh.

I Heart Breakfast Deeply

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 |

Here is the yummy quiche itself!! Be still my beating heart!
I was still feeling cruddy this morning and had to go to graduation rehearsal in McKinney at 8 a.m. ARG! So I forced myself to go no matter how much I felt like I might die. Partially because my classmates would have killed me. Seriously- 2 years with only 3 missed days of school. And NOW I'm gonna miss? Not gonna happen. And the other reason I dragged myself? FREE CATERED BREAKFAST!!! Oh yeah baby.

Is there anything better than a truly scrumptious breakfast?

On the menu this morning were:

Quiche Tarts with spinach and this spicy tomato stuff in them, or spinach and bacon and cheddar
Pastries with cream cheese and cinnamon

Pastries with lemon curd and sliced strawberries on top

Fresh Fruit Salad

A tray of like 5 kinds of Bagels and like 4 kinds of sliced breads with 3 flavored cream cheeses



Coffee for the heathens

Drool. I may still be feeling slightly sick from early Tuesday morning's thai noodle/krispy kreme debacle, but trust me. I did the Panera justice. You can just kill me the day I turn down a spinach quiche wrapped in a fresh flaky pastry crust. MMmmmm.

Now the problem is that it has made me crave more breakfast food. More Panera and maybe some pancakes and a breakfast burrito too. And some Jamba to wash it all down. No way I could eat all that. At once. Maybe. But my tummy tells me it wants it all NOW!

The beast has awakened.

All Friends Alert- New Plan!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 |

Erin C my former roomie and pal emailed me to let me know that my velvet voiced nerdy crush Josh Groban is currently single. Now is the time. As my other star-crossed love Jermaine would say- Conditions are perfect. People- we need to make this happen.

This is your notice to go on friend alert. Sista needs a hook-up.

RDJ is a very gifted actor. I NEVER would have pictured him doing a superhero movie, but I saw Ironman today and I have to say. Holy Schnikies! He is good at being a superhero too. IS there any role the man cannot play convicingly? Ridiculous. Whether it's serious acting for the sake of the craft like Chaplin or cheesy fluff like Soapdish and Only You he is just so .......good. He seriously must have gone through the talent line in heaven like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet.

That is all.

My Nerd Manifesto


I am a self-declared card-carrying nerd. To list some of my nerd accomplishments that you may not know about:

1) I was in Math Club in High School
2) I saw the rerelease of the original Star Wars as a special screening at 2 am on a school night.
3) I also was there for opening night of every prequel
4) I may have a passing acquaintance through a roomie to every episode and special movie for Babylon 5 and created a special swear word for Star Trek Voyager(which i didn't like)
5) I wrote a series of X-files comic poems and limericks for my nerdy friends' enjoyment.
6) I have attended Cons and read fanfic written by my friends.
7) I have seen a bunch of Anime. But I refused to learn Japanese. I draw the line.
8) I released a series of pics to my friends to countdown the next HP book. IN my Hogwarts uniform. I protest that being really really good at costume design makes me a nerd though. I think it has more to do with being good at fashion, but whatever.

So now that you all are ashamed to know me......I have another astonishing admission to make. I am really not THAT big a nerd. Besides liking math in high school(back when it didn't involve data entry) everything else was sort of.... for fun or to spend time with my friends. I didn't seek out the sci-fi world. I don't read sci-fi. I pretty much despise everything having to do with "fan-fic" actually. Ug. Ick.

How do I know I'm not a full-blooded nerd? Cause I have met too many of the genuine article to call myself one. HOLY COW! Last night I camped overnight at a local B&N to get a ticket to go to a Q&A session with Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight, and to get a copy of her new sci-fi novel The Host. I love this woman. I am so excited. SCORE!!! But anyways. Whilst freezing my A off in my camp chair we had the fun of listening to all the true nerds around us. Rhia even contributed a random theory she made up on the spot to some high school girls' Twilight podcast when they were trolling the line for podcast comments. WOW. They had a group of people who sat and read their fan group's emails together on printouts for hours. We wondered if they had somehow gotten a copy of the new movie script, but no, come to find out it was far more pathetic than that. Rereading emails out loud for HOURS people, HOURS!! We also got to answer a three round quiz of questions that we are totally certain started asking us things that Stephenie Meyer never wrote about. IE- the poor nerdy girls have lost the line between fanfic and reality. It was SAD.

All in all it was a great time though. No sleep. Shivering uncontrollably. Eating leftover cake from the cheesecake factory. MadLibs. That's what she said jokes.

Then for me it took the ugly twist into really early morning Thai leftovers and more cake followed by later early morning fresh krispy kremes and cocoa and then diabetic coma and vomiting and remorse. But such is the overnight campout.

So um......yeah my point is .....I'm not the biggest science and math nerd ever although I am nerdy.

And even though I typically have a "get thee hence Satan" attitude towards sci-fi I am all over this new novel like white on rice. Like cheese on macaroni.

I shall blog later about the questionable nerdiness of my others interests. Or maybe never. Cause reading, archaeology, and ballroom are not nerdy yo. Why justify something that needs no defense?

Erica's Book Report - A Thousand Splendid Suns

Saturday, May 3, 2008 |

I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns- the second book by Khaled Hosseini. It was really good but in a totally different way than The Kite Runner. I had heard from MANY people that the second book was just not as good and that they didn't even finish it. I finally had some free time to read it this past week and I have to say - it made me question why it was so criticized. It started a whole line of thought for me. Without further ado....

To start off objectively in my little book report I will compare why I thought the two books were so different. The Kite Runner is written following a boy's life until he becomes a man. The tragedies in his life have much to do with personal decisions and some smaller part to do with political things going on with him growing up in Afghanistan. It paints a vivid picture of life there and breaks your heart with the choices he makes and his personal journey for some resolution in his life and to be able to live with himself. A Thousand Splendid Suns covers the lives of more than one woman living in different circumstances in Afghanistan until they intersect and then continues from there. The tragedies of this book are mostly caused by the position of women in Muslim society during the constantly changing political and religious climate of Afghanistan over the past 30 years. The problems also have to do with abusive men, but I am not even going to go into the whys and hows of what makes men beat their wives. Especially in a culture with such widely varying views of women's place in the world. I am just going to blame it mostly on religious extremism and the culture of subservience.

I sat down and thought about the two books after I had finished and wondered why the second book was not as widely appreciated. It was written just as well. I think alot of it has to do with the subject matter. For SO many reasons. First of all, the main lessons I learned by reading A Thousand Splendid Suns are about the difficulties of uniting such a divided nation as Afghanistan. I think everything about the Middle East is SUCH a mess. There is no easy solution. While some Muslims think that jihad is justified and others do not there is always going to be lots of violence. Economies cannot thrive or even rebuild when the population is getting picked off bomb by bomb. The book was very vivid in recounting the women's terror filled lives. Terror from the control of their husband and from the violence around them. If you compare those lessons to The Kite Runner, the lessons are very different. The lessons in The Kite Runner are very universal and not as politically motivated. It is not so much a history book as the story of one man and him trying to correct mistakes he made.

I wonder to myself if the reason people like The Kite Runner is that they connect more to a story about a person they relate to better. Is the universal lesson easier to deal with or more interesting than the lessons about one society or country or culture?

Then I watched part of a show on the History Channel about the history of comedy. It interviewed tons of comedians about how they were inspired and what they thought was funny. Then they changed to a subject I had never even considered. The segment was about the fact that men don't consider women to be funny. And let me tell you, every one of the female comedians had some stories to tell on the subject about offensive men in their audiences. All the male comedians tried to be nice, but a few came out and said that they didn't think women were as funny except for a small rare few. One said the subjects women comics want to talk about- ie. cleaning, kids, dating, complaining about men, bore him and he has no interest. I thought it was the evil taking the truth to be hard but whatever.

So to go back to the book report.....I thought to myself -I wonder if this applies to these books? Do men want to read a book about women being abused? Do men only like to read books about men? I am not a man so I couldn't say, but I think it is a very true thing that men are very ...man-centric... in their likes. Guys I know like(or maybe I should say respect) male singers, male writers, male actors, male comedians, they only watch informational shows if hosted by men(sorry Katie Couric). The women that entertain them do so only as objects in the periphery.

Another thought that this inspired is that knowing that you are an internationally famous author, and everyone is waiting on your next book, how do you decide on the subject matter. Did he decide to write this book knowing less people would like it but it would touch an ugly subject that needed to be unveiled? Or did he really think it would be as big a hit as the first book?

And to end your curiosity and satisfy inquiring minds, I did like The Kite Runner better, but not in a way that I feel diminishes the greatness of A Thousand Splendid Suns. I think, for myself, that the universal themes of redemption in The Kite Runner probably couldn't be duplicated endlessly over a career. I don't think anyone could write and endless amount of books with that much punch over their career.

These are the things that make me go Hmmmmmmm.

Athletic Shoes that Rock


Today I had a bizarre experience. I went to Academy to get myself an additional pair of sneakers. I have been a "one nice pair of sneakers" girl most of my life. I have kept the old demolished pair for muddy activities and camping. But now.....entering upon my chosen field I need to get scrubs and more than one pair of sneakers.

I tried to hold out till after I graduated and I have had the same pair since I got back from my mission but they were getting too pathetic after so many years, so a few months ago I caved and got one new reasonably priced pair.

So now I've got the ICU job. I've got a few pairs of scrubs to start off with. I was ready to go and unleash my love of shoes with reckless abandon. I assumed that my passion would apply to all coverings for the foot. Au contraire said fate. Sneakers are not as cool as heels. Touche' fate. Touche'.

I was overwhelmed with my options. I couldn't decide. I thought I wanted blue ones. They didn't have blue ones in my chosen brand. I don't want ones with too much white to avoid stains. No luck. Almost every pair was mostly white. It was driving me crazy I tell you. Then I found a relatively cute pair that are mosty aqua and brown which will match my one pair of brown scrubs. One pair. This is against everything in my nature to buy sneakers to match one outfit. Anyways. It felt wrong despite how right it feels with heels. There was a pair with mostly brown and one with a little more white mesh and the brown. Same brand. They feel identical- its really a fashion choice. BUT the browner pair costs 55 dollars more. NOT EVEN KIDDING! I hate stupid sneakers. I ended up just leaving because I was frustrated.

It was just DUMB. Really expensive price differences for no discernable difference in the shoes. Ugly colors that don't match. Plus the fact that half the sneakers right now look like they're for the space program. I am just not into this purchase. I think I will wait til after I am off of school. It made me grumpy. I could have gotten a killer pair of boots for the same as one pair of shoes. And those sneakers are not giving me the same sense of hot and sexy shoe satisfaction that pretty much any other style of shoe would. Maybe because sneakers make my ridiculously small ankles look even stupider. Sneakers are not a good look for me unless the pants reach all the way to cover the top. Forget you sneakers. I am waiting until I find some that make me say "They will be mine, OH YES! They will be mine."

Yet Another Crack Induced Dream? Or Future Reality?

Thursday, May 1, 2008 |

So last night I couldn't sleep much cause my side hurt like heck. My mom and I are assuming I pulled something trying to walk shelter dogs on saturday who were not used to walking and tried to run as free as the wind blows when we got out the door. They were big doggies too. Anyways. Legs hurt, sides hurt.

So in the few initial hours of sleep before my pain woke me up.....I had a bizarre dream.

We were all at Sam's place for a party and everyone was sitting in a circle. People would get into the middle and tell stories or perform a talent to make us all laugh. More and more people kept arriving until it was like 75 people crammed in. I had just been watching the performers and I thought to myself that maybe I would do something but my mind was BLANK. No talent at all. And with more and more people.....I had no desire to be the center of attention.

I was trying desperately to think of how to entertain such a large crowd. Should I sing something? No too cheesy. Should I sing something badly on purpose? But what? Maybe tell a story? But what story? ARG!!!! (somehow the fact that I probably don't know anyone who is amazing in the entertaining area escaped me- in my dream there was all kinds of funny stuff being done in the circle by people I know are relatively lame in real life) So as I am contemplating what on earth I could do, I see Jermaine and Bret seated across the room. I think to myself "How the HECK did they get invited here?" and then suddenly my anxiety is much worse. I MUST do something funny as a way to get to introduce myself. Then I can get a funny boyfriend!! YESS !!! I could be your most beautiful girl in the room and we could eat kebabs! We could get married and wear business socks. AHHHH WHAT TO DO???!! My caliber of funny is just not enough in an on demand performance!! But I never thought of anything and then I woke up.

Tragedy. I am sure I would have received marriage proposals from them both had I just sang an Ashlee Simpson song or told some why I win the "worst date ever contest" stories. Or I could have done my fabulous karaoke to Bust a Move. Easy-peasy. What was I thinking in my sleep?!! Geez.

So I am finally finished with wearing my dumb white scrubs to hospital clinicals. Amen Hallelujah!! Which reminds me

Here are some blog topics inspired by my hot mess scrubs:

1) Industrial strength fabrics are not meant for human fashions. They are meant for making sails for pirate ships and trampolines. You should never wear fabrics that hurt your skin or mimic the qualities of cardboard. Just make comfy ones and replace them more. PLEASE!!

2) Unisex does not mean it fits both sexes. It means it is made for men and the chauvinist pigs are too lazy/sexist to make an outfit created with boobs and hips. Women are expected to suck it up and just look bad....and stay in the kitchen dammit. Unless you're on the pole. In which case they seem to care to design female form-fitting fashions. How self serving.

3) Isn't it nice to have a pair of pants or other clothing item that almost fit when you're in shape that you are forced to wear all the time as a bitter reminder that you are getting fatter.

Ok moving on from the scrubs to the hot TV topics I have to comment on.

Dancing with the Stars - Cristian de la Fuente's poor arm!! I am so disappointed he got hurt. I first saw him on my fave show Psych and thought he was hilarious. And after seeing him on DWTS he seems to be like the nicest guy ever!! I so wanted him to win. Actually I want everyone this season to win- and I want Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough to just publicly make out already.

The Gathering- so I watched this on Lifetime about a guy(Peter Gallagher) who thinks his wife has been kidnapped by a coven of witches. SO BAD. It's really hard to say which part I despised the most. The yummy noises while crusty old Peter Fonda made out with a woman he brought back out of a coma who was married to someone else. Yay. Old people making out! With sound effects. Or maybe the best part was when Peter Gallagher was confronted with the fact that his wife was a practicing witch and he was all......yeah.....I knew we had different religions but what's the big deal? Priceless. So true to life. Why should a person think twice before marrying a Methodist or a Wiccan. That just means we'll shop on a different aisle at whole foods right? Who cares??!!

The Office- the past two weeks of crappy almost proposals are KILLING ME. I just had to say it.

Law & Order SVU - I can't decide whether Robin Williams is creepier when he's funny or serious. I pick funny as more creepy. When he gets going at trying to be funny he makes me uncomfortable. Anyways, this week's episode raised an interesting topic. He was trying to empower people to make themselves me heard against the establishment. His wife had died in childbirth after the Dr. wouldn't listen to him about a C-section and he let the Dr. do what he thought was best. The bad part was that he was calling and impersonating a police officer to a fake Mc Donald's type chain and had gotten a manager to get a female employee and lock her in his office and strip search her himself while he waited for the fake officer to arrive. So of course the manager gets arrested for assault. The manager was Scott Adsit from 30 Rock and he was GREAT at his part. So funny when he found out how stupid he was to perform a strip search because he had phone permission. The other civil disobedience type silly stuff that Robin Williams encouraged was interesting and not criminal like that. They had a public pillow fight and a moment of freezing into statues at a train station. Silly but disruptive. He had a good point about not letting people walk all over you but went about it all the wrong way.

Ok - so that's about all I had to comment on.

Here's another current event- Go you Mariah Carey with the marrying Nick Cannon thing if its true. Rrrrrraow! True cougar style. After being with a much older man like Tommy Mottola you should get a young hottie! Although having watched Cribs I find it hard to believe that any man will move into your pad in NY. What person wants to be with someone with a Hello Kitty Bathroom and like 5000 sq ft of closet space and no room for his stuff? I'm just sayin.