Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Task: Christmas letter and cards

I can’t believe it’s already September tomorrow. Yes, when I was writing all of these down, I was trying to decide whether I would mail out cards, and whether I would write a letter. I ended up going mostly electronic, just to save money on postage really.

I like sending actual mail. I think there is a charm to a card that e-mail does not quite equal, but I was so tired and broke. (The tired part is why I almost did not even have a letter.)

I also have tended to bake every other year, but somehow the two years of unemployment put a damper on that too. Well, maybe this year. It’s funny how there is always something that can come up.

In this moment I feel good, and I have well wishes towards all. I don’t have a super amount of available time, and that only seems to be getting worse, so it could affect things, but it at least seems probable that I will be able to afford a book of stamps this year. Let’s hear it for employment!

Disco Sweat (20/70)
Matthew 19 – Matthew 26

Monday, August 30, 2010

Scripture Study

Well, if you are keeping track you will have noticed that I have finished my backwards round through The Book of Mormon, and am now starting the New Testament—just forwards. Am I going too fast? Possibly. I may read the gospels twice before I get into the epistles. Sometimes Paul just wears me down.

In family scripture study we have one week left in the Doctrine and Covenants, and then we will be starting the Book of Mormon. Since Sunday school is Old Testament now, and will be New Testament next year, I guess it is fairly balanced.

Personal scripture study started for me when a church speaker said you should read the scriptures every day. This was back when I was a child who spent most of the meeting drawing on the program, but for some reason I looked up at that moment, and it stuck. I have not read the scriptures every day of my life, but I have had many periods where I was doing so, and I think that is something that has helped me.

Family scripture study came much later. A few years ago there was an institute class on the Teachings of John, and Julie and Maria said maybe we should take it. I was stunned that they would suggest such a thing, but you have to encourage stuff like that so we enrolled. Unfortunately, we were quite busy, and our attendance was erratic. One night when they were asking if we could skip, I said it would be okay as long as they read all of the material, and they kind of agreed.

As it was, they did not get around to reading, and I said, Okay, let’s read it together. Each class covered about three chapters, so that is what we did. Well, after we finished that, it should natural to go back and do the rest of the Gospels, and as long as you are doing that you might as well read Acts, and eventually we decided to read the epistles too, and somehow it became something we agreed to keep going, and it has been a blessing for us.

After we finished the New Testament we started the Pearl of Great Price, but I realized it was not going to make any sense unless we read Genesis, so we did that, then went back and finished the Pearl of Great Price, followed by the Doctrine and Covenants which we are just finished.

My estimate is that the Book of Mormon will take a year. We have been reading eight pages a week now, but I want us to bump it to ten, and I don’t think that should be too onerous. (We read on Sunday nights.)

The question is afterwards, do we take on the Old Testament? All of it? Maria thinks she likes it because of Genesis, but we could totally lose her in Numbers, and it was only on my fourth time through that I enjoyed Ezra and Nehemiah. Plus, every time I go through the Old Testament I am tempted to skip the Song of Solomon, and then I feel guilty, and I read it anyway, but seriously, even as a metaphor it is not spiritually fulfilling. Also, last time through I had to spread the Psalms out over the course of the prophets, because one psalm is beautiful, but read a few and they start to cloy.
Well, at least we have a year to figure it out.

27 minutes walking outside
Matthew 11 – Matthew 18

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Task: DVR and DVDs

At the time, I had three DVDs to watch, all of which featured Kim Rossi Stuart, and the backlog on the DVR was primarily White Collar, the miniseries “The Prisoner”, and the Saturday Afternoon session of General Conference.

I did get all of those caught up, though there is always more on the way. Conference was good, and I love White Collar, and not just because I love Matt Bomer. It’s a good ensemble and a fun show.

The Prisoner was a bit more disappointing. It was grosser than I expected. Well, there wasn’t really that much blood, though that was disturbing. I guess it is more that it was dark, and that can be okay but I am not sure that there was a point to the darkness, or enough to balance it. Also, the sound quality was horrible, and some of the things that they did for comic relief did not work—again due to imbalance, I think.

That being said, Jim Cavaziel has charisma to spare, and in the scene where he is trying to leave the one girl to go get her breakfast, but keeps coming back to kiss her again, he is freaking adorable.

For our DVR, I have been good about keeping up with White Collar, and Jeopardy! has been really easy lately because it is tournament reruns and I am just deleting them. I do record the Bold and the Beautiful for my mother, but again, we delete that daily.

With King of the Hill, we have seen most, if not all, of the episodes now, so we just keep a few of our favorites on hand for when we need a laugh. I do have three SVU episodes to catch up on, but that’s not a big deal.

The real reason that it is getting full right now is because Centric is running the A-Team, like, six times a day on some days, so that fills up fast. Still, it’s nice to have it on hand. There are some shows that I liked then, but I watch them now and they are painful, but not this one. Sure, I see the ridiculousness of some things, but I do not care.

For DVDs, it is getting into the Australia section of the queue, so I have Shine, Oscar and Lucinda, and the Endless Summer on deck.

I’ll watch things when I have time.

32 minutes walking outside
Matthew 1 – Matthew 10

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 12

Well, I am more than 25% through the 40 days, and I have now completed my first week of my new job.

Last Saturday was a very busy day, as we took our visitor Sarah to the beach, attended wedding receptions, and spent time with a friend. I took several pictures and loaded them on to Facebook. Today was busy in a completely different kind of way, and it occurred to me to take pictures of it too, and maybe just turn it into a blog.

I had a lot to do today. One thing about working is less time to get everything else done. I did not get up as early as would have been nice, because I went out last night, but no regrets there. Every now and then it’s good to be social, and I like the odd chance here and there for karaoke.

Many of my tasks were outdoor, kind of messy ones, so I decided to defer showering until it was done. One cannot defer walking the dogs, though, so that was my first task. I nearly got a picture of Jane jumping on me, but she moves too fast. And yeah, we have not broken her of that habit yet.

Blackberry picking is not as taxing as the other things, and I have more shade, so it could have made sense to do that later, but I knew I would not want to go do that after doing the other things, so I went off. I intended to only pick half a bucket, but there were so many ripe ones I went a little over.

Returning with my haul, I headed out to the tree. You see, we have this one corner of yard where the soil isn’t very good, and it’s out of site, so when we had the leftover chunks of concrete from tearing up the pool, we moved them over there. (There are surprisingly few options for disposing of concrete.) We don’t visit that corner of the yard very often, because there is no reason too, and it is kind of hidden away, so I guess this is why we did not notice that a tree was growing, and was now over ten feet tall. At that rate of growth, it would not be long before it was messing with the fence, so it had to come down.

My first step was to get off some branches with the clippers so I could see what I was working with, and somehow the more branches that I got off, the bigger it seemed to grow. I was finally ready to start sawing, and that was discouraging. We just have a hand saw, and it was not making good progress. The area was cramped, which did not help for having full range of motion. I know a small chainsaw or one of those motorized branch trimmers would have done it in an instant, but even if we had one of those, it was close quarters, right near the fence, and I’m clumsy. With a combination pruning shears, saw, and pushing and pulling, I finally got the thing down.

I expected to do some more work on my regular pruning project with the butterfly bushes, but much to my surprise the bin was already full. Yard debris comes Tuesday and next weekend is a three day weekend, so I will get to them.
Finally it was time to wash the car. We don’t wash it very often (home washing is very water inefficient and we try and respect that) but somehow it had gotten much filthier than usual. I don’t mind the washing much, but I hate the vacuuming. I know it is one of those areas where I am not logical—it is the washing part that gets me soaked, and the vacuuming goes really fast—but the hose is already out there, and you have to go get the vacuum, and then the extension cord, and then you have to open up the car and it bugs me. Still, every time I say I am going to wash the car, Mom says “And vacuum?” so obviously it’s important to her.

After that I showered and played on Facebook for a while. We were waiting for Julie and Maria to come home from Julie’s work event at Oaks Park. Then there would be someone here with the dogs, so Mom and I could go to the temple with a clear conscience and no worries about the integrity of the rug.

We ended up getting the 5:30 session. I ran into Safeway to get dinner on the way back, so it was already getting kind of late. Now this is where I have been foolish. The past two days I have had things going on at night, so I took walks before work and read the scriptures at lunch just so I would not have to worry about them. Even with my busy schedule, I felt like I would have plenty of time for them. I was probably the Facebook time. Anyway, that is why I am exercising at 11:30 PM. But I am doing it. And…done!

Grooving in the House (24/60)
1st Nephi 8 – 1st Nephi 1


I should really make clear that I don’t think that my life was bad, even back then. Obviously I had issues, but not really worse than anyone else did, and with a few perks.

For one thing, I am really good at enjoying myself. It’s a gift. My coping strategies did work for the most part. Yes, about twice a year it would all hit, and I would be angry and depressed and defensive, and then in a few days everything would be stuffed back in the box and buried, and I would get along okay until the next round.

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have been happier if I had dealt with things sooner. I’m sure I would have. I’m just not sure that it would have been possible. Even though when everything turned around it seemed to happen suddenly, there were a lot of things that built up to it in terms of knowledge gained and experiences that put chinks in my armor. Even so, with everything that led me to where I was and who I became, I know that ultimately I was healed by the Atonement, and by Christ.

It then becomes a sensitive thing to talk about, but that has ultimately been the biggest factor in my life. Even then when I would not let myself think about things, I sensed that a big part of why I was generally happy, even with my problems, was through the influence of the Holy Ghost. I still believe that, but I also give credit now to righteous living, which kept me from a lot of unhappiness, and my faith with the things I believed and the comfort they gave. Heavenly Father told me over and over that He loved me until I finally started believing it.

I know religion gets a bad rap. There is a lot of falsehood out there, and then you throw people in there and with their vanity and stupidity they muck things up, even when they have every opportunity to know better. I get that completely, but you should never let that cause you to underestimate the power of true faith.

When we think of miracles so often we think of physical healings, but medicine has made a lot more progress with that than psychology has made with spiritual healing, so maybe we need it more, and when it happens it feels miraculous.

In my French Novel class, we read Nausea by Sartre, where the protagonist is sometimes taken over by sick feeling. This is considered to be existential angst, which he eventually learns to accept and live with.

I would sometimes get this sudden sickening feeling of wrongness, that there was something really bad, about me or around me, and it was as disturbing as it was undefined. Only after it had stopped happening did I relate it to those deep dark shames which I had tried so hard not to think about. I did not have to learn to live with the sickness—I was allowed to learn how to live without it.

I guess the point that I am trying to make is to not be afraid of what is inside. I am always telling people to own their emotions, even if they are bad. Then you can analyze them, figure out if they are based on accurate information or not, and choose to do good things even if you have bad impulses. If instead you feel ashamed and try to squelch your rebellious feelings, they probably end up doing more damage in the long wrong. I mean, there’s no point in being ashamed of being human. Just be a good one.

The most valuable thing that I have ever learned is that there is nothing really that horrible inside you once you will let yourself look at it. First of all, doing that is half the battle, but also there is always the hope of being healed, and whatever you might need to give up for that is worth the loss. That is why there can always be hope. That is why I can always know that things can be okay, even when I have no idea how.

21 minutes walking outside
Wall sits
1st Nephi 14 – 1st Nephi 9

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Now, you might suspect that a teenage girl in denial about her deepest fears who overcompensated by taking on a bunch of extracurricular activities could at times be hampered by her insecurity, and you would be right. I was always worried that people would be getting sick of me, and not want me around. Fortunately, I found another shield to use besides humor. It was busyness. Sure, I was always doing something, but also I always had something I needed to do.

This was my real armor. I had mentioned in writing about the reunion that I am not very ADD. Actually, I probably swing more towards OCD. I mean, if I mean drumming my fingers on a particular spot of wall, I don’t have to go back and do it, but I notice that I missed it.

This may be another reason that the sports management is what really stuck over the other activities. I had responsibilities. I was serving. As a people pleaser (psychological wound: shame), it was natural for me to feel a strong need to do things for other people anyway. Then, I could focus on the task at hand instead of focusing on whether I was an intrusion or not.

At one point during my junior year, the basketball team decided to start changing in the gym instead of the locker room. After all, the locker room was in the basement, so getting there required going downstairs and then coming back upstairs, which is a lot of physical effort to require of young athletes.

Part of my job was going over the practice area with a dust mop before practice, and one day when I was doing this, suddenly boys were undressing. Well, I just kept my head down and kept at it. Yes, they did try and encourage me to check out other people’s shorts, and I remember at least one person calling my name and then saying, “Look at me when I’m talking to you”, but I can’t remember who was saying it, because I never looked up.

(That’s not to say it wasn’t awkward, but the problem was resolved when Coach noticed the increasingly longer line of girls looking in the gym windows during this period, and suddenly they were heading back down to the locker room.)

This deep focus has some advantages, but it has some disadvantages too. For one thing, if you catch me when I am doing something else, I may have a hard time talking to you, because I wasn’t in talk mode, I was in reading mode or eating mode or pruning mode.

In addition, the lack of self-awareness was an issue again. I guess I sort of thought that if I was not looking at anyone, they were not looking at me, when actually I was quite visible. I think this is why I am sometimes surprised to realize people knew who I was or noticing what I was doing. Actually, you kind of stick out when you are doing needlepoint in the student center, and I have seen people do things like that as a way of getting noticed, but I swear I just wanted to finish the project. (Actually, I think the needlepoint is why I was able to hear some conversations that I did, because I looked intent, and I was, but only with my eyes.)

Anyway, it was natural for me to volunteer to be a greeter at the reunion, but in that case my focus was on socializing, so it worked well. And you have to admit, I get a lot done.

22 minutes walking outside
1st Nephi 18 – 1st Nephi 15

Task: Blogging

I’ll get back to my high school narrative, but I had to get out that newsletter tonight, and that is one of my blogs. And yes, one of the things I had on my to-do list was blogging.

Regular readers know how sporadic I am, for which I am sorry, but it is nothing new. This main blog I primarily use for self-discovery and getting things off my chest. I also have the travel blog, and then the preparedness blog is pretty much just a way of archiving the preparedness newsletters that I do for my ward.

That is the most regular one, because I am good about getting the newsletters sent, and once it is written updating the blog is easy, but there are occasional delays. Sometimes the writing doesn’t flow, and I have to consider whether I am being wrong-headed in some way. Like this one is on using whole grains. I thought I would have information on storing them, and maybe even on cooking, but that didn’t seem right and it ended up being more about how to easily introduce them into your diet.

I did one once on personal safety, and I was all gung ho to include this tip I had read back when Chandra Levy disappeared, that young people living alone should leave notes or messages every time they leave regarding where they are going. It just didn’t feel right, and then I realized that the main point of that is to make it easier for the people who are investigating your disappearance. I was trying to keep people from disappearing at all, and reminders of possible death would only make the message less well received. It’s not a bad idea—it was just the wrong place.

For the travel blog, I was going to just post on Saturdays, but last Saturday was the busiest day I have had in a long time, and it was just not going to happen.

Jamaica Me S’wet (20/45)
2nd Nephi 1 – 1st Nephi 19

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girl on the run

Well, now that I have sullied the good name of the drama club, I should make it clear that I wasn't specifically avoiding them. I wasn't enjoying acting in junior high. A lot of it was vanity--I had not yet learned that there are no small parts--but maybe there was also too much waiting around for someone with a frantic need to keep busy. My friends were all still nice to me, and we still frequently ate lunch together and had classes together, but I most of our social time happened during the school day.

If that wasn't the problem, what was I avoiding? Well, there were the internal conflicts which I covered already. That was two years ago, actually, but I don't feel a strong need to revisit. In summary, I had seen myself as fat since I was 6, and as unworthy of being loved romantically since I was 14, and I could not bear to even think about those things, which was unfortunate because there were some fallacies that became self-fulfilling prophecies. There was also an external issue.

I have also written about getting into a fight with my father over driving, where he stopped speaking to me for two and a half years. What I probably haven't mentioned is how sometimes I get confused over which birthday that happened on, because I get confused about other times when we fought and he was not speaking to me.

So technically, I was already a year and a half into my relentless pace when the big rejection happened, but even before that being home was no fun.

When my father first got caught cheating on my mother, and attended his one counseling class, he wrote a list of things she did wrong, and ways she could change. One thing was wanting her to get a job, which resulted in her taking a night janitorial position and then adding house cleaning during the day. There were good and bad results to this. She did learn more independence, which would come in handy, and it's the only reason she has any social security income now, but it is also probably a factor in her severe arthritis and other aches and pains.

When this first started, Julie and Maria were only four, and had a hard time with her being gone at night. By the time they were thirteen, they joined her at the night job, earning some pocket money, bonding with her, and making their own escape from the house.

I can't blame them. Dad had a talent for casting a pall over the place, and we reacted by giving him a wide berth. Perhaps it was not the best reaction, but it felt like the only possible one.

With my activities schedule, I hardly ever had to be home. If that was helpful before my seventeenth birthday, it was an absolute life saver afterwards. In soccer and basketball season I had two games a week, and then I started helping at practices. The track season only had one meet weekly, but then I worked any nights that I did not have games, so it was all good. Sometimes I only had time to change between getting home from afternoon stuff and heading to work. Of course, I neglected homework a lot, but I had a history of doing that.

Sometimes it was too much. I think McDonald's was a good learning experience, and kids were coming in from school all the time, so it was fun in that way, but I was always closing, getting home at 12:30 three nights a week, and then at 2 am on Saturday nights. I knew it was too much when I fell asleep at my desk after finishing my Spanish mid-term. (At least I finished.) I gave notice, and then after resting a few months I got on at K-mart. They were only open until 9 on any night, so that helped a lot.

I didn't have any of this self-awareness at the time, but considering how much I loved curling up at home with a book, it was amazing how rarely I did it during that time period.

Beginning Belly Dance (30/30)
Wall sits
2nd Nephi 8 - 2nd Nephi 2

Monday, August 23, 2010


I’ve had some doubts about even posting this one, but I keep referencing the drama group being corrupt, and I may do it again, and I feel like I need to give some background so it is not like I am just maliciously slandering everyone who participated in a play.

When “Cruel Intentions” came out, I remember the reviewer saying the way in which it didn’t really work is that the kind of casual sadism where you wreck people’s lives just because you can doesn’t really happen with teenagers—it takes the kind of cynicism that you don’t acquire until middle age. I’m not sure that’s true.

These are the things that I think about when I think of high school drama. I remember A being obsessed with S, but knowing he couldn’t have her, so using C, not caring that she adored him, and how excited she was to be getting the attention, and how unfair it was.

I remember the same S putting a different A’s hand on J’s butt, comparatively innocent, but mortifying for both of them.

I think of N watching her friend’s first time from the stairway, like she was stoned. (Well, she could have been, but alcohol seems to have been the drug of choice.)

Those are just the things that should not have resulted in assault charges (which I can’t talk about, even using initials, but that’s a long list). Those are just the cases where I know specifics, as opposed to just knowing that one person really messed up another.

When the athletes would talk about sex (mainly the soccer team, and no, I don’t think they knew I could hear them), it was about things like what to do if you have gas when you’re having sex (make a lot of noise, let her think you’re doing a good job).

I believe in chastity. I believe fornication is a sin, and that’s why it tends to end up in heartbreak so often, even when no one has any bad intentions with it, and I guess my point is that you can have a good heart, and feel love, and still do it.

So yes, there were wrong things happening in other places, but I associate drama with mean-spiritedness and debauchery—not always at the same time, but often enough.

I know there has to have been people who did not participate in it, maybe lots, but I don’t remember anyone telling me about how they built great friendships, and how everyone was so supportive either. I hear people say that at the ten year that everyone was still competing and trying to one-up each other, and that they don’t really want to see those people again. Probably a lot of those people are fine now. I know S is. I hope N is. But yeah, I can see how they don’t have the fondest memories.

22 minutes walking outside
2nd Nephi 17 – 2nd Nephi 9

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Club sandwich

So maybe I did not want to do drama, but I ended up doing a lot of things. Actually, too many things to do any of them well. Without even including the things that were single events (like Model UN and Girls State), here is what I can remember trying.

Science club: This is the only one where I ended up in the yearbook photo, which is odd because I did the least with them. They had meets and prepared for meets, and I did not do any of that.

French Club: You know, we went downtown once, but I don’t remember doing anything particularly French on that trip, and I’m not sure what the point was. My main club participation was reading palms in French at Le Village, an annual fundraiser and expo. Also, I delivered roses on Valentine’s Day. I wonder what we used the funds for.

Spanish Club: I read palms in Spanish for El Pueblo, which had some strong similarities to Le Village.

Literary Magazine: I helped out some during the first year, but the staff was a little pretentious, and I gave up on it. Of course those people graduated, and I would have liked their successors better, but I just never went back.

Student government: I would sometimes just observe their meetings when I had a free period. This would probably have actually been very annoying for them, except then I ended up helping decorating for dances, or recruiting chaperones for the prom, so that may have mitigated things a little.

Amnesty International: I participated in at least one letter-writing session.

Earth Club: I remember they were going to plant seedlings, and I couldn’t go, and they had an awesome fundraising booth based on maneuvering a boat around an obstacle course in a wading pool without spilling oil. (This was not long after Exxon Valdez.) I was not a part of it at that point.

I also tried some different volunteer work, but what ended up being the issue with a lot of these things is that I was also working a lot, and there was just finite time. The things I participated in the most were speech team and sports management, and those were things I set my work schedule around.

Well, I set my work schedule around speech tournaments anyway. I did not end up at practices often. That was why I did not end up in the pictures, which is not a big deal, but perhaps if I had gone to more practices, I would have performed better. I have to admit, our coaches were not high pressure, and I appreciated that. I tried almost every event, and they let me bounce around like that. Eventually, I found out that my real strength was After Dinner Speaking, and I did make state one year, but I was not great at it. Also, I wish I had found Student Congress sooner, because I liked my experience with it, and I think I could have done well.

I think there were different factors contributing to my scattered accomplishments here. One is just that I want it all. I want to do everything, learn everything, read everything, travel everywhere, meet everyone, and not miss a thing. Impossible, but I still try and reach out pretty far. I haven’t changed that much there.

The other thing is that with both speech and sports, it took me away, and it got me there. With a lot of the activities, to participate fully you needed rides, but the speech team usually had a bus, and if not they worked out carpools. The sports teams always had a bus. The speech team went better places (college campuses), but the sports teams went more often.

If I wanted to avoid thinking about whatever was wrong, well I definitely had no time for doing so anyway, and I had tasks to focus on, which was my big coping method. More on that later.

22 minutes walking outside
2nd Nephi 25 – 2nd Nephi 18

My life was not a John Hughes film

I did some edits to the last three titles, because I realized that it is probably helpful if the blogs that are based on different items from my to-do list (even if the original item is just a launching point for whatever I blog about) are clearly labeled. So, from now on, they will be.

Today is not from the task list, but is more post-reunion analysis. In addition to what people wrote about me back then, I also did get some responses to the Nostalgia week posts, and some things from conversations, and that caused me to think and reflect also. It’s just what I do.

One person remembered me helping her with English homework, and explaining what the teacher was going for, and then getting an A. I don’t actually remember that, but I do remember helping people a lot. I think in high school it was mainly in English, as I was on a downward trend in Math and Science. Oddly, in college it was always helping people with Spanish, though maybe that was because I only took one English class, and college students are less likely to ask someone who is not in the class for help.

Another memory was my doing so many activities, and one person gave me undeserved credit for being the glue that held the different cliques together. I’ll go over the activities later, probably in two separate posts, but on the clique thing, I guess I can’t take credit because I didn’t even think that there were cliques. Now, I can be pretty oblivious, and there will be more on that later, but other people thought there were cliques, and maybe I was missing something.

It was something I thought about. I had social groupings explained to me in junior high, and my mentor’s definitions were influenced largely by “The Outsiders”. There were pops and socs (popular, social), who dressed trendily and went to parties with chocolate cake (maybe because they were rich and poor people could not afford cake?); and stoners and rockers who dressed the same, but rockers did not take drugs; and then there were nerds. There was probably some other term for a person who had nerd popularity but was not smart, but I can’t remember. Obviously, I would have been a nerd.

In high school, I think I originally thought you were either popular or unpopular, and I probably would have put it all to being attractive or not, but I saw that it wasn’t that simple. There were people that I could not have placed with one group or another, and some who seemed to have really good crossover appeal.

The thing is, and I know many people who see The Breakfast Club and feel like that was totally their life, I never saw any open hostility between groups. I saw open hostility between people in the same groups, but in my view (and maybe it was naïve) it seemed like anyone could talk to anyone, popularity was more about whether you dated and what parties you went to.

I really only thought one group was terribly exclusive, and that was Masque, the revamped drama club. I would tell you that those were the worst snobs in the school, and the most corrupt, but maybe it was only because I had more information on it.

I went all six years to Chehalem, which fed into Mountain View. When I was in fifth grade they changed the boundaries, and my neighborhood changed to Aloha Park. That’s where Julie and Maria ended up going. Aloha Park fed into Five Oaks, the other junior high that fed into Aloha. Of the students my age who were affected, we could choose to go to sixth grade at either Chehalem or Aloha Park, but would then go on to Five Oaks. Four of us finished at Chehalem.

Initially I was very depressed about this, and was sure that I would be a lonely outcast for three years, but then I ended up making some friends, and adjusting, and by the time I got to Aloha I knew about 75% of the student body because of the boundary change. There were other changes though.

The group I hung out with at Five Oaks had primarily been interested in drama. Several of the people I had been closest to at Chehalem were interested in drama. I had been once too, but then I rebelled against it in 9th grade, and quit both the club and the class (switching to yearbook staff and guitar class—I was pretty good at yearbook, but horrible at guitar). I did try an Intro to Drama class at Aloha, and it was fine, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I did many other things while my friends did plays. This is why I knew things about what was happening in drama, without being a part of it myself.

I guess it could have been alienating, but it wasn’t really. As friends started experimenting with hazardous things, I didn’t really feel estranged from them. I worried about them, and whether they would be okay, but I was always busy, and I didn’t hear the worst things until later anyway.

So I talked to drama people (who were my old friends), and athletes (whom I managed), and nerds (who were really just smart people, and whom I had classes with), and people who did not really fit in any of those categories but I had known for years, and I wasn’t really thinking about any of it anyway, because conversations seemed completely open. It was just dating that seemed closed off, not because of my social standing, but because of my lack of attractiveness, and I did not let myself think about that. And now sometimes when I look back and realize that it was possible that someone was attracted to me, well, there’s nothing to do about it. I can only try and be better now.

But I wonder if there were boundaries that I missed –because I can be quite oblivious, or class lines that people perceived, but it was their own issues holding them back—which I can relate to a lot.

24 minutes walking outside (not counting the trails in the forest or any of our fun stuff)
2nd Nephi 33 – 2nd Nephi 26

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Task: Yearbook and scanning photos

One thing I really wanted to accomplish before the reunion was going through the various yearbooks and seeing if there was anyone I was missing among my Facebook friends, and see if they were on there. Just by keeping in touch with multiple people from school, you tend to see posts by other people, or that multiple people have become friends with someone who has just joined Facebook, but there is always the possibility of missing someone. Also, shortly after the last time I scanned photos in, I found more, and I was not up for another scanning session, but I promised myself that I would get back to it.

I was moderately successful. I could not find the other photo stash, and then I did find more photos, but I am not sure they were the same ones. Still, I scanned those in, and the brilliant thing about this batch was that I had actually written the names of people on the photo backs. That was really helpful.

For going through the yearbooks, I just could not be as thorough as I had originally envisioned. I thought I would be really meticulous, and there is just too much data. I did submit some new friend requests, and saw that some old friends remain stubbornly off Facebook, but I probably missed some people, and I will have to accept that.

I could not find my yearbook from 8th grade, or my class pictures from 3rd and 5th grade, which is a little weird, but I took some nice trips down memory lane. There were the pictures, but also seeing what people signed in the 7th and 9th grade yearbooks, and then in the literary journals for 10th – 12th grade. (At our high school, the yearbook did not come out until the school year had ended, so everybody signed the literary journal, Day by Day. Also, at the time it was a 3-year school, but it is 9th – 12th now.)

Of what people wrote to me, I would say about 10% is random and individualized, and another 30% is “I didn’t really get to know you that well” (is that code for “Why are you having me sign this?”). Anyway, where it really gets interesting is the other 60%: half are about how sweet I am and the other half is how I need to quit ripping on people.

Well, it’s not as contradictory as it seems. I am very much a people pleaser, and I love helping people and doing things for them, and I remember coming up with some very thoughtful gifts and doing nice things.

At the same time, I have a very mean sense of humor. Looking back, I think it goes back to my 9th grade humor. I may have taken it to heart that I was a joke, but I didn’t accept it enough to not be angry about it. I did use humor as a shield, and it worked, but there was probably some bitterness there, and that was always the conflict for me. I was happy in a lot of ways, but I had a secret pain that I was not going to deal with, and it made me a little mean.

Also, there was just the issue of boundaries. A big part of growing up is learning where the lines are. Saying this will be funny, but saying that would just be hurtful. Some of my more excruciating memories are when I got the balance wrong and hurt someone, or came off as immature, or just did not get it right.

Even as I have gotten more mature, and dealt with my baggage, and grown in all these ways, my sense of humor is still pretty cynical. For my last year of college I worked at the Science Library, and I remember my supervisor saying he could never tell if I was joking, and the reason was is that what I was saying was absolutely true, and it was a pain, but I was just treating it as funny. That’s still pretty much the case.

The thing is, except when I am doing my stand-up (which is not all that often), I am not usually trying to be really funny, I just throw in humor and maybe it is more than I realize because I am often surprised at how hard people will be laughing. I remember when I first started writing screenplays a lot of people assumed I would be writing comedies, and, no, the sixth (Coulrophobia) was the first one that could be considered a comedy, and even at that it is not a straight comedy—more of a comic thriller.

They do all have humor in them, but it is something that is lightening the drama. Whether the issue is dealing with espionage and paralysis, or choosing between comfort and passion, or vampires, or abuse and manipulation, or a devastating injury, there is humor to lighten it.

That’s pretty much how I handle life. And it certainly isn’t always right. Generally on the way home from church, my sisters and I make fun of people, and then we go back to work praying for them, and thinking about how to help them. It’s our stress relief. Someday we may have a better one, but yeah, for now it looks like the way I can be sweet is through recharging by ripping people. It’s fun if you don’t have any real malice.

(Well, it might still be fun if you have real malice, but I don’t recommend it. We’re sketchy enough as it is.)

28 minutes walking outside
Jacob 6 - Jacob 1

Friday, August 20, 2010

Task: Flu shot

I don’t remember whether this was on the original task list or was added in (I am always coming up with new stuff to do), but one very real concern was getting a flu shot.

As a diabetic I have a compromised immune system, so I am generally supposed to get one. I had been pretty good about it, but then in 2008 I did not get one. Mom got one, and when flu swept through the household she was the only one who did not get it.

It had been so long since I had gotten the flu that I forgot exactly how terrible it could be. At its peak it felt like someone had beaten me over my entire body with a baseball bat. Then, it started feeling like the beating had still happened, but they had missed some spots. It was so miserable.

The irony was that I had just finished reading “The Monster at our Door”, which focused on Avian flu but was a good primer in general on what could happen and how flu strains work, so I don’t know what I was thinking, except that we caught it fairly early in the season and maybe I would have gotten a shot in a few more weeks if it had left me alone.

Anyway, for the 2009 flu season there was also the threat of H1N1, and I really intended to get both. I never did get the H1N1 vaccine, as it took so long to become available, but I know that somehow that fear motivated people more than usual to get the regular flu shots, and that line my mother and I waited in took three hours. Still, I did not get sick, and that was a good thing.

I had been thinking of it lately, because the H1N1 threat was recently declared to have been past, and I hope people realize that the government did a reasonable job with it. I know people were initially afraid, and then thought it was for nothing, but there was a real threat, and even with a vaccine shortage, what was there was generally deployed appropriately, and the precautions that people took about washing hands and such were helpful. Having read the book helped me appreciate that more, but also someone was recently on the Daily Show who pointed to that as a success, and I realized that they probably weren’t getting much credit. Actually, a new edition of “Monster” with an added chapter could be good.

I must say, I get really mad at how much credence people give the anti-vaccination campaigns. They do a lot of harm. Good intentions combined with ignorance are, well, a really widespread problem.

Get your flu shots.

40 minutes walking outside
Words of Mormon – Jacob 7

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Task: Prune and repot plants

At one point I made a long task list of all of these things that I needed to get done, and I had blogged that I was doing that, and at some point I intended to write about all of the little things—maybe why they were important and what progress I had made. Anyway, one way I am going to be able to blog daily during a period of great business is that I will do some quick task updates interspersed with the more verbose postings.

Once upon a time I had three plants. One was a gift from two friends at a time when I was feeling down. It is a gold-dust kroton, but I did not know that originally so I just called it Spot.

They other two were rescues from someone who was away from work for an extended period (I think it was maternity leave). I noticed them dying and started watering them, and when she got back and I mentioned that, she said I could have them. (Whenever I go on vacation I put someone in charge of watering the plants, so clearly we just had different viewpoints on the importance of plant care.) The African violet I recognized, and called Violet, but it took me a while before I knew that Stripe was a dieffenbachia.

Anyway, they all did pretty well. Violet eventually started blooming again, and even though Stripe lost a limb when Stephen sat on my desk against it, the rest was doing fine. Well, Violet has since died, but I feel like it was okay, and just the natural course of events rather than anything I did. The real problem was Spot.

Krotons are amazingly resilient. They can go for a long time without water, and eventually the leaves will start to get a little droopy, and then a quick drink perks them right up. You can also overwater, apparently, and they survive that too. The problem is that Spot keeps getting taller without getting thicker. Judicious pruning early on probably could have fixed that, but I didn’t see the need until too late. Anyway, Spot periodically gets a little top-heavy, and needs to have the top snipped off.

I hate doing this. There is this lush, green growth, stretching upward, and looking all happy, and I just come along like a barbarian and cut it down. Still, I think if I didn’t, there would be an issue with the distribution of nourishment, and the roots would grow weak and it would die.

I have taken care of pruning, although it will come up again. I don’t really like the pots for either, and so I frequently come back to this idea of getting something new for them. Of course, it was not an absolute necessity, and I have been so broke, that it was not really an option. Now that I will have income again, perhaps I can think about it. Could they go in together, and share a pot? I don’t know. I know some people who have tended indoor plants professionally though, so maybe I can ask.

Disco Sweat (28/70)
Mosiah 6 – Mosiah 1

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


More reflection on being twenty years out of high school will follow, but I am kicking something off, and I wanted to write about that.

I decided to treat my last doctor’s visit as a wake-up call. My blood sugar levels are being a bit stubborn about going back down after my little ER visit. They’re not horrible, but they should be lower, or I will need to start looking at more drastic remedies, and I don’t want to do that. The doctor focused on the importance of exercise, saying that simply walking just fifteen minutes a day could be really helpful.

Well, that was doable. I started on July 28th and have been doing pretty well, missing only two days. Part of that was insufficient planning. If I go on a walk with my sisters, we go in the evening, and sometimes we are good about that and sometimes we miss, but if I had been planning on a walk, and then it doesn’t happen, I have to work something in. This happened three nights.

The first night, I just wandered around the family room for twenty minutes. Sometimes it was walking back and forth, then running in place, then throwing in sequences I could remember from old aerobics tapes, but it was all very odd, and the only saving grace was that I did keep moving for twenty minutes. Yes, it was twenty instead of fifteen. There’s a reason for that.

During the first day, during the first fifteen minutes actually, I started remembering this recommendation made by a President Richardson at a stake conference. Looking at things to improve the lives of the members, he recommended what he called the 20/20 program, where everyone should exercise for twenty minutes a day and read the scriptures for twenty minutes a day. I decided to do that, so along with improving my health I would also be keeping on track spiritually.

Scripture study, like exercise, is another area where I tend to be off an on. I go strong for a while, and I know it has blessed my life, strengthening me at times and certainly increasing my knowledge of the scriptures. However, having been through them so many times by now, maybe I wane in my enthusiasm. Still, I want to be strong, and have mastery over my thoughts and behavior, so that is good.

Actually, at the time I had already started a new thing where I was reading the Book of Mormon backwards. No, I am not looking for evil messages. I can’t tell you how many times I have read it, but a conservative estimate is fifty, and I worry that the familiarity will make me miss things, and thought that perhaps going out of sequence would help me weigh each verse individually, and help them stand out. It’s going okay. I’m sure I am still missing things, which of course is one reason that I could read it fifty times more, but actually with the frequent use of chiasmus, there are passages where it kind of reads the same.

Anyway, the second time it happened, it was late and I hadn’t read either, and though it seemed unbelievably lame, what I decided to do was to read while doing various isometric exercises—I would just flex or stretch something and hold it while I read. Sometimes it ended up being more yoga-like, but I had done something for another night.
Still, both of those sessions were so lame that the next time it was late and I had not exercised yet I just blew it off. (I think that was when I spent two hours more than I had planned helping at the blood drive, and that had left me irritated, which did not help.)

The other time I did not get in my twenty minutes was quite recent, and it was a bad decision brought on by negative emotions. Julie had been showing some discomfort with my use of the treadmill. She didn’t say I couldn’t use it, but it was still there, so finally it came out that when she was researching them she kept finding a weight limit of three hundred pounds. I decided we needed to check for this one, and it is actually 275. Ouch.

I had already been worried about keeping the exercise going after starting work. Now I was losing one more tool (and I was still worried about the VCR at that point), and losing it in a way that reminded me how far away I am from normal people. So obviously, when you are depressed about being fat, the best thing to do is to skip exercising, and maybe eat a batch of cookies while you’re at it. (Okay, I did not eat a batch of cookies, but I should have exercised and I didn’t.)

I’ve covered my weight issues in depth a few times, and if anyone needs to go back to that, I’m putting links, but there is so much new material to cover that I don’t want to recap here:


The last time I posted my weight (June 2009), what happened was that the scale broke, which I mentioned, but I don’t think I ever mentioned why I didn’t start again. We replaced the scale, and the new scale weighed me about ten pounds higher than the old scale. That was a little discouraging, but the one at the doctor’s office always weighed more than the one at home, so I figured it was probably more accurate, and I could live with that.

The problem was that it varied so much from day to day that I was concerned. One day I weighed before and after my shower, and I was six pounds heavier after. Now, I know I have a tendency towards water retention, but I did not absorb six pounds of water in the shower! So I couldn’t trust the digital one. We do have an old-fashioned scale also, but as you move the weights back and forth, it can be hard getting the right balance, and if you shift position it throws everything off again.

As important as it is to monitor yourself, I think right now it is something that I can’t do closely. I did check today, and I was 316.8 on the digital and 315 on the old one (analog?), and that is probably about right. My heaviest on the old digital was 346, which was probably more like 356-360. I was thinking that I would probably not weigh again until Halloween, but I will probably do it at the end of the forty days.

You see, thinking about what I had accomplished, and what I need to accomplish, and what obstacles I have and will have, I decided I wanted to give myself, well, a Lent. The exercise and the scripture study will go well beyond forty days, but I am abstaining from video games. I had taken a break from them while I was finishing the one screenplay, and then I started again, and it is amazing how much time I will spend on them when I have other things to do, so really the only thing that works is abstinence, and with a specific time period, it is easier.

(Really, I get addicted so easily that the most fortunate break of my entire life may be having been born in the Church so that I never even tried alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. I don’t think I would have done well.)

Part of this (the non-game playing part) will be being more effective, and getting all these things done that I want to do, but another important thing is getting the exercise down and scripture study down, during the first few weeks of work, that it is just non-negotiable.

One thing that has always handicapped me for weight loss is that I will have specific targets in mind, and I want to fix—well, fix myself, really—and I can’t look at it that way anymore. Wrapping my personal worth (and worthiness of love) with my body size has just not been effective in the past. Also, I just need a more realistic scope.

I will not be thin in time for a reunion, or vacation, or wedding or holiday. This is a marathon. It could easily take me five years to reach my correct BMI, if it is even reachable, so I am not about that. (For my height and age, the range appears to be 110 to 145, which does not sound plausible, but that will not be my only gauge of my fitness.) I am just trying to make my body healthier, and I am starting slowly.

I remember once thinking that for me to really get healthy I would probably need to be completely regimented, with every meal and snack measured and planned ahead and multiple exercise periods worked in, and it didn’t seem possible. Well, maybe that needs to be reached incrementally. I have already modified this twice. On the first day I lengthened it, and shortly afterwards I felt like I needed to do something weight-related (maybe because the lame isometric workout had me feeling so loose.) So, now I am alternating push-ups, wall-sits, and crunches. And they are the weakest, wimpiest push-ups, wall-sits, and crunches you have ever seen, but they do cover different body areas. They will get better, and other evolutions will occur, long-range.

I don’t know where I am going to end up, but perhaps the biggest change in me personally has been my growing comfort with uncertainty, and acceptance of things beyond my control. Took me long enough.

Anyway, I intend to blog daily during these forty days, and there will be a little report at the end of what I did. We’ll see what happens after September 25th. (Oh, and the reason I did both push-ups and wall sits today is because I didn’t do push-ups yesterday, but I did walk.)

Beginning belly dance (30/30 minutes)
Push-ups and wall sits
Mosiah 15 – Mosiah 7

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thriving at your Reunion

I had not originally intended to blog about the reunion, but then Cheryl said, “I hope you do”, and I’d do anything for Cheryl. Also, I have been analyzing it to death, so there’s that. It may turn into a three-part series!

Anyway, this is actually the kind of event that I do really well at, so there might not have been much to write about, but I know some people who did not go because they did not enjoy the last one; I had one friend who was really nervous before, so I was trying to help her with that; and in my function as a greeter I found some people who had other concerns. Somehow, everyone seemed to end up having a good time, so perhaps there are lessons to be learned.

For my friend who was nervous, this is partly because another person was harassing her at the last one, and he has a minion, so even if one was not there, there other could have been. In a situation like this, it is important to plan ahead. First of all, this particular scumbag will only attach when the victim is isolated—whether from sheer cowardice or due to some conscious knowledge of wrongdoing does not matter—so the first part of the plan was to use the buddy system.

It was important to emphasize the positive, so the plan needed to be constantly looking for additional people, taking time to enjoy each of them, rather than looking over the shoulder for the big bad one. Part of this included going over RSVPs and yearbooks to remember all the cool people one could possibly spend time with.

That strategy is probably good for various kinds of pre-reunion anxiety. Jogging the memory and remembering good times helps build excitement.

So, what if your memories of high school were bad? Well, the good news is that people who were immature at various times, maybe even nasty, will have often grown up, and if you get to know them now you might like them.

This is where Facebook has been great. First of all, we don’t have to go all the way back to square one with each new person—we may already know how many kids we have or what they’re doing for a living. Also, you can get to know people you did not know the first time around. I knew a lot of people at school, but I didn’t know everyone, so that’s been nice.

Yes, there are invariably people who don’t grow up, or maybe even get worse, but the really beautiful part is there’s a good chance they won’t even come! On one level that should not be celebrated, because it’s really kind of tragic, but I must say it was kind of nice. I only even remember seeing one person who was likely to bring drama, and as far as I know she behaved herself.

It’s sad that some of the people who worried about possible drama and stayed away missed out, but the cost was very expensive, which was another deterrent, and I have no helpful advice for that. Actually, well, Facebook helped a little bit there too, because there were various unofficial get-togethers, but you don’t want people to skip the official one for that. I went to a multi-class gathering at the park the next day, which was great, and there were two separate opportunities for barhopping the following evening. Next week I am having dinner with friends, and then the week after that I am going to karaoke. You don’t have to fit it all into one night.

Now, one thing that never occurred to me as an issue, but other people did, was simply being overwhelmed. I have to admit that the venue did not help here. Things got pretty loud, which does not calm anyone down, but also the bar was right in front of the entrance with the nostalgia table on the other side, so right as you came in the first thing you hit was a traffic jam. Even if that had not been the case, there are stimuli on all sides. Just trying to cross the room to one person could lead to five different diversions as you keep finding other people to hug and question and snap photos of.

I like that kind of chaos, but if you are at all ADD, or PTSD, or introverted, it can be an issue. I think you use the usual coping methods. Take deep breaths. If you need to take breaks, do it. To some extent, you also need to just embrace the experience. Focus on one person at a time, and take them outside if needed, but also, you need to know your own capabilities. I can see where claustrophobics and agoraphobics, opposites though they are, could each have problems with the setup, and okay, maybe you need to visit with people one on one, and avoid the big gatherings. If this is a chance to stretch yourself a little though, and it works, it can be good.

Speaking of knowing your own capabilities, remember that alcohol is not your friend. Sure, it makes you feel a little looser, but it does that by eroding your judgment. Not drinking at all, ever, I don’t really have any helpful hints for deciding the right limit, but I suspect most people should stop at two drinks. It’s legally imperative to have a plan for not driving drunk, but it’s also tremendously helpful to have a plan for not humiliating yourself, or getting into actual danger, or getting into a bad hookup. I’m just saying.

For some of the people who did not come due to having a bad time at the ten-year, it was because they found people being competitive, and they didn’t want deal with that. Again, most people who are still attending seem to be above that now, but I do think it’s natural to want to be able to present yourself well, and feel like you are doing okay with your life. Personally, I would have really liked to have been married, physically fit, and financially secure. As it was, I’m just lucky Regence called the day before, so at least I had an upcoming job instead of being completely unemployed. Still, I had a few things working in my favor, and there might be some last tips here.

First of all, whenever people see me, they commonly tell me that I look great and that I haven’t aged a bit. In large part, I believe the reason for this is that I set the bar so low. If you remember someone as slender, and she puffs up after giving birth, then she’s gone downhill. I have gained a lot of weight since high school (I’m actually down a bit since the 10 year), but ultimately I have always been fat and had crazy hair, and so I’m primarily the same. (Certainly, not drinking or smoking helps.)

That being said, I think the big anti-ager is happiness, and I am generally pretty good at being happy. I have my moments, like anyone, but even with decades of weight problems and romantic disappointment, and two years of unemployment and underemployment, ultimately I still like myself, and life, and the world, and that’s your best strategy for thriving in any situation, including reunions, is to be okay with who you are.

Of course, if someone who you have always kind of liked is there, and feels so good to hug, and you can’t stop thinking about him but he’s in a relationship, and there are plenty of other obstacles, so it’s pointless, yes, there can be some wrinkles there, but ultimately you keep doing what you need to do and it works out. Hypothetically.

I got some other nice compliments that weekend, and they have caused me to think a lot about then and now, and I think there may be some postings on that. Otherwise, if you are wondering about the happiness thing, I do have some tips:


Friday, August 06, 2010

The Resistance of Memory

I have already mentioned my irritation with Facebook status updates that order you to do the same (especially when they are accompanied by the accusation that you just don’t care), but there was one specific idea that had intrigued me. You were supposed to set your status asking people to share how you met, or your first memory of them (there were variations), and then they should make that their status so you could post on their wall.

Well, I did try that one, and that was okay, but there were some people whom I would have liked to have seen posts from that I didn’t, and some that posted, and I didn’t really have anything good to share in return, and sometimes my earliest memory was not the cool one. I kind of toyed with the idea of just picking one week and posting whatever memories I felt like on whatever walls I felt like, and maybe other people would do it. I could call it “Nostalgia week”.

Well the week before my twenty-year reunion seemed like a reasonable time to go for it, so that’s what I have done. I also looked through old yearbooks and literary journals, and there are some interesting things.

First of all, where did my 3rd and 5th grade pictures and 8th grade yearbook go? It’s weird that they are not with the rest of the stuff. It’s not a tragedy, but it’s a little annoying.

Mainly though, I have pondered the “stickiness” of memories. Some things are so clear, and some are faded, and some are just gone. For example, I was at a wedding reception lately, and I ran into someone who was my girls’ camp leader for, I think, four of the five years I went. She knew she knew me, but couldn’t quite place me, so I reminded her and she said, “That’s right! You’re the one who made all the wonderful crafts!”

I did not remember that, but then thinking about it, I did remember that it was true. I could even picture one craft, but it was very dim. I could get at faint traces with a reminder. Sometimes, there is not even that.

In my seventh grade yearbook, there is a complex coding system consisting of stars, hearts, mustaches, nose zits, and mouseketeer hats. Clearly it came out of a mixture of immaturity and boredom, and it is embarrassing now. Some of the people I remember quite well, and why they have that rating. There are some boys with hearts that I don’t remember, but I liked a lot of boys, and it was usually passive, so that’s not a big deal. However, there are mustaches (showing an active dislike or resentment) that I don’t remember at all. In addition, there are girls who are double-starred. This means that either we were good friends or that maybe I did not hang out with them because they were older, but that they were really nice to me and I respected them a lot. Still, the mind draws a blank.

Another issue is concern about putting the wrong memory. Oddly, there were several people who looked alike. When I look at class or family pictures from the seventies, it always kind of looks like mine, I guess because of the clothes. In the eighties, it’s probably the hair. So, I might have thought it was one person, but it was really another, and how awkward would that be! Actually, one issue with a lot of the athletes that I managed is that everything was kind of done as a unit. It’s not any more of a memory with Jason than it is with Mark.

Actually, thinking about the athletes leads to another issue, in that a lot of the things I do remember are not really good for Facebook posts—maybe they are just a little too crude, or not flattering to one of us, or maybe it is best forgotten, like “Hey, remember when you told everyone that I liked Casey and he went from being like my best friend to never speaking to me again?” or “I remember always being afraid you were going to kill yourself because you knew way too much about suicide for how alienated you were.”

It’s not that there can’t be good conversations about some of these things, and in a lot of the cases where I remember someone being a jerk, we’re cool now, and there’s no anger left, but they don’t necessarily work for nostalgic wall posts.

So, I don’t have stories for some people. Some of them I have always remembered their names and faces immediately, but I have no good stories. Others I don’t remember, but I really like now. And seriously, some of my Facebook friends I specifically remember that we never spoke or came into contact, but hey, why is that a reason not to be friends now?

I did have this idea that then other people would start posting memories to other people too, and it would be this kind of love-fest, and I don’t think it is happening to the extent that I wanted. Maybe I was unrealistic in my hopes, but I could also be missing things, because I am posting so much, I’ll see Gina posted on so-and-so’s wall and 29 similar stories. Still, some people have posted memories to me, and some conversations have gotten started on posts I have made, as we remember classes and teachers and things we have in our shared experience.

I wish I had a story for everyone—a good one, but we can always make new ones. In the immortal words of Simple Minds, Don’t You Forget About Me.