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Showing posts from December, 2007

What remains.

What remains? The remains of my body after I die.

This weekend I told my mother that I would like to be cremated when I die, and if I go before she, then I would like her to see it through. She didn't seem so pleased...

She asked one critical question. "Why?"

Traditional burials are a bit foolish; Not only are they expensive and (in my opinion) a waste of space-- a field is set aside for the purpose of storing dead bodies in heavy metal and wooden boxes-- but so much of the purpose behind the practice is religiously based, and thus in my mind, rather superstitious.

"In many cemeteries, the vast majority of graves are oriented in such a manner that the bodies lie with their heads to the West and their feet to the East. This very old custom appears to originate with the Pagan sun worshipers, but is primarily attributed to Christians who believe that the final summons to Judgment will come from the East."

I love the sun, and if I wanted my body to be stored in a manner…

Web-cam Christmas

Today we were discussing Britney leaving to SLC earlier than planned. Her mom is leaving to Arizona for the Holidays and Britney would like to see her; when she told her mom this, her mom said "we have a web-cam."

Britney says:

"NO! Not the same! I won't do web-cam Christmas!!!"

Britney also says:

"Everything is going to be ok. Something about the curtain of brewed tea bags hanging from the handles of our kitchen cabinets reinforces my certainty. "

12/20

"Just so you guys know, I have been going against our social norms and listened to R&B all morning."

--Amanda
(Addressed to Britney and Justin).


"What kind of shit is this? Are they saying I'm not Fresh?!"

--Amanda
(In response to Smith's new self-checkout system. The system no longer greets the customer as a "fresh values customer" but simply as a "valued customer." It should be noted that I hadn't showered for a few days when I made this remark.)

Sister, Sister.

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My sis Meisha is great. Of all the friends I've ever had, none were so likable as her. I guess that's the beauty of family. This is Meisha's most recent blog entry, and my response.



I sit in my math class, the chatter around me. I try to focus on my assignment but my attempts fail. I contemplate my life, where I fit in this world. What is my role? How can I help? Who's life have I impacted? I try to look into the near future. What choices can I make to change everything for the better? Confusion sets in. Who are my true friends? Who can I really talk to? Who am I? I often wonder who really cares about me. I know a lot of people care, but who would really miss me if I were to leave? As I walk through the halls between classes, I see cliques and couples everywhere. Obviously I am alone. Do I try to force myself into a group that doesn't really like me and where I feel I don't belong? Or do I accept being alone and focus on building my family relationships? If I ch…

Babies on the brain.

I dreamed a few nights ago about having a baby. This is the story:

I gave birth to a child, but when I held it in my arms I saw that the baby (a boy) had white skin, not black, and I thought the father was a black man I see at my workplace. So I went and found the man I thought to be the father but he was golfing and uninterested in the child. I was very panicked that I did not know who the father was.

So, I gave the child away. I think it was some form of adoption, but in the dream I just kind of gave it to someone, like "here, have this baby." The next thing I remember is trying to get my baby back because I knew I wanted to raise him, but that I couldn't find him anywhere. I searched and searched, and eventually found him at a house that very closely resembled my grandpas. I took the baby out into the carport where we usually feed kittens and he smiled at me and told me how much he loved me. And then I breastfed him.

The end.

Yes, it's not a terribly exciting story, b…

Sunday dinner

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I am laying on the bathroom floor of my apartment as I type this blog. The heat vent in this room is positioned advantageously for me to absorb the most possible heat; unfortunately, I am very uncomfortable on the tile floor.

Many winter mornings of my childhood were spent sitting atop the heat vents in the living room next to the big picture window, watching and waiting for the bus to come down the back road. I would pull a blanket around me and the air would blow up my covers to balloon-like proportions. And I especially remember those heat vents at holiday time-- they blew right at the Christmas tree and the smell of pine would fill our house.

Anyway, I really meant to write about Sunday dinners. Sunday evenings are almost always spent at home with my family, and friends often come along for the good meal. Tonight Sara and Britney (my roommates) joined me for Shepard's pie, hot rolls, pickled beets, etc.... MMM!

Missing family and Sunday dinners will possibly be the hardest part o…

Community

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According to Wikipedia, community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment, normally with shared interests. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

I like to ask myself who makes up my community. Family? Yes. Friends? Yes. Coworkers and volunteers and associates from all my jobs? Yes! The community I am part of is large, but as time passes I begin to see the beauty in my growing community; the larger it becomes, the smaller it feels.

Britney, my friend and roommate, is working on a folklore project about our friends and how our sense of community is defined. Bicycles, laughter, good drinks and good food, a kitchen table and lots of conversation are the most basic characteristics of our family of friends. We also enjoy "making things" with our hands, and we each have our areas of expertise. In th…

Temple Square

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Family tradition says every year we will make it down to SLC at Christmas time for a walk through Temple Square, the hub of the LDS church, when they have nativities and beautiful lights all on display. Some years we don't make it, and others we do, but it's never the same-- and this year was no different.


When the farm took the turn it did (no profit, not able to support a family), my father took on truck driving as his new career. He's gone, A LOT; I think he's usually home only a couple days a week, and I'm lucky if I get to see him since he usually departs on Sunday mornings, and I don't arrive home until Sunday evening. Despite his absence we still have love and fun as a family, and he's always in our thoughts if he's not around.

Back to the subject, temple square, part of our family went down on Sunday night to take in the experience and it was wonderful! My brother, sister-in law & nephew had to miss out as they were working on their building p…

TAL; The Competition

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This particular episode of NPR's This American Life, aired Nov. 30 2007, is unusually moving as it deals with business ethics, a subject I have been inadvertently studying while helping a friend work on his final paper.


"Stories of the unintended consequences of market forces.

Prologue.Host Ira Glass talks to reporter John Bowe about the story of John Nash Pickle, who ran a company in Tulsa, Oklahoma that made steel tanks used in the oil industry. According to 52 Indian men whom Pickle hired and brought to America, Pickle was trying to compete with foreign companies, doing something most companies never try. Instead of simply opening a factory overseas with cheap labor, the men say, Pickle decided to run an overseas factory with cheap labor...on American soil...inside his own Tulsa Oklahoma plant. (3 minutes)

Act One. Cowboys and Indians.We continue the story of John Pickle. He hires skilled, experienced welders in India and brings them to the United States. He takes their passp…

Stretched too thin.

Stay awake until 2, 3, or 4 am. Crochet, browse the Internet, listen to music, write in my journal. Wake up 5 hours later to work more than a full day, come home, and do it all again.

Since beginning college I've thought I am superhuman, committing to more than I can feasibly do, and letting my personal time fall to the wayside (or until the wee hours of the morning). I remember the early spring last year-- spearheading the use of the new Point of Sale program at GVG, requiring approximately 20 hours per week of volunteer time, going to school 3/4 time (10 credits), and working 30 hours a week at my regular job, while trying my hardest to salvage a failing relationship. I found myself sleeping one night on, one night off, only to stay awake and do "nothing" on those nights I skipped sleep. I sat on the couch alone, staring out dark windows at the shadows of trees while I made doily after doily, and contemplated the meaning of life.

I changed over the summer.

The old me is b…

Alternative Gifts

"I do what I can to help; if everyone put just one bean in a pot, soon, nobody would go hungry." --Gerald Robillard.

At Global Village Gifts, a non-profit, fair trade gift shop, we are selling shares from the Alternative Gift Market catalog, a compilation of humanitarian projects than need funding.

"The global mission of AGI is to send authentic, life-giving gifts to a needy world--gifts that build a partnership with people in crisis and that protect and preserve the earth's endangered environment--to nourish and sustain a more equitable and peaceful global community.
AGI is a nonprofit, interfaith agency. AGI provides education for people of all ages about global needs and raises funds each year in its Alternative Gift Markets and from individual donors to respond to those needs. Designated grants then are sent to the established international projects of several reputable nonprofit agencies for relief and development." -- Alt. Gift website


We tell our customer…

Yikes!

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I'm leaving soon... 1 month to the day.

Bus ticket says January 8th, and I'm excited. 3 week vacation. Bus to San Fran, train to Tuscon, New Orleans, Birmingham, DC, and then on to Maryland. Wahoo!

Crochet a doily. NOW!

Adieu

Dear friends and family,

My departure is soon arriving, only a month left in Utah, and while getting things in order I decided sending you all an update is something important to me. As some of you already know, I am moving in January to Perry Point, Maryland for a year-long AmeriCorps program. The program I am participating in-- NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps)-- dictates that I will be in MD for roughly a month, and at the end of the month I will be sent somewhere within my region to do service work. I am serving in the Eastern US region, which includes 17 states + gulf states + Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The projects in which I will participate vary widely, and I (and the team I work with) will be moved around from place to place as needed...

"Service projects, which typically last from six to eight weeks, address critical needs in education, public safety, the environment, and other unmet needs. Members tutor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income hou…

Interracial Relations

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Today in the Statesman, USU's student newspaper, there is an article titled "Interracial dating becoming more common." I'm a bit perturbed that it is implied the article will discuss interracial dating, when in reality it is discussing the potential for personal growth and/or problems in intercultural as well as interracial dating. Race and ethnicity and culture are different-- the statesman should know this.

I'm no stranger to the idea of interracial and/or inter-cultural dating, and have in fact experienced personal growth and problems because of it.

I've dated African, Latino, and your run-of-mill Utahns. Black, White, Mixed race. Muslim, Catholic, Atheist.

Me: White Utahn, raised Mormon, no religion

I think the first time I really considered the impact of an interracial/intercultural relationship was when I thought of children being involved-- what happens when you combine a relatively atheist mother with a Muslim father, and thrown in some pretty dark skin a…