I wasn't going to be the girl who got too busy for life when planning a wedding. And then I turned into that girl. Sigh. So I apologize for falling off the face of the WC blog, but I'm back. In one week from right now, I will have already been through the temple for the first time, and by now, I will be in the hotel room with my family, probably pacing back and forth because I'll be getting married the next day. Brad and I have been living in different cities for six months now. To think we'll be living in the same state, city, AND house is just more exciting than I can handle!

After we get married, we're going to spend a few days in Glacier National Park, and then we'll head to Provo to say goodbye to his sister at the MTC, and then we'll make our venture down to Henderson, Nevada, where we'll be living for at least a year. 

Wondering what we'll be doing for work? Me too. Remember how Heavenly Father just clearly didn't want me student teaching in Las Vegas? I don't think He wants me teaching there at all. Period. I applied for a teaching position all the way back in April and got a letter back a few weeks later that said something like, "Congratulations! You have met all the requirements to teach in Clark County School District. Now you just need to wait to find out what your specific position will be." For months, I waited, but I heard nothing. I kept calling the district asking them when I'd know anything, and over and over again the ladies would say in snippy voices, "Calm down. We continue hiring all the way until February." I'd say, "I understand that, but I've signed a contract to live in Henderson because I've been promised a position. I need work before February." The unkind reply always went something like, "You got the letter saying you've been hired, so stop worrying. You've been hired, so you'll have a position." Then I started feeling dumb. I'm qualified...I think. I know there are a lot of really stupid teachers out there (because I've had a lot of them), and I don't think I'm one of them, so where's my job? Anyway, on Friday, I called again, and I talked to a very honest woman. She said that just because I got the letter that says I'm hired doesn't actually mean I have a job. So there you have it. I don't have a job. And there's been a permanent hold on hiring because the county doesn't have enough money. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I want to laugh because I don't really want to teach. And I want to cry because I need a job. Truthfully, I just want to become a photographer and make people's wedding announcements. The only problem with that idea is that I don't have a great camera, and I don't have any programs to make wedding announcements. Hmph. Let's be honest: I'm living in a pretty romantic realm right now, and even though I pretend I'm in touch with reality, I'm not. So if anyone has any ideas for me and work, I'd appreciate it, and I think Brad would appreciate it even more.

By the way, I sent a wedding announcement to the WC, but I think it probably got there just after school got out, so maybe none of you have seen it. I'll try to figure out how to be as tricky as Shannon and post it, but if anyone is interested in seeing the hard copy, let me know, and I'll send you one. (I actually did make my own...I used my friend's computer since it had inDesign on it. So see, maybe my idea of making them for a living isn't too far off...) (Sis Morgan, if you haven't seen it, I want you to have one.) 

Please send job ideas my way....


The first time I posted this I forgot to add a title.

I hate to bump Shannon's announcement, and so I'll post the invitation right at the top here so I feel better about it.

So, I've decided to write a book about my vacation. It's kind of a silly idea because I really can't even write a good essay yet, let alone a coherent series of structured accounts with strong themes and ideas woven throughout. Maybe I'll just call it a pamphlet in order to mask the certain inadequacy that the thing'll scream at the reader.

The thing is, this vacation would certainly make a decent book. It's got a good, strong number of main characters (5 is a good number,) drama (Will Dr. Habib make arrangements with Dad over the phone about what classes Dad can teach in the fall?!), conflict (definitely more later), and character development. At the least, it's interesting because it's about me (you can all groan here.) On this trip, my family has gone back East and visited some old relatives and family homesteads and Great-grandpa's slowly-collapsing farmhouse on the hill. We're facing important challenges and opportunities for growth and I'm also trying to learn while observing. It's a good time to develop, and so why not examine it through writing?

The trip isn't over yet (we've still got two more weeks on the road,) and I'm constantly and furiously typing notes into my iPod Touch and then e-mailing them to myself. "Listening to NPR tales of Afghan bullets and rain begins. It pelts the windshield harder and faster until the smell fafts in through the vents. Cows quickly trot over a green hill as a herd. Lightening scars the sky. The road fogs with splash and disappears from sight. Hammering down on the windshield. It breathes in for a moment and we pass an RV. Still raining but at least we can see."
Stuff like that-- means something to me, probably not to you yet. That's not the point. I've just been keeping notes about what I've been experiencing.

I guess the whole point of this post is this: What should I be looking for and specially aware of as I'm on this trip? How do I find my themes? Do I wait until after or look for them now? And how do I take notes and observations without artificially guiding what's going on? How do I keep it real?

Cutting it close...

Took me long enough, but here's our invitation. I'll send a hard copy to anyone who gets me their address, but here's the basic rundown:
We're getting married Aug. 16th in the Logan, UT temple.
We're not having a formal reception, but we are having a big party the night before; if anyone wants to come down let me know and I'll get you directions.

And then we leave for China on the 20th. Crazy... We're so excited. Wedding plans are crazy of course (my mom's in Pennsylvania, which means I've been planning my own wedding), but everything's finally coming together, and I'm excited to only have 3 weeks left (we've now been engaged for 5 months; ugh).

I miss you all! I have a true blog floating in my head that needs to be written; we'll see if I get it done before leaving for China. And I'll definitely write from China. Hope you're all doing well!


Video of Ivor cooking

I love this stop animation. Sorry I lost Eric's game animation, but here's Chan and Ivor cooking up Dan's chicken (I know it looks like pasta, but don't trust your eyes) at my house a couple of weeks ago. Sooooo good. Chicken, fried with onions and pineapple with basil oil. Brown-sugar carrots. Baked potatoes AND marshmallows for desert. Wow. I was impressed.They didn't know I was filming them cooking.


So Much Stuff

Even after my family came and took our bed, dresser, night stands, cedar chest, extra pictures, and more, we still have too much to take in two small cars. So here's the deal: for you, my friends who are getting married--or heck, even those who aren't--please come and see if you want anything. To give you an idea of some things we have, I'll make a quick list.

  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Cookie mixer with extra beaters (what is the right name for that thing?)
  • TONS of picture frames
  • Glass cookie jar
  • A few flower vases
  • Lots of clocks that don't work but are probably easily fixed (for someone able to do so. . .)
  • A stand-up lamp and a table lamp
  • Some canned food

This just gives you an idea. Travis wants an empty house soon (we're getting nervous about how much will actually fit), so if this stuff isn't gone in a few days, we'll take it to D.I. Give me a call or e-mail me if you want to come by and I'll tell you how to get here. We're on 113 S. 3rd E.

Enjoy your first week DONE with finals and school for a while!



A few favorite pictures; more coming.

I'll be printing the "good" group pic next week; if anyone wants a copy, send me an address.


Instant Delayed Karma

Today I went to scan an automobile insurance form at the family history center in the library and there was a large dead man, probably about 75 years old, on his back on the floor. He probably weighed 300 pounds and his neck was fuschia and blotchy as it burst out of his shirt. His legs were limp and his olive trousers were wet where his bowels had vacated. I became alert and looked around: a senior missionary held a phone to his ear as he waited on hold with 911, another senior missionary on her knees placed a plastic CPR mouth cover on the dead man's lips and several individuals gathered around to see what they could do. The fact that there was a dead man on the floor didn't change my need to scan my insurance forms, so I started my scan.

I went for some paper towels so that the pseudo-EMT student that showed up could wipe up the blood from the man's head. Apparently he'd hit it on the way down. I did help, is my point, but really, what could I do? He's dead. He'd been very dead for over 10 minutes, and he had been building up to this moment for fifty years every time he had a burger instead of a salad. There was absolutely nothing I could do, and so I did what I had to do and made sure more competent people than I were around to care for the dead man and then I left.

I thought about later while I waited for my Scantron results at the testing center. As I slid my red bubble sheet to the student across the table on the way out, I realized I should have studied more. I didn't though. I scraped across the carpet and stared up at the LCD TV to look for my results. 11 out of 16, 73%. Heck. As trotted down the rounded yellow stairs out of the testing center, I thought about how heartless Scantron machines are. They don't care if you are trying (kind of) but really busy. They just mechanically process right and wrong, binary ones and zeros. That's the thing-- they just don't care. Sliding my hand off the end of the flat stair rail, I laughed at myself and my complaints about heartlessness.


Now Showing

Well here she is...Samantha Gene Sobczak.

I got induced July 9th and had her in 5 hours--hurray for fast labor! (Like Sarah, my iPod never made it out of the bag.) She weighed 8 pounds at birth and was/is super healthy, so we made it out of the hospital in about 24 hours. If it weren't for the nurses waking me up every two hours in the middle of the night to take my blood pressure I might have stayed longer and enjoyed the yummo hospital food.

So I don't have a cool blog (I don't even have wedding pictures printed yet) but I think Austin has more pictures on Facebook. (Which I also don't have or know how it works. At least I have a cellphone.)

Wish I could come up and show her off to everyone. Pregnancy really was worth it.




Childhood memories forcing themselves in.

Walking by the chain-linked construction site towards the Manwaring Center. A feeling from my childhood splashed through my gut. Almost ten years earlier at a scout camp in the mountains, some scouts and I had occupied ourselves by hurling rocks at each other. We dodged and yelled around the stony riverbed while throwing the biggest rocks we could palm. I aimed a big rock at Adam. I missed my target, and Adam chided. Fury swelled in me and I looked down among the stones to find a good sized projectile. Finding a clump of dirt and rock that was small enough to fit nicely into my hand, I threw another rock. Adam shot downward, leaving Bruce (who was standing behind him,) exposed and vulnerable. The clump broke on his face. "I can't see! My eye!" My stomach sank and my ears burned. Oh heck. I've blinded Bruce. My life is over. My hands trembled and I felt sick as I crawled up the side of the riverbed towards the thick of pine trees. Everything was so bright.

And then I walked up the stairs into the MC by the wooden handicap tunnel where some person had spray-painted, "LOVE," referring to the Ron Paul rEVOLution. No better way to promote your favorite candidate than vandalism, I thought. My legs were queesy as I pushed up the stairs, two at a time.

Bruce had been fine. Later that day, I walked to the top of the green hill into the tent where they were keeping him. The rock had hit him above the eye, not in, and he was bandaged up and fine. Bruce looked up and said, "Hey Matt. I'm okay. It's alright so I forgive you."

I was able to push the sick embarassment from my stomach as I shuffled through the metal-framed door of the Manwaring Center. It comes back every time I think about the clumpy rock and Bruce's blind scream.


Marjorie is dreaming of Horses

There is this song that always reminds me of Sister Morgan. I dont' know why. Maybe because she likes horses. It came on the other day while I was feeding Ella. You see, I made this special playlist on my iPod for labor & delivery entitled "Chill songs" It consists of everything from Nick Drake (the inspiration to begin with) and Aimee Mann to Brian Webb and Counting Crows. It's purpose was to calm and inspire during the deep gilted contractions. Needless to say, it had little effect (or would that be affect?) over said pains, mostly due to the fact that my iPod didn't leave my bag until after the babe had arrived. I personally doubt it would have made much difference anyway. That huge needle, on the other hand, that they stuck into my back--that did wonders! Continuing on: As I was feeding little Ella the other day, I plugged those ear pods into my head to listen to my chill songs since I didn't have to worry about not being able to hear her cries over the music since she was in my own lap happily eating away. (Really long run-on sentance) "Another Horsedreamer's Blues" comes on, and my mind is directed toward thoughts of Sister Morgan. Every time I hear this song, I think of her. Does anyone else know this song? What do you think--Does it spark any thoughts of our dear WC instructor? Here are the lyrics for interested parties.

Margery's dreaming of the middle of the day
Tiyuri to win
Perfect Dozen to place
Money is the matter that's been on her mind
Time ticks by her one race at a time
She's trying to be a good girl
And give 'em what they want
But Margery's dreaming of horses
Looking' at a green sky
Sun like a red eye
Bright blue horses are the fortune she lives by
She's tired and lonely
Scared and depressed
Her visions of one day go racing the next
She's trying to be a good girl
And give 'em what they want
But Margery's dreaming of horses
Margery doesn't say anything all the way home
So afraid she'll awake to find she's all alone
Margery's wingspan's all feathers and coke cans,
andTV dinners and letters she won't send, and
Every race night is shot through with sunlight
Trying to hit the big one one last time tonight for...
Drunken fathers and stupid mothers and
Boys who can't tell one girl from another
So she takes her pills
Careful and round
One of these days she's gonna throw the whole bottle down
But she's trying to be a good girl
And give 'em what they want
But Margery's dreaming of...
Trying to be a good girl
And give 'em what they want
But Margery's dreaming of horses

p.s. pics of my new babe, Ella Sophia, can be found at sarahsemptyspaces.blogspot.com.


Happy Birthday, Eric!

Sister Morgan, I found out when Eric's birthday is. Today. Too bad that he got a cake for us for seminar. We'll enjoy it at work (sorry to everyone who doesn't work this hour. . .but not really). Meet at Craigo's at 5:30 p.m. if you want to eat dinner with some cool WC people.


Two Weeks Left and No Motivation for Homework. . . .

So I'm grounding myself from my computer. It's amazing that four hours of my life have gone by in a blur and I've accomplished nothing on my "to do" list. Incredible, really.
Two weeks is not that long. We can do homework that means nothing to us and play on our computers later, alright? So stop whining.


Fourth of July Weekend

Part of the holiday (notice how much Crystal sleeps) and Emily Gilliland chainsawing my tree. Thank you for surprise seminar on Thursday night. Very nice.


This is not Kiersten's doing...the biscut was.

In order to not have seminar today, we (a joined group of anonymous writing assistants) have complied this non-spurious list of the most un-heinous-totally-radical-gnarly-bodacious stuff that happened throughout history on this wonderful fourth day of the self proclaimed month of the Julian Calendar:

1804 - Nathaniel Hawthorne was born, American writer (d. 1864)
1845 - Near Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau embarks on a two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond.
1855 - In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems titled Leaves of Grass is published.
1865 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is published.
1910 - African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match sparking race riots across the United States.
1946 - After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule, the Philippines is granted full independence by the United States. July Fourth is known as Filipino-American Friendship Day.
1997 - NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.

Deaths (Does anyone else smell a conspiracy?)
1826 - John Adams, 2nd President of the United States (b. 1735)
1826 - Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States (b. 1743)
1831 - James Monroe, 5th President of the United States (b. 1758)

Oh yeah, in 17-something, a bunch of people got together and signed a piece of paper that I hear is kind of important, I think. But seriously, what’s more important than the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah joining Sindh-Madrasa-tul-Islam, Karachi in 1887?

P.S. I'm an art major

I haven't had an art class in a while, so I don't have a whole lot of work up here to share with you; Nevertheless, I will no longer hide my talents under a bushel. Enjoy!

This was an actual assignment for one of my favorite classes (my mom was very proud)

Some random white girl

My Clothes


An Ode to Biscuts

O thou art fine
my biscut divine
thy crispy flake
thine filling intake

smelling like bread
thou dost fill my head
with thoughts divine
thou art sublime

better than cake
thou cannot be fake
mock if you will
but I'll get my fill

with a biscut


Wow. I'm impressed & Alert for Seminar

Icky birds eat dirt?
Writing assistants superb
talents rock the blog.
. . .
Chan is thrice a bigfatliar.
blasting out of Hulk, smashing
heads, he stepped on cars.
. . .
Chan spit slime, beat chest,
roared, and squeezed poor Rexburg down
into black grease spot.
. . .
Eric sucked up grease
to spit at the universe.
We hid our faces.

I love Jami's contests. Here's another short one: Friday is a holiday. Here's the contest. Name the holiday, and we'll let out Tomorrow's seminar to prepare for three day weekend.
One question. Ready? What holiday is it? Not a trick question, but hint for Matt: Day that California succeeded from the Union is not the answer. (You did that when you elected the Kindergarten cop. Whoops. I hate political quips. Sorry.)

Continuation of Jami's Contest

Let's play harder and move to Haiku. The form pushes writers into simplicity and into SEEING current detail. 1)Haiku usually addresses--in the moment--nature or seasons and seldom uses metaphor.
2)The more simple and close to perfect observation the better.
3)Seventeen syllables; three lines; five, seven, five.
4)The first line usually names the subject and other two lines illuminate with concrete sense detail.

Like I said, the more simple the better, though you can stray from nature once in awhile as in example below.

Matt's useless detail:
"Girl sits on lawn with rolled-up pants.
Cute." Matt walks on by.

But, nature haiku are better--

Moon rolls through storm clouds
If I could catch a moonbeam
tonight, I could fly.

Moon moves through white clouds.
I could reach and catch the moon.
Tonight, I will fly.

(Whoops. Too close to metaphor)

A Good Night of food (?) and talk

--Kiersten's weird idea of a birthday cake

Though A good night anyway.
Travis, thanks for loaning us Jami. We took good care of her, fed her, and got her all calmed down about Philly. You've got to love us. (Except for Matt, who was teaching her how to swear and quizzing her about the differences between Crack and Meth--HIS idea of getting her prepared; but Dan and I got a strangle hold on him. Really. Don't worry. She's all set, but for the packin').
And except for Crystal making fun of my green soda. ("It's just not what I would expect you to order," she says.) Next time I'm buying a purple, tie-dyed Mountain Dew with tadpoles floating in it, Crystal. So there.
But, really, what a treat. There just isn't anyone I'd rather go to dinner with than WC people--past or present (even those who have temporally defected). Julie (and Leanna?)--Next Thursday for seminar and then to dinner? (Why? Because last time moi did not have time to grill Julie about her writing and/or life. Why? Because someone was pushing moi out door of Wingers to go see The HULK. Oh, sad scene: I reached back to Julie, crying out in anguish, "Julie, David, Help me. Save me." Ah...but wait; that's another story.)
However, we need to kidnap Chan and take him with us on Thursday, as he's so hungry he's making up fake contests he can win to get food, as well as panhandling on Main Street and wandering in and out of Seminar to grab some of Kiersten's birthday cake (flat, light brown, no frosting, no candles--just sort of plain ol' biscuits). Hi Chan; Bye Chan. Is he alright?
I'm going to fill in blank spots about my life next Thursday(maybe) and will need a huge banquet afterward--with good friends--to wash it down. GOODNIGHT. I have now stayed up 75 minutes past time, but I'll bet I still beat Nate and Crystal. They're so easy.


For the insomniacs...

Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one must stay awake all day. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap. ~Carrie Snow

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late. ~Charles Caleb Colton

Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience - unless they are still up. ~Ellen Goodman

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps. ~Author Unknown

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking. ~Clifton Fadiman

Dawn: When men of reason go to bed. ~Ambrose Bierce

If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he'd make a fortune. ~Griff Niblack

[S]leep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. ~Thomas Dekker

People who snore always fall asleep first. ~Author Unknown

When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep, and you're never really awake. ~From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk

The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.
~Thomas Hood, Miss Kilmansegg - Her Dream

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. ~Plutarch

I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake. ~Author Unknown

It's at night, when perhaps we should be dreaming, that the mind is most clear, that we are most able to hold all our life in the palm of our skull. I don't know if anyone has ever pointed out that great attraction of insomnia before, but it is so; the night seems to release a little more of our vast backward inheritance of instincts and feelings; as with the dawn, a little honey is allowed to ooze between the lips of the sandwich, a little of the stuff of dreams to drip into the waking mind. I wish I believed, as J. B. Priestley did, that consciousness continues after disembodiment or death, not forever, but for a long while. Three score years and ten is such a stingy ration of time, when there is so much time around. Perhaps that's why some of us are insomniacs; night is so precious that it would be pusillanimous to sleep all through it! A "bad night" is not always a bad thing. ~Brian W. Aldiss

Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth:
So do not let me wear to-night away.
Without thee what is all the morning's wealth?
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!
~William Wordsworth, "To Sleep"

The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizener

In its early stages, insomnia is almost an oasis in which those who have to think or suffer darkly take refuge. ~Colette

Early to rise and early to bed
Makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.
~James Thurber, Fables for Our Times, 1940

It appears that every man's [or woman's] insomnia is as different from his neighbour's as are their daytime hopes and aspirations. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

How do people go to sleep? I'm afraid I've lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things. ~Dorothy Parker


So, is there seminar tonight? Am I invited? Or should I wait until next week? Someone let me know what's going on. Thanks,