Friday, May 31, 2013

Those kids don't know.

Today at UVU,
I saw a group of kids,
probably ages 10-13,
sitting in the hall,
huddled around an iPad.

They were playing
The Man Who Can't Be Moved
by The Script.

So if one day you wake up
and find that you're missing me
and your heart starts to wonder
where on this earth I could be...

And I thought to myself,
"Those kids don't know.
No kid does.
They listen to the songs all right,
but they've never felt like that."

It wasn't until college
that I really started relating
to the words in songs.

I remember the first time I could relate
to a Taylor Swift song.
That was a low moment.

After I broke up for the first time,
I couldn't stop listening to breakup songs--
just because there was something so new
and so interesting about it,
now that I knew what they were talking about.

I looked at those kids today
and I got a tear in my eye.

It's sad to have to grow up.
But it would be sadder not to.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

God bless the child.

Today, on the way to work,
as I was really not wanting to go,
I turned on some music.

And the song that came on shuffle was
God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday.

"Yes the strong gets more
while the weak ones fade.
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade.
Mama may have,
Papa may have,
but God bless the child
that's got his own."

It made me laugh.
Touche, shuffle.
I'll go to work.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The cruel war is raging.

Happy Memorial Day!

Today was a beautiful, American day.
There ain't no doubt I love this land:

This morning,
I ate breakfast at Denny's.

I listened to patriotic music,
especially Civil War songs.
(Gotta take the holiday back to its roots, yo.)

I felt like both a Yankee

and a Reb.

I tied a red bandana in my hair. 
With my chambray shirt,
I looked like a less terrifying Rosie the Riveter.

Allyson & I went to the other side of the lake,
where I've never been.
I love the wide-open promise 
of a quiet country landscape.

We visited a Civil War encampment,
a historical inn,
a one-room schoolhouse.

We bought those olde time candy sticks--
root beer flavored, of course.

We went to an old military cemetery,
where all the headstones said "Unknown."

We drove home,
got 50-cent slurpees,
played four-square
and badminton
and bocce ball,
and swung on swings
into the blue sky of evening.

Melissa gave us chicken and dumplings.

I read My Antonia aloud to Genevieve.

And I thought about how dyin is sometimes
more important than livin--
when it's for something that really matters.

To this nation,
and to its noble dead,
I give my heart.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The only Gabby for me.

This is Gabby.

She's the girl.
Not the man in the book.

I was thinking of her a lot today
(as I always do),
thinking about writing her a tribute.
And then I found out that tomorrow is her birthday.

She's in Peru now,
serving a mission.
The title of her mission blog is
"For Guts and Glory."
Isn't that why she does everything she does?

Once upon a time,
by the most unlikely twist of fate,
we got to be roommates.

That's when I came to love 
that her favorite color is neutrals.
That she is the cutest ukulele player
I've ever seen.

She always made the most elegant vagabond.
You would never know where she was going to be,
so when she was there,
it was all the more a treasure.

I appreciate her
because she always tried to help me be brave.

You know those people who are hard to be around?
I always noticed her giving them her time,
treating them like real people.

I miss being in our living room together.
I would talk, and she would listen.
And she would talk,
but I was never as good at listening.

Happy Birthday, Gab.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ode to Panda Express.

Dear Panda Express,

It's been nearly two years
since I first made your acquaintance.

And it's not a coincidence
that they've been my two best.

I never get tired of
steamed rice,
orange chicken,
and Beijing beef.

Who knew that happiness could be bought
for $7.10?

I've visited you with some of my dearest friends.
You've been there with me on dates.
So many times,
you're the place I go when I'm cranky
and life is hard,
and I just need to eat.

I carry you home,
and eat while I watch Matilda
or Studio C clips.

There was the time
that you were my last meal
before I left for Christmas break,
and my first meal
when I returned.

We don't have you where I come from,
but I once found you in Six Flags in New Jersey,
and my sister loved you as much as I do.

You're the reason
that I can now eat with chopsticks.
You were always patient
when it took me four tries
to get anything into my mouth.

And your fortunes are always perfect.
Like the time you told me
I was sociable and entertaining.
We still have that pinned up on our bulletin board.

thank you for all the
Chinese food.

Thank you for being close to my apartment,
and close to my heart.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dandelion Wine.

I read another book!
It's a big deal, 
since the last time that happened
was December.

I recommend it to anyone who's young
who wants to know what it's like to be older.

And to anyone old,
who forgets what it's like to be young.

If you want to feel summer on your face,
to drink it,
to feel it under your feet as you run through the grass,

if you want to take a trip into the past,
learn that you're alive,
enact rites 
and let revelations rain down on you,

read it.

Read it now,
while it's still summer.
Before it burns away.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Magic Afternoon.

Today, I experienced no less than
a perfect afternoon.

The sky was bigger than life,
and the clouds
and the mountains.

Everything was swathed in luxurious bolts of green grass.

It all looked especially miraculous.

I spent all day under high canopies of leaves,
in secret nooks between evergreen trees,
adventuring on roofs.

A blue bird flew into a tunnel,
and I ran after to see what it would do.

It was warm and breezy.
I got a hot dog for lunch,
and later,
an ice cream cone,
which dripped all over me.
And I laughed.

Everything was full of wonder,
and I let it touch me.




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Treasure Hunt.

Sometimes, internet stalking
makes me feel really accomplished.

Like a detective.

I'm not talking about
when you look at your TA's sister's wedding pictures.

That just makes you feel gross.

I'm talking about starting with nothing but a first name
and finding everything.

Small Etsy craft business.
You get the picture.

You don't do it because you really care about this person.

It's more of a challenge to see how much you can find.
Like a treasure hunt.

The more they put out there,
the better.

You've sort of made a new friend
with someone you'll never meet.


I have no qualms about posting this,
because I'm convinced that everyone who reads this
will agree with me.

But my roommate said it was creepy.

So be it.
This is the internet, folks.

first | second | third

Monday, May 20, 2013

Four Square.

The saddest part of any day
is when you're playing four square
and everyone leaves
to go home.

And you're the only one
who wants to keep playing.

It's like a metaphor for growing up.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Things I'm good at:

1. Reading out loud.


2. Quoting movies correctly.


3. Talking in accents.


I would make a good babysitter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Four Years.

Between this

Charter School of Wilmington graduation, 2009

and this

Brigham Young University graduation, 2013

a lot has changed.

(Apparently not my dad's tie
or my earrings, though.)

I became a linguist.

I started a blog.

I learned to cook.

My brother got married.

I went to California.

I wanted to take Greek,
so I did.

I discovered Indian food.

I got a job as a peer mentor.

I learned about art history.

I stopped being shy.

I learned how to make new friends.

I made new friends.

They graduated, moved away, got married, left on missions.

I learned how to love people.

I learned how to do hard things.

Thanks, BYU.
You'll be in my heart
from this day on,
now and forevermore.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bertie & Lionel.

This is Bertie.

Better known as His Royal Highness King George VI.

This is his dear friend Lionel, his speech therapist.

They weren't always dear friends.

Bertie gave up on Lionel
over and over again.

But every time Bertie came back,
Lionel was ready.

He was ready,
because he had already forgiven.
Even before Bertie said I'm sorry.

But he did say it.
They both did.

Today, I loved their example of friendship.


For when we were yet without strength,
in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

But God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Mom" upside down spells "wow."

This is my mom.

Chapter 1:
along with 
Spiro T. Agnew,
Billie Holliday,
and Harriet Tubman,
is one of the best things
to ever come from the state of Maryland.

Chapter 2:
The best thing about being a child
was to wake up to her smiling,
"Are ya done sleepin?"

Some days,
when I came home from school,
there would be a surprise from her on my bed.

It's a habit I can't break:
I still check for surprises every day
when I get home.

Chapter 3:
She is a maker of beautiful things.
Homemade jam.
Garlands for Valentine's Day.
Not to mention the heart-shaped pizzas.

She sends a birthday card
to every person she knows
every year.

Chapter 4:
When you peek into her bedroom,
you bet your lucky stars
she's reading,
or napping.

Chapter 5:
Every day after school growing up,
she'd sit in the blue chair
while I told her about my day
and never asked about hers.

That's still how it is.

Chapter 6:
She has pictures of me on her mirror.
She keeps love notes from Dad 
taped up around the house.

She set the tithing check by the front door,
where I always noticed it.

She's a real lady.
That's all there is to it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Once upon a time,
my roommate Mary had a friend named Jordan.

When he was in a bind
or needed help,
he would say,
Kind of whiny and scared,
like a little kid would.

And then I started to do it.

And then it spread.
I would call my roommates mom
when they did something momish.

"Rachel, do you want some of this soup I made?"
"Sure! Thanks, Mom!"

And then it spread.
And now my roommates and I call each other mom
all the time.

"Hi, Mom! How was school today?"

And then it spread.
And sometimes I call my guy friends dad.

If it happens to you,
this is why.

Don't worry.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Some days,
you feel like this:

And then you laugh at yourself.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Once upon a time,
the little prince met a fox.

The fox needed to be tamed.

Tamed means to create ties.

"For me you're only a little boy
just like a hundred thousand other little boys,"
the fox said.

"And I have no need of you.
And you have no need of me, either.
For you I'm only a fox
like a hundred thousand other foxes.

But if you tame me,
we'll need each other.
You'll be the only boy in the world for me.
I'll be the only fox in the world for you....

If you tame me,
my life will be filled with sunshine.
I'll know the sound of footsteps
that will be different from all the rest....

And then, look!
You see the wheat fields over there?
I don't eat bread.
For me wheat is of no use whatever.
Wheat fields say nothing to me.
Which is sad.

But you have hair the color of gold.
So it will be wonderful, once you've tamed me!
The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you.
And I'll love the sound of the wind in the wheat..."

So the little prince tamed the fox.
It took a long time.

But one day he had to leave,
and the fox cried.

"It's your own fault.
I never wanted to do you any harm,
but you insisted that I tame you..."

In the mind of the little prince,
the fox was weeping for nothing.

"I get something,"
said the fox, correcting him,
"because of the color of the wheat."


Last week, I wrote a post
about how frustrating it can be
to meet new people.

But I don't want to live my life
without the wheat meaning anything to me.

Taming takes a long time--
a little each day.
So I have to be patient.

Even when your friends leave you,
and you cry,
it's worth it.
Because you are the only little boy for them,
and they are the only fox for you.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Love means never having to say you're sorry.

You may know that I hate chick flicks.
I have written about it
on more than one occasion.

They pretty much all go like this:
10 minutes of agony

If only it were my job to write them.

1. In the resolution, they'd always say
I'm sorry
I love you.

I don't care what they meant by this.
It's a huge lie.

No, you can't just kiss.
I mean, you can kiss.
But not until after you say
I'm sorry
and I love you.

Words are important.

2. The resolution would not immediately be followed
by the end.

Life is hard.
And it's still gonna be hard,
even though you're in love.

And I'd like to see a little of that.

3. Please, can we get a little less
dancing in the street
and kissing in the rain?

Life isn't like that.

But honestly,
sometimes life is like that.

And then,
especially then,
you shouldn't talk about it too much.
It's only special
because it's yours.

Telling someone about it
makes it a little less special--
not to mention how unspecial it becomes
when you watch two people
act it out in a movie.


Rant over.