Monday, September 27, 2010

bed time stories.

This weekend two of my favorite gals/volunteers from Africa came into town for our team reunion party. They drove 12 hours to get here and I felt lucky they chose to stay with me (they had approx. 20 other invitations). Words cannot describe the love I have for these girls. We bonded on lengthy taxi rides down dirt roads on our way to meetings about health care and orphanages in Uganda; situations that really test and simultaneously strengthen relationships into the best kind. Before we left Africa, no one could have convinced us that we wouldn't stay as close as we were this summer. But the truth is, the minute that plan touches down, you are slammed back into reality of your former/future life, and while experiences like spending a summer serving in Africa will always provide a framework, or at least serve as a powerful point of reference, things are bound to change/go back to some semblance of the way they were. And that's not a bad thing. It feels good to step into a meeting where you can communicate with people and know they understand you. It's relieving to know that the decisions you make on a daily basis aren't going to mean whether or not someone else is going to eat or not.

But spending the weekend with Becca and Molly also reminded me of how amazing it was to live with a group of people who were all focused entirely on the same thing as me. And then I thought to myself, why exactly is it so difficult to find the same kind of bonds with people here? I live with my family right now, and I'm pretty sure they want a lot, if not all, of the same broad-scope things that I do. So why is it that we cross paths morning and evening and don't seem to connect as frequently as we should on this deeper level? Why is it that the encounters we do have tend to drift toward the trivial? For example: Yesterday my sister was home for the weekend from BYU for a friend's missionary farewell. She had a group of friends over for breakfast and left a kitchen full of dishes as she hurried off to church. Upon her return later that evening, I promptly started our first conversation of the day by rhetorically inquiring if she had forgotten something in her haste that morning. I could have asked how her day was, or how her week was for that matter. Maybe her actions weren't the most considerate, but they were completely unintentional. Mine however, entirely rehearsed, and not in any way thoughtful.

I spent the entire weekend hosting my dear, dear friends. We stayed up late into the evening talking and catching up, and at their request, me telling ridiculous bedtime stories. We spent the day up the canyon, enjoying the Harvest Festival at Sundance on what we dubbed a ladies' date. Our conversations and activities stemmed entirely from a relationship aptly rooted in love.

My relationship with my sister is also rooted in love. But how conscious am I of nurturing that love on a continual basis? As much as I love my friends, there is no one I love more, or share a closer or meaningful bond with than my family. And I don't need to live with them in Africa to know that.

Molly and Becca, I had a delightful weekend with you and I love you girls.

Sister #4, I have spent a delightful lifetime with you and I'm sorry.

Friday, September 24, 2010

you can't judge a book by its cover.

So my job. The company I work for specializes in software for libraries. Its fancy sophisticated stuff and its opened a whole new world for me (think SEO, API, competitive intelligence and white space sales). If you don't have a clue what those things mean, um, just be grateful. Sometimes knowledge is just more information which = overwhelming. I'm excited for the part where it changes to power! mwahaha. For the time being, let's just settle with the fact that I never knew how much I didn't know. But not to worry, the internet and I have made peace with each other and I spend a lot of time researching and reading about this fascinating new world of which I am now part. I start the morning off reading Library Journal, an industry pub that is the go-to for everything libraries. I know, sexy right? Well, my mind tends to wander tangentially and the internet practically begs me to start down the rabbit hole of links, but every once in a while I discover a gem. Like this particularly insightful interview with Stephen King where he discusses the rise of ebooks and the possible death (gasp!) of books as we know them. (libraries have books...we sell technology...ebooks are a perfectly natural transition, right?)

I'm fascinated by this whole phenomenon. Kindles and Ipads aren't a fad as I initially suspected. I tend to crave nostalgia and tradition, especially as everything seems to change and advance so quickly these days. But then again that's how every passing generation feels I'm sure. But we're talking about books here, books! I love books. Ever since I knew what one was, I loved them. I love to buy them and stack them on my toilet and coffee table and nightstand and stuff them into shelves and read them and look at them...sigh. Love em. And judging by the huge bookstore/library industry, so do a lot of people. How can these digital books ever take over? Is there something inherently necessary about the pages to fulfill the reading experience? Apparently when audio books were introduced, critics claimed that consumers would miss turning the pages, and yet I love listening to a book on tape on a long road trip. I love records too, and yet I prefer my Ipod. What's the difference? (and that's not rhetorical.)

Maybe I've never consciously thought this through, but these are the things that keep me up at night! Well, thinking about things and reading books...But I think I'm onto something. The silver lining to this issue if you will. Stephen King said it simply and profoundly:

"The book is not the important part, the book is the delivery system. The important part is the story and the talent."

I love books, that doesn't have to change. But I love stories, and creativity, and excellent writing, and art and literature more. And none of that will ever be lost thanks to technology. Ebooks won't kill reading. Look what blogs have done to promote documentation of thought and experience. New platforms for creative work just mean more creativity, which can never be a bad thing in my, well, book.

And hey, maybe someday all of these kindles will elevate my set of printed Twilight  books to valuable antique status. We'll add books to the ongoing queue of trendy vintage tchotchke. Pretty sure anthro already incorporates books into its decorating themes when the vibe needs to subtly ooze antiquated but not obsolete.

Ultimately I wonder: How many times do we lose what we really care about in what we think we care about?

Thank you Stephen, for not only scaring the hell out of me all these years, but for teaching me such a thought-provoking lesson.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

words to live by.

"Be in love with your life."
--Jack Kerouac

In his Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, Kerouac (a favorite author/poet of mine) lists thirty "essentials" to spontaneous writing. This little gem is number four on the list, but number one in my heart. Love your life. Live a life worth loving. Then write it ALL down. For years I've kept disconnected pages of journal entries and thoughts. Some written, some typed. Some cognitive, some completely illegible. Not until I read this did I realize, not only was I not crazy, but I was in good company.

So while I aspire to poignantly pen all of my stream of consciousness in an uber-sexy moleskine or carelessly capture my thoughts on some classy old typewriter, I'm going to not only accept, but love the fact that I write things down at all. But while we're on the subject, I still wouldn't mind one of these.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Who would've thunk that I'd land me a new job in record time. Never mind that I was secretly (or not-so-secretly) hoping to have a brief and torrid stint of unemployment for an excusable but undetermined period of time after the summer, but this was not to be. My lovely and long-time college mate, co-worker and friend helped me hurtle my jet-lag and reverse culture shock by encouraging me to [quickly] apply for a position with her employer of choice, SirsiDynix. Never mind that the name kind of sounds like a place that might  manufacture robots (it doesn't). Long story short, I applied, interviewed, and had an offer for a marketing position within 24 hours. I feel lucky. Overwhelmed. Excited. Nervous. And refreshingly, hired.

And just like that, I'm a working girl once more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lighten up.

Ok, I think things were getting a little too serious. I needed to process a lot, and I still do, but I also need to let you know that I had a lot of FUN this summer, and I am really HAPPY!

In light of this, my blog needed a face lift. And I needed a haircut.