Monday, December 7, 2009

the cuss am I

If you're wondering what's going on with me lately the answer is a whole lot. If you're wondering if I'm going to write about it any time soon the answer is nah.

But I WILL write about how much you need to go see Fantastic Mr. Fox! The answer to that is the same as the first thing. A whole lot. You need to go see Fantastic Mr. Fox a whole lot much.

Friday, November 6, 2009

General John Bell

Last night while discussing my currently-in-process move to Salt Lake with a recently acquired friend, the conversation turned to pros and cons of the city compared to others nationwide. Though my overall assessment of our fair capital is one of glowing praise, I did promptly come up with the complaint that it is a bit lacking in diversity. Probably to his later regret, New Friend challenged this, questioning whether there is really much benefit to “diversity” for diversity’s sake or whether it’s mostly just rhetoric that leads to poor execution of presumably good intentions—patronizing acts of putting a person’s culture on display for others to ooh and ahh over. Unfortunately and unfairly for N.F., his casual response to my observance led to an onslaught of my own brand of rhetoric, as those who have been acquainted with me longer would have known that once given the opportunity to discuss my thoughts on diversity/racism/integration/affirmative action/ethnocentrism/white privilege/blah/blah blah/blah blah blah, I just can’t seem to shut my mouth.

I won’t go into too much detail about my ideas here (since you, dear reader, didn’t ask), but I will say that I believe so firmly that genuinely coming to know and understand people outside of your own cultural background yields overwhelming good for you as an individual and for us as a society. The means for achieving a legitimate understanding of other groups may be up for debate, but as far as I’m concerned, the results of that achievement are not. Greater interaction and understanding lead to greater compassion, greater cooperation, greater respect, and greater equality. My admittedly idealist and probably biased views lead me to feel that so much of the conflict across the neighborhood or the country or the world would be avoided if we weren’t all so insulated with our own kind—gender/race/religion/age/nationality/anything else in an EEO disclaimer—and truly were able and willing to see things through the perspective of another and recognize the value of both the similarities and the differences we have.

When the news broke of the tragedy at Ft. Hood this afternoon, I felt compelled to stick close to my computer screen and obsessively refresh google news every minute or two. I’m sure it’s obvious but I have to note that the incident hit close to home for me. I grew up on army posts; two of my friends from high school are currently stationed at Ft. Hood; it recalled memories of when my dad was among those targeted in a shooting at Ft. Bragg 14 years ago. As the updates trickled out and the body count rose, I found myself hoping desperately that the release of the shooter’s name wouldn’t do anything to worsen this already horrific event. My heart broke as the headline at the top of the page changed—Fort Hood suspect is Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. I want to be sure I am very clear here—I certainly don’t think there would have been anything at all good or redeeming in finding out the suspect was a John Smith. But I did immediately worry that the simple name of this clearly disturbed man would lead to more fear and distrust and hate of a religion or a race or a region of people that absolutely do not warrant such feelings. Sadly, my worries materialized not an hour later when I heard a woman refer to the shooter by an ethnic slur. I can’t help but think that if the suspect were someone of her own background, she would have expressed anger and disgust only toward him as an individual, but because she viewed this man as part of the Other, she cast judgment upon an entire group, including a vast, vast majority of complete innocents.

In a time that is already so trying and painful and distressing to go through, I hope none of us will make the situation any more difficult for ourselves or others by adding to the amount of hate and anger that is already out there. I hope this will be a time of seeking to come together with all those around us and realizing that we each individually choose whether we will be a force for good or for something else, regardless of our heritage or beliefs. Let’s not blame the actions of one man on an entire people, now or ever. Please let’s all, in whatever manner we see fit, take this as a reminder to try to be more understanding, more appreciative, more inclusive, and more unified with all the people we have the opportunity to spend this life with. We have the potential for so much good achieved—and bad avoided—if we actively seek out and embrace all the best parts of each other, whether those parts are similar to or different from our own. If there is any positive to come of the tragedy today, let it be that we decide not to perpetuate any attitudes or behaviors that might possibly be a factor in another person committing such atrocities. Instead, let’s work toward more united communities where we sincerely know and esteem each other. There is so much to learn and so much to gain from expanding our circles of understanding. Please, decide to be a part of that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

closer than that

I have to hurry and spill every last drop from my fingers before I forget anything. I think cold air is so much better at penetrating my lungs than warm and I've been trying so hard for so long to breathe, really breathe, and finally tonight it happened. I ran and ran and ran until everything hurt and no it doesn't take too much running for everything to hurt on me but it doesn't matter, it was just the right amount, and as soon as it was enough I ran back home and flung my lanky lank onto the trampoline and turned Low up high in my ears. And the wind blew one direction and I smelled pumpkins and it blew the other and I smelled apples and then it turned out the wind had one more direction to blow so it did and the pile of leaves that Miranda and Bradley had been playing in covered my face and my arms and my lanky lank and just for kicks the wind blew a walnut off the tree and onto my shin but it didn't even hurt, it was a kiss on the shin. And maybe there are some big changes happening right now and maybe there is so so much I don't know but the lucky thing about life is that there are only a few things that actually even matter and those ones I do know and those ones I do have. And I realized that if a night and a life can be absolutely perfect all by myself on the trampoline under the walnut tree breathing really breathing then maybe everything is a lot better than I pretend it to be and maybe there really is so much wonder and magic and maybe I have just as much right to marvel at it as anyone else.

Phew. I remembered.

Monday, September 28, 2009

death rattle

I'm a total bore for never writing anything on here anymore. I'm still not going to write something, not really, but I feel like I should post some kind of crap, so here is how I responded when a million years ago a friend asked me whether I ate the fish I caught:
I didn't eat it. Or keep it. But I didn't really catch-and-release either. I tried to keep it. I killed it a lot. Tried to gut it etc. but couldn't really figure it out so then threw its carcass back in the water. I slammed its head on a rock! Over and over! And cried hahaha. The head slamming was to kill it before theoretically gutting it, it was supposed to be a quick painless death, but then it wasn't at all, I kept thinking it was dead and then it would start flopping again so I'd slam it again. And cry some more. I was trying to be brave and keep head slamming through the tears but I was just overcome by it all. Sad that I was killing this thing that had just given me so much joy. I tried to stop crying.

And here is the joke I kept making when I nabbed that slippery little sucker:

catfish? more like caughtfish!

Yeah this blog is doomed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

carry me boldly

I know you've already seen a million of these, but

Maybe someday I'll write something on here again. Maybe not.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I fish now.

I've been wanting to make my summer more American and I thought fishing might be a good step towards that. It is so fun and I love it. I got myself a year license and bought a pole and a little my-first-fishing-trip kit with all kinds of colorful thingamajigs in their own little plastic compartments. I don't know what most of them are for. I'm not really interested in getting good at fishing, or learning about fishing, just in going out and doing it. So far I have gone twice and caught a fish twice. The first one was some teensy little thing my friend told me was a "cuh-roppy." I have no idea what word he was actually saying. I should have asked him to spell it. But last night I caught a catfish that was 14 inches long. It was one of the best things I've done. Anyone want to talk really non-technically about how fun fishing is? That's all I'm looking for here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

got a number on me

I've been keeping a secret from everyone except my mom and a few chosen others for the past month or two. And it's one of those secrets where when it's revealed, you're like, geez what's the big deal? Why would anyone be secret and weird about that? Well guess what, it is a big deal. To me. And it's my blog (blog blog blog! what an awful word) so that's what matters here. Okay get ready for the big reveal--the prestige, if you will:

I run.

That's it. A normal thing that millions of people the world over have been doing ever since the late seventies or so. But to me it is new and exciting and worth dedicating an entire bundle of paragraphs to. It's been secret because I didn't know if it would stick; I didn't think it would stick. Obviously I've had to run at times for various reasons throughout my life and I've always hate hate hated it. I dreaded the infamous mile run in P.E. class like everyone else. Then recently I started feeling the healthiest I've ever felt, or at least ever remembered feeling, and thought I should make the most of it. Right then, right at the moment when I was forming that idea, my unknowingly timely sister-in-law--she of the Obama/Biden teaching fame--introduced me to this program called Couch Potato to 5K. It is about running. I trust the intelligence of my readers enough to take that running program title and not need any further explanation. I've been doing it for some weeks (months?) now, and guess what, it totally stuck. I love running.

I love that every day I surprise myself with going farther than I did the day before. I love that when I take a shower it's to wash sweat off and not just to make my hair look cute. I love that I've become well acquainted with local raccoons and teensy baby quails and snakes both dead and alive. I love that I've fooled my neighbors into this aspect of my identity--"oh yeah, Tracy. Red hair, runs a lot." I love that my legs are in a perpetual state of light soreness. I love that I can join in that conversation, that ongoing conversation that I've overheard countless times, about the best places to run, which muscles are hurting, what song has the best driving beat. I love that running shoes are on my packing list for my upcoming vacation. I love seeing people out running on my drive home from work and feeling that itch, wanting to be out there with them, and feeling excitement about knowing that I soon will be. This is all so new and different and shocking to me, and I love it.

I don't run fast. I don't run far. But I run. And now you know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

yes he can

Well Tiffany is clearly teaching Kyle the essentials.

That chocolatey-mouthed kid got an A+ on his civics lesson today. Okay, maybe A- for the little initial mix-up.

Friday, June 12, 2009

years of pilgrimage

If I've talked to you in the last week then I've already forced this song upon you, but a lot of people have (unfortunately) not been a part of my week, and so I must take more drastic online measures to make sure everybody hears it. I've been needing a song to set the tone for my summer and I think at last I've found it. Summer's off to a slow start this year, what with all the surgery recovery and mother nature confusing Utah with Seattle, but these Frenchies Phoenix and I are finally ready to kick it into gear. Seriously, just go ahead and try to keep your feet still while listening to this little ditty. It won't happen. I honestly cannot foresee anybody not liking this number. Oldies, babies, preps, punks, cowboys, indians, your mom, your dad--they will all be into it. And there's nothing I love like bringing the people together. Make sure you give it the full 4:02.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

a four count rhythm

This is just a bit of silliness that I wrote about the process of constantly having to start new IVs in my arms over the past couple months (heeeey over-obviousing the obvious!). Please don't take it seriously.

It’s not my mother but my veins that are the fish. They lurk beneath my skin, winding and flowing and bathing and then just every so often, when the shallows feel warm and inviting, they briefly surface. And we wait, on the hunt. These moments, these intervals of luring them up to a visible depth, these are what we will wake before the sun to find, these are what cause us to grin victoriously (but silently!) when at last they happen. Those fish-veins will slither and slink but we will wait, we will get them. For we are trained in the art and practice and we know our roles and will not shrink from them. It is dusk now, a late evening in summer, and I feel them coursing through me. They’re active, they’ve become overconfident, splashing on their merry red way, and I know this window will not last. I rush to the fishery, where my compatriot waits with our gear at the ready. Then still, ever so still, this is my part of the operation, to keep the slippery things calm and quiet and unaware of their impending doom. We’ve got friendly waters today; translucent, smooth, warm. Conditions are perfect, but the things have been known to weasel away from perfect conditions before. Quiet— still— steady now— steady— and— NOW! My fellow hunter thrusts the harpoon, a clear target beneath its razor tip. But oh! The squirming thing has rolled away and swims out of sight, down to the depths where it cannot be reached. There is still hope—there has not yet been time for the fish on the other side to be alerted to the commotion. They still glide lazily about just under the surface, basking in the warmth. Again, quickly now! And this time her aim is sure. The fish-vein is hooked and tethered and struggle though it might, it will not break free. Quickly his companions sink out of sight, sorry for the loss of their brother but unwilling to linger and suffer the same fate. For now, they are safe from our hunt. We only want one. We only need the right one. But don’t you get too comfortable, oh little veins. We’ll be back for more.

Monday, May 18, 2009

arkansas toothbrush

Oh geez my longest hiatus ever. I have an excuse though and it will now be presented to you in graphic form. But I warn you! These pictures are extremely NSFQS (not safe for queasy stomachs). That's why I'm making you click on a totally different link to see them, if you so desire. Be advised: insides of bodies will be present and highly visible.

Enter at your own risk.

Yikes, I'm really sorry to those of you who just clicked through that slide show. I hope you weren't planning something delicious for dinner.

So now I'm pretty much great, feeling healthier than I have in months, and making tons of septuagenarian friends at IV Club. Every morning, seven days a week, I have to go at 8:00 to a clinic to have an IV treatment of antibiotics. I was dreading that fate when I learned of it, but it's actually quite fun. Everybody else is super old so I'm kind of a novelty in those parts. And do I like attention?? Yes, yes I do. So it's cool. Plus there are free juices and snacks, and this oldie Gary even brought me a chiminichanga this morning. No joke. Gary is awesome. Coupla things about him: started the BYU barber shop and cut hair there for 50 years. Was once the #2 ranked Birmingham Roller pigeoner in the world. Is missing half a pinky because he once stuck it up his nose and a booger bit it off. Oh, Gary.

Abrupt ending!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

melby tuesdie

I feel like the whole world doesn't know how hilarious my mom is.

And it's a darn shame.

Because like today for example she sent me a text that said, "There is a flag coming out of your head."

And after minutes on end of trying to remember some inside joke or funny picture that happened once, I replied that I didn't know what she was talking about. And she replied back, "April fools. I bet you checked your head huh."

And I mean what kind of 51 year old woman thinks of stuff like that??

And what kind of woman doesn't care that you just told everyone she's 51??

The answer is my mom. She's so awesome.

Friday, March 27, 2009

say something about support groups

I've been gone a while and no excuses for that besides the fact that I've been busy with

and obviously there is more to be told about that but it's not my current purpose in coming here. No no, I came here because it's about time that I formally announced that my eensy teensy tiny little baby brother is getting married. And I'm so very excited to have Kambelin in my family and married to my brother for so many reasons, not the least of which is because she brings out stuff like this in him

Because let's be honest if these sorts of things had to be arranged solely by my brother they probably would have turned out more like

Ha just kidding J-spot. But basically what I'm saying here is hooray for love. And don't worry her name is really Kimberly.

Friday, February 13, 2009

specificity fail

The good thing about initially naming my blog after the song that was in my head at that moment is that any time a certain Huey Lewis anthem comes on in Walgreens or something it's like a little love note from the universe to me. Thanks, universe, you've even got the right weekend for such things.

In other news, I went to Best Buy yesterday and they really need to make up their minds.

Needless to say there was nobody utilizing this parking space. It's probably not all that often that a preggo mama shows up to pick up her online order. When one actually does, though, boy do they have the spot for her!

Also, notice how the sky was so clear and blue and lovely yesterday? Today it is like this:

Okay I wasn't entirely sure how that webcam through the window picture taking was gonna go and obviously it was not stellar, but you can see what I'm talking about. It's a ding dong winter wonderland out there. And normally I am all for that sort of thing but not when it is preventing me from seeing some very important people. Mother Nature, you and I are through. Don't be holding your breath for any calls in early May because I assure you, they are not coming.

While we're having fun with the webcam, why not take this opportunity to simultaneously show you I love you and display my newest haircut?

See, I transported myself to a heart-infused parallel universe just to make this valentine for you! I love you! Most likely if you are reading this then the preceding is true, and I do love you, but not if you're just someone who came here because you googled "coodle doodle doo." I get a lot of you folks. Actually, though, if you're a big enough fan of the greatest comedy of our time to google some of its catchphrases in your spare time, I guess I probably love you too. Awesome.

I can't seem to stay on one topic for longer than a few sentences today so let's keep going with that. I recently acquired this:

A few key things to know: 1. It is a locket. 2. It is handmade. 3. The flower part is made from Czech glass. 4. The girl who made it lives just down the street (the street called I-15). Needless to say I love it. I am supporting local artists in an eensy-teensy way, and wearing it is a shout-out to my heritage, plus it is so darling if I do say so myself. This is where I need help though--what to put inside?! I had this romantic notion that I want to put something quite meaningful inside so that when I'm old and dying my posterity will consider my locket to be such a treasure. But I have no ideas yet what that significant something could be. So far the best I've come up with is a small print of this, folded up and tucked inside:

Ahhhahaha. Seriously though.

Finally, one last Valentine's treat. I just dare you to listen to this song and still try to have a bad attitude about love and the world around you. I assure you, you cannot do it friend. It will melt even the most frozen of cold February hearts. You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Listen up. I think iceberg lettuce is the best base for a salad. I find it superior in both taste and texture. You heard me, romainians. And don't even think about bringing up spinach.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

a question rather droll

I've found that for me the best way to avoid any icy winter slip-ups is lift foot straight up, place foot straight down in short, firm steps. And really this tactic is just a precautionary measure of self-preservation but I hope that sometimes people notice me and admire my strict military marching discipline.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

42 inches

You know how at baby showers nowadays usually when you show up, they have you write your name and address on an envelope to be used for your thank you card? Male readers, heads up: they do this. Well it is a really good idea for a number of reasons. It is certainly much more efficient than having everyone write their addresses in a notebook, only to have to transcribe all these addresses over again onto envelopes. And it helps to ensure that the person being showered really does send out thank you cards, since that big annoying part of the task is already taken care of. What I'm saying is I fully endorse the write-your-address-on-an-envelope part of a baby shower, it is a great thing.

Still, there is something so trippy and shocking about opening your mailbox to find a letter addressed to yourself in your own handwriting. I fall for it every time--what's this?! A message from the future! What piece of knowledge did I need to receive on this very Thursday, future-Tracy? Some sort of warning? All the upcoming professional sports scores so I can finally quit my job and get rich without doing any work?!

Oh, wait, no--Sara liked the hangers. Also good to know.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

without civilization

The area on and around the scar on my back is numb to all sensation. It has been this way since it was initially wounded; I'm not presenting you with a recent development in my life. It's about an inch and a half wide by nine inches long, and it feels nothing. I've grown accustomed to it for the most part. When someone is scratching my back I now anticipate the little hop from one side of my back to the other. I recognize that a massage will never be quite as satisfying as it once was. I will never be able to tell if somebody tapes a kick me sign right to the middle of my back.

But today I realized the worst effect of all.

Those 13 1/2 square inches of skin will never be warm again. Jack Frost has been so adamantly forcing himself upon us, refusing to yield until every last one of us has given up the fight against his wiles and resigned to the fate of three months of shivering. Today in my last valiant effort to vanquish the cold, I took a hot shower once I got home. It seemed to be working until I realized the sad truth. A blank, deadened spot right in the middle of everything, that no amount of steaming water could reach. I felt the comfort of the warmth to either side, but right there in the center, nothing. It's going to be a long winter.

I guess there are bright sides, though. Perhaps my expanse of numb skin will become the opposite of an Achilles' Heel. My Paris' Spine. I will be invincible there--just try to poke or pinch me! Do your worst! I feel nothing. Or if some future boyfriend accuses me of being unfeeling, I can quickly turn the tables in that argument by making him feel guilty about bringing my scar into it. Who's the insensitive one now, future bf?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


It is a comfort
to know
In these tumultuous times
That I can rely on one constant
When I visit a doctor
regardless of specialty or state
Even if no malady is diagnosed
No elixir prescribed
At least I will have
Some fun with a purpose
There will be a Highlights magazine
And hidden pictures will be exposed
And hilarious riddles will be memorized
And crafts concocted
And recipes learned
And Gallant
that ever faithful Gallant
contrary to everything
Goofus would influence him to do
Will show me the way.