Thursday, December 11, 2008


I think I've always glamorized the career of a Barnes and Noble employee, because of their book recommendations (written out in their own handwriting no less!) displayed on a prominent book shelf for all customers to see and consider.
I crave that kind of authority.
Working at several restaurants over the years, I've always gotten a rush from being casually asked, "So what's good here?"

Thus, my current version of an employee recommendation:

F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories, for their creativity. 
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is set to be a big time movie crammed with meaning and staring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. But the best part about the short story version is how utterly trivial, inventive and quirky it is. The same goes for Bernice Bobs Her Hair, a cute sample of the meaningless things that were important in society, pre-Great Depression.

Set The New York Times as your computer's home page. Even if you just glance at it on your way to your email account, it will make you feel ten times more informed.

Pomegranate seeds in salads.

Oklahoma City's Classen Grill for breakfast - get avocado in your omelet.

Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago, with music and lyrics that practically melt.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I can't bring myself to fill in Norman, Oklahoma as the location information on my blog.

Where I wish I was from instead:


Three of my aunts somehow managed to end up in California via Oklahoma. As a result, add one uncle and four cousins to the total.
So I'm thinking, it's in my blood.
Combine that with repeatedly watching Lords of Dogtown and a visit to see best friends in Malibu and L.A. and you've got every microfiber in my body longing for California, California, California...
Except, once I move there and run miles along the coast with my golden retriever, inevitably I will be asked where I'm from. And I'll have to answer Oklahoma. And I'll simultaneously become repulsed and homesick by this answer.
Because I'll never be a true California girl when Oklahoma is home. Especially when I know all the words to every song from the musical.
And despite the preconceived reputation I have to drag around as dead weight and my body that aches for escape, Oklahoma will always, unconditionally be home.

The same goes for Italy, where I spent the past hot summer's days gazing at art and the hot summer nights drinking wine on church steps until it became a comfortable routine.
Yet, I'll never fit. I'm from America. And not just America, but Oklahoma, America.
So, even though not in the literal sense, I'm always a tourist hacking apart the language in my proverbial neon fanny pack, money belt and Hawaiian shirt.

Of course, the Sooners did just make it to the National Championship. The Norman, Oklahoma Sooners.
So for right now, maybe this is exactly where I want to be from.

This blog is dedicated to Jenna Williams. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a friend that encourages and supports them.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

They Hate Us - and India Is Us.

They Hate Us - and India Is Us
...a really interesting Op-Ed by Patrick French in the New York Times.

I'm not sure how the battle against terrorism is supposed to be won. 
Especially, when its eradication could very well be impossible.
The same could be said for genocide, or for all the world's seemingly impossible, unbeatable, untraditional horrors.

There seems to be this point where the line between belief and reality/humanity is blurred and hate is created.
I mean, there are things I say I hate: the smell of french fries, rapists, the texture of chalk, when the prolife campaign stakes out campus, calling your significant other your "boo," hot pink, etc.
But it's so hard to fathom a hate like that.
It's hard to fathom a belief that can't work with reality, a belief without a sense of humanity. 
And it's hard to fathom fighting such hate. 

I suppose you have to be optimistic though. Especially when the alternative is giving in, accepting a world complete with terrorism.
I don't mean hippie optimism, fight hate with love, darkness with light, etc.
I mean tough optimism. Real optimism. Smart optimism.
For example, taking a harder line with Pakistan. 

In the frenzy of my dislike for the Bush administration and the Iraq War, I think I forgot how much I don't like terrorists. Like really, really don't like. (I'm trying to refrain from using hate here...)
And also how much I like America. Not love - I'm no Toby Keith, I've read All the Shah's Men. But really, really, really like.
And in the end that's what's important, that I like something more than I hate something. 
And so, at the end of the day, I guess I'm choosing optimism.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Maybe it's because I've chosen two majors deeply rooted in historical background, but lately my historical perspective has been lending itself to blurred thematic color schemes.

I've been thinking that high school AP European History was really groundbreaking.
Not just because I had one of the zaniest, intense, and, therefore, best teachers in my life, but because, up until this point in my educational career, history was this faded and staid red, white and blue. Full of honest, moral characters fighting honest, moral fights with their hard faces set, like George Washington and Harriet Tubman.
For some reason there's also been a heavy dose of sections over the Holocaust, an unfathomable gray.

And then in comes European History with its rich and vibrant golds and blood reds and bleak blacks and romantic pastels.
It's sort of this mash of years and countries and periods: heads flying with the Kings and Queens of England, Louis XIV eating cake in his gold bed in France, Russian eccentrics from Rasputin to Stalin, the art that comes out of the Italian Renaissance in that lightening-strike moment where Michelangelo's God and Adam seemingly touch, Martin Luther dramatically nailing his 95 Thesis to the door in Germany, Picasso's hard angles describing the Spanish Civil War...

My Letters degree has had me so focused on the timelessness of antiquity, classical Greece and Rome.
Stone and marble archaeological ruins bleached of all color, glaringly white.

And then come my International Studies classes where Middle Eastern history is this endless stream of blowing sand and global foreign policy is a barrage of flags beating wildly in every primary color.

Not to say that all of these historical schematics aren't interesting or complex. They are. Very
I don't mean to downplay the significance of any country or historical period.

It's just that I know senioritis must be getting to me when I'd gladly trade in the church challenging the legitimacy of gay marriage in California for Galileo's heliocentrics or Putin for Nicholas II and Alexandra,  just to relive the dramatic glamor of European history.


I read library books as fast as I could go, rushing them home in the basket of my bicycle.
From the minute I reached our house, I started to read. Every book I seized on, from "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While" to "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea," stood for the devouring wish to read being instantly granted.
I knew this was bliss, knew it at the time. Taste isn't nearly so important; it comes in its own time.
- Eudora Welty.

I resisted reading the Twilight series for sooooo long.
Because I was basically being a snob.
And while I still think it's important to note that Stephanie Meyer is clearly a very talented preteen girl author...

I loved every minute of reading Twilight.

Because, especially in regards to burnt-out college students, preteen girls have it right...

The best part about reading is bedside lamps and being snuggled warmly into your bed with the pillows smooshed just right, unable to keep from turning the page while stuffing Oreos into your brace laced mouth. And you giggle about the book's moments afterward with your friends, not discussing the profound religious symbolism, but giggling and squealing and wide-eyed and smiling ear to ear.

And you believe that love can really, truly be that pure and singular and universe shaking.
And there is not a doubt in your mind, this type of love will eventually and inevitably happen to you. When you're, in college or something.