Sunday, January 20, 2008

To Know Her Is To Love Her

Years ago, when I was attending BYU and still single, I spent an awful lot of time over at HB and Penee’s. I love my brother and sister-in-law dearly but their adorable little girl, Lindsay Anne was really the reason for my frequent (okay, almost daily) visits.

She was the most precocious and darling little thing I had ever seen and so entertaining. We played and hung out a lot, the age difference was irrelevant. She was my little friend.

Sometime after, I married and was lucky enough to tend Lindsay (Lacy and Dana and Devry, too!) for awhile while Penee worked. She loved to read, read, read and talk, talk, talk. I laugh now thinking about conversations I had with this amazing little 3 year old. Her many gifts and talents were evident early on, not the least of which was/is her ability to be an amusing and thought provoking conversationalist. I have always maintained that Linds should have gone into television and had her own talk show as her ability to talk about anything and everything to nearly anyone is remarkable.

Through the years I have watched her grow into the lovely young woman she is today. I see her lift and brighten and inspire by her example so many, myself included, and feel so lucky to still call her ‘my little friend’.

Happy Birthday, Lindsay Anne. Love, love you.

Can a person really bring too many mashed potatoes? Yes, yes they can.

Yesterday a family member and I (and he shall remain nameless except his initials are BGA) engaged in a slightly heated discussion about…well, it doesn’t matter. Let me just say it wasn’t about politics. I don’t even remember how the subject came up but since it is something that I feel very strongly about (and true to my A.S.S. genes) the conversation became much more, shall we say, animated and lively.

Now I am not saying I was ticked off. No, no. I was simply right and BGA was wrong. You can picture the scenario. And there sat Kenz, slightly amused by all the craziness. I wasn’t yelling, really, I was just talking with elevated volume. Increasingly elevated volume.

I was talking loud because I was so afraid that my rational, reasonable words would not be heard in normal tones and so I blustered and sputtered and punctuated the air with my pointer finger. At one point, in exasperation, I yelled from the kitchen into the bedroom, You hearing all this, ld? I could use some help here? To which he shot back some comment that I didn’t hear and then I took a deep breath and carried on the battle. I got no reinforcement there.

Now here’s the thing. BGA is a hard person to debate with because he is stubborn and doesn’t really get flustered (which is infuriating) and he is so confident that he is right. Shocker. The problem lies in the fact that I am the same. ‘Cept, I do get flustered, er discombobulated. You see the situation. Anyway, after going more than a few rounds we called it quits on the debating and ate some lunch. Which, to BGA’s credit, he ate with compliments between bites. This isn’t bad, Toots, really. Did I mention I fixed Pesto, which is made of pine nuts and does not include meat? You see his sweetness?

Continuing on. After lunch we all sat around the living room and the subject came up yet again. And again we went ‘round and ‘round with our words, talking past each other. But then someone stepped in to mediate (someone whose initials are JLW, better known as Goodboy, Hanz or Janny Nanny) and pointed out to me that what I was saying was being interpreted as hurtful and my argument was being misunderstood because of my ‘over the top’, excessive ‘all or nothing’ statements. Hurtful? I was being hurtful?

Ding. Hello. The light went on.

I turned to Brig and blurted out, “Oh well, I always serve too much pig.”

Wh- wh- what? What does that have to do with anything? He looked truly puzzled.

When I fix food or bring refreshments, I usually bring too much, way too much. Because I AM AFRAID THERE WON’ T BE ENOUGH. The Kalua Pig, I want there to be enough.

Ding. Hello. He gets it. I see it in his face.

But in case the rest of you don’t ‘get it’ let me spell it out. Because I am like every other human on the planet and on top of that a mess of a gal to boot, I have deep seated fears and strongly held values. Real deep fears and real strong opinions, on some subjects. They are so tightly held that I sometimes become afraid that I won’t be able to communicate them, nay, transmit them and have them embraced by those I love, so I beat them over the head and repeat myself over and over and talk LOUDandfastandreallyLOUDandsaycrazythings. Things like 'you can’t be a good person unless you are educated' and 'girls shouldn’t get married at 19'. Crazy stuff like that. And because I am afraid that you won’t get enough of my strongly held opinion, well, then have some more pig or pop because I brought more, lots more. And you must eat it.

But now the clouds of confusion have parted and I see that in my relentless pursuit to communicate to those I love that I value knowledge like the air I breathe and that girls, (oh, especially girls) should continually grow and learn and learn and grow (and READ!), I have unwittingly hurt others. Not intentionally, no never. But, very often the way I say something (as in tone and manner), not necessarily the message itself, is what is heard.

In other words, there are better ways for me to communicate. Far better ways. So, long and short of it is, I am sorry, soooo sorry dear little fam (and BGA in this case) for my lousy debating skills. You know I love you all. Oh, how I love you all. And BGA you are right, we are not so far apart in our thinking. In essentials we are very much the same.

The people in my fam are the best, and though we are all flawed and weird, we know how to put little verbal tussles and disagreements in perspective. No sooner had all this stuff happened then someone asked ‘Wanna go see a movie?’ to which we all agreed.

Sitting in the dark movie theater last night I got a little teary. Not because the movie was good (it wasn’t) but because I live a blessed life, surrounded by people who patiently tolerate my weaknesses and irrationality, gently point out my craziness, and love me still.

And while I make no guarantees about cutting back on the serving portions for our next family gathering, I promise to try really, really hard to serve up a lot less verbal pig.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Soundtrack from the movie of my life

Arguably the most beautiful piece of music ever written. And yes, I know, you are already familiar with it as it was played at the funerals of JFK and Princess Grace as well as featured in many movies. Still. It is simply beautiful. Go on over and have a listen. I dare you not to be moved, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

I also like this version with Pan Pipes. Incredibly haunting. And okay, it's over 7 minutes long, but such a small price to pay for such beauty.

It’s a good day for a little Sam.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Write. With Your New Computer.

It's only the 16th of January, still early yet, but what the hey, I will jump the gun and share one of my New Year Resolutions which is: TO POST MORE, people! Yup, I'm going to write more. This is because I am in dire need of a sense of order and my thoughts come 'rumble tumble pell mell' (like the Pokey Little Puppy:)

Anyway, thank you Mr. Brian Clark whoever you are as I stumbled across your motivational list on blogging. And ooh, baby I am all about lists.

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

1. Write.
2. Write more.
3. Write even more.
4. Write even more than that.
5. Write when you don’t want to.
6. Write when you do.
7. Write when you have something to say.
8. Write when you don’t.
9. Write every day.
10. Keep writing.

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

So I’ve been in a blogging funk. Shocker, what was your first clue? For almost a month I’ve not written anything. This is because…. wait. I don’t wanna tell you why. If I do you will laugh at what a ninny I am. But here it is. I have not been posting because ld made it impossible for me to get on the internet with my old computer, the one with ‘over 3,000 files’ and I have been in mourning. ld told me yesterday, after I begged and begged him to get me up and running, that I just needed to face reality.

“Your old computer is dead, kaput. It doesn’t work anymore, comprendo? You have to switch over to your new, you have no choice.”

Way to stab me into the heart, ld and I confess right here and now, that my reluctance to switch has been due in large part to my harboring the resentful sense that you somehow secretly sabotaged my computer. You didn’t. Did you?

So, ladies and gents, drum roll here, I am finally using my ‘new’ computer, the one ld bought me last February and I am reconciled that I have to learn how to use Word and Pages and it sucks. I miss my Word Perfect (and you can all stop laughing right now). Anyway, that has been the biggest obstacle to my not posting for a while. For a good long while. It is so hard to teach this old dog new tricks. But as someone once said, ‘Change always comes bearing gifts” and I will concede it is awfully nice not to have to cut and paste the letter ‘t’…and "r"…and "e".