Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sometimes, people surprise me.

Yesterday, my family and I flew to Hawaii. On the first flight, my mom, dad, and brother got upgraded to first class. Guess who had to sit alone in coach? And why, one might ask, was I the one who didn't get upgraded. Why, because I am coming home early so as to not miss any school. I guess the universe has a twisted sense of humor where having to leave Hawaii and come back to cold, miserable Utah for school isn't enough, so it decided to spite me with coach.
So there I sat, wallowing in self pity, convinced that there was no justice in the world and never would be. I was staring out the window, trying to work up some tears just to show the universe how ugly it was. Then, I noticed a pilot suit walking around on the wet ground below the plane. It was a stark contrast to the orange reflector vests and beanies everyone else seemed to be wearing.
Then, another suit came out of the plane, down the stairs, and onto the ground. I watched as the two pilots worked with the men on the ground to unload baggage. I watched them push huge carts, lift heavy bags, and carry strollers and car seats up the stairs to the waiting "gate check" passengers.
Now, I realize this is another heart warming story sweet enough to make you vomit, but here's the thing: it's not. It's not because it's mine. I watched it happen. I saw two pilots working to unload their passengers' luggage in their full uniforms. It's unexpected. I find it comfortable to know that people are willing to get their hands dirty to help someone else. Even if they're making six figures a year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hannah's favorite things 2010

If I'm going to grow up to be Oprah, I'd better start now with a "Hannah's favorite things" list:

1. Cavallini notebooks. They're just thick enough that they can fathomably be filled, but still thick enough that there can be substantial writing in them.

2. Nikon D300s. Well, technically it's not mine. But Lorin bought one and so I consider it mine. It is so much fun to shoot with.

3. Pandora. I am totally in love with Pandora. I know some odd people who hate it. But I love it so much. Especially when it gets on a roll and plays like 6 songs I love in a row.

4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This is one of the most beautiful books I've read. It was one of those books so captivating and moving I read it in one sitting. Amazing.

5. Hunter Boots. I now walk across the quad with dry feet. I don't think that has happened since about 6th grade. Seriously, greatest boots of my life.

6. Splash Guard. Okay, so maybe this is just me, but when I drink out of a wide mouth nalgene I always end up spilling on myself. With this rocking splash guard, I never spill any water!

7. Sundance Catalog Rings. This summer, I came to love, well need if we're being honest, to wear rings. I love Sundance rings. They're so interesting, and pretty and I can't get enough of them. I've had a crush on this one for about 5 months. If anyone feels so inclined, Chirstmas is coming up and I'm ring size 6.5

8. Tazo Green Tea, I'm usually not a huge fan of green tea. But this green tea is so perfect. Also, green tea is not actually green, but more of a yellow. Poorly named much?

9. Nivea Chapstick. The kiss of moisture one is 1000 times better than the kiss of smoothness. This is the best chapstick ever. And the container is so new age.

I'm sure there are about 10,000 other things that I love, but these were the first 9 that came to mind. It's been a good year for me and the retail market.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some people deserve to be shot

I know this girl who's father is a biologist and one of the most interesting people I've ever met. This is the girl who had a birthday party in Lower School that consisted of a group of us going over to her house to make mock-fossils. Super cool right? Anyway, she always told me that her name would have been Darwin had she been a boy, but alas she was a girl and got a good Christian name. I always thought it was so cool that her name could have been Darwin. I feel like a person named Darwin is automatically endowed with certain virtues. How could someone named Darwin not be original and strong and deep and stubborn? It seems impossible.

So when a man named Darwin came into my work the other day, I was incredibly excited. Meeting a real person named Darwin is like meeting a celebrity. He walked up and I said, as I always do, "hello sir, how are you today?" "Fine" "Good. Can I have your receipt? Thank you. You're total today is going to be $24.53. Do you need cash back for a tip?" "No." "Okay, well can I get your signature here? Thank you. And what kind of air freshener would you like?" "I don't want one" "okay, well thanks for coming in." At this point I was feeling disappointed that the man named Darwin was grumpy and fat and not everything I hoped a man named Darwin would be. Then he said to me "Can I talk to your manager?" "I'm sorry sir, our manager is already gone for the day. I can take a message if you'd like." "Yes. Please do that." So I grabbed our while you were out notes and had my pen ready to go. He said, "tell your manager I'm a patron here and thank you for not hiring short brown skinned people who don't speak English." I stopped even pretending to write down what he was saying. He continued, "you have really nice white people who work here and I appreciate that," I stared at him for a good 45 second. I muttered something like "okay I'll tell him" and walked away, throwing the blank sticky note in the trash on my way.

I'm think Darwin deserves to be shot.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lucius the cat

Anything to avoid studying for the SAT I'm taking tomorrow.
Even the one thing I said I wasn't going to do. Blog.
I can consider starting a blog studying for the SAT. I'm practicing for the writing section. That's legitimate. Right?

For my sixth birthday, my mom bought me a cat. In hinds sight, getting a six year old a cat is a terrible idea. She isn't old enough to know if she'll want it next week. Who knows how she'll feel about it next year. She isn't going to take care of it. A cat is a life-long commitment. Any mother who buys a cat for her six year old daughter should be prepared to be that cat's primary care taker. It's only responsible.

A week after we brought Lucius home, I still loved her. One night, I couldn't find her. We asked my four year old little brother where she was. He said, "well, maybe behind the washing machine." What an oddly specific answer. When we checked, voila, she was there. We asked him why she was there. He said, "well, maybe she jumped off the balcony a few times." After a bit of interrogation, we got the real story out of him. He and the neighbor girl had learned in preschool that a cat always lands on its feet. This was the first time they had had an opportunity to test that theory. They threw her off the balcony. A couple times. Just to make sure their findings were valid.  We took a traumatized Lucius to the vet, and she recovered.

For years, Lucius was the family pet. We bought her a leash. We brought her to soccer games. We took her up to the cabin every time we went. She slept in my room. When I got my first camera for Christmas, I shot an entire roll of just Lucius. Lucius had more love than any cat could ever hope for.

And then, Lucius's world was shattered. We bought... a dog. Whimzy the dog took over Lucius's room. Lucius had to inhabit to storage room in the basement. We started taking Whimzy to the soccer games, to the cabin, and in the car with us. Lucius was second string compared to Whimzy.

By the time I was nine I wanted to get my ears pierced like I wanted a cat when I was six. I promised my mom that I would take excellent care of Lucius if she would just let me get my ears pierced now instead of when I was twelve. The idea of not having to take care of Lucius was so appealing my mom agreed. I got my ears pierced. I also took care of Lucius for about two months. Then I quit and everything picked up where it left off. Except I had pierced ears.

Over the past few years, Lucius has faded from recognition. She dealt with this by eating. Eating so much her belly literally dragged on the ground. My friends were always surprised when they say her. "You have a cat?" "Yes" "How did I not know this? I've been coming over to your house all year!"

This year, I came home Halloween night and started talking with my mom.
She said, "well, I have something to tell you. Lucius is dead."
"What? She finally died!"
"Well, not exactly. Her quality of life was so poor. I just didn't want to nurse her back to health again. So yesterday I took her to the pound. I was crying and crying. I gave her to the man and told him to gas her. It was so sad. I cried for hours after."
"How could you? You didn't even tell me! She was my cat!"
"You haven't paid attention to her in years. She wasn't your cat. I was the one who took care of her. I was the only one who ever loved Lucius."

And that is the story of my cat Lucius, who now inhabits cat heaven. Where she can eat all she want and still have a trim belly that won't drag on the ground.