Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm off

I'm flying out to the birthplace of humanity.

About a year ago (my last large international flight), I was sitting on a plane flying to Vienna studying European History flash cards. I'll soon be on a plane on my way to Kenya studying wildlife flash cards. Too bad there isn't an AP African wildlife test.

In 48 hours, I'll be sleeping on the ground at camp number one on my way up Kilimanjaro. I'm not really quite sure I'm ready to climb this mountain. I'm totally winging this.

If I don't make it, I'd like my obituary to have this picture:
And to read:
"Hannah hated nearly all analogies, metaphors and even similes, but she would love the irony of her obituary being a metaphor. Hannah was the caffeine for the lives of all who knew her. She was often as energetic as anyone we knew, but she inevitably crashed. Somehow, she always managed to pull herself and those around her up to her typical ridiculously high level of emotions. And of corse, like caffeine headaches, being without her for too long got more and more painful. She will be missed by all, particularly the baristas at her favorite Starbucks who know her name and her order by heart. Some may wonder why Hannah died climbing mount Kilimanjaro, as she was never known as one to do things unprepared. The truth is, she just really hated exercise. In lieu of flowers, sacrifices of virgins and medium to large animals would be appreciated."

ps. Check out http://harleyandjane.blogspot.com/2011/07/story.html

pps. Check in every once in a while, I'm officially back the last week of August, but I'll try to get wi-fi and post updates.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hi, I'm Hannah and I can't handle growing up.

When Harry Potter first became popular, my dad bought it and we started to read it together. It was too scary for little me. So we put it back on the shelf in favor of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A few years later we picked it up again, and this time we finished it. And then we read the second. And then the third. By the time we reached the fourth, I insisted on reading it on my own.
The first movie came out in 2001. I was 7. It was the first movie I ever stood in line for. My family and our neighbors (who are our best friends ever) stood in line for 3 hours. Even then, we were in the sixth or seventh row. It was a very scary movie for little me. I remember walking out to stand in the halls at some points because it was just too much. I also held my dad's hand through all of it, and bit him a few times.
Now it's 10 year later, I'm 17, and I saw the last movie last night. I couldn't help but feeling a giant loss of my childhood. Then again, everything these days makes me feel a giant loss of childhood. I've longed for freedom since I was 14 and decided I wanted to go to boarding school. Now I'm getting close. I'm choosing a college. That is a big deal. I'm making important decisions. I'm nearly an adult. And all the while, I'm thinking of the things I'm going to miss that I haven't loved or appreciated as much as I should have. So, without adieu, let me introduce:

A list of the first 15 things that came to mind that I will miss
(emphasis, things not people. That could be a list all it's own):
-Knowing which way is East because of the Wasatch mountains
-13th East, 106th South, Wasatch boulevard and I-15
-My giant (but beautiful) car
-Knowing there will be dinner
-Driving home and looking at the horses in the pasture
-My queen-sized bed
-My dog who cuddles with me at night
-Finding notes from my dad
-Grocery shopping at the Smith's down the street
-Seeing deer and baby quail in the back yard
-Watching House as a family every Monday night
-Waving at neighbors in the street
-Movies at Jordan Commons
-Driving in the snow
-Being outside when I want to

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I hate it when

I hate it when other people try to make me do hard things.
I hate it when they are right and I should do those hard things.

I hate it when I have to decide what color my hair should be.
I hate it when I choose the wrong color.

I hate it when I get woken up by little kids jumping on my bed.
I hate it when I get woken up by adults saying my name.

I hate it when I'm reading a book and people come up to me and ask "what book are you reading?"
I hate it when I tell them the title and then they ask "so what's it about?"

I hate it when people think they are smarter than me because they've taken more AP classes.
I hate it when people are smarter than me because they've taken more AP classes.

I hate it when a book ends.
I hate it when I have to say goodbye to characters.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Read this and smile

I've come across this short essay on about five blogs today. It's the latest and greatest. But it's the latest and greatest because it's magnificent.

Date a Girl Who Reads by Rosmarie Urquico:

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Being Friends with Firefighters is Exciting.

You get to hear all their cool stories.
Tonight, our firefighter captain / SWAT team trainer friend, Steve came over to the cabin. We chatted for a while and he told us about a few of his adventures. Then he told us the gem of the night.
One day, they got a call to get a cat out of a tree. This doesn't usually happen to firemen anywhere besides cartoons, but one this one occasion an elderly had called the fire department to come get her dear cat, Fluffy, down from a tree.
They arrived on the scene and the captain had a stern talking to with this lady:
"M'am, I know that in the movies firemen get cats down from trees, but we don't really do that. Lemme tell you why. Have you ever seen a dead cat or a cat skeleton in a tree? No. They always find their way down. Your cat doesn't need our saving, he'll be down in a little while."
They left and the lady, while still concerned about Fluffy, felt mostly put to ease.
They put out a house fire that night, and the next day they had off. So two days later, they were back on the job, lounging around the fire station when they got a call to the same address for another cat stuck up in a tree.
The captain grumbled about an old woman not learning her lesson, but they went anyway. When they got there they found a very irate old lady. She pointed up at the tree where, dropped over the branch like a flag, was a dead Fluffy.
Steve went up to the top of the tree and picked Fluffy up, but Fluffy was so dead his rigor mortam (?) had set in. He held his shape of being hung over the tree branch. Steve tried to move the legs a little big before handing the corpse back to the distraught old woman, but it started to crack like it was going to come off, so he decided to cut his losses and give Fluffy back as-is.
The captain got a large amount of crap for that, and, needless to say, the next time there was a call about a cat in the tree, he responded immediately.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Girl's camp: survived

I spent the past four days at Mormon Girl's camp; not exactly or even remotely my element. The highlight/rock bottom low was the first night. Disclaimer: I don't remember any of this.
I don't sleep well camping. Initially, I can go to sleep, but then I usually wake up every 45 minutes or so, and then it takes me another 30 minutes to fall asleep again. Knowing this about myself, I brought a few Ambien-halves guaranteed for a good night's sleep.
So that first night, I took a half. Then the girls in my tent started interrogating me. It was mostly smooth sailing, with questions like "tell us about your boyfriends" and "what do you think about ____". Apparently, I'm fairly funny on sleeping pills, because I act like I'm drunk. Unfortunately, I was talking very loud. Even more unfortunately, I decided that it was a good time to call my young women's president a bitch. Twice.
Needless to say, the next day wasn't so pretty. I got in a wee bit of trouble and had to issue a few apologies.

I'd like to note, however, that in any other context (one where we weren't pretending we had the morals of a nun and the naiveté of a seven-year-old) it would have been hilarious.

ps. I LOVE the music from this musical. Especially after camp.

"I believe that ancient jews built boats and sailed to America... I believe that God has a plan for all of us. I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet... I believe that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people... I believe that God lives on a planet called Kolob. I believe that Jesus has His own planet as well. And I believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri."