Friday, November 2, 2012

My Beloved Family

As a teen it's so easy to compare your family with the "normal" families on the block. You see a set of parents, a couple of perfect children, a dog that doesn't bark. They seem perfectly content to live within their little family unit.

My family isn't as simple as that. My family is a fraction of THE FAMILY. In order to understand any part of what my family is you first have to understand THE FAMILY.

THE FAMILY consists of my grandparents, 8 aunts, 7 uncles, 26 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild (still in the oven), 3 grandchildren-in-law (if that title even exists), and food. These numbers may seem simple, but it's all a deception! THE FAMILY has an unparallelled ability to squeeze every square inch of space out of a room by simply entering it. They're loud, food-lovin', passionate, physically-stronger-than-average.  They also have a way of being completely impersonal while being personal at the same time.

Wow. That was confusing. The simplest way to sum up THE FAMILY is to compare them to My Big Fat Greek Wedding and make a few changes. Watch the following:

Now to clarify how this family differs from THE FAMILY I will now bullet point where the changes would be:
  • First and foremost: every product under this blessed sun is inferior to Vick's Vapor Rub. For my grandmas 70th birthday I'm coming up with a list of 70 uses for Vick's. The sad part is it doesn't take too much imagination to come up with 70 ways grandma has used Vick's.
  • We aren't Greek, like most American families we are kind of like mutts. In our effort to try and be diverse we claim ancestry from England, Denmark, Ireland, France, Switzerland and Finland (Those are just the ones that come to mind first.).
  • While we might not have the Greek accent we certainly do have accents. My grandpa has the thickest one in the entire family. His accent is the southern Idaho farmer with just a touch of a Missouri slang and then a titch of a whistle.
  • We don't have a grandma that runs around cursing the Turks, but it isn't uncommon to have favorite family cuss phrases to pop out during stories, or stressful projects. 
  • The marriage, child baring and feeding expectations are still kept and preached. It's more than a good idea, it's tradition. Grandma was married at the tender age of 17 and was expecting her third child by the mature age of 19.
  • Food is love. But the funny thing is that even if they don't like you they will empty their fridge, pantry and kitchen cupboards into your pockets as they try to leave their house. They are no respecter of diets, allergies or your own personal desire to take our food. You take it, or you take it. Those are your options.
  • About half of the adults look forward to the end of the world as a child looks forward to Christmas. I dare say they're happiest when a major disaster happens, because it just means we're that much closer to the end. (But after the excitement of a disaster has begun to fade they always feel sad that the disaster didn't happen where they live so they could have a chance to use survival skills.)
  • What did you say? You don't know how take a simple thing and worry about it until it has sprouted green warts and toe fungus? Of course you'd be so worried you wouldn't sleep for a week! Literally, if you don't know how to worry well then just have a chat with grandma. She has taken this skill and made it an art. I dare say she is one of the few that can live in a constant mastery state. 
  • Government conspiracies? Please, I've heard them all. For bedtime stories the adults tell their favorite government conspiracies to the children. Then send them up stairs to eat and get stinky Vick's kisses from grandma.
  • And to top it all off, listening to popular music (well any music that isn't sung by the Tabernacle Choir) means that you have sold your soul to the devil.
So when I say my family is just a fraction of a family, I mean that there isn't a family without THE FAMILY. Each member is intertwined with the other. A family unit is the entire family. Don't get me wrong, I love my family (Where else do you get the flu in the night and then go pick grapes bight and early the next morning?). Seriously though, I love my family. Even though we're all weird, loud and far too high strung I do believe that there isn't a family out there that I would fit in better with.

Today I leave to spend a weekend at another grand and glorious family gathering. So lets all raise our glasses for our dysfunctional, weird, and socially inexcusable families! 'Cause, let's face it, we wouldn't be who we are without them, and isn't that wonderful?!

As my mom says, "we put the 'fun' in dysfunctional!"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Love Letters...P.S. I Love You

"Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles!" I, Stephanie, survived the ACT! Come to find out it wasn't an entirely bad experience. There was a guy in my testing room that was incredibly handsome! I dare say I have never come face to face with someone so good looking! So, if my score is worse then ever I'm blaming him for being a distraction.

In celebration of surviving I went to the store to get some Ben and Jerry's. Due to inflation I can no longer afford Ben and Jerry's. Great. There went one of my favorite things in life. So instead of buying it I stood there in front of the glass looking at it with great big longing eyes. When I thought I might start to cry I leaned forward and blew on the glass to draw hearts with my name and the ice creams name inside. There were a few sets of broken hearts. It was a tender experience...

With a broken heart I returned home, cleaned my bedroom and watched Colin Firth profess his most ardent love to Elizabeth. It never gets old. I think my favorite part is when he writes Elizabeth a letter to explain himself. But that got me thinking. I love Persuasion because of the letter that Captain Wentworth writes Anne. I love Edenbrooke because of the letter Philip writes Marianne. I go insane during "You've Got Mail" because the entire movie is about falling in love through mail! (Yes email isn't as romantic as a hand written letter, but you can't get too picky these days.)

I think it is high time that our crazy world goes back to writing love letters. So in honor of my new belief I will end this post with a love letter to Ben and Jerry's.

My Dearest Ben and Jerry's,

Once in a lifetime something happens that is timeless. Normally that thing is an iconic picture, but in this lifetime it was you. From the cows in Vermont, to a little nobody girl in Utah, your influence has been felt. I feel your presence everywhere! I'm never alone in my shopping because of you. When I feel overwhelmed  in the crowds of wal-mart, or sad and tired in the aisles of Lin's you are there to encourage me on ward.

I will always remember the day we met. It was over "Cake Batter" that I first fell in love with you. But it wasn't until I came to understand that you had "Berried Treasures" in your personality that I knew this was an unforgettable love. 

In the beginning many were happy with what you brought to the table, but as the years have worn on several friends have forsaken you saying that Haagen Dazs was the new black. 

Even when the heat was on I never allowed my love for you to melt. The icy hold you have had on me will always be. From the hot summer months to the blistery winter I will always remain loyal to your cool needs.

Yours Longingly,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Three Wishes

Friday night. I should be out on the town having a party. Instead I lay on my bed dreading tomorrow morning as though it was an executioners sentence. Stupid ACT. (Why must there be standardized testing anyway?) So tonight instead of doing my usual weekend traditions I'm pondering on what I'd do with three wishes.

What would I do with three wishes?
  1. I'd first wish for an unlimited amount of money, so that I could make choices in my life without having money stop me. With my money I'd travel the world. Attend the school of my choice without worrying about scholarships and I'd probably get myself a real pearl necklace. I've always wanted one.
  2. With my necklace in hand I'd wish for my second wish: incredible intellectual and social talent. How many times have you been in an awkward social situation where you simply couldn't think of a good response until hours later after you've replayed that moment several times in your head? And let's be real, to be truly socially talented in the dating world never hurt anyone...Maybe I should ask for a first date for my second wish? Oh who cares?! Knowing me I'd probably do something really embarrassing...
  3. I'd ask for the perfect ending to my story and the courage to make it happen. On second thought I'd ask for a time travel machine so that I could go back in time and relive those perfect and hilarious moments. Or at best fix this accident of nature that I wasn't born at the same time as Jane Austen. I think we would have been kindred spirits if given the chance. 

Okay, I'm done feeling sorry for myself because I have to take the ACT. But really, if you had three wishes what would you wish for?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Good Morning Sunshine!

Holy Hannah! I, like, totally have, like, neglected writing! In a way I feel guilty and like I need to make excuses to friends about why I have completely ditched them. So by way of catching up on lost time I'll do some bullet points on what life has been this past year.

  •  Massage school was an experience, not for the faint of heart. Did you know that if you wore a special rock you'd get extra good tips? Or that if you burned sage you were expelling evil spirits, or some ghosts have a thing for tinkering with toilets...That's why sometimes your toilet makes weird noises, it's not the toilet, it's the ghost...Question: do plumbers have so much passion for their job that after life they return to fix the toilet that would not be satisfied? Also, intestines are pronounced inTESTinTS! Yeah, like I said, not for the faint of heart.
  • After six long months I finally finished massage school and I am now learning how to live in a completely different way then ever before. I call it Fredricking. If you have not read the child's book Fredrick by Leo Lionni then get it and read it! You my friend will be converted to Fredricking as well!
  • To help get volunteer hours for college I've volunteered for the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Maybe I'm just an uncultured swine but I swear the dress they made me ware looks identical to this:

I'd say don't cry for me, but I suppose I did sign myself up for this type of humiliation....
  • I know this probably sounds really strange, but how does one handle a random insect infestation? My bedroom has been host to dozens of spiders, a Jerusalem cricket, a weird over sized fruit fly thing, a beetle, and a currently I have this rolly-polly looking beetle running around on my floor...It's almost like it's trying to spell a message out to me. Does the universe work through bugs? (The message school answer would be, "WHY WOULD YOU DOUBT IT?! Beetles are some of the most intelligent creatures out there!") Maybe all of these bugs to have a message for me. Or maybe it's just the bugs living an Animal Farm experience in my bedroom. Weird.
  • I was asked out on my first date! Then I was promptly ditched when my date found out that I didn't have my moms car or money. Between you and me, I really thought that my frequent showers were making a difference, and I was improving on my people skills. I guess not. His loss, 'cause I am just too cool! 
  • Why go on a date with one guy that is only okay looking when you could go out with three brothers that are drop dead gorgeous and sit between the two hottest brothers?! (It was only awkward when my ditch-date showed up with another girl...Didn't know he had planned to go to the movies that night...)
Well that's enough of an update for now. I will come back and write some stories. Until then, stay away from insects, they are seriously apart of a conspiracy. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Coming out of the Cave

Basically I have been faithless in blogging, which is fairly intentional. Why blog when you're sick of computers? But lately my eyes have been opened to a new reality of what blogging can be, it could be, like, a fun relaxing activity that invites unicorns and shrubberies into your life. With this new realization I a coming back, back into the world of writing and sharing my little teenage woes.

Woe #1: Senior year burn out

No one cared to warn me just how tiresome you feel by the time you are a senior! For starters any pride you might have had starting high school has been strategically beaten away (If I didn't know any better I would have thought that some scenarios were meant for boot camp.) so by the time you do make to senior year you find yourself looking at your pajamas thinking, "Wow, I need to spruce up my wardrobe! I've gotta be lookin' good for picture day!" And then before you know it you're trying to find ways to excuse bedhead and you find yourself looking at your nails thinking, "Man did I forget to clip my nails last year?!" And then you wonder what happened to that person a few years ago that remembered to shave her arm pits and always showered every other day.

Woe #2: Is there such a thing as enough sleep?

Early morning seminary. Me. I don't do mornings! I wake up at 6:10 every morning--giving me 20 minutes to get the goop from my eyes and brush my teeth (thanks to woe #1 "I don't even floss!" -Groundhogs day). I am even having a hard time to fit in nap time! I swear I constantly find myself waking up and wondering why I'm still tired!

Woe #3: Winter is coming!

With early morning seminary that means that I have to scrape the snow off the car in the mornings....UGH!

Woe #4 My fuzzy socks are dying

My fuzzy socks are getting holes. One by one they are being trashed. Every time I have to trash one I feel a sinking feeling in my stomach. How do you just throw away a faithful friend that has loved you, caressed your feet and imparted warm fuzziness in your times of need?

Enough with the woes. The good news is, I WAS JUST ACCEPTED TO MASSAGE SCHOOL! I have this dream that one day I'll walk into work and be told that I'm going to be giving Colin Firth a massage :) That'd work for me! The thing with massage school is that is expensive, so I'll be accepting donations for the next five years as I try to pay it off (seriously though, if you feel generous post on this and let me know your bank account number.).

Although Cedar has a total lack of boys that are both cute and have a brain, I have found a solution! Say hello to Croatian cellists Stjapan Hauser and Luka Sulic! These guys have it all: accent, talent, brown eyes, creativity and something tells me that Stjapan (um how hot is that name!?) has a thing for Ben and Jerries! I'm beginning to think that this was a match made in heaven!

(Tell me if Mr. Cellos can't make a girl feel better about the stupid boys in her town?)

I am so not into U2-like, lamo '80's music but these guys are so good! Take a look at what they've done to With or Without You by U2! It makes me miss my cello days, one day I will dust off my cello and play again. There is no experience like playing the cello. You can feel vibrations all through your body!

One last piece of news, I am singing two solos! Scary! Anyone who wants to come hear me humiliate myself can come to the recital, just post and I'll let you in on the time and place.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reports, Questions and a Story

Look at me, blogging away! I am proud to announce that I, Stephanie, have been waking up a full hour earlier so I can spend extra time writing! It has been the best thing ever -- that is if I do wake up when the alarm clock calls me to awareness.

Another item of my life must be added: Groundhog's day was a smashing success for us. We had a party, and believe me when I say it was a party. Definitely a great way to spend one of my last groundhog day's at home.

I am currently working on my bucket list, if anyone has any ideas on what should be on it then comment and let me know! Right now I'm stuck with stupid ideas like going on a last minute trip without telling anyone.

Here's a story for you all to enjoy. This is one that I wrote early this fall. I had a ton of fun writing it, although it isn't as free spirited as the last story it is still a story that is dear to my heart.

When the Door Closes

The sun began to rise over the tops of the trees. The golden light of the morning was the perfect compliment to the light orange of the leaves. The lacy delicate white frost covered the ground in simple patterns. Smoke rose from the chimney and snaked across the morning beauty.

Her hair was coiled into a tight bun on the top of her head, its golden thickness made it look like the sun rising over her head. She was dressed in a simple light pink dress with a cream colored apron. Her face slightly pale and her fingers white from the cold. Her head bobbed as she slept in the in the rocking chair with a little child wrapped in her arms. The light had just begun to stream through the window.

Everything seemed to be at peace that morning in the little cabin. There wasn’t a single thing out of place in the kitchen or living room. The fire had gone out, and a men’s work coat hung from the post of the stair railing. The sunlight stretched on the floor until it meet with the hand crocheted rug. Like everything else in the house the rug was clean and modest in color and wear.

Heavy foot steps on the stairs startled the sleeping women to awareness. Her neck was stiff from the uncomfortable sleeping position. As she rubbed her neck, to rid of it of stiffness, she looked down at the child sleeping in her arms. A tall man appeared at the bottom of the stairs. A second passed where their eyes locked and then grabbing his coat he walked out the front door.

Repositioning the child so it lay against her shoulder she stood up and walked carefully to the window and looked out on the early winter surroundings. She began to sway and hum to the little girl as she assessed the damage of the night. The light was shining against the frost. The wind had done its damage; leaves littered the yard and looked like little piles of fire on the dead grass. The serene beauty was a balm to her soul.

The draft from being so close to the window was chilling the baby’s legs. She laid the child on the floor and went to start the fire. Once the fire was started she turned to attend to the needs of her sick darling. The child was still. Kneeling down beside the sick baby she felt checked its temperature. She was burning up!

In her stockings she ran out to the garden. “Hun, Alana isn’t better at all! She’s turned for the worst. I’m afraid for her. She has a raging fever.” Her husband stood up and looked at the ground as he poked the black frostbitten pumpkin leaves. She looked down as well. Her cheeks were flushed and her fingers chilled and pale. She could feel the frost melt under her stocking feet.

“Answer me!” her voice cracked with frustration, the silence had gone too far. She pushed his chin up with two ice cold fingers causing his eyes to finally be seen by her own. “Our child, your only child is sick from exposure and you remain silent! She needs our help.” “Can’t, gotta get’em pum’kins. Frost near kill’em all last night.”

“Don’t talk like that! I know you know how to talk properly!” She was yelling with indigence. “Fine! I will! I’ve been working like a dog out here trying to beat the weather and look at what’s happened, a thief has come in the night and came this close to stealing every last pumpkin here!” “As thief in the night, a thief….” She muttered with her head bent in a contemplative reverence.

She turned her back on the dead garden and walked back to the house. As she turned around at the door she saw him, looking, his hands were hanging by his side with the palms out. His shoulders had slumped a bit. She shut the door quietly.

Stephanie Pointer

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Wanna Be a Man, a Real Man

Today I got board and wrote this story! Have fun! Remember, Groundhogs day is just around the corner!

I Wanna Be a Man, a Real Man

Have you ever seen ‘em sunflowers that are so yella they looked white? Well I have. They have big black centers that kind of look like a black hole that sucked all the yella out of the petals. Other than that devil black center and creamy petals they looked like normal sunflowers. Their about yay high and their stems are the typical forest green covered in them dang poky hairs that irritate my skin. I hate them things! Well the day that Bob Willis became a man is a day I’ll never forget; I’ll forget how to pull up my pants before I forget that day.

It was the summer of ’27 and we were just released from that pen house some folks like to call a school. They said we was suppose to learn somethin’ from that institution of higher education, but the only thing I remember is the principle of the willow switch. The way the principle of the willow switch works is like this, the thinner the willow switch got the longer I’d remember them.

Well we’d just been released from the pen on the understanding that this here was a probationary period. Well I’ll tell you what, that’s all the telling ol' Bob and I needed. We turned and ran faster than a spooked calf. We weren’t gonna talk any chances, knowing the school mister we understood that he’d reconsider if we gave him half a chance to.

Bob Willis and I weren’t loved by our parents because of our bright ideas. Now that I think of it, I don’t think we were loved by our parents, that’s another story for another day. As I was sayin’, we weren’t known for the best ideas just for the abundance of them; between the two of us and my dog, Archibald, we shared a brain. That’s a lot of ways to split a brain.

Bob and I weren’t friends because we were found of each other, simply ‘cause there was only one other boy in our grade, Fritzwilliam. A name says a lot about a person, for Fritz it meant his parents didn’t care too much for him neither; he also had a habit of spitin’ when he talked.

I remember that was one of the hottest summers in history. We didn’t have to worry ‘bout them rats, they just cooked inside the walls. Preacher Gillard said that the only reason why the heat hadn't killed Bob, Archibald and I was ‘cause the devil hadn’t yet finished his purpose by us, Grandma naturally agreed. After meetin’ my grandma Bob was glad his grandma was dead.

We was sittin’ out by our old fishin’ spot waiting for a bite when Bob turned to me and said, “If Preacher Gillard is right about the devil keepin’ us alive ‘cause he ain’t finished his purpose by us then your grandma ain’t never gonna die!” I don’t think Bob was what some folks would consider intelligent but right then he sounded down right philosophical. Then I got scared, real scared; what if she ain’t never die?! I knew her time was long past expired, but maybe it wasn’t natural. Maybe it was the devils doin’.

That was the day Bob became a man. After soundin’ so smart we figured he was sufferin’ from some sorta heat stroke. The sun was hot and most of the frogs stopped moving, Bob though that they done there and boiled in the emerald waters of the fishin’ hole. We stripped down until only the suits nature gave us was visible. Archibald lay in the shade of a near by tree sleeping.

Now that’s the way life should be; natural. We splashed and swam havin’ a famous time, that is until I saw a shadow in the water. I thought it might be a snapping turtle, “nah, it can’t be a snappin’ turtle, not in our hole!” We continued to swim when Bob’s eyes got real wide, and then he sang a note so high I ain’t never heard nobody go so high since. Bob was never keen about choir but right then I knew Oak Branch choir was missin’ the strongest soprano on this side of the Mississippi. Well Bob moved fast. He didn’t wait a second. He started hopping around, just searching for a way out of the water. I just stood there all moon-eyed and scared.

“Bob, Bob! What’s gotcha? Is it a turtle?! Did it get ya? Huh, huh?”

Bob was too busy looking for a solution to answer me, he found an easy bank and hopped out still screaming. His back was to me but I could see the perpetrator. Just as I thought, it was a nasty, ol’, ugly, snappin’ turtle hangin’ low off of the rear end of Bob Willis.

Well I sprang into action. I started gathering as many rocks as I could find. When there was enough to build a tower as high as the Sears Tower I started throwin’ ‘em just hopin’ that I’d hit the turtles back and spook him off Bob’s rear. Well with Bob jumpin’ and twirrlin’ like a ballerina my aim was compromised. It was really hard to take aim. I’d say that I missed a few times; Bob says that I have the worst aim in Oak Branch county and that day proved it.

Well he started dancing around my pitches moving back and forth. I took aim and threw. I hit him strait in the throat which stopped the bellerin ’, I was mighty grateful for that. I took aim again and threw. This time he pranced out of the rocks line of action and stepped on the sleeping Archibald.

How Archibald remained asleep all that time was beyond our reasoning. Archibald reacted accordingly; he let lose with a yell. The baritone moan must have done the trick for the turtle. It spooked him, he released his jaws and slunk back to the water. I was out of the water faster than Bob could talk.

“Bob,” I said, “how ya feelin’?”

“Hades couldn’t have made that hurt more.” Was all the reply I got.

We dressed and started walking home in silence.

“Ya know, Charlie Bewered said that the day he became a real man was when his friend, Joe accidently shot him in the rear.” I tried to make my voice sound consoling.


I could see he was thinking it over. He scratched his head and looked like he was in real pain.

“Now that you mention it, I do feel like a real man. I think it has to do with the ‘mount of pain suffered that determines if you’re a man or not.”

I had a growing desire to go back and see if I could get bit myself! The sun set over the field of white sunflowers. Why does all the great things happen to Bob? I wondered as he limped slightly a head of me and Archibald.