Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grandpa Newman, the Bow Tie Man

Today I went and saw the movie Up! It was pretty much the most amazing animated movie I have ever seen. And that's really not an exaggeration. It was wonderful. I can think of absolutely nothing bad to say about it. It was perfect; there was the perfect amount of just about every emotion in it. I will own that movie very shortly after its release to DVD.

The main character, Carl, is a man who has just lost his wife, a woman he spent most of his life with. During one part of the movie, they showed a picture of the elderly couple, sitting in their usual chairs in their home. Carl was wearing a bow tie, and I was instantly reminded of my Grandpa Newman, who always wore bow ties. He was known as the bow tie man. Grandpa Newman died four years ago this past March.

Well, this wasn't the first time I'd seen a bow tie and instantly thought of my grandpa (I think of him every time I see one), but for some reason, today it got to me. As soon as I saw that picture on the screen, the tears started flowing, and I've been having a hard time stopping them ever since. I think that's due to a number of things, but missing my grandfather was the key that opened the floodgates.

My Grandpa Newman was an amazing man. Amazing. Altogether, he served four missions: one on his own as a young man and three with my grandma. They served in the south side of Chicago, Kirtland, and Kazakhstan. They had to come home from Kazakhstan early when Grandpa found a lump in his throat. Six months later he was gone. He was the first person I lost who was close to me. He was a spiritual giant who had a dry sense of humor. He obviously deeply loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I miss his chuckle, the way he would clear his throat, his pocket protector, his sneaky hand that was always finding a grandchild to tickle, his Donald Duck impersonation, the way he would talk to any and all birds, the warmth of his hugs, and the way his eyes radiated love when he looked at me. And, of course, his bow ties.

I am so incredibly grateful for the knowledge that I will see him again. I don't know how I could bear the pain of losing that beloved man without that knowledge. Though the pain is sharp and real, I know that it is temporary. The tears may flow tonight, but one day I will be crying tears of joy as I hug my grandfather again. The Lord is there, and I know it. He has to be, or none of the pain of mortal existence would be worth anything.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

10 Things That You Probably Never Really Cared to Know

So I'm totally stealing this idea from Jonathan, but I think he stole it from someone else, so I don't really feel bad. Here are ten random-ish facts about me that you may or may not find interesting/entertaining.

#1: Sinks
I think this one stems from the fact that I worked maintenance for three and a half years during college. I absolutely HATE it when people put food down the wrong side of the sink. There's a freaking garbage disposal for a reason! Which leads me to another thing that I hate--when people put things down the disposal that can't go down. You know, like measuring spoons, measuring cups, bobby pins, that sort of thing. And rice, too. But that's because I'm usually the one who has to stick her hand down the disposal and fish the crap out. Fun stuff.

#2: Re-reading

I am a huge re-reader, and re-watcher. I know a lot of people who can be satisfied with watching a movie once, or reading a book once. I am not. If I enjoyed the book, you can pretty much bet that I have read (or will read) it more than once. I honestly can't remember how many times I've read the Harry Potter series, or The Alliance. I'm not quite sure why I do this. Maybe it's because I'm afraid I've missed something. Or maybe it's because I want to get to know the characters as fully as possible. I want the characters to become my friends. Kind of weird, I know, but it's true.

#3: Chocolate
I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate. I wonder if it's genetic, because both my grandma and my brother don't like chocolate either. Sure, I'll eat it, and there are times where I crave it, but that's usually just because I'm starving. Then I'll eat a little bit of chocolate and be good for weeks. I much prefer fruity candy, or, even better, Red Vines. Mmmm...I love me my Red Vines. I can eat a two-pound bag of Red Vines in about three days. It's ridiculous. I also don't really like cupcakes or cake. Again, I'll eat it, but ice cream (fruity ice cream--no chocolate ice cream for this girl) is way better. And so is pie. Pie is good. Fruity pie.

#4: Confidence
Apparently some people who first meet me get the impression that I'm this super confident, independent woman. I guess I am to a degree, but I think my personality makes me seem much more confident than I actually am. I have always had some pretty major self esteem issues stemming from mean kids in elementary school, and while I have improved dramatically, I'm no where near what people seem to think I am. I really am not very confident at all. I consistently feel sub-par and inferior. The only thing that I am incredibly confident in is my singing ability. I'm sure there are people who think I'm stuck up and a show off because I sing a lot in sacrament meetings and anytime a song that I know is playing. I have even had someone get mad at me for outsinging her. But singing is the one thing that I have confidence in, so I like sharing my talent. When I sing and I know that I do well, it helps boost my confidence in myself in general.

#5: Pencil shavings
I absolutely hate, hate, HATE pencil shavings. Mostly the shavings from the erasers. When I was in school, if there were any sort of pencil eraser shavings on my desk, I would have to spend five minutes making sure every last freaking shaving was off my desk before I could concentrate on the class. And anytime I ever erase anything, I have to wipe the shavings completely off my desk before continuing what I was doing. This is why I use pen most of the time.

#6: Obsessive
When I was younger, I had a really obsessive personality. I would go through these phases where I would learn anything and everything I could about whatever I was in the middle of. Probably the most notable phase was my *NSYNC phase. I spent $14 in a vending machine once in order to get every single *NSYNC sticker they had. My mother was apalled. I also went through a friendship bracelet making phase, a Beanie Baby phase, and a Newsies phase, just to name a few. This trend has faded somewhat, but I think I still do this to an extent. It mostly shows in TV shows, I think. When I get addicted to a TV show, I have to watch every single episode, which usually involves buying all the seasons available on DVD. To date, I have done this with Roswell, The Office, and Lost. After I see all the episodes my fervor dies a little bit, but it only dies once I satisfy that urge and get everything. It's kind of an expensive habit.

#7: "Hon"
You know those girls who work in clothing stores in malls? The ones who think they're amazing because they get access to the most trendy clothes? The ones who are usually somewhere in the high school to early 20s age range? The ones who insist on calling all the female customers in the store "hon"? Yeah, I hate those girls. Well, not the girls so much as the fact that they're calling me "hon." It's so condescending. I'm sure it's not meant to be, but that's usually how I use the term "hon," so that's how I see it. The only people who can call me hon are grandmas.

#8: Utah stereotypes
Being from Utah does not make me ignorant, naive, or stupid. It also doesn't automatically make me a "Utah Mormon." I don't care how true you Mormons from other states have found that to be. I have met plenty of "Utah Mormons" from other states. I hate being stereotyped. Get to know me before you judge. That is all.

#9: Will versus want
It bugs me to no end when people ask me to help them with some unpleasant chore or something by asking me if I want to help them. "Hey, do you want to help me with the dishes?" "Do you want to help me clean the room?" "Do you want to help me put this incredibly heavy load in the truck?" Of course I don't want to! Who would? I don't want to do the dishes, or clean, or do heavy lifting. Ask me instead if I will. You'll probably get a much nicer response from me.

#10: Weather
I absolutely love watching weather happen. Especially thunderstorms. One of my favorite things to do when I lived at home was watching the storm clouds roll over the foothill that Magna is butted against. I could always tell when something was coming, because those big, black storm clouds would billow over that foothill and completely envelope it, and pretty soon the clouds would be over my house and the rain would start. Gloomy summer days are my favorite. There's something about it being dark in a house in the middle of the day that is so comforting to me. I just want to curl up by a window, read a good book, and listen to the rain pounding against the house. Thunder and lightning are amazing to me. I've also always wanted to see a tornado. It would scare me to death, but I think it would be so cool! I have seen the sky turn green before, but the storm passed before a tornado formed. When I was younger, I wanted to be a meteorologist. I wanted to be a storm chaser, like in Twister. But then I realized how much science that would require and I changed my mind. Though I do still think it would be really cool.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dear Cosmos,

Is there a reason you've turned against me? What did I ever do to you? If you would be kind enough to start sending some good things toward me soon, it would be much appreciated.