tulsa sunday.

I made this for my motion graphics class in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks to Wayne for introducing me to Lee Hazlewood.


i am not bitter.

I declared about a month ago: "It's the most unusual thing, but for some reason, and for probably for the first time in my life, I sincerely do not want a boyfriend."

I'm sure I've stated that on a number of occasions and claimed even the same degree of sincerity; but it was most likely when I'd recently faced open rejection and wanted to seem independent/indifferent (in which case it would've completely disproven what I was going for.)

The unusual thing is that for the first time in my life it was sincere and I couldn't figure out why.

If you've known me at all, you've known that I can be completely boy-obsessed/crazed/smitten/nauseatingly-excited. Whitney started making a special book of dating rules for me because she worries about how quickly I can fall for relationships where it's obvious to everyone else that they are they silliest/worst idea ever. (I want that, by the way, Whit.)

After my divorce I would honestly think sometimes: "Don't be bitter, don't be bitter, don't be bitter," in those moments when I felt it the most. But honestly, after 10 years of dating failure and rejection intermixed with divorce, how much unbitter persistence can one have?

All of that bitterness I've held back has transformed itself into a more subtle form of silent sabotage. Now when I am with someone I actually like, I probably spend 50-70% of my time with them doing/saying things that are likely to disprove our compatibility as a couple and push them away. Things like: spraying clorox all over my filthy bathroom 2 minutes before their arrival so that they have to wait while I clean it, talking only about graphic design and school and the internship I hope I get this summer, and saying things like,"I don't date boys with six packs", "I am the worst person to date ever", and "Do you think we have anything in common?"

The most ridiculous part is that I honestly don't get that I'm doing it until serious moments of introspection.


back from the desert.

Last year on a van trip when we were driving somewhere south of Las Vegas my friend, Annie, exclaimed, “Is it a town? No. Just a big shopping center.” I relived that instance inside my head a few times on the way down to Lake Havasu, AZ to visit my sister and her family this weekend.

For some reason my sister, Marie, has always chosen to live in the desert and I've never understood it. She eagerly attended Southern Utah University after graduating from high school and took her first job as an English teacher in Ely, NV. Miriam and I visited her in Ely for the first time about ten years ago. I remember parking in the cold night air outside that dark apartment. Yellow light glowed from the windows, but didn't dim the unusual brilliance of the stars. Her only companion, Jax, a white Jack Russell terrier puppy, barked a vicious greeting at the door and we all embraced as sisters upon entering.

She gave us a quick tour of her one bedroom home when a lump formed in my throat and my chest grew tight. I couldn't prevent feeling overwhelmed that those few square feet constituted her tangible existence. Outside of the forks she'd chosen so carefully, the potted plants, the large orange leather chair all housed in those little glowing rooms there existed a coarse wasteland without end; unwelcoming and barren. The little off-brand shops we wandered in and out of the next day offered no consolation. I cried on the drive home because I disliked the idea of leaving her alone in the desert.

I drew a picture for my art class of a single shoe lost in the desert. I drew it optimistically large and upright, as though it was trying to stand up and take its place as part of the lanscape amongst surrounding redrock formations. But it still felt so sad to me.

We we were raised on artesian well water that flows naturally from the ground and through the pipes of our house. Our water pressure has always been unusually low because we've never used a pump. I'm convinced it's the most delicious water in the world and I miss the taste when I'm away.

"Where does your water come from Marie?", I asked her during our weekend stay.

"Municipal sources, I guess."



I caught someone at school cheating. It was an issue of plagiarism. I wished so much I hadn't seen the unquestionable evidence and sought to pass the burden of dealing with the situation upon someone of appropriate authority. I wanted to remove that weight from my load and move on.

"I think I have something I have to tell you...I know that someone cheated. But I don't want to relay it taddle-tale-style. I don't even really want to tell you."

"Do you think this person would benefit from you telling me?"

"I'm not sure. I think things like this have a way of catching up with people on their own."

"If you want to tell me, you can. But you don't have to unless you think it's best."

"Oh man, I was so looking forward to getting rid of this conundrum..."

So I didn't tell and I actually don't think I will. Life is an endless pool of moral options left for us to tread alone.

I've been playing a ton of Scrabble lately. Other graphic design kids started busting me in front of the teacher when I've been playing in class and just yesterday I was nick-named "SQ" for "Scrabble Queen" by a kid in the design program. I love to win in Scrabble simply because I usually can. Despite what any pacifist claims, it feels pretty good to squash competitors every once in a while.

It's really easy to cheat in Scrabble. Just google the words "scrabble cheat" and the top site sends you to a page where you can enter any combination of letters (including blank tiles) and it will reveal all possible word combinations available according to any Scrabble dictionary. I used it a lot until my mom finally called me out.

"Why would you play at all if you have to use that thing?"

She had a point. From that moment on, I stopped. But I've been really tempted to use it every once in a while.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't lost more lately, but admittedly, I feel better when I win now too.

A few days ago I encountered another situation that I had to come clean about. It was real, life-changing stuff where others' emotions were at stake. It felt awful. As I forced the individual words of truth from my throat, my heart sat heavy and strained in my chest. But I'm still glad I did it.

Do cheaters prosper? Without doubt. But I can never live with my own lies for too long.