hakuna matata.

All there is to do on a ParTy Bus that's broken down with a bad alternator is drink the free beer. Sorry Annie.

The bus battery light came on in front of the Taco Time in Nephi, or at least that's what we were told. We were headed down to see Greg Caldwell's art show at the Central Utah Art Center Friday night and never made it. Thank goodness for that Taco Time.

"We were the only ones tacky enough to actually run across the street and get it! ...I feel bad about smelling up the bus."

"Don't worry Annie, we're fine. I have no regrets anyway."

While we shared a veggie burrito and empanada, the bus driver decided to continue on and try for Ephraim anyway. Our ascent up Nephi Canyon lasted about 15 minutes and ended in a lurch that left us on side of the snowy highway. We stopped right in front of a large stone and mortar memorial honoring two men and a married couple who were murdered by native americans as they attempted to settle Sanpete County in the 1800's. Far worse luck was sitting directly behind Stacey.

The minute the bus came to a complete hault she broke out the show tunes. And somehow the gay guy sitting across the aisle from her knew all the words to every song she chose. They started out with "OOOOOOOOOOOk-la-homa!" At first, it seemed fun. Me and Annie even joined it. We sang along with "Doe, a deer, a female deer", "Don't cry for me Argentina", and "Eidelweiss". There were some 80's pop and country songs in between that we weren't as familiar with; but by the time they got to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" it was a bellowing drunken mess.

"Ok Stacey! That's enough! I think that's all we can take!", shouted some people at the back of the bus. And they were 20 rows away.

As the general state of these fellow passengers graduated from tipsy to inebriated, I couldn't help but think of my mom once when we were stranded on the side of the road. We were headed to Disneyland: a real family vacation long before any of us were married or divorced or disenfranchised. We held enthusiasm, anticipation; surety that the long drive would prove well worth it. But the white hippie van with floral olive green and teal print curtains, (that smelled like a combination of cat hair and febreeze) died just as we passed Beaver. Devastation. It was really dead. The engine had blown. We didn't own another car.

While dad got a ride into Beaver and the rest of us stayed stranded, my mom pulled a lemon & lime shasta out of the cooler. I think it started out with all of us making fun of the hippie van.
"How did we think this thing could ever get us to California? Check out the plaid upholstery on these seats!"
"Of course it couldn't make it past the black hole of I-15! I know at least five different people who've been stranded or pulled over here."
"Really?! Hahahaha!"

Universally, i guess the best thing to do on the sides of roads is get ridiculously happy with what you've got. As my mom laughed, she crushed her now empty pop can in her hands and gave it a final smash against the top of her head. She then starts passing out cans of pop to each of us and repeating the phrase, "HAKUNA MATATA! Drink a can of POP and SMASH it on your head!" As her children, we were mystified. A seemingly coordinated pause preceded our individual fits of laughter that erupted into crying spells of joy.



I finally realized why I stopped blogging. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. I used to reward myself with it, taking homework breaks to type, sometimes in text edit if no internet, and paper and pen if no computer. The funny thing is that I laid it all out before myself from the beginning and still couldn't figure it out.

"Socialexplosion." Duh. I started writing after 3 years of working in a factory, isolated in that little box where my married life kept me away from my family and friends and school and normalcy. I had so much to say when I was finally free. Vomiting my thoughts out to everyone, to cyberspace, to friends as well as strangers provided me a beautiful liberation that I basked in so eagerly. I wanted to write everything; personal things, edgy things; to show that I could get away with it and that I didn't care who got offended or thought it was inappropriate. I aimed to prove myself; to the people who'd only seen me as a trapped girl with a sad demeanor, to those who'd ever shut me down and made me feel small. Something about the public nature of it all made it more real, more concrete, more healing. It reminded me over and over again that I have nothing to hide, not really.

Tonight I attended the wedding reception of an old coworker from my factory days at Beehive Clothing. (I am so happy for her!) I saw a few more of the old Beehive girls there. We gave one another strong hugs and caught up and reminisced. They all seemed a little shocked by me, by my demeanor, by my face and hair and shoes. It took them a second to recognize me at first glance. I left the gathering feeling a certain warm nostalgia coupled with an understanding that I must look younger now at 27 than I did at 23. I think I feel younger now too.

I went straight from the wedding reception to an art reception at the HFAC on campus. It was an epic collision of past v. future. Four of the kids from my class had their BFA shows tonight in the main gallery. They're all graduating in April. Can you believe it? I AM GRADUATING. Soon. I was accepted to BYU and to the graphic design program and we've all worked so hard and it's almost over. The internship in New York, the publication design and motion graphics classes, Kenji's BFA show; they're all over.

I don't write here anymore because I have nothing to prove anymore. Not to anyone but myself. I think I've done it all. I can swim and snowboard and think and write and work my brains out and not sleep for days and look at myself straight in the eyes standing naked in front of a mirror and design magazines and comics and use complicated software and date tons of guys and opt to be alone and love my friends and my life and family and religion and value it and respect it and try to be a better person against all kinds of odds and situations. This chapter of my life is quickly coming to a close and I cannot fully express the nervous anticipation that accompanies that fact.

For this blog to survive, I have to repurpose it: recycle it and put it to better use. We'll see how it goes. I can't just retire it because I constantly yearn to be a writer.

I'll try to come up with something.