Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There are creeps at BYU too.

When I went to BYU, I assumed everyone there was super-righteous, God-fearing, studious.... I guess there are a few bad apples at every school or in every religion, and I found one of them during Thanksgiving Break 2000. I didn't go on many dates at BYU and this is probably one of the reasons why; this kindof soured my taste for guys as a freshman.

It was Friday of Thanksgiving break. The athletes' weight room was closed, so I went upstairs to the everybody weight room. I was working out, minding my own business, when this guy approached me.
"Are you a swimmer?" (I had my athletic department issue on)
"Nope" I reply.
"Well you're working the triceps. I just figured...blah, blah...What sport do you play?"
"Cross country and track - long distance."
"Oh yeah?" And he starts talking. He was decent looking and flirty. I finished working out and told him I had to go. With 3 friends standing right behind him, he asked me if I wanted to come to his place and watch a movie. I assumed he meant "we" as in him, me, and his friends. So we exchanged phone numbers and his address.

That night I walked the 2-1/2 blocks to Liberty Square, where he lives. I rang the bell. He answered. I came in and it was just him and me. [I should have left right then!] I sat down in a chair next to the couch, took off my shoes and coat, and we talked for a few minutes. Then he invited me to sit on the couch, so I did. He put the movie in and turned out the lights. He had gotten The Sixth Sense. Scary movie. He asked if I wanted a blanket. I said I was fine. He sat down real close next to me and put the blanket over the both of us. In the first five minutes his arm is around me. I'm putting things together in my mind: no one home but us, couch, blanket, scary movie. This guy wants to get some action.

He starts rubbing my arm...he grabs my hand...he rubs his cheek against mine. I can sense that he's staring straight at my lips, so I stare at the movie. He comes in for a kiss; I lean away. He comes in several more times. Finally, I turn to him, look him straight in the eye and tell him flat out "I'm not going to kiss you tonight." He looked bewildered.

"Why?" he asks.
"I never kiss on the first date. And I barely know you."
He laid on all these cheesy lines like, "Well I'm special", "I could be the first one" and "If you could just get to know me." Then he said, "Let's ask each other questions to get to know each other better." He went first. He said something like, "I'll bet the boys chased you in high school. How many boys have you kissed?"

What kind of a question is that?! He ended up answering his own question: he had kissed 18 girls. After awhile, the conversation died down and I started paying attention to the movie again. Five minutes later, he's rubbing my neck and playing with my hair.
"I'm not going to kiss you," I say again.
"Why not?"
"We've been through this. Look - I don't kiss on the first date. It's my rule. And I'm quite stubborn on it."
"Well I'm stubborn too," he says. "And right now I'm seeing a beautiful girl with a beautiful smile...pretty eyes, blah blah blah...and all I want is a kiss from her."

He did this a few more times. He tried to kiss me again; this time I got off the couch, grabbed my shoes and coat and am out the door before he's off the couch. I'm totally power-walking home. He catches up with me.
"Let me walk you home."
I didn't reply. Just kept walking - eyes straight ahead, hands in my pockets, and hoping someone was at home. I get to my casa and walk in. He follows me right in.

My bro, Erik, and his wife, Lois, were there! They stopped by for a surprise visit before heading back to Ohio! Erik had his camcorder out. Karyn and Andy were there too. They told him I was coming home from a date. So Erik was filming me when I walked in - and Greg follows!

"Erik! I'm gonna kill you! Turn that thing off!"
Then Erik ignores me and goes straight to the guy. "I just want to interview him so mom and dad can meet him." I'm thinking ohhhh great. So Erik asks a few questions.
"Where are you from?"
"Pleasant Grove, Utah."
"Where'd you serve your mission?"
"______ Islands." I didn't even know he served a mission! I was surprised - what was he preaching?!

After the interview, Erik and Lois left. Andy and Karyn invited the guy and me to watch a movie with them. Could it get ANY worse? So I make something up.

"Karyn, I REALLY need to go shopping. I have to get a few things." It was almost 10:00 at night. She gave me a funny look and said "oooookay." Finally the guy said he should get going.
"Do you want to walk me out?" he says.
Not really, I think. But I walk him to the door and say a single "bye" before shutting the door in his face. As I shut it, he said he'd call me Sunday.


That's that entry! He did end up calling for a few days straight; I avoided answering the phone for awhile. I finally gathered up some courage and gave him one of the best rantings I've ever given; I defined words like "no" and "respect" for this lame-brained guy. Ugh! I gave that guy way too many chances and never made that mistake again!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Snippets from the Fresh Frosh

September 3, 2000: Today, Stephanie and all the roomies were standing around in the kitchen. And Steph asked Rebecca what she wanted in a husband. The discussion went from there and eventually I was asked that question. Here were my qualifications. He has to be like my dad. He has to work hard, but know when to stop working. He has to have a sense of humor. He has to be healthy. He has to be handsome. He must be intelligent. He must be able to talk to me about anything. He has to be caring and sensitive. And he has to take me to the temple.

September 6, 2000: The track trainer said my blood test results were in. My iron is 20 - I'm anemic. So I have to drink liquid iron. Not bad right? At least I don't have to get the shot in my butt (poor Anika had less than 1 and got the booty shot). I brought the stuff home and - ew - it smelled nasty. NASTY. Then I tried drinking it. About 1/2 of it got instinctively spit out. 1/4 of it went up my nose. And maybe 1/4 of it got to my stomach and made me feel immediately nauseated. Ick. I have never tasted anything so disgusting. Lucky me - I have to drink 1 Tbsp. x 3 per day. That comes out to 2,829% of the daily RDA for iron! Yipes.

September 23, 2000: Today has been so random. I slept in until 11 a.m. I woke up and it was raining out - and in - our dining room. The roof is leaking. We called Mr. Penrod, the landlord better known as Mr. Pinhead, and he said he'd put some sheet metal up there.

September 30, 2000: I got an email from Dave. He's in love! He met some girl named Sarah at OSU who is Mormon. And he said that she was wonderful 3 times! He only met her 2 weeks ago! Crazy talk! The girl better be cool.
October 20, 2000: My early morning delirium stayed with me as I looked in the bathroom mirror. My hair looked really uneven. So I got my orange handled scissors and started chopping. Bad idea. First of all, I can't cut hair. Second, I'm NOT alive or aware in the mornings. So now my hair is REALLY uneven. Crap.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Annual Clambake

Today was our church's annual clambake. I'm in charge of activities, so I've been collecting lobster orders and coordinating logistics and food. The weather was nasty, so we had our clambake in the church gym. It's definitely cooler to have a clambake on the beach, but it was nice to have a kitchen and real bathrooms handy.
The lobsters were picked up in Gloucester this morning - fresh off the boat from a guy named Lenny. We cooked them in big tubs on propane burners behind the church. Bruce liked checking out the lobsters; he always asks to see the lobsters when we go to the grocery store.
I'd say the day was a success. 250 people. 108 lobsters. 1-1/2 bushels of "steamahs" (clams). About a dozen pounds of melted butter. 150 feet of tablecloth. And dozens of people to help with it all.

Thanks, Ellen, for the pics.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

167 pages in 71 days.

This journal was a high school graduation gift from a friend. And for some reason, I actually started writing every day in it. I had plenty to write about. I went to the Galapagos Islands with my best friend (that was her graduation gift!) for a few weeks, I was a camp counselor at a running camp for one week, went to church camp as the music director for a week, hung out with my boyfriend every chance I could get, and prepped to drive across the country for my frosh year at BYU.

My family drove our big Suburban out to Utah to drop me and Karyn off at school. Here's an entry from the day they left Utah - my first day on my own.

August 17, 2000: The family left this morning. Marissa hugged me. BJ hugged me quickly. Chris walked up to Karyn and me and waved! Karyn said "You walked all the way up here to wave?"(we were at the top of the steps). And he said "Mom told me to come say goodbye" and he left. Dad gave me a blessing. Mom hugged me. They finally pulled out at 9:30. As soon as the Suburban was out of sight, I ran in the apartment. I found my phone card and called Steve. I talked to Steve's mom for at least five minutes. I missed talking to her too! Steve wasn't home at the moment, so he called back later. Karyn had gone up to campus to do some stuff and I stayed behind to wait for Steve's call. I talked to him for 20 minutes, then had to go. I had to meet Karyn on campus. I met Karyn in the weight room a little after 11. I was supposed to meet her at 11, but I hobbled to campus slowly. My foot hurts! I sure hope it's not a stress fracture. I tried to see Coach Shane. He is out of town. I talked to his secretary. NCAA rules won't let me see an athletic trainer until Monday. I went to the library and wrote a few emails. After that, I did boring stuff like banking and figuring out scholarship stuff. Then Karyn and I went swimming. We went to our casa, ate dinner, talked to Christian (Karyn's roomie Rachel's boyfriend, who runs for UVSC), visited some people, watched a band practice. It has been quite a day. I'm pooped.

That's not the most exciting entry, but that's how it is that first day out, right? In my mind, I think I'd envisioned parent-less college life to be a big grand party. In reality, it meant I had to do my own banking and buy my own deodorant. Ugh!

Here's another entry: my first day of college.

August 28, 2000: First day of BYU. It was nuts. Last night I couldn't sleep! I laid in bed for four hours before falling asleep! Geez! I could not sleep. This morning I woke up at 6 AM. I heard roosters from the Lion House. I heard the loud Mexican trucks in the parking lot outside my window. Those darn trucks just rev their engines for a few minutes before leaving. I got up and got prissed up in my First Day of School outfit: gray and red thrift store shirt and green pants. My first class was biology at 8 am. The class is in a huge auditorium. I sat with a girl named Camille from Idaho. The professor is superfunny and laid back. It sounds like an easy class if I do all the work. After bio I did some banking, mailed the rent and a letter to Kathy, made instant oatmeal for breakfast, and found Laurel Tegland. Physical science was ok. I don't like science much, but the professor seemed cool. I rushed home from science and got a letter in the mail. I got my laundry started in the washer at Brittany Apartments. I went to Art History. I saw Fletcher on the way. He showed me his brother's art exhibit. His bro is a professor. My teacher is a young blonde chick. After 1 hour of the 2-1/2 hour class, she let us out. I went home and got ready for the Suicide Workout. I ran to the track and stretched and all. I decided to stick with the pack. They will carry me on pace. My first mile was a 5:46, 4 seconds too fast. We didn't ever stop in this workout. We just slowed down. We jogged a 1/2 mile then when we got to the starting line, we broke into a run again. My second mile was 5:49, 1 second too fast. Another 1/2 mile jog. The third mile was awful. I felt horrible. My legs were heavy. I still ran a 5:55! I was so excited! I was the only freshman to make all three! None of the try-out girls survived the workout, Not one! I got home from the workout and Karyn and Stephanie and Rebecca and a bunch of people and I went to 7-11 and got 79-cent Slurpees.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Class of 2000

I was not very good at keeping a regular journal during my junior and senior years of high school, so here are a few hints at the person I was during that time. The picture above is from the 1999 yearbook; we were state champs that year in cross country.
Can you find my picture? I hated picture day and would purposefully wear the absolutely weirdest thing I could find and mangle my hair so much that no photographer would dare approach me with their overused combs. This year's ensemble included a Girl Scout shirt and a furry vest with a picture of a cowboy on the back. And giant glasses. And lots of glue and egg whites in my hair.

This is from my senior yearbook. I got my own page because I won the state cross country meet and the 2-mile event at the state track meet that year.
After high school is when I really started to write. More journals coming right up...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bruce singing Twinkle, Twinkle

Monday, September 22, 2008

A break from the past for a little Present.

In case you're tired of reading about my dull past, here's a glimpse into the present state. Scott is hunkering down in the lab for the next month while he completes the last series of experiments needed for his thesis. In preparation, I bought all kinds of frozen and ready-to-grab food. Despite all this, he's probably going to lose about 10 pounds this month with all the stress. Oh yeah, did I mention he's in charge of a translational research symposium this week? As part of this, he called up this Nobel Prize winner and asked him to come and speak. Scott was amazed when the guy actually said yes. While Scott is busy with all this, Bruce and I keep busy between the gym, preschool, writing, watching a baby a few days a week, and having playdates with Bruce's friends. We got new neighbors a few weeks ago and they have a 3-year-old girl! Bruce gets along with our neighbor and even asked her if she'd be his best friend. I love listening to those two talk! Maybe I'll record it and put it on the blog sometime; it's so funny! Anyway, we took our neighbors to the zoo (which happens to have a dino dig exhibit).
I took Bruce to a town festival last week. We watched drummers, went to a library book sale and scored cheap books, toured a fire truck and ambulance, went to a fire safety demo, played on the playground, decorated cookies, planted sunflower seeds, dug for earthworms in a barrel of dirt, and got way too much candy. At the festival, Bruce went up to some lady and asked, "What's on your face?" She said it was a nose ring. "Ohhhh, so that's what that was."
It's getting cooler out, but there are still a few flowers to stop and smell. I just had to get pictures of these. The sign above is from the zoo train ride; it was closed. Notice any errors? Yeah, that stuff bugs me.

The error in this one is a little more blatant.
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1998 as recorded in 1999

I went on a few road-trips in the summer of '99 and sat on the back seat entertaining myself with a pen and my journal. The picture shows one notable entry from when I got my hair dyed blue for a day or two. But I'm going to type out another entry - a flashback to 1998 as written while riding the MarsMobile to Philadelphia on August 8, 1999.

"My sophomore year, me and Matt James were a thing. We had the same lunch period and I wanted him to throw away my trash. So I gave him my trash and he got up to throw it away. I had a juice box that I had forgotten to give to him, so I said 'Hey Matt.' He turned around and I threw the juice box at him. He was being a stubborn phoob that day, so he just threw it back at me. The throwing continued all day long. That night, I ended up with the juice box. As a joke, I wrapped the juice box up in wrapping paper. I couldn't find any tape, so I used address stickers as adhesive. The next day, we threw it around in math, our first period class. After that, we threw it in the halls. Then I had to go to the junior high for an art class. So I went out of the main entrance [of the high school] and Matt threw the box at me. I said 'I'm not picking it up.' And I left. He left, being just as stubborn as me. So I sat in art class and the juice box sat at the front steps of the school. Over the loud speaker, 'EMILY MARS TO THE HIGH SCHOOL OFFICE PLEASE.' I thought I was in trouble for a detention I had recently gotten for walking out of study hall four minutes early. So I walked over to the high school and there were three police cars in front of the school! A bunch of cops and Mr. Lolli, the principal, were gathered around the juice box. Karyn was there too. Mr. Lolli saw the address stickers on the box and thought it was a bomb! Karyn got called to the office and went to pick it up and the cops yelled 'DON'T TOUCH IT!' So I came and they asked me a few questions and made me pick it up and take it away!"

Not sure what a "phoob" is now. There are several made-up words in my journals. The English language is too limited for me. Or maybe I just don't know enough of it. Probably the latter. The other day Scott said something about his "aphorisms" and I wondered what in the world those were. Here's what an aphorism is: "a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation." Yes, Scott has lots of those.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

August 12-23, 1996

This lovely sunflower-covered journal is where I documented many trips and vacations: going to church camps, exploring Philadelphia, etc. August 12-23 my family and I went to Idaho for my older brother's wedding. Here's the fine synopsis from this journal.

"Erik and Lois got married in the Idaho Falls temple. We took pictures and then went to Lois' parents' house. They have a mini-golf course, basketball/volleyball court in the backyard. Anyway, we had a meal there. Then we had a reception. Lois' sisters were bridesmaids. I was a server. I wore a little lacy apron with a heart on it. I served cheesecake and 7up to everyone. No fun, but Erik and Lois only get one wedding day, so I did it for them."

Yes, Erik and Lois. I love you guys so much that I donned a lacy apron for you.

This isn't written in the journal, but I remember one of my little brothers - Chris - cried and refused to wear the lacy apron. My mom pulled him aside and gave him the sternest look ever and made him swear to quit fussing and keep the lacy apron on to please the new in-laws.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

June 1995: teen angst begins.

June 8, 1995.

A little preface: Karyn is my sibling closest in age. We are just under two years apart. She is older, so it was a little annoying to be called Karyn by elementary school teachers who had her first. Karyn was a perfect student, active in everything, ridiculously creative, and even a bit sporty. Sometimes it was a little rough to be in her shadow as you'll see in this journal entry.

"Karyn is being such a jerk! Mom took her on two shopping sprees in two days! Karyn bought a whole new wardrobe, even though she already has two dressers overflowing with clothes!"

(yes, that's a little teenage jealousy coming out...)

"Brand new shoes all the time! Everything! A HUGE room of her OWN! I have to share a room with Marissa! Karyn always gets money. She mows the lawn for our neighbor, gets $. She babysits, gets $. Anything she does, she gets $. I hate having an older sister. She always gets the babysitting jobs. She turned one down yesterday 'just because.' I would've taken it. Nobody wants me. Because I have an older sister. Life is misery at thirteen."

I laughed through that whole she does this, she gets money thing. Duh. I didn't work, so I didn't get money. It all makes sense now.

And by the way, now I love having Karyn as an older sister.

Friday, September 19, 2008

1994 was so cool.

Check out this awesome journal, which I named "Maura" and kept locked with a key.
And here's why I kept it locked: it held all my dramatic love stories. Just kidding. Here was my entry on May 18: "I have been going with Donny Gostlin exactly a week. We just broke up today. He said 'we never saw each other.' I was thinking 'I knew this would happen.' Nothin' else new. ELMO." Yes, I called myself Elmo. Yes, I remember this fantastic week-long "relationship." There were two elementary schools in town and I lived on the line, so I spent three years at one and then three years at the other. My friend, who lived across the street and was always so much cooler than me, decided I needed a boyfriend so she called him up and declared us "going out." Donny went to the other elementary school, so we really never did see each other. And if we did, I'm not sure what we would have done anyway. Maybe played tetherball?

Across the page in the picture is another fabulous entry: "April 16. Karyn had PMS today. She snaps at everything I do. Elmo."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

October 1988

Here's my very first journal. (with Bruce's foot in the way)

My first entry was on October 8, 1988. "I (heart) my mom! I like my bed. Yesterday Chad broke my beak I got at McDonalds. I (heart) my dad. I love God. I love my dad & my mom. I love my Doreto's (Doritos, the chips) & Fritoes. I love to run." I didn't know I liked to run when I was 6 years old; good thing I wrote it down. Another thing I thought was funny: "Boring! Tiring! Conference!" Twice a year, our church has a conference where the prophet, apostles, and other leaders of the church speak. It's televised from Salt Lake City to church buildings throughout the world and is now available on cable and the internet. Now I look forward to this event, but I'll admit that I thought guys in suits talking for hours and hours was horribly dull.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blast from the Past

While I was in Ohio this summer, I dug up a box of old journals.

The pre-blog era of actually writing on paper.

Tune in this week for a few peeks into these old pages.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Breaking Ground

Bruce and I have a new playmate a few days a week. Bruce is - as always - still learning to share toys. He expects her to play just like he does, and he gets upset when he puts a train set together only to have her trample it and take a freight car hostage. He will learn. And so will she, I suppose.
This weekend was the groundbreaking for a Latter-day Saint church building in Cambridge. Right now the plot is a run-down parking lot full of weeds and oil stains. Scott and Bruce are checking out the plans for what it will be: a parking garage on the bottom and a chapel on top.
Here are the golden shovels. No one actually wore those hard hats; no one wanted messed-up hair. Like most groundbreaking ceremonies, this was mostly symbolic. The "ground" that was "broken" was really a pile of dirt in a sandbox that sat atop the asphalt. It's quieter than jackhammers I guess.
There were a few speakers and musical numbers...
...and lots of kids...
...it was hard for Bruce to listen quietly when outdoors...
...finally breaking ground.
"This is the place."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Off to School

Bruce started preschool this week.

We both went for an hour on Monday just to check out the toys and sing a few songs with the teachers - a sort of intro to preschool. We got there a few minutes early so we played on the playground outside. Unfortunately Bruce went down a slide and into a puddle at the bottom so he had wet pants walking into school. If he was any older, he night have been embarrassed.

Bruce checked out all the toys and became mildly obsessed with a toy grapple skidder - a construction vehicle we read about in a book that picks up logs. Tuesday was his first real day at school. He talked about the grapple skidder as I dropped him off and whined because he couldn't play with it right away. He must have played with it at some point because that's all he talked about on the way home.

School must have tuckered him out. He crashed for three hours afterward.

With my newfound time - three hours a day, twice a week, not counting naps - I'm going to be working (writing), working out (with a speck of running), grocery shopping.... So many possibilities. Too bad I have the most time to train for a marathon now that I can't train. There's hope though: I got my appointment with Dr. Big Stuff just before Halloween.

Old Man Scott

Scott is a birthday-hater. He doesn't like attention drawn to him especially when he's getting one year older and everybody knows it. Scott also does not like surprises and has managed to ruin every "surprise" gift that I've gotten him in the past five years.

This year's gift was a pair of Birkenstocks fresh from the factory in Germany. He had a pair in high school and wore them until his heels started scraping the pavement. He's always wanted a new pair and I thought I really had an awesome gift this year.

I did.

Too bad the one day they were shipped happened to be the one day in the last few months that he was home before me. He found the box, which was shipped from Germany and its contents written on the outside for customs, and connected the dots with his impending birthday.

He got them a few days before his birthday.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Status of Running

Here's the status of running.

While in Ohio, I sneaked in a few very short runs with my little sis to see if my legs could even run at all. I found that I could go slowly and not make the pain much worse, especially if I kept my stride at a shortened shuffle.

In Montana, Scott's family reunion included a local 5K that the entire family participated in. I was certainly not going to sit on the sidelines! I jogged alongside my mother-in-law until the finish line where I ducked out (I bandited; I didn't have a number).

When I got back to Boston, I sent all my images and clinic notes to the last doctor I will ever see about my stupid hip. I haven't heard from him yet, but I'm tired of waiting.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

I am running a few miles here and there. Yesterday I ran 3 miles. Today I biked. Tomorrow I will run some more. I feel totally out of shape gasping for breath when I run, but it feels so good to run! If all goes well, I'll be running - no, I mean jogging - the Tufts 10K in October!

I need to get back to running. I'm no good as a biker. Today I tried to pop my front tire up over a curb without slowing down - yeah, I'm so cool - and instead of popping the tire up, I hit the curb straight on and fell flat on my side. Bashed my right knee and got a nice bruise. And I skinned my elbow so it was all bloody. To make matters worse, Bruce thought it'd be awesome to tell everyone in earshot (strangers at the park, cashier at the grocery store, neighbors, etc.) that "mommy has a boo-boo on her elbow." And then they'd ask how it happened and I'd have to tell that lame story.

I just want to run.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Elderly Women

Two little portraits from today...

1. I'm driving on I-95, a major five-lane highway, and this white Subaru starts weaving in front of me. Not just a little weaving. But going over lane lines on the left and right. I see a shock of white hair coming over the driver's seat. I decide to pass. I pull a few lanes over and speed up to pass this old lady. I glance over as I go by; this lady is at least 80 years old and downing a Slurpee with a spoon.

2. I'm running on a trail (I'm doing a little of that these days!) and see this old lady shuffling behind a walker. A gigantic tote bag is attached to the front of the walker. And in the tote bag is a gigantic boom box blaring talk radio. Perhaps this is her version of the iPod?