Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Bday, Muff!

Yesterday was Muff's bday, and as I currently live in the forest without reception, I did not get to wish her any happy returns--let alone many.

So, today, as it is my day off, I am wishing Muff a very happy belated bday.

Two really great things that happened while I visited her:
-She tried to get her husband to park in the numbered spot in the airport parking lot that matched my old college mailbox. This was crazy--but the type of silly little thing I actually was amused by.
-When discussing games she noted, "The only game I like it Truth or Dare." Maybe that's not a funny quote unless you know Muff, but I assure you, it's funny.

Other really great things:
-She's a super supportive friend.
-She works really hard at doing good.
-She doesn't have to work hard at all to love everyone and most every thing.
-Humility poster child.

Happy Birthday to my dear, dear friend!

I wish nothing but the best for you too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

One Day at Camp

At 5:40 I'm running with holy sneakers and no headphones. There are rolling grassy fields, and a treeline covering the lake, which I can't see, but I can always hear. By 6:30 I'm sitting on the tennis courts with twenty other young women quietly praying. At 7 AM we're all hustling down the beach steps, cheering children huddling in their suits. We dive into the freezing water, and in the showers Kath and I belt "Crazy"--the Britney echoes across the high school girls' quad. We raise the flag, I eat my oatmeal and peanut butter. I arrange the activities, while little girls zip around sweeping their cabin floors and folding their sheets, I organize Excel spreadsheets. I ring the bell. I talk to the 9th graders about setting goals that mean something. Sometimes they stare at an ant marching by, sometimes they look up and nod and write with urgency in their notebooks. The bell rings, and I sit on the head counselor cabin with my laptop. I read and edit report after report. These are parent lifelines. It's hard to care about each one, harder when the warmth hits my face and my eyes bag, puff, and shut for a little too long. "I'm dragging," I announce, so Kath shoots up from her desk and announces herself, "We should probably hula hoop." We do. I'm back on track. We ring the bell. We see the kids come and go, they pass, they laugh, they've been out in the world, and we've been reading about them. I spend another hour and a half editing. I hoof up to the dining hall. I read lunch table assignments. I walk to the counter to fill my plate with the vegetarian casserole. I read more dang reports. During Rest Hour I read more Viola Spolin and fall alseep until the DANG BELL RINGS AGAIN. Sigh. The bell. I put reports on a flashdrive. I head to the office. I get the mail. I sort it. I make the last twenty minutes of Beach Period--just in time for two games of Mafia. It's my night off, and I have a date with Dunt and Kath. We hit the town. The fancy grill on main street--there are fresh greens and braided bread and coconut curry. Let's not forget the desserts. We don't speak of kids or work, and it feels like we're adults (as we are)--speaking on war and relationships instead of bubbles and yo-yos. We look in shops. I watch a sunset. I'm writing this in Kath's cottage. I have the internet, there's a movie playing. I'm in actual civilization for once. I have nothing pressing to do before bed, no one calling my name. Oh, what good I believe camp can do. Oh, how I know I am blessed to bless. Oh, how I am blessed myself. But, oh, how I want to plan my own days again and how I want to sleep when it's time and how I want to be in a bed without sand.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is It Necessary?

During Pre-Camp staff bonding day, the entire men's and women's staff came together for a team-building exercise in the pine forest. The exercise was simple enough--fourteen members of the staff were to scare a fifteen-foot wall using only their bodies to hoist and lift one another over. The rest of us were to watch. The catch--everyone was to be silent. The release--you could speak one time. Everyone was handed a speaking coupon with one of these questions on it:

Is it true?
Is it helpful?
Is it inspiring?
Is it kind?
And, finally, Is it necessary?

You could use your coupon once to say thing as long as it affirmatively answered the question it asked. I was given the last question. Necessary.

As counselors squatted and pulled and pushed and threw their legs over the wall we would pause every so often to hear something inspiring, a helpful piece of advice, a true memo of something worth nothing. I stayed silent, staring down at my question. There were many times I had something uplifting to share with the group, but they weren't particularly down-trodden. There were times I had a tip, but they figured it out without my words. Is it necessary? Is it necessary?

I never used my coupon. I just couldn't justify my voice.

As a good metaphorical activity should, I've kept this experience in my front pocket during this first week of camp. I want to tell the girls in the bathhouse the breakfast bell rings in one minute--they need to scoot. But I suppose they will do what they will. put my toothbrush away. I walk outside, flip flops soaking in morning dew. I want to tell the 4th grader the waves sound extra big today as we make our way down the beach stairs. is it necessary. I let the waves do the talking. Last night I looked out my bedside window in my head counselor cabin. The oldest girl's lights were still on at 10:25 PM. I pulled back my wool blanket, ready to tell them Enough. Good night. But I thought of my question, pulled the covers up again, kept reading Viola Spolin. The cabin went dark in five minutes.

I wonder long and hard about this question. Two years ago I spent most of my meals with a trips counselor who loves the earth. I frequently jabbed her on this point--she loves the earth and preaches recycling but ate meat. These two don't go, I joked (not a joke). At the end of the summer, she still ate meat. But, this summer, she doesn't. And hasn't. For over a year. Is it necessary?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sweet Lord

I am exhausted.

My co-worker Kath & moi on Lake Michigan.

Do you suppose that I would come runnin'?

Monday, June 4, 2012

PSA: Five Weeks Of Sketchy Entries

Hey y'all! Tomorrow I leave to work at summer camp for just over a month. I may periodically update this here blog, but I only have 18 hours of time off per week. So.

I'll leave you with this--the happiest picture I've ever seen.

I wish I were hyperbolizing, when I say I have looked at this photo roughly 100 times per day over the past week (when I found it on da interwebz).


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jr. Asparagus

"They make delicious food. They're a private company. They can run their business however they want."

This is what Dizz said when we passed a Chic-Fil-A and I frowned at it from inside Jamin's car last November. Chic-Fil-A's company policy: Queer? Get out of here. If employees are found to be gay, they are suddenly found unemployed. For this reason, I will never give Chic-Fil-A any money. I encourage others to do the same, and sometimes they do. But Jamin in the champion of not caring about human rights on a micro level, so it's not a surprise he tells me leeringly how delicious the chicken "nugz" are as we pass. I honestly don't think this is funny. Maybe I need more of a sense of humor. I've been told I need to get a sense of humor. I don't think I do. (That's what someone without a sense of humor would say.)

Then, Dizz reminds me of where I went to school--a Christian college with a homosexuality policy. I obviously gave that hateful place a ton of money. She had a point. But so did I. BUT I decide that we're having a nice Sunday morning, and this is a rare occasion where I am able to remind myself that sometimes arguing just isn't worth it even though I REALLY THINK I AM RIGHT AND ALSO MEANWHILE THERE'S A MEAT INDUSTRY.

Here's the truth now: I gave that hateful institution (my college) my money because it was not a hateful institution at all. It was a loving and wonderful place to go to school, but it had a giant hang-up about gay issues. And that sucks. And that's why I spent a pretty large chunk of my college career fighting the policy.

We can't expect everyone and every institution to be perfect all the time, but if we involve ourselves with imperfection, it's our job to point it out. To say, "I agree with everything except..." To get inside and wheedle out the sooty little specks. To demand better in a good thing.

Ethical eating club meeting. April. Vegan salads.

So, I guess, maybe if I were writing letters to Chic-Fil-A daily and organizing a campaign for their corporate offices to note, I would buy their waffle fries. But I'm not going to do that. So the next best thing is to pass. Avoid or confront. I think those are the options.

I remember stand! (Stand up, stand up)
For what you believe in--believe in--believe in!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day in the Life, June 2, 2012

Dear Grandchildren of the Future,

If you're reading this, consider me hog-tied! A. Because I can't imagine having kids! Let alone kids on kids! And B. Because if you've found this it means all the Internet's data wasn't destroyed in a huge terrorist attackor/and snafu.

Anyway, grandkids of the future, obviously you were looking for something in creeping through ol' Maw Maw's blog from her 20s. But, how can I give you advice or anything when you're probably teleporting or, the opposite, only ever sit perfectly still but communicate with others via an elaborate wifi in your retina?

I'll assume I'm dead by now--hopefully some kind of donut related death?--and you guys are just curious about what life was like for your cool ancestors! So let me tell you about my day. Just so you can get a feel for Grammy's life and times.

-Woke up and finished an opinion essay about tumblr & beauty for this journal I write for
-Made some acorn squash and ate it
-Read a nice article by Viola Hays
-Ran 6 miles
-Hassled my dad into cutting up a pineapple
-Showered and ate some of aforementioned pineapple with some peanuts (in 2012 it is a commonly held belief that you are supposed to consume protein after exercise--this always feels kind of heavy to me, so I am betting by the time you're reading this, that theory has been disproven...or, actually, you probably have been genetically modified to be naturally fit, so you don't even know what a work-out is let alone how to eat after one)
-Took my car for one final nostalgic cruise. My baby is sold, so I had a goodbye spin. I took her to Walgreens when I needed to buy some notebooks, and then I cruised about a mile in the June sun with the windows open. No music, just the hum of my 90s beaut. I started to think, "You know what? Driving can be nice." And that's when a bird flew right into the windshield. "I take it back," I thought.
-Wanting to have some adventure in my last joint production with Wanda (car name--Do you kids name inatimate objects? I assume so. Otherwise, wouldn't you feel weird referring to your robot maid as simply "Robot Maid"?), I passed a physic's office ("walk-ins welcome") and decided to get my palm read
-The psychic told me I have a long life ahead of me with no illness or accidents. Also that I don't open up to many people, I work hard for what I want, my "best" color is lavender, my best number is four, and I will get married and have a family. So, I guess that's good news for you guys, you yet-to-exist chillins'.
-Before I left the psychic told me I could ask one question--anything at all and it would be answered. I thought about it for longer than she was probably comfortable, especially since she was most likely thinking, "Don't burst a capillary thinking, kid, I'm a phony." I don't know a lot of things, but I honestly couldn't think of a question. So I asked something I knew the answer to already. It was still nice to hear someone reaffirm what I know. Even if you kiddos now drink seahorse blood out of juice boxes, I suppose I just came up with one piece of advice you can take with you--even in your space suit: There should probably be no question about your own life that you can't answer yourself.
-The joyride was over, and my dad and I went on a walk to grab a Redbox. I've wanted to see We Need to Talk about Kevin, and today was the day! I was very excited. We tried to stream the film last night on Apple TV, but the download would have taken two hours--this probably sounds hilarious to you. Buffering and loadtime for entertainment.
-We watched the movie, which is horribly brutal but very very well done. I enjoyed.
-Dinner time. We walked to a pizza place downtown. Your great-grandpa was a good dude.
-Once home, we built a small bonfire in the backyard and made s'mores, chatted about life in general, basked in the night sky, lit off some fireworks.

So, that's what life looks like when you're me. Keep on keepin' on, offspring!


Friday, June 1, 2012