Alligators at the Golden Corral

There was a man with an alligator puppet at the Golden Corral tonight. He was just kind of cradling it in (on) his arms, like it was his favorite cat.

I was about to point him out to my mom, but she was too busy asking me a question. “What is the name of your reptilian brain?”

My reptilian brain. My reptilian brain? I pictured an alligator brain in a jar on my bedroom desk. With a name. Evidently, this was not what Mom meant. Evidently, the faces I was making trying to figure it out were entertaining. Mom was crying, she was laughing so hard.

“…I call him Vincent,” I managed to come up with. Mom died laughing.

Apparently, the “reptilian brain” is a fairly common term for the more primitive, instinctual part of the human brain. The things you learn at Golden Corral.

I never did see the alligator man again. ♦


Freud Would Have a Field Day With This.

So, I had this weird dream last night.

To start off with, I was walking through the park. It was all grassy and pleasant. Then this cop lady came strolling up to me and told me I was in trouble for speeding. In a car. Like, earlier that day, or something. She saw me a while ago, and thought I needed to learn to cool it. So she didn’t write me a ticket – she just told me I should report to the local jail for a couple days.

So my parents came to pick me up and drive me to prison, and Mom lectured me about how I should know better than this, and Dad told me that I would probably shape up in prison, and it would do me some good, and Andrew just kind of sat in the backseat, looking irritated that all the attention was focused on me.

We had to stop at the recycling plant on the way, so we could drop off this huge bag of soda cans and plastic bottles. And Dad parked in front of this posh-looking business complex and said, “I’m pretty sure this is the place.” Then they locked me in a bathroom stall (so I wouldn’t escape) while Dad toured all 5 floors of the building, muttering, “I don’t understand. I was here 20 years ago, and I distinctly remember the recycling plant being down one of these halls somewhere.” And Mom occasionally found him wandering around and rolled her eyes and told him he needed to ask directions.

After about 1 or 2 hours of sitting in a restroom stall, waiting for my parents to figure out how to get rid of the recycling, it suddenly occurred to me that there was no legitimate reason for me to be in prison. A cop couldn’t cite me for pedestrian speeding anyway. And even if I was speeding earlier, she didn’t have any evidence!

Suddenly, the scene cut to a courtroom, where I was triumphantly pulling off a Perry Mason impersonation, defending my honor and, in general, proving to the world that I was free to walk in any park – unencumbered by restroom stalls – at my own will and leisure.

I woke up proud of myself, and really irritated with my parents. ♠

An Award-Winning Hot Dog

I just ate the Messiest Hot Dog of the Month. (thus far. I hope.) And it was delicious.

I’m coming down with a cold, so I said to God last night, “God, what am I supposed to do about this?”

And God said, “You need to take care of yourself, young woman.”

And I accused God of siding with my mother. And then I determined to skip History of Argentina in favor of sleep. And then I slept until nearly noon. It was glorious. God was right. (Probably Mom, too.)

Anyways, I did eventually get dressed and head off to African American History, and then realized I hadn’t packed a dinner. That shouldn’t be a problem; I’ll likely get free pizza on break tonight at work. My rumbling tummy reminded me that it would be another 4 hours until said pizza occurred. So I stopped at the BYU bookstore for a bagel.

The bagels were gone. I retraced my steps to the food court (where they stash a backup supply of bagels). All the good kinds were gone there, too. So I went to buy a donut. The line was too long. So I headed back for the bookstore. Changed my mind. Went back for the donut. Waited in line about 30 seconds. Changed my mind again. Went back to the bookstore.

And that’s when I saw the hot dogs. Oh, glorious day, there were hot dogs! I have this weird tendency – when I’m sick – to crave hot dogs. But I only crave them when I’m starting to get better. So I took the hot dogs as a good omen, and promptly bought one. I put ketchup and mustard on it. And hot sauce. And then sauerkraut, and a pickle, and some chopped tomatoes. That hot dog was like a taco salad. I had to clean off my hands in the snow when I was done… and then clean off my face with my hands… and then clean off my hands again. My entire jaw may be tainted orange with mustard. But I regret nothing. That hot dog tasted like happiness. Yum. ◊

A Shout-out to Mom

This is my mom.

Clearly, she’s fantastic. She encourages me to do things like study, clean, run with scissors, and cover the neighbors’ car with monkey vinyl clings. I consider her an excellent influence on me.

Last week (and really, for most of this winter), I was kind of bummed. I wanted sunshine. And I think she could tell.

So today, I picked up a package from the office, only to find it packed with as much sunshine as my mother could fit in a box. Sun detergent. Sunchips. Sunflower seeds – chocolate-covered and otherwise. A can of baby corn that had the word “sun” somewhere in the brand name.

And, you know what? The sun came out today! Coincidence? I think not!

Thanks, Mom. You always know what to do. 

Les Miserables: A Review


I just went to see Les Mis with my mom in theaters, and – spoiler alert – it made me cry. (There may be a lot of spoilers here, people. Just a warning.)  I’m not a crier, usually. Especially with movies (except for Lilo and Stitch, but let’s not get into that). And this movie made me weep like a little school girl.

I had it together for most of the movie. (To my credit, it’s 3 hours long. That’s a long time to tug at heartstrings.) Really, though. I was okay for most of it. There were a few little sniffle moments, where my eyes got a little wet, but nothing that would really be called tears.

And then Eponine died. Heroically. In the rain. And I cried buckets.

After that song, I got it together. I remembered seeing the play in high school and thought to myself, “That’s the worst of it over now. I think I can handle the rest.”

The trouble is, after I’ve lost it once, it’s really hard to get it back. The other trouble is, about every 2 minutes after Eponine died, somebody else died too. And it got more tragic every time. The little kid got shot. I lost it all over again. Recovered. The whole front line at the barricade went down. I was gone again. Marius got shot and almost died. Buckets. Javert died. Tears. Marius recovered and starting singing about death. Lost it again. Valjean started dying, and sang about death. Fantine reappeared and sang about death. Valjean actually died. By this time, I wasn’t even bothering to recover anymore. Then there was that final glorious scene, with all its drums and music and dead people singing their hearts out. I cried my lipstick off.

The basic review is: it was a fantastic movie. I loved it! It was thrilling, it was moving, it was breathtaking, and it was somehow inspiringly tragic. But I can’t tell you how glad I was that I went to see this with my mom instead of a date – because no matter how much I cried, I knew the whole time that Mom was crying harder. ♥

Happy Mother’s Day!


Being as it is Mother’s Day, I thought to write a smallish tribute to my mother. Here’s the type of person my mom is:

  • My mom is the type of person who bakes 600 cookies for one party, just in case.
  • She is the type of person who makes her daughter practice the piano. Every day. For 14 years.
  • She is the type of person who spills Grape Nuts so spectacularly that they land in both her hair and her shoes. Twice in one week.
  • She finds her children lying on the floor in the kitchen, sick and dehydrated and shivering, and spends the next 12 hours nursing them back to health without complaint.
  • She does not like hiking Pavant Butte.
  • She is the type of mom who thinks to herself, “If I were a small child, what would I want in my room?” And then she goes to the hardware store, buys a can of chalkboard spray paint, and covers a whole wall in chalkboard. Then she buys about a hundred colors of chalk, and says, “Knock yourself out, kid!”
  • She writes the best missionary letters out there – because they are funny, spiritual, and draw from her own mission experiences. She understands what a missionary (like me) wants to read, and what a missionary (like me) would simply roll her eyes at. She knows what kind of a spiritual boost is best, and when it’s needed.
  • She laughs hysterically over stupid things, just because I find them funny.
  • She enlists the help of anybody nearby to reach the top shelves in the supermarket. Even if it’s me, 2 inches taller than she is. And for some inexplicable reason, she always wants the straws on the TOP shelf, near the very back.
  • She has incredible patience for the repairing of windows, toilets, washing machines, and various other breakable objects.
  • She holds ice cream parties for the young women, and buys donuts just to show up at the neighbors’ house to perform a taste test. And when the winning donut is her least favorite, she loses quite gracefully.
  • She tolerates my mockery remarkably well, and still persists in feeding, clothing, and housing me.

In case you haven’t figured it out already, I think she’s pretty awesome.  ◊