Sunday, August 27, 2006

Farewell Sweet Summer

I could not go to bed without formally recognizing the official end of summer on this blog. Despite the dullness, the drudgery, and the heat, many good things (and not so good things) have happened.

Allow me to list:
1. A couple days in a houseboat, giggling non-stop with Nicole.
2. Trips to Maggie Moo's. Cinnamoo ice-cream. Mmmm...
3. Wave runners on Bear Lake. (I tore up the water and overcame my fear of tipping over.)
4. Paychecks from Lifetime Fitness
5. Visits to and from Brittany, and a brief glimpse of the magical Beatle's Anthology
6. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
7. Bowling
8. Helping with Brenda's neighbor's wedding reception. Delicious food, beautiful flowers. The company of close friends. Who could ask for more?
9. Pirates Premiere. Yes, Megan and I did wear cheesy shirts, but it was very fun.
10. Cousin visit in Idaho.
11. House shopping with Keenan and Koseli
12. The dollar theater
13. The water park. Cowabunga dude! Kos and I rocked those water slides.
14. Abner
15. A surprise early morning visit from Kathy and Brenda, and then IHOP.
16. Visits from Lindsay at work.
17. Chalking driveways. Everybody's and anybody's.
18. Swinging on the swingset and talking to Nat, Britt, and Brenda. A daring game of 'Truth'.
19. Daph, Britt, and I attempt to run.
20. Some very intuitive conversations with Doyle. (That's Brittany's horse, for those of you who don't know.)
21. Death Cab for Cutie concert. Seeing Mates of State live and falling in love with both of them.
22. Wendy's, Del Taco, and Wendy's and Wendy's and Wendy's.
23. Wild kitten craziness and the desperation that comes with trying to get rid of it
24. IP relay, some messed up notes, and some very yucky cookies.
25. Violent games
26. Visits from Kari, Cambria, Kevin, Sasha, and Kristian.
27. Non-stop Winkle voice.
28. Hormones.
29. Meeting Grace at the mall
30. A completely black solstice party
31. Noodles with Lindsay. Movie with Lindsay. Slurpies with Lindsay.
32. Talking with Brenda until two in the morning.
33. Dead car battery that magically came back to life.
34. Tristen's birthday party
35. Brittany's surgery.
36. My terrible haircut
37. Dinner at Paul and Jaylynn's
38. Scum
39. Sleepover with Kathy and Megan
40. Costco lunch with Megan
41. Starting a journal
42. Cambria's book signing
43. Sam Weller's
44. Gardener Village
45. Skipping Sunday school
46. Starting this blog
47. Scary man experience
48. Drive-in movies, movie theaters, and rented movies
49. Crazy costumes, a Russian hat, a sword, and three sheets
50. Ice-cream 'til two in the morning
51. Hours spent in delightful reading
52. Postcards and letters from afar (or not so much)
53. Hours, and hours, and hours, and hours of laughing. Really hard.

If you have more to add, by all means do! Let us not let this next school year murder the summery feel. Though the days get colder, and shorter, and our lives get busier, we will keep summer in our hearts.
Because, after all, we must continue to glorify its dullness so we have something to be excited about next year.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lesson to a so-called Rock Star

It has happened. The muses and the stars told me not to do it, but I disregarded them. One would think that receiving several signs against my actions might have persuaded me, but still I stubbornly held fast. The Buick broke down as we ventured in that direction. Still, I was blind. I waited for nearly three hours to bring company along the way. They didn't want to go, so why did I? Why? Why did I do it? I kick myself now, and daydream about how things would have been otherwise... but alas!
I've done it-- I've cut my hair. And there is no going back.
Allow me to describe the damage, the situation, and the events in the order in which they occured:
In my previous post I mentioned briefly that I had a desire to cut my hair. Yesterday I acted upon that impulse. A definite mistake.
It began when Kristian mentioned that a long lost friend of ours works at Supercuts. Just by the name you should know these things shouldn't be tampered with. One's hair is one's dignity. Your haircut must be bad if it is described as 'super'. But I trailed along to the local Supercuts store. And it was there that it happened.
It began as a simple trim, only a few inches, as the girl cutting it (not the friend) had long, raggy, locks with too many fake highlights and not enough conditioning. My first impulse was not to trust her judgement. It would have been a wise decision, had I stuck with it. Instead I decided that she hadn't gone through beauty school for nothing, and she probably knew what she was doing. An hour and a half later, she swiveled me around in my chair and I gazed with shocked horror at the image reflected at me in the glass.
There in the mirror, was me. I had short hair- shoulder length- choppily and chunkily layered in the front. It looked as if she'd chopped it off with a knife and fork, and not a pair of scissors. But that wasn't the worst part. The crowning glory: a set of teensy little bangs, aligned scraggily and semi-straight all the way across my forehead. To one who already has a round face, this 'do' did not do it for me at all! In fact, it was hard to believe this was not just a bad dream.
The girl teased and inspected the round-brushed, blow-dried, froofed-up, mess she'd created.
"Do you like it?" she asked, cautiously. Perhap she'd noticed the horrified look on my face, or the distressed looks I kept tossing in Kristian and Koseli's direction.
"My bangs..." I began politely, "Are a little too short. Can you... do something to make them... look longer? Or something?"
She tried. I'll give her that. But by the time she finsihed I was convinced this girl had never gone to school to become a cosmetologist. A monkey could have cut my hair better than she did. The end product looked something like a cross between Rosie O' Donnel's hair and Pink's. And the more I complained, the shorter my bangs became. At this point they were about an inch long, and because of my cowlick they stuck straight up.
"Let me just trim those up a bit," said the girl nervously, obviously aware that she'd ruined a head of perfectly healthy hair.
I was done.
I quickly got out of the chair, brushed nearly eight inches of my beautiful murdered hair out of my lap, and bound over to Koseli and Kristian. I was close to tears.
They told me it wasn't so bad. Besides, they said, I looked like a rock star.
"But I'm not!" I protested. And it's true. I'm as close to a rock star as... nothing.
My anger and frustration was evident enough to give me a full refund of my haircut. They may have been able to give me back my money, but that doesn't help. I want my hair back.
Today I am going to the mall to buy a vast variety of thick headbands, hair clips, and mousse.
I may have rock star bangs, but nobody will see them until they've sufficiently grown out.
It's like Paul said: "What's the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut?"
"About four weeks."

Thursday, August 24, 2006


It started as a simple errand trip. It ended as a fiasco.
In my front driveway, slightly to the west and parked on a strip of gravel is an old blue car. The front bumper is starting to rust, there are dings here and there, and its make and model are decidedly out-dated. It is known as The Buick. Or, better yet, The Couch.
While vacationing here in South Jordan from the wild streets of New York, my brother Kristian decided to pass on the Buick to me, as we are all expecting the worst from the New Yorker. In fact, I am quite surprised I have driven it so many times without a serious explosion.
Everything necessary was completed today for the grand ceremony of switching owners: the inspection, the registration, and the new licenseing. We decided to take it for a spin around town. As I approached the car, being the brainless git I am, I decided to swat out at a few stray hornets who seemed to be lingering around the sideview mirror. Little did I know that the heat of the day only provokes these curious creatures into what we humans lovingly refer to as, "the angry hour." Before you could say "The Predatory Wasps of the Palisades are Out to Get Us" or something like that, I heard Kristian yell...
"RUN Jos! Run!"
And I did.
Around and around the yard I ran screaming for my life as eight angry hornets chased after me, hungry for bloody vengeance.
Kristian ran into the house and seized two bottles of Raid instant Hornet and Wasp Killer. A few moments later the air was thick with poison and half a dozen insects fell out of the air around me and writhed on the ground in their last dying moments.
Quick as thieves we jumped into the car and raced down the street, beginning what could possibly be considered the most ineffectual errand trip ever.
We were going to get our hair cut. I was saving up my courage to cut off at least six inches. And my brother has skater hair. He needed that haircut. Kristian was going to get a new phone plan from T-Mobile, and I a new phone. Unfortunately, these things never happened.
Somewhere around Redwood Road, The Couch died. It just quit. No lights, no engine, nothing.
"Wow!." I said, once again being foolishly naive and stupid. "The clicking stopped!"
We sat in stunned silence for a moment, and with one desperate motion I tried to turn the key in the ignition again. Nothing.
We were stranded.
The situation was not improved by the fact that several angry hornets, nested somewhere within the car or outside of it, had found us, and had proceeded to launch assaults on us, their unarmed victims.
So in his button-up and flip flops, Kristian pushed the car to the side of the road. I steered.
Luckily we were picked up by a kind passerby, and a short while later I was riding in the back of a complete stranger's truck, feeling strange, but quite safe from the ravaging beasts.
It was a surpassingly strange day.
It is funny that even when I have the most ordinary intentions my life takes a sudden swing from calm to calamity.
It's just funny.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hairy Blopper: Installment #2

At that precise moment, a slightly chubby and very dark young man burst into the compartment.
"Have you seen a weasel around here?" He asked breathlessly. "He's about a foot high, with pink eyes and--"
"There's no weasel here. Who're you?" Demanded Hairy.
"Juan. Juan Wememl." He extended his hand in friendly invitation. Hairy studied the boy. He looked about Hairy's age, with twitching, fat, almond eyes and glistening brown skin. He wore a faded blue cape around his shoulders, a pair of pin-striped trousers, and a newsboy cap with an ostrich feather stuck in the left side.
Hairy accepted the hand at last. It felt moist and bloated in his own.
"Hmmm... pleased to meet you Juan. I suppose. Why're you going to Moldywart's?"
Abdul-Azim seized this heartwarming moment to humbly bow himself out of the compartment. He wanted to get an early claim on Hairy's luggage in the baggage cart.
"I'm a compulsive stealer." He grunted. "You see, I take things all the time. Got caught. Parents were mad. They made me come. You?"
"I am a prince," stated Hairy, puffing up considerabley.
"So'm I!" retorted Juan, with indignation.
This shut Hairy up immediately. He quickly changed tactics.
"What's your stupid weasel's name?"
"He's not stupid!" cried Juan, looking hurt. "And his name is Schnuffles."
Juan sat down on the seat across from Hairy and stared sulkily at the floor. Hairy picked nervously at a loose crimson thread.
The compartment doors opened again, this time revealing a lovely girl holding a large, white, and very ugly rodent in her arms.
She addressed Juan, "Were you the one looking for a weasel? I found him under my seat. I hope you know he ate all the fizzing hizbees in my bag."
Indeed, as she spoke the weasel gave a mighty hiccup and several pink bubbles erupted from the end of its long, pointy nose and floated lazily about the car.
"Ew," Said Hairy. "That's gross."
"What makes you so special?" snapped the girl, turning on Hairy rather rudely. Her cheeks flushed rosily and her tight blonde curls frizzed with acrimony.
"I am a prince." He puffed up like a bullfrog.
"Well, I own three chickens." he said quickly, and then added as an afterthought, "They're magical."
"Your pants are ridiculous." she said coldly, and turned to Juan again.
"Here's your weasel. Keep an eye on him, will you? I don't want him to go around eating my stuff anymore! I'm Germiona Greindzher, by the way."
She gently put Schnuffles into his arms. Juan was looking a little shifty eyed, and his face was extremely shiny at this point. We cannot tell if this is because of the heat, Germiona's beauty, or because of the gold bracelet on her wrist.
"Germiona Greindzher?" piped up Hairy from the corner, wanting to be introduced. "What kind of name is that?"
"And what's your name? I don't suppose it's any better. Oh, but I forgot! You're a prince-- with chickens! Ha!"
Hairy pinked and sunk deeper into his pillows.
"That sure is a dumb looking weasel." He replied, in an unpretentious and obliging tone.
Abdul-azim re-appeared at this awkward hiatus to announce to the passengers:
"Master, gentleman, and lady," (pause for a wheezing breath) "We have arrived at Moldywart's School! Huzz, huzz... you're to get your bags and exit the train immediately. Right this way, Prince Hairy...."
The procession exited the car in a rather disgruntled queue, Juan bringing up the rear with Schnuffles in tow.
On the platform Hairy, Juan, and Germiona could see Moldywart's. It was a great black beast of a building.

Visit us next time in...

Hairy gets a Hangover


Juan's Revenge: an Introduction to the Amazing Purple Sock of Power....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hairy Blopper: Installment #1

Hairy Blopper and the Purple Sock
Written and illustrated by Joslynn Christensen with ideas and input from Nataile Edge
Chapter I
Hairy Introduced
Our story starts deep in the firry heart of a land where magic carpets and puffy Aladdin pants are still in fashion. The hero of this tale is a young boy- aged thirteen- with a sleek black mullet and coke bottle glasses. His name is Hairy Blopper.
Hairy Blopper is a highly unusual boy. One may assume (and I have no idea why) that this uniqueness could be attributed to the anomalous lightining shaped scar on his forehead. However, that most certainly is not the case. There are no hidden powers in this particular scar, no secret messages, and no cause for fame. The fact is that Hairy received it while on a Gondola Serenade Tour in Venice a few years back. The Gondolier dropped his stick, giving Hairy quite the nasty cut. Of course, there is no comparison as to what happened to the Gondolier after the accident... But that's beside the point.
Hairy Blopper is unique, because Harry Blopper is a prince. He owns 40 acres of fertile land on the outstretch of Tunisia, a shrinking manservant, a palace with two Russian onion domes, and three chickens. Do you know many thirteen-year olds who own a manservant? I thought not. Therefore Hairy Blopper's individuality is undeniable. Not only that, but his manservant has green skin, I could add. But that would be a unique characterstic to the manservant, and not Hairy, so we will disregard it.
I'm afraid we must focus for a moment on Hairy's temperment. While the Harry YOU might have in mind is humble and dear, this Hairy is nothing more than a pampered little prince. Unique or not, he is spoiled rotten by his parents (yes he has parents) and whenever his poor goon of a manservant puts one putrid, cracking, yellow toenail out of line he is whipped- CRACK- right across his shriveled hump of a back. Hairy was SO rotten, in fact, that his aunt and uncle (a good honest young couple) at last convinced Hairy's parents to send him to a reformatory school. And THAT is where our story really begins.
Chapter II
An actual beginning
"AB!" Shrieked a pre-pubescent's voice from somewhere in the back of the car.
Hairy Blopper sat amongst mountainous red velvet cushions on the train ride to Moldywart's School for Badly Behaved Youth. His parents had kindly booked him a private car, and in return he had kindly bit his mother's chin as she tried to kiss him goodbye.
A green fingernail wrapped itself slowly around the edge of the compartment door.
"Come show your face you ugly git. I want some chocolate. No! I want something to punch! Now come here!"
Abdul-Azim came shuffling into the car. The compartment door snapped shut behind him, and he jumped nervously at the startling sound.
"Ab... I'm going to sock you for telling Mum and Dad I drowned those kittens. They were mad on the way up here-- you're going to get it-- Where are my chickens!"
Abdul-or should we call him Azim?- wheezed nervously. He had tended Hairy ever since he was a wee thing, (and let me assure you he was just as bad mannered then as he is now) and was now getting much too old for this kind of stress.
"Master," panted the tiny man-- or whatever he was, "master, if you please sir, the chickies are in the baggage cart-"
"Oh shut up, you old hag," said Hairy impatiently.
And that is as far as we shall get tonight. Sorry folks, I'm sure you're dying to read more.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Penguin's Revenge: Why Sunday is the worst day of the week

I sent her over the edge. I knew it was bad-- but I did it anyway. She was on the brink of insanity, and I pushed her over.
My ward is small, ineffectual, unpretentious, and prejudiced. Everyone is always in other people's business. In other words, my neighborhood is chock full of gossiping old gooses.
Against my better judgment (but for the greater good) I have skipped a few segments of the block schedule at church to chat with a friend on the couches, in the empty classrooms, or on the grass. For privacy's sake we will call this particular friend 'Anne'. Anne talks constantly without pausing for breath or stopping to listen to the other person's response. Anne has that special talent of talking while someone else is talking without losing her train of thought. She can speak to anybody, about anything, for extended periods of time. Do you get my drift? We sluffed Sunday school to save our poor teacher from the wrath of Anne's jabber mouth.
At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
And then we were caught. By the bishop. He pulled up a chair, stared straight through our souls, and asked, "Do you need a new teacher? Why won't you go to class?"
How could we lie? He'd surely know... Unluckily, Miss Chatterbox said,
"She cries a lot. She's too emotional. I don't like listening to her lessons. They're not very good, are they? I mean, she works ALL the time so she probably doesn't have time to prepare them. But still! It's like, hard to listen to her..." and on, and on, and on.
Needless to say, we went to class. The first counselor physically pushed us into the classroom full of pubescent boys and unwarranted Sunday school teacher's tears.
Anne was driving me nuts. Oh, how she talks! Our poor teacher looked frazzled and tired, and every once in a while she would cast hurt looks at the both of us. But Anne was relentless, and so was I. Full to bursting with thoughts I desperately wanted to share, I was peeved how I could not get a word in between Anne's incessant chatter. And then, for one moment, the class was dead silent, and I blurted out this:
"Two penguins were in a bathtub. One says to the other, 'Pass the soap!' The other turns to him and says, 'Do I look like a typewriter to you?'"
Silence. Dreadful, painful, ungrateful, dead air.
SLAM! The teacher had thrown her bible onto the table, where it promptly and obediently snapped shut. BANG! Into her bag she threw the chalk, the binder, the tablecloth. CRASH! In went the vase full of fake flowers. With tears streaming down her face she looked me in the eyes and said:
"You offend me so much. I don't understand, how you can say these things and think it's appropriate. You don't come to class, and when you do, you don't listen. I can't BELIEVE THAT I'M TEACHING THIS CLASS WHEN I HAVE SO MANY OTHER THINGS I COULD BE DOING AND I AM SO UNAPPRECIATED!"
She looked crazy. Her hair stuck out in all odd directions. Her face was flushed and flashed from red, to purple, to white.
And then, SLAM! The door banged shut and she was gone. The class sat in stunned silence for a moment, and the boy next to me put his hand on my shoulder and said kindly, "Well, you've officially run our Sunday school teacher out of the church and down to hell."
Even Anne was speechless.
I had to sacrifice my pride to spare my mother from the dirty looks our neighbors were giving her. Word travels fast where I live, and I'm afraid it goes even quicker when it bodes no good news. On Wednesday I wrote my teacher a note. I poured out my soul onto a little card, trying my best not to fumble my most sincere apology. I made it as eloquent as I could. She ate it up. Today she seized me in the hall by the waist, kissed me on the cheek, and whispered, "I forgive you."
I can laugh about the situation now. It has taken me a week, but the ebullience I feel from the pardon given me is enough to put a smile on my face. From this experience I have learned a valuable lesson: Never tell absurd and meaningless jokes about penguins in the middle of a lesson that a batty and stressed out woman happens to be teaching.
Just don't do it.