Sunday, November 25, 2012

A list for my next boyfriend

Written in the style of Mr. G. K. Chesterton, the early 20th century wit who mailed a hilarious reckoning of his "equipment for starting on a journey to fairyland" to his fiancee, Frances Blogg, in 1896, I tally the following items, which encumber--nay!-- embolden me as I set out to win the heart of you, Next Boyfriend.

1st. A Washington Nats hat, faded red, accidentally purloined from the bossman. It witnessed Bryce Harper's first major league home run from a vantage point about 2 inches above my own one absurdly pleasant evening this spring. Should you hail from the West, without the necessary appreciation for the Capitol's magnificent underdog team, I preemptively assert to you, No, it does NOT resemble the Walgreens W.
2nd. An Ikea desk, which unfolds from the corner of my room and will probably be bigger and more beautiful than your desk. I like to sit at it and look cute and hey, you knew I was bookish before our first date, so don't blame me for having the more magnificent study furniture. When my computer swallows up my entire final paper or internship cover letter 30 minutes before the due date, as it is wont to do, I feverishly hope you will manfully assume the task my roommate Kathryn has hitherto performed of hugging me when I bang my head down on the desk, sobbing, before a Blue Screen of Death.
3rd.  A copy of Love Letters of Great Men, from which the inspiration for this list sprang. You may not be the type to wish to read it and write in the style of those immortalized inside of it, but good things will happen to you if you dare, I promise you.
Can't bear to be parted from it.
4th. A number of museum postcards and art reproductions once nearly mailed to friends but decidedly, selfishly, retained.
5th. A number of post-it notes reciting my favorite scriptures arranged around my mirror, containing everything good and generous and holy and wise that isn't located on those postcards.
6th. A pair of screwdrivers, Phillips head and the other kind, which are fitted to girl's hands, and will seem quite unwieldy to you. There was something so comforting, empowering even, to request a women's tool kit for my 21st birthday. What a beautiful sense of security it gives one to reflect that, if one should ever buy a painting, or poster, or shelf, and it should happen to need screwing, one is ready; one stands prepared, with a defiant smile! (One will still need your help should one desire to pound nails into our brick-infused wall, though).
7th. At last count, a collection of 39 pairs of shoes, the remains of one Miss Christensen's bursts of spontaneous love for self, which, such is the perfect order and harmony of that mind, occur at startlingly exact intervals of time. Every 4 weeks. You may rear your head up in disbelief at that number, but trust me when I assert that every pair is your friend. The hiking boots render me excited to hike Old Rag with you. The Chuck Taylors put me in the bouncy, playful, sarcastic mood you find hilarious. The blue heels, well... no man has ever yet had any objection of any kind to the blue heels.
8th. A series of papers, most still in manuscript form, upon which my entire graduate GPA rests. Though written in the suffocatingly dry style of art historical research, they act as windows to my passions, and shall point you in the direction of 30 minutes of happy Lindsey speeches (complete with those ecstatic hand gestures, which everyone who has learned to teach about paintings unconsciously adopts).
9th. A Chosen Marathon finishers medal. It is part of my new regime, and the only new and neat-looking thing in this entire Museum. My friend Kathleen and I are teaching each other secrets of endurance swimming and running in order to pair it with a 70.3 medal this summer.
10th. A soul, hitherto anxious and silly but now happy enough to be confident in itself.
11th. A body, equally happy when absorbing cookies, butternut squash, gummi worms, and oxygen to its own perfect satisfaction. It is happiest swimming, I think, the pool under the Pentagon being the most convenient size.
12th. A Heart- mislaid somewhere. Have you located it yet?

And that is about all the property of which an inventory can be made presently. My tastes are stoically simple. A book, some passions, scant vestments, and my own self. What more does a woman need?

Flat head. Oh yea. The simplicity of the name caused its escape.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The six senses (Yes. I said six). And a story about slippers.

Blog idea stolen from this fabulous writer.

Today I wished I could fill my senses with this place again.
Hearing. Kathryn the Great cooking some super healthy, super tasty dish in the kitchen (quinoa pumpkin something?). The conference talk playing while she cooks (guys, I'm gonna be obnoxious for a sec: Elder Bednar's voice reminds me of nothing so much as the sound I imagine cardboard would make if it were ennervated). Also, I still have Zac Brown Band in my head.

Seeing. A very imposing stack of books on either side of me. It's research season!!! My very last round!

Tasting. The lingering flavor of a delicious baked veggie ziti from dinner group (cilantro in salad- who knew??)

Smelling. My freshly laundered sheets.

Touching. I'm wearing way too many layers of clothing on right now. Our house is FREEZING!

Feeling. Forlorn but determined in the wake of last night's election.

Also, feeling introspective.

In Cutting For Stone (the novel I'm slightly obsessed with. PS Camille if you're reading- we still on for lunch Saturday??), the author retells an Indian legend about a man who had a cursed pair of slippers. They were hideous and horrible, but every time he tried to get rid of them, something awful would happen. He threw them out the window, they landed on someone and killed them. He threw them in the river, there was a drought (I'm botching the author's majestic prose here, but you get the gist). Annoyingly, the shoes always came back to him. Eventually, the man realized that his only way forward was to build a home for the shoes, which he did. A cozy little nook where they could stay near him but not trouble him. And so, he and his shoes found peace.

Officially the ugliest slippers I could find on Google.
This myth is meant to teach us to face and accept our demons. Wait, Abraham Verghese said it better: "Own your own slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don't." All those parts of yourself or your life that you would rather not have? The things that wreak havoc on your mind and even break your heart from month to month?

We've got to learn to own them. I'm taking bitty steps towards that now. This is me, building a tiny space for one such ugly slipper:

Confession and a Resolution: I'm afraid to move forward in my career. An entry-level position, particularly when jobs in my field are scare, is not fun to find. But it's ok. Yea, it's really, REALLY hard to find jobs and be motivated to apply for them, especially with beautiful Cobb making me laugh daily, but I will do it. It's time I get moving. I choose to believe Heavenly Father has a plan for me, starting today, the day, according to my despondent GOP Facebook friends, after the end of the world.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Finishing my marathon strong was maybe- MAYBE one of if not THE best feeling I've ever experienced. I'm still overjoyed by the great experience of running the Chosen New Braunfels Marathon, even a week later. I'm so thankful to run (mostly) injury-free, and so thankful to my friends who ran with me/chased me down in a minivan to give me hi-fives at mile 14/paced me through my knee pain and scouted out slowpokes I could-should-DID chase down/gave me giant bear hugs at the finish.

Texas State Capitol. Taller than the US Capitol. But of course.
Some guys let us drive their Segue's around the capitol. My first time on a Segue. "Yeehaw!" is all I have to say. 

The crew, running around San Antonio the night before. Genevieve, Me, Rich, Kathleen (my running muse) and Michael, alias "WhattheHelg"

Post race. SOOOO happy to have my peeps there. And so happy we got a shot of "Black Stallion" the minivan in the background. 

Bless my friend Cobb who paced me the last 10 miles and did a superb job of livening me up and cheering me forward through the pain. 
That, my friends, is my face of pure and untouchable joy. Notice the bunch of kids who ran along behind me like I won the thing.
Again. STOKED!
Cobb was really good at pointing out people in front of me and encouraging me to pass them (which I did, SHOVE IT, old man!)

And I had DJ Kelly's ipod tunes to keep me going as well. It was cool, the trick of using someone else's ipod. I was always surprised by her random 90s hip-hop and rock selections.
The medal and the bracelet were hard-won.

For the post race meal, we hit up Texas' most famous Pit BBQ joint, The Salt Lick. I ate like half a cow. 

My boys Jeff and Rich ran a Half Ironman the next day, here's Rich finishing...

Here's Jeff in action, smiling after swim/biking 57 miles...

And here they are looking like champions.
 I may or may not be eyeing a Half-Ironman myself as my next challenge...