The way things are

Life is a really hard game. The pieces keep falling out of those teeny little cars!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This is going to be long (read: me gushing about California)

After acing both of my classes, saying goodbye to everyone, and packing what I thought I'd need for the rest of the summer, I left. The drive was surprisingly not that bad. I spent some time on the phone with the Jet, PaperTowel, and the Native, but mostly with the Jet. I used a lot of texts chatting with Cuorderoy and Gogie, and I belted to Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Fall-Out Boy, and All-American Rejects. I was also thoroughly entertained by the motorist who's motorcycle desperately wanted to make babies with MustacheBoy's car (I was caravaning with MB).

You can always tell when you're getting close to California. After barren Nevada, trees start to appear in small clumps, and the names of towns go from things like Pumpernickel Valley and Imlay (which sounds a lot like pig-latin) to cooler names like Mustang and Sparks. I could almost smell California.

Finally we crossed the border. I had forgotten how breath-taking the Sierras are. I mean, the Rockies are great--they really are--but they are just that: rocky. The Sierras are forest green, covered with towering redwoods. The mountain-lake grandeur was breathtaking and I thanked God for allowing me to be born in the best state (yes Texas, we're better than you).

We made pretty good time and pulled into Vacaville around 7:30. I was so happy. And I even remembered how to get to MustacheBoy's house. I made it to my house, which looked exactly the same as when I left, except that the front lawn was completely dead (my dad wants to replace it with some really cool grass that grows in Pebble Beach--yes, he's insane).

Everyone but Handsome was home, and I found Sharky, Mother, and Harry Potter upstairs playing Guitar Hero. Arnold was watching TV downstairs. The Guitar Heroes made me watch each of them play for quite some time, insisting that I must also learn. Apparently, all of them have wasted many hours on this game and are quite obsessed. It was thoroughly amusing. Just wait until I get sucked in. Ha.

After Sharky and Arnold moved from Provo to Fairfield a couple of weeks ago, they helped Mother clean out some stuff in the attic in preparation of a massive garage sale (which hasn't happened yet). So they had all these bags of beanie babies and stuffed animals. They got mine out and we went through them. It was incredibly exciting. All my old stuffed animals, even my teddy bear that we've had since I was a baby. There was my first beanie baby, a floppy dog, and my old funky zebra thing that stands up by itself. I sat on the couch and held them for a long time.

Dad came down and we all chatted for a while. He's starting to get old. For the most part, he's his normal random self, but every now and then he just looks tired. And he has these nerve accumulations on his feet which has been preventing him from golfing and doing anything too athletic. That's sad for him because he is such an athlete. But then he'll show me these random YouTube videos and he starts cracking up at the dumbest things. I've always thought I take after Mother, but the older I get, the more I think I'm like Dad. He's fine though. He's always exuded ox-like toughness, and this isn't any different.

The six of us--Dad, Mother, Arnold, Sharky, Me, and Harry Potter--played three games of Joker. One of Sharky's friends invented this game, and it's really fun. We girls beat the boys all three times. It was amazing.

Mother finally found my cat, a tabby named Chester. I have never seen a cat with more personality. He is a really thin, petite cat, but he has a cute face and mega soft fur. He fights other animals all the time and is always getting into mischief. I hear the dog across the street is afraid of him. And he sleeps in the most random places. Just seeing him made me start laughing, and he played his usual role of being annoyed with human contact, as though we're just his slaves and he doesn't want any snuggling out of us--just food. Oh how I've missed him.

Handsome finally came home and we talked. He was all excited to brag about how he's a senior in high school and how he ordered a new laptop ("It's way better than yours!" followed by showing me a picture of it--It's almost exactly the same as mine). He insists he doesn't have a girlfriend, but I don't think he'd have any trouble getting one. Plus he drives a Mustang convertible. Which I'm going to steal this summer. If I can get away with it. Heh.

[Sidenote: Harry Potter is watching Spongebob.
Male Spatula: I'm not your friend!!! runs away
Spongebob, naked, running after the spatula: But I gave up everything for you!!! I thought we had something special!!!!

Umm this show just gets weirder every time.]

I called a few people in an effort to get one of them to go to Singles Ward with me. Two of them would have gone, but both were going out for the day. Popsicle refused. I was going to just go by myself, but Mother convinced me to just go to the good ol' Fourth Ward.

After a fabulous night's sleep and declaring myself gorgeous, we went to church. Gladys was the first person I talked to.

I think everyone must have a crazy lady from their childhood. Gladys is mine. Dad has been her home-teacher since the beginning of time. She has told Bishop that she would leave the church if he reassigned her to someone else. She usually comes to our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and she always keeps up on all of our lives. She gave me $25 for graduating from high school, along with a card that was so cute it almost made me cry. She made a point of getting to know Arnold when he married Sharky, and she doesn't know what to do if Dad doesn't sit with her in Sunday School. I'm also pretty sure that she put our family in her will.

That's the nice side of Gladys. She really is a good woman and she loves our family a lot, but she is crazy. She wears a ton of makeup, her eyebrows plastered with liner and her heavily-shadowed eyes stare out from behind huge gold glasses. Very round and bulky in girth, she's been using a walker for many years. She wears black slippers to church, and if you sit near enough, you might hear her muttering things during prayers. During Sunday School she often says random things. And she is the biggest gossip you will ever meet. It's absolutely hilarious.

I sat with her in Relief Society. The women were talking about what it feels like physically when you feel the Spirit--some get the whole "burning of the bosom" deal, while others said they felt tingly. Gladys leans in and says, "I just get indigestion." I almost started cracking up during the middle of the lesson. It was great to see Gladys again.

Back to Sacrament meeting. Harry Potter and I shouldn't sit by each other anymore. We just laugh at random stuff and tickle each other. And he always forgets to whisper so he just starts talking. We were shushed many time by Mother. He clumsily dropped his hymnbook in the middle of a hymn and Mother and I started giggling. We also lost it when a little girl behind us started singing "Old MacDonald had a farm" during the last speaker. Then in Sunday School I whispered with Sister Jacobsen and Sister Mattson and laughed at Gladys' comments. Oh how I love my family ward.

In all seriousness though, going from a BYU ward to my family's ward was a welcome change. There were missionaries, black people, and investigators, and it was in a real stake center rather than a campus building. And the spirit there was so much stronger. I don't know why that is--it could just be that I haven't been doing a good job of putting effort into feeling the Spirit at church--but I think it might have been the people. See, at BYU we are constantly surrounded by churchy things that going to church is just part of a regular routine. Here, church is something special. It's the one day of the week that is different than all the others. It's the one day that they set aside to worship. It's the one day of the week that they are surrounded by other members. There is an incredible Spirit about them. Not that BYU students don't have it, I think it's just dull--we aren't surrounded by as much adversity, and it shows. Anyway I'm rambling now and I think you get my point. It's just nice to be back.

So now I'm sitting here, texting Gogie again, and watching Spongebob. I love being here. I don't know how long that will last, but for now, I have zero regrets about leaving Provo. I'm sure by the time the weekend rolls around I'm going to be missing all of you because I'll be bored. But I'm actually really looking forward to the rest of the summer and I'm glad I came home.

Did I mention I love California?


Blogger Frances said...

Yay, you're back!

did you get my postcard???

9:39 PM  
Blogger MustacheBoy said...

Is that what the biker was doing? I thought he was just being friendly. [insert eye-roll here]

10:19 AM  
Blogger The Jet said...

You're right - California is way better than Texas. I don't get why everyone thinks it's so great...also, I find it hilarious that both of us have brothers who are Harry Potter look-alikes and who we can't resist goofing off with during sacrament meeting. And, I love hearing your stories about Happy Butt.

5:01 PM  

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