My favorite Emily doesn't even know that I exist, and probably never will. I admire her from a distance, listening to her speak and hanging onto every word. She's my favorite Kool 103.9 DJ because she always has her own little commentary on the news stories and doesn't hold it back, and because she often announces the name and artist of the upcoming song so that if I've never heard it before and I like it I don't have to pay really close attention to the lyrics so I can look it up later. And unlike Dave Denton and Benji Wood (the latter who feels the need to announce his name every five minutes), she has opted not to divulge her last name, retaining a certain aura of mystery.
My other frustration with this blog is how it's evolved into just a random jumble of stuff with no rhyme or reason. I didn't set out to make it that way. In the days when I just wrote whenever I felt like it, sometimes I could devote a whole post to a single topic like a normal person. But no more. I just feel like it's gotten out of hand. And as a corollary to that, these topics often include items of Mormon news or culture so in-depth that 99% of everyone else would neither understand nor give a rat's tail about them. That's kind of disruptive and unfair to non-Mormon readers, if in fact I even have any, who may give up and not keep reading afterward when the topic shifts again. So I've decided upon a solution so childishly simple I should have done it to begin with. I will save that stuff for the end and give it a label so those who don't understand or care about it can skip it.
I would like to think that I have grown more tolerant of people mixing up "you're" and "your", "their", "they're" and "there", "too" and "to", "whose" and "who's", etcetera. I used to consider this a sign of low intelligence but changed my mind a while ago when an intelligent person who does that proved me wrong. However, I draw the line at "her's", because "her's" is not a freaking word in any context whatsoever. There is literally no conceivable situation in which you could say "her is" as a coherent grammatical unit (as opposed to something like "The only way to defeat her is to aim for her soft underbelly") and be correct. Why is it so difficult for people to not insert nonexistent apostrophes everywhere?
Responding to an open invitation, I ended up at a campfire at Second Dam with some people from the ward and some other people. Providentially, it was two days after someone randomly gave me a bag of marshmallows that I never would have finished on my own. The highlight of this event was listening to ghost stories which were particularly riveting because they were first or second hand, and in such an instance I tossed all skepticism aside and chose to believe because of the coolness factor. Jit said that back in India there was this grove of mangoes (I think) where eighty percent of the people who went in at night got sick, and people reported seeing a strange white light or something. The large feral cats who could decapitate me with one swipe of a paw would be sufficient motivation for me to stay out of any wooded areas in India at night anyway. He then mentioned waking up one night as a child and seeing a man next to his bed, and when he called for his mother and she turned on the light he wasn't there. I would have never slept again. Not that I do much anyway.
Then this girl had so many stories about her own house, from herself and her parents and siblings, that we felt constrained to ask many times, "Your family still lives there why exactly?" The one that intrigued me the most was of her seeing some kind of tall, skinny figure looking through her open bedroom door at night. It was a long time ago and she didn't even know if it was a dream or not, but she has closed her door every night since then. Other people who stayed at her house mentioned something similar so that was enough evidence for my coolness-factor-biased self. What made it so intriguing for me was that she said it didn't seem human to her. I wanted more details. I wanted her to draw a picture or at least describe it more, but she didn't want to.
I've never seen a ghost, sadly, but hearing these stories did remind me of some of my childhood fears. I had more than one nightmare about a man with a computer monitor for a head. It was one of those big bulky ones, antique now but contemporary at the time. And its screen was always black and he never said a word and he never chased me, but he just stood there or sat there looking like the creepiest thing ever, and I hated it. I also got scared because the lamp on my desk looked like it was rotating in the dark, and my mom had to move it. I was a pansy. Then there were the movie villains like Ursula from "The Little Mermaid" and Hexxus from "Fern Gully" and Yzma from "The Emperor's New Groove". That movie came out when I was seven, and there was a life-size cardboard cutout of the main characters at Wal-Mart. I saw it in my peripheral vision and thought something along the lines of, "There was a woman there. I wonder if she's hot." So I took a closer look. Hello, sleepless nights. Then one Family Home Evening my dad was like "I just rented The Emperor's New Groove and we should watch it" and I decided to face my fear and not be a pansy, and I got over it. Yay!
Some readers may be uncomfortable about the following story, but it's true, so I can't help it.
In ninth grade there was a new Global Studies teacher named Mr. Twyman. (Mr. Twyman met a pieman going to the fair. Said Mr. Twyman to the pieman, "Let me taste your wares." etc.) I heard the backstory of the story later from one of the other teachers, Mr. Morrison. Basically, Mr. Twyman came to Mr. Morrison one day and said, "Can I borrow one of your videos about Africa?" And Mr. Morrison was kind of busy so without really looking up he just said "Sure, go ahead." So Mr. Twyman grabbed one and showed it to the class. I don't remember how long it was or what it was about exactly, but there was some kind of ceremony involving topless women dancing. That was the first time I remember seeing topless women outside of old paintings and statues, and my reaction was, That's it? That's what all the fuss since first grade has been about? You have got to be joking. I've since realized that things like that are non-sexual contexts anyway and therefore not a big deal, which I suppose is why Mr. Twyman didn't stop the video even though he was starting to look uncomfortable.
So no, that wasn't a big deal, not really. But that wasn't the only surprise this video had in store for us. I don't think it was a minute later that some guys brought out a goat, bleating and struggling and obviously not pleased with whatever was about to happen. Now the students' murmurs of titillation shifted to murmurs of concern and Mr. Twyman looked even more uncomfortable, but he assured us, "It's okay, kids, the goat doesn't get hurt." Bzzt! Wrong! One knife plus one copious spurt of blood equals one very dead goat. When this day was discussed among the students years later, it was not the topless dancers but the goat sacrifice that they went on about. I always wondered if this was why Mr. Twyman didn't come back to teach the next year.
The Mormon Section
Well, I don't have as much to put in this section today, but I'm just setting a precedent that will hopefully serve me well in the future.