Sunday, August 28, 2011

ondine

we often talk about charity, the pure love of Christ, being the greatest in the trio of faith, hope and charity, and i think we erroneously conclude that charity is the greatest of loves.  while i'm working to have a feeling of peace and concern towards everyone on the planet, i've never liked the notion that that is the greatest love.  i think the greatest and highest form of love is romantic love, and i very much like this article (shared with me by my sister) that kindly acknowledges that.

(she also shared this one, which is also pretty good.)

one for the razorbacks

i try to never reuse a title (or a picture) on here, and i almost had to do that earlier this spring, but fate dictated otherwise.  i kind of like this one and might regret using it as a throwaway tonight, but i like the feel of it, so it's there.

i've nothing much to say.  it's insanely hot here, i think i've really lucked out on my roommates ("won again at roommate roulette," as jaime might say), and i like that i can put my whites in our dryer and just go to bed, rather than having to wait for them to finish at the laundromat.

school starts tomorrow.  it's strange being "second years" now, and there are a whole slew of new first years (and they all look so young....)  i'm curious to see what it will be like balancing school with a job (i've got a post on that coming shortly) and i'm hoping i can continue to improve on being effective at using my time in the lab, so that i'm not always in there.

mostly, though, i guess i just like writing here because this is my space.  like a theatre director walking on his empty stage after everyone has gone home, i'm pacing around here with nothing particular to say, but am here simply because, as odd as it sounds, this is my little hill, where i can feel comfortable and free.  sheep go to heaven and this is my pasture.

Friday, August 26, 2011

i think i'm playing in a band

it was starting to look like this post would never make it to the world, but being that today is the birthday of the man in the yellow tie who writes heterophonic tunes of how love bites, i'm taking some time to sit down and tell my tale.

tally hall was coming to provo on july 27th and, despite that being smack dab in the middle of the second to last week of our intensive summer course, i bought myself a concert ticket and a plane ticket.  yes, they were playing in dallas, austin, and houston, but seeing them without kristin would be utterly pointless.

a week or two before the concert date, they sent out an email announcing their dates nationwide and included a contest: if you signed up on some website you would in a drawing for that concert to get up on stage and play a song with them.  so heck yes, i signed up.  there was an option to post it to facebook so that my friends could vote to increase my chances, but i kind of have an aversion to signing up for things that will post to my facebook account (i'm never impressed when i see a "[friend] just used this new app" on someone else's page), so i figured my own entry effort was good enough and went back to lighting my summer project.

a few days before the concert i got an email with the subject line being something about the provo contest winner and figured they were letting us know who the lucky skunk was.
no.  it was just to me.
letting me know.
that i was the skunk.
yeah.
i was going to be playing on stage with my favorite band.

i immediately forwarded the email to those few who would best appreciate the glory of this situation:

me: umm.......
WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????????
GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kristin: GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I KNEW IT WOULD BE YOU.
I KNEW IT.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

laurie: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BACK
Oh my gosh, I need explanations and pictures STAT. I mean, at your earliest convenience.

and so on.

i wondered if i'd be singing backup on "good day", or maybe i'd get to do the fast part on "ruler of everything" and was soon envisioning what color of tie i'd choose if they asked me to join the band until kristin brought me badk down to reality by noting that the contest said i'd be playing a theramin, pretty much the easiest instrument in the world to play: you don't even have to touch it, just get near it.

i wrote back my confirmation that i would be at the provo show and the lady told me that after one of the openers to go the merch table, where i'd meet bora and he'd tell me what to do.  she sent me a video link of an earlier performance (that i didn't watch), noting that the theramin would be working for me....
so if it was possible to be even more excited to go to utah that week, i was.

as is customary, kristin and i went out for chocolate before the concert.  our conversation topics were more lighthearted than usual and we got some good pictures, especially of her, then headed down to the velour.  in the awesomeness of the anticipation, we rocked out fully and thoroughly to some classic tally hall whilst parked by the curb, then went to meet up with brooke in the queue out front.

as they were finally opening the doors and letting us in, two of the members of the band (rob and andrew) were coming out and passed us in the entrance.  since kristin was their personal host and concert photographer at the elementary school concert the last time they were in provo (you know, the one that i initiated but didn't get to go to?  that one?  yeah), they know her and kindly pretended to remember me.  at any rate, we felt pretty cool.

being that we prove that the word "fan" came from "fanatic", we got there before the doors opened and stood at the front of the stage for the hour+ before the first opener started while members of our gang arrived.  it can be long and tiresome and particularly irking when a gaggle of high schoolers literally pushed through us so that they could wedge themselves at the very front of the stage.  i refused to budge as they brushed against me.  this is my show.

looks better on her
the first opener was a dude with a guitar, and while i'm not for the dude-with-a-guitar genre, this guy had a lot of energy and gave it his best, and i respect that.  he was also dressed nearly identically to kristin: shirt, jeans, even haircut.  but he was still a cool guy.

when the band you're there to see is usually an opening band for other bands that most people haven't heard of, you really can't have any expectations for their opening bands.  but the second band was actually pretty darn good.  called "speak", they were from austin, tx, and really knew what they were doing.  which was more impressive considering they all looked really young.  really.  one kid looked like a 15-year old harry potter and the lead singer... well, we all had reasons against him, although i'm sure he was a nice guy.
still, those kids could rock.  i bought their ep for $3.

at one point i snuck off to the merch table and met up with bora, who told me that the theramin was having problems but that it would hopefully be working soon.  he said that my song would be after "the sacred beast" (they were going to play "the sacred beast"?  awesome; that was the song i wanted to hear most from the new album), and that that would be right after "welcome to tally hall" (the main song i wanted to hear and rock to at this concert, so at this point, i'm good...)  he said to stand somewhere where he could see me, and either one of the band members would call me up or else he'd just nod at me or, well, just watch him and we'll figure out something.  if nothing else, just go up doing "the fall."

...so, i'm supposed to just climb up on stage during the middle of a song, unannounced?
ok.... i guess it isn't like there's some security guard who's going to taze me.

the concert was awesome.  they came out (not in their customary white shirts and ties at first, and we kind of freaked).  they played.  we rocked.  and smiled.  and rocked some more.

after "sacred beast", zubin asked "is jeff here?", to which i giddily raised my hand and was invited up on stage for the next song.  everyone around me (and not just the people who knew me) cheered for me as i made my way through the crowd and hopped up on stage behind andrew and his keyboards.  he told me something about how he'd let me know when to go out and do my thing, but soon the song started and i wasn't sure what to do.

so i just stood there, grinning from ear to ear.
i was on stage with tally hall.

i remember being at the guster concert (where we first saw tally hall, lo those many years ago) and were talking with the guster members afterwards.  allison's friend steven said that they were his favorite band.  for me, my favorite bands were r.e.m. and they might be giants, and excepting that one time i high-fived john flansburg, they were all kind of out of reach.  so the idea of meeting your favorite band seemed unreal to me.
but at this moment, i was on stage, about to play with them.

joe.  rob.  me.  : D
at some point during "the fall", they gave me a nod, or maybe i just decided to walk out there, but i started playing.  they're rocking, it's loud, and the theramin looks not like the pictures i'd seen, but rather like a small black box with a radio antennae sticking straight out the top of it.  and with rob on my left and joe on my right, i couldn't hear if i was making any difference or not.
but if i couldn't, likely the audience wouldn't know, either.

so, i did my dang best.

when the song ended, rob complimented my playing, later adding that a lot of people are kind of timid with it, but that i boldly attacked it.
just doing my thing....

video

kristin's adding the final touches.
rob's in the zone.
after the concert our group hung around, taking pictures while kristin and i waited for the various throngs to die down so that we could get all five band members together for our traditional picture: at the first concert, she and i (and allison and her friend steven) took a picture with rob.  at the next concert, we brought a copy of the first picture (why did we do that, anyway?) and got rob plus zubin.  since then, we've added a band member each time and included all of the previous pictures.  being able to get all five guys together for one picture took some patience, although the waiting time did give us opportunities to talk with some of the less-crowded members like ross and andrew, who were very cool and actually asked us questions, rather just politely listening while we gushed about how great they were.  andrew was especially impressed that i flew up from texas just to see them.

we got the picture (although, in the interest of time and not wanting to stretch their kindness to the snapping point, it wasn't as posed as the previous shots have been) and even got a few cds autographed before we had to go.

on my way out, i bought myself a poster.
our fifth tally hall concert came to a close.
and the next day i was on my way back to texas and back to reality.
meanwhile may it join in going hmmm mmm hmmm mmmm...

"casting spells"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

quizás quizás quizás

editor's note: reading over this post shortly after it was published, all i can say is, "drat."  this sounded a lot better (and less... whatever it is) in our collective head.  in short, this did not come out at all like i wanted it to.  i should've written it two weeks ago when it sounded better.  sheep fail.

"life is pain, highness.  anyone who says differently is selling something."

so says the dread pirate wesley, talking incognito to the woman he true loves.

a few weeks ago i was helping a friend move, carrying boxes in the hot texas sun and thinking about this whole thing.  that "life is pain" part.
i thought of the things in my life that weren't as i'd like them and realized that most people probably live that way.  most people have missing pieces, things they lack, feeling incomplete.  and i could see how it would be easy to fall into the bitter attitude of believing that that's the harsh reality of life, that everyone is miserable.

i have a lot of strengths, a whole long list of things i'm awesome at.  and there are also plenty of things i'm not good at, things i don't do well with.  so it is.  sometimes those weaknesses can be practiced and developed into talents.  other weaknesses, i think, may appear as weakness only because of the environment we are in, and that in another stage, they will begin to be viewed as a strength instead.

my sister has described her life as hard, but that she wouldn't want it any other way.  that, i think, is the state i strive for.  i don't ever expect life to be a picnic, although i know that there are moments, albeit usually brief, where things line up and awesomeness just harmonizes.  i expect to be tired, frustrated, and worn out.  i expect to be busy, to have the demands unending, to always have something coming up.  but i look forward to that feeling of knowing that it's crazy but that i wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

friends to the end

once upon a time, there was a nice boy.  and he had a stellar sister.

as the flow of life has moved onward, my sister and i lamentably aren't as close as we once were.  getting married and having kids kind of does that, but that's how life is supposed to go, and that's ok.  last year for a birthday/moving away present she gave me a book called "friends to the end."  it has a picture of a pair of elephants on the cover, which makes it appropriate enough right there.  in the flurry of moving last week, i picked up off of my living room end table and flipped through it during my first night in my new house.

inside the cover she had written that so many of the sayings in there reminded her of me, noting especially several specific pages.  what was kind of cool about that was that she continued to add numbers: "& 37 & 38 & 42 & 57", as she was still finding more things that stood out to her.

because it's my blog and i can do what i want to here, i'm going to share some of those pages.  you can get a glimpse into the relationship that me and my dear sister have built.

  • there were so many times when we both needed a shoulder to cry on.
  • there is a curious fact about friendship that we have always known but rarely acknowledge: by understanding others, we also come closer to understanding ourselves.
  • we can always count on our pals to watch our back and look out for our best interests.
  • a friend is there to keep our chin up, no matter what it takes.
  • a friend knows when we need a hug.
  • friends know when to offer serious counsel and thoughtful, heartfelt advice.
  • and they know when to say, "hey, why the long face? snap out of it!" (of all my friends, my sister knows best when to do this)
  • most important, friends know when to just sit quietly beside us and say nothing at all.
  • and basically get ourselves into bizarre but enjoyable situations that probably don't make a lot of sense to anybody else. (yes, definitely me and my sister)
  • you could search the whole world looking for a friendship like ours, and you would only wear our a good pair of feet.
well good.
hooray for sisters.

Friday, August 12, 2011

yes or no?

with a backlog of post ideas to write, i'd like to be putting up something more substantial.  but it's late, i'm not feeling particularly literary tonight, and this has been on my mind lately anyway, so i guess it still counts.

i was thinking about what i learned about viruses in school, that they exhibit characteristics of being alive and yet lack other traits in a way that suggests they are not alive.

since i couldn't remember what the rules were for the "are you alive or aren't you" question, i did a google search pretty much just that.  according to some middle-school learning website that set things  out in simple enough terms, these are the criteria that would make a virus "alive":

  • reproduce
  • obtain energy
  • grow, develop, and die
  • respond to the environment

what's interesting is that you'd think it would be a pretty clear answer, either something is alive or it isn't. viruses have their own genetic material, which seems to be a good sign of being alive, but they can't pass it on by themselves.  when they latch on to another cell, then they can begin reproducing inside that host cell.  they mutate, but they don't grow and so have no need for nourishment until they come in contact with a cell, and then it is that cell that needs the energy, not the virus.  they don't move by themselves, and the question as to whether they respond to the environment is debated.

is a virus alive or isn't it?  that should be a simple question, yet you can see reasons for both arguments, depending on what information you choose to look at.

hey, that's life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the old apartment

some of the best friends ever.
(the others are inside, cleaning)
i locked the door to my empty apartment today and handed in the key.

my move across town--by and large--went much smoother than i'd anticipated.  when i moved from provo, i had my mom helping me box things up for a few days and then a priceless team of devoted friends working all day and late into the night to load the truck and clean the place.
here, i had a few friends from church and school who politely told me to let them know when i was moving and they'd help if they could.  and i had about four days to do it all, in between when school ended and when i had to be out of apt. 585.

we finished our animation on friday and i was home that afternoon, feeling the joy of being done with it all and having something i was proud of.  i was going to sit down that evening and watch a movie, then begin packing on saturday, continue on monday, and hopefully start moving the big stuff on tuesday and be out of there by wednesday.  then one of my new roommates called me.
"hey, i've got my truck and richard's got his and i've got brad bringing a trailer tomorrow and we're all ready to move you out of there tomorrow and we're not going to let you move by yourself."
uh....
i explained that i was really impressed that he was so willing to help out, but that i hadn't packed anything yet and that i didn't know how much i would be able to have done by the next day, but that we'd do what we could.  due to person shortcomings, when i woke up on saturday morning, i still hadn't packed a box (although, to be fair, there were still a good half dozen boxes of apparently useless stuff that i hadn't gotten around to unpacking in the first place, so i had that going for me....)

my friend jess from school came over that afternoon and together we started throwing things in boxes, making sure to clear off my desk and bookshelves, so that the big things could be taken care of.
my new roommates showed up later in the afternoon and we loaded their trucks to the brim.  then they cheerfully offered to unload my stuff at the house while i stayed back at the apartment and continued to pack.
this continued throughout the evening, with large chunks of my apartment and associated furniture literally disappearing faster than i could pack it.  my bed, love seat, couch, tv, dvd shelves,  zombie shotgun: everything was gone.  by 10:00 that night, my apartment was empty, with the exception of a dirty floor, some non-essentials in the bathroom, and most of my kitchen, which i could transport by myself without too much difficulty.

what was a little odd about this whole scenario was that my things were all at my new house before i'd ever seen it.  i loaded up my backpack with my toothbrush, some soap, and a few other odds and ends and headed to the address that had been post-it noted to my dest for the last few months.
i'm moving into a house with three other guys from church.  because i was willing to pay a little more each month (and about half of what i was paying at my apartment), i got the master bedroom.  with a master bathroom.  hello.... : )
they had loaded all of my things in the garage so that there would be space in my room to navigate as i was setting up (more considerate than i would have thought of...), yet had put my bed, my dresser, and the pieces of my desk in there.  the house was spacious (my biggest fear was that all of my stuff wouldn't fit, but that's definitely not a concern), and seeing my room partially set up made me feel very welcome from my first minute there.

i really don't like moving.  i moved once during my four years of college, and that was after my first semester.  i moved once after graduation and stayed there for five years.  the very nature of packing your material life into manageable pieces to be shipped somewhere else lends itself to self-introspection and reflection on the state of you.
my move from utah had been a very bittersweet time, mingled emotions of sadness for leaving so many beloved people behind, the nervousness of the unknown ahead, and deep gratitude and happiness for all the time and devotion friends showed me at my literal final hours in town.  i knew that my move across college station wouldn't be nearly as memorable and had mostly been worried of simply how i would pull it off.
it had gone better and smoother than i could have ever hoped for, and to arrive at my new place with my room set up enough that i could get started meant a whole dang lot to me.  i had had a lot on my mind that day and i went to sleep that night feeling soothed.
...except that it took me two days to find the little bag of screws that held my desk together.  this was particularly perplexing because a) my desk is kind of the centerpiece around which my room is built and b) i had kept that darn baggie out to be carried with me personally just so this very thing wouldn't happen.

this is actually from when i moved
in last summer, because i wasn't
taking pictures while moving out.
for the first half of this week, i've been back in my old apartment, dancing with myself to my ipod, listening to podcasts of this american life, portions of david sedaris audio books, and occasionally cleaning.  in between washing baseboards and scrubbing bathroom tile, i've had time to ponder, to wonder, and to muse.  i smile to think that one of the reasons i chose the complex was that it had tennis courts, swimming pools, a game room,  and a movie theater.
once grad school started, i had time for none of that.  the apartment was fine, but it was where i've lived during some the most challenging times of my life.  i suspect i will view it similarly to how i look at roman gardens, the complex where i lived during my first semester in utah: it was fine and it got me through, but with no real sweet memories there.  i guess that's not entirely accurate for 585; there have been some good times there, but i was rarely in love with my life there.

just as moving to centennial brought me some of the best years of my life, i'm looking forward to the new world of life here.  and, unlike last summer, i've got two and a half weeks here to unpack, move in, and decorate; to make it mine.  if nothing else, i can turn my head around right now and see my own private bath, dang it.  ; )

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

someday

someday, i'll be through this.

someday, i'll have someone to send a text to when i'm feeling good, just to share pass that happy moment along.

someday, i'll be someone's number one.

someday, i'll have someone to lie down next to at the end of the day.

Monday, August 08, 2011

bah weep granah weep ninny bong

my hero
 twenty five years ago today, transformers: the movie was released in theaters.  at least, that's what imdb says.  i obviously don't remember.

but i do remember that my dad took me to go see it in the theater.  (he also claims he took me to go see return of the jedi, but i don't remember that.  however, one of my earliest memories at all is my mom taking me and my sister to go see e.t. in the theaters.  that came out in 1982 which makes me pretty young, but it was so bloody scary that that memory is burned into me.  anyway, back to transformers)
the movie is notable for a couple reasons, namely 1) optimus prime, the noble leader of the autobots, in a completely unexpected plot choice, is killed by his arch-nemesis, megatron.  seriously?  that just doesn't happen! (well, it happened in the second live-action movie, but no one cares about those messes of c.g.  but for boys in the 80s, you better believe we loved optimus prime (and still do.)
and 2) the human guy swears.  like, he says s#!t.  it's such an infamous part of the movie (this is an animated cartoon that is essentially a feature-length toy commercial for little boys) that that chapter on the dvd is simply titled, "the swear word."

oddly, as a six-year old sitting in the dark next to my dad, i remembered the other curse word in the movie: before he's about to be killed (yeah, they killed a lot of main characters in this movie.  why?  to make way for the new 1985 toy line), ultra magnus is trying to open the matrix (it's not your "darkest hour" yet, silly) and as the deceptacons (or sharktacons, i can't remember which at the moment) are encroaching in him, in frustration he says, "open, d@*mit!"  for some reason, that stood out to me as kid.

also 3) it's set in 2005.

it's not that good of a movie.  granted,it could be a lot worse, but unless you're you have both an x and a y chromosome and your age was in the single digits in the mid-80s, you're really not going to get it.
but, if you do fit those requirements, then, dang, it's pretty much awesome.
in all seriousness, optimus prime's scene of "megatron must be stopped, no matter the cost" still gives me chills and has me cheering every time i watch it.

michael bay must be stopped,
no matter the cost
if i hadn't spent the evening unpacking my room, i would have been watching it...  (well, and if my roommate weren't out in the living room hanging out with a girl....)

and, oddly enough, they somehow got orson welles to do a voice for it.  it was his last movie.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

a whole new world

this is fun, too...
when i innocently wandered into byu's international cinema in the 2001 winter semester to see a chinese movie called to live, my mind was blown.  the emotional power of the movie floored me in a way that few movies have done since and eyes were opened to a whole new possibility of cinema.  one of the things i remember noticing was when they were walking into the main character's ancestral home, a chinese mansion that had been in his family for generations.  and i thought of how cool it looked and momentarily wondered what research the production designers did to get it accurate.  then it occurred to me: this wasn't some hollywood movie, this was china telling a story about china.  getting a realistic set took about as much work as a getting that "ivory homes" look if you're shooting in utah valley.

and that was something i loved about international film: what you saw was real.  that was how people live in their respective countries.  yes, there is likely some production design to a certain degree, but what is often the most fascinating are the little things, the aspects of their life that are so mundane, so second nature that they likely don't think anything of them, yet to the outside viewer can be fascinating.  from then on, one criteria in determining which movies were worth skipping homework to go see (and this became more liberal as i approached graduation until my senior year, when i would not do my homework at all and spend my entire shift at the i.c. in the projection booth, just watching the films out the window) was how much i knew about that country.  the more obscure the nation of origin, the appealing the film.

later in my freshman year, i dragged my friends to a movie called a time for drunken horses solely because it was in farsi and i didn't know a thing about that language (yes, i've been doing this for ten years.)  i watched the song of the weeping camel mainly because it was set in mongolia and i'd never seen a movie about mongolia before (for those of you interested, check out mongolian ping pong; it's actually pretty good and quite cute.)  sub-saharan africa is just a rare and i still haven't developed a taste for their general style, but it's still fascinating just to see their culture and the stories they want to tell.  iran and afghanistan have some very powerful films and some very beautiful ones as well.  southeast asia is also harder to find, and i never did see the scent of the green papaya whenever it played.  there's a new thai director i keep hearing about but haven't had the chance to see any of his films (or learn to pronounce his name...)

today we pretty much finished up our animation and i was home before 7:00 with no need to be back at school until noon tomorrow (meanwhile, the other two groups are working hard in the lab, hoping to get some sleep tonight.)  everyone says there are only two things to do in college station: go the bars and go the movies.  and so i took advantage of my free evening, grabbed totoro, and curled up on the couch to watch my newest acquisition, satyajit ray's the music room.  it's been said that indian films can be divided into two types: the satyajit ray film and the bollywood film.  so this wasn't om shanti om but rather much more akin to ingmar bergman (although much less angsty towards God.)  the story was interesting and i really liked it (despite fighting to stay awake after not sleeping much this week), but, once again, part of the fascination was simply seeing india, not through the eyes of an enthusiastic brit, but from a native storyteller.  one more reason i love this stuff, i guess.

in the meantime, i'm going to sleep and not setting my alarm.... : )

Monday, August 01, 2011

cool white

i remember hearing a this american life story a few years ago about a guy who read how to win friends and influence people, wanting to learn how to influence people and win friends, i suppose.  and he noted to the host that, as he read and applied the book's methods for interacting with others, as he learned the techniques on how to successfully navigate the social realms, he began to wonder about the intentions of those around him.  that, as he was trying to take an interest in what people were talking about because that was one of the lessons of the book, he started to wonder if the people he interacted with were being genuine or, like him, just applying techniques.  his efforts to improve his interpersonal relations soon had him ironically double-thinking every interaction.

i thought that was interesting.  and, as i was talking on the phone tonight with a friend about leadership skills and the like, i thought of how i don't think i really work like that.  i think i develop my interpersonal skills through a more holistic approach of observation and practice, rather that through a book written by a corporate strategist or even a behavioral psychologist.  not that i have anything against such approaches; it's just not my thing.

i was thinking, too, about how i'm often asked what my opinion is on a subject and how i will often fumble and stumble for an answer, usually delivering an anemic response (again, such happened tonight).  it's made me wonder if i'm bland or wishy-washy, if i really don't have many opinions, if there's not much underneath me, if i need to be bolder and more determined in who i am, what i stand for, and what i want.
no, i don't think so.

first, i do have opinions.  a lot of them get voiced here.  and i think i have many more feelings, thoughts, and stances on issues but i don't have them readily eloquated.  that's frustrating at times but i'm working at it, i suppose.

sometimes i think i may be afraid to say what i think for fear of saying the wrong thing, for coming across too extreme on one side of an issue or the other, particularly in issues where my feelings aren't clearly formulated and so i'm wary of saying something that will be misunderstood and portray me in a way different from how i feel or perhaps immovably opinionated about an issue that, while i have some thoughts on it, are hardly definitive or non-negotiable.

further, i think that i don't often have responses ready when people ask me what i think is because i've been spending my time, not thinking about what i think about what they think, but simply listening.  and so i need time to then gather and formulate my own thoughts.  i'm not very good about keeping my opinions on-demand.  i'd like to be, though.  although i'm ok with being more ponderous, of thinking about what i think about something, and of rethinking my position each time, since new information and new understandings may have come since the last time i shared my thoughts.

by nature, i'm a peacemaker.  i'm usually not afraid to get a little messy if it will lead to a better healing in the end.  i don't like people who are overly active, who always have to be doing things and setting goals, who can't sit back and just let it be.  but i'm very afraid of being boring, of being dull, of being discarded because i come across as uninteresting or aimless.

this post is mostly just a by-product of talking on the phone tonight; a hodgepodge of thoughts and ponderances.  i'm tempted to schedule it for some time tomorrow morning, but i think i'll just put it up now and get to bed.