She tickled my back after dinner.
If I didn't like the dessert she'd make another one just for me (even though I'm 22).
We'd have chats at bedtime instead of stories.
She said it was okay to pray over cakes I bake.
And if those cakes didn't turn out, she said it's okay to throw them.
She owned several white blouses.
She was always "pretty good for an old person."
Even though she couldn't see for the last few years, she always said I looked beautiful.
Whenever I'd dye my hair dark brown, she called me her "Indian princess." I never understood why, really.
We talked about books.
Yabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba said the monkey to the chimp.
I had her number memorized by the time I was five.
I'm her namesake and am honored, though inadequate, to be so.
I've always been Little Charlotte.
I wish I could always be Little Charlotte, because if I were always Little Charlotte, there would always be an Older Charlotte around.
Someday I can be Little Charlotte again.

But not today.


saying something

Yesterday was a hard day for me, and as I was sitting outside the library waiting for Josh, tears trickling down my cheeks, a total stranger came up to me and asked if I was okay. I wasn't. Even though this girl couldn't do anything to improve my current situation she approached me anyway.

Some people may accuse BYU of being a bubble and not in touch with the "real world," but when you have a campus with people on it who will offer to comfort a complete stranger, well, that says something.


mom's birthday post

Today is my mom's birthday, and I want to write a fitting tribute but am having a hard time coming up with adequate words to describe how truly incredible she is and how much I love her. I'll try.

She's amazing. Really. She does everything: she's a phenomenal mom and a loving wife, excels in her busy and demanding church calling, takes care of her aging parents, costumes the high school musicals, finds time to talk to me on the phone several times a week, takes Sarah to her dance class, reads John's English papers, irons the clothes, does the laundry, cooks dinner, arranges family home evening, sends care packages, text messages pictures to me, always looks beautiful, and loves me more than I could ever know.

She, along with my dad, have taught me everything most important in my life. My mom knows who she is and why she's here, and she's passed that knowledge down to me. Even though I'm living in Utah, away from home, she still teaches me and advises me on so many things in my life.

I wish I could truly articulate what I feel for her and how much I love her. She's my mother, and she's one of my best friends. I hope that she can see in herself what I see in her, because what I see is love, commitment, faith, beauty, and strength.

Happy birthday, Mom. You're amazing to me.



:: reading a leisure book at the bus stop
:: having a good hair day
:: smiling
:: midday voice mails from my boyfriend just because
:: the dictionary
:: text messages from my 16-year-old brother
:: ampersands
:: new television episodes
:: finishing a research paper
:: monograms
:: lowercase letters
:: kitchen dancing
:: chocolate pie
:: DoubleStuf Oreos
:: clean sheets
:: shaved legs
:: new book smell
:: Big Gulps
:: good mail
:: tuna fish sandwiches
:: pomegranate Izzes


not so freaked out

No secret to you readers, my impending graduation has been a source of some anxiety for me. I've been scared about being thrust into real adulthood, and throughout the past few months, I've often felt greatly overwhelmed about my future. But I'm here to say that the freak-out is over (at least, the big freak-out).

I mean, I'm graduating in just over a month! Graduating! From college! With a degree! This is really big and really exciting, and I'm here to say that I'm really, really excited--as I should be!


a senioritis paper

Believe it or not, this setup--movie, Big Gulp, and popcorn--is for a big research assignment.

For my senior capstone class I'm required to write a 15- to 20-page research paper. Not feeling too motivated for this assignment, several weeks ago I settled on a topic that would prove engaging while still leaving room for some senioritis. My thesis: As a culture, we subconsciously recognize the practical use of the fantastic [the uncertainty between real and unreal] and harness it through television and film, penetrating our own psyches and asking the haunting questions that pertain to life, death, and the very nature of our being.

Once put through a senioritis filter this reads: I came up with a topic that has simultaneous academic validity and entertainment value. About half of my research is watching and taking notes on select episodes of "House," select episodes of "The X-Files," Just Like Heaven, and The Prestige. My professor thinks this is a great topic and looks forward to seeing where my research takes me. After having refined my argument and research a little more, I'm actually excited about this topic. A lot. It combines my class subject with something I legitimately enjoy, pop culture. I'll be leaving college on an academic and research triumph, I believe.

Finally after 18 or so years of continual formal education, I can say, "Yes, Mom, I can watch TV before finishing my homework because watching TV is my homework."


a eulogy for a friend

When my hot cocoa spilled all over my desk on Monday, I thought you were safe, that the cocoa had innocently seeped underneath you, leaving your insides intact. But I was wrong. Somehow it got inside and ruined you. The last thing I listened to on you was the third HP book. That was nice. You were a loyal and dependable friend for three or so years. Sometimes you were like an extra appendage. Now you're dead. Forever. I tried charging you, but you just crackled.

Now I have to find a new one.

Rest in peace, 30GB iPod Classic.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Leisurely YA Fiction

I've taken a brief return to YA lit, and it's a nice place to be.

Uglies (Uglies, #1) Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was okay. The examination of a hypothetical dystopian world was interesting. The themes seemed a bit didactic, and the writing quality probably leaned toward the mediocre side. But the plot is easy to understand and still compelling. This isn't my most favorite YA book ever—it definitely leans toward the "okay" median—but it's a fun and easy read when you need a break.

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Pretties (Uglies, #2) Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was an okay follow-up to Uglies. Again, the premise is compelling (a dystopian society characterized by cosmetic hierarchy), but the writing quality leaves much to be desired. I read this right after finishing its predecessor and need a little break before continuing to the next book in the series (and yes, I think I will read the next one because of the interesting story concept and the fact that the author of the next one is different from the first two). These books are nice brain drains and quick reads, but don't read them expecting a remarkable literary experience.

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Operation Superhuman Reader: LAST BOOK

Today I finished my last undergraduate book. I finished it, my last ever college book (unless, of course, I go to grad school, and even then, I won't go into an English discipline--too much theory).

I was a little surprised when I realized that The Sunset Limited would be the end of college novels for me and have been toting my camera with me for the past couple days, making sure that when I finish it, I'll have proper and timely documentation.

I think a trip to Borders is in order so I can stock up on books to have waiting in the wings, now that I'm finished with novels for classes.

The Sunset Limited The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I didn't really know what to expect from a McCarthy play, and I ended up loving it. The premise is simple, but the themes are still intense and poignant. The whole play (just one act) is a dialogue between two characters characterized as just Black and White (which do also refer to their skin colors). This book is full of life/death philosophy but it was  very accessible. It's especially interesting reading this book after having read so much of his other work. This is a super quick read (you could easily read it in one sitting) and one that is well worth your time.

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12 of 12: Slowing Improving Edition

At least this time I actually have 12 photos. Still no grid, but I figure I'm getting closer.

01. When I woke up. It was little later than I needed but not as late as I wished.

02. I stripped my sheets. The promise of clean sheets fills me with delight.

03. My bus stop.

04. Breakfast of champions.

05. Working on my print publishing project with "Psych" playing in the corner. And yes, I did design that book cover on the screen.

06. The JKB, where I had my only class for the day.

07. Lunch splurge.

08. Easter treat from Emily to keep me company in the library. The only downside: there were only three of the Reeses minis, and I finished those off in about 20 seconds.

09. Emily, Big Gulps? Need I say more?

10. Lots of Number One time. I love it. (And yes, she did receive the Testing Center note this time!)

11. What kept me company as I put the clean sheets on my bed.

12. Primping for a night out.


a non sequitur

I opened my microwave to heat up my black bean and corn burrito and found this:

A lone cookie--one of a batch I made, mind you--sitting stuck to the bottom of the microwave. I don't even know how to respond.

like I need another one

I like another TV show. Gah. I had some downtime last week and thought to watch the pilot episode of "Parenthood," a new show on NBC. My initial draw to the show was the fact that Lauren Graham (a.k.a. Lorelai Gilmore from the oh-so-therapeutic-and-hilarious "Gilmore Girls") is one of the stars. I didn't know what to expect, but I like it. A lot. I liked the pilot but did see room where bad writers could make the drama more of a soap opera; the show has a wide span, covering the lives of numerous characters, but I think that with good writing, it could really work.

I watched the second episode this morning and still really like the show. I hope it continues to be good . . . even though I don't need another show to follow. I just really enjoy television shows. Embarrassing, but there you have it.


her second accounting test

I put the Cadberry Egg bag inside the envelope. She better get this one. I'm serious.


gratitude list

Tonight I am grateful for
  • uplifting testimony meetings
  • an attentive and perceptive bishop
  • a dad who is a worthy priesthood holder
  • a sister who can clog like nobody's business
  • cell phones so I can talk to my mom for an hour on a Sunday afternoon
  • Sunday as a day of rest so I don't feel obligated to do schoolwork and can nap instead
  • a boyfriend who does the dishes at my apartment
And now for Monday.


"30 Rock" convert

Josh and I usually watch "The Office" on Thursdays, and I have usually turned off the television after that lovely half hour ends. However, when I started watching with Josh, he wanted to keep the TV on and watch "30 Rock." I indulged this liking for a long time, and really just liked the show because Josh laughed so hard, and that was more entertaining to me than the actual show.

And then I started laughing more.

And now I think it's downright hilarious. So funny.

I'm converted. I am a legitimate "30 Rock" fan. I'm quietly laughing to myself (because I'm in the library typing this instead of researching for my McCarthy paper) just thinking about all the so-funny episodes I've seen and love.

I mean, with a show that has characters who perform original songs like "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah," where can you go wrong?


my real life take 2

Once again I fell into self-doubt and second-guessing my life and decisions. I try to trust myself but often find I can't. I've never felt this way before and this mentality has never been a serious problem for me, but lately I haven't been feeling good enough. Isn't that awful? Isn't that just how Satan wants me to feel?

So I read President Uchtdorf's talk to the Relief Society about how happiness is our heritage, and I made some goals. I talked to my sister, who empathized and understood. I read a devotional given by Elder Holland two years ago about "remembering Lot's wife." Sister Holland, back when the she and her husband were just about my age, said, "The future holds everything hopeful for us." I need to remember that the future holds everything hopeful for me.

Yes, I'm scared about my post-graduation life, because I don't see the plan, and the plan I have for myself is short-reaching because that's all I can see. Yes, I sometimes feel like I'm stepping into the dark. Yes, it's hard sometimes to make my own happiness, but it is possible. I can't be like Lot's wife and yearn for the past when retrospectively things seemed easier, because like Elder Holland said, "Faith is of the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there."

In these moments, brief or prolonged, when I feel scared and little and just not good enough, I'll remember that the future holds everything for me. Everything.

Take that, Satan.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Improved McCarthy

No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was much more accessible than Blood Meridian, meaning I could actually follow the plot. Ha. In addition to being able to follow the story, I enjoyed it. The plot in many aspects is a thriller, but the main character, Bell, is deep and his introspection introduces deep themes that make you think. No surprise, McCarthy does throw in some violence, so consider that when deciding to read this book. Honestly, my opinion of McCarthy was wavering with Blood Meridian, but it was recovered with this easier-to-read yet no-less-McCarthy-esque novel.

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The Road The Road by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If my McCarthy opinion was shaky before, The Road solidified my respect for the author. I don't want to sound cliche in my review, but this really was an excellent novel. The plot isn't action-driven but is rather propelled by the relationship and dialogue between the man and the boy. The relationship created between the man and the boy is simple and profound, and the love McCarthy develops is palpable. While the book is a quick read, it's meaningful and poignant. Yes, this was on Oprah's book list, but that should in no way deter you! The Road makes it onto my favorites list and is one book I will be sure to reread.

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