Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ode to Pumpkinfest

Ode to Pumpkinfest

When the season's coming cold
And you're starting to feel old
Cast your gaze into the West

For there's fun yet to be had
There's a costume to be clad
Come and don your Pumpkin best

In a circle of dear friends
There's a love that all wounds mends
Feel the swelling in your chest

Feel the laughter, feel the love
Feels like angels from above
With each guest I am more blessed

Each new friend a new gift shares
Stories, hugs, and pumpkin wares
And my joy swells to a crest

Spending all night eating pie
Carving squash 'till dawn is nigh
I've nary felt more successed

Still, the rub of every party,
Even when the fun is hearty
Is how bad the house gets messed

If you saw the present state
of our home (it is not great)
I assure you'd be impressed

So perhaps I should require
Ere you head home to retire
That you clean at my behest

Many pumpkins to remove
From each cranny nook and groove
Of my well-beloved nest

By tomorrow's coming eve
I shall have my clean reprieve
Every dirty wound redressed

Now the holiday is done
And I've had a lot of fun
Soon I'll clean but now I'll rest

So to bed I'll shortly go
And relax from head to toe
Till I've fully decompressed

So when next year comes around
If you find you're in my town
I'll for sure keep you abreast

Though so many more words rhyme
I feel that I've run out of time
I don't want to be a pest,
I refuse to say incest,
As I've made it my sole quest
Not to importunely jest,
But I mustn't lack for zest
Even though I'm feeling stressed,
So accept this palimpsest

Friday, October 23, 2009

One person's trash bag

Is my traysure.

If you think I didn't drive around for hours tonight stealing orange trash bags full of leaves from the curbs in my neighborhood, think again.

If you think I won't be using said stolen garbage to decorate for Pumpkinfest, think again.

If you think Ryan will be anything but thrilled about what this newfound abundance of decomposing leaves will mean for our compost pile, think again.

If you think 90% of said compost will be going anywhere in the garden other than right where his giant pumpkin will be planted in the spring, think again.

If you are thinking of missing Pumpkinfest, think again. So far, I have four guests traveling in from other states for this party. I stole trash for it. It's gonna rock.

Anyone know where I can get an inflatable pumpkin lawn ornament? I used to have one, but it was stolen from me by my neurotic relatives who convinced me it was frivolous, and that the limited closet space in my then-apartment should be vacated of inflatable lawn ornaments to make room for my spouse-to-be's belongings. As you can see, said neurotic relatives LACK VISION.

I'm going to bed now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You're Invited!!!

Hear ye, hear ye and TIS THE SEASON!

To start, a riddle.

What do you get when you marry this man:
To this woman:
And add fabulous, festive friends?:
You get a little fest, is what you get. You get a PUMPKINFEST.

I have a friend; her name is Katie. She lives in the Midwest. For our purposes here, her most resounding traits are her unmatched sense of humor and her unbridled love of pumpkin-flavored treats. Pumpkin pie was served at her wedding. In May. Girl don't mess around.

It was my incredible, undeserved good fortune to be her roommate in college. Pumpkinfest was her idea. And I have stolen it.

She doesn't seem to mind.

I had lots of fabulous roommates in college, but only two named Katie, and only two integral to making Pumpkinfest what it is today. Thankfully, for the sake of minimizing confusion, they are the same two Pumpkin-loving Kates.

Kate #2 is pictured above. With green hair.

K2 taught me to take things to the next level, to go big or go home. We hosted a Pumpkinfest together that involved her teenaged brother wrestling with his friends on a tarp covered with pumpkin guts. She hand-crafted a Pumpkin Princess costume. As you can see, I really like girls who don't mess around. This year, she's coming back.


Come celebrate the reason for the season!

October 30. 6 o'clock-tired o'clock (we start early so we have daylight by which to carve pumpkins)

1) A Pumpkin to carve
2) A Pumpkin flavored/themed treat to share
3) Yourself, ideally dressed as a pumpkin, but at least paying tribute in the form of an orange T shirt or something
4) Your friends and families, similarly clad.
5) I hope my 800 square foot domicile is up to this kind of festivating.

Plan to:
1) Carve your pumpkin
2) Eat pumpkin flavored/themed treats
3) Get fawned over excessively for your compliance with the costume rule
4) Stop me from forcibly kissing your pumpkin-costumed loved ones on the mouth*

I hope you'll be there! K2 is flying in from DC, so you really have no excuse. If you need more info, like the address of said fest, please email me or send me a message on facebook.

*Just kidding, I left that habit behind when I graduated from BYU

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I have several crippling character flaws, but lately the one that has been stuck most unrelentingly in my craw is my tendency to indecision.

This does not mean I lack for opinions; on the contrary, the indecision is borne of very strongly held, yet frustratingly contradictory, opinions. Let me illustrate with a few examples, many of which were provided by Facebook updates and my blogger dashboard.

1. Eat cookies vs. run a marathon. If you are thinking that these two options are not mutually exclusive, and that you might like to post in the comments about how you feast on snickerdoodles all day long and run six marathons a year, save your time. We are fundamentally different. When I decide I'm in the mood for health, I go to the gym like a rat for hours a day and eat only salad. When these paroxysms of vitality start to get old, typically after six to eight weeks of unmitigated raw vegetation, I go back over all the recipes my diabolical friends have been posting on their blogs and decide I really ought to learn to make cinnamon rolls because it's a life skill. Tragically, I never remain in either phase long enough to satisfyingly complete any of the related goals. And I usually only have one pair of decently-fitting pants.

2. Have fun vs. grow up. Again, if you are pushing thirty and don't, in any tiny recess of your nostalgic imagination, feel that sixteen was a more entertaining time of life, you have the right to remain silent. I, for one, earnestly enjoyed spending my parents money and getting drunk on the love only an adolescent girl can have for her 47 BFFs. Don't tell me you wouldn't rather sit by the river all day talking about your best friend's boy troubles and then stay up all night trying to figure out if your crush likes you back and occasionally behaving illicitly than doing whatever laundry and making whatever dinner captured your energy today. On the other hand, adulthood has its advantages. I am smarter than I was ten years ago, and more interesting. I have a deeper perspective on myself, the world, etc., which might make me a better conversationalist. I have an increased sense of self-efficacy. But I laugh far less.

3. Invest in myself vs. procreate. I know that having children can be a wonderful experience, and optimally results in personal growth. I also know that some people manage to produce offspring while remaining fundamentally interesting human beings, as many of you have managed, fair readers. But I am pretty sure that my current schedule of working, bring a grad student, and having lots of friends, hobbies, and time to read bizarre things that catch my eye in the public library would be significantly hampered by children. And yet, my fertility, it wanes with each lunar cycle. I want to apply to PhD programs, but then who will I annoy when I am old and my body systems start to go? Who will owe me one when I am one day incontinent? Will I be irrevocably left in the dust of those who choose the sticky path of children?

4. Stay vs. leave. I have lived in Utah since I graduated high school, quite by accident. I never meant to stay, but I never had a reason to leave. Now, much to my chagrin, I am somewhat attached. I like that people always seem to be coming through town so I can stay in touch better. I like knowing my way around well enough that I don't have to figure out what I like and what to avoid. But middle America ain't my thing, and I keep fixin' to hit the road, but then I realize I am halfway through grad school and have no reason to pull me away. I bought a house, but I didn't think that meant I'd get stuck. But, sometimes, I feel as though perhaps I have. I had a genius idea, that Ryan and I could each choose five locations we had always wanted to see in the lower 48 and then plan a connect-the-dots road trip. On our way, we could take noted and photos to chronicle our journey and inform a decision about where to go next. But such trips are costly, which brings me to the next burr in my saddle.

5. Spend vs. save. A penny saved is a penny earned. Live like nobody else will so you can live like nobody else can. I've heard it. But what about this? And this? And a couple of these? How can this be a luxury when I am so convinced it's a necessity? And don't even get me started on this. I think I could decimate the IRA with a few swift clicks. This seems like it would be enriching. And I'll need this to go with this. You get the point.

6. Speak up vs. shut up. The other night, I was having a discussion with some friends. Wonderful friends. Open-minded friends, gifted with keen social skills and the ability to tolerate my presence despite my wildly flailing emotions. As I get older and my opinions grow stronger and better informed, I sense myself periodically, and increasingly, missing the forest for the trees. When a topic arises that I identify myself with, all bets for civility are off. My head threatens to explode. I can't listen. I leave feeling exposed and violated by MY OWN behavior, no matter how kind and gracious the witnesses. And, on the other hand, I like being a person of strong opinion, a person who cares about things. I like that I will say uncomfortable things sometimes for the sake of integrity and honesty. But I sense myself alienating myself from people after bursts of thinly, or un-, veiled rage over some topic, and this trend is neither advantageous to me, nor the causes which I have invited to become part of my identity.

7. Now vs. later. I'm a list-maker. I have post-its all over the place enumerating the tasks that need doing, groceries that need buying, projects I'd like to complete, activities I'd like to try. They remind me to visit the baby elephant at the Hogle zoo and to learn conversational Spanish. The trouble with my system is that it does not discriminate nor prioritize among tasks. There is nothing to indicate that sending out an invitation to Pumpkinfest (Oct. 30! Invite pending! Hope you'll be there! Bring a pumpkin to carve and a pumpkin-based/themed food item to share! Tell your friends as long as I like them!) is more urgent than learning how to create a strawberry barrel, and that studying for my Substance Abuse Counseling midterm requires attention sooner than my desire to learn to knit.

I thought identity crises were supposed to be an adolescent thing.