Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Midnight Train to Georgia

Okay, so I'm not a train, but it's nearing midnight and I'm leaving for Georgia in the morning with Jewels and Mae. Before I make my way east to hang out with my fabulous southern relatives, here are a few snapshots of recent weeks that haven't been posted yet.

I know they're not in any order, but it's a smattering of my visit to So Cal with Maria, Maggie's wedding, Mae, and my teacher friends. Now see y'all in a week-- Love you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Our morning newspaper has a section every week dedicated to things that people love and things that people hate. It's thoroughly entertaining to see the little things that make people happy and even more entertaining to see the little things that make people go a bit nuts. Here are a few of my loves and hates. Some tie into just this past week and some speak to larger issues that seem to never go away...

I love (in no particular order)--
-Vanity Fair's recent photo shoot of young Hollywood stars in classic Depression era movies

-Mae's emerging spunk, Mae's top two teeth when she smiles, Mae's teetering steps (are we sensing a theme?!)

-fruit snacks (weirdly obsessed with all things in this genre of food (if you can call a chewy assortment of fruity chemicals food))

-Michael J. Fox (his memoirs, his foundation dedicated to finding a cure to Parkinson's, and his love for his family)
-my summer projects (decorating Container Store boxes, organizing photos, etc)

-reading "Freakonomics" ( a whole book dedicated to exploring random things like why drug dealers live with their mother and why naming your daughter Destiny is a bad idea--brilliant stuff)

-all things Harry Potter (cannot get enough of the magic, Jo Rowling, and the vicarious British existence)
-Jewels' smile when she watches Mae

-measuring things by exclamation points (Jenessa and I have taken to describing things by how many exclamation points it would earn even if our voice inflection doesn't change. Don't worry Hill-we don't write out the extra points in real sentences.)

-Kris Allen (We went to the American Idol concert this past Saturday-- so much fun, so many talented performers. Kris is perfectly delectable.)

I hate (in no particular order)--
-my recent anxiety over aging and death

-unpredictable heat (I know it's been unseasonably cool this summer, but please-- 78 degrees one day and 102 the next. We don't all need to feel like we're having hot flashes just because Mother Earth is having them.)


-that Heath Ledger died young
-the idea of selling out (Is leaving teaching, even for a short time, a form of selling out? It makes me crazy thinking about this concept.)

-being lost in an emotional fog (Cuckoo's Nest fog meets my bizarre compartmentalized self)

-reacting in an affirming way to inappropriate things

-16-year-olds projecting themselves as objects to be used and not even realizing that they're doing it

-16-year-olds projecting themselves as objects to be used and very aware that that they're doing it

-indeterminate injury recovery periods (doctors go to school for years and years, and I'm the one doing the dianosis- are you kidding me?)

I love (just because you can't end on a negative and still in no particular order)-
-"Glee" (This show is going to be fantastic-- It's quirky. It's real. And people burst into song. How could it not be great?)

-the conversations Mae has with her little self

-seeing people happy


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Questions for God

After a conversation I had with Dallen Webb my senior year of high school, I decided that when I die I get to ask God five questions. I don't know why I picked five. I know I have many more than that, but I probably figured enough things will be clear after crossing to the other side that I'll only have five. This past week I finished Kristin Chenoweth's memoir, and she too has a list of questions for God that jogged my memory on some of the questions that I can't wait to have answers to. So, here are a few of mine....

*Who killed Kennedy? I have to know. Oswald did not act alone. Mob conspiracy, that's my guess.
*Who is actually older - my mom or me? I know we were destined to come at this time, but I really think I was born before my mom in the pre-mortal existence.
*Does caffeine actually cause cancer (or any other defect for that matter)? Because I really love my daily jolt.
*Does caffeine actually cure cancer (or any other defect for that matter)? Because I really love my daily jolt.
*Why are people given trials that make them miserable for years when the purpose of this life is joy?
*Can my grandma's house in heaven be next to mine? I'd really like to have her close by me forever.
*How do you go through even one day keeping track of everyone? I cried all the time because of what was going on in my students' lives, and I had only 175 of them to keep track of. I cannot wait to truly see things through your eyes so that the beginning and the middle of people's respective experiences make more sense.
*Are there fiction writers in the eternities? Grandma won't want to come hangout in the hereafter if there aren't new books. And if there's no caffeine and no books, I may not want to come either (kidding, kidding).

I know that's more than five, and I've got loads more that I could ask. Think about it, what would you ask? It really is a fun thing to think about and enormously satisfying to think that someday we will know the answers to some of life's hardest questions.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I am not usually a poetry person, but there is something about this one. I simply love it. Perhaps because it opened a book that I recently finished. Perhaps because of entrenched truths. I don't know, but I find myself rereading it over and over. And that my friends, means something in and of itself.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~Derek Walcott

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not-So-Manic Monday

People keep asking me, "what are you doing with your summer?" I usually have a less than eloquent reply. I spout off the random trips I've been on or am going on. I talk about the random the projects for the week or claim that I'm studying for classes in the fall. Yes, I'm traveling to see some of my favorite people this summer. Yes, I'm working on all those things you say that you're going to do, but can't ever get to during "normal" life (i.e. sorting through old letters and mementos, etc, etc). And yes, I'm studying the recommended texts for my classes in the fall, but let's be honest - I'm on chapter three of my statistics text, chapter one of my econ (which actually is a fabulous book about seeing economics from a less traditional point of view), but I've read more than half a dozen other novels/memoirs ahead of the books I should be done with. So, what then am I doing? Well, here's a look at my not-so-manic Monday....

Woke up around 7:15, decided to go to back to sleep. Got up at 8:30 wishing I had gotten up at 7:15 because I had bizarre dreams in that last hour. Had a leisurely breakfast of fresh strawberries in milk while I pretended to read the whole paper, but actually only read about Federer's tennis match, the upcoming American Idol tour (going on Saturday!), and the baseball all-star picks. Wished Jenessa luck on her driver's test. Then checked my personal email, my school email, read more about Federer and Roddick, and checked facebook. Then wrote a recommendation letter for one of my students who is working on his Eagle project. Measured the amount of pain I had in my left foot and debated whether I wanted to go to the doctor. Wished I could go for a bike ride. Finished my letter to my students that will be sent with letters they wrote to themselves when they graduate. Got back in bed and finished "The Time Traveler's Wife" and read a text from my mom saying JENESSA PASSED HER DRIVER'S TEST. Pretended to care about what I looked like and got ready for the day while listening to the 6th Harry Potter (cannot wait for the movie next week!). Went to lunch with my mom and Jenessa at Chili's to celebrate her new found freedom (she already drove on the freeway twice-- something I was definitely not allowed to do when I first got my license). Cleaned out Jenessa's closet with her and laughed about old clothing choices. Spent two and a half hours at Urgent Care to get my left foot looked at. Essentially self diagnosed myself (strained, possibly sprained left foot - stay off of it, ice it, blah, blah, blah) but at least I got to read a big chunk of Kristin Chenoweth's memoir while waiting. Got home and read Ryan's recent letters. Talked on the phone with Rachel and postponed plans to work on her wedding to do's (so excited for her). Chatted more with mom and Jenessa. Ate dinner with them while watching America's Next Top Model (we love Karidee even if she was crazy). Finished Kristin Chenoweth's book. Burned school papers and old college textbooks in the annual Hutchins burning party (yes, that's what we did for FHE). Put my feet in the pool with Jenessa and had girl talk. Looked through my Netflix queue and watched the British version of "The Office" (we really did get our entire show from them, but our Pam and Jim are so much better). Picked up another book and....

Rough day, I know. I spent time with people I love, read good books, burned things. Throw in the fact that there was diet coke involved and gorgeous weather, and all in all, it was a pretty perfect Monday. That's my summer folks. It's a great life.

(not exactly in order, but you get the idea of our fabulous burn party...when I was in high school I prematurely had my burn party Memorial Day weekend and burned a binder of notes that I needed for finals in June...oops!)