Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Rhetoric of Attraction

The other day, in one of our many "love and things" talks, my roommate mentioned something that's been wandering in the back of my head for a few days.

"Why do you always see girls dating down, but guys almost always dating up?"

I don't want create some one-sided, man hating, dating stereotype, but isn't it true? I can't count the number of times a day I see a couple and wonder how that particular guy won over such a cute/attractive/all around catch of a girl. On the other hand, how often do you see an average girl with a model-esqe guy and think, "Wow, she caught herself a winner!" Not so much.

Things change with age and marriage. Sometimes. Maybe it's the way we're built. Maybe it's the culture we live in. Maybe you think this all sounds like a load of bull. I think lots (but certainly not all) girls would agree with me in saying that while looks are important to us, we prefer a well groomed, normal smelling, kind n' generous, average looking male over a six pack with a face. But again, I can't speak for the entire female race. Sex in the City is proof of that.

Females have their quirks. In English class today we had a discussion on the expectations that "Chick Flicks" set for guys. It was almost comical. Almost every male in the class expressed the opinion that when they watch chick flicks with girls, they feel some sort of responsibility to hold hands, cuddle with the girls, or in some cases, have a nice little make-out session even if they don't really want to, because they male lead of the movie is doing it. Now, there are 1001 flaws I can point out in this argument, starting with the making out comments, but I'll restrain. My favorite comment of the discussion?

Tyson: "Girls always say they feel giddy inside when they watch chick flicks. I don't understand that, I've never felt that way about a romantic movie. But I get giddy when I watch Star Wars. Maybe it's the same thing."

Another stereotype? Girls always see guys as the heart breakers. If a girl decides she doesn't want to date a particular guy due to lack of attraction, personality, yada yada yada, then she is simply moving on to greener pastures. If a guy does the same thing, he's suddenly the player, mister non commitment, or...a jerk. Sometimes that is the case, both ways. Yet, somehow I see girls breaking a lot more hearts than guys.

Now you're saying..."Allee, what in the heck are you getting at?"

Dating is hard. Avoiding falling in love with the idea of love is hard. Finding "a" somebody is hard.

I'll probably fall really hard on my face at least a few more times before I find a somebody. In actuality, it will be many, many more times. I have a few years. I'm not looking for Clark Kent (although I wouldn't mind ;) Can't resist a man who can write).

Maybe I don't know what I'm looking for, and maybe just maybe, that's okay. I'll know when I find it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes.

Through all of my music stages, the Celtic, the Indie Pop, the Jay Brannan, there are a few bands that I always come back to. I first heard Yellowcard eight years ago. I just bought their new CD. I love it as much as I did at 12 years old.

Ryan Key's voice makes me feel like I'm in 8th grade again.

Friday, March 25, 2011


7:00 AM: I didn't want to wake up today. When my alarm clock went off with that super-annoying octave jump I wanted to throw it against the wall. This semester, I've been a morning person. I like waking up before the sun and squeezing one more hour of work out of my day.

Just not today. Possibly because I was up well past midnight trying to write about health care.

10:30: Today, Katie sends me to hang a poster on the bottom floor of the TSC and to the bookstore to look for a trophy (?)  for the quiz bowl  The bookstore people look at me like I'm crazy. I stand awkwardly in the TSC, trying to hang a poster on a wire. I finally ask this guy for a chair, and walk up and down the hall trying to find the RIGHT wire, because it has to be between wire 8 and 12. The wires, however, are not in order. I stand awkwardly again on the chair, trying to hang it myself and realizing how stupid I look.

12:00 PM It snowed today. Big, fat, wet, flakes that were just enough to make my shoes wet. I should have hated it. In case you didn't know, I'm not the biggest fan of snow. Or cold. I made an exception today. It was disgusting outside but it pleased me.

4:00: I got an e-mail about the JCOM banquet today. At first, I was excited. I was supposed to go last year, but the super organized journalism department (har har. I love them, really. Just don't plan your schedules around them) never told me about it. The only reason I even knew I got a scholarship was an e-mail telling me I needed to send a thank-you note. 

All the sudden I had a realization.


And then my life was awkward. I know journalism boys. I do. The only problem is that they're all seniors or dating somebody. I'm at a cross roads. I don't disagree with the girl-ask-guy scenario, but I've never liked it. Girls complain about guys not asking them out, but it has to be hard. I couldn't be a guy. 

4:45 My R.A is right outside my door, explaining the intricacies of half-baths and bad carpet to some wide-eyed, slightly bewildered, 17-year olds. The A-day-ers have been everywhere, bringing with them an air of excitement, nervousness, and who knows what else. I never came to A-day. Seeing them made me kind of glad.

5:10: Today, I'm on my way out the door to Salt Lake. Goodbye world. I'm off to the Festival of Colors.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Improve them shinin' moments

"Improve the shining moments;
Don’t let them pass you by.
Work while the sun is radiant;
Work, for the night draws nigh.
We cannot bid the sunbeams
To lengthen out their stay,
Nor can we ask the shadow
To ever stay away."

Te hardest times in life are also the times where we can most deeply appreciate the simple joys of living. Today I found so much happiness in buying a book, in planning events, in finally finding the right angle on my article. In dancing like a crazy person, in the sun shining (finally), in getting a job interview. My heart is at bursting point. It's this combination of excitement and gratitude. 

Absolutely. Unbeatable.   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shoving myself into uncomfortable corners

Excuse me for blogging too much, for only talking about newspapers, and for being me.

Every once in a while (read: everyday) I get a little too cocky and life feeds me some humility cookies. Instead of tasting like raisins or chocolate chips, they taste like those cookies I made when I was 6, when I used 4 tablespoons of baking soda instead of teaspoons.

Today I was feeling pretty good, with my hair step-braided and what not. Went to all of my classes, got a great interview with the director of the health center. Got on a bus to go to a news meeting.

And then I ate some humble cookies. As the meeting started and stories were being passed out, I kept thinking about the accursed book story. I would almost take one, then my thought pattern would go like this:

1. That story is too big for you
2. You'll bomb it
3. Remember that story going in tomorrow? It will sound like that
4. Wait for a smaller one

As you can probably imagine, this thought process is not very effective. In fact, I didn't get a story, and then I felt like dumb. I kvetched for a while, and then came to the conclusion that if I really want to do something, I should take it head on, rather than from the sidelines. The past couple weeks, I've been in wimp mode or something.
Another humble cookie? Every time my phone buzzes, I hope for a half-second it's the person that I want it to be. And then it's twitter. Or the bus. Seriously, I text the bus more than other contact in my phone.

So I'll sit and listen to Adele. And ponder how I'm going to be better. But not for too long, because as great as my mind is, it doesn't get me anywhere unless my feet move too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Burst of Allee

I've never seen myself as a spontaneous person. 
I go to bed early. At the start of every week I make a giant list of things to be done. I think three years ahead of time, trying to plan how to get exactly what I want. Except for an occasional unplanned road trip to Las Vegas, I'm a fairly predictable, boring person. 

Let me tell you how 5 seconds of yesterday changed the next six months of my life.

Saturday at 1:00, I sit down to write my article. On average, a good article will take me anywhere from one to two hours. They tell me that news is easier than features, but I'm not selling my chickens yet. Five hours later, two lunches, and fifteen Facebook checks later I'm still sitting in front of my computer, 150 words short. I'm can't fluff this. I made a goal before I decided to start writing news. I was determined not to be the loser freshman who couldn't write. I especially didn't want to be the one that nobody would criticize, because they were too "fragile". But no matter how hard I try, I can't make it sound good. I can't finish it, because there is nothing else to say. All the sudden, I'm the loser freshman, and it kills me. I manage to get 650 words, but I can't press the share button. I want so much to be better than I am, to be eloquent and flowing and perfect.

But I've failed. 

Even if it was only for three hours, PoBev worked a miracle on my spirits. There was so much talent on that stage, so many brave people. It took me many years to accept that fact that I'm not born to perform, at least on the stage. I get just as much happiness out of strumming some guitar chords to myself as playing for others. It wasn't a terrible revelation. Somewhere in high school, I just realized it wasn't for me. If anything it pushed me into what I'm doing now. I'm good at being a behind the curtain person. 

I woke up Sunday, and before I even took my head out of the warm spot it had made in my pillow, I realized that I had six weeks left. Six weeks of newspaper. Six weeks of teachers and classes. Six weeks of friends. I love my summers, I always have. But all of the sudden six weeks seemed like a dark blot. The thought living in Salt Lake for three months seemed almost suffocating. I had thought a little about it, seeing as I don't have a job to go back to, but in that moment I decided I was going to stay in Logan for the summer. I didn't know the how, the why, or the where, but all the sudden all of the pieces that I've been missing fit together. The hardest part was telling my wonderful, perfect mother. The only time I questioned my decision was when I heard the disappointment in her voice.  

As I climbed out of bed and looked in the mirror, for the first time in a long time I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like the zits on my face or the way my hips drooped. I didn't like that my hair wouldn't sit right. My eyes were dull and my fingernails were a little too long. Even as a little girl, I promised myself that I would never be one of "those" girls. A girl that didn't like who she was. A girl that looked in the mirror and saw a stranger. Yet, here I was looking at myself, seeing a blank stare in my reflection.

This is all sounding very mundane. I'm a happy person, I swear. This just happened to be an odd morning. I like myself again today, but something has stuck with me. I'm not who I want to be, and I'm not working hard enough to get there. Realizing that, I found another piece of my puzzle. This summer, I want to find me. I want to run in the mountains every day and read too many books. I want to work 60 hours a week until I feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile. I want to go tubing on a river in Idaho. I want to finish the Bible. I want to love people more. I want to write everyday. When I come back to school next fall, I want to have something I'm passionate about besides newspapers. It's silly enough when normal people ask me about my hobbies and the only thing that comes to mind is newspapers, but when somebody ON the newspaper staff asks you the same question, and you can't think of an answer, you know your in a rut. I must have other hobbies, I faintly remember them. I just haven't taken time to dig them up in a while. 
The thought of staying here, not knowing anybody, brings me terrified peace. It doesn't make sense to me either. The part of me that is so scared to be alone is also the part of me that knows I can do it. 

Now I'm off to find the last two pieces of my puzzle....a job and shelter. Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I'd like you to know you perplex me.

When you sit my me, but mostly when you don't.
When you talk to me for hours, and then ignore me for days.
When I can see you everyday, but know nothing about your life.
When you can tune me out like an old man with a hearing aid.

And I perplex myself too, because I hate that I still care. I despise the fact that my silly mind runs in circles and I can't make it stop.

Please, make it stop. I can't ride this ferris wheel anymore without getting dizzy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Boys.

I must be getting old.

In the past two days, two boys have been on my mind. Both of them are on their way to the LDS mission field, one to Argentina the other to South Carolina. At some time in my 19 years of life, both have been my best friends. 

Stephen. Steph-an. Muntch. Let's start with his brother. When I was 15, I decided I would learn the art of dance. I was determined to overcome my clumsy, foot smashing ways so I wouldn't be embarrassed when I went to prom. At this point, I was both shy and socially inept. For three long weeks I joined the Social Dance Club. Let me tell you, there's nothing social about it. Socially awkward, maybe. I danced with guys that didn't know how to lead, guys who couldn't figure out where to put their hands, and worst of all guys who smelled like ranch dressing. After two weeks, I was I still couldn't move my feet in a coordinated fashion, and I smelled like old salad.

Enter Peter. One day, an adorable blond boy waltzes up to me and seeing my dancing woes, tries to teach me to do a simple step. After a while, he gives up. I quit the social dance club soon after. Sorry if you were waiting for a dramatic ending where we eloped to Paris.

Fast forward one year. I walk into the AP English, still socially inept but not bashful. I think life would have been easier if I had stayed shy. It would have saved from many awkward conversations. There's a kid in the middle of the class, and I instinctively know that he's Peter's brother. I sit down next to him, and scare him half to death because I don't know how to shut up. I don't remember the exact conversation, but he probably said one word for every 1000 that I said. Poor guy. Maybe it was because he listened to every annoying thing I said, or maybe it was because I couldn't his his toehead, but that day I decided we were going to be friends. And thus starts the slightly dysfunctional relationship of Allee and Stephen. It goes something like this:

Allee bugs Stephen.
Allee taunts Stephen.
Stephen smirks
Allee won't stop talking
Stephen complains
Allee buys Stephen some cookies.

I already had a job that year saving lives at the good 'ole Gene Fullmer, but for some reason Stephen, who worked at West Jordan Middle School as a swim teacher/lifeguard got to talking about his job, and I decided, for some insane reason, I needed another job. I met Stephen September of my junior year of high school, and by the end of October I was working at the middle school. As it turns out, that decision defined me for a few years, but that's a story for another day.

Duct Tape DOES fix everything
That year, especially that summer, Stephen became my go-to guy. Of course, that naturally happens when you spend six hours a day together. We taught lessons together, I tried to get the kids to love me more than him (usually they picked him), and we bonded over gummy snacks, cookies, and water aerobics. I still drove him crazy, but somehow it all balanced out. He was the only guy that I would ever talk to about other guys, and he would tell me straight out what was annoying about girls.

There are so many things I could say, and so many stories I could tell, but I try not to be a boring blogger. When college hit, Stephen and I grew apart a little. At first I was hurt, but realized quickly that it's impossible for everybody we meet to stay in our lives. Most people just stay long enough to leave a hand print on our hearts. I wish I could be in Salt Lake for his farewell, but some things don't happen. He came to Logan a few weeks ago. We had a grand time eating Aggie Ice Cream and singing Billy Gilman at the top of our lungs. Oh, and we kind of ripped his pants. Pray that the Argentinian people don't mind.

I stole this. 
I'm the strangled one. He's the shocked one.
I don't have as much to say about this one, not because I don't care, but because I don't know. This is my of favorite people in the entire world. Tyson. Being three months apart, he was the only cousin my age. We were born to be best friends. Even though I was older, he was always smarter than me. He had better hand writing. He was better at Pokemon blue. I remember the day he moved to Illinois when we were in 5th grade. I was probably the saddest 10 year-old you've ever seen. Even though he lived half way across the country, we would exchange these goofy emails with way too many emoticons. By the time he moved back, I was in super-awkward stage, and he was cool. Still is. I don't know what happened except that for every cool point he got, I got an awkward one. Once we hit high school, we stopped talking, even when we saw each other. At his farewell Sunday, I gave him a hug, walked out the door, and instantly regretted the past few years.  I still hold a little hope that someday we'll be friends again. I didn't realize how much he'd grown up until I was listening to his farewell talk. Those West Virginians don't know what they're in for.

I'm proud of these boys. I hope to be as good as them someday.

Monday, March 14, 2011


#31 Go to Peach Days
#32 Road trip to Southern Utah 
#33 Hike the Narrows

Gas? $120
Food? $30
Lots of Gum? $3

Lee, our Australian navigator? Priceless.

We were newbies to Las Vegas, so we didn't actually end up doing much. However, the trip was a blast and I was only sad that Shawnee couldn't go.

Basking in the 65-75 degree weather, I suddenly realized why all old people live in St. George. Wonnnnnddderful.

I could have used one more day of spring breakage, but I'm glad to be back.

I've grown fond of you Logan.

For my entertainment...