Monday, November 29, 2010

Empty-Eyed Wonder.

The alarm sounds, and my eyes flutter open. I remain disoriented for a few moments, trying my hardest to decipher where I am, and if the previous night's dreams have any relation to my current reality. I look toward the source of the noise and see a red glare. I focus my eyes, and make out "6:30." I sit up, grunting slightly, and stretch my neck. I hear multiple cracks in doing so, and this reminds me that I'm nothing but human, and that's precisely what I'll always be. I scoot my feet out from under the covers and place them parallel on the carpet to the side of my bed. I look at them with great respect. I like my feet. They've taken me on countless adventures. They look so vulnerable, yet so strong, and I love them for taking me wherever it is that I desire to go. I stand up and my knees pop, as though I'm 90 years old, just as they always do when I bend and stand, also reminding me that I'm merely human. I walk toward the glaring red numbers and obnoxious sound and flip the switch on the side to discontinue the harsh noise. I take a deep breath and walk to the right side of my room. I approach the window and, instantly, I reach for the drawstring and begin to pull the closed blinds open. I always sleep with the blinds closed. I do this specifically because I love for the new day to be a surprise. The blinds send small dust particles that immediately make their way through my nasal passages. I look out at the window, and my eyes are greeted with the lovely sight of a winter wonderland. My first thought is to pray for a safe commute to school. Second, I think about the placement of my leather gloves, and how I will be needing them on a day such as this. The third and final thought I had in these few short moments was one of gratitude. God always takes beauty into consideration when deciding the weather forecast. I smile, imagining God designing the weather, and I wonder if he thought of me while he was doing so.

I walk to the mirror and rub my face, then I rub my eyes. I blink a few times, then I take a peek at myself. The morning light shines on my face through the window. I run my fingers through my hair, and I know that this is the only attention it will receive all day. My lungs open and my mouth widens and my body yawns. I look again at my face. This isn't just any face that I see. This is my face.

I furrow my brow and purse my lips in amazement.

That's me. Those are my empty green eyes, the ones I've looked through for 17 and a half years. Those are my lips. They are lips that I've given away sparingly at times, freely at others. That's my nose. That nose goes outside every day, draws a deep breath, and takes in the scent of the season at hand.

This is me. This is who I am.

My cracking neck, my popping knees, my stumbling feet, my nimble fingers, my tangled hair, my empty eyes, my wide nose, my oversized lips, my fair skin. I smile slightly. This is what makes me human.

There is freedom in my soul. My human soul. This sort of freedom can only be achieved through an empty winter morning.

The morning version of myself is one of greatness.

It's the version of me that isn't hiding anything.

image via.

Mallory Elizabeth. The human.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


brancusci's bird in space

i was talking to my friend.
and he said, "hannah, tell me a secret."
and i said, "i don't have any secrets."
and he said, "sure you do. here's one. i hate the majority of television."
and i said, "i used to wish my nose was smaller but recently i've decided i like it."
and he said, "there you go. to me, secrets are little-known things about a person that help you get to know them better."

so then we told secrets for a long time.
and i decided that i really like that. that secrets are just small facts.

i can only write in my journal with the pilot g-2 pen.
i love it when my eyes look green.
i think i look prettier right before i get ready for bed than any other time of the day.
apples remind me of kindergarten.
i like to own green things.
the ideal present for me would be an art postcard with a genuine love note written on the back.
i drive with the windows down when i'm alone, even if it's freezing.
i take the long way home.
i trust too much.
i feel at home in an art museum.
i had to restrain myself from pointing out a statue in star wars that looked exactly like brancusci's bird in space.
i don't like technology.
i love mail.
i used to sing to dragonflies as a small child.
my mother is my best friend.
and my other best friend is my antithesis. we disagree on a daily basis. and yet, we continue to function.
i know what love is because i know what love isn't.
i own 84 shirts and that fact makes me feel selfish.
i'm a sucker for men who play the saxophone.
and my dad wanted to name me anastasia.

what's your secret?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tips on dating from the flies.

(but that should be clear to you by now.)

okay, so it's common knowledge around these parts that mallory and i are clearly desirable dating partners. (Especially Mallory. See above soup-eating photos.) today we went to zupas on a woman date and to also ogle mallory's man...  and as we sat eating our cauliflower soup we realized that eating soup with another person is just awkward. we decided to make that a dating tip. soon after, we had five more tips made.
and since we are such experts we decided to share them with you.

1. don't eat soup on a date. just, awkward. as you can tell, from the photos above, exhibit a, b and c.
2. Never date boys that smoke things. It only leads to terror, anger, and coughing.
3. don't date suicidal guys. (insensitive?)
4. read the signs of the doorstep hug, so you're prepared. nothing's worse then going in for the real hug when he's just planning on a wimpy side-hug...
5. Only laugh when laughing is appropriate.
6. you're allowed to say no if a guy asks you on a date and he's a creep slash is a juvenile delinquent.
7. joking about love and marriage (name the man with that song) with a guy is perfectly funny and lighthearted in every setting except for an actual date.
8. Save your "best outfit" for the second date.
9. Refrain from eating salad. Not only does a man like a girl with a good appetite, but he also likes a girl without anything nasty just chillin' in her teeth.
10. Make sure that the temperature of your food is appropriate to your mouth's liking. Burning yourself is not only painful, but embarrassing.
11. just because he dresses well and likes good music doesn't mean he's classy.

Please, don't fear. For, there is much more dating advice for us to dispense. Hannah and I have much experience, and we are not shy in sharing our brilliant insights and knowledge with you. We understand that we are far superior to everyone when it comes to dating. By following our advice and brushing your teeth, you are sure to have dating success.
We would like to suggest that you use our advice at your own risk.
If anything is lost, stolen, damaged or misplaced in the usage of our advice, we have no liability. The Diaries of a Fly on the Wall is not responsible for the mishaps and mayhem that may occur in the application of the advice given above.

love, hannah


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We all walk around in tatters, hiding behind our masks of perfection and grace, dignity and strength. We walk the hallways and the streets and the isles and the avenues, holding our heads high. I believe we all hold our heads high in fear. There is no confidence involved in this strong structure we hold our bodies to. We hold our heads high because we don't want a single person to believe that we are anything but "put together."
Would you like to know the truth?
Not a single one of us is "put together."
We remain masked so that no one will ask questions.
Questions force our brows to sweat and our hearts to pick up speed and we feel uncomfortable. Because the truth has never been a strong-point in the soul of a human being.

And then, without warning, someone comes along, begging for the truth.
And, somehow, they seem to be the only person to see the you as the millions of peices that you are and not the whole that you pretend to be.
And they ask questions.
And it startles you.
You've always walked along, being seen by everyone, yet noticed by no one. And that's the way you like it, for that's the way it's always been.
But it's those select people that come into your life that not only see you, but they notice you.

And it seems as though there is nothing more for you to do but tell them every detail of every shattered piece of yourself and beg them to simply stroke your hair and hold you in their arms.

God is a master artist of pointillism, and we each hold that grand title of "masterpiece."
He created us by using tiny, individual dots.
From far away, a clear picture is seen and understood.
But up close, you can see that we are made up of dots. Millions of dots, each one vital to our entirety.
Up close, each dot can be seen with clarity, and the full picture takes on an entirely new meaning.

Not often is it that others come so close as to see the individual dots.

But when they do, something happens:
You take on a whole new definition of yourself, and your high-head-holding is a little less of a lie than it was before.
They notice you because, like them, you're different. And in this differences, you're the same.
You match.

That's what I find to be so beautiful about the human race: our differences. Our dots.

And it's in the discovery of these dots that we realize that there is a great difference between being seen and being noticed.

All we want, behind the mask, is to be validated.
In receiving that validation from those who truly notice, we are a little less afraid of ourselves and a little more familiar with our own dots. The dots that God gave us. The dots that make us individually beautiful.

Thank the people who have noticed you.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

a sunday smile eight: the cure.

this week was a hard one. i had to stay after school on tuesday, wednesday, and thursday for yearbook deadline (i'm an editor). wednesday, we were there until 8:30. it was draining. i got home on thursday night, and i felt like a ghost. all i had eaten for three days straight was granola bars and organic bunny-shaped treats. i curled up in a ball in my bed and a few tears actually shed from my eyes (that happens very rarely). i was entirely amazed that i survived until today. but here's some of my ways to survive a horrible day/week and set yourself up for an amazing day the next:
1. allow yourself to be grumpy.
but only for five minutes. rage, if you must. let people know you're annoyed. rant your issues. there is no benefit in pretending to be happy. but, after your five, indulgent minutes are up,
2. go do something nice.
in my case, i got up and left the yearbook room and roamed the hallways for ten minutes, saying hello to strangers and putting sticky notes on mirrors. it gave me some breathing time, which helped.
3. listen to good music.
first, listen to something that will calm you down. in my case, iron & wine. next, listen to something that makes you happy. in my case, home by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeroes and five year's time by noah and the whale (it's normal that jackson and i have home completely memorized and we say the speaking parts to each other). next, revive good memories with some quality pop from the early 2000's. in my case, the lizzie mcguire movie soundtrack. pure brilliance, i tell you. (when i see you smiling, i go oh oh oh). finally, it must be dance party time. feel free to choreograph your own dance to miley cyrus' i can't be tamed. me and shelbie did.
4. but don't underestimate silence.
when you're in your car driving home, turn off the noise. be comfortable in your own company. ponder. if you are religious, say a prayer out loud.
5. take a nice warm shower.
it is helpful, i'm just telling you.
6. go have a chat with a friend who understands.
about whatever you need. there's a friend for every problem, i think. for me, chatting with laura took a huge weight off my shoulders. i tend to project my frustration on things that don't really matter (love triangles that have nothing to do with me) instead of what's really bothering me. laura and i have gone through nearly exactly the same challenges, which allows us to understand each other. find a friend like that, and you will feel better.
7. say a thank you prayer.
if you're not religious, then just think of things you're thankful for. i was thankful for a warm bed, a healthy body, smiles that communicate without words, conference talks and the temple.
8. listen.
i had a seminary teacher once tell me that the minor challenges and hard days in life are just God's quizzes. He wants to see how we'll react, but He also needs to test us to prepare us for whatever is coming next. i think it's important to find the lesson and what you need to do to overcome your funk.
9. go to sleep.
but before you close your eyes, tell yourself that tomorrow will be a fantastic day.
10. when you wake up, have hope.
believe in karma. if you did everything you could before this moment, something good will come to you. i didn't have time to study for my french exam this week because of yearbook things, so when i took the exam on friday morning, i didn't do as well as i could have. but then, three cheers for renaissance bingo! since i was on honor roll, i got to go to 'bingo', where if you win, you get to pick a prize from one of your teachers. yeah, guess who won? me. and guess what i won? ten extra credit points on a french exam. let's just acknowledge the fact that the man upstairs has been keeping a good eye on me lately.

things will be okay. promise.
half of this week was a mess for me. but this weekend has been brilliant.
i hope that if things have been a little harder lately, you are able to find a way out of it so that you can feel happier.

i have one more message for you.
my home teacher happens to be a member of the seventy, so he spends time with apostles and leaders of our church on a regular basis. today he said that one of the biggest things each of them have told him lately (this includes president monson) is that
things will get better.

ah, what blessed words.
things will get better.

love, han.

Friday, November 19, 2010

hello, from the flies!

today we went to whistle wok.
in mallory's van, because it's alive again!
thank the heavens for that van.
we got the 2 combination. with sesame chicken, orange chicken, an egg roll, and half fried rice/half noodles.
we ate our fortune cookies before we read them.
hannah's said, "you find beauty in ordinary things. appreciate that gift".
mallory's said, "you will have better luck in real estate than stocks".
needless to say, mallory was disappointed.
we figure it must be a metaphor. that mallory will have better luck with fat men than skinny men. because real estate has more substance than stocks.
so mallory bought a different fortune cookie.
and we just wanted to let you guys know. 
and also, we love you.
and we love this photo of us.
and we love our friends.
who say things to mallory like, 
"i would poo my pants if you were my mother."

love, mallory & hannah.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


mallory is much much much too kind to me.
she is clearly responsible for the awesomeness of this blog.
& i love her. so so much.
thanks, mal.
something she said in that post has got me thinking. about how she & i are free and young.
trust me, that is a true statement. and those are two beautiful words.
but sometimes i worry about myself. and the young thing.
because, as john mayer states, "i'm only good at being young".
i don't have a solution..
so maybe, just maybe, i can stay young forever?
that would be MUCH appreciated. because when i am young, i get to do things like this:
remember when i asked a boy to preference obnoxiously early?
well, saturday night was the big night.
and i feel like i must follow up with you, since some of you thought i was clever.
a.) steve is the best date ever. i love him dearly, and we have amazing dance moves.
b.) all the rest of my group was amazing also. and it was just a blast all over.
c.) let me just show you the rest in photos.

 (of course we had to stop at the photobooth. it was a full circle moment. commentary: 
1st photo in b&w: we had to smile because we pulled faces in every picture that night.
2nd: steve wanted to be a vampire and eat me.
3rd: awkward looks. typical.
4th: who knew his mouth was that large?
color photostrip: steve & i, jess & jake, nat & martin. love them.)

classy, right?
that evening gave me joy.
i hope that your weekend was lovely.

go to dances with nice boys.

and be young as long as you want to.

lovelovelove, han.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The better fly:

This is my dearest friend, Hannah.
Perhaps you've met her?
Or read her blog before?
She writes beautifully.

In any event, I often times look through the old photos I have stored on my phone. And I came across this lovely thing. I do believe it's the best photo that I've ever beheld, and the best photo I've ever taken of someone.
This was taken at a football game. I was a level above Hannah and she turned around and looked up at me, smiling as if she had a secret.
(She always smiles that way. And it's that smile of secrecy that keeps those men running back to her. I tell you what, the woman is brilliant.)
And I snapped a photo of her, because she's just too darn cute not to photograph.

This photo depicts the loveliness of  being free and being young. To me, Hannah is just that. And that's what we are together, I suppose. We are free and we are young, and we surely act that way.

We are flies on the wall, observing everything, flying around, never in one place.
Because we are free birds. Or free flies, I suppose...

Anyway, this post is mostly just a tribute to Hannah. And all of the lovely things she brings into my life.

She's a sure gem. And my dearest pal. And I'd die without her being my fellow fly and constant light at the end of the tunnel.

I love her.

Love, Mal

Thursday, November 11, 2010

my best man (and other life catch-ups)

this man. i call him sparkler. he calls me hanny.
on some thursdays we go and get hot chocolate and chat. because our lives are busy and we swear we never talk anymore.
i just wanted to say,
that if you ever feel like you are underwater (as in, life is boring, you're not fully there today) go get some hot chocolate with a meilleur ami. 
it brightened up my mood, a little bit.

other things about this week that made me break the surface of my underwater winter life:
  • chats with ari at the statue park
  • classy nordstrom dresses
  • trying to buy an order of chicken nuggets at chick-fil-a and being given one single chicken nugget instead
  • one shiny fingernail, thanks to ben at the kiosk in the mall
  • meeting new people who like good music
  • classy black heels
  • going to the eisley concert with other better men
  • reading the french version of star wars (C3PO is 6PO. it bugs, a little but i like it).
  • having pal time with jessica
  • bucket lists being fulfilled
  • classy new cell phone
  • slider's gourmet (it's kinda cool).
  • notes written on the back of receipts and placed on my windshield that say: "hello. -jake"
  • a boy named jackson. he is a small child stuck in a 6 foot 2 inch body and i feel the need to take care of him. but he makes me smile each and every day.
  • writing notes to my little sisters
  • writing notes to addy
  • reading a paper my sister wrote for school that said i was her hero
  • celebrating my mother's birthday
  • lotsa lotsa new music, including frank

and well, life in general had been continuously busy for the last few weeks. but so, so continuously rewarding.
do things you love, people.
make sure you did something to remember with your day.
that's been my goal this week.
i said to myself.
this week, i will not watch t.v. 
and instead, i will bond with friends. i will listen to good music. i will write letters. i will journal. i will think of worthwhile things to do.
and boy. oh boy.
i am not deliriously happy, but i feel fulfilled.
i have been busy. but busy with lovely, lovely things.
& somehow i still got my homework done.

love, hannah.

also i felt like sharing this photo of me, the mother figure, and jackson, the five year old son figure. no, we are not in love, but we are, in fact, two very attractive, well dressed people, and we have agreed to wed sometime in the future. and i love to use a thousand commas in one sentence. and also hyperbolies.  okay... talk to you later...
oh and he's a winner cause he dressed up as james dean for halloween.
really. that's all. bye!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

train of thoughts on flirting.

sometimes this blog gives me stress because i know that so many people i know read it.
how i wish to be blatantly honest about the thoughts that consume my mind.
but in a world where virtually all your friends, parents, and distant relatives/family friends have access to your thoughts (thanks mom (she sent an email to all her friends with the link)) things are not so simple.
i could tell you lovely things about a boy i know.
but i won't.
i could tell you not so lovely things about a boy i used to know.
i could tell you how i feel about high schoolers and their flirting tactics.
oh, but i still probably will.
i could tell you about art and antiques.
but no one really cares.
i guess i'll just have to tell you about flirting tactics.
here's my most recent favorite seventh grade throwback:
boy 1 grabs girl 1's cell phone. runs. boy 2 and girl 2 get involved. all four run around in circles squealing and tickling and saying various phrases such as "give it to me!" "don't you dare read that text!" and "i hate you!". girls energy diminishes and boy 1 runs away triumphantly with phone, only to discover that the text was from girl 1's mom and there is nothing about him on the device. all four exhaustedly giggle while gasping for breath.
everyone feels good about life because that adventure certainly means they have a winner for a potential dating partner.
yes, teenagers amuse me. i don't include myself in this category, because i never have and never will be good at the flirting game.
never. sometimes i wish i was.
i don't say things for the sake of saying them. when i'm in social situations, the only time i contribute is when i feel it's worthwhile. so, sometimes it's awkward when i'm the only one not engaging in flirty banter.
other times i have chats with ari and we decide it's perfectly better to be calm and classy and not make a fool of ourselves.
especially because i'm only interested in boys who are calm and classy themselves, anyway.
you know, the kind that write me notes on postcards and sing me songs and tell me they like my shoes.
and also probably listen to frank sinatra and like to sit on benches and take pictures with film cameras and know all the classical/jazz/showtune radio stations.
mmm... and maybe look up videos of deep sea fish on the internet and wear nice sweaters and touch my nose when i'm cute.
too bad i don't know a boy like this.
okay, i do know a boy like this. too bad he is practically my younger brother and acts like a five year old on a minutely basis.


anyway. i'm not saying flirting is bad. i still respect you if the cell phone trick is in your repertoire. all i'm saying is that it's not my style and i don't fully understand it.
i don't know if i belong in high school. but i do know that i love it. and that it provides endless hours of entertainment.
but to those of you who are teenagers: the old tricks are just that. old. please amuse me with a new flirting tactic. i may just blog about it.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Nothing but trouble.

I am a sucker for his fantastic life stories.
And he has wonderful hair, in which he lets me run my fingers.
He appreciates great music.
He thinks I'm funny. And boy, does that symphonic laugh get me every time.
He knows exactly what I mean when I attempt to explain my philosophy on life to him.
The silence between the two of us is beautiful. And almost insightful.
And, let's not forget to mention how lovely his hands are.
He's nerdy. He loves history.
His quirks are endearing.
He flaunts his imperfections so perfectly.
He has a good heart. I can see it in his eyes.
I knew he would be quite the trouble from the first time he made me laugh.
And quite the trouble he is.
But the boy sure knows how to kiss.
And he calls me "My dear."

And I think I like him. Maybe a lot.

Oh, how I am loathing my silly little self.
This madness must cease..


Sunday, November 7, 2010

in mourning of october.

sometimes when the weather is at it's best, i jump into my teeny blue car, roll the windows down, and drive around town with she & him at full blast. my film camera sits in the passenger seat and when we see something pretty we stop and take pictures. and this is what results. isn't it gorgeous? october is my favorite month, through and through.
i love the slightly crisp air that signals beginning of tights-wearing season. i like when it rains and i can roll down the window and catch the drops in the palm of my hand. i like crunchy leaves and drinking hot chocolate in pretty parks. i like walking by the canal right after it rains and getting my boots a little muddy. 
i really like that the beauty makes me appreciate my hometown and my entire life a little bit more. a lot more.
october and i had a really great fling.
what do you like about it?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


salt lake city, as seen from the lens of the film camera.

there's a time in every life when a decision must be made.the decision of what to believe. of what to be.
and now, well, i've decided. the past year i've spend in confusion has ironically allowed me to find what i really believe in. i've come to a point where i don't just believe what i believe. i live it. i am amazed at the recent ease with which i've been able to move through this beautiful world. that's what makes me so content, i think. that belief system is 90% of how okay i've been.
i believe in journals. and with that, blogging. it keeps me sane. it is a way for me to force feelings into words; feelings that would otherwise be bottled up inside of me. writing sets them free.
i believe in the scriptures and the prophets. i believe everything they say has a purpose in my life. this gospel can only lead to happiness. there is nothing to lose for believing it.
i believe that the blessings received as a result of exercising faith are not a coincidence.
i don't believe in coincidences. i believe that everything has a purpose. everything.
even if it's resulted from my own mistakes, there's something for me to learn. and from every person.
i believe in patience. not waiting. enduring well. taking the time to learn the lesson and apply it until God allows me to move forward.
i believe in being interesting. in cultivating my uniqueness.
i believe in creating my own happiness.
i believe in things that make me smile. 
i believe in blatantly singing and dancing while i'm driving down the street, in the hope that someone will see me and laugh. because i LOVE to see people singing in their cars.
i believe in the past. i believe that antiques are so much better than brand-new.
i believe in limited technology. tangibility over ease. 
i believe in the power of sticky-note joy.
i believe in art. in the feeling i get deep in my soul.
i believe in beauty. and respect. 
i believe in mothers. 
i believe that it's possible for someone to make you feel like sunshine, and when they do, you had better keep them around.
i believe in confidence and a good pair of shoes. 
i believe in honesty and commitment. 
i believe in music.
i believe that this generation can change the way the world sees.
i believe in myself.

yes, most of all, i believe in me.

i believe i can do it. by 'it', i mean life. i can succeed. succeeding in the sense of being happy no matter what occurs. so i will. i won't ever be shaken.


here's my campaign for a life in technicolor: click me!