I am a writer.

I am not the best writer in the world, but I am most comfortable expressing myself through the written word, and I do it pretty well most of the time.

I love my mother.

We have our issues and some of them are from the past and some of them are from right now, but I love her and appreciate her and think that, in general, the world at large and my world in particular are better because she exists therein.



When my father says to me, "For your mother's birthday, you will write her a letter about how much you love and appreciate her, one page minimum, and yes, you're on deadline, and by the way, both your older sister and I will be calling you every two days to remind you to do this," suddenly I find myself writing stiff, cold, completely insincere crap which, frankly, I do not want to be bound into a book for my mother to treasure always; I would like her to have a better version of my love to look at.

On the other hand, it is two days past the deadline.


Family.
Homophobia makes me sad. SAAAAAAAAAAAD. Especially in my own family.

WTH, seriously, you'd rather they were drunk than dancing with each other shirtless? CLEARLY they were joking, for one thing, you idiot, and you KNEW they were joking, but it's worse for them to be violating a stated rule than for them to skirt the edges of the appearance of something that might turn into violating a rule?

Also, I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure drunkenness is worse for people's health than a little shirtless dancing.

I really desperately want to kick him. He's not stupid. He's not so old that I can chalk it up to the culture/time period he was raised in. He is CHOOSING this.


And I said something, and got all flustered and turned around the way I always do, and part of the problem is that he never does this when we're having a private conversation, he always does it when we're in public and around small children and I can't say the things I really want to.


What makes me really sad is how everybody else was nodding along to his little diatribe. Wth, family. I can make a few more excuses for you, because of the aforementioned time period thing, but even with that, you are all thinking, generally sensitive people. Most of the time I am genuinely fond of you. What is this HUGE and APPALLING blind spot in your awesomeness?

It makes me a little sick to listen to one of the women I admire most in the world talk like that.
JUST A HEADS UP:


As of about fifteen minutes from now, I am going out of town for a couple of days. Middle Bro (the gay one? Idk, it's not my label for him in my head but probably that's how you know him, and anyway the information is relevant here) is going to college four hours away, and I am going down with him, the parents, and our baby sister (13) to move him into his dorm and see a few plays.

(His college is in a tiny town whose purpose in existing is: 1) to hold the college and 2) to be the site of the Utah Shakespearian Festival, so while we are down we are seeing the plays.)


Mostly I am going to be support if they try to make him tour the Institute and meet "his" new bishop. I don't think they will--things have been going pretty well on that front--but we'll see. Taking Baby Sis along should help ensure less unpleasantness, too.


ANYWAY, point is: I don't know if I will have any web access, much less time to access it, so I may not be around for a few days (and when I get back, I have to pack and move myself, so.)

I am accessible by e-mail and will get LJ comments etc. on my phone, but probably not be replying much, and I won't be flisting. You can probably also get me through texting, but don't count on it because my phone is only letting through about half the texts I am sent, some of them three days later.


Don't burn down the internet, let me know everything the boys do (of course), and I'll be back soon!
  • Powwow: Friday was that grand Mormon/Utahn holiday, Pioneer Day. Part of that is an American Indian (or whatever the politically correct term is, CAN ANYONE TELL ME?) Powwow in the city's biggest park. I had to go for my class on that culture.

    • I bought two frogs! They're completely water-dwelling and a little less than the length of my little finger. I will take them to my class of two-year-olds and be hailed as a conquering hero

    • I had a henna design put on my hand and it's SO PRETTY!! I mostly did it because I so badly want my next tattoo and I can't afford it; I was hoping to kill the urge a little. Mostly, however, this has resulted in no less than four remarks on how real tattoos are so tacky/ridiculous/irreligious from various members of my family, which is...not killing my desire for the next one AT ALL. *rebel*

    • I was an idiot about sunscreen and as a result have second-degree burns, complete with blisters and swelling, on my neck and shoulders. So. much. OW.

    • The powwow was really interesting in some ways and really commercialized in others; I think I want to write my reaction paper about the contrast and how it's representative of life for them (as I understand it) now.


  • Family: Friday also was the arrival of my mother's younger brother and sister and their families for a week.

    • This is the side of the family I relate to best, and my favorite aunts to boot. In some ways I'm just really HAPPY to see them and talk to them.

    • In some it's frustrating, though, because dude, I need my weekends. I am not home most of the week! Literally, I work 8-5 and then three nights a week I have class until (or past) my bedtime. I need to bake and do laundry and write and stuff. That's hard to do when you spend all of Saturday driving to family reunions and helping your youngest cousins cheat in hide-n-seek.


  • WRITING!
    • I keep ficcishing with [livejournal.com profile] sunsetmog and [livejournal.com profile] harriet_vane, which is awesome; Niagara Falls elopements and Spencer-the-Mormon-daughter-in-law ftw!

    • I am somehow actually accidentally WRITING and not just ficcishing the desperate!Bden fic which, Idek how that happened

    • I am making major progress on ETW but not posting it in bits anymore because apparently my muse wants to work on the ending and I don't want people to read the ending ending before they read the middle bits, the surprises are important.
So, uh.

My grandfather died.


I don't--I don't really know how to feel about this. He was quite old, and fairly senile, and he was a sterling example of the worst of his generation, rife with prejudices and attitudes untouched by the social revolutions that have achieved so much. (Once he told me that we hadn't brought blacks to our level, we'd just sunk down to theirs.) He was a good man by his own lights, but he badly scarred the psyches of my father and all my dad's siblings. And he treated my grandmother and my stepgrandmother so very badly. I've always found him difficult to talk to, to feel affection for.

But he is a huge piece of our family history; not merely the history he lived himself, but history going a long way back. He was obsessed with our genealogy and the stories of our ancestors, and despite his dogged dedication to self-publishing it, we'll never know all he knew.

And however much trouble I have understanding it, my father loved him a lot. And when I was very small, before I understood the big grown-up picture, he called me his Sunshine Girl.

At least now he has found rest, and a freedom from pain. At least now he is no longer helpless, nor ragingly bitter about his helplessness. I hope he is whistling as he crosses the desert, and that those who wanted to see him are waiting for him.
This is a stressful Christmas--business worries, and counseling crap, and the only persons I have so far not wanted to kill are my father (which, hah, what? and also: I have never had an entire Christmas without wanting to kill him, and I will be SHOCKED if this is the year we make it) and my baby sister. One brother has been deliberately annoying the world, the other one is deliberately digging at my mother, my mother is being overbearing and guiltrippy about Christmas cheer, and my older sister is being herself in the most aggressive and aggravating possible manner. (Her, especially. WE KNOCK BEFORE WE COME IN. WE DO NOT START CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE PHONE. WE LISTEN WHEN OTHER PEOPLE SPEAK. OUR PROBLEMS ARE NOT THE ONLY IMPORTANT PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD. Oh, no, wait. That's CIVILIZED people who are NOT going to wake up Christmas morning with knives in their throats.)


That's it, I am totally breaking out the Star Shaped a day early.



But you know what? Maybe the RL parts kind of suck, but my online life today has been filled with silly discussions and people offering to help me and people being nice about my long silly fic, and, just.

YOU make it worth getting up in the morning, and I don't care that the rest of the world labels that lame. YOU are what I am most grateful for this Christmas, and I hope that your holidays are as wonderful as you deserve, because you are the saving of mine.
So my big to-do list last night...completely fails to win in any way, as when I got home my mother was in some kind of huge panic, because she needed me--tonight, omg, can't wait--to scan in and photoshop the pictures going on the invites to my grandparents' golden wedding anniversary.

My computer is in the shop.

I don't have Photoshop.

Fortunately, I have an awesome friend, who is willing to lend his computer to the cause, and is so getting brownies later.

Unfortunately, this took up the two hours I was counting on to finish my editing.

Also, in order to get access to the scanner, I had to promise to let my little brother have the computer I'm sharing until I get mine back until eleven. Which means I completely failed at both my paper and my editing, as I need sleep to not kill small children.

Fortunately, I woke up at a quarter to seven, naturally enough that I think I can avoid grogginess.

Unfortunately, I think I slept with a dead, bleeding skunk in my mouth. *gargles*

...I won't so much be around for today, you guys. I have so much to catch up on that I think my head is going to explode.
So: Big, horrible emotional family moment that I am not going into here.

A few hours later...

MY SISTER: So, what did you think of that big horrible family thing?

ME (this is not paraphrasing; this is a direct quote): No. Just. No. I'm not talking about it.

MY SISTER: Oh. Huh.

ME: Sorry to be so abrupt, but just...I don't intend to discuss it. It was bad enough going through it, I'm not gonna talk about it.

MY SISTER: Oh. Well, this is what I thought blahblahblah and then blahblahblah but there's always blahblahblah to consider...

ME: ...


You guys, if I said I didn't want to talk about it, would have just not tried to make me talk about it, right? Right?

Right.

Because YOU? Are not INSANE.

*gaaaahhh*
Christmas:

I think the gifts I got most excited over were my socks (I love my siblings; they banded together and got me a MILLION funny socks), my Yuletide fic, and a beautiful copper jewelry set (!!) including a necklace with cameo (!!!!) because it proved that yes, my mommy is capable of walking into a store and saying, "That is the Lu-est thing I have ever seen, and she must own it." It makes me happy to know people know me that well. (Also, it is one of the Lu-est things I have ever seen.)

As for my Yuletide fic--you GUYS. It's BEAUTIFUL. It's IC and it expresses the stuff I wanted expressed and it involves Ham Knapp GAYBASHING PEOPLE (and the Souls forming a GSA to protect those people, which was simply the awesomest thing ever) and Julian being WISE AND ALL-KNOWING and MS. O/MR. SINGH and Noah LOOKING at Nadia and realising he has hormones and and and...all sorts of lovely things that mean I ADORE THIS FIC SO MUCH and...yes. This is amazing.

So it was a pretty good Christmas.

Now if only the Boxing Day Fairy would bring the ability to breathe.
Home web out of commission--I should be back tomorrow or Tuesday, y'all!

In the meantime, I wanted to post the entry I typed up last night after seeing Hairspray:

The short, nonspoilery version? It’s FABULOUS. RL folks, we're definitely going next weekend.

It did what I hadn't dreamed it could—was as fabulous as the play and kept the good points of the original movie )

But okay—in case you didn't know, Hairspray is about fighting prejudice—against size and skin color, specifically. I went to see it with my sister, my stepgrandma, and my grandfather, who is seventy-nine. He's very old and slightly senile and dying of three different kinds of cancer—all of which are very sad, but not quite as sad as the next part of my story.

His first words when we got out of the theatre? "Well, that was a good bit of propaganda for Them." Capital-letter Them, the Them that have black skin and/or don't think there's anything wrong with having it.

A little later, when he was telling a story about the way he, as a member of the staff of his university, helped to shoot down mixed casting in a college play, my stepgrandma interrupted him. "Well, we've made a lot of progress in fifty years."

"Well, this is going to sound racist—" ya think, grandpa?—"but I think we haven't so much pulled them up to our level as let ourselves be dragged down to theirs. You wanna call that progress…"



No, seriously.

I got out to my own car and had to laugh. Had to laugh or I woulda cried.

Yeah, okay, he's a product of other times.

But to think of those times makes me sad, and the fact that he hasn't changed between then and now makes me even sadder.

At least there are now two-hour romps for people to watch that will help to fight against those times being any more influential than they already are.
So I finally had the dreaded conversation--with my father, NOT with my mom, which, while easier--he being the person who takes monumental screw-ups calmly and flips over wet towels, and my mom being the other way round--may not be the safest option in the long run, but he backed me into a corner, so...

Yeah.

He ain't pleased.

But it wasn't as soul-destroying as expected.

Possibly further updates when mother is told and reacts. *wince*



ALL OF YOU keep me on-track about my SINGLE DAMN CLASS this summer, will you? I'm not up for any more of this...
Heh.

Every time I get up the nerve, they cancel on me.

Dammit, I'm gonna have an ulcer by the time I get the truth out.
This girl is talking about a fight with her mom.

"And she said, 'Well, you call me crazy.'

And I was all, 'Not to your face! I would never call you that to your face. I know better.'"




I am SO AMUSED.
So the thing of it is YOU PEOPLE TALK TOO MUCH.




Reunion was wonderful. I love my mother's side of the family. We honestly listen to and connect with one another.

Long meta-me filtered post later.


But OMG...I never realised that having stripped my emergency filter to the essentials, I would need to comment on almost every entry. You will probably be getting comments from days-old posts, everybody...sorry about that!
And so, I am returned.

It was no more and no less f*****-up than any other family vacation, so par for the course, I suppose.

Interestingly, beginning Saturday night, I have had the sensation that the world is tilting...as though I am rocking on a boat. I keep having to stop walking and grab onto the nearest wall. No clue where it came from, but I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow for something else, anyway, so I shall ask him. In the meantime, not sure what to do about work.



Realised tonight that I hadn't read the missionaries' e-mails for the past two weeks, so I did. It hit me--sudden and strong--how much I miss them. Horribly. Their presence in my life. The people they are.
Well, here I type, sitting by a small, clear pool on a sunny, gorgeous day in Maui.

To my almost total surprise, I am having a good time.

There have been only three times I felt my dire prophecies were being fulfilled so far. Of course, it is early days yet, but perhaps we will manage to survive the rest of the vacation without actually having a family murder on our hands.

Sunburn is had by all. Hawaii very, very beautiful. Packed almost all the wrong books; thank heaven for fic.

Love all of you!
I AM GOING TO KILL MY FATHER.

So, like, first VM new episode in a DONKEY'S AGE. I have to wait through my little sister, my little brother, and my dad watching what they want to watch until finally the first two are in bed and the last one goes to run an errand.

Great new episdoe. Evil!ConnivingWeasel!Logan, which means I get to shout at the screen a lot, and Gay!Power, which makes me grin, and Keith being gutty, which makes for the happy little squirms of crushiness, and more towndivision!stuff, which makes for the happy, and we're just about to really get down to investigating this week's investigation, when I'm faced with a question.

Do I want to delete this recording?

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, he cut it off recording. In the MIDDLE of the FIRST NEW EPISODE IN FIVE WEEKS.

They'll bring it in justifiable homicide, won't they?



Gah. I can't even download it for another two weeks at least, if last new episode is anything to go by...*whines like crack addict being shown powdery white baking soda*


ETA: I wanted to icon to make myself feel better, then realised that my laptop (the only computer on which I can screencap) is AT THE SHOP. Thwarted at every turn!
My V-day?

Eh.

I spent the afternoon HATING it...the SS can't have outside food cause of allergies and stuff, so I had to chase around after them pulling lollipops out of their mouths...


Then I went to the parents' to watch House. To find it empty, except for my 18-yo brother and a table set for a double date. Whoops. We had a few minutes before he had to go pick her up, and he tried to tease me about not having a date.

BRO: Just couldn't get somebody handsome enough, or are they all scared of your brilliance and beauty?
LU: Hey, you may have a date, but today I was asked to be the valentine of eight people, was told "I love you" six times, got twelve hugs and three kisses, and a marriage proposal.
BRO: *gives a Look*
LU: Admittedly they were all under twelve, but STILL...

I was telling the truth, btw. *loves her kids*

I escaped upstairs to watch House. (And I liked this one, yesyes indeedy. But not as much as some others.) Then I came home to chat with Flatmate and make her watch The First Wives' Club, which is my personal "everyone else has a date and f-them" movie, and which she had not seen (travesty!)

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