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Mar. 29th, 2005

HELLO, mein Freund und Freundin!
Wie geht es Ihnen? Okay, switching back to Texan: how y'all are? Thank you, thank you for not being so overly prolific... I skimmed through the majority of posts, looking for fic later today, if I've missed something please let me know! I got emails from zyrya with a link to a good bad!fic, and the need to mock is strong in this one... But enough about you. ME!! Heh heh.


Having been sufficiently warned about the freezing cold of the Great White North, um, Michigan, I am packed, mulitlayered, and sweating my ass off. It was 76° when I left Texas. Had to sit in the airport for a few hours before take-off (slightly disappointed there were no cavity searches - I flossed and spritz everywhere) I settle in at my gate with a book. Promptly am bored and uncomfortable so I began to see my potential lie-mates on an uncharted isle where polar bears and concrete pods co-exist. Apparently there was a marchingb and fest in Dallas. 15 teenagers (probably 15-16 years old?) hanging out showing signs of living in a hotel for several days. Meaning, dorky white kids with strawberry blonde hair done up in cornrows. With puka shells. And angry sunburns (ouch - itchy!) on their scalps. WITH GUITARS. That they obviously just bought the day before because they are tuning them OVER AND OVER AGAIN and helping each other find G. And not the fun one.

So you know, I am a complete guitar snob. My dad is a virtuoso (as well as my sister) and they are FANATICAL about technique, sound, etc. So I'm basically in hell. And they have the "cool" mom with them as a chaperone. The mom with the short spikey hair that tries to talk their lingo, gestures wildly, talks "the talk" and will basically be a complete fucking nuisance once any of these kids actually gets some touch. And they are ALL AROUND ME, OMFG.

I pull out my trusty "I can get lost in this no matter what" book which happens to be Under The Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer. Fantastic. Brilliant. And notorious amongst Mormons, as it serves as a type of expose`. GUESS WHAT THE BAND GEEKS ARE. Ha ha!! I see them chattering and stealing glances at me. So I hold my book higher and wait for them to tell me it's a pack of lies. But they don't want to actually DISCUSS anything, they just want to whisper and start (OMG, NO!!!) tuning their guitars again. *cries*

I spy a bar across the terminal. I go have a few margaritas. I am happy. I board, I get off, I find my friend, I am happy. I love her!! We are tearing up because we haven't seen each other in a year and a half. She's so pretty and nice and lovely and life is good. We stay up late in the night laughing over everything. Her husband decides to sleep in the living room and give us the bedroom. Chicky bow. No, no, we goof and poke fun and tease each other over past loser boyfriends (man, did SHE have bad taste. HA HA, Chrissy!!)

Fiday I get to see all of beautiful Ann Arbor. She lives right on the Huron River at the Arboretum so we go on a joggin trail (um, SHE runs, I walk.) and I see cardinals, Canadian geese, swans, and SNOW. SNOW!! okay, it's the crusty black, cigarette butt filled ice/snow, but I'm in Texas where we're sweating already. I take a cut through the North Campus of the University of Michigan and have fun people watching. Apparently I'm a freak for not wearing gloves and a scarf and black clothes while exercising. My baby blue sweats and white ball-cap make me stand out. Fuck it. I'm not used to the cold so I'm loving it.

For lunch we go Downtown and meet inlovewithnight (so sorry we were late!! I am the QUEEN of punctuality!) and she is a CHINA DOLL!! I wanted to put her on my shelf and dust her. Teeny tiny, chic in her awesome black jacket and cowl neck sweater, and even though they weren't the best shoes evah (I know, rain) awesome black boots. Just pulled together and lovely. Hair that BEGS to be played with. Sam, you have NO idea how hard it was to not reach over and start braiding. She and Chrissy hit it off, we talk of everything under the sun, and when my friend goes to the bathroom, I explain that my friend isn't in to Buffy because she hates SMG, and we laugh and say "but EVERYONE hates SMG. It's about all of the characters!!" Sam, after we walked you to the parking garage, we talked for two blocks about how sweet and cute you were!

Later, she takes me to the barn where she works nights and on the weekends. 35 horses, and she is the main caregiver. Dude, if you know nothing about horses, know this: that is a back breaking job. And my friend is TEENY!! 80 pound hay bales, and as the stables are set up wonky, you have to carry them and not have the benefit of a tractor. 60 pound bags of grain, the mares and their babies need their stalls cleaned thoroughly, and as the snow is melting, the mud around the stables and in the pastures are of BIBLICAL proportion. I have on a pair of hip waders and many times I almost pitch forward (into the mud, scum queen!) as my boot wants to stay in the mud while my body moves forward. I'm talking mud up to my knees with each step. And she does this everyday but Monday. 16 below? Too bad. Four feet of fresh snow? Horses gotta eat. Dude. She's fierce. I patted lots of furry noses and whickered to the mares, still pregnant and miserable.

Instead of going out, we are bushed, so off to the vid store. As Ann Arbor is so culturally diverse, we have an AWESOME selection of movies. What do we pick? The Grudge I wanted to get The Audition which boasts it is the most horrific movie ever. Poop. But. *spoiler alert!!* (If you do not want to be spoiled, scroll past the space. For the rest of you, hit CTRL+A as I put this next bit in white)

Holy hell. The Grudge scared the bejeezus out of me, in that totally creeped out way. So beautiful to look at, creepy without being overt. Okay, there are a couple of scenes that are overt, like Yoko with her missing jaw - FUUUUUU! But the very beginning when Bill Pulman just slips over the balcony? And then when SMG is on the bus, and you are supposed to be safe in daylight and that fucking FACE in the reflection on the window?? The best/worst part is my friend Chrissy has long dark hair, so she left the room for a second and came in crawling - like Samara from The Ring - GAH!!!! - with her hair hanging down and her mouth opened in that silent scream... FUCKER!! I love her. I LOVE to be scared.

If you haven't seen The Grudge, please do. Pretty to look at, creepy, not like The Exorcist or anything (in your face fright), but very much along the lines of Ringu for atmosphere. LOVED. IT.

Here is a photo booth pic I found back from our college days. I'm the dork on the right. Man, was that 11 years ago? Funny, we still look the same, although I'm a little plumper than my college days...


More downtown over the weekend, lovely food, her funny and wonderful husband, and then to his folks' house for Easter/Sunday dinner. Our dining companions were: Dayen, from the West Indies, and his girlfriend, Anik from southern India, Sanjeev and his wife and daughter Pretthi and Ana, from Northern India, Reiku, Phillipines, and her boyfriend, Carlton from Altanta. Everyone was hilarious and open and smart and we talked about everything under the sun, and you couldn't get a better cross-section of the folks who live in Ann Arbor than that.

Long walks (apparently the weather was gorgeous - I liked the overcast 50s for a change of scene) and delicious food from Zingerman's deli. The U of M campus is fantastic, and if it wasn't for the 6 months of winter, I could see myself living in such a great town. But Laura must have her warmth... Yesh. Tears and hugs and I get my bags, then more tears and hugs, then I board the plane. Had two elderly Middle Eastern men sit next to me on the plane. They discussed business in their native language most of the time, but the one closest to me would absent-midedly reach out to tickle the hand of the baby in front of us peeking over her mom's shoulder.

I was again reading my Jon Krakauer book (remember: my dad's family is old school Mormom: polygamists, came over with Brigham Young to settle Utah, so I KNOW the history) and eventually my neighbors ask me about my book. We get into a terrific discussion about Fundamentalism, and I explain that Joseph Smith would quote the Koran, and how it is an American version of Islam. Just terrific stuff. I see a man sitting across the aisle from us, looking like he's ready to jump in. I see the tell-tale markings of a Mormon (garments under his clothes, CTR ring) and am ready for HIM to tell me it's a pack of lies. He never does, but he shoots me a dirty look as we get off the plane. SOrry, dude. You should read more. My two companions are from Lebanon and are absolute gentlemen, carrying my luggage off the plane, shaking my hand and giving me a slight bow. Sometimes, I just love America. ALways something to keep your brain busy, you know?

Get that happy grin (you can't help it) coming down the gang-plank, see my car out front. Kids bouncing in the car happy to see mom, house is (semi) clean, life is back to normal. Trips are good.

*hums "Back to life/back to reality*

And I'd like to wish a happy birthday to my lovely friend beadtific. I wish you porn and happiness. Hee!! *smooshes you for good measure*

Comments

( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
beadattitude
Mar. 29th, 2005 08:54 am (UTC)
Dude, I was just wondering where you were and was condsidering sending up flares! Or a hunting party or something! (Complete with St. Bernards with those cute little kegs)

Totally forgot you were on a trip.

Looking forward to reading this all later.
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 08:55 am (UTC)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (you made my day by missing me... *sniff* I'm pathetic but I love to be loved...)

Oh, crap! Now I'll miss out on St. Bernards with Kegs. Dammit!
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kaydee23
Mar. 29th, 2005 09:20 am (UTC)
You really know how to have fun on a trip. I'm going to keep this in my memories as a guide.

I loved Jon Krakauer "Into the Wild" and "Into Thin Air." Are the Mormons ever going to let him climb again in Utah or Colorado?

stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 09:37 am (UTC)
Hee!! Dude, if I'm going to see a city, I'm going to SEE the city. I want to eat, play and act as ze Romans do.

As to Krakauer, I LOVE heem. One thing about that book that is lovely is its tone. Never is he spiteful, does he ridicule, does he snigger. He grew up in Oregon (I think?) among LDS, and as he is a big climber of the West, has hung with many a Mormon. He's very respectful of those that just want to worship and raise families. He delves into the Fundamentalist element (read: polygamist) and into the "nah nah nah, I can't hear you" aspect of the faith. They cut themselves off from the world, and most (believe me, I grew up Mormon in a DEVOUT family) don't know their own history. It's all sugar coated, which is typical of an organization with a martyr at its head.

It is a FANTASTIC book, and if you are at all interested, the "No Man Knows My History" by Fawn Brodie is the absolute best biography of Joseph SMith, period. Even the LDS church concedes that is is the most indepth, although grudgingly.
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zyrya
Mar. 29th, 2005 09:40 am (UTC)
Welcome home!
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 10:19 am (UTC)
Thanks!! I was so happy to see your email. Oh, man. The need to mock is STRONG. Just, wow. o_O
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inlovewithnight
Mar. 29th, 2005 09:43 am (UTC)
Hurrah! :) It was so much fun. You both were awesome.

China doll, huh? ::blush:: Why, thank you. When next we meet (you come to Boulder, I go to Dallas, we wind up in Ann Arbor, whatever), you can totally play with my hair. :)
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 10:20 am (UTC)
But not a weird Madame Alexander doll in a glass box. Just a nice, lovely dolly.

I AM TOTALLY GOING TO PLAY WITH YOUR HAIR!! :-)
paynbow
Mar. 29th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC)
That sounds like an AWESOME trip! And I remember seeing The Grudge...freakin terrified me! And then when I was driving home, Kirsty and I saw this woman with long, dark hair walking LIKE THE LADY IN THE MOVIE! Nearly pissed myself, I did *g*

I love that you read an infamous book around a bunch of Mormons *g* Hee! I kinda wished that plane guy had jumped in, although it may have ruined what sounded like a wonderful conversation with your seat mates.

My highschool history teacher had a firend who lived in Lebanon, so she went to visit her there once. While she was there she went to see that temple where they filmed Indianna Jones and the Last Crusade, which is in Jordan, I think. And that's completely off topic, but it's a cool story and I wanted to get one in after yours. Hee! *g*
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 12:31 pm (UTC)
These men from Lebanon told me to stay in the Venice (veneese?) hotel right on the Mediterranian, you know, "the place where the Prime Minister was blown up? Ees beautiful. Dey imagined a Pah-rah-dice for you to play. Ees gorgeous."

A part of me is sad to have a deep discussion with a devout Mormon, because it's earth-shattering to learn that you have been swept into a fabrication. For them, it is holy and sacred, and because I don't believe it, oh, well. If they would learn their own history, learn what they AREN'T being told, and still chose to follow it (like my dad) I have a lot more respect for them, because they are in it for the benefits of the organization, and not because it is The One True Church on Earth. Because that's a bunch of hooey.

And how fucking scary is the Grudge? So simple, and so resonant...
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(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC)
I missed you, too!! Ann Arbor is lovely. I've decided it's a European version of Austin, TX. Meaning: less Zydeco and salsa, more Middle Eastern/European influences in its place. Lovely, lovely.

You know, it was surprising to see Mormons on both legs. Not a lot in either place, to be honest. A complete fluke. I went to a HS with 2000 students, and I was one of three Mormons. There's a slogan they are taught, "choose the right," and you wear rings to remind you: cTr in a sheild. That's a big tip-off. Also, carrying a Book of Mormon is a tip-off. :-) Devout Mormons wear special (they would say sacred) undergarments to remind them of their vows to God to be chaste, called simply "garments." Undershirts with short sleeves and long underpants, to the knees. They are generally silky, and good Mormon girls looking for a worthy mate always check for the "eternal smile" at a man's neck indicating garments underneath. Meaning: they have a scooped neck that can be determined under a T-shirt, etc. Combine those, toss in lingo like "Gentile" to describe those as non-Mormons, "Oh my heck!" because they don't swear, and "I admonish you" sprinkled about.

:-)
cityphonelines
Mar. 29th, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC)
*looks up from Stoney detox unit*
*gets fix*
*sighs in exctasy*

You're back!!! Dude, there was infinite missage from me and Sue. I flailed and everything. I really wanna see the Grudge, tried twice when it was in the theatres and it was sold out both times, but now I really wanna see it, 'cause I'm hard to scare. To date only The Ring has given me that deep scare... and I think it had more to do with my horse fear than anything else.

SNOW! You got to see snow! I can't believe it's already hot where you are, we're still flopping around between 40 degrees and 65 degrees with insane wind.

*hums "Back to life/back to reality*
*loves*
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
VINNIE!!! My leetle SweetMex.

Man, The Ring made my SKIN want to walk off my body, and I love horses and that scene freaked me. Ring2 blows. Don't bother unless its on HBO and you're ironing or something. But The Grudge? Right up there with creep factor from Ringu.

SNOW. (not pretty new snow, just old, crusty, grey snow, but SNOW!)

Man wind like a bitch today and 70.

Ai. Te guapa, mi amiga. Te amo.
likeadeuce
Mar. 29th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)
That they obviously just bought the day before because they are tuning them OVER AND OVER AGAIN and helping each other find G. And not the fun one.

Hah! Love your narrative for stories like this. and so happy you got to meet My Lovely Assistant. (she is coming here in June, I am clearing a place on my china doll shelf!)

I guess I ought to read the Krakauer book. I'm sure it's good just. . .issues, you know?

Lots of silliness, postcards, and a new Wes&Gunn fic in my journal since you left. And be sure to check out Sue's smutathon, ay ay aye!

Did you get your package?
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC)
OOOH!!! Guess what I have in my hands!!! Postcard from you! CDS from you!! Sa-WEEET! Thank you thank you!!

I saw you posted something that's hilarious... I'm getting to it! In five... four... three....

Oh, and as to Krakauer, it's very respectful of the typical Mormon of today. He isn't out to slam those folks (like your parents, or mine) He's going after the Utah fanatic (that I doubt you've had any connection with, but the type of person that I am oh, so familiar with.) You'll be interested to hear his comments on how Elizabeth Smart was so easily led away and kept submissive, even though she was less than 3 miles from her house. Man, I've hiked those hills so many times, I've lost count. I know her HOUSE. I know the fundamentalist that live around there.

It may shatter any golden image you may have of Joe Smith, if you aren't aware of his lifestyle before the "Golden Plates," but one of my BF from college is married to Joseph Smith, the g-g-g-grandson of THE JS, and lemme tell you: that family knows all about it, but stays quiet.

And now on to your fics!!! *hugs you with gratitude for my gifts*
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
Where the hell did this comment go in my email?? Fun in snow was that I walkd on crusted, black bits that had trapped cigarette butts left over from Halloween....

There will be phone calls and morning emails again.

I mees my Sue...
ropo
Mar. 29th, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
You're so dang entertaining! I give you freezer!Lucy to remind you of your time in the cold north.

That is all.
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
Hee! I had a theory... Everyone was so worried I'd freeze my tukus off, yet I was sweating in my hoodie and fleece pants while everyone was bundled within an inch of their life.

Cool weather (high 40s to low 50s) was novel to me, whereas they were used to -16 for months and were just afriad to come out of their wrappings... I loved it. It's so much easier to exercise when it's cool and you don't sweat like a fiend.

Um... That is all. *g*
lynnenne
Mar. 29th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC)
but EVERYONE hates SMG

Oh, thank god! I thought it was just me. It's taken me this long to realize that my Buffy issues aren't really Buffy issues at all... they're all SMG issues. Why? Why can't I like her?!
stoney321
Mar. 29th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
<-- just cuz
Yeah, see I love Buffy. HATE SMG. She seems so manufactured, but by her own invention. Like she takes the business of being SMG way too seriously and has fabricated this "devil may care" image, but it's all so calculated. bleh.

That being said, neither of us were bothered by her in The Grudge. My friend Chrissy summed it up by saying: "Well, she hardly talked at all." Yes. That's IT!
mskakaako
Mar. 30th, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a fun, fun, fun trip!! Kinda OT, but I don't trust what Krakauer says because of what he said about Anatoli Boukreev in Into Thin Air. LIES, BLOODY LIES, I say.

Anyway, missed you! ::smooooch::
stoney321
Mar. 30th, 2005 09:04 pm (UTC)
Herroh!! DId you have a great time? Are you exhausted? Did you spam your LJ? I'll go check it out...

As to Krakauer and your VENOM. (sheesh. ;-)) I have a few close friends, all professional climbers, who work with him on Outside Magazine and all think he is upstanding and truthful. In fact, one of them, Dave, was in Everest that year, but only stayed at Base Camp and ventured to Camp 1 and 2. I trust them. Check out this link, and keep in mind that we are talking about a Russian who has(had) a lot riding on his reputation as a guide.

That being said, I've read just about everything on the Mormon church (what with it being my history, and my family helping establish it in Utah in the 1800s) and he is fair and acurate. He poses some interesting thoughts on how Elizabeth Smart could have been taken and controlled, and the parallels with the violence of the LDS church's beginnings with the violence that happens within its members now. Fascinating stuff, and jarring when I see names of people I know personally, and know exactly what he is talking about.

And is that a new BB icon? Sweeet.
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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )

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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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