Thursday, February 26, 2015

He's all about that Bass

Sometimes we overlook aspects of people we love because we do not want to acknowledge they are real. Even when the facts are blaringly obvious, we refuse to recognize what is staring us straight in the face, because we would rather live in our blissful ignorance than admit what is true. 
Peter has always been different. With his long lashes and aggressively blue eyes, his perfectly sculpted eyebrows and ability to cut his own hair, he stands out from others in a mildly feminine way. He dances more than he walks. He hums show tunes and 90s pop, and regularly compliments others on their appearance. He loves suspenders and writes eloquent poetry and prose. I've known him for almost 5 years now, and I have found that it is time for me to embrace his true identity. To face what it is that drives Peter's passions. 

Peter loves boybands.

He loves boybands fiercely. I tried to ignore what was in front of me, but after almost a year of marriage, I cannot. He religiously updates his Spotify playlists to finetune his listening tastes, tastes that are centered on the talents of young boys (who are actually several years older than us), and their harmonizing, lyricism, and beatboxing (at times). While N'Sync is his cherished favourite, Peter has a diverse palate for all things 90s-00s boybands. In fact, he has a very real dream to form a Japanese singing boyband of five white men, himself included. While he sings and dance, I look on and know that even though I never dreamed of marrying a boyband member, touring Japan while young girls scream at my husband sounds only mildly terrifying. 

Since embracing my husband's true identity, my life has only become better. We are both able to rejoice in our respective loves: Peter in his songs, and me in watching him dance like a goon while he sings his songs. As for the initial shock, I know I am coming back from this. I may not be the same person I was, my view is expanded, my perspective more broadened, and I now know what is important, and what isn’t. I don’t want any boys to grow up feeling they must hide who they are, mask their identity, and live in denial. It is okay, no, it is great, to love boybands. It is wonderful to enjoy the talents of Lance Bass and Nick Carter dancing and creating magic with their respective posse. If you know someone who is hiding their passion as though ashamed, I hope you will be there for them. Support them in being who they are. 

P.s. I'll send you a postcard when we're touring Asia. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Potter Ponderings

Peter is obviously my favourite roommate. That goes without saying. However, he isn't my FIRST favourite roommate. I have loved before. (*gasp* drama.) Since beginning college in 2010 I have been blessed with truly wonderful roommates (but a few crazy housemates) who filled my life with joy. 
 The greatest part about having a roommate is the late night talks. My roommates talked me through Peter's two year mission, about relationships, likes and dislikes, spiritual trials, physical trials... We discussed it all. My last roommate before I got married was the glorious Christy Hoffmann. Our late night talks almost exclusively were Potter Ponderings which are probably the BEST kind of late night talks. Potter Ponderings are questions we have about the wonderful world of Harry Potter. There are no answers usually, but lots of opportunities to question and dig up textual evidence supporting various conclusions. Here are a few Potter Ponderings. 

- If Harry had been kissed by a dementor would his own soul be sucked out or Voldemort's horcrux? 

A simple answer could just be "they would both be sucked out" but that's a super boring answer, and I like debating against it. Harry's soul would be the more attractive of the two as it is full of happiness and is actually a full soul, but if Harry is sucked out, does that leave his body as a living breathing embodiment of Voldemort? We know Voldemort can leech onto another living soul, but in the case of Quirrel, Voldemort couldn't remain once he had died. I'd like to believe that Voldy would be destroyed and Harry would walk away free. Luck always favours the boy who lived. 

- How far back in time can you go with a time turner? (Additionally, who was behind the decision to give a small time machine to a 13 year old girl so that she can exhaust herself with school work? That really seems like bad decision making.) 

The time turner is just such a strange concept to me. I love that Prisoner of Azkaban dabbles in time travel; it is such a dizzying field that I even studied extensively for a semester of my undergrad. Yet, if you take those final scenes of PoA (and Hermione's repeated use of the time turner through out that year) and put them into a wider perspective, suddenly it is harder to comprehend on a legal scale. If these tools are so readily available (i.e. There is a shelf full of them in the Ministry of Magic, and young girls are being handed them in school) how is it that no one has seriously altered time? How does Voldemort exist? How does Harry exist? It seems to me that if time travel were as easy as a few spins on a chain, surely many people would have attempted to abort plans on BOTH ends of the good/bad spectrum. This makes me want to assert that there are specific time restraints on the time turners, and that you may only travel back within a 24 hour period or so. No matter what, it is hard to debate because if time travel has occurred and events changed, then that change is all we know. 

- Why does Harry only first see the thestrals after Cedric's death? His eyes are open during his mother's murder, but closed during Cedric's. 

In the Goblet of Fire we read: 
"From high above his head, he heard a high, cold voice say, "kill the spare." A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words to the night: "Avada Kedavra!" A blast of green light blazed through Harry's eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to ground beside him. Cedric was lying spread-eagled on the ground beside him. He was dead." 

Actually, we don't know that Harry's eyes were open during his mother's demise. All that he can recall from that Halloween is a flash of green, screaming, and high pitched laughing. That flash of green that he has remembered is exactly like the one he witnesses at Cedric's death. Logistically, if Cedric's murder (seen through closed lids) was enough to have Harry "see death," his becoming an orphan would be equally as qualifying. I read or heard once that it is the understanding that it is death you have seen that makes the thestrals appear, and therefore Harry's being present as a one year old was not enough to have him comprehend death. That seems more valid to me, until we consider how much death Harry has faced in his 15 years of life. When Hagrid explains to him why he is an orphan on his 11th birthday, Harry attributes understanding to his earliest memory: 

"Something very painful was going on in Harry’s mind. As Hagrid’s story came to a close, he saw again the blinding flash of green light, more clearly than he had ever remembered it before — and he remembered something else, for the first time in his life: a high, cold, cruel laugh."

Doesn't this mean Harry has now seen death? He has understood for the first time in his life exactly how he became an orphan; his parents were murdered. Even if that doesn't work, why doesn't witnessing (and kind of causing) Quirrel's death at the end of his first year at Hogwarts? What about destroying Riddle's diary? That was a pretty much a murder. Harry aimed to destroy Riddle and accomplished it. I have so many questions regarding thestrals. 

-Where do dementors come from? How do they multiply? 

I understand that dementors are essentially depression in a physical form, I also deduce from context clues and quotes throughout the series that they multiply anywhere that there is unhappiness, but how? Dementors are in no way sexual creatures. Granted, this is an assumption, but I'm pretty sure there is a very short list of people hoping to get jiggy with a dementor. Probably a list shorter than the one of people who want to make out with Umbridge. We aren't told that people who have their souls sucked become dementors and so it seems they aren't like werewolves or vampires who create others like them. WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? Is it mitosis? I must know. 

What are your Potter Ponderings? I have many, but this already seemed like a brain dump, so I'll stop. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stalking isn't romantic, guys.

Imagine you have a childhood friend who fell madly in love with you. Unfortunately, over time you become estranged from this friend because, well honestly, he is a bigot. He's a devout member of the KKK and you are black. He is a anti-semite and you are Jewish. Whatever example works best for you, use it. This friend fundamentally hates and slanders your background but swears he loves you despite the fact that you are dirty and a lesser human.
Imagine that you moved on with your life, lost touch with this friend, fell in love with another and had a child, yet this childhood friend still proclaimed his undying love for you. A love that was never reciprocated by you. 
Imagine this person delivered the crucial information that lead to your brutal murder. 
Imagine that decades later this person, who is still a cruel bigot, now spends his life bullying your only son and one of his friends, because he sees them both as horrible reminders of your death. 

How do you feel towards this person? Awful, right?? He has behaved in a borderline stalker fashion for most of your life! Really not cool. 

All pretenses of anonymity aside, we know I'm talking about Snape. 

The fact that J.K. Rowling named Harry Potter's son after Severus Snape is one of the most offensive things to happen in my life time. It is something that I may never recover from. 

I understand that Snape died in order to defeat Voldemort and save hundreds of Muggles and Wizards alike, but beyond that, he possesses very few redeeming qualities. Everything that he does seems to be motivated by obsession. As a young adult, his obsession with Voldemort dictates his behaviour, and from then on, his obsession with Lily Potter and the fact that he played a major hand in her murder motivates him to seek redemption. 

I believe as much as anyone that redemption is a great thing, and I don't think that Snape doesn't deserve redemption - he turns from his ways and dedicates his entire life to ensure the downfall of Voldemort and his Death Eaters - however, that doesn't mean that I think he is not a bully, his obsession with Lily Evans/Potter isn't insanely creepy, or that Harry would ever name his child after him. 

Sure we see over and over in the series instances where we're all like, "woah, Snape is hella evil" and then we're like, "lawl, jk, he's still a good guy," because Queen J.K. shows how we are wrong, but his personality still stands out as overly douchey at best. Neither Death Eaters or Order members are particularly comfortable around him, seeing as he seems addicted to sneering at and belittling everyone he encounters. This instance from Goblet of Fire always burned my derrière particularly strong:  

"He forced Hermione to show Snape her teeth—she was doing her best to hide them with her hands, though this was difficult as they had now grown down past her collar. Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were doubled up with silent giggles, pointing at Hermione from behind Snape's back. Snape looked coldly at Hermione, then said, "I see no difference.""

Hakuna your tatas, Snape! This is a 14 year old girl you're mocking. She has never proved to be a threat to you, nor do you have any moral reason to bully her. In fact, as a teacher, most would say it is your professional goal to be a guiding mentor to her. I guess that doesn't matter when the girl is MUGGLE BORN. *mutters* bigot. 

 And still there is this Lily thing we have to address. We have all had crushes at 15 years old; they are powerful and embarrassing, but we eventually move on or win the affections of the person we are pursuing. Snape fails to do either. The fact that he still harbors deep emotion for an unrequited teenage love as an adult man strikes me as deeply disturbing. 

Ultimately, I find myself getting most irritated that this new wave of fandoms is ruling where readers worship Lily + Sev 5ever. In shipping Snape and Lily as a couple you are wishing that the main character of a series never came into existence. You're negating the love of a woman for her husband and assuming she would be better off with the boy she rejected for valid reasons when she was 15. The fact that J.K. works to never address the good qualities of James is something that I will weep over for years, but for now I am grateful for whatever good qualities James had because he and Lily MADE HARRY POTTER. and if you don't think that's the tightest reason to support a couple, YOU A FOOL. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Update on current existence

On February 2nd I had an interview at the Marriage and Family graduate program at BYU. A lot of people have been asking how that went. Thank you for showing an interest in my life. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, it is one of those things that I almost wish people would ignore for the next two weeks so that I can pretend I am not internally crapping my metaphorical pants, but you cannot pick and choose what parts of your life are interesting to others.


How did it go? 

Honestly, I'm not sure. There were parts of the day where my inner monologue was sassy and of African decent screaming, "oh, oh, you are KILLIN' IT, FOO. They ain't got no one who has ever killed it the way you have. mmhmmmm. You know that's right." There were other moments where all I could think was, "why are you here? why are you here? why are you here? YOU ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT, MESERVY." Sadly, both of these extremes were accompanied by a faint sense that I was on the brink of vomiting and a profuse amount of sweating, so I cannot confidently state that I did well, or poorly. I think we are just going to have to wait and see.

When will you hear back?

All 28 of the MFT applicants interviewed last week. The majority of us came on Monday, but a small group came Friday. Therefore, deliberation begins this coming week. The earliest I will hear back is early next week.

How many people are selected for the program?

There are 11 places available for the 28 of us who applied. That means I have roughly a 39% chance of being accepted. Granted, the selection of applicants is not random, however, as I do not know how I did (see FAQ number 1), my chances feel pretty random at this point.

What was the interview like?

At the beginning of the day we were presented with a schedule. This schedule divided the 21 of us present into small groups of five or six and listed times we would be seen by different professors. In our groups we rotated through rooms where professors were to ask us questions and answer any questions we had. In addition to meeting with the professors and answering their questions, for one of our "interviews" we had 15 minutes in a computer lab to answer three short answer questions and submit them.
Around noon, we were shepherded into a room to have lunch, and begin our one-on-one interview process. Each of us would have three interviews in three rooms, each with 3-4 professors there to ask us questions. My interviews were scheduled at 1:00, 3:00, and 3:55. While we waited, we sat and visited with the other applicants and current MFT students who came in and out to meet with us.
The day began at 9am and ended with a "pizza party"(we were all so desperate to get out and never see that room again, that the "party" aspect was definitely a stretch) at 5pm.
The worst part of the day for me was the waiting in that board room. I knew that the existing students were there to assess us all on our personalities and pleasantness, and what they would have to say about each of us would be taken into consideration, however, all I wanted to do was crawl under the table and lay on the floor weeping quietly to myself until my interviews. It wasn't as though the questions being asked were particularly difficult, but knowing that you are putting all your efforts into being accepted somewhere and that you are being judged on your every action and word is mildly horrifying. I am looking forward to being past this point in my graduate career (plz don't remind me that I will be repeating this process when I need to get a job. k thankz).

What happens if you get accepted?

If both Peter and I get accepted at BYU, we will most likely be moving to Provo to attend school there starting August of this year. I have been asked to interview at Seattle Pacific University early this March which I plan to attend to look at the school and program, and perhaps we will find that Seattle is where we need to be. BYU is the best option academically and financially for both of us, but we are open to the fact that God's will doesn't always work on academic and financial motivations.

I think those are all the FAQs I have gotten. If you have any other questions for me, please ask! I will try to answer to the best of my ability :)