Friday, May 18, 2007

Something to czech out.

That title has nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to be clever. But my Brother in law Darvil showed me the coolest youtube video I've ever seen. I'm going nuts over it. It's this crazy kid from holland who video taped himself hitting drums and then edited it together to make a song. Czech it out at

Monday, May 14, 2007

Todd and Lilly

This is long.

by Steven Hopkins
When Todd woke up at 9 a.m. Lilly was gone. He rubbed his eyes and walked around the apartment to find her. There was a note scribbled on the back of the car insurance bill lying on the table. He picked it up, and it tore when he grabbed it with both hands. “Klutz,” he said. He held the two pieces up to each other the make out the note.

Hey, sorry about last night. I’ve kind of just been on edge lately. But I promise I’ll make you dinner tonight and you’ll love it. I should have enough time to fix your shirt. I love you. Lilly.

He laughed at the two pieces of paper as he set them back down on the table. Todd was big for a 23-year-old. He wore a double extra large t-shirt because he needed to, not because the bagginess made him look cool. He was six-foot-eight, broad shouldered. He had a steel chin, almost robotic, with an under bite. His fingers had squared ends. His stomach was round and hard like a barrel.
He got out the cereal and poured himself a bowl. He turned on the radio to keep his mind busy while he ate. He had already done all the puzzles on the back of the box. He picked up the note again. He was excited about his wife making dinner. She was a great cook. He didn’t know what shirt she meant or what was wrong with it that it needed fixing. Lilly had slept on the couch the night before. When he asked her why, she said it was more comfortable.
Todd finished his food, organized the living room a little and then took a shower and got ready for class. He was a junior, and had not yet declared his major. That’s what they talked about last night.
The morning went by fast. He was covered in sweat when he came in for lunch. Lilly was on the couch replacing a button on Todd’s shirt. She didn’t notice him entering. He stood in the doorway watching. She was blond. Her body was long and thin, with long, thin arms. She’s beautiful, Todd thought. She pushed the needle back and forth hunched over her work. Todd pulled his earphones from his ears and leaned his forehead on the doorpost.
“Stupid. Doesn’t take care of anything,” she mumbled. She poked the needle back and forth. Then she stabbed her finger. “Ouch. Stupid.” She put the finger in her mouth and shook her head hard.
Todd clumped over toward her. “Are you okay?”
Lilly’s eyes widened when she saw him. “Yeah, I’m okay. I guess.”
Todd grabbed her finger and examined it. She leaned back and looked at the top of his head. A slowly widening bald spot.
“Did it hurt?” he asked.
“I’ll be okay,” she said and pulled her finger from his hand.
“Good.” He leaned in to kiss her.
She turned her face from him and pushed his thick chest away with the point of her middle finger. “Go wash first, please.”
He scooted back on the couch a little and set down his music player. “What were you so mad about that you stabbed yourself for?”
“I wasn’t mad.” She found the needle and began poking the shirt again.
“I was watching you. What were you grumbling about? You looked like you were mad.”
She looked him over. “Why are you all sweaty?”
He felt his chest as if realizing for the first time he was wet. “Oh I left class early. So I had some time to go to the gym. That teacher is crazy. I swear I’m stupider for the last three weeks I spent in that class. I’m just going to drop it.”
Her gaze fixed in the distance, her jaw clenched. She crumbled the shirt in her hands.
He continued, “She was trying to tell us that —”
She winced and pushed him away hard. “Would you just go get in the shower? I mean, can’t you see I’m working?”
“What?” he laughed.
“You’re just going to drop the class?” She stood up from the couch and moved over to the love seat. She sat down with a huff.
He stood and walked over. He towered above her. His massive chest heaved. He stared at the ground for ten full seconds.
“I’m sorry,” he said without moving.
“What? What are you sorry about?” she asked.
“I guess I shouldn’t have said what I did?”
“What did you say?”
Todd stepped back. “I don’t know, but you’re all mad at me.”
“I’m not mad at you for the last time. Now, would you stop being so stupid and get in the shower so you can get to your next class on time and make something of yourself?”
Todd stood still. A breeze blew through the window. “Are you still going to make me dinner?”
She pushed the needle into the shirt, threw it over the side of the couch, stood up and went to the bedroom. The door shut with a slam.
He turned and walked back down the hallway dragging his thick fingers along the wall and stopped at the bedroom door. He breathed in and out, touching his hand to the door. He dropped his arm to his side and walked into the bathroom, closed the door and turned on the water.
After his shower he came into the living room drying his hair. Lilly was gone. There was another note on the table.

Your shirt’s done. Stop breathing so hard. That’s why you keep popping buttons. And you are going to go to that class.

Under that there were three words scribbled out. Todd tried to read them, holding them up to the light, but couldn’t make them out. Then it read:

I’m sorry. I’ll make dinner.

He put the note down gently. The two pieces of the other note were crumbled up on top of the trash in the can. “Man,” he said. The loudness of his own voice startled him. He felt like the walls were very far away. As stood there in a towel in his kitchen, he realized that being alone when you’re married is harder than being alone when you’re single.
He pulled out a pen and wrote, “I love you too,” on the bill. He got dressed and washed a few dishes.
After his afternoon classes he walked the long way home. He went into a music store across the street from his apartment. He walked slowly. When he came into the living room, the fading sunset made everything brown. He dropped his books and backpack, and set his keys down with a clink. Lilly was sitting on the couch with the remote in her hand watching television.
“Hey,” she said.
“Hey,” he said.
“What are you watching?”
“Oh. I don’t even know.” She clicked off the television. “How was class?”
“All right.”
She nodded. Then she cleared her throat.
“What did I do?” he asked. “I’ll fix it. I’m sorry.”
She leaned forward and dropped the remote on the coffee table. She rolled her neck, and the bones cracked when she did. “We’re not right for each other.”
“What?” he said. He stepped into the room and leaned his back against the wall.
“We can’t do this,” she said. “We’re not right. We’re broken. This isn’t going to work.”
“So what do we do? Tell me what to do.” He slid down the wall and hit the floor with a thud.
“Do you agree with me?”
“I don’t know. You’re standing there telling me that you can’t stand being married to me. What am I supposed to think?” He rubbed his giant hand inside the other. It made a sound like sandpaper.
“But, do you agree with me? That we’re not right for each other?” She leaned back into the couch.
He took one shoe halfway off and spun it on the end of his toe. “No. I love you. We should’ve gotten married. I need you. But I guess you don’t need me.” His shoulders fell. She folded her arms. “Why do you always hate me when I come home?” he asked. She didn’t move. “When I’m here with you all day you never treat me like this,” he continued. “Just when I come home. What do you do all day?”
“Well, I do what I am supposed to do all day. What do you do?”
“Wait, you sitting around all day being mad at me is what you’re supposed to do?”
“No. I don’t sit around, that’s the point. I wash dishes. I clean the house. I fix your stupid shirts. I pay the bills. I do stuff during the day to make this house better. I try and try, but it never gets any better.”
“So why is our marriage broken?”
She stood and pointed at him. “What’s your major? What job are you going to have? What are you going to be?”
“What does that have to do with you washing dishes? What does any of this have to do with anything?”
“Oh. So you’re telling me all of this is a complete surprise.” She put her hands on her hips.
“Look,” he said. He stood up too, a whole foot taller than her and twice as wide. “I told you. I’ll fix this. Just tell me what to do.” He held out his arms.
She pulled on the edge of her shirt and left the room, plowing through his hands. “It’s over. This is over,” she said as she pushed through. A few seconds later, the front door slammed.
Todd wiped his hand across his mouth. He looked around the room. The ceiling seemed so high. The sun was completely down and it was growing dark. He turned his head in the direction of the front door and listened for a second. His skin tingled. His head was buzzing. He heard the clock tick in the far room. He felt like he needed to pick something up, like he had dropped something. He looked around at his feet and saw nothing.
He swallowed hard and walked into the kitchen. The three notes were there. They had lines and scribbles all over both sides of the three pieces of paper. She must have sat looking at them for hours. The words he wrote were traced and retraced, until they weren’t legible. He picked it up and the paper fell apart and the pieces fell to the table. He brushed them off into his hand, walked to the file cabinet, and found the file labeled “Lilly Loves Todd” and put the pieces inside.
Then he walked back to the kitchen, grabbed a pan and began filling it with water to start boiling potatoes for dinner.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Its the Truth

It’s true we are busy this semester. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays my classes start at 7:45am, which means I have to be up and hopefully showered in time to walk out the door at 7:30. My first class is advanced sewing it is more difficult than I expected but I am learning a lot we are making jeans this week and the next project is a swim suit. Class gets out at 10:00 and I have an hour and a half break so I stay in the sewing lab and work on projects till my next class it is a great time to catch up. I then go to Home and Family Management. My teacher is a pretty interesting character with good intentions. On Mondays and Wednesdays I have international foods at 2:00 so I walk home for lunch and then back to campus for class, I have enjoyed all of my cooking classes, this one is a lot of fun it is the fourth week of school and I haven’t been in the kitchen yet because we are on shifts but I have had a lot of fun decorating and learning about the different cultures. Fridays my school day ends at 12:30 when I get out of Home and Family. I usually go and find Steven for a minute then go home for lunch and to catch up on home and housework.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I get to sleep in until 8:00am because class doesn't start until 9:00, it is a course all about scripture study. I have loved it. I have a break for 10:00 until 11:30 when my Children’s sewing class starts; I walk home for lunch and then back again. I usually get back to campus early because it is my favorite class we are learning a lot of fun stuff. Class gets out at 1:00, so I have enough time to eat dinner, do some homework and write Steven a note before going to work which starts at 3:00.
Work is great, Melaleuca is really good to their employees and I have made some great friends who work my same shift Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00 to 8:00, Saturdays 12:00 to 5:00, 15 hours a week. I still get home before Steven so this is when I start to cut out my sewing projects for the next few days.
I am also on the talent board this semester, a co-manager of Guitars Unplugged one of the bigger shows on campus we have meetings on Wednesday nights. As Steven said Saturdays are full of catching up and Sundays full of rest.
It has been a little harder this semester but it has been worth it.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Busy Life

Taking 15 credits, working part-time, being in a play and being married are all really good things. However, doing all of them at the same time on a 14 week semester is another story. Life has been hectic, but I don't want to give the impression for a second that I am complaining, or that I would give up anything.
Every day is full of enriching, uplifting, enlightening, exciting events. I wake up every morning at 7 a.m. and begin doing homework for my New Testament class. I read from Jesus the Christ and then from the four Gospels and then my teacher gives us huge lists of Bible Dictionary terms to look up. It's a lot of work, but being prepared like that for our class discussions has been awesome. A fellow classmate described my teacher Brother Hammond, "like a Baptist preacher that sermonizes fire and brimstone with an Idaho drawl." Then I get whatever other homework I can done in the mornings. (Unfortunately, I haven't been able to have regular morning writing time and I feel horrible.)
Then Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 9 a.m., I go to work at the Writing center, where I am making better friends with co-workers than I ever have in my life. I've always been to scared to make friends at work, hmmph. Then I go to spanish class with Brother Alba who is the coolest grammar nerd I have ever met, and he let's us poke fun at his slightly balding head and Star Wars fetish. Then I go to Creative writing with Brother Allen. I love this class. Every second I spend in that class reenforces me that I need to be a writer, that it is where I belong; it is my fight and my cause, and I love it. Then another hour at work. (This is where it gets tricky because I'm usually starving and I don't have any food to eat, much less any time to eat any food that I might get.) Then I go to New Testament, then two more hours of work. Then I go home for an hour and eat and try hard to shut off my brain for a few seconds: The Office is my escape of choice. Then I go to play rehearsal from 7 to 10 p.m. I have never successfully gotten any homework done during practice; there are very few scenes that I'm not in and we spend down time running our lines anyway.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I wake up, do homework, go to Advanced writing at 9:45 a.m. and then American Literature at 11:30 a.m. Then I have an actual break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. when I go to devotional or work. Then Tuesday I go to work until 6:30 p.m. and then to rehearsal, and Thursday I go to work until 4:30 p.m. and get a little break until rehearsal, but Natasha is working during that time, so I don't get to spend it with her. Saturdays I have rehearsal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then Natasha and I have a mad scramble to do things we haven't done in weeks like wash the dishes, clean the house, do laundry, or say Hello to each other. Then I spend my Sundays doing our Wonderful Heavenly Father intended it to do with it: I rest. Then Monday morning I start over.
Like I said, I am not complaining. I love every class, every rehearsal, and every hour of work. Each short time I get to spend with my wife we spend being in head over heels in love, either that or fighting. But it is so wonderful. I think we've made more progress in our marriage under this pressure cooker than in any other time since we were married a year ago. I love her. She is doing great. She wants more of me, and there just isn't enough to go around. Thank you Natasha for your hard work. I love you.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Monkey Scot

I made the Feller's baby look like a Monkey. Love ya!