All posts for the month October, 2014

Brain Mush

Published October 17, 2014 by Malia

I’m currently on Day 5 of not seeing the boy.  Normally, there’s a 3-4 day break between seeing each other every week.  However, this week, the boy is working nine days straight, which means the break between seeing each other is going to be six or seven days.  While I’m proud of him for being a grown-up and a hard worker, I’m really pathetic, and I miss him quite a bit.  Normally, I hit this pathetic level around day 3.

Wait…mom’s probably going to read this at some point…and she will point out that I start whining about missing him on day 1 of not seeing him.

I’d say I’m in in boy withdrawal, but that sounds too Twilight.  We are definitely not Twilight.  I may be as clumsy as Bella, but I hope and pray I’m not that shallow and vapid.  Plus, no one in their right mind would ever accuse me of vegetarianism in any form.

And now I realize that I’m really rabbit trailing, and I really do have something I want to write about.

I’ve been noticing lately that when I’m around the boy, I kind of turn into an idiot.  See, this is how my brain normally is…

It’s all active, and mostly working normally.  I’m able to communicate with most humans on some level.  I’m capable of intelligence, and on special occasions I’m witty.

Now, when I’m around the boy my brain does this…





I have no idea how it happens.  He’s smart.  I’m smart.  We’re two intelligent grown-ups.  I’m crazy about him, and for some reason that means I go from intelligent to babbling ditz in less time than it took to read this sentence.  I think the good part of my brain gets locked up by the bad parts of my brain, but it can still see the train wreck that is coming out of my mouth…and I’m pretty sure it hates me for it.  I will be spewing absolute nonsense, and I can practically hear the intelligent part of my brain (the part that’s locked up) screaming, “What?!  Where did that come from?  Why would you ever say that?  Do you have any idea how idiotic you sound right now?  Are you attempting to make a joke?  You know that wasn’t funny, right?”

For some reason, it gets even worse when I try to be funny.  I’ll make some joke about something stupid, but because I’m actually trying to be funny, it doesn’t come across as funny.  Apparently, I only have good delivery when I’m not trying.  For example, last weekend I made a joke about how the boy totally needed a mirror ball to hang from his ceiling of the living room, and painting the walls hot pink and the ceiling black would absolutely complete the room.  It was a joke.  A terrible joke, that I may have brought up one too many times over the weekend.  I’m pretty sure it was never that funny, and I’m also relatively certain the boy is never going to trust me with any interior decorating.  Which is a shame because I really do have excellent taste.

I’m really hoping it’s not just me.  I truly hope there’s a whole group of intelligent women who turn into Brain Slugged idiots around their boyfriends.

We Went On An Adventure: Part 2~License Plate Butts and Chlorinated Food

Published October 15, 2014 by Malia

I’m relatively certain that no one has ever looked at me and thought, “Man, that is one spontaneous girl.”  There is good reason for this.  I’m really not spontaneous.  I’m kind of an obsessive planner.  I want to know what I’m doing, where I’m doing it, when I’m doing it, and why I’m doing it.  Re-reading that last sentence, it occurs to me that most people probably look at me and think, “Control freak!”  I’d love to deny it, but it’s not on my schedule for today.

Anyway…the point is, the trip the boy and I took over Labor Day weekend, was a true exercise in spontaneity.  A good thing for the both of us.  The decision to be spontaneous is what led to us going to Cheyenne on the way to Denver, instead of just driving straight from Nebraska to Denver.

Leaving Nebraska, Entering Wyoming

When we reached the eastern outskirts of Cheyenne, we decided to see what there was to do in Cheyenne.  Our options were a bit slim, but we were determined.  This is what led us to try to find the Cheyenne Transportation Museum.  We ended up at the Cheyenne Depot Museum (which a Google search I did just now, showed me that they are actually the same museum), and it was pretty interesting.


The museum is housed in the old Cheyenne Union Pacific depot (much like the Durham Western Museum here in Omaha is in the old Union Pacific Depot).  It is definitely a work in progress.  Most of it is completed, but there were still some empty cases with signs asking for donations.

Yes, of all the things I could take pictures of, I had to take a picture of the bathroom.

Yes, of all the things I could take pictures of, I had to take a picture of the bathroom.

They’ve done a lovely job, though on the museum, and it was definitely worth a visit.

I personally enjoyed this sign:

It’s kind of hard to read, but it states that you can travel “Through to San Francisco In less than Four Days, avoiding the Dangers of the Sea!”  I’m not sure how they were getting to San Francisco from Omaha before trains, but apparently it was a super weird way that involved ridiculously large bodies of water.

After we left the museum we wandered around the town square, for awhile.  Apparently there had been a beer garden earlier in the day (they were tearing it down when we were there), and there were plenty of barriers up with these signs:


Cuz, y’know, the one thing drunk people are really good at doing is reading and obeying signs…

One really cool thing in the square was this sculpture of a horse made up of tools and other metal things.  I especially loved the license plate placement.

017 014

Eventually, a storm rolled in, and we decided to head to Denver.

That’s the sign announcing we were about to enter Colorado.  I wasn’t exactly having a successful photography moment.

Here was our first view of the mountains off in the distance:


We had a really beautiful drive as we headed south through northern Colorado, headed for Denver…








Once we got to Denver, we met up with my former roommate from my music ed. days (she was kind enough to host us that night).  I hadn’t seen her in about 8 years, and it was really good to get to see her again, and meet her son.

My boy agreed to go to visit the sight of one of my favorite childhood memories that night.  If you’re familiar with Denver, you’ve likely heard of Casa Bonita.  It’s this weird little place in the middle of a strip mall.  It’s been there forever.  I have really fond memories of the place, but the visit reinforced something I’ve been learning.  Some things from childhood are better left as a memory, with the rose-colored glasses of childhood to tint the memory.  To be honest, the place looked tired.  As in, needs fresh paint tired.  The “food”  tasted just as un-food-like and as chlorinated as always.

At least the sopaipillas were still delicious.

Coming Soon-ish: I tried to fall off a mountain, and other great moments in spontaneity.

Don’t sacrifice something precious on the altar of “Fitting In”

Published October 2, 2014 by Malia

When I was in first grade, I had a substitute teacher tell me I was stupid when I asked for help with the math we were learning.  We were learning to do addition when you have more than two sets of numbers.  Math has never been my strong suit, and what was easy for my peers was insanely hard for me.  I realized a few years ago that the substitute was wrong.  I wasn’t stupid; it was just easier to tell me I was, instead of trying to figure out a different way to explain it to me.

Despite the fact that I’ve come to terms with what happened when I was seven, I’ve recently started to realize that it was that moment that set me on a path that I regret.

Throughout elementary school, I constantly found myself in situations where my peers seemed clueless about the things I was saying.  I used words that seemed normal to me, and most of the time those words just earned me blank stares.  I remember people commenting frequently on those “big words” I used.  Around sixth grade it started to dawn on me that being smart was great, but it was really lonely.  I already stuck out among my peers because my dad was both a pastor and the town garbageman, and being intelligent just was an added ingredient into the mix that kept me from fitting in.

So, I locked up my brain.  I sealed up those parts that would help me achieve, and took to playing dumb.  I found that if people believe you’re dumb, they go easier on you and quite a bit less is expected of you.

Recently, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to play dumb anymore.  It’s cost me too much in life, and I’m sick of giving up what I want because I’ve put so much importance on fitting in.  Unfortunately, what I’m discovering is that it’s not terribly easy to undo nearly 20 years of playing dumb.  I’ve spent so long convincing myself that I’m only average and am incapable of achieving anything, that my brain is rebelling quite a bit against my decision to unlock it.  There’s also an element of fear.  It’s scary to decide to stop choosing the easy option.  However, I think (and hope) it will be worth it, in the long run.