Friday, January 29, 2010

A rose by any other name...

Legally my name is Nicole Marie. Nicole is apparently French in origin meaning "Victory of the People". Marie is also apparently French meaning "Sea of Bitterness". Now, I don't really care about what the meanings are of my names but I found it kind of interesting.
As a child I was not called Nicole. At home, church, school, and everywhere else I was Nikki. I'm not really sure when I began to be Nicole at school. Sometime after Kindergarten, perhaps in first or second grade. That's when my names divided. At school I was Nicole and everywhere else I was Nikki.
Nicole was the name used by my parents when I was in trouble. I was simply Nikki. That's what I responded to and that's who my parents introduced me as. It was comfortable and familiar. It was me. In high school, although the teachers and peers called me Nicole, my friends called me Nikki. I had become quite used to responding to both names.
When I got a job at 16, I was working with a woman from my ward and I was still Nikki. It was my second job, working at Wendy's with my older brother Josh, that my morph into two people began again. I became Nicole. Even my brother sometimes called me Nicole. So now I was Nicole at both school and work. Nikki was slowly fading into the background. My relatives still referred me to Nikki and so did the people from church.
I moved out after graduation. Nikki faded nearly into oblivion. I was Nicole at school, work, and church. At that time I was Nikki to my roommates, but currently I am Nicole now. The only ones who call me Nikki are close friends and my family.
In my mind, I'm Nikki. Although I respond to Nicole, when I talk to myself (and I do talk to myself... a lot) I am still simply Nikki. It's an inner battle that I have. Who is more dominant? Nicole or Nikki? This battle comes into play when I introduce myself. The winner comes out depending on the situation. At work, I'm Nicole and at church and school. Once I was with my friend Michelle and when it came time to tell my name I literally paused, unable to decide who I was.
Sometimes, these 'battles', as I call them, bug me. Don't I know who I am? Don't I know what I am called? It's an issue I have been contemplating for some time now, as I slowly lose the person I used to be and start morphing into this "adult" version of myself.
I guess I'm both. As an adult I am Nicole. As myself... I am Nikki. The question is... who is going to end up winning?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Normally I'm a Lover not a Hater

I was sitting in the TSC the other day on campus with my good friend Michelle. It was Scotsman Dog day. One of the best days of the week... even for a Monday. I should explain that all last semester at least once a week Michelle and I would meet for lunch... on Scotsman day. We were both aching for a Scotsman so we made plans to meet on Monday for lunch.

It was 11:30 ish on a Monday morning. Michelle and I had our Scotsman dogs in one hand and our Dr. Peppers in another, making our way to the Hub. It was crowded as we made our way down the corridor from the Quickstop to the Hub. Our usual choice for seating was crowded; all the booths were occupied by a single person. What single person needs a whole booth to themselves? We walked around, our scotsmans in hand, looking for a respectable place to sit and eat. Finally we settled on a semi-large table near the tiled sidewalk thingy near a clock that was an hour off.

We sat, eating our delectible Scotsman talking of boys, books, and everything else- the topics I love most. We had been there for some time when... the most unworldly noise happened upon our ears... The sound of a wheeled garbage can being lead over uneven tiles. The sound deafened us. I glared at the offending party. Michelle and I were in the middle of a most important discussion. About what, I have no recollection but it was important.

The noise died away and we continued on with our conversation. Shortly afterward... the noise was upon us again as the offending garbage can passed us on its way back to the dumpsters. Another dirty look and we went on.

To wrap up the story... the noisy instrument of torture passed several times and each time either Michelle or I were in the middle of speaking. The garbage can got a dirty and annoyed look every time in passing. Just a note... we're never sitting at that table again. It was far too annoying. Michelle's right... as English majors we are arrogant. Stupid garbage can!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Views on a "great" weekend

I just on Facebook and it looks like everyone is having really great and awesome weekends. Everyone...but me. Why? Oh why? What have I done to deserve such a lowly weeken?

Okay... so it hasn't been the worst weekend ever for me. But it hasn't been the greatest. While others were out having the time of their lives and doing random stuff... like getting engaged and going to stores in Ogden... I was marking my place in the world. You will find a permanent indentation of my butt on my couch! Luckily I wasn't alone the entire weekend. My good ol' roommates were here and there. Kelli being the most common to be next to me on the couch. You'll find her place in the world... right next to mine.

Now, in all honesty, I have to admit the fault is a large part my own. I tend to be a recluse... a homebody... anti-social. Can I help it if I'd rather be at home watching a movie instead of partying it up with a bunch of strangers? NO! ...well yes actually. I'd probably be able to develop a taste for parties... if I really wanted to. But alas... I do not. I'll keep my anti-social ways... even if I end up being that  crazy cat/dog lady that lives down the street. Okay, so hopefully that never happens. And I hope one of my beloved loved ones would have the dignity to put me down before I got that bad.

In conclusion... you can have your "great" weekends. I'll just stay here and become a permanent fixture on the couch with my laptop on and a Simpsons episode on TV. Just stay off my grass!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm dreaming of a true love's kiss...

I have dreams. A lot of them. Often. And about the weirdest things. Lately the characters of The Simpsons have been making appearances in my dreams. Probably because I've been watching the seasons pretty much not stop for the last couple of weeks.

I always wonder about what my subconsious is trying to tell me through my dreams. I've had dreams about just almost everything. Guys I work with. My family. Complete strangers. Guys I've made up. It's intense. And it always throws me into a complet frenzy. What am I trying to say to myself?

The topics in my dream vary as well as the people in them. I've had death dreams... where someone I love has died. Once my dad died and I woke up crying it. It was so strange. I've had pregnancy dreams. At first there wasn't a father and then next thing I know... I have a husband. It was strange.

Although I don't normally dream about my 'true love's kiss' I do have dreams of a... semi romantic nature. But it's usually not concerning me. Dang it! Except for the time that this fictional guy that I, myself, made up appeared in my dream. It was SO weird... and yet... I enjoyed it immensly.

I just wish I knew what was going on in my head. What do my dreams mean? Are they my deepest desires and fears played out? Or are they random things from my past that randomly appear in my mind? If anyone knows, feel free to let me know.

And as Pedro's presidency campaign says "If you vote for Pedro... he'll make your wildest dreams come true." Vote for Pedro!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"I like to check him out at the gym, that's why."

So I'm writing a book. Well a couple actually. Well... it kind of depends on what you call writing... or what you classify as a book. My biggest problem when it comes to writing my books is... well... is it interesting enough to an outside reader?

I know what I write is interesting to me. But is it interesting to others? It's especially hard for me to gauge this because I write books like I read them. They're full of romance and... dumb stuff like that. They're not particularly enlightening. They are pure fiction, based off of my overactive imagination.

Never have I finished any of the novels I've started. And I desperatly want to change this. I want to be able to have the chance to say "I wrote a book!" A full one. A completed one. My biggest problem, I think, is that I cannot find a middle to each story. I can have a beginning and an end planned out but I don't know what kinds of conflicts to put in. Will this particular conflict be realistic enough? Is this conflict too random? Is it too easy to spot?

As a budding author, I never realized how much thought actually went into making a book work. How much time and effort it took to weld a story together so that a reader, any kind of reader, could find joy in your book. I had know idea the work it takes to craft a story and to create characters that are real and deep.

So, my inquiry to all those who may happen to read this post.... I need ideas. I need conflicts and chaos. Any kind of brainstorming would be excellent. I need something that would drive two characters away... something realistic. Something dramatic.

Imaginations are the foodstuffs of writers. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Bitter Diatribe on Poor Parenting

I attended my parents' ward on Sunday. After sitting through three hours I have been inspired to write a bitter diatribe, not on women, but on poor parenting. So I'm going to take a few minutes and get up in my soapbox and give my... probably most unwanted... opinions.
A little background on how I was raised:
My parents, whom I love and respect immensely, were often dubbed the butt kickenest parents by relatives who were mostly joking. As kids, my brothers and I, were punished when we disobeyed Mom and Dad. And our punishment was usually a spanking. They started when we were young. By the time we were a little older, around five or six or however old we may have been, the mere threat of a butt wuppin' was enough to send us back on the straight and narrow. When Mom said "No" she meant NO. And when Dad got involved... we knew we were in big trouble. And you want to know the results of our butt wuppins and having boundaries?
Both my older brothers served honorable missions and were both married to wonderful women in the temple. All four of my brothers got their Eagle Scout awards at age 14 and I got my Young Womanhood Recognition award at 14. AND all 5 of us are active in church and we are all in school.
Okay, enough of the bragging. Onto the real issue at hand.
There was an... incident... in my parents ward a week or so back involving a little girl, probably about 3 or 4. She ended up in a body cast after breaking both her femurs. She was running on the stage, her parents were no doubt smiling and laughing, thinking it was cute. And she ran through the curtains and over the edge of the stage. BAM! She's a 3/4 year old stuck in a body cast for several painful months. And you know who's fault it is? THE PARENTS! You know their excuse... The girl's grandparents' stage is longer than the one she was on. They let her do this often. Talk about negilent parenting.
So I was sitting in Sacrament meeting, attempting to hear the speakers and instead I hear Yak Yak Yak, Thud Thud Thud, bang bang bang, Waa Waa Waa, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Now I know that when you have little kids who are required to sit still for an hour... well they're gonna get  the wiggles. But there are quiet and Reverant ways to satisfy their short attention spans.
As I grew up, the order on the bench when we went to church was Dad, Mom and then the kids.. various orders. We were required to sit on the bench and do whatever Mom had brought for us to do. No talking, No screaming, No getting up in the middle of the meeting to go to the bathroom or get a drink.
So by the end of this meeting I was in, I was about ready to scream at all the parents and just rant at them about how horrible they're doing and how they're gonna regret not making their terrible kids behave when they reach teenage years.
(Sigh) Okay I know I've kind of just gone on and on about stuff... but I really just needed to get this off my chest. I can't stand parents and their badly behaved kids. It's like the lady who came through my line at work today, she kept telling her daughter, who had to be like 6 or 7 to get out of the basket so the groceries could be put in. The little girl didn't listen and then she proceeded to "help" by pulling all the things being sent down the belt to the bagger to her. The mom "demanded" several times the little girl get out of the basket, but the girl never did. Finally after a long time, the mom finally walked over and physically pulled the girl out of the basket. Of course the little girl was fit to be tied. The whole time I'm just cussing the lady out because her kid is bugging the crap out of me and I'm pretty sure out of the bagger too.
When I say to punish kids... I don't mean to beat them or to physically hurt them beyond necessary. A small spanking would suffice in most cases. They'll learn that when Mom says no and they don't listen they're gonna get a spanking. Also, teach the kids that they aren't allowed to spank others or their parents. I don't care what people say when they go on about how kids need choices too. THEY'RE KIDS! They are not capable of fully making choices for themselves yet. That's what the parent is there for. GOSH!
Okay, so I've run out of steam. But believe me I could go on and on if  I really wanted to. I have seen so many examples of poor parenting with my job at Maceys. And I have vowed to never be a poor parent. And yes, I admit here and now, I will probably spank my child. And they're not going to be emotionally scarred or going to need therapy. Kids need boundaries.
That is all. I end here. I get of my soapbox and I'm gonna go on with my life. I just had to express my feelings on this topic. And now, I feel a lot better.