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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

because it's the end of the year and this is what you do

Engquist's 2009 in review

Fell in love
Found faith
Went through the temple
Got a job
Lost a job
Started working retail
Applied to Ohio State
Worked through two full journals
Fell out of love
Started drawing again
Watched more movies than can be counted
Missed Europe
Attended weddings
Celebrated birthdays
Made friends
Lost friends
Realized how much she loves herself
Lost books
Lived out of boxes
Welcomed babies to the world
Had a stern talking with her ovaries
Drove through a blizzard or two
Discovered she has patience
Read books...lots of them
Mocked blogs
Started a blog
Got a new drivers license
Considered the worth of the soul
Talked to her brother twice on the phone (WOO!!)
Lost an ipod and a camera in the same week
Bought clothes
Donated clothes
Sold clothes
Sold furniture (the sofa!!!!)
Got lost
Relied on her sense of direction
Hosted the last annual chocolate party
Stengthened her testimony
Saw Star Trek five times
Hung out with family
Played dress up
Watched her friends become parents
Learned about the true nature of love
Made fun of Ohio
Sang in a Messiah sing along

Can't beat a year like that, can you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

scarier than the undertaker, we are meeting the matchmaker

This has happened at least three times since I've moved to Columbus. About three different people.

Me: Something witty, intelligent, or totally off the wall. Probably about gnomes.
Person: Speaking of such and such, do you know Guy?
Me: Yes...
Person: What do you think of him?
Me: I don't think of him.
Person: Do you think he's cute?
Me: Why?
Person: I just think you two would be good together. I'm just sayin'..
Me: Okay. Thanks?

This is verbatim how it happens every time. Different guys being recommended. Different matchmakers. Same questions. Same awkward feelings on my part. And it always ends with "I'm just sayin'." What in the name of all that is good and holy does that mean? "I'm just sayin'." I'm not a mind reader. My estrogen card hasn't come in the mail. Please, please explain what that means! Am I supposed to go and pursue all of these guys now? Is it my responsibility to do so because you not-so-subtley name dropped them to me? Am I so pathetic when it comes to dating that I now need all of Columbus looking out for me? I don't get it. I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

because I love you

Over the past month, the topic of mammography has been frequenting the headlines and political agendas of the media at large. This is coming at the same time as Health Reform is coming under heated debate. I am not here to give my opinion on the bill up for vote, rather, I would like to share a few thoughts on breast cancer prevention.

This has never been an easy topic for me, but grew increasingly more burdensome nearly eight years ago when my own mother was diagnosed. Since then I have been overly sensitive to the topic. A recent study resulted in new guidelines for mammography in the United States. The base age was pushed back to the age of 50 from 40 where annual screenings would be replaced with biannual ones.

My initial reaction to this news was nothing short of outrage. The radio report I heard explained that the reasoning behind this was that annual screenings were too much of an inconvenience for the patient. Discomfort, undue worry, things like that. Knowing my mother's experience, several explicatives came to mind about these cop-out reasons. Women, in my mind, need to be screened. Period. Screw the discomfort and "undue" worry. My mum would not be here without them.

Thanks to my good friend The Nurse, I have been given additional information, including the report in full, which I am in the process of reading. Because of this research, I now know the following. These guidelines are for the average case, meaning that the rate of screening for most women will really not change. Women with higher risks, such as myself, will still have access to annual screenings beginning at an earlier age. Mammograms are not being eradicated, but in a sense, being made available to more women by changing the standards.

Here's what I see to be the problem. Not enough women get checked. Lack of insurance, fear of the boob-vice, far reaching communities; any number of these things prevent a vast percentage of American women from getting screenings.

Here is my plea. Sisters, girls, cousins, aunts,daughters, grandmothers, mothers, friends, women-get checked. Find out what your risk level is. Speak to your physician about the matter. Know what options are available to you. There are too many options out there to not take advantage of them. While the nature of health care is changing, access to mammograms is still available. There are ways to beat this vicious disease, as these reports are proving. Use them. And if you can't get to a doctor for some reason, use the old-fashioned method and feel your boobies.

With all my heart,

the boob-loving engquist

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

filmic overview

Lawrence of Arabia is brilliant. So long as you don't want any resolution, can sit through twelve hours of film, and think the desert is beautiful. Otherwise, the stunning cinematography that has shaped the industry will mean nothing to you. Stunning symbols expressed through visual symbols and the subtlest dialogue loose their savor without a keen interest in the impact of this film. All of this wonder was nearly lost for me in an ending leaving me searching for symbolism and resolution to a character worthy of such an epic.

Margaret O'Brien's The Secret Garden left much to be desired. In fact, I gave up on it halfway through, not something I customarily do with films. It failed to capture the wonder and fantasy associate with this beloved children's tale. Furthermore, I found the use of technicolor when the garden had reached its full-grown glory to be a cheap parlor trick which failed to compensate for the lack of interest through the remaining fifty-fives minutes.

Perhaps the highlight of my film encounters of the past week or so is being able to see Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest on the big screen. The skill of a Hitchcock film never ceases to leave me mystified. Just like Lawrence of Arabia, it is the subtlety of the oral text and the depth of the shots that draws me into this film time and time again. To see this on the big screen was nothing short of a dream for me. One, Cary Grant looks even better when blown up via the in-house projector. Secondly, this film was not meant for the home theater. While the story carries an intimate cast, the panoramas demand grandeur in the size of projection. A plane nearly buzz-cutting Mr. Grant just does not have the same impact otherwise.

After reading a couple of books in the past few days, I am also needing to rewatch Little Women, Meet Me in St. Louis, Kiss Me, Kate, and locate a copy of the Bette Davis All About Eve.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

adolescent penguins

Not as endangered as one might imagine, this species is more commonly known as a flock of high school males in matching white tie tuxedos playing cards. On every sighting they inspire memories of penguins dancing with Dick Van Dyke amid a florid chalk-drawn landscape in Mary Poppins. It is this humble zoologist's opinion that this set of the species is a part of the symphonica bandus breed, though this is just an early hypothesis.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

what Charlie Brown always wished his tree looked like

The Christmas season is optimal for mulling in childhood fantasies. Just before Thanksgiving, a friend and I took advantage of the crisp, almost-winter air, and the courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and steeped ourselves in an illuminated smörgåsbord of Christmas delight.

Friday, December 04, 2009

people watching

I frequent a local coffee shop here, coming almost daily to mooch off the free wi-fi and partake of delicious teas and cocoas. The floor show, however, is fantastic.

Two to three ministers, or theologians in training, come in every afternoon. A knitting group comes at least once a week. At three-thirty the place is overtaken with local high schoolers and their pent-up hormones. University students cramming for finals. Little old ladies catching up over a cup of coffee. And the doctor-in-training proudly displaying his obstetrics textbook.