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Say it with me now: Selectric. Se-lec-tric. Say it aloud! Isn’t it a beautiful word? If it wasn’t only the celebrities that named their children after inanimate objects like Apple and Blanket, I might consider naming my firstborn son Selectric.
To me, there has always been something mysteriously romantic about typewriters. After spending an afternoon rifling through my grandfather’s belongings, I emerged the proud inheritor of his 1970’s typewriter. If it didn’t weigh more than me, I would cuddle with it in bed at night. I love it that much.
Which is why I knew instantly that I was going to love Tuesday night British Literature History with Dr. Steven Walker. In order to add the class, Dr. Walker had to give me a special code that allowed me entrance into his class, even though it was technically at max capacity. He told me that I would find an envelope containing the code outside his office door with my name on it.
My name was typewritten on the front of the envelope.
For those of you who don’t understand the significance of this simple gesture, allow me to paint a character sketch of Dr. Walker for you.
He is an old man. I mean this earnestly. He walks in a slightly crooked, jovial sort of gait. Sometimes, when his eyebrows betray any sort of emotion—delight, surprise, dismay, you name it—the wrinkles caused by his eyebrows remain for several minutes long after his eyebrows have said their peace. Yet, Dr. Walker is still as quick as a fiddle. He memorized the entire class roster before ever having met his students. He can still tell you the exact dates that William Blake went to art school. He could probably recite from memory the novel, Great Expectations, from start to finish if you asked him.
Dr. Walker displays all of the wisdom of age with none of the arrogance. With all of his brilliance, he has probably been to the edge of the universe and back. He has written novels, and discourses, and lectures.
And yet, his wrinkly, experienced hands of wisdom humbly took an envelope, wove it through (I imagine) the classiest of IBM Selectrics, and punched out my name on the front of an envelope.

Mysterious Me

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I am not mysterious.  My friend put it this way, once: “Sierra, you are not sexy, you are goofy.” I didn’t know goofy and sexy were antonyms and I didn’t know you couldn’t be one, and not the other. Still, I suppose there is some merit to the fact that I’m just a little bit like young Sabrina Fair, whose hopes of becoming “mysterious” and “distinguished” are dashed by the fact that she WANTS to be Mysterious and Distinguished so very badly.
I am the kind of person that everyone thinks they know instantly. I am the kind of girl that makes it easy to make instant judgment calls about. Truth be told, I admittedly don’t really like other girls like me.  They are bubbly. They are… usually cuter than me. They have been affirmed by life that people will appreciate their quirky, obnoxious comments, and those who don’t can sit on a pin. I judge girls like me. They are annoyingly extroverted.

Except that I am not extroverted. Did you know that I am an introvert? Sure, you may argue based on my sincere and utter craving to be the center of attention, but at the end of social hour, I frequently need time to crawl into my alone corner and retreat into the silence of my own thoughts. The only reason I am Ms. Super Pep Sierra Robinson during the fall and winter semesters is because I’ve had an entire summer shelled up in my alone bunker, recharging my social batteries and committing to put myself out there again.
One of my favorite things/biggest pet peeves: When someone says, “Sierra, I know what you’re thinking.” And then they get it totally wrong. They, like me, think they have pinned down my personality and can examine it like a butterfly mounted to the wall. Like this:

I find consolation in the fact that though people think they know me, think they can read me like a book, they often do not know my thoughts. I wear my feelings on my sleeve, it’s true. And those are often, if not always, extremely apparent. But my thoughts are vaulted in my brain that only a skilled thief (like my mother) can pry open.  And I like it that way. It means I am just a little bit mysterious in my own right.
Of course, if you want to know what I am thinking, you can always just read my blog.  I mean, really, I’m not that mysterious, after all.†

A Place To Sit

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(This is an old blog from my trip to Europe–I just wanted to sync my blogs, and this one I liked especially well.)

His black hair sprung out from beneath his patchy red baseball cap and was matted with grease to his shoulders. His lower lip jutted out, revealing a row of rotting teeth. His baggy gray shirt hung slack to his knees for it had barely a body to cling to, and his shoulders were more like wire hangers fro, the dry cleaner than organs of flesh and blood. The tongues of his high tops were pulled up past his ankles but the last thing I wanted to look at were his feet, because if I focused on them, I could feel in my own feet the absolute sacrifice that every step cost him. But then again, staring at his face was not an option either because in his dark eyes, I saw in behind them a thousand more darknesses, knowing that every morning for him ushered in one more day of misery. And yet gaping at his wiry body made me hungry with misery and so I had nowhere, absolutely nowhere, to look, and yet my eyes absolutely could NOT look at anything BUT this man. And suddenly and ashamedly I realized I was grasping, no clinging to my purse for fear that by stealing it, he would make me a pauper in a red baseball cap trudging aimlessly and painfully through a park in the middle of France.
I let go of my purse as he slowly past and he didnt lunge for it. He didnt even look at it. He just winced and stayed on his straight course down the path to a fountain in the middle of the park.
I wanted him to take off his shoes and dip his blisters in the fountain to reprieve him if only for a moment from the oppressive pain and heat of shoes. But he didnt. He just looked so immensely grateful for a place to sit.

I hate that society has made me afraid of a man that was just looking for a place to sit.

The Void

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The way I see it, there are the people who can make white space look awesome, and there are people who can’t.  I belong to the latter category. You could accuse my life to be rather like my blog—busy.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Those people who just don’t need the noise of color. Those people who can let the whiteness of everything just speak of quiet, yet unhidden potential. 
Author Nicole Krauss for instance, who has ENTIRE pages in her book, History of Love a COMPLETELY white tabula rasa. 
I also imagine that the folks understand the beauty of white space with every notebook that they produce. I mean, have you ever seen so much potential contained in a singular, blank, college-ruled white-paged notebook?
This is possibly why I already love my newest blog follower like we are sisters. She understands the beauty of White. Her name is Daman Tiwana and I highly recommend her blog if you are looking for a little serenity.
Other ladies that just get the whole white space thing:

The Love Discourse: Installment One–Crushes

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A Crush Defined
I was the kind of kid that brought her toys to recess. Whether or not I had friends at recess was sort of a day-to-day variance, and in the boyfriend department, when others were starting to get their first crushes and romances, I was woefully behind. Then Evan Coad moved in.
Evan Code was a sixth grader. He was apparently taller than Mr. Erickson, the sixty-five-year-old math teacher, which was (quite literally) a big deal. Fifth graders were all a buzz about the blonde new arrival. I, of course, allowed my innate sense of “boys are gross” to kick in, and insisted that “Evan Coad [is] disgusting!” This was before I had ever seen him. But I had an alarmingly cavalier assurance that Evan Coad was, in fact, male, and therefore, not worth my time.
A fated assembly brought Evan and I together… by proximity anyway. Mrs. Covert’s class was the last row of fifth graders, and Ms. McDowell’s class was the first row of sixth graders. And I think it was Danielle Guyerson, though I could be wrong on that one, who leaned over to me and said, “Oh my gosh, Sierra! You are so lucky! Evan Coad is sitting right behind you.” So I turned. I looked. And I finally beheld.
The sixth grade Paris, himself. Brad Pitt in miniature (only not that miniature because he was really tall). Blonde hair gelled up in a hairdo that looked like a breaking wave, blue eyes the color the wave might have been were it real. We made eye contact, before I promptly turned around and tried to spit up the butterflies in my stomach. Evan Coad was my first real crush.
He was the kind of crush that I come to know very well. The kind of crush where your heart just whips out the white flag and surrenders. The kind of crush where giraffes do jumping jacks in your stomach (an interesting visual, I’m sure). The kind of crush that requires a jaw massage periodically throughout your day because you’ve been grinning for twenty-four straight hours (yes, even in your sleep).  The kind of crush that one specifically designated for middle school, but crops up every so often in the middle of your college French class.  Crushes are the sweet-suffering for an unobtainable someone, and the emphasis is on the “unobtainable” part.

Sports Humility Syndrome

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Friends: This is not me. 

I blame the slippery handle. I blame the knee-deep layer of sediment in the two-foot deep water. I blame the choppy waves that the multitude of other Pioneer Day celebrators bequeathed to us on Utah Lake. But for all my blame-placement, the fact of the matter is, I just don’t wakeboard.

I discovered this yesterday, on a most blissful day at the lake with my friends Brooke, Tiffany, Preston, and my new friend called “Brooke’s Boat.” I glided into the water with a little bit of an arrogant swagger, thinking, “Ben Dailey does this, how hard could it be?” Yet as I found myself continually whipped around the back of the boat, and usually falling backwards into the mud (the water was not especially deep, as I mentioned), a familiar breed of humility crossed my countenance.
This particular breed of humility is what I call “Sports Humility.” It was Heavenly Father’s, shall we say, gift to me to remind me that I’m really not that awesome. I was not blessed with an athletic bone in my body. I don’t even have an athletic pinky. I don’t even have an athletic fingernail (although I did quit biting for a while, see THE BLOG for proof).
In keeping with blaming anyone in the world but me for my lack of athletic ability, I will examine the Robinson family lineage. My dad’s athletic recessive gene was beat out by my mom’s dominant reader gene. For family gatherings and evenings of fun, you were more likely to find my family reading independently in the same vicinity rather than snorkeling, skiing, and goodness knows, wakeboarding. Thus, I came into the world—a non-wakeboarding, speed-reading dork.
Brooke offered me a good consolation prize as I emerged from the water, dripping in defeat.
“It’s ok, Sierra,” she said. “At least you can blog about it.
*A special thanks to Preston and Brooke, and of course Brooke’s boat. Because honestly, I had so much fun out there. Thanks friends!

Cartoon Crushes

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I didn’t feel good last night, which is basically just a good excuse to allow yourself to snuggle into your sheets at 9:30 PM with the (not) Disney classic movie, Anastasia. This movie is surprisingly awesome for a 1997 animated film. First of all, I highly approve of Anastasia’s fashion choices (once she becomes a Princess, not a pauper). Also the music is extremely well done, and while the delicate framework of historical fact in the movie has been horribly skewed, we cannot overlook the fact that the movie has THIS character:
Now, I doubt that I am the first to blog about this reprehensible cartoon conman.  It seems common knowledge that Dimitri is just sexy, plain and simple. I mean, look at that jawline.  I remember coming out of the movie theater after the Romonav line had been restored and Anastasia effectively eliminated Rasputin (something the Communist party failed to do), and having my sister exclaim, “That Dimitri! He was cute!”
Apparently she was not alone.  The next day, all my third grade comrades (it’s nice to keep the communist diction alive) were all a buzz about the finest new cartoon spectacle. It seemed that Dimitri was all the rage, solidly beating out Alladin, but maybe even trumping Prince Eric. But I couldn’t join in the discussion. I just didn’t see it. You see, my third grade self only had eyes for one cartoon. It was a secret buried deep inside me, that only now—thirteen years later—that I feel comfortable divulging my cartoon crush. It was this boy:

Elroy Jetson. Elroy was the stout, futuristic boy of my dreams. I’m not sure what struck my childhood fancy about him exactly.  Maybe it was those black hole eyes or that little antenna thing on his cap. Actually in retrospect, I really think that it might have been his voice, and that when I sneaked down in the middle of the night to watch Cartoon Network, it was Elroy’s dulcet tones that lulled me to sleep in front of the faint flicker of the wildly inaccurate “ultramodern” program.
Now I bet that I am the first to blog about that.
Stay tuned, and you will hear about my childhood crushes on: 
Dante Bichette 
Patrick Roy.
Apparently I had a thing for fat athletes too. 

… I haz it.

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The feeling. One morning you can wake up and you just know it. Today is a good day. For today you can feel the writing. You can feel the words streaming from your brain, through your fingers, onto a page. Today is a good day because today you are a writer. It’s one of those things that you can wake up and just know. But today is not a writer today.
            Today is one of those days where try as you might to corral them, the words you want are just out of reach, and though the tendons on your fingers are outstretched with effort, the brain isn’t supplying the words to complete the task. 

             What I’m trying to say is: I have Writer’s Block. Alright all you blog-loving community…. How do I combat it? What do you do when it seems you have nothing to say?