I have been preparing for this marathon for some time. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t for everyone, but I am confident that I will complete my task. I’m not the fastest, and I may have been unconscious at one point, but that’s not what matters. My siblings and I are enjoying a Harry Potter Movie Marathon this week. We started last night, after a family dinner at the Spaghetti Co. For those of you who know me well, you are confused about why I would ever be convinced to eat at a place with the horrible S-word in its name. Fear not, good people. They have lovely sandwiches and Alfredo pasta as well. Back to wizardry—we have all missed at least 40 minutes of the Movie binge so far, due to various activities such as sleeping and tennis-playing. Since Cooper is off playing tennis with his real friends right now, I am taking a break to catch up on my failings as a blogger. That’s right: I am taking a break from my fictional-movie-marathon, in order to catch up on my online blog, all from the comfort of my parents’ garage. I might be the definition of nerd, not sure. Maris is providing some lovely ambiance, as she is trying to learn a new song from her new HP movie music piano book that Cooper bought her for Christmas. One thing that I have noticed during our marathon is how much our dog Burt looks like Voldemort. Not the strong, vertical Voldemort—the little naked baby part of Voldemort’s soul that dies with Harry and is curled up under a bench at the heavenly train station. Just thought you should know that my dog is part-dark-lord (part bunny rabbit, part pig). All in all, I am not sure when we will finish our marathon, but it will be a great time, no matter what.

Mostly, I am just glad that my marathon is of the nerdy, couch potato nature, and not the fit, running kind. I’ll leave that kind of stuff to Jenna and Andrea and my active friends. I have been, like, jogging a little these days, but I’m not even sure that is a good word for it. My grandma seems to have noticed a difference, though:

“Emma, have you lost weight?” “No, hah. I wish.” “Well you look good! Not that you were fat before, just, um, you could tell you were a college student.”

While we’re at it, here’s another conversation we had:

“Emma, do you have a boyfriend?” “No…” “Are you straight?”

Later, Alexa D. visited. Once she had left, my grandma mentioned what a nice girl she was. I said “yeah, she’s my girlfriend.” (In case y’all were wondering, she’s not). Either way, it’s more than any of my Ventura associates is doing, so I feel good about that. It might be true that my Ventura associates consist of two families, but what does that mean anyway? Back in the old days, two families were all you needed. Shoot, some pioneers would set out with just a few other families, and cross the country together. That could get really old.

The Angelos were one of those pioneer families. Unfortunately, their pioneer family partners happened to be the Donner party. Luckily for me, the Angelos decided to stop traveling before reaching California. Supposedly, this was because they didn’t think they had enough food and stuff to make it the whole way, but I could see the Angelos just getting tired of their company.

“Say, those Donners really give me the creeps.” “Yeah, did you see the way old man Donner was looking at me tonight over the bonfire? I swear, he looked as if he could eat me!” “What do you say we stay put here, I don’t think I could handle another month with those guys.”

Either way, the Angelos and the Donners broke up, and the Donners ended up cannibalizing on their way to California. Well, seems like the Angelos made it to Cali eventually, and we didn’t have to eat each other along the way (although, from what I heard, there was some talk of roasting Burt). Now, this entire story is based on what I heard once from my dad, so it could be completely made up. On the other hand, he kind of spent a lot of time researching our history, and the Donner thing is real at least. Either way, I just go with it because I think it’s kind of funny. Not for the Donnors, of course.

I’ve done some traveling of my own over the break, but all within my new home state.
1.Wedding—Sarah and I drove to Tustin and stayed the night, so that we could attend Nathan and Brittany’s wedding. Along the way, I got to meet Austin K’s grandma, and look at youthful pictures of him on her fridge. It was literally the most beautiful wedding I have ever been—or will probably ever be—invited to.
2. Shenanigans—Maris and I went to Santa Monica for a DPS work party and to San Jose for a Christmas Movie Party (ok, actually, it was to site and people see). The DPS party was held in the basement lounge of a sports bar on the promenade. All of my bosses had margaritas as big as their faces, and mine wasn’t small either (just kidding). I basically creamed Maris in pool the whole night. Going up to San Jose was great, and Sarah makes a great tour guide of San Francisco. The Ghirardelli place was there, along with some hillsides that looked an awful lot like chocolate. Coincidence? I think not.
3. New year’s—Oh, I almost forgot about my new year’s eve trip: I drove Tequila to Redlands, along with my parents and grandma. It was one of those friends-of-the-family parties, where everyone knew me from when I was like 4 years old, and I barely knew any of them. It was also one of those everyone-bring-your-dog parties, which always turn into Emma-takes-four-Benadryl parties. It eventually turned into an Emma-drives-everyone-to-the-cousins’-house-while-drugged-up evening, and then into an Angelos-sit-around-telling-tales-and-forcing-Emma-to-go-to-grad-school-while-Emma-tries-not-to-let-the-Benadryl-make-her-go-off-on-her-aunt-or-fall-asleep-on-the-couch night. All in all, it was rather eventful, and we left the next morning after a good sleep and a big breakfast. The important part of the story is that while we were driving home, my dad said that I was a good driver. Only took five years and two cross-country trips!

I have noticed two things from all these mini-trips:
1.There is nothing like a good rest after a long journey. Furthermore, rest stops are one of the best extensions of frivolous bureaucracy yet. Rest can be a couch and slice of pizza at the Rude’s, sharing a bed with my sister in our cold bedroom, or having Mrs. Malone offer a princess-and-the-pea-style bed. There is nothing I like better after a long trip, than a little rest.
2.Everyone in California owns a dog. The Rudes, the Malones, my cousins, the Colonellis, everyone. That is why I really, really like my dorm room. It’s like a safe haven, a dog-free zone. I don’t need to take Benadryl every day, and I can be clear-headed and myself. It’s great.

Forgive me for stealing from Paul, but our journey through life is very much like a marathon—and not the Harry Potter kind. It’s rough, long, and challenging. Can you imagine if we were expected to live this Christian life without the promise of rest? That’s what he tells us: we get to look forward to rest. Rest with the one we love. It’s perfect. And better yet, there’ll be no sin. I guess that’s kinda like my dog-free dorm room. We’ll be free to rest in the safe haven provided by our Lord, no longer dazed, distracted, and weighed down by sin. I’m grateful for the rest that I get from the craziness of school, so that I can refocus my very distracted mind on the one really matters. More than that, I am grateful for the promise of the wonderful rest that I have to look forward to. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying this life and the growth and the surprises, but I’m just glad that once I’m done, God isn’t going to say, “Good job, you’ve proved yourself, now i want you to become a god yourself, and start your own planet and populate it and control it,” like some religions believe. And he isn’t going to send me back down to earth to continue saving the wizarding population, like a certain book character I know. No, I get to stay in his wonderful presence, worshipping him and resting with my fellow saved ones.

Now, I’m gonna go apply my dark-mark temp. tattoo and watch five more movies. Because I’m just that cool. Someone should tell grandma that this is why I’m single.


One thought on “Marathon

  1. NYEve- Eve party was fabulous good food. Not gonna get that kind of fare at any cut-rate, boring, college-type party. It rocked. And, did I mention that ‘I get up at 4:30 every morning to work out?’ Yes. I do.

    And, Um, NYE Party playing ‘Casina’ with your mom, was also pretty fabulous. Any 18 year old would be more than happy to be shunned by their siblings and be left to stay home with their mom on NYE.

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