Friday, December 30, 2005

This is my other Christmas present. My parents finally paid up. They wanted me to tell you that. I love my new camera that Santa brought me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's almost 3 AM, and it's the beginning of the Winter season. I'm wearing a short-sleeve shirt, I just drove home from a friend's house, and my windows were down in my car, AND I WAS COMFORTABLE. It's 63 degrees outside RIGHT NOW! It's so warm and muggy that the streets outside are sweating. I almost spun out making a turn because the streets are wet from heat. THIS SUCKS!!! WHERE THE H DID WINTER GO?!! I WANT WINTER! REAL WINTER!

Monday, December 26, 2005

I got a coin sorter for Christmas. What did YOU get?

I also got the digital camera that has been taking the pictures you have been getting lately, but until my parents give me the money I used to buy it, there is nothing Christmas present about that!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Joyeux Noël

Friday, December 23, 2005

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago when I wrote it. It's the Johnston family newsletter. Enjoy.

Dear friends and family,

I, Carrie Johnston, have been commanded to write a letter addressed to you from the family. I just wanted to tell you that because now you know who’s writing this letter. I hate when I get family letters, and everything is written in third-person. For example, you receive a letter from Colin and Anne Maserati. They sign it “Love, Colin and Anne”, however, the entire letter says things like, “Anne failed her typing course this year, but she managed to find a job as a secretary, which…it’s money,” and “Colin tore his ACL in a monster truck rally.” I find that sort of thing, a letter from two or more people but written in third-person, confusing. I don’t believe that Colin wrote one half and that Anne wrote the other because 1) Colin, despite the oddly distinguished name, drives monster trucks. He’s not a man of language, and 2) Anne may have failed her typing course, but she can obviously type…just not vrey well. But enough to get a letter out. So there you go: I am writing this letter on behalf of my family.

I’m going to kick this party off by talking about #1: me. You know how I love to travel. All year long I had the itch to leave the country, but the most exotic place I wound up was North Carolina. It’s no France, but it was very pretty and I was with fun friends. I went there while on a break from school. You also know how much I love school. I’m still there on daddy’s dollar. He loves me and wants me to be as smart as I can be, obviously, or he would have kicked me out long ago yelling, “Get a job!” I now tell people I’m doing “post-bac” work because it sounds more prestigious than saying, “I’m taking more undergraduate courses.” You see, I want to be more well-rounded than you. Not only can I tell you what admixture analysis of DNA means, but I can do it in French and maybe Spanish and German if I look up a few words. I also learned how to build a device that would light an M-80 firecracker from a distance, while it’s in the middle of a bowl of dog food, to scare/kill birds away. I never did that, but I could have if I wanted to.

Continuing in no particular order: my mom, or Kim as some of you call her. She filled her year doing top-secret mom things (TSMT), i.e., no one knows what she does. And when she wasn’t doing TSMT, she was busy with being in charge of the children organization at church, called Primary. She cut out many a cartoonish thing this year while making displays for class lessons at church. She is very organized and responsible, running a tight ship and taking no excuses from crew members who are lazy. Aside from TSMT and Primary, my mom took me to see Tori Amos in concert 3 of the 4 times I went to see her this year. (She is my favorite musician, and I’m slightly obsessed.) Don’t let her tell you she’s not a fan. Mom also gave up her second cell-phone account to the destruction my sister would lay upon it. Now my mom and I have a family share account, and she has been commanded not to let Rebecca have that phone, too. Recently, my mom has become the “Mother of the Ward” (ward being what Mormons call congregations) because…

My dad, William the Dentist-Hunter or just Bill, has been called to be the Bishop (the spiritual leader) of the ward. No more hunting for the hunter on Sundays, no. Instead he’ll have meetings and meetings and meetings and some more meetings, and phone calls from every Brother Tom, Brother Dick, and Brother Harry. He’s going to LOVE that part because he loves getting phone calls. What this means for the family is that we will be participating in many more spiritually uplifting and family-strengthening activities together when dad’s not in a meeting or on the phone or taking a nap with his spoiled cat, which he and the cat love to do. Dad recently went to Utah with mom so he could go hunting while my mom visited with her family. They went over Thanksgiving, leaving my sister and me without Thanksgiving fried turkey. But since my dad’s the bishop, they won’t be leaving us ever again for a long time. His hunt in Utah was fruitless, but just before he went there, he killed poor Bambi’s momma. He’ll have a good time eating that by himself.

Rebecca, the sister, is currently the front-runner in the “Most moves by a homeless person” category. Of course, she’s not homeless, but she does move more than a homeless person so she was allowed to enter the race. (I apologize for my insensitivity to any of you homeless people who may be reading this.) I think she’s up to 4 moves this year, and she will move once more at the end of this month. So if she’s out by New Year’s Day, that will make 5. Even homeless people don’t like to move that much, so I think she was safe for the win at 3. Rebecca is currently working on my gift of free manicures and pedicures or dye jobs for life. She’s at beauty school. She loves doing hair and nails, and she loves to be social, so what better career could she have? She’s enjoying it and the friendships she’s forming at school, a far cry from that first day of class when she got a dummy head thrown at her. (She was almost the innocent victim of a cat-fight that involved the throwing of dummy heads.) Luckily, she came out of that unscathed and unshaken. She’s still there. GO REBECCA!

From my (Carrie’s) point-of-view, that is the Johnston year-in-review. Keep us in your thoughts and/or prayers that 1) my dad will be granted much patience and understanding as he is guided by the Lord in his new calling, 2) that my mom will learn how to cook so that when my dad gets home from a long day at work and has to go to meetings later, she will have cooked a good meal for him to eat, 3) that my sister finds her new home to be so wonderful that she loses the “Most moves by a homeless person” race next year and that she finishes school, and 4) that Tori Amos goes on tour again really soon because it’s been over three months since her tour finished, and I’m getting the twitches. We love you all and we think of you fondly and often. On behalf of the entire family, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love, Carrie, and Bill, Kim, and Rebecca

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's always fun to meet and hang out with people who write the blogs that I read. I count them among my friends, but I've never actually met most of them. This is Ty. I first "met" him when we were both posting on a message board, and then we started reading each other's blogs. And THEN I found out that he is from Alexandria, Louisiana, but he's living in Mimasaka, Japan. And NOW he's home for the holidays. So, needing to get out of town, I took the drive down to Alec (as we like to call it, though it's more like Elec) yesterday to play with him. We ate pizza and visited the surprisingly beautiful and fun Alexandria Zoo.

As Ty and I made our way through the zoo, we started to notice that all of the big cats were really fat. Ty noted that that's probably just to help them through the winter. Maybe so. I'd never been to a zoo in the winter time, so I don't know what standard procedure for keeping animals warm is. Well, we finally got around to the white bengal tigers' um...cage, and I noticed what could be contributing to the large roundness of the cats. Click on that picture to make it bigger. I know it's not the greatest picture in the world, but you try to make a tiger pose! You see that metal thing? A beer keg! In an effort to make the cats' holiday season (I'd say "Christmas" but I don't think Bengals are christian.) merrier, they've given them beer bellies. Also, that particular tiger was agitated and ready to start a brawl.

If there hadn't been glass between me and this guy, I probably wouldn't have a face today. When Ty and I first came upon this bird, he was just sitting there squinting and not being bothered that we were standing there. Then I squated down so our heads could be on the same level. That irritated Mr. Owl because he went from squinting to full alert! I moved as close to the glass as I could get, and he really bowed up and made like he was going to fly at me. So I pulled back. Some people came around the corner and told us about how he took off at them, and when I turned to look at them, Mr. Owl tried to take me by surprise. I heard a loud thud. Ty pointed out claw marks in the glass.

We saw some animals we'd never heard of before. They're called tapirs. I didn't get a pic of them because the battery on my camera had run out of juice, so I found this one online. Because they have an odd number of toes, they are more closely related to horses and rhinos than to pigs and elephants. They make a cute little whistling noise. At the zoo, one was following the whistling one around. The one making the noise seemed annoyed at his/her stalker and kept spraying stinky stuff at it. It was really gross. I was offended. The stalker continued on his/her quest.

We had a fun time. We discussed Japanese people at length including our disgust for Gwen Stefani's entourage of Mexican-gangstah, Japanese girls. He gave me some fine Japanese chocolates and chopsticks. Who knew that a KitKat could be so fancy? Wine flavored? Noir? Ooooh... I tried out both flavors last night. The wine flavored are weird because they do taste like wine for a brief moment, and then they go back to the white chocolate taste. They're also pink in color. I can actually see people loving the "noir". They're pretty tasty. I used my chopsticks to try the chocolate. I wanted to get as "into the culture" as I could.

So, it was a good time. It was a pleasure meeting Ty. He is a fun fellow to go zooing with. Also, check out a video of a black panther (?) and my story of a recurring dream I had when I was about 4.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I had a crushing blow to my psyche this week. Slowly, I had been learning that most of the boys I had ever crushed on or loved throughout my lifetime were gay. Wednesday night, I learned that another such crush had come out, so I was sitting on the sofa thinking, "Okay, I think that only leaves the love of my life, Peter*. And I KNOW he's not gay." So I went home later that evening and checked my email, where I found information that also "incriminated" Peter. Distraught, I wrote Peter a wrath-filled email. Long story short, I apparently only fall for homos. I have a HUGE band of gays. I feel like I should change my name to Liza, Barbra, or Tori! (The gays love Tori!) I'm never going to be able to like a guy again without thinking, "Is he gay? He must be gay! I like him." Do you hear me, people?! EVERY GUY I'VE EVER CRUSHED ON OR FALLEN IN LOVE WITH IS GAY!! EVEN PETER! Tonight, I went to dinner with some friends, and B leaned over to me after the effeminate waiter had visited the table, and he asked me, "Have you ever liked our waiter?" Nice!

*Names have been changed.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Yes, that's a nativity scene, but do you REALLY see what I see happening here? No? Then you, my friend, are not as sick as I. Let me give you a different angle to see if you can see it now:

This scene brings back memories of my parents holding up a flyswatter in my face and asking me very forcerfully and rhetorically (because if I were to have ever answered the following question, I would have gotten it...right on the hiney), "Do you see this?" When I was not being a good, sweet child, that's the question I was asked. Also, I wasn't a baby. HE'S JUST A BABY, JOSEPH! HE WAS JUST BORN!!! PUT THE CANE DOWN! YOU'RE NOT EVEN HIS DAD! And Mary sits there pleading with Jesus, "Please, stop crying. Joseph hates crying."

Don't tell me that's a face of love and adoration. That's passive-aggression if I've ever seen it, and it's extra scary with those beady eyes. They remind me of something I've seen recently:

She's scary too.