DC and what not

Alright, alright. I know you're all dying to hear how my life is going. To start things off right, I want to share this picture I made Jeff surreptitiously take with his phone the other day (if you can't tell, that Obama bill says ZERO $).

Secondly, my research is funny. Yes, you read that right, funny. Perhaps my sense of humor has become distorted since spending days alone in a basement, looking through papers and photos by myself while wearing dainty white gloves. But, perhaps not. This is my favorite find of late:

I am researching a playwrite named Henry Francis Downing. Mr. Downing was an African American diplomat to Liberia in the late 1800s. He tried trading, business, writing, everything. Pretty much failed at it all. Hence, I am trying to recover his plays and anything else on him because he was forgotten by the world (but not by me). Don't get my wrong, although he was a terrible writer, I somehow am fascinated by his story. I found two letters the other day, from Downing to Spingarn, a guy who helped found the research center where I am currently working.

Letter 1. Downing announcing that he would like to dedicate his new novel, “The American Calvary-Man” to Arthur Spingarn. Why? For Spingarn's efforts on the behalf of American Negroes. Downing asks whether Arthur will accept the book dedication, pretty please with a cherry on top. The letter is dated August 20,1916, from London, England.

Letter 2. Next letter, dated November of the same year. Downing writes to "Doctor Spingarn" saying that he accidentally sent a book dedication request to the Doctor’s brother, Arthur, which was an accident. He thought that Arthur was the Doctor. Whoops. Downing asks whether Doctor will accept the dedication because he is sooo wonderful and smart and cool. And besides, Arthur never wrote back anyway, so no hard feelings right?

The poor guy never got anything right.

Otherwise DC is hot, in more ways than one, ya know?



This has been me recently. I've been sleeping out of control and haven't known why. I thought I was depressed, suddenly lazy, and bored with everything. I went to the doctor on Monday because I thought I had strep, but hadn't put the symptoms together myself...turns out I have mono. Ugh. It's pretty terrible. I sleep at least 12 hours a day. And fall asleep whenever I need to accomplish anything remotely productive (of course).

Because I have been seriously slacking in the blogging department, Let's rewind a bit.
I went to Florida in April to present at the Multi-Ethnic Literature Conference in Boca Raton, aka I went to the Beach and Harry Potter World! The beaches in Florida are beautiful--the water was the same temperature as the air. My favorite part of HP world was walking through the castle, it's like being in a diorama (my dream of all dreams). PS. The butterbeer is fantastic.

Then my dear friend Whitney got married! So I got to trek to Arizona.
Then it snowed on memorial day and Jeff and I went skiing. 2 days before June.
I went to "Chad the Hair God" a few days ago and dyed my hair much darker. I feel like a real Campbell again--most of my cousins are brunette beauties. Chad knew most things about me just by looking. It was quite the experience.
I finish up spring term next week before I move to Washington DC! I'll be there for 2 months doing research at Howard University and can't wait. (The fact that Jeff got an internship with USAID may or may not have something to do with this)


Starry Waters

One time I was scuba diving in Hawaii with my family and I was scared. My guts felt squirmy and my breath came fast because it was night-time. The water above me was a great heavy block of oppression and made me feel claustrophobic, and I knew that at any moment, the creature from the black lagoon, or Jaws, or the kraken, would snatch me up. Fortunately I had my scuba buddy / mama with me and that made things a little bit better. Until my flashlight blacked out (somebody gave me a new one, don't worry).

We saw lobsters and fish in weird mucus cocoons. The coral and walls looked distorted, longer, and sinister in the dark--like in some disney movie when the forest turns evil and the tree limbs grab at the heroine. Well, I swear that coral arms and seaweed were writhing behind my back.

Because (as people enjoy constantly reminding me) I am a tiny person, my air supply lasted the longer than those with whom I was diving. When you dive, you need to take a rest stop about twenty feet below the surface before you go up so that your blood doesn't fill up with toxic gas. Ouch. By the time I reached the twenty foot stop, I was the only one under water anymore, as everyone else had already surfaced and boarded the boat.

I could see moon/starlight streaming down through the water and was no longer so anxious. Suddenly, everything was immensely peaceful and calm. Being squirmy, I waved my arms around in the water, and was immediately surrounded by stars. Tiny pinpricks of light filled the water where my arms had moved. Obviously, I started thrashing around to make more. I was weightless, suspended in this vast darkness, completely surrounded by light, by stars. I felt as though I was hanging still in space and time, looking out upon a beautiful, secret universe, reserved especially for me.

It was really quite marvelous.

*The "stars" were phosphorescent plankton that light up with movement.



My little brother Matt included this gem in his letter home this week:

So I heard there was a crazy earthquake in Japan. That is pretty crazy. January 11. We were talking to Nelson [his investigator] and he was telling us how he analyzes everything to an extreme. I was like well what do you mean? He then proceeded to say this mind blowing coincidence (?)

The attach on the Twin Towers was on September 11.
The earthquake in Haiti was on January 11 and 12.
The Japan earthquake/tsunami occurred on March 11.

That is 3 of the most major, recent disasters to have happened.

What is 3 times 11? 333

Christ was 33 when he was crucified.


I would like to add that Christ appeared to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 11.

What does it all mean?


V Day

Let's review why I think Valentines is horribly awkward and annoying.

1. Once in high school I went on a few dates with a cutie on the guys soccer team. We hung out for a while but then things sort of tapered off because I wasn't feeling it. But of course Valentines day came around. For some reason, he saw this as the prime opportunity to declare his love to me. Well, that day at school he brought me a dozen roses but was too nervous to give them to me. I usually worked through lunch in the student government room, so the boy came there, threw the roses at me and ran out of there. Seriously.
Later that night I had a soccer game and went to bed around 11. My mom came in and woke me around midnight, saying "there's a bunch of boys at the door for you; you need to go out there." What boys? I mumbled? "I don't know, but they're in tuxes and there are roses so go!" WHAT?! I told her there was NO WAY I would go out there, having been recently asleep, wearing booty shorts and no bra. My mom forced me to go out there.
So, I arrive at the front door, and who awaits? The soccer boy, who was also in an a capella group with all of the popular boys at my school. Like 8 of them.
They proceeded to sing me several songs. All eyes on me. Dance moves, the occasional rose, and soccer boy kneeling with arms outstretched belting his heart out. I had no idea where to look or what to do. My mom was around the corner crying because she was laughing so hard.
This is my personal idea of hell, people. I hate a capella music, I hate valentines day, I hate being awoke in the middle of the night, and now, I hated the soccer kid.

2. On the same day, when I had arrived home from school, I found a bunch of crap on my porch with my name on it. A teddy bear and chocolates and stuff. I hate teddy bears. Nobody wants a plush toy. There was a note from a guy that said he had loved me since grade school. Keep in mind, we literally hand't spoken since grade school.

Ever since that fateful day, I have disliked <3 day. Random guys come out of the word work, thinking that this day is their excuse to be unacceptably aggressive in proclaiming their affections. Oh, bother.
Here's to wishing all of you a Happy Valentines!



Sometimes life is just stressful. It's been one of those weeks (for several weeks).

So, I was super happy to talk to my sister today. While talking about the bachelor or something, I heard my niece singing in the background: "we gone light it up like it's rice-o-bice." Apparently my nieces love the song "Dynamite" and mistook the word dynamite for "rice-o-bice."

A few days ago, I was talking to same said sister and asked what she was doing. She said she was outside at her new house sitting in the sun-shine, listening to my 3-year-old niece "sing her life story." What is more lovely and sweet than that?

And guess what? I am going home to see them on Wednesday. Praise heaven. Hallelujah.


New Year

My little brother, Matt, is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in New York. He wrote me a letter including a list of new year's resolutions:

1. Go on at least 1 sexy date per week
2. Do 7 FUN things per week
3. Get good grades again
4. Eat ice cream every single day
5. Play soccer and score lots of goals
7. Continue to be amazing!

I'm not sure what he is referring to when he says "splurge"...I guess that he is acknowledging the 7 fun things and ice cream will get pricey. As I was reading, I suspected that he chose those specific activities because he can't do them right now, and they sound fun (I guess he could eat ice cream but that's it). He's got nostalgia for pre-mish life.

I miss that boy!