“You look like a nerd with that giant backpack,” Megan said to me after school. She held back her giggles as we walked to the car.

“I know! But I can’t use my hippie bag anymore. I have too many books.”

My face was parallel to the ground. If I stood up straight, my backpack would pull me downward and I’d fall. The weight on my back was too heavy, so I balanced it out by leaning my head forward. I’m a walking ninety-degree angle. …Did I really just think that? Who thinks that?

“What’s in the bag?” she laughed. Along with my fat backpack, I was holding a plastic sack filled with more weight. “Books. More books,” I replied. The sack pulled my body to the side. My shoulders would look deformed and unsymmetrical in the morning. Falling over ninety-degree angle.

She didn’t ask me what books they were, so I didn’t tell her. That in itself was another story. My English teacher asked us to bring a copy of Hamlet to school. A week ago, I asked my mom if we had a copy already. “Of course we do,” she said. So I didn’t worry about it for the rest of the week until the day before I had to bring it to class. “Where’s the Hamlet copy?” I asked her. Then she went upstairs to grab it and came back with a monstrosity. “We don’t have a separate copy of Hamlet, but this is the Complete Works of Shakespeare.” I should have prepared for this. Mom was the one in college who didn’t have a pocket dictionary at home. Instead of buying one, she brought the giant Webster’s Dictionary from the bookstand in our living room and dragged it to class with her.

Now I haul the giant Shakespeare book to school every day. Along with the US history book, math book, and the other million books for English.

My eyes hurt and I get headaches in class. I realize that I’m squinting to see the white board. Time to get out my good ol’ glasses again from the nightstand’s dusty drawers. Here comes Anne. Giant backpack, giant plastic sack, a falling-over-human-ninety-degree-angle-with-shoulder-deformations-AND-GLASSES. Nerd times a billion.

This is why nerds are nerds. Because they go on a foreign exchange, come back having to take all the class requirements for the year they missed, PLUS the current year’s requirements, go home with books and books and books shoved into their backpack until the zipper breaks, do homework until ten every night, stay up staring at their computer researching, get bad eyes, get glasses, wake up exhausted, leave for school and forget to brush their teeth, and DO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES! Muahahaha!


Three hours of English.
Two hours of math.
Hour of newspaper.

Every day, I read a chapter of my literature book and take notes. Half hour.
Then I read the short story after the chapter and write a short essay. Half hour.
Then Hamlet. Half hour.
Then Crime and Punishment. Half hour.
Then studying for tests/quizzes, and filling out packets. Hour.

Math math math
Math math math math. Two hours.

Write articles, edit articles. Hour.

I’m an idiot.

I drove Helena to the football game,
And forgot about her when I left.
She won’t answer my calls.

I forgot about the ACT application,
Until Mom called me tonight (the due date).
She told me she was doing it for me.
And wasn’t happy.

Helena still won’t answer.

Mom was asleep when I got home.


I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.

– Boredom hit me in the face last Sunday in Sacrament Meeting, so I opened up Genesis to entertain me. Those first three chapters are awesome. I walked out of church with an urge to plant seeds, or run with my dog, or hug a tree, or SOMETHING. It made me realize how important it is to take care of the Earth, the animals, and all living things. I thought about my Grandma’s dying plant in my room and ran home to water it.

– After reading the first three chapters of the Bible in church, I’ve been on this crazy reading kick. Bible stories have never been so fascinating to me than now. Adam and Eve are cool. Noah also. But Abraham? There’s some great stuff about him in there! Jacob? He’s got crazy stories! Lots of scripture highlighting, underlining, questions written on the sides. It’s fun.

– I got a haircut. It’s darker, a little shorter, side bangs. My mom says it looks sophisticated, Sister Kelsey says it looks like summer. I like it.

– Micky and I are together! Official. The Facebook relationship status has changed. No more “it’s complicated”-talk. He’s my bf. I’m his gf. Bada bing, bada boom. I can’t stop smiling.

– Jordan and I hung out. Jordan is one of my CBYX exchange student friends and lives in Utah. I picked him up at his house. After 5 seconds of talking to him, I realized he still had the German accent. “No fair! My accent is already gone!”
We sat at an Einstein Bagels and talked for hours. We compared our Germany experiences together and talked about our dear CBYX friends. He told me his plans for High School and college. I asked him to help me make a plan. After, we went to the mall and looked around with a Mrs. Field’s cookie in our hands.

– Lucas (CBYX friend) called me when I was in the movie theater. I didn’t recognize the number when it rang, but the area code was different and I was almost sure it was a Texas area code. I walked out and sat on a bench to call back. “ANNE!” he answered.
“Anne, I gotta talk to you!”
I sat on the bench for the next 40 minutes and listened to Lucas’ stories. I laughed through the whole thing.

– Nida (CBYX friend) chats with me almost every day on Facebook, even if I’m not at my computer. I love checking my Facebook and reading the latest update about Nida. She is smart. She has a funny and unique perspective of the world. Reading her voice makes me happy.

I hate money.
I hate worrying about money.
I hate that everything I want to do requires buttloads of money.
I hate money.

Salt Lake City’s FREE concerts are officially my new favorite thing.
My friend Josh and I drove to Pioneer Park to see MATISYAHU perform. Matisyahu is a jewish reggae musician from New York. Find his music, if you haven’t heard of him. Watch him live. He is amazing. My fav’s are “Darkness into Light” and “One Day” from his new album Light. Also “King Without a Crown” in the album Youth.

The weed and smoky air reminded me of German diskos. Flashback. Anna swinging her hips. Fabio jumping up and down. Leon and I dancing in Himmerich. Screams, loud voices, cigarettes. The more I inhaled the air, the more I thought in German instead of English.
“Er ist echt geil!” I shouted at Josh over the crowd.
“Geil! Er ist… Oh… Nevermind!”

Very satisfied with the cheap Friday night outing at Pioneer park. Thanks Matisyahu.

Someone had to crack my “uncertainty” wall. My “I don’t want him to come, it’ll make things too intense, our lives are going in two separate ways, let’s just forget each other and break up” wall.
I went to a party with my ward members. One of my old leaders was there. “So what’s up with Micky?” she said. She reads my blog.
I gave her the update and my thoughts about everything, and prepared to hear the same thing I heard from everyone else: Very smart, Anne. You’re right. It’d be too hard for you if he came.

But she surprised me by raising her eyebrows. “Let him come!”
She smiled. “Anne! It’s summer. You’re seventeen. Stop thinking!”
I stared at her in awe.


“You can come.” I told him.
So he came.
And I loved every bit of it.

One night, Maxwell hung out with Micky and me.
“That movie they’re watching is kinda scary,” Max said, “The worms are eating a guy’s brain!”
His voice was shaky, but he held back his tears. I hugged him and told him to sit on the bed.
For the next hour, we made up our own creatures. Max’s was a blue sphere that lived in water near a farmland. Mine was a red pyramid that loved chocolate. And Micky’s?
“Well you see, we have a great defense mechanism. No one likes to touch us. We just have to watch out for ‘The Runner’, who can injure us pretty badly. Other than that, no one really bothers us, except for the flies, which we eat.”
Max was busting a gut. “What do they taste like?”
Laugh laugh laugh.

My dad showed Micky “the toe.” When he saw it, his eyes grew wide and he shouted “Whoa! It’s… It’s so big!” We laughed at his reaction and watched him examine it some more. Then he said, “This is a once in a life time experience! Can I touch it?”
We burst out laughing again.

He was sweet to my family. We loved him. Mira especially loved him (no surprise). She and Micky filled up water balloons in the backyard and planned a secret attack to get me wet. He wrestled with her and swung her around. She’d hit him and he’d howl. She still brings him up in stories at the dinner table and I wonder if she thinks about him more than I do.

My mom cried the night before he left. “You guys are stupid,” she said. She knew our plan was to break it off. Call it done. Try not to talk to each other anymore. The next morning we said our goodbyes.

He is back in Cali, back in the massive part of his life that I’ve never seen, only heard about. With his family, his cousins, his little cousin, and his dogs. Where he brings Ultimate Frisbee games together. Where he plays archery in his own backyard. Where he walks on the beach and swims in freezing water. Where his family collects buttons and sticks them on the wall.

We have not broken it off, neither made it official. People ask, and we say the same answer we’ve said since August 2009: “Well. It’s complicated.”

Mira still sings 24/7 with a poppy-teenage voice. She knows every song from Glee and can mimic Rachel’s voice exactly. Maxwell still plays imaginary games in the living room. He makes shooting and exploding noises to defend himself from the evil so and so’s. Harrison is always gone- Marching band, hanging with Josh, hanging with Bri, going to the movies. He is always busy.

Curtis and I are the same. We eat Reeses Puffs on his bed and talk til early in the morning. Ron and Shar still love me, and I still love them.

Ana and Marina stayed at my house for two weeks. We spent our days camping, hiking, celebrating, biking, and art journaling. Every day was filled with fun things to do. I enjoyed their company.

I watered my mom’s garden today. Spent over an hour looking at the flowers. Bees danced in the honey suckle. Bright blue dragon flies sat on the lavender. A grasshopper snacked next to the tree. Miss Cairo (my dog) and I lay next to the lavender bushes. It was my first time being alone since I got back. Just Cairo and me. A nice and quiet afternoon.