Saturday, December 1, 2007

Timber! or, How We Do the Christmas Shake.

A CompTron/Delora family tradition: cutting down a big Christmas tree at the Rosedale Christmas tree farm in Bakersfield.

Here you can see PapaTron, accompanied by little Mush and RyDog, felling our tree in 1992.

Note how shiny and new MazdaTron once was. Also note lanky blond Wendy, second from the right.

Uh, the Rosedale Christmas Tree Farm got axed, so to speak, 5 or 8 years ago. It's gone. We haven't cut down a Christmas tree in a long time. Until 2 hours ago.

Christmas Conifers, Moreno Valley:
a CompTron Sister Adventure.

Miraculously, Mush and I were able to select and saw down a suitable fir-or-pine-or-something-deciduous-and-christmasy, get it up to her apartment and into a stand. We're about to put lights on it. I love December! I love Mush! I love that my hands are covered in sap.

(this is how you do the Christmas Shake)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

an aerial burial

these are my shoes. i bought them around the year 2001. i was wearing these shoes when i ran 2 miles for the first time ever. i wore them in my first 5 & 10k races. i wore them when i thought i was going to be a marine. i wore them when i pretended like i was a marine in the volkslauf mud run. they have served me well. they deserve to be laid to rest with honor.

this is my 'hood. i've lived in palms 90034 for 4 years and 3.5 weeks. these are the streets i roam at night, the nonexistent parking spots for which i'm eternally searching, and the many active dog-walkers milling about.

these are my shoes - and a pair of kat's shoes that were retired as well - which received their well-deserved honorable aerial burial late last night.

everyone will know this is mine and kat's territory now!
enter at yer own peril...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a li'l tribute

Tamara Joann Delora Crompton is my mom. I never remember how to spell her middle name, but we call her Tammy Jo, and I think she's pretty great.

A woman of many talents, she's gone from sewing matching clothes for the family... being able to bench press 300 pounds. yeah. she's a rock star. she owns her own personal training studio now in bakersfield.
She just had this article thing published on the Bakersfield Californian's website, and because I'm super proud of her, I'm posting the link here.

the article discusses her lifelong struggle with weight loss. it's oprah-friendly material.....

Friday, November 9, 2007

life, crashing, dancing. installment #1 of the bad blog series, inspired by real life events.

preface: earlier this year, sparkle and i both read a dreadful blog posting by a mutual acquaintance. sappy analogies, overwrought had the feeling of a melodramatic high school journal entry wherein the relationship between love and the development of a flower is explored. it left us gagging a bit - and then quickly deciding that we needed to do our own bad blog-off.

i detest melodrama more than just about anything. i try very hard to be logical, grounded, pragmatic, and real. so, i felt somewhat chastened this week when, after some particularly trying events, i found myself crying cinematic tears alone in my truck, thinking of the different ways in which my life reminded me of the movie "crash". the calmed-down, rational voice in my head intervened. 'wendy', i said to myself, 'you're starting to think in the style of that really bad blog. pull yourself together. play some of that led zeppelin on your ipod. stop viewing this week in such broad cinematic strokes.'

so i've calmed down. senses have dulled. but, i figured i might as well write the first mini-installment of the long-awaited bad blog-off anyways.

"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something. "

Crash. That movie touched me soooooooo much. this week, i have felt so low, and so lonely. it's weird how you can be surrounded by people and still feel so alone. on tuesday when i was driving from work to school, i got in an accident on the 10. it was so weird. it should've been so much worse, but somehow the three cars involved - well, everyone was okay. it was frightening, put things in perspective. three different people brought together by an accident that was wholly unremarkable for this city, but that still had the possibility of altering or even ending our lives. i felt a lot of grace, like someone was looking out for me, and for lloyd and raquel too.

i think people are brought together in really unusual ways sometimes. that book, 'the five love languages' - it's so true. i speak two languages - the language of touch and of quality time. and i've been aching lately, for real human contact - nothing extraordinary, just something normal and genuine. and an arm around my shoulder or something. someone who's willing to come into my space, penetrate whatever barriers i must be putting up, or whatever barriers are so common to the people in this city. and...somehow, there was a strange connection b/w us, victims, as the city continued to drive by indifferent to the change that had just occurred in our lives. lloyd and i spent a lot of time talking in his office the next day. he felt like it was some strange cosmic thing that had brought us together. we're friends now. when i left, he gave me a hug. the night of the accident, i crashed - figuratively - into a homeless man name lovell. we shared a meal at burger king. he was amazing, so human, and our interaction so real. we held hands for a moment before we parted ways. i needed that touch, and the universe provided it for me in really unexpected ways.

(cue strings): i think life is like that, you know. full of accidents, full of the unexpected. it looks chaotic and messy up close. but there's someone looking out for us, someone who cares and knows what we need, and we find those needs met by other humans in small ways, in ways they probably don't even realize. humans are messy, and we hurt each other, and we don't get out of our own heads and experiences often enough to see how we affect each other for better or worse. and like garth brooks said, if we knew how it was all going to end, we might have chosen never to get involved because of the the pain we'd experience. but, opposition in all things, right? "i could've missed the pain, but i'da had to miss the dance." life really IS a chaotic, messy human dance, but i'm so grateful to be in it, part of it, dancing.

note: i did get in an accident, and i am okay. i did hug lloyd, and i did hold hands with a homeless man, and i have been feeling lonely. that does not mean, however, that it is ever okay to write an essay on the truth of garth brooks lyrics as applied to your own life. blogs are supposed to be fun, not the sort of thing that could have the 'pearl harbor' music as its underscore. the end.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

oktobersbest part 2

the month ended well. in pictures:

the silver monkeys defeat the litigators handily (77-28) at our homecoming game. AND i get to have a gigantic KISS star painted on one eye.
celebrating rache's birthday at mcdonalds is fun, except when you have to eat the food.
dave is the best of all humans.
girlz in hoodz. hmm. writing with 'z's does not suit me well.
LA caught on fire. terrible, but it made for some really interesting sunsets.
utah trip to see the bro, the sister-in-law, their new house, new apricot trees, new dog. what is most important is that i dominated them in the 2 rounds of scrabble we played.
first trip ever to a DI. wow.
jarom sid's oktoberfest 2007 was a smashing success.
this is hoff/helga. i heart him/her.
courtyard with mountains and flags in daytime.
courtyard with sober reveling, polka-ing students at night.
competing for ms. deutschland, i was thwarted by a ketchup bottle cap that would not come unstuck.
hoff, cody, allie, sparkle's sister rachel, and i break from the polkaing.
provo communism was destroyed, along with this wall. geil.
only one of these dictators was in costume.
halloween festivities were also grand.
todd, oh todd.
self-portraiture at 03:37 with kat.

my sentiments exactly.

oktober 007 = good.

Monday, November 5, 2007

you know, a dream IS like a river.

When I was in 4th grade, I would get on a bus with a few of my peers every Tuesday morning and head to Quailwood Elementary across town for a special day of GATE education. As much as I loved Mr. Zarra's class - the plexers, the analogies, the algebra! - I always looked forward to the afternoon ride back to my regular school. Why? Garth Brooks sing-alongs in the back of the bus, of course.

Imagine my delight when, upon mentioning this to my friend Bonnie last Friday evening, she immediately launched into a heartfelt rendition of "I Got Friends In Low Places." We sang enthusiastically through several of our favorites - "The Dance", "Thunder Rolls", "Shameless", "Papa Loves Mama", and finally, "The River".

Let it be known. I HATE country pop - and that's saying a lot, I think; my music tastes are pretty varied and open-minded (if tastes can be open-minded. they probably can't). But I love Garth Brooks. I own only one GB cd, and I brought it along for a car ride with Bonnie and Sniar the day after our a cappella extravaganza. As we drove, we sang our little hearts out. It's true that I somehow remember all the lyrics to "The Rodeo". And it's true we all sang with a twang.

The best moment may have been after our stirring rendition of "The River". Bonnie revealed that she had a friend with a giant tattoo of a ship on his back. The inspiration for said tattoo?

"and I will sail my vessel till the river runs dry. Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my skyyyyy I'll never reach my de-e-stination if I never try! so I will sail my vessel till the river runs dry." Wow.

editor's note: it was actually ERIN'S friend, not bonnie's, who had the tattoo. gigantic public apology, sniar, for the story theft.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


the convergence of nuns & ninjas has been discussed in earlier writings. nothing, however, has ever been spoken of the convergence between mimes and ninjas. and that makes sense, in a way, because both, as a rule, tend to be very, very silent.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Fliegenschlammdrachen ueberalles!

Which is to say, last weekend was awesome. Headed up to Bakersfield with about 20 other people and did the annual VOLKSLAUF, a 10k mud run with some pretty rad obstacles.
what you don't see: jeff coming back to help me across, with me piggy backing.

what you don't see: some PG-13 tank-top squeezing-out that followed.
What you don't see: Kat and Wendy falling off the ropes halfway across. Bleh.What you don't see: Wendy spitting out waste water from the tunnel just moments before.Welp, that's pretty much what that looks like.I love mud. I really do.

For the full picture album (papatron, thank you):
fliegenschlammdrachen!! und anderen mud runners

Other Oktober weekend adventures:
Riding my bike 100 miles in Death Valley beneath a full moon.

Rooftop photography sessions with Fizz.
Hiking with Sniar and Sparkle.

Oh yeah. and school.

Still eating cupcakes with Sara most Fridays. Sara, this is a public commitment from me to you for picture uploadeding really soon. Also, public, this is an official and strongly-worded announcement that Sara is performing an AWESOME piece of voodoo- and marriage-inspired solo choreography with SYNAPSE next weekend at SMC. Ask me about it, because you should go, no question.

Friday, October 19, 2007

file this under 'etc.'

I saw these women walking together outside of church one saturday afternoon and thought, 'oh, that's sweet. they all look the same.'
i then looked down and realized that christiane and i were, quite coincidentally, wearing strikingly similar ensembles. note the odd color selection AND the use of head scarves. we laughed, then insisted that the moment be photographed.

on another random note, how many of you knew that President #26 - the one whose surname is 'Taft' - was the heaviest president ever? He weighed in around 322 lbs and got stuck in his bathtub on his inauguration day. Several assistants had to be called in to unstick him. This resulted in him getting a new, gigantic bathtub (7ft long, 4ft wide), one big enough to comfortably fit 4 reasonably sized adult male humanoids. cool, eh?

Friday, September 28, 2007

these are a couple photos i took when i was in china last year. i think they're cool. the first one is tai shan, one of the holiest mountains in china, a pilgrimage place for the last 3000 years. kat and i climbed it at night so we could see the red sunrise from the peak. the second one is in the countryside of zhongdian (aka shangrila!), which is a primarily tibetan county in yunnan province. we were biking around, getting lost, and prayer flags were everywhere. awesome.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

[insert clever title about september here]

I've been busy-ish. I'm still trying to figure how best to squeeze a full-time grad program into the life I was living before, and it seems that blogging and naps have been the first things to go. but I'm holding tight to gchat (albeit with a red status most days), and time spent cooking and cleaning at home has, against all odds, increased! along with making real meals, i get really cheap and MASSIVE mangos at the supermarket near school nowadays to make mango shakes a couple times a week. you might get lucky if you come by and visit me some night.

these are things that have happened lately:

PapaTron, as he is now affectionately known amongst my friends, came down to LA, and we rode our bikes 50 miles up and down PCH. this was the first ride we'd been on since December, and it was [insert happy positive adjective here]. We drove east afterwards to visit little Mushy, and happiness was felt by all parties involved in the reunion. I also taught PapaTron the art of Guitar Hero - it turns out he's a natural! yeah! \m/ (I feel like, in gchat, those dashes & letter 'm' would turn into a rocker hand. just imagine it.)

My good friend Dax went on an epic cycling journey in Spain. The night before he left, we gathered together to send him off with a freshly shaven head. I felt very privileged to take him to the airport and pick him up with his boxed-up bike a couple weeks later - super alta cinqo (that's how they say 'high 5' en espanol, right?) to dave for being so triumphantly awesome.

I ran a 5 mile race. Not just any race, though. This was the Nike Run Hit Remix, featuring 5 bands along the race route (Naughty by Nature, the Sugarhill Gang, Sir Mix-a-Lot [yes, singing 'i like big butts' right as i ran by]), AND, even more awesome, a finish line concert in the Coliseum with none other than MC Hammer.

Things to note about this day: due to this whole school thing, I had to be at a group meeting on campus at 10:30, which meant I had to ditch the Hammer in the middle of his first song. bleh. i hate priorities. I took my shoes off when the race was over and walked to school. when the meeting was done (after we figured out a way to bridge ethnic tensions amongst school-age children in Bosnia - no small feat for an early Saturday morning!), i caught a bus westward. it reminded me of the olden days at USC before i had MazdaTron; i was a frequent bus passenger and all too familiar with the bus driver having to threaten and yell at everyone to GET TO THE BACK OF THE BUS! NOW! SQUISH TOGETHER, WE NEED TO MAKE ROOM! this ride was no exception, and it made me smile. instead of waiting for my transfer, i decided i'd walk the last 3 miles home - i love urban walking adventures when i have time to explore (this walk yielded at least one really cool east african restaurant i want to check out soon). i was still barefoot and hadn't factored in the temperature of the ground surfaces, so i had to do a lot of sprinting to different shade spots, which made me laugh quite a bit. It was a delightful day (carrot juice & goat cheese purchases, sushi with chelsea & christiane, checking out the massage chairs at Brookstone [so what if i wound up falling asleep in one of them]...yay).

I do not like the idea of school taking over my life so much that I make un-wendylike choices. Despite a very reasonable part of me saying "you should be home doing homework", i chose to go to a Lavendar Diamond/New Pornographers concert with Dave T, Kat & Brett. it was great, and i am deliberately feeling no regrets. i also left class early one night because there was a massive guitar hero FHE happening, and I'd been looking forward to it since before i knew i was going to be a studious trojan once more. But I also worked hard and wrote my first paper in years (on the very exciting topic of reeducation and democratic reorientation efforts by the Office of Military Govt, US, in post-war germany). i still feel really ambivalent about school. we'll see how it all shakes out as the semester goes on...

Last Saturday, I was involved in an all-day put-a-musical-together-and-perform-it-that-night thing. I had a lot more fun than i expected to, and i really enjoyed performing. wendy misses dancing on stage, turns out. this is 'thoroughly modern millie' as captured through kenny's photo sucks, but whatever. i'm the tall girl, if you decide to click play.

This is kind of a just-in-case farewell post; i'm doing something a little ridiculous this weekend in death valley, and if my body betrays The Great Cause (still tbd) For Which I'll Be Riding My Bike, please know that i love you all in one nice way or another, and that the spirit of COMPTRON will be with you anytime you're a) listening to neil diamond, b) drinking avocado shakes, or c) staying up till 0400 and trying to communicate deep thoughts but finding your brain is never, ever up to the task at that hour.