Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Your Eyes Were Closed In That One. Here We Go Again! Now, Smile Dammit!  

Over the weekend we broke down and left the comfort of our home and our Nextflixxed Dexter Season Threes and our stashes of cheese and beer and wine and other Coping With Life mechanisms, succumbed to the Utah stereotype and did what all proper families do on Sunday; we took a walk and enjoyed nature. You thought I was going to say church, didn't you? Incidentally, is that there the proper usage of a semi colon? I am so over grammar. It's just a giant pain in the ass all this him and I and him and me or me and him and don't get me started on figuring out when to use a comma. With a conjunction without a conjunction and what exactly is a conjunction anyway? Conjunction, WHAT IS YOUR FUNCTION? And then you spend hours laboring over some clever (you think so anyway) blog post about the meaning of life and death and blogging and you open comments and anxiously wait for the masses to compliment you on your brilliant insight and so forth and some knucklehead comments about your grammar or your excessive use of ellipses or all caps. Point is, grammar can suck it. Nobody talks the way grammar dictates so leave me be already.

This past Sunday we walked and talked and I forced my family to pose for an impromptu photo shoot when the color of fall leaves struck me just so. In fact, the resulting photos remind me of those seventies photo shoots where the background is, like, this excellent depiction of autumnal scenery but is really just wallpaper on some sheet rock in some guy's garage that doubles as his "studio". In front of the scenery is a kind of petrified log and a few plastic leaves scattered around some ratty old carpeting stapled to a set in front of which some pedophile-type with a Tom Selleck mustache shakes a plastic chicken in your four-year-old face in an effort to coax a smile in between your tears of horror.

Do you know these photo studios of which I write?

Perhaps there is an unfortunate series of photos jammed, along with your elementary school work, into a disintegrating cardboard box in your parents' basement in which you are toothily (minus one or two choppers) grinning into the camera? Maybe, if your mom checked the right box and paid extra (mine didn't) you have that photo where you are mugging directly into the camera and then this spectral profile of yourself is floating next to you in the picture (oh my, the technology!) gazing thoughtfully into the distance?

These photos I took last Sunday? They look just like I popped Violet onto one of those sets and told the guy with the porn mustache to spare no expense, I wanted 8X10s, 5X7s and wallets for grandma! Except she's not wearing an orange polyester jumpsuit number with a bow the size of her head slapped onto her noggin. But the background, the very same. Look!

My brother A.K.A. "Asshole" used to do something similar to me with his spit when we were kids. Goddamned spit dangler.

I guess I'm getting to my point in a roundabout way which is that Utah is absolutely stunning in the fall. My family cleans up all right too.