Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa, a Latin phrase that translated literally means “erased slate” or blank slate, is an idea used to argue that nurture, not nature, is what creates a person’s thoughts.  The theory is that people are born without opinions, habits, personality, emotions, knowledge, etc., and everything that they encounter in their life “writes” on their slate to create who they are.  I do not believe in Tabula Rasa.

I have noticed lately that the more I seem to think I have grown and changed, the more I remember that I am becoming exactly as I was as a child.  Obviously, the element of maturity changes things, but fundamentally, there are more similarities than I would have thought.  So apparently, when I was removed (I say this because I wasn’t actually born, I was removed, and it kind of bugs my mom when I say I wasn’t born), my little brain was stuffed full of the full grown sass you find today.  Here are some examples.

I have always done exactly what I want to do.  No more, no less.  One famous example as a small child was fabulously retold by my aunt Heidi, who was present for the experience.  I was probably around 2.  I wasn’t wearing a diaper anymore.  My mom was getting frustrated and wanted me to do something that I, apparently, didn’t want to do.  So I stood up, put my little hands on my hips, and proceeded to pee on demand.  She told me to stop, which I did.  Then, when she started telling me what to do again and getting mad for peeing, I took a step forward and peed in defiance some more.  My two year old self sure showed her who was boss!
My school aged self was pretty opinionated in what I would and wouldn’t do as well.  Granted, I was generally well behaved in school.  School, I could handle for the most part.  However, take me on a field trip I didn’t want to go on?  No thank you.  I would conveniently be “sick” on days that I didn’t feel like participating.  Class field trips were sort of annoying to me.  I am pretty sure I only went on half of them.  Optional trips, like to see musicals or museums, I was all over, but trips that everyone went on, like to Zions Canyon, not my thing.  Same went for classes I didn’t want to participate in.  One year I was mysteriously sick most days for the class period after lunch.  Obviously, I must have a food allergy, right?  At least that is what the school, my teachers, and parents were convinced of.  Ya, nope.  I hated doing Mighty Math, which were math facts timings that we did every day.  They stressed me out and I hated them.  So, instead, I would lay in a tub full of pillows that my teacher had in the back of his classroom for sick kids, and just chill.  Granted, I don’t pull the “sick” card anymore.  I just flat out say that I don’t want to do things.  The adult world offers so few sick days, that I save those for when I actually need them.

Oddly, as an adult, my stomach has decided that it hates mornings, too.   It makes it really hard to get out the door very early, because it decides to throw a fit around 8 AM every day.  As a child, you could not get me up.  I was quoted to have mumbled at the breakfast table one day, “I wist I wuz a mowning pewson.” (I couldn’t talk very well.  I took speech therapy classes until second grade.)  I remember asking my mom for some Diet Coke before kindergarten.  AM kindergarten was the death of me.  Remember, that was the 80’s, so she wasn’t a bad parent for giving her kid soda, and with me, it was sort of a necessity.  Left to my own devices, my schedule would be to sleep from 2 AM to 12 Noon, and have the rest of my day fit somewhere between.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t agree with me.

When I was in preschool, I refused to wear overalls because they were “farmer pants,” and I didn’t want to be confused with a farmer.  For first grade school shopping, I refused to buy pants.  I wanted all dresses, because that is what girls wear.  Again, with my rough mornings, I would say at the breakfast table in my little muffled mumble, “Umm… I didn’t wanna weah dis,” after realizing that my mom had dressed me in something I did not approve of.  To my dismay, I always realized it a little late, because I had just fully awakened. I’ll still redress mannequins when I go into a store and find a horrendously styled outfit. I’m not necessarily the most fashion forward person, but I have taste and a distinct style, which has always been in tact.

I say misguided, because I don’t cry when one would expect me to, and I am a complete baby about odd things. Few may know the song, “Abraham, Martin, and John.” I would google it and tell you who wrote it, but I don’t want to accidentally hear it or read the lyrics. Harry Belafonte sang it, and it was on a CD I loved when I was a kid. I had to skip it. I had no idea what it was about (knowing what it is as an adult, yes, it is cry worthy), but it never failed, if someone turned it on, or heaven forbid let the CD play unattended, I would be an inconsolable mess. Benji The Hunted was a very bad idea to take little CoCo to, as I still remember bawling in the foyer of the theater. On the same note, I still can’t even see the cover of Charlotte’s Web, and yes, I know it is about a spider, which I kill without a second thought. A few years ago, I cried because the mom in front of me, who looked to have very little money, wouldn’t let her kid buy a box of brownie mix. My life is full of spontaneous oddly timed tears. I cry when I go to the doctor. Every time. No idea why. Please don’t make me tell you the story of The Last Leaf, either.

I’m sure it is no surprise that I am fairly independent. Anyone who knew me when I was labeled a “Siamese Twin” with my childhood BFF Lindsey, would probably disagree, as we were always together. I did, and still do, prefer playing with a friend, but I was also very good at being alone. I could play Barbies for hours on end, in my room, by myself. When I broke my arm, I was alone in my backyard playing circus in a tutu and leotard on my monkeybars. I think my sister was jumping on the trampoline, and did get help, but I was definitely in my own realm when it happened. I am quite comfortable doing most things on my own. I fully believe that company makes life better, but I am not scared to just go do something by myself if I want. I enjoy my solo adventures, and make great conversation with myself in my head. Same as when I played Barbies.

Sorry, Mom and Dad. You should have seen this one coming long before I dated the person who you think turned me. Let me remind you, at Point Defiance Zoo, my cousin Emily and I would walk around and talk about how terrible the confined spaces were, and praise the animal displays that had a more natural habitat. We also planned our own animal sanctuaries when we would grow up. I would always make sure to cut the plastic 6-pack holders from the soda, just in case it ended up in the water, so a fish could swim through it without getting caught. I special ordered “vegan” shoes in 7th grade, and also went a while as a vegetarian as an adolescent. I believed in equal rights for my dolls, and always wanted the black baby dolls. I wrote a paper on the suffrage in 6th grade, and for some reason had a bee in my bonnet about women being allowed to play men’s hockey (of all the random sports to pick). I wanted to give money to every homeless person I saw without a second thought as to what they would do with the money they were given, and couldn’t understand how America even had homeless people. The gay issue wasn’t on my radar until adulthood, so my opinions on that are new, but I have always loved Queen. The finer details of politics and politicians are obviously more polarizing, and I find myself in the middle on most issues, but you can see why my basic beliefs land me squarely on the left side of that messy world. Incidentally, the knowledge that I have had these opinions most of my life also mean that I try not to argue politics, because I assume most people have their political beliefs equally ingrained.

I hate wearing clothes. You have no idea how many pictures I have of me throughout childhood with my bare bum peaking out. At age 10, my dad wanted to sneak in to the laundry room and video my sister and I who he could hear singing and dancing. Little did he know, we were only wearing our underpants. Rachel quickly covered herself, while I proceeded to sing my own song called, “I’m dancing nude.” This glorious event is caught on family home video. My favorite part of family Lake Powell camping trips was the evening bath trip. We’d take the boats out and I’d get to jump in the water and swim around naked to clean myself off. That sounds a little more awkward than it actually was, written in short form like this. Anyone who has lived with me knows that I am not shy about walking around in my underwear, and I rarely wear pants to bed. I would say my favorite naked moment ever was going to Little Beach on Maui last year. Everyone should frolic in the ocean naked along side weird, old and overweight hippies at least once in their lives.

This is not allegorical. I literally can’t remember where brakes are in an emergency. I have driven a mountain bike into the lake, crashed a 4-wheeler into my mom’s mini-van, backed the same mini-van into my dad’s truck (I was 15) and kept going until I had scratched both for the full length of the vehicles, hit my sister’s boyfriend with a wave runner, and crashed a scooter in the parking lot of Belmont Apartments while fabulously driving in high heels. I have learned how to remember brakes in a car, thankfully, and actually have developed impressive snow driving skills. But seriously, don’t ever trust me to drive anything else. No matter how much I beg, I will crash it and I know that. I panic and don’t know where the brakes are, then try to abort ship and end up crashing the vehicle, myself, or both. Trust me. Saying no and putting up with my argument as to why you should let me is much better than the outcome if you say yes. 4-wheelers have two sets of brakes, and if I couldn’t remember that in an emergency, well… Yes, this is a problem.

I could keep going, but this is already a really long blog post. Needless to say, I find it hilarious that as I grow and find who I am, I find that I have really known this person all along. It’s just a matter of recognizing the parts that are good, letting them grow, and trying to control the less savory traits to appear less often. That is where the nurture comes in.


Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia

Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia: The Fear of Christmas Trees or a Christmas Tree

It’s no secret that I love a good pampering session.  Whether it is going to the spa, sitting by the pool, getting a massage or pedi, or my hair done.  I will spend more money and time on pampering myself than food.  It’s definitely a requisite part of  the CoCo Lifestyle.  Before I go any further, you should know that, while this post is titled about a Christmas Tree, it is in reference to nether region care.  If you don’t want to know this portion of my life, stop reading here.

For the past few months, I have had a standing appointment with my friend Aaron to go to Nailed in Salt Lake City for a pedicure and he gets a mani while I get a wax.  (I also feel that hair should not be found anywhere below the eyebrows.  Waxing is something that helps accomplish this more efficiently.)  Last month I got a wax and had a pretty bad reaction.  I was itchy and burny down there for a couple of weeks.  Because I have had several waxes before, I didn’t believe this could possibly happen again.  It had to be a fluke.  Well, maybe not.

On Wednesday, I had another not-so-far-away-get-away with Aaron to Nailed.  Same appointments as always.  This day seemed a bit cursed.  I had already just found out that I had a giant canker growing in my throat.  On my way to my appointment, I somehow hit the TRAX right as three different trains were crossing.  I really don’t even know how there were three trains so close together, either, but that day, there were.  Then there was an ambulance barreling through, construction, and an extended stop at a cross walk while some teenage boy was struggling to ride his unicycle across the street.  When I finally got to the salon about 3 minutes past the time my appointment was supposed to start, they whisked me away to the back room for my wax.  I was definitely uneasy when I had the same technician who caused the burn the first time.  As she was waxing, I told her that the last time wasn’t very pleasant.  She asked me if I was allergic to almonds or honey, because those are common allergens in the wax.  Nope!  Not allergic.  Totally had to be a fluke.  When I was finished, I went on to the pedi station, followed by a stop by Tulie Bakery for Tea Time with Aaron (Iced mint tea… Bananas how delish it is!)

Let’s fast forward to the following morning.  I was awakened from my slumber by a familiar itch at around 4 AM.  Oh crap!  So I ran downstairs and grabbed the aloe vera out of the fridge.  My grandma used aloe as a cure all for everything, literally would just grab a spine off of her plant and rub it on us, and the cool soothing was the only thing that I could think of to help me at 4 am.   Relief enough to go back to bed.  Well, the whole day, I proceeded to get worse.  By the time I got home from work, I was literally unbuttoning my pants in the parking lot and running to my house.  SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH!  I wanted to die!  What was worse is that my whole area was puffy and hot with hives.  I rubbed hydrocortizone all over myself. Nothing.  Grabbed ice packs out of the freezer to sit on.  No relief, only more itching because the cold was bothering my non-effected areas.  Googling furiously, I found a few recommended cures, including diaper rash cream, but why on EARTH would I have that in my house?  So I did what any adult woman would do at midnight.  I called my mom in near tears.  “MOM!  My bum hurts!  HELP!”

Well, the handy thing about my mom is that she does actually know cures for most things.  She told me to sit in a cool tub of water with a liberal amount of baking soda added and then my roommate, randomly, had something she said was used for diaper rash in Uruguay.  I have awesome women in my life.  After my bath and a good rub down of Dr. Selby Crema Curativa, I was feeling amazingly better.  I topped that off with an ibuprofen and some benadryl.  Sleep came, and I didn’t wake up until around 9 am, with my typical post benadryl sideways walk.  I don’t take medicine often, because I get really weird reactions, like the inability to comprehend putting one foot in front of the other after coming down from benadryl.  By the time I got myself figured out and off to work, I was furious at this waxing session.  I would rather have hair than this trauma!  I called the waxing place again and told them I needed to know all the ingredients in their wax.  I was put on hold for a few minutes, then the girl came back and said, “You’re not by chance allergic to pine, are you?  There’s pine resin in the wax she used.”  Umm… From the girl who loves Christmas but can’t have a real Christmas tree unless I want to spend my holiday unable to breath, YES I AM ALLERGIC TO PINE!  Really, you would think this would be something that she asked before she rubbed it all over my crotchal area and got it nicely embedded into my pores.  At least now that I know the culprit, I am able to treat the reaction better and can finally stop with the incessant urge to rub my pelvic area against a sand blaster.

Ay! Ay!  Ay!  So that is my story on why I have a fear of Christmas trees, LOVE Uruguayan medicine, and am very glad I have a mom who answers her phone at midnight.  Lesson learned, check all the ingredients before liberally applying something to your crotch.

Gone With The… What Was I Saying?

 I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow. -Scarlett O’Hara

There’s one thing I’m grateful for when times get tough.  It’s my ability to just not think about things.  Seriously.  I know some of my therapy-minded friends are going to tell me that this is a very unhealthy way to think or behave.  Feelings buried or left unaddressed will eat you alive.  Your issues that you swallow will affect you in other ways, whether it be health issues or lead to eternal unhappiness.  You talk it out and get it all worked out in the open.  Well, this may work for some people, but for me, this is not the a cure.  (I want to note that this is in no way invalidating my friends and family who practice or use therapy for themselves.  It has its place for people.)

I have found that my emotions like to be treated much like a flesh wound.  You recognize that it definitely hurts when it happens, shed a tear or two, and then you keep it clean and untouched and let it heal on its own.  You should NEVER pick at the scab, otherwise it scars, becomes very ugly, and doesn’t get better.  Kind of ironic, actually, considering I am the world’s WORST picker and have never had a scab or pimple that I actually let heal on its own, but when it comes to my feelings, this is exactly what I need.  I have found that as I leave my heart alone, and let my feelings figure themselves out, time has passed, things are not as bad as they once seemed, and I am good to go.

Great balls of fire. Don’t bother me anymore, and don’t call me sugar! – Scarlett O’Hara

If there is one thing I hate, emotionally speaking, it is when people want to poke at the open wound or pick at the nearly healed scab.  Just don’t do it.  I will talk to you about it if I want to.  If you have a guilty conscience for something you did to me, that is all on you.  Don’t hurt me more by trying to talk it out.  I really don’t want to.  To be frank, you hurt me the first time.  I don’t owe you the favor of letting you apologize.  Just let me get over it and I’ll talk to you later if I decide.  I’m not saying I will never forgive.  I have a terrible memory.  I will usually forgive, if not completely forget, what you did.  In that way, I’m like a little toddler.  Let me be distracted, and I’ll completely forget that there was an issue.  Bigger issues, I’ll remember, but I will be a lot happier not having them brought to the forefront of my memories and not thinking about them.

Needless to say, there are a lot of things I quite like about Miss Scarlett O’Hara, and times I “fiddle dee dee” my way through life, but this is a big one for Miss CoCo.  Don’t try to make me think about things I don’t want to think about.  By Tara, you’ll be sorry.

You helpless? Heaven help the Yankees if they catch you. -Rhett Butler

Before I Die, Or Turn 30

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Erika and I were talking about things we should do before we turn 30. Yes, believe it or not, I will be 30 in December.  That means that I have just a few months to do all those stupid things that you can then look back and excuse by saying, “Eh, I was in my twenties.”  So, I found a list of 50 things you HAVE to do before you are 30.  Let’s see how well I’m doing. I bolded and put a ✓ next to the ones I have done to make it easier to scroll through, as it is a LONG list. (I would like to note that I had to figure out how to code a ✓ as well, which I will now ✓ off as an accomplishment, since code is not something I ever thought I would figure out how to do.)

1. Have a really stupid accident which necessitates a hospital visit
This has happened a few times for me. Probably one of the more notable would be when I decided to ride a motor scooter through the Belmont parking lot in Provo while wearing high heels. Let it be written that I told them it would end with me crashing. I panicked, forgot where the breaks were, and ended up flipping, splitting my eye open and with plenty of road rash.
2. Shoot something
I don’t like guns, and killing something is not high on my bucket list. However, I did get talked in to shooting a gun on a camp out a few years ago, and I did murder an aluminum can. So if you find yourself waking up as the Tin Man, be afraid… be very afraid!
3. Take a weekend break more than 1000 miles from home
1000 miles requires longer than a weekend. Not worth the torture of the drive, otherwise.
4. Boot Linux on your home PC
Boota whata?
5. Get lost in a country where you don’t speak the language
I can thank my mom for this… Taking us all on what will forever go down as The Great Walk in Puerto Vallarta, and why none of us will ever follow her anywhere outside of Annabella again.
6. Spend more than your monthly income on a pocket sized gadget
7. Post bail for a friend
I’m the only one of my friends that I know of who has been arrested.
8. Break a really large plate glass window
9. Make a parachute jump on a hangover
H to the no. PETRIFIED of heights.
10. Use a whole roll of gaffa tape in one day
11. Make a pointless modification to your house
12. Neck a pint of peppermint oil
What does this even mean?
13.Nearly hook up with a shemale by mistake (but realize in time…)
Really? I’d be shocked if any girl could pose as a guy that I would actually be attracted to. I have a hard enough time finding guys I like, let alone girls dressed as guys. Definitely not my thing.  I don’t find this a rite of passage, I find this a rite of stupidity after probably way too much to drink.  It’s pretty obvious.
14. Buy a samurai sword
Am I a 12 year old boy?
15. Delay paying a bill until the summons arrives
Yep! I still do delay paying my phone bill every month. It just bugs me for some reason.
16. Destroy a speed camera
17. Refill an inkjet cartridge
18. Say something obscene on national television
Oh believe me! If I had ever been on National Television, I would totally say something naughty!
19. Do a J turn in order to beat somebody to a parking space
I went to BYU. Cougars don’t cut corners, but they sure do cut to park!
20. Break a sledgehammer
Suggestions on how this could be accomplished? This just sounds like awesome bragging rights.
21. Make a bomb
I made a volcano… does that count? I am not a violent person
22. Smash a CRT
23. Require medical treatment as a consequence of kinky sex gone wrong (STDs don’t count.)
24. Tip a waiter with something other than money
NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! This makes me want to write a strongly worded letter to the author of this list
25. Light a fire with petrol
26. Kidnap someone
27. Park inside a motorway service station
28. Own a convertible.
29. Live abroad.
This I really should do before I am 30… Suggestions on locale?
30. Drive at more than 140mph
The drive between Provo and Annabella is a long one. I used to drive like a maniac and get home in an hour. Then, I got smart.
31. Get something for free through a masterpiece of complaining
Like 20 Motorola RAZR phones because mine kept breaking when I had one.
32. Give yourself a mains electric shock
Is that when you accidentally touch the metal prong of the plug while it is in the wall? I have done that several times. It’s not fun.
33. Completely dismantle an object larger than yourself ✓
A bed. That isn’t exciting, though. I have replaced a toilet, but it’s not larger than me.
34. Total a car
35. Fall asleep and get really hilarious sunburn ✓
36. Get drunk on Absinthe
37. Stay up all night listening to a girl have an emotional crisis ✓
I have had roommates for over 10 years. This is a way of life.
38. Lick the terminals of a 9 volt battery
Is this a list of things I did before I turned 10?
39. Take part in motorsport
40. Stay at the office for more than 24 hours
I’d rather die. No job should require this. Ever.
41. Set off a fire extinguisher
42. Drive at least 600 miles in a day on two lane roads
43. Hotwire a car
44. Watch all the Monty Python films In one sitting
45. Shag an ex-boyfriend by mistake
46. Dial 911
The last time I called 911 was when I saw a pig speeding towards me on the freeway. Yes, a pig on the freeway. That is just not ok!
47. Commit a faux pas which means that a friend will never speak to you again
I constantly stick my foot in my mouth. I’m sure I have done this and don’t even realize it.
48. Make a bet you couldn’t afford to lose
Bad idea to go to Wendover when you are uneployed, but I did once.
49. Read a 500 page book in one sitting ✓
It shocked me, too!
50. Escape a perfectly justified parking ticket.
I’ve gotten out of twice as many tickets as I have been issued, and I have been issued a lot! Tears don’t work. Putting your hands clearly where the cop can see them, turning your dome light on if it is dark, and admitting guilt usually works better.

So I guess 20 out of 50 isn’t too bad… Honestly, after reading all of those things, I don’t know that I even WANT to do all of them in my life.  Ever.  Any suggestions on things I should add to the list in the next few months?  The clock is ticking!