Monday, December 29, 2008

Because really, there's always more that you can lose...apparently

It seems like when you have given everything away - and have basically nothing - the world still finds something else to snag. Isn't that always the way? Yesterday morning I discovered that someone had broken into my Truck of Doom and stolen all my CD's. Every bit of my music. I loved my music! And now it's no more. I have an IPod - but what with all the selling of everything (read laptop) and moving around so much I haven't really had "convert all CDs back to Ipod" on my "to do" list lately. Silly me. What was I thinking? Oh, that life might hand be me a teaspoon of MERCY! Not a chance. ;)

The good side is they didn't take my actual CD player nor my new Christmas crockpot. Guess criminals aren't into slow cooking. They did take my MAT study guide. So that's annoying. And stressful. I'm going to fail that thing anyway but still - the study guide helped me LOOK serious about MPA school. Maybe it's a sign... ... ... Naaaaaw. I'm still going. Though, I think I will look at a few other schools "just in case." Higher Education is suffering some budget cuts - so everyone is a little on edge about their J-O-B's ya know? Wouldn't hurt to look around a bit for school.  Anyway - the CD robbers also didn't take my BYU IS umbrella or my two copies of the Book of Mormon in the dash compartment. Ha. Figures.

It's a really good thing I'm so happy for my move into my own place or I'd probably just go lie in the middle of Redwood Road. I know I won't feel the full "loss" of my music until I'm driving to Emery County or finally finish my book on CD and have a hankering for The Weepies or Joshua Radin or Garden State soundtrack or MoTab. Sigh. Oh what we don't appreciate until we've lost it. Unless it's weight. I don't think I'd ever appreciate having all these Holiday pounds attached to me all year round. I'd like to lose some of those! Eh?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life...

We have a Christmas tradition at my house. Okay, we have a lot of Christmas traditions, like going to my Grandma's in Emery on Christmas Eve to open some gifts, eat, and hang with the family. My Grandma's house is my favorite place in the entire world. I love it. We also let one of "the boys" cook Christmas morning breakfast - giving the women's a break from the unspoken traditional cooking assignments. I've done these few things every Christmas since I was born. I've never spent Christmas anywhere but in Emery - and even though half of the grandchildren are "all growed up" - we still all take a break from our various "lives" and make it to Emery for Christmas. Though we all seem to realize the absence of magic small children bring to Christmas. I'm the oldest grandchild on my mom's side - and the youngest is now 13. It seems like the time has come for simple childhood excitement and faith. Course - that would mean one of the 4 of us "of marriage age" would have to get married. Unfortunately none of us are even remotely close. Ha. All in good time.

There was one person missing this year - my little brother Nick who is serving a LDS mission in Madagascar. We got to talk to him for awhile today - and it improved my life to talk to him about things that are so much bigger, so much more important, than any of my silly stresses and petty concerns. Talking to a missionary serving in a 3rd world country, seeing how much they grow and change, is a humbling experience. It puts things into perspective. It reminds you how much you have - and how much you can give. I have a dream that one year when I have my own little family - we will take everything and anything we would've spent on Christmas and find a way to help someone else - perhaps go to Mexico and help build a school or bring supplies to an orphanage in Northern Africa. There are always ways we can help - and always more we can give.

I got some great things for Christmas - some novels, a cookbook, a crock pot, some movies, and a some perfume. Even better though, I also found a place to live. Finally. Finally after months and months of living out of suitcases and feeling like a lost and lonely transient, considering places appropriately referred to as "The Den of Rape", and feverishly clawing my way back into a "normal existence" - I found a house. A house with a kitchen and a dishwasher. A house with beautiful wood floors, lovely bedrooms, and a fireplace. A house in Holiday near grocery stores and freeway entrances. The best part - it's a house in my price range with lovely girls - one of which owns a PIANO. I know, right? As if finding a adorable house in a good location with a great price and nice roomies isn't enough - I get access to a piano too. And so help me I'll be using it! I'm signing the lease on Monday and will be moving in on January 3rd. I'm so excited, so relieved, and so grateful to have my own room, a kitchen to cook in, and a piano to play on after feeling out of place for so long.

Now - I started out this post talking about Christmas traditions. One other tradition we have on Christmas Eve at my house, after coming back from Grandma's in Emery, is to all gather around the TV and watch Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life." We all love this movie. I get choked up every year. And every year, I learn something new, I notice something different when I watch it that improves my life. This year...I found myself in Jimmy Stewarts character George Bailey. If you aren't familiar with the movie - suffice it to say George Bailey had big dreams. He wanted to go to college, he wanted to "get away" and travel the world. He wanted to be an explorer ever since he was born, and he tried to take every opportunity to make it happen. He scrimped and he saved and he planned. However, through events beyond his control and unforeseen circumstances and obligations, George Bailey never did go to college, or travel the world, or become a great explorer. He stayed in Bedford Falls. He ran his father's business he was trying so desperately to leave. He married and had a family. It wasn't what he had planned. He felt he had tried his best, and lost his dreams. He felt he'd done everything good and right, but was still losing in the end. He felt that the world would've been better had he never been born. However, when his wish was granted and he was shown what the lives of the people he loved, the town he served, would've been like without his influence, it turned out that George Bailey had made a difference - but in effect - his life had turned out exactly how it was SUPPOSED to - even though he thought that it wasn't what he'd wanted. Even though he had planned differently.
"Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" remarked Clarence - George's guardian angel.

The part that taught me this year was George Bailey realizing that though his dreams he thought he always wanted hadn't panned out - that he'd been on the cusp of what he thought he'd wanted - what he thought would make him happy - wasn't what was meant for him at all. That perhaps, there was a very different plan for him. A better plan. Something more than what he dreamed. This year - watching that movie - talking to Nick - and reevaluating what's really important to me and what really DOES matter in the world - made me realize that it really is a wonderful life we are given. It's something that we can share with others - and create real meaning in their lives. Feeling useful, feeling like you MAKE a difference, would be more meaningful than any material Christmas present I could ever receive.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I saw dead people....oooooo....

Okay okay, so that's about a cliché a way to start out an "I went and saw the Body Worlds 3 Exhibit yesterday" as you can get. But it's still KIND OF clever right? Oh what's that you say? Over-used? Psh! Whatever. The Six Sense lives on.

You all know what I'm talking about when I say Body World's right? It's like a "human museum" of sorts displaying cadavers in a variety of positions and poses depicting our amazing human bodies, how they function, and what it all means. Brilliant. Amazing. I wish I would've paid extra for the head set. Yeah I really do. The entire time I knew, though I was awed, that I probably didn't appreciate it like a scientist, doctor, or even someone just plain fascinated by the human body in general, might. I've had friends who have gone or are going to medical school, dental school, becoming scientific researchers, that I couldn't help but think of as I observed the incredible abilities of the human heart, the intricate map of the nervous system, or the intimate workings of the ear. I read all the little paragraphs they had by each display and still felt like I wasn't even close to grasping how truly incredible it all was. It made me want to exercise more and eat better. True! And if I were a smoker I would've quit then and there. It was powerful.

Also, I was worried I might be a little freaked out. I have an over-active imagination and one of the things I constantly fear is that something that is apparently dead will suddenly open its eyes or reach out and throttle me! I am an X-Files fan (sans latest movie – disaster) and Scully was always hanging out in the morgue with dead bodies. Oh man. I just KNEW they were going to sit up! Or open their eyes! Or twitch their hand! Shudder. I also watched a lot of ST:TNG (that's Star Trek the Next Generation for you non-"cool" people) and Dr. Crusher was ALSO always around dead bodies in Sickbay and I KNEW one of them would sit up too. In fact! There was one episode where there were about a dozen dead bodies all lying under sheets – and of course she's in there alone being scientifically cool – and she goes to leave and then pauses at the door. Of course we can only see the back of her head. She then slowly turns around and EVERY ONE OF THE SHEET COVERED DEAD BODIES IS SITTING STRAIT UP! I screamed along with her. I was very disturbed.

Anyway – this was nothing like that. Although – I DID stare into the face of the "jumping over the hurtle" cadaver to see if it would suddenly blink. Never did though. At any rate it's an incredible exhibit. I encourage everyone – young and old – English major or Anatomy student – to go check it out. And get the headphones. It costs extra – but I think I would've benefited from it greatly. Or perhaps I should've just found someone who would've been like an English Major in the British Library to be my "information desk" throughout the entire thing. That would've been helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway and am very glad I finally got to go see it before it moves on. Hurry! You only have a couple weeks left! And try not to think of them blinking, moving, or jumping off their little stands to throttle you. Shiver.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Final Word

This is what I find awesome about this.

1. Most comments come from "ex-Mormons" who are glad they got out of the "cult." There is a lot of personal hurt and bitterness there. I sincerely hurt for that. I know it hurts. Most of my family have chosen different paths that don't include the Church - and of course I love them and respect them and who they are. They are better than a lot of "members" I know. They are the kindest people in the world. It's not about being Mormon or not being Mormon.

This post isn't about non-member acceptance.

2. If I must repeat the point - it's not the sex - it's the label Mormon Mom's in conjunction with standards and principles the church is against - one of those being modesty, propriety, and morality. It's like putting "Peace" on a war crime roster or "Freedom" on a picture depicting slavery. It. Doesn't. Make. Sense. You all seem to think I'm "condemning" these women for the bare shoulders and cleavage. No. I'm not condemning them. Not at all! Rather, I AM frustrated that they would say "I'm A MORMON Mom" when what they did isn't an accurate depiction of Mormon Motherhood. Then there are others who are going to the extreme of "Oh well if she doesn't think that this calendar is appropriate she must be jealous, depressed, or submissive." Bwahahahah! Oh if you only knew me. My brother would laugh at the idea that I'm a submissive girl. In fact "fem-nazi" was a favored term of his.

This post is not about "sex is evil." Or "religion makes you ignorant." That's always a personal favorite of mine, "I'm too smart...I'm too free for standards!"

3. Yes. True. I was angry and frustrated. Yes, true, I should've taken some deep breaths. BUT, as previously stated, my opinion is the same. It's not right I freaked out - BUT my words stand. Lesson learned: talk calmly of things that upset you. Noted.

However, this post is not about perfection - anyones.

4. Yep. It is about personal choice. You made it - and you have people who will disagree with it. I guess we're all in the same boat there, eh? I think it's wrong, other's think it's okay. Well, agree to disagree, right? I just can't wrap my head around the "I'm Mormon but only some of the time" idea.

This post IS about black and white...because soon...there really won't be any gray. No more fence sitting. No more living in and of the world. And this is very VERY much my personal opinion - but really - you've gotta choose who you will serve. Who's standards are more important? What do you REALLY believe is right, and what do you really believe is wrong? Yes, black and white.

5. I'm still not here to sooth your personal bitter arguments with the Church. THOUGH - if it DOES make you feel better to rant about it - I hope you feel like you got a fair shot. I posted everything (mostly - there were a few I didn't think very - oh - constructive) - so I hope that counts.

Though - this post isn't about your personal vendetta.

6. Alot of comments were pointing out hypocrisies they see everyday associated with the Church...or rather..some of its members. Do you realize that we are on the same side? I mean - I agree!! I don't think anyone who carries the mantle of a religion or creed and then acts in the completely opposite way is in any way right. I know I've done it! And I know I wasn't right! So yes, I agree, (especially that "living in Utah Valley" commenter), there's a "culture" aspect that has been propagated by the religion that just doesn't seem to fit. This calendar is most emphatically added to that list.

Then again, this post isn't about stereotypes...at least it wasn't for me. Everyone seemed to turn it into that though. It morphed into "Judgemental!!! Old-fashioned!! (which is apparently a social taboo) Self-Righteous!!! Close-Minded!! Oh and my favorite "YOU MUST BE UGLY AND SINGLE!"" Ha - well I am single. ;) Everyone - I just found it hypocritical and degrading. Plain as that.

WELL! Thanks for the comments, thoughts, and discussions. I've definitely learned a great deal (one being to post more calmly...though again...opinion is the same), and I hope you all feel like you got your words out. No one has still explained the logic of how this calendar still falls in line with LDS standards and teachings...oh...that's probably because it doesn't. But I've heard a lot of "justifications" and grappling for "understanding." I still don't see how it's okay to represent an entire religious faction without including the standards it sets. It's a mockery of them. I guess that's it...that's why it sparked such a fire in me...I felt it was mocking true and right standards. Suggesting that "Oh yes yes we PREACH that...but come come...that's so old fashioned. I want to be liberated (which apparently is synonymous with sex) and no Church is going to tell ME I can't", just doesn't seem to fall in line with real belief to me. AND - don't take me wrong - I do not think that if you're not perfect you don't really believe - no no no - cause that really is ridiculous. What I mean is - if you are blatantly making decisions that you KNOW are against any organization you belong to, and then reveling in it without any sort of remorse - then doesn't it make you wonder if you really believe any of it?

Anyway - this calendar is degrading. It's degrading because it's hypocritical. It goes against the Mormon Church, yet they put the label "Mormon" on it. That isn't right. Black and White.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Can of WORMS...Clearly.

So CLEARLY there needs to be some issues addressed. I'm not going to address the blatantly "bitter against the Church for personal reasons and so I'm lashing out at those who try and hold to that standard and furthermore speak out about it" folks. Cause that's a losing battle. No one can convince someone else not to be bitter. If you are one those people - I can't help you.

THAT said.

I think most (okay like 90%) of you missed the point. Missed WHY I was angry. And it all had to do with a little something I call hypocrisy. Gasp! I heard some of you scoff. Oh you think I'M hypocritical? Well - the clincher here is I don't claim to be part of an organization that holds to certain values and standards and then turn around and take action against those values and standards. Yeah. THAT'S what made me so angry. That's what's SO frustrating about the situation. It's frustrating that these women would LABEL themselves - profess to BE SOMETHING (religion, race, whatever) - and then do something so blatantly against that religion and think it's okay. Are. You. Serious? That's the crux of the frustration. That's what so incredibly got under my skin. True - I perhaps should've taken a few deep breaths before a ranted - but honestly - my opinion would've been the same - and I am still frustrated.

Thus - in very very short - because really - we could all argue about this all day and I've already said I'm not out to sooth any ones personal offenses with the LDS Church. Your bitter hatred is your bitter hatred - and for the record I don't HATE any of these women - but I am disappointed and I am disgusted that they would call themselves Mormon Moms and then represent an ENTIRE religion by doing this. How is that right? Regardless if you are Mormon or Jew or black or white or American or African or English or Latin - HOW is it right profess to be part of something, and then take action that clearly goes against it. Hm? Sigh. No, I don't hate these women at all. And I will not patronize them and say "I love them" - but - the point is (and not this matters to them of course) I don't see how they can expect practicing members of the LDS Church - specifically LDS Moms - to really sit back and say "oh that's okay - I won't judge." I won't condone their actions. Someone mentioned something about being Christ-like. True - anger isn't Christlike and I've never professed to be perfect. BUT - I would also never call myself something that I'm clearly not. And I know Christ loves the women who chose to participate - and the man who instigated it. Christ is perfect, and He is the only true judge. However, I also know He wouldn't go buy one of those calendars either. That's the difference. You can love someone without condoning what they do.

The time has come to make some judgements. Not upon the person - but upon what we will tolerate - what we will stand up for - what we WON'T let carry on - what we can't turn a blind eye to - and what we will, ultimately, have to fight against. You can't just pick and choose what standards you abide by - and what you don't. Just because someone stands up and says "No I won't" or "That's not right" doesn't make them hateful, mean, or "old-fashioned." Why can't I stand up and say "That's wrong" - against this calendar - for Prop 8 - against what I've believe to be against anything good and pure in this world - and not suffer THIS kind of backlash? Like I said in my previous post - I knew I would offend people - but I didn't care - because it had to be said. What these women did by taking the name Mormon - and the sacred role Mormon Mother - and sexualizing it is wrong. That doesn't mean I don't deny the sexuality of women - Mormon or not - and we need not be ashamed of beauty. BUT - this calendar that is most clearly appealing to only the lustful desires and base "natural" carnality within us is NOT the right way. A wife and mothers sexuality is meant for husbands - not meant for all his friends to pin up in their garages. How is that respectable? And yes - I will continue to be that bold.

OH - and for the record - I went the the University of Utah thank you very much commenter who asked if I'd gone to BYU - and I was an English Major with a French Minor that included incredibly diverse classes, reading, film, which exposed me to a lot of "the world" or "varying opinions." This post isn't about judgements - this is about hypocrisy and how disgusted I am someone would dare label themselves something that they are CLEARLY not.

OH and hey - ya'll like this post - you should check my posts on Prop 8. There's some good reading.

(I do like hearing the comments. I really do - but it is my blog - and I will post what I deem appropriate.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Bitterness Syndrome is seriously trying to take me down.


Bitterness is terribly unattractive. Am I right? And "unattractiveness" is just the peak of it. You ever met a bitter old hag before? I'm in Singles Wards so I've met a few. Ha. Oh that's terrible...terribly TRUE! SNAP! Seriously though - I'm going to be very candid and say that bitterness is probably one of the most unattractive and unfortunate characteristics someone can possess. It not only eats up someone's insides, but makes them mean and unpleasent to be with. It's like a moldy Birthday cake or opening a can of rotten tuna in a flower garden. It's like the ultimate level of pessimism. The ultimate "glass half empty" perspective. It's your definitive "acid rain."

More candidness (it's not a word - but I've been listening to Stephenie Meyer and she makes up all sorts of words - tasteable being one of the most recent. Seriously?) forthcoming. Single people can fall into a very particular pot of bitter; the bitterness of hating the opposite sex. Yeah. Kinda counter productive in my mind - bitterness being so extremely unattractive. They tend to say the word "typical" a lot when witnessing a stereotypical attribute of the opposite sex and it positively FLOWS with venom. There's also those who have become bitter towards life in general - thinking anything good that happens can't last - that it isn't real. These kind of folks loose hope and don't dare be happy - because they're so soured against it ever panning out. There's the kind of bitterness that stems from years of hard work seeming not to count for anything. Finding that all the time, effort, and hard work you put in didn't exactly have the result you hoped - no - that it was SUPPOSED to have. There's a bitterness that poisons someone who had an entire life planned, and see's others living what they've always wanted. They fall into cynicism and think everyone seems to be living those lives that they'd love to have; but don't. Their bitterness and cynicism morph into hate - and they turn their backs on the world.

Those are only a few examples of how bitterness can seep into a person's heart and eat them from the inside out. Sometimes in those moments (or months ;)) I struggle the most - I wonder what I would look like if the hurt inside were manifest on the outside - on my skin. Sometimes I think I'd look like I was beaten with a large bat - all covered in bruises and bleeding. Don't you ever feel like you've been kicked inside? I likewise wonder what bitterness, those who have lost faith in good things and hope for the future, would look like on the outside. I imagine something resembling dark green mold or black rotteness, or maybe something more hopeless like withered skin or a sickly, translucent palor.

That said - it seems like bitterness is out to snag me. How's that for irony? You've all heard the "how Europe fell through and my life has been in shambles for quite sometime now" story. But I always believed that it would merely take time and effort for things to start looking up again. I mean you hit I point where there's not much else you can lose, ya know? Once you almost grip your dreams - snag all those things you've ever hoped and wished and prayed for for your entire life - and then lose it - you can't help but believe it can ONLY get better.

Today, bitterness really took a charge at me. I've been apt searching for awhile. I need to be out of my Aunt's house by the first day of January. Of course she's not kicking me out! They just need the room for another "squatter", and it's time for me to move on. I've looked and called and felt pretty hopeful about many apts. The most recent one I looked at - awesome location, awesome roomies, awesome location, and decent price - I felt sure I would be moved into by this weekend, fell through. Again. Today "the girl" informed me that she'd decided not to move out and the apartment wasn't available. I'd been waiting 5 days; 5 days now lost to search for a place, to hear that verdict. I admit I was pretty disappointed. It was hard to swallow - and I really didn't think my insides could take anymore disappointment. It added a black eye to my "if my insides were outside" bruises. It's like picking at a scab or stitches being removed too soon. It just bleeds and hurts again, ya know? All I could do was shake my head and mumble "Of course not..." In that spirit I also read a few blogs and one I frequent just posted about how she travels to really exotic places for her job and had just spent some time in one of those exotic places. Oh, did I mention she also just got engaged? Yeeeeeah. Sigh. I sighed outloud just now reading it...and felt another little tiny bit of that bitter bug bite me for the first time in my life. I thought how much I just wanted a modest little space of my own, pay that allows me to have it, a vehicle that I'm not constantly scared of driving, and yes, lets admit it, a tiny bit of companionship to bring it all home - in cat or boy form. Whatever. It doesn't seem like much! I want those things so much I can FEEL it pull at me all the time...I was starting to feel bitter. I thought maybe I would just give up those modest dreams and realize that maybe those things I considered simple desires - just plain weren't for me. Then SNAP! I was really jolted by the intensity of that bitter feeling. It freaked me out! I'm not a bitter person! No need to add withered skin to my bruised body! I usually just roll with the punches and am extremely stubborn about hanging on to my dreams...even if they've all seemed to grow moldy, turn black, and fall at my feet.

The point is - though homelessness is looming - I don't make nearly enough money to feel - oh - "taken care of" - and I push and push until I don't think I can push anymore - I'm not letting that bitterness syndrome snag me! Not this time! YOU HEAR THAT BITTERNESS??!??! EH? The last thing I need is to add a severly unattractive quality to my already (and still) rather pathetic existence at the moment. I won't have any of it! And to hold me to that promise - I blogged about it. That's right! Internet - you are holding me accountable. And even when I'm living in a HD-TV Box on Temple Square in two weeks - I will be HAPPY about it and won't ever shake my fist at the sky in self-centered indignation. The bitter bug will NOT get me this winter, nor ever, no matter what.

So let it be written...so let it be done.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Me so smart...smrt...I mean smart

So, I woke up a little late for church today. It's at 9:00 - which I really like - but I stayed up late last night watching some John and Kate Plus 8 with a dash of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at a friend's house I'm house-sitting for. I love cable. Can I just say? I appreciate it so much more now that I don't have it. Mostly, I love TLC. Loves it precious.

At any rate, got up late for church. THUS, I was somewhat rushing to get ready so I wouldn't miss the sacrament. I got there just as they were finishing the opening song. I felt rather pleased with myself considering I had left AT 9:00 and had to drive slowly on the snowy roads. Snowy...slowly. Good bumper sticker. I sat through all 3 hours - a pretty decent 3 hours I might add - and then headed home to fix myself some Velveeta shells and cheese avec (with) chicken in a can (a little recipe I picked up from a friend). Mm hmm. As I put the pot on to boil, I felt the need to pull my hair back. I've been trying to grow it out, and it's in that "I freaking hate my hair and want to chop it off" stage. Just an awkward length. Gr. I have a vision - however - of what I want my hair to look like in the end. I'd like my hair to look like Stacy London - seen here
I told you I loved TLC. But she really does have the most beautiful dark hair I've ever seen. This will likely take me a good long while and I probably won't make it - but I'm sure going to try! It's getting there. I'm giving it until the summer. Then we'll see if it's still worth it.

Anyway...

I go into the bathroom to pull my hair back and what do I find? WELL! I find that I have placed one white pearl earring in one ear and one round red earring in the other ear. Yes. I was wearing two different earrings. How in the WORLD did I manage that? I could've sworn on everything good I had put two pearl earrings in my ears that morning. I guess I was in more of a rush than I thought! My sweater was maroon - so perhaps the folks at church thought I was trying to be clever? Like...oh...I guess her sweater is kinda red...and then there's the pearl which matches anything...so maybe she's making a statement? Am I THAT style savvy that I can make a mistake like that and have people think it was on purpose? Naw!! They knew I was retarded for sure. What would Stacy and Clinton think of my mis-matched earrings?!? Me Soooooo Smart. Lesson: get up on time for church. Although, I guess it's better than having my skirt tucked in my tights or my fly undone. Yeah - that would've been way worse. Snort..ha.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Deja Vu over and over...and over

I feel like I've done this all before. My life is on repeat. It really is. The lost job and then getting another one in a completely unexpected place (BYU last year and USHE in SLC this year). Having to financially claw my way through the first few months of "getting back on your feet", as well as a dash of personal heart explosion and general "no really, does it get worse?" Mmm hmm. I think I've done all that before - and now I'm doing it again. Though - like last time - once it started to improve - it kept on getting better and better. CS Lewis said something like that once, "When things go bad, they tend on getting worse for sometime. But once things start going right, they get keep on getting better and better." Not a direct quote - but DARN CLOSE! I guess it falls into that whole "darkest before the dawn" idea I suppose. Though the apex of my dawn last time turned out to be another driving force down into DOOM! DOOM! DOOOOOOO...cough! Hack! Ahem...sorry, got a little carried away.

At any rate - the De Ja Vu continues. Besides having "situational repeats" - it's incredibly strange to be back in SLC again. I love SLC - I just didn't think I'd be back so soon. Provo seemed like an enjoyable "new" place for me for awhile. But I guess that isn't the plan, ya know? I'm also going back to the UofU to get my MPA in the Fall (God willing...I hope I hope) which I also never thought I'd do. I didn't want to go back to the U - but back to the U I shall go. Not to mention I'm apt searching (though honestly I think I found the most amazing place - I'm waiting to hear back from "the girl" today) downtown as well. And what "SLC Revisited" moment would be complete without the latest addition to my life......a second job. (Sorry mom - I know you keep hoping for a "man announcement" but lets be honest). I am once again a proud employee of Barnes and Noble! Yes! I love this job. I really do. I worked at the B&N last summer (that's Summer 07) until I moved to Provo for a "teaching job." Being an English major working at B&N is both heavenly and expensive. In the 4 hours I was there today - I already started making a mental list of all the great books and music I would purchase with my employee discount. Oh wait - except even with a discount 0 money doesn't make it too far. Crap. I'm also just a "seasonal" worker - but I hope to schmooz enough to stay on longer. I'd love to have this job until August when I start my MPA program. I desperately need the extra cash (who doesn't right?) and I like staying nice and busy. This job and my "real" job DEFINITELY do that.

Oh didn't I tell you? I'm going to St. George again this week :) Yup! Mini-vacation #2. At least I don't have to drive to Hurricane. This time I'm doing presentations at Desert Hills Middle School. I don't mind going - but to be frank - it would be nice to have some volunteers pick up some of those presentations. I will be going down to St. George 4 more times in January. Phew. Sure wish it were June when these presentations were going on. Sheesh! Just my luck it's the middle of winter and my Marriott Town Suites only has an outdoor pool....aaaaaaand hot tub. Mmm. Hot tub.

At any rate - it seems like life is on repeat - and I'm not sure why that is - but hopefully history will NOT repeat itself again. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to take it. Once the dawn breaks and things continue to improve - they had really better just keep on keepin on. Ya know what I mean? No more Doom. No more dashed expectations. Just a few "happily ever afters." Wouldn't mind putting those on repeat.

Monday, December 8, 2008

So what does this say about me? A guy post...about the guys...

I don't post my opinion on "the mens" much. Nor do i discuss them, maybe sometimes allude to them, but generally avoid the "what's with men" subject entirely upon the blog. I'd like to say it's just because I don't have interest in posting about my personal dating life, blah blah blah, but truthfully I don't have one to post about. Ha! So...maybe that's why I don't bring it up...it's a life-long pathetic situation. It's kinda something I've always been confused about and on the "outer-skirts" of. Of all the things I'm good at, and though I am reasonably self-assured in most aspects of my life, men and dating does not happen to be one of them. Not. Even. Remotely. Oh my, I sound like an awkward teenage boy wondering how to "impress the girls." The truth is - I don't like feeling awkward or uncomfortable or "out of my element." Dating is a combination of all those things for me. Perhaps it's because I have all brothers - I'm more comfortable having "friendships/brotherships/playing sports-ships" type relationships with the mens. I guess that's what feels more natural - a little more comfortable. And even a little worse, I have no interest in "impressing" them either. As a general concept - I don't pay much attention to them really - and it's incredibly rare that one catches my "pa-tic-ular" attention. But THAT kind of situation has happened "seriously" like 3 times, and I had no clue what I was supposed to do with that entire range of emotions. Only one of those 3 could be considered a relationship, and the others were shadows of what might've been a relationship but "not really." Yeah, one of THOSE. And yes, I've only really "dated" someone once...when I was 24. I'm 25 now. Mm hmm. Lots of first dates. I'm really not sure why that is - cause I'm not a "man-eater" (anymore...ha ha...oh those angry Morrisette-esque High School days...thank goodness we all get beyond them) I really like hanging around the mens. Generally I prefer their company to girls if I had to choose - and not in the "oh you're so manly way" - but because guys are simple. They're funny. They are bigger and protecting! I like 'em! I like 'em just how they are. I'm just not good at dating them come to find.

My Grandma says I'm picky - I like to think I'm not easily persuaded. I think this because the kind of guy I DO like - tend to be incredibly - er - dorky. In a GOOD way. In an endearingly adorable way. In a way most girls don't traditionally "dig." And thus we come to the inspiration for this rare "so like guys, right?" post. I'm in St. George, hanging with my baaaaad self, eating some delicious pizza, sipping a Diet Coke, and watching MTV's MADE. The story is about a boy named Tanner...seen here.And Tanner is a dork. He's preppy (totally Gap'ed), he listens to 50's music, collects rocks and plays the french horn, has a cheesy sense of humor, wears horn-rimmed glasses, is the worst cross-country runner ever, gets good grades, never had a g/f, and is probably the most adorable boy I've ever seen. He should go to BYU. Seriously. They'd eat him up. However, this boy wants to be a "hip hop cool guy" to impress "the ladies." And out loud, I kid you not, I say "Oh my goodness I would date you right now! You're so cute." What?!?! Yes. And suddenly I thought "what does this say about ME!?! (Oh my, he just asked a cute little cheerleader to go to Homecoming with him, presenting her with homemade cookies and a flower, how cute. Aw). So, clearly, I'm for SURE not picky. Or, I don't like the "stereotype" I guess. I do not like the "overtly socialized" cool - but too me - those little "nerdy" nuances make that type of boy cool to me. Just like this poor Tanner boy (he just said "Jimminy Christmas"- he's so cute and MUCH better then those lame "bad-ass" boys with big trucks and idiot egos). I don't like Brodie's, Brad Pitts, Justin Timberlakes or even Mr. Darcy's. Naw. I like Jim's, Mr. Bingley's, and the silly side-kick (he just showed his "Coach" his Disney movies). You can have your "dark and mysteriously troubled" hard core cool dudes - cause really - it leaves more simply content, adorably cheesy, and slightly insecure dork-boys for me (ha - he just holler dog - awesome).

So really, what does that say about me? I like dorky dudes and am a completely backwards "teenage boy" when it comes to dating. I'll be honest - I'm pretty scared of it! I may not have had a lot of experience with "dating" but I'm very acquainted with the hurt that comes with it - even in my "not really" relationships - and dating just seems to bring out more negative and crappy than good. I'm probably wrong - I hope I'm wrong - buuuuut I'm less than talented at the dating games and relationship situations so I really don't know. What to do? Avoid it. Good idea. ;) Cliche of course - but a good idea.

My brother says I'm scary. Scary? Really? Well he said I was "scary" in High School. Okay I could see that - kinda a fem-nazi. Now I think when he says it it's more "you're intimidating." Seth, dude, I'm 5'1 and a buck...er...under a buck 15...probably just as nerdy as any of the boys I have been drawn too (read Star Trek, X-Files, Book Worm, English Major), and pretty average looking myself. Intimidating? Bah! Naw...but somehow... 1 and er... 3/4ths "relationship" experiences later...hmmm. Perhaps another post for another time.

Well if anything, at least I know I'm not picky. Phew. That helps. Now how about that pesky "no dating life" problem. Meh. I guess starting to care more would help. Yes, caring would help a good amount (whooooa...T-Smooth (Tanner) has a pretty rockin six-pack and some serious moves..hmmm...maybe a "little" hip-hop cool is sexy). But I'm kinda emotionally exhausted of "caring." I think I'd rather not care for a little while longer. Fill in some raw holes inside that haven't fully healed. They just keep resurfacing like some incredibly persistent sore. That's sort of the backlash of "not being easily persuaded" - cause I'm a rather tender soul and take a long long...long long...long time to heal once I'm hurt. Another good reason to generally avoid it...or at least...be very, VERY, careful.

WELL! Don't know if THAT "shouldn't you take your issues to a couch and a professional?" post will make a reappearance. Not even sure what I was supposed to get out of that little musing. Maybe a few strides towards feeling "filled in" again. Maybe.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Growing up and doing "big girl" things

I'm going on a business trip. I know right? A BUSINESS trip. After 25 years - I've finally grown up. I also want you to note I'm renting a car for this venture - because I'm of age to do that too. 25 is the last hurtle to jump over before society finally considers you old enough (hoping you are also responsible enough) to take on such things as driving, going to "real"jail if you break the law, voting, drinking, and finally, renting a car. Maybe by the time you can rent a car all the 16 year old crazy "I'm invincible" ideas are gone, you've never really broken the law, the drinking is either non-existent or "responsible" for those who do drink, and you're politically aware enough to make educated voting choices. All very important pre-reqs to finally, FINALLY, fully enter adulthood and rent that car! Not only do I get to rent a car (which really - would've been extremely helpful in California when both my friend and I were 24 and car-less - psh), but I will drive my rent-a-car to St. George and stay in a Marriott for "business" for two days. Cool right? I mean - yes it's not Washington DC or Seattle or LA - but hey, it's a business trip for work on the company's dime. Oober cool. Oober grown up.

I should've probably saved this post for when I had pics of my hotel room to myself (a total first), of the rent-a-car (which will be better than the Ranger no matter how you look at it), and the room service I will order. Yeah - I'm going to order some room service at least ONCE! It makes the whole "I'm going on a business trip" venture really authentic - very Hollywood even. It's like when I got my business cards a couple weeks ago (yeah! I know, right? Business cards. "Why yes, here take my card and call me.") only better. Truth be told it could be better because I had the option of taking a chartered private plane down. Buuuut - those little planes scare me and honestly - I actually like driving in the car. Throw in some music I can screech out at the top of my lungs or a book on CD and I'm quite content. I even like driving in silence with my own thoughts sometimes. At any rate...

I am going on a business trip this Sunday-Tuesday to St. George, Utah. And though I still feel like I'm living a "student life of poverty" (because I am) I'm not going to let that stop me from feeling like a "big girl." Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go rent some Kung Fu Panda and order a pizza.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Scratch the Den of Rape Idea - Turns out it's No Good.

So here's a great story. Strap in.

We are no longer to become the happy (though constantly skittish and shifty eyed) residents of the lovingly deemed "Den of Rape." PHEW! Right? Mom? EH?!??! Here's how it went down.

Sunday rolls around. Nik and I had just finished moving in most of our stuff on Saturday to The Den. What's really awesome about that is the power wasn't able to be turned back on until Monday - so we dropped of most (read 99%) of our meager belongings, had the wonderful John put together my bed, and then grabbed some of the necessary articles for sleeping and "readying" ourselves for Sunday and Monday. I had been house sitting for...er...someone from work and was used to happily being spoiled by a What Not to Wear Marathon on big screen HDTV all of Friday afternoon, followed awesomely by a few Little People, Big World episodes. Sadly - I did not catch any John and Kate Plus 8. Sigh. Also of note - I got a bit of a head cold over Thanksgiving (because if I ever get sick it's always over Holidays. Always.), thus the nice big arm chair, large TV, and yappy though lovable doggy dog, were welcome companions. If you're going to have a headcold, that's the way to do it. Point is - moving into the Den of Rape seemed even more dreary after HDTV and comfy East Bench location safety. Yup. Dismal.

Sunday morning rolls around. I hear the familiar "ding ding" of my phone indicating a text. If I were cool - I would be more excited wondering who it could be - buuuuuuut having been a loser for awhile now - knew it was either my Mom or Nikelle. It was Nikelle...and I semi-quote: "Yeah. Not feeling the Den of Rape. We shall discuss." We meet up for the churching - and discuss the Den of Rape. Nik's sister Marlo, has decided that she will also be skittish and shift eyed the entire time we are staying at the Den. She'd rather we not move there. Also - Nik is trying to save some moo-lah for a possible relocation to South Carolina in the future. She has decided that though it sucks mostly - she can handle sleeping on her sisters couch for free for awhile - in order to save money for "the big move." Honestly - I felt relieved (though slightly annoyed that I now had to move all my crap BACK to T-ville). Moving is rough, ya know? True I only have two huge suitcases and a few other little odds and ends BUT moving large items in any sense of the word - most especially two days in a row - is rough. Sigh. I need a go-to guy (read kind boyfriend of sorts) for the moving of large awkward heavy objects. Sometimes - it's not even that I'm not strong enough (again, sometimes) - it's the girth of an object that causes me issues. When it's bigger than me - it makes it MUCH more awkward. Think on it. Also think on the fact I now have a fully assembled bed to consider. Hm. At least I have a bed now. The glass is half full all over the place.

At any rate, I moved my stuff back to Taylorsville (sans bed which John let me keep in The Den for now), and am on the hunt again. It should be a little easier, however, since I am looking for my lone self. I checked out an apt in downtown SLC tonight - ironically 5 blocks from The Mansion where I used to live before moving to Provo last year - and felt really encouraged about it. Reasonable price. Fan-tas-tic location. Nice Roomies. My own little roomy room WITH a closet (read no more suitcases - praise the Lord) and a Washer and Dryer IN THE UNIT (Holla!!). So I am hopeful. Things are slowly....very very slowly...starting to come back together. And hey - the Den of Rape is out of the equation so really - it wasn't getting MUCH worse than that. Am I right? So right.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sometimes you need

A

reallyGreatHoliday
Party
anthropolgie.com


And then...

A Handsome Friend to Match Your Holiday Party

Or even just...

Somewhere
Something
Someone
Cozy Warm


Right there...

Sometimes you need...

All of the above.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A real first

I experienced something amazing today for the very first time. It's comparable to getting your first "real" apartment, taking your first European trip, or even getting your first kiss.

Today - for the first time since it opened in Utah over a year ago - I went to IKEA. True story. This strategically placed super stylish and affordable "we got everything you could ever want for your home" store always remained a rather frightening mystery to me. Anytime I ventured this way or that beyond or back over point of the mountain, and saw IKEA glowing blue and yellow near the 123rd south exit (no really - brilliant location - RIGHT between SLC and Provo. Whoever thought of putting it there was a pure genius and should have gotten a HEFTY raise), it's happy banners flapping in the Wasatch breeze. I admit it was daunting - seeing this happy store of furnishings I'd only ever heard of or witnessed friends drive across states for. It's like the H&M of home furnishings! However, I don't like crowds, I don't like a lot of hype, and IKEA seemed like the place for super hype and super (crazy suburban mom) crowds. I never went, never went, never went.

Until tonight! I needed to find a twin bed for the Den of Rape. Make sense right? Well - I had noticed upon driving out to T-ville many times, that the Furniture Warehouse was having a 75% off sale. Oooo! That should reduce some of those furnishings to "affordability." I don't know how I keep forgetting I'm below the poverty level. Den. Of. Rape. Hello! Wake up! NO really - sleep with one eye open. Anyway - that little trip tonight was a bust. I was at the point of considering finding one of those egg-carton funny cushy things you take camping and a solid sleeping bag to begin the Den of Rape experience. Then, Nikelle convinced me to try IKEA. Alright - it's time to finally try IKEA.

Look what I gots!!!
Listen. This bed, frame, "slats", and mattress came to a grand total of $264. I know, right? Who knew? Well apparently everyone but me did. Ahem. Never the less. I found many, many, MANY an item I would consider purchasing for Nik and I's future abode away from the Den of Rape, and the real kicker is, I could possibly REALLY get it.

So, comparable to all life's firsts, those first kisses, your first pair of heels, your first date, and your first degree...stepping into IKEA for the first time gave me butterflies and most importantly, a longing for more. So. Much. More.

(Did I say your first degree in there? Ha. Wow - education snob right here, "Why yes my FIRST degree...because I have several...mwa mwa mwa...)

Monday, November 24, 2008

When life give you lemons...it sure sucks

Last Saturday Nikelle and I went apartment hunting. I've been living with my Aunty in Taylorsville since mid-October. Previous to that I was in "the Mansion" squatting and a month before that in California, being suckered into a non-existent fairy tale, and before that, I can't even remember. Provo seems like an entire other life that barely may not have really existed. Nikelle has been living at her sisters in Bountiful. We both work downtown and needless to say, even though we greatly appreciate our awesome families for letting us crash with them in our shambled, jobless at the time, completely poverty ridden lives, you can only live on families good graces for so long. I mean, even family love has SOME limits. Ha! Not to mention - we're both way to old for this crap.

So we went apartment hunting on Saturday. We've both barely found new jobs and only been getting paychecks for a little over a month now. I hit ZERO moneys back in August, and trying to build yourself up again from nothing is a rather trying pursuit. I'm going to go ahead and say that's putting it lightly - extremely lightly - we're taking "I Can't Believe it's not Butter" lightly.

We've been trying to save some money, but again, trying to build completely from the ground up takes time - a lot of time - a lot of saving - and a lot of patience. Come to find we can't afford to move out. It's too expensive for our meager budgets still. But, we can't stay where we're at anymore either. So what do we do? I will tell you what we do...

We move to The Den of Rape. I heard you gasp. As you SHOULD! The Den of Rape doesn't sound good at all does it? Though when I came up with it I thought it was rather clever. I now just call it "The Den" (mostly for my mother's sake). Let me explain to you why I call it that. It's funny - in a so not funny and a little scary kind of way. Our friend John has a small studio in Downtown SLC. I mean studio's are small anyway right? But this thing is teeny. Perfect for a half person - and perhaps a whole person if you are a man and don't come with a lot of "stuff." John would like to rid himself of this studio - however - his lease is not up until April. Also, John's little studio's location is a little...oh what can you call it....schmarmy. Or at least schmarmier than any place Nik and I have ever lived. As females you have to automatically discount certain areas or apartment complexes for your own good. Just by the LOOKS of 'em - or their relative location to local 7-11's. Thus, you end up always paying a little more to feel comfortable. The sorry truth is, neither Nik nor myself have "a little more..." in fact we have less than "a little" usually tipping into practically nothing. However, as our time at family's abodes runs out, but our financial means isn't quite where it needs to be to afford monthly rent AND a deposit, we are taking over John's teeny studio in schmarmy land - across from a 7-11 - for an undisclosed amount of time. You heard me right - we're BOTH moving in - to a studio. Us, two twin beds, one TV, a kitchen and a bath. The Den of Rape.

Nik and I are used to sharing a room. We've shared a room as roomies for years - and though we had a glorious stint where we each had our own room for awhile - that was a mere passing fancy. We've digressed - and not even back to "poor student" status but "living in poverty in a tiny studio with creepers" status. Really, it follows the "shambles" pattern both of our lives have morphed into. You will often hear us asking such questions as: "Why did I get a degree again?" or "What's the point of working 40 hours and still having nothing?" or even more important, "Why did I take out student loans to get an education under the guise of being able to pay them off when I was employed at my "you must have a degree" job that pays well?" Caaaaaause, we're wondering that pretty frequently right about now.

Education in valuable - and I think everyone should get a degree. Most people don't end up like us - sharing a shabby studio near 7-11's. So luckily (luckily?) we are the exception to the rule. I have decided to go back to school in August to get my MPA - Masters in Public Adminstration. And I'm doing it for the money. That's right! I know I'll enjoy it and it's something I'll be good at - but I'm not going to 1. Live like this anymore and education plus experience is the only way to increase m value and 2. Hope that I might have the incredible blessing of adding a second income to my own in the near future...cause I've somewhat given up on THAT too, for now. Another post for another time...carrying on...

What's really awesome though - is even if we found an apartment - I sold all our FANTASTIC furniture because I was GOING TO EUROPE for a year. Not only is all my furniture gone - but all my kitchen supplies, my bed, lots of clothes, everything. I've been living out of my suitcase since the end of July, and I'm about to zip them up again and move to yet another less than desirable location where I will continue to live out of my suitcase for who knows how much longer. I will admit it's rather convenient though. Zip zip and I'm off. Not exactly the romantic gypsy lifestyle I'd envisioned - but gypsy-esque none the less.

Sometimes, it takes awhile for things to really hit me. They have to ruminate for a time, slosh around and feel itself out before I can find some sort of emotional response. I also tend to keep a stiff upper lip for a long time - convincing myself that all will be well, it can't go on like this forever, and it really can't get much worse. That helps - but only for so long. It's hard to lift yourself up with your own bootstraps when you haven't even the boots. When Europe fell through, though it really sucked, I was okay at first. I thought things would work out - and I will move on. My friend Steve was able to fall right back in step - and it really encouraged me because I thought I would fall back in step too, eventually. But to be frank, things are far far FAR worse than before Europe came around - and that little risky venture has plunged me MUCH further into things it was supposed to save me from. I've never felt bitter or angry at the situation - because I believe these things happen for a reason - but I finally felt some serious anger towards Bob tonight. I'd never felt that before - but tonight - as sometimes things hit us when we're already down - I was pretty annoyed. We've not heard from him in over two months, and I know we'll never hear from him again, but I just don't think he ever understood exactly what we gave up. Literally everything. And in the end - I feel like I have negative everything, and not just the material.

Now that I've been living with these consequences for awhile - it's starting to wear on me a little more. I'm getting tired, ya know? The ONLY redeeming thing that keeps me trucking is my fantastic job. I really enjoy it. And though I'm not making an amazing amount of money, I feel good there. I feel comfortable. I feel like I'm part of something. And it's given me educational opportunities that otherwise I was unsure of. THAT - in and of itself turns some of these sucky moldy and constantly reappearing life lemons into a swallow of lemonade. A spoonful of sugar. I just sure hope the rest of those sour suckers turn themselves into juice soon. The Den of Rape is pretty far from resembling any sort of lemonade.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Busted Again! GO UTES!

You may have heard a little celebrating, perhaps some hardy hurrahs and basically EXPLOSIVE noise issuing forth from Rice Eccles Stadium Saturday night. The Utes beat rivals BYU in a 48-24 BLOW OUT! What you may not of heard is the impromptu crowd chorus "Na na na na....na na na na...Hey Hey Hey...Goodbye!" nor seen the entire muss section (and beyond) of Ute football fans waving a loving goodbye to the BYU fans section as they left the stadium with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter - BYU trailing by 2 touchdowns. Honestly I was surprised they'd given up so soon - considering what happened the last two years at the big game (BYU coming back to win Utah with 1 minute left in the game). Of course, those were the days of J. Beck - not the days of University of Utah voted MVP of the game Cougar QB Max Hall. With 6 interceptions - several of which resulted in touchdowns for Utah - Max Hall was an intricate part of making this a true Ute Victory. My cap goes off to him - Thank You Max Hall! And Austin Collie didn't make much of a showing either. He didn't do anything particularly terrible like his buddy Hall, but he didn't do anything spectacular either. No 4th & 18 this year Collie! B. Johnson played one of the most consistent games I've ever seen, and of course the Ute defense was in top form. BRING ON THE BCS BOWL GAME BABY! 12-0! Boo-yes!

And now - the final verse of the Blasphemous Book of Andrea Chapter 1:2-3

"And it came to pass that the mighty Utes attained the victory they had so diligently sought. And there was great rejoicing throughout the land of Salt Lake City. For the Utes knew that after defeating those proud Cougars of the South - they would become BCS Bowl eligible - and thus continue in the work for the "quest for perfection." Indeed - it came to pass that the proud Cougars had been brought low, even to the dust, by their leader, Max Hall, having fumbled and given the ball unto the Utes for steadfast scoring.

And it came to pass, the Utes had taken the quest of the Cougars for their own, and thus had moved it north, making the quest for perfection a reality for the Utes. And as the cougars returned to that bubbled valley in which they'd come, a great cry went up from their land. And there were many who hid their faces from their Crimson Clad neighbors, greatly humbled by their loss.

And so it was, the Utes gained their chosen victory, had carried a 12-0 season, and were awaiting their rightful place as a BCS Bowl contender."

For Full Game Coverage: Utah Mountain West Champs; Utes rout BYU 48-34

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This weekend I...

Went to the ballet.


My friend Terilyn and I saw "The Tempest" as a ballet. I love the ballet, and I love Shakespeare, thus I was very curious to see how the two would meld. Honestly I was skeptical given that Shakespeare is Shakespeare because of his excellent command of language, prose, theme, meaning, plot, everything literary and brilliant. It's the language of Mr. Shakes that makes him brilliant and timeless. Where as ballet - well - is rather "wordless", right? That said - it was beautifully done and I am so astounded by the beauty, discipline, and sheer movement of the dancers that I would be happy watching ballet every weekend. However, I felt if you weren't familiar with the play, The Tempest, it probably wouldn't have been as enjoyable. Shakespeare is a hard genre to translate through ballet. Like I said, it relies heavily on language, and ballet has no "language" of the spoken variety at any rate. Still, a loverly evening once Terilyn and I finally found each other.

Story: I left my phone at my Aunts in Taylorsville that night. DAH! Seriously. What in the world does one DO without one's PHONE? We were supposed to meet at the Gateway - but hadn't solidified the "where." I mean oh hey - "I'll just call you when I get there.." is a common solution to indecision. Well durn-it all to heck (aka damn it all to hell to the...non-Utahn/hick?), I forgot my bleepin phone! I had to quickly strategize. I went into Haagan Daaz and drowned my annoyance in Mint Chocolate Chip - just kidding - I asked to use their phone FROM which I called my mother, who gave me my Aunts cell, who gave me my Uncles' cell, who was 5 minutes from the house and would find my phone and look up Terilyn's phone number. Meanwhile, Terilyn had come to the Gateway, called me 4 times, texted, went to her office to see if I'd emailed her about a hang up and she hadn't seen it, and was contemplating phoning the police to drag the river for my body. Luckily, I got her phone number and called before the police could start their search. We grabbed a cookie (since dinner was swallowed up in "I can't believe I left my @$%&! phone at the HOUSE!) and made it to the ballet just fine. Phew. Nice adventure. I've now decided to create a mini-phone list on a little card and keep it in my wallet. Think of being strandad in some forsaken desert where there happens to be a small shanty with a land line and you can't call anyone because you left your #$%^@! cell phone at home. Yeah. Technology isn't so convinient NOW is it? Not so reliable in a pinch NOW! So I'm making a hard copy. A back up.

I also...

Saw James Bond Quantum of Solace with my friend Crowther. See sidebar for review...(subliminal message: Daniel Craig is sexy)

Then..

Crowther and I went to Lumpys (a Sports Bar in SLC - that's right - I went to a Sports Bar. I should've taken a picture because I know many of you can't imagine me hanging out in a sports bar with the "bar-people"), and watched the UTES crush San Diego State. It was a fun experience sitting with folks and cheering on the Utes. And of course, for some reason bar food is always delicious. I had me 5 rounds of Diet Coke. I know right? How irresponsible of me. At least I was WIDE awake on the drive home - all jittery and what not. A little "too much" to drink during my first experience at a Sports Bar. And there was no way I could sleep it off...bwahah..ha...cough.

And that's what I did. Happy Happy Weekends that fly by too fast and now Monday is upon us. I wish it were a Holiday of some sort. Can I tell you? I LOVE Monday holidays. I think they're better than Christmas. They make Sunday evening so much more enjoyable and when you get to work on Tuesday, what ho?, only 4 days left. But, tomorrow is not a holiday, and I'm coming down from a Diet Coke binge, so this Sunday is a little rough. Churched it of course - and now I think I'm overdue for a Sunday nap. Now's the time to "sleep it off"..ha ha...ha...okay, still not funny. (Shuffle away in shame...)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

LDS Church a Scapegoat for Angry Gay-Activists

I'm sure you've all heard what's been going on in LA as a "backlash" to the passing of Prop 8 and the LDS Churches involvement in that campaign. Rallies are being held and protesters have gathered outside the Los Angeles Temple, condemning the Churches powerful involvement in the passage of Prop 8. Clearly, these groups did not think that one church, or rather MANY churches of Christian sympathies, would be able to rally together and voice their opinions on such a deeply controversial matter, and then essentially "win." Well – SURPRISE! Religion is not dead. And now that the opposition realizes there are some people (religious denominations aside) who still believe that marriage should only be entered into by a man and a woman, they're now resorting to what I see very much as hate crimes. Vandalism (2 LDS churches being vandalized in Colorado), degrading religious epithets, mockery, in some cases violence, and the specifically singling out of one religion, the LDS religion, as a target for their hate and disdain is not something the Church hasn't fallen prey to before. It's been prosecuted for its beliefs in the past and as the world hastens to sink into an abyss of loose morals and crumbling ideals, I fear that it will face even greater persecutions yet to come.

That said, apparently those that opposed Proposition 8 can justify their uncivil and despicable actions on the grounds of "freedom" and "choice" yet, when the Church very civilly and with all due respect to the opposition makes their voice heard and campaigns for their beliefs, suddenly the Church is the bigots. The CHURCH persecutes. The Church shouldn't be involved. And why not? Suddenly only "freedom and agency", especially that to express belief and then take action, is only limited to the few…Apparently it only applies to those who are opposed to Prop 8.

The proponents of 8 as well as the opposition both have rights to campaign for their beliefs, specifically, of what marriage is and what it should be. If those who opposed Proposition 8 had won that battle, do you think the Church would've rallied its members to vandalize cars, target homosexual couples with degrading slurs and stand outside THEIR homes with signs condemning them? No. They would not. They have not. And they will not. What's even more interesting is the involvement of many religious groups rallying for Prop 8, and only the LDS Church being targeted. Only the LDS Church is being threatened. Suddenly, any and all other proponents of 8 have become invisible to the media as well as to those who protest the passage of Prop 8. If I may quote an article from the LA Times:

""I am appalled at the level of Mormon-bashing that went on during the Proposition 8 campaign and continues to this day," he [Jeff Flint, strategist for Yes on 8] said. "If this activity were directed against any other church, if someone put up a website that targeted Jews or Catholics in a similar fashion for the mere act of participating in a political campaign, it would be widely and rightfully condemned."

Members and leaders of the Catholic Church and other Christian churches were also heavily involved in the campaign to pass Proposition 8. The Knights of Columbus, which is tied to the Catholic Church, gave $1 million, and several evangelical groups gave millions more. But they have not come under the same kind of attack."

The Church supported the passage of this proposition, encouraged its passage, but it's the PEOPLE who voted. The people of California as a whole voted FOR the passage of Proposition 8 and I guarantee that the Mormon population in California ALONE did NOT hold enough votes within its membership to make that happen. Other citizens, others who believe that marriage should only be instigated between a man and a woman, made their voices heard too. One such significant group were Latino's and African Americans from a variety of backgrounds - religious and otherwise It's ridiculous that the Church has been so specifically targeted by these groups:

"Lorri L. Jean, chief executive of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, which organized the rally outside the temple, announced the launch of a new website, invalidateprop8.org, which will raise money to fight for same-sex marriage rights in California.

For every $5 donated, Jean said, a postcard will be sent to the president of the Mormon church condemning "the reprehensible role the Church of Latter-day Saints leadership played in denying all Californians equal rights under the law.""

Wow, great game plan. And to what end Ms. Jean? I'd like to know. Do you think that President Monson didn't KNOW that there would be these kinds of reactions? Didn't you think he KNEW exactly what would happen when he and the brethren decided to become involved in such a campaign? And your big plan is to send him POSTCARDS? And to what end? Do you think (clearly not) as a leader of a large religious group he's not dealt with "hate" mail or at the very least mailed protests against church principles or beliefs before? Do you think you've thought of something new? Do you think that will change the stance of the Church on this matter? Because I can tell you – it won't.

The point is – the ONLY reason these people (defined as those who are rallying against the LDS Churches right to support what they believe) are protesting is because they were blindsided. They thought they would win and they didn't – so now they need a scapegoat, they need a target for their hate and frustration – and they've chosen the LDS Church. Even in Salt Lake City – those who didn't even have a chance to VOTE for or against a proposition in CALIFORNIA – gathered at the headquarters and at the SLC Temple of the Church to protest such involvement. I recall seeing a sign saying "Keep discrimination INSIDE the Church." It seems like there is a deeper personal bitterness there that is only fed by the disdain someone has gained against a specific religion. Joseph Smith once prophesied that you can't be "on the fence" about the Church. Either you're in or you're not. And those that have left just seem to not be able to leave it alone. They can't just walk away – they have to destroy it. They have to hate it.

Of course protesters have the right to do that. It's not the freedom to protest I'm sickened by. That's America and that's their right. That's every one's right. However, what people forget is just as they can exercise THEIR rights to vote and believe what they want, others have that exact same right. And someone – somewhere – when votes are cast and ballads are counted – loses. It's inevitable. The real judge of character and belief is how you REACT to that situation.

I ask again – if Prop 8 hadn't passed – even with the involvement of not only the LDS Church but ALL the religious affiliates who were involved – what would the reaction have been. More specifically, since the opposition has made this so specific, what would the LDS Churches reaction have been? Would they continue to support any proposition that protected the sanctity of marriage to be between a man and a woman only? Yes, because that's what they believe. Would they have gone to the headquarters of gay-rights activists and verbally stoned them? No. Would they continue to give donations to a cause they believe is for the moral good? Yes. Would they specifically target gay couples on the streets and hurl degrading comments and words of disgust at them? No. Would they encourage that behavior? Would the vandalize? Would they create "black lists" of names of those who supported the passage of Prop 8 and plaster it on the Internet? A thousand times NO! They never will. That's the difference now between the LDS Churches principles and those who've elected to specifically target people of the LDS Faith because they stood up for what THEY believed. Class.

Thousands in SLC protest LDS stance on Same-Sex Marriage

Gay activists rally outside Mormon Temple in NY

Prop 8 Protesters Target Mormon Temple

Gays Bashing Mormons Over Prop 8 Nationwide

White Poweder Sent to Mormon Temples in Utah and LA

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Well it's clever...you have to give them that.

THIS Bakery appeared one day on 4th West across from the Gateway. It really did. It wasn't there one day and then POOF, suddenly there it was! Like magic. Creepy magic.

I don't recall any time in the last little bit when traffic was diverted this way or that to avoid construction. I can't think of any moment while driving to the Gateway for work or pleasure where I glanced across the street, perhaps observing some "sign hangers" or "window painters" and thought "well I wonder what they're putting there." Nope, it was a total inside job. And then overnight - there's the sign: (M)Adam and (St)eve's An erotic bakery. Intrigued? OF COURSE YOU ARE! Don't pretend. And lets be honest - they really covered all the bases here! This erotic bakery if for ALL affiliations, relationships, and.."whatever." They've expanded their market!

Now - feel free to copy this pic and send it to all the Adam's, Eve's and Steve's you know. Make sure to add some clever remark like "Oh! I didn't know you'd finally decided to follow your dreams Adam..." or "Hey Steve! Remember when you said "all erotic bakeries are so narrow minded", well have I got a place for you!"

Better Late Then Never - That's the Ute Way

I realize this post is a liiiiittle late. Apologies. I know you were all wondering if I went to the BIG TCU vs UTAH game on Thursday night and likewise, if I went completely NUTS when they won with one minute left in the game. WELL! The answer is YES, after a boring all be it frustrating first 3 quarters and the majority of a 4th, the Utes came back (after TCU so ridiculously missed two, TWO, field goals attempted within 3 minutes of each other) to take the win 13 to 10. Rice Eccles Stadium was pure Pandemonium...and I got it all right here...


UTES! UTES! UTES

This is my good friend Miss Jane. She called me two hours before the game started and offered me her ticket. What a Saint. Naturally I bought her a hot chocolate.
Blackout game! I guess this is sort of a trend in well to do sports these days. Bring the fans together by uniting under one color (in this instance a blackout) which boosts morale, encourages fan comradery, and is an excellent marketing ploy, "It's the TCU blackout game. You had better buy this BLACK Utah Sweatshirt for $30 to wear..."
As we filed out of the stadium, it was "bum-per to bum-per" (get it? Bwahah). I being a horizontally challenged individual held up my camera to see if I could capture what lay ahead of us. This is what I got...nice dude. Nice. That guy next to you looks really happy too. Oh wait! Is that a ninja to your left? Ooo! I think it is!

Well! I know you are ALL gearing up for the BIG GAME on Nov 22nd against BYU. The Utes still have one more team to beat, SDSU, before they can finally, and with great relish, face those crazy Cougars from the South and ceremoniously CRUSH them. Now THERE'S a game to find tickets for. But...alas...$1500 on ksl.com doesn't really fit my budget. However, here's a little preview of what might happen...GO UTES!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

American 20-Somethings Curb Generational Apathy - Barack the Vote

Yesterday I was proud to be an American.
I've always been proud to be an American. But yesterday, my pride didn't stem from who won and who lost, no, I was proud to be a part of the grocery store lines, the Starbucks crowd, the work place lunchrooms, all participating in discussion, opinion, and even passionate debate about our countries future. I've not been around long enough to remember if there was ever an election that created so much excitement, so much activism or patriotism, fostered so much of a desire to make our voices heard, as I've seen in this Presidential Election 2008. I am old enough, however, to remember the political apathy of my generation. The 20 somethings who, without time, means, even permanent addresses seemed the most passionate, the most out-spoken, but when it came to the polls, the most under represented. However, yesterday, everywhere I went I noticed red "I Voted" stickers on the people's chests of my generation. While sipping my warming beverage at Starbucks I heard a middle aged gentleman ask the 20-something with an Apple computer "what's happening? Where's the results? What do you think?" I listened to strangers in a grocery store line discuss their ideals, their candidate preferences, and literally find commonality in being Americans exercising their political rights. I heard young teenagers and even 10 and 11 year olds, pipe in on their parents conversations, and let them know who they would vote for if they could. I was truly proud to be an American yesterday. To share the experience with the entire country - and entire country that actually seems to care about something.


That said, BARACK OBAMA won the Presidential Election. That's right - you heard it here first. Naw, you didn't, but I thought it was of SOME historical significance to at least MENTION it here. Regardless of how you feel abut Obama (that's right I say re-gard-less), last night was an historic event, the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. Something that will be taught in history classes, analyzed and critisized forever.

This man has his work cut out for him, and I for one am anxious to see if he keeps his promises, if he does in fact promote the hope and change he has so eloquently sold to the desperate and eager American public. Will Barack Obama become the leader we need in such economic times? What will he do with two wars raging now in Iraq and Afghanistan? Where do you even START a job like this? Many say it's a huge "clean-up" project. Though he received a winning 51% of the popular vote, there's a whopping 47% he still has to prove HE is the best man for the job. Charisma can get you elected, but it can't solve economic crisis. We'll see if there's some guts behind that grin, and some real initiative behind those idealistic principles.
Lets see what you got, Barack. It better be good. It better be REAL good.
See Barack's Acceptance Speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jll5baCAaQU

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why starting a new job makes you fat

I work at Utah System of Higher Education. I started out as a lowly "temp", and then got hired on "fo real", Full Time. I'm really excited to say the least. Though somehow I keep missing the "teacher" boat, what with my degree in English Teaching and French, I still get to work with education in some respect and THAT always makes me happy - or at least feel useful. My office is located at the Gateway - which is "Barnes and Noble neighbor" AWESOME - and I also get to work with some really enjoyable people. I think the "people" in your workplace really make or break a job, don't you? You may not like some aspects of your "work" - but if the people are great then it all evens out.

However...

I've also come to find that there are all sorts of cakes, celebrations, luncheons, jars and jars of candy, holidays, and everything possible you can attach cookies, cupcakes, tootsie rolls (which I ate my weight in the other day) dips, chips, sandwiches, candies candies candies, red vines, soda's, punch, diet cokes, and any other sort of disgusting terrible sugar laiden death you can think of; Every. Single. Day. I'm pretty sure I've gained 5.3lbs (I'm sure because I weighed myself yesterday) just since I started working here. Don't believe me? Let me tell you about my eating habits today shall I?

  • Breakfast - Running late so got Pop Tarts (frosted) and Diet Coke from the vending machine.
  • Lunch - had to go to a training at UVU - thus we stopped at WENDYS on the way back and I got a small fry, chicken nuggets, and passed on the Frosty. At least I had the where with all (read: lactose intolerance)to pass on the Frosty.
  • Being in the Office for only 3 hours: consumed Laffy Taffy someone had sitting out for "all" to eat...and ate a cupcake LITERALLY the SIZE OF MY HEAD for "October" Birthdays. Yes - I could've avoided that cupcake BUT it was for October Birthdays - which I have - and thus felt I should eat only "half a head" of chocolaty frosting goodness the office had so nicely provided to show my appreciation. Though I should consider, I'm 25 now - and my metabolic rate is seriously not what it used to be.

and that's just the beginning...

Thus, I am going to start an intra-office health crash! That's right! With the Holidays upon us and potlucks abounding, it's time to focus on the fresh, green, crunchy, and non-sugar coated. My friends, when the pot-luck list goes around I will sign up for the veggie tray, when some schmuck...er...loving co-worker brings tons of left-overs from this that and the other - I will not eat a smidge of it! No, not a smidge! I will avoid the strategically placed candy jars and bowls loitering shrewdly on desk tops and around cubical corners. Yes! I am going to ban office-sugar from my diet. I am going to get up and eat a sensible breakfast! I am going to limit, learily avoid, and lightly decline all the goodies, salties, calories..ies...that are inevitably going to fill up the office as the Holidays march forth.

Starting a new job always makes you fat - and I'm going to break that cycle. They DO have a gym here in the building and I'm planning on taking FULL advantage of it - as soon as I digest this mountainous cupcake of jiggly doom....mmmm....jiggly doom.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And a great cry went up throughout the land of Provo...and there was great weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. For they did fear the future...

And because of their great pride in their recent prosperity, they new they would be brought low. For it was the mighty nation of the Utes, that humble and graceful people, that had been bidding their time, waiting for that choice moment, in which to make war with those Cougars of the South. The Ute Nation had pressed forward, enduring with all diligence, speed, agility, and humility, awaiting that time when they would, once again, become the BCS busting Mountain West Champions, and more importantly, aide that frivolous and hard-hearted kingdom of the South, to recognize their weaknesses before them.
The time is upon us. The Count Down Begins.

Rice Eccles Stadium
Utah vs BYU - November 22, 2008
So let it be written...

(Pic courtsey of Janers the Wench)