December 17, 2008

Make a note...

The pretty striped red tin of Costco's Kirkland brand European Cookies with Belgian Chocolate is NOT a cool gift to give. For my workplace, it's like the holiday fruitcake. We have vendors and business associates gifting our firm stuff like crazy, and we just received our third red tin.

Is it just me or is a Costco brand bulk item a cheesy gift to give? We paid over $170,000 this year alone to one of the vendors who gifted us this, and in thanks we get a $12 tin of stale cookies.


I just don't get it.

December 8, 2008


Am I the only one who finds it funny that my Hammermill paper ream comes packaged in plastic?

December 3, 2008


A shout out to rrdogma over at SHE apparently googled the word "weenis" and got my blog, then linked it, causing me to get massive hits to my blog today.

Apparently my avatar is popular outside ex-Mormon circles as well. As Sideon so aptly put it, "boobs are universal." Quite so.

(Edited to properly acknowledge that rrdogma is a woman. Which totally proves that boobs are universal.)

November 26, 2008


What kind of SML would I be if I didn't write some of the things I'm currently thankful for?

~my kids
~paid days off
~high speed internet
~no snow
~good friends
~nay, GREAT friends
~chocolate covered cherries
~travel adventures
~good times
~good health
~gas prices going down
~my sweet dog
~blog readers who haven't disowned me yet
~800 thread count sheets
~budgets that are black and not red
~new contacts
~hugs and kisses
~kisses and hugs
~fresh air
~space to be me
~the fact I don't have to cook this Thanksgiving

Did I mention happiness?

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. What are you thankful for?

November 18, 2008

Roots of Mormon Bigotry

My last post about Proposition 8 in California got this anonymous comment:

I know this is a painful issue for you, and I know you aren't addressing a Mormon audience here, so I don't mean to be disrespectful. But really, I grew up with a lot of family home evening in a very conservative Mormon family and was never taught that those things at home or in church. Maybe I was just lucky or maybe you are vilifying just a little.

I don't think I'm vilifying, and below are some of the teachings of prophets and apostles of the LDS church and scriptures which can be found in teaching tools available to all faithful parents who are able to teach these things to their children if they desire. I have no doubt that there were LDS parents who did have their children listen to General Conference talks back then, and who taught their children what the prophets were saying about the cursed blacks. I'm sure there were teachers in classes in church who did the same. Why would they not follow the prophets and believe them?

So if we have evidence of blatant bigotry from our beloved past prophets and apostles, and we dismiss their words now because back then they were "speaking as men, not as prophets" ~ then who's to say that our prophet RIGHT NOW isn't doing the same when he pushed members to lend their money and time in support of Proposition 8 which took away the right of gays to marry in California? Is this not also evidence of bigotry?

ROOTS OF MORMON BIGOTRY (as copied from Emily Pearson's blog)~ thanks, Em!

Friday, November 14, 2008
Roots Of Mormon Bigotry
Elder Mark E. Peterson
Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level,
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954.

"God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be in sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death. The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a Negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. ["No person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood" Brigham Young.] It does not matter if they are one-sixth Negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a 'Nation of Priesthood holders'...."

"I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people... it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race... Now let's talk about segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation. Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God?... Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves."

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Mormon Doctrine

(Pg. 102) "Though he was a rebel and an associate of Lucifer in the pre-existence, and though he was a liar from the beginning whose name was Perdition, Cain was cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born though his lineage. He became the first mortal to be cursed as a son of perdition."

(Pg. 343) "Through Ham (a name meaning black) the blood of the Canaanites was preserved through the flood, he having married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain. Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them. Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned...

2 NEPHI 5:21-24

And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.

And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.

President Spencer W. Kimball
General Conference Report, October, 1960.
Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-923.

"I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today.... The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their daughter were present, the little member girl - sixteen - sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents - on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather.... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated."

President Joseph Fielding Smith

( Doctrines of Salvation, pp. 65-66) "There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits.

( Juvenile Instructor, vol. 26, p. 635) "It is very clear that the mark which was set upon the descendants of Cain was a skin of blackness...It has been noticed in our day that men who have lost the spirit of the Lord, and from whom His blessings have been withdrawn, have turned dark to such an extent as to excite the comments of all who have known them."

President John Taylor

(Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, pg. 304.) And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representative upon the earth as well as God."

( Millennial Star, Vol. 14, pg. 418.) "For instance, the descendants of Cain cannot cast off their skin of blackness, at once, and immediately, although every soul of them should repent... Cain and his posterity must wear the mark which God put upon them; and his white friends may wash the race of Cain with fuller's soap every day, they cannot wash away God's mark."

President Brigham Young
Journal of Discourses
Vol. 7, pg. 290-291

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African Race? If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."

"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they should be the "servant of servants" and they will be, until that curse is removed.

November 11, 2008

Thoughts on Prop 8 Passing in California

Once upon a time, good God-fearing LDS folks taught their kids in family home evening that black men should not have the priesthood because they are cursed by God. Once upon a time, good God-fearing LDS folks taught their kids that it was morally wrong for a white person to marry a black one. Once upon a time, good God-fearing LDS folks taught their kids in family home evening that women should NOT be afforded equal rights and that the Equal Rights Amendment should be opposed at all costs.

And then the church grew with the times and suddenly these things were OK by God.

How great to be among the people who realize intrinsically that we are all equal as human beings. How great to finally see that imposing one’s religious morals that hinder true equality and basic rights for certain groups through non-religious means like constitutional amendments is wrong. I really look forward to the day when bigotry dissolves and people can become comfortable enough with who they are to allow others to be who they are without any need to try to change others to conform to what or who they are.

Saying that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because it’s morally wrong seems as ridiculous to me as someone saying that brown-haired people should not be allowed to marry brown-haired people, and the law should reflect this truth! It hurts nobody that someone is attracted to the same sex. Actively homosexual neighbors are every bit as harmful to you and your family as brown-haired neighbors are.

November 3, 2008

Busy again!

I recently went to Salt Lake City to attend the Ex-Mormon Foundation Conference and visit friends. It was a great time, and a much-needed getaway. It was good to see my family in Utah at the same time.

Halloween was AWESOME because the weather was perfect. For the first time in years, I was able to go trick-or-treating with my little pirate and I didn't have to wear full winter gear due to cold. It was a balmy 60 or 65 degrees, and it was wonderful. My mom came up as a surprise to the kids, so it was a great weekend hanging with her.

Work has been gearing up for year-end and I'm also in Hell Week. I know, what's new, right? It seems I'm always in hell week. I'll try to make time soon to answer the questions I haven't forgotten you asked of me a few posts ago, my friends...

Happy Monday!

October 9, 2008

I'm not ready

At 9:00 p.m. tonight it's supposed to begin snowing, and the weatherman says over the next two days we'll get nine inches of snow.


October 2, 2008

Portrait Process

Cele once asked me to describe for her my art process, and I figured this graphite portrait of my niece would be a good place to do so. I had to remember to take photos as I went, so that I could successfully show what I do to get a finished portrait from a blank piece of paper.

First, I have to either be inspired by an image or create an image I imagine in my head. I've only once created art from my imagination that I didn't use a reference photo for. If I want a portrait to turn out well, the reference photo has to be good and inspire excitement in me. I prefer to take my own reference photos, and so that's what I did when my brother-in-law called to commission me. He got the girls ready and I went over with my camera and we had a little photo shoot out in the back yard. :) Then we headed indoors to upload the photos and choose which one(s) were best, which we narrowed down to one favorite from each girl. Here is the one we chose for T:

We printed the chosen photos, then I took them home and got my drawing paper out and taped it to my drawing board. I measured my drawing to fit the frame and mat that we had chosen. Using the lightest (hardest) pencil I have (2H), I lightly drew in the outline of her face, measuring for proportion constantly as I went. Sometimes I have a direct size match from the photo to my drawing, as happened with this portrait. I freehand the drawing either way. I do draw one line through the center of the drawing horizontally and one vertically, so that I can verify that my proportions and dimensions are accurate. Some artists use a full grid system, but I don't have the patience for that much work, and they risk being unable to successfully erase the grid once they're done.

Since I'm right-handed, I tend to draw left to right to avoid smudging and smearing, which is a real risk when drawing on a board in my lap. Once I'm confident that my drawing is sound and is proportioned right, I begin shading in the background and face. I use a 2B pencil almost primarily for this stage of the drawing, unless the background or hair or clothes are black, then I'll use a softer, darker lead size like 4B or 6B.

I continue until I have finished, which I clean up using my kneadable eraser, and I sign it, then spray using a fixative varnish spray to prevent smudging. After it dries for a night, I frame it in the cheap frames I can afford. Sometimes the person who commissioned me has it professionally framed.

My beautiful niece, T.

October 1, 2008

Q&A - Art Questions

My friend Mark asks a ton of questions: "I am so jealous of your artistic talents. Was this something that you learned? Or were you born with this gift? Did you take art classes? Who influenced you? Were you the best at drawing in kindergarden? Have you ever finished an art project and then said "This turned out like crap?" What is your favorite art piece?
Does art require perfection? Do you have a favorite color? What is your favorite medium? Have you ever sketched a nude? Have you ever sketched in the nude? Have you ever done a self portrait? Have you ever done a nude self portrait? lol"

I loved art classes and drawing and creating things in elementary school and junior high, but it wasn't until I was in 9th grade that I took chorus and found that my discomfort at singing solos for my grade in class was bringing my grade down. So I switched to Art 1 and discovered that I could draw and paint quite well compared with the others in my class. It was something I never knew about myself, not really. It really gives me a sense of self-worth and joy that I thrive on.

I don't recall being the best at art in elementary school, but I do recall sitting in my fourth grade class with a classmate named Blossom who could draw these cartoon-like, stylish women in high heels and I longed to draw like that. So I'd doodle pages and pages of women: hands, feet in high heels, noses, eyes, lips. All from different angles until they looked right. Then I'd draw pages and pages of women. To this day, figurative art is my favorite and what draws my passion the most. In all my art from childhood that my mom saved for me, I drew women.

Anyhow, the only formal instruction I've had is in high school from one teacher, Mr. Cottrell. He was a western-type artist who loved doing nature and wildlife art. He taught me all I know and the rest I'm learning as I go. :) I'd say he influenced me the most of anyone in my art, because he taught me skills that help refine the talent I was born with.

Recently my brother-in-law commissioned me to draw his three daughters for my sister for their anniversary. While art does NOT require perfection, and sometimes mistakes are made that actually make the art better than I had planned first, with portraiture there is a bit of perfection required or else it won't look like the person I'm trying to draw. This happened with my second of the three. Halfway through, I realized this drawing is not looking like her, and I felt the need to give up and start fresh with one of my other nieces before I totally ruined it. I may go back and try to salvage what I started...but for now, that was one piece that just isn't turning out like I had hoped. That hasn't happened to me in awhile. Sometimes art that I'm creating just for myself turns out like crap, and I don't end up hanging it. I have a few canvases in my bedroom now that will end up in the garbage soon, once I get around to sorting through it all. :) (I'll post another blog post right after this one, to showcase my portrait process for Cele (since she asked so nicely) and show you what's kept me so busy lately that I haven't blogged very regularly).

I don't have a favorite art piece of my own (I tend to like them all), but the three portraits I'm working on are looking to be some of my best portraits so far. I don't have any one favorite art piece that I can point to, but I do have some I'm more proud of than others. I hope to take photos of some of them to share here on my blog. You can see some I'm proud of in my blogroll under "My Art" if you've never seen any of my stuff.

My favorite color is green, but I'm really a fan of all colors. My favorite medium for portraiture is graphite pencil (so I can erase when needed!). My favorite medium varies from project to project, depending on what style or look I'm going for. Some pieces of art scream "pastels" or "charcoal" or "oil paints" or "acrylics" and I listen to that or else it simply doesn't turn out well.

I have never "sketched" a nude, but have drawn one nude using a painting by Jeremy Lipking (God, he's so good) as my reference. I used a black pastel pencil and drew her and then gifted it to my sister Kate. Don't have a good photo of that drawing. I would love to take a drawing class with nude live models someday. I actually need to take that to grow as a figurative artist. I have never drawn in the nude. I probably never will, because I tend to get cold too easily, which makes me less likely to draw well. I can't recall drawing or painting a self-portrait of my face. I have tried a few times and let me tell you, it's very difficult to do.

Thanks for all the questions about my art, Mark. Someday I'd love to do more art. I have portraits from now til Christmas, then I hope to work on some ideas I've had rolling around in my subconcious for awhile.

September 23, 2008


~We interrupt the regularly scheduled Q&A session to share something funny I just did.~

I was emailing someone about work, and I caught my typo just in time:

I have a big pile of male to process here as well.

*fanning myself*

September 21, 2008

Q & A - MyTop 10 Best Moments in Life, and Why

Wry asked, “What's your top 10 Best Moments in Life, and why?

I’ve been mulling this over ever since you asked it, and I’m not sure if I can limit myself to just ten best moments, but I’ll give it a go here. So, in no particular order, here are some of the Best Moments in my Life, and why.

~The birth of my son. He was my first child in my life, and I felt an immediate bond with him from the time I knew I was pregnant, even though the discovery itself was traumatic ~ because I was a single, Mormon girl at BYU, and unwed pregnancy is grounds for being kicked out. But he is one of the top blessings in my life, and always has been.

~Getting a beautiful step-daughter upon marrying her father. She is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I will always consider her my daughter. She was seven when we married, and she has been such a joy to have in my life. She is one of those people who makes others feel good to be near her, and I love her dearly. She is someone I hope finds the greatest happiness in her life, because she deserves it.

~The birth of my youngest daughter. She is a sweet and special girl to me. She has a tender heart and is sensitive and creative in many ways that amaze me at times. She has hidden talents that I hope she discovers and develops as she grows older. I hope she always dances to her own tune, like she does now.

~The time I was in high school and heard the announcement over the intercom that anyone interested in being a foreign exchange student should attend the parents meeting at 7:00 pm that night. My heart started beating hard, and I knew immediately I never wanted anything more than I wanted to be an exchange student. I hadn’t even thought of it before that moment. That day after school, I approached my mom, and although I could tell she felt somewhat hopeless about the possibility of me ever being able to do something like that due to how poor we were, she attended that meeting with me. Her willingness to come with me showed me so many things about my mom that day: 1. she loved me enough to take time out of her busy life to look into something she knew was important to me; 2. she believed in me when I said I’d work hard and do everything in my power to pay for the trip myself; 3. she backed me up in my dream when the easiest thing would have been to simply say there’s no way in hell it would work. That day changed my life, because I was determined and got accepted into the program, and I got a scholarship to go, and worked full time for over a year to save up to spend a year in Austria…which brings me to…

~The year I was an exchange student in Austria at age 18. It was my first flight on a plane, and my first view of the world beyond the Western United States. I could write for a full week and still not be able to list all the reasons that trip was great for me in my life. I had a wonderful host family who love me like their own, and the trip was a huge and unexpected gift in my life. I think it helped shape me into who I am, and helped me be more open-minded about other cultures and helped me to embrace the differences that can be found in others and celebrate the beauty found in true friendship with others.

~My trip to Paris last November, which was daring and huge for me to do at that particular time in my life. I loved Paris, and meeting my blog friends there was a priceless gift to myself. I still totally need to blog about Paris more, and will soon, I promise. I have made friends for life from that trip, and will always consider it one of the best moments in my life for that reason alone. The food, scenery, and art were great too.

~Getting a B in chorus class in 9th grade (due to my loathing of singing solos in class for a grade). This threw my grade point average down (a tiny bit, but enough to bother me at the time) enough to make me switch to Art 1 class to fulfill my visual/performing arts elective requirement. There, I discovered my true love of art, and the fact I’m good at it. This really helped shape my sense of self-worth, something that had been sadly lacking in my life before then.

~Winning the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Summer Seminar art scholarship the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I got to take a 22 hour Greyhound bus ride to Colorado College in Colorado Springs and study art in a college setting with 23 other kids from a 6-state region for two weeks. It was wonderful, and also did wonders for my confidence and sense of self. It made me love doing art even more. I learned there about how mistakes in art can sometimes be a surprise that works for the finished product. My brother has the purple chair painting with drips I’m talking about.

~Googling my way out of the Mormon religion. The religion played such a huge role in shaping me into the woman I had become for so many years. Allowing myself to finally look with open and clear eyes at what I had become and what my life was like AND WHY was absolutely key in shedding those things in my life that were harming me on a very basic level. It caused me to start blogging, something that also has been huge in my finding myself and discovering a support group of friends that are priceless to me. I also value the creativity that I’ve tapped within myself as I’ve broadened my mind and discovered that I have a voice and something valid to say.

~Finding my very best friend in this world. I had never before then felt so accepted for who I am. I am completely changed because of it. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind on with the priceless support and encouragement I get from this person. I am valued and loved and appreciated. I feel safe to love myself now, and this frees me to love others fully. What a rare and precious gift. Mein Schatz.

~Standing on the beach in Hawaii. The ocean speaks to my soul. It moves me powerfully. I could watch the ocean forever.

I have many other Best Moments in Life, but I’ll save them for another blog post, as this one is pretty long already. Thanks for the great question, Wry. I’m going to try to use this lighter week or two to answer more of the questions I've been given. Wish me luck!

September 5, 2008

Suggestion Box

I need your help, my friends. It's obvious that I'm in dire need of inspiration and motivation for writing more blog posts here. I've been inspired by Wry Catcher to ask my readers if they have any questions for me, so I can write answers as blog posts, which will hopefully entertain and delight you, and motivate and inspire me to get my writing back on track.

Let's have fun with this Q&A session, shall we? Talk to me.

August 20, 2008

epic stench

This morning as we drove to the soccer fields, my son and his friend realized they better get their gear on. Just as I was putting a bite of a Pop Tart in my mouth, J said to me, “You might not wanna eat that, Mom. . .oh, too late.” Suddenly the WORST STENCH I’VE EVER SMELLED hit me like a sledgehammer to the face, causing my bite to taste like what I was smelling. K had opened his soccer bag and was putting on his socks and cleats. I literally began gagging and couldn’t quit, even after he got out of the car. I damn near drove off the road. I was forced to continue chewing that godawful bite that tasted just like the dark cloud of death until I could swallow and finally start breathing through my mouth instead. My eyes kept watering and my eyelashes went completely straight. As J and I were crying “Oh God, the horror!” K just kept apologizing and saying that he’s been wearing the same pair of socks since soccer tryouts began on Monday (twice a day, almost 100 degree heat). I’d rather be sprayed directly in the face by a skunk than smell that smell again. *shudder* I'm taking them after work back to the fields, and I'll be making damn sure he keeps his soccer bag in my trunk until we get to the fields, where he can put the socks on outside in the wide open wind.

I smelled the awful stench all the way to work. I STILL smell it now. I fear that the smell got in my clothes and hair, but I’m desperately hoping it’s just my imagination and that what I keep smelling is just residual stench trapped in my nose. I’m desperately trying to forget the junior high science lesson by Mr. Hornung about how when you smell something, it’s actual MICROSCOPIC PARTICLES OF THAT THING entering your nose and attaching themselves to the hair follicles in there. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I'd have never guessed I'd be happy that today they have my front door open by my desk and are painting the door. AND I'm happy they are out there smoking, causing the smoke smell to come in my office on me. It drowns out the incessant smell of K's funkywrong socks. At this point I'd even welcome a diesel truck to park itself right outside my open office door. Frankly, I'd be surprised if that DIDN'T happen on this smellybadluck day.

August 8, 2008

Friday at last

I have been busy drawing portraits lately, which I will share (with photos of my process, just for Cele!) as soon as I finish. Also I'm in my busy time at work, but wanted to share a funny story from this morning.

I was driving my daughter (age 10) to her cousins' house this morning. We were listening to a song on one of J's mixes called "Shake It" that says "shake shake, shake shake sha-shake it" and next to our car a woman with a large backside was walking. S said, "Uh, this song does NOT go well with that girl." She cracks me up.

July 25, 2008


The other day, my son and his friend were talking about their plan to go to the S-P-A. I asked what the S-P-A was and J said, "Uh, the spa, Mom. Duh." I was surprised they wanted to go to a spa. They apparently want to go get a massage.

A few days ago, I picked them both up from work. They talked about it again, and J mentioned to K that he'd look up different places and try to find where massages are available and schedule it up. I suggested a couple of salons that offer massage. K joked about finding an Asian massage therapist, and I laughed and said, "Oh yeah, you can call Tokyo Sauna!" then I laughed hard, and K joked then about how they could get a sumo wrestler to give them a massage and the subject was changed.

I didn't think any more of it until the next night, when my son told me he had called different spas. "But, Mom, that Tokyo Sauna place won't give you a massage unless you're at least 25." I burst out laughing and could barely choke out the words, "YOU CALLED TOKYO SAUNA?!?! That's a place for NASTY MASSAGE AND SEX!! Didn't you KNOW THAT? I thought EVERYONE knew that! What did they SAY?!"

J's eyes got huge and he said that explained it. He said a woman with a very Asian accent answered the phone, "Tokyo Sauna." (This story is most hilarious when told by J with a female Asian accent). He asked if they do massage.

[suspicious Asian accent]"How old are you?"[/suspicious Asian accent]

He lied, because her voice was so suspicious, and told her he was 18 rather than 15. She said, "We only do massage if you are twenty-five or older! Stop calling here!!" He was bewildered why she'd yell at him like this.

I'm STILL laughing that he called Tokyo Sauna.

July 22, 2008

No doubt

Have you ever made a decision in your life that, once made and acted upon, consistently and obviously proved to be the right choice?

July 1, 2008


All you need:

1. mini marshmallows
2. unscented candle
3. toothpicks
4. patience

S says the perfect roasted marshmallow happens when you light it on fire, blow it out, light the next side on fire, and blow it out until you are left with charred black gooey-ness. I say perfection happens when you patiently roast the marshmallow to a golden tan.


June 29, 2008

Note to self:

1. buy a smaller bag of potatoes next time, or
2. cook potatoes more often.

June 27, 2008

Happy Weekend!

I recently bought a movie about the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy called "Rivers and Tides."

I watched it with my ten year old daughter, and halfway through it, she asked if she could carve a bar of soap, saying I had never let her before. I figured that was fine, so I got her a cookie sheet, her brother's Swiss Army Knife, and a bar of soap. I was working on paperwork I had brought home from work while watching the movie, so I didn't pay any attention until she said she was done and what did I think?

Tell me what YOU think (she titled them both and took her own photos of both designs):

"Design 1"

"Nature Inside Us"

Here's what I think. My daughter has got some seriously amazing artistic talent. Her "Nature Inside Us" piece has been the centerpiece on my dining table for a couple weeks now, and my house smells deliciously of soap. I love it. This weekend I plan to watch the DVD again and maybe she and I will head out and design something in nature like he did. Sounds like great fun.

June 25, 2008

Big Sky Country

I loves me some Montana sky. I remember missing the sky in Montana terribly the year I lived in Austria as I also did during my year at BYU.

Here is a really cool and funky cloud I photographed last week:

This is the cool cloud that rolled right over us at one of my daughter's recent softball games. We actually stopped play to sit in our cars for over half an hour while the storm cloud was overhead: thunder, lightning, and rain going strong until it blew beyond us. We resumed the game like diehards. Not sure that was necessary in the 9-10 age group, but the coaches have a different outlook, apparently.

June 19, 2008

Bird Lovers

Last Friday evening my daughter and I decided to take Chewie (our dachsund) to a park that S remembered from her early day care days years ago. She directed me to a park I never heard of called Peanut Park, and we got out with Chewie on his leash. Just as I was getting a blanket out of my trunk, Chewie ran forward in the grass and sniffed at a little black object, which Sierra kept Chewie from until she could discover that it was a bird. A live bird. Obviously a fuzzy baby bird who should still be in a nest.

We poked at it for awhile with a stick to see if it showed signs of injury, and it would open its mouth really wide and squawk at us. I got it to walk a step or two, and it didn't look injured, just hungry. I knew that she was worried about the bird because she couldn't play in the sand without looking over at the spot under the pine tree where she knew the bird was. Every time a person walked their dog down the street near the bird's hiding spot in the grass, she'd run over and protect it by standing between it and the dog. So cute.

The entire evening I knew what was coming: "Mom, we can't just LEAVE IT OUT HERE TO DIE!"

I tried without much success to discuss the circle of life, and how nature is sometimes cruel...and I knew without a doubt that I didn't want that bird to come home with us and DIE ON MY SHIFT. I also didn't have the heart to drive away and let her worry about cats feasting on her bird. So when it was time to leave and pick up J from work, we took a winter scarf from my trunk and picked up the tiny bird, and we decided to make it a nest in a box and leave it at the veterinary hospital next door to J's work. S got a box from J's work and filled it with a huge wad of paper towels while I stood outside my car (away from Chewie's curious mouth) holding the bird in the scarf.

So she got a piece of paper after creating the nest and placing the bird inside it, and wrote this note, complete with my phone number and "thank you!!" at the end (which I cropped out):

We drove with J to the vet hospital, and S placed her box carefully on the doorstep. We closed it to protect it from cats again, but there was a small hole at the top just above the bird so it had enough air. She had such a hard time walking away, and she watched the box until it was out of sight as I drove around the corner.

The next day, I drove by the vet's office at 9 a.m. after taking J to work again, and the box was no longer on the step. I reported this to S, who proceeded to ask me about twenty times over the course of that day and Sunday if the vet had called me yet. They hadn't. I told her I bet they are taking good care of it for her.

I hope.

Meanwhile, I think I may have lost a scarf. But bird lovers don't care about such things.

June 17, 2008


To my faithful readers who may be wondering if I'm alive...

Yes, indeed I am. I even have a couple interesting blog posts coming, with photos no less! Stay tuned. I just finished hell week at work all last week, and I've been enjoying major softball action (my daughter plays in the 9-10 majors girls softball league) which has kept me fairly busy at night as well.

Excuses? Of course. ;) But stay tuned anyway.

May 25, 2008


Just got done creating this collage using ripped magazine pages.

Whattaya think?

May 23, 2008

Focus on the Family

I was looking way forward to this Memorial Day weekend, because my mom, sister, and sister's boyfriend were driving up today from Utah to visit for the weekend. Unfortunately, I just found out that Kate and her boyfriend woke up this morning feeling sick, so they aren't coming up anymore. Rather than drive alone today, my mom called my Dad, who had been planning to come up anyway (not that he told me or Tony about his plans), and now they are driving up tomorrow, which is fine, but I'm bummed that now we will have one less day to visit with Madre.

My son has a state soccer tournament in Great Falls all weekend, but my daughter has a softball game tonight, so he is going after school today to Great Falls with his dad, while we planned to do a day trip to Great Falls on Sunday to see him play and to give Grandma a chance to see him. Apparently, my dad chooses to NOT travel with us on Sunday. He'd rather attend church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes major pride (you know, the righteous kind of pride, not the sinful pride) in teaching that FAMILY is the Most Important Thing. This may be true in many LDS families, but it certainly isn't true for my dad. I am fairly certain that he feels he is Choosing The Right by being a righteous example to his poor, misguided, wayward, apostate daughter and her poor, innocent children whom she's leading astray. But all I see is a pathetic excuse of a man who is unable to see how his behavior gives the clear message to his daughters and grandkids that they rate below three hours of boring church. He spends countless hours a week on church things and temple service and genealogy work. He spends a few hours a year visiting us.

I have a guest bedroom all prepared for him. The thing is, I have no idea if he'll choose to stay with me in comfort, or if he'll opt to stay at his (abandoned since 1996) house across town ~ the house that has no power, heat, or running water. That's what he did last time he came to town. He filled a five gallon jug with water from my house and camped out at his house in a sleeping bag, and the temperature was over 100 degrees. So strange. He actually went to TWO wards that Sunday, for a total of 6 hours, rather than come and spend time with his grandkids.

We were in Utah last June over Father's Day weekend, traveling through from our trip to Las Vegas for a soccer regional tournament. I called him, telling him we'd be at his mom's house in Kaysville for about three hours, and asked if he could drive down and visit from Brigham City since we had plans that evening and couldn't make it up there and back with any time to see him. He said no, he had gotten up early to clean the church building, and besides, he had just seen his mother yesterday, and it IS 100 miles round-trip, you know. Oh, yeah, well, um...Happy Father's Day, Dad. Really.

Some parents teach by example. My dad teaches me what NOT to do by his.

May 19, 2008

happy as a little girl in spring

My daughter had a nagging cough for over two weeks, and sure enough, I got it. I'm on about day five or six, and it's doing a number on me, that's for sure. The worst part of it is that it's made hash out of my vocal chords, so my voice sounds just awful. All day long, I sound like I just woke up from a bad three-day bender. At the very least, I sound like Bea Arthur. At the very worst, I sound like Bea Arthur's DAD. And he's dead.

I coughed so hard in the night last night, that one of my bottom ribs near my waist is really sore. When I have to talk, it brings on a coughing fit, which really sucks at work. Each time I answer the phone, the people feel they have to comment about how I don't sound like myself, causing me to have to talk even more to state the obvious: Yeah, I'm sick. Wonder how you could tell. Huh. (And hells yes, I've been complaining about this. I'm a wimp.)

Anyway. Regardless of that, life is good. My son got his cast off and will be playing soccer using a hard clamshell thing they created for his forearm, so his wrist has mobility and he can put on his goalie gloves. My mom is coming up from Utah to visit this weekend, and that spells more good times. We will travel to watch my son play on one of the days of the state tournament, and it should be a great weekend. The weather has been in the upper eighties this week, which adds to the joy. It's so nice to enjoy spring for real. Travel across Montana during this time of year is great fun for an artist. It's gorgeous.

I recently started a new ceramic project at the ceramic studio, which I'm excited to complete. I'm also working on a collage using ripped pieces from magazine pages, and I hope it turns out. I've never tried this before. I feel my art coming back to me and it's a great feeling. I may have a graphite portrait commission for Father's Day for the wife of a co-worker...which reminds me ~ I need to call her. Father's Day is coming soon.

Hopefully I'll have some good ideas come to me for this blog as well. I've been way too lax lately and need to write something of quality. If you have any suggested topics, please share. Some of my best blog posts from the past came from "assignments" people gave me. :)

May 8, 2008

"When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

May 5, 2008

Quite tasty

I have a perverse enough sense of humor that when I saw the menu item "Camel Toes" at the trendy sandwich shop yesterday, I had to order them.

It was hilarious when the waiter brought our food to the table. "And who has the Camel Toes?"

Uh.....that'd be me.

May 2, 2008

Yo, Kate!


A shout out to my sister, Kate! She called me last night to let me know she got a full ride scholarship to study nursing! She's been working so damn hard for this for years, and to now be paid to do what she had been working so hard toward all along, well....that's simply awesome.

I'm damn proud of you, Kate. Ya done good. I'm so glad you're my sister.

Yo, Keith!

Here's a shout out to my brother, Keith, who is in town for work for just over a week. He's my sibling I know perhaps the least, and I'm so damn glad for this opportunity to get to know him better. He's been coming over and hanging out with me after work, and it's been great fun.

Already he's teased me for being like our beloved Madre when I've called him my son's name and when I said three names before getting to the right one when talking about one of our siblings. We've had some great discussions and some serious laughs as he showed me his favorite website on the internet:

We sat there laughing for almost an hour at the part labeled "Craptions" where funny pics are posted and people can submit captions to the pics.

I'm really enjoying getting to know my awesome brother better. His birthday happens to be this week also (a source of pain for him, being away from his friends on his great "drinko de Mayo" birthay), so I hope that being with us isn't too much of a let-down. Perhaps we can think up something suitably un-tame to do so he'll feel more at home!

Heh. Imagination going wild

April 24, 2008

What was I thinking?

I wore a turtleneck today, without thinking about the fact I'd be entering a bunch of invoices into my computer and also paying payables. This means a whole lot of looking back and forth between my stack of invoices and my monitor.

My neck is being rubbed raw. Damn.

The good news is, I'm getting a lot done. There is that.

***Edited to add that I just looked outside, and see that it's snowing. Again. It snowed on Monday enough that I actually had to scrape my car off at lunchtime. Maybe the turtleneck's not such a bad thing after all. Ugh.

April 18, 2008


So I've been pretty busy lately. Last week was hell week crammed into four days while I got all the billing done before I took off for the long drive to Boise on Friday for a soccer tournament for my son. Drove home all day Sunday and am still trying to catch up on sleep from the weekend.

Last night my son was at soccer practice where they were doing a shooting drill, and he dove to save a kick which came in hard at his torso, and somehow during catching the ball or diving, not sure which, he ended up with what he thought was a "messed up wrist" and arm. I drove him to the same-day care and they took x-rays and my son's worst fears were confirmed:

He broke his arm. Radius, to be exact.

Today the orthopedic doctor will put it in a cast and tell us what the damage is. I think his soccer season's over, and that sucks. I was impressed with his trying to look at the possible plusses to breaking his right arm (the one he writes with) and losing out on soccer. He said, "Sweet! I get out of gym class!" (his gym teacher is a real piece of work). We also joked that he could get a Ferris Bueller-like trend going on at school. He could have kids starting up collections on his behalf in no time! Girls will be all over the sympathy for him. Heh.

Poor kid. This is not an easy year for my kids. Sigh.

April 9, 2008

Update on Eyelash Curler Suckitude

I'm a genius.

After dipping my hand in icewater for ten minutes in an attempt to shrink my fingers so they'd fit in my new eyelash curler, and curling my eyelashes slowly and carefully....I had an epiphany.

I took the new Cover Girl rubber filler and put it in my old Maybelline eyelash curler.

Et viola!

Why the serious hell didn't I think of it before??

April 8, 2008


Seriously. I bought a new eyelash curler, Cover Girl brand this time, because Maybelline (the one I've had for years) switched from having the white refills to black, rubbery refills that have a rounded edge vs. a flat one. The strange part of the black refill is, you can be using the curler every day just fine, then the next day the black rubber refill won't stay put and pops out all over the place so you can't curl your eyelashes due to the black thing popping out at the last second right into your eye.

So unacceptable. Especially when you're used to curling your eyelashes while driving the kids to school.

The sucky thing about the Cover Girl eyelash curler is this: they designed the curler to fit the hands of a four year old. I can barely get my two fingertips into the holes of the handle, so curling my eyelashes is tricky at best. I can't imagine any adult wielding that curler comfortably, the design is that bad.

And does have the soft refill with a flat edge, so my eyelashes look good, at least. That counts for something, I suppose. I just hope that I don't have an accident where my fingertip slips off the edge of the tiny handle while I'm curling and I end up ripping out all my lashes.

April 3, 2008

Busy, I mean REALLY busy.

I know I've said I was busy before, but this latest absence from my blog is really legitimate! I've been super swamped at work lately, and also have had no internet at home right now, and won't until later next week.

I'm feeling spring right now, and I'm loving the birds returning and the tulips coming out of the ground, and the warmer weather (such that it is). Soccer travels begin this weekend too, which is always fun. Montana is beautiful.

:) Happy Thursday. I'll post more quality stuff this weekend, hopefully.

March 18, 2008

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?

I heard this song by Shania Twain this morning and it reminded me of a funny story from when my son was about three or four.

Shania was singing on the radio: "Whose bed have your boots been under?" and I asked my son, "Hey! Whose bed have YOUR boots been under?"

He looked at me with a funny look and said, "I don't GOT no boots, Mom!"

We had a good laugh at that.

Now, I'm afraid to ask him that question.

March 16, 2008

Six-Word Memoir

I was tagged by Cele:

Here's how this one works:
1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play. (This last step is optional.)

To me, a memoir is something I'd want to write AFTER I've lived the majority of my life. I don't feel ready for that yet, since I feel I'm still in the middle of my journey (I hope). However, I think this six-word phrase has meaning for me now, and I hope it always will:

Life's short ~ why not enjoy it?

I'm not going to be tagging anyone specifically...I'd love to see any and all of my readers do this one.

March 11, 2008


I was sleeping on the plane, my head leaning to the left against the window frame, when I woke to the feel of the large girl beside me leaning into me. I thought it was my imagination until I felt her do it three more times. I finally opened my eyes to see her straining to look out my window.

"The pilot said you can see northern lights out there. Do you see any?"

I looked. In front of the plane was a huge display of green shafts of glowing light splashed across the sky. The light grew and shifted and receded, sometimes shining in streaks and sometimes in waves. Soon the entire sky was full of the glowing, green light.

I marveled at the sight and thrilled that I was getting such an unhindered view of the lights from my window. There's something quite magical about northern lights. The best ones I ever saw were when I was eleven, visiting my cousins in Alaska. Gorgeous. Northern lights make me so happy.

As the plane descended through the layer of clouds above the city we were landing in, the northern lights were hidden from view. It was strange to know the sky was hiding such an awesome display of nature's beauty.

I was sad I only had the stranger beside me to share the magical experience with.

February 26, 2008

She's hilarious

My daughter came into my bedroom a few Sundays ago to tell me that she had seen Gordon B. Hinckley's* funeral on TV at her best friend's house the previous day. She said to me that she had almost forgotten all about Gordon B. Hinckley. I asked her if anyone tried to talk to her about him, she said no. She said the funeral was WAY LONG and BORING. I asked, "How much of it did you watch? Did any of your friend's family cry?"

"My friend's older sister almost cried. Sheesh, it was hours long, Mom! But I did think of one thing that woulda been funny. There was this one part where it was silent on the TV for a reeeeaaaally long time. I sat there thinking how hilarious it'd be if someone in the congregation stood up and started sobbing really loud into the crowd like Buuuuuhhhh Huuhhhhhhhh Huuuuhhhhhhhh!" She stood up on my bed and acted all melodramatic when she did that.

She collapsed into giggles at her own humor and so did I. She's so damn funny! Just thinking about her little 10 year old voice trying to do deep sobbing like that makes me laugh out loud again now.

*He was the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until his death, considered by members of the church to be a prophet of God. I wanted to wait a bit before posting this so the sadness anyone felt for his death could be dealt with before humor was brought out about it.

February 21, 2008

Memememe iiiiiiiiii.

Thanks to my friend Wry Catcher for peer-pressuring me into posting this meme.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope. But my mom and her sister-in-law were racing to have a girl first so they could name her Lisa. Obviously Mom won. My aunt ended up naming her youngest daughter Alissa, the closest she could get to Lisa, she said.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Ummm...a month ago? Can't recall.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes. Especially when I'm the only one who can read it.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Tuna in tuna salad.

5. HAVE YOU ANY CHILDREN? 3.5 Two daughters, a son, and a wiener dog.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably. I'm friends with all kinds. Heh.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Um, duh. Especially when my brothers are around. Good god, that's fun.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes. Not sure why anyone would care.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Only with that special someone... You know, the one who doesn't mind if I pee my pants.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Probably Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds. Or Lucky Charms.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yup. Again, not sure who cares. Is this the best they could come up with for a question??

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Depends on who I'm trying to carry around.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Not a huge fan, but recently discovered Ben & Jerry's Willie Nelson's Country Peach Cobbler, which is pretty damn tasty.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? In person: eyes. Online: humor, wit, and engaging writing style.

15. RED OR PINK? Red, although Pink has some killer songs I love.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That's for me to know and you to find out. I'm guessing if you read my whole blog, you'll find at least five things to answer this question. What? FINE. You'll probably find at least ten.

17. DOG OR CAT PERSON? Dog person. I'm not into cats so much, although listening to my brother Eric talk about his cats makes my heart smile.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO DO THIS MEME? Hell no. I hate putting people on the spot en masse.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? No shoes. Cream, red, and green plaid flannel lounge pants. Cold is not sexy.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Ugh. McDonald's chicken nuggets just before my son's soccer game tonight. Remind me not to try that again. Ish.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The Science Channel on TV talking about forest landscapes and forest fires.


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Wet wood after the rain. Fresh laundry when fabric softener has been used. My daughter's hair as she snuggles me after her bath.



26. WHICH SPORT DO YOU ENJOY WATCHING MOST? Soccer, when my son's in goal.

27. HAIR COLOR? Dark blonde

28. EYE COLOR? Blue

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACT LENSES? Only if I want to see.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Steak (medium rare) and potatoes, when my favorite North African restaurant in Paris isn't available.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. I'm a hopeless romantic.


33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Gray sweatshirt over white tank top. I mentioned it's cold, right?

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? I like the four seasons. Spring and fall are best.

35. HUGS OR KISSES? Yes. I suppose the better question would be VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL?

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Hmmm...the kind shared with friends. One dish, two (or more) spoons.

37. DAWN FRENCH OR CAROL BURNETT? Carol Burnett, since I'm too lazy right now to google who the hell Dawn French even is.

38. SPAGHETTI OR LASAGNA? TACOS OR BURRITOS? HAMBURGERS OR HOT DOGS? Spaghetti (although I do love lasagna too). Burritos. Hot Dogs.

39. WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU READING NOW? "Dance of the Dissident Daughter" by Sue Monk Kidd. Highly recommend this book to all. It describes very well the journey I feel I'm on as a woman.

40. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? My laptop has no mouse.

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? The first half of Amistad.

42. FAVORITE SOUND? Music mixes that are gifted to me.


44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? When I traveled to Europe. Both times.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Oh yes. I have a few...... Am I supposed to LIST THEM??


And...because it truly does feel strange to stop at number 46, I shall make up a few more irrelevant questions:

47. WHY DO YOU DO MEMES? I don't know. I am a sheep.


49. CANDLES OR INCENSE? Candles. People look better in candlelight. Besides, incense gives me a killer headache in 3.8 seconds flat.

50. MOUNTAIN CABIN OR BEACH HOUSE? Tough call. I love trees, but I think I prefer the ocean. Both, if I win the lottery.

February 7, 2008

Poor FedEx guy

I was working this morning when the FedEx delivery guy walked in with a 7-foot high box. As I'm supposed to do, I walked around my reception desk to inspect the box for damage. I saw nothing wrong and he handed me his electronic tracking device to sign and said, "Looks good."

I was still signing and said, "And we love when our boxes look good, don't we?"

It wasn't until I looked up as I was handing back his pen that I realized what I'd said.


February 2, 2008

As overheard tonight in the ladies' room

Woman in Stall #1: So anyway, like, I'm a fucking clean freak, you should probably know.

Woman in Stall #2: Oh good! Me too! That'll help that we both are!!

#1: I mean, like, I'm probably OCD or something. I gotta have it spotless at all times. Seriously. All. The. Time.

#2: Me too! He totally whipped me into shape and now all I want to do is clean. I obsess. Seriously.

#1: Good. That means it should totally work out great then.

#2: Totally. That's so cool!

(They both flush and leave their stalls)

#1: I like totally need to go bra shopping too.

#2: I just need boobs, period.

#1: Oh, that too. I hate bra shopping.

#2: Totally me too.

February 1, 2008

So much for resolutions

I had a resolution to try to blog more often in 2008 (maybe a New Year's resolution, maybe not ~ I prefer to keep myself non-committal on these things) and I've been pretty bad so far at writing more. I do have some ideas for what I'd like to write when I finally take the time, so at least we know it's not writer's block or anything like that.

This week, however, I have an excuse. My hell week (billing clients) got bumped up by over a week this month and I'm hauling patootie today trying to get as much done as I can. Wish me luck. I was at work until almost ten last night so I am dragging pretty good right now.

Hope the weekend is relaxing for you.

January 28, 2008


I have a large group of sparrows (I think...could be chickadees) living in the shrub at my work. I've noticed them lately as they hang out in the branches and chirp and such. One day I saw the cutest little footprints in the powdery snow beside my car, and wished I had had my camera there to capture the tracks.

Today when I arrived at work, I saw that someone had dumped a bunch of birdseed on the snowbank beside the shrub for the birds. My boss denies doing it, but I wonder if he is just trying to hide the soft spot he may have for the little flock of birds who chose to make their home here by us.

I can't deny those birds have made me happy on more than one occasion as I parked my car and just sat and watched them doing their bird thing and seeming so glad to be alive.

January 25, 2008

Shout out

I had lunch today with a good friend, Meg, who reads my blog. It was a great time, and I look forward to future lunches and good times. She is into art like I am and is a fabulously outspoken woman whom I suspect I'll learn a lot from in the months to come! So fun talking with her.

Thai food is always best when shared with friends.

Friday at last

Tonight I am going to go watch the new movie Juno ~ I can't wait. I've been wanting to see this movie since I first heard of it. I'm wondering if it'll take me back to my days of being a pregnant college student, unmarried and afraid.

Work is a real bitch these days. I have tons of stuff to do for year end (getting info compiled for the accountants) and also have to bump up hell week in order to get billing done before my boss leaves for vacation. The piles of year-end filing all around me are starting to seem sinister. So far I've been keeping my spirits up ~ but maybe that's because I'm trying not to think of next week.

Hope the weekend is a nice one for everyone. I really do want to continue writing about Paris...hopefully this weekend I'll write the next part.


January 24, 2008

Had "The Talk"

Last night we talked with our teen son about sex and sexuality, and it went very well, I think. I thought I'd share the list of things we outlined, printed out, and discussed with him, most of which I got from a FLAK comment made by the fabulous Anti-Molly. Thanks to her for sharing her insight which helped us immensely!


- Remember that "normal" is as slippery as a greased pig. There's a whole lot of variation in people, male and female. And a whole lot of overlap between genders, too.

- Masturbation is normal. Girls do it, too. It's not a bad thing. It's just something to be done while you're alone and in an appropriate place.

- Sex is not dirty. It's something for adults, just like being in the military and drinking alcohol and voting and having a career.

- For many reasons (listed here), it's best to wait to have sex until you're emotionally and physically capable of handling its effects:
1. Health and safety reasons
2. Enjoy your youth and don't rush into adulthood too fast
3. Possibility of hurting your partner or being hurt by them
4. We want you to be wary of peer pressure and consider whether you are wanting to engage in sexual activity earlier than you feel ready to due to peer pressure that you would otherwise wait to do.

Some effects of having sex are:
1. Partner gaining strong feelings that you may not have in return
2. You could fall in love with your partner who may not feel the same toward you
3. Getting someone pregnant - or the worry and anxiety that happens if she is "late" having her period
4. STDs & fear of getting or spreading them
5. Emotional ramifications of being a father as a teen
6. Possible stigma of being a father as a teen
7. If your partner does get pregnant, and doesn't want the baby ~ Abortion? Adoption? Raise it as a single father?
8. Having the responsibility for another person's life and welfare (baby) can alter your entire life plan/goals
9. Will you be able to afford the (lifelong) expense of having to care for a child?
10. Some STDs have permanent, lifelong effects that can alter your quality of life

- When you decide to have sex, you need to protect yourself.

CONDOMS AT ALL TIMES. ALWAYS. EVERY TIME. It is only safe to have unprotected sex once you've been in a long-term relationship where both partners have been medically tested for AIDS and STDs and both of you have no other partners.

- You can ask me anything about sex and we will give you an honest answer. If you don't feel comfortable talking to us, we can find you a good book or you an talk to a trusted family member. Who would you trust?

- Sexuality is hard to define. So is the word "normal." Some people are heterosexual. Some are homosexual. Some are bisexual. Some people like to have sex a lot. Some don't like to have it much, if ever.

- All this doesn't mean that there's no ethics -- no right and wrong -- associated with sex and sexuality. There are limits, just like there are limits to everything. For example, obsession with anything, even something that feels good, is ultimately harmful. Or if you're hurting or taking advantage of someone physically or emotionally, that's wrong too.

- Looking and touching are different. Men and women both notice and appreciate nice specimens of their preferred sex, but it doesn't mean they love their significant other any less, nor does it mean they intend to be unfaithful. But a considerate partner will consider your feelings when deciding whether to talk about their observations or make them obvious to you or others.

- Bodies vary widely. Some parts are bigger, smaller, hairy-er, more or less sensitive, shaped differently, and colored differently on different people. What you see on TV is a skewed stereotype that only represents a few people. You can and should find beauty in your body and in the bodies of others, including the person you love. Be sensitive when commenting about other people's bodies, whether you like them or not.

- Respect your partner always. Listen to them when they tell you they are not comfortable doing something, and don't do it or pressure your partner to do something they are not comfortable doing. If they want you to try something that you do not want to do, you should say no and that should be OK. Remember that NO MEANS NO. You do NOT do anything if you hear your partner say no.

Respecting your partner also means that you do not kiss and tell. Ever. What you share with a sexual partner should only be between you and that person. Even if your partner discusses you with others does not make it OK for you to discuss the details of your private moments with your friends or anyone. You gain nothing from doing this and it brings down the reputation of your partner. Remember you marry who you date, so you don't want your friends knowing for life what your partner did with you in private. And nobody needs the mental image of you having sex. You do not want to be someone who plays a part in ruining another person's reputation either.

- Use of alcohol or other drugs can lower your inhibitions and ability to make smart decisions for yourself. Sometimes being under the influence of drugs/alcohol can make you feel it's OK to engage in sexual activity which you would never otherwise do while sober. Be very careful because actions have very real consequences.

January 22, 2008

Colder than a. . .

You know it’s cold when your teenager actually wears his winter coat to school. You know it’s DAMN COLD when he admits he’s going to brave eating school lunch in the cafeteria for the first time this year because he doesn’t want to go outside to get fast food.

-25 degrees Farenheit with the windchill today. I actually have a snowdrift on the floor inside my office door where the snow gusts in through the gaps ~ and it’s apparently cold enough inside not to melt. The wind is howling and whistling at my door ~ the perfect sound effect to the cold I'm experiencing.

I damn near got stuck in a snow pile beside the sidewalk as I dropped him off at school. The snowplows only clear the main streets, so side streets like those surrounding schools are ignored and cars are left with the daunting task of plowing through huge piles of snow. Turning your car off the main plowed street onto a side street isn’t good either because the pile of snow the plows leave at the entrance to the side streets is thick. I admit it is kind of fun to fishtail out of control a little while plowing through the muck, but that hardly makes up for the rest of the inconveniences bitter cold weather produces.

We actually had to shovel off some grass for our poor dachshund. He whines, quivers, shakes, and refuses to go near the back door in the morning during weather like this.

He learned that from me.

January 11, 2008


I don’t know if it was the really long and stressful day at work, or my exhaustion due to going to bed late and getting up early every day for over a week (among other emotionally exhausting events), but last night I was low enough to actually hear my son when he told me that I am often impossible to talk to, and I make people feel bad when I think I know everything and I lecture and go off and never hear what the other person is saying. He said that often when he’s most unhappy it has stemmed from interaction with me. I’ve heard similar words before, but have always been able to deny such truths to myself and brush it off as normal teen angst.

But last night, as I sat there and looked in his eyes, and truly listened to what he was and was not saying, I didn’t let myself not hear him. And it hurt. Hurt so damn bad.

I was immediately transported to my own teen years and recalled how impossible my dad was to talk to. He was so cutting with his words, and never wrong, and the lectures...holy hell, the LECTURES he would give! He could be so condescending to me. And I forced myself to actually look at myself openly and I realized that my son is right. It brought me to my knees, and I was devastated.

I am determined to change that part of me and become someone who can truly listen to understand, and not be so condescending to those people I love.

It’s damn good I finally found a good therapist. This won't be easy.

January 7, 2008

Is this true?

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."

Do you believe this? Why or why not?

(from Walden, 1854)