Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Popop and Sports


This is me at Christmas 2008 with my Popop--John Joseph Speer--or Jack as everyone calls him. He loves sports. He almost went pro in baseball before WWII broke out. I love him dearly!! He lives in Phoenix. He grew up in Pittsburgh.

vs.

Clearly, we have a dilemma here.

Sunday is going to be a GREAT game!! I'm so excited!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Night out with the roomies




Monday night my roommates and I went out to celebrate CJ's wedding, Sadey Sue's promotion, and my birthday.

We went to dinner, and to Bride Wars, and then ended the evening shopping for lingerie.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Journals

Today is my birthday, so I was looking back through old journals. Here are some favorite excerpts:

January 26, 1997:

Ok. I have one hour left until I'm 19. I feel very contentious. I don't want to be a part of the auction on Feb 10. It's not because of the auction, it's because I'm angry and prideful and sick of it.

I need to pray.

Tee hee! I love it! I'm such a serious soul.

Here's one from high school. It kind of speaks for itself.

Feb 12, 1995:

He's a great kisser. I just wish I could kiss. Actually I wish that my knees hadn't been knocking so badly. I might have been a little bit better. I'm going to ask him to move slower next time.

I guess I'm being a bit presumptious to say next time, but I know he'll kiss me again, and if he doesn't I'll take a hatchet to his throat.

Yeah. I was a sweet little teenager.

May 31, 1991 (I was 13 and 5 ft 5)

Goal Statement:
Current weight 137
Goal weight 105
Exercise daily at 6:00-6:30am
Go swimming 3x a week.
Walk 3x a week, at least a mile.
No desserts, cut out sugary foods.

January 27, 2000 (on my mission)

Today is my birthday. I need to grow up.

This next one is a little longer. I was sitting in church trying to entertain myself, so I started writing words and this eventually just kind of spilled out of me. It's unedited, but interesting to read 7 years later.

January 20, 2002

I was just released from being a visiting teaching supervisor and they almost called me to a new position.

Turbulent, tormet, ravaged sky, roaring moon, unseen eye
Coarsing, cutting, cackling, flo
Rogues and derelicts haunt to and fro.
Like a bad song, a cacophonous chorus of dancers gallop across the veins and permeate his skull.

Faces float by, screams pierce the ears, but drown in the waves of bitter silence.
Still more faces, some old and still new ones,
A wave of nostalgia hits and in a break in the onslight--a young girl's face appears.

He recalls the day she sat aloft her father's shoulders singing his name,
how when in a daze that only comes at such incomprehensible moments,
he saw most clearly her shining eyes dance with his and she tumbled off of Father's shoulders more quickly than she should have and rushed to his arms.

Despite the calling and the vote, the embrace of this girl, the calm confidence of her embrace melted into his racing heart and he saw the vision of why.

The vision of why God is merciful.

As brothers and sisters faces pass by with hideous looks of guilt and pain, the vision of why is left before his eyes and he is able to rest in that vision.

A fallen girl, beaten down by life, with a heart racing as his had been. She was scared as he had been. Her fear washed over his heart as all the other feelings had and her pain soared into his veins and he bled for her. But oh the joy! He could calm her as she had calmed him. The blood was spent. He would not get it back. Nor should he.

A loyal follower passed in his mind and his pain became excruciating, cutting into his fingernails, one part of his body that had yet been unaffected. It caught him off guard. He fell on his face, skidding his chin in the mud.

Is it possible to feel the weight of the world and at the same time feel embarassment and clumsiness? No one was there, but he knew he was on a stage that mortal eyes could not see and that the hosts of heaven and hell were hlding their collective breaths.

In his mind's eye he had almost seen himself standing humbly, and with no sign of weakness or displeasure, h would bear the weight of his calling.

But here he was, his chin bloody and crimy, and his fear and self doubt dripping about him like his blood.

Oh Father.

Visions of why flood his mind as angels steady him.

It is the vision of why that calms his racing heart. And night piereces and flows to an end.

I'm a little overwhelmed by all the cliches--but I wrote it in Sacrament Meeting--so give me a break!

Sometimes it's depressing to see how much hasn't changed. And sometimes it's good to see how much I really have changed. I still have the same wishes, and the same hang ups--but I'm definitely better at being happy. I've allowed myself to make happiness a priority. And that's a good change.

Gravedigger!!

video

More Monster Truck Jam fun!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Moster Truck Jam! The Bikes!

video
Part 1 of the monster truck jam. . .

More to come later.

The Weekend!

I'm sitting here feeling completely at one with my morning. I am warm, happy and inspired!

I need to post pictures of my monster truck jam experience, but the pics are in the camera--and to go and get them would RUIN my perfect morning position.

So, look forward to amazing monster truck jam pictures and videos. Coming soon! (About the time that hunger compels me to leave my lovely bed.)

Meanwhile, I shall talk about my weekend.

Friday night:

Monster Truck Jam!

Saturday morning:

Cleaned the house!

Saturday night:

My birthday party!
(We danced around, CJ's daughter and fiancee made me the most BEAUTIFUL cake ever, and we held intermittent poetry readings. )

Sunday morning:

Sourdough french toast with Philly friends who stayed over from the party!
(So stinking tasty!--I speak of the toast, but the friends were pretty easy on the eyes!)

Sunday afternon:

Church!
(What's to say--it was a lovely 3 hours, followed by yours truly directing the choir!)

Sunday late afternoon:

Dinner and a show!
(Dinner was my mama's chicken casserole with a cuminy twist, and the show Sade, Eric, Jon, and I gathered around my computer to watch Arrested Development.)
Dinner!

Sunday night:

Games at Rachel's
(I thought Philly boys would fer sure wanna head out early in order to get back to their digs--but no--these boys wanted to hit every party in town. And so we went and Jon schooled us all at this trivia game whose name escapes me now.)

Late Sunday night:

Curl in bed in exhaustion from a most perfect and lovely weekend.
(After chatting it up with Sadey Sue for an hour or so.)

What nice way to spend three days!

Friday, January 23, 2009

blood sugar

This morning I ate 2 eggs and 2 pieces of whole grain toast with butter at 9:15am.

I taught a class from 10-1pm. Then I went to the gym where I ran 2.5 miles and lifted weights until 2:15pm. I drank A LOT of water.

I was starving as I left the gym. I had a horrible headache and was feeling really faint.

I went to CVS and bought a bloodsugar meter to measure my blood sugar because I feel like I go a little kooky when I don't have sugar.

I was supposed to take the blood sugar test before eating--but that wasn't happening. I downed a steak burrito bowl with black beans and rice.

About 10 minutes later I took my blood sugar reading. It was 75.

This is after eating. I cannot even IMAGINE what it would have been before eating. Granted, I had waited 6 hours between meals and I was starving to death--but seriously . . .

It's been 2 hours since I ate and my blood sugar is currently 63.

Good grief. No wonder giving up sugar is such a pain in my head!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

good, bad, and normal

I was talking with my dad tonight about my little brother Matthew.

My dad said something that made me think.

As a child, there were 3 of us. I have 10 brothers and sisters now, but as a child--there were just the three of us.

I was the oldest. I was the perfect child. All my parents had to do was look at me with a disappointed look, and I banished myself to my room--overwhelmed with guilt.

Jack was the middle child. As my parents chased him around the house with the "wooden spoon", he would giggle and scream, "Didn't hurt!" And continue in his wicked ways.

Matt was the baby. He was normal. He cried when he was spanked. He was mischeivious, but not wicked. He made mistakes. He was normal.

Unfortunately Jack passed away about 5 years ago and Matthew's "normal" behavior is set against my "perfection". He feels like a bad guy.

I am not perfect, but I don't advertise my imperfections because I'm 30 and nobody cares frankly. Unfortunately because of my stellar past, my family believes I am without flaw. Sooooo, when anyone else has problems--I seem imperfectly perfect--and they feel like losers.

I sometimes feel like I should advertise my flaws in order to make my other family members feel some kinship to me. But then I find myself making light of serious issues. It's an odd conundrum.

I don't do pot--but I don't much care when a family member likes doing it. Does this make me wicked?

I didn't get fired--but if someone else does--I figure it's for a good reason. Who purposely gets themselves fired?

My problems seem small and inconsequential. And maybe they are.

I really think my family secretly loves that I'm overweight.

I dunno. I think I'm pretty normal. I wish I could convince them. Then again, if I'm normal, then my brothers really are Superbad! Come to think of it, they kind of remind me of the guys on Superbad. Or in Pineapple Express for that matter. And yes, I did see both those movies--which officially puts me on the "not perfect" list.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CJ's gettin' hitched!


My dear friend and roommate Clarissa Jane is getting married! This is a pic I took of her and her new loves. I'm so happy for them!

Congratulations CJ, Christian and Sarah Lynn!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Post Inauguration

still crying.

The "simple gifts" song was incredible.

I am so happy! I almost wish I had gone. But not really. I don't have the stamina for it. And frankly, I keep watching the beautiful faces of the people they're interviewing on tv, and it makes me happy that I'm here to see this.

I LOVED the benediction. So fabulous!

The economy is still crashing, but today we're happy. Happy happy. (I wanna write something brilliant here, but I got nothin'.)

Have a great day!

Pre-Inauguration thoughts

I keep choking up. I'm not watching it from DC. I know I live here, and my roommate is among the throngs of people. And i could have gone--but the idea of that many porta potties. . . It was a no brainer. I'm very happy watching the festivities from my house.

People will be coming over any minute now. I have wheat thins, sprite and ice cream. Not a great spread--but that's okay! I pulled out some blueberries too.

I'm pretty happy right now watching it on tv. It's pretty great.

I keep tearing up. I got the same sense when I was in Philadelphia. I have an overwhelming love for my country today. I really want to contribute. Not just to politics, but perhaps politically. I would love to find a way to make the world a better place, without the corruption of power. I need to find a new ambition.

It's a new day. There are a lot of reasons to be cynical, but as I see the millions of people gathered to celebrate--I believe that so much faith, so much hope, and so much love will truly propel us forward as a nation.

I believe that Obama's skill is in placing the responsibility for our nation squarely on a sea of shoulders. I feel a greater responsibility to make the world a better place. I felt like the Bush Administration took on the world by itself. I wonder if that's the real reason why so many things went wrong. Clearly, the administration wasn't inviting to our input--from the moment they ignored the advice of the UN I have felt that the administration distanced themselves from outside opinion. This could be perceived as good, but ultimately Americans stopped taking responsibility for their own nation. We allowed ourselves to stop caring. And clearly, this made a difference.

I should get back to the tv.

God bless America!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday Night Lights


Friday Night Lights is back!

This show has been on the verge of cancellation forever.

If you love me, you will watch this show. 9/8 NBC Friday nights. It is so stinking good! Imagine if Grey's Anatomy came on tv in a horrible time slot, and got NO advertising money. Imagine if no one knew how great it was--and then they cancelled an incredible show.

This show is better than Greys Anatomy. (This is saying a lot considering how great Thursday night's episode was.) I'm begging you--just watch the show!!

And look at this man! He is hot!!

Fear

I almost want to read more before I post this, but if I do--this post could go on for days.

Rather than do that--I invite you to read up and I'm just going to get to the point.

I want to talk about the importance of what motivates us to action.

I have felt great sympathy for Pres. Bush this week as he has been called to task on many tragedies that were allowed to happen during his administration. I don't think it's fair to blame all things on one man because that takes the responsibility away from all the parties. In a democracy we don't have the privilege of blaming everything on one man as they might in under a regime. We didn't rise up in arms against the war in Iraq because we understand what motivated Congress to sign the declaration of war. We didn't rise up against Guantanamo because we understood the motivation behind the atrocities, and even though it went against our own moral dictates to see prisoners tortured--we certainly didn't want to see them freed.

I will grant that the Bush administration is not responsible for all the bad things that happened over the past 8 years, but I will grant that we allowed ourselves to do previously unacceptable actions because we were motivated by fear.

Fear of the existence of weapons of mass destruction.
Fear that prisoners were withholding plots.
Fear that if we now release them, they have even more motivation to attack our country.
Fear.

When a country justifies itself on the basis of fear, we lose.

I heard today on NPR about 15 year old boy being held at Guantanamo for throwing a grenade that led to the death of an American military policeman. This is a heinous crime. But the assigned defense attorney found a photo taken that proves that the boy could not have thrown the grenade at the time. This photo would free the boy, who has been tortured and tried as an adult. The military court will not allow the photo into admittance. Clearly, fear that this boy will return to his country with more tales to tell is the motivating factor in holding him.

I want to reform my ways of thinking. How has fear held me back from doing greater things? What role has fear played in my life?

With this new administration--I hope we can all free ourselves from the shackles of fear and find a higher motivation in love and faith.

Friday, January 16, 2009

BRHS Choir

video

This is a clip from Bear River High School's choir. My little brother Nick is a tenor in the choir.

I am pretty proud of him, and the choir! Brian D. Petersen is the director. He started teaching when I was a senior in high school. He's an amazing conductor and arranger. This is his arrangement of "Once in Royal David's City".

This whole uploading thing is taking forever!

Meanwhile, I'll talk about what I did today:

1) I got a second job! I would hardly call it a job--but it will help me to fulfill my need to do service and to get out of the house in the morning. Teaching night classes is kind of throwing me off. I don't HAVE to leave the house until 5pm. This is kind of damaging to my soul right now. I need a reason to leave the house in the morning.

I decided to nanny for a woman in the stake with 4 little kids. I am going to go over to her house for 3 hours, 4 days a week. Her name is Jenny Oaks Baker. I used to listen to her violin cd while on my mission. She's wonderful! She needs to practice everyday and with 4 little kids, that becomes difficult. So, I'm going to watch her kids and tidy things up for her. I'll make a little extra dough, and I feel like I'm helping out a busy mom! (It alleviates the guilt I feel when I sit lamenting in my boredom as I read everyone's posts about how crazy busy motherhood is.)

2) I also taught my first Theatre Appreciation class. This is proving to be a difficult class for me. I never actually took a Theatre Appreciation class. I didn't need to! I was majoring in Theatre. I have to make sure that I don't use the 3 hours of class to just ramble on about what I love about theatre. This could be a VERY boring class if I don't watch it with the reminiscing.

3) I'm trying to take control of the freezing to death thing. I bought two electric heaters, and 4 towels. I taped the towels to the window cracks and Sarah and I hung plastic on the big window in the basement. I hate windows. They seem soooo pretty. So pretty. (vile, maniacal, evil windows!!)

4) I started to post a blog with a video.

Hey it's done!! Wahoo!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random pictures of family

This is my mom and my step-dad. They've been married for 18 years now!

This is my mom, my mom's mom, and me!

This is my new nephew Konner Jay, my brother Nick who is now 16 and almost 6ft tall and my sister Kelli. They're playing around on Nick's organ. He is brilliant on the organ!

sooooo cold



This is a picture taken from my backporch in Utah. I post it here to help you to feel the cold that I feel. I'd take a picture of the cold in VA, but it's not so pretty.

I'm freezing. I can't think. I'm trying to set goals and make the most of this week--but seriously--I just want to curl up in bed and stay there. Forever.

This isn't depression, this is bone numbing cold!! The temperature is set to 66. The fireplace is blazing. The windows are covered with plastic. I'm obsessed.

And yet, I continue to freeze to death. And to top it off, whenever I go anywhere else--I sweat to death because it's so much hotter everywhere else.

My fingers are frozen. I have so much to do--but as a "self-manager" at work--I can do it whenever. And I can get away with whatever I need to get away with. This does not help. I used to be so good at self-motivation.

I have no idea what to do with my life. I have made lists, I have great intentions--but at the end of the day--I'm cold!!

Stupid weather.

Stupid need to sleep forever.

Stupid stupid stupid.

Monday, January 12, 2009

1st day a little faulty

I did fine.

Up until 9pm when I was at FHE.

I kid you not, they pulled out 5 different flavors of ice cream, little fudge bundt cakes, and a giant cake with vanilla pudding in the middle and beautiful frosting.

I caved.

I ate cake. And ice cream. And then more ice cream.

But earlier today, I went to the gym! And I ate really well all day. Until I blew it.

I had the most horrible headache. Horrible! And I drained so much water in anticipation of this headache. I should have just powered through--but I didn't.

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow will be the day of headaches and misery. And I will power through!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1 Week of Hell. Bring it.

I have a lot of time on my hands this week. This is good and bad. I prefer to dwell on the good.

The good thing is that I have a lot more time than I had planned, which means that I have time to put myself through a serious boot camp. A rehabilitation, if you will.

I hate dieting because I'm always looking toward the end result. I can't handle knowing that the end is unforeseeable. So, I'm going to proclaim the end. I am going to have a week unlike all other weeks this week. Just 1 week. And after this week, I will be done.

This week will be one of the hardest weeks of my life. I expect to struggle. I expect to gnash my teeth and be in a royally pissy mood. If drug addicts can make it through rehab--then I can make it through 1 week!!

This week I will do the following:
1) Wake up at 8am every day. (don't laugh--this is hard.)
2) Work out for 1 hour every day.
3) No processed sugar.
4) No food after 7pm.
5) Eat 3 fruits and 3 veggies every day.
6) Read scriptures everyday--2 chapters.
7) Go to bed by midnight.

These are regular rules for most people.

Normally--
1) I wake up at noonish.
2) I talk myself out of going to the gym.
3) I eat candy like it is going out of style. So much candy.
4) I don't eat before 3pm, and eat constantly after 10pm.
5) I never eat fruit and veggies.
6) I forget to read scriptures.
7) I go to bed by 4am.

Horrible people!! This is horrible!! How did I pick up such horrible habits!!

Aristotle teaches that a man can change his character through the development of habits that will lead to virtues. Muslims teach belief, action, and virtue. If you believe, you act, and those actions will lead you to perfection. I have to stop thinking about things and just do it.

I realize that this will seem impossible tomorrow and I will hate everything about this. But it will end. It will end in one week. 1 week!!!

I can do it. Bring on the headache. Bring on the mood swings. Bring. It. On.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Locker Room Lessons

I went to the gym today. (yay me!)

It's interesting the things that you learn in the locker room. Women walk around in various states of undress. The oldest women are the most naked. They could care less. They flaunt their wrinkly old skin like it's going out of style. The young pretty things, are always dressed.

The thing that I noticed is that certain kinds of clothing look good on about 2 percent of women. Swimsuits, biker shorts, etc. But the women who look great in these oddly fitting clothes--look very strange naked. But then there are women who just DO NOT look good in bathingsuits--but they look great naked.

Designers have created clothes that look good on this uncommonly thin body. But that body isn't necessarily the best looking body when left to it's own. The skinny girl looks good with the one-piece suit on, but the regular looking girl looks good naked. Strange. I never realized this before.

And so I have decided to forego clothing altogether.

Just kidding. That would be weird. And I don't really put myself in the same category as "regular". I would be "above regular". Or "super regular".

Just some odd thoughts on locker rooms.

Why is it that the skinniest girls are the most modest? It drives me crazy that the skinniest girls in the party are the first to say, "I can't take off my cover up!" at the beach. Stupid. stupid.

In other skinny news, my one roommate is getting married, so she's leaving her candy around for others to eat. And my other roommate has given up sugar in order to get skinnier. Guess who's eating it all?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

thoughts during English

Quick update on resolutions:

I went to bed at 4:45am last night.

Oh poo. That's not midnight at all!!

I was so caught up in reading about the BCS stuff. I was looking to see Barry Switzer apologize for being an IDIOT about Utah in the pregame show, but alas, there's nothing on youtube about it. I was reading different columnists about the National Championship, etc.

Also, I joined LDS Mingle because I needed to perform an action that clearly stated to the world, "I do not enjoy being a celibate. I would like to get married someday."

I don't expect anything to come of this, but at least I have taken a step to communicate this.

I weighed myself last night. Not a GREAT idea. I gained 10 pounds over Christmas.

This shouldn't be shocking. I did nothing but hang out and eat for 3 weeks. Luckily, the clothes still fit fine, but I REALLY need to get to the gym.

My English class is busy analyzing Henry Bibb's Journal. I can hear them talking with each other. It's making me very happy and I don't want to interrupt their thinking. I love it when I can hear students thinking!!

Well, back to class!

Pictures from Phoenix





This Christmas, I went to Phoenix to be with my Nana and Popop. My Aunt Nancy came from Michigan with my cousin Caitlin. And her son Brady--(also my cousin) drove up from Los Angeles. Brady is a chef. My popop is amazing in the kitchen. So is Nana and Aunt Nancy for that matter.

We ate sooo much good food! Tenderloin, stuffed mushrooms, Chicken, homemade pizza, shrimp cocktail--words cannot describe.

It was so good to see family. I love my Aunt Nancy. She is a professor of Biology. My parents don't have red hair, so she used to pretend I was her daughter! Now her daughter Caitlin has brown hair! But we've all got a spray of freckles.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year

I haven't posted in forever. It was a little difficult going without internet for so long.

And now that it has been so long, I have less to say. But, I figure since I enjoy reading other people's posts so much--I should return to the land of Blog and speak up!

During the break, I spent time with family and friends. I didn't get to see everyone because Utah is incredibly cold and snowy. But I appreciated the moments where I was able to visit with people--and I wish I had more time with everyone.

While I was gone, my roommate met and fell in love with a guy. Crazy! They're getting married. I am so happy for her. I'm really happy for her. And I'm happy about what it says for me. I'm as single as they come--but who knows when something crazy will come along and change everything.

Meanwhile, career stuff is going well. I need to be better at keeping track of everything so that I can utilize these opportunities. I am feeling confident and successful in my field. Life is good, and for the first time in my life, I'm incredibly content with who I am and what I am doing.

But, there are always things to improve--so here are a list of New Years Resolutions!

1) Go to a concert or a play once a month.

This shouldn't be a resolution--but I find that I never make time to go to things anymore. This will change!

2) Read two chapters from the scriptures everyday.

I don't necessarily want to study--I want the consistency. I want to fall into the habit of opening the scriptures everyday for a set amount of time. I don't need to delve, just swim.

3) Get 3 months ahead on bills.

I think if I put away a big chunk of money into savings for a bit--I can do this. I want to pay my bills from my savings. And then use the money that comes in to pay off excess debts. It's a new way of approaching money for me--and it might not work--but I'm sick of living hand to mouth. I would rather live hand to account to mouth. tee hee.

4) Make my bed 3 times a week.

There's something about making my bed that makes me feel a little more in control of things--but I NEVER make my bed, so this will be a start!

5) Call family members more often.

I can't describe how wonderful it was to spend time with family this past month. I truly love them.

6) Go to the temple at least once a month.

I gathered a bunch of family names--and I am going to make a real effort to get to the temple as often as possible.

7) Perform service everyday.

I want to do something for a friend, stranger--whether it's small or big. Doesn't matter--just something--everyday.

8) Get to the gym 4 times a week.

Nuff said.

9) Only eat out 2 times a week.

Saving the money!

10) Get to bed before midnight.

Not tonight--but tomorrow!

Well, this is the start. I think 2009 is going to a wonderful year!

Happy New Year everybody!