Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lots of Thoughts

Today was a good day. I slept in. I finally got some Redmond's Clay and soaked my feet. I'll find out tomorrow if it helped at all.

I'm watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame right now as little trick or treaters come to the door.

I want very much to get dressed up and go to a party. I want to feel a part of life here in the land of Ute, but I just don't. I just feel sick. You know when there's an infection in your body and you just can't shake the horrible way it makes you feel?

I've applied for at least 10 jobs this week. I have a hard time believing that I'm deserving of more money and stability, but I am. It's just hard to believe that.

I feel like I'm simply typing the same tune over and over again lately.

I wonder how I'm defined in this world? I don't understand my place. I'm terribly afraid of being defined by the world.

Remember Les Miserables? There are two girls who stand out to me. Cosette--the lovely girl who loves Marius, and he loves her and they live happily ever after. And Eponine--the lovely girl who loves Marius.

I listened to the music. Eponine had the best songs, but I hated to relate to her pain because it was my darkest fear that I was more like Eponine and less like Cosette.

Well, here we are 20 years later. Men love me, but they'd never actually choose me. They would never actually change their life to be with me. No, if I'm very convenient and if I provide some sort of amusement without demanding anything--then they let me be a part of their life. Until someone more important comes along, like their Cosette.

I'm not sure how this happened? Perhaps living with the fear made it a reality.

There are certainly other characters that I relate to: Addison on Private Practice--(last season, not this season), and Brenda on Six Feet Under.

The problem is--these two complicated melancholy women aren't exactly the picture of virtue. Being a single woman in these modern times is complicated. I'm not an angelic being. I'm not without desires. I could relegate myself to "spinsterhood" as my grandmother likes to put it, but I don't feel very much like an "old maid" or a "spinster". I just feel single.

Again, it's the same old tune.

But after years of associating with LDS men who view me as replaceable and unimportant, I can either choose to not date at all, or I can enjoy going out with good men who actually see me as more than just "second best".

I'm not sure what exactly I'm giving up. I'm just tired of being defined by everyone else. I'd much prefer to choose a world where I'm able to choose a definition that better fits my complicated nature.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Random Thoughts from a Crazy Train

I'm sitting under a red blanket in the freezing freezing of Utah enjoying a slew of random thoughts.

My throat hurts and I don't feel well again. My grandma thinks it's tonsillitis and that I need to have them removed.

I don't have health insurance.

But I submitted my resumee with an insurance company Monday and if I get a job with them, I'll have insurance on day 1.

I was looking at pictures of my friends' babies online today, because they're cute.

My friends Mel and Ben both have dark hair. Their child has red hair.

Bonny has very dark hair and Mike has dirty blond hair. Their child has red hair.


Caroline has flaming red hair and Frank has dark hair. And their baby has dark hair.

Jessica has red hair and Paul has dark hair. And their baby has dark hair.

Interesting. . . .

My mom has blond hair and my dad has dark brown hair. All three of their kids had red hair. Granted we were oddly red. All three of us had nice golden skin in the summer time. I think we're kind of a mutt version of red head. Both my grandmothers have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.

When I expressed my anxiety to the guy I like about him not answering my phone call the other night, he said, "I hate that feeling." Not--I'm sorry. Not--I'll try to be more sensitive. Eh... I no longer care. Heart is officially turned to off.

This might have something to do with the fact that I looked really hot last night and someone else asked me out for this weekend. I don't think I'll go out with him though. I'm not really into him either. But it was a nice ego pick me up. And it made me feel better about myself.

My friend Clay made me promise to stop dating for a while. Stupid Clay and his stupid wisdom. I made that resolution two weeks ago. Then failed miserably. Stupid me.

These are really random thoughts.

I should probably stop now. Does anyone know where I can get off of the crazy train? I feel crazy. I need for my throat to not hurt anymore. I'm a little frightened that I might be in bad shape when we open in two weeks.

Did I mention it's really cold?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The snow is falling.

I watched it fall as I swung the mop along the floor.

It was so satisfying watching the floor become clean, so clean, right in front of my eyes.

I looked out the window and saw giant flakes fall from the sky.

He called while I was cleaning the bathrooms at work.

He said to call after I got off work.

I did.

He must have fallen asleep. And who can blame him. I didn't get out of there until late. And he's always tired.

Uggh. I hate that I'm sad about this.

Why can't I just not care?

I feel like he's allowing me to love him. He's letting me care for him. That's about as much room as he has for me right now. He will let me care.

As I type this, it feels so utterly insignificant, but frankly, that's a lot right now.

I just keep waiting for the phone call when he'll tell me to move on forever. Or maybe he won't. I don't know. I don't know anything anymore. He's a mystery wrapped in a conundrum.

When he told me to call after work, I imagined the worst possible conversation unfolding.

But it never happened.

Because he fell asleep.

I wish I could fall asleep so easily. I wish I would stop imagining the worst.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movies about Women in the 60s or Rather--Mormon Women Today

I remember when Mona Lisa Smile came out. I really enjoyed it. It hit on the conflict between being a wife and mother and having a career that women "faced" during the 60s. When it came out, I was in graduate school, and none of my friends liked the movie. They just couldn't relate with the issues that the movie presented. I realized then exactly how different my LDS upbringing was from my friends upbringing. I couldn't imagine having a life where the dilemma between having a career and having a family just didn't exist.

This weekend, I saw Secretariat. During the movie, Penny Tweedy is faced with the dilemma of her loyalty to her father's legacy and her husband and children. There's a scene where her husband tells her that he won't spend any of his money bailing her out. She cringed at his words, "my money." We labor under the illusion that we are a part of a family--that we each play our particular part--and whether your role is to earn the checks or to run the business of the household--the money certainly doesn't just belong to breadwinner.

I wonder if my culture is so far behind the times that I relate better with the issues discussed in movies filmed in and around the 60s. Hmmm....

I guess I just can't convince myself that issues of equality are really truly all figured out. I still believe that there's a lot left to learn.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Help me out friends

I'm currently lost. I have no idea where I am or where I'm going.

But I feel very strongly that I'm in the right place for me. For some reason, God has decided that I need to have certain experiences and learn certain lessons. I feel myself evolving and changing as a result of this humbling experience.

I make a lot of mistakes. I have so many things that I need to change and solve about myself. But I'm narrowing down my priorities.

No matter how lost I may be--or what problems in my life I haven't solved--I will strive every day to:

1) Help someone to feel God's love.
2) I will work hard everyday at whatever I am doing.
3) I will take time out for friends and loved ones, regardless of other "priorities".
4) I will strive to be honest with myself.
5) I will treat myself with respect and demand that others treat me with the same respect.

As long as I can remember these values everyday, I can forgive other mistakes.

This is just another page in my effort to turn the corner.

I've been talking a lot with Chris lately. I know, he hurt me. I could never explain the whole story, but please know I'm taking great care to protect my heart. I am striving to honestly identify and respect my own needs. But without going into great detail, please know that he is a good man. And I understand him. I believe that we are friends for a reason. And I'm very much at peace with just being his friend right now.

Please pray for him. He's such a good person and he's facing so many daily trials that I know are just getting to him. I can't make him take care of himself. That's one of the problems that I have with him--if he can't care for himself--how can I ever trust that he will take time out to care for me--but he spends every day caring for his two special needs children. Every moment he isn't working, he is with them. And right now, he has horrible gout and migraines. I know he's not going to be happy about me sharing his personal drama--but he'll get over it. He needs your prayers.

Thanks friends. You are wonderful!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I'm in a show.

I'm playing Nurse Rached in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at Midvale Main Street Theatre.

Tickets are on sale now for $15--$13 if you buy them ahead of time online at

November 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20TH 7:00 pm
CALL 801-566-0596

Tonight we had our first rehearsal off book. The director is a nice guy, but he had all these little games to "help" us. He wanted us to pick up a scrap of paper with a line whenever we dropped a line...

On the first night that we're supposed to be memorized.

Instead of calling "line", he wanted us to stop the play and pick up a scrap of paper and read the line on it. The lines on the paper had such sayings as, "I'm king of the world!" and "Life is like a box of chocolate." (You get the idea...) After reading that line, we're supposed to adlib until someonegot back on track. He wanted to play it to teach us to "stay in character" during the show.

I was having a heart attack trying to keep my lines together, and instead of having a rehearsal where we could work on our lines with one another, we were supposed to play a random game...

I made the mistake of expressing my thoughts out loud. As he was giddily explaining his awesome new game, my heart started racing, as I imagined everyone going off on crazy tangents, and me losing all sense of the shape of the scene and I might have said, "Are you trying to completely F*** with my mind?"

I'm not proud of swearing... It wasn't respectful. It wasn't right. BUT . . .

On the first night that we're supposed to be memorized, the last thing I wanna do is play a da** game! I want to work my blocking and try to get through the rehearsal without causing other people pain by messing up my cues!

Sooooo, yeah.

To be honest, I have a total potty mouth, but I try to come across as a better person on this blog, because, well, because someday I hope to be a better person.

But I'm not. I'm rude and obnoxious. And I swear waaaaayyyy too much.

Sooooo anywhoooooooo....

Come to the show. I'm pretty proud of it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October Resolutions

So, in my effort to turn the corner, here's a list of things I'm going to do (or not do).

1) I will stop kissing guys on the first date.
2) I will stop kissing guys just because I feel like kissing a guy.
3) I will date guys that I might actually want to have a relationship with--and stop dating them just because they're a) really really good looking and b)I know that we'd have a fun time making out.
4) I will believe that it is possible to find a guy that would make a good husband.
5) I will allow myself to hope for such a guy, and finally...
6) I will stop settling.

Kissing is fun. I have to believe that I will not be alone for the rest of my life.

I have to believe that if I hold out--someone will actually be there. Someone really really cool. I don't even care about really really good looking. I just want a guy smart enough to get that I'm a catch and that he shouldn't take my love for granted.

hmmmmm.... Perhaps I'm still settling. He needs to be funny too. And he needs to have an awesome testimony of the gospel.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Turning a Corner

How do I describe this week? Ugggh...

I want to love my life. I want to take control and be happy. And in moments throughout my day, I'm happy. I am capable of finding joy in the moments. Perhaps I'm too satisfied with less than. There are times when I look at my situation and I realize that I need to conjure the need to want more. I need to believe that I deserve more.

It's a tight rope between gratitude and ambition. I am good at being grateful for what I have--but not ambitious enough to try and make things better for myself.

I'm trying to turn a corner. I'm trying to expect more for myself.

Bishop Richard C. Edgely was my Stake President when my parents were going through their divorce. His words have always meant a lot to me. During conference, he talked about how Faith is a Choice.

This morning, I prayed to know if God is real. I feel on the edge of faith right now. I am too on the edge of everything, but most especially my faith. As I asked this question, I was reminded of moments when I learned the veracity of God's existence. It wasn't a warm fuzzy feeling, just certain moments were brought to my remembrance. But still, the moment wasn't life altering.

Then today, the speaker quoted Bp. Edgely's talk where he said: Faith is a choice.

I realized that knowing that God lives and Choosing to exercise faith are two very different things.

So, I'm rounding a corner. I'm choosing to exercise faith.

Another thought--the choice to exercise faith--like the choice that Christ made to atone for our sins--this choice is difficult. It is a choice fraught with sacrifice and with heartbreak. BUT--after the pain comes the resurrection, the new life. Choosing to be righteous is difficult. But, as sure as Christ lives--we will be blessed with greater joy and a new, sanctified life. That is the lesson of the resurrection--not only that we will live again--but that beyond the pains of today's sacrifices--there is new life and hope for a joyful happy life here on earth.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My New Week

I feel better.

I kinda like how an illness forces you to take a vacation. Granted, I sincerely thought I was going to die at a couple of different points. With most illnesses, there's a few moments of pain and a wash of fatigue. With this thing, there was constant acute pain, exhaustion, and non-stop fever from Sunday through Wednesday. I've never been so sick that I absolutely had to sleep for at least two days. But I could only sleep for 30 minutes at a time. I will stop boring you with these details. Suffice it to say, I'm better!! Yippee!!

I feel like a different person now. I've lost 12 pounds. And I don't want to ruin things by eating more--so I'm hoping that I can continue on this path of minimal calories.

Tonight I had a great time closing the restaurant. I'm back to my strength!

Highlights of the week:
1. Figuring out how to use the DVR! (Yay for tv!!)
2. Seeing the apple pie my grandma just made and knowing that I will eat some for breakfast tomorrow as a "healthy" breakfast.
3. Closing the restaurant tonight for the first time by myself without hitch. (Part of this involved figuring out how to lock the back door with a stick since the regular "key" was nowhere to be found. Go me!)
4. Visiting with Melanie and Ben Sunday night! And dear Melissa Leilani! And Heather! (Seriously, Sunday night was a tiny slice of heaven for me.)
5. Eating Ben's roast Sunday night. Yummy.
6. Eating Ben's oatmeal cookies Sunday night. Yummy yum.
7. Only gaining 1 pound Monday morning after Sunday night's eating fest.
8. Scrubbing the bathroom floor for my Grandma.
9. Chasing after my Grandma as she tried to haul giant pruned branches from the yard to the trailer. The woman is 80 years old and I had to run to make sure that she didn't over exert herself. She cracks me up.
10. Coming closer to figuring out that being poor doesn't mean that I'm a loser.

So far, it's been a great week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Facebook Flop

I have too many friends.

Facebook is lovely, but it's difficult when you have friends from so many different walks of life.

I love my LDS friends--but a recent thread illustrates the idea that some of my LDS friends have no sense sense of the world outside the LDS community.

And my non-LDS friends aren't really open to anyone telling them that their way of life might not be so swell.

While in graduate school, I tried to make it very clear that I was LDS. I didn't drink or have sex, BUT that was because I had made a covenant with God not to do those things. And I didn't judge any of them for doing those things because they hadn't made the same commitment to God. I loved them and supported them in whatever commitments they wanted to make. And when they wanted to talk religion, I was always happy to share my faith with pride and joy.

Last week, I posted a comment to my LGBT friends. I was thinking specifically of friends from graduate school who had nothing to do with the LDS Church. I was afraid that they might read remarks about Pres. Packer's speech and believe the rumors that LDS people were hateful to the gay community. My only way of fighting this was to remind them that I loved them--and that I was LDS.

I wanted to give a statement that might cause them to think twice before saying anything against ALL LDS people--just as I'm sure they would want me to think twice before making a blanketed statement against all LGBT people.

But the thread got away from me. One "friend" misread my words and thought that I was making a statement against the church. She called us all to repentance--not realizing that she was making these statements to many people who weren't LDS in the first place. Her words were accusatory--and rather than address me privately where we could have discussed it openly--she publicly accused me of being ashamed of the prophet and the apostles.

This invited other friends to express more vehemently--and their words DID seem to challenge the church. I sat and watched friends attack my church--and other friends attack myself--and I didn't quite know what to do--because again--the original intent was simply to extend a hand of fellowship to my LGBT friends.

I tried to maintain the original intent with every post. But now I am vastly misunderstood.

Let me make it clear: I believe that the duty of the Prophet and the Apostles is to give us words that will lead us to leave the happiest lives here and in the future.

Some quotes from President Packer's speech "Cleansing the Inner Vessel":

"We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.”13

Again I reiterate--their job is to teach us actions that will lead to our happiness. And to help us to have faith in our ability to adhere to those actions.

"There are both moral and physical laws “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world” that cannot be changed.17 History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God. If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish."

And I believe that he speaks the truth here. I believe that as a prophet and seer he can see the dangers that will come if we disregard the laws that say marriage is between a man and woman. And he is sharing this with us in order to help us to avoid the unhappy consequences of ignoring these laws.

Some have accused Pres. Packer of being insensitive to the rash of suicides caused by bullying and hateful anti-gay tactics. They say that this speech could be used to inspire other acts of violence against gays.

I didn't feel that. I think that wicked people can use any excuse to exercise wickedness. The wickedness I speak of here is the extension of hatred towards anyone struggling against same-sex attraction.

Same-sex attraction is real. It is not something that people make up to justify sin. It is not a choice. People have the choice whether to act upon it or not. And according to the prophets, to act upon that choice is to bring less happiness into your life. That is what I understand his words to mean.

As a follower of Christ, I do not need to understand everything. I will be given light and wisdom as I exercise faith and obedience. But, I do not need to understand everything before I exercise that obedience. There is a lot about this issue that I still do not understand. But I have faith and I believe that a clearer understanding will be given to me as I exercise faith and obedience.

I will express my love and support for all of my friends. I will have faith in the Prophet and the Apostles.

And lastly--since this is getting very long--I would like to express my faith in the individual's ability to receive their own personal revelation. God has given us this beautiful ability to speak with Him and to know His will concerning our own lives. I have friends who have struggled with same sex attraction who decided to leave the church in order to find greater peace. And I trust that they are following a particular path that God has given them--individually--that will help them to make peace with themselves and God.

It is my duty to have faith in God and obey my leaders. As a friend, it is my duty to love and support them and to have faith in their own ability to judge what is best for their lives. Heaven knows, life is complicated--and I would never presume to understand what it must be like for anyone else in this crazy world.

So there. That's my stance.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Throat

I realize this is gross. This is also crazy painful. See the white stuff? And trust me it looks much worse in person. My grandma is being very sweet to me. She makes me drink theraflu every 4 hours. This drinking of the theraflu is quite possibly the most painful torture in the world. I finally ate a meal. It was very tiny, but it's good to eat. I would like this infection to go away now. Please.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

So sick

I go from freezing to sweating. I can't eat anything but broth. This is soooo not my favorite way to spend the day.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pictures from The Mormon Women's Project Salon

Claudia Clayton

While attending The Mormon Women Project Salon on Thursday evening, I was waiting to meet with Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill. Her words as a widowed LDS scholar had intrigued me.
But, Bonnie surrounded by other women who wanted to speak with her.

Instead, another woman approached me and asked if I was waiting to speak with Bonnie. I nodded and then immediately recognized that perhaps the best opportunity for learning was in front of me. The woman was Dr. Claudia Clayton. She asked me if we'd met before because she recognized me. We exchanged a bit of our histories, in hopes of finding out where our paths may have crossed. I shared with her my current ambitions and my passion for identifying different sources of female power within the LDS community. I haven't been able to identify a particular thesis, but I'm trying to grab a hold of every opportunity I can find to ask questions and to expand my "research", and someday when the time is right, a thesis will emerge.

Today, in between conference sessions, I decided to look up Claudia's work online.

I found a beautiful speech she gave in 2004.

I share it with you now. It is absolutely inspiring.

Please enjoy! "Agency and Context" by Claudia J. Clayton

Friday, October 1, 2010

Best. Day. Ever. Part 2.

Of course you knew there would be a part 2.

Tonight I went to a Salon sponsored by The Mormon Women Project. It was held at a home in Salt Lake City. There were 4 women interviewed in front of about 40 of us gathered to hear their stories. The women interviewed were: Ariel Bybee, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Debra Goodson, and Karen B. Larsen.

It was a beautiful evening.

All four women shared stories of faith and individuality. I sat on a soft chair at the back and just reveled in the beauty, wit and intelligence of these women who were faithful to God and to true to themselves.

I'm never going to adequately convey the feeling in the room. I'm never going to be able to share the joy I felt hearing these women share their amazing triumphs and trials. It was wonderful.

One story: Ariel Bybee is a world renowned opera singer. When she was very young, she sang at an Education Week in Idaho. Hugh Nibley was speaking at the same session. He asked her about her future plans and she excitedly shared that she wanted to be a professional singer. He told her that it would be impossible. She could never be a professional singer and a wife and a mother. We all laughed. But the story was an interesting example of the limited attitude that many in the church have towards female ambition. the fact is, we don't know what the Lord intends for any of us. Ariel married and had a baby, and was never able to have more children. This broke her heart, but it allowed her the freedom to continue singing professionally. God had a plan for her. And God has a plan for each of us. It might not be the same as everyone else's plan.

Bonnie shared about her journey as a PhD candidate in the 60s, about being a single woman, and then after finally getting married in her 30s, her inability to have children until she finally told God: If you give me children, I'll be happy. If you don't, I'll be happy. I'm okay. And then 4 weeks later, she adopted a baby girl.

Karen shared about finding out she was pregnant with her 4th child, when her oldest was only 2 1/2 years old.

The whole evening was inspired.

And after my beautiful day of hiking--well, clearly, you can see why this was the best day ever.

(After the Salon, I went over to a friend's house and watched an awesome cartoon with him and his daughter. And then this friend gave me a heavenly good night kiss while Prince's song "Kiss" played in the background. I'll say it again . . . BEST. DAY. EVER.:)

Best. Day. Ever. Part 1.

Today I had a day off.

And it was glorious!

First, I met a new friend. Alisha is the sister of a dear friend, Marcia. We decided for our first meeting, we would go on a little walk on a paved path around Silver Lake--just up Big Cottonwood Canyon.

And then we found another trail . . .

It said it was only a mile up to Twin Lake.

And that might have been fine, if we didn't have a 2 year old and a 6 month old baby with us. But Alisha and I are great enablers. If it had been just me, I probably would have been satisfied with just walking around the lake.

But the very idea of hiking up a mountain with two kiddies in tow. . . The challenge was intoxicating.

And so we did it!!

Every summit, we'd renew our energies and decide to go forward.

Towards the top, it got rockier and rockier. For a two year old, it was a bit dangerous. Rather than trying to guide the little tyke up the mountain, I carried him up the last bit. Which was awesome!! I was exhausted! The trail was steep--but dangitall--I carried that kid up the final hill!! (Granted--Alisha had been carrying the baby the entire time, so... she's a rock star.)

And in the process of our journey, Alisha and I became life long friends.

We took lots of pictures, because Alisha is a professional photographer. It was wonderful! But I took pics with her camera, and I don't have the pics yet.

Soooo . . . you gotta wait for the pics. (And they are luhhvely.)

Check out Alisha's work at her webpage:

There are a plethora of metaphors I could recite involving today's hike, but I won't.

Oh who am I kidding!! Of course I will!

Here's my favorite:

As we neared the top, we kept heading towards "summits". We pushed ourselves towards each summit, believing that if we could only make it to the ridge, we would finally be at the end of our journey. And then we'd arrive and realize that we weren't at THE summit. Each time, we would stop and consider our options. We could choose to keep going, or stop and enjoy that summit and then go back. Certainly, there was no shame in turning back, but we'd convince ourselves that it was just up the next hill and shove on forward.

I feel like I recently hit a new summit. I thought it was the top. And it's not. And I'm tired. I know I need to push on and head towards the next summit, but right now--I kinda wanna just catch my breath and enjoy this vista and I'll continue on . . . I will . . . but dangitall . . . I am tired! But someday soon, I'm going to pick up a metaphorical 2 year old and run to the top of the summit. And it will be the real summit. And I will feel that ultimate satisfaction at conquering my life's mountains.

But right now, I'm gonna sit on this rock for a bit, because it might not be the top--but the view is still absolutely stunning--and afterall--isn't life really about the journey? (cue groan at horrific use of cliche..)