27 November 2011

Hugo: Amazing

Tonight, I saw Hugo. Amazing. This movie is worth the 3D experience. It's beautifully done in that respect.

The story is rather cute, and though some things are predictable, overall, the movie doesn't disappoint in the story telling. It reminds us of where movies came from. It reminds us to not forget the past and to love every minute of our lives.

It is beautiful.

25 November 2011


I blame my Grandmas for this.

22 November 2011

Today's Rant Brought to You by the Number 31

It's a 2 part rant.

Part 1:
I dislike my ward. There are a few people in the ward I like. Let me be clear. There are about 5 people I feel I have any sort of real connection with. That's it. Going to Church should be relaxing and uplifting. I find it stressful. I shouldn't feel so out of place in a ward where people are my age. But I do. A lot.

We're supposed to be each others family. But my ward members live with their families (for the most part), so why do they need a ward family? They don't. The people I get along with don't live with their families and need a ward family to help sustain them. So what it comes down to is this, my ward is very cliquish,  split down the middle with people that grew up together on one side, and those of us transplants on the other. Very few people cross this line. I've tried. It doesn't work.

Which means, that if I am still in this ward when I turn 31, I will not be upset to leave. At all.

Which brings me to Part 2:
There are three types of wards in Utah. (I have to specific here because the second type I mention only exists in Utah.)

  1. Young Single Adult: This is for anyone age 18-31, and single (unmarried).
  2. Mid-Singles: This is for anyone age 31+, and single (unmarried).
  3. Family: anyone can attend these wards, but if you fall into one of the other demographics, you're encouraged to go to those wards.
This age distinction seems rather arbitrary to me, and for those who know me: I HATE ARBITRARY RULES!! </yelling>

I get why they don't want someone who is 40 in a ward with 18 year olds. I understand. I do. But the way we currently define the wards seems silly. I'm 29 and in a YSA ward. I have no connection to the kids who are 18-22. None. At all. I have more in common with my roommates (who attend the Mid-Singles) than I do with ANYONE in my ward. But I can't go to their ward, and they can't come to mine. Silly.

What really bugs me, is that this distinction cuts people off. Say I liked my ward, and I got kicked out at 31. Then what? I'm now cut off from the people who had been supporting me through my life. And I have to start over at one of the most difficult times in my life? Not cool. It explains why a lot of people my age go in-active. We know we don't fit into the ward life. We know that no one really knows what to do with us. We're aberrant. Anomalies. And we feel it.

So, what I propose is simply new distinctions. Something along the following lines:

  1. Young Single Adult: 18-25. This will cover most people IN college. And give you a bit of time after you're done with your schooling.
  2. Single Adult: 26-35 (about there...I mean, it is, after all, arbitrary, right?)
  3. Family: Anyone. At all. :)
Seems a better division to me. I don't feel like a Young Adult. I am an adult. I've been through college, I have an advanced degree. And I'm in a ward where most people are still working on their first degree. Or are still figuring out what they want to do, so not in school...not really working either...Mom and Dad take care of that, right?

Can we agree that something needs to change, at the very least?!

21 November 2011

So...funny story...

I blame Cindy and Confuzzled for my lack of posting this weekend. And they can't really say it wasn't their fault. Haha.

I think there is a misconception that people of faith (any faith) are blindly obedient to their leaders. While this does, in fact, happen, I don't believe that all faithfuls are 100% behind their beliefs 100% of the time. I know I'm not. But! I think this is normal and healthy. You grow from struggle. You learn from doubt. And so, I give you a little Oscar Wilde for your morning:
"To believe is very dull. To doubt is intensely engrossing. To be on the alert is to live, to be lulled into security is to die."
Foster a bit of doubt. It might just renew your faith.

17 November 2011

Book Club: Lolita

It always amazes me, how much we can talk about at book club. We never are quite able to stay focused on the book, and someone is always bringing us back to it. "To come full circle...."

We're currently reading Lolita, though. This book doesn't allow you to not talk about it. THERE IS SO MUCH TO SAY.

The writing is fabulous. Nabokov wrote it in English. Wait, that's a Russian name. But yes, this man is trilingual. So when he writes a book for the English market, he writes it in English. He doesn't write in his native tongue, and wait for someone to translate. Also? Hello, I need a dictionary. It's great. I can understand what he's saying without looking up some of the words, but holy crud! His vocabulary is EXTENSIVE.

You're meant to hate the narrator. And you will.

However, like anyone else who has read this book, it's a definite must read. You can't really explain it's brilliance until you've experienced it.

I'm sure not everyone loves this book, but there is something about it, that is truly unique and amazing.

15 November 2011

Ducks: Explained

This linguistic moment is brought to you courtesy of Wikipedia's page on ducks.

The word duck comes from Old English *dūce "diver", a derivative of the verb *dūcan "to duck, bend down low as if to get under something, or dive", because of the way many species in the dabbling duck group feed by upending; compare with Dutch duiken and German tauchen "to dive".

This word replaced Old English ened/ænid "duck", possibly to avoid confusion with other Old English words, like ende "end" with similar forms. Other Germanic languages still have similar words for "duck", for example, Dutch eend "duck" and German Ente "duck". The word ened/ænid was inherited from Proto-Indo-European; compare: Latin anas "duck", Lithuanian ántis "duck", Ancient Greek nēssa/nētta (νῆσσα, νῆττα) "duck", and Sanskrit ātí "water bird", among others.

Some people use "duck" specifically for adult females and "drake" for adult males, for the species described here; others use "hen" and "drake", respectively.

A duckling is a young duck in downy plumage[1] or baby duck;[2] but in the food trade young adult ducks ready for roasting are sometimes labelled "duckling"

And because no duck post is complete without a picture:

Baby Mallards

Still Battling Sleeping Issues....

But over all, today was a much better day. :)

So here's a gratuitous picture of me and my "boyfriend":

He just had a birthday, recently! Yay, for birthdays. He's a cutie.

13 November 2011

No Snappy Title Today, Sorry

Yesterday, I missed blogging. Why? Well, two reasons...
  1. I had blood work done
  2. I started Prednisone.
Blood work and I are not friends, I pass out if care is not taken. Then I'm "out of it" for several hours afterwards. I managed to take a nap, which was happy since I started the Prednisone after my blood work.

Why is a nap a happy thing? Well, Prednisone is known to cause sleep issues. I slept 5 unrestful hours last night. Tried to take a nap today, and managed about 30 minutes in the 2 hours I was laying down.

Also? My legs ache. I hate it. I can't get comfortable, even if I want to. I've tried everything.

Moral of the story? If your doctor tells you that he's treating you with Prednisone...tell him "no, thank you" even if you know it's the only thing that will work.

11 November 2011

What Does It Say About Me?

What does it mean when all my plants have to be lined up in a row. I can't have a row with multiple plant types. It just doesn't happen.

10 November 2011

I (will) Have a PhD....in Horribleness!

Well, not exactly...but I will tell people that I do. :) Because? It's funny.

I got my GRE scores back today.

Verbal: 159 (equivalent to a 590)
Quantitative: 155 (equivalent to a 700-710)

(I know, doesn't make sense to me either.)

I'm in.

Anywhere I want to go. I'm in. I did it. And there is no one awake to scream in joy with me!


09 November 2011

I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends...


Beautiful kids, beautiful signing, beautiful message.

Speaking of beautiful:

I miss signing.

08 November 2011

Sometimes...The Answer is "No"

Usually, anniversaries* are happy events. Someone is born, married, engaged, etc. Some anniversaries, however, are not happy events.

Yesterday, my parents celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. The were sealed 31 years ago. Yay! Happy.

Today? Today marks the one year mark of a miracle that did not happen. I'd tried to shut down from feeling, so that this day could pass and I could pretend that everything was fine.

But, this is not healthy behavior.

So I sat down and let myself feel the emotions that had been carefully locked away. I let the tears fall, I let myself know that it is human to miss people. Even with all the religious reasons to feel at peace and happy. It's okay to miss people. It's okay to feel upset. It's okay to not understand.

You move forward anyway. Slowly you pick up the pieces and figure it out.

Today, I miss my cousin. Today, I feel empathy for the pain his parents are suffering. For all who loved him, today, I wish you some ounce of peace.

*I originally typed "anniversaires" the French plural. /sigh

Monday 11/7

Sorry, no blog post yesterday. I fell asleep really early. Which is to say prior to 10. I had planned a post, and forgot.

My Monday was "awesome"? How about you?

Sunday, I learned what my "low tire pressure" light looks like. I just assumed the cold weather had brought this one, and planned on adding a bit o'air to the tires on the way to work.

I never made it to work. I did, however, discover how easy it is to call my roadside assistance line and set up a stranded girl appointment. I had someone come put my spare on for me, and then drove the "screwed tire" to Les Scwab to fix.

My car is happy again. :)

06 November 2011

A Quick Sunday Thought.

Blessings of the priesthood are shared by men and women. All may qualify for baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. All may take upon themselves the name of the Lord and partake of the sacrament. All may pray and receive answers to their prayers. Gifts of the Spirit and testimonies of the truth are bestowed regardless of gender. Men and women receive the highest ordinance in the house of the Lord together and equally, or not at all (see D&C 131:1–3).

- Russell M. Nelson "Woman -- Of Infinite Worth" October 1989

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...


6 inches. Yep.

(Note this was Nov. 5...Remember, remember the fifth of November...)

05 November 2011

Grumpy is as Grumpy Does....

Yesterday, I had a meeting at work. 45 minutes into it, we all find out that we are going to round-robin read our way through a document. <sigh>

The meeting leader started out reading. M chimed in that she thought this was a silly idea and that maybe we should not proceed. The leader seemed to take some offense at this and made a comment along the lines of "too bad, this is what we're doing."

At which point I chimed in and mentioned that I have no attention span and would not be able to pay attention to the reading and if the people who had made the document would like to point out specific concerns and highlights, then that would be more effective use of our time.

A jumped in at this point to say that there isn't really anything specific the creators had to mention and that reading it through would be a great way to familiarize ourselves with it.

I restated that it felt like we were being treated like we were 2. And that if we made mistakes in our editing because we hadn't read the document than that was on us and we should be held responsible for that. But having us all read this (over the phone, mind you) in a round-robin setting was not the best option. That my attention span would not allow for it and I'd much rather read it on my own later.

The meeting leader said "that's unfortunate" and continued with the reading. I hung up. And muttered something about "oops, my phone just hung itself up."

The meeting ended a few minutes later. I asked my coworker K if someone else had complained since the meeting had ended early. He said "yes, but they handled it better than you did." Oh wait, he didn't say it as much as he barked/yelled it at me.

So I asked another coworker, J, if she thought I'd been rude. This had not been my intent. She replied that it did come across that way. M started a conversation with me in which she thanked me for sticking up for her and stating the same concerns. I asked if I'd been rude, and she said "I didn't think you were being rude, but I know you.

So I apologized to those I had interacted with. I just couldn't believe that no one took M's concerns seriously. And treated her like she didn't know what she was talking about. Also, I was the only one willing to voice what everyone else was thinking. (Several in the meeting came to me after the meeting and said they had all been thinking what I had said. I was just the only one to say it.)

Generally speaking, I'm very quiet in meetings. If I do voice dissent, it's done in a very cordial manner and I usually don't care enough about what is being discussed to actually fight for anything. But yesterday? Apparently, something snapped. Probably from the blatent lack of regard the meeting leader showed for one of her coworkers. I really hate that.  You don't have to like our opinions, but you do need to be respectful.

But what bugged me the most about this was not that I was called out for being rude. I needed that. And I appreciated M and J for telling me that I was rude, but they understood I wasn't intending to be rude. (The two I apologized to also said  I came across rude, but understood my point and were not upset with me.) What bugged me the most was K's reaction and his rude behavior towards me. The very thing he was upset with me about, he was doing to me.

What makes this even stickier is that K and I are friends. We get along quite well most days and even have done things outside of work. Friends get to be grumpy with each other on occasion. I can't really issue a complaint to my boss about it, because K was probably reacting as a friend and not as a coworker. And today, we're fine. He didn't apologize to me (which, he probably should...but I won't push it), but he did reach out to me as a friend.

Maybe he was having a bad day and just used his friend as a person to release frustration. Doesn't mean he was right, but maybe there was something else bugging him. <shrugs> I just ignored him the rest of the day, and would have continued to do so today if he hadn't extended a small olive branch.

03 November 2011

More Conversations with a Four Year Old

Who is apparently turning 16 this year, who knew?!

It's been a week or so since I had this conversation with my nephew. My sister was doing something in the kitchen, Maxwell talked to me...then Wesley came over and there was a kerfuffle over the phone that ended with Maxwell crying. However, I had talked to him for a good 5 minutes before Wesley came on the scene. It's hard being 3 when no one is being nice to you!

M: Maxwell, I already talked to you, it's Wesley's turn. Wesley, do you have the phone or did Max take it?

W: Mommy has a phone. Daddy has a phone. I don't have a phone. I need a phone.

M: You need a phone? But you're just a little guy!

W: YEAH! I'm too little. I need to grow up!

M: I think you have a few years to go before you will need a phone.

W: Yeah, I need to be bigger so I can have a phone.

Ah, kids. They certainly make me smile. A lot.

02 November 2011

Reconciling the Past and Present

As an LDS woman, I belong to a group known as the Relief Society. Like any good society, we have a president, two counselors, and a secretary. For my local group, I am the 1st Counselor. This means that I am in charge of making sure lessons get taught each Sunday.

I'm currently working on a lesson for this coming Sunday. Being that it is November, I'd tentatively planned on doing a lesson on "Thanksgiving." Lame, I know. After talking with my friend, Cinderella*, I decided to modify my lesson and title it "Being Thankful for Me!" I think too many of the women in my Church see their life as a formula, or a checklist. Then if we don't check off the items in the right order, or on some right time table, we feel frustration and like something is wrong.**

I'm in the researching stages. I could live in the research forever, those who know me understand that I just love to do the research and see where it takes me and then when the research is deemed done (it's never really done), I love talking about the research and spreading the knowledge around.

I did a preliminary search of General Conference talks for titles that seemed to fit my need. I pulled up several and made a list. Now, I'm carefully reading each and then marking it off my list. (Taking copious notes, and gleaning ideas along the way.)

I don't make any apologies for my lack of connection with the current General President*** of the Relief Society. I have never been able to make a connection with her or what she teaches us when she talks. I do have a connection to one of the counselors, but that was made independent of her talks. She's an amazing woman. I'm sure the president is as well, but I can't bring myself to like her.

In the past, we've had some great presidencies. I don't always remember their names or their teachings with clarity, but I remember feeling like they loved me and that they wanted me to know that God loved me and that our life plans were so interesting and unique that no one could have a simple checklist to mark off. Checklists don't exist. Not tidy ones at least...

I lamented to a friend, that I miss the leaders of the past. I cited Sister Sheri L. Dew as one that I particularly missed. I remember listening to her speak and I KNEW that I could do anything and be anything and that a checklist for my life would be a silly means to gauge my success and failures. She talked about living the Gospel, about not being ashamed to be different. She embraced being a people that were meant to stand out from the crowd. She was a progressive, forward-thinking individual....like many who taught along side her.

Our current president seems more concerned with a 1950s ideal for womanhood, than actually teaching me anything useful for MY life. She speaks to a specific demographic, and I feel left out and like I don't belong in her worldview.

I can honestly say that I had not felt that way until the last few years. I can honestly say she has greatly influenced me and my feelings of discontent. I can honestly say I will not be sad when she is released. (I do understand, that I am the only one responsible for how I feel, but she doesn't help the situation.)

How do you reconcile the past that seemed to speak of a bright and beautiful future, with a present that leaves you feeling like you're left out of that once bright and beautiful future?

*My friend, Cinderella, is the author of Cinderella's Pear. She blogs about food issues and dealing with living gluten-free, allergy-free, and the like. Check her out!

**Please note, this is not a criticism of my faith or my Church. This checklist issue is bigger than any one demographic. I guarantee you ask anybody about what they thought their life would be, they would have a list of things. Whether they accomplish their goals or not, everyone has a checklist.

***In the LDS faith, each level of leadership is mirrored up a ladder. The local level has wards, and each ward has a mirrored copy of the highest level of organization. We call that level the "General" level since it covers the whole Church. Those of us on the ground-level are often referred to as "local leaders" haha. There are several levels between the local level and the general level. Much like the Catholic organization has churches (or parishes); a dioceses (over several parishes); and so on up to the Pope.

01 November 2011

Only Bite You Forever!

Too Funny.

So, apparently, having an emotional breakdown on God has the same effect as having an emotional breakdown on any man. He steps up His game.

Last night was Halloween, as I'm sure you're all aware. I cried over a box of donuts and apple cider. It's like my grandma left a HUGE hole in my life. Not saying that the way we're working the traditions isn't a great thing. Just saying that sometimes, you see the things she used to do and she's not there doing them, and you just lose it. And, you start crying. And then, you start praying. And then, you breakdown emotionally, and God does what any man would do when faced with a sobbing girl: He tries to fix it. (Ever notice the panicked look in a man's eye when you start crying? Hilarious, when you think about it.)

So enter today and ridiculousness ensues.

Friends popped out of the woodwork and started saying "let's get together and do something*!"

Some start by posting on Facebook an innocent comment, with an innocent request to get together and chat. And then chaos ensues, with not-so-random name dropping and planning. (it's all on Facebook, if you want to see it.)

Then you tell your work friend about the "something" and she says "romance in the work place rears its head once again." And you say, "planning the marriage; we like the idea of 6/6/12." Because that? is ridiculous at it's core.

And that, is my life. My week went from dull and lifeless to one big mess of things to do and places to go.

So crying is just as effective on God as it is on the mortal variety of man**.

*Doesn't this movie look beyond ridiculous?! Holy hijinks, Batman!

**Though, I would imagine this is more Heavenly Mother's doing. She probably hit Him and said "you do something now, or I will...and YOU won't like WHAT I DO."