Sunday, February 28, 2010

:::Fools Mock:::

When Hawaii went on tsunami watch over the weekend, locals fled to grocery stores in droves to stock up on necessary supplies. One store, so overwhelmed by the onslaught of desperate shoppers, had to put up a sign to inform people that each family would be limited to only two cans of Spam.

In Defense of Spam

You probably make fun of Spam, don't you? Makes you feel all high and mighty, doesn't it? Like you're some kind of food connoisseur or something.


Let me tell you about Spam.

It is delicious.

As a young Marine, my father was stationed on Oahu for a stretch of time. From the Marines he learned that no pain is so great to ever cause the shedding of tears. From the good people of Hawaii he learned about Spam.

If you're ever in a group of Polynesians and you start making fun of Spam, prepare to die. My high school econ teacher made that fatal mistake. He thought we'd all laugh along with him as he made his cruel Spam jokes, but all did not. No, no indeed. Not I, nor the Poly section of our football team.

And now for some perspective.

Do you eat ground beef? Ever? At home? Fast food? J'accuse! I know you do!

The story of ground beef, in it's many journeys from slaughterhouse to factory upon factory upon factory to the point that it ends up in a neat little package at your grocer, or, better yet, in a delicious taco or burger at your favorite fast food joint, is a revolting and stomach turning tale.

Trimmings. Scrapings. Feces (yes, feces!). Ammonia. Filler.

Those 'USDA Prime' or '100% Beef' labels that you find so much solace in mean nothing, niente, nada. Trust moi, I read about this stuff all the time. Plus, my sister saw Food, Inc. and she told me all about it, so, yeah, I know things.

But you're still not convinced, are you?

You're probably saying, 'I don't care, Spam is nasty. Don't you know what's in that stuff?'

Well, not exactly, but I can imagine all the parts on an animal, and you know what?


They taste good.

In Defense of Spam.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

:::The Wierdest Cab Driver I've Ever Had:::

And I've had some weird cab drivers. Like the guy who I s.w.e.a.r. was blind, or at least partially blind.

The conversation started out normally enough -- where are you from, blah, blah, blah. Then somewhere around Pennsylvania he started asking me questions about my dating history, like if I thought the boys in California were better than the boys out here, or if I had dated any Spanish boys while I lived there. When I said no, he asked me if I only dated White boys. What about Black boys? Why not Spanish boys? What about Asians? Did I speak Spanish? Did I not like Spanish boys?

No, he was not Spanish.

Then he launched into some story about a girl he knew (his daughter?) that had once dated a Black boy. He was a playboy, but he treated her well because she treated him well. I didn't really catch the whole story because he was speaking sooooo quietly and he had a really heavy accent, but I did hear him say that said Black boy was 'physically strong, you know, and she was physically strong as well,' which he said was important.

I am writing this post now, so you know that I made it home alive. Surprisingly enough, he did not kidnap me and force me into an arranged marriage with a Spanish boy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

:::Crowning Glory:::

If I have daughters, I will tell them that they are never allowed to cut their hair.

I will tell them that I never felt uglier in my entire life than when I chopped off all of my hair.

That it has been more than three years and I'm still dealing with the repercussions of that damn faux hawk. At least my hair is all one length again. Now we just have to go the distance together.

To the waist! To the waist!

Dear hair, I promise no more scissor snips, and you just keep growing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

:::Chest Circles:::

So, I bought a new workout dvd...

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I have an uncanny knack for calling my sister while she's trying to get the children out of the bath and into their pajamas. So much stress! So much commotion! So much yelling (children) and crying (sister)!

Once they were done with the pajama routine it was time to clean-up the playroom. Someone named Molly had pulled all of the books off the shelves and turned over all of the toy bins. Sensing the frustration in the air, I told Sarah I'd call her back later when the little terrors were finally in bed.

At times like this I always like to end our conversations with some well-timed words of wisdom, so before we hung up I trilled in my best sing-songy voice, 'Remember, it's a blessing to be a mother!' She responded, 'Yeah, well it's not a blessing to be a maid.'

Ha! Point granted.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

:::3 Hour Block:::

Today marked our return to church after a two-week snow hiatus. We had a larger than average nursery this Sunday, and by the end of the third hour I was worn out. It's funny how quickly you lose your church stamina after only a short time away.

This is a picture of our entire nursery room. The whole thing, the whole shebang. When we have a lot of kids and parents who linger, things get tight very quickly. You'll notice the portable radiator in the background. Our meetinghouse is actually a converted Safeway that is about the size of one and a half Creameries on 9th. Tiny, tiny, and not very well insulated. I think the nursery must be in the old frozen food section because it is painfully cold in there during the winter.

The girl who gives me a ride every week gave me these cheery Gerbera daisies this morning for Valentine's Day! I was so excited, and so happy to meet another single person who loves Valentine's as much as I do. The whole 'Singles Awareness Day' movement baffles me. As my mom said once, 'It's a day about pink and red and flowers and candy and hearts, how can you not love that?'

And how can you not love my improvised flower vase? Needs must.

The night before our first snow storm I bought some shelf-stable, no-cooking necessary groceries just in case we ran out of food at the house. Now I have the distinct pleasure of eating through my rations. Did you know that SpaghettiO's have a full serving of vegetables in them? Well, gee, that makes them practically gourmet.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The snow is over. Thank the heavens above.

Thank you. Thank you! Thank you.

And the kitchen staff is here! You have no idea what a burden that lifts off of my shoulders. The managers have been cooking meals and cleaning the kitchen for days and days now. Oh, merciful heaven, sweet, merciful heavens above. Do you know how much prep and work it takes to feel 100+ people a hot breakfast, a full dinner, and a full salad bar every night? Do you know what kind of cleanup that entails?

Glory, glory hallelujah!

Amen, and amen. It's over.

Work was officially canceled today, which I know gutted the stingy you-know-whats I work for. Even though I only went to the office one day this week for a few hours, today is the first day that I feel like I'm actually on vacation.

Glory hallelujah!

I feel like I have boundless energy! What to do, what to do. I'd love to go to a museum, but they're all closed. I'd go for another adventure walk, but, you know, been there done that. Plus, it's supposed to be wicked cold today due to some severe winds in the area.

So who knows what I'll do! Who, who, who, who knows?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

:::Amended Thoughts On Visiting Teaching:::

Long post with no pictures.

So, last night after I wrote that post about visiting teaching I felt a tremendous load lifted off of my shoulders. I don't know, I was just a cathartic experience to own up to every single reason why I've been afraid to do my visiting teaching over the years. And wow, has fear ever played a big part in the equation.

I should say that all the reasons I listed were more of a lifelong retrospective collection of the things that have kept me from visiting teaching. I was digging deep, super duper deep, to think of every possible reason why I would be unmotivated to visit teach. It was embarrassing to share some of the things on that list, but it was good for me, and hopefully interesting/enlightening for you.

I didn't want to own up to all of the things I listed, particularly the 'I don't have anything in common with anyone' excuse. I hate that one. While it is a real concern that I have had throughout my life, it is too defeatist, too whiny, too self-centered for my liking.

First of all, visiting teaching isn't about me. Shocker, right? Second, one of the most tender mercies that the Lord has given me is to show me that regardless of any outside factors, all of His children are more similar than they are different. Everyone struggles, everyone cries, everyone worries, fails, loses, doubts, and misses out. We are all more a like than we are different. While the unfortunate circumstances of mortality are an undeniable equalizing factor in all of our lives, the fact that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father is the greatest equalizer of all. That makes for a lot of common ground.

In one of the singles wards that I attended in Provo, someone once bore a strong testimony of becoming a Christlike people. At the time we were meeting in the De Jong concert hall in the HFAC, so during sacrament meeting there was a lot of space for people to spread out. He noted how far apart we were sitting from each other, and used that as a metaphor for the Adversary's attempts to steal people away one by one from the flock of the Lord.

It seems like such a small thing, and I was a little indignant when he said this, but I couldn't deny his words. The reason I always tried to sit separately from everyone else was, for one, personal comfort. Hello. But I also had the attitude that none of the people in the ward were my friends because no one would ever be able to 'get' me. Why would I want to sit closely with them? I was different, they just didn't/couldn't understand me.

This brother finished his thoughts by saying that Satan's modus operandi is to divide and conquer. First he leads us away from the flock, and then he starts to play with our testimonies by distorting the truth. Here a little and there a little, just as the Lord teaches us His gospel.

The attitude that I am just so different from everyone else has been a destructive force in my life. It is born from a lot of fear that was born from some undeniably bad experience from my growing up years. Seeing this as an opportunity to divide me away from the flock and conquer my testimony, it has been one of the major ways that Satan has worked in my life. I hate it. I truly hate it.

In recent years I've become better at not projecting my weaknesses on the LDS people at large. Even in circumstances that temporarily validate my fears, I'm more adept at letting them roll off my back, keeping my hackles down, and moving on. Feeling a part of the flock, like I have a right to be in the flock, like people want me in the flock, is my Achilles' heel. I don't know what yours is, but ironically enough there's a good chance that it's the same thing. {Sigh} If we could only get to know each other better we might be able to help each other out. Oh wait, is that what visiting teaching is for?

All of this sounds so lame now that I'm writing it out, and I feel embarrassed about admitting so many of the things on the list in my previous post. Really embarrassed. However, it was good for me to feel that shame because it made for a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which in turn opened me up and made room for a teachable moment from the Lord. I hate the way I feel when I'm stuck on me. It's just a crummy, hopeless, and stifling feeling.

My best attitude toward visiting teaching comes when I completely forget myself and approach the situation like an anthropologist on a research trip. I am happiest when I am committed to learning more about the sister I'm visiting, and not about comparing her apples to my oranges. I actually really enjoy visiting teaching when I have the right attitude.

So, when I've got the right attitude and I'm committed to being a good visiting teacher, I think my biggest difficulty is that it's just so blame hard to get started.

Kids, it's still snowing.

Monday, February 8, 2010

:::Tra, La, La, I'm Going to Pretend This Isn't Happening:::


It's snowing, again.

We're on winter storm warning, again.

10-20 inches tonight and Wednesday.

Happy thoughts. Let's talk about something else.

Blogging friend Jill recently wrote a post about visiting teaching. I commented that I find it funny that after all of these years, we still, still aren't doing our visiting teaching. Such a simple concept, and yet it is seemingly impossible to execute. Realizing that I am by no means excused from visiting teaching, here are the main reasons why I don't faithfully fulfill my VT assignments:

1. I'm not already friends with the women I've been assigned, so I'd have to get to know new people. Factor in shyness and anxiety.

2. Making the first contact is scary. Again, shyness and anxiety.

3. Having less than committed partners is a drag. I have wished many times that the partnering aspect of visiting teaching would be done away with. Trying to schedule visits with 2+ women is hard enough. Throwing in the schedule of a partner just makes it more so.

4. It's scary opening up to people about your deeply held spiritual feelings.

5. I worry that my testimony pales in comparison to the women who have been assigned to me.
6. I don't want anyone critiquing my testimony.

7. I don't have cute enough clothes.

8. I hate small talk.

9. I'm not married, so I can't relate to wives/mothers.

10. I don't date, I hate talking about dating, or the lack thereof, so I have a hard time relating to many of the common woes of single women.

11. I don't want to give up my free time.

12. I don't have a car.

13. I currently have 4 assignments and a partner that could care less about visiting teaching.

14. I worry that the women I visit teach and my partner are judging me.

15. "When a woman's got a husband, and you've got none, why should she take advice from you? Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare and all them other high-falutin' Greeks." -- Music Man

16. I have yet to find a comfortable sitting-on-the-couch-addressing-someone-sitting-to-your-side position.

17. I don't always love, love the message.

18. I don't want to get ready go out again after I've just come home from work.

19. I don't want to go visiting teaching on my way home from work -- I just want to go home.

20. I don't want to get stuck in the home of some crazy, nut job, right wing Republican and have to hear about all of their 'fun' ideas about politics, race, religion, etc. Notice I said 'crazy' and 'nut job', this isn't a general burn against Republicans.

21. I've never visit taught someone, to my knowledge, who came from a similar background as I did. I'm afraid that the average LDS woman won't get where I'm coming from and will think I'm weird.

22. I don't like giving up details of my personal life to anyone I have to see on a regular basis.

23. I'm waiting for the perfect visiting teaching situation (what does this mean?).

24. I doubt that anyone wants to hear from me and listen to my perspective on the gospel (very closely related to #21). I've never had an 'in the box' life as an LDS person/woman and have had to make the gospel work for my own weird and not-optimal situations. I know sometimes people like to hear stuff like this, but on the other hand, sometimes they don't.

25. It brings to mind all the ways that I'm weird and different from everyone else (very closely related to #24).

26. Worrying about making a cute handout and bringing a delicious and impressive treat stress me out.

27. I have a hard time getting over all of my fears about myself and other people (bingo).

So, now that I've made myself look like a complete tool, why don't you share what your reasons are for not visiting teaching.

:::Adventure Walk:::

I can't talk about snow anymore. I'm snowed out.

I went on a 4 hour adventure walk yesterday from my house all the way to the Lincoln Memorial and back. So much snow, so much blinding snow. I've been blinded! By the snow!

I fell a lot and got stuck a lot and wallowed around like a walrus a lot while trying to heave myself out of the snow. And then I tried to climb over snow piles a lot and got trapped up to my hips a lot and had to body surf over to the other side a lot. But the good news is that there are a lot of kind strangers who will offer their help when they see a defeated chubby girl lying on the side of the road in a snow drift.

Pictures, here are pictures...I have no more words.

Ah, no more.

:::My Penultimate Post About Snowmageddon:::

These are some photos from Saturday that I wasn't able to load before.

{Good thing I bought some snow boots in December}

{I love this little robin. He's just chillin' like a dude, staring straight into the storm}

{There were so many dogs out. They were having such a great time}

{I love the lace-like appearance of tree branches covered in snow}

{I met this doggy on my way home. Her name was Cruella, get it? Ha, ha. She had the cutest little snow boots on.}

{Her owner made her sit still so I could take a picture of her. There's a great sense of community during storms. I love going out and talking to people as I'm walking around.}

Just one more post and we're done!