Monday, March 31, 2014

Modern Day Gladiators

I've a bit of an obsession with Italy.  I mean who doesn't for goodness sakes.  It's Italy.  But when I think about the time when I eventually visit, I feel like I will need at least a month.  One week for each major city/area I'm in love with: Venice, Rome, Milan, Sicily, and that is not to speak of the specific sites like Pompeii, Lake Como, Leaning Tower of Pisa that I wouldn't or couldn't miss that aren't really in those cities but I would incorporate into one of the surrounding areas.  Okay so I may need a whole summer of gypsy style travel through the county.  Elizabeth, think Summer 2025. 

But I love Rome and everything about it, mainly its history.  You see I love history and every good city has some.  I love the religious history but more importantly the cultural history.  I imagine the Colloseum is one of the largest draws in the area, and I'm right with the masses.  It doesn't hurt tourism I suppose to have movies being made about gladiators featuring notable actors and hotties half clad in "period attire".  But surprisingly I can't watch some of those movies. 

You see a little known secret about me, I'm really sensitive to violence - physical violence especially.  Still to this day, I close my eyes while watching a movie with it in, even something seemingly small as watching someone get beat up in a local fist fight.  Imagine my horror at movies like Braveheart, Rocky, even Gladiator and a slew of others.

Years ago, when the first seasons of Real World and Survivor became popular, I watched with rapt attention.  I was hooked from the start on this so-called Reality TV.  It shouldn't have been a big surprise since I already was a fan of the precursors to reality TV, shows such as The Dating Game, The Newlywed Show and Miss America Pageants.  Like many others, I watched more and more reality TV, becoming most obsessed with The Bachelor.  Since it's debut in 2002, I've loosely followed all 18 seasons of The Bachelor, the accompanying 9 seasons of The Bachelorette and even the 3 Bachelor Pad Seasons.

It started with my naïve and romantic notion of finding true love, segued into my love of people watching (so I'm a voyeur and a narcissist), cruelly turned into my mocking of humanity and "stupid" people and finally circled to disbelief and concern.

I mean here I was being a modern day watcher of "the Games".  These people either wittingly or unwittingly (I'm still not sure which is worse) were participating in the destruction of not only their bodies but their souls.  Spirituality was being pummeled and destroyed as I watched contestant after contestant use promiscuity to claim attention, humiliation to bully others emotionally, and alcohol to numb their conscious as well as promote the idea that they are carefree and fun.  And I was shocked that it had taken me so long to realize that this violence to spirit is probably a whole lot worse than the physical violence of historical gladiators.

Because in the great scheme of things...most people believe in God, Heaven and Hell.  So despite the abuse and possible loss of the body here on Earth, a semblance of life continues and the promise of Heaven remains.  But as to the spiritual dying that I see and speak of occurring every day, being watched most every evening during prime time TV, and ensuing soul destruction of contestant and viewer alike the continuation of this existence is worse than anything imaginable here on Earth.  Because the morally vapid will escape this life to be cast into the next with the same issues only intensified and where will that leave them when they are spiritually dead?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Facebook Quizzes

As Facebook quizzes rise in popularity,
I can't be on fb without seeing a friend who has posted one with their attached results. 
And almost immediately,
there I am clicking on the link taking it myself,
looking to see how I compare to my friend,
to figure out my own results. 
Travis mocks me with this as he thinks it is a ridiculous waste of time.  
But every so often, I ask and he appeases me by answering the questions
so I can find his results for him.
I know he is secretly dying to no.
Okay probably not!
Typically I'm a sensible person,
I agree it is a waste of time, which led me to the question...why???
Why do I feel compelled to take these quizzes...
to see which Disney princess I am,
find out which Era I should live in,
what Demigod I was in another life,
know the color I am,
which Biblical female I am most like,
my famous relationship doppelganger,
where should I actually live,
what is my dream home,
the Disney couple am I,
the famous author I should have been?
And after discussing it with a friend,
she answered my quandary as to why they are so popular in general and why,
me someone usually so efficient with time gets sucked into this.
Everyone's favorite topic is themselves. 
I paused at the simplicity of the answer. 
And there it is folks.  I am your garden variety narcissist.
And I think this may account for the creation and explosive rise in "Selfies". 
Something to consider!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mormons and Their Magic Underwear

The other day I had been in at the gym.  There is a weird trend that occurs amongst the most dedicated and social gym members.  After seeing these people (both staff and member) everyday they almost become your friends and most days you stop and chat a couple minutes on the way in or out of the gym.  This particular day I was stopped on my way in by a staff member to ask about another gym in the area.  This led to several topics including but not limited to organized religion.  Gym manager, we'll call him Bob, expressed his cynicism and skepticism for organized religion.  As he waited for me to weigh in, I measured my words carefully. 

After a moment I responded, well I can appreciate a lot of your concerns and recognize the validity of the complaints you have just mentioned but as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon, I can't say that I share those feelings.  Obviously, I believe in organized religion, predominantly mine.  I think that certain tenets of Christianity can be lost if not preserved by a cultural context.  It was at this point that he inquired as to our "magic underwear".  I couldn't help but laugh, although this comment is not one previously unheard by me, each time I hear it I find myself totally unprepared for the ridiculousness of it.

Shrouded in the sacredness and symbolism of their origins the masses keep thinking that there is some mysticism and magic that accompany this item.  He asked me questions about what happens if I take my garments (the actual name of our "magic underwear") off, what do they do magically speaking, what do they look like and other likely questions that I am sure most people have, but don't ask.  A secondary staff member confirmed having seen mine on several occasion as she took my body fat.  She mentioned we had to go to several layers before we could access my stomach for a measurement.

I explained to him as best I could some of the history and purpose of them, generically wrapping it up in the phrase, they are a somewhat outward manifestation of our promise to God - a reminder we see each day.  Bob was not wholly convinced as his experience with his underwear was that he didn't think about it ever in the day except now that we were talking about it.

As he continued to ask scattered questions including wondering what we like to be called and more about the origins of the church, I answered him as best I could.  Often times I am to quick with my words and less thoughtful than I should be.  But I started to give him a brief explanation of the church and where the FLDS and us differed.  As I explained the death of Joseph Smith and briefly about his life, he jumped in with - yeah I know all about that I...where he promptly dropped off the end of his sentence.  I encouraged him to finish and he somewhat bashfully said, "Yeah I know all about that I watch South Park." 

Well being good enough friends, I laughed at him, and said well I guess that covers it then.  He admitted to how ridiculous it sounded once he said it out loud.  But honestly I didn't mind.  I'm sure we've all seen clips as the church is often mentioned on it.  Regardless at the end of the conversation he admitted to having a hundred more questions at least.  And finished time you do a long run, I know what we are talking about.

You see when training for my half marathons if I am stuck inside on the treadmill on a long run day, the workers will come back and talk to me and entertain me for 20 minutes stints, to help me from getting bored.

And you see I would like to re-emphasize that is A-OK with me.  I'm happy to answer any or all questions you have.  Because I would rather you ask and me with my well intentioned but blundering ways answer my way through them then you wonder and believe that my underwear have mythical properties as yet unseen.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It's Official

She's 12. 
 I can hardly believe it. 
You see that little, cute brunette in the bottom right. 
She's all mine.   
This is last night. 
The night of her birthday and sleepover party.
12th birthday party
Where to begin with this girl???
Well she was the cutest chubby baby.
She made being a mom easy, especially for me who is not the most maternal.
She could belly laugh by 2 months old and I would laugh just as hard.
6 months
When she was younger she had health issues. 
But even still she was so easy.
Not to say that she isn't ever stubborn, because she has the longest fit of any of my kids - 4 hours.
3 years
But at the end of the day she is just a girl who wants to be happy and get along with everyone.
She'll make a lot of personal sacrifices to ensure that peacefulness.
She's a lot like her dad in that way.
I've never met a person who didn't love her.
4 years
As she got older, she's become my biggest helper.
She's my best friend.
She's super wise beyond her age.
She may be packaged in a tiny shell, but she's not timid.
8 years
She loves her Heavenly Father.
She loves her parents.
She almost always tries to do what is right.
She's pretty amazing.
I love you, Bella. 
I'm so excited for you.
You'll love being 12, entering Young Women's,
going to Girl's Camp and continuing to grow up.
And I'll try and love it just as much as you.
But it just makes you one year closer to going out on your own.
And I'm totally not prepared for that.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Most of my life I've been super hot.  See this post!  This is not a euphemism for my physical beauty, but really about my physiology.  I once proved it to my husband, by standing in front of a heat sensor, where it proved I emitted more heat.  So at night, when I am the hottest, I have learned to combat waking up hot and not being able to go back to sleep because of it, by wearing tons of clothes to bed, so I can take them off when I get hot all through the night and feel a little cooler each time.  Each morning if you go to my side of the bed you'll find a varying size pile of clothes.

I don't like to get mad, but have been known to go there.  I feel like I've grown a ton, but on occasion I may try and make your life unhappy too if you push me too far.  Case in point when I was 7 or 8, my sister and I shared a room.  She had made me very angry.  I can't remember why, but I decided to put boogers on every one of her dresser drawer knobs so that it would be physically impossible for her to open them without touching my boogers or cleaning them up.

I've turned into my mother.  When I walk into my kids' rooms and they are dirty after I have had them clean them that day or the day before, I just pull everything that is bugging me into a big pile that I throw in the middle of their room.  They can't miss it this way.

Despite being a religion that doesn't practice Lent, I have practiced it every year for the last 6 years at least.  Hey why not give up bad habits and unhealthy foods.  Kick it for forty days, kick it for good. Maybe???  Donuts defeat me every time.

I am too busy - almost always.  Many days I think I do too much.  But when I finally stop doing things and settle down for the first time in ages, I feel bored and restless and crazy and useless.  I decide I don't like that either and hop by into everything.  I don't know if I'll ever find the happy medium.

I have two major styles of dress.  They are in direct discordance with one another.  Often times I feel like they represent my personality.  Dress Style 1:  comfort, comfort, comfort (think Pj's - cute ones and trendy work out clothes)  I wear them everywhere without shame: the grocery store, the kids' school, youth group activities, the gym, random errands, to bed.  Dress Style 2: Formal attire(think very high heels, quirky not boring if possible (think cherries on them, snakeskin or something), dresses or tailored clothing.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Blue and Gold Banquet

This was such a fun night, planned and carried out mostly by my friend - Christie.  The theme was Space.  We had a game, Meteor Shower.  We did alien face paint, antennae and took our pictures in the astronaut photo area.  We hit the spaceship piñata and gathered candy.  We finished the night off with a build your own sundae ice cream bar.  It was my favorite Blue and Gold Banquet to date.