Friday, December 31, 2010

End of Year Musings Part II { and This Man Says Your Faith is a Joke }

When i denounced the mormon organization (and christianity in general), i fully expected to be "unfriended" on Facebook (and in life) by many mormons.  What i didn't consider was whether other "christians" would do the same.  I noticed one today.  Obvious hypocrisy aside, what does that say?  I think this man makes several good points:


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beef. It's What's for Dinner

Not really.  We had baked ziti.  But i ran across this photo of Bryce chowing on beef (which he calls "snake" and is his absolute fave food) and i just had to post it.  This kiddo makes me laff.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is it Pulling Teeth, or is it Photographing Your Own Chitlins?

 I swear, my kids are the biggest turdbuckets when it comes to letting me make their photos.  TURDBUCKETS!  They won't sit still, or make "NORMAL" faces; they have to be gooftards.  Oh well, that's probably a good thing, really.  When i look back at these in the years to come, i'll remember their personalities more because they shined through so brightly in their photos.  They're still turdbuckets, though.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everyone's an Ocean Drowning.... { End of Year Thoughts }

I like renewal.  I like closure.  I like that this year is coming to a close and a new one is starting soon, and even though one day rolls on into the next regardless of a date on a calendar, i like the symbolism of the New Year.

I had some of the best times of my life this year.  Working and playing in Virginia for 5 weeks (late May through June) and partying with old friends was phenomenol.  Girls' Night Out with the 540 crew; Cheesecake with Ang; X-Lounge with Amy and her sil, James, Monica and Scot; visits with people i haven't seen in nearly forever; cultivating a better relationship with my mom and brother; watching Bryce's wonder and amazement at all Virginia has to offer: bugs, beetles, birds, trees, flowers, moss.

My photography trips to Portland, OR and New Orleans and the friends i made there who have become such integral parts of my life...those were exhausting and amazing trips. 

There were sad times, too.  I made and lost one of the best friends of my life this year.  It's funny how quickly the winds can change direction.  It's sad how people can let themselves be ruled by hatred, fear and jealousy.  But i have great memories of those months...lots of laughs.

I finally came out publically as an Ex-Mormon (although we left that church over a year ago).  That was both difficult (facing the persecution, judgment and hatred many of them innundate "apostates" with--i even got dirty looks at a funeral), and yet the most empowering and pro-human thing i've ever done.  Words can't express how happy i am to have learned the things i've learned this year.  I finally have true peace.

I've learned a lot about my family this year.  It turns out when you let go of all the religious dogma and pretending, you can really get to know people and they can really be themselves.  I love Todd and the kids more than i could ever imagine.  I love who they really are.  They are awesome people and i'm lucky to have them in my life.

We've had bad times with type 1 diabetes this year.  Allie was hospitalized 4 times with DKA.  She's still not on board, but we're still doing everything we can to help her. 

Zane has grown inches...he's my height or slightly taller now.  Unreal. 

Bryce continues to develop as quite the character.  I have no idea how he comes up with the hilarious things he says.

Miracle of all miracles: i finally ordered a family portrait for the empty 24x36" frame that's been hanging on our living room wall most of the year. It'll be here Thursday.

All in all, 2010 was pretty okay.  I'm looking forward to 2011 and have certain hopes for this year. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Us, On Xmas Day 2010

We had a nice, relaxing day today. Ate tons of food, watched a couple movies with the kids, went out and snapped some pics, ate more food, then ended the night with a drive around to see lights one more time.  I fell asleep during the second movie, hence being wide awake at 2 a.m.  Fun, fun! But i got our pics edited, and got mostly caught up on email, so....








Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eating Habits

I'm not talking about what i eat, but more how i eat it.  It just occurred to me that i'm pretty picky about which foods get eaten with what utensil and from what container. 

Examples:

Spaghetti must be eaten from a bowl, never a plate.
Cake must be eaten from a bowl with a spoon, with milk poured over.  Otherwise, why bother?
Ice cream must be eaten from an 8-oz. glass (a cup is okay, too, but not plastic).
Actually, i prefer any food in a cup vs. on a plate, if it can be reasonably eaten that way.
If it can't be eaten in a cup, i'll try a bowl before resorting to a plate.
Don't give me a large spoon or fork.  I'll take the kids' sized ones.
Mayo straight from the jar with a spoon?  Yes, please!
Ice ruins drinks (except for liquor, unless it's mixed with juice).
I hate eating at a table.  Couch, floor, bed, standing...anything but a table. 

Conclusion:  i'm weird. 

Happy Festivus!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yesterday FAIL! { and Little Motel }

Kayso, i said i was gonna edit those last 75 photos, post them to a gallery, etc., yeah?  I soooo failed.  But in my defense, there was a LOT of head-swapping to be done in Photoshop.  With a shoot involving 22 kids, there's gonna be head swapping here and there.  That's just life. 

So, here i go, back to Photoshop (oh how i love/hate you). 

I'm feeling a little manic today, so here's the song to calm me.  It's even mellow enough for buffalos.




"Little Motel"




I hope that you like it in your little motel

And I hope that the suite sleeps and suits you well

Well I can see it as time and a sight through smell and

Thats why its nice to be by yourself



Cause thats what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for, aren't I?

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for darlin'



We treat mishaps like sinking ships and

I know that I don't want to be out to drift

Well I can see it in your eyes like I taste your lips and

They both tell me that we're better than this



Cause thats what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for, aren't I?

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for darlin'



We trade tit for tat like that for this

And I don't think that there was an insult that was missed

I can see it in your eyes like I taste your lips and

I'm very sorry



Cause thats what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for, aren't I?

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for darlin'



It rained and its over a shooting star

Landed directly on our broke down little car

We fold and we had made a wish

That we would be missed

If one another just did not exist



Cause thats what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting on, aren't we?

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for darlin'



That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for aren't we?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sleepin' In { and When I Look at You }

Wow, i've been sleeping in super late as of late.  Late late!  I woke up at 8:30 today.  If you know me, you know i'm an unwilling early riser.   It's the norm for my eyes to pop open at 5 a.m. as if an alarm had gone off.  I dunno what it is lately...winter?  Stress?  Carb bingeing?  Being exposed to unpleasant vibes?  Meh, no matter.  I'm too busy to worry about it and it will all work itself out anyway. 

Until then, i'm going to edit 75 photos (today!), post them in a gallery, deliver an order, fill a couple last-minute orders and close my doors for the holidays. 

{ P.S.  Chris, i will answer your email after i close my doors for the holidays...i haven't heard of your electronica peeps, but i love electronica.  I'm rather into dubstep right now...Oscillator Z, Inspector Dubplate, Vaski, Rusko...let's chat it up for sure! }

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nose Piercing - Then Vs. Now

Then:

It was 1992.  I had just returned to the States from 2 years in Japan.  Body piercing was just getting popular but there were no dedicated body piercing parlors around (in central VA, that is).  So, i talked the terrified girl at Piercing Pagoda to just go for it with her piercing gun.  I don't recommend this method, really, i don't.  The swelling immediately afterward was quite noticeable.  It was pretty hurty, but not intolerable.  I can't remember how long it took to heal.  I just remember that by the time my leave (from the USAF) ended and i had to put a clear plastic holder in, it had healed enough that i could easily do that (and i'm thinking i took a month's leave). 

Now:

After letting my nose piercing close somewhere around 1994 or '95 (or 96 or 7...damn the senility), and really missing it, i decided to have it redone.  So, a few days ago, we went to Club Tattoo in Mesa and Mercedes skillfully repierced my nose.  I was scared, but she was awesome!  Her personality and the way she handles petrified customers is really top-notch.  She has a gift.  The pain was nothing...it was over in half a second.  I like this method much more than the previous one i used.  haha.  Allie got her belly button pierced that day, too.  Very cute.  I highly recommend Mercedes! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Owning the Corner Market on Kindness { Retrieving My Goats }

Bloody hell!  It's almost New Year's and i still have a few goats out wandering in the wrong pasture.  I don't like it when my goats are out wandering where they shouldn't be.  I really want to have them all in by end of year...and that is

SOON!

So, let's start with something that has my biggest goat right now:  groups who think they have the corner market on kindness.  You know, the ones who think they're the ONLY people in the world who take dinner to sick people, or have compassion for mankind (or animals, or each other), etc. etc.  You know what i mean.  And if someone outside their fold performs a kind act, they say things like, "They're REALLY one of US...they just don't KNOW it yet." One of them recently tried to convince me that because i had done something kind for someone, it meant i was one of "them." 

I just threw up in my mouth.

I am sooooo not one of "them."  I am one of ME and ME happens to be a kind and caring person.  Errr...I happen to be....

Case in point:

I was raised in an atheist household.  I wasn't indoctrinated with the dogma of any religion.  The neighborhood where i grew up consisted of middle-class suburbanites who commuted to D.C. to work all week, then drank on the weekends, had parties and enjoyed life. They shopped on Sundays or took their kids to the movies.  They were also there for each other in times of need.  They weren't wallowing in religion.  They were simply good people.  { Side note: I can remember only one church-goer from my childhood, a Baptist named Libby.  I had no interest in learning of her beliefs, nor did my parents.  (Thank kitty, because i was horrified when the Baptists boycotted Disney over gay people having benefits for thier partners and if i had become affiliated with that hateful group, i would've shat myself, like i did when the Mormon church funded Prop 8).  }

So anyway, despite my godless upbringing, i was always a caring individual.  As a child, if i found a sick or injured bird, i would nurse it back to health.  When i got older, i got involved in school and community organizations.  I was the secretary and then the president of SADD.  After high school, i served in the Air Force where i also volunteered in many ways.  After that, i volunteered with CAP (Child Assault Prevention) and with other non-profits.  Even now, i still volunteer (for JDRF's ODST--Online Diabetes Support Team) and try to be there for people, in general. 

And guess what? 

My caring nature has NOTHING to do with religion.  It has everything to do with being HUMAN and, more importantly, an individual capable of having my own interests, beliefs, and concerns. 

So, to those of you who have my goat because you believe people are only good because of religion, i hereby reclaim my goat.  Next time you throw your cookie-cutter beliefs at me, i will have only this to say to you:

MAAAAAAAAAA!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Should I Change?

I dig the enneagram.  It's a personality typing thingamabob.  I'm a Seven (the Enthusiast).   My enneagram message for today is this:

"Today, reflect on your important relationships. What patterns do you see? As a Seven, you would probably take the role of the "ebullient entertainer" of your partner. Is this true? If so, see how it plays out and what the consequences are." (Wisdom of the Enneagram, 271)

I'm pondering this.  Is it good to be an ebullient entertainer?  Is it bad to be an ebullient entertainer?  Should i be a dull entertainer, or just plain dull?  Is being entertaining bad?  Does it cause trouble?  Should i be more like this:
_   _
.  .
 .
__


When i'm not sure about the answer to a question, i consult music (or Winnie the Pooh, but he was not on the telly at the time).  As i watched Adventureland tonight, this song answered for me:




I realize i'm not for everyone.  I can be a bit...much.  But that's just...me.  Take it or leave it.  Just know that i wish you only the best, no matter who you are, or how you feel about me. 

Cheers.

Being Human

I have a love/hate relationship with being human.  Right now, both are happening simultaneously.  I love the rich field of emotions we humans get to wade through.  Or frolick through, depending on the day.  I'm both wading and frolicking today. 

I don't love it when people play the whole "pointing the finger" thing, but i do like it when one of them steps up and tries to be decent and make things right (or at least better).  Maybe there IS a Santa Claus! (Maybe.)  Thanks, Todd, for taking care of that.  I know some of it was disappointing, but some was good, too.

I don't love having to tell people things that are difficult for them to hear, but it is sometimes necessary.  Otherwise, they might go on believing falsehoods about us.  And they may choose to anyway; they may need to in order to maintain their belief systems.  I will not be offended by it.

What i do love is seeing people grow and evolve.  I love seeing people happy.  I love seeing people enjoy the small things.  When a simple box full of coffee can make a bunch of people happy, that is awesome.  Simplicity.  It is good.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Birthday Celebration - Yes, I Owned It.

1.  Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles with some of my favorite people on this here planet.  Mish, Swan, John, Todd...thank you.  Swan, thank you extra for being you.  You are my favorite!  (Sorry, guys).  Your commentary on Scottsdale Snookie will go down in the halls of greatness.

2.  Olive & Ivy...beautiful bar.  Stunning, really.  The dj played MGMT Kids for me.  And totally surprised us with Tegan and Sara.

3.  Martini Ranch.  I owned it.  Both dance floors, the band, the go-go dancer.  (Todd, nice job with the 5-spot!  Watching that belt hit the floor was definitely one of my favorite moments; and John, you definitely owned your 5'er too!  And you both danced!  I'm so proud!  Then again, good luck NOT dancing when i'm in the mix.  WHAT!)

4.  Undeniable sadness.  Something was missing.  But that's okay.  Life is beautiful that way.  It really is.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tips for a Great Holiday

http://www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-Festivus

I'm really looking forward to the feats of strength this year.  You're all invited!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me! I Live in a...Tree! (I'm Using the F Word Here, in Case You Need to Shield Your Clean Brain from It)

Or, i might as well.  But anyway...i just wanted to share this awesome card from my friend Chris: (click it if you can't see it all in my tiny blog space)



Yeah, baby!

So, yeah, happy birthday to me.  I see more piercings and ink in my very near future.  Rock on, mother fuckers!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

If You Haven't Seen This, Please Do

...it's a eulogy recorded by a woman named Carla for her own funeral.  It's fucking fantastic.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas List

Really, i only want things for Todd (which will also benefit the kids and me as well), so....

Dear Santa,

Please bring Todd a raise.  It's been almost 5 years.  Or, another week or 2 of paid vacation a year like everyone else on the planet (he only gets one).  Or paid sick days (he gets zero).  It sucks ass when he gets sick and has to miss half his paycheck.  Or his whole paycheck! 

Thanks, Santa.  Don't worry, i really don't expect anything from you.  I believe you are just as fictional as the other guy. 

Peace!


s

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas Miracle

Kayso, my weight fluctuates like the tide.  In, out, up, down...bigger pants, smaller pants, bigger bra, smaller bra.  And it's never the same twice.  One gained pound could go to the boobs one week, then be lost, only to show up later in my cheeks and neck or, more often, around the middle. 

This week, however, the excess weight i've gained from enjoying homemade eggnog (Southern Comfort style), chocolate in excess, and lots of In N Out Burger (hey, my kid was in the hospital for 13 days.  What.) has miraculously gone to my ass!  My pancake ass is sporting a little whipped cream for the first time in it's LIFE!  And i like it!  I'm filling out the back of my jeans!  I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, because i know from years of experience that it's going to morph it's way up to my gut again by midnight. 

Three cheers for my plump Christmas-Miracle Ass. 

HA!

Friday, November 26, 2010

hospitals

Lack of blogging = Allie in hospital with severe DKA and other issues since Saturday. More later. I hope you are all well and happy. Smooch!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Back from After Dark { New Orleans }

Last week i spent 5 crazy days in New Orleans, 3 of which were spent shooting photos (see the photog blog).  I went a day early and stayed a day late to have time to hang out with some friends i made in Portland in September.  We had a BLAST!  Bourbon Street didn't know what hit it. 

And the FOOD!  There's no place like Nawlins for food. I ate jambalaya with RABBIT and sausage, SEAFOOD CHEESECAKE (my favorite from the week), crabcakes to die for, and decent gumbo (it was the least exciting of my food adventures, but still pretty good).  I found the BEST PRALINES at Laura's and brought home a dozen for the fam.  And i somehow still managed to lose 2.5 lbs while there.  (We are soooo busy with photography at After Dark). 

It's good to be home.  Now, just to get over this nasty cold. We have a crazy busy weekend coming up!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Adventures at 35,000ft.

So I board my flight from Phoenix to Houston and was two rows behind a dude who had just signed a record deal (as he and his dad had loudly celebrated at their departing huggy wuggy time). It was apparent that Rock Star Dude was one hot mess.

As I took my seat and buckled up, dude got up and staggered down the aisle. He could hardly hold his eyes open as he loudly announced he'd been out drinking 151 all night. When he loudly demanded a stripper, 3 flighties surrounded him and escorted him off the plane. At least he didn't resist.

After takeoff, I watched My Sister's Keeper. At arrival in Houston I disembarked with streaky makeup and a snotty nose. Note to self: no heartwrenching movies on next flight!

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Friday, November 5, 2010

So Long to This Cold, Cold Part of the World



So long to this cold, cold part of the world
So long to this cold, cold part of the world
So long to this bone bleached part of the world
So long to this cold, cold part of the world
So long to this salt soaked part of the world
I stepped down as president of Antarctica
Can't blame me, don't blame me, don't
So long to this sad, sad part of the world
So long, So long

~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Political Prediction: Andrew Cuomo Next President { and The Time I Met Mario Cuomo }

Back in the fall of 1987, my bff Jennifer and I went to New York to stay with her sister.  Her sister took us to Chautauqua (which i'm probably misspelling, but am too tired to check) and on that particular day, a bunch of (now former) Soviet delegates were there, along with Governor Mario Cuomo (whom Jennifer and i worshipped).  We listened to the delegates and Gov. Cuomo speak, and watched afterward as Gov. Cuomo made his departure up the aisle out of the ampitheater. 

Gov. Cuomo turned toward Jennifer and me and noticed my I <3 NY t-shirt and approached us.  He smiled, chatted, shook our hands and was one of the nicest, coolest guys ever (i've told this story before, so if it sounds familiar...).  I asked him if he was going to run for President (that was HUGE topic of debate in the news at the time).  He said no way, and that he could never leave New York. 

Fast forward 23 years, and now his son, Andrew, is the Governor of New York.  I predict that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be either our next President, or the one after that.  If he wants to be.  If he wants to take on that mess.  And, even though i voted all Libertarian this election, i would probably vote for Andrew Cuomo.  If he's as stand-up a guy as his father, he's already won me over. 

Now, i have to go check the results of the medical marijuana prop in AZ. 

Happy politicing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Work and Shenanigans { Not Necessarily in That Order }

Let me start by saying that these two are trouble:  ( love them! )


and this guy...he speaks for himself!


and somehow, the photo i shot after hours in the Saloon turned out pretty nice:

Friday, October 22, 2010

If I Was Your Girlfriend...

i love love love that song, and found the Eels (one of my fave bands) doing it (long ago).   SHUT UP!  Who knew?

PAY ATTENTION TO THE LYRICS!  Seriously, i still sing this in the shower.  Sooooooo effing awesome!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Does God Exist?

I love the last point!  I wish more religionists could accept that!

103.5 / Slow Going

I know i'm only starting Day 4 of weight loss and i've lost 2.5 lbs., but it seems to be taking so long to lose weight this go round. I know that's silly, and that i'm being spoiled and impatient, but damn! I just want to get there, be there, stay there for a minute and move on. I'm not enjoying the process this time like i did the first time. I had more to lose that time and i had a very clear goal--i wanted to look good in Virginia. Hehe! Now, meh. I don't so much care. I need a goal.

So, that's my goal for today: find my reason for losing the spare tire.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

104 lbs / Day Two SUCKS It! { and Wear Purple Today! }

Shew!  I had forgotten how miserable day 2 off sugar is for me.  I am a tried and true sugar addict and getting off the smack is really painful for me.  Day 2, for some reason, is always the worst.  I suffered yesterday, wanting chocolate and cake and ice cream.  GAH! 

I seriously contemplated just caving in, saying F*#! it and eating sugar.  I alllllmost got to a place in my head where i didn't care if i was puffy with carb-bloat (carbs make me retain water like mad) or if my gut hangs over my pants.  Then i sighed, planted my feet, and decided i'm not quite ready to have a closet full of mumu's.  Yet. 

To compensate (and comfort myself), i ate about 150 more calories (healthy food) than i normally would while losing weight.  Hence, only losing 1/2 lb in the last 24 hours.  Still, that's nothing to bark at.  I'll take it.

I'm not exercising during this round of weight loss.  No particular reason, just laziness.  Plus, exercise isn't necessary to lose weight with SPEED.  Gotta love that!

On another note:  today, in honor and remembrance of kids (and adults) everywhere who have taken their lives because they were bullied for being gay (or being perceived as gay), please wear purple, which stands for "spirit" on the rainbow flag. 

To those of you who believe gay people CHOOSE to be gay and continue putting that idea out there and CAUSE BULLYING because of the beliefs you try to force on the rest of the world:  SHAME ON YOU.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (The Declaration of Independence)

Sadly, there are people in this great country who feel that gay people shouldn't have the right to pursue happiness, again attempting to force THEIR beliefs on the rest of humanity.  How very, very tragic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

106 lbs (104.5) / 22.2% { and multi-Bryce Extravaganza }

'Kayso, i go through phases where i'm in such a celebratory mood that i do just that--celebrate!  Daily!  And how do we Americans celebrate?  With food (and drink, but mostly food)!  Especially sugar!  Wheeeeeee! 

So, long story short:  I fell off the low-carb wagon for a month or so (okay, maybe even 2), gained 4 jiggly, clothes-tightening lbs., and decided that's enough. 

I climbed (bitching and complaining) back onto the ole low-carb wagon and IN ONE DAY am down to:

104.5 lbs. 

Yep, i'm down a lb and a half in one day. 

I'm tellin' ya... http://speedweightlossbook.com/ 

And in other news...Bryce was sitting on my lap yesterday looking at old pics on Facebook and he came across a multi-shot of Todd sitting on the couch.  "Ooooo three daddies!" he exclaimed.  I asked him if he wanted a 3-Bryce photo and he jumped off my lap and planted himself on the couch, sitting and waiting quiet as a hamster while i got my gear ready.  That little monkey just cracks me up.  We ended up doing a 4-Bryce photo:

 Click to make it biggah!

Monday, October 18, 2010

4 Years Since D-Day { Allie, I Love You }

It's been four years since Allie was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease called type 1 diabetes.  This has been a rough year, with several trips to the hospital for DKA

I was just looking back through old posts about D and the one below brought back so many chilling memories; i can't belive we've made it this far.  It hasn't gotten any easier; i've only gotten a bit more numb.

http://crapstain.blogspot.com/2008/08/we-may-love-glucagon-but-we-love-emts.html

I still have days that make me hide in my closet and cry for Allie and all she goes through with this disease.  She didn't choose it.  She didn't cause it.  There's still no cure.  All we can do is move forward the best we can.  It's hard. 

I'm still in pieces...shattered and untied:


Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Can't Tell You This Story { It's Funny/Mildly Embarrassing }

But i will anyway.  TMI alert!

So, Todd got snipped about a month ago.  We came home from the procedure with lots of paperwork, including instructions on having "emissions" tested to make sure we had attained a state of non-baby-makingness.  The paper said to bring a "sample" to the doctor's office after 20 "emissions" for lab testing.  If that sample came back clear, then 2 weeks later we would submit another, and if that also came back clear, we would be considered ready to roll!

Well, 20 times?!  We wanted to get our all-clear as quickly as possible, so we worked our butts off to make it to 20.  (Not that i'm complaining; hard work is good for ya! ;o)  And so, Friday we took our sample in to the doctor's office and told the receptionist we had a sample to drop off.  She and the nurse who was standing beside her looked at us all confusey-like. 

I raised my eyebrows hopefully. 

The receptionist tapped away on the computer and said, "Ooooh.  You don't bring that in until after your follow-up appointment (which is next week).  The doctor will give you a container...." 

Embarrassment aside and sheepishly grinning, i plead, "But we worked so hard!" which made the nurse giggle.

I looked at Todd, hoping he'd think of something to say to make them just kindly take our sample anyway.  He had nothing.  He made a funny comment and we left the building, sample in tow.

I don't even want to contemplate the conversation that followed between the nurse and the receptionist.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Douchey

I love that word.  Douchey.  It comes out sounding so...clean.  No pun intended, i swear.  It just rolls so pleasantly off the tongue. 

Douchey.

Come on, say it with me...

Douchey.

Out loud, come on...

Douchey!

Again!

Douchey!

Doesn't that just make ya...happy?

Douchey!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Hello Kitty Has No Mouth

Hello Kitty perportedly has no mouth so that people can apply their own feelings to her.  So, if you're feeling downtrodden and need a comiserator, Hello Kitty is your...kitty.  And if you're giddy with excitement, so is Kitty White! (That's her nickname, by the way). 

And today, i am a mouthless face like Hello Kitty.

This is me:

:


Sunday, October 10, 2010

When You Come Across an Atheist.... { caution: f-bomb }

Apparently atheists are crotchety old goats in bathrobes, holding cups of (oh no!) coffee.  As the (please say you're fucking kidding me) Spiritual Safety Tip poster says, you should avoid talking to these "poor lost souls."  Hey, i have a better idea!  LET'S BURN THEM AT THE STAKE!

Nah, religion's not dangerous.  It doesn't promote hatred or fear.  There are no hypocrisies involved in practicing religion.  Religious folk are tolerant of both other religions AND those who choose NOT to subscribe, right?  All the time and money spent on making stupid shit like the poster below is perfectly justified, right?  It's for the protection of our children, should those goat-like old atheists lash out at them!

Last time i checked, "freedom of religion" also meant freedom FROM religion if one so chooses.  Freedom from a god of any sort, as a matter of fact.  But fear is a powerful weapon and as long as religious leaders are serving up heaps of it to the masses, we will continue to see idiocies like this poster and millions of dollars will be spent by various religious organizations to ensure people remain fearful of those who are "different."  

Sounds very loving and kind, doesn't it?  (Yes, i'm dripping with sarcasm; it's part of the healing process.  Someday i may repost this, but say it nicely and more straight-forward.  Until then, sarcasm is what's for dinner!)


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Great Quote from Brigham Young

‎"If there ever comes a day when the Saints interfere with the rights of others to live as they see fit, you can know with assurance that the Church is no longer led by a Prophet, but a mere man." - Brigham Young

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Randomosities

A photograph should not make a cute, slim girl look like she gained 20 lbs overnight.  I'm just sayin'...yikes.

Caramel/vanilla marshmellows are okay.  Just okay.

It's not so bad driving a small car.  I'm lessening my dissonance with the justification:  "I'm leaving a smaller carbon footprint." 

I haven't had lasagne in FOREVER and that's what's for dinner!  Mmmmm.

Tomorrow i'm having a business/pleasure lunch with one of my bff's.

I'm considering a Peter Murphy marathon. 

Menopause still sucks.

I'm going to NoLa next month; it'll be my first time back since Katrina.  I hear it's better there now, not so many crackheads on the streets, and generally cleaner.  Two or three friends are meeting me there to play before our photog shin-dig.  I should lose a few pounds beforehand to make room for pralines and bread pudding (note to self). 

And that is all. { at least for today }


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maybe I'm Just Bad at Reducing Cognitive Dissonance

From WikiPedia:

"Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[2] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance  <--read more here; it's pretty fascinating.

I think the feeling i described in yesterday's post about just feeling "wrong" in that church was just that:  cognitive dissonance.  And i did play the justification game for a lot of years.  So glad that's over!  C.D. also pretty much covers why members of that church try so hard to come up with rationalizations for why people leave.  They will never accept the real reasons; too much dissonance in that!  And that's also why they can't allow themselves to believe we who leave are more happy than ever before.  It's kinda sad.  I feel sad for them.

I'm going to leave you with a quote { to ponder } from one of my favorite movie characters, Lester Burnham from American Beauty (one of the best movies ever made):

 I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry, you will someday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Utah Suicides

After yesterday's post, i looked into the Utah suicide rate.  It only confirmed the fact that i lived with blinders on for so long.  I had heard that LDS church members in Utah were big into plastic surgery (always have to strive for perfection, after all), and now i'm hearing more and more about the suicide rate in Utah. 

You can read an article from Deseret News (2007) here:
http://www.affirmation.org/news/2007_054.shtml

Many parts of Utah are in the 90th national percentile for suicides.  That is astounding. 

And now i'm going to rant a bit, because i need to let it out.  If reading about why i left the lds church would offend you, then stop here.  My intention is not to offend, only to let out what needs to get out.  Like i've said before--expecting me to not talk about something that was part of my life for 19 long years just because you don't like what i'm saying is ridiculous. 

So, anyway....

I got a message a few days ago from someone in one of my old wards who must've just found out i'd left that church.  She hoped i would someday find happiness.  I tried to explain to her that i've found it, but i don't think many inside that church are capable of comprehending there is SO MUCH happiness, love and peace in the real world.  But the part that freaks me out is this:  i told her that since leaving, the almost daily desire to off myself has gone away.  It has, it really has.  I didn't realize just how bad it was until i started typing this post.  I was in a really sad state.

Inside that church, they would say that "Satan" tempts and harasses faithful members of that church and that's why i felt suicidal.  That's such an easy (albeit ridiculous) answer to every little dark cloud that passes over that church or its members.  The reality is more like this:  trying to fit myself into that little box was slowly killing me.  Trying to force myself to believe hurtful things (like that homosexuality is an "abomination," or that gay people can be "healed" from homosexuality, or that in the "Celestial Kindgom" women will be even more baby-making machines than they're supposed to be here on Earth) was killing me.  Trying to convince myself continually that people aged 19 or 21 should hurry up and get married, or that Joseph Smith was a prophet after learning that the Book of Abraham had been translated (thank you, Rosetta Stone!) and was actually the Book of Breathings, and dealing with the constant judgement that goes on inside that church was killing me slowly.  The constant twisting of scripture (tell me if you'd like examples!) was killing me. Because i could FEEL the WRONGNESS of it, at the same time i was hypnotized and pacified by it and constantly "encouraged" to testify of it's truth.

What gets me is how happy people are when they get a "day off" from going to church.  I saw posts about it on Facebook over conference weekend.  If you hate going, why go?  If you hate your calling (i could name sooo many members who have "confessed" to hating their callings, or their husbands' callings), why put yourself through that?  If you realize that church is sucking the life out of you, why go?  Why do something that makes you so very unhappy?   And all the while, have to continually try to convince yourself that you're happy.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, i already know the answer you've been taught.  I was taught it, too. 

I choose life.  I choose happiness--real happiness.  And if that means that i get dirty looks at a funeral (yes, i did) or that i lose business because members shun those who leave (yes, many do), then so be it.  At least i'm living honestly.

My sincere, heart-felt hope is that those who need to wake up and find love, peace and happiness, can and will.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Driving in Second Gear { Updated! Hope for the World! }

Yesterday our transmission went the way of the Sasquatch and became a legend.  Okay, not really.  It just died a little.  Okay, a lot.  We can now only drive in 2nd gear.  Driving in second gear kinda sucks.  I mean, we're still moving forward, but at such a ridiculously slow rate. 

Funny, that was my life for so long.  When i subjected myself to being told how to feel, what to think and believe, and what was right and wrong, it was impossible to move forward at a pace consistent with where human intellect should be in 2010.  I was living in 2nd gear.  And it felt wrong.  So very wrong.  There were certain things i KNEW in my heart, like:  gay people do not choose to be gay.  They are born gay, just as certainly as i was born straight.  Aside from the fact that it should be common sense, i knew it in my heart.  I feel it in the quiet moments of reflection and when i'm consumed with love for humanity. 

It doesn't matter that science can prove it (and they have: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/111663.php), or that gay people can so eloquently state it (and they do: http://charlie-itsnotpersonal.blogspot.com/2010/10/love-is-not-morally-wrong.html); what matters is that when i'm thinking in a loving space, i know it. 

I believe religion is one of the most stifling, repressive and dangerous creations man has ever thought up.  When i think of how many people have committed suicide because they were told who they were was wrong, or an "abomination" or that they can choose to be something they are not, it breaks my heart.  It hurts me, as a caring and loving human being. 

People, wake up!  The world will not fall apart if you learn to think for youself, despite what you've been told.

UPDATE:  just read this and now have hope for many in the world: http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/10/lds-apostle-boyd-k-packer-is-wrong-about-homosexuality.html

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Polygamy { Wow! Polygamy! }

So, i missed the first episode of Sister Wives on TLC.  I have my DVR eagerly set to record future episodes.  Polygamy has become a really interesting subject for me lately.  I didn't give it much thought while i was a member of the LDS church, my limited thoughts naively glancing over the probability that polygamy wouldn't bother me.  (GAH!)  Now that i've had time to give polygamy the amount of thought it properly deserves, boy have i changed my mind.  I'm very bothered by it!  Not by the thought of my husband being with someone else sexually, but by having to share his down-time.  And hot damn, we can just barely eek by on his pay as it is, so can you image him having to support more wives and more children?  Crapstain.  We'd be living in a van down by the river.

Well, let me back up and say that i'm not bothered by the polygamy being practiced by the folks on Sister Wives.  I haven't seen it yet and therefore can't comment on it.  The polygamy that bothers me is the polygamy that was practiced by the early leaders and members of the LDS church.  Many of those women lived in poverty because their husband didn't make enough to support them all.  And the way the women got passed off to other men, or how some women who were already married to good men were married to church leaders, then discarded later.  It was not pretty, folks!  Here's a first-hand account from Eliza Young,  Brigham's 19th wife.  You can read her entire book online:


My heart goes out to the lonely wives of the LDS church's early polygamous practices.  What sorrows me even further is that some people choose to not believe these women; they would rather deny the truth and dishonor these unfortunate women who suffered so much.  Nothing good came of polygamy instituted by the early LDS church.  NOTHING. 
So, now here's the BIG QUESTION OF THE DAY:

If polygamy is legalized in the U.S., will the LDS church start practicing it again?  I mean, the practice of polygamy was ONLY stopped because it was outlawed in the U.S.  So, if "God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow," then will polygamy once again be practiced by members of the LDS church if it becomes legal in the U.S. as the Sister Wives folks are attempting to make it? 

Whooooo weeeee!  I feel a cluster f%&* in the making.  Not because i think polygamy couldn't work in some instances.  I'm sure there are people (most likely of the non-religious sort) for whom it could work well, for whatever reason they saw fit to do it.  I'm just sayin'...can't wait to see how it all unfolds!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm Seeing The Pixies Tonight - Oh Yeah!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good Stress, Change, Outted Ribs { Adios Miller&Miller Photography }

My rib is out again. I can only describe the pain it sends shooting up my spine, neck and head as "!#$%*" and sometimes blinding. It happens when i spend long days at the computer.

I've been at the computer making some big changes. Miller&Miller Photography is no more! We are now known as StudioCentric, partly because we're shifting our focus more toward studio work and also because we're a bit eccentric. It just seemed to fit. And there are just too many Millers out there doing photography, so....

Sneak peek of the new website is here (very much still a work in progress)
http://67.23.237.183/~stut/  We should go live in a day or so.  In celebration, anyone reading this post who wants to come in for one free Facebook shot, call to schedule!  480-286-0112

Cheers!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Future Photographer?

Can you just see it in his eyes?  I think the hood loop he's got around his neck adds to it, but i do think i see a budding photographer here. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gonna Find Another Place, Maybe One I Can Stand

http://crapstain.blogspot.com/2010/08/oh-huh-uh-no.html

Listen.  Read.  Reflect. 

That song is a perfect reflection of what's going on in my mind right now.  Portland had a huge impact on me.  It's calling me.  I loved the people of Portland.  Those are the people i want to photograph.  Those are the people i want to live among.  "Gonna find another place, maybe one i can stand." 

I'm so ready to leave Arizona.  It's so dead to me here, so characterless and bland.  "Went to the porch to have a thought, got to the door and again i couldn't stop."  I wasn't cut out for living in a flat, brown, lifeless (in oh so many ways) place. 

I have got to get out of here.  I waited so long to live my life as myself that i don't want to waste another minute. 

People, don't waste your life trying to force yourself into a mold that isn't you!  One day you may find it was all a lie and that years of your life are gone that can't be gotten back. 

I think it's time to pack it up and move along.   "Gonna float on maybe would you understand."

Haiku for Menopause

I wake up soaking
Like i just climbed from a pool
Eff off, menopause

Friday, September 17, 2010

True Exhaustion

How about 4 days of 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. photography?  And then being too amped to get to sleep.  I have two new loves:  first--Portland, Oregon.  There are signs and bumper stickers that say, "Keep Portland Weird."  Yes, please!  Everywhere I looked were tats and piercings, people playing music on the streets, super-yum and cheap food from street vendors, TREES!, interesting and old architecture...CHARACTER!  And don't get me started on the Voodoo Doughnuts.  All the things i'm lacking and missing here in Arid-zona, Portland supplied (even crazy and over-the-top friends with whom i instantly clicked and added to my family).  I cried on the flight home.  After telling Allie about it, she's decided that's where she needs to be.  Yes, please!  I'll come visit lots!

My other new love is After Dark Education.  If i could just upload all my thoughts and feelings from those 4 days, i so would.  There aren't words to describe.  I'm so grateful i went.  I'll be at all the rest, too.  It's just.  that. good.

Pop over to my photog blog if you wanna see some of my images from there:
http://millermillerphotography.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 10, 2010

Whip Scorpion Alert Called Off { Wind Scorpion Captured }

A strange sensation woke me from a deep sleep around 4 this morning.  It was an odd "pecking" feeling on my elbow.  I opened my eyes and there was Allie, pecking on my elbow. 

"Mommy, the whip scorpion is in my room.  Come get it!"

Oh huh uh.  I'm not going anywhere near that thing.

"But Mommy, I caught it under a Pringles can and it got out, then it climbed up my curtain.  Now I'm afraid to go back into my room.  PLEASE COME GET IT!"

Wow, that sucks for you!

So, after moaning and wandering around my room for a while (me, not Allie) with a wicked headache, Todd rubbed my back until i finally got back to sleep (around 6:30). 

At 6:45, Bryce comes barrelling into my room to tell me Allie caught the bug.  I got up to investigate.

Sure enough, Allie had cornered the bug in the living room and was holding him under Bryce's "bug scope" cup.  I grabbed some cardstock and slid it under, then flipped the cup over, cringing and mewing all the way.  After a few minutes of freaked-out deliberation, i dumped the wind scorpion (i should clarify--it ended up being a WIND scorpion and not a WHIP scorpion) into a huge (Costco-sized) pretzel jar (that previously housed Allie's used syringes), then sliced a hole in the top for air. 

Right now, on my kitchen counter, in various containers, i have to keep me company during the day:

One katydid, one wood beetle, and one really ugly and menacing wind scorpion. 

Lucky me!

Our friend { as yet unnamed } the wind scorpion.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr Seuss

Exactly. 

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr Seuss

Just that.

I love people.  But i especially love people around whom i can be completely myself.  They are a rare breed, these people who are so comfortable in the world and so aware of themselves that they can allow others to just live freely. They have let go of judgment; they have let go of fear.  No confines, no walking on eggshells, just pure acceptance and ease.  Anything else is unease which leads to disease.

I choose ease.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Carb Experiment

For a week or so, i've been allowing a few more carbs into my diet.  It started with potatoes.  That seemed to go okay, so I let some simple carbs slip through, in the form of candy corn (blast!) and carrot cake.  { Sidenote:  i will take a good, properly done carrot cake over any other cake, any day of the week.  It must contain pineapple chunks, golden raisins, lot of shredded coconut, and pecans.  The cream cheese frosting must be extra thick and creamy. }

My body fat percentage is at 19.0% this morning, but my weight is up to 103.5--and i feel it.  My shorts are definitely tighter, and not in the good junk-in-the-trunk kinda way.  I'm retaining water.  I feel like shit.

Part of that is probably minnow paws (that just sounds so much cuter than the devil menopause, so bear with me), which is still kicking my ass.  I hope i'm feeling more myself by this Sunday, when i leave for Portland for a fun photog field trip (complete with food-and-beverage debauchery at it's finest).  Ayeayeayeayeayeayeaye.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

When You Get Peed On....

This morning, the fam went to a meeting in Gilbert and hung out with some wonderful friends. Bryce drank a glass of water and then an Italian soda. In other words, the 4-year-old had a VERY full bladder by the time we left. Todd took Boogs to the bathroom before we left, so i thought he'd make it home (about a half-hour drive). Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Less than 10 minutes down the freeway, Bryce is doing the pee dance in his car seat.

Todd pulled into In N Out (the drive-through) and I climbed into the back of the 'burban and opened an old cup of water for Boogs to pee into. Why i didn't throw the remaining water out the window before letting him unload his bladder into the cup, i will never know. So, B-man starts whizzing into the cup of water and it's getting nearer and nearer the top. I'm holding the cup in front of him, he's standing in the aisle between the middle captain seats. As the pee is juuuuuust about to overflow from the cup, i say, "Stop! Stop peeing!" and all i can do is start laughing, because he's reeeeally peeing and can't stop so i know we're about to have a yellow Niagara Falls flowing onto the floor of our car. But nooooo...even better, instead of continuing to pee into the overflowing cup, Boogs just starts spraying me. He's really hosing me down. All i can do is laugh so hard i'm shaking. My jean shorts, my Hello Kitty t-shirt, my legs...all dripping with urine.

When he finally finishes, Boogs steps back, pulls up his shorts, gets a side-ways face and says, "Sorry Mommy." And all i can do is continue to laugh. At that point, we're at the window to take our food and the kid is asking Todd if he wants ketchup. I'm yelling "Napkins! Napkins!" and i'm still laughing hysterically.

Todd hands me a wad of napkins and i soak up the pee on my legs, then my shirt and shorts. I ride home wet with pee, still laughing.

These are the moments in life, the ones worth writing down and remembering...those wacky, silly things that happen randomly and unexpectedly and put a big smile on the face.

Next time, though, i'll empty the cup first. Or maybe even go inside to use the bathroom.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Craaavings and Minnow Paws and { Labor Day }

I know i've mentioned in prior posts that perimenopause sucks. I would now like to upgrade that statement to:

Menopause sucks!

It's like an evile combination of PMS and pregnancy:  mood swings, fatigue, hot flashes, sore boobs (sorry you had to read that, Chris), and wild cravings. 

This morning for breakfast i had a bowl of black beans mixed with alfredo sauce and topped with fried eggs.  That sounds very reasonable to me, but Allie freaked out at my putting alfredo sauce in the beans.  If she only knew some of the other foods i've been craving and eating lately.  I'll have to start posting recipes. 

On another note, do you know the origins of Labor Day?  It's really freaky!  I'm totally freaked out right now.  Go see!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Young Folks

Are they kidding me with how great this song it? I dunno why, but Swedish music has been in my ears a lot lately. I'm late catching that boat, but glad i finally got on board.



Young Folks

If I told you things I did before
Told you how I used to be
Would you go along with someone like me?
If you knew my story word for word
Had all of my history
Would you go along with someone like me?

I did before and had my share
It didn't lead nowhere
I would go along with someone like you
It doesn't matter what you did
Who you were hanging with
We could stick around and see this night through

And we don't care about the young folks
Talking about the young style
And we don't care about the old folks
Talking about the old style too
And we don't care about their own faults
Talking about our own style
All we care about is talking
Talking only me and you

Usually when things has gone this far
People tend to disappear
No one will surprise me unless you do

I can tell there's something going on
Hours seems to disappear
Everyone is leaving, I'm still with you

It doesn't matter what we do
Where we are going to
We can stick around and see this night through

And we don't care about the young folks
Talking about the young style
And we don't care about the old folks
Talking about the old style too
And we don't care about their own faults
Talking about our own style
All we care about is talking
Talking only me and you

And we don't care about the young folks
Talking about the young style
And we don't care about the old folks
Talking about the old style too
And we don't care about their own faults
Talking about our own style
All we care about is talking
Talking only me and you
Talking only me and you

Talking only me and you
Talking only me and you

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dreams and { Missed the Boat }

I just woke up from a much-needed nap wherein i dreamed of my momma's southern cookin':  chipped-beef gravy, fried green tomatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, the way she smooshes bacon as it fries, so it stays flat and gets nice and crispy.  But especially the chipped-beef gravy.  It's worth dreaming about.

I've had food on the mind all day; not sure why.  I've been day-dreaming about Thanksgiving dinner for several hours.  I can taste the stuffing, dripping with gravy.  I'm sure it's all symbolic of the comforts of home.  Such a big part of me wants to be packing boxes for a move back home to Virginia.  Todd and i hoped it would happen in October, but too many bills and other necessities have come up and our savings is (as usual) non-existent.  Plus i just signed a commercial photography contract for an event on November 20, so i know we'll still be here to honor that. 

Oooohhhhhh Virginia.  You're so near me, i can feel the weather getting ready to change to fall.  I can smell the country air and see the dappled light streaming through canopies of trees as i drive along twisty, winding roads, up and over hills, beside long fences lining farmland.  I'm trying so hard not to have regrets.  Todd is trying, too.  He blames himself that we're stuck in the brown dirt, but it's not his fault. 




while we're on the subject, could we change the subject now?
i was knocking on your ear's door, but you were always out
looking towards the future, we were begging for the past
well we know we had the good things but those never seemed to last
oh please just last

everyone's unhappy, everyone's ashamed
well we all just got caught looking at somebody else's page
well nothing ever went quite exactly as we planned
our ideas held no water but we used them like a dam
oh and we carried it all so well
as if we got a new position
oh and i'll laugh all the way to hell
saying "yes this is a fine promotion"
oh and i'll laugh all the way to hell

\of course everyone goes crazy over such and such and such
we made ourselves a pillar, we just used it as a crutch
we were certainly uncertain at least i'm pretty sure i am
well we didn't need the water, but we just built that good goddamn

oh and i know this of myself
i assume as much for other people
oh and i know this of myself
we've listened to more of life's end gong than the sound of life's sweet bells
was it ever worth it was there all that much to gain
well we knew we'd missed the boat and we'd already missed the plane
we didn't read the invite we just danced at our own wake

all our favorites were playing so we could shake shake shake shake shake
tiny curtains opened and we heard the tiny clap of little hands
a tiny man would tell a little joke and get a tiny laugh from all them folks
and drifting around on bubbles and thinking it was us that carried them
when we finally got it figured out that we had truly missed the boat

oh and we carried it off so well
as if we got a new position
oh and we own all the tools ourselves
without the skills to make a show with
oh what useless tools ourselves

Monday, August 30, 2010

Let's Just Call It Crazy, and Call It Good

So, the latest word from the old 'hood is that i've lost my mind.  It cracks me up that there are people from the old 'hood who make sure i know everything that's being said about me back there.  I don't ask, and really, i don't care, but the information keeps streaming in.  { To my adorably sweet sources:  really, you don't have to tell me any more of it; i honestly don't give two poos.  Let them gossip 'til theirs hearts are "content." }

I've always been a compassionate and understanding person.  I can understand why certain people are upset with me right now.  I've learned some very serious and disturbing things and no longer believe what they believe.  When you base your entire life around something, and someone says that certain something isn't true, it's can feel like you're being told that *you're* not true.  It can mess with your head--a lot!  I can understand that. 

What amazes me is the amount of denial some people have to live with in order to believe what they do.  They don't bother to check FACTS, they just write off things they hear as hysteria or gossip or untruth created by "haters."  I'm so grateful that i finally decided to find out the truth for myself. 

If you need to call me crazy in order to continue living comfortably with your beliefs, feel free!  I know who i am; and i know who you are.  And i don't hold that against you. 

Cheers!



We have one chance.
One chance to get everything right.
We have one chance, one chance.
And if we're lucky we might.
My friends, my habits, my family, they mean so much to me.
I just don't think that it's right.
I've seen so many ships sail in,
just to head back out again and go off sinkin'.

I'm just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box, just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box, just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box, just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box in a cage.

Didn't mean to laugh,
didn't know I had,
didn't know the better part of what you said,
'cause in your head you are not home.
Didn't get the joke,
didn't mean to poke another,
just to save myself from some something, something or another one.
Well walk home.

I'm just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box, just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box, just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box, just a box in a cage.
I'm just a box in a cage.

We have one chance, one chance to get everything right.
My friends, my habits, my family, they mean so much to me.
I just don't think that it's right.
I've seen so many ships sail in,
just to head back out again and go off sinkin'.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Playing With My BFF

What do you do on a Saturday night when the hubster is supposed to be resting { after a minor surgical procedure }, the teens are occupied, the small fry's asleep and you don't feel like watching movies or reading?   You play in the studio, of course!  I've been training Todd here and there--not nearly as much as i should be.  We went over lighting last night.  I wish i could say it was super fun for Todd, but i'm a mean teacher, so....



Click to see it biggah!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Congratulations

I woke this morning to an email from Andrew VanWyngarden himself (i'm so fantasizing here) telling me they'd just released the new video for Congratulations. Just for me. But I'll share it with you. (Click over to YouTube to see it biggah!)



Miller&Miller Photography

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Did You Ever Have One of Those...

...bad hair bill days?  One where you have an ambulance transport bill (9 miles from one hospital to the next) for $978 and an electric bill for $615?  Oh, and you haven't even made the car payment yet?  And the latest hospital bill will be arriving any day now? 

I love those days!

A Thousand Laughs for You! { John Leguizamo }

About 500 years ago, i had HBO and John Leguizamo's Freak came on.  I loved him already, but after seeing this, i was officially all up in love. 

This video is rated R. 

This is part 1...there are several.  It's one of the funniest and most interesting life stories i've ever seen performed. 

Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harry Potter Weekend

Harry Potter is one of my favorite stories of all time. Did you know there are 4,175 pages in the Harry Potter series books? And around 1,000 different characters? Not to mention all the events, places, fights with Lord V., school happenings, spells and herbs, etc.


I do not know how J. K. Rowling spewed all that forth from her mind and kept track of it all. But the human brain is a very, very capable thing and some people have amazing imaginations.


I love it when ABC Family has a Harry Potter weekend.  I love lying in bed with munchies and drinks (with straws, of course) and watching Harry Potter.  I don't know why it's so special to me, since we own all the movies and can pop them in whenever we want.  There's something about it being on t.v.  Must be lingering anticipation from my childhood, of waiting for the World Premier of a movie to show on t.v., before we could buy movies and have them at the push of a button.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blame it on the Tetons

Okay, seriously. I've run into a Mouse fan here or there and it's always the same upon discovery: we pause to look deeply into one another's eyes, share a moment of absolute unspoken understanding, hold a moment of silence for the awesomeness (in the truest sense of the word) that is Modest Mouse, then go about life a little happier because we know one more person in the world who Gets It.

This isn't a video; it's just the music, so scroll down and soak up those lyrics.





Blame it on the Tetons

Blame it on the Tetons
Yeah, I need a scapegoat now
No, my dog won't bite you
Though it had the right to
You ought to give her credit
Because she knows I would've let it happen

Blame it on the weekends
God, I need a cola now
Oh, we mumble loudly
Wear our shame so proudly
Wore our blank expressions
Trying to look interesting
Blame it all on me because
God, I need a cold one now

All them eager actors
Gladly taking credit for the lines created
By the people tucked away from sight
Is just a window from the room we're bound to
If you find a way out
Oh, would you just let me know how?
Would you just let me know how?

Blame it on the web
But the spider's your problem now
Language is the liquid
That we're all dissolved in
Great for solving problems
After it creates a problem
Blame it on the Tetons
God, I need a scapegoat now

Everyone's a building burning
With no one to put the fire out
Standing at the window looking out
Waiting for time to burn us down
Everyone's an ocean drowning
With no one really to show how
They might get a little better air
If they turned themselves into a cloud

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Am Grateful For Science

Back in college, in PSY 101, i learned about the five stages of grieving.  I've been thinking on them a bit the last few days.  If you're not familiar, you can check them out here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

First is denial, the "This can't be happening" phase. 
Then comes anger:  "WHY?"
Next is bargaining:  "I'll do anything for this not to be happening."
Then depression:  "What's the point?"
And last, acceptance:  "Everything will be okay." 

Knowing that last stage will come, when we studyable humans reach that point of acceptance and know that everything will be okay, gives me comfort.  I've unconsciously done those five stages so many times in my life I could have been a case study for EKR herself.  And that's a good thing.  I like fitting into the human mold.  And I like the comfortable assurances of science.

You Didn't Actually Think Mouse Fest Was Over, Did You?

This is kinda how i feel about living in AZ right now, and particularly in San Tan Valley.





These walls are paper thin


And everyone hears every little sound

Everyone's a voyeurist, they're watching me

Watch them, watch me right now

They're shakin hands, they're shakin in their shoes

Oh Lord, don't shake me down

Everyone wants two of them

And half of everyone else who's around

It's been agreed, the whole world stinks

So no one's taking showers anymore

LAUGH HARD IT'S A LONG WAYS TO THE BANK

I can't be blamed for nothin' anymore

It's been a long time since you've been around

Laugh hard it's long ways to the bank

Toe the line to tax the time, you know

That you don't owe

I can't be a fool for everyone that I don't know

These walls are paper thin

And everyone hears every little sound

Everyone's a voyeurist, they're watching me

Watch them, watch me right now

They're shakin hands, they're shakin in their shoes

Oh Lord, don't shake me down

Everyone wants two of them

And half of everyone else who's around

It's been agreed, the whole world stinks

So no one's taking showers anymore

LAUGH HARD IT'S A LONG WAYS TO THE BANK

Tow the line to tax the time, you know

That you don't owe

I can't be a fool for everyone that I don't know

Thursday, August 19, 2010

{ Sorrow }

Sometimes pain is so enormous, it's too much to write about.  And sometimes the grief and sorrow someone is experiencing is too much to write about publicly.  Friends of mine are suffering unspeakable pain and sorrow right now.  To me, it's seems a sort of private thing, when someone's suffering so profoundly, and so I won't mention details or names.  Instead, i just want to put some of the pain on this page in hope that it somehow siphons away some of their pain.  I believe that when someone is filled to overflowing with pain and they have at least a billion tears to shed in the process of healing, every tear we (as friends, family, concerned human beings) shed with or for them takes away that many tears they'll have to shed themselves.  When we can somehow share that pain with them, it helps them heal.  That is what I believe.  I will continue to cry with and for them; i will siphon away as much pain as i can.  So many in the community are doing the same.  Human kindness transcends race, religion, politics and any other beliefs when it's truly needed.  I'm grateful for that.  

When i was 19 or 20, i discovered a book by Kahlil Gibran called The Prophet and i've owned a copy every since.   In the last 21 years, whenever i'm experiencing deep sorrow, i turn to the chapter on Joy and Sorrow.  I'm going to put the entire thing here:

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall. 


And this song by Tori Amos keeps looping through my head.  Whether you're religious or not, it's just a soothing song:   { Star of Wonder }   



Star of Wonder

We three kings are coming again
Bearing gifts from the East
From the East

Some say a star will rise again
In the hearts of humankind
Some say we have been in exile
What we need is solar fire

Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty
Westward leading, still proceeding
A star
A star of wonder

We bring gold and myrrh for him
From the East, frankincense
From the East

Some say a star will rise again
In the hearts of humankind
Some say we have been in exile
What we need is solar fire

Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty
Westward leading, still proceeding
A star

Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty
Westward leading, still proceeding
A star
A star of wonder
Of wonder.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There Might Be a Whip Scorpion in Your House If....

  • You keep thinking you see something moving out of the corner of your eye and jump up on furniture in reaction
  • You fear walking on whip-scorpion-colored carpet
  • You stand back four feet from the washer and dryer, stretching and leaning to get the clothes in and out, just in case there's a whip scorpion hiding under there
  • When entering a room, you pause to scan the floor for whip scorpions
  • When sitting on the toilet, you keep your feet elevated off the floor in case a whip scorpion runs out and you're stuck there on the toilet, defenseless
  • You see an actual whip scorpion run behind your dryer

Dear Whip Scorpion That Ran Under My Dryer:

I know it's ugly outside, but please find your way back out there.  I'm sure there are far more interesting things to eat out there, anyway.  It's your natural habitat.  Yes, I know you got screwed in that regard, but still.  Inside this house is my domain, and I must put my foot down.  If that foot comes down on you, I will crap my pants.  I have no intention of harming you { mostly out of fear } and hope that we can come to a peaceful agreement here. 

Sincerely,

s